MORE NEWS FOR YOUR WEEKEND VIEWING PLEASURE
Remarks by Bill Moyers at the 40th Anniversary of Common Cause
Bill Moyers, PDAhttp://pdamerica.org/articles/alliances/2010-10-12-13-01-00-alliances.phpThe Phantom Left
Chris Hedges, TruthDighttp://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_phantom_left_20101031/How Obama Lost His Voice, and How He Can Get it Back
Marshall Ganz, LA Timeshttp://www.alternet.org/story/148741/how_obama_lost_his_voice%2C_and_how_he_can_get_it_backIn U.S. 14% Rely on Food Stamps
Sara Murray, WSJ Blog[Duchess Note: New York state percent of population on food stamps is 14.7%]
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/11/04/some-14-of-us-uses-food-stamps/Vermont’s Great Green Election Day Victory – Kick out the Nuclear Plant
Harvey Wasserman, AlterNethttp://www.alternet.org/story/148755/vermont%27s_great_green_election_day_victory_--_kick_out_the_nuclear_plantIf Olbermann’s Donations are Bad, What About GE’s?
http://www.alternet.org/story/148763/if_olbermann%27s_donations_are_bad%2C_what_about_ge%27sThe More Money You Make the More Likely You’ll Vote Republican
Lynn Parramore, New DealDespite what you might hear about Tea Party Populism, one thing is indisputable. The bigger your salary, the more likely you were to cast a ballot for the GOP.
http://www.alternet.org/story/148746/the_more_money_you_make_the_more_likely_you%27ll_vote_republicanGreedy Bankers Are Like Coke Fiends
Tony Schwartz, AlterNetIt would be wonderful if the people responsible for the financial crisis learned lessons from the worldwide havoc and suffering they helped to prompt. Don’t hold your breath.
http://www.alternet.org/story/148749/greedy_bankers_are_like_coke_fiendsGreen Hopes Crushed as Climate Change Deniers Enter Congress
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2971?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=2With All Eyes on Gulf, BP Alaska Facilities Still at Risk
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2972?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=4Michael Kinsley US Is Not Greatest Country Ever
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2980?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=20Matthew Rothschild Nov. 2: The Death Knell of Corporate Liberalism
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2981?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=22Mary Bottari Obama Economic Team Passes Out the Kool-Aid
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2983?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=26Congrats to the NYS Greens!
I sincerely hope they will immediately begin to study districts/offices where they have the best potential to win, work to recruit potential candidates and begin fundraising for these elections now etc. The results below are from NY1's website:
Election Results for NYS Governor
X Andrew Cuomo Dem 2,532,447 61.52%
Carl Paladino GOP 1,399,235 33.99%Howie Hawkins Grn 56,868 1.38%
Warren Redlich Lib 44,696 1.09%
Jimmy McMillan Oth 39,850 0.97%
Kristin Davis Oth 22,775 0.55%
Charles Barron Fre 20,717 0.5%What’s Next
By Peace Action West
Even though I knew it was going to be a tough election, it’s still disappointing to face the reality of losing some wonderful allies and seeing opponents of our pro-peace agenda headed to Congress. As we work through these feelings of frustration, it is important to remember that you stepped up in the face of difficult odds—and you made a difference.
With your help, one of our staunchest allies, Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Raul Grijalva, appears poised to win in a very tight race with his dangerous right-wing opponent. Senate pro-peace leader Barbara Boxer fended off a difficult challenge, ensuring that we will have an ally who will work to hold the administration accountable to ending the war in Afghanistan.
The pro-peace congressional champions that we endorsed, including Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, Pete Stark, and Keith Ellison, will continue to be outspoken advocates for peace and will work with us to make sure supporters of a smarter, saner foreign policy are heard in this Congress.
I am sorry to say that our challengers Bill Hedrick, Suzan DelBene, Steve Pougnet and Francine Busby were unable to defeat their opponents in tough races. They took on an incredibly difficult task—ousting incumbent Republicans in a wave election in which the GOP would eventually see a gain of more than 50 seats. Our candidates worked hard and did some amazing grassroots organizing that will lay the groundwork for a progressive base in conservative areas, and we are proud to have played a part in their campaigns.
Most importantly, we have our eyes on the issues. We are already thinking creatively about how to find opportunities despite the challenges of the new political landscape. We will use our power—the power you give us through your commitment and action—to push for priorities like an end to the war in Afghanistan, eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons, and a budget that reflects what is important to you and me. We will continue to mobilize and make our voices heard with resolve and commitment to a better vision for how we engage with the world.
Keep an eye on our blog for more detailed analysis of how the new Congress will affect our work on these key issues. Through good times and bad, we have persevered and grown in our sophistication and power, and will continue to grow, thanks to you. Thank you for all you do for peace.Robert Reich The Republican Recipe for An Anemic Economy Through Election Day 2012
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3000?akid=245.19616.-JwIiT&t=24Neve Gordon Thought Crimes
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3001?akid=245.19616.-JwIiT&t=26Andy Worthington Obama's National Security Policy: The Death of Hope and Change
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3002?akid=245.19616.-JwIiT&t=28Robert Naiman A Progressive Primary to Push for Jobs and End the Wars
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3003?akid=245.19616.-JwIiT&t=30Our Banana Republic
Nicholas Kristof, NY Times
In my reporting, I regularly travel to banana republics notorious for their inequality. In some of these plutocracies, the richest 1 percent of the population gobbles up 20 percent of the national pie.
But guess what? You no longer need to travel to distant and dangerous countries to observe such rapacious inequality. We now have it right here at home — and in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election, it may get worse.
The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series
on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.
C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.
That’s the backdrop for one of the first big post-election fights in Washington — how far to extend the Bush tax cuts to the most affluent 2 percent of Americans. Both parties agree on extending tax cuts on the first $250,000 of incomes, even for billionaires. Republicans would also cut taxes above that.
The richest 0.1 percent of taxpayers would get a tax cut of $61,000 from President Obama. They would get $370,000 from Republicans,
according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. And that provides only a modest economic stimulus, because the rich are less likely to spend their tax savings.
At a time of 9.6 percent unemployment, wouldn’t it make more sense to finance a jobs program? For example, the money could be used to avoid laying off teachers and undermining American schools.
Likewise, an obvious priority in the worst economic downturn in 70 years should be to extend unemployment insurance benefits, some of which will be curtailed soon unless Congress renews them. Or there’s the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which helps train and support workers who have lost their jobs because of foreign trade. It will no longer apply to service workers after Jan. 1, unless Congress intervenes.
So we face a choice. Is our economic priority the jobless, or is it zillionaires?
And if Republicans are worried about long-term budget deficits, a reasonable concern, why are they insistent on two steps that nonpartisan economists say would worsen the deficits by more than $800 billion over a decade — cutting taxes for the most opulent, and repealing health care reform? What other programs would they cut to make up the lost $800 billion in revenue?
In weighing these issues, let’s remember that backdrop of America’s rising inequality. In the past, many of us acquiesced in discomfiting levels of inequality because we perceived a tradeoff between equity and economic growth. But there’s evidence that the levels of inequality we’ve now reached may actually suppress growth. A drop of inequality lubricates economic growth, but too much may gum it up.
Robert H. Frank of Cornell University, Adam Seth Levine of Vanderbilt University, and Oege Dijk of the European University Institute recently wrote a fascinating paper
suggesting that inequality leads to more financial distress. They looked at census data for the 50 states and the 100 most populous counties in America, and found that places where inequality increased the most also endured the greatest surges in bankruptcies.
Here’s their explanation: When inequality rises, the richest rake in their winnings and buy even bigger mansions and fancier cars. Those a notch below then try to catch up, and end up depleting their savings or taking on more debt, making a financial crisis more likely. Another consequence the scholars found: Rising inequality also led to more divorces, presumably a byproduct of the strains of financial distress. Maybe I’m overly sentimental or romantic, but that pierces me. It’s a reminder that inequality isn’t just an economic issue but also a question of human dignity and happiness.
Mounting evidence suggests that losing a job or a home can rock our identity and savage our self-esteem. Forced moves wrench families from their schools and support networks. In short, inequality leaves people on the lower rungs feeling like hamsters on a wheel spinning ever faster, without hope or escape. Economic polarization also shatters our sense of national union and common purpose, fostering political polarization as well. So in this post-election landscape, let’s not aggravate income gaps that already would make a Latin American caudillo proud. To me, we’ve reached a banana republic point where our inequality has become both economically unhealthy and morally repugnant.