Sunday, April 29, 2007

WA. Democrats Vote to Keep Presidential Caucuses

From 790AM - KGMI Local News:
Democratic Committee Votes for Caucuses
Washington's Democratic Party will continue using caucuses instead of the presidential primary election. At a meeting held yesterday in Bellingham, members voted against an amendment that would have used the primary election in choosing delegates. Republicans also mainly use caucuses, but have allocated delegates to varying degrees based on the primary results. They will meet in June to decide what to do next year.
On Thursday, the Bellingham Herald carried an editorial urging the Democrats to use a Presidential primary instead of caucuses. If the editorial board had any chance of influencing the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, they blew it with their closing sentence: "We hope the Democrat Party faithful meeting here Saturday understand that and will honor it." (the online edition was corrected to read "Democratic Party" after the print edition went out.)

It wasn't possible to scrap next May's Presidential primary because the Washington State Republican Party uses the primary to pick a token number of delegate to their convention. So it's the Republicans who are responsible for the $9.7 million of taxpayer money to be spent on the primary.

Part of the Herald's editorial said:
Democrats prefer to pick their convention delegates at sparsely attended caucus meetings. Those meetings require interested people to spend several hours talking about candidates before agreeing on whom to support.
And they seem to think it's a bad thing to spending several hours (once every four years) being part of the process of picking the Party's Presidential candidate. The General Election is there for citizens to decide which political party's candidate gets elected, but first the party's have to pick candidates.

There's more to democracy than just putting a mark on a ballot. Shortly before he was ousted, Saddam Hussien held an election in Iraq and being the only one on the ballot he got 99% of the votes, of course.

Democracy is a process. I can understand how folks who feel aligned with the Democratic Party would want to have a say in who the Presidential candidate is. But to have a say, they have to show up at the caucus. That's all it takes. Anyone who shows up and declares themself a Democrat can participate. The sparse attendance isn't because anyone is turned away at the door. Democracy isn't a spectator sport, you have to turn out if you want to play.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Canadians Protest Washington Border Vigilantes

Protesters say border watchers not welcome
Apr, 28 2007 - 3:10 PM

VANCOUVER - About two dozen protesters rallied at five sites along Zero Avenue to voice their outrage against the Washington Minutemen, a group whose members have taken it upon themselves to guard the 49th Parellel. The protesters gathered at places where the Minutemen usually park their trucks and watch for drug runners or illegal crossings.
Kirk Shields-Priddy with Project Ploughshares says the Minutemen are a vigilante group and aren't accountable to anyone.
He says his "nightmare situation would be if someone was hurt or killed by someone who was a self-appointed border watcher."
Since US gun laws allow Minutemen to carry concealed weapons, Shields-Priddy worries someone will take the law into thier own hands and injure someone else.
It seems everybody on both sides of the border is fed up with those crazy old coots lurking along the border and stalking innocent people. Thanks to our Canadian neighbors for speaking up.

Bush Should Sign Iraq Bill

Ex-General: Bush Should Sign Iraq Bill
On Democrats' Radio Time Retired Army Big Says U.S. Squandered Lives

(AP) President Bush should sign legislation starting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq on Oct. 1, retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom said Saturday.

"I hope the president seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill Congress has sent him," Odom said, delivering the Democrats' weekly radio address. ...

... "The challenge we face today is not how to win in Iraq; it is how to recover from a strategic mistake: invading Iraq in the first place," he said. "The president has let (the Iraq war) proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued. He lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies."... (full article)
Listen to the Radio address:

Bush really should check in with reality and sign the bill. His failed policies are making things worse and costing more American and Iraqi lives everyday.
Annual terrorism report will show 29% rise in attacks
By Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay - McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - A State Department report on terrorism due out next week will show a nearly 30 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide in 2006 to more than 14,000, almost all of the boost due to growing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Friday. ...

... Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her top aides earlier this week had considered postponing or downplaying the release of this year's edition of the terrorism report, officials in several agencies and on Capitol Hill said. ...

... The U.S. intelligence community is said to be preparing a separate, classified report on terrorist "safe havens" worldwide, and officials have debated whether Iraq meets that definition. ... (full article)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Congress Ok's Funds for the Troops

The House and Senate have agreed on $124 billion war funding legislation.
Now it's up to Bush; will he sign the bill or will he abandon the troops?

Riverbend will leave Iraq........

it's so sad and hard to contemplate what it must be like to face leaving one's home after enduring a living hell for 4 long years......a living hell courtesy of our own republican administration, lock-step congress and a willing "news" media who whore for them......i am sickened that my tax dollars have been used to tear so many lives apart......for what????? we hear about victory and winning and fighting "them" there so we don't have to fight "them" here...what does victory or winning look like?????....this i scream at my tv when some shill says it and, of course, they never answer that question.......and for the most part america goes on about it's business in relative safety, overconsumption, and self-righteousness.......
i love my home and my community and i can not imagine what it would be like to risk a dangerous escape after surviving 4 years of danger every day....

and what is up with these rethugs and their walls?????? when all else fails they want to build a wall.....i sure hope enough people will wake up and realize "us and them" is a recipe for the survival of no one.....
my heart is with River and her family and all Iraqis who have been terrorized by these greedy, criminal thugs who have seized control of our county........

america it's way past time to pull over and get directions.......

oh, and don't forget america....freedom is on the march.....the new feudal age is planned for all.....did you think the corporatists had something else in mind for you and yours????........
if we don't care what happens to humans everywhere, no one will survive.........

Thursday, April 26, 2007
The Great Wall of Segregation...

…Which is the wall the current Iraqi government is building (with the support and guidance of the Americans). It's a wall that is intended to separate and isolate what is now considered the largest 'Sunni' area in Baghdad- let no one say the Americans are not building anything. According to plans the Iraqi puppets and Americans cooked up, it will 'protect' A'adhamiya, a residential/mercantile area that the current Iraqi government and their death squads couldn't empty of Sunnis.
........I always hear the Iraqi pro-war crowd interviewed on television from foreign capitals (they can only appear on television from the safety of foreign capitals because I defy anyone to be publicly pro-war in Iraq). They refuse to believe that their religiously inclined, sectarian political parties fueled this whole Sunni/Shia conflict. They refuse to acknowledge that this situation is a direct result of the war and occupation. They go on and on about Iraq's history and how Sunnis and Shia were always in conflict and I hate that. I hate that a handful of expats who haven't been to the country in decades pretend to know more about it than people actually living there.I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were- we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it-
depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the
middle of the night.

.........It's difficult to decide which is more frightening- car bombs and militias, or having to leave everything you know and love, to some unspecified place for a future where nothing is certain.

full post

rudy has fear for sale

thanks Stephanie Miller for directing us to Keith Olberman channeling again as he takes on he fearmongers his way around the country......who's a terrorist? under which party did we get attacked on september 11, 2001......and who took us into an immoral, illegal, shameful war against a people who did not threaten us, our allies, or their neighbors. their only fault was having a brutal dictator....propped up by us.....oh that bush crime family loves a brutal to be made propping them up and money to be made taking them down.....and what's not to love about a robust drug trade on the side.....wheeeeee..........
the nerve of a republican to suggest they have safety to offer!!!!!!!
Video added by citizensteve

thanks to Crooks and Liars for posting and calling attention to his shameful here

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vote for Darcy Burner

Darcy Burner is running (again) for Congress; WA-08.
Right now it's the second round of voting for DFA's Grassroots All-Star.
Darcy needs and deserves your vote (and a contribution if you can).
Watch Darcy's "Campaign Trail Mix 2" and then go Vote for Darcy.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bush in a State of Denial About Iraq.

Part of a speech by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, today at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

... Back in December, the Iraq Study Group said that "the situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating." Unfortunately, since then nothing has changed.

And yet the President on Friday used the word "progress" no fewer than ten times when he gave his Iraq update.

He said that while there were still horrific attacks in Baghdad - and I quote - "The direction of the fight is beginning to shift." In describing his escalation of American troops - what he calls a surge - he said, "so far the operation is meeting expectations."

The White House transcript says the President made those remarks in the State of Michigan. I believe he made them in the state of denial.

These are the facts on the ground, the hard truths facing our heroic troops on the front lines:

-- American casualties are increasing, not decreasing. Four coalition troops have been killed each day this month, making it one of the deadliest months in the war in over two years. My home state of Nevada has lost 27 since the war began, and hundreds remain in harm's way, facing some of the most violent days since the war began.

-- Untold thousands of Iraqi civilians have died, while over two million more have fled the country as refugees.

-- The President used to talk a lot about establishing benchmarks for the Iraqi government. Yet despite our surge in troops and spending, they have failed to take meaningful steps toward achieving them.

-- Militias have not been disbanded and continue to cause terror. And now the Iraqi government itself, once the Bush Administration's greatest pride, stands on the brink of chaos.

-- Progress on amending the Constitution in order to ensure minority rights has languished, giving further fuel to the sectarian infighting.

-- Power, clean water and oil production - all of which are critical to establishing any kind of economic stability - are still not meeting minimum targets - leaving millions in despair.

-- 70% of Iraqi children are suffering from trauma like nightmares, bed wetting, stuttering and fear -- that some say could paralyze an entire generation that we had been counting on to harvest the seeds of democracy.

-- And to make up for shortages of combat-ready troops, tours of duty have been extended, recently from 12 to 15 months, with many soldiers now on their third or fourth tour.

In short, there is no evidence that the escalation is working - and it should come as no surprise, because, as General Petraeus has said, the ultimate solution in Iraq is a political one, not a military one. ... (full text)

Too bad Bush and his cronies aren't competent enough to bring about a political settlement in Iraq.

The insurgents are fighting because they feel they have no voice in the new government or because they want the foreign invaders (that's us) out of their country.

The "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" is looking stupider and stupider. The al-Qaeda terrorists just aren't there.
... The strength of al-Qaeda now is debatable.

Irrespective, for the Bush claims to have validity, foreign fighters of any form would be targeting Americans. In the event this was the case, Bush could rightly continue his mantra, "We are fighting the terrorists in Iraq, so we don't have to fight them at home."

However the small number of foreign fighters in Iraq is not targeting Americans, they are targeting Iraqis.

Four weeks ago, in an interview on the U.S. Defense Department's Pentagon Channel, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said, "Most of the foreign fighters as I read the intelligence, many of the foreign fighters are, in fact, suicide bombers and they come across the border from Syria, perhaps several dozen a month and they are responsible for a lot of these attacks. I think most of the suicide bombers are those who go into marketplaces and are killing other Iraqis to tell you the truth. I think most of these, the irony is foreign fighters are coming into Iraq and killing Iraqis." ...

... Captain Phillip Valenti, public affairs officer for Task Force 134, the U.S. Military Police group in charge of prison operations, was quoted as saying "The intent is to detain individuals determined to be true threats to coalition forces, Iraqi security forces and stability in Iraq."

Every day there are reports of the capture or killing of terrorists in Iraq. ...

... In the Washington Post article however Capt. Valenti is quoted as saying that of the 18,000 detainees in the American-run prisons in Iraq, only 250 are foreign fighters. That's a little over 1 per cent. So where have all the "terrorists" come from? Or are they all Iraqis? ... (source)
No Savage Jihadi Army roaming the streets of Bahgdad and chomping at the bit to invade America. As much as right-wing talkers and bloggers love to conjure up the image of roving bands of terrorist on the streets of AnyTown, U.S.A.; there just ain't no way. The connection between U.S. troops in Iraq and the threat of terrorist attacks on American soil are, at best, imaginary and very probably the reverse of what the Bushies claim. There is a documented increase in world-wide anti-American sentiment since the invasion of Iraq. The Bush Administration may very well be increasing the threat of attacks by staying their stubbornly stupid course in Iraq. The undeniable fact is that U.S. troops occupying Iraq are a cause célèbre for al-Qaeda recruitment.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State of Iraq" says that Iraq under American military occupation is a "university for terror."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Doug Ericksen (R) 42nd LD - Who IS This Guy???

I live in the 42nd Legislative District of Washington State, as a matter of fact my address reads "Ferndale, WA" just like State Representative Doug Ericksen (R - Ferndale). Unfortunately, nothing he does or says comes anywhere close to representing me. Today in a Seattle Times articles titled "Democrats spent big but showed restraint" he's quoted as saying:

... Rep. Doug Ericksen, deputy House Republican leader, contends the Democrats pushed one of the "most radical" agendas the state has seen in years.

"If you look at the mainstream of Washington state, I think this Legislature has been about four steps to the left of the mainstream," said Ericksen, R-Ferndale. ...

But in reality Doug is the one who's out of step... four or five steps to the right of mainstream Washington and the mainstream of his District. I'm far from the only one who thinks so, for example; here's a "Letter to the Editor" in this weeks The Northern Light, the weekly newspaper of Blaine, WA (a border city in the 42nd LD):
The Editor:
I am a Birch Bay resident of the 42nd District who traveled to Olympia to meet Representative Doug Ericksen and urge him to support the Healthy Youth Act (aka sex education bill).
We shook hands as he hurried past me to avoid meeting any more of his constituents who wanted to meet him February 12. I was astonished to hear him say that he hadn’t heard anything about the issue. I know that many local residents sent Representative Ericksen a postcard asking that he vote in favor of the Healthy Youth Act.
I suspect that Representative Ericksen is deliberately ignoring and evading constituents that he disagrees with. Representative Ericksen would appear to be serving his own agenda and is not truly a representative of the 42nd legislative district.
John B. Chadwick

... Representative Ericksen would appear to be serving his own agenda...
A tiny example: a Legislative Page job for the son of Doug's Campaign Treasurer.
From Ericksens Press Release:
Mark Crabtree recently served as a legislative page in the Washington State House of Representatives. He was sponsored by Rep. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale.

Mark, 14, is the son of Charlie and Karolyn Crabtree of Bellingham. An 8th-grader at Meridian Middle School, Mark served as a page from March 12-16.

"I really enjoyed sponsoring Mark as a page. I am hoping he learned a lot about the Washington State Legislature and had some fun in the process," said Ericksen. "I believe it’s important that our young people learn about government and legislative processes, and that they share these experiences with their friends and peers. The decisions we make in Olympia impact them greatly."
"The decisions we make in Olympia impact them greatly." Yes indeed! But when it comes to his decision making, he only listens to his little circle of supporters; Doug doesn't listen to his constituents.

UPDATE: Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman has written about the House Republicans final smear attempt of the legislative session and Doug Ericksen feature prominently. Ericksen really shows his partisanship before good government philosophy. He's perfectly happy to sabotage good legislation, give young girls nightmares and cause people to live in unfounded fear if he thinks it will get a few more votes for Republicans.

Republican attack on prison bill falls short

Posted by David Postman at 02:15 PM

House Republicans took their big stand of the Legislative session last night when they opposed a prison reform bill. They stood and spoke against the bill, saying it put felons before families. And that just happens to be the House GOP theme of the year. As the Republican's deputy leader, Doug Ericksen, said during debate:

"From the first day of session we said, Mr. Speaker, we need to put families in Washington State before those people who have committed crimes against our families."

But the House Republican stand against what's referred to as the offender re-entry bill came off sounding more like a prelude to a political campaign than a substantive debate about prison policy. It fell short as an attack that the measure is any sign that Democrats are soft on crime. ...

... In fact, the bill does not change sentencing laws at all. It doesn't shorten any sentences or increase good time. It creates a program to give prisoners a "re-entry plan" of job training and education and in some cases assistance in finding a place to live when they do get out of prison.

Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee, said last night that he had gotten a call from a constituent whose 13-year-old daughter had been raped and was worried about the pending release of the rapist. Armstrong said the woman had heard about the "legislation for criminals" the Legislature was considering.

"Her daughter still has nightmares and to think that this state was going to help these people that get out early find housing, find jobs, live in our communities, and make it easier to re-offend other 13 year old girls was very troublesome to this mother."

Is there, in fact, anything in the bill that would make it easier, or more likely, someone would reoffend?

"No, it wouldn't," Ericksen told me after the vote last night. ...

... Republicans have tired before to make crime an issue in campaigns. It clearly wasn't much of a help last year against a Democratic onslaught.

Friday, April 20, 2007

John McCain is Nuts - Somebody Had To Say It

Juan Coles has a sharp little analysis of McCain's singing debute.
The Buzz Reason for which Senator John McCain sang "Bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann"? He has a quirky sense of humor.

The Real Reason for which Senator John McCain sang "Bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann"? Senator McCain is actually Major Kong (Slim Pickens" from Dr. Strangelove -- the one who rode the nuclear bomb on down onto the Soviet Union.

... watch the minute long clip of Major Kong.

Americans Say Give Immigrants Path to Citizenship

Immigration is not at the top of the list of issues that the American people are most concerned about. Even though it's not a top priority, a large majority of Americans see a need for reasonable immigration law reform.
Public favors giving illegal immigrants a break

WASHINGTON — While Congress and the White House remain divided over what to do with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the USA, a new poll shows the American public appears to have reached a consensus on the question.

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken last weekend found that 78% of respondents feel people now in the country illegally should be given a chance at citizenship.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who is drafting legislation to grant illegal immigrants an opportunity to stay in the USA, said: "As with so many issues, the American people are ahead of Washington on immigration reform. They know that only a plan that offers a path to earned citizenship will fix our broken system." ...(more)

The far-right front group Judicial Watch has also commissioned a poll. It has loaded questions, of course. So you may hear some righties spewing phony poll numbers along with the rest of their Nativist/racist rhetoric.

Arm yourself with some honest information. Take the time to read about what our immigration laws are really like and learn just how anti-Family Values they really are.

He Doesn't Recall

WASHINGTON, April 19 — Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, trying to salvage his job, endured withering questioning on Thursday from Senate Judiciary Committee members who expressed grave doubts about his truthfulness and judgment in the firing of federal prosecutors. ...

His performance clearly exasperated the committee members, who were angered as he invoked a faulty memory more than 50 times. ... (NYT article)

Obviously once he's ousted from the DoJ, Alberto won't be moving on to an acting career.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pigs Fed Poison Pet Food - Are We Next?

Goldy at has been on top of the latest news about poisonous pet food. Originally it was found that wheat gluten contaminated with melamine had been used in pet food. Next the contaminate was found in rice gluten. And then in corn gluten. Goldy's last update said that the FDA had confirmed that the pet food had been fed to pigs.

And guess what:
(AP) CERES A Stanislaus County hog farm was placed under quarantine after an industrial chemical that's tainted more than 100 brands of dog and cat food was found in pig urine there, state agriculture officials said late Thursday. ...

... State officials believe the melamine came from rice protein concentrate imported from China by Diamond Pet Food's Lathrop facility, which produces products under the Natural Balance brand and sold salvage pet food to the farm for pig feed. ... (full article)
It seems the Chinese have really really taken to laissez-faire capitalism. Perhaps people who poison food to fake a higher protein content and make an extra buck or two shouldn't be on our most favored nation list.

It also seems that our USDA and FDA aren't doing their job of making sure what we eat is safe to eat. I would say some heads should roll... but if they did, they'd probably end up contaminating somebodies dog food.

Organic Agriculture Subcommittee - Who Knew!

House panel holds first hearing devoted to organic farming
By Michael Doyle
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers are giving organic farmers more respect these days. Manuel Vieira hopes that translates into more tangible help, as well.

Vieira grows yams and sweet potatoes organically near the Merced County town of Livingston, Calif. He speaks English with the accent of his native Azores Islands. He wants Congress to seriously step up its organic investments.

"I would like to see more (attention) from the Congress, from the government, paid to the people like myself who are trying to have better food, and a better life," Vieira said Wednesday. ...(more)

- It's nice to know that there is some attention being paid to organic agriculture. Let's hope that with Democrats in the majority, there will be help for organic farmers instead of road blocks like the Republicans threw up.

... Organic farmers urged Wednesday that they be freed from the 5 percent penalty they must currently pay on crop insurance premiums.

Until relatively recently, many organic growers lacked access to insurance for their presumably more-vulnerable crops. Changing insurance premiums, though, could start pitting farmers against the insurance industry.

Farmers say they also want help during the three years that it normally takes for a traditionally cultivated field to become certified certified. The House Agriculture Committee chairman, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., suggested Wednesday that the new farm bill could allow federal conservation payments to assist farmers in making this transition.

"Demand is high," said Robert Marqusee, a rural economic development director from Iowa, "but our aging farmers are caught in the subsidy treadmill."

Here's who sits on the subcommittee:
Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture Dennis A. Cardoza, (D-CA) Chairman

Jurisdiction: fruits and vegetables; honey and bees; marketing and promotion orders; plant pesticides, quarantine, adulteration of seeds, and insect pests; and organic agriculture.

Hide Members

Majority Minority

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Republicans Undermine Justice

Our Democracy continues to be attacked by the Republican Party.
A Letter from Anonymous Justice Employees

Dear Messrs. Chairman,

Many of us in the Department of Justice have been watching with admiration as you expose the overly political firing of United States Attorneys and hope that you can help in returning our beloved Department to of establishing justice in the United States. We are equally concerned, however, about the politicizing of the non-political ranks of Justice employees, offices which are consistently and methodically being eroded by partisan politics. ...

Read about the letter from DoJ employees and the re-write of reports debunking Republican claims of voter-fraud at The Gavel blog.

Subcommittee Chairman Lacy Clay questioned Gracia Hillman, Commissioner of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on reports of overblown voter fraud charges and editing of voter ID policies:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UPDATE: Laura Flanders Live from Bellingham, WA

The archived audio of Laura's broadcast from C2C in Bellingham, WA. is here!
Listen and enjoy.

Bush Iraq Policy A Disaster, General's Say

The Statements by Generals Gard and Johns during a press conference held by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were unqualified condemnations of Bush's Iraq policy.
Press Release of Senator Reid
Reid: Democrats, Military Leaders, and American People Committed to Changing Course in Iraq

Monday, April 16, 2007

Washington, DC— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada today issued the following statement at a press conference with Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr. (USA, Ret.) and Brig. General John H. Johns (USA, Ret.):

"Today, in the fifth year of this civil war, U.S. forces are suffering losses at a rate not seen since the bloody battle of Fallujah over two years ago and there is no end in sight. Yet the President and the Vice President continue to desperately cling to their failed escalation strategy and attack those who disagree with them.

"The American people, a bipartisan majority of Congress and senior military leaders, including these two distinguished officers standing next to me, have all called for a change of course in Iraq. But President Bush and Vice President Cheney refuse to listen. They are isolated in their thinking and are failing our troops and our country.

"Congress is committed to fully funding our troops, changing the course in Iraq and responsibly ending the war. When Democratic leaders sit down with the President this Wednesday we will be bringing with us the concerns of the American people and the advice of military experts.

"The President has a choice to make in the coming days - cling to the discredited policies that have led our troops further into an intractable civil war or work with a bipartisan majority of Congress to make us more secure."


Watch: Sen. Reid (D-NV) Press Briefing on Iraq (4/16/2007)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Truthiness Wins Over Fair & Balanced

We all knew FoxNews watchers were stupid, but now we have scientific proof! [/snark]

Pew Survey Finds Most Knowledgeable Americans Watch 'Daily Show' and 'Colbert'-- and Visit Newspaper Sites

By E&P Staff

Published: April 15, 2007 11:30 PM ET

NEW YORK A new survey of 1,502 adults released Sunday by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that despite the mass appeal of the Internet and cable news since a previous poll in 1989, Americans' knowledge of national affairs has slipped a little. For example, only 69% know that Dick Cheney is vice president, while 74% could identify Dan Quayle in that post in 1989.

Other details are equally eye-opening. Pew judged the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot -- with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind.

Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly. Fox topped only network morning show viewers. ...(more)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Laura Flanders Live from Bellingham, WA

Laura Flanders Broadcast her Sunday (4/15/07) show live from Community to Community in Bellingham, WA.
The room was packed with a lively crowd. Here's a short video and a few photo's of Laura and some of her guests.

Aline, Rosalinda, Laura & Catherine

jpeg gets her copy of Blue Grit signed by Laura.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Laura Flanders to Broadcast from Bellingham

Laura Flanders RadioNation broadcasts live, weekends, on the Air America Radio network. It can be heard online or on AM 1090 Progressive Talk Seattle.


Then, we’ll head to Bellingham, WA, where the Minutemen have been flexing their anti-immigration muscle. We’ll have our Blue Grit guest of the week, ROSALINDA GUILLEN, who’s just back from a hunger strike and march to the border to protest. ...(link)

Be sure to tune in. You'll want to hear how people in Whatcom County are pushing back against the Border vigilantes Nativist/racist propoganda.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

America's worst President... Ever

Bush and friends are desperately looking for a way to deflect attention from their failures. Republicans have overseen a disastrous foreign policy unparalleled in American history.
Costs all around to prolonging the war
McClatchy Newspapers

It will be costly and painful to prolong the war in Iraq for another 21 months so that those who started it can hand off the harder decision of how to end it to the next occupant of the White House.

President Bush isn't extending and expanding the war in a search for victory. His dream of victory in Iraq cannot be achieved. Not by sending 30,000 more American troops. Not by making parts of Baghdad temporarily safer by billeting American troops in violent neighborhoods and pushing the slaughter into the northern and southern suburbs - or into the Green Zone where U.S. and Iraqi officials live and work.

Not by letting American soldiers bear the brunt of combat, targeted not only by our enemies, the Sunni Muslim insurgents but also by our supposed allies, the Shiite majority and the murderous militia of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. In March, more American troops died in Iraq than Iraqi soldiers.

This is a search for a fig leaf to cover the emperor’s nakedness - a way for Bush to go home to Texas with a ringing but hollow declaration that "Iraq wasn't lost on my watch." ...(more)

And beyond Bush's meaningless "stay the course" rhetoric, his Administration is flailing about, trying to shift the blame for its many foreign policy failures.

Pelosi's 'mixed message' to Syria is more direct than the president's


WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney has accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of "bad behavior" for visiting Damascus and talking to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Look who's talking -- the man who told the world he knew where the weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq in the run-up to the U.S. invasion. Have you heard any apologies or mea culpas from Cheney even after he was proved wrong? Of course not.

And did you hear anything from Cheney repudiating the visits to Syria by Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia and Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania? Another recent Republican visitor was Rep. Darrel Issa of California. Silence from the veep. That's because the Bush administration needs every vote it can muster on Capitol Hill to support its disastrous foreign policy. ...(more)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dan McShane is running for Mayor of Bellingham

a couple of weeks ago our letter writer group had Dan Mcshane come and speak to our group

he is certainly qualified and would do a good job as Mayor, as he has on the county council. i really appreciate Dan's committment to the environment and i believe protecting our home would continue to be a high priority for him. he was very knowledgeable and responsive to all the questions posed to him by our group.

he is interested in working with the citizens to find solutions to the problems we face and he has much to offer.

go to his web site and hear it in his own

Dan Pike is running for Mayor of Bellingham

our letter writer group had the opportunity to meet with Dan Pike, a candidate for Mayor of the city of Bellingham today and i was very impressed with his qualifications and experience.

several things he said really resonated with me. he talked about the how valuable the talents and ideas of citizens will be to finding the solutions we need to go forward. this is reflected in his platform at his web site. he also spoke about finding new solutions to problems and it is certainly my opinion that we will be facing some challenges in the next few years that will require all of us working together. his ability to bring people together in past planning and policy experience is impressive.

i liked his emphasis on us deciding how we go forward. we don't have to accept some out of the region cookie-cutter idea about how we should do retail in our community.

on a personal note he talked about downsizing his own living space to have less of an impact and i was very impressed with that. i believe we must change how we live but i don't feel a lot of people are receptive to some of the changes i think are going to be critical. his informed, relaxed, explanations for rethinking our future choices will go along ways to influencing hearts and minds. even though i don't live in Bellingham and will not be voting for Mayor(although Dan did point out there was still time to move!) i know how important this position will be for this region.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Anti-Border Vigilante March Ends at Peace Arch

Apr. 7, 2007
Hunger strikers set to oppose Minutemen


BELLINGHAM — Local immigrant advocates are planning a weekend-long hunger strike and march to the Peace Arch to protest the activities of the Washington Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

Rosalinda Guillen, executive director of the Community to Community group, said she and fellow member Aline Soundy will begin their fast and march at 6 a.m. this morning, starting from their office at 203 W. Holly St.

They expect to arrive at the Peace Arch about 9:30 Monday morning, and they have invited others to join them for at least a portion of the event.

Guillen said she decided to mount her protest after learning about the latest plans for a “muster” of the Minuteman group at the Whatcom County border. She contends that the group is stirring up anti-Hispanic sentiment and making all Hispanic county residents feel uncomfortable.

“We are in this community and we are part of this community,” Guillen said.

Late this morning Rosalinda and Aline arrived at the Peace Arch on the Canadian border.

Friday, April 06, 2007

This is an Award Winning Blog!

Jpeg and I are pleased and honored to have been given The Northwest Progressive Institute's 2006 David Neiwert Award for Best Local Party Coverage.
Best Local Party Coverage

Though most of the bloggers and activists that comprise the regional netroots community consider themselves Democrats (or align Democratic), there remains a lack of coverage of party activity at the local level. Washington State has forty nine legislative districts and thirty nine counties - almost all of them have an active, organized membership of precinct committee officers and activists meeting regularly to elect Democrats and influence public policy, but not many are well covered online. Filling this void in a northern corner of the state are the contributors of Washington Outsiders, who closely follow the 42nd LD Democrats. Throughout 2006, Steve and "JPEG" extensively disseminated the local party's events and meetings as well as the campaigns of Jasper MacSlarrow (who ran against Republican Doug Ericksen) and Jesse Salomon (who challenged incumbent Republican senator Dale Brandland.) Their photoblogging was particularly well done. We hope to see other activists following in their footsteps in 2007.
The other winner's are:
Best Guest Blogger

Most Valuable Faith Perspective

Best Campaign Blog

Most Valuable Explanatory Reporting

Best Series

Most Innovative Post

Most Valuable Partnership

Best Electoral Commentary

Best Neighborhood Newsgathering

Best Topical Blog

Jesus' General,
Evergreen Politics,
On the Road to 2008
EFF'in Unsound
BlueOregon, 43rd State Blues, and Washblog

Thursday, April 05, 2007

a great community celebration

we had a wonderful evening with friends filled with music, food and celebration. the students performed beautifully. it was an honor to be part this evening.......

De Colores Fundraising Dinner and Celebration Honoring Cesar Chavez

“The end of education should surely be service to others. We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about the progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others for their sake and our own.” — Cesar Chavez

About Community to Community Development (C2C)
Community to Community Development is a place-based, grassroots organization committed to creating alliances in order to strengthen local and global movements towards social, economic and environmental justice.

the bad news and the good news.....

first the bad news.....
and this is huge since we get most of our oil imports from Mexico and Canada......The giant Cantarell oil field in Mexico is in decline at about 10% a year.....although it is dodged and ignored by the press and most people in America this is happening worldwide......we are at peak worldwide(or will be in 10 minutes) ....and decline in production is happening on it's heels......the world we live in demands an increase to fuel the growth economy and we are the biggest piggies of all......4% of the world population using 25% of the resources......

Mexico: Oil Depletion and Illegal U.S. Immigration, April 25, 2006
Mexico's oil industry is, in large part, a direct reflection of the country's economic well-being. As those who have been following global oil output are aware, production in Mexico has started to wane, and just might decline very rapidly. Since the Mexican federal budget depends very heavily on oil revenues, the country may be faced with some tough times ahead, leading to increased pressures among its citizens to migrate north into the U.S.

The giant Cantarell oil field lies deep under the water of the Gulf of Mexico. But in financial terms it stands astride the entire nation of Mexico. Since its discovery in 1976, it has been the mainstay of the country's oil production, accounting for nearly 60 percent of total production of over 3.3 million barrels of oil per day.

Sixty percent is also the cut that the Mexican government takes from the revenues of the state oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), in taxes every year. Suffice it to say that the government relies heavily on oil production to support the economy.Making for a potentially precarious situation, Mexico's energy sector lacks diversification and is thus very vulnerable to sudden fluctuations in production. Some industry experts have predicted that the country could run out of oil in the next 11 years, if discoveries do not materialize.

the future for the people of Mexico and the people of the United States are going to be influenced by the policy decisions made today like never before......too bad about Mexico's choice last year ......... can't be too critical considering the disaster we have here in our country.....

..........Like much of Mexico's giant oil production apparatus, this area,
known as the Bellota oil field, is in an apparently unstoppable decline. At
current extraction rates, the nation has only 10 years of proven oil reserves
remaining. And as Mexico prepares to vote in Sunday's presidential election, the
leading candidates disagree bitterly about what, if anything, can be done to
halt the impending collapse of the industry that forms the backbone of the
national economy.
Left-of-center candidate Andres Lopez Obrador wants to de-emphasize production of crude oil and focus instead on refined products such as gasoline and plastics, while his main challenger, conservative Felipe Calderon, proposes opening the industry to foreign oil corporations to help increase crude exports. full article

the next few years are going to be interesting......the american way of life will change.....the question is, and i like the Tina Turner question, "how do you want it? nice and easy(well relatively) or do you want it rough?"

and now the good news.......
i got a letter from Puget Sound Energy the other day thanking me for supporting green power and announcing recent approval of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commision to lower our green power rate. i had signed up for a dollar amount some time ago after calling them to make sure nuclear was not counted as green. (i am known in my household to be the conspiracy theorist and just had to make sure)
they also announced offering all customers an opportunity to be 100% green. their example was an energy efficient household that uses 800 kWh per month will pay only $10 more......i estimated for my household the cost would be about $15....i was very excited to think i could make a real difference for such a small monthly amount and called them right away to sign up.....

the PSE Energy Advisor (1-800-562-1482) i talked to said the phones have been ringing off the hooks since the letter went out.....people are rushing to sign up!!!! very exciting..... and i look for small doses of hope everywhere i go and this certainly qualified. and i also got this cool window signage(very small) that says to everyone how proud i am to be a supporter of green power. and i'm a sucker for the button or sign.........

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

John Edwards speaks at CWA 3/27/07

John Edwards speaks about labor, universal health care, energy, the environment, and Iraq at the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Legislative-Political Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 27, 2007.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Newt Tells Another Lie

GINGRICH: No. Wait a second, Alan. All I said is — and maybe you can prove me wrong; I’d be delighted — I’d love to have, you know, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid, various Democratic presidential candidates speaking emphatically about their commitment to the British, their alliance on the side of civilization, their opposition to hostage-taking.

I didn’t see the Democrats in Congress pass any resolution before they left town indicating how wrong this was. They’re very quick to attack the United States over how we deal with terrorists, but they don’t seem quite as quick…

Oh! Sorry Newt, you're wrong again! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
1st Session
S. RES. 136

Expressing the sense of the Senate condemning the seizure by the Government of Iran of 15 British naval personnel in Iraqi territorial waters, and calling for their immediate, safe, and unconditional release.

CoSponsored by:

Sen. Joseph Biden [D-DE]
Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
Sen. Robert Casey [D-PA]
Sen. Hillary Clinton [D-NY]
Sen. Christopher Dodd [D-CT]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA]
Sen. John Kerry [D-MA]
Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D-MD]
Sen. Bill Nelson [D-FL]
Sen. John Rockefeller [D-WV]
Sen. Charles Schumer [D-NY]

And passed in the Senate by Unanimous Consent on March 29, 2007.

So Newt (you slime ball), don't you have something else to do besides lie about Democrats... isn't it about time for you to abandon another sick wife or begin another extra-marital affair?

Rachel Asks - Who Defends Gonzales?

The Rachel Maddow Podthing --
Who Defends Alberto Gonzales?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The KKK Supports The Minutemen

San Bernardino County Sun - 04/01/2007

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - An illegal-immigration protest organized by the Minuteman Project on Saturday morning was foiled by the arrival of members of the Ku Klux Klan.

About 10 members of the white-supremacist group showed up at Arrow Highway and Grove Avenue and proceeded to shout chants and wave an American flag. Some members wearing black T-shirts emblazoned with the KKK insignia concealed their identity with bandannas and sunglasses.

One man identified himself as a member of the White Legion Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from Yucaipa.

KKK members said they were at the protest to support the Minuteman Project but refused to comment further. ...

The headline of that report reads "Presence of Klan ends rally", but that isn't really what happened.

... when Minuteman Project members left, the protest at the intersection didn't stop.

More than 100 day laborers and affiliates counter-protested in front of Arrow Grove Market. The noisy group focused their attention on the KKK and other remaining protesters, which numbered less than 20.

For about three hours, protesters from all sides of the immigration debate - and the intersection - chanted and shouted at each other as well as passing vehicles. ...

The Minutemen promote racism even though they protest often and loudly that they're not racist. They always attempt to cover their tracks by beginning with talk of securing the U.S. borders. They'd like you to think they're just regular guys out on a neighborhood watch. Take the pudgy old coots that man the lawn chairs along our stretch of border between British Columbia and Whatcom County, Washington State; viewed from a distance they seem mostly harmless.

Sunday, April 1, 2007 - 12:00 AM

Washington Minutemen take up posts for border watch

By David Bowermaster
Seattle Times staff reporter

For the fourth time in less than two years, volunteer members of a civilian border-patrol group today will begin a 30-day "watch" along the U.S.-Canadian border from Blaine to Sumas. ...

... But Washburn expects only eight to 10 volunteers at the "initial muster" at 9 a.m. today at Camp Standing Bear in Ferndale, Whatcom County. ...

... The Washington state effort is part of "Operation Stand Your Ground," which will include hundreds of Minuteman volunteers in eight states along 800 miles of the northern and southern U.S. borders. ...

But let them talk for a few minutes and they'll quickly show you who they really are. When talking to a reporter from the Bellingham Herald just see what 'worries' minutemen Bob Baker and Larry Pullar

... Baker and Pullar said they see the consistent use of Spanish in public places such as school reader boards and restaurants as examples of a loss of American cultural identity ...
So, it would appear that to these guys using Spanish equates to being an 'illegal alien' and it's easy to see where that's going. They don't (usually) say it out loud, but the next step in that kind of thinking is to suspect anyone who looks foreign and of course looking foreign means being non-white.

They keep saying they're not racists and many of them probably are sincere when they say it, but at the same time they insist on repeating the white-supremacist notion that 'brown people' are a threat.

A new declaration from the Minuteman hq seems to have lost the usual polish and taken on much more an openly white-supremacist tone. The fearmongering and racist overtones are abundantly clear and so are the implied threats.

With the support of the Mexican government, socialist "Open Borders" groups, MEChA, LULAC--and in defiance of American law, illegal alien mobs plan to come out of the shadows and into our streets AGAIN by the hundreds of thousands disrupting cities all across the country...


An invading horde is on the march, demanding and threatening
America must NOT be colonized by a rabble ...

NOW U.S. Congressmen support the mob!

America does not cower from threats by anarchists and agitators..

Are riots in the streets and the burning of cars--as we have seen in communities in Europe--going to follow in Washington DC next?

The hostility has been seen in the streets from those who advocate Mexican sovereignty over these United States.

The PURPOSE of their radicalized political agenda is to destroy all national borders and reclaim America's land in the name of Mexico!

We have both the right and the moral obligation to defend America...

... and wonder what our response should be to sedition, intimidation and acts of defiance against our republic and our ordered liberty.

... MAY DAY mobs AND stand vigilant on our embattled borders. The politicians will talk; the liberal media and the "Hate America" crowd will complain about the "insensitivity" and "bigotry" of patriots, and worry about offending law breakers. The Minutemen will ACT in defense of America.
Those cranky old coots sitting in their lawnchairs up by the Canadian border might not want to admit it, but the KKK and all those other white-supremacist groups really, really love their message.