Cartoon by Carolita Johnson
Hey, kids, I don’t know what the hell your nut-job parents were all upset about. The President gave a back-to-school speech this morning at a high school in Virginia, a patriotic message about dedication and personal responsibility that was beamed to all schools in this country.
Your parents thought this speech was tantamount to some propaganda shilling for Democratic social programs like that public option in the current health care fight up on Capitol Hill. This was supposed to be the speech where the force of Mr. Obama’s charisma was going to hypnotize you into becoming a free-spending and taxing Socialist, and indoctrinate you into the ways of Karl Marx. Read the rest of this entry »
Ted Kennedy: A Senator, A Patriarch
The passing of Senator Ted Kennedy surely represents a significant loss in American politics. The “lion of the Senate” for 47 years was at the forefront of American social policy. Through his long and distinguished career, he was if nothing else an extraordinarily gifted legislator and a master of the coalition-building and deal-making needed to craft what were some path-breaking legislation of the 20th century.
Look up the Civil Rights Act, immigration reform, health insurance as we know it, No Child Left Behind (despite his reticence once it passed), educational reform, etc —make no mistake, Ted Kennedy was behind every one of those pieces of law. You know the employer-based health insurance coverage, Cobra, that stays with you once you have to leave your current job? Yeah, that’s Ted Kennedy, too. It will be hard to imagine what the US Senate will be without him. His absence has been especially acute now during the acrimonious health care debate, packed as they are with the town-hall meetings. Now it’s up to the legacy of Kennedy, and all that represented in his career-long battle for health care reform, to help rescue it in some way. Read the rest of this entry »
The image of Sonia Sotomayor, accompanied by her mother and her brother, taking the oath from Chief Justice John Roberts, to become our nation’s 111th Supreme Court Justice was surely a thrilling, moving moment for many of this country’s Latino population.
After winning Senate confirmation last week, Sotomayor was promptly sworn in at the Supreme Court (and not at the White House, in order to show independence) on Saturday morning, and it culminated several weeks of debate and sometimes angry discourse from opponents who did not care for some of Sotomayor’s previous remarks that she, as a “wise Latina” somehow had a better perspective than older white males. Read the rest of this entry »
We have now hit rock bottom. In the annals of utter stupidity and in the dark depths of political desperation, we can now crown a champion in the current smear campaign against Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. That person’s name is Mark Krikorian.
That’s K-R-I-K-O-R-I-A-N, and pronounced
”Krik-O-Ree-An”, and it may well be a variation on “Kirkorian”, like the old dude who used to own part of Chrysler and married the young trophy wife. Read the rest of this entry »
The Obama Poster Copycats:
Shepard Fairey created something truly inspiring in his original and stirring renditions of HOPE, OBEY and ultimately OBAMA. Since then, hoards of copycat wannabes have been flooding the intranets with their own Photoshopped, inferior versions.
And yes, you can even OBAMA YOURSELF should you be so inclined.
So let’s get them all up and and over with, shall we?
Let’s face it: the economy is in the toilet, we’re one paycheck away from living in the streets, and we’ve been shocked into suddenly having very little —losing a job, a house, a car, a livelihood, a thinner 401K and portfolio. What portfolio, you say? You don’t invest in stocks? What 401K? You don’t have enough to invest either, huh? You’re just struggling, like many millions of families around the country, to just keep your head above water.
We’ve rapidly had to become a country that is taking a shockingly cold look at itself –a nation of people living beyond their means, a nation of debtors who have lived off plastic and put off responsibility until later, and now dealing not just with the devastating dislocations like, you know, not having a home all of a sudden. Read the rest of this entry »
This historic day has come and we have live coverage on NBC, courtesy of talking heads Brian Williams, Lester Holt and the avuncular Tom Brokaw, and some pretty impressive camera work as the Very Important People come from the White House, both the outgoing and incoming Presidents and Vice-Presidents, in new, snazzy, thick-doored Cadillac limousines. We see them wheeling down Pennsylvania Avenue, lights flashing, on their 1.5 mile drive to the Capitol. It’s a clear, very crisp day in the nation’s capital, with temperatures in the teens. Read the rest of this entry »
Our friends at Krispy Kreme are at it again. To commemorate the historic day that will be next Tuesday, when President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath office in the nation’s capital, all Krispy Kremes are giving away a free donut to all of its customers. That’s right. No purchase necessary. You go in, say, “I want my free donut!”, or perhaps even, “Hey, this is an awesome day. We have a new President. Give me my donut!”, or better yet, “Hey, we now have a President who speaks in complete sentences and who has lived in other countries. Would you please give me a free donut to celebrate?!” Read the rest of this entry »
Remember that lumpy older brother bully who made life hell for Macaulay Culkin’s character in the holiday classic “Home Alone”? I didn’t think so. Former child actor Devin Ratray is hoping to reprise his bullying ways, or at least become a gadfly or find some newfound publicity. This time his attention is turned toward the current (and outgoing) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “Courting Condi” is a new film by Brit Sebastian Doggart that depicts Ratray’s quest to get close to the Secretary to get her attention and declare his love for her. Fiction? Documentary? I haven’t seen it yet, but the trailer has made its way around the Internet and I guess that Doggart wants to do both: create a Michael Moore-style documentary and also imbue it with some snarky satire, because, well, it focuses on a woman who has apparently been part of the evil “vulcans” that took us into a fraudulent and costly war in Iraq, let’s see, approved of torture methods, ignored terrorist threats before 9/11, um, hold on, kowtowed to the hawks like Cheney and Rumsfield and let the henchmen call the shots, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
Someone definitely has it out for Sarah Palin. Come on. First, the nasty backbiting while she was John McCain’s running mate, about how she was going “rogue” and acting like a “diva”. Then, the leak about how she and her family ran up a $150,000 tab at Needless Markup and Saks, all the while acting, according to how it was printed, like “redneck hillbillies”. Then, just days after Election Day, Fox News (Fox News!) reported that McCain staffers were dumping on her about what a rotten candidate she was –not knowing that Africa was a continent, how she refused any prep before the trainwreck Katie Couric interview, etc., all of which made her mad, calling the press “stinkers” and “cowards” for having all this stuff come out the way it did. Read the rest of this entry »
There have been a lot of post-mortems in the wake of the disturbing passage of Proposition 8 in California, which would have upheld the state Supreme Court’s decision in May to allow same-sex marriages. Protesters have taken to the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco voicing their dissent. Some have marched on the steps of the Mormon temples, especially since it’s been revealed that LDS money from Utah helped fund the Yes on 8 campaign throughout the state. Tens of thousands have also taken to signing petitions that seek to overturn the vote. Other petitions charge that because of its overt involvement in the campaign, the Mormon Church should lose its precious tax exemption status. Read the rest of this entry »
The utterly transformative and historic moment in Chicago’s Grant Park last Tuesday night held millions around the world spellbound. The image of the newly-elected 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and two young daughters waving to the crowds was something many people genuinely thought they’d never see. An African-American first family. A Black man who finally and most decisively achieved whatever this mythical “American dream” represented. A 20-month-old campaign was finally over, and Barack Hussein Obama triumphed, winning not only the popular vote on Tuesday but also the electoral vote by a margin of more than 2 to 1. Obama won in states that had not voted for a Democrat since 1964. The Commonwealth of Virginia, where the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War stood, went for Obama, as did North Carolina. As did Iowa. As did many states. They voted –Americans voted in large numbers for a Black man. Even in a country where racial attitudes still exist, one of the remarkable facts about Tuesday’s election was that Americans put aside those differences and took a proud and measured chance on a new leader and a new hope. Read the rest of this entry »
Where do I vote in California?
It can be tricky - voting stations move and don’t always send location-change information. Below is a list of California polling places (addresses, phone numbers, and a relevant website if available) so you can find your designated voting location and get out there and make things happen.
Currently, Calvoter.org is jam-packed with visitors and the site is teetering due to the large (and very refreshing) demand for info on where to cast your ballot.
You can also call the Voter Assistance Hotline 1-800-345-VOTE for additional information, should the list below not have what you’re looking for.
OR Give Google’s new 2008 US Voter Info a shot and enter the home address where you are registered to vote:
1225 Fallon Street, Room G-1
Oakland, CA 94612
PO Box 158
Markleeville, CA 96120
No Polling Place Look-Up Available Read the rest of this entry »
So you’ve got free donuts and a free scoop of ice cream. Now on November 4, Starbucks wants to reward you voters with a free cup of coffee. Launched last night on “Saturday Night Live”, the commercial, part of the “Shared Planet” campaign, states that everyone who votes will get a cup of Starbucks coffee. Sounds like a deal. Now would you believe there are people who actually have a problem with this? KCBS-TV in Los Angeles apparently has questioned the legality of providing what could be seen as bribes to voters.
There is a California Elections Code, section 18521 (b), which prohibits rewarding people for voting or not voting. Another California companion statute contains similar language, saying the law is meant to prevent people from being bribed with money, food or alcohol. Technically speaking, any violation of the law could get you a prison sentence of 16 months to 3 years. Read the rest of this entry »
From the Huffington Post this afternoon, a deliriously rich and successful prank on Sarah Palin. Montreal’s own Masked Avengers somehow got on CKOI radio and managed to snag Palin’s people on the phone with the tasty bait that President Nicolas Sarkozy of France wanted to say hello. How on earth would this possibly happen? Aren’t Palin’s people a little suspicious of a head of state using a Quebec radio station to spread a little last-minute campaign cheer? This is a radio station! Idiot DJs, only in this case the Masked Avengers have been successful before in hoodwinking celebrities like Queen Elizabeth, Jacques Chirac, Bono and Donald Trump before. With folksy Sarah Palin, they have landed on a goldmine because in the following five minutes, not only does the interviewer or the pretend-President Sarkozy not lose his composure, but Palin just keeps up that fawning, down-home charm and spunk that she’s famous for—and is essentially clueless. Read the rest of this entry »
Ah! The sugar! Ah! The saturated fat! The buttercream! Oh, wait, let me start over. Next Tuesday all Americans have a moral and civic duty to fulfill, by going over to their local polling places and marking their ballots for what is possibly the most important election of their lifetimes. Two candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain. Numerous Senate races all over this great land. Important statewide propositions, including here in California. You all –we all—have to do our part to get out the vote and, from what pundits are predicting, the turnout will be heavy, so get there early. Already voted by mail? Awesome. Well, this kinda applies to you too. Read the rest of this entry »