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

1 Dem dooms gun bills

portland mayor charlie hales, senator ginnie burdick, portland police chief mike reese
Jenna Passalacqua, David Yuile at Sen Judiciary hearing

Jeff Mapes reports that Sen Betsy Johnson, who has blocked the efforts of her caucus on other occasions, opposes the 4 watered-down gun safety bills previously passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. So despite majority support for these bills in Oregon and across the country, Johnson apparently has sided with the radical gun lobby to prevent expansion of background checks, making concealed handgun licence carriers prove they can actually shoot their gun, and give local school authorities the right to decide if guns are permitted on-campus.

The NRA and Oregon Firearms Federation, both of which are out-of-step with the American public but in-step with the gun manufacturers for whom they shill, claim to be disappointed. From the Oregonian,

May 3: This week in progressive news

Busting a Wesen

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

SB 633: One bill, two views

Check out the two campaign logos above. Both refer to SB 633, which would give final control over what can be planted in Oregon to the Dept of Agriculture (I adamantly oppose this bill). Both groups involved in the campaign to get this through the 2013 Legislature, or not, have adopted the same slogan:

"Protect Oregon's Farmers"

I'm surprised we don't see this duplication of messages more often, but during electoral campaigns, that would be disastrous. One side or the other would have to rejigger their campaign. In this case, the Yes side already has another slogan that is their primary: "Good Neighbor farmers". For the Yes campaign, the "Protect" message is secondary. The "Good Neighbor" message is a bit bizarre — 633 takes decision-making away from farmers, neighbors or otherwise, and gives it to the Dept of Ag in Salem — but at least they have their nice and friendly "Yes" message.

The No campaign is succinct and clear: "STOP SB 633!"

Rick Perry business recruitment

Relaunch & refocus

I started this blog in 2009 after realizing that my name, T.A. Barnhart, had become a brand. Not exactly on a par with "Apple" or "McDonalds" but, within the tiny universe that is Oregon progressive politics, people knew me, knew what I stood for, and knew that I was someone who worked hard for progressive causes. Even when my view of the world or an issue differed from other peoples, my views were respected. Usually. So I started a blog, added a Facebook page, spent the 2011 Legislative session in Salem doing video reports, and generally doing very little to promote and grow this blog.

That changes today. Political writing in Oregon is split between the newspapers, which lack the resources to be more than generalized sources of sensationalized headlines...Read the rest