It’s been three years since the Supreme Court issued it’s outrageous decision in Citizens United vs. FEC, overturning the flimsy campaign finance protections afforded under McCain-Feingold law. The case opened the floodgates to billions of dollars perverting our elections, much of it completely unreported, and some amount even coming from foreign corporations and governments. The Court literally legalized bribery, and wealthy individuals and special interests took full advantage of it.
As court hears pivotal case for small farmers and organic seed growers, opponents to industrial agriculture speak out
We are their bosses, so we do get to tell them what to do! And the Buffet rule is a great opportunity for Congress to show everybody just where their heads are: fighting for the middle class or coddling the already wealthy. They're a little damned if they do, but I think they're really, really damned if they don't. The optics leave the GOP few options, that's for sure.
So let's ratchet up the pressure and leave them fewer options still!
Toll free numbers for Congress:
It all comes down to Barack
As I type this, Big Oil’s representatives in the House and Senate are pushing legislation that would rush approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Up until now, President Barack Obama has stood strong, threatening to reject any bill that includes the pipeline.
But in the last hour, some terrible news has begun to leak from Washington, D.C.—President Obama seems to be on the verge of caving on Keystone. There’s no way to sugarcoat it—if the president allows Keystone to move forward, he will be failing the single biggest environmental test of his presidency.
The next few hours will be absolutely crucial—the president needs to hear from you that cutting a back-room deal with Big Oil on Keystone XL is unacceptable. If he steps up and threatens to veto this bill, he can stop this pipeline in its tracks.
The threats to Social Security and Medicare benefits right now are very real. And anyone who says “wait until we know more” is trying to keep you inactive while you’re fattened up for the slaughter. They intend to drop this thing with lightening speed once they have a deal, and vote on it before anyone realizes what’s happening.
If you want to save Social Security and Medicare from being cut, the time is now.
Mitch McConnell and the Republicans offered a clean debt ceiling vote — no cuts necessary. President Obama rejected it. Then he told the country that Social Security checks might not go out on August 2. I was on CSPAN this morning and several callers were near tears as they said how they had been calling their Social Security offices, and the offices told them they didn’t know for sure if they’d be getting their checks or not. These people are terrified of being thrown out on the streets, of not being able to pay their utility bills, of not being able to feed themselves.
They’ll probably be relieved when they are told that it’s “only” going to be cuts in their cost-of-living adjustments, or that a Catfood Commission II will be formed take the very un-democratic step of making recommendations that congress gives an up-or-down vote to. No amendments, no markups, no changes allowed. It’s how Congress traditionally passes really unpopular legislation like base closings.
By Jean Athey
UPDATE:The hearing was extraordinary: we had logic, data, passion and political power on our side. Three Council members stated publicly that they would not support the legislation. Subsequently, the bill was pulled from the agenda of the committee that was to review it---effectively killing it.
Rightly so: Why should the citizens of Montgomery County subsidize one of the wealthiest companies in the nation, one that is profiting from the very wars that are killing our young people and bankrupting our nation?
Lockheed Martin’s corporate headquarters is located in Montgomery County. A couple of years ago, the company built what can only be called a luxury hotel for the use of employees, vendors, contractors and other invited guests. The state of Maryland has a tax on hotel rooms, as does Montgomery County. Lockheed Martin didn't want to pay this tax. So, they asked the state legislature last spring to relieve them of having to pay it. The legislature immediately complied, passing a special law that applied only to Lockheed Martin, costing the state $371,000/year--when 19,000 developmentally disabled Marylanders are on a waiting list for services and the education budget has been cut by $97 million. We were astounded and appalled.
This summer, County Executive Ike Leggett sent a legislative package to the County Council asking for County legislation that would mirror the state bill, legislation that would cost the County $450,000 per year, according to the fiscal note that was a part of the document. The County has furloughed fire fighters, cut library hours, and increased the class sizes of our schools, among other draconian budget cuts—and yet, we are being asked to subsidize a corporation that had sufficient resources to provide a total compensation to its chief executive last year of $42 million.
by Ed Bruske
Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
So, how much time do you have to change the food your school serves?
I wasn’t even paying attention to the food at my daughter’s elementary school here in the District of Columbia until I had an opportunity to spend a week as an observer in the kitchen. Being a former newspaper reporter, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I’d stumbled into one of the most compelling stories of our times.
At the same time an epidemic of childhood obesity threatens to rob a generation of its health and bankrupt the nation with a $147 billion annual tab for weight-related illnesses, agribusiness and corporate food processors are making out like bandits. How could the federal government allow this to happen? Perhaps we’re all to blame for not paying closer attention. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture is actually complicit in the trend toward processed junk served as food in school. How can that be?
There's going to be a showdown on the Senate floor this week -- and we'll have a chance to do away with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" once and for all.
Right now, though, it's not clear we'll have the votes to win.
That's because moments after Sen. Harry Reid announced the vote, Sen. John McCain again threatened to stop the bill at any cost. He said he plans to filibuster not just a vote, but even the procedure to bring it up for debate.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" isn't about politics -- it's about discrimination. And when Republicans defend discrimination of any kind, they need to know that their constituents are watching and ready to respond.
It is up to each of us to let the Republicans who are blocking this vote know that Americans want repeal.
Call Sen. McCain at (202) 224-2235 now, tell him America supports the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and ask him to stop standing in the way.