All posts by Kurlan Naiskos

Cheers for Rep. Mike Honda re: Watada

Here’s why I’m determined to find a candidate to beat Ellen Tauscher (CA-10) in 2008’s primary. His name is Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15). A man that spent his early years in an American Concentration camp, he steps up for Lt. Eheren Watada in a published OP-ED. No weasle words.

Lt. Watada has taken a solemn oath of allegiance as a military officer. With the order to deploy to Iraq, he found himself with a dilemma: Either follow this oath or risk the severe consequences of disobedience. In the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, this young man searched his soul and found himself unable to suppress his conscience and opposition to what he views as an immoral, illegal war.

There’s not much more, but there’s more.

Thanks for following me down. The dead-trees media that published his opinion disagrees with him.

His arguments are appealing, but unconvincing. As an officer, he’s in no position to refuse orders to go to Iraq. His change of mind and claims of conscience don’t excuse him duty.

Some folks have emailed me about how Tauscher isn’t so bad, after all, she’s a Democrat, yada, yada, yada. My point is that her district isn’t as conservative as Mike Honda’s, and Honda speaks out. (San Jose is like the Bay Area’s little slice of Orange county) Not to mention

I voted against giving President Bush the authority to use military force in Iraq, and do not believe his justifications for taking us into war were even minimally adequate. As a duly elected member of Congress, I express my admiration for a young American who, in the same spirit, has heeded his conscience at tremendous risk to livelihood, reputation and personal freedom in order to right what he and the vast majority of his compatriots see as a tremendous wrong.

And the CA-10 deserves a Representative in the US House that will say out loud (or rather, in print)

At best, our president misled the nation on the rationale for going into Iraq. He has embroiled this great country in a cycle of brutality there that has grievously tarnished America’s international reputation, has further destabilized an already precarious Middle East and has taken the lives of more than 3,000 American fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

Follow the links to read the whole story. Anyone living in the CA-10, who do you know that’s electable?
Cross-posted on kos and my blog. See kos for the poll, I want a kinda-real sample

Tauscher meets w/Treasury/OMB. Why?

So, Dear Ellen is “meeting-and-greeting” Administration officials from Treasury and OMB to get her marching orders before some Democratic Party retreat later this month.
“We talked about how we are moderate Democrats, interested in progressive public policies and committed to … widening the winner’s circle,” Tauscher said.
Does anyone know anything more about this? Are any other reps being briefed by the Administration before this retreat?

Pledge now to dump Tausher in the PRIMARY

I started this blog because someone over at kos said they needed one, and literally the day afterward, I read a story in the MSM and started writing an entry for this blog. Before I  published, I had lunch, went back to my desk and, just browsing around I found  3 blogs that said what I would have said, written better and published first. Ooops.

The folks at Ellen Tauscher Weekly keep track of the great work that and Kos post on Dear Ellen every week,  there are regular posts on MyDD, by Chris Bowers, and other places.

The day I started this blog, I emailed Act Blue on what to do about primary elections, and I didn’t even have a candidate to name. Haven’t had an answer yet, and I can see why. Why would people give money to an unknown quantity? I wasn’t going to choose who people were givig their money to, and having Act Blue hold the money in trust for a nameless stranger was not a good idea.

So here’s the deal. I understand the pre-Lieberman campaign took pledges for a candidate to be named later. That’s what I propose now. You email this site, $20, $30, $50 whatever ($1 accepted, as a placeholder) Include your email address, and when we have a candidate or candidates, you look over their positions, weigh their chances, and send in your $ or not. We will help with research on all potential candidates, who are willing to toss their hat in the ring. We post their postions, interviews, YouTube posts, we’ll help everyone. (Not indescriminately, this is my site, but I’ll let any legitimate candidate’s advocates become poster on this site. NO REPUBLICANS AND NO TAUSCHER)

What I’m after, is showing the potential candidate that there is support out their for him/her to make a SERIOUS run against a candidate that can raise $1M for a primary, and doesn’t have to spend bupkus against a Republican. (the Republicans don’t eat their own, they know Dear Ellen is a fellow traveler. Lord, I wish the Dem’s would learn that. (HEY! PROGRESSIVES ARE DEMOCRATS! HELLOO….) There are good potential folks on the back bench who are looking at state offices, city offices, dog cacher because money is the deal killer and they don’t know any millionaires.

You pledge your $, as little or as big as you can afford. Anyone who steps up to mount a primary challenge, we post what they say and what we find. We’ll have help in the later, because Dear Ellen will have $1M to spend on oppo research, and you can just open up the Contra Costa Times to see all tha bad stuff about anyone who dares speak out agianst Dear Ellen. You’ll get email from all the declared primary challengers, and anytime between filling day and the primary, you can redeem your pledge. I would be surprised if, between now and the primary, there wasn’t a candidate not worth supporting. If you find more than one, feel free to redeem your pledge more than once. Or redeem your pledge more than once to the same candidate.

My point is to start building a war chest. The total will appear here, in 6 months, 3 months after that, and  more often if needed to convince the good candidates that they will have support for the primary, support for the general. Too many good legislators are kept out of office because the grind of raisng money is a daunting and dispiriting task. For an incumbent, who can provide that all valuted “access” if not a quid pro quo, money is much less of a problem.

If we can show a candidate who has a progresive record, that they have as little as $100k before they even file, and a fundraising op behind them, if they decide to take on a conservatve entrenched career politician, I think we can have our pick of a field of 2 or 3 prime candidates. (If we find three progressive candidates, there are state seats, commissions, county seats, city seats, we can start packing the back bench up BIG TIME)

Are you represented by a blue dog? and what to do if…

here are 37 Blue Dog  or “moderate” Democrats in the 110th Congress. That’s using the projected 229 official Dems, 2 Independents caucusing with us. If the current totals hold, (c’mon Christine Jennings!) that’s still 16%(see the list at… )

That seems like a lot, to me. Sixteen percent “moderate” Democrats. Sixteen percent having special little “meetings” with the President. http://www.firedogla… Some of that 16% voting for torture in our name. http://www.dailykos…. Some doing the Family Research Council’s bidding on issues like marriage “protection”, eliminating abortion on military bases, and embryonic stem cell research.…

Sixteen percent. Well, we can afford it. After all, we’re in the majority, and we can count on “moderate” Republicans voting for common sense issues, rather than picking away at our 16% just for political points. We have moderates, and they have moderates, right? Right?

Well maybe not so much, according to the Washington Post. The 110th Congress isn’t going to have as large percentage of “moderate” Republicans in their caucus as they had in the 109th.

With the defeat of Leach and several other Republican moderates Nov. 7, the Democrats’ victory in the midterm election accelerates a three-decade-old pattern of declining moderate influence and rising conservative dominance in the Republican Party. By one measure, the GOP is more ideologically homogenous now than it has been in modern history. The waning moderate wing must find its place when the Democratic majority takes over in January.

In fact, the Post says the Republicans “moderates” will account for “well under 10%” (of the Republican caucus) http://www.washingto…
And I don’t have to remind anyone here that a “moderate” Democrat is a LOT farther to the Right than a “Moderate” Republican is to the center. In fact, a “moderate” Democrat today probably votes closer to a middle of the road Republican thirty years ago, and a “moderate” Republican today would look like a Goldwater Republican then.

So, what to do? Where to start? Start here:
Start organizing for 2008. Some guy named Stu quoted Chris Bowers:

“I want 80 serious challenges to GOP House incumbents every two years and a Democratic name on the ballot in all 435 districts,” he demands. “I have had enough of just targeting the twenty or so top races – let’s engage in a full-frontal assault. … The first step is to identify eighty Republicans against who we could mount a serious challenge.”

http://www.dailykos…. I say, let’s get our percentage of “moderates” down to where the R’s have theirs. Ten percent of our 229 Dems is 23. Figure we’ll need 20% more serious challengers, since incumbants are entrenched, to win the 14 primaries we’re targeting. That means, to paraphrase Chris, I want 17 serious primary challenges to the Blue Dog Dems, and a Progressive Democratic name in every Democratic primary with a “moderate” Democratic incumbent for the 2008 election cycle. I’ve picked mine: http://dumptauscher….

Look for a candidate. Jerry McNerney was asked to run by his son. http://www.jerrymcne… Who do you know? Who’s on the back bench of your local politics. Your state representative, town councilman, mayor, alderman (sp?). Here in California, we have term limits, so a lot of our state pols are looking for jobs in ’08. How do you qualify a candidate? See the next two steps.

“It’s STILL the economy, stupid” How’s the economy where you are? How’s your potential candidate’s record on small business? Did they vote a big tax break or other incentive so Wall Mart could move into your town? Build any stadiums for multimillionaire sports franchises? What was their reaction when jobs in your neighborhood were outsourced. (see the P.S. below on other Congress-critters that may need replacing.)

Don’cha know there’s a war on? I’ll bet a pizza and beer with the first five people that email me that the war in Iraq is still a campaign issue in 2008. There are quite a few cities and towns that have had symbolic votes for peace. Also, there are more vets coming home every day. We saw in the last election that returning vets can run and win as Democrats, the DCCC’s Duckworth notwithstanding. ($3 million! Oy, vey!)

Why am I suggesting this, since the “moderate” Democrats are in place for the next two years, anyway? I’m glad you asked. Just because the election is over doesn’t mean we can be passive and quiet.

We need to make some noise. Let your blue dog know they’re being watched. An old dog CAN learn new tricks, and as Governor William J. LePetomane (Mel Brooks) said, “We’ve gotta protect our phoney baloney jobs, gentlemen!”… My little blog is less than 2 weeks old, and I’ve already gotten some email that looks like it came from  sources closer to Tauscher than the average constituent. And I just started publicising my blog yesterday! Hmmm…

P.S. There are non-Blue Dogs who actively acted against the poor and middle class, too. That means any Democrat that voted for the bankrupcy bill. (73 names, feel free to find primary candidates for ALL of them, lited here: http://www.commondre… ) Then there’s NAFTA, CAFTA, any “free” trade bill as opposed to a “fair” trade bill. Keep an eye on the upcoming minimum wage bill in Pelosi’s first 100 hours. If she doesn’t get every Democratic vote, you’ve found a blue dog.

Cross posted at Kos and MyDD

Why Tauscher must go, and we’re starting now…

According to the New York Times:

Representative Ellen O. Tauscher of California, a co-chairwoman of the 47-member New Democrat Coalition, said that 27 of the top 40 contested House seats were being pursued by Democrats who have pledged to become members of the group, which says its chief issues are national security and fiscal responsibility.

“I think there’s tremendous agreement and awareness that getting the majority and running over the left cliff is what our Republican opponents would dearly love,” Ms. Tauscher said, adding that this was something “we’ve got to fight.”

juls at Calitics notes that Ellen and the  Blue Dogs went off to see the Wizard http://www.calitics….

and even though Dear Ellen says: “We are fully committed members of the Democratic Party and we are foursquare with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. There is no sunshine between us.” juls is correct in concluding:

There you have it folks.  Tauscher wants to take this meeting seriously.  She wants it to be a regular occurrence.  Rather than having the President go directly to the Democratic leadership, she finds value in this sub group meeting with Bush.  The only value is to split our caucus.

Tauscher needs to go.

Chris Bowers said it best over at MyDD:

Here is why I will continue to fgiht: because as long as Ellen Tauscher and her ilk are running the Democratic Party, the conservative movement will continue to rise. Ellen Tauscher can’t beat the conservative movement. She and her friends showed us this time and time again from 1978-2004 just how utterly ineffective they are at doing anything except ushering in a new era of Republican dominance. As long as they are in leadership positions of the Democratic Party, the only avenue available to stop the conservative movement on the electoral front, this country that I love so dearly will continue on a long, downward spiral. Both defeating Republicans and wiping their Democratic enablers out of power is the only way to save my country.

Ellen Tauscher, just so you know, when you have a surprisingly strong and well funded primary challenger with tons of volunteers and lots of support in the progressive media come out of seemingly nowhere in 2008, just look over the cliff to see where that challenger is coming from. At the bottom, you will see me standing there, with hundreds and thousand of my friends and colleagues. We will be in the process of forming a human ladder for your challenger to use to climb up the cliff. When s/he reaches the top, don’t be surprised if more than a few of us come along, and suddenly you find yourself outnumbered, even as you stand next to your twenty-seven new friends. And then we will see who gets run over the cliff next.

Read the whole thing at…

Chris was right in October. Dear Ellen raised almost $1M, in a fight against an opponent spending almost $4000 (no kidding $4000) http://www.opensecre… . That means that, just in terms of finances, we need to start NOW.

Does anyone know if you can start an Act Blue page for a candidate to be named later? Chris, this first step is for you: http://dumptauscher….