So word on the street is there’s blood in the water. Obama wants New York Governor David Paterson to not seek reelection. Interesting. Some speculate it has to do with his bungling over appointing, er not appointing Caroline Kennedy to the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. Hmm – who cares? The economy is still in the toilet and many states have Govs that are acting like fools right now or have ruined their state’s infrastructure. Take one Mark Sanford. Take one Arnold Schwarzenegger. I don’t see Obama asking them to go away. Oh yeah I’m supposed to dismiss them because they’re Republicans. Does that mean I’m also supposed to ignore the fact that Paterson is African-American? He’s not half-African and half-white like our president. He’s not a post-racial crossover politician either. He’s part of the bonafied black elite in fact. His family is well-established along with the Dinkins, the Suttons and many others. So am I expected to ignore the blatant disrespect the Obama administration (or is it the “Rahm & David Show”) have shown by PUBLICLY doing this? I don’t think so. Two wrongs don’t make it right.
The decision to ask Mr. Paterson to step aside was proposed by political advisers to Mr. Obama, but approved by the president himself, one of the administration officials said. The president’s request was conveyed to Mr. Paterson by Representative Gregory W. Meeks, a Queens Democrat, who has developed a strong relationship with the Obama administration, they said.
The move against a sitting Democratic governor represents an extraordinary intervention into a state political race by the president, and is a delicate one, given that Mr. Paterson is one of only two African-American governors in the nation. So Obama couldn’t pick up a phone to speak to the Gov directly?
Do I think Paterson did a great job while in office? Not necessarily. I’ve already written about why I thought Leecia Eve or Crystal Peoples should have been appointed instead of Gillibrand and how I think he back-stabbed Eve to get the Lt. Governorship to begin with. So he can’t be that slow or dumb. I was also not impressed by his whining about racism as the motivation behind his public ridicule instead of accepting it was his mediocrity. Ok maybe he is.
The lack of care in handling this messy situation by Obama is what has my hackles raised. He takes the time out to call Kanye West, he defends Skippy Gates, he rewards his other rivals/defiers with high-ranking positions in his administration but he can’t say squat about the racial animus, the plight of black women around the world or any number of things that have a negative impact on the meek of the earth but he can focus on this?
I realize since Rudy Guiliani has expressed interest in running for Gov the Democrats do need to neutralize him. I am personally so sick of him claiming special powers and a superior skill set because he was at Ground Zero during the September 11th attacks. It was complete ineptitude and lack of preparation for disasters that had him stuck there in the first place. Anyhoo…I will always associate him with a 400% rent increase, mass evictions, the death of club kid culture and the killing of the uniqueness of the “old” NYC so I have no partiality when it comes to my disdain for the former Mayor. That and taking credit for the Dinkins plan to increase the effectiveness of law enforcement. Ugh!
This latest move by Obama gives me the creeps. If he wanted to humiliate Paterson this very public chastisement should do that. It has the air of a personal beef and Obama thinks it’s okay to treat Paterson poorly in retaliation but rewarded Hillary Clinton with the Secretary of State position?!!! SMH. What of the unforeseen ramifications of such an action? While it’s true that blacks are not a monolith and not in lockstep with each other on every issue this is still a bad look. Obama is very calculated and cautious in his moves. He’s trying to deny he’s black right now so this obvious lack of faith gesture is especially galling to me. Yet I already hear the deniers discussing how he “needs” to do this because of blah blah blah.
It’s a betrayal plain and simple. Oh wait…I retract that. It can’t be a betrayal because Obama is not a real ally of blacks to begin with. Not the collective anyway. I could mention that black voters are a fickle bunch who don’t exercise any discretion or build coalitions to wield power effectively. I could mention too many focus on pulling a lever or punching a hole during a national election and remain silent and uninvolved the remainder of the time. I could mention too many have treated this president as some sort of prized calf where any criticism is taken as an invitation to fight. There’s a huge lack of discernment in effect. He’s not going to hitch himself to a wagon that could very well fall off the side of a cliff. Yet it’s still a slap in the face with the relative ease by which Obama abandons those blacks who are not “useful” to him but says nothing of the blatant disrespect heaped upon him by the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Dobbs, etc.
Just when I think I’m possibly being extra harsh and not a political realist or lack enough skill in domination theory and am letting an emotional reaction take over Obama does something like this. I wonder what else is down the pipe for when your senior advisors are all white men cut from the same cloth that leaves out any diversity in perspective or concern about a entire voting group. This becomes a full circle conversation about why black women who want full lives need to divest. Again, it’s up to the black collective to get it together because in many respects this president will be more inclined to do even less than his predecessors (so the majority is out of luck for any number of reasons).
The Emperor Has No Clothes and I for one am getting sick of seeing him showing his a** in public.
I’ve just read your Op-Ed in the New York Times. Barack, Barack, Barack. I had so much hope for serious change. The demographic of the NYT tends to not include those without internet access, lower incomes and less education – the ones who really need the health care plan passed. So who were you trying to reach? Honestly you were the best to emerge from the Democratic candidate pool last year, but November 4th seems like a million years ago. I’ve personally waited for you to fully utilize the power you tapped into but unlike many others I don’t think you need to be given more time. You act like an insecure person unsure that they belong but you WON the election. That piece makes you look like a beggar at your own ball. It’s time to act Presidential. It’s time to crack some skulls and whip people into shape. You’ve taken this whole Knights of the Enemy Roundtable thing too far.
One year ago at the Netroots Nation conference in Austin, Texas the mood of the crowd was one of excitement and elation over the possibility of a Barack Obama presidency. (I concur I was there and the mood was full of promise.)
A year later, with that possibility achieved, a sense of cynicism has begun to creep in. On Saturday morning, one of the president’s closest advisers, Valerie Jarrett addressed the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh. And while attendees were largely supportive throughout the question and answer session, the reception was warm at best. The defining moment, in fact, came when Jarrett was hissed and heckled.
You’ve always been slow to react, slow to respond in kind to attacks and have so far gotten lucky breaks that didn’t derail your entire initiative. It has not gone unnoticed that you opened your mouth to defend Skippy Gates of all people but have been silent on every single attack against your wife. I don’t like that! Yeah…we get it you’re a lover not a fighter. You want everyone to just get along. You think you can appease enemies with trinkets and shiny objects or worse – giving away the store!
So now that this health care plan is teetering on the verge of annihilation by politicians who are DEMOCRATS (in name only) and will be so gutted as to be useless what are your back up plans for this country? This is just a taste of what the rest of your term will be like. Scraping by the skin of your teeth is not displaying leadership. Forget your back up plans – what will the most vulnerable of voters do after being fed to a pack of wolves? By the way I’m still waiting for the US to leave Iraq and Afghanistan. That was a campaign promise, remember?
Those loan modifications haven’t been allocated either. Oh and a few more banks have failed. I’ve also found it quite odd that companies who had to be bailed out with TARP funds are posting billion dollar profits less than one year later. What company bounces back that fast?! I smell a conspiracy to help somebody get elected. Yup I’m putting on the tin-foil hat for this one. Just call me Fox(y) Mulder. Lest anyone forget while many of us are unemployed and without medical coverage billions are still being spent abroad and the military budget has not decreased. That was supposed to be cut. Which was one of the reasons why I voted for you. I’m also wondering how the un/under employed are supposed to PAY for this health care plan when they have no money?
The big mistake that the Obama administration made was they did not have continual public congressional hearings documenting the greed, the fraud, the $250 billion in billing fraud and abuse alone that the GAO years ago has documented. They didn’t document the $350 billion of waste, the overhead of Aetna and UnitedHealthcare and other health insurance companies with their massive executive salaries and bureaucracies. They did not document the deaths, the injuries, the sickness that hundreds of thousands of Americans go through every year because they can’t afford healthcare. And by not doing that, by playing this behind-the-scenes game with these executives from the big health-industrial complex, they were vulnerable to the split in their own party in the House, with the Blue Dog Democrats emboldened by an apparently wavering and indecisive President Obama, and they made sure that they were placed on the defensive. Well, the significance is that Obama is being undermined by his own party in Congress, because the Blue Dogs are getting far more money from these corporations and campaign contributions than the so-called liberals in the Democratic Party.
But, you see, I say “undermined”—I’m not quite sure that Obama is objecting to this. He has set the whole atmosphere of catering to these giant corporations. He has made every mistake that the Clintons made in 1993, ’94 with their health insurance plan, except that he’s leaving Michelle Obama out of it. He’s made every mistake.
So far you’ve been a huge disappointment. The excitement generated from your seemingly quick ascendancy was too hard to resist. You’re slow-footed and haven’t taken control of your party. You’ve made a public declaration of extending an olive branch and been slapped with it. I’ve watched the corporate media spew every lie and right wing/racist philosophy since day three. When John Roberts “accidentally” messed up your Swearing-In didn’t you know it was on?! Yet you refuse to prepare and you don’t fight. Bush was a cowboy and Cheney was Darth Vader. They took no prisoners! Yet you want “bi-partisianship”. You can’t negotiate with terrorists! They want your head on a platter literally and figuratively. All of those “enemies” are undermining all that you do.
President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex. So much, then, for Mr. Obama’s dream of moving beyond divisive politics. The truth is that the factors that made politics so ugly in the Clinton years — the paranoia of a significant minority of Americans and the cynical willingness of leading Republicans to cater to that paranoia — are as strong as ever.
In fact, the situation may be even worse than it was in the 1990s because the collapse of the Bush administration has left the G.O.P. with no real leaders other than Rush Limbaugh. So far, at least, the Obama administration’s response to the outpouring of hate on the right has had a deer-in-the-headlights quality. It’s as if officials still can’t wrap their minds around the fact that things like this can happen to people who aren’t named Clinton, as if they keep expecting the nonsense to just go away.
Or perhaps I’ve read this wrong. You didn’t surround yourself with people who can turn on you because you were foolish or believed your own hype but because you’ve already surrendered. You’re just a figurehead for other people’s plans and are far more crafty about it than any of us imagined. You never had any intention of doing anything remotely close to your platform (like many politicians) but you tapped into a zeitgeist where people actually believed you. You brilliantly laid a trap so the Clintons would let their inner racism out and after a hard-fought primary “won” the nomination. You make half-hearted gestures and will tell us, “Oh well I tried”. If so the plan is working brilliantly. So many people are focused on race and fighting each other much like how Bush used Osama bin Laden to rile people up and distract them that nobody sees the big picture.
Of course so many black voters (and a few “progressives”) are still looking to you to “rescue” them from having to be focused, disciplined and fight politically but you’ve got their votes locked as long as you keep dangling the perception of making an effort. You’re a (great black hope) Trojan Horse to many. I shudder to think who’s hiding inside the statue ready to break out in the middle of the night. Most are not seriously questioning you on anything and to bring it up is met with mass denial. The white fright is bringing out the knee-jerk reaction of history of African-American struggle in this country and many are going in circles.
I’d like to know what these plans are and who the people behind the curtain (Oz) really are? The Blue Dogs? The ones Rahm Emanuel – your very own Chief of Staff and chief AIPAC supporter brought into power? It’s also worth noting Rep. Mike Ross, the leader of the Blue Dogs owes his seat to Bill Clinton. What’s really going on here? Perhaps you are simply foolish enough to think you could work something out with compromised policies being better than Republican ones. Like that secret WH deal with Big Pharma. Except there are 60 Democrats and the party controls the House and the Senate. So Republicans are not needed and if you ruled with an iron fist and laid down the parameters to the Democrats you’d actually get something done.
At least go down fighting for the little people and against the insurers and the drug companies! I seriously have to wonder though with all of the white men you’ve surrounded yourself with from similar backgrounds how you’re actually able to determine what’s best for those of us who don’t fit that demographic. You’ve flipped-flopped on LGBT issues as well. As some of us have noted you are half-white and half-African and know nothing directly of the survival history of African-Americans in this country. You also are NOT liberal or all that progressive. As evidenced by your wavering support of funding ALL reproductive services including abortions. Limited choices are not real choices. All the symbolism in the world isn’t going to put food on my table. I have to do my part, but so do you Mr. President. I think you’ve passed out checks that we can’t cash.
For those that still want to try to save the Public Option (after Single Payer was gutted) contact the White House TODAY! If things turn around it will because WE pushed back not because the President fought for this.
I know many people are very pleased with the “successful” confirmation of now Justice Sotomayor. It does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Out of 111 Justices, she is the third woman and first Latino to be appointed. The Republicans continue to live up to their surly, childish ways with nearly 2/3rds voting against her. In total nine came on board so this could be wrapped up.
Obama gets kudos while acting to CYA by immediately catering to Latino voters in nominating her in the first place. Not that she isn’t immensely qualified, but let this be a lesson to black voters that if “we” don’t have a cohesive coalition in place we’ll get NOTHING from Obama. To suggest this to the “he’s one of us” and “let’s wait and see” crowd is akin to banging your head against a brick wall. After that wasted effort at defending Skippy Gates – which offered ZERO value to black women – he won’t so much as stick his finger in air lest it offend some group of ready-to-be-disgruntled whites.
I can’t help but think of the Clarence Thomas appointment with ALL of the red flags presenting themselves very clearly and how he more or less sailed through. I was too young to understand what was going on then. The slight road bump was presented with Anita Hill’s testimony of his sexual misconduct and contempt he expressed towards her. I’ve researched the transcripts now and can’t believe this man got through. He was supposed to fill the Thurgood Marshall seat. So any black man was okay apparently.
I don’t care that he’s married to a white woman. I don’t care that he wasn’t elevated through the “black community” either. His contempt and hatred for blacks was obvious though. It wasn’t an expression of his free agency from a narrow definition of blackness either. Many blacks foolishly supported him simply based on shared phenotype while ignoring his history. Ever since he’s been a Justice he has attempted to destroy all collective progress that other blacks were terrorized and died for.
Which brings me to Sotomayor. If so many could get swept up in symbolism with Thomas why not with her? Yes, she is a woman but that in and of itself it NOT a guarantee that she’ll vote progressively. So while many are doing the happy dance, people had better remember these appointments are FOR LIFE and they have COMPLETE AUTONOMY. Every week I think about how John Roberts was appointed and not just as a junior SCOTUS but the Chief Justice it makes me so angry. This was the man who advised Ronald Reagan to back away from publicly acknowledging AIDS at a crucial time. It set back funding for research and discouraged a change in behavior that would have saved lives. Instead of it being listed as an epidemic Reagan remained silent allowing millions more to die than what was necessary.
So while I’m glad it’s not yet another white male I can’t say for sure this newest Justice will help usher in a roadblock of her own to stop the ideologues…or if it’s just business as usual. We need at least two more women and one of them had better be black! Of course I’m not counting on Obama to appoint one. For the reasons listed above, but Kimberlie Crenshaw deserves to be a SCOTUS. If you will recall Souter was appointed as a Conservative and often voted socially progressive by comparison to his colleagues. Of course those Republicans (white males wanting to hold on to their privilege) are still being difficult.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, took aim at what he claimed was Sotomayor’s inability to refrain from bringing her personal political opinions to bear on her rulings.
“This is the most fundamental test for any judge and all the more so for those who would sit on our nation’s highest court, where a judge’s impulses and preferences are not subject to review. Because I’m not convinced that Judge Sotomayor would keep this commitment, I cannot support her nomination.” – – – – CNN
Umm…yeah whatever dude. Go call up your buddies Roberts and Scalia and ask them about separation of impulses and preferences!
When Bill Clinton went to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong-il was that a sign of what’s to come? He was successful in getting journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling released. Did that seem a little easy at the end? A photo op and a declaration of “defeat” so North Korea would be “victorious”? As a reader pointed out it’s not like either Bush would’ve been able to speak on behalf of the United States. Not after Shrub dubbed NK part of the “Axis of Evil”.
Our current President certainly could not be seen directly negotiating. Apparently even Al Gore wasn’t enough of a heavyweight even though he founded Current TV and was the de-facto employer of Lee and Ling. No, the administration needed to send the big guns. Love them or hate them that would be the Clintons. Yes, I’m including Hillary on equal par with Bill because their entire political careers have been tied to each other from the beginning. This is despite the ongoing dispute about the NK nuclear program and some of their officials speaking harshly of Mrs. Clinton. As I’ve stated in an earlier post, they are a sovereign nation and have just as much right to defend themselves as any other country.
North Korea signaled its desire to have Mr. Clinton act as a special envoy in conversations with Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee, who relayed that message to their families in the middle of July, according to a senior administration official. The message was passed to Mr. Gore, who contacted the White House, which then explored whether such a mission would be successful.
Mr. Obama did not speak directly with Mr. Clinton before the mission. But his national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, contacted the former president to sound him out. The senior official said the administration did “due diligence” with the North Koreans to ensure that if Mr. Clinton went, he would return with the journalists. – – New York Times
It just goes to show you can never really write someone off. Last year’s primary for the Democratic nomination was certainly a low point for the Clintons. They had alienated many many voters. Billy Jeff lost his “black cred”. Of course he should’ve never had any to begin with. Now Obama certainly emerged the “winner” at that time. We were still reeling over Hillary’s alluding to assassinations happening in June and preparing for the Democratic National Convention in Denver. That was a magical time I have to admit, but I also remember how pissed off a lot of women were. Not just the PUMAS. All of that seemed to be knocked over by the Obama juggernaut. The increased craziness from the McCain camp by unleashing Sarah Palin on an unsuspecting public certainly took up a lot of attention. Then the first wave of the economic collapse hit and Obama rode to victory.
Due to the continued white backlash against having a black President that isn’t going to simmer down anytime soon, a return to the familiar (however dysfunctional) has a certain appeal. One thing we do know about the Clintons: they fight hard and dirty with NO regrets. Clinton went before a national audience and lied to us about Monika Lewinsky – and he was believable! Obama has already sputtered and apologized.
I think the next few months are going to be very interesting. If the healthcare plans crash and burn, the economy is still bad for middle-class whites (because let’s face it none of them care as much about the poor or non-whites since a majority rules) and if Obama doesn’t exert more control over the Democrats his weakness as a President will be cemented. So the question remains: will Hillary run for President in 2012 or what will she demand from Obama to not run?
Kim Jong II has pardoned journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Former President Clinton flew to North Korea to negotiate visit with the North Korean leader. I am certain their families are very relieved – and grateful. What I am even more curious about is what was promised to secure their release and why it was Billy Jeff who went and not another dignitary, politician or high-profile emissary like President Carter…or even Jesse Jackson, Sr.
“Clinton expressed words of sincere apology to Kim Jong Il for the hostile acts committed by the two American journalists against the DPRK after illegally intruding into it,” the news agency reported. “Clinton courteously conveyed to Kim Jong Il an earnest request of the U.S. government to leniently pardon them and send them back home from a humanitarian point of view. – – CNN
I think the women have learned a valuable lesson about not playing with knives so to speak and how willing they were to risk their lives over chasing a story. Everyone always thinks they’ll be the exception and someone else will be the “unlucky” one who never has to pay a penalty. There’s still speculation that they may have knowingly entered North Korea illegally. Of course that hasn’t been proven. They’re lucky to be alive quite frankly.
Does this help elevate the status of the Clintons and separate them from President Obama? Does this diminish Obama’s stature? Did he need to seem distant from this situation to facilitate a quick remedy? I suspect whatever is going on behind the scenes, the political fall-out has yet to hit the fan. A “victory” might have long lasting repercussions that have yet to be revealed.
This was an interview from a few days ago but since it’s regarding our healthcare plan it is still current. Maxine Waters was interviewed by Carlos Watson of MSNBC where she very clearly lays out the nefarious activities of Rahm Emanuel. He recruited a very active minority of “Conservative” Democrats referred to as Blue Dogs. These members usually sided with Republicans and actively supported Shrub when he was still in office. So far they’ve torpedoed the single-payer option (which is what I favored) and are trying to kill the public option. Which would make this health care plan DOA for the majority of Americans that actually need it.
WATERS: Well that may be difficult for Rahm Emanuel (to hold them accountable), because don’t forget — he recruited most of them. As when he was over in the Congress, in the leadership, Rahm Emanuel recruited more conservative members and based on some of the information I’m getting, they told them that they could vote the way they wanted to vote, that they would not interfere with what was considered their philosophy about some of these things. So, now the chickens have come home to roost.
Talk about divided loyalties! What other country would allow a politician who’s a dual citizen with another country to serve as Chief of Staff to a President? What President in his right mind would hire someone who worked for his political rivals and recruited (Republicans registered as) Conservative Democrats that work against much of the core tenets for the purpose of getting elected and think that person would be loyal to them? Using auxillaries and mercenaries will speed up one’s demise faster than using incompetent people.
Furthermore with a less than 6% population and an aging political powerhouse, what will the blacks in California do when Maxine Waters and other advocates like her eventually retire or leave this mortal coil? For to deny the fact that Waters has been an advocate by taking Geithner to task, talking about the failed loan modifications, still fighting for the Katrina survivors after most politicians have moved on you’d have to be an idiot. Not to mention the 2010 Census will result in a shift in representation from black to Latino.
Again I will state this plainly: too many blacks are sitting pretty feeling “good” about having Obama in office strictly based on his phenotype and some unearned assumptions that he will advocate for issues that matter to blacks. He hasn’t done it yet and any requests about giving him more time is to allow for other people’s efforts at undermining a truly “progressive” agenda. Those Blue Dogs aren’t waiting to kill the health care plan.
What are blacks doing politically right NOW to protect themselves? NOTHING! They’re waiting for Obama to “do right by them”. Don’t say you weren’t warned! I’m rethinking the decision of some of these old-guard CBC members in not initially supporting Obama as perhaps being wiser than I’d initially given them credit for. I thought they were simply deferring to Miss Anne by supporting Hillary Clinton. Now I wonder if they were picking the lesser of two evils – or at least someone who’d actually work with them.
Waters brings up a valid point. If any constituents in the areas where these Blue Dogs (or others) reside don’t like what they’re doing they have the right to a primary challenge. Now who’s mobilized to do that? You can’t be prepared to mete out any repercussions (withholding campaign funds or mounting opposition) if you haven’t PREPARED FOR IT. It’s not just about this health care plan either.
The following note I’m enclosing at the bottom of this post was a response to the Feminist Advisory Board for Obama regarding a letter that was sent to the President asking for a public statement denouncing the murder of Dr. Tiller. A form letter response was sent with a generic “thank you” but it was non-committal. Like race relations (the denial of racism, anger over accountability) control over a woman’s reproductive rights is constantly being challenged. Usually it’s by the same people – except for some fools who work against their own interests. This is part of a larger movement from those armed and racist who want to want to see women chained to the house and blacks sent back to Africa. After his huge mistake defending black woman betrayer/hater Skippy Gates don’t expect President Obama to say anything that will further incite the angry white men with guns. In fact he has flipped from his earlier decision to lift the ban on abortion funding by letting the fundamentalists (which includes Democrats) dictate the terms of our healthcare coverage.
From CBS News – – President Obama on Tuesday said he would “rather not wade into” the issue of whether or not health care reform should include federal funding for abortions.
The president told CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric that he is “not trying to micro-manage what benefits are covered.”
My reply – If you’re in charge you tell your subordinates what is on – and off the table for negotiation. You don’t leave it up to the whims of others.
“I’m pro-choice, but I think we also have the tradition in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care,” he said, adding: “My main focus is making sure that people have options of high quality care at the lowest possible price.”
If you are in support of something you should be all-in. There are no ifs, ands or buts. In trying to get this health care plan -which is now being called a health insurance plan passed, if it’s nearly gutted and ineffective it’s DOA for all of us non-politicians who don’t have their plan. Or their cheap rates.
Coming on the heels of the most recent vote by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to pass an amendment excluding abortion services from the “essential” health benefits package as defined by the government it would seem Obama is NOT IN SUPPORT OF ABORTIONS for any woman who can’t pay for one. So low-income workers, immigrants, youth and the usual marginalized population are going to be (*&$ out of luck unless some private funding will cover these costs. What’s next on the chopping block….birth control pills?
We have so many forces in opposition to any progress we must strategize how we approach tackling them. Our goals must be firm. We’re going to have to FIGHT people because they are not giving an inch. Obama doesn’t have our backs any more than his backside is being covered. He will cave unless we make it a disadvantage for him to do so. Here is one suggestion on how to approach politicians that I think may prove useful:
“Don’t read too much into the response you got to your letter. Most congressional offices have standard replies as well. The best way to get a more personal response is to put more than one issue into a letter that you write. Still, more than likely some staff member is writing that letter due to the number of letters members of congress get and I assume that the Presidency is the same way.
I have to say having interned in a congressional and a senate office has deterred me from writing letters and even signing many petitions non-anonymously to it because I know how these offices process the information and I ALMOST completely agree with their methods – they get so much mail and petitions that its hard to deal more personally with what they receive. But, I do wish that more members would read at least some constituent letters and maybe even choose to respond to a few – from my knowledge I know of some members who respond to Tweets and FaceBook messages but unsure about older forms of communication. I have heard that the President does read like 3 letters a day to keep himself grounded (his words). So I don’t know if we should give up on letters completely.
Honestly, I have not found an effective method of reaching out to my representatives. The best I have observed is trying to get a meeting with that member or a staff person and doing so constantly. This is hard though because if you get on their “bad side” they do not take your issues seriously. So I’m still trying to figure this out myself. Also with the President its not like you can get a meeting with the POTUS with out donating money to his party and winning that random drawing to have “Lunch with Obama.”
To close, didn’t expect to say all this, maybe we as a group can organize to meet with our representatives in person during recess sessions – especially summer recess – in the future over an issue. Also, many members participate in local events at this time and it is the best way to try to connect with them (but I am also from a small state that if you are somewhat involved in any industry the member covers you have met and interacted with them. So they are generally more responsive). Anyway, I do think that especially in the age with all of this technology, that nothing beats face to face.
P.S. So of course now I remember a way that may be more effective – Doing a policy memo as to why a member or in this case, the President, should support an issue. In the case of congress, their staffers need to do this to their member to co-sponsor a piece of legislation. The letter is short and basically builds a case as to why they should support a bill based on both the merits of the bill and how the bill will benefit/affect the people in their state. I would try this angle – you still may get a form letter back but you may get a staffer that may care enough to either forward this on to the member or tweek it a bit and try to convince their member to co-sponsor that piece of legislation – especially since a lot of the leg work is done for them. Final statement I promise – getting to know staff members in key offices is help ful and probably the best method – it works for the lobbyists.” — from DNMP Politico
As I continue shedding old skin and reordering my thinking now that I’m outside the Matrix I find myself revisiting my support of Barack Obama. While I would still likely vote for him again I have to think of all the ways I can benefit from this alliance while measuring it for reciprocity. You can’t ask for anything until you know what you want though. I’d like to think of myself as enlightened on some topics. Still with other issues I am just now realizing how much I’m learning. Discernment is more valuable than all the coltan in the world.
So aside from the usual arguments from people about how we need to give Obama time (sounds like an excuse) or how much is on his plate (he wanted the job) I want to explore the reasons why he gets so much support from blacks and what influences that decision.
Michelle Obama and the (assumed automatic) kinship she’s thought to have with other black women. Also the one we want to have with her.
Powerful Symbolism – aka the “razzle dazzle” “pomp & circumstance”.
Seen as validation of blacks’ worthiness – continuing to use outside signifiers instead of building strategic alliances.
He’s a man – because if it was about qualifications and race more would have voted for Cynthia McKinney.
Emotional payoff – the comparisons to MLK (and somehow NEVER to Malcolm X).
Cheap thrill to stick one’s tongue out at whites.
Believed the promise of “change”.
Decided he was “black” enough after the Clintons started race-baiting.
Many (most?) think he will look out for black interests strictly because he identifies as black.
We need to rethink our loyalties. Black women actually represent the single largest percentage voting block for Obama, yet I don’t recall him discussing ANY specific agenda or policies that directly and singularly assist us. I know health care, green energy and other things will benefit everyone but still we have a unique set of needs. This doesn’t mean our needs can’t be addressed but we have ensure that they are and be prepared to walk away if they aren’t. Will blacks actually do that?
The White House Council on Girls & Women doesn’t have a prominent placement or direct contact on the White House web site. It has potential to be a heavyweight office but like everything else we must measure how things have improved from their previous condition and what are expectation for the future are. He nominated Regina Benjamin to be the next Surgeon General and she gets attacked for being overweight. I saw the larger black community’s complete SILENCE on this issue with few exceptions and only after WHITE oriented-media and feminist organizations stood up for her. How many black men publicly decried her treatment? Now think of all the print and tv time given to covering Skippy Gates – why even the President stepped into the fray. People spend their time and resources on things they love – not things they feel obligated to. I find it rather challenging to even have a conversation around the Idol worship going on. Blacks are NOT prepared for the brewing backlash. We are spend, spend, spend with NO safety net.
If financial advisors like Suze Orman urge people to save at least 8 months’ salary in cash to use for a rainy day fund when the times were “good” to cover during the hardships and unexpected tumbles then how much more should we be doing this for our political lives? No wait, our “actual” lives. We know whites have been stockpiling weapons. The KKK has resurfaced – they’re never far away. I’d like to petition the Justice Department to classify then correctly as a domestic terrorist group and use the full weight of the Federal gov’t to crush them once and for all.
Then there’s these birthers, the teaparty participants and all those other agitated people who showed up for the McCain/Palin rallies. They haven’t gone anywhere. The only thing I’ll mention with regards to Skippy Gates (since I’ve discussed why he’s NO friend to black women) is how he’s considered an upper class, non-threatening black man. If it’s open season on grandpa then it’s open season on ALL blacks and not just the men. Black women are also victims of law enforcement railroading tactics.
So while some of us are out celebrating and chillaxing with friends/loved ones, we have an African-American female politician being held against her will since Tuesday by a foreign government. It’s our 51st State and ally Israel. If we’re going to talk about the “unfairness” and “evil” of North Korea and Iran let’s talk about ALL the countries that engage in “questionable” actions, not just the ones we want to demonize. Our government spends billions annually in actual cash and military weaponry which is given to Israel with practically no conditions.
This current administration has a Chief of Staff who has dual citizenship with the US and Israel. Somehow I don’t think people would be so lenient about that if it was any other nation and would ask for accountability regarding loyalties. It’s a reasonable question to ask as well. It’s just something to think about while more citizens find themselves out on the streets as the economy continues to slide down the hill of death.
Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, along with 20 other peace activists were forcibly removed from their boat by the Israeli navy when they tried to bring medicine and other aid to the Gaza region. The last time McKinney had a run in with the Israelis in December they were still in International waters when their boat was intentionally rammed to render it inoperable. I called her “crazy” then with the utmost of respect for the risks she takes and I’m shaking my head even as I type this. If she was a man or white she’d probably be getting a lot more press. Even if it was bad press it would still be talked about. The intentional non-reporting of this by the pwned corporate media has never been so obvious!
State Department and White House officials have not effected our release or taken a strong public stance to condemn the illegal actions of the Israeli Navy of enforcing a blockade of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians of Gaza, a blockade that has been condemned by President Obama,” she said in a statement.
Just in case some will dismiss this as some half-cocked scheme continue reading:
“President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.” SF Bayview
The funny thing about words is that are worthless without actions that validate them. You can tell yourself that you think you’re fabulous but have glaring unresolved emotional issues. You can say you love somebody but if you don’t honor or respect them it’s pretty meaningless. Condemning a blockade when you’ve given a country a massive allowance is like police officers who pretend to arrest drug dealers, take their cut and send them on their way. It’s a wink and a nod with no real consequences.
What I find telling is a) the public silence from the Obama administration b) the lack of media coverage c) the message d) the so-called progressives who are just as much sheeple as they think everyone else is.
Aside from the political ramifications this is also a personal example many black women should consider. When you are risking life and limb for other people have some boundaries in place or an escape route because if (when) you end up in peril NOBODY WILL HELP YOU! Better yet, stop doing it.
The Israeli government has killed other American peace activists, white female activists, so how much less do you think they value the life of a black woman when we are not always valued in our own country? I commend her efforts and perhaps she feels this is her calling in life, but we have to start weighing the cost value for the things we do for others.
Mark Regev in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office: +972 5 0620 3264 or +972 2670 5354, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: McKinney has been released but the ongoing fight for justice continues. The other troubling aspect was the intentional blockade by the cable and local news programs at reporting this. Last December it made CNN at least. The Atlanta Journal Constitution and other local non-white oriented press covered the story. Citizen journalism is a vital means of getting information out as we see how the news we need to know about isn’t and won’t be reported.
I knew it was too good to be true and was waiting for the other shoe to drop. When the New York Post of all “newspapers” publishes a story you know they get the side eye after their President as primate debacle earlier this year.
They claimed to have an Exclusive! titled, “Wedding Crashers” on a same-gender (male) couple that had managed to sneak in a marriage certificate in New York State despite the current ban there. Psych!
As it turns out one half of the couple is in fact a trans woman who has yet to undergo the reassignment surgery but who lives her life for all purposes as one. Which is usually the requirement before you can have the surgery anyway. I haven’t used their names because much of the story has been about using the male names of the couple. Wrong!!! Per Autumn Sandeen‘s post at Pam’s House Blend who says:
I’m angry regarding how this story is being covered. This is not a same-sex marriage story; this is a transgender person not being able to marry the one she loves story. This is a story about why marriage equality is more than a gay and lesbian story; part of why marriage equality is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community civil rights issue.
If the couple in question technically was a same-sex couple, then for sure this couple are definitely not a same-gender couple. This was a marriage between a man and a woman where the state doesn’t recognize the woman as a woman.
But at least in one example, it seems that even the LGBT media is gaying up this relationship by using male pronouns, using the male legal name of the female partner in this opposite gender couple, and putting the female name of the female person of the opposite gender couple in quotation marks.
Oh but this is just par for the course. Not only did the NY Post gunk up the story but the Advocate misled its readers as well by trumpeting this. Now I’ve discussed why transgendered folks are so peeved at the big Gay Rights Industrial Complex for co-opting their marital rights by pushing a “marriage equality” agenda that actually excludes them.
Though I support it I think it’s really foul what they’ve done and wonder if part of the reason why they have to face so much opposition is partially due to karma. I mean you can’t claim to be a victim, steal the African-American Civil Rights movement mojo AND trample over your transgendered peers and get away with it – can you?