You are purposely misleading your constituents in your statements about your position on the war on Iraq - you are for "responsible redeployment"? I submit you are for redeployment ONLY if it makes YOU look good
December 2007 Archives
A New Year and a message for Mark Udal, the man asking to be YOUR NEW (OLD) senator
You are purposely misleading your constituents in your statements about your position on the war on Iraq - you are for "responsible redeployment"? I submit you are for redeployment ONLY if it makes YOU look good
...so I will probably have to get some on my own.
I ran across an ad for a company with some pretty hysterical t-shirts. They are striving to be bipartisan, and sadly they do not give points for referrals, so I am only sharing the link for your entertainment value.
I probably wouldn't wear this out in public, although I admire the snarkiness of the humor.
Think I'm going to buy one of these, though.
After choosing 4 proposals for evaluation by the Lewin Group from 19 full health care reform proposals submitted (7 of them single payer), the Commission wrote its own proposal -- it is the elements of their own proposal that they are recommending in their final report to the Legislature. The Commission proposal is fashioned after Massachusetts reform of 2006, designed around an Individual Mandate to purchase private insurance, with a substantial tax penalty for failure to comply, and taxpayer subsidies to private insurances for the lower income.
Please plan to take the Draft Resolution for state and federal Single Payer Reform to your precinct caucus on Feb. 5.
Akin to Sherman's march in the Civil War the Republicans will wage "total war" in the 2008 election. Why? Because they will lose at the county, state and national levels due to the ideological purity by their candidates of having America become a completely corporatist state both inside and through the use of military force to export that ideal to any country in the world.
Richard Viguerie, who is one of the fathers of the modern conservative movement, writes this:
The truth is that they know the Republicans are very, very likely going to lose the presidency anyway. And they are fine with it. It brings them together. Here's old hand Richard Viguerie making his pitch for GOP to lose in 2006:[Sometimes a loss for the Republican Party is a gain for conservatives. Often, a little taste of liberal Democrats in power is enough to remind the voters what they don’t like about liberal Democrats and to focus the minds of Republicans on the principles that really matter. That’s why the conservative movement has grown fastest during those periods when things seemed darkest, such as during the Carter administration and the first two years of the Clinton White House..
(h/t to Digby)
I would say that once the primaries are over with then what we will be fighting against is that nothing will be off limits by the Republicans agains the Democrats.
The Bush administration will not stand by to see a Democratic candidate win the presidential election because there are too many scandals that have real constitutitonal and international implications for the new administration to ignore.
Imagine the South Carolina Republican presidential primary campaign in 2000 waged on a national scale. Since the FEC is no longer a functioning agency because there are not enough commissioners to vote on election challenges and problems. It was in the interest of Republicans not to have one in this election.
I've read some of the minor dust ups with Obama and Hillary but that will be nothing to what Republicans will do. Republicans will be out to destroy the will of the people as they have done so in the last year through any means possible.
With a complict corporate media that allows Republicans a free hand to road block a progressive agenda that the American people want. The media has failed to tell the Americans that Republicans are against reform because they cannot govern America.
What does America have under Republican rule?
Debt and Death.
What kind of campaigns will Republicans run? Fear and hatred will be the underpinnings of the Republican election campaigns. Fear of the brown people. Hatred of all that is not white. Who is running for president in the Republican party? Old, white men.
Remember that Uncle Freddy Thompson has stated that there is no woman in America who is qualified to be President.
Remember that Mike Huckabee believes that a wife must be subservient to the husband in marriage.
The Republican Party rushing back to 1492 A.D.
In a nail-biter, any Dem is a sure loser. George W. Bush's administration will be overseeing the election. The GOP owns the media. They own the voting machines.
There are large groups of people in the United States who do not yet know of the many dozens of provable felonies of this administration. In November of '08, millions of these people are going to enter the voting booth thinking, "well, I'll vote for this party, or that party; they're both basically the same. I like Huckabee's smile, though, and Republicans have kept us safe from the grave terrorist threat we faced all these years."
But if those people understood that the "grave terrorist threat" in fact never existed, that it was created to be used against them by the GOP, it would change the tide dramatically in the Democrat's favor.
When pollsters ask the question, "if it can be shown that the president did not tell the truth, should he be impeached?," the numbers in favor of impeachment reach 53%, as opposed to 42% against. Those types of numbers would make the next election tamper-proof.
This is why it is critical to impeach, not just George W. Bush, but the GOP as a whole under the umbrella of George W. Bush. Instead of the Dem saying, "I support wire-tapping, but I'm weaker on the issue," and "I support water-boarding, but I'm wishy-washy about it," let the Dem take the American position on the issues (support Habeas, Geneva, "nothing to fear but fear itself") and make the GOP defend the anti-American position in the context of an ongoing daily airing of dirty (horrific) laundry -- the impeachment.
One can defy reality and suggest that impeachment is "bad" for the impeaching party, but history shows otherwise.
Negative advertising works.
Impeachment is free, sustained negative advertising.
And it would be JUST, and RIGHT, and Republic-restoring too! IMAGINE!
But, then again, maybe we could do the same thing we did in 2000, and 2004, and hope for a different result.
We'll just cruise into 2008, defending against outlandish Republican attacks as they come. We'll keep "fear of terrorism" as the center of the debate, even though the advantage is clearly Republican. And we'll tit-for-tat, and we'll complain about the skewed coverage of the MSM, and we'll battle against the superior money of the GOP --it will come -- and, on election night, we'll watch the 50/50 split be entrusted to those wonderful voting machines. And we'll expect a different outcome.
Because we're insane?
Join us Saturday January 5, 2008 @ 7PM at the Mercury Cafe, for an interactive multi-media, audience-participation impeachment event.
And bring some wishy-washy Dems who need an injection of backbone, will you?
The incredible progressive experimental rock band "Orphaned Gears" will bring down the house after.
Who cares about the Fourth Amendment to the Constititution?
I can only hear the sound of crickets in the field.
Check this out from Privacy International's annual review for 2007 for "Leading Surveillance Socities in the World". With the entire world backsliding for unrestricted government spying on their own citizens because of the faulty reasoning of this Bush inspired mantra of "the global war on terror" which is nothing more than a power grab by the masters of the world.
The United States of America is at the bottom of the heap, too. The bulwark of the Constitution and Bill of Rights that is a shield against government from being too intrusive into the privacy of Americans has been discarded in a few short years because of the fear of being killed.
But what is life without liberty?
A living death.
The verdict is in: Americans prefer a living in slavery because being alive is better than being free and dead.
The start of the New Year will mark three years for yours truly as the guy who gets up at 4AM every day to read all of Colorado's news. We made a horrible, horrible video about it a couple of years ago (please don't click this). Serves two functions: I put together the progressnowcolorado.org daily news digest, delivered each weekday morning to thousands of influentials and media types, and I serve up all the hot stories of the day to my bosses to make sure we respond rapidly to them with our network and advocacy tools. It's a big part of us (and you, tireless "call for..." petition-signing network member) being in the newspaper ourselves as often as we are.
In those three years of reading 35 Colorado papers every morning, I've gotten a pretty good feel for the different perspectives, and sometimes agendas, at work in newsrooms around the state. It's very interesting to see those subtleties play out in news articles, and to see how Colorado's geography and institutions create diverse communities around the state whose interests do not always align.
With that in mind, and with end-of-year rankings all the rage, here are my observations of the best and worst in Colorado print media for 2007. Please note that these opinions are not necessarily those of ProgressNowAction as a whole, author's views are his own, etc. On to the cheers and a couple of jeers!
Like most people, when it comes to issues I know very little about, I tend to make decisions roughly 65% of the time with my gut. So when I first heard of a process that turned coal (the most polluting of fossil fuels) into a liquid fuel, my gut reaction was that this was probably not a good idea. To be honest, the other 35% of my thinking controlled by my brain thought is was even worse. The process of turning coal into liquid fuel requires heating coal to high temperature and pressure, converting it first to a gas and then to liquid fuel. Thus the massive inputs of energy needed for this process means that liquid coal currently produces double the greenhouse gas emissions of regular gasoline.
But I held off strong criticism when I heard things like what the Denver Post wrote yesterday about a company called Rentech that is constructing a $50 million demonstration plant in Commerce City that will, among other things; display the coal to liquid process.
Rentech proposes to remove carbon dioxide from the coal during the conversion process and sell it to be pumped underground for enhanced oil recovery.That sure sounded good. But my gut wasn't fully convinced. So I did a little more research. It turns out that this very issue was deliberated last summer during the Senate's Energy Bill debate. In testimony to a Senate Finance subcommittee in April liquid coal industry representative John Diesch stated;
It runs cleaner than conventional fuels from petroleum, producing slightly less greenhouse emissions than conventional diesel when used in the same engines,…When compared to similar vehicles with gasoline internal combustion engines, there is about a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.Thus Montana Senator John Tester (a liquid coal backer) tried to nullify environmental concerns when he stipulated in his liquid coal amendment that any project receiving "taxpayer support produce at least 20 percent less global warming pollution than gasoline over the lifetime of the product, and initially capture at least 85 percent of the carbon dioxide". So, when:
(f)aced with the possibility that they might actually have to live up to their promises, the Coal to Liquids Coalition (an unholy alliance between the coal industry and some elements of the AFL-CIO) suddenly changed its tune. In an about-face, the members opposed Tester's amendment, despite the subsidies windfall it promised. Rather than touting their ability to make liquid coal clean as they had in their Senate testimony, industry officials now said it would be unfair to require them to live up to the environmental standards they themselves had promoted.Billionaire Richard Branson once stated that "I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics". When it comes to liquefying coal for automobiles I think my gut may be on to something.
How is it that voting, a basic constitutional right, is consistently such a problem for state's to figure out how to do well. You’d think that after the Florida election morass that happened in 2000, states would have be able to get their act together enough to create a voting system that efficiently works along with ensuring voter confidence in fair and impartial elections. Apparently not…with Secretary of State Mike Coffman decertifying many of Colorado’s electronic voting machines it has created election turmoil over how to count votes next November. Coffman’s decisions have put him at odds with many county clerks who want an all mail-in ballot next year. However, this apparently was not the option Coffman preferred, because yesterday he recommended to the Legislature that paper ballots be used in the fall.
The result of this mire of voting uncertainty is a showdown this legislative session over election procedures in the centennial state. Legislators have expressed mixed reactions over the debacle. According to the Grand Junction Sentinel:
Coffman's announcement on Wednesday followed one on Monday by state Sen. Ken Gordon, D-Denver, calling for greater use of paper ballots. Gordon said he doubted the reliability of all electronic voting machines and called for legislation to avoid an election fiasco in November.
Thus a variety of camps are already forming over which is the best method to use. While an eager group of county clerks are understandably looking to institute an easier all mail-in ballot approach. It’s important to remember that this would likely severely hinder voting in the 18-25 year old demographic. These are people who move frequently and often don’t update their voting address as promptly as they should. Under the current mail-in scenario, ballots would be sent to their last registered address. If they’ve moved and forgotten to notify their county clerk- then no ballot. Lets hope this group is kept in mind when the leg. Reconvenes in a couple of weeks.
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One of the services many of you may enjoy from progressnowcolorado.org is our Daily News Digest. Having substituted for Alan on a few occasions, I can tell you that it's hard work producing that service. And it's just one of the many things ProgressNow does to inform Coloradans and promote progressive ideas. If you haven't signed up for the "daily clips", you can do so at http://www.progressnowcolorado.org/GetTheClips
Saturday January 5, 2008, 7PM: Who Killed The Constitution? Murder-Mystery Event At Mercury Café 2199 California Street, Denver, Colorado 80205 (303) 294-9281 FREE
Sean Shealy, author of Corruption & Cover-Ups of the Bush White House Unmasked, will host the second Who Killed The Constitution? interactive, multimedia audience-participation game.
A news excerpt or quote from the Bush administration is projected onto a screen; audience members will compete to discover the most felonies based upon Evidence and Law cards dealt out beforehand. The person who finds the most felonies will become "Prosecutor Of The Week," and prizes will be awarded. YOU be the judge and jury. Shall we impeach?
*Offer a brief caucus training on how to introduce a resolution of impeachment
*Create a short, audience-participation video demanding impeachment, to be posted to YouTube.
Remember that scene in Life of Brian, when Brian, nude, flings open the window to find a hundred people standing below speaking in the collective unison of a single voice? Powerful, huh? We'll be saying something along the lines of, "Hello Senator Ried, Speaker Pelosi! We're Denver, Colorado. Please begin impeachment proceedings immediately on the following grounds: Violation of the Geneva Conventions ... Misallocation of Funds ...Treason ... violation of the Fourth Amendment ... violation of the False Statements Accountability Act ... violation of the Fifth Amendment ..." Don't fret, I'll have it simplified by the time we're ready to roll.
Boulder progressive-experimental rock band Orphaned Gears will cap the event.
Check them out here:
They're that band you've been dying to hear, and will never forget. The sound is like a combination of Pink Floyd and Bela Fleck: meandering banjo, raucous piano, and soaring Gilmouresque guitar solos.
The Mercury offers a scrumptious menu, wonderful wines, and warming libations.
Plan on getting a cab or a room. You won't be happy if you have to leave early.
CONTACT: Sean Shealy
Who remembers Schoolhouse Rock? Here's someone playing off that to explain, in simple terms, how sometimes there's no difference between "Pirates and Emperors".
My rating: Brilliant. Too bad it's so true.
Update - May 6. RNC Treasurer Tim Morgan is the latest signator of a "lost" beg letter. This is the key propaganda clause -
Democrat presidential candidates and the Reid/Pelosi-run-Congress have promised to repeal the Bush tax cuts, retreat from teh War on Terror and increase the size of government through their one-size-fits-all health care plan.
Plan your counter-agruments (AKA, the truth) accordingly. OBTW - I decided to support the USPS by stuffing the entire contents of my latest Val-Pack mailing into their postage paid return envelope (2 1/4 oz).
************ Original Post *********************
It's hard to tell what going on at the Republican National Committee (RNC) on December 5, 2007. While Robert M. "Mike" Duncan (RNC Chairman) was hoping to create a profitable fundraising campaign, it appears that he missed the mark and has provided dedicated Democrats and Progressives with a good laugh.
Holiday parties around the country are likely producing the same experience as a recent gathering of mostly Democrats in Larimer County. We went around the room comparing who did, and did not, get Mike Duncan's plea for donations.
Be it amazing, perplexing or even pathetic, a large number of us had that letter at home, or had even brought it to the party as a conversation piece. There was an abundance of humor and criticism available after many eyes picked through this correspondence.
Here's a preview of what we can expect in 2008 from members of Colorado's Congressional delegation. The Post's story is a couple of days old, but still worth a look.
This is not saving anybody any money:
Another lump of coal for people who want to see their property taxes raised to pay for services that the federal government has an obligation to pay for.
Meanwhile, Turkey bombs Iraq again.
This is not the "hot pursuit" idea being used by Mr. Bush to give legal cover to his incursions into other countries in pursuit of "terrorists". But these actions by Turkey are acts of war against another sovereign nation. Iraq has international law on its side to defend itself, if it so choses, to use military force to defend itself and its citizens from armed military agression by Turkey.
A big lump of coal to the people of Iraq curtersy of the puppet government of Iraq by He Who Cannot Be Named.
Finally the American people will be crushed by the predatory banking industry:
Gee I wonder why the default rate is so high?
Predatory lending practices that You Know Who will do nothing about because he is only for the rich people.
I guess it is Fight Club Time for the banking industry:
Let's bring the truth to those who want to keep pulling the wool over our eyes in the face of reality against an advertised reality.
It must've been a bad day... a really bad day in Iraq. A day when the embedded reporters, Fox News, the Pentagon and White House didn't want to talk about how bad things had gotten. A day in the war that didn't make to the floor of the Senate for open debate and discussion. A day when even a fast food contractor there to provide our troops with a little bit of home, wouldn't provide some compassion for a soldier caught in a mortar attack in their very facility the day before couldn't get his order replaced after having to take his own tee-shirt to fashion a bandage for someone else wounded in the attack. What would you have done? And of all the sources for the story of this bad day and the mutiny that followed, The Army Times thanks to VVAW:
Anybody know anybody? How long does it take -- or, more properly, how quick can it be?
CONTACT: Sean Shealy
About the event:
Saturday January 5, 2008, 7PM
Who Killed The Constitution? Murder-Mystery Event At Mercury Cafe 2199 California Street, Denver, Colorado 80205 (303) 294-9281 FREE
Sean Shealy, author of Corruption & Cover-Ups of the Bush White House Unmasked, will host the second Who Killed The Constitution? audience-participation event. A news excerpt or quote from the Bush administration is projected onto a screen, and the audience will compete to see who can discover the most felonies based upon Evidence and Law cards dealt out beforehand. The person who finds the most felonies will become "Prosecutor Of The Week," and prizes will be awarded. YOU be the judge and jury. Shall we impeach?
Boulder progressive-experimental rock band Orphaned Gears will cap the event. They're that band you've been dying to hear, and will never forget. The sound is like a combination of Pink Floyd and Bela Fleck: meandering banjo, raucous piano, and soaring Gilmouresque guitar solos. Plan on getting a cab or a room. You won't be happy if you have to leave.
I've spent the past week dealing in the brain damage that is Search Engine Optimization for an old progressive web site I'm updating. Lots of new content, plus a change in software meant that all the URLs necessarily changed, so I had to set up redirects from the old ones to the new ones so that old links wouldn't be broken.
And then the site disappeared from the search engines.
What comes next is high on the geek-scale and mainly recorded for posterity and for my fellow lefty web nerds, so if that doesn't interest you, move along.
From the U.S Senate ..........
and our present is not a bag of coal, an olive branch or even Dodd’s attack on the FISA bill….Nope, the senate took advantage of the new extended Holiday hours for shopping…They didn’t wait until Christmas Eve
THEY BOUGHT THEMSELVES A WAR.....
Governor Ritter issued his 120 day review of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) plan to open up the Roan Plateau to gas drilling yesterday. The plan, which Ritter described as a "uniquely Colorado" approach, increased wildlife protection areas on the 70,000 acre plateau while also opening up other areas to drilling.
Although there were some rumblings, the plan has garnered general approval from both the energy and environmental communities. Ritter's approach to the Roan follows a general theme of finding what he terms "uniquely Colorado" solutions to environmental problems; in other words, a compromise.
He's used this terminology in issuing the state's plan for addressing climate change and his description of dealing with tailpipe emissions for automobiles. It's a strategy that seems to be working to generally push an environmental agenda without getting pegged as being environmental. In the case of the Roan dilemma, his plan increased the total size of environmentally protected areas on the plateau back to what the Colorado Division of Wildlife had originally proposed before the BLM dropped large portions of these ecologically sensitive regions from its development plan.
At the same time though, Ritter's recommendation of moving forward with drilling on selected areas of the Plateau was met with hearty approval from the energy community. So it's understandable that environmental groups are expressing tepid optimism that the area can be both effectively protected and responsibly developed.
The plan, if done effectively, will supposedly allow for much less impact on the area than typical drilling efforts. Which is a good start; because it is the infrastructure that supports drilling efforts which is far more environmentally damaging than the actual drilling and piping itself. Time will tell if this review is the course that the feds will take in developing the Plateau, but the Gov. has stated that the federal government seems to be supportive of the measure. Let’s hope
What's on your mind as we head toward 2008?
Enough is enough--it's time for Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman to resign.
The Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post reported today on another in a series of unethical misconduct scandals involving Coffman.
Election experts recommended that Coffman reject the voting machines of all four companies under consideration for use in Colorado in 2008. But earlier this week Coffman approved use of only one of those voting machines--the one manufactured by Premier Election Systems. Formerly Diebold Election Systems, Premier is represented by the same political consultants running Coffman's congressional campaign. And just last week the New York Times reported that Premier's voting machines and central servers are easily corrupted.
Coffman has proven that he cannot be trusted to run Colorado's elections. Click the link below and join our petition demanding Coffman immediately resign from his position as Colorado Secretary of State.
Coffman's latest breach of trust with the people of Colorado is the most disturbing yet in a clear pattern of abuse of authority and conflicted interests.
Coffman's pattern of ethical lapses and conflicts of interest extends back many years. He was the first Colorado statewide elected official to be found guilty of violating the Fair Campaign Practices Act by the Colorado Supreme Court for misusing his office in 2004. More recently, a top-ranking member of his office was found to have been engaged in selling voter and election-related data to fellow Republican candidates. Click below to sign the petition:
We'll share your comments with Coffman, Governor Bill Ritter, and county clerks across the state who have been victimized by Coffman's politically tainted administration of Colorado elections.
Thanks for taking the time to hold corrupt leaders accountable!
Glenn Greenwald writes on the FISA filibuster by Dodd and Reid's view:
But wait it goes to the attitude that the first woman Speaker of the House Nancy Pelos. This was written by Digby:
Though crediting activists for their "passion," Pelosi called it "a waste of time" for them to target Democrats. "They are advocates," she said. "We are leaders."
We are to vote for Democratic party candidates, get them elected, have majorities in Congress then what? For the Democratic leadership to crap on the voters?
This is what they are saying...Elect us then we will crap all you, the voter, and enable Mr. Bush to destroy the Constitution?
If somebody wants to run in the Democratic Party primary against DeGette I will be the first to contribute and volunteer.
Who will step up?
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday(tm), practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all . . . and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual orientation of the wishee.
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, which ever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.
(You know I didn't actually write the above, right? But I'm sending it out as part of my final Prowers Dems newsletter of the year, and I thought, what the heck, share the love!)
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank delivers a fitting eulogy:
Hasta La Vista
Tom Tancredo is an angry man.
At long last, friends, Tancredo's time to parade around the country impugning Colorado's reputation simply by having his name associated with it...yeah. It's finally over. Next, please.
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.
"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.
A Lakota-Sioux male has a life expectancy of 44 years -- the lowest in the world.
They consider secession "a matter of survival," as every treaty ever made with the tribes has been broken by the American government.
The Lakota-Sioux say that all are welcome to live on the land, so long as s/he renounces American citizenship.
This could get interesting.
KUDOS to the Lakota-Sioux!
Imagine a disaster that destroys your city. Then in the aftermath you have been taken hundreds of miles away to live "temporarily". Finally you come back to see that where you live will be razed for "mixed income" housing of condos.
This is what is happening in New Orleans. People are mad. The elected officials from the Mayor to the federal level at H.U.D. are not listening. When they will not listen to the injustice of razing public housing this is what will happen:
This is the face of the kind of America Mr. Bush has created- iron fisted and brutal to all who are the lowest and most wretched of the earth.
Call for Coffman to resign:
Voting Machine Conflict of Interest Latest in Pattern
For Immediate Release
Thursday December 20, 2007
Contact: Michael Huttner
Denver: ProgressNowAction called for Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman to resign following the latest episode in a pattern of conflicts of interest in misusing the Secretary of State's office.
"Secretary Coffman has a pattern of conflicts of interest and needs to resign immediately," stated Michael Huttner, Executive Director of ProgressNowAction, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization. "That Coffman only certified his political consultants' controversial voting machines is outrageous."
This morning's Rocky Mountain News reported that the political consulting company running Secretary of State Mike Coffman's congressional campaign also was working for a voting machine manufacturer when Coffman gave that company's devices his seal of approval on Monday. (Rocky Mountain News, 12/20/2007)
Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold, was the only one of four voting machine companies to have all of its equipment conditionally approved by Coffman for use in 2008 elections. Premier hired Phase Line Strategies in September to lobby on its behalf, records show.
Phase Line also is running Coffman's campaign to take over U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo's 6th Congressional District seat.
Last Friday, a study found that voting machines and central servers made by Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold were easily corrupted. (New York Times, 12/15/2007)
All five voting systems used in Ohio, a state whose electoral votes narrowly swung two elections toward President Bush, have critical flaws that could undermine the integrity of the 2008 general election, a report commissioned by the state's top elections official has found.
"Colorado voters cannot afford to have a fox in the henhouse as our electoral system needs to preserve the perception of impropriety," stated Huttner. "Coffman's latest conflict is just the tip of the iceberg that raises serious ethical questions."
Coffman's latest conflict of interest follows his office coming under scrutiny for a conflict of interest in which his employee overseeing the state voter file also had a for profit business of selling voter files and had worked for Coffman on his last political campaign. (Denver Post, May 21, 2007)
Coffman also was the first Colorado statewide elected official to be found guilty of violating the Fair Campaign Practices Act by the Colorado Supreme Court for misusing his office. (Denver Post, December 7, 2004)
# # #
This week we sent out a letter asking Progress Now members to urge Governor Ritter to support protection of the Roan Plateau as he plans to release his 120 day review to the Bureau of Land Management. Over 500 members responded by signing the open letter. You can read the letter here
We also have a sampling of just some of the comments that members left.
Douglas Schnitzspahn -
Please consider the long-term effects of short-term thinking. The amount of natural gas that can be recovered form the Roan Plateau can never make up for the fragile, wild character of the place I want to be able to tell my children that you helped save this place for them and their children.Jane Shellenberger -
I've seen photos of the drilling platforms already in the Roan Plateau area and know that many, many more are planned. This would be an irreplaceable long-term loss for our state, and I don't believe the short term energy gain warrants it, especially since conservation measures are still not a priority. In addition to the wildlife, there are many native plant species that will suffer if drilling goes ahead as planned. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to restore native plant species once their habitat is disturbed and it is these species that the wildlife depends on.
Nancy Zeilig -
I'm so glad you're Colorado's governor. It's great to have a governor we can trust to act out of integrity.
Les Gray -
The Roan Plateau is a jewel. Only a small percentage of existing leased land has been developed. We don't need the Roan now and future drilling techniques may do less damage. Mr. Bush has already handsomely rewarded his patrons; don't let them get the Roan, too.
Every knowledgeable person who knows about the Big Sh*t Pile is alarmed because our nation is in some serious trouble- no matter what Mr. Bush and his lackeys in Treasury say.
Could it be that banks are weak because the whole banking system in the U.S. is based upon the Big Sh*t Pile of worthless paper?
When a nation loses it industrial base and shifts to where people sell services like hamburgers or Collateralized Debt Obligation portfolios what will happen when it comes time to "pay the piper"? Well it will start to look like this:
This is what we are undergoing now. (As I mentioned before OPEC will not tolerate the continuing slide of the value of the dollar because they are losing money on their oil revenue.) The central question is when will foreign governments call in our notes due to the worthless paper debt that our finacial system has been pedalling them?
Will Mr. Bush skate free or will it happen next year?
A potentially disturbing answer lies in this morning's Rocky Mountain News:
Coffman: No special treatment
The political consulting company running Secretary of State Mike Coffman's congressional campaign also was working for a voting machine manufacturer when Coffman gave that company's devices his seal of approval on Monday.
Mike Coffman is a very interesting figure in Colorado politics--with so many seemingly rock-solid credentials to run on, from a reputation for honesty to his honorable service in Iraq, yet trouble lurks just beneath the surface of each one of those qualifications. From honesty to his honorable service in Iraq...
Anyway, when the original news came that most e-vote systems in Colorado had been decertified, I was very pleased and encouraged that the stuff people have been screaming about for years with these unaccountable, proprietary voting systems was finally being taken seriously. It's also really cool to see long-time watchdogs like Claudia Kuhns getting their due prominence--she's been on the Secretary of State's office tenaciously since our Drew T Durham days. Claudia stayed on the rotten scent emanating from the Colorado DoS long after the rest of us attention deficited out on her, and now her light shines down the deep rabbit hole.
Somewhere between Coffman's suggestion to loosen the rules to allow these maybe flawed/hackable/? systems to be used anyway, and now this business with Phaseline and Diebold, I'm considerably less encouraged than I was, and we see that Claudia Kuhns' work is far from done...
These 7 voted to kill impeachment proceedings on 11/06/07. They need to be encouraged to CHANGE their positions and fulfill their oath of office to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign AND domestic:
Howard Berman (CA-28)
Artur Davis (AL-07)
William Delahunt (MA-10)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-16)
Jerrold Nadler (NY-08)
Linda Sanchez (CA-39)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20).
If you live in their districts, please contact them personally.
The following 6 voted to send a recommendation of impeachment hearings to Judiciary on 11/6. They should publicly support Congressmen Wexler and Kucinich's efforts, and their own votes:
John Conyers (MI-14)
Bobby Scott (VA-03)
Brad Sherman (CA-27)
Betty Sutton (OH-13)
Mel Watt (NC-12)
Anthony Weiner (NY-09)
Please email all House Judiciary Democrats through this petition:
If you are represented by any of the 13 Democrats listed above, please join your local Congressional District Impeachment Committee (CDIC) and plan local actions: letters to the editor, district office visits, birddogging, honkathons, and collecting petitions and personal letters on the streets.
Find your CDIC here:
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."
-- Thomas Paine 1776
CUT, PASTE & CIRCULATE WIDELY
According to "Looking Forward: Colorado's fiscal prospects after Ref C", 2007 was the heyday in state funds from referendum C and the state will need to seek additional funding sources to maintain 2007 levels of revenue. Several organizations have released a new report detailing the expected economic pitfalls the state is likely to encounter as the financial cushion that referendum C provided begins to sunset over the next few years.
The striking news of the report is that neither an extension of Ref C nor a rescission of the initial 1991 TABOR law will allow the state to maintain the current level of funding.
While the report bunts on taking a stance on a serious alternative to funding, the implication is clear….the state is going to need to look at reworking tax policy.
So what’s the solution going to be? The alternative then may be looking at a new tax. In a state that is legendary for its anti-tax fundamentalism, then approval of a new tax to help support the general fund is questionable. So what’s a state to do?
So the Democrats have once again caved in to the administration for procedural reasons and pork barrelling and voted to fund the war. Does anyone on Capitol Hill even consider the bleeding of our economy in tax dollars, much less human life this war represents? Obviously the party's leadership are making their opinions based on the administration's assessment and Fox News' presentation of how we are doing, because they are not paying attention to the polls. If you haven't lost a family member in this never ending conflict, God bless you. If you have then you can understand why after losing two members of our family, and a third one on his way to his first tour, we find the parties continued support, covert or overt, and lack of political backbone disgusting.
CNN's latest opinion poll shows 68 percent of Americans oppose the war... 31 percent support it with one percent unsure.
CBS News/New York Times poll from December 5-9th shows that 69 percent of Americans disapprove of the way George Bush is handling the war... with 26 percent approving and 5 percent unsure.
USA Today/Gallup Poll for Nov 30-Dec. 2 shows that 57 percent of Americans feel that the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq... 41 percent said we did not make a mistake and 2 percent were unsure.
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey conducted for Nov. 20-26, 2007 said 54 percent of Americans felt we should bring home the troops as soon as possible... 41 percent said we should stay until Iraq is stabilized and 5 percent were unsure.
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll on Nov. 1-5, 2007 in half their sample, 68 percent did not approve of the president's handling of the situation in Iraq ... while 27 percent approved and 5 percent were unsure.
ABC News/Washington Post Poll Oct. 29-Nov. 1 stated that 63 percent of Americans felt that the cost/benefit of the war in Iraq was not worth it to the United States... 35 percent felt it was worth it and 2 percent were unsure.
But the results I found to be most telling of the current feelings of Americans is the CBS News Poll from September 14-16 where pollsters asked "Do you approve or disapprove of the way Democrats in Congress are handling the situation with Iraq?" 57 percent of those polled disapproved, 31 percent said they approved and 2 percent were unsure.
The party went into the midterm election with not a lot to offer voters in the way of substance, and won the seats they need in Congress based on poor leadership and scandle among the opposition. They fulfilled that commitment, but there hasn't been a change in the direction... there's still a war, the economy is no better, the mortgage crisis, immigration... all substantive issues seem to be on hold for a popularity contest. Where's the meat?
Here's the link if you want to see the polls.
I often wonder what I should put up on the blog, but then I just post anyway...
The Denver Post recently reported on the many up-and-coming LGBT retirement homes and assisted living facilities. They offer the same bias-free and comfortable space that the queer babies (that's everybody else) look for in bars, parties, GSA's, and sometimes community centers.
I often wondered, as I marched, danced, and worked to elect allied officials... what am I goind to do when I start "living out old age?"... especially considering the outside world is not as tolerant as I'd like... here's an answer...woo!
On the other hand, I get to skip out on the agism prevalent in the LGBT community and dive into a potentially classist and racist situation. With homes going for $200k, who is this community really for?...hmmm...
Senator Harry Reid has done some good things (like keep the Senate "open" in order to block Mr. Bush's recess appointments), but when it comes to a substantial constitutional issue like enforcing the Fourth Amendment that protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures by which the state must have probable cause and limited in scope for each judicially sanctioned warrant he is very bad.
When the Orwellian named "Protect America Act" was passed only due to Mr. Bush's threatening, as John Dean writes, "to make a political issue of any effort by Congressional Democrats to protect the civil liberties of American(s)". The most important proviso was that the Protect America Act would expire in six months which would be Febuary 1st, 2008.
However, the esteemed Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid is considering this:
The Hill reporter Manu Raju writes about the calculations that Reid is considering, including Senator Dodd's filibuster using instead this language: "used procedural tactics".
This is the heart of the matter which Raju writes but doesn't fact check with the constitution:
Senator Feingold hits the nail on the head. It is this that we must fight in the mass media to change the perception that Mr. Bush sends out of him being the "fighter against all enemies who must do anything to protect Americans":
Write, call, fax or use this webform Senator Reid now!
528 Hart Senate Office Building
(Maybe it is time for Senator Dodd to become Majority Leader?)
It seems the Denver Scholarship Foundation is working hard to help local students go to college.
2006 was the first year this (soon to be) citywide program offered high school seniors a few thousand $ to close the gap that financial aid leaves behind when they apply for higher ed in-state.
They're now changing the structure of the program so students will know how much they will contribute long before the week of registration. A stress reliever indeed. Now that you know your Foundation contribution before your financial aid, the question is... will there still be a gap at the end? This program seems a first step in really improving Colorado's education programs. There's much more to be done.
Unfortunately, they're also stripping undocumented immigrant students from the beneficiaries list... So much for universal access to the American Dream....hmmm...
The telecommunications companies, Mr. Bush and his administration, and Congressional patsies in the Senate will now apply a full court press to get "retroactive telecom immunity" passed in January.
It is critical that we meet with both Senators representing Colorado to let them know that this kind of immunity is wrong for the nation. It would set a dangerous precedent for future presidents to allow blatant criminal acts to be legalized contrary to what statutory law is.
Who will step up to the plate and meet with both Senators Salazar and Allard?
The criminal acts that Mr. Bush has condoned by the telecommunications companies we will never know the extent if retroactive telecom immunity is passed because those lawsuits by citizens and Congressional inquiries will be silenced.
I agree with Glenn Greenwald that justice will be denied to the American people if such retroactive immunity is passed.
Remember for Mr. Bush and his political operatives this was all a matter of and about politics not about hunting terrorists.
So, who will join me in meeting with our Senators?
The fight over the LifeBrige/4C development in Longmont is officially over. At least for now. Last night Longmont City Council voted to remove the issues from the January special election following last week's withdraw of the annexation request by LifeBridge.
From the Longmont Times Call:
Way to go to all the folks in Longmont who stood up to city hall and worked so hard for this historic victory!
Cross-posted from DailyKos
On Monday Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman (Republican) decertified 3 of the 4 electronic voting machine manufacturers
Bush Lawyers Discussed Fate of C.I.A.Tapes:
At least four top White House lawyers took part in discussions with the Central Intelligence Agency between 2003 and 2005 about whether to destroy videotapes showing the secret interrogations of two operatives from Al Qaeda, according to current and former administration and intelligence officials.
Take the time today to tell Senator Dodd how much you appreciate his excellent work in blocking this vote.
Now it is time to do the hard work of meeting with our Colorado Senators and letting them know that "retroactive immunity" for criminal acts is completely unacceptable to us.
We teach our children that to do wrong acts deserves punishment. This is no different.
I believe that Republicans, like Bush, need the firm hand of discipline for doing bad acts and deserve to be punished. As far as I know there are no Republicans that have come out to say that retroactive immunity by telecommunications companies in return for lucrative government contracts for spying upon Americans without court orders is wrong.
Corporations that do wrong should be punished. FISA has criminal statues in it to punish transgressors. Bush has admitted wrong doing by circumventing FISA to spy on Americans long before 9/11. The people who support such wrong doing deserve to be punished because the law is the law.
House Committee Dismisses Criticisms of
On Monday, Dec. 17, the House Committee on Homeland Security posted this document in response to the many criticisms of House Resolution 1955, The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. Part 1 of this series examined the dangers that this bill posed to citizens and political groups using the Internet.
Based on the bill contents and the witnesses called to elaborate on the supposed problem of "homegrown terrorism," it appears that House bill and the Senate look alike (S.1959) pose a significant threat to political expression and free speech, particularly on the Internet (see part 1 of this series Thought Control on the Internet and this collection for more detail).
By an Overwhelming Majority
Congress Brings You…
Thought Control on the Internet
By Michael Collins
Cracking the Code – Who's to Blame for "Violent Radicalization"?
The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 404 to 6 vote on Oct. 23. Not since the Iraq War Resolution have Democrats and Republicans found such a unifying cause. We're told that House Resolution 1955 (H.R. 1955) will be an essential tool enabling law enforcement to peg the sources of "homegrown terrorism" on the Internet.The overwhelming bipartisan support makes it no surprise that the legislation presents a significant danger to citizens and the nation. This sentence is the new heart of darkness for free speech.
This should get very wide coverage because it goes to the heart of why Mr. Bush has destroyed the effective fighting strength of the U.S. Army. I first saw this on Buzzflash several days ago and now it has been picked up by Editor and Publisher.
From the ArmyTimes staff writer Kelly Kennedy's report:
From what I've read it is a command failure. The soldiers of 2nd platoon were aware enough that they were not mentally up to the standard of what a professional soldier should be.
I think that there are hundreds and hundreds of "incidents" which could be avoided it commanders were aware of the mental conditions of their soldiers.
This story by Kelly Kennedy reminds me in some ways of the lack of command and control of officers who should have taken the time to get to know their men or those officers were incompetent to begin with as was the case of Tiger Force in Vietnam.
They profiled Jen Gartner, the activist who helped lead the "What's In It for Longmont" charge to keep the LifeBrige/4C development out of Longmont. It was a historic victory for Longmont after lots of hard work by Jen and the hundreds of other volunteers who worked to make this happen.
"A lot of people who signed the petition mentioned they really wanted their elected officials to listen," she told us.
To view the video, just click the little image in the sidebar box below the main image. It's worth a look!
Support Senator Chris Dodd's filibuster of the Senate Intelligence Committee's version to allow immunity for telecom companies active cooperation with spying on you without a court order that is illegal with penalties of jail time and a hefty 100,000 dollar fine per act.
Harry Reid won't honor a "hold" on the bill.
Some senators promised to support Dodd. You know what to do.
Name Fax Phone
Feingold (202) 224-2725 (202) 224-5323
Dodd (202) 224-1083 (202) 224-2823
Obama (202) 228-4260 (202) 224-2854 Sanders (202) 228-0776 (202) 224-5141
Menendez (202) 228-2197 (202) 224-4744
Biden (202) 224-0139 (202) 224-5042
Brown (202) 228-6321 (202) 224-2315
Harkin (202) 224-9369 (202) 224-3254
Cardin (202) 224-1651 (202) 224-4524 Clinton (202) 228-0282 (202) 224-4451
Akaka (202) 224-2126 (202) 224-6361
Webb (202) 228-6363 (202) 224-4024
Kennedy (202) 224-2417 (202) 224-4543
Boxer (415) 956-6701 (202) 224-3553
Chris Dodd must be crazy because he isn't in Iowa today!!
(h/t to Atrios)
I got a snail-mail from Marilyn Musgrave this weekend, a reply to one of the many emails I have signed and sent to her through various online groups.
This one was about SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program. She was explaining why she voted against it. Except she only had whoever wrote the letter for her explain it with a lot of kool-aid based numbers --- she didn't give her REAL reason, which is that if her boy Bushie is against something, so is she.
Their basic argument? It's too expensive. Man, they would have to raise taxes or something!
So...spending a million dollars a second on Iraq? OK.
Wasting taxpayer money by franking paper mail to respond to free email? OK.
I'd be willing to bet a year's mortgage payments that MM is all for the proposed Colorado amendment to grant legal personhood to all fertilized eggs.
But make sure those "people" get check-ups and immunizations and antibiotics and such when they get here?
According to Bush and MM...NOT OK!
(cross-posted from http://codeneonblue.net)
It's not being reported in the corporate media, which also refused to publish an opinion piece penned by six term Rep Wexle(D-FL), RepGutierrez (D-IL)and Rep Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), but a whopping 50,000 people responded in just one day to Wexler's call for people to sign his on-line petition supporting an immediate start to hearings on Kucinich's Impeach Cheney bill
(H Res 799). As of Sunday morning, 54,000 people had signed the petition at
Wexler's Website. If people get behind this, and if the impeachment movement spreads the word, he could easily get closer to 500,000 signatures over the next few days, which would be hard for Conyers and the Democratic leadership, Speaker Nancy Pelosi included, to ignore.
So let's do it! Go to
WexlerWantsHearings.com and sign the petition! Impeach Cheney Hurrah!!!
According to CIA documents obtained through the Freedom Of Information Act:
Dec 3, 2002 -- at Baghram, interrogators kill an Afghan prisoner "by shackling him by his wrists to the wire ceiling above his cell and repeatedly beating his legs. A postmortem report finds abrasions and contusions on the prisoner's face, head, neck, arms and legs and determines that the death was a "homicide" caused by "blunt force injuries."
Oct 22 2003 -- Final autopsy report relating to death of "52 y/o Iraqi Male, Civilian Detainee" held by U.S. forces in Nasiriyah, Iraq. Prisoner was found to have "died as a result of asphyxia … due to
June 16, 2004 -- Marine Corps document describing abuse cases between September 2001 and June 2004,
including "substantiated" incidents in which Marines electrocuted a prisoner and set another's hands on fire.
(Undated): Sworn statement of screener at Abu Ghraib indicates that prisoners at Asamiya Palace in Baghdad had been beaten, burned and subjected to electric shocks.
Subsequent internal documents record prisoners being stripped, made to walk into walls blindfolded, punched, kicked, dragged about the room, observed to have bruises and burn marks on their backs, and having their jaws deliberately broken.
The transcript of this internal document reveals Lt. Gen. Schmidt's own words that it was his understanding that the directives to commit these acts, many of which are apparent war crimes, came right from the top.
"I thought the Secretary of Defense in good faith was approving techniques," testified Lt. Gen. Schmidt.
By the way: Anyone seen the freaking media or the United States Congress lately? If you do, would you mention to them politely that this country is being dragged through the fetid sewers of history while they do NOTHING?
Debate in the Senate on legislation "reforming" the government's warrantless wiretapping program will begin this Monday.
Unfortunately, Majority Leader Harry Reid favors a bill that includes immunity for telecommunications companies that are alleged to have cooperated in President Bush's illegal domestic wiretapping program. We still don't know the extent of how the phone companies colluded with the Bush Administration's illegal spy program and violated our civil liberties.
Click the link below: tell Colorado Senator Ken Salazar to oppose any bill which grants immunity to the phone companies for their role in the NSA wiretap scandal.
Tell Salazar to reject immunity for illegal surveillance
We will deliver this petition to Senator Salazar's office immediately.
Watch Bradley Whitford ("Josh Lyman" on The West Wing) spread the word about the importance of opposing retroactive telecom immunity and upholding our constitutional privacy rights.
Video courtesy Courage Campaign, ProgressNow's sister organization in California.
Given the overwhelming importance of water allocations in the West, I am astonished that so little has been reported about the recent revisions to the Interstate Colorado River Water Compact that were just approved. In the little I read ( and the least coverage, short of none at all, was in the Denver Post - shame on them) it appears that the lower basin states are going to get more water in times of shortage (wouldn't that be now?. But it was not clear at whose expense. One article hinted that it would come out of water that goes to Mexico. I have to admit that I am suspicious - who gains and who loses from this? What does it mean for Colorado? How will it affect housing development and construction? Agriculture? Fishing and wildlife? The Front Range versus the Western Slope? Will the price of water become more related to its opportunity cost? Is this a grab by lower basin states that will hurt Colorado? Is this another "Chinatown"? I have seen nothing on these issues in the press. Anybody know?
Colorado's own ex-US Interior Secretary Gale "James Watt in a skirt" Norton had this friend, Italia Federici...
Well, you know, more than a friend, more like her former campaign principal, executive director of the bogus rightie "environmental" group Norton founded called the Council of Republicans for Environmental Adovcacy (CREA--amusing link here). And when Gale Norton went to DC, so did Federici, and CREA--where the big game was waiting. It's a shame to report that the whole experience in the majors didn't work out very well, for our poor naive fellow Coloradan Federici, her fast friend Jack Abramoff, and perhaps Norton personally before the whole business is worked out (for shame) criminally speaking. The Denver Post will report tomorrow,
Go-between in Abramoff scandal sentenced
A one-time Colorado political activist who arranged lobbyist Jack Abramoff's entree into the Interior Department was sentenced today to two months in a halfway house and four years' probation.
Which put a pretty fine point on what I was talking about exactly two years ago today:
Norton helped found Federici's front group, appears as the star at Abramoff-arranged dinners with Indian tribal leaders, decisions magically go Abramoff's clients' way...
I don't know anybody who thinks she should just skate away with any culpability she may have or may not have in the Abramoff corruption ring, any more than Scooter Libby did for lying to federal investigators about Valerie Plame. Maybe all it will ultimately result in is an Iran-Contra scandal worth of pardons, and maybe nobody even cares abou Gale Norton anywmore now that she's stepped through the revolving door into Shell Oil's legal offices, but this is the kind of thing people need to be held accountable for even after they parachute out of public office in disgrace--right?
The drive to Impeach Cheney and Bush is heating up. Now three senior members of the US House Judiciary Committee are openly calling for Impeachment Hearings saying ""The issues at hand are too serious to ignore",
Shocking that a gay bashing could occur at CC, but good for the students for taking a stand against it. Read the story on Pols.
The nonpartisan, independent 208 Commission, designed to evaluate proposals on Colorado's healthcare crisis, was originally funded at a meager $100,000.
The Commission passed five proposals on to the Lewin Group for independent financial analysis.
The Lewin Group found that, of all the proposals, the only one that would cover everybody in the state -- and the only one that actually saved money -- was the single-payer, universal plan put forth by Health Care For All Colorado. Single payer would remove the insurance industry from the equation -- meaning that the 30% of healthcare dollars that now go to lobbyists, exhoribitant CEO pay, advertising, and insurance company overhead would go instead to -- well, healthcare.
Read the comparative analyis here:
Interestingly, the Lewin Group was recently acquired by United Health Care, Colorado's largest insurer. And, by mere coincidence, the 208 Commission received a significant boost in donated revenue shortly thereafter -- in the neighborhood of $1.1 million, according to sources.
SHOCKINGLY, the 208 Commission has now decided that the proposal they will submit to the Governor, with their approval, is a plan that will cost billions more, leave hundreds of thousands without healthcare, will penalize those who are too poor to afford the mandatory insurance, and will continue to siphon off billions of healthcare dollars to the parasitic insurance industry.
The donor of all that green shall remain secret, by the law that created the commission. Draw your own conclusions.
It would be nice if the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, 9News, Fox31, Channel 4 and Channel 7 would draw their own.
You'll laugh until you cry...or maybe laugh so you won't cry. Either way, enjoy a glimpse of what the world might have been like if Dubya had never been born!
It's A Blunderful Life
There's another good one, not so political, in today's open thread on SquareState.net, if you want to check that out!
Cross-posted with permission from Joe.My.God
The young man who last Sunday shot and killed two people at a youth ministry training center, then killed two more and himself at Colorado's New Life Church (Ted Haggard's former home), was a cast out from the youth ministry, probably because he failed their attempts to make him "ex-gay".
DISCLAIMER: I don't have a dog in the Democratic presidential primary fight. Nothing in this posting should be construed as an endorsement of any candidate.
What I do have is a pretty well-developed sense of outrage when I see people making choices in political campaigns that are sleazy and underhanded. Moreover, I believe that people can overcome past misdeeds and still be fit to participate in American civil life.
So I was truly livid when I heard on Wednesday about remarks made by a top-level Clinton campaign figure about how "the Republicans" might use Barack Obama's candidly self-documented youthful experimentation with drugs against him. I was like, excuse me? The Republicans might get nasty at some point in the campaign, which is why this guy felt the need to pre-emptively smear Obama now?
Then I started thinking about it--the fact that New Hampshire (where the Clinton official in question lives) is over 95% white. Cocaine is overwhelmingly, though ignorantly, associated with minorities in popular culture. Just how low a blow was this, I began to wonder...
Fortunately, we won't have to find out. Sen. Clinton displayed candor of her own by personally apologizing to Obama over the incident, and now the New Hampshire campaign official has resigned in disgrace. We may never know if these scurrilous comments were part of a larger "get tough" strategy at the Clinton campaign as primaries near, and even if that was the case, it backfired like all get-out. It won't be tried again.
For those of you who care about civility and honesty in politics, and believe that people really are entitled to second chances are youthful irresponsibility (like our current President, for example), that's an encouraging development.
The fabulous What's In It for Longmont grassroots effort did it!
LifeBridge will develop its Union project in Weld County
Congratulations to Jen Gartner, Doreen Peterson, Nita Lynch, Kaye Fissinger, Duane Leise, Karen Benker, Shari Malloy, Joan Peck, Doug Wray, and the hundreds of other volunteers who worked countless unpaid and under appreciated hours to make this happen!
This is what civic government looks like.
I don't care much about gender equality, LGBT issues, or minority rights. Well, "don't care" is probably a stretch; but these things rarely hit the top of my radar. That's probably because I'm not a woman, a minority, or LGB or T.
Three months ago, I didn't care much about police misconduct and brutality, either. I took note of it, and I'd surely sign a petition against it, but that was about it. That's because, at the time, I wasn't a victim of police misconduct. Now I am (blog to come).
We all give face-to-face conversational support to people with these issues. But privately, we think, "well, if you're in trouble with the law, you probably did something wrong; if you're a woman or Latino and you don't want to be discriminated against, choose one of the many employers who won't discriminate; if you're gay and you fear exclusion, just don't mention that you're gay in mixed company."
It's not that we don't sympathize and empathize. It's just that we all have our critical, pinnacle "issue:" the environment, defending Constitutional liberties, healthcare for all; whatever I, and my group, happen to be working on at the moment.
Organizing conservatives into mass groups for collective action is easy: you just appeal to an emotion -- fear, prejudice, outrage -- provide a strong leader, and conservatives follow in droves.
Organizing liberals to address common causes, on the other hand, is like herding cats.
Conservative rallies -- like "Promise Keepers" -- take place in stadiums, and get massive media coverage. Liberal rallies occur in groups of 25 on the capitol steps, and get none. This has to change, if we are ever to bring any of our disparate issues to the forefront of social thought.
Here is my proposal: We organize a summit of Progressives -- like Roots Camp -- inviting representatives of all the various disparate interest groups. We list all of our favored causes. We vote upon which issues we believe we could all support, that represent our collective progressive values. We all agree to lend our support to chosen issues in three-month cycles. We vote on the order of support, but none are left out.
From 3/1/08 to 6/1/08, we agree to support the cause of healthcare. We agree to write letters, call congresspeople, attend rallies, petition the news for coverage, etc.
From 6/1/08 to 9/1/08, we work on prison reform.
From 9/1/08 to 12/1/08, we work on ... whatever.
Everyone in the group eventually gets support for their chosen cause, as long as they honor their committment to support the others before them.
Of course, none of this precludes us from working on our pet issue at the same time. And, as a fringe benefit, we'll all learn alot about these peripheral issues that weren't near and dear to us at the time, but which we might need to know about somewhere down the road.
Like police misconduct, something I knew little about 3 months agao, and something I really wish I'd understood and paid attention to long before.
Whaddya think, folks?
Care to herd some cats?
Why isn't this man running for President?
"My country's been responsible for obstructing the process here in Bali, we know that," he said to enthusiastic applause from the crowd. "Over the next two years the United States is going to be somewhere where it is not now. You must anticipate that."
I'm proud to be a part of "the rabble" because there is a profound constitutional crisis caused by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney and their views on how this administration "works".
What tools that are left by this administration which damages the constitution should be immediately neutralized by Congress and the judicial branches of government. However, with the selection of Federalist Society lawyers into judgeships and far right religious reactionaries into leading Republican leadership positions there must be the founding fathers solution to this crisis: Impeachment.
As Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, has written a book "Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush" which picks four charges for impeachment: warrantless surveillance, misleading Congress on the reasons for the Iraq war, violating laws against torture, and subverting the Constitution's separation of powers.
As University of Illinois law professor Francis Boyle's "Draft Impeachment Resolution Against President George W. Bush" lists six articles: 1). "acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States by suspending the constitutional "Writ of Habeous Corpus"."; 2). "has violated the Equal Protection Clause"; 3). "has violated the Constitutional requirement that all treaties be part of the supreme law of the land"; 4). has planned, prepared, and conspired for war with Iraq; 5). did not receive a formal declaration of war against Iraq; 6). " planned, prepared, and conspired to commit crimes against the peace by leading the United States into aggressive war against Iraq in violation of Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, the Kellogg-Brand Pact, U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 (1956)"
"The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens" by Holtzman and Cooper their book lists five charges: "Deceptions into Taking the Country into War in Iraq"; "Reckless Indifference to Human Life in Katrina and Iraq"; "Illegal Wiretapping and Surveillance of Americans"; "Permitting Torture"; and "Leaking Classified Information."
David Swanson writes in the current issue of The Humanist:
Meanwhile John Conyers has apparently "deep sixed" HRes799 in his committee for the above mentioned reason by David Swanson.
It is time for a new Democratic leadership in the House and Senate.
Diana DeGette is one of the leaders in the House. She is part of the problem.
From the Republicans (same article from TPM):
I could not agree more. . Tie Iraq withdrawl funds to every bill sent to Bush for signing.
Have the Democrats tell every voter that Bush and his Republican Party is for having our troops killed by Iraqis because Iraqis want our troops out of their own country for good.
Iraq is a land that is the birthplace of western civilization. It is the home to one of the seven wonders of the world: Hanging Gardens of Bablyon.
Mr. Bush and we, this nation's people, are responsible for this:
It is time to replace all Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. The American people want out of Iraq but our leaders won't listen. I have been to DeGette's office and talked with DeGette and her staff numerous times. Sure they talk a good game but when it comes to push they will not stand with the lives of our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers who serve in our armed forces.
Finally, it is time to beg forgiveness and to repay the people of Iraq and the world for the destruction of the western world's cradle of beginning.
Bush and his heavy extraction industry friends are the enemies of the human race. I remember back in 2000 listening to an NPR interview with a environmental scientist in which the idea that we have approximately a twenty year window to reduce the worst affects of global warming. Well, we have seen the results of what Bush continues to do which is to accelerate cardon emissions and sabotage any meaningful efforts by the rest of the world's nations to help the human race survive and prosper.
Al Gore speaks to the Bali Conference on climate change:
George W. Bush will be remembered as the killer of mankind.
ColoradoConfidential.com invites members of the public to please join them this afternoon (Thursday, December 13) from 3:00 - 3:30 PM MST for a lively 30 minute discussion with Colorado pollster Mark Mehringer about a poll released this morning that shows Democrat Mark Udall, candidate for U.S. Senate, with a 2-percentage point lead over his Republican opponent, Bob Schaffer. To see the story, please visit
To partcipate in the live blogging, please visit www.coloradoconfidential.com
Sounds about right to me.
Well, actually it's a parody. It IS his message--it just wasn't produced by his campaign.
After my long hiatus from the world of internet bitching - an involuntary but much needed and self-imposed exile from newspapers, talk shows, televison, and internet based current event sites.....after this long rest from most things politically active, I reintroduced myself to some of my old haunts, my now new haunts and other information sources to just check up on what I missed.
“NEWS” – NEWS – new? Is there anything New? Anything NEWS? what's changed? Any new revelations? New ideas? New, News?
There's a great piece by Jim Spencer at CoCo today about the fundie fanatics terrorizing a poor businessman in Denver because of his working on a building project for heaven's sake. There's a line at which speech that might otherwise be protected is no longer protected because it causes harm to someone. The classic example is that you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire because the panic you would provoke could result in serious injury. In this instance, are these protesters crossing that line? Should they be allowed to harrass this businessman?
It's been amazing to me how cleverly the Religious Right has fashioned a coalition of "Faith" organizations to collectively beat up on gay people and women for fundraising and electoral purposes. After all, one man's faith may be another man's cult. And that's certainly the case between evangelicals and Mormons. I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church, and by the time I was in junior high school church leaders were doing their best to convince me that nearly everyone who wasn't Baptist was going to hell. Mormons, they said, were ESPECIALLY going to hell because they didn't even pretend to recognize Christ as savior and because they all thought they would eventually become equals to God.
So I'm not surprised at all to learn that Mike Huckabee, the good 'ole boy and ordained Southern Baptist minister from Arkansas, made some rather disparaging remarks about Mitt Romney's Mormon faith this week.
If Romney ends up getting the Republican nomination, this could be a sign of big trouble for him. There are 40 million Southern Baptists. They're the anchor of the Religious Right. And I can't imagine how a Republican candidate for President can win without strong support from the Religious Right.
And Huckabee is well on his way to defining himself as a Religious Right extremist, and that wasn't a very long walk when the starting point was being a Southern Baptist minister. Can moderate Republicans get excited about someone who's further right on social issues than George Bush can even see? I'm not so sure.
RootsCamp had a LOT going on, as you may have heard if you weren't there to see it first hand. I'm easily distracted on my best day, but that weekend I felt like a kitten with ADD chasing a cricket in a catnip shop! Also, my camera is getting old and wonky (yeah, we match). So I do not have nearly as many good pics as I would have liked.
Still, a few turned out okay. I have loaded some crowd shots and a few others to this page.. You have my permission to download any of them you like. Enjoy!
Wednesday, Dec. 12th, 2007
CU Campus - 2:00 pm
Location: UMC (University Memorial Center)
Room #247 (2nd floor) CU Campus
Elizabeth Kucinich will meet with students and the general public at CU. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Presidency of Dennis Kucinich, and start envisioning a Kucinich White House. Meet organizers in Boulder and Take Action! towards supporting the candidate that most supports us! No charge for event. Donations to campaign highly encouraged.
Oriental Theater - 6:30 pm
Location: 44th & Tennyson, Denver, CO
Cost: Suggested donation $10, no one turned away.
Elizabeth Kucinich will speak and take questions at the Oriental Theater on Dec 12th. Show will start at 6:30 pm. We will entertain and inform with video, Elizabeth will speak and then take questions from the audience. Following this portion, we will discuss caucus, while a live band sets up to finish the evening with a show. I am working on the musicians still, but it should be
Food, cocktails and other beverages will be available at the venue. Cafe/bar on location.
*All events are accessible to people of all abilities.
Our sister organization in CA, The Courage Campaign, just launched another fantastic video calling attention to the next FISA vote:
It will be more than interesting to watch how Senator Salazar votes.
For anyone who doens't know, Jen Caltrider and I are the sports enthusiasts in the ProgressNow office. Especially when it comes to teams from our respective home states.
I grew up in Oklahoma, where it's all about the OU Sooners. I also have an undergrad degree from OU. Consequently, I'm a HUGE Sooner fan.
Jen, on the other hand, grew up in West Virginia, where the WVU Mountaineers are king. She has a soft place in her heart for Marshall, but WVU is right up there on her list too.
Jen and I usually are cordial sports fans and pull for each other's teams. But the college football gods have thrown us into a situation where we can't be cordial at all. On January 3rd the WVU Mountaineers and the OU Sooners will square off in the Fiesta Bowl for a matchup of two teams that thought they were going to be playing for it all this year.
We decided this situation calls for a bet, and here's what we came up with. If West Virginia wins, I'll sing John Denver's classic "Country Road" ("West Virginia, mountain mama", you know the drill). If OU wins, Jen will sing "Oklahoma" (wind sweeping down the plain, and all that).
The kicker is that we'll perform this feat of embarrassment on video and blog it here so that you can enjoy someone's humiliation.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports:
Dozens of New Life Church members had just left services Sunday when word arrived of a shooting attack on the congregation and they rushed back, searching for news of friends and family members.
What happened yesterday was a tragic outburst of violence, most likely committed by a deranged psychopath. The only thing that could compound such a tragedy would be for Colorado's faith community to view it as reflective of any broader sentiment against Christians. It's not. It's one lunatic. Nothing any of these victims ever did or believed would make them deserving of this in the mind of a rational person.
We have passionate debates in America, differences over religion, how it informs public debate, even the need for it at all; what distinguishes America from the rest of the world is our history of not killing each other over those disagreements.
In comments on a recent post, Paleoliberal brought up what he perceives to be a problem with keeping up with comment conversations here on PNA.
It got me started thinking about the many different progressive sites we all go to, and how many of them seem to have evolved their own protocols for interacting.
I think you can loosely classify sites into two types, info providers and discussion boards (although certainly some have aspects of both).
Discussion boards encourage interaction, from light chat up through verbal brawling. Those can be fun, and they provide a good place to practice full-contact argumentation. I have nothing against that kind of entertainment, but there are only so many hours in the day, and mine always seem to be previously spoken for before I even get up in the morning!
My personal preference is for sites like PNA or SquareState, where I can keep up with the news, touch base for a second with friendly typefaces if I feel like it, and then get my butt back to work.
I admit, I do sometimes follow up a post here for a few days, checking to see if anything more was added in comments. I do that by scrolling back till I find it. Not too hard, since my attention span and memory will give out way before any given post has a change to get very old.
It would also be easy, if one wanted to follow up something specific, to simply make a note (mental, browser bookmark, or dead tree type, as you prefer) of the PNA member who posted the post you want to keep checking on. You just click on the People tab and enter the username of the poster, and you can easily find a list of their posts, from the most recent on back.
In the end, I think we have to accept that there are no 'one-size-fits-all' sites out there, and just keep linking around until we find the ones where our style meshes with the established group.
Until it changes entirely. But that's a rant for another time!
A recent Denver Post article by Michael Riley published on December 3, 2007 (http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_7619693?source=commented-news) noted that Common Sense Issues, a "qualified nonprofit" associated with veteran Republican operative Patrick Davis, has taken its first shot at Democratic candidates. The Denver Post article points out that with a little more than 11 months to go before the 2008 Election that opponents in the hotly contested Senate campaign are likely to lob a wide array of attacks at each other looking for something that sticks.
Apparently Common Sense Issues first attack (http://www.commonsenseissues.com/) calls into question Congressman Mark Udall's support of the US House Resolution 808 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hr110-808). The ad calls Udall a "Boulder liberal", using the phrase three times in less than 30 seconds, and erroneously gives him credit for the idea of a Department of Peace. The fact however is, as the Denver Post article points out, Udall is distancing himself from the concept and even says he regrets is original support of the bill.
When I finished reading the Post article I'm not sure what upset me the most - the fact that the Republicans preferred campaign strategy STILL continues to be attack ads and misinformation rather intelligent debate on the issues; or, the fact that our Democratic leadership seems to "distance themselves" from anything that requires the courage to stand for their stated values for fear it may make them appear "soft". This is also just another example of why I'm a registered Independent and still in search of true leadership regardless of which Party it comes from. And while the ad takes a jab at Udall, it was the distortion of the proposed US Department of Peace that distressed me the most.
The idea of a US Department of Peace and Nonviolence is not new - nor is it a liberal or conservative concept. While recently introduced as HR 808, the concept itself is as old as the Constitution and was first introduced at the Continental Congress by Dr. Benjamin Rush, a physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately Dr. Rush was unable to convince his fellow statesmen to include the Department of Peace in the Constitution (or Universal Health Care and Equality for ALL men and women either for that matter however that's another story).
The concept of a Department of Peace did not die however; in fact, a form of the US Department of Peace has been reintroduced in some form over 80 times throughout history. The latest attempt has been introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich NOT Udall (would have meant he showed leadership) and currently has over 65 co-sponsors and growing support across the Nation. There are also a number of States and Local Governments, and a broad cross section of the community service providers (Police Departments, Women's Shelters, Social Workers, etc.) who have also endorsed the concept.
Contrary to the implication that creating a Department of Peace will somehow diminish our safety as Americans the truth is that the proposed cabinet level department is designed to reduce the level of violence we ALL experience in our lives - whether it's in the bedroom, boardroom, our communities or the world. The ad asks "doesn't he know people are trying to kill us" and I wonder if Common Sense Issues really knows WHO is trying to kill us.
The truth is that we are more likely to be killed at home by someone we know than an illusive international terrorist. The health-related cost of rape, physical assault, stalking and homicide committed by intimate partners in America exceeds $5.8 billion each year. Of that amount, nearly $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental health care services, and nearly $1.8 billion are for the indirect costs of lost productivity or wages. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States, April 2003.) And this is just the cost of domestic violence, when considering the full range of interpersonal violence a recent World Health Organization report estimated the cost of interpersonal violence in the U.S. (excluding war related costs) at $300 billion a year. [The Economic Dimensions of Interpersonal Violence, World Health Organization, 2004]
The US Department of Peace mobilizes resources, research and proven approaches to prevent domestic and community violence at the root level. Specifically the legislation states that the US Department of Peace and Nonviolence will:
1. Work proactively and interactively with each branch of the Federal Government on all policy matters relating to conditions of peace.
2. Call on the intellectual and spiritual wealth of the people of the United states and seek participation in its administration and in its development of policy from private, public and nongovernmental organizations; and,
3. Monitor and analyze causative principals and make policy recommendation for developing and maintaining peaceful conduct.
4. Develop policies that address domestic violence - spousal, child, elder
5. Create new policies and incorporate existing policies regarding crime, punishment and rehabilitation
6. Develop policies to address violence against animals
7. Analyze existing policies, employ successful, field-tested programs, and develop new approaches for dealing with the implements of violence, including gun-related violence and the overwhelming presence of handguns;
8. Develop new programs that relate to the societal challenges of school violence, gangs, racial or ethnic violence, violence against gays and lesbians, and police-community relations disputes;
9. Make policy recommendations to the Attorney General regarding civil rights and labor law;
10. Assist in the establishment and funding of community-based violence prevention programs, including violence prevention counseling and peer mediation in schools;
11. Counsel and advocate on behalf of women victimized by violence;
12. Provide for public education programs and counseling strategies concerning hate crimes;
13. Promote racial, religious and ethnic tolerance;
14. Finance local community initiatives that can draw on neighborhood resources to crate peace projects that facilitate the development of conflict resolution at a national level and thereby inform and inspire national policy; and
15. Provide ethical-based and value-based analyses to the Department of Defense.
When looking at the truth of what the bill would provide, one wonders exactly what activity Common Sense Issues or Udall have a problem with. Even though many of the activities HR 808 proposes are not necessarily new or different - what makes the Department of Peace unique and critical at this time is that it FINALLY brings the type of federal leadership and vision for domestic tranquility that has been the missing in our efforts to reduce violence in our homes, communities and the world for decades.
As a person who has been working in communities at a grassroots level for the past 30 years I can tell you that HR 808 is the type of bill I've been waiting for. And while admittedly it isn't as comprehensive or well defined as I would like, it is the first time in years that I have had a glimmer of hope that as a Nation we are willing to take an honest look at the cost of violence in the world - both in human and economic terms.
It confuses me that Mark Udall, who presents himself as dedicated to peace and the wellbeing of our Nation, would feel compelled to "distance" himself from this landmark legislation. It concerns me that he "wishes" he would have never lent his name in support of this historic effort to reduce the level of violence in our homes and communities rather than working to amend the bill if he has "problems" with parts of it. And it strengthens my resolve to find true leadership to represent my needs in Washington as it appears it will not be coming from Udall.
Julieann Murphy Cross
Rocky Mountain News columnist Jason Salzman outlines a better way for daily newspapers to relate the often-depressing stories of the day--give the reader a way to take action.
SALZMAN: Dailies should do more to lend a hand
As it is, both dailies are Grinch-like in their dispensation of information on how to help disaster-stricken people we read about in the news.
It's the same philosophy we use in sending out issue blastmails. We never send out an email that just laments a problem, we always give you something you can do about it as well. It makes sense for us to do so since we're in the business of empowering new actors in the public sphere, but for newspapers to include a suggested step that ordinary readers can take to help in a crisis would empower many more.
I suppose there are some exceptional situations where a newspaper might run into conflict (like when Tom Tancredo came out against Hurricane Katrina relief), but it seems to me any such conflicts can be ironed out using the old-fashioned human decency gut check. Come to think of it, a little human decency would probably help a lot of news stories where Tancredo is mentioned, but that's another blog post.
Anyway, it wouldn't turn newspapers into unjournalistic "advocates" to include information on how to get involved in a story. On the contrary, it's a natural part of any story written for a socially-conscious readership--the part that explains what they can do to solve problems instead of feel powerless as yet another tragedy grips the wide world.
How about putting AIDS patients in camps?
Huckabee Wanted to Isolate AIDS Patients
Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk."
And to think, this is the one they're calling the "nice guy." Perhaps he sweated all this hate and ignorance out of his system when he lost that 100 pounds a few years ago, I don't know.
Actually, I doubt that. This is how the man feels. You should consider any "softening" of Huckabee's attitude towards AIDS victims to be about as authentic as Mitt Romney's new positions...on everything. These guys reinvent themselves like you change socks, and when that happens it's best to let their documented history speak for itself.
As reported in the Post, Tom Tancredo is refusing to participate in a Spanish-language debate. He says that his Italian immigrant Grandparents, by God, voluntarily abandoned their native language and Mexican immigrants should do the same. Crooks and Liars points out that that is a little bit of revisionist history by Tom. He said before that the ONLY reason his grandparents stopped speaking Italian was because of the intense racism they were subjected to.
I wonder if it's okay with Tom for immigrants to speak Spanish when they're working on his basement.
Okay, I have a raunchy sense of humor. People know it. My officemates have learned to tolerate it. I've been known to make jokes that aren't exactly in the keeping of the most wholesome comedic tradition.
But there's a line beyond which you've gone too far in your attempt to "joke" -- nobody tells you what the line is, but like Justice Potter Stewart once famously said, you know it when you see it.
Case in point:
Councilwoman Resigns Over 'Racist' Post
A Dacono, Colo. councilwoman resigned this week over what some branded a racist e-mail, but Sandra Tucker said she won't apologize for posting it.
She said she's not a racist but understands the posting has made it almost impossible to carry on her second term in the city council.She submitted her resignation on Thursday.
Here's the deal, (ex) Councilwoman Tucker: if you think calling someone a 'black disabled one-armed drug-addicted Jewish queer' with a 'Mexican boyfriend' is "funny," you're a racist. If you think referring to someone as 'disabled' or 'one-armed' or 'drug-addicted' is "funny," even without all the racial stuff, you're a low-life. Put them both together and what have you got?
An ex-councilwoman, and even those of us with an occasionally baudy sense of humor know exactly why.
Minister of Death
Mike Huckabee – "Surging" Republican
Mike Huckabee is the "surging" candidate to watch in the Republican presidential primaries, at least for the moment. The former Arkansas governor is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and a believer in the "inerrancy" doctrine of Biblical scripture. Inerrancy means, quite simply, that the believer accepts every bit of the Bible as literal truth (Adam & Eve, an earth just 6,000 years old, etc.)
As governor, Huckabee was an enthusiastic death penalty supporter. He now supports World War III against Muslim "fascists" and he's taking his message of death on the road.
Several CIA agents recently revealed that they were willing to "go to jail" to declassify the 2007 NIE, which concluded that Iran is no threat. And, in spite of the CIA being perhaps the most vocal -- albeit subtly -- critic of the Bush admins policies, Democrats are currently pretending to have their undies in a bunch over the destruction of a torture tape.
"We haven't seen anything like this since the 18 1/2-minute gap in the tapes of President Richard Nixon," said Sen. Ted Kennedy, in spite of a loud, glaring, completely present and widely known document (see Downing Street Memo) revealing that the President of the United States conspired to deceive Americans into an illegal, immoral war costing an expected $4 trillion and a million lives.
"We're going to get to the bottom of this," said Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, referring to the destruction of two plastic cassettes worth $8. Durbin didn't comment on the content of the tape, which shows agents drowning a suspect, as approved by the President of the United States, in violation of all humanity, as well as multiple US laws.
"This is serious business," said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich). "If we find out these tapes were purposefully destroyed to protect CIA agents who were following the orders of the President, we're going to make several -- and I mean several -- fiery Senate speeches designed to give us an appearance of moral indignation."
"That way, we can build our majority in 2008, which is important if we're to have a party in America willing to feign outrage at violations of American principle."
"These subordinates are gonna fry," added an unnamed Democrat. "When the President gives you a direct order, you're expected, under penalty of treason, to obey that order. And the fact that these men did just that is an outrage. It's a violation of ... er ... I mean, it ...," he said, before wandering off, muttering and apparently having confused himself as to which direction to pretend indignation.
He comes home with briefcase in hand from a long day "in the trenches." His wife and boys greet him at he door. They sit and exchange the events of the day in their Coca-Cola decorated kitchen. But before he heads upstairs to change out of his "blues" he stops by the altar, lights a candle and thanks the gods for his beautiful family. He then releases the stresses of the day with a quick glance at a wooden pentacle.
Air Force Major Anthony Gatlin, chief of the Military Personnel Division for the Secretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon, is not only a proud member of the U.S. Air Force, but also a practicing pagan.
The dictionary defines pagan as a follower of a polytheistic religion, as in ancient Rome. Modern day pagans define paganism as an eclectic, nature-centered religious movement that encompasses polytheistic and magical religions. Many beliefs labeled paganism are characterized by the honoring of pre-Christian deities, lack of institutionalization, a quest to develop the self and acceptance and encouragement of diversity.
"Ive been pagan all my adult life, but didn't realize what exactly that was until about a year-and-a-half ago. It had truly been an awakening, a 'coming home,'" said Gatlin.
Gatlin and his wife of 15 years, Sheila, talked many times about their beliefs and tried several churches together but, "nothing felt right", he said.
"Over the years, our spiritual lives suffered because we found nothing to nurture them," he said.
Through much research, study and discussion the Galtlins discovered what they were searching for.
"The particular pagan path that we most identified with is of the Wiccan tradition, which is a revival of ancient Celtic tribal religions. Its an Earth-based religion that follows no set scripture, but attunes the mind, body and spirit with the forces of nature," said Gatlin.
Time passed and Gatlin became more and more comfortable with his new faith. He felt it was time to "come out of the broom closet" and not hide his religious beliefs, he said. He didnt know at the time that his next few actions would have an affect on the entire pagan community in the Air Force.
"I had reached a point in my life where I wanted to become public with my religion. I figured a good place to start would be changing my religious preference on my dog tags and my personnel file," said Gatlin.
At that time, the Air Force didnt list any earth-based religions as religious preferences. Pagans, of all paths, either chose "no religious preference" or "other."
"I first listed my religion as 'other' but, as the days went by I just felt like that was more and more offensive," he said.
Gatlin began to ask why his religion, and the religion of more than an estimated 15,000 people in the military, wasnt represented. He started doing research on how to add a religious preference to the list. He spoke with chaplains and worked with the Air Force Personnel Center to coordinate a staff summary sheet. In March 2001 the package circulated for signing. Gatlin could only hope and hold on to his faith that the change would be approved.
"No one ever said you can't do this. No one was ever verbally against it. It was more bureaucracy and red tape that held up the process," said Gatlin.
On March 15 the change was approved and Pagan, Shaman, Druid, Wicca, Seax Wicca, Gardnerian Wicca and Dianic Wicca were added to the list of religious preferences in the Air Force Personnel Data System.
"I was proud to be the first person to register my religion in the system," Gatlin said, "and I hope others will be too. I want the world to know Pagans are not just a bunch of fringe lunaticswe are military members, husbands, wives, parentsregular people with hopes and dreams who want the freedom and tolerance to practice our religion just like anyone else."
More than 50 service members registered as one of the newly listed earth-based religions in the first six weeks after the change. Gatlin hopes the numbers will climb as the word gets out of the latest options, and the new Air Force Personnel System, MilMod becomes fully functional.
Gatlin said he will continue to work towards mainstream acceptance and tolerance among all religious communities, but feels that all pagans must take part in this move.
"We need to do a better job with public relations. We are hampered by our own communal mistrust and fear of persecution. We need to get the collective chip off our shoulder and work together to further out position in the community," he said.
Recently Gatlin and fellow members of a Pagan study group were hiking in western Virginia. The group stopped along a rocky pinnacle that looked out over miles and miles of sky and earth.
"As I stood at the edge of this cliff looking hundreds of feet below, I was approached by a man who asked me about the shirt I wore, which proudly displayed our groups logo and name, the "Potomac Pagans," Gatlin said. "He clearly was taken aback merely by the word Pagan. He identified himself as Southern Baptist and asked how I could not believe in God."
"It was very surreal standing on the edge of a great precipice defending my religion, but I explained that I very much believe in the Devine Spirit and that his God may very well be my God; its just that I choose a different way of looking at it," Gatlin said.
The man then said to Gatlin, "Its like this mountain, its the same mountain, regardless of which path you take. It may look different from all angles, but that doesnt change the essence of the mountain."
"I knew then I had made my point," Gatlin said.
From the outside, the Gatlins, with their two-story house decorated in pop-culture knick-knacks and pet dog Ringo, look like the "typical" American family. But in a county, dubbed a melting pot, what is that exactly? Maybe its a family who lives true to their heart, believes in tolerance for other cultures and religions and realizes the true value of the freedoms we each are given.
Most major religions attempt to infuse in their adherents a unified system of ethics, dogmas, and metaphysics. A religion exists primarily to foster an organized outlook that places believers in proper relation to their environment. We call this outlook a worldview, a developed system of thought through which an individual is to assess existence. Looking broadly at the major spiritual systems of the world, one can discern three fundamentally different patterns. The foci of these worldviews concern the aspects of divinity, humanity, and nature. The Middle Eastern religions, the Far Eastern religions, and Neopaganism postulate different conceptualizations regarding these three areas of interest.
The Middle Eastern religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share a common history and outlook. Their sin qua non is Monotheism, a belief in a single, personalized deity. Divinity for the Monotheist is expressed as an external, transcendent force that creates and controls the universe. Monotheists have placed divinity outside time and space, above and apart from mundane experience. Divinity resides in some ethereal heavenly realm, with a creator God surrounded by angles and comfortably ensconced from the daily events of the universe.
The effect of perceiving God as an external and personal being is to separate divinity from humanity and nature. Indeed, in the three Monotheistic religions one reads of the same story of humanitys fall from nature. Humanity once dwelt in Gods presence, and through some vile act of disobedience to God was cast out of divine grace. It was humanitys punishment to experience a mortal and painful life under the influence of natures vices. Separated from divinity, humanity dwelt among the animals and the elements, eking out a harsh existence. Subject to the terrors of the natural world, humanity found it difficult to lead a morally pure lifestyle. Existence was therefore conceived as a struggle to overcome the urges of nature and instead reconcile oneself to divinity.
Monotheism came to view life as a trinitarian distinction between divinity, humanity, and nature. Rigid barriers exist between the three levels and their relationship is viewed as one of reciprocal adversity. Divinity arrogates to itself dominion over humanity, establishing itself as supreme overseer and magistrate of human affairs. To humanity is given dominion over nature. In the absence of divine protection humanity is to exploit nature for survival. Nature, however, brings with it a host of other mortal ailments that distracts humanity from its reconciliation with divinity. To the Jew and Muslim, reconciliation means following a set of rigid laws. To the Christian, this divine imperative manifests itself as the corporate worship of Jesus Christ and his teachings.
The Far Eastern religions are vast and varied, a cornucopia of spiritual views. Generally speaking, though, all share a common mission in providing an adherent with a means of achieving an ethical or spiritual perfection. The Hindu seeks to find release from an endless cycle of death and rebirth. The Buddhist yearns for an enlightenment that transcends the illusions of mundane life. The Taoist strives to live in balance with the way of the universe, while the Confucian is concerned with proper social obligations. In all these systems there is an assumption that there is a necessary way to conduct oneself, and practicing this code of belief places adherents in proper relation to their environment.
In the Far Eastern religions one generally does not find the trinitarian distinction that is so crucial to Monotheism. The Hindu considers everything existing in confluence with an universal soul. Most Buddhists see all life as interconnected; to them the sense of a unique self separate from other living beings is an illusion. The Taoist views everything as a manifestation of the universal way. The Confucian cares for social ethics, not metaphysics. Thus for the Far Eastern religions the distinction between divinity, humanity, and nature is either non-existent or irrelevant. What matters most is leading a virtuous life, however virtue may be conceived.
Neopaganism is a loose confederation of myriad spiritual systems, where beliefs and practices differ greatly among different sects and among individual adherents as well. As such, the religion does not lend itself well to generalizations. Nevertheless, in most traditions within Neopaganism one may find a modicum of agreement on doctrine. While recognizing many exceptions exist, one can say Neopaganism as a whole roughly sees a trinitarian distinction among divinity, humanity, and nature. However, Neopaganism would take strong exception with Monotheism in viewing the barriers among the three as hostile or rigid.
In most Neopagan traditions divinity is conceived as polytheistic, duotheistic, or pantheistic. However divinity is conceived, a common belief concerns its immanence. Rather than existing as an external, personal force, divinity is an impersonal force that dwells within humanity and nature. There can be no final separation from divinity as divinity resides in everything. The One is in The All, and The All is in The One. For this reason, divinity, humanity, and nature are not seen as separate constructs but interrelated aspects of the same unity.
Because the Neopagan does not feel divorced from divinity, the Neopagan feels no need to reconcile herself with a lost paradise. The Neopagan merely reveres and experiences the divinity that manifests itself continually in everything. Nature and natural urges are not viewed as destructive paradigms that distract one from experiencing divinity. Rather, nature is viewed as another level of divinity, to be worshipped and admired. While most Neopagans adopt some ethical code, few Neopagans have the harsh and rigid laws of the Monotheists or the detailed mystical codes of the Far East. A Neopagans primary duty is to cherish and experience the gifts of divinity wherever one may find them.
Given these different world views, is it possible on a fundamental level to simultaneously practice religions from different paradigms? Can a Neopagan also be a Christian or a Buddhist? The answer depends on to what extent and in what manner an individual adherent is willing to mix and match various beliefs. Neopagan spirituality and reverence for nature meshes well with the Far Eastern religions and more liberal versions of Monotheism. One could hypothetically practice Christian ethics, Buddhist meditation, and Neopagan magick. Nevertheless, to mix and match from among the different traditions requires a delicate balancing act. Those that would tread a multi-faith path must caution themselves to choose their religious ingredients wisely lest they develop a case of spiritual schizophrenia.
Whew! At least you don't have to worry about surprise President Huckleberry now.
FOTF Action - Romney: Faith is Alive and Well in America
Dr. Dobson commends candidate 'for articulating the importance of our religious heritage.'
Now in case you were maybe concerned about the legality of any of this,
Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media relations for Focus on the Family Action, made it clear Dr. Dobson's comments should not be construed as an endorsement of Romney.
Translation: we're not going to tell you Mormons are going to hell anymore (even though most of you think they are), but when we tell you it's time to hold your nose and vote the straight corporate sellout flip-flopping principle-free "values" ticket, we want you to remember this moment. For all the "when the last tree is cut down Jesus will return" pathology you deal with in these people, I never said they weren't smart. They're planting the seeds.
That said, I don't know anybody who really opposes anything Romney said in this speech about freedom of religion. It's a conjuration, there is no war on religion in America, there never has been.
And as far as I'm concerned, we can keep "In God We Trust" on the money, since everything from the 1950s is in style again--as long as "God" can mean Jesus, Jesus (Mormon Native American edition), G-d, Allah, Shiva, any other statue, that tree over there, whatever. And most importantly, the freedom to check "none of the above" if you want to and still be President.
The last one, I promise...
Surprisingly, one of the more tense and interesting sessions I went to was one entitled "A new generation sites environment is their #1 issue. What do they really mean???"
I went to this session because, even though I don't consider myself a part of a new generation, I don't consider the environment to be even in my top 5... I'm actually quite tired of the environmentalist push to get everyone else to drop their issues. That's exactly what this "#1 issue" rhetoric sounds like to me.
Anyway, that's what I was expecting from this and I wanted to talk it out. It just so happens that other people have similar opinions and came to talk about their issues with environmentalists and their orgs. So, in addition to how to take action on environmental justice in 2008, we talked about why those orgs need to be making organic foods and sustainable jobs and housing accessible. They can't just go into communities and try impose themselves on people... especially when the larger ones wont even consider acting on the issues those communities raise organically...
The environment is not going to be a priority for me until I know that people passionate about the issue are a part of a larger movement that's not about ranking.
After my run-in with the 2008 ballot issues, I decided to take a different turn. I attended a session entitled "Way beyond marriage: Queer Politics 101." The leaders, after seeing this void on the board, decided to inject RootsCamp with some sexual identity conversation.
Were were a good sized group but we were able to do intros and talk about what "queer" means to us. (More on that below)
I went there because I don't think a queer community exists in Denver. There aren't any spaces here for lgbt people to talk focus on community issues. I wanted to know if I was wrong. from what we talked about, the answer is no, despite there being groups on ProgressNowAction and Connexion. We've got to make some changes as a community if we're going to be considered part of the progressive movement...let's use the resources we have...
This past Saturday I arrived at RootsCamp just in time for the first session. I was tired of course (8am is not a progressive hour) but I was also really excited and hopeful. I was ready to meet people and learn about them, their efforts, and their successes.
The beginnings of my first three sessions were actually a little bit scary. They were largely centered on some of the ballot issues coming up in 2008. People asked questions and got deep into the community opinions that would even allow for some of the ballot issues we're going to see. It was really hard to hear people talk about the intense media saturation by the right wing with anti- labor, anti-affirmative action, and anti-reproductive rights messages that are surely to come. Individuals and organizations also criticized our current messaging tactics and asked about how to take action in the approaching chaos that is 2008
I ultimately learned a lot about the talking points that the progressive community is going to use next year. I loved seeing all the (people) resources in the progressive community, how we can work together, and energize eachother. It was just a little bit inspiring….
But that's what RootsCamp is about right?
Some relevant resources below…
The Democratic leadership's incredibly bad idea of allowing the GOP a fresh start and a clean, shiny new face is on the verge of coming to horrible, predictable fruition.
The folksy Huckster is smiling his way across the dial these days, getting 10 solid minutes of free campaign ad-time on the Today Show just this morning. This, on a day when the news should have been utterly consumed with stunning testimony of treason, deception, war profiteering, misallocation of funds, conspiracy, and war crimes.
"The Republican Party, as a unit, worked to decieve and defraud the American people," would-be-saying the Democratic Candidates, in various forms. "Billions of dollars from our national treasury have been routed through Iraq, and back to the corporate coffers of the war profiteers in Houston. Should they remain in power, there is no doubt that the GOP will continue on the path of fear-mongering against the American people, so as to continue looting our treasury."
On the Today Show this morning, the topic would not have been the Huckster's "Christian principles;" instead, the guests would have been the recently-testified Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, and the topic would have been whether impeachment was an adequate punishment for treason.
'In a sane world, with an actual opposition party,' right?
There was an editorial in the Denver Post recently that suggested that we "follow Wyoming's model" in some sort of policy issue affecting the people at large.
I thought: "My God, have you ever been to Wyoming?"
Except for the billionaires living on gated ranches, 99% of the population looks like they haven't been to a doctor or a dentist in decades.
Oh yeah: let's make THAT our model.
You're oil-rich, Wyoming. You've been robbed blind.
Grow a pair, stop listening to this conservative drivel that says you're better off with overlords, and take your birthright back!!!
Yet another really freakin' funny video from those folks supporting the striking screen writers.
I want them to agree to a contract soon so the writers get their deserved share of the new media profits.
But at the same time, the videos coming out in support of the writers are some of the best stuff I've seen online yet!
Speaking of presidental politics, I just came across this interview with Henry Hyde before he died... he actually admitted that in retrospect, he probably would not have gone as far as impeachment, and that a resolution was enough! Hind sight really is 20/20.
DOUGLASS: In retrospect looking back at what came out to the public, what is your
view of it now?
HYDE: In retrospect, a lot of things could have been done differently. Senator Feinstein put
together a resolution really condemning the President--it was far more, volatile, shall we say,
than our bill of impeachment. I oppose that, in retrospect I probably should not, I probably
should have let that pass and gone, because I knew we couldn't get the votes to remove him
from office. But we had to do the best we could do and we did. But retrospectively, that
resolution, I didn't think it was Constitutional--there's no provision in the Constitution for
Congress giving a report card on the Executive as such. We all do every election, but a lot of
things would be done differently. I would have insisted on the right of our counsel to take the
deposition of Ms. Lewinsky. But the senators wanted us to get out of town as quickly as we
could, and they wouldn't give us permission and they really ran the impeachment trial under
DOUGLASS: Why in retrospect would you now, if you had it to do over again, support
what was much more of a reprimand, but was not impeachment?
HYDE: Because it was doeable, and impeachment was not. Impeachment was--we knew we
couldn't win. We got, we did impeach, the House did vote to impeach, and so there will always
be an asterisk after President Clinton's name. And that is no small accomplishment. But all
things considered, in retrospect, perhaps the resolution would have been enough.
Populist Monarchs and Subjects
Submitted by Digby on December 2, 2007 - 6:38pm.
American right-wing populism is an interesting phenomenon that's coming to the fore once again in its usual nativist and racist form, but also as smooth misrepresentation of "tax reform"; clever, misleading public relations messaging about fair trade; and some fairly outlandish paranoia about conspiracies to erase the borders. Various permutations of these fairly common right-wing themes abound among conservative politicians and thinkers alike. But conservative populism is an oxymoron.
As Phil Agree wrote in this much discussed article about the definition of conservatism, "Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy ... [it] is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world."
Modern conservatism's most successful strategy was to merge public relations and politics into a seamless operation in which it could use modern marketing methods to convince people to vote against their own interests. In that sense, right-wing populism is just another marketing campaign for the aristocrats. And it's working:
Very extremely. I'm shuffling around like a zombie today, still miles from getting caught up with home stuff, but it was SO worth it!
My camera has gone a little wonky, but I liked a few of the pics I took. Like this one.
More soon...I hope!
Of the various competing "reforms" to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that are making their way around Washington, there's one that seems to effectively protect the civil liberties of Americans while disarming (most) Republican objections, as Rep Jerrod Nadler writes for the Huffington Post --
The RESTORE Act Does What is Needed to Protect America
The Conyers-Reyes bill restores and enhances the role of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in monitoring electronic surveillance programs, clarifies that monitoring communications among people in foreign countries does not require court approval, requires FISA warrants when targeting domestic communications, and strengthens protections against "inadvertent" warrantless surveillance of Americans ostensibly aimed at foreigners abroad. The bill also requires periodic audits of surveillance activities by the Justice Department's Inspector General. Additionally, the bill provides resources to the National Security Agency and the Justice Department for processing FISA applications and other submissions to the FISA court in a timely and efficient manner, and to comply with the audit, reporting and record-keeping requirements.
This business of immunity for telecommunications companies from prosecution has emerged as a real sticking point. The reason is simple: an airing of what they are alleged to have done in court would raise more questions than it would answer, at the highest levels (cue impeachment rabble--what do you want from me? Yes, it's bad).
Take it easy, only thirteen months to go. In the meantime, support this bill so that at some point, we have an opportunity to hold those telco execs complicit in whatever as-yet unknown scale of civil rights violations that may or may not have occured afer 9/11 accountable. That really doesn't seem like to much to ask for in exchange for all the foreign surveillance power they could possibly want.
And if I were, I don't know, Ken Salazar (I'm not, don't look nearly as good in a Stetson), I would probably find this bill worth considering. His D.C. office phone number is (202) 224-5852, so maybe you'll get a chance to tell him you agree in the next day or so.
See, these blogs are great. They're SUPER!
Trouble is, they tend to be a very one-way conversation. And the only person participating is the person writing that particular blog. Notice all the "no comments" on all our blogs. What is it, like, 99%?
Contrast that with this message board I post on frequently. Notice that their aren't 4 "featured blogs" on the page; without scrolling, there are a dozen topics. Without going to a different page, there are 75 different topics to choose from.
And, rather than hot, juicy topics steadily disappearing to the bottom of the page, the subjects that people are interested in and want to discuss get bumped back to the top. Yet every topic has a chance to be heard; all you have to do to get a subject at the top of the list is to produce a new post. There's little-to-no "moderating," either; it isn't necessary. If your comments are boneheaded, "the people" will let you know: no one responds, and they disappear.
We desperately need this type of board for Colorado liberal-centric topics of discussion. It's dynamic, it fosters community, facilitates real two-way debate, and builds coalitions. I'd highly recommend an exact replica of the SelectSmart board.
Here's the software: http://www.phorum.org/
Yes: you in the back with your hand raised?
Denver's local Fox 31 does a very good job of covering political issues, even progressive political issues.
Here's a video of Jason Rosenberg, the online director for the DNC Convention and our own Bobby Clark talking about the blogging presence at next years Convention and ProgressCon.
You know the drill:
If you haven't already, please call Senator Salazar and urge him to vote against the latest NAFTA agreement coming before the Senate for a vote tomorrow.
With your help, the House vote sounded a death knell for President Bush's expansion of NAFTA as the basis for future trade agreements. However, the Senate hasn't gotten the message. The vote was not supposed to occur so soon, yet now is expected tomorrow! The Senate needs to listen to what you helped a majority of House Democrats declare with their votes: We can't afford any more NAFTAs.
Please call Senator Salazar right now - before it is too late.
Funny, funny stuff, this!
Who is Ron Paul? Why do some progressives seem attracted to his presidential candidacy? I noticed a big Ron Paul sign at the last major anti war rally.
Is it just because his is an anti-war Republican with libertarian beliefs?
This is his position on immigration: He wants to end birth right citizenship.
Read TPM Election Central's Greg Sargent on a Ron Paul flyer distributed in South Carolina.
Dave Neiwert has written extensively on Ron Paul. For all of the media attention to Ron Paul's anti-war stance there is his nativist view on immigration, far right conspiracy theories of the New World Order and monetary systems, and his racism as repackaged libertarian idealism.
Ron "Tin foil hat" Paul is savy and understands the financial power of the netroots. But digging beneath the glitter and you will see a presidential candidate who is feverently anti-liberal and anti-progressive on labor, women, education, immigration, healthcare, worker safety, industrial and financial regulation, environmentalism, affirmative action, and welfare.
Kevin Phillips "American Theocracy" book is a must read because he gives a good economic background history to Paul Krugman's call of alarm to the financial nightmare that awaits us in 2008 in his NYT's column.
From the preface of Phillips' "American Theocracy":
From Paul Krugman's column:
As Duncan Black has noted over the last six months that there is a "Big Sh*tpile" which goes way beyond the bad-credit risk home owners. Stories from the financial sections of NYT, Washington Post are showing that land holding corporations are feeling the financial meltdown. Even the Denver Post is running a A1, above the fold, story on the financial crisis in yesterday and today's editions.
Eschation, Duncan Black's blog:
and this from before Thanksgiving:
What is not being reported by the local media is that recently there was a meeting of OPEC that had Venezula and Iran, over the objections of the Saudis, to begin dialogue on redenominating oil away from the dollar into the euro. Both countries argue that the dollar's weakness is not increasing the wealth of OPEC but actually helping industrialized nations. In real economic power the petrodollar is at the same level as 1990. So OPEC is really losing money because of the weakness of the dollar.
With the Bush administration's slow and ineffective response to the current crisis there is an erosion of trust in the dollar. If appearence is just as important as financial data then what Bush is not doing by believing, like a true partisan, in the "free market" has grave long term consequences for the future of the dollar as the standard by which all trade is based upon.
The trillions of dollars that international bankers hold will be forced to find a currency standard that is stable and "trustworthy".
This financial crisis that is facing the USA is not a end of the year, next year or eighteen month crisis, but much worse than the Asian crisis because this is a crisis that began in the housing market in the US but because of the way debt tools have been created is now global. North Rock and other major European financial institutions like Deustchbanke have exposure in the US crisis because of the way debt leverage instruments have been created to fuel the US housing boom.
The shakeout has just begun. I would ask myself: How safe is my retirement funds like 401k's, pension plans by employers, etc.
Hello! My name is Asher Heimermann of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I enjoy politics and government. I'm fighting for Honest Government, Youth Rights, Education for All, and World Peace.
Please feel free to visit my website at http://www.ASHERHEIMERMANN.com to learn more about myself and my youth activism campaign.
Lupe Ortega slumps against a wall, closing her her eyes to catch a moment's rest. The machine shop where she works, manufacturing tent zippers, is hot and stuffy, smelling of industrial plastics. She has been on her feet for close to ten hours, and she is seven months pregant.
She's been to the local clinic near downtown Denver three times since she became pregnant, but each visit is an entire day's work -- waiting to be seen -- and therefor costs an entire day's wages. Though her husband also works 60+ hours a week, they have no insurance, and with another child on the way, they'll need every penny just to make ends meet.
"I think it will be okay," she says, one hand resting on her swollen belly. Her eyes don't look certain at all.
Prenatal care is a vital and basic component of comprehensive reproductive health care, and yet immigrant women are less likely to utilize these services than nonimmigrant women. According to the National Latina Institute For Reproductive Health, this dynamic stems largely from financial disparities that impact access to healthcare. Further complicating this issue is the fact that most anti-immigrant politicos support immigration reform agendas that would deny access to public health benefits for immigrants.
For more information, see:
Light Rail and commuter rail maintenance facilities do not share, according to RTD.
If I didn't find it so disappointing I'd find it amusing that CNN and the Republican candidates think that American voters are so squeamish about either the subject or the possibility that a question came from a (gasp!) democrat or Clinton supporter that they edited it out of the now available debate footage.
See Media Matters
CNN clearly is not concerned that GLBT soldiers or voters will find out that their GLBT orientation is an issue. Likewise, but sadly, they also are not concerned that this is a legitimate question for the potential commander in chief.
As a veteran (retired USAF officer, and a combat vet) I can say I neither cared nor knew about the sexual orientation of others at my base or in my units. And I cant imagine how or why I'd care if I did.
Santa: I'm at the grate at 15th and Curtis!
Almost 60 percent of the homeless are families with children. The Rocky Mountain News reported recently that in Jefferson County alone over 1185 people are homeless. Applying the statewide percentage, more than 500 kids in Jefferson county are homeless.
I tracked down Jack Cratchit, Mrs. Cratchit and their son Tiny Tim at 15th and Curtis in Denver. Tiny Tim told Santa that he would like a job for his dad, a house for his mom, and a few lumps of coal to get them through the winter. He also added, "And God bless us everyone."
The use of the weighted index in high stakes testing makes no sense. Unfortunately many educators do not understand the fundamentals of weighted index and why some plans to address weighted index issues are not beneficial to our children.
As a candidate for the state school board for the second congressional district, in the event that Evie Hudak wins her race for the senate, I will bring a fresh perspective to the testing debate and a strong progressive voice to the state school board.
I would appreciate your support in the event that a replacement for Evie becomes necessary.
Compulsive Gamblers have no civil rights in our society.
In fact, they are "invisible" to most Californians based on everyones denial. If I don't recofnize the problem - I don't have to do anything to fix it.
Did you know that even though the state of California brings in billions of dollars in gambling profits that they do not provide any Counseling for Compulsive Gamblers in this state?
Where you aware that for every Compulsive Gambler in this state it costs each California Tax Payer in excess of $20,000.00 each year in direct and indirect social and economic costs.
Well, there's bankruptcy which raises the costs of goods and services for all of us.
Then there's criminal justice costs, starting with law enforcement, probation, judicial, corrections and restitution. What about when a desperate compulsive gamblers steals goods or money, does not the business pass on that loss to the public?
What about the senior compulsive gambler who gambles away their only source of fixed income in the first week of the month? Who pays their rent and who buys their food for the rest of the month? We all do.
This is just the tip of the perverbial iceberg.
If you have any ideas - please post them. I don't want to be like the Governor and be part of the problem, I want us to be part of the solution.
You have all taken an oath to "protect and defend" the Constitution of the United States of America. It is quite obvious to everyone outside of Washington DC that laws both domestic and international have been violated and the constitutional restraints of the Executive branch have been disregarded in blatant overreach of power, most especially from the office of the Vice-President. To ignore the evidence is to violate your own oath to protect and defend the Constitution.
Our Republic teeters on the brink of destruction. Much blame can be laid at the feet of the Bush Administration; but the failure of the Democratic majority to deal with high crimes and misdemeanors as an impeachable offense is unacceptable and constitutes collusion on the part of the Democratic leadership.
Is Representative Kucinich the only Democrat with the cajones to confront the essential criminality of the Bush Administration?
I hope and pray that the word of Chairman Conyers is good and the Judiciary Committee will begin investigations toward the impeachment of Vice-President Cheney.
Barack Obama has pulled ahead in the race for Iowa's Democratic presidential caucuses, while the party's national frontrunner Hillary Clinton has slipped to second in the leadoff nominating state, according to The Des Moines Register's new Iowa Poll.
He's leading with women, youth voters and first-time caucusgoers.
In the new poll, Obama leads with support from 31 percent of women likely attend the caucuses, compared to 26 percent for Clinton. In October, Clinton was the preferred candidate of 34 percent of women caucusgoers, compared to 21 percent for Obama.
Keep the good news going!
To join the movement, head over to Colorado for Barack Obama and find an event near you. The campaign is hosting voter registration drives, caucus trainings, debate watching parties and other exciting events throughout the state
From the Southern Illinoisan
The Illinois chapter of the country's major government-employees union broke with its national organization Saturday to endorse Barack Obama for president...
The session board from Rocky Mountain RootsCamp, 12/1/07.
The whole staff is down here at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Capitol Hill, getting together with hundreds of our friends and discussing the issues that will matter most to Colorado in 2008. We'll get some more blogs up on specific sessions as the day goes on, and we'll be hosting a training session on ProgressNow tools later this afternoon.
Nice to meet you all!