Archive for March 6, 2011
Iowa Legislators Stand with Wisconsin
352 Legislators from 49 states & 2 Territories Stand with Wisconsin Senators
Open Letter In Support of Wisconsin Legislators:
At a time of historic income inequality and job losses in America, conservatives have launched a destructive ideological attack targeting the rights of workers in statehouses across the nation. As state legislators, we, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with our colleagues in Wisconsin who are currently fighting this effort and ensuring that their constituents’ voices are heard.
Taking away the hard-won rights of nurses and bus drivers and teachers does nothing to create jobs, rebuild the economic prosperity of our states, or strengthen our families.
As legislators representing vastly different constituencies in states across the country, we join together to voice our shared desire to work in a constructive manner with all relevant parties to advance a vision for our nation’s future that truly ensures the economic security of our communities.
Rep. Chris Hall (D-02)
Rep. Dan Kelley (D-41)
Rep. Mary Mascher (D-77)
Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-28)
Rep. Sharon Steckman (D-13)
Rep. Todd Taylor (D-34)
Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (D-45)
Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-39)
Sen. Jack Hatch (D-33)
Sen. Wally Horn (D-17)
Sen. John Kibbie, Senate President (D-04)
Sen. Joe Seng (D-43)
If you are a state legislator and would like to add your name to the letter, click here.
Iowa Should Take A Lesson From Wisconsin
by Dave Bradley
[Editor's Note: Don't forget: Public Hearing on Bill to End Collective Bargaining iowahouse.org/ A public hearing has been scheduled for HSB 117
that will end collective bargaining and take away rights from police
officers, fire fighters, state troopers, teachers, and prison guards. Monday,
March 7, 6:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m., Iowa House of Representatives Chamber -
Persons wishing to speak may sign up at the Legislative Information
Office (LIO), Room G16, located in the Iowa State Capitol, or call the
LIO at 515-281-5129. If unable to attend, you may e-mail written
testimony to the LIO: email@example.com Put the word TESTIMONY in the Subject line of your e-mail.]
To me, if there is one thing that the mess in Wisconsin and Ohio highlight it is that money needs to be taken out of our political arena and the sooner the better.
Would Walker be doing what he is doing were he not in the back pocket of the high rolling Koch brothers? Possibly, but I don’t believe so. Were he not bought and paid for with a specific job to do, I believe he would be more concerned about his political future and would have probably backed off nearly immediately.
What he and Kasich in Ohio have done has to be a disaster for themselves and their party. While the Republican party has spent the last 30 years slowly whittling away at worker rights and paychecks they have never displayed such a stunning and blatant attack. Using the old analogy of boiling the frog in water, over the last 30 years Republicans have turned the heat up slowly enough that workers still voted for them despite things like running up massive public debts, much lower purchasing power and taking away their kids futures.
But in this one act Governor Walker revealed to the frogs (us – the middle class) that we are being boiled alive. And now we are awakening to the fact that we are in pain and they are about to take out the only chance of escape left.
And they may have gotten away with it had they not been so greedy. Unions have made plenty of concessions in recent years. Most of these were done in a spirit of “we are all in this together” while huge tax cuts and other giveaways were being handed out to businesses.
But those who ‘invest’ in politicians wanted more return for their money and they wanted it now. As I have said before there have been two big scores that the rich have been wanting to settle for a long, long time – busting unions and ending Social Security. The end is getting so close they can smell it and they wanted blood now.
So the Kochs invested heavily in buying Republican governors through the Republican Governor’s Association. And the payback was clear – Bust public unions at the state level throughout the country. Not one governor ran on this issue – even their own families probably would not have voted for them – but once in power they created fiscal crises by giving more tax breaks to the rich and then declared that busting the union was the only way the state could survive. The same pattern inWisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and even in Iowa.
As people realized how they had been snookered they came in droves to protest. The Koch’s became concerned that Walker may fold so they even sent baby sitters to watch over their investment. So now the Kochs have a lot of money and time tied up in making sure Walker does their bidding. Once Walker was bought, they need to make sure he stays bought.
The lesson here is that the big money unleashed in Citizen’s United v. FEC is doing just what everyone who opposed this decision thought it would do. The very, very wealthy could now blatantly buy politicians and have those politicians do their bidding. With a captive media, with purchased politicians, with a suspect voting system the very rich are now well set to accomplish legally the coup that was aborted early in the Franklin Roosevelt presidency (video). You can read about it here
E-mail Dave here
~Dave Bradley is a self-described
retired observer of American politics “trying to figure out how we got
so screwed up.” An
Iowa City native currently living in West Liberty, Dave and his wife
Carol have two grown children who “sadly had to leave the state to find
decent paying jobs.“
Local Iowans Endorse Beginning Iraq Withdrawal Now
by Ed Flaherty
Resolution on the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars
March 3, 2011
Last weekend, members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) leadership, Vice Chairs Donna Brazile and Rep. Mike Honda (CA) and DNC Secretary Alice Germond from WV joined CA Rep.Barbara Lee to submit a resolution on ending the war in Afghanistan. It passed unanimously.
The DNC resolution said “the Democratic Party supports prioritizing job creation and a swift withdrawal of U.S. armed forces and military contractors in Afghanistan which must include a significant and sizable reduction no later than July 2011.”
There are at least 50,000 US troops in Iraq. The agreement between the US & Iraq negotiated in the last days of the Bush administration calls for ALL US troops to be out by the end of this year. There has been some talk in DC about getting that deadline extended. That must not happen.
Additional spending cuts must be approved in order for the federal government to avoid shut-down. Many worth-while programs have been cut, and more are vulnerable. Billions could be saved by immediate reductions in our military footprint in Iraq & Afghanistan.
Therefore, be it resolved that:
We implore the President to begin the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq NOW, at the rate of roughly 5000 per month;
The County Chair or his/her designee shall promptly notify the Iowa Democratic Party, Rep. Loebsack, Senators Harkin & Grassley, and President Obama of this resolution.
Flaherty is a regular Blog for Iowa Contributor and President of the Iowa Chapter of
Veterans for Peace. He can be spotted around the state of Iowa, waging peace.