Sunday, February 03, 2008

Pre-"Super Tuesday" Bits & Pieces


San Jose's first female mayor Janet Gray Hayes endorsed Senator Clinton today saying that becoming the first female president "would be a marked change, paralleling the course of India and Israel that have had strong women as leaders."
Voters should judge Hillary by her knowledge and vast experience to take on one of the most challenging jobs in the free world. Hillary is compassionate, industrious, resolute yet flexible when needed.


I'd expect Republicans to be totally non-objective when it came to the story about philanthropist/businessman Frank Giustra and former President Bill Clinton, but to see fellow Democrats doing it on a prominent blog for the sake of propping up Barack Obama...well, it blew my mind.

Many of you know I've supported John Edwards for years now. That said, I've followed (and personally contributed) to the work of the Clinton Global Initiative. The issue of getting medications for HIV/AIDS to everyone, regardless of the personal wealth of their nation or the ideas of their current leaders, is a moral issue for this generation.

The Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative addresses global poverty. Mr. Giustra has committed not only $100 million, but he's also pledged half of what he makes in the resource industry for the rest of his life. Not only did Mr. Giustra influence Carlos Slim HelĂș, the richest person in the world, to make a matching contribution, but Mr. Giustra promises to encourage other business leaders to do the same.

Ending poverty is a moral cause for our generation, regradless of Mr. Giustra's business deals.

Obama supporters are wrong in excoriating both Giustra and our former President for doing something that goverment could never do alone.....pledging millions upon millions of business-dollars to ending poverty and early deaths from AIDS.

I've spoken very little these past ferw days since Edwards dropped out, but this was too much for me to remain silent about. Some will find any way to hit Hillary and her campaign...even if it means trashing very good people dedicated to a cause that's far bigger than themselves and their business lives.


Sean McManus (NYT) reports that Harlem’s leading politician Charlie Rangel visited three Manhattan churches today to stump for Senator Clinton. Mr. McManus emphasizes just how divided the Democratic party is on these two vibrant candidates:
Mr. Rangel told the congregation that Mrs. Clinton “has been a full partner for things that we wanted,” and said of Mr. Obama, “We are not going to be separated by newcomers.” But he added, “If you’re not moved by hearing Obama speak, then there’s something wrong with you.”

(Not makin' a brand new start of it?)

Two more NY-based newspapers have endorsed Clinton: The Daily News and Newsday who says it was a difficult choice, but in the end it was Clinton of whom they believe would best bring her proven experience and knowledge to accomplish the goal of healing this nation.

(Or: That Mean New Obama!)

The Fact Hub at the Clinton campaign lays out and explains four so-called "attacks" on and distortions about Hillary's policy positions that were made today at a well-attended Obama rally in Wilmington, Delaware. Each allegation is addressed one-at-a-time.I have to say that I'm sorry to see a candidate that I'm told is all for a new brand of politics, breaking fromthe past, now resorting to some of the oldest tricks in the book. For example,
Sen. Obama accuses Hillary of changing her policy on torture due to ‘the politics of the moment.’ He couldn’t be more wrong. Hillary met with retired generals, talked with experienced military officers, and read reports commissioned by the Defense Intelligence Agency. She concluded that 'torture cannot be part of American policy, period.'

Sen. Obama laments this kind of politics in his book, Audacity of Hope:
For that is how most of my colleagues, Republican and Democrat, enter the Senate…their words distorted, and their motives questioned.. [Page 133]


Paul Rosenberg writes a thoughtful piece at Open Left today, where, while addressing the contents of a George Lakoff column, says he'd be happy to support "George Lakoff's Barack Obama," but his problem is that he just can't seem to find him.


Adam Nagourney reports that Maria Shriver, wife of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and daughter of Eunice Kennedy, appeared as a surprise guest at an Obama rally in Los Angeles with Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy... and endorsed Obama.


At the Drum Major Institute blog, Mark Winston Griffith shares some concerns after reviewing a Nation piece. He starts with a respectful moment of silence for people like myself who are still in shock and sadness at the suspension of the John Edwards' campaign:
First, a moment of silence for the death of John Edwards' message of fighting poverty and going toe-to-toe with corporate thievery.


Thank you. Now back to the candidates still in the race.

Part investigative journalism, part political hit, the Nation's February 11th edition accuses candidate Barack Obama of pursuing a retrogressive subprime mortgage recovery policy. The Nation's main charge is that Obama seems to have bought into the narrative that unscrupulous borrowers, rather than lenders, are a big part of what is driving the foreclosure and subprime mortgage crises
"Obama's foreclosure plan mostly avoids direct government spending in favor of a tax credit for homeowners, which amounts to about $500 on average, beyond which only certain borrowers would be eligible for help from an additional fund...'One advantage to the tax credit is that there’s no moral hazard involved,' one of Obama's economic advisers explains. 'There's no sense in which you’re rewarding someone for taking too big a risk. If you lied about your income in order to get a bigger mortgage, then you're not qualified. Do you really want to give a subsidy to the guy who wasn't prudent?' Obama has used similar language on the campaign trail. 'Innocent homeowners,' he has promised, those 'responsible' borrowers' facing foreclosure through no fault of their own,' would get help restructuring their loans. But no such luck for those 'claiming income they didn't have' or 'lying to get mortgages.' "
Others have noted before that Obama and his fiscal policies have endeared him to the Wall Street crowd, and the Nation extends that theme: "Obama had received nearly $10 million in contributions from the finance, insurance and real estate sector through October, and he’s second among presidential candidates of either party in money raised from commercial banks, trailing only Clinton. Goldman Sachs, which made $6 billion from devalued mortgage securities in the first nine months of 2007, is Obama’s top contributor."

Say it ain't so, Barack!

Obama's fiscal and domestic agendas are poised to let the market "solve" economic inequalities. So this is what "change" looks like?


This isn't directly related to the horserace, but there's an interesting confluence of blogs and bloggers today at Edwards-supporter/blogger "Benny's World." If you'e wondering what one of the more-prominent Edwards supporters is thinking these days, I know that Benny can be relied upon to tell you exactly what she feels. Celebrating an event called Blogroll Amnesty Weekend, Benny says:
I wanted to thank Taylor Marsh and her readers for not trying to change my mind in switching candidates, but to participate in the conversation as I choose. That shows class.

Over at the Daily Kos and MyDD, it has gotten to be pathetic. The Obama supporters in particular are demanding that Edwards endorse someone, and some in both camps, but mainly Obama's, have ridiculed and tried to intimidate Edwards supporters by saying their vote for him in upcoming primaries is waste of time. I find it ironic considering how many complaints there were about candidate support diaries, especially about Edwards, and now, no one is complaining about the remaining candidates, most especially Obama.

Our democracy belongs to us, it does not belong to the media nor to the Internet, albeit I trust the Internet more because folks like Taylor, Chris Bowers (Open Left), and yes, even a little blogger like me are driving the conversation. My blog has been shown on TV and because of my blog, I was asked to participate on the BBC Radio's 'World Have Your Say.'

I've noticed that all of the remaining candidates have not endorsed anyone, although my guess is that Bill Clinton will be seeking Bill Richardson's this afternoon while they are watching the Super Bowl. I prefer none of them do. Clinton and Obama will have to earn our votes, albeit, I'm not likely to vote for either one. But I know Edwards supporters who will look at both candidates more closely at the convention.

Thanks again, Taylor, for the shoutout you gave to my blog this week. And to other bloggers, I ask that you give me and my fellow supporters time to heal before asking for our votes. Only the candidates can convince them. I drew my line in the sand a long time ago.
Benny also has a post titled "Anti-Hillary or Anti-Barack?" that shows how Edwards supporters are torn. I made the comment to Benny that I am leaning decidedly toward Hillary Clinton. A formal endorsement from me may be coming soon.


benny06 said...

Thanks for the shout outs, Jude.

While I fully intend to vote for Edwards tomorrow and will no longer have a dog in the hunt, I will be listening to remaining candidates even more carefully. Mrs. Clinton had an old fashioned townhall today mainly about health care and women's issues. It was pretty good.