Disclose Act: Save This Bill, Get a Rush

california disclose act

We have about a day and a half to save a groundbreaking bill that will make corporations and big-spending One Percenters who buy political ads, reveal their identities in their commercials so you’ll know who’s trying to manipulate your vote. The California DISCLOSE Act, AB 1148, authored by progressive champion Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D – [...]

Separation Anxiety

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Wendy Block: My worst long-range political nightmare is watching the next Republican president appoint even one Supreme Court justice (Go Ralph Nader for President in 2000!).

ALEC, AT&T But Not My Credo

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Wendy Block: When I hear that AT&T and Verizon are key players with other multinationals and Republican legislators in ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that advances corporate interests and undermines ours, my thoughts turn…shall we say, vehement.

Save Libraries? Tax Oil Producers? Stop Pay to Play?

vote-wide

Wendy Block: Here is one conglomerated guide, the result of studying the few remaining newspapers, endorsements from the LA County Democratic Party, DPSFV, the League of Women Voters, the Courage Campaign and LA Progressive; plus analysis from several progressive Dem clubs and recommendations from electeds.

Devil vs Details

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Wendy Block: Frank Luntz gets paid big bucks, by the right, to play these linguistic tricks on the rest of us; it’s our job to catch his sleight-of-hand and call him on it, and to encourage all the non-political junkies we know to recognize his misdirection for what it is.

Ferial Masry: Surprised Political Legend

Ferial Masry and Barbara Boxer

Wendy Block: This Election Day, Masry hopes to make that scenario real by beating Jeff Gorell for the open seat in California’s 37th Assembly District (Ventura/LA County). If she wins, her victory will also be a victory for millions of people half a world away.

Guess Who Could Be Funding Those Attack Ads

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Wendy Block: The Citizens United decision doesn’t address the homeland of donors. So what would stop multi-national companies or even foreign countries from procuring such potential winners as Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, or Christine O’Donnell? Who are the people/corporations behind these mysterious ads? Could Osama bin Laden be a donor? After all, the Supreme Court did rule in favor of free speech for all money.

Courage Awards: What You Missed

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Wendy Block: If you missed Valley Democrats United’s most spectacular Badge of Courage luncheon yet, you didn’t learn how one person – including you — can revolutionize progressive communication.

Elizabeth Warren You Rock

The New Sheriffs Of Wall Street

Wendy Block: I don’t know if the world would improve if women ran it. Our decision-making and problem-solving brain centers are proportionally larger than men’s. Same with emotions, perhaps a mixed blessing. And anxiety tends to lead women to reach out to others, often at their own expense, whereas men generally get all “fight or flight.”

Honorees Revolutionize Progressive Communications

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Wendy Block: Valley Democrats United’s (VDU’s) 2010 Badge of Courage honorees knew corporate media would respect progressive voices about the same time Rush Limbaugh invited Amy Goodman to guest host his radio show. So documentarian extraordinaire Robert Greenwald, and citizen journalists for the world Sharon Kyle and Dick Price, crashed the international debate.

California Fair Elections Kickoff

Campaign cash

Wendy Block: It’s impossible to eliminate money from politics, and there’s no reason to. But release candidates from huge campaign contributors and the special favors that follow victory, and you’ll see miracles after every election.

Disaster Prep With a Twist

Kevin Mason shows us how to do a head-to-toe assessment. (Photo by incycle)

Wendy Block: If every emergency prep session started like Mason’s, I’d already be an expert in CPR and have several well-stocked larders located strategically, carrying the appropriate first-aid provisions and food needed immediately after disaster strikes– whether at home or away.

Howard Zinn And J. D. Salinger: Two Heroes

howard zinn jd salinger

Wendy Block: Both Zinn and Salinger remained true to themselves. Zinn maintained his radical stance when many of his contemporaries softened. Salinger rejected what he considered the phoniness of fame, and even stopped publishing (but maybe now, secreted works will go public). Though some of his rumored actions, if true, were eccentric, there’s nothing reclusive about wanting to live a life free from an obsessively attentive outside world.

Blue Shield Cares — About What?

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Wendy Block: My criticism of Blue Shield (substitute Blue Cross or Aetna or…) is that the medical experts who know and have treated me for many years, got disgusted and finally left. My HMO doc gives me normal prescriptions and orders routine lab tests. But often, normal isn’t enough.

Whose Nation?

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If Maria Shriver’s name or Oprah’s were not attached to this report, would it have attracted close cooperation with John Podesta’s Center for American Progress (CAP)?

Veterans Day: Dusty, Faded Surprise

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But I remember him– every time a street person asks for money (I always give), when a man holds up a cardboard sign reading something like “Viet Nam vet. Will work for food,” when news stories cover veterans returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, struggling to cope with crippling injuries and PTSD.

Fixed?

elections

Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Milk. All special interest patrons of America’s Big Money bordello. What are good progressives to do? Either we get lobotomies (not that recession-lashed activists can afford them) or we fix the way the country finances politics.

Messy Blond Dreadlocks of Grace

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Late afternoon rush hour, Hollywood, this time of year — right after Easter, just a few days left of Passover. Moments after hugging my then 11-year-old goodbye and watching her dad welcome her to his seder, I already missed her. I was expected at a seder in the West Valley in about 40 minutes. With [...]

Uprising Updated

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When visionary journalist/author David Sirota published his book, The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington in June 2008, he traveled the country—including an appearance at Valley Dems United Democratic Club—making his case. But even before November 4, it was clear that Americans were living their own insurrections; some [...]

Wiped? Back to Work

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This past Sunday I ran for re-election as a Delegate to the California Democratic Party (CDP). I was on the Progressive Slate, from the 42nd Assembly District which covers parts of LA and the San Fernando Valley. Two years ago when I first ran, local progressive Dems were fired up and ready to give the [...]

Printing Poetry

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by Wendy Block – Back from Best Buy one recent evening with my new all-in-one inkjet, I finally began connecting it to the computer just before midnight. When I next glanced at a clock, it was way later and I’d utterly failed. Time for another disjointed tech call.

Can We?

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by Wendy Block – “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” — “The Unnamable” by Samuel Beckett Yea us! Americans just spent over a billion in time, energy and dollars and changed our government.

This Presidential Season — Best Ever!

There’s never been a better time to seek enlightenment—the state that frees you from gut-shredding despair every time McCain/Palin snarls at Obama and Barack doesn’t rip right back and raise the stakes. True enlightenment, of course, also requires moving past the delight you feel when Obama gives as good as he gets. The ultimate goal [...]

Can You Feel It?

David Sirota’s prescient new book, The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington is coming to life and we’re in it! It’s been a terrifying and illuminating few weeks living amidst the fury of millions of Americans from left, right and center. Many of us are accusing our elected [...]

How We Can Win

You’d have to be on a media fast to have missed journalist/blogger/commentator David Sirota on TV (Stephen Colbert, CNN, Fox News[!]), radio (NPR, Pacifica) and in the pages of Newsweek and The New Republic earlier this summer. He was discussing his New York Times bestseller The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring [...]