Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SMOOTH CRIMINAL, BUT STILL A CROOK by Tracy Knauss

What, at first blush, seems a mere political brawl turns out to be a legit case against Texas governor Rick Perry for "abuse of power" on two felony counts. Perry and his supporters would like this to be all about politics, but the facts don't bear that out. Note: the judge AND special prosecutor responsible for the indictment of Perry are both Republicans, NOT Democrats. The facts reveal Perry as the one who's in trouble for playing dirty, illegal politics. Here's the skinny. During Perry's reign as Texas governor, several state legislators, R and D, have been arrested on DWI charges. Yet none of them has been asked to resign or had a veto threat against their proposed legislation. Until now. The ONLY legislator/District Attorney asked to resign for a DWI was a Democrat, Rosemary Lehmberg. She happened also to be the ONLY person investigating Gov. Perry for crimes in office. (For the record, Lehmberg served her time for drunk driving, a serious crime.) But why did Perry never ask any previous legislator or DA to step down, except for Lehmberg? Because she heads the Public Integrity Unit investigating Gov. Perry for wrong doing. And he extorted her to resign or he'd veto all funding for her office and the committee she heads investigating him!! This is why the grand jury found Perry guilty on two felony charges regarding abuse of power. Regardless of what happens from here, the felony charges are on his record and his chances in 2016 as a presidential hopeful for the Republican Party have been all but eliminated.

Here's the link:  http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15592/playing-politics-only-da-rick-perry-called-on-to-resign-after-a-dwi-was-the-one-investigating-him

Tracy Knauss may be found at: https://www.facebook.com/photodoctor?fref=photo

Progressive Democrats - Moving Forward, Not Back may be followed on Twitter at @PDMFNB, and you may see our hashtag at #PDMFNB  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THE "GHOST" OF MICHAEL BROWN AND THE INEPTITUDE OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES by Tracy Knauss

 Even a cursory search for information regarding the Ferguson Police Department reveals startling evidence of a department with many examples of racism and violence toward its minority citizens. And the man who should be shutting all of this down and bringing those responsible to trial is Prosecutor Robert McCulloch of St. Louis County, MO whose jurisdiction includes the community of Ferguson. Anyone who's independent in their thinking would immediately see that McCulloch needs to recuse himself from the case pertaining to the shooting death of Michael Brown by policer officer Darren Wilson. McCulloch's bias in highly demonstrable. Accordingly, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will be in Ferguson to investigate whether Michael Brown's civil rights have been violated. The local good ol' boys police fraternity has had time to manipulate the evidence, so Holder will have to be on his toes, which we know he will. To date Prosecutor McCulloch has been conspicuous in his absence. He's taking a low profile strategy because of his known record of protecting local police instead of ensuring justice. His father was shot and killed by a black man, and many of McCulloch's family have or are presently serving in the police force or support services. So, he's known for never prosecuting cops. The citizens of Ferguson do not trust him. It would be a major mistake to let McCulloch lead the grand jury relative to this investigation. Holder's visit should address this lack of impartiality and objectivity on part of the prosecutor's office, which could have pressured the police to release the preliminary autopsy report which still hasn't seen the light of day. But he failed to do so. McCulloch failed to honor a recommendation from the U.S. Dept. of Justice which urged McCulloch not to release the Swisher Sweets cigarillo theft video because of repercussions, which indeed there were in the streets later that night. In conclusion, with the deplorable record of the Ferguson Police Department toward minorities and the highly questionable bias of the Prosecutor's Office, a Special Prosecutor needs to be appointed. And U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder needs to leave no stone unturned, lest the local yokels bury this travesty of justice under such a thick veneer of lies and deceit that the facts can never again be ascertained. 

Tracy Knauss may be found on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/photodoctor?fref=ts

You may find Progressive Democrats - Moving Forward, Not Back on Twitter at @PDMFNB and see our hashtag on Twitter at #PDMFNB 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

WHICH IS WORSE: STEALING OR KILLING? by Tracy Knauss

The delay of public officials from the Ferguson Police Department was to elevate the alleged theft by Michael Brown to the level of alleged murder on the part of veteran police officer Darren Wilson. The crimes are not co-equal by any sense of the word. And trying to say the shooting was justified by the alleged theft, is to throw logic and justice out the window. Even though Brown had surrendered with his hands in the air, he was gunned down and left to die, with nobody checking on him according to an eyewitness. While stealing a couple of boxes of Swisher Sweets and shoving a store clerk is serious, it pales in comparison to killing an unarmed teenager trying to surrender. There is no excuse for this unnecessary death. We're still waiting for the official report on the shooting. The police department continues to drag its feet after the killing. The public demands answers. But the police stutter and stamper. Fiddling while Ferguson burns.

Tracy Knauss may be found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/photodoctor?fref=ts

The verified community of Progressive Democrats - Moving Forward, Not Back may be found on Twitter at @PDMFNB and we use the hashtag: #PDMFNB 

Friday, August 15, 2014

NATIONAL HERO EMERGES FROM ASHES by Tracy Knauss

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald Johnson worked magic last night by respecting the residents of protest-torn Ferguson, still reeling from the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Progressively, the situation was getting worse as the white-dominated police force in a predominantly African-American community, continued to bulk up with war surplus militarized vehicles and weaponized CopBots. Instead, Capt. Johnson took a "people" approach, using the Golden Rule. He showed respect, and he listened to the people. He didn't bulldoze them, or erect a wall of CopBots between the leaders and the people. Instead, he clearly demonstrated he was both a citizen and a leader who was willing to walk with them and talk with them. And that he did. "We have to make sure we don't burn down our own house," he emphasized, in reasoning with the people. This morning he added, "This is not a black and white issue because we all have sons and daughters. And we do need to communicate better because you saw what communication did yesterday." This is an old wound. It's time to stop saying it is an old wound and close it for good." For once it's good for all of us to see a common sense, "people" approach to conflict resolution. Eye-to-eye trust building over zero tolerance. When respect is removed by propping up police in War Ready outfits, tensions escalate, leading to physical confrontations. What Capt. Johnson did was to show he trusted the citizens by removing the War Trappings and by walking in the street with the people. In a nation in which the Pew Research polls show 70% of blacks think police treat them worse than whites, Johnson's "cool under fire", was just what the doctor ordered. The patient is still sick, but its health is improving. This sterling example of courageous leadership by Capt. Johnson has illuminated the path for other communities confronted with similar circumstance. When situations are volatile, the last thing one needs is fearful overreaction by authorities, leading to violence. As Johnson concluded, "If our community falls back asleep then the wounds never heal." Thank you Capt. Johnson for setting your community on a path to healing and prospering for people of all color. 

(Tracy provided a link to the article that his photo meme and writing corresponds to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/ron-johnson-ferguson_n_5680351.html)


Tracy Knauss may be found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/photodoctor?fref=photo

You may find us on Twitter at @PDMFNB and our hashtag at #PDMFNB


Saturday, August 9, 2014

THE OPEN STATES API by Laurel Davila

Tomorrow I'll be on Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio briefing you on this great application that you can download to help you become aware of the latest bills in your state that are affecting you.

You are also going to want to hear Congressional Candidate, Michael Cole, from Texas speak with Scott Henderson, the host of @BKPRadio; and get a great laugh with our funny James Finch (the Quantum Mechanic).

It all starts at 9:00 AM CENTRAL time, tomorrow morning, Sunday the 10th of August. Just click on the attached link anytime thereafter as the host immediately archives the show.

Here is some information about the Open States API:

"Whether your Capitol is just across town, over the river or 500 miles down the highway, the Open States app allows you to:

Identify your state representatives, find their contact information and explore district geography with Google Maps.
See voting records, bill sponsorships, committee assignments and campaign finance information for all elected representatives.
Follow any state bill on its way to becoming a law, from introduction through committee hearings, floor votes, passage and signing by the governor.
Read the latest policy news affecting your state from Stateline.org, an online publication of the Pew Center on the States.
Schedules and maps of the state house, in the few states that publicize this information
Sunlight Labs developed the app with support from the Minnesota Historical Society, and it runs on Sunlight Labs’ Open States API. Supported in part by the work of volunteers, the Open States Project collects and scrapes legislative data from state legislatures across the country and makes it available online in a unified, reliable, developer-friendly format. Learn more online at the Sunlight Labs blog, start contributing to the project here or follow @openstates on twitter for the latest news. Next steps include working on an Android version, building out bill text search, creating a public website for the data and continuing to adapt to changes in each legislature."

"Like the app, the Open States API is open source. NPR’s StateImpact project is already using the API to add legislative information to their online reporting, including in Ohio and Idaho. Recently, The Chicago Tribune used it to analyze the Illinois Pension Code as part of an in-depth investigation. Sunlight previously developed other mobile apps for monitoring lawmakers: Congress for Android and Windows phones and Real Time Congress for iPhone, as well as Sunlight Health which helps people make more informed decisions about medical care."

THIS IS BIG!! WALL STREET IS WORRIED THAT THE MIDDLE CLASS ISN'T MAKING ENOUGH MONEY!! by Tracy Knauss

How about them beans! Can you believe it? The disparity gap between the richest Americans and the rest of us has become so wide that even Wall Street has become so concerned they are now telling the gazillionaires to give back some of the money they took from us! No kidding! Pinch yourself! Yes it's real. This report by Standard and Poor's is just the latest of a dozen reports this year that confirm the unthinkable: Trickle Down does NOT work; and the richest Americans are NOT the Job Creators; AND taxing the rich IS necessary if we're going to dig ourselves out of this economic stagnation. So, raising taxes on the richest Americans is Job One. Also, revoking Corporate Personhood, and revoking the Union busting laws, and allocating billions for repairing America's infrastructure, and implementing plans to convert from dirty fuels to solar energy, creating beaucoups of new jobs; AND getting money out of our elections by using public funding, and...WAIT a minute. None of these things can be done until we "Get the RED out" of Congress by voting BLUE this November. And then our president can replace the Fascist Five InJustices on the SCrOTUS, and we'll be on our way to recovery from the near irreparable injury our nation has sustained at the hands of President Reagan and his descendant TEAbillies. Vote Blue for true because Red is dead, at least their ideals are dying, due to their failure to respect the Constitution and recognize human rights. The WASP death rattle cometh, as you goeth to the polls with a friend or relative this November 4. Don't go alone. Let's sprint to the finish line and deliver the knock out blow the Republican Party and their voter suppression operatives aren't expecting. Remember, even Wall Street says we've been economically and socially shafted for 30 years by soulless Corporations. Now's our time to rise up against AmeriCo, and shove them out the back door.

Here's the link in the NYT:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/upshot/alarm-on-income-inequality-from-a-mainstream-source.html?_r=0 

[Tracy Knauss may be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203149942124172&set=a.1164602149986.25410.1075845911&type=1&theater] 



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THE SURF'S UP! by Laurel Davila

Per the Daily KOS -  see link below: "On Saturday Aug. 9, Hawaii will hold its primary, where several competitive races will be decided. Polls are set to close at 9 PM PT (12 AM ET).
Hawaii may give us our most unpredictable primary night of the year. Polling in Hawaii is notoriously difficult in the best of circumstances, and these are far from the best of circumstances. A major storm hit the state ahead of the primary, and another is expected to arrive shortly after Saturday. The primary is expected to proceed on schedule and a number of votes have already been cast. However, it's anyone's guess what effect the storms will have on these contests.

• HI-Sen (D): Appointed Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz faces a serious challenge as he seeks to fill the final two years of the late Daniel Inouye's term. Schatz was chosen for the seat by Gov. Neil Abercrombie over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, and Hanabusa is running against the senator. Schatz has the backing of Hawaii native Barack Obama and a number of well-funded liberal groups, while Hanabusa has the support of the Inouye family. Outside environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters have gotten behind Schatz, who has made environmental protection a centerpiece of his campaign.

Both candidates have very different bases of support: Schatz is relying on more liberal white voters, while Hanabusa's base is older Japanese American voters. Two polls taken in late July show very contradictory results. A Merriman River Group survey gave Schatz a 49-41 edge, while a Ward Research Poll gives Hanabusa a 50-42 lead. The winner will have no problem in the general, but it's far from clear who will make it there.

• HI-Gov (D): Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie has had a long career in Hawaiian politics, but it could all come to an end on Saturday. Abercrombie has had a bumpy tenure as governor with some notable successes and failures, and he now faces a primary challenge from state Sen. David Ige. Few gave Ige much of a chance when he first entered the race, and the governor has easily outspent him. However, polls have consistently shown Ige ahead. The two candidates don't have many philosophical differences, but Ige is running as someone who could be more effective than Abercrombie. Neither man will be able to rest easy after the primary: A competitive general election is expected, with 2010 Republican nominee Duke Aiona and Democrat-turned-independent former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in the mix.

• HI-01 (D): Seven Democrats are running to succeed Hanabusa in her Honolulu-based seat. State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim started out ahead of the pack, but her opposition to same sex marriage left her vulnerable. State Rep. Mark Takai has been gaining in the polls, and the last few have him even or ahead of Kim. Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang has gone on the air late and has worked to portray himself as the most progressive candidate. Polls show Chang a distant third but in a state like Hawaii surprises are always quite possible. The winner will be the favorite against Republican former Rep. Charles Djou, who served for a few months in 2010 and has been raising a good amount of money."

http://www.dailykos.com/blog/elections#