Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

I am Nicolaus Copernicus, and I approve of this blog

I am Richard Feynman and I approve of this blog

Qualified outsiders and maverick insiders are often right about the need to replace received wisdom in science and society, as the history of the Nobel prize shows. This blog exists to back the best of them in their uphill assault on the massively entrenched edifice of resistance to and prejudice against reviewing, let alone revising, ruling ideas. In support of such qualified dissenters and courageous heretics we search for scientific paradigms and other established beliefs which may be maintained only by the power and politics of the status quo, comparing them with academic research and the published experimental and investigative record.

We especially defend and support the funding of honest, accomplished, independent minded and often heroic scientists, inventors and other original thinkers and their right to free speech and publication against the censorship, mudslinging, false arguments, ad hominem propaganda, overwhelming crowd prejudice and internal science politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, health and medicine, diet and nutrition.


Henry Bauer, Peter Breggin , Harvey Bialy, Giordano Bruno, Erwin Chargaff, Nicolaus Copernicus, Francis Crick, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw, Freeman Dyson, Peter Duesberg, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, John Fewster, Galileo Galilei, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Edward Jenner, Benjamin Jesty, Michio Kaku, Adrian Kent, Ernst Krebs, Thomas Kuhn, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling, Eric Penrose, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick, Sherwood Rowland, Carl Sagan, Otto Rossler, Fred Singer, Thomas Szasz, Alfred Wegener, Edward O. Wilson, James Watson.

Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

Skepticism is dangerous. That’s exactly its function, in my view. It is the business of skepticism to be dangerous. And that’s why there is a great reluctance to teach it in schools. That’s why you don’t find a general fluency in skepticism in the media. On the other hand, how will we negotiate a very perilous future if we don’t have the elementary intellectual tools to ask searching questions of those nominally in charge, especially in a democracy? – Carl Sagan (The Burden of Skepticism, keynote address to CSICOP Annual Conference, Pasadena, April 3/4, 1982).

It is really important to underscore that everything we’re talking about tonight could be utter nonsense. – Brian Greene (NYU panel on Hidden Dimensions June 5 2010, World Science Festival)

I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing ever interfered with my learning was my education. My name as you already perceive without a doubt is George Bernard Shaw, and I certainly approve of this blog, in that its guiding spirit appears to be blasphemous in regard to the High Church doctrines of science, and it flouts the censorship of the powers that be, and as I have famously remarked, all great truths begin as blasphemy, and the first duty of the truthteller is to fight censorship, and while I notice that its seriousness of purpose is often alleviated by a satirical irony which sometimes borders on the facetious, this is all to the good, for as I have also famously remarked, if you wish to be a dissenter, make certain that you frame your ideas in jest, otherwise they will seek to kill you.  My own method was always to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine) One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways. – Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 9

(Click for more Unusual Quotations on Science and Belief)

Expanded GUIDE TO SITE PURPOSE AND LAYOUT is in the lower blue section at the bottom of every home page.

Critics of HIV/AIDS broadcast on Scott Bell

November 30th, 2008

Top reviewers of scientifically unsupported belief puncture World AIDS Day in advance

Critics are newly decisive and dismissive

Show has signs of some political influence, but will Obama camp hear?

Radio Alert! Today (Sunday Nov 30) at 1 pm to 3pm NYC time (10 am to noon on the West Coast) leading debunkers of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis will be featured on the admirable Robert Scott Bell on air/Web radio show.


Go to RSBell Media – World AIDS Treatment Day and Ending Cognitive Dissonance on AIDS to access the show (top left for Live). The page has full information on the show. No obligation to subscribe.

If you have trouble (many do), go to Talk Stream Live and click on the Robert Scott Bell name at the top of the Streaming list.

Or possibly best: For past and present episodes go to The Robert Scott Bell Blog, click the ad on the top right, Listen Live On Air.

Use Internet Explorer on PCs. May not play on Safari on Macs.

Correcting World AIDS Day

robertscottbell-1.jpgIn a preemptive rescue operation of sense in the face of the global tsunami of HIV/AIDS promotional misinformation that is expected to sweep through media this week from Monday, which is World AIDS Day, guests on this Robert Scott Bell Show will include author Christine Maggiore, celebrated scientist and author Peter Duesberg, author Celia Farber, Clark Baker (the Gallo’s Egg private investigator), leading web site author David Crowe, author and scientist David Rasnick, and author and science critic Henry Bauer (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory). The theme is the real cause of “AIDS” immune deficiency and valid treatments.

Robert Scott Bell is a well informed and sensible homeopath who “gets it”, in other words, is fully up to speed on the failings of HIVAIDS theory and its correctives. He has interviewed these heroic HIV critics quite a few times before. His admirers include Ron Paul.

For fuller information go to The Robert Scott Bell Blog whose front page entry on this show is as follows:

Tune in to the Robert Scott Bell Show on Sunday, November 30, 2008, from 10 AM to 12 PM Pacific Time as we pre-empt World AIDS Day with sane voices of reasoned, scientific discourse as to the real cause of immune deficiency and what to do about it. Scheduled guests include Christine Maggiore, Peter Duesberg, Celia Farber, Clark Baker, David Crowe, David Rasnick, Dr. Henry Bauer and more… You can also link to audio archives (podacsts) at robertscottbell.blogspot.com to learn more about the true cause and cure for AIDS. Only if you have the courage to see and hear the truth should you listen…
World AIDS Treatment Day 2008 & Ending Cognitive Dissonance on HIV
Radio broadcast on Sunday, November 30, 2008 from 1 PM to 3 PM EST: What causes immune deficiency? Toxins, nutritional deficiencies, unchecked free radical-induced inflammation and politicians with no clue as to what it takes to be healthy.

Billions and billions of dollars have been wasted on a chemotherapeutic-windmill-tilt against a retrovirus never caught in the act of doing anything. Despite the HIV causation hypothesis never having been proven, AIDS research since the time of Robert Gallo and Anthony Fauci has proven one thing — that cognitive dissonance can be bought.

A change of consciousness can take a lifetime and in the case of “consensus” AIDS science, many more will die of the treatment of “HIV” before science is granted the annulment from politics and economics that will enable the shift to occur.

Of course HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. Even the Durban Declaration could not change that. The reluctance of welfare scientists to recant HIV causation is evidence that the U.S. government does not have any scientists in its employ. If only they had read from the works of Antoine Béchamp…

The Robert Scott Bell Show cherishes the principles that strengthen our understanding and practical application of freedom and healing. Where other talk shows leave off, the Robert Scott Bell Show is just getting started. Listen to the voice of health freedom and liberty for perspective this week Sunday, November 30, 2008 from 1 PM to 3 PM EST. Just turn on your radio or internet stream at the appropriate time.

Hour One: World AIDS Treatment Day — We interrupt the pharmaceutical-lovefest to bring you “World AIDS Treatment Day” in order that we may pre-empt the pharmaceutical money machine that funds World AIDS Day. It is long past time to get over the wrong-headed concept that AIDS can be countered by drugs too toxic for healthy people to use.

Now that the world knows that Gallo’s 1984 “Popovic et al” paper does NOT prove that HIV causes AIDS, when will SCIENCE withdraw the original four papers on which this immune deficiency syndrome falsely rests?

I have an all-star cast joining me in reversing the ignorance and arrogance of those who believe that HIV causes immune deficiency. Please welcome returning guests Professor Peter Duesberg, Celia Farber, David Rasnick, and first time guest David Crowe of Rethinking AIDS.

We only have to overcome billions of dollars in pharmaceutical funding and a collective global consciousness marketed into believing that HIV is an immortal super villain. No problem.

Thanks for tuning in where there’s more healing in two hours than most shows have in a whole year! Your calls at 1-800-449-8255. (Show topics subject to change based on breaking news and the whims of the host.)

Hour Two: Ending Cognitive Dissonance on AIDS with Nutritional Intelligence — Are there people living long and healthy lives even after testing “positive” to non-specific (HIV) antibody tests? Yes, as long as they avoid “Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy” (HAART).

The answer may shock you but it is a resounding “yes” in people who have rejected pharmaceutical toxins in favor of good nutrition. Despite the media claim that people are living longer on HAART, there is actually an “…increased incidence of cancer…only among those individuals who are receiving HAART.”

It’s time to let go of the cognitive dissonance and see the truth. Immune deficiency is real. “HIV causing it” is not.

What does this mean? It means that the power to heal is yours, as it has always been.

This week we include all the things that CDC, WHO and the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex do not want you to know about immune deficiency and what to do about it, with special guests David Crowe, Henry Bauer, PhD (author of The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory), Christine Maggiore (author of What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong?), Clark Baker (Gallo’s Egg) and more.

Recently, the media reported HIV will be eradicated in another ten years (and billions more dollars). We will have eradicated it in two hours with not one penny of Taxpayer funds — and that’s not Gallo’s humor…

Empowering the nation and everyone in it to heal, only on the united States of health talk radio. Your calls at 1-800-449-8255. (Show topics subject to change based on breaking news and the whims of the host.)

Bell’s biography

Here is the biography of the host from Talk Radio Network:

Each week Robert Scott Bell empowers his listeners with healing principles that can aid in physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, economic and yes even political healing! Robert Scott Bell hosts the fastest three hours of healing information on radio he deals with everyday health issues from the perspective of alternative/holistic health care. This program features caller input and questions, live interviews, and news and views in the important world of keeping one’s health in balance. The desire for good health and a long quality of life crosses all boundaries, cultures, economic strata and age groups.

Robert Scott Bell tackles the tough issues and shows no fear when confronting government and corporate bullies who would stand in the way of health freedom. You will be amazed by the amount of information about healing that is kept secret from you and what you can do to learn more about it.

Robert Scott Bell is a homeopathic practitioner with a passion for health and healing unmatched by anybody on radio. He personally overcame numerous chronic diseases using natural healing principles and has dedicated his life to revealing the healing power within all of us. He served as Board Member for the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP) 1999-2001. You can e-mail Robert at rsb@talkradionetwork.com. Learn more at www.rsbell.com.

Now you can “Jump-Start Your Health!” with a radio show that speaks directly to all who want information to get well and stay well. On the Robert Scott Bell show the power to heal is yours!

Podcasts are available at Switchpod. Call the show at 1-800-449-8255.

Update: a great show:

Mac users had trouble accessing the show, but those with PCs were well served by a robust host and guests forthrightly denouncing the world HIV/AIDS program as “the largest criminal enterprise I have ever seen” (Baker) based on “fraudulent” research (Duesberg on Gallo’s papers).

Clearly HIV critics are moving into a more confident phase where they now decisively denounce HIV/AIDS and its mismedication instead of pussyfooting in a vain attempt to gain a civil debate and not alienate the ignorant voter or political influential.

We strongly recommend that any newcomer to this scandal hunt down and access the recording of this show at the Robert Scott Bell site and listen to all of it.

With luck the technical barriers to those with different browsers or operating systems will be dissolved soon. This show is an exceptionally informative and its host’s youthful energy and decisiveness promise to make a real difference if its audience expands.

Obama Walks on Water

November 20th, 2008

If King was Moses, is Obama the new Jesus?

Faces of fans show they were spiritually transported

Times photo captured Obama elevating on airport tarmac

Will President elect pull in rivals, establish heaven on earth? Or is he all too human, and naive?

apb075865-copy.JPGCan we trust this man? Despite Obama’s 60 Minutes interview, 15 minute press conference and impressive (if somewhat too Clintonesque) selection of Cabinet officers this week, it appears that fearful skeptics are still concerned that President elect Barack may not be the finest thing to happen to American politics since Lincoln and Roosevelt combined (click the superb photo left by Times campaign photographer Damon Winter twice for evidence in Obama’s favor writ large – Rushmore here we come!).

This myopia seems extraordinary. Perhaps these cynics missed seeing for themselves the interview of the future First Couple on CBS last Sunday (Nov 16), when Michelle and Barack Obama wowed 24 million Americans.

pb175957.JPGThe new White House duo gave such an excellent impression to all and sundry that we ended up confident that, ably supported by his wife, this lanky, large eared, ember eyed, mulatto Lincolnesque lawyer is not only a graceful orator, literate author, devoted husband and loving father, but is also, with his intellect, good humor, ever widening natural grasp of politics and government, financial imperviousness and inborn sense of public service and responsibility, a more convincing prophet than ever of progressive peace and prosperity and, once in power, is bound to be what his devoted fans envision him to be, a great, compassionate and determinedly constructive national and international leader who will advance the world toward the universal happiness it deserves.

In fact we hereby dare to predict that the man standing on top of the smoking political and economic wreckage of George W’s eight years will rebuild America at home and abroad so sanely, sensibly and successfully that the election in 2012 will return him to the White House with a record landslide of around 78-22%.

If such enthusiasm seems over the top to you, dear reader, it may be because you have yet to see the interview, now at CBS (link above) and on YouTube. What a novelty to hear and see a President-to-be speak with a lake-deep analytical intelligence behind his deeply thoughtful eyes! (Tone this down, please. – Ed.)

pb175956.JPG Those dark brown depths (click to enlarge twice) seemed to us, as we TiVo’d him repeatedly, to be windows into a soul uniquely capable of rising above the emotional confusion and tribal ideologies of messy democratic politics to see with crystal clarity what is needed for the national and global good.

A man both calm and passionate

If ever there was a man who will keep a cool head as all around are losing theirs, it is this well grounded visionary, Barack Hussein Obama, brought up on food stamps and now progressive Western democracy’s leader.

Obama via Kroft combines warm love for those close to him with an activist passion for the betterment of mankind as a whole. Yet what is unique is that he is also so cool – all this red blooded attention to others is allied with a unusually even intelligence and lawyerly analytical grasp. Obama’s ordered mind is clearly on a higher intellectual plane than George W’s linguistic and moral fumbling, but it is also a cut above the erstwhile keen pragmatic intuitiveness of one time Rhodes scholar Bill Clinton, we have to say (just compare their books). Surely this fluent ability to think straight and true must have been a positive factor in the election. If so, it speaks well for an electorate that ever since Adlai Stevenson has seemed suspicious of intellectual skills. (Please. – Ed.)

pb175959.JPGAs we labored to state earlier, it is one of Obama’s triumphs is that he has rehabilitated informed intelligence as a political asset. That’s why the moment we savored most in the hour long 60 Minutes appearance was when the next President vouched for it himself, as in “I am not stupid!”:

Kroft: There’s been a lot of talk about [that] you talked about your mother-in-law. Is she moving in with you?

Mr. Obama: Well, I don’t tell my mother-in-law what to do. But I’m not stupid. That’s why I got elected president, man.

Why Obama will prove masterly as captain of the world

In general it seems obvious from his surefooted treatment of policy questions in the campaign and his confident selection of a team of rivals for his experienced and centrist cabinet that Obama is not only distinguished by a lawyerly desire to dig into a topic and master it himself by drawing upon all aspects before making policy, but his independent mind is harnessed to a community leader approach which takes in all viewpoints before proceeding to judgment. (Isn’t that the same thing? – Ed.)

Since we try for a similar evenhanded thoroughness of research and understanding before committing to a position, including drawing on all our rivals and crritics whom we so respect and admire, we applaud Obama’s highly developed tendency to think for himself after drawing on all sources, even to the extent of following Lincoln in including opponents in his Cabinet.

Some might think he has gone too far in accommodating the Clintons now that he has picked Hillary for State but he has surely brought into the fold someone who might otherwise be a J. Edgar Hoover to his LBJ (“Better to have him inside pissing out than outside pissing in”, as that President put it). Once again this is a President who will hear and grasp all sides of a case before judging it, even if part of his inclination is a canny policy of drawing possible opponents close, in the Chinese manner (“Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer. – Art of War, by general & military strategist Sun-tzu ~400 BC)

As a British expatriate we heartily applaud what has long been a successful policy of the English upper classes, which is to open the front door to revolutionaries and other hotheads who might disturb our peace of mind and property and marry them to our daughters as fast as possible.

Supreme poise allows far sighted clarity

pb185964.JPGClearly Obama has unmatchable confidence, which allows two things: listening to others, and independence of mind. His ego is strong enough for him to feel that it is his destiny is to be President without it being too narrowly focused or self indulgent.

There is not a whiff of egomania in the whole Kroft interview, which suggests in so many ways that psychologically Obama has all the time in the world to pay attention to others. This is not someone who will dip into the affections of interns or pander to the roar of the crowd to gain self esteem, but someone who has and will have no trouble devoting himself entirely to his family and to his job now, which is to save us all.

Thus when asked by a clearly taken (some said fawning, but there were tough policy questions too) Steve Kroft whether he was having difficulty in believing his victory was finally won and realizing the full extent of his new position, Obama had to confess that he really just felt he was now in the role that he was born for.

Kroft: Have there been moments when you’ve said, ‘What did I get myself into?’

Mr. Obama: Surprisingly enough, I feel right now that I’m doing what I should be doing. That gives me a certain sense of calm. I will say that the challenges that we’re confronting are enormous. And they’re multiple. And so there are times during the course of a given a day where you think, ‘Where do I start?’

Destiny had spoken. Once again we encounter the strange and scientifically inexplicable principle that great men and women frequently say they know what they were destined for from childhood. We were not surprised to read in a recent and sadly slender issue of irreplaceable Time magazine that Obama had written in his Jakarta prep school days that he was going to be president. (Update: Obama himself denied this in talking to Barbara Walters Dec 4 Thu on her ABC special, where he was featured as the Most Interesting Person of the Year. “The one thing I didn’t think I was going to be was President of the United States” he told her.)

The easy approachability of Obama’s style when he is talking to the public is allied to his desire to engage and co-opt everybody in the cause of improving the lot of all, seems to us. Steve Kroft interviewed the couple side by side on what appeared to be cushioned dining chairs, and Obama spent the entire interview sitting on the edge of his seat toward Kroft with his legs wide apart. Experts in body language will probably agree that this stance is a symbolic gesture of receptivity, as disarming as a handshake combined with an elbow grip and a huge smile and kind words. We imagine it is probably a first for a President-elect to project such welcoming acceptance to an audience of millions.

Is there evidence of Obama’s divinity?

If you will allow us to say so here, the work of Science Guardian, as readers know, consists of comparing the otherwise unread literature of any scientific field with the claims of the scientists and officials who lead its politics.

gallo-and-montagnier.jpgThis serious endeavor has resulted in some remarkable findings, for example, that the claims of the leading scientists (such as recent Nobel winner Luc “I found it first!” Montagnier and Robert “They found me not guilty of nothing! (sic)” Gallo, both pictured left) and officials in HIV/AIDS that there is a global pandemic caused by an infectious virus tendentiously labeled Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV are entirely hollow and without scientific foundation.

Not only is this belief completely unproven after twenty four years but in fact the claim was thoroughly debunked in 1986 in top journals with arguments that have never been refuted, while an annual harvest of research results have accumulated a pyramid of contradictions.

peter_duesberg.jpg Unfortunately, politics have protected and fueled the false belief and it has grown like a huge tumor on the body of good science ever since, immune to the efforts all those who know better such as Peter Duesberg of Berkeley (pic) to enlighten the masses as to how they are being misled by the authorities they trust.

A similar result has been obtained in cancer where the profitable paradigm that has ruled for three decades without medical advantage. The oncogene theory that cancer arises from mutations in certain predictable genes is shown in the elite literature by the same Duesberg to be without viable logic or evidence, contrary to the public claims of its proponents who have nonetheless wrung several Nobel prizes from their work.

Naturally it has occurred to us to apply the same methodology in other arenas to see if we can come up with new findings overlooked by the overworked and uninformed non specialists who largely report and present the official news.

As a result in the Obama case the staff of Science Guardian, using the most up to date technology available in the office to review all our files of the events of the recent Presidential Election of 2008 recorded in text, still and video, has undertaken a mammoth research project which is not yet complete, but already piled high enough to yield a remarkable preliminary conclusion revealed here for the first time: Barack Obama may be the new Messiah.

galloinaustralia.jpgOne of our tools is simply to examine photos and video for an impression of the internal makeup of the man or woman featured. For example, Peter Duesberg of Berkeley is a consistent truth teller in public and private, in our experience, whereas Robert Gallo has been recognized in reviews of his work by government officials as being severely challenged in this regard. We believe that the difference is readily signaled by comparing the faces of the two celebrated scientists. Another Gallo photo is added here for your use in this regard. Perhaps you can see what we mean.

Is Barack the Second Coming? First hard evidence emerges

The visuals we have in hand of Obama are also telling, we find, and indicate that this man has at the minimum a list of divine attributes which have excited many of his followers to swooning recognition of his possibly suprahuman status.

We first realized this momentous truth when reviewing the TV tapes and saw signs of uninhibited ecstasy in the crowds that gathered on 125th St in Harlem, when the results came through signaling Obama’s victory at just past nine o’clock on Nov 4 (Tues). But what really brought home the point that transcendent religious joy was involved came later when we watched the faces in the crowd in Chicago’s Grant Park later as our newly minted Great Guru made his acceptance speech.

pb095901.JPGMainly on the more openly expressive faces of women, but also visible on the features of men, we saw a truly astounding level of worshipful adoration and openhearted acceptance that exceeded the highest level of secular enthusiasm we have ever seen evoked by rock stars or other popular celebrities, even Oprah Winfrey, whose audiences often seem on the verge of kneeling before her as a goddess.

What we see incarnated in these expressions is nothing less than Transcendent Love, in fact, which of course is another name for God, as in “God is Love”. But judge for yourself. We present alongside these paragraphs some of the faces we captured from the tape.

Glory Glory Allelulia

pb105916.JPGSince everyone from Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey to Bill Maher and David Brooks, not to mention John McCain, seem to have caught Obamania since the election, we suspect that there is more to this visible surrender than the simple tendency of lively women to have a certain frisson of inner reaction to heroic figures that appear in public.

An office colleague has remarked that “He’s a handsome guy with power, so of course they all want him!” but this seems unduly worldly and simplistic. The crowd reaction to Obama obviously involved more than sexual hysterics of the kind evoked by Brad Pitt.

pb055774.JPGObama without doubt has an added dimension on top of the normal stature of a famous politician, especially one so newly minted. The faces of the women in the pictures are all upturned, you will notice, as if in supplication. All are transported by an inner light, as if they perceived Obama as transcendent to earthly concerns.

What it all seems to add up to essentially is a matter of faith on the spiritual plane. Unlike the cynics, Obama’s fans readily place their trust in him as in a father, whether family or Heavenly.

Thus a good hearted Italian woman of bountiful assets we met recently writes to us from Rome:

I’m so happy about Obama! I organized an “American dinner” – hamburger and chips – with my friends in my new home for the election night/day for an energetic support to Obama. I have followed the news on the TV until 3 o’clock in the morning (Italian time), and then I was tired and I went to sleep, but I was sure about the victory of Obama. The entire world has a new chance. I like Obama, his intelligence, his culture, his firmness with him asking to Obama why he didn’t answer to the bad words of his adversaries in the same way, at the same bad level; he answered: these people could be the same people that I will govern, how can I do it if now I offend them? He is really wise, I can trust in him, in this kind of human being.

Our correspondent is used to gurus in her profession, we happen to know, so her testimony can be taken at face value.

So is Obama divine or not?

So is this level of esteem justified? Obama has great intelligence, calm, and a capacity for communal leadership which transcends his peers, it seems clear. But is he the new Christ – can he work miracles? Are these women right in their vibrant intuitions?

apb075864-copy.JPGWe would normally reserve judgment, as befits a professionally skeptical though not yet jaded reporter, but today we came upon scientific proof of Obama’s supernatural powers – an image by a reliable, non Photoshopping New York Times photographer that records Obama walking on air. The shot was taken on a drizzly evening at an airport on the tarmac as Obama embarked surrounded by his campaign disciples. As you can see, he is elevated above them by three or four feet.

Since careful study of this image allows no other interpretation we offer it for your inspection and conclude that Obama is indeed the Second Coming of Christ, or the equivalent.

We reproduce a copy here for your inspection (click the image twice to enlarge it mightily) but for the best quality please visit the New York Times page where their campaign photographers work is laid out in a gallery. Choose the one third from the left on the bottom row with the bold portrait of Obama. This is the slide show of Damon Winter, and the photo in question is second in his fine selection.

The caption reads: Sen. Obama prepares to board his campaign plane in Manchester after a rally in Londonderry, N.H. on October 16th.

As you can see, our new 21st Century prophet is elevated several feet above the wet tarmac. We can find no other way of interpreting this image! We therefore conclude that Senator and President-elect Barack Hussein Obama is the new Messiah, as so many of the men and women’s faces at his Grant Park sermon testify.

pb115927.JPGIn the light of this conclusion, we now have an explanation for Obama’s sudden and otherwise hard to explain lightning fast ascendance from obscurity to the helm of the world in two years. We believe that this is twice as fast as Christ’s emergence as Savior of the World, which took four years, if we are not mistaken.

Of course, there is still a puzzle in that over 48% of the voters supported a personally charming, maverick, all too humanly erratic war hero, but reference to the Bible will indicate that rich men find it easier to pass through the eye of a needle that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and it is clear that McCain is like almost all modern Republican leaders in that regard, ie either rich or determined to be rich as the chief priority in their lives, often regardless of the cost of exploiting the gullible or other underprivileged groups.

Aided by divinity, will Obama triumph?

pb105917.JPGBut back to the point, can Obama handle the challenges to come? Armed with divine power, we don’t doubt it. That is why we advise readers not to worry even though we all face economic ruin and political destruction if he does not succeed in saving the US auto industry, and the rest of us, from the world economic nose dive, not to mention fencing off Al Quaeda and the Taliban from Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile, and somehow stopping Iran’s nuclear advance.

More reasons to think that Obama is divine?

But surely, some may complain, there should by now be other indications of his Christ-like status, if it is genuine, than the joyful ecstasy of young women, or the elevation of the candidate several feet above wet airport tarmac, even if taken by a New York Times photographer? (Some may also object that the elevatee does not look like a tall Obama, but given the caption, we conclude it must be, since no other silhouetted figure looks much like Obama either. )

pb075878.JPGWe find there are many. In his 15 minute press conference a week ago, for example, there were at least two others. The first was Obama pausing to inquire kindly after a reporter’s health when he spotted her wearing a sling – “What happened to your arm Lynn?”.

This was a highly significant (to us) indication of Obama’s role on earth of providing emotional and spiritual succor to all members of the human race, even journalists, in their sufferings. What other President-elect embroiled in the tensions and turmoil of waiting for the previous occupant to leave office and in choosing his Cabinet from what seem to be tens if not hundreds of supplicants would spare time in a press conference squeezed into barely 15 minutes to ask after a young lady’s welfare? This is the kind of high order of compassion which can be expected only from That Ones with a streak of Divinity showing through.

The second was a memorable moment, which was in itself enough to win over several million undecided voters. We refer to the charming phrase with which Obama, discussing the choice of a dog that he has promised his children once they settle in the White House, referred to himself as a “mutt” as in “a mutt like me”.

pb075879.JPGWe suspect that Obama himself must have realized that he may have given the game away with this disarmingly self-deprecating phrase, for it was very soon after that he abruptly ended the conference and swept out. Nothing of course could be more indicative of Christ-like stature than such extreme humility combined with guru-level leadership staus, which Obama, though still President-elect, has already achieved, with the press and the public breathlessly hanging on and deconstructing every word he speaks as the scripture of the New Nation.

pb095902.JPGThis is the man that his rivals, even before he won the nomination and the election, were moved to acknowledge was superior. Hillary Clinton could not help herself from exclaiming that it was a privilege to be on the same debating platform, and John McCain told a crowd, “Don’t tell him I said this but he’s an impressive fellow in many ways”.

Our final piece of evidence that this is all a heavenly conspiracy comes on YouTube, where a fan posted a video on SuperBarack, clearly influenced by a feeling or intuition that we are now all in the presence of a visitation from somewhere above, even though it more cautiously ascribes to Obama only the powers of a Superman.

Here is the full text of the CBS interview (click the Tab after the excerpt):

Kroft: People are comparing this to 1932.

Mr. Obama: Right.

Kroft:Is that a valid comparison, do you think?

Mr. Obama: Well, keep in mind that 1932, 1933 the unemployment rate was 25 percent, inching up to 30 percent. You had a third of the country that was ill housed, ill clothed, unemployed. We’re not going through something comparable to that. But I would say that this is as bad as we’ve seen since then. And if we don’t take some significant steps then it could get worse.

Kroft: You have a situation right now where you have General Motors, which is in dire straits.

Mr. Obama: Yeah.

Kroft: May run out of cash by the end of the year, maybe by the end of certainly, if we believe what we read in the papers, by the time you take office.

Mr. Obama: Yeah. Well, let’s see how this thing plays itself out. For the auto industry to completely collapse would be a disaster in this kind of environment, not just for individual families but the repercussions across the economy would be dire. So it’s my belief that we need to provide assistance to the auto industry. But I think that it can’t be a blank check.

So my hope is that over the course of the next week, between the White House and Congress, the discussions are shaped around providing assistance but making sure that that assistance is conditioned on labor, management, suppliers, lenders, all the stakeholders coming together with a plan what does a sustainable U.S. auto industry look like? So that we are creating a bridge loan to somewhere as opposed to a bridge loan to nowhere. And that’s, I think, what you haven’t yet seen. That’s something that I think we’re gonna have to come up with.

(CBS) Since Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States 12 days ago, he has largely remained out of sight, getting high-level government briefings and conferring with his transition team. But he surfaced on Friday afternoon in Chicago, alongside his wife Michelle to give 60 Minutes his first post-election interview.

It covers a wide range of subjects including the economy, the ailing automobile industry, the government’s $700 billion bailout program, their visit to the White House, the emotions of election night and the quest for a family dog. You’ll hear all of it. But we begin with the president-elect and his thoughts about the new job.

Steve Kroft: So here we are.

President-elect Barack Obama: Here we are.

Kroft: How’s your life changed in the last ten days?

Mr. Obama: Well, I tell you what, there seem to be more people hovering around me. That’s for sure. And, on the other hand, I’m sleeping in my own bed over the last ten days, which is quite a treat. Michelle always wakes up earlier than I do. So listen to her roaming around and having the girls come in and, you know, jump in your bed. It’s a great feeling. Yeah.

Kroft: Has this been easier than the campaign trail?

Mr. Obama: Well, it’s different. I think that during the campaign it is just a constant frenetic, forward momentum. Here, I’m stationary. But the issues come to you. And we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got a lot of problems, a lot of big challenges.

Kroft: Have there been moments when you’ve said, ‘What did I get myself into?’

Mr. Obama: Surprisingly enough, I feel right now that I’m doing what I should be doing. That gives me a certain sense of calm. I will say that the challenges that we’re confronting are enormous. And they’re multiple. And so there are times during the course of a given a day where you think, ‘Where do I start?’

Kroft: What have you been concentrating on this week?

Mr. Obama: Couple of things. Number one, I think it’s important to get a national security team in place because transition periods are potentially times of vulnerability to a terrorist attack. We wanna make sure that there is as seamless a transition on national security as possible. Obviously the economy. Talking to top economic advisors about how we’re gonna create jobs, how we get the economy back on track and what do we do in terms of some long-term issues like energy and healthcare. And how do we sequence those things in a way that we can actually get things through Congress?

Kroft: Are you in sync with Secretary Paulson in terms of how the $700 billion is being used?

Mr. Obama: Well, look, Hank Paulson has worked tirelessly under some very difficult circumstances. We’ve got an unprecedented crisis, or at least something that we have not seen since the Great Depression. And I think Hank would be the first one to acknowledge that probably not everything that’s been done has worked the way he had hoped it would work. But I’m less interested in looking backwards than I am in looking forwards.

Kroft: The government has spent almost $300 billion out of the TARP program.

Mr. Obama: Right.

Kroft: Money that was set aside to help the financial industry. And nothing much has changed if you look at it. Nothing much has changed. It’s $300 billion. Why is that?

Mr. Obama: I think the part of the way to think about it is things could be worse. I mean, we could have seen a lot more bank failures over the last several months. We could have seen an even more rapid deterioration of the economy, even a bigger drop in the stock market. So part of what we have to measure against is what didn’t happen and not just what has happened.

Having said that, there’s no doubt that we have not been able yet to reset the confidence in the financial markets and in the consumer markets and among businesses that allow the economy to move forward in a strong way. And my job as president is gonna be to make sure that we restore that confidence.

2 (CBS) Kroft: Once you become president, are there things that you’ll change?

Mr. Obama: Well, you know I think we still have to see how this thing unfolds over the next couple of months. One area that I’m concerned about, and I’ve said this publicly, is we have not focused on foreclosures and what’s happening to homeowners as much as I would like. We have the tools to do it. We’ve gotta set up a negotiation between banks and borrowers so that people can stay in their homes. That is gonna have an impact on the economy as a whole. And, you know, one thing I’m determined is that if we don’t have a clear focused program for homeowners by the time I take office, we will after I take office.

Kroft: Are you being consulted by Secretary Paulson? Is he telling you what’s going on?

Mr. Obama: You know what we’ve done is we’ve assigned somebody on my transition team who interacts with him on a daily basis. And, you know, we are getting the information that’s required to and we’re making suggestions in some circumstances about how we think they might approach some of these problems.

Kroft: Are they listening?

Mr. Obama: Well, you know, that we’ll find out.

Kroft: People are comparing this to 1932.

Mr. Obama: Right.

Kroft:Is that a valid comparison, do you think?

Mr. Obama: Well, keep in mind that 1932, 1933 the unemployment rate was 25 percent, inching up to 30 percent. You had a third of the country that was ill housed, ill clothed, unemployed. We’re not going through something comparable to that. But I would say that this is as bad as we’ve seen since then. And if we don’t take some significant steps then it could get worse.

Kroft: You have a situation right now where you have General Motors, which is in dire straits.

Mr. Obama: Yeah.

Kroft: May run out of cash by the end of the year, maybe by the end of certainly, if we believe what we read in the papers, by the time you take office.

Mr. Obama: Yeah. Well, let’s see how this thing plays itself out. For the auto industry to completely collapse would be a disaster in this kind of environment, not just for individual families but the repercussions across the economy would be dire. So it’s my belief that we need to provide assistance to the auto industry. But I think that it can’t be a blank check.

So my hope is that over the course of the next week, between the White House and Congress, the discussions are shaped around providing assistance but making sure that that assistance is conditioned on labor, management, suppliers, lenders, all the stakeholders coming together with a plan what does a sustainable U.S. auto industry look like? So that we are creating a bridge loan to somewhere as opposed to a bridge loan to nowhere. And that’s, I think, what you haven’t yet seen. That’s something that I think we’re gonna have to come up with.

Kroft: Are there a lot of people that think that the country would probably be better off and General Motors might be better off if it was allowed to go into bankruptcy?

Mr. Obama: Well, you know, under normal circumstances that might be the case in the sense that you’d go to a restructuring like the airlines had to do in some cases. And then they come out and they’re still a viable operation. And they’re operating even during the course of bankruptcy. In this situation, you could see the spigot completely shut off so that it would not potentially permit GM to get back on its feet. And I think that what we have to do is to recognize that these are extraordinary circumstances. Banks aren’t lending as it is. They’re not even lending to businesses that are doing well, much less businesses that are doing poorly. And in that circumstance, the usual options may not be available.

3 (CBS) Kroft: When the price of oil was at $147 a barrel, there were a lot of spirited and profitable discussions that were held on energy independence. Now you’ve got the price of oil under $60.

Mr. Obama: Right.

Kroft: Does doing something about energy is it less important now than…

His first legislative goal will be to get Congress to pass an economic stimulus package that he hopes will create jobs and put money in the pockets of ordinary citizens, construction programs to shore up the nation’s creaky infrastructure, a tax cut for the middle class and his first initiatives on health care. But some things he can do with the stroke of a pen.

Kroft: There are a number of different things that you could do early pertaining to executive orders. One of them is to shutdown Guantanamo Bay. Another is to change interrogation methods that are used by U.S. troops. Are those things that you plan to take early action on?

Mr. Obama: Yes. I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture. And I’m gonna make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.

4 (CBS) Kroft: Can you give us some sense of when you might start redeployments out of Iraq?

Mr. Obama: Well, I’ve said during the campaign, and I’ve stuck to this commitment, that as soon as I take office, I will call in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, my national security apparatus, and we will start executing a plan that draws down our troops. Particularly in light of the problems that we’re having in Afghanistan, which has continued to worsen. We’ve got to shore up those efforts.

Kroft: Where does capturing or killing Osama bin Laden fall?

Mr. Obama: I think it is a top priority for us to stamp out al Qaeda once and for all. And I think capturing or killing bin Laden is a critical aspect of stamping out al Qaeda. He is not just a symbol, he’s also the operational leader of an organization that is planning attacks against US targets.

Kroft: How close are you to settling on a cabinet?

Mr. Obama: Well, I think that I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’d like to see. But it takes some time to work those things through.

Kroft: When are you gonna make your first announcement?

Mr. Obama: Soon.

Kroft: Next week?

Mr. Obama: Soon.

Kroft: You met with Senator Clinton this week.

Mr. Obama: I did.

Kroft: Is she on the short list for a cabinet position?

Mr. Obama: You know, she is somebody who I needed advice and counsel from. She is one of the most thoughtful public officials that we have. Beyond that, you’re not getting anything out of me Steve.

Kroft: Will there be Republicans in the cabinet?

Mr. Obama: Yes.

Kroft: More than one?

Mr. Obama: You’re not getting more out of me.

Kroft: You’ve spoken to some former presidents.

Mr. Obama: I have.

Kroft: Any advice, any good advice they gave you?

Mr. Obama: You know, they were all incredibly gracious. But I think that all of them recognized that there’s a certain loneliness to the job. That, you know, you’ll get advice, and you’ll get counsel. Ultimately, you’re the person who’s gonna be making decisions.

And I think that even now, you know, I – you can already feel that fact.

Kroft: What are you reading right now? I mean, have…

Mr. Obama: A lot of briefing papers.

Kroft: A lot of briefing papers?

Mr. Obama: Yeah. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading Lincoln. There is a wisdom there and a humility about his approach to government, even before he was president, that I just find very helpful.

Kroft: Put a lot of his political enemies in his cabinet.

Mr. Obama: He did.

Kroft: Is that something you’re considering?

Mr. Obama: Well, I tell you what, I find him a very wise man.

5 (CBS) Kroft: Have you been reading anything about the Depression? Anything about FDR?

Mr. Obama: You know, I have actually. There’s a new book out about FDR’s first 100 days and what you see in FDR that I hope my team can– emulate, is not always getting it right, but projecting a sense of confidence, and a willingness to try things. And experiment in order to get people working again.

And I think that’s what the American people expect. You know, they’re not expecting miracles. I think if you talk to the average person right now that they would say, ‘Well, look, you know well, we’re having a tough time right now. We’ve had tough times before.’ ‘And you know, we don’t expect a new president can snap his fingers and suddenly everything is gonna be okay. But what we do expect is that the guy is gonna be straight with us. We do expect that he’s gonna be working really hard for us.’

‘We do expect that he’s gonna be thinking about ordinary Americans and not just the wealthy and the powerful. And we do expect that. if something doesn’t work that they’re gonna try something else until they find something that does.’ And, you know, that’s the kind of common sense approach that I want to take when I take office.

Kroft: There’s been talk on Capitol Hill and a number of Democratic congressmen have proposed programs that are part of sort of a new New Deal. The possibility of reviving agencies like the Home Ownership Loan Corporation.

Mr. Obama: Two points I’d make on this. Number one, although there are some parallels to the problems that we’re seeing now and what we say back in the ’30s, no period is exactly the same. For us to simply recreate what existed back in the ’30s in the 21st century, I think would be missing the boat. We’ve gotta come up with solutions that are true to our times and true to this moment. And that’s gonna be our job. I think the basic principle that government has a role to play in kick starting an economy that has ground to a halt is sound.

I think our basic principle that this is a free market system and that that has worked for us, that it creates innovation and risk taking, I think that’s a principle that we’ve gotta hold to as well. But what I don’t wanna do is get bottled up in a lot of ideology and is this conservative or liberal. My interest is finding something that works.

And whether it’s coming from FDR or it’s coming from Ronald Reagan, if the idea is right for the times then we’re gonna apply it. And things that don’t work we’re gonna get rid of.

Kroft: Are you gonna make a lot of speeches? Are you gonna talk a lot to the American people on television and radio?

Mr. Obama: You know, I’m not sure that the American people are looking for a lot of speeches. I think what they’re looking for is action. But one of the things that I do think is important is to be able to explain to the American people what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. That is something that I think every great president has been able to do. From FDR to Lincoln to John Kennedy to Eisenhower. I mean, I think that they were people who were able to say ‘Here’s the direction we’re going. Here’s why I think it’s important. Here are the possible dangers or challenges. But ultimately, you know, this is gonna lead us to a better America.’ And I want to make sure that I can recreate a bond of trust between the presidency and the public that I think has been lost.

The President-elect and Mrs. Obama have already been on a tour of their new home. In the next portion of the interview, they talk about the challenges and the excitement of moving into the most famous address in the world.

1 (CBS) In 66 days, Barack and Michelle Obama and their daughters 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha will be the youngest first family to move into the White House since the Kennedys nearly 50 years ago.

While the Obama transition team has been working closely with the Bush administration to ensure an orderly transfer of power, the Obama family has been working hard on a transition of their own that began with an emotional election night in Chicago.

Steve Kroft: When was the first moment that it began to sink in that you were President of the United States? Do you remember?

Mr. Obama: Well, I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet.

Michelle Obama: I guess I’m sort of like him. I’m not sure if it has really sunk in. But I remember, we were watching the returns and, on one of the stations, Barack’s picture came up and it said, ‘President-Elect Barack Obama. ‘ And I looked at him and I said, ‘You are the 44th President of the United States of America. Wow. What a country we live in.’

Mr. Obama: How about that?

Michelle Obama: Yeah.

Mr. Obama: Yeah. Yeah. And then she said ‘Are you gonna take the girls to school in the morning?’

Michelle Obama: I did not. I didn’t say that.

Mr. Obama: It wasn’t at that moment.

Kroft: You made the address in Grant Park. And you brought the kids out. And, at some point you whispered something. Can you remember that?
Michelle Obama: I said, ‘Wow, Look at this.’

Mr. Obama: How ’bout that?

Michelle Obama: I told him, ‘Good job. Well done.’ To walk out there and see hundreds of thousands of hard working folks, because so many people put their energy and their hopes into this campaign. To see the outcome and the emotion, it was a very emotional evening because I think people were ready to take hold of this country and help move it in a different direction and you felt that.

Kroft: The emotion of that night was fueled, in part, by the fact that you were first African-American ever elected. Did you feel that?

Mr. Obama: There’s no doubt that there was a sense of emotion that I could see in people’s faces and in my mother-in-law’s face. You know, I mean, you think about Michelle’s mom, who grew up on the west and south sides of Chicago, who worked so hard to help Michelle get to where she is, her brother to be successful. She was sitting next to me, actually, as we were watching returns. And she’s like my grandmother was, sort of a no-fuss type of person. And suddenly she just kind of reached out and she started holding my hand, you know, kind of squeezing it. And you had this sense of, ‘Well, what’s she thinking?’ For a black woman who grew up in the 50s, you know, in a segregated Chicago, to watch her daughter become first lady of the United States. I think there was that sense across the country. And not unique to African-Americans. I think that.

Michelle Obama: That’s right.

Mr. Obama: I think people felt that it was a sign of the enormous progress that we’ve made in the core decency and generosity of the American people. Which isn’t to say that there were a number of reasons that somebody might not have voted for me. But what was absolutely clear was is that whether people voted for me or against me, that they were making the judgment based on is this guy gonna, you know, lead us well? Is this guy gonna be a good president? And that was my assumption walking in. And that’s how it turned out. And that felt good.

Kroft: What was your conversation like the next morning at the breakfast table with the kids.

Michelle Obama: Yeah, everyone was tired.

Mr. Obama: Because they had been up until midnight.

Michelle Obama: They had been up. But we got up and went to school. But we went to school late. Barack, you slept in. You know, so I think we were just back into the routine. Our hopes are to just to keep the girls moving. It’s like okay , Daddy’s president-elect, okay, we can get to school by 10. And we got to the school and the folks at the school were excited. Some people were cheering as I walked the kids to the class. And I remember Malia saying, ‘That’s embarrassing.’ But you know, it was a pretty normal day for us.

2 (CBS) And there have not been many of those. The past two years were spent on the campaign trail and before that Senator Obama split his time between their home in Chicago where Michelle and the girls lived, and a very modest apartment in Washington, which nearly burned down.

Kroft: So, you’ve given up the apartment in Washington that you stayed in?

Mr. Obama: I used to get teased, not just by Michelle, but by my own staff. They’d say, ‘You know, you’re the only senator that has a worse apartment than your 25-year-old staff people.’ Eventually, I think, Secret Service kind of looked at me like, you know, once the building caught fire, and the ceiling caved in, I said…

Michelle Obama: But he moved back in anyway.

Mr. Obama: For a while.

Michelle Obama: After the fire.

Mr. Obama: Shortly.

Kroft: Did you ever stay there?

Michelle Obama: I visited, but I didn’t sleep there.

Mr. Obama: She insisted on a hotel room.

Michelle Obama: I saw it. I saw it long enough to know that I wasn’t gonna stay there.

Mr. Obama: Yeah

Kroft: It is one bedroom? Studio?

Mr. Obama: Yeah, it was sort of a one bedroom. It had kind of the vintage, college dorm, pizza…

Kroft: Community organizer, right?, feel to it.

Michelle Obama: It reminded me of a little better version of the apartment you were in when we first started dating. That was a dump too.

Mr. Obama: Right near Harold’s Chicken Shack.

Michelle Obama:Yeah.

Mr. Obama: Yeah. That’s when I had the car with the-the hole in it.

Michelle Obama: And you could see the sidewalk, because the rust had gone through.

Mr. Obama: The air-conditioning.

Michelle Obama: So that was my side. I would look and see the ground going past. And I still married him.

Mr. Obama: That’s how I knew she loved me. It wasn’t for my money.

They got their first look at their new home last Monday, when the President and Laura Bush invited the Obamas to the White House, which has 130 more rooms than that old Washington apartment.

Kroft: What was it like going through there?

Michelle Obama: Well, first of all, Laura Bush was just so gracious. She is a really sweet person. And couldn’t have been more excited and enthusiastic about the tour. So that was wonderful. And her entire team, their team has been working closely just to make us feel welcome. But the White House is beautiful. It is awe-inspiring. It is. What I felt walking through there was that it is a great gift and an honor to be able to live here. And you know we want to make sure that we’re upholding what that house stands for. But I couldn’t help but envisioning the girls running into their rooms and, you know, running down the hall and with a dog. And, you know, you start picturing your life there. And our hope is that the White House will feel open and fun and full of life and energy.

Mr. Obama: Sleepovers.

Michelle Obama: And sleepovers.

3 (CBS) Kroft: I know that from talking to you, you’ve said that this has put a lot of, you know, your husband’s involvement in politics has put strains in your marriage from time to time. He’s about to take over the most pressure packed job in the world. But he’s also gonna be home, right?

Michelle Obama: Oh yeah. He’s got a big office at home now.

You know, this entire year and a half has brought us closer together as a family. And we managed to stay close and become even closer with Barack gone most of an entire two year period. And now we get to be together under the one roof, having dinners together. And, you know, I envision the kids coming home from school and being able to run across the way to the Oval Office and see their dad before they start their homework. And having breakfast. And he’ll be there to tuck them in at night. And, you know, again, you know, there’ll be moments of deep seriousness and times of great focus. But, you know, we’ll be together doing that. And that gives me reason to be very excited.

But that’s not the only thing that is about to change for the Obamas. When 60 Minutes first met them two years ago in Chicago, everything was much simpler.

Kroft: I can remember the first time we went to your house We were greeted at the door by the girls. They were a little smaller then. A couple years younger. But that has to have changed. I mean, you can’t get in the car and drive all over Chicago, right?

Mr. Obama: Yeah. I remember the first time we interviewed – we just drove down right near your mom’s house.

Michelle Obama: Oh, that’s right. That’s right. You did.

Mr. Obama: Got out of the car, walked–

Mr. Obama: Yeah, that’s a little harder to do now.

Kroft: You told me that when you went off to Washington and made the decision to live there and when you came back to Chicago you had certain chores that you had to perform. You had to wash the dishes and make your bed.

Mr. Obama: Yeah.

Kroft: Are you free now on that front?

Mr. Obama: Well, I…

Kroft: Certainly there’s gonna be somebody else to wash the dishes and make your bed.

Michelle Obama: Yes.

Mr. Obama: There sometimes it’s soothing to wash the dishes.

Michelle Obama: You? Since when was it ever soothing for you to wash the dishes?

Mr. Obama: You know, when I had to do it. I’d make it into a soothing thing.

Michelle Obama: The thing you have to remember, Steve, is that you, the interesting part about this year is that it is slowly transitioned us into this. So today doesn’t feel as normal as it did yesterday. If we had compared it to the January before he announced, it would seem truly odd. But we have gradually, you know, had more and more changes. And I think, for us, that’s helped us get adjusted to do it. So today isn’t a shock.

Mr. Obama: One of the great joys of this campaign is the seeing how the girls have adjusted to this thing. They have stayed their normal, cheerful, happy, courteous, curious selves. And that was one of my biggest worries. And remains one of my biggest worries. You know, when we think about, I know Michelle and I have talked about this a lot. How do we just maintain that precious normalcy in our two girls? And, you know, ’cause right now they’re not self-conscious. They’re. you know, they don’t have an attitude. And I think one of our highest priorities, over the next four years, is retaining that. If at the end of four years, just from a personal standpoint, we can say they are who they are. They remain the great joys that they are. And this hasn’t, you know, created a whole bunch of problems for them. Then I think we’re gonna feel pretty good.

Kroft: How has your life changed in the last ten days?

Michelle Obama: You know, it’s calmed down a bit. I mean, we’re– we’re back into more of a routine.

Mr. Obama: There’s still some things we’re not adjusted to.

Michelle Obama: Like what?

Mr. Obama: Like–

Michelle Obama: What do you want?

Mr. Obama: Me not being able to take a walk.

Michelle Obama: Oh, well, you know.

Mr. Obama: No, I mean, though those are things that…

Michelle Obama: I don’t walk as much as he does though. So I guess I don’t miss it.

Mr. Obama: Yeah. I mean, you know.

Michelle Obama: You want to go for a walk?

Mr. Obama: I do. I’d love to take you for a walk. Although it’s cold today. But…

Michelle Obama: Yeah, I wouldn’t go with you.

4 (CBS) Mr. Obama: I know. Well, that’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. I mean, the loss of anonymity and this is not a complaint, this is part of what you sign up for. Being able to just wander around the neighborhood. I can’t go to my old barber shop now. I’ve gotta have my barber come to some undisclosed location to cut my hair. You know, the small routines of life that keep you connected I think – some of those are being lost. One of the challenges I think that we’re going to be wrestling with is how to stay pretty normal. Because they and we said this before the campaign, and I believe this. actually think that we are as close to what normal folks go through, and what their lives are like, as just about anybody who’s been elected president recently hanging onto that is something that’s important. Michelle helps on that ’cause she’s just a sensible person.

Kroft: I know you’ve said that your first priority is to be mom in chief.

Michelle Obama: Yes.

Kroft:You’re a Harvard Law School grad yourself. And a Princeton grad. You were a high-powered executive. How long do you give her, knocking around that big house, before she starts to want to imprint on the job of being first lady?

Mr. Obama: I think Michelle is gonna design her own role. I think she’s gonna set her own path. But I here’s one thing I know about Michelle she’s serious when she talks about being a mom. That’s why our girls are so wonderful. I’d love to take credit for it. But this is the one who deserves most of the credit. And…

Michelle Obama: Well, the thing we’ve learned, you know, as we’ve watched this campaign, is that people, women, are capable of doing more than one thing well at the same time. And I’ve, you know, had to juggle being mom in chief and having a career for a long time. The primary focus for the first year will be making sure that the kids make it through the transition. But there are many issues that I care deeply about. I care about military families and the work/family balance issue. I care about education. I, both Barack and I, believe that we can have an impact in the D.C. area. You know, in terms of making sure we’re contributing to the community that we immediately live in. That’s always been something that we try to do. Whether it’s in our own neighborhoods or in the schools that we’ve attended. So there’s plenty to do.

Kroft: Did you seriously consider sending the girls to public school?

Michelle Obama: You know, we’re still in the process of figuring out that transition. And what we have asked people to understand is that the decision that we make will be based on the best interest of the girls. We haven’t made that decision yet. And you know, we want that to be a persona; process. And people have been really good about respecting that.

Who else will be moving into the White House with them? Find out in the next part of our interview.

(CBS) The president-elect has a lot of decisions to make in the weeks and months ahead, and some promises to keep. One of them is to his daughters. When they began lobbying him two years ago to get a dog, he put them off by saying we’ll get one when we move into the White House. And the girls haven’t forgotten.

Steve Kroft: How are things coming on the dog front?

Michelle Obama: The dog, the dog front? We’re on-call mode on the dog front. Because the deal with the dog was that we would get the dog after we got settled. Because as responsible owners, I don’t think it would be good to get a dog in the midst of transition. So when we settle, get in a routine, we think about late winter, early spring, we’re gonna get the dog. Now, we cut that deal with the kids before America knew about it. So they’re good with it.

Mr. Obama: Although, Americans…

Michelle Obama: They’re ready for us to get the dog now.

Mr. Obama: They are ready.

Kroft: We put the paper down here just in case.

Michelle Obama: Is that…

Mr. Obama: I was wondering what that was for.

Kroft: You brought it today.

Mr. Obama: I thought it was some trick for the lighting or something.

Michelle Obama: It’s about dogs. That’s good.

Kroft: Do you have a special transition team for the dog? Or are you just doing that?

Michelle Obama: We don’t…. This is a family event. We’re getting a lot of suggestions though. Boy, I mean the people are sending suggestions. And we’re taking it all under advisement.

Kroft: There’s been a lot of talk about [that] you talked about your mother-in-law. Is she moving in with you?

Mr. Obama: Well, I don’t tell my mother-in-law what to do. But I’m not stupid. That’s why I got elected president, man.

Kroft:She can if she wants to.

Mr. Obama: But, she sure can if she wants. I think it’s fair to say that Marian Robinson is one of the unsung heroes of this campaign. We couldn’t have done it without her. ‘Cause she retired, looked after the girls, gave Michelle confidence that somebody was gonna be there when Michelle was on the road.

She’s just been an unbelievable support for all of us during this process. And you know, she likes her own space, you know. She doesn’t like a lot of fuss around her. And, like it or not, there’s some fuss in the White House. But we hope that she comes.

Kroft: So you have a new dog and your mother-in-law moving in.

Mr. Obama: Steve, I’m not gonna compare my mother-in-law to a new dog.

Kroft: You’re much more excited about your mother-in-law

Mr. Obama: How do you get in long with your mother-in-law man? You know, the way these questions are going I think I need to give you some tips.

Kroft: We get along fine. I have one last question. As president of the United States, what can you do, or what do you plan to do, about getting a college football playoff for the national championship?

Mr. Obama: This is important. Look, excuse me for a second.

Michelle Obama: Please. Don’t mind me.

Mr. Obama: I think any sensible person would say that if you’ve got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses, there’s no clear decisive winner that we should be creating a playoff system.

Eight teams. That would be three rounds, to determine a national champion. It would it would add three extra weeks to the season. You could trim back on the regular season. I don’t know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I’m gonna throw my weight around a little bit. I think it’s the right thing to do.Final conclusion: the women are right

Any careful reader not just of the excerpt above but of the whole of this wonderful text – revealing Obama as firmly grounded and realistically humorous, but also, all knowing, all understanding, all loving and all giving – will recognize at once that Steve Kroft was in the Presence of a preternaturally talented Being from another World.

After all, there it is, a blatant reference to “miracles”, and to the “new president snapping his fingers and making it happen”:

Obama: And I think that’s what the American people expect. You know, they’re not expecting miracles. I think if you talk to the average person right now that they would say, ‘Well, look, you know well, we’re having a tough time right now. We’ve had tough times before.’ ‘And you know, we don’t expect a new president can snap his fingers and suddenly everything is gonna be okay. But what we do expect is that the guy is gonna be straight with us. We do expect that he’s gonna be working really hard for us.

If this is not paving the way for a miracle or two by mentioning it, even in a back handed way, what is?

pb105922.JPGSo we conclude we are in safe hands, and that the women are right. A Man of Destiny, possibly a Being from another, better political Universe, has arrived in the nick of time to rescue us from a complete meltdown of finance and output worldwide.

At a point when the world is spinning into economic hell in a handbasket and confidence knows no bottom, a leader with the otherwise impossibly coincidental name of Barack Hussein Obama, a name that contains Iraq, Saddam Hussein, and Osama bin Laden rolled into one, has arrived from another plane or planet to bring us all together and lead us out of economic and political purgatory and back to the Promised Land.

All we need do is pray to him – as indeed, most of us already are. Father Obama, give us this day our daily bread. Also, give it to us tomorrow too.

Ed. note: For another view altogether, by non-Obamaniac Ralph Nader, click on this link to In the Public Interest: The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same.
Or click this tab for text (but with none of the useful live links of the original) after this excerpt:

The signs are amassing that Barack Obama put a political con job over on the American people. He is now daily buying into the entrenched military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his farewell address.

With Robert Rubin on his side during his first photo opportunity after the election, he signaled to Wall Street that his vote for the $750 billion bailout of those speculators and crooks was no fluke (Rubin was Clinton’s financial deregulation architect in 1999 as Secretary of the Treasury before he became one of the hugely paid co-directors tanking Citigroup.)

Obama’s apologists say that his picks show he wants to get things done, so he wants people who know their way around Washington. Moreover, they say, the change comes only from the president who sets the priorities and the courses of action, not from his subordinates. This explanation assumes that a president’s appointments are not mirror images of the boss’s expected directions but only functionaries to carry out the Obama changes.

While the liberal intelligentsia was swooning over Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, I counseled “prepare to be disappointed.” His record as an Illinois state and U.S. Senator, together with the many progressive and long overdue courses of action he opposed during his campaign, rendered such a prediction unfortunate but obvious.

Now this same intelligentsia is beginning to howl over Obama’s transition team and early choices to run his Administration. Having defeated Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primaries, he now is busily installing Bill Clinton’s old guard. Thirty one out of forty seven people that he has named so far for transition or appointments have ties to the Clinton Administration, according to Politico. One Clintonite is quoted in the Washington Post as saying: “This isn’t lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time.”

Obama’s “foreign policy team is now dominated by the Hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990’s,” writes Jeremy Scahill. Obama’s transition team reviewing intelligence agencies and recommending appointments is headed by John Brennan and Jami Miscik, who worked under George Tenet when the CIA was involved in politicizing intelligence for, among other officials, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s erroneous address before the United Nations calling for war against Iraq.

Mr. Brennan, as a government official, supported warrantless wiretapping and extraordinary rendition to torturing countries. National Public Radio reported that Obama’s reversal when he voted for the revised FISA this year relied on John Brennan’s advice.

For more detail on these two advisers and others recruited by Obama from the dark old days, see Democracy Now, November 17, 2008 and Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet, Nov. 20, 2008 “This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House.”

The top choice as White House chief of staff is Rahm Emanuel — the ultimate hard-nosed corporate Democrat, military-foreign policy hawk and Clinton White House promoter of corporate globalization, as in NAFTA and the World Trade Organization.

Now, recall Obama’s words during the bucolic “hope and change” campaign months: “The American people understand the real gamble is having the same old folks doing things over and over and over again and somehow expecting a different result.” Thunderous applause followed these remarks.

“This is more ‘Groundhog Day’ then a fresh start,” asserted Peter Wehner, a former Bush adviser who is now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

The signs are amassing that Barack Obama put a political con job over on the American people. He is now daily buying into the entrenched military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his farewell address.

With Robert Rubin on his side during his first photo opportunity after the election, he signaled to Wall Street that his vote for the $750 billion bailout of those speculators and crooks was no fluke (Rubin was Clinton’s financial deregulation architect in 1999 as Secretary of the Treasury before he became one of the hugely paid co-directors tanking Citigroup.)

Obama’s apologists say that his picks show he wants to get things done, so he wants people who know their way around Washington. Moreover, they say, the change comes only from the president who sets the priorities and the courses of action, not from his subordinates. This explanation assumes that a president’s appointments are not mirror images of the boss’s expected directions but only functionaries to carry out the Obama changes.

If you are inclined to believe this improbable scenario, perhaps you may wish to review Obama’s record compiled by Matt Gonzalez at Counterpunch.

Obama wins election!! Fearful cynics confounded

November 4th, 2008

With Pennsylvania and Ohio in the bag, election decided, short of midnight reversal

Decency triumphs, McCain appears to blame Palin, gives gracious speech

Will 2004 be repeated as Obama parties? No chance!

obama_for_president.jpgTues Nov 4 9.10pm: President-to-be Barack Hussein Obama has now won the US presidential election on the face of it, since both Pennsylvania and Ohio, home of Joe the Plumber, have been called for Obama by none other than Fox News. If right that means McCain cannot win.

Obama supporters in Grant Park, Chicago are cheering wildly, with McCain supporters still unaware of this setback since they are being entertained by a loud country singer.

McCain is reportedly no longer so enthusiastic with reporters about his choice of Sarah Palin as he has hitherto pretended.

The issue now becomes, can the prediction be proved false by a little sleight of hand in the internal workings of the new electronic system now counting the votes of 32.6% of the electorate?

A report commissioned by the Ohio secretary of state and written by Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania listed numerous potential vulnerabilities for machines built by Election Systems & Software, Hart InterCivic, and Premier Election Systems.

The report stated, “All of the studied systems possess critical security failures that render their technical controls insufficient to guarantee a trustworthy election.” CNET News reports that the conclusion was reached by the researchers after finding multiple ways a hacker could insert viruses, erase logs, produce incorrect vote totals, or block some or all totals and keep voters from voting.

The makers of the voting machines claim that many of the possible vulnerabilities are overly theoretical or have been fixed with hardware and software updates. Despite the worries of voters and researchers, the makers of voting machines are quick to point out that no breach of an electronic voting machine has ever been recorded. (Many Worry About E-Voting as Election Day Nears – Nov 3 – DailyTech Shane McGlaun blog<

Innumerable citizens are monitoring the polls many of them uploading video to YouTube courtesy of cameras distributed by PBS. But they are not going to be able to catch any hacking of the counts.

E-Voting’s Biggest Test
In Several Key States, Electronic Voting Machines Have Already Flipped Votes From One Candidate to Another
By Kurt Kleiner Nov. 4, 2008—

As the US heads into a historic and contentious presidential election, concerns over electronic voting technology could be about to stir up controversy over the legitimacy of some results.

Ironically, electronic voting machines were meant to make elections more reliable and secure. After the 2000 presidential election, when spoiled ballots and “hanging chads” sent the disputed result all the way to the Supreme Court, Congress began dispensing billions of dollars to help states replace punch-card ballots with more-sophisticated voting technology. Since then, however, concerns over the trustworthiness of electronic voting system have steadily grown.

Already in several key states, early voting has seen touch-screen voting machines “flip” votes from one candidate to another. Some voters casting early ballots in Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas say that machines have flipped their votes. All were able eventually to correct the mistake, but this has added a sense of urgency to long-held unease over the security and reliability of electronic voting systems.

Earlier this month, a report from Election Data Services (EDS), a Washington, DC-based firm that tracks election administration, said that electronic voting machine usage will drop this year for the first time ever. In Tuesday’s election, 32.6 percent of all ballots will be cast using an electronic voting machine, compared to 37.6 percent in 2006, the equivalent of 10 million fewer voters. “Basically, the activists and the political scientists have kind-of won that battle,” says EDS president Kimball Brace. “Most election administrators don’t find it worthwhile trying to fight the battle and are trying to move on.”

Nonetheless, that percentage will still be higher than it was during either of the last two presidential election races: in 2000, 22.0 percent of votes were cast electronically, compared to 29.2 percent in 2004. Also, several key swing states, including Ohio, Indiana, and Nevada, will rely heavily on electronic voting. Ohio and Indiana will use a combination of optically scanned paper ballots and electronic voting machines, while Nevada will rely almost entirely on electronic voting, according to the same EDS study.

Meanwhile, the political situation in Ohio couldn’t be more tense. Republicans and Democrats are already wrangling in court about voter registration issues and so, if the race is particularly tight, the state could well be the scene of fierce legal action centered on electronic voting irregularities.

E-voting machines are receiving an unprecedented amount of attention from experts and activists. Grassroots organizations such as Black Box Voting and Video the Vote are urging voters to monitor the election and have already publicized problems with some voting machines, including touch-screen vote flipping.

Many computer security experts have previously raised concerns about the reliability and accountability of these machines, an issue that is complicated, they say, by the fact that they are manufactured by a number of different private companies and make use of proprietary (or undisclosed) computer code. In 2004, Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins University, Dan Wallach of Rice University, and colleagues published an analysis of an electronic voting machine used in Maryland and concluded that the machine was “far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts.”

The manufacturer, Diebold Election Systems, now Premier Election Solutions, disputes the conclusion. Nevertheless, in 2007, the Maryland General Assembly voted to move back to paper ballots, although it will still use e-voting machines in Tuesday’s election.

More recently, in a review commissioned by the state of California, researchers at the University of California found that electronic voting machines used in that state had security issues that made them vulnerable to vote tampering. The report prompted California to require that all voting machines also produce a paper trail.

Wallach of Rice University says that touch screens can often be poorly calibrated, causing the on-screen image to be misaligned with the touch-sensitive layer of the screen. Even a properly calibrated machine may not work well for an especially tall or short person because of their angle of view, he adds.

Critics’ greatest concern about electronic voting machines, however, is that they might be vulnerable to fraud. “I think it’s the complexity and the lack of transparency,” says Steven J. Murdoch, a computer security researcher at the University of Cambridge. “It’s certainly not apparent to the ordinary voter how it works, or whether it can be tampered with.”

Murdoch thinks the move towards electronic voting was driven in part by “modernization for modernization’s sake. When I was calling this a bad idea, I was being called a Luddite, but I’ve spent most of my life working with computers.”

However, David Beirne, executive director of the Election Technology Council, which represents voting-machine manufacturers, says that electronic systems are designed to solve real problems. He says that paper ballots are expensive, cumbersome, and often “spoiled” by voters who mark them incorrectly.

“Unfortunately, I think the criticisms have reached such a point that no voting system can satisfy the critics,” Beirne says. He also complains that critics often present unlikely scenarios, or ones that could easily be defended against with good management practices. And they don’t compare the machines against the vulnerabilities of paper ballots.

Charles Stewart, a professor of political science at MIT who has studied voting technology, agrees that paper ballots are also vulnerable to fraud. “Right now, we know a hundred different ways to corrupt paper systems that any idiot could perform. I don’t know of anything that any idiot could perform on voting machines,” he says. But Stewart also argues that the industry has been slow to address real security concerns that have been apparent for years.

A number of technological schemes have been suggested for fixing security problems related to electronic voting. The most common is to require that each machine generate a voter-verified paper ballot and to audit a sample of paper ballots after an election. Some states (including California) have moved towards this method.

Another proposal is to use encryption to ensure voters and observers that votes haven’t been tampered with. In one such scheme, developed by Wallach and colleagues and called VoteBox, when voters completed a ballot, their identity and a record of their vote would immediately be encrypted and posted online. Each machine would also issue an encryption key to voters so that the record could be decrypted to make sure the vote had been recorded correctly.

Copyright © 2008 ABC News

Call 1 866 OUR VOTE at msnbc if you detect irregularity in voting. But it seems that the only indication of true internal hacking is an incredible gap between exit polling and official count.

Critics’ greatest concern about electronic voting machines, however, is that they might be vulnerable to fraud. “I think it’s the complexity and the lack of transparency,” says Steven J. Murdoch, a computer security researcher at the University of Cambridge. “It’s certainly not apparent to the ordinary voter how it works, or whether it can be tampered with.”

Murdoch thinks the move towards electronic voting was driven in part by “modernization for modernization’s sake. When I was calling this a bad idea, I was being called a Luddite, but I’ve spent most of my life working with computers.”

Too big to reverse!

However, now it appears that Obama’s landslide will be too big to reverse. The InTrade betting now (10.46 pm NYC) is 375 Obama to 142 McCain.

A Slate blogger is already publishing under the banner “President Obama – He won Ohio. He’s going to win the White House”:

Obama Wins the Presidency
Even as visions of a mega-landslide victory for Democrats faded with McCain victories in dubious tossups like Georgia and North Dakota, Obama’s core strategy paid off: Win all of John Kerry’s states from 2004 and pick up a handful of moderate states that elected George W. Bush.
An Obama win in Ohio preserves the state’s role as an electoral kingmaker. McCain had virtually no chance of winning the election without it, and Ohio has almost always voted for the winning candidate in recent memory.
Just how dramatic this year’s political reorganization turns out to be depends on more final results. Virginia and Indiana are both still too close to call, and many Western states are still wrapping up their voting. While it’s still entirely possible that McCain can pull out a respectable loss in this election, a win would require a miracle.- Chris Wilson. (9.27pm)

Won! Obama has at least 284 electoral votes – 11.03pm, NBC.

McCain concedes in call to Obama 11.13pm.

pb055783.JPGJim Lehrer announces that McCain will speak at the Biltmore any minute and is interrupted by a producer on his earpiece and wrongly informed that he had said Obama instead of McCain, and handsomely apologizes, saying “I misspoke badly” even though, he says, “I thought I said McCain.” Which he did.

Lehrer says he finds Obama’s victory “inspiring”. David Brooks says he faces a “grueling scarcity” over the next two years which will test his character and resolve to make the most difficult decisions.

McCain speaks to the crowd on the lawn at his campaign headquarters, Hotel Biltmore, Phoenix, Arizona, reverting to his former self and gracefully endorsing the step forward America has taken in electing an African American to the Presidency. He says he extends his sympathy to Obama for losing his grandmother but his faith assures him that “she is at rest in the presence of our Creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.”

He pledges to do all in his power to help Obama to meet the challenges he will face, and to find ways to come together and bridge our differences as fellow Americans.

Thanks Governor Palin as an impressive new voice in American politics. We can all look forward to her service to the Republican party and to her country.

“A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship, ” he tells the crestfallen faces. “I don’t know what more we could have done to win this election. Every candidate makes mistakes. But I won’t spend a moment regretting what might have been. This campaign will remain the great honor of my life. I thank the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years. (Boos. Male voice: He’s a bum!). Please. Today I was a candidate for the highest office in the country that I love so much, and tonight I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone and I thank the people of Arizona for it.” (Chants of USA USA). I wish Godspeed to the man who was my foremr opponet. and who will be my President. Americans never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history! Thank you and God Bless you and God Bless America! 11.21/9 pm.

“Vintage John McCain!” says Mark Shields. (Hit this Show Tab for Text of speech)Text of McCain’s concession speech
By The Associated Press – 3 days ago
Text of Republican John McCain’s concession speech Tuesday in Phoenix, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions.
MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.
My friends, we have — we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.
A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him.
To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.
In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.
This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.
I’ve always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.
But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation’s reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.
A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt’s invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.
America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.
Let there be no reason now … Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.
Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.
Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.
These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.
I urge all Americans … I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.
Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.
It is natural. It’s natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.
We fought — we fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours.
MCCAIN: I am so…
MCCAIN: I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends.
MCCAIN: The road was a difficult one from the outset, but your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.
I’m especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother … my dear mother and all my family, and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign.
I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me.
You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate’s family than on the candidate, and that’s been true in this campaign.
All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude and the promise of more peaceful years ahead.
I am also — I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I’ve ever seen … one of the best campaigners I have ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength … her husband Todd and their five beautiful children … for their tireless dedication to our cause, and the courage and grace they showed in the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign.
We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to Alaska, the Republican Party and our country.
To all my campaign comrades, from Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, to every last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly, month after month, in what at times seemed to be the most challenged campaign in modern times, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.
I don’t know — I don’t know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I’ll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I’m sure I made my share of them. But I won’t spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.
This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.
Please. Please.
I would not — I would not be an American worthy of the name should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century.
Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people of Arizona for it.
MCCAIN: Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama — whether they supported me or Senator Obama.
I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.
Americans never quit. We never surrender.
We never hide from history. We make history.
Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.George Bush calls to congratulate the President elect.

338 Obama 156 McCain 11.39 pm.

Florida falls to Obama. 11.47 pm

pb055264.JPGWith an extraordinary level of adoring veneration visible on many female faces in the crowd (click to enlarge pic) and equally rapt reverence from males Obama speaks, after hugging his daughters and kissing Michelle. We have been and always will be the United States of America. Change has come to America. My opponent has rendered services to this country that most of us cannot even imagine. I would not be standing here without the support of my best friend in the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the nation’s next first lady Michelle Obama. Sascha and Malia I love you more than you can imagine and you have earned the new puppy that is coming with us to the White House. The road ahead is steep but America I have never been more confident that we will get there. 11.59pm/12.10 am
(Hit this Show Tab for the full Text of speech) August 28, 2008
Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech

The following is the transcript of Senator Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, as recorded by CQ Transcriptions.

OBAMA: Thank you so much.


Thank you very much.


Thank you, everybody.

To — to Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin, and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation, with profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States.


Let me — let me express — let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest, a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours, Hillary Rodham Clinton.


To President Clinton, to President Bill Clinton, who made last night the case for change as only he can make it…


… to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service…


… and to the next vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you.


I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next first lady, Michelle Obama…


… and to Malia and Sasha, I love you so much, and I am so proud of you.


Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story, of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren’t well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that’s always set this country apart, that through hard work and sacrifice each of us can pursue our individual dreams, but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams, as well. That’s why I stand here tonight. Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women — students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors — found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments, a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive, credit cards, bills you can’t afford to pay, and tuition that’s beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government’s making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.


America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.


This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

We’re a better country than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment that he’s worked on for 20 years and watch as it’s shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty…


… that sits…


… that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.


Tonight, tonight, I say to the people of America, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land: Enough. This moment…


This moment, this moment, this election is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive.

Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third.


And we are here — we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight.


On November 4th, on November 4th, we must stand up and say: Eight is enough.


Now, now, let me — let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and our respect.


And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time.

Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but, really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time?


I don’t know about you, but I am not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.


The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives — on health care, and education, and the economy — Senator McCain has been anything but independent.

He said that our economy has made great progress under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

And when one of his chief advisers, the man who wrote his economic plan, was talking about the anxieties that Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a mental recession and that we’ve become, and I quote, “a nation of whiners.”

(AUDIENCE BOOS) A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made.

Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third, or fourth, or fifth tour of duty.

These are not whiners. They work hard, and they give back, and they keep going without complaint. These are the Americans I know.


Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans; I just think he doesn’t know.


Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies, but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans?

OBAMA: How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people’s benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?


It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care; it’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.


For over two decades — for over two decades, he’s subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy: Give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.

In Washington, they call this the “Ownership Society,” but what it really means is that you’re on your own. Out of work? Tough luck, you’re on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You’re on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, even if you don’t have boots. You are on your own.


Well, it’s time for them to own their failure. It’s time for us to change America. And that’s why I’m running for president of the United States.


You see, you see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage, whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma.

We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president…


… when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of go down $2,000, like it has under George Bush. (APPLAUSE)

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off and look after a sick kid without losing her job, an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great, a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because, in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton’s army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the G.I. Bill.

In the face of that young student, who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree, who once turned to food stamps, but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.


When I — when I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business or making her way in the world, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman.

She’s the one who taught me about hard work. She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she’s watching tonight and that tonight is her night, as well.


Now, I don’t know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine.


These are my heroes; theirs are the stories that shaped my life. And it is on behalf of them that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.


What — what is that American promise? It’s a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It’s a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours — ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves: protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools, and new roads, and science, and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who’s willing to work.

That’s the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation, the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper.

That’s the promise we need to keep. That’s the change we need right now.


So — so let me — let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.


Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.


You know, unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.


I’ll eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.


I will — listen now — I will cut taxes — cut taxes — for 95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.


And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.


We will do this. Washington — Washington has been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years. And, by the way, John McCain has been there for 26 of them.


And in that time, he has said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil than we had on the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution, not even close.


As president, as president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.


I’ll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.

OBAMA: And I’ll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy — wind power, and solar power (OTCBB:SOPW) , and the next generation of biofuels — an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced.


America, now is not the time for small plans. Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy.

You know, Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don’t have that chance.


I’ll invest in early childhood education. I’ll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries, and give them more support. And in exchange, I’ll ask for higher standards and more accountability.

And we will keep our promise to every young American: If you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.


Now — now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American.


If you have health care — if you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don’t, you’ll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves.


And — and as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.


Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick child or an ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses, and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day’s work, because I want my daughters to have the exact same opportunities as your sons.


Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I’ve laid out how I’ll pay for every dime: by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don’t help America grow.

But I will also go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less, because we cannot meet 21st-century challenges with a 20th-century bureaucracy.


And, Democrats, Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America’s promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our intellectual and moral strength.

Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient.


Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can’t replace parents, that government can’t turn off the television and make a child do her homework, that fathers must take more responsibility to provide love and guidance to their children.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility, that’s the essence of America’s promise. And just as we keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America’s promise abroad.

If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament and judgment to serve as the next commander-in-chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have.


For — for while — while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face.

When John McCain said we could just muddle through in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights.

You know, John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won’t even follow him to the cave where he lives.


And today, today, as my call for a timeframe to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has $79 billion in surplus while we are wallowing in deficit, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That’s not the judgment we need; that won’t keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.


You don’t defeat — you don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances.

If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice, but that is not the change that America needs.


We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe.

The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.


As commander-in-chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.


I will end this war in Iraq responsibly and finish the fight against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts, but I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.

I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation, poverty and genocide, climate change and disease.

And I will restore our moral standing so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.


These — these are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes, because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and each other’s patriotism.


The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.

The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together, and bled together, and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a red America or a blue America; they have served the United States of America.


So I’ve got news for you, John McCain: We all put our country first.


America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices. And Democrats, as well as Republicans, will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past, for part of what has been lost these past eight years can’t just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose, and that’s what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.


The — the reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than they are for those plagued by gang violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.


I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in a hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.


You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don’t know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers.

But this, too, is part of America’s promise, the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer, and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values.

And that’s to be expected, because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.


If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.

And you know what? It’s worked before, because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn’t work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it’s best to stop hoping and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don’t fit the typical pedigree, and I haven’t spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don’t understand is that this election has never been about me; it’s about you.


It’s about you.


For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said, “Enough,” to the politics of the past. You understand that, in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same, old politics with the same, old players and expect a different result.

You have shown what history teaches us, that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.


Change happens — change happens because the American people demand it, because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that, as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming, because I’ve seen it, because I’ve lived it.

Because I’ve seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work.

I’ve seen it in Washington, where we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans, and keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.

And I’ve seen it in this campaign, in the young people who voted for the first time and the young at heart, those who got involved again after a very long time; in the Republicans who never thought they’d pick up a Democratic ballot, but did.


I’ve seen it — I’ve seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day, even though they can’t afford it, than see their friends lose their jobs; in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb; in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

You know, this country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit, that American promise, that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It’s a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night and a promise that you make to yours, a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west, a promise that led workers to picket lines and women to reach for the ballot.

(APPLAUSE) And it is that promise that, 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln’s Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.


The men and women who gathered there could’ve heard many things. They could’ve heard words of anger and discord. They could’ve been told to succumb to the fear and frustrations of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead — people of every creed and color, from every walk of life — is that, in America, our destiny is inextricably linked, that together our dreams can be one.

“We cannot walk alone,” the preacher cried. “And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

America, we cannot turn back…


… not with so much work to be done; not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for; not with an economy to fix, and cities to rebuild, and farms to save; not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend.

America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone.

At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise, that American promise, and in the words of scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.
Bernard-Henri Levy tells Charlie Rose tonight, bursting with enthusiasm, it is a privilege to be here in this city tonight as democracy recovers itself and junk politics gives way to morality.

With his big tent campaign, by the way, Obama got more white votes than John Kerry.

The New York Times speaks

The Times has already got its editorial out about this momentous watershed in American history:

November 5, 2008
The Next President

This is one of those moments in history when it is worth pausing to reflect on the basic facts:

An American with the name Barack Hussein Obama, the son of a white woman and a black man he barely knew, raised by his grandparents far outside the stream of American power and wealth, has been elected the 44th president of the United States.

Showing extraordinary focus and quiet certainty, Mr. Obama swept away one political presumption after another to defeat first Hillary Clinton, who wanted to be president so badly that she lost her bearings, and then John McCain, who forsook his principles for a campaign built on anger and fear.

His triumph was decisive and sweeping, because he saw what is wrong with this country: the utter failure of government to protect its citizens. He offered a government that does not try to solve every problem but will do those things beyond the power of individual citizens: to regulate the economy fairly, keep the air clean and the food safe, ensure that the sick have access to health care, and educate children to compete in a globalized world.

Mr. Obama spoke candidly of the failure of Republican economic policies that promised to lift all Americans but left so many millions far behind. He committed himself to ending a bloody and pointless war. He promised to restore Americans’ civil liberties and their tattered reputation around the world.

With a message of hope and competence, he drew in legions of voters who had been disengaged and voiceless. The scenes Tuesday night of young men and women, black and white, weeping and cheering in Chicago and New York and in Atlanta’s storied Ebenezer Baptist Church were powerful and deeply moving.

Mr. Obama inherits a terrible legacy. The nation is embroiled in two wars — one of necessity in Afghanistan and one of folly in Iraq. Mr. Obama’s challenge will be to manage an orderly withdrawal from Iraq without igniting new conflicts so the Pentagon can focus its resources on the real front in the war on terror, Afghanistan.

The campaign began with the war as its central focus. By Election Day, Americans were deeply anguished about their futures and the government’s failure to prevent an economic collapse fed by greed and an orgy of deregulation. Mr. Obama will have to move quickly to impose control, coherence, transparency and fairness on the Bush administration’s jumbled bailout plan.

His administration will also have to identify all of the ways that Americans’ basic rights and fundamental values have been violated and rein that dark work back in. Climate change is a global threat, and after years of denial and inaction, this country must take the lead on addressing it. The nation must develop new, cleaner energy technologies, to reduce greenhouse gases and its dependence on foreign oil.

Mr. Obama also will have to rally sensible people to come up with immigration reform consistent with the values of a nation built by immigrants and refugees.

There are many other urgent problems that must be addressed. Tens of millions of Americans lack health insurance, including some of the country’s most vulnerable citizens — children of the working poor. Other Americans can barely pay for their insurance or are in danger of losing it along with their jobs. They must be protected.

Mr. Obama will now need the support of all Americans. Mr. McCain made an elegant concession speech Tuesday night in which he called on his followers not just to honor the vote, but to stand behind Mr. Obama. After a nasty, dispiriting campaign, he seemed on that stage to be the senator we long respected for his service to this country and his willingness to compromise.

That is a start. The nation’s many challenges are beyond the reach of any one man, or any one political party.

“His triumph was decisive and sweeping, because he saw what is wrong with this country: the utter failure of government to protect its citizens.” Yes indeed.

Welcome back to a new age of decency, where leaders of politics and government are once again expected to look out for their citizens instead of lining their own pockets at their expense.

Farm animals to be saved

Another sign of this return to decency: Proposition 2 passed in California, phasing out the torture of farm animals by confining them to crates for their entire lives where they cannot even turn around.

The sight of these methods being defended by ignorant farmers blind to the suffering of their fellow animals on “Oprah Winfrey” last week was enough to make anyone turn vegetarian.

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