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AdLib On January - 21 - 2010

We just had a 1-2-3-4 combination of punches and we’re reeling.

1. The election of Brown and the loss of a Dem 60 vote majority in The Senate.

2. The concession that HCR will not be passed.

3. Pres. Obama’s choosing “bipartisanship” over fighting for Progressive values.

4. The Supreme Court nakedly handing our political system to corporations.

It’s overwhelming, a bit much to deal with in the span of a couple of days. But as usual, once I have the chance to fully process everything, I want to turn my outrage into action.

From the beginning, PlanetPOV was intended to become a citizen’s think tank, a blog for substantive discussions  and a place to organize initiatives.

That is, a place for talk and action.

We have begun our first comprehensive project, ProjectPOV, under Nellie’s fine leadership. If you haven’t already, may I suggest clicking over to it to check it out. Also, I’d suggest that all members wishing to participate leave a brief comment and check the box to receive email notifications on new comments so you can stay updated.

With the events that have recently unfolded, I would like to propose adding one more activist project to our plate (which will dovetail with ProjectPOV).

Consider the four setbacks listed above and let’s discuss here what action, if any, a majority here would be interested in pursuing.

Some suggestions to start the ball rolling:

1. Should PlanetPOV join petition drives with other, bigger organizations for Congressional action on reversing the SC decision?

2. Should we draft a letter that can be co-signed by members and sent to The White House and Dem Congresspeople demanding bold action, commitment and/or exercising the Nuclear Option to accomplish true HCR and other items on the Progressive Agenda or else be seen as failures and unworthy of enthusiastic support?

3. Should we draft a petition calling on Pres. Obama to abandon this quest for bipartisanship in favor of being a bold, tough leader fighting for Progressive values with no holds barred?

4.  Should we research the logistics of getting Propositions on state ballots that could reign in corporations, later seeking collaborations with other entities on moving such propositions forward if viable?

5. Should we draft Letters to Editors for members to send to their local papers, co-signed by all members in agreement?

What else could or should we do to step up to these challenges to our nation’s future?

Please add your suggestions and do mention which others you may support. I will then create a poll that lists them for members to vote on and thus chart our course of action.

I can’t stand sitting around and feeling screwed, it’s time for action.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

63 Responses so far.

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  1. javaz says:

    Has anyone else seen this story?
    About corporations against the SCOTUS ruling?
    (what’s wrong with this picture -- I do not see Exxon or Walmart or Pharmaceutical companies on the list)

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/01/22/corporations-public-financing/

  2. choicelady says:

    I’m for all of this save No.2 as KQ has noted. Obama has NOT opted for bipartisanship over progress -- he gave it a chance, and that’s good, but it was DEMS who killed this and will do so again. The House can pass the Senate bill which is highly imperfect but NOT AWFUL, but they will not. We need to press for that as the first step. Many of the aspects we want -- lower percentage of payment, amount of financial subsidy, even the public option as a cost saving plan, can be directed then through reconciliation.

    If Obama were Clinton or Dean or anyone at all, I still think he’d have had to reach out to the entrenched RW forces. Remember the attempts to “kill” Bill and Hillary? These people are playing for keeps, and it was essential that some effort be made to bring the nation together. It’s proven impossible. But the effort had to be made.

    Brown’s victory as not PRO RW Republican, it was that 43% of the Dems did not vote. It’s the angry, impatient liberals/lefties who sat it out Tuesday that infuriate me as they did in 1980 -- there WAS a huge difference between Carter and Reagan, IF you were poor, struggling, working class, union. Only those of us with privilege can afford to be so smug. We on the “left” must stop shooting ourselves in the foot. And then going back and reloading!

    We have options on health care -- we need to make the progressives as well as moderates TAKE those options. The Senate as well as House bill is set up as the CA single payer plan is -- what you pay is linked to a percentage of your income on a sliding scale. That’s not efficient for the nation, but it’s extremely good for individuals. It’s an overwhelmingly good start. From the beginning we advocated for that and got it -- we cannot throw this away.

    Let’s move the Senate bill, and build from there. I think that can be accomplished. I do NOT want to see this watered down to court conservative Dems. We have a good start. Don’t let the ideology kill it off.

    • KQuark says:

      You are also so right that there is a clear path to getting this done. Sometimes you’ve got to take your medicine even if it does not feel good now. Pass the Senate Bill in the House then work on the rest later.

      The only other option at this point is not getting it done which is not an option. Healthcare experts wrote a letter to the Democrats the I can get behind.

      http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/documents/2010/01/leading-experts-urge-house-to-pass-senate-health-care-bill.php?page=1

      All stubborn Dems are doing now is holding back help for millions of people.

      The best example is Medicare Part B. Sure progressives want to complain it’s all private but do you think one senior that needs prescriptions does not use it. No way in hell.

      That’s why if a Republican candidate like Romney who has passed healthcare in his home state comes along as much as I like Obama, I’m going to consider him seriously because he has gotten it done in the past.

    • KQuark says:

      I’ve seen in my emails from progressives that they seem to be the only ones who have not changed their game plan, way of thinking or received the “wake up call” because they somehow rationalize this was a victory for them. NO Brown’s election was a victory for Republicans and Democrat apathy. Why on earth everyone is pushing for the same things they could not get from a Democratic Party with more power before is beyond my logic?

      I get the progressive argument that they did not vote because the HCR was not progressive enough but it is a purely academic argument. If the Dems passed healthcare especially if they passed it earlier on in current form than I don’t think Brown had a chance of winning. Over all people like government that works. Yes the argument is a “what if” but a real healthcare bill passed is much different than a bill in waiting.

      I guess progressives just would rather have no progress than some progress. That’s the only conclusion that is logical right now. It’s like saying we failed in our mission to got to the moon so let’s plan a mission to go to mars.

  3. KQuark says:

    I never have a problem with pushing left to end up with the most progressive legislation possible, but I do have a problem with setting expectations that can never be matched with results. I go in with the attitude that I don’t expect the ends you we are asking for, especially in #2. I want the best HCR we can get in this political environment. I choose to be pleasantly surprised now if anything is done on HCR this year.

    So sign me up but then again I like doing this.


  4. bitohistory says:

    Here is a quick take on the effects of the SCOTUS blunder in AZ. We did have “clean elections” in AZ and Tucson.

    Supreme Court Corporatocracy Ruling on AZ

    Arizona law now prohibits business and corporate spending in state candidate races. But it seems those prohibitions cannot now be enforced because the Supreme Court ruling said similar federal prohibitions violate the Constitution’s free speech protections, Election Director Amy Bjelland said.

    http://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2010/01/21/supreme-court-corporatocracy-ruling-on-az

  5. SueInCa says:

    Hey Adlib
    Time for action indeed. I like all the ideas you presented except for the ballot initiative. With all of us coming from different states that would be a very difficult thing to do. I would suggest a section of the site titled “call for action” or “take action” where this type of endeavor can be housed. That way people coming to the site will see a link and could go directly to it.

    I know you and the others have alot on your plate so anything I can do to help, just ask. I am retired so have most days free and can write a pretty good letter, thanks to my exposure to the legal department at WFB.

    • KevenSeven says:

      Oh, a small niggle.

      The time for action started long, long ago. Before our grandparents were born.

      The Magna Carta was just a start. The work was there to do long before the Supreme Court struck down campaign finance laws.

      I hope everybody understands that we are all responsible for this mess.

      But I especially blame the imbeciles who bought into Ralph Nader’s nihilistic bullshit saying that there was no difference between Gore and Bush.

      Those children. Yeah, thanks a lot.

  6. SanityNow says:

    Ad,
    The first 3 suggestions are of paramount importance and I concur with Kevin that a well written letter will get results or at least get read. I would add an additional action item and that is to support the death of the Senate filibuster.

    Personally, I am most motivated to respond to the judicial activism, which most likely can only be resolved once and for all with a Constitutional amendment, the death of the filibuster (which I believe would also have the effect of restoring a real HCR effort), and the continued reach toward bipartisanship by the Obama administration with Republicans who have overtly subjugated the well being of the country for purely political and hateful ends.

    Anything I can do

  7. Pashma says:

    I’d like to do what I can to help.

    Is PPOV on YouTube?

    • bitohistory says:

      Pashma, yes the Planet is on YouTube. Click on the the vid in the top right corner saying Health Reform…. and you will see the vids.

  8. Chernynkaya says:

    Adlib, I’m still under the weather and not thinking too sharply, but I LOVE your ideas! I will do whatever I can to join this effort, but for today I need to be told what to do. I don’t have a clear thought in my congested head.

  9. nellie says:

    AdLib, I’m very big on letter writing — to newspapers, activist organizations, congresspeople.

    Writing articles, too — for magazines, newsletters, blog sites.

    I especially like the idea of writing suggestion letters, with strategies well mapped out and supported by facts. I wrote one of these to Clinton once, and got a personal letter back from him. I only mention that to show that they do get read. We could write to congresspeople, to the White House, to administration staff — whoever seems appropriate for whatever idea we’re trying to get across.

    We can also write quick posts — things that can be cut and pasted as responses to misinformation on other blogs — like a resource. Something like talking points for progressives.

    I think the main thing to think about is where we can have a real impact. What can we do that will actually affect decision making, actions, policies.

    • escribacat says:

      I agree with this strategy, Nellie. We could develop a “library of material” for our group to post as comments, emails, and letters to representatives, editors, and groups.

    • Suzanne525 says:

      Totally agree about the letter writing, and that we need to include proposed solutions. I was terribly depressed last night about the SC decision and the implications.

      In general, Republican reaction seems to favor the decision. We need to find succinct arguments to include in the letters (especially ones to newspapers) that will help the general conservative population understand that this will work against them.

      While I have felt strongly about issues before, I’m not proud to say that I have rarely taken action. No longer. I have to do what I can to help stop the corporate takeover of our country.

      • escribacat says:

        Suzanne, that was my take on the conservative take also. But I don’t know who really understands these obscure nuances of law. I don’t anyway. What the hell does it really mean? If it’s true that they could do it all anyway through a PAC, as Javaz posted here yesterday, then what’s the big deal? Does this simply mean it will all be out in the open now? I’m guessing that most of it will still be done through PACs and only some will be in the open…I dunno. I’m no legal expert. Someone else posted that the ACLU was in favor of this ruling but I couldn’t find anything about it on their site and the rightwinger who posted it ignored my request for a link. Is that true? It would be good to figure out exactly what this means and have some good text ready to post/email/send about it.

        • nellie says:

          Where the spending will occur is through advertising. And propaganda pieces like Hillary the Movie.

          What we’re going to see is a deluge of deceptive, slick, confusing campaign ads that will make undesirable candidates look very attractive, hard working legislators look very bad, and all the pressing issues look very confusing.

          • SueInCa says:

            That is my thought too Nellie. It will not matter if the ads are true or not. They will air them and if caught will come back with a meager mea culpa. People will see the original ad but not the apology/admission of the truth. The right does this all the time. They find it easier to say a quick “i’m sorry” in an aside knowing whatever false tale they put out there will hold water with the ones who do not hear the apology or choose to believe they were somehow forced to make that admission.

            Look at the emails still claiming Obama is a muslim, not a citizen etc etc. Somewhere they lost the context of reality and and do not seem to be in a hurry to find it again.

            • bitohistory says:

              And the MSM will cover the ad, sue, just like they do now. It matters not if they are true or not. Then they will have someone “from each side” sitting in a round table discussing if it is true. As Molly Ivans said “how can it be a balanced report when one of them is deceitful?”

    • AdLib says:

      My thinking is that once we decide on an agenda and prioritize, specific members will have the responsibility of drafting letters and/or letter templates that members can freely adapt on their own to personalize them.

      Other members can assist with providing links and info on how and where we can send our letters, to papers, magazines, our Congresspeople and The President.

      This way we can get out a cohesive message and everyone will have a letter ready to go or ready to be adapted then sent.

      Since we do have the ability to have members here co-sign, we certainly should write a letter to President Obama that is co-signed by all members who wish their name added and names can be added confidentially.

      Thoughts?

      • nellie says:

        That was my thinking as well. And my idea behind the working groups was to always have facts at our fingertips to include in any letter or article that we wrote.

        We can write single letters signed by many, and we can write single, more personal letters from individuals, and give them a wide distribution.

        • PatsyT says:

          How about a really BIG letter
          not 8x10
          but giant size
          poster board or larger
          because this is such a BIG issue.
          With art work perhaps
          and youtube or media coverage.

          Was it someone from Barnum and Baileys Circus that said
          If you can’t do it right ….
          do it BIG.
          and if you can’t do it BIG
          do a lot of it.

          How about all three
          RIGHT
          BIG
          and FREQUENTLY !

    • KevenSeven says:

      Congressional staff and the WH weigh the import of missives from citizens based on how hard the citizen had to work to get it done.

      Calling and e-mailing are pretty weak tea.

      A real letter, without insults or innuendo, proper grammar, nicely typed, makes an impression well over that of a phone call.

      • PatsyT says:

        Letters Yes, Chris Mathews has been saying that for years.
        Letters with email and call back-ups an added +.

      • moongal6 says:

        Kev, you are correct. I was asking my Sec. of State which mode of correspondence got the most attention from politicians, and of course, she said a printed letter. She said those are the ones that get placed on their desks, not the office staff’s.

    • BigDogMom says:

      nellie, love your suggestions and your writing, any help from all who write here would be greatly appreciated by me! :smile:

  10. jan4insight says:

    FWIW -- I was just over at that other site, posting the petition links I found here, and with 21,000+ comments on the SCOTUS coup, I found the discussion to be remarkably troll-free. Go figure.

    In the meantime -- which side are you on


    • SanityNow says:

      21,000 mostly troll free comments? just more proof that the trolls have no interest in true democracy. I am also waiting for the hue and cry from the tea baggers who ought to be howling at the radical judicial legislation handing the same rights of citizens to corporations. Where are they? Nowhere. If Dick Armey didn’t tell them to say it, they don’t say it.

      • PatsyT says:

        I left comments over there about gathering over here
        to organize and get honest info,
        and will do so again.
        Comments left to gather & organize over here
        can be left all over many sites and local papers and even with
        non blogging folks that are enraged about this
        I am finding that is a growing population.
        This is a great place to organize.
        Yipee we still have a Planet
        Lets keep it that way!

      • LABC63 says:

        Exactly! I suppose they haven’t had time to absorb it all -- what, with painting the president’s face joker white or drawing a hitler mustache on him. After all, it was his fault that the SCOTUS did this. Right?

        If these douchebags could connect the dots on this, they would be channeling that anger where it belongs (looking at you two, Mitch McWaddles and Bollywood Boehner). But no, let’s keep focusing on the N_ in the WH, ’cause that’s the real issue.

        • PatsyT says:

          Hey Boehner was sporting an especially dark new man tan.
          What is with that man tan?
          If he keeps this up the baggers will turn on him.

          • kesmarn says:

            Hey, Patsy!
            That new “fundamental basketball” all-white league is not gonna let the Boehner play with ’em if he doesn’t tone it down a bit.

            The other thing that annoys me about him is his “radio announcer” voice. Who talks like that in real life?

            And howdy, to you there too, b’ito.
            (I’ve been saying for a while that with climate change, retiring Ohioans won’t have to move to Florida; Florida is moving to them!)

            • PatsyT says:

              LOL KES all white B-Ball
              That will be HUGE !! not.

              Who talks like that ?
              Rushy Limbo perhaps?

              I grew up in Cleveland
              and I know
              that man sleeps in a
              tan machine
              kinda the opposite of a vampire

            • kesmarn says:

              Boehner’s “on the dark side” in so many even more scary senses of the phrase!

              And--yeah--Patsy, did you see the article here on the Planet on the “All American Basketball Alliance”? It’s hilarious.

          • bitohistory says:

            Climate change in Ohio! It is the new Sunshine State. People flock to Ohio during the winter and play golf now!

            Didn’t you know that? 😉

    • BigDogMom says:

      Jan, my maternal Grandfather and Great Grandfather worked for the coal mines in and around south western Virginia…both died very young.

      Our country seems to forget what the Unions have done for the American worker, now they have become merchants of the devil in some peoples eyes.

      • jan4insight says:

        Unions like everything else can have their problems, but they’ve done a lot give us all a civilized way of life (I’m talking weekends, safety standards, etc.) that so many of the ignorami take for granted.

    • Hopeington says:

      21,000…people must be pissed!
      This just may be too deep for trolls to discuss or they haven’t received their talking points yet,
      Very brave of you to venture over there, I can’t read comments from that site right now, thanks for the report though!

      • jan4insight says:

        I still go there regularly; I have a lots friends on that site who feel like I do and we support each other in combating the AH infection. But she’s been remarkably silent on this issue -- go figure.

        • nellie says:

          This issue cuts both ways. I think that’s why the GOP doesn’t know what to say. What if Apple and Microsoft decide to support a pro-education candidate. Lots of money between those two companies.

          This is a sea change — it’s not good for either party. Why even HAVE political parties. Theres no need for them any more. Not if candidates can just cozy up to the nearest multinational.

          And Keith Olbermann’s death knell for Rush Limbaugh probably has them a little worried.

          • jan4insight says:

            Yeah, Olbermann was in rare form tonight.

            And it’s interesting that you bring up that this “decision” (we gotta find a better word for it) cuts both ways, and effectively could hurt both parties. I’ve been picking up a lot of that sentiment, too.

            Remember right after 9/11 when they said, this changes everything? Well, we’ve got another one of those This Changes Everything moments!

            (no disrespect to 9/11 victims)

  11. BigDogMom says:

    Adlib, my two cents:

    Yes on all counts, but not big on Item #4, very hard to get done.

    Item #1, would like to see major petition drives on progress issues promoted on site, with easy access for members. Right now unless another member mentions the petition with a link, like Graysons, some of us, me, might not be aware of it.

    Item #5, would love help drafting letters to the editors of local papers, my area in CT seems to becoming very conservative and teabaggerish when it comes to the letters to editor section. Help would be much appreciated, from a non writer like me.

  12. PatsyT says:

    Yes- its Get Busy or Get Buried !
    We are lucky to have the Planet so we can speak freely
    This is a great way to organize!
    We must fight becoming slaves to the corporations !

    I am looking forward to a Mighty Battle That We Will Win !!!!


  13. KevenSeven says:

    One thru five, excepting four: yes.

    (Petition drives are a bitch. Very expensive. Re-write that “shall we keep our eyes open for petitions to endorse and promote?”, then yes to all five.)

    What the hell Congress is going to do about this, I don’t know. This requires a constitutional amendment or six.

    “Corporations are not people” would be one.

    “A reasonable amount of campaign finance reform is not in opposition to the first amendment” is another.

    I dare say many more could be offered.

    But a constitutional amendment needs even more consensus in the Senate than did HCR. Why we could assume that we would get 67 senators to cut the balls off of corporations in this climate is beyond me.

    I might humbly suggest that we pull our collective socks the fuck up and win more seats than we lose come November.

  14. jan4insight says:

    Adlib, I know what you mean about getting fired up for action. Better to act than to sit around feeling hopeless while we get flattened by the corporate onslaught. Let me think on it before I comment on your specific proposals. Meanwhile, watch this for inspiration while I go add my name to Alan Grayson’s petition.



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