Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Nick Confessor has a Pretty Good Idea

Nick over at the Prospect blog suggests that the Dems should form a group and offer health insurance.

NOW did that years ago and it was a god-send.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Frame 2

We Cannot Undermine Our Last Line of Defense Against Gross Misconduct

The court system is the great equalizer. It protects the minority opinion, opens records to expose the truth, and makes public wrong doing.

Merck is just the latest in a series of corporations who have hidden information from the public -- to the tune that the NYT says beginning in 2000 the first studies showed Vioxx caused heart attacks and since then there have been as many as 27,000 excess deaths to the present day. We need access to the courts to punish companies like this --yes, punish. Here's from their financial statements at

Consolidated Statement of Income
Merck & Co., Inc. and Subsidiaries
Years Ended December 31
($ in millions except per share amounts)
2003 2002 2001
Sales $ 22,485.9 $ 21,445.8 $ 21,199.0
Costs, Expenses and Other
Materials and production 4,315.3 3,907.1 3,624.8
Marketing and administrative 6,394.9 5,652.2 5,700.6
Research and development 3,178.1 2,677.2 2,456.4
. . .
Income from Continuing
Operations Before Taxes 9,051.6 9,651.7 9,948.1
Taxes on Income 2,462.0 2,856.9 2,894.9
. . .
Net Income $ 6,830.9 $ 7,149.5 $ 7,281.8

They advertised that drug, pushed it, lied about it --"It's a wonderful day!!" -- charged $3 per pill and THEY KNEW IT WAS KILLING PEOPLE and they had a net income on average of $7 Billion dollars per year.

It is immoral not to punish a company like this who deliberately harmed people for profits.

If you know your product will fall to pieces on highways, unhinge during impact a mini-van back seat where children commonly sit , your gas tank explodes during a minor accident, the beef your selling was raised in a feed lot next to cattle with a disease that can be caught through ingestion -- or you are responsible either through direct action or neglect of poisoning our water, land, air, shoreline -- YOU NEED TO BE PUNISHED. Obviously reputation means nothing to these people so they need to be punished where at the point where they do care --their bottom line.

Friday, November 12, 2004

A Rant

I'm adding my voice to the chorus: if there is any single moment that so perfectly and succinctly explains the danger the Bush administration presents to this nation, it is the sheer audacity found in these words from the resignation letter of John Ashcroft as Attorney General of the United States: "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved." Under four years of John Ascroft heading the Justice Department and over three years since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States of America has not convicted a single person of terrorism.


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Frame 1

Society benefits whenever people make a public lifetime commitment to one another.

Talking points:
  • Love and commitment are fundamental to all Americans
  • The government should not tell people who they can and can't marry
  • We believe in equal rights
  • Marriage is like baptism or other life cycle events and the method of their being performed should be a private issue. The Government's role should be limited to recordkeeping. The individuals involved should be free to celebrate these events in the church of their choosing, in a backyard, on a beach, or in a Vegas casino. We don't want a government bureaucracy getting into the business of regulating these personal celebrations.
  • There is precedence. Civil divorce is not recognized by either Jews or Catholics. But in the eyes of the government the couple is divorced.
  • If we deny basic civil rights to loving and committed couples, how and where do we draw the line? Will the government next decide that a convent of nuns cannot visit one another in the hospital, cannot make decisions for one another when incapacitated, or lose their joint inheritance rights? What about a situation like Sarah and Elizabeth Delany -- two elderly sisters living together? Which government bureaucracy will decide which couple lose their civil rights and which couples are protected?
  • If people love one another and are willing to take responsibility for one another, there will be less strain on the government to provide services.

I'm Done grieving -- Let's Start the Planning

Many will begin to plan the defensive pre-emptive assault (remember when that would have been an oxymoron? Now it somehow makes sense!). Some will go to truth squads and embarrass the media into doing their job. But I want to do my part to plan another portion of the new Democratic party.

NO Democrat light -- NO moving to the right. We are correct in our ideals and inclusiveness and I will NEVER sell out my gay and non-white friends and I expect that they will never turn their back on us women. Hate will never be an agenda item for the Democratic party I want to belong to and be proud of. Our values are exactly right.

So what do we do now?

My take on this is that we Democrats need to move to effective sound bites and slogans. That's the way the folks get their news today. I'm NOT saying we should resort to lying but we need to better frame our message. And the difference between Democrats and Republicans will be truthful framing vs spinning coded messages.

First I'm recommending that everyone read Don't Think of an Elephant! by George Lakoff. This book will give you an excellent idea of what I'm talking about.

Next I'm dedicating my blog to coming up with the fames for the debate in 2006 and 2008.

Please comment on any frames I come up with so we can hone them and please add you own.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Sean Aday Says it Right!

We've got to quit this blaming Kerry and each other. The Republicans won with hate. I am sad that I live in the Country that hates so much but here we are.

Sean Aday has a great article today in . He concludes with:

the bottom line is we didn't try and get a president elected by pandering to hate. I'd rather lose every god damn election in my lifetime than win their way. But the beauty is, we can win without doing that. We did in 2000, and we came within a whisker of doing so this year. Remember that when the DLC tells us that we need to sell out gays (after telling us to sell out unions, and blacks, and the poor, and all the other, well, Democrats out there) to win the support of Bible-thumping bigots in Alabama that are never going to vote for us anyway. That's wrong, on every level.

As my Media Law and Ethics professor at Northwestern said to us in her final lecture, at the end of the day all you have is your integrity. They don't have any; we do. And I'd trade the White House for being able to look in the mirror any day.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Let Me Share an E-Mail I Receive from a Great Friend

He states:

They showed up. The Republican base, that is. The people who believe that their marriages are threatened by those of gay people, the people who believe there were WMD in Iraq and that Saddam waved a hankie at Mohammed Atta, the people who believe His eye is on every embryo. They all showed up, and there are more of them than there are of us. This was a faith-based electorate and, for whatever reason, their belief was stronger than our reality. This is a country I do not recognize any more.

The kids didn't vote. African-American turnout seems to have stayed pretty much the same as it was in 2000, despite all the talk. We lost seats in the Senate and in the House. (Daschle is a pretty momentous beat, despite the fact that he's not a wartime consigliore and never was.) They elected a polite David Duke in Louisiana, and someone who doesn't believe gay people should teach school in South Carolina, and a creep in Oklahoma, and somebody who's fairly obviously drifting into the fog in Kentucky. The pretty clearly indictable DeLay tactics in Texas worked like a charm. These are all victories won on grounds on which we cannot compete. When gay marriage trumps dead soldiers in Iraq, how do you run a race without dissolving into fantasy?

I don't know this country's mind any more, let alone its heart.

Well said.

I Want to Join the Majority

That's it. I did everything I could. I'm exhausted. I've used up my vacation leave on this election. I've gone in debt contributing. The definition of crazy is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome. I'm tired of being in the minority. So here's my new attitude:
  1. Deficites are good
  2. Aggressive imperial war is good
  3. The Bill of Rights (except the 2nd one) are evil
  4. The 10 Commandments (except that one about bearing false witness) are good
  5. I will consult with my Congressman before having any medical procedure
  6. If I can't afford healthcare and guarantee a healthy profit for the company offering it, tough. I deserve to be culled from the heard.
  7. Taxes, except those on wages, are evil
  8. All must sacrafice to guarantee high corporate devidends and high corporate executive salaries
  9. Outsourcing is good
  10. God made a mistake putting the oil in the Middle East and it's the white man's right to correct this error
  11. The natural resources are here for us to use up
  12. There is no Global Warming
  13. Anwar needs to be exploited. We're wasting it otherwise
  14. Michael Moore is evil, Bill O'Rilley is good
  15. Questionning authority = treason
  16. Having an opinion = evil
  17. Lies = Truth
  18. Coal = Clean
  19. I need a weapon
  20. We need to bomb countries and kill hundreds of thousands of innocents to save them
  21. Free people are free to loot
  22. Sneak and Peak is for my own protection
  23. Gays need to be ostrasized
  24. Single monthers need to be marginalized
  25. Neither can ever be allowed to teach our precious children
  26. White is right, all others are only right if they respect that
  27. There is no genocide in Africa
  28. AIDS is God's punishment and we shouldn't interrupt His retribution
  29. Schools should be self supporting unless they teach Christianity
  30. Social Security is a handout for sitting on my ass and doing nothing
  31. Injured soldiers need to suck it up and quit trying to get handouts of medical care
  32. Soldiers need to stop being wimps about wanting armor and ammo
  33. My duty is to consume until I'm in debt but not to the point of bankrupt
  34. All lawyers, except corporate lawyers, are evil
  35. 150,000 votes in Ohio = mandate
  36. Roads and bridges and their upkeep should be free
  37. All Government is evil
  38. All women, unless they are mothers, are to be marginalized
I'm sure I will be told of more truths in the near future.