Puppy Love for the Big Dawg, Clinton

Bill Clinton Urged Florida Democrat to Quit Bid
Bill Clinton Urged Florida Democrat to Quit Bid

Phoenix I’m pretty sure either Mexico billionaire Carlos Slim didn’t make his contribution this year to the Clinton Foundation Global Initiative and decided to take it out in trade, or the New York Times is so desperate to find something upbeat for the Demos about the midterm elections that they had to come up with somebody, but whatever the reason we are being treated to the equivalent of a sudden outpouring of media puppy love for the old big dawg, former President Bill Clinton.

Suddenly, he’s just where he wants to be again:  everywhere!  And, better than ever before, he’s unleashed and unaccountable to anybody or anything.

We get treated to a story about how he makes and breaks restaurants around the world by stopping by and chowing down whether hot dog stands in Iceland or pricey digs in 5 star Indian hotels.  We also learn that he is both a vegan, and someone who orders the biggest steak in – where was that – Spain?  Germany?  No matter, like I said, a meat-eating vegan:  accountable to no one!

He’s supposedly a big draw out on the hustings and going where President Obama supposedly can’t go or isn’t welcome or thought to be a liability.  Clinton’s popularity is way up, while Obama’s is way down.

Unleashed is a tricky place for big Bill.

Certainly he was all over the line in the primary fight for Senator Blanche Lincoln, but I guess the general readership could look the other way at his blatant union bashing and say, “well, it’s Arkansas, it’s the home state, what can you do?”

Today the story is everywhere, released by Clinton’s people, but without a doubt cleared by Obama’s political folks, as he throws Congressman Kendrick Meeks (Democrat – Florida) under the bus with a tale that he had “almost” convinced him to withdraw from the race for the Senate and support the more moderate, Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican running as an independent, against the Tea Party swoon, Mark Rubio.   I’m having trouble remembering a time where it was clearer that a candidate was knifed in the back, Brutus-and-Caesar-in-Rome-style in front of God, TV, and the full on print media, in hopes of turning the tide for the candidate that Clinton and Obama have decided they want.  Did I have to say that Meek is African-American or that he had won the primary in Florida?  No, I didn’t think so.  So, Clinton suddenly in the warm glow collects a big chit for Obama by tossing an African-American under the bus so that Obama doesn’t have to take this heat to his own base, and Clinton can still posture that folks will be ok, because, hey, remember, he was the “first black president.”

Here the dog barked for the master, but given the buildup of the “new” Bill, it could all still look like more of the “no boundaries, do my own thing” Bill of recent years.

The next move in this sweet dance between two lively Presidents is going to be very interesting with the good ol’ boy from Arkansas goes to collect on these big time favors.

Meanwhile the press will keep fawning as if they are still at the McDonald’s line on Broadway in Little Rock in the ‘90’s, and miss the story even as it unfurls in front of their own eyes, lost in the warm glow of puppy love for the big dawg.



Soros Stepping up to Murdoch and Fox News

ACORN Canada members Preeti and Pascal with Wade.
ACORN Canada members Preeti and Pascal with Wade.

Vancouver At Douglas College in New Westminster, hard by Vancouver, more than 30 ACORN Canada members and friends, gathered to watch the Dharavi documentary, WASTE, on ACORN International’s organizing of waste pickers, and to dig deep in their pockets to support our organizing in Latin America, Africa, and Indian mega-slums.  It was a special honor to be introduced by Pascal Apuwa, one of our British Columbia leaders, who it turned out was from Korogocho where ACORN Kenya is organizing and in fact knew some of our organizers and friends with COPA-Kenya from his own time there as a community organizer.  It seemed we had our own kind of “globalism” of organizing working here!

The support helps us move forward on ACORN International’s campaigns around the Commonwealth Games impact in Delhi and the larger Remittance Justice Campaign we are preparing to launch in December to another level.  Pascal confirmed that he pays $17 CN on a transfer of $100 CN to his family in Korogocho, plus they pay more to pick the money up in Nairobi as well.

Just as people were stepping up to help people all over the world, it was a pleasure to finally drag my whipped butt back to crash and see that billionaire George Soros strapped up with a million dollar donation to Media Matters to match some of the millions that Rupurt Murdoch and Fox have been pushing towards hate speech, Glenn Beck, and the Republicans.  This was no pussy foot thing where he sent an anonymous note over to someone with a check.  This was an “in-your-face, sonuvabitch” contribution directly aimed at supporting the accountability campaign directed at Fox advertisers who are supporting the madness – and violence – being advocated by Beck and the rest of their talking heads.

We won’t win this fight as some kind of “battle of the billionaires” between Murdoch and Soros (and no, my right wing buddies, I’ve never met Soros or raised a dime from him!), but leveling the playing field as this campaign gets ready to take some major steps forward is a good thing.

But just as we’re trying to link members in Canada and members in Korogocho and Dharavi to  create power and a stronger fight, because that’s our strength, I wish Soros would really step up and contribute not just money but something from his strength.  Given Soros legendary skills with currency and financial markets, I would love for him to spend a couple of days looking at the numbers behind the New Corporation and the Murdoch empire and seeing what it would take to give that tree a really hard shake.

That would hurt Murdoch where he sits on his wallet.  A million dollar contribution provides good symbolism and real resources, but looking at how to hit Fox, Murdoch, and the New Corporation hard and heavy would be a global contribution to people and politics throughout the world.