January 2008 Archives
What an amazing site to see the two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination on stage together, and neither of them is a white man. Speaking as a white man, it's about freakin time. It's well past time that our top leaders, in all sectors both public and private, were more reflective of the people who make up this country.
M. Collins: The Money Party (4)
Money Party to Citizens: Drop Dead!
Tens of millions are just a lost job away from homelessness.
Mission accomplished for The Money Party. (Nathan Rein CC)
"The FBI is investigating every level of the conspiracy that it believes perpetuated the housing boom..." TimesOnline Jan. 31, 2007
"Scoop" Independent News
Now they've done it. The Money Party road show just hit a speed bump at 90 mph and that speed bump was us. There are no more "booms" to hype. No more schemes to hook investors into the stock market. The high tech boom is dead and biotech turned into road kill thanks to a president who talks to God and believes that evolution is just "a theory."
All they had left was the housing bubble. Ram home prices up by flooding the market with buyers. Get them in that home anyway you can. The finance guys will figure it out. We saw "interest only" mortgages to sell people more home than they could afford. And the highly "recommended" adjustable rate mortgages that mature in record time plus other schemes were there to qualify those who should have bought less for more than they'd ever hoped.
New York, NY -- United for Peace and Justice, the country's largest anti-war coalition with over 1400 member groups, condemns President Bush's continued arrogant and unconstitutional use of signing statements.
The U.S. Constitution requires that the president "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."
"The rule of law established by the Constitution has been undermind in an almost unnoticed revolution," said Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator of United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ).
"The Constitution allows the president to veto bills or sign and enforce them, not to rewrite them or to disobey them.
The same document that gives the Congress the power to make every law, gives it the sole power to raise and spend money, and the sole power to declare war.
The people's representatives in Congress are losing all of these powers through their failure to act on the remedy provided for precisely this situation: impeachment."
See rest of the article HERE
UFPJ is urging its members to speak with the media about this matter and to contact the House Judiciary Committee to request that it begin impeachment hearings immediately.
You can email the entire House Judiciary Committee with just one email message using this LINK AND See this link for a list of telephone numbers, Washington Toll Free and local numbers, email addresses, and fax numbers for the House Judiciary Committee and our Colorado Congresmen/women.
John H Kennedy, Organizer
IMPEACH COLORADO COALITION-ImpeachCO.com
Google "Colorado impeach"
Help make Impeachment Hearings a reality,
CALL Congress Now.
Check for $33,000,000,000 delivered to President Bush and "Big Oil Bob" Schaffer
Denver: ProgressNowAction delivered an oversized check for $33,000,000,000 (33 billion) from Big Oil made payable to Bob Schaffer at the home in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado where President Bush is due to arrive later today for an exclusive fundraiser.
"George Bush and Bob Schaffer are for a government of Big Oil, by Big Oil, for Big Oil," stated Michael Huttner, Executive Director of ProgressNowAction at the press conference today. "Big Oil's check for 33 billion dollars to Bob Schaffer represents the amount of tax breaks for big oil that Schaffer voted for while in Congress."
As a Congressman, Schaffer voted for over $33 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil (HR 4, vote 320, 8/2/2001)
"Thanks to George Bush and Bob Schaffer we've had skyrocketing gas prices and record profits for oil companies," stated Huttner. The people of Colorado have had enough of lawmakers, like Schaffer, who are in the backpocket of the oil industry."
Schaffer has already taken over $80,000 dollars from the oil industry for his campaign. Thousands more in donations are expected when his latest numbers come out as early as today.
# # #
Below are the comments made at the Press Conference in protest of President Bush's fundraiser for Bob Schaffer to be held later today:
Thank you for joining us here today. My name is Michael Huttner and I'm the Executive Director of ProgressNowAction, with 365,000 online members we are the state's largest online progressive organization.
A former Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, in his address at Gettysburg, concluded:
And how things have changed...
President Bush will soon arrive across the street for an exclusive $5,000 couple fundraiser for Bob Schaffer who is referred to in this morning's Rocky Mountain News as "Big Oil Bob"
Why is Schaffer earning this nickname?
Just a few facts:
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the oil and gas industry was the #1 contributor to 2000 each of Schaffer's re-election campaigns for Congress.
This is Bob Schaffer who has taken over $80,000 in campaign donation from big oil. (OpenSecrets.org)
Each of you should be able to access Schaffer's latest donation disclosure reports that need to be filed tonight.
I bet there will be thousands of dollars in additional donation from the Big Oil.
After Schaffer left Congress, he went straight through the revolving door to Big Oil where I working for oil and gas firm.
Schaffer took over $156,000 as a lobbyist for the Big Oil in 2003. (AP, 6/15/2004)
And according to Schaffer's Personal Financial Disclosures, Schaffer has been paid over $900,000 as an executive for Big Oil (Schaffer Personal Financial Disclosures)
And perhaps most troubling in that as a Congressman Schaffer voted for over $33 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil (HR 4, vote 320, 8/2/2001)
That is why today we will deliver this check for $33,000,000,000 made out to Bob Schaffer from Big Oil to thank him for his help. [reveal the check]
Thanks to George Bush and Big Oil Bob Schaffer we've had skyrocketing gas prices and record profits for oil companies
It is no surprise that just last week Schaffer was named one of the most "dirty dozen" lawmakers in the country for his abysmal record on environment by the League of Conservation Voters.
In order to continue to hold Schaffer accountable we have launched a new website, www.bigoilbob.com, which will serve as a clearinghouse of information for the public on Bob Schaffer and his ties to big oil. We also launched video that is on the site as well as YouTube called Big Oil Bob that highlights these facts.
In conclusion, Abraham Lincoln would turn in his grave if he knew what became of his party. That George Bush and Bob Schaffer are for a government of Big Oil, by Big Oil, for Big Oil.
There has been much criticism of the 9/11 Commission and rightly so. But to those of us who has followed the convoluted path to its creation we know that the Mr. Bush did not even want a bipartisan commission at all to investigate the tragedy.
We know that Mr. Bush and his administration stonewalled for months on end and the the Republican controlled Congress only alloted a paltry 4 million dollars for the Commission. We have followed the unceasing efforts of the 4 New Jersey widows who were the prime movers in the creation of the commission.
Now we know that there was a viper in the midst of the Commission: the commission's executive director Philip Zelikow.
A new book The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation.
The author Philip Shenon writes:
I am reminded of the fact that a young Fred Thompson served on the impeachment inquiry of Richard Nixon by the House. Fred Thompson was a mole for Mr. Nixon in the investigation. So Mr. Zelikow now served the same function in the 9/11 commission.
It is time for a citizens inquiry into 9/11 with full transparency.
(a big thanks to Talkingpointsmemo.com)
Daily News Digest for 01/31/2008
NOTE: some news sites require free registration in order to read their stories. Follow these and other news stories at http://www.progressnowcolorado.org.
Today's Digest Archive: http://media.progressnowcolorado.org/clips/2008/01/31/
Soldier Suicides at Record Level - washingtonpost.com
Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside, a psychiatric outpatient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who was waiting for the Army to decide whether to court-martial her for endangering another soldier and turning a gun on herself last year in Iraq, attempted to kill herself Monday evening. In so doing, the 25-year-old Army reservist joined a record number of soldiers who have committed or tried to commit suicide after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. "I'm very disappointed with the Army," Whiteside wrote in a note before swallowing dozens of antidepressants and other pills. "Hopefully this will help other soldiers." She was taken to the emergency room early Tuesday. Whiteside, who is now in stable physical condition, learned yesterday that the charges against her had been dismissed. Whiteside's personal tragedy is part of an alarming phenomenon in the Army's ranks: Suicides among active-duty soldiers in 2007 reached their highest level since the Army began keeping such records in 1980, according to a draft internal study obtained by The Washington Post. Last year, 121 soldiers took their own lives, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006. Tags: www.washingtonpost.com
U.S. forces drawdown hinges on July review - USATODAY.com
Gen. David Petraeus isn't ready to commit to additional force reductions until after the 30,000 extra troops added last year leave this summer, U.S. military officials say. Instead, Petraeus will tell Congress and the White House in April what he thinks the overall security situation in Iraq will look like, said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a military spokesman in Iraq. Then, Smith said, Petraeus will have to "confirm that assessment" after the initial cuts in U.S. troops are completed in July. President Bush has said he could accept a recommendation from Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, that did not include a continuation of the drawdown after July. "My attitude is, if he didn't want to continue the drawdown, that's fine with me," Bush said recently. Bush ordered a new counterinsurgency strategy for Iraq a year ago, combined with the increase of 30,000 extra servicemembers. When the last of those troops leave in July, there will be about 130,000 U.S. servicemembers left in Iraq. Tags: www.usatoday.com
Democrats decry Mukasey's silence on waterboarding - Los Angeles Times
Senate Democrats assailed Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey on Wednesday for refusing to offer an opinion on the legality of waterboarding, an interrogation method that many consider a form of illegal torture. In often sharp exchanges, the lawmakers accused Mukasey of trying to protect the Bush administration, with one comparing him to a corporate lawyer trying to cover up the misdeeds of his client. Another accused him of playing word games and engaging in the sort of political double-talk that he said he would seek to avoid as attorney general. "I would say, Mr. Attorney General, on the subject of waterboarding, that some of your words have melted into the abstract," said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), paraphrasing a critique of political speech by George Orwell, one of Mukasey's favorite writers. Tags: www.latimes.com
Canada May End Afghan Mission, Bush Told -- chicagotribune.com
Prime Minister Stephen Harper told President Bush on Wednesday that Canada will end its military mission in Afghanistan if another NATO country does not put more soldiers in the dangerous south, officials said. Harper's Conservative government is under pressure to withdraw its 2,500 troops from Kandahar province, the former Taliban stronghold, after the deaths of 78 Canadian soldiers and a diplomat. The mission is set to expire in 2009 without an extension by Canadian lawmakers. The refusal of some major European allies to send significant number of troops to the southern front lines has opened a rift within NATO. Troops from Canada, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States have borne the brunt of a resurgence of Taliban violence in the region, with support from Denmark, Romania, Estonia and non-NATO nation Australia. Tags: www.chicagotribune.com
ProgressNow in the news: Bush in Denver for fundraiser : Elections : The Rocky Mountain News
The guest list to the Schaffer event is private, but the donors will be revealed when he files his next campaign finance report. The Pauls have contributed $139,000 to GOP candidates and causes since 1993, according to opensecrets.org, which calls itself a guide to money in U.S. elections. In 1998, Bill Pauls gave $25,000 to the Republican National Committee to use in state elections. Paul and his wife have also raised money for Schaffer, a former congressman, and Schaffer's successor, U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Fort Morgan. ProgressNow in Denver has organized a news conference protesting Bush's visit. The news conference will be at 11 a.m. today at the northwest corner of East Hampden Avenue and University Boulevard. ProgressNow also launched a Web site, BigOilBob.com, that lists Schaffer's contributions from energy companies and tax breaks the group says he supported. As a narrator speaks, a picture of a gas pump with increasing prices is shown. Tags: www.rockymountainnews.com
5 Carson soldiers killed in Iraq : Local News : The Rocky Mountain News
Five soldiers killed Monday in an attack on a military convoy in Mosul, Iraq, were identified Wednesday as being from Fort Carson. According to news reports from the scene, the GIs were part of a joint patrol of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers that was attacked about 12:40 p.m. in the Somer neighborhood of southeastern Mosul. Maj. Gary Dangerfield, a U.S. military spokesman in Mosul, told Iraq-based media this week that Sunni insurgents began firing at the convoy from a nearby mosque. The soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near them. As black smoke rose from a damaged vehicle, a fierce gunbattle ensued. American soldiers cordoned off the neighborhood and helicopters circled overhead, according to witnesses. The U.S. military said that by the time Iraqi soldiers searched the mosque, the gunmen had fled. The five soldiers killed in the attack were from B Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Their deaths bring to 233 the number of Fort Carson soldiers killed in Iraq. Of those, 28 were members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Tags: www.rockymountainnews.com
Bruce Benson named sole finalist for CU president : CU News : Boulder Daily Camera
Oil and gas executive Bruce Benson, former chairman of the state's Republican party, is the sole finalist for the University of Colorado president's post. The Board of Regents decided Wednesday night after meeting with a 17-member search panel charged with casting a nationwide net for candidates and recommending up to three of them to the regents. The regents met behind closed doors with the search committee for about three hours, then convened in an executive session as a board. Dissent over the choice surfaced immediately as two regents rejected Benson as "too partisan" for the job. Tags: dailycamera.com
The Denver Post - Judge weighs fate of video of U.S. agents' statements
Lawyer David Lane asserts Secret Service agents have "covered up facts" in the arrest of his client, a man who told Vice President Dick Cheney he disagreed with the Iraq war. On Wednesday, Lane fought a motion in U.S. District Court to keep videotapes showing depositions of the agents and witnesses confidential. Steven Howards of Golden is suing the agents for arresting him after he approached Cheney at a Beaver Creek mall in 2006 and told him that his policies in Iraq were "disgusting." A criminal charge of harassment filed against Howards was dismissed by prosecutors in Eagle County. Transcripts of depositions show witnesses disagreed on the encounter and whether there was an assault. Attorneys for the agents and the Office of the Vice President said they did not want videotaped depositions to end up on YouTube or in an inappropriate setting. U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer agreed that he did not like cases to be tried in the press but wondered why the videos should be confidential when transcripts are available. Shaffer ruled videotapes with testimony from a White House photographer and Cheney's aide could be released, but Lane must give 10 days' notice to the Office of the Vice President so that it has enough time to contest the release of certain tapes. Tags: www.denverpost.com
This morning the Washington Post (and several other repeating news outlets) has shocked me into fully awakened disgust. Yet another report is out on the dismal treatment of soldiers by the current mis-administration.
I'm struck by this piece because it notes deplorable changes in a measurement that started in 1980; that's the year I enlisted. I retired in 2006, and it is becoming an almost daily event to see how badly my former comrades-in-arms are being abused.
Today the issue is suicide. The thought of rising numbers of soldiers taking their own lives after serving in combat because of poor and inadequate medical treatment at home is devastating. A "1-800" line for redeployed soldiers to seek psychological counseling...pathetic.
The knot in my gut is yet more proof the America needs a change. The legacy of the current occupant of the White House must be in the form of an eraser. What he has wrought on the US military by conducting a needless war "on the cheap" cannot continue past November.
The next Democratic President-Elect must lay a clear roadmap for erasing the coWH's endless war and un-ending occupation of Iraq. The remaining GOP Presidential caandidates are delusional in making any comment that says otherwise. Any Congressional candidate hinting at continuing the coWH's policies must be defeated.
Read the full story in the extended text. Then get on-board with any and every Democratic candidate that you can support.
Tens of thousands of protestors are expected to descend on Colorado's capitol today* in a showdown over healthcare.
The rally, which begins at noon on the west steps, is in support of universal, single-payer healthcare, the proposal that would save Colorado residents $1.4 billion every year, yet cover everybody.
"If we don't pass this common-sense legislation," said Governor Bill Riter, "forget being re-elected; we'll need the National Guard just to get out of this building." **
The legislation, which would take the billions being spent on CEO salaries, insurance overhead, "profit taking," and Viagra commercials, and instead shovel the money into doctors and nurses and hospitals, is up for review in the legislature tomorrow.
* These figures are based upon every decent, moral, intelligent citizen in Colorado showing up tomorrow. If your job interferes, QUIT YOUR JOB.
** This is a dramatization of what Ritter should be thinking at this moment.
Go to http://www.healthcareforallcolorado.org more info.
I attended the Democratic Presidential Candidates Forum at the First Universalist Church at Hampden and Colorado on Sunday Jan 27. The forum used surrogates to speak for the candidates. Was a rather interesting afternoon. State Senator Gordon moderated the meeting. At the start and end of the meeting he asked for a straw presidential poll of those attending.
This is the result of two polls Gordon took.
3:00 pm poll results/ 4:45 pm poll results
Clinton 4/ Clinton 2
Edwards 7/ Edwards 7
Gravel 2/ Gravel 1
Obama 11/ Obama 11
Uncommitted 22/ Uncommitted 16
(Uncommitted were nearly all Kucinich supporters)
Totals: 46/ Totals: 31
Uncommitted: 45%/Kucinich/Uncommitted: 53%
Very interesting, eh?
PS.. you may be interested also in these recent articles:
You can tell the Entire House Judiciary Committee to Hold Impeach Hearings with just one email message at http://ImpeachCo.com
Nothing that will be said in the presidential debates is as important as what Kucinich & Wexler are saying about holding Cheney & Bush to account by Impeachment Hearings
John H Kennedy, Organizer
IMPEACH COLORADO COALITION-ImpeachCO.com
The photo was from the Denver Post's coverage of the Obama rally. Someone from our building just returned from the rally and said that one person told her that as many as 20,000 people may have shown up. The 9,000-seat arena was packed, an overflow auditorium was filled, and a huge crowd was standing outside in a field. Click here for the Denver Post coverage. And click here for the 9News coverage.
Here's a clip from their bio on Schaffer:
Bob Schaffer is a career politician turned oil executive. His anti-environmental record in Congress and his misplaced loyalties are clear. He has accepted more than $75,000 in donations from the oil and gas industry and was a major supporter of the Bush-Cheney energy plan, which doled out $33 billion in tax breaks for the energy industry. He has consistently voted against incentives for developing alternative fuel vehicles and has fought increased fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. He also has voted against increasing funding for energy efficiency and conservation programs.
President Bush is coming to town tomorrow to raise money for Bob Schaffer. We thought this coming together of Big Oil Buddies deserved a video of it's own.
We've also provided a form on BigOilBob.com where you can say what you think about Bush, Bob, and their cozy relationship with Big Oil.
We'll deliver your comments to the media with at a press conference to protest Bush's visit. The press conference will be at 11:00 am at the northwest corner of Hampden and University in Denver.
Don't forget to check out BigOilBob.com for more info.
Not that I'm surprised, but the Gazette butchered the hell out of my quote in their editorial today.
As many of you may know, we recently went after John Caldara (of the Independence Institute) after he said in an interview with Anne Coulter that Hillary Clinton had been "bitch-slapped" in the debate in South Carolina. We called on the advertisers on his radio program to pull their ads because Caldara refused to apologize for using a term so offensive to women in reference to Hillary.
Michele Swenson and the folks at Healthcare for All Colorado just put out a release with more details about the healthcare rally at the Capitol tomorrow (the 31st). See extended post for the press release.
A verbatim pickup of an Associated Press article by the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News today
on this page seems to belittle those Americans who are striving to get at the truth about the Cheney-Bush Lies that has caused the deaths of 3,940 American soldiers and the maiming of perhaps 50,000 others. The Associated Press curiously seems to continually disparage those activists who simply want to get Congress to hold Impeachment Hearings in order to clear the air and get at the truth of the WMD, aluminum tubes, uranium in Niger and other Cheney-Bush reasons to invade Iraq.
John H Kennedy, Organizer
IMPEACH COLORADO COALITION-http://ImpeachCO.com
SORRY: when I posted this earlier I forgot to link it to the articles in question. And you might want to see this related VT newspaper article for background information. BRATTLEBORO. VT: Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.
John Edwards is heading to New Orleans to announce today that he's dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination. It's probably not likely that he'll endorse anyone today.
On the other side, Rudy is also dropping out today. And he will endorse John McCain.
In the Denver Business Journal,
A bill that would give Colorado's Attorney General the authority to stop hospitals from reducing or eliminating medical services is scheduled to be reviewed by the House Health and Human Services Committee...
Of course it's not as simple as "business decision" when it comes to access healthcare. It's much more important than that, which is why there's a law in Colorado giving the Attorney General power to regulate the sale of healthcare facilities. And as the Journal continues, there's precedent being addressed in this bill:
The legislation appears to be targeting the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth's efforts to gain sole sponsorship of Exempla Healthcare.
Simple enough solution, HB08-1023 brings such questions into his jurisdiction. I'm pleased to tell you that thanks in part to the hundreds of people who have already written key state legislators in support of HB08-1023, it PASSED House Health and Human Services committee and is on its way to the full House floor.
If you haven't already, click here to write yout state legislator and Senator instantly, tell them to SUPPORT this important bill. Thanks!
This is one of those days when I could, just barely, become a single-issue demagogue on PNA (but, one is already more than enough). Both the morning NPR news and the Denver Post coverage of medical controversies for soldiers and veterans are absolutely infuriating and indefensible.
The Colorado newspapers have done a good job of recounting cases of wounded warriors from Fort Carson being unconscientously deployed to Iraq. The Denver Posy coverage today is another valubale expose.
Add to that this morning's NPR story of an anonymous DoD "Tiger Team" coercing VA officials at Fort Drum, NY to NOT help soldiers get their just due medical benefits, and the road to yet another deeply embarassing sacndal is becoming clear. The current mis-adminstration is obsessed with padding the bank accounts of GOP donors, and completely comfortable with doing it to the detriment of dead and maimed soldiers.
The Denver Post:
If you don't live under a rock, you probably know by now that Ted, Patrick, and Caroline Kennedy appeared at a rally yesterday at which Senator Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama. Most of the reaction has been about the potential positive impact on the Obama campaign.
But one group apparently sees it differently. The National Organization for Women in New York sees it as a "betrayal of women". (Read the full text in the extended post.)
Seriously? The press release lists several organizations and men who, according to NOW-NYS, are anti-women apparently for no other reason than they aren't actively supporting Hillary Clinton.
This kind of divisiveness, thankfully, seems to be the exception rather than the rule in this campaign cycle. And hopefully the national NOW will rebuke this ridiculous press release and clarify that it is perfectly appropriate for Democrats to support whomever they choose in the primaries without fear of being attacked and labeled. If you don't suppport Hillary, it doesn't mean you are anti-women. And if you don't support Barack Obama, it doesn't mean you are anti-black.
He seems to love talking about how history will judge him. He knows good and well he'll be remembered as a disaster.
He'll be remembered for being asleep at the wheel on 9/11, ignoring the dire warnings and choosing to vacation instead.
He'll be remembered for squandering the backing of virtually the whole world, and stoking the flames of terrorism that will haunt the world for generations.
He'll be remembered for a repugnant indifference to the loss of life and suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina.
He'll be remembered for rolling back the clock on environmental protection and intentionally stifling attempts to address global warming.
He'll be remembered for giving the order that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of humans, and destabilized the economies and security of nations for decades.
He'll be remembered for a complete failure in leadership at a time when America's need was at historic proportions, opting instead to keep Americans paralyzed with fear and constant vague threats.
But it bugs me to no end that in January 2009, George W. Bush will walk out of the White House with his disgusting legacy, but the ringleaders of the Republican Party, who skillfully used him as their mouthpiece, will remain intact and ever more diabolical pulling strings from behind the curtain.
This is my first caucus and I can't wait. While I will be actively participating a week from tomorrow night, I couldn't help but share some of my foresight for what I think Colorado voters will do Feb 5.
5 Reasons Why Obama beats Hillary:
1. Young educated voters. This crowd has been attracted to Obama throughout his campaign and they have voted for him in the preciding caucus', specifically the college-aged voters in Iowa. There are also many young educated voters in this state eager to particpate.
2. The caucus format: Which requires voters to attend meetings to express support for their candidate, plays to the Obama campaign's strength in grass-roots organizing that it honed in the Iowa caucuses. And the momentum from the South Carolina victory will matter. People love to vote for a winner.
3. Obama's been campaigning heavily in Colorado, for quite some time. He is coming to Colorado on January 30 for a rally, while Bill Clinton will be in Denver the same day for Hillary - at a fundraising event. This will create a lot of postive press for Obama, and will matter to Colo. Democratic voters'. Moreoever, Obama has just opened 5 more offices in rural areas - which brings his office total in Colorado to 12. Hillary has just one office in Denver
4. The endorsement battle: Both have prominent Colorado Democratic backers. With Obama having the support of Former Denver Mayor Pena and Former Senator Gary Hart. While Clinton has the backing of Former Denver Mayor Webb and Congresswoman DeGette. This is a virual tie. Thus nullavoiding the issue. This is good for Obama, because voters will be concerned with other things.
5. The Latino Vote: This is the wild card for Obama. Hillary will win the majority of votes from the Latio population, but if Obama can get at least 30% in Colorado, which is a possibility, that will push him past Hillary Tuesday night. This is where some endorsements may matter - such as Pena and Ted Kennedy's recent endorsement. For an interesting perspective check here.
5 Reasons Why Romney Beats McCain:
1. The Economy - The new #1 issue and Republicans will go with Romeny's business experience, much like they did in Michigan. McCain's late push for cuts on coporate taxes may help him, however Romney wins out on this issue, even in the mind of indpendents.
2. Immigration - Next to the economy, this is the most important issue for Colorado Republicans, and Colorado voters in general. McCain's failed legislation which has been painted as amnesty by his rivals helps Republican voters side with Romney's "responsible" immigration.
3. Colorado Endorsements for Romeny matter: Romeny's prominent Repub backers include Senator Wayne Allard and Former Gov Bill Owens. Colo Pub's love these two guys and they value their input. Also Colo State Senator Josh Penry supports Mitt. Penry is an up and coming State legislator and future star for the Republican party. He is respected throughout Western Colorado and has gained more notoriety on the Front Range since being elected to the State Leg.
4. Being Mormon won't hinder or help Romney...too much: There is a large Mormon population in Western Colorado that will vote for Romney, and some Colo Springs evangelicals may back Huckabee, but right now, it's all about the economy and immigration.
5. 2000 Salt Lake Winter Olympics: Romeny's was a big player in getting the Olympics in Utah and was a bigger player when the Olympics were going on. This brought huge profits to Utah and regional business' - this will be seen as a positive in the eyes of voters.
This is my subtle attempt of policital punditry. Whether or not my insight proves true, come Tuesday night, I'll be apart of the process, and that's what really counts.
George Bush has just begun his LAST State of the Union Address. I'm feeling pretty good about that.
You reach a certain point arguing with righties and you inevitably get the "you guys do it too" rejoinder. Usually to prove the point they treat you to a lurid tour of all the other places they've found things to offend you. They enjoy it, like that annoying kid in high school who had no idea just how annoying he truly, deeply was. I digress.
From lefty comedian/Senate candidates we love to Westword, yes, we've been treated to dozens of clever usages of the phrase "bitch slap" since we called for Jon Caldara to apologize for using it in reference to a female presidential candidate last week. Especially some guy named Adam Cayton-Holland at Westword. He loves to say "bitch slap," and you can get the number to a real live prostitute from Westword's Back Page, did you know that? Okay.
Couple of points of clarification.
1. Apparently, if you use the "search blog" function (lower right of this page) and key in "bitch slap" you'll find one member post (out of around 9,000 such member posts) using the term in reference to Gen. David Petraeus. Of course this member isn't an employee of ProgressNow, and I've been very reluctant to delete...well, just about anything on our blog: with the exception of stuff that isn't allowed here (vote for so-and-so, etc.), and there was one other incident where some deletion was necessary that coincidentally also involved employees of the Independence Institute. I digress. Blaming us as an organization for this one member's post (you can make one too, click on "Write a Post" on the menu above) is kind of silly. But if that's the standard we're supposed to apply, cool, our friends at Colorado Media Matters will be awfully busy calling out the Rocky for their foul-mouthed reactionary nutjob commenters.
I have a pretty foul mouth too, okay? Let's br perfectly frank. Plenty of us do. I suppose if there's a difference between myself and Jon Caldara, it's that I generally hope nobody is listening when I'm at my foul-mouth worst. And then there's the important question of application, which leads us to
2. None of the references I read -- and I looked at dozens of "bitch slaps" gleefully cited "gotcha!" style by Jon Caldara's employee -- were directed at a woman. I've seen this point made meekly in our defense in a couple of places, like they're not really sure if that matters or not. On what planet does that not matter?
Of course it matters, kind of like other such coarse language is sometimes used permissibly between those targeted by it, or in benign contexts. Considering the history of coarse (my lady friends say "misogynist") talk from this guy over the years, I'd say it matters even more. Words have meaning according to their context--that's the part our rightie blowhard friends are dancing around while they make offensive asses of themselves eagerly Googling up the words "bitch slap" in defense of Jon Caldara.
I'll end by saying that our intention as an organization is never to violate other people's constitutional rights. It's a red herring--everyone has a right to say anything they want, even Caldara's buddy "Gunny" Bob when he called for GPS ankle bracelets for Muslims in the United States. I don't think Caldara should be fired for what he said. They have a right to say it, and we have a right to say that what they say is not only ridiculous, it's offensive and businesses who subsidize it should be cognizant of what they're paying for. Then, like you Republicans are fond of saying, let the marketplace decide. Seems pretty reasonable, doesn't it?
From universities to churches across Colorado and the nation, individuals are gearing up for a week of education and action on Global Warming.
On Wednesday January 30th at 8pm est an hour long, live, interactive webcast called the 2% Solution will be screened online. The program, featuring actor Edward Norton, Stanford University climate scientist, Stephen Schneider, sustainability expert Hunter Lovins and green jobs pioneer Van Jones and youth climate leaders, will include a discussion of global warming solutions. The 2% Solution comes from the notion -
that to hold global warming to the low end of 3-4 degrees F will require cuts in global warming pollution in developed countries by more than 80% below current levels by 2050. Put another way, we need to cut roughly 2% of current emission levels a year for the next forty years. The webcast will revolve around the question: can we as a nation get on to this path, and cut global warming pollution 2% a year for the next decade? If so, what would it take?Then on Thursday January 31st Focus the Nation will conduct a national teach-in on climate change issues. For events across Colorado - go here. The teach-in will engage millions of students and citizens with political leaders and decision makers about Global Warming Solutions.
Not sure about this report from the Denver Post's Capitol Insider:
Lawmakers crafting the specifics of how Colorado's elections will look this year are considering pushing back a requirement that counties report their results by precinct.
I understand that things are really chaotic this year electionswise AND that responsible leaders like Gordon are finally getting together a workable plan--but precinct counts would help those who pore over the detailed results have more confidence in them.
Is that increased transparency worth the delays in an already shaky system precinct reporting could cause? You have the mic.
Take a moment right now to write your state legislators in support of House Bill 08-1203 today. From Friday's call:
When ownership of Colorado's medical treatment centers changes hands, there's a risk that services important to the local community can be lost.
The Denver Post is reporting the latest Mason-Dixon poll for Colorado (taken before South Carolina:
Dems:Obama drew his strength in the poll from the percentage of Dems who said change was more important than experience - 51%. Romney did particularly well among R's with immigration on their minds.
In a NYT Op-Ed today, Caroline Kennedy has endorsed Barack Obama for president:
Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.
Huge win for Obama yesterday. Here's what "they" are saying.
There was only way to describe Barack Obama's victory over Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in South Carolina: It was a rout.NYT:
Senator Barack Obama proved in South Carolina on Saturday that he could not only endure everything the Clinton campaign threw at him in the most confrontational week of the presidential contest so far but also draw votes across racial lines even in a Southern state.WAPO:
Obama's support among whites was higher than had been predicted by several polls last week -- he won nearly as many white men as Clinton -- allowing his campaign to argue that his message of national conciliation had a broader reach than many expected in a state with a complex racial history.
www.democraticwing.org is an mp3 repository provided by Joe Richey and Tim Butler. Recently democraticwing has monitored State Capitol hearings related to election reform. Go to www.democraticwing.org to hear how strong the disenfranchisement movement is in Colorado, and what progressive legislators and lobbyists are trying to do about it.
The event, I hosted, last Tues turned out great! An ER doctor decided to talk on the reality of our current health care crisis. The turnout was great. I know there were between 80 and 100 people there. Thanks to all of you that showed up!
The next events that you should try and attend are Jan. 31st, at the Capitol at 12:00P.M., or go to the web site listed below for more details!!
The 208 Commission is going to present their proposal they have created #5 out of the four they started with. It looks like the 208 Committee are going to recommend mandated insurance for the individual, but not for the employer.
This is a joke, and the worst part of this MANDATED plan is:
1) the most the private "FOR PROFIT" insurance companies will have to pay is $50,000, per calendar year,
This coverage MIGHT take care of 2 days in the hospital, and then the individual will be left to pay mandatory insurance premiums and the rest of their medical costs for the year. I feel sure there will be more people going bankrupt.
Just to let you know, the federal government is pouring tax dollars into the private insurance with Medicare Advantage and all the entire B.S. that they are selling to the elderly. Many people have fallen for this, due to great advertisement! No wonder the present system is going broke, it takes a lot of profit for the 30% overhead costs. Our present government has a goal to get rid of Medicare completely! Privatize everything! They have themselves so in debt now, with the war, they have we better advocate for ourselves, and our health! Caring Country aren't we?? In fact, we are the ONLY industrial country that treats our fellow citizens this badly...we are right above a 3rd world country!
It makes me want to cry, on how the people in power, have turned human beings into a commodity that can be bought and sold. Health care has become a "for profit" industry!
Health care should be a public service, like the fire department or police department. People should not make money by denying care, paying insurance lobbyist (2.2 billion this past year to lobbyist), advertising, and the CEO's that make over a million a year.
HR 676, the federal bill, takes the 30% profit out of the private insurance companies, and puts, at least, 25% back into health care.
There is a similar proposal before Colorado Legislature. The proposal saves money and covers everyone (www.healthcareforallcolorado.org) Instead; it looks like the Lewin Group, which has been bought by United Health Care, has discarded the idea of the HCAC proposal.
I find to whole situation very disturbing!!
So, I have been spending all my time, advocating for the patients. This is the most holistic thing I can do. as a holistic nurse. If I don't know, it could be too late for all of you that are reading this.
So, please educate yourselves, by going to www.healthcareforallcolorado.org. You can also Google "HR 676" and read the proposal yourselves. It makes so much sense.
None of our Colorado Legislatures, Republican or Democrats in Washington, signed on it. WHY? I have read it. You should too! I am shocked that our state legislatures did not join the other 80+ legislatures that have endorsed HR 676. All I can figure is that they are making money by not supporting it (In my humble opinion).
With HR 676, even the people employed by "for profit" insurance companies, get 2 years unemployment, and or, time for retraining. I am sure if the clerks knew that, they would be advocating for Single-Payer too. It must be hard to say, "I am sorry your family member has cancer and is dying, but we do not cover that because..."
I cannot stand back and let this happen. No matter how much I hate politics. This is a non-partisan issue. In fact, it is a life and death issue! How many of you want to be TOLD what to do!
PLEASE show up at the Capitol on Jan. 31st, and tell the people we elected, that they better advocate for us, or we will elect someone who will!
LET'S STORM THE CAPITOL ON JAN. 31ST, AND ADVOCATE FOR OUR OWN HEALTH. Because the health of our fellow Colorado and United States Citizens.
Nurse2heal, or an RN for SiCKO!
Disclaimer, I am not a specialist, I am an RN who cares and am giving you the best information that I know. If I am wrong, please let me know. Blog on this and teach us all something. Just please; DO SOMETHING...our health Care is in CRITICAL CONDITION!
Please join us on Thursday, January 31 at the Captitol. On that day, the Colorado 208 Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform will present its recommendations to Colorado legislators. The 208 Commission chose 4 diverse health care reform proposals for evaluation, and wrote one of their own in 2007. Only one proposal - the Colorado Health Services Single Payer Health Plan - demonstrated cost-savings for the state ($1.4 billion) and comprehensive health coverage for all. Nevertheless, the 208 Commission has chosen in its Final Report to the Colorado General Assembly to recommend the elements of its own 5th Proposal, modeled on a Massachusetts-style individual mandate for purchase of private insurance, as well as taxpayer subsidies to private insurances, without any cost or quality controls on private insurances.
Some problems with the Commission's recommendations:
The Final Recommendations to the Legislature by the 208 Commission widely miss the mark.
The one hope that Colorado has for true health care reform is through grassroots appeal to our legislators. Join us on the west steps of the Capitol at noon, Thursday Jan. 31 to carry a message to legislators that we cannot afford to squander the opportunity for health care reform. We cannot afford to permit the insurance industry to write health care policy to benefit their bottom line, as they did with Medicare prescription drug reform, and Massachusetts reform that creates a captive market for commercial insurance without any cost or quality controls on multi-payer insurances. Read 1-page Physicians' Assessment of Massachusetts Reform
Meaningful health care reform in the face of big-money lobbies requires activation of a large grassroots movement! Let's urge our legislators to consider the facts about the crisis nature of health care in Colorado and the U.S., and then act in the best interest of their constituents, not to serve the bottom line of multi-payer insurances.
Lastly, take a Resolution for Single Payer Health Care to your Precinct Caucus on February 5.
Thank you for whatever you can do!
You can Email the Entire House Judiciary Committee Membership before Monday with Just One Email by going to our Website ImpeachCO.com Link and using the link provided.
Kucinch will be introducing his Resolution to Impeach Bush on Monday prior to when Bush makes his State Of The Union address. If you care about the Constitution and the Separation Of Powers you will do this.
Rep. Wexler of Florida has over 214,000 voter names on the letter he will deliver to Judiciay Chairman Conyers asking for Immediate Impeachment Hearings. You Should add your name to the list at http://WexlerWantsHearings.com
Do this for your Country. Especially those us who once took an Oath to protect the Constitution "against all enemies".
Just like Pelosi and Reid did!!!!!!
Unfortunately the ineffectual, incompetent and unpatriotic Gangs Of Pelosi and Reid who fear Bush, their own shadows and the truth
will Not Bring the Troops Home
OR Get To The Truth Of the Lies That put them in Harms Way In The First place.
You'd think that Pelosi's conscience would be bothered by the 4,000 dead and 50,000 maimed for the Cheney/Bush WMD lies...
I predict these Bush Democrats will eventually rue the day they failed to honor their Oath of office.
Sooner or later the public will wake up and replace them with anyone else available.
Unless they stop the nonsense, stop sending Iraq funding bills to Bush, filibuster, and start threatening Impeachment, Bush will run all over them and show to the 2008 Voters what incompetent whimps the Democratic Congress really is.
John H Kennedy
IMPEACH COLORADO COALITION
(x-posted like woah!)
One of the things that impresses me about the Udall campaign so far is how eager they are to try new ways to reach out to voters. For example, Friday afternoon they held a conference call where Mark Udall talked with a batch of bloggers. I'm not sure how I made the list, since I am a bit of a new bee in the pol-blogging world. (I'm not too proud to admit this was a big boost to my self-esteem!) Since they were nice enough to include me, I feel like it's only polite to actually, you know, blog about the call.
When ownership of Colorado's medical treatment centers changes hands, there's a risk that services important to the local community can be lost.
Case in point, the pending sale of Exempla Lutheran Hospital in Jefferson County to a Catholic charity could result in a loss of important health services for women in that area.
A bill introduced this week by Rep. Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) would require regulating authorities to consider "the likely deterioration or reduction in the quality, accessibility, or availability of health care services in the affected communities served by a hospital" before approving the sale of a hospital.
Take a moment right now to make sure that your Colorado Representative and Senator hear from you on this important bill -- HB 08-1203:
At last night's Republican debate held in Boca Raton, Florida, all the Republicans were asked if the Iraq war was worth all the blood and treasure. With the exception of Ron Paul, they all gave basically the same answer, Saddam was a bad man and McCain went as far as to say that Rumsfeld was the problem or we would have already "won". If we are not good at something, such as nation destruction and rebuilding, no amount of good intentions can make up for that level of incompetence. We still haven't put New Orleans back together and no one is shooting down there. The truth be known, the United States attacked Iraq for the oil resources and that makes us pirates and piss poor ones at that. No amount of revisionist history or lipstick on the Iraq pig is going to make that chapter of American history a success story. I am sure that the dead and maimed, if they could all speak the same language or speak at all would say the best thing for Iraq is for some real peace makers to take the bull by the horns and figure out what is right for Iraq. As I said, the United States of America wants the oil a lot more than peace in the Middle East, that makes us imminently unqualified to have a say any longer. 3,932 American soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen didn't have to die in the name of oil gluttony.
It was sent to me by a Republican friend... yes, I know Republicans... some of them are even relatives. But I can't stop laughing over this, whoever wrote really understands my dilemma with both parties:
>>>"A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Colorado when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.
The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, Will you give me a calf?"
Bud looks at the man, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers; "Sure, Why not?"
The man parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.
The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany
Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data is stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."
"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says Bud.
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
Then the Bud says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"
"You're a Congressman", says Bud.
"Wow! That's correct," says the man, "but how did you guess that?"
"No guessing required," answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though nobody invited you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows...this is a herd of sheep. Now give me back my dog.">>>
After reading this, my first question was how many taxpayer dollars the congressman spent to count the 'cows?'
Democrats Pass on Challenge to
Secret Vote Counting in South Carolina
This is the place to affix the STAMP. Link
South Carolinians mounted a serious protest to the onerous "Stamp Act" imposed on the colonies by British rulers. The act levied a tax to pay for the "Seven Years War" which established Great Britain as the world's dominant colonial power. South Carolinians resisted funding their own domination through payment of the tax.
Today, the Palmetto state faces a challenge beyond the Stamp Act. Their state constitution is clear, if not elegant, in its definition of the basic elements of elections:
All elections by the people shall be by secret ballot,
but the ballots shall not be counted in secret.
Touch screen voting machines like those used throughout South Carolina are inherently private. Citizens and officials are barred form accessing the fundamentals of the voting machines. As a result, meaningful information on errors or fraud is off the table.
936 strikes and the administration is out. Now they are asking the Iraqi government for broad powers to conduct combat operations, and for immunity from prosecution for soldiers and private contractors involved in military actions. This request is anticipating exhaustion of UN support, if any, and anticipation of long term occupation...that is to say, beyond the demise of the current administration... so where's the news in all this? It seems that giving private contractors immunity is tantamount to 'Wild West tactics' and 'Cowboy diplomacy' on the streets of Bagdad. No more Mei Li's or Abu Grabes. Boy! That will make the next administration and America really popular with Middle Eastern nations! True impearialism in action.
Here's your link from the NY Times:
You only get one guess as to the Democratic Party Senator from Colorado who voted for retroactive telecom immunity (along with 13 other Dem Senators) yesterday. Right! Ken Salazar vote to grant immunity for telecoms who illegally tapped your phone lines at Mr. Bush's request in exchange for money.
There was no "patriotic" duty as Mr. Bush has stated that the telecoms did it for but only for cold hard cash and contracts for government work at our expense.
You and I work and pay taxes in order for Mr. Bush to bribe telecoms to tap your private telephone conversations in exchange for money. There is the lie by Mr. Bush to say that it is for the "safety" of his "homeland" and the "volk" but now we know.
So, my question is, Senator Salazar, why would you vote to give criminals a free pass? You, as a lawyer and former attorney general, are sworn to uphold the law. You as a oath taker have to abide by the law and make sure that the laws that you write are constitutional.
I fail to understand what reasoning that could possibly stand scrutiny for allowing rampant and widespread phone tapping without a court order just on Mr. Bush's flimy excuses for justification. Specifically Mr. Bush has used the AUMF as the reason he can tap your phone without judicial oversight. We now know that even the Republican controlled Senate rebuffed his efforts to include specific language for domestic military intelligence operations.
Why would you, Senator Salazar, uphold through legislative action multiple acts of law breaking, specifically ignoring the FISA court, by telecom companies? This would be a clear case in which justice will be denied to tens of thousands of Americans. This would include numerous citizens of Colorado that you would deny relief to.
Is this what you want your legacy to be:
Call or visit Senator Salazar's office to tell him "NO" for the Senate Intelligence Committee's bill for retroactive immunity for telecom companies. The time is no for him and his "gang of 14" to stand for the rule of law and the laws that we have in place (FISA court) rather then uphold a lawless administration that bribes telecom companies to tap and tape our private phone conversations.
Just say "NO" Senator Salazar for the people you represent and to uphold your oath to protect and defend the Constitution.
Tim Masters is free. Finally. After 10 years serving for a crime he didn't commit. Gail Schoettler's commentary today sums it up quite nicely.
Tim Master's will never regain the 10 years of his life he missed during the years he served, but hopefully something good will come out of this fiasco. Like an overhaul of our justice system. A rethinking of how we determine one's guilt. A more thorough use of DNA evidence.
Presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich has told the Cleveland Plain Dealer his hometown newspaper that he intends to announce in a press conference on Friday at noon that he is dropping out of the presidential campaign. Not being allowed to join in the most Democratic debate really hurt his campaign.
It is disappointing that the Democratic Party elites, major newspapers and the TV Networks and their owners (like GE) have really screwed up this campaign by seeking to keep Kucinich out of the debates. He was the most progressive of the Democratic presidential candidates and won most of the straw polls.
We in the Colorado Impeachment movement regret his departure form the race but hope he will redouble his impeachment effort. He is scheduled to announce his resolution to Impeach President Bush on Monday Jan 28 prior to Bush's State of the Union address. This is going to get a lot more interesting soon.
John H Kennedy
Impeach Colorado Coalition- http://ImpeachCO.com
google "Colorado impeach"
for all you need to know about impeachment in Colorado
Earlier this week, John Caldara, a local right-wing host on Denver's 850 KOA radio, discussed the presidential candidate debates. During his talk, he asked his guest on-air whether it "was it fair to say" that Senator Clinton (NY) "got bitch-slapped tonight?" (The Jon Caldara Show, Newsradio 850 KOA, evening broadcast 1/21/2008)
Did he really say "bitch slapped"? I know he's a talk show host. I know he pushes the envelope. But bitch slapped? He went too far. This comment rivals Imus' "nappy headed hoes" comment.
We, as Coloradans should be outraged. And we should not stand for this hateful commentary.
Not only was this comment demeaning to women, it minimizes the severity of domestic violence women across Colorado experience.
Click on the link to sign the petition urging advertisers on his show to pull their adds and calling on Caldara to apologize.
SEE Today=> ImpeachCO.com-Impeach Colorado Coalition The Madison, Wisconson evening newspaper ends this Editorial Editorial stating: "It is an election year, a time of great political theater. But nothing that will be said in the presidential debates is as important as what Wexler is saying about the holding the current administration to account." Add Presidential candidate and US Rep. Kucinich to that sentence please. Given that Kucinich has been dissed by the Democratic Party even though his platform is the most progressive, is ignored by the mainstream media, refused the opportunity to debate by GE's NBC even though he polls well in straw polls he will probably not become President.
The team of Kucinich and Wexler is waging a valiant fight to preserve the US Constitution and at the same time fighting the Democratic establishment in an effort to cause the House Judiciary Committee to hold public hearings on the subject of Impeachment, initially regarding that of Vice President Cheney. Kucinich's bill to Impeach Cheney H Res 799 is stalled in the Committee on the Constitution which is chaired by Rep. Nadler a New York Democrat who is opposed to impeachment.
Wexler has a website at WexlerWantsHearings.com that he is using to collect the names of Americans who want Congress to hold Impeachment Hearings.
So far he has over 214,615 signatures to include on a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Conyers asking him to allow Impeachment hearings. [ADD Your Name Today]
Kucinich has announced he will introduce his next Impeachment resolution on Monday January 28th, the day of Bush's State of the Union address.
His new resolution will state the grounds for Impeachment of the President of the United States George Bush for high crimes. I have not been able to obtain an advance copy but expect it will be similar to H Res 799.
ALL Colorado DEMOCRATS MUST CALL, FAX OR Email the entire House Judiciary Committee NOW with ( just one email ) & Demand Impeachment Hearings. You will regret this to the day you die if you don't call them!
You contacting the House Judiciary Committee will be great support for Prez Candidate Kucinch when he introduces a Bush Impeachment bill on Monday, Jan 28th, the day of Bush's State of the Union speech. Don't you wish Hillary, Obama & Edwards had such cahones?
A very recent study by two non-profit groups found that there were 935 false statements made by the Cheney/Bush Administration about Iraq in the two-year period after 9/11- 4,000 GIs dead, 60,000 maimed, WHEN does it get Impeachable?.
With 4,000 GIs dead, 60,000 maimed for these Lies, WHEN does it get Impeachable?
It took 3 reasons to get the 1973 Nixon Impeachment resolution out of the Judiciary Committee. What is wrong with Today's Colorado Democratic Congressmen??????
The Cheney/Bush Administration has been ignoring Congressional supeonas and the Pelosi/Reid gang of incompetents does nothing about it. And these two boneheads are supposed to lead the Democrats in 2009 and beyond? To oblivion for sure!
Nearly seven months after the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Bush administration officials in contempt of Congress, the Democratic leadership has again delayed action on the matter. SEE THIS: Democratic Leaders Delay Contempt action against Cheney and Bush Yet Again this is depressing...... what are we gonna do about it?
<b>If President Bush has his way, some of the most spectacular areas in Utah will be irreversibly degraded by oil rigs and off-road vehicles (ORVs).
Eleven million acres in Utah's red rock canyon country are at immediate risk, and we have until Feb. 8 to speak out. This precious land is filled with breathtaking vistas, ancient cultural artifacts and dinosaur fossils, and a wide range of wildlife. Unless the public speaks out now, President Bush's land management team will forge ahead aggressively, with little thought to the permanent impact on a fragile, irreplaceable ecosystem.
As the New York Times editorialized , "some of the trails would crisscross about 2.5 million acres of breathtakingly beautiful country that the Clinton administration thought worthy of permanent wilderness protection." This is the beginning, folks. By the time January 20, 2009 rolls around, there will have been so many signing statements, desecrations of law, and such such massive theft as to never be untangled.
First, sign the petition here to stop this:
Next, go to: http://www.impeachco.com/
... to learn how you can support the articles of impeachment to be introduced on Monday, January 28th.</b>
Money, money...and more money. That's what our state's colleges and universities want and need. But why do we not give it to them? We're 48th in the country!! To steal a quote from Charles Barkley, "If it wasn't for Mississippi, we'd be last in everything!" Honestly, that's unacceptable. Now there's an idea to make it public, by bringing it to vote on a 2009 ballot. Guess, Ref C wasn't enough. I have no doubt that voters will pass this, but it falls drastically short, $750 million to be exact, and there's talk of subsidizing the cost with expanding electronic gambling...specifically at horse and dog tracks!
Here's the article
Is this it?? My future child's education is hanging on the balance if 'Number 4' wins. "Down the stretch they come!!!"
Shout-out to me in the Rocky today...
I am so excited about all this caucus stuff I can't even hold it in. Kudos to orgs like Latina Initiative and The White House Project for talking to people about being precinct captains, delegates, election judges... etc.
This will be the second presidential election in my voting career and the first where I know anything about what happens before the general election. But I'm jumping right in there. I’m making my way to the top! National Convention... here I come...
This whole situation reminds me of a magazine article I read a while ago that said US children are more interested in being famous than in being intelligent! Who says policy is not for the young and hip?
If Congress doesn't fully fund the troops then Congressional Democratic members will be "stabbing the troops in the back" was the braying of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney and their toadies in the media.
How about now, when Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney are about ready to leave, and this is how they will fund the troops:
Read the rest here.
I want the next president to use the so-called "bridge funding" for redeployment out of Iraq.
Here is a question: Why not bribe the entire population of Iraq? We'll give you the money, ask for forgiveness, but then it will be up to you, the Iraqi people, to have self determination on whether or not the nation, that we broke and cannot fix through militiary power, will stand or separate.
January 23, 2008
Dear Honorable Members of the General Assembly,
We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to urge your support of a statewide precinct-based polling place election for the upcoming 2008 primary and general elections. We believe this is the best solution to ensure that all Coloradans have access to voting.
We recognize the difficult situation facing our county clerks. Whatever solution is adopted, county clerks will be burdened with a short timeline, limited resources and an enormous task ahead. The Legislature must act swiftly and surely to give our clerks the guidance and direction they need to move forward and ensure a fair, accurate, and accessible election.
Nothing is more sacred in a democracy than a citizen’s right to vote. It is the consensus of the following organizations many of whom work with traditionally disenfranchised voting populations, that we keep all voting system options available to voters in Colorado.
Our groups offer the following comments:
1. Coloradans like options for voter participation: Currently, voters can choose to vote by mail, vote early, or vote on Election Day. These options provide for the greatest flexibility and ensure that all Colorado voters can vote.
· More than 55% of Colorado voters chose the polling place in previous general elections. Vote by mail may be popular, but it is not used by the majority of Colorado voters.
· Polling place elections are familiar to Colorado voters and county administrators.
· Polling place elections can be held with paper ballots, and host one accessible voting machine for voters with disabilities.
· Polling places must be compliant with ADA accessibility requirements
2. Vote by mail should not be the exclusive option for Coloradans this year: Our groups support vote by mail as an option for voters. Vote by mail can increase voter turnout in low interest elections, and provides an alternative for voters who cannot make it to the polls on Election Day.
· Our primary concern is that already underrepresented voting populations will be disenfranchised by an exclusive mail program. Voters who move frequently, who do not have a home address, or who are not familiar with vote by mail could be left out of the process. This burden will fall hardest on minority, low income and young voters.
· Colorado is not ready for an exclusive mandatory vote by mail program. Colorado must make numerous modifications to ensure voter protections including but not limited to: mailing ballots to all registered voters, not only active voters; creating ‘service centers’ to provide a voting alternative for voters with disabilities and any voters who do not vote by mail; and changing our ID requirements for first time voters registered by mail.
We believe the Legislature can act to make a precinct polling place election work:
1. Support HB 1155 with two amendments
We support HB 1155 to give the Secretary of State additional authority to re test and modify the certification results announced in December 2007. We recognize the pressing need to get our voting equipment up and running for the 2008 primary and general elections. To be compliant with HAVA we must ensure that every polling place has a fully accessible voting system for voters with disabilities.
2. Increase Post Election Audits
Because we are putting back into use voting systems that have at one time been deemed inadequate for certification, we must improve our security and pre and post election testing. Colorado does have a good post election audit, but it must be improved to ensure greater confidence in the accuracy of the vote count. Statistical audits can ensure with at least 99% confidence that a full manual recount would not alter the outcome, and do so with the greatest efficiency of effort.
3. Fund our Counties
Regardless of the type of election chosen, the real challenge for counties will be in planning for an election with such a short timeline. Our counties are desperate for funding to allow for:
4. Address voter registration database issues
While a statewide voter database can be useful in the future, our current SCORE system is untested and unproven with numerous technological problems. Introducing this new system statewide on a major Election Day could subject our state to disastrous consequences. We should require counties to maintain their existing county-based voter registration systems to avoid Election Day problems with the SCORE system.
Colorado leaders have the opportunity to provide guidance to ensure that the 2008 primary and general elections are fair, accurate and accessible for all. Voting is our democracy’s most sacred right. For most Americans it is the only time they voice their opinions about the direction of our state and nation. Colorado voters have entrusted you with their vote. They expect you to ensure that their voices will be heard and their votes will be counted. We urge you to consider these recommendations carefully and work to make every Coloradans’ vote count.
Thank you. Please contact us with any questions or further requests for information,
Jenny Flanagan, Colorado Common Cause
Kristen Thomson, People for the American Way
Dusti Gurule, Latina Initiative
Bill Vandenberg, Colorado Progressive Coalition/Colorado Progressive Action
Cathryn Hazouri, ACLU Colorado
Barb Van Hoy, Citizens Project
Faith Gross, the Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People
Rosemary Harris, NAACP – Colorado Springs Branch
Steve Fenberg, New Era Colorado
Joe Richey, Democracy for Colorado
Kirpal Singh, Colorado Public Interest Research Group
Cary Lacklen, Coloradans for Voting Integrity
Linda Meric, 9 to 5 Working Women
Statements from Speaker Romanoff and Majority Leader Madden
In response to the proposed paper-based voting system that was announced today, Speaker Romanoff released the following statement:
"The procedures for the 2008 elections have been the subject of considerable debate. I am pleased to join the governor and a bipartisan team of my colleagues in reaching a swift and sensible solution.
Majority Leader Alice Madden released the following statement:
"Today we are guaranteeing the safest, most efficient, and most secure voting method, and the one that guarantees access for voters.
It's not often that we are faced with such a significant problem, and yet we are able to solve that problem – -- quickly, with agreement from across the aisle, in both chambers, from two branches of government, and with input from the county clerks and many, many others.
This solution may not please everyone, but I strongly believe that we have done the best job possible in remedying the problem, and in averting a potential disaster in democracy.
Paper-based ballots will ensure that every vote is counted. Sometimes, the old-fashioned way is the best way. And since my kids tell me that "retro" is “in” again, I think we're on the right track!
Finally, let us not forget that our forefathers and foremothers fought for the right to vote. . We recognize that the right to vote is essential but it is hardly guaranteed. It takes ongoing maintenance and our constant care.
I am proud to continue work ensuring that every Coloradoan has the chance to cast a safe, secure, and verifiable vote.”
Bet you thought you were a Democrat, didn't you?
Wrong vote info draws Dem fire
The office of Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman scrambled Wednesday to correct a problem with its voter-registration database, which was incorrectly informing voters of their party affiliation.
Apparently the counties know who you are party-wise. But the SoS's new statewide voter database...the one that's replacing the last failed multimillion dollar Accenture statewide voter database...the one that's supposed to replace all 64 individual databases the counties run...the one everybody is telling you to check so you know where to caucus...doesn't.
Tuesday, Coffman was blasted on the floor of the General Assembly for his failure to comply with a state law passed last year requiring concealment of addresses of domestic violence victims in publicly-available state records. Rep. Bernie Buescher had a one-word description: mismanagement.
And as you know, the grownups had to intervene yesterday in Coffman's historically botched (or hopelessly corrupted) handling of voting systems for the 2008 election.
If all of this makes your head spin, makes you wonder if there is anything this man has presided over since taking office that hasn't crumbled into disaster, you're not alone. And fortunately, we've already come up with a solution.
Take Action: Demand Mike Coffman's resignation
The following was released from the governor's communication office this afternoon
Gov. Ritter and a group of bipartisan lawmakers today announced new legislation for conducting the 2008 elections by using paper ballots at polling places while maintaining voter choice through options such as early or absentee mail voting.
"One of the most basic roles of government is to provide for elections that are fair, reliable, transparent and convenient for voters," Gov. Ritter said. "Our democracy depends not only on the people's ability to vote, but also on their confidence that every vote counts.
"This bi-partisan legislative proposal will fix the problems we face because of decertified electronic voting machines for the 2008 elections. Paper ballots are a tried-and-true election method that has worked for decades. They ensure a verifiable paper trail and minimize the possibility of technology failures that have caused Election Day problems in the past."
The legislation will be co-sponsored by Reps. Alice Madden, D-Boulder, and David Balmer, R-Centennial, and Sen. Ken Gordon, D-Denver.
"Given the constraints of the decertifications, this is the best solution we can craft," Rep. Balmer said. "We must preserve absentee voting and Election Day, precinct-based voting so that we avoid disenfranchising voters who only vote in presidential election years.""The people of Colorado can be assured that the 2008 elections will be accessible, accurate, secure and transparent," Sen. Gordon said. "With paper ballots as the primary method of casting votes, people can feel secure knowing that there is a paper record of their vote."
"Sometimes, the old-fashioned way is the best way," Rep. Madden said. "And since my kids tell me that 'retro' style is in again, I think we're being very trendy. Let us not forget that our forefathers and foremothers fought for the right to vote. We should always be grateful for that right and exercise that right."
Previously introduced legislation should enable the Secretary of State to recertify optical scanning equipment to count ballots on election night as well as electronic voting machines for the limited purpose of providing polling-place access to voters with disabilities.
Gov. Ritter and legislators said they will continue working closely with the Secretary of State and county clerks to ensure successful election processes this year and in the years to come. Click here to view Gov. Ritter's letter to the county clerks.
"Ensuring fair and accurate elections underpins our entire democracy," Gov. Ritter said. "Restoring the people's confidence in our voting system is vital. This plan will do that."
Just in: Per a Rawstory.com article a study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush, VP Cheney and other top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks. The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."
SOUNDS IMPEACHABLE TO ME!!!! Doesn't lying to Congress and the Voters to get approval for an undeclared (illegal) War and occupation of iraq constitute high crimes? Especially if 4,000 US Soldiers get killed and 60,000 maimed? Isn't that murder or treason?Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.
At what point will Udall, Perlmutter, DeGette and Salazar honor their Oath and rise to the defence of our US Constitution. Their dereliction of duty is getting old.
Check out the Impeach Colorado Coalition - http://ImpeachCO.com
We are trying to hold them accountable before it is too late and they get away with their crimes.
and you Must See This RELATED ARTICLE: Prez Candidate Kucinch to introduce Bush Impeachment bill on Jan 28, day of Bush State of the Union speech.
Don't you wish Hillary, Obama & Edwards had such cahones?
Support Senator Dodd's filibuster effort to stop retroactive immunity to the biggest telecommunications companies. Those companies have cooperated with Mr. Bush's idea to spy on Americans talking to one another illegally.
The FISA court allows wiretapping with a court order. However Mr. Bush has seen fit to ignore the law and the FISA court. It is clearly evident that he has committed thousands of criminal acts.
Now Mr. Bush and a complicit Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, will now allow a revision of FISA to have retroactive immunity for these lawbreaking companies.
We now know that those companies are not breaking the law through a fever of patriotism but to enhance their bottom line.
It is time to fully support Senator Chris Dodd's effort to derail this bill that will deny justice to millions of wronged Americans.
Furthermore any Democratic Senator who votes for retroactive immunity and Senator Harry Reid, who brings up the bad Intelligence Committee version first, should face an economic boycott for their support of illegal spying on Americans privacy.
According to a posting by David M. Herszenhorn in the New York Times blog The Caucus Presidential Candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinch is after President Bush again. This should be fun to watch. Seeing all the cowardly Democrats in Congress squirm when the little guy with the big ideas manages to do what they refuse to do, Honor their Oath of Office and protect the Constitution. The blog posting states that Representative Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio may get excluded from Democratic presidential debates, as he has been recently, but no one can deny him the floor in the House.
And today Mr. Kucinich took to the floor to fire off his latest salvo at the Bush administration: his plans to introduce Articles of Impeachment against President Bush on Jan. 28 - the day of Mr. Bush's State of the Union speech. Accusing the administration of lying about the need for the war in Iraq, Mr. Kucinich said he did not need to hear the president's assessment. "We know the State of the Union," he declared. "It's a lie."
He also fired a volley at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California who has maintained that impeaching Mr. Bush is not on the table for Congressional Democrats. "If impeachment is off the table," Mr. Kucinich said, "truth is off the table. If truth is off the table then this body is living a lie."
Mr. Kucinich introduced Articles of Impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney last April and in November, with the surprise help of Republicans seeking to embarrass the Democrats, he nearly succeeded in securing an hour of debate on the House floor.
House Democratic leaders blocked that, however, by referring the impeachment effort back to the Judiciary Committee.
Our group the IMPEACH COLORADO COALITION welcomes this action and wishes that we were seeing it come as a result of an effort by Colorado's Democratic Congressmen/women. Given the silly excuses they have given us in the past for not protecting the Constitution by supporting Impeachment Hearings I imagine no support at all will be coming from Colorado's US Representatives for Kucinich's effort.
If you want to see Cheney and Bush help accountable for the WMD Lies that got the US into this stupid Iraq War
see our website at ImpeachCO.com
We are doing our best to change our Rep's minds on Impeachment. I think we will succeed.
Ken Salazar isn't always the most popular Democrat among his base supporters, but lost in the frequent criticism are stories about actions he takes genuinely, things he does out of straight-up integrity.
In 2003, Salazar bravely stood up to his own GOP-dominated state government as Attorney General, successfully turning back a brazen attempt to re-arrange Colorado legislative districts for permanent Republican advantage.
Today, in the midst of another GOP-engineered electoral crisis in Colorado, we see Ken Salazar out in the counties fighting for fair, polling-place based elections--with all the federal issues on his plate, US Senator Ken Salazar acting locally to remind us what's really important.
Salazar urges voting options
U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar is urging state lawmakers to preserve precinct voting for the presidential election and to not mandate statewide mail voting.
Salazar's right. We can't force voters into one highly restrictive method of voting just because the Secretary of State can't do his job. Whatever the challenges we face keeping our ship of state aright, none matter more than making sure the maximum number of people get to participate in our democratic process--and mail-only voting won't accomplish that.
The hypocracy of the administration's rush to implement "economic stimulation" packages is legion.
Primary Sources: The President's Proposed Energy Policy
Jimmy Carter delivered this televised speech on April 18, 1977.
Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.
It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century.
We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren.
Wall Street brokers are a bunch of scared lemmings. I've been reading the reports by journalists about the ups and downs of the stock market with regard to the bursting of the housing bubble. What is clearly the case that the stock market reminds me nothing more than a bunch of gossiping, emotionally driven fools who take our money for their own ends.
Paul Krugman is absolutely correct in the fact that the banks are truly bust. There is no illusionary perception that causes a "run" on the bank which the Federal Reserve can save. This time the bank is truly bust because of bad debts.
All of the elaborate debt vehicles to sell to the sheep were figments of the imagination by the lending predators.
When the Fed has to loan banks more money, for the fourth time in the last six month, which is to a total of about 200 billion dollars, shows that the danger is to the entire financial industry in America because there is no "faith" or "trust" left by Americans.
The stock market as represented by NYSE, NASDAQ, S&P 500 et al is being driven by emotion only. As far as I can tell there is only the front end and back end of commissions by brokerage houses that make money now. Investors both large and small are whipsawed by fear now.
Rather than being honest with the American people there are those in power who would rather paint a rosey picture like Mr. Bush who still claims that the economics of America are "fundamentally sound". Is that the truth?
How can he say that when he has accelerated the dismantling of the backbone of America- it's industrial base. We have become a third world economic state because the fact is that we now export our raw materials to be manufactored into products by other countries.
While Wall Street financiers celebrated the decimation of the working middle class of America with the rise of the so-called "service economy" it has now come to roost. Without tangilble goods there is no "there" to backup loans just as the sub prime crisis is just the initial sympton of the much larger disease that has eaten through the banking and financial institutions of this nation.
The ticking time bombs to come are in the commercial sector of this mess. Remember that even the upper income people are now falling under the bursting bubble because they used those loans to speculate on housing prices to rise on double digit annual rate. But there are now reports that the commercial sector is beginning to feel duress due to the slowing economy as consumers, which constitute 67 percent of economic activity, start to hold back on spending.
This is a case of a house of cards. Once spending at the consumer level falls, witness the Christmas season just past, then businesses will pull back on manufacturing and reducing inventory levels. Businesses will not invest in new equipment or plants.
However with the runaway price of oil there is finally the spector of "stagflation" which means now an economic recession coupled with much higher costs to the consumer in the price of gas and heating oil. So as the economy falters, even with the late intervention of a short term rate cut that is too late as is the economic stimulus package of tax rebates but no public sector spending projects, the cost of manufactoring and transportation will continue to increase the price of consumables and durable goods.
How will this impact your financial security?
As I read from one of the community blogs- "Isn't it great to have your retirement 401k in the stock market?"
A word to the wise: Keep yourself "liquid" now.
From the in-case-you-missed-it file, check out this little tidbit from the Grand Junction Sentinel this past Saturday:
State policymakers probably are not going to bankroll any sweeping health care reforms through a tax increase, Gov. Bill Ritter told a group of supporters Saturday morning.
Getting away from news clips, quotes, quips and bytes, its refreshing to see that the young people (and others) at Campus Progress have their eyes firmly on what is going to matter after the "2008 Mr. or Mrs. President Beauty Pageant" is concluded in November. One post over there points out that the last two presidencies... I believe they are referring to Clinton and Bush did nothing to move forward with peace initiatives in the Middle East, specifically Israel/Palestine until the end of their lame duck administrations. Fascinating. Another post that caught my eye was citing the fact that in the last debates, the candidates were asked the same number of questions about global warming as were asked about UFO's, that number being three. One of the commentators had me LMAO pointing out that the same people who don't believe in global warming do believe in alien abductions. It appears some of us still prefer substance to spin
In 9 days, the Colorado legislature will receive the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission On Healthcare.
The word is that they will be recommending mandates, forcing Coloradoans to buy insurance, and heavily fining those who cannot afford the cost of coverage. Benefits would be capped, meaning that while you pay for insurance premiums, you'll also have to pay out-of-pocket for medical services exceeding the bare-bones coverage.
This could be devastating to our health care.
On Tuesday, January 22, at 6:30 PM, we will be holding an event at the Mercury Cafe featuring medical professionals (including a prominent doctor and RN's), and updates on state and national efforts to institute real universal, single-payer health care. A showing of Michael Moore's SiCKO will cap the evening, and live music will be provided by "Us."
Please make plans to attend this event, and bring a friend or two.
We will be organizing toward joining Health Care for All Colorado's "Storm the Capitol" protest, to be held on the west steps of the state capitol at noon on January 31.
Without all of us lending a hand, this insurance-extortion legislation will likely pass. You, and your family, cannot afford to let that happen.
Yours In Service,
For more info, go to: http://www.healthcareforallcolorado.org.[/.
The progressnowcolorado.org daily news digest will resume tomorrow, January 22nd.
Speech at the Great March on Detroit
My good friend, the Reverend C. L. Franklin, all of the officers and members of the Detroit Council of Human Rights, distinguished platform guests, ladies and gentlemen, I cannot begin to say to you this afternoon how thrilled I am, and I cannot begin to tell you the deep joy that comes to my heart as I participate with you in what I consider the largest and greatest demonstration for freedom ever held in the United States. [Applause] And I can assure you that what has been done here today will serve as a source of inspiration for all of the freedom-loving people of this nation. [Applause] [Audience:] (All right)
I think there is something else that must be said because it is a magnificent demonstration of discipline. With all of the thousands and hundreds of thousands of people engaged in this demonstration today, there has not been one reported incident of violence. [Applause] I think this is a magnificent demonstration of our commitment to nonviolence in this struggle for freedom all over the United States, and I want to commend the leadership of this community for making this great event possible and making such a great event possible through such disciplined channels. [Applause]
Almost one hundred and one years ago, on September the 22nd, 1862, to be exact, a great and noble American, Abraham Lincoln, signed an executive order, which was to take effect on January the first, 1863. This executive order was called the Emancipation Proclamation and it served to free the Negro from the bondage of physical slavery. But one hundred years later, the Negro in the United States of America still isn't free. [Applause]
There's a lot going on around voting issues. There are probably going to be three bills that come through the legislature this session. There is a push towards an "all mail ballot". Although this appears to solve some of the problems of voting technology, we essentially already have a mechanism whereby people who wish to obtain mail ballots may do so-- it's called absentee ballots. But a mandatory all mail ballot worries me because unless you hand deliver it to the clerk's office, you never quite know if your ballot will be received and counted. That's why a precinct polling place is wonderful. You walk in, you get checked, you know immediately if you're eligible to vote, and you mark your ballot and return it in a way that ensures your voice is heard. If we vote in precincts then we have the option of precinct tallies. Precinct tallies are essential for GOTV efforts and make it easier to spot errors AND fraud. And recounts are easier to do if a candidate asks for one.
KJ's gut is smarter than most guts (namely our President's). Coal, in whatever form, cannot be the long term solution to our problems because the essential part of the energy we get from coal releases carbon dioxide. Unless we want to move to Canada for the weather, we have to look towards more renewable resources. Although I've heard people say wind and solar can't meet our needs, I've also seen data that shows positively that they can, and will meet our needs, if we use our energy efficiently. We already have Habitat for Humanity "net zero" houses, and corporate buildings could be the next step. Transportation issues can be solved through affordable housing that allows people to live where they work. We need to get out of the "macho" culture that says you're not a "real man/woman" if you don't spend 3-4 hours a day in your car.
Democratic Underground Top 10 Conservative Idiots for the Jan 21st Edition:
#4 Douglas Bruce (batshit crazy) (massive ego)
Three cheers to Douglas Bruce, a brand new Republican state lawmaker from Colorado, who rockets onto the Top 10 list after just one day on the job. Bruce was sworn in last week - but only just. He initially refused to show up unless the swearing-in ceremony took place in front of the entire House. After a three-day standoff, Republicans held a caucus meeting and voted almost unanimously that "if Bruce was not sworn in by this afternoon, they would recommend that the vacancy committee that selected him choose somebody else," according to the Denver Post.
And that's when the fun really got started. Bruce relented and the swearing-in ceremony went ahead, but during the morning prayer he was apparently so angered by the presence of a photographer who was documenting the event that he "brought his heel down on the photographer's bent knee." According to KUSA-TV:
Denver Post photographer Mark Osler was right next to Manzano when it happened.
"I took two pictures in quick succession and Javier was about to take a picture and Mr. Bruce looked down at him and said something to the affect of, 'don't,' and Javier put his camera down," said Osler. "He put the camera up and took one frame and at that point Mr. Bruce said something to the affect of, 'I told you, don't,' and he kicked him pretty hard."
So is Bruce going to apologize? Don't be ridiculous!
"I think the Rocky Mountain News photographer ought to apologize to the House and to me and to all the people whom he disrupted. He needs to get a lesson in manners and decorum," said Bruce. "He was told already not to block the aisle. See you want to make a big deal out of it and again sort of make me out to be the bad guy. He was disrupting a prayer and disrupting a Pledge of Allegiance and blocking traffic and I told him politely not to do it and he insisted on doing it and he ought to be ashamed of himself."
If we had universal medical care then this would not even be brought up.
Isn't this just another way to waste money and invade the privacy of our lives?
This to me is just a scam of having a new special interest group that is for the continuation of the current corrupt and wasteful medical system.
There should be laws enacted to either ban or strictly regulate such companies that want to have MedFICO running our lives.
Maybe Speaker Romanoff, at the state level, or Rep. DeGette/Salazar/Perlmutter/Udall should be aware that their voters do not want another privacy invading rating agency for one's health to rule over them!
I hate to admit it, but Texas has out-whacko'd us this week. (Wait, there's something not quite right about that...oh, what the heck, let's go with it.)
A guy named Dean Hrbacek, who is pretty well known in his part of Texas (kind of near the Gulf and Houston and Sugar Land and all that), wants to run for Congress. He seems to have everything he needs, including a crack Photoshop specialist who morphed his head onto the body of (possibly) a former political rival who does not have NEARLY the, ah, gravitas that Mr. H does in real life. (Think Doug Bruce's head on Andy Romanov's body...IF YOU DARE.)
I had been enjoying this saga from the beginning, because I am a regular reader of Kiss My Big Blue Butt, (formerly The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.), and it's just been getting better every day. TODAY it reached the apex of net notoriety by getting picked up on DAVE BARRY's blog.
All I can say is, our politicos are going to have to try a whole lot harder from here on out.
To really get the full effect, click on over to Kiss My Big Blue Butt, scroll down to January 18th, and enjoy!
Isn't it time for the Speaker of the House to listen to the people of America? This is a reply that I sent to this article from Reuters about the continuing intransigence of Speaker Pelosi's refusal to do her constitutional duties with regard to the lawless reign of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney:
Reuters reporter Thomas Ferraro writes:
I propose that there be a resolution presented to the Democratic Party caucus that Speaker Pelosi should face censure for not upholding her oath to the Constitution and that she not run for re-election for Speaker of the House again.
NPR reported on January 15 about a study released in the Journal of Health Affairs the same day, describing increasing waits in U.S. Emergency Rooms, even for the very sick. This on the heels of the Institutes of Medicine recent report that ERs are at a breaking point.
Dr. Arthur Kellerman, professor of emergency medicine at Emory U., noted that though it is popular to point to Canada and the UK for their long wait times for elective procedures, the waits in U.S. emergency rooms are "the waits that matter" -- heart attack victims and other true emergencies are receiving delayed care. Waits for heart attack victims doubled between 1997 and 2004.
U.S. Emergency Rooms bear the brunt of the burden of crisis health care access -- those who cannot access primary preventive care resort to emergency rooms for basic health care or delayed crisis care.
Kellerman pointed out that it doesn't matter whether one is insured or uninsured, all are affected by these delays. The report ended with the news that the federal government is planning to cut funding to hospitals with the biggest problems - in inner cities, etc. Listen to the report (approximately 3-1/2 minutes)
Sure, he's a nice guy, and he plays guitar, and he lost a hundred pounds, and he doesn't have mean things to say about anybody. He says nice things about the poor, like maybe they're worth more than a quarter point on a rich man's bottom line. He says it's incumbent on people of faith to care for the environment responsibly. Of course, don't ask him about women's rights, gays, or foreign policy questions not answerable from the Book of Revelations or Isaiah. I digress.
How about playing footsie with white supremacists back in the pudgy days? This tidbit was cross-posted everywhere yesterday --
Huckabee gave speech to white supremacists
As South Carolina's Republican primary election draws nearer, Mike Huckabee has ratcheted up his appeals to the racial nationalism of white evangelicals. "You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," the former Arkansas governor told a Myrtle Beach crowd on January 17, referring to the Confederate flag. "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole. That's what we'd do."
The story goes on to explain how Huckabee had a falling out with the CoCC after the press got wind he was scheduled to appear at a subsequent event with more or less a straight-up Hitler-adulating Nazi. Hooray eventually Huckabee, writ really small.
I keep windering if this sort of thing isn't just inevitable south of the Mason-Dixon line. That's the answer I get from some people, the "you just don't understand how strong these groups are down there" answer from people who know. I'd like to think there are peoiple in the South who can ascend to leadership, even as conservatives, without having to court openly raicst holdouts, but either way it's discouraging to think of Huckabee now in the context of that Christian-right guy you could actually see some semblance of reason in.
"...these ballots shall not be counted in secret."
South Carolina Constitution
Media, election, and judicial reform advocate Mark Adams, JD, MBA of Tampa, Florida discovered something very important in the South Carolina Constitution. It provides for secret voting but bans secret vote counting.
All elections by the people shall be by secret ballot, but the ballots shall not be counted in secret. The right of suffrage, as regulated in this Constitution, shall be protected by laws regulating elections and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence from power, bribery, tumult, or improper conduct. South Carolina Constitution, Article II, Section 1
Allow me to set the mood:
"South Korea Parliament Fight"
Illustrative that graded on a global curve, (still) Rep. Doug Bruce's "love tap" on a Rocky Mountain News reporter's knee isn't so exceptional.
Genteel Colorado standards of legislative decorum being what they are, however,
Panel: Censure Bruce for kick
A panel of Colorado legislators recommended today that state Rep. Douglas Bruce be censured and that he apologize to his colleagues for kicking a newspaper photographer.
But don't worry, like all comic book villains and other such over-the-top enemies of all that's good and decent in the world, he'll be back.
From the "how the hell can you possibly justify this" department,
Sending only blacks to King Day event 'a mistake'
Holmes Middle School [in Colorado Springs] won't send only black students to future events marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day after a parent complained that it was the antithesis of what the civil rights leader stood for.
...by making Martin Luther King Day "coloreds only?"
This seems so unthinkable that it's almost funny. Scratch that, it's comic alright, but tragicomic. Is this the "color-blindedness" Colorado Springs Republicans talk about when attacking affirmative action? Whose bigotry was being softly accommodated here? A white parent? An administrator? Dave Schultheis? There's no rational justification for this, only a disturbing and racially presumptuous one.
Certainly the African-American kids can and should go an MLK commemoration. But it's the white kids who really need to learn about King and what he stood for: and judging by this story, some school administators along with them.
For anyone following the Tim Masters case in Fort Collins, you should check out CNN.com's coverage today. It's a case that definitely merits national attention, and it's a case that has definitely divided the criminal justice community in Fort Collins.
In the Tom Clancy novel Red Storm Rising, the key moment that you know the Soviets are going to lose comes when Clancy describes them having to forcibly muster older men and wounded soldiers into "C" rank formations to keep their offensive from crumbling. It's a symbol of broken ambition, when dreams of military conquest meet the attrition of a bogged-down war effort.
A modern parallel can be drawn:
Hurt GIs OK'd for light duty
Fort Carson's top general said Thursday that 79 injured soldiers were sent to war last month and that most are working in light-duty jobs within limitations set by doctors.
As the news media turns away from Iraq as a salient issue, owing to our recent "success," it should be noted how perilously close we came to failure there--and what it really means to keep our army at "combat strength" after five punishing years of war.
While many people don't play the game of chess there has been one American who played the game and made the game widely recognized throughout the world- Bobby Fischer.
In the United States chess is a recreation not a profession. However, during the 50's, 60's, and 70's Grandmaster Fischer lived on chess alone. He was the only American player who did not have a "job" that supported his chess playing. Whereas in the rest of the world chess players were often supported by the state Fischer survived and even prospered in the U.S.A.
He, though his genius on the chess board, eventually became only the second American born world chess champion. He was, at the height of his power, the strongest rated player and had an E.L.O. rating of 3120 (during his phenomenal 20-0 winning streaking against the best chess grandmasters in his run up to the World Chess Championship in 1972). He was the youngest person ever to attain the rank of grandmaster (age 15).
What he did during the Cold War was to symbolically represent the "free world" against the "communist system" on the chess board during his championship match against the reigning world champion the Soviet's Boris Spassky. Even to the point that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made his famous phone call to Fischer to ask him to please play the match. He won the world championship that symbolized the triumph of the West in all of its political ramifications. (If you read the post 1972 chess literature in Russia there was much recrimination as to why Spassky lost and the Soviet chess establishment was reorganized.)
He abdicated his championship for refusing to play against Anatoly Karpov in 1976 because of valid conditions he wanted.
Eventually he was forgotten.
However, with the film "Searching for Bobby Fischer" that reawakened awareness of the genius and tragedy of Bobby Fischer.
I know that he exerted great influence in my coming to play the game as did my compatriots at the Omaha Central High School Chess Club during the mid-70's. I was the Chess Club president and our club teams competed in Scholastic state and national tournaments. Our teams ranked 3rd nationally and 16th nationally in '75 and '76 (winning state titles in both years).
(I even wrote a chess column for the school newspaper in junior high school! Just as Bobby wrote a column in the Boy Scouts national magazine.)
Even now I still play and teach chess at my job, Boys and Girls Club- Cope Branch, with the club members. (Cope members have won the intra club championship the last two years.)
It is with sadness that Robert J. Fischer has died at the age of 64.
Hell, they been doing everything else wrong, why not try this too? Thanks to John Zutz and VVAW:
>I was appointed to the local Draft Board the other day. Just in time
> for this.
> Legislation > 2007-2008 (110th Congress)
> H.R. 393: Universal National Service Act of 2007
> To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18
> and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the
> uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the
> national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of
> persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength
> requirements of the uniformed services, to amend the Internal Revenue
> Code of 1986 to make permanent the favorable treatment afforded
> combat pay under the earned income tax credit, and for other
Next Tuesday marks the 35th anniversary of Roe, the landmark decision that gave women access to safe legal abortion services.
Racist, ethnic jokes are a part of the National Western Stock Show? (h/t to HuffingtonPost.com)
Rocky Mountain News reporter John C. Ensslin writes:
Ensslin digs into a little history of the Stock Show:
Ah, the "good ol' days" of the "Wild West" that is the myth versus the reality. Where people think that by wearing a cowboy hat and boots puts them in touch with the wide open, frontier plains and endless blue sky.
While Rome burns Nero fiddles away into the night. Isn't this the kind of blatant disregard that Mr. Bush has for the suffering of the American people as the economy fails? Isn't Mr. Bush's fetish for "tax cuts" as a panacea for any economic ill that befalls the people of this nation shows that he is an ideological zealot? Zealots and ideologues ignore reality because they believe they can impose their "vision" in order to remake reality.
New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes:
Does the Republican partisanship as exemplified by Mr. Bush show to millions of Americans face losing their homes who doesn't care?
When the initial "billions for billionaires" tax cuts in 2001 was proposed there were many economists who tried to warn Mr. Bush that it was the wrong way to stimulate the economy. Couple what he did with a lax regulatory hand, enabled by Alan Greenspan, and cheered on by Republican controlled Congress that allowed for criminal behavior by financial institutions to flourish has now come to roost- monsterous bad debt. Paul Krugman explains why the Federal Reserves bailout for banks will fail:
What has been forgotten about Mr. Bush is what Ron Siskind writes:
The problem is that in the real, fact based world, the people are the ones who suffer the most by those who think that they are the masters of the Great Game.
My question: what will be effective for both the short term for the economy? What will be effective to repair the systemic damage done by Mr. Bush for the long term (over the next decade)?
Three weeks ago, we called on Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman to resign in the wake of his tainted decisions regarding Colorado electronic voting systems.
In the subsequent weeks, Coffman has gone from angrily defending his decision to decertify every election system used in the state EXCEPT the ones tied to his political consultants, to admitting that decision was problematic (to say the least), to backpedaling on his original decertification citing "errors" in his process, and now today's comedy-of-errors installment:
Fremont County, voting machines vendor appeal to Coffman
Fremont County Clerk Norma Hatfield and a Nebraska company asked Secretary of State Mike Coffman on Tuesday to rescind his ban on their electronic voting equipment, arguing that his decisions were made in error.
Which is what Jefferson County, Mesa County, Denver County...yeah, pretty much what they all say.
At this point it's an understatement to say that the public's confidence in the election process has been eroded. Having heard the charges and countercharges, and Coffman's seeming reversals of opinion at every challenge to his decisions, I wouldn't fault every voter in Colorado demanding a paper ballot and a bleacher to watch officials count them one by one. How could anybody have faith in anything Coffman says at this point?
Although you might not get the bleacher, there's hope for paper ballots in the aftermath of Coffman's leadership implosion:
Bi-Partisan, Bi-Cameral Group Announces New Election Plan
That's very important: no matter what, we can't allow the standards to be relaxed just to give Coffman a way out of this self-inflicted disaster. Give us paper, give us transparent standards for election systems that force vendors to deliver trustworthy products, and above all, give us a new Secretary of State.
I'm sitting in for Brittney.
My name is Monica Griego and I am the legislative director for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.
Today at the State Board of Health, members of that Board voted to increase fees for copies of medical records. As if there weren't nearly 20% of Colorado's population uninsured... As if there weren't enough barriers to affordable and accessible healthcare... the Board now has handed consumers another barrier to access one's own medical record.
The proposal to increase fees for medical record copies was not COST based, and many legal opinions expressed that this proposal could be in violation of Federal Law (HIPAA).
While CCHI will oppose the decision and appeal the hearing, it is important for people to know that those with AIDS, Developmental Disabilities, or physical disabilities will now have to pay more for copies of their medical records if they wish to file for social security or disability benefits.
These populations, their personal representatives, and the advocacy organizations that work on theirr behalf deserve better. Please stay tuned to take action and let the Board of Health know that you are disappointed in the decision they took today.
YOU CAN email the entire membership of the US House Judiciary Committee RIGHT NOW (with just one email message) at this LINK and demand that they vote to hold Impeachment hearings immediately. Today Rep. Wexler is presenting his letter demanding impeachment hearings(with over 189,000 names) to John Conyers Judiciary Committee Chair. In a Tuesday speech to the House Wexler demanded immediate Impeachment hearings. To watch the video, please click "play" on the player below. See the text of a letter I just emailed to the entire House Judiciary Committee using this quick form. I also emailed a similar letter to my US Representative Diana DeGette and to all other Colorado Representatives using this form. Modify the letter in the first and last paragraph to say that you want your own Rep to ask the Judiciary Committee to hold Impeachment hearings. NOTE: Most Representatives websites now require you to know the last four digits of your zip code, easily found on some of the junk mail or bills you receive. The original text of my email can be found HERE. at the top/middle of the page. Feel free to use all/any or part of it in your email.
When I watched this part of the audio was garbled. It works best if you click "play" and allow the video to finish and then click "replay".
In case you missed it, the Gazette ed board compared Doug Bruce to Brittney Spears in their editorial yesterday. Funny as hell, and shocking coming from the state's most conservative newspaper. Here's a choice quote:
Like Spears, Bruce has morphed into an embarrassment to himself and all his old friends. Unlike Bruce, Spears has an excuse: She’s practically a child, whose maturity was likely stilted by the turmoil of teen stardom. Bruce, by contrast, is a grown and educated man .Ah, good stuff.
No matter if you invest in a company and then find out that the company was Enron. No matter if the accounting firm was Arthur Anderson who had a financial stake in making sure that Enron colluded in the fraud. No matter if such stellar investment houses like Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, et.al. makes money off the front end and the back end of investors. What are the ethics in business practices that allows for corporations to flee investors because there are inherent conflicts of interest between businesses, accounting firms, and investment corporations.
There are solid reasons that watchdog agencies to oversee that such inherent conflicts of interest are minimized. The creation of the SEC was in direct response to the lack of ethical and sound business practices during the Hoover era.
What is happening now is bad for investors given the today's 5-3 Supreme Court decision to throw out a lawsuit by investors against Charter Communications. AP reporter John Yoost writes:
The only door open for investors to find legal relief is through the SEC. Bloomberg News writes:
This case was closely watched with amicus briefs by heavyweights on both sides Planadvisor.com's Rebecca Moore writes:
The WSJ noted that both sides of the issue lined up strong support. Siding with the trial bar were two House committee chairmen, 18 pension funds, 32 state attorneys general, and the SEC. Backing big business were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the Nasdaq and NYSE Euronext exchanges; seven high-profile New York lawyers; and the Justice Department's solicitor general, who represents the views of the White House
Given the pro business tilt of the Supreme Court against enforcing sound business plans and ethical business practices by said businesses is it time for individual (you and me) and institutional investors to pull out of the stock market. Given that SEC regulators were asleep to keep the playing field fair to investors then why should you and I invest in a gamed stock market?
What is happening is a complete erosion of trust in our business model that is championed by Mr. Bush and the economic theory of the Chicago School's championed by Milton Friedman of "monetarism". (Naomi Klein's eviserates the real world outcome of such theory by renaming it "the shock doctrine" by which Friedman's lassiez faire capitalist system is just as revolutionary as Mao Tsetung's Great Leap Forward in its methodology.)
Can investors be given bad information and make good investment decisions?
Who is leaving the game "to have some fun now"?
Disgusted. Beyond disgusted. The corporate media has complete control of the phony election process. The only thing that will change will be the usual cosmetics from one megalomaniac to another. If any of those alleged candidates had any real integrity they would have demanded the presence of all of the candidates or refused to participate themselves; but there is too much egotism and self-serving interests for any of those yahoos to stand up for honest debate and fair competition.
We see the same pattern again and again; whether it be Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich, any message that conflicts with the corporate control of the government is suppressed.
"News" is controlled by the same warmongering corporations that are profiting from the Industry of War, so any meaningful opposition to the Fascist State seldom sees the light of day.
What to do??? What to do??? What sort of cataclysm is it going to take to reawaken the spirit of this nation and its peoples, and shake off the awful burden of this totalitarian state; when masses of people sleepwalk through life, not even aware of their own servitude to the military-industrial-legislative-corporate monster that is consuming the planet??? It is like a bad dream.
Just imagine what a wonderful world that could be created with those HUNDREDS OF TRILLIONS of dollars now being spent on the machinery of destruction. It is your labor and mine that is being stolen...
Lost in yesterday's reporting of Doug Bruce's assault on a news photographer, a story that will cheer all of us who want better working conditions for our bus drivers and a more efficient public transportation system in Denver.
That is, everything transit and worker's rights opponent Jon Caldara tried to stop when he was (laugh track) elected to the RTD board all those years ago. So sorry, Jon, this would be your final RTD strike-out.
All RTD drivers now unionized
Drivers at the last of RTD's three private contractors have voted to go union, completing a campaign by the Amalgamated Transit Union to once again represent all of the transit agency's drivers.
Yup, gonna be a little harder to roll over these hardworking people without any scabs. Might actually have to negotiate with them in good faith now. The drivers might be able to leverage their newfound solidarity into a better life for themselves and their children.
Oh, the horror...
The delaying and denial of claims takes a heavy toll on providers and hospitals. The following account by a New York doctor in 2007 relates the nature of delay tactics practiced by multipayer insurances (http://www.ama-assn.org/...).
As stated on the AMA Web site, "Prompt pay laws have been established since the late 1990s by states to relieve problems of delayed payments by most private health care plans to providers." However, just as they have bypassed statutes requiring insurances to be not-for-profit in Minnesota, so, too, do insurances often bypass this requirement.
Says one doctor:
"In New York, where I live,the law requires that clean claims must be paid in 45 days. But, as you might imagine, the insurance industry has found legal loopholes, and payment delays are the norm for doctors around the country.
"I guess things are so bad for the nation's doctors, that the AMA has an on-line booklet appropriately entitled '15 Steps to Protect Your Practice from Abusive Payment Tactics.' Like most complicated issues in life, there are myriad complexities to the crisis involving third party payments to doctors. But I'll give you a sense of what my friends who are doctors tell me.
"They say that getting paid is more often than not a take-no-prisoners battle. An insurer will reject a claim for the smallest reason. If a claim is submitted with every T crossed and every I dotted, as sure as night follows day, the insurer will require reams of additional information on the patient and the procedure. Almost nothing gets paid without a fight. Some describe the fight as a smoke and mirrors Kafkaesque nightmare.
"Imagine this sort of scenerio playing out in doctor's offices and hospitals across the nation. Imagine the costs associated with an army of claims specialists who are employed simply to pry payments out of the hands of the for-profit insurers. Physicians charge that one of the most common practices leading to long lag times is insurers' refusal to pay claims they say aren't 'clean.' They also ask patients to send unnecessary information before they'll pay, doctors alleged."
One doctor reported that an insurance company denied a claim for procedures performed on both of a patient's knees during one office visit, arguing that the claims were duplicative. Insurers also have asked his patients to provide accident information, even though it's already provided on a claim form, or information about pre-existing conditions. Health plans often won't send a copy of the request, so the doctor's staff can't help patients get the information. One claim for hand surgery included the surgeon's name and license number, but the insurer denied payment because the claim didn't state the doctor's degree.
"Most of it is really ridiculous -- standard form letters in their system that they shoot off and hope the provider doesn't address," explained an office administrator. "A lot of these claims get paid down the road, but they hold the funds 30 to 90 days longer than if it went through with a 'clean' claim," she said.
David Swanson will interview Jamie Leigh Jones on Tuesday evening, January 15th (8 to 9 p.m. ET), and she'll take questions from the audience. You can listen and participate at http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net and I certainly hope you will, because I have absolutely no idea myself what I can say to her. What excuse can any of us offer? What words can convey the depth of our shame? What can we commit to doing to help her and others like her?
Isn't it time for Rep. DeGette to get in on helping Ms. Jones? If Ms. Jones Representative is fighting for her then it should be, in the name of justice, for Representative DeGette and Speaker of the House Pelosi to lend their creds for Ms. Jones.
Contrary to what is being said about this being confined to what an employee, Ms. Jones, has given away when she signed an employee contract with her employer and the clause about "binding arbitration" there is the political dimension. If there is enough popular pressure put on politicians then such contracts with "binding arbitration" will be subject to legislation that will effectively ban such legal clauses that benefit companies and deny justice to the wronged employee.
Clearly the behavior of Halliburton in this case shows that the use of such legal device as "binding arbitration" works only for the benefit of the corporation. This "benefit" is at the expense of pursing justice for the wronged. From the journalists reports that the criminal behavior of Halliburton is worth pursing from a political perspective.
Although Ms. Jones may not see justice served to those who raped her, emprisoned her, and destroyed evidence of their crimes to shield the perpetuators but the legal device that denies her justice should, though legislative action, never be used so again by the outright banning of "binding arbitration".
It is time for Rep. DeGette and Speaker of the House Pelosi to get behind legislation that will ban such business practices that effectively deny justice to wronged employees.
Forty years ago, the Democratic Party was faced with the specter of losing the Presidency after eight years. The Democrats only hope was a handful of candidates that had spent the primaries talking about issues rather than personalities. Because of those candidates and the urgency of those issues, the entire election turned on issues and not personalities.
Unfortunately, during the primaries the leading Democratic candidate, a young man who captured everyone's imagination with his charisma, charm, and determination was shot in a kitchen in California after winning that state's primary. The other candidate, the Senator from Minnesota suddenly looked like he might end up being the standard bearer for ending the war and civil rights, particularly voting rights in the south. Unfortunately, the Senator's heart wasn't in the campaign and he never captured the imagination of the Democratic party the way his dead colleague had.
While the Democratic convention was in the process of naming Hubert Humphrey as it's candidate, there was rioting in the streets of Chicago quelled by a mayor, a Democrat who tried to control and orchestrate the convention without regard to the tempest of emotion in America in 1968. The situation was out of control. It truly was Nero fiddling while Rome burned. The party abandoned the issues for a status quo candidate.
Who picked up the standard… who became the candidate with progressive ideas, and led the Republican party to eight years in the White House? Richard Nixon picked up the causes that the progressive Democrats had dropped, ending the war and civil rights, and campaigned on those issues. Of course, everyone had forgotten this was the man that sat beside Joe McCarthy on his witch hunt for Communists, no one remembered that eight years earlier, Nixon was inarticulate and unable to gain enough support as Vice President to one of the most heroic figures to emerge from the second world war… even Eisenhower's magic couldn't save Nixon from himself in 1960.
Forty years later what have we learned? Many of our basic rights have been taken away or reduced in order to 'protect our rights.' Freedom of assembly and freedom of speech have become inconveniences that must be controlled or fenced in to prevent public affairs nightmares for piss poor politicians. Freedom of the press has been manipulated to the point that Hearst's yellow journalism of the 20's and 30's pales in comparison, opinion and hearsay now pass as fact as news organizations and talk show hosts manufacture revelations about politicians, trend setters and people outside the status quo. The 'Moral Majority' of the late Jerry Falwell has become a formidable political machine in search of a new standard bearer if they can get away from some of their leaders sexual orientation and conduct issues, which seem to only be problems for them.
All the elements are still here in 2008, an unpopular war, disenfranchised voters in the south, and with a progressive young black man as a candidate there is now a verbal battle being fought over whose best represents civil rights in the coming election as a personality issue… duh!
What else can the party do to self destruct between now and the November election? Apparently no one inside the beltway realizes we are at war, new jobs at Walmart and McDonald's cannot sustain economic growth, housing starts coupled with mortgage foreclosures do not represent an upward trend in personal wealth, and voting machines that record anything other than what the voter actually entered are so ridiculously stupid that it's expected of politicians to do dumb crap like that and think they can get away with it. Of course they don't want you to get a hard copy…you think they want you to have proof of election fraud?
Me… I haven't got a clue as to who will win in November. It's after November I'm worried about… I have no idea what any of these people want to do for and with our country or what the hell they stand for, tears don't cut it unless they are for men and women losing their lives, children without enough to eat or unable to get an education, citizens languishing in jail because habeus corpus no longer exists. I do know that several of these candidates, including Democrats voted for funding to continue the war in exchange for pork barreling concessions in their own districts… lives for highways, guns or butter.
Think what you will, attack me if you like, but it's in the paper, on television and the internet everyday. What does your crystal ball tell you? I hear people saying these candidates and politicians are not responsible for society's ills… well, damn it, they sure the hell pass the laws that are, and if they can't take responsibility for the quality of their work, then they are responsible by proxy.
When EL Paso County Republicans appointed infamous guvmint-hating blowhard Doug Bruce to the state legislature, you thought they exhorted him to "kick ass," you know, figuratively. They probably did, too.
Doug Bruce apparently isn't big on metaphor.
Kick helps get Bruce off on wrong foot with colleagues
Douglas Bruce arrived at the Capitol on Monday, kicked a photographer, angered his own caucus and "embarrassed" one of the people who appointed him to fill a state House vacancy -- all before taking the oath of office.
House Republicans are reacting with suitable dismay (the Joe Stengel and Jim Welker episodes seem to have taught them something about rapid response), and are promising to keep Rep. Bruce on a "tight leash."
Given what we saw yesterday, I'm wondering if the dolly rig they used on Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs might make their job easier.
I would end with something predictable like, "damn, you righties sure know how to pick 'em," but I think the point's been made.
See Alan, I was working. I've been in Ohio the last couple of days visiting our sister organization, ProgressOhio. I went to their RootsCamp yesterday (Sunday) and worked out of their offices today.
RootsCamp never fails to inspire me and renew my faith in Democracy. The picture above was a breakout on healthcare reform. Well over 200 people attended this RootsCamp in Columbus, Ohio. From labor organizations, to environmental activists, to healthcare reform advocates and everything in between, the participants were incredibly informed, inspiring, and determined to make change happen in Ohio. Having met this fantastic group of folks representing the progressive base across Ohio, I feel very good about Ohio's prospects in the 2008 election.
On Wednesday January 16 Congressman Wexler of Florida will be delivering a letter to the US House Judiciary Committee with nearly 200,000 signatures requesting immediate hearings on Impeachment. You can sign the letter at WexlerWantsHearings.com
On Wednesday calling your representative and the chairman and members of the House Judiciary Committee and telling them to start Impeachment hearings would be the patriotic thing to do.
You can find the direct phone numbers of the Judiciary Committee HERE.
These 800 Numbers will take you to their offices. Use the link above to know who to talk to. 800-828-0498 800-828-0498 800-459-1887 800-614-2803 866-348-9281 866-338-1015 877-851-6437
Just call these same 800 numbers to reach your representative,other Contact Info for the Colorado Reps including Email Addesses, websites, etc are listed on our website. You may also call after hours and just leave a voicemail message.
John H Kennedy Denver, CO - Organizer of the
Impeach Colorado Coalition at ImpeachCO.com
You can read my comment on todays related Denver Post article
in the Denver and the West Section regarding the article entitled:
Rough legislative session looms large.The
comment link at the DenverPost.com
When it happens to me, it's torture, says intelligence "czar" Mike McConnell:
Spy chief: Waterboarding would torture me
The nation's intelligence chief says waterboarding "would be torture" if used against him or if someone under interrogation actually was taking water into his lungs.
Really clears things up, doesn't it? Perversely, it kind of does...
Over 20 federal and state studies since the ‘90s have reported enough administrative savings with Single Payer insurance to cover the uninsured and upgrade coverage of the underinsured. Thanks to the greater administrative efficiency of single payer, other industrialized nations experience better health care outcomes while spending on average half as much as the U.S. – where the medical-industrial complex now eats up one-sixth of our Gross Domestic Product.
One of the greatest conceits of health care reform debates is the notion that ‘free-market competition’ of multi-payer for-profit private insurance companies will lower health costs or improve quality of care. Rather than a free market, the insurance industry is increasingly a profit-centered monopoly market, dominated by four behemoths – United Health, Wellpoint, Aetna and Cigna. Instead of reduced costs, premium rates have increased 82 percent in Colorado over six years, consistently outpacing the rate of inflation or workers’ wages.
Just as we wouldn’t expect ‘free-market’ for-profit police or fire protection, health care should not be treated as a commodity, like a car or a house, to be negotiated at the door of a hospital.
Having abandoned the insurance principle of shared risk, multi-payer health insurance has created a two-trillion dollar industry by gaming the system. Shareholder profits are maximized by selectively insuring the healthy, and rejecting everyone else as a ‘pre-existing condition.’ Commercial insurances direct 20 percent or more of health care dollars into high administrative costs, multi-million-dollar CEO salaries, and expanding shareholder profits.
Insurance middlemen in Denial Management – a $20 billion annual industry – scan claims for excuses to delay, deny or renig on provider reimbursements. Some insurers demand money back; more are reported to simply deduct it from future claim payments, forcing providers to appeal claims a second or third time. Reports The Wall Street Journal (2/14/07), 30 percent of provider claims are denied the first time – adding to the administrative nightmare of providers who are forced to deal with different forms and requirements, resubmitted claims and changing formularies, as well as the annual ritual of provider re-credentialing by each insurer. Provider and hospital costs for extra staff to deal with insurance claims alone is estimated to absorb an additional 12-15 percent of all health care dollars.
Private insurers continue to line up for a gravy train of taxpayer subsidies, even as they purposely deny health care access to many. As growth in the employer-sponsored and individual markets has slowed, commercial insurers have pushed to privatize public programs, like Medicaid and Medicare. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) was influenced by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries to enhance their bottom lines with billions of dollars of subsidies and inflated profits. Taxpayers also subidize private Medicare Advantage plans at 12 percent higher cost than traditional Medicare (with a 2 percent overhead cost).
Welcome to health insurance hell: more family dollars poured into the insurance black hole in return for declining health care access.
Isn't that what is really the result of this? Bush wants to continue to kill American troops long after he is out of office.
Well here's my view that the next president should disavow any pact signed by Al-Maliki and Mr. Bush because the the pact was signed under duress by the Iraqi government. The Iraqi government is not a free agent due to the continuing military occupation by a hostile force nor does the Iraqi government have legitimacy because it is not a true representative body of the people of Iraq. The use of military force to overthrow a government and replace it with a puppet regime is illegal under international law. Hence, the new American President should have the authority, with legal standing, to aborgate the pact.
Ask the presidential candidates if what Mr. Bush is doing legal.
...against all enemies foreign and domestic. Sound familiar? It's part of the oath of office all persons entering into service of the United States are required to take. Taking this oath for persons entering the military has life or death implications. One assumes that when you take on this responsibility that the government will live up to its responsibility and provide proper and prompt compensation if you lose you life, use of your body or parts there of, and will take care of your family in your absence or incapacitation... just as any employer responsible under OWCP regulations would be. But the federal government is self-insured, which basically means not insured. Those of us injured during our military service, widows, dependents are at the whim of political appropriations for our livelyhood, thus I received this letter from IAVA (Iraq Afganistan Veterans Assoc.) yesterday.
Great news. We just learned that the President is planning to approve an additional $3.7 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. We're expecting him to make it official sometime tomorrow.
Until now, no one knew whether the President was going to approve this critical funding. Previously, he had said he would support getting the money to the VA. But with the deadline just days away, time was running out. So last Thursday, along with nine other leading veterans organizations, IAVA signed a letter to the President urging him to approve the funding. You can read it here.
We've been following this issue since December, and many of you helped us keep the pressure on by writing letters to the editors of your local newspapers. A lot of you put time and effort into this, and I'd say $3.7 billion is a great result to show for your work.
This money doesn't represent irresponsible spending - it's funding that is desperately needed to battle a backlog of 600,000 VA claims, and to pay for research into medical conditions like Traumatic Brian Injury.
So to all of you who supported these efforts by contributing over the past several months, or by writing letters over the past few days - thank you. Once again, we have shown that committed Americans really can make a difference for our country's newest generation of veterans.
In simple English this means that hundreds of thousands of veterans have yet to receive benefits that are suppose to make them 'whole' after having completed their service to this nation, and that a guy that was AWOL from his guard unit during wartime has the ability to withhold those funds is a national tragedy.
Who knows what political movations make some one do this? Is he trying to control a large block of votes by holding a financial gun to their heads. Maybe.
Is it ethical? Do you want 600,000 plus voters to vote their pocketbooks in the future because their income depends on voting 'the right way?' Or do you want them to vote their conscience because its a guaranteed right?
We as a nation have to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the liability that is created when this nation goes to war and realize that liability does not stop when the guns are silenced because our dead and wounded did not stop there service when things got dangerous. This process of compensating veterans needs to be removed from politics. These veterans gave and continue to give everything asked of them, can we say the same?
In a siege to rival Leningrad, a quarter of a million citizens are expected to descend on Colorado's capitol on January 31 to prevent the passage of the 2008 Insurance Extortion Act.
The act, championed by United Health Care and a host of insurance conglomerates, would force the most vulnerable citizens to purchase inadequate, token health insurance, about as valuable in real-life as a Monopoly "Get Out Of Jail Free" card would be in an American court. Those who cannot afford to pay for "protection" will have their financial knees bashed in with a legal baseball bat -- they will be forced to pay a huge fine equal to a year's insurance premiums.
"We will lay siege to the capitol and force the legislators to remain in session until they defeat this extortion racket," said one anonymous source.
The groundwork for the Insurance Extortion Act was laid in 2007, when the governor's "independent" Blue Ribbon Commission On Healthcare received more than a million dollar "contribution" from an "anonymous source." Prior to that, the commission determined that Universal, Single-Payer healthcare was the only plan that covered everyone, and saved more than a billion dollars. After the "contribution," the Commission reversed course and decided to give billions more to the insurance industry. YOU do the math.
Of course, much of the above is satire (except for the facts on what this will do to Colorado's health care). What is really "expected" to happen is that we all lay down and take it like whipped puppies.
Call, write, petition, organize, protest!
There's an event at the Mercury Cafe on January 22 at 6:30 featuring doctors, nurses, charts, graphs, bells, whistles, a free showing of Michael Moore's SiCKO, and live music. Let's get amped, folks; we have a couple of weeks to gather enough steam to stop this horrible legislation from becoming law.
This blogger is not affiliated with the event, but encourages everyone to attend.
Giving a free pass for the biggest telecom companies like Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, etc. is harmful to the rule of law by which all people and organizations must abide by in this country.
Many people would give the telecom companies such a pass because will live in this supposed "global war on terror" that Mr. Bush has created. Those people would rather give up the rule of law in order to remain "alive". However we now know that such an espionage tool that the telecom companies allowed Mr. Bush's government to use was "shut off" whenever the government did not pay their bill on time.
So it was not a patriotic duty that the telecom companies performed at all. What companies do is to make money. Period. Their loyalty to this nation stops when the bill isn't paid.
Mr. Bush's crying and whining about making sure that the telecom companies have "retroactive immunity" from citizen lawsuits is an affront to the people of this nation. We know that the telecom companies would only play ball when the bill was paid.
It seems to me that the telecom companies really do not care about the safety of this nation's people but only to how much money they can rake in. The lives of the people they could care less about.
I support Chris Dodd and his fight to preserve the Constitution against the depredations by Mr. Bush's lawless ways to preserve Republican power. This is what the telecom immunity is about to expose that the war on terror is truly about: Republican power.
Why else would a political operator like Karl Rove have this nation's highest security clearances other than to shape Mr. Bush's administration into a tax payer supported political machine? A Republican machine that subverts the very notion of what government and governance should be about.
The "retroactive immunity" that Mr. Bush so cravenly wants is nothing more than to spy on Americans for political power just as everything that Mr. Bush's "non-policies" are about from the "Clear Skies" Act and "Health Forests" Initiative of 2003 to the illegal presidential powers he has arogated to himself through the use of bogus "presidential" signing statements.
This is denial of justice to millions of people if Mr. Bush gets what he wants: Telecom companies will not face lawsuits by Americans because they were spied upon without "probable cause" in their own homes and using their own phones.
According to an article in today's Washington Post, a survey has found that Iraqi casualties from the current conflict actually appear to have been 151,000 so far, down from a previous estimate of as many a 601,000. The article goes on to say that 9 out of 10 of those casualties were the direct result of engagement of hostile forces...etc. etc. If the information in the survey is accurate, then collateral damage from the oil driven/profiteering war would only be about twenty percent atrocious as previously believed.
If you haven't voted yet in our Pick Your President Poll, take a minute to check it out: http://pickyourpresident.org/
It's an online poll in CA, CO, OH, WA, WI, and MI. So far, Edwards is leading Obama on the Dem side. Hillary is trailing back.
I've had TWO politically motivated calls today! You'd think it was 2008 or something!
The first one was someone fund-raising for Obama, and I have to say, if most of his co-workers are cut from the same cloth, no wonder Obama's campaign is doing so well. He was quick, on message, and responsive without seeming at all robotic, AND he took the time to chat just a little and tell me a joke at the end! I HAD to promise a small donation just because he did such a darned good job!
The other call I got was from a campaign worker asking if I could come phone-bank for Jared. I explained I couldn't because it would be a 4-5 hour drive for me. He must have been working off a donor list, because he asked incredulously if I was NOT in CD-2. "Nope," I said, "I just like Jared."
So there I go, mixing people up again!
Some state legislators, as well as the 208 Commission for Health Care Reform, ascribe the problem of health care cost-shifting primarily to the uninsured. The reasoning goes, that if you can just get everyone insured by enforcing Massachusetts-style 'Individual Mandate' to buy commercial health insurance, the cost-shift will end (the Commission's recommended penalty equals the cost of one year's insurance premiums). However, the recommended cure may be worse than the disease.
'Affordable' private insurance -- known as 'Minimum Benefit Plans' -- are not really affordable to many working families. They come with high deductibles (often $5,000 per individual, $10,000 per family annually) and low caps that leave people vulnerable to health and financial risk. In part due to such plans, out-of-pocket health costs have risen about 60 percent over a decade; simultaneously, unpaid medical bills have also increased 60 percent. Consequently, some hospitals reportedly now ask those arriving at their doors with underinsurance policies, for up-front payment.
The Families USA report, "Too Great a Burden: Colorado's Families At Risk" (12-13-07) reveals that 1,054,000 people under the age of 65 in Colorado are in families that will spend more than 10% of their family income on health care costs in 2008 before accounting for taxes. Out of these people, the vast majority, 82.6%, have insurance. Out of these Coloradans, 299,000 live in families that will spend more than 25% of their pre-tax income on health care costs in 2008.
In short, Families USA reports that the numbers of underinsured people have increased since previous studies in 2000, and as a result, put thousands of families at risk due to a growing health care burden. Full Report - Families USA: Colorado's Families At Risk
Our 2008 Colorado General Assembly gets underway with a proud moment, and not just for the General Assembly.
Historic day at legislature
Nearly every row in the balcony and the east bench in the State Senate were filled with blacks this morning, coming to watch a moment in history that Sen. Peter Groff's own father didn't think he would live to see in his lifetime.
The Shifty Schaffer campaign kicked off today!
Exempla Healthcare filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block the sale of Lutheran and Good Samaritan hospitals to a Catholic nonprofit, citing aspects of the $311 million deal that it finds "unacceptable and wrong."
A little more information:
The Exempla lawsuit objects to two primary parts of the merger: the ban on specific services due to religious beliefs and the diversion of the $311 million away from health care needs.
These services include abortions, tubal ligations, vasectomies, and other forms of birth control as well as end of life care for people in persistent vegetative states.
This is the second lawsuit filed to stop the merger. The first one was filed by organizations, doctors, and individuals.
And Attorney General John Suther's refuses to intervene even though citizens, hospital staff, and multiple organizations have pleaded for an end to the merger.
According to Rocky Mountain News the letter stated:
Meanwhile, Williams Oil sent letters to its employees and contractors describing the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) as trying to –
So the long awaited push back from the Oil & Gas industry has begun. We can only guess what other types of misinformation our industry front group friends over at Americans for American Energy will be distributing in the near future.
This is a critical time for the COGCC as they prepare to institute new rules for regulating the industry. The state is providing an even greater level of transparency in getting feedback about proposed rules and better regulation of the environmental and health effects is desperately needed. This is not the time for Oil and Gas Companies to start putting out false claims and inflating fear in the eyes of citizens, workers, and public leaders.
Lets hope they get their act together.
Let's tell our leaders what we want in 2008!
The Colorado legislative session begins TODAY, January 9th. Join ProgressNow members from across the state in a conference call next week with House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and Senate President Peter Groff to kick off the session.
Click below to learn more. You can also submit a question you'd like to ask our leaders about any issue--from healthcare reform or renewable energy, to education funding or election reform:
If you can't make the call, you can still participate! Use this form to tell leadership what's on your mind. We'll deliver your comments to the both the House and Senate leadership before the conference call next week:
With more progressive leaders in state government, we have a real opportunity to move Colorado forward. But change won't come easy. Powerful corporate interests with high-paid lobbyists will fight every day to keep the status quo.
We need change now, and that's where we all come in. We're kicking off a historic citizen lobbying campaign throughout the legislative session to make sure that the voices of ordinary Coloradans are heard at the Capitol--joining this call is the first step.
His administration is still trying to evade federal law:
Missing White House e-mails probed
A federal magistrate ordered the White House on Tuesday to reveal whether copies of possibly millions of missing e-mails are stored on computer backup tapes.
While the short-term "solution" is still being hashed out between investigators and the few remaining administration hacks running interference, the long-term cure is right in front of us.
And no, it isn't impeachment, unless you really think President Cheney would be any more forthcoming. It's all the amazing things we'll start learning on January 22, 2009, once the current occupant is no longer in a position to obstruct justice...
Los Angeles Times writer Tom Hamburger writes:
I wrote back to the LATimes:
I call on all progressive minded business leaders to repudiate Tom Donohue's call to arms against the American people. Politicians and political candidates are responding to the American people on the way business has operated over the last seven years.
I call on all progressive people to let progressive businesses and nonprogressive businesses know that Tom Donohue no longer has the best interests of businesses at heart.
This week, the worker bashing Denver Post had a two part series on labor unions that might as well have been called “Denver Post publisher Dean Singleton wants to see Coloradans make less money, have to foreclose on more homes.” In the first article, ominously called “Learning Wash. unions' lessons” the writer warned of horrible things that might come to pass due to Governor Ritter’s Executive Order, but didn’t back it up with credible facts. The article looked at one state’s growing workforce and didn’t even bother to wonder why the state may have actually needed more employees, like ummm…maybe they had more work to do.
Buried deep down in the article where the writer probably hoped no one would see it was this gem that was basically a throwaway line: “’I'm able to put my kids through college,’ said Hall, 48, who has daughters in college. ‘I was finally able to buy a house.’"
The article neglected to quote from labor leaders in Colorado about how Coloradans might be able to afford to buy a home or send their own kids to college. Did the Post bother to ask any officials, like, say the state’s Executive Director of the Department of Labor whether Colorado might be expanding their workforce because of the agreement? Of course not.
I wonder whether Denver Post publisher Dean Singleton cares about whether more Coloradans face foreclosures. Has Singleton ever had to worry about his house being foreclosed on as so many Coloradans have in recent months? If he had, maybe he wouldn’t think that the working men and women of our great state shouldn’t be allowed to afford to help their kids get through college.
In an article by David Edwards and Muriel Kan on Rawstory.com today, Chris Matthews who appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe, describes how he expects the
Democratic Party establishment to destroy Barack Obama's candidacy and ensure the nomination for Hillary Clinton. "There's a battle in the Democratic Party between the idealists and the interest groups," Matthews began. "And in the beginning of every Democratic campaign for president, there's an idealist who comes forward ... and they do very well in the first offing. ... And then the interest groups get all called in, the meal tickets, all the people that get something out of the party are
bussed in, trucked in from out of town ... and they blow away the idealist." "It has been done so many times," he continued. "Kill the fire of insurgency. And when that's killed, then you go back to the same old interest group politics." "It has been done so many times," he continued. According to Mathews "They (the Establishment)will find some way to counter this (Obama) power." "They are under threat right now, because if Obama wins, they lose," Matthews went on... I've seen this dream die so many times." "They'll make Hillary a more sympathetic figure," Matthews predicted, saying that between now and Super Tuesday ... the newspapers...will give us "the new Hillary, the softer Hillary, the humble Hillary."
"The fawning journalism is yet to come," concluded Matthews.
We saw the TEARS yesterday. Read more at Rawstory.com
It's the New Hampshire Primary
"1st in the Nation" with Corporate Controlled,
By Nancy Tobi
Introduction. The more things stay the same, the worse they smell
Tomorrow's New Hampshire primary represents a major turning point in the presidential primaries. We've got the rising star of Obama, the stunned Clinton camp, and the populist efforts of the fast moving Democrat, John Edwards, just off a 9% increase in the national polls. At this juncture, the Republican race is less compelling unless you happen to be John McCain or Mitt Romney.
Does Obama's highly favorable corporate media image stack up against reality? Is this the end of Hillary, or at least the beginning of the end? Can Edwards kick in the door with a strong showing and demand coverage? Will Ron Paul embarrass Giuliani by edging him out for fourth?
We'll never know for sure.
Finally. State officials have realized abstinence only until marriage programs don't work. And they’ve rejected half a million in federal funds that have supported such programs. No big loss for comprehensive sex ed programs because in order to accept abstinence only funds, there can be no overlap in programs.
This decision simply means that Colorado’s elected officials recognize the importance of comprehensive sex ed programs, including, but not limited to abstinence.
This decision makes Colorado the 14th state to pass up money for abstinence-only education funds.
As legislators gear up to tackle large fiscal shortfalls in Colorado this spring the same question keeps coming up each time….how are we going to pay for this?
Tomorrow as the Colorado General Assembly begins it’s 2008 session they will start dealing with how to prioritize improvements in health care, transportation, and both secondary and higher education. Also on their plate are topics such as Colorado’s response to global warming, agriculture issues, immigration reform, and fixing the state constitution.
Meanwhile, Governor Ritter is entering his second year of office. While widely popular coming out of his firs year, many of the of the blue ribbon panels he set up to report on issues like education, transportation, and health care are starting to report back.
The verdict: we need money – to the tune of $3 billion more a year.
So it appears the honeymoon for the Governor may be over and the real work is about start because laying in the path to these reforms are the morass of constitutional provisions limiting state spending, a hesitant state electorate when it comes to tax increases, and a host of pundits who like to remind of us of both.
One of the easiest ways to be an activist everyday is to spend money on products and services that come from companies that practice a progressive business model. When a company incorporates environmentalism, equal employment rights, human rights around the world, and gives back to the community that sustains it, the economy is strengthened, our children are safer and our country is freer.
Historically a great source for information about a company's political practices has been BuyBlue.org. Once defunct, BuyBlue.org has found a new home in The Mile High City and is hiring!
Who would've thought it? Under the regime of Mr. Bush the American middle class has shrunk. Not only has the size of the middle class has shrunk but the median income has declined but expenses have gone way up.
But what of the rest of the industialized countries? Is income falling too for their citizens?
From BBC news:
Should there be blame? Fortune Magazine's Geoff Colvin has a response:
It could be due to two factors: 1). the destruction of our industrial base and 2). the increasing use of part time workers to replace full time workers. What happens is that when the government agencies track employment they count people who work two part time jobs as being seperate.
With the removal to third world nations of our manufacturing base there is no longer a large percentage of "blue collar" full time, middle class workers now.
I would say that Geoff Colvin is a lazy because he didn't do the research for his column. Hence his column comes off as being "half baked".
Two of Colorado’s most popular ski areas, Copper Mountain and Breckenridge, both received F’s in a recent environmental scorecard released by the Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition. Winter Park followed close by with a grade of D. The report card used a complex set of several factors such as Preserving Environmentally Sensitive Areas, Conserving Water and Energy by Avoiding New Snowmaking, and Environmental Policy Positions and Advocacy in determining scores.
The most heavily weighted factors involved the expansion of new ski terrain into previously unused or remote areas. As the report states, “development on undisturbed forest lands is the single most damaging ecological impact a ski area can undertake.”
According to the report, skier numbers have only increased by 1/10 of 1% per year for the last 20+ years; yet the growth of new terrain at many parks far outpaces this rise. Ski resorts are competing with each other for a very limited pool of skier dollars every year. The report cards aim is to encourage positive effects across the industry by pointing out this inconsistency to users and the resorts themselves.
While Colorado had the worst two resorts in the country, it can also boast the best two as well. Aspen and Buttermilk resorts were numbers 1 & 2 atop the Coalition’s list with Telluride and Aspen Highlands receiving A’s as well.
For the full report on Colorado Ski Resort's check here
Every so often it's necessary for us to point out that progressnowcolorado.org is a 501(c)(4) organization. While we are not expressly responsible for content posted to our site by members, we *are* responsible to the IRS for making sure our facilities are not misused for overt electioneering purposes. Direct endorsement of candidates is prohibited by (c)(4) organizations, and our provided community organizing tools cannot be used for this purpose.
I have been forced to delete a couple of recent blog posts that were engaged in the kind of overt electioneering that is prohibited by the IRS. Be assured we do not "censor" content based on our own political preferences, but we have no choice but to be compliant with the federal laws governing our organization.
You are free to express your opinions on any subject here at ProgressNowAction, even those you might consider unpopular with the staff or other members--but please be mindful of our restrictions regarding the endorsement of political candidates. We will have no choice but to continue to remove content posted to our forum in violation of the law.
IT Manager, ProgressNow
Interesting article in today's Boston Globe:
US executions in a lull as court examines lethal injection
A quarter-century has elapsed since the United States experienced as long a pause in executions as the one the Supreme Court has occasioned with its current examination of lethal injections.
While the Supreme Court debates which drug cocktail will do the job "painlessly," states are revisiting their death row cases and finding wrongful convictions--sometimes too late. It's the fear of executing an innocent person that is slowing that nation's rate of executions, not concerns over pain suffered during lethal injection.
It will be interesting to see the technical results of this challenge, whether this poison or that poison is the most "humane" for administering the death penalty, but it won't answer the real question America is grappling with.
<b>Why I Believe Bush Must Go
It happened in part because the Bush-Cheney team repeatedly deceived Congress, the press and the public into believing that Saddam Hussein had nuclear arms and other horrifying banned weapons that were an "imminent threat" to the United States. The administration also led the public to believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks -- another blatant falsehood. ...
THE LOONY BOWL
Television trivializes everything it touches. Now we have jumped from the horserace metaphor to the "Ballot Bowl.", the Super-Bowl of American politics; and it is indeed a game.
I am straddled between outright rage and utter contempt for this Gilbert and Sullivan parody of the democratic process. Who the hell let these "candidates", so called, out of the loony bin? The two lunatic fringe candidates, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich (who was excluded from the debate altogether because the Corporate-Industrial-Legislative Complex does not want us to even hear his message of impeachment, Universal single-payer health care, a cabinet level Department of Peace, immediate termination of the immoral and illegal Iraq occupation, and restoration of the United States government to its constitutional restraints and the rule of laws, both domestic and international) are the only sane people in the bunch.
John Edwards had the audacity to even mention the elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth, which happens to be the basic principle underlying the "Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty". Lest we forget, the United States was once committed to the elimination of ALL nuclear weapons. Edward's comment was quickly ignored and the emphasis was suddenly on the "Be afraid" assumption of the "mushroom cloud" and the clamoring of the lunatics to prove their readiness to continue Bush's criminal doctrine of "pre-emptive warfare," which in more sane times meant aggression. I hate to tell you, but both Hillary and Obama are nut cases. They are both bought and paid for by the same money that has given us 10,000 nuclear warheads, Star Wars, and a $9,199,059,369,254.30 national debt (as of this writing) and growing at a rate of $1.49 BILLION per day. No politician will even mention the national debt because both parties have colluded to bankrupt our wonderful nation.
There is no doubt that power corrupts and the hunger for power drives self-serving souls beyond lunacy because they have no foundation in the fundamental principles of human decency and compassion for their fellow human beings. Make no mistake about it, the criminally insane persons who currently rule the world and those who desire to rule the world are quite capable of destroying all life on the planet in the quest for their own megalomaniacal fulfillment of their own illusions of grandeur. Let's face it; they don't give a rat's ass about the rest of us. The important thing is winning the "Ballot Bowl," for themselves and their financial backers; i.e. the multi-national corporations.
There is much debate about "the war." There is no war. The United States is occupying a sovereign nation and trying to prop up a puppet government that the US has created in violation of the international laws. The war on terror is actually a war of terror imposed upon the planet, with all of the rules of common decency and human compassion being suspended. All of the strivings of humanity's progress towards a truly civilized society have been abandoned in favor of greed as the blood of our youth is spilled into the ground and the US treasury is sacked by the corporate pirates and political brigands.
Is there any hope for the future generations when Progressives won't even back Progressive candidates because they are "unelectable"??? Is that a self-fulfilling prophesy,or what??? Maybe we are all insane after living under the threat of nuclear annihilation for so long. We all have to die sometime; but what is the hurry?
God is good. Perhaps she will stir our collective consciousness to wakefulness and the realization that peace and human kindness is THE WAY and we shall study war no more...
The free market works if there is no government.
We need a bigger military.
Families are on their own for healthcare.
Illegals should leave voluntarily or face arrest and deportation.
This is what I saw as basic agreement for Republican candidates.
BTW- Huckabee used "vertical" leadership which is Christian code word for "being for or with God".
Everyone thought with the massive number of Constitutional violations that were public knowledge and obvious that 2007 would be a year in which our Democratic Congressmen/women would honor their oath of office and protect the Constitution. Then came the 2006 off-year election, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi's assertion that impeachment,was "off the table." John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, where impeachment hearings would be held, was reduced to an embarrassing puppet of Pelosi. Kucinich's Impeach Bill H Res 799 remains stalled in Conyer's committee, for 9 months, but the bill has gained 24 co-sponsors. But, things have begun to move. First, three members of the House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Robert Wexler, a six-term Democrat from south Florida, announced their intention to ask Conyers and Pelosi to start hearings on whether Cheney had committed impeachable crimes and abuses of power. Wexler and his colleagues, Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), are mainstream members of the House Democratic Caucus, not progressive fire-brands. They were later joined by Rep. Anthony Wiener.
Now, in what could be a tipping point for Cheney's fortunes, another member of the House has issued a call for impeachment hearings. This time it's Rep. Mike Michaud of Maine. What makes Michaud different is that he is a self-described "blue-dog" Democrat--one of those conservative members of the Democratic Party who often vote with Republicans, who tend to look for bi-partisanship instead of political confrontation. Michaud is likely taking this plunge into impeachment politics because he realizes impeachment has become a popular issue among voters in Maine, where an
independent candidate, peace activist Laurie Dobson, is mounting a campaign for Senate with impeachment as a key campaign theme. With November 2008 growing closer, other members of the House elsewhere across the nation may also start to see being pro-impeachment as a winning position. Speaker Pelosi, who faces a re-election bid, whose poll numbers now show her to have a higher negative rating than a positive support rating, is on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of the Constitution. She may end up being ignored by her caucus. This impeachment thing could still happen. READ MORE HERE
If you mention John Kerry what else comes to mind?
Swift Boaters, of course.
The idiot corporate media had a field day with the lies by these so-called veterans who are blinded by partisan ideological hatred of Democratics who represent progress for this nation. Sure there were a few articles by the media the showed the true record of John Kerry but the giant media voice that people heard was to trumpet the lies of John's voluntary service in Vietnam.
So these deep pocketed haters have a new group called "Swift Vets and POWs for Truth" which is giving big time money to Republican presidential candidates. So John "I'll do anything" McCain is the second largest Bag Boy for their "generosity". Mitt Romney leads this disgraceful pack of Republican candidates for president (Rudy is in third place).
No Democratic candidate is listed by the group.
The Nation's investigative reporter Chistopher Hayes writes:
Why not call out these Republican candidates for what they are:
Bag Boys for Liars
Let the corporate media know that the wool will not be pulled over their eyes because vigilante citizens will call them on it.
Harmfully interacting TABOR/Amendment 23/Arveschoug-Bird amendments. Wedge-issue fear-mongering nonsense (2006's "Defend Colorado Now"). Straight-up evil hatemendments (1992's Amendment 2). Colorado's constitution is too easy to screw with and tens of thousands of words too heavy, packed with junk that may have seemed good to a majority of voters in the abstract but are now choking out our state government's ability to do its job and respond to changing economics and priorities.
Removing all this junk may require an extraordinary intervention, some say even an unprecedented constitutional convention where we start with a blank sheet of paper--a perilous course all its own. In the meantime, a special research panel at DU provides some helpful intermediate steps:
DU panel urges legislators to vet citizen measures
Colorado lawmakers should vet citizen-proposed constitutional amendments before they hit the ballot and a state commission should clear up conflicts in the document every 10 years, a university panel said Thursday.
Check out a new online tool where you can calculate the emissions from your lawn equipment based on where you live and the size of your yard. Go to www.cleanairlawncare.com and click on CLEAN LAWN CALCULATOR. It's pretty cool!
The Douglas County Democratic Party has finalized its caucus locations for 2008. All caucuses will occur on February 5, 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
In Colorado, the caucus is the only primary vote to nominate party candidates for president of the United States. The caucus is also where you elect delegates to represent you in nominating all other candidates for Federal, state, and county public offices, and to oversee the operations of the party. It is also the first step in writing the party platform.
Anticipating exceptionally high turnout, 17 locations have been reserved around the county, all in schools.
On the party web site, you can find the caucus agenda, the rules, and a diagram of the nominating process. You can verify your party registration, find your precinct number, and then get an address and map for the correct caucus location.
In order to vote, you must have been registered as a Democrat in Colorado as of December 5, 2007. If you have recently moved, you must caucus with the precinct where you are registered as of January 7.
As Colorado sifts its way through the state’s current voting debacle, Progress Now is dedicated to providing viewpoints from a variety of sources. The following comments are from the January, 3rd public forum at the State Capitol on Voting Procedures. The comments are from Claudia Kuhns, Executive Director of The Public Integrity Project
In deciding the manner in which elections should be conducted in there are basic principles that are necessary to follow. Elections should be transparent, verifiable, accurate, accessible, secure, accountable and ballots secret.. The methods that are being discussed currently are all-mail ballot elections or paper ballots at the precinct. Paper ballots at the precinct can come the closest to meeting all of the above criteria. Mail ballots elections achieve virtually none of these criteria and were voted down by the citizens of Colorado by a 58% to 42% in 2002.
The vendors have been complaining about the differing standards for certifying voting systems in the various states. Colorado and 34 other states have adopted the 2002 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines into statute. This was done in 2004 in Colorado. There have also been allegations that the Conroy v. Dennis lawsuit made the requirements more stringent. These complaints and allegations simply lack basis in fact. If 35 states have virtually the same requirements, that certainly makes requirements standard in a majority of states. If the vendors were serious about having their equipment comply with Colorado statutes, they could have done so by now. Conroy v. Dennis only requires that the laws that were on the books since 2004 be followed and they clearly were not.
Of the two options being seriously discussed, paper ballots at the precinct with an accessible device for those with disabilities is the best option. In order to keep maintain transparency, accountability and comply with state statute, the paper ballots need to be counted at the precinct so that the results can be posted at the polling place on election night. In order to keep costs down, the ballots can be hand-counted in small batches at the precinct, then taken to the elections offices and counted on central count scanners. The hand-counted results can then be given to press as unofficial results. Any differences in the counts can be reconciled. Counting in small batches at the precinct level will alleviate bottle-neck problems like those in Denver County in 2006 and 2007. Since the counting occurs after most people leave work, it would be easier to recruit counting judges who would probably volunteer with no financial payment required. Studies done by the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project show that neither optical scan or hand-counting meet the .000002% maximum error rate required by HAVA. If two methods of counting are automatically used, we can achieve a more accurate result with a built-in audit. Our elections should be subject to the same strict standards of accounting as well-run businesses.
Hand-counting is currently used by 45% of the jurisdictions in New Hampshire as well as country-wide in Japan, Sweden, Germany, Canada and Switzerland. Hand-counting is currently used in Jackson County, Colorado. In New Hampshire, ballots may have as many as 25 contests and are still hand-counted, and the results available on election night, usually by 11:00 PM.
There has been discussion on the election taskforce headed by Senator Gordon and Representative Balmer about the need to maintain or increase voter confidence. Voter confidence can only be maintained by keeping the Colorado testing process intact and by involving citizens in transparent, accurate and accountable elections.
The Public Integrity Project
I caught this off Glenn Greenwald. It is interesting but will it affect how Fox News treats Ron Paul?
In 1968 there was a film "Wild in the Streets" which satirized lowering the voting age and what would happen if "hippies and rock stars" were in power.
It's only taken an entire generation for the youth of America to become involved in politics. There are many reasons for this "perfect storm" to happen from the increasing alarm that the human race has only 10 years left to stop the worst effects of global warming, to having "old, white, Republican men run this country into becoming a third world economy with a first world military", to seeing a country that is losing it's very form of government for a corporatist state, racial and sexist discrimination flourishing, and this is what Republican governance means for those who are not in the top one percent of income in America.
Chris Bowers writes:
In the post analysis you will find that it was young people that broke heavily for Senator Obama. What is more telling is that Senator Clinton won the 65+ age voting block and John Edwards won the 59-64 age block.
The last generation politicians.
What Chris Bowers wrote about a populist message resonating with the middle class is correct because for John Edwards to edge Senator Clinton is astonishing because he was heavily outspent by both Senators.
The populist message that the middle class is shrinking due to the economic policies of Mr. Bush's patently unfair income redistribution tax policies and trade policies that benefit only corporations and the top one percent of Americans is finally being understood on the "gut level" by voters.
America is ready for change.
Americans want change.
Obama represents for the Young Democrats and independent voters that change which this country so desparately needs.
<b>"Who Killed The Constitution?" is a game that the whole room can play: A news clip or suspect quote (okay, a lie) from Bush, Cheney, et al, is projected onto a screen. You will compete, based upon Evidence and Law cards dealt out beforehand, to see who can find the most felonies during the night. The person who finds the most felonies becomes "Prosecutor Of The Week," and prizes will be awarded.
Hosted by Sean Shealy, author of <i>Corruption & Cover-Ups of the Bush White House Unmasked.</i></b>
More info: http://www.08dnc.com/Paleoliberal/client/
From the Atlantic.com Marc Ambinders blog:
I would like to point out that Obama camp had predicted 206k turnout...this is absolutely great for Dems.
Amazing that 41% of newbies voted for Obama.
Congrats to Obama and the message of "change".
Edwards and Hillary are far from being consigned to the "dust bin".
MSNBC calls it for OBAMA! Dead heat for second between Hillary and Edwards.
last updated: 9:43 pm ETDemocrats (1,507/1,781 reporting) Republicans (65% reporting) candidate state del. percentage candidate votes percentage Biden 0
0.93% Giuliani 2,708 4% Clinton 0
30.03% Huckabee 25,510 34% Dodd 0 0.03% Hunter 324 0% Edwards 0
30.19% McCain 9,891 13% Kucinich 0 0% Paul 7,674 10% Obama 0
36.70% Romney 18,668 25% Richardson 0
2.02% Thompson 10,308 14%
There is this, from Talkingpointsmemo.comDemocrats (296/1,781 reporting) Republicans (2% reporting) candidate state del. percentage candidate state del. percentage Biden 0 0.79% Giuliani 0 2% Clinton 0 31.91% Huckabee 0 33% Dodd 0 0.09% Hunter 0 0% Edwards 0 34.00% McCain 0 12% Kucinich 0 0% Paul 0 11% Obama 0 31.26% Romney 0 24% Richardson 0 1.88%
Or this from MSNBC:
Reports about turnout from 130,000 to 206,000 for the Dems.
Huge under 25 y.o. turnout (on the order of 25 percent).
MSNBC calls Republican race for Huckster.
Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud, a conservative and Blue Dog Democrat from Maine sent a letter over the holiday break to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers calling for impeachment hearings of Vice President Dick Cheney. Michaud is not among the 25 cosponsors of Rep. Dennis Kucinich's H Res 333 ( Now also known as H Res 799 ), a resolution stipulating articles of impeachment against Cheney. Michaud is also not among a group of Judiciary Committee Members led by Rep. Robert Wexler who have called for hearings to begin, and who plan to send their own letter to Conyers this month. (Michaud is not on the committee.) But Michaud shares the position of congress members Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, and Anthony Weiner that hearings should be held first and articles drafted when and if called for by the evidence exposed.
See the original Democrats.com article
Okay everyone, imagine me singing this:
Almost heaven, west virginiaDoes this satisfy our bet?
As Colorado sifts its way through the state’s current voting debacle, Progress Now is dedicated to providing viewpoints from a variety of sources. The following comments are from the January, 3rd public forum at the State Capitol on Voting Procedures. The comments are from Kristen Thomas, a Progress Now member and representative of People for the American Way.
Good morning. My name is Kristen Thomson and I represent People for the American Way, a non-profit civil rights and civil liberties organization of over 25,000 members and activists in Colorado. I want to thank you for this opportunity.
The decertification of our voting machines and ballot counting machines could result in confusion that might have the potential of disenfranchising many voters in Colorado. But we are not alone. People For is working in California and Ohio, two states facing similar problems. However, the problem of inaccurate, unauditable, unverifiable voting machines must be addressed, not only to restore voter confidence, but to protect the fundamental right of every voter to have his or her vote accurately counted, so we are supportive of the Secretary of State’s efforts and recommendations that will create a path to re-certification of the voting and vote-counting machines.
In the past, voters in Colorado have enjoyed a great number of choices in our methods of voting. Our legislature has been on the forefront of increasing access to the ballot. We feel that it is important to keep all options available to voters in the 2008 elections and beyond.
The proposal to move the 2008 election to an exclusive mail ballot would reduce voter choice in Colorado, and the impact of this burden on voters cannot be fully assessed at this time. Adequate study of the impact of an exclusive mail ballot election in a state as racially and socioeconomically diverse as Colorado has yet to be conducted. Of greatest concern is the impact of operating this type of election on our citizens that are most at risk of being disenfranchised; low-income communities, communities of color, those without a long-term fixed address, and the disabled. These are the voters who studies indicate disproportionately prefer to vote in person rather than by mail, and that's why virtually every civil rights group urges caution before any jurisdiction eliminates in-person voting options to go to an exclusively mail ballot.
This is not to say that we are opposed to mail balloting as an option available to voters. Rather, we see our current situation as an opportunity to do greater education with our voting population around the benefits of voting-by-mail and encouraging voters to choose that option for themselves. If done early and properly we will have a much sense of how to handle the voters who do not chose that option.
Additionally, any proposals to move to an all paper ballot need to closely examined to ensure the integrity of precinct-based optical scanners, proper use of bilingual ballots, and proper training of poll-workers. It is also important that voters still have access to early voting locations across the state.
Without specific proposals, it is difficult to comment as to which are the best options for Colorado. We look forward to working with the legislature, Secretary of State and County Clerks toward a solution that protects the fundament right to vote, increases access to the ballot and meets the needs of election administrators.
One final note. The funding available from the federal government is inadequate for the operation of modern elections and to protect our fundamental right to vote. It is time that the State of Colorado step up to the plate and provide additional funds for the conduct of the 2008 elections given the extraordinary situation in which we find ourselves in now. We should not be restricting voter choice due to fiscal constraints alone.
Thank you again for this opportunity.
From the Last Chance Democracy Cafe Steve writes:
From Yellow is the Color blog oldmancoyote writes:
Approaching government in this way frees up the administration from actually needing to provide the services they talk about. [my emphasis]
What is being forgotten is that once a presidential candidate wins the presidency then that individual should govern for all the people not just for the 50+1 percent of the people.
The seven years of Mr. Bush's governance has made the Village people, like David Broder, forget that a president is for all the people. The way Mr. Bush has governed has done great damage to the preceptions of Americans on how a president should handle the great powers invested in the office of the President as articulated in Article Two of the Constitution.
Of course there is this famous truth wrapped in a quip by Mr. Bush:
As far as I can ascertain there is no comity with Mr. Bush and a Republican controlled Congress from 2000 to 2006. What happened was a great distortion of how the Executive and Legislative branches of government should have functioned under the Constitution.
What the Village wants is something which has not happened for seven years which is a president, not a "commander in chief", that governs for all the people and for the public common good not just corporatist interests.
But what is being seen is when a candidate like John Edwards, who has raised his rhetoric to fight corporatist interests that are working to destroy the middle class of America, he is being branded as being a radical populist.
This nation is not for corporations and the rich to rule over a nation of wage slaves. Indebted forever by usury rates by banks and other financial organizations that are sanctioned loan shark operations by government.
Tell us, you wise Village people like David Brooks, what are the working men and women to gain from having corporations run this nation which makes a mockery of the Constitution?
I spit on your "wisdom" to condone a presidential candidate like Michael Bloomberg who represents the corporate interests above the public interest. Why would any working man or woman support a billionaire who has a vested interest in the supremacy of corporatist interest trumping the public good?
(BTW- I caught part of Ron Paul on Ed Schultz. Ed asked Ron Paul what his view was on the media consolidation. Ron's answer was that he was for no government interference because the free market should operate unimpeded. For me Ron Paul is another libertarian ideologue that has no business running government.)
For the last year and a half I've taken the somewhat unpopular view that the 2006 special session of the Colorado General Assembly to take "emergency action" on the issue of illegal immigration was a worthless exercise, neither effectively addressing the problem of uncontrolled immigration nor "shrewdly" attracting votes for majority Democrats. I've said it before, and I'll say it again--we outsmarted ourselves big-time with this, and the consequences will be far more lasting than the momentary tactical advantage the session gave Democrats in the 2006 elections.
Indeed, it's my view that far more Colorado Hispanic voters were alienated by the special session than nativists were converted to being Democrats, and even if some token few were I don't really care to have haters in my party anyway.
And now we learn that none of it had any basis in reality, at all: as was reported in the Grand Junction Sentinel quietly over the weekend, the numbers are in, and there was never a problem with illegals getting state services.
Hard line on state services has price
A year and a half after Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Bill Owens pushed through measures to cut off state services to illegal immigrants, the state has seen no savings, members of the Joint Budget Committee said.
In addition to absolutely destroying the tired immigrant-bashing canard that illegals are busting our social welfare budgets (anybody want to claim that after reading this? Anybody?), one can only hope that this little reality burn will help our own Democratic leadership understand the long-term consequences of the short-term grandstand. Think about the repugnant fearmongering you ceded the high ground to, Democrats. Think about the huge segment of your own base you nearly alienated accommodating Dave Schultheis' racist bullshit. Especially now that the numbers are in and it undisputably was bullshit.
Don't let this happen again.
When I first heard that public housing was going to razed in New Orleans the image that comes to mind is that of the public housing in Chicago. I was wrong. The public housing in New Orleans is definately not like the huge block long, ten story buildings but smaller three story buildings that are not institutional in appearence and are in character with New Orleans architecture.
The New York Times Nicolai Ouroussoff writes:
This is why people are fighting to save their homes from the imperial fantasies of those who want to cleanse and remake New Orleans into something that is soulless and berift of that which constitutes the soul of this nation.
When I read that those public housing tracts will become mixed income redevelopment zones this is what it means for those who will be permanently displaced from their homes that only a very small percentage of housing units will be made available to those low or very low income.
I do not have the percentage for New Orleans but this from the city of Sacremento for mixed income redevelopments is at 15 percent of the total housing units.
Take action now to prevent this racial cleansing of New Orleans now. Start by signing this petition.
For more information and actions go here.
With flashy issues like healthcare, global warming, and education on the table for this spring’s crowded legislative session, the plate may be getting a little fuller with discussions of how to fix the constitutional quagmire Colorado is in. Because of the ease with which Colorado may amend its constitution (the easiest governing document to amend in the country, requiring only a simple majority of voters to add provisions) the document has become so bloated with single issue amendments that it has doubled in size since 1990.
The main issue of contention is the fiscal straightjacket and temporary fixes that the state has put in place since the 1980’s. Like that proverbial beast, Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) looms heavily over nearly every fiscal decision made in the state. And while it is a novel notion to have a constitutional amendment that requires voter approval for tax increases, TABOR’s ratcheting effects on this state have been disastrous. In a recently released report from the Belly Policy center Colorado state government ranked 44th of the 50 states in per capita spending. The state also ranks 4th worst in the country in the total taxable resources spent on public education.
Colorado has passed several revisions, addendums, and amendments to try to band-aid up some of the more gaping holes including Amendment 23 and the recently passed referendum C. But legislators still find themselves in daily battles over the morass of conflicting constitutional provisions. See the Rocky’s list below:
Thus in addition to the Bell’s recent report on what to do after Ref C’s (TABOR timeout) funds wear out, a DU panel will release an initial report tomorrow with their analysis and interpretation on suggestions for making a more controllable state constitution. While critics will label any talk of reform as a tax hike, this is a desperately needed discussion that must be had, and a road the state needs to travel down. If we care about issues like healthcare, education, roads, among others then we need to get the working document for our state government under control.
Good read in the LA Times about how fractured the Republican base has become, and how their presidential field is exacerbating that. Click here to read the article.
The gist of it is:
However you look at it, it seems like there is little prospect for a Republican nominee who can bring all the haters together under one conservative tent like Reagan was able to do. Maybe the chickens are finally coming home to roost.
Wow. I can't even think where to begin responding to this:
Mike Huckabee, a Republican relying on support from religious conservatives in Thursday's hard-fought presidential caucuses, on Sunday stood by a decade-old comment in which he said, "I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ."
Happy New Year, everyone! The Colorado legislative session begins in just a few days. What do you most want to see the legislature and governor accomplish for Colorado between now and the end of the session in May?
M. Collins: Forget the Torture Tapes
There's a reflexive tendency to think the worst of the Bush-Cheney administration when scandals like the torture tapes emerge. This tendency is well justified.
This administration's defining moment was the Iraq invasion. Over time, it caused death to 1.2 million civilians and the injuries of 1.1 million noncombatants. Just last week we found out that there are now five million orphans in Iraq.
How can the administration and their enablers ever top that? Why shouldn't we expect the worst immediately when we hear yet another accusation of criminal or unethical conduct?
Destroying torture tapes pales by comparison to these tragedies, all a result of the illegal invasion: