Thursday, November 06, 2008








To Dream the Impossible Dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star.

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far.

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
.

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star.

Text of Democrat Barack Obama's speech in Chicago after winning the
presidential election, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions:

------

OBAMA said: Hello, Chicago.

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.

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. 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.

It's the answer 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 date in this election at this defining moment CHANGE has come to
America.


A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily
gracious call from Senator McCain.

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.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Governor Palin for all that they've
achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this
nation's promise in the months ahead.

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.

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.

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 new White
House.

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

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters,
thank you so much for all the support that you've given me. I am
grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe ... the unsung hero of this
campaign, who built the best -- the best political campaign, I think, in
the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod ... who's been a partner with me
every step of the way.

To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics ...
you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've
sacrificed to get it done.

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

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.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their
generation's apathy ... 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 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.

And 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 the 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.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

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 that 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.

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.

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.

To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you.
To those who seek peace and security: We support you. 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.

That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union
can be perfected. What we've 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's 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

OBAMA: America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is
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 doubts 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.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of
America.






WHAT WILL MICHELLE OBAMA'S ROLE AS FIRST LADY BE? Ruth Marcus sees it this way:
Quote:
When Michelle Obama took to describing her new role as mom in chief,
my first reaction was to wince at her words. My second reaction was to
identify with them.

And most of all: What does it say about the condition of modern women
that Obama, catapulted by her husband's election into the ranks of the
most prominent, sounded so strangely retro -- more Jackie Kennedy than
Hillary Clinton?

She is, after all -- by résumé, anyway -- more Hillary than Jackie.
But the painful paradox of campaign 2008 is that it came tantalizingly
close to giving us an Ivy League-educated female lawyer in the Oval
Office but yielded an Ivy League-educated female lawyer sketching out
a supremely traditional first lady role.

"My first job in all honesty is going to continue to be mom in chief,"
Obama told Ebony magazine, "making sure that in this transition, which
will be even more of a transition for the girls . . . that they are
settled and that they know they will continue to be the center of our
universe."

This is only sensible; the kids come first, and Obama is a parent
before she is a symbol. The girls might be living above the store come
Jan. 20, but Daddy's going to be awfully busy. Cherie Blair, who
managed to keep her barrister job while her husband was in office,
grandly decreed that Tony, prime minister or not, would be taking
paternity leave after the birth of their fourth child.


These days, Blair's advice seems a tad more realistic. "You have to
learn to take a back seat, not just in public but in private," she
advised Michelle Obama in a recent column. "When your spouse is late
to put the kids to bed, or for dinner, or your plans for the weekend
are turned upside down again, you simply have to accept that he had
something more important to do."

Obama seems comfortable, now, in the back seat, but that seeming
serenity did not come easy. In "The Audacity of Hope," Barack Obama
offers a glimpse of an earlier, more conflicted Michelle, whose "anger
toward me seemed barely contained" as she struggled with the pull
between work and family while her husband launched a run for Congress.

"No matter how liberated I liked to see myself as . . . the fact was
that when children showed up, it was Michelle and not I who was
expected to make the necessary adjustments," Barack Obama writes.
"Sure, I helped, but it was always on my terms, on my schedule.
Meanwhile, she was the one who had to put her career on hold."

Expected to -- by whom? Had to -- says who? I remember reading this
passage two years ago, when the book came out, and thinking: Hey,
buddy, she has to scale back only because you're not willing to.

And yet, Barack Obama could have been describing so many women today
when he explained that, for Michelle, "two visions of herself were at
war with each other -- the desire to be the woman her mother had been,
solid, dependable, making a home and always there for her kids; and
the desire to excel in her profession, to make her mark on the world
and realize all those plans she'd had on the very first day that we
met."

This is where the identification comes in. The brutal reality is that,
like our president-elect, most men do not wrestle quite so strenuously
with these competing desires. So when the needs of our families
collide with the demands of our jobs, it is usually the woman's career
that yields.

I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and not only because
of Michelle Obama. I'm in the midst of one of those periodic
work-family recalibrations, balancing the needs of adolescent
daughters, my husband's busy job and my own overextended one.

Meanwhile, I'm watching mini-versions of the Barack and Michelle drama
playing out around town as female friends wrestle with whether to sign
up to work in the new administration. Their husbands, already in
demanding jobs, tend also to be angling for even more demanding ones
in Obamaland.

Guess who's not coming home for dinner? If you don't know, Michelle
Obama can probably clue you in.
Unquote.













WHO SPEAKS FOR YOU?

After Moses delivered the Israelites from Egypt , there were numerous times when his decisions were challenged by a few who thought they were smarter and wiser. The 40-year trek in the desert happened while the silent majority allowed the vocal few determine their destiny.
Pilate was influenced to crucify Jesus while those who had been healed and fed by Jesus throughout His journey silently allowed arrogant and selfish leaders to loudly speak on their behalf.
You may remember the bullies on the playground (if you weren’t one of them) always found a more timid student to tease, take money and/or lunch while many walked away silently thankful it wasn’t happening to them.
We voted for change yet we continue to be the silent majority allowing the conservatives, right-wingers, naysayers, media and Uncle Toms challenge our president at every turn in an attempt to circumvent change.
Be clear about why there is a challenge! It is not about how much is being spent. President Bush spent every available surplus left by President Clinton. What is being challenged is who will benefit from the dollars being spent.
The naysayers know that we don’t reap the benefits, the bureaucrats in the insurance and drug companies do. Have we forgotten the insurance companies determine:
The amount of time our physician can see us?
Whether they will pay for a laboratory procedure as it relates to our diagnosis?
If our illness is served better with a generic drug?
What specialist we visit?
How long we stay in the hospital?
In “gratitude” for their decisions, we spend hours managing the process:
Repeating physical and medication history to each physician because they don’t communicate with each other.
Advocating for ourselves and loved ones to move to the next level of diagnosis.
Spending hours, travel time and excessive deductibles that may not even return us to minimum quality of life.
We are paying Lincoln Navigator prices for Studebaker services. The system is broken. There needs to be less whining, nitpicking and grandstanding. Let’s get a system that provides options yet works for the people; one that provides diagnosis and maintenance from cataracts to cardiovascular, from dental to dilation, from aspirin to Activia.
Let your voice be heard. Let your senator, congressman, newspapers and the media know that we still believe in Change.
We want change in education so that our children can afford tuition.
We want change in the job market so that everyone who is willing to work will have a job.
We want control over the access to guns so that we can alleviate senseless killings.
We want a healthcare system that is inclusive and not exclusive.
PEOPLE, STATUS QUO IS NOT AN OPTION.

9 October 2009 President Barack Obama Awarded Nobel Peace Prize.


OSLO – President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday 9 October for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.

The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama's name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.

The Nobel committee praised Obama's creation of "a new climate in international politics" and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage. The plaudit appeared to be a slap at President George W. Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama's predecessor for resorting to largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Rather than recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize appeared intended to support initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said. "In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations."

He added that the committee endorsed "Obama's appeal that 'Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.'"

President Theodore Roosevelt won the award in 1906 and President Woodrow Wilson won in 1919.

The committee chairman said after awarding the 2002 prize to former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, for his mediation in international conflicts, that it should be seen as a "kick in the leg" to the Bush administration's hard line in the buildup to the Iraq war.

Five years later, the committee honored Bush's adversary in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore, for his campaign to raise awareness about global warming.

"The exciting and important thing about this prize is that it's given too someone ... who has the power to contribute to peace," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.

Nominators include former laureates; current and former members of the committee and their staff; members of national governments and legislatures; university professors of law, theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation welcomed the award on behalf of its founder Nelson Mandela, who shared the 1993 Peace Prize with then-South African President F.W. DeKlerk for their efforts at ending years of apartheid and laying the groundwork for a democratic country.

"We trust that this award will strengthen his commitment, as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, to continue promoting peace and the eradication of poverty," the foundation said.

In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses."

Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, he said the peace prize should be given out by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Sweden and Norway were united under the same crown at the time of Nobel's death.

The committee has taken a wide interpretation of Nobel's guidelines, expanding the prize beyond peace mediation to include efforts to combat poverty, disease and climate change.

(The following was written by a former governor of Oklahoma.)


He Should Have Won Two Nobel Peace Prizes

Congratulations and well deserved, President Obama.

Frustrated while listening to those who would argue that President Obama has done nothing to deserve the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, I hoped to quickly borrow someone else’s list to answer the critics. I searched the Internet and was surprised by the negativity – link after link of virulent, statements claiming he had no accomplishments. Denied the lazy way out, I made my own Top 10 list of accomplishments related to world peace.

1. Inspiring a nation and changing perception of America around the world.
All along the campaign trail, millions of Americans cheered candidate Obama’s views on the advantage of – and his intent to conduct – personal diplomacy in foreign policy. Contrast this with his opponent, Sen. McCain, who sang “bomb, bomb, bomb … bomb, bomb Iran” at a campaign stop. Obama’s message resonated outside the U.S. as well. More than 200,000 gathered in the streets of Berlin to hear Obama call for nuclear disarmament. It was a bold and brave stance in the middle of a highly competitive presidential campaign. Perhaps when the Nobel Committee referred to “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy,” they were aware of the full history.

2. Reclaiming America’s moral high ground.
Obama reclaimed America’s moral high ground when he announced the closing of secret prisons that violated both our Constitution and the sensibilities of the world and declared an end to U.S.-sanctioned torture.

3. Reaching out to Iran with diplomacy rather than belligerence.

A remarkable and generally non-credited achievement is the positive impact of President Obama reaching out to Iran with diplomacy rather than belligerence. As a result, the Iranians decided they could now quit hating the U.S. in unison and turn their attention to getting rid of the morons running their own country, leading to the remarkable protests we witnessed following their last election. They have damn near thrown their freakish rulers out and now Iranian leaders are submitting to nuclear inspections. NONE of this was possible under a blustering Bush.

4. Re-Engaging the world.
Instead of ignoring the Israel/Palestinian conflict for seven years as the Bush administration did, Obama immediately engaged the issue with significant results. U.S. Envoy George Mitchell and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, with Obama’s strong guidance and support, have dramatically eased tensions. Obama has demonstrated a sharp eye for talent on the ground. The maturity and professionalism to put a high-profile, brilliant political rival in charge of the State Department, and to have experienced envoys like Richard Holbrook crisscrossing these trouble spots, is much different than the former U.S. policy of making broad and inflammatory ideological statements and ignoring the problem.

5. Focusing attention on the real bad guys.
At the same time Obama reaches out diplomatically, the effort to get the really bad guys has been ramped up. I was in Pakistan when a drone took out Baitulah Massud, the murderous leader of the Pakistan Taliban with strong ties to Al Qaeda. Drone attacks have gone up sharply with significant results. Peace is dependent on safety and finally we are using surgical attacks rather than blunt force.

6. Joining world efforts to address environmental issues.
Obama told the world that we are no longer going to work against environmental improvements and global warming initiatives. The U.S. finally announced that carbon emissions from the world’s largest polluter are going to be reduced. Rejoining the world in this effort in a cooperative way has had enormous impact.

7. Stabilizing Pakistan.
Tripling non-military support for jobs in Pakistan to try to stabilize this nuclear-armed unstable country is the right step at a critical time.

8. Re-Evaluating Afghanistan.
Conducting and allowing the first ever open debate and discussion about the Afghan conflict with generals and numerous participants and then making a firm decision as to how to proceed is radically different than the past and very helpful to the future security of the US and the world.

9. Reducing Russian tensions.
Reaching an agreement with Russia to enlist their help on Iran by moving a worthless land based missile defense system to a highly useful mobile ship based system has radically reduced tensions with this historical enemy.

10. Changing the world with words – and actions.
His opponents like to downplay Obama’s oratorical skills. They are wrong to do so. The Cairo speech changed the world. I was in London with a room full of Muslim businessmen who held a negative view of Obama and the U.S. Following the speech, I saw their attitude change dramatically. Obama’s blunt, truthful words released the steam from the “hate the U.S. balloon” that drives so much violence. If you have not read it, please Google it and read it. Words are important, particularly when they come out of the mouth of the President of the United States. Obama’s ability to so beautifully articulate the hopes and dreams of the U.S. – and how closely they align with the desires of billions around the globe who want only good things for their families – is important.

Frankly, the list goes on and on. Imagine trying to save the meltdown of an economy that was left in his lap while simultaneously dealing with two wars, advancing health care reform, financial controls to avoid another depression, energy policy advance, and tackling the 10 items on my list … in just nine months. They should have given him two Nobel Prizes.

French President Sarkozy had it right when he said, “this award symbolizes America’s return to the hearts of the people of the world.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “President Obama embodies the new spirit of dialogue and engagement on the world’s biggest problems: climate change, nuclear disarmament and a wide range of peace and security challenges. President Obama’s commitment to work through the United Nations gives the world’s people fresh hope and fresh prospects. We at the United Nations highly applaud him and the Nobel Committee for its choice.”

The Nobel Peace Prize is frequently about efforts rather than completed accomplishments and often intended to give momentum to causes, inspiring others to courageously pursue peace.

I agree with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow whose clear voice is resonating ever stronger, “The President of the United States has received the Nobel Peace Prize. By any reasonable measure all Americans should be proud.”
(David Walters)

Labels:

22 Comments:

Blogger ichbinalj said...

I have a dream...
MLK

3:00 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
MLK

3:00 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

"Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now, therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, 'Some evil beast hath devoured him'; and we shall see what will become of his dreams." (Genesis 37:20)

3:06 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

As the nation's election returns came in Tuesday night 4 Nov 2008, it was apparent President-elect Barack Obama's message had painted much of the nation blue. Tennessee, on the other hand, went deeper red.

3:08 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

I'm OK; you're OK. (Blue states)
I'm OK; but, you're not. (Red states)
Glory be to Washington,DC
But, shame on you Tennessee.

3:09 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

When you look at the results county-by-county, it's clear that, with the exception of the state's most populous counties, Tennessee went deeper red.

All but 11 of Tennessee's 95 counties voted at a higher percentage for John McCain in '08 than they did for Pres. Bush in '04.

Scott County saw the largest Republican presidential candidate percentage growth, with about 13.6 percent more of the voters casting a ballot for McCain than did for Bush.

Eleven of the state's counties voted less for Sen. John McCain in 2008 than they did for Pres. George W. Bush in 2004.

Knox County is on that list.

Shelby County, Davidson County, Montgomery County, Rutherford County, Madison County, Williamson County, Haywood County, Hamilton County, Johnson County, and Knox County all saw McCain's share shrink by more than one percent.

3:15 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell said:

Journalists, usually known for their cynicism, were not ashamed to admit that when The DREAM became a reality, they broke down and cried.

I was one of them. I know. It shouldn't have happened. But before I could stop the tears, I was bawling.

Unlike a lot of people who have been interviewed about their own outpouring of emotion, I can't blame my tears on the explosion of pent-up frustration over institutional racism.

3:23 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

I understand why people, like Oprah Winfrey, the Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. and retired Gen. Colin Powell, who choked up during an interview, were moved to tears because they never thought they would see a Black man move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

I cried because The DREAM had been unfilled for so long, it no longer seemed to matter.

3:25 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

There's the possibility that despite his best intentions, Barack Obama is bound to disappoint some voters, since no man can be all things to all people.

African Americans, especially, could end up feeling left out since, while the economy is a mess, the quality of life in many urban areas is similar to that of a Third World country.

Unless Obama's victory can inspire more young Black men to stay in school, get a higher education before marrying, and marry before having children, what can change?

But I have allowed myself to hope along with millions of Americans.

3:28 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

The Obama family will be the face of leadership of the most powerful country in the world. For too long, Black families have been disparaged as being dysfunctional and the root of America's problems.

But Obama and his wife, Michelle, have presented an image that speaks to the strengths, rather than the weaknesses, of Black families.

3:30 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

We Cannot Wait to Inaugurate.
Jan 20 is too far away. The US economy is gooing south and Obama is powerless to take decisive action. He should have been at the G20 meeting instead of the Lame-Duck president who was only there for a photo-op.
Move up the Inauguration to Dec 1st.

6:16 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

NBC News offers a retrospective of the historic 2008 race for the White House.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27548114#27548114

5:10 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

A stranger was seated next to a little Black girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, “Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”
The little girl, who had just opened her coloring book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, “What would you like to talk about?”
“Oh, I don't know,” said the stranger. “Since you are a Negro, do you think that So-called President Elect Barak Obama is qualified for the job?” and he smiles.
“OK”, she said. 'That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff -- grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?”
The stranger, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.”
To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss President Barak Obama... when you don't know sh_t?”

11:14 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Federal prosecutors in West Tennessee say two men charged with threatening President-elect Barack Obama are wasting time with claims they were improperly indicted. The two contend they were indicted by a federal grand jury with too few white people on it and that the charges should be dropped. In a filing on 5 Jan 2009, prosecutors said the men have no legal grounds for their claim and that holding a hearing on their arguments would be a waste of time.

1:16 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Finally solved is the big mystery around who trumped the Obama’s in taking up residence in Blair House. Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard will be in DC to accept from Bush the Presidential Medal of Freedom – ironic given that Howard, roundly defeated in his home turf election, refused, for years, to apologize to the Aboriginal people for the Australian government’s practice of forcibly taking children from their families in an effort to “breed out the color.”

So, the President-elect of the United States of America was told “Sorry, no room,” at the residence traditionally occupied by the President-elect before the Inauguration. Further, he and his family were given the boot for a guy who tacitly approved of his home country’s racist policies. A Medal of Freedom. Seriously?

1:23 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Former President Jimmy Carter was one of the most brilliant presidents we've ever had. Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill wrote that Jimmy Carter was the "smartest public official" he'd ever known. Yet he was portrayed as a Southern bumpkin, and he battled other ugly prejudices. Some Northern Democrats simply could never stomach an openly religious Southern Baptist in the White House. Carter talked like Lyndon Johnson, prayed like Billy Graham, and farmed peanuts in the heart of the old Confederacy. These regional bigotries also colored much of the news reporting. Carter was maligned for events and forces over which a president has little control: inflation fueled by soaring oil prices stoked by the Arabs and OPEC.
Obama take note: American politics is as much about bigotries as it is about issues.
The worst thing about Carter is that he was politically tone deaf. But even that's not true: He simply prized doing what was right over what was popular.

1:51 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

A military judge at Guantanamo today rejected a White House request to suspend a hearing for the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, creating an unexpected challenge for the administration as it reviews how America puts suspected terrorists on trial.

The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, said his decision was difficult but necessary to protect "the public interest in a speedy trial." The ruling came in the case against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The bombing of the Navy destroyer in 2000 in the harbor of Aden, Yemen, killed 17 U.S. sailors.

It seemed to take the Pentagon and White House completely by surprise.

"We just learned of the ruling ... and we are consulting with the Pentagon and the Department of Justice to explore our options in the case," said White Press secretary Robert Gibbs, adding that he doubted the decision would hamper the administration's ability to decide how to move forward from Guantanamo.
(AP) 1/29/2009

1:00 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

"British prime minister Gordon Brown thought long and hard about what gift to bring on his visit to the White House last week. Barack Obama is the first African-American president, so the prime minister gave him an ornamental desk-pen holder hewn from the timbers of one of the Royal Navy's anti-slaving ships of the 19th century, HMS Gannet. Even more appropriate, in 1909 the Gannet was renamed HMS President. The president's guest also presented him with the framed commission for HMS Resolute, the lost British ship retrieved from the Arctic and returned by America to London, and whose timbers were used for a thank-you gift Queen Victoria sent to Rutherford Hayes: the handsome desk that now sits in the Oval Office.And, just to round things out, as a little stocking stuffer, Gordon Brown gave President Obama a first edition of Sir Martin Gilbert's seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill. In return, America's head of state gave the prime minister 25 DVDs of 'classic American movies.' Evidently, the White House gift shop was all out of 'MY GOVERNMENT DELEGATION WENT TO WASHINGTON AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT' T-shirts. Still, the 'classic American movies' set is a pretty good substitute, and it can set you back as much as $38.99 at Wal-Mart."

4:11 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Concerning prison statistics! A new report from the Pew Center on the States paints a predictably un-rosy picture of our national corrections systems. (Incidentally, don't we need to start putting "corrections" in quotes? Really—who or what is being "corrected"?) According to the report, one in 32 adults in Hawaii is "under correctional control," meaning they're either incarcerated or on probation or parole. That's actually slightly lower than the nationwide figure of one in 31, and significantly lower than Texas, where one in 22 adults is in the process of being "corrected." The Hawaii numbers aren't broken down by race, but it's a documented fact that Native Hawaiians are disproportionately thrown behind bars.
Speaking of racially skewed statistics, here's the most disturbing part of the Pew Center's findings, and an excellent way to refute the claims of anyone who believes the election of Barack Obama ended racism in America: one in 9 Black males age 18-34 is in prison in the United States. Pause for a moment to let that sink in.

9:07 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Former NY Governor Elliot Spitzer looked at AIG's financial practices as attorney general, an inquiry that led to the resignation of Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, the insurance giant's longtime chairman, in 2005. iReport.com: Sound off on AIG

Spitzer commended Obama for the way the he has handled the economic crisis, comparing the situation to putting out 500 fires.


It is a difficult task to institute good policies that will bring back the economy while keeping support of the nation's citizens, Spitzer said. (3/19/09)

4:19 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

(April 7, 2009) Americans have grown more optimistic about the economy and the direction of the country in the 11 weeks since President Obama was inaugurated, suggesting that he is enjoying some success in his critical task of rebuilding the nation’s confidence, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

These sometimes turbulent weeks — marked by new initiatives by Mr. Obama, attacks by Republicans and more than a few missteps by the White House — do not appear to have hurt the president. Americans said they approved of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, foreign policy, Iraq and Afghanistan; fully two-thirds said they approved of his overall job performance.

By contrast, just 31 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest in the 25 years the question has been asked in New York Times/CBS News polls.

2:53 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

U.S. Representative from Harlem, Charles Rangel. When asked what President Obama should do on his trip to New York, Rangel said he shouldn't visit Harlem unidentified.

Louis: It's never 'black cop shoots a white cop'
City remains calm after cop shooting.
White officer kills black cop after mistaking him for criminal
Congressman Charles Rangel, in a snide aside Saturday, suggested even President Obama was at risk on the streets after a black cop was slain by a white colleague.

The veteran Democratic politician was asked what advice he would offer Obama for the president's Saturday night visit to the city.

"Make certain he doesn't run around in East Harlem unidentified," Rangel shot back while leaving a public appearance.

Rangel's crack came as protesters marched in the streets and after Mayor Bloomberg and police union head Pat Lynch paid condolence calls to the family of Omar Edwards at their Brooklyn home.
"Rep. Charles Rangel, in wake of cop shooting, suggests even President Obama not safe in Harlem"

12:56 PM  

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