Benny's World

Saturday, November 08, 2008

President-Elect Obama: the American Mutt

Yesterday, our president-elect held his first press conference. Lots of questions about the economy and what kind of steps Obama might take. He actually answered the questions more about approaches he is considering. Funny how I used to get annoyed by those kinds of answers during the primaries, but now I find them refreshing.

What is more refreshing is how Obama is so comfortable in his own skin in discussing matters of race. When asked about what kind of puppy the Obama family wants, he answered it smiling with an off-the-cuff comment:

Obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me. So whether we're going to be able to balance those two things, I think, is a pressing issue on the Obama household.

No wonder the Humane Society endorsed Obama this year--the first time it had ever endorsed a candidate for the presidence. He had been a leader in legislation to strengthen animal shelters and strengthen penalties to those who are cruel to animals. The above picture has him holding a dog who was rescued and has only three legs.

I think Obama is going to make a lot of us more comfortable in talking about our" mutts" --human or animal. Put a little love in your hearts, as the song goes. Here's a version by Mary Mary.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Merci Dieu for Jeff Merkley

Jeff Merkley, Speaker of the House for Oregon and originally a JRE backer, won a US senate seat today against incumbent Gordon "I'm for Obama" Smith, a Rethug.

Merkley supports UHC and wants to be on the forefront of energy and environmental issues.

My pal Sarah Lane has been his online Communications Director since the summer, and had a blast working for him. Maybe she is DC bound?

Congrats to Jeff Merkley. Go get 'em!

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Leaving Lubbock with the Future at Hand

I haven't had time to blog about my thoughts about the results of the election. Naturally, I'm pleased, especially being in a blood red town that is so divisive and racist about Obama's landslide win. I think it's time GOP get rid of the Karl Rove playbook. It doesn't win elections anymore, and it is time we got our country to work together to solve some huge problems.

Rachel Maddow pointed out some election ceilings that were broken through by the Democrats in the GE and I am adding a few of my own:

1) Democrats were elected during a time of war, first since LBJ
2) Democrats and independents elected an African-American, a true bi-racial President
3) Democrats elected a president and VP who have not officially served in the military, but heavily endorsed by many generals, including Colin Powell and Wesley Clark, which means Democrats can be elected on national security issues
4) Democrats had the best slate of candidates compared to the Republicans. John Edwards was one of them and he pushed the envelope with his ideas, which were laid out well in advance. His ideas (and passion about them) made Clinton and Obama better candidates
5) Democrats knew how to fight back against smears this time, and did it through the grassroots
6) Democrats have more elected moderate Congresspeople than the Republicans did--most of their folks are far more right than Dems who are left centered
7) Democrats had more of the youth vote than ever before
8) Democrats were able to turn blue the following states: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina (last was 1976 there), New Mexico, and Nevada
9) Democrats were able to get two senators elected, the first time in nearly 50 years

To my fellow Lubbockites, I'm sorry you are disappointed in John McCain not winning. Actually, I understand why you would have voted for him because of his "can do", entrepreneurial (almost)-like spirit. Lubbock has grown and diversified in terms of its economy. It's not hurting as bad as many places, so the fear of taxation bothers them if they are making over 250K.

But what conservative Lubbockites don't understand is that we cannot rely on charity to take care of the sick, working poor and elderly. Social Security would have gone down the drain if it had been thrown into the stock market. Taxation pays for the public good includes having police, safe water, new roads, libraries, schools, and universities. If the public good is rebranded socialism, so be it. The government represents we the people, and the people have decided that our current bloated government is doing some harm by investing too much in a war that should have not been started in the first place. We the People have decided we want to reinvest in infrastructure, education, and working towards a greener world for the sake of world peace and security.

My nephew (who is 26) wrote my brother to say he voted on Tuesday, and stood in line for an hour. He was proud to do his civic duty. While his candidate didn't win, he's not bitter; he's happy his generation turned out to vote and as long as we come together, it doesn't matter whom one voted for. My nephew closed his note, "How you could not like a Hawaiian?" Hawaii is one of his and my brother's favorite places to visit when they have resources and time to go.

When my mother and I watched Keith Olbermann declare that MSNBC predicted the election for Obama on Tuesday, we were stunned at the timing. We didn't expect all three of the West Coast States to flip that fast shortly after 10pm CDT. Our reaction: we weren't excited or overly happy. I think our mood matched tones of the MSNBC crew and later, Obama's speech. Our moods were more of reflection. In spite of a big moment in history, Obama's speech was very tempering. To paraphrase Obama, "the road will be long, the climb steep, and all of us are needed." My mother and I broke a smile when we saw Joe Biden walk out with his confident, contagious smile. We realized then it had to be true.

Welcome President-Elect Obama and Vice-President-Elect Biden.

Yes-we-can! And we are all in this together.

(photo courtesy of Pradagirl on Flickr)

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes, Lubbock does have one Progressive Neighborhood

This is at 26th and Boston, Tech Terrace area.

At this wateringhole, I shared a table to use the Hotspot with another Progressive. An older man talked to both of us about Obama. He said he wasn't voting for McCain, but Palin. We nearly fainted. He reminds me of the conservative men Kathleen Parker described a couple of weeks ago as to why they vote for Sarah Palin: "she's pretty and I don't care otherwise."

Go Joebama and Obiden!

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Being in Lubbock

It's 4:30 AM in Lubbock on the Monday after, and the world is revolving around the Texas Tech Raiders, who were victorious over the Long-horn-Bevos. Yeah, BW readers can tell from my snark: Bevo got BBQ'd Sat night, and that was fine with me. "Bevo can bite my a$$" as the sayin' goes from college days.

Why the snark? I remember when Daryl Royal and his ILK marched into then Jones Stadium and slaughtered our Red Raiders over and over. Bevo was brought in a decade later and deficated in the field. What snobbery!

Tech is now number 2 or 3 in the polls. And I will tell you Daryl Royal, "How sweet... it... is."


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