PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

June 19, 2012

Ed Case Completes PDH Survey

What, in your view, are the reasons preventing the U.S. Senate from passing legislation that better serves the American people?

The main reason is that most of the American people are currently disenfranchised inside the Beltway. The inside crowd is dominated by political action committees and other special interests dedicated solely to the maintenance of their own interests at all costs to the exclusion of everyone else, and Congress is dominated additionally by the mindset that every debate and policy issue presents a stark choice between political extremes.

All of this results in hyperpartisan, my-way-or-the-highway, take-no-prisoners gridlock, and classic alamihi crab syndrome reactions to any attempt to find a better way forward. None of this is representative of the mainstream of the American people. No wonder that, in the most recent poll taken on the subject (Rasmussen, June 2012), only 7% of Americans, crossing all party and other lines, believe Congress is doing an excellent or good job. Please see my Issues Agenda: Fixing Washington.

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July 17, 2011

Obama is Not Progressive

Thinking or hoping otherwise will not make this statement any less true. Barack Obama is not progressive. For my part, I never believed he was and one only need look at his time in office thus far for evidence.

Let’s start with health care, if only because the issue is at, or near, the top of my priority list. While it’s true there are some good things in the Affordable Health Care Act, like extending to 26 the age under which parents can choose to continue to cover their children, or eliminating the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage because of a preexisting condition, there’s no denying that when it’s all said and done, it is little more than a massive handout to health insurance companies. (more…)

February 4, 2010

Afghanistan Resolution

Filed under: 1Stop War,National Politics,SHAPES platform — rachel @ 3:56 pm

At our January general membership meeting, we discussed and passed a resolution regarding the situation in Afghanistan. It is now a month later and I am getting ready to go to our Feb general membership meeting… but I figured this was worth posting for people to see anyway.

If you agree with the sentiment, call your Congressional Representatives and let them know!

Afghanistan Resolution:

The dispatch of thirty thousand additional troops to Afghanistan is a profound mistake that is likely to undermine the credibility of the Obama administration and any of the progressive reforms it is trying to enact. Our soldiers will be used to prop up one of the world’s most corrupt regimes, one that has recently “won” a fraudulent election and has little if any appeal to the people of the country. In fact, its power does not extend outside of Kabul. American soldiers and firepower will alienate Afghans and drive them to support the Taliban.

The scenario we are following is familiar from Vietnam. As Under Secretary of State George Ball (the one senior advisor to advise Lyndon Johnson to withdraw) later recalled: “Nobody was prepared to concede that any particular step would require any further step.” We will send more and more troops under the guise that “progress” is being made. The casualties we take and treasure we expend will become justifications for deeper and deeper involvement. President Obama’s decision is sending us into a new quagmire which will split the Democratic Party and sabotage hope for genuine “change.” We urge the Hawaii Democratic Party to insist on withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan.

January 19, 2009

Silencing Dr. King

Filed under: 1Stop War,5Economics,Barack Obama,General,HI Politics — Bart @ 11:15 am

Today, as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, it is a proper time to reflect upon the meaning of the man’s life work and message–the challenge he made to each of us to rise to our responsibilities, get out of our comfort zone and work to stop injustice.

Dr. Martin Luther King: Struggling Not to Lose Him

Dr. King was murdered in April 1968 in an attempt to silence his voice. We cannot erase that crime and the burden it has placed upon the movement for justice. But we can resist the many “little murders” which are committed every year around his birthday as the political and economic elite, dare I say, “the ruling class,” works to silence or muffle his message. (more…)

September 29, 2007

War-mongers in the White House

Filed under: 1Stop War,HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 9:33 pm

I remember President Bush’s rush to war in Iraq: While proclaiming that war was the “last resort,” the President was clearly impatient. UN sanctions were actually working well. According to the Wikipedia,

The United Nations located and destroyed large quantities of Iraqi WMD throughout the 1990s in spite of persistent Iraqi obstruction. Washington withdrew weapons inspectors in 1998, resulting in Operation Desert Fox, which further degraded Iraq’s WMD capability. . . .While various leftover weapons components from the 1980s and 1990s have also been found, most weapons inspectors do not now believe that the WMD program proceeded after 2002,[1] though various theories continue to be put forward. . . . In late 2002 Saddam Hussein, in a letter to Hans Blix, invited UN weapons inspectors back into the country. Subsequently the Security Council issued Resolution 1441 authorizing new inspections in Iraq. The carefully-worded U.N. resolution put the burden on Iraq, not U.N. inspectors, to prove that they no longer had weapons of mass destruction. . . .In January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program. . . .On March 7, 2003, Hans Blix’s last report to the UN security Council prior to the US led invasion of Iraq, described Iraq as actively and proactively cooperating with UNMOVIC, though not necessarily in all areas of relevance and had been frequently uncooperative in the past, but that it was within months of resolving key remaining disarmament tasks.[50]

But this was not good enough for Bush and Cheney, who clearly chose to believe the old intelligence reports, and other “worst case” assessments, and to disbelieve the UN reports. Or maybe they just lied. It was clear to me at the time that, shortly after the war on the Taliban in Afghanistan, and despite assurances that war was a “last resort,” Bush wanted to invade Iraq. His body language was clearer than his words. (more…)

September 26, 2007

HI-Sen split on Kyl-Lieberman

Filed under: 1Stop War,HI Politics,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 8:45 am

In an unexpected development this morning, our two senators split on the bellicose Kyl-Lieberman resolution against Iran, which reminds me of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution on the eve of the Viet-Nam war. What was unexpected (to me) is that Akaka voted for it, and Inouye against. At least this is better than Lieberman’s previous anti-Iran resolution, which passed 97-0. But it still must leave Vice President Cheney smiling.
The resolution itself does not call for military action. However, by declaring part of Iran’s national defense forces as a terrorist organization, it provides an easy rationale for Cheney’s desire for more war. (more…)

September 20, 2007

Frustrated Netroots vs. Congress on the War, et al.

Filed under: 1Stop War,HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 1:43 pm

Frosty’s lament today is hardly an isolated concern. There’s more here:

Primary Challenges Haunt Democrats, by BooMan (Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 11:07:06 AM EST). This blog includes a quote from Rep. Neil Abercrombie about the disconnect between what the anti-war group wants, and what the Democratic representatives feel able to deliver. This is also revealed in a recent national poll by Andy Kohut that aired on PBS September 19, 2007.

ANDREW KOHUT: Yes, I mean, I think, with respect to the Democrats, that’s the case, because what we saw also is the percentage of Democrats saying that their leaders are not doing enough to push Bush on Iraq. In July, that percentage was 54 percent, and in September, it was 61 percent.

It is also reflected in my op-ed piece today in the Star Bulletin, “Follow the Constitution: Initiate impeachment.” I am totally frustrated by Speaker Pelosi’s declaration that impeachment is off the table. (more…)

dems fall on their faces… again.

Filed under: 1Stop War,National Politics — frosty @ 9:15 am

these days i find myself generally pissed off at the democratic party, both on the national scene and here in hawaii.  now, i’ll admit that i’ve never been a huge fan of the party to begin with, as i feel it offers (nationally anyway) only moderate differences in policy to the republicans.  anyone who doesn’t think the dnc is just as much in bed with big business as the republicans is, in my opinion, simply fooling themselves.  but i digress…. (more…)

July 2, 2007

Advice & Consent

Filed under: 1Stop War,National Politics,SHAPES platform — rachel @ 4:38 pm

Brien Hallet, Associate Professor at the Institute for Peace at the University of Hawai‘i, has developed a plan that he thinks may help us extricate ourselves from Iraq. It may not be as flashy as simply saying “Troops Home Now!” but I think it has merit. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Brien will also be attending our July 5th meeting to discuss his ideas.

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May 2, 2007

weakling democrats

Filed under: 1Stop War,National Politics — frosty @ 2:27 pm

there is a blog post by senator russ feingold on the huffington post about today’s presidential veto of the iraq spending bill sent to him last week by the democratic congress.  he said he’d veto it before it showed up on his desk, but democrats sent it anyway, using the bill as a signal that congress was no longer bush’s lap dog.

now that bush has done exactly what he said he would, it seems some democrats have already lost their nerve, their will to do battle with the president on this issue.  well, since we couldn’t get it passed with the time line there can’t possibly be a way to force the president to end this war.  oh well, let’s just give him what he wants….

WHAT?

the president is completely unwilling to compromise on anything having to do with iraq, yes, but that doesn’t mean we just throw in the towel.  we keep fighting for what we think, what we know is right.  in a rare instance, democrats in congress actually have tremendous support from the public with regard to ending the war in iraq.  at the same time, the ground seems to be continually eroding from underneath this administration, so WE should be the one to back down?

to use presidential logic, let me put it another way.  for six years, this president has experienced no resistance to his policies.  he’s never heard the word no, but now the democrats are trying to teach him (granted, i’m not sure the man is intelligent enough to tie his shoes, but it’s still worth a try).  now, after their first real stand off, some democrats are ready to give him what he wants?  if we back down now, there’s no reason to think he’ll compromise with congress on anything else.

if you don’t stand up to a bully, he’ll never learn.  however thin the democratic majority is in congress, it is still enough to force this president to work with congress, to listen to the will of the people (some of whom actually voted for him).  there can be no backing down on this issue and i have to applaud senator feingold for coming out and saying it.

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