Wednesday, January 25, 2012

America, my little piece

If you wanted your faith in America restored, you could have come with me tonight. 

Into my little neighborhood public library - recently restored to its art deco glory - and down into the community room.  There, filling the meeting room, were my neighbors.  All sorts of people from Bernal Heights, San Francisco.  Plus earnest staffers from the San Francisco Dept. of Parks and Recreation.  We gathered to talk through plans to make small trail changes to the park on top of the hill.  People making their comments, suggestions, ideas.  The Parks and Rec people scribbling ideas on posterboard, rolling through their Powerpoints, listening.  Children in the next room, reading actual books and running around a little.  Dog walkers, cranky old timers, hipsters, lesbians, blacks, nerdy white guys*, immigrants, working people, retirees, dotcommers, gay couples.  Each taking their turn, raising their hands.  Lots of opposing views.  All aired carefully, respectfully, thoughfully.

If you were there, you'd have felt proud to be a citizen of the USA.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hue and cry

As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gains ground, the language of racial resentment grows.  Charles Blow's Saturday piece highlights recent quotes from Gingrich.  It's getting harder to avoid the conclusion that a big part of the right's desire to defeat President Obama is located in racial animus.

Here are a few recent Gingrich racially-tinged quotes that aren't in the NYT piece:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Occupy GOP?

Seems like a good sign for Democrats in 2012 that many Republican presidential candidates are attacking former Governor Romney for his career at private equity firm Bain Capital.   The political press is concentrating on the angle that the ads and rhetoric used by former Governor Perry and former Speaker Gingrich in particular could be used by Democrats and President Obama in the campaign.  What I take from it is the growing mood in the nation - event among social conservatives and Republican stalwarts - that the ills in our particular form of capitalism are a concern for everyone, left or right.  And that the defenders of the existing order on Wall Street may be due for punishment in November.