Progressive Notes: CPC to Tour America for People’s Budget, Full Employment Act, Boxer Tells It and Other Happenings

By |June 18th, 2011|

Art offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist. Russ Feingold is reportedly pondering a run for either governor or senate in Wisconsin. And boy he let it rip this week at a labor rally. He struck at corporate power and our weak willed pols who won't stand up to it. Its a moving speech. [...]

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New York Times: Pakistan Arrests CIA Bin Laden Informants

By |June 15th, 2011|

With friends like these... Pakistan's top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in the months leading up to the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to American officials. Pakistan's detention of five C.I.A. informants, including a Pakistani Army [...]

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Bachmann Stars, Romney Skates, Pawlenty Blows It

By |June 14th, 2011|

Granted, it was a fundraiser, not a free rally. But the empty seats were hard to miss. The top level of the 2,200-seat concert hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts was entirely empty, as were the seats along the side of the second and third levels. - Obama fundraiser underwhelms E.J. Dionne [...]

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Panetta in Pakistan

By |June 10th, 2011|

Coming after his confirmation hearings for SecDef, Leon Panetta arrives in Pakistan: CIA director Leon Panetta arrived here Friday on an unannounced visit that marked his first trip to Pakistan since al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a Navy SEAL raid more than a month ago, U.S. and Pakistani officials said. Panetta's visit [...]

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It’s Obama’s Economy Now

By |June 3rd, 2011|

This is not a revelation, because I wrote about it in great detail before the 2010 midterms, sounding warnings for months and months that Pres. Obama buying into the Right's economic argument would end in big trouble for us all. The connection between the foreclosure crisis and rampant unemployment is well known by economists and [...]

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Bin Laden Worth It, Afghanistan Is Not

By |May 30th, 2011|

"I saw it as a vote to manifest my growing impatience," California Rep. Howard Berman, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told POLITICO. "I just don't know how long, if it's not working with Pakistan, how we're ever going to be successful in Afghanistan." "I made a conscious shift. This was the [...]

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Progressive Notes: Humphrey at 100, and Latest Happenings

By |May 28th, 2011|

Texan4Hillary offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist. Humphrey speaks at 1948 Dem convention on civil rights: This past January the media swooned for Reagan’s 100th birthday. Well this week we progressives are the ones recalling the 100th birthday of one of the greatest liberals of the 20th century: Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey was known as the “happy warrior” because of his famous 1948 speech at the Democratic National Convention. He was 37 and mayor of Minneapolis at the time. The party was split over civil rights for blacks. He told the party: “To those who say this civil rights program is an infringement on states’ rights,” he thundered from the convention podium, “I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.” The motion carried. The Southerners walked out and ran Strom Thurmond for president. When Harry S. Truman won nonetheless, Democrats were on their way to becoming the party of civil rights. Hubert Humphrey catalyzed that change. The New Deal liberal lost a brutally close 1968 election against Nixon for POTUS. Many say if given a few more weeks Humphrey would have won. Imagine how different this nation would have been had Humphrey not lost. With his loss he returned to the Senate. He pushed for New Deal policies to get people to work. But some Democrats like Carter moved away from New Dealism. From FDR. Truman. LbJ. And so, faced with opposition from top DC Dems on jobs programs he tried another tact: In 1976 he joined Representative Augustus Hawkins, a Democrat from the Watts section of Los Angeles, to introduce a bill requiring the government, especially the Federal Reserve, to keep unemployment below 3 percent ““ and if that failed, to provide emergency government jobs to the unemployed. … 70 percent of Americans believed the government should offer jobs to everyone who wanted one. However, Jimmy Carter ““ a new kind of Democrat answering to a new upper-middle-class, suburban constituency, embarrassed by industrial unions and enamored with the alleged magic of the market ““ did not. “Government cannot eliminate poverty or provide a bountiful economy or reduce inflation or save our cities or cure illiteracy or provide energy,” President Carter said in his 1978 State of the Union address, a generation before Bill Clinton said almost the same thing, cementing the Democrats’ ambivalent retreat from New Deal-based government activism. And here we are today. Reaganism has brainwashed a generation. Reagan is Obama’s hero. From 1968 came Nixon, Watergate, Carterism, Reagan, and of course today’s moderate Republican Democrat Obama. We owe alot to Humphrey. He did so much. Champion of the middle class Elizabeth Warren faced nothing but pure disrespect when she answered questions to GOP congressmembers. Right wing Congressman McHenry (R-NC) called Warren a liar. These men treated her like dirt, and Warren’s face said it all: Hey- women are tired of being treated like garbage by the guys in our political system! In Texas the spirit of Ann Richards is alive and well among many. State Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston (D) had quite the event on the House floor this week. She: …delivered a riveting speech condemning a flyer handed out on behalf of the Texas Civil Justice League that used a graphic picture of a child nursing at a woman’s breast to question whether pending legislation would create “a nanny state.” In a session in which the House “has spent 30 to 40 percent of its time kicking the reproductive organs of women down the road,” Thompson took issue with lobbyists using a picture of a breast in calling attention to legislation. “I am really disgusted,” she said. “I am really ashamed. Some of you may find these funny. I find these hateful. They foster violence and disrespect towards women. I am appalled that the Texas Civil Justice League would go so low to get at a piece of legislation.”… Thompson pounded the podium as she finished her speech with an admonition: “Men, if you don’t stand up for us today, don’t you walk in this chamber tomorrow.” She received a standing ovation. House Speaker Joe Straus, who by coincidence had scheduled a reception for the women lawmakers Thursday evening, said he “did a lot of listening” as women trickled into the event. “ He agreed the flyer was in “beyond poor taste.” “I do think all of us need to be mindful of how we treat each other,” he said, adding that it had been an extremely stressful session. “People are away from their families for 140 days and we have worked hard with a lot of challenging tasks.” Lee Parsley, president of the Texas Civil Justice League, apologized for the flyer, which he said was disseminated without his approval. “I am very sorry the offensive piece exists at all and that you had to see it,” Parsley said in a letter distributed to lawmakers. We have video of her awesome speech : The result? The formation of the Women’s Caucus in the Texas House. Top Democratic and Republican representatives will now join forces to try and put a lid on the defamation of women . PPP partnered with Progressive Change Campaign Committee to do polling in key battleground states where Democratic senators face tough races. They polled in Missouri, Ohio, Montana and Minnesota. The results were the same in every state: touch Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security and the voters will punish you. Senator McCaskill in Missouri has been running around with a plan to slash the budget worse than Ryan. Wake up McCaskill and others: In Missouri, a poll conducted by PPP, a Democratic-aligned polling firm, showed that cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security would be especially unpopular. The poll in Missouri of 1,050 likely voters found that 19 percent would support reducing Medicare expenditures while 77 percent opposed Medicare trims. The survey question was phrased this way: In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Medicare, which is the government health insurance program for the elderly? A similar question on Medicaid found that 32 percent would support cuts to reduce the national debt while 63 percent would oppose them. For Social Security, 17 percent would support cuts; 76 percent oppose them. Florida’s Governor Scott is boosting Dem fortunes in the state. Austerity never wins votes with the electorate. Last week red Jacksonville elected its first Dem mayor in 20 years, and to boot he is their first African American and the guy is also a former aid to President Clinton. Minorities poured out to vote, enraged by the cold hearted governance of Scott. A new poll Scott at a 28pct approval rating. Yikes. Why? : […]

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Pak-US on the Rocks

By |May 27th, 2011|

'Intelligence fusion' cells, some that help us in Afghanistan, have been ordered shut down by Pakistan, with a demand that U.S. reduce troops in that country as well. From the LA Times: In a clear sign of Pakistan's deepening mistrust of the United States, Islamabad has told the Obama administration to reduce the number of [...]

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Beyond Afghanistan: Mass Graves in Mexico

By |April 25th, 2011|

Question: Which country is more important to United States interests right now, Afghanistan, Libya or Mexico? You really have to wonder about our leadership when we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq, while on our southern border there is such violence, carnage and anarchy that the State Dept. warns against nonessential [...]

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Obama Reelection Pitch: Lift Social Security Payroll Cap

By |April 20th, 2011|

**bumped** I'll take Yglesias's post as a sign there is a possibility we'll be saved from Obamanomics. Yesterday in Virginia, Pres. Obama pushed one way to "stabilize the system" and Social Security, while he simultaneously works to make Congress more feckless through the Independent Payment Advisory Board, created through ACA, whose power he now wants [...]

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