Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tech Stings UGA 45-42

GO JACKETS!For the past seven years, the Georgia Bulldogs have owned the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. For the past seven years, UGA has won the rivalry game in every way imaginable: low scores, high scores, blowouts, close games. Since 9/11, Tech couldn't figure out how to beat UGA... until Saturday, November 29, 2008.

Clean, Old-fashioned Hate lived up to its billing!

WR Massaquoi shredded the Tech secondary for 3 TD'sUnder a steady drizzle at Sanford Stadium in Athens, the Georgia Bulldogs came out breathing fire on Senior Day. Pinpoint passing on the part of Georgia QB Matthew Stafford to Senior WR Muhammad Massaquoi led to four first half scores. The lack of a credible running game on the part of the Yellow Jackets had Tech going into the half time locker room down 28-12.

QB Nesbitt engineered a thrilling third quarter comebackTech Head Coach Paul Johnson had a simple message during his half time speech, "Hey, it’s sixty minutes. Anybody who came over here and didn’t think it’s going to be that kind of game, don’t come back out. [We’re] going to get the ball first [to open the second half] and we’re going to go down and score."

Dwyer had 144 yards rushing in the gameThe Yellow Jackets responded with 26 unanswered points in the third quarter alone (RB Jonathan Dwyer scored a touchdown on a 60-yard run on the first play in the third quarter) - the comeback and eventual win was jump started just like that!.

Tech piled up 409 yards rushing (Dwyer had 144 yards and RB Roddy Jones had 214 yards) to Georgia's 407 years of passing; Tech won.

And left the Bulldog Faithful in dazed wonderment, "How did Tech football catch up with Georgia football so quickly?"

Just last year, Tech limped away from a game that was thisclose to being a bona fide blowout... now this year with a new coach, a bunch of young players, and an old-fashioned option running game, Tech beat the Bulldawgs at home! When the season opened, Georgia was at the top of the national polls, after today's game, they're not the number one team in the state of Georgia!

When the season started, Coach Johnson asked the team what was their number one goal for the season. The answer was unanimous, "Beat Georgia!"

~ ~ ~

Roddy Jones runs for 54 yard TD in 4th quarterShortly after the game, Tech learned that Virginia Tech prevailed over Virginia; the other Tech will represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship game in Tampa next week.

It would've been a nice capstone to the season to go down to Tampa and win the ACC Championship, but this win was much bigger than that little game next week. Much bigger.

we may not be going to Tampa for the ACC Championship,
but we beat the Dawgs,
time to strike up the band with the "Ramblin' Wreck Song"


~ ~ ~
plez sez: what's the good word? TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read Jeff Schultz's Atlanta Journal-Constitution article predicting a Tech upset of UGA.

Read the article about Tech's shocking win over UGA.

Read the article about how the Yellow Jackets stung the Bulldawgs.

Read Furman Bisher's Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about the game.

All game photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution game photo gallery

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

The 2008 Hate Bowl - Tech vs. UGA

TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!Other college football rivalries have cute, little names for their bowls, battles, and trophies: Iron Bowl (Alabama and Auburn), Egg Bowl (Ole Miss and Mississippi State), Old Oaken Bucket (Purdue and Indiana University), Floyd of Rosedale (Iowa and Minnesota), the Little Brown Jug (Michigan and Minnesota), the Keg of Nails (Cincinnati and Louisville), and the Bayou Classic (Grambling State and Southern University). But the most bitter and more than likely most vicious of them all is the rivalry between the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, simply referred to as "Clean Old-Fashioned Hate"!

To add fuel to the fire around this game, plezWorld is a graduate of Georgia Tech and plezWife had the misfortune of graduating from the University of Georgia! All season long, she is a devoted Tech fan, coming to all of the games and cheering for the White and the Gold. But come that Saturday afternoon after Thanksgiving, her allegiance swerves to the dreaded Red and Black.

Despite their records, this game is usually close and fought to the bitter end. For the past 7 years, the Bulldogs have been winning the game and last year, it wasn't very close. But this year, the Bullpups started the season as favorites for the National Championship and a Preseason Number One ranking. They've lost two games, actually, they were BLOWN OUT of two games, falling behind by 31 points at home to Alabama and getting their arses reamed by Florida to the tune of 49-10 (and it wasn't even that close). They won the rest of their games, although they struggled with Auburn and Kentucky. They aren't even in the Top 10 (while they finished last season at number 3).

Georgia has seen a precipitous fall in play on the defensive side of the ball, they are not nearly as menacing as last year's version (remember how they dismantled Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl earlier this year?). The offense should be on point with one of the top QB's in the nation, a top Heisman-quality running back, and two outstanding wide receivers (Massaquoi and Green). But the O-line is suspect and Tech's D-line is SOLID!

GO JACKETS!Georgia Tech is currently in first place in the ACC, despite having a first year coach in Paul Johnson, a sophomore quarterback who had to learn a new offensive scheme, and a very young team. When healthy and playing to their ability, the offense and defense has been unstoppable, but they did lose two games that they should've won: Virginia and North Carolina. They did counter those losses with a trio of upsets: Florida State, Boston College, and Miami.

A healthy defensive line for Tech will give Bulldog's QB Matthew Stafford fits and not enough time to hit his standout receivers nor will it allow SEC rushing leader Knowshon Moreno the freedom to run for big yardage. If Tech's triple option offense can get the run game going and can free up some running lanes for ACC rushing leader Jonathan Dwyer, the Bulldogs will be in for a long afternoon. With a Virginia Tech loss to Virginia, Tech will be headed to Tampa for the ACC Championship game next week - and that game will be played at the same time as the UGA-Tech game, so the players won't know the outcome until the end of their game. A win on Saturday may line Tech up for a BCS Bowl game!

The Bulldogs are tough to beat at home, but it can be done (see Alabama game). And with little to play for - no SEC championship, no BCS Bowl game, and probably relegated to some non-New Year's Day bowl - the Bulldogs may not be as motivated to beat a team that they've owned for the past 7 years with no big reward hanging on the outcome. With this being a down year in the SEC, a loss to Tech won't change the Bulldog's bowl picture by much.

Clean Old-fashioned Hate

~ ~ ~

plez sez: the bulldawgs are favored by 7 1/2 points. tech is going to play 'em close... look for an upset!

~ ~ ~

BLOG UPDATE: (11/29/2008 5:00 PM) Tech wins!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read Jeff Schultz's Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about a Tech upset.

Read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about Georgia Tech and Georgia's leading running backs.

Read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about rivalry between UGA and Georgia Tech.

Read the preview about game between UGA and Georgia Tech.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Open Post

Just because plezWorld is in the RED, that doesn't stop this from being BLACK FRIDAY! You should be out shopping... I'll have a preview of the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game tomorrow... shop on!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Find the best deals in the US at

Read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about Black Friday in metro Atlanta.

Read the CNN Money article about Black Friday in the US.

Read the article about a Wal-Mart employee death on Black Friday.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from plezWorld

in plezWorld, this is such a special holiday as it gives me a chance to STOP ...and give thanks for all of the blessings in my life!

...and i thank all of you who have blessed plezWorld for the past 365 days.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Roasting Brine Turkey for the Holidays

I have taken on the role of Ye Royal Turkey Roaster for family gatherings at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was not by accident... a few years ago, the Thanksgiving turkey was subjected to my mother-in-law's loving arms. Let's just say the bird wasn't the only one who regretted that choice.

Since that fateful day, I have taken over in ensuring that the center piece of the dinner table is blessed with a plump and juicy roaster that would be the envy of Martha Stewart!

I had some help - while channel surfing a few years ago, I came upon Food Network host Alton Brown using a brine solution to prep a turkey for roasting. Since I always cook a large Christmas dinner for the family, I gave it a shot... and it was a hit. That turkey had the juiciest and tastiest meat I'd ever eaten... and ALL of our guests were lined up to take a plate of it home after dinner.

With the guidance of this simple recipe, I've been putting the best turkey you've ever tasted on the table every Christmas since (and every Thanksgiving for the past 2 years).

Good Eats Roast Turkey
Courtesy of Food Network
  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

    For the brine:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sliced ginger root
  • 1 gallon iced water

    For the aromatics:
  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1 large lemon, halved
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup water

  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage

  • 2 cups Canola oil

At least 24 hours before you plan to cook the turkey, combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, and allow enough time to cool the brine solution to room temperature.

At least 12 hours prior to cooking, line a clean 5-gallon bucket with a large plastic trash bag with a tie top. Combine the brine and iced water inside the trash bag. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, tie the bag tightly, and set in cool area (like a basement or refrigerator) until ready to cook. Turn turkey over once, 6 hours into brining.
~ ~ ~

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, lemon, onion, cinnamon sticks, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird (inside and outside) liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage.

Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting.

Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

* plezWorld has embellished and perfected this recipe over the years, this recipe is slightly different from the one on the Food Network site.

plez sez: get ready for the tastiest and juiciest turkey you've ever tasted!

...and of course plezWorld has you covered with a cornbread dressing recipe to compliment the world's best roasted turkey.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama Unveils Team to Fix Economy

Not wanting to let the economic woes of the US continue into the new year, President-elect Barack Obama unveiled the team that he has put into place that will begin to address the problem. On Monday, he called the financial crisis one of "historic proportions" and said that he and the Bush administration are "united" in their efforts to get the economy back on track. President Bush said Monday morning that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is working closely with the Obama transition team to ensure a seamless transfer.

As Obama unveiled his economic team, he said there isn't "a minute to waste" when it comes to rebuilding the economy. He said, "My commitment is to do what is required. President Bush has indicated that he has the same approach, the same attitude."

Obama's remarks came just hours after the federal government announced a massive rescue package for Citigroup -- which President Bush said he'd spoken about with Obama before it was announced.

The first mission over the next few weeks for Obama's economic team will be to hammer out the details of what the president-elect described this weekend as a two-year economic recovery plan intended to create 2.5 million jobs.

Estimates for how much might be spent on a multi-year stimulus package range as high as $500 billion to $700 billion. At the center of the plan are investments in the nation's roads, bridges, schools and alternative-energy infrastructure.

~ ~ ~

In naming his economic team, Obama said, "I've sought leaders who could offer both sound judgment and fresh thinking, both a depth of experience and a wealth of bold, new ideas, and most of all who share my fundamental belief that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street without a thriving Main Street."

The Obama Economic Team:
  • Timothy Geithner - Treasury Secretary - Highly respected both on Wall Street and in the Capitol's corridors, has already been playing a central role in the Treasury's and Federal Reserve's efforts to stabilize the financial system.

  • Lawrence Summers - Director of the National Economic Council - Former President of Harvard and considered one of the country's most pre-eminent economists, he served as Treasury Secretary for two years during the Clinton administration.

  • Christina Romer - Director of Council of Economic Advisors - She will be relied upon to provide economic analysis and advice to the president; she is a professor of economics at Cal-Berkeley whose expertise includes the Great Depression and the economic recovery that followed.

  • Melody Barnes - Director of the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) - She is currently the executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, where her focus was on policies to help middle-class families. She also served as chief counsel to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Robert Reich, the former Clinton labor secretary, discusses how Obama’s selections fit on the ideological spectrum.
All are pragmatists. Some media have dubbed them “centrists” or “center-right,” but in truth they’re remarkably free of ideological preconception. All have well-earned reputations as hard workers, well-versed in the technical details of public and private finance. They are not visible veterans of the old battles over supply-side economics or deficit reduction, nor are they well-known to the public. They are not visionaries but we don’t need visionaries when the economic perils are clear and immediate. We need competence. Obama could not appoint a more competent group.

Obama's plans to boost the economy aren't likely to be limited to investing in infrastructure and energy initiatives.

Several other measures are expected as well. Among some of the possibilities discussed: direct federal aid to states and cities, tax cuts for low- and middle-income Americans, increased food stamp payments, and a tax credit for businesses that create new jobs in the United States.

Whatever Obama and his economic team ultimately decide to include in the economic recovery package, it's expected that Congress will have the final legislation ready for the president-elect's signature the day he's inaugurated.

~ ~ ~

plez sez: since november 4th, BARACK OBAMA has continued to prove his veracity, tenaciousness, stellar judgement, and laser-like focus on issues that affect america. we may not approve of all of the tactics (it appears the bush tax cuts will remain on the books for a while longer and more bailouts for faltering industries), but plezWorld really respects his decisive and action-oriented posture during this trying economic crisis. it appears that his action is moving the bush administration from its posture of inaction, while trying to ride out the last weeks of lame-duck-ness.

the stock market also responded with a second day of triple digit growth on the news of president-elect's movement to act on the economy. i love the phrase: "there isn't a minute to waste." he is sending a message that something is going to get done, it may not work, but it's gonna get done!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read blogger Patterico's Pontification post about Obama's economic plan.

Read the AP article about the course of Obama's economic plan.

Read the New York Times article that discusses Obama's economic team.

Read the New York Times article about how bloggers favor Obama's economic team.

Read the CNN Money article about the Obama economic team.

Read the article about the Obama press conference about his economic plan.

Provide feedback to President-Elect Obama on your vision for America

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gas Prices Below $2 in plezWorld

Running around town over the weekend, plezWorld was shocked when I started seeing consistent gasoline prices under $2 per gallon. Less than 2 months ago, people in metro Atlanta were suffering through a 3 week gasoline shortage that was exacerbated by $4 per gallon gasoline (for regular). Today, premium was at $1.999... prices haven't been this low in over 2 years.

The gasoline prices have followed the $150 per barrel oil that has recently dipped to just below $50 per barrel!

No complaints here, but one has to wonder what is driving the drastic price drop and volatility in the price over the past 2 months. Demand has certainly dropped, plezWorld has tried to conserve as much as possible. And it is quite possible that the worldwide recession has decreased demand, as well.

An article in reports that the average price of self-serve, unleaded gasoline on Friday in the United States was $1.97, said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey. The last time the price was below $2 was on March 4, 2005, she said. The all-time high average was $4.11, set on July 11, according to Lundberg, and prices have been dropping ever since.

Lundberg attributed the price reductions to a drop in crude oil prices and demand, and also because of low refining margins.

"Crude oil remains [the] main driver," for the decline, she said, noting that crude oil futures settled on Friday below $50.

Demand is always low in November, she said, but the weakening economy is reducing it further. However, Lundberg said that if crude oil prices do not fall further, "then the end of this [gasoline] price crash is either here or near." The Lundberg Survey is based on responses from more than 5,000 service stations nationwide.

An article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution cites the weakening economy for the price drop. The article states that The decline in sales was led by a huge drop in auto purchases, but sales of all types of products from furniture to clothing fell as consumers retrenched. That likely means fewer vehicle miles driven, both because of job losses and less trips to the shopping mall and less money spent on vacations. Businesses are slowing down as consumption drags.

~ ~ ~

plez sez: there are hopes that home heating costs will drop along with the gasoline prices.

and there are hopes that demand will not increase dramatically with the lower prices. there are some who will abandon their conservation efforts now that it costs less than half of what it did only six weeks ago to fill up.

it appears that holiday shopping and travel will be way down from last year. i know that plezWorld is buying fewer christmas presents this year and there won't be any interstate travel until the new year... we're driving up to washington, dc for the Obama inauguration! it'll be a lot easier on the family budget to fill up the suv at $2 per gallon as opposed to $4 per gallon!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about lower gas prices in Georgia.

Read the article about $2 per gallon gasoline around the US.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

President-elect Obama - Weekly Address - 11-22-2008

plez sez: the president-elect talks about the need for swift and decisive action in a bipartisan manner on our ailing economy.

Read the article about Obama's economic plan.

Provide feedback to President-Elect Obama on your vision for America

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obama's Choice for Treasury Sends Stocks Up

Dow Jones on the day of the Tim Geithner announcement

Wall Street rebounded from two straight days of triple digit losses on the news of President-elect Barack Obama's selection of Timothy F. Geithner, the president of the New York Federal Reserve, to be secretary of the Treasury.

Geithner is not a politician and has worked in the monetary area for all of his career, but has not been a typical Wall Street broker or marketer. Geithner began working with the Treasury Department in 1988 in the International Affairs division. In 1999 he became under secretary of the treasury for international affairs. He has close connections to the centrist Democratic policies of former President Bill Clinton and his best-known Treasury secretary, former Wall Street executive Robert E. Rubin. Mr. Geithner served under Mr. Rubin and Mr. Summers at Treasury in the 1990s, and rose to be undersecretary for international affairs. His chief rival for the Treasury secretary was his former boss at Treasury, Lawrence H. Summers, President Bill Clinton’s final Treasury secretary.

All interviews show that Geithner is not only well respected, but also well liked by his peers.

As Treasury secretary, Geithner would be charged with restoring stability to the financial markets, the banking system and the housing sector through oversight of the controversial $700 billion financial rescue package, of which about half is still available for use at the discretion of the Treasury secretary. He would also be chief overseer of the international push to reform the regulatory regime for the financial system, which, like a sputtering lemon on the autobahn, has been severely outrun by 21st century developments in financial practices and products.

His overarching task: Ensure that what happened to world markets and economies in the fall of 2008 never happens again.

~ ~ ~

Skittish financial markets closed dramatically higher following the reports, recouping some of the slide that brought them to 11-year lows. The Dow Jones industrial average soared 494.13 points or 6.5 percent, closing at 8,046.42. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index swung 6.3 percent higher, or 47.59 points to 800.03. The Nasdaq composite was up 5.2 percent.

No major economic reports, which have jolted markets all week, were released on Friday, and the Congressional lame-duck session paused as automakers retooled their case for a bailout. Early Friday, President Bush signed an extension of jobless benefits, which provides an additional three months for those whose unemployment benefits have run out or are about to expire.

Earlier this week, Wall Street slid to its lowest point in 11 years after two days of fevered sell-offs effectively erased all the gains of the Internet and housing booms. The Dow closed near 7,500 points on Thursday, and the S.&P. was lower than any point since 1997.

~ ~ ~

plez sez: OBAMA's cabinet is certainly taking shape... and for one, plezWorld likes what i see! the same calm, deliberative, analytical process that propelled Obama to the white house is evident in his cabinet choices. america is in good hands with Obama at the helm.

i am troubled by the lack of direction and leadership we are receiving from the lamest of lame duck presidents (bush) and his antagonists over in congress. it appears that they are hell-bent with doing NOTHING until their term is up! nothing has come out of washington since halloween... maybe congress and the president should forfeit 2 months of paychecks, since they haven't done *ISH*.

the economy continues to slip, they allow a public relations nightmare by hosting a group of money grubbing, private jet flying auto makers for one day... and then offer no solutions to the auto makers' crisis, even though over 10 percent of the jobs in the US are tied to the auto industry! this is quite disturbing that Obama is going to be handed a country that is fighting two wars and is in the midst of a crippling economic meltdown (the dow jones slipped below 8,000 points on thursday for the first time in over 2 years).

why let something as minor as the us constitution that bush has ignored for the past 8 years stop him, my suggestion is that george w. bush (and his cronies) should vacate the white house on december 1st and let BARACK OBAMA get a 8 week jump on getting this country back on track!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the New York Times article about Obama's selection of Timothy Geithner for Treasury.

Read the New York Times article about the Dow Jones reaction to the Geithner news.

Read the article about Timothy Geithner tapped for Treasury.

Read the CNN Money article about Timothy Geithner.

Read the article about Obama's selection of Geithner for Treasury.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, November 21, 2008

GT Blows Away the Hurricanes 41-27

GO JACKETS!Well, so much for breaking into the Top 25 College Football rankings! The #23 Miami Hurricanes (7-4, 4-3) brought their false bravado into Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field (the oldest and winningest active stadium in Div-1 football) riding an inflated 5 game winning streak with hopes of taking over first place of the Coastal Division of the ACC. Well, Georgia Tech's (8-3, 5-3) smothering defense and ground-munching offense laid all of Miami's plans to rest.

Tech's high energy triple option offense was engineered by second year trigger man quarterback Josh Nesbitt - who operated the offense with a precision that hasn't been seen all season. Running back Jonathan Dwyer ripped off 128 yards with just 10 carries in the first half, including a 58-yard touchdown and another 6-yard touchdown where he dragged half of the Hurricane into the end zone. Georgia Tech piled up the fifth-most rushing yards in school history with its most prolific effort in 30 years. Two other players, wingback Roddy Jones (97 yards) and quarterback Josh Nesbitt (93 yards), just missed giving the Yellow Jackets three 100-yard rushers.

Tech's defense was also firing on all cylinders, including a first quarter interception by DE Michael Johnson that he ran in for a touchdown. The defense allowed 20 second half points well after the outcome had been decided. Tech piled on 41 points to Miami's 23, and it was even that close!

Next week, the Ramblin' Wreck goes up the road a bit to tangle with our in-state rivals, those Georgia Bulldawgs... stay tuned for a plezWorld reaction to that one.

~ ~ ~

Georgia Tech football fans were treated to a live feed of space shuttle Endeavour and their Tech alumni crew members on the Bobby Dodd Stadium video board between the first and second quarters of the game. Aboard the spacecraft are three Tech grads, pilot Col. Eric Boe and crew members Lt. Col. Robert “Shane” Kimbrough and Sandra Magnus. plezWorld was a co-op student with NASA when I was a student at GT in the early 80's.

~ ~ ~

plez sez: it was a cold night on the Flats and i missed the entire first quarter sitting in traffic on Peachtree Street... yeah, that Peachtree Street! i took the SugarPlum to ballet class and then had to pick up the plezWife from the office before we went to the game... for some strange reason, traffic was a bear from Buckhead into Downtown Atlanta.

we got to our seats just in time to watch jonathan dwyer rip off his 58 yard TD run... it was awesome! that guy is sneaky fast, he doesn't look like it, but he is motoring away down the middle of the field and NO ONE on the other team can catch him. in the next series he is barreling into the end zone from 6 yards out... and the rout is on.

it really got cold with the temperature dropping quickly through the 40's and down into the upper 30's by half time. we hung around to watch josh nesbitt take it in from the 1 yard line on fourth down to take a 34-10 lead with around 4 minutes left in the third quarter... yeah, we missed the Budweiser song!

as we were walking to our car, we heard the ROAR of the crowd as fullback lucas cox scored on a 32 yard run. by then, the hurricanes had been blown out to sea!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the article about Tech's drubbing of Miami.

Read the article about Georgia Tech's big win over Miami.

Read Mark Bradley's article about Tech's impressive win.

Read the article about three Georgia Tech grads on space shuttle Endeavor who were saluted during the football game.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Obama Adds to Cabinet

More choices for President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet are trickling in:
  • Tom Daschle - Health & Human Services - former Senate majority leader from North Dakota, will serve in dual role as HHS Secretary and White House health "czar" - he will be writing Obama's health care plan that will be submitted to Congress.

  • Gov. Janet Napolitano - Homeland Security - current governor of Arizona, a border state with Mexico, will be key in setting Obama administration's immigration policy.

  • Penny Prizker - Commerce - billionaire Chicago businesswoman who served as the Obama campaign's finance chair which broke all records for campaign fundraising.

  • Peter Orszag - Head of Office of Management and Budget - worked in Clinton White House as special assistant to president and served on Council of Economic Advisers.
    ~ ~ ~

  • Sen. Hillary Clinton - State - Senator from New York and Bill Clinton's wife.

  • Rep. Rahm Emmanuel - Chief of Staff - Congressman from Illinois and former aid to Bill Clinton.

  • Eric Holder - Attorney General - Deputy Attorney General under Clinton, co-chaired VP Vetting Committee for Obama campaign, has long history as Washington insider with Carter and Reagan.

Since more than half of the people named so far to Obama's transition or staff positions have ties to former President Bill Clinton, some are balking at the number of "Clintonistas" - nominees with ties to the Clinton administration - that are finding their way into the Obama administration. Leslie Sanchez, a Republican strategist said, "I think several individuals are very frustrated to think that President-elect Obama may just cut and paste from some of the Democratic operatives from the Clinton administration and put them into his White House."

It is interesting to note that other than Bill Clinton, the only other Democratic president to draw from would be President Jimmy Carter, and most of his administration is too old to participate in 2008. Lanny Davis, President Clinton's former special council said, "Real change is about policy, not [about] people."

George W. Bush's administration was littered with retreads from his father's (George H. W. Bush) and Ronald Reagan's administrations: Dick Cheney (Vice President), Donald Rumsfeld (Defense), Colin Powell (State), and many others.

~ ~ ~

plez sez: to get things done in washington, President-elect Obama is going to need people who know washington.

i agree with lanny davis's assessment that we voted for a change in policy, which is not necessarily tied to a change in the people. with that being said, it would be refreshing to see a few more non-clintonista assignments.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the article about Eric Holder, nominee for Attorney General.

Read the article about Peter Orszag, head of OMB.

Read the New York Times article about Obama's transition team vetting Bill Clinton.

Read the article about Hillary Clinton's considered for new role in Senate.

Read the article about Obama Cabinet selections as of November 19th.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama Attorney General Choice - Eric Holder

Former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder is President-elect Barack Obama's choice for the position of attorney general, according to two prominent Democrats involved in transition matters. Holder, who is still being vetted, has indicated he will accept the job if it is offered, the sources said.

If confirmed, Holder would be the first African-American to lead the Justice Department.

Holder, 57, is a graduate of Columbia University Law School and a former federal prosecutor, he is currently a partner at the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling. Holder first joined the Justice Department in the administration of President Jimmy Carter, assigned to the newly formed Public Integrity Section in 1976 straight out of Columbia University Law School. President Ronald Reagan nominated him to be an associate judge at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where he served for five years. He left that post to become the first African-American U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, chosen by President Bill Clinton. He served in that position until Clinton picked him to become deputy attorney general, the first African American to hold that position as well. He co-chaired President-elect Obama's vice presidential selection process.

~ ~ ~

This pick by Obama does not come with some "Clinton baggage." Commodities trader Marc Rich fled to Switzerland in 1983 while being prosecuted on tax evasion charges and allegations of illegal oil dealings with Iran. Holder advised President Clinton to issue a pardon for commodities trader Marc Rich just before he left office in 2001. Critics contended that Clinton issued the pardon because Rich's former wife had made substantial donations to the Democratic Party and Clinton's library.

Holder testified later before a Republican-controlled Congress and acknowledged if he had it to do over again, he would have handled it differently. A Democratic source has said he was confident a flap over Clinton's pardon of Rich would not be a major hurdle for Holder with a Democratic Congress.

Read the article about Obama's Attorney General choice.

Read the New York Times article about Obama's Attorney General choice.

Read the article about Eric Holder, Attorney General nominee.

Read the article about John McCain's attack on Eric Holder when Holder was Obama's VP vetter.

plez sez: BARACK OBAMA keeps stepping up and keeps knocking 'em outta the park.

at first blush, the Holder nomination comes off as another in a growing list of clinton administration re-treads (read: hillary as secretary of state). but as one looks alittle deeper into the choice, you see a solid choice of a knowledgeable washington insider who'll be able to affect the change that Obama campaigned on. holder will have his job cut out for him to undo much of what the bush administration has put into effect (i.e. restoration of many of our civil liberties that were snatched away after 9/11 AND redirect justice department efforts to more effective community policing with more cops in the nation's neighborhoods).

~ ~ ~

to my way of thinking, holder being the first Black attorney general is of little consequence... after the OBAMA presidency. it is my hope that in a few years, Black "firsts" will become passe' OR a thing of the past (been there, done that!).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Early Voting for Senate Runoff in Georgia

The election cycle is not completed in Georgia. To win an election in these parts, you need to get 50 percent plus one vote. Since the incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss fell short on November 4th, he's going against his Democratic rival, Jim Martin, in a runoff election on December 2nd.

This race is garnering national attention, because this is one of three US Senate races that have not been resolved, and if Jim Martin wins, the Democrats will be one seat closer to the magical 60 Senators necessary for a filibuster-proof Senate. This is also interesting since Georgia "used to be" a red state, with Republican governor and two Republican senators. The state, particularly in the metro Atlanta area, turned slightly more blue during the general election with President-elect Barack Obama losing the state by only 4 percent.

Both parties are pulling out the big guns for this runoff:
  • Sen. John McCain was in Georgia last week stumping for Chambliss

  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won Georgia’s GOP presidential primary in February, joined about 2,000 people Sunday afternoon at a rally for Chambliss

  • President Bill Clinton will be in Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon for Martin at Clark Atlanta University

  • There are rumors that Gov. Sarah Palin may come to Georgia for Chambliss

  • The Obama campaign infrastructure has revved back up to support Martin, by making phone calls, sending e-mail messages, and encouraging early voting

  • Donna Brazile, campaign director for Vice President Al Gore's run in 2000 plans to come to Georgia to advise the Martin campaign

  • And some circles are holding out hope that President-elect Barack Obama may come down here to seal the deal a few days before the election

~ ~ ~

Early voting started on Monday, November 17th and runs through the Wednesday (November 26th) before the election. No voting on Thanksgiving.

With the SugarPlum in tow, plezWorld voted Monday afternoon in DeKalb County. There wasn't a long wait (no more than 5 minutes), but there was an unanticipated flurry of activity in the elections office for it to be 2 weeks before a runoff election. Both campaigns are trying to get out the vote and their efforts appear to be working. Don't look for 2 or 3 hours waits, but in some parts of the state, there may be lines as the election date draws closer.

Advance Voting Locations in Metro Atlanta

    Clayton County
  • Early voting 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 24- 26 at six locations. Voters can request an absentee ballot from their county registrar’s office through the close of business on Nov. 26. 770-477-3372.

    Cobb County
  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Board of Elections & Registration at 736 Whitlock Ave., west of the Marietta Square. Nov. 24-26, voters can go to five additional locations. 770-528-1000.

    DeKalb County
  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at the main elections office at 4380 Memorial Drive. No satellite locations will be open during early voting. 404-298-4020.

    Fulton County
  • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at: Fulton County Government Center (downtown), 141 Pryor St.; North Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road; and South Service Center, 5600 Stonewall Tell Road. Voting will continue at these locations 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 24-26. 404-730-4000.

    Gwinnett County
  • 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the main elections office at 455 Grayson Highway, Lawrenceville. There will be no satellite early voting locations. 678-226-7210.

What you’ll need
    Under the state’s Voter ID law, voters need one of six forms of photo ID:
  • Any valid state or federal government-issued photo ID, including the free Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
  • A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired.
  • Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency or entity of the U.S. government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of the state. This includes current photo ID from a public Georgia high school or college.
  • Valid U.S. passport.
  • Valid U.S. military photo ID.
  • Valid tribal photo ID.

~ ~ ~

Read the AJC article about early voting in Georgia.

Read the AJC article about Huckabee in Georgia.

Read the AJC article about Bill Clinton coming to Georgia.

Read the article about polling difficulties for Georgia runoff.

In other news, read the article about how Bill Clinton may affect Obama's Cabinet selection.

Monday, November 17, 2008

President-elect Obama's Thank You Letter to Illinois

The junior Senator from Illinois took a break from his transitory campaign to pen a heartfelt thank you to the people who put him on the path to the presidency. In the Chicago Sun-Times (and other papers in Illinois), President-elect Barack Obama thanked the people of Illinois on his final day representing them in the US Senate before heading to Washington, DC as the leader of the free world.

November 16, 2008

Today, I am ending one journey to begin another. After serving the people of Illinois in the United States Senate -- one of the highest honors and privileges of my life -- I am stepping down as senator to prepare for the responsibilities I will assume as our nation's next president. But I will never forget, and will forever be grateful, to the men and women of this great state who made my life in public service possible.

More than two decades ago, I arrived in Illinois as a young man eager to do my part in building a better America. On the South Side of Chicago, I worked with families who had lost jobs and lost hope when the local steel plant closed. It wasn't easy, but we slowly rebuilt those neighborhoods one block at a time, and in the process I received the best education I ever had. It's an education that led me to organize a voter registration project in Chicago, stand up for the rights of Illinois families as an attorney and eventually run for the Illinois state Senate.

It was in Springfield, in the heartland of America, where I saw all that is America converge -- farmers and teachers, businessmen and laborers, all of them with a story to tell, all of them seeking a seat at the table, all of them clamoring to be heard. It was there that I learned to disagree without being disagreeable; to seek compromise while holding fast to those principles that can never be compromised, and to always assume the best in people instead of the worst. Later, when I made the decision to run for the United States Senate, the core decency and generosity of the American people is exactly what I saw as I traveled across our great state -- from Chicago to Cairo; from Decatur to Quincy.

I still remember the young woman in East St. Louis who had the grades, the drive and the will but not the money to go to college. I remember the young men and women I met at VFW halls across the state who serve our nation bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I will never forget the workers in Galesburg who faced the closing of a plant they had given their lives to, who wondered how they would provide health care to their sick children with no job and little savings.

Stories like these are why I came to Illinois all those years ago, and they will stay with me when I go to the White House in January. The challenges we face as a nation are now more numerous and difficult than when I first arrived in Chicago, but I have no doubt that we can meet them. For throughout my years in Illinois, I have heard hope as often as I have heard heartache. Where I have seen struggle, I have seen great strength. And in a state as broad and diverse in background and belief as any in our nation, I have found a spirit of unity and purpose that can steer us through the most troubled waters.

It was long ago that another son of Illinois left for Washington. A greater man who spoke to a nation far more divided, Abraham Lincoln, said of his home, "To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything." Today, I feel the same, and like Lincoln, I ask for your support, your prayers, and for us to "confidently hope that all will yet be well."

With your help, along with the service and sacrifice of Americans across the nation who are hungry for change and ready to bring it about, I have faith that all will in fact be well. And it is with that faith, and the high hopes I have for the enduring power of the American idea, that I offer the people of my beloved home a very affectionate thanks.

Read the Obama's open letter in Chicago Sun-Times.

Read the article about Obama's open letter to Illinois.

plez sez: what a class act. the return of civility, humanity, and humility to the white house. the world is the recipient of our Blessings and embrace of Obama's vision for the future.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Snatched from the Headlines I

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is eager to meet President-elect Barack Obama
    Russian President Medvedev said that a "crisis of confidence" exists between Russia and the United States, but that he has "great aspirations" for the incoming Obama administration.

    plez sez: it appears NO ONE can wait for OBAMA to take office, even the russians are giddy about an Obama administration. plezWorld is still trolling for Inauguration Tickets - who has two?!?

    Obama names key advisor
    It was not much of a surprise that longtime friend of Barack and Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarret, has been appointed as a senior adviser to the incoming president. Jarrett is co-chairwoman of Obama's transition team and was senior adviser for his presidential campaign. In a statement released Saturday morning by his transition staff, Obama announced that Jarrett will serve as "senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and [will serve as a] public liaison."

    plez sez: it's good to reward friends who stuck it out from the early hours of the campaign to its conclusion for their dedication.

    Rumors abuzz about top cabinet spot in Obama administration
    President-elect Barack Obama has spoken with two former rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination about the secretary of state position in his administration, sources told CNN on Friday. Obama spoke with Sen. Hillary Clinton on Thursday and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Friday about the key Cabinet post, multiple Democratic sources said.

    plez sez: this move may be an attempt keep hillary (and bill) on the reservation through the end of his first term... and then all bets are off.

    NASA Space Shuttle Update
    NASA said Saturday that the day-old mission of space shuttle Endeavour, which is carrying seven astronauts to the international space station, is going smoothly despite problems with a lost thermal blanket and a malfunctioning antenna. Launch director Mike Leinbach said that, on Day 2, the mission is going "extremely well" after a flawless takeoff and ascent during a rare nighttime launch Friday.

    plez sez: i worked at NASA when i was in college (as a co-op student); i'm still interested in our work exploring the heavens above.

    Spending records in Georgia Senate runoff
    Georgia’s high-profile U.S. Senate runoff could burn up more than $15 million in its four-week sprint to decide a winner, possibly surpassing the money the campaigns spent in the general election. The campaigns of Democrat Jim Martin of Atlanta and incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Moultrie disagreed Saturday on who is raising and spending the most campaign money. But both agreed that their Dec. 2 runoff could break post-election spending records.

    plez sez: john mccain, possibly sarah palin, and maybe even the big guy himself, PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA, may be falling through georgia in the coming weeks as the democrats and republicans turn us into a senatorial battleground state. i plan to vote on monday, that's when early voting starts for the runoff.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seniors for the Ethical Treatment of Hip Hop

Just when you thought that you've seen (or heard) it all... then you stumble onto something like this. The Funky Fresh Senior Choir does a number of renditions of hip hop standards including joints by MC Hammer, Outkast, and Nelly!


plez sez: "i'm getting so hot, i'm gonna take my [robe] off!"

and whoever was on the keyboards was definitely "in the groove"...

i'm definitely trippin'... i can't stop laughing!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Obama Resigns...

Possible Obama ReplacementsEffective Sunday, President-elect Barack Obama - the junior Senator from Illinois - will relinquish his seat. Under state law, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich will name Obama's replacement for the remaining two years of his term. Blagojevich has said he expects to make a decision by year's end. Obama, elected in 2004, is currently the only black senator.

Potential candidates to replace Obama include Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and Tammy Duckworth, a disabled Iraq war veteran and currently the Illinois veteran affairs director.

In a statement, Obama said:
"My four-year term was one of the highest honors and privileges of my life and the people of Illinois will stay with me as I leave the Senate to begin the hard task of fulfilling the simple hopes and common dreams of all Americans as our nation's next president."

Vice President-elect Joe Biden also is expected to resign his seat representing Delaware at some point between now and the Jan. 20 inauguration. Democratic Gov. Ruth Ann Minner presumably would pick the successor. Several Democrats have said Biden's son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, is interested in succeeding his father in the Senate. He is on a yearlong deployment to Iraq with his National Guard unit. As a result, Democrats have discussed a plan under which an interim successor would be named and would step aside in 2010 so the younger Biden could run in a special election to fill out the term.

As a result of these resignations, the lame-duck session of Congress will meet without Obama or Biden.
~ ~ ~

In other news, despite his felony conviction for filing false U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms, Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska insisted he was innocent, did not to step down, and went ahead to run for his seventh term as Senator. On election night, he was ahead. But as absentee and provisional ballots have been counted, he has fallen behind his Democratic contender, Anchorage mayor Mark Begich by close to 1,000 votes (as of November 13).

With nearly two-thirds of the absentee votes now tallied, Begich has taken the lead. An estimated 40,000 ballots have yet to be counted – a majority of them from the area of the state that includes Anchorage, according to state elections officials.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Read the AP article about Obama's resignation from the Senate.

Read the New York Times article about the Obama-less & Biden-less lame-duck Congress.

Read the articles about the Alaska Senate race here and here and here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

plez sez: the news cycle slows to a crawl in anticipation of the OBAMA inauguration... but you gotta wonder what was going on in the minds of those alaskans who voted for a convicted felon to be their senator.

one can only thank GOD that those people's governor isn't preparing to go to washington as vice-president!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Morning Joe" F-Bomb!

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough let the f-word slip at 8:13 EST Monday morning, talking about President-elect Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's rumored-dirty mouth.

plez sez: OOPS!

the show is now on a 7 second delay...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama: Death Knell to the Southern Strategy

After the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and integration in the southern states of the United States began to take hold via federal fiat, the Republican hatched a plan gain control of the White House (and keep it). Generally attributed to Richard Nixon's run in 1968, the Southern Strategy was a Republican ploy to push newly enfranchised Blacks to the Democratic party while enticing conservative Democratic whites to join the Republican Party, thus creating a solid cultural bloc that would elect four presidents (Nixon, Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43) over the next 40 years. During that stretch, only 2 Democratic presidents - both Southerners (Carter from Georgia and Clinton from Arkansas) - would gain the White House.

In a 1970 New York Times article, Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips said:
From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

Even as the approach was applied nationally, until the early 1960's, the Southern US was home to a majority of Black Americans. "States' rights" and cultural issues such as gay marriage (bans were on ballot of 3 states in 2008), abortion, gun ownership, and religion were hot button wedge issues that were adopted into the platform of the Republicans. By playing on ignorance and fears of Black power exacerbated white flight from urban centers to growing suburbs and exurbs, and also fueled white flight from the Democratic Party, which was the predominant party in the South until the mid-1960's.

The candidacy of Barack Obama hinged on his running not as a Black candidate, but as just a candidate for President. If you notice, his campaign went to great lengths to keep the Civil Rights icons (Jackson, Young, Lewis, etc.) at arm's length, while securing votes in states that had near negligible Black populations (Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire, etc.). Obama ran a strong southern campaign during the primaries, mopping up Hillary Clinton in every southern state except Arkansas... but then again, the Democratic Party is heavily Black in the south. He didn't do quite as well against Clinton in areas with similar southern demographics in the north (Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, etc.).

Along the road to winning the Democratic primary, the Obama campaign registered hundreds of thousands of new voters, new progressive voters: young, educated, upwardly mobile. These new voters would become a new base as he pushed the line of battleground states into the south! The new voters in Virginia and North Carolina tilted those states blue (Virginia had not gone for a Democrat since LBJ in 1964). Newly registered voters almost turned red state Georgia blue (Obama lost the state by only 4 percentage points) and the US Senate seat was thrown into a runoff, something that was unheard of only four years ago.

Two weeks before the election, the American Prospect uses Obama in North Carolina as an example that the southern strategy is dead:

In less than two weeks, we may well see the election in which the Southern Strategy -- the strategic doctrine that has underpinned the rise of the Republican Party over the past four decades -- dies an inglorious death. Since 1968, Republicans have exploited the racial and cultural resentments of Southern whites brilliantly. Their control of the White House for 24 of the last 40 years, and of Congress from 1994 through 2006, was rooted in the overwhelming support they won from Southern whites.

The strategy was premised on the South's distinct identity -- that it was home to a more rural, less educated, more militaristic, more churchgoing, less tolerant, more racist white population than the nation's other regions. It has worked like a charm in areas where Southern backwardness has been immutable. The problem for the GOP is that modernity, in the form of internal development, greater racial diversity, and migration from -- oh, the horror -- the North, has finally begun to alter the political identity of key Southern states.

Clearly, that's what has happened to Virginia, in which the southward creep of an increasingly cosmopolitan Washington, D.C. into the Virginia burbs (both sub- and ex-) has altered the state's racial and cultural make-up. Since 2000, Republicans have fared well in what Sarah Palin termed the "real Virginia," only to see their numbers dwarfed by the successively bigger margins racked up by such Democrats as Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, and Jim Webb in the northern part of the state.

The thought of Virginia, which has not gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1964, casting its electoral votes for Barack Obama is mind-boggling enough. But North Carolina? Could a black presidential candidate carry a southern state that hasn't had a northern metropolis disrupt its demographics? Could a relatively unknown Democratic senate candidate unseat a nationally known Republican incumbent?

By looking at the Electoral Shift Map (as it appears in the New York Times), one can see that the entire country, save a swath of counties that stretches down the spine of the Appalachian Mountains into Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, has shifted (and voted) to the left (blue). The red portions of the map tells the story of the part of the country that was left behind during the boom of the 1990's, is less racially diverse, less sophisticated, and far less educated than the blue regions to the north and east (the red parts of Georgia are in the largely white North Georgia mountains and the southern plain).

The New York Times appears to agree that the area of the south that is still a part of the Southern Strategy appears to be shrinking before it dies on the vine. Some parts of the south were more fervently red for John McCain than they were for Bush back in 2004, but one would have to travel into the deepest hollows of the traditional south to find them... that would be Palin Country! The story goes down to Vernon, Alabama which sits on the Alabama-Mississippi border where they don't cotton to uppity-Negroes with funny sounding names and Muslim sounding middle names. These people don't think too highly of Ivy League graduates and have very clear ideas about why certain folk should stay in their place!

Most of these people don't like Abraham Lincoln, think they got a relative who died fighting for the Lost Cause back in '65 (1865, that is), and still think that Martin Luther King, Jr. was nothing more than a rabble rouser who got what was coming to him.

The state of affairs in the Deep South and how Virginia and North Carolina turned blue, as reported by the New York Times:

VERNON, Ala. — Fear of the politician with the unusual name and look did not end with last Tuesday’s vote in this rural red swatch where buck heads and rifles hang on the wall. This corner of the Deep South still resonates with negative feelings about the race of President-elect Barack Obama.

What may have ended on Election Day, though, is the centrality of the South to national politics. By voting so emphatically for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama — supporting him in some areas in even greater numbers than they did President Bush — voters from Texas to South Carolina and Kentucky may have marginalized their region for some time to come, political experts say.

The region’s absence from Mr. Obama’s winning formula means it “is becoming distinctly less important,” said Wayne Parent, a political scientist at Louisiana State University. “The South has moved from being the center of the political universe to being an outside player in presidential politics.”

One reason for that is that the South is no longer a solid voting bloc. Along the Atlantic Coast, parts of the “suburban South,” notably Virginia and North Carolina, made history last week in breaking from their Confederate past and supporting Mr. Obama. Those states have experienced an influx of better educated and more prosperous voters in recent years, pointing them in a different political direction than states farther west, like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, and Appalachian sections of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Southern counties that voted more heavily Republican this year than in 2004 tended to be poorer, less educated and whiter, a statistical analysis by The New York Times shows. Mr. Obama won in only 44 counties in the Appalachian belt, a stretch of 410 counties that runs from New York to Mississippi. Many of those counties, rural and isolated, have been less exposed to the diversity, educational achievement and economic progress experienced by more prosperous areas.

The increased turnout in the South’s so-called Black Belt, or old plantation-country counties, was visible in the results, but it generally could not make up for the solid white support for Mr. McCain. Alabama, for example, experienced a heavy black turnout and voted slightly more Democratic than in 2004, but the state over all gave 60 percent of its vote to Mr. McCain. (Arkansas, however, doubled the margin of victory it gave to the Republican over 2004.)

Less than a third of Southern whites voted for Mr. Obama, compared with 43 percent of whites nationally. By leaving the mainstream so decisively, the Deep South and Appalachia will no longer be able to dictate that winning Democrats have Southern accents or adhere to conservative policies on issues like welfare and tax policy, experts say.

That could spell the end of the so-called Southern strategy, the doctrine that took shape under President Richard M. Nixon in which national elections were won by co-opting Southern whites on racial issues. And the Southernization of American politics — which reached its apogee in the 1990s when many Congressional leaders and President Bill Clinton were from the South — appears to have ended.

“I think that’s absolutely over,” said Thomas Schaller, a political scientist who argued prophetically that the Democrats could win national elections without the South.

The Republicans, meanwhile, have “become a Southernized party,” said Mr. Schaller, who teaches at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “They have completely marginalized themselves to a mostly regional party,” he said, pointing out that nearly half of the current Republican House delegation is now Southern.

Merle Black, an expert on the region’s politics at Emory University in Atlanta, said the Republican Party went too far in appealing to the South, alienating voters elsewhere.

“They’ve maxed out on the South,” he said, which has “limited their appeal in the rest of the country.”

Even the Democrats made use of the Southern strategy, as the party’s two presidents in the last 40 years, Jimmy Carter and Mr. Clinton, were Southerners whose presence on the ticket served to assuage regional anxieties. Mr. Obama has now proved it is no longer necessary to include a Southerner on the national ticket — to quiet racial fears, for example — in order to win, in the view of analysts.

Several Southern states, including Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee, have voted for the winner in presidential elections for decades. No more. And Mr. Obama’s race appears to have been the critical deciding factor in pushing ever greater numbers of white Southerners away from the Democrats.

Here in Alabama, where Mr. McCain won 60.4 percent of the vote in his best Southern showing, he had the support of nearly 9 in 10 whites, according to exit polls, a figure comparable to other Southern states. Alabama analysts pointed to the persistence of traditional white Southern attitudes on race as the deciding factor in Mr. McCain’s strong margin. Mr. Obama won in Jefferson County, which includes the city of Birmingham, and in the Black Belt, but he made few inroads elsewhere.

“Race continues to play a major role in the state,” said Glenn Feldman, a historian at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. “Alabama, unfortunately, continues to remain shackled to the bonds of yesterday.”

David Bositis, senior political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, pointed out that the 18 percent share of whites that voted for Senator John Kerry in 2004 was almost cut in half for Mr. Obama.

“There’s no other explanation than race,” he said.

In Arkansas, which had among the nation’s largest concentration of counties increasing their support for the Republican candidate over the 2004 vote, “there’s a clear indication that racial conservatism was a component of that shift away from the Democrat,” said Jay Barth, a political scientist in the state.

Race was a strong subtext in post-election conversations across the socioeconomic spectrum here in Vernon, the small, struggling seat of Lamar County on the Mississippi border.

One white woman said she feared that blacks would now become more “aggressive,” while another volunteered that she was bothered by the idea of a black man “over me” in the White House.

Mr. McCain won 76 percent of the county’s vote, about five percentage points more than Mr. Bush did, because “a lot more people came out, hoping to keep Obama out,” Joey Franks, a construction worker, said in the parking lot of the Shop and Save.

Mr. Franks, who voted for Mr. McCain, said he believed that “over 50 percent voted against Obama for racial reasons,” adding that in his own case race mattered “a little bit. That’s in my mind.”

Many people made it clear that they were deeply apprehensive about Mr. Obama, though some said they were hoping for the best.

“I think any time you have someone elected president of the United States with a Muslim name, whether they are white or black, there are some very unsettling things,” George W. Newman, a director at a local bank and the former owner of a trucking business, said over lunch at Yellow Creek Fish and Steak.

Don Dollar, the administrative assistant at City Hall, said bitterly that anyone not upset with Mr. Obama’s victory should seek religious forgiveness.

“This is a community that’s supposed to be filled with a bunch of Christian folks,” he said. “If they’re not disappointed, they need to be at the altar.”

Customers of Bill Pennington, a barber whose downtown shop is decorated with hunting and fishing trophies, were “scared because they heard he had a Muslim background,” Mr. Pennington said over the country music on the radio. “Over and over again I heard that.”

Mr. Obama remains an unknown quantity in this corner of the South, and there are deep worries about the changes he will bring.

“I am concerned,” Gail McDaniel, who owns a cosmetics business, said in the parking lot of the Shop and Save. “The abortion thing bothers me. Same-sex marriage.”

“I think there are going to be outbreaks from blacks,” she added. “From where I’m from, this is going to give them the right to be more aggressive.”

As the United States moves to the center and away from divisive politics, the two major parties will have to deal with a demographic shift that changed the complexion of the 2008 presidential election. Even the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had an article concerning the viability of the Southern Strategy in light of the eventual Obama win. The AJC article had an interesting twist on how Gov. Sarah Palin would affect voting in the South based on the fact that she is a candidate tailor-made for the Southern Strategy (abortion, religion, guns, and states' rights)!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One of the unintended consequences, as predicted by plezWorld, was that there would be an almost immediate knee jerk reaction to an Obama win to begin the rapid destruction of affirmative action in the United States. Exactly one week after President-Elect Obama obliterated the Southern Strategy, right-wing opinion is doing exactly as I predicted. The Wall Street Journal ran a piece that calls for re-examination of the Voting Rights Act (and its 2006 update) since Barack Obama proved that race-based Congressional districts are no longer necessary, since it was proved last week that white people will vote for a Black person.

Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled, "Racial Gerrymandering is Unnecessary":

The conventional wisdom among voting-rights advocates and political scientists has been that whites will not vote for black candidates in significant numbers. Hence the need for federal protection in the form of race-based districts that create safe black constituencies where black candidates are sure to win.

But the myth of racist white voters was destroyed by this year's presidential election.

Although six out of 10 votes cast for Barack Obama came from whites, he did not win an overall majority of white votes -- he lost among this group 43%-55%. But no Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 has won the majority of whites. The reason is simple: Just as African-Americans and Hispanics are disproportionately Democrats, whites are now disproportionately Republicans.

Remember Mr. Obama's weak performance with working-class white voters during the primaries? Many speculated at the time, and right up to Nov. 4, that those voters who pulled the lever for Hillary Clinton would defect to John McCain.

Not so. Mr. Obama's 43% share of the white vote in the general election was actually a tad larger than that of John Kerry in 2004 (41%) or Al Gore in 2000 (42%).

So what happened to all those "racists" or "rednecks" that John Murtha spoke of so recently? If there had been that many of them, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia and Florida would have gone the other way, and we would have a President-elect McCain today. Racism is the Sherlock Holmes dog that did not bark in the night.

Consider Iowa, with only a miniscule African-American population. The 5% of voters who said race was the most important factor in their choice of whom to vote for backed Mr. Obama 54% to 45%. Or consider Minnesota and Wisconsin, also overwhelmingly white, where Mr. Obama's lead was 18% and 21% respectively among the 5% to 7% of voters who made race their highest priority.

These results do not mean we now live in a color-blind society. But we can say that the doors of electoral opportunity in America are open to all.

The aggressive federal interference in state and local districting decisions enshrined in the Voting Rights Act should therefore be reconsidered. That statute, adopted in 1965 and strengthened by Congress in the summer of 2006, demands race-driven districting maps to protect black candidates from white competition. That translates into an effort to create black representation proportional to the black population in the jurisdiction.

That law gave federal courts and the Justice Department what are, in effect, extraordinary war powers to combat the evil of ongoing Southern black disfranchisement. But blacks are no longer disfranchised -- by any definition.

In fact, racially gerrymandered districts are an impediment to political integration at all levels of government. Herding African-Americans into "max-black" districts forces black candidates to run in heavily gerrymandered districts. The candidates who emerge from those districts are, unsurprisingly, typically not the most well-positioned to appeal to a broader swath of the electorate.

Black candidates can win in multi-ethnic and even majority-white districts with color-blind voting. Mr. Obama should make it a priority to give more aspiring black politicians the opportunity to stand before white (and Latino and Asian and other ethnic) voters. He won, so can they.

American voters have turned a racial corner. The law should follow in their footsteps.

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Read the American Prospect article about the death of the Southern Strategy.

Read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about Sarah Palin and the Southern Strategy.

Read the New York Times article about shrinking geography of the Southern Strategy.

Read the New York Times article about the electoral shift in the 2008 election.

Read Andrew Sullivan's article in The Atlantic about the realities of the Southern Strategy.

Read the Wall Street Journal article about how racial gerrymandering is wrong.

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BARACK OBAMA ran a flawless campaign that left the remnants of the southern strategy in tatters. by concentrating on creating and energizing a "new electorate," the Obama campaign broke the generational and cultural hold that the Republican party had on the "backwards" south. by shrinking its geography, states that for the past 40 years would only go with a republican or a southern democrat now saw their electorate leaning blue.

if Obama can marshall the congress to do his bidding on just a few of his initiatives, these remaining pockets of the southern strategy will surely fall by the next election. should he fail, 2012 will yield an optimum opportunity for a resurgent sarah palin and her brand of right-wing fanatism to take hold and we could witness the rebirth of the southern strategy for the republicans. Obama's hold on the region is that tenuous.

the election of BARACK OBAMA was the death knell for the southern strategy... for the time being!