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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 01:48 PM
Number of posts: 11,582

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I am fairly sure Baltimore was in a REALLY bad place before O'MAlley and I am

also fairly sure that there were two mayors after he left office. There is plenty blame to go around.

One thing I have read time and time again is that people elected him because they wanted safer streets.

To put Freddie Grays death solely on the feet of Martin O'MAlley is simplistic. It requires a much deeper discussion of everything that has happened in Baltimore and other industrial cities. The Violent Crime and Enforcement bill signed into law by President at the time can also be debated as leading up to so many of the bad policing policies in cities. One could argue, and I am sure it isn;t going to be very popular that it was the COPS portion of that law that lead to the broken windows policies that many mayors of many cities took.

O'Malley worked to change that. Systemic debacles Killed Freddie Gray. Trying to pin his death (in 2015) on a mayor who left that office in 1999 is really disingenuous. Having a substantial discussion would be more honest.

And he did try an awful lot of things outlined above as Mayor and took it even further as governor.

Martin O’Malley’s Presidential Strategy: Try, Try, Try Again


I really liked this article, it talks about both Iowa State dinner and what happened at Net Roots nation. Much more than the little cut and past I am putting here, so I hope everyone reads this. It really does show a stark difference between the three campaigns and the candidates.

At every point this weekend — as Clinton and Sanders held to their carefully hewn strategies — O’Malley telegraphed, with trademark persistence, that no matter how bad the polls look, he is the candidate who simply won’t go away: who will work harder and mingle longer, who will shake more hands, answer more questions, propose more policy, be the most progressive and most aggressive — the candidate who will always engage.

He has, now 50 days into his campaign, taken almost every opportunity

While Clinton draws headlines about her “strained relations” with the press, O’Malley’s staff rarely turns a reporter away. (On Friday night, his super PAC invited members of the media to an afterparty with the sign-carrying field organizers. “It’s open-press and we promise no rope-lines,” an official said in an email, adding a smiling emoticon. The Clinton cheer-squad, meanwhile, said they weren’t allowed to talk to reporters.)

And while other Democrats in the race, including Sanders, don’t often go after Clinton, O’Malley makes a habit of it — indirectly, at least. (In his Iowa speech, he stressed his support for a $15 minimum wage, days after Clinton declined to endorse it, and suggested she was slow to oppose “bad trade deals” like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.)

But there was no greater show of the O’Malley method than inside the Phoenix Convention Center on Saturday morning — when activists aligned with Black Lives Matter, a social justice group, upended a presidential forum at Netroots Nation.

About Trumps latest remarks:

Is it me or is something wrong when republicans and the complicit media (looking at you New York Post) is more upset about his comments regarding John McCain that they are about his racist comments regarding immigrants in our nation?

I am have a series disconnect here.

Art saved my life.

and progressive policies got this poor girl into one of the best design schools in the country — in spite of Reagan's hellacious cuts to the Pell Grant program.

Art made me the liberal I am today.

I am going to post something I wrote on our personal blog last year. (I don't often share my writing there here on DU, but this post moved me. What O'Malley said strikes deep in my soul. http://www.fourfreedomsblog.com/Blog.php?Act=BlogEdit&BlogID=2802

How Did I Get Here?
Author: Raine Date: 05/08/2014

I have been thinking about how I came to my political stances as of late. My father is someone I would consider a conservative. My mother confuses me socially, economically and politically. I love then both very much. but I am very different from them in many ways. I am a liberal and I consider myself a Democrat. ###FOLD###

I grew up in a house that split when I was 17 years old. I was not in touch with world events around this time, nor was I interested in what was going on. All I wanted was a boy to like me and to go to art school after graduation. I had very low self esteem. Looking back, I was far from alone as this was what many girls my age wanted, someone to love them and something to do with the rest of their lives. I had never met someone who was openly gay, and if I did I wasn't aware of it. We had very few people of color in my community. There was one Jewish family. There was one black family and one hispanic family. Often times I heard some spoken of by my elders in hushed terms. The 80s were a time of change for women, we were expected to go to college. just a few years before, college for women was not totally embraced.

Today, here I am, just a few months before turning 47 years old and I am wondering how I became what many people call a liberal person, a liberal woman to be more specific.

I don't know the path that took me here. Deep down I always had a feeling that all people should be treated the way I wanted to be treated. This was something my parents taught me. The golden rule, some call it, I suppose.

The problem was, I was taught to treat people better than I felt I was treated. I came from a troubled household. My parents loved each other once upon a time. By the time I was a teen, though, that love had turned into something darker… Their divorce was a benefit to themselves and to me and my siblings in hindsight, but at the time, it was not a great place in my life. School was my lifeline with its warts and all. There were hierarchies and classes of people that I wanted to be a part of. I felt like I didn't fit in at all. I felt like an ugly duckling. Even though I had friends (some who I am still close to), I felt like an outsider. It was still better at school than it was at home during this time of my life.

I look back on things, and I wonder… how did I become a person that is considered a liberal? When I was a teenager, I had no problem with the death penalty. I thought people my age who got pregnant were enigmas. I was friends with poor kids because I was told by my parents that we were poor as well. I accepted the class system that exists in many schools. I didn't feel like I could ever be friends with those more well-off people in my school. I had a very low self-esteem as a young person. It subsided, but it did not go away for a long time.

By the time I was ready to graduate. my parents had separated. There was no money for me to go to college. I was desperate. There was only one thing I wanted and - for that matter - I felt I could be successful at; art. I wanted to go to a school that specialized in the visual arts.

I applied (thanks to a part time job at a nursing home, I could afford the applications) to Parsons School of Design, The Fashion institute of Technology (A SUNY School) and another school. I held out little hope for any of the schools to accept me.

A few weeks after I filled out the applications, I got a call from Parsons, asking me to bring my portfolio and meet with them in NYC. I bought a very nice outfit and my Mom took the train ride with me to NYC. Turns out, Parsons liked me enough to accept me as a member of the freshman class of 1985.

My dream school. They accepted me.

One problem. My parents were in the middle of a divorce. Due to my family's economic situation, I was accustomed to the school lunch program, it was subsidized as my mom had no money to make us lunch. Parsons, however, was a totally different league. It was a hell of a lot more than a school lunch and there was little to no subsidies. You might recall that the President at the time was Ronald Reagan. His budget had recently cut funding to Pell Grants. This is what I was up against. My mom was trying to keep shit together for me and my sisters while she and my dad were fighting over how to end their marriage. Mom could not give me help. Dad could not either, My future was quickly becoming a victim of their divorce.

I knew I could never afford to go to Parsons. I was accepted, but heartbroken. There was no way that I could see that would allow me to attend the school. I could not go. There was no college fund (I have 2 younger sisters; they found no relief either).

During this period of my life, there was no internet. There was no 24/7 cable news. I only knew of things from the local news, reading papers and my public school teacher. It was actually my art teacher that introduced me to the fancy New York times.

Our town was about 2 hours away from NYC but it might as well have been another country. A few weeks before graduation, I got another call that changed my life forever. Unbeknown to me, a few of my teachers (who by this time had become my confidants with the events surrounding my home life) called to tell me that I was accepted into the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) http://heop.org
What is it?
1) The Higher Education Opportunity Program is a partnership between the State of New York and its independent institutes which provides economically and educationally disadvantaged residents the possibility of a college education.
Who is eligible?
2) To be eligible for HEOP you must be a resident of New York State for one year, possess a high school diploma, educationally disadvantaged, economically disadvantaged and have motivation for college completion.
how do I apply?
3) To apply for admission to a Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), request an application from the institution that you are interested in attending. There are 58 HEOP programs throughout New York State.

I received a full tuition grant for the first year to Parsons. I was going to college. I later learned that I was the first Caucasian woman in NYS to be accepted to this program. I was on my way and a deep and heavy burden on my 17 year old shoulders had been lifted.

The thing is, ultimately, people took the time and interest in me to see that I would get out of this small town I grew up in. They had access to resources I didn't have. They didn't directly benefit from this, they just did this for me, for my benefit. A few weeks later I was moving into my room at a YMCA on 34th street and would be sharing 2 floors with my fellow Parson students. Those first few weeks at school of thought of these teachers, these mentors and could not believe how lucky I was to have had them in my life. 29 years later -- this very month, the gratitude I feel cannot be fully expressed.

During this time, NYC wasn't the lovely city we see today. It looked a lot like these photos (seriously, check those pictures out, amazing stuff). It could be a dangerous place. I rode on subways that looked like this:

Still, I found it amazing and wonderful, and I found a place that I felt I fit in. The people I was going to school with were all colors and religions. Some were even openly gay, some had pink hair, some had strange tattoos. I heard rap music and saw strange dancers on the street. Break Dancing! Times Square was a derelict area filled with Porn movies and peep shows and seedy people. No one ever wanted to go to Port Authority (many still don't…). Remember this was 1985, I came from a small town where the norm was nothing like this. It was amazing. I felt I was among kindred spirits. We were all so very different, and yet we had a strange commonality. It wasn't just being a bunch of freaky artists, it was a combination of cultures and background and a city that embraced it all, good and bad. I've shared some of the not pleasant experiences with you here on this blog. This was all the quilt that made the city so amazing and overwhelming and made me eager to discover all it had to offer. The late (and great) Lou Read captures what the city was like in his song Halloween parade. It somber and melancholy but this was NYC when I lived there:

Everyday in the city I would see posters and fliers for another rally or protest. Up until that year, I had barely heard of AIDS/HIV. The only time I had heard of it was when I went to Long Island to visit family and we saw the NYC news market. In my town, we got our news from the Capitol District region - Albany/Schenectady/Troy. AIDS was barely mentioned. So here in NYC, I had befriended people who were gay. They asked me to come with them to an ActUp die-in to protest the lack of action from the Reagan Administration. My school was near Union Square and often there would be political rallies held there. On any given day it could be for AIDS/HIV awareness, women's equality, protesting the administration actions in Nicaragua, you name it, there was always something happening. I learned about women's equality in ways that no textbook could ever educate me. I attended concerts like the Grateful Dead and even had a date or two with a musician. Fun! I went to galleries and museums. I went to clubs and I was getting an education to boot.

I loved it all. I found a place where I could not only express myself through visuals but I found a place where my voice was not just heard, but listened to and embraced. That place of loneliness and lack of self-esteem started to go away (it would take many years to mend other damages to myself, but that is another story for another day.) I was finding out who I really was. I was swimming in it all.

So I don't know if I was always a liberal. I don't know if I was born this way or if my life path took me here. What I do know is that I tried, and with the help of others, I was able to succeed. What I learned is that being who I am and surrounding myself with people accepting our differences made me a better and more educated person. It is a life lesson that I have never forgotten. It is one that I still try to live by. I had every reason to give up and not go forward. I had every reason to take the traditional route in life and to accept that my lot was made. Because of others, I didn't have to. I was given the choice to move ahead.

It's been said A rising tide raises all boats. I am a liberal person, but how I got here, I don't know. I know that when we help the least among us, we become better people. I know this because I was once the least among some of us. I was always a strange child, it just took a while for me to find a place where I fit into the world. I have stumbled here and there along the way, but I never looked back. It's a wonderful life and journey.

Peace & love,

C-Span clip of MO'M speech at Iowa Dems HoF dinner: (youtube video added)


EZ PZ to share on Facebook and twitter if you are so inclined.

Thanks to PoliticAverse for the youtube clip!

O’Malley racked up $339,200 in collage loans for his kids. He wants to lighten the load for others


O’Malley, who plans to detail his plan during a morning event in New Hampshire, will call on states to freeze tuition rates at public colleges and universities -- as Maryland did for four years -- and propose other measures that would help those carrying debt.

Under O’Malley’s plan, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Post, students and parents would be able to refinance their debt at lower interest rates. And O’Malley would base the repayment terms for student borrowers on their income upon graduation.

For the long term, O’Malley says he would set a goal of limiting college tuition to 10 percent of a state’s median income at four-year institutions and 5 percent at two-year institutions. Federal matching grants would help states that participate in reaching the goal.

Under his plan, O’Malley would also increase Pell Grants and revamp federal work-study programs to help cover non-tuition costs, such as room and board.

Aides declined to spell out the cost of O’Malley’s initiatives but suggested they could be paid for by measures such as closing corporate tax loopholes and taxing capital gains at the same rate as earned income.

MO'M Family this thread could use some more love!


Jim Webb has just announced that he is running for the Democratic Nomination

ETA: Link.

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