Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 240

Welcome to 2010. Hope everyone had a good break.

In 2010 we still have a long way to go with our economic recovery. And, as I have been saying for more than 5 years, the best way to revitalize our economy is through conversion to a green economy. Focusing on energy solutions like solar, wind, small hydroelectric, methane capture, biodiesel, etc. we create American jobs, produce energy more locally (hence improving the efficiency of energy delivery) and reduce our dependence on nations like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The United States has dragged its feet on this. As individuals we have generally been reluctant to make the personal decisions necessary to create a sound market for clean energy. And our local, state and Federal governments have been painfully slow to put in the incentives and regulations that would encourage such a shift. In 2010 we have to turn the tide both as individuals and at the level of government. This is critical both for job creation and for addressing global warming.

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Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 238

Trying to get back to regular newsletters, but it may not be quite weekly.

I am continuing to introduce a some more local pages focusing on particular counties or congressional districts in Texas, California and New York. These are focused on some swing districts that I think are worth concentrating on where I think I have readers. So keep an eye open for some new info on some local districts in these three states. My intention is to compile some info which I won't necessarily update regularly, but will still be a good resource for people in those areas. This week I add Suffolk County and the 19th Congressional District in New York. My motivation is that these are districts with Democrats who are very progressive for the districts they represent (thanks to this website for info: www.progressivepunch.org) and who are potential targets for Republican challengers, so I want to help them out. I also started coverage of Lancaster County, PA where the Pitts of Stupal-Pitts is the Congressional Rep. Last newsletter I covered the TX-10 and TX-21 districts where healthcare reform is desperately needed but obstructionist Republicans are preventing it.

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MyDD Interview with Bill Ritter

On Wednesday afternoon, I had the chance to speak with Colorado's Democratic Governor Bill Ritter, a candidate for reelection in 2010. During the interview, Ritter and I covered a number of issues, including clean energy, education reform, bringing new jobs to Colorado, and, of course, the politics of his reelection bid.

Overall, Ritter sounded very much like another successful Colorado politician I interviewed for MyDD several years ago -- Gary Hart -- in framing his reelection bid not as a choice between left and right but rather as a choice between the past and the future, a choice between looking backwards and looking forwards. This rhetoric served Hart well both on the statewide and national level, and has thus far worked will for Ritter. The following is a rush transcript of the interview:

Jonathan Singer: What do you see as the biggest issue people should be looking at in the Governor's race next year?

Bill Ritter: The biggest issue, I think, is how governors are able to create jobs, and the job creation that we're going to do is not just about job creation, it's about sustainable job creation, things that will last, things that are 21st century. And I think the biggest issue for us will be our success in doing that, being able to run on the things that we've already been able to do but how we're going to keep doing that. This is still just such a massive downturn. The protracted length of this recession is, I think, causing everybody to be concerned about 2010, and rightly so.

Singer: What are some of the measures that you're doing in Colorado to address the issue of jobs?

Ritter: We were already ahead of this, because we already thought that we had to do a better job even before the downturn of bringing in these 21st century industries, as I call them. On the energy side, that's the new energy economy; jobs in the energy world that involve renewable energy, that involve energy efficiency, that involve smart grid technology, that involve building out the transmission grid. All those are a part of it.

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Bennet: Health Bill More Important than Reelection

I'm not sure that I buy the premise of John King's question -- that a vote in favor of healthcare reform is bad politics -- but not a bad answer from Michael Bennet.

"If you get to the final point and you are a critical vote for health care reform and every piece of evidence tells you if you support the bill you will lose your job, would you cast the vote and lose your job?" CNN's John King asked Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado on Sunday's State of the Union.

"Yes," Bennet bluntly and simply replied.

With this answer, Bennet has actually taken a big step towards improving his chances at reelection. To get to the general election, Bennet will have to get past former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in the Democratic primary -- and nothing could improve his chances more than answering King the way he did today, standing strong for healthcare reform in the face of challenge from the Beltway common wisdom. And at least from this vantage, Bennet probably helped himself in the general, too. The failure of healthcare reform could doom the reelection chances of a good number of potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbents, depressing the turnout of the party base; moving the process forward, both on an actual level (through his vote on cloture last night) and on a messaging level (coming out strongly in favor of reform), could help forestall that worst-case scenario for the Democrats, thus helping his chances in a general. So not a bad Sunday show appearance for Bennet. Not bad at all.

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Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 237

The right wing is getting crazier and crazier. Glenn Beck is showing he doesn't believe in American democracy and is calling for revolution. Followers of Sarah Palin are threatening Jews with being stuffed into ovens. Teabaggers are threatening assassinations. All of this is disgusting, un-American bigotry and proves once again that the right wing extremists in America really at heart hate everything America stands for. I have never seen such a bunch of whiny, hysterical, stupid fools as modern day right wing Republicans. Of course one of the main things driving them to new heights of hysterical fear (aside from a simlpe polite bow by our President to the Emperor of Japan) is healthcare reform. Speaking of which, let's keep in mind why we need healthcare reform:

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Diaries

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