Thursday, January 31, 2008
An African American or a woman is going to be our Democratic nominee. We've come a long way, baby.
No matter what you think of them or their policies, you do have to take a moment to embrace this historic event.
...and when that feeling is over, don't be like me and let an overwhelming sense of dread set in. Did we blow it? Are we completely overestimating our country's tolerance level? Is our country really truly ready for this? Is it too late for Gore to step in?
Sunday, January 27, 2008
South Carolina Victory Speech
A President Like My Father
By CAROLINE KENNEDY
Published: January 27, 2008
The New York Times
OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.
My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.
Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.
We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.
Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.
Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process.
I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.
Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.
I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.
Caroline Kennedy is the author of “A Patriot’s Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love.”
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Obama projected winner in South Carolina
NBC News and news services
updated 12 minutes ago
COLUMBIA, S.C. - NBC News declared Sen. Barack Obama as the projected winner in South Carolina's Democratic primary.
Obama won South Carolina by a substantial margin, with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in second and John Edwards third, NBC reported.
Obama was projected to rout Clinton in the racially charged primary, regaining campaign momentum in the prelude to a Feb. 5 coast-to-coast competition for more than 1,600 Democratic National Convention delegates.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Another reason I support Barack Obama for President.
While I still like Edwards' policies the best of the remaining three (viable) candidates, I think it's Obama that would, by far, have the most impact for us as a nation when it comes to fixing our image with the rest of the world.
I don't remember where I read or heard it, but someone was explained just how Obama's face & name speaks louder than anything anyone can say. Imagine a child in the middle east catching a glimpse of the new American President on TV, and he looks a little like him.
Here's an article that Poli posted a few weeks ago on his blog. I can't pass up reposting it here, since I am the OCD Gen X Liberal:
Why Obama Is Relevant
Generation X, it's our turn
Seattle Times staff columnist
Ask a Barack Obama supporter to recall his or her "Obama moment," and it's like hearing about a first kiss.
They all seem to remember the precise instant they knew. "It was his speech at the 2004 convention," says Jason Sawatzki, 32, a lab tech at Edmonds Community College. "Everything about it was different from the bitterness I've been hearing my entire life."
"For me, it was last February, when he kicked off his campaign," says Digvijay Chauhan, 40, a Redmond tech entrepreneur who came from India in 1991. "I'm not ashamed to say I had tears in my eyes."
"I was done with politics until I heard him," says Mary O'Barr, a Seattle nurse whose political roots go way back (her father was a JFK delegate). "I've felt like our politics is killing us. Then he comes along."
If all this sounds a little cultish, well, I'd say it's more polite to call it a movement. Either way, it is for real.
Obamamania is about a bunch of different things. Such as rejecting special-interest-driven partisanship. And erasing tired racial categories.
But it also has the feel to me of a once-in-a-generation shift.
The message: Baby boomers, you're out. You've had your chance.
Remember Generation X? What author Douglas Coupland called my age group, the crowd cursed to live with no identity in the shadow of the boomers for eternity?
What I hear in the Obama movement is that it's our turn now.
Obama is 46. I am 42. We were born near the end of the baby boom, but more importantly, too late to be grounded in the cultural or racial fights that dominate politics.
Most of my life, politics has seemed more about the past than the present. Especially after the Cold War ended.
Here's how Obama described the '90s and the 2000s in "The Audacity of Hope":
"I sometimes felt as if I were watching the psychodrama of the baby boom generation — a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago — played out on the national stage."
Exactly. It explains how the 2004 election could be about a 30-year-old war, Vietnam, instead of the war we're in.
Can we please move on? That's what the Obama movement is saying.
Even some Obama baby-boomer supporters feel it. They say that after the social achievements of the '60s, they're now ashamed of the debt, corruption and corporatization of politics that is also one of their legacies.
"My generation is not leaving the nation in good shape," says Marsha Scutvick, 57, of Mill Creek. "We can keep going down that same road. I think it's time to try something new."
Not much has been asked or expected of my generation. We haven't led. Other than with the Internet, we've made no real blip of change. We're arguably every bit as narcissistic as our elders.
Obama is saying: Here's a chance to erase that "X." Cleaning up after the baby boomers still leaves us obsessing about them. But it's such a mess that somebody better do it.
Danny Westneat's column appears Wednesday and Sunday.
Reach him at 206-464-2086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
Link To Article
Monday, January 21, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Well, Hillary won Nevada.
I am starting to come to terms that she might be the nominee. Needless to say, I have mixed feelings about it.
I have always felt that she wasn't a real Democrat. She's more of a Repub-lite, or a term I coined last night, "Democrat-right."
But, she's NOT a Republican, so if she's the nominee, she'll have my vote.
As far as the upcoming debates go, I do think she'd do better than Obama against Romney, McCain, or whomever the douche bag will be. She can be quite impressive.
Also, as a woman, I can't help but cheer her on a little in the back of my mind. Having the first woman President would be historical & awesome.
So, there it is.
...but, of course, I'm still an Edwards or Obama girl. And they will have my support until the bitter end.
Okay... so let me have it. But, before you do, if she's the nominee, what's our alternative? Ron Paul? I don't think so.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
Smushy-faced dogs from near & far have spoken. They are supporting Barack Obama for Prez.
...they also like great rock & roll, so if you happen to be in Minneapolis tonight, come check out the best local bands in town:
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
While I have mixed feelings about Stewart, Colbert and Maher returning to TV during the writers strike, I have to say, I'm glad they're coming back. They have been sorely missed.
The Daily Show & Colbert Report return tonight. Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday.
Friday, January 04, 2008
Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
"It's the War," Says Iowa to Hillary -- And a "Happy Blue Year" To All! ...from Michael Moore
There was no doubt about it. The message from Iowa tonight was simple, but deafening:
If you're a candidate for President, and you voted for the war, you lose. And if you voted and voted and voted for the war -- and never once showed any remorse -- you really lose.
In short, if you had something to do with keeping us in this war for four-plus years, you are not allowed to be the next president of the United States.
Over 70% of Iowan Democrats voted for candidates who either never voted for the invasion of Iraq (Obama, Richardson, Kucinich) or who have since admitted their mistake (Edwards, Biden, Dodd). I can't tell you how bad I feel for Senator Clinton tonight. I don't believe she was ever really for this war. But she did -- and continued to do -- what she thought was the politically expedient thing to eventually get elected. And she was wrong. And tonight she must go to sleep wondering what would have happened if she had voted her conscience instead of her calculator.
John Edwards was supposed to have come in third. He had been written off. He was outspent by the other front-runners six to one. But somewhere along the road he threw off the old politico hack jacket and turned into a real person, a fighter for the poor, for the uninsured, for peace. And for that, he came in a surprise second, ending up with just one less delegate than the man who was against the war from the beginning. But, as Joshua Holland of AlterNet pointed out earlier today, Edwards is still the only front-runner who will pull out all the troops and do it as quickly as possible. His speech tonight was brilliant and moving.
What an amazing night, not just for Barack Obama, but for America. I know that Senator Obama is so much more than simply the color of his skin, but all of us must acknowledge -- and celebrate -- the fact that one of the whitest states in the U.S. just voted for a black man to be our next president. Thank you, Iowa, for this historic moment. Thank you for at least letting us believe that we are better than what we often seem to be. And to have so many young people come out and vote -- and vote for Obama -- this is a proud moment. It all began with the record youth turnout in 2004 -- the ONLY age group that Kerry won -- and they came back out tonight en force. Good on every single one of you!
As the only top candidate who was anti-war before the war began, Barack Obama became the vessel through which the people of this Midwestern state were able to say loud and clear: "Bring 'Em Home!" Most pundits won't read the election this way because, well, most pundits merrily led us down the path to war. For them to call this vote tonight a repudiation of the war -- and of Senator Clinton's four years' worth of votes for it -- might require the pundit class to remind their viewers and readers that they share some culpability in starting this war. And, like Hillary, damn few of them have offered us an apology.
With all due respect to Senator Obama's victory, the most important news out of the caucus this evening was the whopping, room-busting turnout of Democrats. 239,000 people showed up to vote Democratic tonight (93% more than in '04, which was a record year), while only 115,000 showed up to vote Republican. And this is a red state! The Republican caucuses looked anemic. The looks on their faces were glum, tired. As the camera followed some of them into their caucus sites, they held their heads down or turned away, sorta like criminals on a perp walk. They know their days of power are over. They know their guy blew it. Their only hope was to vote for a man who has a direct line to heaven. Huckabee is their Hail Mary pass. But don't rule him out. He's got a sense of humor, he's downhome, and he said that if elected, he'd put me on a boat to Cuba. Hey, a free Caribbean vacation!
Bottom line: People have had it. Iowa will go blue (Happy Blue Year, Hawkeyes!). Whomever your candidate is on the Dem side, this was a good night. Get some sleep. The Republicans won't go down without a fight. Look what happened when Kerry tried to play nice. So Barack, you can talk all you want about "let's put the partisanship aside, let's all get along," but the other side has no intention of being anything but the bullies they are. Get your game face on now. And, if you can, tell me why you are now the second largest recipient of health industry payola after Hillary. You now take more money from the people committed to stopping universal health care than any of the Republican candidates.
Despite what your answer may be, I was proud to sit in my living room tonight and see you and your family up on that stage. We became a bit better tonight, and on that I will close by saying, sweet dreams -- and on to that other totally white state of New Hampshire!
Thursday, January 03, 2008
While Barack wasn't my first choice, I'm thrilled with his win in Iowa. In fact, his acceptance speech brought tears to my eyes. I'm literally choked up.
The winds of change are here.
We can breathe again.
Candace tagged me with the Seven Deadly Lies meme, in which you tell seven lies about yourself, but she twisted it. In Candace's meme, you list seven things, but six of them are true.
You guess which is the lie. I'll leave this up for a few days and reveal the answer soon.
Which is the lie?
1. I don't cook. Tom has never come home to a home-cooked meal.
2. I voted for a Republican once.
3. I have 3 tattoos, and am currently designing numbers 4 & 5.
4. I haven't had a real job in over 15 years.
5. I had a bite of mongolian beef at the chinese buffet last Tuesday. (I've been a vegetarian for 24 years.)
6. I take my dogs on a field trip every day.
7. I love Taco Bell.
This is a relatively easy meme for the bloggers that have known me a long time to figure out.
Family members are not allowed to play!
I tag Snave and J. bwahaha!
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Great letter from Michael Moore. I don't know what it is about Moore, but he ALWAYS seems to read my mind. I'm with him 100%. Please read:
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008
Who Do We Vote For This Time Around? A Letter from Michael Moore
A new year has begun. And before we've had a chance to break our New Year's resolutions, we find ourselves with a little more than 24 hours before the good people of Iowa tell us whom they would like to replace the man who now occupies three countries and a white house.
Twice before, we have begun the process to stop this man, and twice we have failed. Eight years of our lives as Americans will have been lost, the world left in upheaval against us... and yet now, today, we hope against hope that our moment has finally arrived, that the amazingly powerful force of the Republican Party will somehow be halted. But we know that the Democrats are experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and if there's a way to blow this election, they will find it and do it with gusto.
Do you feel the same as me? That the Democratic front-runners are a less-than-stellar group of candidates, and that none of them are the "slam dunk" we wish they were? Of course, there are wonderful things about each of them. Any one of them would be infinitely better than what we have now. Personally, Congressman Kucinich, more than any other candidate, shares the same positions that I have on the issues (although the UFO that picked ME up would only take me as far as Kalamazoo). But let's not waste time talking about Dennis. Even he is resigned to losing, with statements like the one he made yesterday to his supporters in Iowa to throw their support to Senator Obama as their "second choice."
So, it's Hillary, Obama, Edwards -- now what do we do?
Two months ago, Rolling Stone magazine asked me to do a cover story where I would ask the hard questions that no one was asking in one-on-one interviews with Senators Clinton, Obama and Edwards. "The Top Democrats Face Off with Michael Moore." The deal was that all three candidates had to agree to let me interview them or there was no story. Obama and Edwards agreed. Mrs. Clinton said no, and the cover story was thus killed.
Why would the love of my life, Hillary Clinton, not sit down to talk with me? What was she afraid of?
Those of you who are longtime readers of mine may remember that 11 years ago I wrote a chapter (in my first book) entitled, "My Forbidden Love for Hillary." I was fed up with the treatment she was getting, most of it boringly sexist, and I thought somebody should stand up for her. I later met her and she thanked me for referring to her as "one hot s***kicking feminist babe." I supported and contributed to her run for the U.S. Senate. I think she is a decent and smart person who loves this country, cares deeply about kids, and has put up with more crap than anyone I know of (other than me) from the Crazy Right. Her inauguration would be a thrilling sight, ending 218 years of white male rule in a country where 51% of its citizens are female and 64% are either female or people of color.
And yet, I am sad to say, nothing has disappointed me more than the disastrous, premeditated vote by Senator Hillary Clinton to send us to war in Iraq. I'm not only talking about her first vote that gave Mr. Bush his "authorization" to invade -- I'm talking about every single OTHER vote she then cast for the next four years, backing and funding Bush's illegal war, and doing so with verve. She never met a request from the White House for war authorization that she didn't like. Unlike the Kerrys and the Bidens who initially voted for authorization but later came to realize the folly of their decision, Mrs. Clinton continued to cast numerous votes for the war until last March -- four long years of pro-war votes, even after 70% of the American public had turned against the war. She has steadfastly refused to say that she was wrong about any of this, and she will not apologize for her culpability in America's worst-ever foreign policy disaster. All she can bring herself to say is that she was "misled" by "faulty intelligence."
(From Lizzy - This next paragraph is especially good. We were never misled. We knew what was going on from the START. Why didn't Hillary?)
Let's assume that's true. Do you want a President who is so easily misled? I wasn't "misled," and millions of others who took to the streets in February of 2003 weren't "misled" either. It was simply amazing that we knew the war was wrong when none of us had been briefed by the CIA, none of us were national security experts, and none of us had gone on a weapons inspection tour of Iraq. And yet... we knew we were being lied to! Let me ask those of you reading this letter: Were YOU "misled" -- or did you figure it out sometime between October of 2002 and March of 2007 that George W. Bush was up to something rotten? Twenty-three other senators were smart enough to figure it out and vote against the war from the get-go. Why wasn't Senator Clinton?
I have a theory: Hillary knows the sexist country we still live in and that one of the reasons the public, in the past, would never consider a woman as president is because she would also be commander in chief. The majority of Americans were concerned that a woman would not be as likely to go to war as a man (horror of horrors!). So, in order to placate that mindset, perhaps she believed she had to be as "tough" as a man, she had to be willing to push The Button if necessary, and give the generals whatever they wanted. If this is, in fact, what has motivated her pro-war votes, then this would truly make her a scary first-term president. If the U.S. is faced with some unforeseen threat in her first years, she knows that in order to get re-elected she'd better be ready to go all Maggie Thatcher on whoever sneezes in our direction. Do we want to risk this, hoping the world makes it in one piece to her second term?
I have not even touched on her other numerous -- and horrendous -- votes in the Senate, especially those that have made the middle class suffer even more (she voted for Bush's first bankruptcy bill, and she is now the leading recipient of payoff money -- I mean campaign contributions -- from the health care industry). I know a lot of you want to see her elected, and there is a very good chance that will happen. There will be plenty of time to vote for her in the general election if all the pollsters are correct. But in the primaries and caucuses, isn't this the time to vote for the person who most reflects the values and politics you hold dear? Can you, in good conscience, vote for someone who so energetically voted over and over and over again for the war in Iraq? Please give this serious consideration.
Now, on to the two candidates who did agree to do the interview with me...
Barack Obama is a good and inspiring man. What a breath of fresh air! There's no doubting his sincerity or his commitment to trying to straighten things out in this country. But who is he? I mean, other than a guy who gives a great speech? How much do any of us really know about him? I know he was against the war. How do I know that? He gave a speech before the war started. But since he joined the senate, he has voted for the funds for the war, while at the same time saying we should get out. He says he's for the little guy, but then he votes for a corporate-backed bill to make it harder for the little guy to file a class action suit when his kid swallows lead paint from a Chinese-made toy. In fact, Obama doesn't think Wall Street is a bad place. He wants the insurance companies to help us develop a new health care plan -- the same companies who have created the mess in the first place. He's such a feel-good kinda guy, I get the sense that, if elected, the Republicans will eat him for breakfast. He won't even have time to make a good speech about it.
But this may be a bit harsh. Senator Obama has a big heart, and that heart is in the right place. Is he electable? Will more than 50% of America vote for him? We'd like to believe they would. We'd like to believe America has changed, wouldn't we? Obama lets us feel better about ourselves -- and as we look out the window at the guy snowplowing his driveway across the street, we want to believe he's changed, too. But are we dreaming?
And then there's John Edwards.
It's hard to get past the hair, isn't it? But once you do -- and recently I have chosen to try -- you find a man who is out to take on the wealthy and powerful who have made life so miserable for so many. A candidate who says things like this: "I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy." Whoa. We haven't heard anyone talk like that in a while, at least not anyone who is near the top of the polls. I suspect this is why Edwards is doing so well in Iowa, even though he has nowhere near the stash of cash the other two have. He won't take the big checks from the corporate PACs, and he is alone among the top three candidates in agreeing to limit his spending and be publicly funded. He has said, point-blank, that he's going after the drug companies and the oil companies and anyone else who is messing with the American worker. The media clearly find him to be a threat, probably because he will go after their monopolistic power, too. This is Roosevelt/Truman kind of talk. That's why it's resonating with people in Iowa, even though he doesn't get the attention Obama and Hillary get -- and that lack of coverage may cost him the first place spot tomorrow night. After all, he is one of those white guys who's been running things for far too long.
And he voted for the war. But unlike Senator Clinton, he has stated quite forcefully that he was wrong. And he has remorse. Should he be forgiven? Did he learn his lesson? Like Hillary and Obama, he refused to promise in a September debate that there will be no U.S. troops in Iraq by the end of his first term in 2013. But this week in Iowa, he changed his mind. He went further than Clinton and Obama and said he'd have all the troops home in less than a year.
Edwards is the only one of the three front-runners who has a universal health care plan that will lead to the single-payer kind all other civilized countries have. His plan doesn't go as fast as I would like, but he is the only one who has correctly pointed out that the health insurance companies are the enemy and should not have a seat at the table.
I am not endorsing anyone at this point. This is simply how I feel in the first week of the process to replace George W. Bush. For months I've been wanting to ask the question, "Where are you, Al Gore?" You can only polish that Oscar for so long. And the Nobel was decided by Scandinavians! I don't blame you for not wanting to enter the viper pit again after you already won. But getting us to change out our incandescent light bulbs for some irritating fluorescent ones isn't going to save the world. All it's going to do is make us more agitated and jumpy and feeling like once we get home we haven't really left the office.
On second thought, would you even be willing to utter the words, "I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy?" 'Cause the candidate who understands that, and who sees it as the root of all evil -- including the root of global warming -- is the President who may lead us to a place of sanity, justice and peace.
(not an Iowa voter, but appreciative of any state that has a town named after a sofa)
(From Lizzy - I'm pulling for Edwards, and I have a good feeling that he's gonna win in Iowa.)