• comment on a post The DC Mentality over 4 years ago

    My spouse, Marcy Winograd, a true progressive, anti-war, pro-worker pro-union (with enthusiasm, not entitlement) candidate and Democratic grassroots organizer, founder of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, is challenging blue dog Jane Harman in SoCal's CA-36.   At the Dem convention a few weeks ago, she faced off against the Dem establishment and put the "automatic" endorsement of Harman to a convention floor test, which the leadership procedurally bungled, to its embarrassment.  More fundamentally, there was a strong showing on the floor that Democrat rank and filers want a voice to challenge the "go along to get along" mutual back-scratching approach of the leadership, which can lead to complacency and candidates, like Harman, who have become out of touch with their constituents.  Marcy's challenge to Harman in 2006 and again this year have forced Harman rhetorically left, but Harman is only the wealthiest, and not the best or most progressive, candidate in the Dem primary.   Marcy's campaign would appreciate your support.  Please check out Marcy's website at http://winograd4congress.com and her Facebook page. 

  • comment on a post The DC Mentality over 4 years ago

    My spouse, Marcy Winograd, a true progressive, anti-war, pro-worker pro-union (with enthusiasm, not entitlement) candidate and Democratic grassroots organizer, founder of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, is challenging blue dog Jane Harman in SoCal's CA-36.   At the Dem convention a few weeks ago, she faced off against the Dem establishment and put the "automatic" endorsement of Harman to a convention floor test, which the leadership procedurally bungled, to its embarrassment.  More fundamentally, there was a strong showing on the floor that Democrat rank and filers want a voice to challenge the "go along to get along" mutual back-scratching approach of the leadership, which can lead to complacency and candidates, like Harman, who have become out of touch with their constituents.  Marcy's challenge to Harman in 2006 and again this year have forced Harman rhetorically left, but Harman is only the wealthiest, and not the best or most progressive, candidate in the Dem primary.   Marcy's campaign would appreciate your support.  Please check out Marcy's website at http://winograd4congress.com and her Facebook page. 

  • comment on a post Weekend open thread over 4 years ago

    is a tried and true substitute test for substance, and is a tattered trap for the upstart fighting the establshment favorite.  The "logic" is that if the upstart didn't think the "incumbent" or establishment candidate had major flaws, he/she wouldn't be taking him on.   So, if the upstart says he'd endorse the favorite if he wins, for some it implies that a) the incumbent couldn't really be so bad, and b) the upstart doesn't think he can win, both of which tend to undermine the upstart's chances.  I think the best option is to duck and say "I don't think that's going to happen, I'm focusing on the primary, next question".  That approach isn't totally satisfactory, but the question isn't about substance, but about institutional loyalty, which is already challenged (in some minds) merely by a primary challenge of an incumbent.

  • comment on a post I will NOT vote for Barack Obama over 6 years ago

    Yikes!  You don't think JFK and Lincoln were facing major crises?  The Civil War was about to break out, for goodness' sake!  And with JFK, we were in the middle of a Cold War that people still feared would turn hot.   McCain will try to shrink government, which means screwing the poor, and the working class.  He is anti-union to the core, and he is a warmongering saber-rattling SOB.  Just because of the appointments the president gets to make, I would never vote for a Rethug, and I don't want McCain's bellicose fingers anywhere near the button.

  • comment on a post Let's Work Together for Change over 7 years ago

    Thank you for this.  I am the lawyer working on the ongoing campaign to get Santa Barbara News-Press ownership to relent and bargain with the Teamsters, and they are vicious, bringing out all the old irrelevant saws about the Teamsters, using its editorial pages (and all the lawyers they can muster) to fight this battle.  I blogged about this on Daily Kos before the vote, and the battle rages on since the resounding electoral victory.   We've had a lot of great community and media support, but there needs to be a vast upsurge in understanding and willingness to work, especially among Democrats, to make unions generally successful in this country again.

  • The tort system is by no means the most efficient way of regulating the risks of business danger inflicted on the general public, but the Bush administration sure as hell isn't going to do it.  The courts do begin to introduce the true costs and risks to the business enterprise that it should be taking into account when researching and producing a consumer product, or deciding how much "external" costs are acceptable.  What all the Rethugs who rail against "trial lawyers" are covering up is that those costs and risks are passed on to the general public unbuffered if businesses are not pushed back into making the product safer and cleaner in the first place.

    As for Towers Perrin, my experience with them is anecdotal, but they were asked by a utility to come up with a study to justify closing some of its branch offices largely serving poor and disadvantaged people, and TP did it, with completely arbitrary numbers and targets divorced from any baseline reality, obviously designed to get the client where it wanted to go (and therefore dishonest, since TP purported to be a consultant with a degree of expertise and knowledge in the field).  Fortunately, the PUC in that case saw through the fancy gussied up b.s. "study" and denied the utility the ability to close the offices as TP "recommended."

  • 'cause we don't need any more warfare than we already have.  But Dirk went berserk after game 5 -- didn't like his treatment of the exercycle on the way to the locker room -- and Avery is a bit too, shall we say, earnest, for my taste.  So I stand by my comments.

  • comment on a post And the Heat Win the NBA Championship over 8 years ago

    Since '04, when I don't have a dog in the hunt I have been making my rooting decisions on a red vs. blue basis.  Since these are two red states, with bigtime Bushness in both, it was especially difficult to decide.  I actually had to analyze which of the two teams' personnel I favored, and then, with Payton, Wade on the plus side (the obnoxious "Leadership Burnout King" Riley on the negative side), and Nowitzki and Avery J. kind of dickheads, and since Miami is 'way more cosmo and worldly than Dallas, the choice became easy.  Way to go, Shaq!  

  • come from?  I know Matt Stoller incorrectly said Marcy (my wife) had "almost no money", and the LA Weekly just as incorrectly said she had very little.  As I have posted elsewhere, however, the reality is that Marcy invested significant resources ($200,000 of her own money) and raised another $150K.  That's substantial, and was well-spent.  She could certainly have used more money and even more helpful would have been more time before the primary.  But people need to put their money where their ideals are, if they want something to happen, instead of just talking about it. The blogosphere helped, no question, but more could have been done.  Pardon me for being blunt, but there's no doubt about it being true.  I would be interested in hearing suggestions about how she could have gotten her message out to a wider audience willing to write checks. . .

  • "Expectations" aren't usually measured by the candidate's supporters' views, unless the measurer is looking for a straw man to pummel.  Rather, the more objective expectation that Harman would win handily is from conventional wisdom pundits, based on Harman's seniority, money, far superior initial name recognition and hence, inertia.  She was forced to campaign for the first time in 6 years, and rhetorically and in her springtime Congressional actions moved to the left on the central campaign issues (at least for now), all in an attempt to blunt the insurgent message. If Harman had not responded to the Winograd campaign by adopting Winograd's positions, the race would have been tighter.  

  • My bad.  

  • First of all, you are a Harman staffer, right VD?

    Second, yes, I am Marcy Winograd's husband.  

    Third, do you have citations for the above assertions?

    VOTE FOR WAR
    Yes, Jane has mentioned that she questioned the intelligence, but she had possession of documents (National Intelligence Estimate) questioning the intelligence even when she voted for war, and nevertheless went ahead.

    EXIT STRATEGY
    She has stated support for an "exit strategy" before Winograd's campaign, but it had little or no specifics, and no deadline or timeline. So, advocating an "exit strategy" with no strategy or deadline is vacuous. In fact, on May 30 at the candidates' forum in Venice, Harman still declined to put a date on withdrawal, worried that the insurgents would "game around it".  That Bush argument doesn't work anymore.

    NSA SPYING
    The basic complaint about Harman's position on NSA spying has to do with her failure to do anything about it when she was briefed on it as a senior Intel Committee member.  Her initial statements about the spying in December and February were equivocal at best, and none of the facts or law have changed since then, but she is now calling the same program "out of control" and "illegal", and has signed on to the LISTEN Act with Conyers, a beloved progressive, to cover her tracks. Whatever she might have said about the need for full committee briefings pales in comparison to her failure -- admittedly, her need to be "smarter" (MTP Feb. 12) -- about the legality of the wiretaps themselves.  After all, if the spying itself were lawful, we would not be as troubled about the Bushies' failure to tell everyone about its lawful programs that it should. Jane's leftward moves re: anti-Bush rhetoric and (doomed but politically helpful) legislation (LISTEN Act May 11) were done in the post-campaign time frame.  So was her belated joinder on the discharge petition, which began circulating in December, but did not gain Harman's signature until April 27.  

  • First of all, you are a Harman staffer, right VD?

    Second, yes, I am Marcy Winograd's husband.  

    Third, do you have citations for the above assertions?

    VOTE FOR WAR
    Yes, Jane has mentioned that she questioned the intelligence, but she had possession of documents (National Intelligence Estimate) questioning the intelligence even when she voted for war, and nevertheless went ahead.

    EXIT STRATEGY
    She has stated support for an "exit strategy" before Winograd's campaign, but it had little or no specifics, and no deadline or timeline. So, advocating an "exit strategy" with no strategy or deadline is vacuous. In fact, on May 30 at the candidates' forum in Venice, Harman still declined to put a date on withdrawal, worried that the insurgents would "game around it".  That Bush argument doesn't work anymore.

    NSA SPYING
    The basic complaint about Harman's position on NSA spying has to do with her failure to do anything about it when she was briefed on it as a senior Intel Committee member.  Her initial statements about the spying in December and February were equivocal at best, and none of the facts or law have changed since then, but she is now calling the same program "out of control" and "illegal", and has signed on to the LISTEN Act with Conyers, a beloved progressive, to cover her tracks. Whatever she might have said about the need for full committee briefings pales in comparison to her failure -- admittedly, her need to be "smarter" (MTP Feb. 12) -- about the legality of the wiretaps themselves.  After all, if the spying itself were lawful, we would not be as troubled about the Bushies' failure to tell everyone about its lawful programs that it should. Jane's leftward moves re: anti-Bush rhetoric and (doomed but politically helpful) legislation (LISTEN Act May 11) were done in the post-campaign time frame.  So was her belated joinder on the discharge petition, which began circulating in December, but did not gain Harman's signature until April 27.  

  • Please check out this diary and thread, especially the reviews of Harman's record by Paul Rosenberg in his diary and a couple of his subsequent posts, that debunk Harman as anything close to a true progressive.  Especially on the big issues of war and peace, she is a dismal Bush clone failure.  
    http://mydd.com/story/2006/5/31/165755/1 71
  • comment on a post Winograd Wins Again--Westside LA Dems Endorse over 8 years ago

    The diehards who want to overlook the fact that the Rethugs have conceded this seat point misleadingly to Schwarzenegger's victory as evidence a Repub can win it, and ignore the fact that Kerry won the seat 60-40.  They also ignore the fact that the Repubs have put up a complete nonentity to run, someone who literally has no resources or interest or traction whatever.  As the LA Times put it last week:

    "There is no GOP primary and little party interest in the district. The GOP candidate in the general election, Brian Gibson, retired early from his job as a Boeing satellite engineer with an eye toward challenging Harman. So far, his candidacy consists of just himself and his home telephone.

    Gibson acknowledges that the district, once considered a partisan battleground, was redrawn after the 2000 census to overwhelmingly favor Democrats.

    "The question that interests me," he says, "is whether Winograd voters will be so upset if they lose that they'll sit on their hands in November.""
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me- harman24may24,1,4416212.story?page=2

    The gubernatorial "recall" election was an anomaly, and Ahnuld was trying very hard to act like something other than a Repub in that race.  When he turned back into one with his "special election" last fall, attacking entrenched liberal interests, he got his butt kicked. He may well bounce back, but only by chumming up to Dems and acting like a moderate again while the Dems destroy each other (and lack "star power").

    So, yeah, Harman kept saying she was about "taking back the House".  For whom?  Accommodationists like her and Joe Lieberman?  Face it, Marcy will be elected to Congress if she beats Harman in the primary, and there is little convincing argument to the contrary; most Harmanites have abandoned that "Rethug danger" contention.  But that aside, when it comes to war and peace, and being vigilant on civil liberties, "ideals" -- like the Constitution, like who is supposed to make sure we only go to war as a truly last resort and for the right reasons -- should be more important than party.  For example, should Humbert Humphrey have not challenged the segregationist Dixiecrats in 1948?   More recently, Hilda Solis took on a hack Dem, Matt Martinez, and got a lot of support for that successful effort.  Most to the point, perhaps, "taking back the House" is a dodge, because this seat is a lock.  The reason Harman is herself threatened -- not the "D", but the incumbent -- is because, as Paul Rosenberg demonstrates, she is about helping war buddies and has been far too cooperative with the Bush administration, only very recently purporting to see the light and thus to offer criticism of Bush et al.

    I love VeniceDave's point that this WestLA club's vote was "only" 54-19 (66%-23%) in favor of Winograd, because that attempt at reversal of reality is leading with your chin!  Harman is the one who's usually described as the "powerhouse", and she was the one, almost Captain Queeglike, who kept acknowledging -- searching feverishly, perhaps -- what turned out to be her feeble support in the room.  Where was her support?  Her campaign manager is supposed to be a mover and shaker in that club, and Harman could only get 19 people to make their way to the hall and vote for this accomplished officeholder?  

    Unlike VeniceDave, I don't begrudge him or Harman their residence in the 36th, so when Marcy wins, they can stay, and enjoy real responsive representation in Congress.

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