A Black Man From Kenya, A White Man From Kansas

4 09 2008

Wow, this is big news.


H/T Ken Levine


Girl Politics

30 08 2008

I’m going to take a moment to talk about VP pick Sarah Palin.

There isn’t any doubt she is a pretty incredible woman (now that I know who she is) with five children, a meteoric rise apparently in Alaska politics and a hard-core conservative.

I’m going to repeat that several times. She is a conservative.

For my right-leaning buddies out there, I realize this is a slam dunk. I’m not a conservative as you know if you read this blog and I’m really not posting this to you guys but more to my brethren who say they will vote for a woman for the sake of that’s she’s female. McCain shrewdly released the information after the eve of an amazing, historic speech from Barack Obama. As a matter of strategy, no one can deny that this was masterful pr move.

It was an amazing display. I’m going to give the McCain camp that one.

On the other hand, why has this entire race become about girl parts?

I wasn’t a Hillary supporter but I respected the experience and the warrior-like strength of Clinton. She honestly set much of the tone for the DNC convention this year and was very much the statesman/woman about the direction of the party. My lack of support for her candidacy had nothing to do with the fact that she is a woman. It had to do with how divisive she has been in the America mainstream over the past 16 years.

But I respect the hell out of her.

With Palin in the mix, I have to say that the whole “experience” thing has been thrown out of the political spin. I’m guessing that McCain knew that when his camp made their choice.

She was the mayor just two years ago of a town that is the about the size of Hooterville Central. Let’s think about that. Let’s also look at what has happened. In Palin’s defense, I’m offended by the VPILF (or whatever it’s called ’cause I’m not linking it) which is so sexist it’s not funny. If anything were to happen to McCain, we would be dealing with a woman, who in her own way, is a game-changer or so the MSM reports but she is still very right wing and has little experience in foreign relations which is a big deal. I am ok about this that she did but that’s basically the only thing I see as she did not do it for gay rights but due to the unconstitutional fall out so let’s get that balanced out. There are also some scandals attached to her (but in all fairness, there is always a scandal attached) but there is one thing bothering me more than anything.

It’s about her being a woman and that being the home run out of the park. Not her experience or belief system but the fact that “Hey, look, it’s a girl.” That’s the selling point that McCain banked on but when did it become a gender race and not a presidential race about issues facing this nation? A weakening economy, a war, a global uncertainty about the United States intentions, the rights of individuals … are these not important things to be discussing?

I resent that a woman is, once again, being used as a gimmick. I don’t like that. Palin, however, knew what she was getting into so there’s that.

For my conservative friends, I know this is inspiring. For me, it’s just another objectification at this point of a female but I also know you dig her politics and that’s cool.

But for those left-leaning people who are just voting for McCain because he’s got a woman on the ticket, I can only say, look at her track record and tell me, is this what you want one heartbeat away from the White House?

Going to look at Bigfoot pictures to get the buzzing out of my head.

Feel Good Friday

29 08 2008

Wake Up Everybody by Teddy Pendergrass.

Been on the road this a.m. so I’m a little late.

An Air Of Unity

28 08 2008
Barack Obama Flickrstream

Credit: Barack Obama Flickrstream

The last two nights in Denver have been exhilarating for a couple of reasons. There was an air of unity. We saw history made, things that future generations will study for years to come. We saw raw excitement over the process of government. Hillary Clinton proved herself a master statesman, Bill Clinton put his seal of approval on it (and despite his recent crankiness, he did very well last night) and Joe Biden who was expected to be an attack dog surprised me by showing a very personal side to himself.

Tonight, we will watch, or some of us at least, Barack Obama at Invesco Field where he will accept the nomination (well, he already has) as the Democratic candidate for president. I have a feeling tonight will increase the excitement of the last couple of weeks where Obama buzz has been at a high although it still hasn’t hit the polls yet.

I’m allowing myself the luxury of enjoying the convention, but as soon as the last balloon drops, I want to know Obama’s outline for change.

To say, “Hey, I want some change” is fine and groovy but we need to know exactly how these changes will be outlined and dissected to be manageable for not only our country’s leadership but for the American people.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m riding the wave but I’m also a realist.

This country, or it appears to me, is in much worse shape than let’s say when Bill Clinton took office in 16 years ago. I don’t expect anyone to fix it over night, but I also want to see some specifics.

Every one, I don’t care who you are, has a personal agenda when it comes to voting for their candidate. There are hot button issues that are usually on the surface that will make voters who aren’t going to read the details who will vote for things they care about. George Bush and Karl Rove depended on that and ran all the way to the bank by throwing out controversial buzz words like abortion, illegal immigrants and gay marriage which were weapons of mass distraction against other issues such as a weakening economy, the war in the Middle East and some very sneaky stuff happening in Washington.

The message was to those folks that still may not sit down and read the the actual drafts for political reform on different levels.

I’m going to, but not every one does.

And I do think an awareness is happening in this election year where the Rovian style of dive bomb distraction politics aren’t going to get it this year. That makes me hopeful.

And this is what concerns me for Obama to a degree. He needs to be very detailed in the things he is talking about changing: the economy, healthcare and withdrawal from Iraq.

Let’s enjoy the rest of this week, then let’s see if the change the Obama camp is talking about are reasonable things that can be put into motion to move this country forward.

Clinton Nominates Obama By Acclamation Vote

27 08 2008

I’ll write about this historical meeting a bit later, but it was truly an amazing moment to watch.

Sen. Hillary Clinton asked to cut the roll call short saying, “With eyes firmly fixed on the future, and in the spirit of unity with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country, let’s declare together with one voice right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president,” she said.

Delegates then affirmed Obama as their choice with cheers.

Clinton and Obama were on the ballot at the party convention on Wednesday.

The states announced their votes in alphabetical order. The voting was to continue until a candidate received 2,210 delegates — the threshold needed to secure the nomination.

While most delegates cast their votes for Obama, some were voting for Clinton.

It was truly a very neat thing to watch as Clinton made the nomination and asked for an acclamation vote.

Pretty nifty, watching history being made.

Photo credit CNN

Rural Voting Key In Presidential Race

27 08 2008

I have been preaching this for months.

From the Dallas Morning News:

And rural voters have been key — in helping former President Bill Clinton offset slippage in the suburbs and President Bush make up for declining urban support.

Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, who made history as the nation’s first elected black governor, said that the rural vote is key to an Obama victory and that he must campaign aggressively there.

“I told him, ‘Go to the sticks,’.” said Mr. Wilder, now the mayor of Richmond. “People there want to see you, touch you, hear you.”

And then there is this:

.S. Rep. Chet Edwards of Waco said Mr. Obama should highlight his opposition to the privatization of Social Security and his plan not to tax seniors earning less than $50,000.

“I think he can make real inroads in rural America,” Mr. Edwards said.

On Monday, Obama surrogates talked jobs, health care and rural highways at a meeting of the Democratic National Convention’s rural caucus.

The Obama rural platform includes promoting recruitment of doctors to rural areas, restricting the sale of methamphetamine ingredients, boosting incentives for ethanol and biodiesel production and use, and requiring country of origin labels on imported meat.

I realize that Barack Obama and John McCain are not going to come to Hooterville but they should go to some rural areas that are being impacted by higher gas and food costs as well as 26 manufacturing plants shutting down in the past 7 years. (Umm, that’s Hooterville and much of West Tennessee. Whoops.)

Working class folks could care less about words but are ready and need action.

I can tell you that the first thing folks here would bring up is NAFTA. It’s a hot-button issue here.

I have been talking about rural communities since I began this blog nearly three years ago. I will do the awful and link to myself. And Rep. John Tanner needs to be paying attention too. If you have money, things are rosy so how are you going to know what’s going on unless you go out to where average, real people are. People with money do not understand people without, and thus we head back to the Sneetches with the haves and have nots. Rural issues are somewhat tied into class issues, but I guess that happens everywhere.

A coffee shop, a tavern or other places that aren’t media events is what I’d say. Talk to the people serving low-income people who have nowhere else to turn.

Currently, I say to both political candidates and to our local ones as well, there are some things you don’t know that are happening. We are experiencing crimes of necessity (that’s the word local law enforcement uses where food from freezers is being stolen but not $5000 tractors. It’s happening quite a bit), gas pump drive offs, shoplifting of food and empty parking lots that used to have bustling businesses.

This is one of irritations with the political process right now. Rural voters in the south are so stereotyped by the media that it’s appalling. And politicians take their cue from MSM.

Wilder got it right.

One thing about rural citizens though. If the candidates came, they need to listen and not talk.

Then they will get a real view of what it’s like and then their words will have substance for people barely making it.

Thanks for listening.

Design A T-Shirt For Barack Obama

24 08 2008

As my sister, Homer, is a screenprinting maven and I know about 400 graphic artists, I thought I would pass this along from the Barack Obama website.

Obama supporters everywhere are taking their activism to a new level. Artists and designers are using their passion, their creativity, their ideas to design the next Obama campaign t-shirt.

It’s a tee by the people and for the people.

Your T-shirt entry will be displayed on our website, and the winning design will be picked by a truly democratic process — the votes of our supporters online.

It’s easy to get started, we supply all of the needed files for you to start designing. All you need to do is download the submission kit, which includes decorative art designs, official Obama logos, shirt colors and shirt images. Once you download the kit, just get started designing your tee. Be creative in your design! Once you have finished the design, you’ll submit it to the campaign by making a preview image and sending it through your my.barackobama.com account by August 31st. Then cross your fingers and be sure to tell all your friends to vote.

Now, I challenge a Tennessean to win this puppy and if you do, umm, recommend Homer to print them. Also, she and SQ made me a Newscoma T-shirt for my birthday last year. I’m angling for a Mabel for President for my birthday on October 7.

Yes, Homer, this is a hint.