Saturday, August 30, 2008

Government to Meat Packers: You Can't Test Your Meat

   This would be more shit under the Bush plan of less government, more market.


A federal appeals court says the government can prohibit meat packers from testing their animals for mad cow disease.

Because the Agriculture Department tests only a small percentage of cows for the deadly disease, Kansas meatpacker Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wants to test all of its cows. The government says it can't.

Larger meat companies worry that if Creekstone is allowed to perform the test and advertise its meat as safe, they could be forced to do the expensive test, too.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday overturned a lower court ruling that would have cleared the way for the testing. The appeals court said restricting the test is within the scope of the government's authority.

  So the Court of Appeals is telling us that the packing companies cannot fully test the meat that they will sell to us? What the fuck is wrong with this picture? If Creekstone wishes to run the tests on all of their cattle and bear the cost, then why can't the bigger companies do likewise?

   These companies are selling us a product which we eat on an almost daily basis and they don't want to have to test all of their goods before selling to us, which should be made a mandatory requirement in the first place.

Sarah Palin and the GOP Cleaning Up Her Image?

  Leave it to the Republicans to try to hide the facts or to change them.


Sarah Palin scrubs her own Wikipedia entry?

by CarrieNYC  Fri Aug 29, 2008

This is a breaking story from NPR:  Sarah Palin may have scrubbed her own Wikipedia entry shortly before her nomination leaked this morning.

Here is the audio from NPR.

I will be updating this diary as things develop.  Will also update with any more info we can get from the Wikipedia page.

Here's a transcript of some of the highlights from NPR for anyone who can't get the audio.

Just 15 minutes after rumor of her selection broke, a Wikipedia editor discovered something interesting.  Yesterday, thirty mostly favorable changes were made to Palin's Wikipedia biography.

The user making the changes was "Young Trigg."  Trig happens to be the name of Sarah Palin's son.

The changes, all from a single source, included the addition of a quotation calling Palin "a politician of eye-popping integrity."  The edits diminished a reference to Palin's participation in a beauty pageant and minimized a section about a controversy over whether Palin used her influence to get her ex-brother-in-law fired.

If true... wow.  Do these people know ANYTHING about the internets?  This woman would have to be incredibly naive not to know that tampering with your own wikipedia entry is a no-go and will always get you found out.  Um... especially with "Young Trigg" as your username.  :)

Now... can someone with some Wiki savvy do some detective work to see what other mischief "Young Trigg" has been up to with his/her account? What did the diary say before "Young Trigg" got his/her hands on it?  Team? Let's get on this!

Update:  Thanks to Terre, here's a cached version from August 21.

Update 2:  Thanks to dmsilev.  Here's a list of all Young Trigg's contributions

"Young Trigg apparently just registered yesterday and is a "single-purpose user."  In other words, its only contributions are on one topic:  Sarah Palin.

Update 3:  Thanks to teachingmathnow we have one of the edits.  "Young Trigg" wants to make sure everyone knows:

Track now serves in an infantry brigade, and will be deployed to Iraq in September.

This information was added to a generic statement about Palin's son's joining the military.

Update 4:  Thanks to alliedoc, another change noted.  The "but has gay friends" part was removed:

She opposes same-sex marriage, but has said she has gay friends. Palin complied with an Alaskan state Supreme Court order and signed an implementation of same-sex benefits into law under protest, stating that legal options to avoid doing so had run out.

Damn... I guess she can't have anyone thinking she's, you know, TOLERANT if she wants to be on the GOP ticket!  Note:  there was apparently an edit skirmish with another user who pointed out quite correctly that the information was correct and properly sourced, so it was put back in.  But interesting that someone tried to take it out!

Update 5:  Teachingmathnow
points out that many of "Young Trigg"'s edits cite to this Weekly Standard article, entitled "The Most Popular Governor" while removing citations to this WSJ article, "Alaska's Palin Faces Probe" that was much harsher in tone.

Update 6teachingmathnow again gets a gold star for wikipedia hunting, as she (he?) points out that "Young Trigg" felt it important that we know that:

Sarah returned to office three days after giving birth.

Well, damn.  I guess all of us women who take maternity leave are just a bunch of "whiners" like Hillary Clinton.  We should just suck it up!  Men don't take maternity leave, so why should we?  /sarcasm

Update 7:  Someone at Wikipedia has put up a pretty good "before and after" shot of the edits made over the ~5-hour period in which "Young Trigg" was messing with the entry.  NOTE:  Other users were also making changes during this time, so not every change can be attributed to "Young Trigg."  In order to find out which specifically were Trigg, you have to dig a little deeper.  But this gives you a general sense of where to start.

Update 8:  There's some discussion in the comments about whether or not self-editing is permissible under Wikipedia policy.  I have no idea or even opinion about that.  What I do know is that registering a username of a close family member and then using that name to "improve" a Wikipedia article less than a day before a big announcement betrays a fundamental lack of understanding of the internet and how it works.  "Young Trigg" may or may not be in violation of Wikipedia standards.  That issue notwithstanding, he or she is most certainly a complete moron.

   Maybe Ms. Palin should go back to Internet school and learn that you cannot hide it if it was online. Somebody will always find the info.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack Obama Campaign: Statistics

  First off, Barack Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday night garnered 38.4 million viewers according to  Nielsen Co., beating out such highly viewed events such as the Olympics in China, and the final "American Idol". That's pretty impressive folks!

  On the upwards bounce in Obama's polling numbers,Rasmussen tells us:

Obama’s four-point lead reported on Friday morning is based on polling data collected Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. Virtually all of the interviews were completed before Obama’s acceptance speech and it is impossible to tell what will happen next. Normally, the bounce would continue for a few days. But, this year, with McCain’s VP announcement and the Republican convention happening so quickly, we are in uncharted territory.

Still, here are some different ways of looking at Obama’s bounce:

· Obama’s pre-convention lead of three points has increased by a point. That’s something John Kerry failed to accomplish. His polling numbers peaked just before the convention in 2004.

· But, Obama is still below his biggest lead of the year—six points—which he achieved with the bounce from his Berlin speech and surrounding hoopla.

· Obama has gained three percentage points compared to a week ago.

· Obama is now supported by 83% of Democrats, up from 79% a week ago.

· Sixty-six percent (66%) of Democrats have a Very Favorable opinion of Obama, up from 58% a week ago.

· Thirty-five percent (35%) of all voters have a Very Favorable opinion of Obama, up from 32% a week ago.

Of course, some of the bounce comes from changing perceptions of John McCain. A week ago, Obama and McCain were both viewed favorably by 55% of voters nationwide. Today, Obama is viewed favorably by 56% (up a point) while McCain’s favorable fell by two points to 53%. That’s McCain’s lowest rating since July 8.

  Let us not forget John McCain's pick for V.P. who has her own little scandal going on up in Alaska. Only a Republican would pick a running mate who may be in legal trouble. What an idiot!

    And last but not least, it seems that out in the South West, Obama is killing McCain when it comes to the support of the Latino voters.

    Democracy Corps

Barack Obama holds a commanding lead among Hispanics in the southwest.� The presumptive Democratic nominee leads John McCain by 45 points in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, according to the latest Democracy Corps survey of Hispanic voters.

Obama has said all along that Hispanic voters would embrace him as they got to know him better, and that is proving to be the case. In our January poll, 83 percent of Hispanic voters in the southwest were able to identify Obama, and twice as many gave him a positive rating as a negative one. Today, his identification is nearly universal (96 percent), and his positive ratings outnumber his negative by three times. The share of people who give him a positive rating has risen by nearly 50 percent in that time, while the number who gives him a negative rating has barely budged.

  On the McCain side of the equation...

    Only 1 in 5 Hispanic voters approve of George Bush’s performance as president, and 3 of 5 believe that McCain will continue Bush’s policies.

...He is not connecting with Latino voters, as only a third say he “understands the concerns of the Hispanic community,” and only 9 percent say that phrase describes him very well.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama's Speech

  I must say that I never really get into listening to political speeches no matter who is giving them. I must also say that the speech which I just heard from Barack Obama rocked!

  I do not have the video yet, so the text of the speech will have to do for now.

 Read it.

Barack Obama: To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation.

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest -- a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next first lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia -- I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story -- of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart -- that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women -- students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments -- a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for 20 years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land -- enough! This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Sen. McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives -- on health care and education and the economy -- Sen. McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisers -- the man who wrote his economic plan -- was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud autoworkers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don't believe that Sen. McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy -- give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is -- you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps -- even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president -- when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job -- an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great -- a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.

What is that promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves -- protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America -- the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: in 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and John McCain has been there for 26 of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Sen. McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American -- if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime -- by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less -- because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility -- that's the essence of America's promise.

And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice -- but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans -- have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America -- they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose -- our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This, too, is part of America's promise -- the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what -- it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us -- that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it -- because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit -- that American promise -- that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours -- a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise -- that American promise -- and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bush Created More Uninsured and Less Employed. McCain's Healthcare Plan Is Even Worse

New Census Data Show Danger of Sen. John McCain’s Health Plan

By Peter Harbage

August 26, 2008

The U.S. Census Bureau today released its health insurance data for 2007. These figures once again paint a bleak picture for health insurance in the United States. While there were some gains in health coverage last year, the data show there is little to celebrate since the beginning of the last economic expansion in 2000. Specifically:

  • There are more uninsured in the United States. For those under 65 (and therefore not eligible for Medicare), the number of uninsured stands at 45.0 million in 2007, 6.8 million more than in 2000. That’s a rate of 17.1 percent uninsured for 2007 versus 15.5 million uninsured for 2000.
  • Employer-sponsored coverage is eroding. Most Americans obtain their health insurance through their employer. But skyrocketing costs have made it difficult for employers to offer, and employees to afford, benefits. The number of persons with employer coverage dropped to 177.4 million for all Americans in 2007, down from 179.4 million in 2000. The rate of employer coverage, at 59.3 percent for all Americans in 2007, is down from 64.2 percent 2000. Yet 37 million (or 81 percent) of the uninsured were employed in 2007.
  • The number of uninsured children is virtually flat. The number of uninsured children stands at 8.1 million, a decrease of 236,000 since 2000. The percentage of uninsured children, however, is the same as in 2003 at 11 percent. David Johnson, chief of the Census Bureau’s statistics division, told reporters today that enrollment increases in government programs have served to maintain coverage levels for children in the face of eroding employer-sponsored coverage.
  • More newly uninsured were created than newly employed during the Bush administration. The Bush administration has created 5.9 million uninsured versus just 5.6 million new jobs between 2001 and 2007.
Impact of McCain’s Policies

Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) plan will make it even more difficult for Americans to get the coverage they need. McCain has opposed growing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and would also continue and accelerate the decrease in employer coverage. Specifically, Sen, McCain:

  • Opposes expanding children’s coverage. Sen, McCain voted against providing coverage to millions of low-income children and has lauded Bush’s vetoes of this important legislation. These vetoes resulted in restricted eligibility levels and federal funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • Supports tax changes that will weaken coverage. Sen.McCain’s changes in tax policy will increase the likelihood of employers dropping health coverage. McCain’s health plan, like the Bush health insurance tax credit proposals, offers tax credits that do not cover the costs of meaningful health insurance, and these credits will decrease in value over time.
  • Reduces coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Sen. McCain’s tax credits will push individuals into the poorly regulated individual insurance market where those with preexisting conditions could find themselves uninsured—and uninsurable.

Americans’ health coverage is worse now than in 2000 by any measure. Health insurance costs for Americans are skyrocketing. Tens of millions cannot get the coverage that they need. New progressive leadership and comprehensive reform is needed to reverse these trends.

This material  " New Census Data Show Danger of Sen. John McCain’s Health Plan "was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund

More Americans Living In Poverty

The number of Americans living in poverty grew to 37.3 million (12.5 percent) in 2007, up from 36.5 million in 2006, and despite improvements over the past three years, real median American household income is still below that of 2000.

The number of Americans without health insurance totals 45.7 million — even though the percentage of Americans without health insurance did fall from 15.8% in 2006 to 15.3% in 2007. That improvement is only due to the government health care programs of Medicare and Medicaid, which Democrats created and have always championed and which Republicans continue to try to slash. Indeed, employer-provided health insurance and other private health insurance continued to erode in 2007.

Today’s economic news from the Census covers 2006-2007 and does not take into account the consequences of the economic downturn that began late last year. Since January, the number of American jobs has dropped by 463,000 and the unemployment rate has climbed to 5.7 percent — the highest level in more than four years. Real earnings have decreased by 3.1 percent over the past 12 months.    Source

Technorati Tags: ,,,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary Clinton Backs Barack Obama for the President Of The United States..

  and she also said that we do not need four more years of the same thing under John McCain that we have had under George Bush for the last eight years.

  Hillary Clinton Also sad that Obama was the better choice for healthcare,jobs, and a better economy than John McCain could hope to be.

  Senator Clinton's speech was actually better than I was expecting it to be and she certainly did not ave any ill tone towards Obama as the traditional media had been reporting that she and her supporters did have .

  A Hillary Clinton Quote:

  It makes a lot of sense that next week John McCain and George Bush will be together in the Twin Cities, because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart.

   A bit of Senator Clinton's speech.

Obama Ad Smacks McCain On The Economy

  In keeping with the John McCain knows nothing about the economy theme, Obama has another ad out.

  The economy is number one issue among voters at this time.

Gallup poll:

PRINCETON, NJ -- As the Democratic National Convention gets underway, voters, by a 52% to 40% margin, believe Barack Obama is better able than John McCain to handle the economy. The economy easily tops the list when voters are asked which of five issues will be most important to their vote for president.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Media Democratic Convention Coverage...

  sucks as we already know. It has been pretty funny watching Fox News, CNN and the rest of the corporate whores try to make controversy at the convention when there is none.  Nothing but typical Republican, gutter-crawling at its finest.

   But wait! There is a cure!


Barack Obama Calls For Media Boycott

  This is what we all need to do! Join in this boycott of the right-wing media networks who insist on the distortion of facts and in airing un-founded SwiftBoat bullshit ads against Obama and the Democrats in general.


In fact, he's asking us to do something unprecedented in Presidential elections--to target (read:  boycott) media that runs the 'William Ayers' attack ad.   We knew that the swiftboat attacks were inevitable but now we know damn well that we can help Barack defend himself as we should.  All we have to do is turn off the TV.

Make no mistake about it-the primary objective of Republican strategists is to portray Senator Barack Obama as a threat to our national security.  Ever since the convention started, the cable networks have been scouring the streets in search of hostile protesters that could be linked to Obama in a way that undermines his peaceful grassroots movement for change. 

The recent William Ayers ad plays on the theme of Obama-is-the-enemy and highlights the Republican platform in 2008.  Some Republican Billionaire and accomplice of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth paid for the Ayers ad

Fortunately for us, the Obama campaign is making good on its promise to prevent McSame's efforts to extend the reign of Bush through the same old lies and tricks.

From Politico:  Obama’s campaign has written the Department of Justice demanding a criminal investigation of the “American Issues Project,”

Furthermore, the Obama camp has also written 2 letters to news networks

Here is the key of the whole article from Politicoand the essence of the message from our most excellent Presidential nominee:

"The Obama campaign plans to punish the stations that air the ad financially, an Obama aide said, organizing his supporters to target the stations that air it and their advertisers."

So far we have 93,000 emails from people like you and me supporting this target (read: boycott). 


Note:  CNN and Fox News would not comment on their willing participation in this unpatriotic, dangerous and possibly illegal attack on Obama.

  Don't take any shit from the Republican lie machine!

Anti- War Protestors Say " Fuck Fox News " At The Democratic National Convention

  Poor reporter Griff Jenkins just couldn't get anyone to talk with him in a group of protesters in Denver.

  You can watch the video right here. Can't embed the video straight from YouTube for whatever reason.

John McCain's Youtube Video's

  This is not another video talking about McCain's vast list of flip-flops or how many houses he owns. This video comes from the McCain camp and it is about Barack Obama, of course. You do remember the ad about Obama being " the One "?

   Next up " The One II: Road To Denver ". It has been out for a little while but in case you haven't seen it yet, just click the link at the top as I can't get the video placed on this site. I guess that McCain's YouTube channel doesn't like to share.

  I will tell you that Moses makes an appearance in this one. Wonder if he is getting royalties from this?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Joe Biden Certainly Not a Wealthy Senator

  Lot's of quick information on Joe Biden here, but I want you to take a look at this right now.

Biden has not spent any of his own money on his campaigns--but then again, it doesn't seem that he really has the personal finances to do so anyway, at least not compared to other members of Congress. In 2006, Biden was among the poorest members of Congress. He may have been in debt by as much as $302,980 or worth as little as $278,000 (in their annual personal financial disclosures, lawmakers report the value of their assets in ranges). In 2007, his finances didn't get any better. Last year he could have been in debt by as much as $320,980 or worth as little as $215,900. At the very least, this reduces the chance that his assets will pose significant conflicts of interest (or the appearance of conflict).

   Senator Biden may not be a lower middle class or just getting by person, but he's closer to you and I than John McCain or his Vice President can ever be.

   Of course, there are some things about Biden that cause some concern and I'll deal with that at a later time.

A Quip From Joe Biden

Biden: "Your kitchen table is like mine, you sit there at night after you put the kids to bed and you talk about what you need. That's not a worry John McCain has to worry about. He'll have to figure out which of the seven kitchen tables to sit at."   Source

  I thought That I would just throw this up as a prelude to what John McCain and the Republicans are in for. I suspect that this is the mild stuff.