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Barack Obama - our best hope

By On

Barack Obama probably will win Washington State's 11 electoral votes. But he will only win if all of us who favor him actually vote for him. It is a tendency of human nature to relax when a desired goal appears certain. And then we sometimes lose. You can bet the Rossi supporters will turn out in high numbers for the governor's election - and most of them will be voting McCain.

Many of my moderately conservative friends are actually open to voting for Obama. If you are one, then here are some final thoughts to consider. I voted last week and, after marking my ballot, counted 5 Republicans that got my vote; Sam Reed for Secretary of State and Rob McKenna for Attorney General were the most important. These two guys are trying hard to improve voting processes and open government. i believe in Independent voting.

Here is the core of why I've voted for Obama. He offers a change of direction from pursuing war as a normal option in our foreign relations. He also offers a change from the enrichment of the top 1% of American families that Reagan started in 1981. Yes, I have hope that Barack will turn this country to what we all treasure as our American values - opportunity for all, fairness in our tax code, a respect for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and a government that carefully regulates. Yes, careful regulation is needed and the Wall Street meltdown is a reminder of that.

I find it ironic that McCain says Obama's health insurance and education plans might cost us $50 or $300 billion - and McCain mockingly asks where will that money come from. Well, it could have come from the $700 billion we are giving to the banks and Wall Street. McCain is not asking where that transfer of wealth from us middle class taxpayers to the richest 1% families is coming from or whether it is fair. Indeed, this gift will only encourage them to screw up our economy again for their own gain. I fear McCain as president continuing the sloppy regulation of the big banks and business that we have seen the past 8 years. Not to mention more wars.

Obama offers hope for a change for the better. He offers solid concepts and ideas. He will have a Congress that will pass his legislation. Our country has been on the wrong path these past 8 years - on our civll rights, our economy and our foreign relations. I urge all moderates to vote for Barack Obama and give him and his very solid, common sense ideas a chance.

About John Servais

Writer • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

Comments by Readers

Robert Mongue

Nov 02, 2008

John,
Long overdue. Hopefully Obama will win.
He indeed will be a “transformational figure”
Time for a new beginning at home and in the eyes of the world. Don’t buy the polls, but also don’t think those 10hr early voting lines are voters looking for more of the same. Hopefully diebold doesn’t guarantee ohio again.
Best regards.

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Bob Aegerter

Nov 02, 2008

John,

I fear you may have missed the only Washington State Republican who truly deserved your vote:

Allan Martin for State Treasurer

I’m sticking my my prediction three weeks ago:
Obama 373, The other guy 164

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John Servais

Nov 02, 2008

Bob - I don’t know enough about Republican Martin.  Can you tell us more?

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Bob Aegerter

Nov 02, 2008

John,

Allan Martin has worked in the State Treasurer’s office since 1999.  The retiring Democratic State Treasurer endorsed him.

As Assistant State Treasurer he did a very good job of managing borrowing costs.  That at managing risk is what the State Treasures’ job is about.

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Doug Karlberg

Nov 03, 2008

John, You are entitled to you opinion, but your facts underlying your opinion have always been fair game for the readers here.

On the subject of regulation of the banks, the facts are that McCain co-sponsored legislation to rein in the excesses. Obama on the other hand took $160,000 from Fannie and Freddie alone.

The legislation was blocked by Congressional Democrats.

Congress was paid to look the other way, while the excesses were continued and Fannie and Freddie were the leaders of this sub-prime movement.

Congress pushed Fannie and Freddie to make loans to unqualified borrowers, and then when folks defaulted, The Democratic Congress calls them predatory lenders. Didn’t Congress encourage them to make the loans in the first place?

It is hard to pin this on McCain, considering the undeniable facts of the banking situation.

Your site states that the subject is “Let’s do the Public’s business in public.”

How does this article fit your sites description?

When discussing the “Public’s business”, shouldn’t we be honest and use the facts?

I don’t mind someone having more faith in one candidate or another. I only protest when someone uses distortions of the facts to back up their case, or have to disparage the other candidate in order to make their pick look better, which is always a red flag to me, of a weak argument.

~

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John Watts

Nov 03, 2008

Good column John!

That your ‘opinion’, as one commenter suggested, is not based on ‘facts, is ludicrous. The facts upon which your opinion -and hopefully an overwhelming majority of voters ‘opinions are based- are as clear as one could imagine they would ever be. One would have to be truly blind and deaf to not understand and acknowledge this.

The past 8 years have been a tragedy of such proportions that it has inflicted the entire world, and which has created such a need for correction that one wonders if it can even be done in a reasonable time.

Under the circumstances, one has to question the sanity of any one who actually seeks to right the wrongs that have been perpetrated on all Americans! There is an actual joke making the rounds that the real champagne will flow at the loser’s celebration! Think there might be relief at not having the responsibility to fix all that has been willfully, incompetently and ruthlessly broken by ‘W’s’ administration, which seems destined to go down in history as the absolute worst in modern history and maybe in all our history as a free country.

But, if anyone is better qualified than Obama to inspire us to do better, I don’t know who it would be. He has certainly risen to the political task of getting himself into position to become our 44th President, as we have seen over the last 2 years. Who would have guessed that might have happened?

I wish him well and will support whatever ‘medicine’ is prescribed to get the US back into a role of true and humanitarian based leadership -both at home and overseas. He will surely need our support during the next 4 years as he has in the last 2.

Last, some of the comments triggered my memory of 2 previous blogs on HamsterTalk written on August 3 & 14 of 2007, which readers may find still relevant.

‘On Integrity & Competence’ and ‘Between Iraq & a Hard Place’ both mention a book by Senator Bill Bradley, which outlines pretty succinctly how several major issues might be resolved and paid for without raising taxes.

Here’s a hint; cut the Defense Budget by 10%.

In the meantime, let’s hope voters set a new record tomorrow! Let’s also hope that early voting becomes standard nationwide, and that Americans decide on and for all to become active Citizens, and not just lazy consumers.

Peace

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Tip Johnson

Nov 03, 2008

I voted for Obama, but it’s not due to an unwavering love for Democrats.

It’s because I totally distrust monetarist “trickle down” policies and because trashing our middle class has jeopardized national security far more than Al Qaeda ever could.

Granted, Clinton signed the bill that specifically exempted Credit Default Swaps from regulation.  Granted, Democrats need re-election money and took it from anyone they could.  But everyone wanted and encouraged wide open credit, Democrats and Republicans alike.  Congress didn’t encourage sub-prime or no-doc loans.  Wall Street brokers did the browbeating on that because they knew they could sell more mortgage backed securities.

What the Wall Street bailout proves is that trickle down economics works much, much better with debt than with wealth.  It proves that, as Greenspan admitted, financial markets will not exercise self discipline, even in their own self-interests.

Obama will be more democratically inclusive. Obama is capable of speaking more reasonably with world leaders.  Obama will imbue our global economic efforts with an interest in the health of local, domestic economic affairs.  I think he gives a damn about the middle class.

I think Obama knows it is better for wealth to trickle up, that creating a chance for all Americans to save is what will restore our banking system.  I think he will be unafraid of regulations that could help prevent it all being squandered once again.

These steps are necessary to restoring the United States reputation in the world. That’s why I voted for Obama.

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Doug Karlberg

Nov 03, 2008

Watt are the facts?

Have I lost my mind, or did I remember Bill Clinton signing Nafta and “work for welfare reform”.

Did not Bill Clinton also sign the bank deregulation act?

WASHINGTON (CNN)—The biggest change in the nation’s banking system since the Great Depression became law Friday, when President Bill Clinton signed a measure overhauling federal rules governing the way financial institutions operate… “It was sweaty, it was tense, but it had momentum,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) said of the final bargaining session. He and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) whose states are home to Wall Street and the banking industry (New York) and the insurance industry (Connecticut), helped broker the agreement.

Isn’t this the same Dodd and Schumer that are blaming Bush now?

Nice to rewrite history, and make yourself the hero every time.

With Obama, Reid, and Pelosi in virtual control of the country, the few Republicans left should simply pull back and let them have their way.

The Democratic orgy that would follow, would backfire spectacularly. I can hear it now. A landslide. A mandate.

With more of our nations economy controlled by government then any time in our nation’s history, placing both Houses of Congress and the Presidency into the hands of liberal free spending Democrats is potentially, a perfect storm.

I am old enough to remember Jimmy Carter. Good man, but an ineffective President, whose career was made worse by an out of control Democratic Congress.

This election in my opinion is not so much as a buy-in of hard core liberal Democratic principles, than disappointment in the economy and Republicans. The country generally is still a center right country. Forget that for long, and heads will roll.

For McCain to even be in the race, is amazing considering the head winds that he is flying into. I am doubtful that Obama would be electable without the African -American vote.

At least we will be able to tell who is responsible.(Unless the history rewriters find someone else to blame)

The gushing over Obama is palpable, as John Watts writings illustrate. Expectations are so high for Obama, I am doubtful that any one will be able to live up to them.

As for me, I will be ecstatic to not have to listen to the “blame George Bush” for everything, crowd.

Go ahead and cut the military 25%, but if we are attacked here in America again, we will not have to wait 4 years to change some elected officials. Remember Clinton tried that.

I suppose if we attacked again, we could always blame…

... George Bush. It worked in 2008.

~

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Doug Karlberg

Nov 03, 2008

I like Tips comments. Thoughtful and not attempting to twist the facts to support this decision.

I would only point out that the financial crisis that has caused a nationalization of much of our banking industry, is not caused primarily by Wall Street.(Oh they certainly played a role)

Nope, contrary to Tip’s comments; beginning in 2005 Fannie and Freddie at the insistence of Congress got into the Sub-Prime mortgage market in earnest. This was the price that the Democrats in Congress insisted on because Fannie and Freddie got caught cooking to books to the tune of $10 billion.

The result was Fannie and Freddie purchased $1.2 Trillion dollars of these sub-prime loans.

Wall Street issued sub-prime loans primarily for one reason, they knew that the government would purchase them via Fannie and Freddie, so the risk of default would land in the governments lap.

They were correct.

McCain spoke out concerning Fannie and Freddie, Co-sponsoring legislation in 2005 that was blocked by Democrats.

Obama on the other hand took $160,000 from Fannie and Freddie in less than three years.

I believe that all these facts are substantially correct.

~

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Craig Mayberry

Nov 04, 2008

I do appreciate the thoughtful comments, I wished I shared the same optimism.  Many of my thoughts are on my earlier blog, but a couple more that have been brought up in this blog.  The primary point of my other blog is that Obama’s solutions do not address the root cause of the problems, therefore nothing will change (nor did McCain’s solutions).

In terms of inclusive, I guess it depends on your definition.  It appears that the “Karl Rove” of the democrats is going to become chief of staff, same intimidation tactics, different party, same results.  Maybe it feels more inclusive when you are on the other side, but if the tactics are the same is it really change and is it really inclusive.

Here is the unwritten problem with an Obama presidency.  There has been considerable work over the last 8 years at the local grass root level, knowing that our federal government could not solve the issues (Bush provided a lot of motivation to local grass root efforts).  Are people going to give the same money/time to the issues or will they now sit back believing Obama will fix it so they can spend their time and money on other things.  One potential unintended consequence is a drop in donation and action in local, state, and national non-profit groups.  This is where the real work is getting done and they cannot afford to see a drop in resources.  This did occur to some extent during the Clinton administration, likely it will be more apparent and more devasting during an Obama presidency.

I am sitting here looking at the situation seeing no real solutions that deal with the root cause of the problems, people more willing to sit back and let Obama solve the problems, and therefore less grass root work getting done.  The result being societal problems going from bad to worse.

My hope is that in a couple of years when nothing has been fixed there will be more openness to completely new ideas and new alliances.

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Scott Wicklund

Nov 04, 2008

It’s over.  Palin nailed his coffin.  Great choice and a windfall for us progressives!  Best fun since Ellen Crasswell here in WA.

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