Thursday, July 31, 2008

Now Hiring: Able-bodied and minded-only please

Damn skippy!

Disability rights advocates in wheelchairs held a protest Tuesday in front of the downtown Berkeley McDonald’s at University and Shattuck avenues, against what they said was unlawful discrimination against three of its disabled employees.

The protest came a week after the Legal Aid Society Employ-ment Law Center of San Francisco filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor-tunity Commission alleging that their client Lisa Craib, 43, was unfairly dismissed from the restaurant along with her two co-workers because of their developmental disabilities.

Craib, diagnosed with Asper-ger’s Syndrome—a form of autism—worked the 7:30-10 a.m. morning crew, cleaning tables, preparing salads and bussing for almost 21 years

Craib said that shortly after the franchise was sold to a new owner in March, she and two other workers with disabilities—Susan Hanks and Alice McGill—were abruptly fired.

McDonald’s released a statement on behalf of Nick Verghis, the new owner of the McDonald’s franchise, Tuesday, which was similar to the one issued in response to the charges filed last week. “I have a strict policy prohibiting any form of discrimination in hiring, termination, or any other aspect of employment,” the statement said. “I comply with all applicable laws—including the American Disabilities Act—and continually strive to maintain an environment in which everyone feels valued and accepted. Beyond that, it would be inappropriate to further comment or speculate.”

Inappropriate..uh huh...

Susan Hanks, one of the disabled workers fired along with Lisa on March 18, stood outside the restaurant talking to family and friends. Hanks, who has cerebral palsy, was the first disabled worker to be hired by the downtown McDonald’s. “I have been here since 1982,” Hanks, 65, said. “I don’t want my job back, but I want them to know that they fired me and they shouldn’t have done that.” Hanks said she was considering joining in the federal charges filed by the Legal Aid Society.

Lisa Gordon, one of the executive directors of Easy Does it, which provides emergency services to the disability community, watched the action from her wheelchair. Gordon expressed her thoughts through her assistant Alejandra Ortiz. “This is just wrong,” Ortiz said, translating for Gordon. “Lisa worked here for 21 years because she was able to. She knew how to do a good job. It is not fair that they fired them because they have disabilities.” “We are appalled by this,” said Gina Sasso, who co-directs the organization with Gordon, adding that more than 70 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed. “We are going to continue the struggle.”

3 employees...LONG time-employees...all disabled...fired.

Coincidence? Yeah...right...uh huh....
And here is the rest of it.

Hiroshima Day

From Sisters of the Road (see link on sidebar)

Sisters is proud to co-sponsor Hiroshima Day, marking the anniversary of the August, 1945 nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please join us Wednesday August 6th, 2008, from 6:00-7:00pm at the Japanese American Historical Plaza, Waterfront Park (NW Naito & Couch).

Each year this event, held by Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) recalls this history with reflections, music, and a call to action. In doing so, they hope to prevent such a grave mistake from happening again. Please click here and follow the Peace and Security link to learn more about the event and/or the bombings - the Children of the Atomic Bomb website also has important information.

The event features music from Portland Taiko and the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus. Featured speakers are Tom Carpenter, executive director of Hanford Challenge; award-winning poet and Friends of William Stafford board member Paulann Petersen; Dr. Charles Grossman, founding board member or Oregon PSR; Mikio Ohgushi from Dharma Rain Zen Center; Mayor Tom Potter; and Pamela Vergun, contributor/ editor of A Dimly Burning Wick: Memoir from the Ruins of Hiroshima. SGI-USA Buddhists will host a ceremonial shrine to invite attendees to honor victims’ memories throughout the evening.
And here is the rest of it.

Gordon Smith-Choice?

Where is our supposedly "moderate" GOP senator on choice? Who knows?

And here is the rest of it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

McCain and LGBTQ Parents

From the Stonewall Democrats:

Yesterday, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, John McCain had this to say about adoption by same-sex couples:

"I want to help with family values."

In an interview with The New York Times last week, John McCain this is what he said on the same subject:

Question: President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?

Mr. McCain: I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don't believe in gay adoption.

Q: Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents.

Mr. McCain: I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.

Q: But your concern would be that the couple should a traditional couple

Mr. McCain: Yes.

I'm still trying to figure out where the Log Cabin Republicans have made progress. Hmm.... And here is the rest of it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Half in Ten

The Center for American Progress, one of the major partners of the Half in Ten campaign, released a report that guides the campaign, which is led by John Edwards (damn I'd still vote for him in a heartbeat!)

Our nation has seen periods of dramatic poverty reduction at times when near-full employment was combined with sound federal and state policies, motivated individual initiative, supportive civic involvement, and sustained national commitment. In the last six years, however, our nation has moved in the opposite direction. The number of poor Americans has grown by five million, while inequality has reached historic high levels.

Consider the following facts:

One in eight Americans now lives in poverty. A family of four is considered poor if the family’s income is below $19,971—a bar far below what most people believe a family needs to get by. Still, using this measure, 12.6 percent of all Americans were poor in 2005, and more than 90 million people (31 percent of all Americans) had incomes below 200 percent of federal poverty thresholds.

Millions of Americans will spend at least one year in poverty at some point in their lives. One third of all Americans will experience poverty within a 13-year period. In that period, one in 10 Americans are poor for most of the time, and one in 20 are poor for 10 or more years.

Poverty in the United States is far higher than in many other developed nations. At the turn of the 21st century, the United States ranked 24th among 25 countries when measuring the share of the population below 50 percent of median income.

Inequality has reached record highs. The richest 1 percent of Americans in 2005 held the largest share of the nation’s income (19 percent) since 1929. At the same time, the poorest 20 percent of Americans held only 3.4 percent of the nation’s income.

It does not have to be this way. Our nation need not tolerate persistent poverty alongside great wealth.

The United States should set a national goal of cutting poverty in half over the next 10 years. A strategy to cut poverty in half should be guided by four principles:

Promote Decent Work. People should work and work should pay enough to ensure that workers and their families can avoid poverty, meet basic needs, and save for the future.

Provide Opportunity for All. Children should grow up in conditions that maximize their opportunities for success; adults should have opportunities throughout their lives to connect to work, get more education, live in a good neighborhood, and move up in the workforce.

Ensure Economic Security. Americans should not fall into poverty when they cannot work or work is unavailable, unstable, or pays so little that they cannot make ends meet.

Help People Build Wealth. All Americans should have the opportunity to build assets that allow them to weather periods of flux and volatility, and to have the resources that may be essential to advancement and upward mobility.

They have made twelve recommendations.

1. Raise and index the minimum wage to half the average hourly wage. At $5.15, the federal minimum wage is at its lowest level in real terms since 1956. The federal minimum wage was once 50 percent of the average wage but is now 30 percent of that wage. Congress should restore the minimum wage to 50 percent of the average wage, about $8.40 an hour in 2006. Doing so would help nearly 5 million poor workers and nearly 10 million other low-income workers.

2. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. As an earnings supplement for low-income working families, the EITC raises incomes and helps families build assets. The Child Tax Credit provides a tax credit of up to $1,000 per child, but provides no help to the poorest families. We recommend tripling the EITC for childless workers and expanding help to larger working families. We recommend making the Child Tax Credit available to all low- and moderate-income families. Doing so would move as many as 5 million people out of poverty.

3. Promote unionization by enacting the Employee Free Choice Act. The Employee Free Choice Act would require employers to recognize a union after a majority of workers signs cards authorizing union representation and establish stronger penalties for violation of employee rights. The increased union representation made possible by the Act would lead to better jobs and less poverty for American workers.

4. Guarantee child care assistance to low-income families and promote early education for all. We propose that the federal and state governments guarantee child care help to families with incomes below about $40,000 a year, with expanded tax help to higher-earning families. At the same time, states should be encouraged to improve the quality of early education and broaden access for all children. Our child care expansion would raise employment among low-income parents and help nearly 3 million parents and children escape poverty.

5. Create 2 million new “opportunity” housing vouchers, and promote equitable development in and around central cities. Nearly 8 million Americans live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty where at least 40 percent of residents are poor. Our nation should seek to end concentrated poverty and economic segregation, and promote regional equity and inner-city revitalization. We propose that over the next 10 years the federal government fund 2 million new “opportunity vouchers” designed to help people live in opportunity-rich areas. Any new affordable housing should be in communities with employment opportunities and high-quality public services, or in gentrifying communities. These housing policies should be part of a broader effort to pursue equitable development strategies in regional and local planning efforts, including efforts to improve schools, create affordable housing, assure physical security, and enhance neighborhood amenities.

6. Connect disadvantaged and disconnected youth with school and work. About 1.7 million poor youth ages 16 to 24 were out of school and out of work in 2005. We recommend that the federal government restore Youth Opportunity Grants to help the most disadvantaged communities and expand funding for effective and promising youth programs—with the goal of reaching 600,000 poor disadvantaged youth through these efforts. We propose a new Upward Pathway program to offer low-income youth opportunities to participate in service and training in fields that are in high-demand and provide needed public services.

7. Simplify and expand Pell Grants and make higher education accessible to residents of each state. Low-income youth are much less likely to attend college than their higher income peers, even among those of comparable abilities. Pell Grants play a crucial role for lower-income students. We propose to simplify the Pell grant application process, gradually raise Pell Grants to reach 70 percent of the average costs of attending a four-year public institution, and encourage institutions to do more to raise student completion rates. As the federal government does its part, states should develop strategies to make postsecondary education affordable for all residents, following promising models already underway in a number of states.

8. Help former prisoners find stable employment and reintegrate into their communities. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. We urge all states to develop comprehensive reentry services aimed at reintegrating former prisoners into their communities with full-time, consistent employment.

9. Ensure equity for low-wage workers in the Unemployment Insurance system. Only about 35 percent of the unemployed, and a smaller share of unemployed low-wage workers, receive unemployment insurance benefits. We recommend that states (with federal help) reform “monetary eligibility” rules that screen out low-wage workers, broaden eligibility for part-time workers and workers who have lost employment as a result of compelling family circumstances, and allow unemployed workers to use periods of unemployment as a time to upgrade their skills and qualifications.

10. Modernize means-tested benefits programs to develop a coordinated system that helps workers and families. A well-functioning safety net should help people get into or return to work and ensure a decent level of living for those who cannot work or are temporarily between jobs. Our current system fails to do so. We recommend that governments at all levels simplify and improve benefits access for working families and improve services to individuals with disabilities. The Food Stamp Program should be strengthened to improve benefits, eligibility, and access. And the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program should be reformed to shift its focus from cutting caseloads to helping needy families find sustainable employment.

11. Reduce the high costs of being poor and increase access to financial services. Despite having less income, lower-income families often pay more than middle and high-income families for the same consumer products. We recommend that the federal and state governments should address the foreclosure crisis through expanded mortgage assistance programs and by new federal legislation to curb unscrupulous practices. And we propose that the federal government establish a $50 million Financial Fairness Innovation Fund to support state efforts to broaden access to mainstream goods and financial services in predominantly low-income communities.

12. Expand and simplify the Saver’s Credit to encourage saving for education, homeownership, and retirement. For many families, saving for purposes such as education, a home, or a small business is key to making economic progress. We propose that the federal “Saver’s Credit” be reformed to make it fully refundable. This Credit should also be broadened to apply to other appropriate savings vehicles intended to foster asset accumulation, with consideration given to including individual development accounts, children’s saving accounts, and college savings plans.
There is alot more detail on their website.

Edwards said tonight on PBS' NOW program, that the one indicator that would tell us that whoever the new president is, will be taking poverty seriously (and evidently he has discussed it with both sides) will be the creation of a cabinet-level position aimed at addressing poverty; a position with the authority and the funding to back it up. It's well-known that he extracted some fairly serious commitments from Clinton and Obama. McCain? Who knows...

Death with Dignity in Washington

I remember when I moved to Oregon in 1997, the Death with Dignity law was on its way to being implemented in Oregon. I remember thinking "Wow, I've evidently come to a really caring state." It just seemed so humanely advanced. That opinion has never changed. Now Washington is embarking on their own battle on this issue.

And here is the rest of it.

CBS...bad editing...uh huh

I'm tellin's been all downhill after Walter and Dan.

From Media Matters:

Earlier this week, CBS Evening News was criticized for splicing video of an interview with Sen. John McCain that resulted in the removal of a statement in which McCain falsely asserted that the 2007 U.S. troop surge "began the Anbar Awakening." CBS replaced the false statement with an answer McCain gave to a completely different question.

Since the story came to light, CBS News has offered different excuses for its egregious disregard for journalistic ethics and professional standards. First, Politico reported on July 23 that CBS spokeswoman Jennifer Farley stated: "As all news organizations do with extended interviews, last night's Obama and McCain interviews were edited to fit the available time and to give viewers a fair expression of the candidates' major differences."

After outrage continued to build and calls poured in to CBS News, The Washington Post reported on July 24 that CBS News senior vice president Paul Friedman stated, "The report was edited under extreme time constraints and one piece of tape was put in the wrong order. Fortunately, this did not in any way distort what Senator McCain was saying."
This blatant misrepresentation of what McCain said left viewers with a distorted view of what the apparent Republican nominee for president believes about one of the most important issues facing the country. CBS' actions are especially troubling given yesterday's revelation that CBS also did not air another false statement McCain made during the interview, in which he said that Iraq is "the first major conflict since 9-11" -- apparently disregarding the war in Afghanistan and
the price paid by thousands of servicemen and women (PDF) from the U.S. and other coalition countries who have been of killed or wounded.

The press is the only profession granted special protection in the Bill of Rights. But with these rights comes the responsibility to provide accurate information to the American people so we can make informed decisions. While it is understood that editing is a valid part of the process of broadcasting an interview, CBS News has a responsibility to edit its interviews in a way that fully, fairly, and accurately reflects the speaker's words and meaning.

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bush-One last swipe at the Right to Choose

Ok, this REALLY needs to make the radar folks. There is so much to write on, I almost forgot. Thankfully, others didn't.

If your medical clinic receives federal funds, they can hire a doctor who can refuse to give you birth control in any form. Guess what kind of clinics get federal funds? Yup, the ones where the non-insured go. The ones where poor people go. You know what they define abortion as?

Then from the New York Times (there isn't a link in the above article):

The proposal defines abortion as follows: “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.”

Merkley has also weighed in on this, launching a petition and an Op/Ed with more detail.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new rule that would force hospitals and clinics to hire people who refuse to provide the full range of reproductive options to women, denying women important health care information and access to basic forms of contraception.

Bush's new rule would deny federal funding to health care institutions that refuse to follow the new rule, limiting health care access when more Americans are struggling with rising health care costs. Further, this rule could allow health care providers, driven by their own personal ideology, to deny emergency contraception to sexual assault victims.

Read all of this twice. Basically, they are attempting to define abortion as almost anything that prevents the possibility of birth. They have no way of defining when, exactly, a woman gets pregnant. There fore it will be an arbitrary decision on the part of healthcare providers, no doubt influenced by their own beliefs. You can't get any closer to overturning Roe v Wade, without actually doing so.
And here is the rest of it.

Global AIDS Bill passes the House

My pal Steny's statements about the Global AIDS Bill that the House passed today, evidently with some strong support (I haven't looked at the numbers to see what he defines as "strong" yet)from both sides of the aisle.

“Five years ago, the United States made an unprecedented commitment to the people of the world who suffer from HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. We pledged $15 billion—and with that funding, we have:

• Provided life-saving drugs to almost 1.5 million people;
• Funded care for over 2 million orphans and vulnerable children; and
• Provided mother-to-child transmission prevention services during more than 6 million pregnancies.

“For millions, HIV/AIDS has been transformed from a death sentence to a manageable condition—and Congress has played a very real role in making that happen. On this issue, our moral obligation and our self-interest speak with one voice. Not only do we have the opportunity to save millions of lives—failing to do so will help proliferate disease and instability, spreading bloodshed across borders.

“Today, with the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act, we raise our commitment to eradicating those diseases to a total of $48 billion. In addition to expanding our prior efforts, this carefully-negotiated legislation will:

• Strengthen HIV-related health care delivery systems and increase health workforce capacities;
• Foster stronger relationships between HIV/AIDS initiatives and other support programs, including those that promote better nutrition and education;
• Allow HIV/AIDS testing and counseling to be provided as part of the U.S. bilateral family planning program; and
• Enhance prevention and treatment programs targeting women and girls.

“This bill also eliminates a requirement that 1/3 of prevention funds be spent on abstinence—a requirement that has proven ineffective. Instead, we have directed the Administration to create a 'balanced' approach, requiring behavioral change programs to receive 50% of the funds devoted to the prevention of sexual transmission of HIV. In the face of the aids pandemic, this bill will show the world, unambiguously, that America accepts its obligation to act.

“Last year alone, 2.5 million people contracted HIV—roughly 6,800 every single day. And last year alone, 2.1 million AIDS victims were added to the rolls of the dead. We are confronting a scourge far too pressing, far too powerful, to be made the object of political inaction. We have rarely faced a greater global challenge. We have rarely needed a greater global solution.

“I want to thank Congresswoman Barbara Lee for her hard work to shape that solution. But most of all, I want to honor Tom Lantos. This bill, in many ways, was the culmination of his career, his lifetime of service. I wish he could be here to see it. But how perfect that Tom’s work, which began in the fight against tyrranny in his homeland, expanded to encompass the whole world, and the world’s struggle against the tyrannies of disease and poverty.

“Chastened by the vast challenge of AIDS—but inspired by Tom’s example, and Henry Hyde’s, as well—we came together across the aisle and joined the struggle with all the force America can muster by passing this bill tonight.”

I am glad to see the abstinence-only crud eliminated. Sometimes I wonder if the religious right throws that demand out there as a way to ensure that those pesky "savages" can be population-controlled afterall.And here is the rest of it.

Iran-Naval Blockade in the House

Hmm...I missed this one (dang classes!) and it sure as heck needs to be defeated.

Just last week, Congress was on the verge of supporting a provocative and dangerous naval blockade of Iran. Quick approval had been expected, but thankfully, some of our friends in Congress put on the brakes.

The House leadership now has the real power to stop Congress from supporting what some have viewed as a resolution calling for war. Now's the moment for us to speak up:

Click here to sign our letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders.

Now, there's a real chance to make a difference: Congress is having second thoughts about "Resolution 362" and its call for a naval blockade 1 — a classic act of war.

After initially supporting it, Reps. Wexler (D-FL) and Frank (D-MA) and have stated serious concerns with the resolution and will not support it in its current form. In addition, Rep. Cohen (D-TN), Allen (D-ME), and Clay (D-MO) have removed their names as cosponsors of Resolution 362. 2, 3, 4

Thanks to their leadership, Congress is now taking a second look at the Resolution. Our letter supports the work of these leaders to amend Resolution 362 in two ways:

1. Remove the language that calls for a naval blockade.
2. Add language that calls for direct American involvement in the negotiations with Iran, with the goal of stopping Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons and its sponsorship of terror.

If the Resolution is not changed in these two ways, Congress must oppose it.

Let's be clear: we recognize the threat Iran poses to regional stability and to U.S. interests. But Resolution 362 in its current form undermines diplomatic efforts to address that threat. What better way to convince Iranian hardliners to pursue a nuclear weapon than to provoke them with a blockade?

Instead, we need tough, smart U.S. diplomacy — using carrots as well as sticks — to address Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Reps. Wexler, Frank, and Cohen have given us a crucial opening. Now's our moment to put a clear stop to this failed Iran policy of saber rattling and military threats.

Click Here to Sign Our Petition

We will deliver your message to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer and Minority Leader Boehner.
And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Snickers defines a "real" man

Good fricken ass lord. Ya'll remember that Snickers commercial from the Superbowl with the two men who kissed and then beat the crap out of each other? Well, evidently Snickers wasn't done with their mysogenistic queer-baiting.

I realize that nothing announces "Hey I am a gay man!" in the commercial, but give me a break. The stereotyping is as plain as the nose on my face (not to be missed by the way). Not to mention the glorification of masculinity being defined by violence against, and the demeaning of, another human being. I won't even get into how much of a textbook example this commercial is of that. Ugh....

Update: It's been pulled.And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

FBI Racial Profiling

Ya'll do know they are trying to institutionalize it, right?

From The Center for Constitutional Rights:

Recent news reports have revealed that the FBI is planning to release new Department of Justice guidelines, slated for implementation later in the year. These proposed guidelines apparently make racial profiling not only an unwritten practice, but an avowed policy of the FBI. The proposed guidelines would give the domestic intelligence agency authority to investigate American citizens and residents without any evidence of criminal acts, relying instead on a "terrorist profile" that would include race, ethnicity and "travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity" to spark an initial "national security investigation."

These proposed guidelines would also allow, according to the reports, for FBI agents to ask "open-ended questions" about the activities of Muslim or Arab Americans, or investigate them if their jobs and backgrounds match other criteria considered to be "suspect." Once this initial investigation stage was completed, a full investigation could be opened - allowing for wiretapping of phone calls or deep investigation of personal data - all guided merely by a "terrorist profile" that openly relies on race, ethnicity, religion and community connections.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is deeply concerned about these proposed guidelines, or any such guidelines that seek to institutionalize racial profiling. There is a long history of the use of racial profiling not only by the FBI, but by police departments and security agencies throughout the United States. From the mass detention of Japanese Americans during World War II in internment camps, to the creation of COINTELPRO, a domestic intelligence, surveillance and infiltration program that targeted, particularly, Black, Latino, Native American and other oppressed communities and communities of color for spying and disruption, to the mass roundups of Arab, Muslim and South Asian men following September 11, 2001, the FBI's use of racial profiling has devastated communities and damaged lives. On a daily basis, the use of racial profiling by police agencies has taken numerous lives and wreaked havoc on communities of color.

It is critical that no such policies officially permitting racial profiling - a violation of Constitutional rights - be implemented. Furthermore, full investigations into the use of racial profiling at the national, state and local levels should be opened, and those who practice racial profiling, or encourage or order the use of such practices, should be fired and prosecuted.

These latest reports of proposed guidelines fall directly in line with the ongoing behavior of the Bush Administration's attempted destruction of the Constitution and attacks on civil and individual rights and liberties. It is critical that the next President immediately repudiate the policy and the practice of racial profiling in his first 100 days in office, and ensure that there is no tolerance for racial profiling within the new administration's Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

Write to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and let him know today that racial profiling - in practice and in policy - is unacceptable.
And here is the rest of it.

Gramm wasn't speaking in a vacuum

McCain wants us to think it's all in our heads too.

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oregon HEAT Introduces Innovative Statewide Oil Program

Well this looks pretty cool, particularly with the expected increases in natural gas prices this winter.

Revolutionary New Program Helps Needy Families and the Environment through Recycling.

Partnering with the environmental award-winning oil recycler, Oil Re-Refining Company, Oregon HEAT is ramping up a new and different kind of statewide oil donation program. This endeavor will help ease the burden on low-income Oregonians who face volatile heating oil prices, all while reducing petroleum waste products in Oregon. The oil program also helps Oregon HEAT and its partners reach more at-risk families and expand service to new areas of Oregon.

Here's how the program works:

- Homeowners decommissioning their oil tanks can donate their remaining home-heating oil to help people in their community with their emergency energy needs. Just call Oregon HEAT at 503-612-3790. Oregon HEAT will contact ORRCO and ORRCO will make arrangements with the donor for oil pickup.

- Businesses and industries that generate contaminated petroleum products, like dirty fuels and crankcase oil, can donate to Oregon HEAT by having these products recycled. Again, they need only call Oregon HEAT who will then pass on the data to ORRCO. ORRCO will set up regular scheduled pickups. The products are recycled, the businesses help their neighbors in need, and all of Oregon wins.

The cornerstones of these dual programs are neighbor helping neighbor and neighbors helping preserve Oregon's natural environment. Donations go to assist local families facing a home-heating crisis - all fuels donated are used to help households in the community from which the donation came. Energy assistance to eligible households is then distributed by Oregon HEAT's community action and social service agency partners around the state.

In just its first 50 days, the program has received pledges of nearly 5,000 gallons worth upwards of some $10,000. Rees says that's just the tip of the iceberg, noting that heat's already been contacted by leaders from other states who want to model Oregon HEAT's new program in their own communities.

It's easy to donate. Just call or email Oregon HEAT and staff will contact ORRCO to arrange for pick up: 503-612-3790 or

About Oregon HEAT

Oregon HEAT is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1989 to help low-income Oregonians become more energy self-reliant. In partnership with community agencies throughout the state, Oregon HEAT provides energy assistance and advocates access to energy resources for low-income Oregonians. Oregon HEAT's primary program objective is to prevent disconnection of utility service by providing bill payment assistance to low-income households in emergency situations.

To donate to, or learn more about, Oregon HEAT: visit; call: 503-612-3790; or write to Oregon HEAT, PO Box 127, Tualatin, Ore. 97062.


Bill Briggs, founder and President of Oil Re-Refining Company established this Oregon-based company over 20 years ago. A family owned company with internationally recognized petroleum recycling expertise, Oil Re-Refining Company is leading the industry with new technology and award winning environmental processes.
And here is the rest of it.

Drilling for oil

Press Release from Hoyer:

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in support of the DRILL Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands: With Americans being pummeled by $4 a gallon gas, it is high time America did just that. With the passage of the DRILL Act, America will move decisively to increase its domestic oil production—exactly what our friends on the other side of the aisle say we should be doing.

“Today, we call their bluff. Do they seek to score political points? Or will they join us and vote for this common-sense legislation?

“Mr. Speaker, 68 million acres of American oil-producing land are sitting leased, available—and idle. There is even more land available for drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, or NPRA. Combined, we are talking about an area the size of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and most of Maryland. Let’s help the oil companies get that oil out of the ground, and get it flowing to the Americans who need it.

“The DRILL Act speeds up the leasing process in NPRA. It ensures that Alaskan oil will fill American gas tanks. It calls on the president to speed up the completion of Alaskan oil and gas pipelines, so the products will get to market sooner. And it tells the oil companies: “Drill on the leases you have, or let somebody else do it - but don’t just sit on them while Americans are paying $4 a gallon. Use it or lose it.”

“Why is our plan better than the Republicans’? One, it means more oil: The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, which is already approved for drilling, has an estimated 10.6 billion barrels of oil. ANWR has 10.4 billion.

“Two, our plan means more oil, faster: Unlike ANWR and protected coastal areas, NPRA plus the 68 million leased acres elsewhere are approved for production right now. And get this: Right now – today - available pipelines reach to within five miles of NPRA! And if the pipelines are completed soon, we’ll speed production up even more.

“Third, I see no reason to give even more handouts of public land to companies enjoying record profits and billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Let them start on the land they already have. Let them eat their vegetables before they even think about having dessert (my favorite quote in the making!).

“Mr. Speaker, we have lived through seven and a half years of failed Republican energy policies that have culminated in record gas prices. We can’t erase those seven and a half years with one vote.

“But with this responsible domestic production bill, we can start - today. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle: Let’s use the resources that are available, right now. Let’s keep America’s oil in America. I urge my colleagues to vote for the DRILL Act.”
And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hunger in America

From America's Second Harvest:

The worst food inflation in nearly two decades... gas prices at an all-time high... record home foreclosures. It’s not hard to see why the lines at our soup kitchens and food pantries are longer than ever.

Food banks across the country recently reported that demand for emergency food is up by at least 15-20%, and in some regions, as much as 40%.

99% (98.89%) of food bank respondents stated that they have experienced an increase in the number of clients served within the past year. Food banks cite as contributing factors:
92.78% the rising cost of fuel
91.67% the rising cost of food
46.11% mortgage or rent issues
43.33% rising unemployment
42.22% rising underemployment
31.11% the inadequacy of food stamps

The increase in the number of clients is estimated at 15% to 20%.
81.11% of surveyed food banks have indicated that they are currently unable to adequately meet the demand without having to reduce the amount of food or their operations.
54.79% stated that their agencies already have or are considering reducing the amount of food offered to clients.
48.63% of these food banks already have or are considering reducing the variety of food offered to agencies.

45.21% of these food banks responded that they already have or are considering diverting budgeted funds from other areas to purchase food.
43.84% of these food banks stated that they already have or are considering reducing the amount of food offered to agencies in order to meet demand.
27.4% of these food banks responded that some of their agencies already have or are considering reducing the number of new households they will serve.
13.7% of these food banks responded that they already have or are considering reducing or suspending programs and services offered.

And I'm assuming ya'll heard about the likely 15-40% increase in natural gas costs coming up for the Pacific Northwest, right? And here is the rest of it.

Women's Healthcare under fire

I've read this in several places, but this message from the Merkley campaign puts it together, with an action to take.

The Bush Administration is trying to roll back a woman's right to choose. And they're doing it under the radar, hoping no one will notice.

As the New York Times just reported, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wants to force hospitals and clinics to consider hiring applicants who object to providing the full range of reproductive options to women. The proposed rule change would redefine abortion to include the most common and effective methods of birth control, including oral contraceptives and emergency contraception. As a result, contraceptive services would likely become much less available.

Bush would deny critical HHS funding to any health care institution that refuses to abide by the new rule. This is the last thing the Bush Administration should be doing when so many Americans are struggling to afford health care.

Sign a petition to oppose George Bush's efforts to roll back a woman's right to choose and deny access to health care.

George Bush wants to allow individuals with personal and political agendas to influence the information women receive from their health care providers.

It is vital that women be empowered to make fully-informed decisions about their health care. This means giving them complete, accurate information regarding their health care options.

The president should be fighting to expand access to basic health care and provide more information to women, not limit it.

Please sign a petition to protect access to health care by urging President Bush to put the health of women before his partisan ideology.

For nearly a decade, George Bush and Republicans in Washington D.C. have tried to force their conservative agenda on the American people. Now, within months of electing a Democratic president, the Bush Administration is considering a parting gift to extreme right-wing special interests.

People in Oregon and across the country must make their voices heard and leaders in Congress must speak out. George Bush and the extreme right-wing have controlled the agenda for far too long and it is time we protect basic health care rights in this country.

It's not what you see in the news about what this administration is doing that should scare you. It's the things you DON'T see.
And here is the rest of it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Q Center Challenge

Portland's Q Center has proven to be an integral part of the community in a relatively short amount of time. It is time for them to grow. The folks there have a vision for what the LGBTQ community could accomplish that I really haven't heard anywhere else and I unreservedly support it, and them.

The Center is in the middle of a fund-raising drive that is being matched dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000 raised by the first week of September. These funds are being earmarked for a bigger, more complete facility. There are enough folks out there, including within our own community, that don't support us and even work against us. I would suggest we stand up and support ourselves.

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What has the House been up to?

From The Gavel:

As Americans continue to feel the pain from skyrocketing gas prices, this week, Speaker Pelosi called on the White House to release a small portion of the oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to immediately expand supplies. This is the fastest way to bring down prices at the pump, and will send a strong message to oil speculators while reducing the record gas prices that are edging our economy towards recession.

There is nothing new or untested about releasing oil from the Reserve, or deferring purchases during times of economic instability. In fact, the Reserve has already been tapped or suspended by President Bush, President Clinton, and the first President Bush. In 2000, this brought the price of oil down by nearly 20 percent in a week.

Several weeks ago, the Democratic-led Congress called on the President to temporarily stop filling the Reserve. He stubbornly refused. Congress took action and passed legislation, which the President signed on June 30. Taking a small amount of oil from the Reserve now would help bring down prices for consumers. The President should listen to the American people, and stop opposing action that will bring oil prices down.


This week, the House passed legislation ensuring that the e-mail records of the White House and of federal agencies are properly preserved. The Electronic Message Preservation Act corrects the serious deficiencies of e-mail preservation that have been especially egregious in the Bush White House. As the Washington Post reported last year, "Countless e-mails to and from many key White House staffers have been deleted -- lost to history and placed out of reach of congressional subpoenas -- due to a brazen violation of internal White House policy that was allowed to continue for more than six years." During this Administration, numerous White House officials used Republican National Committee e-mail accounts for official government business, and the RNC regularly deleted e-mails from its servers. Meanwhile, the Bush White House grossly mismanaged its own e-mail records and ignored concerns raised by the National Archives about the way it was storing its e-mails.

The Electronic Message Preservation Act requires the Archivist to establish standards for the preservation of White House and federal agency e-mails. The Archivist will establish standards to capture, manage, and preserve e-mails and other electronic messages, and then certify that the system put in place for the White House meets the Archivist's requirements. Despite the President's threat to veto the bill, it passed the House by a veto-proof margin of 286-137.

What else...

While the brave men and women in our nation's armed forces have risked their lives to defend our country, when they return to our country as veterans, too many of them have no place to call home. More than 400,000 veterans are homeless at some point during the year, and nearly 200,000 are homeless on any given night.

This week, the House passed the Homes for Heroes Act, which expands housing assistance and supportive services for homeless veterans. The bill establishes a $200million a year assistance program for supportive housing and services for low-income homeless veterans and their families at HUD. It also makes at least 20,000 rental housing vouchers available to homeless veterans and their families per year.

This week, the Senate passed legislation to strengthen Medicare by a vote of 69 to 30welcoming back Senator Ted Kennedy, who was able to vote for this bill despite his courageous battle against cancer. Senator Kennedy's unwavering commitment to improving health care in this country stands in stark contrast to John McCain, the one Senator who missed the Medicare bill vote.

The Medicare Improvements Act prevents the pending 10 percent payment reduction for physicians in Medicare, enhances Medicare preventive and mental health benefits, improves and extends programs for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, and extends expiring provisions for rural and other providers. Its passage by the overwhelming veto-proof margins in the House and the Senate sends a clear message to President Bush that our efforts to strengthen Medicare for our seniors will become law, with or without his signature.

And from Hoyer:

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to remarks made by President Bush after meeting with advisors on the economy and energy this morning:

“With the price of gas at $4.11 a gallon, President Bush insists on spreading blame, not finding solutions. He tells us that Democrats stand against increasing oil production here at home, but he couldn't be more wrong. Democrats absolutely support drilling. We'd just remind the oil companies that 88 million acres of land are available for drilling, right now. That's an area the size of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and most of Maryland, combined. Congress can't get that oil out of the ground; but we can make the job easier for the oil companies and get fuel flowing to the Americans who need it. I think that beats the Republican plan: more handouts of public land and unnecessary taxpayer subsidies.
And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Phil Gramm...once a dink, always a dink

Phil Gramm was in Congress (and already out of touch) when I was still living in Texas. I couldn't stand him then, and I can't stand him now.

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today responding to comments made in an interview in yesterday's Washington Times by Phil Gramm, a McCain advisor, on the state of the economy:

“Phil Gramm, John McCain’s top economic advisor and a former Republican Senator, did us all a favor yesterday: He gave us a candid glimpse of Republicans’ economic mindset. ‘You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession,’ he told the Washington Times. ‘We have sort of become a nation of whiners.’

“Some, like former Senator Gramm, may be fully insulated from the effects of $4.11 gallons of gas; of unemployment that affects 8.5 million Americans; or of a rash of foreclosures that have made this housing market the worst since the Great Depression. But for millions of American families, those facts add up to a very real recession - not a mental one. They are scraping to make ends meet - not whining. And to suggest otherwise demonstrates just how out of touch John McCain and the Republican Party – which has backed this President’s failed policies – are.”

Damn skippy.And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

FISA and the ACLU

From the ACLU:

Below is a message from ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, with an important FISA action you can take today.

Congress just compromised your rights by passing the FISA Amendments Act.

Add Your Name to the ACLU's FISA newspaper

Today elected officials in Washington sold out the Constitution -- again.

Cowed by the Bush administration's pre-election scare tactics, the Senate passed privacy-stealing FISA legislation undermining your Fourth Amendment rights.

It's outrageous, unconstitutional and un-American. That's why the ACLU is prepared to challenge this law the moment George Bush signs it -- and you can rest assured, they'll be meeting our lawyers in court.

Our lawsuit will send a powerful message to those in Congress who played it safe when they had the opportunity to defend the Constitution. You can join the ACLU in sending that message by signing on to our ad letting Congress know that if they won't stand up for freedom, you and the ACLU will.

We'll be taking out a full-page ad in a major national newspaper announcing our lawsuit and expressing our outrage at this abandonment of Constitutional principles. Our goal is to run an ad that contains the names of tens of thousands of Americans who believe in the Constitution and want Congress to hear us loud and clear: next time, stand up for our rights.

The bill that Congress passed and George Bush is about to sign codifies a Nixonian view on executive power that states, "if a president does it, it is not illegal." The ACLU doesn't believe that, and I'm guessing you don't either.

There has never been a more important moment to demonstrate to our leaders that we believe in freedom - not fear. Our ad will carry that simple message.

The more voices we add, the more powerful our message will be. We need tens of thousands of Americans, who are committed to defending the Constitution, to speak up and stand with us right now.

The bottom line is that no president should have the power to monitor the phones and emails of Americans without a warrant. And no president should have the power to pardon companies that broke the law. This bill was not a "compromise," as some in Congress would like you to believe. The only thing they compromised was your freedom.

George Bush will sign the FISA bill into law in a few short days, but that does not mean our fight is over.

Our lawyers are prepared to file a lawsuit challenging this unconstitutional legislation as soon as the ink dries on George Bush's signature. This is why it is so important that all of us add our names to the ACLU's newspaper ad.

Let our leaders know that you are standing up for freedom and standing with the ACLU.

It's up to each of us to defend the Constitution. Thank you for standing with us.

Click here to include your name in the ACLU's FISA newspaper ad.


Anthony Romero
Executive Director, ACLU

125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

McCain-Don't quit your day job

Does he REALLY think this stupidity is funny, or does he still believe that the country is chomping at the bit to go to *another* war? Even if he had the most unbeatable amount of experience and expertise available to be the president, his lack of respect for others and just plain damn inhumanity would make him a no-go for me.

Responding to a question about a survey that shows increased exports to
Iran, mainly from cigarettes, McCain said, "Maybe thats a way of killing them."

He quickly caught himself, saying "I meant that as a joke" as his wife, Cindy, poked him in the back.

Last time, it was also Iran. His singing about bombing Iran to the theme of the Beach Boy' "Barbara Ann" drew derision from many quarters but a "lighten up" response from McCain.

He probably still cracks (pardon me) "short bus" jokes too. Sheesh. And here is the rest of it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mmmm...salad anyone?

Have you eaten all of YOUR vegetables today?

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.

Peaked out

We hear so much about peak oil and the depletion of natural resources, i.e. forests, water, etc., but I really hadn't thought about these other things.

The element gallium is in very short supply and the world may well run out of it in just a few years. Indium is threatened too, says Armin Reller, a materials chemist at Germany’s University of Augsburg. He estimates that our planet’s stock of indium will last no more than another decade. All the hafnium will be gone by 2017 also, and another twenty years will see the extinction of zinc. This report also highlights a similarity between oil and rare earth elements used in electronics -- the vast majority are imported, often from politically unstable countries.

In fact, these elements can contribute directly to that instability. For some of the elements, like gallium, there's simply no good source of high quality ore. Oddly enough, that's one aspect of this story that might be a good thing. Those elements that are both extremely rare and isolated to a few high quality sources are a spark for corruption, murder, and environmental destruction. We may be currently engaged in a war for oil, but corporate proxies are also taking brutal actions in a war for tantalum, better known these days by the name of it's principle ore, coltan.

And from New Scientist:

It's not just the world's platinum that is being used up at an alarming rate. The same goes for many other rare metals such as indium, which is being consumed in unprecedented quantities for making LCDs for flat-screen TVs, and the tantalum needed to make compact electronic devices like cellphones. How long will global reserves of uranium last in a new nuclear age? Even reserves of such commonplace elements as zinc, copper, nickel and the phosphorus used in fertiliser will run out in the not-too-distant future. So just what proportion of these materials have we used up so far, and how much is there left to go round?

Perhaps surprisingly, given how much we rely on these elements, we can't be sure. For a start, the annual global consumption of most precious metals is not known with any certainty. Estimating the extractable reserves of many metals is also difficult. For rare metals such as indium and gallium, these figures are kept a closely guarded secret by mining companies. Governments and academics are only just starting to realise that there could be a problem looming, so studies of the issue are few and far between.

I'm thinking I'll need to do some more reading on this.

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

It's not just the mercury ya know

Time to rename (or more accurately name to begin with) the climate argument?

Leading scientist John Holdren says "global warming" is not the correct term
to use; he prefers "global disruption." "'Global warming' [is] misleading.
It implies something that's mainly about temperature, that's gradual, and
that's uniform across the planet," says Holdren. "In fact, temperature is
only one of the things that's changing. It's a sort of an index of the state
of the climate. The whole climate is changing: the winds, the ocean
currents, the storm patterns, snow packs, snowmelt, flooding, droughts.
Temperature is just a bit of it."

Sounds like a good idea to me. The goobers who point to a snowflake as evidence of the lack of global warming SO get on my last nerve.

And here is the rest of it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Non-profit angst

As a member of an all-volunteer non-profit board, I keep an eye on news about other non-profits and charities. While there are mission differences between general non-profits and actual "charities", there are great similarities in the issues dealt with by all of them.

According to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle), Seattle and Portland both struggle with the financial health of their charities.

Seattle ranked near the bottom of a list ranking the health of charities in the nation's largest cities, according to a recent study.

According to Charity Navigator's ratings of the financial health of charities in the 30 largest U.S. cities, Seattle's overall rank was No. 25, above only Detroit, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Charlotte, N.C., and Portland, Ore. Miami, San Diego and Houston were the top three cities in the New Jersey-based charity evaluator's rankings.

The rankings are created by Charity Evaluator by evaluating the financial health of 5,300 U.S. charities. The criteria include: performance, fundraising efficiency, fundraising expenses, program expenses, administrative expenses, primary revenue growth, program expenses growth, and working capital ratio.

Seattle ranked No. 28 in fundraising efficiency and program expenses, with Charity Evaluator writing: "High fundraising costs continue to damper Seattle's overall ranking ... The less efficient allocation of expenses demonstrated by charities in Seattle as compared to those in other cities causes this market's overall ranking to stay among the bottom 10."

I subscribe to the Charity Evaluator, the largest such organization in the country, and most used.

Managing a non-profit (volunteer or otherwise) is a fairly intimidating task. There is a tremendous feeling of responsibility that comes (it better come!) with making decisions about money that comes from the community. There are alot of expectations from that community, and taking on the above-mentioned responsibility means finding the best and most beneficial ways to fulfill those expectations.

When I look at things like the quoted article, I wonder what puts Portland so far down the list. The article is about Seattle's low ranking, but note that Portland is even further behind in the financial strength and operation of its charities. Again, although we are a non-profit and not a direct charity, I know our organization is reaching the stage where we have to evaluate where we are going in the future, and how best to get there. We have alot of options opening up for us that weren't there before, and deciding how best to take advantage of that, continue strengthening the organization, and hopefully become the resource to the community that we have the potential to be, is a serious undertaking. It's really exciting to be a part of that, but it's really scary too.
And here is the rest of it.

Funny but True

Ok I had to have this one (Thanks Diane!)

And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

NOAA Climate Report

Can ya'll tell I'm caught up on my other work yet?

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has released a report from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research today released a scientific assessment that provides the first comprehensive analysis of observed and projected changes in weather and climate extremes in North America and U.S. territories. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change previously evaluated extreme weather and climate events on a global basis in this same context. However, there has not been a specific assessment across North America prior to this report.

Among the major findings reported in this assessment are that droughts, heavy downpours, excessive heat, and intense hurricanes are likely to become more commonplace as humans continue to increase the atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.The report is based on scientific evidence that a warming world will be accompanied by changes in the intensity, duration, frequency, and geographic extent of weather and climate extremes.

"This report addresses one of the most frequently asked questions about global warming: what will happen to weather and climate extremes? This synthesis and assessment product examines this question across North America and concludes that we are now witnessing and will increasingly experience more extreme weather and climate events," said report co-chair Tom Karl, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
"We will continue to see some of the biggest impacts of global warming coming from changes in weather and climate extremes,” said report co-chair Gerry Meehl, Ph.D., of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. "This report focuses for the first time on changes of extremes specifically over North America."

The full CCSP 3.3 report, Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, and a summary FAQ brochure are available online.

Global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases, according to the report. Many types of extreme weather and climate event changes have been observed during this time period and continued changes are projected for this century. Specific future projections include:

  • Abnormally hot days and nights, along with heat waves, are very likely to become more common.
  • Cold nights are very likely to become less common.
  • Sea ice extent is expected to continue to decrease and may even disappear in the Arctic Ocean in summer in coming decades.
  • Precipitation, on average, is likely to be less frequent but more intense.
  • Droughts are likely to become more frequent and severe in some regions.
  • Hurricanes will likely have increased precipitation and wind.
  • The strongest cold-season storms in the Atlantic and Pacific are likely to produce stronger winds and higher extreme wave heights.

There is obviously alot more to the report.
And here is the rest of it.

A message from Chris Dodd

The news may not be paying enough attention, but Chris still is.

For the last nine months, when retroactive immunity has surfaced, we have been able to delay its passage.

We were able to stop it in December because I had an army behind me.

Two months later, it stalled again -- this time in the House.

And last week, we managed to delay action one last time.

But when the Senate returns from the July 4th recess, we will vote on FISA legislation that includes retroactive immunity for telecom companies that may have illegally helped the Bush administration spy without warrant.

It's a bad bill and we need action to stop retroactive immunity from becoming law.

I've introduced an amendment with Senator Feingold to strip immunity from the bill.

This amendment has the support of Majority Leader Reid and Senator Obama, but it needs 51 votes to pass.

Will you sign on as a citizen co-sponsor of our amendment?

Sign on now!

Together, we can prevent this assault on our Constitution.

Let's do it one more time. With your help, we can stop the further erosion of the rule of law.

We'll be in touch soon.

Chris Dodd
And here is the rest of it.

Merkley at the Mult. Co. GLBT Caucus

On Monday July 7th Jeff Merkley will be at the monthly meeting of the Multnomah County Democrats GLBT Caucus. It will be a great opportunity for you to personally meet Jeff and to speak with him.

Democratic Party of Oregon Headquarters (The Donkey Stable)
232 NE 9th Ave.
Portland OR 97232

Monday July 7, 2008

***Email if you plan to attend (We would definitely need to know how many folks to expect so the space can handle it!)

This is my caucus and I'm glad he will be there. Months ago, when I had some concerns, his campaign invited me to come and address my questions directly to him. I was really intimidated and probably didn't come across as all that well-put-together (!), but I did get the answers that I needed. I've always appreciated that.
If you can, I highly recommend making this meeting, whether to speak to Merkley or learn more about the caucus. It is a really active, devoted group of people that I feel really proud to know.
And here is the rest of it.

Feingold on FISA

And here is the rest of it.