Liberal, Irreverent

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Progressive Movement Will Be Stronger Regardless Of The Nov. 2 Election Outcome

Under normal circumstances, when a party "loses" an election, the base is the strongest and sometimes the only constituency standing within the party. We saw this clearly when republicans lost big in 2008. Only the republican base was left and GOP's first task was to rebuild that base.

So equally, under normal circumstances, if Democrats "lose" the Nov. 2 election, the Liberal base will be the strongest constituency standing within the Democratic Party and the party's first task in getting ready for 2012 is to make amends with its Liberal base.

But that is under the "losing" scenario. What would happen if Democrats do not "lose", which at this moment means keeping at least one chamber of Congress? How Progressives will be the strongest constituency within the party if the party didn't "lose"? The answer is because of the process that resulted in that victory. This means that even if Democrats keep control of one or both chambers of Congress they went through the scare of feeling abandoned by the base and that alone is a learning moment for them and a teaching moment for Liberals. It should be completely clear now to every single democratic strategist and leader (including president Obama) that WITHOUT ITS LIBERAL BASE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANNOT WIN.

So, this is the moment for Liberals to make it very clear to Obama and the Democratic Party. In 2012 they can have either another 2008, another 2010 or even worse. They choice is theirs.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is it our turn in America to learn this painful lesson?

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." - Corinthians 13:1

Why is it that so many men and women who believe themselves disciples of Christianity are so errant in the very faith that they profess? Why have so many died - and suffered - at the hands of evangelists for Christianity because they would not convert or were thought heretics?

The Tea Party followers and Republican fundamentalists are "resounding gongs and clanging cymbals" because they have replaced the inclusion that comes of love for humanity with the hate of exclusionary religious vanity and a restrictive personal vision of a God.

An Islamic fundamentalist and a Christian fundamentalist share the same power of hate that betrays "the tongues of men (women) and of angels." It is the error of pride and the easy, lazy path of feeling redeemed by feeling chosen - and others being damned. It is couch-potato religion because it requires no responsibility other than to hate other humans who choose a different route through the perilous path of life.

Democracy embraces diversity; it doesn't try and compress it into a narrow tunnel of bile and arrogance. The Constitution ensures the separation of church and state because true freedom comes only with the right to choose one's religion - or to not believe in a God at all. What is the difference between a tyrannical government of any ideology and the cultist Christianity that a Sarah Palin would impose on us? None.

Without a love for the spark that ignites the glories of the human spirit, there is only a grim, spiteful self-indulgence wrapped in the harsh din of claims to knowledge of the divine. Human history has paid dearly for such selfish religious shackles. Is it our turn in America to learn this painful lesson?

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Harry Reid: How Can We Get Back to Creating Jobs?

AOL News - How Can We Get Back to Creating Jobs? "We asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his rival for the Nevada Senate seat, Sharron Angle, for their plans to turn this around."

Sharron Angle (R) did not respond to invitations to write an op-ed on this topic.

Harry Reid: Putting Nevadans Back to Work

(Oct. 7) -- After eight years of failed Bush economic policies, families in Nevada and across the nation are struggling. I know what that's like. I grew up in a home with no indoor toilet. That's why I've been working hard to help put Nevadans back to work and turn our state's economy around. While our economic recovery isn't moving as quickly as we would like, we've done a lot to help struggling Nevadans.

Nevada's economy is suffering so much largely because of the national economy. As that improves, so will things in Nevada. Tourism is our state's leading industry, and when it suffers our entire state suffers. To ease the impact I am working to build yet another industry in Nevada, clean energy. While the Recovery Act did important things, like cut taxes for 98 percent of Nevadans, it also made significant investments in clean energy. The Recovery Act delivered more than $300 million for Nevada's clean energy industry. This included financing for an energy transmission line between White Pine and Clark Counties to create a thousand new clean energy jobs.

However, because there's no better place to visit and spend money than Nevada, I'm also doing everything I can to strengthen our tourism industry. That's why when the state's largest employer, MGM, was having trouble finishing CityCenter, I stepped in and did what I could to save 22,000 jobs, and get the project completed. It was the right thing to do for those 22,000 people and Nevada's economy. I also led passage of the Travel Promotion Act, which will create as many as 6,000 jobs in Nevada and bring foreign tourists to Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe.

We also passed the HIRE Act, which is giving tax breaks to small businesses to incentivize hiring and encourage employee retention. Because of this bill, 69,000 new hires in Nevada alone qualified for tax breaks, and Expedia recently announced they were hiring 130 employees in Nevada because of the HIRE Act.

I delivered $83 million in emergency education funding to protect 1,400 Nevada education jobs, solar tax credits that will create as many as 41,000 Nevada jobs, and helped secure a wind turbine factory in Southern Nevada that will create 1,000 permanent jobs and hundreds of construction jobs.

We also passed tax credits for small businesses to allow them to provide their employees with health insurance and use their savings to invest in their business and hire more employees.

We have a lot more work to do to create jobs and turn our economy around, and I'm confident that as we have in the past, Nevada will emerge stronger than ever.

I wake up each morning with the struggle of everyday Nevadans on my mind, and will never stop working to ensure that every Nevadan who wants a job can get one.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the majority leader of the U.S. Senate, is running against Republican Sharron Angle in the 2010 elections.

Editor's note: Sharron Angle did not respond to repeated invitations to write an op-ed on this topic for AOL News.