Maria Leavey Award for Unsung Progressive Heroes

Campaign for America’s Future is announcing a Maria Leavey award and is asking for nominations.

Who was Maria Leavey? Maria was an organizer with extraordinary skills and heart. A behind-the-scenes force who connected rising young talent with Washington leaders. A selfless advocate who often worked without credit, or even compensation.
Working out of her small apartment with an outdated computer, Maria was a tireless and path-breaking promoter of the bloggers, radio personalities, and journalists who’ve broadcast our progressive message to the world.
Sadly, after years of selfless service to our progressive movement, Maria passed away on December 31, 2006, at the all too young age of 52.

So they have started an award in honor of Maria Leavey.

To celebrate Maria’s life and work and to honor those who follow in her footsteps, the Campaign for America’s Future has created the annual Maria Leavey Tribute Award. Please take a moment to learn more about the award and nominate an unsung progressive hero that you know.
Nominations are due by May 6, 2007. A panel of Maria’s family, friends and colleagues will select award finalists by mid-May, and everyone interested will be invited to vote to select the award winner.

Submit your nominations here

Washington Media Thinking

This is just offensive: Wag the Blog: What’s Next for Democrats on Iraq – The Fix,

Some Democratic strategists fret that by turning the Iraq debate into a war of words on funding for the troops, an idea which Americans generally still support, the party could watch a political winner turn into a loser at the ballot box in 2008.
Today’s Wag the Blog question asks The Fix’s community to sound off on what the Democrats’ best next move is — politically — when it comes to the debate over the war.
Should Democrats escalate the current standoff and provoke a showdown with the White House over funding? Or should Democrats compromise in hopes of negotiating some sort of timeline for withdrawal? If they pursue the former strategy, will it risk turning off moderate voters who will be key in next year’s presidential and congressional races? And if it’s the latter, will the vocal liberal wing of the party revolt, attacking congressional leaders seen as too moderate on the war issue.
Remember the issue is not which argument makes the most sense from a policy perspective, but rather which one is the savviest from a political viewpoint.

We passed 100 American soldiers dead so far this month. How many Iraqis? How many “contractors?” How much closer is the Middle East to a regional conflict breaking out?
And “some Democratic strategists” and the Washington media crowd want to talk about who it’s helping politically.

General Odom on Iraq

This is from Saturday, but it is important. General William Odom Delivers Democratic Radio Address on Iraq,

“To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is ‘absent without leave.’ He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge. Rather, he engages in tit-for-tat games…I hope the President seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill the Congress has sent him. I will respect him greatly for such a rare act of courage, and so too, I suspect, will most Americans.”
– Lieutenant General William E. Odom

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More Right-Wing Terrorism News

Earlier I wrote about a terrorist bomb discovered outside an Austin, Texas abortion clinic
Now this: Militia raid targets weapons,

Simultaneous raids carried out in four Alabama counties Thursday turned up truckloads of explosives and weapons, including 130 grenades, an improvised rocket launcher and 2,500 rounds of ammunition belonging to the small, but mightily armed, Alabama Free Militia.

Will we hear calls to “profile” Christians now? Will white males now be searched whenever they try to get on a airplane?
Will we hard anything about this on the news?

Today’s Housing Bubble Post – “Worldwide Bubble”

A warning, and not just on housing: All the World’s a Bubble,

Grantham says we are now seeing the first worldwide bubble in history covering all asset classes.
Everything is in bubble territory, he says.
[. . .] And it becomes self-sustaining. “The more leverage you take, the better you do; the better you do, the more leverage you take. A critical part of a bubble is the reinforcement you get for your very optimistic view from those around you.”
[. . .] “The bursting of [this] bubble will be across all countries and all assets, with the probable exception of high-grade bonds,” Grantham warned. “Since no similar global event has occurred before, the stresses to the system are likely to be unexpected. All of this is likely to depress confidence and lower economic activity.”

Yes, ouch. Watch your backs. And, maybe buy some gold.

SP ALERT: The Candidates All Flubbed The ONLY Question.

By Dave Johnson and James Boyce.
Will America be safer with a Republican president?
This has been the big “elephant in the room” question: the Republican branding of “strong on defense.” Did any of the candidates knock this down?
Senator Clinton Senatorially said it is a “disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality” and then dived into policy details. “We haven’t secured our borders, our ports, our mass transit systems … resources haven’t gotten to the front lines where decisions are made in local government…”
Senator Dodd also filibustered with boring policy details. “our first responders are not getting the support they deserve. The administration has been resistant in supporting them … , not building the kind of international support — stateless terrorism is a multinational problem … requires a multinational response … institutions we need to build to effectively engage and fight back against terrorism … need to have leadership that knows how to build those relationships, to encourage that kind of participation…”
The other candidates didn’t get a chance to respond, and politely did not.
But this is the question. This is, to many, the only question. Why didn’t these candidates knock it out of the park?
We would not have been so polite. We would have made Mike Gravel look tame and shy — shouting and waving our arms. We would have said:
“This is a lie. This is a marketing fraud perpetuated by the Right Wing against the American people. This is a well funded marketing program that is determined to mislead the American people and give them the Right Wing the power to send our sons and daughters to their deaths. It is just false.
This country was attacked on 9/11 and Americans died because this Republican administration was weak, not strong.
New York firefighters died because Rudy Giuliani was incompetent, and far from a hero.
The facts are clear. The Republicans market the myth. The Democrats deal in the reality of serving their country on the battlefield when they’re young and keeping this country safer when they serve in Washington.”

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The Debate – Mike Gravel

Where did this guy come from?
Former Senator Mike Gravel. I suspect he is going to gain a LOT of attention and some popularity. Looking at his website (while they’re all talking) I see a mixture of good and bad. I’m not sure dropping the income tax is a great idea at a time when wealth is concentrating at the top.

What Does ‘Win’ Mean In Iraq?

Bush says we need to ‘win’ the Iraq war. Can someone explain what that even means? Didn’t we ‘win’ on 2003 when Saddam Hussein was overthrown as the President of Iraq?
If we ‘win’ who surrenders? If we ‘win’ who ‘loses?’
Who are we fighting ‘against’ in Iraq?
Can anyone answer these questions? Any right-wingers care to weigh in?

The National Security State

Like poetry, like things I remember reading during the great awakening of the 60s: MyDD :: Ending the National Security State. Excerpt,

Like an organism, American adapted to this constitutional order. Highways sprawled outward, suburbs ate the landscape, cities died and were reborn, and American dotted the world with military bases. Education turned into a competition for credentials, a cultural war where the winners turned to legal drugs and the losers turned to illegal drugs upon which there was apparently a war. Wars on concepts actually became quite popular, often initiated by those from Texas. Democrats became the party of the status quo, Nixon criminalized politics, David Broder-esque pundit middle-managers infected discourse, TV became Geraldo-ified and the civil rights movement detached from its class-based origins and moved to a rights-based model even as black nationalists convulsed from within. The culture became lost in dreams and pain, addiction mainstreamed itself, a superwealthy class helped itself to everything, and young boys and girls adopted the role model of ‘more’. The religion of America turned to anticommunism, which morphed nicely into anti-enlightenment and anti-reason. America today is full of promise, but this last fifty years has been ugly and full of spite. Better living through chemistry, baby.
And then, of course, came George W. Bush, a stupid man full of evil, lethargic weakness, and spite. In a tragic election, he beat Al Gore, a man who knew all that was wrong but could not bring himself to believe that the public wanted it fixed. Bush grew up in one of these artificial suburbs, helped himself to drugs, to superwealth, to educational connections. He dreamed of nothing but ‘more’, and he believed in wars on concepts. Bush was a man who epitomizes all that is wrong with America, but he was chosen by a Republican Party that reveres him and beat a Democratic Party that could not reject the hatred and authoritarian system that let him happen.