Monday, October 1, 2007

Bill Clinton was 46 when he was elected president in 1992 – the same age as Barack Obama is now. But Clinton has questioned Barack Obama’s readiness to become president – arguing that by the time he himself ran in 1992 he had far more experience than Obama. He also states that when he decided not to run in 1988 (when he was “closer to Senator Obama” in experience) he didn’t think he “knew enough and had served enough and done enough to run” at that point in his own career. While I can understand Bill Clinton’s eagerness to undermine his wife’s most significant primary opponent, he is not, I believe, completely ingenuous. I happened to talk with him in 1988 before he decided not to run, and also in 1991 before he decided to run the following year. His calculation at both times was decidedly rational and entirely political, based on whether he could win.

But more to the point, it strikes me as unfair to claim that Obama lacks relevant experience for the presidency. When he ran in 1992, Bill Clinton had been the governor of a small, rural southern state; as such, he had only limited experience with national issues and no foreign policy experience to speak of. Incidentally, at this point in the 2008 presidential election, Hillary Clinton has served as an elected official in the U.S. Senate for not quite eight years, and before that a First Lady in the White House. Obama has so far held elective office for almost twelve years, at both levels of government – first as an Illinois state senator and then as a U.S. Senator. Before that he was a community organizer among Chicago’s poor, and then a civil rights lawyer – two experiences that in my view are critically relevant to anyone seeking to become president of all Americans. Obama’s international experience comes first hand – his father was a goat-herder in Kenya, and Obama spent a portion of his childhood in Indonesia. And as an African-American, with all the personal experience that implies, Obama seems particularly well qualified to understand the issues that need to be addressed in order to unify America and renew the nation’s moral authority around the world.

-Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor for Bill Clinton

Sunday, September 30, 2007

On the single most important foreign policy issue of our time, I got it right.

COLUMBIA, S.C. --Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Sunday that the front-runner for his party's nomination, Hillary Rodham Clinton, does not offer the break from politics as usual that voters need.

Both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and her husband, former President Clinton, have criticized Obama for his lack of political experience.

Obama said he understands their argument.

"They want to make the argument that Senator Clinton is just an extension of the Bill Clinton presidency," Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press. "They've been the dominant political family in the Democratic Party for the last 20 years now. So it's not surprising that they want to focus on their longevity.

But, Obama said: "My belief is that the American people are looking for a fundamental break from the way we've been doing business."


the entire piece is here.









One of the Best Ideas in Years

Sept. 30, 2007 | WASHINGTON -- A powerful group of conservative Christian leaders decided Saturday at a private meeting in Salt Lake City to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if a pro-choice nominee like Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination.

more;

"The conclusion was that if there is a pro-abortion nominee they will consider working with a third party," said the person, who spoke to Salon on the condition of anonymity. The private meeting was not a part of the official CNP schedule, which is itself a closely held secret. "Dobson came in just for this meeting," the person said.

the whole piece in Salon.

Now it's time to put my money where my mouth has been. I've believed for several months that this would not be a two-party race. Although my take has included a determined "no war" candidate on the left of the Democratic ticket, I'll take three and be quite happy, thank you.



Remarks of Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama Against Going to War with Iraq

The 5 year aniversary of this speech is this Tuesday, October 2. I get chills reading it again, and furious that some of our Demoratic candidates could have been so wrong then and so "experienced" now. --kenny


October 2, 2002

Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don't oppose all wars.

My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain. I don't oppose all wars.

After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again. I don't oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism.

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income - to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear - I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.

So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the President today. You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings. You want a fight, President Bush?

Let's fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe. You want a fight, President Bush?

Let's fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells. You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn't simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil. Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not -- we will not -- travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.

NEWSWEEK Poll: Sept. 29, 2007


This is news. Allow me to point your eyes to 5a below. The difference between "preference" (a poll number) and "likely caucus-goer" (a number that matters) is startling. Is hope alive? Hell 'ya. Question 6 asks about 1st choice/2nd choice. This is also very important in a caucus state. The full poll here.



5a. If you were attending a Democratic caucus TODAY, which ONE of the following eight presidential candidates are you most likely to support?

BASED ON DEMOCRATIC VOTERS

Democratic Candidate Preference
Total
Likely Democratic
Caucus-Goer
31 Hillary Clinton/Lean Clinton 24
25 Barack Obama/Lean Obama 28
21 John Edwards/Lean Edwards 22
6 Bill Richardson/Lean Richardson 10
3 Joe Biden/Lean Biden 5
1 Dennis Kucinich/Lean Kucinich 1
1 Chris Dodd/Lean Dodd 1
0 Mike Gravel/Lean Gravel 0
* Other candidate/Lean other candidate *
12 Total Undecided 9

5b. Do you support the following STRONGLY or only moderately?

BASED ON DEMOCRATIC VOTERS

Strength of Support

Clinton Obama Edwards
Strong 55 41 37
Not Strong/Lean 45 59 63

6. If you were attending a Democratic caucus TODAY, which ONE of the following eight presidential candidates are you most likely to support? And who would be your SECOND CHOICE for the Democratic presidential nomination? (Table will add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.)

BASED ON DEMOCRATIC VOTERS

First/Second Democratic Choice (NET)
Total
Likely Democratic
Caucus-Goer
49 Total Hillary Clinton 44
48 Total Barack Obama 52
41 Total John Edwards 41
15 Total Bill Richardson 19
7 Total Joe Biden 11
2 Total Dennis Kucinich 2
1 Total Chris Dodd 2
* Total Mike Gravel 0
1 Total other candidate 1
12 Total undecided 9



Saturday, September 29, 2007

This Post is Straight
Totally Straight

Sometimes it is easy to think about blogging. Sometimes other people make actual blogging easy. A clever man over at Sonoran Alliance sharing his wisdom under the moniker "Oro Valley Dad" decided to turn the keys to his blog account over to his 13 year old son, apparently. That would account for the ever precious and adolescent snicker to a post entitled, "Will there also be an Office of Heterosexual Affairs?"

I have no factual information telling me OVD's son leans Republican, but only someone reacting to the pee-pee factor of LGBTQ news stories would be stupid enough to include the phrase office of heterosexual affairs in the headline of his piece. After all, not all Republican men cheat on their wives with other men. Senator Vitter, anyone? I also assume only a teenager would be so petrified of being identified with his topic of choice that he would insist in a comments reply that he doesn't personally spend much time focusing on homosexuality. I believe you Ovid, er, OVD. Just like I believed you when you distanced yourself from your post last year featuring the hot and half nude guys in an advertisement for an all gay cruise ship vacation. Oh, here's his work. It's short:

Your tax dollars at work. The University of Arizona is creating a new position for director of gay and lesbian affairs on campus. Just when I finally understand what LGBT means they go and add questioning. So now the correct term is LGBTQ (that is a mouthful, sorry bad choice of words.)

Maybe they could have a Director of Fornication to help inhibited straight people get past their antiquated views of human sexuality.


SA - Keeping you on the cutting edge of political correctness.


BTW, OVD, you do know the letters, don't you? L is for lesbian, G is gay. The B stands in for bisexual and you can cross your T for the transgendered. Q or questioning is the word used to describe people who aren't sure about their sexual orientation (young folks, mainly) or those who don't care to take on the burden of a moniker or label. Some people prefer queer and that starts with a Q as well. And you are right, it is a mouthful. Seriously. Think about it. A full mouth. Totally full of...stuff that's hard to deal with. Ah, screw it! Oh, and the dig about a director of fornication is hilarious! Wow! We are spending tax money for such an easy target. I guess that office would go by the initials, DL, as in downe low. People on the DL don't care for monikers or the burden of a more accurate label either.


But back to you, I mean to your piece of writing. Here is an article about just one of the concerns this joke of a LGBTQ office might work on:


Victimization related to suicidal behavior among college students

But dont' forget the punchline:


The impetus for the study was a question posed by a 15-year-old gay male with suicidal tendencies whom she counseled during an internship at the School of Psychology.


The student asked her: “Does it get better in college?”


The study, conducted in 2007, found that individuals who identified as heterosexual but also reported being attracted to same-sex individuals were three times more likely to plan suicide and six times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past year, when compared to heterosexuals.


Individuals who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual were found to have been twice as likely as those who identify as heterosexual to have planned or attempted suicide.

and,

“Sexual orientation can be a significant source of stress, especially if the environment you are in is not supportive,” he said. “Another example of significant stress is financial pressure. Anything that causes stress will make it more likely that students think about suicide. That’s one reason we have the Q Center and other resources to let students feel like they can be open about who they are.”

Dude, that's hilarious!

Looking Around

I have blogged. I stopped. I blog again. I may stop again.