Fair. Balanced. American.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Faces of Change: Lilly Ledbetter's Equal Pay Story

Elections matter. This presidency mattered. This week marked the seventh anniversary of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Richard Pryor

An excerpt from an interview of one of America's greatest social commentators and its very greatest standup comedian.

Interviewer: What picture would you paint?

Pryor: I have a picture for instance of once I was in a church and Jesus was on the cross and he said, 'Psst! Come here. Get me down. I been up here two thousand years. I'm tryin' to get to the graveyard.' And I took him off the cross and we were leaving the church together and alarms went off and great searchlights went off all over the cathedral and the monks came out and jumped on us and they started beating us up. And they took him and put him back on the cross and they threw me out and I said, 'I'm gonna tell!'. And as they were throwing me out the door the monks say, 'Who's gonna believe you nigger?'

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Telling a thousand words...

Sent by intrepid reader G., this cartoon remains the best summary of the ugliness of the later stages of her 2008 campaign, particularly in Southern states, not to mention Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Let's hope she does better, a lot better, next time.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

From FDR's first re-election campaign

Given at Madison Square Garden on October 31, 1936
For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.

I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.

The American people know from a four-year record that today there is only one entrance to the White House—by the front door. Since March 4, 1933, there has been only one pass-key to the White House. I have carried that key in my pocket. It is there tonight. So long as I am President, it will remain in my pocket.

Those who used to have pass-keys are not happy. Some of them are desperate. Only desperate men with their backs to the wall would descend so far below the level of decent citizenship as to foster the current pay-envelope campaign against America’s working people. Only reckless men, heedless of consequences, would risk the disruption of the hope for a new peace between worker and employer by returning to the tactics of the labor spy.

Here is an amazing paradox! The very employers and politicians and publishers who talk most loudly of class antagonism and the destruction of the American system now undermine that system by this attempt to coerce the votes of the wage earners of this country. It is the 1936 version of the old threat to close down the factory or the office if a particular candidate does not win. It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. [...]

Here and now I want to make myself clear about those who disparage their fellow citizens on the relief rolls. They say that those on relief are not merely jobless—that they are worthless. Their solution for the relief problem is to end relief—to purge the rolls by starvation. To use the language of the stock broker, our needy unemployed would be cared for when, as, and if some fairy godmother should happen on the scene.

You and I will continue to refuse to accept that estimate of our unemployed fellow Americans. Your Government is still on the same side of the street with the Good Samaritan and not with those who pass by on the other side.

You can listen to the speech here.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

A humble dog's revenge

Courtesy of a reader in Daily Kos: "the dog drove Mitt home."

To be fair, that was quite possibly the best concession speech since Mondale. The difference is that Mondale would have been an excellent president.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Mixed signals in Wisconsin.

The Obama campaign sent out an offer so volunteers from Chicago who canvas in Iowa or Wisconsin this weekend get credentials to the president's election night gathering at McCormick Place (Chicago's big convention center; no Grant Park festivities this year).

Yesterday, Wisconsin was flooded with volunteers: Racine and Kenosha got people driving up, and busses left for Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay. 

Some field offices were able to go through all canvassing turfs twice, but the race is very tight...

Romney doesn't have a campaign as coordinated as this, but there is a simple visceral hatred towards Obama from many white voters who will be voting for Romney...

When you talk with them - for example, a mom with small children at home in an aging house outside an industrial area - they find *any* reason to hate Obama or discredit any achievements (many taken from FoxNews): Bush began the auto bailouts, the Navy Seals killed bin Laden and not Obama, whatever.

At the end of the day, they rationalize a deep-seated hatred of him that comes from repeated demonization and most likely his color.

I have no idea how many of these types of voters there are, but I'm meeting a lot more of them than when I volunteered in similar areas of Northwest Indiana back in 2008.

"Promises Kept"

"We will finish what we started"

Volunteer to get out the vote (you can make calls from your own home) here. Last minute donations can be made here.