The Christian Science Monitor
May 30, 2015
The race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination just got broader and more interesting.
Martin O’Malley, former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor, formally tossed his hat into the ring Saturday - ideologically somewhere between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and with an emphasis on his relative youth (52), at least compared to the other two declared hopefuls (67 and 73, respectively).
“Martin O’Malley ought to be a Democrat’s dream candidate,” Molly Ball wrote in the Atlantic in December. “In two terms as the governor of Maryland, he’s ushered in a sweeping liberal agenda that includes gay marriage, gun control, an end to the death penalty, and in-state college tuition for undocumented immigrants. He’s trim and handsome; he plays in an Irish rock band; he even served as the basis for a character on The Wire.”
At the moment, however, he barely registers in polls - 0.8 percent at the tail end of a list of seven names mentioned, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average. Even Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chaffee (expected to announce June 3) does better.
What’s more, Mr. O’Malley starts out with other big challenges, a main one being the (so far) lack of big-time political funders.
And as Politico puts it: “The run-up to his launch here could hardly have been worse, complicated in recent weeks by unrest in the city where he served as mayor and the unexpected early momentum of another Hillary Clinton challenger: Bernie Sanders…. who so far has captured the imagination of progressives looking for a Clinton alternative.”
When Leon Panetta goes out for book interviews, the emphasis of course is on the drama, the disagreements. When the Gates book came out, same thing. But when I read the Gates book I saw the full context and realized there was really no big thing there. No huge surprises, just a deeper look at issues in the book and an interview sales tour. Drama added for sales.
Charles had said Panetta is just pandering to the RW nuts. Well maybe, but after a look at his Wiki and bio, he seems a very unlikely person to try to appeal to that crowd. But maybe for sales dollars it’s true. (Do right wingers dominate book sales that strongly?!?) Now though we have another democrat, a former President with arguably the most successful record ever in the middle east chiming in in a similar vein.
I think we have to accept they may be right, and not worry about the truth needing an English to partisan translator because of the mid terms. Or to support the President. When you support a leader you must understand there will be mistakes, setbacks. Good leadership learns and changes as needed. I think we will see that in this instance as well.
Former President Jimmy Carter said President Barack Obama “waited too long” to go after ISIS and criticized what he described as the president’s changing foreign policy.
“First of all, we waited too long. We let the Islamic State build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria,” Carter told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in an interview published Tuesday. The 39th president was in Texas working on a Habitat for Humanity project.
“Then when [ISIS] moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn’t object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned,” he continued.
Politicians love to tout their humble beginnings, but Lucy Flores’ are of a different order altogether—and her commitment to springing people from the trap of urban poverty that much greater.
Flores urges everyone to tweet about her fundraiser—a Cinco de Mayo party featuring hot street tacos and beer—at #FiestaForFlores. She tells how her father brought his family to Vegas after his two eldest sons were killed in gang violence in Los Angeles, how her dad loves music and she does too, which is a good thing because it was one of the only positive outlets she had growing up. “I was a very, very bad kid,” she says.
Then she lays into her first song. It’s “Por un Amor”—and there are no pinstripes, no flag pins, no corn dogs, just the six-member Mariachi de Mexico band fronted by a beautiful 34-year-old woman in a black dress that hits well above her knees, in sky-high stacked heels, a green tattoo on her ankle, her body trembling with vibrato:
Por un amor he llorado gotitas de sangre del corazón…
“Gracias!” shouts Flores four songs later, before stepping down from the stage to do the more traditional political work of pressing the flesh, of introducing herself to her constituency.
Sitting in the back of the police cruiser after the arrest for assaulting her mother, Flores thought she’d reached one of those ends: “It was over. I’d tried.” But to her shock, her parole officer recommended that instead of throwing the girl back in jail, the judge remand her to her father. “The thing about Lucy is that I felt like she was listening to me,” says that parole officer, Leslie Camp, by phone. “Lucy was trying to do the right thing, and I told her as much: ‘You’re making some mistakes, doing things you shouldn’t be doing, but it’s really not you.’” The two remain in touch, and Camp says that despite being a staunch Republican, she’ll be voting for her ex-parolee in November because she knows that “her heart’s in the right place.”
I would vote for her just because she sings Mariachi, but oh my goodness, read the rest of her story! Lucy Flores - Gang Girl to Governor - Elle
Here is her campaign website.
Here’s a little something from her Twitter account, in case you want to follow her:
What’s odd about it is that for so long, it was Democrats who were thought to lack an understanding of the role identity and values play in politics. I certainly thought that. What I used to say when hectoring audiences of liberals is that, with a few exceptions (such as Bill Clinton), for a long time it seemed that elections would proceed this way: The Democrat would say, “If you read my 10-point plan, I believe you will see that I offer a superior choice to my opponent.” And the Republican would point to the Democrat and say, “That guy hates you and everything you stand for.” Candidates such as John Kerry, Al Gore and Michael Dukakis (sample quote: “This election isn’t about ideology. It’s about competence.”) just didn’t get it.
I think the answer is that Republicans can still play identity politics; the problem is that identity appeals can’t capture a majority of voters for them anymore, at least not nationally (on the local and state level, when they’re appealing to smaller groups of voters, it still works perfectly well). Ironically, it’s because they’re more defined by identity than ever — an identity as the party of old white guys — that they are stymied when they try to figure out how to play identity politics that goes beyond that demographic.
Photo from Facebook.
When a Bishop named Jorge from Buenos Aires took the name Francis, he made an immediate connection with Santa Fe. But when Pope Francis visited Brazil recently, he spoke directly to me, when he said, “who am I to judge?”
You see, when you come from a traditional family with deep roots in this community, the process of accepting that you are gay is complicated with fears about disappointing those you love, or becoming disconnected with a sense of place that is as much a part of me as my sexuality.
Growing up in this town, I felt myself fully embraced by la herencia, the traditional ways that defined the history of Santa Fe. Much of it is beautiful, a celebration of family, a spirit of community, a sense of obligation to those who came before us and responsibility to those who come after us. Knowing you are a part of a continuum gives a young person a sense of place and a sense of pride. These are all gifts I hope to pass on to my two daughters.
But along with that sense of pride also comes, real or perceived, the hint that those who step away from the expected path would be judged poorly, seen as unappreciative or disrespectful, or worse.
So I gathered the courage to speak with my parents, who responded with a much needed abrazo. I spoke to my friends, who after an initial awkward silence, asked, where are we going for lunch? I spoke to my daughters, who like many in their generation, asked what the big deal was.
Read the whole thing here: Familia Es Familia: My Renewed Faith in Santa Fe
I hadn’t seen the website ‘Familia es Familia’ before. Here’s a welcome from Dolores Huerta.
The name of New Mexico’s capital, Santa Fe, means ‘holy faith’, so there’s a resonance in the title of the essay. Funny name for a car, though.
Hat tip to NM Telegram.
By George Skelton Capitol Journal
March 4, 2013
SACRAMENTO — “Too white, too right and too uptight,” says a veteran political consultant. “That’s why the Republican Party can’t come back in California.”
Strategist David Townsend is a Democrat, so that’s the sort of comment you would expect from the likes of him.
Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush’s chief strategist, told a luncheon of about 500 delegates Saturday that the GOP needs to reflect the diversity of America. “If we do, we’ll succeed.”
U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, California’s highest-ranking Republican, told the Sacramento Press Club on Friday that the party “should embrace a little bit of libertarianism.”
In this town where tragedy relaunched the nation’s debate over gun violence, people on all sides of the political divide expressed support Wednesday for President Obama’s proposals to ban assault weapons and establish tighter background checks for gun buyers.
“It shouldn’t be a Democratic or a Republican issue,” said Marsha Moskowitz, a Democrat who supports the president’s proposals. “It’s a human issue. It’s about humanity.”
First Selectman Pat Llodra, a Republican who is Newtown’s chief executive, said she supports them, too.
Llodra, who attended Obama’s announcement, was in Washington meeting with mayors who support efforts to reduce gun violence, improve mental health policies and address school safety needs
“We are past the time for political ideology or rhetoric — this is the time for change,” Llodra said in a written statement to USA TODAY. “It should not be an issue of Democrats or Republicans — the I-say-yes, so-you-say-no nonsense we have all witnessed the past few years.”
In last year’s presidential election, Newtown voted for Republican Mitt Romney. In 2008, Obama won most of the Newtown vote.
Powell’s in the same boat I am — I voted for the GOP presidential candidate in the 7 elections prior to 2012. I’m now a registered Democrat, and it’s unlikely that I will vote for a Republican anytime soon.
More: Powell on Racism
More at Politics USA politicususa.com
This January, Arizona will send a very different type of Congresswoman to Washington, D.C. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was a social worker who rose quickly through the state legislature.
She also grew up homeless for a time.
And now, at 36, she’s about to hit the national stage as the first person to represent Arizona’s new 9th Congressional District.
On a rainy Saturday morning in December, Sinema sat with her legs dangling from a table at a Phoenix coffee shop.
“So we won the election,” she said, eliciting laughter and applause from about a dozen supporters. “That was good.”
Sinema’s also got a place to live in Washington, D.C., and a new Congressional office.
She told her audience that she marvels at the number of women, minorities and members of the LGBT community that will join her in the freshman class.
“I’m really proud of the Democratic caucus,” said Sinema, who will be the first openly bisexual member of Congress. “I look around in our meetings and I think ‘we really look like America.’”
Read it all. It’s good and not too long. There’s also an audio clip at the link.
Then, if you want more, Peter O’Dowd has added a blog post with a link to Sinema’s Ph.D. thesis.
Representative-elect Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat with a Ph.D., is heading to Congress early next year.
While I was writing a profile about Sinema that’s set to air this week, I came across her doctoral dissertation on the Rwandan genocide. Sinema finished the degree at Arizona State University’s School of Social Justice this year. (Yes, she also ran successfully for Congress in 2012.)
The treatise is 251 pages long and not really relevant for the radio story. But I’m posting it here for a few reasons:
You really need to punch out to view this full screen.