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Friday, November 23, 2012

Wal-Mart protesters call for workers' rights

Workers' rights are human rights. That's what one hand painted sign said at a protest outside a Wal-Mart store in Decatur, Georgia, Friday. About two dozen protesters stood on the sidewalk across the street from the mega-retailer's store in this suburb, just east of Atlanta, playing drums, waving flags and signs, and shouting at motorists to make them aware of what they see as the questionable labor practices of the world's largest retailer. "We wanted to show our solidarity with Wal-Mart workers," said Diana Eidson, who took part in the event on the unofficial kickoff day of the holiday shopping season. Many Wal-Mart associates around the country walked out, Friday, to demonstrate their own dissatisfaction with their employer.

"We're saying community, not consumerism; family, not frenzy," Misty Novitch, a social justice activist, agreed. "We're trying to offer a different way of doing Black Friday, that supports the [Wal-Mart] workers on strike around the country, striking for just a living wage, healthcare, predictable scheduling," she explained, "so they don't get retaliated against when they try to form a union, the ability to form a union without fear." READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fiscal cliff compromise a wolf in elephant's clothing

Here we go again. The Republicans are skipping down the path toward obstructionism, aiming to get away with doing the least by convincing us it is the most they can do. It isn't. They will give it another sham title like "Tax Reform." It won't be. They're saying it will increase significant revenue by being "fair" to the middle class and the "job creators." It won't, and it isn't.

"The math tends not to work," said President Obama, at his first post-election press conference, last Wednesday. While he agreed with recent statements by Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH), that "there are loopholes that can be closed, and we should look at how we can make the process of deductions, the filing process easier, simpler," the president added, "what I'm not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don't need it, which would cost close to a trillion dollars."

By focusing only on closing loopholes and changing the tax code, the Republicans are actually taking aim at middle class households. The top two percent aren't the only ones who benefit from deductions.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE...

-PBG

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

For Obama, it's really always been about unity

From VOA - Obama Victory Celebration, Chicago 11-7-2012
President Obama, Vice President Biden and their
families celebrate their reelection, in Chicago, early
Wednesday morning. (From Voice of America video

If there was ever a question about which commitment President Barack Obama has made in his life that will live beyond his presidency, it is his stubborn belief that a united America, without the distraction of division, can and will accomplish great things. Regardless of whether he is able to reach effective but difficult compromises with the Republican led House of Representatives over the next two to four years, he will always be remembered for the clarion call for unity he sounded in his 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention. He doubled down on that plea early Wednesday morning, when, in victory, he addressed thousands of supporters in Chicago.
"I believe we can seize this future together," he said, "because we are not as divided as our politics suggest; we're not as cynical as the pundits believe; we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions; and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can take the stage and argue with the White House and the Senate majority over revenues and deficits and the fiscal cliff, but in the face of a voting public hungry for Washington to set aside its differences, it makes them and their caucuses seem small and petulant, mice in the face of the human sized task of serious governance. It is a task the president seems ready for.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE...

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Sandy's reality provides opportunity for Obama 'One America' redux

"For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people...
"It is that fundamental belief - it is that fundamental belief - I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper - that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: 'E pluribus unum,' out of many, one...
"...there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there's the United States of America."
- Barack Obama's keynote address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention

Even in the face of an election season full of the most rancorous and extreme partisanship, there is a takeaway from the politics of the Hurricane Sandy tragedy, one that reprises President Obama's seminal assertion that, eight years on, there is still only one America. With the recent praises of FEMA and the president's leadership coming from the unequivocal Chris Christie, New Jersey's no-nonsense Republican governor, it appears that the storm that devastated that state and region has done what no hard running politician could do - show that level headed and reasonable responses to responsibilities destroy divisiveness in favor of cooperation.
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE...