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This Saturday feature spotlights a dozen examples of what's been written in the past seven days at progressive state blogs. Just as states with progressive lawmakers and activists have themselves initiated innovative programs over a wide range of issues, state-based progressive blogs have helped provide us with a point of view and inside information we don't get from the traditional media. Those blogs deserve a larger audience. Standard disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary does not indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At NorthDecoder, Chet writes Republicans Built This:

I can't help but grimace when I see how Republicans don't see what they are doing to themselves and to North Dakota. It's like watching someone giving themselves a round-house punch to the face. They elect these corporate sell-outs who are destroying Western North Dakota, and then get mad that Western North Dakota is being destroyed. In a tragic, sick and sad way, it's funny. It's unfortunate.  Let me draw you a map.

The Mayor of Watford City is a fellow named Brent Sanford.  He's mad as hell and he's not going to take any more.  What's he mad about?  He's mad that the North Dakota Highway Department isn't doing anything to stop the slaughter of people on our Western North Dakota highways. [...]

He's mad because our state's leadership has failed to build and maintain infrastructure that can handle the kind of industrial pressure being put on the entire western half of the state.  He's mad the state's leaders haven't prepared to handle what they've let loose on his town and county. At the same time, Mayor Sanford supports the Republicans who are doing this to us. Makes sense, right?

At Calitics, Brian Leubitz writes Roll Call Peers Into the Future of California Congress Delegation:
Congressional seats don't come up often, and when people get there, they tend to stay. The California Congressional delegation is no different. Except right now, the delegation has several septuagenarians, and as Pete Stark learned, there are always a few people spoiling for a fight. And so Roll Call, a publication that caters to DC insiders, takes a look at some of the potential replacements.
At Raging Chicken Press, Sean Kitchen writes, Rep. Madeleine Dean: Tom Corbett’s Budget is Misguided and has Missed Opportunities:
Representative Madeleine Dean scolds Governor Tom Corbett’s budget and attacks the governor’s plans for shot’s for tots, the lack of a medicare expansion plan and the LACK of a real Marcellus Shale Tax.  Watch the video here.

At Blue Jersey, Rosi Efthim lamented Gov. Chris Christie Calls a Black Man "Boy" in Paterson, NJ:

This week, Governor Chris Christie let his famous command of his own image slip and said something to an African-American man—in a church in Paterson—that we have not heard in many, many years in New Jersey. In America.
At Square State, Zappatero tells us who is the Stupidest Republican of the Day: Calgary Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas:
Barack Obama stupidly thought the Republican Tea Party Whackjob fever "would break" after he totally demolished Mitt Romney in the election. Well, he totally demolished Mitt and the fever didn't break.
At NH Labor News, Liz Iacobucci Why is the House GOP obsessed with the Keystone pipeline?:
So … President Obama met with the House GOP yesterday, trying to find common ground on the federal budget.

And after the meeting, what were the headlines about?  The Keystone XL pipeline.

Say, what?  Our economic recovery is at stake.  There are huge decisions about what sort of government we will have – one that benefits the rich and powerful, or one that takes care of the aged and poor?   Austerity or growth?  Contractors or entitlements?  Deficit reduction or stimulus?

And the headlines are about a private company’s proposal to build an oil pipeline?  Gotta wonder."

At El Grito de Nuevo Mexico, Adrianna Sanchez writes New Mexico is not Arizona, Rep. Maestas explains about House Memorial 95:
Representative Antonio Maestas shared with El Grito why he believes that a memorial he is sponsoring is important for New Mexico despite opposition from Rep. Nora Espinoza, who blasted books listed in the memorial as “racist” during Monday’s House Education Committee.

The state of Arizona became the center of a major controversy when a well established Mexican American studies program in the Tucson unified school district  was eliminated and several books that had been essential components to the program were banned from the classrooms under accusations of being divisive and racist. Tucson school officials cited a recently enacted Arizona state statute to justify their actions, which caused widespread protest from Tucson students as well as a national outcry against the decision.  House Memorial 95 calls on the State of New Mexico to never go down the road of Arizona, and calls for copies of the seven books that were removed from Tucson classrooms to be transmitted to the governor of the state of New Mexico, the Public Education Department, and the governor of the state of Arizona.

“If you get to know your role on this earth, who you are in relationship to everyone else, it’s very empowering,” Maestas said. “When a human being learns their culture, their history, their native language it adds confidence in themselves and all of us benefit from that.”

At Louisiana Voice: Graft, Lies & Politics, tomaswell writes Louisiana DOE hires top dollar out-of-state appointees who control kids’ education but who’re not registered LA. voters:
To show his commitment to keeping Louisiana talent at home, [Gov. Bobby Jindal] promptly brought in several out-of-staters to fill key roles. [...] And LouisianaVoice has learned that five of those, including his Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, a Deputy Superintendent, and one who, alternately, has been called “Deputy Superintendent,” “Director,” and “Director of the Office of Portfolio,” are not even registered to vote in Louisiana.
At BlueOregon, Neel Pender urges Democrats, your voice matters. Get plugged in.:
Today's O[regonian] has an op-ed about Republicans searching for relevancy and competing against the "professionalized Democrative voter turnout machine." Truth is, it wasn't so long ago that across the country Democrats were the ones getting their teeth kicked in; the complacency of being in the majority and the influx of 'soft money' to fund issue ads had in fact made our grassroots 'soft'.
At NC Policy Watch, Rob Schofield writes Extreme ideology and petty grudges:
At the end of the 2011-12 North Carolina General Assembly, more than one caring and thoughtful progressive took a look at the damage inflicted by conservative lawmakers and said something like this: “Well, at least they’re running out of reactionary ideas to enact and implement; things can’t get much worse.”

Today, just a few months later, such notions seem embarrassingly naïve. Whether the subject is unemployment insurance, health care policy, tax policy, environmental policy or a dozen other critical areas, conservatives have made it patently clear that they have just begun their work of rolling back the 20th Century.

At Burnt Orange Report, Ben Sherman wrote Battleground Texas is Coming to a City Near You, Starting This Weekend:
Battleground Texas is about to visit 14 cities all across Texas as it takes the next step in painting Texas blue. "This tour will help connect Texans who want to make a difference in their communities now while building this movement to make Texas competitive over the coming years," BGTX Executive Director Jenn Brown said.

Over the last week, Battleground Texas has held two heavily attended—and standing-room only—events in San Antonio and Austin. Democrats across the state (and country) are getting fired up as the Democratic movement in Texas gets properly mobilized for the first time in decades.

Jeremy Bird, the Senior Advisor of Battleground Texas, sat down with the Texas Tribune for a lengthy interview this week. He explained BGTX's strategy.

At Cowgirl Blog, Cowgirl fumes Here's how Montana legislatgors marked International Women's Day:
On the eve of International Women’s Day, Montana legislators voted down a measure to increase the penalty for domestic violence. Meanwhile, they offered strong support for bills to increase the penalty for trespassing.

Under current law, a first domestic violence offense is punishable with a $100 fine and a night in jail. But last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary committee killed a bill by Democratic Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy that would have increased the minimum penatlies for domestic abuse from to $250 and the jail time to 72 hours for the first offense. (SB 362)

The bill failed 5-7 with all Republicans except Jennifer Fielder voting no.

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