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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 be watching. Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At Eclectablog, LOLGOP writes—REMINDER: Tea Partiers still want a default that will destroy the global economy:

In the midst of the worst of the Great Recession, before Barack Obama was even sworn in, Eric Cantor was the leader of the movement to do nothing to help the new president fix the disasters he inherited.

During the debt limit crisis of 2011, the author of The New New Deal Mike Grunwald points out, Cantor’s job was to “babysit” John Boehner to keep the Speaker from striking a deal as the world’s markets tumbled.

But that wasn’t extreme enough for this Republican Party.

On Tuesday, Cantor was defeated by Dave Brat, an economics professor who idolizes Ayn Rand. On Wednesday, he revealed that he isn’t sure if there should be any minimum wage. But one thing he’s perfectly clear on is that he will never vote to raise the debt limit.

Brat also attacked the Majority Leader for supporting immigration reform, which Cantor didn’t, and attacked him as a tool of Wall Street. While he was fully invested in economic sabotage, it’s true that Cantor’s double dealing often veered far from true conservatism.

As unnerving it is to see a fellow Jew and the only Jewish Republican in Congress attacked for his ties to “bankers,” Democrats should be reminded that Cantor primarily lost because he’s an unlikable guy who ran a terrible campaign. Still, this loss does show that the GOP base is not done demanding that its leaders do anything possible to destroy Obama’s presidency.

At CenLamar of Louisiana, Lamar White, Jr. writes—The Single Question That Could Destroy Bobby Jindal’s Political Future:
state blogs, CenLamar
Last Friday, against the vehement and public urging of his own Attorney General and nearly one hundred of the nation’s most respected legal experts, Governor Bobby Jindal signed Senate Bill 469 into law. Quoting his press release (bold mine):

Governor Jindal said, “This bill will help stop frivolous lawsuits and create a more fair and predictable legal environment, and I am proud to sign it into law. It further improves Louisiana’s legal environment by reducing unnecessary claims that burden businesses so that we can bring even more jobs to our state. The bill will also send future recovered dollars from CZMA litigation to coastal projects, allowing us to ensure Louisiana coastal lands are preserved and that our communities are protected.”
If you’re wondering who, exactly, the law benefits, all you need to do is keep reading Jindal’s press release, which contains this amazing confession. Quoting (again, bold and italics mine):

LOGA President Don Briggs said, “The signing of SB 469 is a huge victory for the oil and gas industry as well as the economy for the state of Louisiana. We commend Governor Jindal for his leadership and support of this bill as it made its way through the process….”
As I mentioned in a previous post, SB 469 was, ostensibly, about stopping a controversial, landmark lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) against 97 oil and gas companies for their role in illegally damaging and depredating the state’s coastal environment and ecosystem. But as we now know, the law is about much more than merely ending a single lawsuit by a single governmental authority.
Below the orange gerrymander you'll find more excerpts from progressive state bloggers.

At Miscellany Blue of New Hampshire, William Tucker writes—Alleged Las Vegas cop killers watched Free Stater video, ‘When should you shoot a cop?’

Miscellany Blue
Alleged Las Vegas cop killers Amanda and Jerad Miller were fans of the provocative writings and videos of Free Stater Larken Rose who asks (and answers), “When should you shoot a cop?”

"If you have the unalienable right to speak your mind (a la the First Amendment), then you have the right to KILL ‘government’ agents who try to shut you up," Rose wrote in an essay that was made into a video by “If you have the unalienable right to be armed, then you have the right to KILL “government” agents who try to disarm you.”

On her YouTube page, where Miller posted videos she and her husband Jerad Miller made during their three days at the Bundy ranch, Amanda Miller liked “When should you shoot a cop?” and Larken’s follow-up video, “Shooting Cops.” On Facebook, Jerad Miller posted a link to Rose’s “When is it OK to shoot a cop?” and answer, “At his point, always.”

In September 2013, when Miscellany Blue first reported on Larken’s videos, the Free State Project board of trustees was in the process of reviewing his membership status to determine if he had violated the group’s rules that prohibit members from promoting violence.

Though the board had recently expelled writer Christopher Cantwell over a similar complaint, it apparently took no action against Rose, who is planning to attend the group’s Porcfest festival later this month.

Cantwell, who is now officially a former Free Stater, reacted to the Las Vegas shootings by writing, “The good news is, two cops are dead. The bad news is, the two shooters, and what appears to be an innocent bystander are dead too.”

At Blue Jersey, Stephen Danley writes—Giving Chris Christie Credit for Camden Requires a Selective Memory:
Blue Jersey, a state blog logo
Over the past week, Gov. Christie has been in Camden twice, once to tout the new police force as a policy model, and once in support of education changes. In doing so, there has been a lot of numbers thrown around regarding the new police force, some optimistic, and indicate the force is downgrading arrests. But none of these pieces has pointed out the obvious; Camden faced a violent crime epidemic in part because of layoffs caused by municipal cuts by Gov. Christie. The Governor is now taking credit for numbers normalizing back to the historical rates that existed before his catastrophic cuts.

Back in 2010, Gov. Chris Christie made across the board cuts for municipal aid. For Camden, which depends on the state for the vast majority of its budget, these cuts were a "fiscal calamity" that endangered the city's ability to provide basic services. The results were predictable; Camden lost 168 police officers, saw arrests drop, and crime spiral out of control.
If we are to judge the Metro Police, should it be against the skeleton of a force that remained after Christie's cuts? Or against the historical performance in Camden of a fully staffed police force?

If we do the latter, the numbers just don't look as good.

At Virginia Blue, Andy Schmookler writes—Lest We Forget What White Racism Looked Like When it was Unapologetic:
Blue Virginia
People on the right take umbrage these days whenever anyone talks about racism. But of course, in these unfortunate times, they take umbrage at the mention of most aspects of reality.

So a propos of racism, I thought it might be useful to look at this little bit of history, from a bit more than a century ago, depicted by Doris Kearns Goodwin in her excellent book -- The Bully Pulpit -- about Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the progressive journalists who helped make that an era of political progress. Here's a quote from page 321:

"[S]outhern Republicans had never forgiven [President Theodore Roosevelt for the unprecedented dinner invitation extended the previous fall to the black educator Booker T. Washington. At the time, the vehement reaction in the South had stunned and saddened Roosevelt. Newspaper editorials throughout the region decried the president's attempt to make a black man the social equal of a white man by sharing the same dinner table. 'Social equality with the Negro means decadence and damnation,' announced one southern official. 'The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand niggers in the South before they will learn their place,' declared South Carolina's [U.S. Senator] Ben Tillman."
(Whatever else Senator Tillman's statement meant, it certainly signals as clearly as could be that terror was the instrument of choice in the South to maintain the regime of racial tyranny and oppression.)

I've written before about "the persistence of culture." (That's the idea that the patterns embedded in a culture tend to continue—to succeed in transmitting themselves -- over long periods of time.)

Do you suppose that response to a president's having invited a black man to dine in the White House in 1901 has anything to do with how some Americans have responded, since 2009, to the black man that's now actually the President of the United States?

At bluenc of North Carolina, writes—Skvarla sweeps Dems off board, replaces with Republicans: [That's John Skvarla, head of the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.]
But it had nothing to do with politics, of course:

But Ross has her own suspicions. The booted members were all registered Democrats, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections. Of the new members who are registered voters, all are Republican. “I can’t speak for DENR,” Ross said. “What I do know is that I’m a registered Republican, and I have to say I suspect that was the reason I was kept on the board.”

But the Pigeon River Fund isn’t a political board. Its members are tasked with reviewing grant applications, visiting sites and deciding which projects to fund. The members tend to be united by their knowledge of or interest in water quality, not by their politics. “Politics never came in, I can tell you that,” Melville said. “The recommendations [for board appointees] came in from people that had an interest in the water quality.”

We'll see about that. Local or county GOP party officials have never been adept at hiding their motives, because the only way they stay in power is if everybody knows how influential they are. Film at eleven.
At Blogging While Blue of Georgia, bloggingwhileblue writes—Another School Shooting—We Have to Do Something!
Blogging White Blue state blog
Here in Georgia, we are aware of the sweeping “Guns Everywhere Law” which extended where licensed gun owners could carry their weapons and extends the “Stand your ground” law. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal after signing the legislation said, “This law gives added protections to those who have played by the rules – and who can protect themselves and others from those who don’t play by the rules.”

Richard Martinez, whose only son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez was among six college students killed in the Santa Barbara shootings last month said, “They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live?” When offered condolences by politicians and others he says, “I tell them, ‘Look, I don’t need your sympathy. What I need is for you to do something.’”

 Mr. Martinez’s message rings true, we have to do something. We have to continue to fight for common-sense laws that protect us all especially our children and find a sensible balance between the right to bear arms and public safety.

At Dirigo Blue of Maine, Gerald Weinand writes—Senate Candidate Shenna Bellows up with her first TV ad:
Shenna Bellows, the Democratic Party nominee for one of Maine’s US Senate seats, has posted her first television ad online. Shenna, former head of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, is challenging incumbent Sen. Susan Collins, who is seeking her fo[u]rth term.

The ad gives a stylistic nod to Paul Wellstone’s famous “Fast Paul” ad and offers a very personal introduction to Bellows, her family and her roots.

For more on Shenna’s campaign see Bellows for Senate.

At Blue Oregon, Kari Chisholm writes—What Monica Wehby could learn from Dr. Seuss about voting in Oregon:
Monica Wehby, the Republican Party's candidate for U.S. Senate in Oregon, is apparently too busy to bother with democracy.

When the Willamette Week reported Wehby hasn't voted in the majority of elections, her spokesperson said this:

“Wehby has an extremely demanding schedule that often can change in a second... yet, she still voted in the majority of general elections in which she was eligible.” [Note the weasel word: 'general' elections, though huge issues appear on non-general election ballots, including Wehby's own nomination.]
Blue Oregon
Unfortunately for Wehby, she lives in Oregon, where you have a good three weeks to vote, and you can vote at your leisure in about five minutes if you've been paying attention to the issues and candidates.

Oregon isn't one of those states where you have to go to a polling place, and sometimes wait in line for hours in awful weather, to vote. Oregon isn't one of those places like Afghanistan where you have to risk your life to vote.

You can vote in your bathroom. Over coffee. With friends over martinis. At work. From overseas. Dr. Seuss might explain: You can vote in your house, with a mouse, in a box, with a fox, on a train, in the dark, with a goat, in a boat...

I'd guess Oregon is one of the easiest places in the world to vote.

But for Wehby - apparently she can't be bothered to find five minutes in three weeks to participate in one of the most basic responsibilities of democracy.

At Blue Mass Group, david writes—"Support for casino gambling has taken a huge dive in just a short time":
Blue Mass Group
So says the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld, writing about a Suffolk University/Herald poll that was just released, and that shows a startling reversal of public opinion on casino gambling. Previously, as far as I know, every time the issue has been polled, public support for casino gambling in Massachusetts has been in positive territory. Not this time.

In a serious blow to expanded gambling in Massachusetts, a new Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll shows support for Las Vegas-style casinos has dramatically slipped in just the past few months.

The Suffolk/Herald poll conducted last week shows Bay State voters oppose casinos by a 47-37 percent margin, a near reversal of sentiment. In February, a Suffolk/Herald poll had voters approving of casinos by a 51-37 margin….

When asked “whether it makes sense” to open a casino in Revere or Everett, a resounding 55 percent of voters chose “neither.” Just 18 percent picked Revere as the best location, while just 5 percent chose Everett.

David Paleologos, the director of Suffolk University Political Research Center, said the results show support for casino gambling has taken a huge dive in just a short time.

In other words, the “approve of casinos” numbers declined by 14 points, and the “disapprove” numbers increased by 10 points, over the course of a few months.  That is a remarkable turnaround.  Hard to say what’s behind it, and Suffolk does not appear to have posted the whole poll on its website yet.  Still, it suggests that, if the SJC allows the “repeal the casino deal” question on the ballot, there will be a big fight over it.
At Blue in the Blue Grass of Kentucky, Yellow Dog writes—Jingoism Jumps the Shark:
Blue in the Bluegrass
I make a point of ignoring Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods, as Charlie Pierce calls her, but this quote via Ed Kilgore at Political Animal just so perfectly illustrates the fundamental ignorance and stupidity of blind jingoism I have to post it: And in know-nothing news, Sarah Palin attacks Bowe Bergdahl for allegedly learning native languages while in captivity, instead of “speaking KickAss against those who would destroy the red, white, and blue.”
At Nevada Progressive, atdnext writes—Real. Life. Tragedy:
In the last few days, we've been hearing plenty of moving stories... Of certain political careers ending while others are just beginning. Who's in? Who's out? Who's up? Who's down?

Yet while certain politicians and pundits are obsessing over some supposed political tragedy, millions of American families are living our real life tragedies.

Rep. Steven Horsford (D-North Las Vegas) seems to understand this. While the usual suspects on Capitol Hill are debating how much more gridlock they want to inflict on the nation, Rep. Horsford wants to remind them of the real life consequences of all the inaction they've already taken.

For about 5.5 months, federal unemployment insurance has lapsed for just over 3 million Americans (including about 37,000 Nevadans). As the former number grows, so does the latter. And the longer this drags on, the more economic pain we'll all feel.

Over 3 million Americans are now enduring immense unnecessary hardship because the usual G-O-TEA suspects refuse to #RenewUI. Even Senator Dean Heller (R) and a few other Congressional Republicans have asked their colleagues to allow some justice for the over 3 million Americans who are falling into poverty simply because the usual G-O-TEA suspects in Congress don't want to play nice with others.

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