November 4, 2008

Girding To Battle

Filed under: Opinion — Tags: , — Obi Zen Folksinger @ 12:34 am

Girding To Battle

Essay by Howie Dughann


Dawn is still hours away as we rustle together the day. A smell seems to lie upon the air. Syrupy-sweet or almost rose petals. It smells like… Democracy!

   Though we all voted the first day of early voting we still take the day off from work. Digital camera, sun block and a legal pad. Stop at the drug store to get one of those pens that hang around your neck. People are going to wonder which side you’re on.

   Today you are on everyone’s side.




Go to the polls and watch. How long is the line? Does the line move quickly or slow? You may greet people with a friendly wave and the words, ”Watch for vote flipping! Double check your entries!”

   Your own neighborhood poll is a good place to go to watch polls. ( For more excitement please call your local Democratic Party office and see if there is someplace they need watching. It might be all hell-and-gone in a hostile hood. Someplace named after a forest and filled with energy and banking types. Not at all as friendly to a pollwatcher as some place like the 3rd ward (New Orleans, Houston, Chicago)

   You don’t even have to do the whole day. Being there first thing in the morning is the kind of thing that sets the tone for the day. Pack a lunch, anyway. Lots of fruit to keep you awake.

   You might end up just standing there like Kalija the Cigar Indian. Most likely someone will wander up and ask you something. What do I do? How do I get started? Where are the bathrooms? If you want to advise people on how to vote you have to stand on the sidewalk. Stay a Watcher. Don’t get into stupid arguments with people who have already made up their minds. That’s just teaching a pig to sing. Everyone else may enjoy watching but you’ll look silly and it just annoys the pig. Plus you have to stand on the sidewalk.

  Be proud of Watching. Cheerfully explain that you just want to be a civilian observer. Call up your local community radio station with updates.

   If you start as late as I do and you can hang till 9pm then you may get to watch the count. If they don’t want to let you watch be sure to double-check the spelling of everyone’s name. You can send your observations, however dull, to Greg Palast and his web site. The Voting Integrity Project ( would be another good spot.

   Will it help? It’ll make me feel better. It’ll make the people coming to vote feel better. Also, it will help. Every watcher makes it that much harder to steal stuff. If you’re just watching your own local poll then someone else doesn’t have to. There’s about a dozen states where it might make a real difference. Florida, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas will all have nice weather for standing around.

   That’s gonna be my day. I have some steaks thawing and an invitation to the victory party down town. Plenty of evil still left in the Right to deal with Wednesday. Nobody cares what Fox Snooze thinks of anything tonight. I’m gonna quote Molly Ivins ( and Patrick Henry till my Sweetie takes me home and feeds me homeopathic hangover cures. And coffee with maple syrup. That way it’ll smell like Democracy.

October 26, 2008



GOP Site Endorses E-mail Smears, Said ‘Waterboard Obama’

By Sarah Lai Stirland October 15, 2008 | 7:39:16 PM

The website of a local California Republican party has posted a message openly calling for the torture of Barack Obama, while reporting as fact a slew of long-ago debunked smears targeting the Democratic presidential candidate.

The Sacramento County Republican Party hosted a graphic this week comparing Obama to Osama bin Laden, with the caption “The only difference between Obama and Osama is BS,”The Sacramento Bee reports. The text of the graphic adds,  “Waterboard Barack Obama.”

October 17, 2008



September 14, 2008

The Tattlesnake – An Insidious GOP Email Campaign to Sucker Women Voters Edition

The ‘Obama is a Muslim’ Tripe Was Bad Enough, But This?

I receive many daffy emails from my conservative acquaintances, usually on the order of chest-thumping twaddle like “A Simple History Lesson” involving conservative cavemen who productively hunt and fish while Milquetoast liberals serve the beer, set the table and polish the silverware. That none of this is the least bit historical or even humorous doesn’t deter the modern office-bound neoconservative — typically a wimpy chickenhawk who these days hunts for bargains at the gas pump and fishes for compliments from women 20 years his junior — from forwarding it all around with the challenge to send it to a liberal and giggle as he gets angry. Neocons follow a tired script; as they sink deeper in their self-created quicksand they scream louder that it doesn’t exist to make themselves feel better. From their perspective, it’s better than admitting you’ve been dead wrong and taken in by cynical con artists like Karl Rove, I suppose.

The latest batch of anti-Obama email is mostly of the ‘Scary Rev. Wright Hates Whites’ variety, even though Obama severed ties to Wright months ago. (Ah, who lets facts get in the way of an unfunny cartoon, right?) One that stood out was a drawing of Obama, Wright and Louis Farrakhan singing in unison about the ‘change you can believe in’ and another was more blatant, with Wright shouting “God damn America and kill whitey!” with Obama nodding assent from an aisle seat while wearing a bag on his head. “I’m not here,” reads the balloon emanating from the Obama character.

But this fetid crapola is nothing compared to the one I received yesterday from the wife of a friend of mine, a nice, white, middle-aged, suburban-bred women, with a tendency to moderate conservatism.

The email, titled “Why Women Should Vote,” subtitled “A Message for All Women,” starts with a brief history of the women’s Suffrage movement and then focuses on a November 15, 1917 event wherein women were jailed and beaten for marching on the White House demanding the right to vote, most of the information gleaned from the laudable HBO film “Iron Jawed Angels.”

After informing modern women of all their ancestors went though to give them the right to vote 88 years ago, the email implores them to make sure and use that right this year. It closes with this paragraph:

“We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party — remember to vote.”

But the kicker, stuck in at the end, is:

“History is being made.”

When I read it, the obvious conclusion that came to mind is that the reader should vote for the ‘historic’ candidacy of Sarah Palin, regardless of the supposedly non-partisan nature of the email’s contents.

That the Suffragettes advocated policies that the regressive Palin is against – such as equal pay and equal rights for women – almost goes without saying; that Palin herself, should she have been alive in 1917, would have been condemning the women’s Suffrage movement is also obvious – she’s a traditional conservative woman, and that was the stance of traditional conservative women of that era.


March 6, 2008

Vote For McCain And This is What You Get

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , — Volt @ 8:15 pm

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