If Nancy Pelosi's such a 'progressive' ....

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... and even though Randy Shaw has become convinced that she is, I've never bought it, and I still don't. A progressive in Congress would never have privatized a national park. A progressive wouldn't have ducked same-sex marriage. But whatever -- here's my question for the day:

If Pelosi really believes in progressive causes, why doesn't she do anything about it at home?

Pelosi's almost never on the progressive side in local races. She never helps local progressive causes, raises money (which she's really, really good at) for local progressive campaigns or takes visible stands on local progressive issues. Would it kill the Democratic Party if she helped defeat Prop. 16? Would it be the end of the Democratic majority if she went to bat for her own city's sanctuary policies (and tried to block the horrible new policy on deporting anyone who gets arrested?)

Pelosi helped push health-care reform through, and that's a fine thing. But unless you want to redefine "progressive," I don't think Nancy Pelosi fits the bill. (And I'm still proud I voted for Harry Britt for Congress.)

Comments

Tim stopping fighting battles which ended almost 30 years ago.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 07, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

Harry Britt? You're kidding, right?

Posted by Guest on May. 12, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

I think this is a simple case of what is progressive in San Francisco and what is progressive at the national level being different things.

I'd much rather have Pelosi than Steny Hoyer. With Pelosi I feel that we are at least going in the right direction even if the path their is too slow for my liking.

The thing about being in leadership is so much is done behind the scenes and is so sensitive, that it's probably not wise to just come out and rail on issues/people like Barbara Lee/Grivalja/Woolsley can do from their place in the progressive caucus. That makes Pelosi appear less progressive as well. I also wouldn't expect the speaker of the house to get personally involved in municipal issues in their district, but I'm cynical.

And this is coming from someone who has never been a fan of hers.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

First, this is the Bay Area, it's ridiculous to say that you don't want Steny Hoyer. A much better analogy is why does Berkeley/Oakland have a really cool congresswoman in Barbara Lee, or the more conservative Marin have the very progressive Lynn Woolsey, when San Francisco is stuck with the corporate hack Nancy Pelosi?

And it's a lie to say that Pelosi's public positions are because she's the Speaker of the House. She has always been a corporate hack, way before she was elected Speaker.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 08, 2010 @ 10:04 am

Do you want a leader in the progressive caucus (Lee) or the Speaker of the House of Representatives?

Do you want a liberal yet relatively insignificant player (Woolsey) or do you want the single most influential person in Congress?

It's clear you prefer the first choices. Most San Franciscans do not. You're in the minority. You know what happens to the minority, right?

Posted by generic on May. 08, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

So, you prefer to "win," regardless of the fact that you've sold out everything you had supposedly been fighting for? Or are you just not progressive in the first place?

It's also a lie to say that San Franciscans prefer Pelosi and her pro-corporate, pro-war politics. Until private campaign money is completely removed from electoral politics, it's impossible to know what people want. All we know is that people who can raise more money from rich people, like Pelosi, are able to sell themselves more often to the electorate. In fact, it's more logical to say that San Franciscans do not support Pelosi's politics, as San Francisco has had hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating in the streets against the wars the Pelosi either supports or has failed to adequately oppose.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 08, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

You're in the minority. You know what happens to the minority, right?

------------------------

While "generic" attempts to minimize and dismiss the minority, I would remind "generic" that the US Constitution is in place to PROTECT THE MINORITY FROM THE MAJORITY, or has "generic" never learned that? So while "generic" wants to dismiss the minority, the US Constitution DOES NOT! Again, some people are clearly all about party-line cheer leading and don't give a damn about the US Constitution. I have talked with insipid people like that since 2000.

What good is there having a speaker of the house from San Francisco when the corporatist woman works for the neocon Republican agenda and served as accomplice to the Bush regime to help them cement their agenda or is "generic" willfully ignorant about that too? Duh.

Posted by Sam on May. 08, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

How does Randy Shaw define progressive? (Rhetorical question).
Is it the D behind her name that makes Pelosi "progressive" to him?

I could give the definition of progressive from Wikipedia, but someone would likely whine about that and not like that definition. So, find your own.

People call themselves anything these days whether it has any basis in reality or not. I've read comments from people saying, "I'm a card-carrying ACLU member, I'm a progressive (or they say liberal)" and then they go on to agree with the rabid regressives on whatever issue is the subject (particularly on immigration...they spew the same hate). The number of true progressives on the planet is probably less than 1%. To many people these days, progressive means nothing more than 1) voting for some corrupt piece of Republican-enabling corporate trash with a D behind their name and 2) doing a little bit of recycling on occasion. Period.

Pelosi is no progressive. If she were a true progressive, Krissy Keefer and Cindy Sheehan wouldn't have run against her in the last 2 elections. (I voted for Keefer and Sheehan).

Pelosi is a Republican with a D behind her name. As speaker, she has served as a Bush-enabler/helper/accomplice and helped the Bush regime cement their neocon agenda. That ain't progressive. If one might recall, she took impeachment "off the table." That was really holding the war criminals accountable, wasn't it? Her "team" was also complicit in the war crimes so that's likely why that was done. I can't stand Pelosi. She's useless as far as working for We The People and the US Constitution. She could care less about both.

Someone wrote this stuff: "I think this is a simple case of what is progressive in San Francisco and what is progressive at the national level being different things."

Pssssssssssst: Pelosi is the **REPRESENTATIVE** from San Francisco. Remember? That means she is supposed to **REPRESENT** We The People here in San Francisco regardless of what her position is in congress. On most issues, she completely ignores us. She's the nonrepresentative from San Francisco, in reality. In reality, she represents her corporate owners like the rest of these corrupt millionaire D and R politicians.

Here's a site that people like Randy Shaw might find helpful. I haven't had the time to study it carefully but it looks pretty good from what I can tell:

Google:

Pelosi Watch
(and click on the link that reads: The Truth about Nancy Pelosi)

Tim Redmond wrote: "Pelosi helped push health-care reform through, and that's a fine thing."

Sigh. She helped ram through a corporate bail-out to the mangled health care industry. That's what she did. But I know that some of the Dem kool-aid consumers are still falling for it and calling it "health care reform" because it's their beloved "Dem Team" that pushed it through. It's a corporate bailout from corporate Pelosi and the corporate Dems. It has nothing to do with single payer progressive health care.

Posted by Sam on May. 07, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

You really can measure a person's political sophistication by how nuanced they are on Pelosi.

If she weren't the most visible Democrat after Barack Obama (and perhaps the Clintons), I might care about her local stances. But I don't have any time for criticisms of Pelosi from progressive San Franciscans, not since she became Speaker. They don't have a close read of Federal issues. They can't count votes. They don't understand the trade-offs involved when you have a representative as a member of the congressional leadership. The management of an entire national caucus as fractious as the Democrats is a staggering task.

But she redefined the social contract anyway. For the first time, the Federal government has a responsibility towards the health care of all its citizens. And when it mattered, Pelosi did held the line. When we lost the 60 votes, she didn't blink. She scolded Rahm for "kiddie care" and made it happen. That's not a "fine thing," that's an breathtaking achievement for the ages.

You want a congressperson who's vocal about Prop 16? I want the second most powerful officeholder in the American government. Put the Presidio in one one hand and a pre-existing condition in the other and look me in the eye.

Posted by generic on May. 08, 2010 @ 8:42 am

You are exactly the type of false progressive Sam described in the post above yours. The biggest thing the health care bill did was steal money from us and give it to health care corporations; this is a major redistribution of wealth from all of us to a small group of really rich people. Nothing at all progressive about that, in fact it's really regressive.. No single payer or welfare for all, not even ANY type of public option. But we will now be FORCED to buy health insurance from private companies, regardless of whether we can afford it or want to buy it from them. Sure, the bill has some crumbs for the average person, like the prohibition on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, but those things are minor details compared to the issues I raised.

And yes, I'd accept the Presidio back in an instant in exchange for not passing this horrible, fake health care bill, don't even have to think about it for an instant it's such a no-brainer!

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 08, 2010 @ 10:13 am

Single payer was a political impossibility. The votes were not there. And your characterization of the healthcare reform writ large is specious at best. By your standard, you'd have demonized LBJ for selling out on Medicare.

And before calling me a false progressive, understand the irony:

When you say the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a redistribution of wealth from poor to rich, you sound exactly like ... a teabagger.

When I posited a a rhetorical choice between the Presidio and a pre-existing condition, I didn't think anyone would be so deeply dense as to favor healthcare protections for all Americans over one park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula. It's imbecilic.

May you have a pre-existing condition. May you have cancer. Then call it minor. Then call it a crumb.

Posted by generic on May. 08, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

The pre-existing condition portion of the bill IS just a crumb. And I not only have a pre-existing condition, but I cannot afford private health care. This bill sucks, period. People like me were better off before the bill passed than we are now, period.

And, selfish human, there are more important things on this planet than whether a small minority of one species is able to be treated by doctors. Any preservation of natural areas is more important than social issues, which only affect humans.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 08, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

(See what I did there?)

"So, you prefer to 'win,' regardless of the fact that you've sold out everything you had supposedly been fighting for? Or are you just not progressive in the first place?"

So you prefer to pose poorly crafted rhetorical questions, regardless of whether the person you're asking doesn't buy your premise? Or do you not just want an answer in the first place? You know how we can tell you're a Kucinichite noob? Because you put "win" in quotes.

"It's also a lie to say that San Franciscans prefer Pelosi and her pro-corporate, pro-war politics."

A lie is a malicious untruth, a statement was made with malice aforethought. I could be misinformed. You don't know me from Adam, and so can't ascertain motive. But no, it's a "lie" because the inflammatory sounds better than the analytic.

"Until private campaign money is completely removed from electoral politics, it's impossible to know what people want."

Awesome! That way you get to invalidate all electoral results if they don't meet your ideological sniff test. That is especially convenient, being as how you're
The Grand Arbiter of All Things Progressive.

"In fact, it's more logical to say that San Franciscans do not support Pelosi's politics, as San Francisco has had hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating in the streets against the wars the Pelosi either supports or has failed to adequately oppose."

You and logic are strangers. Again, your reading of Federal issues is incredibly thin. You're still not getting it. You don't understand the tradeoff between the district and the leadership. Have you ever had to balance competing interests? You say you understand how the "preservation of natural areas is more important than social issues" and yet you can't see how opposition to Afghanistan would come at the expense of Global Warming legislation. You're like a child who wants to outlaw cows and have his ice cream, too.

Posted by generic on May. 08, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

I'll make one last reply, you obviously don't get it and think all progressives and radicals are idiots and that only you and your ilk know what's going on. Couldn't be farther from the truth.

I never said I'm a progressive. While I agree with the left and progressives on most issues, I'm a radical environmentalist, and my main issues are protecting and restoring wilderness and wildlife. I call out people like you, because you claim to be progressive but are not.

"Win" was in quotes because it's not winning when you just win a vote. You have to actually accomplish what you intended in order to win. When you compromise away virtually every important issue, that's a Pyrrhic victory at best, but I'd describe it as a loss. Anything less than single payer or welfare for all is a loss. Even a strong public option would only have been a compromise, albeit one that would have had a decent chance of moving toward single payer.

A lie doesn't have to be malicious, it just has to be knowing.

Sorry if the truth about election results hurts, but that's how it is. The SF elections are proof of this. Where money matters much less in the elections for supervisors, an at least somewhat progressive majority gets elected. But where money plays a big role in citywide elections like mayor, we always end up with corporate/downtown hacks. You haven't made one counterclaim to what I said, you just whine that this fact allows me to invalidate the results of elections. Well, the fact is that we DON'T have democracy in the U.S., we have plutocracy of buying elections and legal bribery. On top of that, people are constantly besieged with sophisticated propaganda. Remove all of that crap and then let's see what people really support and oppose.

Again, you do not offer one argument against what I said, just name-calling. The fact is that San Franciscans are overwhelmingly against the imperial wars that the U.S. has been waging, and they care enough about that issue that massive numbers demonstrate in the streets about it. Considering that Pelosi has done nothing significant to oppose the wars, how can you claim that she's supported by the majority of San Franciscans? A better analysis is that most people succumb to the to the massive advertising campaign run by Pelosi and the Democrats and funded by her corporate sponsors. Pelosi is far to the right of the board of supervisors, and the board is far more indicative of what San Franciscans support and oppose.

As to opposing war v. passing global warming legislation, you are totally off base. In the first place, it looks like nothing is going to pass anyway. Even if it did, the bill now being discussed would actually do more harm than good. It would remove the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases, and is so weak that it would not result in any significant reduction in emissions of them. Europe tried cap & trade and their greenhouse gas emissions actually increased. Cap & trade is just a big scam, especially with offsets, which are in the current proposed legislation. The two most effective ways to reduce emissions are 1) a strong carbon tax without loopholes, which would significantly reduce driving and electricity use, and 2) EPA regulation, which would force industry to lower emissions. Your supposed trade off is a false one, because we would not get an effective climate bill even if one were to pass, which seems very unlikely at this point. Moreover, war is bad for all species. The environmental and ecological harms done by war, especially modern industrial war, is enormous. This is a false choice.

Our differences stem from the fact that you are a liberal, not a progressive. That's why you support Pelosi, because that's what she is. (If she were progressive, she'd belong to the Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party.) You think things are basically OK, they just need some tinkering around the edges, like the health care bill did and the proposed climate bill might do. Progressives support the Progressive Caucus, not mainstream Democrats like Pelosi. I don't agree with your views, but my main beef with you is that you call yourself a progressive.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 09, 2010 @ 9:24 am

"I never said I'm a progressive ... I'm a radical environmentalist,"

Then stop pretending you're in a position to arbit progressive interests. That's like a libertarian telling a Republican he's not GOP enough.

"I call out people like you, because you claim to be progressive but are not."

Here's your gold star. We've already established you're The Grand Arbiter of All Things Progressive and that all claims to the contrary are dismissed. Do we need to harp on it further?

"'Win' was in quotes because it's not winning when you just win a vote. "

Win was in quotes because you don't understand the many points on the gradient between a legislative victory and a legislative failure.

"When you compromise away virtually every important issue, that's a Pyrrhic victory at best,"

There's that sneaky premise again. A pre-existing condition is not "virtually every important issue." Coverage for people under 26 is not "virtually every important issue." Filling the Donut hole is not "virtually every important issue." Dropping policyholders when they get sick is not "virtually every important issue." Killing annual spending caps "virtually every important issue." Expanding Medicaid is not "virtually every important issue." This is embarrassing.

"A lie doesn't have to be malicious, it just has to be knowing"

And I really think I'm the best decider of what I know. Look up the legal definition of a lie.

"You haven't made one counterclaim to what I said, you just whine that this fact allows me to invalidate the results of elections."

I don't need to make a "counterclaim". That's not how argument works. The burden of proof is on the claimant.

"Again, you do not offer one argument against what I said, just name-calling."

See above. You can't prove a negative. Look it up.

"Considering that Pelosi has done nothing significant to oppose the wars, how can you claim that she's supported by the majority of San Franciscans?"

Considering the President campaigned on increasing troops and Afghanistan and decreasing troops in Iraq, (and is doing both, as advertised) why must I accept your premise that healthcare and climate and FinReg must be sacrificed to that one priority?

"Pelosi is far to the right of the board of supervisors, and the board is far more indicative of what San Franciscans support and oppose."

The Board of Supervisors have the luxury of not endangering the entire Democratic party with whatever they choose to enact, proclaim, etc. You're still not getting this leadership/district divide. It's above your paygrade, I guess.

"As to opposing war v. passing global warming legislation, you are totally off base. In the first place, it looks like nothing is going to pass anyway."

Nothing is going to pass the Senate, noob. The most comprehensive climate legislation in U.S. history already passed the House, at great political cost to many vulnerable members. Now who's in charge of that body? Because I forgot.

"Even if it did, the bill now being discussed would actually do more harm than good."

Oh god. Seriously? We're at this level?

"Our differences stem from the fact that you are a liberal, not a progressive."

Jesus, you are dangerously thick. You seriously think you can boil down my place on the political spectrum based on where I stand relative to you on 3, maybe 4 superficial passes at a couple of topics, one of which is a litmus test on Nancy freaking Pelosi.

I don't dispute that you're to the left of Stalin. But before you casually make diagnoses about random Internet commenters, do us all a favor and get some poli sci under your belt. Understand we are both on the far, far end of the spectrum.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/03/progressive_quiz.html

Posted by generic on May. 09, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

You have a pre-existing condition and you can't afford healthcare?

Then you have Medicaid. So STFU while the rest of us are trying to get some.

Oh you don't have Medicaid? Then you can afford healthcare, thanks to Pelosi.

Posted by generic on May. 08, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

I have neither, but this is a minor issue anyway. The big health care issues are that in order to be healthy in the first place, we need to create a society where people eat a healthy diet (which is a diet based on vegetables and other unprocessed foods), get proper exercise, and be free from chemical pollution of all sorts. If people aren't willing to live that way and to create a society where they can, then they will get sick. Your obsession with this issue is typical of a liberal, as opposed to a progressive: you focus on symptoms instead of root causes.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 09, 2010 @ 12:05 am

I don't know why "generic" is bothering with you. I know why I am; I am trying to avoid a book I'm supposed to be reading for class.

To take your most ludicrous argument first, the Presidio is the farthest thing in the world from being a natural area. Have you been there? It's covered in eucalpytus, an imported tree from Australia that is poisonous to most local wildlife and that supports next-to-no food chain. It was a military base for, oh, ONE HUNDRED YEARS, is contaminated throughout, and has military buildings all over it. And you're claiming to prefer the preservation of this "natural area" over the cancer treatments of hundreds of thousands of working class people who couldn't previously afford health insurance, but will soon be subsidized through a tax on the rich. (Did you miss that part of the health care bill? The taxes-on-the-rich part that makes up the bulk of the financing? Might want to check that out.)

Make sure you tell the orphan children of breast cancer victims that true progressives prefer the preservation of the Presidio to their mother's cancer treatments. I'm sure they'll be impressed.

You like being right, and you don't care about having any real impact at all. You're not making any kind of calculations of what you can actually do to change the world, you're just getting off by taking shots at those that have been and are. And no, ranting on a blog does not count as "changing the world."

Which is why it's time for me to get back to my real life. Good luck.

Posted by hermann on May. 08, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

Single payer never had a chance because your buddies, like Pelosi and Obama, took it "off the table" from the beginning and never even tried to male it possible. If you don't fight for something that would eliminate a large source of revenue for rich, powerful people, there's no chance of getting it. Saying something is impossible without actually trying is just creating a self fulfilling prophecy that's bound to come true. Look, it's not like single payer is some pie in the sky fantasy; every developed country except the U.S. has some form of it.

Obama and the Democratic Party have a lot of money, and they certainly could have hired a PR firm and blanketed the airwaves with ads for single payer. Obama also has the bully pulpit and could have used that to explain why single payer is far superior to a private system for the vast majority of people. None of this was done, but people like you prefer to make excuses for the Democrats. This means you actually oppose single payer, or you support the Democrats even if they take positions contrary to yours. Either way, this is not being progressive.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 09, 2010 @ 9:40 am

Some people will fall for anything these useless corporate politicians do.

Notice that "generic" didn't say one word about Bush-accomplice Pelosi refusing to defend, protect and uphold the US Constitution. The woman took an oath to do so.

"generic" is typical of most D (and R) believers. They put party-line brainwashing/indoctrination *above* the US Constitution. Party line (their political "team") is more important to them than the US Constitution. And most of the voters who allow themselves to be played by these useless, corporate, pro-war, neocon parties put their "my team right or wrong" mentality above the US Constitution. The US Constitution should come first, because otherwise we don't have a nation.

Posted by Sam on May. 08, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

I agree with Tim, but you failed to raise the really big and far more relevant question: if Pelosi were truly progressive, or even progressive at all, why doesn't she get the Dems in the House to stop funding for the wars of empire in the Middle East? This is a huge issue, and the Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party is the only group in Congress that's acting progressively on this issue.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 08, 2010 @ 10:17 am

She voted against it and also has consistently voted in opposition to funding it. To act as if she had the authority to stop it represents a breathtaking lack of understanding of how the US government works.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 08, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

generic,

I'll take a raging progressive that has carved out a niche in the boondocks of Capitol Hill over some easily-replaced goat that won a beauty contest. And I don't give a shit if you think I'm a puritan.

Posted by Matt Stewart on May. 09, 2010 @ 9:49 am

Dennis Kucinich thanks you for your vote.

Posted by generic on May. 09, 2010 @ 11:29 am

Generic wrote: "I don't need to make a "counterclaim". That's not how argument works. The burden of proof is on the claimant. "

Actually Generic, when you make assertions like you have, along with relying on "majority rules", it appears to me that you have little understanding of how an argument "works". In a claim and or complaint, you need to set forth the reasons and argue as to why you believe your position to be true, so you actually have to attempt more than assertions and ad hominems. If you cannot, why should anyone take your claims seriously?

Posted by Michael Worrall on May. 10, 2010 @ 2:10 am

I'm sympathetic to the argument that San Francsico has a better deal than Berkeley or Marin because, while they have really solid progressives like Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, we have the most powerful member of Congress. But let me ask: What has Pelosi actually done for San Francisco?

I've never argued that the Presidio is a natural area, or ought to be treated as wilderness. I would argue that it's a national park, and should be treated as all other national parks are. Instead, she allowed George Lucas, that noted pauper, to build a commercial office building in a national park -- never been done before, anywhere -- and collect a massive tax break in the process (since it's federal land, he pays no San Francisco property taxes, no Muni fees, no affordable housing fees. ... you get the point.

She's managed to get us a big chunk of change for a short subway that most transit experts say is unnecessary and overexpensive, but she can't seem to do anything for Muni's deficit. Where's the massive influx of federal affordable housing money that should come to the home district of the most powerful politician (save for the President) in Washington?

I dunno. I don't think she's ever represented San Francisco or this city's values. I think we'd do better with someone like Woolsey or Lee.

Posted by tim on May. 10, 2010 @ 11:07 am

Tim,

The problem with you and generic is that you both don't understand the dynamics of "power". When someone gets to be in a position such as Pelosi, she is not powerful, rather, she has proven to be an adequate servant to the powerful. If she were to veer too far to the left (i.e. make a good faith effort to pursue universal single-payer health care or, to borrow her lame rhetoric, at least "put it on the table"), she would be removed from her perch and be replaced with someone who will take orders and not put up a fuss. The central problem here is that there are not enough unapologetic progressive politicians that act out of principle and there are too many politicians like Pelosi who act out of vanity. In fact, if there were more unapologetic progressives in congress, the speaker would be forced to take a more left-wing line. And when you make vapid, lazy, habitual endorsements of people like Pelosi you become a part of the problem, not the solution.

Posted by Matt Stewart on May. 10, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

If Pelosi ever came out in defense of the City's sanctuary policy, then her Democratic colleagues in the House would boot her from the Speakership. The best result that progressives can expect from her is a studious silence. Same result if she were to oppose the automatic reporting to the ICE of illegal aliens when fingerprinted at the county jai. It wouldn't matter how much money she's raised for the Democrats over the years - they'd drop her as a liabilty to their chances of being re-elected in what is already a brutal campaign season. Isn't that obvious? If Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein had thought that SF's sanctuary ordinance as amended by the Board of Supervisors was defensible, then wouldn't they have said so already?

Posted by Colin V. Gallagher on May. 12, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

So we have a partial audit which is supposed to fool the public to think that MUNI has been gone over with a fine-tooth comb. Left unmentioned and evidently unaudited were the 67 million dollars of “work orders” which the Mayor is using to transfer other departments’ budget shortfalls to the MUNI (even the District Attorney’s office is involved), leaving the public to believe that the MUNI – the economic engine of the entire City – must have budget and service cuts to meet the MUNI “deficit” – when instead what is being played is a gigantic shell game, with the Mayor as the “operator,” the public as the “mark” and the Board of Supervisors as the “shills.”

And with 100,000 cars already driving around at any given time of the day or night looking for a place to park, chasing people off the MUNI will not result in any better choice – indeed it will eventually force business out of the City.

Why doesn’t the Chamber of Commerce wake up to the fact that for every minute the MUNI slows down, commerce in the City also slows down – exponentially - as each additional passenger is late for work, gets less sleep, and is more grouchy from a longer commute? Is this something the Mayor has learned from the big financiers at the World Economic Forum – to devalue our assets and destroy our economy so that our assets can be purchased at a fire sale by the big banksters?

An independent MUNI, divorced from the City Government, with all its Board Members publicly elected, with a comprehensive annual audit by outside auditors – to be voted on in a November ballot proposition - would seem to be the only barrier the people could erect to keep our economy and way of life in the City from being devoured by short-sighted politicians on their way to somewhere else. Next, cut out the financial shenanigans of shifting money around with phony “work orders!” Finally, sell all city limousines and make city officials take the MUNI to and from work like the rest of us; it is a crime that MUNI is being used to balance the entire City budget on the backs of the poor and the disabled, while our city officials are driving around in limos.

Posted by Guest Herschel Dosier on May. 13, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

The health care reform bill that Pelosi pushed through was a trillion-dollar boondoggle for the insurance, pharmaceutical, and for-profit hospital corporations. It will leave millions uninsured, and tens of thousands will continue to die every year for lack of health coverage. Insurance companies wanted single-payer "off the table;" it was. They wanted an individual mandate, to require that people buy private insurance at any price; they got it. Pharmaceutical companies wanted to be free of price controls, to have their markets increased by mandatory insurance and government subsidies, and to be allowed to profit from reformulating old drugs rather than inventing new ones; they got all that. For-profit hospitals wanted to continue to unnecessary procedures and to continue to get away with having worse patient outcomes than their not-for-profit competitors, for patients who start out generally healthier; they got that. If Nancy Pelosi were really a progressive, she would have pushed for a real debate on single-payer, drug-pricing regulation, and elimination of for-profit hospital ownership. I'm not saying progressives should be angry that we didn't get everything we wanted. I'm saying that we should be angry that our congresswoman was an important player in keeping all of it off the table. People will die because of it. The breezy statement that "Pelosi helped push health-care reform through, and that's a fine thing," gives her a pass she doesn't deserve.

Posted by pdquick on May. 14, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

Dear Editor, Tim Redmond,

Behind Earth Day.
Why do we celebrate Earth Day on April 22?
What event happened? I may know, because in April 1969, San Francisco State College celebrated the first Earth Day on April 22.

Following the terrible Jan 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara,
three biology students at SF State, who were also part of
SDS, the Joe Hill Caucus,
decided to hold an event to try to unify the green and the red movements on campus, around the environment.
We wanted to focus on powering the earth from solar power, which is
unlimited & pollution free.

The SFS administration gave us the main Auditorium. We had eight speakers including: Doug Kitt, Guissippi Slater, Paul Kangas and the head gardner from Golden Gate Park.
Why on April 22?
Because that was our hero, V.I. Lenin's birthday.

We though using that date would help unify the greens and the reds on campus around solar power & saving the environment.
So now you know the rest of the story.
Happy birthday Lenin.

Today, PG&E is trying to derail solar power by putting another attack on solar power on the ballot, Prop 16. Vote "NO" on Prop 16.

This article about the actual origins of Earth Day, was first published in the SF Chron on 9-30-06.

Paul Kangas,

Youtube: paul8kangas,

Posted by Guest Dr8kangas on May. 14, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

Dear Editor, Tim Redmond,

Behind Earth Day.
Why do we celebrate Earth Day on April 22?
What event happened? I may know, because in April 1969, San Francisco State College celebrated the first Earth Day on April 22.

Following the terrible Jan 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara,
three biology students at SF State, who were also part of
SDS, the Joe Hill Caucus,
decided to hold an event to try to unify the green and the red movements on campus, around the environment.
We wanted to focus on powering the earth from solar power, which is
unlimited & pollution free.

The SFS administration gave us the main Auditorium. We had eight speakers including: Doug Kitt, Guissippi Slater, Paul Kangas and the head gardner from Golden Gate Park.
Why on April 22?
Because that was our hero, V.I. Lenin's birthday.

We though using that date would help unify the greens and the reds on campus around solar power & saving the environment.
So now you know the rest of the story.
Happy birthday Lenin.

Today, PG&E is trying to derail solar power by putting another attack on solar power on the ballot, Prop 16. Vote "NO" on Prop 16.

This article about the actual origins of Earth Day, was first published in the SF Chron on 9-30-06.

Paul Kangas,

Youtube: paul8kangas,

Posted by Guest Dr8kangas on May. 14, 2010 @ 7:01 pm