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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

There's Something Wrong with This

It's the same week -- two trials in military courts -- one in Texas and one in Washington state. Both defendants plead guilty -- one to killing 13 adults; the other for killing 16 men, women, and children. Robert Bales gets life imprisonment for killing the 16 and Nidal Hasan gets the death penalty for killing the 13. Both crimes are horrible. Both defendants deserve punishment. But why did the military courts come up with such different sentences? Both are American born citizens. Both are in the military. The standards of sentencing should be the same in both military courts. Of course! Bales is a Christian and Hasan is a Muslim. And we wonder why people in other countries think we're prejudiced against Muslims.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Colorado Batman Movie Shooting

Digby is so smart:
. . . We aren't shocked anymore when children are killed. It's become a normal part of American life. The taboo has shifted from horror at the shootings to horror at talking about shooting. This is called "politicizing tragedy" as if these mass murders are an act of nature rather than an act of human evil or madness (or both) enabled by easy access to the tools of mass murder. But let's not go there. We will mourn the casualties the way we mourn the deaths of those in hurricanes and tornadoes. Gun violence is now a "natural" event in America, as unpredictable as the weather, and there's nothing we can do about it except gather together in the aftermath to help the victims. Indeed, the only enduring threat these events foretell is from those who would question a culture that deifies the gun as if it were a religious symbol rather than a lethal weapon.
When are we going to pull the curtain and expose the NRA for the gun and bullet manufacturer/dealer marketing ploy it is? I'm like Digby -- the question used to be 'how many have to die before . . ." but it is becoming increasingly clear that we'll never reach that magic number. We have to collectively say "enough is enough."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Favorite Protest Sign from Michigan

Pix from the comments at Daily Kos. If men want to declare this war on women, they better be prepared for us to respond.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blaming Bush

Andrew Sullivan has it right.
When you check reality, rather than the alternate universe constantly created by Fox News and an amnesiac press, you find that Bush had a chance to pay off all our national debt before we hit the financial crisis - giving the US enormous flexibility in intervening to ameliorate the recession. Instead, we had to find money for a stimulus in a cupboard stripped bare - its contents largely given away, by an act of choice. I'm tired of being told we cannot blame Bush for our current predicament. We can and should blame him for most of it - and remind people that Romney's policies: more tax cuts, more defense spending are identical. With one difference: Bush pledged never "to balance the budget on the backs of the poor." Mitt Romney has no qualms about doing that very thing. And he will, if he is given the chance.
I am afraid of what these Republithugs will do if they win in November.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Remember Newt and Mitt

Newt and Mitt seem to think we are all too young to remember or we are all afflicted with Alzheimer’s. I remember.

I remember Newt Gingrich’s disastrous term as Speaker from 1995 to 1999. I remember that he was disciplined in January 1997 by the House of Representatives for ethics accusations. I also remember that Gingrich resigned from the House on November 5, 1998, under pressure from his Republican colleagues. I remember him being divisive, using extremist language, and closing down the government when he wasn’t given a seat up front in Air Force One. I remember that he not only was against gays in the military but also was against women serving – something about hunting giraffes and our ‘cycles’ being problematic in the trenches. He says he wants to bring us back to Reagan era job creation. Really? I remember the Fed funds rate being over 20% during the Reagan era. There weren’t a lot of jobs being created with that rate. Unemployment reached a high of almost 17% under Reagan and by the end of his term we had only improved to around 8% -- not far from where we are now. No thank you, I don’t want to go back to those good ole days.

Mitt Romney says he learned from his father how to lead. Whoa! I remember George Romney. I remember difficult race relations in Detroit during his term as governor from 1963 to 1969. Race riots, block busting – horrible stuff. I was raised in Detroit so conditions might not be as clear in your memory but Romney was always finding ways for his friends to profit on the misery of others and racial unrest was just another opportunity. He then went on to be Secretary of HUD – what a disaster! He allowed improper behavior with FHA mortgage insurance and Section 235 subsidies and did nothing. There were inflationary appraisals, faulty repairs, and rushed approvals so his friends could make a quick buck. Later the bulldozers had to level the homes and neighborhoods were destroyed by HUD. But George Romney taught his son well as Mitt now spouts idiocy about ‘let the values decline until investors are attracted’. There were a couple books really popular during Romney’s rein in HUD: The Federal Bulldozer by Martin Anderson and The Unheavenly City by Edward Banfield – both highly regarded by Milton Friedman and Mitt often quotes from them when talking about the housing crisis. I remember George Romney’s crowning glory was the dynamiting of the Pruitt Igoe public housing project. HUD under George Romney disbursed millions and millions of tax dollars to his friends supposedly to fix Pruitt Igoe but by the end of Romney’s term it was deemed a failure and dynamited. So why should vacant foreclosed homes be of any concern to Mitt?

Mitt used these lessons of rewarding your friends well when he formed Bain Capital. Andy Kroll (another guy that seems to remember) over at Mother Jones has an excellent article on his ‘job creation’ experience worked at Bain. Dade International is an excellent example. Kroll writes: “Dade International, a medical testing company acquired by Bain and Goldman Sachs in 1994. As Bloomberg reported, Bain cut 1,600 jobs from the company between 1996 and 1999 after merging the company with several others as part of Bain's restructuring plan. In 1999, Bain and Goldman sold Dade International, as it was later called, for a profit, but left the company buried in debt. It filed for bankruptcy in 2002.” Kroll has other examples but be sure that the investment partners at Bain enjoyed wildly lucrative financial benefits while the workers and companies got screwed. Richard Gelard is also someone who seems to remember and writes “Mitt Romney, if elected, would break up America and sell of the pieces to the ever hungry 1%.”

We need to do an intervention to our friends and colleagues who are in their Fox induced dissociative fugue state and are thinking about support Newt or Mitt. They need to hear our witnessing of the realities and our memories of these two dangerous guys.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The number 1 job classification in the State of Washington in 2009 was construction. If Cain wins and he enacts his 9-9-9 plan, we'll never recover. Who would buy a new home and pay the 9% sales tax when they could buy a used home and not be taxed?

The sales of new cars will also be adversely impacted by this 9% tax when used cars are not taxed. So kiss the auto industry goodbye!

What a disaster this man will be for our economy!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Jeopardy Winner to Head CFPB? Really!??

President Obama passed over Elizabeth Warren and nominated Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, state lawmaker,and 5 time "Jeopardy!" winner to run the nascent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The White House is spinning this by saying "Cordray’s resume is well suited to the task at the CFPB . . ." But I don't see he is anywhere near the caliber of Elizabeth Warren.

Here's what is in his official biography from when he ran unsuccessfully for Senate:
As State Representative, Richard Cordray was the principal sponsor of legislation fighting crime, preserving the environment, and protecting children and families. His Community Service Education Act was the first law in Ohio to promote community service education as a way to teach values and responsibility in our schools. His Environmental Siting Disclosure Act ensured more public involvement and input into decisions about locating facilities that are environmental hazards. Richard Cordray also helped pass laws promoting undercover sting operations, improving our ability to deal with juvenile crimes, reforming death penalty juries, and raising the penalty for attempted aggravated murder, as well as the first Ohio law making stalking a crime. He fought for a family leave law in Ohio before Congress ultimately was able to pass federal legislation.

Richard Cordray's record shows that he is tough on crime, tough on bigotry, and tough on protecting children and families.

Nice guy, sure. Good Democrat, yes. But where is the extensive experience and life time of consumer protection advocacy that Elizabeth Warren has?

Why do we have to settle for someone who has not the skills, passion, and knowledge of Elizabeth Warren?

Of course the bigger questions, when is Obama going to stand up to the Republithugs and quit selling us out?

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