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Re: A New Orleans For All  by Wade Rathke
Without question, Mr. Rathke and ACORN are right on in forcing the issues confronting
As a Katrina exile, I am furious with the sleazy politicians and their greedy friends who are seeking to steal the land right out from under hard-working homeowners in areas flooded by the arrogant Corp of Engineers' shoddy work. They failed to build decent protection for the city with our tax dollars.
Many of the homeowners in the Lower 9th have no mortgages. They worked hard and paid them off. That land was settled by hard-working men and women who did what was asked of them to obtain ownership. Now they are being shafted by the system. It is remarkable that the rules change swiftly when they no longer favor the few and the mighty. What we who have displaced are fighting is a system that was built and designed to exploit and oppress African Americans from the very beginning. That sentiment was in full display in the ramp-up to and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: tens of thousands of "forgotten" black and poor folks left to their own devices.
For years, wages in
At this point, all I want is my absentee ballot. I plan to vote against them all.
Re: Proof Bush Deceived America  by Ray McGovern
Sadly, we are once again focused on how the poor, naive Congress was deceived into voting for the war. Puh-lease! Something like half of the American public was not in favor of this war even in February/March 2003. The numbers were even less in favor of it in September/October 2002, when Congress stupidly authorized Bush to launch it. The sad truth is that our government is non-functional. Congress did not want to have to make the decision, so they happily passed it on to the prez, who had his own reasons for not particularly caring whether it was good policy for
While Ray McGovern continues to point out the glaring fact that the "Emperor has no clothes," I believe that the general population cannot/will not believe it. At this point, I wish the George Bush I statement would come to pass…his was premised on "if" the public knew what we were doing we would be dragged through the streets. There is more than enough info for the public to "know" what they are doing, through the efforts of McGovern and many credible others. Yet "knowing" and "believing" are very separate things.
With grave concerns for our country and respect for your work,
Your goodness makes you GREAT! Thanks, Ray.
Love ALL ways,
Re: The Wage Ethic  by Holly Sklar
The problem with the wage ethic article is that when foreign-made goods can be produced with a lower wage then they will not be produced here. We have only three choices:
1. Let the American worker work for the same wages they do in
2. Keep the minimum wage in place, let untaxed cheap imports flood the country and see millions of Americans with no work. If that happens we will have to support them on welfare until the system collapses.
3. Get out of the WTO, NAFTA, etc. and negotiate fair trade agreements that would equalize costs at the water's edge. Once we do that we can make it more profitable for goods to be made here, we can put people to work, the taxes collected on imports would help balance the budget, the standard of living would rise and Americans could receive a fair wage.
Any minimum wage law that does not incorporate #3 above will result in disaster.
The living wage is a big lie. It is not a living wage, and the people who work for it are suffering in so many ways. It usually does not include health insurance, and the "living wage" does not include enough money to live on, let alone to pay for health insurance. Please do raise it. Taxes come out of it before the worker even receives it. To me it is a disgrace to call something it really isn't. Dickens, the famous writer, I think might call it the death wage.
Re: Alito Hearings: The Democrats' Katrina  by Robert Parry
I wonder if the Democrats are all that interested in change, especially the entrenched factions that are focused on peripheral issues and not focusing on key questions posed by this author. They can't simply be unaware of what the questions are and what the stakes are. They are insiders with almost as much vested in the status quo as the GOP.
Thanks so much for this article. I sent a copy to Democrats.org. I found myself hollering at the radio during the hearings because the Democrats were wasting their time with long-winded speechifying rather than asking pointed and relevant questions or follow-ups to Alito's responses. I expected them to use the opportunity to pin down Alito with questions that clarify his rulings and opinions and, in so doing, inform public about the real-life consequences. For some unearthly reason they merely dithered and stuck to a lazy, pre-written script that didn't point out the nuances in the subtext of Alito's responses.
Dick Durbin and Charles Schumer made a few stabs at it, but most Dems merely sounded surly or petulant (Kennedy, for one). In the meantime, the Republicans sounded like the reasonable good guys while they spewed enough sugar over Alito to induce diabetes. Someone needs to school the Democrats on how to win an argument without appearing to be arguing or whiny.
Most of all, they need to listen to what is really said. Alito all but shouted that he didn't support Roe v. Wade and would not protect it in anyway. The ruling he discussed with Dick Durbin about high school students voting for a prayer at their graduation ceremony clearly indicated that he believes that the majority rules and the protections for minorities that were intended in the separation of church and State statutes are irrelevant. Then there is the separation of powers as you discuss here. I find it unbelievable that the Democrats cannot find anything valid to say in this argument when they finally have the world listening and Bush has given plenty of examples for them to cite. What a bunch of lazy, unthinking schmoes.
Re: A Call For Public Pensions  by J. Bradford DeLong
I agree completely. I've been saying for a while that I believe 401ks are one of the greatest scams sold to Americans. Invest all that money into something with absolutely no guarantee any of it will be there when you retire. We all rely on the historical fact that over time, the Street has always produced a positive return. That doesn't help those who may happen to retire when the Street isn't doing so well or when that return is less than inflation.
As more people get screwed by this con job, I think there will be more of a call to return to pensions.
Re: Beyond K Street  by Lee Drutman
The analysis is absolutely correct. I work as an advocate for the non-profit arts sector. There are dozens of lobbyists working for specific non-profit arts, and I see them all the time. They are very clear that they must generate campaign money—both directly, and by persuading their clients to give in order to get the results they want. There is no pretense, even in a city with campaign finance regulations that are actually pretty good. And the state is even worse. We also have a state commission on lobbying and plenty of disclosure. It is simply useless, since what is disclosed is not where the problem lies.
Equally important within the lobbying effort is the extraordinary growth in "pork." The changes in just a few years are stunning. Few things have as much potential for corrupting the democratic process. It is akin to stuffing the ballot box, but no one seems to be willing to say that elected officials are not put in office to use taxpayer money this way! Even where the "pork" is well used, it is a serious undermining of any review process, any competitive process and it feeds this very sick system.
What is needed is total and complete campaign finance reform. What I mean by this is a total ban on any campaign contributions at all. The government would provide the basic funding for TV times, publication costs, etc. This will return the power to the people and remove the special interests.
Your points about politicians being bought before they are elected are so true. Why not ban political advertisements on television? This would make everyone happy (save the TV networks) and lower the cost of those Senate and House seats and decrease the amount of seats which are bought by the special interests. Just a thought. Am I the only one to ever think of this?
Re: Hiding Behind The Troops  by David Corn
Excellent article. It's the same line that he gave us after 9/11, "You're either with us or with the terrorists." I would suggest that Bush, his cronies and our unfortunately misguided military have become the terrorists and "us" are a majority of the American people who think we were misled about the war intelligence.
I can proudly state that I don't give aid OR comfort to