the mindful mission
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The Pink Menno Campaign
Posted by Dave on 03/04/09 at 09:07:52 am
Check out the Pink Menno campaign:
You can join here.
Deep Thought: Bobby Jindal
Deep thought of the day...
Why is the Right not asking about Bobby Jindal's faith, and accusing him of a "false conversion" to Catholicism, and saying that he is really a Hindu?
Would that be too consistent or something?
Happy Birthday Johnny Cash
Posted by Dave on 02/05/09 at 04:20:06 pm
Categories: Capital Punishment
I am not completely convinced that the "tide" is shifting, but at least the tide has slowed down somewhat. But we can keeping hoping for a full shift, right?
Rumors are flying that a group of "centrists" are working together to gut the current stimulus bill in the Senate.
Some reports are saying upwards of $200 billion may be cut from it. [UPDATE: It now looks like it may be $80 billion, which is still WAY too much to cut]
That is absurd.
I actually blame Barack Obama for not pushing harder, and not using his political capital to force this through. There is significant public support for both Barack Obama and a large stimulus package. But President Obama has not been willing to use this large public support to force the Republicans' hands. He is letting conservatives drive the conversation, often very dishonestly, which is in turn allowing moderate Dems to move to the right.
The nation, and probably more importantly, the states, need this money. And need it now. And it probably STILL will not be enough.
Yet people want it cut.
Strong middle class = strong labor movement
Wow... it sure is different having a President who cares about working people.
Governor Pat Quinn and Tax Increases
Posted by Dave on 01/30/09 at 10:33:21 am
This is a very good profile of Governor Pat Quinn, the new Governor of Illinois.
Pat Quinn has long been known as a reformer and a populist, but probably more importantly, appears to be supportive of an income tax increase in the state. Illinois is facing an unprecedented budget crisis, with this current budget year looking at the possibility of a $5 billion hole. And while some people will be screaming for the need to cut spending, it simply doesn't make sense in this case:
This state cannot afford to cut anything else. And even further, economists are starting to talk about how, in a recession, states simply cannot afford to cut services. Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, and Peter Orszag, until recently director of the Congressional Budget Office and now the nominee to direct the federal Office of Management and Budget, have a recent report out looking at budget cuts versus tax increases at the state level, and the answer is clear.
Raise taxes before cutting services.
A state, and especially Illinois, cannot afford to do otherwise.
Senate passed SCHIP
Posted by Dave on 01/30/09 at 09:08:16 am
More excellent news from the US Congress - Senate passes bill to expand child health coverage:
Obama signs Lilly Ledbetter Act
Obama Signs Lilly Ledbetter Act. This is excellent, though long overdue, news for women in this county who deserve equal pay in comparison to their male counterparts.
And a what a great first bill to sign.
President Obama's own words, below the fold:
Posted by Dave on 01/28/09 at 07:25:14 pm
Categories: Political Ravings
Remember when people used to think that the United States was "center-right?"
Stimulus passes in the House
Step one of passing the Economic Recovery bill is done. Now it must get done in the Senate.
Of course, zero Republicans voted for the bill. Let me repeat that. ZERO. Not one.
Good thing President Obama felt the need to pander to the Republicans on it, eh? Maybe now he will realize that he has the political capital, and even more, a mandate, for real progressive change.
It is quite clear, as Chris Bowers points out in the link above, that the Republicans have one goal - opposition - regardless of the situation. And good for them. It creates a clear contrast between parties, and it will hopefully will allow the Democrats in Congress, and more specifically the progressives, to understand that they have the ability to move legislation without conservative support.
No pandering to conservatives necessary.
Illinois Death Penalty and HB262
Take a look at HB0262, which is new piece of legislation in Illinois designed to abolish the death penalty in the state. It will no doubt be extremely difficult to get this legislation passed in this session, but it will be impossible without people mobilizing around it.
There is currently a moratorium in Illinois on any executions, put into place by Governor Ryan, and continued by Governor Blagojevich. While the moratorium has assured that no person will be executed in the state in recent years, it still means that we have work to do to abolish the death penalty completely in the state.
The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is actively working to end the barbaric practice in the state, and is always looking for new members and partners in the efforts. And oh yea... I recently just built their new site!
Bailout against EFCA?
Good thing we are spending billions so that banks can actively lobby and actively mobilize against pro-union legislation.
Don't get me wrong - I believe that the TARP money was absolutely necessary. But the oversight has been downright awful.
The Employee Free Choice Act is a very important piece of legislation that will make it much easier for thousands, if not millions, or workers around the country to organize and form unions. Corporations are right to fear this legislation, as it will be a very large step in giving working people a voice in the workplace.
But while corporations(and banks) are right to fear this legislation, the government surely should not be paying for campaigns against the legislation.
While I was away...
Posted by Dave on 01/22/09 at 09:17:05 am
Categories: Random Ravings
I took a serious break from blogging - some of it was intentional, some of it was the result of being too damn busy, and some of it was just apathy. But I finally started to miss it, and have decided to come back.
My readership has obvious plummeted, so I am not sure if many people actually care that I am back, but oh well. Maybe I am writing to myself?
A lot has happened in my time away; I was basically away from the election at the beginning of November, until this week, when President was sworn in. Twice.
So what did we miss, that I may have written about:
I am sure I missed many other things. Oh well. I did not miss it that much.
But I think I am back, and ready to start really writing again. Here are some things I am planning on focusing on:
And hopefully we will be able to get back to a place where we have some decent dialogs on various things (other than the alleged racism of Barack Obama).
The break was good... but it is necessary for me to write again.
Thoughts on the Obama Adminstration
Posted by Dave on 01/22/09 at 08:54:07 am
Categories: Barack Obama
In the last few months Barack Obama, now President Barack Obama, has focused on assembling an administration that will be able to govern effectively on Day One.
In that time President Obama put together an impressive and efficient transition team, assembling a team of very strong people - both men and women - who would take over this country and attempt to put it back on the right track. Let me say clearly that I do not like many of Obama's appointments. They are quite disappointing from a progressive perspective, though I cannot deny the high level of quality that the appointees have. Many of the appointees, from Hillary Clinton to Tim Geithner is a group of strong, yet moderate, appointees. It is unclear about what this will actually mean. Does this mean that Obama will govern from the center? Or does this mean that he will drive the policy and force his moderate advisers, aids, cabinet members, and other key government leaders to the left. I hope for the latter, but I expect the former.
Yet still, we clearly have a new era in American governance. From such little things as not wearing a suit jacket in the Oval Office, to bigger things such as the transparency of government or the closure of Guantanamo Bay.
And this new era is an exciting one.
The Little Unions That Couldn't
Posted by Dave on 01/21/09 at 05:12:40 pm
Or, in other words, why Congress needs to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.
The World's View
Posted by Dave on 01/21/09 at 02:49:01 pm
Categories: Barack Obama
This is a very cool look - of hundreds and hundreds of newspapers - at what the world said about President Obama's inauguration.
Posted by Dave on 01/20/09 at 11:18:50 am
I can definitely get used to that!
Now the real work begins!
Posted by Dave on 01/20/09 at 10:31:18 am
Categories: Barack Obama
NY Times Magazine has a great photo gallery of the people who have and will influence Barack Obama: his top advisors, his aids, and members of his adminstration.
Yes We Can. Yes We Did.
Posted by Dave on 01/20/09 at 07:51:35 am
Categories: Barack Obama
Today, on January 20th, 2009, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America.
He will also become the first black President of the United States.
Today will be a special day for many, many people, for many reasons, and I am one of those people.
I do believe that Obama's race and ethnicity is meaningful. In a country that has a long history of oppression towards minority populations, and in a country where there are still obvious examples of racial inequality, the fact that we will now have a black President is a powerful statement. Of course, that doesn't mean that we still do not have race problems in this country, as I discussed yesterday. We still have a long way to go, but President Obama will me one step in the long process of that work.
This is also the first election that I truly engaged in on multiple levels. I did not just write about it, I took part in it. I did not just talk, but I knocked on doors, and registered voters. It helped that this was the first political candidate that I believed in. Now, that does not mean that Barack Obama was a perfect candidate, is a perfect politician, or will be a perfect President. Far from it, actually. I am critical of Barack Obama in many ways, and I will continue to be critical of him as a President. But he still was, and is, a person that I believe in as a the President of this country.
Many of us worked many hours during both the primary and general election campaigns. Long hours, cold days, beautiful days, great conversations, excited voters, thankful voters and many other things made the past year a great experience, and saw the power of what a dynamic and hopeful candidate can do to truly excite people.
All of that culminates today, as President-Elect Obama becomes President Obama.
I can get used to that.
the mindful mission
criminal justice/death penalty