Archive for April, 2011

MA Dems’ John Walsh Podcast

As always, MA Dem Party Chair John Walsh was looking forward to the next battles — particularly the 2012 elections. He joins the podcast about six minutes in and covered a lot of politics quickly.

Listen in by clicking below. He describes how and why U.S. Sen. Scott Brown won the special election in this bluest of states…and why Dems can retake it. He runs down who might run for the seat for the full term. He also speaks who won’t be running.

We kicked around the meaning of over half the commonwealth’s voters being unenrolled. Yet many vote Dem.

We’ll have to do it again soon. We didn’t even get to strategies for the upcoming campaigns.

icon for podpress  John Walsh [31:16m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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MA Dems Podcast

walsh2.jpgNext week, the chair of the MA Democratic Party joins us. John Walsh will be the guest Tuesday, April 19th, at 2 PM Eastern. He brings a great combination of knowledge, accomplishment, insight and wit.

While the rest of the nation was turning red, he led the party that kept this state in the liberal and progressive camps. Now the MA Dems look to the 2012 elections, which include U.S. Sen. Scott Brown going for a full term, a vote on the Obama Presidency, and seminal national and state issues.

If you can join the live stream 4/19 at 2 PM, go here. Otherwise, the show will be available here at Left Ahead or at the show URL or on iTunes.

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Federal Budget (Sigh) Podcast

We progressives need to show the way. Both the President and Congress are lost.

The silliness of pretending that playing with discretionary spending will solve our huge national budget problems has gone on too far too long. Listen in as Ryan and Mike alternately bewail the asinine deal cutting that has gone on recently and the avoidance of the real issues that we have seen for decades…that would be from the President Bill Clinton era of our last balanced budget.

We propose such as emulating other industrialized nations in the percentage of GDP that goes to military and other defense spending. We propose turning to infrastructure improvements and repairs, both to prepare the nation for its future needs and to provide jobs, with disposable income to help us out of this huge recession.

We don’t trust either the President or Congressional leaders to get smart enough quick enough on their own.

That Link: We cited the excellent and very conservative observations of guest Bill Lind last year. You can catch his approach to spending on transportation here.

icon for podpress  Down the Rabbit Hole [29:29m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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R.I. SSM Podcast

“We’re absolutely beating them on the ground,” said the R.I. SSM campaign director, referring to anti-marriage equality forces there. Ray Sullivan joined us with a very positive update on the struggle there.

The anti-LGBT/anti-SSM political leaders have recently been replaced with those more representative of the people there. Gov. Lincoln Chafee and House Speaker Gordon Fox, for two, are civil-rights friendly. The election has combined with the growing public sentiment for marriage equality.

Sullivan is in a solid position to comment. In addition to heading the campaign for Marriage Equality Rhode Island, he was a state Rep for six years. He co-sponsored SSM enabling legislation each of those years. In all, this bill has appeared each of the past 10 years.

He expects the bill to finally come for a vote by the time the legislative session completes at the end of June. Click the player below to listen in as he updates us on the trends, polls, atmosphere and efforts of the volunteers and larger public.

Those who want to get in on this historic civil-rights advancement can go through the MERI site and directly to the TAKE ACTION page. It offers four choices of how you can help. You can even do phone work for them if you are out of Rhode Island.

icon for podpress  SSM in R.I. [30:13m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Democracy for People of Color Podcast

Comparing MA and Boston governance to monarchies, Horace Small is no mumbler or sycophant. As executive director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods for its 11 years, he is a man of many missions. He focuses on what advances and frees Boston and MA’s people of color.

Click on the player below to hear the half-hour podcast. We got into what the UMN has been up to and will be doing, what he thinks needs to happen to set Boston right, and how blacks and Latinos can look out for their self-interest.

Small’s UMN has successfully attacked some of the most daunting issues for communities of color here. That includes high unemployment,CORI reform, prisons, and education in poor communities. Listen in as he talks about successes…and frustrations.

Highest on Small’s list of stumbling blocks is surprisingly not the underrepresentation of blacks and Latinos in government. Instead, it is the lack of citizen power and input.

“Ther is more democracy in the state prison than the State House,” he told us. Likewise, he said a typical high-school student government is more responsive to voters than Boston’s City Council, he has it.

His group is circulating acts to seven MA cities to bolster collective bargaining support. In Boston, he drives for a re-evaluation and repair of the city charter. He has strong words for the strong-mayor form of government the long static charter provides in the capital city.

For the next generation, he also pushes the burden clearly back to his — to mentor and show progressive aims and goals by examples. For the youth he states, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” He says he, at 58, grew up with leaders showing him the way. Listen in as he discusses what the UMN can use and what it will be doing.

icon for podpress  Horace Small [30:06m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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