Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

United We Serve

Today’s website is Serve.gov, a national clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities, which is being managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).  The CNCS is a federal agency that is chartered with improving lives, strengthening communities and fostering civic engagement through service and volunteering by providing grants through the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC, and Learn and Serve America programs.  

United We Serve, which was launched by President Barack Obama earlier this summer, is a nationwide service initiative designed to help address the growing social needs resulting from the current recession.  The 81-day program, which runs from June 22 to September 11, aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers and encourage volunteers to develop their own local “do it yourself” projects with family, friends and neighbors.  

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The Serv.org website provides individuals with the ability to locate organizations in their local area who are seeking volunteers, via a tool from All for Good which provides a list of organizations based on keywords (e.g., AIDS, recycling, children, pets, etc.), as shown below.  The website allow enables organizers of local and community-based organizations to register their initiative and to help them find volunteers.

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Here’s a 3-minute video released by The White House in which President Obama introduces the United We Serve campaign.

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He’s Barack Obama

Today’s video is another hilariously entertaining video from the comic masters at JibJab, called “He’s Barack Obama.” Enjoy!

To view JibJab’s full offering of videos on YouTube.com, click here.

To go to previous posts in the “Today’s Video” category, click here.

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Today’s Quote

 ”Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

   –President Barack Obama, in his Inauguration Speech, 1/20/09

To go to previous entries in the “Today’s Quote” series, click here.

Photo Credit: Christopher Morris, Time Magazine

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Happy Days

Happy days are here again. 

In celebration of Senator Barack Obama’s stunning, history-making victory in his bid to become the 44th President of the United States, here’s a video of one of Barbra Streisand’s early live performances of “Happy Days are Here Again,” written by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen, which is best remembered as the campaign song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s successful 1932 Presidential campaign.  [This song appears on my list of Top 10 Favorite Songs.  Click here to see the full list.]

And, here are some of the jubilant faces of Obama supporters in New York City and Chicago following the announcement of the November 4th election results and the decisive win by Senator Baack Obama.

Photo credits: The Wall Street Journal

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Today’s Quote

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

This is our moment.  This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.”

   –Senator Barack Obama, in his Presidential Campaign Victory Speech, delivered in Chicago, 11/4/08

To read the full text of Senator Obama’s speech from Forbes.com, click here.

Photo credit: Time Magazine

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Doxies for Obama

With six days left before the November 4th election, Peggy and Lucy have decided (after much consideration and reflection) to officially endorse Barack Obana for President.  Following their much-anticipated announcement, Peggy and Lucy joined the Doxies for Obama coalition and received their official button (see below).

Above:  Lucy (left) and Peggy are pictured watching CNN for the latest poll results on the Presidential campaign.

 

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Update on Prop 8

In a surprising change in public opinion, the results of a CBS 5 poll released yesterday indicate that supporters of Proposition 8, which seeks to amend the California Constitution by redefining marriage as between a man and woman only, now lead by a 47 to 42 margin–a stunning reversal in opinion in less than two weeks.  Opponents of Proposition 8 cite a recent TV advertisement by supporters of the initiative as influencing public opinion, particularly among younger voters, who previously had been expected to strongly oppose the proposition. 

According to state-required financial reports filed as of 9/30/08, groups supporting Proposition 8 have raised over $25 million, compared with $19 million for opponents of the measure.

Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, which is opposing Proposition 8, said ”We’ve seen a real shift since (Prop. 8 supporters’) massive ad buy.  People who have supported us in the past will have to step up again, and those who haven’t will have to give.”  In an email to supporters this week, Geoff Kors wrote, “This is crunch time.  With less than a month before the election, we must get on the air now to answer these lies and swing votes back to our side.  And the only way to do that is to raise more money.  The generous $15.8 million that our supporters have given isn’t enough.  Not when the other side has nearly $10 million more than we do and the fundraising gap is growing.”

Last week, Equality California released its first TV advertisement opposing Proposition 8, shown below:

To make a contribution to Equality California and their “No on 8″ campaign, click here.   To purchase offical  ”No on 8″ merchandise, including signs for your yard, click here.

To read more about the results of the latest poll in the Los Angeles Times, click here

To view the most recent previous post on this topic, click here.

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Today’s Video

Sarah Palin.  Gosh, darn, bless her little heart.  She provides enough raw comedic material to keep Saturday Night Live going forever.  In their broadcast on 10/4/08, Saturday Night Live took aim (and hit the bullseye) at the Vice Presidential Debate held on 10/2/08 between Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden.  Tina Fey scores again with another spot-on impersonation of Governor Palin (although she winks at us with the wrong eye).  And Queen Latifah is pitch perfect as Moderator Gwen Ifill, with just the right touch of astonishment and a raised eyebrow to be effective.

Source: Saturday Night Live, NBC

Also, to order an advance copy of Gwen Ifill’s forthcoming book, entitled “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” from amazon.com, click here.

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Today’s Video

NBC’s Saturday Night Live scored again with another spot-on parody of Governor Sarah Palin.  In the broadcast on 9/27/08, Tina Fey returned to SNL with a remarkably-skilled impersonsation of Governor Sarah Palin in her recent interview with Katie Couric of CBS News. 

 

 Hats off to Tina Fey, Amy Poehler (as Katie Couric) and the comedic team at SNL.  Keep ‘em coming!

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Today’s Video

   

In case you missed the hilarious parody of Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Hillary Clinton, played by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, respectively, on the 9/13/08 broadcast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, here’s the full-length version from the official NBC website.

 Video Credit: NBC

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Today’s Quote

“Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance.”

  –The New York Times, 9/14/08

Click here to read the full New York Times article, entitled “Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes.” 

To go to previous entries in the “Today’s Quote” series, click here.

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Today’s Video

Today’s video features San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom speaking to a group on 9/6/08 regarding Proposition 8, which will appear on the November ballot in California.  Proposition 8 seeks to amend the California Constitution and remove the right of same-sex couples to wed.

“On November 5, the day after the election, I don’t want to have any regrets. I want to know that I did everything I could to defeat Prop 8, to stop the elimination of the fundamental right to marry for all Californians.”

   –Gavin Newsom, Mayor, San Francisco, 9/6/08

To learn more about Proposition 8, visit the No on 8, Equality for All website. 

And, here’s a public service announcement from Power Up for the Equality Campaign urging California voters to vote no on Proposition 8.

Click here to see a related previous post at Jankenpon.

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Today’s Quote

ON ABORTION AND EQUAL MARRIAGE RIGHTS:

“I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be between and man and a woman.”

ON CREATIONISM AND SCHOOLS:

“Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information.  Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.”

ON RELIGION:

“San Francisco judges forbidding our Pledge of Allegiance? They will take the phrase ‘under God’ away from me when my cold, dead lips can no longer utter those words. God bless America.”

   -Governor Sarah Palin (R) Alaska, 2008 Republican Nominee for Vice President of the United States

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Remembering Katrina

As I thought about the difficult recovery and rebuilding efforts taking place in New Orleans, I was reminded of those dark days that followed Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the overwhelming sadness, anger and shame I felt around the federal, state and local response to the enormous suffering of the people of New Orleans.

I also remembered this sound byte from a statement made by President George Bush on September 2, 2005 (five days after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast) congratulating Mike Brown on the “heck of a job” he was doing as FEMA Director. Ten days later, Brown resigned as FEMA Director, amid a firestorm of controversy and growing criticism around the bungled Federal response.

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