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Monday, January 26, 2009

Big Dog Clinton Raising Money for Shuler 

Ex-Prez Bill Clinton is in Raleigh today at North Carolina State University (actually, Reynolds Coliseum), speaking about "issues facing the country." The university has announced that there are no more "general public tickets" available, but if you know somebody, you might get in.

One VIP who'll most definitely get is in NC-11 Congressman Heath Shuler, though he could just wait until this p.m. when Clinton will be hosting a luncheon fundraiser for the congressman.

Shuler supported Clinton's wife for president in last year's state primary, and as a super-delegate to the Democratic National Convention, Shuler pledged himself to Hillary because she won his 11th Dist. in that primary ... not that he ever got to cast his vote for her.

Sure 'nuff looks like Shuler is off and running for Senate in 2010 against Dick Burr, backed by some powerful fundraising mojo.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thank You, Bill Clinton 

Our nation is in trouble on two fronts: The American Dream is under siege at home, and America's leadership in the world has been weakened.

Middle class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining; job losses, poverty and inequality rising; mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing; health care coverage disappearing; and a big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.

Our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation; a perilous dependence on imported oil; a refusal to lead on global warming; a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders; a severely burdened military; a backsliding on global non-proliferation and arms control agreements; and a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.

Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States.

He will work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries. He will rebuild our frayed alliances and revitalize the international institutions which help to share the costs of the world's problems and to leverage our power and influence. He will put us back in the forefront of the world's fight to reduce nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and to stop global warming. He will continue and enhance our nation's global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved, the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria, including a renewal of the battle against HIV/AIDS here at home. He will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort. But in a world troubled by terror; by trafficking in weapons, drugs and people; by human rights abuses; by other threats to our security, our interests, and our values, when he cannot convert adversaries into partners, he will stand up to them.

People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.

Look at the example the Republicans have set: American workers have given us consistently rising productivity. They've worked harder and produced more. What did they get in return? Declining wages, less than 1/4 as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller health care and pension benefits, rising poverty and the biggest increase in income inequality since the 1920s. American families by the millions are struggling with soaring health care costs and declining coverage.

Are these the family values the Republicans are so proud of? What about the military families pushed to the breaking point by unprecedented multiple deployments? What about the assault on science and the defense of torture? What about the war on unions and the unlimited favors for the well connected? What about Katrina and cronyism?

America can do better than that. And Barack Obama will.

on the two great questions of this election, how to rebuild the American Dream and how to restore America's leadership in the world, John McCain still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we never had a real chance to see in action until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and Congress. Then we saw what would happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades were implemented.

They took us from record surpluses to an exploding national debt; from over 22 million new jobs down to 5 million; from an increase in working family incomes of $7,500 to a decline of more than $2,000; from almost 8 million Americans moving out of poverty to more than 5 and a half million falling into poverty - and millions more losing their health insurance.

Now, in spite of all the evidence, John McCain is promising more of the same.

The Republican Party actually wants us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks.

Selections above from the text of Bill Clinton's Denver speech minutes ago

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

ASU and an Ex-President 

Faculty members at Appalachian State University, and some astute students too, were asking questions last week that are both pertinent and ... no surprise here ... unanswered by the ASU administration. As we have learned over many months now, the current leaders of that institution are not in the habit of stooping to answer questions from mere mortals.

1. The visit of ex-President Bill Clinton to the ASU campus last week went unacknowledged on the ASU website and unannounced on the general-alert e-mail system.

2. A large and offensive photographic display, featuring billboard-size blowups of aborted fetuses, attempting to equate abortion with genocide was announced (and some say promoted) through the ASU e-mail server to all subscribers.

3. When some asked administration officials about this puzzling disparity, the only official response we've seen said it would be inappropriate for the university to use the e-mail system to "promote a political candidate." Apparently, an announcement that an ex-President of the United States would be visiting campus would constitute promotion of a political candidate, while promotion of an anti-abortion display would not be a political statement. Well, okay then.

4. What do you call an institution that couldn't find its ass with both hands and a head-start?

5. Graduating editor of The Appalachian newspaper, Clair Baxter, perhaps feeling finally beyond the range of institutional recrimination, was courageous enough to ask some highly pertinent questions and, wisely, did not tarry for answers:
A club can sponsor a potentially offensive “Genocide Awareness” group to come fill the center of campus with billboards of unborn children while our faculty members are being asked to remove books and posters from their office walls for fear they may offend one student somewhere down the road.

Is there a double standard here?

Do we believe in free speech or not?

I think as a university we need to do some self-reflection.

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