April 29, 2006
A few simple words, repeated over and over.
I’m Calling Bullshit On Homelessness. I have never lost a flame war yet, and I’m not about to start with this one. In two recent diaries over at MyDD, Tax Welfare For Billionaires and Tax Welfare For Billionaires II I pointed out that tax cuts for billionaires were nothing more than thinly disguised welfare programs for the ultra rich. Since homeless Americans and working Americans have a greater need for economic assistance in these perilous economic times, I decided to take over Birch Park just south of downtown Santa Ana (page 829 in your Thomas Guide at E3) as a statement of my discontent with the current economic conventional wisdom that providing welfare to billionaires will eventually trickle down to the rest of us.
I'm in the process of wrapping up a few loose ends before I file a series of lawsuits that will bring landlord/tenant law in Orange County, Calfornia into conformity with California law. The current rule of law in Orange County can be simply stated as "the landlord wins." Regardless of the law, the equity or the specific facts of any particular situation, "the landlord wins."
That is about to change. Trust me. I will be adding more details as I get situated in my new residence and my economic situation returns to the norm. For now you can take my word for it that landlord/tenant law in Orange County is going to experience a radical transformation.
April 28, 2006
In MyDD :: United Flight 93 Chris Bowers asks why the new movie Flight 93 purchased ads on every "conservative" blog and no Liberal blogs.
I am the manager of the Liberal Blog Advertising Network, which has 86 member blogs that combine for 17.78 million page views per week. It is the second largest advertising network at Blogads. From what I can tell, not a single blog in that network features the Untied 93 advertisement that apparently was purchased on all 103 members of the Conservative Blog Advertising Network. That network has 4.37 million page views per week, just under 25% of our traffic.
Why did the marketers of United Flight 93 decide to only advertise on conservative political blogs? The Liberal Blog Advertising Network is four times as large, and is even a 20-30% better deal per page view (or CPM, to use the relevant industry term). Do they think that attack is only relevant to red America? Do they think that only Republicans were attacked on 9/11? Do they think that only conservatives remember that day? Do they think that the only people who took action on United Flight 93 had voted for George Bush one year earlier?
April 27, 2006
I attended an event in San Francisco where unofficial Democratic Presidential candidate and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner spoke and took questions. (Here is his blog and I am assured by an astonished aide that he actually spends time on it.) The event was a fundraiser for Heath Schuler who is running for Congress in North Carolina's 11th District against one of the typical Republican Culture of Corruption Congressmen. First, I have to say that Schuler is GOOD. He is a good speaker, and comes across very well. Here's his blog. He's also a former NFL quarterback. Let's wish him well! Send him a few bucks.
It was very crowded (even so I knew about 1/4 of the people there including the guy who put it together - for various reasons I seem to end up at number of events in this circle of funding types...), but I had a chance to chat with Gov. Warner for a bit. I have to say that was very impressed. We had a good chat. I asked him if he or anyone on his staff has their brain around the conservative movement and what it is, and he had pretty good knowledge.
Then I asked him what he's going to do when they smear him. He said they've already tried. So I think he might need some work on understanding what they are going to do -- that they're going to just make up really, really nasty shit and spread it everywhere before anyone can respond...
So I liked him. He "gets it," seems natural and comfortable and isn't trying too hard - I mean, he seems to be just who he is. And he comes across very, very well. He is obviously very knowledgeable. And his record in Virginia is really good. He left office with an 80% approval rating in a historically Republican Southern "Red" state, and did it by raising spending on the environment and education and tobacco taxes.
It was interesting seeing him interacting in that crowd of VC types because he was in his element but I could tell he's the same guy that he is in other crowds - even if I haven't seen him in another crowd. I was at a similar event like this with Kerry very early in that campaign and you could really tell he had a special persona for that crowd. (In fact I had been a really big Kerry supporter until then and called the Dean campaign the next morning -- it was way too early for them to be able to respond...)
This is important -- I didn't hear him repeating ANY "conventional wisdom" or right-wing narrative points. This is a big deal. In a room full of VC types he didn't say "Social Security is going broke" or "we need free trade" or anything like that. He talked about the disaster that Bush has been, and how we need transformation change.
So I'm going to be taking a really serious look at Gov. Warner, and blogging about him. I want to know more about his positions on issues. Until now I have been a support of Gen. Clark for President, but we'll see. I suggest that you pay attention to this guy - you will like him. I CAN say that whoever wins the nomination for President will have my full support, no matter who I support through the primaries.
For some reason everyone thinks CIA employee Mary McCarthy leaked information about secret prisons to the press. Right-wngers are calling it treason. Others are calling here a hero.
But both McCarthy AND THE CIA say she didn't leak that to the press.
For the first few days after the action was announced, the agency and the White House let stand the impression that McCarthy had been a source for the stories about secret U.S. detention centers in Europe that won a Pulitzer Prize for The Washington Post's Dana Priest. But when McCarthy's lawyer said she had no part in that transaction, CIA officials confirmed that was the case — leaving it unclear exactly what she had done to bring down the punishment. [emphasis added]
A former CIA officer who was sacked last week after allegedly confessing to leaking secrets has denied she was the source of a controversial Washington Post story about alleged CIA secret detention operations in Eastern Europe, a friend of the operative told NEWSWEEK.And US: Fired officer denies being source over secret jails,
he fired official, Mary O. McCarthy, “categorically denies being the source of the leak,” one of McCarthy’s friends and former colleagues, Rand Beers, said Monday after speaking to McCarthy. Beers said he could not elaborate on this denial and McCarthy herself did not respond to a request for comment left by NEWSWEEK on her home answering machine. A national-security adviser to Democratic Party candidate John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign, Beers worked as the head of intelligence programs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff and later served as a top deputy on counterterrorism for President Bush in 2002 and 2003. McCarthy, a career CIA analyst, initially worked as a deputy to Beers on the NSC and later took over Beer’s role as the Clinton NSC’s top intelligence expert.
McCarthy's lawyer, Ty Cobb, told NEWSWEEK this afternoon that contrary to public statements by the CIA late last week, McCarthy never confessed to agency interrogators that she had divulged classified information and "didn't even have access to the information" in The Washington Post story in question.
... A counterterrorism official acknowledged to NEWSWEEK today that in firing McCarthy, the CIA was not necessarily accusing her of being the principal, original, or sole leaker of any particular story. Intelligence officials privately acknowledge that key news stories about secret agency prison and “rendition” operations have been based, at least in part, upon information available from unclassified sources.
The CIA officer fired last week for unauthorised contacts with the media denied allegations that she was the source that led to The Washington Post's award-winning story on secret CIA detention centres, says a lawyer and a friend.
"She did not leak any classified information, and she did not have access to the information apparently attributed to her by some government officials," said Washington lawyer Ty Cobb, representing veteran CIA analyst Mary McCarthy.
... A friend of Ms McCarthy also asserted she was not the Post's source. "She was not the source for that story," said Rand Beers,
Mr Beers -- who headed intelligence programmes at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration -- said Ms McCarthy authorised him to make a brief statement.
April 26, 2006
The Republicans are trying to give phone companies the right to decide which web sites they will allow to be seen on the internet lines they bring to your house. This is the "Net Neutrality" issue that you might have heard about.
This is up for a vote in a Congressional comittee today. Here are four reps that are moveable on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Please contact them and ask them to please protect internet freedom from corporate interests by voting for Ed Markey's amendment on network neutrality.
Bart Stupak (D- Michigan, 1st)
(202) 225 4735
(202) 225 4744 - Fax
Tom Allen, (D - Maine, 1st)
(207) 774-5019 (phone)
(207) 871-0720 (fax)
Mike Ross (D - Arkansas, 4th)
(202) 225-1314 (fax)
Jim Davis -- (D - Florida, 11th)
tel: (202) 225-3376
FAX: (202) 225-5652
For a full list of all reps on the Energy and Commerce Committee, go here: http://savetheinternet.com/=map
The headline reads, Percentage of Uninsured Americans Rising, but "rising" is a dramatic understatement:
The percentage of working-age Americans with moderate to middle incomes who lacked health insurance for at least part of the year rose to 41 percent in 2005, a dramatic increase from the 28 percent in 2001 without coverage, a study released on Wednesday found.28 to 41 percent in five years! Actually, the story itself calls it an "explosion."
The report paints a bleak health care picture for the uninsured. "It represents an explosion of the insurance crisis into those with moderate incomes," said Sara Collins, a senior program officer at the Commonwealth Fund.And people without insurance put off treatment until things get very expensive - or worse.
Bush's forced decline of America accelerates.
April 25, 2006
The other day I wrote about a Magic Act Video -- How The Right-Wing Does It.
Now I have it up at YouTube: Never mind -- it was too long for YouTube. Use the same old location:
See the video (Note, this is an 'mp4" file which requires Apple's QuickTime. You can download QuickTime by clicking here.)
Return on Investments display (Small PDF document)
Return on Investments references (Small PDF document)
PS Al Mite TeDollar told me the performance was based on these two reports -- and there is a lot more information on this subject available here at Commonweal Institute's collection of articles, reports and resources for studying the right-wing ideological movement.
And, finally, if you want to do something about the Right's message machine, get involved.
The news in Bush Eases Environmental Rules on Gasoline is worse than you think.
First the bad news,
President Bush on Tuesday ordered a temporary suspension of environmental rules for gasoline...Making it sound to the public like protecting the environment hurts regular people...
Now the worse news,
He also halted for the summer the purchase of crude oil for the government's emergency reserve.The reason this is such bad news is this means the Bush WAS BUYING OIL UNTIL NOW at these inflated prices, driving prices up even higher, pumping government money to the oil companies and Saudis!!!!!
This also means, by the way, the perception that oil prices are dropping just as the election approaches.
April 24, 2006
This is really, really funny. metacomments: The Emperor's New Clothes and the Fucking Blogger.
You often see the letters "WATB" on blogs these days, usually describing Republicans who whine and cry about how everyone is so mean to them and persecutes them. WATB stands for "Whiney Ass Titty Baby." And without further ado, here is today's example. Drudge headline, "JAGGER REFUSES TO GIVE BUSH HOTEL ROOM..." which links to News: Mick beats George to suite,
“Bush’s people seemed to be under the impression that they would just hand over the suites but there was no way Mick was going to do that.”OK, just imagine that Clinton was still President. How would this story be covered? Clinton demanding that people give up their rooms so he can sleep in luxury, etc.
The classically-designed suite is said to be among the top 100 hotel rooms in the world. It boasts a 7ft 4in bed, chandeliers and oil paintings.
By the way, did you know that Bush travels with a special pillow, that he calls his "pilly"?
April 23, 2006
The big picture says the big picture: Remind me who won the cold war
Many of the salient features of Khrushchev's government are readily recognized in our own current administration, including a slavish adherence to party unity (a rubber-stamp Congress), a complete inability to manage effectively during times of crisis (Katrina), ill-considered foreign adventures (Iraq), the subjugation of scientific knowledge to political orthodoxy (global warming, anyone?), ineptitude in fiscal strategy (the dollar risks joining the ruble as a symbol of the combination of great national strength and even greater financial weakness), the replacement of actual technical competence by blind party loyalty as the desired characteristic of all members of the ruling class (heckuvajob, Rummy!), and the abandonment of core national principles in search of selfish grabs for money and power (anyone ever hear of the Constitution?).Read the rest, it's good.
And Khrushchev was a boor who pretended to represent the people, but who actually used his position to gain political and financial strength though the gross corruption of the state.
Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?
For Earth Day the House Committee on Resources has put up an anti-environmentalist website. Seriously. Go look at your government in action.
The "Links" page points to the Pacific Research Institute, one of the far-right, Scaife, Koch, etc.-funded "conservative movement" propaganda organizations.
Another link is titled "Clinton Report" because it is a Dept. of Energy report dated 1993, just after Clinton took office (Which really means it was prepared by the Bush I admin.). It talks about all the environmental benefits of oil drilling. Heh. But they just call it "Clinton Report" because that's how they think - these are far-right operatives who see government as a tool for propagandizing and manipulating the public.
(Through Raw Story)
Go see the video of Pink, live, Mr. President. All I can say is wow, moving.
April 22, 2006
I fear that all this optimism about the coming election shows a lack of understanding of what we're dealing with. This optimism and faith in the electoral process seems to me to be, as our Attorney General said about the Geneva Conventions, "quaint."
History doesn't have very many examples of dishonest, corrupt, authoritarian, cultist regimes willingly handing over to others the power to remove them from office and jail them for their crimes.
Watch your backs!
April 21, 2006
Please go read Chris Bowers'Daily Kos: Draft Gore, But Only If You Mean It. He says if you want Gore to run you have to actually DO SOMETHING about it.
Draft Gore in 2008, but only do it if you mean it. Back up you words with real action. Don't whine to me about how I or some other leadership element is keeping you down or preventing this from happening. Give over your persecution and get to it.Have blog readers reverted back to American couch-sitters who wait around for others to do something?
April 20, 2006
Go take the quiz. Leve a comment and tell us what your score was.
Your PERSONAL issues Score is 70%.
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 20%.
There was a great magic act at the recent Progressive Roundtable convening. During the performance the magician, Al Mite TeDollar, describes the Right's infrastructure of organizations and how they operate to move America's politics to the right. (He told me the performance was based on these reports...) Now there's a video available showing the performance.
Here's Commonweal Institute's description of the video:
Al Mite TeDollar, the Billionaire Magician, mystified attendees with his Maximizing ROI (Return On Illusion) performance at the opening reception of the Commonweal Institute's Progressive Roundtable on March 2, 2006. Weaving magic, political satire, and economic allegories, Al demonstrated why billionaire investments in political infrastructure and legislation have yielded returns beyond the dreams of avarice. Magic was afoot, reminding the audience of the real-world misdirection and shell game operations going on all around us.Go watch.
See the video (Note, this is an 'mp4" file which requires Apple's QuickTime. You can download QuickTime by clicking here.)
Return on Investments display (Small PDF document)
Return on Investments references (Small PDF document)
PS You can contact Al Mite TeDollar for bookings here.
April 19, 2006
Think Progress wonders whether Karl Rove has lost his security clearance which could account for his shift in positions.
April 18, 2006
I happen to think that the retired generals speaking out against Bush's war is a problem. It threatens the American principle of civilian control of the military. But this is a special time in our history. We are supposed to have other democratic controls and checks and balances in place -- including Congressional and Judicial oversight, a functioning opposition and an investigatory media -- that keep things from reaching the point we have reached. These have eroded to the extent that these retired Generals have been left with little choice if we are to be diverted from complete disaster.
We have visitors from England, and we're taking them to the San Francisco Zoo today, so I won't be posting anything until later. I won't be awarding any troll hats, either.
Pick a few random blogs fro the blogroll in the left column to visit. That's the spirit of blogging - spread the love.
April 16, 2006
America is becomming a Monty Python routine,
This appears to have been part of a plan to kidnap a person, rape them, torture them, kill them, cut off their head, drain the body of blood, rape the corpse, eat the corpse, then dispose of the organs and bones," Tompkins said.I'm a vegetarian, myself.
April 15, 2006
"Citizens" of the United States don't even seem to have a right to know when our own country is at war. See The Raw Story | Retired colonel claims U.S. military operations are already 'underway' in Iran
In a classic "hit piece" titled The Left, Online and Outraged, the Washington Post gets revenge on liberal bloggers. Maryscott O'Connor "wonders what she should scream about this day..." Others quoted are blog commenters and The Rude Pundit.
Remember, the Post is the paper that recently hired a far-right blogger because they felt they needed to "balance" their centrist/right perspective. The liberal blogs discovered that the guy was a conservative-movement professional, and then that he was a plagiarist as well and the Post was embarrassed. So here is the payback.
April 14, 2006
The Treasury Secratery of the United States says,
...achieving fiscal discipline, can only lead to one thing: higher taxes. And higher taxes always mean a larger role for government and a smaller role for the private sector. Is that the way we want to go? I don't think so.(Never mind having to pay interest on borrowing...)
On a likely related note,
Yields have risen sharply by 0.6 percentage points so far this year, reaching 5.036pc in New York last night.Dumping out of US funds? They probably heard that our Treasury Secretary thinks fiscal discipline is a bad thing.
... Analysts said the spike in yields is chiefly caused by an exodus of Asian investors, who hold a huge chunk of the US national debt.
"We've started seeing a lot of money being repatriated into the Japanese equities market," said Matthew Smith, a manager at Smith Affiliated Capital. Japanese holdings of foreign bonds has fallen by $70bn so far this year, according to data from Japan's finance ministry.
So I looked at a Honda Accord Hybrid today. It STARTS at $30,990, and only averages 28 MPG. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Why would anyone buy something like that?
The 50 MPG Civic Hybrid, on the other hand... But you can't even think about getting one until July because they are back-ordered.
Fhe Republican website WorldNetDaily: WorldNetDaily: Author: Bill Clinton gave Iran bomb plan.
Keep in mind that the CIA agent "outed" by the White House was working to keep Iran from gaining nuclear weapons technology.
The Republicans passed a law making it a felony to be an undocumented immigrant. (Obviously targeted at Mexicans, not Canadians or Europeans, talking about how "they" will do certain jobs that "we" won't...)
Hispanics - incuding American citizens - react to the racist insult with mass demonstrations. They are obviously angry enough to vote in large numbers.
How do the Republicans solve the huge problem they created for themselves? Very simple, do what Republicans always do -- just lie. Republicans are running Spanish-language ads saying that this was a Democratic bill, passed by Democrats. Also this from AP.
The Seeing the Forest Rule: When Republicans accuse, it means they are doing what they are accusing of.
Update - More here.
April 12, 2006
Our government is not supposed to be a one-party system. But Bob Geiger writes that Senate GOP Majority Killed Most Democratic Bills in New Year. 90% of all legislation brought to the floor by Democrats was killed. And he shows examples. Go read
The off-year 2002 vote was about 160K, with about 290K in 2004. If today's vote will be closer to 100K, that suggests something less than strong grass-roots enthusiasm.Well I add the turnout up to about 128,000 people.
So now can you see the outlines of a Republican win this November?
Not yet? How about this Texas story, Low voter turnout isn't so bad,
At most, about 12,000 people voted Tuesday in Tarrant County.And this one from Wisconsin, Low Voter Turnout,
County Clerk Bob Ohlsen says, except for Sun Prairie and the Monona–Cottage Grove areas, where there are school referendums on the ballot, turnout has been unusually low ... about 5 percent in most of the county.
And these from Missouri, Voter turnout low,
Despite several important races, only 5,447 voters turned out at the polls out of a possible 25,906. In the Spring Creek West district, zero voters showed up at the polls.And, Randolph County voter turnout extremely low,
Results are in for the 2006 general election and several local governing boards have new leadership even though voter turnout tallied in at just 9.85 percent.Now, combine those with this California story, New ID System May Block Voters,
Thousands of Californians who register to vote or update their records may not receive sample ballots or be able to vote as absentees because of the state's new method of verifying identities, election officials say.If Demos don't - or can't - vote, they can't win. Even if the voting machines aren't rigged.
I frequently remind readers that those of us who read (and write) blogs are not like the rest of the public. We are hyper-informed. I think it is so important to understand that the ways we get our information and the kinds of information we retain are profoundly different from the public-at-large, and if we want them to think and act a certain way, we need to reach out to them in the places they are listening with stories and information they will "hear" and act on.
Obviously we're not getting through to them now. Not even to the ones who would naturally be on our side.
April 10, 2006
Republicans are working hard to keep their base together. See Democrats Recruiting at Illegal Immigrant Protests.
No one except white Repubicans are real Americans. Non-whites are unthinking groups that all vote the same. Etc... "The Dems have cornered the black voting collective..." "the Hispanic vote..."
Here's another one, whipping up racial hatred today, MUSLIMS FOR OPEN BORDERS,
Many interesting characters are showing up at the illegal alien demonstrations against immigration enforcement. Black Panthers. A.N.S.W.E.R. agitators. And...America-bashing Muslim activists.Americans of Hispanic descent are "illegal aliens." Muslims are "America-bashing."
But to really see it, go here,
...the illegal immigrants whose rudeness and disregard for anti-littering laws have made it impossible to take my family to Miami Beach for several years, now...
...the illegal immigrant who leeched off of our friend and neighbor for years, not doing a lick of work around the house, until the neighbor finally became so fed up that she moved out of state...Disgusting, but typical.
...the illegal immigrants whose children have made several of our public schools so dangerous and disorderly...
...the illegal immigrants who dump trash all over our neighborhood park every weekend...
Update - Mahablog sees it.
Update II - And Digby, writing at firedoglake, explains the origins.
I'd like to tell you about an exciting and informative panel I will be on at the upcoming YearlyKos convention, June 8-11 in Las Vegas. This convention (details here) is for bloggers, blog readers, "netroots" people such as MoveOn members, progressive activists, and all of us who are upset over the direction the conservatives are taking the United States. Oh, and you party animals will also want to come.
The panel I want to tell you about is titled, Building Progressive Infrastructure. As Markos and Jerome's book Crashing the Gate discusses, one reason conservatives now dominate the American "marketplace of ideas" is because they have built an "infrastructure" of organizations that are designed to persuade the public to support conservative ideology and candidates. These organizations operate year-round, outside of the election cycle, pursuing a coordinated, long-term strategy. Over time this effort has moved the public ever rightward, creating a receptive environment for a conservative approach to issues, and for their candidates.
Progressives should also be looking to the long term rather than from election to election, thinking past narrow issues, and building "infrastructure" organizations that train and hire activists, speakers, writers, columnists, bloggers, researchers and future leaders, as well as reach out to the public promoting the benefits of Progressive values and a Progressive approach to issues.
For Immediate Release:
YearlyKos Panel to Discuss the Status of the New Progressive Infrastructure
From the Blogosphere: The progressive infrastructure - is it ready to take on the well-oiled and well-funded message machine of the right? The panel, which includes Jerome Armstrong, Dave Johnson, Markos Moulitsas, and David Sirota will discuss our goals, accomplishments and what still needs to be done to develop a cohesive progressive infrastructure.
"Poll after poll shows that the American people are with the Democrats on almost every issue, yet they lose election after election," said Moulitsas. "That's because we are not playing on an even political battleground. They have huge infrastructure advantages. And until they are neutralized, it'll be difficult for progressives to win a true battle of ideas."
Using our innate advantages, such as respect for civil liberties, concern for people and a much more diverse demographic base, we can meet the challenges to our democracy created by years of slow but continuous subduction by the right.
Jerome Armstrong says that "Through multi-issue groups, the blogosphere, 527's, and resurgent labor organizing, the progressive movement is emerging as a political force."
What exactly are the progressives up against? Rebuilding from scratch after their 1964 landslide defeat, the far right built a machine that eventually took over all branches of the government. The far right's relentless co-opting of control has resulted in massive debt, a war with no end in sight, outsourced jobs, eroded civil liberties, environmental destruction and a rampant culture of corruption.
But the conservative movement's track record of building power - regardless of its effect - has also been instructive. The panel will describe what progressives can learn from the right's tactical successes in building their movement and how we can use our skills, assets, and techniques to fuel our movement and rescue our democracy.
About the panel:
Markos Moulitsas, a U.S. Army veteran and holder of two bachelor's degrees and a law degree, started Daily Kos in May 2002 after moving to California to work in the tech industry. His blog has had a meteoric rise and currently receives more than a million unique visitors every day, making it one of the most popular blogs in the world. He is the co-author of "Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots and the rise of People-Powered Politics." He now lives with his wife and toddler son in Berkeley, California.
Jerome Armstrong is a longtime blogger at MyDD.com who worked on Howard Dean's internet campaign. Now working for a 2006 U.S. Senate candidate and a potential Presidential candidate for '08, he founded the web firm Netroots.com. He is the co-author of "Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots and the rise of People-Powered Politics."
David Sirota is the author of the book "Hostile Takeover," which looks at how corporate interests have joined forces with politicians to make sure public policy is sold off to the highest bidder. He is a senior editor at In These Times, a regular contributor to The Nation and the American Prospect, and the blogger for Working Assets. He was a senior strategist for Brian Schweitzer in his 2000 run for the U.S. Senate and his 2004 run for governor. Sirota was also the press secretary for Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders and the top spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee, his 2000 run for the Senate and his 2004 run for governor. He was also the press secretary for Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders and the top spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee.
Dave Johnson is a Fellow at the Commonweal Institute and blogs at Seeing the Forest. He has written reports detailing how the conservative movement coordinates strategy and messaging to attack strategic targets such as trial lawyers and teacher unions.
The YearlyKos Las Vegas convention "YearlyKos: Uniting the Netroots" lasts from June 8 - 11, 2006 and has attracted progressive bloggers and blog readers from around the country.
By the way, those reports the press release described as "detailing how the conservative movement coordinates strategy and messaging to attack strategic targets such as trial lawyers and teacher unions" are The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law (cited in Crashing the Gate), and Responding to the Attack on Public Education and Teacher Unions. As you read these, substitute YOUR issue or organization everywhere you see trial lawyers or teachers, and you'll realize that the same coordinated attack is targeting YOU. We are all in this together. If you are interested in learning more, there is a collection of articles, reports and resources for studying the right-wing ideological movement available here and a collection of articles, reports and resources focusing on development of Progressive Infrastructure organizations available here. Both are resources provided by the Commonweal Institute.
Please join us at YearlyKos! It will be a lot of fun, you will learn a lot, and you will meet a LOT of like-minded Progressives! To register to attend Yearly Kos, please click here.
Putting on a convention like this takes a lot of money! To donate to help cover the costs of putting on a major convention, please click here.
To volunteer please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Convention details are available at http://www.yearlykos.org/...
Selected Seeing the Forest posts on Progressive Infrastructure:
• What Does “The Democrats” Mean? February 28, 2006
• Getting the Right-Wing Message Out, February 9, 2006
• Funding A Counter-Attack Against The Right, January 19, 2006
• The Nose Points Toward the Paycheck, January 9, 2006
• We're Still Only Talking To Each Other, September 5, 2005
• Progressive Infrastructure, August 08, 2005
• How to Rebuild Support for Progressives, June 30, 2005
• The Money, May 14, 2005
• Folding Narrow Issues into an Overall Progressive Context, April 14, 2005
• Why Republicans Win, January 25, 2005
• The "Conventional Wisdom" Machine, January 1, 2005
• Win or Lose, May 1, 2004
• An Amplifier Of Our Own, April 1, 2003
• HOW TO FIGHT BACK, March 1, 2003
• Some History of the Conservative Movement, February 1, 2003
• Think Tanks, January 8, 2003
• Don’t Blame the Democrats, December, 2002
• The Commonweal Institute - "the Heritage Foundation of the Left", November 1, 2002
• Getting Rolled, September 22, 2002
• How They Do It 1, 2, 3, 4, September, 2002
• Funding Progressives and Moderates, August 4, 2002
April 9, 2006
If this country so much as opens the question to serious consideration "whether first-strike nukes are justified in the present world," then we are already halfway down the path to a nuclear holocaust. All it will take to tip it over is one more major terrorist attack, and Bush will guarantee the nukes will fall. And if you don't think there will be another major terrorist attack in America, either a real one or one faked by this administration, you have not been paying attention to what has been going on. Bush's nuclear policy is quite clear: from the start he's wanted to be the first president since Truman to drop a nuclear bomb.
On Monday, someone must ask McClellan: Is George Bush planning to start a nuclear war?
April 8, 2006
The Congressional seat vacated by Republican Culture Of Corruption Congressman Duke Cunningham going to jail for taking bribes is up for grabs in a special election this Tuesday. The following is from an e-mail for people LOCAL TO SILICON VALLEY. I will post a referral to ways others can help as soon as I can locate it. (See update below)
Silicon Valley Locals info:
Subject: Dem Take Over of House District 50 Down to the Wire - YOUR HELP NEEDED SUNDAY
The April 11 Special Election in the 50th Congressional District is around the corner and down to the wire.
You can help, right here in Santa Clara County. We need volunteers to join the Voter ID project by calling local voters and identifying our supporters. This is a critical part of the campaign. A couple hours of your time will help, one vote at a time!
Or email us at SVForADemCongress@gmail.com
The Republican seat vacated by the convicted graft felon, Rep. Duke Cunningham, is now with in shooting distance of Democratic turnover - the first seat in the march to a November Democratic take over of the House!
To win, we need to identify every supporter of the vigorous and courageous Democrat, Francine Busby - and get them out to the polls on April 11.
You want to win the House back. Here is your chance join other Bay Area activists. Join our Voter ID project. Just bring a cell phone and we'll guide you through the rest and provide voter calling lists. You will help ensure that we get every possible Democratic vote out - critical, as we know from 2004.
Hillview Community Center
97 Hillview Avenue
Los Altos, CA
(We will send you the room number after you sign up; and signs will be posted on site.)
Sunday, April 9
4:00 - 7:00p
How to RSVP
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At least one conservative business analyst is warning his political compatriots that their middle class base may melt away when homeowners begin to experience the coming housing crash. Andrew LaPerriere sounds the alarm in the most recent Weekly Standard...
. . . Has the housing crash started? And will it bring down the whole economy? LaPerriere travels ground we covered here last summer—skyrocketing home prices that make purchases unaffordable for a growing number of families, the staggering differential between rental prices and purchase prices that signal over-heated speculation, and what happens when $2 trillion of adjustable-rate and interest-only mortgages (one quarter of all mortgages in the US) are reset in the next two years. But he adds a political analysis that is amazingly candid. Calling his fellow conservatives “strangely silent” on the problem and consequently vulnerable to the political fallout when conservatives across the country discover that no one in Washington was watching out for them.
April 7, 2006
4&20 blackbirds : A visit from a Montana Nazi -- Karl Rove having dinner with a Montana Nazi, encouraging him to drop out of a local race so the Republican has a better chance:
It’s interesting that GOP officials wanted White’s candidate to drop out of the race, because he was stealing votes from the Republican Party. That is, the Republicans needed the Nazi vote to win. You make your own snark.
OK, it's what I have been saying. Bush has ordered the NSA to monitor EVERY call and e-mail, domestic and international. They digitize the calls and feed that and the e-mails into a computer that looks for keywords. Messages of interest are then sent to a human for analysis. SO if you say certain words, someone from the government IS later listening to a recording of the call. There are no warrants so there is no oversight whatsoever on what they are looking for. There is NO WAY to know if they are using this for political purposes.
With no warrants and no oversight there isn't even any way to know if "rogue" lower-level workers are blackmailing people based on what they are hearing, whether they are guilty of anything or not. No way to know if people who say bad things about Republicans are being put on lists for retribution. But we do know that they do that in other circumstances...
Watch your backs.
"Democrats are certainly hypocrites, too."
"People are not shocked that there is leaking in Washington."
In other words: They all do it, so don't bother to vote at all.
WHY did Bush give the OK to leak classified information? For the good of the country?
April 6, 2006
Please try leaving a comment and e-mail me if there is a problem. Troll hats WILL be awarded on merit.
The fact that white Democrats are so unwilling to stand up for McKinney is just plain shameful. It's bad enough that they're cowards, but do they really think there is no downside to letting McKinney get pummelled by these right-wing loonies who keep attacking her? Those people are racists, and it's outrageous to see Democrats sitting on the same side with them.
... You can't appease these people, you have to fight back every time they do this crap. And liberal bloggers who talk about this stuff all the time should be really embarrassed to be falling for it now.
I ran into Sarah Carter last night, who is doing the blogging for her father's campaign for the Senate in Nevada, at: Carter Blog | Jack Carter for Senate. Go take a look - nice blogging.
April 5, 2006
Kevin Drum sees the forest, looking at what they DO instead of what they SAY,
So once and for all, can we please stop hearing about democracy promotion as a central goal of the Bush administration? It's just a slogan and nothing more.
A Capital Police Officer is accusing Representative Cynthia McKinney of hitting him after he grabbed her for bypassing a Capital entrance checkpoint. Representatives are allowed to bypass the security procedures at Capital entrances. McKinney walked past this screening post, the police officer grabbed her, and says she then pushed him in the chest. The officer claims he did not recognize her.
I submit that Cynthia McKinney just might be the MOST RECOGNIZABLE MEMBER OF CONGRESS!
Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution of the United States says Representatives shall "in all cases" be previlidged from arrest on their way to Congressional sessions. So here we have a Representative criticized - by Dems even - for literally pushing back against an infringement on the Constitution.
Representative Cynthia McKinney is being called "an embarrassment" in this highly recommended DailyKos diary. Lots of Kos readers are responding with agreement. I think this is an example of how right-wing "mainstreaming" of racism resonates. The author of the diary says "I am going to be accused of being politically incorrect." I'll go further, I think that anyone who even has the term "politically correct" in their vocabulary needs to re-think their ideas about race.
How did McKinney first earn the title of "embarrassment?" After 9/11 she asked if Bush had ignored intelligence suggesting we were going to be attacked. The right-wing apparatus went full-tilt nuts in response.
Several weeks ago, I called for a congressional investigation into what warnings the Bush Administration received before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. I was derided by the White House, right wing talk radio, and spokespersons for the military-industrial complex as a conspiracy theorist. Even my patriotism was questioned because I dared to suggest that Congress should conduct a full and complete investigation into the most disastrous intelligence failure in American history. Georgia Senator Zell Miller even went so far as to characterize my call for hearings as "dangerous, loony and irresponsible."
Today's revelations that the administration, and President Bush, were given months of notice that a terrorist attack was a distinct possibility points out the critical need for a full and complete congressional investigation.
It now becomes clear why the Bush Administration has been vigorously opposing congressional hearings. The Bush Administration has been engaged in a conspiracy of silence. If committed and patriotic people had not been pushing for disclosure today's revelations would have been hidden by the White House.
Because I love my country, because I am a patriot, and because the American people deserve the truth, I believe it would be dangerous, loony and irresponsible not to hold full congressional hearings on any warnings the Bush Administration had before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
If we have "free trade" with partners in a "free market" why do we have a massive trade deficit? If it really was a "free market" wouldn't our trade "partners" use the dollars we give them when we buy things from them to buy things from us?
The idea of "free trade" is that things are supposed to balance out. We buy things made there, at a cost of jobs for people who had been making things here. But the whole idea is that they get dollars from that exchange, and then can buy things made here, bringing different jobs to the people who are not longer making the things made in China. That's why it's called TRADE -- we TRADE things made there for things made here.
But that is not what is happening. We are not TRADING. We buy goods manufactured in China. China accumulates dollars. But those dollars are not buying things made here. If they were, there would not be a trade deficit with China. So it is not balanced. And there is more than a trade deficit, there is a huge job deficit. The only thing we are TRADING is our jobs for their things. And we are borrowing the money to do that.
But it's worse than that. There is also depreciation of our manufacturing infrastructure. I mean investment in new manufacturing is occurring in China and not here. So not only are we sending jobs to China, we are sending our ability to make things away to China as well. We couldn't just start making things now because we have closed our factories, not bought the latest equipment, etc. We would have to invest in new, modern equipment and train workers in new techniques.
Free trade requires that both trade partners play the same game following the same rules. That is obviously not what is happening today. We are losing our jobs, our pensions, our health insurance , wages are dropping, those with jobs are working longer hours and taking fewer vacations. And we are borrowing massive amounts of money to accomplish that. We have been sold out - literally.
April 4, 2006
Rick Cohen of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy blogs ar Drum Major Institute about Congressional use of charities to bypass lobbying reform,
Nearly every day there has been a revelation about a new purported charity or foundation established by or controlled by a member of Congress, in addition to DeLay's own eponymous foundation, ostensibly established by the former House Majority Leader and his wife to create a home for foster children, but known for its lavish "Fantasy Island" golf fundraisers involving members of Congress, lobbyists, and special interests operating without public disclosure. Among the leading foundations and charities linked to members of Congress are:Go there to read more and follow links. It's about Republican members of "Culture of Corruption" Congress, setting up phony charities to take big money from bad sources and do things like hire their relatives.
April 3, 2006
Through Atrios, one of the more important stories about Iraq. Please read it to the end. The Bush people have set it up so there is no way to know how much oil is being pumped and sold, nor any way to know where the money is going. SOMEone is walking away with BILLIONS.
I just heard that Tom DeLay will drop out of his re-election race. I'll post more as I hear about this.
Update - DeLay to drop from congressional race. He is cutting and running, afraid to face the voters. He will probably also just sort of stop working as a Congresman as well. I suspect he knows an indictment is coming soon. I wonder how many "Culture of Corruption" Republicans will be indicted, if the system is working?
I just love hearing all the Republicans talking about how undocumented workers "broke the law." Republicans talking about how laws should be respected? Give me a break! How many laws is the Bush administration breaking? A better question - is there a law they respect?
What about enforcing the laws against warrantless wiretapping? What about the law that says the Social Security Trustees must issue their annual report to Congress by April 1? What about the laws that say people can not be punished for trying to start unions?
But back to immigration. I think we need to secure our borders. Duh! And not just to protect our own wages, but to protect against crime, terrorism, smuggling... I think we need to make it illegal rather than profitable to hire undocumented workers. I think we need to fix NAFTA because it is causing poverty south of the border, driving people across the border, while costing us jobs and benefits as well.
And we have 11 million people here who are forced to work for substandard wages which drives down the wages of citizens, and causes us to lose pensions and health care. We need to find a way to bring these people to full citizenship so they can vote. But we need to do this in a way that does not encourage more illegal immigration. Perhaps fines, back taxes, some kind of term of public service...
Four great news ads from MoveOn. Go see, and as always, send an e-mail to people letting THEM know to watch! And remind THEM to forward to others, as well. (Use "e-mail this entry" at the end of the post.)
April 2, 2006
April 1, 2006
I just checked the comment spam filter, and I'm getting approx. 1 comment spam per minute. Mostly for poker sites. Lots of viagra... Almost all of these are caught in the spam filter so you don't see them. Apologies if you leave a comment that gets caught up in the spam filter.
See ExxonSecrets Organizations. This is a list of organization that ExxonMobile funds, that tell the public that global warming doesn't exist, etc. It happens to also be a list of organiations that are associated with the "conservative movement" cult that has taken over the Republican Party and is working to overthrow our democracy, outsource our jobs, drive the country into debt, make war on the rest of the world, etc.
My question, why are corporations allowed to give money to harmful, destructive, anti-democracy propaganda organizations instead of to their shareholders? And why do we perceive that Exxon "owns" the oil that they pump out of the ground? Isn't that like saying someone "owns" the air or the water? These are natural resources.
Exxon is a corporation, an entity that exists on paper because the people of the United States have granted them a charter FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD. We, the people, allow them to profit from extracting and refining OUR oil from OUR lands for the betterment of all of us. WE allow the shareholders to make this money, and shield them from having to pay the debts if the company goes bankrupt, and provide lots of tax advantages and other benefits IN EXCHANGE FOR them doing certain things that benefit us. I mean, why else would we charter a corporation, except for our benefit?
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR 2008 DEMOCRATSGo read. Interesting.
1. Don't feel my pain - give me something to alleviate it. Democrats don't want to be told what's wrong with America. They want to be told what you plan to do about it. They're not looking for the diagnosis - they know what ails them. They want the cure. The candidate most focused on "solutions" will have the advantage.