Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween in Charlotte: Sarah Palin Meets Obama-cain

"Obama-cain" and "Sarah Palin"
Boardwalk Billy's
Charlotte, N.C.
Halloween, 2008

Note: If you're still undecided about your choice for POTUS, Obamacain won't be helpul.
Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Friday, October 31, 2008


Five North Carolina Presbyterian Church leaders have entered the controversy regarding the Elizabeth Dole for Senate ad casting her opponent Kay Hagan as a godless person who's hoping to erase God from the minds of all her constituents. Pretty nutty stuff.

The faith leaders have issued a statement that says they "take offense at Senator Dole's political ad." According to WSOC-TV [Charlotte], "Sam Roberson of the Presbytery of Charlotte and four other church leaders endorsed the statement. 'Kay Hagan is a faithful member of her local Presbyterian Church. We implore the senator to stop running the ad,' the statement said.

I believe that Elizabeth Dole's refusing to take down this ad, which is basically a lie because she makes the crazy (and blatantly untrue) claim that Ms. Hagan wishes to erase God from Americans' everyday lives, is a death-knell tolling for Dole's chances to win next Tuesday. Hagan is running an ad defending her faith and accusing Dole of bearing false witness against her. I envision a huge pro-Hagan sign


Bill Clinton: "Unless the Wheels Come Off..."

Former President Bill Clinton spoke rather confidently about a likely win for Barack Obama in next Tuesday's Presidential election when he joined Congressional candidate Al Franken at a campaign rally for Franken yesterday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Clinton said, ""Unless the wheels come off, Barack Obama's going to be elected next Tuesday."

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, after praising Barack Obama for his performance during the nation's financial crisis, Clinton asked:
"If [Obama's] all
that great,
why does he need Franken

The answer, [Bill Clinton] said, is to turn back "a radical right-wing philosophy ... You've got to send him [Franken] to the Senate to make sure America doesn't blow this chance" to repudiate the Republicans' governing philosophy.

"[Obama] has a chance to rewrite the 21st century," Clinton said. "Let's go back and do it right this time. In order to do that, he's going to have to get some votes" in the Senate, like Franken's.

Mr. Franken has also had the help of Senator Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in Minnesota recently:

Chuck Hagel Visits "Charlotte Talks" WFAE

Senator Chuck Hagel was a guest of Mike Collins' Charlotte Talks radio show this morning on WFAE [FM]. Here are a few of his statements:

Speaking about the need for the next President to be more open to diplomatic talks:
"Every challenge we face in the world today is connected to our alliances.
We need to engage

Regarding negativity in this Presidential race:

"It's not new. It's just become more sophisticated."
[Reminding listeners of 19th century political vilification of Abe Lincoln when he was cast as an ape.]

About his wife Lilibet's October 7th endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for POTUS, which was played for the listening audience:

"I'm very proud of her. She wrote it herself. She didn't show it to me.
I think what she says is accurate."

[Explaining that he didn't plan to expend political capital in order to make an endorsement himself.]

Youtube version of Mrs. Hagel's endorsement statement in Alexandria, Virginia:

American Blues Vol. 1 by Pete Yorn

Pete Yorn wrote this song on the 4th of July after reading the morning paper and feeling, as so many of us have been feeling, the persistent emotional weight of negativity as each day in America has unfolded only to have a new crisis revealed. A friend of Pete's with an unwavering faith in America decided to make a video and craft the video as a message for people to get out and vote for a change in the direction of the country.

American Blues Vol. 1
Music and lyrics by Pete Yorn

Even those in The Optimists Club
Have a hard time staying in love
18 members of a dying breed
We know what color we bleed
Book drive for the school children
Independence day flag distribution
The general level of pessimism
the worst in almost 30 years
$4-a-gallon gas as jobs get slashed
You love your house?
Now give it back.

Keep beaming through the pledge of allegiance - you aint dead yet
Just disgusted and scared
Living through this mess
This year we are not so sure
Battered and bruised
Young and old
Stable or stone?
Stable or stoned?

It’s happening everywhere we look
Everything’s rehearsed
Should be better
Life’s getting better while the people feel worse
Everyone needs someone to blame
When things don’t go their way

Life’s getting better while the people feel worse
Everyone’s rehearsed
Something new, someone new
People need someone to blame when things don’t go their way
Maybe the price has to be paid
Model American
Take us by the hand
Live through this depression

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Zogby Poll: Catholics Not One-Issue Voters

A recent Zogby Poll shows that most Catholic Americans are not concerned solely with the abortion issue although, if you were to look through media reports, you'd be misled into thinking it was so. What surprised me about the poll results was that, out of only 22% of Catholics who believe abortion should never be permitted, 43% of that group would be willing to vote for a candidate who disagrees with them.

It's disappointing for me, personally, to understand that a majority of Catholics fail to grasp the meaning of the Church's social justice teaching. Only 38% of my fellow Catholics go beyond what I believe is primarily self-interest in order to support governmental policies that would take the poorest of us into consideration. Whether or not Democratic progressives want to hear the truth, the "Joe the Plumber" attitude toward economic policy seems to prevail in the minds of a majority of Catholic swing-voters.

I suppose these poll numbers prove that many Catholics believe, especially in these hard times, that it isn't the "American way" to care so much about the poor in our society and to care/understand enough about faith-based social justice that they will vocally support US government anti-poverty programs.

As someone who supported the anti-poverty platform of John Edwards, who was criticised by many in the American press once he'd put the issue front-and-center in his Presidential campaign, I'm beginning to see what an uphill battle he was fighting.

Another major disappointment for me is seeing that 54% of my fellow Catholics [who attend services at least once each week] are still selfish [in my way of thinking] when it comes to narrowly defining marriage as man-woman only. Then there are the 59% who, in my opinion, are still in the dark ages when it comes to end-of-life issues and say that one who believes that euthanasia should be a legal end-of-life option is a "bad Catholic." Anyone who's seen a loved one suffering with a cancer that has taken its final toll after a long, courageous battle might understand how, years from now, we'll be looking back and asking this about the way we treated end-of-life issues, "What were they thinking?"

Interestingly, the less these Catholics who were polled attended services, the more they leaned toward pro-social justice issues. It causes me to wonder what is missing in the Mass today that would cause so many to feel the way they do about certain political issues.

Love, justice, and mercy were not created by religion, but I've always personally believed that my faith teachings led me to understand the fullness of love, justice, and mercy.

When it comes to the poor and to the suffering, it's quite sobering for me, with my committed hope for finding and supporting political, private, and non-profit solutions to end poverty and suffering at home and around the globe, to realize how few of my fellow Catholics seem to take these teachings to their hearts. I see this as a major opportunity for change in an ever-increasingly interdependent world.

Syracuse, NY - Catholics have been identified by many analysts as a key "swing vote" in the 2008 presidential election. As the candidates spend the final week of the campaign focused on encouraging turnout, the Le Moyne College/Zogby International Contemporary Catholic Trends (CCT) project polled a sample of U.S. Catholics to find out what motivates their voting decisions.

The prevalence of news stories about the Catholic vote and abortion suggests that this issue trumps all others for Catholics. The latest Le Moyne/Zogby CCT poll does not support this perception, as 29% of Catholics say they would be unlikely to vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on abortion rights, but with whom they agreed "on all issues except for abortion." [..]

Asked about personal abortion attitudes, 22% of respondents say abortion should never be permitted, and of this group 57% say they would be unlikely to vote for a candidate who disagrees with them. 18% of Catholics say abortion should be allowed "as a matter of personal choice," and of these Catholics 21% say they would be unlikely to vote for a candidate who disagrees with them. According to Dr. Matt Loveland, Le Moyne sociologist and CCT Principal Investigator, "In essence, less than a third of Catholic voters appear to vote solely on abortion attitudes, but those who do tend to favor 'pro-life' candidates. Abortion attitudes point to important identity issues for some Catholics. Some would say a 'real' Catholic could never vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights." Addressing this question, the poll found that 44% of Catholics believe "a good Catholic" could not vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights, but that 53% say a good Catholic could.

What other issues matter to Catholics?

A key Catholic social teaching is the Preferential Option for the Poor, which holds that a just society is one that privileges the poor over those who are better off economically. U.S. politicians, however, take pains to demonstrate their concern for the 'middle class.' How well do these potentially competing positions play with American Catholics? In the October Le Moyne/Zogby CCT survey, 38% of Catholics agree, somewhat or strongly, that government policies should privilege the interests of the poorest Americans over those in the middle and upper classes, but 4% are undecided and 58% disagree. "Church teaching on this issue seems to run counter to recent popular sentiment against 'spreading the wealth,' but it looks like many lay Catholics agree with 'Joe the Plumber' on this issue," said Dr. Loveland.

The poll also covered other issues about which the U.S. Bishops have written, asking about them in the context of what it means to be "a good Catholic." Majorities agree that good Catholics can vote for candidates who support embryonic stem cell research (60%), the death penalty (55%), and can vote for a divorced candidate (77%). On the other hand, majorities say that good Catholics should not vote for candidates who support same-sex marriage (54%), euthanasia (59%), and human cloning (76%). Interestingly, those who attend Mass at least weekly differ from those who attend less frequently on each of these issues - they are less likely to agree that "good Catholics" can vote for such candidates.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Obama Landslide Victory?

"Should all signs on Tuesday point to an Obama landslide, news directors say they will have no choice but to report the obvious."

- From a Reuters/NYT article "U.S. Media Ready For Possible Early Election Outcome " October 28, 2008

Bono Speaks to CA Women's Conference

"In the globalized world, Africa is our neighbor."

"Women care more because women bear more....."

"Your country isn't just a geographical location. Your country is an idea...and it's a great idea."

Other Youtube captures of the speech:
Part One
Part Two

Social Networking Sites "Good For Businesses"

Excerpts from Reuters/NYT article:
[..] Good news for workers addicted to Facebook, Bebo and MySpace -- a British think-tank says bosses should not stop their staff using social networking sites because they could actually benefit their firms.

The report by Demos said encouraging employees to use networking technologies to build relationships and closer links with colleagues and customers could help businesses rather than damage them.

[..] Robert Ainger, Corporate Director of Orange Business which co-produced the report, said it would be wrong of businesses to ignore the importance of networking in the current economic climate.

"The report points out that the value of networking within an economic downturn is perhaps more important than ever and I believe it could mean the difference between a business collapsing or capitalizing on the tricky conditions," he said.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Harry Taylor Endorsed by Humpy Wheeler [NC-9]

Harry Taylor, Humpy Wheeler, and Leilani Münter
On October 27th, candidate for US Congress Harry Taylor [NC-9] was endorsed by NASCAR icon Humpy Wheeler and by race car driver/environmental activist Leilani Münter at Thompson Park in Charlotte, N.C.

Harry Taylor for U.S. Congress
Harry played his banjo for rally attendees

photos and video by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Sunday, October 26, 2008

McCain Sounds Like He's Scolding Colin Powell

After being shown an obviously racist comment by Rush Limbaugh about Colin Powell's endorsement of Sen. Obama on this morning's Meet the Press, Sen. John McCain said he was disappointed in Colin Powell [sounding like a father scolding a child]. I can understand how Powell's decision may have made McCain sad, but I think you can express the feeling about the decision without referring to the person as a disappointment. If Powell made an informed decision to endorse a candidate, no one should be disppointed in him, should they?

Disinvited Blogger Thinks She Was Right 4 Yrs Ago

Four years ago the LA Times suggested that I may have been disinvited [credentials revoked] from blogging the 2004 Democratic convention because of this statement, borne of my own intuition about the nature of al Qaeda:

"Bush is al-Qaeda’s choice for American President."
Jude Nagurney Camwell writing on Iddybud (

The newspaper had prefaced this with the following statement:

[..] the Democrats won’t release a list of whom they’ve accredited – or de-accredited – it’s hard to draw definitive conclusions. But we’ve pulled some excerpts from the blogs of both those who say they have credentials and those who say their credentials were yanked. See if you can tell which are which.

A hint: You can go with your gut most – but not all – of the time.

The LA Times asked people to "go with their gut" .. while insinuating that I - in going with my gut - got me disinvited from the Democratic convention.

In today's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof is talking about the fact that John McCain is al Qaeda's choice for President.
Go figure.

It turns out that my intuition was pretty darn good, even though the LA Times believed that my own party saw me as an over-the-topper at the time.

I don't like revisiting the years when the Democratic center allowed itself to be cowed by the GOP-promoted fear of looking anti-American. It did none of us any good to hide our feelings about the actions and policies of the President with the lowest public popularity ratings ever seen and [arguably] the poorest performance record for Presidents in U.S. history.