I admit it… I can’t help but smile like a big cheshire cat everytime I see a newspaper headline with the phrase “President-Elect Barack Obama” … or campaign buttons for Obama!
Geoff of Going.com has created an amazing online gallery of both newspaper headlines from November 5th and Obama campaign buttons. I mentioned his newspaper headline gallery in a previous posting, but it’s grown considerably since then.
This assortment of buttons I’m showing just happens to be a collection of buttons that I happen to like, chosen from the thousands of buttons I saw at this amazing collection. There’s a lot of other buttons to choose from…
I thought the “Obama-Franken” button was pretty funny. Wishful thinking for someone….
And NO, I don’t know where to buy these buttons….
Today, the first politician I ever volunteered for celebrates his 60th birthday. Howard Dean, the outgoing-leader of the Democratic Party has plenty of reasons to celebrate today. His 50-state strategy, often ridiculed by Democratic party hacks, turned out to be the winning strategy to secure a majority rule.
On March 15, 2003, I witnessed a phenomenal speech by the governor from Vermont, which I documented for posterity on video. Within a week, I was sharing this footage online with anyone that wanted to see it. Soon, Meetup events all over the country were showing my footage on computers and television for others to see. People were absolutely motivated by the powerful words of the then-obscure presidential candidate.
What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President’s unilateral intervention in Iraq?
What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts, which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States?
I want a Democratic Party that will balance the budget. Bill Clinton balanced the budget and starting in 1993, without a single Republican vote, kicked off the greatest 10 years of economic growth in this nation’s history. No Republican President has balanced the budget in this country in 34 years. If you want to trust somebody with your taxpayer dollars you better elect a Democratic because the Republicans can’t manage money.
I want an economy in this country where we create jobs that don’t move offshore.
I want a government which will give us a foreign policy so when we walk down the streets of the capitals of our friends we don’t have to worry about watching our backs wherever we go as Americans.
I want the President of the United States to explain to all American’s why he doesn’t believe all Americans should be equal under the law. I signed (the Vermont Civil-Union) bill six months before an election when it was at 35% in the polls. I never had a conversation with myself about whether or not I would sign the bill or not, because I knew if I was willing to sell out the hope and dreams of a significant portion of our people that I had wasted my life in public service.
I want my country back. We want our country back. I am tired of being divided. I don’t want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore. I want America to look like America.
A lot of things have happened since that very big speech. One month before the Iowa primary, Dean was on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, where he discussed overturning the current FCC rules and breaking up existing media conglomerates. By some odd circumstance, when he was captured on video, screaming out to the Iowa crowd, this short clip became the “mea culpa” moment for broadcasters to exploit. His campaign for presidency was ruined by an awkward moment of exuberance, and to some degree, a lack of a proper response by his own campaign team.
Not one to dwell on his mistakes, Howard Dean continued the battle for progressive political action. After dropping out of the race, and endorsing his opponent, Howard Dean created a political action group known as “Democracy for America,” which promoted progressive Democratic candidates for office. One of the earliest endorsements by DFA was Barack Obama, candidate for Senate in Illinois.
When the Democratic Party was ready for new leadership, Howard Dean worked hard to become the chairman. Embracing the grassroots ethic of activism from the “bottom-up,” Dean gave the Democratic Party a complete overhaul, utilizing the internet as a major communication tool, and installing the 50 state strategy, which drove hacks like James Carville absolutely nuts!
The proof is in the outcome. Dean’s strategy worked. If certain Senate election recounts turn out as predicted, the Senate may actually have a filibuster-proof majority.
Barack Obama is the 4th Democratic candidate in the history of America to win with a 51% (or more) majority. The Senate and the House of Representatives also have a solid majority that didn’t exist four years ago. I’d call that a pretty effective campaign.
As it turns out, there’s still some debts to be paid by the Democratic Party, as some money was borrowed to pay for installing the 50-state strategy. As Howard Dean prepares to step down from his post as DNC chairman in January, it would be wonderful if we could help him leave with a clean balance sheet.
Click on the donation page at BarackObama.com if you’d like to make a contribution to the DNC. If you give $30 or more you get a very cool Obama-Biden T-shirt.
As you might have heard, Barack Obama had a meeting this week with outgoing-President George W. Bush. One of the big issues that President-elect Obama wanted the current president to act on was pushing some economic support for those in the automotive industry. There’s some real concern that one, maybe two of the Big Three American Companies may go bankrupt as a result of the current economic problems.
One out of every ten jobs in the United States is connected to the automotive industry.
Some of us believe that the Iraq invasion was directly connected to a neo-con movement to gain a greater control of petroleum in the Middle East. The issue is absolutely open for debate, and it’s not likely to be resolved anytime soon. Hopefully the majority of Americans can finally agree that the Iraq situation is a serious drain on our current economic situation in more ways than one, and the money we’ve spent on this war could be spent at home.
What’s important now is how to best resolve the immediate issue of keeping the automotive industry alive, and simply hand another blank check for another poorly-conceived government resolution.
The big issues of the economy, the energy, the environment and even national security are absolutely inter-connected.
Thomas Friedman shared his opinions on the automotive industry in his November 11 column for the New York Times.
How could these companies be so bad for so long? Clearly the combination of a very un-innovative business culture, visionless management and overly generous labor contracts explains a lot of it. It led to a situation whereby General Motors could make money only by selling big, gas-guzzling S.U.V.’s and trucks. Therefore, instead of focusing on making money by innovating around fuel efficiency, productivity and design, G.M. threw way too much energy into lobbying and maneuvering to protect its gas guzzlers.
This included striking special deals with Congress that allowed the Detroit automakers to count the mileage of gas guzzlers as being more than they really were — provided they made some cars flex-fuel capable for ethanol. It included special offers of $1.99-a-gallon gasoline for a year to any customer who purchased a gas guzzler. And it included endless lobbying to block Congress from raising the miles-per-gallon requirements. The result was an industry that became brain dead.
Nothing typified this more than statements like those of Bob Lutz, G.M.’s vice chairman. He has been quoted as saying that hybrids like the Toyota Prius “make no economic sense.” And, in February, D Magazine of Dallas quoted him as saying that global warming “is a total crock of [expletive].”
These are the guys taxpayers are being asked to bail out.
After acknowledging that NO bail-out would be a true catastrophe, Friedman ends his article with some suggestions…
..if we are going to use taxpayer money to rescue Detroit, then it should be done along the lines proposed in The Wall Street Journal on Monday by Paul Ingrassia, a former Detroit bureau chief for that paper.
“In return for any direct government aid,” he wrote, “the board and the management [of G.M.] should go. Shareholders should lose their paltry remaining equity. And a government-appointed receiver — someone hard-nosed and nonpolitical — should have broad power to revamp G.M. with a viable business plan and return it to a private operation as soon as possible. That will mean tearing up existing contracts with unions, dealers and suppliers, closing some operations and selling others and downsizing the company … Giving G.M. a blank check — which the company and the United Auto Workers union badly want, and which Washington will be tempted to grant — would be an enormous mistake.”
I would add other conditions: Any car company that gets taxpayer money must demonstrate a plan for transforming every vehicle in its fleet to a hybrid-electric engine with flex-fuel capability, so its entire fleet can also run on next generation cellulosic ethanol.
Lastly, somebody ought to call Steve Jobs, who doesn’t need to be bribed to do innovation, and ask him if he’d like to do national service and run a car company for a year. I’d bet it wouldn’t take him much longer than that to come up with the G.M. iCar.
Musician Neil Young shared his thoughts on the auto industry in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post entitled “How To Save A Major Automobile Company.”
It is time to change and our problems can facilitate our solutions. We can no longer afford to continue down Detroit’s old road. The people have spoken. They do not want gas guzzlers (although they still like big cars and trucks). It is possible to build large long-range vehicles that are very efficient. People will buy those vehicles because they represent real change and a solution that we can live with.
The government must take advantage of the powerful position that exists today. The Big 3 are looking for a bailout. They should only get it if they agree to stop building autos that contribute to global warming now. The stress on the auto manufacturers today is gigantic. In order to keep people working in their jobs and keep factories open, this plan is suggested:
The big three must reduce models to basics. a truck, an SUV, a large family sedan, an economy sedan, and a sports car. Use existing tooling.
Keep building these models to keep the workforce employed but build them without engines and transmissions. These new vehicles, called Transition Rollers, are ready for a re-power. No new tooling is required at this stage. The adapters are part of the kits described next.
At the same time as the new Transition Rollers are being built, keeping the work force working, utilize existing technology now, create re-power kits to retrofit the Transition Rollers to SCEVs (self charging electric vehicles) for long range capability up to and over 100mpg. If you don’t think this technology is realistic or available, check out the Progressive Insurance Automotive X prize. Alternatively, check out Lincvolt.com or other examples.
A bailed out Auto manufacturer must open or re-purpose one or more factories and dedicate them to do the re-power/retrofit assembly. These factories would focus on re-powering the Transition Rollers into SCEVs but could also retrofit and re-power many existing vehicles to SCEVs. These existing vehicles are currently sitting unsold at dealerships across America.
Auto manufacturers taking advantage of a government bailout must only sell clean and green vehicles that do not contribute to global warming. No more internal combustion engines that run exclusively on fossil fuels can be sold period.
Both of these proposals sound pretty good to me. I think Barack Obama would do well to embrace some of these ideas proposed by Friedman, Ingrassia and Young. I’m not sure about tearing up contracts with the automotive unions, but I think some new negotiations should take place before we can go forward.
Steve Jobs, president of GM? That’s definitely thinking differently. I would love to see what he would do with this company, but I have a feeling he’s got his hands full with Apple and the cancer that he may still be fighting… he’s rather secretive about such personal health matters…
Either way, I think it’s important that this type of brainstorming is taking place. We’re going to more of this type of thinking to fix the big problems of this country.
Electing Barack Obama was a good first start, and hopefully he’s paying attention to these suggestions.
A handful of interesting links…
• He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics
• He was known as “O’Bomber” at high school for his skill at basketball
• His name means “one who is blessed” in Swahili
• He worked in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop as a teenager and now can’t stand ice cream
• He can speak Spanish
• He kept a pet ape called Tata while in Indonesia
• He can bench press an impressive 200lbs
• His desk in his Senate office once belonged to Robert Kennedy
• He says his worst habit is constantly checking his BlackBerry
• He uses an Apple Mac laptop
• He owns four identical pairs of black size 11 shoes
• He has his hair cut once a week by his Chicago barber, Zariff, who charges $21
Fred Kaplan of Slate wrote an article entitled “Five Silver Linings,” which points out some things that are working to Obama’s favor, despite the fact that he faces an uphill battle fixing the problems left behind.
Logobama allowed folks a chance to create their own customized Obama logo with the photo of their choice (with exception made for naughty bits).
One of the most entertaining overviews I’ve read on the election celebrations has to be 20 Wildest Reactions to Obama’s Victory on the 10 Zen Monkeys blog, shared via a Twitter from Disinfo. Some of the celebrations included:
The Facebook group entitled “I will walk out my front door naked as soon as Obama wins!”
That “naked” Facebook group had 227 celebrating members — and on election day, their reports began rolling in. “Its dark and cold here in Vermont, but it felt great!”
“I did it too! In fact, I danced on the front porch, and yelled ‘Whoo hoo!’”
“My partner and I went downstairs in our robes, dropped the robes and cracked up like a couple of giddy schoolgirls!”
The South Park Celebration
Wednesday South Park aired a story lampooning Obama’s victory just one day after the election. The production staff “will be up all night working on Wednesday’s show,” their blog announced Tuesday, and Trey Parker told the L.A. Times they’d decided that “we’re just going to make the Obama version, and if McCain somehow wins, we’re basically just totally screwed.”
They were still dubbing in dialogue hours before the episode aired — including actual text from Obama’s victory speech. But Parker told the paper he was sure Obama would win — because of the odds at a sports betting site where he gambles on football.
Wednesday someone registered the domain HasObamaTakenAwayYourGunsYet.com. In enormous letters, the site displays a single word.
“Dear Sarah Palin,” read a sign in a picture framing store in San Francisco.
“We eagerly await your $150,000 clothing donation on Nov. 5th.
“Thanks in advance, Goodwill.”
In 2004, Martin Luther King’s widow had witnessed Obama’s first address at the Democratic convention. King’s daughter remembered that night after Tuesday’s election results, saying her 76-year-old mother had said “Bernice, come here.
“I think we got somebody.”
Read the entire article at 10 Zen Monkeys for the other celebrations. Good stuff…
With a tip of the hat to BoingBoing, I found a website that assembled the largest collection of newspaper headlines from November 5, 2008. In fact, this website has collected more than a terabyte of data since launching on November 5th.
David Letterman had it right on Wednesday night when he said “I think I speak for most Americans when I say, anybody mind if he starts a little early? Would that be a problem?”
David Geffen talked Obama – supporting him for president years before he actually ran, his disillusion with the Clintons, and Maureen Dowd’s column of February 21, 2007.
Will Smith appeared on Oprah’s show, talking about how he cried when Obama won.
Gabriel just lauched MObama2012.com, because it will take more than 4 years to clean up the mess left behind by the previous administration.
BloggersMosaic.com, a website, which uses images of bloggers’ faces to link traffic to their own blogs made its own mark to put Barack Obama in the White House when it launched its own Special Barack Obama site prior to polling day.
James Miller has a created a Barack Obama Countdown clock you can add to your blog, which I fully approve.
Barack Obama Countdown created by James Miller
Then, there’s The Onion …
The Onion also has these related articles:
* Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job
* Kobe Bryant Scores 25 In Holy Shit We Elected A Black President
* Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress
* Barack Obama Tiger Beat Cover Clinches Slumber Party Vote
This particular photo was taken during Obama’s last campaign rally for the 2008 presidential race, which took place in Manassas, Virginia, November 03, 2008. Credit Emmanuel Dunand /AFP/Getty Images for this excellent image.
Click here to see a higher-resolution of the image, along with 34 other great photographs.
UPDATE: Check out this other photo montage from that rally in Manassas, Viriginia. LOVE IT!
I really didn’t want to share any bad news on this blog right after Barack Obama won the election last night. I wanted to keep this website positive, and focus on real accomplishments of the new President-Elect. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to report the very sad news that happened on the day after the election.
Barack Obama is a sell-out.
Every single newsstand, book store, supermarket, and convenience store that I visited today had sold out of today’s newspaper. As hard as I looked, I couldn’t buy a single copy of the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examinier, San Jose Mercury News or the Oakland Tribune.
Everywhere I looked, I saw empty newspaper stands.
Actually, I was able to find a few newspapers today, but I can’t read any of them. I found a few Asian newspapers at Asian mini-markets, so I bought ‘em, just to have some mementos of today’s historic news. It’s a shame I have no idea what was written in these papers, but I sure love the graphics!
Meanwhile, does anyone have any extra newspapers they’d like to share? I do read the websites, but I also love paper!
Drop me an email if you have an extras you’d like to share with me, why don’t cha?