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Sunday, November 9, 2008


dearest D, J, & L-

I am attaching an article from the November 2006 Harpers, which I think I mentioned to Lee in passing, forgive me if you have already read it.

It is on Obama, and after rereading it today, it seems quite relevant. It touches on several issues brought up in last night's debate, including his positions on nuclear power, the 2005 bankruptcy and energy bills, fund-raising, and renewable fuels. I find troublesome Obama's wholesale support of ethanol, in particular because of its ties to big agribusiness, and the push towards its production which is sold to the public under the pretense that it is somehow a move towards conservation. The article gets good towards the end (good as in policy specific), around page 8 of the pdf. Would love to hear everyone's reactions to the piece.

A few thoughts about the debate:

I'm a little disappointed that none of the candidates spoke out in favor of including Kucinich in the debate last night. You would think that Edwards at least would take issue with the fact that a huge media conglomerate like NBC, a subsidiary of General Electric!, gets to decide who participates in a presidential primary debate. I am not a Kucinich supporter, and maybe it is as simple as him being a distraction from the top contenders in the race, but that is still private corporate interest forcing their narrative onto what should be a public issue. There are federal regulations on every other aspect of campaigning, so why should there not be strict standards that determine a candidates inclusion in debates? Anyways, I am probably preaching to the choir on this one. Maybe if candidates had a guaranteed number of opportunities to participate in debates they wouldn't be so "Me, Me, I, I" in their responses to questions (or maybe they would be:). I would really like to see more historical/global context in their answers, sometimes it seems like our country's first President was JFK, and that he finished up his term just before George Bush took office...

Secondly, did anyone else notice when Obama seemed to go out of his way to help Edwards clarify what he meant by pulling out "all combat troops" from lraq? It made me wonder if this was a sign of a future choice of Edwards as his running mate...

In the interest of full disclosure I am essentially undecided, but if I had to vote today my pick would be Edwards. Several years ago, when he was running the first time around, I lucked my way into a private Park Avenue dinner where Edwards was the evening's speaker (to paint the picture, one of the 30 or so guests was John McEnroe, around the corner from the Met, grand piano...). The point I want to make is that even speaking privately (no media presence) to a bunch of rich people Edwards stuck to solidly working/middle class issues with the same sincerity and fervor I see him express in present day stump speeches – I guess I appreciate that he has consistently spoke out on issues such as universal health care, regardless of the current political hot topics. But, I really wish he would change up /how he says/ what he says a little. Maybe I am wrong on this, but I feel like the pride people used to feel about being middle-class is disappearing, people want to live beyond their means, be rich, the "american dream" has changed.

I think HRC gets my vote for most pissed off last night – have to admit I really liked it when she called W pathetic:) And Lee I whole-heartedly agree with your following statement: "Either way one of the most damaging things that could Obama could do would be to angrily denounce racist tactics. It would ensure his defeat." His appeal to the public has been based partially on this notion pushed by the media that he exists somehow outside of "race," that because of his age he hasn't been marred by the ugliness of segregation, etc. Don't know how I feel about that, the notion that forgetting history is the way to reconciliation, but it has been working for him.

thanks for sharing,


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