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This is a Patriot Act you can support for a change. Some very fine Senate Democrats, namely Barack Obama, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), have sponsored this legislation, which 'incentivizes decency' for transnational American corporations. There is currently a version in both houses, and the House version ( H. R. 3319, The Patriot Corporations Act) has these interesting
REQUIREMENTS- A corporation meets the requirements of this subparagraph, with respect to any taxable year, if such corporation --
produces in the United States at least 90 percent of the goods and services sold by such corporation during such taxable year,
does not provide compensation to any management personnel of such corporation at a level of compensation which exceeds 10,000 percent of the level of compensation of the full-time employee of such corporation with the lowest level of compensation during such taxable year,
conducts at least 50 percent of the research and development conducted by such corporationduring such taxable year (determined on the basis of cost) in the United States,
has contributed at least 5 percent of wages paid by the corporation during the taxable year to a portable pension fund for the benefit of employees of the corporation ,
has paid at least 70 percent of the cost of a standardized health insurance plan for the benefit of employees of the corporation during such taxable year,
has maintained at all times during such taxable year neutrality in employee organizing drives and has in effect a policy to that effect,
provides full differential salary and insurance benefits for all National Guard and Reserve employees who are called to active duty,
has not been (at any time during such taxable year) in violation of appropriate Federal regulations including those related to the environment, workplace safety, labor relations, and consumer protections, as determined by the Secretary, and
has not been in violation of any other regulations specified by the Secretary.
The two bills are currently in committee, but I for one am hopeful of seeing some form of protection for American workers emerge for a vote once we have a Democrat in the White House.
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Phil Hare (D-IL), Betty Sutton (D-OH), Nancy Boyda (D-KS), Jerry Mcnerney (D-CA), Steven Kagan (D-WI), Keith Ellison (D-FL), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Hilda Solis (D-CA), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)The Senate Bill (S. 1945) is titled the Patriot Employer's Act.
In its latest major invasion of our privacy on the behalf of corporate data-miners, the Administration has decided that tax preparers can sell or give your tax returns to anyone. No restrictions on use. No restrictions, period.
Be very careful indeed what you sign or initial this year, or you could well find all your personal details published on the internet (or worse), complete with SSN.
Think Progress has the story.
The new proposal allows the tax preparers –- from your local accountant to giants such as H&R Block –- to get your signature and then give or sell the full tax return to data brokers, to your boss, to anyone. And there are absolutely no restrictions about what recipients do with the returns. The rule lets recipients post the full return to the Internet if they want.
If we have ONE day where all computers shut down, all phones cease, even ATM and credit transactions stop - we can effectively look AT&T in the eye and say,
"Up yours, Jack".
NO MORE SPYING
No MORE IMMUNITY FOR CRIMINAL ACTS.
This retroactive immunity ploy effectively gives ANY Executive the power to do ANYTHING he likes in the future - because then he can grant all his henchmen 'immunity' after the fact. Please sign the petition at Firedoglake.
It isn't over. We are pushing members of the House to stand firm against telecom immunity -- please take a little time to sign the petition here. Have you called your Representative today?
With this blog the 100,000 point level has been broken, and even though the points do not covert to cash they do show how much work you can do. If I the dial up boy can top 100,000 point level in six months then I know everyone else can do it too, so the more all of you use this website the more our right to freedom of speech is exercised. Please contribute your efforts as much as possible here, and rock n’ roll this country back to a democracy that we can all be truly proud to say is the best.
From my understanding there is a need for poll watchers needed for the polls on 02-05-08, and if you are interested you need to contact either me to pass it on to the person that got me into it here in Missouri, or you should contact someone locally ASAP. I do not know which states are in need of poll watchers, or exactly which polling places need them, but I will post a list of states below that are voting on 02-05-08.
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah
Lodmell's campaign is opening headquarters in Mobile, home of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Bush Bot Extraordinaire.
A reminder to AL voters from Kathy:
And finally, consider taking the Campaign Training offered by DFA. They will hold a weekend session in Tuscaloosa Mar. 8-9. The cost is minimal, the fun will be huge. Get wmpowered - learn how to really help your candidates, or even run for office yourself. Check out the DFA! Alabama is a state that sorely needs active, vocal Democrats.
Vote with care. Although Tuscaloosa County machines flag errors and allow voters to recast erroneous ballots, the tickets present several opportunities to make mistakes. A vote won’t count if Democratic delegates who are not committed to the candidate chosen are selected.
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) are co-sponsoring S.215 "to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to ensure Network Neutrality."
Known as the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, this bill will protect us from the travesty proposed by the Telecoms, which would allow them to become information gatekeepers rather than simple conduits. In other words, the telecoms want to turn the Information Superhighway into a toll road.
They argue that they have the right to do that because they own the communications infrastructure and need to recover their costs. They leave out the fact that they are subsidized, and have been for decades, by the American taxpayer to provide these services, some of which have yet to appear on the rural market.
I applaud this effort, and applaud all the Senators who are currently sponsoring the bill. Co-sponsors include:
Mr. KERRY, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. LEAHY, Mrs. CLINTON, Mr. OBAMA, and Mr. WYDEN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Not all the Democrats are spineless wimps, or the servants of Corporate Giants like AT&T. Byron Dorgan is on the job. Please contact your state senator and urge them to support this vital legislation. You have everything to gain, and a free internet to lose.
Just look back over the last twenty years there has never been a single month with deflation, and millions of Americans do not make a penny more in wages really.
Hans von Spakovsky is Bush's answer to free and fair elections. Democrats are blocking his nomination to the FEC (Federal Elections Commission) because he has at every opportunity used every dirty trick in the book to prevent minorities and the poor from voting. He's the guy who came up with 'voter purging', which Karl Rove used so effectively in Florida to defeat Gore.
In 1997, von Spakovsky wrote an article for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a conservative research group, that called for an aggressive campaign to 'purge' the election rolls of felons. Within months of that article’s publication, the V.I.P. helped put von Spakovsky’s idea into action. Phillips met with the company that designed the process for the removal of alleged felons from the voting rolls in Florida, a process that led, notoriously, to the mistaken disenfranchisement of thousands of voters, most of them Democratic, before the 2000 election,' Toobin wrote. 'During the thirty-six-day recount in Florida, von Spakovsky worked there as a volunteer for the Bush campaign. After the Inauguration, he was hired as an attorney in the Voting Section and was soon promoted to be counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, in what is known as the 'front office' of the Civil Rights Division.
How bad is he? Even Diane Feinstein, a notoriously conservative Democrat, is actively campaigning against his nomination. Feinstein let the Southwick nomination through if you recall, so we can be excused for drawing a conclusion based on that alone. Von Spakovsky is Satan.
You know what they always say about the Devil: he's in the Details. Still is. The von Spakovsky nomination ballyhoo has effectively shut down the FEC for the Presidential Primaries and perhaps beyond. There's Nobody Minding the Store. Nobody is Keeping an Eye on the Republican Merry Pranksters. Most importantly, there are no Federal Matching Funds available to candidates who aren't running on PAC money.
This means that candidates like John Edwards need your support more than ever. Keeping the von Spakovsky nomination alive is the GOP way to ensure that no one without a ton of Corporate dollars has a chance.
Please donate generously to the Edwards campaign if you can afford it. They will probably be able to get loans based on probable grants in future, but right now they need gas for the bus. Go online and shove a couple of bucks in the tank. Let's keep OUR candidates in the race.
Thursday, January 25, 2007Fine words 1 year ago. However, if we look at what happened in Illinois when there was an ACTUAL proposal to reform health care, we see that Barack joins Hillary in saying that he 'has the scars to prove' he has taken on the issue. This excerpt is from The Boston Globe, Sept. 2007
In the 2008 campaign, affordable, universal health care for every single American must not be a question of whether, it must be a question of how. We have the ideas, we have the resources, and we will have universal health care in this country by the end of the next president's first term. --Barack Obama
The bill originally called for a "Bipartisan Health Care Reform Commission" to implement a program reaching all 12.4 million Illinois residents. The legislation would have made it official state policy to ensure that all residents could access "quality healthcare at costs that are reasonable." Insurers feared that language would result in a government takeover of healthcare, even though the bill did not explicitly say that.By the time the legislation passed the Senate, in May 2004, Obama had written three successful amendments, at least one of which made key changes favorable to insurers.
Most significant, universal healthcare became merely a policy goal instead of state policy - the proposed commission, renamed the Adequate Health Care Task Force, was charged only with studying how to expand healthcare access. In the same amendment, Obama also sought to give insurers a voice in how the task force developed its plan.
We're more familiar with Hillary's attempt. She mentions it often in her speeches. From the Journal-Express
In the past, Hillary has tried passing universal health care, but failed. Clinton said the way his wife reacted to the failure is an example of why she would be a good president.
'You need to know how your president handles failure," he said. 'She got off the floor, dusted herself off and you've got the children's health care bill.' The bill he is talking about is the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or S-CHIP.
Well dammit how about THE GOVERNATOR? Surely Arnold can make 'em behave. hmmmm maybe not. These Insurance Boys are tougher than Terminator II!
Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- A year ago, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged to provide health insurance for everyone in the largest of the United States. The halting progress of his $14 billion-a-year plan since then shows the power of interest groups to resist change.
Businesses are fighting a new payroll tax to fund coverage. Consumer groups are wary that subsidies for the poor may be too stingy. WellPoint Inc.'s Blue Cross of California, the state's biggest health insurer, opposes a requirement that insurers provide policies regardless of medical history. [I'll bet they do]
These Democrats (and a couple of Republicans) and many others, including Harry Truman himself, have tried to battle the powerful interests who make billions holding health care hostage in America.
This is the reason I believe that Kucinich has it right. You will NEVER get anything fair and accessible through the Insurance Lobby. Like a cancer, you have to cut them out. Support HR 676, the Conyers-Kucinich Health Care Bill, if you want a sane and equitable solution to the health care crisis.
Who has a good record stomping corporate interests? John Edwards. He did after all make a very fine living for himself doing exactly that. One might say it's a specialty of his. ^o^
He may be a guy who is tough enough to get it done. I'm willing to give him a shot. He doesn't owe those guys a dime at this point.
I had to go dig up a few quotes to reassure myself that Barack Obama is not going to privatize Social Security, despite the allegations on this site that he plans to do just that. If he's planning to privatize, that would make him the biggest liar since George Bush. The three quotes below are from MyDD, the Des Moines Register, and the Boston Globe.
If you really want to know why Privatizing Social Security is a terrible idea, a good place to start is with The Century Foundation. One of their articles is by a former Head of Social Security, who ought to know a bit about the subject.
Another great analysis, longer and more detailed (also by the C.F. group) is this one:
Twelve Reasons Why Privatizing Social Security is a Bad Idea by Greg Anrig, Jr. & Bernard Wasow, Get a cup of coffee and settle down for a real education on the whole Social Security question.
And now, back to Barack:
Obama: It is a long-term problem. I know that people, including you, are very sensitive to the concern that we repeat anything that sounds like George Bush. But I have been very clear in fighting privatization. I have been adamant about the fact that I am opposed to it. What I believe is that it is a long-term problem that we should deal with now. And the sooner the deal with it then the better off it's going to be.
Obama, himself, did not specifically outline a plan Saturday, although he did say he was opposed to cutting benefits, privatizing Social Security or increasing the age at which people can begin drawing retirement payments. He did not say what should be done about the income limits on Social Security taxes.
Obama reiterated that he would not raise the retirement age or cut benefits for what he called "the most successful social insurance program we have." But he said he would consider raising the cap on the Social Security tax - currently imposed on earnings up to $97,500 - or creating a so-called doughnut hole that would reinstate the tax once income hits a certain level, as Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has proposed.
And just in case anyone is wondering about Hillary and Edwards:
From the same Des Moines article-
'Senator Clinton has been clear about her position on Social Security,' Daley said. 'She will oppose any effort to privatize the program. As president, her first priority will be restoring fiscal responsibility and fair tax policies and then will work in a bipartisan process to address Social Security's long-term challenges.'
...Other candidates, such as former North Carolina senator John Edwards, have suggested similar fixes to Social Security by suggesting higher taxes on wealthy Americans.
OK? No Democrat is going to kill Social Security. Now, back to the war...