Sunday, November 30, 2008

Obama Meets with Adm. Mullen in 'Very Positive' Meeting

Just a few weeks ago, the GOP partisans were slamming Barack Obama as an anti-American, anti-military traitor, willing to sell out the U.S. at the drop of a hat.

This right-wing hyperbole was always nonsense, as this report from today's Washington Post makes clear:

Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, went unarmed into his first meeting with the new commander in chief -- no aides, no PowerPoint presentation, no briefing books. Summoned nine days ago to President-elect Barack Obama's Chicago transition office, Mullen showed up with just a pad, a pen and a desire to take the measure of his incoming boss.

There was little talk of exiting Iraq or beefing up the U.S. force in Afghanistan; the one-on-one, 45-minute conversation ranged from the personal to the philosophical. Mullen came away with what he wanted: a view of the next president as a non-ideological pragmatist who was willing to both listen and lead. After the meeting, the chairman "felt very good, very positive," according to Mullen spokesman Capt. John Kirby.

Facts are stubborn things, as someone once said. Obama, the facts show, is less partisan than his predecessor and more pragmatic.

Recent Reading: Annie Proulx's Wyoming Stories from 'Bad Dirt'

During this long political season, AT has been distracted by politics and political commentary. As a result, we neglected our literary posts, which, we admit, is one of our abiding interests.

Thankfully, the holiday weekend gave us a chance to catch up a bit and spend some time with Annie Proulx and her wonderfully gritty Wyoming stories. We recently found a used hardback copy of Bad Dirt, the second volume of her Wyoming stories (the first volume was Close Range, if memory serves).

Proulx, who lives in Wyoming part of the year and seems to have a special insight into the people there, writes about folks in the fictional town of Elk Tooth, where the locals frequent one of the hamlet's three bars.

As we suggested above, most of Proulx's stories feature tough, hard-working characters, ranch hands, game wardens and bartenders who live in trailers and manage to scrape out a living on the high plains of the mountain west.

The opening story, "The Hellhole," features a game warden named Creel Zmundzinski and some of his surly law breakers, who, in Proulx's imagination, get their comeuppance in a particularly vicious way.

Another story focuses on Willy Huson, an Elk Tooth eccentric, who once had a good out-of-town job as a mechanic for United Airlines but returned home to fix cars and lawn mowers, at least when the feeling strikes. In this story, however, Huson decides to set up a hot tub outside his trailer, which is why the story is called "Summer of the Hot Tubs."

Next time you're in the market for some original short fiction with an edgy twist, check out Annie Proulx's Wyoming stories. She's the real deal.

WSJ's Peggy Noonan Praises Obama's Maturity, Steadiness

Peggy Noonan, a columnist for the conservative Wall Street Journal, is praising the leadership of Barack Obama.

Unlike some of her wild-eyed and unhinged Republican allies (including some in Oklahoma), Noonan pointed out this week that Obama has not turned out to be a "redistributionist" or secret socialist.

Here's how Noonan put it a couple of days ago:
Mr. Obama's cabinet picks and other nominations suggest moderation, also maturity, and his treatment of Joe Lieberman shows forbearance and shrewdness. Politics is a game of addition, take the long view, don't throw anyone out as you try to hit 60. Most of all, leave Mr. Lieberman having to prove every day to the Democratic caucus that he really is a Democrat. There's nothing in being a maverick now. Mr. Obama's preternatural steadiness continues.

Anchorage Columnist Slams Palin for Supporting Georgia Senator

Gov. Sarah Palin, former vice presidential candidate and darling of the Republican right, is facing some tough sledding in her home state.

A writer for the Alaska Daily News, the state's largest newspaper, has blasted Palin for her recent trip to Georgia in support of Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

The column points out the Chambliss ran a dishonest and disgraceful campaign to win his senate seat, accusing his opponent of being soft on terror even though his opponent, Max Cleland, lost three limbs in Vietnam while Chambliss sat out the war with draft deferments.

It's yet another reason to doubt the national political future of Palin.

A link the the Anchorage column is here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tulsa John Birchers Still Hoping to Hunt Down Subversives in the Sooner State

AltTulsa missed the local John Birch Society meeting a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately for Tulsa and Oklahoma politics, almost everyone else missed the meeting too.

The Tulsa World sent a reporter at the meeting, however, and he reported a grand total of 20 or so at the Birch meeting. That's an extraordinarily poor turnout in a county that went heavily Republican earlier this month, supporting such candidates as Sen. Jim Inhofe, and yet another sign of the waning influence of the Birchers.

One local person at the meeting was Sally Bell, recently a candidate for Tulsa County Commission. Bell lost to Karen Keith, but Bell blamed her loss on the World.

"The local newspaper absolutely tore me to shreds," Bell told the group. (Blame the press—a time-honored and all-purpose right-wing tradition.)

The paper said the aims of the Birchers are "to spread the gospel of anti-totalitarianism and to organize to resist the looming 'New World Order.'"

Reporter Denver Nicks also quoted Don Crosson, a leader of the local Birch organization, who identified state Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso as a John Birch member.

Just what the Oklahoma senate needs—another Cold War dinosaur, still working hard to resurrect the Joe McCarthy and expel Commies and other heathens (read: non-white immigrants) from the Sooner state.

Why there must be several dozen Reds hiding somewhere around here and, with Bell, Crosson, and Brogdon on the alert, we can all sleep tight tonight.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Consumerism Turns Deadly: Black Friday Shoppers Trample Wal-Mart Worker

Without further comment, this unbelievable report from today's New York Daily News:

A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.

The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Time's Joe Klein on the Last Days of Bush

The Bush presidency has been a disaster in many, many ways. Here, from Time magazine's political columnist Joe Klein, is a potent summary of the tarnished Bush years:
At the end of a presidency of stupefying ineptitude, he has become the lamest of all possible ducks....

[H]is ridiculous, preening appearance in a flight suit on the deck of the aircraft carrier beneath the "Mission Accomplished" sign. The flight-suit image is one of the two defining moments of the Bush failure. The other is the photo of Bush staring out the window of Air Force One, helplessly viewing the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina. This is a presidency that has wobbled between those two poles — overweening arrogance and paralytic incompetence....

In the end, though, it will not be the creative paralysis that defines Bush. It will be his intellectual laziness, at home and abroad. Bush never understood, or cared about, the delicate balance between freedom and regulation that was necessary to make markets work. He never understood, or cared about, the delicate balance between freedom and equity that was necessary to maintain the strong middle class required for both prosperity and democracy. He never considered the complexities of the cultures he was invading. He never understood that faith, unaccompanied by rigorous skepticism, is a recipe for myopia and foolishness. He is less than President now, and that is appropriate. He was never very much of one.

Okie Bloggers Fall for Bogus Obama Birth Certificate Story

You'd think Oklahoma's conservative bloggers would have more sense. Common sense, we like to think, is a sturdy Oklahoma value.

But no. Some folks who should know better keep falling for conspiracy theories concerning President-elect Barack Obama's phony birth certificate. In the fantasy world of right-wing nonsense, this means that Obama can't actually be president because he isn't actually an American.

While we're at it, there's also a story (read: hoax) that Elvis and Marilyn are alive and well and living in Miami, and a whole horde of space aliens are living in Roswell.

Who's passing along such nonsense? David Arnett at Tulsa Today, for one, and, citing Arnett, OKC's Mike McCarville on his political blog, McCarville Report Online.

And how do they know about the fraudulent certificate? Ah, yes—from other wingnut web sites and such paragons of good judgment as Alan Keyes. Keyes has filed a lawsuit to uncover the hidden truth about Obama.

Of course. If you lose election, search for technicalities, even when you have to invent the technicalities. That's bound to turn up some dirt.

Keyes, by the way, is the non-Illinois carpetbagger (and world-class gasbag) who ran against—you guessed it—Barack Obama when Obama ran for the U.S. Senate. If memory serves, Keyes lost in a landslide. (Keyes needs something productive to do these days, apparently).

Meanwhile, the echo chamber keeps firing blanks at will, as if they have real bullets and an actual political target.

They don't. They are grasping at straws and doing a disservice to politics and democracy. Oklahomans, especially so-called conservative Oklahomans, should get off this bandwagon before they embarrass themselves even more than they already have.

DECEMBER 8 UPDATE: As we (and many others) predicted, the Supreme Court today declined to hear one of these cases, adding to a long line of failed cases filed by the crackpots.   

Monday, November 24, 2008

Obama's Economic Picks Win Praise

It's a huge contrast from the Bush Administration where ideology trumped everything, but Barack Obama's economic selections show signs of thoughtfulness and—heavens!—competence. 

Here's how The Economist has described the selection of Treasury Secretary nominee Tim Geithner: 
Ah glorious, glorious competence. How we've missed you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tulsa's Medlock on Palin: She's Perfect

We know that the election is over. Obama and Biden won, though not in the reddest of the Red States, good ole Oklahoma.

Time to move on.

Still, we couldn't help looking back at some of the foolishness that came out of the Republican National Convention. Searching through cyberspace, we found Tulsa mentioned in the New York Observer of early September.

It seems that an Observer reporter interviewed one Chris Medlock, Tulsa Republican activist and local radio talk show host.

Here's the Observer paragraph featuring Medlock, complete with Medlock's rose-colored (and quite wrongheaded) assessment of VP candidate Sarah Palin:
Chris Medlock, an alternative delegate from Tulsa, Okla., screamed, “Joe Biden doesn’t have a chance!” throughout the speech. When it was over he said, “If it was a fight, they would have stopped it early. She scored blow after blow after blow. And she softened it with humor. She is the perfect candidate.”
Ah yes: The Perfect GOP Candidate. Apparently, inexperience, lack of knowledge, and a gee-whiz personality make up Medlock's qualifications for Republican greatness.

Thankfully, a majority of Americans disagree.

Rush Runs the Republican Party to Ruin, Kondrake Writes

Morton Kondrake is not the sharpest pencil in the box, by our lights, but he knows a festering political problem when he sees one. And this week he identified one in the person of Rush Limbaugh. And Sean Hannity. And Laura Ingraham.

They are right-wing radio talkers, of course, and Kondrake is putting them on notice. The headline of Kondrake's column in today's Tulsa World put it plainly: "GOP job No. 1: Fire Rush Limbaugh."

Kondrake points out that right-wing rants have been bad for the Republicans. The blabbers, he write, have whipped "the GOP base into frenzies—over immigration, brain-damage victim Terry Schiavo and same-sex marriage—that have branded the party as troglodyte."

The result, he continues, is a Republican Party out of tune with a major demographic shift, all those Americans who can be identified as "Latinos, young people, the well-educated, moderates, working women, first-time voters, and 'seculars.'"

Houston, we have a problem.

Kondrake even quotes Karl Rove on the problem. If the GOP keeps losing Latinos, Rove said, the party "will find it hard to regain the majority."

Step 1 in the Republican rehabilitation, Kondrake says, is to fire "Limbaugh and his ilk as the intellectual bosses of the GOP." The blabbers should be ignored, Kondrake argues.

Amen, Brother Mort! We're with you all the way.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Deceiving the Public: Wingnut Presents Misleading Data; Zogby Admits Problem

When you don't have the facts, make 'em up! Manipulate the data! Nobody will know the difference, right?

Wrong! As evidence, we present the following dust up (based on real, true, actual facts!) that undermines one of the popular conservative claims about the election of Barack Obama.

It seems that a conservative operator named John Zielger commissioned the Zogby organization to conduct a survey of presidential voters. Not being especially interested in matters of fairness or truth, Zielger created the questions in a peculiar fashion, one which asked Obama voters about controversial charges lodged against the president-elect.

When the poll got the expected results, Ziegler and the right-wing blogosphere had a field day, reporting data that appeared to show Obama voters were misinformed by the media. The data was so "good" (read: cooked) that Zielger set up a popular website featuring the information.

The news made the Oklahoma blogsphere as well, thanks to Tulsa Republican Michael Bates and OKC's Mike McCarville.

Too bad it was all crap, as we now know.

The Wall Street Journal, for instance, investigated the Zogby poll and published a not-very-flattering piece on the results. The article noted that the poll "interpreted the numbers from the survey in a misleading fashion." has also weighed in, with the same conclusion.

Even John Zogby has distanced himself from the poll. He told reporters that the poll was put together while he was on vacation. Zogby added: “I also believe it was not our finest hour. This slipped through the cracks. It came out critical only of Obama voters.”

Oh really? Wasn't that Ziegler's point? Of course it was. So much for, well, honesty.

Now we're waiting for our Sooner state friends, Bates and McCarville, to own up to their mistake, the mistake of publishing crap from the right and pretending it's actually true.

Gallup Poll Shows GOP Negatives on the Rise

More bad news for the Republican Party. Here's a brief summary from our friends at Talking Points Memo:
The new Gallup poll shows that the Republican Party as an institution has a 61% unfavorable rating, with only 34% favorable. And the numbers have only gone downhill since the election -- in October they were at 40% favorable and 53% unfavorable.

Sarah Palin, the Alaska Wealth Sharer

Gov. Sarah Palin has returned to Alaska, thank goodness.

Yet the former high school basketball player and beauty queen hasn't quite disappeared. Indeed, news reports out this week say that Palin has been offered a seven-figure book deal, which means the Lower 48 will see plenty of her when she (or, more accurately, her ghost writer) publishes the book. In the meantime, we'd like reconsider Palin's dubious "redistribution" charge against Barack Obama.

We bring this up because we saw Hendrik Hertzberg's piece in the November 3 issue of The New Yorker. Hertzberg points out that Palin presides over a state where the resources are owned "collectively," to put it in Palin's own words. Moreover, the state has no income tax or sales taxa nice deal, if you can get it.

As it happens, the state levies huge fees on the oil companies, enough to pay the state government's bills. Plus, there's a surplus that the state pays out to its residents, a windfall that Palin increased by $1,200 this year. No wonder she was popular up there.

The total this year for every man woman and child in the Great North: $3,269 each! "[W]e share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs," Palin told the magazine.

Hertzberg say this might be called "socialism with an Alaskan face."

Losers of the Week: Rush and the Right-wing Radio Talkers

It's not news that Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing radio talkers are one-note blabbers. With no new ideas and a persistent lack of reason and evidence, Rush and his kind offer almost nothing to the national dialogue beyond party-line rants and inconsistent nonsense.

This week, however, Rush and the ranters took it on the chin from none other than Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican (Yes!) and Vietnam War veteran (unlike Rush, Sean Hannity, and many other Chickenhawks).

Speaking at the Johns Hopkins School of Advances International Studies, Hagel, according to one source:
leveled harsh criticism at his own party, the lack of intellectual curiosity among some of his colleagues, the Bush administration's handling of nearly every aspect of governance and -- perhaps most bitingly -- the conservative radio voices that often dictate the GOP agenda.

Hagel continued: "We are educated by the great entertainers like Rush Limbaugh," said Hagel, sarcastically referencing the talk radio host who once called him "Senator Betrayus."

"You know, I wish Rush Limbaugh and others like that would run for office. They have so much to contribute and so much leadership and they have an answer for everything. And they would be elected overwhelmingly," he offered.

"[The truth is] they try to rip everyone down and make fools of everybody but they don't have any answers."

Well put, Sen. Hagel.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to Us: AT Turns Two

Since nobody else is going to do it, AT wants to wish itself a happy birthday today (actually, yesterday).

That's right, Sooner fans, the AltTulsa blog began two years ago. Since that time, we've been busy. We've made more than one thousand posts in two years and received many thousands of hits from all across Oklahoma and points beyond. 

We'd like to think that our posts have shed a little light (and even some heat) on the controversies and issues of the day. As our regular readers know, AT casts a wide net. In accordance with our name, we also work to offer an uncommon perspective, even when that means swimming upstream. 

Most of all, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank our readers, including our regular readers (even when they disagree us). Readers are the reason why we do what we do. 

Now, back to the grind. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gazette Writer Blasts Oklahoma's Conservative Voters

Dead Wrong and Proud of It.

That bold statement is the headline atop an opinion piece in this week's Oklahoma City Gazette, the state's largest weekly newspaper. The writer, Robin Meyers, takes Oklahoma's conservative voters to task for sleeping through the last 25 years or so.

Here's a portion of Meyers' editorial blast:
The world wept for joy; Oklahoma spat defiantly. The glory train of history pulled out of the station; Oklahoma waved goodbye and said “good riddance.” Dr. King’s dream came true; Oklahoma slumbered on, curled up on the hearth of racism and addicted to the mind-numbing power of the word “conservative.”

Whatever the rest of the country is up to, it must be wrong. If the American voter wants to send five new Democratic senators and 19 representatives to Washington, Oklahomans will respond by not electing a single Democrat running in a statewide election. If Obama wants to redraw the electoral map, turning red states blue, we will hunker down and become the reddest of all red states — the only state in which not a single county went for Obama.

The candidate that Gen. Colin Powell called “transformational” did not transform the Sooners — he made us even more recalcitrant. The opportunity to break down old walls instead of propping them up again passed us by. The chance to prove that race has nothing to do with it passed us by. The chance to support the next generation of young people, born again to a passion for politics, passed us by.

While almost everyone in the world celebrated this stunning about-face in the image of our tarnished nation, the majority of Okies proved once again that nothing has to make sense to make us proud, and God must find something endearing about ignorance....

McCain Takes Missouri—Finally! The Show Me State's Winning Streak is Over

We have no idea why it took so long, but today (today!) our Missouri friends have made their presidential choice. It's McCain, just barely.

Here's the CNN report on the news, a squeaker which McCain won by just over 3,600 votes, out of 2.9 million votes.

(CNN) – It's taken more than two weeks, but we finally have a winner in Missouri.

Fifteen days after Election Day, Republican Sen. John McCain has narrowly edged out President-elect Barack Obama in the state, according to CNN's review of the latest unofficial vote totals from the Missouri Secretary of State. This resolves the final outstanding contest of the 2008 presidential race.

According to the unofficial results, McCain won the state by 3,632 votes. The unofficial count shows McCain with 1,445,812 votes, or 49.4 percent, and Obama with 1,442,180 votes, or 49.3 percent.

Obama's Complete Sentences Cause Political Controversy

Humorist Andy Borowitz, writing today on The Huffington Post:
In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama's appearance on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday witnessed the president-elect's unorthodox verbal tick, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.

* * *

According to presidential historian David Logston of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a president who speaks English as if it were his first language.

"Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logston. "If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist."
Oh no, an elitist who can speak properly! There's more Borowitz at The Huffington Post.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another GOP Senator Goes Down; Convicted Felon Ted Stevens Loses in Alaska

Breaking: Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is down for the count. The convicted felon and longest- serving Republican senator has lost his re-election bid.

This means that Republican senators will not have to expel Stevens, which would leave an open senate seat that could have been filled by—you guessed it—Gov. Sarah Palin.

Here's some of the CNN report on the news:
Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, the Republican lawmaker convicted on felony corruption charges in October, appears to have lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Mark Begich, according to a release from Begich's campaign and unofficial results from state officials.

The statement and results Tuesday come two weeks after the election, after absentee ballots were counted.

With 100 percent of Alaska's precincts reporting, Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, had roughly 47.7 percent of the vote, compared with about 46.6 percent for Stevens, according to unofficial results posted on the Alaska Secretary of State's Web site.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Economic Update: Bad News Gets Worse as Citibank Lays Off Thousands

AltTulsa doesn't do economics. We freely confess ignorance on most topics related to major economic issues.

But even economic dolts like us can recognize a big layoff story, and the Citibank has one. Here, courtesy of the AP, is the very bad news:
Citigroup Inc. is shedding approximately 53,000 more employees in the coming quarters as the banking giant struggles to steady itself after suffering massive losses from deteriorating debt.
Let's get this straight: 53,000 layoffs, as in 3,000 more than 50,000? And this on top of some 20,000 earlier layoffs?

Holy Cow!

This is a huge number by any standard, and surely a sign of a serious problem at Citibank, which is a major financial institution. When the banks are in trouble, it certainly doesn't sound like a good sign for the rest of us.

UPDATE: On the other hand, maybe the New York AG has a point:
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says Citigroup executives should forgo their bonuses this year after the company announced massive layoffs.

Calling the layoffs of 53,000 people "disturbing," Cuomo says top executives shouldn't get bonuses while investors, taxpayers and employees suffer.

Trouble on the Right: A Meltdown at Bill Buckley's National Review

The vexed candidacy of Sarah Palin and a Republican defeat on November 4 is causing significant havoc at William F. Buckley's old magazine, National Review.

The crack-up was reported in the New York Times, a story that included these tidbits:

In the general conservative blogosphere and in The Corner, National Review’s popular blog, the tenor of debate — particularly as it related to the fitness of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska to be vice president — devolved into open nastiness during the campaign season, laying bare debates among conservatives that in a pre-Internet age may have been kept behind closed doors.

National Review, as the most pedigreed voice of conservatives, has often been tainted — unfairly and by association, some argue — by the tone of blogs, reader comments and e-mail messages. “Bill was always very concerned about having a high-minded and thoughtful discourse,” Rich Lowry, the magazine’s editor, said. “If you read the magazine, that’s what it was and that’s what it is.”

In October came the resignation of Mr. Buckley’s son, the writer and satirist Christopher Buckley, after he endorsed Barack Obama for president.

* * *

Now David Frum, a prominent conservative writer who enmeshed himself in a minor dustup during the campaign by turning negative on Governor Palin, is leaving, too. In an interview, he said he planned to leave the magazine, where he writes a popular blog, to strike out on his own on the Web.

Columnist Frank Rich Fires Both Barrels: The Moose Stops Here

Readers of a certain mindset—liberals, mostly—can count on Frank Rich to call 'em as he sees 'em.

That was certainly the case yesterday as Rich blasted the conservative movement and its journalism wing in his New York Times column.

Rich names names, all the better to punish the guilty (metaphorically, of course). Check it out here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Newt Gingrich on Gov. Palin: She's Not Going to Be The GOP Leader

More signs of dissent in Republican ranks: The Hill is reporting today that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has downplayed the leadership role of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Here's part of The Hill's report:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is batting down the hype that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin heads into 2012 as the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination.

Palin energized the Republican base after GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) tapped her as his running mate and she has tried to preserve her high public profile since Election Day.

But Gingrich, an architect of the Republican revolution of 1994, took Palin down a notch, asserting that she would not become the party’s leader, as some have predicted.

“I think that she is going to be a significant player,” said Gingrich during an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation”. “But she’s going to be one of 20 or 30 significant players. She’s not going to be the de facto leader.”

Writing in the New York Times Saturday, former talk show host Dick Cavett skewers "The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla."

It's hilarious. Read Cavett's column here.

A sample line: "I feel a little sorry for John [McCain]. He aimed low and missed."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Senate Update: Alaska's Stevens Slowly Losing the Election

In Alaska, the longest-serving Republican senator, convicted felon Ted Stevens, is losing the election to his Democratic opponent, former Anchorage mayor Mark Begich. 

The election website, fivethirtyeight, is reporting that the numbers are increasingly going Begich's way

If that holds, Begich will fill another senate seat for the Democrats and deny Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a chance to replace Stevens with herself, which, as governor, she could do. 

For details from fivethirtyeight, click here

Beware of False Prophets: Going Goofy in the Name of the Lord

We realize that readers don't need to know anything to write a letter to the editor. Still, AT was surprised by the sheer lunacy of a particular writer in today's Tulsa World.

The writer, a citizen of Bartlesville, blames the election of Barack Obama on bad Christians. That's right, True Believers, it's your fault that Obama beat McCain.

"If Christians would have repented, fasted and prayed diligently the election would not have turned out like it did," our correspondent opined. Not only that, our writer knows the true Obama and his evil plans, courtesy of an unidentified prophet who enlightened her with "what God has revealed to him…."

What did the prophet reveal? "Barack Obama is the most 'ungodly' president that this country has ever elected," she writes.

But there's more. Her prophet also sees inside the heart of the new president. Thus: "What you see on the outside is not the true Obama inside. He has the spirit of violence directed at anyone who opposes him."

Her evidence? It's the "vicious attacks" against Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber. But the last time we looked, there was plenty of mud being tossed around during the campaign, and not all of it by Obama.

Wasn't it Palin who belittled Obama's community organizing? Wasn't it Palin who attacked Obama for "palin' around with terrorists"?

Finally, our Bartlesville correspondent is sure that Obama will curb free speech against his opponents. Even worse, "[T]he government and laws will be used to silence Christians."

Back on earth (where facts actually matter), we would like to point out that there is no evidence for any of these predictions. As everyone who has actually examined Obama's record or his words would know, Obama is a Christian who—like a genuine practicing Christian—appears to have a generous heart and a forgiving spirit.

He's been gracious in victory. He's talked about bringing the nation together, building on common values, and solving the nation's problems. Notably, he hasn't talked about instituting violence or limiting anybody's religion or speech.

But when you sit at the feet of a false prophet, delusions and paranoia count more than facts.

Dissention in the Republican Ranks: DeMint vs. McCain Over Conservative Principles

The Republican recriminations are continuing in the wake of the Democratic victory on November 4. Here's the latest sign of the meltdown from
South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint on Friday became one of the first high-profile Republicans to publicly criticize John McCain following his electoral defeat, blaming the Arizona senator for betraying conservative principles in his quest for the White House.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Republican Reality: Losing the Northeast, the Great Lakes, the West Coast…

Republican governors are holding a big confab in Miami this week, but last week's election results are tamping down the party spirit.

Here's the assessment from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who had the courage to confront the GOP's looming voter problem. Here's an excerpt from the NY Times:

"We cannot be a majority governing party when we essentially cannot compete in the Northeast, we are losing our ability to compete in Great Lakes States, we cannot compete on the West Coast, we are increasingly in danger of competing in the Mid-Atlantic States, and the Democrats are now winning some of the Western States,” he said. “That is not a formula for being a majority governing party in this nation.”

“And similarly we cannot compete, and prevail, as a majority governing party if we have a significant deficit, as we do, with women, where we have a large deficit with Hispanics, where we have a large deficit with African-American voters, where we have a large deficit with people of modest incomes and modest financial circumstances,” he said. “Those are not factors that make up a formula for success going forward.”

Bonehead of the Week: Dennis Miller

The election is over, but some folks are still pimping—sadly, we're not kidding—the legend of Sarah Palin.

As the following quote demonstrates, you can say just about anything on Bill O'Reilly's program. Here are the unedited words of former-comedian-turned-nutcase Dennis Miller:

She’s a great dame. People are fascinated by her because the Left hate her. I think the Left hate her — mostly women on the Left hate her — because to me from outside in it appears that she has a great sex life, all right? I think she has non-neurotic sex with that Todd Palin guy. … I think that snow mobile looks like mechanized foreplay to me and that’s why people are fascinated.
What the hell is Miller smoking these days? He seriously thinks Lefties hate Palin because she seems to have a good sex life?

Unlike Miller, we hesitate to engage in highly speculative (not to mention dubious) pop psychology. But we suspect this kind of nonsense says a lot more about Miller and his problems that it does about Lefties.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Frank Rich: Pundits Get It Wrong on Palin

AltTulsa noted the work of columnist Frank Rich earlier this week. The New York Times writer had some pithy comments about election and the naysayers who tried to scare and belittle American voters.

Today we want to return to Rich's Sunday NYT column, this time on the pundits and Sarah Palin.

In a target-rich environment, Rich had no trouble hitting the mark:
The same commentators who dismissed every conceivable American demographic as racist, lazy or both got Sarah Palin wrong too. When she made her debut in St. Paul, the punditocracy was nearly uniform in declaring her selection a brilliant coup. There hadn’t been so much instant over-the-top praise by the press for a cynical political stunt since President Bush “landed” a jet on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in that short-lived triumph “Mission Accomplished.”

The rave reviews for Palin were completely disingenuous. Anyone paying attention (with the possible exception of John McCain) could see she was woefully ill-equipped to serve half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. The conservatives Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy said so on MSNBC when they didn’t know their mikes were on. But, hey, she was a dazzling TV presence, the thinking went, so surely doltish Americans would rally around her anyway. “She killed!” cheered Noonan about the vice-presidential debate, revising her opinion upward and marveling at Palin’s gift for talking “over the heads of the media straight to the people.” Many talking heads thought she tied or beat Joe Biden.

The people, however, were reaching a less charitable conclusion and were well ahead of the Beltway curve in fleeing Palin. Only after polls confirmed that she was costing McCain votes did conventional wisdom in Washington finally change, demoting her from Republican savior to scapegoat overnight.

But Palin’s appeal wasn’t overestimated only because of her kitschy “American Idol” star quality. Her fierce embrace of the old Karl Rove wedge politics, the divisive pitting of the “real America” against the secular “other” America, was also regarded as a sure-fire winner. The second most persistent assumption by both pundits and the McCain campaign this year — after the likely triumph of racism — was that the culture war battlegrounds from 2000 and 2004 would remain intact.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tulsa Votes: Some Midtown Success for Obama and the Democrats

John McCain won big in Tulsa County last week, a bad sign for local Democrats. McCain received 62.3 percent of the votes in Tulsa County compared to Barack Obama's 37.7 percent.

Unsurprisingly, the African-American precincts of North Tulsa went heavily for Obama, while South Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Owasso were strongly McCain.

Beyond the vote totals, we found some interesting numbers in the precincts. We were particularly pleased to see some Midtown support for Obama, who actually won or ran close in a number of central city precincts.

A few examples:
Precinct 33, University Methodist: Obama 292, McCain 194 (which probably reflects a heavy TU student turnout)

Precinct 51, Fire Station 7 on 15th St., Obama 444, McCain 410.

Precinct 52, Harvard Baptist: McCain 625, Obama 601.

Precinct 62, All Souls Unitarian: McCain 310, Obama 300.

Precinct 63, Southminster Presbyterian: Obama, 384, McCain 311.

Precinct 111, Southern Hills Methodist: Obama 357, McCain 346.
True, there's no Democratic sweep in these numbers. And many, many more precincts were solidly or overwhelmingly McCain precincts.

But in a highly Republican County, the Democrats have to look for success where they find it. And there's a tiny bit of Blue State hope in some of these precincts, where Barack Obama picked up some significant Midtown precincts.

And then there's this: Democrat Karen Keith pulled out a victory over Republican Sally Bell in the Tulsa County Commission race.

Rush Fights the Facts, and the Facts Win

There's no news in reporting the errors and inconsistencies of Rush Limbaugh's daily radio rant.

Still, it's instructive to compare Rush's words with something real and actual, like, say, facts.

The Los Angeles Times did just that the other day and the results did nothing to raise our opinion of Limbaugh, one of his generation's most impressive Chickenhawks, those GOP militant phonies who never served a day in uniform. (It's Veteran's Day, by the way, and yes, we served with pride. Go Navy!)

But here's the LA Times on Rush and his fact-free delusions:
In a time when the nation calls out for cool leadership and rational discussion, Limbaugh stirs the caldron, a tendency he proved in a particularly grotesque way last week when he accused Obama’s party of plotting a government takeover of 401(k) retirement plans.

“They’re going to take your 401(k), put it in the Social Security trust fund, whatever the hell that is,” Limbaugh woofed. “Trust fund, my rear end.”

A slight problem with Limbaugh’s report: Obama and the Democrats have proposed no such thing.

The proposal, in fact, emanated from a single economist, one of many experts testifying to a congressional committee….

To broadcast such a report — —would be a shameless act anytime, so drained of context as to constitute a lie. But Limbaugh needlessly stirred the fears of the millions he holds in his thrall — making the 401(k) thievery sound like nearly a done deal. Shameless.
UPDATE: Some gullible lady at the Republican Women's Club of Tulsa was duped by this rumor. The Tulsa World reports today that U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, speaking to the group Tuesday, was asked about "fears that Democrats intend to confiscate retirement savings…." 

To his credit, Coburn wasn't buying. "Coburn, for the most part, tried to soothe the most-troubled among his listeners," the World reported. 

Memo to Tulsa's GOP ladies: You might want to spend a little more time with, say, CNN or the LA Times, or the Tulsa World—and a lot less time listening to Rush, Sean and the rest of the rumor-mongers and know-nothings. 

Cracks in the Republican Foundation: Stu Rothenberg Looks at the Election Results

It's been a week since the election of Barack Obama and the analysis continues. At Real Clear Politics, analyst Stuart Rothenberg offers some interpretation of the numbers, but it's not good for the Republican Right.

Rothenberg writes:
The election results in 2006 and 2008 constitute the kind of one-two punch that is rare in modern American political history. It would be silly to portray this year's election as a minor hiccup. The nation elected a liberal African-American Democrat from the North as president, and it gave him a majority of all votes cast.

Moreover, in the past two elections, Democrats gained at least a dozen Senate seats and at least 50 House seats, taking total control of Congress. At the state level, they now have 4,090 state legislators to the GOP's 3,221.

But wait, there's much more. Here's an extended passage from Rothenberg's analysis:

If demographics are indeed destiny, then the 2008 national exit poll at the very least raises questions about where the GOP goes from here.

For the first time ever, whites constituted less than 75 percent of the electorate, a considerable problem for the Republican Party given its historical problems attracting minorities….

While the highly anticipated surge in younger voters never materialized, those voters younger than 30 who did participate went overwhelmingly for Obama, 66 percent to 32 percent. That 34-point margin was almost four times the 9-point margin that Kerry had with voters younger than 30.

As many analysts have pointed out, if these younger voters carry that Democratic preference with them through their lives, they could constitute a strongly Democratic cohort for the next 40 or 50 years.

Just as bad for Republicans is the fact that over the past dozen years, there has been a noticeable shift in voters' attitudes toward government, according to an exit poll question that has also been asked for years in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey.

In December 1995, only a third of respondents said that "government should do more to solve our country's problems," while 62 percent said that government "is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses." But in this year's exit poll, a slim majority, 51 percent, said government should do more, while only 43 percent said it was doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.

That's a potentially significant change in attitudes that suggests voters may be more willing to accept a more activist government that regulates business and seeks to affect outcomes, rather than merely ensures a neutral playing field.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Frank Rich Reconsiders the Election Hoopla

The most e-mailed story from the New York Times this morning was Frank Rich's Sunday column on the election, a column that celebrated the election of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land.

The column also provided a powerful critique of the past eight years, years that have not been good for democracy or open government.

A sample:
For eight years, we've been told by those in power that we are small, bigoted and stupid—easily divided and easily frightened. This was the toxic catechism of Bush-Rove politics. It was the soiled banner picked up by the sad McCain campaign, and it was often abetted by an amen corner in the dominant news media.
And there's more. Reviewing the racial politics of the election, Rich wrote:
Obama also won all four of those hunting-and- Hillary-loving Rust Belt states that became 2008's obsession among slumming upper-middle-class white journalists: Pennsylvania and Michigan by double digits, as well as Ohio and even Indiana, which has gone Democratic only once (1964) since 1936. The solid Republican South, led by Virginia and North Carolina, started to turn blue as well. While there are still bigots in America, they are in unambiguous retreat.
For the complete Rich column, click here.

Bush Unpopularity Sinks to Historic Low

Move over, Richard Nixon

A new national poll out today indicates that George W. Bush is, in the words of, "the most unpopular president since approval ratings were first sought more than six decades ago."

For Bush loyalists (a good number of whom can be found in places like Oklahoma), the numbers are daunting: a full 76 percent of those questioned disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job. 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The End of the Obama Era—or Not

Barack Obama hasn't been president-elect a full week, much less taken office as the actual Leader of the Free World. He hasn't even been to the White House since the election.

But some on the Right are
already sensing Obama's failure and defeat.

Case in point: Oklahoma City blogger and gadfly Mike McCarville, who has posted survey numbers showing "strong disapproval" of Obama's performance as president-elect.

Whoa Nelly! That was fast—too fast, we submit, to mean much of anything. Are we really supposed to believe that Obama, elected Tuesday, has already ticked off a significant portion of the public? Aren't these the same hard-core people who despised Obama in the first place?

Another question: What exactly was the disaffected public basing its negative opinion on?

Perhaps it was Obama's first news conference, the one in which he spoke coherent English (and in full sentences!) unlike the Current Occupant.

Sorry, Mike, one survey does not a trend make.

Beyond the fact that Obama won't be inaugurated until January 20 and that he will have to spend months—no, years!—cleaning up the Bush mess, it might be fair-minded and even prudent to give the guy a chance to actually organize is administration before you pronounce his presidency a failure.

Riding the Palin Wave to the Bottom: The Dismal Future of the Republican Party

It sounds like fiction, we know, but a poll released today found that more than 60 percent of Republicans want Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to run for president in 2012. 

AltTulsa agrees. Absolutely. 

You know the GOP is intellectually bankrupt when the party faithful rally behind a poorly educated former beauty queen who is deeply incurious on all matters beyond the icy boundaries of Alaska. 

Palin's policy and personal shortcomings are stunning and numerous, so much so that the McCain camp and even Fox News has unloaded on the candidate in the aftermath of the GOP ticket's defeat this week. 

Palin may play well among Oklahoma Republicans, but her selection was widely repudiated in most other states and among almost everyone else with an IQ higher than a cabbage. 

For a more positive view of Palin's future, see Oklahoma City Mike McCarville's GOP "happy talk" here

Friday, November 7, 2008

More from the Pundit Hall of Shame

It's time once again to look at the recent record of the pundit class, a group distinguished by its wishful thinking and complete wrongheadedness on, well, just about everything regarding Tuesday's election. 

Some terrific "lowlights" from some of the Blowhards on the Right

Rush Limbaugh, Oct. 31, 2008: "I think [Obama has] been dead in the water since the primaries. He is going to need to be up 10 to 12 points to win by 3 or 4…." 

Hugh Hewitt, Oct. 3, 2008: "[T]he common sense of Americans will override curiosity about Barack Obama and infatuation with his celebrity, and trust John McCain to pilot the country over the next four years…" 

George Allen, former Virginia governor, Sept. 24, 2008: "I think Virginians are really fired up for this thick of McCain and Palin…[on] the key issues of Virginia: national security, energy security, lower taxes, and that';s why I think ultimately John McCain will win here in Virginia." 

Rush Limbaugh (again), Oct. 31, 2008: "Florida, Ohio, and Nevada look like pretty good McCain certainties here. Obama still has to run ads in California."

Ed Morrissey, blogger, Nov. 4, 2008: Morrissey predicted the national outcome on McCain 51 percent; Obama 49. Electoral College: McCain 273; Obama 262. 

Let's tally the results, shall we? Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Political Pundits Predict; or Time to Eat Crow

Now that the 2008 election is over, it's time to look back at the prognostications of the pundit class, those know-it-alls who pretend to give us lessor folk the inside scoop, intelligence earned by years of hard-won political analysis and deep insight.

Or not—which is the case in the following examples.

Take Patrick Buchanan (please!): Writing in the Tulsa World on September 3, Buchanan praised the brilliance of John McCain for his vice presidential pick. It was a huge gamble, Buchanan admitted, but it was a "sensational selection" that was quickly "paying off."

Sarah Palin was, he continued, "a game-changer in 2008" who "has become, overnight, the most priceless political asset the [conservative] movement has."

Sure, hindsight is twenty-twenty, but it takes a particular kind of political blindness not to recognize the naivete and vast ignorance of the Alaska governor, a person wholly unsuited to national office and a major drag on the McCain campaign.

Or take the Sage of Arkansas, Paul Greenberg, writing in the August 27 edition of the Tulsa World. He pronounced Barack Obama's selection of Joe Biden as vice president a "fatal [campaign] error."

Biden, Greenberg went on, is "a talented schmoozer/ glad-hander/salesman," as if that description didn't fit most of the state and national pols all across Arkansas and the 49 other states. Even worse, Greenberg wrote, Biden's selection was evidence of Barack Obama's flawed judgment. Given the embarrassing Mrs. Palin, that's rich.

Buchanan and Greenberg are veteran political observers. They're smart guys. But if this their considered political judgment, they're going to have to turn in their pundit cards.

All Things Palin: More Trouble for the Alaska Governor

The LA Times has a round-up of the troubles between the McCain and Palin camps. Needless to say, it's mostly bad news for Palin. 

One tidbit: A GOP lawyer will be traveling to Wasilla "to inventory and retrieve the clothes in her possession."

There's plenty more. Read all about it here

Back in Alaska, Palin's Popularity Takes a Dive

She wowed 'em in the Lower Forty-Eight, but Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may be paying the price back in her home state. 

Reuters is reporting today that Palin's "pit bull" persona and "strident pitches to the conservative base of the Republican Party" haven't been well received by some Alaskans.

The report noted that Palin returns to Alaska "weakened at home where people had known her as more centrist." 

Another GOP Senator Bites the Dust

Bye-bye Gordon Smith, the Republican senator from the Great State of Oregon. Say hello to the new senator from the Beaver State, Democrat Jeff Merkley. 

Election Update: Obama Wins North Carolina

The votes have been tallied in North Carolina and the Democratic candidate remains aheadIt's an Obama state. 

The Illinois Democrat won—just barely—in this very Republican-leaning Southern state, the first Democrat to do so since Jimmy Carter

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The GOP Seeks New Direction after Tuesday's Elections

The Republican Party is seeking new leaders and a new identity after taking a beating in Tuesday's presidential elections.

Here's the lead of an AP story that describes the GOP dilemma:

WASHINGTON (AP) — So much for a lasting Republican majority.

The Republican Party is essentially in tatters, and not that long after George W. Bush's 2000 election spurred talk of enduring GOP dominance.

John McCain's shellacking and Tuesday's congressional losses leaves the party searching for a new leader and identity.

Tulsa Beacon Loses Four of Five Endorsements

Tulsa's self-proclaimed "Family Newspaper," the weekly Tulsa Beacon, bravely advised its readers on five "key decisions" in yesterday's election.

Unfortunately for the Beacon and its readers, the paper lost four of these five.

Let's review, shall we?

1. The presidential campaign was a no-brainer at the Beacon, which had no use for the "tax-and spend" Obama and stuck with the lackluster McCain and his conservative but vapid sidekick, Sarah Palin. The Beacon's advice prevailed in Oklahoma, but it failed nationwide by a sizable margin.

2. The Tulsa County Commission race was also a no-brainer at the Beacon. Conservative (and long-time John Bircher) Sally Bell was the anti-tax choice of course, since her opponent, Karen Keith, was "hand picked by the power brokers" and will surely raise everyone's taxes just like Obama. This endorsement didn't even fly in Tulsa County, another blow for the Beacon's editorial clout.

3. On the Fix the Streets tax package, the Beacon—as always—was against it. Of course. All taxes are Satanic, the paper seemed to suggest. The Beacon urged a Big No vote. The people thought otherwise and voted yes. The Beacon lost.

4. The Beacon pushed for a new voice in the Oklahoma Senate. They promoted Christian conservative Gary Casey. He lost to Tom Adelson. The Beacon lost too. Again.

5. The Beacon wins one: It supported the Republican against the gay Democrat for the Corporation Commission. So let's give the paper this one, which was always a steep hill to climb in Oklahoma, which is notoriously homophobic (Does Sally Kern ring a bell?).

The Tulsa Beacon's record on November 4: Four strikes and one hit—ouch! This isn't exactly a potent editorial voice.

Obama On Our American Ideals

More from Barack Obama's victory eloquent speech last night in Chicago:
[T]o all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns bright: tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals—democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

What's Wrong with Alaska? Convicted Felon Sen. Stevens May Win Re-election

Convicted felon Ted Stevens of Alaska may be headed back to the U.S. Senate.

The long-time Republican lawmaker is ahead—just barely—with 99 percent of the vote counted. The outcome of the race depends on the votes yet to be counted, which could be enough to swing the race to Stevens' Democratic rival, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

The Anchorage Daily News summed up the vote this this damning paragraph:
If [Stevens'] lead holds, Stevens will shock the nation and be the first person ever re-elected to the U.S. Senate after being found guilty on criminal charges.

Barack Obama's Message of Unity

Speaking last night at his victory rally in Chicago, Barack Obama said this: 
Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House—a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity. Those are values we all share. 
Amen, Brother Barack. 

Beyond Obama: Democratic Women Make Big Gains in Congress

There's plenty of hoopla surrounding the election of Barack Obama, of course, but the little-noticed fact of yesterday's election was the large number of Congressional seats going to women. 

Courtesy of our friends at Slate, we see that new women legislators will be representing districts in Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, and Maine.

Then there's North Carolina, which elected its first female governor, Beverly Perdue, and replaced Sen. Elizabeth Dole with Kay Hagan.

The North Carolina political battle, you may recall, featured the season's dirtiest ad, one in which the Dole camp tried to paint Hagan as an atheist and even included a woman's voice (but not Hagan's) saying, "There is no God." 

To their credit, the voters of North Carolina rejected Dole and her dirty tricks campaign. 

Shifting the Electoral Map: Obama Turns Some Red States into Blue Ones

Barack Obama won big last night, despite a purported McCain surge in the final days of the campaign. The McCain-Palin enthusiasm was real, but narrowly focused and not especially deep.

More significantly, last night Obama turned a number of so-called Red States into Blue States.

Here are some of the important Obama state victories, with his percentages over McCain:

Florida: Obama 51% McCain 48%

Virginia: Obama 52% McCain 47%

Indiana: Obama 50% McCain 49%

Nevada: Obama 55% McCain 43%

Colorado: Obama 53% McCain 46%

In short, it's more good news for the Democrats, who made inroads in the East, the upper Midwest, and the Mountain States.

The Republicans held strong in the Deep South and the Plains States, but many of these states (like Oklahoma) don't have the population base to carry a national election.

UPDATE: Obama remains ahead in North Carolina, another traditionally Red State. 

In Missouri, McCain is still ahead. If that count holds, McCain will take Missouri and the state will lose its long-time role as the nation's predictor, choosing the loser. 

Democrat Karen Keith Prevails in Tulsa County Commission Race

Tulsa County Republicans must be smarting this morning. Their County Commission candidate, Sally Bell, was thumped by Democratic candidate Karen Keith.

"Remember Bells," Tulsa Republicans argued, a reference to the Bell family's amusement park, which was ousted from the Tulsa County Fairgrounds in 2006.

Despite that call, more voters backed Keith, who racked up a 53-47 percentage lead over Bell.

Keith also raised far more money than Bell, another hit for Tulsa County Republicans. The Tulsa World reported that Keith raised more than $168,000 to Bell's paltry $40,347.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

As Predicted, Obama Wins Big

The GOP kept predicting an upset, but that was always a false hope, a bone thrown to the party faithful.

There was no upset. Obama carried all the states he needed and more. Obama won in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Colorado and other "swing" states, which he needed to do to win the election.

Obama didn't carry Oklahoma, but that was never a realistic possibility in this very Red State. Still, Obama got a significant percentage in the Sooner state, higher than some of the pundits predicted.

AT Predicts: Short Night, Big Obama Win

We're not in the prediction business, but we see that Oklahoma City blogger and political pundit Mike McCarville is asking this question: "Will It Be a Short Night… or a Long One?"

So we'll go out on a limb here and answer Mike's question: Short night, big win for Barack Obama. 

McCarville makes the national race sound close, but we don't think so. The Electoral College map favors Obama from east to west to some places in between. 

No, Obama won't carry Oklahoma, but he will carry plenty of big states, more than enough to carry the day by a handy margin. 

The bottom line: Obama wins going away. We predict no one will need to stay up late for some heavily Democratic or Republican precinct to report—it's a done deal. 

Time to Vote: Election Day in Oklahoma

It's Election Day 2008, Sooner fans, so AT is urging all citizens to do their duty and vote. 

We voted early in the day and the lines weren't too long at our Midtown Tulsa precinct. We were in line maybe four minutes, tops. 

There's still time yet today—get to the polls and cast your ballot. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

From The Buzz, the political blog at the St. Petersburg Times. The headline: 
Tampa McCain rally: Where is everybody? 
The story: 
About 30 minutes before John McCain is scheduled to lead a rally outside Raymond James stadium, looks like there's maybe 1,000 people here. What's up with that? 
Fox News reported that the venue was set up for many, many more, on the order of 10,000. As we noted in an earlier post, election day isn't looking good for McCain-Palin. 

UPDATE: By contrast, Obama drew 45,000 in Fort Collins, Colorado. Fort Collins! Not to mention Obama's recent appearance in at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, where he packed in an estimated 100,000