Monday, February 25, 2008

Release Us From This Dangerous Embrace

For anyone contemplating voting for Mccain, they should know that a vote for Mccain means more of Bush's failed policies.

The photo of Bush and Mccain hugging will be a constant reminder of his decision to tie his political fortunes with perhaps the worst president in memory with a 17% approval rating. They will try to distance themselves from Bush, but this picture will stand in the way.

Mccain used to have the reputation of being more moderate. In 2000, Mccain called out extremists like Farrakan and those on the religious right. He used to fight against torture, be for campaign reform, and used to be a maverick for moderation. Something snapped and he has embraced everything the Bush and the religious right wants him to.

If you like how the last seven years have gone, then voting for Mccain guarantees a continuation of the same old Bush policies.

“I’d be honored to have President George Bush’s support, his endorsement,” McCain responded. “And I’d be honored to be anywhere with him under any circumstances.” He added, “I am proud of this president’s strategy in Iraq.”

It is not just Iraq, but a dedication to appoint far right Supreme Court Justices, overturn privacy laws that protect the individual and the government via Roe v. Wade and Greenwald v. Connecticut.

Mccain would continue the unsustainable tax cuts for the very rich, who refuse to come to our country's aid during times of war, global warming, crumbling infrastructure, lack of affordable health care, and a declining economy. Instead recipients of these huge tax breaks are supporting American jobs being shipped overseas. These very rich who are sucking wealth from what was the working and middle class, who are the engines of productivity in this country and Mccain isn't serving those interests. If you are part of the working and middle class, he is not on your side just like Bush.

It is these tax cuts that have run up our National Debt and made us vulnerable in the world because we depend on the Chinese to keep us going, and it only serves to lessen our respect in the world. How will we be able to keep our nation compatible if we allow our roads and infrastructure business depends to crumble for lack of funds? How can we invest in green technology to deal with global warming if we keep giving tax breaks to the very rich who do not care about investing in America and Americans. They do not care about global warming because they have enough wealth accumulated to not let the effects of global warming harm them.

These tax cuts will keep us from paying down the National Debt that effects the Dollar and the average American's purchasing power. I know that the republicans will always refer to repealing these tax cuts as tax increases, but it is really IRRESPONSIBLE FISCAL POLICY. It is reckless to accumulate obligations like the repayment of the Debt and war in Iraq and Afghanistan that are hemorrhaging funds from the public coffer and reduce the means of balancing the budget especially when it means asking the richest Americans to act like real Americans.

Long ago, republicans used to be the vanguard of fiscal responsibility. They lost that mantle when the religious right and the neo-conservatives took over the republican party. These forces pushed out moderates and fiscal conservatives. They pushed out the Eisenhower republicans who believed that investment in infrastructure was a prudent investment for business and national security. Republicans like Bush and Mccain have abandoned the what made republicans a necessary foil to make American governance work. Oddly enough for the past 25 years Democrats have become the guardians of fiscal responsibility fighting reckless spending without the necessary income to sustain that spending. The first balanced budget was under the leadership of a democrat.

Mccain thinks that NAFTA is just great and leads presidential candidates in taking contributions from Subprime Lenders.

While I myself support reasonable gun regulation, those who are against gun regulation and 2nd Amendment rights probably wouldn't like Mccain.

For all the huffing and puffing over the whole FISA fight, allowing the legislation to run out isn't going to endanger America. Without FISA there are plenty of mechanisms where law enforcement and intelligence agencies can obtain the means to track terrorists. What is really at stake about the whole FISA thing is that it is unreasonable to expect Congress to give retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies without knowing what they would be giving immunity to. It is important that our representatives provide oversight to make sure they are not abusing the powers congress grants. Telecommunications companies have access to the communications of every American citizen and abuse of that access can ruin innocent citizen not just catch criminals. John Mccain doesn't believe in proper Congressional oversight in areas that can be abused against American citizens. Obama voted against granting retroactive immunity without knowing what that immunity would involve, and Clinton has expressed having the same concerns.

The Bush administration's past handling of wiretapping has even bothered ex-attorney general Ashcroft, so it is not unreasonable for Congress to demand to be given proper oversight. Mccain wants to protect Bush, and If you think that is right then vote for Mccain.

Mccain backing Bush in so many ways doesn't demonstrate good judgement needed. It does nothing to improve our image in the world to have another cowboy in the US presidency. Remember his song, "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran"?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dear Mr. Nader

Mr. Nader:

I voted for you in 1996 and registered with the Green Party in the early 90s so Greens could get on the ballot in California. I had real respect for you and truly believe in the goals of the Green Party. In 1996, you passed up a real opportunity to grow the party when it was safe that the republicans wouldn't take the presidency. You were hesitant and spent more time saying you didn't want to run. I was disappointed that you wasted the opportunity to deliver the progressive message to middle America.

Your run and how you ran in 2000 was inexcusable. Your campaign stated repeatedly that there was NO DIFFERENCE between Gore and Bush. That was the most irresponsible statement. Do you really think that Gore would have appointed Alito? Do you really believe that Bush would do anything for the environment? How could you guys be so incredibly naive? You are complicit in contributing to 8 years of complete hell in this country.

You are the reason I had left the Green Party and will never return. You never bothered to earn any leverage with the Democratic Party because you never delivered votes to the party consistently. The religious right earned the right to co-opt the party by patiently and consistently delivering votes to the republican party for 30 years. What have you guys done?

You are around six years and whine when you didn't get all you wanted from the democrats, but didn't deliver for them. Instead, you have alienated the Democrats, who you could have influenced if you could mobilize votes and make the case for ideals. Great move for the movement guys.
So now you are just a spoiler, who will be responsible for allowing John "100 Year War" Mccain into the presidency.

Mr. Nader you have shown yourself unconcerned about our country and the progressive movement. This is why I will actively oppose your candidacy as vigorously as Mccain's. You make me ashamed that I ever supported this party.


Formerly of the Green Party

This is what I just sent to his website. I am sure that they will not take it seriously and do not care what I think or anyone who used to be a member. They do not care that we have a candidate in Obama that has a track record in government transparency issues and lots of the reforms that Greens supposedly care about. They never cared about women's reproductive rights, as I had been on numerous progressive green boards in 2000 arguing about his candidacy and no one cared about Roe v. Wade being overturned. I got so disturbed by their lack of concern for reproductive rights and the danger of the religious right I became a Green for Gore.

The argument goes that they want republicans to completely gut this country to teach democrats a lesson and somehow make their policies more persuasive. I never figured out how that was supposed to work.

The Greens have been unsuccessful not because the evil corporate media is keeping their message away from the people. It is because they don't want to do real work to build a grassroots movement in this country, and they are so disorganized and all over the place. Trying to plan a rally for a Florida Recount in 2000 was very frustrating because no one was willing to keep the message simple and focused. We also had to protest Mumia, Nepal, the WTO, and a whole bunch of leftist causes. I didnt necessarily disagree that Mumia and Nepal needed to be free, but not when we were supposed to be sending a message about voting in Florida.

It will be easy to fight both Nader and Mccain, because they are one and the same. A vote for Nader is no different that embracing the 100 year war and republican ideals.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Clinton Expresses Faux Outrage About Obama Fliers

One of my favorite movies in the world is Casablanca. I especially love the part when Captain Renault closes down Rick's Cafe.

: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!

What makes that funny is that Renault is shutting down Rick on the same grounds that he himself has derived benefit.

For months now Clinton has falsely sent out fliers against Obama accusing him of being weak on reproductive rights in New Hampshire. There were robocalls in South Carolina that claimed that democrats had no good ideas, and recently sent fliers with pictures of people Obama's plan won't cover. Hillary has shown herself to not be above Rovian tactics that she is now accusing Obama of.

Obama's fliers are about Hillary's Health Care Plan and her support of NAFTA.The Clinton campaign has been very vague on how she will enforce the mandates.

Clinton has claimed that she has 35 years experience including being in the White house and being part of the Clinton Administration. One of the signature accomplishments of the Clinton administration is fast-tracking NAFTA through Congress and signing it. The Clintons have supported it. I have always thought that they were grossly naive to think that they could re-negotiate labor and environmental protections AFTER they passed NAFTA. By signing this into law, they signed away any leverage to make those changes. Hillary now says that if she becomes president she will fix the NAFTA after we have lost bargaining power.

These fliers have been out for awhile, why Hillary picked this time to make a complaint is kind of questionable. Obama was far more cool headed in the face of Clinton's attacks than she is now. Her outrage is disingenuous given her behavior during this campaign. Her outrage over a democrat going after a democrat is really laughable. She can dish it out but she can't take it. How is she going to survive the republicans if she cannot properly explain and defend her plan enough to rebuff attacks from her opposition?

Libertarians for Obama?

In my quest to find really good side-by-side comparisons of Obama, Clinton, and Mccain, I ran across this interesting analysis of the candidates from the Libertarian point of view. Obama comes out pretty well. Joanne McNeil is a libertarian that makes a good argument why she is supporting Obama and other libertarians should as well. James Joyner from Outside the Beltway has a more tepid support of Obama for his stance on Free Trade and Free Speech, but likes a lot that he sees.

"Many libertarians, faced with a choice between two non-libertarian candidates, will almost certainly vote for Obama. They may do it out of visceral reasons or attraction to him as a personality. They may do it on abortion, drug policy, homosexual rights, or a less militaristic foreign policy. But they’re not going to do so, if they’re honest with themselves, on free speech or free trade."
The Liberty Papers has and interesting thread about Obama as a candidate for Libertarians and Libertarian leaning liberals. Bricks is trying to argue to the conservative libertarians. Just a Girl in short shorts talking about whatever thinks that Obama's positions while he was a conlaw professor have lots to offer libertarians and lots to piss off liberals. I am happy to let her feel that way, even though his record suggest he is not as pro-gun or anti-reproductive rights as her reading of his writings suggests. See You At The Yard captures some Obama quotes that suggest that Obama's Second Amendment stance is more nuanced.

David Koffler and Andrew Sullivan both write about Obama as a man of substance and someone who is bringing a new kind of liberalism. Koffler calls it "left-libertarianism". This liberalism is less about what government can do for its people, and more how people can use government.

"Obama's liberalism that provides a bridge to conservatism. He is not a traditional top-down big government liberal. He's a pragmatist who believes in finding ways to empower people to run their own lives. No, he's no libertarian. But his view of government's role has absorbed some of the right-wing critiques of the 1970s and 1980s. Hence the lack of mandates in his healthcare proposal and his refusal to engage in racial victimology. This nuance is worth exploring. Unlike Hillary, he doesn't believe he is going to save anyone. He thinks he has a chance to help some people save themselves." - Andrew Sullivan
I have to say that before February 5th when I was still on the fence, it made me nervous to hear praise of Obama from the likes of Andrew Sullivan and those who I differed politically. I started thinking that this could be this elaborate ruse on the right. The problem was I could never quite figure out what these tricksters wanted me to do. Did they want to lure me into voting for Obama with the thought they could easily beat him? Did they praise him so we liberals would be scared away because they thought he was a threat to a republican candidate?

I did have problems with Obama's stance on tort-reform and made peace on the fact that I may not agree on everything on Obama's position papers. On the important stuff, he and I see the world in a similar way. I think he has the best chance of winning and hitting the reset button on our failed foreign policy. He has the intellect and has demonstrated good judgment and great tactical acumen necessary for being a good or even great president.

Much Ado About Nothing - Decision Analyst Poll

I wake up this morning and I see a poll from Decision Analyst, a Dallas-based market research that is too good to be true.

"a statewide survey of 678 registered voters planning to vote in the March 4 Democratic Primary. The survey was conducted February 20 and 21 by Decision Analyst, a major national survey research firm. Decision Analyst projections indicate that if the election were held today Obama would win 57% to 43% over Clinton. The survey�s margin of error is 3 percentage points, plus or minus, at a 90% level of confidence."

I have to admit that I was initially excited until I asked the question - who are these people and what is their track record? So I searched the web and all I got where other bloggers picking this up. It turns out no one can find a track record and it appears that this was an online poll which makes it very dubious.

While I have been hearing a lot of promising news on the ground, I think that this poll is way too off in variance-land to be believed. I would love it to be true, but I would rather stick to more conservative numbers to keep people working and if we do pull out a good win -- it will have more impact if everyone thought it was closer or that Clinton had it in the bag.


Here are some links to some Polls. I think while it is pretty much even and it is still pretty early, there are some guesses we can make for now. Clinton may get Ohio and Rhode Island, and Obama may get Texas and Vermont.
Clinton Has Edge in Ohio; Race in Texas Deadlocked
Reuters/Zogby Poll: Obama Pulls Away in National Polling
Obama Leads Texas in ARG Poll
Ohio and Texas Trend to Obama

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Would YOU walk 7.3 Miles to Vote?

In surfing around there is some good news coming out in Texas and Ohio. It looks like Obama's grassroots experience is really making the difference in these two crucial states, Texas and Ohio. This doesn't mean that we need to rest or take victory for granted. It is always wise to operate like you are 40 points down.

Would you walk 7.3 miles to vote?

One amazing story that needs to be told coming out from Texas. It happened in Waller County, a rural county about 60 miles outside Houston. Students from Prairie View A&M, a historically black university decided that if their university was going to be singled out and not have a local voting location, they will walk 7.3 miles to the County Courthouse in Hempsted, TX. Students at this campus have been fighting for the right to be able to vote where they go to school way back in the elections of 2004 and 2006, but accroding to the Houston Chronicle, the county has faced numerous lawsuits over a 30 year period.

There were 1000 students and additional 1000 friends and supporters on the walk. Only two machines greeted them at the courthouse, but they lined up and took as long as they needed. Additional emergency polling places have been added and will open today (February 22nd and 23rd 7am-7pm) for early voting as well as for the March 4th election.

For years I have been frustrated by the apathy in this country especially among the youth in this country. This story is a dramatic example what is happening across the country with the youth and first time voters. I have complained that our country has turnouts of less than 50%, which is shameful. It has been my contention that if we could get an 80-90% turnout among registered voters and get people who have not registered to vote registered and voting, we would have a potent revolution. This is how change happens, when you can convince Americans their votes count and that it does matter that they actively work for change.

It is shameful that these kids had to walk 7.3 miles in order to exercise their rights. People who made that happen should be fired or voted out. This story should be on every news outlet, so every American can see that it is possible to awake from this sleepy apathy.

For more information visit these places and spread the word:

- Black America Web
- Burnt Orange
- Houston Chronicle
- Yahoo News
- Crooks and Liars
- Open Letter from Categorical Aperitif
- Jack and Jill Politics
- Youtube
- Losangelista
- African American Opinion
- In Form of a Question
- Bitch PhD

Live Blog Part I

They are introducing the candidates and I hear it is really important to appeal to the Hispanic Americans. As I am a wine-drinking Obama supporter I am fulfilling the stereotype as I write this.

We are in the LBJ Library. The candidates are sitting next to each other so it will be interesting if

Hills mentions Barbara Jordon and its her birthday today. There we go she is mentioning Ann Richards. She wants us to think that she is just like them. Why doesn't she mention Molly Ivins? Oh, because before she died she told the world that she wouldn't vote for Hillary.

Doh. Got to make dinner now and pause the debate on the old DVR. So no more live blogging. Apparently the comments are down over at Wonkette so no live blogging there either.


Obama could have zinged her more and shouldn't have fell into the whole Health Care debate with her. I say this because he was put into the defensive stance a bit and I think that he should have been steering the debate, not Hillary. Its all good though.
The bottom line is that she had her chance to make something happen with Health Care and she messed up. Obama did mention the reasons why she failed which was good and reinforced the idea that you can have great ideas, but if you first have to change the system where "good ideas go to die".

I think that is a universal opinion that Hillary's Xeroxing comment deserved the boos she got and that it was the classic misfire of attack dog politics. I have heard people talk about that Mark Penn or her husband may have put her up to it. She is a big girl running for President of the United States. Ultimately, no one was twisting her arm or had a gun to her head, she should have had the good judgment that that would backfire. This should have occurred to her before the debate, but it should have been crystal clear to her when Obama made a reasonable explanation that his campaign chair suggested he use the phrase and the audience seemed to accept that. If she was thinking on her feet, like a president should, she should have agreed with him that silly season does happen during campaigns. She would have given him a minor point, but she would have avoided looking petty and desperate.

Hubby thought that Obama should have come up with the equivalent of "There you go again!" but I thought that what he needed to do is hold his own, look presidential, and articulate that he is not the empty suit, but a thoughtful and experienced candidate which he did. Clinton needed to trip Obama up and somehow drive home that he is the empty suit that her campaign keeps telling everyone. She did not accomplish that. The major news cycle has her saying something that got her the only boos of the evening and her being conciliatory and almost valedictory at the end. I think she had to do something to make up for that unnecessary xerox comment, and she did it by what someone on Wonkette referred to as "xeroxing John Edwards"

“Como Se Dice…Como Se llama? (OBAMA, OBAMA)”

Turn up the volume and play this tune to celebrate Debate Night on CNN 5pm PST. Usually I am over at live blogging (there have been so many debates). I am debating whether I should just live debate here instead. I am so glad that I have been searching for Obama news in Texas. Even though I really liked the Yes We Can Video, I am loving these Spanish Obama songs -- you can actually dance. Viva Obama!

Viva Obama! (Viva!) Familias unidas, seguras y hasta con plan de salud!


Here is the English translation:
To the candidate who is Barack Obama
I sing this corrido with all my soul
He was born humble without pretension
He began in the streets of Chicago
Working to achieve a vision
To protect the working people
And bring us all together in this great nation
Viva Obama! Viva Obama!
Families united and safe and even with a health care plan
Viva Obama! Viva Obama!
A candidate fighting for our nation
It doesn't matter if you're from San Antonio
It doesn't matter if you're from Corpus Christi
From Dallas, from the Valley, from Houston or from El Paso
What matters is that we vote for Obama
Because his struggle is also our struggle, and today we urgently need a change
Let's unite with our great friend
Viva Obama! Viva Obama!
Families united and safe and even with a health care plan

Viva Obama! Viva Obama!
A candidate fighting for our nation

Excellent Obama vs. Clinton Comparison

I have been trying to find the definitive comparison article between Obama and Clinton. It has been difficult. I have tried to do something, but I found an article on Daily Kos by Grassroots Mom that needs to be paid attention to. It really speaks to me as a fellow mom. It confirms to me what I like about Obama and vindicates what I have been saying about the specious "empty suit" claim.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Who Wears the Empty Suit?

I don't know why I do this, but I have been finding myself arguing with Clinton supporters over at the Huffington Post. The way I see it everyone has the right to campaign for their particular candidate and debate who would be a better president. The Clinton supporters do not debate they just repeat the same old mantras over and over.

They like calling him an "empty suit" without defining what that means to them and backing up what makes him an empty suit compared to Hillary. Of course it is also the mantra of the right (see graphic I found on the right), but whether it is from the right or the left, they are wrong. They have nothing to back up the claim of an empty suit.

Obama supporters start talking about Obama's experience in working for a civil rights firm working on the behalf of communities to get the state of Illinois to implement Federal Law to help the poor to vote. While working at this firm that is known for working to protect family planning clinics from violence, Obama worked on defending a whistleblower who was exposing corruption and waste. He also taught constitutional law, so he clearly understands the constitution and the bill of rights which given the experience of the past 8 years, is sorely needed.

Then he was a community organizer is so often glossed over and even dismissed. It takes a lot of skills to motivate communities to get together and work toward a goal when they are not getting paid. You have to be able to recognize strengths and weaknesses of your volunteers and give them manageable goals so they can get a sense of accomplishment. You need to be incredibly organized and be able think tactically on a small to non-existent budget. If you doubt that these are skill sets just anyone can have try organizing a large community to get things done and come back and let me know how that went. In one of her most stunningly politically tone deaf moments, Hillary told the country that MLK and JFK wouldn't have gotten anywhere with civil rights without LBJ -- suggesting that experienced politicos are better change agents than those who organize and inspire mass movements.

"“Dr King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done.” - Hillary Clinton

While factually true, it had the effect of coming off really insensitive to the legacies of both MLK and JFK. It was clear that Clinton did not care how that would make african-americans feel. The political calculation thought it was more important to dismiss her opponents strengths by diminishing the roles of two great men. This is along with Bill Clinton's comments about Obama being just another Jesse Jackson. These comments were unnecessary and made some feel that these comments were being used to remind whites in SC that Obama was black just like Jesse Jackson. The effect was that the Caroline and Edward Kennedy endorse Obama and african-americans have another reason to look at Obama over a candidate they long known and trusted. Bill Clinton who made her candidacy appealing all of the sudden seemed that he no longer had the magic that made him so loved. I say it was poor judgment and she deserved to lose.

The bottom line is that Obama's experience with grassroots organizing is exactly what makes him a formidable candidate against Clinton and Mccain. He understands what motivates and unites people to donate, to volunteer, to vote, to get out and reach out to people on his behalf and on the behalf of the movement his candidacy spawned.

During his eight years in the Illinois Senate he sponsored 823 bills. The bulk of the bills he introduced at this time had to do with health care and public health. In 1999, he sponsored an Illinois constitutional amendment that would establish a right to universal health care coverage. It didn't pass, but in 2003 he passed a number of measures that would extend health care coverage for those just above the poverty line.

In 2004, Obama passed a bill that would establish a commission to develop a plan for providing universal health care in Illinois. He also sponsored a bill that voted on after he left office but did not pass that would permit embryonic stem cell research. Other legislation he sponsored dealt with poverty, crime, civil rights, ethics, the environment, infrastructure and public works, death penalty reform, gun control, military and veterans affairs, and immigration. We also know from state reproductive and women's rights advocates that Obama played a substantial role in protecting women's rights. This is not the work of an empty suit by any imagination.

While he has been in the US Senate he has authored the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 (became law), The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, (became law), The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate,The 2007 Government Ethics Bill (was blocked by republicans with a poison pill of a presidential line item veto by GOP senate leaders--headed by Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) ethics advocates were disappointed by Mccain and Collins who joined other opponents to block), (became law), The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, (In committee), and many more.

In the 110th Congress he sponsored 113 bills. In the 109th congress Obama sponsored 152 bills: S. 3475-A bill to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans. (6/7/2006), S. 3554- A bill to establish an alternative diesel standard, and for other purposes. (6/21/2006), S. 3627 - A bill to prohibit the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy from selling, distributing, or transferring elemental mercury, to prohibit the export of elemental mercury, and for other purposes. (6/29/2006), S. 3631 - A bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to phase out the use of mercury in the manufacture of chlorine and caustic soda, and for other purposes. (7/11/2006) S. 3694 A bill to increase fuel economy standards for automobiles, and for other purposes.(7/19/2006), S. 3822 -A bill to improve access to and appropriate utilization of valid, reliable and accurate molecular genetic tests by all populations thus helping to secure the promise of personalized medicine for all Americans. (8/3/2007), S. 3969 - A bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to assess and reduce the levels of lead found in child-occupied facilities in the United States, and for other purposes., (9/28/2007), S. 3988 - A bill to amend title 10 and 38, United States Code, to improve benefits and services for members of the Armed Forces, veterans of the Global War on Terrorism, and other veterans, to require reports on the effects of the Global War on Terrorism, and for other purposes. (9/28/2007), S. 4069 -A bill to prohibit deceptive practices in Federal elections., (11/16/2006) S. 4102- A bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the use of telecommunications devices for the purposes of preventing or obstructing the broadcast or exchange of election-related information.(12/7/2007), S. AMDT.159.S.CON.18 -To prevent and, if necessary, respond to an international outbreak of the avian flu.3/15/2005, S. AMDT. 390.HR.1268- To provide meal and telephone benefits for members of the Armed Forces who are recuperating from injuries incurred on active duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. (4/13/2005) .

Obama sponsored and passed S.2125 : A bill to promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Orrin Hatch and Obama got a bill signed by the president to clarify the treatment of certain charitable contributions under title 11, United States Code.

There are several versions of a comparison of US Senate records between Clinton and Obama. I have not seen a real comprehensive and unbiased side-by-side analysis of both candidates legislative records. The problem is that not all sponsored legislation is equal and co-authoring can be extensive or just be a casual inclusion on the bill with little action. All I can say is that the bills that he has worked on are for the most part very substantive.

I think I have said before that if the democrats really were serious on running and competing on experience they would have picked Biden, Dodd, or Richardson. The Democrats decided to go with the relatively less experienced female and African-American. I really don't think that Clinton can compete with Mccain on experience.

Lone Star State News

Last night I was pretty pleased at Obama's ability to continue his 10 state streak. Yes. It wasn't entirely unexpected, I know. At heart I am given to pessimism which doesn't quite make me a natural Obama supporter. Actually a lot of us tend to operate as if we are still behind.

There is Texas where recently Clinton had a 30 point lead, and now that has narrowed to pretty much even given the margin for error. It is said that Hillary has deep links to Texas that will make her hard to beat. She has the Hispanic vote and the Ann Richards liberals. Texas along with Ohio worries me. If she wins both that could lead to bringing in Florida and Michigan votes in, and bring the Super Delegates over to Clinton just to quickly get things over with. The thought of that happening made me glum for most of the morning. I firmly believe that if Hillary wins John "100 Year War" Mccain will win the presidency, and it isn't out of the realm of possibility that the democratic party would take a self-destructive turn like that. It would deflate the enthusiasm that has been created by Obama's campaign.

It turns out as an Obama supporter I may have to thank Ronald Reagan and Tom Delay if Obama wins Texas. A Reagan-appointed judiciary allowed the republicans to gerrymander Texas and regain control for the first time since Reconstruction. This gerrymandering went on steroids with Tom Delay which lead to a democratic revolt across state lines. The way districts were split up made it really hard for the democrats to get state seats, but that means that it will make it hard for Hillary to get the votes she needs. That is not all. The way that the Texas Democratic Party rules are set up can also make it difficult for Hillary. Nevertheless, the guy who ran Clinton's campaign in California believes they have a winning strategy.

"...the campaign has a three-pronged strategy for success: early voting, strong turnout at the March 4 primary, and a good showing at the caucuses. Only people who voted in the primary are allowed to participate in the caucuses."
Turnout for early voting has already been amazing. In Harris County the first day turnout in 2004 was only 728 people, but this year the first day turnout was 9,243. In Dallas, first day turnout went from 913 in 2004 to 8,615. These are both places where there are alot of young voters and African-American voters that favor Obama and award more delegates than districts that favor Clinton.
"Turnout was up too in the Rio Grande Valley, an expected Clinton stronghold, but the increase wasn’t as dramatic. In Hidalgo County, the number of voters rose from 3,858 (2004) to 5,793 (2008)."
Early voting ends on February 28th.

US Representative Chet Edwards from Waco (17th District) endorsed Obama. Edwards is also a super delegate.

"If she wins in Texas and Ohio I think she will be the nominee. If you don't deliver for her then I don't think she can. It's all on you."- Bill Clinton

Friday, February 8, 2008

What's Up Hillary?

As people who have read my blog know, I have stuck up for Hillary when she deserved it and I have defended the Clintons on numerous occasions. I am also 100% pro-reproductive rights without exception. A few weeks ago I was hesitant about Obama because I heard that he was weak on reproductive rights. This would definitely be a deal breaker if this were true. I did some research and found that he had a 100% rating with NARAL, and had a great record with reproductive and women's health issues. This was very disappointing to me and I think that it can contribute to the claim (fair or not) that she will say anything to get elected.
I might have to say that this was the beginning of the end to my support for Hillary's campaign since it got me to really research Obama and not really trust what was coming out of her camp.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Are You Experienced?

"So often in Washington experience means doing what we have been doing over, and over again. Well, to me that's not experience if what you are doing isn't working." - Barack Obama

I have been on various forums where there are heated arguments between Obama and Hillary supporters. Hillary supporters are accusing Obama of having no substance with a razor thin resume to become president on "day one". These people tend to be traditional democrats who are very party oriented. Yet, if Hillary doesn't get the nomination some of them said that they may look at Mccain.

They claim that Hillary is the best person to compete with Mccain because she has the most experience. I can't see how Hillary could compete with Mccain based on experience. She my have more experience than Obama (some have argued that Obama has more experience than Hillary in the State Legislature), but does she have more experience than Mccain? Mccain has been around forever and was in the Hanoi Hilton when she was in College. No democrat still running can say they have more experience.

We are in the mess we are in because of people who have "experience" Cheney, Rumsfeld, Greenspan all have long resumes of running things in the public and private sectors.

If democrats were so concerned about the experience thing they would have went with Biden, Dodd, or Richardson, but they decided to go with the party's "superstars": Hillary and Obama. Given that decision, dems are not going to be able to compete on experience. Our only hope is the vision thing and mobilizing independents and first time voters around a whole different paradigm and grassroots movement to end the war, reform health care, fight against global warming, and create jobs.

Nobody can deny her negatives. I keep running into people who are afraid that Hillary will get in there and not be able to accomplish anything because there is this irrational hatred toward her. I know dems and liberal independents who do not like her. There are people who voted with the Greens in 2000 because they really resented the Clintons for NAFTA, welfare-to-work,
and not doing enough for the environment. It is not just the right who hate her. There is a resentment of her about her vote for the war and her inability to admit she made a mistake with that vote. Refusal to admit a mistake seems too similar to Bush and it disappoints.

Hillary can get the rank and file democrats, but can she get the support of independents, the fastest growing political group in the Nation? If Obama gets the nomination he can steal from the pool of independents that would go for Mccain (his only political strength) and wouldn't mobilize the right wing as much as Hillary would do.

You can be the biggest policy wonk in the world, but if people are turned off by you (even if it is undeserved) how will you get things through?

When it comes to Clinton, experience means baggage, old ideas, and a top down method of governing. Obama's experience with grassroots can serve him well to turn his candidacy
and presidency into a movement for change. Change requires the American public to be motivated to put pressure on government to respond to their needs.

What our country needs is a reset button from the past 30 years in terms of foreign policy, economic development, and the general mood in this country and elevates it. We need a brilliant man of color named Barack Obama to represent us in the Middle East and to the world.

I am not saying Clinton would be a bad president. She would be a fine president. Obama would be better in my opinion. If she gets the nomination I will work for her, but it would be in the spirit of being against a republican Whitehouse rather than any enthusiasm for Clinton.

Maven Endorses Obama

Maven has decided to support Obama. It was an agonizing decision. I have always admired the Clintons and the Clinton Administration, despite my passionate objections to NAFTA, Welfare-to-Work, and their inability to move forward to deal with global warming. For the past months I found the whole experience argument persuasive and I was prepared to vote for Hillary.

Being poltical junkies, my husband and I watched all the debates and lurked on political mailing lists. We did our research and talked to our friends and family. You can't help notice the energy, creativity, optimism that this candidacy inspires among the once apathetic youth and those who have never became interested in politics.

On the morning of February 5th, I joined my fellow Marinites and voted for Barack Obama. It felt good. While I would vote whoever was the democratic nominee, I wanted to vote FOR someone rather than vote AGAINST a republican. I wanted to vote for an intelligent, thoughtful, and inspiring person who offers a rhetoric that appeals to every American's highest instincts. I want someone to marginalize the culture war in favor of real problems and challenges our country faces like global warming, a failed foreign policy, an unsustainable economy, and divisive politics that allows corporate interests to rule our nation.

Visiting his website and doing research I feel he is a better candidate whether you are democratic, republican, green, or independent. Some people would say that he lacks substance, but they have failed to convince me. No other candidate would use the bully pulpit of the office to greater effect in solving the problems that our country faces. He is the best face to represent us out in the world persuade them that our country is entering a new era of responsible diplomacy.

Join me and the great bulk of Marinites in supporting Barack Obama for President. Call all your friends in Washington State, Texas, Louisiana, Hawaii, and all the other States left to vote and encourage them to vote for Obama. You can visit Obama's site and join their phone bank online. Please join us and give money to his campaign.

Another thing you can do is contact super delegate and our representative Lynn Woolsey to respect that her constituents overwhelmingly voted for Obama and that she should rethink her support of Clinton.