Having had a night’s sleep, albeit greatly shortened, and looking at the day’s headlines, I see it’s not a dream I had.

Obama, really did win. And now the work begins. As he reminded us in his speech last night, we’re fighting two wars, in the midst of an economic meltdown, and a hard road lay ahead. I voted for Obama, not just because I’m a Democrat, but I believe in his message. I believe in change.

16 years ago (!) I was 27, living with my sister and working at a Burger King. Bill Clinton was running for President then, and despite his broken zipper problem, I believed in his message. We had eight years of prosperity, a balanced budget, and no wars. In spite of every “gate” thrown at the Clinton’s they overcame, perservered and I think made the country a better place.

I felt the same thing last night as I watched Barack give his speech. This morning, as I walked to work, the clouds seemed a little fluffier; the sky a bit more blue.

And the future a lot more hopeful.

I want Obama and the new congress to succeed. I want change, a better life for myself and my nephews and niece. I think he can do that. If he can’t, I’ll be the first to say so.

And now, with the election over, I return to the slime filled dungeons of the nitwits, who I’ve neglected for far too long. Hope they didn’t miss me too much.

The Right Direction

Relief. The election’s over, and Obama has won. 

I’m sitting here, completely and utterly exhausted, wracked with nerves all day, about whether the rest of the country would see this election as I do. From Maine to California, from Florida to Minnesota voters did agree.

And race didn’t matter. When young adults are being fed into a war machine; families of all colors are being foreclosed on, being fired, and trodden on, we, as a nation, did the right thing. 

For the next four years, our country will become a shining beacon once again, not the dark tower that is full of corruption and arrogance. We won’t have to worry about a hothead wanting to dig his heels into the sands of blood and death. Nor a vice President who is dumb beyond words can describe.

I can hold my head high, and once again say I’m proud to be an American.

What are they hiding?

Thanks to AKMuckraker over at the mudfalts blog, for posting this piece by AK rep. Les Gara. I think it’s important enough to repost on my blog so others may read it. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, this should scare you.

Since Monday the McCain camp has stepped up its personal attacks against Alaskans. They’ve continued their D.C.-style tactics against neighbors in this small state. The game plan is to find an excuse to stop our Legislature’s Troopergate investigation, and hide evidence McCain’s folks really don’t want to surface before November’s election. It’s been a little Karl Rove, and parts Laurel and Hardy. How else can you explain the following?
Last week the Attorney general’s office promised state witnesses would comply with subpoenas the Legislature issued last week. Tuesday the Governor’s Attorney General flip flopped, and announced that state witnesses wouldn’t comply because, well, and I’m paraphrasing here – he’s changed his mind. And in what has to be an idea hatched after a 4th Martini at Chilkoot Charlie’s, Governor Palin’s attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the ethics claim she filed against herself two weeks ago. Yup. She really filed a complaint against herself. Tuesday she said she’s discovered, after a thorough investigation of herself, that she’s done nothing wrong. Does anyone know how to get a hold of Jon Stewart and Tina Fey?
It’s silly season up here in the far north, but this week’s moves are aimed at one thing: John McCain’s effort to find cover for being disingenuous. See, before Governor Palin’s nomination for the Republican VP spot, she did the honest thing. She admitted the evidence – of roughly 20 contacts between her staff and husband with Public Safety officials, seeking the firing of Governor Palin’s former brother-in-law – might lead a reasonable person to the conclusion that the she misused her office to fire a state employee. So when Alaska’s Republican-led Legislature called for an investigation, she did the honorable thing and said she and her staff would comply. She denies any wrongdoing.
Things changed on August 29 when Governor Palin was added to the McCain ticket. Since then his handlers have told her she can’t testify. They don’t want the evidence in this case to come out. They don’t want her to testify under oath. They don’t want other witnesses to testify under oath. So they have engaged in daily maneuvers to attack, as disloyal to the McCain campaign, anyone who wants the investigation to move forward. They’ve now attacked two well respected prosecutors, and perhaps the state’s most highly regarded law enforcement official – the Public Safety Commissioner she hired, and then fired, Walt Monegan.
Every day this week McCain operatives have sung the same tune. Today a guy with an East Coast accent, who knows nothing about Alaska, stood in front of a McCain-Palin banner to lead the attacks against people he doesn’t know. At press conferences on Monday and Tuesday campaign staffer Megan Stapleton spit vitriol to repeat her argument that this investigation is really a “Democratic” attack on Governor Palin.
See, that’s easier than just saying their VP has reneged on her promise to testify. It’s easier than just saying they don’t want anyone testifying before the November election. It’s easier than admitting they are stonewalling a legislative investigation.
Here are a few things they failed to say. There are a few small facts that make it hard to style this as a Democratic investigation. One is that Alaska is a Republican State. We have a Republican Governor and a Legislature of 34 Republicans and 26 Democrats. This summer the Legislature’s Legislative Council voted 12-0 (8 Republicans and 4 Democrats) to hire an investigator, and appointed Democratic Senator Hollis French, a well-respected former prosecutor, to find an investigator. Governor Palin stated she and her employees would comply with the investigation. French then hired Steve Branchflower, a former DA who most recently was hired by legislative Republicans to run the state’s Office of Victims rights.
And on Friday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 (2 Democrats and 1 Republican in favor); and the House Judiciary Committee issued a 7 – 0 (5 Republicans, 2 Democrats) advisory vote, to issue subpoenas to witnesses the McCain camp had previously stopped from testifying.
Over the last two days McCain’s outside operatives have vilified former prosecutor Hollis French – as an Obama supporter who must have called this investigation to hurt the McCain ticket. But French was appointed to oversee the investigation by a 12 – 0 Legislative Council vote, and is probably the state’s most respected legislator – by Republicans and Democrats alike. He’s so popular the Republican Party couldn’t find anyone to run against him this year.
They’ve called former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan – a Native Alaskan who has served Republican and Democratic Administrations with honor, and put his life on the line in uniform – “insubordinate.” Odd, given that when Governor Palin fired him she offered him a different job. I guess being “insubordinate” was a job requirement for the new position. And they’ve challenged the independence of an investigator and former DA, who has no animus anyone can find.
Those Swift boat ads taught the McCain folks that if you say something untrue enough times, it can stick.
My favorite moment of the week came when Governor Palin’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss Palin’s ethics complaint against herself. Stay with me. Her attorneys have been buying the peyote, not me. See, on August 29 they needed to find a way to stop the Legislature’s investigation. They tried asking the Republican leaders to call it off, and take one for the team. But the Senate President and others honorably said no. So they came up with an argument that the State Personnel Board – 3 people appointed by Governor Palin and her Republican predecessor Frank Murkowski – had “exclusive jurisdiction” to investigate wrongdoing by the Governor. The Legislature wasn’t amused. So Governor Palin then filed a complaint against herself.
That, they said, put “jurisdiction” in the hands of their friends at the Personnel Board. They argued that since the Personnel Board was now proceeding with an “investigation”, the Legislature couldn’t.
To put icing on the cake, on Monday the Governor’s attorneys moved to dismiss the Governor’s case against herself. They said, and I loosely paraphrase again – that they tried really hard and just couldn’t find any evidence that the Governor did anything wrong. OK. I can’t believe I just wrote that. And I wish it weren’t true.
These are the things you have to do when your Presidential candidate doesn’t want his VP to honor a promise, and doesn’t want evidence to come out before an election. These are the things you have to do if your folks aren’t going to comply with a subpoena. That’s because without spin the headline might read: “McCain Interferes With Investigation Palin Agreed To.” How easy it is to re-write a headline. They learned that during the Swift boat campaign too.
All we can hope for is that members of the press will remember what they learned in journalism school. Not to repeat the spin of political operatives without reporting the truth. Not to write “he said she said” stories, and pretend the truth is somewhere in the middle. But to report the facts. No matter how you spin it, Governor Palin promised to comply with this Legislative Investigation. McCain’s folks got her to change her position. And the Legislature that voted for the investigation did so on a bi-partisan basis. End of story. End of headline.
Over the next few days McCain’s folks will try to get local legislators to step in line, out of party loyalty, and reverse their vote to investigate Troopergate. But many local Republicans, like Senate President Lyda Green, have so far refused to play those politics.

Making things clear

Thanks to STNY over on the mudflats blog for posting this.


I’m a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight…..

· If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re

“exotic, different.”

· Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American


· If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

· Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.

· Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

· Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you’re well


· If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the

first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter

registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years

as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator

representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of

the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years

in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people

while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs,

Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees, you

don’t have any real leadership experience.

· If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city

council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000

people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people,

then you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest ranking


· If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while

raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re

not a real Christian.

· If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your

disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a


· If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including

the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

· If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no

other option in sex education in your state’s school system while your

unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant , you’re very responsible.

· If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in

a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city

community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values

don’t represent America’s.

· If you’re husband is nicknamed “First Dude”, with at least one DWI

conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until

age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession

of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

recollections of 9/11

The alarm clock was set to wake me up with the radio. Bleary eyed and barely conscious I heard something about a plane crashing into the WTC. They didn’t mention anything about it being an airliner, and I didn’t give it much thought. I turned on CNN and was in time to see the second plane crash. I was stunned. In spite of what I was seeing, my mind just wouldn’t register what was happening. These were buildings I’d witnessed being built as a kid growing up in New York. 

Then there was talk about planes being flown into the Pentagon, the white house, you name it. There was pandemonium as reporters scrambled to find the latest tidbit of information.

Meanwhile George Bush read a children’s book.

I dressed, caught my bus to work and watched the tv in the break room. Things were getting worse, as (all false it would turn out) report after report began to filter in about what was happening. Nobody could work. All we could do was watch in horror as something so unimaginable suddenly became a reality.

I’ve witnessed and expreienced many things in my life, but I don’t think anything ever scared me as much as that morning. I started crying and couldn’t stop. It took me several attempts to get my mom’s phone # right. All I could say was that I loved her.

For that one brief moment, I thought it could be the end of the world. We were sent home, and a coworker offered to drive me. We sat in silence listening to the news on the local talk radio station. every now and then we’d both wipe tears from our eyes.

I ran up the stairs o my apt and turned on CNN again. A tower had collapsed and the footage of that wall of smoke, debris, dust, dirt, paper and who knew what else, rushing down the street, covering and comsuming people in its wake stunned me. 

7 years later, it all still seems like a bad dream, something I’ll wake up from eventually, but I know it will never go away. I saw the footage of people jumping from buildings to their deaths 90 floors below. Reporters asking where the President was. Where the VP was. Where the hell was anybody?

CNN was my constant companion over the following days and weeks. I tried to wrap my head around how this could happen. Yet, what kept popping into my mind was how much worse it could have been. As a country we’ve been fortunate enough to be spared some of the worst terrorist attacks that have plagued Europe and the middle east over the centuries. We’ve been lucky.

But that day, our luck ran out…and an era of Bush strong arm tactics began. now I’m no pascifist, but I believe in fighting for a reason. When we went into Afghanistan, to root out AL Queda and the Taliban I agreed with that. The hunt for bin-Laden? Get the bastard. Go into Pakistan? If that’s where bin Laden is, go get him. 

sadly Bush and co. used this tragic, horrendous attack to wage war without so much as a peep. As they trample on the Constitution, eye Iran and use everything at their disposal to seat their puppet MCCain, they want to continue their wars.

That can’t happen. Obama/Biden provide the only choice to restore this country. McCain/Palin are a gruesome twosome of more of the same. More war, more death, a further degraded economy, an assault on Roe v. Wade, more tax cuts for big business, while real people like you and meean continue to get the shaft.

To honor those who perished in the attacks, to make their deaths even more meaningful, stop the war, and vote against those who would keep us in eternal conflict.

That’s all folks…

I think this picture says it all…

Seriously, that was the best he could do? Let’s put aside the puke green backdrop for the first ten minutes; or the makeup job that made him look embalmed; we can even put aside that after all the right wing squawking about Obama not wearing a flag pin in his lapel, MCCAIN didn’t wear one during his acceptance speech.

Put that aside for just a moment. Listening to this speech was like being locked in a car, forced to endure all of grandpa’s war stories, that he’s told for the past 40 years.The most boring speech I have ever heard. And the thing is, I’ve heard McCain give great speeches in the past. But he seemed tired, a bit out of it. Maybe he knows he’s destined to lose and was simply going through the motions. But did he have to be so damned boring? Were it not for my friends over at mudflats blog, I’d have been zonked into a near permanent coma. 

We can even put the boring aspect aside, for a moment. He talked about taking back Washington, despite the fact they’ve had it in their hip pocket for 8 years. He invoked his now mythical POW status, where he single handedly ended the war with a cigarette lighter and a stick. He fell in love with ther US while being captive; this makes the assumption he didn’t love it before?


I quote this: They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the world’s oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions…  

For a moment I didn’t know who he was talking about. I thought he meant the US. turns out he meant Russia. Hard to tell the difference.

It was full of everything the right loves, and none of what Americans needed to hear.  There was no substance. Sure he made promises but nothing about how it would be implemented. Obama went to great lengths to detail what and how he would create change.

All McCain showed was how tired grandpa gets when it’s past his bedtime.

Mama Rain and Sister Rain

I spoke with Mama Raingods this morning, curious about her take on the speech from Scaracuda last night. Let me preface her comment by saying she’s been a lifelong Republican and switched to being a Democrat in 1996 only because she thought Bob Dole was too old to be president and was concerned about her impening retirement. In many ways she’s still a Republican, and was somewhat comfortable voting for McCain. Her response to me was, “That woman is batshit crazy. There’s no way I’d ever vote for him as long as she’s on the ticket.”

I asked her how my sister was doing in the wake of the hurricane, and she said that Sister raingod’s brother in-law went with her husband to total up the damage and it came to 31,000 dollars, not including what was in the garage. The Red Cross had gotten them assistance within 72 hours, and FEMA said they could apply for a loan through them and it would take 90-120 days to process.

It’s that kind of red tape that is strangling this country.