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Today I put another $200 into the campaign for California Congressional candidate Jay Chen. Jay Chen is running against one of the most corrupt bankster cronies in Congress.

I gave using the handy Blue America ActBlue Donate page.

And every Kossack should do something similar today to widen the playing field and help progressives take advantage of what is shaping up to be a lop-sided wave election win for President Obama.

For the last three election cycles, I have been pushing one single concept, which is to widen the number of races where grassroots activists invest their money so that we have candidates poised to win in races if we have a wave election.

This puts me at distinct odds with the insiders' game, the DCCC way of thinking that protects incumbents and constantly seeks to narrow the playing field to the races that are "closest".

"Close" races pull in all the money, where it is spent on media blitzes with diminishing returns. In my cynical view, consultants push the strategies that generate the most commissions, so they are pushing money into those teevee ads that have are barely seen by the folks we need to get out and vote.

Races that are deemed to be "not close"  are frozen out of institutional money,even though the money going into these campaigns will be going to the lowest cost, most cost-effective expenditures like quality data so volunteers are targeting their time best, quality pieces for volunteers, and targeted mail that gets a specific message to voters.

Add to this the problem of the Presidential election, where incredible sums of money flow into swing states while safe states are supposed to focus primarily on shipping their money and volunteers to swing states.

And every cycle, there are surprises, where quality progressive candidates beat the odds even though they were written off by the party establishment and the big money donors. Every cycle, there are races that are heart-breakingly close, where our small campaign contributions at the right time might have made all the difference in the world.

There are three more huge reasons to donate to the out-of-the-money candidates.

First, many of them happen to be our candidates, progressive on every issue, instead of the corporate Dems who seem best at attracting big money. If you're like me, and you have given money to candidates who proved incredibly disappointing, guys like Larry Kissell, you will swear never to make that mistake again just because a race appears close. And hey, Larry, I still want my money back.

Second, sometimes something happens - a scandal, a macaca moment, something so outrageous that even the right-wing media covers it and the local teevee news runs with it. If we've been putting out money into progressive candidates, they can have the infrastructure ready to use more. Mail pieces designed, data ready to call, et cetera.

Third, there's one amazing effect nationally when a safe incumbent suddenly has to run a campaign against some insurgent who everybody counted out. We saw it in 2008 when Crazy Dana Rohrabacher saw polling that put progressive Debbie Cook within range. Dana stopped raising money for other people, flew in a top-notch operative, and hunkered down. Debbie didn't win, but we pulled scarce resources that would have gone into some other campaign, and somewhere in the country, one other Democrat pulled through because scarce resources had been diverted to a safe district.

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Sometimes you just can't make this shit up.  Here's your Voter Fraud - involving false registration by an OC Republican elected official.

The Chair of the California State Senate Committee on Legislative Ethics is Orange County State Senator Mimi Walters.

After legislative redistricting, State Senator Walters chose to run in a neighboring district, and registered to vote at a 570 square foot studio apartment in Irvine.

One problem. Mimi, her husband and their four kids continue to live in their 14,000 square foot home in Laguna Niguel in a gated community that is not in her new district

And there's a pesky law that you must actually live in the district. Mimi swore that she did, under penalty of perjury.

Today her opponent, Democrat Steve Young, filed suit with Secretary of State Deborah Bowen to have Mimi's name removed from the ballot.

You can read about it at the local blog Orange Juice or at the right-wing OC Register.

The lawsuit asks that Walters' name be removed from the ballot. Under the new jungle primary rules in California, there is no provision for replacing her by the local Republican party.

If the law is successful, it could prove pivotal in the effort to get a 2/3 vote in the State Senate, a move that could eliminate the ability for Republicans to obstruct certain votes where a super majority is required.

Below the squiggle, you can see the aerial shot of her home at 3 Inspiration Point in Laguna Niguel.

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It's not GM this time.

Instead, it's that usual group of suspects including the Cato Institute, Fox News, the Washington Times, CNN, and the clueless stenographers who pick up their disinformation.

So it's great that Media Matters has done an extensive debunking of the disinformation about electric vehicles that is being spread by the VRWC. But I also think that it's important to add a personal perspective to the mix.

As the proud owner of a solar-powered All Electric Nissan LEAF, I have become active in the EV community, including the vibrant user community at

Owning a LEAF is pretty cool. During the day, the new solar panels on my roof generate electricity and sent it into the grid when it is most needed. At night, my car fills itself up with juice starting at midnight, when my local utility needs it least. And SCE pays me hefty interest for loaning them the electrons through Time of Use rates.

Every time I drive out of my garage, I feel like I have somehow beat the system because my car is powered by pure, fresh California sunshine and I have already purchased my automotive fuel for the rest of my life with a one-time investment.

When I park, especially at a charging station, ordinary people are fascinated and eager to learn about the newest generation of electric cars.

But then there are the HATERS.

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Why can a sixth grader lay out a message that's somehow more compelling than anything we hear from the talking heads on television.

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Absolutely, seniors should worry about health care reform.

But what they should worry about is what they are already seeing as Arnold the Governator has attempted major cuts to In Home Health Services and other Medi-Cal payments.

What many don't realize about Medi-Cal, or Medicaid, as it is known outside California, is that it is paying a large share of the medical costs for seniors. Medicare doesn't cover nursing home care beyond 100 days or drugs, so many seniors receive both Medicare, which was designed for the elderly, and Medicaid/Medical, which was targeted for the poor.

Double-dippers who get both cost the federal government 200 billion a year. In 2008, Medicaid paid 40 percent of total long term care expenditures, and 43 percent of nursing home expenditures.

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crossposted from Orange County Progressive

The poorest and weakest Californians continue to pay for the Governator's lies, reckless tax cuts and irresponsible borrowing. If you're homeless, disabled, or poor, you get a punch in the face. If you're a predatory lender or  multinational international, you get multi-billion dollar tax cuts.

One more part of Arnold's savagery became apparent as he vetoed the Department of Public Health’s Domestic Violence Program, which provided $20.4 million for 94 domestic violence shelters and centers.

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Country music has always been the way that America's working class relates to life's problems, whether it's a cheating heart, a lost job, drinking, fighting, guns, or freedom. And we're mostly working class now, even if we're not workin', since most of the money that didn't go up in smoke seems to have ended up in the hands of about 10,000 familes.

Now Merle Hazard answers bobswern and bonddad without the graphs and links that stupefy the rest of us.

If you have trouble understanding what's going on with our economy, if you wonder where your job went and whether you'll ever get another one, you need a little of this updated country music, which goes straight to the heart of the matter.

via Calculated Risk, Merle Hazard

Inflation or Deflation

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As economic diaries duel daily here at DailyKos, there seems to be an increasing disconnect between competing camps.

On one side are the Green Shoots crowd, who look at traditional economic recoveries and focus on Leading Economic Indicators to show that we're at an inflection point where economic growth may resume.

In contrast to them are many who feel that the news we're getting feels downright Orwellian.

In Orwell's classic Nineteen Eighty-Four, we met a Ministry of Peace fighting an endless war, a Ministry of Love in charge of torture and  a Ministry of Plenty tasked with rationing. Every claim of rising living standards made by MiniPlenty was false or exaggerated.

Orwellian propaganda comes easily to mind. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

In our era, the Oceanic government would add a slogan - Debt is Wealth.

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Watching the latest budget drama in California should be a wake up call for every American in understanding that our broken health care system is breaking the bank for our state governments. Without substantive health care reform, our states will face fiscal collapse. And reform must extend far beyond the funding mechanisms, but must also look very strongly at how we control costs, and how we deliver health care in far more efficient ways.

States share the cost of providing medical care under Medicaid and SCHIP, the very poor and the children of the working poor.

In California, the latest budget battles included a proposal to eliminate SCHIP in California and scale back Medicaid in several areas. Part of this battle has been cynical right wing politics, with attacks on Medicaid-funded In-Home health care workers who are represented by progressive unions. Schwarzenegger's barbaric proposals were not adopted, but the state did scale back SCHIP dramatically, with a budget that will deny coverage to hundreds of thousands of California children over the next two years. Medicaid recipients will lose some benefits, and a cynical attack on the home-health care workers and patients to reduce non-existent fraud  is designed to reduce spending in this area.

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Two diaries this morning confused borrowing from last year's prop 1A, the High Speed Rail initiative, with borrowing from the previous Prop 1A, which had to do with protecting local government revenue. (Yes, we're green here in the Golden State. We not only recycle our sewage into drinking water, we recycle our proposition numbers into confusion)

So what's going on with the California Budget?

We'll do this as questions and answers, so you'll have reliable information rather than some random tweets from #cabudget

So whazzup?

Well, in a nutshell, our revenues have plummetted, and the state legislature is again trying to pass a plan that gives the illusion of a balanced budget so somebody will lend us more money.

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DailyKos front paged the video of reactionary John Campbell defending the traitorous birther movement. Now Jon Stewart takes on the movement, including Lou Dobbs, who has gradually gone mad, and ending with Congressman Campbell's nonsense.

Let's remember that John Campbell is in CA-48, a district that Obama narrowly carried.

Currently running in that District is Irvine Councilwoman and former Mayor Beth Krom, one of the most courageous and principled progressives we could elect. Beth has won five elections in ten years, in the largest city in the district, despite a Republican registration advantage. I'm proud to call her my friend.

Beth's latest quarter fund-raising fell short as she mourned the tragic accidental death of her son Noah just as he was about to graduate from UC Santa Barbara.

Beth can beat this laughingstock with our help. Send her a little contribution, and make sure to add a penny so she can see it came from a Kossack.

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The bleeding mess of California's budget crisis begins with the state Constitution, last rewritten in 1879, and amended 512 times since then.

Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council wrote this op-ed, and inspired Repair California.

California's government suffers from drastic dysfunction - our prisons overflow, our water system teeters on collapse, our once proud schools are criminally poor, our financing system is bankrupt, our democracy produces ideologically extreme legislators who can pass neither budget nor reforms, and we have no recourse in the system to right these wrongs. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

It is our duty to declare that our California government is not only broken, it has become destructive to our future. Therefore, are we not obligated to nullify our government and institute a new one?

Saturday I attended one townhall meeting to discuss process.

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