Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thank you, Bill Nelson! A vote for the public option

This was in the Senate Finance Committee today, but alas, not enough to get it through. The session is not finished, but it doesn’t look good for the public option. The vote was 13-10 against an amendment by Chuck Schumer. Bill Nelson, never having spoken for the public option, voted yes and was on the losing side, while two key senators did not vote for the public option –Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, and Olympia Snowe, Republican of Maine.

They already are targets of campaigns to put pressure on them. Check it out at Democracy for America and Act Blue.

Earlier today the Miami Herald had a story from Washington correspondent Lesley Clark quoting, among others, my fellow blogger Dave Patlak on why MoveOn has put pressure on Bill Nelson. You know, Senator, you could have avoided all this by taking a leadership role early in the process, and maybe you could have helped put the public option in the bill. Anyway, I’m just saying. And remembering.

UPDATE: Sen. Nelson had an essay in USA Today with his position on --- not the public option -- Medicare Advantage and other aspects of senior care.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Organizational Meeting- Organizing for America Miami/Beach

Organizational Meeting- Organizing for America Miami/Beach
Wednesday, September 30 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
VFW 1st floor meeting room, 650 West Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/gpkvrg
Getting fired up and ready to go on health care.
Join with the Organizers and Regional Field Director to see a road map forward for how you can become involved and affect change in your community and the nation.
The meeting will cover.
• A clear road map to build support and tangible goals for Miami and the Beach.
• Leadership roles for active organizers.
• Possibilities for internships.
• An outlay of where OFA (Organizing for America) has grown from and the future steps.
• An opportunity to discuss ways to engage in health care reform.
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/gpkvrg

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Imagine the horror: Glenn Beck is your secret police interrogator

This is about as strange a sight as I have seen in several trips around the globe. Here we have a right-wing talk show flamer wearing ... What IS Glenn Beck wearing on the cover of his book about to hit the foaming-best-seller list? I've had the dubious pleasure of being in East Germany, the old DDR, and have seen their troops in their strut. Der Glenn is wearing an East German army uniform!

What can he possibly have had in mind when choosing this to adorn the cover of his latest attempt to take over the Misleader Sweeps with a book likely co-written by Karl Rove? Something truly convoluted and tear-stained must lie behind the arrogant mug and out-thrust lower lip. There's a perfect little Nazi there, or a perfect little Stasi interrogator -- either way, a perfect little totalitarian practitioner, and it's the guy who's taken down Van Jones, who's taking down ACORN, and who wants to take down Barack Obama.

The question to me is why would he want to portray himself as a totalitarian on the cover of his own book. I can only assume that this is an unaccustomed outbreak of veracity, and he IS a totalitarian. Somewhere between the covers of this misleading book there may lie some alternate explanation, but this is what I'm hearing, and I'm sticking to it: Glenn Beck wants to be your secret police interrogator, with the full range of Bush-approved torture methods at his disposal. And he's gone around the bend.

In case you wonder what an East German army uniform looks like, here's the link. I found it by Googling "east german army uniform." See the identicality? For the record, a Borders bookstore in Miami-Dade County had this display up to be seen first thing upon entering the store.

Friday, September 25, 2009

ACORN is a victim in this Jacksonville story, but what's going on?

This is hard to summarize, so I'll just make a link to the item in the Miami Herald. I also found the Jacksonville newspaper's rendition of it, which said the target of the race-baiting political flyer was unclear.

Someone needs to make a complete confession.

Vote for the Netroots awards

Have you? The link is right here. This blog, you'll see, is among the nominees.

Comp ME to a game!

I don't see this one in the Miami Herald. The Florida Marlins offer to comp Miami-Dade County employees to a game ticket. As Eye on Miami erupts: How about comping the taxpayers to some tickets? Who's paying for this stadium, anyway?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

If it's Tuesday it must be Miami Beach politics

For those not living on the Beach (and 99 percent of those who do and are unaware), you probably haven't heard of the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club. Civic-minded people and those with nothing better to do assemble in David's Cafe on Meridian Avenue off Lincoln Road and there will be an interesting program on life and politics in the city of Miami Beach. Or a talk from a member of the County Commission. Or nothing much, sometimes, but there's a good breakfast, and hey, you're in South Beach and can do whatever you like.

I'm bringing this up because next Tuesday, Sept. 29, candidates for the city commission (which has six commissioners and a mayor) will start a round of forums leading up to the election in only a little over a month. Early voting starts on Oct. 26. Who's running? I'd post a link here but the club doesn't have a Web site, so it's a typing job for me. Later, try this link to the City Clerk. I say later because there's nothing there now.

Quoting the club's news release, which has an error in the election date (It's Tuesday Nov. 3, not Nov. 6.) so I hope this is correct, speaking next Tuesday will be the candidates for the Group III seat, Gabrielle Redfern, Michael Gongora and Alex Fernandez.

Stay tuned for news of who's appearing in coming weeks at the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club.

UPDATE: The Miami Herald, in its Thursday edition, has more news about Miami Beach municipal elections, namely that one newcomer was disqualified from running because a check bounced. Not to worry -- he's planning to run for governor next year, anyway.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rock on! Celebrate our pathetic rank in world health

This goes to show we can be in wretched condition but still have fun. Yay!?

Florida's grim numbers on health insurance vs pay

This word is just in from the White House:
  • Average Florida family health premium growth over 10 years is 121 percent, compared to just 43 percent wage growth.
  • We're nonetheless doing better than Sarah Palin's former subjects in Alaska, where health insurance premiums rose 145% and wage growth was 35% since 1999 -- worst disparity in the US.
This information comes from a speech Vice President Joe Biden gave to a group of state insurance commissioners. Among other bad numbers: in the past year the national average annual family premium for employer-sponsored health insurance rose to $13,375 – a shocking 5.5 percent increase during a recession when inflation actually fell by 0.7 percent.

Reform time, anyone?

Read the full report yourself.

Too much: Mark Foley, Rush Limbaugh, Marco Rubio in one blog post

Read it over at the Reid Report, where our friend Joy Reid reports.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dem Blogger videos Republican Senate hopeful

In this piece your blogging videographer, or your videoing blogger, takes a step into Republican territory. Marco Rubio is the subject. He’s the former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives who’s vying with Gov. Charlie Crist to be the Republican candidate for US Senate in the 2010 election. Rubio is raking in about a tenth of Crist’s money, according to the Sept. 20 workup in the Miami Herald that described how Crist spends most of his time (on our dime, fellow taxpayers, but that’s politics, ain’t it) dialing for dollars or squeezing official events between his appearances at fundraisers.

Rubio’s counterpart of that latter activity – the fundraiser – is how I found myself in the same room with him for an hour Saturday evening, at my sailing club in Key Largo. One of the founding members is a leading local Republican, Ken Sorensen, who hosted a fundraiser for 50-60 people. I’ve had many a fine political argument at the sailing club bar with Sorensen, who is a former state representative and, then when termed-out, an assistant to Speaker Marco Rubio. Our last argument was about ACORN, and so it goes.

Speaking of ACORN, I was on the Herald website the other day and hit the editorial asserting that ACORN “must prove it’s squeaky clean” and be purged from top to bottom. In the Comments section I veered decidedly away from everyone who thought ACORN was below Lucifer. My comment suggested applying the same standard to the Republican Party, which even if confined to Jack Abramoff and his co-conspirators must have more people in jail than ACORN. Not to forget John “Torture Memo” Yoo, who’s got a column on the Herald op-ed page when he ought to be facing trial for war crimes. Yes, let’s do a top-to-bottom cleanup on the Republicans, and then turn to the small potatoes at ACORN.

Rubio, you’ll see in the following clip, took notice of my Flip camcorder and gave me a supporting role as citizen journalist sort of like the heroic “college students” who tipped us all off to the purportedly bad apples in an ACORN office. Well, Media Matters checked out some of that story and learned that the “college students” were Republican activists. Plus, the ACORN lady who sounded like Lizzy Borden with a propensity for killing her husband was just leading on the strange couple invading her office. The police say all her ex-husbands are alive and well. Anyway, that’s the poor backgrounding and unethical investigators you get from a far-right world where the gospel comes from Fox and Beck and no questions are asked.

You’ll hear Rubio, like everyone on his side, crow over how CBS and other media didn’t get this (over-hyped) story. Like George W. Bush, he’s probably mad that the US attorneys couldn’t find valid charges against ACORN, either. Well, there is this thing about ethics of prosecutions and of reporting, wherein you don’t start off by lying about who you are, like the “college students.” There is a place for hidden cameras and underground investigations, no doubt, but if Rubio’s taste prevails, “citizen journalism” will be the Wild Wild West.

As Rubio asks us to “listen closely,” I think I heard him saying that ACORN was “a front for political activists.” What’s that, some new offense? Maybe the “college kids” are “a front for political activists,” and we’ve got tit for tat here. Big deal. Readers are referred to the section above where I urge attention to war crimes first, small potatoes later.

The Atlantic, in its fresh October issue, has a rundown on rise of internet reporting with a close examination of how partisan politics is taking over from traditional media, and standards often suffer:

With journalists being laid off in droves, savvy political operatives have stepped eagerly into the breach. What’s most troubling is not that TV-news producers mistake their work for journalism, which is bad enough, but that young people drawn to journalism increasingly see no distinction between disinterested reporting and hit-jobbery.

In the next clip Rubio takes on Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, against whom he’s not running, and Gov. Crist, his main opponent, and says he doesn’t know what they stand for. I thought I’d find something on Bill Nelson’s campaign website or official website to contradict Rubio, but something must be under construction. Well, Nelson doesn’t have to run until 2012, so he has an excuse. And there is plenty of information, though no platform in sight.

Next he’s talking about health care legislation (my question, he didn’t mention it in his stump speech, nor environment/energy/education except in the most sketchy way), and he makes a pretty wild statement about health care in the rest of the world, making it sound as if no country ever has had a good public health system. It may be that he’s defining it so narrowly (he’s a lawyer, after all) that it would have to be a single-payer system that didn’t have the tiniest smidgeon of rationing of care to meet his standard. Well, great, but we’re here in the real world where tons of countries get better results with lower expenditures than ours. And our care is rationed all the time by insurance companies that get rich by denying care.

In the following clip I can agree with his drift on malpractice, especially where he says there’s an overabundance of lawyers.

Finally, is it a waste of time to consider Rubio when Crist is raising money by the ton? If the primary were in a month or two it would be easy to dismiss the young (38) Rubio as someone polishing his resume to run against Bill Nelson two years later. But the primary is almost a year away, and Crist keeps getting skunked in Republican straw polls. What’s going on? A lot could happen.

Check out this story on Fine Print in which Rubio is itching to get into a debate with Crist. Could be interesting.

Meanwhile, our side's main contenders are Kendrick Meek, the congressman from Miami, and North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns.

For the record, the seat was held by one-termer Mel Martinez, who left for no good reason. Gov. Crist could have appointed himself to take the seat but instead named his sometime campaign manager George LeMieux, who's trying to live down the label of crony. So far has the US Senate fallen, when the Constitution, in the 17th Amendment, clearly prefers election rather than appointment to fill a vacancy. Now who's the strict constructionist? Your faithful blogger.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Ask the Archbishop: Help reform health care

DEC member Helene Dudley, from the Shenandoah neighborhood of Miami, has written Archbishop of Miami John C. Favalora asking that the church take a strong role in passing legislation to reform health care. She suggests other Catholics (and ex-Catholics) should do the same.

The address is:

The Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy Pastoral Center
9401 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami Shores, FL 33138

Her suggested (and condensed) message to the Archbishop:

Unfortunately, tens of millions of Americans do not have health insurance. According to the website of the Catholic bishops of the United States, the current health care system is in need of fundamental reform. Why is the Catholic Church not speaking out loud and clear to encourage passage of meaningful health care reform?

She also included the full text of what she wrote, as follows:

Your Excellency,

I write you as a life-long Catholic and a member of RESULTS, a grassroots organization committed to ending world poverty. A top priority on RESULTS’ domestic agenda is the passage of significant health care reforms that will extend affordable quality health care to all those who are below 150% of the poverty line. We believe this basic human right is a moral imperative, one that religious organizations should work zealously to promote.

In searching for allies to ensure that health care reform becomes a reality, I visited the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and was pleased to see their position stated as follows: “In our Catholic tradition, health care is a basic human right. Access to health care should not depend on where a person works, how much a family earns, or where a person lives. Instead, every person, created in the image and likeness of God, has a right to life and to those things necessary to sustain life, including affordable, quality health care. This teaching is rooted in the biblical call to heal the sick and to serve "the least of these," our concern for human life and dignity, and the principle of the common good. Unfortunately, tens of millions of Americans do not have health insurance. According to the Catholic bishops of the United States, the current health care system is in need of fundamental reform.”

Bishop William F. Murphy is further quoted as saying that "Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation" The page also includes an excerpt from Pacem in Terris, in which Pope John XXIII writes of a fundamental human right to affordable or even free health care. This all makes me wonder why the Catholic Church is not a vocal proactive proponent of the type of health care reform that the Church purports to support.

Interest groups that have fought health care reform for over 50 years are using every trick in the books to stop the current effort at reform. Lies and scare tactics drown out civil debate and turn morality on its ear. Real morality dictates that moral people reform a system that allows 20,000 people to die each year due to lack of medical insurance. Morality dictates we work to reform a system that allows insurance companies to act as virtual ‘death panels’ that deny and delay necessary medical care. Morality dictates that we amend a system that excludes those in the lowest economic tier from preventive and early intervention medical care.

Since it is far easier to spread lies and misinformation than to get at the truth, those who seek to confuse the issues in an effort to again defer health care reform have the advantage. The August 26th Wall Street Journal noted the difficulties that even the independent Fact Checking organizations are having with the abortion implications of health care reform. This suggests to me that the proposed health care reforms will have little if any impact on abortion policy in this country and that is at it should be. Abortion legislation, like immigration reform warrant dedicated efforts and should not be interjected to further complicate the health care discussion.

Please don’t let abortion be used to kill the health care reform that our country clearly needs and which the church claims to support. Since most people will not visit the website to read the Church’s position on health care reform, I ask that the Church be proactive in stating the Bishops’ and the Vatican’s positions to their congregations, acknowledging that there is still work to be done with regards to birth control. Washington will discard ‘politics-as-usual’ and get down to the real business of developing meaningful health care reform if public opinion demands that they do so. The Catholic Church has the opportunity to help ensure that public opinion comes from moral rather than political considerations.

I am a practicing Catholic but I often ask myself why. I watched as the Church stood virtually silent in the face of an unjust war, capital punishment, illegal tortures and renditions and a decline in social services. I stopped donating when I heard priests rant from the pulpit that a moral vote in the presidential elections of 2004 could only support a continuation of this platform rather than one that might allow for stem cell research, gay marriage and abortion. Over the years, the Church stood by as its own priests preyed upon the young in parish after parish. A vigorous anti-abortion stand does not trump this litany of failings. I do not ask the Church to abandon its stance on abortion, but I do ask that it use its power and influence to encourage the type of negotiation and compromise that will ensure passage of meaningful health care reform that the Church can support. It is possible to create a more just and moral health care system in our country and it is imperative that we do so. Can we count on you to work zealously for reform?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Right On. Analyzing the other side of our politics

The Sept. 28 issue of The Nation has this tremendous long survey of literature about the political right (Right On is the link), in which I sought wisdom to understand some of our conundrums.

Though tempted to ramble on here and describe all the questions in my head, I will quit early and simply recommend you to read it and decide for yourself what unanswerable questions are the biggest.

Meanwhile, here's the Correction from that issue of The Nation:
In Christopher Hayes's "The Secret Government" (Sept. 14), Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded eighty-three times in one month, not 183 times. (It was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed who was waterboarded 183 times.) We regret the error, and the torture.

Lesson from Australia: Big oil spill from "safe" offshore rig

Our friends at Progress Florida make a good point about offshore oil drilling. You can say it's safe, but then there's a horrific oil spill. One happening now in Australia.

There's a link to send a fax to the Florida legislature on this issue. Do it. I did. Thanks, Progress Florida.

Bill Nelson's Senate speech on health

Over nine minutes, no room for mention of public option.

Cruel and unusual in Ohio

This is a little off the usual path, but still ... What has to happen before we ponder capital punishment and what it consists of? Can we keep looking ourselves in the face and be satisfied with who we are?

In Ohio they flubbed a lethal injection. In Texas, where our last president was Lord High Executioner for a long stretch aided by Alberto Gonzalez of torture fame, it's pretty clear they executed an innocent man a few years ago. Read it in the Sept. 7 New Yorker.

This should be on the way out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bill Nelson speaks (a little) on health care

An item on my calendar later this morning is a trip to Sen. Bill Nelson’s office to deliver petitions on health care reform, so it was with considerable interest that I opened an email from Sen. Nelson with the subject line: Taking Action on Health Care Reform

Eagerly I searched through the email to see what he’d say about the public option. Nary a word. For the record, here’s the full text:

Most of the calls and mail coming into my office these days are from constituents worried about health care. Regardless of where anyone stands on the specifics of this issue, I think we all can agree the current system is unfair, too costly, and needs to be fixed.

President Obama gave some clearer answers in his speech to Congress last week about his views on reform. I found it interesting that what the president described is pretty close to the bill I'm helping prepare as a member of the Senate Finance Committee. I want to tell you basically what this bill does.

In essence, it will let folks happy with their insurance keep it, including seniors on Medicare and veterans. It also will create a marketplace--exchanges--where those without coverage, or those who are unhappy with what they have, can get coverage at an affordable price.

The bill will hold insurers' feet to the fire by requiring them to cover everyone and preventing them from dropping individuals who get sick. Additionally, it will contain several measures aimed at reducing overall medical and prescription drug costs and eliminating waste and fraud in the system.

I still intend to offer several amendments aimed at further improving the legislation. One of my amendments would require drugmakers to provide rebates to Medicare, just like they do to Medicaid. This would save Medicare a ton of money. Further, by eliminating the tax break drugmakers get for TV and other advertising, we would gain another $37 billion over the coming years to help pay for health care reforms.

The Senate Finance Committee will begin considering this bill as early as this week. Meantime, please know that I value your continued input.

See you at the office, Sen. Nelson. I'll be asking if you hear what your constituents are asking for.

UPDATE: A delegation of Democrats and AFL-CIO members went with Jill Weber of Progress Florida to deliver some 1,700 postcards signed by Floridians demanding health reform.

The staffer in the Coral Gables office listened to my complaint that the senator's email didn't mention the public option, and replied by saying she thinks it's to be assumed as part of the legislation. If that's as good as it gets, it's pretty meager. It's not as if our calls for the public option -- and competition to keep the insurance giants honest -- were some idea from Mars. After all, it's what the president wants. But our senator seems unable to use the words.

A little video from the event at Sen. Nelson's office in Coral Gables:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Robert Reich lays it out on health care -- Last chance!

A great short video that tells you why the public option is essential, and what to do.

Crist vulnerable? Here comes Kendrick Meek

His 43rd birthday, according to Wikipedia, was on Sept. 6, but no matter, Kendrick Meek was still partying Sunday afternoon with a low-threshold fundraiser in Coral Gables. The U.S. Representative from District 17 in Miami-Dade, who’s running for US Senate in 2010, only wanted $20.10 from attendees, and there was a nice crowd of over 100 at the Biltmore Hotel to meet the candidate and donate.

The Sunday Miami Herald enticed your blogger out for his third time around with Senate candidate Meek. Interesting story by Adam Smith of the St. Pete Times pointing out the feet of clay worn with the empty suit of Charlie Crist, the supposedly leading Republican contender for the US Senate.

Charlie Crist could be vulnerable in race for U.S. Senate - South Florida - MiamiHerald.com

The story covers the usual ground with Crist -- that he's popular (despite his record) and that he runs for one office after another (despite not finishing the job). But then it seems that Adam Smith and a lot of Republicans are catching on that Crist, for all his money, is not a slam-dunk for the Republican nomination.

My favorite quote from the article:

But talk to veteran Republican activists across Florida, from local organizers to elite operatives to big-money bundlers, and there's a sense Crist could be in trouble. Probably not, but just maybe.

Meek was introduced at the fundraiser by Ana Navarro, who described herself as the "token Republican" on the Meek campaign. She declared forcefully that Crist will be beaten. I guess she was saying that Meek will beat Crist next year, though Crist's more immediate challenge comes from Marco Rubio, the former speaker of the Florida House, who's well off to the right of Crist and contending for the Republican nomination.

This is what raised my morale -- the prospect of a nasty battle between Crist and Rubio. Crist is the governor who has backed out of the trials of managing Florida to run for the US Senate, and has already fouled the nest by appointing his crony George LeMieux to complete the Senate term so ignominiously uncompleted by Mel Martinez. What a bunch of quitters! And the other main Republican contender, Rubio, will throw red ideological meat to the Republican base and alienate them from Crist. We Democrats will look like the soul of reason in comparison by the time people start voting in 2010.

So it was a pleasure to have a piece of birthday cake and dream of one more Democrat in the US Senate after the next election. And not a Blue Dog.

For the record, I should point out that the Florida Division of Elections has six active Democratic candidates for the US Senate and nine Republicans, not to forget four independents. Also, there are seven Democrats registered as candidates to succeed Meek in his reliably Democratic Miami District 17. So we have our own chances to dissolve into nasty primary fights. Let us hope that we got infighting out of our system with the Republican-plotted mess around the early presidential primary date in 2008.

UPDATE: And here's Politico's wrapup of how Crist is in trouble from both sides now. Thanks to the DSCC for pointing this out to me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

News to me: Lightning wrecks weather radar

Has this been in the news? I missed a few days, so was surprised to find this when I browsed to find Miami weather radar.

National Weather Service Text Product Display:

"Message Date: Sep 12 2009 00:01:37

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Donate TODAY to stop Florida gerrymandering

Today, Wednesday Sept. 9, 2009, is the day we've all agreed -- We have, haven't we? -- to donate to Fair Districts Florida to support the petition drive to stop gerrymandering.

The logic is simple and direct. A big reason for Florida's political jungle is the fact that gerrymandering leads to gross misrepresentation in the state legislature and our congressional delegation. Even though there are many more registered Democrats than Republicans in Florida, the legislature lately has been almost three-fourths Republican and the Congressional delegation almost two-thirds Republican.

The petition that your donations support will put a referendum question on the ballot next year to ban political considerations in drawing district lines. We're all doing this on 9/9/09 to make an impact. Please do it before midnight Wednesday.

I just made my donation. I feel victory coming on already.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Amerijet Strike: Plastic bags are only onboard bathroom

This is what we've sunk to in labor relations after 20 years of Republican administrations out of not quite 29 years. The bosses get away with making their employees pee into plastic bags.

And it's right here in Miami. Yes, you read the sign right. "No bathrooms for air crew."

Here's a recent story from the Miami Herald about the Amerijet strike that started on Aug. 27.
Plastic bags are only onboard bathroom, pilots say - Florida AP - MiamiHerald.com

I went out and spent a short while at their rally and picket line on Labor Day. Over 100 people including family members were there in a festive mood. National and local union officials fired up the crowd. Still, a little fact buzzed up to cause me disquiet: the company has refused to negotiate a new contract for five years. Five Years!

With that in mind, I was glad to read later Monday the Daily Kos post about Labor Day, quoting the next head of the AFL-CIO, Rich Trumka, who's regarded as more aggressive than the outgoing crew. Thank goodness. The following excerpt is from the Washington Post's profile of Trumka.

Trumka's ascent represents a true changing of the guard, ushering in a tone of leadership that will be far more muscular than that of the avuncular [John] Sweeney. Even Sweeney says the time has come for a more assertive approach.

"It's true that he's more aggressive than Sweeney was," he said in his gentle Irish-via-New York lilt, referring to himself in the third person, "but I think that there is a time when you have to be aggressive and only can take so much, when you're getting it from people who are not looking for a way to resolve a problem but are looking for a way to kill the labor movement."

The Kos post seems to be quite a perceptive and balanced report on the outlook for organized labor. Our Miami slice of that appears to be national union support of the Amerijet strikers. Let's hope they soon can enjoy industry-standard pay and working conditions. Click here for Teamsters Local 769 news on the strike.

Some video from Monday's rally:

Thank you, REM

MoveOn and REM combine for music and stories.

Now is the time. And turn up the volume.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Text of Obama's schools message


Wow, this is so controversial. He says study hard and he once lived in Indonesia.

UPDATE: Here's a link to Dan Gelber's blog, with his post about the Obama talk to students. Gelber points out that it's routine for public officials to speak to schools. And never to get filtered, which is nonetheless what's happening at the school where Gelber's three kids go in Miami Beach. As he said, what's happening is "absurd and sad."

UPDATE 2: It's late Wednesday and maybe too late to add to this item, but I just learned that Noah Gray, our local youth videographer, did reporting from Palmetto Senior High, where students could opt out of listening to the president if they had a note from a parent. Here's a link to the report on Channel One News, a youth production that I hadn't seen before. Noah Gray appears in a later part of the segment. Hope the link lasts. Good show, Noah!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Calm prevails at Meek's town hall

Calm prevails at Meek's town hall http://www.miamiherald.com/news/florida/story/1216851.html
MiamiHerald.com - Beth Reinhard
US Rep. Kendrick Meek emphasized the importance of a government-run healthcare plan at a low-key Miami town hall meeting attended by about 400 people. ...

No bullhorns, no protesters at Meek's town hall

Meek Holds Health Care Town Hall - Politics News Story - WPLG Miami
Sep 3, 2009 ... Kendrick Meek is holding a health care town hall meeting Thursday ... www.justnews.com/politics/20708651/detail.html
Video: http://www.justnews.com/video/20718160/