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Stacked Stones wallpaper

Ruy Teixeira, who co-authored the prescient The Emerging Democratic Majority with John B. Judis ( free first chapter excerpt here) a few years back has written a statistics geek guide to the Democratic sweep 2008, Digging into the 2008 Exit Polls

5. Women voted 56-43 overall for Obama.  Even married women with children, traditionally a difficult group for Democrats, supported Obama by 52-47.  Single women voted Democratic by 70-29, up from 62-37 in 2004.  And working women, who voted Democratic by a slender 51-48 margin in 2004, voted Democratic this time by an impressive 60-39 margin.

6. The march of professionals toward the Democratic party continued.  Using those with a postgraduate education as a proxy for this group (the exit polls have no occupation question), Obama received 58-40 support.  That figure includes 54-44 support among white postgraduates.

7. The youth vote of course was huge for Obama.  This is the first year the 18-29 year old age group was drawn exclusively from the millennial generation (those born 1978 or later) and they gave Obama a whopping 34 point margin, 66-32.  This compares to only a 9 point margin for Kerry in 2004.  The youth share of voters also increased from 17 to 18 percent across the two elections.

As much as many on the Right are hoping that America’s economy hits rock bottom and continues that way for the next four years, its very unlikely an Obama presidency or Democratic control of Congress will make the right-wing’s fantasies come true. If the public feels that Democrats are making progress on the economy, get the troops out of MessOpotamia, maybe even catch Osama BeenForgotten, there is every reason to believe that the trend toward moderation and away from the rabid, nationalistic Right will continue. Some on the Conservative side of the political side of the spectrum see their future in moderating their party’s extremes, others not so much, The GOP’s last chance: Become Democrats

In a morning-after National Review symposium titled “How the GOP Got Here,” L. Brent Bozell wrote, “The liberal wing of the GOP has caused the collapse of the Republican Party.” Richard Viguerie said, “Republicans will make a comeback only after they return to their conservative roots.” Other contributors echoed these sentiments. If only McCain had attacked Obama on red-meat issues like immigration or abortion or cloning. If only Bush had not betrayed Reagan’s legacy by expanding Medicare. If only conservatives had let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin.

Pat Buchanan argued on the right-wing site Townhall that McCain lost because he was too deferential to Beltway decorum and refused to take the culture-war gloves off.

In the distorted fun house mirror inside the brains of Bozell, Buchanan, Coulter and Limbaugh they think they’re punishing Democrats by digging in and just repeating the same garbage they been dispensing. Only louder and and intensely more shrill, will win back an increasingly moderate America. Please, by all means continue to knock your heads against the wall hoping for a different result. Mainstream America would much rather watch the Right’s temper tantrums in defeat, then the Right’s maliciousness in victory. Governor Palin has become their poor sainted victim,

Limbaugh managed to refrain from comparing McCain to an insect, but he joined Coulter in anointing Palin the future queen of the Republican Party. Noting that a Rasmussen poll showed that 69 percent of GOP voters love Palin, Limbaugh sneered, “So all of you wizards of smart on our side, all of you intellectualoids who think that Palin was a drag, the party loves Sarah Palin. The vast majority of conservative Republicans love Sarah Palin.

Palin worship is alarmingly like Bush worship.  I encourage the hard Right to stick to that state of mind. As America glances back over its shoulder to see if the Right has changed, learned their lesson as it were, the Palin-mania will assure them that the kool-aid drinkers still don’t care about good governance and the common good.

Where’s the justice

Bush, Out of Office, Could Oppose Inquiries

“The Bush administration overstepped in its exertion of executive privilege, and may very well try to continue to shield information from the American people after it leaves office,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, who sits on two committees, Judiciary and Intelligence, that are examining aspects of Mr. Bush’s policies.

Topics of open investigations include the harsh interrogation of detainees, the prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama, secret legal memorandums from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and the role of the former White House aides Karl Rove and Harriet E. Miers in the firing of federal prosecutors.

Mr. Bush has used his executive powers to block Congressional requests for executive branch documents and testimony from former aides. But investigators hope that the Obama administration will open the filing cabinets and withdraw assertions of executive privilege that Bush officials have invoked to keep from testifying.

Having checked a round up of some of the Democratic legal blogs I can’t find one that has weighed in on this in from an expert’s perspective. Obama seems ready and willing to undo a slew of Bush executive orders, but the story at NYT quotes his desire not to pursue investigations that are too political, but would pursue cases of criminal conduct. I don’t think you can have real change, change that will last beyond Obama’s tenure unless he cleans house. That would include vigorously investigating and prosecuting wrong doing. It has turned out that Ford’s pardon of Nixon, to purportedly heal the country, was a terrible wrong turn in our history. Having prosecuted Nixon might have prevented Reagan’s Iran-Contra and Bush’s corrupt naked emperor presidency.

Update: Obama’s plans for probing Bush torture

The proposed commission — similar in thrust to a Democratic investigation proposal first uncovered by Salon in July — would examine a broad scope of activities, including detention, torture and extraordinary rendition, the practice of snatching suspected terrorists off the street and whisking them off to a third country for abusive interrogations. The commission might also pry into the claims by the White House — widely rejected by experienced interrogators — that abusive interrogations are an effective and necessary intelligence tool.

[  ]…Instead, a commission empowered by Congress would have the authority to compel witnesses to testify and even to grant immunity in exchange for information. Should a particularly ugly picture emerge, the option of prosecutions would still theoretically be on the table later, however unlikely.

The commission that salon references would be tasked with fact finding – another devastating blow to the Bush legacy or rather nightmare. One possibility is that Bush could pardon not just hundreds of individuals, but categories of people that could add up to a thousand or more – which would be no less then a public admission of guilt – much like Scooter Libby’s lies to protect the White House – blanket pardons of historic proportions would be both an ideological indictment of the Bush presidency and highlight once again the rabid extremism on which the Conservative movement is based. One scholar suggests that should Bush do that many people might then feel free to openly testify about criminal and unethical conduct, thus Bush and his comrades will be found guilty in the court of public opinion and as a matter of historical record.

Idaho students chant ‘assassinate Obama’ on school bus: Kids don’t wake up one morning and get ideas like this out of thin air, an adult has to plant those kinds of thoughts.

Obama’s Fascinating Interview with Cathleen Falsani, about his religion.

A standard line in my stump speech during this campaign is that my politics are informed by a belief that we’re all connected. That if there’s a child on the South Side of Chicago that can’t read, that makes a difference in my life even if it’s not my own child. If there’s a senior citizen in downstate Illinois that’s struggling to pay for their medicine and having to chose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer even if it’s not my grandparent. And if there’s an Arab American family that’s being rounded up by John Ashcroft without the benefit of due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

I can give religious expression to that. I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, we are all children of God. Or I can express it in secular terms. But the basic premise remains the same. I think sometimes Democrats have made the mistake of shying away from a conversation about values for fear that they sacrifice the important value of tolerance. And I don’t think those two things are mutually exclusive.

Do you think it’s wrong for people to want to know about a civic leader’s spirituality?

I don’t’ think it’s wrong. I think that political leaders are subject to all sorts of vetting by the public, and this can be a component of that.

I think that I am disturbed by, let me put it this way: I think there is an enormous danger on the part of public figures to rationalize or justify their actions by claiming God’s mandate.

I think there is this tendency that I don’t think is healthy for public figures to wear religion on their sleeve as a means to insulate themselves from criticism, or dialogue with people who disagree with them.

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