This Thanksgiving, I reflect on our nation. There is reason to despair, or course. Some dire work is still undone. For example, nearly a year after the Sandy Hook horror, we still have no coherent national plan of action to restrict gun ownership. Also, our Congress is still embarrassingly dysfunctional, as the Republicans recently shut down the government in protest of millions of Americans getting access to health insurance. There is also a lack of meaningful citizen action on climate change, which could be the nullifying factor for all human endeavor a few generations out. Read more
President Obama, Senator Reid and Representative Nancy Pelosi pulled off an epic victory for the American people this week when they held strong against the Tea Party’s best efforts to sabotage our government. After fifteen long days of the government shutdown, it was the strong-minded determination of our Democratic leadership that caused House Republicans to blink. The take-away is simple: good wins out in the end.
Undoubtedly, the Tea party will try to regroup and spin the narrative in their favor, but when the January and February due dates approach to revisit the budget and debt ceiling my bet is on bipartisan communication averting anymore drama. Polling indicates most American voters hate what the Tea Party did. Career politicians like GOP Rep. Herrera Beutler are finding their way to the middle, and hard core Tea Party leaders will be booking tickets home in 2014. When the American people make up their minds on something, it takes decades to change it, and they have now decided good governance makes their lives better. Read more
Sen. Ted Cruz
Right around 12 pm EST today, Party of One Ted Cruz wrapped up his pointless nonfilibuster so he could appear on the Rush Limbaugh Show.
The right wing talk show host is the poster boy for limp noodles, having been detained for having someone else's name on his Viagra prescription and running loads of ads for pecker pills on his floundering radio program.
But not today.
Limbaugh was audibly aroused as he waited for the Texas senator to join him: Read more
As the director of a nonprofit 501(c)(3), I have had to quickly learn how these kinds of organizations function. I had been an employee, volunteer, and member of nonprofits in the past, but taking a leadership position in one has been an entirely new experience. Now, I understand these organizations are sophisticated endeavors meant to do nothing less than fill in for government.
Where our representative government and its bureaucracy have utterly failed to meet the needs of communities in the US, nonprofits have stepped in. The modern nonprofit is a uniquely American creation, as other developed nations utilize the power and resources of government for education, arts, environment, health care, nutritional programs, etc.
In America, these kinds of “progressive” agendas can be defunded and neglected by local, state, and national branches of government. In response to unmet needs, grassroots groups form to gather resources, provide services, educate, and empower identified populations in their communities. In short, regular people are called and chosen by their neighbors to make what is missing and to scrape together resources. Read more
I spent a little time in California over the summer. It had been awhile. I remember going there as a kid and being so impressed. It seems that the days when everyone in the nation looked up to California, that magical land filled with perfect weather, sandy beaches, gorgeous women, and glamorous movie stars, have gone the way of the VCR and the cassette deck.
The first condition that I noticed was that the check stations, that used to manned by friendly, professional, state officials, who welcomed you to California and asked if you were bringing fruits or vegetables to or from that state, now look like the ruined shacks from Fallout 3. I was waiting to be attacked by "Mole-Rats".
Oh, and the rest areas are all closed so don't bother trying. You have no choice but to pee at truck stop as you're paying $6.02 a gallon for gas. Read more
The New York Times front page on 7 March 1930, the day following the march for Unemployment Insurance.
Does it boggle your mind to see working class people using their time to demonstrate for less government involvement, while living off of unemployment or social security checks? What exactly are these people thinking? How can people work so directly against their own best interests?
It's an insanity that Thomas Frank noted in his book "Whatﾒs the matter with Kansas?":
"the country we have inhabited for the last three decades seems more like a panorama of madness and delusion worthy of Hieronymous Bosch: of sturdy patriots reciting the Pledge while they resolutely strangle their own life chances; of small farmers proudly voting themselves off the land; of devoted family men carefully seeing to it that their children will never be able to afford college or proper health care; of hardened blue-collar workers in mid-western burgs cheering as they deliver up a landslide for a candidate whose policies will end their way of life, will transform their region into a "rust belt," will strike people like them blows from which they will never recover." Read more
Labor Day Demonstration against child labor - 1909
So if "class warfare" actually breaks out (we’re not talking about beheading rich folks .... yet!) with what "class" do you identify?
Are you "middle class, upper middle-class, lower class?" These are categories we love to use and always see in the corporate media.
These categories are based on how much you make and how much you consume. They assume you work. You have a job. If if are "lower" or "middle" class you cannot stay home and live on accumulated wealth or on income generated by others working for you. Yet rarely are such folks characterized as "workers".
The broad categories of class are better defined by your relationship to the process of the production of wealth.
You are either a worker, selling your labor because you have no other adequate source of income or you are an owner, a capitalist whose income is generated by others - i.e workers in your factory/corporation or your investments, or your accumulated wealth. Read more
I consider it a great shame to this nation the United States, being the most prosperous country on the earth, that for decades, our health care system has been so Continue Reading →
The post Paul Ryan Should Get This: ObamaCare is here to Stay
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Two of the PPF team will be at SxSW Interactive this week.
I’ll be there to sneak-preview the recently re-designed OpenGovernment.org, for engagement with state & city government. I’m attending with James McKinney, the E.D. of the Canadian non-profit Open North, who is working as OpenGovernment’s technical lead. Here’s my draft pubilc schedule, feel free to suggest events. Ping me anytime to meet up to see the new OG user interface & give your feedback, we’re easy to reach & happy to chat. AIM / Skype: davidmooreppf, #opengovernment in Freenode on IRC, david at ppolitics.org over email. Read more
Public polling shows that a majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, but will Congress even consider taking pot off the banned substances list?
Today, two members of the House — Rep. Jared Polis [D, CO] and Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D, OR] — are introducing legislation to change the federal marijuana laws. Polis’ “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act” would regulate marijuana like alcohol, and Blumenauer’s “Marijuana Tax Equity Act” would establish a federal marijuana taxation structure. The introduction of the bills is a first step, but it doesn’t mean that there is broader institutional interest in Congress for taking up the issue of legalizing pot. Read more
We all know that U.S House Speaker John Boehner is well-known to break out in tears, as he did recently after being reelected as House Speaker. John Boehner is a weeper, the only thing is, what he weeps about usually is something not worth weeping about. He wept uncontrollably once over an Iraq war spending bill.
This is my Bead-Read for Mr. Boehner:
Find something worth weeping about John. Many of us Americans weep, just as we did recently when a madman with a gun, mowed down 26 people including 20 children at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. Right now, I myself could find a fresh batch of tears, just thinking about it. Read more
Recently there has been talk by Republican lawmakers and the media about a deal to help solve the Fiscal Cliff issue and they think that Medicare’s age requirement should be lifted to 67 years old. As far as I am concerned, this is all based on a fallacy.
Next year, millions of Americans will suddenly be required to purchase health insurance. The health insurance industry will see a huge lift in their profits and for a while, the health care industry will be overwhelmed. There will be a shortage of doctors and other health care professionals and many will be unhappy, but I believe we will survive it and we will adapt. Most importantly, we will be leaving behind a health care system that has left tens of millions of Americans without decent health care, beyond emergency rooms. Read more
“So how much does an x-ray cost?” my mom asked me when I called her from Urgency Care. Following an unfortunate mishaps with a dresser drawer that came loose and fell onto my foot, I decided to seek a little medical care. Waiting 24 hours to see if the swelling went down on its own, I was reluctant to go in. I have no idea how much an x-ray costs, which was why I waited to seek care.
Here’s the thing: I have medical insurance- but I have a high deductible to keep the premiums down. I’m nowhere near my max for the year so much of the cost of the quick trip to Urgency will be out of pocket. I have to be fairly hurt to invest in a doctor’s opinion, but in this case, my foot looked broken, and I didn’t want to injure it worse with carelessness. Read more
A year ago, my ex-husband and I sat down to negotiate the end of our marriage. Using standard forms downloaded from the state website, we planned the termination of a twelve year marriage- including custody of two young children, distribution of assets, and division of debts. No one was happy with the agreement, but truthfully, it has worked fairly well so far. The secret of the successful compromise is we understood there would be pain and sacrifice for everyone, but ultimately if we worked together we could find a way to make it tolerable.
Everyday people have to make life-altering decisions all the time- my ex and I did. It’s time for our government to figure out how to communicate at least as well as a divorcing couple.
Congress and President Obama find themselves in need of similar skills of negotiation this week, as they work to end a budget dispute that has dogged the country for years. To avoid falling off a fiscal cliff, our government must work within itself, like a family, to find a way for everyone to get what they really need, and be willing to give up that which they don’t for the greater good. Read more