Thursday, May 29, 2008

Big Lie Country

Yee-ha I’m in Missoula Montana. It’s breathtaking every time I enter this state and get whacked up side of the head with the natural beauty of the mountains and natural wonder of this place, and to think that there are less then a million people in the entire State of Montana, a huge area. There surely must be places in this state where men of European decent have actually never been. I’ve only been here in the spring and summer. So I have yet to experience one of the long cold winters that the locals talk about. But I’m not that upset about it. They say there are only two seasons in Montana, winter and August.

I’ve been here since Tuesday night. Having come here to work on the GOTV (get out the vote) Obama for America campaign in Missoula. Hoping that the Montana primary result with be the final stake in the heart of the Clinton’s obtuse reasoning for continuing their personal obsession to see the Clinton succession to the throne continued no matter the damage done to the chances of the Democratic Party in November.

If the current polls hold up Obama should pull out a win on Tuesday. I know he has hundreds of volunteers here and around the state working 12 hour days to make it happen.

Missoula is a college town and home of the University of Montana. So there's a liberal bent to the place and a great number of artists, free thinkers, nature lovers and intellectuals about. This makes it a Obama kind of town. But then there’s aspects of the town and the local government that are rather conservative. You can see it in the lack of zoning that creates hodgepodge type neighborhoods and the poorly maintained infrastructure and a sort of hang on by your fingernails feeling created by too many years of a boom or bust mentality. The people from here are very independent and the conservatives tend to be somewhat cranky about politics.

I hear the lyrics from the Hank Williams song “mind your own business, so you won’t be minding mine” in my head every time I talked to one, when I was phone banking. I think you get that way when you continue to vote for criminals like George Bush thinking it's a good thing and come to find out he may not really give a shit about you after all. Plus lots of folks I met don’t seem to hardly have a pot to piss in or their just a couple of pay checks away from having to consider what it be like to become a mountain man or woman.

Like in East Texas, where I canvassed for the Obama campaign in March, you have poor whites here that are as Republican as they come. But here I don’t think it’s as permeated with the Christian right rhetoric as it was in Texas. It’s all about not paying taxes and their fucking guns being confiscated. “Obama going to take my fucking guns away”, they whine. Number one it would be literally impossible to get their guns away from them, and two it’s total bullshit. But it’s what they believe.

You’d think it should be about economics, family wage jobs or healthcare, but it’s always about these freaking divisive wedge issues or some wacky deep meaning of personal patriotism with the “rushlimbotomyiacs”. They watch FOX News and live in fear of everything that’s out there beyond the front yard fence in the big bad ass world that’s made up of foreigners, gays and uppity blacks. What pathetic poor souls many of them really are.

But in their hearts I think they want to hope and believe again. It’s just that the cynicism, doubt and double-crossing politicians have made them temporarily insane.

Later I’ll share more on the beautiful people I met in another Montana.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'll Be In Montana The Next Four Days Working For Obama

I'm off to Missoula, Montana at noon to spend the next few days working on the Obama campaign there. I'm sure to be blogging something from MT.

Hopefully by by next Wednesday, with the help of the super delegates. Obama should have enough of them in his camp to claim the nomination. In spite of anything Bill Clinton and the other manipulating bunch over at the Clinton campaign are trying to pull. This latest ploy of claiming a "cover-up" is pathetic.

One must ask themselves if the Clinton's are supposedly so sharp why do they seem to have screwed things up so much. They surround themselves with Mark Penn types advisers who they have wasted millions paying off with their contributors hard earned money, yet still have no real strategy except for the giant and phony makeover of Hillary's image. Trying to turn her into a Midwest blue collar waitress when actually she a Northeast elitist out of touch gender centered divisive pandering politician. She just wasn't the best candidate in the race it's that simple and I'm glad the Billary traveling circus will soon be ending it's run.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Masters Of Nothing

Photo: My dad MacAllister O'Brien France 1918 where he was wounded and received the purple heart.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

On this day of memorial let us honor our dead and thank them for their service if it constituted the true defense of the nation, but let us also dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of justice, tolerance, equality and peace. We should never glorify war or dying for it's own sake. We should not make public claims of patriotism a boastful American tendency. Everyone despises a braggart and a bully. We should operate from a position of moral strength not from one based only on how much we can make others fear us.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Observations Why John McCain Is Absolutely Wrong About The New GI Bill

Memorial Day is a day to honor our military veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. But John McCain and President Bush really don't get it. Their rhetoric is pro service and full of flag waving but their actions are entirely something else.

Take the new GI Bill debate that centers around John McCain and the president's opposition based on what they say would make be making the benefits to good. Too good? If passed, they argue, many would leave the service to take advantage of the new programs thus creating a shortage of troops that the government needs and had spend millions to train.

One of my favorite contenders for the VP spot is Senator Jim Webb, the primary Democratic Sponsor of the bill, who argues that the benefits the bill provides are substantively no different than those offered in GI bill legislation that followed WWII, Korea, or the Vietnam war conflicts. The question that should be asked is why should today's soldiers be short changed when it comes to their post military benefits just because the present administration has badly mismanaged the use of our military.

Most statistics on current war casualties indicate that military personnel fortunate enough to return have been damage severely in mind and body by their initial and continuing misuse by this administration in a stupid and unnecessary war. Webb is only attempting to put meat on the bones or our government's promise to these vets, instead of the Bush administration and Republican actual practice of using the military for political gain when they are unarguably really treating them like cannon-fodder.

The feisty Webb is no johnny-come-lately pandering politician attempting to increase his popularity by using the military as a crutch or backdrop ala all the phony Republican pols who voted against the bill or who take the Bush, Cheney and McCain position. McCain, in spite of all the bluster, failed to even show up to vote NO the bill. Webb is a Naval Academy graduate who served as a highly decorated Marine Corps infantry officer in Vietnam. He is a former Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Administration and he was raised in a military family that includes a son who has seen service in Iraq.

In the video below Webb shows his exceptional knowledge of the military and GI Bill legislation and he argues that the McCain and Bush opposition to the Bill is not based on the facts. He further argues that retention rates will not be adversely effected based on his first hand and extensive knowledge of the actual statistics concerning retention rates in the military. In essence the historical statistics show that retention rates are generally the same no matter how great the GI Bill benefits have been in the past and that about 70% of military personnel only do one hitch before leaving the service to get on with their lives. There is no reason to believe that these patterns would change greatly under the new GI Bill.

So John McBush talks tough about his love of military personnel and how we should honor them but his actions are proof that it is only political mendacity.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Clinton Will Use Rules To Keep Nomination Fight Going All The Way To Convention

Air America's and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is sounding an alarm for Democrats to pay attention and not get lauded into thinking that Hillary Clinton doesn't really mean what she says. Namely that "I'm in to win." Apparently even if it means destroying the Democratic Party and it's chance of winning the Presidency in November.

Maddow makes the argument that Clinton, although she has been more or less written off by the main stream media as not having a mathematical chance for the nomination, continues on. The last few days Clinton has stepped up her arguments for the inclusion of the Florida and Michigan vote results in the overall equation of how many votes and delegates it will takes to be the Democratic Party's nominee. The "every vote must be counted" rhetoric now the main theme being pumped out from the Clinton campaign even though Hillary previously agreed to exclude the Florida and Michigan votes as punishment to those state parties for moving the date of their primary ahead.

To the Clintons, if the shoe fits wear it.

Maddow argues that the key date that everyone should focus on is May 31 when the Democratic Party rules committee will meet and deal with the issue of including the Michigan and Florida delegations. She reports that what Hillary is hoping for is a deadlock on the issue so that it must be resolve in Denver as called for in the Party rules. Because of the rules committee makeup it is certainly plausible that it could be deadlocked. There are 28 members of the rules committee. Clinton supporters make up a third, according to a Huffington Post analysis of the allegiances. Eight are for Obama and the rest have not publicly declared.

Leaving the matter of seating the delegates open till August for resolution before the convention rules committee or in a Denver floor fight gives Hillary the excuse to continue her campaign. Acting as the champion of protecting the rights of the disenfranchised voters. Which is a hot button issue with most Democrats. It also adds to the the "I'm a fighter and not a quitter" image that Hillary has been echoing lately.

Maddow's main worry is that history has shown that when a party waits to resolve the issue of the nomination at the convention it usually loses the election. It would also give John McCain a free ride until August, when the final match ups would be determined. Apparently something Clinton is willing to risk if it means she can somehow steal the nomination with this type of a strategy. She would have three more months to beat up on Obama in hopes of weaken him even more than she has already while continuing her attempts to convince super-delegates of her being more electable then Obama. She also holds out hope that by that time he will have been hit by a meteor or a scandal.

She would be the last woman standing. Even if the plan would weaken her chances of actually winning this year there would be another chance in 2012 instead of having to wait till 2016 when her age may become a factor.

Maddow is calling on uncommitted super-delegates to declare for Obama in sufficient numbers, I believe it is about 60, before May 31 so that Obama would in fact have enough delegates to claim the nomination mathematically even if the outlaw delegations are included. Obama could concede the issue of seating the delegations at the rules committee meeting allowing the outlaws to be seated per the actual election results.

Clinton would have no further issue to make trouble about or legitimize her continued fight for the nomination. Having seen the handwriting on the wall she would hopefully go away and start to work for party unity and what legacy she could have left.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Signs of Spring And Natural History On Vashon Island

I captured this photo of what I think is a Red Headed Woodpecker outside my bedroom window this afternoon. (click on image to enlarge) The bird was apparently looking for insects in the tree just a few feet from my window. Perhaps it even has a nest somewhere in the hollow of this weeping birch. The rat-ta-tat-tat of the bird's hammering on the tree drew my attention to it.

Apparently the red headed woodpecker is on the "threatened species" list in the United States due to the destruction of it's habitat with consisted mainly of dead trees and snags that are now regularly harvested for commercial use. We can all imagine other pressure the
species is under trying to exist in this world with pesticides, weed killers and sprawl.

The Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating the bird in 1996.

Obama Parrot

Probably watch the Black Eyed Peas video too much.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Arguments For More Balanced Obama Convention Delegation

Annie Wagner a writer on Slog and Obama National Delegate candidate has a post on the 7th Congressional District Democratic Party Caucus that happened Saturday.

She oh so astutely noted in the story that the makeup of winning delegates comprising the Obama slate was pretty diverse but lacked "older people". Which as a candidate I tried to point out to bolster my argument for electing delegates that would better balanced the delegation, namely me. I promoted my wealth of experience and being over 60. So much for experience, or at least my kind of experience.
"I don’t know about the HRC delegates, but that Obama slate is pretty diverse. There are black people, gays, a 17-year-old high school senior, an Iraqi-American man, and an Iranian-American woman… no older people, though."
I'm determined to continue to make this argument for balance and experience (older people) in Spokane at the Party's State convention June 13-15 where I will seek one of the at large delegate slots.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Feel Like The Joe Biden Of Democratic National Delegate Candidates

I may of come close but didn't get one of the National Delegate spots at yesterday's WA 7th Congressional District caucus.

The competition was brutal with over 200 people vying for 7 spots. The younger Obamacons seem to have taken the day. Electing delegates that were younger, totally all in for Obama and, relatively speaking, new to active politics. They did elect a fellow who was a Iraqi American because he was successful in part in getting the support of the young behind him. There's a sort of a division in the Democratic party on the Obama side of the newer younger and energized Obama supporters and the older party activists, hacks, and "established" members of the party who also support Obama. When push comes to shove they are willing to put aside their petty resentments for each other because they all dearly want Obama and the Democrats to win the presidency. Not to mention the down ticket Congressional and Senate seats they think he yes we can bring.

The old party activists for the most part see the young Obamacoms as johnny-come-latelies who weren't active or there doing the heaving lifting when times were tough. While the younger energized kids see the old party activists as predominantly hacks.and late to see the seismic change taking place.

It's so generational stupid and out with the old and in with the new.

My problem is I'm probably perceived in the realm of this National Delegate contest as being the latter rather then and old guy that's as excited and energized as much of the younger folks about Obama, I've always been independent in my thinking about the Democrats and not tied to party dogma or political correctness. But that's a difficult message to present in positive and coherent way apparently when you are in fact over 60. My message in part was to include some older folks in the delegation to balance it out. It didn't fly. If Joe Biden can't win a primary I guess I shouldn't feel bad either. Maybe I can make it as a "at large" delegate at the Democratic State Convention?

It's all good for politics in America in the end. There were many great candidates that were trying to get to Denver as a delegate. The process of running is really fun. Especially when you've got this sort of thing bred into you genetically. I've met tons of new politically active people and there is certainly a new and hopeful thing going on that, if successful, will transform the world of politics in this country.

I think most people who are casually involved in following politics or think Chris Matthews knows what he talking about really have no idea what really is going on when it comes to the movement Obama has built. One candidate said it well yesterday when he indicated that Obama talks about his experience as a community organizer when really what he is organizing now is the entire country. In the long run what will be talked about, if Obama prevails, is the brilliance involved especially in the way the campaign has been organized and implement on the ground, literally mobilizing thousands of active fully engaged supporters around a dynamic candidate. Me included.

Everywhere I have gone to campaign for Obama including in Texas, Oregon and last but not least here, I have been impressed by the organizational efficiency and effectiveness of his campaign. In comparison look at the top heavy Clinton old school old politics mess.

One fellow out of state volunteer told me a story that reminded me of the scene from the movie Patton where the General realize the Nazis were on their last legs because they were using horse drawing carts to supply the front line. The volunteer said that the Clinton campaign was paying people $125 per day to hold Hillary signs up at busy intersections in North Carolina. "I knew we had them when I hear that" he said.

All agree that the Obama phenomenon is great for the party. It has brought tons of energized people into the party ranks. In my case it brought me back. There's certainly something going on here that pretty remarkable.

The Hillary supporters are sort of the hardcore party hacks, gender centered and older folks who don't get it. I'm sure in the end they will support the eventual nominee or perhaps they'll be missing the train that will be leaving the station without them. Even Hillary doesn't realize completely yet she been run down by something resembling a political freight train.

It's a new day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Obama National Delegate Daniel O'Brien

Here a short youtube ad from Daniel O'Brien, who is running for one of the 7th Congressional District Obama Democratic National Convention delegate spots.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Barack's Mother

Barack Obama's tribute to his mother, a reading from Dreams from my Father.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I’m White I’m Working Class And I Love Barack

"You're born with nothing, and better off that way. Soon as you've got something they send someone to try and take it away. Nothing is forgotten or forgiven, when it's your last time around, I got stuff running 'round my head that I just can't live down" Bruce Springsteen

I’m the sort of voter that the pundits and gender politics aficionados say Barack Obama needs. White male working class fly by the seat of your pants lunch bucket, beer swilling “yellow dog” Democrats. As in I’d vote for a yellow dog if it were a democrat. Or at least I have been a working class white guy most of the better part of my adult life having put in 25 years at a 9 to 5 somewhat unfulfilling job of pushing paper around a small cubical while also being the shop steward representing my fellow workers there on the job.

Fighting with management for me was second nature and a distraction from the kind of inauthentic nothingness work product that I was responsible for promulgating on a daily basis. Plus it was a form of keeping the faith with my dead labor leader Irish Catholic father who's father had also come from a long line of born troublemakers. But, of course, I mean that in a good way.

To think I used to have these seemingly endless meetings with management where we discuss the meaning of things like abusing one's sick leave. I was always sandbagging mode with these pinheaded management types while simultaneously thinking that my father would be on heavy rotation in his grave should I not go to the mat if necessary with these Republican tools of the ruling class. I wasn’t well like by my bosses. I took pride in it because you can tell a lot about a person by the asses they will kiss in order to just get by.

Before putting in the 25 years worth of hump days I did lots of even dirtier little jobs like driving taxis, loading airplanes, washing dishes and digging holes in the ground. Let’s just say I’m more qualified to talk about it then Hillary Clinton would like to have you think she is qualified to talk about it. God I hate a phony. I stopped throwing back shots like Hillary Clinton did to demonstrate her kinship with us salt of the earth folks years ago because like many of my ilk I sort of threw too many of them back to the point that it almost killed me a couple of times. Sometimes I think Bill Clinton probably swills too much white wine, because it may explain all the finger pointing and gaffs. But when your privileged you tend be able to get away with it longer. Real working class guys who have drinking problems lose their shirts and end up on the TV programs like Cops instead of on Meet The Press with Tim Russert.

Some mornings I’d get up and come close to emotionally slitting my wrists before having the first cup of coffee and getting past the I hate my job barrier that lots of working class people confront each and everyday of their life that they get up and have to go to work, and that was before I went to rehab for the first time. Remarkably that feeling persisted for years when I look back on it. But there were bills and mortgages to pay. You know the drill if your one of us working class white guys. After 25 years of so of this I decided that it be better to retire early and walk out of the job under my own power with a smaller pension instead of being carried out strapped to a gurney. So I did. Probably the best decision I ever made.

Thankfully, the job never real got my soul.

After years of dealing with this type of shit I can pretty much tell a phony when I see one apart from a more authentic personality. So this is what moved me to Obama over Clinton in the first place. I liked the fact that he threw in with the working class way back when, becoming a community organizer in Chicago for 6 years helping disenfranchised steel workers. When he talks about worker dignity, entitlement and economics he sounds totally authentic to me like he knows from his own personal experiences. It’s not just some trumped up intellectual exercise to sound or look good like you know who.

It bothers me that other working stiffs like me apparently don’t see it. The fact that this fellow Obama would be OUR champion in the white house to me is obvious. He’d not sell us, and the rest of the hemisphere’s workers, down the river like Bill and Hillary did pushing NAFTA down our throats without any labor or environmental standards.

So I hope my fellow workers will wake up and ask themselves if they think Hillary is liable to say anything she thinks you want to hear to get your vote and isn’t Obama the real friend and advocate I’ll need in Washington looking after my interest as a working class person. My working class radar tell me he's really the man for the job.

When We Were Up When We Were Down

Many burned out liberal boomers and party hacks still don't get it. So let us, once more, point out...

"When this campaign began, Washington didn't give us much of a chance. But because you came out in the bitter cold, and knocked on doors, and enlisted your friends and neighbors in this cause; because you stood up to the cynics, and the doubters, and the nay-sayers when we were up and when we were down; because you still believe that this is our moment, and our time, for change - tonight we stand less than two hundred delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination for president of the United States."

"More importantly, because of you, we have seen that it's possible to overcome the politics of division and distraction; that it's possible to overcome the same old negative attacks that are always about scoring points and never about solving our problems. We've seen that the American people aren't looking for more spin or more gimmicks, but honest answers about the challenges we face. That's what you've accomplished in this campaign, and that's how we'll change this country together." from Barack Obama's victory speach after North Carolina primary

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Clinton Gas Tax Holiday Ask Voters To Take A Holiday From Reality

This video is one of the best summaries of the arguments for and against the Clinton gas tax holiday idea. Once again it show that Clinton is a big fat pandering liar. There I said it.

via: veracifier

Monday, May 05, 2008

Obama's Real Message Goes Mostly Unheard

The daily bullshit spreading machine that the main stream media represents in modern America makes it's hard to hear any of the real message of change put forth by Barack Obama.

For instance, yesterday on Meet The Press Tim Russert spent over 30 minutes of the hour interview with Obama myopically regurgitating the Reverend Wright crap and not doing a very good job of questioning Obama without using the sensationalized gotcha whoopee shit sandwich line of questioning that all these bozos think is appealing.

Russert, and his cohort on MSNBC Chris "Tweety" Matthews live most of their life in the altered universe of a Irish Catholic male good old boys network perception of the world. Everything they come up with is tainted by this bent. Being a Irish Catholic myself from a politically active family I don't need a decoder to understand what they're really talking about most of the time. It seems sometimes everything is irrelevant unless it has at least six degrees of separation from Tip O'Neil the old neighborhoods in Buffalo or Philadelphia or an alter boy.

The problem of course is the real message of change gets lost or never covered. That's why it's refreshing to come across a video of Obama in a recent town hall meeting talking about what he really wants to happen with government and the vast network of people that spontaneously formed to support his message of change if he is eventually elected president. It says tons why we need this person to be our President next January.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Immigration Protester Apparently Wants People Like Her To Be Deported

Immigration protesters in Texas claim that immigrants should be deported unless they have a command of the English language. The problem is the sign the protester displayed is misspelled. I guess this means that she got to go too.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Friends Of Daniel O'Brien For National Democratic Convention Delegate

click on image to enlarge:

The race is on to fill 7 Democratic Convention National Delegate slots. The election takes place at the 7th Congressional District Caucus on May 17th at North Seattle Community College. 327 voting delegates, who were elected at the legislative district caucuses April 5th, will select the National Delegates which allocates out to be 4 women, 3 male and one male alternate delegate for the 7th CD.

What a epiphany it would in Denver to be playing a role in nominating Barack Obama as the Democratic Party's candidate for the Presidency of the United States come August.

Check out my delegate website which outlines the volunteer work I've done for Obama and why I'd make such a groovy and dead serious working class John McCain's butt kicking Obama National Delegate.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Empire Strikes Barack

Obama will never surrender to the dark side or the Democratic primary between Clinton and Obama seen as a Starwars theme.