The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a non-partisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The Black and Progressive Sociologists for Obama blog supported the Presidential Campaign of Barack Obama in 2008. As we approach a new election season, there is a need to examine the political climate in the "age of Obama." The goal of the white nationalist Tea Parties and the Republicans is to “make Obama fail.” From the left, the President is perceived as “selling out.” The blog will explore this dialectic when it comes to re-election of America's first African American president.
The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a non-partisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
By Julianna Goldman
July 27 (Bloomberg) -- Democrat Barack Obama said he is convening a meeting on the economy tomorrow that will include former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and billionaire investor Warren Buffett as he pivots to the U.S. economy after a nine-day trip abroad.
``I expect some further fine-tuning of short-term policies based on what's happened over the last several months,'' Obama said in an interview last night aboard his presidential campaign plane returning to Chicago from London.
The meeting in Washington will also include former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Anna Burger, secretary- treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, said David Axelrod, Obama's chief strategist.
Rubin advised New York Senator Hillary Clinton during her primary campaign against Obama. Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., plans to phone in to the meeting, Axelrod said.
Obama, 46, an Illinois senator, said he wants to ``really work through in detail some of the immediate steps that may need to be taken both between now and the end of the year and after inauguration'' to strengthen the housing and financial markets and to talk more about long-term economic strategies.
`Do Business With Me'
Obama expressed satisfaction with his foreign trip.
``I think voters can take a look at this trip and say to themselves that this guy can function effectively on the world stage,'' Obama said.
He stopped in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, where he visited troops, conferred with military commanders and met with dozens of foreign leaders. The trip allowed Obama to make his case that he's ready to be commander-in-chief as John McCain, 71, the presumptive Republican nominee, casts him as a neophyte on foreign affairs and national security.
``The reports of the heads of state that I met with were that they could do business with me and that obviously is what we wanted to make clear,'' Obama said.
The threat of a nuclear Iran dominated discussions in Jordan, Germany, France, Britain and especially in Israel, where Obama's stated willingness to meet with adversaries has raised concern. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened Israel and questioned its right to exist.
Obama said Israeli leaders he met with, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Likud Party Leader Benjamin Netanyahu, didn't express those concerns, and he praised Olmert for engaging in diplomacy with Syria and Hamas through intermediaries.
``They recognize that we have to have a very hard-headed, non-ideological approach about how do we move our strategic interest forward,'' Obama said.
``I think they have confidence that my interest in diplomacy does not preclude all other approaches to potential American power, including military power,'' Obama said.
The U.S. and its European allies accuse Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program; Iran insists its activities are peaceful and legal under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Obama, whose stops in Afghanistan and Iraq came during the first leg of his trip, also said he's ``not yet'' confident that the recently elected Pakistani government will provide the necessary cooperation with U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization efforts to root out al-Qaeda and Taliban base camps in the tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
``What we've seen so far has been inadequate,'' Obama said. ``There is no doubt that we have to have a greater cooperation with Pakistan.''
Obama, who has said the U.S. must refocus on Afghanistan, has called for a phased 16-month withdrawal of troops from Iraq to redeploy two or three more brigades to Afghanistan. He said, however, that the extra brigades are a ``necessary but not sufficient requirement for us to solve the problem.''
Obama said he's ``hoping that I have a chance to meet him and have discussions with him,'' though he didn't say any meeting has been arranged.
When it comes to asking for more cooperation from European allies in the NATO effort in Afghanistan, Obama said, ``we need to make sure that we are helping to make clear what's at stake.''
``Hopefully to the extent that we are showing an interest in their top agenda items like climate change, that strengthens cooperation and gives them more political room to put more resources and more efforts in Afghanistan,'' he said.
In one month, Obama will accept his party's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He refused to comment on his vice presidential search.
He said he's focusing on making the convention ``more open and inclusive,'' and that he's been thinking ``thematically'' about his acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Aug. 28.
Obama said he has been ``spending a lot of time figuring out how can we refresh the format so it's not only an interesting TV show but also it builds on grassroots organization.''
Obama said in his meeting with advisers he expects to ``get their read on where the economy is going,'' and fashion some ``additional steps'' to address the short-term economic and financial and housing issues.
After the foreign trip, he is expected over the next week to spend most of his time talking about domestic issues with a special focus on the economy.
Grace Lee Boggs is an activist, writer and speaker whose more than sixty years of political involvement encompass the major U.S. social movements of this century: Labor, Civil rights, Black Power, Asian American, Women's and Environmental Justice.
In 1992, with James Boggs, Shea Howell and others, she founded
Her autobiography, Living for Change, published by the
For her contributions, she has received numerous awards.
Grace Lee Boggs, “The Authenticity of Obama’s Leadership”
Michigan Citizen, Feb. 24-Mar. 1, 2008
My eyes and ears are riveted to TV. I can’t get enough of Obama’s calling upon Americans of all ages, all walks of life, all faiths, all abilities, all sexual orientations, all political leanings, to stop thinking like victims and start believing that we have the power within ourselves to create the world anew.
“I am asking you to believe not only in my ability to bring about change in
Obama is providing the authentic, visionary leadership we need in this period when our challenges are so great and our politics (as he puts it in The Audacity of Hope) so small.
That kind of leadership is very precious.
26 year-old MLK provided it in 1955 when he inspired
Jimmy Boggs anticipated it when he said in his last speech to
Liberals and radicals tend to be skeptical of this kind of leadership. Viewing society as a laundry list of problems, liberals promise solutions. Radicals, having concluded that another world is necessary, begin to lose hope that another world is possible when only a few people show up for their meetings.
Obama does not promise solutions. He doesn’t view people as masses. Out of his experiences as a community organizer and his dialectical/historical appreciation of movement building in the
As he put it in a 1995 interview:
"What we need in
"We have no shortage of moral fervor, In every church on Sunday in the African-American community we have fervor. .But as soon as church lets out, the energy dissipates. The biggest failure of the civil rights movement was in failing to translate this moral fervor into creating lasting institutions and organizational structures…
“How do we rebuild our schools? How do we rebuild our communities? How do we create safer streets? What concretely can we do together to achieve these goals?”
“For our agenda to work, we can't see voters or communities as consumers, as mere recipients or beneficiaries of this change. It's time for politicians and other leaders to see voters, residents or citizens as producers of this change. The thrust of our organizing must be the whole agenda of creating productive communities. That is where our future lies…
"The right wing talks about this but they keep appealing to that old individualistic bootstrap myth: get a job, get rich, and get out. Our goal must be to help people get a sense of building something larger…
"People are hungry for community, hungry for change…
"What if a politician were to see his job as that of an organizer, as part teacher and part advocate, one who does not sell voters short but who educates them about the real choices before them? As an elected public official, I could bring church and community leaders together easier than I could as a community organizer or lawyer. We would come together to form concrete economic development strategies, take advantage of existing laws and structures, and create bridges and bonds within all sectors of the community. We must form grass-root structures that would hold me and other elected officials more accountable for their actions…
"The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have. But it's always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility…
"Now we have to take these same values that are encouraged within our families--of looking out for one another, of sharing, of sacrificing for each other--and apply them to a larger society. Let's talk about creating a society, not just individual families, based on these values. Right now we have a society that talks about the irresponsibility of teens getting pregnant, not the irresponsibility of a society that fails to educate them to aspire for more."
That is what Detroit–City of Hope is about.
Grace Lee Boggs writings appear at: http://www.boggscenter.org
More on Obama: http://www.chicagoreader.com/obama/951208/ & http://www.edwoj.com/Alinsky/AlinskyObamaChapter1990.htm
Note that Fletcher’s “critical support” is strong and he sees the election of Obama as an opportune moment for progressives. He sees a Barack Obama presidency as laying the groundwork for progressive movement in the U.S. RGN
Obama and the Essence of Critical Support
June, 07 2008
By Bill Fletcher Jr.
Source: Black commentator
So, I watched Senator Obama's speech Tuesday night and thought to myself how, despite every reservation I have had about Senator Obama's politics, I was moved by the moment. Deep inside me I had always expected that a conservative Black candidate could emerge at some point, but I thought that it was very unlikely that a liberal-to-progressive could, in the near future, emerge and win the nomination.
The color line has not been shattered. It has been further bent. It has been rendered more complex by the rise of a nominee for the Presidency of the United States of America who is of African descent. His emergence challenges the history of the USA, even if his politics are not on the Left. The fact that he was forced, through events, to articulate the clearest and most eloquent analysis on race in the USA by a mainstream politician, made this campaign particularly significant. What is even more significant is that Senator Obama is correct: this campaign is not actually about him, but it is about a very deep desire on the part of millions of people in the USA for change. How that 'change' will be defined is not primarily a question for who gets elected in November. It is a question for those of us in the field who have contending visions for what the USA and the world should look like.
I sat in front of the TV transfixed, knowing that this was an historic moment, irrespective of whether Senator Obama wins or loses in November. I, for one, will continue to critically support him. This means that I do think that there is a VERY significant different between Senators Obama and McCain. This is not a tweedle-dee/tweedle-dumb juxtaposition, even given my differences with Senator Obama. Senator McCain wishes to continue the direction of George Bush and to advance the process of the consolidation of a neo-liberal authoritarian state. Senator Obama is looking for a politically liberal solution to the current crisis. I do not think that such a solution exists, but I do think that there is an opening for progressives to push for genuine alternative political and economic solutions to the crises afflicting the USA and the planet as a whole. This will inevitably mean challenging and pushing Senator Obama on matters such as foreign policy and healthcare. This is the essence of critical support; actively supporting his candidacy while at the same time not being shy concerning expressing our differences.
Yes, this was and is an historic moment. There is, however, little time to relish in this moment because it will soon pass. If we are not thinking both about building for an Obama victory, but more importantly, laying the foundation for stronger social movements and a mass political organization that can advance a progressive direction, we will have misunderstood our challenge and fallen prey to illusions. Taking nothing away from Senator Obama's own brilliance, he stands today as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party because of a groundswell of anger and hope that exists across the USA. It is up to progressives to do more than simply acknowledge this; we must help to gel it into a wave.
BlackCommentator.com Executive Editor, Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and co-author of the just released book, Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice (University of California Press), which examines the crisis of organized labor in the USA.
Obama Scores Overseas
Posted 07/23/2008 ET
Updated 07/23/2008 ET
You want a scary thought? Imagine a fanatic in the mold of Dick Cheney but without the vice president’s sense of humor.
In her important new book, “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals,” Jane Mayer of The New Yorker devotes a great deal of space to David Addington, Dick Cheney’s main man and the lead architect of the Bush administration’s legal strategy for the so-called war on terror.
She quotes a colleague as saying of Mr. Addington: “No one stood to his right.” Colin Powell, a veteran of many bruising battles with Mr. Cheney, was reported to have summed up Mr. Addington as follows: “He doesn’t believe in the Constitution.”
Very few voters are aware of Mr. Addington’s existence, much less what he stands for. But he was the legal linchpin of the administration’s Marquis de Sade approach to battling terrorism. In the view of Mr. Addington and his acolytes, anything and everything that the president authorized in the fight against terror — regardless of what the Constitution or Congress or the Geneva Conventions might say — was all right. That included torture, rendition, warrantless wiretapping, the suspension of habeas corpus, you name it.
This is the mind-set that gave us Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo and the C.I.A.’s secret prisons, known as “black sites.”
Ms. Mayer wrote: “The legal doctrine that Addington espoused — that the president, as commander in chief, had the authority to disregard virtually all previously known legal boundaries if national security demanded it — rested on a reading of the Constitution that few legal scholars shared.”
When the constraints of the law are unlocked by the men and women in suits at the pinnacle of power, terrible things happen in the real world. You end up with detainees being physically and psychologically tormented day after day, month after month, until they beg to be allowed to commit suicide. You have prisoners beaten until they are on the verge of death, or hooked to overhead manacles like something out of the Inquisition, or forced to defecate on themselves, or sexually humiliated, or driven crazy by days on end of sleep deprivation and blinding lights and blaring noises, or water-boarded.
To get a sense of the heights of madness scaled in this anything-goes atmosphere, consider a brainstorming meeting held by military officials at Guantánamo. Ms. Mayer said the meeting was called to come up with ways to crack through the resistance of detainees.
“One source of ideas,” she wrote, “was the popular television show ‘24.’ On that show as Ms. Mayer noted, “torture always worked. It saved America on a weekly basis.”
I felt as if I was in Never-Never Land as I read: “In conversation with British human rights lawyer Philippe Sands, the top military lawyer in Guantánamo, Diane Beaver, said quite earnestly that Jack Bauer ‘gave people lots of ideas’ as they sought for interrogation models.”
Donald Rumsfeld described the detainees at Guantánamo as “the worst of the worst.” A more sober assessment has since been reached by many respected observers. Ms. Mayer mentioned a study conducted by attorneys and law students at the Seton Hall University Law School.
“After reviewing 517 of the Guantánamo detainees’ cases in depth,” she said, “they concluded that only 8 percent were alleged to have associated with Al Qaeda. Fifty-five percent were not alleged to have engaged in any hostile act against the United States at all, and the remainder were charged with dubious wrongdoing, including having tried to flee U.S. bombs. The overwhelming majority — all but 5 percent — had been captured by non-U.S. players, many of whom were bounty hunters.”
The U.S. shamed itself on George W. Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s watch, and David Addington and others like him were willing to manipulate the law like Silly Putty to give them the legal cover they desired. Ms. Mayer noted that Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the late historian, believed that “the Bush administration’s extralegal counterterrorism program presented the most dramatic, sustained and radical challenge to the rule of law in American history.”
After reflecting on major breakdowns of law that occurred in prior administrations, including the Watergate disaster, Mr. Schlesinger told Ms. Mayer: “No position taken has done more damage to the American reputation in the world — ever.”
Americans still have not come to grips with this disastrous stain on the nation’s soul. It’s important that the whole truth eventually come out, and as many of the wrongs as possible be rectified.
Ms. Mayer, as much as anyone, is doing her part to pull back the curtain on the awful reality. “The Dark Side” is essential reading for those who think they can stand the truth.
July 22, 2008
BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government on Monday left little doubt that it favors a withdrawal plan for American combat troops similar to what Senator Barack Obama has proposed, providing Mr. Obama with a potentially powerful political boost on a day he spent in Iraq working to fortify his credibility as a wartime leader.
After a day spent meeting Iraqi leaders and American military commanders, Mr. Obama seemed to have navigated one of the riskiest parts of a weeklong international trip without a noticeable hitch and to have gained a new opportunity to blunt attacks on his national security credentials by his Republican rival in the presidential race, Senator John McCain.
Whether by chance or by design, the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of
Mr. Obama has said he would seek to withdraw American combat forces over 16 months if he is elected president, starting upon taking office in January, meaning his plan would be completed on roughly the same timetable as suggested by the Iraqis. The Bush administration has signaled a willingness to work with the Iraqis on their desire to begin setting at least a general “time horizon” for reducing the American military presence, leaving Mr. McCain at risk of becoming isolated in his position of firm opposition to a withdrawal timetable.
The central tenet of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is suddenly aligned with what the Iraqis themselves now increasingly seem to want. Not only have the developments offered Mr. Obama a measure of credibility as a prospective world leader in a week when his every move is receiving intensive attention at home and abroad, but it has complicated Mr. McCain’s leading argument against him: that a withdrawal timeline would be tantamount to surrender and would leave Iraqis in dangerous straits.
Mr. McCain is hardly conceding the point. He continued to hammer away at Mr. Obama’s judgment on national security, saying on Monday that Mr. Obama had gotten it badly wrong when he opposed sending additional American troops last year to help stabilize
“The fact is, if we had done what Senator Obama wanted to do, we would have lost,” Mr. McCain told reporters in
American military commanders have also expressed qualms about setting a specific timetable for withdrawal, suggesting that to do so could risk reversing the progress made in
For a day, at least, the images of the two presidential candidates offered a sharp contrast. In an interview on “Good Morning America” on ABC, Mr. McCain talked about securing the “Iraq-Pakistan border,” a momentary misstatement of geography. (American forces are pursuing terrorists along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border;
During his visit to
“I think it is very important we build on this progress and recognize Iraqi sovereignty,” he said shortly after meeting with Mr. Maliki and as he was starting a meeting with one of
The talk of a strict timetable appeared to worry Mr. Hashimi. Sunni Muslims fear that a rapid withdrawal would leave them vulnerable to Shiite Muslim efforts to further diminish their power. Rather, he said the emphasis should be on the Iraqi army’s readiness.
The comments on troop withdrawal came after a weekend of controversy between the
Mr. Obama, on the latest leg of his first overseas tour as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, arrived in the Iraqi capital in the early afternoon after first stopping in the southern Iraqi city of
Mr. Obama met with Mr. Maliki; President Jalal Talabani; Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi national security adviser; and other Iraqi officials at the prime minister’s residence in the Green Zone.
In an interview with ABC News on Monday in
He said his conversation with General Petraeus and Mr. Crocker focused on “what’s adequate for our security interests, factoring in the fact that not only do we have Afghanistan, which I believe is the central front on terror, but also the fact that if we’re spending $10 billion a month over the next two, four, five years, then that’s $10 billion a month that we’re not using to rebuild the United States or drawing down our national debt or making sure that families have health care.”
Before meeting with Mr. Hashimi, Mr. Obama said he was “pleased with the progress taking place” and said it was his impression that among Iraqis there was “more optimism about what is happening.”
He spoke of more “activity taking place, the people in the shops, the traffic on the streets” and said, “Clearly, there’s been an enormous improvement.”
Mr. Obama’s trip is cloaked in secrecy and high security, and aides have also worked to avoid images like the one that caused a headache for Mr. McCain in a visit to
Mr. McCain, whose aides are frustrated by the level of attention being paid to Mr. Obama this week, criticized Mr. Obama as not recognizing the reductions in violence and improvements in
“He’s been completely wrong on the issue,” Mr. McCain said, offering a reminder to voters that Mr. Obama is “someone who has no military experience whatsoever.”
That biographical difference, of course, is a central reason for Mr. Obama’s across-the-world detour from the domestic presidential campaign. From
Frank Rich spells out in detail the numerous contradictions in Senator John McCain as a candidate for the presidency. As is generally known among “high information” voters, it is rather commonplace that McCain states contradictory positions or gets confused on issues. Rich ties many of these contradictions together to show the problems, nay the threat, they pose should McCain get elected. That he has to reorganize his campaign team on a recurring basis is not inconsistent with what he really brings to the table. RGN
It's the Economic Stupidity, Stupid
By FRANK RICH Published: July 20, 2008
THE best thing to happen to John McCain was for the three network anchors to leave him in the dust this week while they chase Barack Obama on his global Lollapalooza tour. Were voters forced to actually focus on Mr. McCain's response to our spiraling economic crisis at home, the prospect of his ascension to the Oval Office could set off a panic that would make the IndyMac Bank bust in Pasadena look as merry as the Rose Bowl.
"In a time of war," Mr. McCain said last week, "the commander in chief doesn't get a learning curve." Fair enough, but he imparted this wisdom in a speech that was almost a year behind Mr. Obama in recognizing Afghanistan as the central front in the war against Al Qaeda. Given that it took the deadliest Taliban suicide bombing in Kabul since 9/11 to get Mr. McCain's attention, you have to wonder if even General Custer's learning curve was faster than his.
Mr. McCain still doesn't understand that we can't send troops to Afghanistan unless they're shifted from Iraq. But simple math, to put it charitably, has never been his forte. When it comes to the central front of American anxiety -- the economy -- his learning curve has flat-lined.
In 2000, he told an interviewer that he would make up for his lack of attention to "those issues." As he entered the 2008 campaign, Mr. McCain was still saying the same, vowing to read "Greenspan's book" as a tutorial. Last weekend, the resolutely analog candidate told The New York Times he is at last starting to learn how "to get online myself." Perhaps he'll retire his abacus by Election Day.
Mr. McCain's fiscal ineptitude has received so little scrutiny in some press quarters that his chief economic adviser, the former Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, got a free pass until the moment he self-immolated on video by whining about "a nation of whiners." The McCain-Gramm bond, dating back 15 years, is more scandalous than Mr. Obama's connection with his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Mr. McCain has been so dependent on Mr. Gramm for economic policy that he sent hi m to newspaper editorial board meetings, no doubt to correct the candidate's numbers much as Joe Lieberman cleans up after his confusions of Sunni and Shia.
Just two weeks before publicly sharing his thoughts about America's "mental recession," Mr. Gramm laid out equally incendiary views in a Wall Street Journal profile that portrayed him as "almost certainly" the McCain choice for Treasury secretary. Mr. Gramm said that the former chief executive of AT&T, Ed Whitacre, was "probably the most exploited worker in American history" since he received only a $158 million pay package rather than the "billions" he deserved for his success in growing Southwestern Bell.
But no one in the news media seemed to notice Mr. Gramm's naked expression of the mind-set he'd bring to a McCain White House. And few journalists have vetted the presumptive Treasury secretary's post-Senate history as an executive at UBS. The stock of that banking giant has lost 70 percent of its value in a year after its reckless adventures in the subprime lending market. It's now fending off federal investigation for helping the megarich avoid taxes.
Mr. McCain made a big show of banishing Mr. Gramm after his whining "gaffe," but it's surely at most a temporary suspension. When the candidate said back in January that there's nobody he knows who is stronger on economic issues than his old Senate pal, he was telling the truth. Left to his own devices -- or those of his new No. 1 economic surrogate, Carly Fiorina -- Mr. McCain is clueless. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, a supporter, said that Mr. McCain's latest panacea for high gas prices, offshore drilling, is snake oil -- and then announced his availability to serve as energy czar in an Obama administration.
The term flip-flopping doesn't do justice to Mr. McCain's self-contradictory economic pronouncements because that implies there's some rational, if hypocritical, logic at work. What he serves up instead is plain old incoherence, as if he were compulsively consulting one of those old Magic 8 Balls. In a single 24-hour period in April, Mr. McCain went from saying there's been "great economic progress" during the Bush presidency to saying "Americans are not better off than they were eight years ago." He reversed his initial condemnation of mortgage bailouts in just two weeks.
In February Mr. McCain said he would balance the federal budget by the end of his first term even while extending the gargantuan Bush tax cuts. In April he said he'd accomplish this by the end of his second term. In July he's again saying he'll do it in his first term. Why not just say he'll do it on Inauguration Day? It really doesn't matter since he's never supplied real numbers that would give this promise even a patina of credibility.
Mr. McCain's plan for Social Security reform is "along the lines that President Bush proposed." Or so he said in March. He came out against such "privatization" in June (though his policy descriptions still support it). Last week he indicated he isn't completely clear on what Social Security does. He called the program's premise -- young taxpayers foot the bill for their elders (including him) -- an "absolute disgrace."
Given that Mr. McCain's sole private-sector job was a fleeting stint in public relations at his father-in-law's beer distributorship, he comes by his economic ignorance honestly. But there's no A team aboard the Straight Talk Express to fill him in. His campaign economist, the former Bush adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin, could be found in the June 5 issue of American Banker suggesting even at that late date that we still don't know "the depth of the housing crisis" and proposing that "monitoring is the right thing to do in these circumstances."
Ms. Fiorina, the ubiquitous new public face of McCain economic policy, adds nothing to the mix beyond her incessant display of corporate jargon, from "trend lines" to "start-ups." Before she was fired at Hewlett-Packard, its stock had declined 50 percent during her five-plus years in charge. She missed earning projections -- by 23 percent in one quarter -- much as she now misrepresents both the Obama and McCain records. This month she said Mr. McCain wanted to require insurance plans to cover birth c ontrol medications along with Viagra, when in fact he had voted against it.
Ms. Fiorina received a $42 million payout (half in cash) from H.P., according to a shareholders' subsequent lawsuit. With this inspiring resume, she now aspires to be Mr. McCain's running mate. So does the irrepressible Mitt Romney, who actually was a business whiz before serving as Massachusetts's governor. Beltway wisdom has it that the addition of such a corporate star will remedy Mr. McCain's fiscal flatulence.
But Mr. Romney, while more plausible than Ms. Fiorina, is hardly what America wants at this desperate time. His leveraged buyout dealings as co-founder of Bain Capital induced plant closings, mass layoffs and outsourcing. If Mr. McCain tr uly intends to "put our country's interests" above politics and reach across the aisle to move the nation forward, as he constantly tells us, why not go for a vice president who's the very best fit for the huge challenges at hand?
The obvious choice would be Michael Bloomberg -- who, as a former Republican turned independent, would necessitate that Mr. McCain reach only halfway across the aisle, and to someone who is his friend rather than a vanquished rival he is learning to tolerate.
Romney vs. Bloomberg is not a close contest. Bloomberg L.P. has roughly three times the revenues and employees of Bain & Company, where Mr. Romney ultimately served as chief executive. Mr. Romney rescued the Salt Lake City Olympics while running it in 2002, but Mayor Bloomberg revitalized New York, the nation's largest metropolis, after the most devastating attack in our history. The city he manages has more than twice the budget of Mr. Romney's state.
Yes, Mr. Bloomberg is a closet Democrat and an alpha dog who doesn't want to be a second banana. And his views on gay civil rights and abortion would roil the G.O.P. base. But Mr. Romney shared some of those same views before he flip-flopped, and besides, these are not ordinary times. Millions of Americans are losing their homes and jobs. Whole industries are going belly up. The national crisis at hand, not yesterday's culture wars, should drive the vice-presidential pick.
Mr. McCain reminds us every day how principled he is. That presumably means he'd risk a revolt by his party's dwindling agents of intolerance and do everything in his power to persuade Mr. Bloomberg to join his ticket in the spirit of patriotic sacrifice. The politics could be advantageous too. A Bloomberg surprise could impress independents and keep the television audience tuned in to a G.O.P. convention that will unfold in the shadow of Mr. Obama's address to 75,000 screaming fans in Denver.
But this is fantasy political baseball, not reality. Mr. McCain, sad to say, hung up his old maverick's spurs the day he embraced the Bush tax cuts he had once opposed as "too tilted to the wealthy." And Mr. Bloomberg? It's hard to picture a titan who built his empire on computer terminals investing any capital, political or otherwise, in a chief executive who is still learning how to do, as Mr. McCain puts it, "a Google."
“W. E. B. DuBois started to teach so that Rosa Parks could take a seat. Rosa Parks took a seat so that we could all take a stand. We all took a stand so that Martin Luther King, Jr. could march. Martin Luther King, Jr. marched so that Jesse Jackson could run. Jesse Jackson ran so that Barack Obama could win!”
Cleo Fields at the State of the Black Union February. 23, 2008
BLACK AND PROGRESSIVE SOCIOLOGISTS FOR OBAMA
The Black and Progressive Sociologists for Obama Working Group (Working Group) was established to support the Presidential Campaign of Barack Obama. The Working Group was conceived as an effort to provide support, albeit limited support, to the Obama Campaign. Given the demands of academic life and the limited resources of sociologists, the Working Group members hoped to provide support to the Obama Campaign through a variety of campaign activities that would offer assistance within the framework of their professional lives, such as, e-mail blasts, monetary contributions, and engaging colleagues and others in small social gatherings.
The Working Group has made contact with the Obama Campaign. The Black and Progressive Sociologists for Obama Working Group Blog has been established as a forum to discuss the campaign and efforts to promote the candidate.
It is realized that academics do not have a lot of time for a political campaign. Similarly, we do not have a lot of financial resources. However, every little bit helps.
Please feel free to offer any suggestions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Current Working Group members:
Donald Cunnigen, University of Rhode Island, Convener
John Diamond, Harvard University
Charles V. Willie, Harvard University (Emeritus)
BarBara Scott, Northeastern Illinois University
Robert Newby, Central Michigan University (Emeritus)
Prudence Carter, Stanford University
Rodney Coates, Miami University-Ohio
Joyce Ladner, Howard University (Emeritus)
Marino Bruce, Meharry Medical College
Benjamin Bowser, California State University-East Bay
Sharon Squires, California State University--Dominguez Hills
Delores Aldridge, Emory University
Hayward Horton, SUNY-Albany
Anthony Lemelle, CUNY-John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Bette Dickerson, American University
Johnnie Griffin, Indiana University-South Bend
Patricia Bell, Oklahoma State University
Wornie Reed, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Colby College
Verna Keith, Florida State University
Noel Cazenave, University of Connecticut
Ronald Taylor, University of Connecticut
Alton Thompson, North Carolina A. & T. University
Phillip Carey, North Carolina A. & T. University
Robert Davis, North Carolina A. & T. University
Akil Khalfani, Essex County Community College
Earl Wright, Texas Southern University
Mark Wilson, Pacific School of Religion
Mary Osirim, Bryn Mawr College
Kerry Rockquemore, University of Illinois-Chicago
William Anderson, National Academies of Science
Robert Crutchfield, University of Washington
Julie Brines, University of Washington
Albert Black, University of Washington
Susan Pitchford, University of Washington
David Takeuchi, University of Washington
Alexes Harris, University of Washington
Richard Travisano, University of Rhode Island
Erma Lawson, University of North Texas
Arthur Paris, Syracuse University
Grace Yoo, San Francisco State University
Abdoulaye Bah, Lincoln University-Missouri
D. Crystal Byndloss, Symphonic Strategies Consulting, Inc.
Evita Bynum, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore
Frank Wilson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Sally Malone-Hawkins, Wiley College
Carroll J. Wiltz, Dillard University
Marlese Durr, Wright State University
John Moland, Alabama State University (Emeritus)
Charles Payne, Unversity of Chicago
Alford Young, Jr., University of Michigan
Louie Ross, Shaw University
Bruce Wade, Spelman College
Blaine Stevenson, Central Michigan University
Kesho Scott, Grinnell College
Nadia Kim, Loyola Marymount University
Kecia Johnson, SUNY-Albany
Michael Williams, Institute for African Studies (University of Ghana)
Lena Wright Myers, Ohio University
Roderick Bush, St. Johns University
Wendy Roth, University of British Columbia
Margaret Hunter, Mills College
Ruth K. Thompson-Miller, Texas A & M
Johnny Williams, Trinity College
Angela Haddad, Central Michigan University
Judith Rollins, Wellesley College
Martha Hargraves, University of Texas Medical Center-Galveston
Lena Wright Myers, Ohio University
Bonnie Dill, University of Maryland