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Friday, October 31, 2008

John McCain Loves Cutting Veterans Health Benefits

Even his greatest claim to fame is a joke. He does not and never has supported veterans. This is shameful.

Vietnam Veterans Against McCain

John McCain's failure to support POWs/MIAs exposed

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Early Vote, Early Vote, Early Vote: Don't be Intimidated!

Get out there and vote if you haven't already! Disregard all of the intimidating misinformation out there telling people they can't vote for various false reasons. Don't let your vote be suppressed. Inform yourself about the lies circulating and let other people know so they aren't scared off. Following are some myths debunked:

1. It is NOT true that students have to vote in their home states. You can vote where you go to school.

2. It is NOT true that your driver's license address has to match your current address. You just need a govt. ID with a photo and a signature. Not sure? Call the Supervisor of Election in your county and ask before heading to the polls to early vote.

3. It is NOT true that the police will harass you, check your vehicle registration, or ticket you, etc while you are standing in line to vote. 

4. It is NOT true that voting will raise your taxes or the taxes of your parents.

5. It is NOT true that you can't vote Democrat if you registered Republican.

6. It is NOT true that you will not be allowed to vote if you lost your house through foreclosure

7. It is NOT true that Nov. 5th is voting day for Democrats. yes there are flyers out there that say this). Nov. 4th is the LAST day to vote. 

8. It is NOT true that if you show up to vote and you have outstanding or unpaid parking tickets that the police will be laying in wait to arrest you.

9. It is not true that being a resident alien disqualifies you from voting. All citizens, naturalized or natural-born can vote.

10. It is NOT true that you have to fill out a provisional ballot during early voting. If your right to vote is challenged, ask them what you need to do to make it right, get the situation fixed and then return to the polls before the 4th. If things seem fishy, call 1-877-235-6226 to report it and get help.

11. It is not true that you need a special voting ID or your voter registration card to vote. Some states require a govt. I.D.

12. It is NOT true that you have to commit to residing in the state after graduation in order to vote in the state.

13. Voting "straight ticket" will prevent you from voting for your presidential candidate. Don't do it!
14. It is NOT true that students who live in dorms cannot vote. 

15. It is NOT true that you can vote by phone!!!

Good News in my state:
People in Florida were already willing to stand in line for hours to early vote. As of today our (Republican!) governor, Charlie Christ has extended poll hours from 8 to 4 to 7 to 7. 12 hours a day! to accommodate the huge turnout. 

Lets not let up, people! 
Get out there and vote and after you vote encourage everyone else to vote.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I am Barack: Obama and the Mixed Movement

My sister, Jilchristina Vest,  an important leader in the mixed movement  and Co-Director of one of the oldest Interracial / Mixedrace organizations in the country, iPride, has started to tell all the mixedblood kids she knows that they are all "Barack". 

When people ask you what you are, she tells them, just say, "I am Barack." She has even had t-shirts printed up on cafepress to get her message across.

Mixed folks are often accosted by complete strangers demanding 
to know "WHAT they are? as if they are not humans, girls, boys, people, artists, etc. As if their existence demands explanation. 

Mixed Studies scholars like myself who have analyzed the racial politics of mixedness know that this behavior is explained by the fact that Americans are notoriously uncomfor
table with racial ambiguity, wedded as we are to our racial classification scheme and its attendant hierarchies of oppression and privilege. If we don't know what race you are how will we know how to treat you?
Jil tells  her youngsters to shout: "Say it loud: I'm Barack and I'm proud, giving a new mixedblood pride  twist to an old black pride saying.

She tells mixed folk, "If people ask you why your mama is white and your daddy is Black tell them, "Because I am Barack!"

If people ask you why your daddy is an immigrant and your mommy is an American, tell them you are Barack!

If people ask you why you look the way you do (i.e. why are you so damn good looking?) tell them you are Barack!

I love being Barack, she tells them. She teaches young mixed people (whether they are Black and white, Black and Chinese, white and Latino, Black and Mexican, or Asian and Native American, etc.) to be proud of who they are despite all the teasing and alienation. 

Be Barack, be proud!

Mixed folk are claiming Barack Obama as their own. Blacks have claimed him, environmentalists have claimed him, working and middle class people of all colors have claimed him, feminists have claimed him. 

Barack Obama is a mixed man arguing for unity, peace, justice and equality across difference. The mixed movement is proud to claim him as one of their own. I am proud. I am Barack! 

Sunday, October 26, 2008


A poem about the mixed race experience

Friday, October 24, 2008

Early Voting and Volunteering for Change: Lets turn Florida Blue!

I early voted! It was easy, despite reports I have heard all week about long lines. The short line I encountered may have had something to do with the early hour (8AM) and the pouring rain. I couldn't find the poling place and walked about in the rain for some time looking for it. The sidewalks were flooded and the rain soaked through my hat, my windbreaker, my jeans and my sneakers. But it was worth it. Whoohooo! Go Obama!

Everybody in the polling place was in a good mood. Well, almost everybody. There was one middle aged white men who scowled at me steadily the whole time I was there. How sad! The 40 people sitting in the polling place (yes, thats right! We had chairs! Too cool!) were an even mixture of African American, Latino Americans, Asian American, and Euro-Americans. In fact it was the most diverse group of people I have ever seen in Volusia county.  Real democracy! I could not stop smiling. 

My chairmate, a well-dressed African American woman on her way to work, meanwhile was stressing about our numbers. She was afraid we would be there all day and she would be late for work. When we arrived we were all given the kind of numbers the butcher gives you and then directed into the polling room. They had a lovely neon LED sign displaying the number being served. We were given  #405 and #406 and the sign was calling for 99. She got very worried. Where are the 300 people who got here before us? And how did they manage to beat us there at 8:15?

Fortunately for her, the numbers were misleading. In ten minutes we were called. And the news just gets better! No computer ballots. No chad ballots. We colored in little bubbles next to our favorite candidates and propositions and deposited them into a big ballot eating machine guarded by one black man and one white man. I feel my ballot is safe. They thanked me for early voting about five times!

I voted against prop 2 which the anti-gay lobby got put on the ballot in their efforts to prevent gay folks from getting married. I am worried about that one. Why are straight people so insecure about their partnerships? Well, I guess if I was a straight man I might be afraid of lesbians. Men can't really compete in the bedroom, can they?........anywho......

After voting I decided to truck my sopping wet, overly ethusiastic self on over to the Obama campaign headquarters to volunteer. I was there so early they weren't open yet but the one intern that was there setting up kindly let me in anyway. He was nice and unassuming and explained the phonebanking to me. He was nothing like the racist white lady who had greeted me that last time I went to volunteer. Refreshing!

At 9 Am he handed me a cell phone and a ridiculously thick multi-page list of names and phone numbers. Three hours later, I had made it through 4 sheets of paper, had called over 70 people, talked to 15, left about 50 messages and tallied up many Obama voters. 

Many of the people on my list were elderly and cranky. They were fun! Nobody wanted to early vote and few had time to volunteer (the standard response to my suggestion that they early vote was  something along the lines of "I'm votin' on votin' day!") but a couple of people gave nice speeches about how great Obama is. They were very enthusiastic.  All but two said they were voting for Obama. Nobody said they were voting for McCain. One 83 year old lady said she was too old to vote (and no she did not want a ride to the polls) but we chatted about her ailing health for awhile before she realized she didn't know me.

There was one man who went off on a rant yelling in my ear that Obama was a liar and was gonna raise our taxes. That was one of my first calls, what a shocker. What do you say to someone like that? I started trying to explain Barack's tax plan to him but it quickly became obvious that engagement was of no interest to him. He called Obama a commie and hung up on me. Really?

After only being there about an hour I became the  source of some campaign office buzz when I reported a case of what appeared to be a possible voting scam recounted to me by a Latina citizen I called. She explained to me that she regrettably could not vote as she was still awaiting her citizenship papers to arrive in the mail but that both her husband and her son were planning to vote. Her husband was worried because someone had called them the night before and told them that the husband was "not on their list" and would not be able to vote. Was that true, she asked me?

I explained to her that nobody on a phone could tell her whether or not she could vote and that she should send hubby to the polls. She told me that the people on the phone said the hubby might not be able to vote for Obama because he was registered as a Republican. "We used to be Republicans but we don't want to vote for Republicans anymore,"she explained. She was really worried.

All the bigwhigs in the office were worried it was a scam. The main Obama field officer asked me one question: was this woman Latina? Yes, I replied, surprised she knew that when I had not told her about the accent or the citizenship issue. She explained that Republicans have been targeting Latino voters and trying to intimidate them out of voting. Scary!

I called the woman back and encouraged her to go vote ASAP. She assured me she had just called her husband and he was on his way. That's right, McCain thugs, you are no match for Obama volunteers!

Are the Republicans that desperate? Really!

On an up note, two African American sistas came to phonebank with me and we had some laughs in between our phone calls. Both had volunteered before and one was volunteering at the polls on election day as well. Impressive! Some of the white folks started to give us hostile looks (too much laughing I guess) and one started to make condescending comments to the older black lady and I knew it was time for me to leave. It was just a matter of time before I was gonna say something. 

I am not a southerner and my tolerance for bad behavior from racists is much lower than it is for the average southern African American. As one Black man in Alabama (who I had a chat with about racism at a rest stop) explained to me once when I was driving to Fl from Seattle, I am what southern white folks call an "outside agitator from up north." I actually get indignant when confronted with racism, speak my mind and confront racists head on. Trouble!

I wish I could volunteer everyday but for some reason I have this annoying thing called a job. Florida is  still a battle-ground state. We need to turn it blue! Hurry, hurry before another racist girl makes up another sorry story about black knife-wielding  Obama supporters targeting McCain voters! Sister, please!

Early Voting in Florida

Its dark out and its raining cats and dogs but I am going off to early vote. I am so excited. I dreamt about the election all night and woke up at the ridiculous hour of 6 Am. I decided to get up and check the early voting schedule and was happy to find the early voting starts at 8 Am today. That means the line probably forms around 7 AM. This is my first day off since early voting began. Normally I would be sleeping very late today but I NEED to vote!

Thousands of Floridians have already voted. The polls have been jam packed every day since they opened them. One to five hour lines I am told -but nobody is complaining. My bank teller, a Latino fellow, told me he has tried to vote twice but could not stay long enough to get to the front of the line. He plans to go back today.

I think for the first time in the history of this country, we people of color feel like we have some one to vote for who cares about us and our concerns. It is exhilarating. We are full of Hope!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Feminists for Obama: Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence, and Incest

Obama: Hope for Transformation with Love

In South Dakota and Indiana, anti-choice advocates are trying to pass abortion bans, hillbillies in my neighborhood are stealing Obama signs, and  some fool is calling for the creation of a congressional committee on un-Americans. Sound familiar? Did this imbecile flunk that part of US History? You know, the shameful part where we engaged in the scape-goating and harrassing of politicians, intellectuals, and artists in the name of McCarthyism? Everybody was a commie? Ring any bells?

Yes, these are crazy times we are living in. But they are also hopeful times. I finally had a free moment to head down to the local Obama office to pick up my lawn sign and posters (I Got three) and sign up to volunteer. 

I really believe this man can change things for the better- for all of us: not just the rich or the male or the white or the christian. ALL of us. I initially thought he was far too centrist for my liking (and I am still hoping he will get more progressive with time) but this candidate really does offer hope to this beleagered nation and Powell is right, he is a "transformative" leader. He brings people together and promises real change.

And he did something  that made me smile today. While giving a talk in Florida, some loud-mouthed audience member yelled out, "I love you, Obama" to which Obama replied, "Love you Back!"

Love is the only thing that can transform hate and fear and confusion and conflict. Lets all love each other back.

AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka on Racism and Obama


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Good Idea, Powell! Lets Respect ALL Americans

I just returned from Pittsburgh where I am happy to report I saw twice as many Obama bumper stickers as McCain bumper stickers. I also came home to see many more Obama yard signs springing up in the neighboring town, not known for its progressive populace. In general though I must say that I have not seen many bumper or street signs for either candidate. 

I can't help wondering if maybe people are keeping their choice to themselves because the don't want their neighbors to know who they are voting for. So many conservatives and Republicans are jumping camp, I suspect there are a bunch of closet Obama supporters.

Republican Colin Powell, the most famous fence-jumper,  made a statement today endorsing Democratic Obama and providing  a great analysis of both candidates.

But he did more than that. He criticized some of the anti-American aspects of the ugly turn this campaign has taken of late. He decried the anti- Muslim sentiments being expressed by the McCain campaign and more generally by conservatives in this country- especially via email and talk radio. Everybody is afraid to defend Muslims and to remind people that it is a mistake to disparage  a whole religion just because the United States has enemies who are also Muslim.

I for one am sick of hearing all the anti-Muslim rhetoric. Hate speech is hate speech regardless of who you are taking hatefully about.

Many Americans are Muslim and they deserve just as much respect as Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Native American Church, Spiritualist, Vodun, and Daoist Americans.

The word American is NOT synonymous with white or Christian. All Americans deserve respect.

Thank you, Secretary Powell for reminding Americans that derisive and divisive demagoguery is always a bad idea.

Republican Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama

A very detailed and well-argued statement explaining why Obama is the best choice for president

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama May Indeed Be Too Awesome (Dinner Speech, part 2)


Obama at Al Smith Dinner -Part 1-

What the Real Joe (and Jane) Plumbers Want:

The United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters has endorsed Barack Obama.

Joe the Plumber is not a plumber????

Newest info out: Joe the plumber s NOT a plumber! He has no plumbing license in Toledo.

According to the local chapter of the Plumbers Union:

“All contractors are licensed, and he does not have a license, either as a contractor or a plumber,” the union official said, citing a search of government records. “I can’t find that he’s ever even applied for any kind of apprenticeship, and he has never belonged to local 189 in Columbus, which is what he claims on his Facebook page.” (NYTimes)

The Truth about Joe the plumber

Joe just interviewed in Ohio and guess what?

1. Joe is NOT middle class if he is telling the truth about his income. He is rich but uneducated.
2. Joe likes to hunt and fish and thinks he should be able to buy a high speed fishing boat instead of pay more taxes. He currently owes back taxes.
3. Joe @ 250,000/year would make more money than 85% of all Americans although he calls himself "just a plumber".
4. Joe thinks it is great we went into Iraq and thinks we delivered freedom to the Iraquis and that it was like saving a person who doesnt know Jesus ( Joe is a Christian)
5. Joe has contempt for the poor- he complained that poor people in the United States have cell phones. His words: "People work the system left and right to get more out of welfare, to get more out of state assistance, federal assistance."
6. Was very upset when he found out at 18 that he is a "yankee" and was not born in the South.
7. His real name is Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher
8. He is a single father to one son and drives a Durango.
9. Joe likes to bemoan his poor childhood but identifies with the rich. His words: "you need rich people. I mean, who are you going to work for?"
10. Joe is a conservative, registered Republican, and belongs to a fringe radical right wing group but now says he doesn't remember joining it

Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe the Plumber and Sacrificing Women

Just home from a video-watching debate held at a local pub. I orderd ginger ale, ate olives and laughed and cheered along with a group of mostly 50-70 year old white progressives and a a few local drunks heckling on both sides. I was one of two people of color and among a handful under 50.

In what was by far the most exciting debate thus far, we saw Obama confront McCain on his offensive audience members, explain his healthcare program in some detail and explain fair trade to us. MCCain reminded us, as he and Palin are fond of doing these days, that Americans are angry. He also made it clear that he, John McCain was angry and introduced us to a mythical figure, John the plumber who he warns is becoming angry.

McCain appeared to be reading from a script and often avoided answering the questions and retreated to his talking points coming across at times as confused and incoherent. He really looked lost and frustrated half of the time. Obama was llke a rock who could not be moved.

McCain also let us know that he did not think women's health was important and that women should be forced to have babies even if their doctors said it would kill them to do so. What the*%&??????

McCain's high point was when he told Obama that if he wanted to run against Bush he would have had to run 4 years ago. Quite a zinger. Too bad that he failed at any time in the 90 minute debate to distinguish himself from Bush. Why can't he? This was his last chance.

Obama did a good job of pointing out the lies McCain told regarding Ayers, Acorn, his tax plan, and his so-called associates. He also explained his economic policies, health policies, and education policies in some detail. McCain only had one educational policy- vouchers. He parroted over and over his lie that Obama plans to raise taxes. I think McCain's campaign people should watch the fact-checking shows on TV. Their lies have been exposed ad nauseum. Why do they keep repeating them? Are they stupid? Are they appealling to the mentally challenged or to people who don't watch TV news? What are they thinking?

Obama cleverly pointed out that McCain's claims to be interested in helping special needs kids were insincere given his promise to freeze the entire federal budget.

McCain never responded to Obama on specific points giving the debate a one-sided feel to it. Obama responded directly to critiques made by McCain but McCain never responded to Obama's critiques which seemed odd.

The weirdest performance in the debate was that given by Joe the Plumber. Who is he and why am I supposed to identify with this white man? Androcentrism is played out. White men do not form the majority of this country and the majority of us do not make more than 250,000 dollars a year, regardless of occupation.

Joe the rich plumber does not represent me or you. My body is not a baby-breeding machine and I am not wiling to die for some man who thinks I am a second class citizen whose life and health is of peripheral importance.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fact-Checking the Election Every Step of the Way

My mom thinks I should listen to Chris Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. She says that as her daughter I should "do what she tells me" by, among other things, listening to her favorite conservative radio talk show hosts. As a gay woman of color I do not think I should subject myself to racist, sexist, homophobic hate speech VOLUNTARILY. Filial piety has its limits!

But maybe my mom is right. It seems that if I had been listening to right wing talk radio, I would have known about Joe the plumber weeks before he "won" the last presidential debate (according to McCain). And then, instead of wasting time writing expose blogs on this fellow, I could have moved on to other news.

Like all the lies McCain told during the debate ( on taxes, Columbia, Roe V. Wade, Supreme court justices, nuclear waste,Ayers, etc.)

But then why should I bother? Anyone can check and truth Anyone can watch CNN's factcheck show. I recommend everyone do so on a regular basis!

Apparently McCain, in his technological illiteracy doesnt know that his lies are checkable. If he did, would he have celebrated Joe the man who is not a plumber but a contractor, who makes only $40,000 a year, is not panning to buy a small business, and is not an undecided voted but a registered Republican. Apparently Joe the plumber did not know his facts would be checked either.

We only have 18 days left, people. Lets get out there and spread information, not misinformation!

Then lets all vote!

Loving Vs Virginia: 40th Anniversary of Interracial Marriage

1967 Loving Vs. Virginia. Why I am here. Why Obama is here. Lets keep fighting against the hate!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Palin Abused Power According to Alaskan Legislators

"I did nothing wrong" Palin insists after a bipartisan committee created by a Republican-controlled committee of Alaskan legislators published a 263-page report declaring that she "abused the powers of her office." and violated "the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."

According to the Washington Post, the Republican-appointed Investigator Steven Branchflower, "found that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin abused her executive power when she and her husband engaged in a campaign to oust her former brother-in-law from the state police force." (James V, Grimaldi and Kimberly Kindy),

The Alaska Legislature’s bipartisan Legislative Council unanimously commissioned the investigation in July, a month before Palin was chosen as John McCain's running mate.

According to the New York Times, "In the report, the independent investigator, Stephen E. Branchflower, a former prosecutor in Anchorage, said that Ms. Palin wrongfully allowed her husband, Todd, to use state resources as part of the effort to have Trooper Wooten dismissed." (Serge F. Kovaleski)

Although he was never elected to any public office, apparently the "First Dude" thinks he has a say in how the government is run?

The report says Sarah Palin knowingly “permitted Todd Palin to use the governor’s office and the resources of the governor’s office, including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired.”

But the report doesn't just blame the unelected spouse of wrongdoing. The report accuses Gov. Palin of violating a statute (39.52 110(a)) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act which reads:

"The legislature affirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust."

The report found that Palin abused that public trust and acted unethically for personal gain. Sounds a lot less like "maverick" or reform behavior and a whole lot more like "the old boys network" where even unelected boys have power.

Palin is un-phased by this legislative condemnation. She has decided she is not to blame and guess who is?

In a desperate move to avoid taking responsibility for her actions Palin has gone to the extreme of blaming Obama for the findings of her own state legislature.


Really! There seems no limit to what the McCain/Palin ticket is willing to blame on others, especially their opponent.

The McCain/Palin campaign spokeswoman explained that " the report showed that the investigation was a “partisan led inquiry run by Obama supporters." And Palin has been stumping claiming this investigation is an Obama-pressured plot against her.

Really? Are they really trying to claim that Obama's reach is that far? That he controls the Alaskan legislature? Really?

But why not when according to McCain and Palin, Obama is also responsible for:
1) the decline of the entire economy (because, like McCain, he has worked with Fannie May lobbyists?)
2) the injuries faced by American troops in Iraq (like McCain, he voted against body armor. Cindy McCain has amnesia about the fact that McCain voted against another version of the same bill, thus denying troops body armor the same year)
3) Palin's inability to answer simple questions posed by the press (the liberal gotcha media composed entirely of Obama supporters who puppet-like he also apparently controls?)

Now Obama is also responsible for Palin's abuse of power. Really? Are they serious?

We don't need a woman who lets her husband control her even after she is elected to a major public office, representing women in the white house. We don't need a "first dude" in the White House.

We don't need a liar, who when caught lies more and blames others for her misdeeds, to be one heartbeat away from running the country.

CNN: Palin abuse case

The worst kind of liar: the kind who keeps lying after she is caught

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CNN: Palin Found to be lying About Obama

Palin's claim found to be false after fact-checked

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The T word: McCain and Palin's Latest Desperate Tactic

When all else fails, go for an ad hominem attack. Cant beat your opponent on issues? On policies? On solutions to America's financial crisis? Well, you can always go after his or her character. And if you cant go after anything he or she specifically has done or said that you disagree with, then its best to play the terrorist card. After all, anyone who gets called a terrorist is ipso facto a very bad man.

The only problem with this is that the word terrorist is now being bandied about with real abandon. It is being used more as a generalized derisive heckle than as an actual description these days.

People can be labled terrorists for having a particular religious practice (Islam), for looking South Asian or Arab (like me or Obama), for having a name that sounds similar to that of a terrorist (like Osama) or for living in the same neighborhood as someone who might once have been a terrorist (like Ayers).

All this terrorist name-calling is the racism of the new world order. Racists cant come right out and say they don't want Obama because he is black or half-black or brown. They can't say they don't want anyone who is not 100% black. They cant say they would rather have a dishonest old guy and incompetent young woman who are both white than anyone not white, no matter how competent.

So they do what they can. They call him by his suspiciously Muslim sounding middle name. They cal him mysterious, sneaky, unknown, dishonest (all racial stereotypes typically attributed to Arabs) and they try to paint him as a foreigner (as if suddenly Hawaii is not a part of the United States).

The McCain/Palin ticket is desperate and they are appealing to the racists among us to join their panic.

Too bad its too late for that tactic to work. Obama has already won the war. Despite the racists. Racism is irrational and it is taking our country a very long time to figure that out..... but by and by I DO think we are learning to be better than that.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

SNL Parody of the Debate

Palin mastered not answering questions and Biden was excessively effusive

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Palin/Biden Debate: Anti-Intellectualism, Class, and Meanness

After seeing Sarah Palin debate, I have to admit she is a skilled rhetoritician and to be honest after five gaffes in 8 days, my expectations for her were pretty low. The fact that she got through the entire debate without getting too tangled up in any tongue-tying grammatically incorrect incoherencies was truly surprising. Too bad she had nothing of substance to say and refused to answer most of the questions. But what was most appalling about her performance was her suoerficiality, her anti-intellectualism, and her complete disregard for the truth. Have we reached a new low in electoral politics?

Why was misrepresenting the truth a central debate strategy for Palin? Is she really still still saying that Obama wants to raise taxes when every news source in the country has revealed that as a lie? Is she really still claiming McCain had a pivotal role in the bailout bill when all reports indicate he had a marginal or destructive role if any? And did she think none of us listened to the Presidential debate ourselves and that we would believe her misrepresentation of it when she claimed Obama had called for talks with terrorists while she and McCain were devoted to diplomacy? McCain was very clearly arguing against diplomacy. Sitting down to talk with leaders you disagree with is the definition of diplomacy. She repeated the lie that McCain supports regulation of Wall Street when his entire record suggests otherwise and when Katie Couric asked her to name one instance of him voting for regulation she could not.

Governor Palin claims she is "Joe Six-Pack," meanwhile her yearly household income is over a quarter of a million. She is rich, not middle class, not working class, not poor. What she does have in common with many people who are working class is a substandard education. She attended five different colleges before finally getting a bachelors degree in journalism. Despite her background in journalism she now claims all reporters are elitist and out to get her with "gotcha journalism." Her running mate is still less educated than she is, having only attended the US Naval Academy where he was ranked the 894th out of 899 students. Neither one of them is working class. Neither one of them was denied opportunities to get education but both of them were poor students and neither of them has pursued the higher levels of education their class status gave them access to.

Joe Biden, meanwhile, might have been too smart to debate Palin. He actually answered every question (save one) he was asked and actually gave reasons, cited dates, and recited facts. He actually demonstrated intimate knowledge of foreign policy and a thorough understanding of legislative history. Palin, for her part, was very good at towing the Republican party line. She also lied a lot. For the life of me I still cant understand how her ticket can lie so much with a straight face. But she had almost no content and was very good at changing the subject, appealing to jingoism and talking in condescending and hostile tones about Joe Biden. She came across as a remarkably mean-spirited person but not a passionate mean-spirited person. She did not seem to be guided by any sense of justice or any real political mission. "Say it isnt so, Joe?" Really?

Biden meanwhile spent all of his time being civil, calm, and polite. He never attacked Palin, not once. Although she attacked him on a personal level, he was careful never to take an aggressive stance towards her, never critiquing her record or her positions on anything. I think he should be commended for this. After watching all her embarrassing interviews this week, I for one would not have been able to keep a straight face while she spoke if I were debating her.

What Palin does have is a real command of fake folksy appeal, superficial cutsey poses and colloquial expressions devoid of any content, designed it appears, to manipulate what she must think is a decidedly stupid electorate. While she repeated vague expressions and stock vocabulary, Biden kept providing detailed policy proposals and making detailed contrasts between the goals and records of Senators McCain and Obama.

Palin was unable to answer the only hard question she got - that regarding what the constitution says the role of the vice president is. I don't know why the questions were all so easy. Was the moderator afraid of embarrassing her after Palin endured so many embarrassing interviews this week? Who knows.

Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act (which McCain voted against twice). And he cried! The man has ovaries! Women's rights will be much safer on his watch.