Saturday, November 15
I want you to send out a list of general goals as part of an annual or biannual agenda. I already see that a large amount of blame is going around on Capitol Hill. Before we can even get started, the people who are supposed to be giving this country direction are trying to take as little blame for the failures of government while assigning as much as they can to former colleagues. We cannot stomach any more of this domino demagoguery.
You asked us for money. You asked us for sweat and for faith and for our talents. You helped President Obama run one of the most exciting and proficient campaigns this country has ever seen. You inspired many of us not to respond to naysayers with insults and ire but with a method of information and finesse. The nation is forgetting this lesson too soon.
The time for gloating and conspiring and fear-mongering must be set aside until a real and advisable direction is set. Firing and having officials resign doesn't get rid of the problem. It just advances the news cycle. We are hungry for more of the good political discourse and real connections we made within our surrounding communities. If the people we've elected need reminding that they work for us whether we voted for them or not, we can show them how little effective they are when they put themselves above their station and their constituency.
I believe that what we need to do in this country is teach our leaders how to talk to us, the People. We have a task not easily achieved or that expects uniform results, but I see Republicans trying to blame a Democratic Congress while Democrats are blaming a Republican filibustering minority. They are trying to expose hypocrisy when most of those points are frame-up jobs part of the daily Congressional agenda. This machinery of politics goes unnoticed because many Americans lead very busy and crowded lives. The over three million people who gave to Obama's campaign are telling you that we can make room for a little more.
Set a national agenda for those cities and towns where grassroots organizations meaning to continue making politics real can all work in tandem. We can be strong locally, but if all our local work is being done in unison, we can effect a more permanent progress in American citizenship and strength. We both need and accept as many brilliant and talented Republican, Independent, Libertarian, and unaffiliated compatriots who do not share our politics to make this journey with us.
Website of the Office of the President of the United States, Change.gov
out of the desert,
Friday, November 7
The day does not wait for me to start.
Every moment I encounter, I want.
There are those who do not believe in what they can do.
They will try to decimate our world and what we believe in.
These are signs we are in real trouble and due for more.
All of us must preserve a little faith and much fight.
We must both want and give, inform and finesse.
We have no option to quit. Always come back.
I want my brother, my family, my wife to know beauty.
I know this sounds a little cheesy and grandiose.
I am addicted to influencing the outcomes.
We will get exactly what we deserve.
Smarter citizens make better citizens.
They with power will continue to enfeeble the weak.
They are only deluded of their strength if we ignore them.
They remain powerless only if we do not become them.
If you will be any help to anyone else at all and one of us:
You must be aware of every person in every room.
You must know what it is to be unselfish.
You do know that danger is inevitable fun.
You cannot allow yourself to become nervous or panicked.
Regardless of involvement, all actions are apart of the solution.
One of us must have answers for what we change things to.
Not just one, but somewhere in the ones here right now.
Teach and learn, talk and listen when appropriate.
We are the human race, meaning two things:
1.Nothing is as guaranteed as life being fragile, unpredictable, and short.
2.Life is the transmutability of change; reality is harsh and man-made.
And if a third, one must also understand to pass enough along to the next one.
Thursday, November 6
In 'It's black or white' America, I was raised to learn that Republicans were the wealthy who tried their best to preserve their way of living and reward their creative, industrious, intellectual peers while Democrats were those with limited business potential who rallied and decried any injustice visited upon them by the lesser wealthy-- and that the Democratic party included everyone else not Republican.
Welcome to Real America.
I see there is more than a 'fringe' of people who like neither party, do not wish to vote, do not understand what politics has to do with them. I even see it with a good number of people who vote.
I understand, "Socialism!! Muslim!! Elitist!!" is the way Republicans were offered to feel connected the the blighted McCain campaign. It energized them when they showed so little conviction of their own. They just had to repeat it and hope enough people were fool enough to repeat it too.
If you have convictions, then speak them. THAT is how we as Obama organizers were connected and passionate about the Obama campaign. We would have an idea and work within the framework to execute it. You should try it. We need as many equally brilliant people disagreeing with Obama and those that will be part of an Obama administration. I think you'll be surprised when you are listened to.
If you're young like me, you might like to read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. It was my "self-help" book during my past year volunteering and organizing for Obama.
It is unlikely that another party will rise without a stellar candidate, but if there was ever a time to think of rewriting the Republican, Democratic, or some third party's central ideology, that time is now. The Reps seems most ripe and most vulnerable, so I am a conservative who's brushing up on his Republican ideology to see where we can make some improvements.
Anyway, HST's piece of advice to men looking for change but unsure as to how to break the party machinery on either side of the aisles: Campaign like Real People. I will certainly take a lot of great and valuable information and friends from my Obama time (Lord knows part of me wishes we could speed up to 2011) but the issues and problems America faces are far more nuanced and complex than a Presidential race in America allows. Yes, Obama stayed grounded in reality (a far cry from many Presidential candidates before and against him) so we've especially got a lot to look forward to because Obama knows everything he's supposed to.
Wish all of us luck.
For all the people trying to pin down what won the election for Obama, I'm hardly buying the oversimplified loaves they're trying to sell. I just want them to realize two things: (1) Democrats easily could have lost this election. I certainly believe Hillary Clinton believed that anybody could beat a Republican in this election, but if the Reps were always going to go with a flashy dunce for their second horse, someone like Jindal or Romney could have done anyone serious damage. Especially if the Dems pick Edwards? And I'm guessing that close to 37% of America still hates the Clintons. 10 points isn't so much. McCain got 47% and (2)All of the news coverage is redundant and not quite touching on the fact that Obama was against an embarrassingly silly campaign.
The economy made all Obama's ground game this election a cakewalk. The fact that Obama made no large mistake (well at least not one that everyone had to sign on to lacking suicidal ideation) made our campaign unbeatable. All of the comedians and journalists and scientists and Nobel winners and world leaders could sign on because of the finesse and intrepid energy Obama embodies. Many factors helped Obama here, but any one of them different would have meant a slimmer electoral college margin, and in my estimation, a statistically possible loss. That Obama withstood the kitchen sink only informs the Republican party that this technique may not work ever again but certainly will not work against Plouffe, Obama and Axelrod.
I have only had a few days where I lacked confidence in Barack Obama's ability or likelihood in being President. I haven't been sleeping well, but I knew we were doing something awesome.
It's a frightening prospect to have to believe, myself, that there is a good portion of the 46% of people that voted against Obama WHO WILL NEVER find themselves capable of supporting Barack Obama. Hopefully that percentage is smaller than the better number of them who will at least see him as a politician with many qualities they'd like to see repeated in future candidates they nominate and elect.
Only if we are good enough do we make the world a better place.
Thursday, October 2
Because America is a nation of competitive believers. We're not noticing that this is the worst type of nationalization. We are trying bailouts that have "worked" in the automotive, airlines, telephone, and utilities industries with the blind faith that we're not as screwed as we think. Deregulation and bailouts can work in the American economy for even vital industries because of the size of the economy and its consumer base. The airlines and trucking industries regulated themselves to some success. The FDA does an adequate job despite feeding us hormones, preservatives, and genetically modified foods. The market creates private institutions to monitor itself. The problem is that banks are not simply an industry. They aren't a sector of the market. If they can make their own rules about self-regulation, when they fail they directly effect the National GDP and all sectors of business. When they went unregulated, we were playing something out of 13Tzameti. Very bad luck even if you win.
The truth is that common sense does apply where we can do something about the economy. This might mean we have to regulate our lifestyles. We don't want to hear that we shouldn't have credit cards unless we're regularly paying them off. We don't want to know that unless we are buying and selling homes, there is no real advantage to owning your house over renting. If you're never going to pay your house off in your lifetime, rent. Don't get the maximum allowable home loan or more than one mortgage. If you are a homeowner and able to make money off your homes, then you are doing it right. Otherwise, find the sweetest spot you can rent and enjoy life. I'm relatively young, but there are some really stylish apartments, houses, and cabins I've found. As there are more difficult items to digest, we'll get to that after we win.
Hang on, now, this is a monster post.
On the upcoming deba(t)cle:
Calling Sarah Palin a champion of women's rights is utter nonsense. It's the same a seeing a Black Republican. It's the same as becoming an Alberto Gonzales. In her mind, she is the megalodon shark who's nature it is to rule the seas of lesser creatures. She might feel righteous, but there will always be a tinge of betrayal when she's among her hockey moms. She certainly seems to affect congeniality, but unless she doesn't understand that women's rights is already defined in politics, she is grossly misrepresenting her position as a champion of anything. Wasilla is a ritchie town north of Anchorage in a state that pretty consistently elects Republicans no matter who they are. Only 51 percent of registered voters elected her, and none of them really care much about national or international affairs.
Palin is exhibiting some of the greatest message discipline I've seen from the Elephants this year, but I can't help but think the reason is that she wouldn't know what to say if we asked her. She's buzzing the codewords that paint Obama as anti-Israel and Big Government. Unfortunately, her "reform" is new breed of conservative that makes government even bigger than their cross-party peers. Her strongest policy seems to be anti-Second Holocaust as long as we're talking Jews. She's inventing definitions of words and policies when she doesn't absorb the weight of the issues. What must she think ethnic cleaning means? Guessing that because she is a woman governor and says she favors equality of sexes, she somehow supports any government measures to build those bridges specifically is as wrong as dong—and she knows it. I was raised Assembly of God. For what good it offers, it also completely subscribes to rote gender roles. The reason she shoots guns and chops wood has more correlation with her daughter being impregnated by a self-proclaimed redneck than her being a champion human. I'm not giving her credit here. McCain's campaign is looking to garner approval by keeping her away from microphones or brokering deals with news outlets not NBC. The McCain campaign was more than willing to point to polls indicating she'd been treated unfairly. You know who doesn't treat Sarah Palin according to approval ratings by the American public? World leaders. It's a sad thing the Democrats have to.
I hope Biden is mean to Palin. I hope he stops and repeats to America what she just said to them. I hope he mangles her phrases piece by piece. I hope he prepares a few questions for her himself, you know, just in case she gets a copy of the test. I hope he doesn't try to attack her weak points---because that's everything. I hope he focuses the attack on a few things Americans can dismiss her for. She waits for the interviewer to answer the question if she can get away with it. She can't even answer the New Republic, American Spectator, the New York Times or the Washington Post--- anything she reads that keeps her afloat the very complicated globe. She had to hire a bloody city manager when she was mayor. She says ridiculous things like 'I am the Governor and I can do whatever I want until the court tells me otherwise." She was not joking a month before her selection when she was asked what the VP does. She believes that John McCain is a maverick with great judgement when he picks someone like her for Vice President. When you pick someone you don't know, you're not a maverick, you're trusting somebody else's judgement.
Plotting those treacherous waters, everyone from the Democrats to the leaders of every other country in the world are not concerned about Sarah Palin's abilities. Everyone including the Republicans are certain they can shoot the gas tank in her mouth if the movie gets too scary. Apparently, Palin doesn't know how alone she is.
Loved the New Yorker cover on her foreign policy experience. Talk about equality. That's bad when you can accurately report with a single cartoon frame.
That should conclude all I'll ever have to say about Sarah Palin.
Americans are ready to have female Governors. Americans are ready to have black Presidents. Americans are getting used to the idea of brown Mayors. Minorites tend to blindly support whomever looks and sounds like them. I have seen it in local politics and it's annoying. I know that the exceptional brown people don't always get what they're worth, and I honestly cannot see the day we have a Mexican American President. I understand why minorites throng the way they do, but so many of the older generation are so rigid in their lore that they practically shoo out any younger people with any talent. Most of the politicians in my town aren't much more charismatic or bouffant than a church deacon. They know their position is precarious, and if too many people notice this fact, their ass is grass. Our change is slow train a coming. So much has already changed in the past 50 years that I understand how the older generation is resistant, but it is up to all of us to work together. Generations insulate too much and society has not legacy and loses its identity. If the capable among the older generation are willing to listen, we are ready to learn. Ideas fuse and divide though a very small, incremental process. I imagine that the changes Obama and my favorite of his younger and older suppporters ask of America might be as impossible as we're told, but they extend far beyond this election, this country, and this lifetime.
Buy a Dylan
Now to the outright evil mythologizers. It might be a good thing to have a nation lead by someone who will not continue the U of C, steroid-mad bulldog censure of anyone they deem an opponent. America can no longer afford dictating its needs and desires to every other nation. OPEC and the European Union ensure us of that. Eventually they'll come knocking. Revenge is a sacred rite. The NeoCons are from a school that teaches free market is the answer to all of society's ill. Dick Cheney has been the President for the past eight years. He has been part of the ideology flowing out from the Heritage foundation, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol and Irving Kristol Sr., Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Robert Kagan, the recently defunct Project for a New American Century (PNAC), the more brand-savvy American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), and coming soon, John McCain.
John stopped standing up for himself in 2003. By 2006, the McCain I would have voted for over Gore or Bradley or Nader or Bush was gone.
Neoconservatives have a strong pro-Israel stance. Unfortunately, they also have a pro-every other Middle Eastern nation stance, so long as they all remain obedient. This is not a conflict of interest in their minds. They support armament and funding missions with countries who hate each! In the same calendar year! They've backed Pinochet and Bin Laden in the past. There is no morality in their business, and government is just business to them. They are imperialists who more than likely would rather the gas prices remain high. They are nation-builders so long as those nations belong to them. They do not like OPEC or Saudi Arabia but meet and deal with them all the time. It's just business. They are more than willing to spread economic global interdependence(read: at peace with wars) with whomever might entangle themselves irrevocably. What began as a paradigmatic assault on Communism now has no worthy opponent left to fight. China has too many able-bodied. Russia is too happy with their oil wealth and as yet, remains too small. Those darn terrorists are too squirrelly and give bad intelligence too often. Iran only spends 4 percents of what the US does on its military. South America? They can only have wet dreams about N. Korea so many times. Good thing that missile slut Pakistan keeps flirting at our helicopters. They may get some sleep yet. They can't wait to send them our #1 export as soon as they start playing with the balls. Of course I'm speaking of top-shelf, wax-sealed, oaky Democracy®.
While they're at it, they are unloading on the only worthy opponents left standing in their way. So-called Americans that don't believe we're number one. They know that these people are really just Communists . They are principled enough to attack Democrats or Republicans so long as those targeted know enough to inform on them, and they've accepted that some casualties go with defeating these people.
I am being a bit unfair.
They are not all-powerful, but they have been gaining prominence and influence ever since Ronald Reagan concentrated their numbers in his administration. They only think they're all-powerful. Schemers like Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Cheney have no problem playing with the fates of many. They believe we are worse off without them. What was once a dwindling movement now has seeped into all facets of politics and could be responsible for the current deterioration of goverment.
John McCain is not one of them fully. Not yet. Several are employed as campaign advisors, and there are a couple up+comers we might be mentioning a few years from now. Unless he's a really strong maverick, he's gonna have to argue against their researched and concocted research--the same kind of experience with a successful record of fabricating national threats. I'd wager Neoconservaties have grown to a full 20 percent minority of the Republican party, though some may be abandoning ship into these 3rd parties. They are just patient enough to deal with so called paleo-conservatives, Newt Gingrich/Pat Buchanan/Robert Evans/John McCain types. They shouldn't at all be able to call Democrats Big Spenders and Big Government. No administration has spent more than Bush's administration. Though they, like the Borg, are physically adept at assimilating new races. You might becomes a master of the universe, but the trade off is that you become a mealy, lumpy business suit. What is my indirect proof? Leo Strauss. I know it is not logically connected, but here is his contribution to the birth of neoconservative Democracy®.
Possibly the one that made all the other mythologizers great, Leo Strauss believes that power is held by those who make the magic happen. Rather than supply truth liberally to a citizen, it is much more effective to give him an expansive, heroic belief. A man who will believe in power is more unwavering than a man who intellectually comes to his interpretation of truth. It will be less effective if our power wizards and chieftans try to compete with God, so it will be wise to ally our anointed mythologizers with the Word of God. Strauss believes that it is important to have religious conviction even though he did not practice any faith himself. I think he just wanted to say that politicians should let God take credit for their being here. It has worked in N. Korea, the Middlle East, America---everywhere but Antarctica. Rather than destroy tomes of history, Leo Strauss believed it will be more important to change it whenever it suits us. Believing in it ourselves is not as important as making others believe in it. Even more stunning, it seems implied to me that it is important that the mythologizers NOT believe their stories so as to remain ahead of both their followers and their dissenters.
Now think of people who fit this definition.
Not believing the shit they're shoveling---can you think of a pundit or politician this doesn't apply to. I am not calling everyone a neoconservative. I hope they are less than 20 percent of the Republican party. My point is that this neo-conservative modus operandi is being adopted in its barbarian forms by almost every person who whiffs their ugly ass into politics. I'm talking to you Glenn, Hannity, Olbermann, Mathews, O'Reilly, Murdoch, Kristol, and Rove. We will see if Maddow keeps up her level of integrity. Kudos to all you regular people talking real policy with your fathers even if all they want to hear about is their grandchildren. My faith in this country is strengthened every time I run into one of you liberals at a pancake house or coffee shop. You actually are most often libertarians or veterans or dads, but you are the kind of liberal that I am. Not willing to be fooled into following in one direction because of what the beat of the drum sounds like. Skeptical because I know people are trying to fool me, not because I have given up hope. Liberal because I've been caught unawares before, and I didn't like the feeling.
All politicians may lie, but the Republicans have the megalomaniac cheaters and thieves in their corps. These smiling, congenial, outright evil men are not fully in control yet, but they want to be. Under the McCain administration, they would have a darn good chance of taking over. Karl Rove and Robert Kagan are already embroiled with his campaign. Even good soldiers grow old and tire of fighting.
On the Hotbed:
Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia are under two different subheadings. First of all, the regular people are all tired of being shot at. They are hoping that Americans will get the hell out fo the country. "Mission Accomplished" was a win-win. President Bush got approval ratings and Al Qaeda got Americans to leave the Holy Land, the first reason cited for bombing the Twin Towers. Even non-combative Arabs were happy about taht one. It is one fo the greatest insults in Islam to have infidels present in the Holy Land. Keep them importing and the people will be happy enough. Leave cordoned off Iraq and the citizens will be tempted to take their oil fields back. Secondly, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia are their oil. The world will run out of oil as we insanely increase our need for it, but it isn't close to running out there. Iraq is greatly under-drilled. Iran is being paid by oil companies like BP and Exxon not to drill their oil. Saudi Arabia is the heart of OPEC, and can pretty much punish any other nation for producing too much oil, including the US of A.
Just a brief aside, South America has a giant, recently discovered oil field in the Pacific. It's owned by Brazil and Venezuela. We should look to them before we drill our lands. Yeah, I know Hugo Chavez hates us. Forget taht he's a brown man that hates you and what's the big deal. He's a nothing, and not because of the color of his skin. Drill Baby Drill! is just safer and more lucrative for oil companies in the United States. I don't know how Gingrich and Palin think that will last. Republicans have no interest in bringing the price of oil down unless it helps them win an election. Our country currently produces 8 millions barrels of oil domestically per day. I'd think that most people who are living beach front are also Republican and wouldn't approve of the smell or the pollution. Some have learned to live with an oil refinery in this town, but nobody is happy about it. Once an oil company ruins the real estate prices or beautful and precious Alaskan wilderness, oil drilling will not be so popular.
As far as foreign policy on trade goes, I will try to cover Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, China, Taiwan, Pakistan, India, Germany, Hong Kong, and Japan on the next post. We've probably both had enough by now.
One last thing.
Know your lobbyists.
It isn't an easily navigable site, but if you really want to dig something up on lobbyists, there is some help. You have to have pretty specific information to snatch any results, so this isn't your starting point. Once you find what you need, you can search through copies of primary documents, trace contract payments, flesh out affiliations. Thanks to the Lobbying Disclosure Act.
Monday, September 1
But about the subject and title, Everyone just needs to chill the fcck out. Pregnancy was a completely unknown subject here in this election, but Palin actually seems a very adept pick now. Just two months left and people are seeing a softer side of McCain. Simply by association.
Who you gonna believe, baby? Me or your lying eyes?
If the Republicans succeed in making this another election about Nothing, (and the Democratic party responds with an equally favoring whirlwind of react quotes and conspiracies) people will go into the voting booths thinking that this election ain't too big a deal after all. I'm just gonna go with the Reality Television vote. I'm gonna pick the wazoo grandpa and the hot librarian. Maybe they'll appoint Mr. T, Joe Lieberman, and formers CEOS in all of the cabinet positions.
Casually but respectfully dismiss the antics of the Republican party, but don't give them all that steam. That only encourages them into more of this behavior in the future. And Remember, the Republican party banks on your ability to Not Give a Shit Either Way. That has been the secret to their success.
It'll stay that way in 2 months or 2 years if we keep acting like that horny local news reporter who covers the politician hoping to speak truth to power but ends up going to bed with dirty political scandal. Also, in two months or ten months, we will also really know how far along the pregnant daughter really is. After the election. I'm sure that came out in the vetting process.
One word of advice, America, Keep Your Panties On!
Friday, August 29
Here is some background to what is called Paygo budgetary propriety.
Here is a trail of the missteps taken after PAYGO was abandoned.
Nov 2004 Better look out.
Mar 2006 Be ready to move.
Sep 2007 Before it snaps your legs off.
Feb 2008 So depressing, they even made these guys quit keeping count.
Now to the good stuff.
By electing Barack Obama, we will have a President in office on the side of the people. He understands that the accomplishments President Bush has made for friends and associates ultimately hurt this nation and them that have made personal fortunes with his help.
Barack's themes of Hope and Action are the clarion calls for Americans to represent the society democracy can allow. A strong middle class and opportunities to compete in a free market are vital to American lifestyles both here and abroad.
Here is the short version.
Aug 2008 or if you like,
Here is the more comprehensive plan.
Barack Obama will not be able to get everything he wants, but his plan represents a significantly prosperous shift that will benefit the majority of Americans. He will prioritize economy above all other domestic issues. Any changes he makes will be presented and explained to the nation.
This is not a matter of Democrat versus Republican. The United States of America is the epicenter of democracy for the world. We must show the world the benefits to democracy, free markets and capitalism. We must stand firmly against autocratic and plutocratic policies this country tends to adopt in times of stress and conflict. We must be at our greatest when times are at their most difficult. 'We' is everyone in America with ears, but especially the younger ones. We are the ones especially that need to show the rest of the world and the guaranteed opposition how their democracy will work better.
El Duque- El Paso Grassroots
Friday, July 25
delivered July 23, 2008 El Paso Main Public Library before forming our society.
If you are hearing this tonight or reading this some day farther on from now, you are being gifted a true opportunity. It’s something you take with you everyday. It’s something you will have to carry out with you when you leave the room. American citizenship is taken for granted most of the days that we live. That’s one of its luxuries. When it’s time to pay our taxes, to visit the Naturalization office, to find a school for our children, or a home for our college graduate we think of it more as a burden. You look at the national polls and you’d think the bulk of Americans treat this living contract as some sort of gym card or shopping center membership. Indeed, that is the best example most of us are ever shown.
We are going to be a little different. We are going to be so different, we are going to go back to what the great men and women of American History have given us. We are going to ask of America as much as the great thinkers and progressive organizers have asked of her. We are going to honor the American Revolution, the Frontier Times, the families of the Great Depression, and that greatest generation that lived through WWII. There is much to learn there, and we will hope to God that we can live up to their standard. We are certain that a change needs to occur; in the plainest of terms, that change begins with accepting the responsibility and the burden that comes with living in America.
I am asking you to give your time and your money. I am not asking on behalf of any group or party. I am asking as your brother. I am asking this as a favor for your brother. I am your brother asking you to help me nourish your neighbor. See where a person puts their money and their energy, and you will know that person’s worth. I am so glad that you are here with us tonight. You see, I was asked to come forward.
Our change is a grassroots movement. That means that the people and the places will pass through a thousand phases before our momentum gives over to another ball rolling. We sharpen each other’s skills, multiply in our strength, and pass along the best of our abilities. If you cannot give money, then give your time. If you can offer expertise, please take the lead in your area or with an event. Show others you can do it better and we will listen and learn. Grassroots is a philosophy that gets its power from everyday people like you and me. Ego is wasted here. If you have a good idea, a technological advantage, or a hidden talent, we would love to have you with us. America gives more than it takes of its citizens. We would like you to give back freedom and liberty to America. We’d like to take freedom and liberty back to our homes.
We are but one grassroots movement. We are called El Paso Grassroots. We believe electing Obama is the bridge to what needs to come next in America. Winning in Texas is the point of forming this permanent society, but it is not the whole story. We are not accepting public funds or PAC funding. If you cannot make politics your life, we are not asking that. Make it your hobby. The idea is that if you invest yourself into it a few hours a week, you focus, and you get better at it. You even get to show off a bit when you get the chance. Give a little something of yourself each month. It’s what you can do, not what you can’t. We get good enough at this, and El Paso isn’t looked at as just a ‘dusty border town’ anymore. It is a proving ground for the future of politics-- a test site for immigration, healthcare reform, and global integration. We realize the position we are in, and we are humbly asking that you step up and take this opportunity for change.
Thank you for reading. Now do the same in your town or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on how to get started.
Saturday, July 12
I usually do not like Salon, but Glenn Greenwald's assessment is fairly straightforward. Like you, I was a bit wary of Obama's vote on FISA and against cloture. Now I don't feel so bad. He was with them most of the morning, but then once the power positioning was over, he wasn't playing games.
Obama has asked us not to rationalize his actions. We should pressure him and test him. He's gonna do what he thinks is right. So unconstitutional spying is going to be done on Americans and we're going to know about it. Fucking protect yourself. It's not like this is brand new. Free Speech does not necessitate anonymity or faceless volition. I hate the amount of information that is even collected on us. I hate that the government gives itself a free pass at the cost of virtually delimiting anything companies like Catalist, Voter Vault, Google, AT&T, Time Warner, Citibank, Yahoo, and what virtually anyone else might do.
You'll feel a lot more strongly when its your human face on the issue of data mining. Guilt is not the point. These pricks are not always motivated by finding you innocent or sticking to the facts. Still, it is worse to have bad information that cannot be checked and cross-checked.
This is maybe something that should be available. It's unfortunate that completely authoritarian hacks wield it now, but this is a messy business that might be suffering a bit from progressive rails.
I didn't really think I'd say something like that but, it's how I feel.
As for Obama, I do not know exactly what happened. I would guess Feingold, Clinton, Webb, and Specter could tell you better.
Or if you like the Senate session.
You'll need the newest versions of Flash or Real Player depending on how you finagle the C~SPAN site, but you're used to this kind of treatment. I would link to the Bushwackness signing the bill into law, but he's been on his toes lately not to stub any of them on the podium or the microphone.
We need security but, screw him.
Friday, July 11
"One of the foremost experts on global warming says he has solved the problem," WIRED magazine reports. Enlist an fleet of supersonic jets to diffuse a chemically stable form of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, allow chemical reaction to bond with water molecules in the atmosphere, and a reflective coating will bounce the heat from the sun back off the ocean. Sit back and watch the world temperatures drop, and Kablamo! global warming solved.
That is the stupidest suggestion I have heard to solve this problem. Sulfur dioxide, by the way, is the by product of burning coal. Chemically stable SO2? So at least it isn't radioactive, ionized, or electrically charged carbon gas. Fantastic. There's already a plastic soup layer in the Pacific Ocean. Why don't we just make it a dark plastic soup layer so all that coal smoke becomes unnecessary? I know this is a bit off topic for this blog, but how retarded is this? Has WIRED gone off its rocker? This from the same July issue that argues the Internet will make Scientific rigor in social sciences obsolete. Has WIRED gotten Tired? WTF?
Tuesday, July 8
Friday, June 20
I have written to you on numerous occasions before. I have been impressed with your responses and the apparent tread you’ve made up Capitol Hill.
I am writing because I am deeply concerned about the state of leadership in the
Republican party. I truly believe that you plan on being different once you’ve fortified your position in the party. I know that you have Rick Noriega putting some pressure on your office, but if you are truly ready to start showing some of the leadership that will make you safe with the Texas constituency, I recommend make some alterations to the current plan to Drill Here, Drill Now.
Replacing fossil fuels is a matter or Sooner or Later. It is not a matter of Green v. American Business, oil company profits v. consumer costs, Democrat v. Republican. If we drill in America, we must use a significant amount of that energy to create a market-ready alternative energy source. Iraq is soon going to let Shell, Exxon and others onto their oil fields. Iraq is the most feasible solution to increasing the world supply of oil with any immediacy. I would push this information while at the same time ensure Americans that the environmental damage drilling on our soil could possibly be healed over a period of fifty years. Most importantly, emphasize that the oil reserves we do have go to replacing oil and petroleum in this country. The oil we get from outside is for our day-to-day needs. Also, see about withholding subsidies for refineries unless they contribute to the renewable energy initiative through stocks, research, or profit-sharing. Convince those companies that providing the world’s energy is far more lucrative than providing domestic fuels. Let them feel comfortable that the government is not instructing them on how to run their business. Let them be appreciated for the billions of dollars the Fed collects through royalties each year. Assure them that their windfall taxes will never see it’s way through Senate. Let them know you are on their side.
Like you, I remember seeing oil derricks all over Texas 15-20 years ago. I have seen the effects pollution has had on this wide open state and the Gulf of Mexico. I believe that some sacrifices can be made if we are able to create long-term solutions. I loath the fact that I ineffectively being sold on domestic drilling to lower gasoline prices when I would gladly pay more for a decent, humane alternative. I feel the pain filling up my Ford truck. I still would rather we do more than play politics for the oil vote.
I know that there are existing acreage and contracts that will allow oil companies to drill offshore. I still strongly oppose ANWR drilling or any drilling on in National Parks systems. I am fully aware that “ban” is semantically accurate as there is much public sentiment against offshore drilling by the communities it surrounds. What Drill Here, Drill Now is attempting is support build-up among the majority of Americans before they realize they’ve been fooled. 18.75% sounds like a good enough reason to perpetrate this hoax, no?
If I may, I would like to suggest a way of making the blight of your problem less disagreeable. People say they want cheaper gasoline, but here’s how to make the increased energy plants seem like something cause-worthy. Western Refining is located here in El Paso. It is something the locals look at with a sense of pride despite the smell that flows through a central commercial district and the surrounding neighborhoods. However it is one of the few large enterprises out of El Paso; and other, larger communities around the US might respond to a refinery the way El Pasoans react to our copper refining plant, ASARCO out of Arizona.
I am not an expert on energy. I do however represent the large constituency of people in Texas who do not like paying more for energy especially with little reprieve in sight. I know there have been many millions of dollars invested in Yucca Valley, Utah. I would gladly accept a nuclear plant in the neighborhood if it contributed locally, and lowered costs. I am a Texan. I would accept a nuclear pellet powering my truck if it was relatively safer than smoking or the Texas Sun. Please ask the leadership pushing for domestic drilling to reconsider. American oil reached it peak in the early 70s. We stopped drilling for reasons of cost, accessibility, and labor. We still pay for the expensive sand and tarpit oil from Canada and elsewhere; but it would not be unwise to pump a lot of funds and energy into extracting oil from domestic reserves when it would simultaneously make us more dependent on foreign oil once those reserves ran out, and enervate current trends toward conservation and alternative energy. Without a long term plan, this Drill Here, Drill Now strategy is malevolent and pathetic.
I thank you for your courage in leadership. The Texas constituency will thank you with their vote.
Tuesday, June 17
I am the slow one to this guy. I have seen his videos here and there, but I only recently signed up for a Youtube account. I have discovered "channels."
Understand there is no such thing as impartial journalism. It is almost an oxymoron. The thing is, does the story completely click? Do we need more facts? The answer is always yes.
One question I ask myself is whether I am wasting my time. I do not watch much Fox News ever. This is not leaving me in the dark. This does not mean I am not getting information on what 'the other side' is doing. Fox news is a worthless station. There are many links below and at this youtube channel with content from Fox News. Let people like the Liberal Viewer suffer through the pain of watching.
Maybe one day, Fox will straighten up and we'll all tune in.
Unlikely, but they're always just one news story away from losing all credibility.
Friday, June 13
So thanks, AC. Your info will go to good use.
While I was in Austin, I had a long conversation with a communications major about the importance of the Press. While I cannot argue with the influence mass communication has on the people, the structure, and the everyday living effecting all of us, I am choose to be a silent mover. I think it is all very well to influence our neighbors, but this is not what mass communication is. It is the presentation of too general a theory that any dig into specific examples causes a significant compromise or serious narrowing of scope not intended by the original hypothesis. It is easy enough to manipulate polling questions or statistics to affect the answers that prove your point, but that specifically supports my distrust of the Press.
In plain terms, I do not talk to anyone publishing if I do not know their work. Even when I must trust a stranger, I verify their sources. Otherwise I rely on personal word-of-mouth to disseminate my information to the influences people will listen to. I try to get 3 independent sources saying the same thing before I believe my own verification. If I cannot, I collect what information is available but wait before I believe. I do not believe most news prima facie. You should at least be skeptical. They're getting to be almost as bad as those FWDs you get through email.
Take the suspension of the campaign story for instance. It is being sold as a way to respect the voters and supporters. I wonder how much of it is pretended for a shot at Howard Dean's chair. I do not mean that Hillary wants it, No no. I don't even think Terry McAuliffe would want that seat back. All I am saying is that you need to build amazing support among your constituency if you're going to take a shot at the incumbent. If members of the Democratic National Committee can be pressured to oust Howard Dean, these Hillary National Delegates are the constituency to push in this direction. I do not know who if anybody intends on running against Dean, but a full Mich/Fla certainly would come in handy for any blocks that could hurt the man a lot of people blame for cutting Clinton down.
We should not allow anything to happen to Dean. Senator Nelson is a joke for making his arguments in front of the RBC. I know he has constituent anger he has to deal with, but what's with all of the invoking of real and terrible atrocities from the history of the world. Only 23% of Dems voted in that Fla primary. If anything, they got bumped by near 100%. If anything, counting them as 50% disenfranchises the many people in Fla who knew their state had violated the rules and would not be counted. If you ever wondered what happened to that story, I just told you why it isn't ever going to change from the May ruling. Howard Dean should not be penalized for being a strong chair.
I'll tell you more about my local scene after a week.
Saturday, June 7
The state convention is done. We gained 2% with over 7000 attendees, 24 Obama delegates to the national, and Don Williams up from El Paso. This is a good man.
I will have more to say in the coming days. Right now, I'd like to see how what has been played turns out. Jen, Jeff, Jim, and Diana: you made it a fantastic trip. The Obama staff was really grumpy all week, but then I could see them happy and smiling once they were out from under the weight of the convention. They did an excellent job. Thanks personally to Glen, Matt, and JD.
Wednesday, June 4
I want you know that there’s no bad blood between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I want you to hear me out, maybe not today, but at least by the time September rolls along, I want you to prick your ears up. I want you to be able to take what you’ve heard and read to filter out who speaks the truth. If there are any grievances you hold, I want you to talk to Obama staffers and other volunteers about what we can do to fix it. We are sure you can help us, and so we’ll be eager for you to make the first step through the doors of an Obama HQ.
There have been some harsh and completely ridiculous lies tossed around about both our candidates. In the many months working for the Obama campaign, I’ve never heard any of these lies perpetuated by anyone I’ve had the honor to work along side. Like you, I’ve had to defend my candidate against jeering and criticism sometimes coming from a place of hate and prejudice. I don’t know which one of us has had it harder. Imagine my surprise when I found myself defending Hillary Rodham Clinton to a trio of older men, a couple strangers in line at the coffee shop. These men were bad-mouthing the Clintons for pushing women’s rights in not so formulated a thought. They were bad-mouthing women, and strength, and equal opportunity. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t yet had my coffee, but I’d rather think it was the sight of three good ole boys feeling bright spouting this kind of despicable nonsense in public space compelled me to confront them. I excused myself into their conversation and pressed them for more information. I ended the conversation with the leader saying, “I wasn’t sure you were an idiot, but thanks for clearing that up.” He said I was owing to his generation for my schooling. I shot back with, “I am very glad to have your support for education.” I then asked them if they’d like to contribute to the Texas State Democratic Party. They said they were voting with McCain.
The coffee girl dropped the sullen look from her face. That morning I didn’t pay for my coffee. She was an Obama girl, to top it off, but she remarked at how those men always came to talk so loud everyone could hear. I go to that café regularly now, and those men haven’t been back.
Whether you like us or not, we are willing to help you. What this should mean to you is that Obama people consciously the proper respect and consideration to the great number of people and ideas out there. Indeed, we do not give preference to rights and privileges to people who like us over people who don’t. We do not take the freedom or the citizenship we are given in this country for granted. We know that if America is great, we are the ones who must make sure we keep it there.
Now, you’re looking at a young guy like me and thinking I’m the new kid on the block. I’ll give fair warning that you should start getting used to this face and other faces like mine. We are not the youth responsible for voting Obama into the White House. We are the older brothers and sisters of the youth that is voting Obama into the White House. We almost turned our backs on the government. We almost kept to our business or professional degrees, to entertainment, to building up our own families with the idea that government could not be trusted. Being connected to the internet, many of us still stayed informed. We know that most of what’s said on TV and on stumps effect a small amount of people extraordinarily. The biggest change most of us will see is a politician keeping his job a little longer. We’re a generation of skeptics, we learned quickly how to filter through the many contradicting news sources from around the globe. We want to show you what we’ve learned, and listen to what you have to teach. We’d been waiting half in vain, but at the same time ready to take our places if that day would ever come.
The day has come, dear Democrats. We expect many of you who are used to the way government has always been issued to feel a little uncomfortable. When you read Obama’s website, you might dismiss “We are the change we have been waiting for” as ‘fancy talk’. You might think these words mean nothing. It is real. It is a very real and pragmatic message that energizes many of us to the fact that Obama is opening up the door.
Take me, for example. I’m not the kind of person you normally see at a political convention, at least not the kind asking for your support. I’ll admit I could probably use a haircut and a fitness plan, but what I do know is that my younger brother is happy to see me join in the movement of leadership in the arena of politics. He’s serving in the Air Force. He asked me “What’s taken y’all so long?” The answer to that is “We thought we were alone.”
My brother knows that this is a democratic republic. He understands that if something is not working, by the will of the people, we can do much to change that by our institutions. We try new things and throw out what doesn’t work. It’s not a matter of if but when. In all likelihood, it will become necessary to try new policies again soon. He hears a number of opinions on base every day, yet decides for himself to cut through the fat and vote for Obama. He’s confident in me. He’s confident in this country. He believes that it is not be a matter of when anymore, because we know the answer to that other important question: Who?
So many of the good men and women who’ve been working to correct the system from within have had to wait, and they are now making their move. You see, it’s not a campaign of pretty sounding rhetoric. It isn’t blind overstepping by the peace-lovers and naïve youth. Many of the Senators and statesmen are joining Obama in this very real and pragmatic movement for change. If you have a solution, he will hear it out. You can make a difference even if your allegiances are not all in line with his. Now we know we are not alone, and the older brothe irs and sisters of America’s youth believe this country has a place for them, for our government, for our grandparents, our earth, and our neighbors. We’ve been waiting for something to save us, and now we’re here.
You’ve got to know that a smear campaign is coming. It’ll be big and ugly. Much of the smear will come from outside Republican Party-funded organizations. If you think we’ve seen the worst, the rather flaccid attempts by John McCain will be supplemented by nefarious and irresponsible die-hard conservative groups. Their weakness is that they are small group of people that has done much to deceive the supporters of their own party. You will hear every insult and innuendo coming from these groups. Do not lump all Republicans in together. We can get a few of them on our side. Responding with hostility is what the RNC is banking on to stand a fighting chance this election. You must prepare yourself with reasonable and stalwart answers. You must ready your heads with your hearts in the right place.
I am running for a DNC slot. I want you to know that there are more important things than my receiving your vote. Please hear what I have tried to express in this appeal to Clinton supporters. This change isn’t anything guaranteed to happen. We know that we are exercising a Democratic ideal by supporting Barack Obama. We are moving towards something grand, but we are moving in one direction. This is how a nation can change.
Wednesday, May 28
Thursday, May 22
I know, this sounds a bit like complaining. It is a bit faceless and uninspiring. It's like Clinton saying she's won the popular vote or that Barack Obama has once you count all of the caucus states. It doesn't matter. The fact that we're arguing over such paltry points makes us smaller to suit, bigger to blame.
This is a no-brainer.
The question is how do we bring over the voters that already came out? If we merely do that, it may be enough. From what I have seen, and one thing that has no real proof no matter what a poll would say, an unintended result happens because of the massive army of Barack Obama volunteers. We are well organized. We are enthusiastic. Many of us are formidable opponents. I would say that CNN's Obama correspondents are mediocre. There are some stellar people on our side. It's why we're so confident that he will make a good President. We are confident in ourselves, and we're not even going to hold the public office.
This is a patriotic subversion. We are taking over the government without force, without war, with our hearts and minds. We must find a way to win over the voters who come out simply to oppose our views. Though Kentucky and West Virginia may have had their detriments, they are all survivable if we learn to address what is lacking.
We must learn how to win over women without criticizing what Hillary Clinton has done. We must win on economics and oil. We must find a winning way to sell our energy plans without falling victim to the anti-nuclear, anti-green lobbies. We must find ways to get the information to the people.
It might be good to include some of this information in the donor letters. It is done playing safe now. If we learn anything from McCain, it's that this should be easy. If we learn anything from Republicans, it's that they are playing the game in a successful albeit vulnerable and immoral organization. If we learn anything from Kentucky and West Virginia, it's that Obama still has lots of work to do within the party.
We aren't trying to win them all, but it is still important to be able to speak to any blaring dissent. Once we explain ourselves, if they are still against us, they can keep their votes. This is America, not some stupid gameshow. No take all winners at the end of the day. We'll still be here tomorrow.
Do the right damn thing.
Friday, May 16
To clarify, No way in hell would Obama~Clinton be a good ticket. They would lose in an election the Republicans aren't trying very hard at winning. I would say the same thing for Obama~Edwards. He'd be better off with someone from Arizona, Pennsylvania, or Maine.
I am more of the Jim Webb or Joe Biden type of Obama fan. He needs someone post partisan while not really floating too far across the aisle. And given Clark's Clinton affiliation, even that might be too far across the aisle. Webb and Biden are tough. For me, the only question is which one has a cleaner biography. Both these men should be in his cabinet.
Obama has been playing it safe since Texas/Ohio. He won this thing pretty much back then. Yeah, he did. He should be playing it safe. Now he's overtaken the superdelegate lead, and as far as I can tell, all he needs to do is champion a universal policy before he is President that would give a taste of what's to come. It's not fail-safe, but it also indicates to us that he hasn't yet been fully sucked in by all the grooming and fanfare. The Kenya thing was an good but ineffectual example as it is too far removed from the American conscience to have substantial impact.
Edwards could help him (and every Democrat) out by taking on voter fraud and anti-Rovian strategies that make the politics of government not merely something clever and dirty, but something closely resembling evil. Gore, Kerry and Clinton could help by disappearing until December. He would need Congress reps to rally with him and point out specific, rectifiable travesties.
Wednesday, May 14
Back to blogging.
I almost bought a Ron Paul T-shirt today for the Texas Democratic State Convention.
I think he added some extraneous information in there, but am glad he is putting neoconservatives on notice.
I went with a Join or Die T-shirt instead.
Not that my beliefs can be summed up by a garment.
More about Hillary Clinton tomorrow.
also, isn't the Bill O'Reilly meltdown hilarious? Didn't he impeach himself? Shouldn't he resign.
Saturday, April 26
This puts the incoming President in a difficult position. Out of Iraq and a few miles over.
I know there has been lots to focus on in the Democratic race, but here is your unifier Clinton/Obama. Start doing the President's job before your in office. Formulate clear objectives with a skeletal cabinet of advisors. Stop the sticker stamping and trail hoofing for two weeks. Give us a taste of what's to come and convince everyone of what you're doing.
Honestly, I don't think Clinton stands a very good chance of winning over no-candidate McCain. I think that most people are allowing their fears to speak for them. Primal and subconscious fears that can make a person hit the voting booth at the last minute. They get it in their heads that they're saving something voting for the Clintons.
Obama, you're the man. Let me tell you one thing: You are being sucked into "the political machine." You've won on every platform you've been asked to. At the end of this thing, you're going to have the lead in all of the categories. By June 1st, the nomination should be yours. But here's the thing, distractions are to the American public as balls of string are to cat-nipped shorthairs. Discard most of the phrases you've been repeating. Wash them from you're mind. Stop doing like the Republicans and the Clintons do by telling us "what the people think, what the people know." Unmask the rhetorical trick and then give us the real story. Tell it to us like most of us can understand it. Explain to us how universal healthcare can adopt some socialist tenets while maintaining a profit-driven framework. Personally I do not support universal healthcare in this country. Inevitably we would come to the conversation that Americans as a race tend to abuse their freedoms. Free healthcare! We would keep the joints busy. What we say about foreign nations may not be true, but there may be some grain of truth as to what our hospitals would become.
Big problems to correct. 1. Health insurance companies are attempting to get as much something for as little close to nothing as they are finding legal and/or possible. 2. Health insurance companies do not have the right to contradict a doctor or specialists prescribed regiment.
Here you go, Obama. Certain rest homes, health facilities, and juvenile facilities would have to retain their own medical staff. Yes, this would mean that the market would bring the surface only a few organizations. For all of the rest of the doctors not officially opting out of the aggregate hospital beds, surgery hours-- basically all of the aggregate everything you can measure -- and dividing this by the total number of patients in the United States. This still does nothing for immigration, but I am sure we can set up private health care facilities or emergency care facilities at little to no cost. It would be worthwhile for the more accurate census information.
Okay, now we have a market of hospital units. Let's call them hospital hours. Say everyone age 15-65 gets 15 hospital hours, 6 lab hours, 2 surgery. It can more wittingly be devised according to age group, but for the sake of arguing, let's call these our numbers. Say you have a very serious ailment like cancer.
Your hours would dry up rather quickly. You might need 50 hours of lab work this year. You might need 30-90 hours of hospital visits. We might have to streamline how those visits are done. This is where a market is created.
Suddenly, a healthy young person who wouldn't use their health care at all has a commodity. He can sell his hospital hours at a rate determined by the market, with a price ceiling imposed by the governing institution. They would look like blue dollars good only for the fiscal year, US minted, and It would take a decade to hammer out the benefits of selling versus saving, and I am sure there would be some over anxious people selling their hours a bit too hastily, or our of cost necessity; but it would be a necessary and messy obstacle in achieving what so many Americans seem intent on.
The incentives for medical staff would run along how many patients they had made healthy. I am not sure exactly how this works either, but it has beenworked out in other countries such as England.
Now before you are worried about tax hikes, I am sure that there are plenty of public programs that can be trimmed before we get to that.
Tuesday, April 15
In the big picture, what the state committees do for the El Paso delegation is of little importance. In most scenarios, Clinton will get two national delegates from the area to Obama's one. The most important thing Donald Williams is doing showing me how it is done. The same day he issued the challenge, he sent the document to a big list of delegates and alternates to the state convention. He has remained in contact and talks with anyone who has a question. He let me know that there is a way to be heard.
Ken Sutherland is a really nice guy. There is little reason to doubt him. He sounds like Hans Christian Anderson. It was true that Clinton appeared in force. It is also true that if Danny Anchondo behaved in a way that meant to respect both candidates, the ratio would have been roughly 2-1. You have to realize, Mr. Bracamontes, that is not a matter of "fairness." Being involved in these campaign and as a volunteer at the Democratic Headquarters, I know there is no such thing as "ideal." That lesson took no time or any hiding at all.
The mayor was there. Silvestre Reyes was there. No one said anything. The few private citizens who did raise parliamentary points were met with jeers and boos from the crowd. None of the officials encouraged consideration for any speaker. I suggest you go to the next democratic meeting. See how Mr. Anchondo runs a meeting. The same quick, run-amok agenda is pressed through, no questions given any moment of genuine thought, and everyone gets home by 7pm-- unless you stay for the pizza and handshakes. I have only raised questions to the man three times and those were in an office setting. Three times he gave me incorrect information that other staff in the Democratic HQ later rectified.
Believe what you will about the county convention, but mark my words, the time of the incompetent homunculous is nearing its end. He better use all the tactics in his arsenal. If there is one thing people three +/- years my age are good at, it's smelling out a fink.
Tuesday, April 8
Let it not be understated: there are greater things than government. Policy is the main tool, but it is no greater solvency to society's ills than any other single trumpet calling for the victory of the people. The citizen is as important as the leader. The type of leader not only is aware that he may lose to the will of a single citizen, but he also is capable of losing without vital cost to the greater good. Mankind in any capacity must feel it is making its own decisions, and the leaders must be comfortable with this in more than appearance. As citizens, but certainly as leaders, we must oblige by being able not only to understand views anti-polar to our own, but find ourselves able enough to draw their argument as well or better as they could. We do not spare ourselves of the critical mind. We do not forget the ideals we represent. We are not afraid to look out.
And come what may.
Monday, March 31
I attended the El Paso County Convention yesterday.
The bad news: It was a big bucket of poo.
The good news: I am an Obama State Delegate. I am being sent to Austin.
Thanks to Oliva, Dori, Lance, Adrian, Beto, Taz, Sebastian, Rose, Kara, Padalino, Carl, Eve, Kath, Viv, Chris, Laura, Tom, Henry of Lighthouse Coffee, Donald, Paul, Maddie, Dave from DC, all of the Obama for America staff, Bassett Tower, Tatco Electronics, Sherwood Engineering, and Mom and Dad. Some days I really wanted to stay home or get out of it, but you guys kept me going.
Past, Present, and Future: Barack Obama is what this country needs.
Friday, March 28
We have a pivotal choice to make.
We could be lead around by the nose. Everyone from Governors to Congress members, from foreign trading partners to mom and pop store owners, from activist celebrities to wide-eyed college freshmen will urge on the air of panic. Unless we elect one who conducts him or herself as anything other than a statesman, who acts as if he owes his allegiance to the people who gave him their trust—we will have difficult decades beyond that of difficult years. Barack Obama has the mind and the voice to inform and draw measures that will be capable of meeting the hardships this country will face. Clearly Barack Obama is the candidate who owns misgivings and has the self-respect to supersede any setback.
Now, we are both believing what we would like to about our candidates. Being human, when asked to describe strangers we are most often listing characteristics we see in ourselves. There is no doubt that very exceptional qualities can be found in both candidates running for President.
But let me add this: Barack Obama is shockingly one of those good people who got into government despite what politics has made of it. You are right to believe that he does not quite fit in
Barack Obama is exactly the type of person who needs to be in our nation’s highest office. Instead of having the good people in government trying to make fair what otherwise would be unworkable institution; we must put the good people, and not just the good politicians, in office.
Based on character alone, you should be able to identify Barack Obama as a man whose had to carve out his own destiny. You should admire this man when virtually nothing he has was ever guaranteed. You should admire how he still has the respect and compassion made him dream big. You should consider his entire life, not just the Barack Obama since
Barack Obama is not just the makings of an interesting bit of election history, he is the chance, the first one in my lifetime, that this nation, We the people, can reclaim our voice as citizens.
If you believe that all politicians lie, and you’ve picked the candidate that lies the least, little of what I say will matter to you. If you believe that being a good person and being in government are two things incompatible, then the change many of the men, women, and young people have been excited about these past few months must sound to you like the stuff of misguided dreams.
We have a tough election ahead of us in November. Even as the younger generation is assuming the responsibility of citizenship, their parents and grandparents are having difficulty seeing the future. Indeed, what we do in this election, and for the next decade will effect how that future will look. What has been going on in this country, the energy being brought to campaigns—is not only about Barack Obama. More than half of this nation’s citizens are saying “No! We will not let this shameful spectacle continue. No! We will not accept another four years of a President acting out of self-interest. No! We are not going to be easily used by them who undermine our liberty and taint the blood that so vigilantly fought to secure the dream that was
We must come to a great decision. We must do more than simply disapprove of the last eight years. We must do more than sit idly by while our politicians navigate our government through a complex world. We must decide that the kind of passive participation that allows wretches like George Bush to defame this great nation. No, all of this excitement is not just about Barack Obama.
But Barack Obama is the only President who will remind this nation of what it has been looking for. He is the only one who represents the variety and creativity of American ingenuity. If we were all more like Barack Obama, we will break this nation of 51-49 splits essentially decided on which spin story lands better with target demographics. He is the only PR consultant who will keep Americans in the light.
Barack Obama has not been lying to you. He has been dealing with vicious attacks and magical thinking that would see him at best, out of this Presidential race. He has shown himself to be a gentlemen of high integrity, a man of compassion, and a leader with wisdom. Imagine that! A President with wisdom. A man who does not promise what he unsure he can perform. We are the new Americans. Obama makes it official.
Don’t let this be the last day you fight for what Barack Obama has heard us pleading for. Don’t disappear after November.
Friday, March 21
The entire purpose behind the Reverend Wright episode is now evident. It took a few days. It took some hammering by the fucking retarded major news outlets. But if you miss the point, it doesn't really matter.
It was viral.
You were meant to think "There is a white America." or "People who think there is a white America are against America."
The fact that our diplomacy often looks like state-sponsored terrorism was the context of the speech used to defame Rev. Wright is for naught.
How do we know when he said what? All of it is innuendo. Any other statement they follow is now in your mind as him having said from the pulpit.
If you've heard anything about it at all, unless you've already trained your mind to systematically flush garbage bigotry from your mind, it's already in you. It may not be part of your character, but it will come out of you now in flashes.
Don't show patronage to this news. Not just because it's Obama, or because it will be McCain, or that it's aimed at Clinton.
Turn the channel.
Friday, March 14
We're back to work on Monday, but apparently I am an agitator. Officially, arguments are prohibited specially if they will inhibit work from being done. Everyone was listening--everyone in the crowded office stopped for 3 and a half minutes while I laid down my Indie, French Resistance-inspired, Libertarian ideas while simultaneously condemning their in-office appraisal of ridiculous and illogical views of politics.
I like these people. We have a sense of pride about the work that we're doing, and camaraderie has built up around these feelings. We tell stories and swap bad jokes. There is Budweiser in the mini-fridge. The men and women poke jokes about gender, Republicans, and high-priced hookers. We rib on one of the bosom buddies who walked around the corner for a 7 dollar haircut that should have been a shave. We don't pretend and we all get along. What hurts me is hearing easy complacency when it comes to discussing government and politics. You can use asinine games to shield or shovel anyone you like. To borrow a phrase from the Times, "to be ready for Washington, you've got to be ready to play where destroying people is sport."However, political discussions between non-candidates should refrain from turning personal and instead carefully scrutinize the real matters ignored by media or campaign strategists eager to push their product.
If you've been to non-televised meetings, Democrats and Republicans have no trouble saying awful things about each other without any care for what detractor might be listening. 'The other guy is your enemy, and in the comfort of that circle any detractor will be devoured.' This is what I was talking about in the last post. When there is a mass of people surrounding you, nerves or lust might make any human talk up a mob. That honor or integrity are tossed aside matter little to a bunch of cannibals. There is no reaction in all the Earth like that animal pulse of blood.
However, the mob talk should stop inside the headquarters of the party which you give allegiance. There should be some bastion where people talk in real terms about their country and their government. It shouldn't be confined to a few friends over wine. We should take strong considerations to how we direct people's views of a candidate's character, foreign policy experience, brilliance of mind. No one is going to tattle on the other side for giving the truer version of what will be possible, what hits we'll have to take, and how feasible pushing through either President's agenda may be.
Today I was the lone Obama supporter working to clean-up the caucus mess. I had to hear people talk about what kind of person they are or what kind of person they'd like to be without offending their right to think this is talking politics. Simply adding a candidate's name in a dialog about characterization does mean you know how to engage in a political discussion. I tired of waiting for Precinct chairs to call me back. I did not mention Obama or Clinton or McCain. I see the point of keeping the work going, but my fear is that when you get past what a person feels about politics, there is no further progress to be expected out of them.
I've just begun talking about what is broken in this country.
Ask more of me. Ask more of each other.
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"
Sing it to me now...
Thursday, March 13
Don't add to it.
I could get really angry here. I could blow up, not make any sense, and alienate the persona I want here writing to you.
I could explain how negative campaigning, whether you do it or it's done on national television by Presidential candidates, only achieves in puncturing the opponent's favor while most often deflating their own. Because it hurts the opponent more is the only reason it's done.
Please don't listen to small people who try to impeach a person's character when we've got a country to think about. Don't rely on surface attacks and email fwds to base your decision. They are make-believe important.
Honor your ability as a human to think as a citizen.
If you find yourself carrying on down the avenue shouting with your fists in the air, ask yourself, "Why am I doing this? Wait one second, what do I believe?" Don't just shout and clap for and nod your approval if you've got nothing going on there. I'll fight you over it, so just make sure your own reasons are as good.
$25 to the person who makes me a Don't Add (front) the mob is your enemy (back) t-shirt.
Wednesday, March 12
Overall, the Obama camp prevailed because of their caucus blast. We were walking. We were calling. We were talking on our off time at the grocery store or at the coffee shop. Some of us were doing it casually, a little sick that this ugly thing called politics was seeping out from under our skin. Others were working on their fifth or sixth Presidential campaign, their fortieth campaign overall. They had their wearable American Flags, their clipboards, and their unnaturally bright campaign smiles. I could not tell the difference between the dirty politicians I just about hate and four volunteers I worked side by side with. That is not to say that the opponent's was any better. Indeed, I found those supposed to be neutral were by far the worst.
Politics isn't reason or efficiency. Sometimes it is just the kind of person eager to have everyone he meets congratulate him.
There was a triage in effect. I knew that people of like temperament were being placed at similar launch stations. I saw that the lunatics were being moved to precincts with the fewest people. It did alarm me for a day as to why I was placed with these curmudgeons, but the launch station was four blocks from where I live; and the smart, young Field Organizer knew I already had a partner. I dropped in to my launch station give them local intelligence, but mostly I reported back and picked up a Capri-Sun or Wheat Ale whenever the situation warranted. Specifically, a few arguments were the kind of petty I would have been driven to drink if work didn't need doing. I am the first-time campaigner who is involved in this election because room must be made for people like me whether the old guard wants it or not.
It is said that if an institution is corrupt, you can't help but absorb that same immorality. That no one person breaks the foundation.
The actual voting day there was a woman, if I can call her that, who had no business being the Election Judge. She didn't seem human. Maybe she works for Xenu. An election judge is responsible early in the morning for the voting machines, and who closes up shop by the end of the day. She gets paid little money, volunteers a good 20-40 hours, and gets the satisfaction of playing referee in American democracy. Ours looks like spiders do her make-up, hair, and possible etiquette training. The mascara boggles its way across her eyelids, up through her eyebrows, and into her hairline. When she talks, it is with such a violent shaking stir that I can see she put her make-up on herself. She is immediately offended that any person checks her competency, and only warms up to my partner Dori's fiegned reverence for this woman's self-sacrifice. She was lost and behind all day.
The following day, she calls into talk radio to complain about a precinct captain who was obnoxious, disrespectful, and troubling her civic consciousness all day. Her name is Suzy, she is a regular political talk show caller; and she got exactly what she wanted. My dad told me she calls in every day to various morning talk shows, that she seems mentally unbalanced, and is the type of person who tells people at dinner parties stories in hopes they will become her friends. He listen to morning talks shows on AM radio. He gets a kick out of the wackos taking themselves seriously.
Some trolls are only on the internet. Some of them walk around, get appointed an Election Judge, and accuse me of stealing Social Security cards. That's how disorganized she was. She lost freaking Social Security cards I am damn sure she shouldn't have kept in the first place.
One last note; she did have it right when calling me obnoxious. She doled it our and I gave it back better. Of all the arguments she lost with me that day, my favorite was:
Suzy- "If you come in here to use the bathroom again, I am going to have you removed from the grounds."
Estlin Jack- "This isn't elementary school."
She is a professionally a long-time substitute teacher. I won't say what that probably reveals about her personality. What a bitch.
This year's election took my entire city by surprise. The Demo HQ is still in chaos. No one knew how to run the caucus, and they obviously didn't take time to do their research online. A week before March 4, I read everything I could about primary and caucus rules for Texas and any other states I could use in my arsenal. The info was available, however cloudy.
That preparation was for naught. Caucuses all over El Paso went for Hillary Clinton. There was no discussion in mine. Indeed, there was no discussion with the overall genial conversations I had with Clinton supporters. People showed up to be counted. I lost the Permanent Chair spot by one vote to Clinton supporter who admitted no orientation with the caucus process. Dori ran for secretary and lost by a landslide to an 18 yr old who did nothing after getting elected. I talked to the 2 undecideds and swung one of them. No argument, no speeches other than mine. Only a few people got up out of their seats. People were tired and angry; and just wanted to go home. NONE of Clinton supporters voted that day. Dori and I'd been there since 6:30am, and we didn't see any of those people that day. They were organized behind the scenes. They smacked us around in El Paso despite our efforts. We lost the city 70% to 30%.
Pride stinging, I went to bed early that night. A glass of wine for potential future high blood pressure, and I dreamt of snowy forests. I walked around town the next day trying not to blow-up at a stranger who looked like they voted for Clinton. I realized my dream meant I wanted to be far, far away from here. Instead, I went to Obama HQ and helped clean-up. I vented. I made contacts with the people from El Paso who would need to continue to work on here until November. I took the loss personally and am in it for even these backwards Hill-billies who won't let a good man help their country.
I know Hispanics/Chicanos/Tejanos. When Hillary doesn't get the nomination, of that 70% that voted for her, 70% of them are going to stay home in November. They are very similar to college kids. They can be excited into short time commitment, but soon fade out. Soon they are gone and the long-time, selfish people are the ones left. I tell you, from the people voting on the day, and the amount of support I received in the public, this cocky Texan thought Obama would smash all those presumptive pundits who spew their oil. I thought we were gonna set their heads afire. Even if what I thought was right, that Obama was loved in El Paso, not enough of them went to vote early or on the day. We did 60%-40% on March 4, but got smashed in the caucuses. Some Republicans voted on the Democratic side, but not enough of them to give either side any kind of advantage. In our caucus, there was one Republican who went for Clinton. She thought it was good for women and good for John McCain. She has sons in the military. She agreed that Hillary even if elected would be blocked up the wazoo, and either way she would not be able to of anything to harm her sons. She would either bring them back or keep things generally as they are. She didn't like the idea that American soldiers would have to remain overseas for much of their careers if our idea of diplomacy continues.
I am trying to be fair here. That's why I mentioned the Obama people first. The young people from out of town were fantastic. They were somewhat overwhelmed, but I never saw them give up, put the books down, or go home early. They were intelligent, well-trained, and good managers. They had everything ready and if anything, they didn't have enough local volunteers to accomplish everything they wanted to.
It was a delight to work with people everywhere from California to New Hampshire, from New Orleans to Minnetonka. A number of these good people went right on to Wyoming, and many more are taking a short break before heading off to Pennsylvania.
Me, I am digging in. I am having a tuna melt on sesame and air-popped poporn; then I'm getting back to emails and Congress persons. County convention is March 29.
Next time, I tell you what's next.
Seth Grahame Smith, an ex-Hillary politico