Saturday, August 19, 2006

Vermont Gubernatorial Candidate Scudder Parker is Electric Car Friendly!

From Renee...check out the flood update from TeaTimeTim in the comments of the previous post.

Friday night Hubby and I and Son*in*Burlington went to see the film Who Killed the Electric Car? and heard a panel (which included Scudder) speak to the issue.

Did you know that after developing electric cars and testing them on the roads in California and Arizona to rave reviews from those who drove them (all were leased, none were allowed to be sold), all the vehicles were taken back and (sitting down?) crushed, despite protests.

Why? It's a combination of the usual culprits:
Big Business ~ (in this case Auto Industry, deeply connected to Big Oil)
Energy Commission ~ whose chair had already agreed to be part of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell project
Consumers ~ who believed the propaganda that electric cars are unreliable and impractical

What's really exciting is that Scudder Parker has background in Alternative Energy and served for 13 years, mostly during Howard Dean's time as Vermont's Guv and Scudder is willing for Vermont to be a leader in sustainable energy alternatives.

Gotta get this guy elected and unseat the Republican currently sitting in Howard Dean's chair!

See jc's design

Possible action item: If you'd like to help Scudder's campaign and jc, you can purchase some campaign buttons and have them sent to campaign headquarters:
Scudder Parker for Governor
P.O. Box 1112
Montpelier, Vermont
Attn: Lauren Weiss

How are you minimizing your dependence on oil?
(I know that you're working on it. Driving a hybrid, buying locally to minimize trucking, etc.)

~ listener

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Saturday Comics

And my favorite for today: The Voting Public

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Conclusion of Howard Dean's speech to the Iron Workers' convention

Part 1 of the speech is posted here. I'm going to skip ahead to the conclusion now--it's a good one.

Howard Dean speaking in Columbus Ohio, September 2004

So we are going to take this country back to the direction where everybody matters. We've talked about the deficits and the misadventures in foreign policy, and the Republicans wanting to run on fear. And we've had enough of fear, and we've had enough of corruption in this country. This time we're going to stand up for who we are. For positive idears. For a new direction for America.

But, the greatest damage that the Republicans and this president have done to America is not the war in Iraq, it's not the enormous deficit, it's not the incompetence with which they responded to Katrina. The most damage that this Republican administration has done to us, is they've divided us. They've turned us into "us" and "those people". There are no "those people"--they're just Americans. They are working Americans of every size, shape, and color. They're just Americans.

The biggest mistake this president has made out of a long litany of mistakes, is that he fundamentally turned his back on anybody who disagreed with him. Now, when I was governor, I used to say, publicly and loudly, that everybody was my boss. If you were a conservative Republican and you'd voted against me, you were still my boss, because you participated in the process, and some of your taxpayer money went to pay my salary and the salary of the administration.

To have a president who goes to a town meeting and exclude anybody who has a bumper sticker or who has given any money to a Democrat, anybody who might disagree with him, is a president of only half the nation. We need a president and a party that believes in everybody. That believes that everybody's got something good to say, regardless of whether they're a Republican or a Democrat, or a conservative or a liberal--that we're all in this together again.

And so the most important new direction that America can take, is not only a strong defense backed by telling the truth, and American jobs that will stay here in America, and to fix the healthcare mess and to stop the war on the middle class. The most important new direction that we can lead in, is a new direction which includes everybody, including those people who did not agree with us. The fact of the matter is, the greatest times for America have been those times when we're all in it together.

And this time, we really are going to take back this country for the people who built it, and that is you. Thanks very much. (Applause).

The photo of Howard Dean is actually from his visit to Columbus in 2004. I would have liked to get a screen capture from C-SPAN, but although the video is allegedly viewable there, I've been unable to get it to play.

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Frivilous Friday

I don't have anything to write at the moment, so I'll just share some amusing designs I've seen at Cafe Press recently.

UPDATE: Here's jc's Snakes on a Plane contribution...


So, how is everybody's weekend shaping up?

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Howard Dean on C-SPAN (partial transcript)

Howard Dean was on C-SPAN the other night, addressing the Iron Workers International 41st Annual Convention . We recorded most of it, except for what was lost due to technical difficulties on our end. Here is the first half of Howard's talk.
Now, I've got a number of things to say, but I want to start off with a topic in the news, and that is the defense of America. We have seen in the last week or so, the Republicans going back to their same old playbook: "You can't trust Democrats to defend America." This time, that's not going to work, because the truth is, you can *only* trust Democrats to defend America.

If you look at the president's defense record, here is his record over the past 5 1/2 years. Iran is about to get nuclear weapons, which is a terrorist government, North Korea has four times more nuclear weapons than it did when George Bush took office, Osama Bin Laden is still running around in northwest Pakistan, evidently able to convince people they ought to blow up American airplanes. And we are bogged down spending half a trillion dollars in Iraq, which *could* be used to do the things the Democratic party has and the 9/11 Commission recommended, which is to make our airports and our nuclear power plants, and our train stations safe here at home.

Just this past weekend, the chairman of the 9/11 Commision said essentially that the number one job of the President of the United States and the American government is to keep Americans safe here at home, and if that isn't happening, the president's not doing his job. And I submit to you the president is not doing his job. And we need a new direction to defend America (applause).

First, we need to invest in Homeland Security. And Homeland Security means adequate screening at airports, but it also means taking care of our nuclear power plants, it means taking care of our chemical factories and our petroleum factories. It means making sure our train stations are safe, and it means putting real money, as the Democrats proposed and the Republicans said no to, putting real money into intelligence *inside* the borders of the United States of America, so *we* don't end up having what Britain had this past week.

Secondly, real defense of America means investing in America. Half a trillion dollars going into Iraq--what could that do for our healthcare system and our education system? What could that do to make sure that American jobs stay in America? That is part of homeland security, making sure American jobs stay in America. (applause)

One of the things I care deeply about defense, is how to treat our troops properly. The truth is, this president goes and has photo-ops with our troops, flies to Baghdad, had Thanksgiving dinner with the troops, but those guys got sent over there without proper vests. Those guys got sent over there without adequate equipment. If we're going to send troops to defend America, the Democrats believe that they ought to be fully, and adequately equipped--do not skimp on the people that are defending and willing to sacrifice their lives for the United States of America. (Applause, whistles, cheers)

So, here we have the results of the president's foreign and defense policy. Iraq is now sliding into civil war, according to the testimony of the leading general there. Iran and North Korea are more dangerous today than they were 5 1/2 years ago. The Taliban is coming back in Afganistan, partly because we don't have enough troops there, partly because they're in Iraq. And after 5 years, Osama Bin Laden is still free.

We need to do better than that. We need to focus on capturing and killing Osama Bin Laden and the other Al Qaida that are at large. We need to understand the difference between a war of convenience and a war against a person we don't like, Saddam Hussein, and a war for survival, which is making sure that Iran does not get nuclear weapons, and making sure North Korea does not possess them any more.

I hear a lot of tough talk, but the primary difference between the Democrats and the Republicans are, we'll be tough, but we'll be tough *and* smart, because that's what it requires to defend the United States of America. (Applause)

Now, we've talked a little bit about the war in Iraq, and we've talked a little bit about the war on terror, and the two, I might add, are not related. But we have not talked yet about another war that this administration is pursuing, the one that we don't spend enough time talking about. And that is the war on the American middle class.

I was in North Dakota this past week. North Dakota has got three great members of the Senate and the House--all Democrats. If Kent Conrad were chairing the Budget Committee right now, we would not have the largest deficit in the history of the United States of America, because the truth is, you can't trust Republicans with your money, but you can trust Kent Conrad, who's a Democrat, to manage the budget properly. The only president of the United States who ran a surplus was William Jefferson Clinton, and last time I looked, he was a Democrat.

Missed a bit here due to trouble with our television speakers.

I know most people in this room have pretty good healthcare, but I also know that you're under a lot of pressure for give-backs. And there are a lot of people in industries, even unionized industries, that don't have such good healthcare. And the truth is, your healthcare's pretty expensive, and that's one of the reasons there's pressure on it. And why is that? Because every year that President Bush is in office, at least a million more people go without healthcare, and you are paying that bill through cost-shifting. The fact is, we need what 36 other countries in the world have. We need a system of health insurance that covers everybody. (Applause)

And this isn't some progressive idear or some liberal idear or some Democratic idear. You know why we're going to have one? No matter how long the Republicans stay in office, in spite of them, and everything they do to try to kill healthcare for middle class people. You know why it's going to happen? Because we are going to lose *jobs* without it. When General Motors and Ford can't expand in this country, because the healthcare system doesn't work for them and they can't control the costs, that is time to go to a healthcare system that includes everybody.

Tried to do that three times. The Republicans have tried to undo what we've done three times, and this time we're going to succeed. First, with a Democratic Congress in 2006, and with a Democratic President of the United States in 2008. (Applause and cheers).

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Happy Birthday, Demetrius!

Happy birthday to my brilliant, talented, and funny husband, Demetrius,

And thank you, jc, for making this spiffy birthday graphic.

Here's an online birthday card you can sign. (A number of you already have.) The card may look familiar to some of you, but I've added a few things. In my defense, A) recycling is a great progressive value and B) it's hard to find time to work on something like this when you share a home office with the recipient. ;-)

Update: Now that I am *finally* able to get back online for the first time today, I am adding the cake graphic, symbolic of the real German chocolate cake I will make for Demetrius. Some time before his next birthday. :)

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Monarchs in Vermont

A photo journal, by listener
It's all about Transformation...

Chomping away in the kitchen

This is Justice hanging in a "J" just before spinning her chrysalis

Freshly spun chrysalis!

Butterfly seen through chrysalis means it's almost time to hatch!

It's time!!

E M E R G E N C E !

Truvy's first flight...

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Take our country back!

This morning's question: what are you doing to help take our country back from right wing extremists?

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On Muslims, church-state issues, and Ohio

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

Last night I attended my first meeting of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Central Ohio Chapter. The guest speaker was Romin Iqbal, a civil rights coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He's also an attorney practicing in Ohio, and works primarily in the area of religious discrimination in the workplace, and other issues which affect civil rights of Muslims and other minorities.

I would like to highlight this event for two reasons. First, I tend to think it is a good idea to increase our understanding of different groups whenever possible. Secondly, I believe it is imporant, especially in Ohio in a year when Ken Blackwell is running for governor, to increase public awareness of the existence of groups that promote the separation of church and state.

I'm still working on my transcription, but I have part 1 and part 2 up. What I've posted so far addresses voting trends among Muslims, attitudes on political issues, and attitudes toward Muslims by different groups. The speaker addressed some of anti-Muslim rhetoric commonly heard from well-known Evangelicals, and also how White Evangelicals have similar attitudes on some "values" issues, but are very different on others.

(Trying to do my part to increase public awareness of this group, I'm posting a link to information about AU Central Ohio's next big event, which takes place on September 17. Click for details.)

A couple excerpts...from the section where the speaker discussed voting patterns, he noted that, even though Muslims still voted for Gore over Bush, Gore only beat Bush by 10% among that demographic, whereas Clinton beat Dole by 50%. Mr. Iqbal explained Bush's increased appeal...

How he did that was basically, again, the Republicans were able to build a faith-based alliance with the Muslims. Also, I remember watching this debate in 2000. It was the second debate, and they asked a question about racial profiling of African Americans. And Bush talked about that and then he said Arab Americans are racially profiled in what's called "secret evidence". People are stopped, and we have to do something about that. So Bush spoke up against racial profiling in the debate, and supposedly this was a reason that a lot of Muslims went over to the Republican side, because Bush brought up the issue of racial profiling and he spoke against it.

Obviously, that trend was reversed in 2004, and the speaker said he did not see any poll in which Bush got more than 10% of the Muslim vote.

The following excerpt is from part 2, and addresses how Muslim voters responded to poll questions in 2004 on various "values" issues...
Should the influence of religion and moral values in public life increase in America?
85% said yes

Should people be allowed to take kids out of public schools and get school vouchers to send them to religious private schools?
Almost 66% agreed with that.

Should the public sale and display of pornography be allowed or disallowed?
Almost 76% want laws prohibiting or at least restricting the sale and display of pornography.

Should religious institutions be allowed to ask the government for money?
Almost 70% of Muslims agreed with that

Should it be legal for doctors to give people means to end their own lives?
Almost 65% of Muslims disagreed with that

All of these so far are issues where Muslims are closely aligned with White Evangelicals. Where they differ--

Should it be allowed to display the Ten Commandments?
Almost 45% of Muslims say no, while almost 80% of White Evengelicals want the public display of the Ten Commlandments.

Should nondenominational prayer be allowed in schools?
Almost half of Muslims opposed, White Evangelicals mostly supported.

Almost 65% of Muslims do want more research using stem cells.
Almost half would not allow same-sex marriage

Do you believe that there should be universal health care for all citizens?
96% in favor

Do you believe the government should be more generous with welfare?
92% in favor, even though as a percentage, very few Muslims need welfare

81% want more controls on guns
94% want more laws and regulations to control pollution and protect the environment, even at the cost of jobs

Should there be an increase in funding for after-school programs?
Almost 94% said yes. And this is where they really differ from the Evangelicals, who have an extreme mistrust of the public school system, do not agree with it, do not want it to be funded, while the Muslims, at least in 2004, do seem to like the public schools. They want to strengthen them, more after school programs, more teachers, and they are generally in support of public schools.

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Please recommend this Howard Dean diary

Matt Bai NYT interview with Howard Dean, audio and rough transcript. Candid, fun.
by floridagal

On June 4 Howard Dean was on a New York Times Magazine forum with Matt Bai. It was the first Sunday With The Magazine. They finally have the audio on this appearance up. It is a very good interview, but there does not seem to be a transcript anywhere. Well worth listening.

Some of it has been transcribed in part elsewhere, but it is very long. Here is a little of it. So Howardly overall. Been a long time since we have heard him speak this candidly. And candid he is.
Also, if you visit other blogs, could you, pretty please, crosspost the diary link? Not for me, but for floridagal who took the time to do the transcription, and, of course, for Howard.

The picture of Howard that accompanies this post is a screen capture from a video of his appearance on the Charlie Rose show in 2004.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

NARAL still supporting Lieberman

I just found this out via a post at Firedoglake. Christy Hardin Smith posted a letter that reader TeddySanFran received from NARAL, which said, in part, As a nonpartisan organization, we support pro-choice elected officials, regardless of party affiliation. Therefore, our endorsement stands, regardless of Sen. Lieberman's party registration.

Now, I am not a NARAL member, and many of you are probably aware that I am not as staunchly pro-choice as many in the liberal/progressive blogosphere. The practical upshot of that, in this particular situation, is that I am probably not the right person to try to call or write a convincing letter to NARAL about their decision and reasoning. But I know that many of you are, so I am posting this excerpt from the Firedoglake post, including the contact information, for anyone who would like to pursue the issue further.

Well, I had questions and comments, so I gave them a call at (202)530-4179, which is the number that Elizabeth Shipp, political director of NARAL, gave to Teddy in her note.

And I was told, yes indeed, they are continuing to endorse Joe Lieberman, loser of the Democratic primary. When I asked why, the fellow with whom I was speaking didn't really have an answer, and didn't feel comfortable talking with me further about that particular question. When I asked if they had spoken as yet with Ned Lamont's campaign to ascertain whether a switch in endorsement might be the better move, considering Ned kicked Joe's butt in the primary and all, I was told that he didn't know the answer to that question. When I asked if they were getting a few phone calls on this latest contact on the CT Senate race, he told me that they were.

You, too, can contact NARAL if you would like, and ask why it is that they continue to endorse Joe Lieberman, whether they plan on ever contacting the Lamont campaign to even speak with a fully pro-choice candidate, instead of a pseudo-pro-choice-but-voting-for-Alito-cloture-short-ride-kinda-guy like Lieberman, and just what they are thinking with this myopic decision-making in general. Here is their contact information: Main Number: 202.973.3000; Main Fax: 202.973.3096; Shipp's Number: (202)530-4179.
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Open Thread

listener just sent pictures of Truman the caterpillar and his cohorts, documenting their transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. I will publish that post a little later when I have more time, but in the meantime, I thought one of the butterfly pictures would be good for an open thread.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Jane Goodall on reasons for hope

This afternoon I sat down with Son in Ohio and watched a DVD about animal intelligence, emotion, and consciousness. Much of the commentary was by Jane Goodall. Even though I'm familiar with her work with primates, and I've got a Millennium Campaign graphic bearing her image on this page, I don't think I'd ever heard her speak much before today. I was really struck by her wisdom and compassion.

This evening, I visited the web site of the Jane Goodall Institute, and saw that one of her pages was entitled, My Four Reasons for Hope. The essay ends with these words:

So let us move into the next millennium with hope, for without it all we can do is eat and drink the last of our resources as we watch our planet slowly die. Instead, let us have faith in ourselves, in our intellect, in our staunch spirit. Let us develop respect for all living things. Let us try to replace impatience and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love.

Click here to read the whole essay. You might also be interested in reading about her Peace Day endeavors:

Join Roots & Shoots for the 2006 Day of Peace Saturday, September 30

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Feingold and Dean videos

Links to the videos are available via Crooks and Liars.

Howard Dean on Meet the Press
Russ Feingold on This Week

David Gregory: Let me ask you about the big political news of the week, that, of course, related to Senator Joe Lieberman. Six years ago, he was the vice presidential choice for your party. What happened? Insert snark here. Howard, of course gives a more statesmanlike answer...

Howard Dean: I think he embraced George Bush's policies, and the American people are tired of George Bush's policies. They want a new direction in this country, and the voters have spoken.

David Gregory: Should he get out of the race now?

Howard Dean: I think so. Look, I know how hard this is for Joe, and he's a good person. But the truth is, I lost one of these races, and I got right behind my party's nominee. And I think that's what you have to do if you want to help the country. The way to help this country is to *limit* Republican power. They have failed in the budget, they have failed in Iraq, they have failed with Katrina...I just got back from North Dakota--there's more than a "war on terror" going on in this country, there's a war on the middle class going on. You know, those folks need help. We need help domestically. We need a change in this country, we need a new direction, and I think Ned Lamont will give us that new direction.

David Gregory then shows a video clip of Senator Droopy Dawg droning about how he needs to run to bring the party back from the left wing extreme, and asks
"Has the Democratic party been taken over by the extreme?"

Howard Dean: You know, I think that was an unfortunate statement that Joe made. That's exactly the same line that Ken Mehlman and Dick Cheney are using. The truth is, Ned Lamont is a moderate. Ned Lamont earned his own living, he made a lot of money, and good for him in this American system. He wants a balanced budget, he wants a sane defense policy, he wants healthcare for all Americans. That is what the Democratic party believes in. The truth is, most people in this country, let alone Democrats, most Americans by a *large* majority, agree with Ned Lamont and not George Bush and Joe Lieberman.

David Gregory asks if the Democratic party is open to different views about the war.

Howard Dean: Sure we are...the problem that Joe had was that he embraced the president. (Heh) This is a president who's been bad for America. You should see what's going on in North Dakota--farmers who have not had any drought relief, people losing their healthcare. The president's paying no attention to the middle class. Kids wanting to go to college--they can't do it now because the president's cut their Pell Grants. There's a lot of problems in this country that are not being addressed, and Ned Lamont will address those questions, and the Democratic Party will address those questions.
Crooks and Liars shares a bit of what Feingold had to say...

Stephanopoulos: "Senator Lieberman thinks that your approach will strengthen the terrorists and it's a victory for terrorists. What's your response?"

Feingold: "Well, I like Joe Lieberman, but I support Ned Lamont. Because Joe is showing with that regrettable statement that he doesn't get it. He doesn't get it. The fact is that we were attacked on 9/11 by Al Qaeda and its affiliates and its sympathizers, not by Saddam Hussein. And unfortunately Senator Lieberman has supported the Bush Administration's disastrous strategic approach of getting us stuck in Iraq instead of focusing on those who attacked us.
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The brainstorming thread returns yet again

Fly-by update between the grocery store and church. A couple posts from Charlie here (I pulled them from the comments).

It's the undead brainstorming thread--eeeek! Like Weekend at Bernie's II, only it keeps coming back.

Here's the link. If you're bi-blogal, please go over to DFA and invite people to be the change they wish to see. Want more discussion other than Lamont/Lieberman? Post a topic. Send in a guest blog. Ask for a Blogger invite so that you can post new front page articles whenever you like. And invite people to participate.

Reminder of the crux of what I asked for...

Wanted: what sorts of posts would you like to see, on what topics?
Offer: if you'd like to offer to post on a regular or semi-regular basis about some issue, let us know
Taken: if you see a Wanted post and think, "Hey, I'd like to do that!"

Okay, gotta run.

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