Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Howard Dean on DFA, the DNC and Tomorrow's Meetup
Democracy for America (DFA) has released a video of Howard Dean in conjunction with our DFA-DFNM Meetups tomorrow. Dr. Dean speaks to us about the status of the Democratic Party and where it needs to move to win, his views on the possibility of running for DNC Chair and how we can help DFA grow and be successful in future. Click here to view a Windows or Quicktime video clip.
DFA has also annouced it's working with Toys for Tots to collect toys and distribute them to needy children in the community this holiday season. For more information about this program in New Mexico, click here.
In December, DFA is also encouraging Meetup groups to plan DFACorps activities for the holiday season. On December 11th and 12th, they are planning a National Weekend of Action where DFA groups around the country will participate in a variety of community service activities. We'll be discussing ideas for this soon. Any suggestions?
Join Friday Protest in ABQ on Voting Irregularities
From the message boards on the Friends of MoveOn in NM blog:
This Friday, December 3rd, there will be a demonstration by an ad hoc group of concerned citizens who would like to call attention to the voting irregularities coming to light from various states across the nation.
The media is NOT reporting any of this, even though Jesse Jackson has had daily press conferences and the GAO has issued a full investigation of alleged suppression of voting within many counties in Ohio and Florida.
Please come with signs. Press releases and kits are going out Wednesday.
December 3rd from 4 PM to 6 PM in front of the Federal Court House at Lomas and 3rd.
I got an email from a local Daily Kos member that explains the group that started this is comprised primarily of MoveOn and Verified Voting in NM folks. They're trying to get participation from the rest of the Albuquerque progressive community.
They believe the timing is right for this because the Green and Libertarian Party candidates just filed for a NM recount, as reported in a Washington Post article today.
George Bush and Congressional Republicans are gearing up to take yet another swing at working families. This time the plan calls for a tax hike by removing the deductibility of your state and local income and property taxes. This money isn't going to deficit reduction, and it's not even going to fund new spending initiatives. Instead, the money is going to the wealthiest one percent of Americans in the form of new tax breaks on investments like stock sales, dividends, and interest earnings.
To make things worse, Bush and his Republican allies have decided that adding to the tax burden of working families isn't enough, so they're going after their employers by removing the tax deductibility of insuring workers—a move sure to increase both the cost of health care and the number of uninsured Americans.
But we can stop them by standing up for what we believe in. The first step is to spread the word: write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and tell them that giveaways to the rich are wrong. Then call your member of Congress and tell them that as a constituent you don't support unfairly taxing working families. We must act today in order to stop this backdoor tax hike and prevent further erosion of the tax system.
(From Kicking Ass.)
Monday, November 29, 2004
Tis the Season
Another in a continuing series of Brand Democrat offerings. Yours for the taking. You can even make your own version using tools at the site.
Bring Your Phone Cards to December Meetup
The next DFA - Democracy for New Mexico Meetup is Wednesday, December 1st from 7-9 PM. In Albuquerque we'll be at Page One bookstore and in Santa Fe at the Church of Religious Science at 505 Camino de los Marquez.
All across the country people are discussing what to do next. One suggestion received by DFA's national office was to reactivate DFACorps (nee DeanCorps), which performs community service on behalf of Democracy for America. The first effort will be to donate long-distance phone cards to wounded and disabled veterans in VA hospitals for the holiday season. You can read about the details in a post last week on this website.
Note that each phone card donation sent into the DFA offices will be matched by Democracy for America. Your $10 card will immediately become $20 worth of phone time!
We think Democracy for New Mexico should rise to this occasion. We all talk about making the holidays less about consumerism and more about real generosity. This is a tangible way to help wounded soldiers while bringing attention to the fact that the Bush regime, which gets such undeserved credit for being pro-military, is leaving them high and dry during the holidays.
So when you come to the Meetup on December 1st, please bring an unused phone card of any denomination. (DFA is non-denominational.)
Collect cards from friends and family, too. Meetup Coordinators will send them with your best wishes to DFA headquarters in Burlington. If you can't make it to the Meetup and still want to donate cards, you can send them to us in Albuquerque or Santa Fe. We'll send the address to you on request.
We have a friendly bet going as to which group will donate the most phone cards, so give generously and often!
John McAndrew, Santa Fe
Barbara Wold, Albuquerque
P.S. Please don't forget to RSVP at Meetup.com if you plan to attend!
Sunday, November 28, 2004
The Politics of Victimization
Matthew Gross's website, Deride and Conquer, features an article on the state of the Democratic Party and what's really wrong with this picture. It's written by Mel Gilles, who has worked for many years as an advocate for victims of domestic abuse:
Watch Dan Rather apologize for not getting his facts straight, humiliated before the eyes of America, voluntarily undermining his credibility and career of over thirty years. Observe Donna Brazille squirm as she is ridiculed by Bay Buchanan, and pronounced irrelevant and nearly non-existent. Listen as Donna and Nancy Pelosi and Senator Charles Schumer take to the airwaves saying that they have to go back to the drawing board and learn from their mistakes and try to be better, more likable, more appealing, have a stronger message, speak to morality. Watch them awkwardly quote the bible, trying to speak the new language of America. Surf the blogs, and read the comments of dismayed, discombobulated, confused individuals trying to figure out what they did wrong. Hear the cacophony of voices, crying out, “Why did they beat me?”
And then ask anyone who has ever worked in a domestic violence shelter if they have heard this before.
They will tell you, every single day.
The answer is quite simple. They beat us because they are abusers. We can call it hate. We can call it fear. We can say it is unfair. But we are looped into the cycle of violence, and we need to start calling the dominating side what they are: abusive. And we need to recognize that we are the victims of verbal, mental, and even, in the case of Iraq, physical violence.
As victims we can’t stop asking ourselves what we did wrong. We can’t seem to grasp that they will keep hitting us and beating us as long as we keep sticking around and asking ourselves what we are doing to deserve the beating.
Click here to keep reading.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Testify at Hearing on Albuquerque's Toxic Waste Dump
TOXIC WASTE ACTION ALERT! CALLING ON MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO TESTIFY AT HEARING FOR ALBUQUERQUE'S TOXIC WASTE DUMP! An estimated 100,000 cubic ft. of radioactive and hazardous chemical waste sits in shallow, unlined pits and trenches at SNL above Albuquerque’s sole source water supply. The fate of the dump will be ultimately decided by Ron Curry, Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Dept. Will the NMED allow SNL to abandon the waste in place or order the lab to clean it up?
Citizen Action New Mexico supports full cleanup of the waste site called the Mixed Waste Landfill at SNL in order to protect our precious groundwater and the health of surrounding communities over the long-term. YOU TOO CAN HELP! ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE LANDFILL!
Thursday, Dec. 2 and Friday, Dec. 3 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
2500 Carlisle Blvd. NE, Albuquerque
Members of the public are urged to attend to voice their opinions on what should be done with the waste. Comments from the public will be taken at intervals throughout the day and at 7 p.m. each evening. There will be a sign-in sheet for members of the public who wish to submit their comments on the waste dump. After the hearing Environment
Department Secretary Ron Curry will make the final decision for the dump.
There will be a TALKING POINTS PUBLIC MEETING sponsored by Citizen Action to assist members of the public with their comments for the hearing regarding the Mixed Waste Landfill (Albuquerque’s nuclear waste dump): Tuesday - November 30: 7-8 p.m.; Loma Linda Community Center; 1700 Yale SE Albuquerque; For more information call Citizen Action New Mexico at 280-1844.
From Sue Dayton and Citizen Action.
Old Democrats, New Democrats, Newer Democrats
Since we all have a little more time to read, given the long holiday weekend, I'm offering some material for you to devour and contemplate as we engage in debate about the future, if any, of the Democratic Party. A couple of pieces were featured in posts from the last few days.
There are also frequently updated links to timely articles and video clips under the topic Must Read and See on the right-hand sidebar of this page. And today I'm providing a link to an article called Old Democrats and the Shock of the New, written by Ruy Teixeira of the Donkey Rising blog who wrote the book, The Emerging Democratic Majority, with John Judis. The piece will be a chapter in a forthcoming book on Varieties of Progressivism in America, edited by Peter Berkowitz.
Saudis, Enron Money Helped Pay for US Rigged Election?
If true, this could be the "smoking gun" investigators have been looking for in the search for evidence about fraudulent activities during the presidential election:
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer.
November 25, 2004—According to informed sources in Washington and Houston, the Bush campaign spent some $29 million to pay polling place operatives around the country to rig the election for Bush. The operatives were posing as Homeland Security and FBI agents but were actually technicians familiar with Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S, Triad, Unilect, and Danaher Controls voting machines. These technicians reportedly hacked the systems to skew the results in favor of Bush.
The leak about the money and the rigged election apparently came from technicians who were promised to be paid a certain amount for their work but the Bush campaign interlocutors reneged and some of the technicians are revealing the nature of the vote rigging program.
Go to Online Journal for the entire article and a link to a follow-up on the rigging scheme. (Thanks to Andrea Sterling for this article.)
Update: This story has been debunked by Keith Olbermann in one of his Bloggerman posts.
Friday, November 26, 2004
Kevin Drum at Political Animal, the blog of The Washington Monthly, has described his reactions, both pro and con, upon reading George Lakoff's new book, Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives. Elephant is viewed by many as required reading for all progressives. Howard Dean and many others think Lakoff's take on political messaging and issue "framing" is the best thing since sliced bread. Drum is less enamored of Lakoff. Check out Drum's analysis and the blog debate that follows.
What's your take on Lakoff and his theories? Have you read his new book yet? What did you think?
What Is a Liberal?
At a time when the word "liberal" has been tarred and feathered by right-wing think tanks, media pundits, Red State Republicans and even the DLC wing of the DNC, I think it's a good idea to contemplate what the word really means. Here's what President John Kennedy had to say on the topic back in 1960:
What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."
But first, I would like to say what I understand the word "Liberal" to mean and explain in the process why I consider myself to be a "Liberal," and what it means in the presidential election of 1960.
In short, having set forth my view -- I hope for all time -- two nights ago in Houston, on the proper relationship between church and state, I want to take the opportunity to set forth my views on the proper relationship between the state and the citizen. This is my political credo:
I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.
I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.
Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies. And the only basic issue in the 1960 campaign is whether our government will fall in a conservative rut and die there, or whether we will move ahead in the liberal spirit of daring, of breaking new ground, of doing in our generation what Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and Adlai Stevenson did in their time of influence and responsibility.
Our liberalism has its roots in our diverse origins. Most of us are descended from that segment of the American population which was once called an immigrant minority. Today, along with our children and grandchildren, we do not feel minor. We feel proud of our origins and we are not second to any group in our sense of national purpose. For many years New York represented the new frontier to all those who came from the ends of the earth to find new opportunity and new freedom, generations of men and women who fled from the despotism of the czars, the horrors of the Nazis, the tyranny of hunger, who came here to the new frontier in the State of New York. These men and women, a living cross section of American history, indeed, a cross section of the entire world's history of pain and hope, made of this city not only a new world of opportunity, but a new world of the spirit as well.
Go ahead and read the entire speech.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
How About a Little Recogntion for our Hosts
News and Views by Native American Students can be found at Rez Net
Brown Chick is a more personal blog by a Native American student who writes: “Plea to liberal/cool white people: Please do not flee the country. I am Native American and do not have the option of moving to another country to escape Bush and his neonazi Republican minions. This, in the deepest sense possible, is my country. And so we need cool white people here more than ever. Please don't leave, please don't give up. Fight!!!!!!
Plea to Bush's neonazi Republican minions: Go back to where you came from. And if you're Native American, you need to have some sense bitchslapped into you. I will gladly oblige.”
Reflections of an Outlaw Indian Lawyer has an interesting story about Ronald Reagan who is, let us give thanks on this day of thanks, still dead.
Finally, check out Blue Corn Comic Books for some interesting art work and story lines.
(The above links and comments are courtesy of Atrios.)
For extensive information and links related to New Mexico's native tribes, check out New Mexico's Pueblo Indians, a website by San Juan Pueblo/Hopi native, Bernadett Charley Gallegos.
And we can't forget the Spanish thanksgiving feasters who preceded the Pilgrims by up to a half century. Click here to read about the various claims for the FIRST thanksgiving, from the banks of the Rio Grande to St. Augustine and Jacksonville, Florida.