Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

The Flaming Lips "Treat Inhofe like Oberweis" Netroots Challenge

( – promoted by peacearena)

Saturday in Illinois, when Republican James Oberweis lost Dennis Hastert’s former seat to Democrat Bill Foster on Saturday, a major shockwave registered throughout the GOP nationwide. The message sent and received was crystal clear: Americans want nothing more of the GOP style of government and will be firing Republican officeholders en masse this fall.

The message we Democrats got from this political earthquake was that there is no such thing as a “safe Republican seat” anymore — if we work like hell, and believe.

That’s why Andrew Rice‘s effort to dethrone Oklahoma’s 74-year-old Jim Inhofe, who’s been in DC for 21 years and a Senator since 1995, is so vital and exciting.

Y’all! We can win this thing! With hard work and a lot of support from Democrats across the country — meaning YOU.

Please read on and find out about our “Treat Inhofe like Oberweis” Netroots Challenge featuring Flaming Lips singer Wayne Coyne, an Oklahoma progressive, just like Andrew Rice.

Photo: Wayne Coyne, Todd Goodman (Oklahoma Democratic activist) and Andrew Rice

—-

Wayne Coyne was raised in Oklahoma City and still lives there.  He’s an example of the kind of creative and progressive folks we produce here.

Wayne is supporting Andrew Rice and is generously giving his name and time to help raise awareness and money for the campaign. That’s where YOU come in.

Wayne’s hosting a little get-together with Andrew on Tuesday evening. Obviously, if you are in OK, you will want to join us in Oklahoma City and meet the next Senator from the Sooner State, along with Wayne and his wife, Michelle.

But out-of-staters can participate too, by getting involved with the campaign’s “Flaming Lips ‘Treat Inhofe Like Oberweis’ Challenge,”  a 24-hour fundraising blitz.

Help Andrew follow Bill Foster in defeating a radical conservative Republican and taking over a “red” seat and going to DC to bring back good government to this country.

It’s so important to give a great candidate like Andrew Rice all the resources he needs to beat a vulnerable Republican.

Help rid America of the Senator who promotes that global warming is a ‘hoax’ and collects a fortune from the big energy companies in order to lead this effort while sitting on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

The Lips Challenge:

24 hour fundraising campaign, starting Monday afternoon at 3 pm Central (4pm Eastern) and lasting until shortly before the event on Tuesday.

What you can do:

  • Register to attend the OKC event for a donation of $50. (event details below) OR
  • Send regrets (from wherever you are) by filling in the “Can’t attend? Donate!” field with the contribution of your choice (and don’t forget the $.01 netroots addition)

The fundraising page will be updated regularly in that period. Check back and see how we’re doing.

Young Professionals Reception Benefiting Andrew Rice Senate Campaign

Featuring Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips!


($50 per attendee)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

5:30pm – 7:30pm

Location:

Ogle and Welch Law Office

117 Park Avenue

Oklahoma City, OK

Gold Star fathers to lead anti-war demonstration at bipartisan political forum – Monday 1/7 at OU

( – promoted by DocHoc)

As posted in a previous front page diary by greenlynndemocrat,  OU President (and former OK Democratic Senator) David Boren is hosting a political forum on Monday, 1/7 in Norman which will include Michael Bloomberg, (former Democrat, former Republican, now Independent) mayor of New York City, former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn and other retired politicians. The stated purpose is to promote a centrist, bipartisan political movement. The suspected purpose is to stroke the presidential ambitions of billionaire Bloomberg.

Two Oklahoma Gold Star fathers are organizing an anti-war demonstration to take place outside this meeting. Tons of national — even international — press will be on hand for this event, and we need to make a good showing for the world.

So please attend and spread the word about this action.

The details are below, as contained in an email I received. (Note: I am not an organizer of this event, just helping to publicize it.)

Anti-War Demonstration at Bloomberg/Boren Event in Norman – Monday

What: Demonstration to End The War and Bring The Troops Home.

Where: OU Campus, Norman, OK – Outside of Catlett Music Center – at Elm & Boyd.

When: Demonstration begins at 10A – 11A

(Bloomberg event 11A – Noon)

Demonstration continues Noon – 1P (depending on how long the event actually goes)

Who: Led by Gold Star Fathers: Warren Henthorn and John Scripsick

Warren Henthorn and John Scripsick are going to lead a demonstration outside of the Bloomberg Bipartisan Forum on Monday, January 7 beginning at 10:00 AM at CATLETT MUSIC CENTER on the OU Campus (corner of Elm and Boyd.)

The purpose of the event is not to demonstrate Bloomberg or the other panelists, per se,but to call to

END THE WAR AND TO BRING THE TROOPS HOME

Please join us.

Parking:

There is parking at the Elm Street Parking Garage just south of Boyd or additional parking at the Union Memorial Parking garage across the North Oval on Asp. (East of Holmberg Hall). Since classes have not started yet, levels 2 thru 5 in the garage are free parking and don ‘ t require a permit. The meters are 4 hour meters but you are welcome to park on levels 2 thru 5 at no charge. (Bring quarters in case meters are only spaces available.)

http://visit.ou.edu/HTML/map.htm

#14 – Catlett Music Center

#16 – Elm Street Parking Facility

#110 – Union Memorial Parking Facility,

Coburn blocking 'Emmitt Till' legislation

Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn is blocking a bipartisan bill aimed at enhancing investigations into older civil rights era crimes, like the murder of black teen Emmitt Till in 1957, which has never been solved.

from AP story:

The legislation would authorize $10-million annually over 10 years for the Justice Department to rejuvenate its prosecutions of pre-1970 civil rights murders. It calls for another $3.5-million annually for Justice to provide grants and other help to local law enforcement agencies.

The man most responsible for obstructing the measure is Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican. Coburn says he supports the cause but feels the FBI can pursue the cases with existing resources.

A spending hawk, Coburn has put a hold on the legislation and dozens of other bills that would increase the federal budget without offsetting costs elsewhere.

Coburn has a page of his Senate office web site dedicated to explaining and extolling the legislative hold policy he wields so infamously.

But as that page explains, and some left-leaning bloggers are pointing out, the Senate’s Democratic Majority leadership can work around such holds, if they are sufficiently motivated, and in fact they are already planning to do so — not for any of Coburn’s “anti-government expanding” holds, but on civil rights-protective efforts supported by the Democratic base.



Cross posted in copper at my blog and at OK Indymedia.

Coburn blocking 'Emmit Till' legislation

Oklahoma Republican Senator is blocking a bipartisan bill aimed at enhancing investigations into older civil rights era murder, like the one of black teen Emmitt Till in 1957, which has never been solved.

from AP story:

The legislation would authorize $10-million annually over 10 years for the Justice Department to rejuvenate its prosecutions of pre-1970 civil rights murders. It calls for another $3.5-million annually for Justice to provide grants and other help to local law enforcement agencies.

The man most responsible for obstructing the measure is Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican. Coburn says he supports the cause but feels the FBI can pursue the cases with existing resources.

A spending hawk, Coburn has put a hold on the legislation and dozens of other bills that would increase the federal budget without offsetting costs elsewhere.

Coburn has a page of his Senate office web site dedicated to explaining and extolling the legislative hold policy he wields so infamously.

But as that page explains, and some left-leaning bloggers are pointing out, the Senate’s Democratic Majority leadership can work around such holds, if they are sufficiently motivated, and in fact they are already planning to do so — not for any of Coburn’s “government expanding” holds, but on civil rights-protective efforts supported by the Democratic base.

[Cross posted in copper and at OK Indymedia]

I called Lucas on S-CHIP (with poll)

( – promoted by DocHoc)

I have a hard time motivating myself to call and write Oklahoma legislators on issues, because they are so reliably hard-line awful, and I’m already depressed, so who needs the hassle…

Nonetheless, I called my Congressperson, Frank Lucas, on S-CHIP — twice.

So here’s what happened.

The first time, last week, I called the Yukon office and just said I hoped that he would change his vote. The woman I spoke with was polite, but didn’t seem to have a clue what I was talking about, just couldn’t seem to comprehend that I lived in Oklahoma and supported the program being expanded.

Sigh.

So then, today, I call the DC office. I get a male aide and I ask him if Lucas has decided how he will vote on the override.

He has to go check. Great, obviously the whole staff is brimming over with conservative compassion and really keeping up on this issue.

Anyway, he comes back and says Lucas is voting “no” because he likes the way the Republicans originally wrote the bill and doesn’t believe more children should be covered.

I say without the veto being overridden, in fact next year LESS children will be covered than now.

He says that Lucas thinks that only POOR children should be covered.

I say that the program was not designed for poor children, that it was designed to cover MIDDLE CLASS children and his argument was thus facetious.

“Well, thank you for calling.”

[cross posted on Peace Arena]

[poll id=”

7

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Oklahomans Rally to Override Bush Veto of Children's Health Care

( – promoted by DocHoc)

SCHIPS veto flier

What: “Rally For Our Children’s Health” outside of Rep Fallin’s office.
When: Thursday, October 4 at 5:00 PM
Where: 101 N. Broadway, between Park and Main – downtown Oklahoma City. 73102

More info after the jump…

Parents, Kids and Local Groups in Oklahoma City to Rally For Children’s Health Care

As Billions Are Spent In Iraq, Rep. Mary Fallin Voted With Bush To Block Health Care for Kids In Oklahoma.

Congress Passed Children’s Health Care Bill; MoveOn Members Call On Rep Mary Fallin To Override Bush’s Veto

[Oklahoma City] – On Thursday, October 4, at 5 PM, local groups, parents and kids will hold a “Rally For Our Children’s Health” outside of Rep. Fallin’s Oklahoma City office. They will urge Fallin, all other representatives of Congress and President Bush to stop blocking health care for Oklahoma children. 225 similar events are happening around the nation.

Congress recently passed the “Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.” Fallin voted against this bill, which would ensure that many Oklahoma children have health insurance and can see a doctor when sick. President Bush vetoed the bill this week, and local MoveOn members are urging Fallin and all Congress members to vote to over-ride Bush’s veto.

The Oklahoma City event is cosponsored by RESULTS of Oklahoma and the Peace House. Speaking for those groups, Nathaniel Batchelder said, “This is a question of priorities. Bush and the Republicans are spending billions per week on the war in Iraq, but they won’t protect the health of our kids back home? We need Rep.Fallin to over-ride Bush’s veto and stand up for our kids.”

This legislation passed the House on September 25, by a 265 to 159 vote — approximately 290 votes are needed to over-ride a veto. It passed the Senate September 27 with a 67-29 veto-proof majority.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll reveals 72 percent of Americans support the Democrats’ proposed $35 billion for children’s health care, including 61% of Republicans. The poll also shows Americans trust Democrats over Republicans on health care by 56% to 26%.

Who: Parents, kids and organizations from Oklahoma area, members of MoveOn.org
What: “Rally For Our Children’s Health” outside of Rep Fallin’s office.
When: Thursday, October 4 at 5:00 PM
Where: 101 N. Broadway, between Park and Main – downtown Oklahoma City. 73102

Vote count on the Democratic “Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act” are here:
House: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll906.xml
Senate: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=3022
Washington Post-ABC News Poll:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postpoll_100107.html

Oklahoma GI Rights Hotline begins operations

( – promoted by DocHoc)

(405) 231-1138

Counselors will offer free, confidential legal information to service members, veterans, potential recruits and their families

Nationwide network assists those who seek to get out of the military

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma GI Rights Hotline will officially begin operations on Monday, September 24, undertaking its mission of providing free, confidential, and accurate information on US military regulations and practices to service members, veterans, potential recruits, and their families.

The Hotline can be reached at (405) 231-1138. Live counselors will answer on Mondays from 10 AM to 5 PM. On other days messages will be returned within 24 hours. More live hours will be added gradually in the future.

The Hotline is managed by the Oklahoma Center for Conscience, an organization supported by Joy Mennonite Church, Veterans for Peace – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Catholic Peace Fellowship and the Oklahoma City Religious Society of Friends. Operating funds for OCC and the Hotline come from private donations from the local community.

The volunteers who will staff the hotline took an intensive two-day workshop last April that covered military regulations and GI Rights counseling practice. That training was led by experienced counselors and attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force. The workshop was funded in part by a grant from the A. J. Muste Memorial Foundation.

Hotline volunteers will work under the guidance of Oklahoma attorney James M. Branum, a member of NLG who specializes in military law. They will receive ongoing training updates as changes in military law may require, and will participate in national online discussions with other counselors across the country in order to stay informed about current issues that impact the work.

The goal of the Hotline is to empower servicemembers by giving them information and other resources needed to make appropriate decisions regarding their military service. The Uniform Code of Military Justice contains all the regulations regarding legal separation from service, but servicemembers usually are not made aware of these documents.

“Many of our men and women servicemembers face difficult realities: concerns stemming from injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual harassment, issues of conscience regarding military action, abuses of command and broken enlistment promises,” said Branum. “We want to support them in exerting their rights that the military gives them. Exerting their rights alone in a huge and complex system is almost impossible without support.”

Mr. Branum, has two years experience in GI Rights counseling. He is also a founder and co-chair of Oklahoma Center for Conscience.

The Oklahoma GI Rights Hotline will join a network of hotlines and counseling centers across the U. S. and in Germany that assist active duty military personnel with their options in obtaining discharges, registering as a conscientious objector, and other legal matters concerning their relationship with the military. It will begin by taking direct calls from servicemembers in or from Oklahoma, but will eventually be linked to the network to take calls from designated area codes in Oklahoma and possibly other states.

Oklahoma is in an especially important position to offer GI Rights counseling services. Ft. Sill, located in Lawton, is one of only two Personnel Control Facility (PCF) locations in the U. S., to which many AWOL soldiers must pass through when they surrender themselves. Ft. Sill is also where many of those refusing to fight, claiming Conscientious Objector status, are incarcerated during the legal process the military requires.

In addition to phone, email and in person counseling, the Hotline will provide resources on its website that a servicemember can use, in many cases, to get out of the military on their own.

“We are pleased and excited to welcome the Oklahoma hotline to the network of counseling services across the country,” said Luke Heiken, a member of the steering committee of the Military Law Task Force who was one of two trainers who conducted the April training workshop. “We are looking forward to working with them to meet the needs of those who are serving their country in uniform.”

New prospective Hotline counselors are welcome to apply for the next training, will be held in Spring of 2008. Inquiries should be directed to the Oklahoma Center for Conscience by emailing info@centerforconscience.org or calling (405) 771-4743

More information about the Oklahoma GI Rights Hotline can be found online at okgirightshotline.org.

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INFORMATION RESOURCES:

Oklahoma Center for Conscience – http://centerforcons…

Oklahoma GI Rights Hotline – http://okgirightshot…

National GI Rights Hotline: – http://girightshotli…

National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force: http://nlgmltf.org