What Would Teddy Think Today?

By |August 4th, 2011|

Depends on which Edward M. Kennedy you'd ask. Teddy Kennedy of 1978, who stood up to challenge Jimmy Carter no matter the cost, he might have one opinion of Barack Obama's presidency. I remember that Kennedy, while I stood in gas lines in New York City and watched how helpless America looked during the Iranian [...]

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Obama’s Lost Moon Shot on Energy

By |July 20th, 2011|

"... We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that [...]

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HIT PIECE: Michele Bachmann’s ‘Stress-Induced’ Headaches ‘Incapacitate’

By |July 19th, 2011|

Aw, come on, boys. If John F. Kennedy can do it on all the drugs he chugged, so can Michele Bachmann. The Daily Caller headline is the tell: Stress-related condition "˜incapacitates' Bachmann; heavy pill use alleged. It cannot possibly be a coincidence that with Rep. Michele Bachmann surging we now are privy to a potentially [...]

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We Don’t Build Anymore, We Privatize

By |June 11th, 2011|

... Today's intellectual consensus thus fiercely opposes public infrastructure. For example, while it's always nice to talk about repairing bridges, in 2009, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) pointed out the truth of the Obama administration's stimulus program: "Larry Summers hates infrastructure. And some of these other economists "“ they don't like infrastructure. "¦ They want to [...]

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Weiner Wrap, with Barbara Walters

By |June 10th, 2011|

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy The elite D.C. media, new media, talking heads, gleeful Republicans, and spineless Democrats all weighed in... and then New Yorkers had their say, including Barbara Walters. According to the one-day poll, conducted Wednesday, just 33 percent of voters in New York's Ninth Congressional [...]

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Old Fogie Justice and Breitbart Lies

By |June 9th, 2011|

"She loves her husband very much. She is committed to her husband and her marriage," the close friend said. She's adamant that her husband does not resign, and is optimistic that he can continue his career as an elected official. "I think people have weathered worse," said the source. "They are still talking all 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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nwIdIUVFm4&feature=player_embedded#at=42 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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RET2Z5AVJ8A&feature=player_embedded 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 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKf-6WiBq_Q&feature=youtu.be 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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Saving ‘Rawhide’

By |March 30th, 2011|

**UPDATED** It came very close for "Rawhide," Pres. Reagan's Secret Service code name. A remarkable report from CBS News adds to the history of this day. At 2:27 pm EST, thirty years ago today, Pres. Ronald Reagan was shot and critically wounded, though the American public didn't know how grievously at the time. John Hinckley [...]

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John F. Kennedy, 50 Years Ago Today

By |January 20th, 2011|

The mystique of the Kennedys, J.F.K.'s presidency cut short, along with Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy's brilliant stroke to create the myth of Camelot after Pres. Kennedy's assassination, is all part of why John Fitzgerald Kennedy remains our nation's most popular president in modern times, the last 50 years. It was also the ability he had, through [...]

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Dr. Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy

By |January 17th, 2011|

more at Huffington Post Dr. King’s rhetoric was forged in fire and brimstone on the altar of confrontation. King was destined to pave the way, not just for Barack Obama, but for another Democratic president back in his day, which is why I run this piece I wrote years ago every year on this day. It took the collision of two great men to dismantle the prejudice of America’s political history, even if civil rights remains a scarred wound that doesn’t take much to rip open. Dr. King was forever challenging the U.S. media, but there weren’t many in the establishment that didn’t feel Dr. King’s heat. It’s certain that President John F. Kennedy did. But King lived in times of volatility, cataclysmic change and violent national shifts. He was a powerfully effective man of peace in a time of country and cultural wars. Some believe that President Kennedy’s presidency was owed, at least in part, to Dr. Martin Luther King. In a moment of stunning political pressure inside his own camp, candidate Kennedy reached out to Martin Luther King when he was convicted of a probation violation after participating in a diner sit-in in Atlanta, Georgia. Forever the political pragmatist, Kennedy saw the light, with a big push from Bobby, and interceded on behalf of King to get him released from Reidsville Prison. That, as some tell it, changed history. King as an ally brought out the black vote, helping to defeat Nixon. But there were many other fault lines in 1960, including Texas, Illinois, but especially West Virginia, that played their part, too. So I’ll let you be the judge of whether King helped elect Kennedy. He sure didn’t hurt him. Neither did Kennedy’s pledge to right the wrongs being done to blacks. However, once president, Kennedy was simply too obsessed with foreign policy issues to turn his attention to the home front. He just didn’t get the importance of King’s fights down south, at first, especially when juxtaposed against the crisis brewing overseas. The challenges escalating between East and West Germany kept JFK’s attention focused on nuclear confrontation, then came the Cuban Missile crisis. But eventually, JFK began to finally understand that the home front matters as much as what’s happening “over there,” especially in the face of horrible prejudice. Kennedy was a man who could change and he did. Known as the Birmingham Campaign, King altered history and shifted Kennedy’s thinking along with it. His famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is now legend. It was King’s incarceration in Birmingham that led Coretta Scott King to call President Kennedy, which resulted in him interceding once again on King’s behalf, forcing the Birmingham bigots to allow King to talk to his wife. The March on Washington and King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” worried President Kennedy at the time. He was understandably concerned about violence breaking out, but eventually King won him over. Watching the brutality in Birmingham and the subsequent political push from King and other civil rights leaders changed Kennedy forever. Months before King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, on June 11, 1963, JFK proposed action that would offer “the kind of equality of treatment which we would want for ourselves.” Martin Luther King, Jr. had gotten through to Kennedy, revealing something from which J.F.K. had once been distanced, a world away. John F. Kennedy’s address that June: […]

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