Thursday, November 30, 2006

World AIDS Day, December 1, 2006

Tomorrow marks the 18th observation of World AIDS Day. Check out these links for more:

http://www.worldaidscampaign.info/--official home of the World AIDS Campaign

http://www.avert.org/worldaid.htm--AVERTing HIV and AIDS

http://www.worldaidsday.org/--UK site for World AIDS day

http://www.wweek.com--What's Happening in Portland on World AIDS Day, via Willamette Week

Marching Orders

I woke up this morning to a great frontpage diary from OregonDem at SwingStateProject, who asks the question, "Why can't Oregon seem to shake off our last Republican holdout, Senator Gordon Smith?"

Campaign Against Gordon Smith Needs to Start Today

Gordon Smith was first elected in 1996, and has spent the last ten years portraying himself in the mold of moderate Republicans who can actually get elected statewide here. Problem: There are no more Republicans like that in Oregon. Gordon Smith replaced the last of 'em! (Mark Hatfield) Since then, the Oregon Republican Party has been increasingly dominated by right wing anti-tax, anti-choice zealots who play well to their primary base, but can't win statewide. But I digress.

Smith wants, even needs, to be seen like a moderate, sensible Republican in order to get elected, and every now and then drops a position so the mainstream press in Oregon can wax poetic about their dying breed of moderate Republican. Holding out on a budget bill because of excessive Medicaid cuts (although he ended up voting for it), adding Gays and Lesbians to the Hate Crimes Statute (although voting for the Federal Marriage Ammendment), Smith is a die hard social conservative with a knack for knowing just how much he needs to feint to the left in order to preserve the moderate image.

My point is this: the electorate in Oregon wants to believe that moderates of both parties can exist. After the Hatfields and McCalls and even Packwoods of a generation ago, there is a deep seated desire for pragmatic, bipartisan leadership. Gordon Smith looks like he fits this model, and unless the people of Oregon can be shown that he is like every other social conservative they've spent 20 years rejecting, he will continue to be re-elected. The only way this is going to happen is with a coordinated, effective campaign by the blogosphere and activist class to show who Smith really is and that campaign needs to start today. Oregon is still a blue state, Gordon Smith is not wildly popular and he can be made to be vulnerable, but his vulnerability will only come about if we make it. [continued at SSP] [emphasis mine]

We have a recent model for how to make this work. Think Lincoln Chafee. For what it's worth, I assume I will be posting a great deal about this race and volunteering or working for his opponent come 2008.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Disgrace

From The Hill's blog, Under The Dome:
Son also rises in testy Webb-Bush exchange

President Bush has pledged to work with the new Democratic majorities in Congress, but he has already gotten off on the wrong foot with Jim Webb, whose surprise victory over Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) tipped the Senate to the Democrats.

Webb, a decorated former Marine officer, hammered Allen and Bush over the unpopular war in Iraq while wearing his son’s old combat boots on the campaign trail. It seems the president may have some lingering resentment.

At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the source.

Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn’t. It’s safe to say, however, that Bush and Webb won’t be taking any overseas trips together anytime soon.

“Jim did have a conversation with Bush at that dinner,” said Webb’s spokeswoman Kristian Denny Todd. “Basically, he asked about Jim’s son, Jim expressed the fact that he wanted to have him home.” Todd did not want to escalate matters by commenting on Bush’s response, saying, “It was a private conversation.”

A White House spokeswoman declined to give Bush’s version of the conversation.

Honestly, doesn't he have a SHRED of decency? Stupid question, I know, especially when it's happened so many times before. Why should his treatment be any different for a U.S. Senator?

One such story stuck in my mind where Bush went to the home of a fallen soldier and joked around and dishonored his name...I can't seem to find that link. But while searching, I came across several such meetings.

One anti-war widow said she used the opportunity to voice her objections to Bush's policies.

"I said it's time to stop the bleeding," said Hildi Halley, whose husband, Army National Guard Capt. Patrick Damon, died June 15 in Afghanistan. "It's time to swallow our pride and find a solution."

She said Bush responding by saying "there was no point in us having a philosophical discussion about the pros and cons of the war."

or this:

Dolores tried to give Bush a sense of what type of person Erik had been. She described her son as a "comedian" whose favorite saying was, "Life is good." The president replied, "How do you know his life would have been good?"

Jim Webb should have slugged him when he had the chance.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Just In Time For The Holiday Season

Conde Nast Traveler ranks PDX #1 in U.S. Airports!



from the article at concierge.com:

Years of costly renovations have paid off: Oregon's Portland International takes first prize among domestic airports, thanks to easy access (travelers can reach downtown in 38 minutes by rail, for less than $2 per person), an array of shops (including hometown favorites Nike and Powell Books), and free wireless Internet access throughout the main terminal.
(via Portland's Future Awesome, thanks!!)

Stay tuned for more on the **Blizzard of 2006**

I'm calling BS on the storm hype so far. But I gotta say, I really love the new and fun weather tools we got!

Office of Emergency Management -- Ice and Snow Storms

Weather Underground

KATU--10-day weather trend

tripcheck.com

Fun with maps, c/o Tripcheck:

Monday, November 27, 2006

From the Absurdity Desk:

As I was leaving the supermarket this morning, I slowed to read the headlines at the newsstand:

Very Rich Are Leaving The Merely Rick Behind, New York Times, Monday, November 27, 2006;
Blight-Area Tax Breaks Aid Rich, The Oregonian, Monday, November 27, 2006.

I had to go back and buy both. First the NYTimes, my original hometown paper....how is this front page news?! How is this news at all? How can this possibly be more important than at least 10 other stories today?

STOP PRESS! The $400K earner is being marginalized!! For shame!

Then the Oregonian. A comment on the systematic preference for luxury, masking as community development. Worth a read in my opinion, rather than the absurd uberwealth story.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

OR-Sen '08 News

Via Hotline:

OREGON: Ben There, Going To Do That?

When asked via e-mail, '06 GOV candidate/state Sen. Ben Westlund (I) political adviser Stacey Dycus writes: "Democrats have been asking Ben to run against" Sen. Gordon Smith (R), "but he really hasn't considered it. People have also asked him about" Treas. and re-election to state Senate. "Right now, he's not thinking about his next election, he's thinking about a well-deserved vacation and the next session. ... He is an independent and all I can tell you is that his heart and mind is closer to the views held by Democrats, but he has no plans to change registration. If asked, he may caucus with the D's this session"

An OR Dem source reports general optimism about '08, given Smith will up in a presidential year. Ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), as always, is the "lion in waiting." Other attractive candidates would be Clatsop Co. DA Josh Maquis (D), Educ. Sup't Susan Castillo (D), and Treas. Randall Edwards (D) (Hotline reporting, 11/21).

Just a note: As you can see, I'm shifting focus here from this blog's grand two-day stint as the unofficial Oregon for Feingold website to a more general Oregon/National blog on politics. Hope you like it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Oregon for Feingold launches on Veterans Day

On November 11th of 1919, President Woodrow Wilson declared Armistice Day, thus ending the First World War. In his proclamation, President Wilson said:
To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation.
Today, Senator Feingold issued this statement:
Today, we remember those who have protected our country and the freedoms that we cherish. Our veterans and their families have made great personal sacrifices, and their contributions have touched all of our lives. As we welcome home a new generation of veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are reminded of how much these brave men and women, and the veterans who came before them, have done for our country. We must ensure that their heroic service, which is much lauded during times of conflict, is not forgotten once the battles have ended and our troops come home. On Veterans Day, and throughout the year, let us continue to honor America's brave veterans and their families.
Of the 2,842 casualties in Iraq, 46 of Oregon's sons and daughters have been killed (source: icasualties.org). The new Armistice Day is long overdue. I look forward to celebrating the peace under the Feingold Administration.

Friday, November 10, 2006

First Post

Hello and welcome to Oregon for Feingold! As you can see it's a little sparse here so far, but I will be fixing that up over the next few weeks or so. I look forward to blending my support for Senator Feingold, my interest in forming new community (both locally and politically), and my blogging skills together here at Oregon for Feingold.

My Reasons for Supporting Senator Feingold
For Starters:
  • Over the course of a 12 year career in the Senate, Russ Feingold has held nearly 1,000 "Listening Sessions" in his state of Wisconsin, meeting with more than 43,897 Wisconsinites over that time. Anyone who is that connected to his constituency gets my support.
  • Sen. Feingold was the ONLY senator to vote against the Patriot Act. He knew from the beginning that the bill "went too far in allowing the government to obtain personal information about law-abiding Americans and in undermining constitutional rights and protections."
  • He cosponsored The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill, in an attempt to cut soft money out of political campaigns. He is still fighting for campaign finance reform because he knows more needs to be done to protect us from big money.
  • Perhaps most importantly, he favored setting a timeline for Iraq when it was politically unpopular. He voted against the war in Iraq, but has continuously voted to fund and support the troops. (see: http://feingold.senate.gov/)
Comments welcome! I hope you enjoy!