Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bush Plays Limbo

How low can you go? How low can you go?

Looks like he touched the pole at...

22% approval and 72% disapproval.

Think he'll hit the teens before the moving truck pulls away from the White House?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ashley Todd is not our "October Surprise"

All day long as this story unfolded I was heartsick. This story felt very personal from the first moment I heard about it yesterday because I am a Pittsburgher. The story might be a hoax but the street corner and the neighborhood and the sick racial-sexual game she was playing was very real. Scary real.

Imagine how you'd feel if this happened in your own backyard? In a city that you love and that you're proud of, a city that you recently moved back to and have a lot of hope for its future as a widely unrecognized gem?

I was deeply concerned that this was the exact kind of incident that could have serious unintended(?) consequences-- stoking racial tensions that exist in MOST cities on some level or another. It was such a viseral story, the cutting and branding of one's face. Later on she added that he molested her as well. It was such an awful racist archtype, reaching into history to conjure up a story that in another time would have gotten innocent black men lynched in retaliation. The victimization of a white woman at the hands of an angry, terrifying black man.

I know the so-called racism of western PA has been put in the national spotlight. I'm not denying that it DOES exist, however I see more interracial families here than I've seen in any other city that I've lived in. I've lived in a lot of other cities-- DC, Boston, Chicago, San Fransisco-- and Pittsburgh actually has less racial division than I've seen anywhere else.

As a Pittsburgher I am deeply OUTRAGED that she did tried to do this to us. I've been thinking a lot about what I would say to her if I could sit down with her. I would ask her if she understood the ugly, divisive history that she tapped into and ask her how she would have felt if her "attack" had driven other people to commit acts of violence against innocent people? Or that she tried to influence the election by creating an imaginary black man as a stand-in for the threat that some white people see that Obama poses to America?

I'm extremely appreciative of the Pittsburgh police for their speed and proficiency at getting to the truth of the story. Imagine if the investigation had lingered for days? a week? What if they hadn't uncovered the hoax until after the election? What might have transpired in that time? How would that have played out on the national stage? Imagine the McCain campaign ads. The mind reels.

So it's very hard to have too much pity for her considering what she tried to do-- it literally turns my stomach and makes my eyes burn. I just hope that she can learn from what she did, that she understands that in her attempt to fake a hate crime that she committed a hate crime against Pittsburgh itself.

Update: As of now there are over 1,400 stories about "ashley todd pittsburgh" in the news all over the world. Nice going, Ashley, you're an international celebrity! You may very well be the final push that helps a lot of fencesitters make a choice-- that they don't want anything to do with such a dirty campaign. Yes, I mean the McCain campaign because the McCain campaign has been caught pushing this story into the news yesterday before any of its facts were verified.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

PA Voting-- Get Your Wonk On!

A new poll today has Obama maintaining a 13% advantage in PA. But polls are just polls. However, looking at the raw registered voter numbers, I'm not sure why McCain's camp think that they can change PA from blue to red.

In 2004 Kerry won PA by a small margin-- by 143,000 votes-- BUT dems did not have a 1.1 million registered voter advantage.

PA in 2008:
Registered Dems: 4,060,647
Registered GOP: 2,917,747
Registered Indepedents: 869,707

PA in 2004:
Kerry: 2,938,095 (registered dems: 3.9 million)
Bush: 2,793,847 (registered gop: 3.4 million)
Statewide average voter turnout: 62%

For McCain to win PA he'd have to get ALL the independents AND over 20% of registered dems. Voting turnout is expected to be high, Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) alone is predicting an 85% turnout. Between 2004 and 2008 dems gained 500,000 registered votes and the GOP lost 200,000 voters.

So we'll see what actually happens on November 4th, although there are over a million reasons in PA alone to be pretty optimistic.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

3rd Debate Review

McCain was McSnide. Obama was his usual solid, unflappable self.

I love how Obama challenged him-- twice-- to bring up Ayers.

Although I was disappointed that when ACORN was brought up that Obama didn't point out that McCain himself has been to ACORN events-- or does anyone really believe that Mickey Mouse is going to actually vote in Florida? It's truly pathetic that ACORN is being scapegoated by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Report from Outside the Beltway: Revving Up for the Election

Tonight I had yet another firsthand encounter with Obama's infamous grassroots ground game. I was invited via email to go to a "GOTV organizing meeting."

So about 500 people showed up to do Obama GOTV work for about 10 neighborhoods in the east end of Pittsburgh. The energy in the room was electric and absolutely fantastic.

You could tell that even the well-organized Obama campaign folks were surprised by the number of people in the ballroom. After a few enthusiastic speeches from local pols, they clearly outlined what Get-Out-the-Vote work is and the purpose that it serves and what is needed in exact numbers to make it happen.

They seriously had their sh*t together-- they got 500 people to each make 10 calls before they left the room. I signed up for 4 canvassing sessions and running a precinct on the day of the election. They pretty much demanded that everyone find a way to contribute any and all time that they could in the next 20 days-- in a really good way. If everything works as planned, as pointed out tonight, the road to the White House may very well go through Allegheny County.

Wow. Once again, I am incredibly impressed with the grassroots organization of the Obama campaign. In a word-- unprecedented.

The past few weeks have been nothing short of amazing. I have been volunteering throught the Squirrel Hill office and have been incredibly impressed with that office-- they put many of the "professional organizers" I've known to shame. Last Friday I went to the impromptu protest where several city blocks of downtown Pittsburgh were shut-down by a very festive, fun crowd who were there to register their contempt for Palin slinking into town to raise money at a $1000 plate fund-raiser.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Post-Debate Commentary Translation

From one of the many nutty nitwits at The Corner-- apparently even Obama's mother isn't off-limits when it comes to snide talking points about health care reform.
Obama thinks health care is a right, not a responsibility. Bringing up his mother as the case study is not clever. Very sad that she died at 53 of cancer, and had to spend time arguing with insurance companies. I'm sure she was a wonderful, fascinating person. But she was not a paragon of responsibility.
Is that because she used food stamps?!? Apparently feeding your children = irresponsible. Or was it because she had more than one husband? What the hell?!? Or was about it the cancer itself? I don't get it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Will the real Sarah Palin please stand up?

The Palins are worth $1.2 million-- last year alone she and her husband crossed Obama's "wealthy" line in income. They're rich people who own a half a million dollar home, commercial fishing boats, a plane, as well as real estate investments.

So all of her aw-shucks-we're-common-folk-just-like-you stuff is a whole lot of hooey.
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