Archive for December 8, 2010
Next Up in the US Senate: Don't Ask Don't Tell
Message from Michael Mitchell of the National Stonewall Democrats
This is it.
Majority Leader Harry Reid just announced that he is moving forward with votes this evening on the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes language for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal.
Can you get on the phones right now to help repeal DADT? Click here to get started.
Organizing for America is coordinating a massive outreach campaign to its supporters, urging them to call their Senators about repeal. They have asked the National Stonewall Democrats to organize calls into two states as part of this huge national effort. We’re counting on our Stonewall family to get these calls done. It’s up to us to call supporters in Illinois and Missouri and ask them to call their Senator in support of repeal. Will you make time to call today? Click here to get started.
It’s all hands on deck.
We need to make sure the votes are there to fight back against GOP-led obstructionism. We must pick up a few GOP votes to join the Democrats who will be voting for repeal.
There is nothing more important for repeal right now than making these calls. It's simple – they can be made from home using a virtual phone bank system, all you need is a phone and a computer to start making calls.
With the possibility of the vote happening this evening, we need you on the phone right now.
Our equality can’t wait and DADT repeal is around the corner – can we count on you?
This is the final push. Let’s do this. Click here to get started.
Labor Update: Vote for Scrooge of the Year
Jobs with Justice is holding its 11th Annual Scrooge of the Year contest.
Celebrate the season by selecting the most sinister Scrooge from among the following seven finalists, including CEOs, corporations and politicians who have most remarkably screwed workers in the past year:
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell was nominated for leading the Republican party in aggressively blocking legislation that would benefit working people;
Express Scripts was chosen because despite racking up profits of $1.7 billion last year by processing 12 percent of the nation’s prescriptions, the company is demanding draconian concessions from workers and threatening to close facilities;
Hyatt was nominated for trying to eliminate quality health care coverage and make the recession permanent for its employees, and for the Hyatt safety record;
Rite Aid was chosen for failing to bargain a first contract with workers who joined a union two years ago, and for demanding unreasonable concessions from other workers;
Publix was selected because it won’t join other companies in pledging to improve wages and working conditions for the farm workers who pick the companies’ tomatoes;
Giumarra Vineyards is a candidate because of its long history of intimidating and bullying workers and violating their rights;
The health and pharmaceutical industry was nominated for its single-minded focus on profits at the expense of our health.
Winner* to be announced 12-20-2010.
[*Winner as well as all finalists will continue to screw workers and make lots of money doing so despite the outcome of this vote. Changing this requires political action and community organizing on a mass scale. It will take lots of energy and patience, but studies have shown this is good both for society and the soul.]
~Tracy Kurowski has been active in
the labor movement for ten years, first as a member of AFSCME 3506, when
she taught adult education classes at the City Colleges of Chicago. She
moved to the Quad Cities in 2007 where she worked as political
coordinator with the Quad City Federation of Labor, and as a caseworker
for Congressman Bruce Braley from 2007 – 2009.
On Elizabeth Edwards
by Paul Deaton
News of Elizabeth Edwards' death yesterday was unwelcome. Of all of the political figures who came from outside the state to campaign in Iowa before the 2008 precinct caucuses, no one was more personable than she was.
I don't know how she supported John during that time. She knew
more then than what we all know now. She wore her cancer and her family troubles on her sleeve
and kept working. That's one of the reasons she earned our respect and why we will miss her now that she is gone.
Somewhere there is a photograph of my wife and me with Elizabeth Edwards when she was autographing a copy of her book for us. The artifacts of brief moments together are not needed to remember her. Etched in memory are images of her sitting in stifling heat in a barn at the county fairgrounds, door knocking for John, making packages to send to troops in Iraq with her children, and that long conversation over the book signing.
These things show her character and in the context of her life speak to our loss. My life is better for knowing her.
Harkin Blasts Senate Republicans On Tax Deal
Republicans have successfully used the fragile economic security of our
middle class and the hardship of millions of jobless Americans as
bargaining chips to secure tax breaks for very wealthiest among us.”
Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement this evening after the President’s press conference on reaching a deal with Senate Republicans on an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.
“To say that I am disappointed with the deal the President laid out tonight is an understatement. Senate Republicans have successfully used the fragile economic security of our middle class and the hardship of millions of jobless Americans as bargaining chips to secure tax breaks for very wealthiest among us.
With record unemployment and millions of Americans falling off the benefit rolls just as we near Christmas, America faces an emergency situation, and under these circumstances the validity of extending unemployment benefits and tax rates for the middle class stands on its own. The same cannot be said for extending tax breaks for millionaires – they face no immediate hardship, such a move will not spur economic growth, and doing so will only add hundreds of billions to the deficit. In addition, by extending tax rates for two years but unemployment benefits for only one, we almost ensure that a Republican-led Congress will be able to block a further extension of unemployment benefits if they are needed.
“I’ve asked this question before, and tonight I ask it again – Have the Republicans lost all sense of fairness? Have they lost all sense of justice? Have they lost all sense of what's right and wrong? They can fight for their tax breaks for the wealthy, fine. But to say that we cannot extend unemployment benefits for people out of work without giving tax breaks to the wealthy – that's a moral outrage.”