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.
As many of you know, the Governor of Florida gives new meaning to the idea of Evil Politician. Not only is he a convicted felon, but he is hell-bent on ruining what is left of Florida’s environment and civilization – I am not exaggerating. Moveon is organizing a campaign to bring the right of recall to Florida – something we desperately need here too. They need signatures to bring the right of recall to the ballot, so I am asking that you contact any Florida voters you may know and refer them to this petition website. Here is a link.
If they are successful, we can try the same thing here, and maybe make politicians a little more responsive and honest.
At a recent Harvard speech, Newt Gingrich lamented laws that prevent kids under 14 from working and suggested the solution to failing schools is for their students to become janitors. Check out this LA Times article.
The extra money that the very wealthy get through the Bush tax cuts does not, as claimed by those who fund right-wing causes, create jobs in the U.S. through investment. In fact, a large proportion of these funds are invested overseas, where they create jobs for people in India and China (and some elsewhere too) – jobs that compete with Americans, and encourage more U.S. companies to move overseas.
In other words, rich Americans – the 1% – are betting against their own country. And against American workers. Not only is the tax credit undeserved and unneeded, but it noticeably hinders the recovery of our economy. So much for the loud-mouthed patriotism of the Koch brothers, Newt Gingrich and other GOP Presidential hopefuls, and the Republicans in the House and Senate who steadfastly kill any attempt to get the 1% to pay their fair share.
Check out Paul Sullivan’s column about this. He writes about strategies that the wealthy use to manage their money and their overall well-being.