My Petition to Geithner About the AIG Bonuses

Today I signed the MoveOn petition to stop the AIG bonuses. Here is what I said:

I am outraged that my tax money is being used to pay bonuses to irresponsible executives who were motivated by greed, and wound up destroying the economy. I am already being unfairly taxed by thousands of dollars a year because my marriage is not allowed legal recognition in this country, and now I find out that my tax dollars are paying AIG executives bonuses. While my wife and I struggle to make ends meet, and while I watch my family, friends and neighbors deal with unaffordable housing and unemployment, I am enraged to know that my tax money is being used in this way.

I encourage you all to sign, too.

The Ugly Heart of the Radical Right

The radical fringe right is rallying their base and spreading lies and reactionary opinion pieces, all of which is race-baiting the popular discourse about the economic crisis and ultimately the election. In a calculated move, they have people like Ann Coulter and Jeff Jacoby publishing opinion pieces basically saying that the blame for the economic crisis is on the shoulders of liberals and people of color.

Last week, the American “Family” Association revealed their true racist colors in two emails they sent out, pointing fingers at the Clinton and Carter (what?) Administrations, equating liberal advocacy for minority home ownership with the risky loan products that the predatory lenders on Wall Street have been so happy to take advantage of. What they refuse to acknowledge is that greedy lenders and investors were taking advantage of the hopes of poor people, knowingly selling them loans that they couldn’t afford. All of this in a deregulated market happened under the watch of the Bush Administration.

The Campaign for America’s Future is addressing these racist attacks on their website, explaining the history of banks discriminatory lending practices, and Carter’s and Congress’ passage of the successful Community Reinvestment Act in 1977.

People are freaked out right now, and I fear that many will fall for this damaging and dangerous misinformation coming from the radical right, making racism acceptable, even patriotic. This translates back to the election.

No one wants to talk explicitly about how race is playing out in this election, so while people are busy trying to be polite and not make anyone uncomfortable, the radical right is preying on the prejudice and fear that live in people’s hearts. They aren’t ashamed to cross the line, as illustrated by this quote from Ann Coulter’s recent opinion piece:

“Instead of looking at ‘outdated criteria,’ such as the mortgage applicant’s credit history and ability to make a down payment, banks were encouraged to consider nontraditional measures of credit-worthiness, such as having a good jump shot or having a missing child named ‘Caylee.'”

As posted in a comment on John Ridley’s recent article on the Huffington Post, “They are using these tactics to distract and to exacerbate racial resentment among hardworking whites in the swing states.” They continue to expose their hateful hearts at every turn, and I just hope that the American people are smart enough not to fall for their bunk and once again vote against their own interests.

Question of the Week

Fareed Zakaria posed the following question to his audience at the end of his show today:

Who on the campaign trail do you think will benefit most from the current economic situation? The Democrats or Republicans?

Here is my response:

I wish the media would stop asking questions that pit the right against the left. Perhaps instead you could ask a question that gets at how Democrats and Republicans can work together to solve the economic crisis. Politics should not be about whether or not the left or the right will win, but rather how the American people will benefit the most from its leadership. The media is responsible to help shape public discourse, and I’d really like to see more journalists answer this call rather than the call of the networks’ bottom line.



You can respond to him, too at