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drm604's Journal - Archives
Posted by drm604 in Pennsylvania
Wed Sep 14th 2011, 10:35 AM
A brigade that reads like a who's who of legislative Republicans wants to do away with the winner-take-all system of apportioning the state's electoral votes and replace it with one that would do so by congressional district.
Democrats counter that the proposed change is not only blatantly political - designed to give GOP candidates the edge - but also bad for Pennsylvania, as it will diminish the state's role in deciding who occupies the White House.

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Posted by drm604 in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Aug 31st 2011, 01:44 PM
In a campaign supported by the Koch brothers, Republicans are working to prevent millions of Democrats from voting next year

As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008.
In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Mon Aug 22nd 2011, 09:30 AM
House won't accept Gaddafi surrender without cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and no revenue increases.

Edited to add: I don't want to take credit for this. I saw it on FaceBook and I thought that the DU community would enjoy it.
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Sun Aug 07th 2011, 10:00 AM
Anyone remember Maxwell Smart?

He'd give one rationale and, when the obvious flaws in it were pointed out he'd say "Would you believe..." followed by some second rationale, making it obvious to everyone that he was full of it and fishing for explanations.

S&P acted exactly like that, making it obvious to everyone that they were simply looking for an excuse for the downgrade.
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Mon Aug 01st 2011, 09:18 AM
The whole debt ceiling debate is just one example. They took an essential act, something necessary for the continuation of our government and the world's economy, something that in the past was considered routine housekeeping, and turned it into a debate over taxes and entitlements.

Regardless of their goals (which I of course strongly disagree with) they have set a dangerous precedent. One that could lead to constant repeated threats to our economy, our infrastructure, and the well-being of the American people. They've decided that their ends justify any means.

And we let them do it. The problem is, how could we have stopped it? Certainly we could have tried harder for a better deal, but that really misses the point, doesn't it? We shouldn't have had to make a deal. This should have been the standard housekeeping bill it always was. The other issues should be debated separately. Otherwise we no longer have a representative government. We have a government of threats and coercion. "Do what we want on issue A or we'll crash the world's economy." "Do what we want on issue B or we'll put grandma on the street with no medical care." That's not good government, that's extortion.

Now they're holding the FAA hostage to their anti-union goals. Will they succeed with this blackmail also? If they do where does it end?
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Posted by drm604 in Pennsylvania
Sat Apr 30th 2011, 09:30 AM
is there anything that can be done?

Can the citizens of PA have some kind of referendum to pass a recall law and then follow that with an actual recall or recalls?

Can municipalities work together to pressure the governor in some way to change his behavior?

Is there something we can do?

Currently a bunch of wealthy people (includeing some non-PA residents) are attacking our schools. They're running a smear campaign against my Democratic state Senator, including mailings accusing him of refusing to help kids "trapped in violent schools", as if their voucher program is the answer to "violent schools".

How do you fight rich assholes?
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Thu Apr 07th 2011, 09:03 PM
Statement from JoAnne Kloppenburg campaign manager Melissa Mulliken:

"Wisconsin voters as well as the Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign deserve a full explanation of how and why these 14,000 votes from an entire City were missed. To that end, we will be filing open records requests for all relevant documentation related to the reporting of election results in Waukesha County, as well as to the discovery and reporting of the errors announced by the County. We are confident that election officials in Waukesha County will fulfill these requests as quickly as possible so that both our campaign and the people of Wisconsin can fully understand what happened and why. Just as Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg has run to restore confidence in the court, Wisconsin residents also deserve to have full confidence in election results."
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Wed Apr 06th 2011, 02:51 PM
Do we need a better illustration of this then what just happened in Wisconsoin? 1.5 million votes and a win by 204!

Remember this. GOTV counts. Voting rights count.


Make phone calls.

Knock on doors.

Drive people to the polls.

ONE vote can make the difference!
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Mon Mar 28th 2011, 07:27 PM
Here's the TRO: (It's a PDF)
From the last page.
I do, therefore, restrain and enjoin the further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10.
The next step in implementation of that law would be the publication of that law by the Secretary of
State. He is restrained and enjoined from such publication until further order of this court.
The hearing on the Petitioner’s request for a preliminary injunction is set for March 29,

"I do, therefore, restrain and enjoin the further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10."

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems like plain English to me. Judge Sumi restrained and enjoined further implementation. The next part appears to be there simply to underline and make clear that they are to proceed no further in the process of implementation.

In any case, there will be a hearing tomorrow, March 29, at which time there may be a preliminary injunction.
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Posted by drm604 in Political Videos
Thu Mar 10th 2011, 01:10 AM
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Wed Mar 09th 2011, 10:07 PM
Do they have any idea how much they are inflaming the American people?

They are playing a dangerous game here. They are pushing people into a corner.

Are they really not able to see that? Are they that insulated? Are they that stupid?
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Sun Mar 06th 2011, 01:20 PM /
Conservative billionaire David Koch says the Gonzo journalist who impersonated him in a recent prank call heard across the nation may be guilty of identity theft.
"I was thinking to myself, 'My God, if I called up a senator or a congressman to discuss something with them, and they heard 'David Koch is on the line,' they’d immediately say, 'That’s that fraud again — tell him to get lost!'" he said.

Wouldn't that be terrible? He'd end up being just like the other 99% of us who can never get a Senator on the line. What a horrible fate!
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Tue Mar 01st 2011, 10:23 AM
This was originally posted by nebenaube in the Wisconsin forum:
...The main point of the two articles, was that the Wisconsin Retirement System is very close to being 100% funded for current and future retirement benefits.
These facts, caused me to ask “Does the Wisconsin retirement plan have excess assets that could be re-captured by the state government if they terminate the plan and replace it with a different type of retirement plan?
On to Page Three of Governor Walker’s Budget Bill, third paragraph from the top, there is very interesting language that leads to the very important question for Governor Walker. The paragraph mandates that a study of the existing Wisconsin Retirement System be performed and it must “specifically address establishing a defined contribution plan as an option for WRS participating employees” and the deadline for completing this study is June 30, 2012. I don’t think that Walker would be adding retirement benefits for workers - so I am wondering if the Republican Governors that are trying to get rid of collective bargaining of retirement benefits, so that they can terminate the existing plans and recover excess assets for their state balance sheets.
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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Sat Feb 26th 2011, 12:34 AM
Not that the bargaining rights aren't important. They are. They're very important.

But this has become about more than just that. It's about the right of people to run their own country and to not have to be servile to those who won the birth lottery.

It's about making people who were born into wealth understand that they should have no more power politically than any one of us. And it's about taking that power away if they refuse that understanding.

The kind of "freedom" the Koch's are fighting for is not freedom for you and I. What they are fighting for is the least possible government interference in the dealings of large businesses. That may sound good in principle to some people. The problem is what it leads too.

Without anti-trust laws you end up with single parties controlling multiple industries. And controlling whatever parts of our lives depend on those industries. That is not freedom for us.

Without estate taxes you end up with dynasties stretching over generations and controlling more and more wealth and power. Power over the little guy. That is not freedom for us.

Without safety nets we all end up at the mercy of raw capitalism, where we can suddenly find ourselves with no income through no fault of our own. That is not freedom for us.

Without health care we can end up at the mercy of diseases that are no fault of our own. Diseases which will either kill us or bankrupt us. That is not freedom for us.

Without pollution laws you end up with the destruction of our lands and the pollution of our air and water. The fouling of things that at one time were pure and free for everyone. That is not freedom for us.

Without campaign finance laws you end up with the few ruling over the many. That is not freedom for us.

Without unions you have no protection from capricious firings and unsafe, unbearable working conditions. That is not freedom for us.

The freedom that people like the Kochs want is the freedom for themselves to become royalty in America. The freedom to tell the rest of us the way it will be.

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Posted by drm604 in General Discussion
Tue Feb 22nd 2011, 01:04 PM
(With apologies to Buffalo Springfield)

"There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down"

I won't excerpt the entire song because of obvious copyright issues

I know that it's not 1967, and I know that the lyrics of that song could be interpreted as "don't rock the boat" rather than "head for the streets". In fact, it was meant to be a song against escalating unrest.

Nevertheless, at the time it came to be known as a protest song rather than a "don't rock the boat" message. And the first two lines resonate with me in recent weeks. Something is happening. It isn't exactly clear what, but it's happening.

I think it started with the growth of the internet and the introduction of social media, along with cell phones and texting. At some point someone got the idea of "flash mobs". For the most part, flash mobs were used for basically frivolous stunts. Sometimes they created a public hazard and a minority of times they were done with a criminal intent.

Eventually someone, probably many someones at more or less the same time, started to get the idea that they could use these kinds of "insta-gatherings" for bigger things.

Political and social statements and protests...

Overthrowing governments...

Tunisia... Egypt... very likely Libya... possibly Bahrain and Yemen, and... what are the names of those other places... Wisconsin, Ohio, perhaps others?

There's something happening here. What is is ain't exactly clear.
Is it good? Maybe... sometimes.
Is it bad? Maybe... sometimes.
Is there bloodshed and death? Yes.
Is that acceptable? Ask the people who are bleeding and dying. Some of them seem willing to at least risk it. And there are certainly monsters willing to dole it out.

Do we have such monsters here at home? I hope not. But I'm not naive. I remember Kent State... Jackson State... Selma...

I don't think we'll be overthrowing government here in the U.S. I don't think we want to. I certainly don't. At least not in the sense that it's being done in other parts of the world. We may, however, be able to peacefully change the direction of government.

I hope we do it peacefully.
I hope that they respond peacefully.

But there is definitely something happening...
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