Tag: Progressives

Progressive Anthony Weiner calls for “The End” of Publicly Run Medicare

as reported on Rachel Maddow’s Thursday show:

Congressman Weiner’s bluff-calling, put-up-or-shut-up amendment to the House health care bill (H.R. 3200):

Really Republicans, don’t like Publicly run Health Care?

Would you care to put your Vote where your rhetoric is,

to eliminate a very successful Public Health Care Program — Medicare?



So what happened?

Will Medicare be relegated to the “junk heap of history” as another “failed idea” of the Liberal Agenda? … well in a word, HARDLY!

Rachel Maddow breaks down Wall Street Deregulation into these simple Frames …

Way back in March of 2009, Rachel explained the “Highway Robbery” which happened on Wall Street, using a few simple word-pictures. (ie. simple Frames).  These perhaps deserve a quick review …

Rachel Maddow – Cops and Robbers

Link to Rachel’s very humorous  Clip

Great Framing Rachel! … I love it, when Progressive Talkers, make learning FUN! The simpler the Word-Pictures, the better the Frame!

“Is our childrens learning?” as George W. used to ask.  

Could be, … Maybe we just needed to “Turn the Page” …

It is NOT a Center-Right Country!

also posted on dkos

It is NOT a Center-Right Country!

We may have a Center-Right Media.

We may have a Center-Right Punditry-ville.

But our Country, and the majority of the American People in our “Two America’s” are NOW decidedly a deeper shade of Blue!

Larger Map

Source: NYTimes

Tide of the Country has shifted Dramatically!

Whatever Happened to the Left?

This is an essay about observations, so it’s not going to be sourced to the Mainstream Press that has served as propagandists and gatekeepers to the political status quo for too damned long. These are observations of political trends I’ve noted over more than 40 years of certifiable adulthood, strong interest in all things political, several oaths to protect and defend the Constitution (thus Laws of the Land), and a 40-year marriage to a political sci-guy who is even more obsessed with politics than I am.

The last time the left side of the political spectrum wielded significant political power was back during the dark days of VietNam in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It gained effective – though not much status quo – political power through the efforts of activists who motivated the young in high schools and on college campuses across the country, where the cannon fodder for the right’s dirty little opium war could be Shanghai’d by the draft. This meant that your average Mom and Pop America had a personal stake in the war, and they were darned sick of flag-draped coffins and burying pieces of their children shipped home from rice patties in a far-away country they couldn’t even find on a map. For no better reason than somebody’s terror of dominoes that might interfere with the drug supply and the M-I complex’s desire to make a fortune battle-testing cool shit like Napalm and 2,000# bombs and fancy new fighter jets. Hey, they’d been shafted by the end of the space race, and had to do something to justify their incestuous existence.

Oddly enough, it turned out to be Tricky Dick’s very own generals (plus spooks) who ended up taking him down, even though he made a valiant effort to save himself by abruptly ending a war nobody on this side of the Pacific ever could have ‘won’. That was back in an era when most of the military old-timers – the career officers who served at the Pentagon and commanded the conscripted troops – still took their oaths of service seriously, and they didn’t like what was going on any more than the students who had no choice or their parents did. You don’t really believe it was just a “third-rate burglary” at the Watergate that did Nixon in, do you?

Free the Gaza 21!

It’s rather interesting to read various ‘progressive’ and left blogs about the capture of the Gaza 21. Let’s face it, the response has been splotchy at best. There have been several, such as Dandelion Salad, which have made the right choice (IMHO) on the issue. They’re calling for the release of the Gaza 21. I think they also understand that if it were any other crisis which this happened in, everyone not on the right would be calling for their release.

A Lesson from Labour? Perhaps.

Original article, titled Statement:”A long time in politics” – Labour after the elections, via Socialist Appeal (UK):

“A week is a long time in politics.” Harold Wilson

The European election results were published last Monday, following on from the local election results of a few days earlier. They showed Labour behind not just the Tories, but even behind UKIP, a lunatic fringe party, on just 15% of the vote. For the first time since 1918, Labour had been beaten by the Tories in Wales. Labour was smashed in its other heartlands, where working class voters just sat at home in disgust, and was completely marginalised elsewhere in the country. Labour came 5th in the South East with just 8.2% of the vote. In Cornwall they came 6th behind the Cornish Nationalist Party, whom presumably even the local folk see as a lost cause.

What are Progressive Values?

Progressive Values?

Howard Dean – Fairness, Responsibility …


What does the Democratic Party stand for?

Howard Dean lists these “Core Values” of the Democratic Party

1) Fairness and Equal Rights for all

2) Strength and Toughness

3) Fiscal Responsibility

These are demonstrated by providing Health Care for all.

Dean stresses the urgent need for us to express these values, on an emotional level, and not just in Policy Statements.

“People vote on their Values — NOT on Position Papers!”

All That’s Left To Say

I’ve been doing some deep thinking, and was going to post three essays today featuring my deep thoughts about the economic crisis, the banking crisis, and the global warming crisis, but the deeper I thought about these deep issues and the deep impact they are having, the deeper I sank into deep crisis fatigue.  So I took a deep break, and realized that except for Norm Coleman and possibly John Cornyn, no one has ever had deeper thoughts about deep issues than Jack Handey . . .

To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.

I hope that after I die, people will say of me: “That guy sure owed me a lot of money.”

If you’re a young Mafia gangster out on your first date, I bet it’s real embarrassing if someone tries to kill you.

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is “God is crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is “Probably because of something you did.”

I have the deepest respect for Jack Handey, but I think it’s more likely God is crying because of all the crap Evangelical Christianists do.  They should listen to Jack Handey.  We all should, after all, he tried to warn us about Wall Street bankers.  When they die, we’ll say, “Those guys sure owe us a lot of money.”  And long after they’re dead, our great grandchildren will say, “Those guys still owe us a lot of money.”  Jack Handey’s deep thoughts encompass more issues than one might think at first glance. Take Daily Kos, for example.   It’s like ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.  

Blogging the Future

Blogging is conducted through cyberspace here in the 21st Century, we type on keyboards, we read each other’s words on computer screens.  The technology enabling us to engage in this form of communication is new, but what we’re doing when we blog isn’t new, it’s as old as civilization–we’re talking to one another just as people did thousands of years ago, we’re sharing our thoughts, communicating about what matters, reaching for the kind of future we hope to see.  We don’t want history to keep repeating itself, there’s been too much war, too much killing, too much misery.  

As global war and genocide took the lives of 50 million people only three generations ago, a young girl expressed her hopes for the future in a diary.  Anne Frank didn’t know her words would be ultimately be read by millions of people, but they have been and will be for as long as human civilization exists.  The most brutal and inhuman regime ever to darken the pages of history killed her in Bergen-Belsen, but it could not silence her.  

What was Anne Frank doing?


She was blogging the future.

Is Obama Screwing His Base with Rahm Emanuel Selection?

Original article, by Stephen Zunes and subtitled Obama has asked conservative Clinton vet Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff — it’s not a good sign for progressives, vial Alternet:

I had really wanted to celebrate Barack Obama’s remarkable victory for a day or so before becoming cynical again. I really did.

We’ve had our little R&R period. It’s time to get busy.

Now that we’ve had a couple days to rest up from the long presidential campaign, it’s time to get busy again.  President-elect Obama is not going to govern from the left, or even that mythological “middle” everyone seems content to obsess over – he’ll govern from the hard right, only subtly, as Bill Clinton did.  Those who thought to use him as a springboard to enacting progressive policy failed to understand that Obama is a user, not someone who lets himself be used.  Let’s begin the work of making that fanciful notion so many of us held a reality.

I’ve done my criticism, and I’ll continue to criticize, because I take Theodore’s admonition regarding presidents to heart.  But this entry is about offering up ideas and starting points; future ones shall be along this line of argument.  We absolutely must organize, unite, and apply pressure before the tiny window of opportunity between now and January closes.  We cannot afford a repeat of the Clinton years.

A good first step is in redirecting oil policy away from the industry and more toward independence – alternative, renewable sources of energy, naturally, but in other areas as well.  The September-October issue of Science Illustrated contained a piece on bioplastics, that is, plastics made with chemicals derived from plant-based chemicals instead of petroleum.  I wasn’t able to find a direct link to the magazine article, unfortunately, but I did locate links pertaining to the subject.



From the first link:

Scientists are one step closer to replacing crude oil as the main source for plastic, fuels and scores of other industrial and household chemicals with inexpensive, non-polluting renewable plant matter (Science, vol. 316. no. 5831, pp. 1597-1600, June 15, 2007). “What we have done that no one else has been able to do is convert glucose directly in high yields to a primary building block for fuel and polyesters,” says Z. Conrad Zhang, senior author who led the research and a scientist with the PNNL-based Institute for Interfacial Catalysis (UC; iic.pnl.gov). That building block is hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a chemical derived from carbohydrates such as glucose and fructose and that is viewed as a promising surrogate for petroleumbased chemicals.

Glucose, in plant starch and cellulose, is nature’s most abundant sugar. “But getting a commercially viable yield of HMF from glucose has been very challenging,” says Zhang. “In addition to low yield, until now, we always generated many different byproducts,” including levulinic acid, making product purification expensive and uncompetitive with petroleum-based chemicals.

Zhang, lead author and former post doc Haibo Zhao, and colleagues John Holladay and Heather Brown, all from PNNL, were able to coax HMF yields upward of 70% from glucose and nearly 90% from fructose, while leaving only traces of acid impurities. To achieve this, they experimented with a novel nonacidic catalytic system containing metal chloride catalysts in an ionic liquid capable of dissolving cellulose. The ionic liquid, enabled the metal chlorides to convert the sugars to HMF.

What this means is that scientists are making glucose-derived plastics a viable alternative to the petroleum-based variety we commonly use.  As the first step toward moving away from reliance on fossil fuels, funding and regulations could be implemented so as to grow the bioplastics industry.  Glucose can be gotten from straw and saw dust – waste products generated by the agricultural and wood industries – for example, meaning freeing up more farmland for food production.

Combined with passing laws raising fuel efficiency standards, improving public transportation, and creating advertising campaigns to promote carpooling and energy efficiency, pushing bioplastics may be used to start us on the road to energy independence.  With fossil fuels dwindling, and wars to obtain control over sources increasing in frequency and intensity, this is a matter of genuine pragmatism and economic sensibility.  It’s also something to press our elected officials over.  President Obama will not be so stupid as to oppose his own political party if it passes progressive legislation.

Our Long National Nightmare is Over…and now…

Tuesday night we were all fixated to the polls. We all cried (or at least I know I did – it was John Lewis that broke my dam on that front). I even cried yesterday, and I wasn’t the only one. Here in Blue Connecticut there were many tear stained faces, many relieved looks, even a pervasive, genuine happiness.

I bought the paper with Obama’s picture on it and the caption, “Mr. President” at the grocery store. The young woman ringing me up said, “I’m really glad he won yesterday.”

Obama’s remade the electoral map. Now it is time for us to remake our ideological maps – or specifically, I would advocate, completely rip those maps into shreds and start over.

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