Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Thank you, Amba. I am seeking a path to reconciliation tonight and your words have hellped.


Newsroom: Constant stream of Sarah Palin bashing and bile. Conversationally, Democrats are "we." Republicans "they." Talk of hanging Bill Kristol. Karl Rove's face appears on TV: shouts of "war criminal." During McCain's concession, mock cries of "kill him," as though from the audience, when he speaks of Obama. Fox News Web site screen grab saying Obama wins is the screensaver of choice. Awkward silences and turning-away-to-do-other-things moments during prayers and patriotic phrases from the Obama side.

Best moment for me: Al Franken losing. When he was ahead early in the night, "Al," as he's affectionately known here, got a lot of mirthful support.


Some of the most perfectly beautiful honest writing I have ever had the pleasure of reading. What I stayed up late for. Thanks, A.

Donna B.

This marks the second time I've been tearful upon hearing who won the presidential election. The first time was when Carter won.

I honestly hope that my tears are for nothing. But it is an emotional reaction, not one I can totally control.

Obama's stated goals and methods of achieving them worry me. To tears.

That said, I hope we can put all this racist bullshit behind us now and talk about something substantial.


Oh, I didn't know Al Franken lost. Good!!!!

RW Rogers

Well said Amba! Congratulations to President-Elect Obama. He managed a much more impressive electoral college victory than GW Bush did with about the same percentage of popular vote. That will help him claim his mandate for change.

RW Rogers

Note: At the time I wrote that, it was 51-48 Obama.


Hasn't lost yet. But he was behind after being ahead.


McCain's concession speech was one of the classiest I've seen.

P.S. Al Franken won.

Peter Hoh

It's close. Coleman is ahead by 3,000 votes, with 95% of precincts reporting.

Peter Hoh

Minnesota Democrats have an odd way of nominating candidates. Maybe a Franken loss will cause them to reexamine their process.

Probably not.

The activists like their clout.

Peter Hoh

Now with 96% reporting, Franken is ahead by 500.


Peter Hoh

Hee hee. A typo on the Startribune website:

"With more than 950 percent of the returns in, Franken and Coleman were in a virtual tie well after midnight."


Donna, I'm right there with you in the middle of the "uncontrollable emotional reaction" stage. I've been to to bed three times and can't sleep a wink. Starting to realize that, come to think of it, my stomach's been hurting for at least a week and breathing has been more difficult lately. Funny the things we barely notice while in the middle of things.


Bless your little cotton socks, Amba, you keep writin' and thinkin' the way you do. People like yourself are why I've given up the MSM for Internet writers. I am, as always, grateful and humbled.


Franken is losing with 99% of precincts reporting. 1,205,883 plays 1,203,315. All across the country, in states that Obama carried, ballot initiatives and Constitutional amendments banning gay marriage are passing, including in California (look on the bright side, Prop 11 is passing, too). Not that it'll matter because the Supreme Court will throw all of them out shortly, quite possibly with the vote of one or more Obama appointmentss.


950 percent of the returns in

'Fraid we'll be hearing more numbers like that today. From all 57 states.


One thing to remember: whoever was elected this time around is going to get his (or her) ASS kicked. It's a real "watch out what you wish for." Would you want to be The One to deal with a nuclear-arming Iran, a nuclear-armed Pakistan trembling on the brink of Islamist extremism, Osama at large, an ascendant China that owns a big piece of us, and a deep recession if not a depression? McCain might have been better at the impossible (or might not), but it might have killed him, too. There's going to be enormous clamor and blame. You're going to see an aged and humbled Barack Obama in four years, who will either have earned reelection or will get drop-kicked the hell out of there.

'Fraid we'll be hearing more numbers like that today.
Oh, I hope we won't get all Greg Palast about it. If someone has evidence of actual voter fraud or other malfeasance, they should bring it forth, but we shouldn't take the view that the dems did in Ohio four years ago - "if they won, there must have been ballot fraud." It looks like they stole this one fair and square. So far as I can see, it was the financial "crisis" and the media's behavior (to the extent there's a difference) that did it, not election day trickery.

The really interesting thins is, pace WJ, the social conservative wing of the party comes out of this looking pretty good. The moderates nominated a candidate who flatlined, briefly revived by picking a veep with a moderate gait but SoCon views, and then bled out. And the only GOP successes of the night were a slew of SoCon ballot measures on gay marriage. I think they are going to be feeling like the canary in the mineshaft this morning, and not without some justification.


"It looks like they stole this one fair and square. So far as I can see, it was the financial "crisis" and the media's behavior (to the extent there's a difference) that did it, not election day trickery."

Heh... glad to hear you say that, Simon. Now please do what you need to do - take a walk, hug your wife, brush the dog, putter in your garden - to bring your breathing and stomach back to normal. For selfish reasons alone, it would be a shame to lose you.



i wasn't crying until i read your most emotional and honest post. I think, of all the things to love about you, you're willingness to be so open and honest- even when it hurts- is what i love best of all.

I agree w/everything you say, except: i don't feel snake-y about my vote for McCain because i know why i voted for him and it had everything to do w/issues i hold dear, not because i fear a man's differences in tone of skin. Tone of governing- yeah- i'll admit a tinge of fear, now. Esp the SCOTUS nominees. I'm just happy for my African-American brothers and sisters- it means the world to them. Byron Pitts on CBS last night was so touched by Obama's win. It can't all be bad.

My 9yr old daughter is bummed- she is a loyal to McCain just as i am. Something to do about the presence of babies in the womb and the way they can be removed at will& who champions this "right of reproduction"(i know- we're all sick of hearing about THAT again)...

I told her to be gracious when other kids "hollered in her ears" about Obama's win and to cover Obama in prayer asking God to keep him safe and wise.

Simon- breathe. America is still the best place in the world to live- we'll be ok. We live to fight another day...

Donna B. *{{ hug }}*

Gotta go cache my guns now!!


I hope Simon is wrong about SoCons and the GOP. The country needs two viable parties, and if the social conservatives retain their stranglehold on the GOP, the party is going to be wandering in the wilderness for a long time. That is the danger I see this morning.

For now, though, it is a new day. I hope that some of you who don't see or feel it now will come to appreciate what has happened. Because things can change. But if the classless people who booed during McCain's fine speech rule the day, this will be even harder than it would be under the best of circumstances.


"But if the classless people who booed during McCain's fine speech rule the day, this will be even harder than it would be under the best of circumstances."

Please, Ally. Let me suggest you get your own house in order. From your side of the political spectrum we have endured 8 years of pathological hatred for President Bush and now you want to focus on a handful of booing Republican sore losers? Do you even want to help bring our country together or is this just nothing more than payback time for the left?


That's an interesting way of putting it. The SoCons don't have a stranglehold on the GOP - if they did, McCain would not have been the nominee. In this election, the moderates prevailed: they demanded and got John McCain, one of the most moderate Senators in the party, as the nominee, over the strenuous objections of the SoCons. It was a washout. McCain imploded, and what's more, as I mentioned above, the only successes in the cycle came from the SoCon wing: the ballot measures were out only real wins at the ballot box, and Palin made the Presidential ticket viable again until McCain goofed it up with his response to the financial crisis (I think she could have weathered the storm of negative publicity poured on her by the media but for that - if you look at the poll numbers, they plainly go into freefall when McCain "suspended his campaign"). I agree with you that I don't want the SoCons running the show -- I'm not a part of any specific wing of the party -- but their hand has been strengthened, as I see it. If the party throws in the towel on immigration, one can easily imagine the SoCons arguing for rebuilding the party around moral basics that can appeal to latino Catholics. That scenario would feature Sam Brownback as a leading figure, I would think.

Heh. You said brand new day. :p



Those are interesting points, many of them hard to disagree with. But I think history will show that Palin did not help McCain, other than with a shrinking base.


My, aren't we grumpy this morning? I may be to your left, but I don't consider myself very far to the left on the political spectrum. Yes, many people on the left had a visceral hatred for Bush. It disappeared for a while after 9/11, but his policies reignited it. He has not been a good president, to put it mildly. I have no interest in payback. I have interest in healing.


Ally, if Meade's "grumpy," it's likely because we're sick and tired of being told by people like you that we're part of the problem of America, that America needs some fundamental "change," that it's "selfish" to want to not have what we earn taken away from us by the government to give to someone deemed by arcane rules to be more "deserving" or "needy" than ourselves.

You refuse to acknowledge any legitimate differences of opinion about how best to make this country the greatest country it can be, while demonizing as the "SoCons" a large spectrum of society whose actual views and motives bear only a slight resemblance to the caricatures you paint of them.



Thanks for sharing your story. I got a little choked up in the voting booth yesterday at the simple recognition that we live in a free country and I get to vote for our laws and leaders.

And at the end of the day, despite all my concerns about how he will govern, I can't help but be inspired and proud that America has elected a President from a formerly enslaved and disenfranchised minority.

RW Rogers

Annie: The Democrats' voter suppression calling in my CD yesterday may have worked. Fewer than 500 votes separate the two candidates. There may be a couple of thousand absentee ballots out there. We'll see.

Ally: I'm no more thrilled about a social conservative agenda than you are, but you sound like you want those people to stop voting and not participate at all. As well, there is no evidence that the social conservative agenda was seriously debated or discussed by either national campaign. Abortion was rarely discussed by either national campaign nor was gay marriage.

Note particularly that relative GOP moderates like Norm Coleman and Gordon Smith are in peril. (I say Smith is toast as Multnomah's votes are the one's lagging and Portland is always 2:1 D.) It appears that Alaskans returned both Stevens and Young to Congress. Go figure. If Stevens loses his appeal, Palin may end up sitting in the United States Senate within the next year or two. LOL!

They are reporting that turnout nationwide was at an all-time high, 9-10 million more than 2004. but the current totals for President are about 4 million below 2004.


I voted for Obama but of course I am not ecstatic. Well, I am so relieved it wasn't close and we won't have to hear fanatics raving about how someone stole the election.

Everyone in my family, everyone at work, almost everyone I know except bf, is a raving Democrat. Bf voted for McCain, so I have to be careful what I say to him. But at least I don't have to lie about it at work or around relatives.

God I hate the attitude of Democrats. I don't hate the people, just their darned attitude. Yesterday at work I overheard one of the scientists talking about how we need an intelligent president, because the job requires someone who can think about complex problems. He meant, of course, that the problems of the past 8 years resulted from Bush's low IQ. I am SO SICK of that nonsense!

And now the Democrats are in charge, for good reasons I think. But we are going to see a smugness epidemic like you never saw before.


Simon: but one reason the moderates washed out is because so many moderate voters objected to Palin. Perhaps it was her inexperience, not her SoCon bonafides they objected to; or was it? (Very roughly) half the party seems to have been unhappy with Palin, the other half with McCain. A pure SoCon party could command about a third of the electorate, if that; the preponderance of the country are center-right on social issues (as, by some lights, are you).

The challenge will be to put the Reagan coalition back together, won't it? Ronnie was solidly conservative, but there was nothing zealous or extreme about him. In retrospect he seems a reassuring, uniting figure.

By the way, what's Newt saying this morning?



"People like me?" You don't even know me. You have no clue. You don't know who my friends are, to whom I speak, whose opinions I seek. You are so far off base that it's laughable. You, not I, are the one who appears to have a crabbed, close-minded view of the world.

RW Rogers

Amba: Surveys don't bear that out. Within the party, more voters were excited about Palin than McCain (71%-65%) and no one can win an election if their own party doesn't like them.

Can't verify the accuracy of this other info, but here's some data culled from the exit interviews:

First the most significant finding of this year's poll. The media will undoubtedly focus on the fact that 60 percent of voters expressed doubts about Gov. Palin being ready to take over as president at short notice. But there is no evidence that this fact actually influenced people's decision-making in the voting booth. When people were asked if Palin's presence on the ticket was an important factor in their decision, 60 percent answered yes, 33 percent no. But of the 60 percent that said yes, 56 percent ended up voting McCain versus 43 percent Obama. By comparison, of the 33 percent that said no, only 33 percent voted McCain versus 64 percent Obama. Conclusion: on balance, people who thought Palin's presence on the ticket was important were more likely to vote McCain by a significant margin.

Now to the McCain/Palin ticket's performance with some of the target groups that Palin was going to be judged on, namely women, independents, white evangelicals and gun owners:

- White women voted McCain/Palin 53-46. That's more or less the same as the Bush/Cheney score with this group in 2004 (55-44).

- White independents voted McCain/Palin 49-47. There are no comparable data on this group for 2004, but we do know that independents went for Kerry 49-48 in 2004, and 52-44 for Obama this year. It's safe to conclude that the swing to Obama in this category was caused by non-white independents voting overwhelmingly for the Democratic ticket.

- White evangelical/born again christians voted McCain/Palin 74-24 in 2008, which is slightly lower than the 78-21 breakdown in 2004. But their share of the total vote was larger this time than last time (26 percent in 2008 versus 23 percent in 2004), so on balance the white evangelical/born again contribution to the Republican vote was probably about the same size as it was in 2004.

- Gun owners votied for McCain/Palin in the same numbers they voted for Bush/Cheney last time round: 62-37 in 2008 versus 63-36 in 204

Conclusion: on her four main target groups, Palin delivered the goods for the McCain campaign. In all four categories, the McCain/Palin share of the vote was virtually identical to the Bush/Cheney share in 2004.

(Via Jim Geraghty)

I wouldn't argue Palin was a stunning success but the truth is no one votes the bottom of the ticket. They vote the top. Palin was never going to be the deal-maker McCain may have hoped for nor the deal-breaker.


Annie, from my perspective, the key words in your last comment were "in retrospect." My own memory of the Reagan years were of Democrats and many in the media heaping calumny on him. Because he opposed many forms of welfare, he was said to favor "children starving in the streets." As today, a difference over what policies we think will make us most prosperous, what policies will be most advantageous to the well-being of the entire country, was treated as a difference over major end goals.

I was only beginning to come of political age at the time. What were your thoughts back then? I mean, clearly his eloquence and sense of humor helped gain him a larger share of the moderate vote than any Presidential candidate since has managed to do, but I really don't recall much acceptance or acquiescence or sense of "uniting" from the Democrats at the time. To them, he was an idiot; an actor whose only skill was delivering his lines well; a dangerous "cowboy" who might actually nuke the Soviets.

The only times I hear most Democrats care about the "graciousness" of Republican candidates is after they are safely dead or defeated. And that's ok with me, because we all DO have different ideas about what's best for the country, and we SHOULD fight over them, because they're all important issues and worth fighting for. The mistake, I think, is in the assumption that it should all be a boring, sedate affair, where everybody is gracious good losers. We're not Americans if we don't fight, hard, for the things we think are right.


Ally, you're correct. I don't know you. I know only what you've written in comments to your sister's blog posts. The impression I have is derived entirely from that. If that's an incorrect impression, I'm not the one responsible for that.

I'm certain you're a perfectly good, decent, well-meaning person. But I also think you've convinced yourself, politically, that the "SoCons" and President Bush, and probably Republicans in general, are close to being the root of all that is bad with America, and the primary source of political nastiness and divisiveness. You certainly write as if you believe that.

You appear to be the sort of person who thinks we should all just put these nasty "wedge issues" behind us... by implementing liberal policies for abortion rights, gay marriage, and all the rest of them. It takes 2 sides to fight, and the country is pretty divided on those issues. It's not "compromise" or "bipartisan" for one side to just give up the fight.


Thanks, Randy, as usual, for the solid information.


What were your thoughts back then? Me? I was a knee-jerk Democrat back then. I hated him.


However, Jacques loved him for the way he stood up to the Soviet Union. And we were, at the time, trying to help various friends and relatives get out of Romania, which was sort of the North Korea of Europe, with the support of people like Scoop Jackson. So that gradually won me over.


Amba, I like the part where J called both candidates assholes. Very fair and balanced.

The other day my mother said she had not yet decided who to vote for, and we had this conversation:

Me: Do you like Obama?
Mom: Oh yes!
Me: What do you think of McCain?
Mom: I HATE him!
Me: Why, because he's a Republican?
Mom: Yes!
Me: Then which one are you going to vote for?
Mom: I'm not sure yet.


I am thrilled at the results of this election but I share realpc's concern about Democrat smugness. It turns my stomach, too. I'm sitting in the coffee shop I often write in that is a bastion of rabid L.A. liberals (including myself) and am relieved that I'm seeing about 40 percent smug high-fiving in the Democrats-are-all-good, Republicans-are-the-devil mode and about 60 percent emotional but somewhat sober joy about Obama's victory without the smugness.

The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner and I was glad that at my daughter's VERY progressive private middle school, her Republican humanities teacher taught them some very good lessons about being more informed about the candidates and issues and not just seeing everything as black and white as these kids, largely the offspring of very affluent movie stars and film executives, are wont to do. I was so proud of my eighth-grade daughter, herself a strong Obama supporter, who came to the defense of a girl in her school yesterday who had the guts to say she supported McCain and was roundly attacked by her rabidly Democratic classmates.

And yes, it's easier to acknowledge the graciousness of McCain in defeat but listening to his eloquent speech last night it felt like he was finally freed from the shackles of his handlers who had succeeded in turning him into something he's not during the campaign. I always respected the man but I sure hated his campaign.

As for Palin, the results of my very unscientific study of Republicans I happen to know proves that she WAS a turn-off to them. Some voted for McCain anyway but some voted for Obama because of Palin and Palin alone. That's a tiny sampling but I'm sure they weren't the only ones even though I realize there are large numbers of people who thought she was a great choice.

While the Bush-hating HAS been extreme over the past eight years, I'm not at all timid in saying how happy and relieved I am that he will be out of office in a few months. I think he was one of the most destructive Presidents this country has ever seen. If the Republicans want to blame anyone for McCain's defeat, all hands should point to George W. Bush.


Annie, I appreciate your honesty in your post and all through this craziness.


But what, exactly, do you think Bush did that was so destructive, aside from invading Iraq? Katrina was the kind of unprecedented disaster that would have thrown any president. The financial crisis was NOT caused by libertarian de-regulation -- you can't regulate what you don't understand, and no one understood what Wall Street was up to, not even Wall Street.

So what did Bush really do wrong? Aside from Iraq and allowing congress to continue wasting money like there's no tomorrow.

Most of the things Democrats rage about were either understandable human errors (given crazy horrible events) or petty nonsense, like saying Bush took away our freedom.

And Democrats always say how great things were under Clinton, implying we need another high-IQ president to bring back peace and prosperity. But peace and prosperity under Clinton wasn't related to Clinton's policies -- except that Clinton was moderate and reasonable and didn't create disasters. But Bush didn't create disasters either. The economy was already inflated under Clinton and was crashing when he left. Why don't Democrats rage at Clinton's lack of foresight in not trying to reign in Wall Street? Or in not being aware of the Muslim terrorists who were planning 9/11?

The Democrats do not even try to see reality.


Real: Starting the Iraq war was probably a mistake. You don't go to war unless you have to (even though reasonable people can argue about when you "have to"). It's too expensive.

Mismanaging the occupation for three years was another mistake.

The surge (and the strategic use of money to pacify the Sunnis) was no mistake. It was a good move, the beginning of the way out of the morass created by the mistakes.


Amba, I agree. But are the "smart" Democrats correct in saying Bush's mistakes resulted from his incompetence (their euphemism for low IQ)? It seems to me his mistakes were related to his ego becoming inflated when he seemed heroic after 9/11, and having too much faith in an ideology. I don't see his mistakes as being related to incompetence.

But I am not sure, because I have an intense anti-smart people bias. I have spent my life questioning their arrogant authoritarianism. Is my bias preventing me from seeing idiocy in the Bush presidency?


They are reporting that turnout nationwide was at an all-time high, 9-10 million more than 2004. but the current totals for President are about 4 million below 2004.

Randy, it's down to about 2 million votes short of 2004, but that 130 million number looks wildly optimistic. Also, the 64% turnout number simply can't be correct.


Oh and by the way, I also spent my life trying to become "smart" myself, to find out if it's really such a big deal. I found that learning did not make me confident that I have the answers -- just the opposite.

It bothers me that as soon as anyone here finds out I am not a Democrat they will automatically and immediately, and unconsciously, decide I'm not smart. And that's bad because I work here.


Katie Couric spent some time last night deconstructing the anti-Palin vote, claiming it cost McCain significantly. Couric's numbers weren't convincing, and, frankly neither are those quoted by, RW (Randy, is it?) above. Both sides are cherry picking the data. I get that Palin delivered the Base and turned off some in the non-base, but I'm not convinced she resulted in a net loss or gain. I'm not even sure the right questions were asked in the exit polling.


Danny... good for your daughter (and kudos to you, of course, for raising her that way)!

As for Palin, I suspect that there is significant regional variation in feelings about whether she helped or hurt the ticket. I can tell you that I was at the GOP convention, and there was NO thrill for McCain. Zip. Nobody was terribly excited that he was the Presidential nominee. There were some who thought he was the best choice for this particular election, and of course most people intended to campaign and vote for him, out of party loyalty if nothing else, but there just was no excitement.

But every time any speaker mentioned Sarah Palin's name? The joint went NUTS! She will be a major force in national politics in the coming decade or two. She's got some stuff to overcome, but the fact is that most of the negative opinion about her stems from 2 sources: that she didn't do well in her coming-out interviews with Couric and Gibson and that she supports conservative, including social conservative, values.

When you look at what she actually DID in Alaska, however, you see that she didn't actually pursue a "focus on abortion and religion at all costs" policy. She focused primarily on economic issues, and seems to have handled them fairly well. She fought against political corruption in her own party, at substantial political risk to herself at that stage of her political career. If she's smart, she'll spend the next 2 years both governing Alaska and eating a lot of rubber chicken, meeting thousands and thousands of individuals around the country, giving interviews in local media, that sort of thing.

Ruth Anne

Two things have helped me today. The first was this [NSFW] clip from the most excellent series, 'Deadwood.' The second was this post of yours.


realpc... if you'll forgive a personal message, I have been very impressed with your comments and thought process over the past several months. We've had some significant differences on a couple of issues in the past, and no doubt will in the future, but your comments on the election have been rational and level-headed. I do hope that the Obama you voted for is the one who actually shows up to govern. At any rate, I look forward to hashing out the issues with you over the coming years.

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