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Election 2012

Does Political Ideology Trump Friends? Family?

by: mooncat

Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 09:37:12 AM CST

Family GatheringCan you spot the Democrats and Republicans in this photo?  I can make an informed guess, because they're my family ... but I also don't give a rat's eyelash, because they're my family!

It's been nearly a week since President Obama was re-elected -- leaving a "shellshocked" Mitt Romney trying to explain his billion dollar failure to wealthy donors.  The election also left many conservative Republicans genuinely shellshocked.  Some have decided to crawl even further into the protective bubble that allowed them to believe they were cruising to victory last Tuesday, cutting off all contact with Democrats, even friends.  Even family. 

Former Ron Paul aide Eric Dondero wrote this last Wednesday:

Starting early this morning, I am going to un-friend every single individual on Facebook who voted for Obama, or I even suspect may have Democrat leanings. I will do the same in person. All family and friends, even close family and friends, who I know to be Democrats are hereby dead to me. I vow never to speak to them again for the rest of my life, or have any communications with them. They are in short, the enemies of liberty. They deserve nothing less than hatred and utter contempt.

I strongly urge all other libertarians to do the same. Are you married to someone who voted for Obama, have a girlfriend who voted 'O'. Divorce them. Break up with them without haste. Vow not to attend family functions, Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas for example, if there will be any family members in attendance who are Democrats.

Do you work for someone who voted for Obama? Quit your job. Co-workers who voted for Obama. Simply don't talk to them in the workplace, unless your boss instructs you too for work-related only purposes. Have clients who voted Democrat? Call them up this morning and tell them to take their business elsewhere.

...

If I meet a Democrat in my life from here on out, I will shun them immediately. I will spit on the ground in front of them, being careful not to spit in their general direction so that they can't charge me with some stupid little nuisance law. Then I'll tell them in no un-certain terms: "I do not associate with Democrats. You all are communist pigs, and I have nothing but utter disgust for you. Sir/Madam, you are scum of the earth." Then I'll turn and walk the other way.

Dondero's post-election rant has been widely publicized, but I suspect he gave voice to something that's been going on under the radar for quite a while. 

Here in Alabama, in Madison County, I know a woman whose daughter cut her off -- before the election -- because she was voting for Democrats.  The mother is a lifelong Democrat, the daughter married a strong Republican and the relationship got chillier and chillier as the election approached.  Finally, the daughter informed her mom that I don't want anything to do with you if you're voting for Obama.  And called her mom some hurtful names in the bargain.  She's stuck with it, too.  She won't talk to her mom, won't answer her phone calls, won't answer the door if she comes over.  Mom still babysits the grandkids, but the daughter and son-in-law won't call to ask her to keep them, they get one of the kids to pick up the phone and ask if they can stay at grandma's house.

Ridiculous, yeah, but it's not an isolated case.

Before the election, This American Life did an extremely disturbing show on the political divide that is splitting friendships and even family relationships.  They talked to a couple of guys who have been friends for decades, until one of them admitted he voted for Obama, and a pair of sisters who -- since Obama was elected -- can't talk to each other without yelling.  And then there was this creative attempt by Ryan to blackmail his brother-in-law, Drew, into supporting the right political candidate:

Drew: If you vote for Obama, you're cut off. You can still come over to our house and eat, but when I cook ribs, you can bring your own chicken breast and use the grill after I'm done. And at first I thought he was just kidding around, but he's made it clear that he's absolutely serious. And I appealed to his wife, and she said, well, I got to stand with my husband.

...

Ryan: I know he loves my barbecue so much. And I was thinking one day. You know, I've tried to explain to Drew why he shouldn't vote Democratic, but I can't get through to him. So now I'm going to do a little negative reinforcement. And if he votes for him, I'm just not going to let him eat here. And my wife makes salad or garlic bread or beans-- he can have that. He just cannot eat my meat-- my tri-tip, my ribs, my pulled pork, my brisket, I make a wonderful prime rib sandwich-- he can't have any of that.

I know losing hurts -- both sides have suffered bitter losses in the last decade -- and coming right after the election, holiday gatherings and feasts can sometimes be awkward.  But cutting off your family for political ideology is as stupid as cutting off your nose to spite your face.  Cutting off your friends is almost that stupid.  These are people who genuinely care about you, in a way that politicians and political pundits/operatives never will.

Next week, if you're lucky enough to be able to gather with your family, enjoy them as much as possible and take the opportunity to reaffirm the things you have in common.  Don't fret and fume and lecture and try to change the people you love.  They're the same people they've always been.  It's the bond of love and friendship that matters, not how they voted. 

Cults demand their adherents break with friends and family; political parties shouldn't.

Discuss :: (13 Comments)

Oh, Happy Day!

by: mooncat

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 08:41:04 AM CST

Obama winsSeriously.  Maybe this didn't actually exceed my wildest expectations, but it sure fulfilled my fondest hopes.

Obama is going to wind up with 332 electoral votes and a majority of the popular vote -- why the heck are some pundits saying he doesn't have a mandate?  That's more than And the closest Mitt Romney could come to a concession is a promise to "earnestly pray for" President Obama.  What a graceless waster of billionaire bucks.

Democrats kicked ass in the US Senate last night, re-electing some good Senators -- in Ohio Sherrod Brown proved that corporate money alone can't buy Senate seats -- and electing several better ones.  Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren.  Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin.  Senator-elect Mazie Hirono.  Senator-elect Chris Murphy.  Claire McKaskill, Debbie Stabenow, Amy Klobuchar and Dianne Feinstein all held their seats.  It was a great night for women.

Republicans will still control the house, but there's good news on that front as well, with Dems picking up seats, possibly as many as 8.  Alan Grayson is going back to Congress.  It appears that Allen West is not.  Combat veteran Tammy Duckworth is going to Washington.  There will be a Kennedy in Congress again.  Joaquin Castro is going to Washington.

Math won.  The politics of racism and sexism lost ... most places.

Closer to home, the picture is not quite so rosy, but not bad for all that.

Amendment 1 passed.  Amendment 4 went down.

I hate it that Roy Moore will be our next Chief Justice.  Bob Vance came close, far closer than most pundits thought possible.  He ran a smart, classy campaign and if he'd been in this since the spring, instead of since August 22, he might have pulled it off.  

Ditto that Twinkle beat Lucy Baxley.  I'd hoped for better, but hadn't really expected it.  The hate for Obama brought out the GOP voters in Alabama.

JeffCo Democrats essentially kicked the GOP out of the county last night.  I said it after the 2010 bloodbath and I'll say it again this morning, the rebuilt Alabama Democratic Party is going to grow out of the urban areas in this state, starting with Birmingham.  Good job, JeffCo Dems!

In Madison County, Democratic Probate Judge Tommy Ragland appears to have been re-elected.  My own county commissioner, Roger Jones, was re-elected -- nasty GOP mailers notwithstanding.

Nationally, liberals and progressives couldn't have asked for a better outcome -- the Senate gains are borderline miraculous.  Here in Alabama, we fell short of hopes, but not of expectations.  We need to do for Alabama what Obama did for America, especially in the swing states: EXPAND THE ELECTORATE. 

Look at the voting rates and registration rates for various demographics in this state.  There are a lot of potential voters on our side who are too discouraged to participate while the other side has left no stone unturned to get their voters to the polls.  It's hard to imagine how the AL-GOP can find more angry white evangelical voters, but there are far too many young people, single women and people of color who aren't voting in Alabama.  Organization and messaging can change that, and those voters can change Alabama.

Hope you enjoyed the party last night.  Election 2014 starts today.

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Election Night Open Thread

by: mooncat

Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 19:00:00 PM CST

The polls are closed in Alabama.  Cheers, jeers, tears ... post 'em if you've got 'em.

Some resources for those of you watching returns from the comfort of your own keyboards:

Alabama

al.com

Fox6 in Birmingham

WSFA

National

CNN

CBS election results

Buzzfeed, A viewer's guide to who will win

Bellwether counties for the presidential race.

And finally, I would never say it, but the Ragin' Cajun explains why he believes "the ass-whuppin' cometh."

 

Discuss :: (11 Comments)

Who's Got Obama's Back?

by: mooncat

Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 18:01:17 PM CST

Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D, AL-07), that's who.  Don't you love this picture of Terri Sewell and friends -- what great shirts!

Terri Sewell has Obama's back

They're not just for show either.  Terri and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus were in Ohio over the weekend campaigning for President Obama.  She was back home yesterday, working for her own re-election (no worries, she's a shoo-in) and making sure to get out the vote for Democratic candidates across the state because she knows it's important to elect good people up and down the ticket.

Folks in her district are noticing what a great job Terri Sewell is doing as a member of Congress, too.  Last week the Montgomery Advertiser chided Republicans Martha Roby (AL-02) and Mike Rogers (AL-03) for voting in lockstep with the Republican leadership, saying they need to "follow Sewell's lead" in Congress.  Amen. 

In the 7th District, incumbent Terri Sewell is concluding her first term. She is one of the most impressive newcomers in Congress and 7th District voters should proudly re-elect this smart, compassionate congresswoman.

Alabama is fortunate to have such a shining example of how a "representative" should represent her constituents in Washington, especially since the rest of our delegation is such a disappointment.  Terri Sewell not only has Obama's back in this election, she has Alabama's back, all the time.

The Congresswoman will join the Jefferson County Democrats for an Election Night Watch Party tonight at The Parthenon (2210 First Avenue North) in Birmingham.  Doors open at 7 pm. Many Alabama Democratic candidates are expected to attend.  Supporters, volunteers and staff of all Democratic candidates are welcome, as are representatives of the media. 

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Vote for Bob Vance - He Won't Embarrass Alabama

by: mooncat

Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 14:28:49 PM CST

Judge Bob Vance sent one last email today in his campaign to become Alabama's next Chief Justice:

Today is election day! If you have not already done so, please go vote - and be sure to Vote Bob Vance for Chief Justice. Bob will be a Chief Justice with No Agenda, and No Politics. More importantly, Bob will be a justice who will follow the law! No man is above the law.

If you agree with us will you please help us? Today is the last time we will ask you for money - but we need just $1,199 to surpass our goal of raising $50,000 online. Don't you want to be the one who pushes us over the top?

Here are some other things Bob won't be doing:

  • Embarrassing the State of Alabama
  • Putting his personal opinions above the rule of law
  • Riding to the polls on a horse [link]


Here's a picture of Bob going to vote in front of his sensible 4 door Honda Accord:

Bob Vance on Election Day

"Won't embarrass Alabama" sounds like kind of a low bar for a man seeking authority over the state court system ... until you look at Vance's opponent.  In truth, Vance could pass a much higher bar -- he is a widely respected judge -- but in this case, "won't embarrass us" is plenty.  

Vote Vance, if you haven't already.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Vote Today!

by: mooncat

Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 08:10:46 AM CST

VOTE TODAYYou've waited for it all year long and it's finally here -- Election Day 2012!!!

Now go vote.  Then encourage some other people to go vote.  Because votes are what win elections.

Polls in Alabama are open until 7 pm.  If you are in line at your polling place (find it at the Sec. of State website or use google) before 7 pm you must be allowed to vote, so stay in line, no matter how long the wait.  If you leave, you won't be able to get back in line and vote. 

You must show ID in order to vote in Alabama.  Some poll workers will probably ask for a photo ID today but a drivers license or other photo ID is not actually required by Alabama law.  These are the valid forms of ID that will allow you to vote:

  • Utility bill of voter with voter's name and address
  • Bank statement with voter's name and address
  • Government check with voter's name and address
  • Paycheck with voter's name and address
  • Valid identification card (authorized by law) issued by the State of Alabama (including any branch, department, agency, or entity of the State of Alabama)
  • Valid identification card (authorized by law) issued by any of the other 49 states (including any branch, department, agency, or entity of that State)
  • Valid identification card (authorized by law) issued by the government of the United States of America (including any branch, department, agency, or entity of the federal government
  • Valid United States passport
  • Valid Alabama hunting license
  • Valid Alabama fishing license
  • Valid Alabama pistol/revolver permit
  • Valid pilot's license issued by the FAA or other authorized agency of the federal government
  • Valid United States military identification
  • Birth certificate (certified copy)
  • Valid Social Security card
  • Naturalization document (certified copy)
  • Court record of adoption (certified copy)
  • Court record of name change (certified copy)
  • Valid Medicaid card
  • Valid Medicare card
  • Valid electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card
  • Government document that shows the name and address of the voter

Straight Democratic VotingIf a poll worker challenges you for providing one of these forms of ID to vote, call the Alabama Democratic Party immediately at 800-995-3386.  Also call the election protection hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE.  Store those numbers in your phone before you go to the polls  Again, DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT VOTING.  Your main goal today is to VOTE.  Let the lawyers sort the rest of it out next week, but don't leave your polling place without voting.

Remember, one mark (see image at right) can do the whole front side of the ballot. If you vote straight ticket Democratic, your vote will be cast for President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, plus all the other Democrats on the ballot.  It's that simple.

Now get out and vote and after you vote, do something else to help.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

How I'm Voting On Alabama's Constitutional Amendments, Nov. 6, 2012

by: mooncat

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 23:34:01 PM CST

Election after election, Alabama voters are faced with long lists of amendments, usually with very little information provided about what they really mean.  This election is no different, perhaps worse than most.  Our knowledge is sometimes imperfect and often incomplete, yet a decision must be made.  Here is how I've decided to vote this time around:

YES on Amendment 1 - Extends Forever Wild funding.  This is a no-brainer, supported by the National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club, plus almost everyone in between.  

YES on Amendment 2 - This allows the state to issue new bonds for industrial development as old ones are paid off, with a cap on total indebtedness.  This is Alabama so there's no absolute guarantee the money will be spent wisely or well, but this sort of investment brought Mercedes, Hyundai, Toyota, Thyssen-Krupp, etc. jobs to Alabama.

YES on Amendment 3 - This is a local amendment affecting the community of Stockton in Baldwin County.  It would prevent forcible annexation of Stockton into a nearby city.  Residents could still choose annexation, which sounds like a reasonable situation.

NO on Amendment 4 - This would remove segregationist language from the Alabama Constitution.  Unfortunately, it also seems to remove the part obliging the state of Alabama to provide public education.  Constitutional reform supporters say we should approve this one first and they'll fix the education part next year.  I say send us an amendment that fixes both at once if you want my vote.  With public education at stake, "Just trust us" is not good enough.

YES on Amendment 5 - This is another local amendment transferring the Prichard Water and Sewer to Mobile.  The goal seems to be to reduce water rates, which are currently very high for Prichard residents. The rest of us shouldn't have to vote on these local issues, but because of the outdated Alabama constitution, we do.  In any event, this one is written so that if it doesn't pass in Prichard, it won't go into effect no matter how the rest of the state votes.  Seems like a YES vote from the rest of us basically lets folks in Prichard decide what they want to do.

NO on Amendment 6 - This is an attempt to end run around the Affordable Care Act.  Waste of time, waste of effort, waste of money.

NO on Amendment 7 - This is a cleverly disguised attempt to make it even harder for workers to organize in Alabama.  Definitely unfriendly to working families.

YES on Amendment 8 - This sets pay for legislators at the median household income in the state and modernizes the reimbursement rate for their expenses during the legislative session.  It isn't perfect, but I think it's a step in the right direction -- at least it will stop the practice of paying travel and lodging for legislators who live in or near Montgomery.

YES on Amendment 9 - This is part of the Alabama Constitutional Revision Commission's effort and rewrites section XII of the constitution which deals with corporations, railroads and canals.  I have reservations about this one, but in this instance I will practice what I have preached and not allow the perfect to become the enemy of the somewhat improved.  Anyway, I suspect the corporatists on our Supreme Court will do whatever they like whether this one passes or not, so we might as well get a little reform where we can.

YES on Amendment 10 - The last of the constitutional reform amendments.  This one deals with section XIII on banks and banking.  Among other things, it removes references to the gold standard.  No doubt the Tea Party opposes it for just that reason.

YES on Amendment 11 - Another local issue, this time in Limestone County.  Clarifies police jurisdictions extending into the county from municipalities located wholly outside the county.  Again, imperfect knowledge, but it seems reasonable.

Many people do not vote on local amendments unless they live in the affected area.  I do.  They're on the ballot, plenty of people around the state are going to vote on them whether they live there or not and I figure my judgment is at least as good as average.  So, if I can make sense of it at all, I register an opinion, yea or nay.

AlabamaVotes.gov has a pdf available of the proposed amendments as they appear on the ballot.  It is embedded below the fold, for those who want to read the amendments ahead of time.  Plus, there are links to the legislative act that set up each amendment -- that is where you will find the real details, if you're interested.  Notice that Amendment 11 appears first, then 1 through 10.  It's the Alabama SoS, after all.

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 47 words in story)

To My Friends Who Are Planning To Vote Third Party Tomorrow

by: mooncat

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 22:05:44 PM CST

This is what I've been wanting to say to you, but I could never quite get it put together.  Fortunately, Erik Loomis says it better than I ever would have.

I would like to think that we on the left actually do understand history. We do not. There is a clear path to change. Conservatives understand this. You take over the party structure. That’s what they did in the 1950s and 1960s when they were disgusted by the moderate Republicanism of Dwight Eisenhower, Earl Warren, and Nelson Rockefeller. They took over party structures and local offices and turned them into bastions of energized conservatism. Note that conservatives basically don’t run 3rd party campaigns. Libertarians might talk about doing this–but they almost all vote Republican in the end because they know that they are moving their agenda forward by doing so.

Any reading of history shows that change within the American political system does not come through third party campaigns. It comes through the hard work of organizing our communities to demand change.

...

At times, a 3rd party could theoretically make sense. The last one that made any difference was the Populists.

If Teddy Roosevelt couldn't build a lasting 3rd party, none of the people running today can possibly accomplish it.  Organizing is hard work.  If you're unhappy with the way Obama is governing, or the way both parties are funded, you need to do the hard work of organizing a movement that cannot be ignored by politicians.  And you need to gain control of one of the already existing parties -- which enjoy huge structural advantages over third, fourth or fifth parties in terms of elections.  That's the way the extreme conservatives took over the party of Eisenhower and Reagan and it's the only way that's been shown to work in American politics for the last 150 years or so.

I'm sorry, but this is the reality of history. 

It may feel good to vote for a near perfect candidate with no chance of ever winning, but it is a very counterproductive way to achieve the change you want.  And I hope you'll give this another consideration before casting your vote, because I want the same change you do, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt we will be light years closer to the country we want with 4 more years of Barack Obama than with 4 years of Mitt Romney.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Straight Ticket Voting

by: mooncat

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 15:57:52 PM CST

Straight Democratic VotingWe've had some questions on our Facebook page about straight ticket voting in Alabama, and apparently there are rumors afoot that straight ticket votes won't count for the presidential contest.  Not true.  If you mark the Democratic Party line or oval tomorrow, your vote will count for every Democrat on the ballot, from Obama/Biden all the way down to county offices.  This is what ADP Chairman Mark Kennedy said about straight ticket votes and about the deliberate misinformation:

If you want to vote for President Obama and Vice President Biden along with the rest of the Democrats on your ballot, you only have to mark one place...the oval or arrow next to the Alabama Democratic Party in the straight party voting section of your ballot (the top-left section of your ballot).  One mark does it all.  One mark will count your vote for the President and your Democratic judges, county commissioners, school board members, and statewide candidates.

To see a sample ballot for your county click here.

If someone tells you otherwise, we want to know about it.  If an elected official or someone who works in a county courthouse or polling place tells you otherwise, I want you to get their name and call us immediately at 1-800-995-3386.  I will not tolerate dirty tricks and attempts to confuse or intimidate voters.  Anyone attempting to suppress our vote will be held accountable by the Democratic Party to the fullest extent of the law.

Bend the Ballot for Bob VanceIn fact, you can mark the straight ticket line and also split your ticket.  Judge Bob Vance is encouraging Republican voters in the Chief Justice race to "bend the ballot" for Bob Vance.  They can do this by marking the elephant symbol at the top of the ballot (see right) then going down and marking Bob Vance instead of Roy Moore.  Presto, they just voted for all the Republicans on the ballot, plus Bob Vance -- because let's face it, only the most extreme GOPers are eager to vote for Moore.

Don't be afraid to vote a straight Democratic ticket tomorrow ... or even bend your ballot a little bit if you must vote Republican.  Your straight ticket vote will absolutely count -- don't believe anyone who tells you it won't.  And as Mark Kennedy reiterated today ...

If you are a Democrat and you don't vote tomorrow, you may as well be a Republican.  Plain and simple.

               VOTE!

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Obama vs. Romney - Closing Arguments

by: mooncat

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 08:47:23 AM CST

As the election season draws to a close, President Obama and Mitt Romney are making their closing arguments to voters.  Their arguments -- and their vision of America -- could not be more different. Take your pick: we're all in this together or Republicans will throw a temper tantrum if Obama wins. 

On Saturday in Ohio President Obama argued that we're all in this together, rising or falling as one people.

You see heroes running into buildings, wading into the water to help their fellow citizens; neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy; leaders of different political parties working together to fix what’s broken; it’s a spirit that says no matter how bad a storm is, no matter how tough the times are, we’re all in this together – that we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.

And that spirit has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries. It has carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years. Remember in 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values are on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.

In contrast to Obama's vision of an America where leaders work together to solve problems, Mitt Romney's closing argument is based on blackmail -- elect me or congressional Republicans will continue, or even escalate, their obstruction.  This is what he told Wisconsin voters on Friday:

"You know that if the President is re-elected, he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress. He has ignored them, attacked them, blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again, and shutdown and default will be threatened, chilling the economy. The President was right when he said he can't change Washington from the inside. In this case, you can take him at his word."

Do you stay with the guy who believes in working together -- even after 4 years of obstructionist tactics from congressional Republicans -- or go with the guy who believes blackmail works?

D to move forward, R for reverse.  And for the poll obsessed, Nate Silver puts Obama's chance of re-election at 86.3% this morning.  The latest from pollster.com is below the fold. 

There's More... :: (7 Comments, 5 words in story)

Election Night Watch Parties for Sane People

by: mooncat

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 07:51:47 AM CST

Unlike the Alabama GOP, Democrats don't appear to be mixing booze and firearms at their election night watch party in Montgomery: 

The Alabama Democratic Party will hold an Election Night Watch Party beginning at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 6th.  Democrats from Montgomery and surrounding areas will come together to cheer on Democratic candidates across the state and country.
 
WHAT:          Alabama Democrats Election Night Watch Party
WHEN:         7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
WHERE:      Jubilee Seafood (The old Kat n’ Harry’s)
                     1057 Woodley Road
                     Montgomery, AL  36106
 
State Party Chairman, Mark Kennedy, Public Service Commission President, Lucy Baxley, 2nd Congressional District candidate, Terese Ford, and other local candidates will be on hand to greet supporters and the media.
 
For more information, please visit: http://www.aladems.org/events/watchparty

... or the one in Birmingham where Terri Sewell will be joining Jefferson County Democrats at the Parthenon:

Tuesday, 11/6

Election Night Watch Party sponsored by Congresswoman Terri Sewell and the Jeffco Democrats

6 PM @ The Parthenon,
2210 1st Avenue North, Downtown, 35203.

Food, music, fun. Forward w/President Obama! Contact Emma at 205-739-9233 with questions.

There will be plenty of other Election Night Watch Parties for Sane People (no mixing of guns and alcohol) across Alabama, too -- contact your local Democrats for details.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Where do I vote? Google knows...

by: roboticcats

Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 18:25:38 PM CST

First time voter? Have you moved recently? Google can help. They have a special tool to help you find your polling place. Be sure to check before you leave home.

Ignore my mother, countrycat, who insists on voting at the crack of dawn. Just make your voice heard.

Try to vote before 5 pm since polling place closing times vary by county.

Happy voting!


Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Don't Get Fooled Again

by: mooncat

Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:34:35 AM CDT

Roy MooreThe Real Roy Moore.

Moore was removed from office because he tried to put himself above the law

Moore’s antics cost Alabama taxpayers more than a half a million dollars ($549,430.53)

Moore profited personally and politically from the disruptive fight

Roy Moore is really bad news, but fortunately for Alabama, Bob Vance isn't.

 

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Final Pre-Election Jobs Report - Nothing Here for Romney

by: mooncat

Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 07:58:07 AM CDT

The November 2, 2012 BLS employment situation summary, otherwise known as the October jobs report, is out and there is no joy here for challenger Mitt Romney.  The Business Insider headline is "Jobs report crushes expectations at 171K, but unemployment rises to 7.9%."

From the BLS summary:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade.

...

Both the unemployment rate (7.9 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (12.3 million) were essentially unchanged in October, following declines in September.

...

The civilian labor force rose by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 63.8 percent. Total employment rose by 410,000 over the month. The employment-population ratio was essentially unchanged at 58.8 percent, following an increase of 0.4 percentage point in September.

... there were 813,000 discouraged workers in October, a decline of 154,000 from a year earlier.

More people working, more people in the labor force, fewer discouraged workers -- that's why the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% even with 171,000 new jobs --plus the employment numbers for August and September were revised upward.

Good news for the economy, bad news for Mitt.  But then, Mitt would be bad news for the economy, wouldn't he?

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Climate Change Finally Comes Front and Center

by: mooncat

Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 22:05:18 PM CDT

Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg.  

I can't bring myself to say "Thank you, Sandy," but without that "Frankenstorm" climate change would still be ensconced in an official cone of silence.  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Barack Obama today, explicitly citing the President's belief in climate science:

Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week’s devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.

...

When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.

...

One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.

President Obama thanked Bloomberg and added (bold mine):

“While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time - that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it. Just as importantly, we agree that whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation - together."

Finally, leaders willing to mention the elephant in the room ... climate change.  And, gasp, perhaps even go beyond talk to pursue actual policy changes to deal with global climate change.  This is a big ___ing deal, folks.

Meanwhile back in Alabama, our state climatologist -- yes, your taxes are paying this man -- says Sandy was not related to climate change and global warming is not causing more major storms.  Given Alabama's perennial budget crunch, why is this climate denier still on the state payroll?  It would be cheaper, and better, to simply buy the governor a subscription to Scientific American.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Obama: "We Know What Change Looks Like"

by: mooncat

Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 18:00:00 PM CDT

President Obama today in Green Bay Wisconsin, reminding voters that we've come too far to turn back now ...

             

Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we've been cleaning up after for the past four years, and he is offering them up as change. He is saying he is the candidate of change. 

Well, let me tell you, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like. What the Governor is offering sure ain't change. Getting more power back to the biggest banks isn't change. Leaving millions without health insurance isn't change. Another $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy isn't change. Turning Medicare into a voucher is change, but we don't want that change. Refusing to answer questions about the details of your policies isn't change. Ruling out compromise by pledging to rubber stamp the tea party's agenda as president, that's definitely not change. In fact, that's exactly the attitude in Washington that needs to go.

Here's the thing, Wisconsin. After four years as president, you know me by now. You may not agree with every decision I've made. You may be frustrated at the pace of change, but you know what I believe. You know where I stand. You know I'm willing to make tough decisions even when they're not politically convenient, and you know I'll fight for you and your families every single day as hard as I know how. You know that.

I know what change looks like because I have fought for it. You have too. After all we've been through together, we sure as heck can't give up now. Change is a country where Americans of every age have the skills and education that good jobs now require.

Government can't do this alone, but don't tell me that hiring more teachers won't help this economy grow or help young people compete. Don't tell me that students who can't afford college can just borrow money from their parents. That wasn't an option for me. I'll bet it wasn't an option for a whole lot of you. We shouldn't be ending college tax credits to pay for millionaires’ tax cuts. We should be making college more affordable for everyone who is willing to work for it. We should recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so that high-tech, high-wage jobs aren't created in China. They're created right here in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We should work with community colleges to claim another two million Americans with skills that businesses are looking for right now.

That's my plan for the future. That's what change is. That's the America we're fighting for in this election.

Next Tuesday, vote D to move America forward, R to go back to the bad old days.

 

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Bradley Byrne Says Vote YES on Forever Wild (Amendment 1)

by: mooncat

Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 15:00:00 PM CDT

Forever WildThis is a measure of the diverse coalition supporting continuation of Alabama's Forever Wild program: Republican Bradley Byrne is publicly advocating for passage of Amendment 1, which would fund Forever Wild for another 20 years.

Forever Wild was established in an extremely fiscally responsible manner. Funding for Forever Wild is derived from 10 percent of the interest earnings from the Alabama Trust Fund — not taxes — capped at 15 million dollars a year. Essentially, Forever Wild’s funding is derived from a depleting natural resource to expand public lands for all Alabamians. If Forever Wild fails to be renewed, the funding returns to the corpus of the Alabama Trust Fund — not the General Fund.

Forever Wild, then, is neither a source nor a solution to the state’s budget woes — it is simply an investment for all current and future Alabamians.

...

Forever Wild is an example of good and consistent fiscal policy that produces tangible results. You and I have the opportunity to extend this investment for Alabama by voting ‘YES’ on amendment one Nov. 6. Doing so will ensure that Alabama remains Forever Wild. One can imagine how much better Alabama’s finances would be if this type of fiscal responsibility was practiced in all areas of government.

This is bipartisanship in action. From the NRA to the Sierra Club, from the chairman of the Alabama Democrats to former GOP gubernatorial favorite Bradley Byrne -- Forever Wild has a really big tent of supporters.  That's because it has a stellar track record as a well run, effective program that returns real benefits to Alabama taxpayers.  Who wouldn't like that? 

Not surprisingly, the Alabama Tea Party guy opposes it.

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AL-05: Florence Times-Daily Endorses Charlie Holley

by: mooncat

Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 13:26:20 PM CDT

Charlie HolleyEditors of the Florence Times-Daily considered both contenders for Alabama's 5th congressional seat, and recommend a vote for challenger Charlie Holley.  Here's some of what they say about Holley:

He supports some of President Barack Obama’s positions and disagrees with others, but mainly is horrified at a Congress that has viewed Obama’s failure as more important than America’s success.

No member of the House has been more obstructionist than the 5th District incumbent, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville. Holley’s promises of statesmanship and compromise are welcome after two years of Brooks.

Plenty of folks in North Alabama claim to be concerned about the partisanship and gridlock in Congress.  They talk about how they want it changed.  Well, change needs to start at home, folks, because it takes two to do the bi-partisan tango and Mo Brooks has refused every offer to dance. 

Brooks is the epitome of what is wrong with Washington. His scorched-earth politics have harmed the nation and his district.

Amen! 

Let's change Washington this election, starting with North Alabama's representative.  Next Tuesday, vote for Charlie Holley.  Until then, he needs your support and contributions.

 

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Happy Halloween -- Don't Let the Zomneys Get You!

by: mooncat

Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 19:50:12 PM CDT

Writer Joss Whedon, the man behind "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Dollhouse" and the upcoming "The Avengers 2," endorses Mitt Romney because ...

"Like a lot of liberal Americans, I was excited when Barack Obama took office four years ago. But it's a very different world now, and Mitt Romney is a very different candidate, one with the vision and determination to cut through business-as-usual politics and finally put this country back on the path to the zombie apocalypse."

      

Long term, hoarding canned goods won't save you. Avoid the zombie apocalyse altogether ... don't vote for Mitt!

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Alabama Supreme Court Justices Agree: Vote for Bob Vance

by: countrycat

Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 12:30:00 PM CDT

A bi-partisan group of jurists concerned about the future of Alabama and its court system met on the steps of the Capitol in Montgomery yesterday and read "An Open Letter to the People of Alabama" endorsing Bob Vance for Chief Justice.  The Alabama Political Reporter has the full text:Judge Robert Vance

We recommend to you as a candidate for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama Bob Vance, who has served with distinction as a Circuit Judge of Jefferson County in the civil division since 2002.  Bob Vance was born and reared in the Birmingham area, obtained his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1982 and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1985.  He clerked for Judge Tom Gee on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and he practiced law for 16 years with the Birmingham firm of Johnston Barton Proctor & Powell, LLP.  Bob Vance is married to Joyce Vance and they have four children.

The Chief Justice presides over the Alabama Supreme Court.  He or she votes on every case and petition that is filed in that Court.  The Chief Justice, along with the Associate Justices, appoints a Clerk, Marshal, Reporter of Decisions, Librarian, the Chief Judge of  the Court of the Judiciary and a member of the Judicial Inquiry Commission.  Bob Vance has committed to working with the Associate Justices and Judges of the Court of Appeals in making these important appointments.

The Chief Justice alone appoints an Administrative Director of Courts and, with her or his concurrence, the various Directors and Administrators of the Administrative Office of Courts.  These have direct contact with most Circuit and District Court Judges and Clerks; and the officers of these associations and the Associate Justices and Judges of the Courts of Appeal should be consulted and listened to before appointments to these most important positions are made by the Chief Justice.  Bob Vance has committed to doing that.

Bob Vance’s Father, Robert S. Vance, was a most respected Federal Court Judge when he was murdered in 1989 by a mail bomb sent to him by a man who had a grudge against the Court.

Bob Vance is an intelligent, a hard working, Circuit Judge with great respect for the Citizens of Alabama, the Rule of Law, and the Judges and Justices who are elected or appointed to the Federal and State Courts.  Bob Vance will be a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of whom we can be proud.  Please vote for and support him.  Thank you.

Former Associate Justice Sam A. Beatty
Former Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb
Former Associate Justice John England
Former Associate Justice J. Bernard Harwood
Former Associate Justice Kenneth Ingram
FormerAssociate Justice Douglas Inge Johnstone
Former Associate Justice Mark Kennedy
Former Associate Justice Janie L. Shores
Retiring Associate Justice Thomas A. Woodall
Former Acting Chief Justice J. Gorman Houston

It's not the first time that Justice Houston, a Republican, has endorsed Vance - or criticized Moore:

Houston said he is a Republican and has already voted by absentee ballot for Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates. However, Houston said he also voted for Vance and urged other Republicans to do the same. 

"I vote for the individual," Houston said.

Houston said he is not backing his party's nominee because of the actions Moore took when they served together of the Alabama Supreme Court. Houston said that included both Moore's Ten Commandments standoff as chief justice and Moore's administrative management of the court system, which Houston described as lacking.

Meanwhile, Vance's opponent, Roy Moore, received an edorsement from Focus on The Family founder James Dobson.

Learn more about Judge Bob Vance at his Web site.  And why not donate while you're there?

 

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