leo's blog

Wrong Side of History

Encouraging words from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on the likelihood of Senate Blue Dogs killing the Senate bill because it contains a public option:

"No Democrat wants to be on the wrong side of history and vote on a procedural vote to kill the most important domestic vote of their careers," Brown said.

Phonebanking for Health Care

[Courtesy of HCAN and Citizen Action-IL.]

The Final Push for Health Care Reform! This Is The Week!

Beginning with today's Senate Finance Committee vote, this week marks the close of 100 years of fighting for quality, affordable health care for all. We need your help to create one final push in support of a strong public health insurance option.

Join us this week and next week as we flood DC with constituent calls showing overwhelming support for restoring the public option to the Senate Bill, and maintaining a strong public option in HR 3200.

Phone-banking for Health Care - Sign up Now!

Tuesday, October 13th:

  • 1) Crystal Lake; Tellenar Inc., 727 Tek Drive(off Rt 31 near NW Herald); 5 - 9 pm, Contact: Larry Glowacki, lbglowacki@comcast.net
  • 2) Arlington Heights; Dems Office, 1310 West Northwest Highway; 6 - 9 pm, ** bring your cell phone ** Contact: Hal Snyder, drxyzzy@me.com

Wednesday, October 14th:

Thursday, October 15th:

  • 1) Arlington Heights; Dems Office, 1310 West NW Highway; 6 - 9 pm, ** bring your cell phone ** Contact: Matt Flamm, matt4change@gmail.com

Call Jessica, 312-427-2114 x. 206, for more details

Recall is Just Plain Dumb

Eric Zorn has the right reaction to recall in Illinois:

I’m fearful of it, too. I worry that it will give too much power to interest groups with the money to mount petition drives and make elected officials even more skittish than they already are.

Zorn describes the Governor as non-plussed:

Quinn says history elsewhere suggests recall will be used sparingly, and that the steep signature requirement --15% of the total votes cast for governor in the preceding election -- assures it will be used sparingly.

Of course the 'steep signature requirement' is a mere three points over what's required to boot the governor out in California. That doesn't sound that 'steep' to me.

Also, who says the recall has to be successful? All it takes is someone with enough money and media access to score a couple of points before the poor guy in office has to stop everything he's doing and mount a counter-campaign.

It's hard to imagine anything more disruptive or destructive to good government. And the joke is, there's no reason for this -- we don't need it. Leave the California-style politics to the Californians. We've got enough problems as it is.

Obama Got the Prize But We Deserve the Credit

Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize but it's the American people who deserve the credit.

After the horrors of the Bush Administration in everything from Rule of Law to Rule of Science, it was the American people who put Obama into office. This was an illustration, as if we needed it, of how strong democracies are in a sense self-correcting.

I think the Prize is as much an expression of relief as an acknowledgment of our yankee democratic process.

UPDATE: From French President Nicolas Sarkozy:

"It confirms, finally, America's return to the hearts of the people of the world... you can count on my resolute support and that of France."

UPDATE II: Michael Moore gets what this is all about:

"So, yeah, at precisely 11:00pm ET on November 4, 2008, Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. And the 66 million people who voted for him won it, too. By the time he took the stage at midnight ET in the Grant Park Historic Hippie Battlefield in downtown Chicago, billions of people around the globe were already breathing a huge sigh of relief. It was as if, in that instant, one man did bring the promise of peace to the world -- and most were ready to go wherever he wanted to go to achieve that end. Never before had the election of one man made every other nation feel like they had won, too. When you've got billions of people ready, willing and able to join a cause like this, well, a prize in Oslo is the least that you deserve."

Light at the End of the HCR Tunnel?

Sen. Schumer on the 'Opt-Out' Public Option:

"Senator Carper and I met for quite a while last night and made progress and talked to a large number of members last night, yesterday. And I am optimistic that there will be some kind of public option in the bill the president signs. I'm very optimistic."

[h/t TPM]

Rightwinger Headline if Obama Hadn't Gone to Copenhagen

"Olympic Defeat for (Elitist) Obama, Too Busy with Washington Politics to Go the Last Mile for his own Home Town"

Yeah, I know, just stating the obvious.

Message to Rep. Alan Grayson (FL-08): Thank you for speaking the truth, and don't you dare apologize!

Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-08) on Kos:

"My speech has been replayed on CNN, Redstate, Huffington Post, etc, and mainstream media pundits are saying that I'm the Democratic Joe Wilson.  Of course, unlike Joe Wilson, I wasn't rude to the President. Unlike Joe Wilson, I didn't break a rule of the House. And unlike Joe Wilson, I actually told the truth.  Every single year, over forty-four thousand people in America die because they don't have health insurance.  Read this Harvard study.  That is the plain truth."

Read the rest...

Citizen Action Illinois - Annual Dinner

Citizen Action-Illinois had its Annual Dinner yesterday evening. The emphasis, not surprisingly, was on health care reform. The situation for hotel workers also got attention.

Award-winner this year was Gov. Pat Quinn who arrived late due to his attendance at a service in the suburbs honoring an Illinois veteran killed in Afghanistan.

Wall St. Values - At Some Point the Democracy Oozes Through

I don't see how anyone could be surprised by this action concerning a deluge (apparently) of Chinese tires.

Considering that our industrial base has been decimated over the past 30 years or so, the only government that wouldn't react in this way, is one that could totally ignore its own citizenry.

Fortunately for us, we live in a democracy. I just don't think Wall Street has connected those two dots.

Rightwing Populism is a Contradiction in Terms

I love the need of David Brooks and others to portray the teabaggers as "populist" and anti-big-government when there was absolutely no invasion of our civil rights during the Bush Administration -- from imprisonment without trial to warrantless wiretaps -- that these people had problems with.

But if someone like Brooks is going to call these people populists, at the very least, you'd think he'd be under an obligation to show how their beliefs help working people and if he can't show that, then who exactly their beliefs do help.

I mean, we can get a group together for liberal causes that matches up pretty well, economically speaking -- so how are they not populist?

And if we go beyond income levels, what then distinguishes someone -- anyone -- as 'populist'?

It might help to look at what the original Populists actually advocated. If you do, you'll see that much of their platform (e.g. the "Omaha Platform", 1892) required a huge expansion of government power, greater worker and labor rights, and a mighty shot across the bow of Corporate America.

There's nothing, absolutely nothing, in the current teabagger's agenda with its crazy mix of anti-statism (Dems in power), subservience (GOP in power) and knee-jerk devotion to laissez-faire that a real populist from back-in-the-day would recognize as his own.

In fact, the only similarity is something Brooks (who titled his piece, "No, It’s Not About Race") specifically won't admit to, namely, a predilection towards anti-immigrant bias bordering in some cases on racism.

But if we focus on the more positive aspects of the populist movement, it's hard not to conclude that this attempt to appropriate its name for purposes completely antithetical to everything it actually stood for is both a-historical and extremely cynical.

It's nothing but an effort to give rightwing groups a legitimacy -- or in other words, 'working class creds' -- that nothing in the agenda or activities of these groups would suggest.

You can understand why someone would want to do this -- who wants to appear, at least openly, as an apologist for wealth and power? -- but it's not something rational people ought to treat with any degree of respect.

Syndicate content