This blog is of, by and for the progressive members of our Jefferson County community. Our mission is to provide information about fellow progressives for all to view, to provide a forum for forward looking candidates and to offer other varied items of interest. Your opinion is important to this blog and if you wish to write us an item or send us a picture please email it to THIS BLOG IS NOT AN OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rush Limbaugh dances (kinda) to Lady Gaga. No really. Watch.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Laydeez and gentlemen--our newest Senator

Scott Brown is the name and full frontal nudity is his game. Sorta makes you wonder what all those rectitudinous rightwingers were voting for.

The United Corporate States of America

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Assemblywoman Addie Russell:

Revelations about a ‘shadow state workforce’
are outrageous

Elimination of temporary agency workers would save taxpayers millions and
help close budget gap

“Between April 2008 and November 2009, more than $62 million was spent on
contracts for various temporary agency workers. The executive branch has been
exploiting a loophole to hire people during its own hiring freeze. In this severe
economic downturn, this is simply unacceptable. The Department of Health alone hired
hundreds of these temporary agency workers.

“To have outside workers performing jobs that can – and should – be done by
existing employees is a complete waste of state money, an expense New York cannot
afford in our current condition. I have been calling for the closure of this loophole for
months and I am shocked at the extent to which it has been abused.

“To mislead New Yorkers into thinking there is a hiring freeze and then pad the
payroll is outrageous. I am calling for public hearings, and I look forward to this
spring’s budget hearings, when state agency heads can detail use of outside employment
agencies so we can get to the bottom of this problem. New York State cannot afford to
waste a single dollar more on this shadow state workforce.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Former Congressional candidate here and always strong thinker Dr. Bob Johnson offers a commentary

Free, Free at last. Free of the tyranny of the special interests Senators. The election of Scott Brown, a Republican to fillTed Kennedy’s senate seat now means that a real healthcare bill can be passed that will save money and cover everyone.

The healthcare bill as it now stands is a sausage that can only be characterized as a bailout for the insurance companies. They found their white knight in Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. He dutifully sold out the American people for the Hartford insurance companies. Now everyone will have to purchase insurance from companies that have shown nothing but contempt for decent human values and whose only god has been to maintain a burgeoning bottom line. They have shown no remorse to the continual denial of care to their customers. Is no one shocked by the proliferation of bake sales and fund raisers that cancer, transplant and even cystic fibrosis children have to have for their care, most of which do not even come close to covering the costs denied by insurance companies.

The healthcare bill does nothing of what it set out to do. It does not cover everybody and ten million Americans will still be without coverage. It does not save money. One third of our healthcare costs will still go to the obscene profits of insurance and drug companies. It still gives extraordinary power to the insurance industry to dictate care in what they will and will not pay for. It still maintains their monopoly where they are exempted from the antitrust laws. Denied coverage is, and will be veiled in the fine print of the voluminous policies that no one ever reads or can understand. Even as insurance companies are allowed to dictate care the responsibility is still shifted to the doctor who is still beleaguered by egregious lawsuits filed by money intoxicated lawyers. What’s more, what few benefits there are in the bill do not start until 2013.

The trial lawyer lobby saw to it that there is no meaningful tort reform by protecting their contingency fees and preventing caps on damages. It is the same as your doctor advising you to loose weight but dieting and exercise are not allowed.

The Democratic Party has tried consensus. It doesn’t work. Not everyone is going to agree. The Republicans have been as disciplined and lock as ever. The have commanding majorities in each House and yet can not muster the gumption to pass legislation that will improve both the health and financial well being of the vast majority of Americans. Rather, they see fit to cave into those very few that owe their positions to the special interests of the insurance, pharmaceutical and legal industries that keep them elected.

This reality is the Democrats never had a filibuster proof majority. It was a mirage. Now they don’t have to worry about maintaining the illusion. The healthcare bill will now have to pass by reconciliation where only a majority is needed to pass a bill in the Senate. We no longer have to cave into those few lawmakers who are protecting the moneyed special interests in order to protect their own political self interest. We might even get a meaningful healthcare reform bill with a strong public option. Now we can actually bring the insurance companies to heel.

A note from Kirsten to her supporters I'ld like to share.

Dear Ezra,

There is no denying: the election in Massachusetts was a disappointment. However, let us not focus on our disappointment but rather, redouble our commitment to fighting for the causes and values that are so important. I can tell you that the voters are not looking for a year of gridlock or months of excuses and hand-wringing between now and the election. Voters want action. They want solutions to the challenges they face. And they want hardworking leaders who are prepared to deliver.

That is what I have done. I have fought tooth and nail for President Obama's health care bill, which will provide coverage for 2.7 million New Yorkers. I've worked hand-in-hand with the President to invest in job creation and bring home New York's fair share of federal dollars. And I've worked with all of you, traveling to all 62 counties in the state, listening to your concerns, making your voice heard in Washington, and building a campaign operation that is ready to win.

This is the kind of hardworking leadership I have always provided.

From my first race against entrenched Republican Congressman John Sweeney, when very few people thought he could be beaten, to my reelection against multi-millionaire formerNew York State GOP Chairman, Sandy Treadwell, which was the most expensive Congressional race in the country, I have always been outspent, but I have never been outworked.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this week, I thought about his words: "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

National, state and local Republicans are aggressively plotting to try and capture a Senate seat from New York. To date, we have raised over $7.1 million to ensure we have the resources to compete with the Republican attacks. I am prepared for the fight and I am prepared to win. If we continue to work together, speak out, and stay focused on solving the challenges we face, New Yorkers will cast their vote for hardworking leadership and we will deliver the change voters are still demanding.

It is an honor to work hard for the people of this state, and I thank you for your service and your support.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Addie Russell rips the Governor's budget

Assemblywoman Russell responds to governor’s budget proposal

“The governor’s budget proposal is evidence that he is out of touch with the North Country and our community. The governor’s proposal turns its back on working families by making across-the-board cuts – jeopardizing essential public programs – instead of making strategic cuts and basing decisions on sound data.

“One area I am specifically upset about is the governor’s initiative to close the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. The governor has apparently not considered that fact that St. Lawrence County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the entire state, and was recently hit hard by the closing of the GM plant, the idling of Alcoa and the potential closure of P&C supermarkets in Canton , Potsdam , Massena and Gouverneur. He also failed to consider the ripple effects caused by this closure to Ogdensburg and its surrounding communities, including the loss of local contracts that were being used by the prison, and the hit to our housing values and tax base if these employees are transferred to facilities in other areas of the state.

“I have already started advocating for a final budget that considers cutting Department of Corrections administrators and identifying cost-saving-measures and shared services within the Watertown Correction hub as alternatives to the prison’s closure. The close proximity of North Country prisons presents us with an opportunity to consolidate services, such as sharing prison counselors and administrators as well as maximizing our economies of scale to achieve significant cost savings.

“Another area of concern is with the governor’s higher education proposal. The governor’s proposal to allow SUNY unchecked authority over tuition increases combined with deep cuts to the TAP program will put future generations at a disadvantage by making a college education unaffordable for working families. His cuts to community colleges will also undermine the employee retraining efforts taking place in the North Country right now, and the educational pursuits of our young adults.

“The governor also proposed new taxes on cigarettes and sugary drinks, including sports drinks and soda. At face value these efforts appear socially responsible, but I cannot support these two new taxes placed on our already over-burdened working families. We must break the culture of raising new taxes to feed our already bloated budget. Until we make significant cuts to the bureaucracy of Albany , I will not support these taxes.”

She indicated directly on the Channel 7 noon news that she would not vote for a budget that contained the closure of Ogdensburg Correctional facility. Click here for that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Isn't this charming?

QUOTE OF THE DAY.... In Massachusetts this morning, Scott Brown campaigned in West Springfield, where the conservative Senate hopefulcomplained about the tone of the campaign.

"I'll tell you what," Brown said, using a megaphone to address the crowd. "There's negative campaigning, and then there's malicious campaigning."

"She's malicious!" a man in the crowd cried out. "She's a phony!" shouted another. "Shove a curling iron up her butt!" a third man interjected a few moments later.

Yes, because it's not ironic at all to complain about "malicious" campaigning while your supporters call for assaulting the state Attorney General with a curling iron.

I've told the story on this blog before about running PA audio for MLK when he spoke at Cornell in the early 60s. Ergo I won't do it again. Instead here is John Lewis.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Click for details

Yea! My Party exhibits some good sense. The Marist Poll reported this.

43% of registered Democratic voters in New York State say they would back Gillibrand in this fall’s Democratic primary while 24% would cast their ballot for Ford. Although Gillibrand has a double-digit lead over Ford, a notable proportion — 33% — are unsure about whom they’d support.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Is exploiting Haiti right now amoral, immoral or simply wrong?

Harold in Haiti

Harold Ford, Jr., who happens to have been a classmate of mine at The University of Pennsylvania, is going to run for the U.S. Senate in my home state of New York. Recently, he has done and said a number of things that have worried me:

1. From his recent (2006) Senate run in his home state of Tennessee, he changed his stance on reproductive rights, same-sex marriages, taxation/social welfare, and home security in order to suit what he perceives to be a more "New York State of Mind." It has been barely one year that Mr. Ford has called New York his home. Is it something in the water? Maybe. I was born here, and from a very young age I believed in a woman's right to choose, a neighbor's right to love and be loved and, owing to the flouride in the Reservoir, I have always had strong teeth.

2. As recently as 2008, he considered running for Governor in his home state of Tennessee - a job indistinguishable from N.Y. Senator?

3. In a brazen and revealing interview with The New York Times this past week, he explained his New York lifestyle:
. frequent pedicures
.daily breakfasts at The Regency Hotel
. the subway as a last resort (car services are most desired)
. a helicopter landing in Staten Island (his only interaction with this borough)

4. On Wednesday night, Mr. Ford appeared with the Reverend Al Sharpton in front of the Haitian Consulate in Manhattan. He led us in prayer. Mr. Ford has never been to Haiti. Mr. Ford knows nobody in Haiti. Mr. Ford is not an ordained minister.

5. Tomorrow (Friday) he flies on a chartered plane to Haiti with Reverend Sharpton.

I cannot fault him for enjoying and spending the money he has made on Wall Street (Bank of America/Merill Lynch). I like it when wealthy people spend their money: more tax dollars; more liquidity; more jobs.

Carpetbagging is not a new phenomena. I actually do not mind it if a better candidate - ideally a "better person" - crosses a border and takes a chance.

What bothers me most, however, is Mr. Ford's use of Haiti as political protein. The cost of flying Harold - documentarians and staff too, I presume - on a private flight to the most suffering place on the planet will, I am certain, exceed the relative value of his shovel work. Fuel, security, personnel, pedicures on board? He must be an amazing shoveler.

One could argue that his presence will prove uplifting? His presence will not uplift these people. They do not know who he is. If anything, cranes, literally, will uplift these brave, long-suffering human beings.

It is my belief that Mr. Ford is using Haiti to make amends for his New York Times interview. Exploiting Haiti at this moment is, in my mind, not only wrong, but possibly amoral if not immoral.

I believe that this man is a consummate opportunist: he changes his mind to suit his location. He not only gives "politics" a bad name, he helps to sustain its contemporary definition, one that is unfortunately associated with greed, self-interest, ineffectiveness, and an utter absence of mettle. Further, he had ten years in Congress to speak about Haiti, learn about Haiti, fly to Haiti, address Haiti's problems and potential. He did not.

Mr. Ford, while in Haiti, please do not break a nail. Better yet, please break many. It will be the first tangible proof I have that you are serious about helping strangers.

This could be a game changer!

Here is a quote from the Buffalo News that might rattle your rafters.

SUNY schools would gain considerably more autonomy -- including the coveted power to control their own tuition -- under a major reform plan that Gov. David A. Paterson will unveil in his budget next week.

Who this Brit paper thinks are the 100 leading libs and 100 leading righties

Neither Jay Donovan, Danny Francis or I made the list. Click here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

HO HO HO! The blogs review Harold Ford's rollout piece in the NYT

This is Adama Brown's Daily Kos post

Does anyone else remember the video clip show "Maximum Exposure" that used to run on late-night syndicated TV? They would put together an hour of home movies featuring people doing what were mostly incredibly stupid and/or dangerous things, and then you got to laugh at idiots getting their well deserved comeuppance.

That's how I'm feeling about Harold Ford's campaign right about now.

Anyone here has probably already seen the highlights of the Ford interview, but just in case you haven't: weekly pedicures, a one third cut in the corporate tax rate, running on support for the bailouts, helicopter tours of New York City, luxury boxes, capital gains tax cuts, breakfast every day at the Regency Hotel, chauffeured towncars, tax cuts for the ultra wealthy, and deregulation of Wall Street.

Think of the Times interview as depicting a more articulate George Bush, with slightly better taste, running in a Democratic primary.

Well, you can imagine what the reaction has been from the observers of politics both here in New York and around the country. But fortunately you don't have to, because really, you don't want to miss what's being said about it. CQ Politics described it as "How Not To Do the Profile Interview."

Tuesday's New York Times ran a fascinating interview of former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, conducted by Timesman Michael Barbaro.

I say "fascinating" as in "Oh, my God, I cannot believe Ford actually said these things to a reporter for The New York Times in the belief, or even hope, that they would help him win Democratic primary votes against an appointed senator."

The Daily Beast summed it up nicely:

It was the most embarrassing interview I’ve ever read by a politician not named Sarah Palin.

A little later after recounting just a few of the many, many, many tone-deaf statements Ford made:

By this point, one assumes, Ford’s [press] flak is lying dead on the floor, having impaled himself with his BlackBerry.

One of the contributors over at FireDogLake defined it as "Harold Ford’s Completely Insane Senate Campaign Launch."

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a worse rollout for a political campaign, or one more disconnected with the constituency needed to win, than what Harold Ford exhibited in today’s New York Times.

Gawker put it even more bluntly: "New York Times Allows Harold Ford to Destroy Himself."

Remember how the New York Times' uncomfortable interview with Caroline Kennedy pretty much sank her Senate campaign? Hello, Harold Ford, welcome to New York!

I need to buck the trend, though. I'm really starting to see another side of Harold Ford, and I firmly think that he should continue to run for this seat.

After all, with all of extremely serious political fights going on out there right now, the late night comedy writers could use some easy material.

Twitter has an oppose Harold Ford page

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stand by me (them)

An awful lot of people have enjoyed this youtube. Either enjoy it again or really enjoy it for the first time. Afterwards why not consider the message and send a few sheckles to our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

We enjoy Helen Thomas in the press room. The podium folks looked impressive and spoke philosophically but they never answered her question.

Hey Kirsten, the big guy is in

In a press briefing today Robert Gibbs was asked about a Gillibrand-Ford Senate primary in New York State.
"I think the White House is quite happy with the leadership and the representation of Sen. Gillibrand in New York and, as many are in the DSCC, we're supporting her re-election."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why JD supports Kirsten

Harold Ford is packing his bags and attempting a comeback. Everybody put on your thinking caps and contemplate this. (Adama of the NY Progressive blogs network emailed this research.)

  • Ford was one of the 82 House Democrats (out of 210) who voted in favor of the Iraq War resolution. Just so everyone remembers clearly, the Republicans could not muster 218 votes for the IWR on their own--without Democrats voting with them, there would have been no authorization for the Iraq War.

  • Ford is unrepentantly pro-free-trade, voting for the US-Singapore FTA, US-Australia FTA, free trade with Chile, and supports the World Trade Organization. So long American jobs.

  • Voted in support of school prayer during the "War on Terror." Frankly I suspect that the recon Marines crawling around Afghanistan would prefer you spend your time giving them air support of a slightly more corporeal type, not to mention body armor.

  • Was known for telling fellow Democrats they should be more supportive of the Iraq War... at least up until it became politically unpopular, since he was running for it in 2004 and against it in 2006.

  • Was famously described by Anne Coulter (R-Eagle's Nest) as her "favorite Democrat."

  • Voted in 2001 against banning "soft money" donations to political parties, a reversal of his position from 1999 when he supported banning soft money.

  • Voted in 2001 in favor of retaining the failed ban against travel to Cuba. You know, that thing that has helped keep Castro in power for decades by purging the island of any competing viewpoints in public discourse. Moreover, he reversed his position from 2000, when he had publicly supported allowing Americans to travel to Cuba.

  • Opposed Bush's illegal wiretaps in January of 2006, but voted in favor of electronic surveillance without a warrant in September of 2006.

  • Voted against adopting the recommendations of the 9/11 commission.

  • Ford supported the Republican effort to interfere in the Terry Schiavo case, on the grounds of his ardent "pro-life" views. Being pro-life, to Mr. Ford, seems to mean voting against abortion rights but in favor of a war that's killed as many as a million people.

  • Supported building a fence across the US border with Mexico, one of the more absurd boondoggles that's ever come out of Texas, since apparently no one there has ever heard of a ladder, or wirecutters.

  • Voted yes on constitutional amendments to prohibit flag desecration and to ban gay marriage.

  • Was one of only 73 Democrats who voted in favor of the 2005 bankruptcy bill, which made it nearly impossible for those saddled with high debts to ever reach financial security again.

  • In short, Mr. Ford is grotesquely out of step even with the general electorate of New York State, let alone with the voters within the Democratic Party who would choose between him and Senator Gillibrand.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    TRAITOR? Say what?

    Lots of people were commenting about this today. Do you think KO went over the top calling
    Dick Cheney a traitor? JD is a progressive sort and certainly no fan of the former VP but I think you just dropped off the edge Keith.
    One of our favorite lefty blogs, Rochester Turning, reported today that the national
    elephants are targeting just three NYS Congressional Districts. No surprise the 23rd stands stage center. Gee they still have two of twenty nine seats. Maybe they better concentrate on keeping those.

    After Bill Owen’s win in NY’s 23rd Congressional District, the Republicans have set their sights on winning 3 seats back from Democrats who had unseated Republicans in the 2008 elections. From yesterday’s D&C:

    Owens’ win followed three Democratic victories a year earlier in the Southern Tier, the Rochester-Syracuse area and the New York City borough of Staten Island, districts previously represented by Republicans.

    As a result, Republicans now hold just two of the state’s 29 House seats and neither Senate seat.

    But that will change in 2010, the National Republican Congressional Committee says.

    NRCC officials are spotlighting an ophthalmologist from Westchester County, the mayor of Corning and a businessman from Eastern Long Island as the party’s best bets for regaining congressional seats next November.

    It’s pretty sad when the GOP has to pin it’s hopes on the likes of the Mayor of Corning, Tom “I’m not a politician” Reed. Ignorance reigns in the Republican party, but we Homo sapiens are not a smart bunch, and you know every trick in the tea-bagging, birther, 9-12ing book will be used to unseat our progressive congressman in the 29th. So, put on your boots (although waders might be more appropriate) and prepare to do battle.

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Remember when Don Imus screwed up royally by demeaning the all black, female, Rutgers basketball team with racially charged language. All of us thought that was a big bald baddy. But maybe the I Man gets a little redemption with this one.

    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    Oh by the way Mayor, Palin is on the list.

    "...What up NY 23?"

    I have no idea where this new blog comes from or who wrote it. But its interesting.
    The poster appears to be a rabbit with nasal congestion. He calls himself Bugs Buddy.
    (Could this be the reincarnation of IV?)

    Saturday, January 2, 2010

    JD's Arizona brother-in-law is substantially more conservative than his blogger in-law. However he sent this along for my comment. Both of us are involved politically (in different parties) and truly care about the country deeply. I'll pass it along so you can comment too.


    I am sending this to virtually everybody on my e-mail list and that includes conservatives, liberals, and everybody in between. Even though we disagree on a number of issues, I count all of you as friends. I'm promoting a "Congressional Reform Act of 2010". It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution. Now many of you will say, "This is impossible." Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval of any entity in Government, now is the time when Americans will join together to reform Congress - the entity that represents us.

    We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House. These people will become American hero's.

    A Fellow American


    Congressional Reform Act of 2010

    1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.

    A. Two Six year Senate terms
    B. Six Two year House terms
    C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathersenvisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

    2. No Tenure / No Pension:

    A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

    3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:

    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, server your term(s), then go home and back to work.

    4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

    5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

    6. Congress looses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

    7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

    8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/11 .

    The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

    JD's comment was a simple one. Term limits are already Constitutionally provided for--they are called elections. As for the rest of the stuff, I basically have no problem with any of it. I understand that contracts can't be voided in an ex post facto way but the thought is pure. How about you?

    Enjoy--and believe

    Your weekly address