Now is the Time!

If I had a nickel for everytime someone told me not to get overconfident in planning for an Obama presidency . . . well, I would have a great many nickels.

I'm just saying.

2008 is not the same as 2000 or 2004 and here is why: the batteground is not limited to just one or two states. In 2000, FL and NM were the states where the vote went down to the wire; in 2004 it was Ohio. A historical review shows that Democrats and Republicans only really contested a few states and Republicans did what it took to win those states. Now, we can debate whether "by any means necessary" included breaking the law, but the fact remains GWB was declared the victor in both those elections.

In 2008, this election will be contested in OH and PA and FL and GA and VA and NC and MT and NM and CO and perhaps even KS. Not even the great and powerful Oz (Rove) can rig elections in that many states on one day. This means that all we - the people - need to do is ensure that we are driving the vote across these states.

I heard a man say once that the people - united - can never be defeated.

Register every voter you can and the people will take care of the rest.

And ignore the national polls! Use the state polls to stay motivated:




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Tom Clancy Novel's Are GR8

Delusional. No other word can describe Joe's thesis that the NY Times "outed" Deuce Martinez because, "he not on their side, they don't like what he is doing".

Martinez, gets information from terrorists by talking to them - not by torturing them. Ipso facto, he is not on Joe's side; Joe has been the Morning Joe voice in favor of terror.

One can only conclude that Joe has become delusional on this point, as he seeks an avenue through which to hammer the NY Times over the revelation of a CIA-agent's identity.

But he has a problem here too: there is no motive in the NY Times revelation - other than gettng the best story (and we all know that without the name, opponents of the paper would have cried 'foul' and insisted it was fabricated). Whereas the Plame revelation by the President, clearly had the intent to discredit a critic of his plan to attack Iraq (and isn't it amazing how a 'slam dunk' policy could need such scurrilous defending; almost leads one to the conclusion tha the President didn't believe his policy was so strong).

Furthermore, outing Plame may not have endangered her life, but as any Tom Clancy novel tells us, the CIA often has assets in front companies, whose role it is to recruit covert operatives in foreign lands - in the hopes that they will be better able to blend in with foreign cultures than the average American.

How many of those recruits who were seen with that pretty, blond American woman (nah - who could have remembered her?) found themselves scrambling through streets all around the world in a desperate run out of town and country?

Oh well, its not like we need CIA assets.

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Dummies in the Attic

This article raises more questions than answers: what makes the Disney movie "more" racist than the stories of Harris; from whence did the "Atlanta society ladies" come by their belief that they were doing with the will of Harris - when he had no will; what was the purpose of raising the essay by writer Alice Walker, if you were not going to analyze her criticisms and either validate them or repudiate them?

Actually - you seemed to come down on the side of repudiation - but you provided no evidence for the reader as to how you made that choice (were that actually your decision, which again was unclear from the reading).

With no evidence presented to the contrary and with all of the evidence presented showing in the affirmative (pre-Civil War Southern male, no discussion whether he fought for our against the South; stated opposition to integration - might this be from whence those Southern ladies drew their conclusions?; profiting for generations from the tales of slaves - with no evidence given how how he pro-offered remuneration to those slaves and their descendants) how are we to conclude otherwise but that Harris was as racist as the Disney movies made from his stories?

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Card Sharks


Please convince your colleagues that this proposal to lift the ban on offshore oil and gas exploration is akin to a shell game; no matter how desperate one is for the prize being offered, one must always remember the first rule of a shell game: the mark doesn't win.  

Oil prices have risen to near $150 a barrel; gasoline prices have risen to near $5 a gallon. No matter how enticing the proposals being made - regardless of the hundreds of billions of potential barrels of oil that are being bandied about - they cannot reduce oil prices and/or gasoline prices one whit.  

What has happened to the Republican Party? Formerly the party of the "rational actor" theory of economics (you remember: the Chicago School and Milton Friedman), they have now become the home for a quasi-behavioral economics and they espouse pop-psychology theories of energy that sound more at home in an infomercial.  


Our economy - and the world economy - is built on growth. Without growth, all of our structures will not merely crumble, they will implode in spectacular fashion. For most of the 20th century, that growth was a US-led growth, as Europe spent several decades either at war, preparing for war or recovering from war; it was only after the fall of Communism and the Berlin Wall that Europe could turn their attention to growth and by then their population was aging. The last decade of the 20th century saw the rise of China and India as economic nations, as they embraced growth in as fierce a fashion as did the early stage capitalists of our own post Civil War Reconstruction. But their populations were/are larger than Europe and they are growing as rapidly as their economies. So, while once the US had the population and the economy to use all of our oil and much of the Arabian oil supplies too, now we have competitor economies and populations for those same oil resources. Were barrels of oil akin to those of Saudi Arabia found off our shores, instead of supporting the economic engines of 300 million people, they would be tossed onto the world market for the 3 billion people of the developed and developing worlds (while we carry along another 3 billion people just as hungry but just out of reach of the bounties of our tables). The economics of supply and demand tell us that not only is there not enough oil to lower the price on a per barrel basis, they also tell us that the longer we wait to transition to a post oil economy the higher the prices will be (and the resultantly higher hardships).  

The only way not to lose a game of Three-Card Monte is not to play a game of Three Card Monte; tell your friends.

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The Cartoon

You know, I was upset when I first saw this cover. Wait.

First I laughed. And then I thought about those who believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim and that Michelle Obama is a Black Nationalist (which I am, there is nothing anti-American about that) and that neither of them respects the American flag and I became upset at the New Yorker.

What right did they have to portray a candidate for national office in such light and what other candidate had they so subjected to such satire?

I jotted down some phrases to describe my feelings and I sent them to the Editors.

And then I sat back and watch a full day's coverage of people denouncing this cover on cable news. And during that long day's worth if inanities, a new day began to dawn and the beauty of this cover was revealed unto me. The conversion point - the point at which I not only felt this was a good cover but that I was glad it was published - was when I saw John McCain going before a television camera and recite the Obama campaign talking points: "this cartoon is offensive and tasteless".

So what was it about seeing McCain's grim intonation of Obama's words (they're just words, after all; what can they do?) that changed my viewpoint?

McCain's latest biography add - created by Karl Rove alum Steve Schmitt - incorporates much of the same messages of this cartoon in the classic, Republican tradition of saying things without directly saying things.

How appropriate it is that we are just ten days into the post Jesse Helms-era, as he - perhaps more than any other Dixiecrat - brought coded messages of racism into our political advertisements and our national media. It was Jesse Helms who used a simple shot of a white man's hands opening and then crumpling a letter to send a message against affirmative action directly and at the same time, reaching back to the origins of the KKK and sending a coded message about the encroachment of that most dangerous "other" into land where he was not welcome.

So what messages does McCain send in his latest biography add?

"It was 1968, the Summer of Love . . . " - intones the baritone, male voice, over images of hippies (Barack Obama is just like those dirty hippies - and you know they we not patriotic)

"But it was another form of love shown by one young POW . . . " - here is that narrator again, now introducing our hero (John McCain is "The American President the American People have been waiting for", as another ad informed us)

I will not brainwash you with the rest of the claptrap contained in this ad from McCain/Rove/Bush, suffice it to say that it indirectly impugns Obama's patriotism (just like the burning flag in the cartoon) ties Obama to the old battles of the Sixties (just like the Black Panther gear on Michelle in the cartoon) and I am sure it has a reference to God and McCain's faith - which would close the loop on the "he's a secret Muslim" trifecta.

All of the tropes of the McCain campaign's latest ad are satirized in the cover cartoon of this week's New Yorker. And here was McCain saying all of it was "offensive and tasteless".

Ladies and Gentlemen: spread the word far and wide that we - the American people - have before us a candidate who shall not fall down before the slimy tactics embraced by the Republican Party in their relentless quest for power and ill-gotten gain. They say it is always darkest before the dawn, but I think I just saw the sun beginning to peak over the horizon.

I think I will go outside and rejoice in this new day.

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One People

This may seem like a strange article to link to for the extended riff below, but this is the vibe I felt after reading this article on Moment.

This article struck me as I see Jews as an excellent model for which to achieve Afrikan Unity - just as the Americans are and the Europeans are and the Indians are and the Chinese are and the Arabs are too. When you are trying to do what others have done - why not model your approach on what they did?

Creating an Afrikan Unity (more than just a political Afrikan Union) does not mean that all peoples of Afrikan descent will hold the same opinion on any one set of issues. Just as that is not a pre-requisite for any of the other "unities" that exist across the societies of the globe. Instead, what an Afrikan Unity means is that we will see ourselves as members of a collective body of people. And this collective will coalesce together to defend itself against those who are perceived to be outsiders.

How many languages are spoken across India? And how many still remember the partition with Pakistan and Bangladesh? And yet there are enough members of this group we call "Indians" who have a common definition of what that means, such that they can all come together and celebrate national achievements like becoming a nuclear nation. And the same is with China: many hundreds of languages are spoken across the mainland of China and yet they can all come together and celebrate events like the Olymipics and mourn events like this last earthquake.

The same goes for Jews:whether Reform or Conservative or Orthodox or convert - they all agree on the right for the state of Israel to exist. And even for those who disagree with that point or believe that the Palestinians have been abused, they still agree that there exists such a people known as Jews.

So I believe that Afrikans should be more like Jews and more like Indians and more like Europeans and more like Americans too. Afrikans need to see ourselves as One People; Afrikans need to realize that their is so much more we can achieve with the larger scale that comes with dropping national borders and even more that can be gained by realizing that tribal differences are merely branches of the same family as opposed to separate families that hold grudges against one another. Today, the peoples of Afrika are divided against each other and we have known for decades what happens to a house divided.

Once we realize that Afrikans are members of one family - One People - we will be able to provide the assistance to one another that is within us today, but that we are blinded from seeing by the filters of nation and "tribe". Removing these blinders will enable the Afrikan People to throw away the yoke of the IMF, the World Bank and the welfare state. We need this sort of "assistance" from those who would control us and our resources not.

One People. One Family. Many Tribes. That is our source of strength and it should never be used to divide us and set us one against another.

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Okay, here is my POV on FISA

To all of those hyperventilating over the new Obama position on FISA I say, "take a deep breath, my brother".

Hold it.

Hold it.

Now exhale, slowly.

Let me make a proposition: we all care so deeply about fighting against telecom immunity as it seemed like that was our last chance to get some justice in what is perhaps the biggest crime in our nation's history. And that is not an overstatement: when the one individual who has been granted executive authority in our nation and is tasked with upholding and defending our Constitution willfully chooses to abridge said Constitution well, there can be no greater crime.

I am with you.

But seriously, isn't a civil suit against AT&T rather weak compared to a criminal prosecution? That's like arresting the hooker and letting the pimp walk (oh, wait - that is what we do). That's like arresting the drug user and letting the dealer walk (oh, wait - that is what we do). Forget metaphors, what I mean to say is: don't you really want to see these perps shackled and frog-marched to the penitentiary?

I do, but it could be just me.

In the end though, I still have hope. I have hope that a Constitutional Law Professor (and no, not that John Yoo mofo; how in the H-E-double hockey-sticks does Stanford University justify placing that nincompoop on their staff? In a teaching position, no less!) will at a minimum constitute a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to give these citizens (making a huge assumption on my part that they still see themselves as citizens and not as members of some sort of Star Chamber empaneled to rule over the rest of us) one last chance to come clean, confess their actions and come back to the fold. I am not asking them to be Democrats or liberals; I am asking them to commit themselves to the Constitution and to renounce attempts to "save" the Constitution by subverting it.

Should they reject an offer of this sort (which I see as a benign gesture of national healing), then I would expect President Obama to immediately sign the treaty for the International Criminal Court and instruct ever other signatory to that treaty to issue a warrant for the arrest of GWB et al, should they ever leave US territory.

Perhaps the humiliation of being internally exiled as though they were members of a banana republic dictatorship will inspire them to come in from the cold.

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Extreme Democracy

Umm . . . just found this site and I am only at the start of all the material contained herein - but my first question is why do we need representatives?  

Direct democracy: as long as we are defining new processes for governance, why not seek to remove or reduce the super nodes that are representatives. in large respect, the consolidation of power that they represent acts as a magnet for forces that would co-opt those power centers.

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Ask Your Congressional Representative to Support the Articles of Impeachment

Please review these Articles of Impeachment and lend them your support.

Regardless of political party affiliation, US Representatives have an obligation to uphold our US Constitution. Indeed - while we have chosen to organize our political preferences into parties - our Constitution says nothing about political parties, either pro or con.

You are surely more aware than I of the Article VI instruction to US Representatives, Senators et al and I would never presume to instruct you on this oath. No, I come to you today - through this missive - to beseech you to review these Articles of Impeachment, guided by not your political party affiliation (which can be changed at a whim), but by your status as a Representative, duty-bound by your own oath to uphold our Constitution.

There can be no greater crime against our Republic than for one of our elected representatives - whatever the reason or rationale - to violate the one document that unites us all as fellow members of this Republic. To know that this crime has happened before - by members of either party and any party - is to know a collective shame that we feel as one united body of citizens. This country - our country - is indeed a unique one across all of the nations of this world. We are not united by a common place of origin or a common native tongue or even a common ethnicity; no, what unites us is our Constitution. For anyone to rend hollow its dictates is to tear our national bonds asunder.

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Barack Obama Should Continue

To ignore the advice of pundits and panderers - after all none of those individuals even thought he would make it this far. The talking heads on television all expected Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee and they remained ensconced in that belief well after it was apparent to all non-delusional individuals that the race was over.

Today, those same misguided "experts" are now all wringing their hands over a "shift towards the center" they proclaim Obama is making - when in reality these are not changes in position from Obama, but just that these self-styled experts are now listening to Obama for the first time.

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How Delusional . . .

 . . . was the roundtable on This Week?

There was the old grey beard, Ted Koppel, insisting that no matter who is elected the situation in the Middle East is so tenuous and that the impact of oil on our economy is so pervasive that it demands a US troop presence in Iraq of 80K to 100K US troops.


Price of oil before US invaded Iraq: $38

Price of oil today, entering the sixth year: $145

Just how has an increased troop presence led to lower oil prices?

Iraq cannot be stabilized with the presence of US troops.  It was the introduction of US troops that destabilized Iraq.  Why is this so hard to see?

Could the US be "stabilized" with the introduction of Canadian troops?

Foreign soldiers are an inherent irritant to any society; we have known this since the Declaration of Independence.

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Celebrate good times, come on

To paraphrase Public Enemy, "Jefferson was a hero to most, but he never meant s**t to me."  

I am not really partial to any of the slave-holding presidents (I can't stand looking at those crisp, new portraits of Jackson as they shush out of ATMs and land in my greedy palms), but I have yet to divine the word that should be used to describe a man who cried out for his own liberty at the same time as he kept his boot firmly planted on my fathers' neck.  

I will not describe what he was doing to my mother - although this lovely English language has crafted a technical term for the matter - one that removes it from the context and strips away the pain, somewhat.  

It is interesting for me this year to see the attention that has been given to Juneteenth - a celebration whose sesquicentennial celebration is just around the corner - and I can only conclude that the presence of Barack Obama on the national stage has elevated it to this platform. How ironic is it that an African-American with more ties to the slave-owning side of our national shame than the slave-being side of the line, brings Juneteenth to the fore merely by his presence. As historians both, I am sure that you and Eric are well aware that 4 July of any year - but especially those before those of that tumultuous decade of the 1960s - was a most dangerous day to be of African descent in this land. For whatever reason, white people of so many generations across so many communities of this country, found doing harm to people (or non-persons, as the case may have been) of dark-toned skin an appropriate celebration of their independence.  

Strange, I know. I cannot explain their actions.  

So while it may be heresy to decry Jefferson, I do fault him for his both his inactions and his actions, while at the same time I pour out a libation to Lincoln; not a perfect man - by any standard - but no doubt a man who did not shirk away from the obligations that were placed before him by history.

Give me Liberty, or give me Death.

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