Posts Tagged ‘hockey moms for obama’

Reason #1: Obama’s Dream Team

November 4, 2008

Brotha’s on the street / and everyone is scared a ya
So how could ten africans represent america?

Remember the Dream Team in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics? The USA Basketball team, for the first time composed of NBA players, swept the gold. On the team were some of the world’s greatest players ever:

Start with three of the game’s all-time greats: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Add the irrepressible Charles Barkley for a little spice, as well as seven more NBA All-Stars: centers David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, power forward Karl Malone, swingmen Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin and Clyde Drexler and point guard John Stockton. Complete the roster with Christian Laettner, the best college player of 1991-92 and a future NBA All-Star.

The Dream Team was amazing on the court, but as Michael Franti of the hip hop/funk band Spearhead notes, “in the same year we saw Rodney King.” In asking how “ten africans can represent america,” he calls out persistent racial politics in the USA and proposes his own “dream team” of politically active, socially engaged black americans who have made their marks (publicly recognized or not) on history.

Who’s on Franti’s Dream Team? Here are some of the lyrics from the song (and click here to listen):

Well Chuck D’s announcin’/ Flava’s doin’ color
Halftime enterntainment by Dre and Ed Lover
Malcolm X is the coach he’s drawin’ up the strategy
He’s choppin up America’s anatomy
’cause they’re the ones/ we’re up against of course
Our general manager is Chief Crazy Horse
Huey Newton/ ’cause he was extra hard
He’s the one/ who would be playin at the shootin’ guard
I dreamed Charles Barkley would be
Played by Marcus Garvey
He’d be throwin people off his back and makin
Sure they never got a rebound rebound / and
He’d throw it to the outlet
Nat Turner/ ’cause he can turn the corner when
He’s out there
He be flyin through the air/ throwin passes like
He really doesn’t care/behind the back /and in
Between the legs
He’s handlin the rock /as gently as an egg
He’s throwin it in/ to Angela Davis’s neighborhood
She’s postin up down in the extra hard wood
She grabs the pill/ and then she puts her shoulder down
Get out the way/ ’cause she’s gonna throw down now
Boom /oh my god! i just can’t believe it
Get anotha backboard or bettah yet leave it.
We always play for fun /but we always play for keeps
The game is over and the loser’s gotta sweep.
Up the glass/ that we busted in the ass
Set the record straight /about america’s past
This is my dream team.

Sister Rosa Parks is the first one off the bench. And Dr. King? He rotates in.

If only some of these people were alive to see today. To see Barack Obama as the Democratic candidate for the office of President of the United States of America. And even though there is still much work to be done, to see how far this country has come.

In “Daring to Dream of a Black President,” celebrated poet Maya Angelou brings this home with her comments:

I never thought I’d see a black president in the White House in my lifetime. I didn’t even dare dream it. I feel like a child approaching Christmas, you can’t believe election day is finally here. It’s been so long since we’ve had people — Asian and black, white and Spanish-speaking — come together and say YES. Some did during the civil rights struggle but not as many as today. What it means if Mr Obama is voted in, is that my country has agreed to grow up, and move beyond the childish idea that human beings are different.

Samuel Jackson speaks out too:

It’s not just about what an Obama victory will mean to the African American community, it’s for the nation in general. It means something for the little Asian kid, or the little Hispanic kid, for everybody of a different origin than Anglo-American. It actually means that the lie that they told us all these years — that you can grow up to be anything you want to be in America, even the president — might actually be true now. Until this election, it was just a fantasy — you had to be white to be president. The closest we got to it was when Jimmy Smits was elected president on the West Wing or Morgan Freeman being president on screen.

Stevie Wonder calls Obama a “combination of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr.” As Ta-Nehisi Coates muses in Time magazine—–right now “the most famous black man in America isn’t dribbling a basketball or holding a microphone.” Instead, he is running for President.

So, what would Obama’s Dream Team look like?

Obama himself says that it would be bipartisan.

Given the vast network of supporters Obama has across the political parties, there is no shortage of excellent candidates for him to draw upon. Foreign Policy magazine solicited “Dream Team” cabinets for the next president from pundits of all political persuasions, and got some thoughtful and creative replies.

Want to see who’s supposedly being considered? Check out this list of potential nominees from “sources close” to the Obama campaign.

Sitting here in Colorado while the country votes (its roughly 2 pm mountain time), I feel a sense of anticipation, enthusiasm, and energy unlike anything I’ve experienced before in my twenty years of voting in presidential elections (R.I.P. Dukakis 1988). There is a groundswell of support for Obama that is both humbling and inspiring. Change is not just coming. No matter the outcome of the election, change is already here.

The last word before election results are in goes to the rapper Jay-Z. He says:

Rosa Parks sat so that Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so that Obama could run. Obama’s running so that we all can fly. I can’t wait until 5 November and I’m going to say ‘Hello, Brother President’. I can’t tell you who to vote for. All I can do is tell you to vote.

Here we go, flying at last.

-Carole, mother of two, proudly wearing her Hockey Mama for Obama shirt today, and hoping and praying that our collective dreams are converted to reality tonight, Gunbarrel, Colorado

#3: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the War on Terror

November 2, 2008

The time has come to end the war in Iraq responsibly.  To end it with dignity, with compassion, and with the greatest respect for life of all involved—soldiers, civilians, everyone.

Barack Obama is ready with a plan to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end.  And, he’s ready to begin serious discussions of what new plans we need for addressing al Qaeda and Afghanistan.

As with so many other issues in this election, political observers across party lines have taken notice.  In Time magazine, Joe Klein writes about Obama’s meeting with General Petraeus as engaged, serious, and respectful.

General David Petraeus deployed overwhelming force when he briefed Barack Obama and two other Senators in Baghdad last July. He knew Obama favored a 16-month timetable for the withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq, and he wanted to make the strongest possible case against it. And so, after he had presented an array of maps and charts and PowerPoint slides describing the current situation on the ground in great detail, Petraeus closed with a vigorous plea for “maximum flexibility” going forward.

Obama had a choice at that moment. He could thank Petraeus for the briefing and promise to take his views “under advisement.” Or he could tell Petraeus what he really thought, a potentially contentious course of action — especially with a general not used to being confronted. Obama chose to speak his mind. “You know, if I were in your shoes, I would be making the exact same argument,” he began. “Your job is to succeed in Iraq on as favorable terms as we can get. But my job as a potential Commander in Chief is to view your counsel and interests through the prism of our overall national security.” Obama talked about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the financial costs of the occupation of Iraq, the stress it was putting on the military.

A “spirited” conversation ensued, one person who was in the room told me. “It wasn’t a perfunctory recitation of talking points. They were arguing their respective positions, in a respectful way.” The other two Senators — Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed — told Petraeus they agreed with Obama. According to both Obama and Petraeus, the meeting — which lasted twice as long as the usual congressional briefing — ended agreeably. Petraeus said he understood that Obama’s perspective was, necessarily, going to be more strategic. Obama said that the timetable obviously would have to be flexible. But the Senator from Illinois had laid down his marker: if elected President, he would be in charge. Unlike George W. Bush, who had given Petraeus complete authority over the war — an unprecedented abdication of presidential responsibility (and unlike John McCain, whose hero worship of Petraeus bordered on the unseemly) — Obama would insist on a rigorous chain of command.

At The Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan lists his Top Ten Reasons Conservatives Should Vote for Obama, and Reason #1 on his list (below) is The War Against Islamicist Terror.

10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.

9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won’t touch defense of entitlements. And his refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain’s plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama’s. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.

8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain’s knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran’s nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush’s first term and George W.’s.

7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.

6. Temperament. Obama has the coolest, calmest demeanor of any president since Eisenhower. Conservatism values that kind of constancy, especially compared with the hot-headed, irrational impulsiveness of McCain.

5. Faith. Obama’s fusion of Christianity and reason, his non-fundamentalist faith, is a critical bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.

4. A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.

3. Two words: President Palin.

2. Conservative reform. Until conservatism can get a distance from the big-spending, privacy-busting, debt-ridden, crony-laden, fundamentalist, intolerant, incompetent and arrogant faux conservatism of the Bush-Cheney years, it will never regain a coherent message to actually govern this country again. The survival of conservatism requires a temporary eclipse of today’s Republicanism. Losing would be the best thing to happen to conservatism since 1964. Back then, conservatives lost in a landslide for the right reasons. Now, Republicans are losing in a landslide for the wrong reasons.

1. The War Against Islamist terror. The strategy deployed by Bush and Cheney has failed. It has failed to destroy al Qaeda, except in a country, Iraq, where their presence was minimal before the US invasion. It has failed to bring any of the terrorists to justice, instead creating the excrescence of Gitmo, torture, secret sites, and the collapse of America’s reputation abroad. It has empowered Iran, allowed al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan, made the next vast generation of Muslims loathe America, and imperiled our alliances. We need smarter leadership of the war: balancing force with diplomacy, hard power with better p.r., deploying strategy rather than mere tactics, and self-confidence rather than a bunker mentality.

Those conservatives who remain convinced, as I do, that Islamist terror remains the greatest threat to the West cannot risk a perpetuation of the failed Manichean worldview of the past eight years, and cannot risk the possibility of McCain making rash decisions in the middle of a potentially catastrophic global conflict. If you are serious about the war on terror and believe it is a war we have to win, the only serious candidate is Barack Obama.

I agree with both of them: Barack Obama is clear on what needs to be done to address terrorism.  Click here to read and listen to his speech to the Iraq Study Group on August 1, 2007.

Crucially, his vision for Iraq, Afghanistan, and al Qaeda does not portray Islam or Muslim peoples as enemies–as the McCain/Palin team and supporters do (wink, wink)–but as peoples to work with, to learn from, and to support.  Obama realizes that the war on terror needs to be a war on poverty and lack of opportunity and on the unchecked US power so representative of the Bush/Cheney years.

In his speech to the Iraq Study Group, Obama made this clear:

As President, I will make it a focus of my foreign policy to roll back the tide of hopelessness that gives rise to hate. Freedom must mean freedom from fear, not the freedom of anarchy. I will never shrug my shoulders and say — as Secretary Rumsfeld did — “Freedom is untidy.” I will focus our support on helping nations build independent judicial systems, honest police forces, and financial systems that are transparent and accountable. Freedom must also mean freedom from want, not freedom lost to an empty stomach. So I will make poverty reduction a key part of helping other nations reduce anarchy.

I will double our annual investments to meet these challenges to $50 billion by 2012. And I will support a $2 billion Global Education Fund to counter the radical madrasas — often funded by money from within Saudi Arabia — that have filled young minds with messages of hate. We must work for a world where every child, everywhere, is taught to build and not to destroy. And as we lead we will ask for more from our friends in Europe and Asia as well — more support for our diplomacy, more support for multilateral peacekeeping, and more support to rebuild societies ravaged by conflict.

I will also launch a program of public diplomacy that is a coordinated effort across my Administration, not a small group of political officials at the State Department explaining a misguided war. We will open “America Houses” in cities across the Islamic world, with Internet, libraries, English lessons, stories of America’s Muslims and the strength they add to our country, and vocational programs. Through a new ” America’s Voice Corps” we will recruit, train, and send out into the field talented young Americans who can speak with — and listen to — the people who today hear about us only from our enemies.

As President, I will lead this effort. In the first 100 days of my Administration, I will travel to a major Islamic forum and deliver an address to redefine our struggle. I will make clear that we are not at war with Islam, that we will stand with those who are willing to stand up for their future, and that we need their effort to defeat the prophets of hate and violence. I will speak directly to that child who looks up at that helicopter, and my message will be clear: “You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.”

This is the sort of global leadership our country needs—rebuilding here at home, rebuilding around the world.  Hockey Moms say, “Barack Obama for U.S. President 2008!

–Carole, mom of two, who prefers to think of the US as either a power forward or strong defense player rather than the goon always in the penalty box, Gunbarrel, Colorado

Reason #5: We’re with Margaret and Helen

October 31, 2008

There are so many, many reasons to vote for Barack Obama.

One  is that your vote puts you in company that truly showcases the glorious diversity that is the United States of America.  When Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff endorses Obama—as he just did–then you know we are in the midst of something really remarkable happening in this country.

Even professional athletes, a group not usually politically outspoken, is lining up for Obama.  How about Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Charles Barkley, and Michael Jordan himself?

From the people on your block, down the street, across town, two towns over, to people several states over, to people who might have never voted Democrat before, this election has already changed things in this country.  All the big-name endorsements aside, what’s been most exciting to us is the infectious combination of hope and energy so evident among regular folks in the USA–folks like yours truly, hockey moms for Obama.

(Wait. Did you not click on hockey moms for Obama?  Here, try again: this is the hockey moms’ version of Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina Sarah Palin.)

In this election, we feel exhilarated to be part of a real groundswell of change.  From young kids like the Ron Clark Academy kids rocking the vote to grandmothers Margaret and Helen rocking the blogosphere, we’re in good company.

Still not sure who to vote for?  Have we not convinced you yet?  Then absolutely check out Margaret and Helen’s post: If You Are Undecided, You’re Not Paying Attention.

Then, pay attention and vote (for Obama)!

Reason #10: He’s Hip to Anthropology

October 26, 2008

Why is America so consistently dense to other cultures?

This (paraphrased) question was posed to Barack Obama by a former student of anthropologist Margaret Mead.  The forum?  Not a college campus, but a foreign policy discussion in New Hampshire in November 2007.

Obama answered the question in a refreshingly serious take on why anthropology might be important for foreign policy:

In a lengthy answer, Obama suggested that part of the problem is that this generation’s best and brightest were working overseas for Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong and not for the government. But then the fledgling Illinois senator offered an observation about understanding non-Western cultures that transcended the particulars of the question and spoke to a larger foreign policy perspective.

“You can’t wait to do some of this work until there is a crisis,” he said. “This is a chronic problem in Washington. It has to do with our 30-second attention span. You want to get to know a country and figure out what are the interests and who are the players. You can’t parachute in. Iraq is a classic example, and Iran now may be another example, where we are entirely isolated from these countries and have no idea what’s going on. We don’t have good intelligence on them. And we’re basically making a series of decisions in the blind. And that is dangerous for us.”

His mother, Ann Dunham, had an MA in anthropology from the University of Hawai’i, and when he was a young boy they lived in Indonesia where she did her research.

Obama told his NH audience that he was “hip to Margaret Mead.”

So, what might it mean for a US President to be hip to anthropology?

In the present, it might mean a newly rethought use of anthropology in US foreign policy.  Following highly controversial participation of anthropologists in Vietnam War intelligence (as part of Project Camelot), the US Army has recently begun working with anthropologists in the Middle East as part of their Human Terrain Team.

Anthropologists are highly critical of this program, but some argue for a real need for ethnographic voices in US intelligence and security operations–such as Jeff Bristol, a former army soldier and current anthropology student.  At any rate, discussions between anthropologists and representatives of the US intelligence community are now taking place with increasing frequency.

Where do we stand on this?

Hockey Moms for Obama skate locally, but think globally: we absolutely support the use of anthropology in better understanding the world.  We don’t, however, support putting anthropological knowledge to use against people during wartime.

When Barack Obama says he’s hip to Margaret Mead in reference, we presume, to this quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

We interpret this to mean that he believes in the power of the people, and that as instilled in him by his anthropologist mother, sees the value in all cultures (as opposed to the views, for example, of US Rep. Michelle Bachman that “not all cultures are equal”).  We believe he sees the value of anthropology in potentially redirecting the narrow, imperial, and at times xenophobic direction US foreign policy has taken under G.W. Bush.  Obama’s critique of Bush Doctrine is loud and clear.

So, here’s to a revitalized American built not on fear of the world, or being “dense to other cultures,” but to knowing, appreciating, and cooperating with our neighbors around the world.  And, here’s to some Anthropology 101 in the highest office of our country, to a humane US foreign policy premised on the idea that all cultures are created equal.

–Carole, mother of two and card carrying member of the Anthropologists for Obama club, Gunbarrel, Colorado

Reasons #11-16: Hockey Moms for Obama

October 26, 2008

Hockey Moms for Obama—40 Reasons to Vote for Barack Obama:

11. He’s NOT Out Shopping….

12. Hope

13. Dinosaurs, God, and Science in Schools

14. Race and the American Dream

15. He’s Got His Priorities in Order

16. Health Care is a Right

And, for your viewing pleasure, because we just can’t resist: check out these videos:

Obama-McCain Breakdance Showdown

Waaaaasup! Guys for Obama

School House Rock for Obama

and

the Old-Time Celebs video by the Jewish Alliance for Change.  Enjoy!

Reason #12: Hope

October 24, 2008

We’re with them (see above!): with Obama we see hope.

We see the chance to turn around this country, to rebuild the economy, to reconnect across divides that separate us in this country, and to together reach out to the rest of the world, beginning with new strategies to bring our soldiers home and end war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We see hope, and once again, we’re thrilled to see so many conservative Republicans–including not just Colin Powell, but most recently a member of McCain’s own advisory team, President Bush’s former press secretary, and a Republican candidate for Congress in Oregon–endorse Obama.  When you have a candidate who truly brings people together across partisan and other divides like this, then you have not only change, but hope.

(I wonder who Condi Rice is voting for……..?)

Here’s to our two young friends above.  Their faces say it as loudly as their shirts do: Obama means hope for our future.

–Carole, mother of two and eternal optimist, Gunbarrel, Colorado

Reason #14: Race and the American Dream

October 22, 2008

Yesterday I was talking with my friend Karen about our children and the election. She was spot-on about something: our children are growing up in a world where a black man is a presidential candidate, and hopefully will be President of the United States of America.

For our children, the normal state of affairs is that a black man can be President.

Let me say that again.

For our children, it will be entirely normal for a black man to be President. I cannot adequately put into words what this means, especially given the history of racism in this country (never mind nasty racist incidents in this current electoral moment), but I do know one thing:

As a national community, we are one step closer to deracializing the American Dream, the belief that any American can accomplish his or her goals through hard work. That is, we are one important step closer to making the job of President of the United States of America a legitimate possibility for all US citizens regardless of their skin color.

This is a phenomenal moment for children everywhere in this country in terms of continuing to break down racial prejudices and divides.

Here’s to a future run by this new generation, whose first political memories are of a brilliant, strong, competent, and accomplished black presidential candidate: Barack Obama.

And once we elect him to office, then the work begins to join the rest of the world in normalizing the idea of a female president–a US citizen of any heritage: black, white, Asian, Latina, American Indian, or Arab.

In my lifetime? I hope so.  In our children’s lifetimes? Absolutely.

–Carole, mother of two who is humbled at the thought of the world our children will know, Gunbarrel, Colorado

Reason #16: Health Care is a Right

October 20, 2008

John McCain thinks health care is a responsibility.  Barack Obama thinks health care is a right.

We agree: health care should be a right held by all.  Access to health care should be something that all citizens of this wealthy country have irrespective of their income.  Health care is something that we can and must do better on asap.

Need help reading between the lines of the two candidates’ health plans?  Once again, Alternet has a great guide–the Progressive Voter Guide to Health Care that lays out Obama and McCain’s positions on the following topics: quality health care for all; obesity; information technology; Medicaid; Medicare; prescription drugs; gender-based health disparities; HIV/AIDS; veterans’ health; and, reproductive health and family planning.

Still can’t get enough? Try out Stand Up for Health Care, a great website that lets you compare the two candidates’ plans side by side.

Health care matters for everyone: for children and elders, for men and for women.  Yes, women.  We’re talking to you, John McCain.  In the last debate, we were aghast at McCain’s snarling dismissal of “women’s health” (his air quotes, not ours).  What? Are you serious?  Just one more reason why Obama clearly won all three debates—what we call in hockey a hat trick.

Speaking of women’s health, see the great coverage of women’s issues at Feminists for Obama, including some powerful videos.

Hockey Moms for Obama stand firmly with Senator Barack Obama on health care.  Know who else does?  The American Nurses Association, the group Doctors for Obama, and, increasingly, all sorts of conservative Republicans, from Christopher Buckley to Colin Powell.  Welcome to the Obama-Biden team, gentlemen, you’re in good company here!

–Carole, mother of two healthy children who has her pediatrician’s phone number memorized….just in case, Gunbarrel, Colorado

Spotted at Trader Joe’s in Venice, California!

October 20, 2008

Love this!  Spotted by the ever intrepid Janelle in the Trader Joe’s parking lot in Venice!

Need to get your Hockey Moms for Obama gear on?  Cafe Press has some great shirts and stickers, as does Zazzle.  Who knows—your photo could be the next one up here!

Change is coming: Obama 2008!

Reasons #17-24: Hockey Moms for Obama

October 20, 2008

Here are reasons #17-24 hockey moms are voting for Obama:

#17: ‘Cause He’s Inspiring Community Activists From Other Hemispheres

#18. We’re Pro-America

#19. McAnger vs. Zen and the Art of Campaigning

#20. Of Plumbers, Wealth, and Government

#21. For the Children

#22. The Rest of the World!

#23. Because Community Organizing IS Relevant!

#24. Judgment and Leadership in Complex Times