Lots of volunteer opportunities this weekend and beyond:
Leave others in the comment thread.
I’m a blogger at HASeattle, and we were wondering what your thoughts were on Rush Limbaugh. Would you call him a leader of the Republican party?
If they want to stand up to the heroin addict who runs their party, I’ll post a response. I sent it to the addresses listed on the campaign websites, so I don’t know how staffed up they are at this point and they have no reason to respond, so we’ll see.
…Afternoon update, the email I sent Reichert’s campaign bounced back. Does anybody have a good email address for his campaign? I don’t want this to go to the Congressional staff. No word from the Eastern Washington Reps.
With Obama pledging a massive infrastructure investment, I think we can all identify the main car related stimulus projects. I would still hope that some other things are in the discussion. While most of the examples below could apply to the rest of the state and much of the country, this a few suggestions for Seattle and suburbs. Of course, people with more knowledge of Spokane and the Tri-Cities can chime in if they want.
– Sidewalks: As people who’ve been reading me here and elsewhere for a while know, this is a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine. Specifically, Seattle North of 85th needs sidewalks, and many downtown sidewalks are in need of repair.
– Bus Pay Stations: I’d like to be able to pay for the bus before it gets there, and then either have a token or a card or whatever and just use that instead of trying to put that bill in the feeder and fish out the right change from my wallet while people are lining up behind me. This would speed up bus service and make the bus easier for casual users.
– Other Bus Improvements: Metro buses already have GPS systems installed, and it’s neat to be able to see where the buses are. And if your phone is more advanced than mine, it’s even better. Still, it would be nice to put the technology to more use: We could have more bus stops tell you when the next buses are coming. It would also be good for passengers (again casual ones especially) to be able to have an on-bus display of where they are and what the next stop is. These are probably too expensive for Metro right now, but I don’t see why couldn’t be included in a stimulus package.
– Ferries. We need to replace our fleet, and frankly I don’t see how we get the money to do that in a post I-695 world. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get some new boats in the water.
With a new Congress and soon a new President, the government stands to move pretty far to the left. Still, I imagine for many of Jim McDermott’s constituents it won’t be far enough. Personally, I’d like to see him push an agenda that most likely won’t come to pass, but that is worth pursuing for the long run. Here are some of my suggestions:
– A 50/50 scheme for spending the gas tax. Right now the formula is 80% for road projects, and 20% for public transportation. While the formula will be better for straphangers under the Obama administration than it has been under Bush, the more urban legislators push for, the more riders will likely get.
– Criminal justice reform. While this is mostly a state level issue, the Federal government can do a lot to get out of the way. Lee frequently writes about the federal government getting out of the way of states that want to pursue drug reform. A bill saying the feds won’t interfere if a state goes down the path of legalization is as good a place as any to start. But a conversation at the federal level about moving away from punishment and toward rehabilitation could – even in defeat – help start a conversation in the states.
– Significant reduction of the military. With the war in Iraq coming to an end there will probably be some restructuring of the military any way. I’d suggest Jim try to halve the military budget: not because it’s a brilliant number, or appropriate, but because I’d rather be haggling over the size of the reduction than if we’re reducing the military budget.
Those are it for me, but feel free to leave anything else you think is worth trying at the Federal level even if it’s probably not going to pass.
*For what it’s worth, the idea for this post came from a conversation with Nick, whose new blog is worth checking out, a few weeks ago.
The only political picture I have in my apartment is one of the statue of William Seward in Volunteer Park. Between building the West, and of course his forceful anti-slavery campaign, the man helped shape America, mostly for the good. While the specific cause is, obviously over, there is still much to learn about committing to action from a man who said, “Slavery must be abolished, and we must do it.”
The man is one of my heroes, yet I refer to him as, the original neocon. Early in the Civil War, when there was still a possibility that Maryland and Missouri might leave the Union, a couple confederate diplomats were captured on a British mail packet. The particulars aren’t important except that Seward wanted to use this as a pretext to go to war with Britain, and oh by the way, if you want to have someone in the cabinet run these wars I’ll totally do it.
President Lincoln shot him down saying, “one war at a time, Mr. Seward.” This wasn’t the first time Seward had tried to overstep his authority; he had rather famously tried to keep Chase out of the cabinet. It was the last time, and Seward – realizing that he would only be able to use the power of the Secretary of State – settled down and did an great job: the rest of the world never recognized the Confederacy in large part because of his efforts.
As we have the first official word (and weeks of speculation) that for the first time since then, a president from Illinois is going to nominate a Senator from New York to be his secretary of state, there are some lessons.
– It’s the President’s show. When Obama and Clinton have differences as, any president and secretary of state will, the president will have the last word.
– There’s a good chance that Hillary, or any other cabinet official, will do something that drives you insane. And especially in the wake of President Bush, there will be a lot of time to demand people be fired. I would recommend against that. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t criticize them – in a democracy, of course we should – only that we might want to give them the chance to improve.
Yesterday’s rally against Prop 8 was a really amazing event. I especially liked the hand made signs. Here are as many slogans as I could capture excluding signs that were just quotes, duplicates, and the professional ones. If I left yours out, sorry.
1st class taxpayer 2nd class citizen
1847: persecuted 2008: persecutor
A “Happily Ever After” belongs to EVERYONE
“Always a Bridesmade Never a Bride” Should not be Law
And the pursuit of happiness…unless gay
Ban Republican Marriage
Being 2nd Class is Sooo Gay!!!
Canada H8’s Prop 8
Church of Later Day Snakes
Civil marriage is a civil right
Civil unions are not enough
Divorce at least you get a chance
Don’t make my family illegal (jerks)
Don’t tread on us.
Don’t Worry My Gay Marriage Won’t Affect Your Straight Divorce
Ending racism is a gay fight – freedom from racism is a gay right
Equal Rights 4 All
Equal Rights Now
Equality is my right
Equality is not a religion
Focus on your own family
Gay Straight Black White Marriage is a CIVIL right
Get Mavricky Vote for Equality
Get on the Love Boat
Human rights are universal
I DO believe in the sanctity of love
I Support love
Jesus had two dads
Jesus Practiced Acceptance & Love… Why Can’t You?!
Just married in CA 10/6/08
Keep your religion out of my marriage
Lady Liberty is my lesbian mother! I’m her gay son!!
Lady Liberty is not a social conservative!
Legislating discrimination sucks
Love, Commitment & Family are HUMAN RIGHTS!
Love in all forms
Love makes a family!
Marriage is a civil right
Marriage strengthens society
Married July 31, 2008
Mormon cash lied. A nation cried
No discrimination in the constitution
No majority vote on minority rights
No more Mr. Nice Gay
Our love and commitment are here to stay…
Olympia! Give us our rights
Right to love
Save me from the Christian Taliban
Separate is not equal
Stand on the side of LOVE
Stand up you may be NEXT!
Stop the H8!
STR8 Against H8
Tax the Church!
This is about basic human rights
We are all equal
We don’t shit in your toilet…Don’t piss on our Civil Rights
Welcome to America where everyone is created equal – restrictions apply where prohibited
What’s Next? Our Wedding Gifts?
When Do We Vote On Your Marriage?
When will love conquer hate? (just asking)
White anti-racist queers for JUSTICE- not just us
Yes we can have equal rights
As a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s throughout the primary, I was told that my candidate, and her supporters (myself included) were somehow destroying the party. That we were going to cost the Democrats the election and divide the party irreparably. That somehow forcing an extended primary through Pennsylvania, and Indiana, and North Carolina would hurt us in those states. Remember Kennedy in 1980 – as if the problem wasn’t Carter in 1980 – I was told. You’re not a real Democrat.
While I did make an electoral argument for Hillary, I never believed that Obama couldn’t win, or couldn’t win Jewish voters, or white women, or working folks, or whatever the most important demographic evar might have been at that particular moment. I think you have to vote issues in the primary, or you never get the chance. So, yeah, I supported the candidate who supported universal health care, had the better plans for the environment, and who I thought would be better for the middle class. I’m still glad I supported someone who was in favor of those things, although as I said during the primary, those are differences in degree and not differences in kind that we had with McCain.
I always promised to work like hell for whoever the nominee was, and I’m glad to say I delivered. I don’t know how many complete strangers I proudly told on the phone or at their door, “I’m a volunteer with the Obama campaign for change.” I’m also proud to say how well Hillary delivered: raising money for Obama, and many speeches (most notably her concession speech, the speech in Unity NH, and the convention speech) as well as local events all across the country.
The truth is that a tough primary is often good for the party engaged in it. It gets supporters riled up, and it forces candidates to articulate their positions. It means that the media can’t just ignore them. As Melissa says:
Despite the frenetic din of pleading, scolding, haranguing, begging, admonishing and outright mockery that was aimed at Clinton during the primary as she stubbornly refused to concede a primary that she hadn’t actually lost, and despite the grim hand-wringing that a long primary would irreparably damage presumed nominee Obama, none of the grave warnings of the take-your-boobs-and-go-homers came to fruition. In fact, by engaging late-primary states like Indiana which haven’t helped choose a nominee in decades, the extended primary actually helped wake up Obama voters sooner than usual. It forced them to pay attention to the minutiae of Democratic policies early in the election, and gave the Obama campaign the opportunity to test and perfect its ground operation. The result? Indiana is blue for the first time in 40 years.
I was never worried about a primary against Maria Cantwell 2 years ago. And I was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t much of one in the 8th. The truth is, they’re almost always good.
I’m at an auditorium in Bellevue Community College. We’re already behind schedule and people are still trickling into the room. There’s a slideshow with Governor Gregoire: There’s her and Obama; there she is with an unidentified family in farm country. There’s a banner “Fighting for Working Families.” Gregoire with children.
I’m at a rally for Governor Gregoire and Darcy Burner. I was hoping to liveblog it but there’s no signal here, so I‘ll just write it up: It’s a rally for Chris and Darcy with our senators and the governors of Kansas and Arizona. All women.
As a feminist, I’m proud that we’ve got such great women in the state, but I’m worried that if Gregoire loses we could have no women in elected executive positions (I know the races for Superintendent of Public Instruction and Lt. Gov have women running, but one is also in a tight race, and the other is an underdog). Of course a candidate’s gender isn’t reason enough to vote for them (and I’m leaning toward the men in those other races).
I’m going to try to capture what’s going on here, but my notes are what I can type and that’s slower than the speakers talk. Any quotes are from my notes, and as good as possible, but not guaranteed to be 100% accurate, I apologize for that.
Judy Clibborn started us off, and after welcoming us to her district let us know that this is the “Chris Gregoire tour for working families. 26 stops over 11 days. She is a tireless worker for us all.” Then after some mention of how close the race is, and how important it is to volunteer, she introduced Matthew Arnold, Darcy Burner’s volunteer coordinator.
As someone who’s volunteered for Darcy’s campaign, he was a familiar face. He’s been great when I’ve been volunteering. The points he made were that “over the last couple of weeks there has been a non-ending stream of press” and that an “alphabet soup of acronyms of people who are going to spend money” on the race. But that it’s ultimately not “people in Washington DC can decide how people in Washington state vote.” That the volunteers, and the voters, will ultimately make the difference.
“This has been a long election cycle. There have been people volunteering for over a year.” Then he made a metaphor about piggy banks: “You put in your knocks, calls, all the effort and the heart and sweat of putting the people in office you believe in. And on election night you cash your piggy bank.” Because of all the work that has been done and will continue to be done, “I know that we’ve got a big piggy bank and in the next 9 days we’re cashing it in!”
Cantwell got up and made the case for Gregoire: that she’s been creating jobs; that what she’s focused her attention, she has got results: jobs and keeping the economy going in the face of the national problems. She kept Hanford cleanup on track and has created clean up jobs and is meeting the Tri-Party Agreement. That Gregoire has invested money into biotech and allowed for stem cell research. And that we’re investing in green collar jobs, she pointed to Al Gore saying that Gregoire is, “showing the rest of the nation we can get off our dependence of foreign oil and reduce CO2 emissions.”
Patty Murray was next, she wants “a big enough majority that Maria Cantwell can write the next energy policy.” That sounds like a good enough reason to me to work for 60 in the Senate.
Then some praise for Obama, “are you ready for a President who’ll respect you instead of people on Wall Street? A president who’ll respect the Constitution? Who’ll work to bring our troops home? Who understands your values and make sure the middle class is back to work and strong again?”
When Obama and Biden are in the White House, they’ll support us. And, “we need a Governor who will work with them to make sure our state is strong.” They’ll be able to work together to implement children’s health, work on choice issues, and make the proper investments in infrastructure. We’ll need a governor who’ll work with them.
She mentioned the “don’t let Seattle steal the election” and talked about how important it is to elect people who “respect the whole state” instead of trying to divide us like Rossi.
Then it was on to an introduction of Darcy Burner. “Here in the 8th district we have a tremendous chance to elect a great woman.” She said that while Reichert acts like a moderate when it’s close to election time, “you deserve a Congresswoman who has the value of the voters.” This year, you can “elect a great team to fight for you.”
Darcy spoke, and I realized that it was the first time I’ve seen her live this election cycle. “We are poised on the edge of a tremendous opportunity. All of us have watched as the country go in the wrong direction.” Our economy is going south. “We’ve watched our neighbors and friends sent to war. The Constitution disrespected by the people sworn to uphold it. In 9 days we have an opportunity to change all of that. But I need your help.”
She told a story about leaving for the campaign trail today, and her son said, “‘don’t forget to save the polar bears,’ and I want to be able to look him in the eye, and tell him honestly that we have done everything we could and we are in fact going to save the polar bears.
“But it isn’t enough to have the leaders at the federal level. Washington is doing better than anywhere else. That isn’t a coincidence. We have an unbelievable, fantastic governor.” She has been creating jobs, and bringing people together to solve problems. “We need to do everything we can do to keep her in Olympia for the next 4 years. Give your warmest welcome to Gregoire.”
Gregoire: “Thank you all for coming out. This is our tour for working families. That’s what this election is all about.”
I was most impressed about the way she went after “those negative fear mongering ads.” She talked about the sex predator ads and how they’re “shameless.” She told a story about how she was doing an event and a 3rd grader came up to her and, “asked if it’s safe to go outside.” She concluded, telling the people making those ads, “see what you’ve done.” And that even though they’re spending $7½ million from out of state, “we ought to tell them that Washington State is not for sale.”
She talked about her accomplishments. When she was elected 4 years ago, we had the highest unemployment. But Washington has created 250,000 new jobs when other states have lost jobs. How the Pew institute has ranked Washington as one of the top three best managed states in America. And how we’ve done better than most states avoiding the worst of the economic downturn: We’re “one of the few states with a surplus” she reminded us.
Then some swipes at Rossi. “We stand proudly for the families that are living on the minimum wage.” How Rossi would try to get rid of the estate tax on less than half of the top 1 percent of Washingtonians. How at yacht club (of all places!), he said he would lower unemployment benefits. “He does not share our values. We are working men and women in this state, and we need a governor who shares our values.”
She also talked about what she’s done in education and health care. Rossi wants to deregulate health care “how well did it work on Wall Street?” She talked about our “14 year low in the crime rate. Washington State Patrol has been named the best law enforcement in America.” Yet Rossi is going after her on crime?
We’re going to be a leader on Global Warming. We’re going to create a green economy. Washington is leading the way. “Puget Sound is going to be swimable fishable, and digable.”
“We may not have 7½ million dollars, but we have you. That’s what this election is about. No governor knows more than me that every vote counts.”
She concluded that she’s been serious and tough, and that she has been a fighter who, “fought breast cancer, fought the federal government when they wouldn’t support health care for children, when they wouldn’t clean up Hanford, I have fought big tobacco, and Enron. I’m going to fight for you and your children and for health care and quality education.” This got the crowd riled up.
She then said how much she’s liked working with Janet Napolitano and Kathleen Sebelius.
Napolitano spoke first of the visiting governors, and after some jabs at McCain (my favorite “I am from Arizona, so I want to clear up some things: Most of us own 1 house.”) she got to why she’s here:
“I’ve been all over the country, and this economic downturn is real and it’s in every state.” Governor Gregoire has put this state on as firm a footing as you can have in the national meltdown, and she’ll continue to do this. But we also have to think long term and to educate the next generations: “education creates the jobs, that’s an economic program.”
She told us to take advantage of this “rare opportunity to re-elect someone like Gregoire, elect Darcy to House of Representatives, and elect Barrack Obama.”
Kathleen Sebelius made a point that we will get change from electing Obama, and having people like Gregoire ready to enact the change at the state level. “The only way Obama can truly be a good president is if he has a ground team.”
All in all, a good event. A full audience, and great energy from our candidates. One of the goals was to get people to help canvas and make phone calls (the last deposits in that piggy bank, to use Matthew’s metaphor). So I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that you can still volunteer with Darcy Burner or Governor Gregoire.
I see that Congress will consider a major bail out of the financial institutions, possibly in the next week. While we don’t know all of the details yet, it will most likely involve the taxpayers taking on $700 billion of bad debt and getting little in return.
As Representatives who voted for the bankruptcy bill, it would be immoral of you to support such a bail out. After all, with that vote you showed no sympathy for guardsmen called up to Iraq – a war most of you supported – or Afghanistan at a pay lower than their civilian job not being able to pay the bills. And you had no sympathy for the parent of a child without health care -that many of you have done nothing to help them get – who had to put the bills on their credit card and then got overwhelmed. Now, to sympathize with huge corporations that made bad decisions would just be rank hypocracy in service of the very, very rich.
For the record, I love Jim McDermott, and am going to vote for him in the general election. He’s been the conscience of the House on important issues like the war and universal health care. He’s been a leader on things like eliminating poverty around the world, and here at home. He’s had the trust of his colleagues to earn an important spot in the Ways and Means committee, and chair of its Income and Family Support subcommittee. His push on the extension of unemployment benefits alone is worthy of reelecting him.
But since it’s a given that he’s getting to the general election with the crazy top-two, McDermott’s supporters can chose his opponent. So, I’m hoping you’ll join me in casting a ballot for perpetual candidate, and harmless crazy Goodspaceguy Nelson, because unlike the Republican in the race, he’s probably aware that Saddam Hussein is dead.
For the record, here’s the relevant portion of the form letter I got today in response to this. For what it’s worth, she voted the right way on the bill and on all the amendments.
As you may know, H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, is the most comprehensive overhaul to the nation’s electronic surveillance laws in thirty years. The bill also provides retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that participated in the president’s warrantless wiretapping program. Though it was an improvement over previous legislation in many ways, H.R. 6304 offered blanket retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have illegally allowed the government to spy on innocent Americans, and I voted against it.
For the love of Jesus and all the saints, don’t vote for the shitty FISA law on Tuesday. Yeah, you already voted the wrong way once, and I don’t hold out too much hope that you’ll do the right thing. Still, I couldn’t let myself not write you on this. I couldn’t let myself not be on the record opposing this.
The 4th amendment clearly spells out the notion that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” There is no reason to go back on this basic, fundamental, wonderful principal: Not because we’re in a digital age; not because we’re afraid; certainly not for political expediency. So I’m appealing to you morally to do what’s right: don’t weaken the protections in the FISA law, and don’t let those law breaking telecoms get away with violating our rights.
35 years ago, in the early days of the Pinochet regime in Chile, folk singer Victor Jara was murdered. Yesterday, one of the people involved, colonel, Mario Manriquez Bravo was found guilty. It’s really an amazing story, and I recommend that you read the whole thing here.
The dictatorship ultimately banned Jara’s music. They even banned some of the folk instruments often used to play it.
That day is over.
The boxing arena where he was murdered is now called Victor Jara Stadium.
Almost thirty-five years later, and nearly two decades after the end of the dictatorship, a Chilean court has found a retired colonel, Mario Manriquez Bravo, guilty in the murder of Victor Jara.
Unfortunately, they also closed the case, despite the clear involvement of numerous others. The Jara family’s attorneys believe that the court is still protecting the rest for political reasons. Now come appeals.