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Democratic National Committee Leaves Black Bloggers Off Convention List

There’s been discussion in the relatively narrow world of political blogging, about the absence of Black-run blogs from the Democratic National Committee’s list of accredited blogs for the Democratic convention in Denver.

One blog was selected from each state. In most cases, though not all, selected blogs were those with high traffic, a specific focus on state and local political issues, and an established Democratic Party partisanship.  

This left a pool of mostly white bloggers. 

Yet many Democratic voters are Black.

As are many bloggers—And this includes many with strong traffic.

Burnt Orange Report will be the Texas blog in Denver. All right—They’ll do a good job I’m sure.

Here is the full Denver blogger list.

Houston’s There…Already wrote about this issue in a recent post.   

The Francis L. Holland Blog is leading the way in posting abut this concern.  ( I’ve got Francis on my blogroll. I think he needs to integrate his blogroll and give me a listing.)

The Dallas Morning News wrote an article on the subject. 

The blog Dallas South discussed the topic.

Celtic Diva’s Blue Oasis posted from the perspective of being one of the selected blogs. This woman is a good person seemingly doing her best.

For my part, if I were selected for credentials by a major political party, I’d feel that I had lost my way. 

When I started blogging, it never occurred to me that blogs had “official” relationships with the parties. I suppose that’s because I never read any blogs before I started one. I figured blogging was an organic inclusive process. ( You can see I gave it little thought.)  

If someone slipped up and gave me credentials to the convention, I’d blog about how Black folks and many other folks in cities vote Democratic every election, and still our cities get worse. I’d ask why urban policy does not seem to exist as an issue for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Then I’d ask why neither Senator Obama or Senator Clinton has made the world food price crisis an issue. I’m sorry it costs $4 a gallon to fill up your SUV, but many people in the world can’t afford a bowl of rice. I support the party of the left because I feel that all people matter no matter where they live.  

But that’s just me.

At the same time, I’d advocate for the nominee of the Democratic Party in my posts.

That’s the trap. I’m not going to be voting for a Republican. 

To get the illusion of being listened to, it seems I need to be a working-class white voter in Pennsylvania who can’t fully face the idea of a Black president.  

I’m white and I work, so I guess I’m half way there.

The majority opinon I’ve read explaining the absence of Black bloggers from the convention list is a flawed process and/or some level of neglect.

That’s worse than purposeful exclusion. It speaks to an ingrained pattern of taking people for granted. Inclusion is a habit.

The good thing is that it’s a habit that can be picked up at any point.

Here’s hoping the Democratic National Committee gets with the program. It was a given that the selection criteria used was not going to pick a list of bloggers representative of the many different people who vote for Democrats.   

( This is cross-posted at the Houston Chronicle where I’m one of eight featured political reader-bloggers.)  

( Please click here for my Martin Luther King Reading & Reference list. It is first-rate.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Democratic National Committee Forgets That All People Have Equal Value

A new ad produced by the Democratic National Committee rightly criticizes Senator John McCain for his support of endless war.

You can see the ad by clicking here.

However, the commercial misses the mark in an important regard.

A graphic in the spot references “Over 4000 dead.”

Just over 4000 U.S. troops have died in the war.

What’s left out is the number of Iraqi civilians who have been killed. 

Iraq Body Count suggests that number is over 85,000.

Without forgetting that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, it’s clear that the number of innocent Iraqis who have died is high.

Every life has equal value. One person does not have more value than another person because of where they were born or where they live. 

This is a value that should be reflected by our party of the left.

This unwillingness to give equal value to all persons is consistent with the lack of conversation by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama about the ongoing world food crisis.    

May 8, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Have High Regard For Clinton Voters & I’m Ready For Whatever Is The Next Step

With two more primaries completed, I want to restate my view that I’ll support the nominee of the Democratic Party.

People who have voted for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama are good people.  

I also support moving on to the next step—Whatever that next step may be.

If it is a battle to the convention, that is fine.

I’m not afraid of democracy and of people voting.

I also feel though that if Hillary Clinton is unable to win a majority of delegates, she may then wish to consider quitting the race.

Senator Clinton and Barack Obama should hold a joint press conference and pledge support for the ultimate nominee. This is the bottom line.    

I’m for Barack Obama for President.

I feel the gas tax issue is an example of why Senator Obama is the better candidate.

Senator Clinton has exploited people’s legitimate fear over the price of gas instead of offering an honest discussion of the issue. 

Senator Obama has told the more difficult truth on the gas tax.  

Still, she is much better than John McCain.

Again—I have regard for all Democratic primary voters, I am ready for whatever the process brings, and I support the candidate who I believe will be the next President—Barack Obama.

May 7, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , | 5 Comments

Senator Clinton Pandering On Gas Tax Holiday

Senator Hillary Clinton wants to repeal the federal gas tax for the summer.

This is a bad idea.

(Senator John McCain also supports this idea. But I expect nothing from Mr. McCain.)

I’ve advocated a Fonz-like cool as we select between Senator Clinton and Barack Obama. The bottom line is winning in November.

But this is a policy difference and a fair topic for discussion.  

The money collected from this tax goes into repairing roads and bridges.

Here is a story about last year’s Minneapolis bridge collapse. 

Senator Clinton says a windfall profits tax on oil companies could make up the lost revenue.

Do you see that idea getting 60 votes in the Senate?

Senator Obama correctly opposes this tax “holiday.”

This NPR blog post discussing the issue suggests this proposal might even increase gas prices.

If lower prices make for more summer driving, than supply will be restricted and prices will go up.

Here is a Portland Oregonian editorial against this proposal.

Paying taxes isn’t a penalty or even a burden. It’s the price we pay for living in a society.

With support of this gas tax holiday notion, Senator Clinton undermines the principles of the Democratic Party and, one supposes, her own principles.

Also, she risks taking away money for needed infrastructure programs.  

Barack Obama is the candidate showing leadership on this issue. 

April 30, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Taxes---Yes!, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Obama & Clinton Supporters Must Approach Race With A Fonz Like Cool

While I’m frustrated Senator Hillary Clinton is staying in the Democratic nomination race, please allow me to restate my view that I will support the final nominee of the party.   

My own view is that if Senator Clinton could win, or if she were a message candidate like a Jesse Jackson or a Pat Buchanan in recent nomination fights, then she would have a reason to keep going.

It feels that she is staying in for her own good and not for the good of the party or the nation.

Still, Mrs. Clinton has the right to continue and we have to respect this fact.

Polls, to the extent they are worth anything, continue to show Senator Barack Obama running slightly ahead of John McCain. Mrs. Clinton runs basically even with Mr. McCain.

I’m playing this all cool. Very cool like the Fonz. There is plenty of time before November.  

The bottom line is winning in November.

We have to always keep in mind that either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton would be much better than Mr. McCain.

We will we win if we stay cool like the Fonz.

Here is the Obama for President webpage.

April 23, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Clinton & Obama Should Make World Food Crisis A Campaign Issue

Rising prices for wheat and rice have created a food crisis in much of the world.

People cannot afford the food they need to eat. Here is an Economist story on this subject. 

Below is an excerpt from the Economist article—

Last year wheat prices rose 77% and rice 16%. These were some of the sharpest rises in food prices ever. But this year the speed of change has accelerated. Since January, rice prices have soared 141%; the price of one variety of wheat shot up 25% in a day. Some 40km outside Abidjan, Mariam Kone, who grows sweet potatoes, okra and maize but feeds her family on imported rice, laments: “Rice is very expensive, but we don’t know why.”

The prices mainly reflect changes in demand—not problems of supply, such as harvest failure. The changes include the gentle upward pressure from people in China and India eating more grain and meat as they grow rich and the sudden, voracious appetites of western biofuels programmes, which convert cereals into fuel. This year the share of the maize (corn) crop going into ethanol in America has risen and the European Union is implementing its own biofuels targets. To make matters worse, more febrile behaviour seems to be influencing markets: export quotas by large grain producers, rumours of panic-buying by grain importers, money from hedge funds looking for new markets.

Here is a New York Times story on the topic which discusses the global implications of the crisis.

Given that a portion of the crisis has to do with biofuel demand in the United States, and given that we are all connected in this world, it would be good to hear Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama address this subject as an important campaign subject. 

It’s easy to say that we won’t have cowboy foreign policy any more. Let’s back up these words with a genuine outreach to people suffering in the world.   

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | 4 Comments

New Report On Rising Sea Levels

Here is a BBC article about sea levels rising in the 21st century and the impact this could have on low-lying nations such as Bangladesh.  

New information on this topic comes from a British/Finnish research team and was discussed at a conference in Vienna.  Sea levels seem likely to rise in way not seen in the last 2000 years.

Here is an article about the causes of sea level increases and how such things are measured.  

This is a very interesting tour of Bangladesh by way of its rivers. The theme of the tour is the impact of climate change on Bangladesh. 

This issue should be a big part of the American Presidential campaign. But Senator McCain’s electoral base does not care and Senator’s Obama and Clinton have often lacked the personal discipline and maturity to discuss real issues instead of silliness.  

April 16, 2008 Posted by | Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Because Of Clinton Caused Climate, I Had To Sign Away Status As Obama Delegate For Texas Senate District Convention

On Texas primary night I went to my precinct convention here in Houston and was selected as an Obama delegate for the senate district convention.

This is part of the complicated and silly process used by Texas Democrats to select delegates to the Democratic National Convention.   

I was told on primary night that the senate district convention was likely to be in the evening. But it turned out to be in the morning and I must work in the morning.

So it goes.

I got a call this evening from the Obama leader in my precinct. The delegates for tomorrow’s convention from my precinct drew up a form for me to sign saying I had duly authorized my replacement by the alternate they had selected. 

This was because of the reports going around that the Clinton folks will have lawyers out tomorrow challenging the credentials of Obama delegates.

I’m going to support the Democratic nominee no matter who it turns out to be. It would take a lot to get me to waver from that view.

But I have to say I feel the majority of the suspicion and hostility at work here has come from Senator Clinton’s side. 

I don’t understand why this needs to go on when the national delegate math appears to strongly suggest Senator Obama will win the nomination.

Please click here to view Senator Obama’s campaign webpage. 

March 29, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Superdelegates Have Option To Deny Either Candidate A Majority

Superdelegates have a third option at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

Assuming that neither Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama wins a majority during the campaign, superdelegates can deny either candidate a majority.

As we’ve heard many times, superdelegates can vote for anybody they choose.

They could rally around one person, vote for themselves or their husbands or whoever, or they can vote for some type of placeholder person and let the process take its course. 

If when we get to the convention neither candidate seems electable, there is nothing that prohibits the convention from voting until a winner is found.

The roll of the states can be called as many times as need be.

Sooner or later some candidate, and it does not have to be Senator Clinton or Senator Obama, would emerge and win a majority of delegates. 

We’re not to this point yet, and I hope we don’t get there, but it is an option.

Here is a history of the superdelegate.

March 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | 4 Comments

My Solution To The Michigan/Florida Mess

Here’s my proposal for how Democrats should resolve the mess of how to include delegates from Michigan and Florida at the National Convention.

Each state should be penalized 20% of its delegates for breaking the rules. 

Michigan should simply re-vote since Barack Obama was not on the ballot when that state held its primary.

For Florida, the primary already conducted should count for half of awarded delegates. A caucus should be held for the other half.

There you have it.

Just that simple!     

Please click here for a history of the Florida Primary.

March 9, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Junk E-Mail From Senator Obama

I support Barack Obama for President and I have sometimes been critical of Hillary Clinton.

I’ve felt that Mrs. Clinton’s attacks on the power of words and idealism have been an assault on my value system and on the central ideas and principles of political liberalism. 

But that does not mean, as tempting as it may be, that we have to continue to ratchet up the attacks as we go along.

Below is part of an e-mail I got today from the Obama campaign.

It’s clear, though, that Senator Clinton wants to continue an increasingly desperate, increasingly negative — and increasingly expensive — campaign to tear us down.

That’s her decision. But it’s not stopping John McCain, who clinched the Republican nomination last night, from going on the offensive. He’s already made news attacking Barack, and that will only become more frequent in the coming days.

Right now, it’s essential for every single supporter of Barack Obama to step up and help fight this two-front battle. In the face of attacks from Hillary Clinton and John McCain, we need to be ready to take them on…

It is wrong to link Mrs. Clinton with John McCain.

John McCain is person who loves war and who would represent a third George W. Bush term.       

Mrs. Clinton is just not simply going to give up. I don’t see how trying to win is by definition trying to tear somebody down.

Mr. Obama needs to stick to hard-hitting attacks on policy issues. 

In the end, I am going to support the nominee.   

I think that in every speech they make, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton should make clear that in the end we must support the nominee.    

Update—Mrs. Clinton today seemed to suggest that John McCain would be better on national security issues than would Mr. Obama.

What is wrong with Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama? What about just a fight on the issues and not helping  Republicans?  

March 6, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | 5 Comments

Texas Caucus System—I’ll Get To Vote A Third Time!

I attended my precinct caucus last night here in Houston to show my support for Barack Obama.

This in addition to the vote I had cast earlier in the day.  

There were many people there.

Something like 230 people signed in for Mr. Obama or Senator Clinton.

I overheard that last time there were maybe 20 people at this caucus.

( Here is an explanation of this process.)

Waiting outside to be allowed into the church to start the process, Clinton and Obama supporters stood apart from each other.

I will support whoever wins the nomination.

I felt that the process was organized well enough and that people were respectful of each other.

Oh well—Maybe I’ll see a street fight somewhere soon. 

In my precinct, Mr. Obama won more delegates to the next round than did Mrs. Clinton.

People were asked if they would like to attend the next round. I guess these are caucuses of State Senate districts.

They will held on March 29.

I said I would go since this would allow me to vote a third time.

What a silly process.

And what an unfair process.

Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote in Texas.

That should be the bottom line.

Yet Mr. Obama appears to be the statewide winner from this process.

Still, I want to vote as often as I am able.

It’s like I’m getting away with something.

Please click here for Texas Liberal posts on the Texas Primary.   

March 5, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Presidential Candidates Respond To My Question On What Books They Have Read

The Houston Chronicle asked its reader bloggers to submit question to the remaining presidential candidates. One of the questions I asked was what were the last three book the canidates had read. Here are the answers as reported by Chronicle columnist Clay Robison—   

“In case you were wondering, presidential candidates — some of them, anyway — find time to read something other than news clips.

Republican Mike Huckabee didn’t respond when asked by a newspaper reader, Neil Aquino of Houston, to list the last three books he has read.

But Republican John McCain said he had recently reread A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway and read, presumably for the first time, The Age of Turbulence by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and the Spirit of Churchill by Deborah Davis Brezina.

Clinton listed Ike: An American Hero by Michael Korda, The Bourne Betrayal by Robert Ludlum and The Appeal by John Grisham.

“My 9-year-old, Malia, and I read all the Harry Potter books together,” Obama said.”

A few comments–Does Mike Huckabee not read? I’m resistant to generalizations that evangelicals don’t read, but Mr. Huckabee walked into that idea with his reply.

It’s no surprise Senator McCain listed a Winston Churchill book. He’ll see himself as the last holdout for Anglo manhood no matter if he faces Senator Clinton or Senator Obama.

John Grisham is on the record as a supporter of Mrs. Clinton. So they are helping each other out a liitle bit.

I really don’t believe Senator Obama has had the time lately to sit and read those huge Harry Potter books.      

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Houston, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A History Of The Ohio Primary

Going back the Progressive Era origins of nominating primaries, the Ohio Presidential primary has a nearly century long history.

( Here are some basic facts and a brief history of Ohio. The population of Ohio is approximately 11.5 million. George Bush carried the state 51%-49% in 2004.)

Here is a history of some notable results from Ohio since the first primary in 1912.

The first Ohio primary featured something modern political observers can grasp—An ideological fight among Republicans.

Progressive challenger, former President Theodore Roosevelt, defeated incumbent President William Howard Taft, a more conservative figure, by a 55%-40% margin. President Taft was from Cincinnati. This outcome shows the bent of the Ohio Republican electorate at the time and offers a clue why the progressive reform of the primary was embraced early in Ohio.

On the other side, Ohio Governor Judson Harmon defeated Woodrow Wilson.

Judson had defeated Warren Harding in 1910 to become Governor.

(In November of 1912 in Ohio it was Wilson  41%, Roosevelt 27% and Taft 22%.)

In 1920, Ohioans had the chance to vote for locals in both primaries. The Republican winner was Senator Warren Harding who beat General Leonard Wood by an unimpressive 47%-41%. ( Maybe Ohio voters knew from experience that Senator Harding would be a bad President. He was in fact terrible President.)

Democrats in 1920 supported Ohio Governor James Cox with 98%.

However, despite the lack of unity in the primary, Harding beat Cox 59% -39% in November.

( The only time since 1920 that both major party nominees were from the same state was 1944 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt beat New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey.)

Ohio Republicans in 1932 gave incumbent Herbert Hoover only 6%. The winner was Favorite Son Jacob Coxey.

Hoover was easily renominated despite winning only 33% of all primary votes in 1932.  It would not be until the 1970’s that primaries would begin consistently influential in the nominating process.

Coxey had been involved in politics since leading poor people’s protests in Washington in the 1890’s. He is interesting to read about.  

(Jacob Coxey)

President Taft’s son, Senator Robert Taft, was the 99% winner of the 1940 Ohio Republican primary. This was the beginning of a series of Taft efforts to reach the White House. Seen as a father of modern conservatism, and an author of the terrible Taft-Hartley Act, Taft was the choice of an “unpledged” slate of delegates that won the 1948 Republican primary. Taft also won the 1952 primary.

(Robert Taft)

For 1956, ’60 ’64 and ’68, Favorite Son candidates were the winners in both party primaries in Ohio. The only exception to this outcome was Richard Nixon’s nearly uncontested win in 1960.

The 1964 and ’68 Republican favorite son choice in Ohio was Governor James A. Rhodes. An outspoken so-called “law-and-order” politician, it was Governor Rhodes who ordered the troops in at the killing of anti-war protesters at Kent State in 1970.

The Democratic primary was sharply contested in 1972. Party establishment choice Hubert Humphrey was the 41%– 40% winner over liberal Senator George McGovern.

The 2008 Clinton–Obama fight seems an echo of the ’72 race to some degree.

While conservatives Taft and Rhodes had found favor with Ohio Republicans in the World War II and post-war era, a more moderate wing of the party prevailed in 1976. In ’76, incumbent President Gerald Ford beat Ronald Reagan 55%-45%. Not strong for an incumbent, but better than W.H Taft or Hoover had done in the Ohio primary.

The 1980 Democratic primary, contested in June when the race had already been decided, gave President Jimmy Carter a 51% 44% over Ted Kennedy. Another weak showing for an incumbent who would go on to lose.

Democrats in 1984 though went for the challenger to the party establishment. Senator Gary Hart defeated Walter Mondale42%-40%. The wonkish high-tech Hart’s win over a lunch-bucket union regular like Mondale in a state like Ohio showed the weakness of the Mondale campaign.

(Gary Hart)

In 1988, ’92 and ’96, the Ohio primary took place late in the process. Voters in each party primary voted for the eventual nominee of the party.

For 2000, Ohio moved it’s primary up to Super Tuesday March 7. ( Please click here for a history of Super Tuesday.)The George W. Bush/John McCain battle was still alive at that point. The more conservative Bush won a 58%-37% victory. This confirmed again the dominance of the right in Ohio Republican politics.

In March of 2004, John Edwards won 34% against 51% for John Kerry. This was one of Edwards’ strongest showings outside the South.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

(Post card is of Youngstown in 1910’s. Please click here for a history of Youngstown. )

March 1, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Cincinnati, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Obama Ads During That ’70’s Show Reruns Further Cement My Support

 

There were maybe seven or eight Obama for President ads for the Texas primary during the That 70’s Show reruns I watched last night.

This was between 11 PM and midnight.

No Hillary ads.

Mrs. Clinton had no interest in subsidizing my entertainment by buying an ad during one of my favorite programs.

It seems clear who wants my vote and who does not care.

I have a right to be entertained.

What did the Obama ads say?

I don’t know. I don’t pay much attention to commercials.

I just know they were on and that they were for a candidate I like during a show I like. 

Think about this stuff all the time and you’ll lose your mind.   

Please click this link for the Obama campaign.

Here is the link for That ’70’s Show. 

February 28, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Texas Primary '08, Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | , , , , , | 9 Comments