If only I could start every weekend like this!

I know it’s only Thursday, but I don’t do a show on Fridays, so my weekend begins when this blog and podcast are posted.

Let’s begin with the good stuff. Shenna Bellows! The former Executive Director of the  ACLU of Maine turned senatorial candidate is challenging Susan Collins for the seat Collins has occupied for 18 years.

She’s been making a lot of news in the past few days: Bellows just yesterday submitted many more than enough signatures to get her on November’s ballot, earned the endorsements of both the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, and we found out that she out-raised Susan Collins in the last quarter of 2013.

Bellows reported raising $331,454 between when she jumped into the race in late October and Dec. 31. Collins, according to the Portland Press Herald, reported raising $314,921 in the final quarter of 2013.

All that isn’t what excited me about Bellows, but all of that happened because what does excite me about her is what’s energized those who’ve contributed to her campaign, signed her petitions to get on the ballot and endorsed her. She’s a true progressive democrat who is proud to fight for our civil rights and liberties, for strengthening and expanding the social safety net, for universal single-payer health care and the other things we so sorely need to get this country back on the right track.

I encourage you to listen to our interview, and share it widely.

Now on to the really bad. I started the show today with the story of a teacher who has been complaining to anyone who’ll listen that he was banned from attending President Obama’s speech at the high school where he teaches AP American History. What I find shocking isn’t that he was banned from the event, but that he’s allowed to spew his venomous views to impressionable high school students!

I’m all for our first amendment rights – but if you’re a teacher, of American history no less, you should understand that your role is to be an arbiter of historical fact, not to push ideological rhetoric. He does it regularly on social media, I can only imagine what his classroom is like.

Here are a few of his tweets. Read and decide for yourself if he should be allowed near kids, let along the President:






Argghhh! I could continue… or you could read his twitter stream and do as I do, call the Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent’s 0ffice  — (305) 995-1430 or email them, and complain.

One more story to take your mind off of that travesty: The Congressional Progressive Caucus released their new “Better Off  Budget” yesterday and, once again, it just makes sense. Unfortunately, the media, the White House and the rest of Congress usually ignores the largest caucus inside of the Congressional Democrats.  Maybe we can change that.

Read the brief summary of the budget here or a more detailed description of the budget, including job creation and deficit reduction impacts here.

And check some analysis of it, by Howie Klein here and by Isaiah Poole here.