Tuesday, September 30, 2008

yellow lines and dead armadillos: are you ready for Road Kill Refugee?

Please check out RoadKillRefugee:

About RKR
The former Texas Secretary of Agriculture, Jim Hightower, once said of his own blend of politics, “The only thing in the middle of the road are yellow lines and dead armadillos.” I have no idea what that means, which probably explains why he’s no longer in public office. But it seemed like a cool way to brand the blog.

I’m tired of being fed the MSM’s over-processed, irradiated, genetically altered spam. Too often, surrogates of powerful industries use the MSM to regurgitate talking points and manipulate public opinion at the direction of advertising, political and PR consultants.

The MSM is an enabler of this because the scripted dueling talking heads, as Jon Stewart pointed out to Tucker Carlson, provides inexpensive, bleached white bread and circus diversions without offending media ownership, advertisers and the regulators.

Which is why I started this blog about the joys of raising alpacas!

Contact: roadkillrefugee

Talk/Talk: Socialism! Help Me!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, Socialism! Help Me! Every Sunday CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, September 28, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show," "Meet the Press", "The McLaughlin Group" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos".

Salit: Since we're talking about introducing the word "socialism" into the public lexicon, I was struck by the range of reactions on The McLaughlin Group. McLaughlin asks Monica Crowley, the Wall Street conservative, about the bailout. 'Is this socialism?' he says. She's for it and she responds. But she doesn't use the word "socialism." Instead, she gives a description of the intervention. Then, a few minutes later, McLaughlin asks Mort Zuckerman, 'Is this socialism?' Zuckerman won't use the word either. He gives another description of the intervention. Finally, Rich Lowry of The National Review says, 'Hey, it's a socialistic style intervention to save capitalism.'

Newman: I'm always cautious about agreeing with something in which the key phrase to characterize the something is a "style." I don't think it's a style. And it's not as if the U.S. government hasn't been a major financial player in other situations, not to mention the extent to which that's true internationally. Socialism is a real thing. So, of course, is capitalism. The problem, from my point of view, lies in the fact that most everybody insists that those two things have to be understood as virtual opposites. And they're not, given the size of the world, the nature of the world, the shape of the world.

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

November 5, 2008: The End of America?

by Jeffrey M. Freeman

We, the people, are responsible for this mess we are in because we trusted Washington to do the right thing The so-called War on Terror and the financial debacle at home are two parts of the same calamity. We have bought into, or ignored, the philosophy touted by Ronald Reagan and others as part of trickle down economics. Trickle down economics is a euphemism for feudalism, for economic slavery, where the rich get richer and the rest of us eat their table scraps. There is a world-wide conspiracy of philosophies which have at their common core the mantra: greed is good, debt is good. One reason, real or imagined, that many nations don’t like us is that they view the US as an imperialist nation, gobbling up the meat and potatoes of their resources while leaving their average citizens scrounging in garbage heaps.

Our money is not backed by anything of value—it is backed only by faith in our good will. When we went off the gold standard, we went to a credit standard. If the credit system fails, as we are being told that it is, then access to credit is tightened and the wheels of commerce, upon which the “free enterprise” system runs, will come to a grinding halt. It is imperative, therefore, that our credit system—credit cards, mortgages, the stock market, and the like—be constantly and consistently monitored, just as the gold at Fort Knox was when our security depended on it. Unfortunately, on this point, our government has failed us, possibly bringing us to the brink of financial collapse. We have not yet seen the entire scope of this international political-economic mess.

But it is our fault because we have not insisted that those who represent us in Washington act in the people’s best interest. For example, government approved unprecedented mega-mergers in energy companies and media outlets have resulted in higher gas prices and controlled news. The abilities to dominate segments of industry and to spin news are two essentials for a successful fascist state. As the United States potentially stands on the precipice of an economic meltdown, it is the time to send a shot across the political bow that will be remembered for decades, maybe centuries, to come. Indeed, Barack Obama and John McCain agree on this point—it is past time to demand real change in Washington.

Obama and McCain are also right in that we need to hold government officials, appointed and elected, accountable. Government workers who knowingly failed to do their duty to protect Americans must be investigated, tried, and, if found guilty, sent to prison, along with those in the finance sector who perpetrated the actual acts.

Maybe we should start with former Republican Senator Phil Gramm, a long-time friend of John McCain and formerly one of his closest economic advisors. It was Gramm who, in 1999, pushed through legislation tearing down the wall between regulated commercial banks and unregulated investments banks. That wall was put in place as a safety net against the corrupt Wall Street practices that led to the Great Depression, and McCain heartedly endorsed its destruction. After all, he was, until September 15, 2008, a life-long champion of deregulation. Gramm is now a vice president of UBS, a bank that benefited from Gramm’s legislation and is heavily invested in the sub-prime mortgage debacle. Then again, the legislation was warmly welcomed and signed into law by Democrat Bill Clinton.

Even so, a tiger does not change his stripes. McCain subscribes to the mantra of greed is good, even while publicly denouncing it. McCain is still a deregulator and a “free trader” at heart. He is now talking about bringing jobs back to America but that is a fair trade policy, not free trade. McCain wants to resurrect George W. Bush’s plan to partially privatize Social Security. I have a college degree. I’m fairly prudent about my investments. I’ve lost thousands of dollars in my retirement funds under Republican leadership. The Republican’s true agenda is to destroy Social Security, which privatization, partial or whole, will do. Social Security is another safety net that McCain is all too willing to cut holes in. After all, what does he care? He’s a multi-millionaire. He wouldn’t know a common person if one punched him in the nose. McCain is desperate and is willing to tell the American public anything, including endorsing traditional Democratic positions, in order to win the election—even the bard of deceit, Karl Rove, says as much.

For nearly two years I collected, catalogued, and analyzed nearly two hundred thousand classified documents in preparation for the next person to write the official history of the Iraq war for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I sat in on about a dozen videoconferences at the Secretary of Defense/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs level, participated in interviewing key personnel, and took notes in dozens of other meetings. What I came to understand is now common knowledge but it shocked me at the time. There was no reason to invade Iraq. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. It is likely that George W. Bush came into office seeking a way to remove Saddam Hussein—it is absolutely true of at least some of his advisors. Bush and his advisors seized on 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq.

For several years, I thought that perhaps President George W. Bush was somehow getting bad advice. I realize now that it was he who was prescribing what advice he would listen to, just like Donald Rumsfeld.

McCain follows the same principle as GWB—kill all the bad Muslims until there are no more. That’s the equivalent to an oft-quoted axiom in the Army—floggings will continue until morale improves. Sarah Palin is willing to go to war with Russia, something we avoided with the Soviet Union for more than fifty years. Has she forgotten, or maybe never knew, that we and Russia each posses enough nuclear weapons to destroy the entire planet, to kill every living thing, good, bad or indifferent? The principle didn’t work in Vietnam. We did not lose the military battle in Vietnam. We lost the war because it could not have been won except by destroying the entire nation of North Vietnam. Just as North Vietnam was never a threat to the United States, neither was Iraq. We cannot win against al Queda by military means alone—they need to be defeated in the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world; bombs and bullets won’t do it.

The “War on Terror” dragged the Christian church, although some of its right wing advocates came only too willingly, into the fray. Christians who declare that it is all right to kill people who have never done anything to us—and, according to CNN, between 50,000 and 600,000 Iraqis have died--have no right to call themselves followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Can you image what would happen if some country invaded us and killed half a million Americans under the ruse of ridding us of George W. Bush? The Crusades were not something Jesus would have commended. Yet, George W. Bush and many Christians believe, or formerly believed, that God appointed Bush to be president. Adding religion to the military-industrial-political triad has given fascism a surprising yet strong and growing impetus in our government.

Whether our fragile democracy survives or succumbs in total to fascism is at stake. Those in Congress who have allowed this president to pursue a false war, hand out fat contracts to friends, demonize America in the eyes of most of the world for abandoning our principles, and usurp certain Constitutional rights of the American people should be ashamed. One of Bush’s stalwart supporters is John McCain.

The United States of America once stood as a symbol of democracy and human decency. The overwhelming majority of Americans are good, honest, decent, caring people. We need to reclaim our good name.

This is the new shot that needs to be heard around the world—America is a democracy and we will hold our government officials accountable to the people. The president and the congress work for us, and don’t forget it. For elected or appointed officials, career civil servants, or military leaders to lie to the people to achieve any agenda, or to ignore their appointed duties, are crimes and such persons must be held accountable. George W. Bush, many of his closest supporters, and others need to be impartially investigated for possible acts against the American people and if found guilty, punished accordingly. (Guantanamo is my personal preference as the place of incarceration.) We cannot expect one of the wolf pack to turn on his own kind. Neither John McCain, Sarah Palin, nor the Republican Party is capable of restoring America to its moral course. Nancy Pelosi take note.

There are many people more intelligent, with greater resources and insight than myself who have written about what tragedies have been committed in the guise of spreading democracy and the expansion of American imperialism. I highly recommend their books: Bob Woodward’s, Bush at War, Plan of Attack, State of Denial, and The War Within; James Bamford’s A Pretext for War; Scott McClellan’s What Happened; John Perkin’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man; and Naomi Wolf’s The End of America.

Part of that shot across the bow is to remove Republicans from power in order to truly shake up the good-old-boy system in Washington. I am not enamored with either Democrats or Republicans. But those are the only two viable choices in this presidential contest. Barack Obama is not my preferred choice but those in charge of the political process have made it almost impossible for an Independent presidential candidate to have an equal chance, so far. However, there is a growing network of Independents and it is spearheaded by the Committee for a Unified Independent Party. In order to truly represent the people, we need a multi-party political system, not just Elephants and Donkeys. We need more Independents like Bernie Sanders in the House and Senate. The message to the Democratic Party in this election is: render Washington back for the people or you are next.

Too many good white people will look at Barack Obama and not vote for him because he is black. Too many decent black people will think twice about not voting for him just because he is black. I cannot understand how any Latino would vote for McCain. At this moment in history, Obama is the only person in America in a position to reshape Washington and reverse this road to fascism—that’s one heavy responsibility, and Joe Biden and every American who loves democracy shares it. A vote for Obama is not so much a vote for his policies as it is a vote against the economic tyranny imposed on us by greedy, ruthless, self-serving leaders.

Our Constitution is a radical document. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations … evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.” We have been lied to, deceived, and played for fools. Young Americans understand this, perhaps better than their parents and grandparents. In the words of that classic film, V For Vendetta, “People should not be afraid their government. Governments should be afraid of their people. … Remember the fifth of November.” It is time for another revolution—this one at the ballot box. If another is necessary, will it be in the streets?

Jeffrey M. Freeman
Registered Independent
Author:
Duty and Character
Wrong Enemy, Wrong War

dance

movement

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
Schwarzenegger vetoes voter-information bill (San Jose Mercury News) It would have required poll workers to notify independents in writing of their right to a ballot from any party that allows decline-to-state voters.


CAMPAIGN

Monday, September 29, 2008

Look Who's Coming to Performing the World:



Dzul Dance Brings Mexican Culture to Life in New York
Dzul Dance fuses dance with aerial arts as a means to communicate pre-Hispanic and Mexican culture and create dialogue between contemporary art and historical heritage. By transforming bodies into earthbound and airborne forces of nature Dzul breaks physical, cultural and political boundaries. Artistic Director Javier Dzul grew up in Mexico performing the ritual dances of his Mayan tribal community. He left his community to dance with professional companies such as Ballet Nacional de Mexico, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Pearl Lang Dance Theater, and Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble...... (from Mexico Premiere)

Dzul Dance website here: http://www.dzuldance.com/_index.html

AND look who's writing about Performing the World:

Performing the World Conference - Starts Oct 2nd (in Extra Criticum)
Interesting thing just crossed my desk. I've never attended, but the concept sounds intriguing: A three-day "happening" of performances, workshops, panel discussions, lectures, community tours and improvisation. Performing the World 2008 (PTW '08) brings together activists, artists, educators, young people, practitioners... (from American Theater Web Newsclips)

MinC propõe mudanças na legislação de Direito Autoral (from Post Express)
No dia 4 de outubro, o Performing the World (PTW ’08) celebrará, em Nova Iorque, o “Dia Internacional da Juventude”. O evento reunirá organizações de jovens do mundo inteiro como Kainai High School, Blood Reserve (Kainai Nation), Canadá; Street Spirits Theatre Company, Canadá; Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools, Louisiana, EUA; The Campeche Youth Initiative, México; Centro de Asesoria y Promocion Juvenil, México; Democracy Begins In Conversation, África do Sul; Justice for Children Trust, Zimbábue; Performing Life, Bolívia; Tears Group, Quênia e Aprender Brincando, Brasil. (in Cultura e Mercado)


Performing the World '08 To Get Global Participation

More than 300 artists, activists and educators from all over the world will gather in New York City, October 2-5, for Performing the World '08. Focused on "the emergence of performance as a new way of relating to, understanding and changing the world," the conference will present dozens of performances, workshops, panel discussions and lectures, by practitioners involved in performance work related to cultural, economic or psychological development, community-building, social justice, individual and social transformation and social entrepreneurship. (from API News, Community Arts Network)

Performing the World 2008 Conference
Elena Marcevska will Present at International Performance Conference in New York City. Elena Marcevska will be doing a lecture at Performing the World 2008, an international conference on performance and social development, being held in New York City, October 2-5. She will be delivering a paper entitled “Performing motherhood while working on the streets and intersection”. Elena Marcevska, recently a mother herself, for the purposes of this project, is working with Roma mothers who are begging with their children on the streets and intersections of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia... (from Elenaj's Weblog)

Jennifer Bullock’s Personal Growth Weblog
Build your life and community through creativity, culture and emotional growth (link)

Performing the World: Jackass go to New York!Posted on Wednesday, 4 June 2008 at 8:50 by
County Durham’s Jackass Youth Theatre have been invited to present “Sharp Practice”, their recent project about slavery, at Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, a Performing the World conference and festival in New York in October 2008. (from Youth Theatre News)

Domestic Crusaders: Must See In NYC Oct. 2 - 5
Wajahat Ali, a Muslim Pakistani-American playwright, journalist, humorist and writer, (and a former student of mine) will present excerpts from “The Domestic Crusaders” at Performing the World ’08 (PTW ’08), an international conference and festival that will take place from October 2-5, 2008 in New York City. PTW ‘’08 is expected to attract over 400 grassroots practitioners, activists, scholars and researchers from throughout the United States and around the world.
“The Domestic Crusaders” focuses on one day in the life of a modern Muslim Pakistani-American family who come together to celebrate the 21st birthday of the youngest child. Against the backdrop of September 11 and the scapegoating of Muslim Americans, the tensions and sparks fly among three generations, culminating in an intense family battle as each “crusader” struggles to assert and impose their respective voices and opinions, while still attempting to maintain and understand that unifying thread that makes them part of the same family...... (from ImmigrationProf Blog)

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
Independent Voters (Winston Salem Journal Editorial Staff) increasingly, voters in Forsyth County and the rest of North Carolina are registering as unaffiliated.

CAMPAIGN
Zogby: Obama Won Debate by a Nose; Race Tight (Newsmax.com) Independents, by a four-point margin, said Obama won the debate.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Brighter Day Will Come: Barack Obama, Independents, Partisan Politics, YOU choose

I'm inspired by blog posts like this one from Road Kill Refugee, which offers a more working class message from Barack Obama (in one of my home states of Virginia....)

I admit it, I'm a radical populist -- I don't give a shit for the two-party system that supports the interests of corporate America. Whether or not McCain "gets it" or not, is NOT the issue.

At the same time, Obama's message continues to be a partisan message.

We the people need to make a statement about our priorities and the direction of the country. Obama is talking rhetoric about turning the page, creating a new politics. This is not Barack Obama's task. This is the task of the American people.


If we will do this, it is the task of ALL us Americans. I think that independent voters can lead this!


I simply cannot support party politics as usual that has led us down the path of destruction. In the event that Barack Obama actually does win this election, if independents don't keep up the pressure for a non-partisan political culture, NOTHING WILL CHANGE, nothing will be different.

This post is dedicated to Tony Fusco in Queens, NY. We have agreed to disagree. And we are DEADSET on a democratic process. Thanks for your comradrie and your confidence in the indpendent movment! -- NH

Let the people decide!

Blogging the World


Alice Rydel

Blogging the World: An Online Stage for Activists (Or Performatory Blogging for Everyone)

On Sunday morning Oct. 5, please join us at Performing the World 2008, an international performance conference in New York City co-hosted by the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy and the All Stars Project.



Performing the World 2008 (PTW 08) is a three-day "happening" of performances, workshops, panel discussions, lectures, community tours and improvisation. The conference expects to attract more than 500 activists, artists, educators, young people, practitioners and scholars from 30 countries, all of whom are involved in the emergence of performance as a new way of relating to, understanding and changing the world. Performances and presentations will address community, organizational and business development, education, mental health, medicine, poverty, violence, drugs, HIV/AIDS, healing/personal growth and theatre/improvisation, and politics.



In addition to a plenary session not to be missed featuring Fred Newman, the contoversial public philosopher who has guided the progresive independent movement for more than 3 decades and who fashioned the winning black and independent alliance in collaboration with Jackie Salit, the Hankster was invited to present a panel of activists-journalists.



"Blogging the World" will be a thoughtful conversation by some of the stratosblog's most cutting-edge bloggers and alterntive media personalities on the topics of democracy, technology, blogging and community activism.



The Hankster has assembled a visionary panel (see below).



PTW Blogging the World Panel

Session Sunday October 5, 9am-10am

All Stars Project

543 W. 42nd St.

New York, NY 10036



Justin Gardner

Donklephant http://donklephant.com/ (via satellite)

Justin Gardner is the founder and editor of Donklephant, a popular multi-partisan political blog where readers are encouraged to discuss the ideas of the day in a respectful, honest forum. Since launching in July 2005, Donklephant has drawn over 2.5 million page views and boasts a roster of over 20 authors.



Robert Koulish

Koulflo Memo http://koulflo.wordpress.com/tag/koulish/

(Robert twitters at http://twitter.com/koulflo)

Robert Koulish is an Associate Professor of Law and Society at the University of Philadelphia. He blogs at Koulflo Memo, a politically progressive blog that emphasizes immigration, democratic media and electoral politics, as well as the occasional personal experience. Robert also works in experiential and community based teaching and learning, and is co-founder of a youth-based media and education collaborative called co-lab, and a micro-radio coalition called Baltimore Community Radio Coalition.



Jacqueline Salit

CUIP http://independentvoting.org/index.html

Neo Independent http://www.neoindependent.com/

Jacqueline Salit is a 20-year veteran of the independent political movement. Executive editor of THE NEO-INDEPENDENT magazine, a bi-annual journal that covers the independent political movement and the independent voter, Jackie is also the President of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (http://www.independentvoting.org/), a national 15 year-old think tank giving leadership to grassroots independents. Jackie ran NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg's successful 2001 and 2005 mayoral campaigns on thlaynae Independence Party line, effectively creating a game-changing black and independent alliance that is challenging politics-as-usual.



Lanya Shapiro

Traction http://www.gettraction.org/

Lanya Shapiro is the founder and Executive Director of Traction, a community of young-ish (Gen X&Y) progressives and an innovative civic engagement and leadership development organization. Since 2003, she's immersed herself in progressive grassroots organizing – from the Howard Dean grassroots to consulting with SEIU, EchoDitto, Institute for America's Future, etc. Lanya's background is in public health and social work, and she spent years designing and managing award-winning large-scale health behavior change programs. Traction promotes civic participation using the same social marketing principles – more Malcolm Gladwell than politics as usual. Some say if activism is the drug, Traction is the dealer...



HOST

Nancy Hanks

The Hankster http://grassrootsindependent.blogspot.com/

Nancy Hanks is a long-time activist in independent politics and community-building. She started The Hankster, a blog/news source for independent voters, in April 2006, during the midterm elections when independent voters led a successful anti-war electoral revolution. She is a full-time grant-writer for an international homeless youth program and a volunteer fundraiser for the Committee for a Unified Party. She is on the research staff of the Neo Independent magazine. Nancy has appeared on SIRIUS Satellite Radio's Indie Talk Blog Bunker with Joe Salzone, and on podcast #18 on Skewz.com.

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
Independent Voters React To Presidential Debate (KRDO - Colorado Springs) "I want them to address the problems that are of importance to the American people and I want them to be clear," says independent voter Marcia Ford.

REFORM/OPEN PRIMARY Oregon Measure 65

  • Former allies split about open primary - Phil Keisling, Barbara Roberts debate merits of Measure 65 at forum (Statesman Journal)
  • Some ideas that might be included in a government reform package (Sacramento Bee)
  • NON-POLITICIANS FOR NON-POLITICAL JOBS (The Oregonian) "The secretary of state's office has become too much about a party and not enough about people," candidate Rick Dancer says
  • Save yes vote for primary change (The Gresham Outlook) Measure 65 – open primary: This highly commendable measure would modernize Oregon’s election system by allowing all voters – regardless of political party affiliation – to participate in primary elections and vote for whichever candidate they prefer – again, regardless of party.
  • In praise of Loren Parks (The Oregonian) Phil Keisling visited the editorial board Wednesday. He was in to chat up his "open primary" ballot measure. But Phil being Phil, he talked about more. Much more.

CAMPAIGN

  • Who Won the First Debate? (Science Blogs/The Corpus Callosum) What influence will the debate have on independent voters? Not much, because it was so forgettable.
  • Polls Show Obama Clear Winner in First Debate with McCain, Many Pundits Agree (OpEdNews) A Media Curves poll shows independent voters favoring Obama in the debate 61% to 39% overall, with independents giving Obama significantly higher marks also on foreign policy and national security as well as on the economy.
  • LINK TO MEDIA CURVES POLL
  • Obama scores among Indies (Baltimore Sun/Random Rodricks) Media Curves poll: Results from instant polling -- conducted by text message and on-line during the debate -- by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion shows Obama having scored effectively among independent voters on almost every subject touched on last night.

NEW YORK POLITICS/INDEPENDENCE PARTY
MacKay Defends McCain, Who Decides To Debate After All (Daily News/Daily Politics) The rank opportunist State Chair of the Independence Party of New York seems to be just makin' it up as he goes along....


PERFORMING THE WORLD

Friday, September 26, 2008

Live-blogging the Presidential Debate at the University of Mississippi September 26, 2008

Ok, I'm going to live-blog the debate. You have to scroll down in this post to see the chronolgy top to bottom...

9:00pm ET
Jim Lehrer moderating (yea!)... the CPD is sponsoring (boo!)

This is a debate about foreign policy.

The audience has taken an oath of silence.

they shake hands, mccain doesn't really meet obama's eye -- (i'm biased bec. i prefer obama, i think he's the more "out of the box" candidate in this election -- including third party candidates...)

Obama: talking about the bailout (or as my friend and cartoonist Alice Rydel calls it the bale-out...) is the middle class getting a fair shake?

McCain: a note about Ted Kennedy's hospitalization, bi-partisanship -- wants to keep wall street and banks stable...

Lehrer: go back to question of where do you stand on the bailout?

Obama: how did we get here? giving credentials about having addressed this before with congress people... econ. philosophy that says that (oops missed the phrase...)

McCain: also warned about corporate greed... etc... (story about military invasion....) he called for the resignation of the SEC chief...

Obama: we need leadership not only when there's a crisis... healthcare system broken...

Lehrer directs Obama to talk directly to McCain



9:14 pm ET
McCain: rhetoric about american workers, productivity.. etc

Lehrer: continue

McCain: we repubs came to DC to change politics and politics changed us.... (he's getting his talking points in very quickly...) I'll veto every spending bill that comes across my desk -- no more pork barrel

Obama: suspended earmarks process in his state of IL... $18 bil. dollars in last years budget.. mccain wants $300 bil in tax cuts to corps. in reduced taxes....


McCain thinks that earmarks has grown to the extent that it corrupts people

[this is a supposedly "fundamental difference" bet. raising taxes and giving earmarks]

Obama: talking about healthcare now.... getting middle class back on track

McCain: compares US econ to Irish econ.... he wants every family to have a $5K tax cut or rebate or something... Obama wants everybody to be rich [did he really say that???]

Obama: loopholes, businesses pay low tax rate, working people not getting a tax break.. $5K health credit: Mccain will tax health benefits, either from you or your employer.... notion is the less regulation we have the better we are....

McCain: [jumps in -- now they are getting in to the "free form" dialogue] who said the best thing is for smg... existing tax code? new tax code? Obama has shifted to taxing low income people

Obama: we would like to lower taxes, but if we lower taxes on oil companies, then ....


Lehrer: financial rescue system [BAILOUT]-- what are you going to have to give up for this?

Obama: hard to anticipate... we can't do everything we should, have to have energy independence.... invest in alternative energy.... fix healthcare system enormous burden on families.... compete in education, science, children education in math, science, AND rebuild infrastructure... to compete in global economy...

McCain: re: Obama statement -- hard to reach across the aisle from that point on the Left.... need fixed cost contracts...

Lehrer: what's the difference?

Obama: John's right we have to make some cuts.... lobyists...medicare.... "wildly liberal is just me opposing Pres. Bush"....



9:32 pm ET
Lehrer: what's the difference?

McCain: spending freeze

Obama: don't use a hatchet when you need a scalple.... $10 bil spent on Iraq... ??? bring that war to a close...

McCain: need wind, off-shore drilling. you can't get there from here.... nuclear power plants.... important for climate change- he 's proud of his participation.

Lehrer:

Obama: we have to know what our values are to guide our econ priorities

McCain: important to not hand over our policy decisions from the families to the congress? (sorry missed the direct dialogue)

Obama: addresses McCain directly -- you haven't addressed this issue in your term

McCain: long record of contesting the record of the president...


9:39pm NYT
Lehrer: lessons of Vietnam, what are the lessons of Iraq?

McCain: supported the surge..... this strategy has succeeded/will succeed with victory and honor.. thanks to Gen. Petraus... we willcome home in victory

Obama: fundamental difference -- I opposed this war, not only because this was not good going in, but also bec. we didnt' get Osama bin Laden. heavy cost in american lives, no loss to al quiada... heavy cost to our govt. ... have to use our military wisely...

McCain: the next pres has to decide when we leave and how we leave not if we leave.... Sen. obama never asked for a meeting with Patreas?

Lehrman inter: to the point...

Obama: senate inside -- but -- surge is successful -- but that was a tactic to manage the mismanagement of the war...


McC is now getting emotional about the war.

Obama: troop funding.... we have seen the effort in Afganistan worsen... has a plan to support a comprehensive plan

McC: Gen Petraeus -- O original plan didn't succeed beyond ..

Lehrer: troups? how many when?

Obama: it's getting worse.... we have 4 times the number of troops in Iraq -- we need to press the Afghan govt to step up and also deal with the poppy trade....

McCain: mistake to help afghan to wash our hands and that propelled supporters to al quaida... sen obama is threatening strikes into afganistan... you don't do this.... this needs to be a new strategy.... obtain the allegiance of the Iraqis.... counting on the leadership of Gen. Petraeus

Obama: If these countries are unwilling to cooperate, we should take them out. And this is difficult.... The problem John is that we had a 20th century dictator...

McCain: failed state in Iran at the time..... i was afraid that [all these international interventions] wouldn't succeed.... and i have participated in sending our young men into war with war...

[emotional gauntlet has been thrown -- let's see what obama has to say....... bathroom break...}


10:02 pm ET (New York time)

Lehrer: we are now even in time...

Threat of IRAN

McC "we cannot allow a 2nd holocaust".... russians are obstructionists.... we could impose significant painful sanctions on iran, with the french, the italians, we can affect iranian behavior.... the iranians are harboring terrorists....

Obama: the repub guard of iran is a terrorist org.... the war in Iraq has strengthened the terrorist... build a coalition of democracies including Russia.... do not punish people by not talking to them....

McCain: Akmajbajinajbd is threatening to destroy Israel...

Obama: is talking about the difference bet. working with "enemies" and caving in to "enemies".... he certainly has practiced this response... mention of McC wouldn't meet with Spain....

McCain: doesn't allow... pres US/pres Pakistan... not pro forma... a country calling a country a "stinking corpse" of ..... north koreans have broken every ...

Obama: suddenly a pres would meet without prep... we

McCain: so Akmaj says we're going to .... calls in Dr. Kissinger..

Lehrer: Russia... relationship -- ???

Obama: Russia is a threat to the region in Georgia -- 6 point agreement ( huh?) and the other nations in the area... something about the loose nuclear weapons in the area...

ooops space out...

McC: both parties need to understand that there is a threat from Putin... this is about energy...

[personally I don't think either one of them has much to say about the Eastern European agreements...]


10:21 pm ET
Obama: defensive on intervention on Georgian sit -- [did we intervene???] we have to have foresite and anticipate these situation... not done.... could avoid this situation... we consumers of the world's oil... need to approach this on alternative production possibilities...

McC: off-shore drilling is a bridge, and will help at least temporarily... supported [Obama trying to interrupt]

Obama: have never objected to

Lehrer: 2 min.: another 9/11 attack:

McC: a long way, we are more safe.... Sen. Leiberman and I were stimied.. don't torture prisoners... America is safer now than in 2001.... we still have a long way to go including our borders...

Obama: yes safer, need more work. biggest threat is terrorism.... hmmm.. all chips in

McCain: something about

Obama: My father came from Kenya... invest in how ordinary people can succed..

McCain: something or other....

I'm quite sure that my consentration fell off at the end... and now the COMMENTARY!!

CNN is now fact-checking... http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/24/debate.styles/?iref=hpmostpop

That's great. And I hope independent voters have enjoyed this first serious presidential debate.

Who's Blogging? by Rydel


political


change?

To Debate or Not to Debate: That isn't the question!

The question is, how can regular voters get in there???

Here's a fun post on techPresident yesterday offering some "debate interventions" including a MySpace/CPD collaboration (hmmm.....); Rate the Debates put up by Free Press, a media democracy group; Change the Debate, a site that allows video commentary; an invitation to an "old-fashioned IRC chat...."; and Hack the Debates, a twitter-powered #current something or other..... We should add RockTheDebate.org, which Jesse Ventura talked about recently at the Rally for the Republic event. Rock The Debate is a grassroots independent organization working for inclusion of independent candidates in the debates. RockTheDebate's co-founder Bob Sullentrup recently delivered a letter to the Committee on Presidential Debates (a company owned jointly by the Democratic and Republican parties to control the presidential debates) detailing demands to change the criteria by which candidates are authorized to be included in a national debate.

Debate Prep: How to Join In the Fun By Micah L. Sifry, 09/25/2008: We're not sure if there's going to be a presidential debate tomorrow night or not, but either way it can't hurt to highlight some of the ways viewers can participate in advance or during the actual event...

Independent voters and The Media: What are your Top Ten Thing To Do Other Than Watch TV Election Coverage???

Courtney Terry, founder of Independent Arkansans, writes:

I finished some school work tonight, and caught up on the Hankster. Here's my top 10 things to do besides watch media coverage of the campaigns:
10. Check out cookbooks from the library and experiment with some new foods.
9. Exercise, with no TV.
8. Watch a funny movie: I suggest the classic "Some Like it Hot", and newer "Dan in Real Life".
7. Re-decorate for the Fall. (Orange is actually a calming color.)
6. Plan a weekend vacation, for a conference or just a local day-trip.
5. Read. Anything.
4. Start a blog. (http://www.independentar.blogspot.com/)
3. Take a class.
2. Teach your kid a new skill, or your pet a new trick. (If you don't have either, go help someone else.)
1. Honestly, staring at a blank wall for an hour sounds like more fun that watching more mainstream media coverage of the presidential campaigns right now.
- Courtney S. Terry


Thanks, Courtney!!

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

OPEN PRIMARIES
TN: State party stole election from voters (The Tennessean)

INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM
OR: Is Direct Democracy in Oregon Too Much of a Good Thing? (News Blaze)

REDISTRICTING
CA: Arnold's Redistricting Power Grab Dies at the Box Office -- Again (California Majority Report)

CAMPAIGN
  • Independent voters may influence election (Daily Bruin - UCLA) Declining to affiliate oneself with a political party is a growing trend, according to several polls.
  • WA: State's swing voters hold key in close elections (Seattle Post Intelligencer) The Republicans owe their 2004 and 2006 victories -- and Rossi, his near victory -- to just those voters who favored Democratic candidates at the top of the ticket and then switched to the GOP further down the ballot.
  • Uncertain Times (By Andrew Kohut, NY Times/Campaign Stops) Sixty percent of independents hold a favorable opinion of her, but as many of them say Palin is not qualified to serve as president, if required
  • McCain-Palin: A Third Party? (The Tampa Tribune - Hernando Today)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Skewz Me!

Skewz Podcast #18: The Rise of the Independent Voter, A Discussion with Nancy Hanks
Nancy Hanks is the muse behind the website The Hankster.

Dr. Omar Ali to be guest today on WLIB's Mark Riley with Politics Plus

Dr. Omar H. Ali, author of In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States, will be a guest on WLIB's Mark Riley show today (September 25th) at 7:35 pm New York time. Click on On Air: Listen Live on the left side column.

what hath god

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

OPEN PRIMARY
  • Just one initiative worthy of support (The Gresham Outlook/Clackamas Review) And that particular measure — the open primary initiative — happens to be the one worthy of voter support.
  • 2008 shaping up to be important election year (Statesman Journal) Measure 65, the only ballot initiative not advanced by Mannix or Sizemore, would advance the top two finishers in a primary to the general election regardless of party affiliation.

CAMPAIGN
  • Poll: Obama Gains Ground in Swing States (TIME) Likely independent voters are proving key in Michigan, where they choose McCain by just 48% to 47%. Independents in West Virginia are leaning toward McCain 2-to-1, but Obama has them by anywhere from six to 13 points in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Montana.
  • Financial Crisis Has Little Sway in Presidential Poll (Wall Street Journal) The survey finds that Sen. Obama has lost ground with the independent voters who will be crucial to the outcome of the election.
  • Economic Fears Give Obama Clear Lead Over McCain in Poll (Washington Post) Independents, key swing voters, now break for Obama, 53 percent to 39 percent, reversing a small lead for McCain after the Republican convention.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jackie Salit on Sarah Palin and Independent Voters

President of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, and executive editor of the Neo-Independent magazine, Jacqueline Salit was interviewed recently on the Morning News edition of CBC - the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. That's the video now at the top of The Hankster.

This broadcast is a Must See for independent voters. Too bad CBC chose to "ghetto-ize" the independent voice here. Obviously we have more work to do, even if we are 40% of the electorate!!

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

CAMPAIGN
  • Some Democrats worry about race in campaign (Minnesota Public Radio) Ron Walters said he isn't surprised by a poll that says a third of White Democrats and Independent voters harbors some racist views towards African Americans.
  • Rock the Vote Poll: Youth Want Obama; No Palin Effect (Jackson Free Press - MS) While Independent voters make up a slim portion of the youth vote this year, Independents are more likely to lean towards Obama than Sen. McCain.
  • Morlock: Univ Arizona activists aim to register 5,000 students to vote (Tucson Citizen/Is This Thing On?) In an age where political consultants can distill an electorate down to its elements, young people risk being ignored by not voting.
  • Voters express more confidence in Obama than McCain in handling the crisis. (Washington Tribune/The Swamp)
  • Obama Seen As Better Able to Address Crisis (Pew Research) voters favor Barack Obama over John McCain as the presidential candidate best able to address the current financial crisis: 47% favor Obama, while 35% choose McCain. Independents prefer Obama over McCain by a margin of 44% to 30%, while Republicans and Democrats line up solidly behind their party nominees.
  • Missouri poll: Obama behind (Columbia Tribune) Independents polled in July leaned toward Obama. This time, they leaned toward McCain.
  • Poll: Race tight in swing states; Obama up in 3 (By The Associated Press) Quininpiac shows The two contenders run about even with men and independent voters in Wisconsin.
  • Mason-Dixon poll: Obama +2 in Fla. (Palm Beach Post) A key difference in the polls: independent voters. Rasmussen had them breaking 56-to-40 for McCain. The Mason-Dixon poll shows them going 47-to-42 for Obama.

THIRD PARTIES
Coalition for October Debate Alternatives to hold Third Party Presidential candidates debate in Nashville, October 6 (CODA press release - Independent Political Report -- Austin Cassidy's Third Party Watch blog)


NEW YORK INDEPENDENCE PARTY State Chair Controversial move to endorse John McCain
Press Release STATEMENT BY NEW YORK CITY COUNTY CHAIRS (Yonkers Insider)

Independence Party of New York Officially Endorses John McCain (Yonkers Tribune) The most interesting thing here are the comments:

  • According to this story 85% of the Party Memebers voted for McCain. That is 306,000 people! When did this vote occur? One would think that a third of a MILLION people would be noticed? Posted by: September 22, 2008 at 06:28 PM
  • Now he will lose for sure!!! Posted by: New Kid on the block September 22, 2008 at 08:11 PM

Some Straight Talk from Dr. Lenora Fulani for John McCain about Frank MacKay and the NY Independence Party (The Hankster) An open letter


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Independent voters and The Media: What are your Top Ten Thing To Do Other Than Watch TV Election Coverage???

After several conversations with my co-workers at my job this week, I'd like to offer a "Top Ten Things To Do Besides Watch the "Election News" While We Wait to Vote...."

We talk about corporate media and certainly the media is exposed this year in being COMPLETELY politicized. Well, of course the media has ALWAYS been politicized, it's just that never have SO MANY people been SO DISSATISFIED with the "reporting".... WHY? My guess is that it has to do with SO MANY people being disillusioned by the political process INCLUDING THE MEDIA, and choosing to become independents.

Becoming an independent is a real thing in America right now! We know that because EVEN the media recognizes it. And we all know that the media is the FIRST to opportunize and the LAST to know. Or at least the last to report.... Hmmm......

So, here's my list:
#10 Watch David Letterman, who actually created this famous list

#9 Watch re-runs of Seinfeld and start a support group

#8 Play Lindsay Lohan songs on your iPod while watching re-runs of "The Golden Girls" on mute

# 7 Get home in time to see the REAL NEWS on Jon Stewart

Well, you get the idea! Send me your TOP THING TO DO OTHER THAN WATCH ELECTION NEWS!!!

I'll print it!
Thanks!
Hanks

Talk/Talk: The (Real) Bloomberg Story

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, THE (REAL) BLOOMBERG STORY. Every Sunday CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, September 21, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show," "Meet the Press" and "The McLaughlin Group."

Newman: OK. But everybody knows that. The issue is how you get there. How? With more democracy. By bringing more people into the process. You see, that's actually the Mike Bloomberg story. Unfortunately, he doesn't tell it.

Salit: Nobody does. Except us.

Newman: That's right. Now, what is that story? It's the story of how 59,000 votes on the Independence Party line in 2001 made him mayor of New York City.

Salit: It's the story of how he had to turn to the independents to give him his margin of victory.

Newman: A new political force, brought in by an expansion of democracy, put him in office. And that's the very point. When you bring the people in, when you expand democracy, they make the right choice. In a very partisan town, we elected a nonpartisan mayor. And he's been a very good mayor, because he's not a partisan. But today Bloomberg won't tell the story of how he got elected.

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

And catch a glimpse of the independent Mike Bloomberg at the top of The Hankster --
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Keynote speech at the New York City Independence Party's 2004 Anti-Corruption Award dinner.

corrupt politicians

come in three sizes: Democratic, Republican, and Independent



Some Straight Talk from Dr. Lenora Fulani for John McCain about Frank MacKay and the NY Independence Party

Dr. Lenora Fulani, the country's leading black political independent, a developmental psychologist and innovator in the field of supplemental education, and a State Committee member from Manhattan, and a founder of the Independence Party of New York, has written a letter to John McCain warning him about that endorsement by IP State Chair Frank MacKay on Saturday. The letter, printed in full below, states, "In short, MacKay is a charlatan and a bully, who has steered the stateIndependence Party as far away from its roots of independence and reform as is humanly possible."



LENORA B. FULANI
225 Broadway, Suite #2010
New York, NY 10007
Phone: 212-609-2800 Fax: 212-803-1899

September 22, 2008

The Honorable John L. McCain
John McCain 2008
P.O. Box 16118
Arlington, VA 22215

Dear Senator McCain,

I write in response to your endorsement this weekend by the Independence Party of New York. I am a state committee member from Manhattan, I am a founder of the party, and I have been principally responsible for the growth of the IP’s base in New York City’s black and Latino communities.

You may not be aware of the split between the New York City Independence Party and state chairman Frank MacKay. Let me be blunt, Senator McCain, since you believe in straight talk, as do I. For the last three years, Frank MacKay has engaged in a concerted effort to eviscerate democratic decision-making in our party. He has all but eliminated local control in the IP, and has attempted (unsuccessfully) to purge the party’s black, Latino and progressive base and leaders.

The New York City based IP county organizations have been through 17 court battles over MacKay’s attempted rules changes, designed to give himself complete despotic control of the party. We have won 16 of these, including a recent New York State Court of Appeals decision that recognized that the city party has the undeniable authority to decide our nomination for mayor and other citywide offices. I would add here, Senator, that it was the Independence Party’s endorsement of Mike Bloomberg – determined by the local organizations – which put Mike in office. His margin of victory was the votes cast on the IP line.

Even in the face of the Court of Appeals decision, Frank MacKay has continued to try to wreak havoc in the city, most recently showing up in person at county committee meetings to disrupt the proceedings (he had to be ejected by security) and by sending fraudulent mailings and using other intimidation tactics to try to scare Independence Party members – 4,000 of whom joined the county committees – from exercising their democratic rights. In short, MacKay is a charlatan and a bully, who has steered the state Independence Party as far away from its roots of independence and reform as is humanly possible.

Again, in the interest of straight talk, I wanted you to be aware of the dishonorable record that MacKay brings. Millions of New Yorkers, indeed millions of Americans, are turning to independent politics to cure the corruption of our system. Unfortunately, Mr. MacKay has the dubious distinction of having corrupted the anticorruption movement in New York State.

Sincerely,
Dr. Lenora Fulani

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

MEASURE 65
Secretary Of State Race: Dancer is Alone in Supporting Open Primary (Willamette Week) Democrat Kate Brown, Republican Rick Dancer and Seth Woolley of the Pacific Green Party are battling to replace term-limited incumbent Bill Bradbury.

CAMPAIGN
  • Democrats Lead Republicans In Adding Voters (The Tampa Tribune) Those numbers show 287,770 new Democratic voter registrations since January, after purging the names of previous voters who died, moved away or became otherwise ineligible to vote. That compares with net gains of 112,290 for Republicans and 89,859 independent voters, they say.
  • Sioux City Journal poll: Obama takes big lead in Iowa (Sioux City Journal-Lee Enterprises) Of the independents polled, 55 percent support Obama and 37 percent support McCain.
  • McCain Holds Slight Lead In Latest NH Poll (WMUR) McCain has taken the lead among independent voters, with 41 percent of independents saying they support McCain, compared to 35 percent supporting Obama.
  • Which convention drew independents? (Hot Air)
  • Obama leads McCain; Senate race tied - The poll had the Democrat leading John McCain 52-44, while Norm Coleman had a 48-47 edge on Al Franken in the Senate race. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Monday, September 22, 2008

my view







New York Independence Party State Chair "dictatorial way" gives John McCain endorsement

John McCain will be the "beneficiary" of the thug-like tactics of the State Chairman of the Independence Party of New York, Frank MacKay. MacKay has spent three years and thousands of dollars in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the New York City operations of the party.

According to insider reports from Sunday's State Committee meeting in Albany, presidential candidate John McCain spent 7 minutes on the phone with the gathering accepting the endorsement.

The following statement was released yesterday by the New York City organizations' four county chairmen:

STATEMENT BY NEW YORK CITY COUNTY CHAIRS OF THE INDEPENDENCE PARTY ON THE ENDORSEMENT OF JOHN MCCAIN

"The Independence Party’s cross-endorsement of John McCain is one more step in the sham that the state party has become. The deal with McCain was made by one man, the State Chairman, Frank MacKay. Members of the State Committee, the body empowered to select a presidential nominee, were not informed or consulted about MacKay’s plan.

This dictatorial way of doing party business has become MacKay’s standard operating procedure. MacKay spent the last week trying to disrupt meetings of IP members who were democratically forming county committees in New York City, made up of 4,000 IP members. At this point, the New York City Independence Party is the only wing of the party with a genuine track record of independence and democratic participation.

MacKay has corrupted and virtually destroyed the State Party taking it from a vibrant, pro-democracy force for political reform to a corrupt manipulation of people’s genuine desire for change. If John McCain thinks that the State Independence Party is a symbol of independent thinking and activism, he is sadly mistaken."

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

CAMPAIGN

  • Obama, McCain vie for New Hampshire "swing" votes (Reuters)
  • Barack Obama's Skin Color An Issue (Afro - MD)

THIRD PARTIES

  • Independent Jolts Minnesota Senate Race (Wall Street Journal) Mr. Barkley draws voters from both parties, but many observers see his candidacy as more threatening to Mr. Franken, who has struggled to consolidate Democratic support.
  • McCain Wins Independence Endorsement (NY Sun) In a joint statement yesterday, four county chairman of the New York City Independence Party criticized the state party for endorsing Mr. McCain.
  • McCain Receives 88% of Weighted Vote at Independence Party State Convention (Ballot Access News) [NOTE: Be sure to read the comments on this article -- everyone knows that independence is dead in the state committee of the New York Independence Party. Frank MacKay has succeeded at killing grassroots democracy and local control everywhere except in the 5 boroughs of New York City -- and he's still hacking away at our legally constituted county committees... In a joint statement released yesterday, the New York City organizations said: "MacKay has corrupted and virtually destroyed the State Party taking it from a vibrant, pro-democracy force for political reform to a corrupt manipulation of people’s genuine desire for change. If John McCain thinks that the State Independence Party is a symbol of independent thinking and activism, he is sadly mistaken. -- read more here.]

Sunday, September 21, 2008

STATEMENT BY NEW YORK CITY COUNTY CHAIRS OF THE INDEPENDENCE PARTY on the endorsement of John McCain by Frank MacKay

This in today from a press release by the New York City Independence Party organizations:

The Independence Party’s cross-endorsement of John McCain is one more step in the sham that the state party has become. The deal with McCain was made by one man, the State Chairman, Frank MacKay. Members of the State Committee, the body empowered to select a presidential nominee, were not informed or consulted about MacKay’s plan.

This dictatorial way of doing party business has become MacKay’s standard operating procedure. MacKay spent the last week trying to disrupt meetings of IP members who were democratically forming county committees in New York City, made up of 4,000 IP members. At this point, the New York City Independence Party is the only wing of the party with a genuine track record of independence and democratic participation.

MacKay has corrupted and virtually destroyed the State Party taking it from a vibrant, pro-democracy force for political reform to a corrupt manipulation of people’s genuine desire for change. If John McCain thinks that the State Independence Party is a symbol of independent thinking and activism, he is sadly mistaken.

Cathy L. Stewart
Chair, New York County Independence Party

Robert Conroy
Chair, Kings County Independence Party

Molly Honigsfeld
Chair, Queens County Independence Party

Sarah Lyons
Chair, Independence Party of Richmond County

NEW YORK CITY ORGANIZATIONS OF THE INDEPENDENCE PARTY
225 Broadway, Ste 2010New York, NY 10007
Ph: 212-962-1699 / Fax: 212-803-1899
PRESS CONTACT: Sarah Lyons212-962-1824 / 917-658-9885

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

OPEN PRIMARIES
Party elite punishes Sen. Kurita (The Leaf Chronicle) In effect, the party elite selfishly used questionable evidence and flimsy excuses to disenfranchise 4,477 voters who wanted Kurita to continue to represent them.

CAMPAIGN
  • PA: Whose county will it be Nov. 4? Independent voters will tip the scale (Lancaster Eagle Gazette)
  • NC: New voter registrations could shift balance (Fay Observer) “What really jumps out at me is the unaffiliateds,” Woodcox said. “The independents are registering at a higher pace than Democrats or Republicans.”
  • WV: Independent voters on the rise in state (REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER) Since the 2004 general election, Democrats have witnessed a 15,230 drop in their ranks and there are 1,433 fewer Republicans registered, but the non-affiliated, or so-called “independents,” have soared by 27,205.
  • The GOP's New Love: Bi-Post-Non-Partisanship (BuzzFlash.org - IL) Oh, and they are Republicans, by the way. But you wouldn't know that to hear them talk … and talk, and talk -- and in some cases actually blame that party without reference to their own irresponsible membership, as though they'd been living some sort of out-of-body, existential misunderstanding for the last few years.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

why are people like that???

You might be wondering What the h^ll is that at the top of The Hankster??? Well, that's a youtube video by a video-philosopher friend of mine in Canada hausenharry who nails it every time with his visual musical commentary. This one is called indifference is just rude and if you're part of the human race/species you should check it out....

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
Report: State electorate is largely discontented (Glendale News Press) While the share of Democratic and Republican voters dropped from 87.1% in 1992 to 76.3% in 2008, independent voters who declined to state a party affiliation rose from 1.3 million in 1992 to 3 million this year.

MEASURE 65
  • Measure 65 debate to offer big names (Statesman Journal) The luncheon will start at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 26 at Mission Mill Museum, 1313 Mill St. SE, Salem
  • A prescription for electoral chaos (by Dan Meek, The Oregonian) Under the measure, any resident can register as, say, a Democrat (up to the 70th day before the primary election) and immediately file as a candidate, with "Registered: Democratic" next to his name on the ballot. That person might be a Nazi, a Communist, a convicted child molester, you name it. Any political party can have its identity stolen in this way by complete strangers who suddenly take the party's name on the primary ballot. [Yikes, Dan -- hide the children, shutter the windows, the boogeyman is here!]
  • Top-two primary voting worked well (Daily Astorian)

Friday, September 19, 2008

indifference is just plain rude

hausenharry the bomb

let's do what we need to do to do what we need to do

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Kurita vows to fight for seat (Tennessean) Tennessee's open primary system allows any voter to cast a ballot in either party's primary.
  • 2008 initiatives: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly are all there (Lake Oswego Review) Measure 65 creates an open primary election in Oregon. The May primary would become a contest among all candidates. The November election would be a run off between the top two primary finishers.

CAMPAIGN
  • Playing the party card against Obama (Boston Globe/Political Intelligence)
  • Poll: GOP brand making comeback (Politico) A new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reports that independent voters have an equally favorable opinion of both parties, 50 to 49 percent, a one-point edge for the GOP. That compares to an 18-point Democratic advantage as recently as August, a wide gap that had generally held for more than a year.
  • McCain Seen as Less Likely to Bring Change, Poll Finds (NY Times)
  • Va. polls paint different pictures (UPI)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do We Have to Talk About the Lapel Pins Again?

By Jean Johnson and Scott Bittle
Authors of The Voter's Survival Kit, a series of election guides from PublicAgenda.org and the book Where Does the Money Go? Your Guided Tour to the Federal Budget Crisis

When it comes to international issues, a lot of Americans aren't on top of the details. In 2007 only 36 percent of Americans could name Vladimir Putin as the leader of Russia, although maybe he's raised his profile here recently by pummeling Georgia into the ground. Let's not even speculate about the number of Americans who initially thought there were Russian armies headed to Macon. Presumably that's been cleared up by now.

But since so much of the voting public is so hazy on the details of foreign policy, campaign debates about it often nose-dive into fights over which candidate is "stronger" and which is more 'patriotic."

Can we just stop it now? Let's just stipulate that Senator McCain and Senator Obama are both plenty strong. A spineless person doesn't endure years in a prisoner-of-war camp and go on to thrive in a highly-regarded career in public life. A weak person doesn't rise up from humble beginnings to head up the Harvard Law Review and become a senator and candidate for president of the United States. It just doesn't happen.

And how they've lived their lives suggests, to us at least, that they're both very patriotic. They may have gone about it in different ways, but they have both chosen lives of service to the country. Senator McCain saw combat in the military. Senator Obama passed on a lucrative law career to become a community organizer helping the jobless. These decisions show that these two men care about their country, that they're both willing to set aside personal gain to protect and enrich the lives and hopes of fellow citizens. As Americans, we should be proud of them both.

OK. We have two strong, patriotic men running for president. And most Americans (let's be frank here) probably aren't going to follow nitty-gritty discussions over which countries should be in NATO and which shouldn't. So, does that mean talking about the country's foreign policy in this election season is a non-starter? Should we just check it off the list and let the professionals handle it?

We don’t think so. In fact, we think there are some extremely important questions the two candidates could and should be talking about -- ones that don’t require the average voter to bone up on historical relations between the Russians and Ukraine or be on top of the operations of the World Trade Organization.

Maybe the candidates could talk about some questions like these:
Is the U.S. striking the right balance between using its military power and using diplomacy in terms of its dealings around the world? Why or why not?

What makes the U.S. secure? Military strength? Economic strength? Top-notch intelligence? Having close allies? Other areas? What do you plan to do to insure that we're strong in the areas that you consider most important?

What is a smart, effective strategy for fighting terrorism aimed at the U.S. and our people? Do we have it now, or do we need to make some changes? What are they?

Are we putting too much or too little emphasis on working with other countries? Are there places where we need to work harder to get international cooperation, even if we don't get to do everything our own way? What are they? Are there issues that are best addressed by the U.S. acting in our own way and in our own time? What are those?

As a country, are we striking the right balance between having a strong foreign policy versus working on issues here at home? Would you put more emphasis on our role abroad or less? Tell us why?

These are all questions of national priorities and strategy -- things voters can and should be able to make judgments on without getting a master's degree in international relations. These are fundamental choices the next president will have to make, and the public ought to know how the two candidates would approach them.

But we're not so optimistic that questions like these will come up in the debates. Based on what's admired in the news biz today, the moderators may plan to invest their time seeing if they can get one of these strong, patriotic men -- one of whom will be our president -- to confuse the Sunnis and Shiites or perhaps slip up on some dictator's name. Or maybe they'll want to get back to the lapel pins. That's a real national security issue for you.

©2008 Jean Johnson and Scott Bittle
Author Bio
Jean Johnson and Scott Bittle are lead authors of The Voter's Survival Kit, a series of election guides from Public Agenda and the book Where Does the Money Go? Your Guided Tour to the Federal Budget Crisis (HarperCollins, 2008). Public Agenda is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization devoted to helping citizens tackle tough issues. The Survival Kit is available at
www.publicagenda.org.
________________
Public Agenda is a nonprofit organization dedicated to nonpartisan public policy research and civic engagement. Founded in 1975 by former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Daniel Yankelovich, the social scientist and author, Public Agenda is known for its influential public opinion surveys and balanced citizen education materials. Its mission is to inject the public’s voice into crucial policy debates. Public Agenda seeks to inform leaders about the public’s views and to engage citizens in discussing complex policy issues. It is also known for its destination web site, www.PublicAgenda.org, which has been twice nominated (in 2005 and 2007) for a Webby Award for best political site.

roller

coaster

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

CAMPAIGN
  • Why Obama's not leading by a landslide (Boston Globe) Obama needs to win independent voters who favor bipartisan solutions, yet he wouldn't do what Bill Clinton did in 1992 - oppose his party's liberal orthodoxy on some high-profile issues.
  • Saint Obama comes down to earth (San Francisco Chronicle) But right now his problem is that disappointed independent voters are catching on that this saintly savior is all too human.
  • Poll: Obama Retakes Lead Over McCain (CBS2 Chicago) Obama's advantage can be traced in part to independents, who favored Obama in late August, swung to McCain just after the Republican convention, and have now returned to Obama. Obama now leads McCain among independents 46 percent to 41 percent.
  • Nearly 300,000 New Florida Voters Sign On With Democrats (The Tampa Tribune) 287,770 new Democratic voter registrations since January, after purging the names of previous voters who died, moved away, or become otherwise ineligible to vote. That compares to net gains of 112,290 for Republicans and 89,859 independent voters

Are you performing the world?

Performing the World is an international conference coming up the first week of October in New York City.

The Hankster will lead a workshop on Sunday morning Oct. 5 called "Blogging the World" which will be a thoughtful conversation by some of the stratosblog's most cutting-edge bloggers and alterntive media personalities.

Wanna talk independent politics? Want to step out of the boxxxxxx? Join us! We're here for you!

In addition to a plenary session not to be missed featuring Fred Newman, the contoversial public philosopher who has guided the progresive independent movement for more than 3 decades and who fashioned the winning black and independent alliance in collaboration with Jackie Salit, the Hankster was invited to present a panel of activists-journalists.

The Hankster has assembled a visionary panel (see below). You won't be disappointed! Here's the line up:

PTW Blogging the World Panel Bios
Session Sunday October 5, 9am-10am
All Stars Project
543 W. 42nd St.New York, NY 10036

Justin Gardner
Donklephant http://donklephant.com/
Justin Gardner is the founder and editor of Donklephant, a popular multi-partisan political blog where readers are encouraged to discuss the ideas of the day in an respectful, honest forum. Since launching in July 2005, Donklephant has drawn over 2.5 million page views and boasts a roster of over 20 authors. (via satellite)

Robert Koulish
Kouflo Memo http://koulflo.wordpress.com/tag/koulish/
(Robert twitters at http://twitter.com/koulflo)
Robert Koulish is an Associate Professor of Law and Society at the University of Philadelphia. He blogs at Koulflo Memo, a politically progressive blog that emphasizes immigration, democratic media and electoral politics, as well as the occasional personal experience. Robert also works in experiential and community based teaching and learning, and is co-founder of a youth-based media and education collaborative called co-lab, and a micro-radio coalition called Baltimore Community Radio Coalition (BCRC).

Shaun Mullen
The Moderate Voice http://www.themoderatevoice.com/,
Kiko's House http://kikoshouse.blogspot.com/
Shaun Mullen was born to blog. It just took a few years for the medium to catch up to the messenger. Over a long career with newspapers, this award-winning editor and reporter covered the Vietnam War, O.J. Simpson trials, Clinton impeachment circus and Osama bin Laden, among other major stories. He also is a columnist at The Moderate Voice and is writing a murder mystery. One pundit describes Mullen as "a free agent who looks at the world as a magical, ever-changing buffet and sorts issues on a practical rather than an ideological basis."

Jacqueline Salit
CUIP http://independentvoting.org/index.html,
Neo Independent http://www.neoindependent.com/
Jacqueline Salit is a 20-year veteran of the independent political movement. Executive editor of THE NEO-INDEPENDENT magazine, a bi-annual journal that covers the independent political movement and the independent voter, Jackie is also the President of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (www.IndependentVoting.org), a national 15 year-old think tank giving leadership to grassroots independents. Jackie ran NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg's successful 2001 and 2005 mayoral campaigns on thlaynae Independence Party line, effectively creating a game-changing black and independent alliance that is challenging politics-as-usual.

Lanya Shapiro
Traction
http://www.gettraction.org/
Lanya Shapiro is the founder and Executive Director of Traction, a community of young-ish (Gen X&Y) progressives and an innovative civic engagement and leadership development organization. Since 2003, she's immersed herself in progressive grassroots organizing – from the Howard Dean grassroots to consulting with SEIU, EchoDitto, Institute for America's Future, etc. Lanya's background is in public health and social work, and she spent years designing and managing award-winning large-scale health behavior change programs. Traction promotes civic participation using the same social marketing principles – more Malcolm Gladwell than politics as usual. Some say if activism is the drug, Traction is the dealer...

HOST
Nancy Hanks
The Hankster http://grassrootsindependent.blogspot.com/
Nancy Hanks is a long-time activist in independent politics and community-building. She started The Hankster, a blog/news source for independent voters, in April 2006, during the midterm elections when independent voters led a successful anti-war electoral revolution. She is a full-time grant-writer for an international homeless youth program and a volunteer as a fundraiser for the Committee for a Unified Party. She is on the research staff of the Neo Independent magazine. Nancy has appeared on SIRIUS Satellite Radio's Indie Talk Blog Bunker with Joe Salzone.

Youth: by an Old Guy Who Once Was One



A plenary session for Performing the World 2008
with Fred Newman
Saturday, October 4, 11:00am-12:15pm

John Jay College, Gerald W. Lynch Theatre899 Tenth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets$25.00 (for those not registered for PTW'08)
Limited seating available, advanced registration only

Fred Newman is one of the seminal thinkers of the international performance movement. Back in the 1980s, he said that to be "natural" in our society is to be "dead in life," and urged people-young and old-not to behave "naturally," but to perform. It is through performance, Newman pointed out, that we can break out of old ways of thinking and doing things.

Newman, the creator of social therapy, is a philosopher, with a Ph.D. from Stanford University, but he's a philosopher who doesn't just talk and write; he builds things. Among the things he has helped to build are the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy, which trains people all around the world in a social therapeutic performance methodology of human development and learning, and the All Stars Project, which allows thousands of young people to create new performances of themselves every year.

As part of Performing the World 2008, an international gathering of performance activists, Newman will deliver a lecture entitled, "Youth: By an Old Guy Who Once Was One." It will be quite a performance!

This old guy knows that youth is one of the hardest times of life. It's the time when we are pressured to accept traditional roles in a very old play, and it is also a time when we have the opportunity to take some risks, create new performances and rewrite the play of life.

To register call the East Side Center at 212-941-8844, or register online at Performing the World...

Directions by Subway: Take #1, 9, A, B, D to 59th Street & Columbus Circle, walk west to Tenth Avenue between 58th & 59th Streets.-OR- Take N, R, Q, W to 57th Street & 7th Avenue, walk west to Tenth Avenue between 58th & 59th Streets.

East Side Institute 920 Broadway 14th Floor New York NY 10010