On Blog of Myself, I almost always stick to talking about either poetry & poetics or blogs. But all the obamania right now brings out the skeptic in me - the one who's worked for and observed too many pols since the Reagan era to expect much of any of them. Don't get me wrong - I voted for the guy and will celebrate his inauguration Tuesday night. But here's what I believe: once you elect your candidate - that's when your work begins.
If you don't know about www.opensecrets.org, it's time you made their acquaintance. Everything you need to know about who gave how much to whom. They report that Obama's campaign "relied on bigger donors and smaller donors nearly equally." Now, that's an up statistic - there were a lot of small donors, compared to recent presidential campaigns. But I was curious about those "bigger donors" (that is, those firms that "encourage" their employees to contribute - a practice known evocatively as "bundling"). Among them were the following:
Goldman Sachs - $955,223
JPMorgan Chase & Co - $642,958
Citigroup Inc - $633,418
UBS AG - $505,017
Morgan Stanley - $483,523
Now, I realize I'm not Getting With the Program by pointing this out, but the fact that the Congress is currently raiding the Treasury and giving the loot to the banks and stockbrokers has got me a little miffed, esp. since the bailouts (and those two wars) are bankrupting the country. So naturally I was miffed at Bo for going along with it (nay, widening the damage). And naturally, I think that the figures above are damn good investments, given the payouts.
(And if you really think both of these wars are going to end completely in the next four years, you really need to read the memoir Secrets, by Daniel Ellsberg.)
Meantime, if you're interested in the follow-up to the 500 + promises Bo made during the campaign (remember raising taxes on those making more than 250 grand? That one went south in a hurry), then bookmark www.politifact.com and check out their "Obameter" from time to time.
And lest you think I'm not giving him a chance, know this: If he returns taxation rates and the tax code to their pre-1980 status, then I really will declare him the Second Coming.
Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)
- PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
- PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
- DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
- TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
- CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
- BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
- KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.