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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


Trump & The Mob



"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."


Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937


A Just Peace


SIP contract online


Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks



"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  





  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:


  • Jim Hightower:

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 

Hard Times in Oregon: 


The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   




    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People


    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 


•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.


•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   

A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  


"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison











































RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ


  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 

Every Fascist Needs an Enabler. Donald Trump Will Have Mike Pence.

Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 


SB 1533 passes!


Housing Needs in Oregon 




"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941


Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 


Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw



From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now

The Daily Kos

Blue Oregon


"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 


    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   



     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 

"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  


"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

















































    For a brief moment allow me to move from the sublime, politics, to the ridiculous, college football.  Last night's so-called BCS championship game between LSU and Ohio State was proof that the BCS system is a joke.  How many times must Ohio State be allowed into the big game only to fall flat on their faces?  Anyone out there who thinks LSU is the best team in the nation didn't watch USC dismantle 'the other' Big 10 patsy - Illinois.  You want to findout who the best team in the USA is - have a  playoff between Georgia & LSU and USC & Kansas, then let the winners of those games play it off on a neutral field.  After this Saturday Quest Field in Seattle will be available.



    By Jim Hightower, Commentary, Tuesday, January 8, 2008
    Widely-reported fact Number One: our country faces a growing health care crisis, that leaves 47 million Americans with no health insurance – an increase of 7 million people since the year 2000.
    Little-reported related fact: the health care crisis not only affects the uninsured, but also the growing number of insured families who find themselves paying more and more money for policies that deliver less and less care.
    Out-of-pocket costs for health coverage is skyrocketing – some 61 million Americans are now in families that will spend more than 10 percent of their incomes on medical costs this year, according to a recent report by Families USA, a nonpartisan advocacy group.
    That’s a jump of nearly 20 million people since 2000, and the vast majority of them have insurance. More astonishing is the finding that nearly 18 million Americans are in families now paying more than 25 percent of their incomes on health costs.
    Widely-reported fact Number Two: credit card debt continues to pile upon the backs of American families, and there’s now a worrisome surge in the number of serious delinquencies and defaults.
    Little-reported related fact: more and more financially-squeezed families have been paying their ever-rising health care bills with their credit cards.
    These interrelated facts explain why American voters are telling pollsters and politicians that access to affordable health care is their number one domestic concern in this year’s elections.
    Not only does a large majority want the federal government to guarantee that every American has health coverage, but sixty percent of the people say they are willing to pay higher taxes to get it done.
    RAD:  The health care crisis can also be connected to the homeless issue.  One-half of those who have lost their homes have done so because of not being able to pay their mortgage due to rising health care costs.
    As we housing advocates say - many Americans are one job loss or catastrophic illness away from ending on the streets.  
    Having participated in "Sleep Out" on homelessness last Saturday night, on a cold windy winter's day in rainy Oregon with the temperature near freezing I can't imagine how anyone can survive on the streets. 
    Due to my own medical issues I had to leave the "Out in the Cold" candle light vigil after about an hour, while others stayed the entire night - in a tent, cars or under a cardboard box.
    If I had stuck it out I would have ended up in the hospital with pneumonia which given my long history of bronchial problems could have been fatal.
    So tackling the homeless problem is also a long term solution to the health care crisis.  As they say - everything is interconnected.  
    For information and action on health care reform, call Families USA: 202-628-3030.   
    “Press Release from Families USA.”, December 20, 2007
    “Most Support U.S. Guarantee Of Health Plans,”, March 2, 2007   
    “Health Insurance Coverage,”, December 2007



homegirl_vi9s.jpg    The Washington County Interfaith Committee on Homelessness is holding a Town Hall meeting January 12, 2008 at Tigard United Methodist Church, 9845 SW Walnut Place, Tigard, Oregon (located off SW Pacific Highway--99W).  
    The purpose of the Town Hall is to learn what public and private sectors in the state, metro area and county are doing to address the problem of homelessness and housing insecurity in Washington County.  Leaders from the state, metro, county, cities and the business community will be sharing their insights on this important issue. 
    This is free and the public is welcome. 



    It's always dangerous to generalize about political campaigns.  That caveat said, allow me to make a hypothesis about the campaign inside the Democratic party and then how it might play out beyond the race for the nomination to the race for the presidential election.  
    On the Democratic side the race has narrowed to a two-person race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  With the momentum from his Iowa victory, Obama is clearly gaining ground each day in New Hamphsire, in South Carolina and beyond.  He's achieved "rock star" status like JFK did after the famous Kennedy/Nixon debate in 1960. 
    I think the key to Barack's success is that he, unlike any of the candidates on either side of the political spectrum, does not talk about what "he" will do for the American people, but what "we" need to do to reclaim the American Dream and our geo-political footing in the world.
    Barack unlike Hillary has also kept on message during the ups and downs of the race.  He is not constantly reinventing himself.  This gives him authenticity which is the basis for his appeal to Ds, Rs, and Is.  And given the "we" message he appeals to our desire to be united, not divided.  Hillary with her high negatives can't match this. 
    Except for Barack Obama, all of the other candidates running on both sides - but especially Hillary Clinton - are asking the voters to put their faith in "them" as a future leader to do the right thing.  But the experience factor doesn't seem to be a selling point this year so far.  Hope is trumping experience. 
   Barack as a former community organizer instinctively, personally and organizationally talks about the "we" much as JFK did - "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."  So while the conventional candidate says in effect "vote for me" - Barack is saying "vote for us."
   Also, Barack is not burdened by the legacy of having been a Washington insider for decades, he's only been in the Senate two years.  Most of the candidates - Clinton to Giuliany have been an office holder or power broker at the national level throughout the decades of the 1980s to now.
   Their "experience" factor works against them, except for Obama, Romney and Huckabee, because each of the others has been on the job during the upswing in during the 1990s and now on a downslope headed to a recession and a more dangerous world since 9/11.  In other words, their narrative of experience speaks of success - then failure.
   Barack Obama, not Hillary, can be an authentic agent of change because his personal biography, much like Bill Clinton's in 1992, is a rags to riches story.  By contrast, Hillary et al are the children of privilege except for John Edwards.  And we seem poised at an historical moment when race may not be an impediment to the presidency.
     Democratic voters have a chance to make history - they can vote for the son of a White mother and African father, a former First Lady or Latino governor.  At this moment in time as syndicated columnist David Broader said today - the race is Barack's to lose, while the GOP is in chaos.
    In last night's GOP debate from New Hampshire the sub-text of the GOP candidates assumed that Barack Obama was the Democratic nominee.  That only helps legitimizes his candidacy.  And if the GOP message coming out of that debate continues to be an endorsement of Bush lite then you can put a fork in the GOP.
   The discomfort among the GOP base with Mitt Romney is striking.  Yes, when you compare his record as governor to his campaign rhetoric he is Mr. Flip-flop on the choice and abortion issue.  But there seems to be a deep vein within the GOP voters of bigotry toward Mormons.  This is not the America that Barack wants us to embrace.  
    Huckabee, like Barack, is running as the agent of change.  But his base among evangelical Christians, which is not a monolithic group, like Romney's ties to his faith, will hobble his quixotic but intriguing quest for the GOP nomination.  But his vision of a homogeneous Christian America is not inclusive but backward looking. 
    After putting this nation through eight years of political circuses in the Clinton era and another two terms with Bush-lite, the GOP deserves an ignominious defeat across the board.   Democracts committed political fratricide from 1968 to 1992 and were out smarted in 2000 and 2004.  It's time for the sons and daughters of Bush-lite, Newt, Delay and Scooter to feel our pain. 
    PS:  Hillary's line of defense against Barack is that as an advocate for children, education and health care she's been an agent of change for 35 years.  Fair enough.  But what's the record?  One in ten children in the USA live in poverty, schools don't teach they test and we are the only democracy without national health care insurance.
    So much for Hillary's experience, it's time for a change we don't need a replay of the "Clinton" years!   The Clinton era of top down and "trust me" politics was built on political quicksand.  Barack is defining a new paradigm based on creating a new majority founded on bottom up power sharing. 
    Again, it's not about "Barack" it's about revising hope in the uncommon dreams of "WE" the people. 





    The day before:  The polls and pundits on the ground in Iowa are picking up a trend line that tomorrow's Iowa Caucus may be a breakthrough event for Barack Obama - largely because of his appeal to new voters and independent voters. If the "Obama surge" actually happens, this could supercharge his candidacy nationwide and give Hillary Clinton fits. It should also scare the Republican party as well whose candidates have marched to a conventional drummer - playing to the base and nothing more.
    Having cut my own political teeth in Minnesota's presidential caucus in 1968 for Gene McCarthy "the insurgency" factor in Iowa in 2008 should not be dismissed. In 1968 another favorite son of Minnesota was our Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey. But once Clean Gene got big 'mo' out of New Hampshire (the Iowa Caucus was not in play that year) - McCarthy's low key persona and first of it's kind opposition to the war in Vietnam ( later a theme picked up by Robert F. Kennedy) - enabled him to challenge and unseat LBJ. 
    If one followed the McCarthy insurgency it was not tied to a cult of personality as with RFK but with a deep seated frustration caused by Vietnam war policies of LBJ and HHH. Traditionally non-participating Democrats came out of the woodwork that political season along with independents and moderate Republicans. On caucus night that year in our St. Paul neighborhood - a precinct owned by HHH pols - we swept aside the "old order" and won that precinct and a clean sweep in Minnesota for McCarthy.
    As a precinct captain for the McCarthy insurgency I had prepared for a white knuckle battle for months along with others in St. Paul. However on caucus night when we arrived at the caucus sight I was blown away by all the faces I didn't recognize. At first I thought the Humphrey machine had outflanked us but it quickly became evident that the new faces who showed up were tired of the same old, same old politics. One news wag wrote later of "Dondero's well oiled machine." There was no "machine" only "hope" born out of frustration with another war and out of touch leaders. 
    Barack Obama, like McCarthy, may be confounding traditional political calculations by posing an appeal that is like McCarthy's appeal that season of '68 - based on frustration with an increasingly unpopular war managed by another president from Texas who couldn't seem to get things right at home or abroad while running the West Wing like an old fashioned machine politician. Sound familiar? People wanted a change and they would have gotten it had it not been for an assassin's bullet in LA.
    In the current race on the Democratic side, while John Edwards pulls out all of the stops by playing the "class warfare" card - which just for the record RAD embraces, and Hillary plays the "experience card" while asking for another Clinton West Wing, Barack appeals to a different theme - change. A new face and the politics of uniting not dividing Americans has emerged minus the baggage of defeat in '04 (Kerry/Edwards) or the failed hopes of the Clinton era where much was promised but little was delivered.
    Having seen Barack Obama speak Wednesday in Coraville, Iowa sans script to a big audience in a warm auditorium thanks to C-SPAN the candidate who has the "fierce urgency of now" appears to have the "big mo" and message people want to hear not by beating his breast about how unfair the world is or showing us his key to the kingdom of power but simply asking us to "believe in hope.". It all sounds familiar - "Keep Hope Alive" (Jesse, 88) and "I still believe in a place called Hope" (Clinton '92).
    As with Barack I'm a "hope monger" - isn't that what the American Dream is all about? 

    PS:  The day of - We found out tonight that hope trumps the trial lawyer's "anger script" or a former First Lady's "experience" trump card.  Maybe it is time for a "grassroots" lawyer as president who did community organizing, civil rights and the Illinois legislature before moving to the mean streets inside the D.C. beltway where "hope" is all too often extinguished on the altar of power politics.  Tonight proved that a listener, not a shouter or an insider will can win!  But a eloquent but earnest winner was not taking things for granted, he knows this is a marathon. 
    In light of Barack Obama's historic victory the "politics of hope" moves on to New Hampshire and beyond.  As a true political junkie I soaked in the post-mortems on CNN, Fox, PBS and ABC.  But I think the pundits who slice and dice the entrails of elections missed the reason why both  Barack (and Huckabee) won.  People don't like to be patronized by the "political class" telling them that it's all over, that the West Wing is only for "insiders" - a Hillary or a Rudy.  America loves underdogs because most of us are. 
    People vote with their hearts and their minds, they don't triangulate.  We've been told for over a year that the issue was "who could win" not who had the best ideas.  Then when the inevitability of being the front runner seemed to be declining we were told the "experience" was the key.  In defeat Hillary concluded that she was up to the challenge and could 'win' and be ready to govern if elected.  But she lost.  So as with George W. Bush she seems to be in deep denial.  She is no longer invincible.  So why should anyone assume she can "win" the marathon now? 
    What tonight proves is that the establishment power structure of the nation's media elite and political class don't get it - why should they?  They don't spend their days on Main Street they do their thing on K-Street or Wall Street. 
    Barack Obama, the community organizer/lawyer/legislator and Mike Huckabee, the ex-minister, know that organization is important to success but the organization have a compelling mission. The DC insiders have given us all our mission - to end the culture of corruption, to bring the troops home and to reclaim the American Dream for all of us.  My bet is that Barack's dream forged by the "fierce urgency of now" is the more compelling dream because his persona, his biography and his rhetoric are an inclusive, not sectarian dream, as is the American Dream.
     Martin would be proud. Barack!