Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Heartland Rising Dept: Worker Revolt Spreading

Democrats walk out in Indiana;

Union allies protest in Ohio

By Dan Hinkel and Richard Simon
Progressive America Rising via McClatchy-Tribune News Service

February 22, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — Facing widening Republican attacks on organized labor, Democrats struck back Tuesday with legislative walkouts and boisterous rallies across the Midwest to defend one of their core constituencies.

In Wisconsin, where the state Senate has been paralyzed because Democrats fled to block Gov. Scott Walker's attempt to strip collective bargaining rights from government workers, the governor warned he would send 1,500 layoff notices unless his proposal passes. In Indiana, Democrats in the state Assembly vanished, depriving that body of the quorum needed to pass a right-to-work law and limit government unions' powers.

And in Ohio, an estimated 5,500 protesters stood elbow to elbow in and outside the Capitol chanting "Kill the bill!" as a legislative committee took up a proposal that would similarly neuter government unions.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

‘War is Hell’ Dept: the GOP Assault on Women

One Cartoon, One Thousand Words…


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Congress: Time to Leave Afghanistan

New Bill: A Responsible End

to the War in Afghanistan

By Barbara Lee
Beaver County Peace Links via Huffington Post 2/17/11

On September 14, 2001, I placed the lone vote against the "Authorization of Use of Force" -- an authorization that I knew would provide a blank check to wage war anywhere, at any time, and for any length. Nearly a decade later, the United States remains embroiled in the longest war in our nation's history in Afghanistan, longer than Vietnam and World War II.

The fact is, we cannot continue to funnel billions of dollars a week toward a counterproductive military-first strategy in Afghanistan while sacrificing vital domestic priorities such as quality education, affordable health care, and much-needed investments to create jobs and jump start the economy.

And that is why today I will re-introduce my legislation, The Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act, which would end combat operations in Afghanistan and limit funding to the safe orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops and military contractors.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Street Heat Dept: Our Egypt Is Beginning

Wisconsin Students and

Professors Join Thousands

Rallying Vs, Governor's Plan

Students and Professors Join Thousands Rallying Against Wisconsin Governor's Plan 1

Andy Manis, AP Images

U. of Wisconsin employees and students were among the state workers who thronged the State Capitol in Madison on Tuesday to protest legislation that would end or curtail their collective-bargaining rights and increase the share workers pay for benefits.

By Jack Stripling

Progressive America Rising via Chronicle of Higher Education

Madison, Feb 15, 2011 - Thousands of protesters gathered on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol here on Tuesday to voice their opposition to a fast-moving proposal that would strip the union bargaining rights for University of Wisconsin faculty and staff members, while almost eliminating bargaining rights for nearly all other state workers, including graduate students.

Chanting "We're not gonna take it," throngs of state employees and their supporters rallied for more than two hours on snow-covered grounds, before moving their protests inside the Capitol, in defiance of Gov. Scott Walker's "budget repair" bill. Apart from undoing hard-fought 2009 legislation that gave university faculty authorization to unionize, the bill would cut employee retirement and health benefits.

The Republican governor and his supporters say the sweeping proposal will close the state's current $137-million budget shortfall, while beginning to shrink a projected $3.6-billion gap for the next biennium. Opponents, however, describe the plan as an unabashed ideological effort to cripple unions in a state with a strong history of organized labor.


Friday, February 4, 2011

‘Complex Relationships’ Shouldn’t Derail Us

What Ails the Black Body Politic?

By James Thindwa
In These Times, Jan 25, 2011

The direction the Obama administration takes in the next two years depends in part on popular pressure. But ironically, those who suffer the most are the least politically agitated. This disjuncture is evident in the uncritical support President Barack Obama receives from the black body politic.

Polls show that 90 percent of African Americans approve of the president's job performance, compared to 40 percent of white Democrats. This raises the question: Can Black America, experiencing newfound pride in the first black president, challenge a Democratic Party in the grip of neoliberal orthodoxy and help reinvigorate progressive politics?


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