obama

John McCain Should Not Cast Stones

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Just as Hillary Clinton took the low road against Barack, John MeCain has his own version of the kitchen sink strategy. Call it the Arizona Sewer. Or the McCain Trash Talk Express. Or McCain’s Terminal Descent. Or McCain’s Penultimate Perversity. The ultimate perversity is his transparent hope for an October Surprise. (Remember the June Surprise that never came?) By any name. McCain offers a sorrowful display. Eight years ago, McCain merely showed signs of a character problem. Now the Senator’s character problem is in full bloom.

Yes, we shall need to compare the character of Senator McCain to that of his intended victim, Barack Obama.

I know about McCain that he has a substantial temper problem. This has issued not only in sudden displays of extended profanity against colleagues and associates but physical actions that have impacted persons seeking his help.

I know about McCain that he has caved in on a position requiring courage and has himself confessed his cowardice. This in relation to the Confederate Flag.

And this small offering merely scratches the surface. John McCain should be very careful. Barack beat Hillary Clinton on the basis, in part, of her campaign errors. I have days when I think the current Obama campaign should do nothing but wait for the next McCain error. The term self-defeating is relevant here.

YESTERDAY: Feingold Why NO on FISA with links to all FISA info (plus) MCCAIN’S PROBLEM. As is sometimes the case, we find the best answer across the pond.
For specific campaign-related and other topics, please use the SEARCH BLOG field to your upper left. LABELS

OBAMA ON THE ISSUES — GO TO THE SOURCE, NOT WHAT YOU HEAR OUT THERE

Civil Rights | Disabilities | Economy } Education } Energy & Environment | Ethics | Faith | Family | Fiscal | Foreign Policy | Healthcare | Homeland Security | Immigration | Iraq | Poverty | Rural | Service | Seniors & Social Security | Technology | Urban Policy | Veterans | Women | Additional Issues | The Blueprint for Change

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Obama Blog

Kiva

Listen to my song “We Are All Americans”

MY THREE MOST RECENT BOOKS ARE GROUND-BREAKING. “ABBA’S WAY” ANTICIPATES THE OBAMA ERA. “BEYOND CREED” ADVANCES THEOLOGY BEYOND BONHOEFFER. THE NOVEL “PANFLICK” IS THE FIRST ANTI-AUTOMOBILE FICTION.

You’ll want to give copies away. All are available as books or e-books. Buy e-books at $6 to start. I will refund $6 to your Paypal account if you are not utterly satisfied. Find out more and purchase at the links below.

“ABBA’S WAY” | “BEYOND CREED” | “PANFLICK”

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obama

Russ Feingold Why NO on FISA?

About | Obama Diary | 538.com | Fight Smears | Fact Check

Russ Feingold Why NO on FISA. I include the following instructive video from Senator Feingold not because I agree with his position but because he does provide the rationale for the House-passed compromise that the Senate will consider following the July 4 break.

As I indicated in my initial post about FISA, the final chapter on Barack Obama’s FISA involvement has yet to be written. I fully expect that he will make a final decision and detail his reasoning prior to voting on the FISA measure.

Here is the Feingold video:


SOURCE

Here is more, with helpful links and a look at the prospects for FISA and at amendments that could be offered. One could argue that FISA will drag out over the summer and beyond.

Here are pages, starting with the original, that include text and videos illuminating some of the thinking that justifies supporting the compromise measure that was passed in the House.

Obama+FISA+Lincoln

RANDI RHODES MAKES SENSE AS USUAL ON FISA. (Video)

<JONATHAN ALTER EXPLAINS OBAMA’S FISA POSITION TO RANDI RHODES (video) and SHEILA JACKSON LEE ROASTS THE SENATE FOR STALLING ON FISA

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MCCAIN FACES PROBLEMS. As is often the case, the best analysis comes from across the pond.

For specific campaign-related and other topics, please use the SEARCH BLOG field to your upper left. LABELS

OBAMA ON THE ISSUES — GO TO THE SOURCE, NOT WHAT YOU HEAR OUT THERE
Civil Rights | Disabilities | Economy } Education } Energy & Environment | Ethics | Faith | Family | Fiscal | Foreign Policy | Healthcare | Homeland Security | Immigration | Iraq | Poverty | Rural | Service | Seniors & Social Security | Technology | Urban Policy | Veterans | Women | Additional Issues | The Blueprint for Change

obama

Obama Blog

Kiva

Listen to my song “We Are All Americans”

MY THREE MOST RECENT BOOKS ARE GROUND-BREAKING. “ABBA’S WAY” ANTICIPATES THE OBAMA ERA. “BEYOND CREED” ADVANCES THEOLOGY BEYOND BONHOEFFER. THE NOVEL “PANFLICK” IS THE FIRST ANTI-AUTOMOBILE FICTION.

You’ll want to give copies away. All are available as books or e-books. Buy e-books at $6 to start. I will refund $6 to your Paypal account if you are not utterly satisfied. Find out more and purchase at the links below.

“ABBA’S WAY” | “BEYOND CREED” | “PANFLICK”

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obama

More Than A Mortgage Crisis

About | Obama Diary | 538.com | Fight Smears | Fact Check

More Than A Mortgage Crisis? Absolutely. This is a crisis that relates to tastelessness, bad planning, egregiously bad design, phony greed, warped aspiration, truncated choice and national myopia that would reduce a latter-day H. L. Mencken to blathering tears.

Let me parse each of the terms I have used to describe our current and still-unfolding crisis.

Tastelessness. There is perhaps no example of architectural depravity more clear and transparent than the bilious design and execution of the BIG HOUSE. The home with umpteen bedrooms and all manner of ancillary chambers that is a cross between gingerbread and drab cardboard with ornamentation that would induce retching if it was not so pervasive and therefore passively accepted. When one puts tons of these together, we end up with serial cemeteries for the living.

Bad Planning. One cannot say that this bad planning was accidental. Ah, no. Our social and economic stratification has driven our metro-sprawl, ensuring that we will proliferate over the landscape like some spreading toxic wave, without once confusing anyone as to the alienation that continues to be produced as yesterday’s little boxes become today’s bigger boxes. Of course, the farther away from the job centers, the more miles to money and the more chance of bankruptcy due to the acceptance of criminally-presented loan terms which are no more accidental than the sad shape of our expanding strip cities.

Egregiously Bad Design This sort of design is slavishly subservient to the private automobile and generally designs everything to assure the car’s supremacy, well above the supremacy of human beings. Bad design is based on an inability to understand that history is based on self-evident realities that are so common and accepted that no one notices them. Our self-evident reality is enslavement by the private car. We will never have design that restores a human scale, that places human well-being above automotive dominance, until a divine intervention occurs. Making our economy tank is a start.

Phony Greed. Phony greed is the worst kind of greed because you end up panting for things that turn out to be worthless, or nearly so. Take the greed for space. An extra room or two. Room for an extra car. The whole legerdemain of marketing applied to intimate financial decision making and run through the skein of realtor and banker greed until what is left is millions and millions of CONTRACTS that include perks that are worthless and provisions designed to defeat one’s capacity to set one foot ahead of the other. And one can be reasonably certain that in this sad human greed parade the least are the most hammered. And the only thing worse than the phoniness is the false sympathy of those who left with the most coin.

Warped Aspiration.
We all start out saying we want the best. Marriages start. Families proceed apace. Pets are acquired. And then the hammering starts. Responsibilities. Choices. What can we afford? How much can we afford to borrow? Is this really what we want? How did we end up in this neighborhood? How did we end up believing this superstition? Falling in with these people? Help! My aspirations are seriously warped. I am in danger of not being able to tell a story about myself that I can live with. All that remains is for one to be sufficiently warped and photogenic that the media descend and tell the story of another who is in the process of falling through the cracks. Sometimes these warped aspirations end up in random violence. Often in not so random automobile accidents. More and more in descent into destructive behavior ranging from gluttony to abuse to self-denigration. More than a mortgage crisis, for sure.

Truncated Choice.
This is a big one. The older we get the more we reflect on our past choices. Every turn might have led to a different result. Depending on who we are and the resources we have, choice is wider or narrower. The flip side of choice is necessity. We live in a city of choice or a city of necessity. When choice gets truncated, we are more anxious or withdrawn or depressed. I do not intend to provide simple diagnoses here. Only to open up the problem — to show that we are in more than a mortgage crisis.

When choice is truncated, the actual choices are less and less appealing. The rich man or woman can endure multiple failures and still have enough to proceed, chin up, to further calamities. Debtors have no such luxury. The happiness sometimes ascribed to the poorest may simply be the absence of illusion and the capacity to see things whole without dwelling on choices one does not have. For most, however, a diminishing field of choice is a definite downer.

Finally:

National Myopia
Myopia is he opposite of being far-sighted, of being able to peer into the future, to see what is coming. The end of oil has been visible for a century and more and is now existentially accessible as a reality for all with eyes to see. What is NOT seen is that our solutions need to at least be open to some redesign of how we live.

The change I believe in is enough move toward trust that we can have a radical expansion of public transit, a radical redesign of human settlement so they are not atomized and deleterious to the earth, a radical increase in the reclamation of PUBLIC space so that it is a net PLUS rather than an interval between the gated realities of rampant privatization.

I could go on.

It is a theme of this blog that we have failed to consider the design we need to create human settlements that will work for everyone. And that the best political proposals in the world will not work unless our settlements are created to enable goods and services and intellectual and spiritual inputs to get to people in a natural and obvious way.


Pattern Language Onsite Links

Cascadia Living Building Challenge Challenged

Barack Obama’s Apollo Project

The Timeless Way of Building — A Signpost

Our Crisis is Not Economic

Alex Steffen Hits The Nail on The Head in Business Week

Common Sense on Human Settlements

Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language

This consigns big separated houses to some nether world and celebrates communities of 5-10K built around pedestrian areas, ecologically OK (green) with health and education and culture integrated into the neighborhood.

None of this can happen until existing polities (zoning) become loose enough to enable some rebuilding, some redesign, some reclamation of the human in the midst of our rampant creation of dysfunctional realms.

More than a mortgage crisis?

Yep.

A human crisis. And if we are to have change we can believe in, it needs to begin with creating MODELS of a future that is integral. Or else we are condemned to more of the same, and no real change.

SHEILA JACKSON LEE FAULTS SENATE FOR STALLING ON HOUSE-PASSED FISA COMPROMISE.

KINDRED SPIRIT: Car free communities.

YESTERDAY: How Obama Wins The Middle (plus) HUSSEIN NAME CHANGES NOTED IN NYTIMES and RANDI RHODES MAKES SENSE AS USUAL. For specific campaign-related and other topics, please use the SEARCH BLOG field to your upper left. LABELS

OBAMA ON THE ISSUES — GO TO THE SOURCE, NOT WHAT YOU HEAR OUT THERE

Civil Rights | Disabilities | Economy } Education } Energy & Environment | Ethics | Faith | Family | Fiscal | Foreign Policy | Healthcare | Homeland Security | Immigration | Iraq | Poverty | Rural | Service | Seniors & Social Security | Technology | Urban Policy | Veterans | Women | Additional Issues | The Blueprint for Change

Send a Personal Email to Stephen C. Rose

obama

Obama Blog

Kiva

Listen to my song “We Are All Americans”

MY THREE MOST RECENT BOOKS ARE GROUND-BREAKING. “ABBA’S WAY” ANTICIPATES THE OBAMA ERA. “BEYOND CREED” ADVANCES THEOLOGY BEYOND BONHOEFFER. THE NOVEL “PANFLICK” IS THE FIRST ANTI-AUTOMOBILE FICTION.

You’ll want to give copies away. All are available as books or e-books. Buy e-books at $6 to start. I will refund $6 to your Paypal account if you are not utterly satisfied. Find out more and purchase at the links below.

“ABBA’S WAY” | “BEYOND CREED” | “PANFLICK”

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obama

How Obama Wins The Middle

About | Obama Diary | 538.com | Fight Smears | Fact Check

How Barack Obama Wins The Middle.

Face it — the message is not there yet,

For McCain we have the 2000 McCain being trumped by the 2008 model, trying to synch with the very people he despised in 2000. Giving little sign that he cares much about any position he takes, rather than about its current traction.

For Barack it is a case of feast AND famine. He has issues and positions knocked, as any visitor to this page can grasp by clicking on the issues links below. But people still can’t tell who he is and whether he will be an ineffective liberal, even if he has a majority, or an artful creator of a progressive centrism which can actually bring about significant change.

This page is concerned with the Obama problem. We know, if we listen, that Barack’s priorities are health care, addressing climate change amd winding down the war in Iraq. But that does not cut it.

The reason is that we do not have a CODE down. What should that code be?

FAMILIES —

Safe streets, successful marriages, cultural solidarity and vibrant religious and civic institutions make working-class Americans more likely to be wealthy, healthy and upwardly mobile. Public disorder, family disintegration, cultural fragmentation and civic and religious disaffection, on the other hand, breed downward mobility and financial strain — which in turn breeds further social dislocation, in a vicious cycle that threatens to transform a working class into an underclass. SOURCE

Barack needs to cast everything he says into this rhetorical frame, with UPWARD FAMILY MOBILITY the goal. With making neighborhoods secure and safe. With strengtening marriages — an argument for equalizing salaries between men and women. With strengthening of cultural and religious institutions. With reducing financial strain BECAUSE it enables families to look forward with confidence, etc.

PRO-MARKET —

Don’t confuse “being pro-market with being pro-business, … failing to distinguish between spending that fosters dependency and spending that fosters independence and upward mobility, and by shrinking from the admittedly difficult task of reforming the welfare state so that it serves the interests of the working class rather than the affluent.” SOURCE

This is delicate. The goal is to show how Barack’s pay-as-you-go programs, with liberal use of tax credits and incentives, is NOT some wasteful boondoggle, but an economic policy that aims at making families more independent, not HELPING but rather giving a hand up, investing in the future, putting government at the side of families. Working to strengthen markets in order to strengthen families.
MAKING PROGRESS WORK FOR EVERYONE As with the quotes above, I am drawing from Norman Ornstein’s review of GRAND NEW PARTY How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream. By Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam. 244 pp. Doubleday. $23.95.

They advocate a family-friendly tax reform that vastly expands the child tax credit and provides both pension credits for household labor and tuition credits for years spent rearing children. They call for improving the stock of affordable housing and also for “progressive cost-sharing,” so that more out-of-pocket health costs are paid by the well-to-do. They want a reduction in payroll taxes for lower-income workers in return for means-testing Social Security benefits, along with wage subsidies for low-income workers to make less-educated single male workers more desirable marriage partners. They draw ideas from the Brookings Institution’s neoliberal Hamilton Project and from the Clinton administration (adding “thousands of new police officers” sounds suspiciously like the Clintonian promise of 100,000 new cops on the street that drew ridicule from Republicans in the 1990s).

Their remedies are meant to be suggestions rather than concrete proposals. But most of these ideas will resonate more with progressive pragmatists like Ron Wyden and Barney Frank and eclectic Republicans like Chuck Hagel and Arnold Schwarzenegger than with conservative Republican leaders like John Boehner or Mitch McConnell. SOURCE

ADDENDA —

The Roosevelt majority helped save the ideal of a self-sufficient working class, which had been central to American life from the beginning. And it did so by mixing economic liberalism with social conservatism, a potent political combination that raised America’s working class, our democracy’s natural political majority, to heights of security and self-confidence unseen before and since.SOURCE

Maternalist thinkers — Jane Addams, Josephine Baker, Julia Lathrop, Florence Kelley, and Frances Kellor, among several others — devised a highly original ideological synthesis to address the threat that industrialization posed to the working class. Addams’s famous Hull House defended the interests of women and children by attacking poverty’s roots in social atomization, and the network of Settlement Houses that imitated Hull House’s success were incubators for policy innovation on a national scale. Their founders pushed for child labor laws, for public schools that taught homemaking as well as bookkeeping, for campaigns to reduce infant and maternal mortality, and for symbolic statements like the establishment of Mother’s Day. They tugged at the heartstrings of American voters, framing their cause as a simple matter of “baby-saving.” As Lillian Wald, founder of the Henry Street Settlement, put it, “If the government can have a department to take such an interest in the cotton crop, why can’t it have a bureau to look after the nation’s child crop?” SOURCE

This is food for thought for the framing of a centrist-progressive message for Barack Obama, one that will resonate with the bitter and suspicious middle. One that has the consistency and simplicity of a three point message, where the issues and policies are referred to as means to the end, not ends in themselves.

The ends in themselves would be:

FAMILIES MADE MORE SECURE

A MARKET THAT WORKS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE — GIVING A HAND UP, NOT A HAND OUT

and

GOING FORWARD NOT BACKWARD — PROGRESS FOR ALL

RANDI RHODES MAKES SENSE AS USUAL

HUSSEIN NAME CHANGES NOTED IN NYTIMES.

YESTERDAY: Are FISA Hissy Fits Premature? (Plus) GROVER NORQUIST PLAYS THE RACE CARD WITH MALICE AFORETHOUGHT, PREFIGURING REPUBLICAN ELECTION STANCE and MCCAIN ON OFFSHORE DRILLING (Video) and MCCAIN DEALS WITH THE AGE QUESTION AND CALLS QUESTIONER A LITTLE JERK (Video) and MCCAIN COVERS UP POW INFORMATION, VETS TESTIFY (Video) For specific campaign-related and other topics, please use the SEARCH BLOG field to your upper left. LABELS

OBAMA ON THE ISSUES — GO TO THE SOURCE, NOT WHAT YOU HEAR OUT THERE

Civil Rights | Disabilities | Economy } Education } Energy & Environment | Ethics | Faith | Family | Fiscal | Foreign Policy | Healthcare | Homeland Security | Immigration | Iraq | Poverty | Rural | Service | Seniors & Social Security | Technology | Urban Policy | Veterans | Women | Additional Issues | The Blueprint for Change

Send a Personal Email to Stephen C. Rose

obama

Obama Blog

Kiva

Listen to my song “We Are All Americans”

MY THREE MOST RECENT BOOKS ARE GROUND-BREAKING. “ABBA’S WAY” ANTICIPATES THE OBAMA ERA. “BEYOND CREED” ADVANCES THEOLOGY BEYOND BONHOEFFER. THE NOVEL “PANFLICK” IS THE FIRST ANTI-AUTOMOBILE FICTION.

You’ll want to give copies away. All are available as books or e-books. Buy e-books at $6 to start. I will refund $6 to your Paypal account if you are not utterly satisfied. Find out more and purchase at the links below.

“ABBA’S WAY” | “BEYOND CREED” | “PANFLICK”

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Longevity

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