Politics

RIP, Ted K

Categories:

Sept. 1, 2009

Unless you've been living on the moon, you've probably heard by now of the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. Given the excoriation regularly -- and usually deservedly -- endured by members of Congress, on this show and elsewhere, it's helpful to pause and remember a legislator who has dedicated his career to advancing the cause of the less fortunate.

The fact that Kennedy was born a patrician doesn't abrogate the work he's done. On the contrary, it throws his career into sharper relief. Despite being born with every possible advantage, he nonetheless had a guiding hand in every significant piece of progressive legislation enacted since he entered the Senate, from civil rights to education to health care, the cornerstone of his career.

Here's Ted, speaking in Alaska on the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. It's one of the most cogent articulations I've ever heard of what it means to be a modern progressive.

And here's Ted at the 1980 Democratic convention, after running a quixotic primary challenge -- from the left -- against an incumbent president.

Let us pledge that we will never misuse unemployment, high interest rates, and human misery as false weapons against inflation.

Let us pledge that employment will be the first priority of our economic policy.

Let us pledge that there will be security for all those who are now at work, and let us pledge that there will be jobs for all who are out of work; and we will not compromise on the issues of jobs.

These are not simplistic pledges. Simply put, they are the heart of our tradition, and they have been the soul of our Party across the generations. It is the glory and the greatness of our tradition to speak for those who have no voice, to remember those who are forgotten, to respond to the frustrations and fulfill the aspirations of all Americans seeking a better life in a better land.

We dare not forsake that tradition.

[...]

The commitment I seek is not to outworn views but to old values that will never wear out. Programs may sometimes become obsolete, but the ideal of fairness always endures. Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue. It is surely correct that we cannot solve problems by throwing money at them, but it is also correct that we dare not throw out our national problems onto a scrap heap of inattention and indifference. The poor may be out of political fashion, but they are not without human needs. The middle class may be angry, but they have not lost the dream that all Americans can advance together.

It takes me back to a time when, well, Democrats were Democrats.

And finally, we can't ignore the mythic proportions of Ted and his brothers. They were the American Gracchi.

-A

Moyers nails it

Once again, the inestimable Bill Moyers displays how a real journalist should act:

The Democratic Party has become like the Republican Party-- deeply influenced by corporate money. I think Rahm Emanuel, who's a clever politician, understands that the money for Obama's re-election will come primarily from the health industry, the drug industry and Wall Street. He is a corporate Democrat who is determined that there won't be something in this legislation-- if we get it-- that will turn off those powerful interests.

 

[...]

 

 There’s this fear that Barack Obama will become the Grover Cleveland of this era – Grover Cleveland was a good man, but he became a conservative Democratic President because he didn’t fight the powerful interests – people say Obama should be FDR – I’d much rather see him be Theodore Roosevelt --– Teddy Roosevelt loved to fight – … I think if Obama fought instead of really finessed it so much . . . I think it would change the atmosphere.

Watch the video.

As we survey the grim fact that -- despite big majorities in both houses of Congress, a popular and charismatic president, and solid public approval -- we may very well not get the kind of health care changes that befit a civilized nation, it's hard not to sink into a profound cynicism. We have never had an opportunity this good, and who knows when another one will come along. Money wins the day, forever and ever, amen.

-A

H/T Digby

August 31 Old Mole Variety Hour

program date: 
Mon, 08/31/2009

 

 This edition of the Old Mole is hosted by Norm Diamond (pictured here), and includes his special feature "Mystery Mole," as well as thoughtful introductions to all the other Moles' contributions.  Norm also plays and comments on a song by the Nicaraguan duo Guardabarranco.

53:37 minutes (30.68 MB)

Disappointed with Obama?

program date: 
Mon, 08/31/2009

 

Progressives are feeling let down by what looks like President Obama's failure to push for the changes we believe in.  But what can a President do?What are the forces he or she has to work with to stay in office, to remain credible?  Bill Resnick opens our eyes to them.  You can read this commentary here

7:29 minutes (4.29 MB)

The Joshua Generation: A New Generation Heeding the Call to Leadership

Categories:
 

Join us this Monday, August 31, 2009 from 8-9:00AM as we speak with Charles McGee, President and CEO of the Black Parents Initiative, and Johnell Bell, former staff aide to Mayor Potter and Multnomah Chair Tom Wheeler, about the  " The Joshua Generation: A New Generation Heeding the Call to Leadership".

A call to fill Oregon's black leadership void

program date: 
Thu, 08/27/2009

Black leadership is on the rise - from the White House to corporate giants like Xerox Corp. In progressive Oregon, however, blacks currently hold no elected positions in the city, county or regional governments within the metropolitan area where most of their community resides. These political disparities are more than matched by economic, social, health and education disparities that have left black Oregonians impoverished.

Charles McGee and Johnell Bell, co-founders of the Black Parent Initiative, believe the time has come for this to change.

55:40 minutes (44.6 MB)

Voices from the Edge on 08/27/09

Air date: 
Thu, 08/27/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
A call to fill Oregon's black leadership void: An Interview with Chrles McGee and Johnell Bell

Black leadership is on the rise - from the White House to corporate giants like Xerox Corp. In progressive Oregon, however, blacks currently hold no elected positions in the city, county or regional governments within the metropolitan area where most of their community resides. These political disparities are more than matched by economic, social, health and education disparities that have left black Oregonians impoverished.

Greg Craven and What's the Worst That Could Happen?

program date: 
Tue, 08/25/2009

 Wednesday Morning Talk Radio
 Hosted by Marianne Barisonek

Today's guests are Greg Craven, author of "What's the Worst That Could Happen" and Dr. Christina Hulbe, Associate Professor of Geology at Portland State University. Today's topic is all about Climate Change.   

56:06 minutes (25.68 MB)

Joe Uris covers Health Care and the War in Afghanistan

program date: 
Mon, 08/24/2009

 The Abe and Joe Talk Radio Show
 Hosted by Abe Proctor and Joe Uris

Abe is on vacation today, so Joe Uris invites callers to share thoughts on the Health Care debate, Government programs in general, the Insurance industry, the War in Afghanistan, the Bush era Torture debacle, and the lack of Activism in these trying times.

57:53 minutes (26.5 MB)

Clearing the air in Portland schools

program date: 
Wed, 08/19/2009

Portland may be a green city, but some of its school children are breathing air more like the polluted skies of Cleveland. A  USA Today study found six of our city's schools in northwest and north/northeast Portland among the worst in the nation for exposing children to airborn toxins. Benzine, a carcinogen found in gasoline, exceeds DEQ safety standards by 26 percent. Frustrated with lack of action by state regulators, parents of children in some of the mot impacted schools are organizing the community.

56:58 minutes (45.64 MB)
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