Sunday, August 31, 2008

6 Things Palin Pick Says About McCain...

Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Senator John McCain introduced Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his choice for vice president at a rally Friday in Dayton, Ohio.

By Jim VandeHei, John F. Harris Of Politico

The selection of a running mate is among the most consequential and the most defining decisions a presidential nominee can make. John McCain’s pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says a lot about his decision-making — and some of it is downright breathtaking.

We knew McCain is a politician who relishes improvisation and likes to go with his gut. But it is remarkable that someone who has repeatedly emphasized experience in this campaign named an inexperienced governor he barely knew to be his No. 2. Whatever you think of the pick, here are six things it tells us about McCain:

1. He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters — and too close for comfort in several states, such as Indiana and Montana, that the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election — and very sick of the Bush years.

McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike.

McCain’s pick shows he is not pretending. Politicians, even “mavericks” like McCain, play it safe when they think they are winning — or see an easy path to winning. They roll the dice only when they know that the risks of conventionality are greater than the risks of boldness.

The Republican brand is a mess. McCain is reasonably concluding that it won’t work to replicate George W. Bush and Karl Rove’s electoral formula, based around national security and a big advantage among Y chromosomes, from 2004.

“She’s a fresh new face in a party that’s dying for one — the antidote to boring white men,” a campaign official said.

Palin, the logic goes, will prompt voters to give McCain a second look — especially women who have watched Democrats reject Hillary Rodham Clinton for Barack Obama.

The risks of a backlash from choosing someone so unknown and so untested are obvious. In one swift stroke, McCain demolished what had been one of his main arguments against Obama.

“I think we’re going to have to examine our tag line, ‘dangerously inexperienced,’” a top McCain official said wryly.

2. He’s willing to gamble — bigtime. Let’s face it: This is not the pick of a self-confident candidate. It is the political equivalent of a trick play or, as some Democrats called it, a Hail Mary pass in football. McCain talks incessantly about experience, and then goes and selects a woman he hardly knows, who hardly knows foreign policy and who can hardly be seen as instantly ready for the presidency.

He is smart enough to know it could work, at least politically. Many Republicans see this pick as a brilliant stroke, because it will be difficult for Democrats to run hard against a woman in the wake of the Hillary Clinton drama. Will this push those disgruntled Hillary voters McCain’s way? Perhaps. But this is hardly aimed at them: It is directed at the huge bloc of independent women who could decide this election — especially those who do not see abortion as a make-or-break issue.

McCain has a history of taking dares. Palin represents his biggest one yet.

3. He’s worried about the political implications of his age. Like a driver overcorrecting out of a swerve, he chooses someone who is two years younger than the youthful Obama and 28 years younger than he is. (He turned 72 on Friday.) The father-daughter comparison was inevitable when they appeared next to each other.

4. He’s not worried about the actuarial implications of his age. He thinks he’s in fine fettle and Palin wouldn’t be performing the main constitutional duty of a vice president, which is standing by in case a president dies or becomes incapacitated. If he were really concerned about an inexperienced person sitting in the Oval Office, we would be writing about vice presidential nominee Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge or Condoleezza Rice.

There is no plausible way McCain could say that he picked Palin, who was only elected governor in 2006 and whose most extended public service was as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (population 8,471), because she was ready to be president on Day One.

Nor can McCain argue that he was looking for someone he could trust as a close adviser. Most people know the staff at the local Starbucks better than McCain knows Palin. They met for the first time last February at a National Governors Association meeting in Washington. Then, they spoke again — by phone — on Sunday while she was at the Alaska state fair and he was at home in Arizona.

McCain has made a mockery out of his campaign's longtime contention that Barack Obama is too dangerously inexperienced to be commander in chief. Now, the Democratic ticket boasts 40 years of national experience (four years for Obama and 36 years for Joe Biden of Delaware), while the Republican ticket has 26 (McCain’s four years in the House and 22 in the Senate).

The McCain campaign has made a calculation that most voters don’t really care about the national experience or credentials of a vice president, and that Palin’s ebullient personality and reputation as a reformer who took on cesspool politics in Alaska matters more.

5. He’s worried about his conservative base. If he had room to maneuver, there were lots of people McCain could have selected who would have represented a break from Washington politics as usual. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman comes to mind (and it certainly came to McCain’s throughout the process). He had no such room. GOP stalwarts were furious over trial balloons about the possibility of choosing a supporter of abortion rights, including the possibility that he would reach out to his friend.

Palin is an ardent opponent of abortion who was previously scheduled to keynote the Republican National Coalition for Life's "Life of the Party" event in the Twin Cities this week.

“She’s really a perfect selection,” said Darla St. Martin, the co-director of the National Right to Life Committee. It is no secret McCain wanted to shake things up in this race — and he realized he was limited to a shake-up conservatives could stomach.

6. At the end of the day, McCain is still McCain. People may find him a refreshing maverick or an erratic egotist. In either event, he marches to his own beat.

On the upside, his team did manage to play to the media’s love of drama, fanning speculation about his possible choices and maximizing coverage of the decision.

On the potential downside, the drama was evidently entirely genuine. The fact that McCain only spoke with Palin about the vice presidency for the first time on Sunday, and that he was seriously considering Lieberman until days ago, suggests just how hectic and improvisational his process was.

In the end, this selection gives him a chance to reclaim the mantle of a different kind of politician intent on changing Washington. He once had a legitimate claim to this: After all, he took on his own party over campaign finance reform and immigration. He jeopardized this claim in recent months by embracing ideas he once opposed (Bush tax cuts) and ideas that appeared politically motivated (gas tax holiday).

Spontaneity, with a touch of impulsiveness, is one of the traits that attract some of McCain’s admirers. Whether it’s a good calling card for a potential president will depend on the reaction in coming days to what, for the moment, looks like the most daring vice presidential selection in generations.

Mike Allen contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2008 Capitol News Company, LLC.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

How A College Student Changed U.S. Political History...

Adam Brickley

Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Senator John McCain introduced Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his choice for vice president at a rally Friday in Dayton, Ohio.

Slate Magazine

Sarah Palin, Web Invention

How a college sophomore put Alaska's governor on the map.

By Timothy Noah

According to both the Aug. 29 Anchorage Daily News and the June 13 Colorado Springs Gazette, Sarah Palin became John McCain's vice presidential candidate largely through the machinations of someone even younger and less experienced than herself. From the Anchorage Daily News:

The hype can probably be traced to the Web site of a 21-year-old college senior majoring in political science at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Adam Brickley, a political buff who will graduate in May, started a "Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President" blog last year and has relentlessly promoted the idea ever since.

Brickley has never been to Alaska or met Palin. But while researching potential vice presidents, he stumbled on Palin and thought she would be a good No. 2 to just about all of the major Republican candidates in the race at the time. …The "Draft Palin" movement picked up momentum in more mainstream media, including a column last summer by Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. Others followed, including talk over the past couple weeks from conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. [Actually, Limbaugh's been chatting up Palin since February 2008; Brickley created his blog in February 2007, during his sophomore year, a mere two months after Palin assumed the governorship. Click here to see him talk up Palin this past May on YouTube.]

Brickley (aka "Elephantman") supported Rudy Giuliani in the primaries, according to his blog. According to his "Blogger" profile, Brickley's interests include politics, Zionism, and "fighting socialism." ZoomInfo adds that he's a leader in University of Colorado-Colorado Springs College Republicans and the founder of a political blog called ConservaGlobe; that he made dean's list; and that he receives a $7,500 Ronald Reagan College Leaders scholarship annually from the conservative Phillips Foundation. At the moment, he appears to be interning for a young conservative commentator on named Matt Lewis. "WE DID IT!!!!!!" crows Brickley's latest entry on the Draft Sarah Palin blog. "I'll have a lot more later, but needless to say I am positively elated."

Timothy Noah is a senior writer at Slate.

The Honorable Sis. Cynthia McKinney's Remarks @ DNC Denver Stop The War Protest!!!

I'm told that we can still make qualifying for matching funds. Please donate to our campaign now at Here are my remarks at the Denver DNC Stop the War Protest. Hope you enjoy. If you do, please show some love so we can continue this work of building the only real opposition party that exists in this country! Donate today at or mail your contribution to Power to the People, P.O. Box 311759, Atlanta, GA 31131!

Cynthia McKinney
DNC Stop the War Protest
August 24, 2008

Our country has been hijacked and the Democrats have proven themselves to have been in on the plan. When it came to the Constitution, the Democratic leadership showed us that aiding and abetting illegal spying on us was more important to them than protecting our civil liberties.

When it came to war and occupation, the Democratic leadership showed us that financing an illegal and immoral war, based on lies, was more important to them than the people's desire for peace.

And when the people, hurting from the financial mismanagement of this country, called for accountability for the crimes that have been committed against the people here, against the global community, against nature, itself, the Democratic leadership took impeachment off the table!

Grassroots Democratic Party activists want a livable wage! A "Medicare-for-all" type of health care system, repeal of the Bush tax cuts that have ushered in the greatest income inequality in this country since the Great Depression. But the Democratic Party has shown itself to be incapable of providing even a semblance of the values even of its own activists.

The Democratic Party's national leadership didn't even mention Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors in their Congressional agenda for the first 100 days.

The Democratic Party's national leadership gave us the Iran Naval Blockade bill, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, and telecom immunity. They continue to fund war and occupation to the tune of $720 million a day while our children graduate from college tens--or even hundreds--of thousands of dollars in debt. Entire cities are going into receivership while the Democratic leadership in Congress gives the Pentagon one half trillion dollars annually with no accountability, no strings attached. That's over and above spending for war.

Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are the hallmarks of the new U.S. gulag Democrats are helping to create.

They want us to believe that China and Russia are our enemies, in addition to the 60 countries on Dick Cheney's list. They want us to believe that workers, who come to this country to support thier families after Democratic leadership in the country saddl3ed workers with NAFTA, are our enemies. But we are here today to declare that we know who the real enemies are: those false patriots that George Washington warned us of, who wrap themselves in the flag while betraying our values.

We are the true patriots!

We know that the strength of this country lies in the way it countenances dissent. And we are here to dissent. We are not deterred by reports of sleek, new detention facilities or recently-acquired taser guns that kill. For we come to dissent in peace. Indeed, we dissent for peace.

Today, we declare our independence from conformity and "go-along-to-get-along" politics. We declare our willingness to be radical in pursuit of peace and in our hunger for justice. We can see clearly now who the real stickup artists are and that's why we're in Denver!

Our actions here this week begin the disarming of the hijackers. We no longer are afraid. And we won't be deceived. We know that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for more war in Afghanistan and other parts of the world.

But today, we are now free.

Free to stand on the four pillars guiding our political engagement: environmental wisdom, peace, grassroots democratcy, and social justice. And finally, we know our power. We know the power of the people. We know that true power rests in the hands of the people. People who are willing to take a stand.

We need look no further than Hiati, Code,I'voire, Spain, and India to see the power of the people at the ballot box. No further than Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Paraguay to know that if they can do it, so can we.

Provided our elections are fair!

And if the Democrats cave in, in the face of fraud, disfranchisement, and theft, then we will be there to demand election integrity!

All over this country, the signs are there. People from New York to Florida, Washington State to California, Colorado to Texas are liberating themselves. We must not stop! Our country is worth it! Let's take our country back! Power to the People!

The Honorable Sis. Cynthia McKinney Tribute Show!!!


Cynthia McKinney 'Power to the People' Campaign for President

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U.S.A. 'Pay' Attention: Italy Gives Libya $5 Billion Dollars In Reparations...

Italy Apologises To Libya For Colonial Era Damage

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi greets Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (L) upon his arrival in the Mediterranean city of Benghazi, east of Tripoli. Berlusconi on Saturday apologised to Libya for damage inflicted by Italy during the colonial era and signed a five-billion-dollar investment deal by way of compensation.
(AFP/POOL/Livio Anticoli)

by Imed Lamloum1

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday apologised to Libya for damage inflicted by Italy during the colonial era and signed a five-billion-dollar investment deal by way of compensation.

Berlusconi made the apology during a visit to the Mediterranean city of Benghazi for a meeting with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi to seal a cooperation accord with the oil-rich north African nation.

"It is my duty, as a head of government, to express to you in the name of the Italian people our regret and apologies for the deep wounds that we have caused you," said Berlusconi, whose comments were translated into Arabic.

He and Kadhafi then signed a "friendship and cooperation agreement" aimed at recompensing Libya for damage incurred during the colonial era.

"The accord will provide for 200 million dollars a year over the next 25 years through investments in infrastructure projects in Libya," Berlusconi said.

"This agreement should put an end to 40 years of discord. It is a concrete and moral acknowledgement of the damage inflicted on Libya by Italy during the colonial era," he earlier told reporters.

The signing ceremony took place in the garden of a palace occupied by the Italian governor in colonial times.

Berlusconi then bowed before the son of the hero of Libyan resistance against the Italian occupiers, Omar Mokhtar, in a symbolic gesture.

"This is an historic moment when two brave men acknowledge the defeat of colonialism," Kadhafi said, raising his arms in a sign of victory.

"The Libyan people endured injustice and were attacked in their homes and they deserve an apology and compensation," he added before a crowd which included diplomats and the children and grandchildren of Libyan resistance heroes.

Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Libya was occupied by Italy in 1911 before becoming a colony in the 1930s. The country gained its independence in 1951 after a brief period under a UN-mandated Franco-British administration.

Italy and Libya have spent years negotiating a wide-ranging treaty to cover compensation for Rome's military occupation and colonisation.

An association representing Italians expelled from Libya in 1970 denounced Rome in a statement on Saturday for compensating Libya and not repatriated Italians.

It said Berlusconi should have "a sudden burst of dignity, humanity and respect so as to finally give satisfaction... to the 20,000 Italian citizens who are still waiting for fair compensation from their government."

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set to follow in Berlusconi's footsteps next week, for the first visit by such a high-ranking US official to Libya since 1953.

Berlusconi, on his second trip to Libya since June, said that among the major projects to be financed by Italy will be a coastal motorway from the Tunisian border to Egypt.

Rome will also fund house construction, scholarships for Libyan students to study in Italy and pensions for those mutilated by landmines laid by the Italian military.

The agreement will also cover cooperation on the fight against illegal immigration, which Berlusconi termed a battle "against slave traders."

Funding for the coastal highway -- previously estimated to cost three billion euros (4.65 billion dollars) -- was promised by Berlusconi on a visit to Tripoli in 2004, when he headed a previous administration.

When the two leaders met in June, Berlusconi was pushing for the rapid implementation of a December 2007 accord on joint maritime patrols to curtail the flow of thousands of illegal immigrants from Africa to Europe.

Italian shores, especially the small island of Lampedusa south of Sicily, are a favourite destination for those making the crossing from North Africa in the hope of a new life in Europe, despite the perilous journey.

Also on Saturday Italy returned a Roman statue of the goddess Venus dating back to the second century which was found in 1913 by Italian troops near the ruins of the Greek and Roman settlement of Cyrene, on the Libyan coast.

Berlusconi's visit to Benghazi 1,000 kilometres (650 miles) east of Tripoli coincides with the anniversary of the coup that brought Kadhafi to power on September 1, 1969.

Copyright © 2008 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

The Whirlwind Is Approaching: New Orleans Evacuations Begin As Gustav Menaces...

Residents evacuate along Interstate 10 heading west in preparation for Hurricane Gustav in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 29. Desperate to avoid a repeat of the Hurricane Katrine catastrophe in 2005, New Orleans prepared to begin mandatory evacuations ahead of a deadly new hurricane, Gustav.
(AFP/Getty Images/Stephen Morton)

People line up at an evacuation point in New Orleans, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008, as Hurricane Gustav approaches the Gulf coast. Gustav strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane Saturday, and as city officials started evacuation plans, some residents weren't waiting to be told to leave.
(AP Photo/Bill Haber)

This NOAA satellite image, taken August 29, 2008, shows Hurricane Gustav (L) as it moves past Cuba and heading towards the Gulf of Mexico. Gustav is now a Category 4 hurricane, with tropical storm Hanna (R) still over the Atlantic Ocean, which could also grow into hurricane strength.

This infrared satellite image obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Gustav (L), south of Cuba, and Tropical Storm Hanna (R), northeast of Puerto Rico. Deadly hurricane Gustav intensified into an "extremely dangerous" category four storm Saturday as it struck Cuba Saturday, after leaving a trail of death and destruction across the Caribbean.

High winds from nearby Hurricane Gustav kick up waves before dawn, in George Town, Grand Cayman Island, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008. Gustav swelled to a fearsome Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph (195 kph) as it shrieked toward Cuba Saturday on a track to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, three years after Hurricane Katrina.
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Lines of people waiting for buses to take them out of the city grew longer Saturday and traffic grew heavier on main highways as Hurricane Gustav strengthened into a dangerous Category 4 storm on track for the Gulf Coast.

A line well over a mile long stretched in six loops through the parking lot at Union Passenger Terminal. Under a blazing sun, many led children or pushed strollers with one hand and pulled luggage with the other. Volunteers handed out bottled water, and medics were nearby in case people became heatsick.

Joseph Jones Jr., 61, wore a towel over his head to block the sun. He'd been in line 2 1/2 hours, but wasn't complaining. During Katrina, he had been stranded on a highway overpass.

"I don't like it. Going someplace you don't know, people you don't know," Jones said. "And then when you come back, is your house going to be OK?"

The city had yet to call for a mandatory evacuation, but began ushering out the sick, elderly and those without their own transportation on Saturday. The state has a $7 million contract for more than 700 buses to carry an estimated 30,000 people to shelters.

Many residents said the evacuation was more orderly than Hurricane Katrina, which struck three years ago Friday. But not everyone was happy.

Elizabeth Tell, 67, had been waiting on the corner since 6:30 a.m. for a special needs bus to take her and her dog, Lee Roy, to the station. It was three hours before the first bus arrived, completely full of people in wheelchairs.

"They're not taking care of us down here!" she shouted as the brown-and-white spotted hound mix panted inside his hip-high plastic kennel.

Many residents weren't waiting for a formal evacuation call. Cars packed with clothes, boxes and pet carriers drove north among heavy traffic on Interstate 55, a major route out of the city. Gas stations around the city hummed. And nursing homes and hospitals began sending patients farther inland.

There were other signs of people racheting up their plans to leave. ATMs were running out of cash. Long lines were sprouting up at gas stations as motorists filled up their cars. Cases of bottled water were selling briskly at convenience stores.

Police and firefighters were set to go street-to-street with bullhorns over the weekend to help direct people where to go. Unlike Hurricane Katrina, there will be no shelter of last resort in the Superdome. The doors there will be locked.

Those among New Orleans' estimated 310,000 to 340,000 residents who ignore orders to leave accept "all responsibility for themselves and their loved ones," the city's emergency preparedness director, Jerry Sneed, has warned.

Advocates have criticized the decision not to establish a shelter, warning that day laborers and the poorest residents will still fall through the cracks. As lines at bus stations kept building, about two dozen Hispanic men talked under oak trees near Claiborne Avenue, where on better days they would be waiting to be picked up for day labor.

They'd been listening to Spanish radio and television but none of them knew what to do and were waiting for someone to come by and tell them, said Pictor Soto, 44, of Peru. Told they could take a bus at Union Passenger Terminal, they all shook their heads, fearful that immigration agents would be looking for them. "The problem is, there will be immigration people there and we're all undocumented," Soto said.

Gustav swelled into a major hurricane south of Cuba, with maximum sustained winds near 145 mph, making it the strongest Atlantic storm of 2008. It could strike the U.S. coast anywhere from Mississippi to Texas by Tuesday.

Forecasters said if Gustav follows the projected path it would likely make landfall on Louisiana's central coast, sparing New Orleans a direct hit. But forecasters caution it is still too soon to say exactly where the storm will hit.

"Any little jog could change where it makes landfall," said Karina Castillo, a hurricane support meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center.

One shop along Magazine Street, its windows covered up, showed a flash of New Orleans' storm humor. "Geaux Away Gustav," it read, giving it a French flair.

President Bush called Gulf Coast governors Saturday and told them they would have the full support of the federal government, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

Officials plan to announce a curfew that will mean the arrest of anyone still on the streets after a mandatory evacuation order goes out. Police and National Guardsman will patrol after the storm's arrival, and Gov. Bobby Jindal has said he requested additional search and rescue teams from other states.

Jindal also said the state would likely switch interstate lanes on Sunday so that all traffic would flow north, in the direction an evacuation would follow.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the center of Gustav was about 185 miles east of the western tip of Cuba. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, just 6 mph shy of the Category 4 threshold. The center of Gustav was to pass over western Cuba later Saturday and strengthening is forecast after it reaches the Gulf of Mexico.

The second major hurricane of the Atlantic season has already killed 78 people in the Caribbean.


Associated Press writers Peter Prengaman, Janet McConnaughey, Alan Sayre, Allen G. Breed, Mary Foster and Stacey Plaisance contributed to this report from New Orleans. Doug Simpson in Baton Rouge, La., and Michael Kunzelman in Gulfport, Miss., also contributed.

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~Never Forget: Hurricane Katrina Three Years Later...

The Honorable Sis. Cynthia McKinney Calls Out Joe Biden & The Dems...

Sen. Joe Biden's VP Acceptance Speech...Watch & Listen:

The Honorable Sis. Cynthia McKinney's Response:

"It's clear that Joe Biden will be the Democrats' Dick Cheney. that means Democrats, just like the Republicans, represent more war and brutal occupation. They are playing with the notion that 60 enemies on Dick Cheney's list aren't enough and that nuclear Russia and nuclear China should be added to the enemies list.

"Joe Biden is handmaiden to the special interests in Washington, D.C. that rely on war, death, untold carnage, and the insecurity of average, ordinary American citizens to have their way. It is clear that a vote for the Democratic Party is a vote for more war.

"It is time to derail the war machine or we will become victims of it--just as our children are victimized by the police state and the prison-industrial complex."

Please visit our website, and donate to our campaign. Rosa and I cannot travel and satisfy all the requests we are receiving without your additional help. I understand that CNN's Roland Martin even acknowledged our campaign. And that's after CNN's Joe Johns did an interview with us at the Denver protests! Please donate today either by U.S.P.S. or online. For U.S.P.S. contributions, please make checks payable to:

Power to the People Committee

and send them to:

P.O. Box 311759
Atlanta, GA 31131

Thank you for your support!


Cynthia McKinney 'Power to the People' Campaign for President

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McKinney for President 2008
240-491-3311 fax (Media Contacts)

Please Support Sis. Cynthia McKinney's Run For The Whitehouse By Visiting Her Official Campaign Website

The Maverick & The Hockey Mom...The 2008 Repub Ticket...

Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Senator John McCain introduced Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his choice for vice president at a rally Friday in Dayton, Ohio.

August 30, 2008
McCain Chooses Palin As Running Mate

DAYTON, Ohio — Senator John McCain astonished the political world on Friday by naming Sarah Palin, a little-known governor of Alaska and self-described “hockey mom” with almost no foreign policy experience, as his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.

Ms. Palin, 44, a social conservative, former union member and mother of five who has been governor for two years, was on none of the widely discussed McCain campaign short lists for vice president. In selecting her, Mr. McCain reached far outside the Washington Beltway in an election year in which the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, is running on a platform of change.

“She’s not from these parts, and she’s not from Washington, but when you get to know her, you’re going to be as impressed as I am,” Mr. McCain told a midday rally of 15,000 people in a basketball arena here shortly before Ms. Palin, with her husband and four of her children, strode out onto the stage.

Within moments, Ms. Palin made an explicit appeal to the disappointed supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton by praising not only Mrs. Clinton but also the only other woman in American history who has been on a presidential ticket, Geraldine A. Ferraro, Walter F. Mondale’s Democratic running mate in 1984.

“Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America, but it turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all,” Ms. Palin said to huge applause.

Ms. Palin and Mr. McCain then embarked on a bus tour across Ohio and north into western Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh, a route that took in a wide swath of the central battleground in this year’s presidential campaign.

Mr. McCain’s pick, Ms. Palin, who opposes abortion, played especially well among evangelicals and other social conservatives, who have always viewed Mr. McCain warily and who have been jittery in recent weeks because of reports that Mr. McCain was considering naming a running mate who favors abortion rights.

The McCain campaign sees Ms. Palin as a kindred spirit to Mr. McCain, particularly in her history of taking heat from fellow Republicans for bucking them on issues and spotlighting their ethical failings. Like Mr. McCain’s, her political profile is built in part on her opposition to questionable government spending projects.

But they differ on a number of policies. Ms. Palin opposed Mr. McCain on one of the most prominent Alaskan issues: She supports drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Mr. McCain opposes it, much to the consternation of some Republicans. Mr. McCain’s environmental policy accepts that global warming is driven by pollution; Ms. Palin has said she is not convinced. A spokeswoman for Ms. Palin, Maria Comella, said, “Governor Palin not only stands with John McCain in his belief that global warming is a critical issue that must be addressed, but she has been a leader in addressing climate change.”

Ms. Palin, a former mayor of the small town of Wasilla, an Anchorage suburb, rose to prominence as a whistle-blower uncovering ethical misconduct in state government. Her selection amounted to a gamble that an infusion of new leadership — and the novelty of the Republican Party’s first female candidate for vice president — would more than compensate for the risk that Ms. Palin could undercut one of the McCain campaign’s central arguments, that Mr. Obama is too inexperienced to be president.

Democrats and at least some shocked Republicans questioned the judgment of Mr. McCain, who has said repeatedly on the campaign trail that his running mate should have the qualifications to immediately step into the role of commander in chief.

Mr. McCain’s words on the matter have had more than usual resonance this year because of his age — he turned 72 on Friday, and hopes to be the oldest person ever elected to a first term — and his history with skin cancer.

Ms. Palin appears to have traveled very little outside the United States. In July 2007, she had to get a passport before she visited members of the Alaska National Guard stationed in Kuwait, according to her deputy communications director, Sharon Leighow. She also visited wounded troops in Germany during that trip.

Mr. McCain’s announcement of Ms. Palin came in the immediate afterglow that Democrats were enjoying from their nomination of Mr. Obama, and for one news cycle at least, as Republicans intended, Ms. Palin effectively muffled the news coverage of Mr. Obama’s acceptance speech to 80,000 people at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on Thursday night.

Mr. Obama wished her well in a call from his campaign bus.

“He also wished her good luck, but not too much luck,” said Robert Gibbs, a senior strategist to Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama’s fellow Democrats were considerably less welcoming, and most said they were flabbergasted by what they characterized as a desperate, cynical or dangerous choice, given Ms. Palin’s lack of any experience in national security.

“On his 72nd birthday, this is the guy’s judgment of who he wants one heartbeat from the presidency?” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, who said the selection smacked of political panic. “Please.”

Mr. McCain’s advisers said Friday that Mr. McCain was well aware that Ms. Palin would be criticized for her lack of foreign policy experience, but that he viewed her as exceptionally talented and intelligent and that he felt she would be able to be educated quickly.

“She’s going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he’ll be around at least that long,” said Charlie Black, one of Mr. McCain’s top advisers, making light of concerns about Mr. McCain’s health, which Mr. McCain’s doctors reported as excellent in May.

Many conservatives said that the choice would energize them, giving Mr. McCain the support of a highly active group of voters and volunteers whose support was crucial to both of President Bush’s victories.

“They’re beyond ecstatic,” said Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition.

Ms. Palin is known to conservatives for opting not to have an abortion after learning that the child she was carrying, her youngest, had Down syndrome. “It is almost impossible to exaggerate how important that is to the conservative faith community,” Mr. Reed said.

The choice of Ms. Palin was reminiscent of former President George Bush’s selection of Dan Quayle, then a barely known senator from Indiana as his running mate in 1988.

It was far from clear Friday whether adding a woman to the ticket would persuade Clinton supporters to come over to the Republicans, given Ms. Palin’s differences with Mrs. Clinton on issues from abortion rights to her positions on health care and climate change. Some women said that the pick could be seen as patronizing, a suggestion that women would vote based on a candidate’s sex rather than on positions. But others saw the choice of Ms. Palin as a welcome step.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic,” said Kimberly Myers, a retired transit worker in Pittsburgh who had originally supported Mrs. Clinton but who said that Mr. McCain’s choice would win him her vote. “She’s actually broken the glass ceiling.”

As they began gathering in Minneapolis-St. Paul for the start of their convention on Monday, some Republican delegates said they were concerned that Ms. Palin did not have the experience in foreign policy or national security to be commander in chief.

“We’re in a global war, we’re in a global economy, so it’s less than honest if someone says that this woman is qualified to lead America right now,” said Todd Burkhalter, a Republican delegate from Mobile, Ala..

Her selection was kept secret until Friday morning, after the two men who had been rumored to be on Mr. McCain’s short list, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, let it be known they were out of the running.

The McCain campaign said that Mr. McCain first met Ms. Palin in February this year at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington and came away “extraordinarily impressed.” But Mr. McCain apparently has spent little time with her.

Ms. Palin flew to Flagstaff, Ariz., on Wednesday evening to meet with two of Mr. McCain’s senior campaign aides, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, said Jill Hazelbaker, a campaign spokeswoman. The group met at the Flagstaff home of Bob Delgado, the chief executive officer of the Hensley Corporation, the family business of Cindy McCain, Mr. McCain’s wife.

After meeting with Mrs. McCain there the next morning, Ms. Palin was taken to the McCain vacation compound near Sedona, where Mr. McCain offered her a spot on the ticket at 11 a.m.

She flew to Ohio later that day with Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Salter, and checked into a hotel as the Upton family. Ms. Palin’s children, who had been told they were going to Ohio to celebrate their parents’ 20th wedding anniversary on Friday, were informed there that their mother would be the Republican vice-presidential nominee.

Thursday evening she had a final meeting with Mr. McCain. One adviser suggested that although Mr. McCain was sure about his choice, he wanted to sit down with Ms. Palin one last time before he made what he knew would be an astonishing announcement the next morning.

As recently as last month, Ms. Palin appeared to dismiss the importance of the vice presidency in an interview with Larry Kudlow of CNBC, who asked her about her prospects for the job.

“I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me, what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day?” Ms. Palin told Mr. Kudlow. “I’m used to being very productive and working real hard.”

Michael Cooper reported from Dayton and New Concord, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, and Elisabeth Bumiller from Washington. Reporting was contributed by John Harwood, Patrick Healy, Carl Hulse, Michael Luo, Adam Nagourney, Larry Rohter and Jeff Zeleny.

Among Whites It’s The O.J. Effect Not The Bradley Effect That BHO Must Worry About…

Barack Obama according to tv pundits and conventional wisdom must be able to get a sizable number of the White vote to win the Whitehouse…People are startled that in a year where everything should be going the Democrats’ way that Obama, according to the experts and polls, is in a virtual tie with Sen. John McCain…

Many experts are hesitant to say the obvious: that race is playing a major role in the race…They make references to the Bradley Effect when in 1982 popular L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley was touted favorably by the media to win a landslide victory in being selected the first Black Governor of California…Many Whites when polled said that they would vote for Bradley…However, Bradley lost the race by a few votes…Thus the term the Bradley Effect was born, a phenomena that occurs when Whites lie about voting for an African American candidate regardless of what they tell pollsters, causing an unexpected and close loss…

The same thing almost happened to Douglas Wilder of Virginia…He survived a very, very close election to become the first Black Governor of Virginia…Thus the term the Wilder Effect was born, when Whites barely vote for an African American candidate as promised ,but the African American Candidate still win regardless…

Because of the history of race consciousness or ignorance in Amerikkka, many Dems, Blacks and others are worried that in spite of the brilliant campaign Obama has run up until this point that BHO will fail in the fall because of the perceived lack of confidence in him from Whites…

Let me just counter by saying that I feel that many Whites in Amerikkka would sincerely love to vote for BHO…But they are worried that BHO will let them down…

Why??? Because it’s the O.J. Effect!!!

You see before BHO, Whites had another Post-Racial Icon that they could always depend on: Orenthal James Simpson a.k.a. O.J. Simpson a.k.a. The Juice!!! O.J. provided White Amerikkka relief from the militant, political and socially conscious stances of such athletes as Jim Brown, Curt Flood, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and of course the one and only Muhammad Ali

By comparison Barack offers White Amerikkka a similar relief from the racial indigestion and social migraines that are Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Minister Farrakhan and others...

Like Barack, O.J. sought to distance himself from the long running Race Conservation that has been going on since 1619…

Both guys are movie star handsome, charismatic and come from working class roots…Both men were wild in their youths, O.J. car jacking and robbing stores in the San Francisco ghetto while Barack openly admits to experimenting with illegal drugs…

Both guys became collegiate standouts in their respective fields of study; O.J. was a Heisman Trophy Award winning running back with USC while Barack became the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review…

Both men are products of households where their fathers were absent...

And both men had a desire to be accepted and vetted by the White Power structure...

Although The Juice wasn’t involved in the Black Civil Rights or Power movements, he nevertheless benefitted from the struggle financially…He became a popular pitchman for various products and services including Hertz Rent A Car...Barack Obama also benefitted from the struggles and sacrifices made by the participants in those movements as well...His presidential bid could not have been possible without the steps made by the Giants before including Fredrick Douglass(vice presidential nominee under The Equal Rights Party in 1872 with a white woman Victoria Woodhull heading up the ticket), Shirley Chisholm, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and yes even Rev. Al Sharpton...Even Harold Washington becoming the first Black mayor of an abrasive and wild political town like Chicago (Barack’s adopted hometown) provided Barack an impetus to dream and the will to pursue those impossible dreams with an unabashed audacity of hope...

What white folks fear in my opinion is the possibility that Barack will let them down like O.J. did back in the 1990s and since...Truth be told Whites took the loss of one of their Sports and Cultural Heroes hard...White Amerikkka pondered and reflected...How could he betray us??? Didn’t we treat him better than the rest??? Didn’t we bless and highly favor him??? Reactions from Whites were similar to last year when they found out that Amerikkka’s favorite Black Quarter-Running back, Mike Vick, was a dog killer...At least O.J. didn’t kill Nicole Simpson’s dog so maybe he does have some redeeming qualities...

You see White Amerikkka does not view Blacks as whole human beings...Blacks are only three fifths humans according to the doctrine of the founding fathers...In many instances Blacks views themselves less than that as evidenced by the high rate of Black on Black crime...Meaning that White Amerikkka still wants to believe and to be able to control every aspect of the lives of their Black property...They want Blacks to be morally and physically superior, but also intellectually and emotionally inferior...More brawn less brain... But if they feel that a Black person betrayed their trust or undermined their supreme authority then they want to euthanize that Black person like Old Yeller or one of Mike Vick’s unlucky pit bulls...

When dealing with Blacks, White Amerikkka feels like that there can be no room for error or second chances/guesses....Meaning that Pres. Barack Obama better not play too many pick up basketball games while Amerikkka’s economic infrastructure is falling apart and we are still waging imperial wars in lands so far away and yet so nearby that their effects can be felt and seen in our pocketbooks and wallets...Unlike Bush who played a cowboy on his ranch while his fellow Americans drowned in a soup bowl filled with toxic gumbo known as New Orleans three years ago, Barack will not be given the luxury of such treatment i.e. having others die for your incompetence and inaction while not being held accountable...Every mistake made will be scrutinized and magnified while every achievement will be overlooked and/or credited to somebody else...Thus is the nature of the beast...

White Amerikkka needs to take a cue from Hollywood...In the movies (think ‘Deep Impact’) or tv shows (think ‘24’), whenever there is a crisis or the world is about to end, more likely than not a Black president is in office!!! Coincidence or Conspiracy??? Well it looks like the world is about to end...Let’s put the first Black president in before Al Gore causes hell to freeze over and Jesus comes back and overturn the election results!!!

(R2C2H2 Tha Artivist is host and editor of Tha Artivist Presents…W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio & He is also the author of James Reese Europe: Jazz Lieutenant…He can be reached by e-mail

For Comparisons Of Barack To Historical Black Figures Check Out The Following On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio:

Acceptable Blackness Vs. Unforgivable Blackness...

Barack Hussein Obama Ain't No Adam Clayton Powell Jr.!!!

Tha Artstorian Ponders:Is Barack Obama The Sam Cooke of American Politics???

More Related Coverage On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio:

If Fox News Gave Cindy McCain The Michelle Obama Treatment…Thoughts Of An Outraged Negro…

Why Obama Did The Wright Thing And How Rev. Wright’s Selfless Sacrifice Saved The Obama Presidency…

The Hypocrisy Of The Media…Min. Farrakhan Was A Guest Of Honor For Key Pa. Hillary Supporter!!!

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Black Liberation Theology 101:

The Rev. Wright Controversy Told Through Video Media:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Barack Obama & The Hip Hop Effect On American Politics:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~Eyewitness To The Crucifixion: The Last Days Of MLK:


Get Your Barack
Obama "A Legacy Of Hope" T-Shirt Today!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

In Rarefied Air: Barack Obama's 2008 DNC Speech Delivers The Goods!!!

Watch And Listen To The Historic Speech Given On The 45th Anniversary Of MLK's "I Have A Dream" Speech @ The March On Washington

Obama Masters His Moment
Roger Simon Of

DENVER — Barack Obama has a dream, a dream embodied in a speech, a speech he gave at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night to introduce himself to America.

Yes, introduce. Hard as it is to believe, most Americans are just getting to know him. And this is what they got to know Thursday night: He is a man who can master a moment.

He did a little inspiration, he did a little substance, he did a little attack, he did a little defense, he did a little everything except let his audience down.

Even when it sounded like he was going to lapse into old and tired political rhetoric — he talked about the struggles of ordinary, hardworking Americans — he gave it a new twist and managed to blunt the attacks of his opponent to boot.

“I don’t know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine, these are my heroes,” Obama said as the enormous crowd at Invesco Field roared. “Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.”

Obama’s speech soared many times, but it always came back to earth. And it usually came back to earth on John McCain’s head.

Obama mentioned McCain by name no fewer than 21 times, praising his service and patriotism, but attacking him not just on specifics, but on one, general point.

“McCain doesn’t get it,” Obama said. McCain is “grasping at the ideas of the past.”

Need a translation? Here’s one: McCain, who turns 72 on Friday, is old and out of it. His ideas are tired and he is tired, and this is no time in the history of America or the world for a tired president.

You can accuse Barack Obama of a lot of things — and no doubt McCain will do so next week at the Republican National Convention — but you can’t accuse Obama of being a cream puff. He is ready to get it on, high road, low road, or middle road, against the Republicans.

Their greatest sin? Well, much of what they have told us about fighting terror, Obama said, has been a fiction.

“For while Sen. 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 we face,” Obama said. “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.”

And then Obama really lowered the boom. “John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell,” Obama said, “but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.”

Obama sought to undo Thursday night what George Bush had done in 2004: convince voters that only a Republican administration could protect America from terrorism.

Wrong, said Obama. “Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country; don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe,” he thundered. “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.”

Nor is Obama cowed by the current success of the surge in Iraq, upon which McCain has staked so much. “John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war,” Obama said. “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.”

The past, the past, the past. Old, old, old. Tired, tired, tired. That was Obama’s continuing line of attack as he stood on a vast stage in a vast football stadium looking young, vigorous and enthusiastic.

Enthusiasm is a concern for the Republicans this year. The most extraordinary sight in Denver Thursday afternoon was the line of people waiting to get into Invesco Field. It stretched not just for blocks, but for miles. People filled every inch of the sidewalks on main streets and side streets. They inched under viaducts and scampered across highway entrance ramps. They stood in line for hours to get into the stadium to wait in the hot sun for even more hours. All to see a man give a speech that they could have stayed home and watched on TV.

That’s enthusiasm. And, for John McCain, that’s going to be a challenge. McCain has another one: giving speeches is not his strongest point. And even though there will be debates and commercials and town hall meetings in the weeks ahead, presidential campaigns are still largely about giving speeches. They used to be done on stumps and now they are done on television, but they still have to be done.

And Barack Obama knows how to do them. All his speeches, however, can be summed up in one word. Those Americans who have not heard it before, will be hearing it a lot. It is his theme, his campaign, his promise.

“I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming,” he said. “Because I’ve seen it. Because I’ve lived it.”

For Comparisons Of Barack To Historical Black Figures Check Out The Following On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio:

Acceptable Blackness Vs. Unforgivable Blackness...

Barack Hussein Obama Ain't No Adam Clayton Powell Jr.!!!

Tha Artstorian Ponders:Is Barack Obama The Sam Cooke of American Politics???

More Related Coverage On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio:

If Fox News Gave Cindy McCain The Michelle Obama Treatment…Thoughts Of An Outraged Negro…

Why Obama Did The Wright Thing And How Rev. Wright’s Selfless Sacrifice Saved The Obama Presidency…

The Hypocrisy Of The Media…Min. Farrakhan Was A Guest Of Honor For Key Pa. Hillary Supporter!!!

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Black Liberation Theology 101:

The Rev. Wright Controversy Told Through Video Media:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Barack Obama & The Hip Hop Effect On American Politics:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~Eyewitness To The Crucifixion: The Last Days Of MLK:


Get Your Barack
Obama "A Legacy Of Hope" T-Shirt Today!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Orleans Three Years Later: Justice Eludes Danziger Victims...

Ronald Madison, 40, seen in this undated family photo, was shot dead on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans East Sept. 4, 2005.

by Jarvis De Berry

Maybe one day Lance Madison and his family will encounter somebody in the criminal justice system who hasn't had his integrity, competence or allegiances questioned.
Ronald Madison, 40, seen in this undated family photo, was shot dead on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans East Sept. 4, 2005.

Starting with Sept. 4, 2005, however, the Madisons have run a gantlet of allegedly murderous police officers, incompetent prosecutors and a judge accused of having too cozy a relationship with those affiliated with the accused officers.

The Sunday after Hurricane Katrina on the Danziger Bridge in eastern New Orleans, police killed Lance Madison's mentally retarded brother Ronald, then took Lance Madison to a makeshift jail on the accusation that he and Ronald had been trying to kill the officers.

The family has described Ronald Madison, 40 years old with the mental capacity of a child, as harmless. His protective older brother Lance, then 48, had a reputation beyond reproach: 25 years working at FedEx; no criminal record. By contrast, the witness who told police he saw the Madisons shooting at them is a convicted criminal who was in New Orleans after Katrina pretending to be a deputy from St. Landry Parish.

Believing Lance Madison's version of events -- that police attacked him and his brother with no provocation from them -- prosecutors in former District Attorney Eddie Jordan's office successfully sought murder indictments against seven police officers.

But those indictments, Judge Raymond Bigelow ruled Wednesday, were ill-gotten because prosecutors broke laws governing grand jury proceedings. Judge Bigelow's ruling may be legally sound, but the Madisons have reason to wonder if he should be on the case.

Judge Bigelow employs a woman married to the spokesman of the Fraternal Order of Police, a major backer of the accused officers. Another employee's father is defending one of the accused officers in court. The judge's law clerk is a former partner of a lawyer representing an accused officer.

Judge Bigelow didn't hide those connections. He revealed them the first time he held a hearing on the case, but he said he thought he could be fair and shouldn't have to recuse himself. That was Jordan's time to object. Maybe a judge with absolutely no connections to either side could have taken over.

But Jordan waited till six months after Bigelow's disclosure, when the judge granted a ruling sought by the defense, to ask that Bigelow recuse himself. Jordan's timing gave the impression that he was seeking not impartiality but a referee who wouldn't rule against him, and his office's request for a new judge was denied.

The Madisons deserve better. We all do. We deserve a non-abusive police force whose officers maintain their heads and properly assess a situation even in times of crisis.

We deserve prosecutors who know not to indict people who've been promised immunity and are careful not to share the things said during grand jury testimony with others.

We need judges who recognize that confidence in the criminal system is eroded when a victim's family believes the judge has even a passing interest in which side prevails in court.

The accused deserve a functioning criminal justice system, too. The state must be made to play by the rules, and Bigelow's ruling is a reminder of that. Even if prosecutors were motivated by the Madisons' great anguish over Ronald Madison's death, they still had an obligation to be careful and methodical, lest their incompetence make a trial impossible and intensify the Madisons' anguish.

This city may be divided between those who support the Madisons and those who support the officers, but both sides should agree that a criminal justice system designed to serve us all isn't doing much for anybody.

Bro. Jarvis De Berry is an awarding winning journalist and editorial writer at the New Orleans Times-Picayune...He along with members of the New Orleans Times-Picayune Staff recently won a Pulitzer Prize for their amazing reporting post-Hurricane Katrina and also for an open letter to Mr.Bush concerning the Hurricane Katrina Fiasco entitled
Dear Mr. President...Bro. De Berry like W.E. A.L.L. B.E.'s founder and Minista of Information R2C2H2 Tha Artivist is an alum of Washington University and The John B. Ervin Scholars Program...Bro. Deberry can be e-mailed at or called at (504) 826-3355

New Orleans Three Years Later: The Numbers Tell The Story!!!

0. Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant – compared to 116,708 homeowners.

0. Number of apartments currently being built to replace the 963 public housing apartments formerly occupied and now demolished at the St. Bernard Housing Development.

0. Amount of data available to evaluate performance of publicly financed privately run charter schools in New Orleans in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years.

.008. Percentage of the rental homes that were supposed to be repaired and occupied by August 2008 which were actually completed and occupied – a total of 82 finished out of 10,000 projected.

1. Rank of New Orleans among U.S. cities in percentage of housing vacant or ruined.

1. Rank of New Orleans among U.S. cities in murders per capita for 2006 and 2007.

4. Number of the 13 City of New Orleans Planning Districts that are at the same risk of flooding as they were before Katrina.

10. Number of apartments being rehabbed so far to replace the 896 apartments formerly occupied and now demolished at the Lafitte Housing Development.

11. Percent of families who have returned to live in Lower Ninth Ward.

17. Percentage increase in wages in the hotel and food industry since before Katrina.

20-25. Years that experts estimate it will take to rebuild the City of New Orleans at current pace.

25. Percent fewer hospitals in metro New Orleans than before Katrina.

32. Percent of the city’s neighborhoods that have fewer than half as many households as they did before Katrina.

36. Percent fewer tons of cargo that move through Port of New Orleans since Katrina.

38. Percent fewer hospital beds in New Orleans since Katrina.

40. Percentage fewer special education students attending publicly funded privately run charter schools than traditional public schools.

41. Number of publicly funded privately run public charter schools in New Orleans out of total of 79 public schools in the city.

43. Percentage of child care available in New Orleans compared to before Katrina.

46. Percentage increase in rents in New Orleans since Katrina.

56. Percentage fewer inpatient psychiatric beds than before Katrina.

80. Percentage fewer public transportation buses now than pre-Katrina.

81. Percentage of homeowners in New Orleans who received insufficient funds to cover the complete costs to repair their homes.

300. Number of National Guard troops still in City of New Orleans.

1080. Days National Guard troops have remained in City of New Orleans.

1250. Number of publicly financed vouchers for children to attend private schools in New Orleans in program’s first year.

6,982. Number of families still living in FEMA trailers in metro New Orleans area.

8,000. Fewer publicly assisted rental apartments planned for New Orleans by federal government.

10,000. Houses demolished in New Orleans since Katrina.

12,000. Number of homeless in New Orleans even after camps of people living under the bridge has been resettled - double the pre-Katrina number.

14,000. Number of displaced families in New Orleans area whose hurricane rental assistance expires March 2009.

32,000. Number of children who have not returned to public school in New Orleans, leaving the public school population less than half what is was pre-Katrina.

39,000. Number of Louisiana homeowners who have applied for federal assistance in repair and rebuilding who have still not received any money.

45,000. Fewer children enrolled in Medicaid public healthcare in New Orleans than pre-Katrina.

46,000. Fewer African American voters in New Orleans in 2007 gubernatorial election than 2003 gubernatorial election.

55,000. Fewer houses receiving mail than before Katrina.

62,000. Fewer people in New Orleans enrolled in Medicaid public healthcare than pre-Katrina.

71,657. Vacant, ruined, unoccupied houses in New Orleans today.

124,000. Fewer people working in metropolitan New Orleans than pre-Katrina.

132,000. Fewer people in New Orleans than before Katrina, according to the City of New Orleans current population estimate of 321,000 in New Orleans.

214,000. Fewer people in New Orleans than before Katrina, according to the U.S. Census Bureau current population estimate of 239,000 in New Orleans.

453,726. Population of New Orleans before Katrina.

320 million. The number trees destroyed in Louisiana and Mississippi by Katrina.

368 million. Dollar losses of five major metro New Orleans hospitals from Katrina through 2007. In 2008, these hospitals expect another $103 million in losses.

1.9 Billion. FEMA dollars scheduled to be available to metro New Orleans for Katrina damages that have not yet been delivered.

2.6 Billion. FEMA dollars scheduled to be available to State of Louisiana for Katrina damages that have not yet been delivered.

Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He can be reached at