MLK Day Open Thread

Thousands are marching in Denver and across the nation in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. today. Whether marching for peace, for justice or for human rights, there's a unifying feeling and spirit of hope that change has come and will continue.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter From a Birmingham Jail

Let's make this an open thread for your hopes of change in the coming Administration.

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    One of my hopes... (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 02:41:31 PM EST
    is that all the new people who started caring about politics because of Obama keep on paying attention and making noise and airing grievances and demanding changes for the better.

    I hope no one thinks the fight is won because G-Dub and Dead-Eye Dick are done...this is only an opportunity, we as of yet have accomplished nothing outside the superficial.

    I hope Obama is more than I think he is...I hope he has the courage to see beyond 2012 and think long-term, at great risk to his political career but for the good of the nation.

    And I hope we get around to surrendering the war on drugs eventually, and release the many souls captured in this war from the cages they currently reside in.

    My hope for change (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by indy in sc on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 02:46:44 PM EST
    in the coming administration is that this administration will truly engage in honest and rigorous debate about major issues.  I recognize that I will not always agree with the decisions made by the administration, but when I don't agree, I want to feel like I can have faith in the process that was used to arrive at that decision.  

    I never felt that with the Bush administration.  I often disagreed and, to add insult to injury, it often felt like the decisions were made by 2 or 3 people with little room for differing opinions.

    Letter From A Birmingham Jail (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:01:05 PM EST
    I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.


    As a person who (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Jjc2008 on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:21:24 PM EST
    spent forty years of my life in public education, I have always believed (and still do despite the mess NCLB has made) that PUBLIC education can and should be the true equalizer of opportunity.  I sincerely hope that President Obama will end the mess that NCLB, end the notion that privatization of education is the answer.  We, as citizens, truly must care about ALL children. An educated society is a just society.  If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Oh wait, that is what we had the last 8 years...ignorance in charge because ignorance voted for itself.  We cannot allow it any more.  

    Great comment!! (none / 0) (#35)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:53:36 PM EST
    I agree completely. It's clear to me that the right wing philosophy is that there is great value in keeping the masses stupid and uneducated.

    My only hope for Obama... (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:29:23 PM EST
    ...is that he remembers six words strung together by Albert Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."  We know more than previous eras could imagine forgetting, and yet for all of it, all the technology and "progress", just look around too much of the world, the 2/3 that live in abject poverty, the wars, tha hatreds, the environmental destruction...knowledge is nothing without, and I add this, the HUMANE imagination to put it to more than use for profit.

    But I am worried, about Obama's backsliding on many things, from gay rights to single payer healthcare and on and on.  But I still have hope.  And I hope it prevails.

    I hope that Obama takes (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:38:36 PM EST
    Paul Krugman's advice.  On oh...everything.  I love this column.

    I hope Krugman writes (none / 0) (#84)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 07:41:05 PM EST
    more open letters to Obama... Say every week for the next 4 years. If Krugman did that and Obama took heed, they just might get to do it all over again for another 4 years.

    Maybe he could have some (none / 0) (#87)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 08:17:56 PM EST
    fireside chats!

    My hope (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:46:39 PM EST
    is that this government, at all levels, will start listening to the people and rediscover some fundamental beliefs and goals of the Democratic party and the country.  I hope that they truly do try to represent the common man and woman, and invest heavily in science and technology, in research, in manufacturing and agriculture, and stop giving away our jobs and our IP to other countries for the sake of a fast buck.  I hope that it becomes much easier to pay for college and that jobs are abundant upon graduating.  I hope that entrepreneurs and average people can afford healthcare soon, and that the playing field is leveled between us and the corporations.

    I can wrap most of my hopes up in a package that is massive investment in a new, green country and economy, where the jobs and the manufacturing are not outsourced.

    I hope that Pelosi, Hoyer and Reid lose their leadership positions, and soon.

    I hope that Obama and Biden are for real and that they mean what they've said between the convention and the election.

    I hope that the Bush administration and it's cronies are held accountable, that sunlight floods the process, and that it becomes very clear exactly what they did, why it's so wrong and that no one should try their antics again.  As a result of that I hope that this becomes more of a government of, for and by the people, and that politics in the U.S. changes drastically as a result.

    I think the only realistic (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:49:07 PM EST
    hope is that Obama will make a large positive difference in foreign policy quite quickly.
    I don't see any sign that he will make big early moves in any other area.

    A girl can dream (none / 0) (#43)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:06:25 PM EST
    I don't think all of those things will come to pass, but I think that it's realistic to hope for improvements in the domestic arena as well as foreign policy.

    One hack hacking hackily (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:11:42 PM EST
    at another hack---woohoo.
    Taibbi could not avoid overwriting a sentence of one word.

    I expect very little ... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:19:09 PM EST
    and I'll probably still be disappointed.


    Come on (none / 0) (#55)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:27:02 PM EST
    The thought of Bush and Cheney leaving Washington, the steaming pile that is now the Republican party, majorities in both houses and the WH?  It has to give you at least a little hope.  Right?  

    P.S. (none / 0) (#56)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:29:12 PM EST
    There will still be plenty of people pushing for progressive policies and legislation, and trying to straighten Obama and his team out on the problem areas.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#92)
    by CDN Ctzn on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 10:38:16 PM EST
    but there's just not enough money to be made with a "Progressive" agenda. Greed has driven the system for too long now and it's unlikely to change. The private interests and lobbyists only increase in size and number while the ordinary tax paying working schmoo's influence continues to diminish.
    I would LOVE for President Obama to lead the country in a dramatic about face. It seems to be what most Americans want, but the skeptic in me believes that the majority of politicians, regardless of party affiliation, only see "the people" as a source of income to be bilked and lied to.
    If I'm wrong, and I would truely love to be wrong, then I will gladly retract my jaded remarks and eat my words! But...

    So far, my feelings about (5.00 / 4) (#64)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:39:07 PM EST
    Obama since the election are mostly moderate, with a couple of exceptions both ways.
    He has some very good appointments, such as Steven Chu and Hillary; what bothers me a lot is that he has already discussed the need to "fix" Social Security.

    And Social Security benefits cuts (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:51:08 PM EST
    are "on the table" according to an AP story that I have only been able to find in the International Herald Tribune, dated Jan. 18, 2009.

    In the story Pelosi says that benefits cuts for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all up for consideration. Since this is such a far cry from Pelosi's position when Bush tried to privatize Social Security, I am wondering if she is accommodating Obama with this. During the Bush privatization fight Pelosi, rightly, argued that Social Security is not in trouble. We won't even dip into reserves for many more years. And the reserves exist to help pay for benefits to the baby boomers.

    This is very disheartening news.


    I would be skeptical (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:10:41 PM EST
    The NYT story from a couple weeks ago suggesting that Obama was thinking about SS cuts turned out to be a very poor job of reporting about something Obama didn't actually say.

    I haven't seen the reporting on Pelosi's statements, but given that Obama hasn't actually put SS on the table of late, I find it hard to imagine that she just came out and did so for no reason.  Keep in mind that the Village has a hard-on for the narrative that Social Security is in crisis, and so they can take a generic statement like "we're going to look hard at cutting spending" and turn it into a passionate vow to do something about the SS "problem."


    Maybe, Steve, but (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:19:12 PM EST
    here is the quote from the article:

    ----Pelosi and Obama appear to be on the same page when it comes to entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare. Obama announced last week that he would convene a "fiscal responsibility summit" in February to focus on long-term problems with the economy and the skyrocketing costs of benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

    "I support what he wants to do, to have a summit of that kind," Pelosi said Sunday. "We will have our own initiatives in the Congress to work with him on that."

    Pelosi said everything should be on the table, including benefit cuts.

    "The only thing we didn't want to put on the table is eliminating Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," she said.-------

    This is worrisome to me. Just how far is the new administration willing to go in the name of post-partisan bipartisanship?


    Steve, you're behind (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:06:26 PM EST
    Obama has been talking all over the place in recent days about doing something about "entitlements," and when asked if that includes SS, Medicare and Medicaid, he's say that it does.

    As somebody nearing 60, it frankly scares me to death because this Congress will go along with whatever he wants to do.

    The least bad thing he could do would be to start means-testing SS and Medicare, but I think that's a terrible idea on pure policy grounds.


    The least bad thing (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:11:04 PM EST
    I think, would be to raise the income cap on FICA taxes. He campaigned on that. Means testing is a bad idea IMO. It is just a short leap from means testing to privatization.

    You're right (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 11:10:32 PM EST
    Totally forgot that was an option, but that's for sure the least bad thing.  I don't see means testing as a way to privatization, though, at all.  It's a way of making SS and Medicare a "poor people's" program, at which point they immediately start to lose widespread support.  But either way, bad, bad, bad idea.

    I'm not concerned (5.00 / 0) (#96)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 11:53:55 PM EST
    Look, if you just think about it, the idea that the Democrats are finally going to regain power and then immediately cut Social Security benefits as their first decision is just so laughable.  There is no way.

    That said, of course the way to make sure it never happens is to scream bloody murder every time someone so much as whispers the concept.  But still, you know I'm right.  Obama sometimes worries me with his open-minded schtick, but cuts to Social Security are just inconceivable.  It is a mark of the lack of seriousness in the Village, though, that with all our current problems people still think it's important to worry about whether Social Security will come up short 40 years down the line.


    I'd have thought so, too, Steve (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:22:17 AM EST
    until i read the Pelosi quotes. She was so steady during the Bush privatization war. So, her recent comments threw me. And Obama seems pretty caught up in this whole "grand bargain", every one sacrifices thing. And he keeps talking about "reforming" entitlements. And I wish he'd stop calling them entitlements. I started paying into SS in 1967. It's not like people are agitating for a bailout.

    I can't link this because I don't remember (none / 0) (#83)
    by Teresa on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:17:29 PM EST
    where I read it, but Obama (or one of his staffers) was asked about that and they said they were thinking about raising the tax for those making over $250,000 and not cutting any benefits.

    If I find it again, I'll link it. I hope that's all they are considering. What I read did quote Obama saying he will not raise the retirement age.


    I hope to God you're right (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 11:13:47 PM EST
    But silly me, when I kept hearing him talk about how "We're all going to have to make sacrifices," it didn't occur to me that by "we" he was just talking to wealthy people like him, and not the rest of us.

    We shall see.  But I sure get the willies when any Democrat starts yapping about "entitlement reform."


    The "Chicago Boys" (none / 0) (#93)
    by CDN Ctzn on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 10:42:28 PM EST
    are strong with this one!

    GayBishopGate Latest Updates (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:29:09 PM EST
    Statement from Presidential Inaugural Committee Josh Earnest:
    We had always intended and planned for Rt. Rev. Robinson's invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday's program. We regret the error in executing this plan - but are gratified that hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the mall heard his eloquent prayer for our nation that was a fitting start to our event.


    Leah McElrath Renna reports: "A PIC source reports that some clips from the Lincoln Memorial event, including Bishop Robinson's prayer, will be played on the Mall prior to the swearing in ceremony. In addition, there are reports that HBO will likely include the prayer in its re-broadcast of the event."

    think progress

    His invocation was bit too much goddy for me, but beyond that the sentiment was right on. Goddy, I guess that is what one would expect from a Bishop.

    It was definitely Goddy :) (none / 0) (#89)
    by sj on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 09:33:35 PM EST
    But I like that it wasn't all sweetness and light.  I haven't yet heard the whole thing, although I'm looking forward to it.  And I'm glad HBO is correcting the situation.

    I don't see how an event specifically scheduled for for 2:25 could have been intended and planned to be broadcast on an event specifically scheduled for 2:30, though.  Makes me wonder who the "we" is that planned for it compared to the "they" that executed.  

    Maybe I've been working here too long.  The tendency to look for the person to blame seems to have infected me.  

    But in any case, the actual schedule belies those comments.


    It doesn't do any good (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by weltec2 on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:59:27 PM EST
    to change our clothes if we don't take a bath first. We need to wash off the stench of torture, preemptive war, warrentless wiretapping, and a whole laundry list of crimes or the stench will continue to follow us wherever we go.

    Personally I wish Obama would level (none / 0) (#1)
    by iceblinkjm on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 02:28:33 PM EST
    with the gay community and stop acting like everything is a mistake or crossed wires and just be honest. Stop the lip service and pandering and let us know what the real deal is.

    He wants to ... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 02:41:02 PM EST
    keep it on the down-low.



    Which makes me question his morals. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by iceblinkjm on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 02:51:31 PM EST
    Honestly. Sounds an awful lot like "saying anything to win". Guess he's already running for reelection.

    Frankly, duh (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 02:55:53 PM EST
    That's true for any politician. The question is how to get him to do what we want anyway.

    As you wrote above, about the only thing (none / 0) (#13)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:11:09 PM EST
    that can be done is to complain. Here's the pattern. Obama slaps gays around, they complain and he throws them a minor bone. That's unfortunately better then nothing.

    I can't think of anything better.


    Me either (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:14:20 PM EST
    Given the current reality of the Republican party, there's nowhere to go.

    You don't win rights from ... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:57:41 PM EST
    politicians.  You win them on the streets and in the courts.

    Pols are always last to the table on these things.


    But when does the last thing happen? (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:06:35 PM EST
    Lyndon Johnson proved that a lot can be accomplished in a very short period of time, if you're willing to spend some political capital. So we have to convince Obama to spend, and I'm not above shaming him into it, if that's possible.

    I just wouldn't expect it ... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:18:02 PM EST
    and even LBJ passed the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act after a decade of extremely visible political action, a decade after Brown ...

    And after the assassination of JFK.


    One thing I'm sure of: (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:29:35 PM EST
    The worst option is to "trust in Obama."

    I think being a squeaky wheel in this instance makes a lot of sense.


    Fool me thrice? (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 02:40:13 PM EST
    Sigh. . .

    I really don't know what the options are other than keeping the pressure on.


    I'd like to know (none / 0) (#51)
    by joanneleon on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:18:48 PM EST
    where the real opposition is coming from.  Is it Obama himself?  Are his feelings that strong about the LGBT issues? Was it the Robinson speech?  Is it one of his top advisors?  Is it pressure from one group or another?  I'm really baffled by the choices they are making in this situation.  Really perplexed.

    That was some olive branch they extended to the LGBT community, huh?

    Here's an interesting snippet:

    UPDATE NO. 2: Leah McElrath Renna has the latest in The Huffington Post. Basically, both HBO and the Presidential Inaugural Committee are denying responsibility for the fact that Robinson's remarks were excluded from the broadcast. Also, NPR has picked up this story, and audio of their interview with Robinson reportedly will be posted on their Web site at 5 p.m. Central time.
    Dallas Voice

    Nevermore (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 02:32:34 PM EST
    Poe's 200th b'day. Apt reading is the Raven Out with the old and in with the new...:

    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
    `'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
    Only this, and nothing more.'

    I had no idea (none / 0) (#90)
    by sj on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 09:37:55 PM EST
    until today that the Baltimore Ravens took their name from that poem.

    Do the job (none / 0) (#33)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:51:20 PM EST
    My hope for Obama and the Democratic Congress is they they show American's that government can work. We've had eight years of Republican's tearing down every agency to prove that government just doesn't work.

    I'm not holding my breath for anything progressive,(we don't have the people in place for that) just some basic competance would be nice for a change.

    Thoughts on TMP hiring Matt Cooper? (none / 0) (#66)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:05:10 PM EST
    I think it just confirms that TPM has gone 100% establishment. I think that's been the case since about Jan 2007, anyway.

    Mission Accmplished for JMM. (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:10:55 PM EST
    I like him fine (none / 0) (#69)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:12:46 PM EST
    but this other new face over there, Elana Schor, has really been doing some excellent reporting.  She is one to watch.

    I don't know what to think of Josh these days, it's like his blog is one part Kevin Drum tossing off wonky thoughts, one part Atrios tossing off one-liners he thinks are funny, and one part Andrew Sullivan reprinting notes from readers that aren't necessarily that insightful.


    Of those, only Atrios is in my reader (none / 0) (#71)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:15:37 PM EST
    but then I have way too many Politico feeds (time to trim them, I guess).

    Elana Schor sounds like someone I know, but I'm not sure why.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:15:45 PM EST
    I like Schor as well, big plus for the site.  Josh is not meant to be on teevee though, that move was a big mistake, imo. embarrassing.

    Well (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:13:37 PM EST
    Out of all the blogs Josh seemed from the start to be more a MSM online magazine/business than anyone else. Hiring Cooper is not surprising.

    I know that he got really CDS in 2007, but personally I did not see much of a change. IMO, he has been quite consistent in his approach.


    At some point I recall that he left (none / 0) (#73)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:16:32 PM EST
    Washington for New York. I think that was about the time he started to sound very beltway.

    He Sort Of Lost Me (none / 0) (#77)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:31:42 PM EST
    When he redesigned his web page, well before the CDS stage. I think that was around when he moved to NYC.

    I still TPM check from time to time and think it is a great resource, but not as much when it was more streamlined and easier to navigate.


    I remember when it was basically just JM (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:41:49 PM EST
    saying what he wanted to say.

    I Liked His Investigative Reporting (none / 0) (#97)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 11:58:17 PM EST
    The best. Still a good source for research.

    C-SPAN (none / 0) (#88)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 08:45:26 PM EST
    is playing a really amazing documentary about Obama and the Civil Rights Movement, made by the Canadian Broadcasting Company.  Haven't had a chance to watch TV all day - it's quite good.  On now!