Saturday, September 6, 2008
If you haven't yet checked out My.BarackObama.com, take a look. There's plenty we can do between now and 11/04/08 to help Obama win. Whether you like making calls or knocking doors or writing letters or raising $$, there's something for each of us to do to make victory happen.
And speaking of that, it's time for me to finish my calls. ;-)
The good news: Obama's still up, and the Rethuglicans still can't secure a lead.
OK, so McCain rose 2 in Gallup while Obama actually rose 1 in Rasmussen. While it's still a little early to declare a final verdict on the GOP Convention, the signs now point to a flop. If the best the GOP can do is narrow the race a little, it still looks to me like Democrats hold a slight upper hand in this race.
Think about it, this race is 2004 in reverse in so many ways. We're now seeing a base vs. base ground war, except this time we hold the advantage in party registration and overall excitement. We're seeing an issues vs. personality question, but it looks like Democrats have an edge as more people are worrying about the economic slowdown.
So we'll have to wait a few more days to see how the post-conventions general election battle really looks. But overall, I think we still have plenty reason to keep fighting for victory. Don't breathe a sigh of relief yet, but rather work your you-know-what off to make it happen. :-)
Friday, September 5, 2008
Video in the hands of Jon Stuart is a very dangerous thing.
Isn't this awesome? At this rate, McBush-Failin' won't have very many "red states" to count on come November. ;-)
Well, I guess they'll be losing Ohio to us. Haha. We win. ;-)
Now fast forward eight years to today. George W. Bush has taken us across the bridge, but back into the 20th Century. We have become a nation with an overstretched military stuck fighting an unwinnable occupation when they should be keeping our nation safe. We have an economy in ruins and an incredibly shrinking middle class. We have a climate in crisis and an energy emergency that's made us dependent on hostile foreign regimes. We desperately need to change course, and most Americans know that.
When I saw John McCain utter "change is coming" at the Republican Convention last night, I simply wanted to rush to the bathroom and lose my dinner. How is he "change"? What will he "change". McCain's entire platform of "change" consists entirely of the same wrong policies that George W. Bush has used to wreck us in the first place. If Bush took us back across the bridge to the 20th Century, McCain will simply burn that bridge as he & Sarah Palin rush us back into the 19th Century Gilded Age.
The reason why I am a Democrat is that I want what's best for our country. I want us to have the best possible open society, the best possible education, the best possible jobs, the best possible health care, the best possible quality of life, the best possible relationship with our planet, and the best possible relationship with our fellow human beings. That's why I admire what FDR did to bring us out of the Great Depression and defeat the threat of fascism. That's why I look up to JFK and his call for us to be a better people. That's why I will always love Bill & Hillary Clinton and I won't stop thinking about tomorrow.
And you know what? That's why I look forward to a brighter tomorrow with Democrats like Barack Obama and Joe Biden. When it comes to our nation's future, the Republican Party of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, and Sarah Palin simply don't get it. They want to apply 19th Century "ideas" in a 21st Century world. We need new ideas to solve the climate crisis, fix our economy, make our health care system work, and keep our nation secure. And today, Democrats have all the forward thinking ideas.
This election may not look like a cakewalk now. But you know what? We simply can't stop fighting. We have the upper hand now. We have the bright ideas. We have the unprecedented enthusiasm. We're looking forward to the future and we're proud if it.
Let's keep going. Let's keep working. Let's keep winning. Now is opportunity to put the past behind us, and move ahead to the future. We can do it... Yes we can!
Color me unimpressed. If I hadn't already made my decision, last night's underwhelming performance would NOT have drawn me to McBush-Failin'.
The nation's unemployment rate zoomed to a five-year high of 6.1 percent in August as employers slashed 84,000 jobs, dramatic proof of the mounting damage a deeply troubled economy is inflicting on workers and businesses alike.
The Labor Department's report, released Friday, showed the increasing toll the housing, credit and financial crises are taking on the economy.
6.1% unemployment? 84,000 jobs lost? Looming recession? And "the fundamentals of our economy are strong", as Bush & McCain say? Gimme a break!
Count me out... We desperately need change.
A friend pointed out to me: Remember, Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor.
Thirty-nine percent (39%) also believe the GOP vice presidential nominee has better experience to be president of the United States than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.At first glance, we should be relieved. It's effectively a draw. But look at the wording: "better experience to be president." The danger for Democrats is that our weaker candidate is at the top of the ticket.
But 49% give Obama the edge on experience, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey – taken before Palin’s historic speech Wednesday night to the Republican National Convention.
While Republicans and Democrats predictably favor their party’s candidate by overwhelming margins, the experience gap among voters unaffiliated with either party is even narrower than the national totals. Forty-two percent (42%) say Obama has better experience to be president, but 37% say Palin does.
The potential problem for Democrats is that Obama, the junior U.S. senator from Illinois and a former state legislator, is the party’s standard-bearer, while Palin, an ex-mayor and now governor of Alaska, is number two on her party’s ticket.And also note that the date for this poll was collected on September 3rd, before Sarah Palin's speech at the convention, which may have gotten her a few more points. Friends, bloggers, Obamacrats, and Clintonistas for Obama, the experience issue is not a winner for us. We need to let it go.
In Sunday's post, I also wrote that we needed to be very careful in how we criticized Palin, being careful to avoid sexist language in what we wrote and what we said.
Now, a warning. We have to be careful about how exactly we criticize Sarah Palin. There are still some very hard feelings about the sexism that pervaded the Democratic primary. I know that because I myself have them. (But I'm not allowing them to cloud my judgment about who to vote for in November.) Democrats should criticize Palin for her actions as a public official and her stands on the issues (drill, drill, drill, bomb, bomb, bomb and science schmience). Joking around about her beauty pageant background, belittling her as a token (especially when our own historic candidate has a thin resume), and using terms that demean women--such as bimbo--will only bring up bad memories and force some progressives to defend a candidate whom we do not like.The Obama campaign has officially been careful, and both Senators Obama and Biden have indicated that the Palin family is off-limits, but the commentariat and Obama's overzealous supporters, particularly those at the big orange cesspool, have gone unhinged. And the McCain campaign has played it brilliantly. The media is on defense and the public is siding with Sarah Palin.
Over half of U.S. voters (51%) think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage, and 24% say those stories make them more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November.We have winning issues. We have more money. We have stronger voter ID. We are better organized. And our side is hungry for victory. We can win this race without going to gutter. What recent history--and perhaps this polling date--have told us is that Republicans play gutter politics far better than Democrats.
Among unaffiliated voters, 49% say reporters are trying to hurt Palin, while 32% say their coverage is unbiased. Only five percent (5%) say reporters are trying to help her.
It easier to beat a governor who believes that the earth is only 6000 years old, that women who are raped should not have an abortion, and that 47 million uninsured Americans isn't a crisis than it is to defeat a hockey mom with an imperfect family. Stick to the issues. That's what we're good at. That is how we will win!
Cross posted at MyDD
The Wilson sisters from the 70s and 80s music sensation group Heart condemned McCain-Palin campaign's unauthorized use of the song "Barracuda" at the Republican convention. The campaign was playing up the high school nickname of Sarah Palin as Sarah the Barracuda to spotlight her Alaskan fighting spirit . However this apparently didn't go down well with the Wilson sisters. Nancy Wilson (one of the Wilson sisters from the Heart group) issued an email yesterday afternoon asking the campaign to desist from unauthorized usage of the song.
But after McCain finished his speech accepting the GOP's presidential nomination tonight, Palin joined him on stage, and the song was used again: Heart's "Barracuda" played as balloons fell. With that elephant in the room, Heart's Nancy Wilson felt compelled to personally respond. "I think it's completely unfair to be so misrepresented," she said in a phone call to EW.com after the speech. "I feel completely f---ed over."
She and sister Ann Wilson then emailed the following exclusive statement to Entertainment Weekly:
"Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."
Read more here at Entertainment Weekly
McCain-Palin campaign had been served with a cease and desist notice by Universal Music Publishing and Sony BMG. Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart said Thursday night that Universal Music Publishing and Sony BMG have sent a cease and desist notice to the McCain-Palin campaign over their use of 'Barracuda.'
"We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored," the group said in a statement that said they "condemn" the use of the song at the Republican convention.
Read more at CNN
Any thoughts on copyright violation and business practices of the Republican party here?
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Democrats are in great shape heading into the home stretch. The party is united, Independents are moving to our side, and we're poised to win at least 270 EVs this fall. As long as we keep spreading our message of real change, we win. :-)
Rasmussen suggests that with leaners, Obama leads McCain 50 to 45. Gallup actually has McCain down one point since his convention began. While they tracked the race before at Obama, 49 to McCain, 43, they now call it Obama, 49 to McCain, 42. That's statistical noise, of course, but I like the tune all-the-same.
"I have actual responsibilities, said Jacqueline del Valle," a community organizer in the Bronx. "If Mayor Giuliani and President Bush cared more about working people instead of just people who can hire high-powered lobbyists, maybe I wouldnt have so much responsibility. Maybe working people would have an easier time in America today. But thats not our reality, and they dont have to mock us while were trying to clean up their mess."Today, I found a great new blog called Organizers Fight Back. Here, we see the truth that the Rethuglican fat cat elitists don't want us to see. They think they can mock Barack Obama for working to help the community as a young man, but we know better. We can't let them get away with their ugly smears.
In case you missed it, a slew of speakers at the GOP Convention last night tried to make "community organizer" into some dirty job that anyone would be ashamed of. Rudy Giuliani mocked Obama for having "problems with his resume", while Sarah Palin actually mocked organizers as "having no responsibilities". Maybe from their vantage points as ultra-rich oligarchs that don't know what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck, these Republicans don't think community organizers do anything important. But for the rest of us, we know better.
I have friends myself who have worked hard as community organizers. Through their blood, sweat, and 24/7 nonstop work, they've helped protect the environment, get more affordable housing built, improve our schools, and help workers get the living wage they deserve. I know better, so I refuse to allow these Republican attacks on grassroots local organizers go unchallenged.
We all know of Barack Obama and his work as a community organizer. He actually worked hard to bring about real change for the better in his community in Chicago. He worked to help out workers who lost their jobs at the steel mills. He worked hard to help working families get the affordable housing they deserve. And for Republicans like John McCain and Sarah Palin to mock that while they hide their own ugly truth of putting the wants of the powerful over the needs of the people, that's just outright despicable.
If the Republicans plan to make "community organizer" into some new veiled racist attack, we won't let them. Of the Republicans want to mock Barack Obama's record of service to the people, we won't let them. I've seen far too many ugly, disgusting right-wing attacks go unanswered in the past, so I refuse to stay silent as I see another "swift boat" style smear rear it's ghastly head. I hope you'll all join me.
Let's fight the smears. Let's help truth fight back. Let's stand up for community organizers, for real agents of change like Barack Obama, and let's take our country back from the lying GOP elitists!
During the period of overt racial oppression in the South that followed the collapse of the Confederacy and the emancipation of the slaves, poor whites often called well-spoken and well-dressed African Americans "uppity." It is unequivocally a racial slur, and John McCain needs to call on Rep. Westmoreland to issue a public apology.
It caught our attention, then, when First Lady Laura Bush and would-be First Lady Cindy McCain took the stage Tuesday night wearing some rather fancy designer clothes. So we asked our fashion department to price out their outfits.
Oscar de la Renta suit: $2,500
Stuart Weitzman heels: $325
Pearl stud earrings: $600$1,500
Total: Between $3,425 and $4,325
Oscar de la Renta dress: $3,000
Chanel J12 White Ceramic Watch: $4,500
Three-carat diamond earrings: $280,000
Four-strand pearl necklace: $11,000$25,000
Shoes, designer unknown: $600
Total: Between $299,100 and $313,100
Wow! No wonder McCain has so many houses: his wife has the price of a Scottsdale split-level hanging from her ears.
With so many working class people suffering, the GOP doesn't care. They'd rather saunter around their elite parties in their designer couture while all the rest of us are hurt by their "laissez-faire" economic policies. And yet, they still call the Obamas, a couple that only recently paid off their student loans and still only own ONE HOUSE, "elitists"??!!
The hypocrisy just kills me!
Give her rope. "Don't harp on Palin's lack of experience; the media are doing that already... If you pile on with more cheap attacks, you'll risk charges of sexism - and keep people thinking about Obama's inexperience, to boot."
Attack her extremism. "Palin's out of the mainstream, especially on social issues... These things will worry independents and Hillarycrats."
Do not condescend. "Take Palin's views seriously and be respectful. And by all means, stop this sordid, shrill and counterproductive sniping about her private life. That will only provoke sympathy, especially among moderate women."
Let women lead the way. "Women can make attacks on Palin that would boomerang from men."
OK, so does that make sense? It sometimes seems to me that the GOP has set up a trap around Sarah Palin. Let's see if we can let them fall into their own trap. ;-)
You'll notice that Rudy Giuliani apparently ran too long and they had to drop the Palin mini-movie that was supposed to introduce her speech. Normally people get fired for goofs like that. They didn't want Rudy's blood and iron speech the day after Gustav so they bumped it until tonight. Big mistake. He positively dripped with a kind of curdled anger, the origin of which is difficult to grasp. But he actually seemed to get angrier and angrier as the speech progressed -- off chopping his hands around, baring his teeth. I know the people in the hall loved it. But I think a lot of people will see it as whacked. Rancid. Curdled. Palin's speech ended up being much more partisan than I expected. But that was added to by the fact that she had to start her speech while the auditorium was still awash in the teeth-gnashing froth ginned up by Rudy's speech. I've seen political events that I totally got and others that I thought I got but was totally wrong about. So who knows? But take this as a sign that the McCain campaign has abandoned an effort to compete for swing voters and go back to the base energizing strategy that worked for President Bush in 2004. The numbers make that look like a tough proposition. But I think a few months from now, everyone will agree this was a mistake.
Seriously, does the GOP really think that turning out the 20-25% "base" that still want to believe that George W. Bush isn't EPIC FAIL will win them this election? I doubt it just as much as Josh Marshall does. Who thinks that the 75-80% of us who want real change won't turn out on November 4?
McBush is making a HUGE gamble in reverting to the old Rovian "turn out the base & screw everyone else" strategy... And we'll just have to see how it backfires. ;-)
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
At this point, I'd dare to say Minnesota & Iowa are no longer "Toss-Up" states, but now "Lean Obama" states. Obama's been consistently ahead in both states, and while I can't yet say we have a lock on these states, I do think the door's closing fast on McCain. And as for Ohio, it's a relief to see Obama retake the lead here. The GOP's economic policies have caused the people here to suffer, so I don't know how McCain's been able to even keep it close here.
So overall, more good news... And more reason for us to keep working our tushies off 'til we win on November 4! :-)
Hagan (D) 50%
Dole (R-inc) 45%
Overall, this is great news. McCain can't even get 50% in a supposedly "solid red state", and Liddy Dole can't hold onto ANY lead. Let's keep up the good work & help turn North Carolina blue! :-D
Martin Heinrich (D) 51%
Darren White (R) 46%
Barack Obama (D) 55%
John McCain (R) 41%
This purple district is going blue! Now let's make sure our Democrats win! :-)
As we've told you previously in CA-46: Better Leadership for Our People & Our Planet, Debbie Cook is from the deep red Orange County and she's attempting to unseat GOP rubberstamp, and global warming denier, Dana Rohrabacher. Debbie Cook is well-known in the region, popular, and has a realistic shot at turning this red district blue.
Now, Debbie has a new TV ad, "Results", that she's airing across her district (see it here). This ad makes it clear how different Debbie's policies are from Dana Rohrabacher. As Debbie says:
I'm just not comfortable playing the Washington politics that have kept Dana in office for so long; I am depending on hardworking Americans like you for support, not Washington lobbyists like Jack Abramoff. A campaign built on the power of our community working together is the way we are going to win in November.Now Debbie is asking for help to get this ad on the air. Each ad costs about $38 (which sounds like a great price to me) and she's asking for donations so her ad can air as many times as possible between now and November 4.
This is the chance to help unseat a really awful, entrenched Republican and get some real respresentation for the people of Orange County. Please use our C4O ActBlue page to donate to Debbie Cook's campaign (and maybe contribute to a few other good Dems while you're there.) And if you donate $38 to Debbie Cook's campaign, you can be assured that someone in Orange County is seeing a political advertisement all thanks to you.
Oh, the hypocrisy of the GOP.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Because if there’s a poor child out there, that’s my child. If there’s a senior that’s having trouble, that’s my grandparent. If there’s a guy who’s lost his job, that’s my brother. If there’s a woman out there without healthcare, that’s my sister. Those are the values that built this country. Those are the values we are fighting for.This is what it means to be a Democrat. To me Barack Obama is epitomizing the spirit of a shared responsibility that we must have for one another, no matter what party you belong to or what you believe in.
That spirit of looking out for one another, that core value that says I am my brothers’ keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, that spirit is most evident during times of great tragedy, it’s most evident during times of great hardship, it’s most evident when natural disasters strike because we understand that only God has control and so it takes it out of the realm of politics. We all understand that we have to come together.And what breaks my heart is hearing the far right pundits, current and ex elected Republicans attack this man based on lies and smears, repeatedly. I have such a hard time sitting by and hearing the propaganda, from, Obama sought the support from a unrepentant terrorist or Obama has never reached across the aisle. The other laughable comment is he's never stood up to any part of his party to do what he thought was right (Sure, everyone was so happy about his FISA vote, talk of combining drilling with other solutions for energy issues and daring to show up at a evangelical Church to answer question from a Baptist preacher).
But that spirit can’t just be restricted to moments of great catastrophe. Because as I stand here today and look out at the thousands of folks who have gathered here today, I know that there’s some folks that are going through their own quiet storms.
There’re people out there who’ve seen their jobs shipped overseas. There’re people out there who don’t have healthcare, maybe they’ve been trying to pay it on a credit card but mostly they’ve just been putting off trying to see a doctor. There’re seniors out there that don’t know how they’re going to pay their home heating bill this winter. There are folks out there that don’t know how they’re going to fill up the gas tank. There are young people in this audience right now that have graduated from high school, have the grades and want to go to college, but don’t have the money. There are young people being born in the inner cities, right here in Milwaukee, that don’t see any prospects for the future that think the only path available to them is a casket or a jail cell.
All across America there are quiet storms taking place. There are lives of quiet desperation. People who need just a little bit of help. Now, Americans are a self-reliant people, we’re an independent people. We don’t like asking somebody else to do what we can do ourselves but you know what we understand is that every once in a while somebody’s going to get knocked down. Every once in a while somebody’s going to go through some hard times. When we least expect it tragedy may strike. And what has always made this country great is the understanding that we rise and fall as one nation, that values and family, community and neighborhood, they have to express themselves in our government. Those are national values. Those are values that we all subscribe to. And so that the spirit that we extend today and in the days to come as we monitor what happens on the Gulf that’s the spirit that we’ve got to carry with us each and every day. That’s the spirit that we need in our own homes and it’s the spirit that we need in the White House. And that’s why I’m running for president of the United States of America.
So, why are we spending so much time about Sarah Palin's personal life? Why? Why are we recommending every breathless diary that comes up with another Palin "scandal". It's a waste of our time, there are many more things we can get Palin on, such as her lack of experience, conflict of interest, breaking the law, etc. You know, those little things.
The most important part of this that is a win for us is that John McCain didn't get his way and made a rash decision without vetting his last minute choice and his campaign is paying the price. He will not throw her under the bus either, he will stick to her to the very end. We need to talk about how his rash behavior, experienced as it is, is too much of a risk for this very volatile world.
As for the damn executive experience? Obama has run one of the best campaigns in current history and completely changed the face of politics. That's an executive job and he's done it flawlessly, without drama and without rash decisions that he later regrets. (Oh, I heard one pundit going on about how Obama takes way too long to make up his mind, how dare he!)
Is this rambling? YES! I feel like I'm losing my mind as I send my five year old to her first day of Kindergarten tomorrow, I can't wrap my brain around why this is even close. I can't wrap the gray matter around the thought that I may have to subject my daughter to another four years of this mess that we call Republican rule.
Charlotte was born on May 28th, 2003 and has never lived in a Country that was not at war. I just have a hard time wrapping my brain around that as well. I just don't get it.
Charlotte gets new school clothes! (No diary is complete without cuteness)
Author's Note: The Log Cabin Republicans is an organization for gay Republicans. (Yes, both of them.)
The most pathetic, self-loathing group of people on the face of the earth just came out with their much anticipated endorsement. The Log Cabin Republicans are backing Sen. John McCain and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
From the LCR website:
On issues of concern to Log Cabin, Sen. McCain has a mixed record. But, on the most important issue the LGBT community has faced in the last decade, the federal marriage amendment, McCain stood with us and was on the right side of history. He consistently voted against the anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment. He voted against the proposal in both 2004 and 2006, saying the matter should be left to the states. Watch Sen. McCain's 2004 speech opposing the FMA.
He supported Arizona's 2006 effort to ban marriage equality and roll back domestic partner benefits offered by some municipalities in the state. McCain opposes hate crime legislation and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). He supports continuation of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, which prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly and honestly in the U.S. military.
So he has a "mixed record" because he endorsed every aspect of the Dr. Dobson hate agenda EXCEPT a federal constitutional amendment that had no chance of passing anyway? That's a mixed record!?
The Log Cabin Republicans need to do more research. Although Sen. McCain voted against the federal anti-gay marriage amendment, he signed a petition for a referendum on an anti-gay marriage amendment to the Arizona state constitution. McCain seems to believe that states should be allowed to make their own decisions on gay marriage. So while he opposed the federal ban, he supported the state ban.
Here is the ad he cut for the anti-gay
He discussed his personal views at the Hardball College Tour in Iowa in 2006:
“On the issue of gay marriage, I do believe, and I think it's a correct policy that the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, a marriage between man and woman, should have a unique status. But I‘m not for depriving any other group of Americans from having rights. But I do believe that there is something that is unique between marriage between a man and a woman, and I believe it should be protected.”
In this video, McCain explains that while he doesn’t have problem with gay marriage, in that he doesn’t have a problem with the ceremony, the marriage should not confer any rights.
If that doesn’t send a chill down your spines, maybe this will. In the fall of 2007, a judge in Iowa struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage. Fox News wrote this about Senator McCain's response to that ruling:
Republican White House hopeful John McCain called the ruling "a loss for the traditional family."
"I have always supported the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman," he said. "The ruling of the court only reinforces my belief that we must have a president who is committed to appointing strict constructionists to the bench."
This spring, after securing the nomination, Senator McCain repeated his pledge to nominate “strict constructionist judges.”
What does that mean for the gay rights movement? Before John Roberts and Samuel Alito were added to the Supreme Court, the three strict constructionist judges were Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and the late William Rehnquist. In 2003, in the case of Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court struck down laws that banned consensual sex between adults of the same sex. From CNN:
Religious conservatives quickly criticized the decision, and in a sharply worded dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said the court "has taken sides in the culture war." Scalia -- joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas -- said the court "has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda."
"Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda though normal democratic means," Scalia wrote.
But with Thursday's decision, he wrote, the court was "departing from its role in assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed."
If this is what the Log Cabin Republicans call a "mixed record," then they are crazier than I thought. Having skimmed LCR's website, I'm starting to believe they are seriously delusional. After all they still haven't heard (or accepted) the news that John McCain endorsed California's proposition 8, an amendment on the November ballot that would ban gay marriage.
From the LCR website:
Like Sen. Obama and most Democratic lawmakers, Sen. McCain opposes marriage for gay and lesbian Americans. He has expressed support for allowing gay couples access to some benefits short of a civil marriage license. When the California Supreme Court affirmed the state legislature in May 2008 and paved the way for marriage equality in the Golden State, Sen. McCain issued a statement saying that the people of California should decide the issue.
Unlike John McCain, Barack Obama has come out against proposition 8 in California. Unlike the Log Cabin Republicans, the Democratic Party is not afraid to embrace the gay and lesbian community in an election year. Although Republicans have used gay marriage and gay rights as wedge issues in previous elections, Democrats crafted a platform that gay activists hailed as its "strongest ever" on gay rights.
The Log Cabin Republicans, on the other hand, seem content to continue their role as the Uncle Tom's of the GOP.
If the LCRs thinks the only way they will be taken seriously by Republicans is to abandon any notion of fighting for gay rights and shamelessly endorse a man who thinks that they are unfit to marry, adopt children, or serve in the military, so be it. But they need to stop pretending that they are putting gay and lesbian families come first when the endorse a man who said, "I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption."
No self-respecting man or woman who has suffered at the hands of an intolerant society because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity would support this bigot for president.
The Washington Post is reporting that Sarah Palin used her line item veto to reduce funding for unwed mothers. Note her initials, "SP," on the Alaska state budget.
So why, again, should anyone supporting equal rights support someone who thinks "separate but equal" is OK?
As you all know now, Barack Obama & the Democratic Party are working hard to implement a real 50 State Strategy for this fall that leaves no Democrats behind. And of course, this also means investing in the crucial swing states that we must win to elect a Democratic President and more & better Democrats to Congress. So far, we're doing well.
But you know what? We can't rest on our laurels now. The Republicans will try to throw whatever they can at us to bring us down. They're desperate enough to do anything to make sure McCain & Palin deliver on their promise of four more years of Bush & Cheney.
We simply can NOT let them bring us down!
Democrats are fired up & ready to go all over America, from New Mexico...
And so many more states all over this great nation!
But if we don't support our Democrats now, they won't have the resources to continue fighting the good fight all over the nation. That's why it's important for us to support them now. We can't afford four more years of Republican disaster. That's why we must keep fighting strong.
So please, join us in supporting Obama along with amny more great Democrats all over America. Our contributions are paying for TV ads, radio ads, community organizing, phone banks, and get-out-the-vote operations. And if we want to continue to be able to fight back when the right attacks, we need to make sure Democrats have the resources to do so.
So please join us... I doubt you'll regret it. ;-)
Sometimes, I don't know why I do so many crazy political activities. I'm having "fun" calling voters in Nevada. So far, I've been leaving a whole lot of messages today. There just never seems to be a perfect time for catching everyone at home. I guess I should know, as I'm hardly ever home!
But anyways, I have caught some Independents at home. Most seem open to voting Obama, as well as downticket Democrats. I spoke with one woman who hadn't yet made up her mind. I spoke with another lovely woman who was pouring her heart out to me, as she's being crippled by her arthritis to the point where she can't leave her home. I almost wanted to cry as I was telling her about voting by mail while also venting about my own family's health care woes. She wanted to vote Obama, but she wasn't sure if she could do it until I told her about voting by mail.
You know, it's really stories like this that keep me going. When I hear about this lady and her health care woes, or another person in Nevada who's concerned about our troops in Iraq, or another Nevada voter who's afraid of losing her job, I feel even more motivated to keep going. John McCain and the GOP may try to distract everyone with photo ops in the Gulf Coast or folksy tales from Sarah Palin, but it's our job to keep the focus on the issues that really matter.
That's what I remind myself as I make more of these calls to Nevada. That's also what I remind myself as I walk neighborhoods. Ultimately, that's why people vote.
That's why a young man in Reno will be voting for Democrats. He lays carpet for the casinos, so he's just another working class person who's concerned about the economy. He knows many folks who are one paycheck away from losing their homes, so the foreclosure crisis is really hitting him close to home. He's voting for Obama and for Democrats because he wants real action on the economy.
That's why an older man in Pahrump will be voting for Obama and Congressional candidate Jill Derby as well. Even though he was originally a Hillary Clinton supporter like many of us, he also now sees that the I my way Hillary's and our progressive agenda get passed is with a President Obama and a more Democratic Congress.
I just hope that all if us working do hard for Democrats this year don't forget these real voters and the real issues they're facing. We're counting on them to vote. They're counting on us to make real change happen.
I guess the American people are smarter than McBush & the GOP think. ;-)
Wow! Despite McCain's attempt to steal Obama's DNC thunder with his Palin pick, Obama still holds a significant lead. In fact, Obama's Rasmussen number is at its highest yet!
But does this mean we're out of the woods yet? Not quite. RCP still projects only a 273 EV Obama win, while fivethirtyeight.com projects a 298 EV win. So still, Democrats will need to fight & fight hard to win this fall.
So what should we do? How can Democrats maintain their advantage? What should we be doing now to ensure victory? Where should we focus our resources?
OK, the strategy session is about to begin. Please grab a comfy chair & join us. We have plenty to discuss. :-)
Bloomberg has the surest sign the McCain campaign is on the rocks with it's pick of the GOP vice presidential nominee: They're attacking what McCain once called his 'base' -- the national news media.
McCain's campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, "lashed out at what he deemed 'offensive' and 'demeaning' coverage and questions from reporters after McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, confirmed her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant."
Whoops! He did it again. McBush really blew it. ;-)
The campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., likes to herald the independence of its new running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which, since the 1970s, has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.
And while McCain's motto -- as seen in a new TV ad -- is "Country First," the AIP's motto is the exact opposite -- "Alaska First -- Alaska Always."
Yippee! So will McCain have to flip-flop again, this time on whether to let Alaska secede from The Union? ;-)
Guess what? The people who scare the bejeezuz out of progressive Americans are ecstatic over the selection of Sarah Palin. I heard over and over again, people calling into talk radio to say their only regret was that Palin was not on the top of the ticket. You know what comforts these radical conservatives who have been the bane of our existence the last eight years? They find comfort that John McCain is old and decrepit. They see Sarah Palin as Trojan Horse to continue their agenda in the White House. If John McCain keeled over on November 5, they would be the happiest Americans there are/
The thought that there Clintonistas excited about this woman seems to me a total abandonment of responsibility for progressive values. I desperately want to see a woman become president of the United States. I desperately do not want to see this woman get anywhere near the White House.
Monday, September 1, 2008
And McCain's supposed to be a "maverick" who represents "change"? Change from what? Gimme a break!
[Tucker] Eskew's talent notwithstanding, he was loathed by McCain's 2000 campaign team. When the media first reported push-poll phone calls from Voter/Consumer Research, a company hired by he Bush campaign, asking South Carolinians if they knew about McCains role in the S&L crisis and his scandal as a member of the Keating Five, it was Eskew -- Bushs South Carolina spokesman who acknowledged, and defended, the calls.
"Show me a baseless comment in those questions about McCain," Eskew told the Charleston Post and Courier in February 2000.
McCain ally Lindsey Graham then a South Carolina GOP congressman, now a senator, decried the tactics Eskew defended, holding a press conference along with two local Republican officials to denounce the phone calls.
"What happened last weekend is the great minds apparently went to Austin, Texas and all they could think of for a game plan was trash out John McCain," Graham said. "That's not where I want my party to go."
And guess where GOP professional smear artist Tucker Eskew is? Guess who's bringing on Bush's campaign team, the same people that were responsible for smearing John McCain in 2000? You guessed it: John McCain!
No wonder why he's broken his promises to run a clean campaign as he attacks Barack Obama... McCain in 2008 has forsaken McCain in 2000 to become the next George W. Bush!
CNN: Obama +1
Rasmussen Daily: Obama +3
CBS News: Obama +8
538.com Electoral Vote Projection:
Obama 298 EVs, McCain 240 EVs
Like the Gallup tracking poll released earlier today, it looks like Obama & Biden have bounced back into the lead. Meanwhile, McCain hasn't received much of any bounce by picking AK Gov. Sarah Palin. As I've said before, it really looks to me like Democrats are entering the home stretch of this election with a slight, but still significant, upper hand. And as long as Obama & Biden keep hammering home the message of real change from the same old Bush-Cheney-McCain-Palin-GOP BS, we can win this. :-)
These are the new numbers from Gallup Daily. Apparently, Obama isn't slipping much from his post-Convention high. Meanwhile, the Palin pick seems to be backfiring on McCain as he can't take the lead, despite being able to shore up the right-wing base.
So what does this mean? Going into the final home stretch of the 2008 Presidential Election, the Republicans still aren't in a good condition to win. Now certainly, the race reamins fairly close. And if Democrats screw up in the next two months, we can still snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But as long as Obama & Biden continue to tell the voters the truth that McCain = Bush, Democrats can win.
And really, it's about time that we have Democrats who know how to fight & win! :-)
MONROE, Michigan (CNN) – Barack Obama told reporters firmly that families are off-limits in this campaign, reacting to news that Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant.Senator Obama made it clear. If anybody in his campaign goes after the Palin family, they're fired. We're Democrats. We can do better than attacking a teenage girl.
“Let me be as clear as possible,” said Obama, “I think people’s families are off-limits and people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as governor, or her potential performance as a vice president.”
Obama said reporters should “back off these kinds of stories” and noted that he was born to an 18 year-old mother.
“How a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn't be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that’s off-limits.”
The Illinois senator became aggravated when asked about rumors on liberal blogs speculating that Palin’s fifth child - Trig - is actually her daughter Bristol’s. A Reuters report Monday quotes a senior McCain aide saying that Obama’s name is in some of posts, “in a way that certainly juxtaposes themselves against their 'campaign of change,’”
“I am offended by that statement,” Obama shot back, not letting the reporter finish his question. “There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us.”
“We don’t go after people’s families,” Obama said. “We don’t get them involved in the politics. It’s not appropriate and it’s not relevant. Our people were not involved in any way in this and they will not be. And if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired.”
The media on the other hand...
Today, the thoughts and prayers of all Americans are with those in the path of Hurricane Gustav -- and many of you are asking what you can do to help.
We do not yet know what the impact of Hurricane Gustav will be, and we hope with all our hearts that the damage will not be as great as it was three years ago.
But we know there will be damage, and there is something you can do right now.
Your financial support will strengthen organizations like the American Red Cross that are evacuating Gulf Coast residents and planning to help communities get back on their feet.
Make a donation to support the American Red Cross today.
At times like this, it is our compassion and resilience that define who we are as a nation.
Please give whatever you can afford, even $10, to make sure the American Red Cross has the resources to help those in the path of this storm:
Thank you for your generosity, and I hope you will join Michelle and me in praying for the safety of those in the path of the storm and the first responders who are doing all they can to ensure the safety of their communities.
Progress in America is never cheap, and even today history exacts a price for Obama's victory -- the dreams of electing the first female president, the dreams of so many who rushed toward Hillary Clinton on rope lines across America and refused to give up her hand and their hopes. Today these dreams are giving way to another kind of progress.
For me, the presidential campaign began in a crowded Iowa hall, where I saw a man my age lift up a daughter around my daughter's age and tell her that one day she could be president. Last week things came nearly full circle, when I saw another man my age lift up another child and say the very same thing.
Let's work to make sure these dreams become reality.
A tribute to Halliburton?
Check it out at The New York Times.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
First Read observes:
It is unclear why the campaign cut the paragraphs, which were widely praised Friday for appealing to Clinton supporters who may feel disenfranchised by the Obama campaign.My guess is that they weren't getting the mileage out of it with the home crowds, since Hillary has never been an exceptionally popular figure among the Republicans (one of the reasons I like her so well) and "disenchanted" Hillary supporters are not all that enchanted with McCain-Palin, so they're not showing up to cheer Clinton at McCain rallies.
It's interesting to note that Sarah Palin's mother-in-law doesn't know that she will vote for her daughter-in-law. Faye Palin says:
I'm not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she's a woman and a conservative.Meanwhile, the hometown team was in Ohio today. Biden observed:
There’s a gigantic — gigantic difference between John McCain and Barack Obama, and between me and, I suspect, my vice presidential opponent. Well there’s obvious differences — she’s good looking.A woman apparently shouted out that Biden was "gorgeous." Biden replied that he hadn't heard that in a "long time."
So what's different? Where's the change? There's none for queer people.
First, the good news. This probably takes the experience issue off the table for Republicans. Senator McCain cannot hit Obama after adding a first term Alaska governor to his ticket. That said, were McCain to run another “Is he ready to lead?” ad, the Obama campaign could not hit back without stipulating that experience is important. So it’s possible that we haven’t seen the end of the experience attack, but I doubt that either campaign wants to go there right now.
The other piece of good news is that many Clinton voters feel as though McCain is pandering to them. From The New York Times:
Some Clinton stalwarts took offense, saying they felt as if Mr. McCain had decided that, for women disappointed that they could not vote for Mrs. Clinton, any woman would do. “It’s an insult,” said Jan Roller, a Clinton delegate from Cleveland, as she arrived home from the convention. “You have to be qualified for the job.”
Gail Collins has a good piece on this, as does Taylor Marsh. The best commentary, of course, comes from Jon Stewart.
Now, the bad news. McCain has seriously bolstered his “change” message. He now has a history-making running mate and both candidates can point to specific acts of breaking with the party and standing up to the establishment. Obama’s change message might now have some serious competition.
The other piece of bad news is that Palin’s selection has seriously energized the Republican base. Today's tracking poll report from Rasmussen talked about how adding Palin has given McCain a boost:
There have been significant changes in perception of John McCain in the two days of polling since he named Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Since then, 49% of Republicans voice a Very Favorable opinion of McCain. That’s up six percentage points from 43% just before the announcement. Also, 64% of unaffiliated voters now give positive reviews to McCain, up ten points since naming his running mate.
Democrats still have the advantage in voter identification, so as long as we are able to unite our party, Obama should still win this election. What concerns me, however, is the effect on down ballot races and ballot initiatives. Were evangelicals to stay home on Election Day, and Obama to attract enough new, younger, liberal voters to the polls, Democrats would have a chance to win elections in places where we haven’t won before. Senate races in Alabama and North Carolina are within reach, according to recent polls. But an energized evangelical race might put those contests out of reach for Democrats.
In my own state of Florida, where an anti-gay marriage amendment is on the November ballot, evangelicals energized about the top of the ticket are now more likely to come to the polls and vote for the amendment. Just a few days ago, gay rights advocates were encouraged by a poll that put the amendment within defeat. The poll found that support for the amendment was at 57% with a 4% margin of error. It must have the support of at least 60% of voters to pass.
If the media spends some time talking about how much she appeals to the evangelicals, that might actually help Democrats among independents who believe that human activities are harming the environment, that intelligent design is not real science, and that women who are raped should be allowed to have an abortion. However, the focus thus far has been about her gender and her (lack of) experience. Unfortunately, we cannot count on the media to spend much time on the issues.
Now, a warning. We have to be careful about how exactly we criticize Sarah Palin. There are still some very hard feelings about the sexism that pervaded the Democratic primary. I know that because I myself had them. (But I'm not allowing them to cloud my judgment about who to vote for in November.) Democrats should criticize Palin for her actions as a public official and her stands on the issues (drill, drill, drill, bomb, bomb, bomb and science schmience). Joking around about her beauty pageant background, belittling her as a token (especially when our own historic candidate has a thin resume), and using terms that demean women--such as bimbo--will only bring up bad memories and force some progressives to defend a candidate whom we do not like.
I don't relish the idea of being told (again) that I'm bitter and need to get over the primaries (the former, but not the latter, is accurate), but I won't avoid calling out sexism when I see it. I cannot, in good conscience, sit silently as another woman is demeaned the way Hillary was just because she is a Republican who hates me and things I am a threat to "family values."
We'll have to wait another week for McCain's post-convention bounce in the polls to recede to see exactly where we are, but I'm not worried. This election is still Obama's to lose. We just need to do our part.
Republican hypocrisy in action!
I know that America is your favorite and that you have been angry with us. I know that you were smiting the United States of America for it's perversions, when those Ayrabs flew those planes into the twin towers, and I know you took your vengeance upon New Orleans and America with Katrina, because of the queers and feminists and liberals. And Dear God I know you sent us George Walker Bush to save us from those Godless terrorists, and that you told John McCain to choose a good woman like Mrs Palin for his VP. (BTW, I was getting a little worried about John, but now I feel so much better.)
I know all of my friends and I are really excited about the God Fearing Republican Party again and am so looking forward to the Republican Convention in Minnesota this week.
But God, you know I am not one to complain or anything, but I went to Denver a couple of weeks ago with a friend and asked you for something;
Now, I am not angry or anything, but did it have to be such a perfect day and evening?
Well, you know best. But God, I am getting really worried today. I see another great big hurricane is bearing down on the gulf again. And, well, they are saying it might hit New Orleans again. Now don't get me wrong, I couldn't give a kittens whiskers about THOSE people, but I am nervous about the timing.
Goodness gracious, they are even talking about delaying the party next week or turning it into some sort of community service event. Well, I am a republican for a reason, I only do charity for worthy folks. Now we have reservations, and do you actually think they will give us a refund at this point? What I really mean to say God, is that this kind of makes us look bad. Why bring up painful memories?
Sorry this is pretty sick. It is inspired by an actual conversation I had with someone yesterday. She might not have been quite this bad, but damn close. These are the ones that are beyond help.
We watched a recording of the Obama speech Thursday night since he taught late and had some work to do at school. Gary is currently teaching SEVEN classes at two different schools (UC Irvine and Cerritos College) and has been quite overwhelmed with the work.
Gary still walked this weekend though and spoke at the Laguna Woods Democratic Club. He started with talking about his experience on Thursday and told me how he started to cry during his talk.
Now Gary is not a very weepy man. He's got no issues with men crying, I just know he doesn't often. I've only witnessed him cry twice in the more than eleven years I've known him and that was when a high school friend had taken his own life and at the birth of our daughter, Charlotte.
So when he told me he had cried today in a room full of elderly Democrats I was a bit taken aback. I asked him why?
Gary told me he wanted to talk a bit about what Thursday meant to him and how he had been immersed in the sixties the entire day because he is teaching a History of Rock class at UCI, Cerritos and a Jazz Improv class at Cerritos.
He started the day talking about black music in the sixties and the success of Berry Gordy. (Mind you, I asked him to write this diary himself and he's refused). Berry Gordy was the founder of the Motown record label and the reason why we have such a rich history of African American artists...
His gift for identifying and bringing together musical talent, along with the careful management of his artists' public image, made Motown initially a major national and then international success. Over the next decade, he signed such artists as Mary Wells, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and The Pips, The Commodores, The Velvelettes, Martha & the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5.
(this is not the video by the way, just something I found on Youtube).
Gary said he spoke of Gordy in the context of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream Speech" and how Gordy epitomized the American Dream in his success. Gary also showed a video of Martin Luther King's funeral.
It was then at his Jazz Improvisation class that his students learned to play the blues. Gary is an accomplished musician and loves teaching jazz improv. It's one of his favorite forms of music as well as Blues and still plays gigs often more for the chance to play with friends than to make extra money.
Now there is a stronger connection between Gordy and MLK Jr. It's that Berry Gordy recorded King's speeches and their ties had a greater implication upon the Civil Rights Movement.
Amongst this turmoil, Reverend Martin Luther King Jnr rose to prominence as the leader of the movement. In 1963, following riots in Birmingham, Alabama, King led 125,000 protestors through Detroit on ‘The Great March for Freedom’. He delivered his famous 'I have a Dream' speech, which mobilised the civil rights struggle into an impassioned plea for freedom.Amazing to me the connections that can be drawn by studying rock history. So think that Gary was talk about all of this all day Thursday to come home and witness history in the making, I can understand why he was moved. I was moved as well, with millions of others, I know we were not the only ones.
Recording of Martin Luther King Jr's Detroit Speech, 1963. Image Courtesy of Motown Records Archive.
Recording of Martin Luther King Jr's Detroit Speech, 1963. Image Courtesy of Motown Records Archive. (click image for larger version)
The ongoing political upheaval led to the Civil Rights Act, 1964 and the Voting Rights Act, 1965, granting most of the demands, in theory at least, and contemporary popular music began to reflect the changing times.
Previously, Motown had generally avoided ‘issue’ tracks, but in the changing political climate Stevie Wonder’s ‘Down to Earth’ (1966) began a trend for ‘message’ songs. Edwin Starr’s 'War', Marvin Gaye’s 'What’s Going On?’ followed, along with the Supremes' 'Love Child' which became number one in the U.S in 1968, and is their best selling single to date.
But it just wasn't the speech but what the moment meant in our history. What it meant that so many people had come together to celebrate the nomination of a brilliant man, father and husband who just happens to be of African descent.
America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices. And Democrats, as well as Republicans, will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past, for part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose, and that's what we have to restore.I know Gary was blown away by Obama's speech. It really spoke to us as residents of a very Red County and to Gary's campaign to run as a moderate. I understand why Gary wouldn't want to write about this experience but I wanted to because I'm a blogger. It's what I do.
You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers.
But this, too, is part of America's promise, the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.
I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer, and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values.
And that's to be expected, because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.
New York Times
Gary started this race by my urging him and the desire to put a "D" on the ballot but as our State's budget is held hostage by a very few Republicans and their pledge to no new taxes, we see that extreme partisan politics can be far more destructive than helpful. Republicans in California have not given their own budget and how they would cut 15 billion dollars out of the 100 billion dollar budget. No risk on their part and that is what this race is about.
Republicans in the OC don't have to budge because their seats are considered safe (So much so that local Republican bloggers refer to Gary's opponent as "Senator Elect"). Obama speaks directly to these divides that happen locally and nationally and they keep us from progressing.
Just two more State Senators in California that are Democrats and we could possibly have a budget by now. Just two.
So, I keep writing about Gary's race and I keep asking for support because I believe in him. He's compassionate and smart, he's pragmatic and passionate and he's one of the best candidates we have in local races.
Can you help Gary? Please don't hold it against him that he will not come here to blog, know that he walks every weekend, he meets groups, works hard and has learned a great deal about the issues so far.
If you want to learn more, here is Gary's biography on his website. Both Gary and I never met one of our parents and we are both products of public education. It's amazing how much I have in common with my husband and how blessed I am to say he is my best friend and the father of my child. I've learned more about him in the last few months, that happens when you've known someone so long. It's another reason why Barack Obama's story touches us in a personal way. I was the first in my immediate family on my Mother's side to graduate from College (My grandparents were both born in Italy and are immigrants to America) and Gary's mother was a Native American, he too was one of the first in his family to go to College. Not only College though, he got his Ph.D. in 2006.
Okay, enough gushing, here is what he says about himself.
Who I am
When I decided to run for office, I knew that I would need a biography. I also knew that I didn’t want it written by someone other than myself. I felt strongly that I would be the best person to tell you who I am while summing up the whole of my life experiences in one page.
I can count the times that I’ve bothered reading a political biography on one hand. The better ones I read came across as disingenuous while the worst were like pharmaceutical ads on TV. I’m hoping for somewhere in between phony and slick.
I’m a 37 year old California native who was born in the Central Valley town of Bakersfield and raised near the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park.
I now live in Aliso Viejo with Heather my supportive spouse of 10 years and Charlotte our exuberant five year old daughter..
I am a dedicated educator in the public school system. I completed college in Southern California where I attended Chapman University, the Claremont Graduate School, UCLA, and UCI. I hold a Ph.D. in the Social Sciences and am a tenured professor in the Fine Arts and Communication Division of Cerritos College where I have taught since 1999. In the summer, I am also a lecturer at UCI.
As a tested leader in the California Community College system, I have served as a department chair, sat on curriculum and program review committees, co-authored grants for the National Endowment of the Humanities and federal vocational education programs. I have chaired tenure committees, reviewed textbooks, authored new curriculum including distance education courses, and have participated in a variety of local and national conferences and symposia.
As your senator, I will follow the same principles that made me an effective leader in education. I will work hard to make sure the people who need the most help get it. I will never waste time and resources with murky issues that advance the interests of the few over that of the average citizen.
I will be an empathetic leader dedicated to improving the quality of education, expanding healthcare to include more of California’s children, and maintaining our parks, oceans, and natural resources. I am for fiscal responsibility but not at the cost of cutting programs necessary for the health and well-being of all Californians.
I will legislate on behalf of those among us who want our schools to remain well-equipped and adequately staffed, who want the air we breathe and water we drink protected and maintained, who want our state’s public parks and beaches to remain open, who agree that healthcare isn’t a privilege for a few but the right of all. In short, I represent Californians who think about the possibilities our state offers rather than its limitations.
More About Me and My Reasons for Running
If you’re reading this, you are a deeply concerned citizen who values your vote as much as I do or you are about to write a hit piece on me. Maybe both.
This section is what I wrote when I asked myself why I care about winning this seat as much as I do and what it is I hope to accomplish while in office. If you want to skip ahead, then the short answer to this is because I disagree with cutting
funding for public education and believe this is tantamount to bankrupting our state.
If you think education had already failed many of our kids, think LAUSD graduation rates, try thinking about the future of our state with our ‘good’ schools now facing dramatic cuts to programs and teaching staff. Having taught in the Los Angeles area for over a decade, I know first hand what Orange County residents are about to get a taste of. Anyone for crowded classrooms, overwhelmed administrators, frustrated teachers, and most importantly disappointed kids who perhaps for the first time will know what their government actually thinks of them.
Heather (my lovely spouse) and I come from working class backgrounds and are the first members of our families to go to college. Heather’s is second generation Sicilian-American and her father was born and raised in Missouri. She was born in Queens, New York and raised in Huntington Beach, California. My mother was a Native American/Mexican homemaker from the Fort Mojave Tribe and my father a blue collar worker whose family migrated west from Oklahoma. Were just the typical Italian-Indian-Irish-English-American family.
My father and mother were both teenagers when I was born. Three years later my mother’s life would come to a tragic end and my father would be a single parent. He knew he had to take whatever jobs he could to support us. Eventually, my father found work as an independent truck-driver and was absent during most of my early childhood. My grandparents agreed to help my father create a stable home for me surrounded by a loving extended family.
As a result of having spent so much time with my grandparents, I grew up having a great deal of respect and fascination for the Americans who lived through the Great Depression and World War II. I listened earnestly to the stories of my grandparents and what kind of sacrifices were made so that there was food on the table and clothes on their backs. Education was what they sacrificed to survive during hard times and consequently became what they stressed the most in my life. They told me that if I did well in school, I would have opportunities they never did.
For them, education was more than the self-centered pursuit of acquiring knowledge or the arousing intellectual curiosity, the defining quality of an educated person was their citizenship. Not simply a product of living in the United States but something that they felt was earned by actions. When my progress reports came home they would first check my citizenship grade. For them, that was the most important element in my early education. It wasn’t until I took my first social studies course that I discovered what my grandparents taught me was abiding faith in FDR’s ideas of civic responsibility.
Education was decidedly different for me than it was for my mother and father. I attended public school from kindergarten through college and was always encouraged by teachers to live up to my potential. The lessons of civic responsibility that my grandparents valued resonated throughout my life.
Both my parents had difficulties in school. My mother was from the reservation while my father suffered profound hearing loss as a child. In the 1950’s and 60’s, the school system was not especially sensitive to the struggles of Native Americans or to the needs of hearing impaired children.
In the case of my father, the classroom was a difficult place for him to spend his days. Having to wear bulky hearing aids exacerbated his feelings of low self-esteem which made it difficult for him to ask for help. He didn’t want to stick out any more than he already did. What my dad learned was primarily survival skills so that he would not stick out in a hearing world. On his own, he learned to read people’s lips quite well while his verbal and written language skills to this day remain rudimentary.
While in school, my teachers stressed that a good education would open doors which otherwise might be closed. They showed me to how think critically about the choices I make. They impressed upon me the importance of thinking about possible outcomes alongside the sacrifices that would need to be made. In doing so, they taught me to see my life in terms of balancing possibilities with sacrifices. This was radical thinking in the Pritchard household where sacrifices always outweighed possibilities for both father and grandparents. I am proud to say that these life skills helped form the person I am today. I think every student in California should have the opportunities that a great public education provides. It is shameful that our legislators have let us and our children down.
Gary and Charlotte...