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

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Olympian Covers Our Efforts!

Check this out:

Supporters seek Gore for ballot

Belfair man wants ex-vice president for chief executive
Brad Shannon
The Olympian

A formal effort is getting under way to put former vice president Al Gore's name on the Democratic ballot for the Washington presidential primary Feb. 19.
"I am quite encouraged by folks' interest in seeing Al Gore run and be in the primary," said Daniel Roy, a Belfair Democrat.

Roy said he has about 30 signatures on petitions, and he was just opening his first envelope from Tacoma containing additional signatures. His goal is to collect at least 1,000 signatures to qualify Gore — who has not said he is running or that he absolutely would not.

But the effort all might be for naught — and not just because Gore could ignore the effort. Assistant state elections director Katie Blinn with the Office of the Secretary of State said that the Gore petitions might not be valid.
That's because the signature-collection period does not begin until Nov. 21 under state law, Blinn said. The law says the secretary of state must first designate those recognized as major-party candidates. Blinn said the law sets a Dec. 21 deadline for turning in the required 1,000 signatures.
Roy said he'd been advised by other state elections staff that Washington law sets a deadline for filing that is 39 days before the primary. But the Nov. 21 start date was news to him, adding that he might suspend his signature gathering until he gets clarification — perhaps today.

Signature collecting
Roy attended Thurston Democrats' summer picnic in Tumwater and collected close to 30 signatures for Gore.

"I'm quite encouraged by this. I think he will come around," Roy said of Gore, who has devoted his attention to global warming rather than a campaign. "We plan to collect signatures so we have a good representation of the overall state. We realize we could easily get 1,000 people to sign."

Roy said the original idea was to bring the signatures to the state elections office in Olympia as soon as October.

Besides the Gore activists, supporters of Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich have been active in Thurston County, but supporters of national frontrunner Hillary Clinton have been quiet. Former state party chairman Paul Berendt has been working for John Edwards' campaign, Thurston County Democratic Party chairman John Cusick said.

Republicans have done little locally, although former Secretary of State Ralph Munro is working at the state level for Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Cusick said it remains to be seen whether Gore will get in the race in November.
"I see a lot of support for him but I don't know if that means he'll end up being the preferred candidate in Washington," Cusick said.

Brad Shannon is political editor for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-753-1688 or

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gonzales Resigns!!

I guess he needs to spend more time with his family or something. Bush blamed the Dems for dragging his name through the mud. I say: "You're welcome!"

Dragging his name through the mud couldn't have happen if he hadn't begged for us to do it. He was given extraordinary opportunities to come clean. He should spend the next several months practicing this word: "oops" and purge the words "I can't recall" from his vocabulary.

I'm sorry he wasn't successful. He has an compelling personal story. Too bad he hitched his star to the wrong person.

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Congressman Smith Responds to Food Safety Concerns

I got this letter from Congressman Adam Smith's office on food safety:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about food safety oversight at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) . . .

First, let me say I agree the FDA needs to do a much better job of ensuring the safety of the nation's food supply. Consumers count on government agencies to verify the food production practices followed by suppliers are consistent with public health principles. I am committed to ensuring the FDA has the personnel, procedures and equipment necessary to protect our nation's food supply.

. . . Please be assured I will do all I can to ensure changes are made at the FDA to improve the quality of food monitoring to ensure food safety for all. I also hope and expect that the hearings will result in several creative ideas for reforming our food safety regulations.

For fiscal year 2007 (FY07), the food safety activities within the FDA were funded at $380 million and under President Bush's FY08 budget request, the food safety activities and programs within the FDA would receive $391 million, an increase of $11 million from the FY07 level. I support this increase in funding, which will help develop better and more rapid methods of detecting food borne illness outbreaks and increase surveillance capabilities at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. By increasing the resources and the number of experts in the fresh produce microbiological safety issues and food safety analysis, the FDA will focus on reducing illness due to contamination and allow food back on the shelves quickly once a threat has ceased. As the FY08 budget process continues to be debated in Congress, I will pay close attention to the funding level for food safety programs at the FDA and work to improve this critically important government function ...


Adam Smith
Member of Congress

Looks like he "gets it". Yeah!

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Ellen Goodman's Opinion Piece Titled "E-Male"

Ellen Goodman writes:

. . . Last week, these progressive political bloggers not only attracted 1,200 to Chicago for the Yearly Kos convention, but made it a designated stop for seven out of the eight Democratic candidates.

Nevertheless, there is another, less flattering way in which broadband has followed broadcast and the liberal political bloggers mimic the conservative talk-show hosts. The chief messengers are overwhelmingly men -- white men, even angry white men. . . .

So I wrote her an e-mail:

I have to take issue with your opinion piece today. I was at "Yearly Kos" and I'm a middle-aged female. We were males and females, white and everything else you could imagine (including a very strong Pacific Islander caucus), lean and fat, tall and short, some in wheel chairs, some young and some very elderly but mostly frequently with some degree of grey hair, lots of couples (one couple I met was from American Samoa), Birkinstocks and 4" platform wedgies, blacks and hispanics: a true cross section. Kos is a Hispanic male and Digby even though she has a man's photo on her site is a female. We mourned the death of Steve Gilliard, a wonderful black man. Often you can't tell from our handles or web sites what niche we fall into -- often we do that on purpose. You are right, many of us get vicious hate male and maybe women are more sensitive to it than men but that hasn't kept us quiet or off the blogs. At Yearly Kos some of the panels that were standing-room-only were panels with majority women but not specifically on a "woman's issue" like "Live Blogging the Libby Trial".

Come join us! I think you'll find yourself feeling right at home. We love good articulate writers (but we are sticklers for accuracy).


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Review of Yearly Kos

I had a great time at Yearly Kos this year. Here are some of my personal favorite hits and misses.

Hits (not necessarily in priority order)

1. John Soltz’s introduction of Wesley Clark. He spoke of how we should try to always be generous and gracious to everyone because we never know what burdens they are carrying and how everyone is carrying burdens. He shared is story how people had been kind to him and helped him with his burdens – one person who helped him was General Wesley Clark.
2. Howard Dean. He’s so inspirational and really demonstrates leadership. It made me sad that he didn’t win in 2004 but we’re so lucky to have leading the DNC.
3. The Pacific Northwest Caucus. It was great to meet my neighboring bloggers and two great Congressional candidates from our area: Darcy Burner and George Fearing.
4. The unofficial “Smokers Caucus”. We met all day, every day outside while we smoked and had great conversations.
5. The unofficial “Draft Gore Breakout”: We met at the hotel bar Friday and quite a crowd gathered. The support for Gore was incredible throughout the conference.
6. The “Left Behind by the Right” panel. Each speaker had inspiring stories and each reminded us in their own way that we are not the lunatic fringe but instead what used to be called mainstream – the Right went fanatical. It also reminded me that compromise should never be a tactic for us. They’ll just keep moving the goal posts.
7. John Edwards. He really connected with us in his breakout. He was relaxed, candid, wasn’t afraid to defend the couple of unpopular positions he had, and we really responded!
8. The Teamsters’ Bar-B-Q. Yummy! And I loved chatting with the union folks.
9. Andy Stern. Another great forward thinking leader.
10. The employees of the Convention Center. They were so helpful and nice.
11. The “Live Blogging the Libby Trial” panel. They gave us real behind the scenes glimpses.


1. The women comedians. Why do women comics have to go so crude? The men were funny and entertaining but the women were offensive.
2. The reason the Congressional guests didn’t show. I was disappointed that Pelosi, Emanuel, Reid, and Schumer didn’t show but I was angry about the reason. FISA amendments should never be rushed -- they should be deliberated and carefully considered. We supported them during the last election with a mandate of change, not capitulation.
3. There was too much to do! I wanted to see all the Brave New Films and do all the DFA Workshops. I wish I could have attended more events. Maybe we need more days.

It was inpirational and I had a great time!

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