Archive for the ‘Democrats’ Category

>Obama versus…

January 14, 2011

>Even though the 2010 elections are barely behind us and the presidential election is almost 2 years away, the campaigning has been going on for month. Actually, the Republicans began campaigning immediately after Barack Obama was elected, but that basically happens after every presidential election.

Anyway, with Obama’s fairly high ratings among Democrats (who are the ones that vote in primaries) it is assumed that he will have no challenger from his own party. This will allow him to raise a lot more money; democrats won’t be funding other candidates. It will also allow him to focus his message on Republican policies and not have to debate against other democrats and their policies like he did during the last campaign.

Public Policy Polling released results from a poll that pitted Obama against potential Republican challengers in Iowa. Obama beat them all.

Obama leads Mike Huckabee 47-43.
Obama leads Mitt Romney 46-41
Obama leads Newt Gingrich 51-38
Obama leads Sarah Palin 53-37

What is interesting is that in Iowa, which is one of the early primary states that every Republican candidate would love to win, is that Republican support for any of these candidates ranges only from 67-79 %. The Republicans are not really unified around any of these candidates. That could translate into low Republican turnout in the election.

Democrats are more unified around Obama in Iowa, ranging from 86 to 91 %, depending on who the potential Republican candidate is.

The poll also showed that among independents, Obama has a 49% approval rating compared to 40% that are not approving of his job performance.

The pollsters say that these numbers are reflective of what they see across the county; unified Democratic support behind Obama, and not so much support from Republicans around any of their candidates.

Things are looking good for Obama, and that means coattails across the country. After two years of Tea Party politics in the House, I think voters will be ready to replace a lot of Republicans with Democrats.

It’s going to be an interesting two years of campaigns.

If you didn’t get a chance to see Obama’s speech at the Tucson memorial, here it is.

How his detractors could find fault with this, I don’t know, but they did, with everything from calling the event a “pep rally” to being critical of the college students that attended and the seating arrangement of those involved in stopping the shooter.

I guess when there is nothing to criticize, and when you feel it is more important to jazz up your conservative viewers than to allow the people of Tucson to express their grief and their hope at the same time, that making up controversy is the only thing to do.

To paraphrase John Stewart, hollers of “Who – hoo” in one culture are not that different than people yelling “Amen” in another.

Watch John Stewart as he takes on the critics of the service.

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>Recommendations

October 30, 2010

>I have recommended that you vote a straight Democratic ticket on Tuesday. Many of you won’t do that, for one reason or another, so I want to list several candidates where your vote is essential, and might make a difference, or that for one reason or another I support. These are candidates on my ballot in Bessemer, you may or may not have these candidates on your ballot.

United States Representative District 7 – Terri Sewell. Terri will be the first African American woman elected to represent Alabama in congress. A historic election and a well qualified candidate with a vision and drive to make a difference for the Black Belt region and the rest of the state.

Governor – Ron Sparks. Robert Bentley scares me, both because it is Halloween, but also because who knows what he is thinking?

Lieutenant Governor – Jim Folsom, Jr. Kay Ivey scares me too. And there’s something she’s not being quite open and honest about…but my lips are sealed.

Attorney General – James H. Anderson. Funny how Luther Strange talks about fighting special interests (lobbyists) and that’s all he’s ever been. Fighting with yourself…there’s a diagnosis for that.

Supreme Court Justice, Place 1 – Rhonda Chambers. She is more qualified and has experience that will serve her well on the high court.

Supreme Court Justice, Place 3 – Mac Parsons. Tom Parker was named Man of the year by a group that wants to take the right to vote away from women. We do not need him on the bench.

Court of Civil Appeals – Deborah Bell Paseur. She has a great name. She has served as district judge for 27 years and this would be a good fit for her.

State Treasurer – Charley Grimsley. Don’t let Boozer bankrupt the state. You’ve seen the commercial, haven’t you?

State Auditor – Miranda Karrine Joseph. I met Miranda at the Bessemer Farmer’s market one Saturday and we talked about the state and the people and moving forward.

Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries – Glen Zorn. We need an Ag Commish with experience and he’s got it. Plus, he’s been on a farm.

Public Service Commission, Place 2 – Susan Parker. She’s done a great job and keeps the people informed on issues. Keep her in there.

State Board of Education, District 4 – Yvette M. Richardson. Hang down your head, Tom Dooley, hang down your head and cry…

Circuit court Judge 10th circuit, Place 3 – David Carpenter. I’ve met David and he’s got good ideas about this court and is a great guy too.

Circuit court Judge 10th circuit, Place 4 – Helen Shores Lee. Doing a good job, needs to stay there.

Circuit court Judge 10th circuit, Place 12 – Anetta H. Verin. Hate to lose her in Bessemer but she’ll do a great job.

Circuit court Judge 10th circuit, Place 20 – Agnes Chappell. Lot’s of experience as a judge. She will do well.

Circuit court Judge 10th circuit, Place 24 – Stephen Wallace. Stephen is fending off hateful, misleading attack ads. Desperation on the part of his opponent.

District Court Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, Place 10 – Lynneice Washington. Lynneice has served as assistant DA for eight years and is very familiar with the court.

Circiut Court Clerk, Bessemer division – Benny R. Watson. You have to love a candidate named Benny. He’s the current clerk and we need to keep him.

Now wouldn’t it just be easier to vote a straight Democratic ticket?

>Quiz time

August 8, 2010

>Well here’s a talking points buster from today’s Parade magazine, which comes in our Sunday paper.

There is a quiz regarding government spending, you can take it here.

But here are the highlights.

1. Whose administration oversaw the biggest decrease in defense spending?

Three Republicans and Jimmy Carter are the choices. The truth? Eisenhower, Nixon and the first Bush reduced defense spending more than any of the Dems from 1952 to 2008.

Democrats are not weak on defense.

3. The national debt grew fastest when: Dems controlled both houses? GOP controlled both houses? Control of Congress was mixed? Answer: National Debt as a % of GDP decreased when either party controlled congress and increased when Congress was split.

So we need to maintain Democratic control of both houses to control the debt.

6. This was a question about gross domestic product (GDP) and how today’s GDP compares to 1950’s GDP. Half? Same? 3X? 10X? Answer: We produced three times as much stuff per person in the US in 2008 as we did in 1950.

So all the jobs are not overseas, it seems.

Those are just a few of the questions and answers and you may be surprised at the others as well.

Now, lets go eat some Dreamland ribs.

Here’s Mary Chapin Carpenter’s song, Dreamland:

>Passion

July 30, 2010

>pas·sion

[pash-uhn]
–noun
1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.

2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.

3. strong sexual desire; lust.

4. an instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire.

5. a person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.

6. a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.

7. the object of such a fondness or desire: Accuracy became a passion with him.

8. an outburst of strong emotion or feeling: He suddenly broke into a passion of bitter words.

There are a few more definitions, mostly relating to Christ, but it is this one, “an outburst of strong emotion or feeling” that we saw yesterday from Rep. Anthony Weiner of NY after Republicans sought delaying tactics over the 9/11 health compensation bill.

From 9/11 health now The bill would spend $3.2 billion on health care over the next 10 years for people sickened from their exposure to the toxic smoke and debris of the shattered World Trade Center.. It would spend another $4.2 billion to compensate victims over that span, and make another $4.2 billion in compensation available for the next 11 years.

Republicans blocked it. Weiner’s passion I believe is directed not just at the blocking of this bill, but at the Republican – Tea Party strategy that we have seen ever since Barack Obama was sworn in, and that in to be the Party of No. Last week it was forget the unemployed they are not important. Now it’s forget the victims of 9/11 that are still suffering, and that the Republican – Tea party minority does not care about.

An unscientific poll on CNN that I saw a little while ago showed that most responders predict that the Republican – Tea party will not gain control of either house of congress this year.

We can only pray that they are right, because if they do, just look for more suffering, more neglect, greater disparities and less compassion.

No wait, we can do more than pray. We can work to get Democrats elected, we can make phone calls, we can donate money. We can put our passion into action.

>Tomorrow’s election

July 12, 2010

>Tomorrow is primary runoff election day.

Turnout will be low. Very low.

Some Democrats will be switch hitting.

That is why it is so important for you to go to your voting place and ask for Democratic ballot and vote. Here are the recommendations for the progressive Jefferson County and Jefferson county – Bessemer Cutoff voters.

All video and audio is by Left in Alabama.

Recommendations

Statewide

Attorney General – Giles Perkins

“The only progressive in the race.”

Federal District

AL-07 – Terri Sewell

Still refuting the lies spread by her opponent.

But there is more to Terri. Listen to her talk at the West End town hall meeting, about what we need to do, and how we can get it done. “Investing in human capital.” Opening the doors so that “all of us have those opportunities.”

Plus, hear what those in the community say about her.

And she does a good “Shirley Chisholm”.

State District

56 – Claire Mitchell

I have personally spoken with Claire and she is the most progressive, and remember, her opponent voted against constitutional reform and when I asked him about it, his answer was not satisfactory.

County Commission

District 2 – Gary Richardson

District 3 – Ron Yarbrough

Jefferson County

Circuit Court Place 12 (Bessemer cutoff) – Annetta Verin

Judge Verin’s opponent has some ethics issues that are being looked in to. Plus, there are people in Bessemer who are recommending voting for him for precisely the wrong reason. I won’t name names, but it might be the usual suspects.

Circuit Court Place 17 (Remainder of county) – Nicole “Nikki” Still

Circuit Court Place 23 (Remainder of county) – Denise J. Pomeroy

Sheriff – Willie Hill

>How Ron Sparks will win in November

June 7, 2010

>People aren’t giving Democratic nominee Ron Sparks much of a chance to win in November, regardless of who his opponent is.

I disagree. Not that it’s going to be easy. But there are things Sparks can do, and there are factors that people aren’t considering.

First of all, why believe the polls?

They were wrong, oh, so wrong, about the primary election with their predictions of a Davis win and a poor Sparks showing. Ron Sparks proved them wrong.

Or, should I say, the voters proved them wrong.

So, ignore all future polling data on this race.

Of course, we don’t know who the Republican candidate will be.

We don’t know how much crossing over will take place in the runoff.

We don’t know if the Republican Party will accept the results. They could screw up like the Democrats did in 1986 (Graddick/Baxley).

Now, consider a few things.

Republicans love to gamble. They bet on the Alabama/Auburn game. They buy lottery tickets in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and other states. They travel to Silverstar in Philadelphia, Mississippi and to Biloxi to the Casinos there.

They might not be crazy about Milton McGregor, but they love to gamble.

Trouble is, many are in the closet. They don’t want the people who sit on their pew at the Baptist Church to know they play the slots. Or the tables.

So they gamble on the downlow.

And put a Byrne or James or Bentley sign in their front yard.

But when they go into that voting booth, they could easily fill in the Ron Sparks oval rather than the Bradley Byrne/Robert Bentley/Tim James choice. The voter knows that their ballot is secret. They can vote to allow the regulation of gambling in this state, to allow the state to reap the benefits of gambling rather than sending all those dollars to Mississippi and Florida.

Conventional wisdom (and a lot of people) tells us that Alabama Black voters wanted Artur Davis to learn a lesson. That you don’t take them for granted. Conventional wisdom might also tell us that the voters feel they have done just that, and that they won’t be excited to come back out in November to vote for Sparks.

But I’ve spoken with a number of Blacks in the Bessemer area and not one has led me to believe that they will sit at home in November. Sparks will hold on to that support.

Ron Sparks needs to do three things. Everyone now knows that he is the only pro-gambling candidate.

1. He needs to stress his views on ethics reform. Summarized at Left in Alabama is this editorial Sparks wrote last year about ethics and restoring trust in state government. The highlights:

  • Ban PAC-to-PAC transfers
  • Campaign contributions will be transparent, clearly identifying the individual contributor
  • Federal “office holder” fund transfers to State campaigns will have the same transparency
  • Lobbyists will report “every penny”
  • Lobbying the Executive Branch will have the same transparency, and lobbyists will be required to register

Please read the entire editorial.

2. He needs to develop a consistent and sound policy about the disaster on the Gulf Coast. This will be a major focus of the next governor’s term, and Sparks can tie his plan for saving the coast with his successful promotion of international trade, particularly with Cuba, without “politicizing” the disaster.

3. Every other word out of his mouth should be “jobs”. He has worked in a factory. He has promoted jobs in agriculture during his two statewide elected terms as Agriculture Commissioner. The Democrats brought in the automakers. Yes they did. Autoworkers know that the Democratic governors have been pro – their industry. Teachers should know that the Democrats support them (and that the Democrats in Washington are saving their jobs).

Ron Sparks can win in November. The issues that Alabama cares about are not how strongly a candidate believes in science, or in God, or in both, or how many guns a Governor totes. But even for the gun toting, beer drinking, hunting and fishing voters of the state, Sparks is their buddy.

With Ron Sparks’ Black support and pro-ethics reform and gambling and good ole boy identity and union/workers support we can look forward to taking the Governor’s mansion in November.

But we won’t take anything or anyone for granted. Artur Davis taught us that.

>Judge not…well, except for these guys

May 28, 2010

>Most people don’t know the people in our county that keep order and administer justice.

No, it’s not the Justice League. Our justice is administered in a different fashion.


There are a bevy of Circuit and District Court judges and several of them are up for election this year, and there are a boatload of candidates.

I heard a number of judicial candidates speak at the Stonewall Democrat’s Wine Loft mixer, plus I have read a bit about them and paid attention to the ratings by the Birmingham Bar Association.

Without a lot of fan fare, here are the ones to vote for. Some of these are just in Bessemer Division, some are County wide, some might just be in the Birmingham Division.

Circuit Court Criminal Division Place 3 – David Carpenter

Circuit Court Civil Court Place 12 – Dan King

Circuit Court Criminal Division Place 14 – Clyde Jones

Circuit Court Civil Court Place 17 – Nikki Still

Circuit Court Domestic Relations Place 20 – Agnes Chappell

Circuit Court Domestic Relations Place 23 – Denise Pomeroy

Circuit Court Criminal Division Place 24 – Stephen Wallace

District Court Civil Division Place 10 – Lynneice Washington

>Sewell surging in polls in AL-07

May 20, 2010

>A new poll shows Terri Sewell surging in the polls, jumping from 9% in January into a tie for the lead with 22% now. Sheila Smoot also has 22% (down from 29%) and Earl Hilliard has 20% (down from 25%). The poll numbers were released by the Sewell campaign this morning.

With Hilliard and Smoot both falling in the poll and Sewell on the rise, it appears she will at least head into a runoff with the lead.

Terri is the only candidate currently running television ads.

She still lacks name recognition, and some people don’t know much about her. Left in Alabama interviewed her and here is some video. In this clip Terri talks about her background, growing up poor in Selma, and her education and early experiences outside the classroom, and what a “public finance lawyer” is.

You owe it to yourself to watch these videos. It will take a little time, but we all need to be informed about who we send to Washington.

Here, Terri discusses her priorities, including investing in infrastructure, investing in human capital and workforce development, investment in small businesses, investment in technology, including alternative energy sources. Job creation and better educational opportunities are desperately needed in the 7th district.

Terri takes a stand on the issues, including health care (a robust public option), equal pay for women (she has been endorsed by Lilly Ledbetter), a woman’s right to choose while making abortion rare and safe, opposing discrimination against gays and lesbians, respecting states rights to determine gay marriage (she understands the issue is a tough one, but at the very base of it, it’s a “civil rights” and “human rights issue”). Also, financial reform and Wall Street are discussed.

Finally, Terri makes her case. Here is why you should vote for Terri Sewell.

It’s time to send a woman to Congress. Why Terri? Watch.

As I watch these videos once thing I notice is how calm, yet confident Terri is in conversation. She seems like the type of person who can get into the conversation in Washington beginning on day 1.

In personal conversations with Terri I have found her to be one of the most informed and personable people in politics I have met in a long time. I believe she is the best candidate for the job.

Thank you Left in Alabama for creating these videos.

>The Party of Solutions

March 23, 2010

>AKA, the Democrats.

In contrast to the Party of No, the Democrats have now made law what generations of Americans have fought for for a century. Democrats and Republicans have been aware of the need, and have worked to pass health care reform since the time of Teddy Roosevelt.

However, with this president, the Republicans were replaced by the Party of No, whose strategy leading into this was to lead Barack Obama to his Waterloo.


This doesn’t look like Waterloo to me. This was the scene in the East Room just after Obama signed the historic legislation.

The Right to health care is now a reality. The Party of No is already working to take away this right, or, in effect, throwing children and sick people back off the rolls of the insured.

Great plan, John McCain and John Boehner and other “leaders” of the GOP.

No more speculating. No more hyperbole. Just facts.

In Alabama, 641,527 uninsured people will be able to get health insurance. Thank a Democrat (with a vote).

400,000 patients will become eligible for Medicaid. You will have access to health care where you did not have it before. Thank a Democrat (with a vote).

This year, before the November elections, children with pre-existing conditions will now be covered with insurance. Parents, thank a Democrat (with a vote).

This year, parents can begin to keep their young adult children on their policies until age 26. Parents, and young adults, thank a Democrat (with a vote).

Within three months, people in Alabama who have been excluded from insurance because of pre-existing conditions will have access to a national high-risk pool to get subsidized premiums. Thank a Democrat (with a vote).

Seniors, your benefits are safe and the donut hole in your prescription drug coverage is closing. Seniors, thank a Democrat (with a vote).

People with existing medical conditions who are using up their benefits, the lifetime dollar cap is being eliminated this year. Thank a Democrat (with a vote).

This year, tax credits for small business owners will make purchasing insurance for employees more affordable. Small business owners, thank a Democrat (with a vote).

Barack Obama has now taken a place in history, and is without a doubt the leader of the Democratic Party now. Here he is at the bill signing.

Whoever posted the comment the other day that progressives are a dying breed needs to re-think.

>As Ugly As It Gets

March 22, 2010

>At least one TV in our home was on C-Span all day yesterday. That doesn’t mean I was parked in front of it all day, but I did see the good parts.

All the rhetoric that we have heard over the last 427 days (that this legislation has been worked on) will soon be forgotten. Health Care Reform will be seen to be a benefit to society and America will be a better place.

Republicans seem to think this gives them momentum, but I believe just the opposite. I am a typical Democrat, in that I support most of the policies of the party and usually vote for Democrats. And my elation this morning is profound. If I use the feeling after Barack Obama was elected as a baseline of 100, then today I am feeling a 93.

And if all Democrats in America are feeling a 93, then we will do well in November. A fringe benefit from this vote will be about 32 million votes. Democrat poll number should go up this week and continue to rise in the run up to the 2010 election.

Nancy Pelosi ended the night with her remarks on the floor of the House by smiling and giving examples of the positive ways this reform will benefit women in particular and Americans in general. Every woman in America should vote for Democrats this year after what Pelosi has done and after what Lilly Ledbetter did to advance equality. Being female is no longer a pre-existing condition.

Minority leader John Boehner screamed “Hell, no,” several times in a fit of rage.

An unidentified Republican called out “baby killer” as Bart Stupak was speaking.

(Update: I just read this tweet: “Dear Congress: Before you shout “baby killer”, remember that 5,378 babies have been killed fighting in Afghanistan/Iraq.”)

John Lewis was unfazed as Republican supporters chanted “ni**er” at him as he approached the Capitol on Saturday.

John Lewis and me at last year’s Weekend of Equality.

Let’s just say that Democrats and progressives were on the high road over the weekend, while Republicans and teabaggers were on the low road.

Shamefully, as has been the case throughout history, Alabama’s congressional delegation stood firm in their attempt to deny insurance to 32 million Americans and to prevent the Medicare donut hole from closing.

Artur Davis will be left behind as he will no longer be in office in Washington to see this reform implemented. Terri Sewell, who is seeking to replace Davis in AL-07, had this to say.

“Today’s vote brings this country a step closer to ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable quality coverage. It is important that health care reform does not end here, but that we continue to press for a public option that will ensure coverage of 100% of Americans. In Congress, I will work with President Obama to make sure that this is done,” said Sewell.

Sewell hopes to be the first black women elected to congress from Alabama. We need a woman representing Alabama. Our seven congressmen, including Davis, voted against the interests of women in the area of health care last night.

Ron Sparks wants to be governor, and said this.

“I have been on record supporting affordable health care,” said Commissioner Ron Sparks. “I am happy for the 7th District, which will finally get the assistance they desperately need and want. I have never seen a Representative so blatantly ignore the will of the people in his district like Artur Davis has done. He was elected to represent the 7th District, not the special interests, but he chose to return to Washington to vote against his constituents.”

Read what some other locals said at Left in Alabama.