Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
OK, so this is not about health care, but I've already used my favorite Blue Dog pic and I figured you could handle the extra information.
Besides, this is just an adjunct to the last post on Dan Boren, my Democratic Congressman who votes like a good Repubican.
Here's the latest from the man I personally heard say just the other day that he "votes for Oklahomans", yeah, I know, I gagged when I heard it.
Anyway, he has just shown where he really stands when it comes to his vote. Care to guess? With Oklahomans (other than the Tea Party variety)? With the Democrats? With the People? Or none of the above?
This morning at the Democratic caucus, the message from leadership to Blue Dogs unwilling to support a new campaign finance measure requiring more disclosure in political advertising -- wise up.
The bill -- a response to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision -- passed this afternoon, 219-206. There were 36 Democrats -- members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Blue Dogs -- who voted against it. Many Blue Dogs feared retribution from the business community in an already tough election year if they had voted for the legislation.
So in a huddle with rank-and-file members this morning, Democratic leaders told Blue Dogs they should ignore threats from the bill's chief opponent, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber endorses the occasional Democrat, albeit infrequently, but leaders made the case that Blue Dogs aren't likely to be rewarded by the usually pro-GOP group for blocking the bill.
"The Chamber is playing hardball to derail this bill," a Democratic leadership aide told TPMDC. "Why give them an upper hand in elections by not forcing them to disclose who is funding their ads?"
Leaders also have been telling members privately they should be on the same side as President Obama, "not Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh," the aide said. The bill would require CEOs to stand by their ads, in addition to other transparency measures, and Democrats believe it will be an election-year victory to show that they side with the people while GOP tries to protect corporations.
Well, you have to give Dan credit for firmly standing by his $principles$.
Late Update: Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) is among the Blue Dogs to vote "Nay" today. He was endorsed by the chamber yesterday.I have a lot to thank Dan for, George W. Bush used to practically write this blog for me and now there's another clueless Rightie to do my work for me.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I first blogged about Dan Boren back in 2006, I was getting a little tired of my supposed Democratic Congressman voting with the Republicans. Four years later nothing has changed.
You would think that even the folks who don't keep up with political goings on would have noticed something when Dan voted against the people in his district and for the Health Insurance Industry on health care reform. Dan's going to vote for the people who pay him, not for the people who vote for him.
Industry Total Indivs PACs
Oil & Gas $150,200 $51,950 $98,250
Lawyers/Law Firms $56,699 $47,699 $9,000
Casinos/Gambling $51,450 $50,450 $1,000
Health Professionals $42,000 $32,500 $9,500
Insurance $29,000 $2,000 $27,000
Retail Sales $26,250 $250 $26,000
Commercial Banks $25,150 $20,150 $5,000
Electric Utilities $23,750 $1,250 $22,500
Democratic/Liberal $20,500 $500 $20,000
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $18,800 $4,800 $14,000
Lobbyists $18,262 $17,050 $1,212
Crop Production & Basic Processing $18,050 $1,550 $16,500
Telephone Utilities $16,500 $0 $16,500
Food & Beverage $16,500 $1,000 $15,500
Mining $16,400 $0 $16,400
Misc Finance $15,900 $15,900 $0
Building Materials & Equipment $14,325 $2,325 $12,000
Real Estate $14,200 $10,200 $4,000
Human Rights $13,850 $13,850 $0
Business Services $13,850 $12,850 $1,000
Big Oil, Big Banks, for profit Health Care Industry, the Big Telecoms over Net Neutrality, in other words, the Players over the people.
Since 1990, Big Oil has invested around $144 million in the careers of congressmen, almost all conservatives. Almost 70% of the payoff have gone to Republicans. And among current members of the House there's only one Democrat in Big Oil's Top 10: Dan Boren ($565,460). As you can see, Big Oil is, by far, the biggest source of cash for his political endeavors. What you haven't been able to see, until Fox caught it on tape, is that Boren, who bragged about not voting for Obama and who has voted against virtually every piece of Democratic legislation since Obama has become president, has never found anything in the oil industry's agenda that he didn't get behind.Take a look at Boren's Interest Group Ratings. If you happen to be a paranoid delusional who believes that everybody's trying to take your guns away, then Dan's your man. Well, actually he's the NRA's man, but they'll both be happy to validate your paranoia and delusions.
A couple of the more interesting things in the Interest Group Ratings is his high score among the Religious Right, like the Family Research Council, an anti-gay, anti women's rights group who would gladly do away the the Constitution and replace it with their particular interpretation of the Bible.
Another is the American Family Association, anti-gay, anti-women's rights and anti-labor and doing the Lord's work in deregulating the oil industry. Seriously. And Dan scored 100% with them.
The American Family Association (AFA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes conservative Christian values such as traditional marriage, anti-pornography, and pro-life activism, as well as other public policy goals such as deregulation of the oil industry and lobbying against the Employee Free Choice Act.My personal favorite is the 83% Dan got from ACT! for America. You know it's good stuff when it's featured on Loonwatch.com.
ACT! for America has a problem. Its first problem is that it was founded by Brigitte Gabriel. Yes, the same Brigitte Gabriel the New York Times called a “radical Islamophobe” and who in the past has made statements like “Arabs have no soul,” and “Arabs are barbarians.” She might be novel eye candy for some (which I’m guessing is the reason Bill Maher had her on his show) but it is clear that Brigitte Gabriel is a whacked out fundamentalist with a seething rage against Muslims and a determination on the one hand to destroy Islam and on the other to make as much profit in the process.Just a piece of Boren's more recent voting record, he voted no to beefing up the Endangered Species Amendment and voted yes on anti-enviornment Richard Pombo's (R-CA) Endangered Species Reauthorization Bill. Pombo believes that land developers are endangered.
Dan voted no on Employment, Infrastructure, and Transportation Appropriations, read that job creation and unemployment extention. Democrat bill.
He voted no on oversight of this country's financial institutions. Democrat bill.
Voted no on capping carbon dioxide emissions. Democrat bill.
Voted no to allow federal judges to reduce interest rates or extend repayment in order for people to keep their homes. Democrat bill.
Voted no on hate crimes and employment discrimination. Democrat bills. Boren did vote yes on a couple of employment discrimination amendments.
Voted no to keep the Fed from interfering with state marijauna laws. Obviously a Democratic bill. And as a former chemo patient, trust me, those state laws are a wonderful thing.
It looks like Dan is pro-war, pro-permenant military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan and pro-torture, judging by his vote on this Democratic bill. Iraq Related Provisions such as a Troop Withdrawal, a Permanent Base Ban, and Limiting Interrogation Techniques
Voted no to expand the G.I. Bill. Democratic.
Voted no to an Equal Pay bill with some teeth in it. Another obviously Democratic bill.
Voted no to oil companies being environmentally responsible or responsible, period.
To be honest, not all of Dan Boren's votes are bad. But the ones that are effect women's rights, gay rights, labor, the environment and almost always favor Big Business over the working class. It's not just Dan, it's the whole Blue Dog Democrat Coalition, they are little more than Republicans masquerading as Democrats.
Dan will probably win, but it's a shame that Oklahoma doesn't have a real Democrat in D.C.. The Blue Dogs claim to be fiscal conservatives, but that's just better than saying that they sell their vote to the highest bidder. You know, just like Republicans.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
OK, the Right has been putting out their "Tax and Spend" garbage about Democrats for a lot of years now. But like most of the stuff that comes from the Right it has very little to do with, well actual reality, as you can see from the graph above.
Keep in mind that the hero of the Right and most Teabaggers, Ronald Reagan, is considered the prototypical model of the ideal president, no "Tax and Spender" was he. Of couse, this is mythology. Ronald Reagan was no taxer, he cut the taxes for the richest among us and left the rest of us to take up the slack. But Ron was a spender, a bigtime, Hollywood Blowout kind of a spender. He tripled the national debt and turned this country from the largest lender in the world into the largest debtor in the world.
In order to cover new federal budget deficits, the United States borrowed heavily both domestically and abroad, raising the national debt from $700 billion to $3 trillion, and the United States moved from being the world's largest international creditor to the world's largest debtor nation
So remember this when you see our teabaggin' friends out prostesting the socialists and yearning for the Reagan years. BTW, those socialists that they're protesting against are us.
And Obama owns all the national debt now, according to the Right. It's an interesting phenomenon that the Right only discovered the debt after Bush was out of office. You can see by the chart below that Obama does own part of the debt. But the choice was clear, either spend or enter another Great Depression. And since those of us on the left have functioning hearts and brains, we opted to spend and we'll have to spend more if we want to generate the economy in order to create jobs. I don't mean spend on Wall Street and Big Banks, but spend on the mainstreet level, spend on research for new job creating technologies, spend putting people to work fixing our crumbling intrastructure. Or we could use the other side's model of letting the market sort every thing out. If we did that, my guess would be that we would become a wholly owned subsidiary of China and that the Right would be first in line to suck up their new masters.
And now for someting completely different, 10 Lessons for Tea Baggers.
Monday, June 07, 2010
It looks like we'll have a chance to replace our resident Republican Lite, Blue Dog Democrat with the real deal in the July 27th primaries.
Very few Democrats in Oklahoma have what it takes to stand up for what's right. For some reason, a good many of our Democratic politicians and party leaders feel that keeping someone who wets their panties when the Right says "boo" is preferable to a principled individual who will fight for the working class.
Win or not, the good news is that we have a few good people in the state who won't knuckle under to conservative pressure.
The bad news is that we may not have enough voters in the electorate who have not totally succumbed to the omnipresent right wing propaganda to understand that a vote for Boren is a vote against their own best self interests.
From Okie Funk.
It’s probably an understatement to argue that this has not been a great year for progressive Oklahoma Democrats so far.
No viable Democratic candidate has emerged to challenge U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Both Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmondson, trail U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin in polling. The Republican-dominated legislature continued its destructive, ideological spree at the state Capitol pretty much unabated and sometimes helped by conservative Democrats.
So it was fantastic news for progressives to learn that state Sen. Jim Wilson, a Democrat from Tahlequah, has announced he will challenge Blue Dog U.S. Rep. Dan Boren in the Second District Congressional Democratic primary.
Even more fantastic is this: Wilson, in the words of one blogger, Howie Klein, who interviewed him, won’t be running as “another Republican-lite reactionary.” This means he could challenge Boren on his Republican-like stances on issues such as health care reform and taxation during the campaign. Wilson is a viable candidate who could make Boren respond to criticism that his conservative votes have not always been in the best interests of his constituents.
This is what Wilson had to say in a recent press release about the relationship between medical record management systems and health care reform:
"For years, the debate on true health care reform has not been fact-based. It has been fear-based, driven by the greed of those who profit most from a broken system. As a result, hundreds of thousands of working Oklahomans have not been able to afford insurance. Even those fortunate enough to have it often find that after years of faithfully paying premiums, the companies will do everything in their power to avoid providing the care patients need. With proper reform, there will be no additional cost to Oklahoma, but the benefits will be innumerable."
Boren, of course, voted against the recent federal health care bill, arguing it costs too much money. Wilson argued the federal government was forced to step in to do something about health care and that any costs to Oklahomans “could be easily offset by eliminating waste, fraud and utilizing better management of medical records.”
Wilson, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the Marine Corps, is going to draw a sharp distinction between himself and Boren on the campaign trail. This alone is good news for progressives.
The Second District encompasses 24 counties in the eastern part of Oklahoma. Some of the major cities in the district are Durant, McAlester, Muskogee, Tahlequah, Claremore and Miami. It includes the Little Dixie region in southeastern Oklahoma.
There’s little doubt that Wilson faces a real battle to win against an incumbent with huge family name recognition. Boren is the son of University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who is a former Oklahoma Governor and U.S. Senator. His grandfather, Lyle Boren, was a former U.S. Representative as well.
But with enough financial support and a good ground campaign, Wilson can win, and he can win without siding with the fear mongering and corporate worship that defines the current GOP and conservative Democrats, such as Boren. Wilson also has his own Oklahoma credentials and following in his Senate district and surrounding areas. He has also served in the Oklahoma House.
You can contribute to Wilson’s campaign by going to the Bad Dogs page on ActBlue.