Friday, February 27, 2009

Joe Hill was always on the line

Hankstertube continues to get lots of hits and positive comments on Brian Mullin's rendention of Joe Hill. Please enjoy... see also Joan Baez tribute to Obama . Or here's Phil Ochs rendition...(the traditional renditional....) ...the union was the only friend he had!

btw -- Brian Mullin will be directing the next play at Castillo Theater in Manhattan -- This is one of the few plays written by the late Aimé Césaire, one of the great surrealist poets of the 20th century and a founder of the Negritude Movement. First produced at Castillo in 1995, the new production will feature a core group of performers from Youth Onstage! and will be directed by Brian Mullin, Program Manager of the Youth Onstage! Community Performance School.

Joe Hill was always on the line. Carry it on!  Or go yonder...
-NH

where i've been

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Why political insiders don't like Gov. Schwarzenegger....

And for the record, Michael Bloomberg doesn't want to end up in "ballot Siberia"...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

where i'm headed

Speaking of Open Primaries

If you haven't read them already -- or even if you have, you might want to re-read Jonathan Alter's article in last week's Newsweek "Poof Goes the Purple Dream", and this little item about the fight by independents in Idaho to keep the parties out of their voting system...

And as for the big hullabaloo in California over the primaries, I admit to the prize in the "imprecise language" category. The nation's premier ballot access expert Richard Winger sent the following email as a corrective to a post I made last week:

Your blog says "California had open primaries 50 years ago".  California had fusion 50 years ago.  Anyone could file in the primary of any party.  But, each qualified party had its own primary.  In California it was called cross-filing, but in the rest of the country it was and is called fusion.

The term "open primary" has been defined in US Supreme Court decisions and in political science books for over 100 years, to mean that on primary day, a voter is free to choose which party's primary to vote in.

The Maldonado/Schwarzenegger proposal is not an "open primary".  It is a "top-two" primary.

Washington state tried the "top-two" primary for the first time in 2008.  The results:  (1) lower voter turnout in the August 2008 primary than 4 years ago (4 years ago was a classic open primary), and that is according to the Washington Secretary of State's web page.  (2) for the first time since Washington became a state in 1889, there were no minor party or independent candidates on the November ballot for any congressional race or any statewide state race.  (3) Washington state in November 2008 had fewer legislative seats switching parties than the average state did that year, and no US House seats changed hands; and only one incumbent lost in the primary out of 123 state legislative races, and all US House incumbents were re-elected.  Top-two in practice turned out to be very good for incumbents and very bad for people who want to express themselves in November by voting for a minor party or independent candidate.


Thanks, Rich! 

Re: "Top-two in practice turned out to be very good for incumbents and very bad for people who want to express themselves in November by voting for a minor party or independent candidate." Just makes me wonder what the fuss is all about from the parties, then? It's independent VOTERS who are fighting for open primaries -- and "top two" voting systems. More than a third of voters are locked out of voting in the first round in 18 states. Not fair. Not democratic. I wish more minor parties or independent candidates would line up with independent voters on this issue. It would be good for the country. As it stands, seems that a party is a party is a party with self-protective reactions no matter what the size..... -NH

Talk Talk: Open Surge; Open Primaries

Sunday, February 22, 2009
 
Every weekend CUIP's president Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogues compiled on Sunday, February 22, 2009 "Open Surge; Open Primaires" after watching selections from "Hardball with Chris Matthews," "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," and a Charlie Rose interview.

Salit: So, we're losing the war. And Odierno, and later Petraeus, come in and say the thing has to be completely redesigned and here's what we have to do. We've got to put more troops in. We have to turn the American army into the "glue" that holds the society together.
 
Newman: And we have to pay the Sunnis. That's how we win the war.
 
Salit: Yes. And, as you're referencing, Ricks goes on to talk about how, as they got to know the insurgency, both on the ground and in detention, they learned that most of these guys were being paid to fight us. And all the Americans had to do to turn the situation around was to offer them more money than Al Qaeda was paying them.
 
Newman: A dollar more.
 
Salit: Yes.
 
Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.
 If you haven't signed the Open Primary Letter to President Obama, go tohttp://www.gopetition.com/petitions/independentvoting.html to sign the letter.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Journalists, Illustrators, and Bloggers....


...lend me you Ears!

All the Art That's Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn't): Inside the New York Times OpEd Page author Jerelle Kraus will discuss media censorship with journalist Sydney Schanberg

THURSDAY
FEBRUARY 26
7pm
Barnes & Noble
82nd and Broadway
Manhattan (NYC)


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

standing tall!

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

CALIFORNIA OPEN PRIMARY
  • * Open-primary proposal could shake up politics (By James P. Sweeney, U-T SACRAMENTO BUREAU) “It is a misnomer to call this an open primary,” said state Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring, who lives in Crest in San Diego County. “It is not an open primary, it is the abolition of primaries.”
  • * Stop the budget madness with some common-sense reforms (Steve Lopez, LA Times) as a current New Yorker article points out. According to one poll, 28% of Republicans and 56% of independent voters supported President Obama's stimulus plan, but only three Senate Republicans signed on.
  • * Schwarzenegger skips GOP convention ... to meet with Obama (San Francisco Gate) While the Republicans are railing against Schwarzenegger on taxes and considering censuring their own who voted for the state budget, Schwarzenegger sidesteps it all: He's in Washington, D.C., for the National Governor's Association get-together, meeting with Obama and other administration officials on climate change and key economic topics.
 

OTHER OPEN PRIMARIES:
  • * Leading Democrats sweet on 'sweetener' proposal (By Steven Harmon, MediaNews Sacramento Bureau, Mercury News) In an open primary, the two top vote getters would face off against each other in the general election, regardless of party. Conceivably, two Democrats could be vying for the vote of all voters in a safe Democratic district, and vice versa in Republican districts. 
  • * Guest Commentary: Don’t close open primaries (By: A.C. Kleinheider, Nashville City Paper) In a closed system, the two parties will elect candidates who reflect the activist core of the party. While that suits that activist core just fine it does not serve the people of Tennessee. Like it or not, in America, we have a two-party system. It is not in our founding documents but it is an inextricable part of our system.

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • * Poll: Florida Voters Like Obama, Are Split On Stimulus Plan (By Catherine Dolinski, Tampa Bay Online)
  • * President and Governor Remain Popular in Florida (Associated Press, Tallahassee, Fla) A Quinnipiac spokesman says the high approval ratings for both Obama and Crist are the result of strong support form crossover and independent voters.
  • * TN politicos want to return to the dark ages (KnoxNews.com) Politicians talk a good game about getting the vote out, but their most recent actions speak loudly just the opposite. Closing the primaries will alienate the majority independent voters.
  •  * Poll says Democrats fare poorly with independents- The Democratic leadership is faring poorly with independent voters in the U.S. who had supported President Obama's election bid and his appeal to bi-partisanship. Obama's first month in office has disappointed them. (Spero Forum)
  • * California Budget Deal Costs 3rd Parties (Green Party Watch) This deal provides the only way that Maldonado can achieve a statewide office where his being willing to compromise on the budget would appeal to independent voters.
  • * Q-Poll: More gaudy numbers for Obama and Crist, less so for stimulus (by Aaron Deslatte, Orlando Sentinel) "The key to high voter approval ratings for Democrat Obama and Republican Crist is party crossover and the good will of independent voters: The President gets a 33 - 47 percent approval from Republicans and a 66 - 22 percent thumbs up from independents, while Crist gets a 66 - 22 percent score from Democrats and a 63 - 24 percent nod from independents.
  • * The Maldonado Effect (By PETE ABEL, Managing Editor, The Moderate Voice)
 
NEW YORK POLITICS;INDEPENDENCE PARTY
  • * Poll: New Yorkers want income tax hike for rich (BY KENNETH LOVETTDAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF, NY Daily News) By a 56-38% margin, New Yorkers support the idea, including more than two-thirds of Democrats and nearly 60% of independent voters, according to the Quinnipiac University poll. 
  • * Oliver Honored By Independence Party (Politics on the Hudson) Laureen Oliver, who helped found the state’s Independence Party and was its first chair, was honored by the party last week and unanimously named its first chairman emeritus.
  • * Cuomo brings initiative to consolidation (Schenecktady Daily Gazette) He has been getting a positive response from his audiences, including local officials in western New York, a meeting of the state Conservative Party and the annual convention of the New York State Association of Counties.

marsh

Newman: Bloomberg has a misestimation of independents' opinions of him

Hey, check this out -- there's a firestorm in the media on the independent political leadership in New York City!

Newman on Bloomberg: He's not a good independent

video

west palm?

oh i'm sorry! it's just an expensive connection between samsung and hewlett packard....

Hewlett Packard and Samsung

trying to upload pix from my phone won't work from samsung to hewlett packard... so what else is new...? they need the money....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Media Firestorm: New York City Independence Party -- Will They or Won't They?

All Hands on Deck! Stop the Presses! Don't Shoot Till You See the Whites of Their Eyes! Damn the Torpedos, Full Speed Ahead! Uhhh... wtf?!

A virtual (and I DO MEAN VIRTUAL!) firestorm erupted today in NYC when a front-page NY Times article by Michael Barbaro covered a little visit from Mayor Bloomberg's "campaign manager" Bradley Tusk to the home of Fred Newman to size up the NYC Independence Party's proclivity towards giving the Mayor the coveted Column C in the upcoming 2009 mayor's race.

Bloomberg got into office because he was able to strike a deal with the New York City Independence Party for his 2001 run for the top city office. Billionaire "a leader, not a politician" Bloomberg won with the margin of victory coming in on the IP line. Azi Paybarah has become soft on Fulani, but don't expect too much! Jackie Salit credits Bloomberg for moving NY forward, but it's really the voters. (btw -- you can hear Jackie "How the Independent Movement Went Left by Going Right" Salit talk about US foreign policy here)

In 2005, an emerging alliance between black voters and independents gave the incumbent mayor a mandate for nonpartisan governance, something unheard of in this locked-down Dem town...

But I digress from this facinating media extra!

Of course, Tom Robbins of the late Village Voice (could a blog name like "Runnin' Scared" be more untimely, ahistorical and meaningless??? I dunno...) came in first with the perfunctory attacks on the New York City operation of the 3rd largest political party in the state of New York in an article titled "Bloomy Loves Fred Newman" -- they're so POLITICO-SEXUAL over at the VV, aren't they??

Then Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, who received an Anti-Corruption award in 2008 from the NYC IP, posted a note courtesy of Blair Bobier (a Dem operative in California)

But of course, you can't top NY1 (of the extant AOL/Time Warner company) for going to the mat for the status quo! Dominic Carter being the main henchman for same.

And, oh -- while NY State Senator Frank Padavan recognized Queens (my home boro) Independence Party County Committee Chair Molly Honigsfeld at his swearing-in yesterday, (with a quote from Mark Twain: "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Uhh... he's a Republican), somehow the Queens Courier failed to print the names of the Queens IP leadership.... Sen. Padavan has been friendly to the Queens IP Committee, and no doubt won his hard-fought re-election last year because of support from IP voters in his district.

No matter.

It's the 4,000+ duly elected Independence Party county committee members who will decide who gets the IP line for mayor this year. Hmmm... Hey, fellas -- show us the reform! That's what local control is all about. And that's what the IPNYC organization is all about!

-NH




paradise

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS




  • Independent voters get a day in court in Idaho, with attorney Harry Kresky arguing for voters' rights over parties rights' for open primaries

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Talk Talk: You Can't Get There From Here


Sunday, February 15, 2009
 
Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, You Can't Get There From Here.
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, February 15, 2009 after watching "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer", "Hard with Chris Matthews"."Meet the Press" and "a Charlie Rose Interview".
 
Newman: Well, let me bring Abe Lincoln in here.
 
Salit: OK.
 
Newman: The world will little note, nor long remember, that vote.
 
Salit: Well put.
 
Newman: What will be remembered is whether the package turns out to be at all successful. Everyone agrees that it's not going to happen overnight. It could be a year or two before we see any results.
 
Read Talk Talk in its entirety 
here.

purple

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter has some interesting observations about independents, open primaries and power in the American electoral system... Must Reading for independent voters!!!

  • While waiting at JFK in New York on part of my relaxing 12-hour flight to Ft. Myers Florida last week (more about that later!), I had trouble logging in to the webcast of the American Citizens' Summit hosted by the Transpartisan Alliance, but here's a Green Party press release and a post by Ordinary Person  and by Georgia Independents that gives you a sense of the participation.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

stimulus

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Independent voters moving left
Nobody really likes Joe Lieberman

Louisiana Repubs move to reject independents -- until 2006, LA had an open primary system...
Bill introduced in Maine state legislature to designate "unenrolled" as "independent
South Dakota state legislature closes primaries to indies

The Moderate Voice has a great round-up of press on Obama's press conference on the economic stimulus plan...
Lessons on "bi-partisanship" -- HINT: It's still partisan...
Conservative press presses indies' declining support of stimulus pkg

Obama's independent nonpartisan dream doesn't register with media...

New York state legislature considers un-fusion bill...
Libertarian to run for Kristen Gillibrand's seat...
Partisan control of New York state politics, from the top to the top...
Does Mayor Bloomberg have anywhere to turn???





Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is the dialogue about economic stimulus developing?

As an independent voter, what do you think about the economic stimulus plan and partisan politics?? Here's what Gallup said independents said:

Independent voters favor the progressive priorities set forth by Obama: 50 percent independents favor "increased government funding of projects" in the recovery package, compared to only 36 percent who favor "tax cuts for individuals/businesses" promulgated by conservatives. Congressional Republicans, who see political gain from their "party of no" status, have a "staggeringly high" disapproval of 58 percent. Their approval rating is at 44 percent compared to 60 percent for Democrats.




Newman and Salit had this to say on today's Talk Talk The Rules of the Game:
 
Salit: In attempting to give what you might call a more strategic framing to the shaping of the stimulus package, Mark Shields says that one of the things that's operative, at a meta-level if you will, is that it's the end of the conservative era. The conservative era is over. Deregulation, tax cuts, all of that has been wholly discredited by the facts on the ground, by the onset of the economic crisis. So, says Shields, the conservative era is over, but we don't know where to go. We're in "uncharted territory," his term. I guess what he's saying is that things haven't "swung back to" traditional liberalism, but conservatism is over. So the question is where are we? Where are we going?

Newman: All that might be true. I don't know. It sounds somewhat metaphorical to me. But the process has remained exactly the same.

Salit: The process for hammering out what Congress does, yes.

Newman: It's like people who come in to reform education and one side has a liberal view and the other side has a conservative view. But, when you get to the schools, the chairs are screwed into the floor in exactly the same way, no matter what....


Talk Talk: The Rules of the Game

Sunday, February 8, 2009
 
Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, The Rules of the Game.
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, February 8, 2009 after watching "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer", "Hard with Chris Matthews" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos".
 
Salit: Let's put to rest the idea that coming up with an economic stimulus package is going to somehow be less partisan or more elevated or whatever.
 
Newman: It's just another appropriations bill. That's what it is.
 
Salit: Exactly. And that's what Congress does. That's what it's empowered and required to do by the Constitution.
 
Newman: And it has a certain way of doing that. And it has been done in that way for a very long time.
 
Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Book Review: Taking On the System


Taking On the System: Rules for Radical Change in a Digital Era by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga contains a very big contradiction. He set out to write a “Rules for Radicals” for the Internet Age -- a practical guidebook on how ordinary people who are not political or media insiders can use the power of social media and the Internet, combined with their own passion, ingenuity, creativity and beliefs, to influence the political process and win battles to promote the Progressive cause. His book, therefore, first and foremost, was a paean to small “d” democracy -- the power and potential for ordinary, average people to participate in a meaningful way in American politics.

Yet, Zuniga frames democratic participation in the book exclusively along the lines of how to influence the political process as Democrats. His case studies of political success stories primarily illustrate insurgent political activity within the Democratic Party (Jim Webb’s Senate candidacy and victory in Virginia, Ned Lamont’s challenge to Joe Lieberman in Connecticut, the electoral defeat in Virginia and political downfall of George “Macaca” Allen, Carol Shea-Porter’s inspiring victory against all odds for a House seat in New Hampshire). I thought to myself this seems to be a very narrow view of democratic participation. The book, when it mentions it at all, does not have a high regard and is dismissive about activism among people who do not consider themselves Democrats.

Zuniga’s perspective comes from his admiration for the practical, common-sense principles of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.
“We will start with the system because there is no other place to start from except political lunacy… It is most important for those of us who want revolutionary change to understand that revolution must be preceded by reformation. To assume that political revolution can survive without the supporting base of popular reformation is to ask for the impossible in politics.”

Zuniga’s focus on the Democratic Party, therefore, seems to be an acknowledgement of the reality of the dominance of the two-party system in American politics. Zuniga’s focus is to work within that framework to be able to advance Progressive principles and goals. To do otherwise -- try to change the System as an outsider (via a third party or as an independent) -- will only relegate one to the political wilderness where one’s efforts, no matter how well-meaning, will be marginalized and largely ineffective. Progressives in America -- if they want to be effective --, therefore, should join the ongoing battle within the Democratic Party (and there is a battle going on) between the corporate-friendly DLC wing of the party and the insurgent, Progressive Netroots.

The contradiction becomes obvious at this point. Originally written as a guidebook for political outsiders to take on and influence the System, the book urges one to become a political insider and be part of the System. Register as a Democrat, support Democratic candidates, elect Democratic politicians to office, for Zuniga, is the primary and most effective way to “take on the System.” To be fair, he urges Progressives to support Progressive and populist Democrats. But still, this contradiction is jarring to me.

I can’t refute the reality of the entrenched two-party system and the practicality of working within its parameters. I also can’t refute the very real fact that third parties and independents function largely in the margins of American politics and have not gained traction in recent years to become viable as the political opposition. Even outsider electoral reform efforts such as the programs by FairVote (Instant Runoff Voting, the National Popular Vote) require the cooperation and support of elected politicians and hence, cannot afford to be marginal and to function outside of the mainstream.

At this point, it would be very easy for me to dismiss Zuniga’s book as not being very radical after all and not really a guidebook for political outsiders. I can rail at his theses as being misleading and perhaps even imply that the book is nothing more than a clever marketing ploy designed to negate the burgeoning dissatisfaction most Americans have with BOTH major parties (by asserting that the answer to that dissatisfaction is more support for the Democratic Party). But that would do a great disservice to his reality-based argument.

Zuniga says:
“We live in a world where there is no reason anyone should whine or complain that they are being shut out of the system. The tools are available to mount credible challenges to even the most entrenched of powers. Such efforts will always lack resources, and will mostly face well-funded, deeply entrenched foes, but innovative tactics and smart use of money can carry the day. (p. 240)”

My questions for Zuniga -- and I am still speaking as a Progressive here -- what if I am not a Democrat and don’t want to be one? Nothing against Democrats but what if I disagree with the strategy of electing Democrats into office as the primary way to define victory in the fight for Progressive politics? What if I adhere to beliefs and political positions that just don’t jibe with mainstream Democratic policies? Is there room for someone like me to make an impact in small “d” democracy in America or should I just resign myself to being in the fringes, marginal and irrelevant?

After all, being a Progressive within the Democratic Party seems to be no great shakes either. We’ve all seen how politicians like Dennis Kucinich and Progressive perspectives on foreign policy, trade, domestic policy, healthcare, etc. pretty much are marginalized in the Democratic Party. Even in newly-elected President’s Barack Obama’s administration, Progressives are outnumbered and outgunned in his cabinet appointments which are populated primarily by the DLC, corporate-friendly Democrats.

To be clear, I will support Progressive Democrats and I am 100% supportive of their efforts to transform the Democratic Party into a more inclusive, populist and Progressive political party. The bottom line for me, however, is although I found a lot to agree with in Zuniga’s book, I didn’t find that it spoke to me as a political outsider -- an independent Progressive. It didn’t answer my burning questions on how people like me can play a role in American politics other than as marginalized spectators.

All in all the Liberal Arts Dude gives Taking On the System four out of five stars. It would have gotten the full five stars if it provided better answers to my burning questions. But I found the book thought–provoking and that it generated a lot of introspection in me which led me to examine my own motivations for political participation.

mini-pole

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Independents don't like Rush...
Stimulus: Should the government just do "nothing"?
Stimulus: Bankers' morality -- capital's wandering eyes....

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Business as Usual or Capitalist Greed?

Any blog that quotes John Steinbeck, Karl Marx and B.C. Forbes can't be all bad, right? Especially when the post is on Wednesday... Check out Jack Jodell at The Saturday Afternoon Post!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

How Did Barack Obama Become the Nation's First African American President?


Dr. Omar Ali, author of In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States, will be giving a Master Class on President's Day, February 16, at 11:00 am, at the All Stars Project, 543 W. 42nd St., NYC. 

Dr. Ali is a professor of history in the Program in African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. He will discuss the history of the U.S. presidency from George Washington to Barack Obama, what role African Americans have played in advancing democracy in the nation, what kinds of coalitions were created between black, white, and other Americans to bring about the abolition of slavery to the advancement of civil and political rights, and how America’s independents have pushed for political changes and helped to elect the nation’s first black president.

Here's a review of In the Balance of Power.


Friday, February 06, 2009

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Independent voters are being used at a football in the current partisan power struggle:
Town Hall "Is Obama the Next Jimmy Carter?" and Gary Andres slams "fickle independent voters" in the Weekly Standard. Consider this a compliment! It's no wonder that conservatives and Repub reps are trying to use independents as a hammer -- they have to counter the fact that the Dems are trying to insert independents into that party en masse... There's more conservative press here and here's what some of the Libertarians think...

Rasmussen reports and The Moderate Voice explains

Tuscon Skinny: Arizona independent registration is up.
California looks to open primaries to break up partisan gridlock

And btw, if you haven't seen this -- The Hankster got a nod from The Moderate Voice -- along with lots of other worthy smaller blogs -- check it out!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The very coolest place ever...

Check out Eric Orchard's blog -- he's a wide-eyed Canadian-about-NYC and his attitude is definitely worth imitating!

And while we're at it, have a look-see at a versatile Tom Booth.

Both sites are now on The Hankster sidebar under "Interesting Stuff"...

Getting Loud

The Hankster got a nice mention on The Moderate Voice the other day! Thanks, Joe!!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

New York Times Op-Ed Art Outed


Not sure whether this qualifies for off the beaten path, or on, for The Hankster, but I just attended a lecture at the
Society of Illustrators on East 63rd Street. Jerelle Kraus was the Art Director of the Op-Ed page ("What? The NYTimes Op-Ed page has an "art director"???) at the New York Times for 13 years (interestingly, fired at least once for what was termed "insolence") and has quite a story to tell. The stories from Jerelle and her colleagues JC Suares and Brad Holland were facinating. Jerelle has just published a new book called All the Art That's Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn't) Inside The New York Times Op-Ed Page. It's chock full of political art. What could be better??


Independent Voters of Iowa

The Hankster highly recommends a read of Independent Voters of Iowa  --  even if you're not in Iowa! Now on The Hankster blogroll...

Liberty & Democracy are very high-maintenance political machinery; we need all the ‘mechanics’ we can get!

where i'm headed

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES for INDEPENDENT VOTERS

Talk Talk: Doing Nothing

Sunday, February 1, 2009
 
Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, Doing Nothing. 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, February 1, 2009 after watching "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer", a Charlie Rose interview and "The McLaughlin Group".
 
Newman: So, psychologically speaking, this is very misunderstood. We live in a culture which says you have to make something happen. Well, you don't. You simply don't.
 
Salit: I don't mean to suggest now that Obama is necessarily keyed into the precise thing you're talking about here. But I was struck in the interview that he did on Al Arabiya, talking about dispatching George Mitchell as his personal envoy to the Middle East, when he said that his instructions to Mitchell were to go and to listen to people and that the U.S. has too often begun by dictating rather than listening.
 
Newman: See, Obama could have cut to the chase here: You want to know what your mission is George? Just go. That's the totality of what we can do 
 
Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.
 
If haven't already, check out the slide show from the CUIP National Conference of Independents at which over 500 independents from around the country participated.

Monday, February 02, 2009