Archives for category: Politics

Before casting your vote for the NY 19th Congressional district, please check out the real John Faso.  In 13 years in the State assembly, he missed nearly 1700 votes (NY Post – 5/8/06). He claims to be against special interests and corporate welfare – then why has he received $500,000 donations from Wall Street insiders, and why has he worked for corporate, and anti-environmental interests as a lobbyist? Let’s see where his money has come from in his long and checkered Albany career – let’s see his tax returns.

Do you know the record or positions of your Senators or Congressman? Here are several links that will give you immediate access to the voting records, positions on critical issues, legislation introduced, contributors, as well as many other important informational data points.

For Kirsten Gillibrand go to: http://www.votesmart.org/candidate/65147/kirsten-gillibrand.

For Chuck Schumer go to: http://www.votesmart.org/candidate/26976/chuck-schumer.

For Chris Gibson go to: http://www.votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/127042/chris-gibson.

For legislation introduced and the entire Congressional Record go to the Library of Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php.

Chris Gibson’s Record (in part)

1. When he is in the district, he talks about getting Federal aid for flood victims from agencies such as FEMA. In Washington, he votes against all FEMA appropriations.
2. When in the district he talks about jobs. In Washington, he votes for tax cuts for large corporations and the rich – giving them money they invest overseas to take jobs away from Americans.
3. When in the district, he says he is in favor of expanding broadband coverage throughout rural areas. In Washington, he has done nothing to push this, and has voted against stimulus moneys that could be used for broadband expansion.
4. He consistently votes to restrict women’s rights.
5. He only votes against the wishes of his party’s leaders when they give him permission to do so and already have the votes they need, even when their positions hurt the district and its citizens. In short, he represents big corporations and lobbyists, and not us.

The issue of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars seems to have faded from public consciousness. It is important that Americans continue to recognize that these wars were sold to us with a pack of lies. They created unprecedented human misery, including the unnecessary deaths of thousands of young Americans, resulted in huge deficits (following a Democratic administration that left the country with a budget surplus), and failed to accomplish any of their stated aims of creating democracies and ensuring a guaranteed supply of middle eastern oil.

Significantly, when the Bush administration left office, Dick Cheney stated that he was satisfied that they had accomplished what they set out to do. What could that have been other than to make him and Bush’s supporters very, very wealthy, destroy the nation’s economy, and make the world a much more dangerous place.

At a House Oversight Committee hearing, House Republicans convened a panel on denying access to birth control coverage with five men and no women. As Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked, where are the women?

The Republicans have now introduced a bill, apparently supported by Chris Gibson, that would give any and all insurance companies and employers the right to deny birth control coverage for all women for any reason—all they have to do is say they have some moral or ideological objection to providing such coverage—there doesn’t even have to be a religious basis for this.

On Monday, we attended the 130th Birthday Party of FDR at Hyde Park. The park even welcomed Occupy New Paltz, who were encouraged to participate in the ceremony and have birthday cake. We were reminded of how differently FDR looked at the problems of his day:

“I see one third of a nation ill housed, ill clad, ill nourished…. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR’s Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1937

We should remember his words, since the 33% has not changed.

Right now, members of Congress can make personal investment decisions based on confidential information they get in the course of regulating industries and doing their work.

It’s kind of unbelievable that this isn’t already illegal. President Obama wants to make it illegal once and for all — no one should profit from inside information about the very businesses they’re supposed to be regulating.

Today, the Democratic leadership in the Senate voted to move forward on a bill to extend to Congress the same strict rules that apply to anyone else whose job gives them access to sensitive information about businesses. This legislation is expected to pass the Senate with bipartisan support later this week.

But Republicans in the House have yet to move on it.

There aren’t a lot of good reasons to disagree with this bill. So the question here isn’t how many people we have to persuade, but simply how loudly we can speak up to prevent the House Republicans from dodging this issue. Write to your Senators and Representatives. Congressman Chris Gibson does what the Republican leadership tells him — not what is good for Greene County and the rest of his district. He will do nothing unless he receives a lot of mail and phone calls — now is the time to push him.

Bill Moyers, who has been a voice of truth and courage in the face of years of media pressure, has a new TV show – Moyers and Company – in which he discusses issues of interest to us all. The premiere episode of Moyers & Company explores how America’s gross inequality is no accident, but was in fact “politically engineered,” with insight from Winner-Take-All Politics authors Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. Also: A Bill Moyers essay on how Occupy Wall Street is waking us up to economic inequality. It airs on PBS – WMHT locally – on Saturdays at 7:00PM.

Yesterday, in New Hampshire, George Romney said he likes to FIRE PEOPLE.

Yesterday, something big happened in New York City. The City Council passed a resolution—by resounding voice vote—declaring that corporations are not people.

Unlimited corporate spending on elections (the kind made possible by the Supreme Court’s misguided Citizens United decision) corrupts our democracy. Corporate money drowns out citizens’ voices, and that’s what really violates the First Amendment.

Please urge your local leaders/councils to pass the same or similar resolutions.