our pick
from dccc
from aclu
Click here for the ACLU
from buzzflash

Monday, March 06, 2006

More Pharmeceutical Cronyism

Ever get the feeling that the pharmaceutical industry is just not exerting enough control over the United States government and world affairs? Well, have no fear, because Resident Bush has nominated Wall Street Transcript's 1995 Pharmaceutical Industry CEO of the Year, Randall L. Tobias, to run USAID, the United States Agency for International Development.

One of USAID's jobs is to distribute drugs to developing countries, and to improve "the availability and use of quality health commodities, such as pharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical supplies, and basic equipment..."

The Senate will Tuesday morning at 09:30. Set your TIVO to CSPAN-2 to check it out.

I think I'll buy some shares of Eli Lilly today, we'll see if it skyrockets like Haliburton did.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bush Poll Numbers Drop Like Rock

Is America waking up? Could be. From a CBS News Poll released on 27 Feb. 06:
PRES. BUSH JOB APPROVALS

Now1/200610/200511/2004
Overall34%42%35%51%
Iraq30%37%32%40%
Economy32%39%34%42%
Energy27%------

Other juicy tidbits include:
  • "the previous low of 35% came last October, one month after Hurricane Katrina, shortly after the withdrawal of Harriet Miers from a Supreme Court nomination and just after U.S. deaths in Iraq reached the 2,000 mark."
  • "Not since November 2004 has a majority approved of the President’s overall performance."
  • "for the President’s handling of the Iraq war have also plummeted, to their all-time low of 30%. And approval of his handling of the economy is also down."
Good read, everybody should check it out. And hey, don't be surprised if Cheney "accidentally" shoots him tomorrow. You read it here first.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

What Issues are Most Important to You?

I need some help on a project I'm working on.

The goal is this: prepare one or two ranked-choice polls to rate how strongly progressives feel about a number of the Republican antics of the last five years. After the polls are up, we'll circulate the URLS to a few of the bigger lefty sites & mailing lists to see if we can get a couple of thousand responses.

The payoff would be twofold: we'd get information on what already sells (for election strategy, etc...), and what issues need to be pounded on to increase public awareness.

I'm having three problems:

1) Everybody has their blind spots. I'm sure I've missed huge issues,
2) The wording for the individual issues is going to be uneven, and
3) There's a technical limitation of at most 18 choices per poll.

I think the right approach to (3) is to break the issues down into two polls: foreign policy and domestic policy.

Any feedback on (1) and (2) would be much appreciated.

(A couple of good sources are http://www.thousandreasons.org/reasons.php, http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=64326 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W_Bush )

In no particular order, here's my rough draft of the issue list:

1. Failure to Build Real Iraq Coalition
2. Misleading America about Iraq War Rationale
3. Financial Waste/No-bid Haliburton Contracts in Iraq
4. USA-PATRIOT Act
5. Bush Wiretapping U.S. Citizens
6. Election Fraud/Diebold Machines Stealing Votes
7. Appointing Sam Alito to Supreme Court
8. Prisoner Abuse/Secret Prisons/Rendering Prisoners
9. Cheney/Libby Leaking CIA Agent Valerie Plame's Name
10. Jack Abramoff/Tom DeLay Scandals
11. Opposing Creation of Independent 9/11 Commission
12. Hurricane Katrina Preparedness/Response
13. Bush Creates "Office of Global Communications"/Propaganda Mill
14. Medicare Act of 2003: Attack on Seniors
15. Administration Opposition to Stem Cell Research
16. Sustained Attack on Contraceptive Use/Family Planning/Abortion
17. Bush Stance Against Affirmative Action
18. Bush Stance Against Gay Marriage
19. UAE To Run 21 U.S. Ports
20. 3 Million U.S. Jobs Exported Overseas/CAFTA/WTO/NAFTA
21. Overtime Protection removed in 2004 Omnibus Spending Bill
22. Record Trade Defecits
23. Bush Favoring Intelligent Design over Evolution
24. Bush Creation of Office of Faith Based Initiatives
25. Terry Schiavo Affair
26. Underfunding "No Child Left Behind Act"
27. Support for School Vouchers is An Attack on The Poor
28. Tax Cuts for the Wealthy
29. Record Budget Defecits
30. Proposed ANWR Oil Drilling/National Forest Sell-off
31. Global Warming/Refusing the Kyoto Protocol
32. Failure to Act on Peak Oil
33. $40B cuts on 89 Social Programs in 2006 Budget
34. Failure to Act on Bird Flu
35. Failure to Establish a Reasonable Minimum Wage (Living Wage)
36. Corporate Welfare/Multi-Billion Dollar Tax Loopholes for U.S. Companies
37. Obstructing National Single-Payer Health Care Proposals

If you want to comment, you can do so here, at progressivesonline.com or at democrats.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

2006 Primaries: Essential Information

Just a quickie: the 2006 primaries are quickly approaching! Some more quickly than others. These links provide the information you need to know:

The state-by-state primary schedule: http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/electcal.html

State-by-state rules for how long you have to be registered before participating in a primary: http://www.eac.gov/register_vote_deadlines.asp

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stop Bush's Plan to Let the United Arab Emirates Operate U.S. Ports

From this morning's Democrats.com dispatch:


George Bush wants to let Dubai World Ports - a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates - take control of 6 of the largest ports in the U.S.: New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. Shipping ports are already the most vulnerable part of our Homeland Security, since 95% of imported goods come by ship. Yet only 5% of cargo containers - which could easily hide WMD's - are physically inspected. And the United Arab Emirates has some of the most dangerous ties to terrorism.

Click here to tell your Senators and Representatives to stop Bush's insane plan.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Feingold vs. Gore: Big Differences

This is the third post in a series of ideological comparisons (using analysis from http://www.ontheissues.org) between Russ Feingold and other 2008 Democratic hopefuls. Today, we'll look at differences between Feingold and Al Gore.

Al Gore has said time and again that he has no intention of running in 2008. Nonetheless, there is a significant movement amongst the NetRoots to urge him to run. I applaud the determination and passion of this movement. I also enthusiastically concur that he was elected President in 2000 by both the Electoral College and the popular vote, but that this victory was stolen by a conservative, activist Supreme Court. I've signed all the petitions and sent all the e-mails.

But, there is a but. And that is this: I have some serious ideological differences with President Gore. Based on those differences, he is not my pick for 2008. These differences hinge on three things: free trade, separation of Church and State, and his approach to law enforcement.

Russ Feingold is not, by any means, the only 2008 hopeful that shares my views on these topics. Wes Clark is dead on as well. Even the much maligned DLC sweethearts like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry toe the party line on these important issues.


Feingold

Gore

Overall Rating

Populist-Leaning Liberal

Moderate Populist

Permit Prayer in Public Schools

Strongly Opposes

Favors

Death Penalty

Strongly Opposes

Favors

Mandatory Three Strikes Laws

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Support and Expand Free Trade

Strongly Opposes

Favors

Link Human Rights to Trade With China

Strongly Favors

Strongly Opposes

Allow Churches to Provide Welfare Services

No Opinion

Strongly Favors

I want to restate that these ideogy models are obviously simple pictures of a complex reality, but I've found them quite telling and a good starting point for deeper debate.

One need only look at this page to see that I'm not a disintrested observer on this question. However, the only bias I can imagine that I put into this table is the choice of issues to show. If you feel the comparison isn't fair, I encourage reasonable responses.

The sources for this table are http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Russell_Feingold.htm and http://www.ontheissues.org/Al_Gore.htm.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Feingold vs. Bayh: Big Differences

Since yesterday's post comparing Russ Feingold to Mark Warner was so well received, I'm going to run with the idea and do comparisons featuring Russ versus various contenders from the far right wing of the party.

Today, we'll look at Evan Bayh. I want to restate that these ideogy models are obviously a simple pictures of a complex reality, but I found them quite telling and a good starting point for deeper debate.

Here are the differences that I found most interesting:


Feingold

Bayh

Overall Rating

Populist-Leaning Liberal

Moderate Liberal Populist

Abortion is a Woman's Right

Strongly Favors

No Opinion

Privatize Social Security

Strongly Opposes

No Opinion

Death Penalty

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Mandatory Three Strikes Laws

Strongly Opposes

No Opinion

Support and Expand Free Trade

Strongly Opposes

Strongly Favors

Link Human Rights to Trade With China

Strongly Favors

Strongly Opposes

Allow Churches to Provide Welfare Services

No Opinion

Favors

One need only look at this page to see that I'm not a disintrested observer on this question. However, the only bias I can imagine that I put into this table is the choice of issues to show. If you feel the comparison isn't fair, I encourage reasonable responses.

The sources for this table are http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Russell_Feingold.htm and http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Evan_Bayh.htm.

Added 3:20 PM: Bayh got a 56% rating from ACLU in the 108th Congress. Feingold scored 89%. The ACLU Scorecard is here.

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