Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Air America Radio Debuts

The nation's first liberal radio network has debuted! Leading the way is Al Franken, host of the new O'Franken Factor, a stab at Bill O'Reilly's O'Reilly Factor. Franken is on at noontime. Rapper Chuck D is also one of the new radio hosts, along with Ms. Garfalo in the evening with Majority Rules.

Learn More At Air America Radio

Read articles in the news media:
Al Franken's show, the O'Franken Factor, is on every day at noon.

Governor Locke Signs Environmental Bills

In a strong day for Washington's environment, Governor Locke has signed several new pieces of legislation dealing with the environment.

A clip from the Seattle P-I:

Gov. Gary Locke on Wednesday signed into law the nation's toughest siting standards for new power plants, hoping to combat global warming by reducing the effects of carbon dioxide emissions.

The legislation was part of a five-bill package the governor signed with fanfare and a promise of a "cleaner, greener future for our state."

Other bills deal with stormwater runoff, oil spill prevention in coastal and inland waters, and a crackdown on shippers' bringing foreign invasive species into Washington waters through ballast water discharge.

Locke called the measures an unusually strong environmental package, and credited both houses and both parties, business and the environmental community, and experts from across state government.

"This is truly a significant package. It will make a measurable difference for years to come," the governor said as he signed the final environmental bills of his eight-year tenure.

The power plant legislation, House Bill 3141, gives the force of state law to rules the Locke administration handed down last fall. Washington is building on the program pioneered by Oregon in 1996. California is developing a similar crackdown, under a West Coast project by the three governors.

"These are the strongest standards in the nation for power plants," the governor said.

Read the full article: 'Cleaner, greener': Locke signs enviro bills

Also check out the NPI Environmental Page.

Introduction from Samuel Ranellucci

Hello, my name is Samuel Ranellucci. I am part of NPI's blog team. I will be posting more posts soon. Look for my updates!

Horsey at his finest

Check out this Horsey cartoon in Sunday's Seattle Times/P-I:

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

High gas prices means it's time to invest in renewable energy alternatives

Gas prices are up again- and who's to blame? The oil companies, of course. But is this really a big deal? When prices go up, Americans are forced to conserve. Our economy is dependent on oil, and the Republicans have done absolutely nothing to get us off of oil.

After Reagan captured the White House in 1980, he took down the solar panels Carter had put up on top of the White House and the country slowly shifted back into its old ways: higher speed limits, limited or no conservation, cheap gas.

A great opportunity was lost to get off of oil. All because Republicans wanted to preserve the status quo. That, in fact, is what Republicans seem to want to be doing all the time. They don't move ahead. They think that government is doing too much.

Where's the vision of how our economy will operate when oil runs out? It won't last forever. We need renewable energy- now. We don't need more oil. See the NPI Energy & Power Section for more information on renewable energy.

In today's world, government does a lot more than it used to, whether you like it or not. And rather than serve large corporations and wealthy people, the government should serve the people. Trickle-down economics are not successful, and they do not bring about change.

Neither does laissez-faire. Both concepts are employed by the Republicans as ways of managing the economy. Many Republicans (such as Bush) go even further, though: they grant HUGE subsidies to big businesses: for example, America's oil companies, the biggest companies in the world after mammoth Wal*Mart (another bad big business), get billions of dollars, just in subsidies, every year.

These same companies, which manufacture pesticides and other products, have almost no regulation and are free to do whatever they please. This is unacceptable. We cannot give our blessing to corporate executives and trust them to do right.

The Republicans can employ every argument in the book. Their arguments fall apart easily. All you have to do is look at Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco- and the case for deregulation falls apart.

To learn more about OPEC and why OPEC has a lot less to do with the pump price than you think: OPEC to cut output despite high oil prices (from the Seattle P-I).

To learn more about massive subsidies to the oil companies:
To learn more about Bush and Kerry's stance on high gas prices, and why Kerry's plan is better (hint: renewable energy): Kerry and Bush Campaigns Trade Charges on Gas Price.

Rice will testify

Breaking news - The White House, bowing to pressure, has agreed to allow National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice to testify publicly, under oath, before the 9/11 commission.

A clip from the Seattle P-I:

The commission welcomed the decision in a statement which said, "We will work with the White House to schedule both sessions promptly."

Bush and Cheney have agreed to a single joint private session with all 10 commissioners, with one commission staff member present to take notes of the session, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales said in a letter to the panel. Previously, the administration was only offering private interviews of Bush and Cheney with just the commission chairman and vice chairman.

The decision to have Rice testify follows the publication of former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke's book, in which he charges that the Bush administration was slow to act against the threat of al-Qaida.

Regarding Rice's upcoming public testimony and the charges in Clarke's book, "There are significant and extremely important questions," said commissioner Tim Roemer, a former Democratic congressman.

Roemer said those questions include, "Was there an urgent priority in the Bush administration in fighting terrorism? How quickly was the decision made? Was it slow as Mr. Clarke says or accelerated as Dr. Rice says?"

Read the full story: Rice to testify in public under oath

Monday, March 29, 2004

50 Ways to Love Your Country

Please read this recent letter from MoveOn.org:

MoveOn’s new book has hit the streets and is already at #2 on Amazon. Can we push it to #1 at all booksellers? All royalties go to support our work together. The book is called MoveOn’s 50 Ways to Love Your Country: How to Find Your Political Voice and Become a Catalyst for Change.

With introductions by Al Gore, Gail Sheehy, Nancy Pelosi, and the MoveOn team, the book focuses on the best fifty personal stories amongst thousands submitted by MoveOn members. These uplifting stories demonstrate the power of the individual, with tips and resources to turn inspiration into action. They’re about ordinary citizens changing laws, getting out the vote, hosting meet ups, and much more.

50 Ways to Love Your Country should now be available at your local bookseller. Be sure to ask for it. You can also buy the book online. Here’s the link to the book at Amazon:

Go to MoveOn Now

alternate text Priced at around $10, we’ve tried to keep the book affordable. Arianna Huffington calls it “political Viagra.” And the president of the United Farm Workers, Arturo Rodriguez, invokes Cesar Chavez to remind us that ordinary people can right wrongs. He calls 50 Ways to Love Your Country “a vital primer for every activist interested in progressive social change.”

Get your copy now to keep the momentum going. In the next two months, there will be 100+ bookstore events around the country for community discussion, voter registration, and more. MoveOn members will be presenting. If a bookstore event comes to your area, we’ll let you know.

Thank you so much for all you do,

- Adam, Carrie, Eli, James, Joan, Laura, Mari, Noah, Peter, Wes, Zack
The MoveOn Team
March 29th, 2004

Wingnuts attack Richard Clarke

This just in from today's Progress Report, courtesy of the Center for American Progress:

Conservatives are continuing their assault on former Bush counter terrorism chief Richard Clarke, a man who President Bush personally praised upon his retirement. The right-wing attack machine is now resorting to unsubstantiated claims and even racially charged rhetoric to try to change the subject.

On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) demanded that Clarke's 2002 private testimony to the congressional 9/11 commission be declassified claiming that Clarke "has told two entirely different stories." Frist specifically recounted details of what he said was Clarke's closed-door testimony.

But as questions were raised about the legality of Frist's disclosure of still-classified testimony, Frist quickly "retreated" from his claims, admitting "that he personally had no knowledge that there were any discrepancies between" Clarke's 2002 testimony and his testimony last week.

On the talk shows, Ann Coulter disparaged Clarke, saying he was just "upset a black woman took his job" while Robert Novak asked a guest "Do you believe Dick Clarke has a problem with this African-American woman, Condoleezza Rice?"

But in all of the huffing and puffing, not one Bush official or right-wing pundit has addressed the fundamental question: why was the Bush Administration asleep at the wheel before 9/11?

Looking for some humor?

Check out the funny T-shirts at: Hel-Mart

Our favorite- the one that reads:
Hel*Mart
Jesus Wouldn't Shop There.....Ever!
NPI officially opposes Wal*Mart and urges you not to shop there.

New team members

New team members Samuel Ranellucci and David Perlmutter are joining the NPI Blog Team, which will bring you instantaneous posts and updates from a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective. Look for Samuel and David's posts soon.

Clarke challenges administration

Read a new article from CNN about Richard Clarke, the man who defied the Bush administration and says the President didn't do enough to stop al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden: Richard Clarke says war on al-Qaeda was mishandled.

Rice claims she can't tesitfy

Once again, the Bush administration is stalling and attempting to dodge accusations that it didn't do enough to prevent the September 11th attacks: Rice asserts she can't testify in public.

Just getting started here

We are in the process of updating the blog, so thanks for your patience.

Welcome

Welcome to the new Northwest Progressive Institute blog! Here, you can view the thoughts and ideas of the Northwest Progressive Institute.

We'll be posting daily updates, so check back often!