Update: And you simply MUST go to Lisa's site and read this.
Hat Tip to Meteor Blades at Daily Kos.
Klaatu Barada Nikto!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This is an incredibly excellent expose on the current election and vote rigging, etc. It is well worth watching (three parts). It really helps understand what is going on.
For more information, go to bradblog.com
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thanks to the New Zealand press for printing this article.
It was written by Paul G. Buchanan who the article says studies comparative strategic thought and who was formerly an analyst and consultant to several US security agencies.
It is hard to read and think about, but in the course of this election, and with radical right groups which include everyone from separatists, patriots, Neo-Nazis, white supremest, white nationalist and other groups gaining membership, it is an important piece to read.
Only today, for example, the Huff Post reports that two individuals allegedly plotting to kill 102 people, and the democratic presidential candidate, were arrested.
Please read Buchanan's piece. And it wouldn't hurt to do a lot of praying for the safety of all of our political candidates, people of color in this nation, and the nation as a whole. People are afraid. That fear has been balanced on the words, in large, of Sarah Palin.
And for those of you who may feel threatened because of your political views (attn: Bonnie) just blend in. Overt statements of support that might put you in personal danger are unnecessary. We've got his back in places we are not threatened.
Go here. Read.
Never any lack of entertainment value when Palin opens her mouth. She is a walking, talking Saturday Night Live Meets Barbarella v. The Three Stooges.
But let's get to the mighty fruit fly (and again, this is dedicated to our friend, IT).
I talked about this the other day, here.
Enter Keith Olbermann. His topic on fruit fly begins at 1:40 (in the video below). Then Olbermann shifts to Michelle Obama and her talk about Obama's grandmother, Toot, who is seriously ill. Michelle thanks the public for their notes of concern, support and prayers for Toot and their family. She is graceful, kind and thoughtful (and made this ol dog cry). I can see the weight she carries as she bows her head.
Skip then to Olbermann at 4:55, and this is where it gets really interesting in his discussion with Richard Wolf on Ms. Fruitfly. Wolf, also a writer for Newsweek, tears Palin a new one in his first several sentences. As you well know, Newsweek is hardly a lib publication.
Wolf also makes some really interesting observations about McCain's "budget freeze" (which is such a joke...).
Here is the video:
Then, as if Wolf didn't dis this brainless wonder quite enough, blogger Pharyngula, a fine science blogger, had this to say:
I am appalled.
This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod, mocks basic research and the international research community. You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models — what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work? — and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada and China and India and others are all respected participants in these efforts.
I am rolling on the floor, at this point. Mercy!
And what is even funnier is that this is the most popular republican in the U.S.! This is the best of the best! Sorry, I am laughing so hard I am tearing up. And the most politically interesting thing about this is that Palin--Ms. Fruitfly--is the choice of the absolute whacks (read hard religious right and neo con types) to lead the party forward. Yes, you read that right.
This while the intellectual wing of the party (the very, very conservative--the moderates were driven out long ago) abandons ship in the middle of the Pacific because it is safer and makes more sense with nary a lifeboat in sight.
It doesn't get better than this. The GOP is perhaps now the GODp the Grand Old Dead Party.
This is what happens when you lead an idiot into 8 years of office, drive dissenters who may actually have a brain to walk the plank (thanks, Newt!), start wars with lies, destroy the economy, choose brainless eye candy (though I don't see it) turned "victim" for a vice president then try to defend her ignorance time and time again because you are "proud of her" (huh?), and whack the press over the head for sort of doing what they are supposed to thinking even that is way out of line.
If I had to write a list of things to do to destroy their campaign and the GOP simultaneously, I could not have come up with this stuff. This is the political Three Stooges in their Oscar-winning classic piano-moving comedy, "The Music Box" (about 4 min.):
And if this wasn't enough to just make my day, I got this from my musician beloved from Salt Lake City, Utah:
I have to tell you, I was at the [folks] yesterday & [dad] asked to make sure I was voting. He's INTO the election this year, & the life-long repub. is voting for Obama!! Palin scares him to death. Pretty cute.
It just doesn't get any better than that.
This is the new DNC release on how John McCain is different that Bush on the economy.
Promise? No laughing? Okay... I am trusting you... It'll be hard... buck up... This is serious.
Okay you can laugh now:)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I captured this today from the Johannesberg, So. Africa Times. Apparently, both Palin and Hank Williams Jr. are nutballs (yeah, I know... unsurprising).
But the article is really good...to the very end.
Here's how it begins:
And my response to Hank Williams Jr.? (To the tune of Family Tradition, and my little verse is almost as bad as his; almost being the key word, but I certainly sing far better than he does!)
Why do you vote?
McCain and Palin are goin' down
And that's all that she wrote.
Medical notice: You might hurt yourself in watching this video, so consider yourself informed.
Go Joe! As I have said a million times, I just love this man!
And the Obama/Biden campaign reaction? (hat tip to toadvantageddressed over at Daily Kos)
Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.
"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.
... and especially for our own IT, thanks for all that you do to help in human health as researchers in your various capacities.
Photo Caption: Different species of fruit flies exhibit remarkably different patterns of wing decoration. At the top is the familiar Drosophila melanogaster, the workhorse model organism of genetics, which differs markedly from other fruit fly species. Exploring a single gene that controls pigment deployment in fruit flies, a group led by UW-Madison biologist Sean Carroll has found the molecular switches that control where the pigmentation is deployed on the wing. The finding explains how common genes can be controlled to produce the seemingly endless array of patterns, decoration and body architecture found in animals.
Photo: courtesy of Nicolas Gompel and Benjamin Prud'homme [italics mine]
Now, for those of you not in genetic or other fields of research, or who were not paying attention in high school science (or university, for that matter), let's take a quick look at the wonderful world of fruit fly research, WHY it needs to remain well funded, and why the vice president's new wardrobe should be auctioned off and the funds donated to fruit fly research.
--Thomas Hunt Morgan Cal Tech Nobel Laureate
Thomas Hunt Morgan won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933 for his chromosome theory of heredity. On the basis of experimental research with the fruit fly (Drosophila), he demonstrated that genes are linked in a series on chromosomes and that they determine identifiable, hereditary traits.
An embryologist by training, Morgan turned his attention to Drosophila in 1908. On the basis of fly-breeding experiments, he developed a hypothesis of sex-linked characteristics, which he theorized were part of the X chromosome of females. In 1928, he came to Cal Tech to organize work in biology. The most influential biologist in America at that time, Morgan pioneered the new science of genetics, the essential science for the future of biology. (...)
--Herman Muller, Nobel Laureate 1946. American geneticist Hermann Muller's work introduced the conceptual and empirical basis for modern molecular biology. Breeding huge numbers of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, he demonstrated that exposure to X rays can cause mutations in genes and chromosomes of living cells, and warned that radiation could cause mutations in the human gene pool as well. His research won Muller the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1946.
--1995: Christine Nüsslein-Volhard: Co-winner [of the Nobel Prize] in physiology/medicine for her work on genetic control of early embryonic development in fruit flies (page to bottom), and as reported in the New York Times, October 10, 1995. Two of the three Nobel Laureate co-winners were Americans, one from Cal Tech, and one from Princeton.
There are many more prize winners whose basis of study were built on the foundations of fruit fly genetics.
So, Why Are These Studies Important?
These studies serve as the basis for understanding of the genetic cause of disease, for one. That includes the VERY disease Palin suddenly has an interest in, autism. Obviously, she didn't do her homework (as usual).
While the Palins have a child with Down's Syndrome, Palin's sister has a child with autism. Interestingly, research into autism includes a number of studies using (gasp!) fruit flies.
--What kind of genetic studies? The list of human-related topics fruit fly researchers are currently working on is surprisingly broad in scope: cancer; birth defects; development of the respiratory and circulatory systems; cardiovascular development and disease; taste, sight, smell and hearing; learning and memory; brain disease; sleep; drug abuse; aging; and diabetes.
Those were just the topics covered at the meeting. Missing from the list, but currently under investigation by scientists using fruit flies as a model, are eye development, circadian rhythms, blood cell development, malaria and Parkinson's disease, to name a few.
And of course, I need a little mini-rant, so here it is.
Do me a favor, Ms. Palin; just shut up. You have absolutely nothing to offer the United States on any issue and you are nothing more than an undereducated embarrassment.
Just because you, Ms. Palin, have little to no science training and certainly little respect for science and apparently none for college education--none of your adult children have attended college, your husband has no college education--doesn't mean that the rest of us share your anti-intellectualism.
As for the GOP, you can apologize to the US public and science community by auctioning off the embarrassing clothing of Ms. Palin and donating the funds to fruit fly research. It is painfully clear that the fruit fly has a much more important role to play in this world (and perhaps a better brain) than Ms. Palin
Friday, October 24, 2008
UPDATE: This is incredibly good, and quite funny...
Well, Palin apparently hasn't quite been able to shed her beauty pageant days. As we know, image is everything in some cases.
The International Herald Tribune reports this today (which just cracked me up!):
Who was the highest paid individual in Senator John McCain's presidential campaign during the first half of October as it headed down the homestretch?
Not Randy Scheunemann, McCain's chief foreign policy adviser; not Nicolle Wallace, his senior communications staffer. It was Amy Strozzi, Governor Sarah Palin's traveling makeup artist, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night.
I just had to imagine how that money might have been better spent, say on more debate coaching, more sessions on international affairs. And, of course, the totals are not in. Palin's staff bought her more clothes when they landed in Nevada.
In case you are wondering what this makeup artist makes, it is (drum roll) $22,800.00 for the first two weeks of October alone. Wow. Her hair stylist made $10,000.00 for the first half of October.
That's Ms. Joe Sixpack alright, that little Maverick. I will keep the truly snide comments to myself because you are probably thinking the same thing.
As we were loading and unloading 6,000 lbs. of dog/cat food yesterday in 90-degree weather, I had my hair in a long braid. On my feet were an old pair of tennis shoes. The rest of my expensive attire included jeans and a t-shirt. By the time we finished, I was absolutely soaked with sweat.
So who is really Ms. Joe Sixpack? Me, the progressive dem voting for Obama. What irony. That $2500.00 jacket Palin was wearing? Well, that could pay for about 1,000 male cats to be neutered, 900 female cats, or 250 large dogs.
I guarantee you won't ever be seeing this 'gal' in a $2500.00 jacket. I have some really cool jackets--experienced jackets--from the thrift store, though. Great price, great value.
This next part is far more serious. It involves terrorism and murder.
We have all heard (and heard, and heard) about William Ayers and his Weatherman days. Fortunately, no one died in those attacks. At one point after the first several bombings, the Weatherman notified targets so the people could evacuate. Still bad, but apparently Palin has trouble with some important distinctions here.
When asked if she believes bombers who target abortion clinics (dozens of clinic Doctors and other workers HAVE died or HAVE been seriously injured) are domestic terrorists, Palin responds like this (1:27sec., Palin's statement and other short material):
The moral (if there is one) of the story? If you bomb someone I like (the capital and the pentagon), you are a domestic terrorist. If you bomb someone I don't like, you are probably not a domestic terrorist.
Ah, the logic of Palin. This clearly puts Palin waaaaaay out on the fringe of America--not something unexpected. It also gives a tacit nod to those that commit these heinous crimes against abortion clinics and other targets.
Just keep saying to yourself, "Palin chooses life. Palin chooses life. Palin chooses life." Ignore the static.
No matter how one feels about abortion, rational people conclude that more violence is not the answer.
Defenders of Wildlife have put out a new add on Palin (30 sec), this time on the polar bear which, as you know, she is suing to remove from the endangered species list. I wrote about it previously.
Here's the add:
Finally, a bit of badly needed humor from Will Ferrell and Tina Fey c/o Saturday Night Live, 'Bush Endorses McCain'. A real gem. (About 6:45.)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Update: here is the actual piece on this from San Diego News 8. The KOS link is dead, so I have removed it.
The AP also put out an article, as did the San Francisco Chronicle.
Boy, if this isn't just bizarro beyond words...
Who knows if this is extortion, blackmail or what, but it is most certainly a threat to do something requiring money. If the money is not paid, something will be done.
First up is this great MoveOn add (30 sec). You know I am nuts about animals, so I really like Mr. Moose. I did like him better, however, as a foraging ungulate.
collegehumor made this movie preview:
I really like this one... sometimes facial expressions say it all (30 sec):
And the capper, which I think is absolutely hysterical in so many ways... (2:41)
Have some great laughs!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Read this rather astonishing story! Palin still doesn't get it.
You will recall that VP Dick Cheney (wherever he may be), in averting investigative scrutiny, said he was not part of the executive branch, either. Cheney, known for his ultra secrecy, has been derided for his refusal to hand over his records to the National Archives:
So elusive is this vice president, the New Yorker magazine once ran a cartoon in which theologians debated the existence of Cheney.
"Perhaps next he will say he is not subject to the laws of gravity either. He will just float away to some undisclosed location," said Ana Marie Cox, the Washington editor of Time.com.
The vice president's noncompliance with the National Archives' request plays right into the widely caricatured idea that he is some sort of shadowy supervillain.
In September of this year, Cheney was ordered by the court not to destroy his records. The Los Angeles Times also reported that his failure to abide the court's order could land him in jail:
Any violation by the preliminary injunction is punishable by immediate contempt -- including the power to jail the offender. --Los Angeles Times, 9-21-08
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
As a child, I watched the Civil Rights struggle from afar. As an adult, I see the same thing.
Look at these two pictures:
Now black, white, male, female, Native, Asian, Christian and not seek relief from oppression. The oppression has changed somewhat, but the sentiment against all oppression is still the same.
The Constitution is still for us all; straight or not, regardless of color, age, creed, religion, ethnicity, disability or other factors. We are all equal under the Constitution.
America is not small towns, or big towns, it is everyone.
Believe it. Live it. Vote it.
Update: A new Pew poll is out, and it is pretty dang amazing. Find it here. Pew is very highly regarded. This is NOT the time, however, for complacency. We have 14 days to go. Keep at it, don't stop.
Update: And if you love John Stewart, as I do, and need a great number of laughs, watch THIS. YOU PEOPLE not in rural America, you Pfneed to see this.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Please Put Obama's Grandmother on Your Prayer List
Obama's grandmother, who helped to raise him, is recently released from the hospital and reported not to be doing well. Obama has suspended his planned Thursday and Friday campaign stops and will be doing a shortie in Indiana, then is heading to Hawaii to be with his grandmother.
Joe Biden and Ellen on Prop 8 Today
You go, Joe! I love this man. Watch the video! (about 5 min, and quite good!)
As you probably know, Ellen bought $100K of air time to show her add against Prop 8. Daily Kos, on Saturday and Sunday's Hell to Pay fundraiser raised over $200K for the No on Prop 8 campaign. Here is her 30 sec. add:
Violence Around the Country
Well, it is finally happening, as many of us predicted. Cars are being smashed, people are being threatened with violence, an Obama canvasser was punched in the face, tires on 40 cars were slashed at an Obama rally in Colorado, and on and on. I'm not going to say another word about this for the moment except to note that frightened people, egged on by radio and the McCain campaign hate rhetoric are who I hold responsible. They seem to be snapping like twigs. If you are canvassing, please do not go alone. But go! If you sense danger, MOVE to safety. Trust your instincts.
Check on Your Voter Registration
With all the wacky stuff going on with registrations, it won't hurt to check to see if you:
1. ARE registered, and
2. If you are registered in the right party.
Contact your local registrar of voters by whatever name. Lots of party switches in this last debacle by GOP hired guys.
If you are doing early voting and are having ANY problems, contact an Obama campaign office and report it to your local registrar of voters and your local media. Don't be quiet or silent about it.
Crazy Congressman Michele Bachman in Serious Trouble Now Thanks to Her Big Mouth and Tiny Ideas
Thanks to her wacky ideas and big mouth, Bachman opponents poured money--huge sums--into her Minnesota democratic congressional opponent's campaign, Mayor Elwyn Tinklenberg. In just a few short days, $700,00K came in (he had raised about a million, prior), and the DCCC is now going to spend $1million in the race, in addition.
If you have not seen the just absolutely bizarre Bachman on her liberals are unAmerican and should be investigated rant, go here and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Start at about 4:00. It is just unbelieveable and really needs to be seen to be believed.
And Something Fun (and Challenging!)
Try this "eyeballing" test!
I got a really lousy 14.2 (the lower the score the better!) And you?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Barack Obama has raised a TON of money, no question. And every time the pubs open their mouths these days, he raises more.
The choice of Sarah Palin by McCain for VP probably spurred millions of dollars of donations for Obama. Seen as a terrible threat given McCain's age--let alone her lack of qualifications and strident neocon views on everything from the environment to foreign affairs--I know it certainly has been driving my wee wallet.
Obama raised over $250 million as of June, 2008. In September 2008, after both the democratic and republican conventions, Obama hauled in a record-breaking single month of donation: $150 million.
Federal law requires that campaigns disclose donations of over $200.00 from small donors. It does NOT require the reporting of names for these small donors. I think most of we small donors really appreciate that, I know I do.
Obama's television add spending--in line with the DNC's 50 state approach:
--The New York Times, 10-17-2008
And those (spooky music) 'strange things going on in his campaign'? It's called Americans like him better than you. Hard to accept, I know, John.
You are in the first stage of grief, John, which includes denial, but are also integrating stages two and three, including anger which people seem to see in you all the time. Your personality is uneven and you are unable to control your emotions as your facial expressions exhibited in the last debate:
You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.
You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.
3. ANGER & BARGAINING-
Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.
You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back")
One of the things I find incredible is that any Republican, knowing that money controls campaigns and successful outcomes, and given Bush's campaign funding history, would have the temerity to knock Obama on this point. Hey, republicans, look at it this way: We took a page from your book, changed it a little, and used it against you. I hope you can adjust.
The other little factoid is this: The public didn't put their money behind your 'gal' (her words), just their anger. Even the GOP doesn't like you much, John. Those right wing, homophobic, sometimes racist attack-everyone-on-the-planet types love ya though. I guess there are not that many of them, and apparently, they don't donate. No surprise there.
I think you could take Palin-speak advice on this point: They don't like to 'spread their money around'. Talk to your wife, John. She's got bucks, and a bunch of homes, and spends over $270K annually just for domestic help. Maybe she'll loan ya a few bucks.
The dems didn't take it easy this time... they were prepared to kick the pants of the GOP. 16 days until we know if that paid off not only for Obama, but for down ticket dems, as well.
You know, while Sarah Palin has lived in a media vacuum since her nomination, Obama has been out there now for two full years against one of the best of the best for most of that time, Hillary Clinton. Anyone that can't figure out who Obama is needs to blame themselves or perhaps their favorite right wing radio host, TV station or even, perhaps, their church. But don't blame the media and don't blame Obama.
While the McCain campaign dares say that 'something is funny' with Obama's campaign, Palin has been dodging the truth since nominated, and, actually, long before. Using private e-mail accounts on Yahoo to do official business--as Rove does, and has--she attempted to keep her personal communications out of the line of fire from public records requests and public scrutiny.
After an Alaska court recently ordered that those e-mails (and those of her staff who have also been using private accounts) be preserved, and media requested the information, Alaska has now informed them that it will cost $15 MILLION dollars for them. ROFL. What a massive fraud on the public and media. Gads.
Had Palin conducted her business on the up-and-up (read legally) it would be so much cheaper. This is the famous Sarah Palin's real-life version of honesty, integrity, transparency and reform. She is a Maverick, though. No one else has ever tried such a stunt.
I use the CA Open Records Act all the time for information and I know just how valuable a tool it is for the public. I have likewise use the federal Freedom of Information Act on many occasions, including their appeals process. The media should never be denied access regardless of right, left or center and neither should the public.
Yet McCain/Palin scream, accuse, yell and whine that Obama should reveal every single point of every single contention. What hypocrisy.
A recent comment by the whack-job Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachman who said that Obama is anti-America, says liberals in Congress should be investigated for their Anti-American stands...and invoked McCarthyism at its finest likewise suggests that every jot and tittle be covered by Obama when the BIG stuff is being hidden by McCain/Palin. In case you have not seen her diatribe, watch this... it is actually super scary but you really should experience what a Palin look/act alike says when not on the national ticket. The anti-American nonsense (which she implies is characteristic to ALL liberals) begins at about 4:00:
Saturday, October 18, 2008
UPDATE 2, At 8:30pm MDT we’re at 1,243 contributors and $62,454. WOW!
UPDATE 1, 7:30pst: They have raised $30K so far, and this is matching, also. Get in there and donate!
Daily Kos members voted (as always) on who/what to support in their "Hell to Pay" Saturday night fundraiser being held tonight. They overwhelmingly chose to raise money for the No on 8 Campaign! Yeah! They have raised significant money for various "orange to blue" state candidates so far.
You can log into Daily Kos and sign up here. Kos does updates throughout the evening about the fundraising.
Here is recent polling as of 10/17/08 on Prop 8. Be sure and scroll down to see specifics. BTW, look at the age range for yes and no, it will surprise you. It sure surprised me.
I don't know if you have seen the following three one-minute No on 8 adds, both very interestingly done.
Which one do you like best?
Rasmussen had this to say about the poll numbers in Missouri:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds Obama with 52% of the vote while McCain is supported by 46%. Earlier this week, Obama was on top 50% to 47%.
Obama leads among voters who earn less than $60,000 a year while McCain has the advantage among those who earn $60,000 to $100,000 a year. Those with higher incomes are evenly divided (see full demographic crosstabs).
Overall, Obama is now viewed favorably by 57%, McCain by 56%. --Rasmussen Reports, 10-17-2008
As Fred would say, Wow. Just wow.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I know a bit about acorns and oak trees. I live under three California live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) and have for about 35 years. Were it not pretty black outside, I would take a picture of my pride and joy, one that is about 1,000 years old. It's a beaut and is treated with great respect.
When I had to get a permit for working on the house, they had to hand-write mine. They told me they had no box to check or anything else to explain downsizing a home and, in fact, the 30 year planner told me he had never done it before. Chuckle.
Twice we downsized to save our oak. We either had to cut the tree, or move our home and its structure back to save it and our home. Twice we have done the latter, the more recent giving the tree perhaps another 100 years of growth before the oak protections we are working on will guarantee its survival. I will be dead, then, but I fully intend to be watching over this tree even so. And God help the person that attempts to destroy it.
You can imagine my discussions with the property tax assessment department on the change of square feet. Our house is small to begin with... and getting smaller. They actually raised my property taxes getting all the math wrong because they haven't done it before. Two hours and countless documents later, I have them (currently) at a draw. Wait until they get my recession-based appeal to my tax assessment. Won't be pretty.
When the santana winds come in their full threatening force (we get well above hurricane force winds here every fall), the rattle of falling acorns on any solid matter is deafening at 3am.
That is exactly the sound you are hearing upon the GOP defensive armor right about now. Trouble is, they are using the opportunity to call them ballot-box nukes. You know... the Rovian thing. Up is down, black is white, registration fraud is voter fraud...
This is the sound of potential new growth pounding on the GOP's well deserved failure to thrive.
So let's get to the claim of voter fraud by ACORN, as suggested by McCain and the GOP [and in the larger sense the main stream media (MSM)] which doesn't seem to be able or perhaps willing to discern much of anything right now out of the way because it is a factual non-issue.
ACORN paid workers to register voters. Clearly, some workers either falsified registrations--in some cases many--or looked the other way when registering voters did. Not a good situation but NOT voter fraud. Voter fraud is defined in this way:
Let me give you an example.
Someone submits a registration form under the name of George Wellworn Bush. In that registration they submit an address, as well. If the local board of registration accepts such a registration, George Wellworn Bush has to go to the polls with legal ID to vote (under current law, there are strict ID parameters for this where prior to 911, legal ID was much less stringent) and the ID has to have the same address as the registration. So someone desiring to commit voter fraud has to actually have a picture ID (Driver's license, current passport, etc... something with a picture of the few things legally allowable) with a false address on it. Likewise with the various Mikey Mouse and Donald Duck registrations actually submitted or the registrations with every names of the Dallas Cowboys, each registered in Nevada.
Are you getting the picture? (sorry for the pun)
Here is one assessment of the threat:
Now, looking back, we should be secure with the fact that both the 2000 election (decided by the Supreme Court, not votes) and the 2004 election (voter manipulation) were FAR, FAR more serious examples of massive fraud, yet those tactics are being repeated in this election NOT by ACORN but by the GOP, the very group attacking false voter registration. They cannot possibly be talking about voter fraud because the vote has not been done, is not finalized, and not tabulated. There has been no voter fraud, provable or not, to date.
Nonetheless, both Palin and McCain and others are going after ACORN as if the entire election hinged upon this "community organizing" (recognize that?) group while the GOP cages and strips voter roles in at least seven states with the help of highly paid and well connected generally white guys and gals (to use Palin terms) with important titles like Secretary of State.
And while we are on the topic of Palin and McCain, lets have a look at the history and rhetoric, shall we?
"We appreciate Senator McCain's effort to stir up the Republican base by attacking a community organization working to increase public participation in our democratic process. However, these attacks reflect an increasingly panicked candidate. Unfortunately, the Senator McCain we saw tonight is very different than the Senator McCain who stood shoulder to shoulder with ACORN at a February 20, 2006 immigration reform event.
It is clear for us to see that John McCain was for ACORN before he was against ACORN; he was for reform before he was against reform; and he was a maverick before he became erratic. What is really going on here is that Senator McCain and his allies are part of a coordinated effort to engage in what appears to be an unprecedented effort to suppress voter turnout. Repeating a lie doesn't make it true, and the McCain campaign has resorted to the worst type of deceptions in regards to ACORN."
ACORN, Ayers... Gee, I can hardly wait until they get to the letter B. What's next, the Better Business Bureau?
And, ever the rapture/dominionist/'world-is-coming-to-an-end-because-of-somebody "Palin"', here's some of what this lost cause had to say:
“Now, Obama says that his only involvement with ACORN was when he represented the group as a lawyer. But what about the training that he provided ACORN in the past and ACORN staff, and his role in past ACORN voter registration efforts,” Palin said. “And then, there’s the two hundred thousand dollars that he got for ACORN when he was on the board of the Woods Fund. And the fact that ACORN endorsed him this year and they’re working pretty hard on his behalf.” --Fox News, 10-17-2008
"The truth is that far-left groups in this country will do anything to help the Obama-Biden Democrats win the White House and maintain their majorities in Congress," Palin says in a fund-raising e-mail.
"The left-wing activist group, ACORN, is now under investigation for voter registration fraud in a number of battleground states... We can't allow leftist groups like ACORN to steal this election." --Kansas City Star, 10-14-2008
"You deserve to know," Palin told thousands surrounding her stage in a suburban community park. "In this election, you're going to be asked to choose between a candidate who will not disavow a group permitting voter fraud and a leader who will not tolerate it."
"This group needs to learn that you here in Ohio won't let them turn the Buckeye state into the acorn state," she told a roaring crowd. --Ohio.com, 10-17-2008
and my all-time favorite (remember Alaska is asking $15 million dollars for copies
of Sarah's illegal yahoo account e-mails under open records act laws!!):
“John [McCain] and I are calling on the Obama campaign to release communications it has had with this group, to do so immediately,” Palin told 24,000 cheering fans at the Verizon Wireless Music Center. --Chicaco Sun Times, 10-17-2008
The bottom line is this: The GOP has, in fact, been attempting to throw voters off the roles because they are scared crapless of the landslide they think is headed their way. There are already illegal caging and voter suppression cases involving the GOP in eight states. In Ohio, the state where the 2004 election was largely lost due to GOP manipulation, they are heading to the Supreme Court to stop the GOP from such nonsense again.
And what does Obama do about all this? Does he attack back? Nope.
Obama stays cool. He has little to hide and less to defend, unlike McCain and Palin.
One heady controlled due, "that one".
What an exciting day to come home, open my e-mail, and find that the Center for Biological Diversity and co-plaintiffs succeeded in getting the Cook Inlet (AK) beluga whales--a geographically isolated and genetically distinct group from the other four stocks of belugas in Alaska (Note: previous link is dead, go here)--onto the endangered species list. They were added to the list today by the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries List (NMFS).
This is no small victory, and it is one that GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin predictably--and personally--tried to stop. Mark one for the whales, one for the polar bears and zero for Palin. And the crowd goes wild!
Go ahead, give a rousing cheer! This is a very important victory, and a long-awaited one.
Here's a map of Cook Inlet showing major tributaries, care of Wikipedia. The tributaries are important given the information found on Wiki regarding Palin, Chevron, the beluga whales and their population status.
Wiki has this to say about the history of Palin and the belugas:
2008.  
Interestingly, as pointed out in the LA Times article:
--Los Angeles Times, 10-17-08
Economic growth should approved only with needed infrastructure (e.g. tertiary treatment of municipal wastes, including sewage, road infrastructure, etc.) paid for and in place. That is the responsible way to approach land use and mining (read mining and oil drilling) . It is not responsible to approve development then later (if ever) build the required infrastructure at someone else's cost, theirs, mine or yours.
Here is Palin's statement on the issue in August 2007:
If Palin is so good at negotiating with oil companies, once she returns to Alaska as governor, let her negotiate higher environmental standards than those existing to protect not only the waters but the wildlife. Chugging minimally treated muni waste into any water body is beyond the pale. How is it that Alaska's environmental standards are so lax?
The Anchorage Daily News ran this piece today. Note the complete lack of information and quotes from the supporting side of this issue. Hmmmf.
Just in case, like me, you would like to thank these fine groups (and perhaps send them a few bucks to keep up the good work) that took on the issue, here they are, with contact info. Send 'em some love, folks, they are doing great work!
Let your fingers and wallets do a happy dance! These folks deserve our praise and support.
Center for Biological Diversity
Alaska Center for the Environment
North Gulf Oceanic Society (e-mail is )
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org)