Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Attorney General Martha Coakley, former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy and Congressman Lynch are possible candidates for the seat.
I favor Kennedy. I think he would be great in the Senate. If he runs, I think he wins, if he sits it out, Coakley walks away with it.
The state of our economy while improving remains frail. The health care debate dominates Washington and the governor of Florida turns to a lawyer who has never held elected office who is his top political advisor to go to the Senate. Charlie Crist want's to be our next Senator? No Way!
It will put Melancon's House seat in jeopardy but Vitter tarnished by a prostitution scandal looks vulnerable in 2010 and Melancon is the best candidate to ensure a Democratic victory in the state.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Kennedy asked that the person appointed agree not to run in the special election.
The Boston Herald is reporting that Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo "has given his behind closed doors blessing" to the effort to hand Patrick "the power to appoint a temporary successor."
The governor should ask former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis to go to Washington as the caretaker in the US Senate. Senator Dukakis would be a reliable vote for President Obama and at 75 I doubt Dukakis has an interest in spending a six year term in the Senate. Dukakis would be a great caretaker for the seat.
Britain honored Kennedy with a knighthood in March of this year.
"Northern Ireland today is at peace, more Americans have health care, children around the world are going to school. And for all these things, we owe a great debt to the life, and courage, of Sen. Edward Kennedy."
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Kennedy was "a figure who inspired admiration, respect and devotion, not just in America but around the world." Blair goes on to say, "I saw his focus and determination firsthand in Northern Ireland, where his passionate commitment was matched with a practical understanding of what needed to be done to bring about peace and sustain it. I was delighted he could join us in Belfast the day devolved government was restored."
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen described Kennedy as "a great friend of Ireland".
In Australia, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Kennedy "made an extraordinary contribution to American politics, an extraordinary contribution to America's role in the world."
In Africa, Kennedy was praised a champion for civil rights and democracy by Achmat Dangor who is the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He "made his voice heard in the struggle against apartheid at a time when the freedom struggle was not widely supported in the West", Dangor said.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Kennedy was "a great American patriot, a great champion of a better world, a great friend of Israel. He will be sorely missed."
Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who worked on negotiations with the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland, said Kennedy "lived to see two great chasms bridged, between Catholic and Protestant in Northern Ireland and between black and white in his own United States."
Irish President Mary McAleese said Kennedy would be remembered "as a hugely important friend to this country during the very difficult times."
"The loss of Senator Ted Kennedy is a sad event for America, and especially for Massachusetts. The last son of Rose Fitzgerald and Joseph Kennedy was granted a much longer life then his brothers, and he filled those years with endeavor and achievement that would have made them proud.
In 1994, I joined the long list of those who ran against Ted and came up short. But he was the kind of man you could like even if he was your adversary. I came to admire Ted enormously for his charm and sense of humor--qualities all the more impressive in a man who had known so much loss and sorrow. I will always remember his great personal kindness, and the fighting spirit he brought to every cause he served and every challenge he faced. I was proud to know Ted Kennedy as a friend, and today my family and I mourn the passing of this big hearted, unforgettable man."
Friend and foe alike today praise Sen. Kennedy. No one can muster an unkind word about the man.
Senator Kennedy's successor in the Senate will most likely be a Democrat. Among those being touted as candidate's for the special election are Congressmen Barney Frank, Michael Capuano, Bill Delahunt, Stephen Lynch, Ed Markey, John Tierney, Richard Neal, Niki Tsongas, former Congressmen Joe Kennedy and Marty Meehan, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.
This list will most likely shrink in the next few weeks however there will be a crowded primary. This seat hasn't been open in 47 years. John Kerry's seat hasn't been open since 1984 and it could be another 20 years before we see an open seat in Massachusetts.
I will support Barney Frank if he runs for the Senate. I have always supported and admired Barney Frank. Barney is a progressive Democrat in the mold of Ted Kennedy. If Barney doesn't run and he might not given his seniority in the House, I hope Joe Kennedy runs. On the appointment, I change my tone. It's going to be four months before a new Senator is seated. Barack Obama needs every vote he can get on the health care reform bill. I think Gov. Patrick should ask Michael Dukakis to serve as a caretaker in the Senate. Michael Dukakis served Massachusetts well and would do Massachusetts a great service by going to the Senate and fighting to pass the President's health care reform bill.
Senator Kennedy was a champion for social justice and social reform. Senator Kennedy along with Republican Senator Hatch and support from the Clinton administration worked to implement the State Children's Health Insurance Program which has provided coverage to children whose families do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford health insurance. If your child is covered by SCHIP, you can thank Ted Kennedy.
In 1996 Senator Kennedy successfully advocated for the implementation of an increase in the minimum wage. He worked with Republican Senator Nancy Kassebaum to create and pass the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. His Mental Health Parity Act forced insurance companies to treat mental health payments the same as others with respect to limits reached. Kennedy worked with President Clinton to form AmeriCorps and recommended Stephen Breyer for appointment to the Supreme Court.
On a personal note 17 years ago I was given an assignment to write a report about the state of Massachusetts. I wrote to Senator's Kerry, Kennedy and then Governor Weld naturally seeking information about Massachusetts. Senator Kennedy was the only one to respond to my inquiry within a week and provided enough information for me to write my report. That same year I wrote a paper on President Kennedy, Senator Kennedy sent me magazines, articles and pictures from the Kennedy Library as well as a picture of himself with his two brother's which I still have.
Senator Kennedy was a giant, a kind, gentle and caring man. There will never be another Ted Kennedy. I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to live in a world where there was a Ted Kennedy. Thank you Senator Kennedy. I am sure when you reached Heaven's gate's early this morning, God, greeted you with the words, "Well done Senator, well done". I will never forget this wonderful man and America will never forget him. His imprint is on every major piece of legislation implemented in this country. He was one of a kind and we will never see another. Rest in peace Senator.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
The Justice Department’s ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors to prosecution for brutal treatment of terrorism suspects, according to a person officially briefed on the matter. More.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford took dozens of undisclosed flights on private planes since taking office in 2003 despite a state law requiring him to report who paid for the travel, an Associated Press investigation has found.
The AP discovered 35 flights Sanford took on private planes that he did not list on state ethics forms or campaign reports. The flights are noted on Sanford's official calendars, obtained by the AP through a Freedom of Information request.
State law requires elected officials to disclose gifts received in a day worth $25 or more and "anything of value" over the course of a year worth at least $200 "if there is reason to believe the donor would not give the thing of value" but for the public official's position. Read More.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 2|
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 1|
Friday, August 21, 2009
Jacob Hacker, Intellectual Father of Public Plan, Releases Report on What Kind of Public Plan Will Work, Finding Coops Ineffective in Controlling Costs.
WASHINGTON - August 21 - Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. joined health care expert Jacob Hacker and Campaign for America's Future co-director Roger Hickey on a conference call today to explain why a strong public plan is critical to making health care affordable, driving competition and guaranteeing Americans quality affordable health care. Read More.
It is time for Obama to step up and set the record straight; The Republicans will not vote for any Health Care Reform. Enough is enough. Go to firedoglake to join the fight for a public option.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Senator Kennedy in a letter to Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo is asking that Patrick be given the authority to appoint his successor instead of a special election. The legislature passed a law allowing for a special election in 2004 when Republican Mitt Romney was Governor and it was looking as though that John Kerry would be elected President.
Regarding the Massachusetts law, Kennedy wrote "I strongly support that law and the principle that the people should elect their senator. I also believe it is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of it's citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and election."
It doesn't sound as though the special election law will be changed. I respect Kennedy and admire him greatly but we have seen what has happened in Illinois and the chaos in NY with the Senate appointments. I favor a special election.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
While accepting the endorsement of the 125,000 member union Thompson said, "Working New Yorkers are what makes New York City great. We're going to take City Hall back for working and middle-class New Yorkers."
DC37 endorsed Bloomberg for Mayor in the 2005 Mayoral race. Union head Linda Roberts said Thompson has the city's working class at heart-and Bloomberg lost their favor by giving $9 billion in city work to outside contractors.
Thompson has cut Bloomberg's lead in half and is gaining momentum.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Senator Kent Conrad hinted that the public option is off the table. "Look, the fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option," said Conrad.
Liberal bloggers and Progressive Democrat's who supported Obama are not taking the elimination of the public option very well.
"Ultimately, if the president decides he's going to go with a reform effort that doesn't include a public option, what he will have done is spent a ton of political capital, riled up an incredibly angry right-wing base that's been told this is a plot to kill Grandma, and he will have achieved something that doesn't change health care very much and that doesn't save us very much money and won't do much for the American people," MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow said Sunday.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson a Democrat from Texas said Sunday "It would be very, very difficult without the public option" regarding support for the bill.
A bill without the public option does nothing to reform health care. This is the same old, same old and a huge win for the insurance companies. To say I am disappointed is putting it lightly. This is not the change I voted for.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Mark Green has been a consumer advocate and public advocate essentially his entire life. During the 1970's Green was a foot solider with Ralph Nader taking on the Nixon administration. In 1981 he founded the New Democracy Project and in 1986 launched an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate. From 1990 to 1993 he served as Mayor David Dinkins Consumer Affair's Commissioner winning election to the office of Public Advocate in 1993 and being re-elected in 1997. Green was New York City's first Public Advocate. As Public Advocate he led investigations of HMO's, hospitals, and nursing homes leading many of them to be fined by the Attorney General of New York. One of Green's biggest accomplishment and most high profile cases was his lawsuit against Mayor Rudy Giuliani regarding unpunished racial profiling in Giuliani's police force. Green said at the time, "I sued Mayor Giuliani because he was in deep denial about racial profiling and police misconduct that went unpunished. I won my lawsuit, I released an investigation showing a pattern of unpunished misconduct....the rate that police with sub stained complaints are punished went from 25 percent, up to 75 percent." Green was one of the first elected officials to draw attention to this problem. Green lost a close race for Mayor in 2001 and a Democratic primary for New York Attorney General in 2006.
While Green offers experience and a proven track record, Brooklyn City Councilman Bill de Blasio elected to the New York City Council in 2001 offers new leadership and a new direction for the city and for the office of Public Advocate. de Blasio has served as a member of the School Board, campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's successful 2000 bid for the US Senate and has been a strong advocate on the City Council delivering results for New York City. Last fall when Mayor Bloomberg initiated an effort to extend term limits and allow himself to seek a third term without voter approval, de Blasio organized a large and diverse coalition to oppose the Mayor's plans. de Blasio lost the fight but his initiative and willingness to take on the Mayor were admirable and show that de Blasio would have the courage to take on Bloomberg as Public Advocate. On the School Board de Blasio led the fight for Universal Pre-Kindergarten and capping first grade classes at 20 students. de Blasio serves as Chairman of the Council's General Welfare Committee and has worked hard to protect New York City's most vulnerable citizens. Following the death of Nixmary Brown in 2006, de Blasio worked to reform the City's overburdened underfunded child welfare system. On the Council, de Blasio has worked to increase housing access for low income New Yorkers and protect victims of domestic violence. de Blasio helped secure passage of legislation that would guarantee access to city benefits to domestic partners that married partners enjoy as well as legislation to protect New Yorker's based on partnership status. His involvement in Democratic party politics began in 1989 when de Blasio worked on the 1989 Dinkins Mayoral campaign and later became an aide to Mayor Dinkins. In 1996 he ran the Clinton-Gore campaign in New York and later served as the Regional Director for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton administration.
Green offers New York City experience and a proven track record, de Blasio offers the City new leadership and a new direction. Both are qualified and both men would make a great Public Advocate. With the primary a little over a month away, you decide!
The New York Times reports that she "had changed her mind and had decided not to mount a Democratic primary challenge against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in next years election".
"A person close to Ms. Maloney, who represents part of Manhattan and Queens, said she reached the decision after days of consideration that running would mean leaving her current job at a point when she had significant seniority in Congress. She was first elected in 1992."
Maloney had a good shot against Gillibrand.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Thompson who if elected Mayor would become the city's second African American Mayor is gaining ground among African American voters who back him 56-30. Democrats who backed Bloomberg in June 49-40 are now 45-42 for Thompson. The poll finds that Thompson leads Bloomberg in the Bronx and the two are tied in Kings. As for Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens, Bloomberg is way ahead.
Bill Thompson has an uphill fight against Bloomberg, make no mistake about that and a lot of work to do but he is closing in and it's only August. Anything can happen. What looked like a Bloomberg landslide is now turning into a Mayor's race.
Martinez a Republican who served as HUD Secretary in the Bush administration has been seen as a moderate willing to work with Democrat's in the Senate on immigration reform and his support for expansion of the SCHIP program.
Gov. Crist must now appoint a placeholder to the Senate to serve the remainder of Martinez's term. Crist a candidate himself has ruled out appointing himself to the Senate. Among those mentioned, former Gov. Bob Martinez, former Attorney General Jim Smith, and former US Rep. Clay Shaw. Former Senator Connie Mack declined the appointment.
Jim Smith a moderate Republican whose son-in-law is a major fund raiser for Crist will get the appointment. I gurantee it.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
In 2001 Liu was elected to the New York City Council representing the Queens area of New York becoming the first Chinese American and Asian American to be elected to the City Council.
As a City Councilman, Liu has brought attention to the need to improve mass transportation options and providing congestion relief for the city's residents. As Chairman of the Transportation Committee, Liu has focused on the role transportation options play in economic development and job creation. He has advocated for capital programs, the transformation of existing transportation systems for the 21st century that sustain economic growth, and expanded resources for the maintenance of transit facilities.
Liu has enacted legislation which will improve safety for pedestrians and initiate public works projects to improve vehicular traffic flow and congestion. He has supported legislation that makes taxi's accessible for the disabled and has conducted oversight of the Taxi and Limousine Commission and the Department of Transportation.
Liu sits on the NYC Council Committee on Consumer Affairs and has sponsored and helped pass legislation to stop predatory lending by banks and retail price gouging during sensitive periods. He has shut down car dealerships found guilty of cheating consumers and has taken on Con Edison and demanded they fix poor infrastructure to prevent stray voltage. He has stood up against the business industry and has been a strong voice for consumers.
Liu has fought for accountability in government and has strived to provide transparency in city agencies and authorities. He has used his fiscal experience as a manager at a financial consulting firm to get rid of waste and mismanagement in city government. He has made it a priority to make city government transparent and save the taxpayers money.
Three other formidable Democrat's have declared for the post of City Comptroller, City Council Member's Melinda Katz, David Yassky and David Weprin. Katz, Yassky and Weprin have served New York City well but do not match Liu's credentials and commitment to the position of NYC Comptroller.
Liu is a brilliant, compassionate and hard working legislator. He has a mind for fiscal management and a passion for fairness and justice. John Liu is strongly recommended in the September 15th New York City Democratic primary.
Bunning was re-elected in 2004 defeating then state Senator Daniel Mongiardo with 50%of the vote. Mongiardo is now the state's Lt. Governor and a leading Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Bunning was seen as extremely vulnerable in 2010 and his exit from the race throws the race into a tossup.
Secretary of State Trey Grayson is emerging as the Republican candidate for the seat while Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack seemed determined to fight it out.
I would much rather have seen Bunning run again. He was unable to raise money, the Republican Senate Leadership was not behind him and he would have been defeated. Trey Grayson is a new candidate and with strong support from the party could make this race more competitive then it would have been with Bunning as the nominee. In any doubt, Mongiardo is the best candidate Democrat's can run and can win this seat. Beshar won the Governor's race in 2007 and we gave McConnell a very good race in 2008Kentucky should certainly be on the radar screen for 2010.
Meanwhile Republican Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander will vote to confirm Sotomayor.
This is very interesting because McCain is up for re-election in 2010 a state with a huge Hispanic population. Arizona has the fastest growing Hispanic population in the country and the state's senior Senator is voting against the confirmation of what would be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
Though McCain is not facing formidable competition in 2010, Democrat's should reevaluate this race and target McCain.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, pardoned two jailed American journalists, the official KCNA news agency has reported, according to Reuters. The report came after former President Bill Clinton met with the reclusive and ailing Mr. Kim in Pyongyang on Tuesday.
Mr. Kim granted “a special pardon,” KCNA said in a statement. It was not clear how rapidly the two journalists, Laura Ling, 32, and Euna Lee, 36, might be allowed to leave the country. They were being held near Pyongyang after having been sentenced to 12 years at hard labor for entering North Korea illegally. Read More.
Many believe Maloney will end up seeking re-election to the House in 2010.
The White House and entire Senate Democratic Leadership are with Specter who has been a great U.S. Senator.
Specter will pull this off, he has been a great United States Senator for Pennsylvania, even as a Republican, he was a great Senator and will be re-elected.
I am pleased to see the Obama administration using Clinton for diplomacy.