Friday, December 23, 2011

From Tina in CO:

Subject: : PP: Obama's advantage: people personally like him


Subject: PP: Obama's advantage: people personally like him

Merry Christmas, everyone!

From Betta:

Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Sunny!

I am thrilled to connect with you and know that all of us are being

brought together at the exact right time to help save the world!

Your blog was brilliant by the way, please do add me to your list. In

fact, you've inspired me to make blogging my New Year's resolution-

something I've been meaning to do for way too long!

I'm looking forward to connecting with you in 2012, hopefully lots of

great work and fun in our future!

In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday and happy new year!!



p.s. Mark sends xoxo

Terry from Sounth Nyack,NY:

Thanks for your wonderful email about Obama and the battle ahead for the Democrats.

I flew to Kansas City for Thanksgiving...were you there? We had quite a family get together...even my 82 year old Mother flew in from Wisconsin. Perhaps we'll bump into each other again en route...or here on the East Coast.

Have a wonderful Holiday and thanks for sharing your emails with me!

Warmest regards,

From Judy R in Mamaroneck

Here's the SNOPES link

Source for quote from Ike!!!

From Cindy in CA:

I will be happy to contribute to your blog regarding developments on the Supreme Court and judicial nominations. How about Gringich’s statement on Face the Nation last Sunday that if he disagrees with a decision of the Court, he ought to be able to call up the Justice Department and send out the US Marshals to arrest the judges!!!! That’s called fascism. In addition to health care, there are four or five other extremely important decisions that the Court will make before the end of June, i.e. before the election. You are so right that people need to think about this.

Have a Merry Ho, Ho Ho and let’s hope that 2012 is a great year in every way!!

From Susan WEstchester 4 Change in Harrison:

The holiday season is upon us and it's time to spend some time relaxing, eating, visiting, and sharing time with family and friends. When you are celebrating, I'm sure fracking will come up in some of your conversations. Please encourage your loved ones to watch Gasland if they haven't seen it (it's on Netflix and in the library). After they watch the film, they will probably ask what they can do. There are a multitude of good websites with links to many articles, but one of the best is which has the NY Times Drilling Down series and many, many other articles by topic under their heading "links." I have also attached some statements that were written by experts on various issues with regard to fracking.

If your loved ones are really hooked, ask them to write a letter to the Governor expressing their concerns (cc the letter to all of their elected officials). The website is very user-friendly. In addition, they can sign this letter to withdraw the SGEIS due to its many flaws: The letter is up to about 11,000 signatures now and more are signing each day. Our elected officials say that the grassroots activists have raised awareness and fracking is one of the most important issues today. Congratulations - you have now recruited another fracktivist!




DATE: Thurs. Jan. 5th

TIME: 10 a.m. - noon

PLACE: Susan Van Dolsen's home in Harrison (RSVP to to receive directions)

Join us for coffee and bagels


DATE: Wed. Jan. 11th

TIME: 7-9 p.m.


730 W. Boston Post Rd.

Mamaroneck, NY



DATE: Mon. Jan. 23rd (all day)

PLACE: Albany

We will coordinate carpools from Westchester, so please let us know if you're interested.


Here's to a frack-free 2012 and beyond!

Happy Holidays!

From Susan in Harrison:

Thank you for your message to President Obama thanking him for standing up for our health. Working together, we have secured an important step towards securing a cleaner, healthier future for America.

To ensure this message is heard, please take a moment to tell your friends, family, and colleagues about it. Just copy and paste the email message below into a new email!

Dear Friends,

Did you hear? President Obama has taken a stand on toxic mercury. The EPA has come out with a strong new standard that will help us move towards a cleaner future.

Tell President Obama thank you -- I did!
Find out more and send your message here:
Sarah Hodgdon

Conservation Director

Sierra Club

From Caren in NYC and CT:


Thank you sooooo much for your enthusiasm and dedication. With your commitment, and the common sense of the American people, we will have success in 2012.

Much love and all good wishes, Caren

From Randy in CA:

After seeing the fiasco of these last several days in Congress and

watching the Republicans make fools of themselves, I am back in. I

really had given up hope but now I think Obama has a good chance of

winning. Once I finish my part time job at the Leukemiua & Lymphoma

Society in mid-Feb, I'm on board to help Obama get re elected. I get

sick to my stomach listening to these Republicans spouting off lies

about how they are for the middle class. It just ain't true

Happy new year to all and let this be a winning year for us.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

From Wiesje in CT:

dear Sunny

Glad you are back and had such a great time in the White House.I was very supprised to receive a X mas card from the first familie this year.

Anyway yes we have to make sure Obama will be reelected in nov.

I wish you and your familie the best of holidays and a very happy and healthy 2012.See you in the new.year.Love Wiesje

From Donna in CT:

you are simply the best, Sunny. I loved reading this below...Recently, I was trying to list all the wonderful things Barack has done. I will forward this on to many. Thank you...Happy holidays and lots of love, donna

From tina in CO:

I am with you and planning to work nonstop after January.
See you on the campaign trail. Tina

From sherri in DC:

Yeah for you. You go girl. Next time you are in DC let us have a drink. Off to a WH party Friday. Surely not as special as yours.

Happy and healthy new year

From Gwynneth in Westchester

Sunny, God Bless You for all the work to put this together!!!

Happy Chanukah and a very Happy New Year to you.

Bring me some of that Cabo sun and look forward to lunch or dinner with you first week of January???

Love, Gwynneth

From Joan in PA

Bless you, Sunny!
And happy Hanukkah to you and your whole family.
Yes, we need to get back to that 'fired up, ready to go' enthusiasm we had years ago. What a dreadful last few years, with more Obama foot-falls and miscalculations than I would have hoped ~ but headed in the right direction to be sure.
Here's to an important year ahead for the reelection of Obama/Biden and at least a tiny bit of sanity.
Love to all,


Happy Holidays to all. May 2012 bring sanity to our country with a win for our President!!!

Dear Obama/Biden Supporters:

Just a note to tell you all happy holidays and that we need to be gearing up for the fight of our lives next year. I so appreciate all of your e-mails over the last few months and your asking about the blog and where I have been. I am back and looking forward to the new year and communicating with you all. Keeping us connected and reaching out to others is what will help us win in 2012.
One of my friends called this "the election of a generation" since the winner will determine the Supreme Court for the next generation! Some of you have lost interest, enthusiasm, and have shown apathy about 2012. I am here to say that I am fired up, getting lists together, and meeting with women (and some men) all over the country to be prepared for this fight. I don't want to be an alarmist, but we have come so far and can't lose sight of our goals!!! All I have to do to fire up is watch a Republican debate with those buffoons fighting over who is the most conservative, most anti-choice, anti-separation of church and state, anti-science and the environment to get my blood boiling. I then watch a show like the Sixty Minutes interview with President Obama - a smart, calm, sensitive, statesman who has accomplished so much such as eliminating Don't Ask Don't Tell, saving Ford from bankruptcy, stopping insurance companies from turning away clients for pre-existing conditions, ridding the world of Osama Ben Laden and Quaddafi along with other terrorists who threaten our existence, it reassures me that America is in good hands.
Now, it is up to us to get the word out and bring our Dems and Independents into the fold. We need to start the discourse and be ready to answer those who maintain they are disappointed and blaming government for any and all of the discontent. As he said in Kansas, as he channeled Theodore Roosevelt of 100 years ago, we need a Fairer Society with progressive solutions. We have gotten the notion that capitalism means taking whatever you want from whomever you want no mater what the cost. Progressive nationalism recognizes that we are all greater together when everyone has a fair shot to achieve and better themselves. This is the American Dream. To achieve it, we must have government there to level the playing field with programs and regulation. We need political and economic fairness if we are to be a great country.
Just in the last week we have seen more crucial victories in spite of the do nothing GOP who have literally tried to stop all legislation favoring the middle class. They have refused to compromise and have taken a pledge to not raise taxes under any circumstances. We've seen evidence that health care reform is working: 2.5 million Americans are now insured thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on their parent's health insurance until 26, more than double the number previously estimated.The last troops( leaving this past Sunday), the war in Iraq has come to a responsible end. Because of the veterans provisions of the American Jobs Act and the Hiring Heroes Act, which provide tax incentives to businesses who hire veterans in need of work, our troops coming home and all our veterans know that they can get the help they need in finding work and supporting their families. These are the kinds of fights Democrats are waging -- and winning They're crucial victories, but they can't happen without us!!!!!
Last week I also was honored to have been invited to the White House holiday party, and it reconfirmed how fortunate we are to have this President in the White House. The feeling of warmth and inclusion was apparent from our entering. The crowd was composed of a cross-section of all Americans from the famous to the ordinary. There were beautifully decorated Christmas trees that had themes such as children's cards from everywhere in the USA mixed with images of the troops and decorated ribbons of honor. It was an experience of a life time for my daughter and myself.
We met the President and First lady who were so warm and gracious and took the time to take pictures with each famly and make them feel special. Michelle reached out and said,"so wonderful to see you again" and hugged and kissed me. When introduced to the President, he took my hand and I said "I heard from people in Kansas City, where I grew up , that you knocked it out of the park with your speech in KS". He was so appreciative and then he thanked me for my hard work. I was indeed floating on air. I can't remember if and how we took our picture, but it was a life enhancing experience to share with Lilli.
I'd like to end with the truth, despite what disinformation Fox "News" puts out there. Barack Obama has accomplished so much and it is up to us to get the word out there:(***Thanks, Charlie for this list-see below)
“ * Getting us out of Iraq

* Eliminating Osama Bin Laden and senior al Qaeda leadership

* Rescuing the auto industry and a million jobs and getting the money back

* Passing universal health care reform and a plan to control long term costs

* Tackling Medicare fraud and off-shore tax evasion

* New CAFE standards that save $1.7 trillion in oil and 6 billion tons of carbon

* Supporting rebels in overthrowing the terrorist Qadaffi regime

* Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT)

* Ratifying the New START treaty to further reduce nuclear stockpiles

* Creating an economic stimulus package to avoid a depression

* Regulating dangerous derivative speculation

* Limiting predatory financial industry practices

* New controls on systemic risk and safe unwinding of too-big-to-fail bank(s)

* Accountability for bond rating agencies

* Incentivizing states through Race to the Top to reform education

* Passing a food safety bill that shifts FDA from reaction to prevention

* Encouraging healthy eating

* Seriously tackling deficit reduction for first time since Clinton

* Pushing the economy-wrecking debt-ceiling standoff out past the 2012 elections.”

*Named two women to the Supreme Court
I welcome your comments suggestions and ideas for winning in 2012! We must get it together,get our message out, and be ready for the election -the consequences are too dire if we don't!!! Be certain to check out the Jake Lamar YouTube I, like Jake, am not disappointed in Barack Obama -he gives me hope for our country and spurs me on to do the right thing! As Jake says,this election is about the cold hard realities of being attacked by the right wing GOP who care nothing about getting things done for America but only about getting rid of our President! The GOP is hell bent on making the art of the possible impossible, and I for one will not allow this to happen. Happy and healthy New Year and you better believe I'll see you in 2012 when we will join together and say once again,"Yes WE CAN".
A Mama 4 Obama

From Helen in response to my panic answering a misguided GOP fanatic:

I'm not sure someone as uninformed as BB can be answered. The makers and takers stuff is BS, unless he's talking about ordinary working people as the makers and investment bankers, big banks, and Wall Street at the takers. Their greed, foolishness, and plain criminality nearly destroyed our economy. We bailed them out from their staggering errors with our hard-earned dollars. And they go on taking gargantuan pay and whining about how put upon they are. Their self-absorption and self-pity are as dumbfounding as their rapacity.
The one thing to remind people is that our government was constructed so we would have a weak president. The founding generations were not going to risk everything they had to get out from under one King only to set up another one in our government. We don't even have a parliamentary system, where the prime minister has a majority by definition. When one half of the Congress has asserted from the beginning that their only goal is to thwart the president, what do people expect? The stimuli were too small, by Republican insistence; they did save a lot of jobs. He can't just end the wars, setting aside the strategic importance of Afghanistan, in terms of its location and its supply of rare earths.
Forget Israel. Netanyahu doesn't want peace; why would he? Their steady, quiet land grab is getting the Israelis exactly what most of them appear to want, the land. Nobody in the US is abandoning Israel, though its behavior has made Europeans dislike and distrust them. And here's the revanchist "indefensible borders" argument. What meaning does that have in the era of modern warfare? There are no more borders. The Arabs and Iran are not going to take on Israel; it's armed to the teeth with every imaginable weapon. They tried that; it didn't work.
Women generally do not get "indiscriminate" abortions. Only a man could think that. The few who do, which would he prefer, indiscriminate abortions or children to be reared by women who lacked the strength to get themselves in that situation rearing children?
The Obama health care plan is really insurance reform. People without insurance go to the Emergency Room. The rest of us pay for that in our hospital bills and our insurance. Too, why should insurance companies be able to yank someone's coverage when they become sick? Insuring the sick as well as the well is their raison d'etre.
Few US citizens pay no taxes. They pay unemployment, Social Security, Medicare taxes, and state income and sales taxes, and local real estate taxes (even if they are tenants, the landlord adds to their rent the cost of the real estate taxes).
It's globalization most of all that has made us uncompetitive; it was clear from the beginning that this would happen to our country. We pushed it along with NAFTA, etc. We either become like Germany, or we become poorer and poorer.
The presumption of BB that he alone looks at 'both sides of the equation' is laughable. Obama is smart as blazes, very thoughtful, and believe me, they look at everything. Including what they can persuade Congress to pass by a super, 60-vote, majority in the Senate, because the Republicans, among other things, threaten to filibuster anything they don't like. The Founding Fathers definitely did not have that in mind. It is not in the Constitution.
Well, dear dear Sunny - I've ranted enough. He's far from the most ignorant or superficial. It's a national reality and handicap to our having the leadership we should have. Feel free to quote me with or without attribution in responding to any of your querulous readers.

From Gwynneth in white Plains:

Down in Snowy DC for the weekend where my senior kid stayed overnite at GW, and pretty much wants to go there or Georgetown because thery are in DC !!!!!. Had no idea so close to the seats of power, so got stuck in traffic jam because el presdente was passing by at 9:15 pm Saturday on his way to the heliport. Ayway, being in Georgetown, the weather and all just reminded me of our Inaugural weekend and would it not be great to indeed have another one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Betty in Scarsdale:

I just wanted to make sure you caught Kirsten on The Today Show yesterday. She spoke passionately about her efforts to inspire a new generation of Rosie the Riveters and to get more women off the sidelines.

I hope you'll check out the video by clicking here!

******From Ladies in Westchester who lunch and move Mountains:
Please save the date of 1/11 at 7 p.m. for a general Westchester for Change meeting in the Mamaroneck Town Hall courtroom(Boston Post Rd). We will talk about the ways to become involved in the Obama campaign. I look forward to another lunch at the end of Jan. Here is the youtube video of Jake Lamar that is so good:

-Geri suggested we will have 2 differing strategies depending on who the opponent is,(differing opinion on that-some thinking Huntsman,Gingrich,Romney) we need to know who are adversary is!

-we all have to move to center,and get independents to see the dire situation of this election,as Christine said,"election for my children since two to three Supreme Court justices will be appointed and we all know how long they stay on court"!

-we must get lists,cell phones,e-mails all ready to go,when opponent we can start up the most amazing campaign ever!

From Randy in CA:

Can you imagine if there were 2 black candidates running for president in 2012? Those who vote (and it is not even 50% of the adult population)and want to get a black man out, wouldn't know for whom to cast their vote and probably wouldn't vote! It's bad enough that the candidate needs to be a good Christian, but black again? I think it would be great and fun to watch.


p.s. i just couldn't resist.

Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are essentially tied for the lead in the race for the 2012 GOP nomination, with Rick Perry dropping to a distant third, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

But with only 33% of all Republicans saying that their minds are made up, it's far too early to say the race is over, or even that is has boiled down to a mano-a-mano fight between Romney and Cain.

Cain has seen his support nearly triple, from 9% in September to 25% now; Perry's strength has been cut in half in that same time period.

There has been little change for the candidates in single digits -- 2- to 3-point swings for Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich and little or no change for Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman.

Watch the GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, October 18, in the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas.

From Herb in Mo and Sheila in NY:

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.

Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

From Judy in MO and Carla in NY:

Subj: interesting language


Did you know that, the words "race car" spelled backwards still spells "race car"?
And that "eat" is the only word that, if you take the first letter and move it to the last, spells its own past tense, "ate"?

And if you rearrange the letters in "Tea Party Republicans," and add just a few more letters, it spells: "Shut the fuck up you free-loading, progress-blocking, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, violent hypocrites, and deal with the fact that you nearly wrecked the country under Bush and that our president is black, so get over it."
Isn't that interesting?

From Kathy in MO:

People need to realize that most of the wealth and access to the government is controlled by that 1%. It is obscene. People thought if they worked hard they would at least have a shot at taking care of their families, but that is getting to be less and less true all of the time. They have shattered the American Dream. It saddens and angers me to see kids coming out of college with tens of thousands of dollars in debt and no propects for a job. It sickens me to see them trying to shred the social safety net that seniors and the most vulnerable in our country depend on. It is life and death for them. And give more money to the people at the top! It doesn't make sense. It is also so scary that they have duped so many people into supporting these obscene policies. 99% of the country should be rising up against them and demanding change. At least these brave protesters have steered the national conversation to shine light on the destruction of the American dream. It is the least we can do to carry a sign and sit with them. Our little activist, Marisa, has spent the night down there. She has marched with them a number of times and even donated blankets. I am so proud of her.

From Hank in NY:

“Who Speaks For The Silent Majority?” – Op/Ed – November 3, 2011
The title of Mr. Lassiter’s essay raises the major issues facing America today. The absence, by this majority, of speech, political action, non- shouting and non-violent protests, and most importantly, not accepting the right and responsibility to vote, are what ails our nation. The “silent majority” in America, is frankly, far too silent. Millions of Americans have stopped reading newspapers and news magazines, and get most of their information from internet sites like YouTube, Face Book and Twitter, or an occasional glance at the nightly news. Most of us accept without questioning, the sound-bites we get from ever increasingly biased news organizations like FOX, MSNBC and CNN.
Imagine if the 14 million unemployed Americans, with the under-employed and those that have given up hope of finding a job, staged a sit-in in front of and all around the Capital Building in DC, and remained there until Congress passes all or most of Obama’s American Jobs Act! What if all the parents, spouses, children and friends of our troops in Afghanistan peacefully protested in front of the White House until the President made the decision to bring all our troops home now! Speak up America! Our voices need to drown out the radical right and left wing nuts, and send a clear message to Obama and Congress, that we’re fed up and were not going to take it anymore!

From Andy T/DNC:

Romney appointed Robert Bork to co-chair his Judiciary Advisory Committee . . . Gingrich is even worse . . . and support NOW is three to eight times as powerful as the exact same support next fall. Each paid organizer hired now snowballs into literally hundreds of volunteers. Every week we wait is one fewer week for that snowball to grow . .. one fewer week for our volunteers to register millions of new voters and help millions of existing voters jump the newly-erected Republican hurdles to voting. NOW is our best shot at building the turnout that, in 341 days, will restore Nancy Pelosi's gavel, hold the Senate and White House, flip state legislatures and governorships, and – most important of all – assure that we don’t lose the Supreme Court for the next 25 years. Click here, now, if you can help. I’ll see it the minute you do and make sure it’s credited to any event that fits your schedule (and to anyone you designate). Support now doesn’t guarantee success, but is by far the most leveraged way to tilt the odds our way. Thanks!

From Charlie:

Dear Friend - My last partisan communication was on November 6th soon after the memorable 2008 election of Barack Obama. If you have time for a nostalgic “trip down Memory Lane”, see reprint at the bottom. That was a triumphant evening and we have all experienced ups and downs and conflicting thoughts over the past three years. In some ways, Obama has surprised as well as at times disappointed us, but if one thinks of the Republican alternatives, confidence does not explode to the forefront. The choice next year of Obama will be compelling compared to the starkly dark alternatives. In short, we have work to do – you and me, and everyone you know who shares a vision of greater opportunity for all, economic justice, peace and environmental stewardship. We need Barack Obama to be our President again for the years 2013 – 2016.

To start us thinking on WHY this matters, I urge all of you to please spend some time digesting two articles which appeared in New York Magazine and the NY Times this past fortnight. First, Jonathan Chait in New York re-examines 50 years of Democratic presidents from Kennedy to Carter to Clinton to Obama and asks “When Did Liberals Become so Unreasonable?”. You can find it here: Chait lays out a persuasive case that liberals are rarely satisfied with their Democratic presidents, except perhaps nostalgically years later.

Second, Nicholas Kristof in the Sunday Times observes, “President as Pinata?” – you can read it here: And then after you’ve pondered these two pieces of powerful editorial reporting, consider this list of impressive accomplishments penned by one of the thousands of readers posting their reactions to these two articles. Commenter #16 on the Kristof NY Times blog site writes: "Why I Like Obama" (just the big stuff):

“ * Getting us out of Iraq

* Eliminating Osama Bin Laden and senior al Qaeda leadership

* Rescuing the auto industry and a million jobs and getting the money back

* Passing universal health care reform and a plan to control long term costs

* Tackling Medicare fraud and off-shore tax evasion

* New CAFE stds that save $1.7 trillion in oil and 6 billion tons of carbon

* Supporting rebels in overthrowing the terrorist Qadaffi regime

* Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT)

* Ratifying the New START treaty to further reduce nuclear stockpiles

* Creating an economic stimulus package to avoid a depression

* Regulating dangerous derivative speculation

* Limiting predatory financial industry practices

* New controls on systemic risk and safe unwinding of too-big-to-fail bank(s)

* Accountability for bond rating agencies

* Incentivizing states through Race to the Top to reform education

* Passing a food safety bill that shifts FDA from reaction to prevention

* Encouraging healthy eating

* Seriously tackling deficit reduction for first time since Clinton

* Pushing the economy-wrecking debt-ceiling standoff out past the 2012 elections.”

Now, think of what you might add or subtract from that list………like perhaps 1) restored America’s prestige around the world among peoples almost everywhere, or 2) embodied the true virtues of “family values” through his demeanor as a loving father and devoted husband, or 3) makes you feel confident that “adults are back in charge in the White House”, or 4) inspired countless millions of black and Hispanic Americans to believe that this country still embodies an opportunity, moreso than any other country, for most individuals to achieve lives unfathomable in most other societies – what Chris Matthews in an MSNBC ad calls (a term and context that I deplore, except perhaps in this narrow usage of the concept) the true “American Exceptionalism” - the notion that a son of a Kenyan father he never knew, and a white Kansan mother and grandparents who raised him, named Barack Hussein Obama, born in Hawaii, could become President. It is still breath-taking.
I welcome your comments, feedback, suggestions or ideas. I look forward to sharing the next election cycle with you.


From Patty in St Louis,Mo:
Below this week's column is a link to a fascinating video on an important case of police torture and wrongful conviction--

Things Continue Looking Up for Dems

By Don Rose
Democrats should be salivating. First, there’s last Tuesday’s incredible victory in Ohio, where 61 percent of the voters rescinded Governor Kasich’s law stripping unions of bargaining rights—then the sight of Republican presidential candidates publicly imploding while promising to keep on truckin’.

Ohio’s vote should give heart to those fearful of the state going Republican in 2012. It is no guarantee of success next year, but it laid down a strong template for grass-roots organizing in this most important of states. Hardly anyone wins the presidency without it.

Of little significance for 2012, but still an astonishing result, was Mississippi voting 57 percent against a draconian anti-abortion bill that would have outlawed certain forms of birth control and put the lives of some pregnant women at risk. Too damaging even for strong pro-lifers, who would otherwise be a majority in Mississippi—possibly the most conservative state in the union.

Then we have the psychodrama of Herman Cain struggling to erase multiple charges of sex harassment with bombastic statements that offer no credible response to the potentially documentable charges. The situation has cost him some following, yet he remains high on the list of contenders, still leading Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in one poll.

Cain promises to hang in, despite it all, which can only cause fear and loathing within party ranks. Similarly, Rick Perry, who has, in his terminology, “stepped in it” so many times that all the perfumes of Arabia cannot cover the stench on those thousand-dollar cowboy boots. He, too, promises to stay the course by dropping a million bucks into Fox News commercials to resuscitate himself. But what’s more dangerous to the party is that he is likely to make a subsequent major investment in anti-Romney commercials.

Now, coming up from the rear, is Newt Gingrich—serial adulterer, bling-buying bomb-thrower and card-carrying smart-ass—bidding to become the next flavor of the month. Can’t wait to see replays of that interview where he explains his sexual peccadilloes as acts of patriotism—he was so busy worrying about America that he left his zipper open to all. And that’s just the beginning of an hour-long reel of self-immolation that will keep us in stitches on U-tube and network TV.

All those gaffsters should make it easier and easier for Romney to grab the brass ring, but he still struggles to get a quarter of the vote while he keeps flip-flopping like an Asian carp on Oak Street Beach. Most recently he was for the Ohio union-busting bill before he went neutral on it, then finally came out for it again—which, among other things, may not sit well with 61 percent of Ohio voters.

The Republicans also are so worried about the headway Barack Obama is making by running against this do-nothing, job-killing Congress that they may actually support several of his measures. Yep—they’re hurting so much they may find it less painful to hand him a genuine legislative victory. How painful is that?

Michael Tillman: His Torture & Wrongful Conviction

From Judy in Westchester:

Shows what an arrogant, self-centered character Gingrich is!

Click here: "High Infidelity" by Steve Benen

From Hank in NY:

Subject: To The Editor
“The Good Newt” – Op/Ed – December 12, 2011
I highly admire Bill Keller, but beg to differ with his essay. There is nothing “good” about Newt Gingrich. The former Speaker of the House has ALL the characteristics described by Wikipedia:

“Like all members of the order Caudata, newts are characterized by a frog-like body with four equal sized limbs and a distinct tail. Aquatic larvae have true teeth on both upper and lower jaws, and external gills. They have the ability to regenerate limbs, eyes, spinal cords, hearts, intestines, and upper and lower jaws. Recently it was discovered that the Japanese fire belly newt can regenerate its eye lens 18 times over a period of 16 years and retain its structural and functional properties.”

Newt in fact, is the ultimate newt. He has changed everything about himself over the past15 years, including his spouse (several times), his positions on everything from climate change to abortion rights. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, which is a far higher level of performance than Newt has ever displayed.

From Susan in Rye:

Here is the youtube video of Jake Lamar that is so good:

From Ohio Joe:

As far as Ohio goes……the Occupy group continues and almost 99% are Obama supporters, all ages, etc.
From what I am hearing, people support Obama, but are disappointed with the jobs situation, etc. The unemployment rate is going down because people are running out of benefits (food stamps and others are going up) I know this for a fact because a friend works for the state. We have friends who have been out of work for more than 2 years (college grads.)

BUT……they are not the happiest with Obama, BUT they still support him. He is a smart, bright and talented man…..people just wish he were tougher with his own agenda.

From what the GOP is producing so far, I think Ohio will go to Obama.

Have a good trip


Tell Congress: End the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

It's outrageous. The average tax break from the Bush tax cuts enjoyed by the top 1 percent of wage earners is larger than the average income of the rest of the 99 percent of Americans.

And after a decade of giving money to those who literally didn't need it, the deficit caused in large part by the Bush tax cuts is being used as an excuse to take away the social safety net that protects the most vulnerable members of society. Tell your member of Congress and your senators: End the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

Ending these cuts should be a no brainer. They had been set to expire at the end of 2010, but President Obama ended up cutting a deal with the Republican leadership to extend the cuts for another two years. But we know that the cuts won't be allowed to expire without a big fight. Republican intransigence on the Bush tax cuts was at the heart of the failure of the Super Committee.

Not only did the Republicans on the Super Committee want the Bush tax cuts to be made permanent, they took the morally bankrupt position that we should blow a bigger hole in the budget by giving even larger tax cuts to the rich. Simply extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would cost us more than $700 billion over the next decade. There is very little that so clearly demonstartes the venality of some members of Congress than the demand to give the Koch brothers a tax cut while pushing benefit cuts to programs like Social Security,Medicare and Medicaid. Democrats caved in 2010, and Republicans expect them to cave again. Between now and the end of 2012, we can expect a relentless push to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. But this is a fight we can win if we are relentless, too. In this case gridlock and inaction work to our benefit because we don't have to pass a bill — we just need to ensure that Congress doesn't pass a bill that extends the Bush tax cuts past 2012

The first step is speaking out and laying down a marker so that your member of Congress and senators know their constituents want the Bush tax cuts to end.

From Gwynneth in White Plains NY:

Gwynneth who was there said:

Pumped, energized, back to the 2008 campaign is how I felt. He was just fabulous and put to rest all my worries about everything I have been hearing from the Republican side. On a personal level, I also just loved how Jewish his comments were-I know he had great advisers to explain to him exactly who his audience was, but they got it right 1000%--who ever thought you would hear a sitting president use Hebrew, and use it correctly, and teach us a bit of Torah etc. and it was phenomenal to be there in the 3rd row!!!!!!! (Of course one cannot be that surprised, when this is the prez who kashers the White House kitchen for the annual Hanukkah party, and who holds a Seder each year in the WH!)

Obama in 2012!!!!!

Cheers for Obama from key U.S. Jewish group

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — President Barack Obama received a rousing reception on Friday at the Union of Reform Judaism conference, whose members make up the backbone of his U.S. Jewish support.

Obama’s serial standing ovations came during a speech in this Washington suburb where he talked about his unshakeable support for Israel. “Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact,” Obama said.

Obama was alluding to a stepped-up campaign by Republicans, led by the 2012 GOP presidential candidates, to question his backing for Israel — attacks aimed to drive a wedge between Jewish voters who supported him overwhelmingly in 2008 as well as to appeal to evangelical Christian Zionists.

While the Obama White House has had a few stumbles recently — Obama was caught on an open microphone with French President Nicolas Sarkozy complaining about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — Republicans have been looking to separate Obama from his Jewish voters for years.

In the speech to thousands of members of the Jewish Reform movement, Obama repeated several times a Hebrew word, “hineni,” that was familiar and meaningful to the audience, as it often appears in the Torah. It means, “Here I am.”

Obama made references to this week’s Torah portion, daughter Malia’s attendance at bar and bat mitzvahs, Tikkun Olam (the Jewish concept of repairing the world), and the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis.

In other words, Obama threw in everything but the matzo balls and chicken soup.

The speech was delayed while Obama huddled backstage with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. While the crowd waited, Jewish folk rock singer Josh Nelson filled time with tunes ranging from the Hanukkah standard “Maoz Tsur,” also known as “Rock of Ages, to “Great Balls of Fire” to a popular Israeli tune, “Bashana Haba’ah,” which means “in the year to come.”

The Obama speech-writing team crafted the speech to first address Obama’s domestic policies and achievements because the Reform Jewish voter — which tilts Democratic — is not just about Israel. Obama talked about the struggles for voting and civil rights the Reform Jewish movement backed to more current-day battles for women’s, disabled and gay rights.

In turning to Israel, Obama provided a forceful defense of his policies to the friendly group, seemingly giving them ammunition to go out and help make the case for his re-election.

“As president, I have never wavered in pursuit of a just and lasting peace — two states for two peoples; an independent Palestine alongside a secure Jewish state of Israel. I have not wavered and will not waver. That is our shared vision,” Obama said.

Obama also sided with an Israeli perspective on the peace process: that Israel and the Palestinians have to negotiate and no entity — especially the United Nations — can impose a deal.

“There’s no question about how lasting peace will be achieved. Peace can’t be imposed from the outside. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them,” Obama said.

Obama repeated what he has said since he started running for president in 2007: “America’s commitment and my commitment to Israel and Israel’s security is unshakeable. It is unshakeable. “

On the security side, the Obama administration has bolstered military assistance to Israel. “I am proud to say that no U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel’s security than ours. None. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact.”

And on the threat Iran poses to Israel — an area where the GOP presidential field has suggested Obama is weak — Obama said he would do what it takes to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

Said Obama, “Rest assured, we will take no options off the table.”

From Val in Ohio:
The Ohio legislature has passed a compromise redistricting bill, HB 369. We are no longer collecting signatures on the petitions for a referendum on the earlier redistricting bill HB 319. We needed about 70,000 more by Dec 24 and the compromise avoids the possibility of failure with that effort; the more than 150,000 signatures all of us have collected have provided the pressure needed to force the Republicans in the direction of better redistricting (though not yet far enough). The compromise bill draws a new map. It is still pretty much an unfair and unrepresentative 12 R / 4 D map, but there will be a balanced bipartisan redistricting task force set up with the hoped for outcome being a constitutional amendment to bring Ohio a fair redistricting process and one that could be used to draw new districts for 2014. (If such an outcome does not result, there is still the option of a citizen's petition driven constitutional amendment, unconstrained by the extra short time we have had to collect HB 319 signatures). Also, part of the compromise is a single March 6 primary next year. You can see the new map at  as well as

From Hank in NY:Subject: To The Editor
“Don’t Tax the Rich. Tax Inequality Itself” – Op/Ed – December 19, 2011
All the insipid discussion about equality and inequality, and the 1% versus the 99% is idiotic and useless. The plain fact is that unless we increase revenues in this country, we will never be able to cut the deficit and get back on the road to a full, jobs oriented economic recovery. Here is a simple five step plan that would, over the next President’s term, sharply reduce the deficit, create millions of new jobs, and get America back on track to balancing our budget:
1. End the war in Afghanistan immediately, and bring all our troops home by the end of July 2012. Use the $110 billion in annual savings to make sure that EVERY veteran who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan has a job, a home and the finest medical care in the world.

2. Create a “Medicare for all single-payer system” and raise the eligibility age to 67 for all those who are now fifty or younger. Also, we must add Tort Reform to any sustainable health care delivery system, and change the way providers are paid from how many patients they treat to rewarding providers for outcomes achieved.

3. Allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to sunset at the end of 2012. Twelve years of breaks is more than enough for the wealthiest among us.

4. Create a system of which requires wealthy Americans to pay for some or all of their Social Security benefits.

5. Start, tomorrow, developing ALL alternative forms of clean energy so that the next generation of Americans won’t bear the burden of paying three-quarters of a trillion dollars each year to import foreign oil.
This is not about tax inequality, it is about logical, sustainable ideas that will actually save money and put people to work.

From Robin in NY:

Subject: Week In Review: A Big Week For Little Girls, Facebook's Latest Changes, and more
Good morning! Here's your roundup of the previous week’s most significant events and announcements and how they impact Millennials. This is a beta version of Ypulse’s Week In Review VIP newsletter; we hope you find it helpful.
This past week was a big one for little girls; two big players in the toy industry announced new franchises designed specifically for them. First, Disney crowned Sophia, its first preschool princess. Then, a few days later, we got a peek at Lego’s new line for girls, Lego Friends. Both upset adults — Disney’s princess Sophia aims to instill the royal fantasy at an even younger age, while Lego’s Friends play on gender stereotypes instead of building creativity. Taking a step back from the mild uproar, we can’t help but notice what prime roles girls are getting. Two top brands have recognized that their fates hinge not only on winning over boys, but also on gaining girls’ interest. As for the feminist complaints, a girl princess ruling a country or running her own Lego beauty salon seems okay to us (in other words, it also matters how they’re encouraged to play with their new toys).
Facebook has unveiled its new Timeline feature to all users, and the infographic-like layout will go live this coming week. Before the official rollout, users have had the chance to edit and tweak their Timeline to reflect what they want to share and highlight — special photos, major life events, significant status updates, and more. For once, Facebook seems to be getting it right by giving users a chance to review changes in how their profile will be presented before it is published for all their friends to see. So far, we like this new graphic layout of our lives. Timeline isn’t the only new feature Facebook is rolling out; it also launched a new crisis helpline for users who feel they are in desperate situations as the result of cyberbullying or other issues. It's another proactive approach that we can appreciate.
Finally, in an item that could have significant impact in 2012, we learned last week that Millennials are wavering in their support of Barack Obama. They were instrumental in his election in 2008, but they’ve been frustrated on a number of political fronts, from health care to student loan issues to unemployment, and they’re unhappy with the direction the country is currently headed. But they don’t necessarily think a Republican president would be any better. Only time will tell how they'll vote come November, but with their interest in politics and activism, we expect a lot of Millennials will make sure their voices are represented in political arenas by getting involved in campaigns in the coming year.
And that’s the week that was. Catch up on these stories and more in the Ypulse Essentials Archive , or follow us on Twitter  for all the latest news.

PS. — Last week, we mistakenly cited Will Ferrell's website as when it is
PSS — We'll be on hiatus next week, spending time with family and friends for the holidays, but we'll be back on January 2nd to fill you in on all the news taking place over the break.

From Hank in NY:

Subject: To The Editor
“Putting Paychecks At Risk” – Editorial – December 21, 2011
This is not only a case of putting paychecks at risk, but rather a serious case of putting job creation and the entire economic recovery at risk. Should Congress fail to pass a two month extension of the payroll tax holiday, more than half the population of the U.S. will see their paychecks reduced by a thousand to fifteen hundred dollars a year, Medicare recipients will see their premiums increase, and millions of long-term jobless Americans will lose their unemployment insurance.
What is so disgusting about this situation is that at the very time when economic recovery is a light at the end of a long dark tunnel, the Republican majority in the House is about to extinguish that light and place the majority of citizens of our nation into abysmal darkness. Job creation will take a sharp turn downwards as employers are once again frightened away from hiring because they lack confidence in our government’s ability to get anything done, and because they will still not know what their long-term tax and health care costs will be. Merry Christmas John Boehner.