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Posted by freshwest | Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:29 PM (1 replies)
Ezra Klein: Why rich guys want to raise the retirement age
From FourScore's post which is long enough to explain this to anyone who wants to know why it will stay off the table for the good of all:
Posted by freshwest | Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:22 PM (0 replies)
Those who are suppressing the vote are not on the side of those that opposed slavery. The Voting Rights Act should be kept in place with as much force as possible. The ststes opposing have learned nothing from the 14th Amendment, and don't support what it did. I won't quibble about your screen name who is my favorite person of the era, and the view of the others. The link to the VP of the Confederacy about their philosophy, explained going back to the Founders that the South opposed racial equality which many consider the intent behind the Constitution, as a living document, regardless of the events of the time. The people who are against voters and equality should be treated as going against the government and values of the USA. No excuses. EOM.
Posted by freshwest | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:58 PM (0 replies)
that the Founders sought to set the groundwork for.
But then, we should know that Rust Never Sleeps.
Posted by freshwest | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:21 PM (1 replies)
Voting Rights Act: Why many Southern states are glad of Supreme Court case
After minorities played a big role in reelecting President Obama, the US Supreme Court says it will take up the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the issue of federal oversight over voting in mostly Southern jurisdictions...
Many legal experts believe that’s the essential point before the high court in a case out of Shelby County, Alabama, in which local officials, backed by a bevy of Southern states, will argue that Congress went too far when it reauthorized the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 2006, and that federal oversight of polling stations and election rules primarily in the former Confederacy is too broad and thus, in some cases, itself discriminatory...
Those who want to put voting affairs back into the exclusive hands of state and local election officials cite President Obama's reelection on Tuesday as a reason to rethink the need for federal oversight of jurisdictions that, 40 or 50 years ago, had engaged in voting discrimination...
These characters are still trying to govern by the Confederate philosophy which opposed the Founding Fathers' ideals for full equality being granted as part of Natural Law and favored by Providence. The Civil War was never about states' rights, but racial discrimination:
Posted by freshwest | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:08 PM (1 replies)
The misery inflicted on the world gave us the New Deal. We need the Second New Deal. Or better.
The Second New Deal is the term used by commentators at the time and historians ever since to characterize the second stage of the New Deal programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In his address to Congress in January 1935, Roosevelt called for three major goals: improved use of national resources, security against old age, unemployment and illness, and slum clearance, as well as a national welfare program (the WPA) to replace state relief efforts.
It is usually dated 1935-36, and includes programs to redistribute wealth, income and power in favor of the poor, the old, farmers and labor unions. The most important programs included Social Security, the National Labor Relations Act ("Wagner Act"), the Banking Act, rural electrification, and breaking up utility holding companies.
Programs that were later ended by the Supreme Court or the Conservative Coalition included WPA, NYA, the Resettlement Administration, and programs for retail price control, farm rescues, coal stabilization, and taxes on the rich and the Undistributed profits tax.
Liberals in Congress passed the Bonus Bill of $1.5 billion to 3 million World War veterans over FDR's veto. Liberals strongly supported the new direction, and formed the New Deal Coalition of union members, big city machines, the white South, and ethnic minorities to support it;
and conservatives—typified by the American Liberty League were strongly opposed.
We need this or something like it to rise up out of the OFA organization, which has not dissolved yet:
The New Deal Coalition was the alignment of interest groups and voting blocs that supported the New Deal and voted for Democratic presidential candidates from 1932 until the late 1960s. It made the Democratic Party the majority party during that period, losing only to Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956. Franklin D. Roosevelt forged a coalition that included the Democratic state party organizations, city machines, labor unions and blue collar workers, minorities (racial, ethnic and religious), farmers, white Southerners, people on relief, and intellectuals.
The coalition fell apart around the bitter factionalism during the 1968 election, but it remains the model that party activists seek to replicate.
We're dealing with the same opposing philosophies and interests now as then, except the media is in conservative hands. It makes organizing for our ideas through media very difficult. So we must go back to the grass roots to give the liberal majority in Congress. Our work is cut out for us.
Posted by freshwest | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:39 AM (1 replies)
Good evening, Democrats! Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? I hope so.
This is the election of a lifetime. Because more than any one candidate or policy, what's at stake is the American dream. That dream—the ability to imagine a better way for ourselves and our families and then reach for it—is central to who we are and what we stand for as a nation. Whether that dream endures for another generation depends on you and me. It depends on who leads us, too.
In Massachusetts, we know Mitt Romney. By the time he left office, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation—during better economic times—and household income in our state was declining. He cut education deeper than anywhere else in America. Roads and bridges were crumbling. Business taxes were up, and business confidence was down. Our clean energy potential was stalled. And we had a structural budget deficit. Mitt Romney talks a lot about all the things he's fixed. I can tell you that Massachusetts wasn't one of them. He's a fine fellow and a great salesman, but as governor he was more interested in having the job than doing it.
When I came to office, we set out on a different course: investing in ourselves and our future. And today Massachusetts leads the nation in economic competitiveness, student achievement, health care coverage, life sciences and biotech, energy efficiency and veterans' services. Today, with the help of the Obama administration, we are rebuilding our roads and bridges and expanding broadband access. Today we're out of the deficit hole Mr. Romney left, and we've achieved the highest bond rating in our history. Today—with labor at the table—we've made the reforms in our pension and benefits systems, our schools, our transportation system and more that Mr. Romney only talked about. And today in Massachusetts, you can also marry whomever you love. We have much more still to do. But we are on a better track because we placed our faith not in trickle-down fantasies and divisive rhetoric but in our values and common sense.
The same choice faces the nation today. All that today's Republicans are saying is that if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions and wait, all will be well. Never mind that those are the very policies that got us into recession to begin with! Never mind that not one of the governors who preached that gospel in Tampa last week has the results to show for it. But we Democrats owe America more than a strong argument for what we are against. We need to be just as strong about what we are for.
The question is: What do we believe? We believe in an economy that grows opportunity out to the middle class and the marginalized, not just up to the well connected. We believe that freedom means keeping government out of our most private affairs, including out of a woman's decision whether to keep an unwanted pregnancy and everybody's decision about whom to marry. We believe that we owe the next generation a better country than we found and that every American has a stake in that. We believe that in times like these we should turn to each other, not on each other. We believe that government has a role to play, not in solving every problem in everybody's life but in helping people help themselves to the American dream. That's what Democrats believe.
If we want to win elections in November and keep our country moving forward, if we want to earn the privilege to lead, it's time for Democrats to stiffen our backbone and stand up for what we believe. Quit waiting for pundits or polls or super PACs to tell us who the next president or senator or congressman is going to be. We're Americans.
We shape our own future. Let's start by standing up for President Barack Obama.
This is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single American after 90 years of trying. This is the president who brought Osama bin Laden to justice, who ended the war in Iraq and is ending the war in Afghanistan. This is the president who ended "don't ask, don't tell" so that love of country, not love of another, determines fitness for military service. Who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land. This is the president who saved the American auto industry from extinction, the American financial industry from self-destruction, and the American economy from depression. Who added over 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last two-plus years, more jobs than George W. Bush added in eight.
The list of accomplishments is long, impressive and barely told—even more so when you consider that congressional Republicans have made obstruction itself the centerpiece of their governing strategy. With a record and a vision like that, I will not stand by and let him be bullied out of office—and neither should you, and neither should you and neither should you.
What's at stake is real. The Orchard Gardens Elementary School in Boston was in trouble. Its record was poor, its spirit was broken, and its reputation was a wreck. No matter how bad things were in other urban schools in the city, people would say, "At least we're not Orchard Gardens." Today, thanks to a host of new tools, many enacted with the help of the Obama administration, Orchard Gardens is turning itself around. Teaching standards and accountabilities are higher. The school day is longer and filled with experiential learning, art, exercise and music.
The head of pediatric psychology from a local hospital comes to consult with faculty and parents on the toughest personal situations in students' home lives. Attendance is up, thanks to a mentoring initiative. In less than a year, Orchard Gardens went from one of the worst schools in the district to one of the best in the state. The whole school community is engaged and proud.
So am I. At the end of my visit a year and a half ago, the first grade—led by a veteran teacher—gathered to recite Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech. When I started to applaud, the teacher said, "not yet." Then she began to ask those six- and seven-year-olds questions: "What does 'creed' mean?" "What does 'nullification' mean?" "Where is Stone Mountain?" And as the hands shot up, I realized that she had taught the children not just to memorize that speech but to understand it.
Today's Republicans and their nominee for president tell us that those first-graders are on their own—on their own to deal with their poverty; with ill-prepared young parents, maybe who speak English as a second language; with an underfunded school; with neighborhood crime and blight; with no access to nutritious food and no place for their mom to cash a paycheck; with a job market that needs skills they don't have; with no way to pay for college.
But those Orchard Gardens kids should not be left on their own. Those children are America's children, too, yours and mine. And among them are the future scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, engineers, laborers and civic leaders we desperately need. For this country to rise, they must rise—and they and their cause must have a champion in the White House.
That champion is Barack Obama. That cause is the American dream. Let's fight for that. Let's canvass and phone bank and get out the vote for that. Let's go tell everyone we meet that, when the American dream is at stake, you want Barack Obama in charge.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States.
Posted by freshwest | Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:38 PM (0 replies)
Will the 29 Sanders-letter senators co-sponsor the Begich Social Security bill?
The most recent Social Security bill, proposed by Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, includes such enhancements as full cancellation of the payroll cap — making the Social Security tax a simple flat tax and not a regressive one — and improves the cost-of-living adjustment by indexing it to the items most bought by the elderly. All round, a very good bill.
This bill also goes on offense, putting a stake in the ground that says Social Security benefits should be enhanced, not just kept the same. I hope you can see the negotiating benefit of that.
The 29 senators who signed the Sen. Sanders letter are playing excellent defense — drawing a line that says No Cuts to the safety net and No New Tax Breaks for the rich. (With the Bush–Obama Tax Cuts set to expire in December, renewing them is without doubt a new tax break.)
Can we get the 29 senators to go on offense as well, and co-sponsor the Begich bill? You could ask them.
Here’s that list of Sanders-letter senators, the good guys in this fight. Note that Mark Begich, the author of the Begich bill, is an organizer:
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — (202) 224-5141
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) — (202) 224-2921
Mark Begich (D-AK) — (202) 224-3004
Al Franken (D-MN) — (202) 224-5641
Harry Reid (D-NV) — (202) 224-3542
Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — (202) 224-6542
Jack Reed (D-RI) — (202) 224-4642
Sherrod Brown ((D-OH) — (202) 224-2315
Ron Wyden (D-OR) — (202) 224-5244
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) — (202) 224-4242
Ben Cardin (D-MD) — (202) 224-4524
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) — (202) 224-4822
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) — (202) 224-2823
Tom Harkin (D-IA) — (202) 224-3254
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) — (202) 224-3753
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) — (202) 224-3224
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) — (202) 224-4654
Patty Murray (D-WA) — (202) 224-2621
Barbara Boxer (D-CA) — (202) 224-3553
Maria Cantwell (D-WA) — (202) 224-3441
Daniel Akaka (D-HI) — (202) 224-6361
Tim Johnson (D-SD) — (202) 224-5842
John Rockefeller (D-WV) — (202) 224-6472
Daniel Inouye (D-HI) — (202) 224-3934
Tom Udall (D-NM) — (202) 224-6621
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) — (202) 224-4744
Carl Levin (D-MI) — (202) 224-6221
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) — (202) 224-4451
Joe Manchin (D-WV) — (202) 224-3954
A reply on the thread leads to this:
Dem Senator Introduces Bill To Lift Social Security’s Tax Cap, Extend Its Solvency For Decades
I'm calling my two Senators who are already signed onto the bill to thank them for their continuing support of the social safety net for all Americans.
I'm sure there are more threads that will answer questions. Using DU search or checking out progressive websites will find a lot more if anyone is interested.
Posted by freshwest | Fri Nov 23, 2012, 05:26 PM (1 replies)