Yesterday Daily Kos held a day long event for activists and Daily Kos participants at the Alamo Drafthouse in Kansas City. We set up shop at 7:30 a.m. thanks to the hospitality of the event organizers and Daily Kos.
Around one hundred forty individuals attend, partaking in presentations and question and answer sessions. A number of the Daily Kos editorial team presented, including Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos; Neeta Lind, Director of Community Building at Daily Kos; Chris Reeves with Reuben Eckels; David Nir, Political Director at Daily Kos; Joan McCarter, Senior Political Writer at Daily Kos; Monique Teal and Ferguson Township (Missouri) Committeewoman Patricia Bynes; among others.
Reuben Eckles: …I think they [Democrats] vote when they know they have hope. And they know that, and they know that they have something to vote for. [applause] [inaudible] [….] I think we, we are a people, progressives are people who vote when there are, there are, when their, their issues are, and the candidates will stand up. We have a lot of folk who don’t stand up for anything. It seems like we’re, we’re scared now. And, and, so [voice: “Preach it.”] when we stand up and we say what we are for, we stand up and we, we don’t back off and back, back away from it, I think we’ll, we’ll get out and vote. And so, and so, we can’t, we can’t look like, you know, we say we’re progressives and then we move further and further to the right so that we can bring, you know, not piss folk off. [applause] I’m gonna tell you something. I’m a Democrat, but one of the things they did in Wichita, Kansas [….] was going first in, in, if you went into the Democratic Party, its office, they didn’t have Barrack Obama’s picture up because they didn’t want to piss off moderate Republicans. [voice: “Yep.”] Hell, we can’t do that. Let’s stand for what we stand for. [applause] [inaudible] And there are more folks out there, there are more folks with us then are against us
David Nir, Political Director, Daily Kos: ….Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson [R], he represents, uh, a very swingy state, but, I think that he thinks he represents Utah [laughter] because he votes as conservatively as you realistically can in the Senate. And dumb stuff comes out of his mouth all the time. It’s really amazing. Just the other day he had a comment that, uh, he thought that the reason why students were taking longer to finish college, uh, is because they’re having too much fun partying. Uh, and, uh, he said, you know, well I put myself through school, uh, you know, working jobs or whatever, never mind the fact that, uh, tuition has spiked, the minimum wage has stagnated, and it’s no longer possible for many students to put themselves through college in four years the way Ron Johnson did.
Joan McCarter, Senior Political Writer, Daily Kos.
Joan McCarter, Senior Political Writer, Daily Kos: …Social Security. We’re not there yet. But, last month forty-two senators, forty-two Democrats, voted for a budget resolution, it’s non-binding, it’s advisory, but voted for a budget resolution that would expand Social Security. [applause] Forty-two. Joe Manchin, Joe Manchin was one of the lead co-sponsors. And actually, we found out it would have been forty-three Democrats because Barbara Mikulski wasn’t there for that vote, but she signed on later, saying, okay, I’m gonna do this.
Markos Moulitsas, founder, Daily Kos.
Markos Moulitsas, founder, Daily Kos: …Hillary’s gonna be the next President of the United States. [voice: “Yes, she is.”] [applause] It is, a, I mean, it’s close to a fact as you can get in politics, I mean, without, you know, major illness or, um. The, Hillary, the, the draft [Elizabeth] Warren stuff is absolutely patently ridiculous, not just because she said no and people don’t want to take no as no. Um, but, uh, it, I know, like, Warren is probably one of three politicians in the entire country that I consider an actual friend. So I know her, uh, fairly well and I, I know she’s not running. It’s never been an issue. She’s not gonna run. Um, but the fact is it actually endangers her agenda by pushing her. She’s very effective in the Senate. Anything she does now is basically instant virality. Like people love her. It’s a platform like no other….
…When you look at Hillary Clinton’s numbers among African Americans and Latinos she is off the charts. So, that there, you know, so, make, mostly, it’s [inaudible] activist mostly white base that’s really pushing for a candidate that doesn’t want to run against a candidate that’s already been embraced by the party…
…As we as a ideology become ascendant, and I think liberalism is on the ascendancy right now. Um, the poll, the polls are showing that the number of liberals is growing, uh, for the first time in decades. Like the war is no longer, like I’m proud to say I’m a liberal and, and you’re gonne see people who are gonna be pretend lib, before they like couldn’t run away far enough, right. The fact that they’re now pretending to be liberal is actually progress [laughter]. As frustrating as it might be, that is actually progress. Uh, so, uh, I would take it as a compliment and then work on, on making distinctions. You know, it actually gets easier for a lot of these corporatist types. I mean the DLC’s a dead organization. But these corporate types will find ways to get their money into their candidates. Is, now that the social issues, we’ve won the social wars, you know, cultural wars it’s actually, it’s easier for them to say, I’m for gay marriage, um, pro choice, therefore, I’m perfectly liberal. And, and a lot of people, we’ve been conditioned that the culture wars are the fault lines between the good and the bad. That it makes it easy for them to mask their economic agenda. So, as we, as a party I see moving towards this, we as a party becoming more effective at making, uh, economic issues part of the popular debate, whether it’s the fifteen dollar minimum wage or whether it’s, uh, the Koch brothers and everything they do, or. And, so, I think what’s sort, it’s almost like, okay, you’re, you’re good on the social issues, great for you, everybody’s good on that now. So, now , how are you on fif, fifteen dollars, how are you on universal pre-K, how are you on all these other things? And, uh, and that’s gonna be hopefully the new fault lines…
….They apparently prefer Third Way keep operating in secret, with their Social Security-cutting agenda off the front pages…..
….So who else is enabling Third Way’s destructive agenda? Why, let’s name names!
James Clyburn (Southern South Carolina)
John Dingell (Ann Arbor, Detroit’s western suburbs, Michigan)
Ron Kind (Southwestern Wisconsin, La Crosse, Eau Claire)
Joseph Crowley (NYC, Bronx, Queens)
Allyson Schwartz (Northeast Philly, eastern Montgomery County, Pennsylvania)
Jared Polis (Boulder, Colorado)
Thomas Carper (Delaware)
Claire McCaskill (Missouri)
Mark Udall (Colorado)
Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire)
Kay Hagan (North Carolina)
Chris Coons (Delaware)
When considering candidate endorsements and whether we engage in a race (primary or general), we’ve long considered membership (or potential membership) in the Blue Dog Caucus. As of today, we’re adding Third Way to our exclusionary list on our candidate questionnaire.
These electeds undoubtedly appreciate the open spigot to Wall Street campaign cash. Our job is to make sure they pay a price for their cozy arrangement….
Senator McCaskill is an honorary co-chair for Third Way.
A recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Third Way:
The de Blasio-Warren agenda won’t travel. Colorado is the real political harbinger.
By Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler
Dec. 2, 2013 6:57 p.m. ET
….Social Security is exhibit A of this populist political and economic fantasy. A growing cascade of baby boomers will be retiring in the coming years, and the Social Security formula increases their initial benefits faster than inflation. The problem is that since 2010 Social Security payouts to seniors have exceeded payroll taxes collected from workers. This imbalance widens inexorably until it devours the entire Social Security Trust Fund in 2031, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At that point, benefits would have to be slashed by about 23%….
Mr. Cowan is president of the think tank Third Way, where Mr. Kessler is senior vice president for policy.
Posted: 12/05/2013 2:45 pm EST | Updated: 12/05/2013 4:37 pm EST
WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took aim at the corporate-backed think tank Third Way on Thursday, deepening her feud with the group that attacked her Social Security plan in the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ op-ed said that Warren was ignoring Social Security’s “undebatable solvency crisis.”
“It’s just flatly wrong,” Warren said of Third Way’s critique. “We could make modest adjustments and make the system financially stable for a century, and we could make somewhat larger adjustments and make the system pay more for seniors who rely on it … The conversation for too long has been about whether to cut Social Security benefits a little bit or a lot. And that is flatly the wrong debate to have in mind….”
….Warren responded to Third Way earlier this week by challenging Wall Street banks to be transparent about donations they have made to think tanks.
The Massachusetts Democrat said that Wall Street’s push to cut Social Security is part of a broader agenda. “It’s part of the larger issue about a rigged playing field. They don’t wanna pay more, they don’t wanna pay a fair share. I believe everybody should pay a fair share,” she said. “That’s how we make sure people can retire with dignity. That’s not what Wall Street wants to do.”
Third Way’s spokesman responded by saying that under Warren’s plan, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, would be entitled to a higher Social Security payout.
“Oh please. I’m out there working for Jamie Dimon the same way Dick Cheney is out there trying to save the environment,” Warren said….
Well, Senator McCaskill, which side are you on? People who rely on Social Security to get by, or Wall Street movers and shakers?
Yesterday evening, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., twenty-five Kansas City area political activists and denizens of Daily Kos met at the Marriott in Overland Park, Kansas for a discussion of the political world and to share their political experiences.
Our Kansas City – Daily Kos meetup organizer and host – tmservo433.
After food, a brief slide presentation documenting the foibles of right wingnut office holders in Missouri and Kansas, and presentations from two 2014 Kansas campaigns, participants engaged in a wide ranging discussion of their campaign experiences and the political landscape in Missouri and Kansas for 2014 and beyond.
There were a number of new faces (to us) and several old friends going back ten years to Howard Dean’s presidential campaign.
There was commentary on the relative effectiveness and value of get out the vote efforts (phones, door to door, voter registration) and the perceived priorities of centralized/coordinated statewide/national campaigns. It came down to – keep it local, register voters, identify your voters, and drag their sorry asses to the polls on Election Day.
As with anyone who has been active in campaigns over the years there were numerous (and cautionary) horror stories as well as a a few positive ones. The work isn’t done. It never will be.
There was also a significant amount of discussion about engaging office holders and documenting and holding them accountable in their public forums. In the world of the Internets and social media triangulation by the current crop of right wingnuts in office is becoming increasingly difficult for them to pull off. It’s not so easy for them to cater to their restive teabagger base.
Jen Hayden [center], a Daily Kos contributing editor.
Jen Hayden, a Daily Kos contributing editor attended the meetup. In the small world department we sat next to each other in the press pen for then presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama’s speech on patriotism in Independence, Missouri on June 30, 2008.
June 30, 2008 – Scout Finch [Jen Hayden] displays a photo of then candidate Senator
Barack Obama taken from the rope line after his speech on patriotism in Independence, Missouri.
That seems like centuries ago. Yeah, and we’re all still here.
This could be interesting. Kansas City denizens of the Great Orange Satan are organizing a meetup of sorts in Overland Park, Kansas on Saturday, November 16th:
Overland Park Marriott
10800 Metcalf Avenue · Overland Park, Kansas 66210 USA
Our event will run from 7PM-10PM, and you are free to stay afterwards.
We do have an schedule of events:
7:00-7:30: Open seating “Welcome”. Every attendee will get a packet on local Kansas and Missouri resources (you’ll need to identify as Kansas or Missouri, small table top tags will provide that.. and you get to keep those!)
7:30-8:00: Welcome to Our Meeting, and a Background on the 2014 Elections
8:10-9PM: The State of the States: Several local PACs, fundraisers and campaigns have been invited to contribute short notes on critical issues in their districts – and why it matters to you. We have already received some video as well as the key races that they have targeted in 2014. Note: we will have multiple Microphones, and the campaigns themselves have been told they can openly address us as well, and you can ask questions about your district, I should have all of this organized by then. Many members of those campaigns are open to discuss with you – ONE ON ONE – how you can help in 2014.
9:00-9:30PM: With the help of some precocious High School and College debaters who heard of this through Facebook, we’re presenting a fairly humorous “Top ways to discuss politics and change some minds over the Thanksgiving turkey without getting stabbed”. 🙂 Hey, it’s Kansas & Missouri. We have a lot of kids – college and high school who have spent time representing their states and buzzing us with some great ideas, suggestions – some funny, some not so funny but truthful, about the issues that impact both states and how our youth feel about it. I may end up doing some last minute video editing on this one!
9:30-10PM… Closing. We are still working with a few PACs who have offered to give us final speakers and I’m working with representatives of Campaigns to leave us with the goals of 2014. Let’s put it this way: you really want to see what’s going to happen in this half hour, even though I can’t give everything away, it will make it worth your drive.
Political happenings. This could be fun and interesting.
…McCaskill won’t survive 2012, but if she still thinks she can, she’ll vote “no” to try and keep the hounds at bay. Won’t work…
Uh, compromise for the sake of compromise. David Broder would be so, you know, proud. Except (Kos continues):
…Now we have a poll in the field in Montana, last calls are being done right now, to see how Montanans view the issue. One thing is for sure, if [Jon] Tester [D] votes “no” on this bill, then this site won’t lift a finger to help him in his 2012 reelection bid. We don’t help people who are assholes to innocent kids…
…A question. If the only two Democratic U.S. Senators to the right of you by voting record are Evan Bayh and Ben Nelson, and the right wingers and teabaggers in Missouri won’t vote for you anyway, and you’re not overly concerned about re-election, why don’t you take the job for a spin and see what it can do rather than cater to all the fear mongering obstructionists and the inside the beltway cocktail weenie circuit?
One of the problems with some of you Democrats is that you all must have played ping-pong in high school rather than a team sport. I’d just like to give you a brief description of what a team is and how it is supposed to work…..
….So, Senator McCaskill, just because you don’t like the ads that Jack Conway is running in Kentucky, that is not an opportunity for you to grandstand about how sanctimonious and upright you are….
Yes, me musn’t let any opportunity to practice High Broderism on the Sunday cable talk shows be endangered by hitting the republicans in the forehead with the two by four of their own hypocrisy:
…A fetishistic attachment to bipartisanship for bipartisanship’s sake; reflexive adherence to false equivalencies, regardless of whether what one side says is patently insane…
…Because I’m tired of working for candidates who make me think that I should be embarrassed to believe what I believe, Sam! I’m tired of getting them elected! We all need some therapy, because somebody came along and said, “‘Liberal’ means soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we’re gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn’t have to go to work if they don’t want to!” And instead of saying, “Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave It To Beaver trip back to the Fifties…!”, we cowered in the corner, and said, “Please. Don’t. Hurt. Me.” No more. I really don’t care who’s right, who’s wrong. We’re both right. We’re both wrong. Let’s have two parties, huh? What do you say?…
It’s their world, we only get to live in it and get to man the phonebanks, and walk door-to-door, and do literature drops, and eat crappy fried food for two months because every freakin’ waking hour during final run up to the presidential election two years ago was devoted to trying to change the freakin’ world so that maybe, just maybe, there would be a little more justice in the world.
Blogging conventions are springing up all over the place. Lots of us netroots like to think of Daily Kos as the font of all that is good in organizing online, but the BlogHer women’s blogger conference came first in 2005, followed by the first Yearly Kos conference in 2006, and now Blogging While Brown, which will have its inaugural conference in 2008.
Following up on last week’s announcement, if you’re in the St. Louis area, you should drop by the Royale tomorrow evening for a meetup of local bloggers. The Royale is cozy enough that you should be able to spot the group, but for identification purposes, I’m the guy wearing a “I Got Pssst at YearlyKos 2007” T-shirt.
Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Place: The Royale at 3132 S. Kingshighway
Time: 6:30 pm until ???
A group of Missourians who attended Yearlykos 2007 last month has organized a follow-up meeting in St. Louis on Tuesday, September 18th. If you are 1) a progressive Democrat and 2) a blogger, commenter, lurker, candidate for office, and/or elected official, you are welcome to attend!
Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Place: The Royale at 3132 S. Kingshighway
Time: 6:30 pm until ???
About the location: The Royale is a nice, relaxing bar where you can also get a good, decently priced meal if you can’t grab some food beforehand. It was actually profiled on the Food Network show “Recipe for Success” when it opened. It’s also a hangout for local politicians and activists – Jeff Smith kicked off his state senate campaign there, for example.
If you’re in the St. Louis area, please join us. It will be a good chance to meet fellow progressives face-to-face and have a little fun. See you on the 18th!