Panhandle (W.Va.) Grassroots for Democracy

The Panhandle Grassroots for Democracy is working to improve our corner of eastern West Virginia, our state and our nation.

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Monday, July 25, 2005

John Unger's locality pay rallies

From an email:
IMPORTANT - Senator Unger has been working tirelessly to get locality pay for State workers. He has succeeded in getting a 15% across-the-board increase for Department of Highway workers. He is still working hard to get teachers, state troopers, and all local State workers that same increase. We MUST support him in his effort!

There will be 2 Rallies this week in support of Senator Unger's effort to get Locality Pay for ALL State workers.

Senator Unger, Delegate Bob Tabb, and Delegate Locke Wysong will be attending --->

Wednesday, July 27 - 7-9pm - T.A. Lowery Elementary School just off of Route 9 in Jefferson County at 55 Shenandoah Junction Road, Shenandoah Junction.

Thursday, July 28 - 7-9pm - Orchard View Intermediate School, Delmar Orchard Road off of King Street extended, Martinsburg.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

CAFTA and West Virginia

Good article in the Charleston Gazette about the push for CAFTA and the effect it'll have on West Virginia.
Congress is likely to vote on whether to approve the Central American Free Trade Agreement before the end of the month.

On Friday, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, called CAFTA the “big ticket” item on the House agenda next week, which is strongly backed by President Bush.

Proponents argue CAFTA will promote trade and help some local businesses, especially farmers in West Virginia.

Critics point to the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed by President Clinton in 1993, which eliminated many trade barriers with Mexico and Canada and ended up costing Americans more than a million jobs.

“I just read in the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s newsletter that West Virginia workers are the fourth-best in terms of giving productive hours to their employers,” Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said on Friday.

“CAFTA says to these hard-working folks, ‘It doesn’t matter. We want to open the doors for corporations to throw up tin sweat shops south of the border, and they can take advantage of people less trained, less seasoned, with less health and safety measures and you can undercut American jobs.’


“Call it NAFTA, CAFTA whatever. It’s all about ‘shafta,’” Rahall said.

Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., said, “I will oppose CAFTA for the same reason that I have opposed every free-trade agreement to come before the Congress: they are simply not in the best interests of my district.

“Pitting a country with a high standard of living against one with a low standard of living will always hurt the country with the high standard of living. Pursuing free-trade agreements without any appreciation for that reality, or without any sympathy for the workers and communities adversely affected, is a formula for disaster.”

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., has not yet made up her mind about the pending legislation.

R.C. Hammond, Capito’s spokesman, said on Friday, “She has not determined how she will vote. She has received letters from her constituents and is considering them now.”


Democrats Rahall and Mollohan are for the working people of West Virginia. And where's our Tom Delay Republican, Capito? Will she once again put the Republican Party ahead of the people of West Virginia? Considering her past voting record in support of corporate fat cats over regular folks, she'll vote as the corrupt Tom Delay tells her to vote.

UPDATE: For once she voted for West Virginians! She voted no even though her party voted almost unanimously for it and it passed by two votes.

Either enough of us sent a message to her that it broke through her reality-deflecting shields or else she's more worried about her chances for re-election in 2006 than we realized. However, kudos for her. She joined the state's Democrats -- Byrd, Rockefeller, Rahall and Mollohan -- in voting no to CAFTA.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Show Karl Rove our support

Yes, that's right. Click here to see how we can send a message of support to Karl Rove.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Karl Rove needs help

Republicans put partisan politics ahead of national security. By doing so, they haven't harmed Democrats. They've harmed all Americans. And not just Democrats should be angry. All Americans should be outraged. From The Stakeholder:
Yesterday morning I noted something funny about Rove's defenses. There were of course the new silly defenses about not calling her by name and his motive being to correct the record, yada yada yada. But what was more interesting to me than just the silliness was the quesiton of why Rove was resorting to such silliness all of the sudden. It reaked of desperation.

As I wrote...

So the main damage control points coming from Rove's corner are utterly irrelevant, and this cannot be a good sign for him. All the more so if what's missing is missing for a reason. Reading those stories, I can't help but notice that the only possibly relevant point is suddenly on vacation. For years, it seems, Luskin has been rinsing and repeating with the "never knowingly disclosed classified information" line. Well, as Think Progress noted, it seems quite clear that classified information was disclosed, so the only question is whether it was knowingly. The "knowingness" would be the only thing standing between Rove and a crime, theoretically. Now maybe the papers got tired of printing the same thing over and over, maybe Luskin was off his game, but I suddenly don't see that defense in either of those articles. Interesting.

Today we hear from the LA Times...

Luskin declined to say whether Rove knew that Plame was a covert agent, even if he did not know her name, which analysts said was a crucial factor in determining whether the law was broken.

He certainly hasn't declined before. That sounds pretty darn close to Game, Set, Match...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Shelley Moore Capito won't protect Social Security

The vast majority of Americans are opposed to Social Security privatization. The only ones for it at this point appear to be the deeply entrenched and scandal plagued Republican leadership, who apparently see a chance to make money off it. U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito has refused to stand up for West Virginians on this issue out of loyalty to Tom DeLay, in my opinion. I base that off her walking lock step with him on almost every issue, including those opposed strongly by most Americans. DremaDems is reaching out to her once again to do the right thing for the people in her district instead of her party bosses. I think she's a hopeless cause and the only way for us to do our part to protect Social Security from Enron-style financing is to oust her and other Social Security privateers out of office. From Drema Dems:


Help us get Shelley Capito "Off the Fence" on where she stands on privatization.

We need people to hold signs and "fences" during another "honk and wave," Wednesday, July 13th from 11:45 am - 12:30 pm in front of Representative Capito's office at 4815 MacCorckle Ave, Kanawha City. If you are available or need directions, please contact Marge at 346-5891 or marge@wvcag.org


SOCIAL SECURITY - White House Still Pressing For Robust Private Accounts



Congressman Rahall Stands Firm in Opposing Private Accounts

With the exception of Congresswoman Shelley Capito, West Virginians can count on their delegation to "Just Say No" to private accounts. Congressman Rahall joined the coalition last week in Logan for a spirited public discussion and pledged to do all he can to protect the guaranteed benefit program from government interference.

It's very decent of them to try to encourage her to do the right thing for her state. Too bad she needs to be reminded what that is.

Take Back Healthcare

Added a new blog to the side bar, Take Back Healthcare. Check it out. It may be what the doctor ordered to cure our nation's health care ills.

Day camp planned

Too bad my kids are too young.

A Human Rights Camp for children 11-13 years old will be held at Shepherd University July 27, 28 and 29.

The camp is free and sponsored by the Children’s Rights Coalition, Shepherd University, Amnesty International
and Amnesty International Upper Potomac chapter.

The camp is described as

"...designed to sensitively educate children on international
human rights and lead them through a fulfilling and fun process of
human rights activism. Our curriculum is largely based on the AI Kids
Education Package, Human Rights Watch’s Children’s Rights Resources and
the undergraduate course in human rights offered at Shepherd. The camp
staff will include a local educator, an attorney/human rights professor
and several seasoned human rights activists."

Not only is this a great opportunity for the children, but our camp is
the first of it’s kind! It is being followed as a prototype for future
camps, possibly conducted regionally throughout the United States."

Email me if you need additional details.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

SCOTUS & ideology

The Republicans were all for consultation when President Clinton was looking for judges to appoint to the Supreme Court. Jesselee of The Stakeholder calls them on it:
Orrin Hatch was on Face the Nation this Sunday and went into full clown show mode. Some excerpts from the transcript...

ROBERTS: One of the big issues that people are considering is this idea of consultation. Back in 1993, President Clinton came to you, Senator Hatch, and he said here's who I'm thinking about, Bruce Babbitt, as a member of the Supreme Court and you said, 'Well, no, why don't you consider Stephen Breyer or Ruth Ginsburg.' One of them he had considered. Ginsburg he hadn't. Not only did he consider them, but he ended up nominating both of them. What degree of consultation do you think President Bush should engage in with the opposition?
Sen. HATCH: Well, I think he'll do at least that. I mean, basically I didn't tell the president what to do and he basically said I'm interested in these people and Bruce Babbitt was at the head. And I just said, 'Well, you know, he may very well make it,' and, you know, I even indicated I would support him because he is president, and then I mentioned these other two at the time and he knew a little bit about Breyer but he didn't know anything about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But I would think the president is going to do consultation, but let's understand something. The Constitution does not require consultation. It's a courtesy that has only in recent presidencies been extended to any real extent, but the courtesy comes both ways. In other words, senators have to understand that it's the president's right to pick whoever the nominee is and it's our right to advise and consent which means a vote up and down.


I wanted to excerpt the full answer just for the laugh of seeing Hatch's "because he is president" line, but the key quote is "The Constitution does not require consultation." Next:

But let's just be honest about it. We were able to put Thomas out of the committee with a--without recommendation, because we recognized that the president and his nominee deserve a vote up and down. That's what advice and consent means.
Got that? "Advice and consent" means "up or down vote" but it does not mean "consult."

Definition of "Advise":

To take counsel; consult [emphasis added.]

We would like to provide a suitable definition for "consent," but we have yet to find a definition of "consent" that includes the term "up or down vote" - in any dictionary, or even any Constitution for that matter. Perhaps the internets are broken.

Strict Constructionism, anybody?

Friday, July 01, 2005

See what Repubs had to say during the Clinton Presidency

I'm reposting this from another board that I am active in.....

"President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"No goal, no objective, not until we have those things and a compelling case is made, then I say, back out of it, because innocent people are going to die for nothing. That's why I'm against it."
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/5/99

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Sound familiar?