I'm not sure people fully understand: this shutdown will last for months.
The ones in 1995/1996 added up to 28 days. This one will last far longer.
Start contacting your Congressman now telling them that you do not support this. If it's a Republican tell them you'll not only not vote for them in the general election - you'll participate in the Republican primary and support any moderate challenger. And maybe that's a lie if you can't participate, but lie away.
If you have a Democratic Congressman, tell them to stand firm. Tell them that a lot because the pressure will grow over the next several months.
I suspect the answer is no, but is it not possible for Democrats to reach out to a group of moderate Republican House members to vote for a moderate Republican speaker?
I'd rather have Speaker Pelosi, but could we reshape the next two years with a less obstinate House?
This awful story about restricting voting on a partisan basis shows that Republicans do not believe their own propaganda.
According to the GOP, many Democratic votes come from the unemployed who want more money from the government. There's also a belief in the GOP that clueless college students who don't know enough about life vote for Democrats. Yet the policies in Ohio clearly discriminate against 9-5 working folks. In fact, these policies obviously favour the unemployed and college students. They're the people with free time between 9 and 5 when the polls are open.
Over the weekend I saw - like much of the online world - the events at UC Davis on Friday and on Saturday. I was horrified and angered at the assault on the students on Friday and was impressed by their non-violent yet firm response. Likewise I was in awe with their response on Saturday. However the shaming on Saturday was preceded by several hours of curious non-response by the Chancellor.
It amazed me that she stayed put in that building for so long. The crowd only grew while she stayed. And there was clearly only one way for her to leave and maintain any level of authority and respect - through the front door. So why the delay? Was it really fear?
Based on this interview done on Sunday, it appears it actually was: http://www.youtube.com/...
The administration's fear and the the students' hope - they both appeared in abundance the past three days.
Osama bin Laden is dead, Bradley Manning is in jail and Dick Cheney is a free man. Such is the state of American justice today. One criminal is killed, one possible whistleblower is locked up in terrible conditions and one criminal is allowed to roam free.
It appears that my choice in the coming election is a choice between zero out of three or one out of three.
With the rallies in Madison, WI going on the right-wing noise machine is generating zombie lies at an incredible clip. I know it's silly, but I thought I'd try to combat some of those lies. I thought I'd start with the following comment from a conservative I know:
Michael Moore wondered what would happen if an American Muslim in Detroit used the imagery that Sarah Palin did with her targets on America.
It's a good question. But I wonder about a different poster.
What people would think if this poster was found in some cave bin Laden had been in Afghanistan right after we invaded? Would they view it as proof of Osama bin Laden's guilt? Would it make people more angry when they saw it? Would they think the rifle scopes were surveyor's marks?
I suspect not.
For quite some time we've been calling the Republicans the Party Of No. For everything, that's their answer. No. At every turn, they say "no."
But "no" is just a symptom. We shouldn't name the symptom, we should name the actual disease. The Republicans say "no" all the time because they're the Party Of Can't. The Party Of Unable. The Party Of Not Ready.
Can't. Not Ready. Unable.
They're Not Ready for the finance debate. They Can't do climate legislation and immigration reform. They were Unable to read the HCR bill.
That's what they want to fight an election on. Forget "no." Anyone can vote for "no." We should call them out not for what they say but what they can do. See who wants to vote for a party that Can't do too many things at once, is Not Ready to address our problems, is Unable to do their job.
Can't. Not Ready. Unable.
We depend on five unelected and pragmatically unimpeachable people for too many of our rights. The right to privacy, the right to citizenship by birth, the right to having a say in your medical care if you're a woman... All of these rights could disappear tomorrow if the whim struck five or more Justices.
That's a problem.
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The news on primaries has been pretty exciting this week. The new candidates, the policy debates, the fundraising - all interesting and exciting to see. And every primary contest is different so as the weeks go on the news will get more exciting!
But in the end there is one thing every progressive candidate primary victory has in common. One thread that connects all our victories and separates them from our defeats. A thing so simple that it can be summed up in three words:
The most votes.
As exciting as growing campaign war chests, new TV commercials and snappy responses to corporatist attacks are, the tedium of voter registration must be done and must be done now. Particularly for one group of voters: overseas voters. If you live overseas, now is the time to get your ass registered.
In the end, all that matters is your vote.
I just watched this on CNN.com. One of the questions was, "Is the NAACP necessary anymore now that Barack Obama is in the White House?"
Why is that being asked? The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 just 6 months before the 19th amendment was passed. It was founded by the leaders of NAWSA that had fought for Women's suffrage and could trace its convoluted roots back to 1850 and beyond. The LWV was tasked with educating this vast group of new voters and it did. But by the 1930s educating women voters and gaining equal voting rights for women was a done deal.
It's 2010 now. No one asks why LWV is still around, but they do ask why the NAACP is around. And I highly doubt anyone would ask that of the leaders of NOW or LWV if Hillary Clinton was president. I have my theories, but I'd be interested to hear others.
I too have problems with President Obama's leadership regarding HCR. To be honest I had issues with him on leadership since I first saw him as a candidate. He's a reach out and hug the opposition kind of guy which seriously misreads the current political environment - the opposition currently spends its share of hug-time feeling for soft spots to shove in knives.
But this is an open letter to you, not the President. He's not the only one with issues.
The President, as you may recall, belongs to a different branch of government. He is no longer a member of the Senate. And since you're a busy man, I'll make the point to you very directly.
The Senate is broken. Fix it. Then, and only then, lecture other branches of government on how they should function.
I would have supported your presidential candidacy, but you stayed in the Senate. Do your job, fix your own house, lecture other houses later.