Posts Tagged ‘progressive

02
Jun
14

Elections Matter

Obama Wins

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Washington Post: Obama Judges Tip Appeals Court To Democrats

When President Bush II left the White House in 2009, the 13 U.S. courts of appeal were firmly under Republican appointees’ control. Ten appeals courts had majority GOP judges, two were evenly split and only one had a majority of Democrats. President Obama’s 49 appeals court appointees have dramatically altered the landscape. As of the Senate’s recess on May 23, nine of those courts had majority Democratic appointees and four had Republican majorities.

(There are 10 vacancies in the circuit courts. One Obama nominee is awaiting a Senate vote and three nominees pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.) The change, much feared by Republicans, is not necessarily shocking. But the transformation, in just 5 1/2 years, said University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur D. Hellman, an authority on the federal circuit courts, marks ”a huge shift in a very short period of time.” And it means that Democratic appointed judges “have the ability to control every important case if they wish to” in those nine circuits, he said.

More here

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NEW610fLoop29B

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Timothy B. Lee: Obama Has Secured Democratic Majorities On Most Federal Appeals Courts

A president’s Supreme Court nominees get a lot of attention, but presidents shape less visible parts of the judiciary too. Barack Obama is no exception. The Washington Post has a chart showing how the president has changed the composition of the nation’s appeals courts over the last five and a half years: Now, it’s important to say that courts are not supposed to be partisan institutions.

Still, Democratic judicial nominees tend to be more liberal than Republican nominees. And so the growing number of Democrat-appointed judges in our appeals courts will push American jurisprudence to the left on a wide range of issues. And because Obama’s nominees will stay on the bench long after Obama leaves office, these nominations will be one of his most durable legacies.

More here

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Change Is

05
Jan
13

Rise and Shine

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The Examiner: When historians look back on the presidency of Barack Obama, one would hope that they view his legacy as more then just being the first African American President who succeeded despite having to overcome some of the worst treatment a President could withstand; or as more than the President responsible for the establishment of an affordable health care act ensuring healthcare coverage for all Americans; or responsible for having saved the U.S economy from a second depression; or for killing the number one mastermind terrorist in the world.

Indeed one would hope that that historians recognize that President Obama’s legacy is that of a true warrior for social justice ….. A steadfast true leader, who even when faced with obstruction from hostile political extremists on the right, is still ensuring that all Americans get a fair shake at the American dream….

Full article here

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NYT: With 2013 bringing tax increases on the incomes of a small sliver of the richest Americans, the country’s top earners now face a heavier tax burden than at any time since Jimmy Carter was president.

The last-minute deal struck by the departing 112th Congress raised taxes on a handful of the highest-earning Americans, with about 99.3 percent of households experiencing no change in their income taxes. But the Tax Policy Center estimates that the average family in the top 1 percent will pay a federal tax rate of more than 36 percent this year, up from 28 percent in 2008. That is the highest rate since 1979, at least.

By some measures, the tax code might now be the most progressive in a generation, tax economists said, while noting that every American is paying a lower burden currently than they did then….

Full article here

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@elizabethforma: “It’s official!”

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TPM: The White House and gun control supporters are gearing up for a whirlwind month, with plans to pass reform legislation before outrage over the Sandy Hook massacre has a chance to fade.

While the fiscal cliff has dominated Washington’s attention in recent weeks, lawmakers and activists are laying the groundwork for their big push. Vice President Joe Biden, tasked with heading a commission to investigate gun violence, has been quietly meeting with experts, interest groups, and public officials and is expected to release a set of recommendations within weeks. Boston mayor Thomas Menino, co-chair of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told the Boston Herald this week that an optimistic Biden had assured him that Obama would sign legislation “by the end of January.”

More here

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@amk4obama

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MoooOOoooOOOooorning everyone. Eh, it is still morning, isn’t it?

12
Aug
11

the moral high ground….

Spotted by Tally – a comment by ‘Tom’ at Steve Benen’s blog (here)

The predominately white progressive intelligentsia don’t see Obama clearly because of our racial blind spot. We don’t see the role of race in how he seems to understand himself and how other perceive him.

First of all, we think that he understands himself as one of us. A progressive activist, heir to the radical and New Left movements most of us were raised in. He is not; I think that he understands himself (and certainly his real base understands him) as the first African American President. We’re thinking Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. We should be thinking about Harold Washington, the first African American mayor of Chicago. Washington was elected and immediately faced a solid wall of opposition from most white aldermen in the city. Washington understood his role as breaking down that wall of opposition and assembling a governing majority, which he finally did after his re-election. Unfortunately, he died shortly thereafter. By the way, one of Washington’s political strategists was David Axelrod.

How does Obama break the iron unity of the GOP opposition to assemble a governing majority in the US Congress?

If we progressives were not blinded by our own assumption that our history is the only history, we might see how Obama may be seeing his situation.

White progressives often think that African American elected officials are politically naive. We will give far more credit to Cornel West, who has never been elected to anything, than to an elected state senator, or even the President of the United States. We think that Obama does not understand the nature of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell or Eric Cantor, as though he has not sat across the table from them. He doesn’t understand how mean they are, we think.

Obama acts entirely within the tradition of mainstream African American political strategy and tactics. The epitome of that tradition was the non-violence of the Civil Rights Movement, but goes back much further in time. It recognizes the inequality of power between whites and blacks. Number one: maintain your dignity. Number two: call your adversaries to the highest principles they hold. Number three: Seize the moral high ground and Number four: Win by winning over your adversaries, by revealing the contradiction between their own ideals and their actions. It is one way that a oppressed people struggle.

Obama has taken a seat at the negotiating table and said “There is no reason why we cannot work out solutions to our problems by acting like responsible adults. That is what people expect us to do and that is why we have entered into public service.” That is the moral high ground.

Honestly, I have been reminded more than once in the last few months of those brave college students sitting in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter, back in the day. Obama sits at that table, like they did at the counter. Boehner and McConnell and Cantor clown around, mugging for the camera, competing to ritually humiliate Obama, to dump ketchup on his head.

I don’t think those students got their sandwiches the first day, but they won in the end.

Obama is winning. Democrats are uniting behind him, although some white progressives think that they could do the job better. Independents are flocking to him. Even some Republicans are getting disgusted with their Washington leaders. Obama is not telling us about lack of seriousness of the Congressional GOP; he is showing us the vivid contrast between what we expect of our leaders and their behavior. The last two and half years have been a revelation of the essential conflicts in our society and politics.

If white progressives understood much about the politics of the African American struggle in the United States, we would see Obama in the context of that struggle and understand him better. And you don’t have to be African American to know something about the history of the African American struggle. The books and the testimony is there. It’s not all freedom songs. But you have to be convinced that it is something that can teach you something you don’t already know.

21
Jul
11

pitiful…

soldoutsandsellouts: Progressive Change Campaign Committee Treasurer Adam Green purchased the URL ColberSuperPAC.com, omitting the t in Stephen Colbert’s name, and then redirected that URL to his own PAC web site in an apparent attempt to steal critical membership and donations away from Colbert’s PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

… Adam Green registered colbersuperpac.com at Godaddy.com, Inc. on July 1, 2011 for one year using the same address he used to register PCCC with the Federal Election Commission. Soon afterward, the URL began redirecting unwitting ABTT supporters to Green’s PCCC PAC website, soliciting memberships and donations intended for ABTT via a splash page similar to the graphic included here….

… According to PCCC’s ‘Statement of Organization’ filed with the Federal Election Commission, the committee was formed on December 19, 2008, the original treasurer was and remains Adam Green…..

Despite PCCC’s brief existence, the committee has already received two letters from the Commission requesting additional information for expenditure reporting discrepancies, both for 2010. In both circumstances, the Commission’s first request appeared to be its final warning including wording to the effect that PCCC must adequately respond by the deadline or risk audit or enforcement actions….

Full post here

Thanks everyone for the link to this story

15
Jul
11

here we go again….

I posted this (here) the other day (see more at osborneink):

HistoryByDay (March 2010)

That’s right, ‘progressive’ OUTRAGE! peddlers Miss BP (aka the Hamsher creature, Tea Party and Grover Norquist buddy) and Republican/Libertarian Gary Johnson’s Number One fan (aka Greenwald) paid themselves $24,000 each for “strategic consulting” from Accountability Now donations – precisely $24,000 more than they donated in 2008 and 2010 to candidates challenging “corporate-controlled incumbents”, as they promised Accountability Now would do.

And how was most of their money raised? By sending out hysterical emails to their sheeple distorting the words of President Obama, firing up the hate …. and then pleading for donations to fight this dastardly traitor.

Well, well, well …. here we go again:

The Reid Report: Adam Green runs the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an entity designed to automatically disgorge mass solicitation emails attacking President Obama every time the president speaks, thereby raising copious amounts of cash to … um … what do they do, exactly? Oh, right… to buy a few ads attacking President Obama and the occasional Republican.

Green and his fellow travelers on the anti-Obama left have been spoiling for a fight with the White House on entitlements, which these folks are apparently convinced Barack Obama is about to feed into a giant shredding machine …. but Green’s latest fundraising email, which landed in my in-box just after 7 p.m. on Monday (and was headlined BREAKING, even though the news it refers to happened hours earlier, at 11 a.m.) opens on an exquisitely dishonest note:

BREAKING: Obama outrage.

Joy-Ann,

BREAKING: Today, in a press conference, President Obama came right out and said it: He’s pushing for benefit cuts in important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

You and 175,000 others boldly pledged that if Obama actually cuts Medicare/Medicaid benefits, you’ll take your money and volunteering elsewhere in 2012.

Green then urges recipients to sign a pledge not to give money to the Obama campaign if he cuts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security ….. presumably, they should give money to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee instead…

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Ah yes, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

Wow, $725.2k of funds raised in 2010 went on “administrative costs”, $503,788 of that on “salaries and benefits” ….. oh, look:

OpenSecrets

Good. Grief.

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Read ExtremeLiberal on this very issue here

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Very interesting post from last year:

Workbench (2010): …. PACs have different policies regarding whether they compensate the people who run the committees. Some don’t accept one cent of donor money and devote it all to their cause, while others pay themselves salaries, travel expenses and office rent. I interviewed Darcy Burner, a former Democratic Congressional candidate from Washington state who runs the not-for-profit Progressive Congress Action Fund, to learn whether it’s common for left-wing PACs to pay themselves. “The bigger PACs require full-time staff to operate — to raise money, to vet candidates [and] to file reports,” she said. “I think the key question would be more one of whether people giving the money understand what it will be used for. … There’s a trust relationship with donors that requires some truth and transparency about how money is going to be used.”

Read the full post here

09
Jul
11

‘siroto, the nancy grace of politics’

You have to see this reply at Salon to David Siroto’s latest diatribe, it’s majestic:

The Aggressive Progressive: Sirota = The Nancy Grace of Politics. Actually, Nancy Grace’s understudy.

Really that honor goes to Glenn Greenbeck.

GG is basically Nancy Grace at this point…his entire shtick is now just exclusively Outrage Porn. Hysterical, breathless, hyperbolic, pearl-clutching Outrage Porn for the diehard core of emotionally unstable weirdos that are addicted to it.

….Here’s proof that Sirota is a fucking parasitical douchenozzle that is making a career profiting off of fomenting Obama Derangement Syndrome among so called “progressives” – back 3 days before Obama’s Inauguration, he wrote a piece of shit concern/outrage troll piece basically saying that Obama’s Presidency was a failure…NEGATIVE FOUR DAYS before the guy even came to office! I mean, holy shit! Even the entirety of the right wing waited for the guy do get sworn in before they released the hounds. Sirota couldn’t even wait that long:


Biased much? So of course he’s going to construct a wall of lies to create this false reality to contort to his own personal vendetta against the man.

I would also remind anyone (although in vain as Salon is pretty much FUBAR); whether an inbred retarded neoconfederate racist bucktoothed teabagger brandishing a mispelled racist sign on a rascal scooter, or a Mommy’s basement anarcho-nihilist Greenbeck who is also addicted to ODS Outrage Porn; the following:

Obama Derangement Syndrome is not an organizing principle or philosophy of governance.

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The comments under these ‘Outrage Porn’ posts at Salon are always amusing. They usually start like this (from under Sirota’s post):

They all agree, ‘the Obots keep playing the race card’, and then they write stuff like this (again, all from under the Siroto post):

Who exactly is obsessed with the color of the President’s skin?

09
Jul
11

the professional left’s heroine…. (updated)

Read Shoq’s experience with Miss BP here – and their Twitter exchange here

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This gem of a 2010 story by David Weigel (now Slate) in the Washington Independent can never be re-posted enough:

Weigel was reporting on an anti-healthcare reform Tea Party rally where he spoke to one of the organizers and speakers, Kathryn Serkes. She told him:

“I’m in contact with folks on the progressive side. They’re saying right now that Pelosi’s almost there with the votes. What they’re saying is that there’s some serious arm-twisting – their words were union thuggery. One progressive source told me that there was serious union thuggery this weekend, targeting Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.).”

The source, she confirmed, was Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake.

Weigel emailed Hamsher to ask her if she was, in fact, working with the Tea Party on the issue and if she had used the term “union thuggery” in her conversations with Serkes.

Hamsher didn’t reply, instead posting this at Firedoglake in response to his report (‘Tea Party Activist Working With Firedoglake’s Hamsher on HCR Whip Count’ – here)

“Dave Weigel isn’t a journalist, he’s a smear-monger that makes things up and projects his own fantasies onto his stories ….I know Katherine, we were on MSNBC together and we’ve spoken about working on the pot legalization measure in California in the future …. she tells me that when Weigel approached her and asked her who her “source” was, she didn’t say. He said “It’s Jane Hamsher, isn’t it…I’ve been around.” According to Katherine, she didn’t respond.

….I’m not “working” with the tea partiers on health care. But Weigel doesn’t care about the truth …. He’s just a fantasist printing propaganda, and the Washington Independent has no higher standards than to print it.”

Problem?

Weigel had a recording of his conversation with the Tea Party woman:

SERKES: They’re saying that there’s some serious arm-twisting, and their words were union thuggery.

WEIGEL: Who’s the they?

SERKES: The progressive side. A progressive source told me that there was serious union thuggery going on this weekend.

WEIGEL: Is this the Firedoglake folks?

SERKES: It’s Jane. You’re figured it out.

WEIGEL: I’m not new at this.

SERKES: She said they were after Altmire this weekend. Yeah, because Jane and I last talked Saturday.

Hamsher’s response to being outed?

“Weigel has now posted the audio tape of his conversation with Katherine Serkes at the Tea Party event, in which he does not inform her that he was taping her. The recording confirms that she did use my name, however. I’ve asked Weigel twice now if at any point prior to this segment he informed her that she was being recorded, and he has not responded.

…. attending a Tea Party event and taping attendees without their knowledge, then posting that tape to discredit them in support of passing the health care bill, sounds more like the actions of a Democratic political operative …. he aspires to be a member of a cliquish, insider set with the moral flexibility to align themselves with anyone in power.”

Ah yes, the big issue here was the recording, not the fact that it had been revealed that Hamsher was working with the Tea Party towards their common goal: the defeat of President Obama’s healthcare bill. Or that Serkes quoted Hamsher using Tea Party speak: “Union thuggery.” Note how she failed to address being exposed, instead resorting to personal abuse.

(Links: here and here)

After exposing Hamsher, Weigel asked for “an apology and a retraction” – he’s still waiting.

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Fox and Friend:

Yep, she joined in on Fox News’ ‘Kill The Bill’ campaign, appearing on the network soon after calling for a boycott of it.

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This story, from May of this year, is an eye-opener too:

Mike Elk (ExiledOnline, May 2011): Yesterday I confronted Jane Hamsher, founder of Firedoglake, over her refusal to honor a labor boycott against the Huffington Post that two major writers unions have called for.

… Hamsher wasn’t satisfied merely crossing the picket line: She went on the offensive against boycott organizers … In an email exchange with several members of the labor movement, Hamsher jeered at the writers’ union organizers, mocking their organizing efforts….

In response to Hamsher’s outrageous anti-labor attacks, I wrote to one of these listserv groups on which both Hamsher and I were members: “Jane Hamsher the last person I would ever want to have as my shop steward” … this was not the first time Hamsher has taken a position hostile to workers’ rights and labor ….

…Hamsher also attacked Sal Roselli (president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers) implying that he was an Italian thug, an old tactic used by anti-labor PR people to smear labor activists as mobsters ….

….When I raised this ugly episode yesterday in the context of Hamsher’s attacks on the HuffPo boycott, Hamsher responded to me, “You’re just halucinating [sic] now, Mike. I never ‘tried to get people fired from their jobs,’ nor did I ever use ‘race baiting language to paint Sal Roselli as a thug.’….You’re either really mentally ill, or incredibly malicious.”

….. This was a new low for Hamsher…….

Full post here

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See here

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See here

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Rooted Cosmopolitan

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Five years ago she posted this photoshopped picture of Joe Lieberman as a ‘black’ man on Huffington Post, in an attempt to describe his efforts to “woo African American voters”. The photo was promptly removed, and she offered a ‘sorry if you were offended’ apology.

Link

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Osborneink.com (December 2010): Jane the Hamsher is one of the cool kids… yet she wouldn’t recognize progress if it smacked her in the face, and so far has achieved nothing resembling progress on any front. Indeed, I have been waiting for someone to tell me what this woman’s “progressive” credentials are.

She is first and foremost a self-aggrandizing publicity whore whose Accountability Now PAC has so far given $0 to progressive candidates in the first two years of its existence while spending $285,272. If she ran a non-profit this way, it would get shut down. As things stand, the PAC (which also counts Kos and Glenn Greenwald as operators) has only made noise.

…. Hamsher’s kill-the-bill madness included an appearance on FOX News just months after her own call to boycott the network. She later returned to that channel spouting nonsense about cap-and-trade. Her recent appearances on Lawrence O’Donnell leave me convinced progress is not her purpose.

Jane has a troubling problem with transparency and truthfulness…..

Full post here

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rcade (DK, March 2010): Firedoglake publisher Jane Hamsher has become one of the most polarizing figures in the liberal blogosphere, moving people sharply to the pro or con column with her outspoken opposition to the health care reform bill, appearances on Fox News bashing the Obama administration and the letter she sent with conservative activist Grover Norquist demanding the resignation of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Hamsher wields a lot of influence by operating two Democratic political action committees, FDL Action PAC and Accountability Now PAC. By the end of 2009 these PACs had accumulated $454,000 from thousands of individual donors….

The Federal Election Commission reports show that Hamsher’s PACs are a significant source of income for Firedoglake, but my experience trying to question her about them suggests that she’s not big on transparency.

… Accountability Now collected $113,695 in donations during 2009, as it reported to the FEC, and spent $169,992 that year on nine consultants … including Hamsher ($24,000) and PAC cofounder Glenn Greenwald ($24,000)….

Full post here

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HistoryByDay (March 2010)

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WeeSeeYou

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Osborneink: …. Jane Hamsher is quite obviously accepting money from BP. Why is that important? Because according to Hamsher, anyone who takes money from the oil company is guilty of selling out:

“Carbon cap and trade was a scheme cooked up by BP and Enron lobbyists in the mid nineties. BP has subsequently dropped millions of dollars into the coffers of green groups to pave the way for it. Obama’s cry to pass Kerry-Lieberman as punishment for BP is not only highly ironic, it’s also illustrative of just how broken our national discourse around environmental issues has become.

Until progressive groups successfully address the challenge of funding themselves independent of the elite individuals and institutions that act as enforcers of a corporate agenda, they will not be able to successfully advocate for progressive causes. Any success they might have will mean that their funding dries up, and they will cease to exist.”

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Link

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ABL (BalloonJuice):

See full post here

ABL’s Balloon Juice post refers to this campaign promoted by ‘figaro’ at FDL:

ABL (Balloon Juice):

The post about “Afro-Americans” needing an “education program” appeared on FDL on May 18 – it’s still there, never removed.




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