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When working in Puzzle Palaces the task is NOT to reinvent the world just make it better one step at a time...   

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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Jeb Bush's damning secret history

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Red states that mooch

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Trust in government is 'dead, Jim'

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“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

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"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%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • 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: 

Hardtimes

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

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    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:

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

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 


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

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

Governors too often put economics ahead of people

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 Explore Intel emissions

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"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

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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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   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

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

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"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... 

americanobserver

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

GarrisonKeillor

 

     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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Friday
Feb132015

KITZ TO RESIGN!

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber just announced his intent to resign effective next Wednesday, Feb. 18 in a letter submitted to Secretary of State Kate Brown.

     My takeaway from the various post-mortems that are swirling around now that Kitz is resigning is that Kitz was not a victim of a media feeding frenzy but a victim to his implicit sense of "entitlement" that was in clear evidence in his taped remarks today.  He wasn't tried by the press, he was caught with the "appearance" that his hand and that of his "partner" was in the proverbial political cookie jar - the details of which are yet to emerge in both state and federal "criminal" investigations. 

     But the entrails of Kitzhaber's agonistes go to his failure as governor to manage his office in such a way that he kept in mind that his "power stakes" were at risk as governor the more room he allowed Cylvia to roam within the governor's office blurring the lines of his/her personal and political lives.  We only have one governor but Hayes behaved as if they were like Bill and Hillary Clinton, a twosome!  But Hillary never got reimbursement from groups with which she collaborated while First Lady.  

     Kitzhaber over the decades has gotten used to being the "go to guy" among liberal circles in Oregon to the point that he lost any sense of limits - the NIKE deal was an indicator of that "enabling" process and the dangers that lurk once you feel so "empowered."  To the degree he was convinced he was doing the "right thing" he felt no limits on what he did or what was done in his name.  So aside from all the possible legal issues raised, the genesis of the problem is akin to an Oedipus Rex problem - hubris.  

      Some feel the governor's unwillingness until Friday to present his case was his major problem, an inexplicable failure to communicate for a person highly skilled at spin.  But Kitzhaber's and Haye's legal culpability may be more serious raising the possibility of obstruction of justice and evidence tampering.  The apparently failed attempt to get DAS to remove the Governor's personal e-mail from the state system as well as his insistence that Hayes was never a public official make one wonder if this is a "cover up" a la the Nixon tapes.  Willamette Week's report today lays out the issue -

     When one is allowed to run an expedited process to get PERS reform, the Nike deal and increasingly business friendly policies that are fundamentally not progressive but at best "centrist" one loses touch with your base and in Kitzhaber's case his base began to unravel during the election to the point that he only won by 4% when he should have won by 15-20%.  That narrowed base then collapsed under the glare of a collective media scrutiny over the past several months. 

     Let's also remember the dropped balls of the CRC, Rudy Crew, CoverOregon, his 10 year budget idea, tax reform and a problematic early childhood ed plan.  Kitz was good at "concepts" but inept on follow-through!  Too often he seemed to suffer from attention deficit disorder which put into question his management style.  As a legislator he was viewed by many as a "one-trick pony" first focused on salmon and then health care reform.  

     In the Vietnam war the term in vogue was the "arrogance of power" - JFK, LBJ and Nixon.  Let's hope governor to be Kate Brown has learned this lesson.  And when she makes a mistake, she fesses up to it quickly, transparently and asks Oregonians for a second chance promising not to do "it" again.  But the lure and perks of power are so seductive that most politicians, CEO's and college presidents don't get it until it's too late!  It's axiomatic that politicians work in a "group think" bubble they seldom anticipate bursting!    

     Kitzhaber's petulant comments on Friday display a classic bunker mentality which speaks volumes about his state of mind at this time and it reminds me of his angry comments as he left government at the end of his second term of office to whit that Oregon was "ungovernable." 

     "I must also say that it is deeply troubling to me to realize that we have come to a place in the history of this great state of ours where a person can be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced by the media with no due process and no independent verification of the allegations involved. But even more troubling - and on a very personal level as someone who has given 35 years of public service to Oregon - is that so many of my former allies in common cause have been willing to simply accept this judgment at its face value."

     As Lord Acton said - "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." 

Thursday
Feb122015

KITZ, NOT "IF" BUT "WHEN"...  ???

Ore. Democrats ask Governor to resign

Top Democrats today are asking Governor John Kitzhaber to resign. READ THE LATEST>>> Follow @KATUJoe & @AnnaCanzanoKATU on Twitter for instant updates.

Shreading e-mails, evidence tampering, obstruction of justice?  Is this the "smoking gun?"

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KATUPolitics @KATUPolitics

Oregonians want Kitzhaber out, exclusive KATU/SurveyUSA poll finds http://k2ne.ws/1FFY9nD 

Washington Post:  Friday - PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber made plans to resign earlier this week, then changed his mind. He admitted to making some judgment mistakes and later denied them. He convened a meeting with the state’s top elected officials to seek their advice on his future, only to ignore that advice hours later.  Read full article »

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     RAD:  I was in the Puzzle Palace today to testify in the House Revenue Committee about a bill similar to the TRIA - Taxpayer's Return on Investment Act - HB 2087.  Business Oregon has come out with 3 bills which ironically replicate what our TRIA coalition has been carefully working for 2 years...  Funny they didn't call us!   

     Business Oregon is the big dog that barks for corporate Oregon - aka Nike/Intel - when they want 30 year "tax deals" from Kitz.  The problem is that this is a case of the foxes watching the hen house.  So we hope to engage the legislature in developing "real" transparency and "real" accountability to assure Oregon taxpayers they are getting a bang for their bucks.  

     But in the Capitol the media vultures were posted at the Governor's office waiting for one last picture of Kitz in his blue blazer, jeans and cowboy boots!  Upon leaving the Capital @ 3 p.m. we learned from the TV media team for KGW-TV that Senate President Peter Courtney, Speaker Tina Kotek and Treasurer Ted Wheeler had called for the governor to resign.  I guess now the only final shoe that needs to drop is for Phil Knight to call Kitz!  

     One labor/lobbyist asked me why I wanted the Oregonian to push out Kitz?  He wasn't a happy camper with my answer.  I said it wasn't the Oregonian that did Kitz in it was Kitz....   and that the staff at the Oregonian are top notch reporters - some of the few left under the new regime!  But they are not alone - WW is also on the watch as are the Tribune papers.  

     When will Kitz resign?  Who knows?  But I don't see how he can last through the current session.  At some point the Democratic leadership will have to go to him as their counterparts did to Nixon and say "the gig is up" because they will be his collateral damage the longer Kitz holds on to the reigns!  

     The basic rule of politics - you can hurt yourself but don't hurt your friends!  


 

Wednesday
Feb112015

PUTTING A HUMAN FACE ON OBAMACARE

     RAD:  With all the BS that is used to bash Obamacare, one way of cutting through the trash talk is to hear real people talk about it.  One could add to this list 789,000 previously uninsured Oregonians who now have health insurance thanks to the ACA but we could do better - read how - Basic Health Is a Bargain

 

The White House

 

Here's what 10 people told the President about their health care:

WATCH: 10 letter-writers talk with President Obama.

Ten people who wrote the President about their health care were invited to the White House this week. See what they said to the President, and read their personal stories here.

When the Health Insurance Marketplace opened last year, Ann from Westport, Connecticut found that she qualified for Medicaid in her state. That coverage finally gave her the opportunity to see a doctor -- and catch her breast cancer early on.

Don from Phoenix, Arizona signed up for health insurance last year under the Affordable Care Act and had a general checkup soon after. After getting a routine colonoscopy, however, doctors found a large, cancerous tumor. Now it's gone, and Don is cancer-free.

As House Republicans keep trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act -- this week marked more than 50 times they've voted to repeal or undermine it -- the law continues to help and save the lives of millions of Americans. A number of them have written the President just to say "thank you," and on Wednesday, the President met with 10 of those letter-writers here at the White House.

Unfortunately, there are still millions of uninsured Americans who don't know why it's so important to get covered, or how they stand to benefit. And it's on each and every one of us to change that.

If you know someone who needs to get health insurance, share these stories with them today -- and remind them that the deadline to sign up for health insurance is February 15.

Tuesday
Feb102015

THE CYLVIA SOAP OPERA...  

Hayes and Guv in Eastern Oregon     According to her lawyers Cylvia Hayes "is not a public official, not a state employee, and performed no services on behalf of the government..."  despite the governor's own staff counsel treating Hayes as a "public official."

    If Hayes was not a public officiall then why was she holding meetings with human services advocates three years ago as the governor cranked up his ill conceived and so far ill fated 10 year budget plan?

    Hayes wasn't baking cookies in Mahonia Hall...   she was the "go too person" on the human services front.  As an example of her high profile Hayes was a panel member at the 2014 Oregon Leadership Summit on the subject of  ending poverty. 

More on Hayes -

 

Tuesday
Feb102015

PUTIN'S PARANOIA - DARE WE LOOK AT OURSELVES IN THE MIRROR?

    As one follows the battle over Ukraine one gets an uneasy feeling that's we're replaying the civil war in pre-WW II Spain.  Deja vu all over again?   

     In a recent article Vladimir Putin, Russian president, named NATO expansion as key risk to Russia -  http://a.msn.com/01/en-ca/BBhfmUN. 

     The leaders of Mother Russia from the Czars to Stalin and now Putin have always regarded any version of eastern expansion by the West as a provocation be it economic, military, diplomatic or geographic.  From Napoleon's time on Russia has been fixated on incursions from the West even though Russian elites have always emulated especially France. 

     NATO and the EU should have factored classic Russian paranoia into their globilization plans for the crumbling old Soviet empire.  But the same could be said of Russia.  Her history of expansion into Asia and Eastern Europe tripped a wire for the Euros and China at various times in the past 200 years.  As old empires crumble, new agents of change surface as with ISIS in the Middle East. But ironically at the 30,000 foot level they all look alike!  

     The US, like Russia, has maintained a ring of compliant nations in the Caribbean and South America under the label of Manifest Destiny for most of our history.  Only until Castro showed up was our sphere of influenced breached by none other than Russia which led to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963.  Our fear of the "commie" menace more than matches Russia's paranoia of the scheming West. 

     As empires come and go, they leave in their wake old fears that crop up when the ancien regime falls only to be replaced by one that looks strangely familiar and equally demonic.  In both cases, the fear of "the other" speaks to an underlying insecurity that seems to afflict nations states from time immemorial.  It's like we all get locked into a geo-political kabuki theater of power point, counterpoint. 

     Naked military aggression be it Putin's current proxy war against the Ukraine or US destabilizing governments like Allende's Chile in the Nixon era is at the end imperialism.  History keeps repeating itself and the rest of us are its collateral damage!     

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