Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hear the U.S. Senate Candidates debate now

Ok, it's not a debate. But neither are most of the Presidential "debates". Ford Bell, Amy Klobuchar and Patty Wetterling discussed the issues at a candidate's forum on Sunday and "Inside Minnesota Politics with Peter Idusogie" has audio of the entire event available on the web right now.

If you don't want to listen to the whole debate, there's a highlights and analysis version. You can also listen to just one issue or just one candidate. It's a "multi-podcast".

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bush using Katrina to advance extreme agenda

When 9/11 hit, President Bush put into place some of the most draconian limits on civil liberties since the McCarthy era. The so-called "Patriot Act" passed in the middle of the night with virtually no member of congress reading the entire act. This legislation advanced many right-wing goals of restraining "objectionable" speech, and cloaking the government in secrecy.

Now, President Bush has opportunistically seized upon another disaster and wants to use it to advance another right-wing goal: making government so small you can "drown it in a bathtub".

The President has said it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild New Orleans. To pay for those costs, Bush will seek cuts in current government programs. As long as we're in Iraq, our military budget really can't be cut. As long as we have a huge deficit, we can't cut out our interest payments. Those two items take up the majority of the budget.

So where will the cuts come from? Most likely from the "new deal" programs that Bush has tried to turn into the "raw deal" in the past such as social security. This is going to be another attempt to continue to give tax cuts to the rich at the expense of cutting services for the poor, sick and old people in our country.

Don't let the President get away with "framing the issue" this way. When disaster strikes, we all have to help. The richest in our society pay less of their income in taxes than any other group. Yet they benefit the most from the infrastructure and protection those taxes buy. Let your Senator and Representative know that it's time for everyone to dig into their wallet and pay their fair share.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Howard Dean's Verdict On John Roberts

Can be found here.
While the hearings will continue, Dean writes that he has seen enough.
"He has been a polished performer, but in failing to present clear answers to straightforward questions, Roberts missed a crucial opportunity to answer legitimate concerns about his record and show compassion for those who have been excluded from the American Dream. The consistent mark of Roberts' career is a lack of commitment to making the Constitution's promise of equal protection a reality for all Americans, particularly the most vulnerable in our society."
Dean goes on to say that John Roberts may have a sharp legal mind, but his record shows that he lacks a sense of justice.
"He has consistently joined the radical right in seeking to weaken voting rights protections, in essence attacking the rights of black and Hispanic voters to cast their ballot without paying poll taxes or being subjected to intimidation or gerrymandering. He fought against protecting all Americans from workplace discrimination. Most worrisome, he refused to answer questions on his limited view of the right to personal privacy that most Americans take for granted."
There is no question that if Roberts is approved, the Supreme Court will lurch to the right. The question is, does the Democratic Party have the stomach to strongly oppose Robert's approval... even if it would require a filibuster? It appears the Party Chair has the guts, but do our Senators?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Katrina's Political Wake

Peter Idusogie sizes up how the DFL U.S. Senate Candidates are running against President Bush and not each other.

Chris Coleman showed that can be a successful strategy this week. If it works in St. Paul, why not all of Minnesota?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Kelly feels the wrath of his Bush endorsement

With 100% of the vote counted, Chris Coleman has nearly a two-to-one lead over incumbent St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly. It's pretty obvious that Democrats are not forgiving of Kelly's endorsement of Bush for President.

John Kerry's endorsement served to remind voters of Kelly's betrayal of the party.

While Coleman probably won't see a two-to-one margin of victory in the general election, Kelly will need to either declare himself a Republican or apologize for his Bush endorsement to stand a chance of beating Coleman. Voters don't like a candidate who pretends to be in one party, and then works for the other.

Now if we can only get Minnesota voters to come to that same conclusion about a former DFL St. Paul Mayor who busy doing what ever Carl Rove and the Bush administration ask of him in the U.S. Senate.

Bush Tip Toes To Edge Of Admitting Mistake

This is the closest President Bush has come to saying "I made a mistake" in his entire Presidency. This is a transcript of President Bush this morning from the White House
Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government. And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong. I want to know how to better cooperate with state and local government, to be able to answer that very question that you asked: Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack or another severe storm. And that's a very important question. And it's in our national interest that we find out exactly what went on and -- so that we can better respond.

One thing for certain; having been down there three times and have seen how hard people are working, I'm not going to defend the process going in, but I am going to defend the people who are on the front line of saving lives. Those Coast Guard kids pulling people out of the -- out of the floods are -- did heroic work. The first responders on the ground, whether they be state folks or local folks, did everything they could. There's a lot of people that are -- have done a lot of hard work to save lives.

And so I want to know what went right and what went wrong to address those. But I also want people in America to understand how hard people are working to save lives down there in not only New Orleans, but surrounding parishes and along the Gulf Coast.
What's sad is it took a disaster of this proportion for the President to tip toe to the edge of saying "I made a mistake". Taking responsibility is a good first step, but its the first step on the journey of a thousand miles for this administration.

If you watch and listen to this video at about 19:30, you'll hear how difficult it was for the President to say "I take responsibility".

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Kerry Backing Coleman For St. Paul Mayor

While it should come as no shock to Randy Kelly, his endorsement of George Bush is coming back to haunt him. While John Kerry may have lost the Presidential election, he carried St. Paul by a landslide. Today, Kerry is emailing Democrats in Minnesota soliciting support and donations for Kelly's main challenger -- Chris Coleman.

Primary is on September 13th.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Seeing Green

The Green Party candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis shook things up last week when she scolded the two better known candidates at a debate. Now Farheen Hakeem says she has the votes to win in the September 13th Primary.

Inside Minnesota Politics with Peter Idusogie has the exclusive interview.