Brazil’s economy has been given a second chance. And so have prospective investors.
Brazil will use that second chance well – shouldn’t we?
Although there are a number of ways to play this promising “BRIC” (Brazil, Russia, India and China) market, including…
I received this in an e-mail from the McIlvain Smith campaign, in a district near to my own. It's reprinted with permission, and a great reminder of the fact that every vote counts. Stories like this abound in all 50 states. Jim is a volunteer with Barb's campaign.
As Election Day 2008 approaches, I'm reminded of how Barbara McIlvaine Smith's election in 2006 taught me the importance of every single vote. As we now know, she won by just 28. In the process, Barb's victory changed the leadership of the State House by one seat. But it felt even closer than that.
On election night in 2006, those of us working on Barb's campaign gathered in the back room of a restaurant next to her campaign headquarters to follow the election returns. The results came in with agonizing slowness. One precinct would report in. Barb was up by a handful of votes. Then another precinct tally would post. She was behind by a dozen or so.
Somewhere in the clamor, one of our poll watchers, Committeeperson Stephanie Markstein, came to tell us that election officials at her poll had forgotten to scan the absentee ballots and then included them unopened in the bag which went to Chester County Voter Services. Then a poll watcher from a different area said the same thing had happened in his precinct. We hoped the margin of victory would be large enough to not care about this.
The night dragged on into the early morning hours. As the last precinct totals hit the computer screens, our worst fears came true: Barb was down by 19 votes. Suddenly, those missing absentee ballots looked VERY important, indeed. But calls to Voter Services were ineffective. The clerk answering the phone would not comment.
Not one to go unanswered, Campaign Manager Lani Frank said she had to go to Voter Services herself to track the missing absentee votes. Election day had begun at 6:30 AM; it was now after 4 AM. I wasn't about to let her drive in the now pouring rain. I drove her car, Barb's webmaster Lane Randall drove ours, and we all arrived at Voter Services, a ragtag of very agitated citizens.
No luck. The managers at Voters Services could only confirm there were uncounted absentee votes in the sealed bags from precincts representing every municipality in the district. That meant there were hundreds of uncounted votes, something Voter Services had not seen before. To our frustration, they decided the bags would remain sealed until all other votes were counted.
By the next day, the Chester County Government Services Center was awash with representatives and lawyers from both campaigns and both political parties. Barb, Lani and all of us were in the middle of a nail-biter of an election which would go until December 21st and make news across the country.
But first, we had to deal with vacating Barb's campaign headquarters, packing things up while still not knowing the outcome. A tough day.
The Philadelphia Inquirer had dispatched a reporter to the scene to blog daily. There were legal motions. There were court appearances.
It took until after Thanksgiving before the uncounted absentee ballots were finally scanned. Barb was the apparent winner by 23 votes!
In Harrisburg, some Democrats celebrated, but the Republicans asked for a recount of all votes. The two Republican County Commissioners rejected all provisional ballots. There was much gnashing of teeth and much coffee consumed.
Finally, Judge Howard F. Riley, Jr., ruled all accepted ballots would be counted by hand and told Voter Services to begin and continue "each day thereafter." So we gathered again, with appointed observers and lawyers at each table, while Voter Services sorted the ballots one by one into two piles and resolved questions: was a circled oval a vote; how about a checkmark or a dot?
And then, four days before Christmas, surrounded by lawyers and official observers, with reporters and TV cameras peeking in the door windows, the indefatigable staff of Voter Services counted the very last precinct (it was West Chester Ward 7) and announced: Barbara McIlvaine Smith had now received 28 more votes than her opponent.
We still weren't done. There were pending legal challenges to the provisional ballots, but a quickly convened appearance before Judge Riley resulted in a settlement agreeable to both sides, certifying the election, even though the provisional ballots were never counted.
But finally, Barb was officially Representative-Elect for the 156th Legislative District, and Democrats had won the majority in the House for the first time in twelve years.
Now, after all of that, do you think we will ever accept someone saying their vote doesn't matter? Will you ever let anyone get away with saying that to you? And on this election day, November 4, 2008, will YOU be sure to cast your one precious vote?
I'm sure she'll tell us it's not really HER tan, she's just borrowing it, and will return it when the campaign is over. Probably donate it to some poor family in Ohio.
Another conservative endorsement for Barack Obama. This time from Ken Adelman, who was President Reagan's Ambassador to the U.N. and then Director of the U. S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and accompanied Reagan on his superpower summits with Mikhail Gorbachev.
And, Adelman has an Iowa connection.... he was a philosophy major at Grinnell College before attending Georgetown University, where he received a Masters in Foreign Service Studies and Doctorate in Political Theory.
Last Friday in a Huffington Post op-ed, "Why a Staunch Conservative Like Me Endorsed Obama," Adelman explains why he decided for the first time in his life to vote for a Democratic presidential candidate.
This paragraph about sums it up, "McCain's temperament -- leading him to bizarre behavior during the week the economic crisis broke -- and his judgment -- leading him to Wasilla -- depressed me into thinking that "our guy" would be a(nother) lousy conservative president. Been there, done that."
Adelman rejects the Bush-McCain brand of conservatism... he labels himself as a "staunch conservative" but not a "neo con."
Adelman explains: "I was never liberal along the way (having campaigned for Barry Goldwater in 1964, when at that hotbed of lefty politics, Grinnell College). I'm really a con-con.
"And not a staunch Republican, as I've never been to a Republican rally or convention. So I've considered myself less of a partisan than an ideologue. I cared about conservative principles, and still do, instead of caring about the GOP....
"Granted, McCain's views are closer to mine than Obama's. But I've learned over this Bush era to value competence along with ideology. Otherwise, our ideology gets discredited, as it has so disastrously over the past eight years."
So... as we've seen time and time again these past few months, conservatives of character and conscience disavow the Bush-McCain failed faux-conservative ideology.
Adelman's final thought, "...I concluded that McCain would not -- could not -- be a good president. Obama just might be."
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It’s beginning to sound like a broken record. In a nutshell, we already know that the economic data should be weak. We already know that the earnings reports should be disappointing. And because we already know all this, the information…
It's the final days of the presidential race and things are turning sour in the McCain campaign. Is Palin bailin' from a campaign that's failin'? Full-size video at TPMtv.com.[...]
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So you might have heard about Barbara West, that TV anchor from Orlando, Florida who asked Joe Biden some pretty crazy questions (such as whether Barack Obama was preaching Marxism and whether he wanted to turn the U.S. into a socialist nation), but you probably didn't see the questions she asked John McCain, and you probably didn't see the real doozy of a question that she asked Biden when they last interviewed, in September.
I've put them all together in one highlight reel destined for the desk of some EP at Faux News. I'm not going to spoil the surprise of her Biden question in this post, but if you watch until the end of this clip, you'll get one helluva' laugh.
Here's a hint: it's a question that by her own admission came from internet rumors (I'll post a comment for those of you who can't watch video).
Matt Sludge's latest hit is a YouTube video with the audio of a 2001 interview with Barack Obama where he talks about the courts and the legal strategy of the civil rights movement. David Bernstein at Volokh does a fantastic job of boiling down the discussion from a legal perspective. There are two large points which should be made: 1) Obama doesn't believe the courts are the proper domain for social change/setting economic policy. 2) "Redistribution" is not new or scary. When some people pay more taxes for the same police force, it is redistribution. When some people pay more taxes for the same schools, it is redistribution. When some people pay more taxes for the same water supply, it's redistribution. When some people pay more taxes for the same military, it's redistribution. It's all redistribution. As Bernstein says,
At least since the passage of the first peacetime federal income tax law about 120 years ago, redistribution of wealth has been a (maybe the) primary item on the left populist/progressive/liberal agenda, and has been implicitly accepted to some extent by all but the most libertarian Republicans as well."Redistribution" is just a bridge to the label "Socialist" or "Communist" which then quickly becomes "anti-American/un-American". The danger is not that they'll win the election with this line of argument because a majority of Americans are, in fact, "socialists":
But are people so stupid as to not recognize that when politicians talk about a "right to health care," or "equalizing educational opportunities," or "making the rich pay a fair share of taxes," or "ensuring that all Americans have the means to go to college," and so forth and so on, that they are advocating the redistribution of wealth? Is it okay for a politician to talk about the redistribution of wealth only so long as you don't actually use phrases such as "redistribution" or "spreading the wealth," in which case he suddenly becomes "socialist"? If so, then American political discourse, which I never thought to be especially elevated, is in even a worse state than I thought.
Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea to raise income taxes on households and businesses that make MORE than $250,000 a year in order to help provide health insurance for people who are not covered by health insurance?No, the danger of all this is the right wing mob will only grow more and more convinced that they are the defenders, the soldiers, of the "real America."
Good Idea 62%
Bad Idea 33%
Earlier this month, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) criticized Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, telling the Omaha World-Herald that “it?s a stretch to, in any way, to say that she?s got the experience to be president of the United States.” In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Hagel went even further, saying that he doesn’t believe Palin is “qualified to be President of the United States“:
Hagel may be the only senior Republican elected official who has publicly criticized McCain?s choice of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. ?I don?t believe she?s qualified to be President of the United States,? Hagel told me. ?The first judgment a potential President makes is who their running mate is?and I don?t think John made a very good selection.? He scoffed at McCain?s attempts to portray her as an experienced politician. ?To try to make the excuse that she looks out her window and sees Russia?and that she?s commander of the Alaska National Guard.? He added, ?There is no question that this candidate is arguably the thinnest-résumé candidate for Vice-President in the history of America.?
Last week when former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) on NBC’s Meet The Press, he also question’s Palin’s qualifications for office. “I don’t believe she’s ready to be president of the United States,” said Powell.
I guess you file this under the heading of Deep, Late Election Comic Relief. And not surprisingly it comes from a Senate Republican who should have been coasting but now finds himself with a real chance losing his seat.Last week, Sen. Mitch McConnell[...]
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