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Jenny, Kirk & public remembrances

Invited to submit names for the new Willamette River pedestrian/bike/light bridge, 264 people opted for either “bridge” or “the bridge”. I have no idea what to make of that.

339 people nominated “Kirk Reeves” in one form or another (I counted “The Trumpet Bridge” in the tally). Kirk was a bright part of the downtown Portland landscape for many years, and a Facebook page garnered over 1,700 likes. It was a sweet gesture and speaks to the affection Portlanders can have for one another. Despite being the top vote-getter, however, “Kirk Reeves” was never a serious candidate for the bridge’s name; not to be uncaring, but he is not a person of historical significance.

Beatrice Morrow...Read the rest

Still my President

Watching the President’s interview with Chris Matthews this evening made me realize what it is that makes me lose faith in him: listening to or reading the media and the multitude of internet voices. When I hear him speak for himself, I realize why I became a supporter early on and why I still have faith in Barack Obama as my President.

And yes, I know: that sounds sappy and naive. But it’s honest.

I did not support Obama in 2007 because I thought he was another Paul Wellstone or Howard Dean. I understood he was more of a centrist, not quite a progressive in the way that I am. I wasn’t surprised that he didn’t seek to jail the banksters and other...Read the rest

Vermont single-payer: not so fast, kids

A number of folks have been posting various links about Vermont’s single-payer system, and I get the feeling people are under the belief that this is happening now. It’s not. Single-payer won’t start there until 2017, the first year it will be allowed under the ACA. So excitement needs to be tempered: it’s another 3 years until even in Vermont, everybody’s in and nobody’s out.

And whenever people start cheering for single-payer, I want to stop them for a moment and ask them if they understand that SP is not health care but a means to pay for health care. Simply getting rid of the insurance companies doesn’t fix a health care system. You have to have an entire system in place that...Read the rest

"We" were not the only ones attacked on 9/11

The most common thing I hear about 9/11 is that "we" were attacked. The victims of the attack in NYC were from all over the world, and they included undocumented workers — you know: "illegal aliens". People of almost every ethnicity died that day, not to mention many, perhaps, hundreds, gay & lesbian people.

373 non-United States citizens were victims. 12% of the total.

If you are going to say "we" regarding September 11th, remember what that word actually meant — and use it that way every day....Read the rest

Kerry: not a gaffe, and more than luck

A gaffe is "You're likeable enough, Hillary". A dumb statement or comment that makes a politician look bad & needs lots of repair.

Kerry's off-the-cuff remark on Syria was not a gaffe. It was the obvious answer to the question. He basically said, "Duh. Give up the weapons, now." And then he added, sensibly, "But they won't."

That's not a gaffe. It was the right answer, and who the hell would have thought the Russians, who had done nothing but obstruct for over two years, would suddenly get on-board? So effing-what if this opportunity came because of a throwaway comment?

And the only reason we were in a place where Kerry could make that comment (not-a-gaffe) and the Russians had the opportunity to run with it is because the...Read the rest

Turnout matters.

ballot dropbox, pioneer courthouse square. nov 2010Turnout matters. That sounds a bit silly, but following most elections, we rarely hear about turnout. But because those who vote are the ones who decide an election – derp – the side that can get more of its people out to vote, wins.

This is not tautological silliness. This is the essence of winning an election. In 2010, 80,000 voters turned in their ballots in Multnomah County on Election Day, and John Kitzhaber was elected governor. On that same day across the country, state after state saw turnout rates of 30-40% – and Republicans won governorships and legislatures. In 2008 and 2012, voters came out in huge numbers, and Barack Obama...Read the rest

Oregonian Ed Board: Dishonest call for "bipartisanship"

The Oregonian Editorial Board has called for "bipartisanship" regarding the four bills on gun violence that Senate President Peter Courtney has sidelined despite being passed by the Judiciary Committee. The problem appears to be that Democratic Senator Betsy Johnson is siding with the gun lobby, meaning the majority caucus lacks the votes to pass these four bills. No other Democratic opponent to the bills has been identified. Only Johnson stands in the way of these bills.

Demanding "bipartisanship" in this way is idiotic. These bills began as weak efforts against gun violence and have been watered-down even further. The bill to require concealed handgun licence holders to prove they could actually shoot their guns? That provision has been removed. "Bipartisanship" means a CHL is available to almost anyone who...Read the rest

Merkley: More retiring Sens means filibuster reform doable?

Sen Merkley annual Multnomah County Town Hall. Jan 18 2013.DailyKOS reports Sen Jeff Merkley is once again taking up the cause of filibuster reform:

Merkley's plan wouldn't abolish the filibuster, it would make the opposition have to actually work to achieve it by forcing obstructing senators to talk, to stand up on the floor of the Senate and publicly declare and explain their opposition to a bill or nomination.

Merkley attempted to get this reform passed at the beginning of the year, but he was thwarted by...Read the rest

Illegal immigrant: No such critter

Let’s get this part straight: Being in this country without “proper” documents is not illegal. If you want something allegorical, think of someone stopped by the cops with a bag full of twenty-dollar bills — and up the street, a bank has been robbed. That person is not guilty of anything; he can be accused of a crime, but he’s not guilty until he admits it or is convicted in court. He could be innocent, after all; he could have picked up the bag of loot that the actual robber dropped when he heard the police sirens. He could have robbed a different bank. We don’t know, so he’s not guilty.

Had he been caught in mid-robbery, then we could say “He’s a robber” with almost no doubt. And if...Read the rest

Alex Wagner: Time to take off the crazy-person glasses

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Alex nails it....Read the rest

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