Sunday, March 29, 2015

End of Month Democratic Highlights: 5 Plus ONE

The subtitle of this Blog is 5 Plus ONE because I am adding to the top of 5 "every day" highlights this month the news of the opening of the EDWARD M. KENNEDY INSTITUTE (EMK Institute) this week ~ Senator Kennedy: clearly a Democratic highlight all his own!


the public relations details, courtesy of the Institute:

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate will open with a formal dedication at Columbia Point in Boston on March 30, 2015 at 10 a.m. EST. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and First Lady Michelle Obama will attend. Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, current and former Members of Congress, other government officials, members of the Kennedy family, and friends and colleagues of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, also will gather to mark the occasion.

(It's looking as if Secretary of State John Kerry will not be in attendance as he continues his work under President Obama for a peaceful resolution to the Iran nuclear talks.)

Following the morning ceremony, the Institute will hold a special dedication of its full-scale representation of the U.S. Senate Chamber, led by Vice President Biden,  bringing together current and former U.S. Senators with students from across the country as a collective commitment is made to continued service and leadership.

* The dedication ceremony also will be Live streamed:

and the Institute opens to the public on Tuesday, March 31, Columbia Point – Boston, MA


my brief take on what the event prompted for me I spontaneously posted on my personal Facebook Page to a preview article in Parade Magazine:

Bobby. Ted. John. ... Just a few reasons I am a nudge and remind people, periodically, that I will not support promos that rail against all wealthy people, that advocate for the elimination of all members of Congress and/or that promote legislating term limits -- My experience tells me that it is not the system that is bad as systems are only as good as those who run them (that would be us!). There's not much news here but I found this to be a particularly interesting and timely story because it is a reminder as to how good people, albeit flawed, can incorporate religion into their lives without imposing it on the rest of us.

"Growing Good Citizens"

Teddy believed that when you became a Senator you became something bigger than yourself, that power had been vested in you to do the work of the people for the good of the country,” says Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s second wife and co-founder of the EMK Institute. Although Ted elected to use public office as his instrument for doing good, as did his brothers John and Robert Kennedy, other members of the family have taken alternate avenues of altruism.

(The full Parade Magazine article can be found here.)

Moving on to the more mundane ~ 5 Democratic Highlights courtesy of the White House blog and beginning with my usual End of Month Blog opening:

Democrats need to share Democratic highlights with Democrats. We cannot depend on main stream media to do it for us. Please feel free to share my favorite posts and/or to take action where appropriate. Take the Best; Leave the Rest, but market Democrats!

I know it can be annoying to have to take several steps ~ click, save and then post ~ but  it will be a lot more annoying if we have a GOP Congress AND a GOP President in 2016.

 My personal habit is to save Democratic each highlight on my Desktop; I create a Highlights Today folder and drop each Highlight into the folder; when I have a block of about 15 minutes of time ~ I share them all directly from that folder to my favorite social medium platforms.

I am of the mind that if we are to be an informed electorate we need to begin with becoming informed of the comings and goings of our own Party, particularly our Party Leadership as, opposed to popular opinion, they are diligently working on our behalf. Also, the more space Democrats take up on cyberspace the less space the GOP will have!


See What the Most Progressive Trade Agreement in History Looks Like:

Trade is embedded in the foundation of a strong, 21st century economy. It’s been central to our economic resurgence, contributing nearly one-third of our economic growth in the recovery and supporting 11.7 million American jobs in 2014 alone.

Right now, America is in a race with China to secure a trade deal with countries in the Asia Pacific -- the fastest-growing markets in the world. The countries that would be part of our trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), received 62% of U.S. goods exports in 2014.

So the question is not whether we will trade, but how?

The blog in it's entirety can be found here


President Obama Launches TechHire:

 Yesterday, speaking to nearly 2,000 local leaders at the National League of Cities annual meeting, President Obama announced his TechHire initiative, a new campaign to work with communities to get more Americans rapidly trained for well-paying technology jobs.

The United States has about 5 million open jobs today, more than at any point since 2001.

 Over half a million of those job openings are in information technology (IT) fields like software development, network administration, user-interface design and cybersecurity – many of which did not even exist just a decade ago.

 The average salary in a job that requires IT skills – whether in manufacturing, advertising, retail, or banking – is 50 percent higher than the average private-sector American job.

The blog in it's entirety can be found here.


Leading by Example on Climate Change: 

Our New Federal Sustainability Plan Today’s action builds off of the strong progress the federal government has made over the past six years.

 Already, federal agencies have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent since the President took office, and increased the share of electricity consumed from renewable sources from 3 percent to 9 percent in 2013. Agencies have also made progress on a number of other fronts, like reducing water use by 19 percent since 2007.

 But there is much more work to do – and that’s what today’s announcement is all about.
To achieve this level of government-wide progress, each of our agencies has had to step up and take real action. And it’s working. Here are a few examples:

The blog in it's entirety can be found here:


The People's Lawyer: President Obama Nominates Loretta Lynch to Be the Next Attorney General November 8, 2014: 

Attorney General Holder's fierce commitment to the pursuit of that principle is shared by U.S. Attorney Lynch. The daughter of a school librarian and a fourth-generation Baptist minister, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, she is a fair and independent lawyer who has headed one of the most prominent U.S. Attorney's offices in the country -- twice. As the head of the Eastern District of New York:

She successfully prosecuted the terrorists who plotted the bomb -- plotted to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank and the New York City subway. She has boldly gone after public corruption, bringing charges against public officials in both parties. She’s helped secure billions in settlements from some of the world’s biggest banks accused of fraud, and jailed some of New York’s most violent and notorious mobsters and gang members.

One of her proudest achievements was the civil rights prosecution of the officers involved in the brutal assault of the Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. Loretta might be the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters and drug lords and terrorists, and still has the reputation for being a charming "people person."

Driven by the principles of fairness, equality, and justice, Loretta has striven to make a difference for the people she serves. It's in her blood. Her grandfather, a sharecropper in the 1930s, helped folks in his community who got into trouble with the law and had no recourse under the Jim Crow system. She rode her father's shoulders to his church, where students would meet to organize anti-segregation boycotts. The sense of justice she absorbed as a young girl is what she will bring to bear at the Department of Justice.

The blog in it's entirety can be found here.

(For an informational purposes only, the President's March 21st follow up Weekly Address, referencing his nomination of Loretta Lynch can be found here.) 


98 Percent of Americans Are Connected to High-Speed Wireless Internet:

 At yesterday's White House Science Fair, President Obama announced that we've reached our major broadband connectivity goal -- 98 percent of Americans nationwide are now connected to high-speed wireless Internet, surpassing any point in history.

"Four years ago, I set a national goal to provide 98 percent of Americans with high-speed wireless Internet so that any young scientist or entrepreneur could access the world’s information," the President said. "Today, I can announce that we have achieved that goal, and we did it ahead of schedule. 

The blog in it's entirety can be found here.

G., aka Partisan Democrat


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Restating #GOPWantsWar Call to Have President Obama's Back ~ GOP Doesn't Stop the Sabotage

^^^ Tomorrow (Sunday, the 23rd) Tom Cotton will continue to sabotage a duly elected President of the United States of America,
while we are on the verge of an historical, peaceful agreement with Iran ...

Now, have you

It is not too late! 

Many Digital Activists have done a superb job of getting President Obama’s back, taking action against the 47 Republicans who recently corresponded with Iranian Mullahs in what one can one can only conclude was/is an effort to undermine his effort to resolve Iranian/world nuclear issues through diplomacy and not war ~ a strategy the GOP may actually hate more than it hates him!

But, it is not over yet and we really need to let the powers that be know that we are still here and we still support President Obama's strategy because the GOP is still here!

To that end:

One: A reminder of GOP nullification of POTUS and our votes

 Two: A sliver visual of Democratic Diplomacy at work

Three: A sliver visual of #GOPWantsWar sabotage memed

Four: One new #GOPWantsWar meme for Retweeting

And, Five:  A republishing of last week's memes for re-sharing or, perhaps, sharing for the first time on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ !

For your own information: Although ignored by nearly every media outlet, skewing nearly every report and analysis produced, the strategic nullification of President Obama is not new (see here) it is has merely moved from the consistent public nullification of his domestic policies to a public sabotage of his foreign policies.

Nullification, memed as:

(The author of this meme is unknown to me. If anyone knows who created it, please note in the comments section so I can immediately credit it! TY)

 Nullification defined as:

Nullification Doctrine Law & Legal Definition
Nullification Doctrine was a theory espoused by southern states before the Civil War where by states claimed power to declare a law of the federal government unconstitutional and therefore void. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, Vice President of the United States, was the leading proponent of nullification. Calhoun argued that "the Constitution and federal Union were established by sovereign states, not by the people of the United States. Therefore, the state governments have authority to decide if the acts of the federal government are constitutional or not. If a state government decided that the federal government had exceeded constitutional limits on its powers, then the state could call a special convention to nullify the law, thereby declaring that the law would not be enforced in the state." The nullification doctrine was linked to the claim that a state had a right to secede from, or leave, the federal union. In 1832, South Carolina attempted to use Calhoun's nullification doctrine to declare a federal tariff statute unconstitutional. However, President Andrew Jackson responded with the threat of military force to suppress actions that he viewed as rebellious violations of the U.S. Constitution. The crisis ended with a compromise about the terms of the disputed federal tariff law. Finally, civil war (1861–65) put an end to the arguments about the nullification doctrine and the right of secession once and for all.
The source of the definition can be found here.

As president Obama works to implement his vision of peace and prosperity for as many nations in the world who would like to join him (America) via the creation of strong economies through diplomacy and not war, based on what is best about America's principles and values, his Secretary of State has been doing everything in his power to attain success ~ and, frankly, although it goes without saying that the level of GOP disrespect for this sitting United States President is unprecedented it should also go without saying that the level of disrespect for our top diplomat shows and not tells the level of disrespect the GOP has for public servants, generally speaking. 

^^^ American and Iranian leadership and their teams working for a peaceful resolution via Iranian nuclear negotiations. 

( Secretary Kerry spoke about the P5+1 talks yesterday (March 21st): "Nothing in our deliberations is decided until everything is decided. And the purpose of these negotiations is not just to get any deal; it is to get the right deal. President Obama means it when he says, again and again, that Iran will not be permitted to get a nuclear weapon. Now sanctions alone can’t achieve that. We need a verifiable set of commitments. And we need an agreed-upon plan that obviously provides the access and the opportunity to be able to know what is happening so that you can have confidence that the program is, indeed, peaceful." (The full transcript can be found here. )

^^^ While #GOPWantsWar

(The new meme, which will be added at the end of last week's memes will be the one in the upper left-hand corner -- so you will be able to read it more clearly there.)

Below, please find a few of my favorite posts with links you can use to re-post today!

It was not easy to select five memes as the work has grown exponentially, expanded in scope and moved to other social media platforms so check your favorite platform for the #GOPWantsWar hashtag and re-post your favorites …

Here you go:


^^^ Courtesy of Miss Revolutionaries

You can re-share on Google+ here:

You can re-share on Twitter here:

You can re-share on Facebook here:


^^^ Courtesy of The Ale Party

You can re-share on Google+ here:

You can re-share on Twitter here:

You can re-share on Facebook here:


^^^ Courtesy of Pro-Choice Liberals 

You can re-share on Google+ here:

You can re-share on Twitter here:

You can re-share on Facebook here:


You can re-share on Google+ here:

You can re-share on Twitter here (Thank you for the share @BRios82!):

You can re-share on Facebook here:


^^^ Courtesy of Occupy Democrats

You can re-share it on Google+ here:

You can re-share on Twitter here (TY for the share @LaurelDavilaCPA):

You can re-share it on Facebook here:


^^^ Speaks for itself ... 

You can re-share it on Google+ here

You can re-share on Twitter here

You can re-share it on Facebook here.

Thank you!

G., aka Partisan Democrat

Sunday, March 8, 2015

First Of Month FAV Posts ~ Shareable, Informational And/Or Actionable (Timely action: re Loretta Lynch!):

^^^ The GOP majority Senate is holding up the process re the nomination of the best possible choice to follow Attorney General Eric Holder into the office ~ Loretta Lynch. The GOP majority House is lobbying against her. They need to hear from us now!

Having said that ~ 

Democrats always need to work at messaging Democratic Truths. You do know the GOP is always messaging Democratic Lies, right?! Please feel free to share my favorite posts and/or to take action where appropriate. Take the Best; Leave the Rest. But push back!

 I know it can be annoying to have to take several steps ~ click, save and then post ~ but it will be a lot more annoying if we have a GOP Congress AND a GOP President in 2016. My personal habit is to save each meme on my Desktop; I create a Memes Today folder and drop each Meme into the folder and; when I have a block of about 15 minutes of time ~ I share them all directly from that folder to my favorite social medium platforms. I am of the mind that the more space Democrats take up on cyberspace the less space the GOP will have!

^^^ Just a personal favorite of the week ... Historic! The 1st Family celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Selma March. Please note: President Obama does not fear much and he called on Congress to pass the Voting Rights Amendment 2015 this year because (and I paraphrase here) we have come a long way but we are not there yet!

^^^ Speaks for itself of course! Courtesy of the DNC!

^^^ Speaks for itself of course II! Also courtesy of the DNC!

^^^ Speaks for itself of course III! Also courtesy of the DNC!

^^^ Informational: Today (yesterday) marks (marked) the 50th anniversary of the 1st march from Selma, Alabama. We honor Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement in Selma and a key organizer of the March 7, 1965 march. Martin Luther King, Jr. used her home as his headquarters and office in Selma to plan civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s and to craft language for a Voting Rights Act. Robinson marched from Selma to Montgomery on what became known as 1965’s Bloody Sunday. She, like John Lewis, was clubbed and tear-gassed, and a wire photograph of her lying on the Edmund Pettus Bridge spread on the evening news. Six months later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. Read more about this remarkable lady's lifetime journey dedicated to social justice here ~

^^^ And, now, just for a few shares in honor of Women's History Month. Hillary, of course, acknowledging the importance of women in society.

^^^ Senator "Barb", acknowledging, a bit cryptically, her role in mentoring women Senators as they won their elections and took their places on the Hill.

^^^ Speaks for itself of course IV! My final courtesy of the DNC!

And, last but not least: Happy International Women's Day to all women and to all who love women ~ VOTE Democrat in 2016!

^^^ Purple was a color selected in the early 1900's to represent the Women's Social Policy Union symbolizing justice & dignity sought by Great Britain's Suffragettes...

G., aka Partisan Democrat

(P.S., for the very alert ... I miscalculated the date of the 1st Sunday of the month ~ so you have not lost your mind if you think you should have read this last week! I am a believer that all things happen for a reason, though, and I think I was supposed to be off my mark so I could include that fabulous photograph of the 1st family heading out to march over a bridge in Selma 50 years later.)

(The 2nd Loretta Lynch Meme is courtesy of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.)

(The Amelia Boynton Meme is courtesy of ERAAction.)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

People on the Right AND Left are Giving Me a Fright!

... do you want to be a part of the problem or do you want to be a part of the solution because the fact is we can see with our own eyes today’s Europe is not having much success with yesterday’s failed direct democracy nation states thing? ...

I have got to tell you, both people on the right AND people on the left are really starting to give me a fright. The actions on the right point toward the desire for a re-do on the U.S. Constitution so they can do a re-write based on 50 sovereign Christian nation states and the actions on the left point toward the desire for a re-do on the U.S. Constitution so they can do a re-write based on a Direct Democracy.

Frankly, I am quite comfortable with the system as it was devised by our Founding Fathers. It is unfortunate the citizenry has fallen down on the job as of late, primarily re ignorance and/or pique, but that is more easily rectified than the abject disasters the aforementioned desires would surely be. 

The only real question is – do you want to be a part of the problem or do you want to be a part of the solution because the fact is we can see with our own eyes today’s Europe is not having much success with yesterday’s failed direct democracy nation state thing.

Not much raises this fear for me as of late as the superficial discussion going on around the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) – and I say superficial because I have yet to see any of the anti-TPP crowd, often times a tad more to the left on the political spectrum than I am, bring any evidence to the table. To the contrary, I just see them running around with their hair on fire espousing 20th Century trade talking points -- talking points that have apparently, in the 21st Century, replaced the need for researching facts and forming an opinion based on said facts.
Take for example, my wonderful Senator from Massachusetts … Senator Elizabeth Warren … and the opinion piece she recently published in the Washington Post.

(Senator Warren is in italic and I am in bold,  non italic. The original is here.)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership clause everyone should oppose

By Elizabeth Warren February 25

Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, represents Massachusetts in the Senate.

The United States is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven other countries. Who will benefit from the TPP? American workers? Consumers? Small businesses? Taxpayers? Or the biggest multinational corporations in the world?

^^^ Is the question who will benefit from TPP or is the question, what is the probability of the success of President Obama’s vision?

(Now, of course, that would require knowing what the President’s vision is but I have yet to see context included in any anti-TPP writings or infotainment clips.)

One strong hint is buried in the fine print of the closely guarded draft.

^^^ Please note, Senator Warren is no longer claiming TPP negotiations are secret and if you listen very carefully I believe you will hear some of the talking heads backing off of that one, too – I do believe I have even heard Ed Shultz begin to soften that attack line.

The provision, an increasingly common feature of trade agreements, is called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled. Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty.

^^^ Where’s the evidence? I expect a Senator of the United States, if he or she is going to charge that the President of the United States is undermining U.S. sovereignty, to provide evidence to back up that charge.

ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages.

^^^ Potential? Imagine? That’s divination.

If that seems shocking, buckle your seat belt. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges. Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next. Maybe that makes sense in an arbitration between two corporations, but not in cases between corporations and governments. If you’re a lawyer looking to maintain or attract high-paying corporate clients, how likely are you to rule against those corporations when it’s your turn in the judge’s seat?

^^^ Could lead to? Would not employ independent judges? That’s more divination.

If the tilt toward giant corporations wasn’t clear enough, consider who would get to use this special court: only international investors, which are, by and large, big corporations. So if a Vietnamese company with U.S. operations wanted to challenge an increase in the U.S. minimum wage, it could use ISDS. But if an American labor union believed Vietnam was allowing Vietnamese companies to pay slave wages in violation of trade commitments, the union would have to make its case in the Vietnamese courts.

^^^ Where is the evidence that Viet Nam could not only challenge an increase in the U.S. minimum wage but that it would actually violate the agreement (the one that is not completed yet)?

Why create these rigged, pseudo-courts at all? What’s so wrong with the U.S. judicial system? Nothing, actually. But after World War II, some investors worried about plunking down their money in developing countries, where the legal systems were not as dependable. They were concerned that a corporation might build a plant one day only to watch a dictator confiscate it the next. To encourage foreign investment in countries with weak legal systems, the United States and other nations began to include ISDS in trade agreements.

^^^ Where are the evidence-based examples of processes and outcomes that make these entities of arbitration pseudo-courts?

Those justifications don’t make sense anymore, if they ever did. Countries in the TPP are hardly emerging economies with weak legal systems. Australia and Japan have well-developed, well-respected legal systems, and multinational corporations navigate those systems every day, but ISDS would preempt their courts too. And to the extent there are countries that are riskier politically, market competition can solve the problem. Countries that respect property rights and the rule of law — such as the United States — should be more competitive, and if a company wants to invest in a country with a weak legal system, then it should buy political-risk insurance.

^^^ Any nation is subject to devolving – We just need to look in the mirror to see the United States devolving rapidly, for example. 

Also, a clear demonstration of lack of knowledge re the President’s vision.

The use of ISDS is on the rise around the globe. From 1959 to 2002, there were fewer than 100 ISDS claims worldwide. But in 2012 alone, there were 58 cases. Recent cases include a French company that sued Egypt because Egypt raised its minimum wage, a Swedish company that sued Germany because Germany decided to phase out nuclear power after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, and a Dutch company that sued the Czech Republic because the Czechs didn’t bail out a bank that the company partially owned. U.S. corporations have also gotten in on the action: Philip Morris is trying to use ISDS to stop Uruguay from implementing new tobacco regulations intended to cut smoking rates.

^^^ What were the outcomes? Anyone can sue for any reason but without outcomes provided one cannot assess the pros and cons of the examples noted.

ISDS advocates point out that, so far, this process hasn’t harmed the United States. And our negotiators, who refuse to share the text of the TPP publicly, assure us that it will include a bigger, better version of ISDS that will protect our ability to regulate in the public interest. But with the number of ISDS cases exploding and more and more multinational corporations headquartered abroad, it is only a matter of time before such a challenge does serious damage here. Replacing the U.S. legal system with a complex and unnecessary alternative — on the assumption that nothing could possibly go wrong — seems like a really bad idea.

^^^ Why would anyone expect negotiators to share negotiations publicly? We do not live in a direct Democracy we live in a Representative Democracy where we elect people to take our thoughts into consideration, to represent us and to make decisions on our behalf.

And, by the way, “seems like a really bad idea.” -- seems – is not a strong argument.

This isn’t a partisan issue. Conservatives who believe in U.S. sovereignty should be outraged that ISDS would shift power from American courts, whose authority is derived from our Constitution, to unaccountable international tribunals. Libertarians should be offended that ISDS effectively would offer a free taxpayer subsidy to countries with weak legal systems. And progressives should oppose ISDS because it would allow big multinationals to weaken labor and environmental rules.
Giving foreign corporations special rights to challenge our laws outside of our legal system would be a bad deal. If a final TPP agreement includes Investor-State Dispute Settlement, the only winners will be multinational corporations.

^^^ I see no references to one reliable source on this topic, so where does the information to be found in this opinionated piece come from? And who will benefit from it? A question that needs to be asked of the writer, as well.

The good news is the White House made the decision to respond to the opinion piece on the White House blog and make it easier for the Senator and other concerned citizens to focus on her specific concerns, as noted in her opinion piece, utilizing the information she and anyone else has access to via the source: here.

Here is a snippet of that response. Perhaps it will entice you to go to read here.

Not for nothing but, the Office of Trade's website provides pertinent, informative links on it's front page, a reading room, and public servants ~ including but most certainly not limited to ~ 30-plus key officials, advisory committees, participating agencies and five members from each House who, by statute, serve as official advisers. We need to give them the courtesy of informing ourselves and asking informed questions if we are going to charge them with being complicit in working with the President of the United States to screw over the American worker and surrender U.S. sovereignty!

Here's just a small sample of what might be found if one looks:

G., aka Partisan Democrat