Friday, February 08, 2008

DNC To Push Straight-Talk-Express Off Rails






"Take the Straight Talk Express and push it off the rails."

- Carter Eskew, former adviser to Vice President Al Gore


From Gloves off: The Dem plan to hit McCain By Jeanne Cummings, Politico.com

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Miniature Earth





I'm Clamoring for More Debates



Count me as one more voter (who recently lost her candidate in this race) who is positively clamoring for as many Democratic debates as time will allow. [But not on Fox News, please!]

I'm not alone.

If Obama's truly interested in reaching voters, why not? How many of them watch television vs. actually attend individual rallies?

Clinton v Obama: Tied in Syracuse



I was surprised to see my fair city mentioned on the front page of the Drudge Report today. Drudge links this Syracuse.com story about a tie between votes cast for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Super Tuesday [not including outstanding ballots yet to be counted and verified; recanvassing yet to be completed].
"Good thing it wasn't a mayor's race," quipped Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Mayor Matt Driscoll told Syracusans before Super Tuesday that he'd be voting for Hillary Clinton.
Driscoll on Clinton: [Syracuse.com]

"It comes down to who is best prepared, and when ever I ask that question, the answer is always Hillary Clinton. She has 35 years of experience, much of it on a world stage. Given what this country faces now, that experience can not be discounted."

On speaking to friends and aquaintances here in Syracuse who've voted Obama, I've been given several rationales, none of which would've convinced me [a strong Edwards supporter for philosophical reasons] to change my vote. One rationale is that, after the contentious (decidedly media-contrived) race-card issues that preceded and followed the South Carolina primary, some previously uncommitted Democrats were turned off by the Clintons (gee, thanks, Dick Morris and all our FoxFriends) and began to gravitate toward Obama. They are beginning to join what they see as a wave of enthusiasm for Obama, well-played-out in MSM video-snippets of Democratic-establishment party-stalwart Ted Kennedy and the major-celebrity Oprah standing by his side with throngs of young idealists wiping away tears in the background.

I have to say that, like James Wolcott, I'm a much tougher sell. James says, with keen wit at his Vanity Fair blog:



The tab I flip in the voting booth isn't intended as a dramatic gesture to pin in my lapel like a carnation and sniff during intermission, like some Clifton Webb character. I don't accept being lectured or morally browbeaten into voting for one candidate over another in order to prove my virtuous intent and appease Kurt Andersen's peculiar, posturing racial anxieties. Perhaps it's my atheism at work but I found myself increasingly wary of and resistant to the salvational fervor of the Obama campaign, the idealistic zeal divorced from any particular policy or cause and chariot-driven by pure euphoria.



No atheist myself, I do concur with Mr. Wolcott, purely on intellectual terms. See my own post about the Andersen blogpost mentioned by Mr. Wolcott.

Another Syracuse-based rationale given to me is based on the fear, regardless of whether it's logical or not, that Hillary Clinton is hated by so many voters that Obama would be the more electable and that Democrats would sit on their hands..perhaps pick up their marbles and go home in November if he isn't the party's nominee. The Obama campaign has capitalized on this issue with obvious success, much to the chagrin of Democrats who feel that it's antithetical to Obama's theme of "One America".

The last rationale surrounds the electability of either Democrat in the general election, whether we're talking about Clinton or Obama. While seeking "change" vis-a-vis race and gender, they fear, even in their most liberal-yet-reality-gazing hearts and minds, that some fellow [ disillusioned? ] Democrats may be surprised to learn there are some voters out in the cities as well as the countryside who will still refuse to vote for either a woman or a black candidate when given the choice in November.

A common concern is that John McCain will take many voters away from a Democratic candidate in November because they believe many still-uncommitted Independent and Republican voters will feel he is the most "experienced" candidate (and will be portrayed that way in MSM) and is moderate enough to suit their red-to-purple political voting-tendencies.

Much credit for the hard work of organizing successfully for Senator Obama here in Syracuse should be given to campaign coordinator Lisa Daly and all the voters she and her co-volunteers have inspired.

Poverty: Our Hidden Shame





Now, I've spoken to both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. They have both pledged to me and more importantly through me to America, that they will make ending poverty central to their campaign for the presidency.

And more importantly, they have pledged to me that as President of the United States they will make ending poverty and economic inequality central to their Presidency. This is the cause of my life and I now have their commitment to engage in this cause.


- Senator John Edwards, from his campaign-suspension speech at New Orleans, January 30, 2008







Which Issues Sold the States on Super Tuesday?
link

Just as there was no clear winner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on “Super Tuesday,” there was also no clear distinction between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama on the major economic issues.

Perhaps the only difference between Clinton and Obama was in states where the poverty rate exceeds that of the nation: of the nine states voting Tuesday with that distinction, Clinton carried six. (my emphasis)


____________________


Media Downplay Widespread Support for Hillary
By Peggy Simpson, Women's Media Center
link



Clinton's endorsements from three children of the late Robert Kennedy had been discounted, when noticed at all, by the East Coast media. They wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece that ran soon after Caroline Kennedy's bombshell Obama endorsement that, in essence, deeds count more than poetic words. Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said she had worked with Clinton for 25 years, as had her two brothers for 15 years, on issues of children and poverty. This may have had resonance with California Latinos.








POVERTY: WHERE DO THE
CANDIDATES STAND?




HILLARY CLINTON

From: Deepak Chopra [Huffington Post]
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton Responds to the Open Letter

"Specifically, what is your plan of action to eliminate poverty in America?"
link

The persistence of poverty in the richest nation on earth is one of our great shames. No one should go hungry in America. No one should be without health care in America. No one should be homeless in America.

But millions of Americans are living in poverty - and they are not only struggling day to day but they have also been forgotten by their leaders. To end poverty, we must start by ending this epidemic of indifference.

When I'm President, I'll address poverty head-on.

First, we will care for the poor, the sick, the disabled, and others who cannot care for themselves. We will do this by providing health care for all, by strengthening our social safety nets, and increasing food stamps to combat hunger.

Second, we will reward work for those who are capable of working. No parent who works full-time should have to raise his or her children in poverty. I will expand child care assistance; increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, which has been called the greatest anti-poverty program ever created; support unions, which allow workers to bargain collectively for higher wages and better working conditions; and increase the minimum wage. And I will create new jobs by investing in old and new industries, like manufacturing as well as alternative energy.

Finally, I will work to restore opportunity in America. I will create a high-quality early childhood education system so every child starts school ready to learn. I will invest in proven K-12 reforms, reduce the dropout rate, and make college affordable for everyone who wants to go. I will also provide more opportunities for lifelong learning, so those who need to acquire additional skills later in life won't be held back.

I will also help families who are struggling in today's economy - I will help put home ownership back in reach for low-income Americans, protect families from predatory lenders, provide assistance to help families pay their skyrocketing energy bills, and help people save for their future.

Eliminating poverty won't be easy, but we can do it. One of my husband's proudest accomplishments is that during his administration, poverty dropped to its lowest level in two decades and seven million families were lifted out of poverty. We've slid dramatically backwards since then, but the right policies can make a difference.

I'll bring to this work a lifetime of fighting to increase opportunity. For 35 years, I have worked to listen to those whose voices are often unheard or ignored. From representing abused and neglected children as a young lawyer to serving on the board of the Children's Defense Fund to helping create the Early Head Start program and the Children's Health Insurance Program as First Lady, I have always fought to ensure that every American can reach his or her full potential.







BARACK OBAMA

From Deepak Chopra [Huffington Post]
Senator Barack Obama Responds to the Open Letter
link

Rising poverty is one of the most serious issues facing America today, and I believe that inserting simplistic tag lines or one-dimensional goals are unlikely to be helpful in meeting this challenge. As president, I will build off of my life experiences as a community organizer, civil rights lawyer and elected official to make poverty eradication a top goal of my administration. I have spent my career fighting poverty and hopelessness. I am especially proud of my successful efforts on the South Side of Chicago to organize residents to clean up environmental health hazards and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Perhaps my most notable accomplishment to fight poverty, though, came when I was an Illinois state senator and I led efforts to create the Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which put $100 million directly in the pockets of working parents. The EITC has often been described as the most successful antipoverty effort in U.S. government history, and I am proud that I was able to bring both parties together to create the first EITC program in Illinois. As president, I will work everyday to retire the phrase "working poor" from our national vocabulary. My anti-poverty plan will significantly improve opportunities for millions of poor children and their parents by strengthening the economy for working Americans and providing additional resources to programs that have proven to be effective in reducing poverty. For example, my plan will expand the EITC, which is considered one of the most effective pro-work anti-poverty programs to date, to 5.8 million more Americans. Additionally, my EITC plan will increase EITC benefits for another 6.2 million Americans. I will also extend affordable, quality and portable health insurance coverage to every American and make significant investments in early childhood education to help low-income families.

I believe strongly in ending childhood poverty. That's why I will mandate that all children have health insurance coverage and increase funding for high-quality early childhood education programs, which are considered a vital investment in improving the lives of poor children. I will also reverse the Bush Administration's repeated cuts to health care, food and housing programs that have led to an overall increase in childhood poverty over the last several years.

I will also work to tackle concentrated poverty by building off the successful efforts of the Harlem's Children Zone in New York City, which provides comprehensive antipoverty supports to ensure that chronic poverty ends with the current generation. I will create 20 Promise Neighborhoods throughout the nation in areas that have high levels of poverty, crime and low levels of student academic achievement in cities across the nation. My Promise Neighborhoods will provide a full network of services to an entire neighborhood from birth to college. The Promise Neighborhoods will seek to engage all resident children and their parents into an achievement program based on tangible goals, including college for each and every participating student, strong physical and mental health outcomes for children as well as retention of meaningful employment and parenting schools for parents. These efforts will help finally break the cycle of poverty that has lasted for too long in America, and help the next generation of children succeed and prosper.

My anti-poverty agenda reflects my experiences working directly with low-income families, government and the private sector to provide additional opportunities to more Americans. I have learned that government alone cannot eradicate poverty in American - rather, it is our responsibility to empower individuals to make responsible decisions for their well-being and to engage the private sector which has much to gain by helping all Americans succeed. That's why I will invest $1 billion in transitional jobs and career pathways programs that engage businesses because businesses often realize that helping their low-income workers succeed means that the business itself will succeed. I will also improve supports for low-income mothers and fathers, to help empower them to take responsibility for the success for their children and families. I'll pass the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act, a bill I introduced last year that will provide more financial support to fathers who make the responsible choice to help raise their children and crack down on the fathers who don't. And I'll help new mothers with their new responsibilities by expanding a pioneering program known as the Nurse-Family Partnership that offers home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income mothers and mothers-to-be. My plan will assist approximately 570,000 first-time mothers each year.











Catholic Charities USA: President's Budget Hurts Low-Income Families
link

With its deep cuts to key health, housing, and social service programs, Catholic Charities USA today urged Congress to reject the president's 2009 budget proposal and instead craft a budget that strengthens key antipoverty programs.

The proposed $3 trillion budget released on Monday contains significant cuts and changes to a range of programs that address the health and well-being of low-income families and individuals, including Medicare, Medicaid, and LIHEAP.

"At a time of great economic uncertainty facing millions of Americans, especially for the 36.5 million already living in poverty, more must be done to help lift families out of poverty," said Rev. Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA. "Unfortunately, the president's budget hurts our nation's most vulnerable by whittling away America's safety net."







Note that the following strong ideological views are not necessarily reflective of my own, but they do mirror the general belief among many Americans that their society has left the invisible poor far behind.

Criminalizing Dumpsterdiving and Poverty in Modesto
link

In January, after urging from the Modesto Police, organizations representing rich areas of Modesto (such as the La Loma Association, etc), and several city council members, the Modesto City Council in a 5-2 vote passed a new ordinance that would according to the Modesto Bee allow the police to slap dumpster divers “with a misdemeanor, issued a citation carrying a $500 fine, or both.” (1) Dumpster divers could also face up to 6 months in a jail cell just for looking through a trash can. It seems the system again has us right where it wants us, as it forces us into poverty and then seeks to criminalize us when we try and subvert that reality by appropriating (taking without paying) food.

This reality of course, is not by accident, but by design, as the economy of the rich requires us to produce massive quantities of goods and commodities as workers, yet at the same time ends up throwing so much of them away when it can’t sell all of them. Capitalists (the people who own the means of existence and force us to work for them) need to make sure this surplus of thrown away goods is not used in any way by regular people. So, they lock these items away in the garbage, leaves them to rot, or smash them in compactors.

Capitalism needs to create scarcity; it needs to keep things that we all need to survive locked up and under guard. In this way it can control what we have access to so we will be forced to work harder to earn wages and thus have money to buy things. It needs to do this because if there’s enough for everyone, why would we ever have to work so we could get money to pay for anything? If people squat homes and take over buildings - why would anyone ever pay rent? If people appropriate and grow their own food - why would anyone ever pay for it?

We can see this reality very clearly in the steady stream of economic refugees that pour into the United States from Mexico and other Central American countries. Thanks to “free-trade” agreements like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) big businesses and governments have forced people off of their lands or put them out of work. This pressure forces many working people to seek work in the United States.

Without being divorced from a way of making a living; divorced from a way of getting their basic needs met, why would anyone want to come to the US to work in near slave like conditions (and face a hostile journey and ongoing racism) picking and growing food or any of the other jobs many migrants are forced to take? Without taking the means of life from us, without divorcing us from the means to feed, house, and take care of ourselves, without protecting that system through violence (the police, the prisons, the legal system, etc), the rich have nothing, and they know it. Thus, the bosses of this economy try and control our access to land, to resources, to how we are able to spend our time, and even how we go about our very lives. Now in Modesto, they’re even doing it with trash.





The Edwards Democrats



I am reminded why I have so strongly supported John Edwards in the 2008 Presidential campaign by what I hear and see in this video. Even though Senator Edwards has suspended his campaign, I am so proud to have been a part of this movement, created by ordinary citizens not much different than myself, that today gives us a new name. Today we are Edwards Democrats because of the man (and his wife) who have inspired us to action. We look to this moment and the next...and not the time that is now behind us, to be the change we seek for our party and for America. Who we choose to endorse (or not) will be up to us and will depend upon who is speaking to our issues, especially ending Poverty, both in America and around the world. When John Edwards, for whatever reason, decided to step away from campaigning, he had our respect and our unspoken commitment to carry out his vision for our country and the world.

It's the vision I see Bono carrying out.
It's the vision I see former President Jimmy Carter carrying out.
It's the vision I see Oxfam carrying out.
It's the vision I see the ONE campaign carrying out.
It's the vision I see the Clinton Global Initiative carrying out.
It's the vision I see Muhammad Yunus, Trickle Up, and Kiva carrying out.

John and Elizabeth will continue to pursue the same vision because they believe not only that it's the morally correct thing to do, but that it's the only way our country will be seen as strong, just, and proud again.

When the insanity of the horse-race is over, I hope you'll join us. Poverty will still be an issue when every last vote has been (hopefully) counted this November.





See:
BuzzFlash Awards Wings of Justice to John Edwards (Benny's World)


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Why Is Obama Mocking John Edwards?



I've been a long-time Edwards supporter. When John Edwards told Tim Russert during one of the Democratic debates that he sometimes has a very powerful emotional response to pain that he sees around him, I empathized with that feeling.

Now that John has suspended his campaign (and I admit that I am still smarting over it), to hear that Obama is still using Edwards' great caring about Poverty as a whipping post and the butt of a joke out on the campaign trail is repulsive to me.

It's my time to cast a vote in my New York State primary.

It won't be for Obama.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Angels Among Us



Look at what happened when a poor woman trying to make it to her son-in law's funeral in Salt Lake City was stranded in Idaho by bad weather and no economic choices...
Tanya Clark-Rekow, a stranded Greyhound passenger said, "I couldn't even imagine my daughter .. not being there with her. And not being able to say good bye."

Jack Nicholson Endorses Hillary



Actor Jack Nicholson has endorsed Senator Clinton, according to the blog 'Politics On The Hudson'.

Elizabeth Benjamin at the Daily News Blog quotes Nicholson from a Rick Dees radio show transcript:
From Dees' Web site:

"I wanted to, as a performer, see how Sen Clinton dealt with the glee that they (her opponents) exhibited in their desire to bury her candidacy," said Nicholson. “I must tell you: when I saw her sit down, and she said she ‘found her voice in New Hampshire’, that was it for me. She handled that next debate as the masterful person that she is. She's the one to get the job done that needs to be done."

White? Better Not Vote Clinton - or Else...!



Yes, the headline above looks pretty stupid to me when I look at it.
Yet, there are some bloggers who would either actually believe - or seek to have fellow Democrats believe that, if you happen to be Caucasian and choose to vote for Hillary Clinton in your Democratic primary, your vote will only be "counted as a race-based anti-black vote".

Is that how far we've sunk...to worry so much about an MSM-manufactured narrative of racism and the decidedly mentally-ill attitudes they're projecting every day....that we, as intellectual beings, would allow it to seep into our conscience at its (lowest common-denominator) fear-base?

I'm sure you can gather just how offensive this idea is to me. I'll surely be glad when this process is over and I hope it doesn't divide us Democrats to the point of doing damage. We're going to need each other in the general election.

Or we could sit on our hands and call each other racists or fools after-the-fact and let a Republican win once again.

This is a cry - - a cry for some sanity among us and respect for one another's respective choices during a very spirited contest.

Tom Watson has some thoughts about this.

Why Paul Krugman's Right About Mandates



A recommended diarist (also an actuary by profession) at the progressive blog Daily Kos explains why NYT columnist Paul Krugman is right about mandates for Universal healthcare.
Excerpt:
imagine if, as Barry Goldwater proposed in 1964, payroll taxes (Social Security contributions) were made voluntary. You could opt out of the Social Security system. If you were a young, healthy 25-year-old, why would you want to pay Social Security taxes through your nose if you see very little possibility of benefiting from your contributions? Wouldn't you rather spend your money feeding your children or saving for that new home? Doesn't seem like Social Security is a good investment, does it? So then who would be left paying into Social Security? The people closer to retirement. Because a much smaller pool of people would be there to contribute to Social Security and Medicare Part A, there would have be either a much greater contribution rate or significantly reduced benefits.
Related: Universal Health Care: Why Obama Is Wrong by Partially Impartial/Daily Kos website

Madonna Endorses Clinton



According to GaySocialites.com, superstar Madonna, who once quipped: "It takes a really big man to fill my shoes," has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.

Madonna tops Forbes' first-ever Cash Queens of Music list of the top-earning female musicians, banking $72 million between June 2006 and June 2007.


Miracles: Baby Thrown From Train Survives



“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

- Albert Einstein


I choose to see this as one of life's miracles:




Sunday, February 03, 2008

It's the Giants!!!!




Photo credit: Reuters


Congratulations, N.Y. Giants!

Pre-"Super Tuesday" Bits & Pieces



DO YOU KNOW THE WAY, JANET GRAY OF SAN JOSE?

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.





OBAMA NETROOTS SUPPORTERS OVERREACT TO GIUSTRA STORY FOR POLITICAL GAIN

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.





LIVIN' IN A HOUSE DIVIDED....

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.”




NEW YORK, NEW YORK...
(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.




JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM...
(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]





WHERE'S BARACK? WHO IS BARACK?"

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.




SHRIVER ENDORSES BARACK

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.




"SAY IT AIN'T SO, BARACK!"

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?






AN EDWARDS SUPPORTER SPEAKS

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.

"Across The Universe" To Be Sent Out To The North Star



"The songs of the Beatles have always enjoyed a global appeal. Now one of their best-loved recordings is to be beamed into the galaxy in an attempt to introduce the Fab Four's music to alien ears.
Nasa will broadcast the song, Across the Universe, through the transmitters of its deep space communications network on Monday - the 40th anniversary of its recording at London's Abbey Road studios.

The music will be converted into digital data and sent on a 431 light year-journey towards Polaris, the North Star, in a stunt that also commemorates the space agency's 50th anniversary...."

- From The Guardian


On Facebook, Yoko Ono has invited all her friends to join her tomorrow by listening to the song:

Join us by listening to the song at the same time, wherever you are:

Feb 4th 03.00pm Anchorage
Feb 4th 04.00pm Los Angeles
Feb 4th 05.00pm Guatemala
Feb 4th 06.00pm Chicago
Feb 4th 07.00pm New York
Feb 4th 07.00pm Montreal
Feb 4th 08.00pm Rio de Janeiro
Feb 4th 11.00pm Reykjavik
Feb 5th 12.00am Liverpool & London
Feb 5th 01.00am Europe
Feb 5th 02.00am Baghdad
Feb 5th 03.00am Moscow
Feb 5th 04.00am Karachi
Feb 5th 05.00am Dhaka
Feb 5th 06.00am Bangkok
Feb 5th 07.00am Shanghai
Feb 5th 08.00am Tokyo
Feb 5th 09.00am Sydney
Feb 5th 10.00am Vladivostok
Feb 5th 11.00am Suva
Feb 5th 12.00am Auckland
Feb 5th 01.00am Kiritimati