SpeakOut

Middle Class pushed into poverty

Good luck

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This letter of mine was published March 4, in the Waterloo (Iowa)Courier.

The jihad against the middle clas

GERALD BAKER

CEDAR FALLS - On May 16, 1982, my 21-year-old niece, Michelle Shanahan of Tacoma, Wash., was killed in a car accident. Her brother, Pat, a mechanic who also lived in Tacoma, asked his boss for permission to attend her funeral but was refused. He went to the funeral anyway and was fired.

That was just nine months after President Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers for going on strike. Apparently, that inspired other big shots to follow his example.

No good can come from the Wisconsin governor's selfish jihad against the working class.

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Add your voice

 I recently read an article in the newspaper where it stated that it cost the taxpayers $236.000.00 a year to keep a prisoner housed fo a year. Now wait a minute, with my disibility and my wife working full time we have less than$36.000 a year. Instead putting blame on the unions for our deficit lets take a look at the prison system. Prisoners commit crimes go into prison and come out with college degrees who pays for this. Instead of paying for big screen televisions, gym equipment. lets put them to work this way they get their excercise. pay them enough money so that they can buy their clothing, pay for their laundry and meals. lets get rid of or limit the speculators that cause oil prices to skyrocket. Just two days after the republicans won all the seats gas prices went up 22 cents and have been climbing ever since. Its not the oil producers we all know that its wall street. lets also see to it that the big corporations and bankers pay their fair share of taxes. These guys are spending millions of dollars ( that they don;t have ) to defeat the cap on debit cards that being proposed in Washington right now. My father was a union man I will always believe that the right to negotiate is the corner stone of Democracy. Donald Rumsfeld wanted to get rid of unions at D.F.A.S (Defense Finance Accounting Service ) he failed and instead helped inact the security system thats now in place. I have been a Republican all of my life until the Bush, Kerry election. This has been on going long before Obama.

             Sincerely

       William J. Hooven Jr

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This Isn't Enough!

A maximum of 200 people in downtown Pittsburgh won't even make the evening news. We need something bigger than this. Protests and polls didn't even phase Scott Walker, the republicans are doing whatever they want. What are we to do???????????

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It Starts With Each State

Until we have public funded elections we will be a country in economic trouble. If states could get a citizens initiative on their ballot to do this we could take back our government from corporate America. Maybe the initiatives could do something like this:


1. All elections must be paid for by public funds (I'm sure there is some level of state government that this shouldn't cover but at least at the congressional level).
2. People running for office may not use their own private money for campaigning. (This makes rich and poor have a more level playing field)
3. TV and/or Radio must donate time for a certain number of public debates with ALL candidates for that office allowed to participate. Each candidate is on a microphone that is powered off when their speaking time is up. If they chose to use their time to attack the other candidates rather than tell us what they will do for us, so be it. (put it on an electronic timer so the moderator can't let them run on). Maybe each candidate could submit what they feel is the 3 most important issues of the campaign and the moderator can pick from a hat to let them address them.
4. The public election funds have to pay for all of their campaign advertising, including yard signs and all campaign advertising has to have a candidates campaign id #.
5. NO private, for-profit or non-profit organization or individual is allowed to have any political ads during a campaign either for or against someone running for office. Violators are subject to prosecution. (lets take our elections back from outside pressure)


If we could take the big money out of elections and the candidates really had to rely on convincing the voters that they were best for the job, maybe we would have a more representative government. Lobbyists would hopefully have less influence if they couldn't help someone get elected.

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The Obamas's Stand Up Against Bullying

Is it just me or are you also being struck by the IRONY of President Obama doing this televised event today on bullying...while this is a very important issue that Thank God has been getting the attention from parents, schools and authorities that it deserves, I am struck by Obama's failue to speak up, plainly, for the bullying that is going on in our country and around the world. On this day in particular when Gov. Walker has underhandedly removed 50 years of collective bargaining workers rights for the citizens of Wisconsin, on this day when our Muslim American community is being attacked by a committee of Senators in Washington who feel the need to have this very public and offensive hearing on The Radicalization of Muslims in America rather than having a private committee, on this very day when Libyans fight for their freedoms with no real voice from our Presdient, on this day when Wall Street who took the world economy to the brink of collaspe WITHOUT ONE SINGLE PROSECUTION, on this day when we need a strong voice and strong leadership, the President speaks out on ...corruption ?, greed ?, support for the middle class ?, for unions and workers ?, freedom ?....no, bullying. I cannot help but think of how so many Presidents towards the end of their terms start to look like caracitureof themselves, Mad magazing parodies, Saturday Night Live skits. President Obama, please stop allowing our dissent into total chaos and do what you said you would do when we elected you, STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT PLAINLY ON ISSUES! WE ARE CRYING OUT FOR LEADERSHIP!!!

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Judith Watson

What America needs is tax reform. We need to tax the ultra rich 400 that is holding our country ransom. Michael Moore joined Madison, Wisconsin. In his speech, he says America is not broke. This is the United States of America, not the corporate states of America. The ultra rich have over played their hand. There's 400 ultra rich that started with the bailout of 2008 by Wall Street. WE must get Wall Street accountable. We want our country back. There is more of us than them. We are Wisconsin and a little bit of Egypt. We are finally fighting back. Enough is Enough. We have had it. I urge you to check out Michael Moore's speech in Madison, Wisconsin. And scroll down to watch his video and pass it on. www.alternet.org/story/150139/michael_moore And pass it on.

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Walker Gets Hit with Ethics Complaint Over Koch Call

The Koch prank call from blogger Ian Murphy to Governor Walker is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only did it expose Walker's true colors (not to mention his gullibility), but it's manifesting itself now into a real legal problem for him:

"It [the call] showed Scott Walker as a grandiose plotter who thinks of himself as a national figure in the effort to distort the balance of power between working people and big corporations who seek to transform Wisconsin into a low-wage, low-benefits backwater," state Dem chairman Mike Tate said on a conference call with reporters on Monday. "But I'll leave it to you to discuss the political damage it has done to Walker and his corporate masters.

"What we are here to discuss is the fact that in his phone call, Scott Walker clearly violated campaign finance and ethics laws meant precisely to prevent the kind of shameful activity in which Walker was engaged."

Ouch. The framing of Walker's Tea Party ideology as one transforming states into "low-wage, low-benefits backwater" particularly struck me. And you've just got to love WI democrats like Tate showing this kind of backbone!

That, and their charges seem to be of the upmost seriousness too...

The complaint -- which was also posted earlier by Greg Sargent -- alleges that several violations of the law occurred on the call: That Walker attempted to coordinate third-party campaign spending, when he told "Koch" that there would need to be messaging in support of Republicans in tough districts; That he illegally used state facilities, the phone in his office, to commit said coordination; That he conspired to incite disorderly conduct when he said he had considered planting troublemakers among the protesters; That he misused the Attorney General's office in seeking advice on ways to trick the Democrats to come back; That he violated labor laws by saying he would use threats of layoffs of state workers in an effort to pass the bill; And that he accepted a trip to California when offered by "Koch."

As noted in the complaint, and as Tate pointed out on the call, these various alleged offenses are punishable by large fines and even years in prison.

Legally, this should be pursued to ensure any semblance of the rule of law in our democratic processes.

Politically, wow, citing these crimes as evidence for how far Tea Partiers like Walker are willing to go to "distort the balance of power between working people and big corporations" seems like a winner to me, too.

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Michael Moore in Madison

Michael Moore took Madison by storm this weekend, giving a speech to be remembered. His rallying cry that Wisconsin has "roused a sleeping giant" was powerful, and came amidst a succinct message to protesters: "Don't Give Up!"

Furthermore, his depcition of Madison made me miss my fair city that much more, and made me as proud of it as I possibly could be:

The scene in Madison is nothing like what they are showing you on TV or in the newspaper. First, you notice that the whole town is behind this. Yard signs and signs in store windows are everywhere supporting public workers. There are thousands of people out just randomly lining the streets for the six blocks leading to the Capitol building carrying signs, shouting and cheering and cajoling. Then there are stages and friendly competing demos on all sides of the building (yesterday's total estimate of people was 50,000-70,000, the smallest one yet)! A big semi truck has been sent by James Hoffa of the Teamsters and is parked like a don't-even-think-of-effing-with-us Sherman tank on the street in front of the Capitol. There is a long line -- separate from these other demonstrations -- of 4,000 people, waiting their turn to get through the only open door to the Capitol so they can join the occupation inside.

And inside the Rotunda is ... well, it will bring tears to your eyes if you go there. It's like a shrine to working people -- to what America is and should be about -- packed with families and kids and so many senior citizens that it made me happy for science and its impact on life expectancy over the past century. There were grandmas and great-grandpas who remember FDR and Wisconsin's La Follette and the long view of this struggle. Standing in that Rotunda was like a religious experience. There had been nothing like it, for me, in decades.

It has been indescribably surreal for me to watch Madison jump to the forefront of international attention in this manner, and even from afar I wholeheartedly relate to the transcendent experience that Moore is feeling.

Moreover, we certainly won't be giving up, and we will be doing all we can to keep the sleeping giant roused in Madison---and the nation at large!

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Unions and Progressive Groups must join forces

With the New GOP leadership across our nation, quickly undermining unions and progressive groups, all progressive groups and all unions need to join forces. As money gets tighter, there is less money available for donations, so polling resources is important. We have a lot to lose if we don't win this battle with the New GOP leadership and if we can't win over President Obama as well.

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