• on a comment on Health Insurance Reform over 4 years ago

    I honestly hope they find this law to be unconstitutional. For me, and I've been uninsured for five going on six years now, this is simply creates more problems for me. Not only can I not find employment, I am now being forced to do business with corporations that have ruined my life.

    I lost everything I own. My house, my life savings and you don't think I am bitter. I worked ten years on Wall Street pulling 70 hour weeks only to see everything I worked for get destroyed because I became uninsurable. I want nothing to do with corporations. Nothing. Now the Democrats want me to cozy up to an insurance company. Fuck that noise. Fuck it. Why would I want to give any money, even if it comes from the public treasury, to an insurance company who tried to kill me?

    To get medical treatment, I had to become a guinea pig. Even then I only get the medication I am on until it becomes FDA approved, then I am back to square one. No corporation will get a dime of my money. Not a fucking dime. I want my house back, I want my life savings back. I will not do business with those who chose to pass a death sentence on me. 

    That the bill now prevents insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions is great but that doesn't mean that insurance companies can't raise prices.

    Nor do I believe that given my current financial situation, and I live well beneath the poverty line - I made $8,000 last year, that somehow subsidies are going to cover me. I just don't buy that. I was adamantly for a public option because in the end my life depends on it. My life savings are gone. I was driven into poverty by Blue Cross who denied me coverage arguing that I had a pre-existing condition. 

    Unless Mark Leno here in California is able to pass the single payer plan, then emigration is looking like my best option even though that too likely is a short path to suicide. I am damned either way. Perhaps at least overseas, I am employable again.  

    I've thought long and hard about making details of my own personal situation public, but at this point I have nothing left to lose.

    This is my last post for a while, perhaps ever. I just can't do this anymore. I can't defend a party that would sell me out to a corporation. The betrayal is very very hard to swallow. 

  • comment on a post Revealing the Invisible Children over 4 years ago

    has been a menace for decades and a scourge across northern Uganda, the southern Sudan and spilling over into the Central African Republic. In a continent no stranger to brutality, the LRA's actions are among the worst.

    The situation, as I understand it, is improving and the LRA is a shadow of its former self.

     

  • comment on a post Demon Sheep: The Sequel over 4 years ago

    Boxer?

    That's a laugh. She does her own shopping. I've run into her at the supermarket up in Corte Madera. I wonder how many maids Carly Fiorina has? How many homes?

  • comment on a post Demon Sheep: The Sequel over 4 years ago

    the goal for her is to create a weird buzz and have the ad go viral. Now sure how that's going to help her beat Tom Campbell. It's weird but she's now really fighting against Chuck DeVore for second place.

     

    Campbell should win this one with ease. Don't think that he can beat Boxer though he's likely the one to give her the toughest race.

  • comment on a post California Lt. Governor Democratic Primary over 4 years ago

    I knew the Lt. Governor becomes Acting Governor when the Governor leaves the state and that the Lt. Governor is the President of the CA State Senate and sits on the Board of Regents of the University of California but the position has other duties.

    From California Voter:

     

    Unlike the Vice President of the United States, to whom he is often compared, the Lieutenant Governor of California is a statewide constitutional officer, elected in his own right, with discrete constitutional and statutory responsibilities.

    Focused mainly on economic development, higher education and trade, those duties include:

    ACTING GOVERNOR Under California's Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor serves as Acting Governor whenever the Governor is out of the State, or is temporarily disabled or under impeachment.

    PRESIDENT, STATE SENATE The Lieutenant Governor is President of the State Senate and votes in case of a tie. With the partisan balance in the Senate becoming closer and closer, this power -- like that of Vice President Al Gore -- may become more important throughout the remainder of the 1990s.

    CHAIR, CALIFORNIA COMMISSION FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The Lieutenant Governor chairs the California Commission for Economic Development. The Lieutenant Governor also appoints the staff of the Commission, and by tradition, nominates all non-ex-officio Commission members. He also has wide latitude in directing the activities of the Commission on issues related to the State's economic health.

    CHAIR/MEMBER, STATE LANDS COMMISSION Along with the State Controller and the Director of the Department of Finance, the Lieutenant Governor sits on the State Lands Commission, a body with wide-ranging environmental and public-trust responsibilities for California's coastal and other waterways. Historically, the Lieutenant Governor and the Controller have alternated as Chair of the Commission.

    REGENT, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA The Lieutenant Governor is one of seven ex-officio, voting members of the Board of Regents, which sets policy for the nine-campus University of California, including student fees, administrative personnel decisions, and teaching and research guidelines. The Regents also oversee federal contracts for work performed by the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

    TRUSTEE, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY The Lieutenant Governor is one of five ex-officio, voting members of the Board of Trustees, which sets policy for the 21-campus California State University.

    MEMBER, STATE JOB TRAINING COORDINATING COUNCIL The Lieutenant Governor serves as a member of the State Job Training Coordinating Council, which oversees federal grants provided under the Job Training Partnership Act and advises the Governor, Legislature and the State's public education institutions on the adequacy of vocational education programs.

    MEMBER, CALIFORNIA WORLD TRADE COMMISSION Along with the Governor, Secretary of State and one member each from the Assembly and State Senate, the Lieutenant Governor is an ex-officio member of the California State World Trade Commission, which serves as the primary agency responsible for coordination of activities to expand international trade for the State of California. To help California businesses identify new markets, the Lieutenant Governor also leads economic trade missions to various parts of the world.

    MEMBER, CALIFORNIA EMERGENCY COUNCIL The Lieutenant Governor serves as a member of the California Emergency Council, which is briefed on all current matters and needs related to emergency preparedness and recommends administrative matters requiring action by the Governor.

    VICE CHAIR, COMMISSION OF THE CALIFORNIAS (INACTIVE) The Commission of the Californias, of which the Lieutenant Governor serves as Vice Chair, is currently inactive. With the recent passage of NAFTA, a revitalized Commission could become an important coordinating body between the State of California and the Mexican states on our border. ___________

     

  • comment on a post California Lt. Governor Democratic Primary over 4 years ago

    From the Janice Hahn website:

    This was posted in anticipation of Gavin Newsom's run. Why the hell is he even running?

  • comment on a post California Lt. Governor Democratic Primary over 4 years ago

    Here's Janice Hahn's campaign team:



    JANICE HAHN ANNOUNCES ENTRY INTO LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR RACE AND HER CAMPAIGN TEAM LOS ANGELES - After receiving enthusiastic response from people up and down the state, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn has decided to make official her run for lieutenant governor of California. Today, she announced the team that will lead her campaign for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in 2010.

    GARRY SOUTH, CHIEF STRATEGIST Garry South managed Gray Davis's successful campaigns for governor in 1998 and 2002, as well as Davis's run for lieutenant governor in 1994. In the latter race, Davis bucked a statewide and national Republican tsunami to win the second-highest state post by a 52-40 margin over his Republican opponent, receiving more votes than any other Democrat running for office anywhere in America. South also served as chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Davis. More recently, he was senior advisor to Steve Westly's 2006 primary campaign for governor, and played a leading role in Al Gore's 2000 primary and general election victories in California.

    JOE TRIPPI, MEDIA/SOCIAL NETWORKING CONSULTANT Joe Trippi's work in politics has spanned more than four decades, five presidential campaigns, and numerous winning state and national elections. These include the successful campaigns of U.S. Senator Alan Cranston, Attorney General Jerry Brown and L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley. Trippi served as national campaign manager for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid, where he gained national acclaim for his innovative use of online technology and media to organize "Dean for America," build a grassroots movement and raise an unprecedented amount of money online.

    JOHN FAIRBANK, LEAD POLLSTER John Fairbank is a founding partner of California's leading Democratic polling firm, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3). For more than a quarter century, FM3 has helped elect candidates up and down the ballot and pass some of the state's most important ballot measures. FM3 has provided research to 10 statewide elected officials, 25 members of Congress from California and more than 50 members of the California Legislature. In 2006, Fairbank was lead pollster for John Garamendi in both his successful Democratic primary and general-election campaigns for lieutenant governor.

    JOHN SHALLMAN, SENIOR CAMPAIGN CONSULTANT John Shallman managed Janice Hahn's most recent reelection campaign for L.A. City Council, helping her capture a remarkable 76% of the vote. He has engineered a string of victories over better-known and -funded opponents, including U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez over "B1" Bob Dornan for U.S. Congress and L.A. County DA Steve Cooley over Gil Garcetti. Other Shallman clients have included L. A. Mayor Richard Riordan, Congresswomen Jane Harman and Laura Richardson, Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg, L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel and numerous members of the California Senate and Assembly. Shallman also has helped pass over $8 billion in local school-bond initiatives.

    MICHAEL TRUJILLO, CAMPAIGN MANAGER Michael Trujillo was California field director for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential primary campaign, and before that worked on Richard Alarcon's successful state Senate campaign and served as San Fernando Valley field director in Antonio Villaraigosa's 2001 Los Angeles mayoral campaign. Trujillo also was deputy campaign manager and director of policy for the Proposition 82 universal pre-school initiative in 2006. He also managed the campaign of L.A. Unified School District Board Member Tamar Galatzan.

    JORDAN MARKWITH, FINANCE DIRECTOR Jordan Markwith was deputy national finance director for the successful 2008 campaign of U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who raised more than $22 million - more than any other Senate candidate in the cycle. Prior to that, he was a senior associate with Chad Griffin Consulting, Inc., a Beverly Hills-based firm that had among its clients Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, as well as several statewide initiative campaigns. In 2004-05, Markwith was a press aide to L.A. Mayor James Hahn. The California Federation of Teachers, California Professional Firefighters and National Women's Political Caucus already have endorsed Hahn's candidacy for lieutenant governor.

  • comment on a post California Lt. Governor Democratic Primary over 4 years ago

    A billion dollars can't accomplish that trick. The right will never forgive him for his "whether you like it or not" statement and he has completely burned out bridges here in San Francisco at least among the set I run with. I can't speak for Pac Heights crowd nor for Gordon Getty.

    I'm not sure where he thinks he can get any support. Perhaps down in the Southland where people may not be familiar with his abysmal record here in the city. But given that his main competition is an LA Councilwoman, it's hard to foresee him garnering much supported unless she's more loathed than he is, which would be hard to fathom.

    Been on Muni lately? I have to add 30 minutes to any trip I do - I don't own a car, I am wholly reliant on Muni to function - so I am either early or on time but it's 30 minutes per trip wasted because it has become so unreliable.

    I don't have health insurance so I use Healthy San Francisco. To begin with, that was Tom Ammiano's idea but Newsom got it enacted. But go use it. I started the program back in August. It was November before I saw a doctor. And I haven't been able to get an appointment with my assigned doctor since because you can only sign up on the first of the month and by phone. I can't even get through. I was able to get some badly needed eye care at SF General. For a month, I had a standard appointment at 1 PM on Mondays. The quickest that I was seen was 4 PM. The latest was 10 PM. I appreciate that it is better than nothing but the program is basically emergency services but healthcare, it is not. It's the only lifeline I have and I appreciate that fact but for Newsom to tout it as if it were something akin to actual healthcare is a stretch. 

    The city is starved for revenue and he ditches the parking rate hike. "In this economy, we don't want to force people to plug meters until nine o'clock at night." He said. But cutting city services to the poor and destitute that's alright. His signature Cash not Care program is a resounding failure.

    Here's Newsom touting his achievements:

    "We have the most aggressive local solar incentives in America," Newsom has said. "The highest recycling rates. Pioneering green building standards. Aggressive energy efficiency programs to help wean our city from carbon fuels. We've already rolled back our greenhouse gas emissions to 6 percent below 1990s levels."

    Apart from the recycling rates, none of that is actually true. The carbon emissions stat is based on an estimate that neither the EPA or the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will verify. Both Seattle and Portland are doing far more interesting things in both energy and transportation.

    Newsom and the media. It's rare to actually side with the media but when it comes to Gavin Newsom, yup, it's a no brainer. What can you say about a man who just disappears and then refuses to talk about it? He won't meet with the press because the press won't agree to his silly conditions. He'll only talk about certain subjects. Willie Brown called a "wuss." Newsom has actually left me nostalgic for Brown.

    As much as I would love to get Newsom out of Room 200 asap, I am not so willing to send him to Sacramento in any capacity.

    Gavin Newsom is another Mark Sanford/John Edwards. Scum on Earth.

    The campaign on Twitter Has Gavin Resigned Yet? reflects the views of many San Franciscans. We want the nightmare over.

    I suspect if you don't live in San Francisco, you're likely not aware how fast and how hard this city has fallen the last two years. While one can't blame the economy on Newsom, the inescapable fact is that he has spend more time running for higher office instead of dealing with the issues that are affecting San Francisco. 

    It is stunning that he feels this need to run for office. He's out-of-touch and driven by narcissism. Last year, a friend of mine was at a Pasta Pomodoro having dinner. Newsom waltzes in to pick up take out. My friend goes over to just exchange pleasantries. Newsom's response is classic: "I'm sorry but I can't talk right now." Not hello, how are you but I don't have time for you. He then goes back to his limo, sits in it for 10 minutes, chirping away on his blackberry. 30 seconds with a constituent too much for him.

    How can anyone believe that this man who has had train wreck after train wreck (which have generally been overlooked) is going to change his pattern of behavior?

    But set all of the above aside and ask yourself this: what can Gavin Newsom actually do for California going forward?  

    The reality is that he is too abrasive and divisive a figure to get anything done even in a post that has little power. 

    Whatever Garry South's faults and limitations, he's not running for office. Gavin Newsom is and with luck he will implode and fail. Perhaps then we can nail that last nail in the coffin of his political career. In that case, I will leap for joy.

  • Whether it is sincere and genuine or just a veneer, that's still more than most of the rest of the GOP at this point.

    Whatever Graham's faults, he is an activist Senator. He actually makes proposals that are noteworthy because unlike most of the GOP proposals, they are not non-starters. The Paul Ryan budget roadmap is a travesty. What does Infohe or DeMint have to say either than "no, no, no." 

  • comment on a post Was the Stimulus "Politically Disastrous"? over 4 years ago

    is a food & travel reporter. I've read a number of his columns for The Atlantic and I question his expertise and knowledge even on food. 

    He's entitled to his opinion. But I'll note, he fails to consider the political repercussions of the inverse. 

  • on a comment on A Baffled David Alexrod over 4 years ago

    The 1960s certainly set the stage for the 1970s but the critical events that led to America's rightward drift came in the 1970s.

    They include Roe vs. Wade, the Boston Busing Crisis, the Lewis Powell memorandum to the Chamber of Commerce, the Panama Canal Treaty, the fall of Nicaragua to the Sandinistas, the fall of Vietnam, the backlash against Affirmative Action, the establishment of right wing think tanks such as Cato and the Heritage Foundation (Hudson and the AEI are older but even their dramatic growth came post 1971), the evangelical movement among others.

    If I had to pick a specific start date for the rebirth of the American right it might be April 8, 1947 and the formation of the Mont Pelerin Society or perhaps the 1955 founding of the National Review in 1955 but these years in the wilderness for conservatives.

    It also bears noting that Nixon certainly governed as a moderate to liberal. There was such a beast as a liberal Republican in the 1970s, these have gradually gone extinct. There are those in the GOP who perceive Lindsey Graham or even Mike Huckabee as too moderate.

  • on a comment on A Baffled David Alexrod over 4 years ago

    does overnight. One example from Bogotá.

    Here's the full article:

    Dream Works: How two mayors broke the mold to rejuvenate their cities

     

    As mayor from 2001 to 2003, Mockus used humor, peer pressure, and visual reinforcements as tools of cultural persuasion in Bogotá, a period in which the homicide rate fell by 70 percent, traffic fatalities dropped by half, water conservation increased, and drinking water and sewer service reached nearly all homes for the first time in the city’s history. He prompted 60,000 people to pay an extra 10 percent in taxes — voluntarily.

    How did he help to foster those changes? By handing out thousands of thumbs-up and thumbs-down cards to citizens who used them as a peaceful way to judge one another’s behaviors in the public sphere, by hiring mimes to make fun of traffic violators, and by placing yellow stars at all the locations in which there had been a pedestrian death in the previous five years, just to name a few. The approach worked, he said, because it combined three regulatory systems: law, morality, and culture.

    Germany and Japan post WW II are other examples of quick rapid change.

    I've brought up this up before but remember Michele Obama's UCLA speech where she said that Obama was going to require us to work. Well that never came to fruition. Obama mobilized millions during the election. He needed to sustain that mobilization in government. And the peculiar aspect is that Obama wanted to model himself on Ronald Reagan as a transformative president. Reagan didn't really pass historic legislation apart from his tax cuts but he used every opportunity to disparage government and the Democrats by extension and Obama has failed to make the case for government day in and day out.

  • on a comment on A Baffled David Alexrod over 4 years ago

    the 1970s was the pivotal decade that saw the beginnings of the transformation of the GOP. Recall that as of 1980 Republican Senators included men like Charles Mathias, Jacob Javits, Bob Packwood, Mark Hatfield. The Jesse Helms and the Storm Thurmonds were the exception but now they are the rule.

    Look at the difference between Scott Brown and the last Republican to serve from Massachusetts, Edward Brooke. Scott Brown is no Edward Brooke.

  • on a comment on A Baffled David Alexrod over 4 years ago

    really involves changing values (see Chalmers Johnson's Revolutionary Change) and it can happen overnight. 

    I do agree, however, that the US is a lot like the Titanic . . . we're sinking fast in a sea of debt while starved of the tax revenues that could keep us afloat while captained by a man who seems more interested in negotiating with the iceberg that has sunk us.

    Shaming is a powerful agent of change. We need to shame the GOP into submission, a tall order perhaps but a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Rather than reach out, I'd welcome a sustained bludgeoning of the GOP. Frankly, that's how Reagan did it to us.

  • I was surprised to learn that there's a nuclear power plant in Iowa. So I looked into it. Iowa ranks last in nuclear capacity among the 31 states that have nuclear power plants and 30th in nuclear generation. The reactor in Palo outside Cedar Rapids was built in the early 1970s and came on-line in 1975. It has a 692 MX capacity and serves 600,000 customers.


    I think it fairly clear that the most pressing need is to avoid building not a single coal-fired plants. They are merchants of death.

     

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