Friday, June 20, 2008
Oh, the nerve.
Obama's campaign manager sent me this email yesterday:
Barack announced an important decision for our campaign today.
I want to add a little context to the video message you received earlier (a video of Barack asking me for moolah - which is a little like asking your wife for sex after telling her she looks fat) announcing that we will not participate in the public financing system for the general election.
Even though we stood to receive more than $80 million in taxpayer funding for our campaign, the system has been so gamed and exploited by our opponents that it is effectively broken. (Grrr...the hypocrisy of the Obama campaign using the words GAMED and EXPLOITED...words they elevated to a whole new rotten level of meaning...makes me want to scream.)
John McCain, the Republican National Committee, and their allies in so-called 527 groups that raise and spend unlimited contributions are dedicated to manipulating this broken system to raise as much money as possible -- and they've proven that they're very good at it. (Yea, Dave, and another thing the RNC is really good at is OPPOSITIONAL RESEARCH. If I were you, I'd start looking for a job. NOW.)
A top McCain adviser told MSNBC earlier this month, "now that we're in the general election, the RNC money counts, the DNC money counts. So the truth is today, John McCain has more cash on hand and more money than Barack Obama does." (And more character, honesty, and integrity. Oh, and John will have a little more dough once he gets my check.)
In April alone, they raised nearly $45 million. That's more than our campaign and the Democratic National Committee combined. And that doesn't include the plans of 527 groups like the one called "Freedom's Watch," which has said it will spend as much as $250 million under Karl Rove's direction to attack and defeat Barack Obama. (You mean the way the media and the DNC ganged up to attack and defeat Hillary Clinton?)
To compete, Barack has put his faith in ordinary people giving only what they can afford. That's been the strategy of this campaign from the beginning, and more than 1,500,000 supporters like you have gotten us this far. (Not to mention a Syrian slum lord.)
We have a historic opportunity to prove that a movement of ordinary people has the power to change the way political campaigns are funded. And we have a clear goal as we begin this new challenge: 50,000 people declaring their independence by making a donation before July 4th.
You can help take on John McCain and the RNC by making your first donation today.
A previous donor is standing by to match your gift and double your impact. You can even exchange a personal note with them about why you've chosen to support Barack.
Declare your independence from our broken system. (I did. It is called leaving the Democratic Party. And, puleease! I saw what happened in Texas, Davey. You are part of why this system is broken. Scram.)
Make a matching donation today:
Opting out of public matching funds was an extremely difficult decision, (as difficult as Obama forcing out Alice Palmer and all his competition on the ballot for U.S. Senate based on technicalities so he could run unopposed?) and frankly we are at a disadvantage when it comes to raising money. Unlike John McCain, this campaign has never accepted donations from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs.
While McCain has built his fundraising strategy around high-dollar donors giving huge checks to the RNC, you are creating a new model for publicly financed campaigns.
Thank you for your support and for taking on the masters of a broken system, (of which Obama and his campaign are master manipulators)
Obama for America
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Karma. Kismet. Destiny. Cosmic Tit-for-Tat. Reapin' what you sow. According to Peter J. Boyer's recent article in The New Yorker, Keith Olbermann has Restless Leg Syndrome. Normally, I am not in the habit of smirking over the misfortunes of others, but in the case of this pompous, overblown, braying excuse for a "journalist", I gotta make an exception.
I started feeling sorry for Keith until I recalled his penchant for launching into smarmy, overly nasty diatribes directed at Hillary Clinton...even blaming her personally for Geraldine Ferraro's words. The Reverends Wright and Pfleger blather not-so-niceties, and what kind of 10 minute lecture does Keith have for Obama? (Hint: cue crickets chirping).
I do pray the moment Mr. Olbermann decides to become a nicer person, his RLS abates immediately. In the meantime, one can only hope Andrea Mitchell's facelift falls suddenly like a bad soufflé, and Chris Matthews gets a case of chiggers (folks in Texas just grimaced)...where it is embarassing to itch.
A good friend in Seattle who knows more about Texas politics than most people in Texas (God Bless his patience) told me to balance out all my griping with something positive. It is excellent advice, so I would like to take a moment to talk about some of the Obama supporters I adore.
There is Tyrone, who was a precinct captain for Obama but never failed to send me emails reminding me of any important upcoming events...even though I supported Clinton. He could have played the game of "I am only going to send reminders to people who support Obama". But he didn't. It told me he felt my voice was important, even if it was different from his. I voted for him at the convention and encouraged my fellow Clinton supporters to, as well. He has my utmost respect and admiration and is one of the sweetest people I know.
Then there is Thomas...the Obama supporter I sat next to at the Texas Democratic Convention. When I sat down, our first interaction went like this:
You're an upgrade.
The guy sitting here before you was smelly. And he had a beard.
I was in a bad mood, grumbling about Obama and the stuff I had seen and heard of in Texas at the caucuses. It wasn't pretty. But he sat quietly and patiently listened to me rant against his candidate and fellow supporters. And THEN I saw his Obama '08 shirt.
After a little while he stood up. He was 6' 5". I realized I'd been bitchin' to someone who could squash me like a bug. Instead he smiled and said something.
It sounded like:
Will you wash my back?
Will I wash your back???
(Laughing) No, I don't even ask my wife to do that. Will you WATCH MY BAG?
When I wasn't paying attention for a moment, he could have shut up and let a vote for a Clinton supporter pass. Instead, he would say:
Dawn, you want to vote on this.
He is a great guy, and I am glad I met him.
I also met many nice women who supported Obama in the ladies room.
And finally, there is the smart lawyer with the 1000-watt smile I have the love / "hate" relationship with. (I think he feels the same way about me.) We always give each other a hug, and a kiss on the cheek...but, ironically, we rarely discuss politics. I told him I didn't believe Hillary meant anything sinister by her assassination comment after I read his article about it, but that I'd found her comment incredibly thoughtless and DUMB. (It is important to admit when your candidate is wrong. We are, after all, voters...not mindless groupies).
I like to think he dealt fairly with me...and that the things we worked on together that weren't done quite right were beyond his control. Though I would be terribly disappointed to find out differently, I still believe he is a good man.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
A joke? Satire? From my research, I am afraid not.
But what I found here makes me all the more determined to have an open heart to each and every person I meet.
First, let me say I understand where the anger behind a call for such a day could originate. It proceeds from the disgust one feels when grasping the slaughter by our founders of indigenous Native Americans as they claimed this country as their own.
It emanates from the rage that comes from learning about the absolute and unmitigated evils of slavery, and of a strong and noble race of African-American people treated as things, as less than animals.
Anger is any intelligent and compassionate person's response to the knowledge of the dark history of a country born on the backs of slave labor, on their unforgivable abuse, and of the physical and emotional trauma of the horrors committed against them.
My great grandfather came from France to Ellis Island at the age of 8, my great grandmother, from Germany. I know of no ancestor of mine who ever owned slaves, yet I have wept with a deep sense of shame because of what people my color have done.
Although I was raised by a single mother, lived in the projects for some time, received food stamps and government cheese, and only finally went to college in my early 20's when I could afford to pay for it myself by working 50 hours a week...I am sure there have been times, even unbeknownst to me, when I have benefited because I am white.
But there have also been times when I have suffered terribly in ways no man, black or white, ever could because I am a woman.
As a woman, I could certainly call for a God Damn America Day, if so inclined. Cemetaries are full of women who have done centuries of back-breaking, menial, unpaid, unappreciated labor...without which this country could not have been founded; even as they were denied full and active particiption in a government which presided over them. While the men in charge debated over whether they had intelligence or souls, women lived entire lifetimes with no say over their own destinies, and with few choices laid out before them.
The earth is full of the bodies of women who have been obliterated by men who did so because they could. This is especially sad because I believe men were endowed with the honor of greater physical strength to protect those who are weaker, not as a weapon to employ against them. If senators and congressmen were raped, beaten, and murdered at the rate women of all colors are - by men of all colors - this country would declare a national emergency.
Women have but to open their eyes and take a look around this world, this country, to find plenty of things to be angered by, and to hate for, and to "God Damn America" for. But if we acquiesce, if we choose to hate, if we walk down that road of "us versus them" we are destroyed. We are doomed.
On December 20, 1908, the New York Times polled United States Senators and Representatives, as well as Presidents of universities and colleges to determine their attitudes about allowing women to vote.
Senator John W. Daniels argued:
I do not think that woman suffrage would do good to either the good women or the country...Every good woman ought to have a man to fight and vote for her.
Representative Richard Bartholdt of Missouri opposed allowing women the right to vote:
...because it will mean a disruption of our social system to drag women into the political arena, which certainly is not woman's sphere.
Representative Cordell Hull opposed women's suffrage under the patronizing and paternalistic guise of it being for their own good (got to give the guy credit for trying):
Let us have typical American homes, presided over by womanly women, and there will be continuously raised up a race of men in whose hands the destiny of this Republic and the interests of all its citizens -whether voters or not-can be safely intrusted. To thrust suffrage upon women would be a wicked imposition.
Oh, but Cordell, some us ladies enjoy wicked impositions.
You have to love the response given by Pennsylvania Representative A.L. Bates, who obviously had some experience with women:
I believe in allowing the ladies to do quite as they please, for in they long run they will anyway.
Those were some of the more polite arguments against allowing women to vote. Others objected to the idea because women menstruated. Some believed women did not and could not understand politics. Suffragists who wanted the right were characterized as militant and hysterical. Women were said to be emotional creatures, and therefore incapable of making a sound political decision. Last time I checked, having emotions was a human characteristic.
It was even argued that "the mental equilibrium of the female sex is not as stable as the mental equilibrium of the male sex".
In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment, defining citizens as "male", was ratified. Also, the Fifteenth Amendment passed in Congress, giving the vote to black men. Women petitioned to be included but were turned down.
Despite the fact that many women had fought to abolish slavery, in 1869, Frederick Douglass and others did not return the favor and backed down from supporting woman suffrage to concentrate on the fight for black male suffrage.
The Nineteeth Amendment, allowing women to vote, finally passed in 1920, a full fifty-two years after black males were given the right. Is it possible that even though black males were regarded as inferior, incapable, unintelligent and less than human, that women have been held in even lesser regard?
Is it further possible, in light of the sexism directed at Senator Clinton, which would rightly never have been tolerated were it racism, that this attitude still exists today? I say it does. I think there are some endeavors we believe essentially require maleness, no matter what the color of that male's skin.
I don't know what you will be doing on June 21st, but I refuse to allow hate to preside in my heart. Let it be a day for each of us to sincerely reach out to someone of a different race or religion, sex or orientation. Listen to someone else's stories and concerns. Imagine how you might have felt, if you had the same experiences. Find common ground. Seek to understand and to be understood.
"We must learn to live together as brothers, or we are going to perish together as fools."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr
When you're finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you're going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can't we learn to live together like decent people?
-- Frank Borman
"A human being is a part of the whole that we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature."
-- Albert Einstein
"I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."
-- Anne Frank
"The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
-- Thomas Paine.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Ok, is it just me, or is it super creepy that Obama would have a website to coach kids how to convince the adults in their life to vote for Him?
"Studies have shown that kids can affect their parents and their siblings’ opinions and even change the opinions of older family members . . . including those of voting age."
Huh? Kids are supposed to be riding skateboards, playing video games and refusing to eat their vegetables...NOT trying to influence their parents voting decisions. Sheesh, even many adults are not sophisicated or informed enough to navigate the propaganda involved in trying to choose a candidate.
Having witnessed the effect a screaming child who wants a candy bar has on a wishy-washy parent in a grocery store, this makes me a little nervous. It may be time for concerned parents to build Little Timmy or Susie their own tinfoil hat, otherwise known as an Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie (AFDB).
All the buzz about wanting to see Obama's birth certificate has been amusing. First of all, it is a moot point, as He wasn't actually born like you and me. He was created, alright, but more in the way one would make Marshmallow Peeps or buttercream frosting. Come on, people...after all, nobody asked Jesus for HIS birth certificate. Obama doesn't need many things that normal politicians must have. Things like pastors who are sane, the ability to speak in full sentences not replete with "uhs" that drag out for ten minutes - while He collects his thoughts without a teleprompter, or a closet with less skeletons than Père-Lachaise. Besides, even better than a silly birth certificate, I came across a genuine photo of Obama's birth in 1961 which should put all speculation to rest.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
How appropriate the Democratic National Committee is moving large parts of its operations to Chicago to be closer to its Honey Bunny, Obama. Here's a picture of the front entrance in case you'd like to drop by when you are in town.