Obama; State Secrets A Shame



Countdown: Turley on Obama Administration Invoking State Secrets on Surveillance Program

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Today, the Obama truth is revealed.  Change has come in the form of familiarity.  Some American’s are embarrassed.  Others embrace what, when presented by the previous Administration, they rejected.  Apathy helps most Americans to avoid a sense of shame.  It was announced;  Obama defends Bush-era secrets.  This Administration has gone further to establish government sovereignty.  As a nation, the Obama White House tells citizens, our country will be better protected if details about the surveillance program are considered “Top Secret – Sensitive Compartmented Information.”

Several knew this too would come to pass.  Authentic transformation was but a tease meant to achieve supremacy for Senator Obama.  In the Summer of 2008, the Illinois statesman voted to give George W. Bush more power than even the former President requested.  The issue; the  Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FISA.  The controversial ballot cast by then Senator Obama did not capture the attention of most.  People were consumed by woes that were more personal.  Privacy is a right most in the United States take for granted.  Until an event in an individual’s life awakens awareness for what was taken away long ago, most do not realize in America the Administration is legally able to watch and listen to a residents’ every move.

The media did not devote much time to Senator Obama’s, measured move.  More importantly, from a business perspective, news stories that address surveillance do not receive a larger share of the audience.  Perchance, auspiciously, for our current President, last July campaign distractions dominated the news cycle.  In 2009, talk of the economy is thought most essential.  Indeed, the United States had already experienced an authentic transformation.

After the infamous attacks on September 11, 2001, the electorate accepted the Bush Administration’s truth.  That is why there are few cries of alarm for the White House’s current claim.  The two are close to the same Each Oval Office expounded; there is a constant threat of terrorist aggressions.  Presidents’ need to have the power to act on “Intelligence.”  Privacy for citizens must be forfeited.  The Patriot Act needed to be passed.  (Please read the text.)  The Commander-In-Chief must have all the authority he or she requests if the American people are to stay safe.  

Hence, convinced of the need to be forever vigilant, countrymen and women changed near a decade ago.  The public became accustomed to constant shadowing.  In the recent past and present, the press presumes correctly.  There is no need to question what collectively, the public concluded justifiable.

It was as it is, apt to assume there was no tale to tell when Congress, with Obama in the Senate authorized the wonderful world of unlawful White House sanctioned wiretaps.  Nor is there a public interest story when the current occupant of the Oval Office through the Department of Justice proclaims, undercover work, legal or not, is necessary.  Americans have come to acknowledge, in dire times such as these, perhaps, the Administration needs be above the law.  The people need not have the power to sue for improprieties or illegalities.

Perhaps, this explains what was and continues to persist.  Less than a year ago, little time was spent on what candidate Obama justified as wise.  The few who expressed apprehension were eschewed.  Thoughts that often, history is repeated, were rejected.  Fear that what occurred today might follow was thought folly.  Regard for the notion, a President with power will not likely relinquish authority bestowed upon him or her, was ridiculed.  Then, as now, those scant individuals who voiced distress were easily dismissed as cynics.  They were relegated to the position of people without faith in the greater cause.  

Supporters of President Obama, sustain hope.  Activists felt, and continue to believe; this time is different.  Barack Obama, or the people who coalesced to create a vibrant civically responsible community, will indeed prevail.  The population is the change we can believe in, or would be were it not for the fact that under the direction of the Obama Justice Department, the government can wiretap without a warrant and still, not be charged with a crime.

Only this week, loyalist recount the rhetoric and rejoice in the knowledge; in countries such as Turkey Obama is a hit! Newsweek’s Howard Fineman, on MSNBC‘s Hardball said Obama “is putting himself forth as . . .president to the world.”  Countless partisans are reassured, assured; as Commander-In-Chief, the man who promised to work for the people, would do what was “right” for everyone on this Earth.  

Yet, less than three months in office, the tide has turned, and not for the better.  Obama Administration quietly expanded Bush’s legal defense of wiretapping program.  Indeed, as President, Barack Obama did as he pledged not to do.  Candidate Obama had declared There would be No warrantless wiretaps if you elect me.  Yet, trust in that promise has become another American shame.

(L)ate Friday afternoon, the  Obama DOJ filed the government’s first response to EFF’s lawsuit (.pdf), the first of its kind to seek damages against government officials under FISA, the Wiretap Act and other statutes, arising out of Bush’s NSA program.  But the Obama DOJ demanded dismissal of the entire lawsuit based on (1) its Bush-mimicking claim that the “state secrets” privilege bars any lawsuits against the Bush administration for illegal spying, and  (2)  a brand new “sovereign immunity” claim of breathtaking scope — never before advanced even by the Bush administration — that the Patriot Act bars any lawsuits of any kind for illegal government surveillance unless there is “willful disclosure” of the illegally intercepted communications.  

In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad “state secrets” privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and — even if what they’re doing is blatantly illegal and they know it’s illegal — you are barred from suing them unless they “willfully disclose” to the public what they have learned. . . .

This brief and this case are exclusively the Obama DOJ’s, and the ample time that elapsed — almost three full months — makes clear that it was fully considered by Obama officials.  Yet, they responded exactly as the Bush DOJ would have.  This demonstrates that the Obama DOJ plans to invoke the exact radical doctrines of executive secrecy which Bush used — not only when the Obama DOJ is taking over a case from the Bush DOJ, but even when they are deciding what response should be made in the first instance.  Everything for which Bush critics excoriated the Bush DOJ — using an absurdly broad rendition of “state secrets” to block entire lawsuits from proceeding even where they allege radical lawbreaking by the President and inventing new claims of absolute legal immunity — are now things the Obama DOJ has left no doubt it intends to embrace itself.

Only days earlier an evaluation of the Obama White House evoked concern.  Obama Finds That Washington’s Habits of Secrecy Die Hard.  Might Americans particularly those who trusted President Obama would change an Administration’s corrupt practices, consider, as a candidate, an aspirant  Barack Obama built the foundation that now supports him.  The Obama Administration, the Government opts for secrecy in wiretap suit.  Those who today continue to purport, “I pledge my allegiance to President, Barack Obama,” or even only to his plans, may consider the thought.  Past is prologue.  

If Americans do not acknowledge the significance of early actions on the part of Presidential aspirants, if the people hold onto false hope, the electorate hurts itself.  Rights to privacy lost will  not only  be retained but also enhanced.  If citizens trust a challenger will be the change we can believe in, even when he reveals he is not, then, we can expect what will come.  Telephones will be tapped.  Surveillance will pass for security.  The fact that Americans allowed the same intrusive policies to persist is our shame.  

References; the loss of civil liberties restored . . .

The Unstoppables; Bill and Hill



US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

How do you stop a train that long ago left the station?  How might you un-ring a bell that rang weeks months, or even years, before you knew the chord was struck?  How can a countryman, or woman rewrite history?  How might a Clinton, or two reclaim entrance into the White House?  Perhaps, she [or he] has already done what, since Barack Obama secured the Democratic nomination, no one expected.  The Clintons have found a way through the front door of the White House prior to 2012.  Days ago, President-elect Obama met with Hillary Clinton to discuss her role, and her husband’s, in the Oval Office and in international affairs.  Senator Clinton emerged as the candidate for Secretary of State.

While Americans voted for change in 2008, and millions cast aside even the politics of past Democrats, the Clintons included, Barack Obama calculated his choice for this most senior position would be his former antagonist, Hillary Clinton.  Some reports say the New York Senator requested time to think.  Other accounts suggest the Obama Administration asked only for her thoughts.  What might Hillary Clinton wish to pursue.  As the hours pass there is one certainty.  “Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has engaged three prominent lawyers to help President-elect Barack Obama vet her candidacy for Secretary of State.”

Several within the President Elects inner circle were critical of the possible appointment.  Advisers to the former First Lady said nothing is definite.  Senator Clinton will weigh whether to take the job if President-elect Obama offers it.   Yet, it seems the die has been cast.  Senator Clinton and her spouse have secured the powerful position of Secretary of State.

Breathless with consternation, numerous inquire; is there a way for one small individual to sway a gargantuan group who controls what was and will be our government?  Countless fear not.  It seems the Clintons will once again control policy, people, and alter the political landscape planet wide.

Momentum builds.  A rolling stone, or a rumor, gathers no moss.  When a report is not immediately rescinded, we must accept, as frequently occurs, gossip grows into reality.  Hence, scores conclude, Hillary Clinton will be the next Secretary of State.

The way is cleared.  Only the justifications need to be formalized.  Qualms need to be calmed.  One cabinet job would put focus on “Two Clintons.” That circumstance cannot be corrected, and perhaps, the President-elect would not wish to alter what is.  Some say the status of a former Commander, well-connected would benefit the soon-to-be current.

“He’s a former President of the United States. He’s been traveling around the world, and he’s got his foundation and a lot of foreign policy efforts going on,” proclaims Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton’s former Chief of Staff.  The current Professor of public policy, Mister Panetta pronounces, “What they will have to obviously be careful of are the potential conflicts that might appear.”

Conflicts may extend to interests, investments, and the invisible hand of another American widely considered a world leader.  In the past, the President may call upon another former United States Chief Executive for advice.  He, or she might ask for counsel, or invite the previous President to serve as an envoy.  However, if, as proposed, the once Head of State sleeps with and sings sweet nothings in the ear of the current Secretary of State, it may be a challenge for Premiers and Prime Ministers to determine which President presides. A nation in negotiations must be confident; the person they speak with communicates the preferences that take precedence in policy decisions.

Rogues often rise from rolls in the hay.  “You want to be able to determine when you are going to make use of a former president in terms of foreign policy or trying to help on particular issues. That can be a very powerful tool if it’s used well,” Professor Panetta advised. “It has to be used with discretion. Delicate details in an intimate relationship cannot be ignored, particularly when more than passion is at stake.  Lives can be lost on the turn of a phrase.  A United States President, be his name Bill or Barack, must not forget how much influence he has in and out of the bedroom.

Charles Hill, a Professor at Yale, perceives a possible peril if Hillary Clinton is appointed Secretary of State.  The scholar, Hill explained, the former President’s constant presence could lead some world leaders to question the authority of the new Commander-In-Chief.  As he attempted to digest the dynamics, Charles Hill asserted, “He’s got to maintain his stature. He should not want Bill Clinton getting all the ink or Hillary Clinton.”  

The ink may have already been put to paper and dried.  Deeds may be done and decisions made.  Hence, Professor Hill’s concern for supposed sins may only be academic.  Nevertheless, he states, the selection would violate “one of the cardinal rules of foreign policy: “Secretaries of State don’t deal with ex-presidents.  And if they do, the White House raps their knuckles.””

A slap of the hand, a slight blow to the wrist, a reprimand, or a retort will not change what has been a constant in the life of Hillary Clinton.  Bill will not be removed; her resolve will also remain.  

Hillary Rodham Clinton the oft-perceived to be a hawk, will deliver dictums if or when she chooses.  As she told Barack Obama in a recent debate when he remarked, it was difficult for him to know who he was running against, Bill or Hill, she replied, “Well, I am here, he is not.”  To that then Senator Obama said as Heads of States may say tomorrow, should Hillary Clinton become Secretary of State, “It is hard to tell who I am running against [or working with] sometimes.”

The sensibility expressed by Barack Obama in earlier times is not singular.  It has been stated and said again.  When an individual associates with the Clintons, direct dialogues are reported to be other than those involved thought the circumstances to be.  Some might say, for the Clintons, the shortest distance between an ambition and an accomplishment is often an indistinguishable path.

As an assistant to the Senator, a former 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue aide stated, when First Lady, Hillary Clinton learned how to be effective as a “backdoor diplomat,”  Now, through her characteristically tough talk, the once Presidential aspirant intends to acquire what might arguably be considered the keys to the second most powerful position in the world.  

A few prominent persons at home and abroad may muse Senator Clinton is not the best choice.  Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister of the province might say as he had in March when Senator Clinton and her supporters exaggerated her foreign experience record, this is a “wee bit silly.”  Nonetheless, Barack Obama never asked the man who truly brought tranquility to his homeland of Hillary Clinton’s talents.  Had he, he might have heard the tale,

“I don’t know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill [Clinton] going around,” Lord Trimble reflected.  In the Spring of this election year, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient pondered then recent statements about Hillary Clinton being deeply involved.  His conclusion was, the rhetoric was “the sort of thing people put in their canvassing leaflets” during elections.  “She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience.  I don’t want to rain on the thing for her but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player.”

Perhaps, David Trimble is correct.  However, Hillary and her adept assistant have capably adopted a different  perspective; Senator Clinton mastered “a lot of the intricacies of these issues before ever joining the Senate’s Armed Services committee.  She’s tough; she had meetings with some Prime Ministers and Presidents where she had to deliver some blunt messages for us.”  Perchance, in the past, the world leader who received most of her brusque communications was her husband Bill.  

This appointment would provide her far greater opportunities to be brash with world leaders.  As benevolent as Barack Obama may wish to be in his appointments, as Lincolnesque as he longs to be, it may be wise to consider the wars Hillary Clinton welcomes, her words, and President Elect Obama’s own  experiences of the dynamic duo of Bill and Hill.  The actual person, the personality, and the prospect of what Senator Clinton brings to the world stage, may not be as magnificent as the former President-elect Obama, First couple, or their supporters would wish us to believe.  

While granted, a team of rivals who work together may be reminiscent of the illustrious words of President Lincoln, “We are not enemies, but friends … Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection,” human emotions may not evoke “the better angels of our nature.”  People, personas, and the power they seek may have wings, and wants more fragile than a seraph.

Confident in his current role, perhaps, the President Elect forgets.  In May 2008, he bellowed, Hillary Clinton has the “bluster” of President Bush.  It is she who was ready to obliterate Iran if provoked, or Senator Obama, if he stood in her way.  

On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Hillary Clinton, not Bill, offered the statement “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran [if it attacked Israel].”  The former Presidential challenger, when she thought she had a chance to sit in the Oval Office and commands said, “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”  Given the opportunity to retract her words, the potential Secretary of State did not.  

“Massive retaliation” is the message Hillary Clinton chose to cling to.  The then Presidential hopeful did not waver.  Hillary Clinton confirmed her truth, reprisals are needed.  Talk of diplomacy was for Senator Clinton naive.

Then, the candidate the people chose to govern expressed a divergent thought.  Barack Obama emphatically stated, “We have had a foreign policy of bluster and saber-rattling and tough talk, and in the meantime have made a series of strategic decisions that have actually strengthened Iran.”  Being more sensitive to slights, Mister Obama offered, “[I]t is important that we use language that sends a signal to the world community that we’re shifting from the sort of cowboy diplomacy, or lack of diplomacy, that we’ve seen out of George Bush.”  In what now appears to be ancient wisdom, the one, or that one that Americans elected to act with restraint affirmed, “[T]his kind of language is not helpful.”  Tis true!

Barack Obama may wish to recall the rants and rage expressed by Senator Clinton not so long ago.  The President-elect might ponder beyond Bill.  Hillary Clinton, on her own, now wishes to serve in an alternative capacity.  However, as she attested to through words and actions, she is her own master.  She will posit her own positions, irregardless of who might be her President, Bill or Barack.  Might it be mused, Hillary Rodham Clinton will officiate, cooperate, or obliterate, whatever she may choose.

Post Script . . .

I know not what to do with my frustration.  Do I merely restate what others have said before I put pen to paper?  I tried to, many times.  In frustration, I have walked away from a composition that expounds upon futile arguments.  I relent.  Barack Obama offered Hillary Clinton a position in his Cabinet.  He proposed she might be our next Secretary of State.  Now he and his transition team vet the New York Senator and her spouse.  However, in truth, as I assess recent history and recall that Hillary Rodham did not wish to be considered for Vice President unless . . . thus, I presume the mere consideration is a confirmation.

For days, the White House transition team told no tales.  They did not confirm hearsay.  Nor did they deny the talk.  Hillary Clinton was offered a Cabinet position in the Obama Administration.  Ultimately, after much speculation, word came down from senior sources unknown.  The former First Lady is “under consideration.” Hillary Clinton will have to decide whether she wishes to abandon her Senate career and pursue another path.

The signs say she is interested.  The smile at a Press Conference as she discussed the possibility, the saucy statements, the legal assistance she provided the transition team, all say ‘Sure, I would love to be Secretary of State.’. Hence, countless conclude.  Hillary Rodham Clinton is the one, the person who will serve at the pleasure of President-elect Obama, and I can do nothing, but voice my apprehension aloud.

Should Senator Clinton become Secretary of State, America and the world will have to weigh each day what perchance, Barack Obama did not wish to, or thought would not be a problem.  Bill and Hillary Clinton are forces not to be underestimated.  Negotiations are not their forte.  The two favor force and power.  Peace is not the prospect they pursue.   If this train leaves the station, and the bell rings, no one will be able to look back.  The damage will be done.  Perhaps, we will live the truth of the words oft cast, “Past is prologue.” Woe is me or we.

Sources of Scorn from the possible Secretary of State . . .

60 Minutes with the American People



CBS Video. 60 Minutes 11.16.2008

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

On Sunday night, November 16, 2008, twelve days after an historic Presidential Election, Americans watched the couple who represents the culmination of their efforts.  Barack and Michelle Obama appeared on 60 Minutes.  Journalist Steve Kroft sat with the President-elect and his partner and pondered all that had occurred and would possibly be.  Television screens flickered.  People felt elated, exhausted, energized, or just excited.  Few knew what would come.  However, most agreed, after the 2008 Presidential Election, everything was different.  

Barack Obama was not yet in the Oval Office.  The Illinois Senator’s promises of transformative policies are still not in place.  The transition team had begun its work.  Yet, until the President-Elect takes office nothing official can be done to bring about the pledge of change.  Only hope reigned eternal.  Nonetheless, the world had turned on its axis.  All were altered by what had occurred the night before.  The evidence was perhaps more obvious in the United States.  

A friend, who lives in Chicago, Barack Obama’s hometown, said, as he drove to work on Wednesday morning, November 5, he could not help but notice sanitation workers wore smiles.  Other commuters were more at ease.  Persons in cars were happy to allow pedestrians the right of way.  People on the road did not pass each other in haste.  Genuinely polite postures were adopted on city streets.  

The mad scramble, the race to nowhere, the need to rush was replaced by a pleasant amble.  People on the streets were authentically more polite.  It seemed to my champion in the Midwest, just as it did to me in the South East, America had done the unexpected, the unprecedented, the unpredictable, and for the most part, people were quite pleased with them selves and with the nation as a whole.

Some were shocked to discover a Black man could rise to power, and become President of the United States.  Others were in awe that the man, Barack Obama had not been scared off.  So many political opponents tried to intimidate him.  Any excuse was used to slam and damn the man some thought was not Presidential material.  Barack Obama was too thin, too fat, he did not associate with the “right” people; nor did he reside in a house that befitted his station.

Scandals were floated and filtered through the airwaves; the Illinois Senator was tied to the Chicago machine.  The constitutional lawyer was called a Socialist, and a Communist.  Those who misread reports in prominent periodicals avowed; the then Presidential hopeful palled around with American terrorists.  

As if all that was not enough, the candidate’s complexion was too dark in color.  Yet, for several, Barack Obama was not Black enough.  Threats, from the first, were heard on the campaign trail.  White supremacists, and those who merely believe themselves superior to African-Americans, attempted to put Senator Obama in what they thought to be, his place.  Racism was perhaps the most recognized reason for a possible retreat.  However, it was the one few wished to publicly broach.  Prejudice was perchance the only issue posed that could not be denied.

All the rumors were proved wrong.  Rants were rarely reasonable.  Rage rolled off Barack’s back.  Anger expressed against the person, Barack Obama was thought without cause.  The individual who asked to be President did not personally revile his rivals.  He did not antagonize his adversaries.  Forever calm, Presidential aspirant Obama held his own.  He captivated a country ready for change.

The person who emerged, Barack Obama, and the average people who endorsed him, helped build an American community so powerful, so full of pride, practical, and persuasive, they were able to elect a President.

That action was the change that transformed America.  A supposed “celebrity” did not move millions to go to the polls.  Eloquent speeches did not cause the country to suspend disbelief.  Citizens of this country did not wait in long lines to cast a ballot for a boy wonder.  Eighty-two year old men and women who had never voted in their lives did not register merely because they saw a man they could believe in.  Hope did not enter hallowed halls and bring people to their knees.

What occurred on November 4, 2008 was the American dream.  Apathy virtually ended.  The people took back their power.  Since Election Day 2008, average Americans anticipate that the man they appointed President would do as they desire.  Common folks began to believe they were as the Constitution of the United States declares, equal.  There was a genuine hope; the government was truly of, by, and for the people.

City laborers did not glow with glee as they reflected upon Barack Obama in the White House.  Bus, train, plane, and subway riders did not rejoice merely because the son of a Kenyan scholar, and a Kansas student would take the oath of office.  Nor did millions dance with delight as they pondered the other prideful parent, Michelle Obama, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  A country did not celebrate Grandmother Robinson’s possible move to Washington District of Columbia.  Few found intense pleasure in the notion that the daughters, Sasha and Malia, and a new dog would romp around the Rose Garden.

Billions beamed throughout the globe for finally, everyday folks, at least in America, achieved the impossible.  Common people created enthusiastic communities that together showed they cared.  Masses knocked on millions of doors.  More made telephone calls.  All asked friends and family to have faith that change could come if we, the people, organized and acted together as one.  

The hope was that if the public believed in them selves, as the Presidential aspirant, Barack Obama requested, common folk would overcome all obstacles.  On November 4, 2008, many realized they had reached heights not attainable in year’s prior.

While Barack and Michelle Obama spoke of how the election had altered their lives, the audience trusted, in truth, what was transformed was not evident on the television screen.  Change came through challenging work.  Citizens accomplished more than they had.  Harden hearts were replaced with a reason to believe again.  On Election Day, the people and the nation were transformed.  

On that special Sunday, more than a week after an extraordinary election, the people’s image of self, and others, were seen in the smiles donned by Broadcaster Steve Kroft, Barack and Michelle Obama, by street sweepers, bus drivers, school teachers, stylists, police persons, fire fighters, doctors, lawyers, nurses, and so many more Americans.  Each grinned as they said to themselves, “Yes we can!”

Pure Palin; Sarah Ponders Profusely



Palin One-On-One

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Palin, Palin, Palin.  No matter where you might turn, eyes are on Sarah Palin and her trek.  The Vice Presidential candidate ponders the future, her fun, and the follies of elections.  The Governor does not wince, when she contemplates the win that escaped her and her fellow nonconformist, the man at the head of the ticket John McCain.  Sarah sees no personal failures.  Nor does the Alaskan resident recede when asked of possibilities.  Might she pursue the Presidency, G-d willing.  Sarah ponders it all.  Live, from The Last Frontier, the maverick shares memories and muses of what might be.

Travel hither and yon, on every television screen, nationwide, there she is,  Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.  While she may not have made it to the White House, this time, Sarah is prepared for “twelve.”  The once Mayor of Wasilla likes to refer to the next Presidential Election in 2012 as a familiar number, one she thinks might be her objective.  However, she trusts only G-d can genuinely know what the future will bring.  Sarah Palin has faith.  Doors will open; the Lord will show her the way.  So she said as Americans officially observed Veterans Day, millions more, interest was elsewhere.  

Countless, authentically tuned in to see interviews with Sarah.  On November 10, 2008, six days after she and her fellow Grand Old Party nominee, John McCain conceded in this 2008 election former Vice Presidential candidate Palin appeared on her favorite network news station, Fox.  Greta Van Susteren, goes, or went On the Record with the Governor of Alaska.

The day after, Sarah Palin spoke with Matt Lauer on The Today Show.  Fans of the former Vice Presidential aspirant flocked to their sets.  Countless did not wish to miss a word from the woman they hope will be President some day, Sarah Palin.  As citizens sat on the edge of their seats, they embraced the ambition of the lovely lady they followed since the Republican National Convention.  Many continue to express commitment to the cause; Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!  Certainly, Greta Van Susteren is not only on record with Governor Palin, she is in her home, with her family, and perhaps hopeful that one day this woman will represent America in the Oval Office.



Exclusive Web Video

Governor Palin Part I

Governor Palin Part II

Governor Palin Part III

Governor Palin Part IV

The next day there was more.  Sarah Palin spoke of what preceded her rise to the national stage.  The Governor “gossiped” with a national audience as she came to grips with how her rise to national prominence occurred.  Sarah Palin spoke of the saga Behind the Nomination.  Sarah Palin shared stories of her first encounter with the man she considers a beloved champion, Republican Presidential nominee, and fellow risk-taker, John McCain.

Thankfully, for those who treasure the maverick spirit exemplified in the earnest Sarah Palin, there is much more.  There will be other conversations.  On November 12, 2008, only a day later, Wolf Blitzer will air his substantive interview with the Grand Old Party Governor, Sarah Palin.  The broadcaster will ask Sarah of her goals, her dreams, her hopes, and perhaps those of her base, the real Americans.  Until then, citizens can commune with her cohort, John McCain who sat with Jay Leno, also on Veterans Day.  

It may be apt; veterans, the Vietnam Vet who did or did not vet his first running mate, and Sarah Palin saturate the airwaves on a day reserved for reverence for soldiers who saw a fight.  Please enjoy what for some is entertainment, or election excitement.





America, need not wait long.  The Governor will grab the stage in Miami.  Sarah Palin will keynote at a convention held for Republican Chief Executives.   She will appear with Wolf, Wayne, Jane, and Jack, anyone who will listen.  Sarah Palin is intent.  She will show America she did not lose, and she will not fade quietly into the background.

Sarah Palin, once chosen to stand on the national and international stage will not be left behind.  Fear not fans and followers; Governor, perchance, Senator, and then President, Sarah Palin is here to stay!

To Ponder Palin, Palin, Palin . . .

We Were Warned



The Daily Show: International Male

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Conservatives clamored; if Americans elected Barack Obama as President, unthinkable change would transform the planet as we know it.  Republicans warned, there would be war in the streets throughout the land, people would respond violently.  An international incident would certainly occur.  World leaders would test the “inexperienced” Commander.  Certainly, the Illinois Senator would be stunned, awash in angst.  If Obama were in the Oval Office, it would become more obvious.  He was not prepared to command a country as great as the United States of America.  The people, from every nation would take advantage of the inexperienced leader.

During the campaign, Sarah Palin saw what her constituents feared and capitalized on their concerns.  She addressed the ample alarm from the podium.  When her message was questioned, she retorted, she had proof.  Barack Obama was not equipped to govern.  Governor Palin thanked the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee for the confirmation of her thoughts.  Alaskan Executive Palin pointed to the words of the then Vice Presidential nominee, Joe Biden.  In a Seattle fundraiser, the Foreign Relations expert cautioned,  “We’re gonna find ourselves in real trouble when we get elected.”  

John McCain, the Presidential aspirant, advanced the clamor when he too recounted the prophecy.  “Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

The Confederate Yankee rejoiced when the Delaware Senator stated, “Mark my words;  . . . the world is looking.”  

Persons on the Right could not resist the temptation to omit the full statement, “‘They’re going to find this guy’s got steel in his spine.”  Grand Old Party participants knew better.  The Right relentlessly explained, a President Obama would be a risk to the nation.  Indeed, if Barack Obama were Commander-In-Chief, the country would suffer.  The world would not bow at his feet as the American press and people had.`

Republicans ranted; if Barack Obama were placed in the Oval Office, in every part of this planet, adversaries would know, American shores were vulnerable.  The world’s superpower was no longer safe or secure.  Foreign foes would certainly attack.  Traditionalists warned; if Obama were this nation’s Chief Executive, allies would have abundant reason for fear.  McCain and Palin were unwilling to ponder possibilities, such as Six More Foreign-Leader Calls for Obama.  

The two, and those who advocated for them, could not imagine a time when Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, President Lech Kaczynski of Poland and President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan would request a conversation with Commander-In-Chief Barack Obama.  Nor would they wish to.

‘That One,’ Conservatives would remind the public, the Socialist, would not assist American businessmen and women.  Hence, he could not be relied upon to offer relief to other nations.  Traditionalists attested to what they thought fact, an Obama Administration would not advance democracy.  Barack Obama, the Republicans reminded, does not know how to defend a country.  He has never held such a high office.  

The “Right” rejected the notion that John McCain also had not served his country in the White House.  They preferred to posit Palin as the most qualified manager among the four possible Presidential [and vice Presidential] candidates.  After all, Sarah Palin had served as an Administrator.  She managed a city and a state.  She is a beloved leader of substance.  The Governor of Alaska and her supporters, former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani among them, avowed, she could handle the job.  

Another Republican, who earlier deferred to the wisdom of John McCain, Fred Thompson, assured America, Thompson said Palin has the experience needed in Washington.  The American politician called her “a woman who has actually governed rather than just talked a good game on the Sunday talk shows and hit the Washington cocktail circuit.”

Well, perhaps for those who think politics is but sport and the District of Columbia beltway is but a party for the charismatic who were able to close a deal, the recent competitive row is complete.  The results are in.  The scorecard is now full.  Barack Obama is the successor, and just as the Grand Old Party predicted, the world reacted.  The sentiment can be expressed in but a single word,  “Elation.”

Emotional events in the streets were realized.  They were just not the raucous riots John McCain, Sarah Palin, and Republicans expected  All were peaceful.  People did parade en masse.  No one marched; many danced.

“The New World,” the Times of London declared on its front page, beneath a huge smiling portrait of Obama.

“One Giant Leap for Mankind,” echoed the Sun. . . .

“A lot of people told me they had tears in their eyes last night. I was one of them,” Randa Habib, a Jordanian writer and political analyst, said Wednesday.  . . .

[L]egions of jubilant supporters set off firecrackers in El Salvador, danced in Liberia, and drank shots in Japan. Good wishes went streaming Obama-ward from homemakers in Indonesia . . . and from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who also beat long odds to lead his country.

“Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place,” said one letter addressed simply to “Senator Barack Obama, Chicago.”

Its author: Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, writing to the first black president-to-be of the United States.  . . .

Those inspired by Obama’s origins and accomplishments include French political activist Patrick Lozes, the son of an immigrant from the African nation of Benin.

“This election is going to improve the image the U.S.A. has in our neighborhoods,” Lozes said of France’s heavily Muslim working-class enclaves. “The American dream comes back to life.”

Tens of thousands of Europeans turned out to catch a glimpse of Obama during his tour of the continent over the summer. Many are counting on him to restore a more harmonious relationship between the U.S. and Europe, after recent years of tension over the war in Iraq and matters such as climate change.

A similar hope lives in Mexico, where former Foreign Secretary Jorge Castañeda wrote in Wednesday’s Reforma newspaper: “Obama won, the map of the United States was transformed and for Mexico an extraordinary opportunity has opened . . . because it will be infinitely simpler to be a neighbor, partner and friend of the United States with Obama.”

Republicans are “Right” again.  The world is not as it once was.  People, in every corner of the planet were moved to respond.  Common folk could not be contained.  Presidents, Prime Ministers, powerbrokers, and the populace as a whole were unbound.  The restraints imposed by Grand Old Party rule were broken.  People felt liberated.  Freedom from oppression, rather than fear rang out.  Flags flailed.  Yet, not as forecasted by Conservatives, none were burned when the world realized Barack Obama is America’s President.

References for Republican Rally . . .

Yes Eddie, There is a country that can!





Watch CBS Videos Online

Obama’s Victory Speech

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

It was the Friday before Election Day 2008.  The sun was low in the sky.  My spirits were also near to the ground.  As the days focused on “change,” turned to months, and near two years, I had begun to lose hope.  Too much time had passed.  The Bush Administration overturned too many laws.  In the recent past, the country had transgressed back into the future.  Others were blissful, certain a better world would come.  I was not confident.  Near an hour before, Eddie, a young man who has lived on Earth for less than a quarter of a century, said he may not vote.  He did not have faith that we, or he, were the change a country could believe in.  for Eddie, “Yes we can” equated to “No he would not.”

Eddie had lost the ability to dream.  As was true for too many Americans, the vision of what could be seemed but an illusion.  For some citizens who, decades earlier, had hoped the country could change, life had become a nightmare.  While this fine fellow may not have experienced a similar sense of dire desperation he did not aspire to do more than he had done.

Twenty-six months earlier, I accidentally discovered Eddie had never participated in an election.  On another occasion, moments after I cast a ballot during a primary campaign, I encountered the knowledgeable fellow. Then, oh so long ago, I learned Eddie had not registered to vote, ever.  When I asked him of his vote in 2006, he admitted, he did not even know an election was held.

I was fascinated, or was I frustrated.  I know not.  I am only certain that more than a year later, when I realized Eddie had submitted his application and received his voter registration card, I was overjoyed.

At that time, Eddie said he only chose to commit to possibly participate in the election process when his college Professor promised he would receive class credit if he registered.  The scholar truly did not expect to feel a deep desire to cast a ballot anytime soon.  Eddie barely paid attention to what went on beyond his personal play.  Parties filled his frame.  Politics, not so much.

Granted, Eddie, an extremely curious soul could carry on a conversation when the discussion turned to government or the economy.  However, way back then, he mostly asked questions and listened.  Eddie was polite when I shared story after story about this political event or that.  He could and did converse on the issues.  Mostly, when we talked, life was the topic of import.

Relationships, realities, reflections, and realizations filled our tête-à-têtes.  In time, we grew closer.  I first met Eddie at the recreation center.  I swim daily and he works as a lifeguard.  Hence, we speak with each other often.

I have witnessed, first-hand, growth I could have never imagined in such a short span.  I always accepted Eddie is very smart.  His curiosity is endless.  Eddie is an eager, enthusiastic student of the world.  He absorbs information like few I have ever known.  It is not what I shared that accelerated his evolution.  Eddie avidly exchanges with everyone.

Perchance, that is why, as the Presidential election became more important to his friends and family.  Eddie began become interested himself.  This fine fellow became the person with whom I could speak when I went to the pool.  He knew what I did.  He read.  He watched.  He tuned into television reports and connected on the Internet.  Eddie was engaged in the election.

Then it happened.  On All Hallows Eve, just before I placed my body into the pool, when I asked if Eddie had voted early, Eddie said, I see no reason to take part.  Barack Obama will win or he will not.  It is destiny.  Our fates are predetermined.  “Whatever occurs,” Eddie explained, “is out of our control.”  He shared his religious philosophies and stories from the Bible to further illustrate this thought.

I tried to reason with him.  I expressed my empathy.  I told tales of when or why I too wondered what was providence and what was within our power.  It was obvious to me, my words were of no avail.  Forlorn, I swam.  What else could I do.  No one can convince another to do what he or she does not wish to do.  I resigned myself to what I could not change, the mind of another human being.  I have long known, people choose for themselves.  Each of us has an effect on another.  Still, true transformations come from within.

As I was awash in water, my mind moved.  I did not think I could offer more to Eddie.  I believed there were no words that might be perceived as wisdom.  Indeed, I am no wiser than he.  I was left to be one with my thoughts.  When I emerged from the concrete pond, I approached Eddie again.

I shared my own story, my personal experience, and why this election, every election means so much to me.  I told Eddie a tale I had offered before.  I first became active in politics as a child.  At age eleven or twelve, I marched with my family in what would be my first Civil Rights demonstration.  

Just before my birth, by law, people of color could not attend school with white folks.  Even after African-American children were finally allowed to attend school with Anglos, there were still numerous other restrictions on persons who were charcoal in color.  Some boundaries were visible, many were not.

“In my lifetime,” I affirmed, “Those whose complexion is dark could not enter a restaurant reserved for people pale of face.”  In the few years that I have been on this planet, segregation was allowed to return to America.  The “privilege” to share a classroom was afforded in the 1954 Supreme Court decision, Brown versus Board of Education, and was virtually rescinded.  I asked Eddie to consider the future of the daughter he and his bride had recently conceived.

Yes, in two short years Eddie had experienced much change, within himself.  He was no longer the party person he had been.  His interest in his own education had grown.  The thoughtful chap now embraced knowledge more than he had before, and Eddie always was quite brilliant.  A booklover, likely from birth, intellectually Eddie grasped the veracity of government.  “Eddie,” I quietly exclaimed, “the President picks Supreme Court Justices.  The appointments last a lifetime.”  The Roberts Court has imposed edicts that will not be easily erased, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 Et. Al  

“Oh Eddie,” my voice barely audible at this point, the Supreme Court, under George W. Bush has moved the country to the “Right.”  Some, such as I fear, we have journeyed back more than a century.  Some of the current jurors are elderly.  There is reason to believe a few will choose to step down from the bench.  If we, the people, do not cast a ballot for Barack Obama, I fear the Court, will move farther into the private lives of citizens.

I chattered on.  My characteristic calm demeanor a bit less controlled as saltwater streamed from my eyes. “Eddie, for me, race and discrimination acted out against those of color is not the only issue that must call us to the ballot box.”  There is so much more to consider.  Economic, environmental, and education policies.  “Eddie, think of your college loans, those you may have now and the prospects to pay for your later study.”

“Oh my gosh Eddie,, President Bush may not have been the change I or we would believe in, but he trusted he could do as he wanted.”  I reasoned or attempted to articulate every thought I had, to share my personal history, and relate it to Eddie’s own truth.  Change, I mused, will come.  As individuals or as a country, we may not have control of all occurrences.  Nonetheless, as I learned in Elementary School, “Not to make a decision is to decide.”

In my own life I realized, one by one Americans cast a vote. Collectively, we, the people, choose a President.  The nation’s Chief Executive then selects who will rule the Courts, what regulations he will impose, and which laws he will sign.  “Eddie, in my own life, in yours, we have seen how the President can be the change, or the constituency can be what we believe in.”

Throughout my tearful plea, Eddie was pensive.  He gazed into my eyes.  His stare never left my face.  Then, he asked, was I crying.  Initially, I made an excuse.  “It is the chlorine,” I remarked. Then, more honestly, I said “Yes.”  I tried to tell Eddie how much the election means to me.  I shared my sincerest belief.  The power that each of us has as citizens, if only we realize what we can do when we come together as one . . . My words could not express what I yearned to communicate.  Nevertheless, Eddie thanked me.  He said he would sincerely make an effort to get to the polls, to be part of the solution.

I was at a loss.  I feared I had not said what I might have.  Nor were my words as powerful as they could have been.  In truth, tonight when President Elect Barack Obama stated my sentiments, better than I might ever have done, he said to Eddie what I could not though my tears.  I invite reflection.  Please peruse the words of a man who speaks for all Americans.  Ponder the profundity of “Yes we can!”  

In America, government is as this Presidential campaign has been, of, by, and for the people.  Congratulations and thank you Barack Obama, Joe Biden, you, me, America.  Eddie, I am grateful for your empathy and decision to cast a ballot.  I have faith again; hope is alive. We, Eddie, and all Americans are indeed, the change we can believe in.


Transcript

Obama’s Victory Speech

The New York Times

November 4, 2008

The following is a transcript of Senator Barack Obama’s victory speech in Chicago, as provided by Federal News Service.

Senator Barack Obama: (Cheers, applause.) Hello, Chicago. (Cheers, applause.)

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our Founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. (Cheers, applause.)

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled — (cheers) — Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states; we are and always will be the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.)

It’s the answer that — that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America. (Cheers, applause.)

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain. (Cheers, applause.) Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. (Applause.) I congratulate him, I congratulate Governor Palin for all they’ve achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead. (Cheers, applause.)

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton, and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. (Cheers, applause.)

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady, Michelle Obama. (Cheers, applause.)

Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. (Cheers, applause.)

And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Auma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you’ve given to me. I am grateful to them. (Cheers, applause.)

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe — (cheers, applause) — the unsung hero of this campaign who built the best — (cheers) — the best political campaign I think in the history of the United States of America — (cheers, applause) — to my chief strategist, David Axelrod — (cheers, applause) — who has been a partner with me every step of the way, to the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics — (cheers) — you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done. (Cheers, applause.)

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. (Cheers, applause.) It belongs to you. (Cheers.)

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington; it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause. (Cheers, applause.) It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy — (cheers) — who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep. It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from the Earth. This is your victory. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, I know you didn’t do this just to win an election, and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime: two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage or pay their doctors’ bills or save enough for their child’s college education.

There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term, but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you: We as a people will get there. (Cheers, applause.)

Audience: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

Mr. Obama:: There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president, and we know the government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek; it is only the chance for us to make that change.

And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.

Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers. In this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let’s 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 and 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. (Cheers, applause.)

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 tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too. (Cheers, applause.)

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. (Cheers, applause.) To those — to those who would tear the world down: we will defeat you. (Cheers, applause.) To those who seek peace and security: we support you. (Cheers, applause.) And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals — democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope. (Cheers, applause.)

That’s the true genius of America, that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She is a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election, except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old. (Cheers, applause.)

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons, because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin. And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America: the heartache and the hope, the struggle and the progress, the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed, yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the Dust Bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

Audience: Yes we can!

Mr. Obama:: When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

Audience: Yes we can!

Mr. Obama:: She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We shall overcome.” Yes we can.

Audience: Yes we can!

Mr. Obama:: A man touched down on the Moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

Audience: Yes we can.

Mr. Obama:: America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there’s so much more to do. So tonight let us ask ourselves, if our children should live to see the next century, if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time — to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope; and where we are met with cynicism and doubt and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes we can.

Audience: Yes we can.

Mr. Obama:: Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.)

I thank Eddie, Barack, and the American people.  The dream is reborn, and we, as a country, can believe again.  Yes we can!

History Referenced and Realized . . .

Make History; Vote Early



VoteForChange.com: Make History

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

In this election year, America has made history.  Throughout the country, people are able to vote early.  Millions have decided to take advantage of what never was this easy to do, contribute to the greater community.  The question is will the once apathetic, those who felt powerless, or the people who were willing to be labeled as lazy participate.  

Might any of these individuals be deterred by the rumors.  Absentee ballots and tallies transmitted before the official election date will not count.  Ballots are altered by machines or perhaps, inept poll workers.  Proper attire must be worn or a constituent will be refused a place at the polls.  Could citizens consider the lines are long as an excuse to wait or a reason to forfeit the role they may play in the future of this nation.  There is much to ponder.  

Perhaps the reason people do not partake is the survey is too long.  Initiatives, Judges, Representatives, and the Presidential race; some might say there is just too much to research.  However, in America today, wherever a person may go there is talk of tomorrow, a hope for change, fear of what could be, and most importantly a sense that anything is possible.  After all, if citizens can choose early, and the hours to vote are more extensive, perchance, for the first time ever, more, if not every eligible American will have a say.  Apparently, the novel arrangement known as “early voting” appears to be a triumphant.

We may not yet know which candidates will win.  Nevertheless, it seems the people are a bit more victorious.  Countless pound the pavement.  The electorate runs, walks, bikes, and drives to the polls in numbers never seen before.  People hope to make history, to bring about change, to secure a sense of commitment to country such that America has never known.  An expanded opportunity to contribute to the choice of President has an effect on the possible outcome of this election.  The chance to speak through a ballot, coupled with what some express as, a greater need to voice personal preferences, the public heads for the poll en masse.


The Success of Early Voting

The New York Times

October 30, 2008

A lot is going wrong in this election, from malfunctioning electronic voting machines to voters being purged mistakenly from the rolls.  But one thing is going very right: early voting.  In the more than 30 states that allow early or no-excuse absentee voting, voters have been casting ballots in record numbers.  Early voting has many advantages.  The main one is that it makes it likely that more eligible voters will participate in democracy.

Election Day has traditionally been held on a single day – a Tuesday.  Congress scheduled federal elections on Tuesdays because they worked well for farmers and Sabbath observers.  But in the 21st century, having one day to vote is an antiquated relic.  Voters have to fit in a visit to the polls with their work, family and other responsibilities.  Many cannot find the time, particularly when lines are as long as they have been in recent times.

The answer, as many states have discovered, is to move away from a single day of voting and allow voters to cast ballots over a period of days or weeks. . .

Some people are wary of early voting.  As Susan Saulny reported in The Times on Wednesday, there are rumors in the African-American community in Jacksonville, Fla., that early voting is a scam and that the votes cast early would be discarded.  Given Florida’s history with electoral mischief, some skepticism about election procedures is not only understandable, but necessary.

But the truth is that early voting actually makes it harder for the forces of disenfranchisement to stop eligible voters from casting ballots.  If election officials try to require voters to present ID when it is not required by law, early voting gives voters a chance to simply return the next day.  Dirty tricks are also harder to pull off.  If political operatives want to jam get-out-the-vote telephone lines, as they did on Election Day in New Hampshire in 2002, it would be harder to do if people voted over two weeks.

Tittle-tattle, tales of what will go wrong, or has, may be unfounded, or at least far less dire than reported.  While problems still exist, purged ballots, misplaced tickets, and other antics are less likely when the time to vote is spread over days, and even weeks.  Challenges can be corrected.  Dilemmas dealt with.  Quandaries quickly resolved.  Hence, eligible voters enjoy.  

Chat with those in your community while you wait to cast a ballot for your county and for the children who cannot yet legally speak for the concerns that will transform life for them.  Take comfort in the knowledge that time will pass and you can be a part of what will be better for the Seventh Generation.  Settle in as you sit with your absentee form and do the research.  Remember, the young, the old, those soon-to-be born, the ill, the impoverished, even the affluent will be affected by your decision.  Be part of the choice this country makes.  Feel empowered.  Make history.  Vote early.

Reference: for a newer reality . . .

GOP Back on the Brink




To view the original art, please travel to GOP Back on the Brink

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

With less than a week until Election Day, it’s starting to look more and more likely that the GOP will be cast “Back to the Wilderness” (Archive No. 0837) by voters.  But beware: The last time Republicans were banished, they came back strong, first with their “Contract With America,” then with a scary brand of neoconservatism implanted on the born-again blank slate of George W. Bush. Lord only knows what they might come up with this time.

Back in seven with my post-Election Day toon.

Andrew

toon@offthewahl.com

The vet who did not vet



The Vet Who did Not Vet

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Some may wonder why a man as experienced as John McCain might have chosen a Vice Presidential candidate with so many skeletons in the closet.  Many muse; what might have possess this chap to do as he did.  Males among us know what women have wondered about.  Chaps will confess; “There is something about Sarah.”  

After the Vice Presidential debate a few fine fellows admitted, when sweet Sarah Palin winked, they sat up a little straighter.  New Republic Columnist, Rich Lowry wrote, “I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.”  

Gents will attest to the power of a flirtatious female.   Some will confess; they swooned when sexy Sarah showed how sensational she could be.  John McCain might only state, he saw himself in the lovely lady.

The Arizona Senator, upon meeting Sarah Palin one time, knew, he did not need to vet her.  There was no need to scrutinize her record.  Any man can see what Sarah has to offer, particularly in the light of day, while under a sycamore tree.

The Republican Presidential aspirant saw all he needed too when he first met Sarah Palin in February, at the governors’ convention in Washington.  When they saw each other again, the afternoon before he selected her as his running mate, the man with twenty-six years in politics was more certain.   The second encounter was at his ranch in Sedona Arizona, on August 28, just four days before the Grand Old Party convention.  John, the suave soldier saw she has great gams.  This beauty queen’s skin and teeth glow brightly.  Her eyes . .  John was mesmerized.

McCain took Palin to his favorite coffee-drinking spot down by a creek and a sycamore tree. They talked for more than an hour, and, as Napoleon whispered to Josephine, “Voilà.”

One does not have to be a psychoanalyst to reckon that McCain was smitten. By no means am I suggesting anything untoward between McCain and his running mate. Palin is a governor, after all. She does have an executive résumé, if a thin one. And she’s a natural politician who connects with people.

But there can be no denying that McCain’s selection of her over others far more qualified — and his mind-boggling lack of attention to details that matter — suggests other factors at work. His judgment may have been clouded by . . . what?

Science provides clues. A study in Canada, published by a British journal in 2003, found that pretty women foil men’s ability to assess the future. “Discounting the future,” as the condition is called, means preferring immediate, lesser rewards to greater rewards in the future.

In the immediate, John was gratified.  A gorgeous woman wooed him and the throngs that John McCain needed to secure enthusiasm for his campaign.  Sarah sang Senator McCain’s praises.  She electrified crowds and coyly charmed the man who provided her a cherished place on the political stage.  There was chemistry between the two.

McCain spokesmen have said that he was attracted to Palin’s maverickness, that she reminded him of himself.

Recognizing oneself in a member of the opposite sex (or the same sex, as the case may be) is a powerful invitation to bonding. Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in the river, imagining it to be his deceased and beloved sister’s.

John McCain might have mistaken the image that sat before him  to be his beloved benefactor, the one and only who might praise him while she provided the long sought after women’s vote.  However, had the Arizona aspirant read the research he might have realized, women would not likely be swayed by feminine wiles.  

Daughters of Eve are not so easily enchanted by the presence of an attractive female.  For the fairer sex, emotional intoxication did not cause them to forget rewards that might be better reaped by delayed gratification, and more research, at least not when in the company of someone as sizzling as Sarah.

Famed feminist Gloria Steinem states, “This isn’t the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need.”  Kathleen Parker, a Conservative Columnist, also heralds the haste with which John McCain selected a woman.  Perhaps, more importantly, this female whose mystique has been as a life-long Republican, speaks of the waste.  Parker, who pens for the National Review, a  forum for the “Right,” posits “The Palin Problem.”

The staunchly traditional Journalist states, Sarah Palin is “out of her league.”  Ms Parker muses, “If at one time women were considered heretical for swimming upstream against feminist orthodoxy, they now face condemnation for swimming downstream – away from Sarah Palin.”  The proud Conservative continues to share her angst as she discusses the Palin paradigm.

To express reservations about her qualifications to be vice president – and possibly president – is to risk being labeled anti-woman.

Or, as I am guilty of charging her early critics, supporting only a certain kind of woman.  Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick – what a difference a financial crisis makes – and a more complicated picture has emerged.

As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.

Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state as the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York. She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistan’s president wanted to hug her. (Perhaps Osama bin Laden is dying to meet her?)

Kathleen Parker observes, as is substantiated in studies.  Men, such as John McCain are swayed by beauty.  They overlook the obvious; without abundant wisdom, knowledge of fiscal affairs and issues that affect those abroad, a President, or his partner, man or woman will not work well in the White House.

The sisterhood from either political Party understands, females want more than a figurehead.  One lass, in a prized position, does not appease all womankind.  The daughters of Eve envision a world where life for all women is more fair.  Ladies from the Left and Right do not wish to mingle or maneuver within the good old boy network.  Women want no closed set of connections.  The gentler gender accepts that if persons are to be truly equal, guile cannot be the ticket in.  Craftiness and sexual characteristics cannot count more than brains or the acumen built from competence and clarity.

Indeed, fellow females think Sarah Palin does not have the mettle to be Vice President, let alone perchance, Vice President.  When the ladies discuss the “looker” the perception is far from favorable.  Her physical credentials do not charm the females within the population.  Women may recognize Sarah is “hot.”  However, for forward thinkers less influenced by chemistry, women explain, experience, education, and ethics are essential qualities that many believe Sarah lacks.  

Perchance a veteran in women’s ways would have vetted the gorgeous Governor Palin.

Sexy Sources to Scrutinize . . .

America at a crossroad




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copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

Just thirteen days until United States citizens face “The Choice” (Archive 0836), (though early ballots are already in the mail). Have you made yours?

Back in seven . . .

Andrew

toon@offthewahl.com