Sunday, August 14, 2011

To Bonnie

“Obama hasn’t exactly delivered. And if we’d elected a President McCain, at least there’d be no Tea Party”
-Bonnie Blodgett, Opinion Page, Minneapolis Star Tribune 8-07-11

Dear Bonnie


In late 2006 and early 2007, we stood for our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, and our friends. We stood for those who could not stand for themselves. Thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then millions joined us.

And, together, we are still standing.

We have all been horrified by the personal attacks by the Republican Tea Party on our shared values. They have been relentless, determined, and unforgiving; some would say bordering on immoral. Since 1-20-09, the Republican Tea Party has based their strategy on one thing only; as Mitch McConnell said, to make Barack Obama a one term President. To do that, they have attacked our core values; more importantly, they have attempted to sow doubt and confusion amongst us, friends, neighbors, and allies who together elected Barack Obama President.

The intent of the Republican Tea Party is clear; eliminate the enthusiasm we have for our shared values, believe we are beaten, depress turnout in November 2012, and elect a Republican President.

Bonnie, the statement above cannot be real. You are tired, worn out, sick and we know tired of the attacks. But we don’t believe you really believe what you have said.

Because, a President McCain would have;

• Nominated TWO Supreme Court Justices that would be in the mold of Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito
• Withheld TARP and plunged us into a deeper and wider economic malaise in 2009 and 2010. (Remember “I don’t really understand economics much”?)
• Never signed a Lily Ledbetter Act into law
• Never pursued the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
• Likley embraced continuing attacks on Women’s rights , from the Right
• Never pursued Financial Reform
• Never pursued Health Care Reform

In short, our world would look different. It would be darker.

And Sarah Palin would be one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

So Bonnie, we say with respect and humility; you have to be kidding.

"I am a Idealist without illusions", said John F Kennedy.

So are we.

And so is Barack Obama.

The American people have been hit from all sides. Particulary from the Republican Tea Party who want us to believe the Depression-Recession they caused, was caused by Barack Obama, in one way, shape, or form.

Finally, The Tea Party Downgrade of America stands as a unique insult to all Americans. The same S&P that couldn’t figure AIG or the Great Mortgage Fraud out, proclaims itself expert on our political system. Same old stuff. A $2 Trillion mistake? Doesn’t matter. And then they have the nerve to make threats of more downgrades to come.

The past three years have been extremely difficult. Predictably, our friends and neighbors reaction is one of disappointment, and great stress. And that’s just our friends. The Republican Tea Party wants us to think Barack Obama, and by extension we, are to blame for it all. Including the very wars that George Bush started in Afghanistan and Iraq; and didn’t pay for.

Remember this; in January of 2009, on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated, we were in a national economic emergency. National debt was $10.7 Trillion. Government debt at the time of George Bush’s Inauguration ( January 20, 2001) was $5.8 Trillion. That’s + $5 Trillion for George Bush, or a nearly 100% increase in government debt owed while the Republican Tea party controlled Congress for 75% of his term. We doubled the national debt during a time of mild recession or prosperity, as we fought two wars and reduced taxes at the same time.

In the last week, numerous economists have likened the Republican policies to actions taken during the Depression that casued a worsening of conditions; even Bill Gross of PIMCO, said on Friday that Republican Tea Party economic strategies were a recipe for failure.

Bonnie, you really wouldn’t want them in control of our economy, would you?

Now, we are paying the price for this false promise. As our parents often told us, “you can’t have everything”.

Each of us remembers that time; we recall the gut ache as we saw George Bush reduce everyone’s taxes as he took us to war. We allowed fear and anger to rule our judgement and put our better Angels in a closet.

Frankly, Washington isn’t broken. The Republican Tea Party has pushed this nation towards and further into economic turmoil as a direct tool to further their political agenda. Nothing new about that. They impeached Bill Clinton over personal matters. They used fear and hate of Other to take us into unmamanaged wars. So doing these kinds of things may seem unbelievable, but manipulation for political gain is a continued part of their behavior as thoroughly demonstrated in the 90’s and 2000’s.

Unlike you, we look back on the last two years 7 months with great pride.

Were mistakes made? Sure.

If we were standing in a boat with 1,000 holes in it, and had 10 fingers to plug those 1,000 holes, each and every one of us would have made mistakes in the effort to save the ship of state. That is the reality of the humanity of the Team. Note that our boat is still floating; damaged, but floating.

Barack Obama and the Team executed with great skill and perseverance in a supremely difficult situation. In the face of a national emergency, President Obama ;

• Was elected with no lobbyist or PAC monies.
• Arrested a Depression
• Successfully nominated two Supremes who share our values
• Saved the American auto industry.
• Implemented Financial Reform.
• Passed Health Care (no, he did not campaign for Single Payer Option only. That is not true.)
• Created and executed the strategy that resulted in “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” being repealed with full military support.
• Passed Lily Ledbetter
• Created a Consumer Protection Agency.
• And the list goes on.
• Oh, yeah. He eliminated Osama Bin Laden, the greatest direct threat to our national security since Adolf Hitler.

Did we get everything we wanted in every bill passed? No, Bonnie. That is the difficult and messy nature of our democracy. And that was true as well, when we controlled both houses of Congress until November 2010.

So, if we all curl up and pull the blankets over our heads now, we will wake up in November 2012 facing a political disaster. The stakes couldn’t be higher; each and every one of our shared values is under attack by a determined and funded opposition.

We could not disagree more with the notion that politics is just sport; elections have consequences. As November 2010 has amply demonstrated.

So we are getting up tomorrow and going to work in each and every way possible. We are going to work, and work, and work, until, on election eve of November 2012, we stand exhausted knowing we could not have done one more thing. That each thing we could have done, we did.

We ask you to do the same to defend our shared values from the oncoming attack, and to recognize that we cannot turn back now. And we have great confidence that if you do choose to stand with us, on election eve you will be similarly exhausted, as will millions of others in homes, offices, and halls across America. And the next night, together, we will celebrate , in unity and common purpose, the re-election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

And then, together, we can continue the task of healing our nation.

We Are In,

Lou and Carol Frillman

Monday, July 25, 2011

We Stand For Hope and Change
Changing Hope Into Action

"This is no way to run the greatest country on Earth. It’s a dangerous game that we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now. Not when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake. We can’t allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington’s political warfare.

-President Barack Obama, July 25, 2011


Over the past 4 years, we have seen it all.

We have all witnessed small mindedness; viciousness; prejudice, and more. All in attempts to derail a election, or the legislative accomplishments enhancing the values we all share.

Now we cannot believe what lies before us; unwillingness to compromise is putting our national Credit, (and as Nicolas Kristol said yesterday) our National Security, at risk.

There have been so many moments of stress in the past 2.5 years; and each time, we have been proud of what Barack Obama has done; what he has said; and how he has led us through so many moments of darkness. We feel that way tonight. Proud of him; mindful of how we must continue to embody the campaign promise of Respect, Empowerment, and Inclusion, as a way forward.

At this moment of crisis, we are once again reminded of why we signed on to support Senator Barack Obama for President, why we thought he could be not a good, but a great, President.

Tonight he said this;

“America, after all, has always been a grand experiment in compromise. As a democracy made up of every race and religion, where every belief and point of view is welcomed, we have put to the test time and again the proposition at the heart of our founding: that out of many, we are one. We’ve engaged in fierce and passionate debates about the issues of the day, but from slavery to war, from civil liberties to questions of economic justice, we have tried to live by the words that Jefferson once wrote: “Every man cannot have his way in all things -- without this mutual disposition, we are disjointed individuals, but not a society.”

History is scattered with the stories of those who held fast to rigid ideologies and refused to listen to those who disagreed. But those are not the Americans we remember. We remember the Americans who put country above self, and set personal grievances aside for the greater good. We remember the Americans who held this country together during its most difficult hours; who put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union.”

Tonight, Barack Obama has asked for our help.

We ask you to join us, tomorrow, in asking each of our elected officials to compromise to preserve the great idea, the promise, and the Hope, that is this nation.

We Stand, With You, For Hope and Change

Lou & Carol Frillman

Sunday, May 22, 2011


We have started Updates 2012 as a way of communicating with you, a great supporter of President Obama. Sometimes Updates will include humor, vignettes , and approaches meant to enliven the message; that the re-election of Barack Obama is essential to continue the mission we all began in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Today, we want to provide you with a view on a matter of the utmost gravity and of great concern to our nation, and the world; Middle Eastern Peace and what the President did say as it relates to his speech last Thursday at the US State Department concerning Israel.

There has been a substantial amount of misinformation, misdirection, and just plain manipulation about what the President said and what he meant.

The President did not call for Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines, but rather that the two sides should negotiate a border based on that line with mutually agreed swaps. By definition this means that there would need to be adjustments to the border to take account of the realities on the ground and to satisfy both sides’ needs. This is consistent with all of the negotiations that have taken place over the past 20 years as well as President Bush’s statements from 2004.

Second, the President called for robust security arrangements to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, stop the infiltration of weapons, and provide effective border security – and made clear that any agreement must not leave Israel vulnerable. He called for two states for two peoples with Israel as a Jewish state, underscored that an agreement must end all claims, and emphasized that all Palestinians must accept Israel’s right to exist to move forward.

Last, he put these principles forward precisely because direct negotiations are the only means to resolve the conflict, and he categorically rejected any Palestinian attempt to avoid negotiations by going to the UN in September. In fact, it was very important to do it yesterday – in anticipation of the President’s trip to Europe next week – so as to frame Palestinian and European efforts. We needed to create an alternative to the Palestinian UN gambit, particularly to keep the Europeans from supporting it, and based on the international reaction to the speech so far, we have done so.

Moreover, we want to get the focus back where it belongs: on Iran.

In that speech, The President laid out his vision for a new era of peace in the Middle East this week -- a vision rooted in an abiding belief in Israel as a Jewish state.

We wanted to make sure you know he'll be discussing this vision further in a speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference tomorrow morning.

AIPAC will be live-streaming the event online. You can tune in tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time here:

And if you can't watch the President's speech live, be sure to check it out at the White House site anytime tomorrow afternoon:

We Are In,

Lou & Carol Frillman

Monday, April 4, 2011

“We Are In”


When this journey began, we all joined together in common purpose and unity, knowing that our shared goals of healing a nation and ending nearly a decade of misadventures would take all of us, all of our effort and energy. And it did.

What started, as David Plouffe would say, as a rag-tag band of folks, ended on November 5, 2008, in victory. Some may have suspected, few of us knew, the complex challenges that would lie ahead. Over the last two years and 4 months, each success in meeting these challenges was not Barack Obama’s alone; it was and is all of yours as well.

But strong and steady leadership was necessary to get us here.

Barack Obama’s leadership has been rock solid as he and our entire Team encountered and then handled adroitly the many emergencies dropped in our laps on January 20, 2009. President Obama and the Team have led us through a plethora of problems that would have diminished or compromised so many others.

As President, Barack Obama has confronted the greatest combined set of domestic and foreign policy challenges to the vital interests of the US in generations; he has done it methodically, thoughtfully, with wisdom, care, integrity, and honor, while remaining true to the promises he made America during the 2008 campaign, and remaining true to his and our shared values.

As President, Barack Obama has;

• Saved the US economy
• Saved the US auto industry
• Ended our massive and mistaken involvement in Iraq
• Is leading us out of Afghanistan
• Signed the Lily Ledbetter law
• Appointed, with massive Senate approval, 2 new Supreme Court Justices
• Achieved Financial regulatory reform
• Strategized, and then Signed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
• Promoted and signed the Affordable Care Act, the greatest advance in 75 years
providing Health Care for all Americans, eliminating pre-existing
conditions , and guiding mandatory preventitive care. See Here to find out how
you can help sustain the ACA through Protect Our Care.
• Re-established respect for the US in the community of nations
• Determined that we must Win the Future, and established how we will do just
that through improvements in education, infrastructure and research and
investment, and is organizing a national effort to support those goals.
• Met a dynamic immediate threat by a brutal dictator to his own people by
organizing a massive coalition of nations in responding to the immediate
threat of a massacre, while understanding our responsibilities and our
capacity, and has proceeded with a heartfelt and responsible response to
this latest humanitarian crisis. See Here for Nicolas Kristof on the Libyan
• Has supported and created policies that have created over 1 million jobs since
Inauguration. See Here for details on the Obama led recovery.
• And so much more……………………

Today, we are delighted to share with you the news that Barack Obama will be the Democratic Candidate for President of the United States in 2012.

The 2012 Campaign will be run by Jim Messina, former Deputy White House Chief of Staff, who will do a magnificent job presenting the Case for Barack Obama to the American people. See Here and Here why we know Jim is the right choice to manage the 2012 effort.

For these reasons, and so many more, We Are In.

We will be supporting Barack Obama’s candidacy, in every way possible; we respectfully ask each of you to consider doing so as well.

As Barack Obama is President, some will think - we can cruise to victory.

Make no mistake; this battle will be just as difficult as 2008. Our opponents are determined and their coffers will be full. It will take each and every one of our hands , hearts, voice, treasure, and votes to prevail. We will, once again, have to “leave it all on the floor” to win.

Always together, we look forward to this journey through the corridors of history, making and winning the future, with each and every one of you.

We thank you for your past dedication and support; we look forward to your joining us in this historic effort to support and defend Change.

As the campaign proceeds, we will be talking about places and ways you can help, and will share that as more details become available.

Are You In?

We Stand, With You, For Hope and Change

Lou & Carol Frillman

Thursday, January 13, 2011

“We have to figure out how we all can be better people”
-Carol Frillman, January 12, 2011


Last weekend, we all witnessed a act of unspeakable violence, directed against Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and many others, in Tucson, Az.

In that moment, we also saw the best that is America; acts of bravery and compassion as bystanders jumped in without regard for themselves, as they rushed to aid victims or subdue the shooter. That is the America that we live in, and that we love; where neighbor helps neighbor, where neighbor helps folks unknown to them, at a moment’s notice. This is hope, alive, crossing all boundaries.

Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. He is also a husband, a son, a friend, a father, and a grandson. Last night, we heard from all of him.

President Obama spoke last night and said, in part,

“The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud…………….

I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here – they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us………

But what we can't do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together. “

We believe the best and only thing we can do today, is to offer prayers for the victims, and the deranged. For the families whose lives have been indelibly changed. While we may not know these people, we can wrap them all in our thoughts, and let them know that in this family, the American family, we stand United with them in their grief.

At the beginning of this journey we have all made together, people wondered why we all were involved and what was driving us. Together, we stood for our children and grandchildren, and for those who could not stand for themselves.

We know now , that we are also standing for Gabby Giffords. For Judge Roll, for Phyllis, and for Gabe, George, Dot, and Dorwan. And most especially, for 9 year old Christina Taylor Green.

“The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud”-

-President Barack Obama, Tucson, Az., 1-12-11

With Respect, and in Unity,
We Stand, With You, For Hope and Change

Lou & Carol Frillman

Monday, January 3, 2011

Remembering 1-03-08 Iowa

Supporters and Friends

Happy New Year.

Three years ago tonight, on January 3, 2008, we were in our Field Of Dreams, in Des Moines, Iowa, watching over 200,000 fellow citizens leave their homes on a very cold night to do the hard work of democracy and vote their conscience. The result of that caucus across frigid plains now is before us;

• Pulling the economy from the brink of disaster
• Thirty Million Americans who can now obtain basic health insurance.
• Two Supreme Court Justices who share our values
• Active withdrawal from Iraq
• Financial Reform and Consumer Protection
• Tax Reform for the middle class
• Equality for our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in military service
• And so much more…………………..

As we now face a new Congress with Republican leadership, we remind you that we have faced incredible odds before; after all, a unified media was convinced in December of 2007 that Barack Obama was wasting his time. We ask you to think back today and remember that on January 4, 2008, what many had thought was a dream had become real. If President Obama was with us today, he would remind us that the victory was not his, it belonged to the American People.

This is what he said that night in Des Moines;

“Hope is what I saw in the eyes of the young woman in Cedar Rapids who works the night shift after a full day of college and still can't afford health care for a sister who's ill; a young woman who still believes that this country will give her the chance to live out her dreams.

Hope is what I heard in the voice of the New Hampshire woman who told me that she hasn't been able to breathe since her nephew left for Iraq; who still goes to bed each night praying for his safe return.

Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young women and young men to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom's cause.

Hope-hope-is what led me here today - with a father from Kenya; a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.

That is what we started here in Iowa, and that is the message we can now carry to New Hampshire and beyond; the same message we had when we were up and when we were down; the one that can change this country brick by brick, block by block, calloused hand by calloused hand - that together, ordinary people can do extraordinary things; because we are not a collection of Red States and Blue States, we are the United States of America; and at this moment, in this election, we are ready to believe again. Thank you, Iowa.”

As we approach the work of the New Year of 2011, we ask one thing; Remember where this journey began. And how far we still have to go, with your help.

We Stand, With You, For Hope and Change

Lou & Carol Frillman