Stateside With Rosalea Barker: Politics
::Happy Birthday, Mr Dead President::
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, born October 14, 1890.
The reason some interstate highways in the US display five silver stars on a light blue background is that they are part of the Eisenhower Interstate System, which is 50 years old this year. Eisenhower is one of only five Five Star Generals in US history and was the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during WWII.
He created the interstate highway system in order that major US cities could be efficiently evacuated in times of disaster or attack. A phrase from his farewell speech when leaving office in 1961 was oft-quoted during the Sixties, warning as it did against too much power accreting in the hands of "the military-industrial complex." Camp David is named after his son.
::The Marquess of Caliphornia::
The one and only live televised debate between the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor of California took place on October 7, and during the course of it, Governor Schwarzenegger listed "death penalty" as one of the benefits he would like the state's firefighters, cops and other unionized state and local authority workers to keep. Those groups advertise against him relentlessly.
He also referred to California as a "nation state," which apparently got the President in such a tizz that he pretended North Korea had been setting off bombs, in order to scarify us Left Coasters into wondering how we would defend ourselves should we decide to secede.
The debate is online at CBS5.com.
::A new way of doing things::
One of the biggest endorsements a candidate or campaign can get in US politics is that of the editorial board of local newspapers. This year, the SF Chronicle is opening up its editorial board process to the public by teaming up with CBS and streaming the questioning live at CBS5.com. On Monday, October 16 at 10am, Democratic challenger Phil Angelides will elaborate on his candidacy for Governor.
Already the Chron and CBS have posted editorial questioning of the Republican and Democratic candidates for "down ticket" races, such as Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner and Controller. For background on how this editorial board questioning works and links to the webcasts go here: http://cbs5.com//topstories/local_story_278135154.html
::Bringing out the big guns::
Proposition 87 has been relentlessly lambasted in editorials across the state as a wrong-headed way to go about reducing California’s dependence on foreign oil. The No on 87 campaign has made very effective use of the sheer number of negative endorsements.
With absentee voting starting this week, the Yes on 87 campaign has wheeled out its big gun—Al Gore. Judging by the bare-bricks decor in the background, the ad seems to have been filmed at his CurrentTV studios in San Francisco.
You can read the text of Prop 87 at the Secretary of State’s website here: http://www.voterguide.ss.ca.gov/props/prop87/prop87.html
::Same old way of doing things::
The negative ads against the Democratic candidate for Insurance Commissioner are truly a sight to behold. They feature suits walking up and putting swags of money in a brown paper bag held by someone with his back to the camera, who is supposed to be Cruz Bustamante. "You Cruz, you lose" says the ad.
And some group called moveonjerry.org has harnessed YouTube in its efforts to discredit Democrat Jerry Brown in his bid to become Attorney General. One video they have posted on their site allegedly shows Brown using up $3300 of Oakland taxpayers' money by having his driver take him up to a fundraiser in Sacramento in his official mayoral car. Use of publicly funded resources in that manner is against the law. http://www.moveonjerry.org/video7.php
interesting interview with “protean politician” Jerry
Brown is here: