Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Obama's Hawaiian Christmas to be followed by quiet island New Year - CNN

President-elect Barack Obama will ring in the New Year quietly at the rental home in Hawaii, according to transition spokesman Ben LaBolt. “The Obama family is staying in Kailua, celebrating with friends,” LaBolt said, referring to he part of the island of Oahu where the family has been staying for nearly two weeks.

The Obamas are planning to move into a DC hotel this weekend.
The Obama family (above: the president-elect with daughters Malia and Sasha) will have a quiet New Year’s celebration as their vacation draws to a close.

The Obama family (above: the president-elect with daughters Malia and Sasha) will have a quiet New Year’s celebration as their vacation draws to a close

CNN Poll: Obama leadership rates high as Bush's after 9/11

A national poll suggests that three-quarters of the public thinks President-elect Barack Obama is a strong and decisive leader, the highest marks for a president-elect on that characteristic in nearly three decades.

Seventy-six percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday said Obama is a strong and decisive leader.

"That's the best number an incoming president has gotten on that dimension since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The public's rating of his leadership skills is already as high as George W. Bush's was after 9/11 and easily beats the numbers that both Bush and Bill Clinton got at the start of their first terms in office."

Just six in 10 felt that Bush was a strong leader when he took office in 2001. After the attacks of September 11, that number rose to three in four. Sixty-seven percent thought Bill Clinton was a strong leader when he took office in January 1993.

Eight in ten Americans said Obama inspires confidence, can get things done and is tough enough to be president, three characteristics Americans look for in a leader and the three qualities on which Obama got his highest scores.

He also gets higher marks than Bush did in 2001 on honesty, values, issues, management abilities and compassion.

The 67 percent of those polled who say they admire Obama -- his worst score -- is roughly the same as the highest that Bush got on a similar battery of questions just after he took office in 2001.

"But it is Obama's ability to inspire confidence and the perception that he is tough enough for the job that may be most important for him as the country faces fresh challenges abroad and a historically harsh economic downturn," Holland said.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey was conducted December 19-21, with 1,013 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

But while Bush enjoyed high approval ratings in his first term, things dramatically changed over his eight years in office.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released December 26 showed that 75 percent of those surveyed were happy to see Bush leave office.

"Earlier this year, Bush scored some of the lowest presidential approval ratings we've seen in half a century, so it's understandable that the public is eager for a new president to step in," Holland said.

CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider added, "As President Bush prepares to leave office, the American public has a parting thought: Good riddance. At least that's the way three-quarters feel."

A new poll shows that President-elect Barack Obama is viewed as a strong, confident leader.
A new poll shows that President-elect Barack Obama is viewed as a strong, confident leader.

The portion who say they won't miss Bush is 24 percentage points higher than the 51 percent who said they wouldn't miss Bill Clinton when he left office in January 2001. Forty-five percent of those questioned at that time said they would miss Clinton.

The poll indicated that Bush compares poorly with his presidential predecessors, with 28 percent saying he's the worst ever. Forty percent rate Bush's presidency as poor, and 31 percent say he's been a good president.

Only a third of those polled said they want Bush to remain active in public life after he leaves the White House. That 33 percent figure is 22 points lower than those in 2001 who wanted Clinton to retain a public role.

"It's been like a failed marriage," Schneider said.

The December 26 poll was conducted December 19-21, with 1,013 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Clintons to ring in the New Year in Times Square - CNN

Bill and Hillary Clinton will celebrate the end of the year in the heart of a city just as happy as they are to see the tail end of 2008, joining New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to watch the crystal ball drop in Times Square tonight.

The former president and the secretary of state-designate share more with the mayor than an adopted hometown: former Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson has signed on to advise Bloomberg during his re-election bid.

Neither Clinton has ever endorsed Bloomberg, who was often a Wolfson target during past election cycles.

2008 didn’t go quite as planned for either Clinton.

2008 didn’t go quite as planned for either Clinton.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Powell Aide Calls Bush "Sarah Palin-Like President" - The Huffington Post

In its "Oral History of the Bush White House," Vanity Fair hears from Lawrence Wilkerson. The former top aide to Colin Powell compares our current president to none other than Sarah Palin:

Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell: We had this confluence of characters--and I use that term very carefully--that included people like Powell, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and so forth, which allowed one perception to be "the dream team." It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like president--because, let's face it, that's what he was--was going to be protected by this national- security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire. What in effect happened was that a very astute, probably the most astute, bureaucratic entrepreneur I've ever run into in my life became the vice president of the United States.

Spencer Ackerman asks whether this comparison is more insulting to Bush or to Palin. Matthew Yglesias says its no contest:

I'm going to say "more insulting to Palin." Palin's something of a laughingstock, but Bush is a villain. I mean, he wrecked the world economy, he led to millions of Iraqis being forced to flee their homes, he's a total disaster and a disgrace. Palin gave bad answers in TV interviews. There's no real comparison.

Sarah Palin, VP nominee of 2008 Presidential Election

Steve Benen counters that Palin hasn't had her chance:

[I]f we put aside the question of corollaries and consider Bush's and Palin's characteristics as politicians and would-be leaders, the comparison isn't too far-fetched. Both were out of their depth seeking national office, both are strikingly uninformed, both suffer from an eerie misguided confidence, and both seem to consider policy details as minor annoyances to be ignored.


Sure, Palin wasn't able to do serious national (and international) damage, but isn't it fair to say both she and Bush are cut from the same cloth?

Obama family to move to DC this weekend - CNN

The Obama family is planning to move to Washington this weekend, say two transition officials. “They will stay at a Washington hotel through the 15th and then they will move into the Blair House,” said the first official.

President-elect Barack Obama and wife Michelle are coming to DC early in part to be there for the beginning of school for daughters Malia and Sasha, but will not specify which day that will be.

The officials also note that the President-elect will be in Washington to “continue work on an economic recovery plan.” Democratic officials have previously said they’re expecting the Obama team to get the economic recovery plan to the Hill the first week of January.
The Obamas are moving early in part so daughters Malia and Sasha, above, can start school on time.

The Obamas are moving early in part so daughters Malia and Sasha, above, can start school on time.

Inauguration 2009: Your Ticket to History

Earlier today, campaign manager David Plouffe sent out a message announcing a special opportunity for supporters to attend the January 20th Presidential Inauguration:

Your ticket to history

Barack Obama will be sworn in as President of the United States of America on January 20th, 2009.

It will be an unprecedented event in the history of our country, and hundreds of thousands of people will come together in Washington, D.C. to share the moment.

Supporters like you made this happen. You know that real change comes from the bottom up, not from the top down, and Barack and Joe want you to join them on this historic day. They want to start off this administration with the people who worked so hard and will continue to fight for change with them.

Between now and January 8th, 10 supporters and their guests will be selected to join the Inaugural activities.

If you make a donation -- in any amount -- to make the Inauguration a success, you and a guest could be flown to Washington, D.C., put up in a hotel, and be there as Barack is sworn in as the 44th President.

Unlike past inaugurations, this year's event will not be paid for by Washington lobbyists or corporations.

This campaign was funded by 4 million ordinary people giving only what they could afford, and Barack and Joe are counting on you again. Help start this administration off right -- independent of the special interest donors who have shaped Washington for too long.

This Inauguration will be open to as many Americans as possible. We'll all come together to celebrate the hope and optimism that define this movement for change.

But you could be one of 10 selected to join us in Washington for all Inaugural events. Any donation you make between now and January 8th counts -- whatever you can afford.

The Inauguration will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. I hope you can join us.

Thank you,

David

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Please Donate

Video: "The Road to the White House"

In case you missed it or would like to see it again, here's the full "The Road to the White House" feature from last night's 60 Minutes:

The hour long program looks back at Barack Obama's historic journey to the White House, including behind the scenes footage and interviews. Over the next few days, we'll have our own look back at some of the highlights of the campaign as we close in on the new year.

Trial of Iraqi shoe thrower delayed - CNN

The trial of an Iraqi journalist charged with throwing his shoes at U.S. President George Bush has been postponed, Iraq's Council of Ministers and one of the journalist's lawyers said Tuesday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tried to block one of the shoes thrown at President Bush earlier this month during Bush's visit to Baghdad.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tried to block one of the shoes thrown at President Bush earlier this month during Bush's visit to Baghdad.

Muntadhir Al-Zaidi was due to go on trial Wednesday, but the Criminal Court postponed it pending an appeal filed by his lawyers with the Federal Court of Appeal, a spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, Abdul Sattar Bayrakdar, said.

Dhiya al-Saadi, who leads Al-Zaidi's 25-member legal team, confirmed the postponement.

Al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at Bush two weeks ago during a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad. Neither shoe hit the president, and others in the room quickly knocked Al-Zaidi to the ground before security officials arrested him.

Many Iraqis hail Al-Zaidi, who faces a prison term if convicted, as a hero. More than 1,000 lawyers have volunteered to defend him, al-Saadi said.

The lawyers' appeal asked the Federal Court to change Al-Zaidi's case from assaulting Bush to insulting him. If Al-Zaidi is convicted of the former, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, al-Saadi said.

The lawyers are trying to persuade the appeals court that Al-Zaidi did not want to harm Bush by throwing the shoes, but simply wanted to insult him. By tradition, throwing a shoe is the most insulting act in the Arab world.

Al-Saadi said he met with his client several days ago but was having difficulty meeting with him again. He did not give the reason he was not allowed to see Al-Zaidi but said many lawyers have trouble meeting with detainees in Iraqi or U.S. custody.

It will take at least two weeks for the court to set a new date for Al-Zaidi's trial, legal expert Tariz Harab said.

Franken leads but fighting lingers in Minnesota recount - CNN

Democrat Al Franken maintained his slim lead of 50 votes Tuesday as Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the state canvassing board allocated the remainder of what was approximately 6,000 ballots that had — at one point or another — been challenged by both campaigns.

"If there are any nits to be picked, they've been picked," said board member and Minnesota State Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson as the board adjourned.

In a statement, Franken himself said, "As it appears that we're on track to win, I want Minnesotans to know that I'm ready to get to work for them in Washington on day one."

Coleman campaign attorney Tony Trimble called Franken's double digit lead "artificial" and maintained there is still a long way to go in the counting process, specifically because a large number of improperly rejected absentee ballots have yet to be tallied.

But the process is far from over. The battle over which absentee ballots should be included in the mix has the makings of a brutal fight.

As outlined by the State Supreme Court, both campaigns and local election officials must agree on the ballots that were improperly rejected before the canvassing board can open and count them. Ballots that are rejected improperly are typically done so due to a clerical error or something similar.

Local elections officials have come up with a list of about 1,350 ballots that they say were accidentally rejected. Franken campaign representatives have said all of those should be counted.

Coleman reps say only about half of those should be considered but they've also identified about 600 more ballots that they say were not tagged by local officials but that were also rejected in error. Coleman's Tony Trimble admitted many of these 600 are from Coleman heavy areas but maintained that was just "coincidence."

Based on the court's ruling, the campaigns must agree before anything can be counted or, according to their decision, sanctions would be leavened. Exactly what those sanctions may be remains to be seen. The deadline to hand those envelopes over to the board is this Friday, but there is some doubt over whether that will happen or not.

Franken holds a narrow edge over Norm Coleman as counting continues.

Franken holds a narrow edge over Norm Coleman as counting continues.

Ritchie said he hopes a result can be certified in a "timely" fashion. If his estimation holds accurate over the course of the week, a result could be certified as early as Monday evening, however, the board has also reserved time on Tuesday, January 6 to review the rejected ballots, as well. Incidentally, January 6 is the day the new Congress is set to be sworn in.

Another issue the Coleman campaign is focusing on is whether or not approximately 150 ballots were accidentally double counted. Trimble has maintained for weeks now that wrongly-handled duplicate ballots exist. The canvassing board decided it was not an issue that they as a body should consider. The State Supreme Court heard the Coleman arguments and did not grant them relief. The option is still on the table for further legal action.

Inauguration organizers describe day-long endurance test - CNN Political Ticker

There are still a host of question marks around next month’s inauguration festivities, but one thing is undeniable: the day may be geared less to your average middle schooler, and more to a field-tested U.S. Marine.

In the latest blunt advisory released Monday, the presidential inaugural committee said ticket-holders for President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony will need to arrive no fewer than three hours before the outdoor ceremony’s scheduled 11:30 a.m. start time.

But getting there in the first place poses a logistical challenge that’s not for the faint of heart or limb. Despite a new plan to turn big sections of the city into parking lots for charter buses and a peak rush hour schedule plan for the city’s Metro system, most cars and buses are unlikely to be allowed to enter the city, let alone the designated two-mile security zone around the swearing-in site.

Metro officials warn that riders will be underground with “thousands” of fellow visitors – meaning that even those lucky enough to make it onto the platform will face lengthy wait times before they see the inside of a packed train car.

Attendees forced to abandon their cars for mass transit might want to start a Stairmaster schedule now: transportation officials have warned that capacity crowds may force them to turn off the system’s escalators – making the trip back above ground an ambitious workout.

If all the dire predictions are tempting visitors to swear off transportation altogether in favor of an old-fashioned hike – well, that’s sort of the point. Officials are advising everyone within two miles of the Capitol – and those from further points who are up for the trek — to walk to the site.

Of course, not everyone is in any condition for a miles-long slog through East Coast January weather. But organizers warned Monday that “traffic conditions and restrictions” may make reaching drop-off points for disabled guests “extremely difficult.”

“There will be designated areas for people with disabilities in each of the ticketed seating areas on the Capitol grounds, however these areas are limited in size and available on a first-come first-served basis,” read the advisory. “Persons in wheelchairs or utilizing walkers should be aware that they will need to move across bumpy surfaces, grassy areas, and possible icy areas (depending on the weather).”

Preparations are non-stop for the January 20 event.

Preparations are non-stop for the January 20 event.

Those worried about how their child may handle the hike might want to leave them behind: strollers are unwelcome altogether. And everyone might want to cross their fingers for a dry day — umbrellas are verboten too.

If you’ve overestimated your own toughness, don’t count on being able to call for help: “Be aware that it may be difficult to talk” because of an overloaded communication system. “Please use text messaging to send critical messages.”

Worried about your ability to handle the day-long endurance test? So’s the inaugural committee. “Please think carefully about whether you can stand outside in cold weather in a large crowd for up to six hours” — and “whether you are ready for long delays getting home afterwards,” they said.

Officials have said they expect 1-2 million visitors to travel to the National Mall on Inauguration Day.

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Adriana Paire
Hello Barack, realy are you the new Mr. President?.
I am Adriana, i´m argentina, but live with my family in Spain, in valladolid.
Congratulation, you, only you can help the crisis in the world.
YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Tanya Anderson
Looking forward to January 20th to finally wake up from this Nightmare of an Economy we have thanks to Bush.

Ricardo Cruz
HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA OPERATION S.T.O.M.P. IS HERE TO SERVE YOUR
ADMINISTRATION: cybercops2004@aol.com

Maria Alexander
Barack, I am behind you 100%. You are a shining star for this country. You have set the stage for our recovery as a nation. You have a monumental challenge in front of you. You can do it, we can do it!

Ellen Considine

While traveling in Amsterdam in November, the Dutch
were very excited about our new President-Elect! People
everywhere were very hopeful and enthusiastic!

Mariama Thullah
MR PRESIDENT ELECT PLEASE DON'T LET THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY STRESS YOU UP, BECAUSE GOD IS NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU A BURDEN THAT YOU CANNOT CARRY HE HAS A REASON FOR ELECTING YOU AND YOU SHALL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME IN FRONT OF THE WORLD. ALL YOURS WORRIES AND PROBLEMS SHALL COME TO PAST.WE WILL ALL MOURN THE LOST OF YOUR GRANDMOTHER BUT ... ALSO THINK ABOUT IT AND SMILE BECAUSE GOD DOESN'T PUT TWO GREAT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD AT THE SAMETIME ONE HAS TO PAVE THE WAY FOR ANOTHER.CHRISTMAS WISHES FOR A JOYFUL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION!

New England Equine Rescues
Dear Mr President Elect ... what a joy watching your path unfold... My mother would have been so proud of you!... (: I have great hope, and look forward to the future.

All of our horses have crossed their hooves in hopes that you will stop letting the bad men send them to Canada and Mexico to be be butchered! Please help to save the greatest ... symbol of freedom that our country has ever known...ask your daughters what they think about slaughtering horses... they won't like it! Girls LOVE horses... (well, until they discover BOYS!:)

Anyhow... good luck, you ROCK, and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE find the time to shut down the scum that kill our beautiful and beloved horses.

Thank you.

Beth of NEER (:
www.newenglandequinerescues.com


Willem Beukes
BARACK OBAMA IS THE CHOSEN MAN TO LEAD THE NEW WORLD ORDER EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY

Driton Lajçi
I hope and belive that President Obama and VP Joe won't leave Kosovo and Southeastern Europe. They have huge number of fans in Kosovo. Its the square named Bill Clinton, it's going to be name of one road George Bush and I'm sure president Obama will continue to support the newborn country Kosovo.

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Joel Love
Mr. President-Elect, Please visit the above site and read another poem composed by Joel in your honnor. Click on the Inspirational poetry link and read "Lula's inspiration" And thanks forthe special response to the poem "hope" in Jackson. Joe

Allyssa Stevens
As the first State in the nation to put your name on the Board in this election - feel free to come visit us! My sons 2nd grade class at Christ the King catholic school fought for their right to vote in the schools election and won with their 2nd GRADE SUFFRAGE campaign! They would love to have YOU come visit them! Anytime, you are welcome!
My son would love to tell you about his grandpa Bill who was a hostage in Tehran and the love & understanding that needs to be spread around the world, not hte hatred.
Come on up to the beautiful state of Vermont - just voted healthiest in the nation!
Allyssa - Proud supporter!

M Irfan Ab

I am the person who has long since become president obama hope USA. What can I get an invitation inauguration Obama?

Nanda Nurita Sari
Dear Barry n Joe
how are you sir? I know its near for you to handle the big,and verry big country.congratulation...p
lease Om Barry n Joe to stop the war in Palestina.i really d0nt like istrael militery action.its n0t go0d...thanks for reading my msg

Barb Hett - Health Care
I am now having to look for insurance because my cobra runs out as of mar 31, 2009. The problem I am having is that I have had breast cancer 8 years ago and if I change to another company there is a waiting period of at least 6 months and I have a pre-existing health problem. If I stay with the same company BCBS I still have to fill out an application and reply for the same coverage I have had for the last 30 years. This does not make any sense to me or my husband. ND has a monopoly insurance company that no body likes but has to deal with. Please help the people of the US with the same problem as I have. I am a business owner from a small town in northern ND. Thank you, Barb Hett.

Dom Kila
Mahalo President-Elect Obama for waiting out the electrical blackout like most of Oahu did on Friday night. It showed solidarity with the people of Hawaii.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sarah Palin is a Grandmother, Already. At 44 Years of age!

News is reported by http://chattahbox.com/entertainment/2008/12/29/bristol-palin-gives-birth-to-a-son/.
Enjoy
, if you are a teen age mother, please click here go to our home page, don't read anything below. Thanks!

Sarah Palin is a Grandmother, Already. At 44 Years of age!

Sarah Palin is a Grandmother, Already. At 44 Years of age
Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston -- daughter of Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter Bristol and Levi Johnston -- was born yesterday, and, as far as anybody knows, has no immediate plans to run for higher office in the near future...

Bristol Palin, the 18-year-old daughter of former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, gave birth on Sunday to a healthy 7 lb., 4 oz., baby boy in Palmer, Alaska. Nice, at least now that McCain can run again with a different VP for 2012 presidential election because he does not have to defend qualifications of a grandmother. May be Joe the Plumber(plummer with incorrect spellings) would be a nice candidate. He he has to do is to he is not applalled by McCain's campaing in 2008

"We think it's wonderful," said Colleen Jones, the sister of Bristol's grandmother Sally Heath, who confirmed the news. "The baby is fine and Bristol is doing well. Everyone is excited." Oh yeh. Everybody is excited about the fact that Palin helped McCain lost the 2008 presidential campaign. Bristol Palin is also helped very well by turning away many independent voters by hitting them with her ball (or bomb).

Can you believe that? Baby Tripp has been out of his mother's womb for a full day now and has not yet consented to a single press conference or major interview! What do the Palins/Johnstons have to hide?

Oh, and let me know when it's time to start wondering whether or not Bristol is the actual mother of baby Tripp. Does anyone know for certain that Tripp is not actually the child of six-year-old Piper?Hope that Piper won't get pregnanat, untill at least 10 years old.

-Blog by Tomas Adams

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Budi Hartono Salim
I hope u can recovery economic,stop war,make a peace,

New England Equine Rescues
PLEASE ask Barack and Joe to do SOMETHING about the transport of US Horses to Canada and Mexico... PLEASE!!... 100,000 horses meet a brutal and disgusting and painful death at the Canadian slaughter plants...and WORSE: the Mexico slaughter plants, where they are stabbed to death with knives! Nevermind all the agony they must go through just to get there! ):

PLEASE HELP!!!!!

Martin Lubinda Simasiku
Hello Mr President!
First and foremost ,I would like to congratulate you on your immeasurable success!The hope that we had long awaited for,has finally come!
I want to wish you a merry xmas and a happy and of course prosperous new year.
Im a student at the University of zambia and i want you to know you are one of my mentors!!And of course,a friend!
Stay Blessed Mr President!!!

Voices for Change - Lotus Golden

Voices for Change.

aloha Barack,

I would love to be included as a future friend of you and your family. My dream job is to become Michelle's personal trainer. I have been a certified fitness instructor/personal trainer/ and consultant since 1992 and love helping people get fit. I do especially well with women. I moved to the big island in 1998, to compete in the Hawaii Ironman National Championships, and have lived in kona, hi ever since. I have competed in 5 Hawaii Ironmans and over a dozen assorted marathons, but my first love is in helping people get fit -

I want you to know that you are the first person that I ever voted for with my whole heart and soul. I cried and cried and cried when I saw you and your family walk out onto the stage .... now I am reading your book on your family and personal history, and love the way you write.... peace be with your every step,

aloha always,
Lotus Golden

Voices for Change - Lorie Grimes-Beall

Voices for Change.

Hi, I have been in child support California almost 20 years and for last several years, even tho' she may be 'republican' Margot Bean has had an exemplary heading Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Administration featuring "culture of civility"; she is approachable and has good policies toward diverse cultures, low income persons, etc. I strongly recommend keeping her in the OCSE position and/or promoting her (Note: contrarily, my local child support office in Alameda County, CA formerly had great leaders now retired or deceased, but is currently under siege by poor management, withholding information, abuse of power, not growing leaders, and lack of succession planning.) However, I think Margot Bean would be the type of federal leader I might approach if this isn't soon resolved. I discussed our problem briefly with her at a NCSEA Conference San Francisco, August 2008, and she seemed appalled that one of our senior managers had 'frozen out' target employees. Margot is an intelligent compassionate person. Sincerely, Lorie Grimes-Beall

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Power cut darkens Obama's vacation island - http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/12/27/obama-outage.html

The Hawaiian island of Oahu, where U.S.-president-elect Barack Obama is on holiday, was plunged into darkness because of a power outage Friday night.

A civil defence official said it's possible a lightning strike on a transformer during a thunderstorm was responsible for cutting electricity to 900,000 people around 7 p.m. local time.

By early Saturday, crews had managed to restore electrical service across many parts of Oahu after the island-wide power failure.

Residents had been urged to stay home after the lights went out and to conserve water.

The Hawaiian Electric Company said by 7 a.m. local time Saturday, power had been restored to about half of its customers affected by the outage.

Obama, his wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha, are staying in a $9-million US single-storey oceanfront home in Kailua, north of Honolulu, the Hawaiian capital, where the president-elect grew up.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the rented compound has three generators and that Obama sent a message during the outage indicating he was fine and didn't need anything.

To Learn more, go to http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/12/27/obama-outage.html. Don't worry, Barack is Okay.

Send him your wishes at http://barackobama-2012.blogspot.com/2008/12/person-of-year.html

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Elie Hosansky
France loves you "Monsieur Obama" happy frenchy new year, and don't forget to call Mr Sarkozy for the new year!

Lucio Bruno
marry christmas and happy new year Mr. President

Angela Wilkinson
"Congratulations and good luck in your new house!"

Michael B Ulanday
"Merry christmas Mr.president my wife and I wish that we could join you in Hawaii"

Barbara Vaclavik
"Canada loves you, Barack n' Joe! God speed."

Voices for Change - Cris Bisch

Voices for Change.

Dear President-Elect Barack Obama. Even if Time Magazine hadn't picked you to be their Person of The Year, you are my pick! Congratulations to you and your family for this honor and the honor to serve the American People as the next President of the United States! We can hardly wait until Inauguration Day, January 20th to make this official. We pray for you and your family, and will continue to keep you in our prayers are you go forward to lead us forward with a new administration and vision. May you have God's divine wisdom, guidance and protection in the days and years ahead.

Poll: 75% glad Bush is done - CNN News

A new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans feel President Bush's departure from office is coming not a moment too soon.

Seventy-five percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Friday said they're glad Bush is going; 23 percent indicated they'll miss him.

"Earlier this year, Bush scored some of the lowest presidential approval ratings we've seen in half a century, so it's understandable that the public is eager for a new president to step in," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director.

CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider added, "As President Bush prepares to leave office, the American public has a parting thought: Good riddance. At least that's the way three-quarters feel."

The portion who say they won't miss Bush is 24 percentage points higher than the 51 percent who said they wouldn't miss President Bill Clinton when he left office in January 2001. Forty-five percent of those questioned at that time said they would miss Clinton.

The poll indicates that Bush compares poorly with his presidential predecessors, with 28 percent saying that he's the worst ever. Forty percent rate Bush's presidency as poor, and 31 percent say he's been a good president.

Only a third of those polled said they want Bush to remain active in public life after he leaves the White House. That 33 percent figure is 22 points lower than those in 2001 who wanted Bill Clinton to retain a public role.

Twenty-eight percent of those polled say President Bush is the worst president in U.S. history.
Twenty-eight percent of those polled say President Bush is the worst president in U.S. history.

"It's been like a failed marriage," Schneider said.

"Things started out well. When President Bush first took office in 2001, more than 60 percent saw him as strong and decisive. That impression was confirmed after the September 11th attacks. The public still saw Bush as strong and decisive when he took office a second time in 2005.

"But no more. The public has completely lost confidence in this president," Schneider said.

Bush has dropped on a number of measures, but possibly the biggest is that only 20 percent say he inspires confidence, Holland said.

"That's an important figure when the country is facing its biggest economic crisis in a generation," he added.

When running for the White House in the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush promised to be a uniter and not a divider. But 82 percent of poll respondents felt that Bush did not unite the country, compared with 17 percent who said he did.

"The vast majority of Americans believe he betrayed his promise to unite the country," Schneider said. "He took a country that was divided under President Clinton and he divided it worse."

Only 27 percent of those questioned in the poll approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president; 72 percent disapprove.

"President Bush's job approval rating has been at or below freezing since the beginning of the year," Schneider said. "The current 27 percent approval rating is one of the lowest ratings for any president, ever."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted December 19-21, with 1,013 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Obama gives the press the slip - CNN

President-elect Barack Obama slipped away Friday from the traveling press pool that follows him wherever he goes, taking his two young daughters and other family members and friends to Sea Life Park Hawaii.

The Obamas are vacationing in Hawaii.

CNN was the only news organization to witness the park outing. The president-elect was joined by about nine others, including daughters Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, half-sister Maya Sotero-Ng, her husband and daughter and friend Eric Whitaker.

The group caught a dolphin show before visiting a touch pool and the sea lion exhibit, where it was feeding time.

After the park visit, the Obama group was joined by the press pool — which arrived at the park about an hour after the Obamas but was not allowed in — as they stopped for a sandwich and shaved ice. The reporters refused an offer from Obama to buy them some shaved ice.

The press was allowed to take photographs for more than 20 minutes — much longer than the typical photo opportunity at such an event — before Obama asked the crews and the large crowd that had gathered to "let me eat in peace."

The traveling press pool that accompanies high-ranking officials like the president-elect or the president is made up of about 15 representatives from all types of media — newspaper, magazine, radio, television. Those representatives report back on their subject's movements for the rest of the media.

Their purpose is to provide a public record of the official's activities, a vital service in a functioning democracy.

On Friday, the pool went with Obama to the gym earlier in the day and then returned to their hotels after the transition team said there would be no further events.

"With no further scheduled events for the day, a lid was called until further notice," said Ben Labolt, a transition team spokesman. "The president-elect (later) decided to take the girls to a water park, and we assembled the pool as quickly as possible."


Barack Obama enjoys some shaved ice while vacationing in Hawaii with his family.

Barack Obama enjoys some shaved ice while vacationing in Hawaii with his family.

When the travel pool was notified that the Obamas were heading to the park, they notified other news agencies — including CNN. The pool had to return to the Obamas' vacation home to be taken to the park by the transition team; CNN's crew, not a part of the pool on Friday, was closer to the park.

When visitors of the park recognized the president-elect, they began snapping more photos and videos of Obama's group than of the marine animals. A number of Secret Service agents kept people at a safe distance, asking onlookers to keep walking after they stood looking at the group a while.

The Obamas are trying to establish a level of privacy for Sasha and Malia, as previous presidents have done with their own children. But it's been more than 30 years since a presidential child has been under the age of 10, and the fine line between keeping the public eye on the president-elect while keeping the children's privacy intact is not always clear.

Amy Carter, daughter of President Jimmy Carter, was 9 years old when her father took office. The children of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were grown when they took office, and Chelsea Clinton was 12 when President Bill Clinton took office. President George W. Bush's twins Jenna and Barbara were 20 when their father became president.

Four days ago, paparazzi staked out the Obamas' vacation rental home on the public Kailua Beach and snapped photographs of the family. The photos, particularly one of a shirtless Obama in swim trunks, caused a media firestorm.

The transition team dismissed the photo of the president-elect, but they were not pleased with the photos of the children.

CNN photojournalist Khalil Abdallah contributed to this report.

RNC Chair criticizes rival over controversial Obama song

The chairman of the Republican National Committee has become the first major GOP figure to criticize a CD distributed by one of his challengers that included lyrics from a song called "Barack the Magic Negro."

"The 2008 election was a wake-up call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party," Chairman Mike Duncan said in a statement reported by Politico Saturday afternoon. "I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate as it clearly does not move us in the right direction."

Chip Saltsman - who sent RNC members a parody CD for Christmas that included the controversial tune — defended his decision Friday, telling CNN the song was clearly intended as a joke.

"I think most people recognize political satire when they see it," Chip Saltsman told CNN. "I think RNC members understand that."

Saltsman is a former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, was a top advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and managed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign.

He is one of several candidates running to replace Duncan in the closely-contested race to lead the Republican Party.

RNC Chairman Mike Duncan criticized the parody CD Chip Saltsman sent to RNC members.
RNC Chairman Mike Duncan criticized the parody CD Chip Saltsman sent to RNC members.

The song, set to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," was first played on Rush Limbaugh's radio show in 2007. Its title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the nation's history of mistreatment of African-Americans. Saltsman said the song, penned by long-time friend Paul Shanklin, should be easily recognized as satire directed at the Times.

The parody CD sent to RNC members this Christmas, first reported by The Hill Friday, is titled "We Hate the USA", and includes songs referencing former presidential John Edwards and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, among other targets.

Also Saturday, Peter Yarrow — who co-wrote "Puff the Magic Dragon" – released a statement through representatives calling Saltsman's decision to distribute the parody tune "not only offensive, it is shocking and saddening in the extreme."

"It is almost unimaginable to me," Yarrow wrote in the statement sent to CNN, that Saltsman "would seriously be considered for the top post of the Republican National Committee. Puff, himself, if asked, would certainly agree."

Yarrow, a member of the 1960s folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, was a contributor to Obama's presidential campaign.

Voices for Change - Andrea Calabrese

Voices for Change.

Hi Barack-Biden:

Leading Discussions
-------------------
1. Making "procurement optional for all artists, writers, entertainers, film/TV/media directors' crew, actors and actresses. What's so terrible about one union member talking to another union member--without being threatened by international agents? People are being killed, threatened, suffering and tortured because the agent wants the artist/entertainer to do what they say, OR ELSE! Must see: "MTV Uncensored 1999". A group of artists got together and gave themselves. Credit--Brian Warner and Jenny McCarthy, Michael Jackson, Chris Rock, etc. Is that really cool, or what? Did they do it themselves or was this arranged by agents? MUST SEE: Talks about history of entertainment!

2. I also believe all non-vegetarian/non-soy animal food-wrapped products at Fast Food restaurants should be required by law to say: "Warning--Hazardous to your health!" (So innocent children can protect themselves. Leviticus 7:26 and Psalms 50-52)

3. I had a dream that a dog was not able to fly or run, but had been engineered rendered immobile and quacking like a duck, not barking and flapping its legs like a duck that can't fly flaps its wing.

4. I also saw in a dream that a gun (pistol) was flying through the air and shooting innocent women and children-BY ITSELF! Then who do we prosecute--if there is no one pulling the trigger?!

I'm sure I'll think of more "potentially harmful" warnings for everyone. I'll try to tell you guys about it so the Obama-Biden administration can check it out.

I saw Barrack on the beach in a Korean newspaper a few days ago. It was driving me nuts because I couldn't read Korean!

Lots of love to you all--check this out, for Michelle: www. Theroot. Com and do a search for, "Open letter to Michelle Obama".

Happy Holidays!

Andrea Calabrese
http:// www. Joematters. Com

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Alaiana Hoffman

hey hope your hawaiiian vacation is going great!!!oh yeah merry Christmas happy new year and all the other good stuff inbetween!!!:);)

Michael B Ulanday
Merry christmas Mr.president my wife and I wish that we could join you in Hawaii

Marla Kallen Fatone
I am going to pray that before your 8 year term is up, they pass a new law for the President to be able to serve another 8 years.... I am so excited for you , your family and of course America. I feel so lucky for my kids and I to be a part of this.
Merry Christmas

xxxooo

Marla

Stephanie Lipscomb
I bet the weather is beautiful there. Can you find a way to sprinkle some of that over Cleveland, OH? lol

Friday, December 26, 2008

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Suzanne Chadek

A very Merry Christmas to the Obama's. I want you to know you have given me hope for the first time in years. I am so excited to see you inaugurated and watch the family move in to the white house. Always remember who you are and the little folks (like me) who really need you both in the white house -Michelle and Barack--Happy holidays to you both and your darling girls. Suzanne

Marvell Oshigaru Watskin
Mr merry cristhmas ya

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Obama's White House

It's almost completed. Take a look at Barack's diverse cabinet



Sources: CNN

Obama picks Bible for inauguration, but what verse? - CNN

While President-elect Barack Obama will certainly be making history when he takes the oath of office on January 20, he'll also be repeating it -- by placing his hand on the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used during the inauguration of 1861.

The Constitution does not require presidents to be sworn in on a Bible, though almost every chief executive since George Washington has chosen to do so. Presidents have differed greatly, however, on the question of which passage the Bible should be opened to during the swearing-in ceremony.

It brings up the question of what -- if any -- biblical passage Obama will emphasize.

If what is past is prologue, as Shakespeare famously wrote (a quote now engraved in front of the National Archives), he might opt for the popular presidential theme of repentance.

According to Gleaves Whitney, a presidential historian at Michigan's Grand Valley State University, II Chronicles 7:14 was used for three swearing-in ceremonies: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

In this season of economic distress, however, the president-elect may prefer to follow the lead of Franklin Roosevelt. When FDR first took the oath of office in 1933, the country was reeling under the crushing weight of the Great Depression.

The 1861 Lincoln Inaugural Bible against the backdrop of the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress.

The 1861 Lincoln Inaugural Bible against the backdrop of the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress

"Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment," Roosevelt said in his inaugural address.

Urging his fellow Americans to lend a helping hand, Roosevelt had the Bible opened to I Corinthians 13: "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

Obama campaigned as someone who would strive to bridge the nation's bitter partisan divide. "We have never been a collection of red states and blue states," Obama said in his Election Night victory speech. "We are, and always will be, the United States of America."

If Obama wants to stress that theme again on January 20, he may prefer to follow Bill Clinton's lead from the 1997 inaugural and open the Bible to Isaiah 58:12: "Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach."

Questions of war and peace are always in the back of any president's mind. Obama campaigned in part on a promise to end America's war in Iraq.

The title page of the Lincoln Bible, which was opened to a random page at Lincoln's inauguration.

The title page of the Lincoln Bible, which was opened to a random page at Lincoln's inauguration.

Shortly after winning the White House on a similar pledge to end another divisive conflict -- this one in Vietnam -- Richard Nixon took the oath with a family Bible opened to Isaiah 2:4: "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

With the polls showing an overwhelming majority of Americans convinced the country is on the wrong track, Obama might hint at a back-to-basics message by doing what Woodrow Wilson did in 1913. During his first inaugural, Wilson opened the Bible to Psalm 119, which concludes "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments."

Speaking of a return to basics, what about America's first president? What did George Washington do?

Almost 220 years ago, in 1789, Washington opened the King James version of a Masonic Bible to Genesis 49:13 -- "Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for a haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon."

Was America's first president trying to send a deep, profound message?

Not exactly. It turns out that, for the nation's first inaugural, the Bible was hastily opened to a completely random page. The same thing was done 72 years later when Lincoln was sworn in.

For more, go to http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/24/inauguration.scripture/index.html

Voices for Change - Cathy Hatch

Voices for Change.

Dear President Elect Obama ( with respect you have earned),
First of all Merry Christmas to you and all of your family, whether they celebrate this holiday or not.
I just finished reading the MSN article about your fitness habits. I was not surprised. Many of us have recognized from early on in your campaign that you are not only a well educated gentleman but also one who has nurtured wisdom.
Just a suggestion for your consideration, if you haven't already done so. Consider finding a really good Martial Arts instructor ( I highly recommend Okinawan Gojuryu) and become involved in the training. It really isn't difficult to do and if you have a good instructor ( I highly recommend mine whom I have trained with for 17 years), you can work out intensely without equipment (although there are some basic items that are very beneficial) even in an elevator if you have a mind to. There are 7 attributes to training in the dojo I train in. I don't know if every Gojuryu school adheres to them but we do. Here they are:
self-awareness (without awareness nothing can change)
self-discipline (it would seem you already have a head start on that one)
self-development (embracing and embodying personal growth)
self-respect ( a belief in your own human value)
self-control (the ability to differentiate before taking action)
self-confidence (accepting your strengths and weaknesses without judgement-kind of like your wife does LOL)
Lastly, self-defense (all of the previous attributes should keep you safe in most situations, but in the event that you should have to physically defend yourself, the karate helps you to develop the tools to do what needs to be done, only if and when it needs to be done.
There is a saying in karate-do that goes "karate ni sente nash" which, if I have spelled it correctly means that karate has no first attack. If I haven't it is hard to say what the translation might be. Translating Japanese language can be a delicate matter.
Karate would be wonderful for Michelle and the girls too.
Anyway, I don't know if you will ever get to read this, but if someone does I hope they will share it with you.
You have a tough job ahead of you, but I am one of those who believes it is your time.
Namaste,
Cathy

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Despina Pikounis
Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

Patrice BerrySweet Fields
Hey mr obama how are u and your family

Despina Pikounis
Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

Voices for Change - Maria Rosa Muñoz

Voices for Change.

He vivido con mucha emocion la victoria demócrata, como persona progresista y militante del Partido Socialista Obrero Español, creo que es una gran noticia, especialmente para las personas mas desfavorecidas que dependen, de una forma u otra de que quienes dirijan el mundo sean inteligentes y buenas personas. Además estoy encantada de haber compartido la alegría de todos los hombres y mujeres de raza negra por el hecho histórico de ver como se vencen los prejuicios raciales y la razón y la justicia se imponen, por fin. Muchas gracias por haber logrado tanto y haberme hecho un poco partícipe de ello, hace tanto que no me alegraba por un acontecimiento que une a todos los que deseamos vivir en paz, justicia e igualdad, que siempre recordaré la felicidad de esa noche magica que pasé en vela esperando un imposible que se convirtió en realidad!!! Un beso de una ex partidaria de Hillary que creyó que los americanos no estaban aún preparados para superar el reto, vuelvo a admirar a United State (post Bush) y le deseo lo mejor.Mª Rosa Muñoz -Barcelona-Spain

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Ryan Blackwell


"I WILL DEFINATELY DEFINATELY VOTE that way, dont mess up in first term..If everything goes smooth and change comes, 2012 is already a guarntee!!!

IM RYAN BLACKWELL AND I APROVE THIS MESSAGE!!!!"

Caty Titus

"Wishing you a very special Christmas with your beautiful wife and girls! I've just cleaned up after a festive meal with my husband, three children, mother, and father who is visiting from Sweden. We've enjoyed your holiday address, giving us all hope for a better world, peace, and prosperity for all."

Despina Pikounis

"Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year."

Voices for Change - Caterina Titus

Voices for Change.

I just want you to know how thrilled I am that you are the President. You represent everything I would hope for in a leader. I caucused for you in Iowa, and knew from the moment I saw you that I wanted you as my President. I truly feel that you are brilliant.

I have lived in Iowa since I was 5 years old, but come from a multi-cultural family. I now live in the countryside outside of Fairfield, Iowa where we enjoy the peacefulness and simple beauty of the Iowa landscape. However, within the last few years, CAFO’s have been built by our home where we live with our three children ages, 9, 11, and 13. We are very concerned about this increasing development in Iowa, not only for the health of the animals living in these confinement facilities, but for the environment, and for the sake of human life. The toxicity of these areas is leading to poor health conditions. Our middle son has developed asthma during this time, and I am sure it is not a coincidence…several research studies link asthma with CAFO’s.

My mother was born and raised in Iowa, and we can see the potential Iowa has in leading the nation in terms of human and animal health. You saw for yourself how Iowa was the tipping point for you. Therefore, I am urging you to not have Mr. Vilsack as the head of the department of Agriculture. Please, I urge you to choose someone who is looking to the future of agriculture, and has a vision for animal and human health. Tom Vilsack is NOT that person, as his track record shows that he supports CAFO\'s and bio-engineering.

I know that you are someone who looks ahead, who cares about a better world for your girls, and all of our children. Nothing affects the social system like the collective health of our nation. We are all connected.

Please reconsider your choice, and remember that the big picture is one where we always remember our connectedness with the environment and with each other. Health also bears tremendous consequences for the economy in the short and long term. Thank you for your consideration.

Warm Regards,

Caterina Titus
President
Ruby Star Productions, LLC
641-919-3976
www.rubystarproductions.com

Schneider: Obama's 'honeymoon' follows Bush's 'failed marriage' - CNN

How's the honeymoon going?

Very well. In fact, better than the country's previous honeymoons.

When it comes to honeymoons with new Presidents, Americans have, shall we say, been around the block a few times. But this new guy is really sweeping people off their feet.

Eighty-two percent of Americans are happy with the way President-elect Obama is handling his transition. Even 61 percent of Republicans like him — and they're the in-laws in this marriage. He's not supposed to be good enough for them.

“You know, I am remarkably pleased with Obama,” conservative leader Pat Robertson told CNN this week. “I had grave misgivings about him – but so help me, he’s come in forcefully, intelligently.”

Previous honeymoons –- like fellow Democrat Bill Clinton’s — have been good. But not this good.

The public is particularly impressed by Obama's cabinet appointments: 80 percent approve of Obama's so-called “team of rivals.” Obama's scoring more than 20 points better on his cabinet picks than President Bush did in 2001.

A “team of rivals'” is well and good, but will Obama be a strong leader? He insists he will -– telling Americans the “vision for change comes…first and foremost” from himself. But do people think Obama will be tough enough? Apparently, they do.


Obama’s poll numbers have given him something to smile about lately.

Obama’s poll numbers have given him something to smile about lately.

Nearly half the public expresses “a lot of confidence” that Obama will provide real leadership. That's more confidence than people felt in President-elect Bush or Clinton. Obama even scores higher on leadership than President-elect Reagan did when he took office. That's saying something.

It's a bad time, and the country just went through a failed marriage with the current President. Obama represents hope. Isn't that what honeymoons are supposed to be about?

Obama Christmas to include turkey and ham dinner - CNN Political Ticker

President-elect Barack Obama's traditional Hawaiian Christmas includes opening presents with his family this morning, and dining on turkey and ham tonight.

The Obamas had spent past Christmases with the president-elect's grandmother Madelyn Dunham, a Hawaiian native, who died earlier this year. Obama attended a memorial service for Dunham earlier this week.

Poll: Illinois governor named naughtiest politician of 2008 - CNN

This is the Christmas gift for the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevic. Given by CNN. He really earned it. He had to work hard to sell Barack's Senate seat.

A new national poll suggests Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich could be on the top of Santa's naughty list.

Fifty-six percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday said Blagojevich, who has been arrested on corruption charges, was the naughtiest politician in 2008.

Blagojevich, accused of attempting to sell President-elect Barack Obama's former Senate seat, has said he has done nothing wrong and plans to fight the allegations.

The poll also found 23 percent believed former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer should get the nod, followed by 19 percent for former presidential candidate John Edwards.

Spitzer resigned in March after it was revealed he was Client No. 9 in a high-end prostitution ring. In November, prosecutors announced they would not be bringing criminal charges against Spitzer.

Edwards, who had been considered a major contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, admitted in August to having an extramarital affair with former campaign staffer Rielle Hunter. The former North Carolina senator also denied he was the father of Hunter's then-newborn baby.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tops new CNN poll of which politician has been the naughtiest 2008.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tops new CNN poll of which politician has been the naughtiest 2008.

CNN polling director Keating Holland said while Blagojevich being tops in the survey may be due to the fact his arrest occurred more recently than the transgressions of the others, but he said there may be another reason. iReport.com: Do you trust your political leaders?

"Americans typically take a much dimmer view of corruption than of sex scandals, since the former is a violation of the public trust and the latter is usually considered more of a private matter," he said.

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Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Charlie You

Merry Christmas! Mr. President Obama Sir

Evan Taylor
merry christmas mr president and vice president

Tyjuan Luvs Her Moore
Good luck barack i can not belive im talking to president elect obama please write back

Robert Boseley
Barack - hope you are enjoying the vacation. AND that will be the last time I shall call you Barack. Good Luck Mr.President

Nicolus Kinyuru
Such an inspiration....Thnx....Wis
h u both all de best coz "yes we can"

Naomi Goldman-Nagel
obama '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tyler Rex
Obama '12!!!!

Kemal Mustafa
Happy holiday ! The year 2009 is yours man, hope you both elect twice in 2014 !

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Weekly Radio Address of President - elect: A season of giving, a sense of common purpose

In this week’s weekly address, President-elect Barack Obama calls on Americans to honor our service men and women and to think of those Americans being hurt by our sluggish economy.

“This season of giving should also be a time to renew a sense of common purpose and shared citizenship,” he says. “Now more than ever, we must rededicate ourselves to the notion that we share a common destiny as Americans – that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper. Now, we must all do our part to serve one another; to seek new ideas and new innovation; and to start a new chapter for our great country.”

Watch the full address or read the text below.



Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama
Holiday Radio Address
December 27, 2008

Good morning. This week, Americans are gathering with family and friends across the country to celebrate the blessings of Christmas and the holiday season.

As we celebrate this joyous time of year, our thoughts turn to the brave men and women who serve our country far from home. Their extraordinary and selfless sacrifice is an inspiration to us all, and part of the unbroken line of heroism that has made our freedom and prosperity possible for over two centuries.

Many troops are serving their second, third, or fourth tour of duty. And we are reminded that they are more than dedicated Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard – they are devoted fathers and mothers; husbands and wives; sons and daughters; and sisters and brothers.

This holiday season, their families celebrate with a joy that is muted knowing that a loved one is absent, and sometimes in danger. In towns and cities across America, there is an empty seat at the dinner table; in distant bases and on ships at sea, our servicemen and women can only wonder at the look on their child’s face as they open a gift back home.

Our troops and military families have won the respect and gratitude of their broader American family. Michelle and I have them in our prayers this Christmas, and we must all continue to offer them our full support in the weeks and months to come. .

These are also tough times for many Americans struggling in our sluggish economy. As we count the higher blessings of faith and family, we know that millions of Americans don’t have a job. Many more are struggling to pay the bills or stay in their homes. From students to seniors, the future seems uncertain.

That is why this season of giving should also be a time to renew a sense of common purpose and shared citizenship. Now, more than ever, we must rededicate ourselves to the notion that we share a common destiny as Americans – that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper. Now, we must all do our part to serve one another; to seek new ideas and new innovation; and to start a new chapter for our great country.

That is the spirit that will guide my Administration in the New Year. If the American people come together and put their shoulder to the wheel of history, then I know that we can put our people back to work and point our country in a new direction. That is how we will see ourselves through this time of crisis, and reach the promise of a brighter day.

After all, that is what Americans have always done.

232 years ago, when America was newly born as a nation, George Washington and his Army faced impossible odds as they struggled to free themselves from the grip of an empire.

It was Christmas Day—December 25th, 1776 – that they fought through ice and cold to make an improbable crossing of the Delaware River. They caught the enemy off guard, won victories in Trenton and Princeton, and gave new momentum to a beleaguered Army and new hope to the cause of Independence.

Many ages have passed since that first American Christmas. We have crossed many rivers as a people. But the lessons that have carried us through are the same lessons that we celebrate every Christmas season—the same lessons that guide us to this very day: that hope endures, and that a new birth of peace is always possible.

Obama radio address remembers troops, unemployed - CNN Political Ticker

President-elect Barack Obama's holiday radio address pays tribute to troops serving overseas, and to those struggling amid the nation's economic woes.

"In towns and cities across America, there is an empty seat at the dinner table," says Obama. "In distant bases and on ships at sea, our servicemen and women can only wonder at the look on their child's face as they open a gift back home."

(Full text after the jump)

Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama
Holiday Radio Address
December 24, 2008

Good morning. This week, Americans are gathering with family and friends across the country to celebrate the blessings of Christmas and the holiday season.

As we celebrate this joyous time of year, our thoughts turn to the brave men and women who serve our country far from home. Their extraordinary and selfless sacrifice is an inspiration to us all, and part of the unbroken line of heroism that has made our freedom and prosperity possible for over two centuries.

Many troops are serving their second, third, or even fourth tour of duty. And we are reminded that they are more than dedicated Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard - they are devoted fathers and mothers; husbands and wives; sons and daughters; sisters and brothers.

This holiday season, their families celebrate with a joy that is muted knowing that a loved one is absent, and sometimes in danger. In towns and cities across America, there is an empty seat at the dinner table; in distant bases and on ships at sea, our servicemen and women can only wonder at the look on their child's face as they open a gift back home.

Our troops and military families have won the respect and gratitude of their broader American family. Michelle and I have them in our prayers this Christmas, and we must all continue to offer them our full support in the weeks and months to come. .

These are also tough times for many Americans struggling in our sluggish economy. As we count the higher blessings of faith and family, we know that millions of Americans don't have a job. Many more are struggling to pay the bills or stay in their homes. From students to seniors, the future seems uncertain.

That is why this season of giving should also be a time to renew a sense of common purpose and shared citizenship. Now, more than ever, we must rededicate ourselves to the notion that we share a common destiny as Americans - that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. Now, we must all do our part to serve one another; to seek new ideas and new innovation; and to start a new chapter for our great country.

That is the spirit that will guide my Administration in the New Year. If the American people come together and put their shoulder to the wheel of history, then I know that we can put our people back to work and point our country in a new direction. That is how we will see ourselves through this time of crisis, and reach the promise of a brighter day.

After all, that's what Americans have always done.

232 years ago, when America was newly born as a nation, George Washington and his Army faced impossible odds as they struggled to free themselves from the grip of an empire.

It was Christmas Day - December 25th, 1776 - that they fought through ice and cold to make an improbable crossing of the Delaware River. They caught the enemy off guard, won victories in Trenton and Princeton, and gave new momentum to the beleaguered Army and new hope to the cause of Independence.

Obama’s holiday radio address was released Wednesday.

Obama’s holiday radio address was released Wednesday.

Many ages have passed since that first American Christmas. We have crossed many rivers as a people. But the lessons that have carried us through are the same lessons that we celebrate every Christmas season - the same lessons that guide us to this very day: that hope endures, and that a new birth of peace is always possible.

Thank you, and have a wonderful New Year.

Pat Robertson criticizes Bush, praises Obama - CNN

Pat Robertson is "remarkably pleased" with President-elect Barack Obama, the conservative leader told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux – and believes President Bush’s administration has not dealt with the nation’s economic crisis in a “professional manner.”

“Well, it's hard to assess blame, but I, over the years — I hate to be critical, I mean I am a Republican, and this is the president of the party that I'm a member of — but I think we've had some serious goofs along the way,” he said on the Situation Room Tuesday.

“The Katrina matter was terrible. The rebuilding of Iraq has been terrible. The [handling] of the economy right now has been terrible. It hasn't been handled in what I would consider a professional manner.”

Robertson said history may be kinder to Bush than current opinion. “But I believe I would look at about a C-minus right now if I were grading him,” he said.

The evangelical leader has been a supporter of Bush's presidential campaigns.

Robertson gave Bush low marks Tuesday.

Robertson gave Bush low marks Tuesday.

Robertson said Tuesday he was optimistic about the incoming Obama administration. “I am remarkably pleased with Obama,” he told Malveaux. “I had grave misgivings about him. But so help me, he's come in forcefully, intelligently. He's picked a middle of the road cabinet. And so far, if he continues down this course, he has the makings of a great president. So, I'm very pleased so far.”

Coleman camp loses key Minnesota Supreme Court decision

The season just got a bit less jolly for Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman: in a Christmas Eve decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rejected a lawsuit calling for recount changes that would have erased Democratic challenger Al Franken’s narrow lead.

The Coleman campaign’s suit had asked the court to intervene because of what it says are double-counted absentee ballots that have been unfairly awarded to Al Franken. The incumbent’s lawyers asked the court to restore the original Election Night totals in roughly two dozen precincts, where recount gains had given Franken an overall edge.

The justices rejected that argument, agreeing with the Franken team that those allegations should be dealt with in legal proceedings after the recount was complete, and a winner certified by the state’s canvassing board.


The Franken team said again Wednesday they expect him to come out on top when the Senate race recount ends.

The Franken team said again Wednesday they expect him to come out on top when the Senate race recount ends.

Franken currently leads Coleman by 47 votes. In a ruling earlier Wednesday, the court extended the deadline for the completion of the Senate race recount to the first week in January.

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Angela Wilkinson


It pleases me that you are to be the President. You have a grace about you that is calming to lots of people. I wish you, your beautiful wife and children a very merry Christmas with love for the New Year. Do us proud.xx

Elizabeth Yow

I was so thrilled with your history making victory! But I am very concerned over your decision to have Rick Warren participate in any way!! He is prejudice and homophobic. I just hope you do not share his views regarding gay rights.

Maryanne Arnow

Glad to be here, glad you ARE here...
Happy holidays to you and all those you love.

Very best of all the good luck in your new office...May your time there be utterly rewarding to you, and for all of us...

Safe Travels,

Best always,
Sincerely,

Maryanne A. Arnow

Nicole Stoda Lenz

Dear Mr. Obama....
First of all I just want to say how glad I am to soon call you my president!
second:
MY dad works through a contract in alabama on interceptor missiles (I don't now the real name but they blow up nucular missels before they can reach us) and my mom is worried he'll lose his job. Can you help me put her mind at ease?

Voices for Change

Voices for Change.

Heidi Svanborg

I wish you and your familiy a happy Christmas..
And hope that you will help the pour people in your country in the futüre..
From Heidi
www.heidisvanborg.dk

muriel

I would like just know the change that you promise to the american people how its will affect Africa Continent where I live and you must note that we very proud of you

Donovan Cox


I love You, Thank you for being you. You are a winner. I am fighting for you to win 2012.

Jocelyne Djummo

Merry christmas and happy new year to you and all your family.

Online Supporter From FaceBook

my 6 year old niece would like to walk down to Mr. Obama's place in Kailua and sing outside for him!!! She has a beautiful voice and sings "God Bless America" like a champ LOL

Voices for Change - Ms. Heidi Elisabeth Hansen

Voices for Change.

Dear Mr. President Barack Obama (well, very soon :-))

I know from the bottom of my heart that you are the change in this world many people around the world wants as a president for America. From day One I knew you were the One to win. You have what it takes to be a good president both in character and in politics. I wish you and your family all the best and may God always protect you and your family. I pray for that.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ms. Heidi Elisabeth Hansen
Ambassador of Peace
WICO\'s President Denmark
www.wicohome.org - see under Europe
www.wicointernational.org
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