Progressive Democrat Newsletter 298
The big news in America was the Wisconsin recalls. Bottom line is we fought off three challenges the Republicans mounted against Democrats, and we picked up two out of the six challenges we mounted against anti-union Republicans. This was not the best outcome because it fell short of flipping the Wisconsin state senate, but any time you come out of an election with more seats than you started with, it's good news. And let me point out that most of the districts we were mounting challenges in are normally pretty heavily Republican districts, so the very fact we came close is progress. This is the Howard Dean "challenge every district" strategy in action.
Where do we go from here?
There are still plenty of efforts. There will be an attempt to recall Wisconsin Teabagger Governor Walker and there is also a recall going on in Michigan targeting both their Teabagger governor and a state senator (I think). We can't let the effort end with last night's two wins. We have to follow up with more wins. More Democrats AND Better Democrats.
We can't rely on our Democratic leadership to, well, effectively lead. This is nothing new. We have had three Democratic Presidents in my politically active lifetime (I was too young to really have a clue during Johnson's presidency). Carter, Clinton and Obama all were too conservative for my tastes and not strong enough leaders for my tastes. I like all of them and all of them did a lot of good as well as some harm (particularly when they capitulated to Republican memes, something they ALL did in the name of bipartisanship). The way our country works, we are seldom going to elect a true progressive to top leadership positions in our Party. What we need to do is focus on the LOCAL and STATE level races where we have a real chance of electing progressives who then can feed into the next generation of leaders.
There are four main states where the fight is being fought. Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. If you want to help keep the fight going and help protect our unions from Teabagger attacks, please consider contributing through my Union Solidarity Act Blue site. Heartland Revolution is one of the organizations leading in both Wisconsin and Michigan. Progressive Majority is also an organization that is quite effective in electing progressives to local and state level offices. They were, in fact, the organization that helped give Jessica King (now State Senator King) her start. Help out if you can. We have an uphill battle against tons of Koch Brothers, Walmart and "US" Chamber of Commerce money. Evey little bit you can do helps. Last night was one more step in the right direction (following up on a Wisconsin Assembly win earlier this year and a New Hampshire pick up last night as well). We may not win resounding victories, but we are, step by slow step, winning back our country.
The big news internationally is the rebel advance on Tripoli in Libya. There has been quite a stalemate there for weeks now and it has seemed like Gadaffi could survive the rebellion. But here too, step by slow step the rebels are advancing. It could still stalemate again, but for now it looks like we may be reaching a turning point. [UPDATE: as I wrote that the rebels entered Tripoli!] I want to remind people that the results of all the unrest in the Middle East are still up in the air. It is not a given that the result will be increased democracy, though these rebellions would be a necessary step towards greater democracy. But we have to remember that the Islamicist factions are also going to be increasing their influence and in many cases are better set up to take advantage of the changes. History is being made but we won't know for years what the new look of the Middle East will be.
The 10th year anniversary of 9/11 is coming up. And it will be the first anniversary since the attacks where we can know that most of those who planned the attack have been captured or killed. Under Obama hundreds of al-Qaeda fighters have been captured and killed, far more in 2 years than during 8 years under Bush. And of course Osama bin Laden was killed under Obama after years of Bush outright saying he didn't care about getting bin Laden. Why did Obama do so much better than Bush in hitting back at al-Qaeda? Simple. Bush was obsessed with Iraq, which had never attacked America, while Obama pulled back in Iraq and focused more on al-Qaeda. The result is we have finally been getting the people who actually planned the attacks on America. It is amazing what you can do when you actually focus on the people who attacked you rather than invade other countries illegally and illogically. Obama hasn't been as good as I would have wished, but I am happy each and every day that we have Obama and not Bush in charge. Things have improved HUGELY since Bush left office. We still have a long way to go and Republicans continue to obstruct good government in favor of naked greed, but when you look back to January 2009, we have come a long way.
Here is this week's newsletter:
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
I wrote this to counter some Holocaust denial on another website recently: Evidence of the Holocaust
As predatory lender Bank of America deservedly continues to falter, it is a good time to reiterate the good options: Better Banking and Better Credit Cards
A reminder: Murdochgate has not gone away..."Hacking 4000+ victims is not journalism. Its organized crime."
Worldwatch report focuses on China's green future...The Worldwatch Institute used to be one of my favorite organizations. I'd kind of forgotten about them until they started posting on DKos.
Global warming in action: Species heading faster to poles
An interesting take on American diplomacy under Obama: China debate over US envoy's coffee run
Medicare: What can we do about it?
National Congress of American Indians opposes Keystone XL pipeline
Guaranteed Loans Help Create Good Jobs - Don't Let Republicans Wipe Them Out
How Democrats win: Defend the safety net and make government work
Some really cool African music my family loves: (from various Putumayo CD's we mostly bought from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
Habib Koite, "Wassiye" from Senegal:
Afia Mala, "Segne" from Togo: One of my favorites (and one of my son's for a long time):
Boubacar Traore, "Kanou" from Mali:
Judith Sephuma, "Le Tshephile Mang" from South Africa:
These selections give you an idea of the quality of the Putumayo CDs. Can't say we're fans of ALL of their CD's, but I can say we LOVE several of them!
Walmart Watch: seeks to hold Walmart fully accountable for its impact on communities, the American workforce, the retail sector, the environment and the nation's economy. Walmart Watch exists to challenge Walmart to more fully embrace its corporate responsibilities and live up to its position as the largest corporation in the United States.
Green America's Green Business Program: provides the networks, resources, and technical assistance needed for socially and environmentally responsible businesses to emerge and thrive in communities across the US. Plus, we help individual consumers shift their spending to support green businesses and help build a green economy. Find local green businesses (by zip code) here.
FOOD CO-OPS: food co-ops are a great way to buy more responsibly for less money while eating healthier. My wife and I took 7 years living down the street from America's largest food co-op before we took the plunge. Our food bills went down a little while the quality, environmental responsibility and healthiness of our diet went way up. It is also a great way to help your community's local economy. To find your local food co-op, click here.
WHAT YOU CAN DO LOCALLY: I want to highlight some ways you can be more involved locally in the progressive movement. There are lots of good organizations that you can connect with both for good socializing and for political action. Here are a handful. All of them have MANY local chapters. Look up what is in your area.
Living Liberally: Political action through social interaction...includes Drinking Liberally, Eating Liberally, Reading Liberally, Laughing Liberally and Screening Liberally. Something for everyone. Nonpartisan, very progressive.
Democracy for America: The grassroots progressive organization founded by Howard Dean, because Democracy is NOT a spectator sport. Democratic activism at its best.
Coffee Party: Wake Up and Stand Up. The progressive (and sane!) answer to the Teabaggers. The Coffee Party is a democracy movement that began on Facebook, powered by volunteers and small donations from every-day Americans. Nonpartisan, moderate/progressive.
Native Vote: a national non-partisan effort to mobilize the American Indian and Alaska Native vote. Nonpartisan, moderate.
AFL-CIO: America's Union movement, now fighting back thanks to right wing Republican attacks on America's working and middle classes. Nonpartisan, moderate.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. Nonpartisan, moderate.
Green Drinks: Every month people who work in the environmental field meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. We have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business. Come along and you'll be made welcome. Just say, "are you green?" and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It's a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network.
Some other organizations: more national and not necessarily with many local chapters, but worth getting involved with.
Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP): APAP is a national network of progressive Asian Americans and friends. Our goals are to bring progressive values to the community and to organize for electoral empowerment. Nonpartisan, very progressive.
Cesar E. Chavez Foundation: Cesar's dream for a better and more just world has guided the Foundation's vision. Through our programming we strive to empower individuals so that they may fully realize their inherent and unlimited potential to make a difference in their own lives, in their communities, and in the world as a whole. Nonpartisan, moderate.
STATE AND LOCAL PAGES:
NEW YORK FOCUS
Support the Judge Who Gay Married my Friends
New York Focus: David Weprin for Congress (NY-9)
NEW JERSEY FOCUS
LET'S KEEP THE FIGHT GOING IN WISCONSIN: Below are some local Dem organizations in Wisconsin. Help them out!
Democratic Party of Milwaukee County:
Our general membership meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of most months. Check our calendar for exact dates. We meet in the Hall of Fame Room of the Pettit National Ice Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park, 500 S. 84th Street. We look forward to seeing you there.
Oconomowoc Dems Breakfast
First Saturday of each month, 10am – 11am
The Depot/Maxims Restaurant, Hwy 67 and Main St., Oconomowoc
Winnebago Dems Monthly Meeting
Second Wednesday of every month, August 10, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Delta Restaurant - 515 N Sawyer St, Oshkosh, WI
Winnebago County Democratic Party Unity Breakfast
Last Friday of Each Month, 7:00am – 8:30am
B J Clancy's Restaurant - 3341 S Oneida St - Appleton, WI 54915
Click here to find out more about the Winnebego County, Wisconsin Democratic Party
Waukesha County Democratic Party
Monthly meetings held every 3rd Thursday of the month, except in July
Waukesha Labor Temple.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ozaukee County Democrats
The Ozaukee County Democrats will be holding monthly meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7pm on the lower level of the the Cedarburg City Hall.
WASHINGTON STATE FOCUS
Washington State Focus: Green Tags for Renewable Energy
NORTH CAROLINA FOCUS
SOUTH CAROLINA FOCUS
Iowa Focus: Sustainable Agriculture Events