Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Jeb Bradley's warped values

Down in New Orleans, scores of people are dead, hundreds of thousands are homeless, and one of America's greatest cities faces a monumental rebuilding task.

But what does Jeb Bradley find time to talk about?

The flow of petroleum.

No mention of the people who are suffering. No words of comfort. No sense of decency.

This speaks volumes about Mr. Bradley's priorities.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

New Orleans

The scenes coming in from New Orleans have left me feeling overwhelmed.

I lived in New Orleans for three years in the 1990s. The city will always be a part of who I am. Sitting here in Manchester, unable to do anything about the situation in Louisiana, leaves me feeling emotionally exhausted.

My in-laws are riding out the crisis at the home of relatives in Arkansas. It seems that their neighborhood in the Algiers section of New Orleans has been spared some of the worst damage. Other members of my wife's family might not be so fortunate.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco has asked that folks spend part of Wednesday praying for the people of New Orleans. I'm with you, Governor. I hope that all of us, regardless of our individual faiths, will pray for the safety of our friends in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Somehow, someway, New Orleans will survive.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Clark's Third Way on Iraq

Wes Clark has a smart and succinct op/ed in the Washington Post outlining a strategy for Iraq. It's a refreshingly intelligent approach, and a nice alternative to the false dichotomy of "stay the course" versus "out now".

Read the article at:

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Responding to Foster's Cynicism

A few weeks ago, John Edwards came to New Hampshire and spoke about making the elimination of poverty a national priority. Foster's Daily Democrat used the occasion to trash Edwards' agenda, question his motives, and recite the usual (and remarkably inaccurate) canard about New Hampshire not having anyone living on the economic margins.

Foster's position is cynical nonsense. Click here to see my full response.

Monday, August 22, 2005

On the Trail

I'll be in Exeter tonight to speak to the Rockingham County Democratic Committee at 6:30. The meeting is being held at the Loaf & Ladle at 9 Water St.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

About Damn Time

The Associated Press is reporting that Jesse Burchfeld, the campaign manager for Burt Cohen's abortive US Senate campaign, has been charged with filing false finance reports.

It's about damn time.

For over a year, some folks in the Republican Party have been conducting a whispering campaign against Burt. Hopefully, this development will put these weasels in their place.

I've known Burt Cohen for almost twenty years. We have worked together on legislation, and we have had our differences. But Burt has always demonstrated a fundamental sense of decency and honesty. Perhaps Burt is too trusting of those around him. If this is his worst fault, then he's better than 99% of the people you meet in this business.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Happy Birthday, Social Security

Yesterday marked the seventieth anniversary of the Social Security system.

Social Security is not only one of America's great success stories, it's a good example of the value of thinking creatively and challenging old orthodixies. When FDR proposed Social Security back in 1935, it was the epitome of an outside-the-box idea, one that stood old assumptions on their head. It was reform-minded, innovative and compassionate, embodying the values that we as Democrats and as Americans should stand for.

Contrary to the Bush Administration's contentions, the way to reform Social Security is not to gut it. Instead, let's have a sensible discussion on ways to address the legitimate demographic and financing issues in a way that maintains both the system's solvency and its legitimacy. in addition, let's look for ways to modernize an outdated pension system and make it relevant to today's "free agent" economy.

Of course, there are a few folks on the other side of the debate who are exhibiting a mind-boggling desire to roll back seven decades of progress. The Wisconsin Republican Party has decreed that America's most successful social program is "a socialist ponzi scheme". Let's keep this sort of rhetoric in mind the next time the Bush Administration and its apologists claim to have the system's best interests at heart.

(Tip o' the hat to Josh Marshall for the Wisconsin link)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Jeb's Dirty Dollars

Americans for a Republican Majority ("ARMPAC"), the political action committee headed by House Majority Leader Tom Delay, is under investigation for making material misstatements about its receipts, disbursements and cash on hand.

Jeb Bradley has been the recipient of ARMPAC's generosity to the tune of $15,000 since he first ran for Congress in 2002.

Jeb has accepted cash from an organization that clearly thinks it is above the law. It was bad enough for Jeb to take money from a group headed by a corrupt politician like Tom DeLay, but now that ARMPAC has been cited by government authorities, it's time for Jeb to face the music. I am calling on Jeb Bradley to pledge to refuse any future contributions from Americans for a Republican Majority. In addition, I am challenging Jeb to donate $15,0000, the amount he has pocketed from this shady organization, to a New Hampshire charitable organization. If Jeb decides to keep the money, it is further proof that his loyalties lie with crooked Texas politicians, not with the people of New Hampshire.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Bolton hurts America's interests

Sen. Joe Biden's Unite Our States has a petition opposing President Bush's back-door appointment of John Bolton to be our ambassador to the United Nations.

At a time when America's image desperately needs rebuilding, and at a time when it is imperative that we build strong, multilateral relationships with the world community, it is unconscionable that the Administration would place a blustering bull in a china shop like Bolton in such a critical position.

Please take a minute to sign this petiton, and voice you support for a strong and smart approach to foreign policy.

Monday, August 08, 2005

End the Ineptitude

According to a new poll by the Associated Press, only 38% of Americans approve of the Bush Administration's handling of the war in Iraq.

Well, when you put greedy contractors ahead of the needs of the troops, when you put swagger and bluster ahead of an intelligent planning process, when you manage to alienate the entire world community-hell, we even ticked off Canada-then things aren't going to go well.

The American public is sharper than the Bush gang realizes. The mishandling of the situation in Iraq has moved beyond the realm of the incompetent, and now verges on the criminal.

This isn't about whether or not Saddam Hussein is a bad apple. He is, and he had to be shown the door somehow. But you don't go it alone, ignore the advice of your own generals, hush up fraud and abuse by the contractors who are supposed to be helping our troops, and condone barbaric torture that flies in the face of what this country stands for, and then wonder why things haven't gone well.

The time for arrogance and incompetence is over. Let's elect a new set of leaders who will help America win the peace and allow our friends and neighbors to come home.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Remembering Professor Atkinson

Normally, I don't post matters of a strictly personal nature on this blog, but this morning I'm invoking personal privillege.

Richard Atkinson, the Dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law, died suddenly on Thursday while attending a bar association meeting in Chicago.

Dick Atkinson was one of my professors. He took the stultifyingly dry subject of wills, trusts and decent's estates and somehow made it come alive. He could be tough and demanding, but once class was over, he was always ready to share advice, insight, or just a laugh or two.

If there were more professors and lawyers like Dick Atkinson, then our profession would have a far better reputaion. I know I speak for all of his students, colleagues, and friends when I say that his passing hurts like hell. He was truly one of the good guys.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Dean Atkinson's partner, Dr. Michael Hollomon, and the rest of his family.

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