Saturday, November 8, 2008

"The Perils Of 'Populist Chic'"

Mark Lilla of the Wall Street Journal proffers "what the rise of Sarah Palin and populism means for the conservative intellectual tradition" and mourns the death of the conservative elitism:

So what happened? How, 30 years later, could younger conservative intellectuals promote a candidate like Sarah Palin, whose ignorance, provinciality and populist demagoguery represent everything older conservative thinkers once stood against? It's a sad tale that began in the '80s, when leading conservatives frustrated with the left-leaning press and university establishment began to speak of an "adversary culture of intellectuals." It was a phrase borrowed from the great literary critic Lionel Trilling, who used it to describe the disquiet at the heart of liberal societies. Now the idea was taken up and distorted by angry conservatives who saw adversaries everywhere and decided to cast their lot with "ordinary Americans" whom they hardly knew. In 1976 Irving Kristol publicly worried that "populist paranoia" was "subverting the very institutions and authorities that the democratic republic laboriously creates for the purpose of orderly self-government." But by the mid-'80s, he was telling readers of this newspaper that the "common sense" of ordinary Americans on matters like crime and education had been betrayed by "our disoriented elites," which is why "so many people -- and I include myself among them -- who would ordinarily worry about a populist upsurge find themselves so sympathetic to this new populism."

The die was cast. Over the next 25 years there grew up a new generation of conservative writers who cultivated none of their elders' intellectual virtues -- indeed, who saw themselves as counter-intellectuals. Most are well-educated and many have attended Ivy League universities; in fact, one of the masterminds of the Palin nomination was once a Harvard professor. But their function within the conservative movement is no longer to educate and ennoble a populist political tendency, it is to defend that tendency against the supposedly monolithic and uniformly hostile educated classes. They mock the advice of Nobel Prize-winning economists and praise the financial acumen of plumbers and builders. They ridicule ambassadors and diplomats while promoting jingoistic journalists who have never lived abroad and speak no foreign languages. And with the rise of shock radio and television, they have found a large, popular audience that eagerly absorbs their contempt for intellectual elites. They hoped to shape that audience, but the truth is that their audience has now shaped them.

In the wake of a good walloping by the Democrats, there remains considerable (albeit surprising) clamor on the right for a Palin run in 2012. Word of advice: Think long and hard about your next nominee, Republicans. Don't rush to judgment with the wounds of the election still fresh. Take some time to convalesce. Embrace the back bench for a spell, react and dissent, play the watchdog, then methodically and pragmatically form your shadow cabinet. Each passing day brings a different world and a different political milieu. Be reflexive, yet patient - you cannot defeat Obama today or tomorrow.

Most important, in the words of Bobby Jindal, be "authentic." Denounce greed and graft without hesitation. Be loyal to the American people, not partisan obligation. Earn our trust back.

The Disgrace of Prop 8

WAP riled me up a little about something I was already riled about: California's disgraceful vote on Prop 8 and gay marriage.

I'm not going to link to any articles here - you can go do the research yourself. Several news outlets have reported the ultimate irony, which is that the high African-American turnout is part of the reason the vote went the way it did. Apparently an overwhelming number of black voters stood in the booth on the historic day this past Tuesday, and voted for a minority candidate for president with tears in their eyes and joy in their hearts... right after giving gay Americans the middle finger on Prop 8.

Now, I'm not going to lay the blame for this disgrace at the feet of black voters alone - that's unfair. But apparently they missed the irony of deleting civil rights for one minority group whilst celebrating the ascendancy of a member of another long-oppressed minority on the same damned voting ticket. How a minority group could be so self-centered and lack perspective on such an issue is amazing to me.

But I want to take this all one step further. I will not put the blame on one group. The blame is on us all, even those of us who are in favor of gay marriage. We aren't doing enough to protect the rights of this group of Americans. When we let a people be oppressed or denied rights that we enjoy, we are as guilty as those that put on pointy white hoods. We are oppressors by apathy.

I am pro-gay marriage. In fact, I consider it a national disgrace that gay Americans cannot get married. It's a black eye to our society that - mark my words - one day your children or their children will look at you and shake their heads in shame about. They will wonder how we could have possibly denied this right (yes, RIGHT) to a select group of Americans for reasons that are so absurd, petty or downright ghastly that it begs the question: what the fuck is our problem?

So I invite anyone - anyone - out there to take me on. Tell me why gay Americans should not be allowed to marry. Pat Bateman invites all dissent. Give me your reasons and I will prove to you that you're a bigoted idiot for having them. Please - I beg of you. The comments section is open for business.

Let's look through a few in advance though, shall we?

The Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman. Well, first of all, the Bible says a lot of things, and if this is your argument, I expect you're following everything in that book to the letter. Otherwise, keep quiet. Do you take the Lord's name in vain? Do you covet? Have you ever stolen anything? Right, now go ahead and throw that stone and let's see if that house is made of shatterproof glass. I'll bet it isn't. But leaving that aside, using religious reasons for government policy is something that smacks to me of being verboten in this country. I'm no Civics professor, but I seem to remember something about the separation of Church and State. I feel like that's prominently featured somewhere in some sort of important document. If your argument for a law is based in religion, do not bother making it here in America. Move to a country where religious dogma and state policy can be one and the same, and such a dovetail is even encouraged. Might I suggest some countries in the Middle East?

If we let gay people marry, it's a slippery slope to other things. I love this one. It's a short jump to marrying your dog or your sister if we allow gay marriage, some say. This is my favorite argument. I just love it. It would be wet-my-pants funny if it weren't so frightening that people say it with a totally straight face. I'm still waiting to see the statistics proving that legalization of gay marriage fosters a jump in the incidents of man-pet love. If someone has those numbers, please send them my way.

It will destroy the sanctity of marriage. You mean like our national divorce rate of approximately one in four... or is it one in three? Or has it even crept higher than that by now? Good thing we aren't letting those gays get married. We straight people are doing a pretty solid job of wrecking it ourselves. I'm always confused how letting people who want to spend their lives together get married destroys the fabric of marriage. This hasn't been adequately explained to me, so perhaps someone out there can do a better job. If so, please enlighten me. It's dark in this cave of ignorance.

Marriage is meant for reproduction and gays can't reproduce. Well, again, I think this mostly comes back to the Judeo-Christian admonition that thou shalt marry and multiply. Which, again, is not a valid basis for law in this country. But I think this is a good point. This argument has merit. But why are we stopping here? While we're at it, let's not let impotent men or men with low sperm counts get married. Or women who have had cervical cancer and cannot have a baby. These people are getting married for entirely the wrong reasons. They will be unable to reproduce and thus should also be banned from getting married. Sure, if they want civil unions, that's cool, but marriage? If they cannot have children? Inconceivable! Weirdly, nobody ever suggests this - it's only gays that are subject to the reproduction argument.

Gay people are morally wrong and we shouldn't countenance their lifestyle choice. I respect this opinion, actually. You see, at least this line of argument doesn't hide what it really is saying - it is outwardly bigoted, but at least it's honest. It doesn't dress up its message in pseudo-science or quasi-legal terms. It says what it means - you're wrong, I'm right and thus you shouldn't be able to do what I am permitted to do. I respect that honesty. But it doesn't make it any more right than any of the other "reasons" listed above.

This reason also often has an element of "gay people choose to be gay, and if they just would choose to be straight we wouldn't have this problem." Frankly, I cannot speak to this even though it's absolutely amazingly ignorant. I am not gay and cannot explain why someone who is gay cannot make themselves not be gay. I can, however, offer this: I am a guy, and I'm a guy who likes women. It's just one of those things that has always been. I don't know if I was socialized to like them from all those beer commercials, or if it was the presence of a strong father in a positive relationship with my mother that made me this way... or hey, maybe I was just born to want to have sex with women. I don't know if it is genetic or I've been socialized. Whatever the reason, that's just kinda how it is. I really wouldn't appreciate it if someone tried to change me. I kinda like women. I really don't care why I do. I'd bet gay Americans don't really care why they like sleeping with who they like sleeping with - I would bet they simply would appreciate you leave them alone to their sex like they leave you alone to yours.

These are the "justifications" offered most often when I see opponents of gay marriage open their pie holes and spout their dumbassness. And for anyone reading this and saying "just another typical liberal who thinks they know better than I do." Well, know what? Guilty as charged. It doesn't make me smart or eggheaded. I don't live in an ivory tower. It doesn't make me a genius. It just makes you a bigoted idiot. Someday I look forward to celebrating and toasting to the equality of gay Americans just as I toasted to the historic moment America had on Tuesday. But I am sad and also angry that day is not today.

That's my rant and I needed to say it. We came a long way on Tuesday, but Prop 8 and others like it in two other states prove that we still have far to go as a nation before all of us are equal and able to enjoy the rights due and owing to all Americans.

Roly-Poly Ranieri Runs Out Of Investment Product Pizza

Lewis is the sartorial slob two neocons down from the First Lady.

The chickens do come home to roost. The father of subprime securities gets devoured by the subprime economic crisis:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Regulators shut down Houston-based Franklin Bank and Security Pacific Bank in Los Angeles on Friday, bringing the number of failures of federally insured banks this year to 19.

The co-founder and chairman of parent Franklin Bank Corp. (FBTX) (FBTX), Lewis Ranieri, is credited with inventing mortgage-backed securities two decades ago, but apparently was unable to save his own company from getting ensnared in the home-loan bust.

The bank's failure is a bitter irony because it is the mortgage securitization business of which Ranieri is known as a pioneer - the repackaging of home loans as bonds that are sold to investors - that was at the heart of the mortgage and credit crises. Last spring, the audit committee of the company's board found in an investigation certain weaknesses in accounting, disclosure and other issues relating to residential real estate loans.

Lewis S. Ranieri joined the mortgage-trading desk of Salomon Brothers in the late seventies. He coined the industry term "securitization" for his progeny of converted bonds backed by home loans. Most relevant to today's fiscal mire, Ranieri was instrumental in breaking the regulatory barriers intent on curbing the widespread trading of these exotic investment products:

Salomon and Bank of America Corp. developed the first private mortgage-backed securities (MBS) -- bonds that pooled thousands of mortgages and passed homeowners' payments through to investors -- in 1977. Not a moment too soon: Skyrocketing interest rates were turning the business of savings and loans -- funding long-term mortgages with short-term deposits -- making it a financial death trap for banks just as the housing demands of maturing baby boomers began to surge.

Ranieri's job was to sell those bonds -- at a time when only 15 states recognized MBS as legal investments. With a trader's nerve and a salesman's persuasiveness, he did much more, creating the market to trade MBS and winning Washington lobbying battles to remove legal and tax barriers.

Thanks for the gift, Lew. But I'm pretty sure I didn't get you anything this holiday season? And what a pretty wrapping job. That's a big bow! I'm opening it early, okay?

Um . . . an empty box? Lew, you old card. Good one.

The Election Year Coda of Bill Ayers

With the votes counted, William Ayers, former leader of the Weather Underground, "unrepentant terrorist," Obama's "pal," speaks on his prior dealings with the President-Elect and inculpates Hillary Clinton as the but-for cause for GOP character assailments:

During the primary, the blogosphere was full of chatter about my relationship with President-elect Barack Obama. We had served together on the board of the Woods Foundation and knew one another as neighbors in Chicago’s Hyde Park. In 1996, at a coffee gathering that my wife, Bernardine Dohrn, and I held for him, I made a donation to his campaign for the Illinois State Senate.

Obama’s political rivals and enemies thought they saw an opportunity to deepen a dishonest perception that he is somehow un-American, alien, linked to radical ideas, a closet terrorist who sympathizes with extremism—and they pounced.

Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) campaign provided the script, which included guilt by association, demonization of people Obama knew (or might have known), creepy questions about his background and dark hints about hidden secrets yet to be uncovered.

He cannot resist the visceral urge to take a cruel, ironically radical cheap shot at John McCain:

It was inevitable. McCain would bet the house on a dishonest and largely discredited vision of the ’60s, which was the defining decade for him. He built his political career on being a prisoner of war in Vietnam . . .

The war in Vietnam was an illegal invasion and occupation, much of it conducted as a war of terror against the civilian population. The U.S. military killed millions of Vietnamese in air raids—like the one conducted by McCain—and entire areas of the country were designated free-fire zones, where American pilots indiscriminately dropped surplus ordinance—an immoral enterprise by any measure.

And he visualizes the tableau conjured up by Governor Palin:

When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got hold of it, the attack went viral. At a now-famous Oct. 4 rally, she said Obama was “pallin’ around with terrorists.” (I pictured us sharing a milkshake with two straws.) The crowd began chanting, “Kill him!” “Kill him!” It was downhill from there.

Asked to comment on Bill Ayers's summation of the past few months, Reverend Wright bellowed, "NOT GOD BLESS, MCCAIN. GOD DAMN MCCAIN! NOT JOHN MCCAIN, BUT JOHN MC-K-K-K-CAIN. CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST! WOOOOOOOOO! WOOOOOOOOO!"

Rashid Khalidi and Tony Rezko could not be reached for comment.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Channeling the Spirits of First Ladies Past

As noted below, President Elect Barack Obama (or as we like to call him in the Pants’ household, PEBO) gave his first presser. Other than calling himself a mutt, which is awesome – I’ve referred to myself in the same way before, it was pretty uneventful. Except for the Nancy Reagan dig. Eh. My only problem is that he got it completely wrong. Nancy Reagan didn’t hold a séance in the White House. She only consulted an astrologer regularly. It was Hillary Clinton that held a séance to channel the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt. Come on, PEBO, get your facts straight.

Nevertheless, in another Potatoe exclusive, we were able to obtain the audiotape from the séance:

Hillary: Madame First Lady, I need guidance.

The Ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt: Well first off, enough with the pantsuits. Would it kill you to wear skirt once in awhile?

Hillary: Wait? What? Never mind that. I found out about Bill . . .

The Ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt: Hey, he came on to me!

Hillary: He came on to you? What? I don’t . . .

The Ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt: It was late one night. He was gorging on cheeseburgers and porn surfing in the Lincoln Bedroom. I floated by. One thing led to another . . .

Hillary: How could you?

The Ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt: Well, he is very charming.

Hillary: No. I mean how could you? How is that even possible?

The Ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt: Haven’t you seen Ghostbusters? I’m dead, not a dead fish.

My Buddy's Inactive Jdate Profile

From the "About Me" section of my Jewish buddy's no longer circulating Jdate profile:

Describe myself???? Sort of a weighted question - I'm betting most people go with superlatives here. Hey, I'm short, fat, have a lazy eye, chew with my mouth open, have no job prospects, live with my mother and fear intimacy like Richard Simmons fears pants. I don't think that's going to get me on your HOT LIST!

Let's try some puffery. I'm lean and athletic, have outrageously high standardized test scores, I'm fluent in 12 languages (including Ora - an African click dialect), live in a house made of diamonds, read books to the blind on Sunday mornings and have never attended Yom Kippur services . . . because I have never sinned.

Still not working? Let's go to my wheelhouse - a comedic approach. I'm a spittin' image of George Clooney, except for the fact I look nothing like him. I can actually speak only 6 languages if you include the five Greek words I picked up during a week in Santorini and jive. Yes, I'm fluent in jive. I'm really into showering and am a huge proponent of soap. And I acknowledge the irrefutable truths of the world: Batman Begins is a superior picture to Batman, 85% of Yankees fans have mild autism, the world's oil supplies have peaked though petrol consumption continues to rise exponentially, and poetry sucks (you're on notice, William Carlos Williams!!!!).

And I was definitely psyched when Jdate made the switch from 5 pound to 2 pound increments for the "Your Weight" section - allowing me to sleep at night when I reported in at a svelte 198 pounds, instead of two bulging bills! Having recently emerged from a long term relationship, I am still shedding some of the "comfort" weight, a standard result of the "who do I have to look good for anymore" attitude part and parcel of prolonged commitment.

Don't you want to get to know me? No? Um . . . wow . . . I sort of expected a different answer. Wow! This is awkward, huh? So . . . well . . . what, should I log off or are you going? Would it make any difference if I said I kept Kosher?

Let's just say my buddy had limited success with this approach. Fortunately, he has found comfort in the arms of the Schiksa community.

More Powerful Lens

You thought Barack Obama was under the microscope during the campaign? His very first post-election press conference refuses to pass without incident:

Obama takes shot at nancy reagan
by dollarsandsense123

Ben Smith at describes Obama's response to a question about seeking the counsel of former presidents as "being looser than he's been in months" with the strange timerity to conjure up the great Republican ghost of Ronald Reagan.

Of course, Malkin is outraged. She describes the peculiar moment as a "tasteless joke about Nancy Reagan" that "went beyond creepy" and nothing more than a "classless" attempt at humor.

***UPDATE***: Payback is a bitch. From

Nedra Pickler (AP), Lee Cowan (NBC), Jake Tapper (ABC), Chip Reid (CBS), Karen Bohan (Reuters), John McCormick (Chicago Tribune), Lynn Sweet (Chicago Sun-Times), Candy Crowley (CNN), Jeff Zeleny (New York Times).

Which network didn't get a question? Fox News.

I'd find this development concerning if President-Elect Obama had actually given the cold shoulder to journalists.

Global Warming?

Overblown? Worse than we think? An excuse to elect Dennis Quaid president?


This party got started over email, and will be replayed in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . 1 . . .

WAP: Radio this morning, Charlie Rose interview of Michael Crichton. Pretty interesting dude. Very learned. From a medical/science background - stated he believes the global temp. will only raise 1/10 of a degree over the next 100 years, believes Global Warming has only a small human component, called many in the GW camp "opportunists" and stated he is not a "catastrophist."

I continue to believe Global Warming has a bit too much hyperbole and not enough hard science. I know this sticks in Bateman's craw, but this is not a world is round, sun is the center of the universe type of revelation yet. It just isn't.

Bateman: Thanks for misstating my position on this issue for the thousand-and-first time.
My stance on this - for the FINAL time - is that I believe global warming is real and has been demonstrated. I think this is a fact that we cannot ignore.

But I actually don't care if people do NOT agree with that. What I can't figure out is why even if you think the Earth is NOT in climate change why you wouldn't invest in green technologies, buy fuel efficient cars, research renewable energy and do something as stupidly small as buying an energy efficient light bulb for your desk lamp. What CANNOT be denied is that having cleaner technology would be better for our air, our water and would render countries like Venezuela, Iran, Iraq and Russia to be far less globally important than they are right now because of the black gold under their feet. And that is unequivocally good.

These are things that even if Global Warming is totally WRONG still benefit us. We had this debate years ago and you said you personally, Warm Apple Pie, would change nothing about the way you live, period, because this situation has been completely overblown and is a hysterical liberal scare tactic.

Stop talking about what sticks in my craw when you - again - misstate what it is that sticks. What sticks is not people being unconvinced. What sticks is people such as you have been about this subject not appreciating that cleaner fuels and higher energy standards benefit us even if Global Warming is 100% bullshit. You don't have to believe in it for it to be beneficial to follow the recommended course of action. But you reject it AND doing anything that would be the smallest departure from your lifestyle. If I still had access to my old email, I would go back and find your borderline insane ranting on this subject from three years ago when we discussed it.

Jack K: And as a well-respected ecological scientist, your conclusions carry a lot of weight. Come on dude, even the Bush administration scientists,who don't even believe in science accept the reality of global climate change.

Sidecar: Doesn't the Global Warming debate really come down to whether the current climate change is man-made or not? The fact that the Earth is warmer now than before is a fact, based on empirical data. But, the issue is whether this is simply part of Earth's cycle and we are in a"warm" period or whether man is responsible for the change.

I have heard, and I can't quote this, that some scientists believe that God created warm periods - its called Hell and you are all going there.

No, seriously, I have heard that some scientists predict that in the next 15-20 years the Earth will enter a "cool" period.

Bateman: I think that's called an Ice Age. I think that's considered to be "bad"

Jack K: If global warming continues unabated, the polar icecaps will all melt,flooding the oceans with fresh water, which will dilute the salinization of the oceans. This will affect the jet stream, which will no longer be able to push warm air across the earth as it doe snow, thus resulting in a dramatic cooling. Ironically, unabated warming will create an ice age. See here for full explanation:

Sidecar: Not an ice age - a couple of degrees

Bateman: Yes. Sort of like The Day After Tomorrow, but, like, not overnight. And Dennis Quaid will not be prominently involved to my knowledge. But, um, it's not a good thing for humanity. The Earth itself - as the George Carlin routine goes, the Earth will survive just fine. We... well,that's a different story. See, if you believe in Intelligent Design, you don't worry about things like global flood, famine and disease or a climate event that could wipe out human civilization. Because the Designer designed us for a reason in His own image, and would never let that happen.

If you're not an idiot, you kinda worry about the forecasts of all coastal areas of the world being flooded in the next 50-100 years. I don't like the idea of Pennsylvania being beachfront property.

WAP: Ah, the mischaracterizer comes out again. I never said I wouldn't change my life patterns and practices because I thought GW was a liberal hoax. I said I'd remain entrenched because I'm seeking the demise of our government and social institutions so I don't have to be a mob accountant anymore. GW, if true, is the only way out.

Shit - Quaid's on board??????
Retract my statements.

EPA believes the global temperature will rise between 2.7 and 7 degrees over the next 100 years. That's a pretty uncertain margin, no? My point (and if you snoop around - ALL scientists concede this) is that there is no reliable metric to determine what we are facing. We're facing something, but there are competing theories on what that something is.
And f**k Al Gore.

Bateman: That is 100% accurate except for the part where it isn't. DP, please do a search through the back emails to this subject if you feel so inclined and show Mr. Hyperbole his prior statements on the matter. Again, for the cheap seats, I don't give a F$%^ if you believe GW is real or not. However, I DO give a f*&% if you don't understand that the potential solutions to the problem benefit us as a society even if GW is 100% false. It would be like saying "religion says love your neighbor as you love yourself. I don't believe in God so I'm going to be a dick."Unequivocally, treating people nicely is something that even if there is no God is a net POSITIVE. Virtue is its own reward.

Jack K: Yes, the range is wide, but the point to focus on is twofold: (a)there is consensus that there will be a rise, (2) a rise of 2.7degrees is a MASSIVE rise, that will affect myriad ecosystems, wipe out large numbers of species, and effect radical change on many environments. A rise of 7 degrees would be cataclysmic.

Bateman: Again - does not MATTER if it is FACT. Doesn't the THEORY that it COULD happen scare the SHIT out of you? Isn't that ENOUGH? Especially when the solution is not cut off a limb or sacrifice your first born on a pyre. It's buying long lasting light bulbs and developing more hybrid engines. I mean, very little is being asked of us. Really, "turn your lights off when you're out" or "buy a fluorescent bulb" - is it really worth quibbling?Why not just do it anyway? The WORST thing that happens is your ConEd bill goes down. That's the WORST possible result.

The Realization

Two ongoing, exorbitantly priced wars; thousands of U.S. casualties. An economic collapse now crowning above the surface of the murky, fiscal depths. A $10,000,000,000,000 escalating national debt. The indefatiguable threat of Islamofascism. Iran's distemper, still pursuing nuclear capabilities. Russia champing at the bit to be a world player again, dusting off Cold War rhetoric and chest-thumping. A 6.5% unemployment rate as of this morning - the highest in 14 years. The unrealistic expectations of a country all-in on your streaming concepts of change and hope.

It must be a hell of a thing, that moment you realize the American people have accepted your application for employment. Congratulations! You've just been hired for the loneliest job in the world. In Thomas Jefferson's words: "The second office in the government is honorable and easy; the first is but a splendid misery."

Welcome to your two-month orientation program, Mr. Obama. Splendid, miserable work begins on January 20.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Move Over Tina Fey

Heads Begin to Roll

So, Newsweek is reporting that Harry Reid is considering stripping Joe Lieberman of his senate committee chair position as what I gather is punishment for supporting John McCain and spurning the party that gave birth to his Senate career.

Reid, in a sternly worded statement after the 45-minute meeting, said no official decisions have been made. But an aide to the Nevada Democrat said Reid was leaning toward removing Lieberman as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Know what? I don't like it. I don't like this idea of collective punishment of McCain supporters. I don't respect Joe Lieberman's flip floppery, but let's also remember he isn't ACTUALLY a Dem anymore. He lost the Democratic nomination in his home state and had to run as an independent. He's always been a toe-the-middle-line Democrat, often crossing the aisle, and now he's actually officially an independent. So removing him for essentially no other reason other than "eff you, Joe - we won, your guy lost and now you can suck on it" smells to me like exactly the sort of things Democrats whined about Republicans doing years ago.

Be gracious in victory, Harry. Act like you've been there. Leave it alone.

Abject Ann Rues The Day

Ann Coulter's take on the election. A conciliatory tone, perhaps?:

Last night was truly a historic occasion: For only the second time in her adult life, Michelle Obama was proud of her country! . . .

Thought so. Some more low-lights:

And why should Republican activists slave away working for McCain when he has personally, viciously attacked: John O'Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans, National Right to Life director Doug Johnson, evangelical pastors Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and John Hagee, various conservative talk radio hosts, the Tennessee Republican Party and on and on and on?

Jesus Christ! No seriously: Jesus, are you listening? These are the characters you'll pluck up during the rapture? I'll take my chances with the anti-Christ.

On Palin:

Indeed, the only good thing about McCain is that he gave us a genuine conservative, Sarah Palin. He's like one of those insects that lives just long enough to reproduce so that the species can survive. That's why a lot of us are referring to Sarah as "The One" these days.

Like Sarah Connor in "The Terminator," Sarah Palin is destined to give birth to a new movement. That's why the Democrats are trying to kill her. And Arnold Schwarzenegger is involved somehow, too. Good Lord, I'm tired.

Pinch me. Am I dreaming? Because all this is too good to be true. Thanks Barack.

The Faint Sound Of Impeachment Drums

As reported by Serendipity, on his negative 62nd day on the job, the first calls for the impeachment of President-Elect Barack Obama.

President-Elect, Fix Our Schools

This is disturbing. An elementary school teacher in Asheville, North Carolina brings her politics into the classroom to pollute raw young minds.

While we are fundamentally transforming things, ground zero for change has to be our crumbling public schools, the dearth of quality educators and the engagement of the teachers' unions with tough, frank dialogue.

I found this gem on Michelle Malkin's blog. Of course, she advocates a fair and decent position, then takes it one step too far into absurdity as her mixed-up ideology always demands:

This is ghastly. If you are a parent with elementary schoolchildren, you will hit the roof. A teacher in the Asheville, N.C., school system was caught on tape by Finnish documentarians making a film about Barack Obama’s supporters. The teacher, Diantha Harris, uses the classroom as a propaganda vehicle to shove her politics down the children’s throats.

Watch her bully a little girl who dares to answer “McCain” when asked who she supports for president. The child is the daughter of a soldier. Watch the teacher mock the girl and her father (”So that mean yo’ daddy could stay in Iraq for another hundred years!”). Watch the little girl’s eyes well up in tears. Is this the kind of education reform Barack Obama advocates?

Don't know if the last sentence is a rhetorical question, so I'll answer it to be certain: No.

Always making news, Michelle. Never just reporting it.

Robert Gibbs To Be Obama's Press Secretary

From Politico:

Robert Gibbs, a top aide to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on his campaign and in his Senate office, will be named the White House press secretary, a top Democratic official said. Gibbs was usually the senior official on Air Obama, the campaign plane.

As communications director of Obama's Senate office, Gibbs was a key strategist in Obama's rapid move to the national stage.

Transition planning is still at an early stage and the job has not been formally offered or accepted, officials said.

You may know Gibbs from his savory evisceration of Sean Hannity in the spin room after the second presidential debate:

Political Mandates In The Eye Of The Beholder

Stupid loves company.

Robert Novak's opinion of President-Elect Barack Obama's 369 electoral vote, 7 point popular vote victory stated on November 5, 2008:

When Franklin D. Roosevelt won his second term for president in 1936, the defeated Republican candidate, Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas, won only two states, Maine and Vermont, and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress by wide margins. But Obama’s win was nothing like that. He may have opened the door to enactment of the long-deferred liberal agenda, but he neither received a broad mandate from the public nor the needed large congressional majorities.

The Democrats fell several votes short of the 60-vote filibuster-proof Senate that they were seeking and also failed to get rid of a key Senate target: Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Robert Novak's opinion of President George W. Bush's 286 electoral vote, 3 point popular vote victory stated on November 6, 2004:

Q: Bob Novak, is 51 percent of the vote really a mandate?

NOVAK: Of course it is. It’s a 3.5 million vote margin. But the people who are saying that it isn’t a mandate are the same people who were predicting that John Kerry would win. … So the people who say there’s not a mandate want the president, now that he’s won, to say, Oh, we’re going to accept the liberalism that the — that the voters rejected. But Mark, this is a conservative country, and it showed it on last Tuesday.

I don't mind that Novak is a moron. At least he's consistently moronic.

The Palin Candidacy - An Interpretive Dance

Safe for work.

Africa the Country

Breaking News: Fox News reporting right now that McCain aides were shocked to discover that Sarah Palin did not know, among other things:

1. That Africa is a continent, and not just a country. Yes, she thought that Africa was a country, and that South Africa was a state in Africa.

I'm dead serious.

2. The NAFTA signatory countries.

3. Basic civic organization - Federal, State and local.

Also, Sarah Palin would throw "tantrums" after reading her press clippings (I seem to recall that she claimed she didn't read her press clippings).

She is a shopaholic.

This is not a joke.

***UPDATE #1***

One video - additional details given during O'Reilly.

***UPDATE #2***

Courtesy of WAP:

NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books

***UPDATE #3****

Also courtesy of WAP:

NEWSWEEK --“McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on clothes because they were sure he would be offended. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.”

The GOP Parasite

Shows the districts that voted more Republican this election cycle than in 2004. Fascinating. Writes the epilogue of the McCain-Palin ticket. The two-week march of "spread the wealth" bogyphobia (which most conservative pundits lauded as McCain getting back on message) fell on nationally deaf ears. Apparently "Fake Americans" weren't the only ones who found the ubiquitous presence of the deplorably dense Joe the Plumber on par with scrapes of a metal fork against a ceramic plate.

More significantly, fear mongering and encrypted race-baiting still plays and plays well along the Appalachian Trail into Tornado Alley. Perhaps this election distilled the toxic elements from the Republican Party. Perhaps pure conservatism will rise out of the tenuous pastiche of disparate elements once Scotch-taped together by Karl Rove. Perhaps fiscal conservatives, libertarians, populists and open-minded moralists will coalesce and offer new, promising ideas in 2012.

Ronald Reagan once defined conservatism: If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals -- if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is

Less government interference. Less centralized authority. More individual freedom. These are principles that many of us could get behind. But for the Republican Party of the past decade, these values are puffed up and marketed with no movable inventory on the sales floor. They gather dust in the partisan stock room. We've been waiting for the offer of merchantable goods by the GOP longer than Guns N' Roses's Chinese Democracy.

For me, for my vote, a purging of the Neocons and inexorable religious fundamentalists is a good place to start. If that's too big a step today, how about some restraints on the ceaseless pandering to unbridled prejudice and bigotry masquerading around the back country as moral piety.

Whew! Obama!

I see a quivering mass of Republicans now gripped by fear of what an Obama Administration will do to their country. As if he'll impose mandatory gayness or a cap on children per family to foster more abortions. It's not like he wants to fundamentally transform America. Right? Um, right?:

Change has come, Republicans. Get your Barbara Streisand albums and Morning After pills out.

Sidecar Speaks

The masses have been calling for a conservative voice to balance out the rest of these bleeding heart liberals. The real Sidecar is here to tell you that I will probably not be that voice. But, I will post from time-to-time when the feeling moves me (and besides, I know the password so you can’t get rid of me).

I am, in fact, a reasonable conservative. I don’t own guns, I am not religious, I believe in choice, I think anyone should be allowed to get married. I do, however, fundamentally believe in fiscal conservatism and strong foreign policy. These being the most important issues, I was compelled to support McCain (despite the absolutely indefensible selection of one Sarah Palin. I can’t figure out if she has beauty queen appeal or auto accident appeal. I know that I can’t look away, but I’m not sure why).

I have remained quiet throughout this election because, I must admit, I too sipped the Obama Kool-Aid. It was hard not to. Here is a candidate who looks to have what it takes, he is cool, confident, smart, well-spoken, level-headed, etc. While he may lack the experience, I (along with many moderate “Republicans”) believe he has the ability to lead. And, ability is really all that matters. So, I am willing to give him a chance. I firmly believe, however, that his economic policies are wrong and that he won’t be strong enough in dealing with foreign powers.

Well, your first tests already have been passed out Mr. President (elect). On the day of the election, Russia announced that it will deploy short-range missiles in Kaliningrad (the little part of Russia directly west of Lithuania and east of Poland) that may be fitted with nuclear warheads. And, Iran announced that it would "forcefully" respond to any violation of Iranian airspace (despite the fact that the U.S. has not violated their airspace). Two countries have issued direct challenges Mr. President. They demand strong responses. What do you do? What do you do?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Unwashed Hoards Riot With Joy, Promise To Shave!

Skinny-jeaned hipsters frolic in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, celebrating the Obama victory, then clash with cops.

Is it too late to vote for McCain?

Yes we can . . . be trendy and awful.

The Cracks Begin to Leak

For weeks now we've heard about Sarah Palin "going rogue" and how certain staffers have disparaged her whilst others have come to her defense, saying the McCain campaign rolled her out (making her sound like Lecter) improperly. Now some meat appears on those bones of a story:

Randy Scheunemann, a senior foreign policy adviser to John McCain, was fired from the Arizona senator's campaign last week for what one aide called "trashing" the campaign staff, three senior McCain advisers tell CNN. One of the aides tells CNN that campaign manager Rick Davis fired Scheunemann after determining that he had been in direct contact with journalists spreading "disinformation" about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials.

Well, that could mean anything, right? "Disinformation" - very ambiguous term there.

"He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain's campaign message," said one of the aides. Senior campaign officials blame Schuenemann specifically for stories about the way Wallace and chief campaign strategist Steve Schmidt mishandled Palin's rollout — stories that the campaign says threw them off message in the critical final weeks of the campaign.

Oops. Sounds like someone was wearing their "Palin 2012" t-shirt around McCain's Tuscon headquarters a bit prematurely. However, I'm sure John will be in a forgive-and-forget way after getting rolled last night.

Another aide said McCain personally was "very disappointed by Randy," who worked for McCain for many years in the Senate.

Oh well. Perhaps not. Guess Randy shouldn't be expecting that Holiday Card from Cindy and John this year. But when exactly did this seismic shift in one of McCain's closest allies take place?

Scheunemann became close with Palin during her debate prep process.

Ah. Now I see. During debate prep. Those long hours spent honing her oral skills. Those late nights straighting out policies.

And after that, he probably was hitting it. But that's just rote speculation, of course.

Apparently, Scheunemann and Palin were "unusually giggly and touchy-feely" during the foreign policy briefings. "I think there was more de-briefing there than briefing, frankly," grumbled one McCain aide.

WHAT? No - just kidding. Just seeing if you rubes were still reading. But the top part was true, courtesy of

Don't Bring a Spoon To A Spork Fight!

Don't Want To Gloat, But . . .

Rush makes it impossible not to:

RUSH: What I tried to say at the beginning of the program is I am not worried about Virginia and Pennsylvania. I am telling you that it's going to be reported the opposite, I'm telling you that all this stuff about fraud in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania -- and, by the way, we got some sound bites coming up of the Black Panthers intimidating voters in Philadelphia. We're working on that now. The reason all this is going on is because it's been a myth that Obama was gonna win Pennsylvania. He has never won Pennsylvania! He didn't win it in the primaries! He lost Pennsylvania by ten. We've been inundated with all this talk about Virginia and northern Virginia and all these people are going to vote Obama, but why is he spending so much time there? You know, it's interesting, if you go out, if you look at where the candidates have been and look at the media reporting -- for example, Obama went back to Iowa, just as I, El Rushbo, predicted. And you know why they said? "Well, he's trying to stretch his lead."

Bull! Bull bleep! Stretch his lead, my sizable rear end. Stretch his lead? And then they said it was a pit stop. He went in there Friday, too, it was a pit stop on the way home to go trick-or-treating with the kids. There's disconnect here, it's absolutely absurd. You look at McCain and Palin, they practically lived in Pennsylvania. Palin did. McCain's been over in Ohio. Why? If there's no hope there, I mean McCain and Obama are the ones running for president, not Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose, and not all these other wizards of smart who are telling us why all this is happening. The people who are running for president are the ones that are doing things to try to win. McCain, Palin spending all this time in Pennsylvania and Ohio just to lose? They got the news in Michigan and they pulled out. They didn't go back to Michigan, did they? Didn't spend a lot of time, but they did spend time in Virginia, in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Why? Something must have told them that there was a good reason to do that. And, by the way, for awhile Obama was shadowing them all over the place in these places. Virginia and Pennsylvania, there are so many myths about this election. The Drive-Bys, I tell you, they have their templates, and you can't talk 'em out of it.

Have a Vicodin, El Rushbo. Settle down. Taste hope!

***UPDATE***: Limbaugh "congratulates" Obama, then has an embolism:

Conservatism did not lose last night. Conservative was not on the ballot. The Republican Party has not sought to be conservative since the new tone was initiated by the Bush administration in 2001. But I would like to congratulate President-Elect Barack Obama, ladies and gentlemen. Without Senator Obama, we would still be dealing with the specter of Hillary Clinton lurking around the Democrat Party seeking the White House. So I want to congratulate and thank Senator Obama for dispatching the Clintons, at least until he screws up enough to give them an opening to get back in. I am the Doctor of Democracy as you know, and today my waiting room is filled. (laughing) I can well imagine . . .

Let's be gracious. Let's be conciliatory, and let's indeed govern from the center, as a whole bunch of more Stephen Breyer's show up for work at the federal courts every day. Yep, that's for me. How about racial and ethnic preferences? Yep! Let's admit that we're a bunch of racist pigs, sexist, bigots, homophobes, and let's go ahead and expand the whole concept of racial preferences and quotas and affirmative action. Let's go ahead, because we still have a price to pay, folks. Even though we got the first black president, we haven't accomplished anything. "We haven't accomplished anything. This doesn't mean anything. Obama doesn't have slave blood." A black leader told me that. "His wife has slave blood, but he doesn't. So he doesn't come from the down-with-the-struggle crowd."

Thanks for the admission, Rush, you racist pig, and thanks for making victory that much sweeter. It gets better. Good toilet reading:

And furthermore, ladies and gentlemen, as I was saying, I hope you people in Ohio lose your coal industry; and I hope all your Joe the Plumbers are unemployed in six months! There.

Hahahahaha. Did Rush just say he wants to bankrupt the coal industry? I hope Hannity and Greta are on top of this tonight with a Fox News Alert! And Rush: Joe the Plumber is already unemployed, you fat mass! What a glorious day!

Hey Massachusetts, Are You Cool?

Slater saunters over to the Bay State to get seriously baked:

In Massachusetts, the state's political and law enforcement establishment lined up solidly against the marijuana decriminalization initiative, including both Republican and Democratic politicians and all 11 district attorneys -- several of whom actually admitted to having smoked marijuana. They warned of rampant drug abuse and crime should the measure pass, simply ignoring the fact that no such thing has happened in the 11 other states (including California, Ohio and New York) that have had similar laws for years.

Voters were having none of it, giving a thumping rejection to government officials’ lies and hysteria in both states. Americans have taken a hard look at our national war on marijuana and rejected it for the cruel, counterproductive disaster that it is.

By a 30 point margin, the burners of Massachusetts told the squares to lay off their sticky-icky-icky, decriminalizing possession of marijuana under an ounce (and an ounce is a sh*tload of weed . . . um . . . so I've heard).

Michigan also got a good contact high from the blowing winds of change, approving the use of medical marijuana by 26 points.

Taking a long puff on a canoeing blunt, Slater added, "behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man."

Unofficial word from the Potatoe

We here at the Potatoe have appreciated your support and readership since our inception (and much of the credit should be given to Warm Apple Pie for its creation and for his or her - I shant specify which -many contributions). Clearly much of our humor, rancor and attention has been laser-focused on this election. Which leaves the question: what now?

Speaking only for this commentator, but I am sure echoed at least somewhat in substance by the rest as well, we plan to continue to bring you the best and worst, hyperbole and straight-talk, on whatever the issues of the day continue to be. That, plus probably some funny video clips or photoshopping.

The best thing about politics is that it doesn't go away. There will still be plenty to discuss.

We aren't going anywhere. Don't you go anywhere.

The Potatoe endures!!

Viable Third Options

Vote for me, Chuck Norris. I put the laughter in "manslaughter."

Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, bucks the establishment:

While most voters dutifully completed the arrow on their ballots Tuesday, many exercised their right to choose with a variety of colorful write-in candidates. Popular selections included “Anyone Else” for a variety of offices, Hillary Clinton for president and the usual array of cartoon characters — a total of at least 34 this time around. Mickey Mouse was the most popular animated choice, with other nominees including Homer Simpson, Pepe Le Pew and Snoopy.

This included a write-in for "Walker, Texas Ranger" for District Attorney (I cannot argue with this selection . . . because I value my life. You do not mess with Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table because he only recognizes the element of surprise!).

A Final Note to John McCain

Dear Senator McCain:

My name is Patrick Bateman, and I work here in New York in Mergers and Acquisitions. I live at the American Gardens building on the Upper West Side, and I enjoy feeding stray cats to ATM machines.

The reason why I write today is to laud you and encourage you. Yes, that's correct. You see, I have hurled muck from this bully pulpit for a few weeks - at you, at Governor Palin (that won't stop) and at your party for its fearmongering and duplicity (likely ditto). But I will sling no more mud at your feet, Senator. Your journey is done. You have come many miles and it is time for you to have a well deserved rest - and a little bit of appreciation and understanding from this commentator.

So I write today to congratulate you, sir, on your concession speech last evening. It was one of the finest I have ever heard, and perhaps the most inspiring speech I personally have ever heard you give, Senator. It was conciliatory and supportive and you curtly cut down the negative elements in your crowd and commanded their attention, respect and that they keep their demonstrations of support positive.

I wish that your campaign had been more like your speech last night - but then again, if it had been, I think you would have been a more formidable opponent, and so perhaps I take that back. But last night, a glimmer of the man that many of us felt was a beacon of hope in the GOP years ago showed through. In your commendable address, to borrow a bit of the Star Wars comparison used by WAP in his post last night, I started to believe you were Darth Vader. You were seduced by the Dark Side of your party into compromising the ideals you once stood for in exchange for the ultimate Prize. But last night, as the final battle came to its then-inevitable conclusion, you were - as in the end of the Trilogy - redeemed. The Empire was defeated, but Anakin Skywalker, a good and decent man who simply chose the quick and easy path and got lost along the way, was given a second chance to do the right thing. I think that in losing, you, like Anakin, can reclaim your soul. In fact, I believe you will.

You have a job to do - you are still a Senator of the State of Arizona. You return to a Senate that is in need of a steady hand and leadership from both sides of the aisle to do what is necessary now in these troubled times. Let the light continue to shine through. Once it surrounded you and it is not too late for its return. It is never too late to reclaim the man you used to - a paradigm of what a politician should strive to be. The shackles of evil are off. You are unbound and free to return to Straight Talk and reason, moderation and cooperation.

We have serious problems and we need serious people to solve them. You were once one of these men. You could be again. In defeat, prevail. I have faith that this, your darkest hour, might too be the moment you turn it all around. This liberal is behind you, John. Be part of our new world. There is room for you to lead yet.

Patrick Bateman
McCain Supporter 1999-2000

Ralph Nader Calls Barack Obama An "Uncle Tom"

Sleep now, Ralph. Go away. Your crusading legacy hangs in the balance:

It's one thing to want corporate reform. It's quite another to hate corporations primarily made up of hard working citizens. Ralph has become the Evander Holyfield of presidential politics. Punchy and tragic.

California Propositions

For our California readers, here is the current rundown of proposition voting with 95% of precincts reporting:

Propositions Precincts reporting: ~95.0%
1A: High-speed rail Yes 52.2% No 47.8%
2: Farm animals Yes 63.2% No 36.8%
3: Children’s hospitals Yes 54.7% No 45.3%
4: Abortion notification Yes 47.6% No 52.4%
5: Drug offenses Yes 40.2% No 59.8%
6: Criminal justice Yes 30.5% No 69.5%
7: Renewable energy Yes 35.1% No 64.9%
8: Gay marriage ban Yes 52.0% No 48.0%
9: Victims’ rights Yes 53.2% No 46.8%
10: Alternative fuels Yes 40.1% No 59.9%
11: Redistricting Yes 50.5% No 49.5%
12: Loans for veterans Yes 63.4% No 36.6%

Crying shame on Prop. 8. You let the Mormons bully you around. What's next? Marriage is between a man and a woman, woman, woman, woman and woman? Crying shame.

How Will President-Elect Obama Govern?

I think this passage from his riveting speech last evening ("Yes we can" - tremendous cadence) is extremely telling:

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

If Rahm Emanuel has been offered the position of Secretary of State as reported this morning, he will be apt to remind Obama of the failings of Bill Clinton in his first two years as President. Clinton swept far to the left out of the gate, causing a conservative groundswell. The Republicans fought back in 1994, effectuating a 54 seat swing in the House and picking up 8 seats in the Senate. It gave Clinton pause and he revisited his notions of liberal governance. For the next six years, Clinton's policies were fairly moderate and he supported tactile policies for consumption on both sides of the aisle (e.g., Welfare reform, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997). He also presided over a soaring period of prosperity.

President-Elect Obama shouldn't emulate Clinton's administration. Our challenges are different and contemporary, as is our new leader. But he should take what he needs from the lessons of the past to govern effectively.


Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The death rattle of the Republican plot,
I can think of no reason
Why the aught eight Election season
Should ever be forgot.

The Beginning

This is not the end. This is the beginning.

Along with several correspondents of this blog, I too just returned from poll-watching in a battleground. I almost did not go due to family disturbances, but decided it was too important to sit it out. And I can report without one ounce of hyberbole that I have never before made a more correct decision in a life riddled with questionable ones, just as we as a nation have never made a better one after making many, many questionable ones.

Where we were stationed today, many of our faces were not the same. Many of our backgrounds were as dissimilar as people can be in this world. Our paths will likely never intertwine again. But the 1200 or so voters that crossed the threshold of our little piece of this history today and I will share something always. Not only did this country change, but our views of each other did as well. We shared looks and words of encouragement, happiness - and, most of all, understanding. Yesterday, we were strangers. Today, we were something quite different.

For the first time - in history, perhaps - we all were headed in the same direction. We all shared a common goal and a common ground. We were more similar than we were different. And we all had hope that was not lessened by our differences but rather strengthened by it. We shared hugs, high fives, fist bumps and words of appreciation and encouragement. We were a team.

We were one nation. Indivisible. After two hundred and thirty years.


I'll never forget this day; this moment. To my dying breath, I will bore my friends, my loved ones and hopefully my children and theirs after that about this day and the people I shared it with. The day when everything changed. I did not watch it on CNN. I, and a band of brothers, lived it and did not just observe history but helped make it happen with our own hands and our own hearts.

I have scarcely had a day I was more proud of in my life personally. I have never had a day I was more proud to be an American. I have never participated in something that gave me a sense of such awe and pride and humility as I did today.

Today, I feel anything is possible. Tomorrow, we all wake up in a new nation. Not one of division and fear and loathing and otherness. One of hope, of faith and of a new freedom, never before possible. Today, we woke up in one America. Tomorrow, we awake in a new one, that we all have helped to create.

One nation.




A funeral pyre for Darth Cheney and the Rovian Empire. The veil is lifted.

Then, celebration . . . Yes we can!

May the hope be with you . . . always!

Not Wasting Any Time

From the Obama campaign this evening to donors:

I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first. We just made history. And I don't want you to forget how we did it. You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change. I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign. We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next. But I want to be very clear about one thing... All of this happened because of you. Thank you, Barack.

I look forward to hearing from you, President-Elect. Enjoy your monumental evening. There is work to do tomorrow.

You Cannot Stop Progress

California Proposition 8:
Ban on Gay Marriage
California Proposition 8:Ban on Gay Marriage
Full results »
1:44 a.m. EST, Nov 5 '08
County Results Map
Exit Poll
33% of precincts reporting

Even if it passes, you cannot stop progress. Just slow it down. Homosexual couples will have the right to marry in this country. If not today, then tomorrow. Progress will reign.

Hugh Hewitt Pays Homage

We thank and the rest of the ultra-right for pushing our candidate to the brink of resistance. Because of dissenters like you, he is ready to lead.

From Hugh Hewitt tonight:

It is an extraordinary thing, an achievement that will be recognized a hundred years hence, that Barack Obama has won the White House. Even those of us who opposed him, and who will no doubt be opposed to many of his policy objectives over the next four years, must pause and say congratulations on an improbable, amazing rise.Every American ought to pray for wisdom and judgment for President-elect Obama, for his safety and the safety of his country, and for the continued prosperity and greatness of America.

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men" - Abraham Lincoln.

I will always remember the price of a passive media during the Bush Administration.

I look forward to your dissent, Hugh Hewitt. So that the pendulum never swings too far. You are now the check on power.


Just returned from Pennsylvania, and I can tell you that it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I was primarily stationed (they moved me around when issues came up) at a supersite that housed 3 districts. At the end of the night, over 70% of registered voters cast a ballot - not including absentee and provisional ballots. In one district, 510 out of 709 voters cast a ballot. Considering the fact that some of the no-shows were absentee, provisional, dead or relocated, that is truly amazing. Unbelievable turnout.

But the real story was the people I met. I'll never forget the woman who threw her arms at the sky in thanks that she lived to experience this moment, or the man who broke down because his parents did not. I'll never forget the man who told us that he participated in the freedom rides, and how much it meant to him that we were there to protect the right to vote that was so dear to him. I'll never forget the families - 2, 3 and 4 generations at a time, who voted together, no doubt some of them for the first time ever.

America changed yesterday. Wounds healed, hearts mended and a new hope was born. Everyone there could just feel it - an unspoken recognition of something bigger than the individual voters, volunteers and poll workers. Hope. Hope has been missing for a long time - longer than 8 years. There will be tough times ahead, but hope has returned. And from my experience today, hope will be the first step to helping this country once again meet its great potential.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Spigot Released

Indiana a dead heat after 1% reporting. Kentucky will be called for McCain within the hour.

Please use The Potatoe MSNBC widget in the sidebar for real time election results. Going to be an exciting night!

Voted A Couple Of Times?

Someone needs to ask that guy a follow-up question yesterday!

Problems With The Election Machine

From our correspondent in North Carolina:

Just got pulled to another precinct. Egregious problems here. Chief Judge is elderly and doesn't understand the statutes. She is giving out provisionals instead of real ballots all day just because she can't comprehend the law. This is a heavy poor black community. Situation developing.

While I sympathize with the plight of octogenarian poll workers with arthritic fingers, there is too much at stake. Get young fast. You can be old serving as standardized test proctors.

Contributor Patrick Bateman Out In The Mix

From Bateman:

Dude just walked out of the polls. He started handing out flyers for... The Lord. Said "trust not in Obama or McCain but trust in the Lord." Bateman asks: "was he on the ballot?" Answer given: He is Libertarian.

Time To Make The Donuts

America AND the Obama campaign runs on Dunkin. Free donuts for voters??? Drudge should investigate. Pastry fraud in West Philly!!!

Drudge Report:


Don't rest on your laurels. Ask John Kerry about exit polls. If you haven't voted, get down to the polls. Virginia closes in less than an hour.

Black Militants For Obama

This is pretty disconcerting:

Palin: I'm Not Telling You Also!

Asked whether she voted for embattled, seven-count convicted felon, GOP incumbent Ted Stevens, Palin responded, "I am also exercising my right to privacy and I don't have to tell anybody who I voted for, nobody does, and that's what's really cool about America also."

Asked about Governor Palin's statements, the word "also" offered, "Tell that nutcup to leave me alone! I do not want to be part of her sentences anymore!"

Will We Come Together As A Nation?

Probably not. The domain name is already active. is unavailable for purchase.

Support for impeachment proceedings against Barack Obama prior to his election? The GOP vipers waste no time.

It's A Family Affair!

From The Potatoe's correspondent in Philly:

Outside a Philly polling location. This has been a generational event. Entire families voting together.