Sunday, October 28, 2012

Elizabeth Warren | The Boston Globe thinks she's good for Massachusetts — (not that anybody asked, but ) I think she's good for America

One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People
in the World in 2009 and 2010.
I live a long way from Massachusetts, but Senates races have profound national implications. The presence of Elisabeth Warren in the race for the seat now held by Scott Brown strikes me as both remarkable and important. Remarkable because people with her capabilities often find other things to do in their 50s and 60s than protecting the rights of middle class consumers. Important because Elizabeth Warren knows her way around policy in a way that could make her one of the most effective first-term senators ever.

Here's part of what the Boston Globe said, endorsing her candidacy on October 28, 2012:
Yes, her vote would be more reliably in line with Massachusetts’ traditional liberalism. But the real promise in her candidacy lies deeper in her character. She’s a relentless striver whose life story represents the best of American upward mobility. As a young mother, she worked her way through community colleges and state universities to become the nation’s top expert on financial consumer protection. 
And after earning an enviable job at Harvard Law School, she pushed her way into the political arena, wrangling with such renowned inside players as Larry Summers and Tim Geithner to achieve her goal of creating a consumer protection bureau. Her crowning achievement, the bureau guards the interests of average citizens contending with credit-card companies, student-loan holders, auto lenders, credit bureaus, and more. Anyone who’s felt powerless to escape a fee that seems unfairly imposed, or to cover an interest rate they didn’t bargain for, owes Warren a debt of gratitude.
I'm on that list of those who owe Elizabeth Warren a debt of gratitude. There's no question I would vote for her if I lived in Massachusetts. I suspect — and hope — I will one day have the opportunity to vote for her in a national election.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell explains his 2012 endorsement of President Obama

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell explains in detail what's behind his 2012 endorsement of President Obama and why, specifically, he is uncomfortable with Governor Romney (October 25, 2012).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Maya Angelou on Voting | Spoiler Alert: She reveals her preference

Maya Angelou received the Presidential
Medal of Freedom in 2011
I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country -- as an American. 
It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.
But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful -- don't underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.
As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress.
My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions like, "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" When they couldn't answer, they couldn't vote. 
I once debated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about whether an African American would ever be elected president. He believed it would happen within the next 40 years at the time -- I believed it would never happen within my lifetime.
I have never been happier to have been proven wrong.
And since President Barack Obama's historic election, we've moved forward in courageous and beautiful ways. More students can afford college, and more families have access to affordable health insurance. Women have greater opportunities to get equal pay for equal work.
Yet as Rev. King wrote, "All progress is precarious."  
So don't sit on the sidelines. Don't hesitate. Don't have any regrets. Vote.
Go, rise up, and let your friends and family in early vote states know where they can vote today. We must make our voices heard:
Your vote is not only important. It's imperative.
— the poet Maya Angelou excerpted from a campaign letter for President Obama

Citizens may vote early in many states (and it's still possible in a few states to register for the 2012 elections). Check for information on registration, early voting and Election Day voting hours where you live — GottaVote is provided courtesy of the Obama campaign, but don't be afraid — all the information on the Find Your State page is nonpartisan.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

two reasons not to give a crap about the election

On Election Day 2005, I wrote:
A couple of days ago—long past the time anything could be done about today's elections—someone I prize wisecracked in a conversation about state and local politics, "I'm not registered to vote, so I don't give a crap."
Without much thought, but I hope not too ungenerously, I cracked back: "Should that be, 'I don't give a crap, so I'm not registered to vote?'" 
I get it that people don't believe their vote can make a difference in the kind of world (or neighborhood) where children grow up. But I'm still surprised when parents and would-be parents, youth workers and people who care about the young, don't force their way to the front of that line -- just in case it should turn out they're wrong.
I don't think this election is any less consequential than the 2005 state and local elections that sparked that exchange. And for millions of us in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming, it's not too late to give a crap, and register, and vote.

Monday, October 08, 2012

The Numbers Don't Add Up | The Romney Tax Cut

The arithmetic has been checked and double-checked by the independent Tax Policy Center, and the numbers on the Romney/Ryan tax plan do not, and cannot come anywhere close to what Mr. Romney keeps promising. 

The double-checking even factored in the numbers recommended by the other economists Mr. Romney referred to in the first debate. Even those rosy projects don't get anywhere close — not even remotely close — to the results the Governor promised.

Here's a helpful overview courtesy of the Obama campaign. But you don't have to take their word for it. Read the two reports above to see how failure (including higher deficits and greater debt) is baked into the promise because it's baked into the numbers.


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Barack Obama's Now-Controversial 2007 Speech | Read It Here

Here, courtesy of Andrew Sullivan, is the text of Barack Obama's now-controversial 2007 speech at Hampton University. Mr. Sullivan posted the speech on June 7, 2007, shortly after it was delivered.

The speech was not particularly controversial at the time. There were reporters, cameras, recordings of the speech. I hear that Tucker Carlson — then employed by MSNBC — mentioned it at the time (though I have not seen/heard what he said). Mr. Sullivan found the speech engaging and important enough to transcribe, comment on, and post — 2007, right? Mr. Obama was not favored to survive the Iowa caucuses, let alone "lead the free world" as they say.

Jeremiah Wright was not yet on anyone's radar outside Chicago, and Andrew Sullivan jumped from Mr. Obama's opening greeting, past all the name checking and other formalities to the beginning of the actual speech. So, if Jeremiah Wright is the whole point for you, save time and move on. If, however, you'd like to read everything else then-candidate Obama said in that speech, read on...
It is an honor to be here at Hampton University. It is a privilege to stand with so many ministers from across this country and we thank God and all His blessings for this wonderful day. 
A few weeks ago, I attended a service at First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the LA Riots. After a jury acquitted 4 police officers of beating Rodney King-a beating that was filmed and flashed around the world- Los Angeles erupted. I remember the sense of despair and powerlessness in watching one of America’s greatest cities engulfed in flames. 
But in the middle of that desperate time, there was a miracle: a baby born with a bullet in its arm. We need to hear about these miracles in these desperate times because they are the blessings that can unite us when some in the world try to drive a wedge between our common humanity and deep, abiding faith. And this story, too, starts with a baby.
We learned about this child from a doctor named Andy Moosa. He was working the afternoon shift on April 30 at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood as the second day of violence was exploding in the streets.