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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 

 

Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 

     

Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1940

  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild


  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  


Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison


 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Sunday
Jan202008

SWIFTBOATING FOR HILLARY

    Tom Bevan on the CNN Blog, January 20, 2008 posted this insider info from Newsweek columnist Jon Alter: 
    "Prominent Democrats are upset with the aggressive role that Bill Clinton is playing in the 2008 campaign, a role they believe is inappropriate for a former president and the titular head of the Democratic Party. In recent weeks, Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. Rahm Emanuel,1 both currently neutral in the Democratic contest, have told their old friend heatedly on the phone that he needs to change his tone and stop attacking Sen. Barack Obama, according to two sources familiar with the conversations who asked for anonymity because of their sensitive nature." 
    "This is excruciating," says a member of the Clintons' circle, who asked for anonymity. "But the stakes couldn't be higher. It's worth it to tarnish himself a bit now to win the presidency."
    Bevan:  Why does that last quote not surprise me?
    On primary day in New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago, I wondered how this fight would shake out:  How ironic is it that Bill Clinton - once dubbed America's first black president - is now in the position, along with his wife, of having to go negative against a black man who appears to have the first legitimate chance of winning the White House? If the Clintons are successful in snuffing out Obama's insurgency with swift boat like tactics, how much venom and hatred will that unleash against them by progressive activists and the African-American community - and how might that play a role in the general election?
   RAD:  Yes, how much of this Slick Willie BS will progressives and African-American's take?  We might get a hint in tomorrow's debate hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus on MLK Day, how ironic.  Polls give Obama a 10 point lead in SC (52-42, with 14 for Edwards).
    If Obama wins big in SC next week - expect this Hillary "mo" stopper to bring Slick back to attack mode.  Hillary's team is headed by a big-time K-Street lobbyist Mark Penn.  From years of close observation of Oregon politics these "contract lobbyists" (hired guns) have no limits to which they will go to win.  And we all know Slick Willie has no personal or political moral compass. 
   In addition to this crud there's "hateful" email being sent to the Jewish community "that use falsehood and innuendo about Senator Obama's religion and attack him personally."  Like my family Barack is a member of the United Church of Christ.  It's gotten so toxic 7 US Senators (who are Jewish) including Oregon's own Ron Wyden have condemned these "abborrent" attacks.
    We have no idea who the source of this "outrage" is. It could be a GOP swift boat operation to divide the Ds a la the dirty tricks by Donald Segretti and the Nixon Plumbers Unit in '72.  Who knows - only the "shadow knows."  I can't imagine Team Clinton would stoop this low. 
    But the Clintons will do anything to gain the West Wing as will the GOP Rovians.  Is that the kind of campaign we want in '08?  The politics of personal destruction, 24/7?  You have a chance to stop this NOW by voting FOR something positive - Barack Obama, not a Clinton redux slinking toward Babylon
    PS:  It's time for Clinton fans to take off the rose colored glasses.  The Clintons will pander their way to power by pretending to be your friends but in the end it's all about THEM and their hi-tech, Hollywood and Wall Street friends not about US. 
    The Clinton's botched health care reform in '93; as "supply side" neo-liberals they continued the deregulation of the economy begun under Reagan which has given us the sub-prime loan scandal; they ended welfare while leaving working men and women to the mercies of outsourcing and low-wage jobs; and their embarrassing private lives made the US the laughing stock of our enemies and eroded the moral authority of the presidency setting us up for the era of Bush-lite.
    Their "experience" has been our pain!
    The voters in South Carolina have a chance to shake things up and make it 2 for 2 for Team Obama and Team Clinton as we head into the vortex of Superduper Tuesday February 5th and hopefully beyond.  The next weeks will be a battle between the politics of the past or the politics of the future, the politics of sleaze or the politics of hope, the politics of myth or the politics of new ideas.  Let's hope Yogi's line is spot on - "It ain't over, 'till it's over."  It's still the VOTER's choice.
    1Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D, Illinois) is a close friend of the Clintons, was a top White House operative to Clinton and is the Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

 

Saturday
Jan192008

IT AIN'T OVER, 'TILL IT'S OVER...

    RAD:  From the cheap seats the "Morning After"
    The results from the Nevada and South Carolina aren't as clear as they appeared last night.  Let me revise and extend my analysis a bit.  While Hillary won the "beauty contest" over Barack she lost the delegate contest despite some trickery on the Vegas Strip.And while McCain has 'mo' going into Florida his "victory" in SC is diminished by the vote combo of Huckabee/Thompson from GOP social conservatives.
    In the Democratic contest Hillary's strength is with women, Latinos and the geezer base of the party while Obama's is with young, Black and independent voters.  On the GOP side, the economic conservatives seem to be lining up with McCain/Romney/Giuliani faction while the religious right is with Huckabee/Thompson wing.  Whoever emerges as the nominee will have to repair the breach in both parties ranks for the fall campaign.
    The good news for the Dems is that turnout has consistently been twice that of the GOP votes.  That bodes well for the Dems in the fall and should worry GOP insiders facing a demoralized base.  Karl Rove is not going to be around to build his GOP bridge to the future in '08.  John McCain despite his "personal" appeal may suffer Bob Dole's fate in '96 being swamped by a tidal wave of highly energized Dems and angry independents. 
    So yes, Barack Obama did not run the tables in Nevada Hillary Clinton did.  She took the older base of the party - those 50 and older, women and the Latino vote.  Clearly her experience card played well, her debate skills prevailed, the on the ground machine came through thanks to the help from Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and thanks to another series of strategic mistakes by Barack Obama's team.
    But before we write of Barack's demise, let's look at the entrails carefully.  Hillary with husband Bill's help has mobilized the "old" guard of the Clinton DLC coalition and those who yearn for another Clinton era on the mistaken notion that "Billary" was good for the country.  It wasn't for all the reasons I've cited again and again.  But voters have a right to be delusional.  I've drunk that Kool-Aid myself. 
    Here's the bottom line for Hillary Clinton as far as RAD is concerned.  Despite her skills, her aura and her friends she won only 51% of the caucus vote in Nevada.  As the "virtual" nominee coming into the '08 campaign why is she having to fight so hard to win narrow victories?  Answer she's a problematic icon of the "old" order, while Barack is the future given his appeal among young people, the 35-44 age group, African-Americans and independents.
    If Hillary Clinton is to win and build a governing coalition she will need those voters in Barack's camp.  If not she will put her promises at risk.  To deliver her "experience" card she needs to bring more Ds into Congress not just win the keys to the West Wing.  John McCain is riding high with his "straight talk" and Reaganesque demeanor.  If he puts the broken pieces of the elephant back together he will pose a serious challenge - more to Hillary than Barack. 
    As a war hero with a high authenticity quotient and as close as the GOP comes to a moderate, a McCain candidacy poses the most serious challenge to another Clinton era.  As the war in Iraq moves off the front pages and the economy becomes issue #1 - then a Clinton/McCain contest poses challenges to both of them to close the deal with the American voters. There's a lot of fear out there which helps the Ds, but Americans hate taxes which appeals to Rs.  
    If McCain can play the Reaganite card and bring back the "morning in American" theme, what can Hillary do - reprise James Carville's line, "it's the economy stupid"?  Will the GOP swiftboat machine turn her candidacy into a deja vu of Whitewater, Slick Willie and Monicagate?  You bet!  To counter that Hillary will have to shore up her now tattered base in the African-American community and show young voters she is not merely a legacy candidate of Mr. Slick. 
    As a corporate liberal I don't know how Hillary and her K-Street team can morph her into credible agents of change because that's not her record beyond the symbolism of being a female presidential candidate.  She needs to match the authenticity of John McCain.  How does she do this?  Chosing a VP DC insider like Bill Richardson to pander to the Latino vote she already has in her bag won't do it. 
    John McCain faces a similar Faustian choice.  With his victory in SC he rides into Florida ready to put the fork into Rudy G.  Minus a Huckabee revival on Superduper Tuesday what stops McCain?  Not much.  But how does he shore up the base of the GOP which is lukewarm toward him?.  Turn to Huckabee?  That's too risky.  Turn to Mitt?  There's too much anti-Mormonism in the GOP.  Who then - the ultimate insider most Cheney-like guy in the crowd - Fred Thompson?
   So from Oregon it looks like '08 is shaping up to be not a year of "change" but the politics of the "same old, same old" DC crowd passing as agents of change.  That's how the establishment always wins, they play hard ball the best and then steal the rhetoric of their opponents and then voters wake up in November wondering why there's not a dime's worth a difference between candidates!
    If John and Hillary turn out to be the duo - what will be the issue - the war (which they both supported, he more faithfully and consistently than she) or the economy - the usual trump card of the party out of power in this case the Dems?  But before this is all over a lot of folks in the base and on the sidelines are going to have to drink a lot of mouth wash to get the bad taste in their mouths after having their "hope" dashed again.
    Mr. and Mrs. Voter - you've had your chance in Iowa, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina and so far the old order seems to be hanging on by the skin of it's slimy teeth.  But you know, the pundits have been wrong all season - so let's not count Barack, Mitt or Mike out yet.  But speaking for myself as an unrepentant '60s lefty - Hillary you can't "Slick Willie" yourself into the West Wing.
   At some point you and Barack will have to have a good long talk sans Slick.  Right now, "if" Hillary is the nominee she's going to have major damage repair to do with Black voters and will need to broaden the base to balance out her high negatives among many GOP voters (including women) by pulling in Barack's youth corps and independents.  What's the price -  a Clinton/Obama ticket - ? 
   For now, Barack quit talking about Reagan, get back on message and learn from your team's mistakes.  It may be the Year of the Woman folks but don't start measuring the length of the drapes in the Oval Office yet Hillary.  It's still a marathon and you've taken the road most travelled (a very nasty and negative road at that with Slick's help).  Now can you flip flop to Ms. Congeniality?  
  After South Carolina's Democratic primary next Saturday John Edwards needs to bow out and let Hillary and Barack go at it one on one.  Only then will the voters be able to size up them before Superduper Tuesday and hopefully beyond.  Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul can hang around for those who like gallows humor and want to cast a protest vote.  Bring in the clowns!
    1 Among the at large caucuses on the Vegas strip there were allegations of voter intimidation and closing the doors early and in one case a tied caucus vote was settled by a card drawing, which Clinton won.  Only in Vegas!  I guess Barack needed "Dondero's well oiled machine." 

Friday
Jan182008

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

    The Oregonian has a very interesting article today - "Black voters hope, fear for Obama," written by Jonathan Tilove,  for the Newhouse News Service, (A-11) check it out via hardcopy, on Oregonlive or via Google.  The gist is that many African-Americans on the eve of the annual MLK, Jr. Day this coming Monday, January 21 are proud of Barack Obama's success, fearful of the risks he takes and a bit perplexed by his appeal to many White Americans.
    RAD get's it.  But this is the era of the Tiger Wood's phenomenon where the once most segregated sport in the world has embraced Tiger not because of his race but because of his magical skills on the links.  Could it be that Barack Obama being the son of a Kenyan father and White mother from Kansas while not denying his racial heritage transcends the racial line much as Tiger does with his dual ancestry of a Black father and Asian mother?
    Could it be that a majority of voters in the USA are willing to judge a person whether it be Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton by the "content of their character" not the color of their skin or their gender?  If so, Martin would be pleased however unfilled the "Dream" still is.  For sure, if Barack wins the nomination and then wins in November - the challenges before him will be immense.  But so too were they for the first Catholic president ever elected in 1960 - JFK.
    Life doesn't give us guarantees of victory just hope.  Change often comes when one isn't looking for it.  Could this be the year, hopefully YES.  But the Democrats under either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton are not going to get to the Promised Land unscathed unless Slick Willie shuts his mouth, like he should have zipped his you know what when he squandered the moral authority of his presidency with you know WHO.
    Mr. Slick - you had you time, no have the decency to exit the stage and do your commendable work as a fund raiser for Third World relief projects with former President George Bush.  Only then will the voters be able to see Hillary stand on her own two feet not burdened by your problematic legacy.  As a Southern Baptist do God's work and quit playing the "Good Cop/Bad Cop" routine as you embarrass us all using fairytale rhetoric and attacking the press.
   RFK once said that "politics is the sport played by adults."  I've heard on the Golf Channel that Barack is a big fan of golf.  I don't know if he plays the game, he certainly can't now but he will be tested to see if he has the "right stuff" in the only game that really counts for us all.  I'm betting he's a gamer.  Will he disappoint us if he's elected, of course.  We expect too much of our leaders and not enough of ourselves. 
    But for now RAD is enjoying the view from the cheap seats and seeing my "Hope Monger" stock go up. 
    PS:  To prove to readers of this blog that RAD can view the political scene through non-rose colored lenses despite my "hope" index rising for Barack, the race is still Hillary's to lose.  She's the front runner.  To put a dent in her campaign wagon Barack has to run the tables tomorrow in Nevada.  Since Team Obama won the legal battle for the Culinary Workers over Team Clinton and the NEA, Barack should have the edge although the Edward's vote could be a wild card.
    An Obama victory in Nevada and a likely win in South Carolina next week sets Barack up to crack the "Billary" line of defence in Florida on January 29 and Superduper Tuesday, February 5th.  But the challenges to Barack are considerable - NY, NJ and Florida all play to the Hillary's New York base.  His best chance of victory on February 5th might be Alabama and Georgia (with large Black votes); Arizona (where an Italian-American Gov has endorsed him);and maybe Minnesota (if the spirit of Paul Wellstone helps).
    That leaves California - where Hillary leads by 18 tonight if you believe the polls.
    Other states in play on February 5th - Alaska (I'm waiting for Canada to annex it); Arkansas (Huck and Bill); Colorado (could be close); Connecticut (Hillary's backyard); Delaware (too close to NY); Idaho (D's are an extinct species there); Kansas (Barack's "home" state); Missouri (show me); New Mexico (will Richardson endorse Hillary for the VP slot?); North Dakota (Iowa II for Barack); Oklahoma (how much do they hate Arkansas there?); Tennessee (waiting for Big Al); and Utah (what would Brigham Young do?).
    For Dems it's now all about delegates proportionately divided up by congressional district results not the GOP winner take all system.  On the GOP side which is equally muddy - if John McCain wins South Carolina Saturday and then Florida after that -  he sails into Superduper Tuesday with a head of steam in big states like NY, NJ, California et al (see above) which tilt toward him (forget about Rudy G).  But if the Huck man wins tomorrow - all bets are off!  The pundits and polls have got it wrong so far - so I'm asking my astrologer!  Gracie where are you? 
 

 

Friday
Jan182008

WHO IS THE REAL HILLARY?

    RAD:  One of my professor friends would probably accuse me of piling on Hillary in my recent blogging.  It's a fair charge, I am piling on as a counter offensive against Team Clinton's using a host of surrogates from Slick Willie to Gloria Steinem to pile on Barack Obama slyly using the race and gender cards against Obama.
    This is a critical time of the evolving political season.  Barack and Hillary are 1 for 1 as a result of the Iowa/New Hampshire split decision, Michigan doesn't count.  The Nevada caucus this week and South Carolina primary on January 26 will be critical in establishing who the the PR big mo going into Superduper Tuesday.
    On February 26th twenty-two states will vote including delegate rich states like California, New Jersey, New York and Illinois. RAD assumes that Hillary will take her home state, NY and Barack will take his home state Illinois.  So that puts California and New Jersey in the spotlight.  So a lot is on the line. 
    As the chic upper class feminist elite led by Steinem line up for Hillary, it's time working class and minority women in the country ask themselves if Hillary's gender is the trump card for women many might assume.  Ironically, college educated women in Iowa and New Hampshire have divided their votes between Barack and Hillary given the edge to Barack in Iowa and New Hampshire while working class women have been more supportive of Hillary.
    So the demographics not of race or gender are in play so much in this contest despite all the media attention on these low hanging fruit - but class seems to be a driving wedge issue.  The following excerpts from an article by Robert Scheer is helpful for deconstructing the symbolism vs. the reality of Hillary Clinton's candidacy.  But just for the record, if Hillary is the nominee and she must be considered the front runner thus far RAD will vote for her in '08.
    But let examine some of the 35 years of history she wraps herself into so adroitly to answer the old Mondale question - "where's the beef?"  RAD is not favoring Obama out of some retro idealism based on his race.  Hillary doesn't deserve a misty eyed gender pass either.  As I've said before, her record of failing at health care reform, being wrong on Iraq and being a corporate liberal does not impress me. 
    As a lightening rod because of her personal biography as First Lady - she can try to run away from that legacy but she can't hide from it.  Barack by contrast appears to me to be a unifier across all demographic lines without Hillary's personal and political baggage.  Barack combines the eloquence of JFK and MLK with the authenticity Hillary cannot match.  While Hillary would lead, she would also divide.
    Barack in an insightful article by Larissa MacFarquhar for The New Yorker (June 1, 2007) entitled "The Conciliator" is described despite his liberal voting record as "deeply conservative" given his respect for tradition and skeptical about radically changing the world.  He doesn't come on like an effete liberal snob.  His instincts are conciliation and bi-partisanship not flame throwing sound bites that John Edwards invokes on the stump.
    As a child of the '60s Hillary comes off like a know it all taking a final exam in college - showing off her brainiac skills.  Barack by contrast is low key - he's often slow to respond with one-liners.  He's temperamentally a listener unlike the ideologue Hillary (my own failing all too often).  As Barack has said - "...we have to apply judgment and a sense of proportion to how change happens - to promote our ideals and our values with some sense of humility..."1
    These excerpts from an article by Robert Scheer, Play the Class Card, from The Nation online which suggest that Hillary Clinton's stewardship is more problematic than her stump speeches suggest: 
    "As long as Hillary Clinton, and now Gloria Steinem, has chosen to play the women's card against the race card, let me throw in a third one: the class card. Clinton claimed in the New Hampshire primary debate that she is the unmistakable agent for change because she is a woman and her election as President would send a strong signal of a new day aborning to America and the rest of the world..."
    "Steinem put a finer point on the argument in her New York Times commentary [on] New Hampshire's primary election day, arguing that women get wonderfully more "radical" as they age, and therefore older women are more inclined to vote for Clinton, Steinem's preferred candidate, as opposed to Barack Obama, whom younger women went for in Iowa. Maybe those younger women were more worried about how to pay off college loans or swelling mortgage obligations than gender identity."
    "What is radical about voting for a corporate lawyer who, in defense of her Arkansas savings and loan shenanigans, once said you can't be a lawyer without working for banks?  Steinem boasts of Clinton's "unprecedented eight years of on-the-job training in the White House" without referencing the Clinton White House's giveaways to corporate America at the expense of poor and working Americans, the majority of them being women..." 
    "I am not trying to play the class card here by claiming that because Obama grew up black and middle-class he will therefore inevitably be that rare politician who remembers where he or she came from. Bill Clinton, who came from a poor family, disproved the notion about remembering. To his everlasting shame as President, Clinton supported and signed welfare legislation that shredded the federal safety net for the poor from which he personally had benefited..."
     "[Clinton] faithfully served big corporate interests by signing off on Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the Financial Services Modernization Act, which, as a gift to the banks, insurance companies and stockbrokers, reversed consumer protection legislation from the New Deal era. Thanks to Bill Clinton, those pirates were allowed to merge into the largest conglomerates the world has ever witnessed and, adding insult to injury, to "data-mine," thus sharing your most intimate financial and health information."
    RAD:  That conglomerated and unregulated power of the banking interests has now brought us to the brink of a recession with the sub-prime loand debacle placing 1-2 million American families on the foreclosure list.  Is that Hillary's legacy too?  RAD thinks so.  After all she was the first person and the last person Bill talked to each day for 8 years in the West Wing. 
    "Bill Clinton's next biggest concession to the fat cats was the Telecommunications Act, which ended what was left of public control of the airwaves and permits mega-media corporations to grow even bigger. No wonder Rupert Murdock and Hillary Clinton now get on so famously..." 
    "Yes, Bill Clinton was a very good President compared to what came immediately before and after, and his wife has many strong points in her favor, not the least of which is her wonkish intelligence. What I object to is the notion that the perspective of gender or race trumps that of economic class in considering the traumas of this nation..."
    "John Edwards deserves credit for putting this issue of the growing division of American society front and center, and certainly Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has related his politics to growing up in abysmal poverty. As Kucinich has pointed out, a permanent war economy in which more than half of federal discretionary funds go to the military leaves no room for needed social programs..."  
    "Yes, it is important for the health of our democracy to break barriers that have held back a majority of our citizens, and for that reason it would certainly be an advance to have a black or female President. But that alone is not enough to justify a vote. What we need far more than a change in appearance is one of perspective. Otherwise, Condoleezza Rice would make the ideal candidate." 
      1http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/05/07/070507fa_fact.macfarquhar?printable=true 

Thursday
Jan172008

A RAD ENDORSEMENT

novick_logo.jpg    US Senate candidate Steve Novick's newly released campaign commercial with 3 tall guys pretending to be him and then the real Steve pops up at the end, all 4'9" of him, is hilarious and makes his candidacy for the "little guy" spot on.  I've seen Steve work in Salem over the years for the little guy taking on Bill Sizemore among others.  He's the real deal whereas his opponent Jeff Merkley is just another drab Salem politician full of ambition but not much else.
    Merkley has had a colorless career in the House since 1998 which is probably why he's speaker.  The drones get rewarded in Salem not the folks who shake things up.  Merkley says all the right things but when push comes to shove he's a Kulongoski-lite Dem who has punted on major tax reform, like ridding ourselves of the kicker, stopping the drug lobby from killing children's health care in the session, then on the referral last November. 
    Merkley's resume is impressive.  So is Steve's.  But I want a fighter back in the US Senate like Wayne Morse not simply another pol who will bide his time as he works his way to the top of the ladder.  Steve Novick reminds me a lot of John Edwards minus the Robert Reford looks.  His website includes this note:  "Perhaps his greatest success  [as a lawyer] was serving as lead counsel on the notorious toxic waste cleanup at Love Canal . In 1995, Steve and his team secured a $129 million settlement from Occidential Chemical to cover the cleanup." 
    Both Jeff and Steve have their roots in Douglas County, just like RAD.  Both are Ivy League grads.  RAD won't hold that against them not everyone will favor a Whitman or a U of Minnesota.  Check out their websites.  I'm voting for Novick for the US Senate in May.  He's "the little engine that could" beat Smith because he's a fighter not just another ambitious pol who can read the polls that 2008 is going to be a Democratic year.  Finally I want the race to be decided not by who can raise a $1 million dollar warchest, but by which has courage!  Go Steve!