Archive for progressives

Parks and Recreations Nick Offerman Puts Eric Cantor Loss In Comedic Reality

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Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman, from NBC's long running TV show, Parks And Recreations, addressed the Congressional Radio and TV Correspondents dinner last night and he told a prophetic story. It so aptly skewers the members of the House and Senate today and how people view them. If you don't think he's spot on, just ask Eric Cantor and his Republican party.

Every incumbent in Washington should be shaking in their gerrymandered district boots. I think Cantor was just the tip of the iceberg and if voters will be allowed to cast their votes in 2014 (yes, that's a dig on the rampant Republican-led voter suppression), there will be a lot more other long, old white, faces on the sidelines come mid-November.

I've been pounding away at "dump the chump" (the vote out the incumbents movement) for over a year now. And Cantor isn't the only establishment figure who's going to be taking a dive come this fall, if we get out the vote. The Democrats can change both the house and improve upon the Senate if we show up and make our feelings knows. We're tired of the just say no attitude in Washington and all the log jams that stand in the way of progress. We want less steak dinners and more votes on issues that matter, jobs, extended unemployment, minimum wage, women's rights, voting rights, clean air, education and the biggie -- immigration reform

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We'll get more of this if Republicans win in November

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victory is theirs Republicans win

Here's a quickie from Taegan that might cause a Progressives reading this post to wince, cry, and/or scream. It's not general election time, it's midterm election time, which does not always bode well for those of us on the left. The last headline we'd want to see would be, "Republicans win."

Unfortunately, some polls indicate that Republicans could gain more seats in the House and the Senate:

Another Poll Gives GOP Edge in Generic Ballot:

A new CNN/ORC International poll finds Republicans lead the generic congressional ballot among registered voters by 46% to 45%.

Key word: "Another." More than one. Gulp.

In this particular poll, it's a virtual tie, but you know what? It shouldn't even be close.

Here's another one to chew on: New Forecasting Model Sees GOP Winning Senate. I repeat:

gulp

Other polls contradict those, but the good old corporate media keeps pushing the Loser Dems talking point, which is not helping.

Americans often favor Democratic policies more than they do Republican ones. Take Obamacare, for example. Once the health care law is broken down into its components, or even referred to as the Affordable Care Act (omitting the dreaded O Word), voters approve.

The political pendulum swings back and forth, with one party gaining power, then back to the other and so forth. However, when it comes to midterm elections, ones in which there is no presidential candidate, Democrats stay home. Remember how we got "shellacked" in 2010? Turnout was down, and we lost big time.

When turnout is up, Democrats tend to win, Republicans tend to lose.

And low turnout is what is being predicted for November. We better learn from our mistakes. We better kick some ass and get people registered. We better kick bigger ass and get out the vote. Because if we don't, bad things happen. Things that are very hard, or even impossible, to undo. Things like this:

And those are just for starters.

Don't let the Republicans win in the coming election. Be pro-active. Tweet. Volunteer. Do whatever you can to motivate. It's the only way we can keep the Senate and make gains in the House.

Or...

We can expect more links like the ones above. Your choice.

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Are the Green Mountain Progressives Going to Pull Off Single Payer?

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Approved copy

Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

We elected Bernie and gave the country Ben and Jerry, don't put anything universal past us mule-headed liberal mountain people.

Steve Kornacki highlighted one of the best (and thanks to TeaMania) only positive stories around on single payer prospects in the country on Up over at MSNBC , pulling in Vox's stellar Sarah Kliff, and Vermont State Legislature Rep. Chris Pearson to discuss. Find the full Vox piece here.

 Image courtesy Vox

Image courtesy Vox

Not since we were enjoying the pitched battles and healthcare wars on The Hill leading up to victory in 2010(!) was this Green Mountain gal so excited to see coverage of the Right's expected reaction to real Progressive progress.

It's no sure bet -  Vermont is in full possession of their allotted portion of Tea Party crazy. Yet, when pre-butted by Rep. Pearson of the state's Progressive Party ... listen up and  see if you don't feel some of that vintage, vindicating Hopey Changey Feeling wash over you.  The president might not have spiked the ACA ball to our collective liberal satisfaction quite yet, but here's some interim excitement to re-fire the engines for November.

Peter Shumlin isn't a Howard Dean by personality, but he has been the sleeper gubernatorial hit of the decade up here. He was a leader smart enough to see that a 700% rise in heroin use in the state in two years had an impact on our morale and small but over-worked state hospitals. ER visits now include tragic front row seats to what poverty, addiction and the GOP has brought us to. Not that there's any pressure, as both he and Kliff note.

If Vermont gets single-payer health care right, which I believe we will, other states will follow," Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin predicted in a recent interview. "If we screw it up, it will set back this effort for a long time. So I know we have a tremendous amount of responsibility, not only to Vermonters.

fearKeep your ears perked about VT Act 48. AKA Green Mountain Care. It's an uphill climb, half the nations that attempt to pioneer this human right fail, repeatedly.

However, in 1777 -- when still a Nation because we declined the invite in '76 -- Vermont abolished slavery. In 2000 we were the state first to acknowledge civil unions, then the 4th to celebrate gay marriage. Two years ago we were Numero Uno to ban fracking and watch this week's news on mandatory GMO food labeling.

And don't underestimate our ability to overcompensate for our size and the patience-drain it takes to abide next to those Live Free or Die maniacs and the buzzards they draw in New Hampshire. So It Is On.  May this be a super sharp contrast to ex-centerfold/ex-Senator Scott Brown and his ubiquitous GD truck.

Kliff chose a doozie of a higher self quote when interviewing the local progressive peeps.

I was the first person I ever heard in politics who was a serious candidate, who said the words ‘single payer,’ and was not using them in an attack ad," recalls Deb Richter, president of Vermont for Single Payer. "It was amazing."

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Could A Pro Pot, Lesbian, Women's Rights, Progressive Lead Maryland?

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Maryland

Heather Mizeur is everything in the headline of this post. And she's currently running for Governor of Maryland, to replace a popular liberal Democrat, Governor Martin O'Malley who's retiring after two terms to seek a run at the President of the United States office.

Right now there are three Democrats in the Maryland Governor's race. Along with the 41-year old Mizeur is Attorney General, Doug Gansler, and so far, the Democratic party's anointed successor to the throne, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. There’s no question, though, that Mizeur is running on the most left-wing platform of the bunch.

Here's a taste of what Mizeur, a two-term member of the Maryland House of Delegates, is expounding, according to The Daily Beast:

...criminal justice reform, drug policy reform, tax cuts on poor and middle class, tax hikes on wealth, school construction policy, minimum wage increases, anti-fracking, campaign finance reform, health care, family planning, plugging corporate tax loopholes, universal pre-kindergarten, and marriage equality, to name a few.

Well, to win with those stances, you'd have to come from a state that thinks the same way as she does. And guess what, Maryland is just such a state:

...in recent legislative sessions, the Maryland General Assembly has passed and he has signed into law bills legalizing same-sex marriage, instituting a state-level “Dream Act” offering in-state tuition to certain undocumented immigrants, putting in place strong “common-sense gun safety measures,” and repealing the death penalty. Both the same-sex marriage and Dream Act measures were upheld by surprisingly strong margins in statewide referenda on the 2012 general election ballot.

I'm not saying that Heather Mizeur is going to win, place or show in the primaries. But she sure is a refreshing candidate and if progressives are going to make a move, she's the kind of candidate who might just make that happen. Let's keep an eye on her. Certainly she stands out. Hopefully she can get elected and run Maryland. That's a social experiment I'd love to see.

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Opportunity knocks: Democrats name 14 "Red to Blue" House candidates

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democrats donkey kicks gop elephant

Democrats think they have a chance to win some House elections in tough districts, and are adding even more targets as we speak. The DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) looks at candidates' fundraising, organization and infrastructure goals and then offers support to those who fit the bill.

However, winning back the House of Representatives wont be easy.

Via The Hill:

The committee named 16 candidates to the program, and three more districts with multiple Democratic contenders that the party has high hopes of winning. Two of those districts are open seat contests but are currently held by a Democrat.

The priority races are short of the 17 Democrats need to win in order to regain control of the House, an uphill battle especially in a midterm year where turnout is typically more favorable to Republicans.

Uphill battle, sure, but here's the part of The Hill's reporting that is key, because it drives home the obvious distinctions between Democrats and Republicans. It's the diversity, stupid:

Of the 16 candidates in the first round of Red-to-Blue districts, 10 are women, an historically high portion of the list that the committee argues is evidence of the Democratic Party’s diversity in contrast to the GOP.

No wonder the GOP continues to do everything they can to suppress the vote. Generally speaking, the more diverse the pool of voters, the more ballots cast for Democrats.

Full lists of Red-to-Blue candidates, districts, and races can be found at the link.

While we're at it, here's an idea: Elect more Progressives. While nearly any Democrat is preferable to a Republican, Dems who don't act, speak, and cast votes as Dems can pretty much blunt any victories, even if we were to achieve our dream of a Democratically-controlled House.

When those on the right bellow about how the left controlled both Houses during President Obama's first term, they leave out the part where Dems voted with Republicans or failed to support progressive issues (women's reproductive rights, for example).

All that said, one enormous priority remains: Get Out the Vote in 2014. As they say, when turnout is high, Democrats tend to win.

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Exxon-Mobil CEO Suing His Own Company To Stop Fracking -- At Least In His Neighborhood

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fracking

Whatever happened to "what's good for the goose is good for the gander?" For that answer you really shouldn't be asking ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. His company is invading the US with natural gas fracking operations -- the more the merrier. So how is it that he's just became the highest-profile anti-fracking activist in the world? He's now party to a lawsuit to stop fracking -- at least in his own neighborhood.

The CEO who made $46 million in salary last year is concerned that the fracking operation that's taking place in his multi-million dollar housing neighborhood - he has 86 acres so it's a large neighborhood - will lower the value of his home. And why would fracking bother Tyrannosaurus Rex? Well, the noise, the pollution and the traffic to name a few.

According to Credo Action:

Even though he is the CEO of one of the largest fracking companies in the world, Tillerson is suing to block a fracking development near his Texas horse ranch because it would create a "noise nuisance and traffic hazards."

Didn't he care when this was happening in other people's backyards?  Evidently not.  So this is only a case of me, me, me.  He only cares when it affects him.

So it might be with some great surprise that T-Rex Tillerson has joined a massive anti-fracking lawsuit -- essentially suing his own company. To tell you what's at stake here, enjoy this clip from Chris Hayes and anti-fracking documentary filmmaker Josh Fox:

The outcome of this and many similar lawsuits might not stop fracking from taking place -- but when you've got a deep-pocketed CEO like Tillerson and his bevy of high priced lawyers biting the same hand that feeds him, you realize there may be some good to come out of this -- in a trickle down sense. Maybe for once, trickle down policy will actually work for the good of the masses, not just the rich.

Here's hoping Exxon-Mobil takes it in the gas hole. And no lubricant will be necessary -- they've already dipped their probes in oil. I don't mean to be crude -- yes, a pun.

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GOP Rep. Forbes Seeks To Destroy His Party With Anti-Gay Actions

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You blockhead

How out of touch are the Republicans with the electorate? Very comes to mind. And how out of touch are some within their own party? More so. Especially if your name is Randy Forbes.

Who's he? He's the Virginia congressional representative and a senior House Republican. He's eyeing a powerful committee chairmanship, the House Armed Services Committee. At the moment, the route is becoming a bit more circuitous with his recent stand on the LGBT community and it's up and coming GOP candidates. Politico writes:

The issue is particularly acute because House Republicans have two promising openly gay candidates in 2014 vying for seats held by Democrats. Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost to Democratic Rep. John Tierney in 2012, is running again in northeastern Massachusetts. And in San Diego, Carl DeMaio, a former city councilman, is trying to knock off Democratic Rep. Scott Peters.

He's actually gone so far off the deep end that he's causing friction with some of his colleagues. He's been reported to be pushing the House GOP campaign arm to deny support for the party’s gay congressional candidates, especially Tisei who Speaker Boehner has campaigned for and DeMaio who stands a real shot at unseating his Democratic rival in a GOP leaning district.

Now when you consider that it's only recently that a few of the GOP have come out and supported LGBT rights, freedoms, even marriage (though they still won't touch the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the House) the public persona is to become more tolerant. The LGBT community votes and they are strong contributors to campaigns, so to ignore that block is well, blockheaded. I guess that's what you could call Rep. Randy Forbes.

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