You are currently browsing the daily archive for October 18, 2006.
My October show is tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. at 91.1 or streaming at kmud.org.
For the first half I’ll have Tim Redmond of the San Francisco Bay Guardian talking about the statewide ballot propositions from a liberal perspective. For the second half I’ll have Humboldt County’s own Jerry Partain from a conservative perspective. If there’s time, we’ll take questions from callers, but as usual there are a large number of propositions to cover. I will consider any questions sent to me ahead of time as well.
The call-in numbers are 923-3911 or 1-800-KMUDRAD.
A very articulate and forceful opinion piece in today’s Time Standard, which emphasizes the issue of process, or lack thereof, regarding the balloon track development proposals. Evans doesn’t delve far into the substantive issues of dispute, other than to say that “the artificial choice of big-box or blight being dictated to the community is both unacceptable and unwise.” Evans reminds us that the attempt to elude public process did in the Wal-Mart proposal but good, and threatens the same this time around.
But Evans also took time to point out that Arkley himself is not the issue, and made it clear that they will not oppose a proposal because it’s Arkleys. While a number of issues have been tossed around, it does appear to come down to Home Depot. In my conversation with Brian Morrissey, I was told that the big box is the only reasonable means to finance the clean-up and make the project profitable. My understanding is that they have considered alternatives and found them wanting, and that Cherie Arkley herself resisted the big box option, especially after having gone out on a limb to insist that it wouldn’t be part of the proposal – a statement that has been unfairly taken out of context to suggest deliberate deception on her part. Morrissey insists that Home Depot was chosen precisely because they learned from the “Wal-Mart Waterloo” and chose a big-box that offers decent wages and benefits.
But CREG’s primary issue right now is that despite a very earnest desire by Morrissey to dialogue with regard to certain details, the Home Depot provision is non-negotiable. Home Depot would appear to be the East Jerusalem of the discussion, and it’s hard for me to see how this won’t result in a protracted political fight. I would suggest to each side that you focus on whether development of the balloon track is economically feasible in the absence of a big-ticket item like Home Depot, and whether anything else is feasible under zoning and other regulations of the land itself. I’d like to see numbers crunched, publicly. I haven’t had the time to follow-up on my own despite a plethora of e-mails and links provided to me.
As I’ve said before, I don’t want to see a Home Depot on the waterfront. But if it does mean that the area will be utilized productively, and will in fact provide decent jobs, I have to weigh those benefits against my natural inclinations against big-box sprawl (my blue side is often in conflict with my green). I said this before, and it’s probably why Mr. Morrissey contacted me. It’s one of the stronger points of their argument. So I’m very interested to hear about alternatives, and not just blanket statements that lump Home Depot with Wal-Mart when they apparently offer two very different wage scales.
Meanwhile, Mr. Evans is certainly correct about process when you’re discussing exemptions or alterations to zoning, and about Humboldt County voters. CREG is offering free DVDs of the “Imagine the Possibilities” forum last Friday which you can request here. I’m going to order one up and I’ll comment on it when I’ve had the chance to watch it.
Harold Meyerson pontificates about it in a column in today’s Washington Post.
It hasn’t happened yet, and the Democrats have a history of blowing opportunities like this. But it’s looking pretty likely in the house. So come January Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female majority leader of the house.
In the House, the Democrats have made clear that there’s a first tier of legislation they mean to bring to a vote almost immediately after the new Congress convenes. It includes raising the minimum wage, repealing the Medicare legislation that forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices, replenishing student loan programs, funding stem cell research and implementing those recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission that have thus far languished.
The first and fourth of those bills will undoubtably be vetoed, and probably the second and third as well. The fifth will make for good political jabs, but in light of Woodward’s recent revelations about an emergency meeting between Tenet and Rice about an impending attack and the failure of the meeting to even garner a footnote in the 911 Commission Report, I would hope that some Democrats try to scrap the Commission findings in their entirety and start fresh.
I would also hope that the more draconian provisions of the Patriot Act would be brought for reconsideration, notwithstanding the blue doggers who voted for it. Same thing with the monstrosity signed into law yesterday.
I would also hope that they would push comprehensive uniform standards for elections with federal funding tied to state compliance. I would hope that they are willing to investigate the actions of certain US military figures in the Haiti coup. I would hope that Darfur would be elevated as a foreign policy priority. And I would hope that the Progressive Caucus would push heavy on reviving the Kyoto protocols, or some reasonable alternative. I would also hope that they push some strict ethics standards so they aren’t in the same position as the Republicans a few years downt the road now that Democrats have something to sell.
That there’s my wish list. Feel free to add to it.
On the Ed Schultz show, by Mike Rogers who outed Foley and others. Details here although it’ll be all over the news tonight. I personally don’t approve, not even when the object of outing has voted along with homophobes. The bottom line is that he is being attacked because he is gay (assuming the report is true). Heterosexual represenatives are just as wrong when they vote homophobicly, but they won’t pay the same price.
It’s what the bad guys do.
I had an argument about this one time, where a friend of mine asked me if I thought Roy Cohn “deserved” his privacy after what he’d done to other homosexuals. My response is along the lines of my response to neo-crusaders on the “terror war” when I argue against torture and for due process and they ask me whether I would expect the Islamic extremists to give me the same respect. It isn’t about what they would do. It’s about who we are.