MSNBC calls it for Obama

10:15pm Dallas Time

Networks Call Election For Obama

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Holding My Breath

CNN calls Pennsylvania for Obama
Tammy Baldwin wins
Elizabeth Warren wins
Alan Grayson wins

Obama Pride: Ricky Martin

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Can white voters really doom Obama?

As early as 1960 my peers started calling me by the ugly slur “nigger lover”.  My crime was supporting the kids sitting in at the lunch counters in Greensboro.

Over the years I have been stunned and disgusted by the racism of people I thought were otherwise educated and hip.

The same goes for misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.

I realized these are something we all sort of feel.

But I also realized they are something we shouldn’t be proud of and should work to combat within ourselves.

The Republi-Nazis and Christo-Fascists have made being a stupid bigot and racist something to be proud of.

It is like they want another Civil War.

From Salon:

Polls show white voters who fear racial change will back Romney. It’s their loss. Let’s hope it’s not all of ours

Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012

We have a lot of iconic images of the Obama era. Far too many are ugly. The photo of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Tea Party darling, disrespectfully waving her pointed finger in the president’s face is one of the worst.

Maybe that’s why I loved the very different image of an older white woman that’s attached to this story. She is taking the president’s head in her hands with passion, like she might a grandson. AP merely termed her an “unidentified Obama supporter” in its caption, so I don’t even know who she is. I wish we did.

Theoretically, this woman could be Obama’s grandmother, who was white herself.  Oddly, it’s a funny X-ray of my other favorite Obama image: A young black boy touching the president’s hair to see whether it felt like his own. They represent two very different impulses to reach out and touch this very singular American president.

It pains me that the presidential race is coming down to race. I want to believe that women like this lovely unidentified Ohio voter are in the majority among white people, but I know they’re not. The president trails Mitt Romney 54-37 percent among whites in the latest Pew poll (although that’s down from 58-34 two weeks ago.) He’s behind with white women who are older than 50 by 51-43; the gap is bigger with the same cohort of men, 55-37. The only group of whites Obama is winning nationally is 18-29 year olds, where he leads Romney 46-44, less than he did in 2008.

To an awkward extent, Obama’s fate today comes down to white people. Pollsters and analysts agree: If the electorate that turns out in 2012 is more than 75 percent white (it was 74 percent in 2008 and 77 percent in 2010), Obama almost certainly loses. If it’s 74 percent or less, Obama wins. Clearly, if Democrats behaved like Republicans, they’d look for ways to suppress the white vote.

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Tea Party Group Targets Trans Voters

Reblogged from The National Center For Transgender Equality:

A right-wing, Tea Party organization called “True the Vote” is training their volunteer poll watchers to target transgender voters. True the Vote’s training manual features a transphobic image that claims transgender people are fraudulent voters and should be denied the right to vote.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “It is disgraceful that True the Vote would try to thug anyone into not voting. True the Vote’s true agenda is a shameful attempt to scare trans people away from participating in our democracy.”

Until this point, the concerted effort by right-wing, tea party groups to restrict voting rights with new Voter ID laws only inadvertently affected transgender voters. Only days away from Election Day, the discovery of True the Vote’s training manual marks a shift by right-wing groups to explicitly target transgender people and deny them a right to vote.

“Trans people are resilient,” said Keisling. “For trans people, voting is not just a right and a responsibility, for us it is also an important part of how we are winning our equality. Scare tactics like this won’t keep us from that.”

NCTE urges all transgender and gender non-conforming voters, regardless of their party affiliation or political beliefs, to ignore True The Vote’s shameful and unamerican attacks, and vote this Election Day.

In case you are challenged, be prepared by bringing NCTE’s “Voting While Trans Checklist” with you when you vote. The Checklist includes a message from NCTE to poll workers clarifying possible questions they may have about your identification. If a poll worker or poll watcher attempts to deny you a ballot, call the National Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) immediately.

Additionally, watch and share our public service announcement for what poll workers can do to ensure that transgender people are not denied the right to vote.  Learn more at

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President Obama: “Let’s Get Out There and Vote”

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Lessons in Fearmongering

From The New York Times:

Published: November 5, 2012

The nation’s vigilant theocrats figured us out. We can’t slip anything past them. It’s not the right to marry that we’re after — to make the same commitment that our straight peers are automatically able to, even if they’re thrice divorced, tipsy and standing before an Elvis impersonator in Vegas. It’s the nation’s young. We’re out to recruit the next generation, plump up our ranks and pave the way to a gay utopia in which the Tony Awards get higher Nielsen ratings than the Super Bowl and we all dance at the inauguration of President Ellen DeGeneres.

Please. If you think we have time for such elaborate stratagems, you underestimate how many hours we put in at the gym. Besides which, I prefer football to “Footloose,” and I can round up plenty of other gay men who are with me on that, along with lesbians more loyal to “The View” than to “Ellen.”

On this Election Day, citizens in four states are weighing in on same-sex marriage. Minnesotans are deciding whether to ban it in their Constitution, but here in Washington and in Maine and Maryland as well, the issue is whether to permit it, and a majority of “yes” votes would mark the first time that a state has done so by popular referendum.

That milestone seems within reach, and horrified opponents have responded with their favorite and nastiest scare tactic, the insinuation that America’s children are about to be corrupted. This fearmongering worked four years ago in California, where voters rejected same-sex marriage after the repeated broadcast of a commercial in which an adorable little girl exultantly informs her aghast mother that in school that day, she learned that princes could marry princes and that she could marry a princess. A stern-looking man then sweeps in to warn viewers that they will be saying O.K. to such ostensible brainwashing if they let gay couples say “I do.”

The analogous commercial this year spotlights David and Tonia Parker, who insist that after Massachusetts began to allow same-sex marriage in 2004, their son and other children were forced to learn about homosexual relationships in school. While it’s true that some schools mentioned same-sex couples in diversity discussions, it wasn’t mandated by the state or connected to the advent of same-sex marriage, and the referendums this Election Day say nothing at all about curriculums. Moreover, a federal court that heard a lawsuit by the Parkers rightly determined that a cursory reference to gay couples in classrooms “does not constitute ‘indoctrination,’ ” as the Parkers had claimed.

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First Lady Michelle Obama: “Keep Pushing Forward”

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We the People, and the New American Civil War

From Robert Reich:

By Robert Reich
Monday, November 5, 2012

The vitriol is worse is worse than I ever recall. Worse than the Palin-induced smarmy 2008. Worse than the swift-boat lies of 2004. Worse, even, than the anything-goes craziness of 2000 and its ensuing bitterness.

It’s almost a civil war. I know families in which close relatives are no longer speaking. A dating service says Democrats won’t even consider going out with Republicans, and vice-versa. My email and twitter feeds contain messages from strangers I wouldn’t share with my granddaughter.

What’s going on? Yes, we’re divided over issues like the size of government and whether women should have control over their bodies. But these aren’t exactly new debates. We’ve been disagreeing over the size and role of government since Thomas Jefferson squared off with Alexander Hamilton, and over abortion rights since before Roe v. Wade, almost forty years ago.

And we’ve had bigger disagreements in the past – over the Vietnam War, civil rights, communist witch hunts – that didn’t rip us apart like this.

Maybe it’s that we’re more separated now, geographically and online.

The town where I grew up in the 1950s was a GOP stronghold, but Henry Wallace, FDR’s left-wing vice president, had retired there quite happily. Our political disagreements then and there didn’t get in the way of our friendships. Or even our families — my father voted Republican and my mother was a Democrat. And we all watched Edward R. Murrow deliver the news, and then, later, Walter Cronkite. Both men were the ultimate arbiters of truth.

But now most of us exist in our own political bubbles, left and right. I live in Berkeley, California – a blue city in a blue state – and rarely stumble across anyone who isn’t a liberal Democrat (the biggest battles here are between the moderate left and the far-left). The TV has hundreds of channels so I can pick what I want to watch and who I want to hear. And everything I read online confirms everything I believe, thanks in part to Google’s convenient algorithms.

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Notes for a Manifesto: How Austerity Conservatism Will Screw Us

From Huffington Post:

by Robert Kuttner
Monday, November 5, 2012

The enormity of last week’s super-storm is just beginning to sink into political consciousness. Hurricane Sandy should transform what Americans expect from their government, and give the party of government activism new force.

As soon as the election is behind us, the country faces a major struggle over what the super-storm portends and requires. But that struggle will be as much within the Democratic Party as between Democrats and the right, because of the deadweight of austerity politics.

I. The Three Faces of Conservatism.

In this political season, progressives are actually battling three forms of conservatism — and two of them have made deep inroads in the Democratic Party, especially the presidential party.

The first variety — call it Yahoo Conservatism — is epitomized by the Tea Party and Rep. Paul Ryan, and by Mitt Romney’s intermittent, clumsy efforts to impersonate it.

Its credo is: cut taxes, privatize social programs, slash government, bash immigrants and gays, deny climate change, dictate reproductive rules, move America in the direction of theocracy, and valorize gun-slinging both at home and globally.

This face of conservatism doesn’t represent most Americans. And on the Yahoo front, Barack Obama has done pretty well at pushing back. With Hurricane Sandy, Yahoo conservatism looks even stupider.

But this is not the only brand. The second face is Wall Street Conservatism.

The collapse of 2008 gave the incoming Obama administration a rare chance to remake the financial system. Instead, the team led by Larry Summers and Tim Geithner elected to prop up the big banks that caused the collapse, and not change their business model. Despite the financial fraud and federal rescue, no major banker got fired at government insistence, much less faced prosecution.

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Bernie Sanders: GOP wants ‘austerity for the middle class’

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, November 5, 2012

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Monday night that Republicans in Congress were likely to continue pushing for tax cuts after Election Day, despite the upcoming fiscal cliff.

“It is very clear that virtually all of the Republicans are going to fight not only to extend Bush’s tax breaks for the wealthy, but also to lower tax rates for large corporations and wealthy individuals,” Sanders said, adding that GOP lawmakers wanted to cut Medicare and Social Security. “My fear is there are some conservative Democrats who may want to go along with that effort.”

Automatic budget cuts, also known as sequestration, are set to go into effect if Congress does not come up with a plan to reduce the federal deficit by December 31, 2012. The looming budget cuts, which neither Democrats nor Republicans want to see happen, means both sides will likely be forced to make a “grand bargain” deal.

Democrats are likely to push for tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans — something Republicans vocally oppose. Republicans, on the other hand, are expected to push to reform entitlement programs and for cuts to other government services.

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Barbra Streisand Explains Why She Supports President Obama

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Media Fails to Report Solar, Wind Successes from Obama’s Policies

From Truth Out:

By Christian Roselund
Sunday, 04 November 2012

In the second presidential debate, President Barack Obama mentioned that electricity generation from wind and solar have doubled during his administration.

This was a bold claim but may also be an understatement. Wind power capacity in the United States has slightly more than doubled to 51.6 gigawatts (GW) in the last three years and nine months; however the electricity generation capacity of solar technologies is nearly four times as great as when the president took office, reaching 5.7 GW by July 2012.[1]

This is roughly the same capacity as five or six average-sized nuclear reactors from solar output, and 50 reactors worth of wind power. Another 4.6 GW of large-scale solar is under construction, as well as another 8.4 GW of wind power, which, when complete, will bring us to 10 GW of solar and 60GW of wind. [2]

The story of the dramatic growth of these industries is part of the global transformation of our energy systems away from fossil fuels and nuclear power and toward renewable energy. In German this is called the “energiewende,” the energy transformation.

And while we still get most of our electricity from coal, natural gas and nuclear reactors, the experience of European nations and the work of scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have confirmed that such a transformation is both technologically feasible and economically manageable. All that is missing in many cases is the political will. [3]

However, pick up any US newspaper or click on the website of any mainstream online publication, and you would know none of this. Instead, when renewable energy is mentioned, we often hear about the bankruptcy of Solyndra, Abound Solar, or A123 Batteries and arguments over the merit of federal subsidies.

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Is Occupy Wall Street Outperforming the Red Cross in Hurricane Relief?

From Slate:

By Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012

In Sunset Park, a predominantly Mexican and Chinese neighborhood in South Brooklyn, St. Jacobi’s Church was one of the go-to hubs for people who wanted to donate food, clothing, and warm blankets or volunteer help other New Yorkers who were still suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  On Saturday, Ethan Murphy, one of the people heading the kitchen operation, estimated they would prepare and send out 10,000 meals to people in need. Thousands and thousands of pounds of clothes were being sorted, labeled, and distributed, and valuable supplies like heaters and generators were being loaded up in cars to be taken out to the Rockaways, Staten Island and other places in need.  However, this well-oiled operation wasn’t organized by the Red Cross, New York Cares, or some other well-established volunteer group. This massive effort was the handiwork of none other than Occupy Wall Street—the effort is known as Occupy Sandy.

The scene at St. Jacobis on Saturday was friendly, orderly chaos.  Unlike other shelters that had stopped collecting donations or were looking for volunteers with special skills such as medical training, Occupy Sandy was ready to take anyone willing to help. A wide range of people pitched in, including a few small children making peanut butter sandwiches, but most volunteers were in their 20s and 30s. A large basement rec room had become a hive of vegetable chopping and clothes bagging. They held orientations throughout the day for new volunteers. One of the orientation leaders, Ian Horst, who has been involved with a local group called Occupy Sunset Park for the past year, says he was “totally blown away by the response” and the sheer numbers of people who showed up and wanted to help. He estimated that he’d given an orientation to 200 people in the previous hour.

Complete article at:

See also:  The Atlantic:  How Occupy Wall Street Turned into a Disaster Relief Group

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Now that the Climate Silence has been Broken, How about a Carbon Tax?

From Policy Shop:

Mijin Cha
November 2, 2012

The surprise Obama endorsement from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s is a good time to revisit one of Bloomberg’s ideas to combat climate change: the carbon tax. Bloomberg supported the idea before a group of Wall Street CEOs in 2010 and an editorial in the Bloomberg financial news service, called for a carbon tax to cut the deficit and fight climate change. The significance of someone like Bloomberg calling for a carbon tax is that it can shift the discourse around climate change from a polarized, values-based fight to a more straightforward discussion of sound public policy.

For sure there is a strong moral argument about why we should implement a strong climate policy to minimize future environmental disasters and leave a better planet for the next generations. However, in the current polarized environment, policy discussions grounded in morality are a non-starter. The U.S. leads the world in promoting climate deniers and climate policies are derided as caring about oceans rising, rather than the well-being of families. In this political atmosphere, we can’t even agree that climate change is occurring, let alone that we should be implementing bold, forward-thinking policies—policies that will likely impose costs on the fossil fuel industry.

The current climate stagnation is what makes Bloomberg’s endorsement of Obama and a carbon tax even more compelling. The Bloomberg editorial board begins their call for a carbon tax by laying out the fact that the Earth is warming, that burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming, and that a carbon tax would force a shift away from fossil fuels. By stating that not only is climate change occurring but also that fossil fuels contribute to it, the conversation already avoids the fallacy of “all of the above” energy plans that may make us more energy independent but do not help combat climate change.

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