My son turns five today. My baby, my youngest, my little man. No politics here today. Just love and celebration. If you need a fix, check out the blogs I’m reading. They’ll take good care of you.
This one physically made me sick. From the New York Times yesterday:
An Oklahoma woman invited to a rural Louisiana campsite for a Ku Klux Klan initiation ritual was shot and killed after she asked to be taken back to town, the sheriff of a parish near New Orleans said. Eight people were arrested after the authorities found the woman’s body hidden under some brush on the side of a road several miles from the remote campsite, about 60 miles north of New Orleans. Investigators found weapons, several flags and six Klan robes at the campsite, Sheriff Jack Strain of St. Tammany Parish said. Sheriff Strain said the group’s leader, Raymond Foster, 44, shot and killed the woman after a fight broke out when she tried to leave. Mr. Foster was charged with second-degree murder.
In honor … John, Kevin, Harry, Rob L., Joe, Fred, Al, Mark, Rob C., Deac, Richard, and everyone we’ve served with and who have served ….
And because all of those mentioned above have been there, some more recently than others ….
I don’t know if the Saxby Chambliss race is making much news where you live, but down here in Alabama, Georgia being our next door neighbor and all, it’s rolling thunder. I’ll admit freely that I simply wasn’t tuned in to the Chambliss / Cleland battle six years ago. Learning about it later made my skin crawl. Chambliss intentionally smeared the name and record of a veteran who lost three limbs in Vietnam by accusing him of “breaking his oath to protect and defend the Constitution” and running a 9/11 themed ad that essentially equated Cleland with Osama bin Laden. It is of use to note that while Cleland was losing limbs in Vietnam, Chambliss was sitting home with a “bad knee.”
My friend and VetVoice blogger RockRichard has put up a great piece on Saxby Chambliss’ history of working against veterans’ issues. It is a long and distinguished record, including voting against the new GI Bill, voting against funding for veterans’ health care, and opposing funding for equipment and armor for troops. Check out Richard’s piece for the gories. I knew I didn’t like Saxby Chambliss when I heard about the disgusting tactics he used against Max Cleland. Seeing his record on veterans’ issues, especially on this Veterans’ Day, makes me like him even less.
Chambliss is again running against a Vietnam veteran: Jim Martin. Their battle has come down to the wire and is going into a run-off, as neither candidate reached the 50% + 1 threshold needed for victory in Georgia. Chambliss, however, had more votes than Martin and both candidates are pulling out all the stops to try and sway the voters of Georgia to pull them above that magical 50% line. In Chambliss’ case, this means pulling in the big GOP dogs, including John McCain and Mike Huckabee. It can be no surprise that the Chambliss campaign has also invited Sarah Palin, though she has yet to confirm. And Chambliss is falling back on tactics of old, running another 9/11 themed ad.
For Martin’s part, he is utilizing the Obama campaign’s ground troops, which made major in roads in the deeply red state of Georgia, causing McCain to win by only 5 points. And while a visit by the President-Elect is unlikely, simply putting out ads linking himself to Obama may be enough right now. Bill Clinton campaigned for Martin in the primary, but I have not seen any indication that he will do so in the run off. But Martin is not on his own, he has an entire country of progressives who can mobilize to put Saxby Chambliss down like a tired old dog.
How can you help? Make a donation to Jim Martin’s campaign. Travel to Georgia to knock on doors or make phone calls. (Note to the Martin campaign: there are energetic progressives all over the country willing to make phone calls on your behalf.) If you’re a Georgia resident, please get to the polls on December 2 and cast your vote for Jim Martin. The Obama campaign gave us a new model to follow. Let’s use it to get Jim Martin elected.
In honor (?) of the Bush administration’s attempt to rush through last minute legislation to open the Grand Canyon area to uranium mining:
A little more on the historic nature of the election: from Rosa Parks to Barack Obama:
On the dichotomy of the Obama win v. the ban on gay marriage in California and other defeats of civil rights measures for gays and lesbians in Arizona, Florida, and Arkansas:
This one was jarring … because it’s from Sweden:
And, finally, to begin the recognition of Veterans’ Day. Remember, political cartoons (and children) frequently confront us with a truth we don’t want to face:
If you’d like to help, visit the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
The 56th Inaugural Congressional Committee has issued the following statement on tickets to the Inaugural events:
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) has issued the following information regarding the availability of tickets for the 56th Presidential Inaugural Ceremony on January 20, 2009:
Tickets to the 56th Inaugural Ceremonies will be provided free of charge and distributed through Members of the 111th Congress. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies does not provide tickets to the public. Members of the public interested in attending the Inaugural Ceremonies should contact their Member of Congress or U.S. Senators to request tickets.
The public should also be aware that no website or other ticket outlet actually has inaugural swearing-in tickets to sell, regardless of what they may claim. Tickets will not be distributed to Congressional offices until the week before the inauguration and will require in-person pick-up.
“Any website or ticket broker claiming that they have inaugural tickets is simply not telling the truth,” said Howard Gantman, Staff Director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. “Tickets for the swearing-in of President-elect are all provided through members of Congress, and the President-elect and Vice President-elect through the Presidential Inaugural Committee. We urge the public to view any offers of tickets for sale with great skepticism.”
Some cartoons for this Friday morning, two days after the election. First, a little more about the weight of history on Obama’s shoulders:
On Obama’s coattails:
On the challenges Obama faces:
And this one just for my four year old who has been calling Obama “Rock-O-Bama” since he could speak:
Someone with a lot of time has put together an astounding webpage with headlines from around the world declaring Obama’s victory. The cool thing is that the site doesn’t just show the front pages of the papers, but is interactive, so you can click on any frontpage and pull up a larger version. Go check it out: Obama Grabs Headlines.
The Obama transition team has a new website, Change.gov: Office of the President-Elect. Very cool. Check it out.
Update: Folks: The comments you’re leaving here are amazing, but I think you mean to be sending them here:
Please make sure that you visit that website, where you can tell the President-Elect your story.
Yesterday, we finally got confirmation that Rahm Emanuel would be Obama’s first Chief of Staff. I say “first” because these guys never last more than a couple of years. It’s a tough, demanding job. As more positions are announced, I’ll write these “Staff Update” posts to keep you up to date.
Press Secretary: Robert Gibbs
Gibbs was the voice of Obama during the campaign and on Obama’s Senate staff, beginning as communications director and ending as a senior strategist. I like Gibbs’ southern roots: born in Alabama and graduating from NC State. One of Gibbs’ finest moments on the trail, in my opinion, was his take down of Sean Hannity after the second debate.
Senior Adviser: David Axelrod
Axelrod has been with Obama since God was a boy and is fiercely loyal. He and Rahm Emanuel are also good friends, which should allow for a sort of short hand among this triumvirate that can only help in the frenetic pace of a White House facing as many crises as this one will. It should also give insight as to why Emanuel was chosen for the job.
Economic Crisis Team:
These folks are not White House staff, but are a team of economists, business leaders, and politicians who will help Obama deal with the eocnomic crisis during this transition time. The members of the Transition Economic Advisory Board (TEAB) announced yesterday are (in no particular order):
Paul Volcker, Fed Chairman under Carter and Reagan
Eric Schmidt, Google CEO
Lawrence Summers, Treasury Secretary under Clinton
Robert Rubin, Treasury Secretary under Clinton
William Daley, Commerce Secretary under Clinton
Anne Mulcahy, Chaiman of Xerox
David Bonior, Former member of the House
Roel Campos, SEC Commissioner under W.
William Donaldson, SEC Chairman under W.
Roger Ferguson, former Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Michigan
Richard Parsons, Chairman of the Board, Time Warner
Penny Pritzker, CEO, Classic Residency by Hyatt
Robert Reich, Labor Secretary under Clinton
Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles
Laura Tyson, Former Chairman National Economic Council & President’s Council of Economic Advisors under Clinton