Archive for November, 2008

I Will Say It AGAIN: Walk A Mile In His Shoes

November 25, 2008
A picture is worth a thousand words.  Use your imagination and walk a mile in Barack’s and Michelle’s shoes.   We all have come a very long way.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Finally, something to be really grateful for.

Hope Floats ….. But In January

November 24, 2008

The last month of the Presidential campaign I gained five pounds.  My rear end never moved from my computer terminal.  Now I have taken off three pounds so I feel justified in sitting down again and writing a little something.

There was a letter written to The Washington Post yesterday that you should read:

It sums up my personal feelings from my house to yours, from my town to yours and from my country to yours.  I am still waking up every day, breathing easier and deeper, since Obama was elected.

However, I also am experiencing greater anger at the Bush Administration and all that has transpired these last eight years.  Should we bail out the big three auto companies?  NO!  They have been on notice for 40 years that their industry needed to come up with fuel efficient, alternative energy vehicles.  Remember the gasoline shortage around 1970?  Then high gas prices diminished, and so did any plans of ever changing the face of the industry.  Yes, if these car companies went belly-up, many people would be unemployed.  But we will see no change in these companies with the same management, same union demands and same technology.  Plus, without a massive change in this industry, no one will be buying their cars so they will wind up going under anyway.  So let these companies fail —– please!.  No sooner than you can say “Jack Rabbit”, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota will buy up those factories, retool and even rehire a good amount of those unemployed workers.  The nerve of those three CEO’s each flying to Washington, D.C. on separate private jets.  They still do not get it.  These outdated dinosaurs need to fail.  We need new companies with new ideas, a new framework based on a new philosophy and, above all, new management to manufacture a greener, more efficient product.  Can you believe that Ford and GM are STILL advertising on television come-ons for huge Lincolns and Cadillacs?  Gee whiz, wasn’t Hummer a great, modern idea?

Furthermore, I firmly believe that private companies should no longer be responsible for providing health coverage for their employees.  Medical coverage must be the responsibility of the government.  The system we have now is a bastardization of health care mainly put in place because our country did not want the financial responsibility of providing its citizens what every other industrial nation in the world offers their citizens:  health care coverage.  It is time to end this patchwork quilt of exorbitant and supposed coverage by private insurance companies who reap a 30% profit and thereby add to the phenomenal cost of insurance and stingy benefits.  Enough is enough.  We need a universal program to cover everyone.  This right can not and should not be attached to employment or pre-existing conditions.  The government has used private industry too long to cover what they, the government, should have been covering all along.

Another factoid has incensed me for years.  When companies offer their employees a pension plan, that plan should be sacred, i.e. totally off limits to the company borrowing against those earmarked funds.  How many airline employees have wound up with absolutely no pension because their company went bust?  Too damn many.  No retirement fund, personal or corporate, should be available for borrowing.  Period.  Corporate and personal financial responsibility is the order of the day.  Simple, strict rules lead to simple, strict lives.

I have no idea how to stop this financial mess in which we find ourselves.  I think Obama’s plan to create jobs by instituting a public works program is viable.  God knows our infrastructure has been in dire straits for years and this plan would have a two-fold benefit of remedying the terrible condition of our infrastructure and putting unemployed people back to work.  However, I am also seeing many white collar, highly educated people being laid off.  So I also understand the need to prop up the various financial institutions.  But how many should we bail out?  Which ones should we let die?  How do we control this process without going bankrupt as a nation?

Today, President-Elect Obama announced his economic team.  The markets seemed to welcome his picks.  Some experts say this team is made up of our best and brightest.  I sure hope they can translate brains into solutions.  If ever their was a time that we need expert help, this is it.

I wish Bush and Cheney would resign right now.  Of course, that is not the way our country is run.  Gail Collins of The New York Times wrote a column about that possibility:

While I think Collins’ idea would be beneficial, I realistically know it will never happen.  There is an order to changes in administrations.  After all, we do have a Constitution to adhere to (even though Bush and Cheney have violated it numerous times over the last eight years).  Why didn’t we really listen to Dennis Kucinich and his fight to impeach Bush/Cheney?  He was not far of the mark at all.  Anyway, short of Bush and Cheney resigning, I would like to see, at the bare minimum,  Bush replace Paulson with Obama’s Treasury chief choice, Timothy Geithner, NOW.  This would informally get Obama’s foot in the door as well as provide a mental lift for the markets and the country.  It would seal the deal that change is coming.  Help is on the way.   Don’t get your hopes up though.  Even if Bush were to capitulate on this, Cheney would never allow it to happen.  Cheney IS the boss when all is said and done.

Over the next few days Obama will announce his national security and policy choices.  The highest profile in this mix is Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State.  I have no doubt that she is well qualified to fulfill that job.  And even though I trust Obama to have control, I still worry about Hillary’s inability to be subordinate to one in higher office.  And yet, that isn’t even my biggest worry.  My great fear is, of course, the narcissistic, impulsive Bill Clinton.  So hold on to your hats; it is going to be, if nothing else, not boring.

If a genie showed up at my doorstep today and gave me but one wish, I would wish that Inauguration Day was November 25, 2008.  We need hope and change immediately to take effect and put us back on a solvent and just path.  I hope we can all hold out until January 20, 2009.

At The Core Of It

November 16, 2008

Life does not have to be so complicated.  Simplicity can rule.

I have been reading a lot of post-election analyses of the hows and whys of its outcome.  My own take seemed to be more intuitive, kind of a gut reaction to events.  Maybe age and life experience played into my opinions, but above all, my trust in myself as a fair person, a curious person, opened the truth to me.

In this week’s “New Yorker” magazine, the staff did a phenomenal job of explaining all the broad sweeps and intricate minutiae of Campaign 2008.  First, read the article on Obama’s election success:

Obama’s discipline and attention to long term goals comes shining through.  Although still a young man, Obama trusted himself.  He discovered and developed his political philosophies through his life experiences, both personal and political.  He knew he was on to something that would not only enrich his life, but also that could enrich the life of a faltering nation.  Obama had defined his CORE , and continued through many ups and downs to nurture it, communicate it and make it so.  Obama never lost sight of his center.

McCain, on the other hand, betrayed his core.  Please read:

McCain did have a history of honor and independence but traded it away for the chance to be elected President.  The saddest part of this was that he knew what he was sacrificing.  A few months ago at a Town Hall meeting when he responded to the lady who said that Obama could not be trusted because he was an Arab, McCain sincerely responded that “No, Obama was not an Arab and that he was a decent family man and would make a good President.”  That was the old McCain, the attractive McCain, the fair and honorable McCain rising to the occasion.  This honor, this dedication to the truth, spurted out of his mouth because it was the very essence of his being.  This had been McCain’s defining reason for living.  And that is precisely what he lost during the 2008 race.

Once your center fails you, it is a long road back.  Some may concede that it is an impossible task.  For a man who based his entire existence on honor and lived by that credo, McCain threw it all away.  The first hint was the Keating 5 scandal.  McCain’s actions were unquestionably suspicious on a moral plane, if not just outright wrong.  He had been tempted.  He realized that, and atoned in the following years by devising a plan for ethics and reform in campaign finance.  Okay:  he managed to save himself.

Then came this Presidential race.  McCain forfeited whatever honor he still had.  First, by attacking Obama personally with slurs about patriotism, domestic terrorism and his peripatetic upbringing, McCain got very close, on a more indirect level, to slamming Obama on a racial basis. He connoted that “different” was evil.

Secondly, McCain’s choice of Palin as his running mate was a doubling down of the loss of his core.   McCain felt in his gut that Lieberman was the right choice.  I tend to agree with him on that issue.  However, his advisers talked him into something different and the result was a further deadening of his center.  Lieberman had every right to back a Republican;  I admire his independence in supporting who and what he believes in, regardless of party affiliation.  What does not sit well with me is the fact that after all is said and done, Lieberman wants to continue his caucusing with the Democrats and above all, keep his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.

At any rate, McCain selected Palin and thereby agreed with his staff that she was a reformer and maverick just like himself.  No way.  She spoke to strong basic values and independence.  However, when a person does not have the facts and intellectual curiosity to back up that bravado, the whole scenario tends to disassemble.  All Palin had was a pretty face, a big mouth and unfettered, blinding ambition.  She did not differ from George W. in that regard:  Bush had a core, a faith in himself.  Unfortunately, his was a center of “blind faith”, with no history of or desire for the truth and hard work.  McCain succumbed to Palin’s empty bluster and his core, at that point, moved into negative territory.

Obama has proven his consistency.  On a personal level, when the news came that Palin’s 17 year old daughter was pregnant, he forcefully said that families, especially the children,  were off limits to campaign mud slinging.   Then he proceeded to live by that statement over the life of the campaign.  On a professional level, Obama introduced his policies and then, over a period of time, laid out the details succinctly.  He believed that Americans needed to know the details, thought they had a responsibility to become engaged in policy design, and did his honest best to make sure we had the information.

I trust this man.  Not only does he have an active and creative intellect, but his core is definitely intact.  Take, for example, his possible appointment of Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State.  I am not thrilled with that choice because I have doubts about the Clintons (and I do mean Bill as well as Hillary) being able to push their own ambitions into the background.  However, so far, Obama has proven his ability to stay true to his core and his basic gut feelings.  I also think that he has the inner strength to control his own staff.  So I will support him in his choices.

Ultimately, life is simple.  One’s contribution to society and legacy is directly dependent on one’s maintenance of an inner core.  If a person forsakes his center, whether for personal gain or an easy way out, his self is lost.  No rationalization will suffice to save him.  In the eyes of his family, friends and professional colleagues, his effectiveness will be nil.  The most devastating aspect of this is that the person ends up with no respect or value for himself.

McCain threw away his very being.  Since he could no longer believe in himself, we could no longer believe in him either.  Obama lives another day thanks to his devotion to his inner beliefs.  Much hard work must follow, but I think we will be more than okay with a leader who values his honor, trusts his center and will hopefully, NEVER trade away his core values.

Let this be a lesson to us all.  Each of us is nothing if we give up our individual selves.  We must strive to develop our own inner person, live each day abiding by those principles, and never, EVER, trade away our centers for anything or anybody.  If you don’t have yourself, you have nothing.

Odds And Ends: First Clean Up Your Own Mess

November 12, 2008

Hi folks.  I have some odds and ends that I need to clean up.

Months ago, I drew the parallel between our Presidential race of 2008 and the script on “The West Wing”.  Sure enough, this election has proven true to the script of that television show.  Joe Biden is Obama’s Leo McGarry.  I further learned last week that Rahm Emanuel was the inspiration on which “The West Wing” based their Josh Liman character.  I thought this article was interesting”

Now is the time that things will divert from the plot of that television show because the series ended once Jimmy Smits became the new President.  So I guess we are on our own.  I like it that way though, and I bet so does Obama.

By the way, I am rereading Obama’s first book, “Dreams From My Father”.  If you have never read it, you should pick it up today and start turning those pages.  It reads like a novel and it is so mind-opening.  Obama tells us in detail from whence he came.  The book sheds lights on his personal growth, familial relationships, coming of age, political philosophies and above all, gives the reader a hint of where this man will go in the future.  The book is totally uplifting.

A word on Sarah Palin.  I am up here in Maine for the week and have been watching her interviews.  I understand her need to fight back against those “anonymous” leaks that have damaged her reputation.  However, her incessant talking and constant media blitz must stop.  Who is running Alaska?  Or maybe, it doesn’t take much to govern Alaska and that is why she is so concentrated on her public image.  Between the interviews, the snow machine rides, the preparation of meals for her family —– when does she govern?  I acknowledge her untethered ambition for higher office (but only if God will open the door for her), I appreciate her enthusiasm for America and I even admire her “can-do” approach to governing.  However, despite her gung-ho attitude, doesn’t she realize that to wish something doesn’t necessarily make it happen.  If she wants to catapult herself to national office, she better go and educate herself on geography, current events, history, political science and public policy.  Wishing and hoping are one thing; preparation is another thing entirely.

A few words on California’s Proposition 8.  After listening to Keith Olbermann’s commentary on Prop 8 the other night, I woke up the next morning and realized that SO WHAT if gay people want to get married.  With the  heterosexual divorce rate at 50% in this country, if the gays want to follow the same folly, let them.  But gay people are first, human beings just like the rest of us.  They therefore deserve the same rights as the rest of America.  How in all the Heavens can gay marriage affect all of our lives?  It can’t and it won’t.  If two people are in love and want to get married, let them follow their affair of the heart and make it a legally binding contract.  We should celebrate that commitment.

If you really want something to get all riled up about, look at the $700 billion bailout.  I stated two months ago that these banks were not to be trusted with this money.  Our government never set strict enough rules on this lending.  So far, none of the funds have trickled down to the people undergoing home foreclosures.  These foreclosures are the first domino in our fragile economic state.  Instead, many banks are using these taxpayer monies to buy smaller, ailing banks for pennies on the dollar with hopes to flip those banks in a few years for large profits.  In the meantime, there are a half of million homeowners being forced out of their homes.

Where is our government?  More to the point, where are our House Representatives and Senators?  Haven’t they learned yet NOT to give this administration a free hand in managing crises?  Simple rules will suffice for these companies accepting the loan package:  no bonuses, no golden parachutes, no business junkets, no enriching their own company at the expense of helping out Americans in financial trouble.  What is so difficult about setting up guidelines to ensure that the funds get used for the purpose of which they were intended?  I do not think that rules would be the problem;  the real stumbling block is that lawmakers do not want to establish rules and guidelines.  There is no backbone to our current government.  Maybe Obama can provide some.

We are in a totally new situation here in this financial crisis.  I am not that naive to expect all the measures taken to fend off total collapse will be successful.  This is a learning curve;  some policies will work and others will not.  But certainly we must lay down some ground rules to protect our taxpayers from losing even more money due to irresponsible lending.  Our current path is just adding insult to injury by possibly throwing good money after bad.  Hello —– who is in charge here?

When Bush took office eight years ago, he swore that he was not interested in nation building across the globe.  Hah!  That was the initial lie that we all should have been hep to.  I am calling for nation building right here at home.  Now.  The United States needs to take care of their own.  Our citizens need decent jobs, adequate universal healthcare, our infrastructure needs much ignored attention and we need an energy policy and implementation to truly build a self-intact functioning state.  Just as the individual citizen must be personally responsible for his own existence, so must other countries begin to rely on their own strength for survival.

Global political philosophies are very important to a peaceful, well-functioning world.  However, if we, as a world leader and free-standing country, lose our domestic strength, we will be of no use to anyone else in this world.  I have said it before and now I will say it again:  start at home.

Yakety Yak

November 10, 2008

Dearie me.  What to make of Sarah Palin?  The woman just will not stop talking.  She is her own worst enemy.

What of the Republican public assault on Palin after the election?  McCain’s stupidity in choosing her as his running mate and Palin’s own stupidity in accepting that role leaves no room for sympathy.  She must have been out of her mind to think she could fall into the job of VP and run like the wind.  People in general seem to believe that the other person’s job is easy.  Experience and preparation are not necessary.  Wrong.  Palin was in way over her head.  She threw in her hat with the big boys and did not know if she was coming or going.  Well folks, she’s going.

Even though Palin was outside of her comfort and ability zone, there is definitely something else going on here regarding the post-election attack of Palin.  I am sure that the stories that have leaked out about her, i.e. her lack of geographical knowledge, her covetous desire for designer duds, and her blind, all-encompassing ambition, are 100% true.  However, I do not understand why the campaign staff leaked all of these stories.  Besides the given, that the Republicans eat their own, why has all of this scandalous information come out into the open?  Isn’t there a code of courtesy?

Thom Hartman of Air America had a theory a few days ago.  He held that the Romney camp wants to position their guy for 2012.  In order for them to do this, they need to demolish Palin as a viable choice for 2012.  Honestly, I am not surprised by this all-out assault on Palin by her colleagues.  Let us see what stuff Palin is really made of and if she can combat evil with evil.  If she succeeds, the Republicans will welcome her with open arms.  What a good foundation on which to build the future leadership of our country.

At any rate, why won’t Palin just keep quiet?  Her rambling is tiresome and embarrassing.  The woman needs to do her current job well and cease her incessant jabbering about her career path.  She needs to simmer down and listen, instead of talking.  She needs a lot more spit and polish, not to mention education and real knowledge, if she ever hopes to assume the reins of national power.  Until that time, and I sincerely hope that time never comes, here’s to you, Sarah Palin:

Yakety yak.  DON’T COME BACK.


November 7, 2008

I miss you.  Let’s go on!

On Tuesday night, I was dancing like no one was watching.  I climbed up on the kitchen table and spun, twirled and threw abandon to the wind.  Its a good thing no one was watching.  The exception was the dog, poor baby, who ran upstairs and hid.

I still have not stopped dancing.  Yesterday I flew up to Maine for a week of decompression.  Unfortunately, I think I began that process a little early.  My flight was early in the morning, so I took a cab to Dulles airport.  Lo and behold, when I went to check my bag, I discovered that my flight actually was from National Airport.  I had been in such a state of euphoria, twirling and spinning, that I went to the wrong airport.  So I got in another cab, sped over to National, and made the flight easy.  But  I was able to talk myself down;  I kept thinking that even if I do miss the flight, these complications are so worth it compared to the momentous events of this week.  The thought of President-elect Obama calmed me.

I have some errata from previous blogs that I would like to clean up now.

1.  Joe Biden IS Barack Obama’s Leo McGarry.

2.  On election night, I gave Montana to Obama.  Scratch that.  But hey, that John Denver song, “Montana”, is one of my favorites.

3.  My sister put her money where her mouth was during the campaign.  She gave a donation to Al Franken’s campaign in Minnesota and to Begich’s run against Stevens in Alaska.  Perfect.

4.  Sarah Palin:  there is still something very suspicious about her.  More to follow later in the week.

Women of the world, REJOICE!  We have Obama’s mother, his fantastic grandmother, and yes, Hillary Clinton to thank for their part in preparing Obama for the Presidency.  In our own quiet way, often unacknowledged and unrewarded, we women have a monumental effect on our children and thus, the world.  Pat yourselves on the back.  It is our glory, our contribution and NO ONE can take it away from us.

A word about Hillary in this election post-mortem.  I do not believe that she could have won the general election.  First of all, the Republicans were chomping at the bit to have her be the Democratic nominee.  They must have had such a backlog of slime and dirt, accumulated through the Clinton years, to throw at her.  I do believe that some of it would have stuck.  Also, Hillary’s time had passed.  This election, first and foremost, was a generational contest.  Obama filled that bill like no other person could have, despite the experience argument.

In a larger context, Obama’s rocket-like rise is indicative of, finally and at last, the last ember going out for the Baby Boomer generation.  Thank goodness.  We Boomers had our time and now it is over.  Obama is 47 years old, too young to be a Boomer and too old to be a Gen Xer.  Just this fact of his age, being inbetween generations, made him a force for unification.  He is smarter, more controlled and definitely a more unifying figure than my activist generation of the 1960’s.  If we consider the Boomers to have been the initial shock to the system, then consider the Obama generation as the reasonable, measured outcome.  This forty year process is about right.

This is what our times call for now.  It seems to be a pattern that when new ideas arise, initially they seem very radical.  Over time however, people adjust, acclimate, and acceptance is usually the result.  Take Yasir Arafat for example.  He started out as basically a terrorist, rose to head the PLO and then become a major player in the Camp David peace accords of 1978.  Subsequently, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.  In order for new ideas to take hold, we need the audacity of rebels and then we have to allow time to play its part.

This factor of time is the critical element in any degree of change.  The gay people today are so disappointed by the three propositions to ban gay marriage (marriage shall be between a man and a woman) that passed this Election Day.  Take heart.  This too shall change in the future.  I do believe that gays retain civil rights regarding their partnerships, which is a big step in the right direction.  Yet, symbolically, it is not enough.  Let people get used to the idea of real equality as defined by our Constitution.  Total equality for gays WILL happen.  We just need more time. Hang on.  The times ARE changing and we are headed in that fair and just direction.

Once again, I must tell you that, besides the ecstatic results on Election night, all of you, my family and friends, made that night for me.  Your comments and emails energized me and brought this major historical event home for me.  Your effect has been indelible and so memorable that I will never forget it.

And that is what is so remarkable about Barack Obama.  He succeeded in communicating to each and every one of us how to effect change.  Not only did we Americans crave a different order, but the world at large was pulling for us.  America has been defined over 300 years as an innovative, scrappy and righteous.  The world needed us to fulfill that reputation so that their hope would be restored also.  Yes, our policies and philosophies are important, but this contest went so much deeper.  Our history, our basic existence as a country and international leader, was on the line.

We did it.  When Obama says he needed us to carry out this change, he really meant it.  The success of his message was validated by YOUR actions, dedication and hard work.  This is the most basic foundation for democracy:  each individual must particiapte.  Then, collectively, we will have made our mark.  Worth and self-esteem begins in the hearts and minds of each citizen, and then spreads to the national ethos.  Our influence on world events will again take rise because all of us have come through this process stronger.

The United States has, once again, risen to the occasion.  Every single citizen should take heart, be grateful, be congratulatory to themselves.  Now we need to use our lessons learned and pay it forward.  I thank you, Obama thanks you, our nation thanks you and the world thanks you.

Always dance like no one is watching.

Walk A Mile In His Shoes

November 5, 2008

Good, no!  Great morning America!

I woke up today to find that I had breathing space.  The weight of the world lifted a bit for me.  We have a President-Elect who will fill his shoes well.

First and foremost, Barack Obama is a decent human being.  He brings honesty and reason to the table.  I believe that he would never lie to us.  Mistakes —– yes.  There will be trip-ups.  But intentional deceptions?  Absolutely not.  There is a confidence, a trust, he conveys.  This trust has allowed me to feel an easing of the burden.

Secondly, Obama is a man of letters, of purposeful education.  He initiates new ideas to solve old problems; he is open to innovation.  He embodies the mental acuity necessary to be a real leader.  Moreover, his intellect is magnified that much more by his dedication to plain hard work and discipline of temperament.

Finally, Obama is the bridge between cultures and races.  He is living proof that democracy, justice and equal opportunity are alive and well in America.  By negating past prejudice he has secured a place in our future history for everyone, regardless of creed, color and national origin.  This feat should not be underestimated.  I urge you to walk a mile in his shoes, or in his wife Michelle’s shoes.  Until you can imagine the path they have had to walk, don’t stoop to inflammatory, ignorant comments that have been circulating in the media.  These lies are merely retaliation, spoken out of fear, malice and jealousy.  Walk away from this nonsense.  The divide has narrowed, the gap is closing.  The burden is being lifted.

Even though Obama was overjoyed last night, you could see him holding back.  I bet he is totally aware of the tough job that lies in front of him.  He allowed us our glory last night but do not expect much more celebration from him.  After all, he, that is, WE, have a job to do.  Walk a mile in his shoes.

On with it.


November 5, 2008

Here we are. After all these months, here we are. Let’s do it. Let’s take it back tonight. Let’s make America ours again. Together.

The following is the song that started it all for me. Turn the beat around.

I will be writing constant updates and comments here as the results come in. I hope my fingers can keep up with the information. The key, swing states have various poll closing times ranging from 7 P.M. Eastern time to Alaska at 1 A.M. Eastern time. Virginia, Indiana and Georgia all close at 7. However, depending on how long the lines are at closing time, the results may not be available for hours. We’ll see. If the Virginia returns come in early, and are substantial, it will, I believe, be very important. How proud will I be of my home state of Virginia if it goes blue, for Obama? Pretty damn proud. Virginia has not gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1968. So if Virginia does go Democratic, and especially if it gos EARLY tonight, it will be a fantastic way to start the night, and also it could be a good sign for the rest of the evening.

7:08 P.M.:

Wolf Blitzer just called the Virginia Senate race for Mark Warner. Yay!!!! We of the Commonwealth now have two Democratic senators. You make me proud, Virginia.

What do you think Sarah Palin is doing now? Her activities could be indicative of how this election will go. Is she field dressing a moose, or packing her designer, campaign-funded clothes in anticipation of living the high life in D.C.? That woman still, and yet, galls me. Her pretty little body and her pretty little face and her pretty little smile is so deceptive. As soon as she opens up her mouth and spews her venomous comments and accusations, you know she is from another planet. She is representative of what the Republican Party has morphed into: a right wing entity that appeals to the fringe elements. In simple English, Palin and her party can claim as their supporters the intolerant, the bigoted, and the selfishly, narcisistic moneyed class. That is not the America I subscribe to.

7:25 P.M.:

It has just been reported that 75% of registered Virginians voted today. How many times can I say, “I love Virginia?”

8:00 P.M.

New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusettes, Delaware, Maine (hurrah!) all go to Obama. His home state of Illinois goes in his column.

Yahoo!!!! Pennsylvania gets smart and is called for Obama.

The state of Yo Mama’s childhood, New Joisey, has gone blue.

8:16 P.M.:

It looks like Liddy Dole bit the dust. I daresay her hubby, Bob Dole, was probably popping too many of those Viagra (he used to be their spokesperson) pills and thus, Liddy just wasn’t spending enough time on the campaign trail. So Godless of her.

8:32 P.M.:

Still waiting on Indiana. Please note that the hugely populated counties around Gary, Indiana have not reported their returns yet. These are crucial and we will have to wait and see. In Virginia, it is still too early for a decision. Personally, I think it will be in the wee hours of the morning until we get a decision from Virginia. Remember how long it took to verify Jim Webb’s ultimate Senate victory a few years ago. We could revisit that scenario in this election.

8:36 P.M.:

NBC has just called Georgia for McCain. Yuk. Phooey. This means that my Ray Charles video (try to figure out which song I had picked out —– duh!) will not be played tonight.

8:43 P.M.:

I am so loving all of your comments to this post. Thank you so much. Tonight is different from the debate live blog because, so far, I actually have time to read your comments. Keep them coming.

8:50 P.M.:

What is holding up Rhode Island? That state is very near and dear to me because my hope, Lilley, lives there and of course, my Brownies all met there and just like the cream, they started their “rise” to the top, individually and collectively, at Brown University. Does anyone know what time the polls close in Rhode Island?

9:00 P.M.:

Michigan goes to Obama, as does Wisconsin. Minnesota is placed in the Obama column:

And the great state of New York throws its support to Obama. Sing it, Frankie!

9:19 P.M:

A special shout out to Rhode Island, way over the line for Obama:

9:24 P.M.:

Ohio just turned blue! Thank you Seven Stripe Annie. Virginia has closed the gap —– looks bluish. Sit tight. Here’s to ya’, Ohio:

9:33 P.M.:

My heart, New Mexico, has gone for Obama. We lived there for five wonderful years and the two most incredible kids I know, Chuck and Maribel, were born there. It is truly the Land of Enchantment.

9:48 P.M.:

It is looking great. It will be a night of historical proportions. I do believe that at 11:00 P.M., when the California polls close, Barack Obama will have earned the 270 electoral votes he needs to become our next President. Thank you Michael from Michigan. I still want Virginia in my pocket. Our vision is taking shape, becoming clearer:

10:03 p.m.:

Update on Virginia: 49% McCain, 50% Obama. Stay tuned. Some of my very best videos have yet to be posted. I’m antsy —– what about you?

Anybody know what’s happening with Al Franken?

10:57 P.M.:

YIPEE!!! My sweet Virginia has turned blue! This means so much to me. Yes, Virginia. Yes we can.

NBC has just ceded the election to Barack Obama. How remarkable. How historical. How lucky we Americans are.

Axelrod called it and so did Plouffe: as Virginia goes, so goes the nation.

Guess what folks? We are going to have kids in the White House again. What could be better than that?

Even though a bit anticlimactic, thank you California:

Hats off to Colorado:

11:20 P.M.:

McCain is giving a real classy concession speech. How much more becoming is this type of behavior instead of his divisive and destructive actions during the campaign? Good-bye Sarah Palin. Go back and rule your roost in Alaska. They had a bad day.

Welcome to the family, Indiana! This clip is for my son Chuck. I think he has found true love:

Florida. Thank you for delivering, Hillary:

I am giving Montana to the Obama landslide:

North Carolina is still iffy. What the heck:

This is our Independence Day. I wish you a good night. For the first time in eight years, I can use that term “good night” and really mean it. This Presidential race has been a unifying experience. Let us carry that spirit forward. Now the real hard work begins. President Obama will need our help. Listen carefully to him, be responsible, be kind and forgiving for the mistakes that he will inevitably make, and above all, remember that WE did it. We can make anything possible and everything happen. This is our new beginning, our Independence Day:

Now go and celebrate. Do not gloat; allow Yo Mama that luxury:


The Connection: True Victory

November 4, 2008

It is an overcast day today in northern Virginia.  Not to worry.  The gray skies make the fall foliage stand out even brighter, perhaps an omen of what’s to come.

My son Chuck was here for the last four days to work the campaign.  I joined him canvassing neighborhoods on two of those days.  Today we were assigned to a neighborhood that was ethnically diverse.  There were three to four voters per household, which is a lot for this county.   Many people who answered the doors had limited English-speaking abilities.  Their young children, however, were eager to act as translators.  This was the victory of the day:  these children were excited about the election.  They felt the importance of it.  What a terrific experience for them.  After all, they will be our leaders in the generation hence.  A solid foundation was set today.

Barack Obama has done many things well in the last two years.  Perhaps the most significant accomplishment has been to establish a link —–  a CONNECTION —–  between people, whether white or black, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, man or woman.  Obama has not taken our support lightly.  He frequently expressed his gratitude, thanks and capability to promote change only with our help.  This symbiosis, this mutually beneficial connection, was vital to a successful finish on Election Day.  Each and every one of us was required to do their ultimate best to turn this promise into reality.  As Obama had said many months ago, “I can help you only if you help me help you.”  It was an optimistic, idealistic vision, some might say a pipe dream.  Today we can say that it was what was necessary.  Without a doubt, Obama’s vision of cooperation was transformed into a movement of effectiveness, responsibility and satisfaction.

Americans can learn from this experiment.  Sure, we united as one nation after the tragedies of 9/11 and Katrina.  However, we need to come together WITHOUT tragedy.  We need to coalesce and work together over good times.  We need to focus on the positive aspects of America and continue the struggle to ensure their continuance.  Barack Obama has set the standard and taught us how to follow.  Hell, Obama has taught each and every one of us how to LEAD.

So before any of the returns are in, let me thank so many people for their awesome inspiration.  First and foremost, untold thanks go to my children, Chuck and Maribel.  Without Chuck’s computer knowledge, I could NEVER have carried off this blog.  Additionally, his intellectual interest and political savvy were priceless.  My Maribel has moved me by her music and her general calming nature.  She has been the voice of reason and sanity in a crazy world.  She puts things in perspective for me.  Heaven knows, I DO need perspective.  She talks me down.  From a totally selfish standpoint, my children have validated the time and effort I invested in them, lovingly and willingly.  Nothing —– not educational accomplishments nor career successes —– compares to their dedication to and follow-through on this campaign.  Nothing.

To my incredible friends of so many years —– Lilley and Ann (the Seven Stripe Girls), my BFF Wishey who, through her very quiet, yet dedicated, demeanor has brought some lifelong Republicans over to our side, Janie G.,  who has always been a loyal progressive out for change, my nephew Esevan who, through his chosen career path, has put his money where his mouth is, and finally, the Brownies.  This group of young people were graduates of Brown University, Class of 2002.  To a person, they have thrown themselves into this mission heart and soul.  But the incredible thing about these kids is that they live by what they believe.  They are the real deal and will serve to continue the connection over the generations.

Win or lose tonight, we have had the experience of a lifetime.  That is no small feat.  Imagine if Barack Obama had never existed.  Then we would really be in trouble.  Hard times are one thing, but to have no hope for a better tomorrow is another thing entirely.  We are all the torch bearers;  all of us have been responsible for perpetuating the real America, the good America, on through the ages.  Win or lose, we all have won.

Obama has done his best.  We have done our best.  Be joyful that the connection was made.

Good Mornin’ America!

November 4, 2008


Today is the day.  Today is the day we can make a difference.  Today is the day that we can advance from the cusp of hope and reason to the reality of integrity, moral and economic solvency, and perhaps, peace.  Today is the day we can give this man Obama the chance.

From Manhattan to Teaneck, from Haworth to Riverdale, from Lake Forest to Baltimore, from Palo Alto to Albuquerque, from Oakton to Charottesville, from Seattle to Brooksville, from Fairfax to Providence, from Morningside Heights to Brooklyn, and finally, on to Manassas; from here, there and everywhere, we must vote.  This is our chance to not only hope for change, but also to INITIATE change.  This is our day to turn hope into action.  Do it.  Make it so.

I will see you all tonight as I comment, live, as Election Night progresses.  I will get started somewhere between 8:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M.  There will be lots of opinions and tons of music.  Come visit often.

Have a good, good morning America —– and here’s to a great celebration tonight!