About Kate Chase

Kate Chase is a journalist, columnist, online services and content consultant, who has also authored or contributed to more than three dozen books.

Hallelujah! Rightwing Christians Turn Left

Personally, while I believe in a greater power, I really would hate to see God and Jesus (or Yahweh or Allah or Buddah or Shiva or Vishnu… you get the idea) bother Themselves with earthly politics but hey… let me say “thank you, Jesus” now.

A panel of researchers from the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics discussed the results of a survey aimed at gauging the voting tendencies among religious groups by splitting the groups in categories.

One breakthrough discovery the panel found was that for the first time ever, more mainline Protestants (approximately one-fifth of the electorate) support the Democratic Party over the Republican Party.

Americans Are In Trouble: Debt, Declining Life Expectancy, Shorter Too

Thinking of Bobby Kennedy’s real passion during his ’68 campaign for the American worker highlights exactly why our candidates – and our next president – needs to pay some serious attention to the plight of Americans, especially those of the working and middle class.

Yet everybody better start paying attention to the American worker, who is greater in debt (less and less see any relief from debt outside of bankruptcy or death), more likely to have to work two jobs or more just to survive, less likely to receive appropriate and timely health care, and under greater measures levels of clinical depression, fatigue, and stress than ever before. See my next (up) post.

New studies show Americans across the board (rather than pockets of wild wealth in a sea of people who have relatively little to nothing in comparison) are doing much worse financially than their European peers, AND that both our height and life expectancy is turning from new longevity to a shortening (yes, we’re living less longer and no longer growing as tall as our European neighbors, which is believed due to our harsh working schedule, bad diet, and far less accessibility to health care since most civilized nations have some type of universal access to care).

Oh, and our infant mortality rate is on its way back up. Not good.

Interestingly, the beginning of the “change” we’re seeing in less health for Americans dates back to about 1982. Hmmm… Reagan was in office, and advocating an economy that allowed for a handful of rich fatcats with the rest forced to buy his bumper sticker foreign policy. Much of the rule since 1982 has been Republican. Coincidence?

Remembering Bobby Kennedy (And The American Worker)

It was 40 years ago today that Robert F. Kennedy, having just won the California Democratic Party Primary (a huge deal) and on his way to speak with hotel workers in the hotel’s kitchen, was shot, mortally wounded, and subsequently died. This, just two months following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

What many of us are too young to remember is that Bobby was probably the last major national candidate who embraced workers and their plight most seriously. Yes, Ralph Nader has done in on third party ballots. John Edwards was doing it until he was forced to suspend his campaign late in the winter just as Howard Dean, who also stood with workers, had done four years before after the “yeehaw” heard round the world from the Iowa primary.

See my next post (up) for why this matters so much now, why we need to look at what’s happening to Americans and how to halt the damage.

Not Exactly Hugs Between Hillary And Barack, But That’s OK

The media has waited with baited breath – and a volume of verbiage the world has rarely seen outside of coverage of Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears’ crotches – for Hillary to do her concession bit and for the two to hug and cry together. But they’re not giving that to us – at least, not yet. And either way, it’s OK.

I don’t want this to be a presidency driven solely by sound bytes and carefully crafted media images. I don’t expect two people who’ve fought so hard for their own campaigns (or the myriad thousands who’ve labored for them) to sudden love each other and make nice.

I don’t want Hillary Clinton named VP (and I think any announcement there will come much closer to the convention, if not at the convention itself in late August in Denver) simply because she was “the other candidate.” If there’s a better person for the Obama Democratic ticket, then I want that person considered. We’re not into legacies here, unless it’s the legacy for ALL of America, and not for a relatively privileged few (named Bush or Clinton or Kennedy, et al).

But what we need most of all is for the American people to unite in an understanding that the way ahead is tough regardless of how we go: that we may have to accept a period of increased hardship to try to get this nation – and the world that watches it – back on track. We’re already hurting; we can probably survive a little more.

And unlike the Bush-McCain technique, we need to take care of America’s working and middle classes through good education, job training, health care, and so much more. The Bush-McCain technique is to give and give to the wealthiest, and the rest have to wait til it trickles down the inner leg of the fatcat Republican peeing gold.

Obama Names Vice President Search Team With Cheney’s Smirk

Caroline Kennedy has been named to head up a three-person VP search team for Democratic presumptive nominee, Barack Obama.

This differs from George Bush’s 2000 VP search team, headed by Dick Cheney, with only Cheney serving as membership, and – surprise! – decided Dick Cheney would be the best candidate for the job!

But does anyone worry with as much as Cheney is smirking and still acting like cock of the walk that you wonder if HE knows something (like what really went on with September 11th and Iraq, to name but a few) you don’t, which is why he’s not worried about having to leave the WH anytime soon.

Feeling Primary Letdown?

When I awoke this morning, I felt different. It took me an hour or two to figure out why: we don’t have to talk about Democratic Primary races anymore because they ended yesterday.

While I found this primary season more interesting than any other in my lifetime, the drama wasn’t so much in what the candidates said or did, and certainly not in the debates (which I find useless when you’ve got 8-10 people vying for questions from a potential 300 million member audience).

No, the big change – the refreshing air – is not just that we’ll be Bush-less (we hope) come January 20th next, but that we went through a primary season where a woman and a black man got all the attention. I never expected to be half way through my life before this happened, so I’ll focus on how wonderful it is now that it’s here.

And it’s not any woman, not any black man. While Obama found privilege, it certainly wasn’t awarded to him by society. He – and his wife, and I think Michelle Obama is great – worked damn hard for all they have.

And while it’s easy to dis Hillary (it seems), she’s been part of a wave of people who came of age in the 60s and 70s who, while making their own way, have contributed MUCH to the overall quality of life in this country and beyond.

So rather than feel just relief at no primary discussion today, I’ve got to appreciate that while the Republicans handed us the same old fat old white man (McCain), the Dems delivered at least some of the change we desperately need.

Did The Media Really Have To Dive Into The Sleaze On Clintons Again?

If you sneezed, you may have missed this really strange story in which writer Todd Purdum’s piece in the most recent “Vanity Fair” in which Bill Clinton not only gets fairly vitriolic about those who would sully he or his wife, but also suggests that Bill is getting pretty “wild” again. One actress noted in the article, Gina Gershon, is demanding the magazine print a retraction for suggesting she and Big Dog shared a pet motel together.

I just don’t understand the sleaziness of such a piece, especially given its timing. Of course, besides the obvious filth, there’s the old saying about the best way to hurt a woman is to bring up her husband’s transgressions, as in “she wasn’t woman enough to satisfy him”.

Now, there are legitimate reasons not to love Bill and/or Hillary. Few politicians make it past asst. dog catcher without having to sell a little soul.

But really, is their sex life any of our business? And would it be coming up if it wasn’t Hillary? And to have it delivered in time for what seems clearly a loss just seems like an editorial twist that was unnecessary, the kind of nastiness we expect from Rupert Murdoch but don’t appreciate proportionately more because it comes from the something of the left.

Who Will Be The New Congressional Democratic Lions?

I hate to bring up such a sad subject at such a tough time but, considering times don’t appear headed for wild wonderfulness any year soon and the subject’s too important to ignore, here goes:

With the hospitalizations of two of the Senate longest reigning Democrats, Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who will be our new lions? Do we have any in the making?

Vermont’s newest Senator, long-time Socialist House Rep, Bernie Sanders is already proving to be a fire brand. But he arrived in the upper house a bit late. Wellstone is dead. Corzine, who showed promise, went to be governor of New Jersey. We’ll have to see if Hillary and Barack remain in the Senate after this year (some speculation has Hillary being handed the governorship of New York on a platter, but I’d love to see what resigned-gov Eliot Spitzer’s replacement, David Patterson as the state’s first leader of color, will do).

Have any contenders we should watch for?

The Concession That Wasn’t; The Suspension That Was?

Did you notice that just about every pundit tonight (ostensibly covering the final two Democratic primaries tonight but actually there for a wake to the end of a primary season the media seemed intent on ending before it hardly began) basically seemed fairly confused?

And that’s because there has been a mad, tempestuous dance going on between the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the media as to what was going to happen tonight. Around 8 PM Monday, the word was that Hillary pop-up roaster thermometer had gone off and that, rather than allow her challenger Barack Obama to declare victory, she would just spend a long time backing out the door from which she first entered.

As of now, it appears to continue. Technically, Obama has the delegates needed to win. He’s close on superDs depending on whose math you follow. And also technically, by suspending her campaign – formally or unannounced – Hillary still has a back door into the Dem National Convention and a Make Hillary Rise Like The Phoenix She Is effort could emerge.

I mean, stranger things have happened. I mean, there was Mike Huckabee’s weird cross-thing-in-a-Christmas-message ad and Chuck Norris following Huckafuck all over the place while the ditzy Bush twins can’t even commit to voting for McPain. And we had a media far more interested in whether Dennis Kucinich _thought_ he once saw a UFO than on any of his real political policies for America. And a media reporting a race between a white woman and a half-black male in a totally different way than they reported the race between waaaaay too many lame, fat, rich, can’t-wait-to-screw-us-anew white Republican males plus Ron Paul. And a media that started to ignore John Edwards the second he dared to suggest he wanted to be the president for the underpaid and underprivileged in this country as much as for its richest citizens.

Byrd Hospitalized

For those who worried over the very emotional turn W VA Senator Robert Byrd took last week over Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor, there is new cause for concern: Byrd had a “spell” late today and has been hospitalized at least overnight.

At 90, such spells cannot be unexpected. But it’s hard to hear about Kennedy and Byrd both having such a time when America itself suffers so.

Are We At The Eve Of “Over”?

According to Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown Monday night, Hillary Clinton is giving every signal of suspending her campaign today, as the final two Democratic primaries play out.

However, it should also be noted that a suspended campaign can be resurrected, right up to and including at Convention time in late August.

The Seeping Anti-Gay Hate Boils Over

Since the California Supreme Court ruled AGAINST an amendment based on hate and exclusion in determining that the state cannot limit marriage to a male and a female, the hate loonies have been on overdrive. Some want to make this about Democrats vs. Republicans: that Democrats would force gay marriage down our throats vs Republicans who will make the Constitution a strait jacket and a vehicle for any hatred they wish to inflict. This letter in The News Times (Danbury, CT) and the comments that follow is a good example.

But this issue isn’t blue vs. red. It’s about what America truly stands for vs. those who want to use the constitution for its own hateful purposes.

Watching The DNC Rules Committee At Work

I’m not certain quite the purpose for showing the inner workings of the Democrats’ Rules Committee as they wrestle with the issue of delegates and super delegates in contested states Florida and Michigan.

On the one hand, I think it’s valuable to some to understand how all this gets worked out re: who will be the Democratic Party nominee. On the other, however, bringing out (so called, cough, cough) big guns like CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to discuss things like the Austin petition and half votes and whether Howard Dean will say, “yeeehaaaaaw” again (he won’t, but CNN likes to make Dems seem dumb) makes the whole thing seem a little ditzy.

Me? I suspect it’s a ratings black hole.

Beat The Press: Play The Political Junkie 2008 Presidential Trivia Contest

I have such confidence in you that I’ll bet my best cup of coffee that you’ll score higher than a Dana Milbank or a David Sirota on this trivia challenge at The Week Behind.

I won’t say you’ll score better than a George Bush, because he’d have to be able to read to take the test and… well…. he’s cognitively challenged (to say the least).