Friday, April 18, 2008


Well, Folks, I have decided to suspend this blog until at least after the Democratic Primary. My mental health needs it. I am sorry for those who appreciate it. Two blogs were too much while also trying to write my second book and raise a family.

I will be resuming blogging at my other blog, Levellers, this weekend, but will try to keep that to once a week. I was just too much in danger of becoming another angry white man--this time on the Left. I have not dropped out of political participation (will be phone banking for Obama on Sunday p.m.), but I found myself too stressed to keep doing what I was doing.

Good bye for now, gentle folk.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mental Health Break

I am taking a blogging holiday in order to regain my lost mental equilibrium. I am currently too close to things emotionally.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Alert to the Right: Michelle Obama Has Always Loved This Country

The Right has tried to take Michelle Obama's remark the other day that "for the first time in [her] adult life" she was "really proud of [her] country" and make it a charge that she is not patriotic. (John McCain had Cindy declare repeatedly her pride in this nation.) The context showed that Michelle Obama was speaking of the engagement of long apathetic voters, the desire for change, the work to make a better nation and world. And, although the off the cuff wording was an unfortunate gaffe in an election, God knows I've been deeply embarrassed by my country these last years (invading Iraq, killing civilians, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, waterboarding, Plamegate, etc., etc.).

But here's Michelle Obama in Rhode Island, today, explaining the remark. Take that, Bill O'Reilly.

Anti-Hillary Sentiment Rising Among Leading Feminists

Feminists for Peace created a petition one week before Super-Tuesday to counter the NY chapter of NOW's claim that support for Obama was a betrayal of feminism and women. It had a 100 signers originally. It now has over 1,000. See the update here.

Obama's Accomplishments: Partial List

Last night, Chris Matthews completely humiliated a Texas State Senator who backs Obama because the poor sap couldn't name even one legislative accomplishment by Obama. The Clinton campaign is already running with this in Ohio (Does she now forgive Matthews for his sexist remarks?). The Texas pol's idiocy will be used to help reinforce the stupid line that says that Obama is all talk and no substance. So, here's a partial list of his accomplishments to counter that--use it widely with any folks you know--especially in Texas and Ohio and Pennsylvania.

First, let's remember that the U.S. seldom elects Senators to become president (although with only McCain, Clinton, and Obama left as viable candidates, we will this time). The last time was with JFK who also had not been in the U.S. Senate long. LBJ doesn't count because he was VP first--as was Gore who was robbed of his presidency. The kind of personality who does well as President, an executive personality, is not the same kind who does well as a longtime legislator. Clinton and McCain are both legislators. McCain's problems with the Rightwing of the GOP stem from his working with Dems to get legislation accomplished. Clinton is also an accomplished legislator who likes the give and take tradeoffs of the Senate--but which make you look like a flip-flopper as a presidential candidate. Obama's brevity in the Senate (and John Edwards' if he had become the nominee) actually makes him a better presidential candidate.

But here's the partial accomplishment list:

  • Graduated the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
  • Passed over 600 high money law firm offers to return to work as a community organizer in Chicago and to become a civil rights attorney at a fraction of the pay the big money law firms offered.
  • In Illinois State Senate, added health insurance for 20, 000 children, got welfare reforms that reversed some of the damage of the Clinton-Gingrich era, increased earned income tax credits for low income families, and increased the minimum wage.
  • Reformed the broken Illinois death penalty system. Required that all interrogations be video recorded so that coerced confessions would be thrown out. Passed Illinois Senate 58-0. Signed by GOP Gov. who rejected first version of the bill. Obama won by building public support (bottom up change) and consensus with conservative opponents.
  • Opposed invasion of Iraq nearly a year before invasion--taking a risky position as a candidate for U.S. Senate. Correctly predicted that the reasons for the invasion (WMDs, links to 9/11, etc.) would be revealed as bogus. Also predicted that the invasion would be of undetermined length (5 years and counting), undetermined cost (billions already), undetermined/shifting objectives (mission creep), with likelihood of civil war. All this was accurate, but against the common talking points of the day.
  • Along with GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, Obama expanded the program to locate and dismantle stray nukes and other WMD from old Soviet Union--making it much less likely that terrorists could obtain them.
  • Along with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), worked to pass the toughest ethics reform in Congressional history, insisting on tougher restrictions around gifts and meals. Extended the interval between time when exiting members of Congress can turn around and become lobbyists.
  • Toured Kuwait, Jordan, Israel and Palestinian territories on fact-finding mission. Met with Hamas leaders and told them that U.S. would never recognize them until they renounced their mission to attack Israel.
  • Co-sponsored comprehensive immigration reform bill with Sen. McCain and Sen. Kennedy--the bill that the far Right has forced McCain to abandon. Passed Senate 62-36 but died in the House.
  • Unveiled anti-global warming plan before Detroit automakers: told auto executives that they would need, at minimum, to increase fuel efficiency 3% across the board per year while also producing affordable flex-fuel, hybrid, and electric vehicles quickly.
  • Many aisle-crossing bi-partisan solutions in 8 years of Illinois Senate and 2 years in U.S. Senate.
  • 100% approval rating from League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood, NARAL. National Education Association gives him an "A" on most recent report card.
  • Sponsored 780 bills in Illinois Senate--280 became law during time of GOP dominated Illinois House and GOP Governor.
  • In 1st year as U.S. Senator, held 39 town hall meetings across Illinois, sponsored 152 bills and resolutions, co-sponsored 427 more.
  • Voted against Kyle-Lieberman bill that seemed to give Bush permission to attack Iran--Clinton voted for it.
  • Voted for the new bill outlawing waterboarding as torture. McCain, reversing himself, voted against it and has now urged Bush to veto it. Clinton skipped the vote.
  • Stopped campaigning to help Sen. Dodd in first filibuster against the illegal wiretapping bill that would have given immunity to telecoms.
  • Designated U.S. Senate point person on ethics reform by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid.