Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Quick tid bits
On the DRED tip, Benson obstructionist appointee and hold over Sean O'Kane is leaving his post and not seeking another nomination to this important state position as Commissioner of DRED. I am quite happy that this useless guy is leaving. He has done nothing to advance the downward trend of this states economy. He did take a few trips abroad however. Among his painfully too few "credits" is the Berlin ATV park. This was a dealio of illicit exchange at best. At worst, it was an outright flout at public trust and input and the elected and appointed officials that oversaw this land deal are, some say, complicit in conflicts of interest and abuse of office if not possible collusion in illegal real estate sales ethics. Berlin Mayor Bob Danderson and Berlin resident and district 1 State Senator and real estate millionaire mogul John Gallus are also involved with this scam. Hmmm, a trend nez-pas??? If I were O'Kane, I would leave that questionable ATV deal off my resume as a considered positive result from his tenure as DRED Boss.
One more note, I didn't hear the Kings speech last P.M. I didn't want to lose dinner. I have heard lots of reports about lots of "strong statements". That's great. It sounds like we have the campaign stump speeches all laid out for the Right for this election cycle. More bloviating blather then no follow through with solution.
Did I say TRAGIC???
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
This guy should run for President
In the Working Society, no one who works full-time will have to raise children in poverty or live in fear that one health emergency or pink slip will put them on the streets. In the Working Society, everyone who works full-time will at last have something to show for it—a home of their own or an account where their savings and paycheck can grow. And in the Working Society, everyone will also be asked to hold up their end of the bargain: to work, to hold off having kids until they are ready, and to do their part for their kids when the time comes.
John Edwards at Tom Paine
See you November 7, 2006 to help take back the Granite Block House's Senate
William J Cowie
for NH State Senate dist 1
1380 Stark Hwy
Stark, NH, 03582-6221
So THAT'S what they mean....
Updated for formatting
For once, I'm in agreement with the pragmatists of the Democratic Party. The fight to stop Alito is one that we cannot win. It is better to keep our powder try. You might respond, "Keep it dry! For what?" Glad you asked. I can think of fights for which we will be glad we kept our powder dry. (a rock solid argument on the flip)
- What if a Democrat wins the popular vote in a Presidential election and may have won the Electoral College, but only a hand recount can count all the votes and account for the machines built-in margin of error. I don't know the legal system that well, but I suspect there would be a legal challenge that would go as high as the Supreme Court regarding the legality of the recount. What if SCOTUS voted on partisan lines NOT to count the ballots. As a result, the Republican wins. I know it is hard to imagine, but it could happen. I'm sure that if a subsequent recount did show the Democrat wonCongress would come up with some way to remove the false President, but either way, we should keep our powder dry for this scenario.
- Imagine that a catastrophic terrorist attack happens on our shores. The Republican President gives some nice speeches and promises to kick some terrorist ass. He tells us that if anyone could have imagined such an attack he would have done everything possible to protect us. I'm just spinning my wheels here, but what if it later became clear that there was warning of the attack and the President did absolutely nothing to stop it? He was busy doing something ultra-Republican, maybe trying to start a new nuclear missile program -- who knows. At any rate, he ignored the threat and lied about receiving warning. This is a Republican we are talking about; so, he'd probably try to pull some crazy stunt like falsifying an EPA report that states the air at the place struck by the terrorists made the location unsafe. We need to keep our powder dry for this eventuality.
- Republicans love war, particularly when they and their families don't have to fight. Terrorists don't really have their own nation, so the President would have to find somewhere to attack and appear "Presidential." It is possible, unlikely, but let me put on my tin-foil hat for a minute, that the President would manufacture reasons to go to war with a nation that was in no way threatening us. He'd probably pick some faltering Middle East country that he felt would be a cakewalk. How would he convince us to fight? Maybe, he'd say something about mushroom clouds and also suggest they were in league with the terrorists. He'd probably try to hint that the country had something to do with the terrorist attack on the US. I'm not sure what else, make a half-ass try at avoiding war through the UN. Sure, millions would see through this and take to the streets in anti-war marches, but we would need our Senators and Representatives to have some dry powder ready to stop the illegal war. At least we know that Republicans are all about integrity and hate "nation-building," so once no weapons are found andvthe war of choice is exposed, they'd hold the President accountable.
- Okay, since I talked about voting once, maybe if the GOP was successful in stealing one election (see scenario 1), they'd try another. I think I read somewhere that a Secretary of State (the person who controls voting in each state) can also be actively campaigning for candidates running in the election. For instance, a Secretary could even chair a party's statewide Presidential campaign. It's hard to imagine that anyone with that much power over the vote would be all that actively involved in supporting a Presidential candidate, but I kid you not, it is perfectly legal. It is possible that the Secretary could control how the votes are counted, even how many machines get to each county and precinct. They could probably even set it up so that voters at Democratic strongholds would have to wait hours in line to vote on barely working machines. I hear some of these new machines don't have any paper trail, so who knows what the GOP could get up to with control of something like that. I'm a crazy Liberal, but I could even imagine the GOP challenging all kinds of voters -- even trying to keep mentally handicapped people from voting. Election fraud and abuse is pretty hard to prove, so we'd really need our powder dry.
The crazy rantings of a Northeast Liberal, I know. But who knows what those wacky GOPers could get up to, so let's keep that powder dry for a real fight. The Republicans won the Presidency and Congress fair and square, and vast majority of the country obviously supports them. Let's keep our powder dry and our noses clean for the next election, that's when real change can happen. The last thing people want is an opposition party vigorously opposing things. We have the next election, or the next one after that, or maybe the next one after that...with plenty of dry powder.
The announcement this morning that Lincoln Chaffee would vote "no" on Alito but "yes" on cloture was a hollow gesture to NARAL and the pro-choice community he pretends to cultivate. A vote for cloture is a vote for Alito. It's that simple.
I write this post with great regret because I am a long time supporter of NARAL, an unabashed feminist and pro-choice advocate who understood why they backed Chaffee in the first place. As Democrats quickly tried to shed a commitment to choice in a rush to become "Republican lite," it was a way for NARAL to say don't take us for granted -- don't assume we will be here just because the other guy is worse. I thought it was an effective way to telegraph to Democrats that if they wanted the tremendous money and resources NARAL could put behind a candidate, they were going to have to take a stand.
I just got off the phone with NARAL and I am being told that they do not consider Chaffee's vote on cloture to be significant. They are not going to pull their support for him over this.
Let's just be clear. Lincoln Chaffee is getting ready to vote for the single biggest blow to choice in this country since Roe v. Wade was passed 33 years ago. This ridiculous little kabuki about voting AGAINST Alito and FOR cloture is a sham, and if NARAL is going to look the other way they no longer deserve to be the guardians of a woman's right to choose in this country.
They had the money. They had the manpower. They did not organize effectively to oppose Alito's confirmation, and now they are rubber stamping his ascendancy to the Supreme Court.
I don't want to take people's efforts away from calling their Senators and keeping the pressure on as we come down to the wire, but watching groups like NARAL sit this one out is unacceptable. They should be calling Chafee right now and letting him know that they will cut him off if he throws his vote with the Gang of 14. Anything less is unacceptable, and a mockery of everything they purport to stand for.
NARAL Pro-Choice America
1156 15th Street, NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
Main Number: 202.973.3000
Main Fax: 202.973.3096
from the newsblog
I feel the same. I was glad that NARAL was taking a stand against being taken for granted by dems. I like seeing the same courage from the unions too, BUT... they should drop Chaffee. He doesn't support them anymore than those wishy washy that they would making a point about. This is a huge mistake and clear lack of leadership on NARALs part. Time for someone to step down.
So we only got 25 Senators to vote for a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee who, if defeated, would be replaced by someone just as bad by a president in the pocket of his radical right wing. Well.
Do you know how many votes the Republicans managed to get when uber wingnut Antonin Scalia was confirmed? 98. And Democrats had a majority. We didn't have to even think about a filibuster. We couldn't defeat Clarence Thomas and we had a majority, a huge push from women's groups and a very dramatic set of hearings that went into the wee hours of the morning. It is very, very tough to do.
When it became clear that the vote was going against the filibuster, Diane Feinstein, a puddle of lukewarm water if there ever was one, decided to backtrack and play to the base instead of the right wing. That's new folks. Given an opportunity to make an easy vote, until now she and others like her (who are legion) would always default to the right to prove their "centrist" bonafides. That's the DLC model. When you have a free vote always use it to show that you aren't liberal. That's why she was against it originally --- a reflexive nod to being "reasonable."
Obama had to choke out his support for a filibuster, but he did it. A calculation was made that he needed to play to the base instead of the punditocrisy who believe that being "bold" is voting with the Republicans. Don't underestimate how much pressure there is to do that, especially for a guy like Obama who is running for King of the Purple. The whole presidential club, including Biden joined the chorus.
The last time we had a serious outpouring from the grassroots was the Iraq War resolution. My Senator DiFi commented at thetime that she had never seen anything like the depth of passion coming from her constituents. But she voted for the war anyway. So did Bayh, Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Kerry and Reid. The entire leadership of the party. Every one of them went the other way this time. I know that some of you are cynical about these people (and ,well, they are politicans, so don't get all Claud Rains about it) but that means something. Every one of those people were running in one way or another in 2002 and they went the other way. The tide is shifting. There is something to be gained by doing the right thing.
This is a dramatic moment for the netroots. Get ready for marginalization, evocations of 1968 and 1972, calls for purging us from the party, the whole thing. That's what happens when the citizens rise up. Don't let it shake your will. We are the heart of the Democratic party and we can make a difference.
You really, really need to read the whole thing.