Saturday, September 03, 2005

The LAST thing we should be doing

Crossposted at Daily Kos, Booman Tribune, and My Left Wing

The big thing on my mind is Frist pushing for a vote on ending the estate tax. My rant of the day is about that.

Is Frist *clinically* insane?

But I really want to do more than rant. I want us to defeat this insane, irresponsible, inhuman proposal with a resounding NO!! vote. I want it stomped into the ground.

I want us to grab America by the lapels, look it right in the eye and say *we* need to say no to this thing. Work with me, America! *Everybody* who is not in the top two percent in income should be outraged--as well as the good guys and gals who *are* in the top two percent--and Senate offices should be *flooded* with letters. How *dare* they throw away an important source of revenue when so many people are in such desperate need right now!

And to be pushing this forward *now*--while so many of us "bleeding heart" liberal types are focussed on doing everything we can to help the hurricane survivors.

Wait a sec...that probably *is* why he decided now was the time. Push this thing forward fast--not giving us time to mount an effective response, especially since we're so preoccupied at the moment.

Jerk. This should totally backfire on him. So, how do we make that happen?
Lots of good articles about Katrina, and what went wrong as far as responding in a timely manner, can be found at the Citizens for Legitimate Government web site.

From the Disability Preparedness Center, articles about the plight of the disabled in the aftermath of Katrina.

And thank you, unien, for passing along the link to ASPCA's Hurricane Relief page. We've certainly seen some sad stories about the fate of beloved family pets in the past few days.

Finally, for anyone who didn't see this the other day, susanhu posted this funny-if-it-weren't-so-tragic piece on Booman Tribune:

"Ohh, nooo!!! The coastal erosion!"

In 2004, Mr. Bill -- the unforgettable clay figure of Saturday Night Live fame -- was tapped, by America's Wetland to raise awareness of the loss of Louisiana's swamps and marshlands.

Must-see video: Mr. Bill in "Hurricane Sluggo," "Save New Orleans," "Mr. Bill Does the Weather," and a 45-minute video, "New Orleans: The Natural History." Crooks & Liars has a write-up on the 2004 ad, noting that Mr. Bill knew, unlike Mr. Bush, that the levees could be breached.

DFA-Link in MO: Leave My Child Alone

At 6:33 PM, Tara posted this guest entry from Bill Monroe:

DFA-Link in MO: Leave My Child Alone

With 18 in attendance at our new (free and very nice) venue at the Temple of Labor on Garth St, our September DFA-Link Meeting was a great success. This was due in large part to the help of Darin Preis, Columbia School Board Member, who took our invitation to discuss School policy regarding Section 9528 of the "No Child Left Behind Act" very seriously. He spoke with the Superintendent of Columbia Public Schools, Dr, Phyllis Chase, who decided to attend the meeting as well. She came well prepared and was able to answer our questions and hear our concerns.

You can find the rest here.

And, for anyone who's interested, here is my rant of the day (continued from what I started writing in the entry below) about Bill Frist and his priorities:
Is Frist *clinically* insane?

Finally, just a reminder that My Vote is My Voice is collecting phone cards for the people who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina: "Bathtub"

Oscar's cartoon roundup can be found in the comments

Greg Greene posted Katrina: "Bathtub" at 11:17 a.m on Blog for America
I've been seeing this ad on blogs for a few days, but I hadn't clicked it to find out more because, well, I don't click ads.

But, looking at it today, I realized, "Ohhh--I wonder if that has anything to do with cutting the estate tax." As I mentioned in last night's entry, Bill Frist has chosen this time of national tragedy to "move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday". Don't we kinda need that money right now?

Anyway, the ad turns out to be for the Coalition for America's Priorities , and yes, that's exactly what the site is about.

Right now the U.S. Senate is considering an issue that will have a huge impact on the future of our nation: the future of the estate tax. Repealing the estate tax would cost $75 billion a year in federal revenue and over a trillion dollars overall. In order to make up that lost revenue either taxes will need to be raised or programs like Social Security and Medicare will need to be cut. Fewer than 2% of Americans have to pay the estate tax.

The Coalition for America's Priorities wants to ensure that Americans have the facts they need to make an informed decision on what they think should be done about the estate tax. There are a lot of misperceptions about the Estate Tax, and a lot of misinformation. This site will help you to gain a better understanding by helping you to separate the myths from the facts. Find out how estate tax reform affects your state. Read media coverage, scholarly papers, and other websites about the issue. Most importantly, you can contact your Senators and tell them why you support real reform, not repeal, of the Estate Tax.

Click here to visit the site. There's a map where you can find out how the estate tax affects your state, and you can also see ads the coalition has run.

Also of interest are these two entries on MyDD:

Kanye West
by Ben P
Contrasting Visions
by Scott Shields
(Words from John Edwards contrasted with those of Bill "Save Paris Hilton's Inheritance" Frist).

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hanging in There

At 10:41 PM on Blog for America, Tara Liloia posted Hanging in There

Though President Bush attempted to reassure the American people that help had arrived today, the situation in Louisiana is not improving quickly. More than 10,000 people are feared dead as survivors of Hurricane Katrina wait out their fourth day in the city waiting for rescue.

At Charity Hospital, New Orleans' largest public hospital, the staff coped with the food and water shortage by giving each other intravenous drips of sugar solutions just to stay alive to care for their patients.

Read the rest here.

Thank you to Oscar for posting the first couple entries today while my home internet access was down. When I finally was able to post an entry at 5:30 p.m., I took the opportunity to post a lot of links to good articles and diaries, so I really do recommend checking out that entry if you haven't done so yet.

And finally, some thoughts here about a minister in New Orleans who believes all of the destruction is some sort of divine punishment for a wicked, sinful city. Wow.

It's Friday in Mississippi...

Monisha Sujan checks in again from Mississippi today for a 5:13 p.m. post on Blog for America

It's Friday in Mississippi...

It's Friday morning and I'm in Starkville in Northeast Mississippi. We've spent yesterday moving from Baton Rouge across the state of Mississippi.

Baton Rouge seemed so overcrowded and desperate before we left. It seems like the city has doubled or tripled in size with some desperate New Orleans residents rumored to be roaming in downtown Baton Rouge in armed gangs, the S.W.A.T. is out and many displaced New Orleans residents are fruitlessly attempting to find a home in Baton Rouge. I'm concerned that the violence wrought by desperation will turn the refugee camp and rescue and recovery staging ground that is now Baton Rouge into a chaotic and violent mess. I'm also fear that the natives of Baton Rouge might react with violence in order to protect their city (I know of many friends buying shotguns). CNN reports late last night seem to confirm my fears.

Click here for the rest.

I just saw this diary by Armando on Daily Kos:
GOP Agenda in Action - Part II; Estate Tax To Be Voted On Tuesday

Senate Finance Committee members were informed this morning that Sen. Bill Frist will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday, ThinkProgress has learned.

That is just vile. And, as Armando says, "Callous, worthless, despicable, heartless." Senator Justice Sunday (the original, not the sequel) just did something desperately, miserably un-Christian. From yesterday's Start Making Sense post...

"If someone who has the riches of this world sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him?" (1 Jn 3:17). It is well known how strong were the words used by the Fathers of the Church to describe the proper attitude of persons who possess anything towards persons in need. To quote Saint Ambrose: "You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his. For what has been given in common for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself. The world is given to all, and not only to the rich."

Additional headlines of interest:
From Howie in Seattle:
Howard Dean Asks Bush to ''show some real leadership''
"Sheehan brings protest here"
One Nation – Two Countries

On My Left Wing:
It's no joke: Halliburton hired for Katrina cleanup by pamindurham Pam is also the author of Contempt for the masses starts at the conservative top. And, in response to my own diary, Disgusted in St. Louis made an important point regarding Dennis Hastert's comment that rebuilding New Orleans might not be sensible...

As the world watches
The "supposed" #3 man in the GOP, the Speaker of the House, the man second in line of succession to the President after VP Dick Cheney, saying the US can't reconstruct (rebuilding isn't sensible) a 500,000 population city in our own country when they have been telling the world how they were going to reconstruct a city of 6 million (as well as a country of 25 million) as a foreign occupier in another country.

In Tikkun, the Jewish magazine/interfaith movement, Rabbi Michael Lerner published an article entitled Hurricane Katrina, God and Social Morality

It didn't have to happen. And it didn't have to result in so many deaths and social chaos. This is the playing out of cosmic karma for ecological, economic and social irresponsibility. Unfortunately, as always the poor deserve it least and suffer most.

In Sojourners, Jim Wallis also addresses the reasons why, in disasters like Hurricane Katrina, those who have the least to lose are often those who lose the most.

Also, if you look at the links at the right side of this page, you will see that I have added links to as well as the Katrina Aftermath blog. In the comment section here, please let me know about any disaster relief programs that you think deserve a special mention and/or link on this blog.

Finally, on a happier note, a big blog family Happy Birthday to seashell!

Click here for the blog family birthday calendar.

Rapid Response: "What else can we do?"

Liz from the Rapid Response Network usually blogs for Democracy for America on Mondays—she joins us today with a special update on New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's comments yesterday.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin answered this question yesterday in the most heart-wrenching interview you'll ever hear: "Flood their doggawn offices with requests to do something." Find an MP3 of this interview here and a partial transcript here.

For the rest click here.

Survivors of Hurricane Katrina Beware

Teri Mills is a longtime Blog For America community member and participant. Her guest column on health care appears on Blog for America on Fridays and she blogs at

As the death toll climbs, and huge numbers of Southerners try to cope with the after affects of Hurricane Katrina, government officials are declaring a public health crisis. As early as Tuesday, this week, the Washington Post reported that the main health concern would be exposure to dampness resulting in an increased number of asthma attacks coupled with skin irritations. The author of this report also came to the conclusion that standing water is not usually very harmful especially when it is not used for drinking or treating wounds. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Survivors on the Move

Guest blog entry by Monisha Sujan posted at 11:11 p.m.

Survivors on the Move
Monisha Sujan is a New Orleans resident, Tulane grad student and active member of New Orleans Democracy for America. She recently helped organize the Beaucoup Blues Louisiana organzing convention.

Click here to read the whole entry, which ends with...

The situation seems slightly overwhelming at this point regarding long-term planning. So, currently, my priorities are (1) making sure my family is okay, (2) making sure all my friends are okay and (3) doing something to make sure New Orleans and its people survive and hopefully thrive sometime in the future.

Monisha has also been searching for the following people:

Chris Daigle
Gabe Bordenave
Jacques Morial
Joyce and Dave
Mary Rigby
Melody Lee
Nancy and Ben Rosow

If you know the whereabouts of anyone above, please let us know and we can pass the message along.

Start making sense

Crossposted at Daily Kos, My Left Wing, and Booman Tribune

So, Dennis Hastert says rebuilding New Orleans isn’t sensible? Wow--I can think of a *lot* of things that are less sensible than that. How about Bush gutting FEMA? I think *that* wasn't very sensible. As Molly Ivins points out, it wasn't sensible for the Bush administration to repeal Clinton's wetland protection policies and allow developers to drain thousands of acres of wetlands. Molly continues...

Unfortunately, the war in Iraq is directly related to the devastation left by the hurricane. About 35 percent of Louisiana's National Guard is now serving in Iraq, where four out of every 10 soldiers are guardsmen. Recruiting for the Guard is also down significantly because people are afraid of being sent to Iraq if they join, leaving the Guard even more short-handed.

The Louisiana National Guard also notes that dozens of its high-water vehicles, Humvees, refuelers and generators have also been sent abroad. (I hate to be picky, but why do they need high-water vehicles in Iraq?)

This, in turn, goes back to the original policy decision to go into Iraq without enough soldiers and the subsequent failure to admit that mistake and to rectify it by instituting a draft.

The levees of New Orleans, two of which are now broken and flooding the city, were also victims of Iraq war spending. Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, said on June 8, 2004, "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq."

This, friends, is why we need to pay attention to government policies, not political personalities, and to know whereon we vote. It is about our lives.

Know what else makes no freakin' sense at all? The push to eliminate the "death tax". Golly, of course if you ask me "Do you want to eliminate the death tax?", I'd have to say, "Sure! That's just not right, taxing people just for dying!" 'Cept, isn't there *another* name for that boogey-man tax thingie they want to protect us from? Oh, that's right, the *estate* tax. On this petition page at, it says:

The Senate will vote in September to eliminate the Estate Tax for the richest 2 percent of Americans.

Wow, the riches 2%, huh? Imagine all the stuff we could *do* with that money. Like, oh, I don't know...REBUILDING NEW ORLEANS?! Guess this makes me some sort of socialist or something, but I think if you have an *estate* such that it puts you in the top two percent, then it is your *duty* to do what you can to help the poorest of the poor. Maybe it's my Catholic upbringing talking. From Catholic Social Teaching, Option for the Poor:

"If someone who has the riches of this world sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him?" (1 Jn 3:17). It is well known how strong were the words used by the Fathers of the Church to describe the proper attitude of persons who possess anything towards persons in need. To quote Saint Ambrose: "You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his. For what has been given in common for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself. The world is given to all, and not only to the rich."

Back to Hastert's comments know what *would* be sensible? Bankruptcy relief.

Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mel Watt, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee announced today that when Congress returns next Tuesday, they will introduce legislation to protect the thousands of families and small businesses financially devastated by Hurricane Katrina from being penalized by anti-debtor provisions contained in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, scheduled to take effect on October 17, 2005. Reps. Conyers, Nadler, and Jackson Lee released the following joint statement:

"We are concerned that just as survivors of Hurricane Katrina are beginning to rebuild their lives, the new bankruptcy law will result in a further and unintended financial whammy. Unfortunately, the new law is likely to have the consequence of preventing devestated families from being able to obtain relief from massive and unexpected new financial obligations they are incurring and by forcing them to repay their debt with income they no longer have, but which is counted by the law.

How do you think *your* congresscritter will vote on that legislation? Maybe you should give him or her a little nudge, and say, "The American people are counting on you to do the *sensible* thing."

Not to mention the decent thing.

Lend a helping hand.

At 6:51 p.m., Tom Hughes posted Lend a helping hand.

Tens of thousands of newly homeless families are competing for area shelters, hotels, motels and cars. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Red Cross are working endlessly to find shelter for the displaced, as well as medical attention, food, clothing and all of life's necessities.

We've joined MoveOn in launching an emergency national housing drive to connect your spare rooms, empty beds and comfy couches with hurricane victims who desperately need a place to stay. You can post your offer of housing and search for available housing online at:

Click here for the rest.

Phone cards for hurricane victims

Jessica of My Vote is My Voice writes:

Do you want to contribute something you can see and feel to those who are displaced by Hurricane Katrina?

We do too, so My Vote is My Voice will be collecting phone cards to be distributed directly to refugees after they are moved to Texas. These phone cards will allow people to make the important calls that will help them rebuild their lives.

My Vote is My Voice
will start the phone card drive by contributing $100 worth of phone cards. Every single phone card that is sent to us will be added to those we purchase, and will be hand delivered to the hurricane victims.

Phone cards may be sent to:
My Vote is My Voice
23C Mansfield Pl.
Rutland, VT, 05701

Thank you for showing the kindness we know is inside each of you.

The MViMV Board
Al, Charlene, Jessica, Liane, and Ralph

Hastert: Rebuilding New Orleans "Doesn't Make Sense"

Posted by Greg Greene at 02:10 PM

Hastert: Rebuilding New Orleans "Doesn't Make Sense"

Quoth Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Speaker of the United States House of Representatives:

Lawmakers have to ask themselves if it's worth sinking possibly billions of federal dollars into rebuilding New Orleans, a low-lying city which would remain a vulnerable hurricane target even after clean up, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Wednesday.

"It doesn't make sense to me," said Hastert during an interview with the Daily Herald editorial board. "And it's a question that certainly we should ask."

Blog family diary to read and recommend...

Corinne Marasco (aka mini mum at Kos) has a diary up
Katrina Economics: Stop bankruptcy "reform" now

From My Vote is My Voice:
Today is the last date to vote for your favorite Demfest location so please do if you haven't already. Click

From My Left Wing
Dispatch from the heart of New Orleans by dhonig

It's Almost Official - The Trapped in NO Are Slowly Being Abandoned to Survive or Die
by shanikka

Also, I just found out from kos that has launched a site for those offering housing and those needing it.

Bloggers Lend a Hand

Tara Liloia at 10:52 AM:
Bloggers Lend a Hand

Amid the chaos, bloggers are reaching out in different ways to offer aid from across the nation. Andy Carvin, who joined DFA last night to share the story of his "Katrina Aftermath" blog, has declared tomorrow, Friday, September 2, as International Blogging for Disaster Relief Day.

Click here for the rest.

Links, posts and diaries of interest:

Here is the link to the page on FEMA that lists organizations where you can donate or volunteer to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina

UPDATE: When I tried to check out a few of those links, I got an error message saying "Page not found" on the FEMA web site. Not sure if that happens for other people as well, but here are direct links to those organizations:

Donate Cash and/or Volunteer

Adventist Community Services

B'nai B'rith International

Catholic Charities, USA

Christian Disaster Response
941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee

Church World Service

Convoy of Hope

Corporation for National and Community Service Disaster Relief Fund
(202) 606-6718

Lutheran Disaster Response

Mennonite Disaster Service

Nazarene Disaster Response

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Salvation Army
1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)

Southern Baptist Convention -- Disaster Relief
1-800-462-8657, ext. 6440

United Jewish Communities
1-800-462-8657, ext. 6440

United Methodist Committee on Relief

New Orleans Hospital Drama by dhonig on My Left Wing

My girlfriend is a labor and delivery nurse at East Jefferson General Hospital in New Orleans, and has been camping there with her family since Sunday night. You can read more details here in my recent comment. What follows is a continuation of the New Orleans hospital drama.

Class Revolt Brewing in Mississippi by mitch2k2

The Liberal Blogosphere for Hurricane Relief by Chris Bowers

Katrina - a survey of the economic and geopolitical impact by Jerome a Paris

Also, I just got this link from Lali (who Demetrius and I met in person at an informal Chicago area gathering in 2003)

Sign the Petition of Redress. Either the Bush Kids Put Their Lives on the Line for George's "Noble War" or the Troops Come Home.

The following articles can be found in The Free Press:

The mothers are coming!
by Sheila Samples
August 30, 2005

"Sarah, if the people had ever known the truth about what we Bushes have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched."
-- Bush 41 to reporter Sarah McClendon, Dec. 1992

Rev. Jackson comments on personal meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Upcoming events: if your group has an event coming up and you'd like to share it with others in the Blog for America community, please let me know via email (renee at or by posting in the comments here, and I will include it in an upcoming post.

If you're looking for Oscar's cartoon roundup, click here and scroll down to his 8:43 a.m. post.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina's Aftermath

Posted by Andy Carvin, Program Director for the EDC Center for Media & Community in Newton, Massachusetts at 11:08 PM

Yesterday, while watching the torrent of news coverage related to the hurricane, I decided to create a blog that would be dedicated to the public's impressions about the hurricane. I grew up in Florida and lived through several hurricanes; last year alone, my parents had to evacuate three times to avoid getting caught in the eye of the storm. So even though my own experiences pale in comparison to walk gulf coast residents are going through, I felt I needed to do something to help others share information about the hurricane with as many people as possible.

The site is organized so that anyone who visits the site also has posting privileges—they can post text, photos, even podcasts over the phone. It's something I call a mobcast—a group of people coming together to post content over their mobile phones to the same blog, with a particular civic purpose in mind. People can post to the site without mobile phones, of course, but it's designed to accept voicemails as well. Last February, I set up a similar site for Christo's art project, The Gates. But the hurricane is so much more important and urgent, I wouldn't have forgiven myself if I hadn't created some kind of public blogging platform.

Read the rest here.

Also, Dancing Larry has this post over at Daily Kos:
Plaquemines Parish

I'm not at anger. Don't blame those who are for a second, but I'm just not there. I just keep thinking about the bayou people, and my feeling is one of sinking horror.

Click for the rest. And click here for an excellent diary by georgia10 about "how criminally unprepared our government was for this disaster."

Wednesday News Roundup

Tara posted the Wednesday News Roundup at 7:45 p.m. For these headlines...
Katrina Refugees Head to Houston
Jehlen Wins in MA
Roberts Info Comes to Light here.

UPDATE: From the comments... In addition to the Red Cross web site posted earlier, you can also donate to hurricane relief efforts through the American Friends Service Committee.

And here's the most recent post by Cindy Sheehan over at Kos:
It was the oil, stupid

Relief for the South

At 3:47 pm, Laura Gross posted Relief for the South, writing, in part:

These people need relief supplies now, so they will be able to focus on reconstructing their lives. I know from my work with an international relief organization that the best thing we can do for them is to donate money to an organization that is working on the ground, like the Red Cross. They will be able to buy supplies immediately to help the survivors of the hurricane.

I know the DFA community has a big heart and you have pulled together before for many activities, like the tsunami in southeast Asia and buying phone cards for veterans during the holidays. Situations like this remind me that this is the reason I'm involved in politics—to help people—and I'm sure that's part of the reason you are involved too.

Click here for the rest.

The links on the right side

One of the first questions someone asked about this blog was about the links on the right-hand side of the page--the alphabetized list of blog names. To see where these links come from, take a look at the link "People-Powered Blogs". It's a page I've been working on for a while to help us find members of our blog family elsewhere in cyberspace. Well, I recently signed up for a Blogrolling account for one of my other blogs, and I thought, since I was doing this new blog, the blogroll should include links to our blogs. I had to pick one for each person so that it wouldn't be too cluttered.

I'm still collecting blogs and diaries to add to the People-Powered Blogs page, and when I add new ones, I'll add them to the blogroll here. Also, if I have linked to one of your blogs or diaries, and there is a different one you would like me to link instead, please let me know.

My email address--for additions to People-Powered Blogs or if there are other links or important pieces of information you would like me to post, is renee at My schedule is a bit unpredictable right now, so I will greatly appreciate your patience as far as my response time for posting or changing links.

Also, if anyone (or several anyones) can put together a "Blogger for Newbies" type FAQ from the answers that some of you have already given each other in the comments over the past couple days, that would be a huge help. It's been a long time since I first used Blogger, and I don't think I can explain it as well as the people who have just figured it out for the first time, and figuring out how to actually log in and post here is one of the major stumbling blocks for the people who have expressed an interest in being able to join us here.

Hopefully this all makes some sense. I got a whopping 2 1/2 hours of sleep last night, and have a class to teach tonight. It would be awesome if I could fit in a nap between now and then, but first I have to get some grading done, so I won't be posting here much more today.

Final request--if you like it here, but wish there was more discussion, please do what you can to help spread the word. Thanks.

Katrina Coverage

Liz in Zurich provided this link to WWLTV, a television station in New Orleans that is following the hurricane and relief effort coverage.

Rena in RF at My Left Wing has posted this diary:
Hurricane Katrina Relief Donation Resource

See also NEW ORLEANS DEVASTATED -- It's Getting Worse: Updated
by: Maryscott O'Connor

as well as Oscar's post (with dramatic, heartbreaking pictures) Requiem for New Orleans, over at Underground Railroad.

Oh, and in case you haven't seen this yet, check out Bush's guitar strummin' photo op from yesterday...his very own version of "fiddling while Rome burns".

If you want to help the hurricane victims, you can donate to the Red Cross online, or call 1-800-HELP-NOW.

UPDATE: As I was editing this post, a new blog entry from Jim Dean, Aid in Katrina's Aftermath, went up at Blog for America.

Drunk, Distracted or Deliberate?

Not all vigils for Cindy were uneventful—Cheryl Rohrick joins the Democracy for America community to tell her story of a driver who may have disagreed with the Tucson vigil in a very dangerous way.

Have we become such a dysfunctional society that our glorification of violence takes precedence over acts of integrity, morality, and justice?

Honoring our soldiers is not a partisan issue. It is a moral one. For all who have friends, family or loved ones serving, none can argue that our troops deserve to be honored for their sacrifices, be kept safe at all costs, and not lied to about why we are sending them into harm's way. This was the motivation behind the vigils throughout the nation last Wednesday night: several hundred gathering in Tucson alone.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Vigil Stories: Seattle, Washington

Guest entry by Phil Scroggs at 12:05 a.m.
Vigil Stories: Seattle, Washington

About 100 people met at Sunset Hill park for one of the many candlelight vigils held in Seattle.


Tuesday News Roundup

Tara posted the Tuesday News Roundup at Blog for America at 8:03 p.m.

The headlines are:
Katrina's Wake
Leahy to Query Roberts about Torture
"Last Gasp" of Recession as Poverty Rises

Click to read.

Success in San Mateo

On Blog For America Ashleigh Evans, the chair of San Mateo County Democracy for America, posted at 12:39 PM:

I received a voicemail from Betty Carlson, Tom Lantos' representative whom our San Mateo County Democracy for America delegation met with last week, with such surprising news that I had to call and confirm it with her this morning: as a result of our presentation, Congressmember Lantos has signed on to cosponsor Barbara Lee's House Resolution 375!

You'll remember that this is the House resolution that calls for the release of all U.S. information relating to communication with the United Kingdom that resulted in the Downing Street Memos. We asked for full Congressional hearings into whether the President misled us into the war in Iraq and whether he had a plan to get us out.

For the rest click here

Seven People Can Make a Difference

On Blog for America, Noreen Nielsen posted Seven People Can Make a Difference at 8:39 a.m.

Two weeks ago, seven members of Johnson County Democracy for America met with Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) asking him to support House Resolution 375 as part of a DFA National Day of Action.

The resolution demands disclosure of the Downing Street Memos and all communications between the Bush administration and the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, in connection with Iraq.

Just days after the meeting, Representative Jim Leach became the first Republican member of Congress to sign on to the House resolution, thanks to the dedicated of the DFA members of Johnson County in Iowa.

Click here for the rest

Monday, August 29, 2005

Pat Jehlen's getting it done

The current post on Blog for America is Pat Jehlen's getting it done, by Jim Dean.


We've spoken often about the importance of taking our country back and understand that this effort is a continuous campaign—day in and day out. We win as long as we keep fighting, and we lose if we stop. There have been some great efforts in the "vacation" month of August—particularly in California, Long Island, New York, and Massachusetts.

We're going to talk about all of this, but today I hope you will take some time to focus on Pat Jehlen's campaign for Massachusetts State Senator in a special election that is being held tomorrow, August 30th. That's right—the Tuesday before Labor Day. We supported Pat in her state rep race in 2004 because she is a true progressive who has stood up for her values with conviction, and has the guts to stand up to Mitt Romney's shameless pandering to the right-wing nuts of the Republican Party at the expense of the taxpayers and voters of Massachusetts.

Read the rest here.

Worth a try

I posted this earlier today on the blog...

Just thinking it would be nice if someone could set up some sort of shadow blog where it could be safe to gather without the abuse. Fall, and the days getting shorter is rough for some people. The "back to school" transition is really hard for some. And there are people with bigger stressors than that. We shouldn't have to give up the community to avoid the abuse.

...anyway, looks like I'm going to give it a try. The "hang out in the old thread and have civilized conversations" gets hard to do when threads get really long. And actually impossible if I'm blogging on my Sidekick.