Saturday, April 15, 2006

Open thread

Here's a new thread for overnight since the last one has gotten kind of full.

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On anger, and the hope of Easter

Anger is an unfairly maligned emotion. If you're reading this blog, you most likely remember that Howard Dean was deemed too "angry" to be electable. Time and time again, I have seen labeling someone as "angry" used as a way to dismiss and discredit a person who has an important, possibly revolutionary message. Typically, that message is one that "the powers that be" don't want us to hear. There is nothing more worrisome to those who hold the power than the possibility that the public will rise up en masse and challenge them. So if someone has a compelling message that might inspire people to action, it is in the interests of those in charge to neutralize that message.

There are a number of ways people do that. Silence that voice. Discredit that voice as being "too angry" or "unbalanced". With either of those options, the seeds of the message won't have a chance to really take root. People won't "wake up". And the people in charge don't want us to wake up--after all, we're so much cuter when we're asleep.

In the wake of the Washington Post article about Maryscott O'Connor of My Left Wing, there is a lot of discussion of her portrayal as a representative of "the angry left". wmtriallawer, in a diary entitled, I am Not the Angry Left, writes, Simply put, this piece is NOT going to win hearts and minds. Not like dKos or other blogs do every day. Clearly there is the concern that being seen as "angry" hurts our cause. The reaction at Democratic Underground, at least what I've seen so far, has been entirely negative. it's simple IF you ignore the complexity has a different take on the issue: Sabbath Time #36 - Fear, Courage, Change.

Of course, in addition to silencing or discrediting the person with the "threatening" message, there is another option. Kill the messenger. Make an example of him or her so that others will think twice before trying to buck the system. Whatever else you believe about Jesus, there seems to be a growing amount of historical evidence that his execution by crucifixion was, from the standpoint of the Roman government in power at that time, politically motivated. According to Marcus Borg,

Jesus, like the great social prophets of the Hebrew Bible, was a God-intoxicated voice of religious, social protest. He, like they, protested against and did a radical critique of the domination system of his day, just as they did of the domination systems of their day. Indeed, if one wants to ask the historical question, not "Why did Jesus die?" but "Why was he killed?", the answer is, he was killed because of his passion for justice. He was killed because of his critique of the domination system of his day. This is the political meaning of Good Friday, the passion of Jesus is about Jesus' passion for the justice of God.
You can read more here about the different "lenses" Marcus Borg uses to understand Jesus. Whatever else you may believe about Jesus (some divergent views are discussed in this article in the Detroit Free Press), we can be pretty sure that his teaching was perceived as threatening by the local representatives of the Roman Empire. Crucifixion was the "ultimate form of Roman humiliation, punishment the Romans reserved for those judged guilty of insurrection against the state." So, whatever theological meaning we attach to the death of Jesus, the *political* meaning seems to be that he was perceived as a threat by the "powers that be". An "enemy combatant", if you will.

Getting back to the issue of anger (honest, there really is a connection here!) The "cleansing of the temple", that is, overturning the tables of the moneychangers, is seen by some as a form of political protest that led to Jesus' death sentence. But, whatever one believes was the reason for that particular scene, can there be any doubt that he was angry when he did that?

In an interview he did two years ago, Rev. William Sloane Coffin shared the following thoughts on anger.
"Anger has a very important spiritual benefit," Coffin says. "If you don't have anger, you end up tolerating the intolerable - and that's intolerable. I still have plenty of anger that is ready to be used at a moment's notice."

And, to end this entry on a hopeful note, here is what Bill Coffin once said about the meaning of Easter:
"Easter has less to do with one person's escape from the grave than with the victory of seemingly powerless love over loveless power"
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Friday, April 14, 2006

Maryscott O'Connor makes the Washington Post

I actually knew about this a couple weeks ago when it was mentioned in the My Left Wing chat, but I kept it a secret. Of course, that wasn't hard to do, because, as the article's headline screams, Maryscott is one *angry* liberal. Clearly if I messed with her, she'd come to Ohio and kick my ass. ;-)

The Left, Online and Outraged

Out there, awaiting her building fury: the Angry Left, where O'Connor's reputation is as one of the angriest of all. "One long, sustained scream" is how she describes the writing she does for various Web logs, as she wonders what she should scream about this day.
I haven't read the whole article yet--it's about 5 pages long. Not the most flattering picture, but I get that they're going for the "angry" liberal thing. But I'm *so* happy to see a blogger who isn't one of the authors of a book whose title rhymes with "smashing the plate" get some genuine recognition.

Click here for her post at My Left Wing telling how the article came about. And give it a recommend at Big Orange if you're a member.

Kudos, Maryscott!

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Pimp My Peep

Just thought it might be kind of fun for people to check out the images that were submitted to the Columbus Dispatch for a Peep decorating contest. The image you see here is the "Red Hot Chili Peepers". In concert, presumably.

On a different topic, here's a flashback to last year at this time, Do this in Remembrance of Me. Easter always feels really meaningful to me, even though I don't always know for sure what the meaning is. If nothing else, it is brimming with tradition and memories for me--something I touched on in that post.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Late Night Thread

In honor of Rev. William Sloane Coffin, I'm going to post a few more links before turning in for the night...

Taking Back the Faith by Dan Wakefield

MLK ally and spiritual progressive dies

In last night's diary at My Left Wing, this comment told the story of how William Sloane Coffin had a powerful effect on one person's life.

I don't expect that I will ever be the kind of prophetic voice that Bill Coffin was, but I truly believe that progressive people of faith need to make their voices heard, and the prophetic voices of our own times inspire me to keep doing what I can.

(By the way, if you're never heard the story about the supposed put-down a young G.W. Bush remembers receivng from Coffin while at Yale in the 60s, you can read about it here.)
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20 of 25 million enrolled in Medicare D plan already had drug coverage.

This is alarming to me, that this many seniors already had drug coverage through Medicaid or through employers or retiree programs. The article from the New England Journal of Medicine further states that only 12% got coverage they did not already have.

This was obviously not to benefit seniors, since 20 million of the 25 million already had previous drug coverage. I see a lot of propagandizing of this issue right now, and I would love to see some Democrats talking about it out loud.

The article from the NEJM below.

Part "D" for "Defective" -- The Medicare Drug-Benefit Chaos

True, the program provides drug benefits for some Americans who previously had none. But because of its strange design, enrollment is falling far short of expectations. Officials in the Bush administration boasted that 25 million people are receiving benefits through Medicare Part D. But the government's data reveal that about 20 million of them already had adequate drug coverage through Medicaid, their employers or unions, or health maintenance organizations; as of late February, the new benefit was providing only 12 percent of the elderly with coverage they did not already have.

In many cases, the program worsened patients' situations, with a particularly heavy burden falling on indigent Medicaid enrollees. Before the new entitlement, most had virtually all their medications covered fully by the states. But on January 1, 6.2 million of these vulnerable elderly were reassigned to one of the private insurance companies designated by Medicare to run its program. Word of these arrangements didn't always reach the patients, insurers, or pharmacies accurately, and tens of thousands of indigent patients were told to get prior authorization, pay a large initial deductible, or make substantial copayments for regularly used medicines they previously received at no cost. Thousands discovered that the drugs they had been taking for years were not covered by their new insurers. Clinical crises ensued, and 37 states had to provide emergency payments for frail citizens.

And it takes the power from the hands of doctors to prescribe what they consider proper medicine. The author calls this a stinging indictment of his profession, to allow this.

In Medicare Part D, decisions about which drug in a class to use are made by each insurance company, often requiring prescriptions to be rewritten. The concept abandons the expectation that a doctor will choose the most appropriate and cost-effective drug and reassigns that decision to an insurance company that has its own agenda. The current infatuation with this solution is a stinging indictment of our profession; the encroachment on our prerogatives flows from our failure to address these responsibilities ourselves.

And this paragraph addresses the dreaded doughnut hole part of the plan. It points out that many seniors will be approaching or in that hole by November.

Medicare Part D lives on, responding semiappropriately to noxious stimuli by flailing its limbs as best it can. It even shows some limited capacity for learning, and one important learning opportunity is just seven months away. Elderly citizens vote in droves, and many of them will have hit their "doughnut hole" by early November. At that point, they will let their legislators know how they feel about the program.

Someone needs to be speaking out on this issue. Even those who were able to retain their present plans for now realize that it was only because some incentive was given for their former employers to do this. And they wait for the next shoe to drop, after it is too late to sign up for coverage and drug prices are higher than ever.

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Open Thread--UPDATED

This just in:

Governor Dean on CNN 4:10 PM EDT on the "Situation Room."

That's the time I'm walking out of my office. I hope somebody's watching. If not, I'll try to update this post with transcript highlights.

(H/T DNC Blog)

UPDATE: Here are selected portions of the transcript

Heidi Collins was substituting for Wolf Blitzer today. Let the games begin:

Declassifying The Defense Intelligence Agency Report

COLLINS: Governor Dean, you came out yesterday and blasted the president saying that he ignored intelligence on WMD. Are you implying that the president lied about that?

HOWARD DEAN, DEMOCRATIC NATL. CMTE. CHMN.: We don't know, Heidi, once again, whether the president wasn't informed -- in which case the administration is incompetent -- or whether he did know and then he deliberately lied to the American people. We deserve to know that. What I asked the president to do was declassify this report. The president was willing, as it turned out two weeks ago, to declassify classified information for the purposes of defaming his political opponents. Well, I don't think that's a very good reason to declassify information but I do think it's a good reason to declassify information to find out if the president of the United States has told the truth to the American people before he sent hundreds of thousands of Americans abroad to fight in the Iraq war. So I want the president to declassify that report, let the American people know what did the president know and when did he know it? Did he deliberately mislead us? Or did he do it because people kept information from him in his administration?

Midterm Elections

COLLINS: Governor Dean, you talk about elections. Let's move forward to that for a moment. Midterm elections coming up and there is a 30-seat majority in the House that the Republicans have. There is a headline in "The Washington Post" today that I'm sure you probably saw. "Democrats face uphill battle to retake the House." Uphill battle in your eyes?

DEAN: Well, we think the election issue is, do you want more of the same or do you want a real change? What we're willing to do is first have real ethics legislation that we will vote on in the first hundred days. Second, we want a strong national defense that depends on telling the truth to the American people. Third we want American jobs that will stay in America using energy independence. We think these kinds of issues are the issues that are going to change the tide in America. We offer a change. We offer something new, a bolder vision.

COLLINS: What exactly is that change? How does the Democratic Party differentiate itself from the Republican Party? Because the goals that you mention or the agenda that you mention, I think a lot of people want.

DEAN: I think they do. A lot of American people including Republicans are tired of the dishonesty and the culture of corruption the Republicans brought to Washington. I think a lot of American people believe they ought to be told the truth before people get sent to war. And I think a lot of American people are wondering why the president persists in sending every manner of job to other countries.

Dean's Popularity

COLLINS: But what about the Democratic Party and their thoughts on you in this job?

DEAN: We've turned this party around. I meet every week or every other week with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. We're working together. We have a message that we think is a strong message. We have a grassroots operation in every one of the 50 states now. None of those things we had before. We're remaking the Democratic Party into the party of change, the party that can bring real change to America.

Well, we like Howard just fine!

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Goodbye, old gal

by Subway Serenade

Oh, it's enough to be on your way.
It's enough just to cover ground.
It's enough to be movin' on... -James Taylor

Rosalie "Mickey" Oehlmann passed away today at the age of 84. There will be no funeral, or even a mass to celebrate her life, and there will be no obituary in The Staten Island Advance, the paper that was delivered by horse and buggy when she was a child. She married John as World War II loomed on the immediate horizon. Her husband was one of only a handful of men to ace the Military Aptitude Test, and he was set aside to train soldiers going off to Europe. I can assure you that a great many men came home from the war because of his leadership. His wife actually made the train trip to Louisiana, where he was stationed with their infant daughter just so that she could spend two weeks with him on leave. She said by the time she arrived, she was so dirty that he didn't recognize her and initially walked right past her...

When John finally came home, he became the director of youth programs for the Parks Department here in Staten Island. He coached youth hockey teams and taught golf. I declare that many of the kids he coached and taught grew up to be respected professionals. In fact three of them grew up to be his doctors...

One thing I loved about Mickey was her innocence. I could actually tell her forty year old jokes that she'd never heard. In her honor, I present the one that made her laugh the most:

There once was a woman of 80 years who attended the same church she was Christened in. One day she had to go to the hospital for a visit that lasted for about two weeks. During that time the pastor brought in some contractors to do some needed renovations. When the woman returned they were putting the finishing touches to the new sound system. The woman knelt at her usual pew, closed her eyes and began to pray.

One of the workers decided to have a little fun. So he turned on the microphone, added a little echo and whispered, "Thou woman, this is the Lord, your God."

The old woman didn't move. So he raised the volume and the echo a little. "I am the Lord." Still the old woman held her peace.

He raised the echo another notch. " I am..." and she cut him off.

"Now Lord, you hush up and mind your manners. I'm talking to your Mother!"

Goodbye old gal.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Remembering Rev. William Sloane Coffin

I was saddened to learn that Rev. William Sloane Coffin died today. I know that he had been gravely ill for a number of years, and his death is not unexpected. But I'm still sad that I never had a chance to meet him. Here's part of an interview he did with PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly:
Justice is at the heart of religious faith. It's not something that is tacked on. And justice is not charity. Charity tries to alleviate the effects of injustice. Justice tries to eliminate the causes of injustice. Charity is a personal disposition. Justice is public policy. What this country needs, what I think God wants us to do, is not practice piecemeal charity but engage in wholesale justice. And that's not only to erase or greatly reduce the wage gap and the living standards in America, but really to be committed to doing something about the horrible, really horrible poverty of at least one third of the people on the planet. If you want to do something good for national security, and every American should, take billions of dollars and wage war against world poverty. That would have a very sobering effect on terrorism. Terrorism now has a wonderful recruitment policy supplied by the United States foreign policy. If we were serious, with other nations, to engage the war on poverty around the world, that would stem the flow of recruits to the ranks of terrorists.

Some of you may remember that Coffin endorsed Howard Dean for president:
He said his favorite Democratic candidate for the presidential nomination is another Vermonter, the state's former governor, Howard Dean.

"But any Democrat, except Joe Lieberman, would be a vast improvement over George Bush," Coffin added.

On a related note, this is from an article in The New Yorker:
As a self-described "yellow-dog Democrat," Coffin offered his opinions on the Presidential campaign. Wesley Clark, he said, "might be a highly intelligent General Haig, or he might be a good leader of the party. I don't know." John Kerry, meanwhile, "has a face that looks as though it could be moved right up on Mt. Rushmore without going through the White House." He smiled mischievously. "Joe Lieberman heard that I'm not supposed to last very long, so he called me. In his pious tone, Joe started to say how much I had meant to him. I cut him off. 'Joe, I would give my right arm to have the influence on you now that I had then. You're an orthodox Jew and a conservative Democrat. It'd be better if you were the other way around-a conservative Jew and an orthodox Democrat!" Coffin is a Howard Dean man.

Wikipedia article
Crossposts (with more background and additional links) at My Left Wing, Booman Tribune, Street Prophets, and Daily Kos
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IndySteve for Congress

Many of you are already aware that IndySteve, AKA Steve Francis is running for Congress. I've been hoping to get a front page post from him, but I understand that he's probably really busy with his campaign. But I do want Howard-Empowered People to support Dean-inspired candidates, and especially those who are part of our blog family. So I guess I'll have to wing it on my own.

Here's a recent comment from Steve at BFA:

Hello, blog.
My Congressional race heats up!

Click for article in major city paper on my position on Immigration reform.

We had the largest rally and march in city history (South Bend, IN) largest city in my district on Monday. I participated in the march which wound around my Bush clone opponent's, Chris Chocola, office.

Chocola voted for the punitive HB4437. Tear down that wall, Chocola!

Help me out if you can at

Peace with justice,

Here's Steve (displaying his "Zero tolerance for corruption pledge")

Here's his opponent.

Whoops--that's not right. Gotta be more careful about my spelling. Here's Steve's opponent:

Here's that link to Steve Francis' campaign site again. Any news yet on a site for Charlie Grapski?

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Howard News Update

Well since it's Wednesday, it's probably time to put up a new thread with some news about Howard.

Dean Calls For Declassification

Georgia10 posted a front-page diary on this story over at Daily Kos.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean this morning called on the Bush administration to declassify a 2003 Defense Intelligence Agency-sponsored report that undercuts a key administration claim about Saddam Hussein-era Iraqi weapons....

Dean, at this morning's [American] Prospect breakfast meeting with roughly two dozen journalists, said, "We are going to call, probably today, for the declassification of the report." He wouldn't say whether he had already spoken to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi about this strategy, but one source said that such conversations would commence today, and that Dean would likely appear on television this afternoon to press the claim. "If the [Post] story is accurate," Dean said, "...then the onus is on the president to prove that he did not mislead the country." He sharpened this point later, saying that if the Post was correct, then Bush did mislead the country, and it was either a case of "incompetence, or it was deliberate. And those are both very, very serious." (Tapped)

CT-SEN: DNC will support eventual nominee

At the same breakfast meeting this morning, Howard was asked about Joe Lieberman and the Connecticut senate race. Howard replied that the DNC would not get involved with the primary (in keeping with yesterday's NYTimes story about Jim Dean & Ned Lamont), but that the DNC would support the eventual Democratic nominee. Howard also singled out Lieberman as an 'outlier' on national security. (

And speaking of the NYTimes story, did anyone else find it odd that BFA did not at least mention it in the daily news roundup, even though Jim was a major figure?

Democrats Forget Their Differences, for One Night

On a rare night for New York Democrats, former President Bill Clinton and his vice president, Al Gore, took the stage at a party fund-raiser--albeit separately--and painted, in their own distinct ways, political portraits of the country today.

Mr. Clinton delighted the audience of about 500 last night with one of his favorite stories, about a Pentecostal minister who "confessed" to him--"the world's greatest sinner," as Mr. Clinton called himself--that he voted for President Bush partly out of a belief that Democrats were not connecting with him on a gut level.

Democrats make "a terrible mistake," Mr. Clinton said, if they do not think of themselves as "values voters," a term that some political analysts use for voters who support candidates based on a sense of shared moral or religious convictions....

The fund-raiser, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Manhattan, which took in $1.3 million, honored Maureen White, who is stepping down after five years as finance chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee....

Mr. Clinton praised Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, for pressing ahead to campaign in every state, including those where voters reliably support Republicans. Some Democrats have criticized Mr. Dean's strategy calling it a waste of time and money.

But Mr. Clinton said thanked Mr. Dean and said, "Democrats should campaign everywhere with everybody." And Mr. Gore called him "the ideal Democratic party chair." (NYTimes)

I think he's pretty neat, too!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Subodh Chandra on discussing your opponent's record

This post is the next installment of my write-up of the event with Subodh Chandra in Columbus this past Saturday. Click here for the last post. It the last part of his talk, right before he broke for questions.

Next, Subodh brought up the issue that "we're not supposed to go after our fellow Democrats" in the primary. (All the Democrats who ganged up on Howard Dean in late 2003 and early 2004 must never have gotten that memo.)

Why? Because we all want desperately to win. None of us want to upset the apple cart. But there are certain issues that become legitimate, and fair game. And if one is going to tout one's experience as a lawyer as a justification for why they should be hired for Attorney General, then it is a legitimate point of discussion to say, "Okay, let's talk about how well we've done the job."

It's perfectly legitimate. And if we don't do it, my friends--you know, this group isn't just a group of progressive organizations, this is an organization of recovering mourners of lost elections. Right? I'm a charter member. And why do we mourn? We mourn, not because of all the hard work we put in, because all of us are used to hard work. And all of us would be devoting our energies into anything productive if it weren't for the election. No, we don't mourn for the hard work we put in. We mourn for the people we were trying to help. That's what we mourn for.

So we better understand that if we bury our heads in the sand, we will get kicked from behind. And whatever discussions that we have or fail to have now about people's backgrounds and their preparation for the job, nothing compares to what the Republicans will do. Because as much as I feel right now, in trying to discuss things, that I've got one hand tied behind my back, they'll use both fists, their knees, their feet, knives, and the weapons that they're concealing. (Audience laughs)

So, as a result of having done this background check, I'm not in a position to have anything new come out. And so what this choice is going to come down to is between qualifications, preparation, record of accomplishment on one hand, and background on the other is this...

Whom would you trust to be your lawyer? Would you trust somebody-would you *trust* somebody who actually too on predatory lenders once and Jim Petro and beat them in court? Or would you trust somebody who has to explain now, why a client in his firm's care served four months for a crime that had been struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court and repealed, and didn't exist?

Would you trust somebody who has actually slashed outside counsel spending, and *saved* the state money that can be spent on more productive purposes, or, a theoretician. Maybe well intended, but hasn't done it. Those are the kinds of challenges that face us.

Regardless of the outcome, we cannot permit Betty Montgomery to be the next Attorney General. We cannot. As a Democrat, I have to tell you, I believe strongly in recycling, but there are some substances that are too toxic, and too worn out, to be recycled. And Betty Montgomery is one of them.

See also Ohio Coingate - We have a new Rock Star by Pounder

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DemocracyFest Update

"Education by Day, Celebration by Night" is the tradition at DemocracyFest. This combination of work and play with fellow progressive activists is what keeps people coming back year after year.

As always, there will be lots of Celebration at this year's DemocracyFest, July 14-16, in San Diego, CA. Some of the activities planned so far are: a bowling party (yes, there's a bowling alley on campus), feature-length political movie screenings, billiards (if a tournament develops, watch out for Sylvie and I), and of coarse, lots of music!

We are proud to announce that this year's musical headliner for Sat night will be Gary Hoey. Gary has toured and traded licks with the likes of Foreigner, Joe Satriani, The Doobie Bros, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Brian May from Queen, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, and Peter Frampton, to name just a few.

Gary is tremendously excited to headline the Saturday Night Blowout at DemocracyFest 2006. He promises an unforgetable show, and maybe he'll even get to add a guitar-slinging Governor to the list of musicians he's played with ;-)

Alernative link

From Cute Overload

From Cute Overload. Celebrating, um, Easter in Autumn? Have a great day, everyone.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Howard Dean on the need for compassionate immigration reform

In response to Howard Dean has released this statement about the immigration "reform" bill that Frist is set to introduce next week:

Next week, Republican Senate Leader Bill Frist is likely to introduce a harmful immigration bill on to the Senate floor that will criminalize good Samaritans, including church members and clergy, and does not provide a larger, comprehensive framework for reform or a path to citizenship. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement on President Bush and the Republican Congress's failure to lead on the issue of immigration:

"President Bush and his Republican Congress's failure to offer comprehensive solutions on immigration reform and their attempt to use the issue to divide Americans is contrary to our values as a people and does a disservice to all who live and work in this great nation. The hostile anti-immigrant bill passed by the Republican House and now being considered by the Republican Senate is not the answer. America needs comprehensive immigration reform that protects our borders, keeps our communities safe, and brings America together.

"Criminalizing families and the work of clergy is not the way forward. A comprehensive and compassionate approach must protect all U.S. workers and their wages, prevent exploitation of immigrant workers, and offer immigrants who have earned it the opportunities and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. The American people want change, not more of the same scape-goating and ineffective, piecemeal immigration reform Republicans are proposing."
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Ken Blackwell's stock portfolio

Ken Blackwell worries me. I mean, sure, he's the sort of guy who should be easy to beat. As Buckeye State Blog says, in a summary of the Akron Beacon-Journal's endorsement of Blackwell's primary opponent Jim Petro, "The short version - Petro is terrible, but Ken Blackwell is bonkers."

And headines that look bad for Blackwell keep surfacing. Here's one:

Blackwell holdings prompt questions
Makers of slots, morning-after pill among his stocks

Wow, that can't go over too well with his base in the religious right...

"We think he should divest of any company that supports the culture of death," said Denise Mackura, executive director of the Ohio Right to Life Society.

Yeah, that's what I expected. So, why am I worried that he can still manage to win? Oh, that's right--because he's in charge of the voting machines. And owned stock in them.

And he was endorsed *very* early on by "straight-talker" John McCain. (Maybe the "straight-talk" thing just refers to his willingness to cozy up to the gay-bashers...)

"Ohioans need Ken Blackwell's clear thinking, straight talk and strong leadership at the top of the ticket," McCain said in a written statement.

Wow. He's pretty clearly sold his soul. Wonder if the payoff--if granted--could possibly be worth it.

But back to Ken Blackwell--check out his history in this Wikipedia article. I know those aren't always 100% accurate, but anything glaringly incorrect is usually caught and corrected, especially in an article about someone as high profile as Blackwell. But this is backed up by his own bio:

He was recruited to leadership in the Republican Party by President Ronald Reagan and many of his advisors, including Jack Kemp, Lynn Nofziger, Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Ed Rollins. In 1989 Ken was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as an undersecretary to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), serving under then Secretary Kemp.

Anybody get the feeling this guy has some powerful people looking out for him?

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Marian Harris for State Representative

Yesterday I mentioned that I had seen Marian Harris at the Subodh Chandra event in Columbus, and that she had a letter to the editor published in the April 8 edition of the Columbus Dispatch. This evening, I received an e-mail from Marian asking me to post a message from her. Remember, this is another Dean-inspired candidate, like Charlie Grapski and Indysteve, and I know we like to take care of our own around here! --Renee

I am running for the 19 House District in Ohio against a 2 term Republican incumbent. I have been active in politics "behind the scenes" for almost 30 years, working for Senator Metzenbaun and Gov. Celeste among others. I could not let any R go unchallenged this year so I became a candidate. I cannot believe how Ohio has deteriorated in the last 12 years - education funding declared unconstitutional 4 times by our Supreme Court and the R legislature does nothing; first in foreclosures and bankruptcies; young people leaving Ohio for greener pastures elsewhere - it's not the Ohio I want my grandchildren to grow up in. So I'm running. Fundraising is the biggest challenge, but it's coming along. I've been endorsed by the Franklin County Democratic Party, the Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio and Democracy for America (one of 2 central Ohioans so far on their "A" List).

Marian Harris
Candidate for State Representative, 19th HD
Democracy for Ohio
Democracy for America--Central Ohio

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Sunday, April 09, 2006


Hubble's sharpest view of the Orion Nebula

I found it through the links at BBSpot, which cover a whole range of things from games to science, to "geek humor" to web site bloopers.

There, I needed to see something pretty. Maybe you did too.

Now, some diary links:
Our family is starting to heal from the wounds inflicted by Bush's war and lies. by floridagal (at Daily Kos)

The "resurrection of the body" by Renee in Ohio (at Street Prophets)

My Liberal Fantasy: Russ Feingold's 2008 Nomination Acceptance Speech by Intrepid Liberal Journal (at Booman Tribune)

Not a diary, but Son in Ohio paid a visit to a local labyrinth after church, and it reminded me of the page I put up about labyrinths, with pictures from a different central Ohio labyrinth I visited.

Quick reminder about geri in no va's Good News Network, in case you haven't checked it out lately.

Or maybe Cute Overload is more your pace today. Just loooook at the adorable bunny wunny! So, what else would you like to talk about?

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Why the office of Attorney General matters

The next piece of the Subodh Chandra transcript--reminding me of another reason not to like John Kerry...

Subodh Chandra: This office matters as *much* as the governor's office. This office matters because it is our last abilitly to protect people, and if you're a Democrat this office matters because, by losing this office for the last three elections, we have lost our ability to protect people. That's why I ask you to care about this. I ask you to tell your friends to care about it. Because, we are all victims of the soft bigotry of low expectations. What they have done is lulled us into a belief that this office doesn't matter! So that we don't invest in it--we don't try to keep it. And let me assure you of one thing, my fellow progressives, the Republicans care about this office.

In Pennsylvania, in the year 2004, Kerry was up by 4 points in the polls. The Democrat, like myself, a former federal prosecutor, who was running for Attorney General, was up by 2 points in the polls. The Republican was the general counsel of Waste Management, Inc., the biggest corporate polluter in Pennsylvania. Kerry pulled out at the last minute, realizing he was going to coast to victory in Pennsylvania. The Republican Attorneys General Association, which was founded by big tobacco, big polluters, big insurance companies, big pharmaceutical companies and funded by them, then laundered half a million dollars into the Pennsylvania AG's race at the last minute. Corporate money, illegal there as it is here, laundered in through a shell entity, and they turned the election around. And even though Kerry won Pennsylvania, the Republicans won the Attorney General seat. They care about this office.

Because they don't want to see tobacco litigation again, they don't want to see another Elliot Spitzer again, they don't want to see the mutual fund industry held accountable again, they don't want to see pharmaceutical companies sued, as they have been by the Attorney General in Illinois, because of their discriminatory pricing. The elderly and vulnerable here pay three times the price they do over the border in Canada. That's why the office matters.

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