Barack Obama defends "liberal" label in Texas

I have never been prouder of Barack Obama than today when Barack Obama defended being a “liberal.” In Texas of all places. You go Barack.

AUSTIN, Texas — In the shadow of the state capitol that provided the United States with one of the most conservative presidents in recent history, Obama last night railed against the charge that being “liberal” was a bad thing.

“Oh, he’s liberal,” he said. “He’s liberal. Let me tell you something. There’s nothing liberal about wanting to reduce money in politics that is common sense. There’s nothing liberal about wanting to make sure [our soldiers] are treated properly when they come home.”

Continuing on his riff: “There’s nothing liberal about wanting to make sure that everybody has healthcare, but we are spending more on healthcare in this country than any other advanced country. We got more uninsured. There’s nothing liberal about saying that doesn’t make sense, and we should so something smarter with our health care system. Don’t let them run that okie doke on you!”

It is time the word “liberal” became a positive force in politics. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

Basic Brown: My Life and Our Times – new book by Willie L. Brown

Order Willie Brown’s book now and enjoy a 20% Discount:
A new book written by the the two-term mayor of San Francisco, the longest-serving Speaker of the California Assembly, and one of the most influential black politicians in America. Brown rose from a rural, segregated Texas to become Basic Brown: My Life and Our Times by Willie L. Brown.

Publisher Comments
To “The Washington Post,” he’s “The Last Political Showman of the 20th Century.”

Bill Clinton has called him “the real Slick Willie.”

Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state George Shultz called this famously liberal politician “a man of his word” and endorsed his successful candidacy for mayor of San Francisco.

Indeed Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both called upon him for advice and help. He is Willie L. Brown, Jr., and he knows how to get things done in politics, how to work both sides of the aisle to get results. Compared to him, Machiavelli looks meek. And drab.

In “Basic Brown,” this product of rural, segregated Texas and the urban black neighborhoods of San Francisco tells how he rose through the civil rights movement to become the most potent black politician in America through his shrewd understanding and use of political power and political money. He adapts the lessons he has learned so they can be used by anyone — black, female, male — intent on acquiring political power.

And this master of the political deal demonstrates why deals are not enough, and that political power grows only when public good is being done. Willie Brown shows how some of the most far-reaching and socially advanced legislation in American history — like gun control, legalized abortion, gay rights, and school funding — was carried out under his guidance and on his watch, and tells of the ingenuity, the political machinations, and the personal perseverance that were required to enact what now seems to many to be obvious legislation. These are stories of breathtaking, sometimes hilarious ruses and gambits that show that even the most high-minded legislation needs the assistance of theskills of a shark, which is what Willie Brown often sees himself as.

“Basic Brown” is a compendium of insights and stories on the real forces governing power in American political life that will leave you looking at politics anew. It is also the inspiring and funny story of the rise of a gawky teenager in mail-order shoes and trousers who rose to entertain royalty and schoolchildren, superstars and supersize egos, the saintly and the scholarly, while working to transform and open American politics. If you ever wanted to learn how to be slick, a shark, a do-gooder, and a man of your word, Willie L. Brown, Jr., is the storyteller for you.

Robert Bennett: In the Ring: The Trials of a Washington Lawyer

Order this book now and enjoy a 20% discount. Robert Bennett has represented Washington power brokers, heads of state, and even a sitting president. Now one of the most well-known Beltway lawyers talks about the law, his life, and the cases he has won.

Publishers Comments:
Robert S. Bennett has been a lawyer for more than forty years. In that time, he’s taken on dozens of high-profile and groundbreaking cases and emerged as the go-to guy for the nation’s elite. Bob Bennett gained international recognition as one of America’s best lawyers for leading the defense of President Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones case. But long before, and ever since, representing a sitting president, he has fought for justice for many famous (and some now infamous) clients. This is his story.

Born in Brooklyn and an amateur boxer in his youth, Bennett has always brought his street fighter’s mentality to the courtroom. His case history is a who’s who of figures who have dominated legal headlines: super lobbyist Tommy Corcoran, former Secretaries of Defense Clark Clifford and Caspar Weinberger, Marge Schott, and, most recently, New York Times reporter Judith Miller and former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz.

Bennett also served as special counsel to the Senate during the ABSCAM and Keating Five scandals and was a leading member of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children & Young People, created by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to the sex abuse allegations.

Taking the reader deep within his most intriguing and difficult cases, “In the Ring” shows how Bennett has argued for what’s right, won for his clients, and effected his share of change on the system. This is an intimate and compelling memoir of one lawyer’s attempt to fight hard and fair.

Rich Miller posts about Alexi Giannoulias

Check out the Rich Miller’s, The Capitol Fax Blog posting about our friend, Alexi Giannoulias. Called our Governor the anti-Obama. He certainly has a point.

Single Payer groups need your support

I posted last week about “Single-Payer Health Insurance.” One of the leading groups supporting “single-payer” is the PNHP, which is a group of doctors and health advocates. The website message is:

Physicians for a National Health Program is a non-profit research and education organization of 15,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.

Another important group is called the California Nurses Association. This dedicated group of nurses is circulating a petition they call “Cheney Care.” The motto is “If he were anyone else, he’d probably be dead by now.”

The petition they are circulating reads simply:

Full Petition Text:

I want genuine healthcare reform that guarantees everyone has healthcare coverage, without prohibitive costs , and an end to insurance company denials of needed medical care.

I support HR 676, an expanded and improved Medicare for All. I want the same access to healthcare that Vice President Cheney and all members of Congress now receive.

Thank you,
Signed by:
[Your name]
[Your address]

“Single-payer” health coverage is important to me, because, I like Vice President Cheney, would be dead now were it not for that fact that I am fortunate enough to have great medical coverage. I have a UFCW-union health insurance policy and am eternally grateful for the coverage. In May of 2003, I had a heart attack. And I not only survived, but I have thrived since that time. Today, I live a normal, healthy life because of my great coverage.

I want others to have the kind of coverage I have, but I know there are millions of Americans with low-coverage or no-coverage. This situation is intolerable. Far too many have inadequate coverage. We need to get involved, whether on the national level with these two fine groups or on the local level supporting the right local candidates. The time for “single-payer” is now. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

McCain Tied to Lobbyist

I won’t comment on the McCain/lobbyist thing because the stories speak for themselves. I take no joy in these situations. I would rather candidates I support defeat their opponents on issues and on the merits, and not some avoidable scandal. But I know many are interested in the story. If so, check out the New York Times piece and then the follow-up in the Washington Post piece. Reading on Walden Bookstore.Link

McCain says Obama is "eloquent but empty call for change"

John McCain calls Barack Obama’s call for change an “eloquent but empty call for change.”

What does John McCain envision for this nation? If not change, then more of the same. I am glad he is “straight talking” us again. As Barack Obama has said on several occasions, “Somewhere along the line the Straight Talk Express lost some wheels,” Mr. Obama said, referring to one of Mr. McCain’s political slogans.

So for all those that are supporting John McCain, let me lend a chant. Can even fit on a bumper sticker. Ready. Time to chant. “No change. More Bush.”

“No change. More Bush.”

Don’t you just love these politicians with strong beliefs and great vision. One hundred more years of Iraq. Don’t really understand the economy, so more of the same. Keep the taxes low for the rich.

Oh yeah. “No change. More Bush.” Talk about empty. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

Obama picks up key endorsements

Presidential candidate Barack Obama picked up the endorsement of two key newspapers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin’s largest daily newspaper and the Houston Chronicle, the biggest daily publication in Texas. Momentum continues to carry Barack Obama toward the Democratic Presidential nomination.

By Kim Chipman – Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — Barack Obama picked up key newspaper endorsements in Wisconsin and Texas today as he and Hillary Clinton compete for delegates in states that may help determine which candidate wins the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin’s largest daily newspaper, said it recommends that voters support Obama in the state’s Feb. 19 primary because “change and experience are crucial to moving this country forward” and the Illinois senator is the “best-equipped to deliver that change.”

The Houston Chronicle, the biggest daily publication in Texas, gave similar reasons for endorsing Obama, 46, over Clinton. He’s “the best-qualified by life experience, skill and temperament to be the standard bearer for his party,” the newspaper said in an editorial today. Texas will hold its primary on March 4.

Reading on Walden Bookstore.

James Carville speaks the truth, you just gotta love him

James Carville predicts that if Hillary Clinton does not win Texas or Ohio, she will not be the Democratic Party’s nominee.

(CNN) — He hinted at a similar sentiment earlier this week on CNN, but James Carville – a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s White House run — was decidedly more blunt Wednesday on the impact a loss in Texas or Ohio would have on her presidential bid.

“Make no mistake,” Bill Clinton’s former chief strategist told the Orlando Sentinel. “If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done.”

Just another ominous sign of the continuing erosion of the Clinton campaign. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

Chief O’Neill’s Sketchy Recollections of an Eventful Life in Chicago

Order your copy now and enjoy a 20% discount.
Our friend and neighbor, Ellen Skerrett, is one of the editors of a new book.

Publisher Comments
This remarkable memoir of immigration and assimilation provides a rare view of urban life in Chicago in the late 1800s by a newcomer to the city and the Midwest, and the nation as well. Francis O’Neill left Ireland in 1865. After five years traveling the world as a sailor, he and his family settled in Chicago just shortly before the Great Fire of 1871.
As O’Neill looked back on his life, writing in Chicago at the age of 83, he could give first-hand accounts of Pullman strike of 1894, the railway strike of 1903, and the packinghouse strike of 1904.

He could also reflect on the corruption that kept him, in spite of his innovations, extremely high exam scores, and performance, subject to powerful aldermen who prevented his advance as a member of the Chicago Police Department. Despite these obstacles, O’Neill eventually rose to be chief of police–a position from which he could enact much-needed civil service reform. In addition to his professional success, O’Neill is also remembered and beloved for his hobby, preserving traditional Irish music.

O’Neill’s story offers perspective on the inner workings of the police department at the turn of the twentieth century. His memoir also brings to life the challenges involved in succeeding in a new land, providing for his family, and integrating into a new culture. Francis O’Neill serves as a fine documentarian of the Irish immigrant experience in Chicago.