Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tim Walz to be on Air America 10/13 at 12:30pm EST

Three weeks ago, we listed Tim Walz as one of Four Progressive Candidates We Love.

Walz will be interviewed on Air America tomorrow, Friday October 13, at 12:30pm EST. He'll be talking about his campaign to for the MN-01 Congressional seat against Gil Gutknecht. Gutknecht is the clown who until July was a staunch supporter of Bush's War in Iraq. That was, of course, until he actually took a visit and realized Baghdad is a "serious problem" and "worse today than it was three years ago." Gutknecht also realized that "All of the information we receive sometimes from the Pentagon and the State Department isn’t always true."

You think so, Gil?

Britain, Baker Now Saying We Can't Win In Iraq

"The head of the Army is calling for British troops to withdraw from Iraq "soon" or risk catastophic consequences for both Iraq and British society. "

Perhaps just as devastingly, former secretary of state James Baker's commission formed to assess the Iraq war "has ruled out the prospect of victory for America."

If our only substantial ally in Iraq thinks we can't win in Iraq, and the Bush family's biggest friend James Baker says we can't win in Iraq, then what the hell are we still doing over there?

And a further question: Are both James Baker and the head of the British army providing aid and comfort to the terrorists?

An Opportunity For Dems in TN-07

Democrat Bill Morrison is running an outstanding campaign in an attempt to defeat the "odious" Marsha Blackburn. Here's a great breakdown of the race from the Daily Kos.

"A recent poll conducted by Penn, Schoen, and Berland Accosicate has revealed unprecedented opportunity in Tennessee's 7th Congressional District. PSB conducted 329 pone interviews of TN-7 likely voters. In Shelby County, when told that Bill was a resident, the numbers become 43% Morrison / 42% Blackburn. District wide, given a sample and direct positive message about Bill Morrison, the numbers shift dramatically to 45 Morrison / 38 Blackburn. Given a factual record of Blackburn campaign contributions and votes the poll shifts to 52 Morrison / 33 Blackburn."

Blackburn is truly awful, and Morrison can beat her if he gets some support. Donate to Morrison at ActBlue. Are you registered to vote?

Alternative Energy News - October 12, 2006

  • On Sunday, Arizona gas stations officially switch to a new type of diesel fuel with 97 percent less sulfur than the old blend. The new fuel will be coupled with sophisticated tailpipe filters required of all large trucks model year 2007 and beyond. The combination of cleaner fuel and filters, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will reduce air pollution from large diesel trucks by 90 percent.
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Co, has signed a deal with Environmental Power Corp.’s Microgy Inc. subsidiary to buy up to 8,000 cubic feet of pipeline quality renewable natural gas from cow waste in California.
  • Canada's Ontario province has ordered local utility companies to pay homeowners or businesses for any electricity they generate from small solar, wind, water or other renewable energy projects, beginning next month.
  • Nearly $17.5 million in funding was announced by USDA Secretary Mike Johanns and U.S. (DOE) Secretary Samuel Bodman yesterday for 17 projects in research, development and demonstration that show collaboration among experts in the field of biomass.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Coker's Got Some Serious Problems - With Ethics and With Ford

In this morning's Memphis Commercial Appeal, there are not one, but two articles detailing unethical deeds by Republican Tennessee Senate candidate Bob Corker when he was mayor of Chattanooga.

From the first article: "As a private investor, Bob Corker lost more than $1 million in a speculative Internet venture he shared with Delta Capital Management, a Memphis investment firm. Undeterred, Corker courted Delta when he became this city's mayor, opening a door that allowed the firm to get $1 million in Chattanooga city employee pension funds in 2004 to invest in startup companies. "

From the second article: "Chattanooga's mayor may not have been all that blind, record show. Corker met often with employees from his private companies while mayor from 2001 to 2005, and he shared business tips with others. Corker also got help organizing his 2001 mayoral campaign from City Hall, where a government secretary passed on voting lists and set up meetings for the millionaire commercial real estate developer."

And these aren't even the first articles that the Commercial Appeal has written documenting Corker's legal and ethical issues. On the heels of polls showing Ford up 5-10%, and with Ford clearly dominating the debates, these new revelations could be just enough to knock Corker out.

All good news, but are you registered to vote?

Not Going Anywhere For Awhile?

According to Army chief of staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, neither is the U.S. Army. Schoomaker says we're going to have troops in Iraq through 2010.

So, we've got 141,000 troops in Iraq, including 120,000 Army soldiers. The Pentagon has had to extend the Iraq deployments of two brigades in order to try and maintain security in Baghdad.
We're having to rely on the National Guard and Reserves just to maintain the current level of deployments. The U.S. military death toll in Iraq has risen to at least 2,750 since the war’s start in March 2003. And Schoomaker says the Army will need $138.8 billion in 2008, nearly $40 billion more than its planned expenditures for the 2007 budget year, which began Oct. 1.

All this for what again?

Alternative Energy News - October 11, 2006

  • Wisconsin Public Power Inc., an energy company that supplies power to 44 municipalities, has agreed to buy 50 megawatts of power from a 7,000 acre wind farm being developed in Iowa.
  • The switch-over to new ultra-clean diesel fuel is going smoothly and supplies should be readily available at retail pumps when the rules take effect on Sunday, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
  • Riverwalk Properties, LLC has chosen to install one of the largest solar electric power systems in New England in Lawrence, MA with a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Angry Progressives Initiative - Book and Movie Recommendations

We're starting a new initiative here at Angry Progressives. From time to time, we'll recommend a book or movie. They won't necessarily be 100% political, but each work will certainly have a political and progressive slant to it.

Our first Angry Progressives Recommendation is "War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning," by Chris Hedges.

Here's the Publishers Weekly editorial review:

"The communal march against an enemy generates a warm, unfamiliar bond with our neighbors, our community, our nation, wiping out unsettling undercurrents of alienation and dislocation," writes Chris Hedges, a foreign correspondent for the New York Times. In War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Hedges draws on his experiences covering conflicts in Bosnia, El Salvador and Israel as well as works of literature from the Iliad to Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism to look at what makes war so intoxicating for soldiers, politicians and ordinary citizens. He discusses outbreaks of nationalism, the wartime silencing of intellectuals and artists, the ways in which even a supposedly skeptical press glorifies the battlefield and other universal features of war, arguing not for pacifism but for responsibility and humility on the part of those who wage war."

It's a book that is of course relevant today, but Hedges shows that it's not just America, and it's not just in the post 9/11 world, that war is used by people and government to "give us meaning." It's an outstanding work, and we're proud to recommend it.

Please feel free to submit comments about this book or any other book or movie you'd like to see highlighted.

DSCC Up With New Ad For James Webb

The DSCC is spending just under $1 million for this ad in Virginia, which is just a brutal 30-seconds for George Allen. As the ad highlights, not only is Allen a corrupt racist, he's also got a poor record when it comes to supporting the troops and supporting the American middle class.

James Webb is running neck-and-neck with Senator Macaca, and he could use your help in the final stretch of the campaign.

Ford Up By Seven Points In Latest Poll, Endorsed By Chattanooga Police

Courtesy of Daily Kos. It's important to note that Ford has climbed over the all-important 50% mark in this poll. He's clearly got a ton of momentum, as evidenced by his endorsement from the Chattanooga Police Department’s International Brotherhood of Police Officers. (Note: Chattanooga is Corker's hometown).

We anticipate Ford will follow up Saturday night's win in the first debate with another strong performance tonight in Chattanooga. We'll have an update on that debate tomorrow.

Alternative Energy News - October 10, 2006

  • The $25 million Orchard Garden Hotel will become California's first green hotel when it opens later this month. Courtesy of
  • San Jose, CA mayoral candidate Cindy Chavez released her environmental priorities at a news conference Monday. Topping the list was the formation of a special committee focused on environmental goals, including buying more clean-energy cars and planting 18,000 new trees. Interesting, Chavez nor her opponent, Chuck Reed, has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, which considers both equally earth-friendly.
  • DaimlerChrysler will expand its promotion of clean, renewable biofuels by delivering each new 2007 Dodge Ram diesel pickup truck to owners running on biodiesel fuel.

Tim Russert Gets DeWine to Reveal the Real Reason We're In Iraq!

One of the advantages of complete dependency on XM radio for news is the replay of all the Sunday news shows. I've listened carefully to each of Meet The Press' Senate Debate Series. Two weeks ago was the Ohio debate between DeWine (R) and Brown (D), and this week Russert had McCaskill (D) and Talent (R) from Missouri. I have a few observations:
  • "we are not in Iraq primarily for the Iraqis, we're there for us." -- Mike Dewine. Really? This seems to go against that whole liberation and freedom thing.
  • Dewine ripped Brown for voting against the Patriot Act. In my mind: Point, Brown.
  • Brown pointed out that Dewine sits on the intelligence committee. In my mind: Point, Brown.
  • When challenged on his voting with the President 94% of the time, Talent challenged the logic by saying something like, "the President agreed with me, not the other way around." In my mind: Whatever, buddy.
  • In clarifying the positive consequences of our Iraq policy, Talent pointed out that at least Iraq isn't competing with Iran to train and fund terrorists. In my mind: Doesn't that mean Iraq is cooperating with Iran? Or even if it doesn't, isn't that the reality? Yes, it is. So what's his point? I don't know.
  • Dems from all around should look to McCaskill for how to answer questions about abortion, assuming of course that they agree with her position.
  • Dems shouldn't refer to Iraq as "lost" as McCaskill did. I'm not saying we won, I'm not saying we're going to win. I'm just saying we should avoid saying we lost. Avoid the win-lose comparison and instead use right vs. wrong. Don't avoid reality, just choose a different word. --Jay B.

Curt Weldon Is Calling All Democrats to Act Now!

My Republican friend (singular) recently received his 4th direct mail piece from Curt Weldon (PA-7). The GOP, as has been widely reported, clearly has their voter targeting machine in full force. Weldon's opponent, Joe Sestak, is more than holding his own.

After 2000, 2002 and 2004 I'm resisting the temptation to be overly hopeful about a Democratic tidal wave of sorts -- even in light of recent salacious bombshells. The reality is that, given the current climate, comparisons to the last 3 elections are pretty much useless. But the other reality is that the R's are going to pool their resources in the specific seats they know they can possibly hold and try to keep a slight edge. It's beyond possible that the GOP holds on by a seat in each chamber. That would, in my humble opinion, SUCK BIG TIME.

So this is a call to action, for me more than anyone who might be reading this. I'm going to call Sestak's people and volunteer all my time on October 21 and on Election Day. Anyone in the region that wants to join me, let me know. Let's get out there and make this optimism a reality!
--Jay B.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Are People Finally Catching On?

Democrats now have a 23-point lead in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup poll.

"Four weeks before congressional elections, a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows Democrats hold a 23-point lead over GOP candidates. That's double the lead Republicans had a month before they seized control of Congress in 1994. President Bush's approval rating was 37%, down from 44% in a Sept. 15-17 poll. The approval rating for Congress was 24%, down 5 points from last month. The plummeting GOP ratings in the poll of 1,007 adults, taken Friday through Sunday, come after a series of dismal developments for the party. They include high levels of violence in Iraq; a National Intelligence Estimate that contradicted upbeat administration statements on Iraq; a new Bob Woodward book about internal White House disagreements over Iraq policy, and the Sept. 29 resignation of GOP Rep. Mark Foley hours after reports that he exchanged sexually explicit instant messages with teenage House pages. Democratic strategist Anita Dunn called the Foley scandal "the absolute crystallization for people of everything they dislike about Washington and the congressional Republicans."

W and Denny Coming to Chicago

On Thursday (October 12th) George W. Bush and Denny Hastert are holding a $1000/plate fundraiser for Peter Roskam and Dave McSweeney at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago.

Roskam is the clown who said that Tammy Duckworth, his Fighting Dem opponent for the open seat in IL's 6th Congressional Disctrict, wants to "cut and run" in Iraq. Problem is, Tammy lost her legs when she was shot while piloting a helicopter in Iraq. Typical Republican. Denigrating those who have actually served while offering nothing other than slogans. Tammy is leading in the polls, but could use volunteers.

McSweeney is running against Melissa Bean, the Democratic incumbent in IL's 8th Congressional District.

Associating themselves with, and taking money from, W and Disgraced Denny shows you the depths to which Roskam and McSweeney are stooping.

Alternative Energy News - October 9, 2006

  • The city of Oneonta, NY has switched most of its diesel fleet—including 14 transit buses and nearly all of the fire department’s trucks and ambulances to B20 biodiesel.
  • New York State is offering incentives for people to make environmentally friendly changes to their homes as part of the agency's New York Energy Smart PV Incentive Program.
  • Richard Pombo , the Republican representative from CA's 11th District, is not only one of the most corrupt members of Congress, he's also an anti-environmental wingnut. Jerry McNerney is a progressive Democrat running an excellent race against Pombo, and has made a career in the wind energy industry. As MyDD points out, he's very much within striking distance.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ford-Coker Debate #1: Ford Shines, Coker Lies

By all accounts, Harold Ford Jr. clearly won last night's first debate in the TN-Senate contest. As the Ford Report documents, Corker was not only unable to keep up with Ford on the issues, he was also unable to keep up with what he himself has said in the past.

An example:

In last night's debate, Corker said that he's never said stay the course in Iraq -

“All three candidates opposed setting a deadline for the United States to withdraw from Iraq. ‘I support what we're trying to do as a country ... I think we should stay the course,’ Corker said.” -- 7/16/2006 AP

I think we do need to stay the course. I think we need to look at victory there as modest. I think having a government set up that is democratic and people [need to be] in place that are able to, again, securetheir citizens. The people of Iraq did not ask for us to be there.” -- 9/13/2005 Smithville- Middle Tennessee Times

"And I think we should stay the course. I think to go back and argue about what we found when we got there, what we didn’t find, has totally, has no business in what, in our dialogue today. Our dialog today should be about making sure that we do the things that we need to do in Iraq, so thatthey can in fact be a democracy.” -- 7/16/2006 WREG Memphis debate

Corker is not only a liar, but he's also corrupt, he's incompetent, and even though he's in bed with Bush, he thinks the President is a lame duck and the next two years are irrelevant.

PA-08: Republicans Trying to Swift Boat Another Democratic Vet

Courtesy of Daily Kos:

"Why do Republicans who never served feel compelled to attack Democrats who have? Desparation is part of it, at least in this case. Fitzpatrick is just another GOP freshman on the verge of losing his job. It shouldn't come as a surprise that he'd resort to the Bush/Cheney/Rove tactic of using surrogates to smear the integrity and service of his opponent. He's just another chickenhawk. "