Here's the Phoenix's editorial on Obama, gay rights, and the Defense of Marriage Act. I couldn't have said it better myself.
I was serious when I began this effort, and while it's taken a back seat, I'm coming to understand how sadly right I was. We need to Take Back Barack.
CNN is now reporting that New Hampshire senator Judd Gregg is withdrawing his name from consideration for the position of commerce secretary. This shows a real lack of organization on Obama's part, and while Gregg was rather conservative as these things go (and therefore might not have been the best choice in the first second place), this suggests Obama's cabinet is going to be a real mess.
In addition to the petition for a Cabinet-level Secretary of Arts, there are plenty of other groups out there pushing Obama in a progressive direction. What's your issue? Here are a few to choose from, and places you can add your voice to the discussion. Robert Scheer at Truthdig has some reasons why, and so does Naomi Klein, but really, you already know why.
So Obama is for women's health, right? I mean, he reversed the global gag rule and generally likes women, plus he has daughters. But he's clearly hoping that his daughters never end up poor and in need of birth control from Medicaid.
Those of you who aren't following the TakeBackBarack news-articles RSS feed, you should be - I continue to update that every day, sometimes multiple times a day, with stories from all over the Web about Obama's moves, decisions, and their significance. I promise you'll find interesting stuff there - I spend a good chunk of time digging around, and Google Reader's a big help, too.
A brief summary of my thoughts since Inauguration Day:
-Closing Gitmo is great. Even spending a night in one of those cells was pretty bad - much less being waterboarded, starved, and otherwise tortured.
-Putting back the Geneva Conventions and the Army interrogation manual is also really a good sign for human rights around the world, as well as to restore America's standing among nations.
A comment by Quincy Jones, the musician/composer/general arts supporter (and FOB - that's Friend of Barack, now), made during a post-election interview with has spawned an online petition drive to create a cabinet-level Secretary of Arts position. While it's unclear exactly what such a person would do, the very existence of the position would certainly raise the profile of arts and their contribution to national life, economic activity, and culture.
The Take Back Barack effort is on TV throughout January around the nation, thanks to Liberty News TV. (It's a non-profit progressive outfit based here in Portland, and they accept donations!)
Here's the clip - click here for a map to see where you can watch the whole show on your TV!
First up, what about this whole Leon Panetta as CIA director thing? On the good side, he's a civilian with long experience navigating the halls of power in DC. On the bad side, the CIA is badly screwed up and Panetta has no real prior knowledge of running an intel operation (sure, he handled some intel stuff as Clinton's chief of staff, but that's pretty different).
You know you're on to something when somebody puts out a rush-edition book on the topic. And sure enough, in yesterday's mail, arrived Yes, We Can! 365 Ways to Make America A Better Place, by Paula Munier. It lists an action a day for an entire year that readers can take to improve America. Among the ideas are several we're looking to Obama for leadership on, and others will push him in progressive directions.
I'll be taking a few days off for the holidays, but I'll try to check in and respond to comments and post stuff every couple days.
Here are a few tidbits I've found especially interesting recently:
Brent Budowsky has the closest thing to a Take Back Barack essay I've read yet.
The Libertarian Party has decried Obama's foreign policy, or at least his indicators of policy, saying we'll be in Iraq and Afghanistan for "his entire presidency
President-elect Obama's commitment to restore honesty to the core of federal science policy (and science-related policies) is definitely encouraging. The biggest potential pitfall is that the Bush administration also claimed to base its decisions on science - even when it censored science to serve political ends.
I've been catching up on the blogosphere and reading Andrew Sullivan's commentaries on Obama's choice of conservative evangelical pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation on Inauguration Day. Sullivan and others appear to have struggled mightily and come to terms with the selection, saying it appeared abominable at first but is perhaps a new and giant symbol of Obama's "post-partisan" politics.
Sorry - it's been rather a day here, so while I'm waiting for the call to be on the radio (we're taping it so I don't have to get up at 1:30 am to attempt to be coherent), I'll offer a summary of some of my thinking so far. (I'll also marvel at how quickly this TBB meme is expanding.)
I've had several really interesting exchanges with people - and have been very entertained by various comments suggesting I'm either a moonbat or a wingnut or both.
Many of the comments about Take Back Barack so far have been from conservatives shouting with glee, calling Obama a "snake-oil salesman" and a "con man," and apparently suggesting I'm a sucker for believing his promises. But it appears the progressive community might be paying some attention. Early tomorrow morning (East Coast time) - so early it's late at night Pacific time - I'll be on the Phil Hendrie Show talking about the Take Back Barack effort.