It’s a Sunny Day in Philadelphia!

We did it! Obama is the President of the United States! Last night I watched my coverage on MSNBC and it was great seeing favorite newscasters following the race throughout the night. We’re so lucky to have Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow in our media now. And Chris Matthews was great to have on there last night too. Every time they announced a “key” state I cheered and I was jumping around my apartment with tears in my eyes when they finally announced that Obama won. I know my cats thought I was a nut case. I called a whole bunch of my friends and everyone was just so indescribably happy.

Outside my apartment, I heard cars honking their horns, firecrackers (at least I hope they were firecrackers) and some cheering.

This morning at my train station, everyone was walking up with a huge smile on their face and cheering at this historic and great news. At a stop a few stops after mine, a young woman stepped on the train and said, “Good morning!!” really loud and the whole car cheered. She talked about how she had no sleep last night and was running on adrenaline.

I’m so very happy for our city and for our country. I haven’t felt this proud of us for a long time and I feel like a huge burden has been lifted. I was hoping to get a copy of the New York Times today, but every newsstand I stopped at was sold out. I sent a couple of my New York based friends out looking for a copy for me too, but that was to no avail. So….if any of my readers have an extra copy of today’s NY Times, I’ll be happy to buy it off you!

As for me, I’m very happy that they’re rerunning Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert’s election special right now. I started watching it last night, but, as much as I love my boys, I think Colbert’s comedy was making me too antsy at a time when I was getting anxious. It makes me happy watching it now. I know how the game turns out so I can just watch and really enjoy, reliving the excitement of last night.

I will sign off first with Obama’s acceptance speech:

And then here is the unofficial song of Obama’s campaign, Sign Sealed Delivered by Stevie Wonder

Phillies make the World Series!

The sports world is so not my scene and never really has been. But I can’t help but get some sense of city pride when one of our teams actually gets to the World Series or the Super Bowl or boos Sarah Palin.

And I’ve been so out of it that I only know of one player on the Phillies, Jimmy Rollins. The last time the Phillies got close to the World Series was in the early 90s. I remember it well because I was in my first year of high school and got a bit into the whole frenzy of the thing. Lenny Dykstra, Darren Dolton, Jon Kruk were on the team. Mitch Williams lost the tiebreaking game and got all kinda hate for it. Crazy times. Glad that’s over. There really is so much else going on the world, sports don’t matter.

Anyway, so, here’s hoping the Phillies beat whomever they come up against. Philly teams deserve to win a championship game for once.

I will leave with the unofficial theme song of the ’93 Phillies, Whoomp There It Is by Tag Team:

And a tribute to the ’93 Phillies:

And at the McCain/Palin rallies

The tone at McCain/Palin rallies have gotten increasingly hostile very recently and last week when McCain tried to calm down some of his supporters that were shouting out, “Kill him,” and hurling racial slurs, saying that Obama is a respectable person and to treat him with respect, he was booed.

And if you haven’t seen the video of this creep yet from a Palin rally in Johnstown, Pa…

And yesterday Palin dropped the puck at the Flyers game yesterday and got greeted with boos. Apparently too, Fox News edited some of the coverage to cover up the boos and said that there were more cheers than boos. It made me think of this clip from the Simpsons:

And here are some clips of Palin being booed:

Obama in Germantown

I waited till today to blog about Obama’s rally yesterday at Vernon Park, in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, mostly because I was hoping others at the rally would post videos, audio, photos, etc. of the event and I could compile some of them here since, unfortunately, my pictures didn’t come out very well.

The doors opened at 9AM. My friend and I got there at around 8:30 and already the lines were all the way down Germantown Avenue and, I could imagine, all around Greene Street. According to an article in the Inquirer, there were about 10,000 in the park and 5,000 waiting to get in. The LA Times, though, says the crowd was at 20,000. Whatever the exact number, it was an amazingly impressive sized crowd and they’re saying there were about 5,000 at the rally in Mayfair, 15,000 at the one near Temple and about 20,000 at the one in West Philly. There was so much positive energy and camaraderie between everyone in the crowd and the crowd really seemed to be a truly nice mix of different types of people.

At the start of the event, there were speeches by Dwight Evans and Chaka Fattah, both of whom did a great job energizing the crowd and introducing Obama was the happy trio of Michael Nutter, Ed Rendell and Senator Bob Casey, Jr. I’ve seen both Michael Nutter and Ed Rendell speak before (I saw Nutter speak before he was mayor) so it was a treat to see them both again. And Bob Casey, even though he’s not my favorite guy, was an excellent speaker too.

Rendell addressed the low voter turnout at the primaries, saying that only 53% showed up to vote at the primaries this year and we need to aim for 70-75% turnout on election day.

And of course when Obama came out, he connected really well with the crowds. Obama told a nice little story about pie:

He told a story about ordering a piece of pie at a small-town Ohio diner where the workers were Democrats and the owner a Republican. The story ended with Obama suggesting the owner vote Democratic because, on the economy, “we can’t do any worse.” He believes he may have won that store owner’s vote.

The problem with the diner, he told his listeners, was that it didn’t have sweet potato pie – an African American favorite – on the menu. At the rally at Vernon Park in Germantown, a woman shouted out an offer to make him some.

“We might have to have a sweet potato pie contest,” Obama said, as other offers flowed. “I’ll be the judge, because I know my sweet potato pie.”

There was another article in the Inquirer today about the rallies and how excited so many people are that we’re witnessing such an important moment in American history (despite all the problems in this country right now).

Some folks at the Democratic Underground have recaps of his appearance too. You can also see pictures from Drexel’s Triangle blog.

And here are some videos of yesterday’s event:

His speech:

On making sure college is accessible:

Leaving the stage:

Two young women’s video of the Germantown rally:

And that same author has a video of his speech in North Philly:

And another poster has one of the West Philly event:

Septa upgrading trains

Apparently, Septa will be getting some new regional rail cars. It sounds like the seats will be extra comfy and there’s something about a video screen? I guess we’ll see what happens. Now that I’m taking the train every day, nice comfy seats would make me happy. Lately during the peak trains in the evening they’ve been short of cars and a whole slew of people are left standing. Luckily since I get on the first of the downtown stations, I always get a seat, but it’s still uncomfortable being squeezed into my seat.

We’ll see when these new cars get into place, but I hope it’s soon.

I’ll leave with a video of Gladys Knight & The Pips singing Midnight Train to Georgia:

and Love Train by the O’Jays:

Obama support in the Philly burbs

I needed to return some clothes to the mall today, at a department store, in the one of the further out ‘burbs of Philly. On the weekends I carry my casual purse adorned with a nice, big Obama button. So, when I went into JcPenney’s today, the girl processing my return commented that she loved my Obama button and always gets happy when she sees people come in with Obama gear. I said something back about how she probably barely sees Obama stuff around there, but actually, she said she’s only seen one piece of McCain gear and mostly Obama gear while she’s working there. As I walked away, I went browsing clothes and overheard the conversation continuing between her, one of the other cashiers and another customer. It seemed that the one cashier has been mostly on the fence, but is leaning more and more towards Obama since she knows that a vote for McCain will be a vote for more of the same failed policies of Bush and more war. The other customer went on about how the Iraq war never should have happened since they didn’t do anything to have us go after them….So it seems, in that area of the ‘burbs Obama support is doing well. I also got a compliment from the cashier in PetSmart on my Obama button.

On the way back, I stopped at an Obama headquarters that, interestingly, is only a block from my former workplace. The HQ was packed with volunteers and I stopped in to see about getting a sign. The volunteer I spoke with said that, interestingly, they’re all out of all their Obama gear and all the other Obama HQs in the ‘burbs have run out of gear too. So, luckily I just have an Obama sign from the primaries that I’ll use for now, but I think that they’re out might be a good sign.

Finally, I stopped at our local Acme for groceries and as I was getting a shopping cart, I ended up having a brief discussion with two people about the debate last night and they both thought Obama did so much better than McCain (well, considering my neighborhood will probably go for Obama about 98%, I wasn’t surprised). And of course there was a table of people registering voters and I stopped to ask how well they were doing, and they said they have registered a few people today.

So, a morning of what would have been boring errands ended up going pretty interesting.

Here’s a picture of my magic purse:
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Local voter intimidation…

Pandagon posted an article today via the Philadelphia City Paper, Voter intimidation tactics are afoot at Drexel.

So we begin the voter intimidation….from the article:

The student Democrats at Drexel University in Philadelphia are reporting that fliers are being strewn around campus telling students that if they have outstanding warrants or tickets and try to vote, they’ll be arrested.

Here’s an image of the offending piece (sorry about the image size):

It’s really such an obvious sounding ploy, at least to me, of some McCain supporter trying to scare potential voters. I’m glad it’s getting attention and news about it is starting to circulate.

Late night pish posh…

It’s 11:30pm and I’ve had a pretty busy and different day so I’m settling down by reading blogs in my Google Reader. Some interesting posts I came upon tonight….


Feministing: Hallmark offers same-sex wedding greeting cards

It looks like Hallmark is targeting a new consumer.

While the language doesn’t directly refer to marriage (considering the fact that two states in this country actually recognize gay marriage), they were created shortly after California legalized. The cards have mushy language that could apply to marriage or civil unions like, “Two hearts. One promise.”

But, but…it’s Hallmark! The corporate monster that commercializes (and banks off of) every holiday to the point of puking, not to mention serves as a huge contributor to the heteronormative machine (Valentine’s Day, etc.).

That being said, this has to be more a good thing than bad, no? Thoughts? Has anyone seen any of these cards?


Feministing: Limbaugh calls Obama a “little black man-child”

On his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh said,

Obama’s patriotism is not being attacked in an ad. McCain’s just out there saying he’s putting his own personal political ambition ahead of the country’s. It’s — you know, it’s just — it’s just we can’t hit the girl. I don’t care how far feminism’s saying, you can’t hit the girl, and you can’t — you can’t criticize the little black man-child. You just can’t do it, ’cause it’s just not right. It’s not fair. He’s such a victim

.


Pandagon: The homophobe/womb control heads to Denver

Good lord, this is going to be a zoo. (Christian Newswire):

Randall Terry States:

“A group of pro-life activists will get arrested – perhaps more than once – in order to draw focus to Obama’s hard core support of child-killing. We will definitely be arrested on Tuesday, August 26 at a location to be announced – and perhaps sooner.

“We intend to be “Party Crashers” to disrupt a number of DNC events, including, but not limited to: the Interfaith Gathering; Opening Reception; African American Caucus; Hispanic Caucus; Women’s Caucus; Faith Forum; the Opening of the DNC; and more.

Also, the brochures, “Real Solutions for the Negro Problem” and “Is it Immoral to Vote for Obama for President?” can be read at http://www.humbleplea.com

Not to be topped, the freaks from Operation Save America (founded by Terry), led by the unhinged Flip Benham, plan to be there. Flip and his crew of homophobes have descended on NC Pride in Durham for the last couple of years, and they didn’t convert anyone—all everyone did was laugh at the ridiculous schtick.


Ricky Martin Always Wanted To Be a Dad


Philadelphia Will Do: Larry Mendte Didn’t Need To Get Alycia Lane’s Bikini Photos

from Larry Mendte’ s statement:

Let me explain. This whole episode started five years ago when Alycia Lane came to Philadelphia. Almost immediately, Dawn heard rumors that Alycia and I were a little too close and she should watch out.

The rumors were true. Alycia and I had a flirtatious, unprofessional, and improper relationship.

Dawn found proof of that relationship when she waited in my office on New Years Day 2005 and read emails that I had left out on my desk, emails between Alycia and me that confirmed her suspicions.

Dawn confronted me with the emails. I told her the truth. I told her I loved her, and I apologized. I then immediately stopped having long dinners with Alycia, staying out late with Alycia, and I stopped allowing her to come into my office to do her makeup everyday.

The relationship that was once close quickly turned into a personal feud….


McCain: A politician you can mock:


Possible cell phone ban in Philly?

From today’s KYW Newsradio, there is a Philly cell phone ban to be proposed. And I think it’s about time. Unfortunately, as I’ve witnessed when driving in NJ, people won’t always follow the law like they should, but I still think a law like this would be a step in the right direction.

The article says:

City Councilman Bill Greenlee says such a ban in a city this big is sorely needed:

“I think it’s clear that when somebody is on a cell phone, a hand held cell phone — or texting, which I think is even worse. They’re both bad, but I think texting is even worse — that they’re clearly not paying as much attention as they would otherwise.”

but since this would be a local city law, rather than a state law:

But its unclear whether a Philadelphia only cell phone ban as proposed would hold up in court. The state motor vehicle code seems to prohibit such local laws, but Green and Greenlee insist that their measure, if approved, would hold up in court.

On so many occasions while driving in Philly (and in the ‘burbs), I’ve seen someone driving either too fast or too slow, or just plain not paying attention to the road, only to see they’re busy gabbing on the cell phone. Often it’s the ones driving a monster SUV or mega truck with a Support Our Troops magnet and/or God Bless America stickers all over the car that could kill any smaller cars in an instant, but sometimes it’s the little zippy cars.

In doing a search for information on cell phone safety in cars, I came upon a few interesting statistics. Via an article from the Insurance Information Institute:

  • A survey of dangerous driver behavior was released in January 2007 by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. The survey of 1,200 drivers found that 73 percent talk on cellphones while driving. Cellphone use was highest among young drivers.
  • Text messaging, or “texting” by teens, a driving distraction related to cellphone use, was the subject of an August 2006 Teens Today survey conducted by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). The survey showed that teens considered sending text messages via cellphones to be their biggest distraction. Of the teens surveyed, 37 percent said that text messaging was extremely or very distracting, while 20 percent said that they were distracted by their emotional states and 19 percent said that having friends in the car was distracting. The January 2007 survey by Nationwide found that 19 percent of motorists say they text message while driving.
  • Motorists who use cellphones while driving are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, according to a study of drivers in Perth, Australia, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The results, published in July 2005, suggest that banning hand-held phone use will not necessarily improve safety if drivers simply switch to hand-free phones. The study found that injury crash risk didn’t vary with type of phone.
  • A study released in April 2006 found that almost 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds of the event. The study, The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), breaks new ground. (Earlier research found that driver inattention was responsible for 25 to 30 percent of crashes.) The new study found that the most common distraction is the use of cellphones, followed by drowsiness. However, cellphone use is far less likely to be the cause of a crash or near-miss than other distractions, according to the study. For example, while reaching for a moving object such as a falling cup increased the risk of a crash or near-crash by nine times, talking or listening on a hand-held cellphone only increased the risk by 1.3 times. The study tracked the behavior of the 241 drivers of 100 vehicles for more than one year. The drivers were involved in 82 crashes, 761 near-crashes and 8,295 critical incidents.

There was also a study by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society that found Hands-On or Hands-Free, Using a Cell Phone While Driving Is Not Safe… and an article from Associated Content, Driving and Cell Phones Still Don’t Mix.

Whatever happens, I really think this would be a great move by Philly and hope that, if it passes, it will eventually spread and create the law throughout the state.

Pish Posh of Politics & News

In a quick scan of my blog subscriptions, there were a few stories I’ll address in an overview post.

1. Not too surprisingly, Rush Limbaugh lambasted on his show about the John Edwards affair and said that maybe he went for this other woman because she wasn’t as “brainy” as Elizabeth Edwards and did more than talk. Anyway, our friend Keith Olbermann addressed Limbaugh’s rant (and why should Rush be judging Edwards, especially considering how many times he’s been married?). You can catch the audio of Limbaugh’s rant and Olbermann’s reply here:


2. Remember Rick Santorum that us Pennsylvanians were so glad to be rid of? He’s still around and going after gay marriage and pushing his version of “family values.” Today Pandagon posted an email blast from our former Senator pushing for the organization, National Organization for Marriage. I really appreciate many of the comments after the blog too (well, not the spam). Some of the craziest parts of his blast:

Dear Friend of Marriage, My friend, I’ve never come to you with a more urgent message: Unless we act today, we will lose the battle for marriage–not a decade from now, not “someday,” but quite possibly in the next few months. How? Just weeks ago, a handful of out-of-touch judges overturned the will of the people in California by repealing Proposition 22, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman and was overwhelmingly approved by the voters in 2000.

Hollywood, academia and some in the medical profession launched a huge offensive over the past decade to change the attitude of Americans about the homosexual community. They have succeeded in shaping the minds of young people against traditional marriage and intimidating and punishing anyone who offers a defense of marriage. A sophisticated network of wealthy gay activists are now trying to exploit this change in attitudes by spending millions on stealth campaigns to defeat pro-family state legislators and pass gay marriage laws. They are pushing the battle first where the secular left is the strongest: deep in “blue states” including New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland and now even in my home commonwealth, Pennsylvania.

Make no mistake, gay marriage is not about letting Adam visit Steve in the hospital or letting them do what they want in private. Gay marriage is about using the power of government to propagate a new faith: Individuals who oppose gay marriage are hateful bigots and they and their faith community should be punished.

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That’s right, while we are tending to our jobs, going to church, and raising our families, a handful of wealthy gay men are plotting ways to use their giant fortunes to reshape the entire American political landscape in their own image. Sound a little hard to believe? I thought so too, until I read the March 1, 2007 Atlantic Monthly article that documents the detailed plans and huge influence these men are having, led by one gay billionaire activist named Tim Gill. The article is called “They Won’t Know What Hit Them,” and the subtitle pretty much says it all:

“Tim Gill has a mission: stop the Rick Santorums of tomorrow before they get started. How a network of gay political donors is stealthily … reshaping American politics.”

That grabbed my attention, how about yours? If so, I need your help to fight back.

You can read more of the appeal at the Pandagon link above. Here’s hoping Ricky eventually gets over himself and quits all his hatemongering.


And in some local news, I saw this last week and actually, I was on Kelly Drive about 1/2 hour before this happened. Some guy in a Buick was speeding along Kelly Drive and careened off the road and into the Schuylkill River. I swear, though, people really do drive like such idiots on Lincoln Drive and parts of Kelly Drive. In the almost 10 years I’ve lived here, just now I’m getting comfortable enough to take the Lincoln Drive part to my route downtown or to the Schuylkill Expressway. Now I’m good with driving on Lincoln Drive and keep up with traffic, but there’s always a few drivers, pretty much always ones in Escalades or the monster SUVs, that drive like they’re the only ones on the road and as if there were no sharp turns at all along the Drives. Just because those SUVs do those curves like that in the commercials, there’s no reason to do that in real life with other people on the road. Stupid drivers and even though this wasn’t an SUV that flew into the river, maybe it will get through to at least one of those idiot drivers to settle down on the Drives.

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