Reconciliation without Truth

21 11 2008

“Why not repeat the truth? Barack Obama’s election was a real breakthrough, without precedent–something he did by himself with the help of a million workers who were not working for Hillary Clinton.”

See, now when I read something like that I feel really pissed. The only reason (ok, the biggest reason) a lot of HRC supporters voted for BHO was because she encouraged it. Clinton asked them to support the Dem nominee and vote BHO – and a lot of supporters did. The vast majority, in fact, of former Hillary supporters swung hard right and voted Obama. This was out of loyalty to Clinton, not Democrats in general. Disregarding that voting block and saying, “Hey, we coulda done it without ya!” seems really stupid. If for no other reason, it fortifies that group of voters into looking for another candidate in 2012 and undermining Obama’s efforts in the years to come. And if he hadn’t needed them, he wouldn’t have bothered recruiting Hillary during the campaign.

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Prop Hate

6 11 2008

“It’s easy for many of us to simply move on now because it doesn’t affect us. Well, I don’t want to move on, because this law that aims to define marriage doesn’t have anything to do with marriage at all. This law actually and only aims to define some of us as something less than the rest of us. And that kind of law diminishes everyone.”

Abso-fucking-lutely.

It WAS creepy to see them hugging and cheering – like they finally killed off every last dirty infadel in their sacrosanct straight world.

I was in a great mood Tuesday until I heard about Prop 8, and then I almost cried.

In June citizens of California were told that according to the state constitution, same-sex couples had the right to marry. So then some people said, “well, we’ll just change the constitution!” Lickity split, in the blink of an eye, my pride in my country deflated.

There are people in California who are already married – same-sex couples. So now their marriages are illegal? This is crazy.

I am so sad for those misguided (at best! at worst – bigotted) people who thought they were doing a good thing. This is a huge set back for gay rights not just in California (and Arizona, and Florida) but across the country, and it DOES personally affect my family, my friends, and me.

Even though Obama won, I feel like the gay community lost.

 
More on Gay Marriage
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost





All Hail, King of America!

5 11 2008

Well, that was fun.

I hope everyone enjoyed the festivities last night, because now it’s time to focus on still-President Bush’s last days in office – his parting gifts, if you will.

From closing Guantanamo Bay to providing birth control pills, from protecting the endangered Gray Wolf to keeping coal plants away from national parks, Bush (read: Cheney) is going to do everything in his still-expanding power to make his last days count. Think of it this way: he has nothing to lose. Reputation? Legacy? Re-Election? After all, he is the tyrant our mothers warned us about, and he’s not burdened with face-saving displays of centerism that are required when running for re-election. He, and his administration, are the hard core, git ‘er done, christian fundamentalist conservatives – and they have plans. Plans that can be executed right up until the last minute as far as they’re concerned. It doesn’t matter if they are popular – there are no more contests left to win. Bush can no longer hurt McCain by being divisive, extreme, and deaf to half the country. He, and his administration, are in the final days of an presidency marked with exclusion, extremism, lawlessness, opacity, fear-mongering, and pridefulness, and they plan on going out with a bang.

There is no tomorrow for the Bush Administration. In fact, arguably they view the incoming Obama presidency as the apocolypse – a slap in the face to their sacrosanct healing of American Liberalism that was infected into our government and society by the Clinton administration, among others.

While the Republican machine has suffered losses, it is by no means deterred. In fact, the few who remain, and who are by definition not up for re-election any time soon, are probably all the more convinced that they are the saviors who will bring the heavenly Bush administration in for a landing.

Let’s not and say we did.

A stitch in time is within our grasp. We can avoid having to undo damage later if we can prevent it from happening now. This is the time to take a deep breath and sprint to the finish line. This is the time to speak your mind, even if your voice shakes. This is the time to speak truth to power. There are people making monumental decisions about our civil liberties, abortion rights, and the environment, and these people have publicly available e-mail addresses.

Don’t forget your newspapers, local or otherwise. One letter can be ignored, but one thousand cannot. In New Jersey we have over 550 towns. If one person from every other town wrote a letter to the Star Ledger, New Jersey’s state wide paper, that would be over 200 letters. No newspaper is going to ignore 200 letters about anything, and a few will even be published.

Start now. Start tiny. Write an e-mail to your member of congress. Write an e-mail to both of your senators. Write e-mails to every elected official that in any way represents you, and send paper mail if you must. It can be as simple as “Hello, my name is, and these are the things that are most important to me this year:”. It doesn’t have to be the great American novel – 50 words or less will do. Go to blogs and furiously comment on every article that you feel passionate about. Practice arguing with people virtually so that when you encounter a face-to-face confrontation about that subject you are better prepared. None of this will help end something like discrimination tomorrow, but it can help end discrimination sooner than if you did nothing. The small and definate actions will outweigh the lofty and imaginary on any scale.  

Don’t let it be the thing you wish you’d done.





The Beginning of Hope or the End of It

31 10 2008

“Right now, in America, we are living in the center of a potential paradigm shift. A definite, burgeoning movement. A time of Hope. With the upcoming elections, we could redefine America’s standing in the world by enacting foreign policy that is based on the universal understanding that we are all interconnected. That the rape of an eight-year-old-girl in Congo is akin to the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Chicago or Phoenix. We use the words and slogans “Never again” and “Not on our watch”, but right now thousands are being displaced, raped, murdered in Eastern DRC.”

There are policies that Barack Obama and I do not see eye to eye on. I have serious reservations about a few of his decisions, and I continue to hold a political torch for Hillary Clinton.

However.

I believe that Barack Obama will do more for the people of Congo than John McCain will.

I believe that Barack Obama will do more for women’s rights in the U.S. than John McCain will.

I believe that an administration under Barack Obama will listen to issues of the poorest American people more than under John McCain.

I believe that Barack Obama will show more diplomacy, both at home and abroad, than John McCain.

I believe that Barack Obama will support scientific research more than John McCain.

I believe that Barack Obama will inspire other leaders better than John McCain.

For all these reasons, I believe that Barack Obama will make a better U.S. president than John McCain.

I will be stepping into the gym of my local high school this Tuesday at 6 am, where I will state my name, show some ID, and make a few choices that will change the course of history for my country and the world. The biggest assholes in the history of America will be the people who, on Wednesday, wake up and realize that they were registered to vote and just didn’t.

 
Read the Article by Eve Ensler at HuffingtonPost





GOP takes out loan to help Senate candidates

29 10 2008


“Republican-held seats have become increasingly competitive since the GOP national convention in early September, Duncan said. Of the endangered Republican seats, Duncan said the RNC was especially watching contests Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon and North Carolina…Duncan did not volunteer any mention of the race in Alaska, where Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, convicted Monday on seven felony charges, faced an uphill fight to retain his seat.”

Convicted of 7 felony charges, and he’s worried about getting re-elected? I think that constitutes a little more than an “uphill battle”, especially when not even he is allowed to vote for himself anymore.

I would no more vote a former Enron executive for Congress than I would a person convicted felony bribery charges.

 
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost





Maybe You Shouldn’t Vote

29 10 2008

“If everyone was a brilliant voter, we would never elect bad leaders, and the last eight years might have turned out quite differently. So this election year, before you step into a voting booth and possibly screw things up for the rest of us, I ask that you take a moment to answer the following questions and determine whether you have the skill and the know-how to vote responsibly for our next president.”

I understand the intention behind suggesting that informed voters are better than lots of voters – and that is true. However, this is not the time to scare first time voters into staying at home. Actually, there is never a time to do that. Part of taking the responsibility of voting seriously is understanding and acknowleging that, despite your assumptions and intentions, the person you selected (if they win) were a bad choice. Four years later, you will likely inform yourself more and become a *more* informed voter.

Ignorance doesn’t just evaporate – it’s a long, painful process to pull yourself up by your intellectual bootstraps and try to better yourself . If you never take the first steps of the journey, however, you will never reach the end. That includes screwing up. Do you think people who voted for a Third Party candidate in 2000 or 2004 haven’t done some soul searching leading up to the 2008 election?

C’mon – don’t be a willful ignoramus – vote as best you can, and pay attention once in a while to how your choice affects the next four years of your life and your neighbors’ lives.

 
More on Voting
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost





Obama Should Spill a Little Red Ink to Turn a Few More Red States Blue

28 10 2008

“Indeed, a significant chunk of that money should be directed to Kentucky where challenger Bruce Lunsford is running just a few points behind McConnell. Want real change in America? Imagine a Senate without McConnell in it.”

A filibuster (talking out a bill) is a form of obstruction in Congress. An attempt is made to infinitely extend debate on a proposal in order to delay the progress or completely prevent a vote on the proposal taking place.

In 1917 in response to the actions of isolationist senators who attempted to out talk a bill, a rule allowing for cloture (ending a filibuster) was adopted by the Democratic Senate. President Wilson urged the Senate to change its rules to thwart what he called a “little group of willful men”.

In the 1960s, no Senate had more than 7 filibusters.

The 1999, with a Democrat president and a Republican supermajority in the Senate, the Senate had 58 filibusters.

In late 2007, with a Republican president and a Democrat majority (but not a super majority), Congress broke the record for the most filibusters, and then broke the record again with the most cloture votes in a single session, topping 70 clotures against a record number of filibusters from the Republican minority.

THATS why they’ve been dubbed the “do nothing” congress – Republicans won’t let the Democrats do a damn thing. Maybe if they had, the citizens wouldn’t be so quick to push for a supermajority.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/110th_Congress
More on Al Franken
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost