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When Republicans Eat Their Own

The much-anticipated (at least for political junkies) 30-minute attack film from Newt Gingrich's super PAC is now available for viewing online here. I find it nearly incredulous that Gingrich would open up this line of attack on his own party's presumptive nominee....but hey, Newt's NOT the most stable or predictable guy, now is he? If the Obama campaign is paying attention, this "dry run" will let them know in advance what works and what doesn't. Thanks Newt.

December 2011 Update

It has been a very busy couple of months.  With visits from LJ buddies Tim timbear, his partner Steve and Steve rootbeer for a day tour of Dry Creek wineries and lunch, a quick visit from Al albear_garni and his partner David for Sunday brunch and a weekend visit from buddies Damon and Robby from Stockton, we happily had a steady stream of company in Cloverdale during the autumn.  We then enjoyed a long-anticipated one week vacation in Maui with our friends Charlie and AJ.  And finally, just last week, we drove south to San Diego to meet up with our good friends Bill and Mike from Toronto before heading out to Palm Springs to visit with our good friend Darryl who retired in the desert just last year.  Darryl has a beautiful home in Cathedral City with a salt water pool and views of a nature preserve and the San Jacinto Mountains.  While in Palm Springs, we got to see Jack qbear who wasn't able to come with Steve up to Cloverdale in September due to work obligations.  In nearly symmetrical fashion, Steve rootbeer was in SF working while we were in Palm Springs.  Funny how those things work out.

Now we're back home in Cloverdale, prepping for the holidaze and getting ready for more company.  I'm looking forward to a quiet time with friends, some really nice home-cooked meals and some great wine.  Happy holidaze to everyone!


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Oh, What a Night!

After the crushing debacle of the 2010 off-year election that saw the Tea Party assert its will so powerfully, I was sitting on pins and needles approaching yet another off-year election in 2011.  But my concerns turned to joy as returns started rolling in from races all over the country.  In an unprecedented show of "people power", the once left-for-dead New Deal coalition of progressives, workers, the middle class and minorities swamped the polls in record numbers in many locations.  Oh, what a night!
While each of these victories are significant, together they represent progressives and moderates PUSHING BACK against right wing overreaching.  If the last few years teach us nothing else, it's clear that progressives need to go on the offensive.  As broken as our system may be, we only win when we are engaged and organized.  And when we show up at the polls in force.  OCCUPY THE STREETS!  and OCCUPY A VOTING BOOTH!

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Yay!

Maureen Dowd 'stole' an abbreviated form of my LJ post title (Oct 15) for her NY Times Op-Ed piece today.     I am flattered indeed.  <hehehehe>

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/02/opinion/dowd-cain-not-able.html?_r=1&hp

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Why Occupy?

This short video is one of THE BEST explanations I've seen for justifying the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Elizabeth Warren, Byron Dorgan and Bernie Sanders are almost spooky in their prescience.  It's incredible to me that at the same time all this is going on, the Republican Party is STILL pushing the same old tired failed policy prescriptions that have plunged the nation into (not just ONE, but) the series of financial crises that have plagued the US since the 1980s.  Will we ever learn from our history?

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Cain but not Able

How much longer can he get by with "the dog ate my homework"???


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Elizabeth Warren Rocks

Take a look at these two views of US Senate candidate (D-MA) Elizabeth Warren, one real and one 'mighty real' (as 70 disco icon Sylvester might say).  She's one of the clearest voices on the progressive left.  I think the Democratic Party could learn a thing or two from her as far as messaging.  I've watched both these video clips niumerous times and I'm not really sure which one I'm more excited about.



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Get Money Out

I want to encourage all my friends here on LJ to visit the Get Money Out website and learn about the proposed constitutional amendment to take money out of politics.  Not only does the ban prohibit contributions by any individual or corporation to anyone running for federal office, it stipulates that campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U.S.Constitution.  It also proposes to make election day a federal holiday.

Unfortunately, we have the best government money can buy right now.  But it doesn't work for the 99% of us who make up the vast majority.  Please take a look at this website and sign this petition.

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The "Occupy Wall Street" protesters have issued their first collective statement.  It can be found on their official website at NYC General Assembly: The Official Website of the GA at #OccupyWallStreet.    While all the naysayers in the mainstream media constantly nag "exactly what do these people want?", this manifesto should help bring into focus the critical issues facing everyday Americans.   It's amazing just how out of touch many in the media are with the concerns of average citizens. You'd think they had lived under a rock for the past 30 years. I guess it's asking too much of them to show a little perspective about how things have changed in the US since WW2. 

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City




This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on september 29, 2011


Translations: French, Slovak, Spanish, German, Italian




As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass
injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write
so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world
can know that we are your allies.


As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of
the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system
must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up
to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their
neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the
people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the
people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the
process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when
corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over
justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have
peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.


They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace
based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual
orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to
get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the
press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products
endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save
people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that
have already turned a substantial profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have
participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *


To the people of the world,


We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.


Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space;
create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions
accessible to everyone.


To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of
direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the
resources at our disposal.


Join us and make your voices heard!


*These grievances are not all-inclusive.



'Occupy Wall Street' Protests

I am so hopeful about what is happening on the streets of the NYC financial district the past couple of weeks.  It's about time people took to the streets again, even IF the goals are non-specific at the moment.  Right now, it's enough for the protest to highlight the fact that society is now being run for the 1% at the expense of the 99%.  Simple, understandable message.

The thing that has me most hopeful is the fact that the unions are joining the protesters.  And also, the fact that the protests are spreading to other cities.  While I realize that lots of progressives are disappointed with the way the Obama administration has fared thus far, it's important to realize that these protests will provide him some political cover as he attempts to put the screws on the Republicans and their right wing backers in the months leading up to the 2012 election. 

I'm just so gratified that people are sacrificing to put their bodies on the line.  I look forward to travelling to SF later this month to join the protests there.

Check out this astounding video of showing how Wall Street employees sipping champagne react to the protesters on the streets below.  The contrast between the two groups couldn't be more striking.

After viewing this video, take a look at this editorial from Nation of Change entitled "The Best Among Us."




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