Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The George Russell Effect: Is Technorati losing its Authorities?

I know I'm losing authorities on Technorati!  Then again, I've always had a bit of an authority problem.... But here's what's happening:

I created a blog, The Hankster, basically a news aggregator run by a real political activist (me, Nancy Hanks) targeting independent voters and progressive forces, rife with quirky photos, offbeat cultural posts and occasional personal opinions. The Hankster has small, if significant, growing and steady readership. 

Then came Twitter... I twittered the national conference of independents in NYC in January 2009. Twitter helped me report from the field on the various meetings held over the past number of months by the membership of the NYC Independence Party organizations as they met collectively to decide what to do with their considerable political capital in this year's mayoral race (we endorsed independent Mike Bloomberg). And Twitter, to its credit, has a 140-character limit of verbiage! Yea!!

Recently YouTube (or HanksterTube) has hit the political world with storm... And then I started a BlogTalkRadio show at the suggestion of an independent I met on the street...

I'm not saying that we shouldn't use Technorati. But why use Technorati as an authority?  Use Twitter, use Facebook, go by bus by plane by car by train, -- it's the George Russell Effect. Not a lot of cats listenin', lot's of really cool folks diggin' independence...

The Hankster hereby declares:

We will no longer be coerced into communicating through the official channels that get you Technorati authorities!

I rest my case!

Nancy Hanks
Or do it the old fashioned way -- Call me! 646-567-6641 (c) 

New York Times crossword puzzle puzzle

The Hankster received this note from a reader -- thought you would all enjoy it!

Dear Hankster:

The NYTimes crossword puzzle continues to be the most (only) part of the paper with a clue:

Clue 41 Down in the 4/30 puzzle is "Like some primaries"
The answer: "open"

Now if only the crossword puzzle editor would have a word with the news desk...


first 100 days


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

water torture

h/t to JamesWagner


  • Chris Cillizza: Independents made Obama
  • Repubs having trouble attracting independents, considering Romney again (yikes), lost Arlen Specter, and are probably on their way out.... 
  • New Yorkers don't like Mayor Bloomberg's overriding term limits, but court upholds the usurpation -- Randy M. Mastro, a former deputy mayor who is representing the plaintiffs, said of the judges’ opinion: While the courts may have found this term limits extension to be within the legal authority of the mayor and City Council, that doesn’t make it right. What the mayor and City Council did here in extending their terms by legislation, and thereby thwarting the will of the voters, was simply wrong and undemocratic. 
  • Here's a link to the term limits decision. And another piece here...
  • That said, Dr. Lenora Fulani explains why she thinks Mayor Bloomberg deserves a third term.
  • Illinois Gov Pat Quinn's Ethics Commission recommends open primaries

Are Americans ideological???

Yesterday Morning Joe reported on a conversation he had with David Axelrod last night, Axelrod said that Americans are not ideological, and Morning Joe agreed. What do you think?

Politics for the People Lecture: Dr. Omar Ali

"A Brief History of How Independents Have Expanded American Democracy: The Tensions, Turmoil, and Triumphs of Movement-Building"

Saturday, May 9, 2009
2:30 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
New York County Lawyers' Association

Dr. Ali is a visiting professor of history at Vanderbilt University and the author of In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics.and Third-Party Movements in the United States.

From 1776 to the election of Barack Obama, political independents have been on the cutting edge of the American democratic experiment and are responsible for many of the small events that brought about big changes.

On Saturday, May 9th, join Cathy Stewart and special guest Dr. Omar Ali, professor of history at Vanderbilt University and author of In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third-Party movements in the United States for a thought provoking conversation about the role of independents in the development of our country... and the impact we are having in reshaping contemporary politics.

SATURDAY, MAY 92:30 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Followed by a book signing with Dr. Ali
New York County Lawyers' Association
Main Auditorium14 Vesey Street
(Between Broadway and Church St.)
New York, NY 10007

Directions:Subway: A,C,E to World Trade Center; N, R, W to City Hall; 2, 3 to ParkPlace; 4, 5 to Fulton Street; M to Fulton StreetBus: M1, M6, M9, M15, M22, M103 to CityHall/Fulton Street area
Seating limited.
Please R.S.V.P. at 212.962.1699

Bloggers Unite For Hunger And Hope

I just joined Bloggers Unite For Hunger And Hope -- BlogCatalog/Heifer International's call for the end of world hunger and start of hope on April 29. What they are asking is that you join thousands of other bloggers and write a post about world hunger on April 29. I encourage you to do the same.

Here's my post, and here's what I'm doing about world hunger:

I am talking to everyone about open primaries. The concept of open primaries is a pro-people, pro-democracy, anti-partisan concept that would mean that everyone votes in the first round of voting and that candidates run as people not party representatives. I feel that open primaries is a critical cultural shift that is needed to include the 40% of Americans who are independents in the political process, and to loosen up the death-grip that the 2 parties have on our political process and ultimately on public policy.

That's why I think open primaries is important to end world hunger. 

Would you trust humanity to the Democratic and Republican parties?

Hardly! We've seen their work. It's destructive. It's self-perpetuating. It's cynical.

End world hunger? Beware the baneful effects of party!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Conversations: Morning Joe and Ideology

My colleague Carolyn Kresky wrote in with this idea: Said this morning by Morning Joe reporting on a conversation he had with David Axelrod last night, Axelrod said that Americans are not ideological, and Morning Joe agreed. what do you think?

So, what DO you think?

Let me know!

Talk Talk: Law and Disorder

Personally, I love hearing from Fred Newman and Jacqueline Salit every Tuesday with their thoughts on the talk show talk, current events chatter, news of the day. 

I especially like this week's "Talk Talk" for its word-play-fulness and its free-range-i-ness. All the issues, all the time! In a format that ordinary Americans can relate to: conversation among friends!

You can subscribe to Talk Talk hereand join me on my weekly BlogTalkRadio show BlogTalkTalkRadio/Hankster, which will launch in August. 

"If you have something to say, make sure somebody is listening!" or "If you're listening, make sure somebody is saying something." or "What are they talking about?".. . Well, you get the jist -- Let me know what you think!

Law and Disorder
Sunday, April 26, 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, April 26, 2009 after watching selections from "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," "The Chris Matthews Show," a Charlie Rose interview and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." 
Salit: Well, there are basically two arguments to address what you're pointing to. One is that the information that you get when you torture somebody is not good intelligence. And, two, if we want to prevent it from happening in the future, we have to take a hard public look at why it happened in this last round.
Newman: No we don't.
Salit: Because?
Newman: It doesn't make a difference.
Salit: It doesn't make a difference if you understand what happened and why?
Newman: It doesn't impact.
Salit: Because?
Newman: This is how human beings are. Don't you watch soap operas?
Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

Monday, April 27, 2009



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Talk Talk: Pirates, Policy and a Pooch

Sunday, April 19, 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, April 19, 2009 after watching selections from "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," "The Chris Matthews Show," a Charlie Rose interview and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." 
Newman: When you look at the picture on the front page of the Times where Chavez and Obama are shaking hands, it seems to me that the first thing you see is that two people of color are shaking hands.
Salit: Yes.
Newman: And that overwhelms any of the substantive issues that they may or may not discuss in Trinidad. It's a very big change for them. And for us. That's a big cultural, human, psychological factor.
Salit: I had a similar thought when I looked at the photograph.
Newman: One's a communist. One's part socialist, part capitalist. But they're both people of color. One has enough oil. One has too little oil. But that's not the issue.
Read Talk Talk in its entirety 

Monday, April 20, 2009



Democracy & Technology: Power to the People, or Technology to the People?

Have technological advances helped advance democracy? If more people have more technology will we get to the promised land quicker? What's power got to do with it, and who's got it in cyberspace? Listen to internet pioneer Michael Silverton and NYC activist Ryan Brack in a free-wheeling blogtalkradio show with Nancy Hanks of The Hankster.

  • Newark's Mayor Cory Booker endorses independent Mayor Mike Bloomberg

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Democracy & Technology: Power to the People, or Technology to the People?

Have technological advances helped advance democracy? If more people have more technology will we get to the promised land quicker? What's power got to do with it, and who's got it in cyberspace? Join internet pioneer Michael Silverton and NYC activist Ryan Brack in a free-wheeling blogtalkradio show with Nancy Hanks of The Hankster.

Sunday April 19, 9pm EDT.

Call-in Number: (347) 884-8634

Friday, April 17, 2009


Eugene Robinson writes about the "tea bag" protests -- Repub partisans at the helm... 

And there's this report from history professor Joseph Palermo from the field in Sacramento on the political significance of the anti-tax "movement"... 

Abel Maldonado: Tea parties are "hyper-partisan" -- stresses need for open primaries...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


  • Somehow Steve Kornacki wrote a whole article in the PolitickerNY about New York fusion voting without ever mentioning Mayor Fiorello La Guardia or Mayor John Lindsay.... Fusion is a good tool for anti-corruption forces, a fact that Kornacki conveniently leaves out....
  • Bloomberg wants WFP but does WFP want Bloomberg? and the Repubs say aye

Monday, April 13, 2009



  • Mayor Mike goes for 3rd line
  • Bloomberg lines 'em up
  • Unaffiliated believers rising at the same rate as independent voters
  • Illinois Gov. Quinn favors open primaries -- article from  The Windy Citizen,  a Chicago-based user-generated news source started by journalist and web developer Brad Flora.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


  • Obama 'post-partisan' politics reshape ideological divide (Clarence Page, Times Daily - Alabama)
  • White House Cheat Sheet: Polling Polarization (Chris Cillizza, Washington Post/The Fix)
  • Partisans Argue Over Partisanship (By Dan Balz, Washington Post) More about the Pew Polarization Poll

  • South Carolina Republican Party Official Boosts Anti-Independent Candidate Bill (Ballot Access News)
  • Petition candidates legislation: Bill would provide a level playing field (By KATON DAWSON, Herald-Journal - SC)
  • Strictly Political (Posted by Tom Wrobleski,SI Advance/PolitBureau) AN INDY SPLIT ON BLOOMBERG: Steve Isler speaks out on behalf of "grassroots independents" [sic]... NOTE: Steve Isler no doubt has organzied about 2 independent voters on Staten Island.... Hmmm... what's wrong with THAT picture? Apparently Tom Wrobleski is a novice when it comes to covering independent politics in New York City.... too bad -- he's missing an exciting new development connected to the national independent movement.
  • Bloomberg Wins Bronx Support To Run As Republican (By: NY1 News) The mayor ran as a Republican in his first two elections, but later gave up his party affiliation and became an Independent. He is already set to run on the Independence Party line, which has angered some Republicans. 
  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg will run as Republican in bid for third term (BY ELIZABETH BENJAMIN, DAILY NEWS) as posted on Huffington Post 
  • New York, NY - Bloomberg to Run Third Term as Republican (י"ז ניסן תשס"טJewkey)

The Big Takeover - The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution (MATT TAIBBI, Rolling Stone) Democracy Now! Amy Goodman interview with Matt Taibbi

Thursday, April 09, 2009



Photo: Tom Robbins at Sunday's screening at the Avalon Hotel
[for more photos, go here]

More news from Sunday's New York City Independence Party Endorsement of Mayor Bloomberg's re-election campaign:


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

street animals

More News Headlines for Philsophical Independent Voters

Ok ok I admit it there is more news for independents than Bloomberg and the NYC Independence Party....

  • From 'Post-Partisanship' To Polarization - The Partisan Divide In Obama's Approval Ratings Has Widened Considerably, But Does It Matter? (by Amy Walter, National Journal)
  • Inside Politics - Despite calls for a “post-partisan” presidency, a recent Pew Research Center study found that President Obama has the most polarized job-approval ratings for a new president in 40 years. (By Sean Lengell, Washington Times)
  • Watch The Independents - With Partisanship Still Strong On The Hill, Obama Will Need To Keep Up His Clout Among Non-Aligned Voters (by Charlie Cook, National Journal)
  • CBS News/NY Times Poll: Obama’s Approval Rating Hits New High (By JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief, The Moderate Voice)

The End of Philosophy (By DAVID BROOKS, NY Times)
 NOTE: Thanks to Baylah Wolfe for this who wrote this on Brooks' post:
I appreciate what you have been grappling with, as you reach for the critical inclusion of emotionality, cooperation and communal life activity in our contemporary historical world. I urge you to read Dr. Lois Holzman’s new book, "Vygotsky at Work and Play". Dr .Holzman is a developmental psychologist and activist, who is challenging, in theory and practice, the cognitive-emotional divide; Holzman and sees philosophical dualism as holding back human growth and development. Lev Vygotsky was a Soviet psychologist who conducted ground-breaking research with children and in particular with disabled children, after the Soviet revolution in 1917. Vygotsky engages dualistic understandings of thinking and speech, learning and development, etc. and his discoveries have come into prominence in recent decades in the fields of developmental psychology and education Building on a 25 year intellectual partnership with philosopher/psychotherapist Dr. Fred Newman, Holzman shows a performatory practice of the unity of theory-practice, cognition-emotion, being-becoming, etc. in projects they have built on-the-ground (in the US and internationally) in the arenas of therapy, education, youth development, medicine and corporate training. Philosophy is dead but philosophy with a small p is alive and growing.

Thanks, Baylah!



  • Mr. Governor, you're no Obama (Bill Plante, Newbury Port News) "Yet,'' Freddy said, "but in politics nothing is forever, although it seems so sometimes. We have open primaries, which means anyone can vote for whomever. That's why we got Romney. There may not be enough Republican votes out there to elect a governor, but there are more unaligned voters. Democrats have ruled the Hill for so long that the time may be at hand for the unaligned to say, 'Enough already.'''
  • Daniel Weintraub: Former speaker returns in reformer role (By Daniel Weintraub, Sac Bee) Open primaries or even nonpartisan state government along the lines of what we have now in local government might be something Hertzberg one day supports.
  • Elections by mail? (Bob Roberts Reporting, WBBM 780 Chicago)
  • Illinois - Our Opinion: Don’t give up on open primary bill (THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER)
  • Dem icon Burton shoo-in for state party leader (Carla Marinucci, SF Chronicle)

Howard Dean in FranceTranslation of "You can't translate everything you do in the US in France": "You can't have socialism in the US unless it's over the dead body of the Democratic Party..." Open primaries apparently now = socialism? - NH

And more on the democracy front from the EuropeansRoger, aged 43, is a prospective candidate of a new political party, or non-party as it might term itself, The Jury Team. The organisation is planning to field 70 candidates in June's European elections on an anti-political party platform.  NOTE:  By George, I think they've got it! - NH

Talk Talk: Obama's Model

Sunday, April 5, 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, April 5, 2009 after watching selections from "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," "Hardball with Chris Matthews," a Charlie Rose interview and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos".
Salit: We listened to the conversation between David Brooks and Mark Shields, and Brooks had a cautionary tale relative to the Wagoner thing. He says that it's the politicization of the industry, that when the government starts to pick winners and losers in the private sector, it's a problem. This point has been made before, relative to Lehman Brothers being allowed to go down vs. the other investment banks. But Brooks introduced this notion of politicization.
Newman: Yes.
Salit: As he said, politicization without nationalization.
Newman: That's what Obama stands for. That's what he believes in.
Salit: Yes?
Read Talk Talk in its entirety here.

Monday, April 06, 2009

NYC Independence Party endorses Mike Bloomberg for Mayor



  • Mayor Mike Bloomberg gets Independence Party endorsement (BY ERIN EINHORN, DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU)
  • Mayor Bloomberg Gets Independence Party Endorsement (By Tim McDevitt, Epoch Times)
  • Mayor Bloomberg of NYC is endorsed by Independence Party (Independent Political Report)
  • Independent Party endorses Bloomberg (WCAX - Vermont)
  • Independent Party endorses Bloomberg (by Associated Press, SI Advance)
  • Bloomberg Gets Independence, Staten Island GOP Committee Endorsements (By Roy Edroso in Village Voice/Runnin Scared)
  • Bloomberg Shakes Hands, Earns Praise at the Big Independence Party Meeting (By Azi Paybarah, New York Observer)
(see photos and video in earlier posts below)

Lenora Fulani: Innovation, Independence, and In the Interest of our Kids

Dr. Lenora Fulani speaks to the New York City county committee executive committees on the values of New York City 2009 mayoral race. The NYC IP voted by 93% to endorse Mayor Bloomberg as the candidate of the Independence Party for mayor.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

New York City Independence Party gathers for endorsement screening of Mayor Bloomberg

New York City county committees voted this afternoon to endorse Mayor Bloomberg for Column C this year.

Lenora Fulani welcomed by NYC Independence Party at screening of Mayor Bloomberg

Jackie Salit: Independent Mayor Bloomberg "true to himself"

  • Partisanship is the enemy of progress
  • Independents are the engine of the change we need

Mayor Bloomberg: Securing Voting Rights for Independents

(i.e. Non-partisan municipal elections)

NYC's First Independent Mayor-to-Be

Mayor Bloomberg to NYC Independence Party: Let's go make history...

Independence Party of New York City Endorses Michael Bloomberg in 2009 Race for Mayor

Independence Party of New York City issued this press release tonight:

Bloomberg Tells Fellow Independents 

“Let’s Make History Together”

New York, NY—The Independence Party of New York City voted tonight to endorse Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a joint executive committee session at the Avalon Hotel in Manhattan. The Independence Party is the first political party to endorse the Mayor’s re-election bid and secures for him line “C” on the ballot in the 2009 race.

This is going to be an unprecedented partnership. This is his third run for mayor, but his first as an independent,” said Jackie Salit, a founder of the party. “We both agree that partisanship is the enemy of progress. And this partnership is about moving an agenda for non-partisan reform.”

It's great to be here with some fellow independents," said Bloomberg who spoke before the gathering of some 80 members of the five county executive committees. "I'm very proud to be the city's first independent Mayor...In January of 2010 hopefully there will be first ever swearing in of an Independent Mayor of New York City. Let's make history together!"

Following his address, Mayor Bloomberg met privately with the five county executive committees. After the meeting the executive committees conducted an endorsement vote. He received 93% of the vote, making the Independence Party the first political party to give him a line on the ballot.


NYC Republicans & Mayor Bloomberg: Will They or Won't They?

Only their County organizations know for sure: 

Led by Staten Island, then Brooklyn, NYC Repubs in process of deciding whether to endorse Michael Bloomberg for Mayor this year. 

Bloomberg will meet with NYC Independence Party organizations today to ask for their support in November. 

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Politics for the People - Brooklyn April 3, 2009

The Independence Party hosts the Cathy L. Stewart Politics for the People class throughout the year.

NYC Independence Party organizations to interview Mayor Michael Bloomberg Sunday

The executive committees of the 5 county committees of the New York City Independence Party will meet with Michael Bloomberg on Sunday before making an official decision about whether to endorse the mayor for a third run for the office. Bloomberg, an independent, would like to run on the IP line this year, but he needs the nod from at least 3 of the 5 county committees. City activists -- and not the State Chair -- will make the final decision, a requirement upheld by the NY Court of Appeals after 3 years of court battles (20 lawsuits) to engage harrassment tactics by the Albany faction of the party against NYC county grassroots organizing.
Independence Party leaders and strategists Fred Newman and Jackie Salit met with Bloomberg mid-March to discuss the terms of a possible partnership. 

Thursday, April 02, 2009


  • Senate votes down open primaries (Associated Press, Chicago Tribune)
  • Primary election changes defeated (By Dan Carden | Daily Herald)
  • Illinois’ primary voters must continue to declare their party (By Kevin McDermott, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Springfield Bureau)
  • Senate rejects open primaries (
  • Under the tarnish, still golden (From The Economist print edition) California open primaries

Q Poll: Dodd Would Lose To Simmons (By DANIELA ALTIMARI | The Hartford Courant) In a Dodd-Simmons matchup, Democrats back Dodd by only 58 percent to 27 percent while Simmons leads 87 percent to 6 percent among Republicans and 56 percent to 25 percent among independent voters.

NYC 2009
  • Grocery Workers to Back Bloomberg, Slighting Democratic Rival (By MICHAEL BARBARO, NY Times)
  • Pols, Press Party with Sharpton and His Corrupt Network (By Wayne Barrett, Village Voice/Runnin Scared [Wayne Barrett's blog])
  • Staten Island GOP Poised To Back '$150 Million Gorilla' (Elizabeth Benjamin, Daily News/Daily Politics) GOP dinner Thurs. nite at Grand Hyatt
  • Bloomberg A 'Sharpton Fan' (Elizabeth Benjamin, Daily News/Daily Politics)
  • New York, NY - Mayor Bloomberg A ‘Sharpton Fan' (Jewkey! NOTE: Jewkey! is a highly popular, rapidly-growing orthodox site that meets the demanding media needs of the Orthodox Jewish communities across the world.] Mentions Fulani
  • Tonight: Rivera Endorses Thompson, Bloomberg Dines With NY Republicans and Romney (By AZI PAYBARAH, NY Politicker)
  • Bloomberg to Dine With Manhattan G.O.P. (By AZI PAYBARAH, NY Politicker)
  • The Death of the New York City Democrat (By JASON HOROWITZ, NY Politicker)

  • The NY-20 Absentee Ballots: A Potential Tie? (By Eric Kleefeld, TPMDC) If we hazard a few guesses -- that Murphy got nearly all the Democrats, Tedisco got a large but slightly smaller share of Republicans, and Murphy took the unaffiliated voters by the kind of strong margins that Democrats have been pulling off recently here -- we can come to a rough estimate.
  • In N.Y. 20, Final Tally Waits But The Spin is In (By Emily Cadei, CQ Politics) But Republican voters do not necessarily translate into Tedisco voters. Republicans enjoy a 70,000 voter-registration advantage in the district, yet the race as it stands now is a virtual tie. And independent voters, which have swung Democrat in recent years, make up a quarter of registered voters and no doubt a significant portion of absentee voters, as well.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

PREVIEW: How the Independent Movement Went Left By Going Right

You can see Jackie Salit's full analysis here


  • Juan Williams demarcates the Obama favorability lines -- independents still like Barack, Rush Limbaugh represents "hyper-partisanship"
  • Jury still out on upstate New York's 20th -- pundits longing to draw conclusions.... and TPMDC's Eric Kleefeld is WAY behind the curve on independent voters.... Just to note: The 20th Congressional District is home to 432,771 active voters, including 180,810 Republicans, 113,354 Democrats, 20,020 members of the Independence Party, 8,425 Conservatives, 1,504 members of the Working Families Party, 1,483 Greens, 114 Libertarians and 105,059 unaffiliated voters, according the state Board of Elections.  Soft Dems? I think not!
  • William Redpath, Libertarian National Committee Chair says "interest" in Libertarian Party is rising... Hmmm...Spoken like a true partisan!
  • Independent politics, partisan style in PA
  • Open primaries gaining ground in California
  • Open primaries in the hands of partisan interests in Illinois
  • Independents move ahead, Republicans stall on negotiations with Bloomberg '09