Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Letter To a Tennessee Democratic Politician

Sure...I would love to get together and trade ideas about electing Democrats in 2012. Just for starters this should get you riled up.

Democrats have a muddled message right now that is essentially Republican Lite with their main slogan being "We don't suck as bad as those other guys". Frankly, I think the conservative Democrat's time has passed. We saw Congressman Lincoln Davis, as conservative a Dem as ever existed (and a personal friend of mine), get slammed by an incapable incompetent nobody. There was no message there other than that other guy is a creep (which he was...and is). Where did that get Lincoln? Why should anyone vote for a conservative Democrat when they can have a real foam at the mouth ideological maggot?

Democrats let Republicans run a dog whistle, catch phrase, campaign. We should have been working to destroy "pro-life" and "pro-gun" as campaign rhetoric instead of pretending to be sorta pro-life and sorta pro-gun. The message has to be something like, "How can you claim to be pro life when you don't support good quality health care for our people?"

While people were standing around letting Republicans scare them into believing Democrats were going to take their guns, Republicans took their jobs. (Just so you know...I got guns and I'm a danged good shot. But I keep them in a safe place instead of a 2nd Amendment shrine.)

Now...You want jobs? You have to elect Democrats...Real ones! Democrats who understand that it's the little guys who create jobs in America and Tennessee. Democrats who understand that TN Senator Bob Corker isn't helping us when he filibusters a bill that would end the tax breaks for big corporations who take jobs away from Tennesseans and send them to China. Democrats who understand that the giant corporations who run the heath care system in Tennessee don't give a rat's ass about whether you and you child live or die as long as they can gobble up nearly 20% of the Gross Domestic Product of this nation and still give us medical care that is 34th from the top but twice as expensive as the country that is number one. (You listening, Phil?)

And so on.

These are not easy messages. They have to be said and re-said and shouted over and over. You and every politician who wants to claim that they are a Democrat have to buy into the program and quit trying be fake conservatives. If you care about people and want to make their lives better, you can't be a conservative.

Conservatives have no plan for better health care...But They do have a plan to make insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies richer and richer.

Conservatives don't have a plan for a healthier environment that won't give you cancer if you drink the water, or breathe the air, or want to eat the fish you catch...But They do have a plan to make big coal corporations richer and richer.

Conservatives don't have a plan to make sure every child has the opportunity for a good education that prepares them for a productive and happy life...But They do have a plan to destroy the public school system while sending their own children to expensive private schools.

Conservatives don't have a plan for creating jobs in America...But, They have been absolutely awesome at creating China, just not in Tennessee.

Democrats cannot keep reading polls and deciding what image or persona they will pretend to be. Democrats have to craft and deliver a message that will drive the polls to what we are...The Party of the People. The Democratic Party that cares about the school your child goes to. The party that cares about you and your children's health and well being. The Democratic Party that will create a good competitive business environment that will produce jobs for your children after they get that good education we will work to provide them.

Democrats cannot be roosters that see the light coming over the horizon, squawk their heads off, and think they are done for the day because the sun comes up. That's what Republicans do. That's what Democrats have tried to be in Tennessee for the last decade. Look, Republicans are better at that than we are. Let's let the Republicans be Republicans and let's you and me be Democrats, how 'bout it? We have work to do at first light and we'll stop for a little breakfast later, and then get back to work.

Now the mechanics of all this aren't simple. It will take strong leadership at the state level and some shake up of our party. If the Democratic party wants to compete with the Republicans to see who can best serve the Devil, you can count me out. The conservative lite message is a loser.

We are faced with a virulent strain of conservatism in this country, one funded by huge corporate cash reserves. We can beat them, though. Obama proved it in 2008 with an internet fundraising machine that out raised his opponents with small number donations from millions instead of million dollar donations from a small number.

We have to have a strong media presence and it doesn't have to cost too much money. It takes a good message and all of us barking the same bark at the same bear over and over. We have to show ourselves to be on the side of the middle class while pointing out that Republicans are doing all they can to destroy the middle class.

We have to have a strong online presence, with a paid staff that posts comments at every news and blog site, instead of letting Mike Duncan and his lackeys control that idea space.

We have to challenge reporters and moderators by asking them to do their jobs! "Why are you making ME point out that this Republican is Lying? Isn't that your job?...Don't you care about the First Amendment and Truth? When Republicans lie...Call them liars! It's the job of a free press in America! The press is not doing its job when it makes US state facts instead of calling Republicans out when they lie. I hereby call you on this!"

Now, we can't rely on the party leaders at the top to do all this. We have to have strong local leadership that will do the work on the ground. That's where you and I come in. Ive been working my tail off for years now, frankly, and it's about time you and all the other Democratic politicians I've been supporting with money and time jump on the Peace Train.

Got you going yet?

I have to run but we can get together in the next few weeks and see where our ideas overlap and where we can do some good.

Have a good new year and don't party too hard. The sun is going to come up whether the rooster crows or not. The important thing is to make sure the light shines on us.



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Have Another Set of Cousins in the Human Race

So we have several evolutionary branches on the Human Tree it turns out. Scientists have found Neanderthal genes in modern humans and now we have another set of relatives, the Denisovans. It turns out that, as predicted by several anthropologists, our family tree looks more like an entwined vine than a single solid tree trunk.

As always, it's more complicated than most folks thought. Here's a place to start.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why does anybody ever listen to a Republican?

Bush lowered taxes and killed the economy. Everybody except the super rich, like Tom Kilgore, lost money. Clinton raised taxes and everybody made more money, particularly the middle class. Why don't we in America know this?


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mandatory Logging in National Forests

With Democrats like this...

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), strongly backed by Obama and Vilscak, has a bill that was written in secrecy by timber industry lawyers and timber industry lobbyists, a bill often referred to as the “Tester Wildlands Logging Bill,” that was unable to withstand scrutiny from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee due to the financial and environmental costs of its Congressionally-mandated logging quotas, but has now somehow magically appeared on pages 893 to 942 of the 1,942-page $1.3 trillion Senate Omnibus Spending Bill.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Brain Food

I can pick at some of his points, his houses are interestingly unlivable, and there is no big finish, but it's a good 18 minutes...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Upside of WikiLeaks

Former Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock, Looks at the UPside of WikiLeaks. For a man appointed by Ronald Reagan, I find myself in usually total agreement with him.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How We Got Here

No, this is not an examination of how life came to exist on this planet. This is an excellent examination of the planet shaking decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in reversing the voters' decision in Florida in the 2000 election.

Ilissa Gold was a Tennessee writer, student, and blogger with a brilliant perspective on legal matters that mattered. She's still a writer, student, and blogger but we've lost her to a foreign state where she's about to finish law school. I expect great things from her. If you take the time to read this piece on Bush v Gore and how the Supremes gave Bush the election for Christmas, you'll understand why I say that...

I was 14 when Bush v. Gore was decided. It was that election and subsequent controversy that made me politically aware (it would take the Iraq War to make me an activist). I'm now 24 and a semester away from finishing law school. I have no idea what sort of impact I'll make on the law. But I do know this--I'm not going to "get over" the travesty that was this decision, and I'm not going to forget it.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jack McElroy Backs Wikileaks

We media types have been proudly publishing leaks for years

Jack McElroy

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Random Saturday Thoughts

A warm world map

Why should the people who lied us into war get a tax break? If anything we should put a ten percent surcharge on incomes over $1,000,000.00 a year to go directly to pay off our war debt.

And speaking of war criminals, why are we pursuing Wkileaks, which has done an honorable job of protecting individual identities and being selective about what it releases, when Scooter Libby got his sentence commuted for outing a CIA agent involved in nuclear non-proliferation and Dick Cheney got off with a vice presidential pension?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Today's Must Read..."If Conservatives succeed...It will not be a kind government..."

If conservatives succeed in cutting government by the people for the public good, our lives will still be governed, but now by corporations. We will have government by corporations for corporate profit. . It will be a cruel government, a government of foreclosures, outsourcing, union busting, outrageous payments for every little thing, and pension eliminations.
Untellable Truths

Feel Good Friday...Boogie Edition

Here's why Tommy Emmanuel sells out the Tennessee Theater...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quote of the Day

Democrats are always in the position of having to choose between some specific thing that will alleviate some suffering (however temporarily) in exchange for some heinous Galtian thievery and they end up taking the short term relief because they believe they have the responsibility to help people in the best way they can


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

30 Years Ago Today

I think the music you held close during your puberty years stays embedded deeply.

And somehow this made me think of Elizabeth Edwards...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

His Wiki Leaked...The Adventure in Breathless Media Pandering and Propaganda

Julian Assange heads Wikileaks and has begun publishing emails, cables, documents, and other communications that were given to him by government and financial institution insiders in heroic personal acts of conscience. He has been arrested in London for a sex crime for which he has been charged in Sweden.
Interestingly, Mr. Assange has broken no American law. His "sex crime" is beyond absurd. He is charged with continuing to have intercourse with a consensual partner after the condom broke. It carries a maximum fine of $715 even if it could be proven, and we must note that Assange denies that this occurred.
He will be persecuted for exposing the criminality of our governments and financial institutions even as he himself has committed no crime whatsoever.
Wikileaks has simply pulled back the curtain on the blackest diseases of our governments and financial systems. He is a hero on his way to becoming a martyr.
There has been no legal judgement against Julian Assange or his company but our government has pressured PayPal to cancel his account, his web hosts have been pressured to remove his web site, his bank accounts have been frozen, including his legal defense fund, even though he has been charged with not so much as a traffic ticket in every country except Sweden. We are witnesses on a global scale of an unusual facet of totalitarianism, not so much by governments themselves but by the financial institutions and oligarchs that pull the strings that run them.
As goes the fate of Julian Assange, so goes the tenuous liberty of the world's citizens.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards

"You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human.
"But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know." 
 Elizabeth Edwards's cancer fight has taken a turn for the worse, with the disease spreading to her liver and doctors recommending against additional treatment.

What that Wikileaks Guy Is Really Up To

"If their behavior is revealed to the public, [governments] have one of two choices: one is to reform in such a way that they can be proud of their endeavors, and proud to display them to the public. Or the other is to lock down internally and to balkanize, and as a result, of course, cease to be as efficient as they were. To me, that is a very good outcome, because organizations can either be efficient, open and honest, or they can be closed, conspiratorial and inefficient."
Julian Assange

What that Wikileaks guy is really up to.