Archive for May 2012
I’m landing in Milwaukee tomorrow to help get out the vote with Tom Barrett at a rally — and I hope you will join us.
Folks in Wisconsin have been on the front lines of fighting for working, middle-class families across America for more than 16 months.
I’m coming to Wisconsin to help Tom and the extraordinary grassroots volunteers on the ground.
We have 5 days to get out the vote and win on June 5.
The Scott Walker Recall election is coming up fast on June 5!
We just launched a great new online tool, called the Friends and Neighbors (FAN) program, to connect with people in Wisconsin about the recall elections without having to leave home.
Will you join me in signing up for free for the FAN tool to make calls from home to help stop the destructive Walker agenda?
Walker and his political allies are relying on millions in from corporate donors and right-wing billionaires to blanket the state with misleading ads.
They may have unlimited money, but we can cut through the noise by having real conversations with Wisconsinites about how Walker’s policies are wrong for them and their communities.
Another View — DMReg.com
MARK POTOK is editor of the Intelligence Report/Hatewatch blog and senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center
I used to think you were a pretty straight-ahead place, what with all that flat land and healthy vegetables and honest living. I mean, Iowans rejected slavery 20 years before the Civil War and they approved interracial marriage a century before the U.S. Supreme Court. Homosexuality was decriminalized almost 30 years before the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision did so nationwide. Today, control of the state’s Legislature is split between Democrats and Republicans and, a few characters aside, it is not known for political extremism. Like the corn it produces in such copious amounts, Iowa generally seemed a healthy and sensible place.
That idea of the state ended for me last week when I read the proposed platform released by the platform committee of the Republican Party of Iowa.
Are you people totally insane?
The platform is absolutely thick with ideas from the extreme right, lunatic conspiracy theories, and barely concealed hatred for President Obama and anything that smacks of multiculturalism. It sneers at science, is down on poor people, and despises, really despises, the United Nations.
Here’s a sampling of the deep-thinking goals of the Iowa GOP:
• Require candidates for president to prove that they are “natural born citizens,” beginning with the 2012 election. After all, non-citizens serving as president have been a longstanding problem in American politics.
• Reject the “claims” of global warming, which are “based on fraudulent, inaccurate information” and pushed by people using “extremist scare tactics.” The Iowa GOP “recognizes” that policies and laws designed to combat global warming are really “a plan to take our freedoms and liberties away.”
• Entirely eliminate the departments of Agriculture, Education, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Energy, Interior, Labor and Commerce, along with the Transportation Safety Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
• Likewise, abolish the Internal Revenue Service and repeal the 16th Amendment, which legalized the federal income tax.
• Eliminate the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which oversees job safety.
• Repeal smoking bans because, as the platform statement asserts, “We believe this to be an issue of liberty.” Air quality in all businesses should be left up to owners’ “freedom to choose.”
• Repeal all hate crime laws.
• Build a fence along the entire U.S. border with Mexico.
• Eliminate no-fault divorce laws and require “good cause” to get a divorce.
• End minimum wage laws.
an ideology that the Iowa platform committee says is all about the party’s main goal, which is “nothing more or less than a world set free.”
Set free, that is, from any connection to reality, critical thinking, or common sense.
Maureen Russo was born in Akron, Ohio. For the last 40 years she’s operated a dog boarding and grooming business — Bobbi’s World Kennels — with her husband in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Maureen is 60 years old and has been a registered voter in the state for the last four decades. She regularly votes at the church around the corner from her home.
Two weeks ago she received a letter from the State of Florida informing her that they had received information that she was not born in this country and, therefore, was ineligible to vote.
She was given an option to request “an administrative hearing to present evidence” disputing the determination of the State of Florida that she was ineligible to vote. Unless Maureen returned a form requesting such a hearing within 30 days, she was told, it would result in “the removal of your name from the voter registration rolls.”
She immediately sent off a registered letter to the State with a copy of her passport. She hasn’t heard anything back.
It is unclear what legitimate purpose Gov. Scott has to move forward with the voting purge in the face of multiple documented errors. Florida has no history of mass voter fraud. It does have a history, however, of mass voter disenfranchisement. By one estimate, 7000 Florida voters were wrongfully removed from the voter rolls for the 2000 presidential election — 13 times George W. Bush’s margin of victory in that state after the Supreme Court halted the post-election recount.
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” - Joseph Campbell
Well, we wouldn’t have Memorial Day if we didn’t have something memorialize. Like many countries America honors its fallen heroes with a special day. So here are ten questions about Memorial Day or America’s involvement in wars since its beginning:
1) Memorial Day was first celebrated to honor the dead from which war?
a) the American revolution
b) The War of 1812
c) The Civil War
d) World War I
2) For the first Memorial Day, flowers were ordered placed on soldiers graves at Arlington National Cemetary. Before it was a cemetary, what was Arlington?
a) The home of Thomas Jefferson
b) land set aside for the expansion of Washington, D.C.
c) land once held by Martha Custis Washington
d) the home of Robert E. Lee
3) Andrew Jackson became famous for winning the Battle of New Orleans (among other things). Which war was the Battle of New Orleans a part of?
a) King Phillip’s War
b) The War of 1812
c) The Spanish – American War
d) The Barbary War
4) Which war was famously touted as “the war to end all wars?”
a) World War II
b) the Korean War
c) World War I
d) the Cold War
5) How did that work out? Was it actually an end to all wars?
6) Which of these post Civil War presidents did not serve in Civil War?
a) Grover Cleveland
b) Rutherford B. Hayes
c) Andrew Johnson
d) William McKinley
7) Which war resulted in the US acquiring much of her southwest territory?
a) The Spanish American War
b) The War of 1812
c) The War for Texas Independence
d) The Mexican American War
8) Who commanded the American Expeditionary forces in WWI?
a) Gen. George C. Marshall
b) Gen. John J. Pershing
c) Gen. Arthur MacArthur
d) Gen. Billy Mitchell
9) The Civil War has the record for most casualties in American wars. About how many died in the US Civil War
10) Match the war with American involvement with its approximate casualties:
a) American Revolution 1) 58,000
b) World War 2 2) 25,000
c) Vietnam War 3) 116,000
d) World War 1 4) 405,000
Thanks and much respect to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Here are the answers:
1) c) The Civil War – first celebrated May 30, 1868
2) d) Arlington had been the home of Gen. Lee
3) b) Word hadn’t gotten to New Orleans that the War of 1812 was over, so Jackson fought and won.
4) c) WW 1
5) b) I know not why I asked such a sarcastic question.
6) a) Grover Cleveland
7) d) The Mexican-American War got us all or part of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California
8) b) John J. “Black Jack” Pershing
9) c) estimated 625,000 casualties
a) Revolution = 2 (25,000)
b) World War 2 = 4 (405,000)
c) Vietnam War = 1 (58,000)
d) World War 1 = 3 (116,000)
I am one who believes that calling the group of thieves and religionist posers that inhabit the Republican Party “conservative” is an insult to the very word “conservative.” Shouldn’t a “conservative” strive to conserve something besides their own fat check book?
Well, anyway I ran across a great post online with 33 quotes about conservatism. Many of these ring quite true. Go here for the full set: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/05/05/33-quotes/
1) “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” (Barry Goldwater)
2) “Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.” (Barry Goldwater)
3) “I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.”
~Alexis de Tocqueville
4) “Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.”
5) “Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home–but not for housing. They are strong for labor–but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. They favor minimum wage–the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all–but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine–for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing–but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing–so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.”
~Harry S. Truman
6) “Latins for Republicans – it’s like roaches for Raid.” ~John Leguizamo
7) “A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
8) “I like that about the Republicans; the evidence does not faze them, they are not bothered at all by the facts.”
9) “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.”
~John Stuart Mill
10) “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~John Kenneth Galbraith
11) “I wonder how many times you have to be hit on the head before you find out who’s hitting you? It’s about time that the people of America realized what the Republicans have been doing to them.” ~Harry Truman
12) “In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.”
~H. L. Mencken
13) “Brains, you know, are suspect in the Republican Party.” ~Walter J. Lippmann
14) “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself.” ~Harry Truman
15) “Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.”
~William E. Gladstone
Mitt Romney seems to embody damn near everything that is bad about conservatives and conservatism.
The following is a Guest Opinion published in the Iowa City Press-Citizen Thursday.
[BFIA ACTION ALERT: "The National Petroleum Reserve is home to vast numbers of wildlife — waterfowl, shorebirds, caribou, bears and others. Tundra swans, snow geese, brant, pintail and dozens of other species nest there. They migrate through Iowa; resting and refueling along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, around Coralville, Saylorville, Red Rock and Rathbun Reservoirs, through the Prairie Pothole Region and other wildlife areas. They provide hunting, photography and bird watching opportunities for tens of thousands of Iowans." To protect the wildlife, submit your comment here before June 1st. http://iawildlife.org/national-petroleum-reserve/speak-up-for-waterfowl-and-shore-birds/]
by Joe Wilkerson and Doug Harr
Balancing our country’s demand for oil with our need for wild places has not been easy for the last 100 years. It is getting tougher these days. For decades now, our appetites for petroleum to fuel industrial growth and Americans’ passion for recreation and travel have drastically increased the risk to the same natural areas many wish to visit and experience.
Alaska is rich in both petroleum and those wild places. It always has been thought of as the solution to our domestic oil strategy because of the National Petroleum Reserve. The reserve was thought to hold enough oil to fuel our needs for many years. Recent government reports, though, place oil deposits there far below original estimates.
We in Iowa are connected to this 22-million acre region in two ways.
• First, there is oil and our demand for it. No argument there.
• More importantly, though, the reserve is home to vast numbers of wildlife — waterfowl, shorebirds, caribou, bears and others. Tundra swans, snow geese, brant, pintail and dozens of other species nest there. They migrate through Iowa; resting and refueling along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, around Coralville, Saylorville, Red Rock and Rathbun Reservoirs, through the Prairie Pothole Region and other wildlife areas. They provide hunting, photography and bird watching opportunities for tens of thousands of Iowans.
Both connections are strong.
The Bureau of Land Management — within the U.S. Department of the Interior — is charged with maintaining the balance between wildlife and its habitat, and our need for oil. Not an easy task. Iowans now have the opportunity to speak up; to help determine how the Reserve will be managed. We can help establish a balance between the need for wildlife habitat … and demands for oil.
Through the Iowa Wildlife Federation’s website, www.iawildlife.org, Iowans can look through the options the bureau is considering. Support one — or more — and provide suggestions for future management.
Time is running short. The bureau has a June 1 comment deadline.
Alaska and its rich resources may be thousands of miles away. However, those resources enhance our lives repeatedly. If you enjoy wildlife, we feel you should make this task a priority.
[Submit your comment here before June 1st. ]
Thursday, May 24th
Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Iowa State Fairgrounds
Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center
3000 E. Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50317
Guests should arrive at the main entrance of the fairgrounds at the intersection of E. 30th and Grand Ave.
Tickets are not required. Event is open to the public on a first come, first serve basis.