Saturday, June 27, 2009

Who's Behind the Teabaggers?

We already know the Republican Party (or should I say, the Party formerly known as Republican) doesn't want to be identified with the Tea Party but is busy in the shadows whipping up fear and paranoia.

But locally the Republicans aren't doing a very good job of hiding their involvement. Lynn Carpenter, Republican PCO and former city of Bellingham finance director is in the midst of organizing the Bellingham Tea Party events and Charlie Crabtree, Whatcom Republicans state committeeman is working overtime to promote the event.

Here's another bit of evidence that this whole Tea Party thing is astro-turf. Who's supplying meeting space for 'Tea Party' organizing? Why none other than the BIAWC, those lobbyists for the ultra-rightwing.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tea Party Planning Meeting Tonight
by Karl Uppiano
Reminder, the final meeting before the July 4th Tea Party will be this evening from 5:15 to 6:30 at the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County.
So, as we get a further peak behind the curtain, we see more proof that the 'Tea Party' is nothing but a front for the same old bunch of rightwingers.


It's struck me that some readers might not be aware of the shadier side of the Building Industry Association, so here's a little history:

The right wing's big gorilla

The Building Industry Association of Washington is an organization that not only is ruthless to the point of consciencelessness, it also has become an extraordinarily significant player in Washington state politics. They are, in fact, one of the most powerful funders of the conservative movement's agenda here.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, they also boast a history of dalliances with (and underwriting of) right-wing extremism, particularly the Patriot/militia movement of the 1990s. ...

A dark history

If you go back even farther, though, you can find an even darker side to the BIAW. As Jay Taber at Skookumgeoduck has explained at some length, the BIAW has been involved in some of the ugliest political organizing in Washington state, including the formation of militias back in the early 1990s.

During this time, Taber also worked with my old friend Paul deArmond, who compiled an exhaustive record of this activity at his Public Good Special Reports site. DeArmond was recording in detail many of the same events I was observing and reporting on as a newspaper reporter back then.

What we saw happening was, in response to the state's passage of a Growth Management Act in 1990, a bevy of so-called "grass-roots" reactionary movements who were actually being underwritten and organized by a network of industry organizations, with the BIAW in a lead role. These movements ran the gamut from "property rights" groups to county-secession efforts to antitax agitation to anti-New World Order militia organizing, all under the larger umbrella of "Wise Use." ...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unprecedented Hypocrisy from FoxNews

Hypocrisy is nothing new to FoxNews, but this really takes the cake. After eight years of whoring for the Bush Administration in exchange for "unprecedented access", Fox whines about ABC being given access to the White House.
Fox caught with its pants down on ABC attacks
Posted Jun 18,2009, 12:52 PM PT by Jed Lewison

As Think Progress noted, despite Fox’s whining about ABC’s upcoming special on health care reform which will include a town hall conducted in the White House, it turns out that when George W. Bush was President, Fox did exactly what they are accusing ABC of.

Here’s a video mashup of what Fox is saying now — and what it reported then, including footage from its fawning specials on both Bush and Cheney.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Will Whatcom GOP Renounce Terrorism?

Minuteman leader Shawna Forde has been arrested in Arizona for masterminding the murder of a nine year old girl and her father. The motive was robbery and "The proceeds, it seems, would go toward funding their on-going anti-immigrant 'activism' and, more ambitiously, instigating a race war to overthrow the US government. "

Not long ago Shawna and other Minuteman leaders were the darlings of the Republican party.

As Sara Robinson explains:

It's true that every one of the nine right-wing terrorists who've made the news since January 20 had a history of mental illness, domestic violence, and/or drug abuse. Several were veterans who were having a really hard time adjusting to civilian life. None of these people could reasonably be considered sane; and, for whatever twisted reasons, they made a personal choice to do what they did.

But it's not true that they were acting alone. People who are dealing with these kinds of demons are often drawn into movements that offer a strong narrative that helps them make sense of a world that never seems to add up right for them. They're usually drawn into organizations like Operation Rescue or the Minutemen that are nominally non-violent; but which also indoctrinate them into a worldview that justifies and motivates people to commit terrorist acts. They come to believe that they must do this to save the world, to serve God, and to be the heroes they desperately want to be.

They're already walking sticks of dynamite. But it takes the heat of that apocalyptic, dualistic, eliminationist, pro-violence narrative to light their fuses and make them explode.

Whatcom GOP fuels the fires of domestic terrorism by specifically endorsing the Minutemen, which makes them culpable.
Whatcom County Republican Party Platform:

64) WE SUPPORT the private citizens, known as the "minutemen", who are donating their time and equipment to help with border enforcement.
So the simple question is, will the Whatcom GOP remove that plank in their platform and renounce terrorism?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

local Ferndale student wins art award!

Tracy Nguyen was honored for winning the annual high school art competition for the 2nd Legislative District. Her painting will be on display with art from high school students from all over the country. What an honor ! Congratulations to Tracy.

I especially enjoyed the moment when Tracy was asked who would get to use the other 2 tickets she won and accompany her to Washington DC...

and then another funny moment when Tracy turned the painting vertically, and Rick assured her it would be corrected before it was hung to display in the tunnel.

Congressman Larsens townhall - Prt. 2

Congressman Larsen speaking at townhall meeting in Ferndale, Saturday, June 13, 2009.

Congressman Larsen Holds Townhall in Ferndale

Congressman Rick Larsen visited Whatcom County yesterday. In the afternoon he held a townhall meeting in Ferndale.

It appears that the local Republican deadenders were trying to stir things up by circulating an email claiming that Larsen was having a "secret" townhall meeting. Politics reporter Sam Taylor posted the email on his blog and pointed out that the townhall meeting was announced in last Wednesdays Herald.

The Republican email followed their typical politics of perpetual outrage; saying the public meeting was somehow secret and claiming that Congressman Larsen avoids hard questions. That's pretty funny stuff.

A few weeks ago I was at Congressman Larsens townhall meeting in Blaine and the Teabaggers were there in force. They all got to ask their questions and got straight forward answers from Larsen.

Saturday afternoon, I arrived at the Ferndale townhall meeting just as Congressman Larsen did and had a chance to speak to him before he went inside. He was well aware that the Teabaggers were promoting his meeting and wasn't at all bothered about that. He looked around the parking lot and commented that it wasn't as crowded as he'd expected.

Apparently Teabaggers have trouble doing simple math. The Teabagger/Republican email also claimed that Congressman Larsen doesn't represent the majority of his constituents. Since, here in Whatcom County, Congressman Larsen was re-elected with 65% of the vote it's really, really hard to twist the numbers so that the 34% who voted Republican make a majority.

But that doesn't stop the Republitarian deadenders from exercising their poor math and logic skills by not only claiming that 34% makes a majority, but also continuously making noise about how they're a 'silent majority'.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

break up the banks rally

thanks Dianne, Bellingham chapter leader for A New Way Forward, and Kristi and all the great folks who suited up and showed up and helped.

After a great intoduction by Dianne, Kristi Laguzza-Boosman speaks about where we are, how we got here and what we need to do to right ourselves. She says, practically, as individuals, it would be good to grow food, pay debt, save money and make friends. check out her comprehensive Plan B here.

My greatest hope is we will leave a habitable planet for our descendents to call home.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

democrat in name only

Thanks to Thom Hartmann for calling attention to this despicable shameless behavior on the part of a fellow human charged with making law and paying for the commons needed by we the people.

Unfricking believable !! this dino behavior is as shameless as it gets. But what can you expect from a corporatist who speaks “free lunch" market babble such as, "I know there are some people really pushing this public option, but I think it really undermines the essence of our efforts to create a real market-based private sector model but with strong, I guess, safeguards for consumers."

Where do the words life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness fit into healthcare for profit, complete with excessive executive compensation and obscene wealth to the “investor class.” Check out the greed on steroids of one William McGuire, who greatest talent appears to be marketing himself as superman.

I remember very clearly when the healthcare for profit paradigm was marketed, sold and paid for by we the people. I worked in healthcare, as a nurse, and watched the language and culture change. We didn't care for patients anymore, we now cared for consumers. We now have our great grandchildren’s credit cards out and the greedy bottom feeders are still looting us. To me “life” automatically puts healthcare into our commons. I say let’s, we the people, take healthcare back into our own hands and do it for no profit. Let’s become the government we were designed to be.

Let the profit making entrepreneurs, who represent some of the best and brightest in our country, make stuff we need (hopefully employing their fellow citizens and neighbors to manufacture) and sell it to us. This is a win-win for us all. Or as Jim Hightower’s daddy used to say…”everybody does better when everybody does better” It's time for us to look out for our best interest and not let the greedy among us loot our children's future.

check it out at Huffington Post

Mary Landrieu Opposed To Public Health Care

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said on Tuesday that she is opposed to the creation of a public health care plan patients could opt into that would compete with private insurance."No, I'm not open to it. I'm not open to a public option," said Landrieu. "However, I will remain open to a compromise, a full compromise. Public option is not something that I support. I don't think it's the right way to go."

full post

Monday, June 08, 2009


i will be on the street corner to join others who have had it with more of the same, as we fall further into the cancerous phase of laissez-faire crony casino capitalism on steroids.

wake up america!!!!!!

PRESS RELEASE May 27, 2009

On Wednesday, June 10th , 4-6:30pm at the Federal Building, Magnolia and Cornwall, “A New Way Forward” will present a streetcorner forum on the subject of bank bailouts and the failed economy, and what we the people can do to break up the financial oligarchy. Special guest speaker will be Kristi Laguzza Boosman of ANWF and KLB Community Consulting in Twisp, Washington on her “Plan B”, a discussion of real structural change of Wall Street.

We are a grassroots organization of volunteer local leaders, begun in March ’09 primarily over anger about the financial crisis provoked by the large deregulated banks and their Wall St. partners, who then gamed the system to profit even more off the crisis they caused. The bailouts are widening the gap between rich and poor. Our government has spent trillions to prop up a banking system that has failed the
country. We demand that Treasury Department break up the insolvent banks and
never again let them get so big that they distort our politics and corrupt the economy.

The Bellingham chapter leader is Dianne Foster, RN and Democratic PCO, but ANWF is nonpartisan, appealing to all of us affected by the economic collapse. Our position is that the “zombie banks” are draining public dollars indefinitely, only a few having passed the low-bar “stress tests”. Because “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste”, we need to move on this opportunity to restructure the banks and put the public well-being above that of the financial elite. This move is supported by economists like Paul Krugman, Princeton professor and ’08 Nobel Laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz,
Columbia professor of economics, ‘01 Nobel Laureate in economics and former director of the World Bank, Simon Johnson, professor at the Sloan School of Finance and former chief economist of the IMF, William Grieder, former editor of the “Nation”, economics journalist for the Washington Post, David Sirota, Dean Baker, and many others.

We demand the following:

1. Nationalize the big banks - experts agree on the means - the FDIC has the power to do this – insolvent banks that are “too big to fail” must incur a temporary FDIC intervention - no more blank check taxpayer handouts. (See Krugman on
2. Reorganize – current CEO’s and board members must be removed and bonuses wiped out. (see Simon Johnson on reorganizing). Johnson interview here
3. Decentralize - banks must be broken up and sold back to the private market with strong new regulations and antitrust rules in place - new banks, managed by new people. Any bank that’s “too big to fail means it’s too big for a free market to function (see Mike Lux on de-centralization). It’s not enough to patch up the current system; we need serious reform that fixes root problems in our political and economic system: excessive influence of banks, dangerous compensation systems, massive consolidation , and usury.

Petitions will be available to sign to our representatives and the President. 94% of Americans don’t agree with the bailouts, more than 50% support bank nationalization. Join us in communicating to our leaders!
Contact:, Dianne Foster:

see Portland rally here

Saturday, June 06, 2009

How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right

GRITtv Wednesday June 3, 2009

Bill O’Reilly has said that far left zealots are exploiting the death of Dr. George Tiller by making a connection to right wing hate speech. Has right wing talk radio encouraged the kind of violence that reproductive health clinics and abortion providers have experienced over the years? And should they be held responsible? David Neiwert says there is a connection and in his new book, The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right, looks at the relationship between hate speech and acts of violence.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Answers from the Congressional Progressive Caucus

Did you know that you can ask the Congressional Progressive Caucus questions?... and actually get answers!

Hi Friend,

Two weeks ago, we did an experiment in which you submitted questions to members Congress, and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus got up on the floor of the House and answered many of them.(See for some highlights!)

We're doing it again this week, with more members and more questions.

Tomorrow, immediately after the regular business of the House of Representatives is done, Congressional Progressive Caucus members will answer your questions from the floor of the House, on C-SPAN, and in the official Congressional Record.

The topic of the day is a very timely one: as healthcare reform makes its way through Congress, the progressives are fighting hard to ensure that the American people will be able to choose a public plan that guarantees quality, affordability, and coverage. As they go into negotiations with the House leadership and President Obama, they are focused on making sure that they are very clear about how such a plan has to be legislated to be meaningful.

But they're fighting some tough battles. The insurance companies will do nearly anything to undermine this process and make sure that Americans can't choose a public plan. And Rick Scott - a crook who defrauded the government of a stunning amount of taxpayer money and was made to pay the largest fine related to healthcare fraud in history - is the chief villain.

So here's what I am asking you to do: go to and ask questions about healthcare reform, the public plan, and the battle the progressives are fighting in Congress. Make sure you're educated about what the stakes are. And then talk to your friends and your family about what is shaping up to be an epic battle between some actual heroes and some pretty awful villains. Ask them to submit their questions. And commit to being involved in this messy business of democracy: we need you!


Congressman Ellison Talks About a Public Option for Health Reform