Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Because anybody who is NOT Jeff Miller needs to be heard

Jim Bryan is the Democratic candidate running for Congress in Florida's District 01 [the panhandle, more or less]. His next two appearances will be in Chipley on Sept 24 and in Pensacola on Oct 1.


For immediate release

Monday, September 22, 2008

From James E. “Jim” Bryan


Speaking in Chipley, in a small county at the eastern end of a District 140 miles wide, emphasizes my determination to represent every last person in District 1. I want to get my message out to the press, and will also answer questions from anyone present.

My next press conference will be in Pensacola, Wednesday October 1, place to be announced. But this won’t be the last time I speak to the press in the eastern part of Congressional District 1.

My main subject will be the economy of the Panhandle. In Congress, I will be a strong advocate for agriculture and manufacturing -- using (and protecting) our many natural resources, our robust transportation net of truck, rail, waterway and air, and not least, the vigor and work ethic of our work force.

My hero is Democratic Congressman Bob Sikes, from Crestview, who represented District 1 from 1940 to 1972. “Uncle Bob,” as he was known to the voters, brought jobs and prosperity to the Panhandle. Like him, I will spend every minute I can with the voters; because I think knowing the needs of the District 1 will make me more effective than hobnobbing around Washington.

I will also speak to the weak record of the incumbent Congressman, Jeff Miller. His main qualification, according to his web site, is that he is a conservative Republican in an area that always votes Republican. I think the welfare of America and my District are more important than party loyalty.

Being a “conservative Republican” has not made Mr. Miller effective. According to the “Power Ranking” evaluation at, by a company (look it up) that serves professionals in government relations and even lobbyists; Mr. Miller ranks No. 412 of the 435 members of the US House of Representatives. He also ranks No. 24 (of 25) in the Florida delegation to the House. Mr. Miller’s personal score is 5.6. To compare, 50 is a representative effective score in either House or Senate. (Very top scores for leaders are about 100,) The bottom is about zero (think William Jefferson, D-LA and Rick Renzi, R-AZ, both under indictment).

from the inbox

Dear Friend,

The U.S. government has been turned into an engine that accelerates the wealth upwards into the hands of a few. The Wall Street bailout, the Iraq War, military spending, tax cuts to the rich, and a for-profit health care system are all about the acceleration of wealth upwards. And now, the American people are about to pay the price of the collapse of the $513 trillion Ponzi scheme of derivatives. Yes, that’s half a quadrillion dollars. Our first trillion dollar compression bandage will hardly stem the hemorrhaging of an unsustainable Ponzi scheme built on debt "de-leverages."

Does anyone seriously think that our public and private debts of some $45 trillion will be paid? That the administration's growth of the federal debt from $5.6 trillion to $9.8 trillion while borrowing another trillion dollars from Social Security has nothing to do with this? Does anyone not see that when we spend nearly $16,000 for every family of four in our society for the military each year that we are heading over the cliff?

This is a debt crisis, not a credit crisis. Just as FDR had to save capitalism after Wall Street excesses, we have to re-invigorate our economy with real - not imaginary - growth. It does not address the never-ending war on the middle class.

The same corporate interests that profited from the closing of U.S. factories, the movement of millions of jobs out of America, the off-shoring of profits, the out-sourcing of workers, the crushing of pension funds, the knocking down of wages, the cancellation of health care benefits, the sub-prime lending are now rushing to Washington to get money to protect themselves.

The double standard is stunning: their profits are their profits, but their losses are our losses.

This bailout will not bring real jobs back to America. It will not bring back jobs that make things. It does not rebuild our schools, streets, neighborhoods, parks or bridges. The major product of this financial economy is now debt. Industrial capitalism has been destroyed.
In the next few days I will push for a plan that includes equity for every American in any taxpayer investment in this so-called bail-out plan. Since the bailout will cost each and every American about $2,300, I have proposed the creation of a United States Mutual Trust Fund, which will take control of $700 billion in stock assets, convert those assets to shares, and distribute $2,300 worth of shares to new individual savings accounts in the name of each and every American.
I will also insist that all of the following issues be considered in whatever Congress passes:

  1. Reinstatement of the provisions of Glass-Steagall, which forbade speculation
  2. Re-regulation of the finance, insurance, and real estate industries
  3. Accountability on the part of those who took the companies down:
    a) resignations of management
    b) givebacks of executive compensation packages
    c) limitations on executive compensation
    d) admission by CEO's of what went wrong and how, prior to any government bailout
  4. Demands for transparencey
    a) with respect to analyzing the transactions which took the companies down
    b) with respect to Treasury's dealings with the companies pre and post-bailout
  5. An equity position for the taxpayers
    a) some form of ownership of assets
  6. Some credible formula for evaluating the price of the assets that the government is buying.
  7. A sunset clause on the legislation
  8. Full public disclosure by members of Congress of assets held, with possible conflicts put in blind trust.
  9. A ban on political campaign contributions from officers of corporations receiving bailouts
  10. A requirement that 2008 cycle candidates return political contributions to officers and representatives of corporations receiving bailouts

And, most importantly, some mechanism for direct assistance to homeowners saddled with unreasonable or unmanageable mortgages, as well as protection for renters who have lived up to their obligation but fall victim to financial tragedy when the property they live in undergoes foreclosure.

These are just some thoughts on the run. You will hear more from me tomorrow.

Dennis J Kucinich
216-252-9000 877-933-6647

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday's child has far to go

Original estimate to fix the car, labor + new parts: $500-700
....................................... + rebuild kit for all parts: about the same
....................................... + already rebuilt parts: $400-500
....................................... + used parts from junkyard: $300
....................................... + rebuild kit for only the essential to keep the car running parts: $200

Final cost [went with that last option]: $93 and change, parts and labor. I have absolutely the best car fix-it shop evah. Hunting down parts for a 20yo old car is the hardest part.

Look out world, I'm back behind the wheel again!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Dear Democrats:

I've sent emails to both my US Senators -- Mel Martinez the Republican and Bill Nelson the Democrat -- on various issues. Guess which one can't be bothered to send me the occasional email newsletter.

Monday, September 15, 2008

from the inbox

The next census will be taken soon! in 2010, which will affect both the redrawing of the boundaries for Congressional districts, and even whether states lose or gain districts. One thing I didn't know, governors apparently have some say in the process too, so if you're looking for a place to spend some $$ on electing some Democrats, check out the Democratic Governors Association.


After my speech at the Democratic Convention, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) gave me some disturbing information.

Right now, the GOP is executing a plan to TAKE 38 governorships over the next three years. If they accomplish this, they will have the power to shrewdly alter election district borders and steal back Congress.

Why governors? Governors influence redistricting--the redrawing of congressional district lines, and all states redistrict in 2011 to make our government more representative. But like Texan Tom DeLay, who led the underhanded, but legal, effort to create SIX new Republican congressional districts in Texas in 2003, the GOP wants to make government non-representative--to win by making it impossible for Republicans to lose.

The DGA is mobilizing right now--before the GOP plan gains momentum--to elect Democratic governors all across the nation. 11 states are at immediate risk! Will you help us now to protect our democracy? Please donate $5 or more today:

Democrats have a 28-state majority of governors. But 47 governorships will be decided in the next three years, starting with 11 in 2008. And the Republicans have already raised close to $30 million. Their plan is to use this massive war chest to pick up 16 new governorships and gerrymander their way to a new congressional majority.

This is not Democratic propaganda. Just read these words from a spokesman of the Republican Governors Association:

"We could feasibly see 25 to 30 congressional seats swing as the result of redistricting...The odds are, if it is a Republican in the governor's chair, the seat will end up in GOP hands."

Republican governors = manipulated districts = 25 to 30 more congressional seats in GOP hands!

This is old-school, back-room politics at its worst, and if they succeed, our democracy will suffer for years to come.

One thing is clear--the Republicans expect to lose at the ballot box for a long time to come, unless they get their 38 governors and give themselves an unbeatable edge.

So let's give them the defeat they expect and deserve starting with this year's races.

Please join in giving the DGA the resources it needs to protect our democracy.

Let's show the GOP that we take our democracy seriously. That means the American people--in every state--get to decide.


Bill Richardson
Governor of New Mexico
Former Chair, Democratic Governors Association

P.S. Remind the GOP that we're still a democracy. Help the DGA elect Democratic governors. Please give now--11 states are at immediate risk!

Monday, Monday

The car is broken. The hot water is broken. My wallet's been stolen. One of the cats is sick. I have a migraine.

update: the cat has drugs [though he's still in a bad mood and yowling about it], nobody used the magic plastic cards in my wallet [but replacements are going to take several days to get here], the car is fixable [for about $200, an unpleasant bite but doable], quantities of caffeine [and chocolate!] took care of the headache, and i have no idea if the hot water got fixed yet, but who cares? the rest of it will be ok. oh yeah, the contract that puts food in teh kittehz dishez [and litter in their boxez] got extended for another year.

update tuesday night: hot water fixed. yay.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Invasion of the body snatchers [or something]

I finally quit reading Slate for good when they started in on their Hillary Deathwatch, though the vapidity of the XX Factor blog and Will Saletan's newfound 'i r a public intelleckshuall now!' seriosity had already killed off most of my interest. Nonetheless, I've never unsusbscribed from the Today's Papers newsletter.

today's papers
Militant vs. Predator
By Daniel Politi
Posted Friday, Sept. 12, 2008, at 6:45 AM ET

The Los Angeles Times leads with word that the Bush administration is sending Predator aircraft "equipped with sophisticated new surveillance systems" to target militants inside Pakistan. This new technology was apparently a key weapon in the fight against Iraqi insurgents and now drones with this special equipment are being pulled from other areas and sent to help out in Pakistan. This is yet another example of how the Bush administration has decided to pursue more unilateral attacks in Pakistan instead of trying to cooperate with the Pakistani government.

So, next they'll be arming those drones with death rays maybe?
song chart memes

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mississippi mudcake

Lots of good things have come out of Mississippi [hard to believe, I know], including this little soap opera. An illegal ballot design so you can't find the special senate race, leaving off the party designations so you can't tell which is the D and which is the R if you do find it, and moving the date of the special election to favor Republican turnout.


Update: the sample ballot, see if you can spot the Democrat. But hey, it's not going to matter anyway --
None of the 82 counties have published their ballots, Hosemann said Friday. Only three counties - DeSoto, Lee and Yalobusha - use voting machines with paper ballots. The other 79 counties use electronic machines.

Been a bit windy here today

Ike came by the beach [that's the picnic area at the entrance to Ft Pickens, you have to park here and hike or bike the rest of the way to the fort and campground] on the way to Texas.


Some interesting reading in the PDFs in the sidebar to this article. Sarah Barracuda may very well have used her power as governor to fulfill a personal vendetta, but that dude strikes me as one who shouldn't be given a badge, a gun, a taser, and even a smidgen of social authority.

Update: Bryan, formerly in law enforcement himself, was kind enough take a look and opine on the situation here.

Mmmmmm... brownies

in my favorite flavor.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


funny pictures

Four weeks ago, tourists had to be evacuated from Baffin Island's Auyuittuq National Park because of flooding from thawing glaciers. Auyuittuq means "land that never melts".

Two weeks later, in an unprecedented sighting, nine stranded polar bears were seen off Alaska trying to swim 400 miles north to the retreating icecap edge. Ten days ago massive cracking was reported in the Petermann glacier in the far north of Greenland, an area apparently previously unaffected by global warming.

But it is the simultaneous opening – for the first time in at least 125,000 years – of the North-west passage around Canada and the North-east passage around Russia that promises to deliver much the greatest shock. Until recently both had been blocked by ice since the beginning of the last Ice Age.