Here we are, with Valdez resident, Nancy Lethcoe (who ran against John Harris for House District 12 last year), writing postcards to hunters and gun owners in the upper midwest, encouraging them to vote for Obama.
President Obama will be on Anchorage's Elmendorf Air Force Base briefly today, while Air Force One is being refueled there on the way to Asia. That's the occasion upon which most American presidents visit Alaska. I believe the last one to leave the base was Bill Clinton, who strolled through downtown Anchorage with then-Gov. Tony Knowles. At least three of my students who also serve in the military will be there to help other service members greet him.
My friend Jonathan Teeters, the head of the Alaska chapter of Organizing for America, has asked Alaskans to show support for President Obama by rallying outside the base's Boniface gate:
The news is out: President Obama is coming to Alaska. He'll be taking time to thank our service men and women - our neighbors! Let’s welcome President Obama to Alaska and show him how much we appreciate all he’s done! Please join us at a rally outside of the Boniface Gate to Elmendorf Air Force Base at 12:00 noon on Thursday, November 12th. We encourage you to deck yourselves out in Obama-gear and bring your Obama signs, whether they are campaign yard-signs or homemade posters with positive messages. This is our opportunity to send a clear message that Alaskans are still fired up and ready to go! Along with welcoming the President, we need to join him in recognizing the invaluable contributions of those serving in the military and those who have already served. Please encourage any veterans you know to join us as we will take time to recognize them on this historic day. See you there!
I won't be there. I'll be teaching. It looks like The Mudflats might have some people there, though. AK Muckraker posted Jonathan's letter yesterday, along with some encouragement:
With all the issues swirling around health care and Afghanistan and a host of other issues that frustrate us, let’s take a moment to think back on the first 10 months of the Obama administration, and recall the major legislation that has been passed.
January 29: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act February 4: Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act February 11: DTV Delay Act February 17: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act March 30: Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 April 21: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act May 20: Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act May 20: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 May 22: Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 June 22: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act August 6: Cash For Clunkers Extension Act October 22: Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act October 28: Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act October 30: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act November 6: Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009
And let us not forget the nomination and approval of Judge Sonya Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, and the fact that he does not say nookular.
AND let’s not forget that the administration before this one was busy doing things like vetoing stem cell research, authorizing The Patriot Act, and No Child Left Behind, torpedoing our economy, lying us in to a war, and a whole lot of other stuff we’d rather forget about.
Perspective and reflection are good things.
Yes they are. A balanced perspective is even better:
• Expanding the role of private contractors who are above the law, in Iraq and Afghanistan
• Expanding the devastatingly inaccurate roles of Predator and Reaper drones in Afghanistan and Iraq
• Continuing illegal extraordinary rendition
• Continuing to hold detainees at several locations, without charge
• Seeking to uphold many questionable legal decisions or moves made during the Bush administration
• Quietly moved, behind the scenes - through his chief-of-staff, Rahm Emanuel and Pentagon officials - to keep overseas contractors from having to be held accountable for sexual assaults on their overseas workers
My friend Jane Hamsher summarized Rahm Emanuel's devastatingly effective anti-progressive role very well, just after 2009's November elections, in an essay titled Lessons Learned in VA, CA and NJ: Is Rahm Emanuel Orchestrating 2010 Democratic Massacre?
Today - November 12th - is the anniversary of a very unfortunate statement by Rahm Emanuel's dad, Benjamin Emanuel, when he found out that his son had been chosen as the newly elected Obama's chief-of-staff:
Rahm Emanuel's father, asked about whether his hire signaled closer ties to Israel, said: "Obviously he’ll influence the President to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he?
"What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House."
Benjamin Emanuel was an Irgun terrorist.
Rahm was named after an uncle who was killed while trying to smuggle arms being used to kill British soldiers in Palestine:
Rahm Emanuel is the son of a terrorist who directly plotted the assassination of Count Bernadotte, a Swedish diplomat and United Nations envoy who tried to broker peace in Palestine. But Irgun didn’t seek treaties. It instead sought racial cleansing and genocide. According to Elisabeth Bumiller in The New York Times, Benjamin Emanuel passed secret codes to Shin Bet bomber and future Prime Minister Menachem Begin. These very same Jewish terrorists eventually became the recognized Israeli government in 1948, as well as predecessors to Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party.
I'm not going to take this issue any further today, but Emanuel is no progressive and his ideas and actions are alienating many Democrats and independents who helped elect Obama. If it weren't for that wave of support, many of the newly elected Representatives and Senators who helped pass the landmark legislation noted above by AK Muckraker wouldn't have gotten their bills out of committee, let alone passed and enacted.
Rahm's total rejection of Howard Dean's 50-State strategy in the aftermath of the 2008 election was one of the most anti-progressive moves made by a Democrat in the past 50 years.
If I was able to be outside EAFB today, I'd be carrying signs like these. To me, Jonathan, and AKM, they are a positive message:
I should note that two of the three students of mine from UAA and ERCC who will be at Elmendorf today in uniform, fully support President Obama. The other one admires him, but does NOT want to go back to Afghanistan.