Friday, June 6, 2008
There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There's a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you'll never see the end of the road
While you're traveling with me
Hey now, hey now
Don't dream it's over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won't win
After Standing Against Everglades Restoration, McCain Visits Park To Bolster Environmental CredentialsYes, that's right -- he's rated zero out of 100 from the League of Conservation Voters! And now he's portraying himself as an environmentalist. That is a maverick!
Tomorrow, to bolster his environmental credentials, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will tour and likely marvel at the pristine Florida Everglades. What a difference a year makes: in 2007, McCain displayed far less concern for “one of America’s greatest national treasures.”
Bucking environmentalists and the state’s political establishment, who had spent seven years lobbying for sweeping Everglades cleanup legislation, McCain, too busy on the campaign trail to vote on the measure, “opposed spending $2 billion on restoring the national park,” and urged colleagues to let President Bush’s veto of the preservation bill stand:
I believe that we should be passing a bill that will authorize legitimate, needed projects without sacrificing fiscal responsibility.
But it’s not clear if McCain is familiar with what’s “needed” for Everglades restoration. The senator, who has called himself an environmentalist, “did not participate in the landmark debate over the state-federal partnership to preserve the Everglades in 2000″ and “was ‘out of town’ for the 85-1 vote in the Senate.”
In fact, McCain has “skipped every one of the 15…critical measures for the environment” in the past year and scored “a stunning zero out of 100 on the latest League of Conservation Voters Scorecard, which rates elected officials on their votes in the most recent Congress.”
Thursday, June 5, 2008
The scuttlebutt du jour is, "But will she endorse him?" Ridiculous. The New York Times sharpens its claws with "Clinton Discusses What She Wants, But Not What She Will Do." Ridiculous. Hillary Clinton has said time and again that she would fully support Obama as the candidate and that she would do everything she could could to get a Democrat back in the White House. So please, America, before you let the media (once again) make Hillary Clinton into some kind of monster, please read her message below, which she sent to her supporters, and which I'm sure the media is aware.
Dear Sue,Emphasis mine, words hers. The foreign press seems to be thinking with a little more clear head this morning:
I wanted you to be one of the first to know: on Saturday, I will hold an event in Washington D.C. to thank everyone who has supported my campaign. Over the course of the last 16 months, I have been privileged and touched to witness the incredible dedication and sacrifice of so many people working for our campaign. Every minute you put into helping us win, every dollar you gave to keep up the fight meant more to me than I can ever possibly tell you.
On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy. This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with Senator McCain and the Republicans.
I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party's nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.
When I decided to run for president, I knew exactly why I was getting into this race: to work hard every day for the millions of Americans who need a voice in the White House.
I made you -- and everyone who supported me -- a promise: to stand up for our shared values and to never back down. I'm going to keep that promise today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life.
I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.
I know as I continue my lifelong work for a stronger America and a better world, I will turn to you for the support, the strength, and the commitment that you have shown me in the past 16 months. And I will always keep faith with the issues and causes that are important to you.
In the past few days, you have shown that support once again with hundreds of thousands of messages to the campaign, and again, I am touched by your thoughtfulness and kindness.
I can never possibly express my gratitude, so let me say simply, thank you.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Clinton to endorse Barack Obama as Democratic candidate on Saturday, Telegraph UK
Clinton to endorse Obama this weekend, Belfast Telegraph
Clinton to leave race and endorse Obama, International Herald Tribune
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
The Phoenix Again
On the ashes of this nest
Love wove with deathly fire
The phoenix takes its rest
Forgetting all desire.
After the flame, a pause,
After the pain, rebirth.
Obeying nature's laws
The phoenix goes to earth.
You cannot call it old
You cannot call it young.
No phoenix can be told,
This is the end of the song.
It struggles now alone
Against death and self-doubt,
But underneath the bone
The wings are pushing out.
And one cold starry night
Whatever your belief
The phoenix will take flight
Over the seas of grief
To sing her thrilling song
To stars and waves and sky
For neither old nor young
The phoenix does not die.
— May Sarton
First and foremost, I am disappointed in many of my fellow Democrats, and with the Democratic leadership. I make no excuses for Hillary Clinton's defeat -- it was a very close contest, and she came close to winning. In the end, counting the Michigan voters, Clinton won the popular vote, with 17,790,119 votes to Obama's 17,495,726. Without the Michigan voters, Obama won the nomination by 0.1 percent. The popular vote is a little tricky to get a true handle on, because some states have not released their final votes tallies. Even with the best estimates, however, Obama won the popular vote by 0.2 percent. In the end, I think Barack Obama had a better marketing team and better fundraisers.
And as Hillary Clinton decides where she goes from here, so do her women supporters. You see, we all got a little beaten up during this race. I thought it would be over by now, but this morning I turned on CNN to get the final numbers, and was subjected to Obama supporter former Congressman Ben "Cooter" Jones. I wouldn't have believed if I had not heard him twice refer to Senator Clinton as "Miss Clinton."
It's the kind of subtle diminishing of our accomplishments that women have endured for our entire lives, and the kind of talk we thought was unacceptable. But in the glow of Obama's victory, not a word was said to 'ol Cooter.
Because it's still o.k. in American society to belittle and make fun of women.
You might say, well Sue J., did you just wake up to this fact? Of course not -- I've spent a lifetime competing with boys, then men. I've heard the comments around the conference room table, in the lunchroom, on the playing field. But where I hadn't heard it before was from my fellow Democrats. And that has been the biggest disappointment of this election, by far.
A while ago there was a story in the news about a man in Georgia selling t-shirts with a picture of Obama looking like the character Curious George. There was -- quite rightly -- public outcry at the racist overtones of the image. That seems to be then end of the t-shirts.
Compare that with the public reaction to the "Hillary Nutcracker." These items were proudly sold in gift shops throughout America. Because it's still o.k. in American society to belittle and make fun of women.
Many feminists have tried to co-op this language and these items, as oppressed groups often do in order to gain some control over their destiny. So, we see women buying the "Nutcracker" and declaring it to be funny. And we see the slogan "Bitch is the new black" arise as we try to take back control of language used to belittle us.
Throughout this campaign, Hillary Clinton has been subjected to (almost) unbelievably sexist comments from all angles. I won't list them all here -- Shakespeare's Sister has done a wonderful job of keeping track of the most egregious examples with the Hillary Sexism Watch, which is currently at 104. So disappointing about many of those examples is the fact that no one in the Democratic party stood up and defended this woman. Especially since the attacks often came from members of the Democratic party itself.
Of course I am proud of this country and our party for electing a man of color as the nominee. But that pride is balanced with the another truth, which -- until this year -- I naively thought was history:
It's still o.k. in American society to belittle and make fun of women.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign PAC, the federal political action committee of the nation’s largest gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today announced the release of a comprehensive report – "Senator John McCain: A Record of Opposing the Interests of GLBT Americans."
As the general election nears, Sen. John McCain will tout his reputation as a maverick, an independent and a moderate, but a review of Sen. McCain’s record paints a different picture. The report provides an in-depth view of Sen. John McCain’s record on GLBT issues and the likelihood that a McCain presidency would be similar to that of President George W. Bush. The full report and a summary can be viewed online at www.hrc.org/McCain.
"We’ve witnessed President Bush over the last seven years repeatedly side with ultra-conservatives and the religious right at the expense of protections for GLBT Americans. Judging by his record, a McCain presidency would be another four years of more of the same," said Human Rights Campaign Vice President David Smith. "Similar to Bush, Sen. John McCain opposes equal benefits for same-sex couples; opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination against GLBT Americans in the workplace; opposes expanding the hate crimes act to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and supports the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy."
Highlights from "Senator John McCain: A Record of Opposing the Interests of GLBT Americans":
- Opposed Ending Discrimination Against GLBT Americans in the Workplace. Senator McCain cast a deciding vote against the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
- Opposed Protecting GLBT Americans from Hate Crimes. Senator McCain voted three times against expanding the federal hate crimes law to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Proponent of Discriminatory Military Policy. Senator McCain
supports Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and does not believe that gays should serve in the military.
- Opponent of Equal Benefits for Same-Sex Couples. Senator McCain voted for the Defense of Marriage Act which prohibits same-sex couples from receiving federal rights and benefits in any state.
- Actively Supported State Ban on Domestic Partnerships. Senator McCain campaigned for a ban on same-sex relationship recognition in his home state of Arizona – even appearing in a campaign television ad.
- Supported the Confirmation of Anti-GLBT Equality Judges. Senator McCain voted to confirm President Bush’s judicial nominees who had taken anti-GLBT positions. He has pointed to Justice Samuel Alito as a role model for future Supreme Court appointments.
- Supported a Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Policy. Senator McCain supported a Jesse Helms strategy to cut off funding for prevention efforts aimed at the gay community and voted to prohibit foreign nationals with HIV from immigrating to the United States.
I watched some of the DNC meeting on Saturday, listened to some on the radio. I was moved by everyone from from Florida who spoke. Except that I found Congressman Wexler incredibly annoying in his Obama-love (down, boy!), and I found Donna Brazile condescending and disingenuous. Oh, Donna, what has happened to you since Gore 2000?
I read the results from Sunday's Puerto Rico primary, where Clinton beat Obama by 36 percentage points, the exit polls showing her beating him soundly in all age groups -- including his supposedly solid "youth movement" -- she won men, she won women, she won church goers, she won those with college education and those without. But no one seems to care. It earned barely a mention on the news Monday morning.
Here's what I heard the talking heads say:
"It's going to be interesting to see what Hillary Clinton decides to do." Um, ya think?
"I think Clinton's going to have to be thinking strategically at this point." Oh, really?
Are you freakin' kidding me? I think we should all apply for these "pundit" jobs immediately.
It's obvious that these people have nothing left to say -- their thin knowledge of politics has been exposed through this prolonged primary season, and for that, I thank you Senator Clinton! Whereas we used to have a few investigative reporters, and few political reporters who knew insiders and could give us the "scoop" we wouldn't otherwise find out, we now see behind the curtain: the "pundits" who parade across the "news" "analysis" shows on every network, are nothing more than opinionated writers with some knowledge and interest in current events.
Hey -- we could do that!