Monday, April 24, 2006

Beautiful Blossoming

Last week Illinois took the first step in trend-setting: its legislature is looking at a resolution calling for the impeachment of Bush:
State Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood) has sponsored a resolution calling on the General Assembly to submit charges to the U.S. House so its lawmakers could begin impeachment proceedings.
How do I know it's a trend? Because California is doing the same thing. Better yet, it's going one step further, bring Cheney in on the impeachment:
California Assemblyman Paul Koretz of Los Angeles (where the LA Times has now called for Cheney's resignation) has submitted amendments to Assembly Joint Resolution No. 39, calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney. The amendments reference Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives, which allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature.
This is an beautiful idea which shows promise of blossoming across the country. Granted, the chances of success in a Republican controlled Congress is slim to none, but if enough state legislatures hop on board, it would send a very powerful message to our electeds. Hopefully one that could not be ignored.

Even prouder for this humble contributor is that my birth state is Illinois and Paul Koretz is my assemblymember, at least until he terms out this year.

I believe my heart swelled with pride three sizes today...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Incumbency - isn't sacred

There seems to be a raging discussion, dare we say argument, between progressives and more tradition bound democrats and even a few independents over the question of primary contests between seated Democratic Members of Congress and their challengers. Let's rid ourselves of the first fallacy; the one that says that allowing a challenge to a seated Congressman/woman in a Blue District is not consistent with this election cycles committment to turn the House Blue! Whether you agree with or are opposed to the convenient reapportionment; it did almost assuredly guarantee that Blue districts remain Blue. So if a qualified opponent to a seated incumbent wins in the Primary; then he or she will be the next elected MC [Member of Congress] for that district.

The second fallacy is that the incumbent might have high or even 100% ratings on key Democratic progressive issues; not withstanding that they might be a bit of a Yellow Dog Democrat with a DLC centrists affection for many of the White House policies that facilitate moderate centrist protection of power in the timid hands of Democratic MC's that won't support Jack Murtha, Russ Feingold, or Barbara Boxer when she confronts the whole Senate as she did when standing up in solidarity with the Black Caucus!

Whether you think that Senator Joseph Lieberman should be challenged as a new type of Democrat, which many of us know means he is a closet republican, or think he should be defended; the dialogue is necessary to keep the democratic spirit alive. There are no wrong questions; just failing to engage in a meaningful exchange of opinion. We find this is also the case in the challenge that Marcy Winograd has mounted to Congresswoman Jane Harman. It is amazing how Congresswoman Jane is now a born again grassroots activist who always was so concerned about the concerns of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party! That this doesn't match up with her prior, if not current, membership in the Centrist, Corporate, Democratic Leadership Conference or in one of it's subsidiary organs for electeds should come as no surprise. When an entranched incumbent is challenged by a fresh new opponent in the primary they start to remember the principles of the Democratic Party that they had abandoned so recently. At the end of the Day Incumbency is not sacred!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ya Think?

A few months ago this space featured an article regarding the importance of obtaining accurate rally counts, as a way to foster legitimacy, amongst others. Well, seems like the Los Angeles Times has taken notice of the need for accurate numbers:
There is no question that last Saturday's immigration march in downtown Los Angeles was massive.

But were there 500,000 protesters?

No one knows for sure.

The Los Angeles Police Department estimated the crowd at about half a million at its high point, after officers in a helicopter made a guess about the density of the crowd.

"It's not an exact science," said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon. "They didn't use any kind of grid system. It's just an estimate."

Organizers, meanwhile, insist that 1.3 million people attended, and they vowed to prove it.

Engineers volunteering their time have obtained aerial photographs of the march from Spanish-language television networks and are studying them, said Nativo Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Assn. They should have results in a couple of weeks, he said.

It all underscores the fact that measuring the turnout at protests and other organized public events has become a controversial issue in recent years. Experts say there are scientific ways to gauge crowd size using complex grids, aerial photos, density ratios and flow analysis.
I'm tellin' ya, people, we've gotta start employing counting methods that are effective. The grid/video method mentioned in our previous article (two-thirds down the page) is an easy and excellent way to count march participants.

My friends, we've got to start counting NOW.