PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

November 3, 2008

Obama’s Grandmother dies of Cancer

Filed under: HI Politics — Tags: , — BobSchacht @ 1:30 pm

The national blogosphere is abuzz with the news of the death of Obama’s grandmother, known as “Toot,” which apparently is how Obama shortened the Hawaiian “Tutu”. There have been leading posts on the event at DailyKos (with a number of other diaries on the subject as well), MyDD, FireDogLake, and other progressive blogs.

The Huffington Post also has a relatively long AP article,  Obama’s Grandmother Dies At Age 86, by Herbert Sample. This article includes 8 historic photos, most of which I had not seen elsewhere.

When Obama visited his Grandmother a week or so ago, the newspaper accounts only said that she was back from the hospital after breaking her hip, but the news today was that she died of cancer.  Obama’s mother died of cancer, as well.  Obama looked grim on this last trip, so I’m supposing that he knew how gravely ill his ‘Toot” was. I’m so glad that he got back in time to say thanks again, and goodbye.

We all owe Madelyn Payne Dunham a debt of gratitude for raising a President for the Twenty-First Century– assuming that he is elected. If so, ISTM he will be the first real 21st Century President that we’ve had. I don’t think George the Pretender counts. In any case, he governed (I use the word loosely) with a 20th century mindset.

Bob

February 20, 2008

Hawaii Caucus Retrospective

As a precinct president, I helped staff my Democratic Caucus in Honolulu (District 25), and it was a phenomenal night! I brought a friend with a disability and arrived early, about 5:30 (voting was to begin at 7 PM). At that time, almost everyone there was a volunteer worker, but soon people coming to vote were arriving early. People had gotten word of a possible huge turnout. We had a huge line of new voters, and another huge line of people registering as Democrats for the first time— so many that we ran out of Democratic Party registration forms! If we had designed the influx better, we might have had a third line for registered voters who are already members of the Democratic party, but weren’t sure which precinct they were in (we could have processed everyone faster.) Some came expecting to vote early, registered, and then had to leave before voting even began.

Everyone had to go to their precinct table to await the official time for the caucus vote, 7:00 – 7:30 PM. Our tables were filled to overflowing. Some precincts quickly ran out of Precinct Sign-in forms, and I barely had enough. The procedure was that when the District Chair gave the go-ahead, everyone had to get a ballot from a precinct officer and vote. Unfortunately, we had no microphone or loudspeakers in the room full of hundreds of people! The poor district chair had to try to shout over the din to let us know when it was time to vote. Once balloting started at 7:00, there was mayhem for a while. There were FOUR names on the ballot: Clinton and Obama, of course, but also Kucinich and Edwards, even though they had dropped out, and “Uncommitted.”
(more…)

January 30, 2008

Kucinich Out, Edwards Out: What Next?

The withdrawal of Dennis Kucinich, followed by today’s announcement of Edwards’ “suspension” of his campaign, forces progressives to assess our diminishing options in the Democratic presidential race. We have choices to make as individuals, and PDH has a choice to make as an organization. And the imperatives may not be the same.

So let me talk about the options facing PDH. Given my sense of opinion within our group, I can see 3 possible options: (more…)

January 28, 2008

Edwards, Obama support Dodd on FISA

Filed under: Barack Obama,John Edwards,National Politics — Tags: , , , — BobSchacht @ 10:27 pm

In the wake of Monday’s votes on cloture of several bills to revise the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), it was heartening to see both senatorial presidential candidates, Obama and Clinton, vote “no” on the first cloture vote with Sen. Dodd and almost all other Democrats.

Of the remaining presidential candidates, Edwards, with some encouragement from the netroots, got it first. In a letter sent out on January 24, customized for each state, he wrote, (more…)

January 20, 2008

Detailed comparison of Obama & Edwards

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama,John Edwards — Tags: , , , — BobSchacht @ 10:48 pm

Kossak RenaRF, who supports Obama, wrote a long post over on dKos dated Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:26:23 PM PST, which begins,

I am sick to DEATH of seeing people – individuals who I would have otherwise said I found intelligent, well-read, and thoughtful – knocking Barack Obama for being all hope without substance behind the oratory. Have you finally sunk so low in your blind advocacy of not-Obama that you can’t simply go out and read and recognize that Obama HAS positions on the issues, positions which you can actually read?? Shame on all of you for picking up a Rovian smear and propagating it into this forum.

So I’m going to give you a summary of Obama’s POSITIONS vis-a-vis Edwards’ POSITIONS so that you can no longer say that you weren’t made aware that each actually HAVE THEM. I’m sorry to leave out Senator Clinton, but this is addressed primarily to the Edwards supporters, since they are so quick to spout the “hope isn’t a policy!!” smear.

For the full analysis, see the link.

I’d be interested in seeing how many of these positions Obama has announced as his own were developed before John Edwards published his positions. We’re at the stage of the primaries where the candidates are freely stealing from each other, just like Kerry did in 2004. It is part of the normal process of seeing your opponent’s best talking points, and coming around to the same positions. Edwards has already had an enormous impact on the positions of both Obama and Clinton.

Obama is talking a lot, as Clinton is, about “reaching across the aisle,” to work with Republicans. So far, that hasn’t worked very well. Obama is running a “post-identity politics” campaign– an interesting effort. I would just like to know who he is actually proposing to work with.

Bob

January 10, 2008

Who is the most progressive presidential candidate?

OK, here’s this to ponder, from Progressive Punch, listed in descending order by their Progressive Score:

Senator Clinton    91.29    16/100
Senator Obama      88.76    24/100
Rep. Kucinich      87.42   121/432
Senator Dodd       86.57    28/100
Senator Biden      84.26    31/100

Ha! You didn’t know that both Obama and Clinton were more progressive than Kooch? Of course, the mix of House data is different from Senate issues, but I think these ratings will surprise many.

The big problem with Clinton’s score, for me, is in the categories of

War & Peace (17 subcategories)                                    80.30      39/100(T), and
Human Rights & Civil Liberties (9 subcategories)      82.22      30/ 99(T)

Those two scores really bug me, and are not at all in progressive territory.

Bob

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