Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fixing Medicare The Right Way

David Brooks, on the 5/27/11 PBS Newshour program, states, "...the lesson for both parties is never touch Medicare...The problem is we can't afford that."

Of course we can't afford it. We don't even have negotiations on prescription drug prices, which alone would save an estimated $24 billion per year. What we need is a stronger Medicare system, not a "Wall Street-dominated healthcare system."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Letter urging a recess appointment for Elizabeth Warren

To Rep. Collin Peterson:

43 members of Congress have already signed a letter circulated by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), which is urging a recess appointment for Elizabeth Warren. Your name is not among them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Minncan's misleading petition

Minncan has a misleading petition titled "Minnesota: Don't Let Teacher Effectiveness Get Lost in the Political Crossfire."

Minncan is an organization which is trying to implement a "free-market" model for Minnesota schools, with the stated goals of "flexibility, accountability, and choice."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Debt and Deficit Realities

Too many people think that the projected deficits of the coming decade are the fault of the policies of President Obama and the Democratic Congress in 2009 and 2010. But the economic downturn, the Bush tax cuts, and the unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, all of which started before Obama even took office, account for virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pawlenty, a GOP presidential hopeful for 2012?

People in Minnesota were upset at what Pawlenty did to healthcare in this state. He did a line-item veto for GMAC (General Assistance Medical Care), cutting off health care for 30,000 low-income Minnesotans. He suggested that people on that program be moved to the MinnesotaCare program, which requires that premiums be paid, even for people with no income or with only the state's General Assistance of $203.00 per month, and which has higher co-pays than GMAC.

May 2011 Letter to the President

Why are we discussing cuts? Get rid of the Bush tax cuts, stop the corporate give-aways, raise the cap on Social Security taxed income, allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices rather than paying whatever the drug companies ask for, and raise Medicare taxes if needed for the Medicare Trust Fund. Tax capital gains and "qualified" dividend income the same as regular income. (Gee, it must be nice to send your money out to do the work for you and have income from that taxed at a substantially lower rate.)

Absolutely no cuts until the conservatives agree to the above!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rep. Jim Jordan complains about 77 different means-tested social welfare programs

From the Congressional Record of the 112th Congress, page H3102, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio:
We need to get more of our Americans to work. You notice I didn't say back to work, Mr. Speaker. We're sometimes into the third and fourth generation where they didn't work at all. They have learned how to game the system, and we've accepted it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ramsey County, Vikings strike stadium partnership

A new stadium in Arden Hills? "The state of Minnesota would commit $300 million."

The State of Minnesota's share is 300 million?? To be paid with a new tax? You're joking! Let's hope the tax is only on players and their owners, plus any politicians who think special taxes are a good idea. Gee, I thought we couldn't afford government expenditures? Well, how about a special tax to fund health care for the poor or for keeping teachers? Get real!

Question: Do you support Courage Campaign creating a political action committee to support pro-equality candidates?

The opposition already has PACs. In the 2010 Minnesota elections, groups opposing same-sex marriage financially supported anti-gay candidates. Minnesota has a "Defense of Marriage Act" passed in 1997 which restricts (rather than defends) marriage to one man one woman marriages. Republicans are trying to get a Minnesota constitutional amendment proposal passed which would place on the ballot a vote to oppose gay marriages (it has passed the Minnesota Senate). An amendment proposal bypasses the governor, and if passed by voters would be harder to overturn.

Courage Campaign

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

GOP Attacks on Health Care

Insurance companies promised to clean up their act when health care reforms were proposed under Clinton, and Republicans said they wanted alternative measures to enact reform. From 2000 to 2006, the GOP controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House, yet they would not do anything about the 50 million uninsured. They did nothing for those with pre-existing conditions and nothing for low-income workers who had no employer provided insurance.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

2012 - Progressive's Wanted; Generous Pay and Benefits.

We desperately need progressives. During Obama's first two years, Republicans voted "No" on almost every significant piece of legislation. Now Republicans and many Democrats (especially Blue Dogs) are voting for big money interests, and parts of the conservative agenda have been passed that hurt lower and middle class workers and families. What we are lacking is progressive leadership.

For 2012, we need to hammer the conservatives over and over on their actions that raised the national debt. George W. Bush almost doubled the debt.