Animal Rights Activists Bark about Biden’s Dog Choice

Although everyone in the world seems to be on bated breath waiting for President-Elect Barack Obama to select a dog for his daughters, Vice President-elect Joe Biden recently chose a new dog for his family. Apparently, Biden also had a similar “election doggie” promise. A writer for the Christian Science Monitor reports that if Obama and Biden won the election, Joe promised to get him and his wife a dog.

Well true to his word, Biden got a dog. He purchased a beautiful three-month-old German Shepherd puppy from breeder, Linda Brown of East Coventry Township, Pennsylvania. According to Delaware Online News, Biden chose the dog because he is familiar with the breed.

However, not everyone is happy about Biden’s decision. Animal rights activists are making a big bark about Biden buying a dog from a commercial breeder instead of getting a rescue or shelter puppy. There are an estimated four million dogs that are euthanized each year because they don’t have a home.

“We are surprised that Sen. Biden chose to purchase a dog from a commercial kennel since he has been a leader on animal-protection issues and has championed a number of important animal-welfare reforms in the Senate,” Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “President-elect Obama can send a stronger message of hope and change for animals by adopting a homeless dog from an animal shelter or rescue group.”

Even People for the Equal Treatment of Animals (PETA) came out with a statement about Biden’s breeder pup.

“I was extremely disappointed to read that Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife bought a dog from a breeder instead of adopting one from an animal shelter,” writes Dore on the PETA blog.  “Obviously he or his wife blanked on Ingrid’s letter, which asked him to consider adopting,” she wrote. ”Every year, U.S. animal shelters are forced to euthanize millions of wonderful, deserving dogs and cats because of the lack of good homes.”

Animal rights advocates are still holding out hope that Obama gets a pound puppy. Meanwhile, check out Biden’s cute puppy on the video below.

Note: Also on Pop + Politics




CB’s Green Report: Obama’s Greenies

Just what we need, a new energy and environmental team. According to Wednesday’s New York Times, Obama’s transition officials said he has selected several key members of this team. For the Secretary of Energy position, Obama has chosen Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Stephen Chu, who also serves as the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. And officials stated he will chose Los Angeles’ deputy mayor for energy and environment, Nancy Sutley, to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Obama’s officials sound as though his selections for head of the Environmental Protection Agency and climate czar are a bit less certain. He has supposedly selected Lisa P. Jackson, New Jersey’s former commissioner of Environmental Protection. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first African American to head the U.S. E.P.A.

And it appears as though Obama’s going to give the top White House position on climate and energy policy to President Bill Clinton’s E.P.A. administrator, Carol M. Browner. If Obama selects Browner, who was an Al Gore follower, she is assumed to have support from several key members of Congress like Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and Representative “Henry A. Waxman of California, who will be the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Senator Barbara Boxer of California, who is returning as chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.” Hopefully, Obama’s choices will work out well because he has a tough road ahead to meet his goal of reducing global warming emissions and creating more “green” jobs.

Can you believe there are E.P.A. fugitives? Well, believe it! The Environmental Protection Agency has a web site that list all of the fugitives sought by its Criminal Investigation Division. Are you wondering what gets you on the environmental bad guys list? The site gives a case summary and how to report information about them in case you see one. It’s like America’s Most Wanted for environmental criminals. (I can hear the theme song playing. “Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad Boys. Bad Boys.”) Surprisingly, Bush and members of his administration are not listed.

This report wouldn’t be complete without green gifts for the holidays. CleanTechnica has a list of the 8 Best Green Gadget Gifts. Some of the items include a power strip that tells you the energy efficiency of your appliances with a numerical reading, and a wind-powered electronics charger. These are just a few of the gifts. Pretty cool stuff for the greenie in your life.

Note: Also featured on Pop + Politics




Daily News Roundup: BlackBerries, Barack and Bombs

In technology news, the new BlackBerry Storm smartphone has a New York Times reviewer calling it the “BlackBerry Dud.” Unlike its predecessors, the BlackBerry Pearl and Bold, the Storm model doesn’t appear to live up to the BlackBerry tradition. According to the review, the new touchscreen (designed to compete with the iPhone) doesn’t respond well to touch. And its lauded email capabilities have been compromised on the new Storm. Hey BlackBerry makers, Research in Motion (R.I.M.) maybe you should have listened to the old adage: if it’s not broken don’t fix it….(Note: Blackberries still outsell iPhone).

With the U.S. economic problems looming, President-Elect Barack Obama named Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Chairman to head his Economic Recovery Advisory Committee. Obama chose Volcker for his independent and fresh thinking. “At this defining moment for our nation, the old ways of thinking and acting just won’t do,” Obama said at a news conference in Chicago reported Bloomberg. This economic board will look for new ways to revive the U.S. economy.

In other President-elect cabinet news, sources tell CNN that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will keep his job for at least the first year of Obama’s administration. These sources also report “Obama is interested in some continuity at the Pentagon because he is entering office while dealing with two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the international financial crisis.” Other analysts claim the new president-elect is demonstrating his commitment to bipartisanship.

And if we haven’t noticed, the President-elect is making his cabinet picks fairly quickly. Obama is once again making presidential history with choosing his picks faster than most of the other presidents. Many political insiders are surprised because of the President-elect’s extensive candidate questionnaire and background check. Yet Obama appears committed to acting quickly to ensure a quick transition that will strengthen the economy and preserve jobs, which are on the minds of most Americans.

And if following up on his earlier threat to Obama, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said al Qaeda has sent a “plausible but unsubstantiated” report to Federal authorities that may have mentioned attacking transit systems in or around New York City. The DHS and FBI said Tuesday that the attacks would be waged with suicide bombers or explosives on trains and subways. Although the agencies don’t have details at this moment, they issued the warning because of a potential attack during the holiday season.




CB’s Daily News Break: Racial Slurs and Cabinet Rumors

In a message that appeared Wednesday on Islamist web sites, al Qaeda’s second-in-command warns President-elect Barack Obama about the “heavy legacy of failure and crimes that await him.” He also urged Muslims to keep up the attacks on the U.S. Perhaps in an attempt to anger and insult America’s next president, the terrorist leader, Al Zawahiri, also called Obama, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, the “direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X. Zawahiri even went as far as to call them “house slaves” or the racial slur of “house Negroes.”

The buzz is surrounding Obama’s current picks for several key members of his cabinet. Sources tell CNN that Sen. Tom Daschle is being considered for the Secretary of Health and Human Services job. Daschle, the former Senate Majority Leader, is expected to take the position if offered.  And for the Attorney General job, Eric Holder, who was Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General, is the top choice for Obama. Holder, who co-chaired Obama’s vice president selection process, is also expected to accept the position.  History could be made again because “if confirmed, Holder would be the first African-American to lead the Justice Department.”

And Bill Clinton is trying to help his wife get the Secretary of State position in Obama’s cabinet. Clinton has offered to allow ethical reviews of his philanthropic and business work to ensure there isn’t a conflict of interest. Unlike Holder and Daschle, Clinton is reportedly unsure whether she will take the position. She will have to choose between remaining in the Senate or accepting the new position. “The question is where she can be of best service,” said a Clinton adviser.

More dismal news on the economic front. The U.S. cost of living fell by the most since the records began in 1947. The fewest number of homes (known as housing starts) were constructed last month. And the consumer price index (CPI) has slide backwards, which means deflation. Yes, this recession is the worst once for at least a quarter of a century.

And Xbox 360 gamers may be rejoicing worldwide. On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a revamped Xbox gaming console. The new internet-connected setup includes an updated dashboard, the ability to purchase movies and games from Xbox.com and streaming HD Netflix movies with membership. The “New Xbox Experience” (NXE) is available to Xbox Live members.




Gay Marriage Supporter: It’s Not Too Late For Civil Rights

Cabrera at San Francisco City Hall Protesting Prop. 8

Although the United States made history on Nov. 4 by electing its first African-American president, supporters of California’s No on Proposition 8 (a ban on gay marriage) suggest that American prejudice and discrimination still run deep.

After the ban on gay marriage was passed, members of the gay community have come out in cities across the country to protest. (Meanwhile, gay marriages were legally passed in Connecticut last week.) They seek respect, dignity and their civil rights, which to them means the ability to marry who they love regardless of gender. Since the election results on the measure were released, members of the gay community are troubled by the fact that blacks and Latinos voted disproportionately against the measure. And the No on 8 supporters also “estimate that members of the Mormon Church gave more than $20 million to the effort to pass the measure, though that is difficult to confirm because records of campaign donations do not include religious affiliation.”

Pop + Politics caught up with No on Proposition 8 supporter Carlos Cabrera, 26, of San Francisco, Calif. Cabrera is a single gay man who is openly concerned about the future of gay marriage in California and across the nation. Although the measure passed on Nov. 4, Cabrera and others have spent their time protesting its passage at rallies, including one this past Saturday at San Francisco’s City Hall. He has also talked to numerous family members and friends about the issue.

There are several reasons why proponents of Prop 8 don’t want gay marriage or condone homosexuality. For some people, homosexuality goes against God and other religious beliefs. While religious groups continue to question whether homosexuality is genetic or if it is a chosen lifestyle, Cabrera says that he was born this way.

“I knew I was different from the time I was a little boy around five years old. I remember having dreams (non-sexual) about men, and feeling something about them. I couldn’t place a label on it until I was a teenager, and even then, only reluctantly. Growing up in a Catholic, Latino household I was very repressed growing up. We never talked about gays.  And whenever the topic was mentioned it was either quickly dismissed or my parents would ridicule them. As a result, when I was about 14 and knew for a fact that I was “gay” it was very traumatic for me, internally. I couldn’t face this reality, nor could I accept myself as gay until I was nearly 19. That was when I started college, and I met other gay people who showed me that the stereotypes that existed on television (i.e., extremely effeminate gay men who got AIDS and were rejected by their families) weren’t reflected in their lives. In fact, they all seemed “normal” to me by most societal standards; they just happened to be gay. Later on, I gained the courage to join my school’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual people) club, where I later became president and found it much more comfortable identifying openly as gay.”

P+P continued the conversation with Cabrera about his thoughts on Prop. 8.

Why is Prop 8 so important to you?
Well, it’s important to me because I believe that everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. It’s an issue of civil equity, not of privilege. And the passage of Proposition 8 saddened me because it’s discriminatory against a certain group of people who are doing nothing wrong. Moreover, it troubles me that Prop 8 was such a “wedge” issue for the religious right. Their adamant support for the measure imposes their religious beliefs on others, which I think is just plain wrong and offensive.

(more…)




President-Elect Obama May Have To Lose His Crackberry Addiction

President-elect Barack Obama is hip and technology savvy. In fact, many political analysts contend that his use of technology and email during his presidential campaign contributed significantly to his win in the age of Web 2.0. Yet according to a recent New York Times article, as president, Obama may be forced to lose his favorite campaign device: his BlackBerry.

Because of the Presidential Records Act, Obama’s BlackBerry (a hacker liability) poses a national security risk. It also allows the president’s location to be trackable via GPS and cell networks. And the law makes all of his correspondence available for the public to review should they be subpoenaed by Congress. There is no “work only” clause either; his personal emails to his daughters, wife and friends would be combed through as well.

Unlike his self-proclaimed technophobic contender from the general election, Obama will definitely feel the loss. Like most of us (including this author), Obama’s BlackBerry has become a part of his life. For him, the device may have been one of his few escapes to the real world and a much needed lifeline to his friends and family.

“Given how important it is for him to get unfiltered information from as many sources as possible, I can imagine he will miss that freedom,” said Linda Douglass, a senior adviser who traveled with the campaign to the NYT.

In the transition days ahead, our president-elect may have to wean himself off his BlackBerry like he did cigarettes. The former may be harder than the latter.

Note: also posted on Pop + Politics




The First-Time Voter: Why She’s Voting for Obama
Perry (far right) with daughters and grandkids

Perry (far right) with daughters and grandkids

Ruthann Perry, 50, of Virginia Beach, Va. is a first-time voter. Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, the mother of four girls and 10 grandchildren will cast her first vote in the 2008 election on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Perry now owns a daycare center in Virginia Beach. Her center keeps five kids, all of whom she claims are Obama supporters. After hearing Obama’s speeches, she became an Obama supporter and first time voter.

Research shows Perry is not alone. According to a recent Pew Report, one out of 10 voters in 2008 are voting for the first time. And as an African American, Perry is one of the 21 percent of first-time voters who are black.

Why have you chosen to vote in this election?
I’ve chosen to vote because of Obama. Obama means change. This country needs a change. I like Obama. I like what he is saying about medical (health care) issues.

Why is this election important to you?
Because America needs a change. I think Obama is that change. I’m also concerned about medical issues and education for the children.

Why didn’t you vote in the past?
I know it seems silly but I didn’t want get picked for jury duty, that’s my reason. But I didn’t know that you don’t have to be a voter to be selected for jury duty.

(more…)




Election 08: How Race Sways the Vote in New Orleans

Obama-Biden sign at Vaughan’s Lounge located in Bywater neighborhood – in the 2nd Congressional District

With less than a week before the election, the latest polls and projected electoral counts show that Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama is leading Republican John McCain. If Obama wins, many will claim he was able to transcend race and reach the hearts and minds of the American electorate.

However, in other parts of the country, especially New Orleans, race is still partially or fully the voting decision-maker.

“White people will never vote for a black person in Louisiana,” said William Everette, Political Science Lecturer at Xavier University of Louisiana, a Historically Black College & University (HBCU). “We talk about the same thing with the Obama election.”

As the first African American Democratic Party presidential nominee, Obama’s historical bid for the United States presidency has highlighted the nationwide issue of race and politics. As this election season has shown, there are still areas of the country where racial prejudice prevents people from voting for Obama. A September 2008 AP/Yahoo poll confirmed that race is an issue: “If there was no racial prejudice among voters, Sen. Barack Obama would retrieve about six percentage points more support.”

Nothing reveals the pitfalls of voting along racial lines more than the current New Orleans democratic contest for the 2nd Congressional district between incumbent William Jefferson and broadcast journalist-turned-politician Helena Moreno.

One of New Orleans’ most powerful politicians, Jefferson is Louisiana’s first black congressman since Reconstruction and a nine-term incumbent. He faces Moreno, a journalist, who moved to New Orleans to take a reporting job with TV station, WDSU-TV, eight years ago. She worked as an anchor and investigative news reporter until she resigned in March 2008 to run for Congress.

Although the race between Jefferson and Moreno is viewed as black versus white, many city residents don’t even know that Moreno isn’t white.

“Moreno is Hispanic,” said Darrin M. Hanson, who is a white Political Science professor at Xavier University of Louisiana. “A lot of the white people and black people who I talk to don’t realize that she is Hispanic.”

“She made the run-off because she was the only candidate close enough to white,” said Everette.

Political art featuring Obama at Xavier University of Louisiana

Jefferson and Moreno are campaigning to win a district that is approximately 62 percent black, and includes the majority of New Orleans. The area contains the 9th Ward, Gentilly and other low-lying areas, which were greatly damaged from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

This district’s congressional leadership has been Democratic since Reconstruction. And the Voting Rights Act of 1965 turned this area into a “Majority-Minority” district to guard against racially-motivated gerrymandering, thereby ensuring minority voters the equal opportunity to elect congressional representatives.

With a predominantly black congressional district, many political insiders knew that Moreno would have an uphill battle due to race and other issues. And in order to win, Moreno would need a significant black “crossover” vote. Most New Orleanians assumed she would get the white vote.

“If [white people] get a chance to not vote for a black person, they don’t vote for them,” said William Everette, Political Science Lecturer at Xavier University of Louisiana.

Before the 2006 congressional election, Jefferson’s support diminished due to federal charges that he had $90,000 in alleged bribe money in his freezer. Although Jefferson still won the election, he was removed from his powerful House Ways and Means committee post. He was also indicted in 2007, and will go to trial in December on bribery, money laundering and other charges.

Yet despite Jefferson’s alleged corruption, he received 25 percent of the vote in the October election with Moreno garnering 20 percent. Although New Orleans residents may disagree as to the merits of re-electing Jefferson, most agree that the election was heavily decided based on race.

Hanson, who is a white Political Science professor at Xavier University of Louisiana, explains the run-off between Jefferson and Moreno.

“The problem with the previous election was that there was Jefferson and five young African-American males,” said Hanson. “They were all well-qualified. The five young male candidates cancelled each other, but together they had 55 percent of the vote. If the black vote had consolidated behind one person, Jefferson or Moreno would have been knocked off.”

On Nov. 4, New Orleans residents will vote for the next president and several state and national congressional seats, including the 2nd Congressional district. Most experts agree that both Jefferson and Moreno won the first election because the vote was splintered by race.
The Times-Picayune staff writer, Stephanie Grace said, “If voters often talk about choosing the lesser of two evils, this is one election where that saying really does fit the mood.”
Grace along with several others in New Orleans predicts Jefferson will win. The numbers and race are in his favor, as well as having Obama on the ticket.

“Jefferson is running the same day that Obama is running, said Hanson. “People are going to vote for history. They are expecting a 95 percent African American city-wide turnout.”

And if the 2006 election proved anything, Jefferson can be re-elected with federal investigations and alleges charges of corruption hanging over him.
For radio host, CJ Morgan, of WBOK 1230 AM’s show “Talk Back, Talk Black,” the Jefferson race is “very much a reflection of the racial polarization of the city.” Whites vote predominantly for whites and blacks vote for blacks.
Xavier University of Louisiana student Jayson Williams, 23, explained Jefferson’s support from the black community.
“The reason why they are supporting Bill Jefferson is because he has seniority as a representative,” said Williams who is a Political Science major.  “He has served a lot of time and been on boards. And he’s given us streets, lights and money. He helps his district. That’s all that really matters to me.”

Yet despite Jefferson’s congressional track record and Katrina efforts, the alleged charges against him weigh heavily in some minds.
“Although there are people who want to elect Jefferson, I was kind of shocked because of what’s going on and what’s in the media,” said Alysha Smith, a senior Political Science major at Xavier University of Louisiana.

Dr. Lance Hill, the Executive Director of the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University, claims there are logical reasons why many African Americans in New Orleans support Jefferson.
“Bill Jefferson defended the black community, prevented it from being demolished, went to Congress, and used his power of the Black Caucus to get funding to rebuild the homes of black homeowners when the Republican establishment turned its back on New Orleans,” said Hill, who is white.

Considered an expert on race, prejudice and tolerance, Hill co-founded the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane in 1993. The Institute uses the Holocaust and Civil Rights Movement case studies to teach students about prejudice. The organization boasts that it has “the most comprehensive tolerance education program” of its kind in the South and trained more than 3,600 teachers.

“It’s no question that even stripped of his committee assignments that he has been able to leverage more change and more benefits for Katrina victims, white and black alike, than probably any other member of Congress,” said Hill.

Early Voting Event attendees- photographer: Jeremy McLean

And although Katrina occurred more than three years ago, it has affected the politics of New Orleans. It brought New Orleans problems to the surface, said Mike Flores, President of GCR Consulting.

Even though Mayor Nagin claims that 75% of New Orleans has returned after Hurricane Katrina, many residents say the city is not the same.

After Katrina, the demographics of New Orleans have changed, said Bruce Nolan, reporter for The Times-Picayune.

“The underlying concerns and fears are still there, said Nolan. “Black folk are still utterly convinced, utterly persuaded that the powers-that-be used Katrina as an excuse to lock them out of town. I mean that’s embedded. And that legacy is carried forward into our politics of today, even though it’s less black than it was before.”

Several blacks viewed the post-Katrina rebuilding plans like “Bring New Orleans Back” and the Master Plan or “Green Space” plans as a way for a portion of the white constituency to prevent poor, low-income blacks from returning to New Orleans, said Hill.

These post-Katrina demographic changes have resulted in a majority white city council and school board in New Orleans, said Hanson who considers himself a part of the group of whites that arrived in New Orleans after the storm.

Thus, many blacks feel their generations of political leadership are being stripped away by the white minority. Jefferson is using this fear to his advantage in the race against Moreno, explained Hill.

Although the Green Space plan has been abandoned, Jefferson’s use of the term the “greening of New Orleans” has been a strong campaign message against Moreno.

According to Hill, Jefferson makes claims, in political ads on black radio and in appearances, that Moreno is supported by the people who tried to prevent blacks from coming home, and is trying to turn their community into “green space.”

The Jefferson v. Moreno race points out politically strategies based on racial identity and in some cases racial misgivings. It also shows the strategy of power retention according to race.

“We want to keep our person, by our person, I mean racial identifier, in office. Moreno is not us, we can’t lose our seat,” said Hanson who described the sentiment of African Americans voting for Jefferson.

Hill agreed that the black community doesn’t want to forego its political influence.

“Jefferson said, ‘Look if I get elected you have the same kind of power and influence in congress that you’ve had in all the years that I’ve served. If I’m convicted of a crime, there will be a new election. And you will get somebody that represents you,’” said Hill.

For many New Orleans voters, the 2nd Congressional district and presidential races may all come down to race and the re-opening of prejudicial wounds. And it remains to be seen if Barack Obama can transcend the issue of race nationally.

Yet, it appears that racial politics of 2008 may boil down to one simple statement. As Obama said in an interview in July 2008 with Brian Williams about being viewed as a political risk, and as CJ Morgan said about the politics of New Orleans: “The devil that you know is better than the devil that you don’t know.”

Note: also posted on Pop+Politics




Caramel Bella’s Green Report: Is America a Bunch of Green Backsliders?

Now that gas and oil prices drop, will America keep its push to “go green?” A recent NPR article investigates whether American energy consumers will revert back to their old, gas guzzling, non-recyclable ways with low oil prices.

Speaking of fossil fuels, a new study by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council claims the world could be free of fossil fuels completely by 2090. What would it take? Only trillions of dollars worth of investments in renewable energy and a worldwide support, that’s all.

Google going Green? Google’s CEO, Eric E. Schmidt, joined forces with GE’s CEO, Jeffrey R. Immelt, to announce their “green” collaboration effort to generate renewable electricity. Additionally, Google’s nonprofit arm, Google.org, has already invested in clean energy startups like harnessing wind power with kites.

Ready for your next all-electric car? Well, chances are you might have to wait until 2012. The recent 2008 Paris Motor Show revealed the new generation of electric cars. It featured the electric Chevrolet Volt, gas-electric hybrids like 2009 Honda Insight. However, the show stopper was the 2012 Volage electric car by Venturi, Monaco’s only automaker. In addition to the Volage, Venturi also makes the Fetish, an all-electric, 2-seat sports car, available in 2009. Both the Volage and Fetish sell for a hefty price, $500,000 and $400,000 respectively. Hmm.. how’s that gasoline or hybrid car looking?

(more…)




CB’s Daily News Break: A Quake & A Possible Landslide?

Early Wednesday morning a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 170 people and leaving an estimated 15,000 people homeless. Rescuers are currently digging and searching for survivors in the a remote valley in Baluchistan, a province bordering Afghanistan. The worst hit was a British hilltop village of Ziarat and eight surrounding villages. “There is great destruction,” said Ziarat Mayor Dilawar Kakar to Associated Press. “Not a single house is intact.”

With less than a week until the presidential election, many people have decided to vote early. And in key swing states like North Carolina, Nevada and Colorado, the number of Democrats early ballots outweigh Republicans ballots nearly 2 to 1.

So, does the electoral math add up to an Obama landslide? According to the most recent Associated Press-GfK poll, Barack Obama is leading or tied with John McCain in eight key states: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. This poll also showed Obama winning in states among early voters. Furthermore, “the polling shows Obama holding solid leads in Ohio (seven percentage points), Nevada (12 points), Colorado (9) and Virginia (seven), all red states won by Bush that collectively offer 47 electoral votes.” Based on these results, if Obama wins these four states or a magical combination of two or three of them with significant amount of electoral votes, he would almost certainly become president.

Barack Obama takes his final campaign plea to the airways. Tonight, Obama will go on national TV with a 30-minute infomercial about himself and his campaign. Even with the math beginning to add up on his side, many political strategists wonder if Obama’s infomercial could backfire on him.

And just a day before Obama’s video, CNN’s Campbell Brown reminds the American public that Obama reneged on his campaign finance promise. Obama’s decision to not take public financing allowed him to raise more than $600 million dollars (more than Bush & Kerry raised in 2004) so far, and buy 30 minutes of airtime for his infomercial on five different networks.

Although the presidential race has not been decided, a group of conservatives are discussing the political impact of Gov. Sarah Palin. If McCain and Palin win, she puts social conservatism in the White House. If the Republican ticket loses, she will be a potential presidential candidate in 2012 and leader of the social conservative movement. Is Palin the future of the Republican Party?

Perhaps showing she can strut her own stuff and agenda, Republican vice presidential candidate Palin is in Toledo, Ohio Wednesday speaking on her favorite topic, energy. Palin has called for a “clean break” from the Bush Administration’s energy policies, which she says are too dependent on foreign oil.

And in money news, the Fed is expected to cut the key interest rate by a half-point to help combat the worst financial crisis in 70 years and keep the country out of a deep recession. If the slash happens, the federal funds rate would be lowered to 1 percent. This possible interest rate cut caused European stock markets to trade mostly higher on Wednesday. And the U.S. stock market was slightly higher Wednesday after “one of the biggest single-session gains in history” on Tuesday.

Some good news: gas prices continue to fall. For the past 42 days, gas has steadily fallen to a 3-year low. Gas hasn’t been this low since Aug. 18. 2005.




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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.

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