Election 2008- The Winners & Losers

Now that the dust is beginning to settle, lets take a look at who the real winners and losers are following this campaign season:

sarah-palin-headshotSarah Palin, Winner

After decrying her critics as “jerks”, Palin remains the party’s favorite for a 2012 run for President.

ma27-homeless1-1004yLower Class, Loser

Joe-six-pack, Joe-the-pumber, and yes, bob-the-builder have been in the spotlight for the past few months. And why not? They are apparently the only people in the country who matter. I can’t think of a single reference to the “lower class” during the debates, or election cycle in general.

alaska_thumbnailAlaska, Winner

Alaska, that pesky state that curiously sits somewhere in the south pacific in all our maps, has risen to a level of national prominence not seen since it first became a state 50 years ago. Alaska’s love for loyalty has become unrivalved across America, as Senator Ted Stevens, recently convicted on 7 felony counts, has likely been re-elected to the Senate. If so, he’ll become the first felon elected to the Senate in history.

alg_turmoil_pollsElection System, Loser

Hours long waiting lines, malfunctioning equipment, voter intimidation, voter fraud,  varying voting requirements, a confusing electoral college- America’s outmoded election system has shown its flaws over the last few elections. Out with the old, in with a new federalized system.

barack_obama_head_shot1Barack Obama, Winner

An excellent orator & a thoughtful intellectual, Barack Obama garnered 52% of the popular vote- the highest of all time for any non-incumbent Democrat. Obama has united and excited the nation in a way not seen before, and is poised to become a great president.

republican_logoRepublicans, Loser

In this election, Republicans lost at least 20 seats in the house (50 since the 2006 elections), and so far- 6 seats in the senate. For the first time in decades, Democrats control the presidency, the senate, and the house. Many noteworthy republicans snubbed the party in endorsing Obama for President, and some are even predicting a split of the republicans into two parties- the republicans, and the conservatives.

. mccain-head-shot John McCain, Winner

In the span of three short minutes, McCain managed to gain my respect for a tasteful & appropriate concession speech. A cancer survivor at the age of of 72,  McCain can gracefully retire after the completion of his senate term.

guns008 Guns, Winner

Following Barak Obama’s election, gun sales have soared. Many gun shops report sales rising by 30% or more, as people fear a Barakdown on gun ownership

barack_obama_head_shotBarack Obama, Loser

After becoming the historic President Elect, Barack Obama has just inherited a whole lotta trouble: the economy, two wars, the housing market, crumbling infrastructure, a broken health care system, a staggering national debt…

socialism1 Socialism, Winner

Although the McCain/Palin campaign attempted to paint Obama as a dangerous Socialist in the closing weeks of the campaign, Socialism, has actually been doing quite well. The United States Government is now in the business of nationalizing banks to the tune of $700 billion, and following $25 billion in loans to the auto industry earlier this year, Democratic leaders are now urging a  bailout for struggling automakers.

sarah-palin-headshotSarah Palin, Loser

Sarah Palin, who came within a few million votes of becoming the first female vice-president. To add insult to injury, the Repulican National Committe is taking back all the clothes they bought her. Finally, her credibility has sunken so low, that she has been forced to deny allegations that she didn’t know whether Africa was a country or continent.

americaathome America, Winner

They just got Barack & Co

-kd-

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This-is-what-democracy-looks-like!

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blogging, posting, talking, promoting

sleeping, sleeping, get up!

shower, shave, to the polls quick quick!

~

walking, waiting, sitting, voting

voters in lines, people on corners, volunteer time!

snacking, reading, getting ready

driving, phoning, phoning, driving

to the polls! to the polls! lets swell the ranks!

~

“this is what the ballot looks like” & “this is how you vote”

& “how do you feel?” & “are you ready to do this?!”

~

young people, homeless people, old people, ex felons, to the polls to the polls

– you can vote!

driving, driving, north philly, south philly, west philly

at the polls at the booths. judge of elections, thick poll book.

blue curtains around a machine

inside lights red & bright. and then go!

Push the green button! Lights go dark,you’ve done it!

~

hurry hurry go  go go!

theres more to vote!

~

sitting down, eating a snack, tired and worn,

“volunteer evaluation”, then

driving, driving  home in philly.

~

We’re off then-! We’re off to school. lets watch the results tonight

lets eat some snacks and hold our breath.

CSPAN, FOX, CNN, MSNBC…wait…Canadian cpsan? calling the election?

fipping flipping through the channels. its true! obama! obama!

~

quick quick hurry hurry get out, lets shout!

phone call, home call,  call those who care

west philly, center city and down town- beeping horns in the air

park the car, walk walk walk , join the crowd! join the fray!

~

Join the fray- its in the air! Dancing, Laughing, and shouting in the air

a parade of cars, wearing youth for jewlery, hanging, dangling in the night

Shouting yelling celebrating! Celebrating tonight in the streets.

Outstretched hands, hoarse throats, nervous police.

YES-WE-CAN! YES-WE-CAN! O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA!

This-is-what-democracy-looks-like! clap-clap-clap-cla-clap-clap-clap!

This-is-what-democracy-sounds-like! clap-clap-clap-cla-clap-clap-clap!

High fives all around, the outstretched fingers on cars wizzing by,

horns and pots and pans wake the night

~

a melody of sound, a medley of people

such a beautiful thing

drive, drive home its late

honk the horn 1 more time, 1 more time for the dispersing crowds

arriving, finally arriving home its late

lets go to bed, lets go to sleep

because now we know what democracy looks like!

-kd-

Election Day

your_vote_counts_button_3Let’s Do This.

American Prayer

So I don’t mean to get all sentimental, but tomorrows gonna be a big day. The results of the election will be one of the defining points of America that I have seen in my life so far, right up there with 9-11 & the Iraq War.

I’m not religious, but I appreciate the sentiment of a prayer for America. I pray that we will come together on November 4th as a nation & vote for a better future. I hope that we will vote no on ballot initiatives that would make gay marriage illegal, that would shut down affirmative action, that would limit ESL classes for children in our schools.

I pray that the majority of our country will stand up & demand we stop seeking out war, that we don’t suspend civil liberties, and that we become an ally to the world. I pray that this election will inspire people to action, and that it banishes apathy and desperation.

I pray we will not be silent about discrimination in all its forms, and we demand equality for all. I pray for the safety of Obama & his family from hate, and that we will hold hope above fear.

That is my American prayer.

-kd-

The Pitfalls of Straight Ticket Voting

Most Americans have a pretty good idea where they stand on the issues. Most of them have a pretty good idea of who they want for president. And many of them will be voting a “straight ticket” on November 4th. The ultimate act of party loyalty and partisan politics, a straight ticket ballot is one where the voter indicates they are automatically casting their lot with one party across the board- for all positions from President to Senator to Attorney General.

I must admit until today I had planned to vote a straight ticket, and I had no qualms about which party I would be voting for. Today I had the good fortune to be enlightened by one of my friends as to the danger of voting a straight ticket: not everyone in a party stands for the same thing. She was right, and I realized for all my preaching, I hadn’t done my homework. I was shocked to learn about a democratic candidate I had planned to vote for had an abysmal record on an issue of utmost significance.

I’m pleased to share the thoughts of my colleague Amy Jones, as she discusses the implications a straight ticket vote could have for immigrants in Pennsylvania. While the candidate is in Pennsylvania, the lesson is the same nationwide: know who you are voting for.

Why you shouldn’t just vote straight ticket: news for immigrant’s rights advocates in PA

-kd

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What frightens you?

27 million people worldwide are enslaved?

Or

2 men marrying?

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1% of the world’s population controlling 40% of global wealth?

Or

Taxing people with earnings over $250,000 a year?

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America’s prison population of 2.3 million representing 25% of the worlds total?

or

Leveling the playing field for women and minorities?

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18,000 people in America dying every year for lack of health care insurance?

Or

Making health care available to all Americans?

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The genocide in Darfur leading to 300,000 deaths over the past 6 years?

or

Allowing a rape victim to terminate her pregnancy?

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1,900 immigrants dying over 6 years trying to cross into America

or

Immigrants working in our country?

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1,000,000, American homes in foreclosure?

or

The specter of electing a minority to the White House?

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If the right wants to run a campaign on fear,  go ahead think about what really worries you.

The national discourse in America today couldn’t be further from what truly matters as human beings in this world. But not to be deterred, the religious right, fiscal conservatives, and closet racists have become galvanized in their quest to suppress the most dynamic and promising candidate for president that our nation has seen in nearly a decade. If the McCain/Palin ticket is successful, four more years of reckless guidance, international arrogance and wanton disregard for human rights, civil liberties, and equality will be ushered in.

The Democratic Party is by no means a panacea, but try as I may, I cannot wrap my head around the republican line of reasoning that believes a 72 year old self-proclaimed “maverick”, and mind numbingly unqualified governor can bring us the “change” we need.

The economic divide between the impoverished and the rich has grown steadily over the past decade, millions suffer from lack of health care, hundreds of thousands are homeless, women still make less than eighty cents on the dollar to men, more black men in America are incarcerated than in college, civil liberties have been slashed by the Patriot Act… the list goes on.

Conservatives have decried the liberal nominee as “inexperienced”, “unknown”, and most recently “socialist”. Absentee ballots mailed out to three hundred voters in New York, even “mistakenly” spelled Barack’s last name “Osama”.

During the 2000 election I was dumbfounded at how the election was stolen in plain sight. In 2004 I was confident America would reject Bush’s four years of “leadership”, and again was crushed. Now we have Obama and the nation has not seen the kind of unity, excitement and collective hope for a new, respectable course in the world since the nomination of JFK.

I’m not sure how I would take another Democratic  defeat, especially one clouded by suspicious behavior. Meanwhile, the right is decrying the registration of false names nationwide (which will have no bearing on the election- “Mickey Mouse cannot cast a ballot on the 4th) while meanwhile, states are purging thousands of registered voters by “accident” (6,000-Ohio), or simply rejecting applications for voter registration (35,000-Arizona).

Conservative politics have brought us slavery, second class female status, xenophobia, market deregulation, imperialism, George Bush, John McCain & Sarah Palin. Liberal politics have brought us women’s suffrage, the New Deal, the civil rights movement, Bill Clinton, Al Gore & Barack Obama.

The choice couldn’t be clearer for me, and it breaks my heart that some will read this post and still conclude that the conservative McCain/Palin ticket will move us into the future.

This video was shot on a college campus 1 hour from Philadelphia:

Stand up for justice, acceptance, and progress in this election.

-kd-

Prescription for Revitalizing, Promoting, Strengthening, and Securing America

Cutting through all the rhetoric, campaign promises, and political punditry, one fact remains: our nation will require serious reform to favorably reposition ourselves at home and abroad. I encourage our presidential candidates to adopt the following reform principles:

Housing Market

-In order to restore confidence in the mortgage industry, no individual with less than $250,000 annual income shall be allowed to purchase a home.

-Individuals who make more than $250,000 are eligible only if they meet the following requirements: they are aesthetically pleasing, they are related to the lender, and they have been pre-approved by members of the community they are planning to move into.

-To order to strengthen communities, and increase home values, all subsidized housing units serving over 5 people shall be demolished.

Iraq

-Troops shall remain stationed in Iraq indefinitely, unless they request a dishonorable discharge.

-A second surge should be coordinated in early January in order to increase the morale of Iraqi citizens.

Afghanistan

-The CIA shall train and arm rebel forces in Afghanistan, and encourage them to seek out Osama bin Laden.

-In order to increase Afghan stability, all poppy crops shall immediately be burned.

Health Care

American responsibility will be promoted through the “Health Care Responsibility Act”, which will allow individuals with incomes below $10,000 to save up to ½ of their income tax free, to pay for health care costs.

-In order to stabilize health care costs for all Americans, the following individuals shall not be permitted to purchase, or use existing health insurance: Individuals with terminal illnesses, any individual with a family history of disease such as breast cancer, prostate cancer or diabetes, any individual who has suffered an injury or common illness within the past 90 days.

Gay Rights

-In order to ensure healthy population growth, gay marriage, civil unions, and other gay arrangements shall be forever prohibited.

Abortion

-Any individual requesting abortion must undergo a 6 month “cooling off” period. During this time counseling services will be made available for individuals that will encourage them to rethink their decision

-Following the “cooling off” period, individuals over the age of 18 may apply for a “Permit to Kill a Baby”. Applicants over 6 months pregnant are ineligible for this permit.

North Korea

-The United States shall officially adopt a “cold shoulder” policy to North Korea. If during the course of this policy, North Korea does not formally apologize to the United States for its attempts to develop nuclear capability, further action will be authorized.

-Further actions include, but are not limited to nuclear strikes on nuclear research facilities within North Korea.

Homeland Security

-Federal wiretapping activities will be increased through legislation requiring all cell phone companies to direct traffic through the Office of Total Information Awareness’s switchboard.

-Individuals suspected of engaging in unpatriotic criticism may be indefinitely detained without habeas corpus at San Francisco Bay.

Financial Markets

-Deregulation of the financial sector will be made a priority in order to stimulate the economy.

Affirmative Action

-Due to the leveling of the playing field, and elimination of racial bias and nepotism, all forms of Affirmative Action shall be immediately eliminated.

Death Penalty

-To curb violence and crime in our neighborhoods, local crime watches will be set up in all residential areas. Members interested in serving on crime watch committees will contact their self elected block captains.

-Block captains who believe criminal behavior is being carried out, may refer suspects to the crime watch committee for the death penalty. All executions carried out by the committee shall be irreversible.

Election System

-To streamline the election process, the Democratic and Republican parties shall be merged into the Republicratic party.

-Due to their only being one political party, further elections will be unnecessary.

Penal System

In order to help turn the lives around of thousands of youth, two years of mandatory prison time shall be imposed on all teenagers at the age of 16, who are currently residing in inner cities, or whom immigrated from southern nations.

-In order to jumpstart the careers of promising youth across the nation, two years of optional employment at prisons will be offered to all teenagers at the age of 16, who are currently residing in suburbs and can trace their ancestry back to approved European nations.

Iran

– On the 2nd day of the next president’s term, Iran shall be bombed incessantly.

Tax Code

– Serious correction to our discriminatory tax code shall be made to require a 35% tax of all citizens, as opposed to just the wealthy.

-Individuals making over $500,000 a year shall be exempt from taxes, if they agree to help trickle money down through the system.

-Accepted trickle down activities shall include: personal savings accounts, investment in securities and bonds, renovation of homes, purchase of luxury vehicles. A full list of acceptable activities may be found at your local country club.

Social Security

-With Social Security threatening our nation’s fiscal future, the minimum age for retirement shall be incrementally increased over the period of 2 years to the age of 74.

-Individuals over the age of 80 shall be ineligible for further benefits due to the law of diminishing returns.

Medicaid/Medicare

– Due to wasteful spending on medications and medical procedures, individuals must pay out of pocket for all health care expenses. Individuals may file requests for reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid on an annual basis.

-Reimbursable expenses shall include: (1) doctor visit per year, and the individual’s choice between (1) emergency room visit, or (2) prescriptions. A full list of acceptable expenditures are available by sending a SASE to “Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21244”.Letters will be responded to on a first-come-first serve-basis.

Welfare

-As welfare represents the slow moral decay of society, all social welfare systems including: unemployment compensation, temporary assistance to needy families, and section 8 shall be immediately eliminated.

-Individuals receiving such services will be given 2 months to transition into a “dependent free lifestyle”, and will be automatically enrolled in complimentary “America & Personal Responsibility” courses.

Immigration

-Second only to Iraq and Iran, Immigration must be immediately addressed by the incoming president. Following the bombing of Iran, rubble from Tehran shall be flown back to the Mexico-US border, for use in the construction of a sturdy wall.

-Immigrants found illegally in the country will be permitted to stay if they agree to engage in our Unpaid Labor Program (ULP). Immigrants who refuse to cooperate with ULP shall be invited to San Francisco Bay for “conversation” prior to deportation.

Employment

– In order to encourage the expansion of business, the minimum wage shall be decreased to $4.00/hour. Employers may petition against the $4.00/hr requirement if it will pose financial hardship to their business.

– Individuals found not to be working for more than 1 week in any 2 month period (with the exception of corporate ceo’s) shall be subject to immediate detention. Serious delinquents will also be transported to San Francisco Bay for “encouragement” activities.

Bureaucracy

As the cornerstone of American productivity, bureaucraticy will be systematically increased during the next presidency at the rate of no less than 3 agencies per month (to be established by executive order).

– The San Francisco Bay Welcoming Committee (SFBWC) shall be created within the second week of a new administration, as well as the Unpaid Labor Program (ULP). Other programs to be created will include: Federal Aviation Administration Oversight Board And Commission (FAAOBAC), Department of Homeland Security Sister And Support Connector Agency (DHSSASCA), and the Republicratic National Committee Advisory Board On Matters Pertaining to Political Dissent Suppression (RNCABOMPPDS).

-The new president will be required to establish agencies that make sensible use of the following acronyms: ZZTOP, JAYZ, CCR, ABBA, and TEB.

America: it may be bitter going down, but this prescription will make you better. The RNCABOMPPDS promises.

-kd-