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Just as states with progressive lawmakers and activists have themselves initiated innovative programs over a wide range of issues, state-based progressive blogs have helped provide us with a point of view, inside information and often an edgy voice that we just don't get from the traditional media. This week in progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite state- or city-based blog you think I should know about. Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At The Daily Kingfish of Louisiana, Lamar Parmental writes—Rob Maness is Crazy—And He’ll Be Mary Landrieu’s Chief Rival in ’14:

Daily Kingfish, state blogs
Perhaps it is time to drop the kabuki show: Bill Cassidy might not make it to 2014. A series of embarrassing articles continue to surface, including (GASP) this nugget:
In 1988, while living in California, Cassidy penned a letter to The State-Times, a now defunct afternoon newspaper in Baton Rouge. In the letter, Cassidy mocked anyone who would vote for George H.W. Bush for president and suggested Louisiana residents vote for Michael Dukakis. In a sarcastic tone, Cassidy “thanked” voters for supporting Bush because the Republican president would ultimately help California by increasing defense spending while Louisiana suffered economically during the oil bust because of falling prices. [...]
Let’s just put it out on the table. This is devastating for Cassidy. Let us look no further than Kentucky, or Texas, or Missouri, to notice one ripe truth about today’s modern GOP: the tea baggers at the grass roots are running the show. Whether it’s Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or Todd Akin, the ultra right-wing is propelling candidates past “establishment” choices.

Unfortunately for Doc Cassidy, he falls squarely in the latter camp.

Rob Maness, on the other hand, is making a play for the nutjob caucus, and he’s winning

At Blue Virginia, Dan Sullivan writes—Defending Against Republican Improvised Economic Devices:
For three years we have heard that Virginia is enjoying budget surpluses. All the while, a series of gimmicks have been employed that will unravel during the years to come; some immediate, some long term. Terry McAuliffe would be well advised to determine baselines that provide context for funding obligations.

Ken Cuccinelli was right when he claimed that taxes would increase during a McAuliffe administration; what he failed to point out was that they also had consistently increased during the current administration and would under his own. The difference will be that Governor McDonnell was allowed to borrow against the future and underfund capital requirements, in effect levying the tax on his successors and generations to come. Cuccinelli would have done much more of the same. Such maneuvers by the coming McAuliffe administration will not be met with the deafening silence afforded the current administration.

At Blue Jersey, deciminyan writes—Belgard Kicks Off Congressional Campaign at Historic Site:
What better place for a woman to announce she's running for Congress than on the steps of the Alice Paul Institute's Paulsdale House? The organization that promotes women's rights is an appropriate venue, given that none of New Jersey's 14 federal legislators are women.

Aimee Belgard is working to change that. As a Democratic candidate in a district that has been solidly Republican with the exception of a single term of John Adler, she's the right person for the job, regardless of gender. In her current position as a minority member of the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders, she has demonstrated that she can simultaneously reach across the aisle to get things done while holding the majority responsible for fiscal transparency—something that was lacking before Aimee and her fellow Democrat Joanne Schwartz were elected to the board last year.

You can find more progressive state bloggers below the fold.

At The Frying Pan of Los Angeles, Steven Mikulan writes—Walmart Civil Disobedience Planned for Today:

Apparently Walmart, the country’s largest—and, some say, stingiest—private employer thought its troubles at the new Chinatown grocery center were over once it opened for business in September. That, however, was corporate wishful thinking in serious need of a cleanup in aisle three. Today, November 7, the community coalition that opposed Walmart’s original entry into the historic neighborhood will be demonstrating against the mega-chain’s continued abuse of its low-paid employees. The event will culminate with the arrest of 100 men and women in front of the store.

Their immediate goal is to draw attention to Walmart’s strategy of maximizing profits by scheduling its workers for the minimum number of hours possible and by encouraging them to apply for food stamps and other tax-funded programs to supplement their meager paychecks. (Not to mention firing dissident workers.) But organizers also hope to build momentum for nationwide protests against Walmart scheduled to take place in three weeks.

As many shoppers know by now from personal experience in the consumer mosh pit known as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is the retail industry’s busiest day of its biggest sales season. Last year hundreds of protesters, many of them Walmart workers, were arrested after taking part in acts of civil disobedience. This year the heat will be turned up again on Walmart during Black Friday.

At Blue Oklahoma, DocHoc writes—USGS Says Earthquake Swarm Could Be Tied To Oil, Gas Production Methods:
Blue Oklahoma, state blogs
The U.S. Geological Survey has determined that the large rise in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma in recent years might be partly attributed to the wastewater disposal methods used in oil and gas drilling techniques.

In a statement released recently, the USGS noted there were one to three earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or more from 1975 to 2008. Since that time, the state has averaged 40 earthquakes of 3.0 magnitudes or more on an annual basis, according to the USGS, which has labeled the increase a "swarm."

This information has important implications for Oklahomans in terms of personal safety and building codes. Is it only a matter of time before a major earthquake hits Oklahoma and does major damage?  

At Blue NC of North Carolina, BlueNC writes—Tata's DOT sends out alert on "women drivers" and "Obamacare":
BlueNC logo
The McCrory administration's inept hiring practices continue:

"Women drivers, rain and Obama care" were causing problems on the beltline Wednesday afternoon, according to a traffic alert from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. "Stay home," the alert advised.

"The individual violated procedures by failing to turn off the external feed while testing and for the inappropriate test message content. The contractor was let go immediately for this action," DOT officials said in a statement.
It was a stupid mistake, but what's even more stupid is the idea of making emergency messages like this automated in the first place. Road conditions change continually, and an incorrect message can cause more problems (and danger) than no message at all. A labor-saving system isn't "efficient" if it can't do the job properly.
At Cottonmouth of Mississippi, Ryan Brown writes—McDaniel Receives Another Tea Party Endorsement:
State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville) has received the endorsement of the Tea Party Express!

Several prominent mouth-breathing experts were on hand to celebrate this accomplishment. If you recall, the individual to McDaniel's left once noted the country might have been better off if it was still just men voting.

Congratulations, Senator!

At The Prairie Blog of North Dakota, Jim Fuglie writes—Journalism 101:
state blogs
A friend of mine once described me as a “lapsed journalist.” I corrected him and said I was a “recovering journalist.” In either case, the title gives me the credentials to tell you a story about the sorry state of journalism in North Dakota.

Last Sunday, the Forum Communications Company’s North Dakota papers ran a story written by a young reporter that was generated by a blog post I wrote a couple weeks ago. (My blog, coincidentally, is hosted by Forum Communications, and shows up on the Area Voices sections of the websites of their newspapers, four of which—The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, The Grand Forks Herald, The Jamestown Sun and The Dickinson Press—are in North Dakota. It’s on their websites for now, at least. That may change after I finish writing this. I hope not, though.) In the blog post, I was pretty critical of Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. The issue was the list of “Special Places” the North Dakota Industrial Commission is compiling, places which may or may not get special consideration when the Commission issues oil and gas drilling permits. You can read the story here if you want to.

The story was a summary of a long interview the reporter did with the Attorney General. Wayne defended what he had been doing that I was critical of, refuted a few things I said, but generally was kinder to me than I had been to him. That’s his style, and it’s why I still kind of like him. The reporter, however, was not so kind. He summarized what my blog had said in two sentences and then wrote “Fuglie did not return a phone message left at his home Thursday.”

As I said, the story ran on Sunday. Three days after he said he left me a message. Except that he didn’t leave me a message. Because I don’t have a phone at my home.

At KnoxViews of Tennessee, R. Neal writes—Tennessee textbook selection:
KnoxViews logo
In case you missed it, the legislation enabling Tennessee's school textbook selection committee is up for sunset review, meaning the panel could get a makeover or even be eliminated. [...]

The usual suspects also bring the usual right-wing hair-on-fire rhetoric. Chief among them is Stacey Campfield, who thinks parents should get to vote on what goes in textbooks or something.

This would presumably lead to the Fox and Friends idiocracy correcting school textbooks to include well known facts such as the Earth is only 6,000 years old, the Civil War was fought over liberty and freedom from government oppression, the holocaust never happened, the Apollo moon landings were faked, Ronald Reagan was the first president, Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, and anthropogenic climate change is a hoax.

At Plunderbund of Ohio, Sue Dunham writes—Medicaid lawsuit all about making money for Cincinnati Right to Life:
Plunderbund blog logo
The lawsuit to block Medicaid expansion is being advanced by a motley crew of state legislators, as well as Cincinnati Right to Life (CRTL). Why would CRTL be opposed to expanding health insurance, which will unarguably save lives?  Even when Ohio Right to Life (ORTL) has endorsed the expansion?

CRTL’s explanation is that Medicaid can be used to get primary care services from people who are also abortion providers. Therefore, Medicaid abets abortion providers and should be opposed.

Take note: in addition to opposing birth control and sex education, the anti-choice movement is also opposed to health insurance. It won’t [...]

At Eclectablog, Amy Lynn Smith writes—Michigan House passes GOP’s partisan, power-grabbing bill to move Court of Claims:
Eclectablog logo
The Michigan GOP succeeds in rigging the court system to make sure Republican judges hear the cases they want to win.

It’s a disgrace, a mockery of democracy and Michigan’s justice system—and a legislative maneuver that puts even more power in the hands of Republicans.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Republican-led Michigan House voted 57-52 to pass Senate Bill 652, moving the Court of Claims to the Court of Appeals. I wrote about the details of this egregious power-grab earlier today.

And, of course, House Republicans gave the bill immediate effect, something the Michigan GOP is apparently unwilling to do for any bills other than those that suit their partisan agenda.…

At Blog for Democracy of Georgia, Catherine writes—And… Jason Carter jumps into the Governor’s Race!:
Go Jason Go!

News sources, Facebook, and email are abuzz this morning with the exclusive AJC announcement that State Senator Jason Carter has thrown his hat into the 2014 Georgia Governor’s race.  Rumors abound, the most significant being that Former State Senator and current Governor candidate, Connie Stokes, will switch her efforts to a campaign for Lieutenant Governor.  We’ll update if that announcement comes.

43 years ago, in 1970, Jason’s grandfather, Jimmy Carter, was elected Governor of Georgia.  His gubernatorial service is often credited to his presidential win  in 1976.  Jason Carter is quick to say that his campaign for Governor is about Georgia’s future, not about his family. [...]

It should be interesting to see if the campaigns of Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter play up the their pedigree during the campaigns. Imagine a photo op with the Carters and Nunns. Father, grandfather, daughter, grandson.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't know much about Jason Carter but I am (11+ / 0-)

    thinking he may have a shot at the the govenor's chair.  Can't wait to donate once I get some info on him.  Thanks.

  •  Speaking of Mary Landrieu, she might as well be (3+ / 0-)

    crazy, because I'd like to get rid of her and Manchin as much as I'd like to get rid of a Rob Maness.

    They do they give us symbols of something we don't want.  They're the kind of "Democrat" most Kossacks might agree we need to shitcan.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 08:12:05 AM PST

    •  I'd rather have them than Maness (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inland Jim, Aunt Pat

      And to be frank, after the Dems either a) blow up the filibuster or b) hold the Senate and elect a bunch of Dems in 2016, it's pretty moot anyway.  The Dems have a large enough majority today to have majority without these few Conservadems provided they dump the filibuster.  If they don't, well the GOP holds the House anyway so it's not like anything will get done between now and the end of 2014.  In 2014 elections hopefully the Dems will hold the Senate and pick up a bunch of seats in 2016.  If they do that then they'll have a filibuster proof majority in 2017 and hopefully the House.  At that point Manchin and Landrieu and any other Conservadem won't really matter so long as they don't vote against the Dem leadership.  It's not like they're the Lieberman/Ben Nelson type of Conservadem assholes so I'm not too worried about that happening anyway and frankly I'd rather have 5-10 Conservadems than 45 tea bagging nut sacks on the right.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 09:42:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Surprised These Guys Aren't Torching Hospitals (4+ / 0-)

    If that's what it takes to keep people from getting medical care.

    There's a definite Khmer Rouge style about these goobers.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 08:12:45 AM PST

  •  I have such mixed feelings about Wal-Mart. (4+ / 0-)

    Working with people on the edge always reminds me what vital services Wal-mart provides (cash handling, low grocery prices, credit services, etc.)  But I can't get around how exploitative they are about it.

    God give us a Good Wal-Mart. The banks have failed, the grocery chains have failed, social services have failed.  And Walmart sucks up the last juices of life.

    God, give us a Good Wal-Mart.  

    "Where some see a system for encouraging discussion . . . others see an echo chamber of bad grammar, unchecked stupidity, and constructive interference . . . " -- Ars Technica

    by Rikon Snow on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 08:15:07 AM PST

  •'s a link to a great blog by a writer for (5+ / 0-)

    the Charleston (WV) Gazette, called The Coal Tattoo.  It focuses on issues surrounding the coal industry and mountaintop removal, but the writer does a fine job of shining a light upon WV politics as well.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 08:17:41 AM PST

  •  Thanks for these (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier, Eric Nelson, Aunt Pat

    From KnoxViews:

    This would presumably lead to the Fox and Friends idiocracy correcting school textbooks to include well known facts such as the Earth is only 6,000 years old, the Civil War was fought over liberty and freedom from government oppression, the holocaust never happened, the Apollo moon landings were faked, Ronald Reagan was the first president, Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, and anthropogenic climate change is a hoax.
    I think I have my marching orders for 2014, at least for the first six months and at least after nothing happens at Sochi (which I'm hoping is what will happen on the LGBT front).

    There are at least two books on this that you should know about, and I'm planning a couple of reviews for mid-January.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 08:29:55 AM PST

  •  Cincinnati Right To Life is a nasty bunch (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Inland Jim, Aunt Pat, Ahianne

    For years they've even fought the breast cancer advocacy community trying to get Medicaid coverage and assistance for low income breast & cervical cancer patients.

    Why? They never gave a good explanation, but its about their unscientific belief that abortion causes breast cancer.

    Maybe its time to ramp up a campaign against their effort.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 09:27:27 AM PST

  •  Pun with a sharp point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Aunt Pat

    "State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville) has received the endorsement of the Tea Party Express!
    Several prominent mouth-breathing experts were on hand to celebrate this accomplishment. If you recall, the individual to McDaniel's left once noted the country might have been better off if it was still just men voting."

    I think the guy's right--the problem is that there are too many unjust men voting!

  •  "Women drivers, rain and Obama care" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland Jim, Aunt Pat, Larsstephens

    ..coming from McCrory reported by Blue in NC (though it's a toss-up what's more stupid - automated emergency messages - for an unknowable situation -  or the message itself) or this from RWNJ Rob Maness, the teabagger Mary Landrieu may face.

    With a new crop teaparty wackos replacing the Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Chistine O'Donnell, Sharon Angles etc. Dems have a chance to leave all the responding to these nut jobs to the republican establishment. (Like Lindsey Graham or Mitch McConnell)

    Iow's put out a platform based on issues having nothing to do with the false naratives coming from teabagger think tanks (Heritage, Cato. ALEC). Do not engage the right. Ignore.

    I was hearing a debate recently talking about republican establishment -> Lindsey Grahams' new legislative ideas, in an attempt to fend off a teabag primary. A 20 week restriction on abortions based on fake science. Let Lindsey have it all to himself. The mistake was that the Dems were calling out the junk science. Engaging in the conversation. Taking the allegations seriously enough to talk about it.

    My advice, and what these teabaggers expose is the perfect opportunity to Laugh them off.

    When republicans are making shit up, Dems should respond:

     "Ask the other republican contender. It's their myth that they are fighting about"

    Manchin Landrieu and other Dems are free to just briefly point out these idiotic memes and immediately move on. Issues like power grabs in Michigan or the latest that I'll bet (hope ) we hear more of is what's happening in at the municipal level: Pasadena Texas; called At-Large-district Plans. Eliminating Dems/Hispanics districts

    Texas Suburb Takes Up Elections Change Likely To Undercut Minority Candidates - By Marina Fang, Guest Blogger on August 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Pasadena, Texas Mayor Johnny Isbell’s proposal would change two of the town’s single-member districts into at-large districts. While voters in single-member districts simply vote for a candidate to directly represent their district, at-large districts involve voters electing multiple candidates to represent a much larger district. This prevents strong minority coalitions from forming and rallying around a minority candidate. A similar measure in Farmers Branch, Texas, was invalidated as a violation of the VRA earlier this month.
    Justice Ruth Bader Ginberg nailed this in her dissent of the gutting of the VRA; "History repeats itself":
    Ginsburg also noted that in the lawsuit known as Dillard v. Crenshaw County, the "litigation ultimately expanded to include 183 cities, counties, and school boards employing discriminatory at-large election systems."

    "One of those defendants was Shelby County, which eventually signed a consent decree to resolve the claims against it," she wrote.

    Dems in challenging states/races have a really good  opportunity to bring up a whole lot of issues completely independant of the MSM narratives it they want to - imo

    Like: republicans governors/legislatures forcing taxpayers to pay extra for refusing Medicaid expansion and holding up expansion of health care exchanges etc.

    Yeah some good old fashioned disobedience our Dem lawmakers could learn from the people they are paid to represent.

    Thx MB for this weeks round-up

    P.S. I know this is like a broken record and way too long winded, but I'm hoping to see Dems: refusing to accept the so called arguments/ fake challege narratives from the right as the manipulation that they are.


    •  Yes, we need to stop talking in Republican frames (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      especially "cutting spending" rather than "cutting investments in our future". Repurposing and subverting their language and other memes is not that hard.

      • Obamacare = "Obama cares"
      • Pro-Life = pro-children (ACA, WIC, SNAP, pre-school, etc.)
      • Protecting marriage = From them
      • Gun rights = the right not to be shot
      • One dollar, one vote ('nuff said)
      • Jobs = good union jobs, not jobs for Right wing politicians and other demagogues

      I have heard various people on our side use each of these points, but we don't get together and use all of them at the same time, the way Frank Luntz taught Republicans to do his focus-group-tested Orwellian Newspeak vocabulary.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 03:08:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Always nice to read about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, Be Skeptical

    what's going on in the states.  We need to learn from history and never take our attention from state and localities to focus exclusively on national affairs.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 01:50:55 PM PST

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