Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seattle: "Are Our Taxes Too High?"

Goldy (SLOG):
Estimated State & Local Tax Burden for Hypothetical Family of Three
$150,000 Income (2010)
1 Bridgeport CT $23,655 15.8%
2 New York City NY $18,077 12.1%
3 Louisville KY $17,458 11.6%
4 Philadelphia PA $16,302 10.9%
5 Portland ME $16,297 10.9%
6 Detroit MI $16,109 10.7%
7 Columbus OH $15,928 10.6%
8 Los Angeles CA $15,539 10.4%
9 Des Moines IA $15,499 10.3%
10 Baltimore MD $15,180 10.1%
11 Charlotte NC $15,002 10.0%
12 Atlanta GA $14,861 9.9%
13 Kansas City MO $14,741 9.8%
14 Milwaukee WI $14,698 9.8%
15 Providence RI $14,604 9.7%
16 Omaha NE $14,267 9.5%
17 Minneapolis MN $14,258 9.5%
18 Portland OR $14,100 9.4%
19 Columbia SC $13,848 9.2%
20 Jackson MS $13,506 9.0%
21 Washington DC $13,330 8.9%
22 Boise ID $13,262 8.8%
23 Salt Lake City UT $13,168 8.8%
24 Little Rock AR $13,168 8.8%
25 Wichita KS $13,115 8.7%
26 Burlington VT $12,947 8.6%
27 Wilmington DE $12,947 8.6%
28 Indianapolis IN $12,787 8.5%
29 Charleston WV $12,644 8.4%
30 Birmingham AL $12,467 8.3%
31 Boston MA $12,426 8.3%
32 Newark NJ $11,921 7.9%
33 Honolulu HI $11,506 7.7%
34 Oklahoma City OK $11,419 7.6%
35 Albuquerque NM $11,386 7.6%
36 Virginia Beach VA $11,205 7.5%
37 Chicago IL $11,152 7.4%
38 Billings MT $10,877 7.3%
39 Denver CO $10,693 7.1%
40 Phoenix AZ $9,748 6.5%
41 New Orleans LA $9,338 6.2%
42 Fargo ND $7,990 5.3%
43 Seattle WA $6,502 4.3%
44 Houston TX $6,310 4.2%
45 Manchester NH $6,159 4.1%
46 Memphis TN $6,092 4.1%
47 Las Vegas NV $5,836 3.9%
48 Jacksonville FL $5,797 3.9%
49 Sioux Falls SD $5,647 3.8%
50 Cheyenne WY $4,560 3.0%
51 Anchorage AK $4,133 2.8%
Source: District of Columbia, Office of the Chief Financial Officer

I'm just sayin'...MORE...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Why Democrats Have a Problem with Young Voters"

Rick Perlstein:
I have a young friend I'll call Cecil. Cecil graduated from a prestigious liberal arts college on the East Coast in 2006 with a degree in political science. A lot of his friends were involved in political campaigns, and so, looking for work, he thought he'd try it, too: "You want to be involved in something that's trying to make the world a better place. Something that's mission-driven," he says. So he got a job as a field organizer for the senate campaign of John Tester, the populist Democrat. That election won, burned out, he drove to California and got a job waiting tables.

Then came Barack Obama, and Cecil fell in love...MORE...
Howie P.S.; One way to think of this is to observe that the Democratic "brand" has been diluted and blurred, in spite of Obama's best efforts.

"Cameron Diaz, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie Shoot Down Fox News' Jesse Watters At Oscars" (with video)

HuffPo with video (05:29):
Bill O'Reilly sent his notorious ambusher/producer Jesse Watters to the Oscars on Sunday, and Watters, rather predictably, was met with a hostile reception from some of the celebrities on the red carpet.

Angelina Jolie (an object of O'Reilly's concern), on being asked to opine about the state of the union, cooly shot Waters down, saying, "that's a longer discussion than the red carpet."

George Clooney had a fairly cordial discussion with Watters, but snapped at him when he asked if "Obama" was doing a good job.

"Yes, he is," he said. "He's the president of the United States. He's not Obama, he's the President of the United States."

The biggest rejection, though, happened offscreen, as Watters recounted to O'Reilly on Monday. When he approached Cameron Diaz, she saw his Fox News mic and said, "'Oh no, I don't do Fox News.'" Ouch!

(h/t TVNewser)

Howie P.S.: This concludes our coverage of the 2012 Oscars.

"Author Walter Mosley on Writing Mystery Novels, Political Revelation, Racism and Pushing Obama" (video)

Democracy Now! with video (58:56):
Today in a Black History Month special, we spend the hour with the award-winning author Walter Mosley, who many people were introduced to when Bill Clinton praised his book while running for president. Mosley has published 37 books, including a series of bestselling mysteries featuring the private investigator Easy Rawlins. The first novel in this series, set in 1948 and called "Devil in a Blue Dress," was made into a film starring Denzel Washington. Mosley has been hailed for his use of the popular detective novel as a vehicle for confronting racism across multiple decades. "When I started writing Easy Rawlins ... I was trying to talk about my father’s generation, black men and women who moved from the deep South to different parts of the world," Mosley says. "Here’s these wonderful stories about these people who have moved here and who make a big difference here. Let’s include them in the literature." Mosley’s latest novel, "All I Did Was Shoot My Man," follows the modern-day private eye Leonid McGill as he navigates a world filled with corporate wealth, armed assassins and family drama. His writing has spanned many genres, from young adult to science fiction, but he is less known for his non-fiction works that address the pressing political issues of our time. Mosley’s most recent work of non-fiction, "Twelve Steps Toward Political Revelation," starts on a deeply personal note, then expands to a call of action for people to organize against wealth inequality. Regarding his continued support of President Barack Obama, Mosley notes, "We can’t blame a guy who, you know, got elected, and he’s sitting there alone in the White House... I agree, he has a lot of power, but he doesn’t have enough power without us." [includes rush transcript]

Empty Words? "Seattle mayor, city leaders address rash of violence"

Casey McNerthney (
The rash of homicidal violence this year was not lost on Mayor Mike McGinn in his State of the City address last Tuesday.

“I am here today to tell you that we are standing firm with the people of Seattle against violent behavior, armed robberies, open-air drug dealing and any other form of criminal behavior in Seattle,” he said. “Everyone who lives here, who works here, who shops here, and who comes here to enjoy what Seattle has to offer deserves to feel safe and secure. That goes for every neighborhood in our city.” MORE...

WA: "NORML’s Official Reply To ‘Patients Against I-502’"

Allen St. Pierre (NORML):
We fully recognize the per se DUI marijuana provisions in I-502 are arbitrary, unnecessary, and unscientific, and we argued strongly with the sponsors for provisions that would require proof of actual impairment to be shown before one could be charged with a traffic safety offense. NORML, arguably more so than any other drug law reform organization, has a long track record of opposing the imposition of arbitrary and discriminatory per se traffic safety laws for responsible cannabis consumers. But we failed to persuade the sponsors of I-502, and now we must decide whether to support the initiative despite those provisions. We believe the overall impact of this proposal, if approved by voters this fall and enacted, will be overwhelmingly helpful to the vast majority of cannabis consumers in the state, and will eliminate tens of thousands of cannabis arrests each year. Thus, NORML’s Board of Directors voted unanimously (including the two members from WA) to endorse the initiative, while maintaining our opposition to per se DUID provisions in principal. MORE...

"Obama the 'snob'?"

Field Negro:

I wish more families were like my own when it comes to this issue. Unless you are fortunate enough to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, getting a college education is the most proven path to success in this country. MORE...

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Tomgram: Adam Hochschild, Antiwar Critics Forgotten on Oscar Night"

Adam Hochschild (
...curiously, for all the spectacle of boy and horse, thundering cavalry charges, muddy trenches, and wartime love and loss, the makers of War Horse, Downton Abbey and -- I have no doubt -- the similar productions we’ll soon be watching largely skip over the greatest moral drama of those years of conflict, one that continues to echo in our own time of costly and needless wars. They do so by leaving out part of the cast of characters of that moment. The First World War was not just a battle between rival armies, but also a powerful, if one-sided, battle between those who assumed the war was a noble crusade and those who thought it absolute madness. MORE...

"The Crisis of the African-American Intellectual: What's to Be Learned From the Cornel West v. Melissa Harris-Perry Debate"

Mark Sawyer:

"...we have on one hand a pragmatic Obama administration under siege from right wing forces and on the other hand black intellectuals trying to articulate the voices of what are absent mass social movements. This creates a crisis that plays itself out in peculiar ways. The conflict between Professors Melissa Harris-Perry and Cornel West is one such area." MORE...
Howie P.S.: The bottom line: "Folks like Melissa Harris-Perry tend to underplay the need for the President to sometimes better frame and articulate a progressive agenda and the West's and Smiley's of the world overestimate the degree to which the President can through persuasion enact a more progressive agenda."

WA: "Amid health care debate, ‘people are dying’" (with video)

The Stand with video:

OLYMPIA — If you didn’t hear about this week’s compelling testimony by Jaydra Cope of Spokane about the dire need for affordable, accessible health care insurance in Washington State, then you missed a brave mother putting a human face on a tragedy too often described by statistics. That face belonged to her brother, Delton, a 23-year-old restaurant worker who died from a congenital heart defect he couldn’t afford to have diagnosed, much less treated.

Watch her testimony (please bear with TVW’s audio difficulties): MORE...

WA: "State Democratic Party chairman enters ed reform debate"

Photo by dinazina.

Andrew Garber (Seattle Times):
Pelz's letter comes after a back and forth battle being waged on the blogs by venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, a prominent Democrat donor, and Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association, the state's largest teachers union.

Hanauer argues the state is dragging its feet on education reforms and says the WEA is standing in the way. Lindquist disagrees, writing in one letter: "We do not have the luxury of theorizing from behind locked doors of high rise office buildings in downtown Seattle. We work with students every day."

Pelz said his views on the matter are largely driven by watching what his wife, a school teacher, goes through. MORE...

Dylan Ratigan: "For college grads, work is hard to come by" (video)

MSNBC-Dylan Ratigan, video (06:57).

Howie P.S.: The panel answers Ratigan's bonus question: "What is your favorite college memory and why?"

"Disparaging religions and killing senators."

This is torture. I am trying to watch the NBA All-Star game and the Mrs. is in another room watching the Oscars. I already learned that Ryan Seacrest got "ashes bombed" by Sacha Baron Cohen, and Viola Davis was letting her natural side come out on the Red Carpet. Help! There is absolutely nothing worse than a bunch of celebrities posing for the cameras and some giddy star struck entertainment reporter asking them who they are wearing. Seriously? "Who are you wearing"?

Anyway, I wonder if the New York Post has a Kabul bureau. For their sake I sure hope not. They are just not feeling the folks over at the Post in the Muslim world right now.

I understand the whole First Amendment thing, but at some point you would think that a major news organization such as the Post should take responsibility for their actions. First the Obama chimpanzee cartoon and now this. I swear wingnuts have no sense of decency. MORE...

"The Gang That Couldn't Bomb Straight"

From left: Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich before taking part in a Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN and the Arizona Republican Party in Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 22, 2012. (Photo: Eric Thayer / The New York Times)

Robert Scheer:
Here we go again. With the economy showing faint signs of life and their positions on the social issues alienating most moderates, the leading Republican candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul, have returned to the elixir of warmongering to once again sway the gullible masses.
The race to the bottom has been set by Newt Gingrich, the most desperate of the lot, who on Tuesday charged that "the president wants to unilaterally weaken the United States" because his administration has dared question the wisdom of Israel attacking Iran and proposes a slight reduction in the bloated defense budget. MORE...

Friday, February 24, 2012

"The Failure of Adults and the Forgotten Poor"

Marvin King (Politics365):
This week I heard Marian Wright Edelman speak at the University of Mississippi. Mrs. Edelman has a long history in Mississippi. Besides being the first black woman to pass the Mississippi bar she has worked for both civil rights and the rights of the poor. As founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, she has spent the bulk of her career advocating for the needs of children.

In her lecture, she emphasized that when a country has millions of high school dropouts, high teen pregnancy rates and sky high incarceration rates the failure is in the system. She repeatedly asked how the richest country in the world can sit idly by and let so much youth waste away. MORE...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

John Nichols: "From Wisconsin to Zuccotti Park" (with video)

Elizabeth Whitman (The Nation) with video (03:33):
It began on a Monday morning with high school students, then spread to the state university. The next day, 10,000 people rallied at the state capitol in Madison. In this video, John Nichols traces the remarkable trajectory of the Wisconsin protests against Governor Scott Walker's measures to cut pay and benefits for public employees, from its humble origins in February 2011 to the impact felt nationwide with the birth and growth of the Occupy movement and more.

Read more about the Wisconsin protests in John Nichols's new book, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, or his recent article, "America's Youth Uprising."

"The Predictable Presidency and an Edge on Consensus"

Charles P. Pierce (Esquire):
This president has attached himself too closely to the Bush Administration's policies on terror. His signature health-care law is so full of compromises, duct tape, thumbtacks, and rubber bands, and chewing gum that it's vulnerable to 100 different attacks from 110 different directions. He should not have needed kids in drum circles halfway through his presidency to tell him who his real enemies were. But the fact is, I'm not surprised by any of this. To me, anyway, Barack Obama is pretty much the conciliationist Democratic centrist that I knew I was voting for back in 2008. MORE...

"Obama’s Cut to the Corporate Tax Rate Is a Crafty Political Ploy"

Naomi Prins (The Daily Beast):
The bottom line is that we don’t need a revenue-neutral corporate tax plan; citizens are bearing the brunt of our tax receipts as it is. We need one that’s “revenue-positive.” Such a plan would entail both closing loopholes and keeping the statutory tax rate where it is—but that’s not the kind of policy that brings in the big campaign bucks. MORE...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Seattle mayor: "Legalize marijuana so we can stop crime"

'I know every one of the city council members sitting to my left and right believe as I do: it’s time for this state to legalize marijuana,' Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said in his State of the City address. (City of Seattle)

Jake Ellison, KPLU:
In his “State of the City” address, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn made an impassioned plea today for the legalization of marijuana saying in the illegal trade in drugs was fueling crime in the city.

“It is time we were honest about the problems we face with the drug trade. Drugs are a source of criminal profit, and that has led to shootings and even murders. Just like we learned in the 1920s with the prohibition of alcohol, prohibition of marijuana is fueling violent activity,” the mayor said in the written version of his speech. MORE...

Howie P.S.: I have to give credit to Hizzoner for the messaging on this one.

Seattle: "Meet the Top 20 Donors to Last Year's City Council Races (Surprise: They Have Lobbying Agendas Before the Council)"

Dominic Holden (SLOG):
A report issued today by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission examines the cash flow behind the city council election of 2011, swept by incumbents who out-raised their closest challengers by at least double and by as much as 250-1. The commission found an uptick in the average size of contributions, despite the recession, and that the 20 top donors all united behind the five winning incumbents. In fact, 12 of the top 20 donors gave exclusively to incumbent reelections with the maximum $700 allowed by law.

You can check out the whole report RIGHT HERE to draw your own conclusions. These are the trends that stood out for me: MORE...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

John Nichols in Seattle - "Uprising in Wisconsin" (with video)

Thom Hartmann, video (09:43).

Howie P.S.: This interview covers much of the territory Nichols went over last night @ Seattle Town Hall. One of the key takeaways:
We in Washington state need to be concerned about the upcoming election for our new governor.
Nichols called me "brother" and was generous in his choice of words for the inscription in my copy of his new book:
For Howie-Thanks for your incredible media work!
Nichols is the kind of guy who wears a very stylish dark suit as well as a bunch of funky, friendship bracelets on his left wrist, given to him by his young daughter. His talk emphasized that the struggle for economic equality is not going away, despite the assertions of some in the corporate media including the New York Times. This observation caused me to see a connection between the civil rights movement and the economic equality movement: both will have victories and setbacks as well as staying power.

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Daily Kos: Sex Talk with Rick Santorum" (cartoon)

TOM TOMORROW, cartoon.


Nichols LIVE in Seattle today--"Blog extra: John Nichols exposes Wisconsin's labor 'Uprising'" (video)

MSNBC-ED Show, with video (02:28):
John Nichols, Washington Correspondent of The Nation, discusses his fascinating new book, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, about the labor unrest triggered by Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) campaign to strip bargaining rights for public employees and the supportive role of Ed Schultz and his viewers and listeners.
Howie P.S.: Nichols will be in Seattle TODAY, "Monday, February 20, 2012, 5:30 – 6:45pm. Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street. $5."

"Pot, a President and President’s Day"

Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director:

Of all the thousands of biographies of Abraham Lincoln that have been written, there is one that stands out to me, the biography written by Carl Sandberg, the poet. Sandberg grew up in the Illinois prairie, talked to and lived among men and women who knew Lincoln. His six-volume biography of Lincoln took Sandberg a whole lifetime to complete. He received a Pulitzer Prize for it in 1939. The first volume, The Prairie Years, through Sandberg’s mastery of the English language, captures the feel of the American frontier life as very few books ever have. It is from Sandberg’s Lincoln that I am quoting in this blog.

Lincoln was in attendance when, “The boys were having a jollification after an election. They had a large fire made out of shavings and hemp stalks; and some of the boys bet a fellow I shall call ‘Ike,’ that he couldn’t run his bobtail pony through the fire.” The pony had more sense than its rider and slammed on the breaks at the very last second, “and pitched poor Ike into the flames.” Lincoln saved him. You can be sure that the boys and Ike were drunk on corn squeezings, or somesuch, not high on hemp fumes, because the varieties of hemp grown for fiber contain less than .03% of the active ingredients for which its brother marijuana is world-famous. Today law enforcement in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois annually wastes significant time and resources each year gathering and destroying millions of wild hemp plants to puff-up their drug enforcement statistics. This “ditchweed,” this non-psychoactive feral hemp, mid-west law enforcement has been chasing for years, like a dog chasing its own tail, might very well have escaped into the wild from one of Tom Lincoln’s several farms in those states, between 1810 and 1830, when hemp was grown and worn the Lincoln family to protect American History’s most important person from the elements. MORE...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Monday @Town Hall Seattle: "John Nichols: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest"

Town Hall Seattle:

Monday, February 20, 2012, 5:30 – 6:45pm. Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street. $5. On the anniversary of the Wisconsin protests, journalist John Nichols describes how they led to the biggest labor rallies since the 1930s. In February 2011, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker moved to strip collective-bargaining rights from public-sector workers; now Nichols, author of Uprising, discusses how conservatives are trying to revoke unionizing rights nationwide in an assault coordinated by privatizers and billionaire political donors—and how ordinary people are fighting back. Presented by the Town Hall Center for Civic Life with University Book Store. Series media sponsorship provided by PubliCola. Series supported by The Boeing Company Charitable Trust and the RealNetworks Foundation.

Tickets are $5 at Brown Paper Tickets or 800/838-3006, and at the door beginning at 5 pm. Town Hall members receive priority seating.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Matt Taibbi: "Another March to War?" (with video)

Matt Taibbi with video (07:39)from CNN:
As a journalist, there’s a buzz you can detect once the normal restraints in your business have been loosened, a smell of fresh chum in the waters, urging us down the road to war. Many years removed from the Iraq disaster, that smell is back, this time with Iran.

You can just feel it: many of the same newspapers and TV stations we saw leading the charge in the Bush years have gone back to the attic and are dusting off their war pom-poms. CNN’s house blockhead, the Goldman-trained ex-finance professional Erin Burnett, came out with a doozie of a broadcast yesterday, a Rumsfeldian jeremiad against the Iranian threat would have fit beautifully in the Saddam’s-sending-drones-at-New-York halcyon days of late 2002. Here’s how the excellent Glenn Greenwald described Burnett’s rant: MORE...

She's from the Seattle Area!! "17 Year Old Girl's Response to the Republican Response" (Updated)

RoyaHegdahl's Diary on Daily Kos:

I was so genuinely appalled by the Republican Response to the State of the Union that I was inspired to create a Daily Kos account to be able to release my frustration and ideas in someway other than just talking my mom's ear off about it. Sorry about the lateness, I know the Republican Response was quite a while ago but I still feel the need to at least say something. So follow me below the orange squiggle...MORE...

Howie P.S.: I recently met this young lady from the Seattle area and was impressed with her composure and charm. Had no idea she had written this!

(Updated) Obama in Bellevue (WA): "Republicans out of step with American values"

President Barack Obama speaks at a fundraiser in Bellevue, Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. Obama is on a three-day trip to the West Coast.Photo: AP / SL

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal reports from Medina (WA):
“Across the board, I have not seen in my lifetime as stark a choice as we have in 2012,” Mr. Obama said. “And that means we’re going to have to work harder this time than last time.”

Mr. Obama referenced Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who stood nearby, as he spoke about including tax increases as part of a plan to reduce the deficit. MORE...
Joel Connelly (
BELLEVUE -- President Obama, at a fundraiser here, weaved the achievements of past Republican presidents -- from Lincoln's land grant colleges to Eisenhower's interstate highways -- to put down today's GOP as disconnected to values and investments that built America.

The President touted manufacturing jobs at Boeing, charmed kids at an unexpected Medina Elementary School stop, but was mainly about the business of collecting campaign cash on a West Coast trip expected to raise $8 million.

The Republican targets of Obama's put downs went nameless, but he applied the rapier during a speech to a $1,000 plate Bellevue Westin lunch that didn't end until the middle of the evening rush hour. MORE...

"A Picnic for the 99%: An Alternative to Barack Obama's Bellevue Fundraiser" (photos/slideshow)

Dina Lydia, photos and slideshow HERE.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"What Obama Said Today at Boeing"

After flying to Washington State on his own Boeing 747.(The White House)

Eli Sanders (SLOG):
Via The White House:

Boeing Production Facility
Everett, Washington

11:47 A.M. PST

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Everett! (Applause.) It is great to be in Washington — not Washington, D.C., in Washington State. (Applause.) And it is great to be here at Boeing. (Applause.)

I want to begin by first of all thanking Kathleen for that wonderful introduction. We were up there talking a little bit, and she’s a pretty good representative of Boeing workers. Kathleen told me, I have a motto: Every day, nobody will outwork me. And that’s a pretty good motto for Boeing, but it’s also a pretty good motto for America. So give Kathleen a big round of applause. (Applause.)

I’ve been told we’re standing in the biggest building in the world, so big you could fit Disneyland inside. Your heating bills must be crazy. (Laughter.)

I want to thank Jim McNerney and Jim Albaugh for hosting us here today. Give them a big round of applause. (Applause.) Your Machinist’s leadership, Tom Buffenbarger, Rich Michalski, Tom Wroblewski and SPEEA President Tom McCarty are here. (Applause.) One of the finest governors in the country, Chris Gregoire is in the house. (Applause.) And I want to thank the mayor of Everett, Ray Stephanson for having us here today. (Applause.) MORE...

"Obama Speaks at Boeing Everett (WA) Feb 17 (video)

Today with President Barack Obama-Video (25:22).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"A Picnic for the 99%: An Alternative to Barack Obama's Bellevue Fundraiser"

Chris Natale (Facebook):
Friday--12:00pm until 3:00pm

Downtown Park, Bellevue, WA, 10201 Northeast 4th St.

Barack Obama is having lunch with supporters on Friday, February 17th in Bellevue. The fact that in order to win a Presidential election, candidates must spend their time wooing the people who are benefiting most from the current corrupt order instead of listening to those who are suffering showcases how poorly our political system serves its citizens.

Because of this, we will be staging a picnic for the 99% nearby at the same time. President Obama will be sent an invitation. This will be a lunch for regular folks to talk about how the they aren't being served by the current election process, and offer ideas for improving things. Canned food donations are requested and will be given to the port truckers, who are fighting for their collective bargaining rights to combat appalling work conditions.

President Obama won't be able to collect large donations from each attendee, but

he will get a valuable lesson in what is wrong with our political system. MORE...
H/t to Dina Lydia.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Song for the One Percent:: "Peter Tosh - Downpressor Man ( Live ) ( High Quality )" (video)

dreadlocke12, video (04:34).

Boeing: "Everett site to host President Obama on Friday"

Leo Henton sent me this email--"From internal Boeing New Now web-page available to all employees with computer access."Feb. 14, 2012 10:42 am CT--The Boeing Company (Elizabeth Fischtziur):
U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Boeing's Everett, Wash., site on Friday, the White House announced. The president is scheduled to visit employees on the 787 production line and tour the new commercial airplane.
The event will be webcast live and available afterward by video on demand. More information will be posted to the Everett site homepage as it becomes available.

"Howard Dean Predicts Obama Re-Election, Democrats Retake House"

Ari Berman (The Nation):
“I believe we need a progressive party in this country,” Dean says. “But for progressives to not vote for Obama is crazy. Citizens United would have never been put into law and America would never have been sold to the highest bidder had Al Gore won in 2000. Obama, if he wins, is going to appoint maybe one or two more Supreme Court justices. That could make all the difference. For that reason alone, you can’t say there’s no difference between the parties. Politicians in Washington may not be able to help you much, but they sure can hurt you.” MORE...
Howie P.S.: I don't want to be the t#%rd in the punchbowl, but The Good Doctor does not have a 1000% batting average with his predictions.

"Rick Santorum tangles with Occupy protesters in Tacoma, Washington" (with video)

Juana Summers (Politico) with video:
Rick Santorum clashed Monday evening with protesters in this normally Democratic-friendly part of the state as he became the first Republican presidential contender to visit Washington state this cycle.

Filling the front row at the Washington State History Museum where Santorum spoke, a group of Occupy protesters disrupted the event, forcing Santorum to engage them. Occupy Tacoma, the local branch of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is camped out right next to the museum, and advertised Santorum’s visit on its web site. MORE...
Howie P.S.; Here's the coverage from by Joel Connelly:
The Santorum rally, at the Washington State History Museum, was the state's the most raucous political event since conservative talk radio activists provided a loud bump in the 1994 Hillary Clinton health care caravan.
The Seattle Times headlines the story on their front page: "Santorum praises gay-marriage foes in state." The AP story has this headline: "Santorum calls Occupy protesters 'radical element'."
KIRO7 headlines their story with video (01:17): "Santorum, visiting Olympia, calls for constitutional ban on same-sex marriage." Their story ended with this quote:
“People can be nice but still encourage people to hate one another, so they are still haters,” said Patty Imani, a protester.
KOMO4 News has "Santorum visits Olympia, says gay marriage signing not last word" with video (01:47). KPCQ takes a different angle:"At least two protesters arrested at Santorum rally in Tacoma" with video (02:16). Chuck Todd (MSNBC) says his campaign "has alot of work to do" to play on the national stage, with video (02:29)(scroll down).
H/t to Shanna.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Gov. Chris Gregoire signed legislation making Washington the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage" (video)

TVW,video (29:10):
Governor Chris Gregoire takes action on ESSB 6239 (concerning civil marriage and domestic partnerships) during a bill signing ceremony in Olympia.

"At Conservative Conference, Retired Police Officer Explains How Lobbyists Profit From Marijuana Prohibition" (with video)

Lee Fang (Republic Report) with video by lhfang86,(02:05):
Yesterday at CPAC, the conservative convention held this week in Washington D.C., Republic Report ran into retired police officer and anti-drug war activist Howard Wooldridge. We were interested in his take on the role of money in politics in the government’s crusade against marijuana. He explained that cynical lobbyists, who place their clients interests over America, have perpetuated the cycle of over-criminalization. In particular, pharmaceutical companies and the alcohol lobby have fought behind closed doors to keep marijuana illegal. Both industries, he said, fear competition. MORE...

Chris Hedges: "There is a recipe for breaking popular movements."

AP / Evan Vucci-An Occupy demonstrator sprawls beside a police car in Urbandale, Iowa, during a protest last December outside Republican presidential campaign offices in the Des Moines suburb.

Chris Hedges:
There is a recipe for breaking popular movements. I watched it play out over five years in the war in El Salvador. I now see these familiar patterns in the assault against the Occupy movement. It goes like this. Physically eradicate the insurgents’ logistical base of operations to disrupt communication and organization. Dry up financial and material support. Create rival organizations—the group Stand for Oakland seems to be one of these attempts—to discredit and purge the rebel leadership. Infiltrate the movement to foster internal divisions and rivalries, a tactic carried out consciously, or perhaps unconsciously, by an anonymous West Coast group known as OLAASM—Occupy Los Angeles Anti Social Media. Provoke the movement—or front groups acting in the name of the movement—to carry out actions such as vandalism and physical confrontations with the police that alienate the wider populace from the insurgency. Invent atrocities and repugnant acts supposedly carried out by the movement and plant these stories in the media. Finally, offer up a political alternative. MORE...

"Occupy Movement Regroups, Preparing for Its Next Phase"

"Dorli Rainey of Seattle became a public face of the Occupy movement after she was pepper-sprayed by the police during a protest in November."

Erik Eckholm (NY Times):
If the movement has not produced public leaders, some visible faces have emerged.

“I’m finally going to make it to the dentist next week,” said Dorli Rainey, a Seattle activist. “I’ve had to cancel so many times. It’s overwhelming.”

Ms. Rainey, who is 85 and was pepper-sprayed by the police in November, has been fully booked for months. On a recent Thursday, she joined 10 people in Olympia, Wash., who were supporting a State Senate resolution to remove American soldiers from Afghanistan. She led a rally near Pike Place Market against steam incinerators, which the protesters complain release pollution in the downtown area. In March, she plans to join Occupy leaders in Washington for events that are still being planned.

“People have different goals,” Ms. Rainey said. “Mine is, we’ve got to build a movement that will replace the type of government we have now.” MORE...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

"Legalize Marijuana for Washington State"
It's time to take the fight for marijuana legalization to the Washington state legislature.

On their docket is an important initiative to the legislature that, if passed, will legalize and regulate marijuana in the state. If it isn't approved by the legislature, it will go to the November 2012 ballot for voters to decide.

Recent polls suggest that there is enough support to make legal marijuana a reality in Washington, and our first opportunity to achieve that end is to convince WA legislators to pass this important bill.

Call your assemblyman/woman and urge them to legalize marijuana for Washington state.

Find the members' phone numbers and our script below.

"Robert Reich and Ari Melber argue over Obama’s new embrace of super PACs" (with video)

Eric W. Dolan (RAW STORY) with video from MSNBC-ED Show (07:24):
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and The Nation’s Ari Melber argued Wednesday on MSNBC about whether President Barack Obama should have embraced super PACs. MORE...
Howie P.S.: I usually agree with Reich AND Melber. This time, just Melber. Robert Scheer just posted on this topic:
Our own elections, the ones our government has modeled for the world, are a hoax. What other word should we use to describe this year’s presidential election, whose outcome will turn on which party’s super PACs gets the most generous bribes from billionaires? MORE...


the Field Negro:
I want to start my racism chase tonight by heading to the western end of Pistolvania, my home state. But, before I go there, I am going to take a detour to Atlanta, Georgia. Where, recently, ignorance was on display and in full effect. (No, not the CNN studios.)

"ATLANTA - A 20-year-old victim who was brutally beaten by a gang of men has spoken out about his ordeal. Brandon White, who is openly gay, says he just wants the men who attacked him to be held accountable for their actions. MORE...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Jason Linkins: "Barack Obama's Super PAC Conundrum"

Jason Linkins:
President Barack Obama's decision to give his "reluctant blessing" to a super PAC supporting him, Priorities USA Action, has created something of a low-grade mess for his campaign team, which has had to spend the past few days fending off charges of hypocrisy from the press. This is understandable! President Obama, after all, famously defamed the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that has allowed these secretive organizations to flower and flourish. And the president has taken his share of shots from those on his side of the aisle as well: Russ Feingold characterized Obama's embrace of the super PAC system as "dancing with the devil." MORE...

"War With Iran By George Galloway (Must Watch)" (video)

Hafez21hafez21 with video (07:14):
George Galloway tells it like it is! He hits a delusions typical brain washed guy with some facts. SUBSCRIBE HAFEZ21HAFEZ21 CHANNEL.
H/t to Shirley Cedillo.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Damian Marley: "In 2 Deep" (video and lyrics)

SmoKYexe, video (04:45) and lyrics:
[Verse 1]
Want to commit suicide
Cause you've been denied your 9 to 5
You're in 2 deep
If you're over 10
And watch CNN and believe everything
You're in 2 deep
And your 35
And you still survive, idle pon corner side
You're in 2 deep
And your 55
And don't have a child, for your joy & your pride
You're in 2 deep
And yuh riding a freak
And she love how you do it, and your condom deplete
You're in 2 deep
And she seh, "Baby please."
And you're weak in the knees and kick off and release
You're in 2 deep
Then you hear from the streets
Seh she full of disease, and you start to sneeze
You're in 2 deep
All months and fi weeks
All food yuh nuh eat, and you weight start decrease
Youre in 2 deep

So don't be in 2 deep
For you wi' incomplete
When you drop in the streets
You wi' drop in 2 deep

And don't be in 2 deep
For you wi' incomplete
When you drop in the streets
You wi' drop in 2 deep MORE...

(Updated)"Remembering Robert Nesta Marley on his birthday today" (video)

UPDATE: This morning I learned from the Field Negro that Bob shared a birthday with a former POSA. It makes you wonder.

BobMarleyWailersVEVO, video (02:42):
Music video by Bob Marley & The Wailers performing Buffalo Soldier. (C) 2003 Universal-Island Records Ltd.

"Chrysler Super Bowl Ad Scrubs Pro-Union Wisconsin Rally Signs" (video)

Huffington Post with videos:
Chrysler's "Half Time in America" Super Bowl ad touts economic recovery in Detroit, but scrubs recognition for union activists in Wisconsin.

The highly-praised spot, which features Oscar-winner Clint Eastwood narrating over a collage of images that includes broken towns and factory workers, includes a short clip from videographer Matthew Wisniewski's montage of the protests over a budget repair bill in Madison, Wisconsin last February. The original clip that Chrysler used from Wisniewski's video (see it here at 2:17) features protestors marching in front of the capitol building, holding signs made by Madison Teachers Inc. union. MORE...

Ronald Brownstein: "Is Obama's Coalition Re-Emerging?"

Ronald Brownstein (National Journal):
One striking aspect of the new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday is how closely the internal results of its head-to-head match-up between President Obama and Mitt Romney track Obama's performance against John McCain in 2008. Overall, the poll found Obama leading Romney in a 2012 match up by 51 percent to 45 percent among registered voters. It was the first time the survey had shown Obama (or Romney) crossing the 50 percent threshold against the other in a series of ballot tests since last spring.

Looking below the top-line numbers, the survey found the electorate dividing along lines almost identical to the actual results in 2008, according to figures provided by ABC pollster Gary Langer, the President of Langer Research Associates. MORE...

"Chrysler Commercial - It's Halftime in America" (video)

chrysler, video (02:01):
It's Halftime in America. And our second half is about to begin. All that matters now is looking ahead and finding a way forward.
Howie P.S.: Karl Rove shares his reaction
“I was, frankly, offended by it,” said Karl Rove on Fox News Monday. “I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.” MORE...

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Superbowl Digression (Updated)

It's a just a game---but I spent my first 16 years living there. AND they don't have sexy cheerleaders. It's the right thing to do.
Howie P.S.:
MIA provides this year's malfunction (finger version).

Thursday, February 02, 2012

"What the Occupy movement must learn from Sundance" (with video)

Naomi Wolf (Guardian UK),with video (01:51):
These great documentary films have a simple lesson: effective political protest needs good organisation and smart messaging---Media exposure, a clear message, smart soundbites, clearly stated demands, and, most importantly, tasked, empowered negotiators working on the inside in concert with mass disrupters applying pressure from without – this equals political life. MORE...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Ari Melber: "All talk little action on job creation" (video)

MSNBC-Dylan Ratigan, video (04:18).

Elizabeth Drew: "Can We Have a Democratic Election?"

A still from King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came to Town, a video released by Winning Our Future, the Super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich for president, which attacks Romney for firing people from their jobs while he was head of the private equity firm Bain Capital.

Elizabeth Drew:
Beneath the turbulent political spectacle that has captured so much of the nation’s attention lies a more important question than who will get the Republican nomination, or even who will win in November: Will we have a democratic election this year? Will the presidential election reflect the will of the people? Will it be seen as doing so—and if not, what happens? The combination of broadscale, coordinated efforts underway to manipulate the election and the previously banned unlimited amounts of unaccountable money from private or corporate interests involved in those efforts threatens the democratic process for picking a president. The assumptions underlying that process—that there is a right to vote, that the system for nominating and electing a president is essentially fair—are at serious risk. MORE...

"First Lady Michelle Obama Pokes Fun At Her Husband To Leno: ‘Oh, He’s Aging!’ But Still ‘Gorgeous’" (with video)

MEDIAite with video (13:32):
On Tuesday night, First Lady Michelle Obama visited NBC’s Tonight Show, chatting with host Jay Leno about her “Let’s Move” health initiative.

She also shared that, for her birthday, her mom baked her a red velvet cake (it really is the best kind of cake, folks — the “secret” ingredient is vinegar) with the help of First Daughters Sasha and Malia. The First Lady admitted that, sure, the cake is high in calories. But when you’re dancing along with Beyonce or on Nickelodeon, the cake melts right off. Plus, she runs, lifts weights and kickboxes. And punches Al Roker, apparently. MORE...
Howie P.S.: If you watched Part 1 (embed-above), Part 2 is here. If you go to the MEDIAite link, the video is the full (13:32).