An organizer for liberal House Democrats says the bloc “isn’t bluffing” as it prepares to take a reputation-defining stand to protect a public insurance option in the health care overhaul.“If Progressives aren’t willing to do the work to make the president do the right thing, it’s unlikely he will,” she said.
Monday, August 31, 2009
State Sen. Ed Murray is expected to decide this week whether to run a write-in campaign for mayor. Regardless of the candidate, he said he was skeptical a write-in candidate could succeed. Worse, he said, voters might find it "condescending" if they're offered a third choice after they already selected their top two.Howie P.S.: Some may consider the source and dismiss this report. And they may be right to do so.
"It's kind of saying, 'you voters are so damn emotional, do you know what you did?' That's kind of patronizing. As a voter, I don't want to be treated like that."
On election night two weeks ago, union people tried to smile as they surrounded Mayor Greg Nickels at the headquarters of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21 in south Seattle. They had been standing around him for years.Murray says he will make up his mind this week. But that may depend on the extent that unions can support him. And that's unknown, even to unions. Whereas unions worked in unity eight years ago, national labor politics have splintered them slightly, Frieboth explains. "For example instead of having a labor council that is the primary convener of the effort, you may have more subgroups that are working amongst themselves." (For example, the police and fire unions are supporting Mallahan.) Glickman confirms that the SEIU would need a broad coalition to get Murray in office. But across the board, union leaders and politicos agree that Murray brings that sort of excitement they need to rally around. "I think that if he were on the ballot, he would be in a strong position to be the endorsed candidate by labor," Frieboth says.
oneamerica08, video (01:55)
Highlights from the town hall with Rep. Adam Smith in Lakewood, WA.
Join us for the "Stand Up for Health Reform" rally at Westlake Park at 6pm on Thursday, September 3.
When future historians ask how the United States came not only to practice torture but to celebrate it and treat torturers as heroes, a special place in hell among the journalists who embraced and justified it should be reserved for Chris Wallace.
PBS's Bill Moyers issued a tough critique of the Democratic Party on Friday night on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher."
Moyers, whose comments focused on the recent health care debate, said that "too many Democrats have had their spines surgically removed."
"Here's the party that lost and the conservative movement that was discredited over the last eight years .... They're setting the agenda for a Democratic Party that controls the White House, the Senate and the House. Something's wrong in that."
Anti-war protesters are planning an autumn campaign against President Barack Obama's extension of operations in Afghanistan to coincide with the eighth anniversary of the first bombing of the Taliban. ---There is rising disillusion among liberals and peace activists that a president who built his campaign on his opposition to the war in Iraq now views America's other conflict as a "war of necessity".
On Friday the Pentagon confirmed that August was the deadliest month for US troops since the start of the war in October 2001 to remove the Taliban government, which had refused to hand over Osama bin Laden after the September 11 attacks.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
IF THE Kennedy funeral looked a little like a royal one, we should not have been surprised. Three living former presidents attended the rites. The tributes have been pouring in across the political spectrum. Orrin Hatch, the arch-conservative Utah senator, even composed a little song and sang it on YouTube. Among the memorably awful lyrics: “Just honour him/ Honour him/ And every fear/ Will be a thing of the past.”
He was in the end more than a Kennedy. He was a senator. He worked the hard way, in often unglamorous circumstances, mostly in the minority, but he worked.
Some in dynasties rise high and fall far. Others provide the drop-shadow of their siblings’ drama: the prosaic work of legislating that endures even after the dream has died.
Presidents and porters, dignitaries and dishwashers bade final farewell yesterday to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who was memorialized inside a grand church on a crowded street in a city for which he had a boundless love. He was the “soul of the Democratic Party,’’ in the words of Barack Obama, and “my best friend,’’ in those of his namesake son.Howie P.S.: Here are two more stories on this theme, "President Obama inherits ‘Legacy’" (Boston Herald) and "For Obama, a sea of inspiration for Kennedy eulogy" (Chicago Tribune). Video (04:21) of guests arriving at the funeral here.
Obama concluded with a final, stirring picture of Kennedy: “The image of a man on a boat, white mane tousled, smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for whatever storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon.
“May God bless Ted Kennedy,’’ he added. “And may he rest in eternal peace.’’
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Questions for Tom Daschle, "The Selling of the Policy" (Deborah Solomon):
The Way We Live Now, "The New Old Guard" (Matt Bai):
For all the shouting that has dominated these town hall meetings on health care lately, they have yielded a few important insights. The first is that the town hall itself has probably reached the end of its usefulness in the Internet age; if you’re looking for thoughtful dialogue, you might as well hold your next meeting on the stern of a Somali pirate ship. The second is that we now have a visual sense of the kind of voter who is militantly opposed to Obama’s health care agenda and, more broadly, to the president himself.
With polls showing that President Obama is losing ground, The Post asked political experts what he could do to regain the initiative. Below are contributions from Scott Keeter, Michael S. Berman, Newt Gingrich, Donna Brazile, Robert J. Blendon, Christine Todd Whitman, Dan Schnur, Ed Rogers, Harold Ford Jr. and Ed Gillespie.Howie P.S.: All the wisdom of the Beltway you could ever want, and more.
The Seattle Police Officers' Guild (SPOG) and Seattle Firefighters Local 27 have endorsed Joe Mallahan for mayor, union and campaign spokespeople say. The two groups announced this evening that they would hold a press conference on Tuesday to break the news, but firefighters' union president Kenny Stuart confirmed tonight that their endorsement would go to Mallahan.Howie P.S.: The Seattle Times blog, "Politics Northwest" provides more details: "Seattle firefighter & police unions to endorse Mallahan."
SPOG had endorsed several candidates in July for the primary race; however, a mayoral endorsement was notably absent until now. There are about 1,300 employees in the police department, and the overwhelming majority of them are represented by SPOG.
Neuman adds, "We want to help Seattle move forward in an efficient and effective manner so everyone gets what they need from city government, as opposed to the candidate who wants to look backwards and just say 'no tunnel.'"
Friday, August 28, 2009
On Aug. 25 last year, Sen. Edward Kennedy strode onto the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Denver and announced to a roaring crowd of party followers the beginning of a new generation in American politics.
"I have come here tonight to stand with you, to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States," he said. Comparing Obama to his slain brother, John F. Kennedy, the senator shouted: "This November, the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans. . . . Our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on."Kennedy understood that reforming health care is a moral obligation, and that the responsibility to heal the sick is at the heart of every faith tradition and is required for a civilized society. He was hoping to live long enough to see it happen. Obama and people of conscience cannot allow that victory -- and that tribute to the fallen senator -- to slip away.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Publicola: "Poll Looks Good for Murray, P-I Reports."
Howie P.S.: This is pretty bad, even for the blogosphere. An unsourced, unreleased poll is leaked, unexamined and (jeepers!) touts a write-in campaign for Seattle mayor. This reeks of media manipulation. The candidate, Ed Murray, is a great guy who I have praised previously on this site. But polls are notoriously vulnerable to distortion by the framing of the questions and the sampling techniques. In this case we are told very little about the poll, other than its "results." Credibility-wise, this is bullshit.
I first heard about David Ginsberg from Seattle Obama grassroots leader Shanna Sawatzki. Here's how she describes him:
He was a tireless organizer in his High Point community in West Seattle, is a great Democrat and has been a life-long community activist. David is running for City Council, Position 2 in this November's election: DavidGinsberg.org.Here's his campaign video (02:35).
Going to Woodstock was interesting. Getting out of there was ecstasy.Howie P.S.: In this case, the media version was better than the real thing. This may also apply to some other times, "back in the day."
Four of us set out on the morning of Friday. August 16. 1969--me, fresh out of the Navy; my college friend Phil; and our girlfriends, Karen and Mary. We had spent Thursday night at my sister's farm in Rockland County, not too far from where the festival was to be held.We spent the rest of the weekend snug and dry at my sister's place, watching reports from the scene on TV. One nagging worry was that Dylan would show up after all and we'd have to spend the rest of our lives wishing we hadn't left. When that didn't happen our contentment was complete.
So there you have it. That's what Woodstock was "like."