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As you can see, I haven’t hauled my patootie over here in quite some time, so I must REALLY feel strongly about posting the Treehuggers International 2010 Voting Guide, if I’m willing to wrack my brain to remember my password to get into my WordPress account.  Yup, I’m just about THAT lazy.

Tommy Hough (of Treehuggers International, FM94.9, and my favorite radio show “Brunch with Bob and Friends“) does the thoughtful research and thinking I should do all the time, and someone whose opinion I pretty much trust without a doubt, based on what I’ve known of him over the past years.  His essays on many of the races and propositions cut to the chase and lay truth out there for all to see, in no uncertain terms. This is one of the things I like best about Tommy, on air and in his writing–his ability to speak to you on just about anything, with a depth of understanding on countless subjects, without making you feel like he comes from a place of higher understanding than you do. He’ll impart his wisdom upon you, leave you with some great key phrases to help make the point, and have you moving right along to share your newfound knowledge with anyone and everyone, whether they want to listen or not. (Pretty much how I operate anyway.)

I urge you to not only take the time to read the voting guide and the essays (snippets below), but to spread the word about them via any social media you can, and the good old-fashioned way: Person to person. Thanks, Tommy!


Regarding Meg Whitman and the race for governor

“We’ve had several moderate friends and colleagues wonder aloud the last few weeks, if someone spends their own money like this, how do you expect them to spend your money? Note to CEOs with money to burn: getting rich doesn’t make you a genius, and you don’t run government like a business because, sheesh, do we have to spell it out? Government is not a business.”

Regarding U.S. Representative, 49th District, Darrell Issa

“Never mind his investigations would center around a lot of Whitewater-style nonsense, it’s designed to tie up members of the Obama administration with lawyers and investigations over their heads, and keep them from focusing on their jobs. Issa has admitted on media outlets from Real Time With Bill Maher to Fox News he is relishing the moment he gets to stick his investigative powers into a White House which has already demonstrated a willing transparency and openness which would have shut off Dick Cheney’s pacemaker. Don’t like the sound of this? Then vote for Howard Katz in the 49th.”

Regarding Prop. 19 (legalizing marijuana)

“Want to get the jump on hemp, which could be a banner renewable industry for California? Make marijuana legal and use hemp for the same purpose it was used for in the U.S. for centuries: clothes and rope. Want to take the thrill out of smoking marijuana? Make pot legal and tax the heck out of it.

For those of you who believe marijuana is a gateway drug, guess again. Alcohol is and always has been the ultimate gateway drug, ruining lives daily as it continues to be blissfully legal. At its worst, pot renders its users hungry, playing video games, and listening to Incubus.”

Regarding Prop. 25 (replace the two-thirds majority to pass state budgets with a simple 51% majority)

“The budget process in California is contentious enough without the two-thirds majority requirement. Prop. 25 would scrap it, enabling a 51% majority to pass a budget or enable a majority, and would also force lawmakers to forfeit pay for every day they fail to produce a budget after June 15th. At first we thought the last bit of the proposition was petty, but then we learned business groups and corporations are financing the opposition to Prop. 25, and apparently they feel they have the most to lose. Yes on Prop. 25.”

Dear GLBTQ community,

Please know that not everyone in California thinks the way those who voted Yes on Prop 8 do. Please know that the illogical decision handed down by the Supreme Court of California WILL be challenged. Please know that you have countless straight allies, such as myself, out there who are ready, willing, and able to continue to fight with you to gain equality in every aspect of the law.  Please know that you ARE valued individuals (not second class citizens), that who you love should NOT matter, and the fact that you continue to stand firm in your love in the face of this ignorance is still truly amazing to me.  Don’t be discouraged for too long,  don’t look at every person and wonder how they voted, don’t think that things will never change, and don’t give up hope.  Everything is just going to take a bit longer than anticipated or hoped for, but change WILL come and I look forward to being right there with you when it does.

Much love and admiration,

Laura Read the rest of this entry »

Considering some of the extremely ridiculous and far-fetched things that have been asserted by McCain and Palin during this campaign, it wouldn’t have been that surprising if McCain had decided that Obama was to blame for the “redistribution of daylight” with DST going into effect on Sunday.  However, due credit for that hilarious line must be given to Seth Meyers from tonight’s Saturday Night Live Weekend Update.  Was everyone else as shocked as I was that the entire show (well, at least 90% of it!) was actually, really, really good tonight?!  A lot of the credit has to go to Ben Affleck who really stretched himself and became each character he inhabited. (What a hoot he was in the German coat and Target sketches!) 

And being the HUGE  fan of MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” that I am, I was loving the ‘hilarious for the most part’ take-off on Keith and the show.  Keith had mentioned on his Friday Countdown show that he had been invited over to the SNL studio to see Ben rehearse the skit, but Keith wasn’t sure if it would make the cut since skits are really up in the air until practically air time.  Thankfully the skit DID make it, and Ben did a fantastic job, especially with the expressions Keith is famous for, although the voice could have used some work.  It really showed that those who put that skit together are fans of Keith’s show because they had the camera angles down pat, as well as the staging.  Only thing that could have made it even more perfect was if the camera was in a lot closer on Ben as it always is on Keith.  Very funny stuff, VERY funny.  I’ll try to dig up a video of the skit.  It will be interesting to see what my boy Keith has to say about it on Monday’s Countdown.

**ADDED: Look what NBC finally posted!  Woo-hoo!  This one gets better each time I watch it.***

But for now I’ve got the two John McCain appearances for you.  First up is the opening skit with the always dead-on Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, and John McCain, as, um, John McCain. (What casting! ;))  I have to say that the skit WAS pretty darn funny, especially when Sarah/Tina went all “rogue” and hawked her “Palin 2012” t-shirts–of course, asking potential buyers to please wait until November 5th to wear them.  Cindy McCain could definitely fulfill a Vanna White-type role if she’s ever hard up for money. (Like THAT will ever happen. ;)) 

The second video is when McCain was on Weekend Update (you could hear some boos from the audience),listing the various forms of “Maverickiness” he could enlist.  Have to say I thought the “Sad Grandpa” one was the funniest.  All in all, John McCain’s SNL gig was MUCH more enjoyable than his “Maverick” counterpart’s was.  Enjoy the videos!

So the Yes on Prop 8 folks are at it again–lying, and distorting the truth to meet their low standards!  Guess that’s what a campaign resorts to when they know their issue is flawed, discriminatory, and based on nothing but hate.  This time they targeted African-Americans attempting to have them believe that Barack Obama supports California’s Proposition 8, which he and Joe Biden most definitely do not.  I’ll include the NO on Prop 8 press release with the portion of the statement from the Obama/Biden campaign in blue.  Magic Johnson also says NO on Prop 8 and has recorded a phone message for California voters.  I’ll post the text of the message at the end of this blog.  But first, here’s the newest video from the NO on Prop 8 campaign titled “Divisive”, with words from Barack Obama, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Teachers Union, leading California newspapers, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.  (Thankfully he’s right on this issue, but SOOOO wrong on backing McSame/Failin’…sigh.)

No on 8 Reveals New Ad Showing Obama, Schwarzenegger, Feinstein Joining Together Calling for Defeat of Unfair Initiative
Ad Answers Proposition 8’s Dishonest Flyer Targeting African-American Voters

SACRAMENTO – Hours after the Proposition 8 campaign admitted it had mailed a flyer to African-American voters that lies about Sen. Barack Obama’s position on the initiative, the NO on 8 Campaign launched a statewide television ad reminding voters that Sen. Obama, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, as well as the state’s leading newspapers, have all called for the defeat of Proposition 8.

Using the words each of these leaders has used to describe the unfair initiative, the new ad makes clear that Sen. Obama has called Prop 8 “divisive and discriminatory,” that Gov. Schwarzenegger has said “it should never happen,” and Sen. Feinstein closes by telling voters: “No matter how you feel about marriage, vote against discrimination, and Vote NO on 8.”

No on Prop 8 Campaign Slams Dishonest Mailer Targeting African-American Voters
Mailer Misrepresents Sen. Obama Who is Opposed to Proposition 8; Misleading African-American Voters is Clearly the Goal of Deceptive Prop 8 Campaign

SACRAMENTO – The NO on Prop 8 campaign today condemned an official Proposition 8 mailer clearly targeted to African-American voters that completely misrepresents and lies about Sen. Barack Obama’s position on Proposition 8. In fact, the Obama campaign felt compelled to release a new statement tonight making it absolutely clear that he and Joe Biden oppose Prop 8 in the strongest terms.

The mailer, from the Proposition 8 campaign, twists Sen. Obama’s comments about marriage to suggest support for the unfair initiative — when just the opposite is true. In a June 29 letter to the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, Sen. Obama wrote that he opposes the “divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution.”

The mailer drew a strong reaction from San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

“It is despicable that the Yes on 8 campaign would send out a last minute mailer to the African American community in a clear attempt to mislead voters about Senator Barack Obama’s position on Proposition 8,” said District Attorney Harris. “The leadership of this campaign should issue an immediate retraction and apology for this transparent attempt to deceive the public.”

The Obama letter reads in part:

“As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law…And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states. For too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It’s time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. This is no less than a core issue about who we are as Democrats and as Americans.”

Tonight, in response to the mailer, the Obama campaign released the following statement:

“Senators Obama and Biden have made clear their commitment to fighting for equal rights for all Americans whether it’s by granting LGBT Americans all the civil rights and benefits available to heterosexual couples, or repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said a statement issued by campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt. “Senator Obama has already announced that the Obama-Biden ticket opposes Proposition 8 and similar discriminatory constitutional amendments that could roll back the civil rights he and Senator Biden strongly believe should be afforded to all Americans.”

SACRAMENTO – Magic Johnson, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame after winning five NBA championships as a Los Angeles Laker, and three Most Valuable Player awards, has lent his voice to the chorus of those calling Proposition 8 wrong and unfair.

In a recorded telephone call to California voters, Johnson says:

“This is Magic Johnson calling to ask you to join me and Barack Obama in opposing Proposition 8.

“Prop 8 singles out one group of Californians to be treated differently – including members of our family, our friends, and our coworkers.

“That is not what California is about. So this Tuesday, vote no on Proposition 8. It is unfair and wrong. Thanks.”

The telephone message from Magic Johnson will reach millions of California voters in the final days, urging voters to reject this discriminatory and unfair initiative.

For more information on NO on Prop 8 please visit www.noonprop8.com.

NO on Prop 8 needs ‘on-the-ground’ volunteers for Election Day visibility and talking with folks before they vote.  You can get your training this weekend (as I will be! :)), then do your part on Election Day.  For those of you who don’t live in California, but desperately wish you could help to defeat this hateful and discriminatory proposition, you CAN help by making phone calls to inform registered California voters on the facts.  Click here for more information on volunteer opportunities on both fronts

And it goes without saying that any financial help would be greatly appreciated.  I know times are tough (boy, do I know), but if there’s any amount you can spare it would be put to good use.  The Yes on Prop 8 campaign has had massive amounts of (mostly out-of-state)money come in over the past few days, so the NO on Prop 8 campaign is really struggling to keep up the airing of their television ads which bring the truth about this proposition to light and repudiate the barrage of lies the Yes on Prop 8 ads put forth.  PLEASE help out financially, if you can, or at least on the volunteer front.  Thanks!

The NO on Prop 8 Campaign has put together some great informational television ads, and has the endorsement of logical and forward-thinking groups, businesses, and individuals from all walks of life, but is now in DIRE NEED OF MONEY in order to push back against the massive influx of finances from those who are supporting discrimination: the backers of Prop 8, led in large numbers by Mormons. Please donate as much as you can afford (and as quickly as you can) to help make a bold and powerful statement on November 4th that California will NOT go back in time and tolerate discrimination of ANY of her citizens.  Thank you! (ADDED: Shout-out to my friend Jeanne who read this blog, then donated to the NO on Prop 8 campaign–and she doesn’t even live in California!  WTG, my friend, wtg! :))

Here is my previous posting on Prop 8, and the following is the latest from the NO on Prop 8 web site

New No on Prop 8 Ad Calls Upon Californians to Reject Discrimination
Ad is Narrated by Samuel Jackson

SACRAMENTO – The NO on Prop 8 campaign today announced a dramatic new television ad, narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson. The ad calls upon Californians to reject discrimination, and Vote NO on Prop 8.

The full text of the ad follows:

“It wasn’t that long ago that discrimination was legal in California.

“Japanese Americans were confined in internment camps.

“Armenians couldn’t buy a house in the Central Valley.

“Latinos and African Americans were told who they could and could not marry.

“It was a sorry time in our history.

“Today the sponsors of Prop 8 want to eliminate fundamental rights.

“We have an obligation to pass along to our children a more tolerant, more decent society.

“Vote No on Prop 8 it’s unfair and it’s wrong.”

The ad places Prop 8 in its appropriate historical context as a measure that would discriminate against certain Californians and treat people differently under the law.

“We believe it is important in the final days of an unfair initiative attacking individual rights, to remind voters that there have been other times in our history when we stood at this threshold of fairness,” said Patrick Guerriero, NO on 8 Campaign Director. “We know that most California voters do not want to wake up Wednesday morning to learn that we’ve taken a step back to a darker time. That’s why we believe on Tuesday, voters will resoundingly reject Prop 8.”

“Proposition 8 would take away fundamental individual rights, and I believe the historical analogies presented by the NO on Prop 8 campaign are completely appropriate,” said Congressman Mike Honda (D-Campbell). “I am opposed to Prop 8, and I hope my fellow Californians will reject it.”

“California used to ban people of different races from getting married under the law. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now,” said Fabian Nuñez, Former Speaker of the California Assembly. “Proposition 8 is a lot like that unfair ban on interracial marriage. And even though people may feel differently about marriage, everyone ought to agree unequal treatment under the law is a bad thing.”

“Proposition 8 eliminates equal rights for one segment of the population while continuing to grant that right to others,” said Maria Armoudian, an Armenian-American radio personality on KPFK in Los Angeles. “We Armenians have had to endure a century of discrimination. Let us now stand together calling for an end to discrimination for all people. Vote NO on Prop 8.”

Using historical footage, the ad reminds voters of three particularly bleak periods in state history:

— Japanese American Internment: Authorized by President Roosevelt in 1942, the Army ordered all people of Japanese descent, whether citizens or non-citizens, living in CA to be interned in permanent “relocation centers.” Those centers remained operational until the end of the war. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, who was California Attorney General at that time, later wrote that the internment was “not in keeping with our American concepts of freedoms and rights of citizens.”

— California’s Ban on Interracial Marriage: In 1948, California became the first state in the nation to wipe away a state law banning interracial marriages. In the 1967 case of Loving vs. Virginia dealing with the remaining state bans, the United State Supreme Court ruled that: [T]he freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

— Racially Restrictive Covenants: These covenants were widely enforced in the early 20th century to discriminate against African Americans, Jews and other ethnic groups by prohibiting the lease or sale of property. The covenants were widely used in the Central Valley against Armenians. They were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948.

In 2007, on the 40th anniversary of the Loving vs. Virginia decision, Mildred Loving wrote: “I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving and loving, are all about.”

Okay, so maybe real relief, and the ability to feel the possibility of change and happiness won’t truly arrive until Barack Obama has been declared the winner of that glorious process we have in America called voting, this Tuesday, November 4th.  But darn if it didn’t feel great to experience the teenie-tiniest bit of a smile creeping onto my face while watching Barack’s thirty-minute ad which aired in prime time at 8PM this evening (full video posted below).  I knew this election and all the hate, fear tactics, and outright lies that have been drudged up and thrown about were really starting to get to me, but I honestly didn’t realize just how much until I felt the tingling of a strange sensation occur during the mega-ad and realized it was one I had not really experienced for far too long: the feeling of hope. 

Hope.  Hope that things can change.  Hope that maybe this cloud of increasing stress and strain might be lifted from over most Americans.  Hope that someone (a politician, no less! ;)) was really looking out for us.  Hope that Americans would not fall prey to the same old Republican, Rovian tactics, and that they would see right through them and right into what Barack Obama is offering us.   Hope that someone IS on our side, that someone IS going to move us in the right direction, and hope that THIS TIME (unlike the last two presidential elections)my fellow Americans will put that incredible gift of the democratic process to good use and place their vote for someone who WILL do right by us: Barack Obama.

I’m far from naive about the always-simmering racial tensions that sadly exist in our country, but to see the pot stirred so intensively by the McCain/Palin campaign (and ultimately by some of their wingnut followers) in a constant and unbelievably overt fashion as well as via hidden/code meanings and words, with no concern or acknowledgment on their part of the immediate and long-term ramifications such hate brings about, has just saddened and dismayed me beyond belief and quite often had me embarrassed as a white person.  “Country first”, McCain?  Really?  Hardly, I’d say.  Certainly not MY country that you’re “putting first”, and that’s too bad because contrary to the desires of many of your believers, this country is filled with people from ALL political, religious, economic, and ethnic perspectives out there, and bringing them TOGETHER is what MY country and MY beliefs are about, not dividing the country and instilling unease of anyone who might not look just like you, practice the same religion you do, or believe the same political agenda you do.

Come on, America, now is the time for you to not become complacent and assume “others” will do the job for you.  You MUST get your fannies out to the voting booth on Tuesday (click here to find your polling place), or better yet VOTE EARLY if it’s available in your area.  Let’s elect a president and vice-president that will help us return to a government and a country we can ALL be proud of.

Obama for America web site

Barack Obama’s 30 minute ad: American Stories, American Solutions

The Yes on 8 campaign (California) has constantly been airing despicable television ads full of lies (click here to find out the truth about Prop 8), but to now find out that they have used images of children whose parents have NOT given their permission for their use in the Yes on 8 ad, shows just how disgusting the depths Yes on 8 will go to get their hateful proposition passed.  I have worked in the California school system and know full well the privacy issues involved with allowing the image of ANY child to be published without a parent’s consent.  Putting even that aside, common sense would dictate that anyone the least bit interested in children and families, as the Yes on 8 folks “claim” they are in their ads, would realize that you do NOT place a child’s image in the public eye WITHOUT consent! It will be interesting to see how this plays out and what legal action, if any, the parents can/will take.  I will let the following press release and video tell you the details. 

Outraged Parents of Children Featured in Latest Prop 8 TV Ad Demand that Commercial be Taken off the Air Immediately

Latest Campaign Gimmick Termed Exploitative and Shameless by Parents 

SACRAMENTO – The parents of the two children most prominently featured in the latest multi-million dollar Prop 8 political spot today termed those ads “distasteful and exploitative” and demanded that the ads be taken off the air immediately.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2008

Contact: Julia Spiess

Phone: 916-601-8282

julia@perrycom.com

Outraged Parents of Children Featured in Latest Prop 8 TV Ad Demand that Commercial be Taken off the Air Immediately

Latest Campaign Gimmick Termed Exploitative and Shameless by Parents

SACRAMENTO – The parents of the two children most prominently featured in the latest multi-million dollar Prop 8 political spot today termed those ads “distasteful and exploitative” and demanded that the ads be taken off the air immediately. Both sets of parents – Laura Hodder and Matt Alexander and Jen Press and James Moore, sent two hand-delivered letters this morning. The first letter is to the Prop 8 Campaign demanding the ad be removed from its television and its Web site where it is being used as a fund raising tool. The second letter to the San Francisco Chronicle asks them to intervene on their behalf. The Prop 8 campaign manipulated video that the Chronicle has posted on its Web site.

In their letter to the Prop 8 campaign, the parents wrote: “We are absolutely outraged that you have chosen, without permission, to shamelessly hijack the images of our innocent children to promote a cause that we in no way, shape or form support. It is even more maddening that you have willfully and calculatingly edited the images of our children, with menacing music in the background, in a way that is completely contrary to their nature and harmful to them.”

The footage manipulated by the Yes campaign, without authorization from either the parents or the Chronicle, was originally captured on Oct. 10 when the children took a field trip with their classmates and several parents to share the moment of their teacher’s wedding to her longtime partner. All parents were notified well in advance of the trip which was organized by some parents, and, in fact, two families chose to have their children not participate under California’s broad opt out law.

“I’m a school principal so I know something about education and parents’ rights,” said Matt Alexander whose son, Ben, is featured in the ad. “And the opt out law is something we readily apply all the time. So, let me join every other educator in the state and ask Prop 8 to also stop lying about the opt out law.”

“This field trip was about sharing a special moment with a teacher these kids love,” said Jen Press whose daughter, Lucy, is prominently featured in the political ad. “To turn around and distort images of our children is outrageous. We’re opposed to Prop 8, but irrespective of our position, it’s wrong to use any image of children without their parents’ permission. And we think every parent in California would agree with us.”

In the letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, the parents wrote, in part:

“Our children are being exploited and used as pawns to further a political cause…We ask that you intervene immediately on our behalf and issue a cease and desist letter to the Yes on 8 campaign. If the campaign does not remove the ad, we ask that you pursue legal action against them.”

Added Jen Press: “Prop 8 claims to be about families, but we’re here to say you can’t be for families by attacking our families. You can’t be for families and take these children’s innocent images and flash them not only on television statewide, but on your fund raising page. This must stop right now.”

Click here to read the letter to the San Francisco Chronicle.(pdf)

Thanks to VodPod, here’s NBC’s video of last night’s SNL send-up of the VP debate. Tina Fey did ANOTHER dead-on “winky-folksy-question avoiding-makes me want to gag” version of Sarah Palin, while SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis portrayed Sen. Joe Biden. Having Gwen Ifill “do” Gwen Ifill would have been sheer perfection, but I will say that Queen Latifah did a great job putting forth some “what the heck are you doing” looks toward Fey/Palin which I’m sure the majority of America was making while watching the actual debate last Thursday. (And I use the term “debate” loosely. ;))

SNL also did a skit regarding the bailout–I mean “rescue” plan–, and while it had some good moments (Fred Armisen as Barney Frank), it dragged on far too long.

Also, PLEASE make sure to REGISTER TO VOTE!! The deadline for my fellow Californians is 10/20, but in some places it’s today. Head over to Declare Yourself to find out information for your state.

Enjoy the SNL VP debate video!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

We’re ALL pro-life, it’s just that some of you are ANTI-choice.  People, PLEASE stop for a moment, put aside the anger/frustration/confusion, clear your head and seriously and thoughfully think about the ramifications of your vote for the McCain/Palin ticket, upon your mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.  Don’t be complacent and think the status quo shall remain the same–it can change in a heartbeat, it can change in an election. 

Sniffin’ out the info

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