Daily archives: March 6th, 2008

More Voters Heading Left

I was a bit worried when I started reading “phillyPete” at the Daily Kos:

I’m doing something today that many of you may think is no big deal, but to me it’s a small form of surrender that is partly overdue.

I’ve just printed out the application to switch parties in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania requires voters to register with a party prior to voting.  In Illinois, we do not declare a party when we vote.  This allows us a certain flexibility for the primaries.  We ask for the ballot of our choice when we show up to vote.  This also leads to some typically underhanded voting techniques.  I know at least one registered, card-carrying Republican who took a Democratic ballot in Illinois on February 5 so he could vote for Hillary Clinton.   The Republicans are so hungry for Hillary, they’re trying to stack the deck so she is their opponent in the November’s general election.

This Hunger for Hillary will no doubt lead to overconfidence should the Senator from New York win the Democratic Presidential nomination.

But back to “phillyPete”.  I was worried.  He  says he originally registered as an Independent when he was younger.

As soon as I became 18, I registered to vote, and began paying attention to the Debates and reading the papers. I wanted to be a good, informed, responsible voter. This was not easy because I was not a book-smart kid. But I watched as Dukakis and Reagan sparred and tried to make up my mind. I easily started leaning Democratic, but felt that the Conservatives still had some good ideas.

But, lucky for us, “phillyPete” is changing parties, and registering as a Democrat.

Welcome aboard, Pete.

Todd Stroger Bumbles Again

Cook County President Todd Stroger could be doing better.

The Chicago Tribune reported today Stroger disputed the findings of a report he had not read, and this on political patronage in County government, a sore spot with Republicans, and, frankly, most people in the Chicagoland area.

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger on Thursday disputed the findings of a report suggesting patronage was alive and well in county government, then admitted he had not read the 54-page document. Instead, he deferred to newspaper accounts of the report. Unbelievable.

“I haven’t read her report yet,” Stroger said, referring to the review filed in court last week by retired Cook County Circuit Judge Julia Nowicki, a federally appointed hiring monitor.

Stroger said he knew about the report’s details from newspaper accounts. “I can read the newspaper,” said Stroger, a freshman board president and former Chicago alderman. “I’ve got a good education.”

As a Democrat, I supported Stroger’s candidacy for Board President. As someone who can also read the newspapers, watch news accounts on television and is probably more in touch with tax payers than President Stroger, I’m ashamed. Certainly there will be those in the media who will hound Stroger and make unfair or unfounded accusations, but Stroger needs to be smart, read the report and respond intelligently.

Otherwise, he just sounds like George W. Bush – uninformed and out of touch.

Women Suffer in Iraq

There aren’t many stories in the United States media about how highly women are generally regarded in Islam.  Many choose to focus on how repressed women are, often without cause.  Muslims I have come to know in the Chicagoland area are proud to share who they are, and how poorly the American media has told their story.

Iraq is a different story.  The American occupation has not helped, according to journalist Dahr Jamail.  While no one denies that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, women actually fared better in Iraq prior to the American invasion:

Former dictator Saddam Hussein maintained a relatively secular society, where it was common for women to take up jobs as professors, doctors and government officials. In today’s Iraq, women are being killed by militia groups for not conforming to strict Islamist ways.

Basra police chief Gen. Jalil Hannoon told reporters and Arab TV channels in December that at least 40 women had been killed during the previous five months in that city alone.

Read the rest of Jamail’s account here.