Indeed, I (we all) have plenty to be thankful for right now.
Here's some of what comes to my mind when I think thankfully:
- Wonderfully imperfect but still wonderful family, not the least (wonderful) of whom are my daughter and son-in-law Amy and Travis, their daughter Abaigeal and my soon to be first grandson (due in March 2013) Connor. I'm thankful Travis and Amy love each other as well as Abaigeal. There are plenty more (family members) but I don't think any of them read this blog anyway. If they tell me they do, I will update by making the list of names longer.
- An extended family of sorts with whom I advocate for egalitarian public policy, especially Democratic friends in Arizona's Legislative District 26, as well as the numerous people I've come to know and admire as a result of the 2011 Independent Redistricting process.
- For an open and egalitarian internet/world wide web with and by which it is available (because of Net Neutrality) to publish essays and other writings widely (notably via the Arizona Eagletarian blog); and for social media that connects millions of activists and enables movements like Occupy Wall Street to get the word out in spite of the efforts of Corporate Media worldwide to stifle progressive populism.
- For the re-election of Barack Obama. He is an imperfect President but the best available choice this year. And for the social media that will hold his feet to the fire so as to encourage him to do the best he can for all of America.
- For the election of Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate. It was a symbolic victory and holds the hope, along with election of other women to that chamber of Congress, of a more fair and egalitarian economy and society so that America's REAL Job Creators, the Middle Class, will revive and again thrive.
- For election of three Democrats from LD26 to represent me and others in our district in the 51rst Legislature. Those three are Senator-elect Ed Ableser and Representatives-elect Juan Mendez and Andrew Sherwood.
A reminder of why the fight resumes "momentarily" (after a day to give thanks, then to live thankfully during the ongoing fight) is in a letter published by the editors of the Arizona Republic in its Thanksgiving day edition:
So now, Arizona, which has a large majority of conservative Republican citizens overall, is being represented in the House [Congress] by five Democrats and only four Republicans. This is a direct result of the underhanded gerrymandering pushed through earlier by the so-called Independent Redistricting Commission.
The commission was headed by a longtime Democratic Party activist who falsely filed as an independent when she was certainly not nonpartisan. She then banded together with the two Democrat members to ram through all the redistricting maps and decisions by a party-line 3-2 majority in all cases.
The redrawn maps, which greatly favored the Democrats in the election process, ended up with the desired result of having a Democratic Arizona majority in the House, even though this does not represent the desires of the majority of Arizona citizens.
The worst part is that this farce cannot be remedied for another 10 years. I guess crime does pay, as long as you're a crooked politician.
-- Brian Callahan, Sun City
Thirty-six percent of those registered affiliating themselves with the Republican party does NOT constitute anywhere near a "large majority" of Arizona voters.
I suspect the reason the Republic published such a blatantly false letter is because the editor believed he had to balance (politically) other letters in the same edition. Otherwise, he would offend (and not be able to answer for offending) a large portion of the paper's subscribers. Those letters include one explaining a vote for Obama because he respects Americans; another criticizes Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett and another says that raising taxes on rich Americans won't hurt them.
Nevertheless, Mr. Callahan's letter is outrageous in its claims.
And even though the Tea Party was dealt a likely lethal blow in the November 6 election, its members are not likely to stop squawking anytime soon.
The change in the partisan composition of the new state legislature (still with a GOP majority) MIGHT make it more difficult to pass RWNJ bills, but we still can expect a full assault on the Middle Class because ALEC is still over represented. And the Arizona Corporation Commission, which will have FIVE Republican commissioners (out of five available seats), becomes a "wholly-owned subsidiary" of ALEC as soon as Bob Burns and Susan Bitter Smith take office in January.
Some might think I'm exaggerating by calling the 2013 Corporation Commission a "wholly owned subsidiary." Consider, however, the following:
The speedy execution of strategic priorities is another advantage of a wholly owned subsidiary. For example, a parent company could ask one of its foreign wholly owned subsidiaries to dedicate all of its resources toward a new product launch. Faster execution means faster market penetration. Synergies in marketing, research and development and information technology mean cost efficiencies and long-term strategic positioning. The strategic disadvantage is that cultural differences often lead to problems integrating a subsidiary's people and processes into the parent company's system.
When the opposition is completely obliterated, ALEC priorities, such as repeal of the Renewable Energy Standard and implementation of various crony capitalism related projects (i.e. the Trash Burner) can proceed expeditiously. ALEC's model bill, called the Electricity Freedom Act provides the marching orders for the ACC in 2013.
Republican former ACC chair Kris Mayes appeared on Arizona Horizon last week to discuss sustainable energy issues in Arizona. Mayes, faculty director of the Program on Law and Sustainability at ASU, was instrumental in the original adoption of the Arizona's RES.
Less than two minutes into the video, Mayes says she thinks the Corporation Commission is not likely to change our state's renewable energy standard. However, it is not clear as to whether she is aware of this latest ALEC model legislation. She has to be aware, however, that the three Republican members of the current ACC are ALEC members (as is incoming commissioner Bob Burns) and that Susan Bitter Smith, having been a utility lobbyist for many years leans the same way even if she has not yet become a member.
So, be thankful and gear up to continue the fight.