Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brilliant - get used to it

When Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Beschloss and other, lesser historians write about the earliest days of the Obama administration, they will use just one word (over and over again)about tomorrow's announcement of Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State: Masterstroke.

Taking those you have defeated in a process no one would call easy and converting those individuals to not only campaign allies but key leaders in your administration takes a level of courage, conviction, vision and personal security that we have not seen in 50 years. But ya know what? We're gonna have to adjust, because this kind of thing is going to be the rule, not the exception under President Obama.

Recall those chilling words from Ted Kennedy's eulogy of his brother, Bobby -- about looking at things and asking "why?" and how Bobby looked at things that never were and asked "Why not?"

This is no political maneuver. This is not stunt casting. It will bring the standard of political unity to a level where dummies cannot play -- where your intellect can overwhelm your competitiveness -- where the need of the country trumps your need to score points against any opponent. Most politicians cannot play in this sandbox. They're just not smart enough, haven't read enough, they can't see the horizon. Too many are just plain stuck on stupid.

But not Hillary. She has overcome an enormous burden (her husband's history) to live her own story, find her own voice and subsequently prove that, in fact, it really is Hillary who is the superior politician in the family.

I sleep better these days. The smart kids are about to take over the class again. I'm good with that.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The night post election

Now it's the night post election
and all through the land
it seems that our history's
taken us by the hand

To say "now be brave
and -- to doubt -- don't you listen."
We all watch Obama
our eyes start to glisten

Can this be for real?
have we lept passed the past?
Have we become like real grownups?

Not quite, says Barack,
we've just now begun
to get to this peak
may render us weak
The climb will be tough
and it's barely begun

This is one big step, but still only one
As the mountaintop calls us,
we now can ascend
It is each other on which we'll depend
And then all the world will see once again
at REAL America -- worth dying to defend.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The night before election

T'was the night 'fore election
and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
'cept the click of a mouse.

The yard signs displayed
all the candidates there
To air the debate
in our public square.

The children all sleeping
'cause it's 3 a.m.
Just their parents are worried
'bout election mayhem

With Papa - oh, the maverick
and his sidekick, Ms. Wink
Thinking of their election
Could drive you to drink

But then, on TV, there arose such a clatter
I sprung from my LazyBoy to see ... what's the matter?
And what to my wandering eye should appear?
It's Barack and Michelle and their children, so dear

We're a family, they said, just like you and yours
and lifting you up is all in our plan
So sleep tight and have faith
then go vote -- Yes We Can.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

President Obama will transform us

My boss is African American. I am Caucasian. During our regular one-on-one meetings, we sometimes veer into talking politics. We've discussed, over the last two years, the dramatic change that a President Obama would bring. My line for him was then (and is now) that the best thing about Barack Obama - the very particular thing that will send his presidency into its own category - "he's as much mine as he is yours."

My beloved Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, completely nailed it when he asked Obama recently if he was worried about the "Bradley effect" -- the prospect of white voters lying to pollsters about how they will or did vote. Obama rightly dismissed the notion. Why shouldn't he? After 50 primaries and no sign of the phenomenon, it should be long-ago rendered to history.

Oh, no, Stewart asked again. But Senator, since you mother was white, aren't you worried that you may get in the voting booth and vote for McCain out of fear?

Cut to Obama, with his right hand trying to restrain the crazed action of his left. Is there something funnier than this?


How the markets will soar next week, brimming with the confidence that America has stepped away from the ugliness of the Bush-Rove-divide-and-conquer era. That crap that debases us all. And perhaps most impressive is that Howard Dean's 50 state campaign approach has DELIVERED. Forget this nonsense about only winning the big states ... the coasts and urban centers. Obama's model is tectonic ... in fundraising, in organization ... in sheer style.

So, I'm jazzed. Very, very jazzed. I'm relieved. I'm so thrilled to see what blogging has done to provide the fact-checking and anti-bullshit meter that the conventional media failed to provide in 2000 and 2004. We NEVER should have invaded Iraq. We NEVER should have engaged in the outrageous and illegal activities of rendition, torture, wiretapping of Americans and politicizing the justice department. This darkness is nearly done.

Let the wattage begin.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Regular People"

Yeah, I realize that I'm just one citizen, just one tiny voice in the vapor, but I'm gonna say this ... I wish upon a star that the Federal government would return to regulating those things that used to protect us from outright piracy.

Recall one of the great pilot episode in all of television comedy -- that of The Cosby Show, wherein Cliff is trying to explain to his son, Theo, that he needs to work harder in school. Theo pushes back and says that that fact that his father is a doctor and his mother a lawyer doesn't mean he must go to college. He might be a bus driver, he says, and therefore won't need to go to college. He might be among "Regular People."

Cliff Huxtable then uses Theo's Monopoly game's play money to show Theo the most important lesson in the whole scene - after setting a salary amount for Theo, he grabs a third of it back and says, "The government comes for the regular people first."

And the audience applauds.

What I want to see if the government pausing from corporate rescue for just a minute to reinstate the maximum consumer lending rate to 18% ... like it used to be before Reagan "deregulated" it to being without cap. Now, you can pay 30% and more on a credit card ... ensuring that once you have a substantial balance, you'll virtually never pay it off.

These aren't loan sharks using these rates ... it's Sears, JC Penney and Wal-Mart. And they are screwing American families, starting with the "Regular People."

Barack, Joe ... are you listening? Can you make this happen? Can you rescue the Regular People?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Palin Wailin'

Don't know? Alaska!
The fine uppity women of Alaska make themselves heard ... Sarah doesn't speak for them.
Check out this slide show (with music) from a demonstration over this weekend.
My favorite is "Don't insult my pit bull!"

Monday, September 08, 2008

Had enough of Palin yet?

As for those snotty cracks about Obama's being a community organizer (wasn't Jesus Christ a community organizer?) how's this for embarassing timing?

FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH TO PARTICIPATE AT SERVICENATION SUMMIT ON SERVICE AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IN NEW YORK SEPT. 12 * * *September 8, 2008 [New York, NY] – First Lady Laura Bush announced that she will participate in the historic ServiceNation Summit in New York, on Friday, September 12, helping to kick-off a national campaign to expand voluntary community national service opportunities for all Americans. The two-day bi-partisan Summit will begin the evening of Thursday, September 11, with a primetime “ServiceNation Presidential Candidates Forum” at Columbia University featuring Presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama, who will discuss in-depth their views on service and civic engagement in the post-9/11 world. The following day, Mrs. Bush will join hundreds of notables attending the day-long Summit at the New York Hilton from the worlds of government, academia, arts, business, and not-for-profits, including: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; Martin Luther King III; Bobby Kennedy, Jr.; Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; Caroline Kennedy; Wendy Kopp of Teach for America; Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and many others (full program and list is available at: “We are excited to have Mrs. Bush join us at such an historic event,” Alan Khazei, CEO of Be The Change, Inc. said. “As someone who has promoted volunteerism and civic engagement for the past eight years as First Lady, Mrs. Bush has a wealth of experience that will make the ServiceNation Summit that much more meaningful and help us further elevate service as a core ideal of our democracy.” The Forum is being organized by ServiceNation (, a dynamic new coalition of 110 organizations that has a collective reach of some 100 million Americans and is dedicated to strengthening our democracy and solving problems through civic engagement and service. The two-day event will bring together some 600 leaders of all ages and from every sector of American life —from universities and foundations, to business and politics—to celebrate the power and potential of citizen service, and lay out a bold policy blueprint for addressing America’s greatest social challenges through expanded opportunities for volunteer and national service. The September 12 Summit Day will open with welcoming remarks from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and close with a Call to Action with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary's Home Run

Last night, I watched Bill Clinton as he was watching Hillary speaking. I could hear this thoughts:

"I'm so glad I don't have to follow her tonight."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep ...

But Barack Obama was up late sending you a text message: It's Joe Biden! (Read about Joe ... he's a hero of the working class)

Okay, that one just cracked me up for about 15 minutes. What an incredible slap to the self-described mainstream media. The ultimate Who needs you?

And how do I know this is what he wanted to prove? My cell phone went off just after 3:00 a.m. with the text message. I cracked up at the "It's three a.m. ..." recall of Hillary's ad. After a minute or two, I put on MSNBC to head David Shuster say that MSNBC's reporting indicated it was Biden and that although the Obama campaign had said they'd announce by text message, it had not happened yet.

WRONG. Just plain WRONG. If not for the message, I'm not up watching TV. And, yes, that makes me wonder about everything I hear on TV. They got this wrong ... this simple thing. What else is wrong or misleading?

Great flex of organizational muscle, to show McCain, the old political machines, the old media ("our sources are telling us ... absolutely nothing") that Obama ain't just talking about "new politics" he is going roll out the new Democratic Party and he's going to to knock down the walls of convention in how he does it.

He can even make one of the safest and most conventional choices in a running mate take on the drama and suspense of choosing an unknown.

Finally, utterly brilliant to do it at 3:00 a.m. -- to rifff on the Hillary ad and to do so when their supporters are almost certainly NOT WATCHING TELEVISION.

Oh, my. We could have four very good years coming.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Can't say it any better

When Maureen Down gets it so right, there's nothing left to do but point and applaud.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The finger wag

Don't you hate summer re-runs?

This year it's the sequel to Bill & Monica ... John and that woman, Ms. Hunter. In Edwards' explanation, all we're missing is the finger wag --- he downplays "tabloid reporting" (hey, it's a tabloid story), he says that he's willing to participate in "any test" to prove he's not the father of this child ... but that he's only half of the test and he says that he did this, basically, because he could. Did he, like, just take that right out of Bill Clinton's book?

The whole thing makes me so sad, so angry. Most of all, it pisses me off that Elizabeth Edwards, the brains of the outfit and the courage in the family, won't be speaking at the Dems convention in Denver. Why the hell not? What did she do?

I hope that Obama finds a way to at least flash her picture up on the screen during the convention (highlighting women of courage in fighting breast cancer ... which killed his mother?) and give the crowd a chance to erupt in applause for her.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Paris Hilton for President

Yes, that was nearly the funniest thing I ever saw. You wait while she finishes reading her magazine story. You're happy to wait. We've waited eight years for a real president, why not wait 10 seconds for Paris to finish skipping over the big words?

Let me tell you what offended me about that dopey John McCain ad (the one that featured Paris and Britney and tries to lump them all into one big ball of superficial silliness). Here's the problem ... while Paris was born into wealth and privilege, the other two - quite conspicuously -- were not.

I will not be voting for Britney on my Mommy-of-the-year ballot, but unlike Sen. McCain, she's made every penny she has, she's met a payroll, bumped and ground her way to international stardom and great wealth. She wasn't born into the Navy and didn't marry a millionaire.

Hmm. there's a thought for an Obama ad ... John & Cindy McCain ... Who wants to marry a millionaire? John McCain!

Like Britney, Obama did not open his trust fund and find tuition money for Columbia and Harvard, but he apparently found his way in and out of those institutions, only recently paying off his student loans. He didn't marry a millionaire, but he did find his way to a distinguished Princeton (cum laude) and Harvard Law graduate, Michelle Obama.

And for the self-described "family values" crowd, let's recall that the McCains began their relationship as an extramarital affair while McCain was still married to his first wife -- the one who waited for him while he was a POW. Let's hope that sometime between now and November, in front of MANY cameras, someone asks McCain if he really thinks gay marriage is a bigger threat to the American family than heterosexual adultery.