From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE?
THE CRAZIEST IDEA I'VE EVER HAD?
Here's my idea: persuade 100 of you lovable Kossacks to contribute 10 dollars to Netroots for the Troops (NFTT) so we can erase a cool $1,000 from the fundraising goal.
Last year at Netroots Nation in Minneapolis we boxed up and sent 300 packages for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The mission is a wee bit different this year, thanks (and I do mean THANKS) to our December departure from Iraq. This year in Providence our goal is to divide packages between Afghanistan outposts and stateside VA Hospitals.
NFTT has a few fans you might know:
I am proud to support the efforts of Netroots for the Troops. ... In 2008, Netroots For the Troops® began raising money to send specially designed care packages to our soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sending our troops practical items like socks, gloves, and LED flashlights, as well as welcome reminders of home like DVDs and CDs, let them know that their sacrifice and personal heroism are not taken for granted. ? We support the troops when we ask smart and tough questions before we put them in harm's way. And we ought to support them while they are in the field doing their duty.
I hope you know it matters. ? One of my former interns, Army Second Lieutenant Rory McGovern writes: ?It always helps to have a piece of home come in the mail.? Army Private Jacob Adkins said: ?I appreciate the fact that someone who I don?t even know supports me enough to send a care package.? That?s the power of a care package filled with pieces of home---because "support the troops" is not just a bumper sticker, not just a quick way to shut down a legitimate policy debate, but something real.
---Senator John Kerry
[W]hen I was helping to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, I made the Office of Servicemember Affairs a top priority. I talked with military families and visited military bases---including the base where my brothers had done their basic training so many years ago. ? At home and abroad, our men and women in uniform--and their families---are tough, smart, and resourceful people. Just as I have always been proud of my brothers and their service, I?m proud to be here today with Netroots For The Troops.I just want to raise a quick grand today, is all, so Tony Gattis and his team can count on that to help 'em get what they need to make NFTT's fifth year as successful as its predecessors.
To be among the superstars cementing your legends in the amber of Do-goodism today, Click here to make a donation to NFTT. Netroots For The Troops, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization, so your donation is tax-deductible.
Only six weeks 'til packing day on June 9. Many thanks for helping us out. This is where once again, we can show the country how progressives walk the talk when it comes to caring for our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors who serve in uniform.
Seriously. One hundred people, ten bucks each. Crazy, huh.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Today is the day. Today is the day that my blog gets a face lift. Hopefully, by this afternoon, WTO[...]
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(AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
French Socialist party candidate Francois Hollande, center, arrives at his campaign headquarters on the morning after the first round of the French presidential elections in Paris, France, Monday, April 23, 2012. Hollande has taken his plodding, undynamic campaign to become France's next president to within spitting distance of victory over the "hyper-president" Nicolas Sarkozy, finishing first in Sunday's initial round of voting.
Two things stand out about the results of the first round of France?s presidential election, which was held yesterday: One is socialist candidate François Hollande?s narrow victory over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, which solidifies his position as the favorite to win the May 6 runoff election; the other is the robust performance by the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who came in third with a percentage of the vote surpassing even that achieved by her father in 2002?an outcome that shocked France by finishing second ahead of Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin.
Hollande, 57, seeking to become the first socialist to win the presidency since Francois Mitterrand was re-elected in 1988, won 28.6 percent of the vote?one of the highest ever first-round tallies for the Left?against 27.1 percent for Sarkozy. Le Pen ended up with 18.0 percent, while the fiery, Communist-backed Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who many polls projected would fight neck-and-neck with the National Front candidate for third place, did worse than expected, receiving 11.1 percent. There was disappointment, too, for François Bayrou, the economically liberal, centrist candidate who hoped to repeat his impressive 2007 performance, when he came in third with 18.6 percent of the vote. This time around, he was unable to reach even half of that, polling at 9.1 percent. His message of fiscal responsibility and the need to cut spending did not resonate with the French voters the way the anti-establishment fireworks of Le Pen and, to a lesser extent, Mélenchon did.
It is not unheard of for the candidate who places second in the first round of a French presidential election to eventually defeat his rival in the run-off?it has happened in three out of eight contests since 1965. That said, Sarkozy faces an uphill battle. Five polls that came out after the first-round vote all predict an Hollande victory, with a share of the vote ranging from 53 to 56 percent. That is a lot to overcome in two weeks.
In his speech Sunday night, Mélenchon urged his voters to vote for Hollande on May 6, ?as if you were voting to make me president,? and it is expected that the vast majority of them?more than 80 percent?will heed the call. In theory, the incumbent could make up the difference by appealing both to the supporters of Marine Le Pen and to those of Bayrou. After all, he has long been known for his hardline stance on immigration and radical Islam and his emphasis on safeguarding French national identity. These themes are at the core of Le Pen?s candidacy. As for Bayrou, Sarkozy has argued that they share a common approach on cutting deficits and reducing France?s public debt. Expect him, then, both to dial up the rhetoric on border controls, clamp down on immigrants? benefits and other subjects close to the heart of National Front voters, and to highlight the dangers of fiscal crisis embedded in Hollande?s Keynesian plans to increase public spending in order to kickstart a stagnant economy.
It is a tricky balancing act, set against difficult electoral math, which was made even more forbidding by the president?s failure to win the first-round vote and thus create some momentum for himself. According to Sunday?s polls, between 48 and 60 percent of Le Pen voters intend to support Sarkozy in the second round, between 17 and 31 percent will go for Hollande and a sizeable slice, ranging from one to two fifths, will abstain. Bayrou voters, for their part, are on the whole more likely to vote for the Socialist candidate than the incumbent in the run-off.
What?s more, Sarkozy is going to have trouble appealing at the same time to anti-European nationalists (the National Front favors a French exit both from the euro and from the passport-free Schengen zone) and to pro-European civil libertarians, like many of Bayrou?s supporters. With Le Pen likely to urge her voters to vote blank in the run-off, the more the French president veers to the hard right to attract them, the more likely he is to alienate the centrists. If this happens, not even a pledge to make Bayrou prime minister?something hinted at during the campaign by a number of Sarkozy?s surrogates?would make the difference for Sarkozy: Bayrou would probably not accept, especially given the incumbent?s poor prospects, and even if he did, it is far from clear that his supporters would follow along. The candidate himself stated after the results were announced that he would assume his responsibilities, indicating that, unlike in 2007, he plans not to stay neutral. But it is still an open question which way he will turn.
On balance, then, Hollande, if not quite a shoe-in, is looking towards May 6 with increasing confidence. But if elected, France?s ?Mr Normal,? as he has styled himself in juxtaposition against Sarkozy?s hyperactive theatrics, will have a slate of problems to deal with: wobbly public finances, low growth, high unemployment, and a conservative German government that will seek to stymie any efforts he makes to relax the eurozone?s new fiscal rules and make the European Central Bank less obsessively focused on the sole objective of maintaining price stability. Changing the policy mix in Europe from the bitter cold of austerity to a more temperate, growth-inducing climate will be his biggest challenge. On his success depends not only the future of France, but the short-to-medium-term prospects of the whole European economy.
Bear Feat [...]
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The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the lobbying arm of the firearms industry. It uses fear, racism, and focus-group tested catchwords like ?freedom,? and ?self-defence? to pimp sales for the over 300 firearms manufacturers in the United States. While the NRA represents itself as an association of gun enthusiasts, its real purpose is to serve [...]Related posts:
Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly reports that the Romney campaign has a new slogan, “Obama Isn’t Working”.
Job loss and a weak economy are affecting almost all of us. We who feel fairly secure in our jobs have children, friends, relatives who are out of work.
I am one of those who wanted President Obama to start a new WPA, to make the banks accountable, to break up monopolies so that in future we will not be held hostage by private corporations that have grown ‘too big to fail’.
NYT columnist Gail Collins said that Barack Obama promised to bring us together, but he didn’t promise to bring us together in left field. Clearly we elected a moderate.
Given that, I have never in my lifetime seen such hostility to a president. That includes Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. Barack Obama had to show his birth certificate. He is constantly accused of being socialist and faces a divided Congress. The economic recession is worldwide– as you will notice if you watch the stock market freak every time something happens in Greece or China. Even if Barack Obama had inherited a surplus and a peace dividend, we would be facing some rocky times.
Of course, that was not the case.
President Obama inherited an economic crisis, two foreign wars, and a Congress with a slim Democratic majority formed by coalitions of widely differing constituencies.
We do not have the job growth we need, but the graph shows what we were up against after 8 years of President Bush.
My question for Mitt Romney– ‘Republicans held the White House for 8 years. Clearly their economic policies weren’t working. What would a President Romney do differently from President George W. Bush?’
That is the question to ask.
Most likely there is not a Personal Goddess who favors Her worshippers with good weather. April 22 was one of those ‘cruelest month’ days.
The rally sponsored by the ‘Rhode Island Anti-Sexism League’ had been planned for City Hall Park, with a march through downtown, but rain changed the meeting place to the shelter of the tunnel under the skating rink. There, about 30 people assembled for a speak-out on economic injustice, inequality and violence against women, and men too, who get on the wrong side of gender roles.
The miracle, perhaps, is that a diverse group braved the chill and the damp to hear two hours of speeches. The miracle that this group comprised young and old, men and women, queer and straight, couples pushing strollers, students, teachers, workers and activists. This is the miracle I see at Occupy Providence– the reaching across lines.
The sad and frustrating thing is that we have to come to this place again. More than one speaker reminded us that equality for women will not be won in one generation.
The General Assembly of Occupy Providence has been meeting twice a week since leaving Burnside Park. I expect that in May the press will be reporting on the return of Occupy Providence. The truth is we never left.
With all this "sexytime" talk that icks out the Right, I want put a stake in the ground.
Here's what icks me out, and Flight of the Conchords puts a very fine point on it. Listen:
No plaid-shoed golfers were harmed in the making of that song.
The lyrics are a hoot. For example:
Oh yeah, that's right baby.And:
Tonight we're gonna make love.
You know how I know, baby?
Cause it's Wednesday.
You know it's time for businessYou don't want to miss the ending. Thanks, guys; nicely done.
when I'm down to just my socks.
That's why they call it
Republicans eye health plan should court overturn reform: “Republicans in Congress are getting ready to answer an election-year question that has dogged the party’s campaign for months: How would it replace President Barack Obama’s healthcare law if the measure is overturned or repealed?” [Reuters]
Mitt Romney budget cuts would have severe consequences: “Reducing government deficits Mitt Romney’s way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education. Romney also promises budget increases for the Pentagon, above those sought by some GOP defense hawks, meaning that the rest of the government would have to shrink even more.” [AP]
BlueCross BlueShield’s healthy profit gains may bring customer refunds: “Tennessee?s biggest health insurer expects to refund some of the increased premiums it charged nearly 90,000 individual plan members last year because of new requirements of the health care reform law.” [Chattanooga Times Free Press]
Proposed limits on health self-insurance plans debated: “Business and insurance groups attack a proposal by California regulators to impose new limits on stop-loss coverage for small employers that want to self-insure.” [LA Times]
New Hampshire panel endorses forcing Planned Parenthood out of performing abortions: “A state Senate panel has endorsed Republican plans forcing Planned Parenthood of Northern New England out of the ‘direct or indirect’ abortion business and outlawing so-called partial birth abortions.” [Nashua Telegraph]
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