Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Friday, October 31, 2008

Lenora Fulani

Let the People Decide

Rally for Lenora Fulani


Black and Purple: How a new generation of black independent voters is changing American politics. (Marcia Ford, Urban Faith)

  • Obama Losing Support Among Independents - Unaffiliated Voters Are Leaving Obama, But Into The Undecided Column Rather Than To McCain (National Journal)
  • Obama: Rockin' the suburbs (Chicago Tribune/The Swamp)

Angry Enough to Run (Rock Hackshaw, Room 8) Last Thursday evening, the New York City Council shat on democracy’s face. I am mad. I am real angry. I am angry enough to run for public office again.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Community Meeting to Support Dr. Lenora Fulani

Dr. Lenora Fulani spoke to a crowd of 1,000 people at the First A.M.E. Bethel Church in Harlem, October 30, about the abandonment by Mayor Bloomberg of the principles of democracy and independence.

The list of speakers and endorsers is short but important: State Senator Eric Adams, Councilmember Charles Barron, DP Nominee for State Assembly Inez Barron, civil rights attorney Derrick Bell, President of the Grand Council of Guardians Charles Billups (who did a STAND OUT job of emceeing the event), Coalition of Outsiders, President of the Vulcan Society John Coombs, Chair of the James E. Davis Foundation Geoffrey Davis, Producer of the New Heritage Theatre Group Darryl T. Downing, President of Mothers Against Guns Elizabeth Goldsmith, Attorney for the National Action Network and Rev. Al Sharpton Michael Hardy, President of the Van Dyke Houses Tenant Association Lisa Kenner, President and CEO of the All Stars Project Gabrielle L. Krulander, Counselor and Sports Legend Bob McCullough, chairman of the National Latino Officers Association Anthony Miranda, Host of KISS FM Open Line James Mtume, the New York City Organizations of the Independence Party, President of Hip Hop SUV (Stand Up and Vote) Lawayne Perkins, President of Jacqueline Salit, Former President of the Vulcan Society Paul Washinton, Retired NYPD officer Graham Weatherspoon, and Vice President of the New York State Ministers Wives and Widows Dr. W. Ruth Whitney.... and many many others...

Dr. Fulani has been attacked by many of the leaders she has helped the most, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Why? Because Lenora Fulani is a progressive and an independent who fights for the people. She is a leftist and a radical -- and that's not allowed.

New York City is at a crossroads. Mike Bloomberg and other elected officials want to do away with term limits and cement their power. We need to speak out for independent peoples' power and for the leaders who have been there for us!

The black and independent alliance put Mike Bloomberg in office and if we continue to build the movement, he and the rest of the city council and all the other politicians around will have to account to the black and indpendent alliance.

Power to the People.

Stay tuned. More video snipits to come!

Racism and Violence in the Election Process

Like wine, this election process seems to bring out the hidden, nasty truth lurking just below the surface in some people. The threats against Barack Obama at some Republican rallies have been widely reported. The couple that hung an effigy of Sarah Palin as a Halloween decoration didn't think it was anything but funny.

This week, a man I have known for more than forty years forwarded a racist political picture and caption from some woman who thought it was just too funny not to share. I was shocked, embarrassed, angry, and appalled that anyone who knows me would think that I would find it remotely humorous. This inappropriate e-mail came from an educated, upper middle class white man living in a fairly liberal part of the country. It reminded me of the type of racist jokes my father used to tell. They were the sorts that were shared discretely between friends.

My father was born in 1901 in a rural part of the Northeast. Like Joe the plumber, my father was an independent plumbing and heating contractor, though he never made the kind of money that Joe does. My father worked hard to provide a lower middle class living for us--worked hard enough that he literally died on the job. I don't think he realized the impact of those jokes. I don't think he knew any black people personally. The last argument we had was over my right to marry a black woman. It was a theoretical argument because I didn't know any black people either. I was sixteen at the time.

I'm over sixty now. I do know people of every race, major religion, and economic strata. I also know the insidiousness of racist jokes told behind closed doors, or sent over the Internet.

Stop it, America. We're better than that. We don't need ethnic jokes of any variety. We don't need to threaten violence in order to promote our candidates. We can disagree without being repugnant. We cannot make a better America by denigrating each other.


on wall street


  • School union confuses me (West Linn Tidings - OR) I’m content not being a member of a political party, but must admit, it’s frustrating following primary campaigns for months, only to be denied a voter’s right to show my support for a candidate.
  • We can either beat challenges facing us or let them beat us (Lake Oswego Review) Stephen Griffith, 62, is the Republican candidate for Oregon House District 38 endorsement for Measure 65
  • OEA Asked to Retract M65 Claims (KAJO 1270 AM)

  • Can One Party Rule? (Washington Post) Should voters choose Mr. McCain over Democrat Barack Obama so as not to empower the Obama-Reid-Pelosi triumvirate that Mr. McCain paints in such ominous shades? Alternatively, as some down-ballot Republicans are urging, should voters stick with GOP senators or members of Congress to keep a President Obama in check?
  • Seeking the Gridlock Vote - Running against Reid, Pelosi and What's-His-Name. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Anatomy Of Republican Cataclysm and Democratic Victory (Huffington Post) One reason the country is turning to Senator Obama is that we believe Senator McCain has sold his soul to the know-nothing lowest common denominator Republican/fundamentalist/far right crowd.
  • New Hampshire Poll Released by WMUR UNH: Barack Obama 58%, John McCain 33% (Transworld News) Obama has also widened his lead among independent voters in New Hampshire – 54% of political independents say they favor Obama, 26% favor McCain, 4% prefer some other candidate, and 16% are undecided.
  • Domino's Pizza Tracker Poll: Independents Not Necessarily Undecided - Poll of 295,000 pizza-eating voters shows Obama over McCain by big margin (MarketWatch)
  • Behind The Numbers: The Latest Polls (Marc Ambinder/The Atlantic) Obama's lead among independent voters in the Zogby track is 16 percentage points.

Opponents of term-limits extension vow to fight on (Newsday)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

voting is sexy

Voting YES on Measure 65 is one step toward opening up the political process to all voters.

Oregon’s independents span the political spectrum from conservative to liberal but—more importantly—many refuse these labels. We don’t like parties—major or minor, which are more concerned with maintaining power and party establishments than representing people. While independents don't like parties, they want to participate in the process and vote for whom they believe is the best candidate.

The current primary election system in Oregon is a closed system. Only voters registered as Democrat or Republican can vote in the primaries, which excludes politically independent Oregonians, 20 percent of registered voters. These are Oregonians who believe that partisan battles have increasingly characterized both national and Oregon politics and have reduced the ability of the Oregon Legislature and Congress to effectively address the issues we face.

Measure 65 is designed to address the disenfranchisement of large numbers of Oregon voters and open up primaries to a greater variety of candidates. You would be able to vote for the candidate you think is best suited for the job regardless of their affiliation.

Given that the current primary system is crucial in selecting the candidates who will be on the general election ballot, independent voters are either disenfranchised or are forced to register with a major party to participate. Given that 400,000 Oregonians are prevented from participating in the primaries, why does the state of Oregon and local election offices spend millions of taxpayer dollars in sponsoring these elections?

The opposition to Measure 65 by the Democratic and Republican parties is to be expected. But it is ironic that some minor parties are opposing Measure 65, when they too can benefit from this reform. We need to make sure that the partisans don't drive a wedge between independent voters and third parties.

This isn’t about ideology! We are coming together as Americans who believe that the political process is so driven by partisanship and special interests that it needs to be reformed.

Voting YES on Measure 65 is one step toward opening up the political process to all voters.

Measure 65 will not address all the issues of Oregon politics but it opens up the political process to greater participation and better representation. Oregon voters have the opportunity now with this measure to begin the overhaul of our political system that will reduce the partisan battles in which we, independents, have been the biggest losers.

Oregon Committee for an Independent Voice
David Ellis
Nancy Cunningham


Our picks for the statehouse (The Forest Grove News-Times) Anyone looking for a good reason to support Ballot Measure 65, a proposal for open primaries, should take a look at this fall’s four match-ups for the Oregon state legislature in western Washington County.

  • Poll shows presidential race too close to call (Arizona Central) Working in McCain's favor, the state has 1.1 million registered Republicans, or about 96,000 more Republicans than Democrats. In Obama's favor, the state has about 824,000 independent voters who are are trending 60 percent to 40 percent for Obama over McCain, according to the poll.
  • AP Poll: Colo. Hispanics overwhelmingly back Obama (Examiner) Thirty percent of respondents described themselves as strong or moderate Democrats, 29 percent described themselves as strong or moderate Republicans, and the rest said they were not in either party. Obama led among those independents, 54 percent to 37 percent for McCain.
  • McCain Support Continues Downward Spiral -- Obama Leads by 19 Among Those Who Have Already Voted (Pew Research) Independents breaking 48 Obama, 31 McCain
  • Linguistic Analysis of Obama/McCain Websites Reveals Missed Opportunities (Press Release) Candidates' websites communicate campaign messages in language that speaks to base - potentially ignores independents.
  • Unaffiliated voters might be the key in governor, presidential races (Shelby Star - NC)
  • Now all polls show Obama ahead in Ohio (Columbus Dispatch/Road to Washington)
  • NYC mayor not backing prez candidate (Newsday)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Oregon Measure 65 Open Primary Referendum Addresses Disenfranchisement of Independent Voters (by Nancy Cunningham and David Ellis, The Hankster)

  • Parsing the (Tracking) Poll: Are We A Center-Right Country? (Chris Cillizza, The Washtington Post/The Fix)
  • Post-ABC Tracking: In the Final Week (Washington Post) Southern white independents are also far more likely than politically independent whites in other regions to support McCain: They break 62 to 33 percent in his favor. White independents in the West favor Obama by a similarly wide margin, 63 to 34 percent.
  • Independent Voters, Election's 'Big Get' (NPR)
  • POLL-Obama holds 4-point lead on McCain (Reuters) McCain solidified his support among white and male voters but Obama retained double-digit leads among women and independent voters
  • Obama leads Iowa by 13.5 percent (Iowa City Press Citizen) Support among independent voters appears to be the reason Obama continues to increase his advantage in Iowa
  • Siena poll shows Obama doubling McCain in New York state (Daily Gazette) He has the support of 85 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independent voters and even 26 percent of Republicans. He is favored by at least 55 percent of voters in every region of the state.
  • TR and the Two Candidates (By John Avlon, RealClearPolitics) Theodore Roosevelt remains the uncontested champion of voters in the vital center.

  • Dowoti D├ęsir, Announces Election Night Watch at the Shabazz Center in Harlem (Press Release) Elected officials who are expected to attend include Dr. Lenora Fulani, candidate for the Independence Party; State Senator Eric Schneiderman; State Senator Kevin Parker; and Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat.
  • Jimmy Vacca's term-limit vote is a disappointment (Daily News)

Monday, October 27, 2008

international youth performance


  • Obama's America (Detroit News) We're seeing perhaps the rise of Independent America -- voters who are going blue sometimes, sometimes not, but who are certainly thinking for themselves outside of ideological boxes.
  • Growing independent population key to Central Florida, parties say (Daily Commercial) In Sumter, the number of independent voters has increased modestly; they represent about 17 percent of the registered voter share compared to about 14 percent in 2000.
  • Early vote very Democratic (THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH) So far, 42,498, or nearly half, of the county's 88,374 registered Republicans have requested to vote by mail versus one in three, or 73,292, of the 210,729 Democrats registered and 92,055, about one in five, of the county's 547,240 unaffiliated voters requested absentee ballots sent to their homes.
  • A Primer On Election Demographics (Forbes) This month, based on the conference papers, the Brookings Institution Press published Red, Blue & Purple America: The Future of Election Demographics.
  • Economy, war top list for Ohio's key swing voters (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Ohio has 8.3 million voters registered for Nov. 4, a record. The latest figures show 2.3 million registered Democrats (28 percent) and 1.5 million registered Republicans (17 percent). The majority, 4.5 million or 55 percent, are unaffiliated voters, meaning they did not cast a ballot in the most recent primary.
  • Why is N.C. up for grabs? Consider the newcomers--Voter registrations are also skewing to Democrats. North Carolinas has registered more than 780,000 new voters this year, 48 percent of them Democrats, 22 percent Republicans and the rest unaffiliated. So far in early voting, which began Oct. 16, more than 700,000 people have gone to the polls – 60 percent Democrats, 24 percent Republicans and the rest unaffiliated. (Charlotte Observer)

  • Minnesota Independence Party Makes No Endorsement for President (Ballot Access News) This outcome represents a setback for Frank MacKay, state chair of the New York Independence Party.
  • No endorsement from Minnesota Independence Party (Minneapolis Star Tribune) Democrat Barack Obama's campaign had pulled out of consideration earlier.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's '09 run may be on Democrat line for third term (Daily News/Daily Politics) Bloomberg aides have indicated the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent mayor would likely run on a third party line of his own creation in 2009 if the term limits extension he pushed through the City Council last week holds up in court.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

here's lookin' at you, kid

Qualifications for the Presidency: Substance, please.

I agree with Nancy Hanks' premise that we ought to rise above the pettiness of political demonization and personal attacks; there are enough real issues to debate.  This presidential election will go down in history as a milestone in American politics, no matter who wins it.  I cannot remember an election that energized as many people, or a longer campaign season.  I am for breaking the stranglehold of the two party system and putting fuller representation into all levels of government.  I plan to strongly join in the struggle to add more qualified Independents to the next election process.  I am hopeful that 2012 will be the year that an Independent candidate has a legitimate shot at the presidency.  However, having listened to Sarah Palin on several occasions, I don't agree that she is qualified to become president, which is the measure of any vice presidential candidate.  While John McCain obviously has the credentials, eighty percent of the problems we're having today can be laid on the Republican Party's doorstep.  Today's Republican Party is not the one of my youth--they have lost their way.  Therefore, I don't care who their candidates are, I would vote, and did, against them.  From all that I know, Barack Obama appears to epitomize the American dream, and he is thoughtful, intelligent, and measured in his responses.  But then, I was fooled by George W. Bush in the 2000 campaign--I took him at his word that he would reach across the aisle and compromise; instead he drove the partisan wedge deeper.  Bush tried to steamroll a man of principle, Senator Jim Jeffords, and it rightly backfired.  I've been an admirer of Joe Biden for years, even when I was strongly Republican.  Although I realize the significance of the first black presidential candidate, I have not looked on this election primarily as breaking barriers.  I have looked at it in terms of who can best restore America's economy, move us away from the slide towards fascism, and restore our reputation in the world.  Frankly, I was surprised that Hillary Clinton did not get the nomination--that was what the majority of Washington insiders were predicting.  That said, I am strongly supportive of breaking all superfluous barriers.  I was very pleased to have had a small part in selecting the first female brigadier general in the history of the US Army Reserve. That broken barrier has since opened the way for several other women.  I look forward to the day that a woman becomes president, not because she is a woman but because she will be the best qualified.  I agree with Joe Biden that the next president will be tested by an international crisis; there are so many in the offing.  I am fully confident that Biden will be of great assistance to Obama in a crisis and in domestic affairs.  I cannot say the same of Palin for McCain.

Naomi Wolf's "The End of America" film available online

The Hankster received an email from a reader about this American Freedom Campaign: Watch a powerful documentary about the current state of our democracy. It is based on Naomi Wolf's best-selling book, The End of America, and it describes the steps the Bush administration has taken since 2001 to undermine our liberties and our rights as Americans. It also conveys what this may mean to the future of this nation if we do not reverse course quickly.

Watch the entire film for FREE. Through a unique distribution method, you can see the full 75-minute version of The End of America streamed online for free at Snag Films. Sure, there are a few ads interspersed within, but that's what allows them to show it to you for free.


1-in-4 local registered voters shun political parties (Democrat & Chronicle) Registered voters who choose not to become a member of any political party are poised to decide the winner of this year's presidential contest between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, which will be decided Nov. 4.


  • Dark lords and dark politics (Steve Duin, The Oregonian) But given that the Republican Party in Oregon is in full retreat, I've begun to wonder what the unions are fighting for other than salary increases and to keep their timid stewards, the Democrats, in the catbird seat.
  • Measure 65: aggressively progressive (Blue Oregon, By John Kitzhaber, former Governor of Oregon) As a lifelong progressive democrat, I believe that Measure 65 – the open primary proposal -- is the one measure on the 2008 ballot that presents a truly progressive foundation for our representative form of government.
  • The OEA mailer: Kids, your teachers are spreading lies (by The Editorial Board, The Oregonian) Today's mail could always bring something worse, but so far the most cynical, deceptive campaign piece sent to Oregon voters this general election was brought to you by none other than Oregon teachers.


  • Referendum would make Florence city elections non-partisan (South Carolina Now) “I don’t think this ordinance was about the philosophy of whether we should have political parties,” Wukela said. “I think it’s a cynical attempt by the parties in power to maintain control in what they perceive as a “change” election.”
  • Open primary ballot measure filed with state ( The text of the filing suggests the initiative would amend the state constitution to allow open primaries - that is, open to participation by registered voters in any political party - for offices from state Assembly up through U.S. president.


  • Third-party hopefuls may shake up race-Challengers could siphon votes from McCain, Obama. (Reprinted in Springfield MO News Leader) Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota who has written extensively about third parties, calls the Libertarian Party a significant threat to the GOP.
  • Attack ads, calls backfiring among voters this year (Nashua Telegraph) Donna Richards is one of several independent voters who were particularly upset with a Republican Party effort in fliers and automated dialed calls that tie Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama with former radical Weather Underground leader William Ayers.
  • As Election Day Nears, Poll Shows Obama Leads McCain (Washington Post) Both overall and among those crucial swing voters in the middle, McCain's positioning on Iraq and terrorism is significantly better than it is on the economy, where Obama continues to hold a double-digit advantage.
  • Early Miami Voting Giving Boost To Obama (by Sherwood Ross, OpEdNews) What’s more, eleven of the 15 independent voters told me they had just voted for Obama. Overall, 67 of those interviewed at two different polling sites Thursday and Friday said they voted for Obama compared to 33 for McCain.

NEW YORK POLITICS/Bloomberg and Term Limits

  • 3rd term's no charm, political experts warn Mayor Bloomberg (New York Daily News) With an eye toward 2009, Bloomberg is leaning toward shunning traditional affiliations, creating his own party and running as an independent.
  • COMPTROL HOPEFULS IN TERM-LIMIT LIMBO (New York Post) Terms limits also looks to become an issue itself in the comptroller's race. Twenty-four hours before the actual vote, Carrion suddenly switched from supporting the extension to opposing it.
  • Mayor Bloomberg had every move mapped out in term-limits fight (New York Daily News) Bloomberg saw "LaGuardia," Tony LoBianco's one-man show at the Dicapo Opera Theatre, about the first mayor in modern times to serve three terms. Afterward, he told LoBianco, "Now I know what to do."

Fair And UNBalanced!

Please welcome Fair And UNBalanced to The Hankster sidebar! Well worth the trip!!

Republicans Go Nova
I recently compared today's Republican Party to the black hole phenomenon in astrophysics. In the past, as a party suffered the inevitable occasional defeat, especially as a party was soundly rejected, a period of painful introspection followed, which helped a party to change and rebound. The Republican Party's period of painful self examination is interrupted by extreme news media, now available on cable television..... READ MORE....

Saturday, October 25, 2008



  • Fiscally Conservative, Socially Progressive Spenders (LETTER to Wall Street Journal) In the blue states, a self-described independent is a left-leaning sophisticate wrapped in Izod packaging, driving a Prius and whining about Sarah Palin.

  • Con Games: The Real Third Party (Michael Conniff, Huffington Post) This third party is like no other in the history of politics -- with no leader, no agenda, and no way to measure the profound and growing influence it already has over our national politics.


  • Obama lead on McCain slips to 9 points (Reuters) his lead among independents had fallen to 16 points from 26 Friday.

  • Perceptions of Palin Grow Increasingly Negative, Poll Says (Washington Post) Among independent women, the percentage who view Palin as in tune with people like themselves slipped from 73 to 50 percent.

  • Obama's ground game: 770 field offices--The Democrat's campaign plans 1.2 million 'conversations' this weekend. (Chicago Tribune/The Swamp)

  • Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby Poll: Obama 51.3%, McCain 41.0% (DL-Online Detroit Lakes MN) The poll, a three–day rolling average survey of likely voters nationwide, shows that Obama continues to dominate among independent voters – he leads by a 56% to 30% margin over McCain among those voters – and among those who have already cast their ballots.

Fulani vs. Bloomberg? (Daily News/Daily Politics) This full-page ad, paid for by Lenora Fulani and her allies in the Manhattan Independence Party, appeared in this week's Amsterdam News and seems to signal trouble ahead for Mayor Bloomberg if he tries to run again next fall on Row C as he did in 2001 and 2005.

"The meeting was prompted by what’s going on in the city right now," said Fulani ally and party official Sarah Lyons. "The city is facing a democracy crisis with a one-time reform mayor has turned his back on the principles of democratic reform."

"As an independent who played a major role in getting Bloomberg elected, Dr. Fulani feels she has an obligation to speak out. Many who support her work felt it was an important moment to speak out also and to acknowledge the extensive quality work she has done for many different communities."

There will also be a radio ad campaign on 98.7 KISS FM, Lyons said.

Listed as "speakers and endorsers" of next week's event in support of Fulani are: Sen. Eric Adams (who has been outspoken in his opposition to Bloomberg's term limits bill), Councilman Charles Barron (ditto) and his wife, Assembly candidate Inez Barron,
Fulani expressed her displeasure with the mayor's effort to extend term limits during an interview with the DN's Frank Lombardi last month, telling him: "As far as I’m concerned the people of New York City have spoken. We have term limits and the elected officials should respect it.”

Last summer, Fulani launched an exploratory committee for a 2009 potential mayoral run. As an enrolled member of the Independence Party, all she has to do is circulate petitions; she needs no permission to run from Indy leaders.

Not so for Bloomberg.

Since the state's highest court has sided with Fulani and her supporters in their legal fight with state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay, a Bloomberg ally, over who controls Wilson Pakulas in citywide races, they would have to grant him the right to run on the line.

Friday, October 24, 2008

ordinary folks

check out jackie salit and ralph stanley at the top of the hankster -- where else??

anger + bluegrass = not going away!

RE: Urgent about that Sarah Palin stuff that's circulating among the liberal networks

RE: Urgent‏: A message from my colleague in my Southern Homeland:
FR: Your Hankster

Hey guys. I would like to challenge the direction of a well-meaning colleague of mine re: Sarah Palin....

Here's what I think:

We the American people are well within shouting-distance of the election of the first African American President in US history.

How did that happen?

"That's some hard work, Bob!"

Thanks to a 30-40 year grassroots organizing effort that started in the poor communities of New York (which you have been a part of), a powerful political alliance is emerging in the country between black and independent voters.

Thanks to the endless 40-year, day-after-day, year-after-year, smart, grassroots, anti-machine campaigns of ordinary people here in New York, led by my colleagues Fred Newman, Jackie Salit and many many other activists, voters and candidates all over the country, we the American people are poised to lead the country in a new direction.

Let us celebrate our maturity as a people! Yes, WE can do this!

Let's not be petty and partisan about Sarah Palin! Don't detract from this wonderful moment in American history!

I personally salute Gov. Palin for her patriotism, her bravery, and her many strengths as a spokesperson for her causes. Gov. Palin is certainly a "force to be reckoned with." Cudos! And, as far as I understand, she's definitely qualified to be Vice President of the US.

I strongly disagree with Gov. Palin's views on most issues. AND, I also feel that Sarah Palin is being demonized and I do not support this one ioata. Nada. Zippo. Zilch.

We (Americans) have so much to give the world. English Colony. Slave labor. 1776. Revolution. George Washington. Abolish slavery. Abraham Lincoln. Transformation. 1928 Crash. Rich Guy Roosevelt + compromise with Communist Party. 1960s JFK/Pres. Johnson. Vietnam. 1969.

American politics is also rife with demonization. That's how American elections are won.



I would urge us in the final days of our 2008 historical presidential election to keep our eyes on the un-prize -- DEMOCRACY -- not DEMONIZATION.

We don't need to be negative. The politics of "pick this one because if you don't, you'll get this one" smacks of an old-time politic/religion.

Feministically speaking, the fact is that "we" (women) don't need any of "them" (men). It goes without saying that "they" (men) need us. BUT let's move BEYOND THE WHOLE "us" and "them" world.

Can't we create something new??? Designers of the world unite! Feminism is the new independence. OR: Women of the world unite -- if not socialism, then what the hell, let's try humanism.


Keep on keepin' on....

Nancy Hanks The Hankster
718-752-0442 (h)
646-567-6641 (c)


Inside Politics "VOTING BLOCKS" (News Channel 5 - Nashville) This week's show focuses on the three voting blocks that are becoming very important this election year: The African American vote, the Hispanic vote, and the young vote. Vanderbilt University professor Omar Ali, political columnist Tim Chavez, and Sarah Hornbuckle from the Student Association for Voter Empowerment will be talking about these three groups, how the Presidential candidates are connecting with them, and whether or not they will show up at the polls on election day. [NOTE: You can also hear Dr. Ali on BlogTalkRadio/Hankster show last Monday "The Future of America" #2]

  • Keisling and Paulus Attack Teachers Union Mailer Tying Measure 65 to Sizemore (Willamette Wire) “False, say-anything-to-win, scare tactics have no place in Oregon politics.... We’re trying to open up the political process with Measure 65 so that all voters are treated fairly and equally. Such tactics, especially by Oregon’s largest, most powerful union, illustrate precisely the type of problem that we are trying to solve.”
  • OEA: playing guilt by association with Sizemore? (The Oregonian) It sure looks like the Oregon Education Association is using the name of Bill Sizemore - who certainly isn't a favorite of many teachers - to tar all the ballot measures they don't like, including three that aren't actually sponsored by Sizemore.
  • The OEA Shows Its True Colors (The Oregonian) Determined to maintain the union stranglehold on Oregon politics, the Oregon Education Association sent out a mailer this week falsely claimed that Measure 65, among others, is one of eight initiatives before Oregon voters this fall bearing Bill Sizemore's brand.
  • Keisling calls out OEA on Sizemore mailing (News Radio 1190 KEX)

  • Poll: Obama widening lead in Florida (Miami Herald) McCain ''served up red meat for his base, but he starved independents,'' Eldon said. ``McCain has run a base campaign, and it's a race right now that is all about the independent voters.''
  • Democrats outnumber Republicans in Neb. county (Fremont Tribune) Republicans still hold a strong advantage statewide. Democrats had 389,728 registered voters as of Tuesday, while Republicans had 556,617. Nearly 194,000 Independent voters are registered in the state.
  • Targeted ads key in election battlgrounds (Hollywood Reporter) Speed also had the highest concentration of independent voters in battleground states, with 72%. Other top finishers among independents included CNBC (48%), Travel Channel (44%) and CNN Headline News (33%).
  • Powell Endorsement May Sway Undecided Independents (Afro) Michael Fauntroy, an assistant professor of public policy at George Mason University, agrees that Powell’s endorsement will help Obama with independents. “This will help Obama close the case for independent voters, particularly those leaning Republican," Fauntroy said.
  • New Jersey Poll Released by Quinnipiac University: Barack Obama 59%, John McCain 36% (Transworld News) Independent voters shift from 47 - 43 percent for McCain to 55 - 38 percent for Obama.
  • Ideological Fire Misses the Mark (Washington Post/Behind the Numbers) Back in May, McCain held a nearly 20-point advantage as the one with higher standards among white independent voters - that has now evaporated, with voters in this critical group evenly divided.

  • Poll: NYC Voters Oppose Bloomberg’s Third Term (North Country Gazette) independent voters split with 50 percent opposed and 48 percent supporting it; black voters oppose it 62 – 35 percent and Hispanic voters oppose it 53 – 42 percent.
  • After term-limit win, NYC mayor faces new fight (Associate Press)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


  • Measure 65 debated (John Sowell, News Review Today) It would allow independent voters — those who don’t belong to a political party — the chance to vote in a primary. Plus, it would allow nonaffiliated candidates to run in the primary, rather than waiting until the general election, as is the case now.
  • Oregon Ballot Measures 2008: Your Choice is Your Own ( MEASURE 65: Changes general election nomination processes for major/minor party, independent candidates for most partisan offices. Yes Vote: Candidates from all parties (not just Democrat and Republican) run in a single primary; the top two primary candidates compete in the general election. Open primaries would have an impact on the two party system, giving all voters in primary elections a chance to vote for an individual rather than being restricted to those candidates in their own party. (Note: Washington State just held their first-ever open primary.)
  • Measure 65 (Jeff Alworth, BlueOregon) Here's the fascinating thing about this initiative: it has very strong progressive support on both sides.

  • Less than 2 weeks to go, polls say Collins, Obama take state (Kennebec Portland Press Herald) Independent voters went for Obama over McCain by 65 percent to 45 percent, the poll found. The margin of error for those figures is higher -- about 8.5 percent -- because the sample size is smaller. Still, Murphy said the margin is significant, because 37 percent of Maine voters are independents.
  • The Race Goes to 11 -- Powell Helps with Indies (Washington Post/The Trail) Two in 10 independent voters said they are more inclined to vote for Obama because of Powell's backing; 4 percent said they were nudged the other way.
  • Carl Leubsdorf: McCain blew it by steering off course (Dallas Morning News) By going that way, Mr. McCain may have sacrificed his single biggest advantage over his GOP primary rivals – his appeal to independents.
  • FOX News Poll: Obama Leads McCain, 49% to 40% ( Obama's advantage comes mainly from independents, and from the fact that more voters identify themselves as Democrats these days and almost all of them back their party's nominee. Eighty-eight percent of Democrats support Obama, and 83 percent of Republicans back McCain. Independents break 44 percent to 35 percent in Obama's favor.
  • Chester County: Pennsylvania’s very own ‘swing state’ ( And in the end, the victor will likely be decided by the county's 48,000 independent voters, who more than make up the difference between Democratic and Republican registrants.
  • The Chomsky Sessions: Noam Chomsky on the World ( Chomsky suggested voting against McCain and for Obama in battleground states, but without illusions about Obama’s slogans of “change.”
  • Florida Focus Group: Independents Break For Obama And Are Anti-Palin (JOE GANDELMAN, The Moderate Voice) What’s striking (and ironic) is that McCain’s political brand has been forged by his stature with independents — and it’s what always made him the strongest Republican to run in this cycle. Conversely, McCain is doing very well with the GOP base in the poll. He’s winning handily among evangelicals, small town/rural voters, and folks in the South.

  • New York City Council May Suspend Term Limits on October 23 (Ballot Access News)
  • City Council to vote on term limits bill (Newsday)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


  • Obama takes 10-point lead on McCain (Reuters) His advantage with independent voters grew to a whopping 27 points from 15 points and his edge with women voters grew to 16 points from 13.
  • Poll: Obama opens biggest lead over McCain (NBC News) Obama’s current lead is also fueled by his strength among independent voters (topping McCain 49 to 37 percent), suburban voters (53 to 41), Catholics (50 to 44) and white women (49 to 45).
  • Virginians Front and Center (Media General News Service) The videos showcase Republican and Independent voters from Florida, Virginia, Colorado and New Hampshire talking straight to the camera about their reasons for supporting Obama.
  • Independent Presidential Candidate Finds Running Mate In Phone Book (Donklephant) Duncan picked up a list of independent voters from next-door Pennsylvania. He proceeded to call voters asking if they wanted to be his VP running mate.
  • Could minority women voters, more than Independents, decide this election? (Politics in Color/Latina Lista) a new documentary released by an exciting new organization called Engage Her, reveals that maybe it's not those "Independent" voters who haven't made up their minds that the campaign should be targeting but those registered party voters who fit two criteria: female and minority. NOTE: Why not see this as a critical coalition instead of a rivalry????

'Open primary’ is dangerous (LETTER to Forest Grove News Times) Measure 65 is one of the most dangerous ballot measures in recent memory.

  • Poll Finds City Leans No on 3rd Bloomberg Term (NY Times/City Room) In this latest survey, Democrats opposed extending term limits, by 53 percent to 43 percent, as did independent voters, by 50 percent to 48 percent. Republicans supported the idea, 54 percent to 44 percent.
  • Tom Golisano Finances Effort to Block Third Term for Bloomberg ( Great map!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Talk/Talk: Colin Powell, Bronx Guy

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, Colin Powell, Bronx Guy. 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, October 19, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show", "Meet the Press", "The McLaughlin Group" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

Newman: I thought it was powerful. I like Powell. He's a Bronx guy.

Salit: Yes, he's a Bronx guy.

Newman: It was thoughtful, well considered and well presented. It will have some impact. There are a lot of liberal moderate Republicans who have felt very left out during these last eight years, who share Powell's sentiments. If they weren't already going to go with Obama, this will certainly influence them. I thought it was well put and thoughtful. And I thought that Brokaw's response to it was truly biased.

Salit: Indeed.

Newman: I don't think Brokaw followed even the limited rules that exist for television moderators. All of his questions were based on 'some people are not going to like this.' There was not a positive question on the list. I didn't think very much of that.

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

Jackie Salit on Independent Voters and the Financial Crisis

CUIP president Jackie Salit offers commentary on the financial crisis, the McCain and Obama candidacies, the role of independent voters, the rise of the black independent vote, the black and independent alliance, and much more. View at Independent Voting or go directly to YouTube.


Colin Powell, the Undecided Voter, and the Coin Flip ( We're people who feel unrepresented by either party, because our combination of political commitments and our wish-list for changes in government don't match up with the platforms on offer.

  • Rick Dancer: Republican (The Register-Guard) supporting measure 65, which would allow independent voters to participate in state primaries
  • Open primaries: Two views on Measure 65 (The Oregonian)

  • Big turnout for early voting (Steamboat Pilot & Today) Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a news release. “Those margins may be insurmountable barring a reversal that has never been seen before in the modern era in which polling monitors public opinion throughout the campaign. … The key to winning elections in Colorado is independent voters, and Sen. Obama has blown open the race there with his 11-point lead among them.”
  • Obama opens 8-point lead over McCain (Reuters) Obama's advantage with independent voters grew from 11 to 15 points, and his edge with women voters grew from 8 to 13 points.
  • Borger: A divided GOP hurts McCain (By Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst) That's the key indictment, and the key problem, for the GOP. While the political world shifts towards independent voters -- who, by nature, are more about pragmatism than dogma -- the Republican Party remains unable to redefine itself back into a working majority.

Monday, October 20, 2008

BlogTalkRadio: The Future of America: Where are We Going and What Critical Coalitions Will Lead the Way? #2

Monday night BlogTalkRadio/Hankster show REALLY SUCCESSFUL!!! Thanks everybody! Tweet tweet, pop pop!

BlogTalkRadio: The Future of America: Where are We Going and What Critical Coalitions Will Lead the Way? #2

Please join The Hankster and guests for the Second show

Monday (tonight) October 20
6pm Eastern Standard Time

our SECOND EVER BlogTalkRadio show!

The Future of America:
Where are We Going
What Critical Coalitions Will Lead the Way?

Monday's guests include:

Log on, call in (Call-in Number: (347) 884-8634) -- don't miss it!!!

Speak to you soon!
Thanks, Nancy

Lenora Fulani

Harlem Day 2008


What Independent Voters Want (By JOHN P. AVLON, Wall Street Journal) There are now six states where independents outnumber both Republicans and Democrats -- the swing states of Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire as well as New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Yes: A direct popular vote would serve the will of the majority (Duluth News Tribune)


Black America Going Independent (Michael Druker/The Independent View)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fascism, Democracy and The Future of America

Thanks to Jeff Freeman, Robert Koulish, Joseph McCormick and Michael Silverton, the virgin voyage of The Hankster BlogTalkRadio was a complete success/and/an utter disaster! Cudos to all!

Please see Michael Silverton's exquisite post: First Blog Talk Radio Debrief:
First and foremost, thank you to @NancyHanks for bringing her focused vision, practical grassroots experience, and enthusiasm into an emerging technology space that needs to stay supremely focused upon SERVING HER NEEDS and others like her. Our new technologies will only be democratizing to the extent that they are readily accessible and useful for anyone, anywhere, any time......

You'll be hearing from me. Don't give up!!

BlogTalkRadio: uhhhhmmmmm welllllll whatever LISTEN CAREFULLY

Sorry to all those who tuned in to the Hankster's premiere BlogTalkRadio show. Thanks to Michael Silverton, we hooked up through TokBox and about 20 minutes into the show, people MIGHT BE ABLE to hear some other people...

SORRY! Onward to better times!

The conversation was exciting, and I hope you will be able to live through the first 15 - 20 min. of the mess of this podcast... and listen very carefully to the panelists... I nevertheless stand by my choices!!

Thanks so much to Jeff Freeman, Robert Koulish, Joseph McCormick, and Michael Silverton.

If you continue to listen to this broadcast, you will have to listen VERY CLOSELY!

Thanks, and don't give up on us!!!

BlogTalkRadio: The Future of America: Where are We Going and What Critical Coalitions Will Lead the Way?

Please join The Hankster and guests for the Premiere show

Sunday night October 19
6pm Eastern Standard Time

our FIRST EVER BlogTalkRadio show!

The Future of America:
Where are We Going
What Critical Coalitions Will Lead the Way?

Sunday's guests include:

Log on, call in (Call-in Number: (347) 884-8634) -- don't miss it!!!
[REPOSTED 10/19]

early voting


  • CO: Party gap closing within county (The Coloradoan) New Democrat registrations since July totaled 13,672, while Republicans had 10,136. The number of new unaffiliated voters - 15,684 - outpaced fresh registrations for both parties.
  • CT: New Voters Stepping Forward To Make History (The Day) Ten percent of registered voters, or nearly 220,000 people, have registered since Jan 1. Of those, about 95,000 registered as unaffiliated voters, followed by 93,000 Democrats and 29,000 Republicans. The largest group of registered voters in Connecticut is unaffiliated, followed by Democrats and then Republicans.

  • Election 2008: Better primaries for Oregon (The Oregonian) Measure 65 is a rational response to a closed, overly partisan system.
  • Open the primaries (LETTER TO News Press, Ft. Myers FL) In a national open primary the whole country would have a say. I resent that a minority tell me who I can and cannot vote for.

  • Rich like both candidates (Investment News) Among wealthy independent voters, 55% said that they favored Mr. Obama, compared with 34% who preferred his opponent.
  • New York Poll Released by Rasmussen Reports: Barack Obama 57%, John McCain 37% (Transworld News) Among unaffiliated voters in New York, Obama leads 47% to 39%.
  • Connecticut Poll Released by Rasmussen Reports: Barack Obama 56%, John McCain 39% (Transworld News) Obama leads among unaffiliated voters 49% to 42%.
  • Oregon Poll Released by Rasmussen Reports: Barack Obama 54%, John McCain 41% (Transworld News) Obama has a 23-point lead among unaffiliated voters in the state.
  • Early Voting Up Big In North Carolina (By Justin Gardner, Donklephant) Across the state, Democrats showed the most first-day enthusiasm. Of the nearly 114,000 first-day voters, 64 percent were Democrats, 21 percent Republicans and 15 percent were unaffiliated.

Latest Polls Show Coleman Trails Franken, Barkley with 20 percent (Minneapolis News Examiner)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

100,000 in St. Louis

for Obama


  • Milkovich challenge rejected (KTBS) Milkovich claims independent voters were stopped at some polling places from casting their ballots for democratic candidates.
  • Unions pour big bucks into Oregon ballot measure campaigns (The Oregonian) The Oregon Education Assn has contributed $100,000 to the campaign against Measure 65, a proposal for open primary elections.

  • Obama has 4-point lead on McCain (Reuters) Obama still enjoyed a 16-point advantage among independent voters, which many analysts expect to be a deciding factor in the November 4 election.
  • More than 100,000 cast ballots early in N.C. on first day (Hampton Roads Pilot Online)
  • Obama leads among white independents (Politico)
  • Obama up 4 points in Florida, new poll shows (Sarasota Herald Tribune) Obama is holding a 53-26 percent edge among independent voters

Bloomberg foes: Turmoil no excuse for 3rd term (Forbes)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lenora Fulani at NYC Term Limits hearing

New York City Council hearings on May Bloomberg's push to extend term limits for himself (and City Council)

Lenora Fulani, the country's foremost black independent and chief organizer of the New York City Independence Party, calls for "more democracy, not less" to solve the economic crisis. "What a difference a taste of power makes," she said in reference to Mayor Bloomberg's reversal on term limits. Fulani says, if the City Council won't make the right decision, the "people will have to do it for ourselves, and I CAN'T WAIT."

Mayor Bloomberg could be in trouble with the city's independents. Stay tuned!!

vote early

vote often


  • CT: Waves Of Connecticut Residents Registering To Vote (Hartford Courant) Only 28,652 new voters registered Republican, compared to 92,752 Democrats and 94,342 unaffiliated.
  • CT: Registered voters in Conn. surpass 2 million (Newsday) Bysiewicz says the largest group of voters in Connecticut are more than 845,300 who are unaffiliated with a political party.

  • Editorial: We say no to M62, M63, M64; yes to M65 (Corvallis Gazette Times)
  • Measure 65 would alter Oregon's primary election system significantly- Process would open voting option beyond two parties (Statesman Journal)
  • Measure 65 Sparks Debate In Oregon (KVEW)

  • Poll: Obama ahead in critical counties (Politico) In Prince William County, Obama leads in this age group, 58-33 percent, and takes independent voters by an even wider, 55-25 percent margin.
  • Independent voters likely to have the last word (Sun Sentinel in Atlanta Journal Constitution)
  • Current Presidential Polls in North Carolina (Associated Content) This lead comes as Obama extends his lead nationally, and now he has a 9 point lead amongst unaffiliated voters in North Carolina.
  • In a longtime conservative stronghold, Weld County voters drift from GOP (Colorado Independent) Voter registration in Weld County favors Republicans, who hold onto 38 percent of the electorate, while 26 percent of voters are Democrats and 36 percent are unaffiliated.

  • The Term Limits Hearings, Evening Edition (NY Times/City Room) Robert Conroy, chairman of the Brooklyn Independence Party. The City Council “may have the legal right” to amend the city charter to amend term limits, he said, but “does not have the moral right” to do so. .....
    ....Esteli Pacio, who is active in Independence Party in Manhattan....: “The core reasons this was passed have not changed,” she said of term limits, adding, “Yes, term limits eliminate the choice of the incumbent; however, voters have decided twice that we don’t have that choice.” Ms. Pacio said, “It seems you have discovered a way to turn your back on the people of New York.”
    “I acknowledge that we are in a crisis, but who says this mayor and these council members are the only ones who can help us?” Ms. Pacio asked. She cited the example of George Washington, who stepped down after two terms.
    Alan Weissman, who is active in the Independence Party in Brooklyn, said he had $30,000 in student loans and talked about the steep costs of education. “My college education has to support me and my younger cousin, who spent a year in Afghanistan killing people in the name of democracy” only to return to New York and have trouble finding a job, Mr. Weissman said, prompting Mr. Felder to order him to return to the topic of term limits....
  • Billionaire Tom Golisano to take on billionaire Michael Bloomberg over term limits (Daily News)
  • Clinton: Bloomberg bid 'disturbing' (UPI)
  • Mayor’s California Bid May Undercut Incumbents (NY Times) Mr. Bloomberg was in Los Angeles to promote Proposition 11, a hotly debated ballot question that would require a panel of independent citizens, rather than elected officials, to periodically alter the borders of voting districts for state offices.

Thursday, October 16, 2008



No party, big part: Unaffiliated voters will impact election (Greenwich Post)


  • Independence Party may back presidential choice (Minneapolis Star Tribune) Barkley won't attend
  • The Squirrel Vote-By David Brooks and Gail Collins (The Conversation/NY Times/Campaign Stops Blog) Gail: Three weeks to go and what I’ve learned from this election is that bipartisanship doesn’t work. David: I’m amazed at the bloggers who have lost all independence and are simply operatives.
  • McCain has lost my support (Mountain Home News) With three weeks to go in this election, McCain has managed to turn off the crucial independent voters and he's looking increasingly desperate.


New Yorkers get 2 hearings on term limit proposal (AP)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Live-blog Oct. 15 Presidential Debate: To Blog or Not to Blog, That is.... ... or do I Twitter the night away?

Let's see what happens!

Bob Sshieffer CBS for the CBC

Domestic Policy Debate

McCain likes to remind people about the prominent Repubs who are on his mind...

See Twitter for great ongoing commentary....

McCain is talking about keeping people in their homes. And the problem of other people being put out of their homes...

Obama: Greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression... CEOs should not enrich themselves...

9:11 They are both talking to Joe the Plumber... (I think Obama started this character)

McCain: wants to help small businesses like Joe the Plumber
Obama: "My friend Warren Buffett" plan will be better for Joe...

They are being very very interactive, not holding back, not waiting for Schieffer to call on them, etc. MUCH MORE INTERESTING!

McCain: Across the board cuts in govt. spending out of control... I will reduce...
Schieffer: How?
McCain: Reduce every earmark... cut out All the Pork

Obama: Sounds good, doesn't happen, yes we do need to do something to fund the programs that work... Earmarks account for 1/2 of 1% of the fed budget... history of budget surplus when Bush came into office, now 1/2 trillion deficit....

McCain: I'm not Bush

Obama: You have been a vigorous supporter of Pres. Bush. You have been outspoken on torture, however on econ policy, hasn't worked....

McCain: I have disagreed with the Bush Admin, I've got the scars to prove it.... I have a long history of standing up in Congress...

Schieffer: tone of campaign, nastiness, negativeness....

McCain: It's been a tough campaign. Obama didn't want to do a town hall campaign... the worst chapter in American History segregation... Obama needs to repudiate John Lewis.....

Obama: 100% of your ads John have been negative... yes vigorous debate on health care, energy etc... I don't mind being attacked during the next 4 weeks, but American people need to hear about the issues....

Obama: responding to John Lewis, goes at audience taunts "Kill Him"... Amercian people have become so cynical about politics bec. they only see tit for tat...

McCain trying to jump in

Obama: paling around with terrorists

McCain: I'm proud of our audiences, but to say that military wives for mccain and the veterans who wear those hats.... my audiences are nothing but patriotic... just bec. someone yells out something at a rally.... you've had same... we shouldn't stand for these things...

Obama: Key to recognize that solving the problems in the economy, Dems indies and Repubs need to work together, disagree without being disagreeable, can't characterize each other as being bad people...

McCain: I don't care about some old washed up terrorist... we need to know about [Acorn]

Schieffer will extend the time on this....

Obama: Ayers is now substance in McCain's campaign.... [reciting history of relationship] going over his "associations" -- seems to be very effective...!

McCain: Acorn, Ayers, livingroom, [CNN poll tracking going down....] My campaign is getting the economy back on track, not raising taxes....

Schieffer: Next topic. Running mates.

Obama: stump speech on domestic issues....
McCain: Palin a role-model to women.... gave money back to taxpayers... understands autism... [CNN tracker likes this...]

Obama: Nation will decide if she's qualified. Dealing with autism will take funding...
McCain: Biden voted against the first Gulf War.... disagree on national security policy, etc. Obama says we need to spend more...

McCain: energy independence
Obama: energy independence w/ alternatives

McCain: Obama has never traveled south of our border.... drug war...
Obama: produce fuel efficient cars... transporation accounts for 30% of our [something] -- alternative energy

McCain: Obama doesn't want free trade but wants to be with Hugo Chavez, terrorist-sympathizer.... Obama wants to restrict trade and -- HERBERT HOOVER

Schieffer: New topic, health care

Obama: [human interest stories] Toledo, coverage, sick, bankrupt: plan -- if you have health insurance, keep it. Lower costs (can cut $2500/year for family) If you have no insurance, you will be able to buy in to the same type plan that Congress has.

McCain: Painful situation for Americans. The cost is painful. We need to put health care records on line. Obesity is bad. Employers should reward employees who join gyms. Joe the Plumber, Sen. Obama wants to fine you.

Obama: Joe, if you're out there, your fine is zero....

Obama: (cont.) reciting the details of the insurance plan
McCain: (apparently has created a character on stage Joe the Plumber) talking to Joe, will receive current benefits plus $5000 except for the cadillacs etc. Joe should choose the plan. Govt is too big, increased by 40% in the past 8 years. Dems in contol during th past 2 year.

Schieffer: Roe v Wade/Supreme Court

McCain: no litmus test on supreme court appointment. need qualified rather than social policy litmus test. Dems were partisan.... Obama sided with Dems. I would consider anyone....
Obama: Their capacity to provide fairness and justice to the American people. Important consideration in election, Roe v Wade probably hangs in balance. I supported R v W.... women in best position to determine the decision (on abortion -- word not used on tv...?)

[missing discussion from Twitting.... sorry... I'll be serious now...]
seems to be a discussion on partial birth abortion [now they are using the word abortion...]
McCain: "life of the mother" has been stretched to mean "almost anything" by the pro-abortion movement

Schieffer: education, [trucks and loud vehicles outside]
Obama: we need to get our ed system right. more money? reform? we need both -- we will have to invest.... recruit new generation of teachers esp. in science and math... Student loans. and parents have to take responsibility

McCain: it's the civil rights issue of the day. Choice and competition. Proven in New Orleans and NYC -- charter schools. Student loans.

Schieffer: fed govt role?
Obama: Important that fed govt steps up to help local school systems to succeed. [some rhetoric about no child left behind...] teachers higher salaries.... supports charter schools ... yes to competition... bad teachers need to go.... [more rhetoric] someone has to pay for it...
McCain: [condescending] Wash. DC example vouchers surprised you didn't mention that...[??] Head start is good, but not effective... let's reform it. Dems didn't support that, need reform and transparency and autism that Sarah Palin knows about, and we .... [more rhetoric] will support the reforms and fund those reforms, esp. vouchers.

Obama: Vouchers in DC -- vouchers isn't the way to go... details, tackle the problem headon...
McCain: (another sarcastic remark....]

McCain: HMO Bill of Rights, 9/11 commission, steward of tax dollars.... STOP THE SPENDING. Long line of McCains serving this country.
Obama: American tough times. Washington's unwillingness to tackle the tough issues. Failed politics.... Need fundamental change... grow the middle class.... not easy not quick... Dems, independents, Repubs.... will work tirelessly on behalf of our children....


Schieffer quotes mom: go vote now it will make you big and strong....


Blog Action Day: Poverty

I had no idea until a few minutes ago that today October 15 is Blog Action Day. I learned this from a Twitter post by The theme this year is Poverty.

From the website: What is the aim of Blog Action Day?
First and last, the purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a discussion. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue. By doing so on the same day, the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue.

With that in mind:

Here's something you can do to make your voice heard: Be independent. Don't accept the current political culture as the be all end all of human relations. More and more Americans are becoming independent, concerned that partisan politics is destroying our country -- and the world.

And it's not enough to be anti-partisan. Though that's a start! Americans, and independents in particular, are increasingly becoming pro-people, speaking out, advocating for nonpartisan pro-voter reforms, and having a huge impact.

IMHO, we're at a crossroads. America is on the verge of something very different. We need everyone's participation, from the veterans of the sixties to Gen X and Y, from the super-rich to the most poverty-stricken, from the left to the right, black and white, we all need to think out of the box and come together to create a new world where NO ONE IS LEFT OUT. It's the human thing to do.

Also, please welcome to the discussion a couple of my life-long friends and colleagues, Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, recenly talking about the issues of the day on Talk Talk at and Fred Newman Ph.D.

Sunday, September 28, 2008
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 14, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show," "Meet the Press," "The McLaughlin Group" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

Salit: I want to start with Bill Clinton, interviewed by Tom Brokaw, in the midst of Clinton doing his Global Initiative Project. Brokaw asks him, is the economic crisis and the response to it a political game changer? And Clinton says, 'Yes, it could be.' How so? It changes the political culture. It changes the conversation. It changes the imperative for both parties to work together, for Congress and the White House to work together. Do you agree?

Newman: Well, I don't know about that. That's just speculative. We'll see. But, what it has done, it seems to me, is it has introduced the word "socialism" back into the American lexicon. Potentially, even as a good guy. Does that change the behavior patterns of the antagonists who are gathered in Washington? It probably intensifies it, if anything.

Salit: It comes back in, but at the moment it's as a "bailout" that the American people are very suspicious of.

Newman: Yes, the American people are, in general, opposed to the package, and justifiably so. I think that opposition is best understood as a reaction to the hypocrisy of this free market Republican government, which has been in power for some time, suddenly saying, Socialism, quick, help me out! It's a reaction to that. But, in the long term, the awareness that socialism has its place, will change the political scene somewhat. Not dramatically. After all, in Western Europe they've had a mix of socialism and capitalism for a long time. That has been the driving force behind nationalized healthcare systems in Europe, and I think it might influence the direction here in this country, too. I can see the American people saying, If we're going to bail out Wall Street, why don't we bail out this wasteful and misdeveloped healthcare system, too?... (continued here)

Recommended Reading:

Please check out the blogs of Ruben Harris

From by KIL: Blog Action Day: Poverty Across The World
With me being the Blogking and all, I think it is my duty to take part in this Blog Action Day (kinda like communion). The theme of this years post is poverty, and boy do I know what its like being poor, but its not about me. People in other countries, 3rd world to be pacific, have had to deal with poverty for years. And probably will have to for years to come.

From The Social by Adam T. Wamack: Financial Crisis: Unplugged
Have you ever wondered why its a financial crisis thats getting all the attention? When there was a bloody holocaust in Darfur in 2006, a racial cleansing in Somalia in 2004, an actual war in Eastern Europe between Russia and Georgia in 2008. We were briefly informed, only to care abstractly, and hold unfaithfully to an ideal of humanity. Countless crises have ravaged our country in times not so far gone and past, and as a nation we have acted only to the point of atypical, unresponsive concern for the people of the world. These are lives that we are talking about, not video game characters; not movie roles that end as soon as the credits roll.

Talk/Talk: What Crashed?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Below are excerpts from this week's Talk Talk, What Crashed?. 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, October 12, 2008 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show", "The McLaughlin Group" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

Salit: So, what "crashed" - on this view - is the relationship between the activity of the financial markets and the "real" growth of the economy.

Newman: That gap just got stretched out too far. This is perhaps a simple-minded characterization, but it seems to me that Wall Street is supposed to maintain some degree of balance or concern, even in a self-regulatory way, between how it's creating wealth and how the society overall is creating value.

Salit: But they didn't.

Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.




COLUMNIST DORREEN YELLOW BIRD: Do American Indians need their own party? (Grand Forks Herald) I smiled to myself when Giago wrote that we should be independent voters, because I always thought I was.

  • Milkovich bound for court Friday (Shreveport Times) At issue will be the lawsuit he filed Monday alleging independent voters were barred from voting in the Democratic primary held Oct. 4.
  • Kurita's suit to restore win fails-Ruling rejects her as Dems' nominee (The Tennessean) The fight has brought new attention to the state's open primary system, which permits voters to cast a ballot in either party's primaries, and brought criticism on the Democratic Party for removing her nomination.
  • Open Primaries: No Better the Second Time Around (Marc Abrams, Blue Oregon) Open primaries serve to increase the power of the moderate, muddled middle. They allow the GOP in Portland to swarm to the Democratic primary and nominate a bland moderate so that liberals lose clout in the legislature, and allow Democrats in some GOP seats to do the reverse. Now Phil, a card carrying DLC member, may like that. I don’t.
  • Oregon Democratic, Republican parties oppose Measure 65 (The Oregonian) It's no surprise why party leaders are lined up against Measure 65. By definition, parties are partisan organizations, and Measure 65 is an assault on the partisan nature of elections.
  • Third parties oppose state open primary measure (Coos Bay World Link) Nearly every political party in Oregon — the Independent and Working Families parties have taken no official stance — has panned Measure 65, which they worry could threaten their existence.

  • Poll: Obama now leads McCain 50% to 41% (Los Angeles Times) Obama improved sharply over the last month among independent voters, a much-desired bloc. McCain carried them by a 15-point margin in September; in this poll, Obama led by 5 points.
  • LA Times/Bloomberg Poll (pdf) LA Times release with cross tabs
  • Poll: Obama gaining among independents (Rocky Mountain News) "The key to winning elections in Colorado is independent voters and Senator Obama has blown open the race there with his 11-point lead among them," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said Tuesday.
  • More polls show Obama building lead (Boston Globe/Political Intelligence) Obama now leads 51 percent to 33 percent, when McCain had led 49 percent to 39 percent a week ago.
  • Gallup Rasmussen Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby Polls: Obama Maintains Steady Lead Over McCain (Joe Gandelman, The Moderate Voice)
  • Obama's Leads in 4 Key States Show Tough Road for McCain (Wall Street Journal)
  • Independent voters breaking to Obama (Sun Sentinel/Juice) ``Do we want more of George Bush or a change? That’s what I’m voting for: change.’’

  • WWTGD? (Or: What will Tom Golisano do?) (NY Daily News/Daily Politics) Former Independence Party Gov candidate may oppose eliminating term limits by council declaration...
  • Term-limit foes seek aid - Wanted: law firm to back possible suit to force a voter referendum (metro new york)
  • Testy Bloomberg denies twisting arms on term limits (DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU)