Friday, August 31, 2012

Democratic Party Labor Day Picnic

Best Line of the Day

Thank you, Southern Beale...
Yes, I did catch a bit of Clint Eastwood yelling at an empty chair....To paraphrase The American Prospect’s Jamelle Bouie, this was the perfect metaphor for the modern Republican Party: an old white man yelling at an imaginary Barack Obama.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Saint Howard and the Fiscal Cliff

"Any politician who tells the American people that we can fix the budget without sacrifices for everybody is a liar...I think it's time the people who made all that money pay their fair share."

I love this man.  

In the Ongoing Battle Between Science and Mythology

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sunday Sermon, For Neil

I remember watching Neil Armstrong step off the Moon Lander ladder and onto the surface of the Moon. If you weren't there you can't know what a thrill that gave a 19 year old engineering student and science junkie from way back. What folks who didn't live through it can't know was the fear for their lives we felt. I was scared for them and excited at the same time. When the module blasted off from the moon and we saw that they were on their way home I jumped around the room and yelled. Mom thought I was nuts.

Well now...It's a clear night and I'm going to take a glass of Malbec out on the deck and drink to Neil Armstrong in a couple of hours. His act was symbolic of all the work and thought and efforts of an entire nation to do something incredible that wasn't war. I wonder if we have it in us as "One Nation, Indivisible" to make another "Giant Leap for Mankind"? We worked for each other and for all of us back then. Could we do that today? 
Think what a gift to future generations we could make!
Maybe deal with global warming or our over population problem?
 Please? For Neil?
 I can't remember any goals or big projects longer than five years after the moon project. By setting a goal that would take ten years, Kennedy was setting it up for a President other than himself to bask in the glow. Now we've shifted to 5 year plans which, if successful, let the sitting President take credit, and if a failure, it won't happen until after the re-election campaign. Today's goals seem to be all about making sure your connected friends get rich and don't have to take the hit when they screw up big. The multi-billion dollar Savings and Loan debacle under Bush 1 was just a taste of what was to become a muti-trillion dollar bailout of the SEC and banking industries under Bush 2. Even Obama, who I support unconditionally against Romney, told us to wait until his second term to really face up and deal with the big problems. Kennedy was flawed but he had guts. Neil Armstrong and crew faced a slew of fairly horrible death scenarios if any one of the gazillion hand wired circuits wiggled loose. Wires that held his life by a tiny piece of copper.
 We hear of that same kind of bravery every day in our forgotten wars, only today, those brave Americans are apparently expendable to the whims of multi-national corporations and oligarchs who feast on a nation's ignorance and timidity.
 I want another Moon shot. The National soul demands it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Sermon...Kathleen Channels Molly

These are some bad, ugly and angry times, and I am so freaked out. Hate has stolen the conversation. The poor are now voting against themselves. Politics isn’t about left and right; it’s about up and down. The few are screwing the many. Not that hard to figure out how to fix things. Stop letting big money buy our elections.

 Kathleen Turner has a one woman show, "Red Hot Patriot" in which she becomes Molly Ivins.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"That's Backwards...That's Wrong"

From President Obama's weekly radio address...

...the economic plan that almost every Republican in Congress voted for would make the situation even worse.  It would actually cut funding for education – which means fewer kids in Head Start, fewer teachers in our classrooms, and fewer college students with access to financial aid – all to pay for a massive new tax cut for millionaires and billionaires.

Why do the less educated states vote Republican?
Why do Republicans want to take away education funding?
Why are the poorest states Republican states?

The complete transcript and some comment

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Death of Truth?

Under George W Bush Republicans enacted what I consider to be the most obvious example of their theory on taxes and the "Free Market". They actually barred Medicare from negotiating prescription drug prices. See, what they actually mean by "free" is that it doesn't cost them any time or effort to get the government to pay the highest price in the developed world for medicine for its own citizens. Since this was done as a result of millions spent by pharmaceutical lobbyists it also illustrates the Republican theory of taxation. Simply stated, "Tax everybody who can't afford their own lobbyists and gather up all the money into one place to make it easier for us to steal." After this was done, Republicans stared right into the camera without a hint of conscience and derided Medicare as a wasteful program.

 In 2008, tired of the wars, "free speech zones", and the international embarrassment that was W, and in spite of voting fraud for which at least two Republican operatives served jail time, Democrats were swept into power on the Obama wave. Rather than being good losers and putting the country first by working together to drag us out of the depression that "Tax cuts for the rich" drove us into, Republicans have waged a never ending campaign of lies, obstructionist tactics, massively stepped up voter suppression, and more lies. In the past, Presidential candidates have mostly left the blatant lies to their surrogates. Buoyed by the near complete corporate takeover of American media and the cowardice of what's left (though there are notable exceptions), Mitt Romney now feels free to take over for hisownself the unseemly task of lying.

Remember how Medicare was a "wasteful government program"? Obama and Democrats ended the inability to negotiate prescription drug prices and, together with other measures to reduce waste and fraud, cut over $700 billion in the cost of Medicare while streamlining the program and delivering better care and services to medicare recipients. Romney has chosen a strangely incapable young man for his Veep candidate who has proposed a budgetary plan that will make $800 billion in cuts to Medicare and slash the services it provides. Somehow Mitt Romney gets to claim that amounts to "Saving" Medicare while his ads breathlessly trumpet Obama's "Stealing 700 billion dollars from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

Obamacare, by the way , is crafted around the exact same features as the very successful program that Mitt Romney himself enacted in Massachusetts. Romney now essentially says that Romneycare doesn't exist and never happened. So in the last couple of weeks a couple of things have happened. Romney released an ad with a heavily and deceptively edited video that shows Obama saying something that he never in fact said. (This is the same tactic that Okeefe used to discredit Acorn. He's being sued by the Acorn worker who was fired as a result of the fake video) Out of the other side of his mouth, Romney blasted the President for a "campaign of negativity, lies and deception". It's gotten so easy to tell when Romney is lying. (His lips are moving...yeah , I know) When ever he blasts the President for some egregious campaign tactic, you can bet your bottom dollar that Romney has just done that exact thing.

 We've seen glimmers of feisty from the media as they actually called Romney surrogate, John Sununu, on the Medicare lies. Where are they in confronting Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan? Nowhere yet.

 We'll see.



  Mitt Romney Sure Does Lie Alot

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Things First?

But is it the first thing?

The election of TNDP Chair is at least 5 months away. Let’s table any discussion about all of that until November 7th.
There will be plenty of time to sharpen pitchforks, light torches, and storm that castle after the election.

Vibinc is a very astute person. I personally disagree with her on timing but her argument bears thought. If I were sitting on the board of and organization that blew it this magnificently, the leadership would have a new office in a closet with the light bulb removed at the very least. An incompetent general can't be left in charge of the troops until after the battle.

Still, V does have a point that there are good candidates to devote full attention to and she has compiled the list. I suggest we ignore everything from the TNDP , strongly urge a change in leadership ASAP, and devote our energies and money directly to candidates who can win or hammer a coherent message. This election is about field position and the public perception of what the Democratic message really is. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

From Our "Mark Clayton is a Right Wing Creep, Thanks for Everything, Mr. Forrester" Dept.

State Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester is very good at winning one, and apparently only one, election... the internal party election that keeps his paycheck flowing. Other than that he seems stunningly incompetent. This is not news to Democratic activists but now everyone knows. Republicans are falling down laughing at the debacle of having a man who is vice chairman of a right wing extremist group running as a Democrat, running zero ads, spending zero money, and yet somehow winning the Democratic nomination for Senate against Bob Corker.

Attempts by Forrester and others at having the (Republican ) State Elections Coordinator, Mark Goins, remove Clayton are being predictably laughed off... "Although Chip Forrester had the authority in April to disqualify Mr. Clayton, he did not do so..." The party chairman's first responsibility is to vet statewide candidates. How hard is to spend two minutes at a candidate's organization web site to learn that it opposes everything the Democratic Party in Tennessee stands for?

For that matter, why hasn't Forrester started an investigation as to how Clayton got twice the number of votes that people with name recognition and who actually campaigned got? Did the Republicans' darling unverifiable electronic voting machines have anything to do with it? Thanks to Republicans revoking the verifiable voting act in Tennessee, we may never know if this election was gamed. I do know that in 2008 over one million votes were cast by Tennessee Democrats for Barack Obama. The abject failure to energize even ten percent of those voters to oppose Bob Corker with a viable candidate is damning testimony to the regime of Chip Forrester.

At the top, Democrats in Tennessee are plagued with bumbling incompetents running the show. Democrats deserve better. Tennessee deserves better.  Perhaps this is the wake up call Tennessee Dems need to make them clean house and start rebuilding the Democratic party that can serve the working people of this great state instead of merely providing a job for a few small time bureaucrats.

Let us hope so, but instead of just hope, let's get to work. The voice of Tennessee's One million Democrats is being snuffed out from within. This has to stop now. Otherwise we will continue to watch as Republicans sell off our public schools to for profit entities, serve the financial health of the health care industry instead of the health of our citizens, and eviscerate the Tn Dept. of Environment and Conservation (TDEC's proposed fracking regulations are weaker than the ones proposed by the industry itself, if you can believe that). The list of Republican atrocities is endless. Unfortunately it is compounded, aided and abetted by the incompetencies of the weak, ineffectual, blundering Democratic Party leadership.


Update: RNeal lays it out

Background from The Times Free Press

More from the Tennessean

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Quote of the Day

"During elementary school, I was bullied about my beliefs and whenever the subject of my religion, or lack thereof, came up, my social status dropped for a few days," Disbrow said in the release. "When I realized that the county commissioners were actually behaving like a bunch of fifth-grade bullies, I sat down and started writing my address to them."

Bullies? Exactly!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

What She Said...

Dear Friends,
Thank you so much for your support throughout this campaign. I am humbled by all the kindness and encouragement I received while on the campaign trail.

Under normal circumstances I would be coming out to congratulate and endorse the Democratic nominee for U.S Senate but I can only say that I am very frightened by the Party's nominee, Mark Clayton. His values do not represent my Democratic Party. Me, my staff, and my campaign DO NOT endorse or support either Mark Clayton or Bob Corker in any way.

I am flattered by the thousands who have encouraged me to run a write-in campaign and will continue to advocate for progressive Democratic values. I will always be a Democrat and will always support the Democratic Party. If the Party calls on me I will step up and run a write-in campaign.

Thanks again for all of your support and remember this is just the beginning.
- Park Overall

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quote of the Day

Or maybe this is just today's must read...

Consequently, Republicans are totally obsessed with guns. And here’s the reason why. As Peter Gent wisely explained in North Dallas Forty, “Freud says that guns are an extension of your dick, Joe Bob.” While this puts women at a grave and deeply unfair disadvantage, it also explains why Democratic men don’t need guns.
So go read the smartest Texas woman. Tell her I sent you.