Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Why has this shift in my opinion taken place? Is it due to media influence, subtle sexism in the reporting and opining on this issue? Even the New York Times and certain Huffington Post bloggers have been less than supportive. For example, there is the story about how she won't disclose her finances. In reality, only media outlets have asked for her to. I can certainly understand her unwillingness to provide this information just because a newspaper asked her to. Now, if she refuses a request from Governor Paterson, that would be a story.
Or is it just further reflection on my part? It's hard to say. As I write this and think about the end result, I am sure she would be a great Senator with positions similar to mine. I suppose politics has always been about who you know and being part of the good old boys network. Why not give a woman this same opportunity? If appointed, she will still have to run in the 2010 election to retain the seat, so she will have to prove herself very quickly.
So, I have now come full circle and would like to see Caroline Kennedy appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
- Obama's cabinet picks - I am thrilled that Hillary Clinton has been selected as Secretary of State. There have been complaints that Obama has not picked enough women, but I feel that he is truly attempting to pick the right people for each job, while attempting to have diversity. He has focused on diversity of opinion as much as diversity of ethnicity and gender. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this.
- The Blago scandal - Sigh. What can you say about this? Unbelievably corrupt, but I really cannot stomach the Republican party's attempt to smear Obama with this scandal, when you can hear from the Illinois governor's own mouth how much he resents Obama and his team for not playing his game.
- The selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the Inauguration - I feel this is very much an unfortunate decision of Obama's. The gay and lesbian community supported Obama in a huge way, even though Obama treaded that fine line of supporting gay rights while stopping short of supporting gay marriage. Given how devastating the passage of Prop 8 was in California for the gay and lesbian community and how it actually tempered the excitement this community (and supporters of gay marriage in general) felt about Obama's victory, I think this now dampens the excitement many people were feeling about this historic Inauguration Day. I am all for being inclusive, but why be inclusive of people who themselves exclude?
- The auto bailout - It is sad that $700B was so freely given to the financial industry with no oversight but when it came to the automakers, many were willing to allow them to fail by not ponying up small fraction of that amount in a loan (not really a bailout) even though it would have potentially caused over 3,000,000 lost jobs. The Republicans were willing to cause this devastation to the economy just to crush the auto workers union. Here is an interesting article debunking the 6 myths about the Detroit 3 that were commonly bandied about during the national debate, probably leading to the public being mostly against the auto "bailout".
Hopefully, I am back on track and will be writing more often. Only 23 more days of President Bush!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
What surprised me, though, was the sense of relief I felt that we were finally past the Bush years and all the incompetence and corruption and damage to America that they brought. It was that relief that brought me to tears, almost like I could breathe again. What that administration did to this country is unconscionable, but I truly have hope that President-elect Barack Obama can bring back our integrity and position of respect around the world. I have hope that our new President will be able to bring about the change needed to solve the enormous issues we are facing, whether it is global warming or the economic crisis or the wars we are fighting. Hope and change are what Obama represented throughout the campaign, and now he must, with all of our help, realize that change and fulfill that hope. Yes we can!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I was a Hillary Clinton supporter during the primary season. When looking at the problems facing the country, I thought she would be able to hit the ground running more quickly. She is obviously extremely intelligent, has a solid grasp on the issues, and I feel truly cares about people. It didn't hurt that Bill Clinton was part of the package. As far as I was concerned, having Bill Clinton, who had overseen one of the most successful periods in recent American history, would be so beneficial in those first weeks and months of the new presidency. There would be no getting up to speed on how to navigate the White House. And it was inspiring to me that she was a woman.
Once Barack Obama became the nominee, I knew that I would support him. I am a Democrat after all, and Hillary and Barack have very similar stands on the issues. In fact, I was more aligned with Barack Obama on Iraq, having been an opponent from the start. But here were some defining moments for me.
- Watching Barack Obama's convention speech. I had never actually sat down and watched one of his speeches before, and it made me understand how he inspired so many. He stands for the right things. He was strong in the case he made for his presidency. He said what I had been thinking for so long - that Republicans can no longer take ownership of patriotism. We are all patriots. I saw the possibilities of electing our first African-American president and what that would mean to so many people in this country - not least of which to my husband, to my children.
- Going to Back to School Night for my first-grader. We each got a packet of work our children had done. One paper was a sentence and drawing of what the kids wanted to be when they grew up. My son had written "I want to be President." I truly believe watching Barack Obama had inspired him.
- The economic crisis. After John McCain announced he had suspended his campaign and was calling for the debate to be postponed, I didn't know how Obama would be able to respond. I thought he was in a no-win position. But Obama came out with such a simple yet such a true statement: a president has to deal with more than one thing at a time. Wow.
And he will inspire a new generation of leaders to reach for their highest potential.
- Proposition 4 - Parental Notification: I think this is the 3rd or 4th time this has been on the ballot on California. Basically, it requires parents to approve a teenager's abortion. Exception is provided if the teenager jumps through hoops and navigates the court system to get court approval. Obviously, this is an attempt to chip away at a woman's right to choose. You can't legislate good family communication. If a pregnant, teenage girl is not willing to confide in a parent, there is probably a good reason. One or both parents could be abusive or there could be a genuine fear of reprisal. A girl should be able to make this most fundamental decision themselves. I am voting NO.
- Proposition 8 - Eliminating the rights of gays to marry: Earlier this year, California's mostly conservative Supreme Court found that there was no constitutional justification for not allowing same-sex marriage. That led to the most joyous day of the year for many gay couples who had been waiting so long to be able to enter into marriage with their partners. Some point to the civil rights that come along with marriage - hospital visitation, estate planning, benefits adoption, etc - and ask why we can't create a civil equivalent. It is deeper than that. Separate is not equal. 40 years ago, interracial marriage was banned in many states. We now realize this is totally unfair and discriminatory. Now, let's evolve even further and allow two consenting adults - regardless of gender, race, age, etc. to make that ultimate commitment to each other. Gays have the right to marry right now. Nobody's forcing churches to perform same-sex marriage or forcing teachers to teach same-sex marriage in school. My marriage is not at all effected by same-sex marriage. Let's allow happiness for everyone. I am voting NO along with Barbara Young, wife of Steve Young, famous Mormon former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
- Because she has been found to have abused her power and broken ethics law in the Alaska "Troopergate" scandal. And even though this was spelled out in black and white in the bipartisan report, she actually had the audacity to just outright lie and say that the report cleared her.
- Because she has lied about her accomplishments in Alaska, including her signature accomplishment, the building of natural gas pipeline. The Associated Press has found that the bid process was flawed and included favoritism. The terms favored only one viable bidder, a company with ties to Palin's administration. The pipeline may never be actually built.
- Because she portrays herself as the reformer that eliminates overspending and yet she charged the state of Alaska for many questionable charges that benefited her personally. She charged the state of Alaska a per diem for over 300 nights when she stayed in her own house. The Associated Press did an investigation and found that she also charged the state of Alaska for the travel of her children. She even later revised the submission to make it look like the First Family was on official business. In reality, she sometimes asked event organizers to extend invitations to her family or just brought them unannounced.
- Because she plays herself off as a middle class person just like all those hockey moms out there, but in reality, she is the governor of a state, is wearing a wardrobe costing over $150,000, and the McCain campaign staffer who made the most money in October was her makeup artist. I certainly don't begrudge her getting nice clothes to run for Vice-President of this great country, but it is a bit excessive and runs counter to her message. It's the hypocrisy that bothers me.
- Because she continues to say that the Vice-President is in charge of the Senate. This line of bullshit started in the VP debate and has continued. Please read the Constitution. The only role of the VP in the Senate is to vote if there is a tie. That is it! She is that dangerous combination of ignorant and power-hungry.
- Because she has been stirring up racism, negativity and divisiveness at her rallies. It is truly scary to see the kind of people she is inspiring. She has been trying to portray Obama as scary, not one of us, a terrorist, socialist, and now communist! She has stated that the residents of small towns are more patriotic, pro-America, and the best of America. This line of rhetoric has been continued by other members of the Republican party. We now have a "real" Virginia. We now have accusations of anti-American members of Congress. At a time where this country is facing real problems both at home and abroad, Palin is leading the charge to divide this country even further.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Regarding how offensive these tactics are to all of the peace-loving Muslims in this country:
Never mind that this evokes -- and brazenly tries to resurrect -- the unsavory, cruel days of our past that we thought we had left behind. Never mind that such jeers are deeply offensive to millions of peaceful, law-abiding Muslim Americans who must bear the unveiled charge, made by some supporters of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, that Obama's middle name makes him someone to distrust -- and, judging by some of the crowd reactions at these rallies, someone to persecute or even kill. As a secular Muslim, I too was offended. Obama's middle name differs from my last name by only two vowels. Does the McCain-Palin campaign view me as a pariah too? Do McCain and Palin think there's something wrong with my name?
Regarding the inaction of McCain and Palin when the crowd gets angry:
What I find most unconscionable is the refusal of the McCain-Palin tandem to publicly condemn the cries of "traitor," "liar," "terrorist" and (worst of all) "kill him!" that could be heard at recent rallies...Is inaction tantamount to consent? The McCain campaign certainly thinks so when it comes to Obama and incendiary remarks from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. By their own inaction, then, are McCain and Palin condoning these slurs? Or worse, are they willfully inciting the angry and venomous response that we have been witnessing at their rallies? If not, then what reaction are they hoping to evoke by their relentless public suggestions that Obama is basically an anti-American liar who won't put "country first" and has an affection for terrorists? Do they not understand the kind of fire they are playing with?
In these turbulent times, their campaign is being so irresponsible. When are they going to be held accountable for their dangerous rhetoric?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
And by the way, not only is Sarah Palin married to a former, longtime member of the party, Sarah Palin has attended several conventions of the Alaska Indpendence Party and even addressed their convention as recently as March, telling them to "keep up the good work". So, my question for Sarah Palin is: which is it, Alaska First or Country First?
Friday, October 10, 2008
Here are just some examples of subtle and not-so-subtle racism being displayed by the candidates themselves and their supporters over the past few months:
- June: Fox News runs a crawler referring to Michelle Obama as Barack Obama's "baby mama". This is a term used for unwed mothers, not respectable married women with children. Can you imagine this term being used regarding Laura Bush?
- September: Republican Lynn Westmoreland refers to the Obamas as "uppity". And how dishonest was his "I didn't know it was a racist term" bullshit? He's from the deep South! Now add that to every time Obama has been called "elitist" and "arrogant" and you can hear the underlying mesage: "How dare that black man feel he deserves to be President?"
- John McCain referring to Barack Obama as "that one" in the 2nd Presidential debate. If it wasn't racist, it was at the very least completely dismissive and disrespectful.
- A McCain advisor stating that Obama should just admit he is a "guy of the street". Really? This Harvard Law School graduate and former Constitutional Law professor?
- Sarah Palin having the gall to say we don't know Barack Obama even though he has been in the national public spotlight since his keynote speech four years ago at the Democratic National Convention and has been running for president for 20 months. I guess we should just "know" Sarah Palin after 6 weeks of running for Vice-President. Is that because she is white? One of us?
And now we come to the rallies, where Palin is whipping the crowds into an angry mob. Where she is saying things like "I am fearful" "he doesn't see America like you and I see America", "he thinks of America as so imperfect that he pals around with terrorists", that Obama would "diminish the prestige of the Presidency". People in the crowds are yelling things like "terrorist", "traitor", "treason", and "kill him", telling a black cameraman "sit down, boy" and Palin SAYS NOTHING.
McCain has been running his campaign on his war hero status. Is this how a hero behaves? Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is looking and even when you are losing. John McCain has shown his true colors, and his is no hero.
According to the New York Times article:
"The report, which was commissioned and released by a bipartisan state legislative panel made up of 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats, said: “The evidence supports the conclusion that Governor Palin, at the least, engaged in ‘official action’ by her inaction if not her active participation or assistance to her husband in attempting to get Trooper Wooten fired [and there is evidence of her active participation].”Bottom line, I am not at all surprised. What it comes back to, however, is the poor judgment John McCain made in selecting Sarah Palin, who was already under an ethics investigation, to be his VP pick. Either he was rash and chose her without proper vetting or he showed bad judgement by choosing a running mate who was under a current investigation for abuse of power. And what does it say for the Republican party that they could not find anyone clean to be the Vice Presidential nominee?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
- The ugly, blatantly racist turn the McCain campaign has taken
- The economic crisis and freefall of the stock market
- The 2nd Presidential Debate
- The story behind John McCain as one of the Keating Five
- The ridiculousness of the Ayers story
- More things I don't like about Sarah Palin
- Ominous news of voter suppression efforts by the Republicans
Where do I begin?!?!?!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
All of this is preface to explain my pleasant surprise when I read an article in The Economist publishing the results of their poll of economists on the election. Bottom line, the overwhelming majority of economists rated Barack Obama's economic policies higher than John McCain's, feel that Barack Obama has a better grasp of the economics, and believe that Barack Obama would pick the better economic team.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Now I completely expected Sarah Palin to do just fine. I was hoping for the huge gaffe, but I figured she was going to be well-prepared. And I was afraid that expectations were so low, that she just had to not throw up on stage to be judged the winner. And she did do just fine. She didn't sound incoherent like she did during the Katie Couric interview, and she didn't make any big mistakes. However, she came across as trying way too hard to have folksy charm and to connect with the everyday person. All the winking and gosh darnits and dropping the g's off the ends of words were just phony and annoying. More importantly, she didn't answer the questions. She simply steered back to the speeches and talking points that she had obviously memorized. And even if you say that you are not going to answer the moderator's questions, that doesn't make you a straight talker, that makes you a bad debater who obviously doesn't know how to answer the question that has been asked.
But here is what I think was the defining moment of this debate. When Joe Biden talked about knowing what it was like to be a single parent, when he choked up and had to hold back tears when recalling what it was like to not know whether his son was going to make it, I was moved to tears. And Sarah Palin? This woman who is hanging her campaign on being a "hockey mom" and a person just like you and able to connect with people and understand their issues? She did not react; she did not acknowledge; she did not respond. She just moved on and talked about being a maverick with a robotic smile on her face. To me that showed Joe Biden to be so real and Sarah Palin to be so fake.
Joe Biden won, hands down.
Monday, September 29, 2008
- John McCain "suspended his campaign" due to the economic crisis.
- He flew to Washington DC 22 hours later
- He barely spoke during the White House meeting
- During the debate and on Sunday talk shows, he took credit for pulling together the House Republicans to support the bipartisan bailout bill.
- The House Republicans have just voted 133-65 against the package, leading to its defeat
- The Dow Jones has gone down over 500 points
Wow. What great leadership.
Friday, September 26, 2008
- Because her positions on issues I care about are the opposite of mine: anti-choice even in cases of rape, incest and when the health of the mother is in danger, pro-drilling, anti-polar bears, abstinence-only sex education, pro-hunting, pro-book banning, for the Iraq War.
- Because she lies. I could go on and on, but here are few - She was against the Bridge to Nowhere, she said no thanks to Bridge to Nowhere (she actually kept the money), she is against earmarks, she sold a plane on eBay, Obama is going to raise taxes for everyone, etc. etc. etc.
- Because she actually tries to pull off the argument that she knows about foreign policy because you can see Russia from an island in Alaska and that Canada is on the border. I would feel so much better if she would just say "You know what, I don't know about foreign policy, but my running mate does. I have other experience that John McCain doesn't have, so we complement each other." Wouldn't that be so much better? But no, she is either insulting our intelligence or really doesn't have much of her own.
- Because she is running for the 2nd most important position in the free world, yet she will not make herself available to the press. Is she that bad? What are they protecting her from? Even Fox News is criticizing the McCain campaign for the unprecedented restrictions.
- Because she was snarky and sarcastic during her acceptance speech.
- Because she mocked Obama's work as a community organizer. Obama headed up a faith-based organization that helped out-of-work people while he was in his early 20s. What was she doing when she was in her early 20s after she barely squeaked out of multiple colleges with a degree?
- Because the city of Wasilla charged women for rape kits while she was mayor.
- Because she is refusing to cooperate with the Troopergate investigation. It is too much like the Bush Administration. If the Republicans didn't want their candidate to be subject to an ethics investigation during the presidential campaign, THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE PICKED SOMEONE CURRENTLY UNDER INVESTIGATION!!!!
These reasons have nothing to do with:
- The fact that she is a woman
- The fact that she is a working mother; I am one too
- The fact that she kept her baby after finding out he had Down's Syndrome
It is a MYTH that anyone is actually criticizing her for these things. It is not sexist is to question her regarding her stand on issues, her experience, her knowledge. It is sexist to treat her differently than a man would be treated in a similar position. The Republicans still just don't get it.
This may be part 1, because I am sure I can come up with many more reasons I don't like her.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
And how slimy is McCain's political maneuvering today? Obama called McCain this morning to suggest they come out with a joint statement supporting a bipartisan solution to the economic crisis. McCain returned his call this afternoon when they agreed to the joint statement - to be developed collaboratively between the two campaigns. Minutes later, McCain is on TV issuing a call to suspend the campaigns and challenging Obama to agree and to postpone the debates. Is this country first or is this manipulating a serious situation to stem a political slide? My head spins with how the Republicans can accuse the other side of EXACTLY what they are doing.
Monday, September 22, 2008
The Bush Administration is expert at this. Think:
- 9/11 and the Patriot Act and the Iraq War
- The rise in oil prices and "Drill Here, Drill Now".
- And now the financial market crisis and the bailout.
Apparently, this bailout package contains a truly scary provision that basically says once the Act is passed, there will be no oversight of decision making of the Secretary by any court of law or administrative office. And according to Naomi Klein, Newt Gingrich is using the crisis to promote a return to Reagan-era economic policies. On the radio, she urged people to contact their elected representatives and the Obama campaign to let them know we are not falling for it this time and that they need to resist these tactics.
Naomi Klein will be in the Bay Area October 16-19 for various speaking engagements.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
First of all, if you read his tax plan and don't just listen to the McCain campaign's blatant lies, it is simply not true. Secondly, even if you get a tax cut from the McCain tax plan, it will be much smaller for the average taxpayer vs. the wealthiest taxpayer. And most importantly, I want to tell these people to look at the big picture. Let's see. Everyone got a tax rebate under our current Republican president, George W. Bush. However, how quickly has that tax rebate been spent on higher gas prices and higher food prices? How much has your net worth fallen due to the fall of the housing market and now the stock market? These economic crises can be directly attributed to the Republican policy of deregulation, which McCain has supported until it all blew up last week. Was all of that worth that measly tax cut you got?
Monday, September 15, 2008
Until I realized that the presidential election race is disturbingly close given how dissatisfied Americans are with the current Republican administration and the direction this country has been going. `
Until the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the John McCain campaign has reached such high levels that even Karl Rove is admitting it.
Until an unqualified VP candidate has managed to eclipse all campaign coverage to the point where a comedy show has to tell the press how to do its job.
Until bogus surveys about race are published suspiciously right when momentum appears to be swinging back in Barack Obama's favor.
I am inspired to blog.