Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him too

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Next President of the United States

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President-Elect Obama takes the stage.

I’m a Godless Atheist, and I Vote

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I’m a Godless Atheist, and I vote: Elizabeth Dole desperately wants me to vote for Kay Hagan. (Done.)

Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s latest advertisement suggests her Democratic opponent, Kay Hagan, is a godless heathen.

“A leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a secret fundraiser for Kay Hagan,” the 30-second spot says, showing footage of the group’s members talking about their atheist beliefs on cable news.

“Godless Americans and Kay Hagan. She hid from cameras. Took godless money,” the ad concludes. “What did Kay Hagan promise in return?”

At the very end of the ad, a voice sounding like Hagan’s says: “There is no God.”

Don’t get too excited, fellow heathens: as Washington Monthly reports, Hagan called a press conference with her family and pastor to denounce the ad—for lying. Like calling your opponent a Muslim, calling your opponent an atheist is prima facie an insult. God forbid it actually be true!

X the Y

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In addition to being very funny, this Colbert segment on Joe the Plumber and the new proliferation of X the Ys within McCain/Palin speeches was the moment I finally realized that the point of all this is just to remind people Barack Obama has a funny name.

I admit I can be a little slow on the uptake with stuff like this.

His Name Was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and He Was an American

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Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That’s not America. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that he is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel particularly strong about this because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay, was of a mother at Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone, and it gave his awards – Purple Heart, Bronze Star – showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death, he was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the head stone, it didn’t have a Christian cross. It didn’t have a Star of David. It has a crescent and star of the Islamic faith.

And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could serve his country and he gave his life.

(via Huffington Post)

‘This Is What A Culture War Looks Like’

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Shankar D: “This Is What A Culture War Looks Like.”

After Wednesday night’s RNC proceedings, the contrast between Senator Obama’s calls to unity and the GOP’s calls to cultural warfare couldn’t be clearer.

Quik Lynx

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Quik lynx.

* Is Obama too skinny to be president? Once again, the media outdoes itself.

* The newspaper crisis comes home to Northern Jersey—the Star-Ledger has announced a large-scale buy-out offer for employees, with the threat of a sale if costs are not cut.

* The Antikythera Mechanism has been decoded: it was apparently a Olympic calendar and solar-eclipse predictor.

* Episode Synopses for the Never-Aired TV Cop Drama Razor and Smith.

* The Sci-Fi Rejection Letter That Time Forgot.

* And I’ve linked to a lot of these before, but it’s neat to see them all in one place: retro posters for sci-fi travel destinations.

The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too

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Very good news from Iowa tonight for Obama supporters as Barack takes Iowa by a solid margin (at the moment it’s just about 7%). The turnout is the other huge story tonight—the Obama campaign is claiming over 200,000 people turned out, which if true is approximately twice the participation in 2004.

That the Republicans decided to go with Hucklebee is just the icing on the cake.

I already spoke a little bit today about the reasons why I support Obama, reasons I find echoed in this piece Bill Simmon sent me from the Carpetbagger Report.

So in honor of this historic occasion, let’s just skip all that and go back in time instead to the moment that started it all:

The site is long gone now, but I just checked my personal archives for the post I wrote on Three Guys after the speech in 2004. Here’s what I had to say back then:

BARACK OBAMA: GODDAMN.

That man really is going to be president.

But as usual it’s my good friend Shankar D who’s worth listening to:

Obama gave a simply great speech that will, I believe, be remembered for a very long time. Like Clinton, he evoked a belief in the essential unity of the American people, but with much more powerful rhetoric and moving imagery. It was a much-needed clarion call at a time when ideologues on both sides of the aisle seem to relish and cherish the cultural boundaries that separate us from each other. A call that had no more fitting author than a man whose very existence bridges that gap.

But for progressives, it should be remembered for more than that. In those powerful final paragraphs, Obama premised his call for unity on the fundamentally liberal ideals of brotherhood and compassion.

For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that we are connected as one people. If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandmother. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It’s that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

Martin Luther King Jr. is smiling from above, I suspect, at this young black man giving life to the abstract notion that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

By weaving this old-fashioned liberalism together with an embrace of the principles and people of “the other side” – individualism, a pragmatic view of government’s role, and an embrace of our Red State brethren – Obama fused the promise of the left with the promise of America.

The drunken reverie of the moment will undoubtedly wear off. But tonight, I feel a renewed sense of hope about the possibility of a New Liberalism that accounts for the poor, the isolated, and the marginalized in a way that brings us together, rather than pushes us apart. Idealism will always have to confront the reality of politics and life itself, but great leadership is its surest steward. And if nothing else, I am hopeful tonight about the future leadership of this country. Such is, I suppose, the audacity of hope.