Thursday, January 31, 2008

My support of Obama- and a rather disturbing Bill Clinton article

Okay.

So after all thinking, hemming and hawing, I decided to go for Obama for support. After going to website, I am willing to drink the Koolaid- er, I, I mean willing join Americans for Obama! Yay! I even went and donated money to the campaign!

Whoa! Like, I am all like 1996, when I support the democrats in the re-election of Bill Clinton ...um...oh.

Meanwhile, there is a very disturbing story in NYT about Bill Clinton's ties with a Mining Financier. It's really rather disturbing, in an ethical way. Basicly, a friend of Mr. Clinton, a business man named Frank Giustra, made a really sweet deal with contract to mine uranium in Kazahkstan.He made millions upon millions of dollars with the deal. Mr. Clinton seemd to help set up the deal, travelled with the guy to Kazahkstan, made very approving noises about Kazahkstan ( even though there are terrible injustices in the country-something the astute Hillary Clinton noted!) and later on, his William J. Clinton Foundation received $31.5 million dollars. Should the august office of the President be used in such a way? Mr. Clinton seemed to be in just a sort of honorary consultant role, until the banquetting with the leader of the country- who has repressed his people. This just seems right on the side of not ethical. In fact, I am going to out on a limb here- it is not ethical, at all. Yes the money went towards his charity- but at the price of repressed people and having a friend make a mint.



Link to NYT article

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Am still sick, and am surprised

God- am still sick. My poor boss had called me, wondering where the heck I am. I felt like crap,and the doctor advised me not to talk, but still. My poor boss.


More political drama! John Edwards has decided not to fight on- which sucks in a way, because although he did not gather tons of votes, his presence would have forced Obama and Mrs. Clinton to address real issue of poverty and the distribution of wealth in this country. Mrs Clinton, as I have said before, is a pure Corporate Democrat- corporatization of the Federal Government, pure hieracrchy and an easy way for the issues of the poor to get lost. Mr. Obama is the opposite- smaller organizations of both federal and state governments, allowances for regional difference while being part of a whole. But the very poor, because they don't always mix in hese networks, would also be looked over.

Having John Edwards in the race would have ensured the working poor and very poor were not forgotten.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Sickness and politics

Am sick. Enjoyed downtown Portland on Froday, but by Sunday I had the same godawful hacking cough that has plagued me for the last 5 weeks. Off to the doctors then- and I will try to get better!

It snowed last night, and my work decided to stay open. Bully for them- I was not going to go and cough and hack in the cold just to be utter useless at work.

And my goodness, Obama won South Carolina! and picked up a bunch of endorsements- from the Kennedýs, from the SF Chronicle ( a paper that I thoght would be more Clinton in direction) and I am sure that the Pope will be flying in soon to sprinkle Holy Water on dear Barack. Gracious!

To be the cherry on the sundae, Ms. Toni MOrrison has endorsed Obama as well, with a an elegant paen to his abilities.


Now, for some bean soup.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Holy Cow- Obama does have more endorsements

Now, I am sorry I wrote that response to the NYT. Obama has also picked endorsement from the following:

The Boston Globe
The Reno Gazette
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution
and now, The New York Observer.

The Observer is a smaller paper that is more focused on New York City and State, unlike the NYT, which is more focused on national issues and trends.

but what I wrote earlier still applies- endorsements help think about a candidate and what the editorial board is concerned with.

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NYT Endorses Hillary! A word about Endorsements

So, this is my response to the NYT endorsement of Hillary Clinton"that I wrote yesterday in the feedback section:


"The endorsement by NYT is no surprise, really- Mrs. Clinton is smart, she is more than capable and yes, she is intelligent. No one has ever disputed that. and of course, she is the state Senator for New York! Would people be surpirsed if the Sun Times or Tribune - or the Milwaukee Sentinel, for that matter- endorse their Senator from Illnois? And lets be fair- Obama has picked up some powerful endorsements from John Kerry and Tom Daschle.

What is strange- and unfair- is that there is no apples to apples comparisions of her record in New York vs Obama's record in Illnois vs Edwards record as Senator and civil rights lawyer. There is the confusing, obsfucating cloud of Mr. Clinton's terms as President, which the editorial board did not even bother to seperate from Mrs. Clinton's very real accomplishments. What was even stranger is the lack of passion and excitement for Mrs. Clinton- it was as if the NYT was recommending we all drink cod liver oil and enjoy the flavor."


Others in the blogosphere had stronmger reactions, of course. Like I wrote about week ago or so, Hillary is perfect Corporatist candidate, and many of the NYT readers are Corporatists and/or subscribe to the vision of life as a Corporation, which is hierachal and you must answert to the Top Boss.

But let's not forget- Obama got the nod from The State ( newspaper in South Carolina) and the Harvard Crimson ( the student paper of Harvard) It would be nice if Edwards got some paper endorsements, as well.

ONe more thing: Newspaper endorsements provide a way to think about the candidates, but also the concerns of the editorial board.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Cold evenings call for soup

No political stuff right now- Okay, I lied: Here is a link on the famous Ebenezer
speech given by Barack Obama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf0x_TpDris.

Yeah. That is where the energy for his campaign is coming from.

Okay.It is really cold and dry here- so cold and dry it caused a nose bleed. A Coworker pointed out that I may be dehydrated- and you know, I think he was right. I had aches and pains, and a low level headache. He gave an iced tead bottle and I filled it up several times, and I did feel loads better. Lesson: remember, in winter, you need to keep up the liquids.

Watched Sunshine, thinking hey, warm movie, warm me up, so on and so forth. It's the sci-fi thriller by Danny Boyle. It was long and towards the end, rather boring. The really crap part was that the basic storyline is completed lifted from 2010. Blargh. Don't see it. Except if you have a crush on Cillian Murphy. Which I don't.

The best part of the evening was Corn Chowder, adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I have simplified the steps, subbed in 1/2 small onion and why yes, I advocated using frozen corn. Because, hey, it's cold outside:

Corn Chowder:

1 1 lb bag of sweet corn
2 cups water
2-3 tablespoons butter or nuetral cooking oil
1/2 small onion
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
1 large baking potato or two medium baking potatoes, chopped
1 quart whole or 1% milk

Place corn and water in a pan and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. As you do that, melt butter or heat up oil add onion and sugar cook, until softened, about 5 minutes, over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until it smells gently cooked. Now, add the corn and it's broth, the potato and the milk. Whisk it all in. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring on occasion. Add seasonings to taste. For a thicker, more luxurious texture and lovely yellow hue, place a cup or two of the soup in a blender and let whirl. stir back into the soup. Serve with your favorite garnish and bread if you want.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

On the 3 Democratic nominees-long

The presidential contest has exciting- we have three strong, smart people grappling for the nomination of the Democratic party- and Americans are spoiled for choice. The British papers have been rather clumsy in trying to drum up controversy, and CNN has been shameful in trying to fan waves and latent sexism/racism/ your ism here politics. But it has been rather thrilling, actually, because as much I don’t like Clinton ( see reasons below) and think that Obama should wait until he is 55 (see below) and think that John Edwards is best to take care of Elizabeth and enjoy time with his young children ( see below) I would be satisfied with any of them in Office.

Hillary Clinton, is, in many ways, a little like the Richard Nixon of her party. She is awkward, arrogant, paranoid, lacks a sense of grace and diplomacy, and radiates a sense of entitlement. She is also very smart, very pretty, efficient and extremely hard working. In that case, Mrs. Clinton represents her generation and class rather well: the corporate class of the slightly liberal but extremely well off. This is the class that saw her husband through the 1990s and who is supporting her today. This is why you have Robert Johnson, founder of BET, amongst others, who support her: they believe in an America which is defined by personal choice and consumption habit, of all people united under the rules of a hierarchical corporation – thus the talk that the White House as being the toughest glass ceiling to break. A lot of Americans believe in this corporate view of American life- in fact, a great majority does, I think- and thus her very real appeal. This appeal, however, is what turns me dead off her. I really don’t care about glass ceilings nor corporate interests, and if George Stephanopoulos is correct, Mrs. Clinton would not have a problem stabbing people in the back nor settling scores. Sure, I would vote for her, I just won’t like her or love her.

John Edwards is the consummate smooth Southern politician- but with a difference: he deeply cares about people being exploited, and has not been afraid to take on lawsuits to rectify wrongs. Say what you will about trial lawyers, and inject all the cheap jokes that you want, but without lawyers who care and give a damn, corporate life would simply run us even more deeply in the ground than they already do. His policy suggestions are sound, and he is a refreshing change from his former running mate John Kerry.
And yet, Elizabeth is sick. And yes, Elizabeth is deeply brave person- to go one after the death of a beautiful son, to have more children and to be the true rock on which her husband is grounded on- yes, she is awesome, in all aspects of that word. But, indeed, should he be running? It is early yet, and he may yet pickup delegates. But still, we would all be worried about Elizabeth. Let me say now that I am a Edwards supporter, despite my incorrect race and gender- he says and means radical things for people, and feel out of the three John would not be so beholden to corporate interests.


Barack Obama. He is the Romantic, the Chosen One, the Midwestern Prince. He is the irritant in the well oiled Clinton Democratic machine, and he has had quite a swooning honeymoon with the press and the people. Bill Clinton was right, in a way, about how Obama has been received- it does have a fairy tale quality about it. ( Of course, Mr. Clinton conveniently forgot his own fairy tale telling of his rise to greatness with his story of the boy scout from Hope, Arkansas who shook hands with Kennedy. Never mind about that!)
But there is reason for the fairy tale quality. The man is genuinely, shockingly good. He admits to all his faults- the restlessness, the cockiness- and knows himself pretty well. He respects and loves his wife and children; note the word respect. We know there would be no foolishness that would be made public to shame his family. He is of a mixed race background, from a broken family and someone who had to take out loans to go to school and had to go through a long growing up period to become the man he is now. His policies are Midwestern moderate but grounded towards being progressive. He is not afraid to tell segments of African American community to stop exploiting and treating each other cruelly. He is not afraid of political stances that could cost him, nor is he afraid of deliberation. Obama is the spiritual heir of both Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman- the multitudes of America, held in a deliberate Midwestern man. His appeal is to the very idealistic, that person (s) who did not forget Whitman or Lincoln his history or in literature- someone who can approach the multitudes in himself and in others and create a working citizenry. It’s a frightening, tender appeal- we haven’t had many philosopher-presidents in our history, and it is frightening times, one that call for a either a fighter ( Edwards) or a practical corporate officer ( Mrs. Clinton). But a philosopher? If he does not go all the way, it would great to see Obama at 55, instead of 47. The philosophy will be held up by experience.

Gosh. What wonderful choices.

Cold Works

It is so very cold here- and of course it would be- it is January, after all. But there is this nasty cold wind blowing here, and it does not make me want to go to work. Hah, funny, since it will not exist anymore in about 5 months.

The branch of the major insurance company I work for will be closing- a measure that is the result of cost cutting measures being instituted by the company. The office will close in June (1st or 15th, no details as of yet.) This did not come as a surprise to me, although it did come as major blow to many who worked there, some a good 20 or 30 years! However, the signs were all there: the sale of the building, the re-direction of the staff, the constant hectoring for "cost cutting ideas" and costant reports of cost cutting that on average would mean a penny savings to our customers, the switcheroo with health coverages,the hitting on the employees to purchase additional products, the siting of the coporate director away from the site-- all signs that operations would cease. Instead, the company will consolidate operations to save costs, and layoff about 300 in the office branch.

I found out after missing a day of work due to sickness; I gave hugs to the old timers. We all attended meetings where we were told we would cry about it. I have not as of it. I felt no loyalty to the company, and the only reason I took the job was due to my boyfriend Eric, who did not want to leave the city for better prospects. Well, it is has been almost two years, and Eric is dead. Nothing is keeping me there, save the friendly smiles of coworkers.

Here is one thing I have learned from my time here in Portland: Never be loyal to a company. Be loyal to your very best friends, to your country and to faith. BUt never be loyal to a company. A human in a corporation is a tool to use and discard once it's function has ended. I do feel very sorry for the old timers who are there,a nd being told this. For them, it's like being told by a mate they are being put aside for something younger, prettier and cheaper after helping to build the mate up. It is utterly cold, the way this has happened.

So, if I stay home due to the cold, it's okay. I can reflect on peace and forgiveness, as MLK would have wanted us to.

PS: Go Clinton! Go Obama! And fight on Edwards, fight on!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gloria Steinem and the Whine

First:

I knew it! Hilary Clinton did win well in New Hampshire! Huzzah! I knew she would- she needed that loss in Iowa in order to do well in New Hampshire. Yes, I know sounds crazy and cruel, but Mrs. Clinton really did need to not be so hectoring and arrogant and realise that the Democratic Nomintion was not hers by right, but hers if she chose to really fight for it and prove herself to the people. Before, the message you got was that she was owed the nominationn because she was the best. Now, the message is that she is willing to show why she could be best for the people. A HUGE difference.

And congrats to Obama- 2% points is very close indeed.

Whether my man Edwards? Keep Strong, Edwards, keep going!

Second:

Gloria Steinem wrote a rather bitter, sour graping article in the Op- ED today in the New York Times. Thanks goodness that Hillary won tonight to show Gloria she is full of crap. the tone was that of far too many sorority girls I went to school with, who were more than willing to use class privilege when ever they wanted- just like a man- but were shocked, positively shocked, when they actually had to claw their way to the top- like a man. Or like many women of color in this country.

She made a clumsy and pathetic attempt to switch gender and then say Obama would not be as sucessful if he was a woman. Apparently, Gloria is not very much into popular culture at all, and did nopt realise the drafting efforts for Oprah Winfrey last year.

Gloria Steinem has written a classist, embarrasing, and frankly behind the time article. She underestimates the strength of Hillary Clinton, and also discounts the passions of the American people.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

A New Year!

Happy New year to all!

I have been waylaid by a serious cold- a gift from Santa, apparently. So no sarcasm about the crazy Iowa caucuses.

Of, it is old news by now- Obama won the caucus by a very healthy margin. All the mainstream Clinton supporters- columnists and policial analysts- did quite a bit of what I will call 'sour graping'. Here is the gist: Iowa is too white, too small, has too much influence, etc. Of course, this is an insult to Clinton supporters in Iowa,an insult to african americans and other minorities who live in Iowa and of course a way to diminish Obama's win.

(On a side note- Christoper Hitchens on Slate made fun of the whole primary process. This from a guy whose country does not even elect it's prime minister- instead which ever party wins gets to pick the prime minister. If you ask me, that's sounds very banana republic.)

And so, onwards to New Hampshire. Lets see what this small state thinks. ( Personally, I think that Clinton should do well here!)


Any Resolutions? Yes- to get rid of my cold and get healthier. But other than that, no. It's too easy to break!

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