Friday - September 4th 2009 - Highlights
Hour One: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spends the hour with Thom discussing the issues and answering listener questions www.sanders.senate.gov
Hour Two: "News Under The Radar" Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress stops by www.americanprogress.org
Letter to President Obama
Sorry Mr Bush, ah I mean president Obama, no public option, no health care reform bill, no re-election. I had so high hopes for you, just another Chicago politician. I know, I grew up there. You might just as well become a Republican like the rest of the DLC then you can be the person you always wanted to be, Abraham Lincoln.
There are few things that disturb me more than self-serving hypocrisy, and I heard it again Thursday morning as I observed a CNN report regarding a National Women’s Law Center study on the “alarming numbers” of Latinas who fail to graduate from high school after four years, for the usual cultural reasons. Typical of these narrowly-focused and politicized studies, numbers are cited without context or concern about the other side of the equation. The "other side" is, of course, is that all over the country, states are reporting that black and Latino males have by far the highest drop-out rates of any measurable demographic. Why the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund chose to be a party to this partisan political report focusing solely on girls and ignoring the problems of Latino boys flies in the face of the fact that this very year, New York and Massachusetts are reporting that not only do black and Latino males have the highest non-high graduation rates in their respective states, but they are most likely to be dumped—and forgotten—in special education classes.
A recent report from something called the Cooperative Institutional Research Program Freshman Survey also took note of this bias against minority males, observing that “For Latino males, it has not yet received the type of national attention you would think,” said Victor Sáenz, an assistant professor of higher education administration at the University of Texas at Austin and a co-author of the report. “Sometimes it’s difficult for folks to want to have this discussion about gender inequity because it has traditionally been framed in a very different way, in terms of women not being granted full access to educational opportunity.” According to the report, Latino males represent less than 40 percent of Latinos enrolled in college; one reason for this is suggested by the fact that Latino males 16-24 (that is, beyond four years) are nearly twice as likely not to graduate from high school than Latinas.
This is not to say that we should not be concerned about Latina educational issues, but it does demonstrate the self-serving nature of gender activists for whom the "solution" is to further "enhance" the difficulties faced by minority males. White feminists who manage to tag-team with a few minority women in disparaging the issues confronting minority men are guilty of racism, because they contribute to the cultural and societal roadblocks that black and Latino males encounter in an environment that often prefers to view them as “threatening” or “criminal.” At least Latinas don’t have to deal with that problem, and neither can I not help but to observe that you are more likely to see a Latina in an otherwise white office or business environment (at least in Seattle); whether that has something to do or not with relative merit is a matter to ponder.
Here are some words from Bishop Gumbleton's homily of August 30, 2009. He is the co-founder of Pax Christi USA. There are Catholic bishops who do not view health care as socialism.
We live in the world in which there is such an extraordinary gap between those who have and those who do not. The poor, the vulnerable, the weak. In our own country that gap is very large. One way in which we experience that gap is through the lack of health care. So many people, millions of people, in our country do without health care. Recently an article pointed a study from the National Academy of Sciences, that every year 18,000 people die unnecessarily because they have no health insurance. That is one person every half hour. In our country. The richest country in the world.
Can't we provide health care as other nations do? Must we not work to find a way to do this? To reach out in generosity and love, so that the poor and the vulnerable will have what they need to live.
Health care is only one thing. We need in our world if you go beyond the United States, to reach out to the hundreds of millions who lack the barest necessities of human life.
Despair is starting to creep in as I read the news reports regarding Obama's plan to nix the public option next Wednesday. I loved Oberman's "Special Comment" listing all of the "Dogs" and letting them know that we will not vote for them if they don't vote for a strong public plan. I wasn't able to retrieve it again, though, so I fear they took it off the internet because it was way too powerful.
A Question for Senator Bernie Sanders tomorrow:
Thom, could you ask Bernie to explain a section of The Washington Post's article on Obama's negotiations with Olympia Snowe. (I'll post my question after the paragraph.)
Here's the link
And here's the section on Snowe:
"In the Senate Finance Committee, where negotiations on a bipartisan compromise are underway and a conference call is scheduled for Friday, lawmakers are trying to reach a deal by Sept. 15 with perhaps as many as three Republicans on board. The White House is focused on one of the three, Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, who they view as the Republican most willing to reach an agreement with the White House.
"On Thursday, aides to Snowe confirmed that the senator is talking with administration officials, particulaly with regard to her "safety-net fallback option." Under that proposal, the government would sponsor a nonprofit insurance plan but it would become available only in states or regions where private insurance firms had failed to offer a reasonably priced product that would be affordable to 95 percent of the population.
Snowe's spokeswoman, Julia Wanzco, said the senator "has had an open line of communication with the White House over the course of the past few months." "
Here is my question for Senator Bernie Sanders:
If President Obama agrees to push for Snowe's plan to provide a non-profit insurance option only for states with insurance that is not "affordable" for 95% of its residents, would that null and void Kuccinich's amendment allowing states to decide to create for their own residents a public option or universal coverage?
I think this fact is very important if it is indeed true that President Obama is giving up on a public option. We need to make sure that whatever negotiations President Obama agrees to still leave intact the individual state's ability to try to gain a public or universal plan. Kitzhaber is running for Governor in Oregon again, and I want to be sure he and other progressive Governors will have the ability to get a public or universal plan if Obama has to let it go.
I'll take my answer off the air:-)
Here is an interesting article. Please believe me! The faces of true Catholicism are not O'Reilly, Hannity, Charles Krauthammer, Ann Coulter, and Newt Gingrich.
Here are some interesting quotes.
Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
H. L. Mencken
A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy.
War is a cowardly escape from peace. Thomas Mann (1875-1955)
Gerald, The article you posted is such a strongly worded defense of Catholic doctrine supporting progressive legislation and following Jesus' teaching which is to take care of those in need. Most Catholic Church communities are full of social activists. Many people attend Catholic church not for the sermons but for the community of like-minded people who work for social justice. Priests have often been radicals like the liberation theologians in Nicaragua during the seventies.
Loretta, there is misinformation about liberation theologians. From my reading of liberation theology it is a positive force.
Surprise, surprise! Canadians like their health care plan. I am not surprised.
Craig Weisner offers some interesting information.
Loretta, I attend the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist to honor, praise, and thank God. When I enter the church, I am called to God's home. The readings offer teaching for me and in the Communion I am fed.
In the Liturgy I am called; I am thought; and I am fed.
Community is important but my focus is on my God.
This goes along with your comments, from "Countdown" last night (video):
How bad does it have to get? ('Wish you had a "bold type" option on your blog, Thom. Second thought: Maybe it's good that you don't...)
My uncle, a now-retired Episcopal priest, walked with Dr. King in the '60s and had a very active church congregation which worked outside the church to promote social justice. Unfortunately, I don't know of many congregations with a lot of real social outreach anymore, tho I DO know of some churches here that are "corporatist" and support that point of view. (There's definitely something wrong with churches that put most of their money into their building programs, making them the "McMansions" of churches.)
But, I'm definitely not the authority on churches, since I find it hard to belong to a group organization of any kind. (Hey, that explains why I'm a Democrat, from Will Rogers' point of view!)
Simple slogan for campaign finance reform:
"Stop the Bribery!
Support Public Campaign Financing!"
“Stop the Bribery!
Support Public Campaign Financing!”
It just occurred to me that maybe it's time to emmigrate BACK to Europe, etc., for BETTER OPPORTUNITIES!
The White House has erased all mention of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board from its Web site. The removal, which was done wth no public notice, has underlined questions about the Obama administration’s commitment to the board, which was created on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to oversee the federal government’s actions on civil liberties and privacy.
Swiss Bank to Investors: Flee U.S. Investments and Dump U.S. Dollars
Wegelin and Company, said to be the oldest bank in Switzerland , has released a detailed, eight-page warning about the dangers of investing in America or, for that matter, in American dollars. (PDF)
DEMOCRACY NOW TODAY IS SOMETHING YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO MISS.
Amy Goodman wasn’t on today but the show was hosted by Juan Gonzalez. All three segments are good though some may not be interested in the first segment on Honduras.
The second segment is something I’d think most would be interested in. Max Blumenthal has a new book out "Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party" that deals with how the Republican Party went from the party of Dwight Eisenhower to the party of Sarah Palin. Send your children out of the room but keep your teddy bear handy, you may need something to hug.
The third segment is Back to School: Military Recruiters Increasingly Targeting High School Teens. The title is self-explanatory. The guests are David Goodman (Amy’s brother and co-author of several books with her) who discusses his Mother Jones article “A Few Good Kids?” and the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Ari Rosmarin, who works on the organization’s Project on Military Recruitment and Students’ Rights.
You can watch or listen to the segments or whole show on the website http://www.democracynow.org/ and a transcript will be available to read in the next few hours.
It has been reported by David Gregory and also Chuck Todd, yesterday, that Pres. Obama will tell his left base to man-up and be good soldiers accepting whatever we get. It was also reported that the White House isn't too worried about the left because "they will come back, where else will they go?" Hmmmmm.
Re: It was also reported that the White House isn’t too worried about the left because “they will come back, where else will they go?”
Pride comes before a fall... Go ahead, take me for granted.
We've been taught by the Democratic Party that voting 3rd party is throwing your vote away and giving the elections to the Republicans. Well, if there's not much difference between the two parties; if the corporations own them both; then so be it, I will vote for a 3rd party not beholden to elite and the corporations they own.
Here's the key to what the Wingnuts are saying.
DDay and DRichards,
I think there is a very large part of the voting population (the part that voted for Obama) that could move to become a third party. I think the White House is ignoring them (and us) to their peril!
Re: I think there is a very large part of the voting population (the part that voted for Obama) that could move to become a third party. I think the White House is ignoring them (and us) to their peril!
I'm excited about forming a new party! Where do I sign up?
It seems to me that the Greens have doggedly carried the progressive banner that the Democratic Party is tossing aside.
I'm going to sign up today.
Churches (temples, mosques, etc) are organizations of human beings and express many the good and bad that humans are capable of. There are many churches (I’m using the term generically for houses of worship) that have social outreach. Some of the churches with significant social outreach programs still have large building programs.)
I could give you numerous examples, but uncharacteristically I’ll keep this short. People like to be associated with the biggest church, the winning team, etc, and leaders cater to and take advantage of this human characteristic.
I guess I missed all the diamonds and gold jewelry Jesus and his "crowd" wore.
Just because some do it doesn't make it right.
Once a "trigger" is part of any healthcare reform, the healthcare corporations will work from that day on to get Dems. out of office and get a "friendlier" Republican-controlled government that would never enact a trigger.
For the record...I have not meant to imply that advocate voting for a third party. I have been practicing what Thom has advocated for. Join and get in there and change it for the better. I do advocate exploring how the progressive wing can gain the notice and respect of the Democratic Party. I do recognize that they have a cavalier attitude and use us. What must we do to be taken seriously and have our voices heard? Is there nothing short of threatening to take our toys and going elsewhere which will accomplish our shared goals? We need to figure out how to direct a shot across the bow which will do more than spark a chuckle.
We have all yelled until we are hoarse, stayed up late writing letters to congressmen, sent out hundreds of emails,risked disdain by having heated discussions with neighbors and families. People across the country have opened their deep wounds to tell very moving stories about lives being destroyed because of INSURANCE FRAUD. Those stories were not at all easy for destroyed families to share.
President Obama needs to risk losing his next election to fight for what he promised to give us. There is absolutely no excuse that President Obama can give these heart-broken familes for caving in on a public option. I am no longer buying the arguments saying that he is between a rock and a hard spot. Thom is absolutely right. He could CHOOSE to be a leader like Roosevelt and if he doesn't do that, he is not the man we thought he was.
You know I'm not religious and my point wasn't to justify the building programs of churches and high salaries of many clergy.
The reality is that a large number of people in this country have deep and meaningful affiliations with their churches. Progressives can either recognize that fact and have it's own "social outreach" to these people and churches or leave them to the influence of the right wing.
Even on this blog many people speak of their religious and spiritual beliefs. I don't hold those beliefs, but I don't support dismissing them. There are also many small and medium size churches that aren't corporate.
Many religious church going people as well as people living in rural areas feels that progressives look down on them. They're not completely wrong. We can dismiss them at our own peril.
Part of the reason Prop 8 passed in California is that the gay activist community, didn't take their case to the churches while the supporters of Prop 8 went there in force.
Democratic candidates and elected officials tried to bridge the gap by wearing their religion on their sleeves. It wasn't an overwhelming success. With as many religious people as we have in our ranks, why would we leave the outreach to the religious communities in the hands of politicians? We've already learned we can't do that on other progressive issues.
Isn't the spread of our progressive understanding of the world a type of social outreach worthy of an effort? My point wasn't to justify the negatives of churches. I was pointing out that like people, our institutions have good and bad aspects.
Let he/she who is without sin cast the first stone.
SELL-OUT: President Obama is a wishy-washy, just-right-of-the-center-of-road, pro-corporatist with a Chief of Staff who seems intent on having Obama being remembered in the light of such luminaries as John Tyler, Jr., James K. Polk and James Buchanan, Jr. . . Only without their successes.
One wonderfully progressive church is the Unitarian Church. I need to get myself there this weekend to start working as part of strong community that offers warmth and hugs too. I am worried that we are going to feel the same kind of despair next Wednesday, that we felt after John Kerry lost.
To quote DDay from an earlier post today
"It has been reported by David Gregory and also Chuck Todd, yesterday, that Pres. Obama will tell his left base to man-up and be good soldiers accepting whatever we get. It was also reported that the White House isn’t too worried about the left because “they will come back, where else will they go?”"
Oh yeah . . . What will I do . . . I will wait for him (and every pro-corporatist politician I can find) in the TALL-TALL grass and UNELECT them all.
Thanks Thom, I've been crying all morning, along with many I imagine, and the straw pole is sure helping! The news reports have made us feel this way and we really don't know. I hope that the news reports are part of a brilliant chess game.
Runs over folk without responsibility, accepts bribes, actively enacts nepotism, violates the Hatch Act prohibitions and refuses to answer Congress under oath . . . Chris Christie sounds like the PERFECT New Jersey Governor!!!
DANAGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER! DANAGER!
Indoctrination Alert: Gingrich to destroy History:
'Sorry, I'm not going to engage. I'm not interested enough in these aspects of this subject right now.
God bless anyone who works to help others.
Rather than despair, I get mad. If I can't gain access thru the front door I start checking for open windows. It helps to know that there are good people of good heart who share values and a vision which are worthy of fighting for. Never give up. Never!
About corporate personhood, could we not just pass a law defining what a legal person is in the country? Since there is no place in the constitution that actually defines what a person is, could not a simple law redefine this?
Quark, Anytime my sweet little sub-atomic particle. Someday I'd like to buy you a drink. Bubble tea or something more to your liking. Hopefully someday our paths will cross. By the way I have been a member of the royal order of the blue flame since around 1969. I got a merit badge in fart lighting at Boy Scout Camp. Thom lived a sheltered life in Michigan.
Well, Thom, your "full Monty" story goes a long way to explain the perverse contractor behavior in Iraq and Afghanistan: they're 14-year-olds! Video:
All men are 14 years old.
I hope our paths cross, too. BTW, my son told me all about lighting farts years ago! (My reaction remains the same --- this kind of stuff just doesn't occur to girls --- at least not the girls I know/knew! LOL)
I resemble that remark!
Re: All men are 14 years old.
I really AM laughing out loud! (But aren't we all children at heart?)
Thom had a great first hour of comments on Thursday, September 3, 2009.