2010 CA Primary Wrap-Up

California just finished our primaries and voted on a few ballot measures. The semi-official results have just been released moments ago.

CA Attorney General and former governor Jerry Brown has received the Democratic nomination for the gubernatorial race. He will be running against former eBay CEO Meg Whitman from the Republican ticket.

Whitman has already run afoul with many California voters when it surfaced she has rarely voted in California  with the one proven exception of 1999 in Palo Alto. She apologized, calling her own voting record “atrocious.” But the fact remains that this a woman who never took the time to weigh in on important matters effecting the state time and time again, who then suddenly decided she wants to be governor. It rings of the notion that Whitman thinks she can just buy her way into the seat.

Jerry Brown, on the other hand, is a person of good ethics. According to Wikipedia: “he refused many of the privileges and trappings of the office, forgoing the newly constructed governor’s residence (which was sold in 1983) and instead renting a modest apartment at the corner of 14th and N Streets, adjacent to Capitol Park in downtown Sacramento. Instead of riding as a passenger in chauffeured limousines  as previous governors had done, Brown was driven to work in a compact sedan.”

Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer will be running against Republican candidate Carly Fiorina.

The salvos have already begun to fly between Boxer and Fiorina over abortion, as you can read about here at the LA Times Web site.

Most notable for the “demon sheep” political ad that was widely circulated on the Internet, Carly Fiorina represents the far right-wing extremism of dirty pool politics (ala Karl Rove) and this pandering to the false notion that business experience amounts to good leadership in government.

Like Whitman, this appears to be a very wealthy woman who believes she can just buy her way into office.

Carly Fiorina has notably supported the “right to carry” for people on the terrorism no-fly list, saying this at a public discussion forum just prior to her nomination to the Senate candidacy. Obviously a person who thinks suspected terrorists should maintain any rights to carry guns is not fit to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Conversely Senator Barbara Boxer has a steadfast record of pro-education, pro-women’s rights, and pro-environment stances to draw from. Boxer should also be noted to have co-authored the Jumpstart Broadband Act. Quoting Wikipedia: “This bill would make more spectrum available for use by devices that incorporate new broadband technology, such as WiFi.”

New York’s 23rd is a Victory for Democrats

New_York_District_23_109th_US_Congress

For one-hundred and twenty years The State of New York’s 23rd Congressional District has been maintained by The Republican Party.

This has come to an end.

The voters have rejected Conservative-Republican ideals, once again.

This in no small part due to their infamous venom spilling forth unto their own kind in their quest of hatred of all who do not met their standards of ideological purity.

They have destroyed themselves in this district and they will continue with this pattern of crypto-fascist politics to destroy their chances of being taken seriously by any thinking person in the United States.

Some blowhards are crowing about minor Republican victories in races projected for their position to win in the first place.

The fact remains that the NY 23rd was uncertain up until this point.

Then the Conservative Party candidate, Hoffman, could not gather enough votes. He flopped with the voters, just as I had thought he would.

Just as we saw beforehand, America is ready for a change for the tired politics of conservatism.

Be is from the Republican side or the Conservative side, does not matter. People are sick of an ideology that empowers Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, and in the same breath of speaking of war & conflicts they seek to weaken & spread lies about the U.S. Government.

A Liberal’s Survival Guide

Obama-Other-Newsweek-3

I recommend picking up a copy of Newsweek for yourself. The cover story for the issue of the week of November 2nd 2009 is an excellent piece on President Barack Obama. Anna Quindlen has put to words what I felt to be true since early in the 2008 Presidential Campaign:

Barack Obama campaigned as a populist firebrand but governs like a cerebral consensus builder. The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have it any other way.

Campaigns are bad crucibles in which to forge the future. They speak to great aspirations; government amounts to the dripping of water on stone.

The president is a person of nuance. But on both ends of the political number line, nuance is seen as wishy-washy. There’s no nuance in partisan attacks, soundbites, slogans, which is why Barack Obama didn’t run with the lines “Some change you might like if you’re willing to settle for” or “Yes, we can, but it will take awhile.”

If the American people want the president to be more like the Barack Obama they elected, perhaps they should start acting more like the voters who elected him.

In my personal estimation the liberal-left mainstream view of Barack Obama was overly optimistic as to his clearly stated positions. This situation has altered since the campaign but still seems to maintain elements of previous misconceptions.

This president is entirely unique.

I was adamant about this in the first few months of The Obama Presidency when the media-punditry were attempting to compare Obama to another American President of the recent past. The only comparisons to draw are poor ones.

Many attempt to call The Obama Presidency a “centrist” presidency. I believe this is only in part true and better descriptions would be “staunchly bipartisan” or “consensus builder” as to what we see of The White House of 2009.

Ultimately, I myself am far too left-wing to support every Obama Policy. I am certainly left-wing enough to vote for him, but in the instance of national health care reform I would seek to isolate the insurance giants in the face of the bipartisan concept of bringing them to the table.

I would seek to remind readers that The Founders had many ideological differences between them and while they surely would approve of the goal of consensus building, I believe some would argue that party loyalty or campaign kick-backs mean nothing in the face of protecting the general welfare of the people of The United States.

Allow me to put forth my view on The Founding Fathers as it applies to the proposed health care reform in the U.S.:

A single-payer bill, like H.R. 676, might be scientifically approved but does not incorporate the spirit of incrementalism that is key to sound reform. If one was to augment the “single-payer” model of this bill into a national health care insurance option for citizens ages zero to sixty-five, included the Dennis Kucinich Amendment in which states can opt-in to a single-payer system, and included the Harry Reid Proposal in which the states can opt-out of the national option within a single piece of legislation; this unwritten bill would be within the true desires of the framers of The U.S. Constitution.

I can only see two clear flaws in Barack Obama as president, thus far.

Handing health care to the Congress was a bad move.

Isolating the giant of media-misinformation when there are other offenders within the spheres of foe-news.

Both of these are purely strategic flaws and amount to simple criticism and nothing more on my behalf.

On the matter of his appointments I believe what I was speaking on before comes around once again. It’s not a fair assessment to call it a “liberal” cabinet but rather a “bipartisan” cabinet, or “centrist” if you must.

We didn’t elect the liberal-firebrand that came to destroy the GOP and tear down the corporate empire.

We elected Barack Obama.

Bill Clinton Downplays the Anti-Obama Rhetoric

Bill-Clinton-3-08

Former President Bill Clinton appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press and when asked about the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ that smeared him during his presidency he said this:

GREGORY: “Is it [the right-wing conspiracy] still there?”

CLINTON: “Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was, because America’s changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was, .. I mean, they’re saying things about him [Obama] — you know, it’s like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did,”

I agree with the former president’s assessment that we have changed demographically as a nation and that the virulence of the right-wing smear factory is as virulent as ever, but Clinton failed to touch on two critical points surrounding this current crusade of baseless slanders against these two democratically elected leaders.

Point One:

The major platform to carry the broken logic of these claims was primarily talk radio when Clinton held the White House. Today these same kind of untrue slanders are carried by FOX News Talk Radio, FOX Cable News, and other talk mediums that include satellite broadcasting which did not even exist within the time he was in office. Then add on top of that a new spinster has come to rival Rush Limbaugh: Glenn Beck.

Point Two:

The McCarthyist and anti-democratic rhetoric coming from the right-wing did not start until several years into the Clinton presidency but have begun almost immediately in the Obama presidency.

Likely he seeks to try to disempower the media-jackals of FOX News, by evading the heart of the matter of the foundation-less smears directed against President Obama; he is trying to avoid giving them bait.

But it must be said: these smears have propagated themselves in much more virulent manner and much sooner than they did for Clinton. It took them years to get around to accusing him of anything even half as extreme as some of the myths about Obama that have been floated around from several months back.

What is worse is the very foundation of this conspiracy is not the same as the one that attacked Clinton. Only the tactics and one of the actors (Limbaugh) remain from that old sideshow.

This is far, far worse and I can not label it anything less than fundamentally un-American.

It seeks to undermine our very system of democracy and our very system of public discourse.



The government is trying to kill you and everyone not with you is a “shill”.

Or … if it’s not the wild conspiracy theories of those like Alex Jones, it’s the equally wild claims of those like Glenn Beck.



The government is trying to control your life and everyone who doesn’t think so is a “Marxist”.

All of this is simply designed to sow fear and distrust for both anyone who supports any not of their opinion then simultaneously spread fear about the government at-large.

In a democratic society we cannot afford to simply forgo coming to the table to discuss our positions with facts and reason then replace this with media-crusades and continuous vicious untrue labeling without dire consequence.

Those who refuse to educate themselves except from known liars need to be recognized as dealt with non-credible.

The insidious plot that is in play here is of another caliber entirely.

It is a giant media body larger and the message is wholly anti-democratic, then you add that we have race baiting going on against the first African-American president by both Beck and Limbaugh, but nobody on the right wing ever cares that they engaged in it and continue to do so at their whim.

A certain element of racism exists not just in what Jimmy Carter said about some white people in the US not feeling a black man should lead this great nation, but also within this intense rush to judgment of Barack Obama in terms of the full scope of his presidency.

The matter of those on the right who wished to keep their children home from school because Obama would address the class in a video is more short-term example of this same rush to negative judgment.

I personally will allow no person to wrap themselves in this claim that anyone is saying that everyone anti-Obama is by value of that a racist.

What is disturbing is the number of people who obviously have never looked into what people are calling “racist” or “racialist” on the left but truly have a high level of indignation more about the fact that the issue is being discussed than anything else.

To not even entertain thought long enough to form any kind of argument begs the question if they are within heavy stages of denial.

Make no mistake, once these neoconservatives no longer have an enemy to publicly defame and lie about they will go right back to trying to get people to vote for The Republican Party.

And the media in general is not helping by providing massive double standards in their intense questioning of Democrats, but constant softballs to Republicans.

Truth About Lobbyists and Interest Groups

“One study of eighty-three (primarily liberal) public-interest groups found that one-third of them received half or more of all their funds from foundation grants; one-tenth received over 90 percent from such sources. In one ten year period the Ford Foundation alone contributed about $21 million to liberal public-interest groups. Many of these organizations were law firms that, other than staff members, had no members at all. The Environmental Defense Fund is supported almost entirely by grants from foundations such as the Rockefeller Family Fund. The more conservative Scaife foundations gave $1.8 million to a conservative public-interest group, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest.” [Wilson, DiIulio 2008]

The concept of using public interest groups to promote the agendas and ideals of a movement is, by this source, not exclusive to the liberal movement but heavily favored by it thus far.

President-elect Barack Obama may ultimately isolate himself from major liberal movement members if the proposed audit of Washington politics were to take a lasting toll on the liberal lobbies. The next four years will certainly answer just how far this coming administration is willing to go to remove corruption in public interest group finance and practice, but four years from now there will also once again be a national referendum on the highest office.

Should the effort ultimately take power from once strong lobbies for popular liberal agendas, the informed American Democratic Voter could potentially face a struggle at the polls when considering a vote for the incumbent President.

The power of an interest-group, in a classic design, should expand as the number of members and contributors expands. The ‘funded & unoccupied lobby’ described in quote above as a law firm is a critical element of what causes the real disruptions in Washington politics.

The figures and organizations that form the American lobbies and public-interest groups of today are not necessarily the root of the problem so much as the agendas of the highest funded public interest groups overriding the highest agendas of the wills of the people.

If the National Legal Center for the Public Interest (a weak lobby) were to receive a large increase in both number of members and in contributions. they should rightly increase in the voice and recognition in Washington and receive foundation grants in turn.

If the Environmental Defense Fund (a strong lobby) were to lose both member and public support their voice as a lobby should rightly decrease and even though they do not receive a majority in foundation grants they should be kept from taking them if they lacked any significant support in the public domain.

This is all within a classic definition of how the public interest groups should work. Any number of factors can increase or decrease the power of a single lobby and for this reason most of us limit our discussion on public-interest groups, or lobbies, to the number of members that are well-known or outspoken and the money behind the group.

Lobbyists are not are always motivated by ill or by good, despite the fact the lobby they work for is focused on a critical social issue or an important national matter that concerns you–or perhaps for a group with which you disagree strongly.

To speak broadly, they are like salesmen of political stances a person in Washington should take.

They are not invested into the case they are making in every single case but rather deliver the best argument in favor of the lobby that they can devise.

Politicians and lobbyists are very much the same, in many ways.

Without means to search the hearts of others to know for sure if they really believe what they contend or if they are simply going with the popular ideology to gain your favor, we will never know for certain if they stand for the people or if they stand for their own private interests.
We can only judge their actions in office as solid statements of policy.

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com/

December 2008

Iran Explodes with Unrest

Huffington Post has the latest updates on the Iranian situation.

I would draw your attention to the final video on the post: “12:17 AM ET — Awe-inspiring courage.”

People Who Voted McCain Hate Obama, Big Surprise

I follow politics on both sides of the coin.

In my view the turning point for the McCain Campaign was the selection of Sara Palin.

The Thinking Conservatives removed their support in droves while the Limited Conservatives found a new poster-child for Partisan Logic.

Aside from the racism allowed to crop up in the Republican Campaign and the market crash under a Republican President, the Conservative Americans who actually think about their positions for longer than the span of a thirty second sound byte could not accept the ‘Say it so, Joe’ Logic and the overall presentation of John McCain’s pick for VP.

Many asked themselves and openly begged the question:

“If John McCain made this bad a decision for Vice President, then how can we trust him to make the right decisions on the war on terror.”

I am trying to draw a connection between the Obama-Hate Committee found on right wing radio and FOX Broadcasting with the vague demagogue figure of religious and moral authority found in the Governor of Alaska and her bid for the vice-presidency in 2008.

I think this group is just loud, and well-funded. Most, if not all, popularity of extremist presidential bashing from the Media Republicans comes from people who want theocracy and the destruction of American Liberty in the name of unfounded ideologies.

There are of course exceptions and a rare pack of conservatives can formulate a fair review of the Obama Presidency thus far, but they increasingly move into the minority as Media Hacks and Partisan Pundits rule the conservative-media.

There Will Be No Radio Fairness Doctrine

PresidentBillClintonMay282003Disk2074Former President Bill Clinton can now be added to the list of big name Democrats that have eluded to or outright mentioned the Fairness Doctrine in radio-media.

I will boldly speak out turn and say now that there shall not a return to the arcane legislation of the Fairness Doctrine where an opposing opinion must be made time for after any political opinion is expressed.

Though John Kerry, Bill Clinton and other figures speak of a need for media regulation I think the issue was already addressed by President Obama when he requested that conservatives stray away from partisanship like that of The Radio Comedian Rush Limbaugh.

This is the clear stance of this administration that partisanship is any form is counter productive in politics. The partisanship found on FOX Network airwaves and conservative-talk radio was challenged thusly by the Executive Branch. I see no moves from this office toward this matter beyond what we have already witnessed.

This issue simply doesn’t rate high enough on the presidential ‘to do list.’ The outcries from the far right wing that this inane legislation from days gone by are paranoid delusions created to fabricate the image of ’persecuted’ conservatives.

The right to Freedom of Speech has always challenged Americans in terms of what they will accept in terms of their politics and their news media. Those like myself who have educated themselves on some aspects of modern media know about the Radio Fair and Equal Rule.

In the Fair and Equal Rule a political campaign that receives airtime must have due consideration and / or equal airtime.

I foresee no threat to the talk radio medium spreading further into FM, satellite and internet formats.

Though I also would not predict any ‘explosions’ of talk radio, but rather just a gradual integration. The Politic-Talk Medium will always remain, no matter what paranoid conservative pundits say.

Loyal Opposition No More

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For many years I have felt that for all our disagreements between liberal and conservative individuals in the U.S., there was a shared position by both sides. A loyal opposition to the opposition, if you will.
For the time being, as since the election of Democratic President Barack Obama, I believe the majority of the conservatives of America have thrown down this national system of civil loyalty in politics in place of a pure obstructionist agenda.
The Party of “No!” is not conservative, nor liberal, it is pure nihilism in place of understanding.
I have not heard any amount of logical rebuttal to an Obama Policy or policy proposal, except in very rare cases.
I find I cannot listen to the standard bearers of GOP right-wing radio these days. Like most people I have my “hang-ups.”
Dismissive attitudes, a complete lack of humility and screaming people down end up on my list.
Every time I have been listening to conservative talk radio, or GOP responses, since the election of Barack Obama I am disgusted by the complete lack of integrity and grace in politics. Every word a smear, every point a spin.
Reducing everything down to simply “look at who is doing the name-calling” is not the issue. Though it is important thing to avoid name-calling as much as possible.
Not sticking to the facts about our democratic representatives and our recent national historical facts is unpatriotic.
I wish it were not so, and no group can claim to innocent of some form of vitriol in these times. But if something I say amounts to “name-calling” then I’m afraid it must be so. But understand I don’t say such things in a state of glee as we see from others screaming rational people down.
I find it offensive that in a matter of weeks all our politics have reduced to childishness and fear-mongering about the government.
Instead of having an actual political dialogue they insist on presenting “vague-facts” along with connect-the-dots logic, which is simply dirty pool politics.

This Machine Kills Fascists: Woody Guthrie

519632_caebcf94081Ain’t got no guitar. Not no more. Some fellow done run off with it. But this here laptop done be my guitar.

And I aims to kill me some fascists. Got this here on the dime of Uncle Sam.

Fellow named George W. Bush gave little old me a check and here we are.

Do believe I have heard a talker or two call Mr. Bush a fascist. That I do recall hearin’ of this man.

But ain’t no fascist alive that let’s his power slip. Not no how, no way.

Them two fellers Obama and Bush did a just dandy job and handin’ over the reigns of Lady Liberty from one to another.

Here in the good ol’ US of A we still have a fondness of old fashioned democracy. Letting the folks decide.

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Woody Guthrie was a singer and songwriter who came of age in Oklahoma as the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression all but destroyed the homes and lives of many of those around him. A natural wordsmith who loved music, Guthrie turned the stories he saw all around him into songs — some funny, some deadly serious, and nearly all dealing with his vision of a better and more just America. Guthrie roamed the country much of his life, performing with the left-wing Almanac Singers, writing a column for the Daily Worker, publishing a wildly entertaining autobiography called Bound for Glory, working as merchant seaman, and raising a family in between. A handful of the 3,000 songs Guthrie wrote have become standards (most notably “This Land Is Your Land,” “Pastures of Plenty,” “Deportees,” and “Grand Coulee Dam”), and it’s all but impossible to imagine the work of Bob Dylan or the rebirth of folk music in the ’50s and ’60s without his guiding influence. Woody Guthrie: This Machine Kills Fascists is a documentary which offers an honest and unblinking look at Guthrie’s life and career, featuring interviews with friends, fans, and historians who offer insight into his music and the man behind it. Mark Deming,   — All Movie Guide

Media-Watchdog? Come Again?

This is the only reason I call myself a Media-Watchdog, one of the last of the breed.

These are just some of my saved email contacts from my personal email account.

crooksandliars@gmail.com
feedback@realclearpolitics.com
mail@journalism.org
yourcomments@foxnews.com
info@ap.org
pres@kqed.org
scoop@huffingtonpost.com
tips@hotair.com
press@thedailybeast.com

Just a sample, there‘s more. (Hot Air is highly partisan, by the by.)

Just making a point. And hoping you’ll input your own thoughts to these addresses.

Whatever good public emailing your my real name and address attached has, you can bet I did it.

And will do it again.

Most likely, standing while typing one-handed just like this. (Someone take a picture, I look journalistic!)

This post is just to dispel any confusion out there in terms of who exactly the real media-watchdogs of America exactly are.

That would be me, Eric Lightborn. The Non-Profit Student Blogger. And that’s pretty much it.

 

Eric Lightborn
http://americapress.wordpress.com
March 22nd 2009

Anarchism Versus Populism

Ever reviled, accursed, ne’er understood,
Thou art the grisly terror of our age.
“Wreck of all order,” cry the multitude,
“Art thou, and war and murder’s endless rage.”
O, let them cry. To them that ne’er have striven.
The truth that lies behind a word to find,
To them the word’s right meaning was not given.
They shall continue blind among the blind.
But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure.
Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken.
I give thee to the future! Thine secure.
When each at least unto himself shall waken.
Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest’s thrill?
I cannot tell — but it the earth shall see!
I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will.
Not rule, and also ruled I will not be!

                       – John Henry Mackay

I draw your attention simply to the first nine lines of this quote, and have included it in it’s entirety for a full perspective.

I believe we have suffered this current Global / American Recession in a large part to the economic strategy of ‘greed is good’ and more specifically the enactment of Anarcho-Capitalism in our banking, mortgage and credits markets the United States of America.

A lack of sound order and a lack of logical policies, will only ultimately lead to a lack of accountability from authority.

A populist does not reject authority, or rule, outright. Rather a populist is prone to ask:

“By right to do govern? Whom do you serve?”

While I will express a degree of fondness for Pure Anarchism in which all property is outright theft … I find the whole ideology unworkable and only expressly attainable in small, sustainable, isolated communities. Much like Marxism is all looks good for an intellectual discussion and quid-pro-quo debating but in a real world setting the whole underlying concepts quickly become revealed as nothing but an ideologist’s dream work.

America of 2009 needs real solutions and not simply an outpouring of sentiment to ’make AIG pay you back’ but rather a hopeful outpouring of people willing to listen. People willing to engage.

The Presidency of Barack Obama is a stepping stone in a much larger and much longer road.

We must begin to demand the highest standards of our leaders on both Wall Street and Capitol Hill.

It is not not wrong to want justice. It is not wrong to want fairness. It is not wrong to question authority.

I am a Populist! Wherefore I will.
Not to rule, but to question the value of our rulers to us.