Monthly Archives: December 2009

Same bull, different year

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about. I received this email from James Carville.

“… it is increasingly clear that the future of the GOP rests in the hands of the Republican governors.”
How governors could guide a Grand New Party
by Dan Balz, Washington Post, 12.13.09

Dear Steven,

While all eyes are on President Obama and congressional Democrats as we head into 2010 and the critical midterm elections, the Republican Party is trying to pull a fast one on us and slip a Trojan horse right on through the gate.

The gates of the governors’ mansions, that is.

With 37 governorships up for grabs next year — that’s a lot of horses and a lot of bull!

If Democrats aren’t careful, we’re going to need a mighty big shovel to clean up this mess.

The GOP and the Republican Governors Association have made it their mission to do whatever it takes to win as many of these gubernatorial races as possible — because that’s how they can push “reset” before the 2012 elections.

In 2011, every single state will redraw congressional lines to theoretically make our government more representative. But we all know what happens when a Republican sits in the statehouse — those lines are anything but fair and representative. More like a snake in a shoebox.

Back in 2003, Tom DeLay and his good buddy Gov. Rick Perry successfully led an unprecedented Bush-era effort to cook up six GOP-friendly congressional districts, which set the stage for a Republican takeover of Texas.

Same bull, different year!

Republican governors … plus manipulated districts … equals 25 to 30 more congressional seats in GOP hands in 2012! It’s no secret either — they’ve been running all across the country, saying this is their goal!

I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to sit by and let them run roughshod over all our hard-earned progress.

That’s why I’m supporting the one organization that can stop the RGA’s scheming and scamming, distractions and distortions — and I hope you will too. The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) has set an immediate December 31 fundraising goal of $22,865 in time for their annual reporting deadline — but the clock is ticking!

Your gift will make a huge difference in the DGA’s ability to run effective advertising, conduct extensive opposition research, and direct critical funds to tight races. And if you give by midnight tonight, it’ll be matched by a leading DGA supporter — doubling the impact of your support.

Republicans are hell-bent on taking back Democratic statehouses in 2010. In fact, Newt Gingrich’s buddy, Gov. Haley Barbour — who happens to be the chair of the RGA — recently bragged that “next year’s going to be a good year for Republican governors.”   

There’s no time to waste — the DGA must reach their goal to stop the Republicans in their tracks. We do NOT want to enter 2010 playing catch-up.

So please make a donation today to join the DGA and ensure that your support is doubled. Their end-of-year deadline ends at midnight tonight, and time is running out.

If the GOP gains control of the redistricting process and cheats Americans out of fair representation in Congress — we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Here’s to 2010 … and to shutting down that right-wing Trojan horse for good.

Happy New Year,

James Carville

P.S.  Midnight TONIGHT! That’s when your gift needs to reach the DGA to have it doubled. Let’s ring in the New Year on solid footing and never look back.



Paid for by the Democratic Governors Association. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contributions are not tax deductible.

Re-elect Harry Reid

We cannot afford to lose a single Democratic Senator.

Senator Harry Reid – A Powerful Voice for Nevada

Dear Steven,

Democrats have been busy this year.

We’ve accomplished much, and have fought the Republican’s obstructionist tactics every step of the way. They’ve made defeating President Obama’s agenda their top legislative priority, and they’ve made defeating me their top political priority.

In a few short hours, I will close the fundraising books for the year. Will you stand with me today and help beat back the Republican’s attacks?

We have done so much this year to put our country back on the right track:

  • With our economy teetering on the brink of collapse, Democrats passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is putting Nevadans to work as we speak.
  • The Lilly Ledbetter Act made fair pay for women and minorities the law of the land.
  • We expanded SCHIP so 37,000 kids in Nevada can see a doctor and be treated when they get sick.
  • We passed sweeping changes to our nation’s hate crimes laws, ensuring violent denials of civil rights will not go unpunished.
  • We protected more than 2 million acres of wilderness, and thousands miles of scenic rivers and trails. And we stopped progress on the nuclear dump at Yucca Mountain in its tracks.
  • We made the largest investment ever in clean energy, creating thousands of jobs in Nevada and putting our country on a path to energy independence.
  • We stood up to the credit card companies, forcing them to treat their customers fairly.
  • And of course, we are well on our way to truly historic reform of our nation’s health care delivery system.

Last month, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent a fundraising letter to the extreme wing of his party, claiming I’m pushing a “radical liberal agenda” on our country. I guess he considers tax cuts for working families and putting more cops on the street “radical” and “liberal.”

Will you consider making a donation of $50, $30 or $15 today? With the right-wing fringe running the Republican Party these days, you know they will pull out the Karl Rove playbook next year.

Years from now, pundits will look back on 2009 and proclaim it the most productive legislative year since the first year of FDR’s administration – despite the economic turmoil and the non-stop obstruction of the GOP. There is still so much to do. With your help, we can continue to bring about the change America deserves.

Happy New Year,


PS – As we move forward into the next legislative session, I’m eager to know what issue is most important to you in 2010. Send me a text message at 42779 (HARRY).
Text E to 42779 for Climate Change.
Text F to 42779 for Jobs Package.
Text G to 42779 for Financial Regulation Reform.
Text H to 42779 for Immigration Reform.
Thank you!

Help Reelect Chris Dodd

Having seen what troubles 39 Republicans can cause in the Senate, we cannot afford to lose any Democrats. Especially Connecticut needs someone to compensate for Joe Lieberman.

If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view.

Chris Dodd for Connecticut
Dear Steven,

The Republicans are desperate to pick up seats in the Senate so they can grind the legislative process to a complete halt. They don’t care about the consequences other than their own political gain. To that end, they have declared my seat as one of their top targets and they intend to spend whatever it takes to win. We need your help to fight back.

Tomorrow is a critical fundraising deadline. This is an important moment and we must demonstrate to my opponents and the special interests and right-wing activists who fund their campaigns that we’ll be ready to fight back against every baseless attack, every distortion and every assault on our values. I intend to give this effort every ounce of energy I have – but to win I’ll need you to stand with me.

Contribute before tomorrow’s deadline.




If you feel you have received this message in error, we apologize. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Privacy Policy
Paid for by Friends of Chris Dodd
Contributions to Friends of Chris Dodd are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Corporate contributions are prohibited by law.

All content © 2009 Friends of Chris Dodd
P.O. Box 270701, West Hartford, CT 06127

The Value of Diversity in the Workplace

Roger Goun posted this item on his facebook page.

To make it available to a wider audience, I will put the major links here.

Erik Swenson found this response to the original video.

Sure there is a logical, non-racist explanation for the problem the software is having. In other words, I doubt that the software engineers set out to make the software not work on black faces.

However, I would be willing to bet that this deficiency in the software was never discovered during testing. I’d be further willing to bet that had there been more diversity in the HP work force in the engineering department, the problem would have been discovered and more effort would have been put into finding a fix to the problem.

Having first hand knowledge of diversity in the typical American engineering work force, I do wonder why this problem did not show up with some dark skinned Indian engineer.  Maybe this is proof that having  engineers with an ethnic background from India is no substitute for having some representation of people with an African background in the work force.

I think this embarrassment for HP is the best proof that one can have that diversity in a corporation’s workforce can be important in ways that the corporation might never have imagined.

Since writing this original post, Roger has posted a link on his facebook page to the article HP Uses Social Media To Defuse ‘Racist’ Webcam Issue.

It would be interesting to find out what is the judgment in the African-American community on how well HP has handled this. Not being of that community, I will not offer an opinion.

Roger credits his nephew for bringing the story to Roger’s attention.

The Big Zero – The Decade In Which We Achieved Nothing And Learned Nothing

Follow this link to read Paul Krugman’s column describing the decade about to end on the 31st (this Friday or next year).

I knew that when the politicians kept calling for tax cuts to stimulate an economy that was already way over heated, we were in serious trouble.  It is surprising that it took this long for the consequences of such idiotic policies to become so readily apparent.

It is ironic that these calls for stimulating a run-away economy came from the party that claims that they knew more about how capitalism should be managed than the party who wanted to be prudent and balance the budget during good times.

You have to know from past history that when the economy booms again and it is time to pay down some of the debt accumulated during the recession the old Republican mantra will come into vogue again. It’s your money being collected in taxes and you know how to spend it better than the government. At that point, if the public had any intelligence, they would remember that we borrowed the money to stave off depression and the time has come to pay it back, not borrow more.  It is your money, but you committed it to the government to pay back what it borrowed to save your sorry a** during the near depression.  If you don’t realize that, then you truly do not know how to spend your money better than the government.

Health Care Bill Is The Greatest Social Achievement Of Our Time

Follow this link to the article in The New Republic.

This is the best defense I have seen of health care reform as embodied in the recently passed Senate bill.

If you are a disheartened liberal, read this article to get yourself straightened out.

If you are a rabid right winger, forget it, there is no hope for you.

Everybody else seems to get it without any help. Even for you, reading this article might impress you about the benefits of the legislation even more than you knew.

How Harry Reid Shepherded Healthcare Reform Through the Senate

Follow this link to the story in the Los Angeles Times about how Harry Reid shepherded the health care reform bill through the Senate.

It is scary to realize what must happen to get a bill passed through the Senate. I am thinking that the liberal ploy of insisting on a public option worked really well.  The people trying to stop this bill probably thought that keeping out the public option was enough to kill the bill.  They probably rested when that option was removed and the early Medicare sign-up was removed.  Luckily the liberals had pretended this was enough to be a show stopper, so the killers stopped there.  Then the liberals fooled them by voting for the resulting bill.

This reminds me of a principle or parenting that I have always pondered.  Children need to rebel against their parents.  So you need to insist on something that is not too consequential so that they will be able to rebel and yet survive their teen years.

The only humor in the Senate process was the part that Charlie Brown and Nelson Rockefeller played.

“Carol of the Old Ones” [For lovers of Lovecraft] 1

The reclusive Providence, RI writer of horror and fantasy, H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), created, “The Cthulhu Mythos.”

What? You haven’t read his works? You know, you really should.

The Tabernacle Choir performs a “delightful” Carol of the Old Ones, celebrating Cthulhu and the lesser gods.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.  My wife and I sing bits of it to each other as we stroll the streets of Cambridge.