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    • Down to you
      Joni with an introspective late-night tune from Court and Spark:
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    • The Fall of the USSR
      The best book on both successes and failures of the Soviet Union is Mancur Olson’s “Power and Prosperity.”  If you haven’t read it, you should.  The second best is Randall Collins essay in Macrosociology. The great problem with most critiques of the  USSR is that they do not explain its successes.  In the 20s and […]
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Conflucians Say: The Scratching Post

I’m in the mood for a Cocktail Party.  This cocktail party is dedicated to downticket Dems.  It looks like Obama’s coattails are much shorter than expected.  Take a look at this page on RealClearPolitics for a good scare.  Democrats are not going to pick up nearly enough new members to offset the Republicans and Blue Dogs.  Even my favorite, Linda Stender, who should have walked away with NJ-07 this year, is in a tighter than expected race with Republican nobody Leonard Lance.  We can’t afford to be complacent.

So, join us tonight for a little fundraising and TLC for out downticket Dems, those stalwart progressives who have an uphill battle now that Palin has re-energized the Republican base.  Grab a cocktail from Rico and tell us about your favorite downticket Dems.  You can buy a Causmo for $10 and contribute that money to our ActBlue page.  We’re still putting this page together so if you know of a deserving downticket Dem, talk him/her up.

Murphy’s running a fundraiser at PUMAPac for Sheila Jackson Lee, a Clinton loyalist who could use a little mojo.  While you’re there, check out the State by State Slate of Democrats to avoid when the next primary comes around.  Remember, there is still an opportunity to send a message to the DNC by getting Ed O’Reilly elected in Massachusetts against John Kerry.

And tune your cat channels to Conflucians Say tonight at 10PM EST on PUMA United Radio- PURrrrrr

And don’t forget that you can catch Matt on My Two Cents at 11:00PM EST on NQR and Our View with Patsy and Sugar every Thursday starting at 9:00 PM

In the Dust of the World Trade Center

We can’t help remembering:

On September 9, 2001 I made reservations for an October trip to New York City. If I’d waited a couple of days I would have undoubtedly cancelled my trip. As it was my stepson and I spent the first 2 weeks of October 2001 in NYC.

While my other visits sort of blend together my memories of that visit stand alone. For one thing cars and other vehicles didn’t casually honk. When people saw me taking pictures, they talked to me. Asked me where I was from, “Did the rest of the country care.” And often (as when we took the Staten Island Ferry) cried with us as many of us saw the city’s new skyline for the first time: Continue reading

The Day That Froze America In Time

Still Stuck Here

Stuck

Prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001, newly-selected President George W. Bush was enjoying a fairly decent approval rating of between 50-60%. Then, as he so heartlessly stated, he won the “trifecta.” And America was frozen in time, much as Bush was frozen for several minutes in that Florida classroom after the second of the two World Trade Center towers was hit.

After those attacks, George Bush had the full support of nearly every American – and, of our allies across the world, including Iran, which was led by a much more moderate faction at the time. And what did he do with this political capital? He spent it – and made sure that we would be mired in the 20th Century for the entire length of his Reign of Error.

Bush used Bin Laden’s attacks as an excuse to push America into a bizarre “war on terror.” This was, he warned, going to be a war that would take many years and be unconventional in its approach. What he did not tell us is that the “war on terror” would be used as an excuse to seize an unprecedented amount of executive power, invade a country that did not attack us first, and would actually INCREASE the strength of Al Qaeda and the number of terrorist attacks around the world.

Continue reading

Thursday: Hillary keeps moving things along!

Mass transit:  F$%^!  Can we have Hillary back now??

The first time I saw Hillary Clinton in person, I was at YearlyKos07.  I signed up for her breakout session and waited patiently until it was almost over before she called on me to ask a question.  It was about mass transit.  Believe it or not, the answer she gave me was even more detailed than the one she broadly outlined in the clip above.  It was what sealed the deal for me.  She truly is the gold standard.

Her focus on mass transit and infrastructure is pretty important to me. Beside the fact that my grandfather was a bus driver, I had experienced the French mass transit system while on business trips and compared to the system we have in NY and NJ, we are so far behind it’s not funny.  Let’s put it this way:  I live about 36 miles from Manhattan, but if I want to go to an event there by mass transit, it takes me several trains.  My BFF, living in Nyack, NY only has to take one.  What takes him 30 minutes takes me an hour and a half.  One of the reasons for this is that the most direct commuter train lines from Central NJ were shut down and rerouted back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  The train tracks are still there although some of the stations are in disrepair.  I often wonder how much money it would take to get the CRR-NJ up and running again and wouldn’t it be worth the investment, now that we have come to realize that oil is a finite resource?  If France can do it, why not us?

Hillary is already thinking ahead and not just in mass transit.  She mentions how important it is to make sure that Congress, and by that she means a Congress with more Progressive Democrats, continues to look forward and work towards the future, shoring up our infrastructure and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.  Let’s give her all of the help we can.  Put your effort this fall into electing more progressive Dems to Congress.  You can consult our ActBlue recommendations in the Blogroll or tell us about your favorite so we can add him or her to our slate.  Then, make a committment to phone bank or canvass for your candidate this fall.  This is especially important now because McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin has energized the social conservative base. Unfortunately, the Obama campaign isn’t satisfied with trying to destroy Hillary’s career.  Heidi Li has word that they are retaliating against Sheila Jackson Lee for sticking with Hillary to the end.  If you have a few yuppy foodstamps, why not sent them to her?  With the Palin effect and the Obama zealots out for blood, we could end up with fewer progressive pick ups than we expected this fall.

It’s the best way to help Hillary for those of us who cannot in good conscience vote for Obama.

Let’s roll!

A few more things:

  • Ed O’Reilly’s campaign is gearing up for next week’s primary in Massachusetts to defeat John Kerry. This weekend’s GOTV activities are crucial. If defeating John Kerry sounds intriguing to you, and I know it does, contact Ed’s campaign office and sign up to volunteer to phone bank or canvass for him.   The more people covering MA, the better his chances are.  Seriously.  There is no better way to get votes than person to person contact.  Canvassing is easy.  If you go with a partner, you’ll get plenty of exercise and have a great time.  And here’s a perfect opportunity to send a message to the DNC that we will hold it accountable in November. Opportunities like this, the chance to change the Democrat’s game plan in a significant way, don’t come along that often.  This one is a biggy, guys.  If Ed wins the primary and tosses Kerry on his ass or at least gets the numbers close enough, the DNC will freak.  Plus Ed’s a good guy.  Fun for all!
  • Anglachel has another fascinating post about what drives the old uneducated working class sino-peruvian lesbians to vote like they do and why the Dean Democrats look down their noses at them.
  • Finally, tonight is the annual Tribute in Light to memorialize those who perished on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center in Manhattan.  Those of us who live in these nether regions have an opportunity to see the lights shine.  One of the best places to view them is at Liberty State Park in Jersey City where you can look across the harbor.  It is touchingly beautiful.  Go at dusk to get the full effect.
September 11, 2001- Never Forget

September 11, 2001- Never Forget

Up All Night: An open thread

PUMA Roar of Approval

PUMA Roar of Approval

For your (official) P.U.M.A. pleasure