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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Kind of like voting...

Kind of like voting...

The election season is nearly over. The only thing that remains is the most important right and privilege of all Americans. While waiting in line today at the polls look at the faces of people who just voted. In its purist form, minus the millions of $ spent, minus the negative attacks punched and counter-punched, voting is truly a beautiful thing.

The past couple of weeks have solidified this notion in seeing hundreds of early voters in Alaska lined up for hours in 10-20 degree weather. Like die-hard steelhead fishermen standing mid-river pelted by storms, voters come out for the hopes of something worth all of the effort.

The powerful winds for the last eight long years has America straining to hold up an overhanging, top-heavy cornice.

There are two distinct choices in this election. One choice would continue to blow the wind upward and take away from the foundation. The other will provide a constant force that encompasses the whole mountain. This choice will thoughtfully look ahead and protect the valley below from catastrophe.

The beauty in voting lies in the fact that as an individual and as Americans, we can always strive to do better not just for ourselves but for our future generations.

“We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world – or to make it the last.” – John F. Kennedy

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Photo courtesy of the NY Times

Photo: NY Times

Thursday night on Letterman, John McCain made his belated appearance. During the first few minutes, there was a sense of nervous decency between the two. Dave seemed to have a hold on his understandable rage towards McCain for the senator’s bold faced lie to Letterman. His last scheduled appearance was suddenly canceled via phone by McCain just 1.5 hours before showtime. His reason is now well known in that he had to bail back to Warshington to lead his constituents in fixing the economic crisis. The problem is that McCain did not leave that day. He met with Katie Couric. He stayed the night in NYC.

When asked by Dave about this slight, McCain answered, “I screwed up.” 

Truer words could not be said.

So here are my ‘Top 10 Reasons Why David Letterman is Our Hero’:

10.  Dave let McCain return to the Late Show after lying to his face.

9.  Dave listened to McCain lie to his face again when McCain gave excuses about Obama’s alleged supporters shouting alleged hateful remarks towards McCain.

8. Unlike others in the mainstream media, Dave asked questions on our minds and did not let up.

7.  Dave went pitbull on McCain about Sarah Palin and did not release his jaws even when McCain started squirming in his chair. When Dave asked if Palin was his first choice to possibly lead the country for the next 4 or 8 years or through the next 9-11 attack it was so clear during McCain’s response (‘absssolutely’) that he was lying.

6. Dave asked McCain if he thought it was ok for Palin to say ‘Obama pals around with domestic terrorists’. McCain said, ‘Well he does’. Hmmm…

5. Dave answered by saying, ‘well Obama was 8 and Ayers was 28. So I’ll give her that one’. But she keeps saying terrorist(s) plural.’

4. McCain had no answer for ‘that one’.

3. The tension at this point during the grilling was so uncomfortably wonderful.

2. Dave then asked, ‘Isn’t it true that you are friends with G. Gordon Liddy and that you attended a fundraiser in his house?’

1. Oh snap Dave. At this point I was seated up in bed, wide-eyed with mouth open. They cut to commercial. When the show returned, the camera did not show the stage. Disorder. Cut to another commercial. Hmm, something was going on. Did the McCain volcano explode? Only the audience knows…

Ok I admit, the list is not really a top ten list per se but an observation of a REAL interview under the veil of late night comedy. Letterman was masterful. The crescendo of the discourse successively drowned out McCain’s usual repetitive rhetoric. Peeling away the thicker layers of McCain’s onion, Letterman revealed the delicate truth. The audience was treated to the real John McCain with his real-time lies and his lack of depth in regards to his VP pick.

The 15 minutes of McCain v Letterman was a classic bout of two heavyweights. Dave came out unscathed with McCain badly beaten and crawling to his corner. Nothing could save McCain this night. Nothing can save McCain in this election.

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America’s current state of healthcare is beyond the need of a bailout. Healthcare is a right and not a selective, top-down responsibility of government. As a 4 year volunteer at my local community health center I have been witness to an exponential influx of uninsured and working poor families who cannot afford skyrocketing healthcare costs.

 

In last Tuesday night’s debate, Senator John McCain mentioned community health centers as one solution to America’s healthcare issue and a $5,000 tax rebate for people who can find (afford) insurance. The problem with McCain’s ‘plan’ is that it does nothing to address the current state of healthcare in which insurance and pharmaceutical companies and their respective lobbyists wield unprecedented power. In Alaska, one insurance company has an over 80% market share and enjoys a relative monopoly for setting costs. As a result, healthcare costs in Alaska are the highest in the nation. As a double whammy, no physicians other than our clinic in Anchorage are taking on new Medicare patients. None.

 

The sad reality is that Alaska is bulging with oil tax revenue from record oil prices. In fact, Governor Palin and the state just gave every Alaskan a $1,200 Energy Rebate along with the yearly Permanent Fund Dividend of $2000.

 

Sarah Palin on Healthcare: ADN October, 9th, 2008:

 

…“Palin, however, ignored the council’s recommendation to extend state health insurance to more children and pregnant women in poor and middle class families. She spurned that idea even though the federal government pays more than half the cost. In Alaska, only children in families earning 175 percent of the federal poverty level, or less, are eligible. For a family of three, that’s a maximum of $38,500. Most states offer such insurance to families with earnings at 200 percent, or double the federal poverty level — $44,000 for the family of three.

 

If Palin had supported the move, legislators pushing to cover more Alaska children might have succeeded. But Palin was simply absent from that discussion in this year’s Legislature. Palin also did not take a stand on ambitious legislation that would have improved health care coverage — a bill to ensure that all residents have health insurance, without disrupting the coverage that many Alaskans already have. Supporters of the bill knew it wouldn’t pass, but they would have appreciated some support from Gov. Palin.”

 

http://www.adn.com/opinion/story/549081.html

 

In a time when Alaska is enjoying a record budget surplus, the satellite community health center located in the poorest neighborhood in Anchorage was forced to close due to a lack of funding. The now lone community health center which serves over 12,000 patients in Anchorage is overcrowded, underfunded and overworked. As a volunteer in the type 2 diabetes department (consisting of a staff of 2 including myself), we serve over 1,200 type 2 diabetics.

 

Health clinic for poor, uninsured to close Published: January 23rd, 2008

 

http://www.adn.com/anchorage/story/291684.html

 

Many conservatives mention the term ‘socialized’ when mentioning Obama’s healthcare plan. McCain is a product of ‘socialized’ medicine. The son of a military admiral, McCain also served in the military enjoying government provided healthcare.

 

One of the main complaints some conservatives repeat ad nauseam is that government programs promote a hand-out society. In my opinion this backward mentality is one reason why we are in such a desperate state. George W. Bush’s tax cuts for corporations, insurance companies and the wealthy have reversed the progress and budget surplus enjoyed during Clinton’s presidency. John McCain’s tax plan not only mirrors Bush’s plan but further reduces taxes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations. The free market mentality of health insurance and medicine embraced by Bush and McCain have opened the doors for insurance and pharmaceutical companies to lobby and monopolize a ridiculously lucrative business which is bankrupting hardworking American families and small businesses.

 

The McCain Healthcare Plan: Designed to Fail

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/7/231021/923/1007/623449 

 

The patients of our community health center represent the failure of our society and of our leaders. The close to 50 million uninsured Americans are not looking for hand-outs. The millions of American children without health insurance and proper healthcare represent just how severe the situation is. There is no excuse for this blatant neglect. There is no reason to justify this abuse of America’s future. 

 

The patience and savings of Americans have dried up under a failed healthcare system. A John McCain/Sarah Palin leadership would further worsen the American healthcare crisis beyond the unimaginable mess of the Bush era. Couple this with the current global economic crisis and Americans cannot even tread water let alone afford the status quo.

 

‘Alaska Medicare patients rejected by doctors’ Oct. 21, 2008

http://www.adn.com/life/health/story/562445.html

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The presidential campaign to this point has been a long, tough battle between two major parties. With less than 60 days left to tack on more bruises and fractures from both sides of the aisle let’s take a step back. Take a much needed deep breath.

The media’s obsession on vetting an unknown VP candidate is spreading into an all out blizzard. The world has zeroed in on a tiny strip mall town in Alaska. The blogosphere has turned its voracious appetite on the tasty bits that are immediately spread to the masses. The beauty of such real time tracking is its speed and breadth. The danger is when an unsubstantiated allegation goes viral and tarnishes a target unfairly. It is important to view both sides of an issue with as open a mind as possible. This is easier said than done.

Imagine yourself as a candidate or of a family member and one begins to see things differently. Sure, you can say that they are fair game because of their choice to run for such a high stakes office. But every person deserves a fair examination. One might argue that the unknown GOP VP pick is making it impossible to get to know her. Other than a couple of short public appearances and one major speech viewed by over 40 million or so Americans, most non-Alaskans know nothing about her.

In many people’s view, a person, particularly a public servant, is defined by their past, by their friends, by their family and by their actions. Please read the links below with an open mind, a grain of salt and decide for yourself:

Past:

A Letter About Sarah Palin from Anne Kilkenny…

http://community.adn.com/adn/node/130537

Palin pressured Wasilla librarian…

http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/515512.html

Troopergate…

Todd Palin subpoenaed in firing probe

http://www.newsweek.com/id/158140

http://www.adn.com/monegan/story/517072.html

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/516746.html

http://www.adn.com/troopergate/story/515508.html

Former political ally: Lyda Green

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2008/09/15/080915ta_talk_lizza

Good friend: Bob Lester

http://www.adn.com/opinion/comment/story/295464.html

Family:

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/512560.html

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/516787.html

http://frontiersman.com/articles/2005/12/06/news/news2.txt

Policy:

As Wasilla Mayor…

Palin got zoning aid, gifts in Wasilla

Sarah Palin’s record on environment is abysmal…

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/377955_palinenvir07.html

http://firedoglake.com/2008/08/29/sarah-palin-maverick-for-mining-interests/

https://tspey.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/down-but-not-out/

https://tspey.wordpress.com/2008/08/25/troubling-news/

Experience…. or lack thereof…

http://thebruceblog.wordpress.com/2008/09/06/video-jon-stewart-nails-palin-with-rove-and-oreilly-talking-points-hysterical/

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In terms of maps of the U.S., Alaska has long been neglected. Each morning on tv, the national weather maps represent our massive state as a shrunken-head version of itself tucked off in the left corner next to Hawaii… that is until today. 

McCain’s announcement in his choice of Vice President of the United States is… Sarah Palin? I thought last Tuesday’s statewide election results were a nightmare in which Palin played a starring role. Palin publicly stated her ‘personal opinion’ on how she would vote against the Clean Water Initiative six days before the vote of her people at a televised news conference. The CWI would have placed important clean water and salmon protections in place for the proposed Pebble Mine.

The Pebble Mine is THE mother of all open pit nightmares that is planned by British mining giant Anglo American and it’s junior Canadian partner Northern Dynasty Minerals. At stake is the world’s largest sockeye (red) salmon fishery in the world as the backers of Pebble plan on digging right at the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak river systems which are home to the most prolific runs of salmon worldwide.    

Add that to the continuing investigation to her alleged abuse of power in regards to the firing of her Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan over a family-related  issue regarding her sister and her ex-husband state trooper. Recorded phone messages from Monegan revealed Palin’s and her administration’s fabrications that no phone calls were ever made pressuring the highly respected life-long cop Monegan to fire said trooper. Monegan refused to comply and was promptly dismissed.

Palin was elected on a platform of a clear and transparent government. A bold new symbol of change against an Alaska tarnished by corruption and greed… sound familiar? Sadly, in just two short years her promises have fallen sickeningly short and mirrors that of former governor Frank Murkowski’s embarassing tenure.

Shame has befallen this once great state. I have heard it from conservatives and liberals alike. We have been stunned into submission. Corruption is now a household term we eat daily for breakfast and go to bed with each and every night. We are a state with so much potential but so few leaders. Now America has been introduced to Alaska’s Sarah Palin. Is America this desperate?

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