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2008 January

On second thought…

On January 30, 2008, in Uncategorized, by administrator

Maybe we should let them have it. With the news today that Ben Bernanke elected to slash interest rates by another fifty basis points (making it 125 in eight days), leaving the federal funds rate scraping bottom at three percent, it seems clear to me that the Bush administration is well aware that a Democrat will win the 2008 election. They are so confident of this, in fact, and so politically cynical, that they are trying to wreck the country before that happens so that we have to clean up the resulting economic and political mess. Even Alan Greenspan, who created the real estate bubble by encouraging Americans and America to continue borrowing and spending in good times and bad, never played with our money supply with such cavalier disregard for the long term impacts.

As we plunge into a recession that looks to be longer and deeper than any in recent memory (including the ones that began under Republicans Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush–not that that says anything about their economic prowess), due in no small part to Greenspan-backed Republican tax cuts and Greenspan-spawned Republican fiscal policy (the latter continuing unabated under the DLC-spawned Clinton presidency), one wonders why we are trying so hard to win this election. Sure it would be much better for the country, but how have we faired as a party in the past after inheriting Republican recessions? Just ask Jimmy Carter. And the situation he had to deal with in Iran was not nearly so bad as the one Bush appears anxious to create.

Of course I do not truly advocate allowing the Repubicans to win this election and further destroy America, but we should think carefully about how to proceed into the first months of a Clinton or Obama presidency. If Congress continues to drag its feet on key economic and foreign policy reforms under a Democrat as it has under Bush, and if we do not introduce tough policy measures like deep cuts in “defense” spending, speedy withdrawal from Iraq, and higher taxes on the wealthy, we should not expect the “eight years of [insert favored Democratic candidate's name here]” that Democrats inevitably mention when discussing their choice between the two remaining frontrunners.

 

Columbia Unites Behind Barack

On January 30, 2008, in Uncategorized, by administrator


Columbia is getting fired up for Barack Obama with an event-packed week. Students from the law school, the medical school, Barnard, SEAS, and Columbia College are making their voices heard and encouraging others to do the same.

Just in the past week, over 1500 phone calls have been made and more than a hundred new supporters have been signed up by students, who meanwhile still managed to rush to their classes on time. The Students for Barack Obama chapter has reached out to the entire campus, including the African and faith-based communities.

The enthusiasm Columbia students have shown will only grow in this coming week, which brings even more opportunities to participate. There will be tabling on college walk daily, phone banking throughout the campus, and a constant multitude of events and rallies.

Calling to Get Out the Vote

From now until Super Tuesday, students will be phone banking daily. Volunteer coordinators run these informal, intense sessions in order to garner more support and remind people to vote.

Women Throw Their Support Behind Obama

This Saturday, Columbia women will be coming together for a very exciting Women for Obama Rally on Saturday February 2nd at Central Park. Students will be able to show their support, get out into the neighborhood, and meet other Obama-ites of all ages. These women are going to prove to New York City that this is not Hilary country–they love Obama and are proud of it!

They are going to start out at Barnard Hall bright and early at 10:30 a.m. for donuts, coffee, and sign-making. They will head over to the rally together. This is an exciting part of the GOTV week. The group is inviting all, from diehard devotees to new supporters, from political science students to enthusiastic newbies.

Tuning in For Barack

Fellow supporters and intrigued students will watch the Democratic Debate on Thursday night from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. A big screen television, cozy couches, and delicious food will accompany lively discussion on Obama’s policies and potential. Students will meet at Lewisohn Parlor, Brooks Hall Lounge, in the Quad @ Barnard.

For more information contact Students for Barack Obama Director Mary McDonald at mcm2172@columbia.edu, 914.380.2250. Students for Barack Obama is a registered umbrella group of the Columbia University College Democrats.

 

Enjoy the State of the Union?

On January 28, 2008, in Uncategorized, by administrator

Looking for a way to watch the State of the Union tonight without wanting to cry?

I know it’s hard, but try this: http://campusprogress.org/opinions/2449/state-of-the-union-drinking-game

 

Columbia Walks for Obama

On January 27, 2008, in Uncategorized, by administrator

In a walk which inspired restauranteurs, market owners, and passer-byers to join in, twenty-two Columbia students marched for Barack Obama this Saturday morning. With a groggy ten o’clock start earlier than any typical college morning, the Students for Barack Obama chapter met and, fortified with coffee and donuts, walked from 130th Street to the rally point at Columbus Circle. As they walked, they signed up supporters while all the while chanting and cheering for Obama. Everyone felt the same infectious enthusiasm, and the same desire to show people that they cared deeply about Obama’s message. To them, Obama is not just a distant figure or an appealing celebrity, but a person who inspires true passion and who brings a wide variety of people together.

Above all, the walk transcended the political, much as Obama does. Perhaps this is best proven by the grassroots nature of the event, which was run not by the campaign but by various groups from throughout New York City. His broad base was apparent at the rally, where hundreds met to listen to speakers like State Senator Bill Perkins and Harlem Office Director Cordell Cleare. The common thread in the diverse array of speeches was a consistently positive, uplifting message, a characteristic clearly inspired by Obama’s own adherence to the positive politics. One Columbia student expressed the walk and rally proved to him that Obama gives people the faith in the value of doing good, and, as was apparent by the many supporters who came out, in their own ability to do good. With seventy-five new supporters signed up by the Columbia students alone, the journey from uptown to Columbus Circle was a beautiful example of the transcendent quality of Obama’s message.

For more information contact Students for Barack Obama Director Mary McDonald at mcm2172@columbia.edu, 914.380.2250. Students for Barack Obama is a registered umbrella group of the Columbia University College Democrats.

 

For the past two nights, the Students for Barack Obama chapter at Columbia University has met to prove that every vote counts. Out of a small lounge on the sixteenth floor of an unassuming dorm on 115th Street, they made almost one thousand phone calls in only two nights. Every new person who walked into the lounge, which had been papered over with campaign posters, was excited to see people who shared their enthusiasm for Senator Obama’s message. Over homemade pasta with steaming tomato sauce, they called New Yorkers to identify supporters and to remind them to vote. The student volunteers are drawn from throughout the Columbia community. Some are deeply involved with politics on campus, while others have been so inspired by Obama’s message that they want to help in any way they can. One student put her second semester Spanish to good use, conversing with an interested voter, while another student spoke fluent Mandarin over the phone.

These students’ phone banking in this passionate Get Out the Vote effort defies the false expectation that New York is Clinton territory, and palpably demonstrates the excitement which surrounds Obama’s place in the presidential race. These sessions launch what will be a two week effort which will culminate with the elections on February 5th.




For more information contact Students for Barack Obama Director Mary McDonald at mcm2172@columbia.edu, 914.380.2250. Students for Barack Obama is a registered umbrella group of the Columbia University College Democrats.