Archive for July, 2009

Battle in Seattle Thursday at 7pm

I’m back from a much-needed vacation.

There’s an event coming up Thursday that I want to make sure you’re aware of:

Event Name: Battle in Seattle
Event Date: Jul 30, 2009
Event Time: 7:00 PM CDT (8:00 PM EDT)
Venue Name: Lubbock County Democratic Party HQ
Address: 2809A 74th St
City: Lubbock
State: TX
Zip Code: 79423
Phone: 8067498683

On Thursday (7/30) at 7pm Lubbock Democracy for America will show the 2007 movie “Battle in Seattle” at LCDP Headquarters (2809A 74th St, behind Furr’s and the Science Spectrum). It’s a docudrama, starring Woody Harrelson, about the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle.

As usual, the film is free, we will provide refreshments, and a discussion will follow the film.

Full event details and RSVP are at the Lubbock DFA site.

I haven’t seen this one, so I’m especially excited about it. Hope to see you there!

Twitter Time

These days, everyone’s got a Twitter account. So, in the finest tradition of bandwagon jumpers, I am jumping on the bandwagon:

What good is it? Sometimes, I have an idea that’s just too brief to make a good blog post. To the twitter it goes! will also be handy for posting links to news articles and other blogs that I believe are important but would bog down the blog here. Lastly, I will use it to announce new blog posts.

There are many other twitter accounts that I enjoy keeping up with. Here are a few: — The official twitter of the Lubbock County Democratic Party. It’s very handy for keeping up with events put on by the local Party. — Stephen Colbert. Funny stuff; nuff said. — Barack Obama’s twitter. 1.7 million followers and counting.

If there’s a favorite twitter account you follow and think other might find useful, feel free to mention it in the comments.

GOP Syndrome

I think I’ve figured it out. The corpus of the modern GOP must be suffering from Korsakoff’s Syndrome.

There are six major symptoms of Korsakoff’s syndrome:

1. anterograde amnesia and
2. retrograde amnesia, severe memory loss
3. confabulation, that is, invented memories which are then taken as true due to gaps in memory sometimes associated with blackouts
4. meager content in conversation
5. lack of insight
6. apathy - the patients lose interest in things quickly and generally appear indifferent to change.

Let’s do this one in pictures:


invented memories, memory gaps


meager content in conversation

lack of insight

apathy, indifference to change

Tragic, isn’t it?

No Reform for Young Republicans

Watching the GOP try to deal with issues of race is like watching a football coach and a calculus professor trade places. GOP clumsiness with race is apparent from the Sotomayor hearings, but the problem is endemic even down to the Young Republican level:



The above Facebook comments did not prevent 38-year-old (!!) Audra Shay from being elected the next Chair of the Young Republicans over the weekend. At least it was a contentious Young Republicans convention by many accounts.

If you can believe it, Meghan McCain even had some strong words about the Audra Shay election.

slide_1398_20072_largeI believe that today’s GOP has a serious problem on its hands: what to do with the racist/bigot wing of the Party? The Democrats had this problem in the 1960s, and the solution was that (most of) the bigots left and became Republicans. (They can stay there as far as I’m concerned.) Most Republicans are not racists, but it’s clear to me that tolerating those who are intolerant is a problem at all levels of the GOP, from activists to lobbyists to syndicated radio hosts to Party leaders (who are also occasionally syndicated radio talk show hosts).

Apparently the next generation of GOP leaders is not ready to ditch appeals to racism and bigotry.

Superheroes for Mayor!

This year’s New Organizing Institute summer camp is running a mock campaign for Washington, D.C. Mayor. Check out these amazing candidate websites:

You can vote for your favorite superhero before 5pm today. (Sorry about the short notice; it couldn’t be helped due to the blog downtime.)

I am an alumnus of the 2007 NOI summer training (we ran Simpsons characters for President), and it was one of the most memorable weeks of my life. Organizing as a discipline has come a very long way in a very short time, mostly due to the onslaught of new technologies available. But — like Superhero stories — some organizing ideas are timeless. NOI does an excellent job of training in terms of both the classic ideas and the newest tools.

This and That

Well, the A-J blog relocation seems to have gone well. Thanks to all the LubbockOnline staff for providing a swell home on the internet.

Unfortunately, the move meant that Lubbock Left posting and commenting went away for a few days. Oh well.

So, what did I miss? For starters, Alberto “I cannot recall” Gonzales got a six-figure/one-class professor gig at Texas Tech this Fall, earning Lubbock another black eye in the national scene. I expect that the Hancellor will be offering Karl Rove a million-dollar janitorial position next.

On the international scene, President Obama is keeping us out of a new cold war and putting us on a path toward nuclear disarmament as he promised. Thank goodness that the unipolar worldview of American Exceptionalism is no longer dominating our foreign policy.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the City of Lubbock has been busy banning balloon releases and cutting the budget of our Health Department. (And guess which one of those two topics the talk radio guys have been fixating on? This is why Lubbock needs more bloggers.)

What else is new? Leave a comment with the news you wish you could have discussed over the past few days and let’s have a go at it.

Tomorrow: superheroes!

You Can Call Him Senator

al-franken-signLooks like this is the week! After fending off a long and mostly pointless legal challenge, Al Franken will be sworn in this week as the junior Senator from Minnesota.

(A quick word for all the right-wing conspiracy theorists out there: you look like fools when you claim that Franken “stole the election.” Minnesota has quite possibly the most populist, transparent, and deliberate election laws of any state in the USA. Florida it ain’t. The process has been out there for all to see.)

The question now is: so what? Will the 60-Senator Democratic “supermajority” (58 plus 2 independents, and I trust Joe Lieberman about as far as I can throw him) be willing and able to get legislation going that the American people demand? For example, 75% of Americans want a public option for health insurance — what is the holdup?! Republicans were able to ram their agenda down our throats with only 50 votes in the Senate, but thanks to the lukewarm leadership of Reid, the Democrats need 60 votes. Now we’ve got them. No more excuses.

For those of us in the progressive base of the Democratic Party, it’s time to do some arm-twisting of on-the-fence legislators. Getting their Party’s elected officials to pay attention and act according to their wishes is something that the far right base of the Republican Party is quite good at. It wouldn’t hurt progressives to flex political muscles in a similar way when it comes to our elected officials, especially Senators.

Toward that end, I believe that will be pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of Senator Al Franken. He can hold his own against anyone in a debate, and he’s actually a policy wonk. Even though he is the “juniorest” of Senators, I predict that he will take on a leadership role early on.

He’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and doggone it: the people elected him.

Happy 4th!

Happy Independence Day!

I’m about to head on down to the 4th on Broadway celebration, which is always a good time. Maybe I’ll run into some of my readers there.

Briefly, I want to talk about my idea of American patriotism. I believe that our strength as Americans comes from diversity: not just diversity among our physical appearances or cultural norms, but among our ideas. This strength is more-or-less unique in the world (it’s catching on, though!), and it represents the only facet of so-called “American Exceptionalism” that I can support.

American patriotism is more than fireworks and flagpins. American patriotism involves celebrating both our differences and our things-in-common.

Be safe and have a happy 4th!

Sarah Palin Resigns

Apparently Sarah Palin just announced her resignation as Governor of Alaska. (CNN coverage)

Is she gearing up for 2012 Presidential run, getting out ahead of some unknown scandal, or something else entirely?


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