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Archive for November, 2008

Andrew Sullivan is not giving up on his demand for answers about the Sarah Palin selection. A strident critic both of Palin and of her selection to the McCain ticket, Sullivan has repeatedly blasted the GOP, Johnny Mac, conservatives and Mrs. You Betcha herself for what he sees as glaring, fundamental and inexcusable flaws and faults in just about everything the aforementioned parties have done and said as regards the Alaska governor.

And today, Sullivan announced he has no plans to quit hammering away at the issue.

I applaud him. The spirit of reconciliation and post-election cooperation and warm and fuzziness is no reason to give anyone a pass on what had taken place over the past two-plus months with Sarah Palin. As Sullivan says, those who ignore history…

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Might as well be Europe, but with less white people, for Sarah Palin. I mean, where did she think Ghana was on the map?  Can you imagine an intelligence briefing with someone who couldn’t understand that Africa is a continent? How on Earth can someone be so fucking dumb? Did she watch the movie “Hotel Rwanda” and think to herself, “Thank God this is only a movie”? How many rhetorical questions can I ask in one post? One of my favorite tidbits that has come out is that she couldn’t name the countries in NAFTA… It’s amazing that this woman could have been the Vice President. Are Republicans crazy enough to nominate her in 2012? Jesus Titty-fucking Christ I hope so.

Go ahead and watch for yourself. 

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Yesterday our own David zomGergen told you of the spontaneous revelry that engulfed his home neighborhood of Harlem the other night. (Didn’t you hear?)

It was a similar scene in our nation’s capital, as noted on the new blog Curbside/Shoreline. And, as that writer pointed out, Nov. 5 was also an exciting day for newspaper publishers across America, although likely not the dawn of a long and lasting change of the kind bearing down on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Here’s the difference, noted by others already: People didn’t snatch up papers yesterday to get the news. They did so to have a keepsake, a physical remembrance of an historic event. Today and onward, we’ll go back to getting news and information in the ways we find most convenient for us — and those increasingly involve pixels and power supplies. As long as unique moments in history remain few and far between (and by definition, don’t they?), the dead-trees business will likely continue to see its profits, and relevancy, slip.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-lUHu_oGe8

For those of you that don’t know– I live in Harlem.

It is mayhem of the most joyous kind here.

I will try and post media from my cell phone ASAP if the quality is decent.

I was blessed enough to follow a procession of brass and dancers a la New Orleans to a rally at the intersection of 125th and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd where a raucous throng of Americans were celebrating the victory of Barack Obama.  I heard his victory speech surrounded by men, women, and children from all walks of life, some in tears, some with fists clenched in pride, all filled with hope.

Regardless of your political beliefs, this election represents the turning of a page in the history of our Republic and our World.

I have no words that can really sum up the pride I feel for my country nor my hope for its future nor the happiness that is filling what are often less than ecstatic streets.

Tonight in Harlem and across America, it ain’t nothing but a party.  Tomorrow the sun dawns on a new era of the American Republic and the work of Americans begins anew.

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That’s right, we’re calling. If you think about it, it’s not really a ballsy call. CNN just gave Obama Iowa which brings him up to 206. Once Washington, Oregon and California come in, it’s locked.

About a half an hour ago or so, Patton Oswalt summed up McCain’s chances by quoting Dan Rather:

Dan Rather update: “In poker terms, what John McCain is doing is trying to draw the proverbial inside straight. In Magic: The Gathering terms, he’s attacking an Ice Wyvvyrn with a Hedge Dwarf. In ‘male runaways I’ve got locked in my basement’ terms, he’s trying to chew through the restraining collar while wearing punishment socks.

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America,

Good Morning.  On today, November 4th, 2008 you are being asked to take time out of your day to head to your local polling location and to cast your vote for the President of the United State of America.  In addition you will be asked to vote for congressmen, many of whom you probably don’t know much about.  The focus for the better part of 2 years has been on the Presidential race and that is likely the choice that is foremost in your mind today.

A word of caution–  With record turnouts expected again this year, it is likely as we have already seen through some of the early voting experiences this year, massive lines, malfunctioning technology, and a generally frustrating experience.  Do not let it get the better of you.  Take a moment to meet a new neighbor, to appreciate the volunteers that are manning your polling stations, to be thankful for a country in which we get to exercise the right to vote for leadership.

I don’t care who you vote for.  By this time we all have our reasons for voting for a given candidate and I’m not here to persuade anyone to another way of thinking.  I ask only one thing of anyone that reads this–

Don’t stop.

We fall prey, I think, to this overwhelming sense of duty once every 4 years and after casting our vote think to ourselves “well, I’ve done my part.”  We get frustrated if our candidate loses or we rejoice if he (or in the future perhaps, she) wins.  I ask that whoever loses in this election that their supporters be gracious to the best of their ability.  I know, in an election of such intensity with so many telling us so much is at stake, that it will be tough.  But it is necessary that we move forward together no matter who wins.  For those that lose, your responsibility will be to maintain a critical eye on the winning candidate and the government as a whole, their decisions and policies, and to make your voice heard when they falters in their responsibility. For the winners, let nothing be sacred.  Enjoy your victory but do not fail to recognize that yours is the same responsibility as those who lost– maintain a critical eye.   No candidate no matter how much we like them or agree is flawless and no government infallible.  If bitterness is the sin of the defeated, then so is pride for the victorious.  As a nation we can afford neither.

Today is not the finish line but the starting line.  Your active participation may be the culmination of Presidential election efforts but it is not the conclusion of your civic responsibility.  You have a duty to yourself, your community, and your country to continue to educate yourself on the issues that effect you most, to actively question your government, and to work for its improvement through state and local elections, as well as through your everyday conduct in the community.  But who cares about duty when you’re trying to pay bills?  When you have mouths to feed, there aren’t enough hours in a day to get it all done, and sometimes you feel like the world is set against you?

The task of keeping the American people engaged in this process falls to those leaders we have elected, the media who reports on their activities, and to those who worked so hard to mobilize Americans over these many months.  I doubt highly our elected officials will fulfill their duty to engage us and to serve our needs so that we can devote more time to the task of citizenship.  I doubt highly that the media, once viewers tire of the fervor of post election coverage, will be diligent in reminding us of our responsibility as citizens.  This means I can only hope that those individuals, who showed so much commitment and drive in their respective campaigns will continue in public service.   Run for office, play a role in an upcoming local or state campaign, write about it, talk about it, become the leader you have been training to be.  Become the journalists we need, the politicians we would like to have, the organizers that help orient our frustrations and give a voice to our grievances, that help us achieve those small victories that often make the biggest impact in our lives.

America– this has been and is a great nation.  We can all do our part to see that it continues to be so but only by recognizing that we have real problems and that the government, no matter who is elected, is not going to fix all of them.  Don’t stop talking to your family and friends and co-workers about the things that matter to you.  Be it religion or education, politics or the military, taxes or the environment…in a nation with aspirations as great as ours no topic should be off limits and no idea should be above critique.  A great people deserve a great nation but so to does a great nation deserve a great people.

To the future President:  Congratulations, you have won the support of enough people to claim the highest office of our nation.  You have whipped us into a fervor and people are active and engaged more than I can remember in the last 10 years.  The eyes of the nation and the world are upon you and your presidency will mark what we hope to be a turning point for our Republic.

Do no squander this energy, this sense of empowerment, this personal investment in our nation.

Do not let us down.

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Is it Opposite Day?

Take this for what it’s worth (probably not much; certainly not in a statistical sense) but Esquire magazine found some Aryan Nation types who support Obama and a black nationalist who doesn’t.

Just when you thought you’d seen it all in this campaign…

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