Tag: John Edwards

Breaking: Obama & Clinton Drop Out of Race

In a stunning development, both Obama and Clinton have decided to drop out of the race for President. Word from both camps is that Hillary and Obama had a private meeting last night over cocktails. According to an anonymous source, both Clinton and Obama had been nervous about their poll numbers against John McCain. They were sick of fighting with each other, and they wanted the election to be about the issues again. The anonymous source said that both candidates agreed that conceding the election to John Edwards was the right thing to do. We should be expecting a press conference announcing their withdrawals from the race later this afternoon.

more below the fold…..

Midnight Thought on Living Energy Independence (30 March)

Excerpted from Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence,

in the Burning the Midnight Oil blog-within-a-blog, hosted by kos,

though to the best of my knowledge he doesn’t know it.

I just recently discussed Tiny Houses as one extreme end of a range of a more sustainable approach to housing. And, because they strike me as really cool, the examples I focused on where the kind of Tiny Houses that can be picked up, put on a trailer, and hauled around, like an old fashioned Shepherd’s Wagon, except with inside plumbing, excellent insulation, and 11 foot ceilings in the main living space.

Mind you, I always thought that the old-fashioned Shepherd’s Wagon was kind of cool, so add all those “except for’s”, and its no surprise I thought these were cool.

However, just as cool in their own way are the Tiny Houses intended to be built from modular parts on a foundation on site. And as a one-time Mother Earth News reader (back when it was more of a back to the land for dirty stinking hippies magazine), I was interested when the Tiny House Blog mentioned that the post-80’s yuppified “Mother Earth News” has been recently focusing heavily on SIP’s, or Structural Insulated Panels.

Midnight Thought on the Coalition Change Strategy

Excerpted from Burning the Midnight Oil for the Coalition Change Strategy (24 March), in the Burning the Midnight Oil blog-within-a-blog, hosted by kos, though to the best of my knowledge he doesn’t know it.

What about the farmers, you ask?

Doesn’t seem like a big deal, if you look at the occupations by share of the population.

However, appearances can be deceiving, that way. The thing is, when you look at employment in any local area, you can put the employment into two mental boxes … export base employment, and local multiplier employment. The export base employment brings money into the local area, and the local multiplier employment spreads it around … one time around providing services to the export base employees, two times around providing services to the local multiplier employees employed by the first round … and so on.

Of course, at every go-round, some money leaks out of the local area, so this process is no perpetual motion machine … just extra leverage to the income that flows into a local area.

(Sometimes a set of jobs get some demand from one box and some from another, but we’re people, not robots, so we can are able to see a fuzzy borderline as a normal part of the real world and move on.)

And so that means that when that export base employment leaves an area, it takes additional local multiplier employment with it … which is something people up here in Northeast Ohio feel in their bones, and can explain in very clear language, even if it is language you will not normally here used in Church on Easter Morning.

Now, go out into a rural area, and they know, equally clearly even if not in these exact terms, that farmers are a big part of their export base employment. So leaving farmers out of the coalition leaves a lot of rural areas out of the coalition.

Even that may not be so impressive if someone is looking at national shares of urban, inner suburban, outer suburban, and rural population. However, shift attention from national averages to national politics, and suddenly one thing jumps out. The killing ground for more progressive populist reforms than any other institution in our political landscape … even more than the Supreme Court.

The Senate.

We have, after all, a Federal system, so when particular types of communities are important in the politics of a particular set of states, that is reflected in national politics. In other words, while in a unitary parliamentary system urban populations would be free to exercise a tyranny of a majority over rural populations and ride roughshod over the concerns of rural communities, in a Federal system like ours, there are safeguards put in place against tyrannies … even majoritarian tyrannies.

So, yes, the farmers.

Congressional Poverty Scorecard – Anti-Poverty Legislation Blocked

On Monday, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law released its 2007 Congressional Poverty Scorecard. The President of the Center, John Bouman, noted that in states with the highest poverty rates, their congressional delegations tended to score the worst.

“Poverty is everywhere in America, but it is interesting that in states with the highest concentrations of poverty, the Congressional delegations seem least interested in supporting initiatives that fight poverty,” said John Bouman, president of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, which released the study. “This appears deeper than simply opposing spending. A member could have opposed any of the measures we analyzed that called for new spending and still could have voted to support half of the poverty-fighting measures on our list.”

Former presidential candidate John Edwards was also on the center’s conference call with reporters.

“We can get the national leadership and we can get the congressional leadership we need,” Edwards said. “But first voters need to be educated as to who is doing the work and who is not.”

It’s not that complicated

E.J. Dionne is one of the better columnists in the corporate media, but he asks a silly question:

So how did the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination come down to a choice between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton? We have become so accustomed to their pounding each other relentlessly that we’ve forgotten that this is a remarkable endgame.

And he then gives a long, well-considered answer about tactics and strategy and other irrelevancies.

You really want to know how it came down to this? Money. As I noted when John Edwards dropped out, this was the breakdown:

Hillary Clinton: Spent $40,472,775 On hand $50,463,013

Barack Obama: Spent $44,167,993 On hand $36,087,190

John Edwards: Spent $18,028,752 On hand $12,397,048

Here are the latest numbers:

Barack Obama: Spent $85,176,289 On hand $18,626,248

Hillary Clinton: Spent $80,353,785 On hand $37,947,874

Nothing at all remarkable, actually. Get it?

EENR for Progress: Bombs Produce Nothing

Hey all, I’m back again with another installment of EENR for Progress. This edition was inspired by John and Elizabeth’s Edwards recent announcement of the Iraq Recession Campaign. Tonight I’m going to focus on the interconnectedness of our failing economy and the Iraq war. Follow me below the fold……

Midnight Thought on the Coalition Change Strategy

From Burning the Midnight Oil for the Coalition Change Strategy, keeping the fire lit at the Big Orange

The core of the progressive populist coalition change strategy is the Blue-Green coalition. That must be the core, for many reasons, some of which I’ve mentioned, and some of which, good lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll get to.

However, while that is a necessary part of the coalition change strategy, it is by no means sufficient. A coalition change strategy must be broad based. Working in the interest of the coalition must be a dominant political strategy, with the extra time and trouble of working out differences with coalition partners clearly worth the trouble.

And that means that everyone in the coalition must see the benefits of being part of the group … and that means that the coalition is far more robust if it has more than two main members.

And now I run into a tremendous problem, which is that the radical right reactionaries that captured the Republican Party have so soiled and muddled the public discourse that I have no name I can come up with for the third member of the progressive populist coalition strategy for change.

However, lacking a name that names the member of the coalition, we make do, and have been since before I wandered along and noticed what was happening.

John and Elizabeth Edwards Co-Launch the Iraq/Recession Campaign

John and Elizabeth Edwards may not be on the 2008 presidential campaign anymore, but they are on a different campaign: making connections between the costs of the Iraq war and our weak economy.  

Elizabeth Edwards, who is good about making constructive criticism of the media, observed that reporters

“certainly don’t cover the connection between the issues,” she said the American people see there is “undoubtedly a connection between oil, the costs of transportation in this country, and this war.”

(source: Will Thomas, HuffPo)

Thus, a new cause to spotlight, and the Edwardses are back fighting for the American people.

More under the fold…

EENR for Progress: Health Care is a Human Right

Health care is a human right. In my own definition of the progressive movement, I count that as a basic progressive principle.

For various reasons, from my own personal perspective, it is simply unacceptable to settle for anything less than true universal health care. Some of those various reasons are my experiences with health care in the United States, as well as those of my friends and family, some of whom have serious or chronic conditions.

In tonight’s EENR for Progress, we look at why we need universal health care, proposals for universal health care, and what progressives can do to achieve it.

Midnight Thought for Sensible Economics

This is the Burning the Midnight Oil Midnight Thought for tonight … which will be found in Burning the Midnight Oil for Sensible Economics … but not until later tonight (Wednesday).

Posted here because … well, Docudharma blogs the future. Yeah, normally further ahead in the future than three or four hours, but if I didn’t already have this part in the draft diary queue, ready to go, I’d have no idea what I was going to say.

And, yes, the two most important parts of the Midnight Oil are, first, the commentary that follows and, second, the diary roll, so what I’m giving you here is a Bronze Medal … that is, the Midnight Oil clip and snippet from the lyrics. And then, of course, the Midnight Thought which finishes, as they say in Oz, “just outside the medals”.





Midnight Thought

The time has come to talk about … Inflation.

Oh, c’mon, wake up! You, there in the back, I see you dropping off to sleep. Yeah, its late for some of your, get a cup of coffee or tea or something. This is serious. Start talking about economics and people just {mutter mutter mutter}

Is there any question that we are facing a threat of inflation? No, of course not.

The question is, which inflation are we facing?

OAC Archive: How to make a YouTube Playlist into a Video CD

This is an archive of a diary from the OAC blog … the table of contents cross-links require the full diary, they don’t work from the abbreviated view.

The balance of the links that can be updated to live diaries will be over time

BruceMcF in Diaries; 1/27/2008 at 10:46 PM EST

Hi, this is the How To that accompanies the TOC: YouTube. It provides some background information on the “why” of the whole process, and step by step help on how to use some of the tools linked to in that diary.

Join me beneath the fold for the scoop.

Why YouTube playlists?

Why Video CD’s

What if I have different programs I like

How to download a YouTube playlist

How to convert an flv file to an MPEG1 file

How to burn a set of MPEG1 files into a Video CD

How to share your work

Yeah, and….

Something I would be shot for if I posted on Dkoes….

I don’t like Obama, I admit it. Why? Because he has become everything to just about everybody which often means he really stands for nothing. Call me a cynic, call me jaded, call me bitter but his ability to sway people by saying basically nothing in his speeches is what concerns me.

I don’t go to rallies because I want to stay objective and I hate being in rooms with people who are so swept up by their emotions that they can be easily twisted for any goal. Is it nice to see that someone on our side has this ability? Sure. Does it mean that I expect him to actually fix anything major, no.

I read his speeches, I really do not like listening to him because as my mom says “It seems like he is beating me over the head and yelling at me.” To me, he sounds like a preacher, which I really don’t like. At any rate, I read his speeches and I am left with “Ok, and??” He takes 1000s of words to wind down to saying something specific, which is still couched and vague so he really commits to nothing. His speeches sound great, but his plans are nothing spectacular. For instance: Obama’ Education plan.

The Problem

No Child Left Behind Left the Money Behind: The goal of the law was the right one, but unfulfilled funding promises, inadequate implementation by the Education Department and shortcomings in the design of the law itself have limited its effectiveness and undercut its support. As a result, the law has failed to provide high-quality teachers in every classroom and failed to adequately support and pay those teachers.

Students Left Behind: Six million middle and high school students read significantly below their grade level. A full third of high school graduates do not immediately go on to college. American 15 year olds rank 28th out of 40 countries in mathematics and 19th out of 40 countries in science. Almost 30 percent of students in their first year of college are forced to take remedial science and math classes because they are not prepared.

High Dropout Rate: America has one of the highest dropout rates in the industrialized world. Only 70 percent of U.S. high school students graduate with a diploma. African American and Latino students are significantly less likely to graduate than white students.

Teacher Retention is a Problem: Thirty percent of new teachers leave within their first five years in the profession.

Soaring College Costs: College costs have grown nearly 40 percent in the past five years. The average graduate leaves college with over $19,000 in debt. And between 2001 and 2010, 2 million academically qualified students will not go to college because they cannot afford it. Finally, our complicated maze of tax credits and applications leaves too many students unaware of financial aid available to them.

Barack Obama’s Plan

Early Childhood Education

   * Zero to Five Plan: Obama’s comprehensive “Zero to Five” plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Unlike other early childhood education plans, Obama’s plan places key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for children to be ready to enter kindergarten. Obama will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state “zero to five” efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.

   * Expand Early Head Start and Head Start: Obama will quadruple Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding and improve quality for both.

   * Affordable, High-Quality Child Care: Obama will also provide affordable and high-quality child care to ease the burden on working families.


         o Reform No Child Left Behind: Obama will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama believes teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. He will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama will also improve NCLB’s accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.

         o Make Math and Science Education a National Priority: Obama will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. He will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.

         o Address the Dropout Crisis: Obama will address the dropout crisis by passing his legislation to provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies in middle school – strategies such as personal academic plans, teaching teams, parent involvement, mentoring, intensive reading and math instruction, and extended learning time.

         o Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities: Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children.

         o Expand Summer Learning Opportunities: Obama’s “STEP UP” plan addresses the achievement gap by supporting summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children through partnerships between local schools and community organizations.

         o Support College Outreach Programs: Obama supports outreach programs like GEAR UP, TRIO and Upward Bound to encourage more young people from low-income families to consider and prepare for college.

         o Support English Language Learners: Obama supports transitional bilingual education and will help Limited English Proficient students get ahead by holding schools accountable for making sure these students complete school.

     Recruit, Prepare, Retain, and Reward America’s Teachers

         o Recruit Teachers: Obama will create new Teacher Service Scholarships that will cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teacher education, including high-quality alternative programs for mid-career recruits in exchange for teaching for at least four years in a high-need field or location.

         o Prepare Teachers: Obama will require all schools of education to be accredited. He will also create a voluntary national performance assessment so we can be sure that every new educator is trained and ready to walk into the classroom and start teaching effectively. Obama will also create Teacher Residency Programs that will supply 30,000 exceptionally well-prepared recruits to high-need schools.

         o Retain Teachers: To support our teachers, Obama’s plan will expand mentoring programs that pair experienced teachers with new recruits. He will also provide incentives to give teachers paid common planning time so they can collaborate to share best practices.

         o Reward Teachers: Obama will promote new and innovative ways to increase teacher pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them. Districts will be able to design programs that reward accomplished educators who serve as a mentor to new teachers with a salary increase. Districts can reward teachers who work in underserved places like rural areas and inner cities. And if teachers consistently excel in the classroom, that work can be valued and rewarded as well.

     Higher Education

         o Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit: Obama will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Obama will also ensure that the tax credit is available to families at the time of enrollment by using prior year’s tax data to deliver the credit when tuition is due.

         o Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid: Obama will streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.

Load more