Thursday, August 31, 2006


Photo APOD

A mighty wind blows things away, a gentle wind caresses.

Politics and Politicians, Elections, Campaigns and Finance Reform.



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christin m p in massachusetts said...

I get it -- "Wind" and politics and politicians...

That's very funny!

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I published a comment similar to this one earlier, but it came out sounding like I'm one of those women they call feminazi's -- and I'm most definitely not.

Anyway, it was referring to Deb's link See Dick Run (the Country). Basically what I wanted to say was that I hope regaining a Democratic majority in Congress in November will enable us to take Dick Cheney down the way (the other Dick) Nixon needed to be taken down.

There. I think that was a bit tamer than the way I wrote it before. If any of you guys happened to see it before I deleted it, please know that I didn't mean it the way it might have sounded. I think most men are great -- it's just that those two in particular (Cheney and Nixon) inspire me to think, speak, and write in much harsher terms than is normal for me.

Judy B. said...

My daughter looked at the picture for this thread and said it looked like amodern versipon of the Wizard of Oz...

Richard Yarnell said...

I don't know much about "Rocky" (Mayor of Salt Lake City - how did he get elected there: twice!) He gave a widely reported speech -,1249,645197552,00.html

It's interesting that this transcription is longer abd arranged differently that the version posted on the Mayor's office web site.

Cheryl said...

From what I've heard, Salt Lake City is a liberal island in a red state.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I checked that link you gave us to Mayor Anderson's speech, Rich.

Although I do think it was a meaningful and eloquent speech, my mind has a tendency to branch off from particular segments of any speech or written work. Here is the seemingly minute detail that diverted my train of thought:

"Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the (same) secretary of defense who assured us that the war would take maybe six days, maybe six weeks, but he doubted as long as six months."

This brought me back, once again, to the way the Persian Gulf War was left hanging -- and why I think this is a lot of the reason we are in the mess we're in now.

I remember having been glued to CNN throughout the entire duration of that operation. I remember very clearly seeing the Iraqui soldiers with their hands up surrendering, and expressing their collective wish to get out from under Saddam Hussein's rule, as they offered allegiance to George H.W. Bush. But, of course, we had to make the same ridiculous move of "following history" and not finishing the job, abandoning the Iraqi soldiers. After all, our leaders' only mission was to protect our interest in Kuwaiti oil, right?

Then for months on end, all I heard on the radio and in workplaces was:
"Why didn't we take out f***ing Saddam Hussein when we had him?"

So, my take on all of it may sound simplistic, but I know I'm not the only one who sees it this way:

George W. saw his Dad lauded as a hero for kicking Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, and he probably dreamed of the day when he would be the "big hero" himself.

George W. heard those same complaints of "Why didn't we get Saddam when we had him?" He probably dreamed of the day when he would "finish the job".

George W. saw the Iraqui army (of 1991) roll over within a matter of days, and was under the mistaken impression that they were still going to be an easy target (backed up by Rumsfeld's "assurance" that this war would take us "maybe six days".

George W. was just itching for any excuse to capture or finish off Saddam Hussein. He failed to take into account human psychology. Here were the Iraqui soldiers in 1991, with their hands up, surrendering and offering their allegiance to George H.W. and the U.S. -- and he and all our other leaders just turned their backs on them! The now-secured Kuwaiti oil supply was all that mattered.

I can imagine the indignity those soldiers and their families must have felt... They offered to join us, and in turn they were ignored -- slapped in the face.

Surprise! In the ten plus years between, those ignored, abandoned soldiers have formed a new stronger army that is much too angry and wily to ever again need to "roll over" to your Simple Simon old-school military tactics!

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Throughout my life I heard the old-timers saying that the Korean War was left hanging too. And Korea's had more than fifty years to reinforce militarily.

One factor that may make Korea less of a threat is that they're not as pissed off as the Middle Eastern terrorists are.

Richard Yarnell said...

The "Gulf War" was fought by a true coalition. Gathering that coalition together was a long and drawn out affair. Among other things, we had to give reassurances to our local allies, the Saudis and others, that action would be limited to putting Iraq's forces back on their side of the border. We went further, of course, but it would have been a disaster to have tried to enter Bagdhad. We weren't prepared for it and we would have lost a lot of support.

Those surrendering were not the "Red Brigade" or "Guard" which were the highly trained troops. I agree that we should have destroyed some more of his more sophisticated armor. The real error, though, was in the negotiated cease fire. It should have been dictated and it should not have allowed Saddam to put even a helicopter in the air.

In the present mess, we made a grievous mistake when we disbanded the army rather than decapitating it and then reorganizing all those trained (at least to some extent) soldiers who were not loyal to Saddam but who lived in fear. We might well have been home by now if we'd used them instead of putting them on the impoverished and unemployed lists.

As for Korea, remember that we'd been as far as China. MacArthur wanted to go farther but was called back and eventually fired for insubordination. While we were the most heavily invested country there, it was, in fact, a UN action and we did not call all the shots. I'll have to refresh my memory, but I think we ended up on the 38th parallel, partly because of that and partly because we could not afford to engage the Chinese army. Keep in mind that Soeul is not all that far from the cease fire line.

Richard Yarnell said...

Spent the afternoon and evening registering voters at the State Fair.

The GOP booth was awash in red white and blue. It had "Proud to be Republican" signs and a few pieces of campaign literature from candidates who haven't yet admitted to the public that they're Republicans. It was manned by one grumpy lady who seemed to be there to guard the booth. It had a banner taped to the front that said, "ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL." Consider that we were in Salem, in the middle of the Wilamette Valley where agriculture depends on "guest workers," legal or not.

In contrast, the dems booth was manned by 4 gregarious souls who served anyone who asked iced water. We had tables filled with bumper stickers and buttons that were, in turn, clever and/or heartfelt. Some were funny and some had a twist. Among the most effective in persuading people to register: "Vote or Shut Up." Not so funny, but still effective, "Our national health plan: Don't get sick!" And my favorite, "Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."

And yes, we offered voter registration cards that were provided in Spanish and we had three Spanish speaking honkies (two of them fluent in both formal and colloquial Spanish) ready to help.

I know it sounds as though I'm making light of the situation, but the difference in tone between the two booths was striking.

Judy B. said...

Good job richard... How was the response from the public??

Richard Yarnell said...

Political booths tend to attract the choir. There are exceptions, but, by and large Democrats go the that booth and Republicans to their party's booth. I had one couple stop to renew the husband's registration. The wife, a Democrat, had already updated her own after they'd moved. When I found out he was a Republican, I suggested that after I'd done him a service by filing his registration for him, the least he could do was to take the 6 points that define this year's "Platform" and read it, just to see what we're about. He wouldn't take it. I think it's much easier to get along if you don't have information that might disrupt your comfort zone. His wife looked at me helplessly. When I asked if he was pleased with the way things were being done at the Whitehouse, I got a withering look and then his back.

Our shift collected 37 registrations (one woman put down "no party selected" and I explained that while it didn't make any difference for the general election this year (our primary has already been held), if she wanted to vote in the primary in 2008, she should choose a party. She changed to "Republican." Since we'd already chatted enough for me to know that's not where beliefs fit, I asked her why - she said that's what her husband would expect her to do. I gave her a look that suggested she might consider her own. She changed it. She'd have voted Democratic in November, but would have voted in the Republican primary in 2008.

I will tell you that it's not my favorite way to spend a Saturday evening.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Why aren't they separating Iraq into three separate countries -- one for each sect -- Sunni, Kurd, and Shiite?

If the kids aren't getting along -- separate 'em. That's my solution.

Richard Yarnell said...

A couple of reasons, off the top of my head:

1) known sources of natural wealth are not evenly distributed over what is thought to have been the areas of traditional tribal dominance;

2) As for the Kurds, they traditionally occupied territory that falls within the boundaries of three modern states, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Turkey is vigorously defending itself (and abusing the Turkish Kurds because it is unwilling to cede that territory to an independent Kurdish state. I suspect, if it ever came up, Iran would not be willing either. But if you set up an independent Kurdish state in what is now Iraq, it would be a threat to both Turkey and Iran.

Whether the three resulting states could co-exist, who knows. The UN or someone would have to guarantee the safety, particularly that of the Shia.

Othere than that, it makes sense - sort of a return to the status quo before the English partitioned the area.

deb said...

We are shaping up to get more voters to the polls in my county. I've been volunteering at the dem hqtrs in the county and we are starting with precinct reps. and volunteers and getting them to look through the dem lists of people who didn't vote in the last general election and pick out 10-25 people that they know and commit to getting them to the polls and or early voting or write-in. It IS going to work. We have so many people who are dedicated.

One thing that we aren't doing is to try to educate the republicans. We've been advised that that is a sure way to loose our volunteers.

For the unaffialated, our volunteers can try and see which way that person is leaning and if they want to see our repub rep and state senator loose their seats then we see what needs done to get that person to the polls.

This is a sparsely populated county and most people grew up here and know everyone in their community. This month they will be touching base with those on their lists and making sure they are registered. Next month work toward getting as many to early voting as possible.

It is exciting to have these good tools, dedicated volunteers and a great plan.

Cheryl said...

The three sects are mostly in different areas, but there is some mixing. Boundaries would have to be set somehow. Dividing the country could cause violence similar to when India and Pakistan were split. Some of the current violence is different groups jostling for territory.

Dividing the country doesn't seem too poplular in Iraq. My impression is that most want the country kept together. It's just that each group wants to control it.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Someone please remind me before the October 18th deadline to get my a** over to my town hall to register to vote in the general election. I'll try to get there sometime this month, if I can manage to get to sleep early enough at least one night... I usually set my alarm clock to squeeze in every last minute of sleep I can get in the morning. I have to set two alarms -- and keep them way across the room, so there's no chance I'll shut them off in my sleep. And I have been known to sleep undisturbed through one alarm -- but so far, I've always been woken up by the cacophony of the two combined.

Anyway, I've got to keep that date in mind -- October 18th, October 18th...

Cheryl said...

WASHINGTON - September 4 - The Bush administration has declared itself immune from whistleblower protections for federal workers under the Clean Water Act, according to legal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result of an opinion issued by a unit within the Office of the Attorney General, federal workers will have little protection from official retaliation for reporting water pollution enforcement breakdowns, manipulations of science or cleanup failures.

Citing an “unpublished opinion of the [Attorney General’s] Office of Legal Counsel,” the Secretary of Labor’s Administrative Review Board has ruled federal employees may no longer pursue whistleblower claims under the Clean Water Act. The opinion invoked the ancient doctrine of sovereign immunity which is based on the old English legal maxim that “The King Can Do No Wrong.” It is an absolute defense to any legal action unless the “sovereign” consents to be sued.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Do you think this may have anything to do with the cleanup along the Gulf Coast?

deb said...

Christin, The MA dem primary is in a couple of weeks. I know you had researched your choice for Gov. I didn't search for the cut off date for registering, but you might still be able to vote for your choice of dem Gov.

Cheryl, Thanks for the heads up. That is one (of the way too many) links that needs passed around. Letters to the editor (LTE) are in order, too.

We should prepare ourselves for an onslaught of legislation designed to confuse, make dem candidates look bad, scare us and (though this one is doubtful)make pubs look good. Congress will be back in session starting today for 5 weeks, but may shorten that to 4 so they can go home and campaign. It probably won't get any more underhanded than this. No matter how good a bill sounds there will be something hidden in there that the dems absolutely will not vote for and the media will pick up on "dems do/don't support_____".

Just to share: When the sorry state of affairs is not getting media attention, I type a paragraph about it with links and asking others to write LTE's and spread the word. I go to political blogs and at just about any post I make a comment on that post and add "oh, and by the way, did you see what happened today?" then paste my paragraph. What I write will be read by thousands if I keep at it for about 2 hours. The campaign threads are very hot right now and hundreds of volunteers are reading their candidates posts, so that is the best way to spread the word on a serious issue. It is awesomely effective if there is a "petition" link, as most of the volunteers will go "vote" even if they do not have time to write their Congress person or LTE.

Isn't this internet powerful???

deb said...

Security headlines congressional agenda

Judy B. said...

Cheryl... That isindeed the kind of information that needs to be sent out to all... Do you mind if I copy and paste your info to another space, and email it also??/

Cheryl said...

Judy, feel free to repost or forward anything. This is the kind of news that needs to be heard.
Deb, that's a good idea about posting to candidate sites. Writing my congressmen is a waste of time, but I still try from time to time.

dan said...

Rats! Does this happen to any of you? I wrote a post with some comments on Cheryl's post about the ruling weakening wistleblower protection and Debbie's link to the fall congressional agenda. Then I hit *preview* and after a delay got *page not found*. I then hit the *back* button only to find my comments gone. I guess some cyberspace editor hates my writting.

Anyway, I'm not too pleased with the Attorney General's rulings or the agenda of the Republican Congress.

deb said...

Dan, I have learned to copy my post each time before I hit send in case that happens.

dan said...

Thanks for the tip Debbie. Time will tell whether I've got enough sense to do that.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

The cut-off date here for registering to vote in the Democratic primary was August 30th. They need to give us more convenient locations with weekend hours where we can register. The only two places we can register to vote, as far as I know, are at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and at the town hall or city hall where we reside. There are a lot of people who can't get even a little bit of time off from their jobs to register during normal Mon. - Fri. business hours. I'm guessing that most of those people would vote for Democratic candidates too.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Look in your phone book or old state income tax booklet and see if there is a voter registration form in there or more info on other easier ways to register. Most states don't make it that difficult and offer plenty of other ways to register.

Judy B. said...

Registering to vote is made simple here by the League of Women Voters. They will target busy locations, the shopping mall, grocery stores etc, and set up shop for a weekend... This makes it easy for the uninvolved to register...
Also, most schools have a registrar or two working in their office, making it convient for people who are dropping off or picking up their kids.
Parties also have registrars who try to register likly Dems or GOP, as Richard did at the county fair...
Call your county auditor and find out whe/where there will be registration boots set up...

deb said...

Say "Enough" to Illegal Spying: Tell Congress to Stand Up for Checks and Balances

deb said...

Sorry to get my friends blood pressure up on such a lovely day (at least here in NC), but... The 10 Most Brazen War Profiteers

Anonymous said...

The dems can win in Nov. and 08...
But they have to get real and be real.
Pie in the sky programs the average American is not affected by nor had any experience with will further alienate their message.
Give us a well thought out and widely popular plans for energy, Iraq, Social security, Healthcare, wages, immigration, and a doable plan for space exploration which will breed high tech and high paying Jobs, their in...As long as they speak a language the average American does not relate too and knee jerk reactions to the parties in power with no clear direction on alternatives, the average American will continue to sit out the elections and the ones which vote will stay with what they know. People hate change unless it promises to improve their individual situations. Neither party has hit the hot buttons of the voter since the early 90s...
Trivial issues which appeal to special interest groups of citizens or debatable issues such as global warming are losing the message in the debate.
I'm going back to space...


deb said...

JG, NO FAIR! Can't just jump in with a comment and then zoom back out in space without allowing a rebuttal. And all comments are welcome here, so go ahead and speak up. Discussing stuff is an important step for all of us in decision making.

As far as our 2 party system goes I, too, wish there were more options. The reality is that one of our parties is corporate, it is sponsored by a select group of corporations, their politicians are former CEO's, employees, and former lobbyists for those same corporations. Those corporations have greatly benefitted from this administration.

That being said, I have no choice except to seriously work to remove them from government. I am working for some progressive Democrats who will actually represent me...and I am working for some Democrats who are about half way between regular people and big business. But all of the Democrats beat any of the Republicans in my view.

The reason everyone is not aware of what this administration is doing is because the same corporations that are running this country own our media. People trust the media and therein lies our greatest problem. However, the truth exists in written from. Read any and everything, research the facts to see if the article is telling the truth or lying. Or as a good friend once said..."Question everything, especially Einstein" to which I might add "and especially the media".

deb said...

Charles Taylor is currently my evildoer Congress Critter (and he is low). This is a link from the League of Conservation Voters asking for votes as to which Congressperson they should work toward getting rid of. A vote for Taylor in this instance would be much appreciated.

Whom Should We Defeat at the Polls? You Decide!

Richard Yarnell said...

The Democratic Vision


We will end the Rpublican culture of corrumption and restore a bgovernment as good as the people it serves;


We will protect Americans at home and lead the world by thelling the truth to our troops, our citizens, and our allies;


We will create a cleaner and stronger American by reducing our dependence on oil;


We will creat jobs that will stay in American by restoring opportunity and driving innovation;


We will join 36 other industrialized nations by making sure everyone has access to affordable healthcare;


We will ensure that a retirement with dignity is the right and expectation of every single American.

(That's being circulated by the Democratic Party and serves as its platform for the upcoming elections.)

But for what it's worth, the prime reason to be rid of the administration and the GOP dominated Congress is to get rid of the people who are systematically dismantling the programs and legal structure that protects individuals. I don't like being lied to; I don't like having my civil rights even threatened; and I don't like being swindled because the leadership is in bed with those who are doing the swindling.

Anonymous said...

Democrats have to be the Party of the voting people, restore faith of the involved individuals. When I personally go to the polls I want to feel like I one, two knock out punched the corporations and establishment. I know what is being said about parties in power is true to a great extent, yet at the end of the day, I also know what to expect from them...Read some of what the Dems promise in RY'S post, GREAT! how? Remember the contract with America? Got them elected with promises of a clear plan and how to get there. The Dems need a clear plan and how to achieve it, we do not need Dems and their supporters telling us what the office holders are doing wrong, we know. Our families are the individuals fighting in Iraq, afghanistan. When we hear from other's what they (repubs) are doing wrong it reinforces what to expect from them, good or bad, and further leaves us wondering about alternatives. An elaborate healthcare program will not do it alone, all issues which I mentioned earlier have to be thought out and goals established for all the issues. These goals have to affect the voting individual or your message comes across as blurry as the other guys.
I am telling you how to win, get the votes from the other guy. Give us roadmaps and goals on the issues that matter, forget the guys in power, let them continue to dig their own holes, we know...

dan said...

JG, thanks for airing your political views and attempting to provide us with some understanding of non-partisan voters. I've heard the allegation on many occasions that the Democrats have *no plan*. To those of us who see enormous fundamental differences between the parties, focusing on campaign promises seems misguided. If you were interviewing candidates to guard the hen house, would you hire the fox because of his assertions that he loved the chickens and could be trusted to protect them? The fox has a history that shouldn't be ignored.

To understand the difference between the parties, a big clue is to follow the campaign money. Corporations have always primarily supported the GOP. It is in a real sense *their party*. It's no surprise at all that since Republicans have gained control of Congress and the White House that virtually all legislation being enacted is written by and therefore benefits corporate America.

The Democratic Party gets a much higher percentage of its support from individuals. Since the great depression, they have enacted legislation that helped create the middle class, while also providing a safety net for the nation's poor. The GOP's policies are threatening the very existence of that social structure.

I think the posts of Debbie and Richard made a strong case for voting Democratic. Both of them are working at the grass roots level to not only get Dems elected but to have some influence on the direction of the party.

I have no idea how to convince non-partisan voters that the Democratic Party better represents their interests. The Republicans have been very adept at packaging themselves during campaigns. I'll just caution everyone that the contents of an slick, elaborately decorated package is often very disappointing.

dan said...

Just after I sent the last post, I stumbled on this article . It explains to some extent the Republican political successes and has some suggestions for's worth a read.

dan said...

Debbie, you convinced me, Charles Taylor got my vote...he's got to go.

dan said...

Debbie, Re: The 10 Most Brazen War you predicted, my pressure went up and as I read on it started to boil. I wish MSM would print that article.

deb said...

"Give us roadmaps and goals on the issues that matter" ... Hard to do when all but C-Span and NPR on TV, 90% of radio and 75% of newspapers are owned by the "Contract with America" crowd.

Your phrase is actually a current GOP speaking point. The GOP would like for the Democrats to declare a "roadmap" because specifics can be criticized where generalities can't. If, for example, the Democrats said "Medicare for all" there are valid criticisms of that plan. What will happen is that that plan will be torn apart by the GOP in our media, but Democrats will not be given the chance to respond to explain the reasons that this would be the best way to provide "healthcare for all" in the country.

(I, personally, would like for us to have Medicare for all which will be no pancea but is so much better than the current system of 1/4 of Americans without health coverage. Keep in mind that governing is a lot like parenting, it is impossible to be perfect.)

Another thing to keep in mind, unless and until the Democrats have the House, the Senate and the Whitehouse the Democrats won't be able to "show us their colors" so to speak. I have seen the GOP's "colors" and am scared and disgusted.

I believe that Democrats will take the House in Nov. (and hope for the Senate), but that only puts us 1/3 of the way there. Also, notice what will happen in the media...all of the sudden they will be extremely critical of every piece of legislation in the House and are going to spend 2 years trashing the Democrat legislation in hopes of keeping the Senate and Whithouse in 08. My work at exposing the media for their lies and bias will only get harder after the election.

Rep. Luther Johnson (D.-Texas), in the debate that preceded the Radio Act (predecessor to the Fairness Act) of 1927 said: "American thought and American politics will be largely at the mercy of those who operate these stations, for publicity is the most powerful weapon that can be wielded in a republic. And when such a weapon is placed in the hands of one person, or a single selfish group is permitted to either tacitly or otherwise acquire ownership or dominate these broadcasting stations throughout the country, then woe be to those who dare to differ with them. It will be impossible to compete with them in reaching the ears of the American people."

Oh and JG, One last thing: You have been reading what the others at this blog have been writing for almost a year. Do you think that Richard or I would be out in the field working to get Democrats elected if this wasn't what HAS to be done to secure a sustainable future? Would Dan, Christopher, Judy, Cheryl be involved with writing letters to editors along with other vital work to rid this country of the ones that have high jacked our government and media? And lets not forget Christin who has become aware before our eyes and will be registering and voting (get registered Christin) in this election.

All of us have no ulterior motive in working for Democrats, we are just stepping up to the plate because someone has to. Trust that this is the only option that has the potential to provide a good quality of life for your children. Trust us.

Judy B. said...

Yes, Deb... I will continue to work for Dems...but JG makes some very good points...
I agree with him that we need to come up with a WINNING plan...and to do that we need to find ways to turn republicans into democrats, independents into democrats, and we need to get "our side" out to vote...
I live in a county that is so Democratic that there isn't much for me to do on the national level... except put my focus on races that need help elsewhere.. We do have Republican 'communities' that have made big in-roads at the grass roots level.. school district board members mostly... and that is scary... The big dividing line is the Church... that is where people get their information... and are told how to vote... the vast majority of the do not know the difference between Republicans and Democrats... except that Democrats are FOR abortion and gay marriages..
We need to FORGET those two issues... One issue voters know about this...
WE need to stand up for issues that cross boundries.. THE Environment, Healthcare, and jobs...
We can knock Walmart for their policies, but they have given millions of Americans jobs... these are the people that need to be targeted, the working poor... for some reason they do NOT vote, and if they do they are easily persuaded by fast talking con artists (Republicans)...
We have to figure out a way to get them to see the light and EMPOWER them, otherwise they are easy prey...

Anonymous said...

"All of us have no ulterior motive in working for Democrats, we are just stepping up to the plate because someone has to."

I know and I trust you are the people to do it.
Call it a "Partnership for the 21st century"

The GOP critiquing "your" plan is the plan.

Just trying to help...
Take care and good luck...

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

The President of The United States of America stood before the country yesterday and LIED. Flat out LIED to the American people.

He said, "I want to be absolutely clear with our people, and the world: The United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values. I have not authorized it - and I will not authorize it." This is a demostrably false statement with much evidence from his own administration that proves otherwise.

The Democrats should not spend too much time working on a "Plan". Richard's general outline is fine. They need to hammer away at the nature of the Republican machine and its politicians.

A nationwide Democratic party wide adnauseum talking point for the Democrats needs to be "Their lips say one thing, their laws and actions do another thing."

The Republicans need to be branded as liers in the same manner they have so adeptly branded Democrats in so many ways.

Richard Yarnell said...


How the "parties" perform, whether they are put in power to perform, and, of course, which party is ascendent, is entirely in your hands.

Do a little work on the ground; speak to candidates; write to your representatives; let them know what you think they should be doing, even how they should be doing it.

My second favorite button reads:

or shut up

For those of us who truly are concerned about the direction the country is travelling, the obligation starts earlier than election day.

Anonymous said...

I have wrote my politicians and continue to correspond. Just left the election office again, we are now a vote by mail state, I have my application in hand, thanx to you.
I am involved in local government as well as the community. I do vote every election, and it is not my nature to SHUTUP, especially when I feel I have something positive to offer. Cute buttons, yet as I stated in an earlier post, it keeps your opponents message in the forefront while hiding yours. Flip it around. I especially like the healthcare button, don't get sick...There was an episode of west wing where Santos refused to engage in mudslinging and gave an interesting analysis about administrative costs for a single payer system as opposed to the third party system, WOW. If this is true something like 2%, let the people know. It will get you more votes than a button pointing out the oppositions faults. I wrote my congresscritter about the IDEA submitted by a young lady from seattle, she was an SSB finalist. The one about a national sales tax to pay for national healthcare. His response was they had never thought about that. He also pointed out there were no plans to address healthcare this year and if they did address it sometime in the future they were more concerned with the uninsured as opposed to the entire system. I responded back I felt as if that were not enough.
I respect your views and agree with most of them, I have learned to trust your wisdom and I appreciate Christopher's. I admire Debs common sense activism and the friendship she has forged with so many, Yet I feel compelled to speak up when Your message starts getting lost in the bickering or your views are reduced to mere comments about the oppositions views.
Judy and I agree much more than we disagree and I thank her for saying most recently what I was trying to say, she hit the nail on the head, exactly correct, Thank you Judy. My public school education was getting me bruised again, sigh. Happens everytime I try and help...
Thank you for the kind analysis Dan, Your moderation is a trait to be admired.
Anyway I hope we are all still friends, I just want to see you folks win in Nov and 08, if you don't "come up with a WINNING plan...and to do that we need to find ways to turn republicans into democrats, independents into democrats, and we need to get "our side" out to vote..." I do not foresee that happening. Last thing You need me to do at this point is shutup and vote...

Richard Yarnell said...

That 2% figure stands up pretty well to scrutiny. Getting to it, unless you have West Wing's writing staff behind you, is eye glazing for most.

I'm waiting to receive former Oregon Governor Kitzhaber's DVD in which he describes his plan for universal health coverage. It is designed to begin here in Oregon, but he told me he expects to work to get it adopted more broadly. He's almost as smart as Clinton, equally dedicated, and more handsome in the style of the old Marlboro man. He's a certified Emergency medicine physician, served in the Oregon Senate where he became Senate Leader and the as Governor for two terms. If he ran again, he'd be elected. He was author of the Oregon Health Plan which received waivers from Clinton and which enrolled many more people than are covered now since Federal money has been curtailed. Adjustments are hard to come by because the administration is not enamored of such broad coverage.

Essentially, Oregon made a list of all the procedures that could be prescribed by a physician, put them in order in terms of what were most likely to succeed and gave the most relief. Then they estimated how many of each would be done, what they would cost and started working down the list. When they ran out of money, whatever appeared below the line, was not funded. It was practical, helped the most people, and put a burr in the drawers of the GOP.

I didn't mean to imply that button applied to you. I thought we were speaking generally.

As for voting by mail, I'm in the middle of a slow but public exchange on the Common Cause blog. Back in May, I responded to a solicitation to support its effort to reform voting procedures - they advocate paper receipts from touch screen, networked computers - by saying that I would not support an effort to install expensive to start, more expensive to maintain, and such a vulnerable system and advocated the Oregon vote by mail system. I found out today that there was a response from the Director of the CC Voting Project. It's fair to say, we don't see eye to eye. There is no way in the world that a networked computer system with such broad geographical reach can possibly be secure. Futher, there's no reason for it when vote by mail is cheaper, almost as fast, and employs well trained personnel rather than volunteers.

She maintained that "experts" widely agree that vote by mail (absentee voting) is the most prone to fraud. "How do you know that the voter was not coerced, that the voter actually filled out the form,..." etc. I replied I'd take the risk since that kind of fraud had to be perpetrated one voter at a time whereas fudging a computer program could be done precinct or county wide and change the votes of any number of people.

If I can remember to do it, I'll go back in a couple of weeks and see whether she's still watching the blog.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Is North Carolina a swing state? Or is it headed toward becoming one with the influx of all of us Northerners?

If I had felt like my vote would really count on the national level, I know I would have been more involved in politics in the past. But it's always been a given that Massachusetts will vote for Democrats for Congress and the Presidency. So, my thinking was always "Why bother?".

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I think if the Democratic candidates were to present everything in ways we Average Janes and Joes can all relate to, they'll have a much better chance of getting us to participate enthusiastically. I'm absolutely not saying that they should "dumb down" their messages, but rather, that they shouldn't put them into words that we tend to filter out as political "blah, blah, blah..."

As one example, instead of offering us "transparency and accessibility of our government" -- in those words (which, yes, we can all understand -- but are not words that Average Joes would use on a day-to-day basis), they might have a better chance of getting the ear of apathetic citizens if they say outright, "We will give you (the tax payers) access to a public site that will list exactly how much and where your tax money is being spent, as well as the opportunity to have a say in where and how it is being spent."

I'm being honest here. Before I became interested in politics, I would have "tuned out" terms like transparency and accessibility of government. But if a candidate were to have said to me, "I am going to give you a way that YOU can see where every last dollar of your tax money is being spent -- AND I am going to ask YOU what YOU think about that AND any other policies, and ask YOU what YOU want to change about it," -- I can tell you that they would have had my ear AND my vote.

The people from SEIU were the first ones in a position of power to ever ask us little people -- through Since Sliced Bread -- what we thought needed to be changed! That's why I got interested, and I'd be willing to bet I wasn't the only formerly apathetic citizen who was drawn in by that.

Cheryl said...

Quite a discussion. You all make good points.

A while back The Daily Show interviewed a stripper that was running for office. When asked why she chose the Republican Party, she said that that was where all the rich people are, and she wanted to be rich.

In a recent conversation, my husband heard a co-worker complain about the minimum wage not getting an increase. She had no idea why it didn't pass. He told her about the estate tax, and someone else referred to it as the death tax. He tried to explain that it is often the only time we get to tax the ultra rich, and that few people have estates big enough to pay it. He doesn't think it registered.

Democrats have a tendency to get too wordy, and avoid definate statements. We need short, clear statements like, Republicans stopped the minimum wage increase. It both says what's wrong with them, and what the Democrats would do differently.

Anonymous said...

My election office does not like the electronic receipt system. As you, they believe opportunity is there for wholesale fraud. Example from election worker,
"alchohol Joe is told if he goes in and votes for x, bring out your receipt, we will give you a bottle."
"Entrepenuer Joe goes in and comes out with the whole population of alchohol Joes and Janes, Then it is time for investigation and a long and expensive trip through the justice system" Vote by mail would be easier to monitor.

Christine and Cheryl,

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Yes Cheryl,
That's why I think it was brilliant of the Republican Party to have backed Bush. In the absence of a Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton type with the genius for appealing to "Everyman" or -- as I said before -- Average Joe, they knew that the next best thing would be the candidate who could appeal to Well-Below-Average Joe. And as we all know, plenty of those show up at the polls for every election. We sure could use greater numbers on the other end to counter-balance.

Earlier this evening, I watched Nightline -- They did a segment "On the Road With Hillary Clinton". Reporter Cynthia McFadden interviewed Hillary as she followed her along the campaign trail through upstate New York. When she asked Senator Clinton to describe John McCain with one word, her response was "intriguing". She said that on some issues she agrees with him, and on some she disagrees, but she closed out that part of the conversation by saying that she finds him to be "good company". "Good company" -- whenever offered as a choice for the general election -- always draws sometime-voters like myself to pay closer attention to the remainder of the campaign, and ultimately to vote in droves for the candidate they feel is "speaking for them". (Sometime-voters tend to be unsure of ourselves when it comes to which candidate to pick in the primaries, so we tend to let everyone else narrow it down to the two or three final choices first, before even bothering to look closer.)

If my analysis is correct, and if John McCain were to run for president in 2008 as an Independent, he would probably end up being our next Ross Perot. That would be a very nice gift for the Democratic Party. He's too centrist to appeal to the voters on the far right. So if he truly wants a chance at becoming U.S. President, it looks like he's going to have to run on his own.

At first I thought -- in the event that we select an uncharismatic Democratic candidate (however lofty his or her other virtues might be), John McCain as an Independent Candidate would stand a very good chance at winning.

But then I remembered... the Electoral College.

deb said...

"Since the great depression, they have enacted legislation that helped create the middle class, while also providing a safety net for the nation's poor. The GOP's policies are threatening the very existence of that social structure." (Dan)

Well stated Dan. That IS the message.

I agree that SSB provided a unique forum to involve real people in politics...actually the internet alone is enabling individuals to have their voice heard. The net is allowing real time news to reach anyone who is interested enough to look.

Christin, NC was red in the last election, hopefully we will be able to give the House 2 blue seats (Kissell and Shuler). If I lived in a blue state I would seriously work to have progressive Dems elected; the primary would be much more important than the general elections. The GOP stands as one solid force for the increased profits of their corporations, but Dems cover a very wide range. Some Dems are corporate light and some want to truly represent their constituents.

"Transparency in Gov't" actually means having a media that acts as watchdogs, someone who will tell the populace what is happening in Gov't, and the world for that matter. I keep hoping that someone will buy USA Today and provide a nation wide source of truth. I trust that if people knew the truth they would do the right thing.

My question is: How bad does it have to get before people realize that their way of life has been taken away? Which leads to the next question: Will this planet be able to sustain life until that happens?

Judy B. said...

I still believe it is important to get out the positive message and have a plan that is agreeable to the majority.... that is where it gets dicy.... since everyone has a different agenda...
But if you could say that a one cent (??) national sales tax would provide BASIC health care for everyone, I do believe that people would be interested in hearing the plan...

If you were to say that there is a way to become energy independent and lower gas prices at the pump, people would want to hear the plan...

If we were to neutralize the anti-abortion, anti-gay crowd by simply not talking about those issues, or coming up with a stock answer, we could get more people interested in our agenda.. I realize that the pro-lifers, pro gay-marriage crowd might be a little angry, but they will vote democratic anyway, because there is no place else for them to go... and this takes the heat off of new candidates...

The Democrats need a plan... Clinton had one.. and it worked!!!

Anonymous said...

"The Democrats need a plan... Clinton had one.. and it worked!!!"

Yup, and the GOP spent all their time trying to convince us it would not. So did Ross. Bottom line is they kept him in the news.
For the past 6 years The GOP has been kept in the news by their opponents screaming their policies do not work...
What is a below average Joe?
What is average?
Thanks again Judy. It really was a simple analysis I seemed to have turned into a complex misunderstanding...

dan said...

I posted a link yesterday that I thought would add to this fine political discussion. Much like Deb's link a few months back to the "Republican Nemesis", this artical explains the methods the GOP has used to be politically successful and some suggestions for Democrats on how to win elections. I didn't perma-link the artical so here it is again.

Lesson for Democrats

Anonymous said...

Good article Dan.
One thing which should be considered is the fact that Nov and 08 will be a different political climate and a different kind of voters. We need to keep in mind voting districts have been redrawn recently and the economic middle class as well as those which are economically challenged (a growing segment) are directly affected by the issues and policies like never before. The GOP probably could have maintained support for a 300 billion dollar war had the people paying for it been provided domestic benefits, yet when that kind of money goes overseas and thousands suffer in the superdome or cannot afford healthcare or pay 3 bucks a gallon it inevitably changes their mood. I for one am looking at the platform this time around. I could care less about the character unless that person demonstrates leadership on the issues that matter and speaks for their party as a whole. The last person that won on personal character took us to war and from our view has done very little for the economic future and well being of those which put them in office.
Our quality of life is not as good or at least does not seem so. This is in the mind of every single person which will go to the polls in Nov and 08. I like the message you formulated and Deb pointed out.
Here's another...

"Will you be better or worse off four years from now if you elect x?"

The voter of the 21st century will care about the issues and plans of the candidates, we are fully aware of the consequences when we ignore them. WE WANT LEADERS PLANNING FOR "OUR" FUTURE NOT LIVING IN THEIR OPPONENTS PAST...

Cheryl said...

Another point to consider. The working poor are too busy trying to survive to take the time to learn much about the issues. We need short, direct messages where they will see them to get their attention. If they knew that they could improve their lives, they would vote for it.

I know I have a hard enough time making the time for this. But I consider it too important to not try. There's a good chance of another layoff in the next couple of years. The next job might not exist, along with my health insurance. I want my kids to have clean air and water, and forests to hike in. A job would be good too. Not to mention keeping them out of pointless wars.

Cheryl said...

This is a great ad. It clearly shows who owns the politician.

Richard Yarnell said...

I watched Nightline too. Susan's reaction was "Why don't people like that woman? I don't know either. She's done very well for NY and has become, in one term, a leader in the Senate.

"My question is: How bad does it have to get before people realize that their way of life has been taken away? Which leads to the next question: Will this planet be able to sustain life until that happens?"

After Nightline, I watched Koppel on Charlie Rose (except for the hens on "The View" the most annoying interviewer on television - Koppel was very patient in the face of constant, self-centered, interruption). Ted offered an example I'll try to paraphrase.

Given a choice, whether the choice is real or not, between immediate physical safety and retention of our civil rights/liberties, which for most people are an abstraction, almost everyone will choose physical safety and give up their civil rights. Only later does it become apparent that the rights they abandonded no longer can be recovered. That process is well underway. It started with the accession of the current administration and accelerated as soon as the shrub declared the attack on the WTC an act of war.

Almost everything that happens in the US is oriented toward the present: advertising immediate gratification; profit on the next quarterly report; etc ad infinitum. We're not conditioned to look more than 90 days ahead.

Nor are we conditioned to sacrifice. We carry incredible personal debt; our nation is in hock to its eyeballs; and no one has seriously questioned that, except for the families whose sons and daughters have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, no one has asked to sacrifice anything. There's no draft, taxes have not be raised to pay for the invasion and occupation. That has been a blatant and cynical political decision.

Judy B. said...

Richard.."Almost everything that happens in the US is oriented toward the present"
It has been that way for some time. Back in the 70's and 80's when I was on the city council some of us tried to make decisions for the long haul, but the bugetary restraints of "now" always came first...
I am reading a book that might be of interest to many of you. It was originally published under the title "The White Hole in Time"; it has been revised and is now titled "Waking up in Time", by Peter Russell. He has degrees in Theoretial Physics,Psychology, and Computer Science and studied under Stephen Hawkins...
It touches on so many of the ideas, problems that we are facing. I have had the book aroound for some time, but thought it was too "deep" for me.. WRONG>>> His writing style is easy and almost entertaining, while he leads us through what "is", how we got here, and what might be next...

deb said...

I know, I know, we already knew this...but perhaps some of the rest of our fellow citizens will wake up!

New Senate reports reject Saddam-al Qaeda link

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

It has been hot and humid, I am still without regular help and speak spanglish two days a week. It has been difficult for me to compose an extended train of coherant thought for the last few days.

I have wanted to join this conversation about Plans vs Image in electing politicians. The short answer is that Democrats need both. The need a good general plan or direction that is well packaged in easily digested talking points.

They need to begin the process of taking back control of how liberals and Democrats are labeled and identified in the minds of citizens. We need Liberal Pride!

It is also time to give the Republicans a taste of their own medicine and start labeling them in negative associations. I offer up what I said before, "Their lips say one thing ...."

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I borrowed this from the related Tragos article:

"Unfortunately, as Paul Waldman pointed out in yesterdays Globe, and as Anonymous Liberal emphasized, we don't always vote according to the issues -- indeed, recent election results have shown that, for better or for worse, Americans tend to vote on personality and presence, the strength with which one expresses her convictions, not necessarily the content of the convictions themselves."

Even though I know it isn't fair, I was drawn in by this phenomenon myself. Back in 1984, I felt I already "knew" and could trust Ronald Reagan because his relaxed and good natured personality reminded me of both of my grandfathers. My instinct -- right or wrong -- was that he cared about us the way our grandfathers would.

The same thing happened to me in 1992, when I voted for Bill Clinton. Although I never would have bothered to pay attention to that campaign in the first place, had it not been for my fascination with Ross Perot's entertaining personality, once I did listen to Bill Clinton, I got that same sense of familiarity I got from Reagan. Bill Clinton seemed like someone who would be fun to be friends with -- I still get an ear-to-ear smile whenever I see him on the news. During the campaign, when he came out with "I feel your pain" -- that sealed it for me. Right at that moment, I thought to myself that this guy who would be a fun friend is even more perfect, because he is compassionate.

I didn't have a clue what Reagan's or Clinton's platforms were -- not one single policy. But I voted for both of them. I know now that it was unfair and irresponsible, but I didn't know any better back then.

BTW, the way I feel whenever I see Hillary Clinton on the news is familiar in a way too. She appears to me as someone I would like to have as either a college professor teaching me about American Government, or an immediate superior in a job -- a fair, decent supervisor or manager.

Along these lines, I remember having heard Jay Leno during his monologue mention something about a survey that asked respondents who they would rather see as their Dad -- Bill Clinton or George Bush... It turned out that a large majority chose Bill Clinton -- and then Jay made a funny joke about the reason for that outcome.

dan said...

Deb, Re:New Senate reports reject Saddam-al Qaeda link

That fact is well known to us but the public learns very slowly. For that reason, it's an important report.

Christopher, your spanglish is still more coherent than most people's engish. I love your idea of liberals and Democrats dishing out the labels from now on. We've been victomized long enough.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Christopher, I hope you're able to get more rest soon.

"I have wanted to join this conversation about Plans vs Image in electing politicians. The short answer is that Democrats need both. They need a good general plan or direction that is well packaged in easily digested talking points."

That sums it up perfectly, because there are obviously a lot of people who do vote responsibly -- based on the candidates' plans.

And well packaged in easily-digested talking points will give ordinary people like myself more the feeling that we are being addressed personally. I know that when PhD's and Democratic politicians are speaking amongst themselves, it's completely natural for them to use those terms that are not commonly spoken out in the general marketplace. But the thing that stands out about politicians like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, is that they have the good fortune to be fluent in "common language" as well.

Cheryl said...

There must be something wrong with me because I had an instinctive distrust of Reagan the first time I saw him. There was something familiar about him that I didn't like. I still think of catsup every time I hear his name.

As for people not liking Hilary, I think that they are uncomfortable with a woman who is smart, competent, and speaks for herself. For the longest, I would hear comments like Bill isn't so bad, it's his wife. She has too much ambition and keeps pushing him. He just wants to be a good ole boy.

I doubt that the abortion issue will go away any time soon. It's the only issue to a lot of people, and it's too exciting a boxing match for the media. Maybe we should turn the debate around.

Illegal doesn't stop abortion. Babies need clean air to breathe. What's the point to preventing an abortion if the baby is going to die due to to lack of medical care?

christin m p in massachusetts said...

"For the longest, I would hear comments like Bill isn't so bad, it's his wife. She has too much ambition and keeps pushing him. He just wants to be a good ole boy."

I wonder what they think now that Bill is urging Hillary to run for President...

Personally, I think he misses the White House. If she did somehow get elected, I could imagine that old folksong "Happy Days Are Here Again" going through his head.

Judy B. said...

Christopher... Yet again you have taken all of our many words and brought it down to the essentials:

"...a good general plan or direction that is well packaged in easily digested talking points."

And: "It is also time to give the Republicans a taste of their own medicine and start labeling them in negative associations. I offer up what I said before, "Their lips say one thing ...."

As much as I do not like the idea of negative campaigning, it is used because IT WORKS... and so an ad campaign that combined them might work...
HE said...He voted...blah..

Judy B. said...

Cheryl... and another great idea:
"Maybe we should turn the (abortion) debate around....Illegal doesn't stop abortion. Babies need clean air to breathe. What's the point to preventing an abortion if the baby is going to die due to to lack of medical care?"

That would be a great way to answer anti-abortionists rhetoric... give it back with something that they want... medical care, a clean environment...

I hope someone from the DNC is reading this blog and making notes..

Anonymous said...

The following headline caught my attention on an AP story... while I could post this on an environmental thread, I think it is germain to the discussion here...

"Green evangelicals answer call to conserve"

So often we think of the Evangelicals as being our "enemy"... however, I repeat... they can be brought on board in cooperative and colaborative works where there is agreement...
The Democrats ought to capitalize on this...

deb said...

I agree JG that the environment is something that most caring people agree on. And it really is an issue that positively puts people on one side and corporations (especially energy) on the other. But even the people that work for those corporations have to live and breathe so I believe that many them are on our side.

It is and always has been a major dem issue. The dems are the ones who have passed the legislation to protect the environment and the repubs destroy those laws at every chance. It all goes back to the media who criticizes the so called "strigent" laws and garners support for doing away with them. And it comes down to people not bothering to find out who's doing what in gov't. Charles Taylor, currently my Congressman (trying to change it though) is one of the worst for voting against the environment. His latest TV ads are all about how environmentally conscience he is. Shuler's (his dem opponent) has an ad that says that Taylor was listed as one of the worst environmental voters in Congress...but which one will people believe when the local media (Sinclair, et al) is supporting Taylor?

BTW, The environment IS the issue that will do much for solving many of the problems. Leaving the oil age behind will provide jobs for people, keep money in this country, spread the wealth among more people, besides getting the planet back in sync with the ability to support life (hopefully).

Speaking of the "hot button" issues: The media forces dems to talk about them. Those issues are the only way repubs get people to vote against their best interests.

deb said...

PS: Jimmy Carter is a TRUE evangelical and I rank him at the top of a short list of dignitaries I respect and admire the most. Many on the far right are calling themselves evangelical, but they are not. What they are is fundamentalists and they pick and choose Bible verses that support their already determined views. There is actually quite a bit of difference in fundamentalists and evangelicals.

deb said...

This is a video clip from the man who should be the next president. The ONLY reason I would turn on FOX or even link to their website is to watch Wes Clark. He calmly explains the truth in the face of questions designed to make him and dems (of course) look bad.

Curious...what opinions do my breadcrust friends have concerning Clark?

Richard, I need to borrow some of your degreaser to wash up after going to that FOX site;-)

Cheryl said...

I have a lot of respect for him. He's had some time in politics now, maybe he'll do better this round.

I have one serious problem with Hilary. We seem to be in a dynasty cycle. It makes me uncomfortable. I would rather someone not related to any recent presidents.

dan said...

Debbie, Wes Clark handled that interview well. He's clearly a very intelligent person and his political skills are greatly improved.

As far as who I favor to be our next president:

Id feel very comfortable with (in no particular order of preference) with: Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean.

Candidates that I like but would need to study more before I put them on my A-list: Wes Clark, Russ Feingold and John Edwards.

I like John Kerry, Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich but I'd prefer that they don't get the nomination.

Cheryl, I don't share your reservation about dynasties. I've never liked term limits for any office including the presidency. As far as Hillary, she's got the intelligence, experience and grit to make a great president on her own merit. Having said that, I respect your opinion and Debbie's and I'd certainly give them some weight.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Wes Clark did a great job with the Fox political operative. If only the Democrats as a group could learn to steer the conversation that well and not get sucked in by their blame shifting diversion techniques.

I think Hillary has the capabilities to be president but she carries too much baggage, her husband and the rabid hate of the Clintons by right wing wacko's. That is a disturbance this country can not afford to deal with when so many big issues have been negleted for so long. Even during the Clinton years healthcare, energy, Nafta, immigration were allowed to slide to a big degree. It didn't help of course that the Congress was Republican, but the bitter divide and the lack of real action cemented itself in Washington during the Clinton years. I am also a bit leary of the large corporate backing of the Clintons.

I love Al Sharpton for his great one liners in the debates but he is not presidential material. He is best at what he does now.

Feingold and Kucinich are good because they tend to speak the truth, no holds barred, but they couldn't get elected. Maybe as a VP it could work for them. Maui county voted for Kucinich in the last presidential democratic caucus for the convention.

I like Al Gore. He knows the battle field of Washington, has the credentials and should have been president in 2000. I believe it was Richard who suggested a Gore/Clark ticket.

I pity the Democrat who might be the next President and wonder why anyone of them would want the job, the mess being left is so huge.

I fear for all of us if another Republican is elected President. I don't think even McCain or Guliani could reign in the fundamentalist conservative operatives that have taken control of the party. That party must implode and reform before it will be free of this terrible legacy that Rove and Bush have created.

Richard Yarnell said...

E. O Wilson's new book in which he suggests that the Conservative Evangelicals should be on the same side as environmentalists seems to be having an effect. It's brand new, but has gotten a fair amount of press.

The Creation: A Meeting of Science and Religion (Norton, 2006)

You will not find me supporting Sharpton. In fact, I will work against him no matter who's running ont the other side. I first encountered him in NY when he helped to perpetrate a fraud on the City, the legal system, the police, and those who tried to help a supposedly raped black teenager. Why he wasn't prosecuted remains a mystery. I still have the opinion that he's a none to honest opportunist. The only difference now is that he's smoother.

I'd rather see Clark tapped to be Secy of Defense. I've been watching Dean since he became Chair of the DNC and don't think he could be elected to national office.

Richard Yarnell said...

You slipped that one in while I was composing:

No, I think it was Gore/Edwards with Bill Clinton as Secy of State, Clark as Defense, (or it may have been Clinton at the UN).

I'm posting this every place I can and may already have suggested that you watch the Koppel program on Discovery Channel tonight. The topic is Security vs Liberty and will be followed by a town hall meeting - which Koppel handles well.
I think the town meeting may be as instructive as the formal presentation.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I agree with Christopher about Hillary Clinton. I've done some research over the past couple of days and -- more and more -- I, too, am becoming leary of the large corporate backing of the Clintons.

On top of that, the number one contributor to Hillary Clinton's campaign, is the real estate industry. Gee, I wonder what the real estate industry has to gain by pouring such enormous sums of money into the campaigns of political candidates? Hmmm... Anyway, now that I have that information, I absolutely will not vote for Hillary Clinton.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb, I watched the video clip, and so far, I have a good feeling about Wes Clark. I would like to know more about his policies, as well as which industries are pouring the most money into his campaign.

People who try to twist the conversation around the way Neil Cavuto did, really creep me out. I need the degreaser now too.

deb said...

LOL Christin...I know...eeewwww!

Both Gore and Clark are completely altruistic, their ego would never get in the way of a decision. However, Clark is the smartest man in the room...probably always. I even give him credit for being smarter than Bill Clinton, who is brilliant.

Edwards and H. Clinton are supurb, I respect them both. They both have that "ego" side that when the pressure is on them personally they will look for answers that will frame themselves in the best light.

Gore could have continued to fight in 00. He cast the deciding vote to give the election to Bush. Edwards and Kerry were Senators and only one Senator needed to demand an investigation, neither stood up to do so. Also, there was plenty of pre-war evidence that should have caused a filibuster in the Senate before we invaded Iraq. I can see how good the neocons were at phrasing the "need" to invade Iraq, however, there were plenty of questions. People such as Richard Clarke, Scott Ritter (boy, does this country owe him an apology), Joe Wilson, et al were speaking out and demanding that the Senate more thoroughly investigate the claims made by the Whitehouse. Neither Hillary or Kerry rose to that occasion.

We will not achieve the goal of transparent gov't by continuing to elect those who have not fought the hard fights. We do need to take control from the neocons, but we also need to put dems in office that will do what it takes. I believe that Clark would do that.

I will work very hard to have whoever wins the dem nomination elected. Kerry was my second to the least favorite in 04 but I seriously devoted every spare minute to get him in office, and even went to Fla. (swing state) and worked the dem hqtrs election week, putting in 15 hour days.

I would much rather be devoting my time and pinning my hopes on a person who I believe would actually do what is best for this country.

I, also, fear for those who would be brave enough to take a serious seems the good, they die young. I believe Paul Wellstone might have taken the 04 nomination and also, perhaps, prevented the Iraq war.

Cheryl said...

Gore made some very bad decisions during his run. Picking Lieberman and then dropping the vote contest. He might be OK this go round.

I don't think much of any of the senators that didn't contest the election, or that voted to invade Iraq, but many of them have also had their decent moments. Russ Feingold might have some promise.

The other big vote to remember is the bankruptcy bill. I have a hard time supporting anyone who voted for it.

But never say you will never vote for someone. As soon as you do, someone even worse ends up running against them.

Richard Yarnell said...

I haven't watched "Path to 9/11" yet. It's on the recorder and set to pick up the rest of it tonight. I did, however, note that it appears ABC ran a "Nightline" episode that may have discussed corrections and matters of fact/fiction presented in the film.

What did I do last night? I watched Ted Koppel's Discovery program (3 hours! - he seems to have landed on his feet) during which he and a raft of people discussed the security/personal liberties trade off. He's like no other when handling a crowd of eager speakers.

The administration's reps gave the same old same old. Some ex-administration folks were surprisingly candid. It was interesting to me that the most vocal people, speaking in defense of civil liberties, were those who lost sons and husbands when the towers were attacked.

I don't know whether Discovery will repeat the broadcast, but if you haven't seen it, it's worth a listen.

Cheryl said...

I saw parts of the Koppel show. It was good. The family members that I heard made excellent points.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

This says Copyright 2003-2006, but this is the first time I've ever seen it (very mysterious... where has it been for the past three years?):


With theirs being a, and yours being a, would they have property rights over yours? That is, if they can prove they really did come up with it before you did...

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I went to look at his site via the MultiChannel Ventures Company and to a large extent this looks to be someone trying to start a new business. Most of his "channels" were not on. The few that were on had low use or low content.

I cast my idea out into the universe hoping someone with the means and the will might make something of it. If this guy saw my idea fine. If it actually takes hold and becomes the no cost to the candidates forum that I envisioned even better.

If he gets rich doing this than I am a big dummy.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

No Christopher, you would have proof that it was your idea first -- it's right there at SSB.

If they got the idea from your contest submission, they shouldn't be allowed to take all those unearned royalties that would then be rightfully yours.

You could use the money to start your site -- and still have some left over for your cabin on the mountain.

Can you help? Do you know the law on this?

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

An idea without a Trademark or Patent isn't property I don't think according to the law. There are no royalties now and may never be. There may be an earned income if this guy makes a go of that as a site and charges candidates to post there. If that is the case he did the work and he earned it not me.

If he got the idea on SSB or the Global Ideas Bank or in any of the other places I have released it freely into the universe then Hooray for me. Someone liked it enough to try and make something of it.

Richard Yarnell said...

Caveat emptor! I've done no research on this, but it may lead you to an answer.

1) If you published the idea someplace other than SSB, you have implied rights for a limited amount of time. If the idea is unique enough (I know, I know. Unique is an absolute.) then you might be able to assert the implied rights. I think we're speaking about copyright and trademark here.

2) If you published the idea on SSB, recall that you agreed they obtained rights that you'd need to review. Whether they'd have the nuts to try to take control of your idea after they'd ignored it in the course of the "contest" - you guys can judge that one.

3) .com and .org, lamentably, are nothing more than five different letters. The original intent of identifying the organizations the own the domain names is honored in the breach. Not-for-profits can own patents and trademarks, with no more nor less effect than profit making organizations.

4) If you were to assert your rights, you would have to prove that a) you'd published the idea or one substantially like it, prior to 2003, or b) show that his claim that his idea dates to 2003 is bogus.

You can access the formal filings through the Patent and Trademark office.

Good hunting.

Richard Yarnell
Copyright 2006, all rights reserved.

deb said...

It's a wonderful idea. We, at this blog, know that it was your idea. The deal is that you weren't in a position to make it happen. The person(s) making it happen may or may not even remember where they got the idea from, and it could have come to them in a very round about way. Example: Somebody like me really liked the idea so they were talking it up at a dem function and voila.

My take is that you have done something that, hopefully, will make this country a better place. And, I, for one, am extremely grateful that you shared your idea.

Also, .org typically means nonprofit. If they do it right then anyone who is running for office can post their bio, record, etc. It will probably be a site (like so many of those that what to help the world be a better place) that asks for donations from users. I have a notion that if they break even they'll be lucky.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

If the venture capitalist only breaks even, then it's a moot issue. But if he does make a large profit from it, and it turns out that he did get the idea from you, I still hope you can get some compensation for it -- at least enough so that you never have to do rich people's gardening for them any more. I think you've already carried more than your share of the collective weight, so you should be able to retire early. I understand what you're saying about his investing his own capital to get it going, but I've always understood that a new idea in itself was a form of intellectual property. Even if the idea came to you like a flash of lightning -- as if granted to you from on high, you still made the effort to put it out there. In the realm of intellectual property rights, what's the difference between your idea and -- say, a musician's original song?

The site's name The Election Channel is exactly the same as your idea name, and I've googled it many times over the past few months, and never saw anything else by that name other than your election channel idea until last night. The reason I googled it so many times is because I liked the idea so much, and always thought that maybe we could somehow get donations for you to make it a reality.

deb said...

Just Try Voting Here: 11 of America's worst places to cast a ballot (or try)

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Christopher, I see now how I missed the other listings on the election channel. In the past, whenever I googled it, I put quotes around the exact title of your SSB idea like this: "", which is why I kept coming up with only the listings attached to you. For some reason, two nights ago I keyed it in differently than my usual way.

Oh well, at least someone is going to do it. I just hope it doesn't end up being another partisan media outlet. If that should happen, we'd still need to do a non-partisan

If there's anyone who never censors -- it's you. Unless you count deleting spam.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

If there is a site that lists every candidate who is running for Congress and for state governor across the U.S., could you provide a link to it?

deb said...

Christin, I do not know of one...but that isn't to say there isn't one. If you find such a site let me know.

deb said...

Some good news:-)

Congress lifts blinds on its spending

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Although I didn't find a site with a simple list, there is one that gives a U.S. map and a list of all the states to click on to get elections news on each one, but I can't actually use it until I at least get a trial subscription. I would like to get it, but I'm still not at ease with using my credit card on line. Today, I just got a new email from U.S. Politics Today -- that news consolidating organization I told you guys about before -- the one that claims to be non-partisan. The following was included in their list of links:

Did you know that U.S. Politics Today launched long-awaited in-depth news coverage of U.S. midterm elections?

Cheryl said...

Project Vote Smart has info on most of the current elections and candidates.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb -- regarding your most recent link here:

Along with the news you brought us the other day about reforms involving the drug companies, this is the most exciting news I've gotten in a long time. I can't believe that's actually finally going to be a reality -- that we'll be able to monitor Congress' spending of our tax dollars!

Those petitions really do work!

Back on August 30th, I got this petition from "Howard Dean" < >

I sent my message and signed the petition, but I never expected it to happen only two short weeks later.

And because of this move by our Congressmen, I'm beginning to have faith in the power of voting. I was seriously thinking of not voting again this time around, but not out of apathy like before. Instead it was because I felt that no matter who we would vote for -- they'd go their own merry way once elected. But sometimes they really do listen!

I feel like writing "thank you" letters to everyone who helped make it a reality, including every politician who voted to pass it.

Is that customary?

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Something else about those petitions... They remind me of my favorite Dr. Seuss story Horton Hears A Who.

If only every politician had the heart of Horton... Our world would be wonderful beyond imagination.

From the Mayor of Whoville:

"This," cried the Mayor, "is your towns darkest hour!
The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!" he said.
"We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!

Anonymous said...

11 Worst places to cast a ballot? At least Georgia is first at something...Do you now understand my initial concerns about vote by mail Richard? Our elections are very controversial in this state...
My local election office is probably tired of seeing me, I am there every day now, and asks a lot of questions…any suggestions folks? This blog has motivated me to get interested in things I could care less about a year ago.

Your friend John G.

P.S. That evangelical posting was not mine Deb…I do not even know what “GERMAINE” means. Probably relevant but I have not bothered to check, darn dial up.

Richard Yarnell said...

I'm sorry, JG, I don't recall what they were or where you wrote about them.

In the meantime, here are two URLS that explain how easy it is to hack a computer driven, electronic voting machine.

The links below come from an article by Marty Kaplan which appeared on
the Huffington site.

The short of it is, some Princeton students have demonstrated that
they can change the results recorded on a Diebold, "Accu-Vote" machine
in two minutes using a floppy and a screwdriver.

May I recommend Oregon's "Vote by Mail" system just one more time. If
your County has chosen Diebold, may I suggest a change of your County
Clerk or County Supervisors.

(I don't have the connection it takes to d/l the movie - the second
URL is for the paper.)

"I'd upload the Princeton video so you could watch it right here, but
the Creative Commons non-commercial license it's copyrighted under
precludes wrapping it in an ad. As long as you attribute it and don't
profit from it, you can post the video on any site you'd like. If the
hotlink to the video doesn't work for you, here's the URL:

"The complete paper can be found here:

"Had enough?"

Cheryl said...

Another good voting system is the optical scan reader. You mark a paper ballot & the scanner reads the ballot. The paper ballot is kept in a (hopefully) safe box and available if a recount is needed. It also does some error checking on the ballot. If your ballot is unreadable, the scanner spits it back at you so you can get a fresh ballot & try again.

If you vote absentee, you can vote by mail in any state. Some states let anyone choose absentee voting. Alabama requires an authorized reason to be able to vote absentee.

Richard Yarnell said...

Some time back, and again during the SSB "contest," I described in detail the Oregon system which uses non-networked optical scanners and paper ballots. The only difference between the Oregon vote by mail system and the system most states use to deal with absentees, is that the entire mechanism in Oregon is designed to deal with the mail in ballot.

1) The entire database of digitized signatures is now available to any County Clerk in the State. Signature verification is done as soon as a ballot arrives by paid county personnel who are trained by the State police. (They're pretty good: last election, I picked up ballots from an elderly couple, the husband of which, had contracted a palsey since he'd registered. The signature was very similar to the specimen. While I was there, I was questioned about how I'd received the ballot (I'd picked replacements up and waited while the couple voted.) When I told the clerk that it appeared the guy had Parkinsons, the manner and extent of the deterioration evidently matched with what would be expected.) By working with new ballots on a daily basis, the most time consuming part of the counting process is finished early.

2) Counting rooms are open so that poll watchers from interested groups can watch the process. It is so simple that any reasonbly bright person can follow what's going on.

3) The optical scanners are tested with a known sample of ballots both immediately before and immediately after each official counting run. If a machine fails, it is retired and a fresh one is brought in.

4) All ballots are retained and counting can be repeated. So far as I can tell, the only step in the process that cannot be done over is identifying what ballot belongs with which envelope. Sigatures attesting to the voter's identity, that the voter was not coerced, etc. are on the outer, mailing envelope that's encoded by the county. The signature is verified from that envelope and the envelope is sorted and filed. The outer envelopes are opened at some point, and the inner envelopes are filed by precinct. There are no distinguishing markes on the inner envelope. Finally, shortly before counting begins, inner envelopes are opened and the ballots checked for damage or other irregularities. The machine is tested, the official ballots are counted, the machine is tested again, and the ballots are stored. Tentative talley's are recorded by hand from the machine and transmitted, by phone or email, to the highest authority in the chain depending on the election. I believe the count is repeated prior to the Clerk certifying the results.

In Clackamas County, the second or third most populous in the state, first results were reported 10-15 minutes after the 8:00 deadline for receipt of executed ballots.

I also understand that there was not a single challenge to any result in any county. I know there wasn't in Clackamas County. The election was certified in due course with the results changing only by addition of those ballots that arrived so close to 8PM that they were not included in that first count.

I want my election clean, transparent, and untouched by the Supreme court or some geeky programmer willing to take a payment to fudge the results.

Judy B. said...

They are holding a fund raiser in Portland for this...

Thought you all might be interested

Anonymous said...

Can I take a copy to my election office? Good stuff.

I see WAL MART layaway is going the way of PLUTO. Big mistake, HUGE!
Reminds me of when SEAR'S did away with their catalog showroom and KMART did away with the blue light, neither ever really recovered.
Who would have thought WAL MART would have been responsible for there own demise. KMART just got lucky. I'm going to go write them a letter...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I checked out your link. I do hope that in 2008, the U.S. Department of Peace will be a reality, and that Dennis Kucinich will be appointed Secretary of Peace. I think it's important to appoint people who not only are qualified for the job, but who also have the greatest passion for it.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I saw the footage on C-Span of Ann Richards speaking at the 1988 Democratic Convention. The part of her speech that was most meaningful to me was when she relayed the content of the letter she got from the woman in Lorena, Texas:

"Our worries go from pay day to pay day, just like millions of others. And we have two fairly decent incomes, but I worry how I’m going to pay the rising car insurance and food. I pray my kids don’t have a growth spurt from August to December, so I don’t have to buy new jeans. We buy clothes at the budget stores and we have them fray and fade and stretch in the first wash. We ponder and try to figure out how we're gonna pay for college and braces and tennis shoes. We don’t take vacations and we don’t go out to eat. Please don’t think me ungrateful. We have jobs and a nice place to live, and we’re healthy. We're the people you see every day in the grocery stores, and we obey the laws. We pay our taxes. We fly our flags on holidays and we plod along trying to make it better for ourselves and our children and our parents. We aren’t vocal any more. I think maybe we’re too tired. I believe that people like us are forgotten in America."

Those are the kinds of people I come into contact with most -- nearly every day of the week. Those last three lines -- "We aren't vocal any more. I think maybe we're too tired. I believe that people like us are forgotten in America." -- jumped out at me, because I think that is why our politicians seemed not to be listening. Maybe the problem was that the message never reached them in the first place.

Maybe the only messages that weren't blocked from reaching the ears of our Congressmen, were the ones delivered by paid lobbyists.

Or was it that they really were deliberately ignoring us, because we weren't wining and dining them?

Richard Yarnell said...

By all means, but I please include the suggestion that they contact the office of Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury.

You might also provide them with the following URL:

deb said...

I hope you have good luck with the write in ballot initiative JG. If your area has an R majority in power the chances are not good. The write in ballot effectively ensures that more people will vote. The higher the turn out the more likely dems will win.

deb said...

I got this petition today from MoveOn:
"This week, the Senate is planning to quietly hold a vote that would pardon President Bush for breaking the law by illegally wiretapping innocent Americans without warrants. According to Senator Leahy, the bill would "...immunize officials who have violated federal law by authorizing such illegal activities."1
"Here are some quick facts about the Cheney-Specter bill:

It allows President Bush—and every president after him—to wiretap Americans indefinitely, in secret, without a warrant and without any oversight. 3

It effectively pardons the president for any illegal behavior by forcing Congress to concede that he has the inherent authority to conduct the program4—something federal courts, numerous legal experts and many leading Republicans disagree with. 5

It completely guts FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) which has protected the privacy of Americans against illegal wiretaps for close to 30 years.6
It prevents any legal challenges from taking place in the public court system. Instead, it moves all cases to a secret court, where only Bush administration officials can argue it. 7

It would help "immunize" any officials who broke the law in this program from being held accountable in the future. 8"

To sign the petition go here

Richard Yarnell said...

PFAW is attacking from a slightly different angle.

Rather than a petition (in which MoveOn encourages you to add your own thoughts) PFAW asks you to compose your own letter.
Here's mine - MoveOn doesn't send you a copy of what your write like PFAW does.

Your message was sent to:

President George W. Bush
Senator Ron Wyden
Senator Gordon Harold Smith
Representative Earl Blumenauer

I strongly oppose any legislation that would authorize indefinite detention, unfair trials and immunity for any individual in the chain of command who perpetrates, authorizes or condones torture or cruel treatment.

Those at the highest level of our government, in particular those who advocate abrogation of any part of the Geneva Conventions, must not be immunized from prosecution.

This is a nation of laws – keep it that way. But don't accomplish that condition by passing legislation that will make legal in the future what is, properly, illegal and unAmerican, to say nothing of immoral, now.


The likely reaction is evenly split along party lines.

dan said...

Debbie/Richard, thanks for the heads up on a most important matter. That's a very fine letter Richard.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Well, later today we'll know who our Democratic nominee for governor will be. Big freaking deal... We've got a choice between a tycoon who doesn't have a job, yet already owns two mansions, and wants to invest taxpayers' money into companies in which he owns a stock fortune. Our other choices are a corporate lawyer who used to work for Ameriquest Mortgage -- THE most predatory mortgage lender in the U.S. (the class action suit against them was won by their victims), but also doesn't have a current job, yet he too owns an oceanfront mansion; and then there's our current attorney general who at least has a job and doesn't even own a mansion, but apparently thinks that cheated individual wage-earners aren't worth wasting the time to actually do the job he is being paid for.

On the other hand, every single candidate for lieutenant governor is great -- ALL WORKing middle class, and ALL actually make the effort to do their jobs well. (We elect our lieutenant governor separately from our governor.)

Why can't we put one of our candidates for lieutenant governor into the office of governor???

Since our Democratic candidates for governor are the very definition of corporate, and since our other two-mansion owner -- the Republican candidate (our current female lieutenant governor) is pro-choice and for stem cell research, in favor of gay marriage, and promotes sustainable energies production... and it's the same deal with our fourth mansion-dwelling candidate -- the chain-store magnate running as an Independent to stick it to the Republican Party -- can someone tell me how each one calling himself or herself Democrat or Republican or Independent is not just a bunch of lying BS ???

Five candidates -- and not one of them even amounts to "the lesser of the evils".

This is why it's next to impossible for me to give a damn about wire-tapping. Let 'em all spy on each other -- why should I care?

And for those of us working on the actual producing rungs -- you know, the workers who actually ship and serve the stuff that everyone else just kicks back and collects stock dividends for -- what freedom do we have left to lose anyway?

I'll probably come back to visit at some date far into the future, but I feel my efforts have been wasted, so I give up. It seems to me that the only improvements being made in our country are coming through people who aren't in or connected to political office. Everything about politics is way too hypocritical. It is useless, and I'm just too tired. I finally realized this evening that not voting was right all along.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

They win, you lose, so why bother?

Did you think voting was going to change everything overnight?

I understand your rage and frustration as a working stiff who never seems to get ahead. I too was taught that if I worked hard and followed the rules then the world would be my oyster and the American Dream was a given.

They left out a few key elements, the pursuit of money has to be made a top priority and learning to manage money to achieve a goal is pretty critical to success. At the time we were born and raised things had changed and a new prosperity that seemed easy and would go on forever was in full flower. That is not how it had been before WWII and it is not how it has ever been for most of the worlds inhabitants.

This struggle between rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless is not a new story, it is as old as civilization itself. It is the struggle that has started revolutions and it is the struggle that founded this country. It ebbs and flows between degrees of power and wealth through history, but the essense of it remains the same. This is the human condition to a certain degree. You can't really just decide that it is useless because you can not seperate from the human condition.

You can decide which side of the equation you want to be on. You can decide what is the best way for you to live with an inner peace with this world.

The one thing you won't be able to do well I think is live with that rage against the machine inside of you for very long. You do have to get mad first before you can figure out how to let it go or how to deal with it.

There are a million quotes I am sure about freedom and liberty like, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." The powerful are not going to hand it to you on a silver platter. It took us a while to get into this mess and it is going to take a while to get out of it.

Judy B. said...

Well said Christopher...
Another point I'll make is that someone is voting for thoe who win elections... They believe differently than you and i, but their vote counts... giving up and not voting, in reality, increased their voting power...

dan said...

Christin, the rich and powerful always vote and spent their money trying to get you to vote for their interests. When you *drop out* they win by default. You'll be empowering the very group you disdain.

We all get tired and have frustrations with the political system. If we, the angry public, gives up on forcing change great cheers will be heard comming out of the White House.

Take a week off Christin, get some sleep, then come back fighting mad. Tell Bush/Cheney it's your country not theirs.

deb said...

Uh Oh...House panel backs Bush on detainees

Richard Yarnell said...

That's the Judiciary Committee.

Now's the time to get those letters in your Senators' email boxes.

No torture; _all men_ deserve due process; and no amnesty for violations of US and International law.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I decided to do my ranting in my own blog, so I can still get my frustrations out of my system, but without breaking up the flow of ideas for finding solutions. I'd like it if you guys would come and check out my most recent post even though I'm whining in it, because I have a couple of links in it where you can check out videos of my state's Democratic nominee for governor -- Deval Patrick.

I don't know -- I think he's too corporate. During one of the debates, another Democratic candidate (Attorney General Tom Reilly) criticized both his (Patrick's) and Gabrieli's (my original choice) connections to big business. Deval Patrick responded that we need big business, because "No goose -- no golden egg." Like I said -- too corporate.

Deb, I'm not forgetting what you said about getting more progressive Democrats into public office. I know you don't have a lot of time -- especially between now and November, but if you get the chance, could you find out more inside information about Deval Patrick, so you can help me make a better informed decision. All I have to go by right now is his past connections and what he's telling us.

I have to admit that I identify somewhat with current lieutenant governor Kerry Healey, who is our Republican gubernatorial candidate. It's partly a generational familiarity thing, since she was born the same year I was (as was Democratic candidate Gabrieli as well). But I also like that she's tough on crime -- especially street gangs. In fact, she has a degree in criminology. Domestic law and order in a society should not ever be taken for granted. It is THE most necessary prerequisite for a peaceful, progressive existence. Wherever the crime rate is high, advancement of any kind becomes next to impossible to achieve.

Other than her strong stance on domestic law and order, and her conservative spending policies, one would think Kerry Healey is a Democrat. She is pro-choice and favors stem cell research; she favors civil unions (she and her husband are close friends with many gay and lesbian couples); she promotes sustainable energies research and production; and she has been fighting hard to try to get more moderately-priced housing built here (a very tough fight with the labyrinth of prohibitive building regulations in all our cities and towns).

If both our Democratic and Republican candidate want to promote the same things, but our Democratic candidate is more pro-corporation than our Republican candidate, what distinction can I make that tells me to vote for the Democrat? Other than their plans for taxes and spending, there is only one difference between the two: She favors civil unions, but stops short of admitting she favors gay marriage (otherwise she'd have lost the backing of the Republican Party) -- while he promotes gay marriage per se. But since gay marriage is already legal here, that issue -- for all intents and purposes -- is a non-issue.

This is not to say I'll vote Republican, because I've also seen the Mitt Romney type of Republican -- who is more representative of what that party stands for than the moderate ones like Kerry Healey.

I have so little time, and so few clear answers. And as if everything I've already mentioned doesn't blur the lines between the candidates enough -- here's something else that makes it even tougher to know which way to vote:

I've considered joining the Green-Rainbow Party, since the principles they've outlined mirror my own. But everyone always says that voting for the Green-Rainbow Party is tantamount to not voting at all, since it is a "wasted" vote. What do you all think -- would that be a wasted vote?

If I'm going to vote at all, I want to vote sensibly and with my conscience. But I can't vote for just the elements of each candidate I like and ignore the ones I don't. For some people it is all so clear and simple... Did you know there are huge masses of people in this state whose only stated reason for voting Republicans into the office of governor for all these years, is because they want to balance out the all-Democratic legislature?

That's as bad as the two times that I naively voted for whomever seemed like the "nicest guy".

Trying to decide which way to vote is giving me a big headache.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

"No torture; _all men_ deserve due process; and no amnesty for violations of US and International law."

Did you guys post a link to a petition against the violations of international law somewhere in this blog?

Anonymous said...

I took the "good stuff" by my local election office today. Luckily the local news was they’re doing a piece about voter ids. My friend seemed receptive and grateful, the news reporter requested and received a copy and will possibly contact your sec. of state and do a story on your states successful vote by mail program.
The die bold people were there too (fixing machines), seems they break a lot.
I was left with the impression they cannot do anything without direction from our sec. of state, yet with the cameras rolling at least he/she will become aware and possibly research the feasibility of your program in GA.
I also got the impression they are actively seeking a way out of the voter id debacle so this at least gives them a distraction.


Cheryl said...

Congratulations on your success. It sounds like you at least got them to listen to you & consider your ideas.

Richard Yarnell said...

I don't recall posting a petition, however, there have been several recently from the usual grass roots, web based folk.

Letters to the editor are my preference dealing with this one.

BTW, before you write, check out the editorial in the NYT that describes how the "compromise" is flawed.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Here is a copy of the Senate comprimise with Bush on both military tribunals and treatment of detainees. The good stuff begins on page 82 line 6. Kabuki Legislation

These two clauses from a brief reading stand out. The document is locked and I can not copy and paste from it.

Page 83 lines 1 to 16
Page 85 lines 4 to 19

In essence it seems the moral Republicans have caved to the president while the Democrats have remained completely silent. Some have suggested this was all a Rovian ploy so the Republicans can claim a moral high ground and be tough on terror at the same time with this "Comprimise".

The bottom line is that our Congress has failed to stand up for the principles this nation was founded on. I am ashamed of my government. The tough talking neocons have wet their little girl panties and are using FEAR to steal our country.

dan said...

"No torture; _all men_ deserve due process; and no amnesty for violations of US and International law."

Bravo, well said Richard.

dan said...

Christopher, I just read the pages and lines you suggested. If congress is willing to cede that much authority and immunity to the executive branch, why don't they just finish the job? How about:

"The President is hereby authorized, any time he consideres the nation to be under threat, to suspend national elections for the duration of the threat. If such a threat continues at the end of his term, he will continue to remain in office until he proclaims the threat to be over.

While we hold constutional government in the highest esteem, we recognize the need for flexibility during national emergencies. May God bless the Republican version of America!"

I'd better not let the Judiciary Committee see what I just wrote, they might just tack it on their bill.

Anonymous said...

Another "new" & interesting link

UBL dead?

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I don't know how I missed reading this in the newspapers:

-- Romney Suggested Wire-Tapping Mosques at 2005 Heritage Foundation Event.

On Sept. 15, 2005 the Boston Globe reported that, "Romney raised the prospect of wiretapping mosques and conducting surveillance of foreign students in Massachusetts, as he issued a broad call yesterday for the federal government to devote far more money and attention to domestic intelligence gathering." The Globe quoted Romney, speaking at a forum hosted by the Heritage Foundation on September 14, stating, "How many individuals are coming to our state and going to those institutions (foreign students in higher education) who have come from terrorist- sponsored states? Do we know where they are? Are we tracking them? How about people who are in settings -- mosques, for instance -- that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror. Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what's going on?" (Boston Globe, 9/15/06)

-- Romney's Wiretapping Mosques Comments Drew Ire from Civil Liberty & Muslim Groups.

On Sept. 16, 2005, the Washington Post quoted, Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, stating, "It's irresponsible for the top elected official in any state to suggest blanket wiretapping of houses of worship." The Post also quoted, Ali Noorani, the executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, stating, "There's a need for the U.S. government and the intelligence system to better understand the Muslim community. The way not to do it is to wiretap and surreptitiously surveil an entire community." (Washington Post, 9/16/06)

For anyone who might have missed it yesterday, here is the full article the above was extracted from:

DNC: 'Whatever It Takes' Republicans Embrace Intolerance

Cheryl said...

This unconfirmed possible report of Osama being dead is suspiciously convenient. The administration gets all the buzz and glory for killing him without actually doing anything, or confirming that he is dead. It's all speculation. I expect the report to quietly disappear after the election.

Dan, that's a tempting letter to write. Unfortunately, the republicans don't seem to understand sarcasm.
Christin, if he's willing to publicly say that much, what else is he up to?

Anonymous said...

another link


deb said...

I didn't think that I could be shocked by anything anymore, but I completely cannot understand why there isn't a national outcry demanding that the US participation in the accords of the Geneva Convention be unheld. How can Congress even be debating rules of engagement concerning torture?

I am spending my spare time writing to anyone and everyone expressing my opinion that there should be zero tolerance for torture.

Torture Never Acceptable

We have been dragged down to bin Laden's level of barbarism

(this one is very graphic)The Torture Debate Does It Work?

dan said...

Debbie, I wish all Americans would read the links you posted about torture. How many of our fellow citizens just blindly believe that with their vote in 2000 & 2004, they returned morality to the White House? I just pray that people are silent because they don't know, and not because they're indifferent.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Has the CIA actually practiced "waterboarding"? That makes me think of the torture technique they used during the Salem Witch Trials -- called "pressing".

Even if the torture were to be "limited" to sleep-deprivation -- that is still cruel and unusual punishment.

Extreme and prolonged sleep deprivation can and does lead to chronic and terminal illness. And in cases where the victims are young and physically very healthy, the sleep deprivation is generally not able to weaken their bodies -- but instead will eventually create severe chronic depression and even schizophrenia.

Extreme and prolonged sleep deprivation has been found to lead to severe mental illness in healthy persons (more commonly in males) between the ages of 16 and 35. That is why so many young males in the most competitive research universities become schizophrenic and suffer from hallucinations after having spent too many "all-nighters" in a row studying for tough exams. In other cases, the extreme sleep deprivation from staying up for too many nights studying leads to severe depression and causes those students to end up committing suicide.

That being the case, there is no justification for our government even to "limit" the torture to sleep-deprivation.

deb said...

Warning: This news is sick.

Death By Torture: US media ignores hard evidence

An administration's descent into barbarism

Cheryl said...

I've been meaning to do a search on news about Maher Arar. Your SF Chronicle article is the most mainstream one I could find. What's sickening is that this is not being talked about on prime time. If this isn't a "values issue", I don't know what is.

The problem is that the torture news gets lost between the lastest celebrity trial, and who's dating who. On the rare second that most people consider it, it is brushed off as "those terrorists don't deserve to be treated well". Few stop to think that most of "those terrorists" are really innocent. Never mind the fact the torture doesn't work.

We need a revival of the WWII poem, First they came for the Communists, ..., then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

Cheryl said...

I watched Fox news this morning so that I could watch Bill Clinton handle Chris Wallace. Amazingly, they don't seem to have edited much out.

The second half of the hour was a round table discussion where they all praised Chris for doing so well with that mean Bill (who was just itching for a fight). Then they turned everything around and blamed Clinton for everything. And decided that the media isn't biased. I lost all respect for Mara Liason of NPR today. Juan Cole let them get away with some, but he did speak up.

deb said...

The House and Senate will vote this week on the torture bill (of course they are calling it the "terror bill").

From Molly Ivans:

"Now, in addition to the slightly surreal awakening to find we live in a country that's having a serious debate on a torture bill, can we do anything about it? The answer is: We better. We better do something about it. Now, right away. What do we do? The answer is: anything ... phone, fax, e-mail, mail, demonstrate -- go stand outside their offices or the nearest federal building in the cold and sing hymns or shout rude slogans, chant or make a speech, or start attacking federal property, like a postal box, so they have to arrest you. Gather peacefully and make a lot of noise. Get publicity, too"

A tortured debate

Thanks for the heads up on the Clinton interview...I'll watch it on the web.

dan said...

Cheryl, I caught some of that interview. I'm glad that Bill Clinton finally lashed out at the people who have treated him so unfairly for so long. His anger is completly justified.

dan said...

Deb, you've posted such powerful, heart wrenching stories about and from torture victims that I can't believe very many Americans would condone the practice. Any yet, even as Congress is debating the issue, I still don't the public is aware of the horror being committed in their name. MSM is isn't covering this story in depth at all and far too many Americans are content living innocently in their cocoons.

deb said...

Here is a Kos Diary about torture, I realized that I had posted quite enough for all of you to understand what our gov't is doing in our name...but, this one is very good...

Paul Krugman on Why Bush Wants to Torture

I have tried to get the word around the net to ask people to speak out against this new torture compromise bill. I am not actually seeing the outrage that I expected.

Is the country just numb? Have the media convinced the public that torture is necessary in case your kid was kidnapped and someone needed to torture an accomplice to find out where the kid is? Has that ever happened?

We are torturing thousands of war prisoners and the majority aren't even guilty of anything.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb, I don't think the country is numb -- or complacent. I think it really has gotten to the point where most people will only believe something if they get it from mainstream television news -- for several days in a row. And it's not enough to hear it -- it seems like they need to see footage of it with their own eyes first.

This is definitely a case where our major networks are hiding the truth. I'm wondering if it's because they need to wait till the legal issues surrounding it are settled before they dare delve any further into it. I remember having seen a very short clip about Maher Arar on one of our local news broadcasts, but I can't remember which station it was.

Chris Wallace -- horse's ass that he is -- is going to be moderating Massachusetts' gubernatorial debate tonight -- Monday, Sep. 25th at 6:00 pm on Fox. Lucky us.

The candidates are:
*The corporate lawyer -- Democrat Deval Patrick;
*Our current lieutenant governor -- Republican Kerry Healey;
(It'd be a waste of time to tell you about our "Independent" candidate); and
*Green-Rainbow Party candidate Grace Ross.

dan said...

I took the suggestion of an ACLU e-mail reguarding the *torture* bills before Congress and called my 2 Senators and my Congressman. I used their action page for help with the talking points. I was surprized when in all three offices, I was able to vent to a staffer who promised to pass along my views.

dan said...

Christin, I read a bio on Deval Patrick. He's got a great resume and broad experience. He doesn't seem like a corporate lawyer at heart. He probably just needed to make some money for awhile.

When I'm unsure about a candidate, I look at endorsements. Patrick's look very respectable.

Of coarse, I'm convinced that there is a fundamental difference between the parties. The America you're nostalgic for was made possible by the New Deal, the very programs the Republicans are determined to destroy.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Whichever candidate wins, it will be a first for our state. Our next governor is going to be either: the first black Massachusetts governor and only the second black governor in U.S. history; the first woman to be elected governor in our state (Jane Swift was acting governor, but was originally elected to the post of lieutenant governor); the first Independent Party governor; or -- the first Green-Rainbow Party governor.

The debate was excellent. Democrat Deval Patrick is still the front-runner. He was aided greatly by our Independent candidate (formerly Republican) who continuously hammered away at the Republican candidate (our current lieutenant governor). And although our Green-Rainbow candidate knows she really hasn't a chance to be elected, she is very articulate and she made some good points.

If any of you has enough time to watch it, here is the video of the four candidates' debate on Fox -- moderated by Chris Wallace:

Massachusetts gubernatorial debate Sep. 25, 2006

christin m p in massachusetts said...

In case you're having trouble with the debate video from Fox news, here's a shorter video -- 10 minutes and 22 seconds long -- of Deval Patrick's speech at the Democratic State Convention in Worcester back on June 3rd:

Meet Deval Patrick

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I'd like to see videos of the Democratic candidates from all of your states too. If any of you has the chance, could you please post links to videos of your favorite local politicians?

deb said...

I'll have to look for video links. Kissell in NC 8 (not my district) will seriously work for real people. Shuler, my district is less progressive, but beats Taylor hands down. Shuler's main platform is the environment. Our Senate and Gov. races are in 08.

Our state Rep. (Rapp) is awesome and part of the reason NC is doing so many things right. Queen is the dem running for state senate, and he is one of those brilliant people who "get it". I am very excited about getting him in office.

Judges are a high priority for me. The "divide" seems pretty obvious in those running for Judge (at least around here) the corporate lawyers who have spent their lives looking for legal loopholes in order to get their clients out of trouble or the lawyers who want what is right for real people.

Anonymous said...

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Good link John G. There are more stories about the lack of real support from the administration out there. I saw one last night.

This quote at the end of the story is important.

" If Democratic leaders have any foresight -- an arguable proposition at best -- they will get behind these veterans, their ads and their candidates, and lift the Vietnam-era "anti-military" stereotype from their party.

Judy B. said...

Christopher... I thought it was a good link too... that is why I posted it... Don't know why it showed up as anonymous...
In fact
has a lot of good reqading

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I checked the link and watched the TV ad -- it looks like it will be very effective in taking votes away from the congressmen who were against providing the updated body armor.

Richard Yarnell said...

Just got back from the Clackamas County Democrats annual
fund-raising while we buck up the troops dinner. It's held at the
definitely un-Democratic Lake Oswego Country Club.

Several candidates were there including a couple of sitting
Congressmen (who both think the torture/detention/anti-habeas corpus
bill that the Prez is about to sign will be in court as early as
Monday and likely will be overturned. One of them, the better lawyer,
thinks it may have to wait until a tribunal is actually started.

Oregon is facing an assault very much like the TABOR act that Colorado fell for and then, when they found the government had no money to operate even essential services, quickly retired. It's carried by a local citizen but proposed and bankrolled by a very rich guy from out of state who just doesn't like government. We're also facing a term limits initiative which, to my mind does nothing but restrict my right to vote for the people I know, have learned to trust, and who have figured out how to navigate the more and more complex legislative river. If it passes, institutional memory disappears except for that kept by paid but unelected bureaucrats. A lot of good people would lose their jobs even while popular.

On the way home, after spending more than I should during the auctions I noticed that the price of gasoline, for no apparent reason, continues to
plummet. Where it was $3.05 for regular two or three weeks ago, it's
now below $2.60.

It occurs to me that this is electioneering by the oil companies who think they will be better off under a Republican administration
supported by a Republican Congress. Are the voters that gullible?

Some of the other auction loot: a couple of columnar apple trees-
straight up they go with no branches. Great for lining a walkway; a pair of pineapple quince trees; Grape picking next year when the Pinot noir are ready; a Garmin navigation system, so we can find the place.

Our contribution to the small side of the auction originally was a
nice basket with honey and lavender soap in it. We pressed cider this
afternoon, finishing just in time to shower and head for the party.
Susan did an 18th century label for a quart of it claiming that it a)
was only a couple of hours old; b) was suitable for fermenting since
it hadn't been pasteurized; c) tastes really good because it contains the juice of 4 varieties of apples including Liberties and a botanical clone of crab apples that T. Jefferson himself planted lo those many years ago (Hewes) and d) was entirely a product of the County.

"History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of
urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure."
-Thurgood Marshall, US Supreme Court Justice

deb said...

RY, Thanks for the encouraging words about overturning this latest assault on rights. I've been in that same frustrated state of mind that I was in after w was re-elected in 04.

Our last big fundraiser for the county was yesterday. I was able to spend some time with my State Rep. and discuss with him the idea of putting pv solar, that feed the grid, on schools and gov't buildings (which will encourage business and competition of pv in the area and help make it more affordable for average home owners) in leiu of subsidizing or allowing building any additional power plants.

While discussing energy I learned that SC is building a port in order to import coal from China and that the southeast has plans for additional coal power plants...sheesh.

Our little hamlet is without electricity today (they are working on the substation) so I'm on battery and dial up...and the battery has, perhaps, less than a half an hour. I mentioned that because normally I would have posted links for the "Tesla". I don't know if any of you have seen the Tesla car, but I'll probably give up my quest for a PHEV and will wait for their sedan version, or similar. It's an all electric that acts like a car and not a golf cart.

That cider sounds delicious Richard, I've been making and freezing applesauce, and may still make some applebutter...but have never pressed cider...I'll have to look into the "how" when I have electricity.

Thanks for the reminder on Salon, Judy. I haven't read it in a while, but need to add it to the places I visit regularly.

Cheryl said...

The Mobile Press-Register has both a letters to the editor, and a SoundOff phone number, where you can leave messages. This is a recent submission.

"Thank you so much, President Bush, for getting onto those oil people and making them bring the price of gas down. Gee whiz! It was almost about to put me in the poor house. I'm certainly going to vote for Republicans in the next election because I know Democrats cannot do anything with the oil people."

We had to read it several times to make sure it wasn't a joke, but I think the caller is actually serious.

I doubt that any administration can really dictate the price of gas. If they did, they wouldn't have let it get quite so high. I think the oil executives have decided to lower their profits slightly to keep their pets in office.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I've been saying right along that gasoline prices will shoot right back up after the election. Most people immediately agree with me on that, but a few don't seem to see the connection. To me, it couldn't be more obvious. Today, we're all the way down to $2.33 and 9/10ths of a cent per gallon of regular gas at most of the gas stations I passed.

I recently turned down a higher paying job because it's twenty miles farther away from home than my present job. Even though right now the wage difference would more than make up for the additional cost of gas, as well as the wear-and-tear on my car -- I know that beginning a little over a month from now, I'm going to be spending a fortune in gas.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Is it safe to drink unpasteurized apple cider? I'm thinking about getting some at one of the local orchards, but I'm not sure if they all pasteurize it. Trader Joe's apple cider is really, really good -- it tastes like it's right from one of the local orchards. But I'm trying to ween myself away from supporting the chain stores.

That reminds me -- I saw on the news this evening that the recent bagged spinach contamination has sent droves of new customers to local farmers' markets all over the U.S. -- people who used to buy all their "fresh" produce at the supermarket chains.

Richard Yarnell said...

I drink unpastuerized cider by preference. However, if it is to keep for any length of time, it has to be pasteurized and "canned" by boiling it in a hot water bath canner for (I think) 10 minutes. Cider is naturally acid. But like any fresh product, it can be contaminated.

The only people I know who've gotten sick from cider are people who drank too much at one sitting.

On the spinach contamination: I don't think it's the water because so few people got sick. My hunch is that someone who handled the stuff (which may be processed and bagged in the field) didn't use the antibacterial stuff in the porta potty. I don't think they really know which farm the stuff came from, and I'll also go out on a libm to say that not all the people who got sick did so as a result of eating spinach.

Richard Yarnell said...

This came in from a fence-sitting Republican friend. I'm off on errands
all day. Someone might want to run down the circumstances of the Contract on
America. Was it really that long ago?!

"In the 1994 Compact with America, most Republican candidates took a pledge;
indeed, I think they swore using God's name to promote a particular agenda, which
included both reducing the size of government and invoking term limits. [Speaking
of which, we're going to get screwed unless we start now explaining how bad an
idea it is for the voter.] The issue of hypocrisy doesn't usually have legs, but
a pledge before God would. The Foley issue is going to be defended as one man's
defect; and in itself I don't think will effectively undermine the Southern
Christian vote. If attacked as hypocrisy before God, that hypocrisy being
characteristic of Republican congressmen, I think it is a powerful wedge issue.

"Was the '94 Contract supported by using God's name? What particular Congressmen
who signed onto the contract used God's name in their individual campaign
speeches? If they are still in congress and have voted for the Bush large
government, they lied; and they lied before God. Foley's hypocrisy and
immorality is simply one example of a moral corruption in the party.

"So, research the pledges in '94, and couple them with Foley."

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

The Mark Foley scandal is a simply delicious Congressional Page turner.

I would like to think that the Republican's house of cards built out of lies is finally coming down, but there have been too many other revelations over the last two years and the spin machine has kept it standing.

Republicans have ignored record spending and war profiteering, leaking classified info and outing covert CIA operatives, missing WMD's, a bungled war, the death of 10's of thousands and Katrina apathy. They have shrugged off losing habeus corpus and the need to obtain warrants. They have applauded torture, rendition and secret prisons. They have accepted a "Leader" who when cornered likes to say,"I didn't know something like that could happen, nobody could have known."

Time after time the party faithful and the media have accepted the weakest of excuses and the most hypocrital spin and total twisting of Democratic positions saying them and printing them to be fair and balanced.

Is this scandal the final straw that will bring the party crashing down, the idea that the firm flesh of a teenage boy is an object of desire and the lies that let it go on and the spin that attempts to excuse it is just more than the faithful can swallow?

Can it possibly be after all that has gone on with this party and this administration that the purity of teenage male pages is the issue that they really have a firm principle about, that cuts into their twisted consciousness and brings the House crashing down? I hope so, but in the meantime I am enjoying the show!

dan said...

Christopher, the GOP and their allies at Fox News won't go quietly. And why should this scandal effect Republicans when just yesterday on Fox I saw that Foley is a Democrat. Take a look:
Fox News identifies M. Foley as (D-Fl)

deb said...

Terrific post Christopher. The media spin on this one has reached ridiculous levels. Fox even had a banner under a pic of Foley saying (D-FL) on 3 occasions. And the lies...saying that Monica was 19...not that I condone Clinton's behavior, but she was 22. Torture wasn't enough to get the Fundies attention. Maybe this sordid sex scandal is what they need to keep them away from the polls.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

This just keeps getting bigger and better. I read a comment some where that said this La Cage aux Foley was going to send the Mighty Wurlitzer (Spin Machine)in to overdrive. That has certainly happened in the outrageous things being said by the Speaker and many others.

What is far more important is that for the first time we are seeing the Republicans lose their party wide message control and lock step talking points. The Mighty Wurlitzer may have gone into such overdrive that the engine is going to explode. It is hard to keep up.

They have formed a circular firing squad as one person commented and the flunkies are not willing to take the fall for this.

Cheryl said...

There's no end to the spin Fox News can put out.

Reid: Did DEMS ignore Foley e-mails to preserve seat

Cheryl said...

One more trajedy from this mess:

It now appears that one of the chief reasons why Foley’s e-mails remained secret for so long – and why some former pages still won’t speak publicly – is that they recognize that divulging what Foley did to them could kill their hopes for future careers in politics.

Richard Yarnell said...

If five (5) people (now a minimum of three others) want a copy of this Sundance Festival
honoree documentary, want to own a copy, I'll be happy to front the
purchase. Normally $14.95 (plus shipping) we get it for $10 plus $3.95 shipping.
They'll ship yours directly to your address. The order has to come
from one person. When your copy arrives, you send me a check. Show it yourself, send it to friends, hold a house party.

If you don't want to own it to pass around, MoveOn is organizing
screenings around the country in other people's houses.

Let me know in a couple of days.


dan said...

Richard, if you're referring to the movie "American Blackout", I found a trailer at youtube.
American Blackout

deb said...

That trailer gave me chills. If this is the movie you are buying Richard, I will take a copy...but if you already have 5 people I can just buy it direct. Thanks for letting me know about it.

Richard Yarnell said...

Sorry about that, I copied the message forgetting that the title had been in the subject line of the message, not the body.

The film is "Iraq For Sale."

Richard Yarnell said...

The minimum order for the 33% price break is 5, so I will order any number 5 or more.

Richard Yarnell said...

Sorry about that, I copied the message forgetting that the title had been in the subject line of the message, not the body.

The film is "Iraq For Sale."

dan said...

Richard, "Iraq For Sale" sounds terrific. Put me down for a copy and I'll send the money whenever you like. I'll need your e-mail address so I can send you my mailing address. Thanks for the offer.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I want to buy a copy of "Iraq For Sale" too. I'd consider that purchase an absolute essential!!!

Richard Yarnell said...

OK, that's five.

I need physical addresses before I order. If you don't want to post them, send them to

I'll be gone for the weekend but will probably order Sunday or Monday. If they give me an estimate on the delivery date, you'll read it here.

Cheryl said...

There's no end to Bush and his signing statements. The Homeland Security Appropriations that Congress just passed has a provision requiring that the head of FEMA have emergency management experience.

Bush added a signing statement that says he can name any danged person he wants to head FEMA.

deb said...

The title of that article is great, Cheryl: Bush Asserts Constitutional Right To Hire Incompetent People At FEMA

I am still stumped that "Good Job Brownie" and anyone having anything to do with the aftermath of Katrina couldn't figure out that people were going to need water and then food.

Cheryl, do you still have relatives in La.? How are things progressing on the Gulf Coast? Jeff was in NO, Houma, and what is left of Plaquamines in April and the situation was still very grave at that time.

deb said...

I just peeked at the to see if any progress had been made (the answer is no) but I got to thinking that they will be employing people to research the candidates for the info that will be available on that site. Their e address is

deb said...

2 excellent posts on the Foley scandal by Glen Greenwald

Does the Foley scandal prove the existence of a God?
"The Foley scandal is so perfectly tailored -- one could even say artistically designed -- to expose every character flaw of this country's Republican leaders (and their followers), and it has evolved so flawlessly (like the most brilliantly coordinated symphony), that one is almost inclined to believe that it was divinely inspired."

Increasing desperation

dan said...

Thanks Debbie. I'd been forgetting to read Greenwald lately. It pains me to think that most Americans never read articles of that caliber.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Can you guys help me find the names of the congressmen who -- in around late February or early March of 2005 -- voted down the amendments intended to curb excessive fees and other abuses perpetrated by the corrupt lending industry?

I'd like to have a list available of that particular subculture of bought-and-paid-for congressmen (although I know that most of them are beholden to more than a few industries), so I can get the word out and help influence a few votes.

Richard Yarnell said...

If you know the number of the House Bill (HB), and if it was a recorded vote, you can find the voting tabulated by name on the House Web site.

Richard Yarnell said...


I'm waiting for your physical address so that I can order the copy you apparently want.

Without it, I have no way of telling them where to ship your copy. If I have it shipped to me and resend it to you, costs you double postage.

send your address to by tomorrow morning please or the ship sails without you.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Okay, Richard -- I just sent it. It showed up in my sent folder, so by right you should have received it okay.

deb said...

And yet another petition to save the internet, mainly because our elected officials have very selective hearing and our voices aren't appearing to register:

Don't Let Ma Bell Monopolize the Internet

dan said...

Thanks for posting the petition Debbie. We can't afford to lose on this issue.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

This is just a reminder that next Wednesday Oct. 18th at 9 pm, Bill Moyers is going to cover that topic.

The Net at Risk

dan said...

Thanks for the reminder Christin. I hope his shows get great ratings.

deb said...

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (1215 - 2006) by Molly Ivans

dan said...

Good link Debbie. This quote caught my attention:

"Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right. Yet torture continues to be practiced around the world by rogue regimes..." G.W.Bush

How long will it take before U.S, voters are ready to remove our own "rogue regime"?

deb said...


Cheryl said...

Must be why we can't find Osama. The spies that weren't sent to Iraq were sent to spy on Quakers. I feel safer already.

On a personal note, I took your advice Dan and posted my last blog on Daily Kos. I even got a few comments ;)

dan said...

Way to go Cheryl! I'm going to check out your post right now.

dan said...

Cheryl, I could tell by the comments that your post was very well received at dailykos. The country is in trouble and your voice is needed. Keep up the good work.

Judy B. said...

Great post Cheryl...
And the posted replies give me hope that this country has many patriots, and we are finding our voice via the internet...
Could that be why net netrality is in danger??/

deb said...

That'd be my guess Judy...can't have too many citizens obtaining unfiltered news reports;-)

Speaking of which...I am excited by the recent upsurge in investigative reporting.

Displease a Lobbyist, Get Fired

deb said...

The FCC is asking for comments on proposed merger between Bellsouth and At&T. If the merger goes through it will affect net neutrality. Please write to them and help spread this request for comments around.

FCC Seeks Comment on Proposals Submitted by AT&T

Further reading:

Bell Buyout Blocked

Following Protests from Democrats, Martin Delays Debate on Merger

There are more articles available at FreePress.

deb said...

One-Letter Politics By PAUL KRUGMAN

"Even if the Democrats take both houses, they won’t be able to accomplish much in the way of new legislation. They won’t have the votes to stop Republican filibusters in the Senate, let alone to override presidential vetoes.

The only types of legislation the Democrats might be able to push through are overwhelmingly popular measures, such as an increase in the minimum wage, that Republicans don’t want but probably wouldn’t dare oppose in an open vote.

But while the Democrats won’t gain the ability to pass laws, if they win they will gain the ability to carry out investigations, and the legal right to compel testimony."

dan said...

Debbie, I believe if the Democrats take both houses the Republican's pattern of voting in lockstep with the party will start to unravel.

I think this administration would be very nervous about the prospect of a special prosecuter with a $50millon budget (ala Ken Starr) seeing what law breaking he could turn up. They might be inclined not to be so arrogant towards the Dems.

Net Neutrality: I get regular updates from FreePress so the FCC has already heard from me about my opposition to the merger.

BTW, how is the Kissell campaign going? If he wins over the incumbant Hayes it'll be one of big upsets of the Nov. election. Of course the experts didn't consider the *Debbie Factor*. Good luck!

christin m p in massachusetts said...

That article "Displease a Lobbyist, Get Fired" -- prompted me to seek more information about the good guy who was fired -- labor advocate Allen Stayman. That led me to more information about labor enemy Ken Mehlman -- which in turn led me to a four year old news story about election tampering that I somehow missed, even though it happened right next door in New Hampshire. Some of the criminals involved in that scandal were convicted just this past year:


The more I read articles like this, the more I get the impression that virtually all Republican politicians at every level of government could only have "won" their offices by means of fixed elections.

Cheryl said...

The one worry I have is that K Street is starting to court some Democrats, and vice versa. If we get any kind of majority soon, the first priority needs to be cleaning up the election process.

The Democrats have never been as blatant & greedy as the Republicans have become, but it's not healthy to get anyone that entrenched in power. Keep them honest.

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