Michael Dukakis, Forty-First President of the United States

Okay, so he's not President yet, but he's gonna win, because it's the end of July and he's dominating George Bush, 55-38%! So you might as well call him our next President!

In the aftermath of the Democratic National Convention, the party's nominee, Michael S. Dukakis, has expanded his lead among registered voters over Vice President Bush, the probable Republican nominee, according to a Gallup Poll.

This was among the findings of a national public opinion poll of 948 registered voters conducted late last week for Newsweek magazine by the Gallup Organization. The telephone interviews took place on July 21, which was the last night of the convention, and on the night after that.

Fifty-five percent of the 948 registered voters interviewed in the poll said they preferred to see Mr. Dukakis win the 1988 Presidential election, while 38 percent said they preferred to see Mr. Bush win. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

This represented a shift in Mr. Dukakis's lead from the 47 percent to 41 percent advantage he held in the last pre-convention Gallup Poll, taken by telephone July 8-10. In that poll, 1,001 registered voters were interviewed.
It's refreshing to know that after eight long years of Republican rule, we will have a Democrat in the White House!


Except, of course, that Dukakis lost.

Granted, the poll was taken 15 weeks before the 1988 election, and we are less than 14 weeks from the 2008 election. Plus, this poll came on the heels of the Democratic National Convention, before the Republican convention started.

And yes, the Democrats are viewed in a much more favorable light than Republicans in 2008, something that couldn't be said two decades ago. And the Republicans are nominating a less-than-inspiring McCain to succeed an unpopular Bush, twenty years after an uninspiring Dukakis was nominated to succeed Mr. Likable.

However, Obama's lead over McCain is considerably smaller. And this poll form 1988 showed Dukakis above the all-important 50% mark.

My point is that so much can change in so little time. The election is 96 days away, which leaves plenty of time for fraud, Willie Horton-style attacks, and the like...

...and plenty of time for you and me to do something about it. Register some voters. Talk with your neighbors, friends, family members, etc. Write a letter to the editor.

Our nation - really, our world - need Barack, and Barack is counting on you and me. So please don't allow complacency to creep in.


Leaders vs. Complainers

Do you have 26 minutes of free time?

Once again, Obama has shown himself to be the leader we need during these times. A leader more than capable of working together with foreign leaders and the people of their countries to tackle the serious challenges of the present day.

Obama has used his overseas trip to establish a strong rapport with leaders such as President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Jordan's King Abdullah. He understands that America is at its strongest when our leaders work with others to advance the causes of human rights across the globe - to put a halt to the various threats to the safety of the human race.

Meanwhile, it is John McCain who has shown the same lack of integrity that has marked the Bush presidency. McCain's campaign has been stepping up his criticism of Obama, to the point where they have contradicted their own criticisms.

  1. Seventeen days after taking a trip abroad to Columbia and Mexico, five weeks after giving a paid campaign speech in Canada, and two months after criticizing Obama for not going to Iraq, the McCain campaign criticizes Obama for taking a trip abroad that includes a stop in Iraq.
  2. Eleven days after holding a press conference to claim that Obama is a serial flip-flopper, McCain argues that Obama is the most extremist member of the Senate.
  3. Five days after releasing a documentary criticizing Obama for flip-flopping on Iraq, the McCain campaign argues that Obama is too inflexible on Iraq.
  4. After spending April and May calling Obama an elitist, they spent June and July calling him "typical."
As we are acutely aware, attacks like the ones McCain have launched are about as commonplace in politics as snow is in a Michigan winter. And, quite frankly, I do see some need for Obama to continue to call out McCain, just as the DNC has been doing and just as I am doing here.

But if all someone has to offer is negative, contradictory rhetoric, then they cannot be trusted with the safety and security of the American public. Fear will not defeat terrorism, lies will not educate our kids, and neither McCain nor anyone else can distort their way to energy independence.



Three pictures, three thousand words

An oldie but goodie - Then-Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) in 2006:
The Republicans show off the consequences of their own education policies:

And finally, a sign of hope in my front yard:


Why is gay marriage wrong?

Yep, I got it in an email.

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.


Don't you DARE get your prescription drugs from Canada!

From Democratic Underground last year:

A car company can move its factories to Mexico and claim it's a free market.

A toy company can out source to a Chinese subcontractor and claim it's a free market.

A shoe company can produce its shoes in Southeast Asia and claim it's a free market

A major bank can incorporate in Bermuda to avoid taxes and claim it's a free market.

We can buy HP Printers made in Mexico.

We can buy shirts made in Bangladesh.

We can purchase almost anything we want from 20 different countries.

BUT, heaven help the senior citizens who dare to buy their prescription drugs from a Canadian or Mexican pharmacy. That's called anti-U. S. and illegal and our politicians want to stop it!


U can haz videos

Two West Michigan Democratic lawmakers and a state House candidate discuss McCain and the economy.

As my belated Fourth of July present to you, here's a video I got of a German band playing The Stars and Stripes Forever at a church festival.

A plane lands at the airport on St. Maarten. I'm surprised they allow them to come so close.

Bush tours the country to survey the damage caused by his presidency.

And finally, a stern warning from The Onion.


Are You A Patriot?

It was a courageous act for those who signed the Declaration of Independence to stand up to the tyranny of King George in defense of their "unalienable rights." Yet still they stood up, knowing that human rights are just too important to give up.

They were patriots. They stood up for what they knew was best for the people.

My question for you in 2008 is, do you have that same courage - the courage to be a patriot and do right by our country? And what are you going to do for our country to make it live up to its ideals?

What does patriotism mean to you? Most of us will say that a patriot is someone who wants the best for your country. And most of you who read this strongly agree that patriotism is not about merely wearing an American flag lapel pin or sticking a 'Support the Troops' magnet on your car or attending your community's Fourth of July festivities.

Because patriotism is about so much more than what you want, believe, or say. It’s about what you do.

Being patriotic means you serve your country in some capacity. My utmost gratitude goes to all of you who have worn the uniform of this nation in the armed services. Likewise, I thank those of you who have served as firefighters, police officers, and the like. If military and police/fire service is not your calling, have you considered running for office? What about the Peace Corps or Americorps? Take Barack Obama's advice and find some way to serve our country.

Being patriotic means you do right by every citizen of this nation, because you understand that America is nothing without its people. While millions of Americans are celebrating this Fourth of July at a barbecue with family and friends, millions more are spending the holiday without food, family, or friends - be it in Iraq or in the streets and slums of this country. Have you helped out at your local soup kitchen? Have you given away some of your old clothes that you won't use again? Have you sent something through AnySoldier.com?

Being patriotic means you work to give this nation dedicated leaders at all levels. Leaders who themselves are patriots dedicated to setting our nation on the right course and are even willing to put their reputation on the line for our country. I'm getting very involved in this campaign season here in Michigan to help ensure that Barack Obama will lead our nation next Independence Day. I do so out of a conviction that Obama offers by far the best chance for restoring integrity and honor to the White House.

Being patriotic means you hold our leaders accountable. Have you called your lawmakers and asked them to oppose telecom immunity in FISA? Have you shared with them your thoughts on election reform, the environment, or our crumbling infrastructure?

And of course, being a patriot is about so much more than what I mention here.

As I said a year ago:

In this time when our basic freedoms are being attacked, each of us must take responsibility for doing our part to ensure that the cause of liberty is not destroyed in our great Republic. Because as much as Bush and his cabal try to ruin the Republic, the fact remains, this is still our country.

Our country.

As we celebrate the 232nd birthday of this nation, let us do so with that same commitment that guided our founders in 1776. There are more than 300,000,000 of us Americans, and we won't all agree on what exactly is best for our country. But unless each of us does our part for our country, how can we expect our America to last another 232 years?

Obama 30, McCain 0

The Kent County Democrats and the Obama campaign participated in Kentwood's Fourth of July parade this morning. I had hoped for a good turnout, but as often happens with Obama events, things turned out better than expected.

In fact, we had about 30 people there! I would tell you how many people were in the McCain contingent at the parade, but McCain's campaign didn't even show up! Keep in mind, Bush won Kentwood 56-43% in 2004.

We decorated my family's UAW-made Taurus for the occasion:

I didn't get the best pictures of the car, but the signs on this side of the car said "Liberty and Justice for All" and "Vote Democratic." the signs on the other side read "Security, Prosperity, Community" (a quick and catchy slogan I thought of last night) and "Vote Democratic."

Here are just some of the 30 people there:

As I saw that the parade was getting going, I asked everyone: "Are you ready? Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? Are you ready to show everyone that Kentwood is Obama Country?"


Moments later, we began our 2.7-mile journey. Every couple of minutes we would engage the crowd in a cheer. "Yes We Can!" "We Want Change!" "O-ba-ma!" As one might expect in West Michigan, we did get the occasional less-than-positive response - a few people said "Go McCain!" and we did get a thumbs-down or two - but far more people cheered. Mom told me that of all the political participants in the parade, we were the only ones who garnered cheers.

It was an exciting morning here in Kentwood. If people in this suburb in conservative West Michigan can get enthusiastic about Obama, politics in West Michigan will continue to shift to the left, costing Republicans key support in this part of one of the nation's biggest battleground states.


IVAW on Independence Day - hitting the nail on the head

I just found this in my inbox and had to share it with you. It's from retired Army National Guard Sgt. Kelly Dougherty, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The full email is on IVAW's website, but I can't resist sharing a few choice snippets here.

Just a few days ago Independence Day came and went, and did anyone notice? June 28th was the day the US returned sovereignty to Iraq in 2004, and it should be a day of celebration, a day when Iraqis mark their equal status among nations, just as America did more than two centuries ago.
It gets a lot better.
But even when, finally, the Iraqi people are truly able to steer their own course and run their country as they see fit, I doubt that June 28th will be celebrated as a true Independence Day in Iraq. Would we be celebrating if our Declaration of Independence had been edited by King George III? What if Britain maintained troops and military bases inside our major cities? Would we mark the day this "independence" began with fireworks and parades?
(Emphasis is mine.)

Oh, but you don't think she's done yet, do you? Of course not!
In our Declaration of Independence, the government derives its power from the consent of the governed. We are veterans and soldiers, and we have withdrawn our consent. We ask you to stand with us to force our leaders to submit, as they should, to the will of the people and end this war now.
Preach it, sister!


Storm photos

We just had a couple severe thunderstorms roll through Kentwood, and I got a couple of pictures: