Originally published 11/26/11
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Peace and Love Still Rock
A Democratic Party Platform
"What We've Got Here Is Failure To Communicate"
Guns 'N Roses
Civil War“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” Words uttered by Connecticut native Paul Newman’s character, Luke from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke; and reprised wonderfully, after a fashion, by Axl Rose with his rock band’s [Guns N’ Roses] ‘Breakdown’ introduction to their awesome rockin’ anti-war ballad Civil War. This line defines the Democratic Party since 1972, but a luxury we can no longer afford now that the filthy rich have consolidated economic power into the money-grubbing and power-mad hands of the wealthiest one percent. The astounding fact is that the wealthiest 1% of the American population now owns more wealth than the bottom 50%! Globally the fact is that the Republithief party and its billionaire masters who occupy the top 2% of the global wealthy now own as much in assets as the bottom 90% of the global population!
The entire silly crew of Republithief defenders of the billionaires
The one-time or current crop of Presidential "Contenders"
of the Tea Bag variety.Given the absurd stable of candidates at the top of the Tea Baggin’ heap this year, we actually DO stand a chance and the likelihood to repeat the Presidential landslide record of Nixon in 1972 (when he won 49 states and lost only Mass. and D.C.). But we must do better. We must not only use this opportunity to continue OCCUPYING THE WHITE HOUSE, if we don’t take advantage of our chance to use the Presidential coattails to sweep into record majorities in both houses of Congress (60 in the Senate is not only doable, but required, and at least 20 more seats for the second term of Speaker Nancy Pelosi), and especially to ensure that the candidates seeking to replace incumbent Republithieves are MORE liberal than prior candidates, then we deserve the continued stalemate which will emerge from a “Blue Dog” right-wing Democratic dominated Congress once again.
A quick review of the Pachyderms dominating the Tea field might be in order, to prove their vulnerability. Frontrunner of the month is Newt Gingrich; thrice failed in marriage within his personal life, unable to manage his own finances (a half million dollar account at Tiffany’s went unexplained recently), cheater extraordinaire, and ditched by his own party as Speaker. VULNERABLE. LANDSLIDE. Second frontrunner of the month: Herman Cain; sexual harassment charges galore, foot-in-mouth disease, and imagines that mountains pose an obstacle to air raids against nuclear facilities. VULNERABLE. LANDSLIDE. Former frontrunner and still likely nominee Mitt Romney; lost to McCain in a rout for his own party’s nod in 2008 so they won’t vote for him in a general election, looks like a Ken Doll, thinks like a Ken Doll, has the brain of a Ken Doll, and blows with the wind and everyone knows it; will be massacred by Barack Obama in debates. VULNERABLE. LANDSLIDE. Former frontrunner for a day Michele Bachmann; need I say more. VULNERABLE. LANDSLIDE. Former frontrunner for a week Rick Perry; his prior historical talk of Texas secession make him the least formidable potential nominee along with his brain freezes on camera in front of millions, most notably forgetting the third of the three cabinet departments he himself supposedly wants to eliminate, along with his over-the-top New Hampshire am-I-high-or-am-I-drunk-or-am-I-just-crazy performance video which has since gone viral. VULNERABLE. LANDSLIDE.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
And The First Family
And a quick review of our nominee’s major selling points to the general electorate reads as follows:
1) Ending the reign of terror that was Osama Bin Laden.
2) Ending Don't Ask Don't Tell- The official Defense Department policy of legal discrimination against gay and lesbian heroes.
3) Negotiating and passing through the U.S. Senate the START treaty with Russia.
4) Passage of the highly successful $700 billion TARP bill.
5) Passage of the first-step Health Care Reform Act of 2010.
6) Removing 100,000 of our bravest and best from harm's way in Iraq and an end to the Cheney Administration-sponsored US aggression by December of this year.
7) Getting a $20 billion down payment from BP before the spill was even over.
8) Intimidating Tony "Wayward" Hayward into resigning as the immoral head of BP, taking a demotion and hiding out in Putin's Russia to avert prosecution by Attorney General Eric Holder.
9) Naming 2 women in a row to the U.S. Supreme court with brains.
10) Having a brain himself as President, post-George Dubya Bush.
11) Putting an end to Muammar Qaddafi without the loss of the life of a single American military member.
LANDSLIDE. So we win next November. It is important to note that Barack ran as a liberal and hiding it little, having been known to have had the most liberal Senate voting record aside from the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s during his brief two years on Capitol Hill at the time of the primary campaign and election of 2008. The only other overtly liberal nominees, arguably, have been George McGovern in 1972, former Mass. Governor Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Mass. Senator John Kerry in 2004. With the exception of Kerry, these were all stunning and landslide losses, and Kerry’s should have been a victory, given public anger at the theft of the 2000 election by George W. Bush and his brother Jeb and the security lapse that was 9/11, the illegal war in Iraq and his inability to pronounce nuclear (he thought it was 'nucular') and his now-obvious stupidity.
Running as a black man, a liberal who couldn’t hide either, and running against a Republithief candidate who was portrayed and always has been by the mainstream media as a war hero, a ‘maverick’ within the party and a ‘moderate’ [that was prior to his pre-Sharrrrron Angle turn to fascism to secure the AZ Senate nod in 2010], Barack Obama’s victory as a liberal was a surprising Electoral College and popular vote landslide. So the general electorate is ready and primed for liberalism. The myth that the Faux News Channel is viewed by the U.S. population as anything more than a competitor to the Comedy Channel is just that, a myth.
Zager and Evans had only one hit:
In The Year 2525So what’s to be the Democratic platform? We’ve been lacking long-term vision for decades. What we need is a vision that spans decades, not electoral cycles. How ‘bout a twenty year plan? Here we go. A proposed Democratic Party Platform that stretches from 2013 into the mid-2030’s. Maybe we could use the baby-boomers’ anthem from Danny Zager and Rick Evans, their tune In The Year 2525 as a sortofa theme song demonstrating that we CAN think past the next Congressional election.
A Magical Little Blue Marble Wrapped By An Extremely Delicate Thin Layer Of Gas:
EARTHIt’s time to stop viewing economics, military policy, foreign policy, environmental policy, and health policy in separate boxes. Ever since we chose two civilian targets upon which to drop nuclear bombs in the world’s only nuclear war, a first-strike victory by the power that then held a monopoly on nukes, the United States, when it won Nuclear War I in 1945, this government, whether directed at the time by Democrats or Republithieves, has pursued a policy of international military aggression on continents far removed from our safe base in North America, protected by thousands of miles of ocean [the Atlantic and Pacific are still taught at West Point and elsewhere as our primary defense weapons] and bordering only two military midgets in Canada and Mexico. Under one pretext or another, we’ve engaged in military gambits which have made our conventional military look ludicrous, all the while we developed and deployed the largest, most technologically advanced, accurate and deadly nuclear stockpile on earth capable of hitting every world capitol within one hour. We’ve also created an offensive “Defense” Department whose budget exceeds that of the entire rest of the world.
The Soviet Union was so disgusted at the American shenanigans and abuse of the UN Security Council in its first true test in the 1950s, that its delegation stormed out of the session, and that’s how this government was able to ram a Security Council resolution through that ‘legitimized’ our Korean peninsula aggression (please dpn't forget that Russia actually shares a border with Korea--the United States does NOT) without the Soviet’s veto. And we fought that war to a stalemate, unable to rout the North Koreans even though we had touted ourselves the solitary heroes of WW II. JFK was a Democrat, but not nearly the liberal his brother Ted became, and he along with his chosen TX political hack Vice President and later President Lyndon Johnson created the Vietnam aggression, expanded illegally by the Agnew/Nixon criminal crew. Johnson botched the aggression so badly, and our inability to defeat the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong proved that our billions spent on the Offense Department were futile, but deadly. Under Agnew/Nixon the temptation of the Presidency to circumvent law and the Constitution because of the huge Offense Dept. budget and imagined capabilities resulted in spreading the Vietnam fiasco illegally to Laos and Cambodia, ultimately providing the Kampuchean people with the “Killing Fields” of genocidal fanatic Pol Pot! Again our conventional forces looked impotent worldwide (in their 1950’s Vietnam aggression, even the French only managed to lose against the Viet Minh and the North, but still kept South Vietnam intact, not losing Laos and Cambodia in the deal as well), while our nukes remained pointed at the remainder of the world.
THE WORLD'S LEADER IN
SINCE 1945!In the 1980’s B-movie chimpanzee co-star (Bedtime for Bonzo) Ronald Ray-gun was allowed by the Democrats to win, and then to claim that his species-record breaking arms race brought down the Soviet Union, instead of peace-makers and courageous heroes such as Lech Walesa, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov, Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Boris Yeltsin. Now we had a massive conventional killing machine, along with an even bigger and more advanced nuclear system, now armed with multiple independently targeted warheads in order to circumvent and break previously agreed to nuclear arms treaties.
So by 2001, with the failure of all of our accumulated trillions of dollars in so-called “Defense” spending, when 19 'lucky' as_holes with plastic box cutters proved the futility of our idiocy on a sunny September 11th in New York City, Washington, D.C. and in the inland woods of Pennsylvania; the population was primed by an ignorant Republithief President Dubya, his leader Dick Cheney, and once-failed Defense Secretary (under Ford) Rumsfeld for lies which made the rag-tag band of thugs under Osama Bin Laden into a national security threat, and launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (in Iraq, lying to their own Sec. of State Colin Powell and all the rest of us, telling us that Saddam was about to hurl nuclear, chemical and biological warheads at us somehow—was he gonna do it with one of his silly, ancient, 50 mile-range inaccurate Scud missiles--ifya recall he had already blown that wad, since he had plum run outa Scuds altogether by then, having lobbed so many at Iran and trying to aim at Israel in the preceding years--I wonder?) and our conventional forces have stalemated these two countries—which both lack any Air Force, naval capacity, or any significant military capability except IED’s--which are simply poorly designed and manufactured land mines--and side arms for over a decade now!
If ya read my stuff at all ya knew this one was comin' sooner or later:
John Winston Ono Lennon
Dr. Winston O'Boogie
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!
The Democratic Party needs to divorce itself from all foreign aggression outside our continent and sign a renewed non-aggression pact for our own hemisphere and to repudiate our past military aggressions. Barack rightly changed U.S. military strategy shortly after taking office via executive order, and for the first time since the success of the Manhattan Project our official policy is that the United States must disarm in a nuclear fashion, along with the rest of the world. He concluded and had the lame-duck Senate last year ratify the first-ever Strategic Arms REDUCTION Treaty with Russia. All are smooth moves by this Administration. This needs to follow with a stated goal of finalizing the START process with the elimination of all nuclear weapons on earth by 2020! Now there’s something to campaign on!
Nukes can and will do more to destroy the thin layer of gas wrapping this lovely little blue marble we call earth within hours than anything else we could do that quickly as a species. Thanks to Dubya and crew, the likelihood of Nuclear War II is greatly enhanced by their intentional policy of allowing General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan at the time to develop a nuclear arsenal, when arch-enemy and much-larger and very threatening in conventional warfare India is packing nuclear weapons right next door! A South Asian Nuclear War II would have devastating ecological consequences of course, but would also make the likelihood of a nuclear free world far less likely.
The Republithieves are complicating the shi_t outa a simple matter.
is caused by fire and smoke, too much combustion and the smoke
is causing the sun's heat to stay inside the atmosphere
causing a greenhouse effect. It really is that simple,
and the consequent climate changes are never heard of
in millions of years of pre-history.
WE JUST HAFTA STOP BURNING SO MUCH CRAP AND MOST OF WHAT WE BURN
IS OIL, COAL AND NATURAL GAS!
AND THE BILLIONAIRES DEPEND ON THESE FOR THEIR BILLIONS,
THUS THE OIL WARS.
The other means by which our species is destroying that wondrous thin layer of gas we call the atmosphere is via combustion. Burning things. It’s causing smoke and the smoke is creating a greenhouse effect which is causing climate change and warming the planet at a pace unseen going way back into the pre-history of planet earth going back millions of years. It may be too late already. Policy-wise, our consumerism and endless demand for an ever-expanding economy ever since Ike’s expansion of the Interstate Highway system [under the auspices of which department? You guessed it! The “Defense” Department] and the suburban sprawl he created along with the demand for 3.2 kids and a married set of heterosexual parents, a 5 bedroom house and white picket fence for all, and TV’s, washer/dryers, side-by-side Amana fridges, TWO cars in every garage and such for all has been THE cause of the oil wars. And make no mistake, they are all oil wars. There IS no “War on Terror.” These little bands of thugs pose no threat to our national survival in any sense; our aggressions and meddling in the Palestinian-Israeli dispute are all about oil. PERIOD. And we Democrats can divorce ourselves from this policy.
As liberals and Democrats we need to end our disabling fear of saying the words disabled, poor, disadvantaged, old folks and food-for-the-hungry and defend them loudly again. SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE! Food stamps, education, disability assistance, special education--these are all popular and populist issues for which we liberals and Democrats can claim credit, campaign on and WIN! That worn-out phrase "Middle Class" just doesn't cut it anymore, especially since the One Percenters have effectively eliminated that grouping, if it was ever a useful concept at all. The 99% know it's our obligation to help out those who cannot either temporarily or permanently help themselves without accommodations. And we MUST address the issue of prison reform. Our prisons are sick places where the inmates are used as pawns to mete out brutal punishment against other inmates, and hatred is taught and anger, resentment and recidivism the result. The U.S. system of state prisons is THE primary cause of chronic crime in our nation. We also need to deal with overhauling the courts where copping a plea is the norm if you're impoverished, guilty or not, and skin shading determines the overall population distribution and racial and ethnic animosity within prison walls is not only tolerated, but often sanctified and encouraged. PRISON REFORM is key and an end to state murder with revenge as the motive, what TX and the other states euphemistically call capital punishment. Nobel Prize winners Amnesty International decry the American system of "justice' with every annual report!
Our economy need not endlessly expand, nor can it nor is endless economic ‘expansion’ even desirable. We should advance a vision of our country where people are encouraged to ride scooters if they can, ride bicycles when they can, take good high-speed public transportation and expand its availability on a large scale and to provide money, CASH to those that do. The issue is not a 1% employment rate anymore. The issue is a more equitable distribution of the work that needs to be done, and fairness in employment, including benefit guarantees to workers. FMLA is very popular, and so is the ADA. We need guaranteed paid vacation, sick, maternity, paternity, family leave time for all who work more than 20 hours per week. We need revised minimum wage standards which reflect the varying needs of high school students, and single moms for example. We NEED to build industries which will provide for the manufacture of green products for export to other nations. We need to mandate that automobiles only be purchased in accordance with needs not wants. 8 cylinder 4 by 4’s are not a ‘right’ and utilization of the roads are a privilege. Smaller and one car per family needs to be given financial advantages for our people.
Home farming and vegetable gardens should also be financially incentivized, along with financial inducements for folks to rent rather than own their homes. Coal burning electric plants must end, there is no such thing as “Clean Coal.”
While our consumerism and our economic and foreign policies since WW II have resulted in the viral spread of the demand for Maytag style washer/dryers, Amana fridges, Nike shoes, microwaves, cars and more way beyond our shores, we can stop those policies now and must. We’ve lost control of the carbon footprint worldwide, because our materialistic policies have resulted in filthy industrialization policies and consumer demand in such disparate places as India, the still-Communist Peoples’ Republic of China, and of course Japan which provided us with the world’s first public nuclear power plant melt-down this year (Chernobyl was a much more private affair as was our own Three Mile Island). Nevertheless we can still work at an international economic structure which incentivizes and prioritizes greening the world in a massive way.
In order to create the changes called for, the funding is actually really simple [in general]. Tax those who would strangle us by concentrating power and wealth in a big way. If we can secure the numbers we should next year in Congress with more liberal candidates, then we can not only maintain the current levels on the 99 percent, but perhaps double the taxes paid by the 1%. In times past that wouldn’t amount to much, but don’t forget that the one percent now own what the bottom 50% do given their concentration of assets in the past few decades. So the increase in revenues will be massive and most certainly DOES matter!
the ever offensive
"Defense" Department's Pentagon
Rainbow Peace SymbolOn the spending side, cutting the Offensive “Defense” Department budget by half within a 4 year term and then allocating the savings toward greening the economy over the course of the next 20 years as well as using those funds to help create the structure for a more fair distribution of jobs, benefits and resources—coupled with the revenue increases provided by taxing the 1%--will also put the federal fiscal house in order more quickly than the nickel and dime approach both parties have advocated for decades. By the time 2035 rolls around, the Defense Department budget could easily be pared to 25% of its current level and our national security will only be more enhanced than if we were to do anything else. We should call for these revenue increases and Defense cuts.
The profit motive is killing certain sectors of the economy. “Too big to fail” is a myth, and any profit-motived corporation which is in danger of failing should be viewed as a natural outcome of what the Darwinist and Laissez Faire economists at one point, if they were intellectually honest, would have called “natural selection.” The Citicorps, Banks of America, etc. must be allowed to die in the future. That is now obvious.
The first step Health Care Act should be amended to eliminate the profit motive from medicine altogether. Not government option, government medicine is what is required and in the heart of all true Democrats and liberals. Those nations with government medicine and no profit motive ARE the nations which are now outstripping us in terms of life expectancy. I do NOT think anybody in their right mind wants themselves or a loved one to be wheeled unconscious with chest pains into an ER, and have the attending physician who has a private practice as his full-time gig to have a profit motive when he/she makes the decision whether to carve open your chest and grab your heart for a massage. NOBODY in their right mind would want this.
Remember the Hippocratic Oath?
Where did it go?
It got gobbled up by the profit motive and
Corporate Greed.Debunking the socialism argument is simple. I do believe that the folks I have come in to clean my carpets and upholstery shouldn’t be government employees. I do believe the private sector does rug and sofa cleaning well, and I want the folks who come over to do this having the profit motive. I also want them bonded, and that bond to be regulated by the government in case one of the rug cleaners has sticky fingers while I’m in the bathroom or fixing him some coffee +.
So to summarize, our platform should include the following planks:
What We Democrats Truly Stand For:
1) Our platform should stretch for 20 years, a vision to the mid-2030’s.
2) Finalizing the START process, and eliminating all nuclear stockpiles by 2020.
3) Ending U.S. military aggression on all continents, getting out of the Middle Eastern disputes, ending the oil war and negotiating and signing a new non-aggression pact with our North and South American neighbors.
4) Cutting the offensive “Defense” budget in half within 4 years, and by 75% by 2035.
5) Doubling the taxes on the wealthiest 1% and maintaining the current tax levels on the rest at present. Using “Defense” cuts and billionaire tax increases to fund necessary changes.
6) Ending expectations of an endlessly expanding American economy, providing a vision for a more compact and green economy, and the equitable distribution of jobs, benefits, resources and labor guarantees. Planning for economic contractions rather than randomly reacting.
7) Strict limits on car manufacturing and consumer purchases, CASH incentives for bicycling, walking, scooters, and other personal green lifestyle changes.
8) CASH incentives for home farming, for renting rather than home ownership and for new economic thinking.
9) Ending the “Too big to fail” concept, and allowing profit-based firms to be ‘naturally selected’ no matter how huge. Advancing the notion that “Too big” is THE problem with the economy.
10) Ending the profit motive in medicine, from MD’s, to pharmaceutical companies, to providers of all types.
So there it is, for what it’s worth--the Unabashed liberal Democratic party agenda for 2012-2035 or thereabouts. I DO believe we can go forward in 2012 Unabashedly Left, even more so than we did in 2008, and that we will have a mandate for a progressive agenda. This may be our last chance for some time and the backlash could be a genuine resurgence of Tea Party nonsense and the election of a 2016 reactionary.
Re-elect our awesome incumbent President and nominate and work for genuine liberals to the U.S. House and Senate—give the boot to “Blue-Dog” reactionary “Democrats” please. The winning link is:
Originally published 11/26/11
Originally published 11/26/11
Friday, January 27, 2012
Barack and Michelle Obama Demonstrate Transparency
With A VERY Public Display Of Affection
Yesterday Was The First Couple's 19th Wedding Anniversary.
The First Marriage For Both,
And No Scandals Contained Therein.
Congratulations You Guys!
Bob Marley's version of Jimmy Cliff's
I Can See Clearly Now!
What a relief to have the most transparent
Administration in American History!
I sure can see more clearly now than I could into the
Nixon, Reagan or Dubya
That's fer sure!
From Dictionary.comstone·wall·ing [stohn-waw-ling] Show IPA - noun: the act of stalling, evading, or filibustering, especially to avoid revealing politically embarrassing information.
Example: “Whatever his financial situation; I DON"T LIKE the "Stonewalling" - NOBODY in her campaign will answer questions, or return phone calls or messages.”
Ahhhhh. Memories! Nostalgia! Who can forget the Nixon Administration, the Ervin Committee, Expletives Deleted, 18 Minute Gaps, and the American popularization of a term coined in Britain during a Parliamentary scandal in the late 1800s: STONEWALLING! What precious memories indeed! OMG. NOT! It was the hijacking of the US government by a criminal who only avoided prosecution because his handpicked successor, Gerald Ford, pardoned him BEFORE he was ever indicted after he quit office in disgrace.
National security, “Top Secret” Classification schemes and what-not have been endemic to the American Presidency forever, and IS one legitimate area where real-time confidences are legitimate under certain (as far as I’m concerned, very rare) circumstances in order to ensure the safety of those in harms’ way and the efficacy of military actions. Unfortunately this has been a major flaw in the Presidency, particularly under Republicans who habitually and predictably abuse National Security to get away with obscene acts.
The Ray-Gun Administration was also secretive in the extreme, but not even close to the Cheney-Bush Administration. Not too surprising since they were busy manufacturing lies to sell to the UN, their own Secretary of State, Colin Powell, Congress and the nation about mythical “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq, in order to create a war hysteria which enabled them to produce a reality show timed for a Prime Time network TV audience called “Shock and Awe” when they began the bombing of Baghdad and invaded that sovereign nation, beginning one of our nation’s longest wars, and resulting in the death of more Iraqis than Saddam ever dreamed of and creating a situation of violence and instability for that country to suffer for years to come, no doubt. In manufacturing this war hysteria, and the public paranoia they sought to accomplish with their “Global War On Terror” because 19 fools with plastic box-cutters took advantage of their own security lapse financed by one other fool, Osama Bin Laden, who had a bankroll of only $25 million and his rag-tag gang of a thousand or so poorly armed thugs a world away, secrecy and stonewalling was necessary. Especially since they took advantage of their manufactured hysteria (more nostalgia—who can forget the color coded “Terror Alert Levels”—a rainbow of fear topped by “red alert”) by wiretapping American citizens without the benefit of court orders required by law (impeachable offenses), torturing foreigners against all tenets of international law and treaties (impeachable AND criminal under federal and international law), arresting Americans without warrants overseas, and holding foreign nationals without due process for indeterminate and lengths of time—also violations of US Treaties (impeachable offenses) and international and domestic law (prison time and a trial at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, which is what much of the world has clamored for in the case of Dubya, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al. for years)—such secrecy was obviously necessary in order to carry on such illegal, immoral and horrendous acts. At some point during the Cheney years, it was, I believe, that the term “transparency” came into vogue to mean something besides a description of Scotch brand tape.
Back to Dictionary.com:trans·par·en·cy [trans-pair-uhn-see, -par-] Show IPA noun, plural –cies:
1. Also, trans·par·ence. the quality or state of being transparent.
2. something transparent, especially a picture, design, or the like on glass or some translucent substance, made visible by light shining through from behind.
1. having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.
trans·par·ent [trans-pair-uhnt, -par-] Show IPA adjective:
2. so sheer as to permit light to pass through; diaphanous.
3. easily seen through, recognized, or detected: transparent excuses.
Merriam Webster provides the following antonyms for transparent, which pretty much describe the Nixon, Ray-Gun and Dubya White Houses:
incomprehensible, indecipherable, unfathomable, unintelligible, unknowable; impalpable, imperceptible, inappreciable, indiscernible, insensible; cloudy, gauzy, gray (also grey), hazy, imprecise, indefinite, indeterminate, misty, murky, nebulous, noncommittal, sketchy, slippery, subtle, vague; illegible, undecipherable, unreadable, ambiguous, clouded, cryptic, dark, enigmatic (also enigmatical), equivocal, indistinct, mysterious, nonobvious, obfuscated, obscure, unapparent, unclarified, unclear.
****************************I’ve only been doing this political writing thing for just a little over a year now. Certain things have amazed me regarding access to certain people in and out of politics. As a fledgling online journalist for Examiner.com as their Hartford Government Examiner (linked: Examiner.com/government-in-hartford/steve-alexander) and somewhat disabled at the time, I found myself able to have unique access to two key campaign events in the race for Governor in Connecticut—one an appearance by President Barack Obama in which I had incredible access; and the other an appearance by former President Bill Clinton, again in which I had remarkable access to people I never thought I would. My candidate, Governor Dan MalloyBysiewicz, who is running for Senate to replace the retiring Joe Lieberman (thank God) and her cell phone number was made available to me by a former staffer, and I’ve had access to her for two formal interviews, routinely attend press conferences by phone or ask questions at public events and have direct access to her and her campaign in an unbelievably transparent manner. When I ask a question by email, I know I’ll get a position statement from her within hours!
The nightmare vision of the BP leak!
At the height of the BP Spill Crisis I had the opportunity to ask
Dr. Jane Lubchenco,
President Obama's NOAA Administrator
THREE Questions During A White House
During the BP oils spill the White House made NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco available for questioning at a White House Facebook Q & A, and I was astounded to have the chance to have THREE of my questions answered by this key policymaker at a key time in the environmental history of the United States. At a similar White House event, the then Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee answered one of my questions on the status of the nation’s economy and White House policy. I had the opportunity to ask questions of then Presidential adviser David Axelrod in a similar manner on several occasions.
I also got to ask President Obama's
Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers
a question at the White House.
I know of no President in my lifetime who has declared that formal press conferences with the permanent White House press corps are their favorite recreational activity. I also know of no significant or major contribution that these rituals accomplish. That press corps consistently gripes that whomever the incumbent is of either party is not genuflecting to them sufficiently with regular pressroom Q & A’s. The events consistently result in repetitive questioning, and often testy confrontational interactions which yield little in the way of information and usually wind up reflecting poorly on the incumbent chief executive AND the Fourth Estate altogether. The formal press briefing hasn’t been this President’s favorite venue for answering to the American people. He seems to prefer answering directly to the American people at town hall meetings, on Facebook and Twitter, and with journalists who are not necessarily tied into and beholden to the major mainstream outlets necessarily represented in the White House corps. Barack Obama is always answering questions and is more transparent than any president we’ve ever had. Period. I’ve even formally requested an interview with him through his campaign organization, and fully expect that I WILL speak with my President before his first term is over! Never before have I had reason to expect this to be the case.
So today I opened an email from the White House signed by the President, describing a new format for a YouTube question and answer session to occur this Monday at 5:30pm, which read, in part:
Chief Adviser to President Obama (now with the Obama campaign)
was available to me and others once a week for questions.
“On Monday we're going to do something a little different. At 5:30 p.m. ET, I'll walk into the Roosevelt Room across the hall from the Oval Office, take a seat, and kick-off the first-ever completely virtual town hall from the White House.All week, people have been voting on questions and submitting their own, and a few of them will join me for a live chat.
What do you want to ask me?”
Several Americans will even have the opportunity to be present video-conference style during the event, and people are voting on questions submitted by others for their favorites. I submitted the following questions today and the number in parentheses after my submitted question is the number of votes that question has received thus far by others:
Mr. President, Steve Jobs was a visionary, but one who found benefits in sending jobs to China where Apple workers are abused. Specifically what can be done to prevent losing more manufacturing jobs, and to bring some back from China specifically? (10)Mr. President, This week Secretary of State Clinton said her inclination was that you name a replacement after you are reelected. Understandably fatigued given her accomplishments the past years, would you encourage her to stay on? Please do so. :) (6)
Mr. President, Would you give us an update on the status of Strategic Arms discussions? Could you tell us about the prospects for shorter-range nuclear arms control limitation and/or reduction agreements world-wide? Is nuclear disarmament possible? (1)
Mr. President, I heard Elizabeth Warren give data on investment by other nations in infrastructure, and ours has been too low, though the TARP bill helped. Beyond roads, bridges, rails and public transit; what are your top infrastructure priorities? (10)
Mr. President, I feel that reliance nationwide on local property taxes as the primary funding source for education is a major problem, causing inequity and financial distress for states and municipalities. What are your thoughts on funding sources? (2)
Mr. President, I'm angry that a former House Speaker would circumvent ethics law by going to work for an agency, answering directly to the chief lobbyist of the group, and yet not have "lobbyist" as his job title. Do you support ethics reform? (14)
Mr. President, A famous politician recently paid a lower tax rate than I did as a disabled person, working part-time and impoverished according to federal guidelines. Can you please ensure that impoverished and workers’ pay only their fair share? (7)
Mr. President, Dodd-Frank was a great step in the right direction. I'm pleased that the Justice Department will hone in on "Great Recession" profiteers. Can you support legislation criminalizing financial abuses which are currently not so penalized? (27)
How refreshing it is to have a leader for a President who takes the pulse of the people and then leads accordingly. If you enjoy this kind of transparency in your President, then click the link below and let's reelect this historic and awesome incumbent! Thank YOU Mr. President!
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton
A born leader, the leader of the pack in many senses.
What Hillary has done for women alone, can't be measured.
She is a leader here politically.
On the world stage admired and respected.
Please dont' go!
The first woman to seriously contend for a major American political party’s presidential nomination (coming in second to the winner amassing huge primary victories), former New York Senator, former First Lady of the United States, former First Lady of Arkansas, former president of the Wellesley College Government Association, Yale Law School graduate, National Merit Scholar, twice named one of the 100 most influential female attorneys in America, the incumbent and one of the most successful Secretaries of State in the modern era, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton said publicly today “she wants to step off the "high wire of American politics" after two decades and is again tamping down speculation that she might stay in government if President Barack Obama wins a second term.” According to the Associated Press, Secretary Clinton told a group of State Department staffers "I have made it clear that I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur" if Obama wins re-election, she told a town hall meeting. "But I think after 20 years, and it will be 20 years, of being on the high wire of American politics and all of the challenges that come with that, it would be probably a good idea to just find out how tired I am."
While the Republithieves debate yet again tonight, making fools of themselves no doubt once more; as Newt makes personal attacks against Willard and vice versa and while both jockey to maintain the power and prestige of the currently wealthy and powerful, seeking egomaniacally to expand their own in particular; with the sideshow of a reactionary still in the race waiting to figure out exactly when to bow out and with whom to cut deals while doing so (Santorum) and the tragicomedy of an aging ideologue MD (Ron Paul) winning large numbers in a party that used to be a serious loyal opposition party when out of power, HILLARY is the big news of the day.
The other powerful First Lady extraordinaire,
In 1999, Eleanor Roosevelt was ranked in the top ten of Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century for all of her accomplishments, which centered on her role as U. S First Lady extraordinaire for an unprecedented 13 years. She gained little notoriety prior to ascending to the role of First Lady, but as wife to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who led the nation out of the Great Depression and to victory against Germany, Italy and Japan in World War II, Eleanor took an activist role, even publicly disagreeing with the President when she felt it was called for (she strongly opposed the executive order resulting the internment of Japanese-American citizens, for example). Following FDR’s death, she became the first American U.N. Delegate, chaired the UN commission which drafted the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and went on to serve JFK on the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, prior to her death in 1962.
Number One First Lady of all time,
Orleans had it right.
YOU'RE STILL THE ONE FOR 2016!
I submit that as First Ladies go, Mrs. Clinton now stands as the most accomplished in American history, bar none, including Eleanor Roosevelt. And though she may find herself tired (she holds the record for logging the most mileage of any Secretary of State in US history considering time served) at present, I would ask this remarkable American woman and Democrat to reconsider her plans. It’s been a busy few years for Mrs. Clinton. Her terms in the Senate must have seemed like a vacation compared to what was to come. Her history-making 2008 bid for the presidency was hotly contested, close, and required constant campaigning for over a year, was physically and emotionally grueling. Then she campaigned hard for the now incumbent President Obama, and as Secretary of State she has had to deal with two dangling wars left over from the Cheney/Bush Administration, re-establish relations with every nation from our NATO allies—such as France and all except Britain—to friendly Islamic nations, to nations all over the world. She did this so admirably that out of the starting gate she enabled Barack to win the Nobel Peace Prize. This all in addition to having to deal with typical matters such as US-Russian relations and strategic nuclear weapons—again within months of taking office, she enabled Barack to meet with Russian President Medvedev in Washington where they signed the first-ever Strategic Arms REDUCTION Treaty. She gave reign to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to commence talking amongst all the adversaries and allies in and around Afghanistan, and despite Mr. Holbrooke’s tragic death in such an untimely manner as it occurred, mark my words that the Afghan conflict WILL end with a negotiated peace, thanks to Secretary of State Clinton, who had to battle with and win the 200 year old turf war between the State and Defense (which has had different names) Departments, where Generals McChrystal and Petraeus are now out of the uniformed military and Robert Gates is no longer Defense Secretary. Phew! No wonder you’re tired Madame Secretary.
Her accomplishments during Bill’s Presidency are the stuff of legend, and though a health care bill wasn’t successfully passed, it was Hillary who succeeded in making it a national priority and laying the groundwork for the passage of the first step Affordable Health Care Act last year, among so many other key policies in which she was involved. Not satisfied to be a back-bencher
Talk about a powerful woman and leader,
it was only Secretary Clinton who could have compelled
Benjamin Netanyahu to be seen publicly with
Mahmoud Abbas at this point.
Hillary looked tired at this time for sure,
but never more competent!
When they left office there was a genuine wish on the part of many Democrats to see Hillary run for office, and when they moved to NY, she was answering a call to run for the Senate, which she won and was so outstanding in her first 6 year term that her second win was a trouncing of her Republican opponent. She became the first woman to be considered a front-runner for a major party nomination for President, and the 2008 primary between Hillary and Barack truly excited Democrats and the nation. The primary truly was a squeaker, and got personal at times. Nevertheless she was, in the end, magnanimous in defeat, and campaigned hard for him, helped unify the party so that Barack could win his historic election by a big margin in November. Asking Hillary to serve in the position of Secretary of State was seen by some at the time as a way of keeping her out of a possible return primary challenge in 2012, but Hillary accepted the President’s call to duty anyway. And, with the possible exception of her husband’s Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Hillary is already the most accomplished Secretary of modern times.
No other photo shows the depth of the sincere friendship
which has formed between Hillary and Barack than this one.
Their mutual affection is obvious.
And this shot is from the moment of the final Congressional
passage of the Affordable Health Care Act,
talk about magnanimity and the ability to forgive
despite their bruising primary battle!
THESE are true leadership and Presidential qualities.
Not the absurdity of the modern mudslinging on the right!
It was the prospect of a Hillary Presidency which brought me back into presidential politics and involvement in party politics in 2008 after a lengthy sabbatical. Both candidates were impressive and I didn’t consider it a compromise at all to switch allegiances to the gentleman in office now, who I happen to believe has the potential to be the best president in U.S. history since Abraham Lincoln, who, of course, was the best in U.S. history period (dream on Willard and Newt—lol).
Mrs. Clinton turns 65 this October, and I certainly hope she reconsiders her stand on remaining in the State Department during Barack’s second term. If she decides to take time off however or not, I am and have been marking my calendar for 2016 and being very busy working on the Hillary 2016 Presidential campaign, and I fully expect this to be the case. At least I’m hoping so. The Democratic Party is blessed with a variety of potential successors to our current awesome incumbent (Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Andrew Cuomo are two names which pop into my head quickly). At that point Mrs. Clinton will still be 69 years young and the most widely known Democrat, a proven vote-getter and wife of the most popular politician and campaigner in America.
I know you may be tired and I know you don’t owe me or the nation any more than you’ve already so generously given, but may I please ask a favor Secretary Clinton? Once Barack wins re-election and we take back the House and increase our numbers in the Senate over 60; instead of stepping aside as Secretary of State, how about just taking an unofficial month off in Bermuda without doing ANY official business with the Bermudan government or anyone instead? I'd even highly recommend a well-earned second month off in Jamaica, below the radar and without official business. We need you Mrs. Clinton. You're still the one. :)