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(This story was originally posted at DinkZone in a slightly different format.  A lot of the information in this post has already appeared elsewhere on Daily Kos; this diary is an attempt to compile the information into a single pattern-establishing source.)

Back in March, Sarah Palin unveiled the ad shown below listing twenty Democratic members of Congress with crosshairs aimed at their districts.  One of these candidates was Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords.  At the same time, she posted on Twitted, asking "lovers of America" to "RELOAD".  As many of you know, Rep. Giffords was shot in the head today.  As of this writing, she's in emergency surgery to save her life.

(more after the fold)

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As of today, enough write-in ballots showing Lisa Murkowski's name have been counted, that she has passed Joe Miller in the Alaska Senate race.

Today's vote count is 92,164 votes for Murkowski compared to 90,458 votes for Miller.  Murkowski's total includes 7,601 ballots which have been challenged by the Miller campaign -- the pending challenges will be heard after the count is complete.  

However, if the remaining-to-be-counted ballots continue to be counted and challenged at the same rate that we've seen so far, Murkowski will have enough unchallenged votes to be declared the winner, rendering Miller's challenges moot.



Protesters from the Los Angeles NAACP persuaded Hallmark to recall a 'racist' graduation card:

CULVER CITY, Calif. (KABC) -- A graduation card sold at local stores has been pulled from shelves after a civil rights group raised concerns about the content. The group claims the card's micro-speaker plays a greeting that's racist.

It is a graduation greeting from Hallmark that says, "Hey world, we are officially putting you on notice."

Members of the Los Angeles NAACP did take notice. As characters known as "Hoops" and "Yoyo" banter on, African American leaders hear offensive language.

You can read the story, and see (and hear) the actual card here.

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Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 04:20 PM PDT

Privatization, glory be!

by osterizer

George:  What took you so long, dear? Trouble at the doctor's office?

Martha:  Oh, no, honey, everything went fine.  I had another great checkup, thanks to private health insurance! Can you imagine what a nightmare our health system would be like if that Obama guy had gotten his way back in 2009? Death panels! Socialism!


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This is a short diary, but I haven't seen the news posted yet.  

The recount in Virginia's 5th Congressional District has concluded, and while the vote total changed by eighteen votes, Tom Perriello was certified the winner over turncoat Virgil Goode.  

Sources:  WDBJ-7, Charlottesville Daily Progress  

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Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:12 AM PST

Straights only: A sad postmortem

by osterizer

Tonight's extraordinary victory for Barack Obama could have been a powerful blow to the forces of bigotry and discrimination in the US. Instead, it merely marked a shift in the epicenter of those forces.

Obama is poised to win a majority of the popular vote, a majority of electoral votes, and a majority of states -- a result that would have seemed unthinkable two years ago. But ballot initiatives designed to place a "straights only" sign over the water fountain of civil rights passed without exception last night:

   * Arizona Proposition 102, defining marriage as between a man and a woman
   * Arkansas Measure 1, banning adoption by gay people
   * California Proposition 8, eliminating existing marriage rights within the state
   * Florida Amendment 2, banning same-sex marriage

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Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 02:48 PM PDT

My coming out story, 1985.

by osterizer

I first came out publicly (though I had known to myself for over a year) in the middle of class, during my freshman year in a small private college in North Carolina in October, 1985.

I had just arrived to this campus a few weeks earlier.  This was a red district in a red state -- in 1985, Ronald Reagan was president, Jesse Helms was senator, North Carolina had even elected a Republican governor for only the second time that century.  Guilford College had a reputation for being liberal and tolerant, but at the time, there were no openly gay students or faculty, and certainly no LGBT student organization.  

The class was called "Interdisciplinary Studies", and was a required course for first-year students.  The content of the course was a chaotic mishmash of current events, history, and psychobabble about educational theory and learning styles, but I believe the intent of the course was to develop our ability to write persuasive papers and to debate effectively.  


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Bored with the debate from last night, I went on a lark and looked back at the 2004 election. On this day in 2004, polls were predicting a narrow Kerry win, which sadly did not pan out.  

For each state, I compared the difference between the October 8 polling and the final result to get a sense of how the undecided voters in each state eventually lined up. That led to a wholly unscientific measurement I call:

The Creep Index

For each state, I compared the margin in the polls on October 8 with the actual margin on Election Day. I'll use my home state, Virginia, as an example:

(read on...)

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Sat Mar 15, 2008 at 02:55 PM PDT

A new low for The Advocate

by osterizer

Background: On February 12, openly gay junior high student Larry King (no relation to the CNN host) was murdered in a classroom, shot twice in the head by a fellow student as other students watched.

The cover of issue 1005 of The Advocate features a dithered black-and-white photo of Larry King with the headline "Who's to blame?" The cover story begins on page 28 of that issue with the lead quote, "15-year-old Lawrence King was encouraged to be himself. Did that lesson help send him to his grave?"

In a brazenly sensationalist attempt to sell magazines, The Advocate sends a chilling and offensive message one might hear from Fred Phelps: Stay closeted or die! There's one person to blame for Larry King's murder: Brandon McInerney, the classmate who shot him. To even whisper the idea that encouraging someone to come out is a factor in murder is absurd; it's like blaming 9/11 on travel agents who "encouraged" people to fly that day, or Hurricane Katrina on the architects who designed lovely homes in New Orleans that "encouraged" people to move there.

Anne Stockwell, editor-in-chief of The Advocate, owes the magazine's readership an apology and a resignation for having not only green-lighted the story, but featuring it on this issue's cover.


Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:50 PM PDT

Waaaaaah! My bathroom is DLC!

by osterizer

I hired some contractors to install a new bathroom for my house.  I told them exactly what I wanted, and let them go to work.  When I inspected the finished bathroom today, I was shocked.  

Those &%(#!!@ contractors gave me faucet handles with Hillary Clinton's initials on them!   I looked in the shower, and her initials were there, TOO!  I can't believe these blue-collar workers have sold out to the Republican-lite DLC Hillaristas.  I will never use them again!

Who'd have thought such unassuming people could be in bed with the Clintons just like CNN, MSNBC, Saturday Night Live, Starbucks, and kos (even though he pretends not to be).  The bias is EVERYWHERE!


In the wake of Thursday's shooting that took the lives of six people at NIU, and wounded over a dozen others, none of us at Virginia Tech could avoid being reminded of our own tragedy less than a year earlier. From the moment the news broke, we knew we had to get involved and reach out to the NIU Huskies.  

On Friday, we added a temporary marker to our campus memorial, which will later be sent to NIU. Tonight, we gathered in a candlelight vigil to show our support for NIU.  A number of student organizations are holding fundraisers this week to help NIU families with medical and travel expenses.

If you wish to contribute directly, the address is:

NIU Memorial Fund
DeKalb County Community Foundation
2600 DeKalb Ave
Sycamore, IL 60178


Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 12:57 PM PST

In defense of open primaries

by osterizer

kos writes:

Open primaries are stupid.

I disagree. Open primaries are more small-d-democratic.  

  • Years and years ago, there were counties in my home state of South Carolina where the voter registration was nearly 100% Democratic (these were "Strom Thurmond" Democrats...)  Local elections were decided during the primary, as the primary winner would run unopposed in the general election.  In these areas, closed primaries would have locked minority voters out of their only opportunity to select a candidate.
  • Amendment 1 to the Constitution guarantees us the right to peaceably assemble -- which also includes the right to not associate.  Closed primaries require that an eligible voter forfeit that right in order to participate.
  • In the US, political parties have the right to charge membership dues. Neither of the two major parties does so (currently), but at least one minor party does.  Closed primaries open the door to a 21st century poll tax.
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