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Can Progressives Force A Quicker End To Foreign Wars?

11:37 pm in Uncategorized by kspopulist

I believe we can. By encouraging the national dialogue to focus on costs rather than battles. Costs that drive the deficit everyone hollers about already and for quite awhile. Costs that have outstripped the VA in it’s ability to respond to the shell-shocked and wounded. Costs that have piled up in our monetary focus on overseas wars rather than the national infrastructure that fails everytime we turn around.
By telling our own stories, of relatives and friends and neighbors who are there, returning and trying to recover in this uncertain economic landscape. Or those all here, who fight the culture wars at home. By telling our stories of local job-providing businesses, neighbors and friends lost to budget cuts, overseas labor, depression due to failing economies, both local and national. By telling our stories of just how many jobs that local industry keeps local by making bombs or fighter jets, humvee parts or that of other MIC contracts. I’d be willing to bet there’s not that many in actuality though I am assured they exist in every state. Prove me wrong!

Especially now in the weeks after the killing of Osama bin Laden, people all over are questioning at last why we’re out there fighting at all. We all know the answers why we should be home dealing with what we need to do here. This week the Mississippi basin is flooded. Looks like the crest has passed Memphis and Louisiana, Mississippi are doing everything to hold it back. What worked? People filling sandbags, volunteering in their neighborhoods, building levees higher still. But so far the levees have held back high water not seen since ’37 or ’27. This should give people confidence there is nothing we can’t do as the waters recede and the damage surveyed. It’ll look like a warzone and take years to recover from too.
But the idea is already dawning on people. Why on earth is Washington or the State House, or the Governor talking about budget cuts? We need to cut defense and end the big industry giveaways and take care of our own here at home.

Can Progressives Shift the Vote In Swing Districts Come 2012?

10:04 pm in Uncategorized by kspopulist

Of course we can. The thing is we have to know where they are. One of the ways to do this is simply gather up the histories of the races in all the districts, look at the ballot tallies, investigate the candidates and make some decisions. Everybody knows the storied lessons of Florida, and Ohio. But the consequences of the 2010 midterms and the lack of any Dem leadership, as well as Republican party chaos that’s been enabled, have already turned a lot of voters off. With people hurting at home and alarmed at budget cuts they’d never seen or heard of before, my hunch is people will be looking for reasons NOT to throw out the bums. The pendulum is there to swing. We have to supply them reasons to throw out the bribers-in-chief and spread them far and wide to those who just might want to know. Retiring the authoritarian place-holders like Boehner or Cantor or Issa and replace them with candidates of conviction that will aggressively advocate things everyone can get behind. Like ending the wars, like prosecuting wall street criminals, like finding sunshine and limits for campaign finance, like reversing climate change and cleaning up the planet. Or always tie these arguments to local jobs that can be created.
Yes, first the basics. We need a national color-coded map online, one for Senate, one for House districts. The idea seems quite simple. An information clearinghouse. Each district, with a click leads to a start page for that district giving histories, candidates, incumbents and their voting histories etc., local issues or dynamics etc. All politics is local so there always is local dynamics that play heavily into traditional inclinations and also can reveal trends for bucking. Local district contributions should always be welcome in showing light on what’s going on in a district. The more inclusive ideally, the more people will want to contribute shedding light on what representation means to them etc.
If I were a university professor of poli sci I’d ask a grad seminar to make one. But it is a national project perfectly suited for the internet. Maybe hire a one-off graphic designer or webtech to help set it up, but it looks to me like quite the community here at FDL who could quite readily fill such a resource up and keep it going. Maybe a real trick would be to keep it free from hooie and trolls and such.
But we have to know at the outset where to target any resources to accomplish greatest effects electorially. And despite the uncertainty with how many districts will end up after the results across the country redrawing districts as a result of the 2010 census, the right will have a similar disadvantage. Even if they have a greater hand in drawing those districts with so many Republican Governors elected in 2010, they don’t know any better than we do how the people will actually vote.

If indeed, we can get the rightward swing voter asking the question in the title of this diary, then the pendulum will already be in motion. So, where should we be talking to people? And what will we tell them?