Political Change

Buck

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Contributor
Aug 20, 2002
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It pleases me this morning that the Republicans have taken over Congress. Not because they are Republicans, but because the majority of the posters here believe that non-germane issues are important. When my union dues are extorted for other than issues effecting my craft and class, in other words my profession, change is needed. Dues are for Collective Bargaining and Representation, not the manifesto of the left. When the AFL-CIO feels like taking the time to provide representation over politics then they will be a force in unionism for the working men and women again. Every member of the AFL-CIO should read the publication.
The AFL-CIO Leadership Crisis
http://www.laboreducator.org/
 

Pukinginam

Newbie
Nov 6, 2002
1
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[blockquote]
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On 11/6/2002 9:21:28 AM Buck wrote:

It pleases me this morning that the Republicans have taken over Congress.
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[/blockquote]


Be afraid...be very afraid. all that you've known about American Democracy is about to be flushed down into the toilet of humanity.

Within Reach of Your Hand
By William Rivers Pitt

Sunday, 3 November, 2002

The pundits and talking heads describe Tuesday's election as nothing particularly special or important. There are no major issues at stake, they say. Even if there were, voter turnout will be low. The status of Congress will not change, they say. Nothing to see here.

Lies. This is not just another election. The House and Senate are very much in play, up for grabs to whichever party gets the vote out. The issues at stake will absolutely and immediately define the future of this nation and the world.

The issue of permanent global war is on the table, most pressingly regarding Iraq. Should the GOP take Congress entirely, there will be no oversight for this war whatsoever. Given the fact that we have combat troops in Afghanistan Pakistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Georgia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel, Kurdistan within Iraq, Indonesia and a number of countries in South America, to name only a few, it is absolutely necessary that the White House not have the only voice for decision and debate regarding the use of war powers.

The Supreme Court of the United States, a deliberative body from which there is no appeal, is up for grabs. At least three Justices are considering retirement, including Chief Justice and Nixon appointee William Rehnquist. Should the GOP take Congress entirely, George W. Bush will have the unimpeded ability to place whomever he wishes on the high bench, thus setting the stage for thirty years of serious conservative activism from the Judiciary. With this ability, the GOP will have the power to bring all three branches of the Federal government under their sway. With this ability, the GOP will have the power to rewrite some of our most fundamental constitutional protections for a generation. Consider the ramifications of PATRIOT Act restrictions being ratified and cemented by a conservative court. Consider the demise of Roe v. Wade. Consider the outcome of future electoral challenges like the one seen in 2000, a sure thing given the equal voting divisions within the electorate.

Pressing questions regarding affordable medication for senior citizens, the future viability of Social Security and Medicare, as well as the question of whether to restrict or expand upon Bush's ill-conceived tax cut, are all in the offing in this election. Should the GOP retake all of Congress, there will be no affordable health care policy crafted for our oldest and most vulnerable citizens. Social Security will be gambled on the crooked roulette wheel of the stock market, which is still reeling and rocking from corporate scandal. Bush's tax cut, which gutted the Clinton surplus and sent the budget into deficit spending, could be adjusted to spare the economy further damage. With the GOP in control of Congress, this will not happen.

The economy itself is in play. If the GOP retakes Congress, further deregulation of business will come like lightning. It was this process that led to the mess we are currently in. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, voted into being by Congressional Republicans in 1995, basically allowed corporations to wildly overstate the value of their stock. Before PSLRA, the SEC severely limited the ability of corporations to make claims about their value. Such predictions are prone to exaggeration because the executives want to present their businesses in the best possible light. But along came PSLRA, which basically did away with all restrictions along these lines. Corporations could promise the moon and lie without restraint about the value of their stock. From 1935 to 1995, less than 100 corporations were forced to restate their earnings, a la Enron and WorldCom.

In the last seven years, approximately 1,000 corporations have been forced to restate their earnings. The difference? PSLRA in 1995. Clinton vetoed PSLRA, but the Republican Congress overrode his veto. Today, we see the results. A GOP victory on Tuesday will likewise guarantee that those corporate CEOs who have betrayed the trust of the shareholders will almost completely escape any punishment for their crimes. Anyone who thinks the Republicans are good for business has not been paying attention since 1993.

At bottom, the election on Tuesday is a contest for the soul of this democracy. America stands ready to become a rogue nation, dismissive of the rest of the world, prepared to deliver a hard slap to the face of allies who have stood with us for decades. In this global economy, an arrogant America stands to lose far more than the good will of other nations. In this dangerous world, America cannot afford to stand alone. After the attacks of September 11th, the international community wrapped us in a warm embrace. In return, the Bush administration has spit into their collective faces. If this administration controls the entirety of our government, this trend will continue unchecked. Simultaneously, domestic policy will be further manipulated in favor of corporations and the wealthy. The economy will continue to bleed. The 21st century, at one time looked to with hope and promise, will wind a funeral shroud around what we once believed to be the last, best hope for humanity.

Is this what you want?

This is a question that transcends any rifts or frustrations regarding the Democratic Party. This is a question intended as much for liberals as for moderates, and even for conservatives. The Republican Party of today is not the Party of our grandfathers. It has been overtaken by neo-conservative corporate-minded individuals who have little regard for the common citizen, or for constitutional protections as we have enjoyed them. Many conservatives have seen their party leave them behind in the last two years, and cannot miss the significance of this vote.

Good arguments can be made that a number of the issues listed above could well come to pass even if the Democrats hold their majority in the Senate, even if they take the House. This is a What If scenario, unpredictable and open to redirection by a voting base that has the power to shape the debate. There is no What If surrounding the potential GOP takeover - these things will happen in that event, as surely as the sun rising in the East.

We the people do not only have the power to shape the debate. We also have the power to swing this election. Turnout is essential, as the GOP has been dragooning all hands into a push to get everyone possible to the polls. This must be matched and overtaken. Find your local Democratic Party office and volunteer to drive people to voting stations. Beat friends and relatives about the head and shoulders until they put their coats on and go out to vote. Get on the telephone, knock on doors in your neighborhood, find whatever means available to you to assist in this.

The events in Florida in November of 2000 stand a good chance of being repeated across the country on Tuesday. In several places, the dirty tricks have already begun. We the people can stop this. If you live in a battleground state where voter manipulation or intimidation is possible or likely, go to your polling place with a tape recorder or video camera. Bring a cell phone, and write down this number: 800-VOTE-411. This is the number to call if something becomes fouled at the polls. Use the recording devices to collect names and evidence of anyone denied the ability to vote.

Demographic trends in the country point to an emerging Democratic majority, which is one of the main reasons why recent Republican tactics have involved mouthing Democratic ideals to bamboozle the voters. As this demographic trend begins to further manifest itself, another tactic will be desperation-fueled GOP intimidation of voters at the polls. You can stop it, check it, gather evidence of it and crush it. Be prepared, be your own police force, and go to your polls with eyes and ears open.

The republic stands upon the edge of a knife. Within reach of your hand is the ability to bring this nation back from the brink, back to where it belongs. Do not let this historic opportunity for real change pass you by. Stand and be counted. Vote. Be prepared to defend the voting rights of others. The democracy you save will be your own. It is up to you.

-------

William Rivers Pitt is a teacher from Boston, MA. He is the author of two books - War On Iraq (with Scott Ritter) available now from Context Books, and The Greatest Sedition is Silence, available in April 2003 from Pluto Press.
 

BeenThere

Member
Aug 26, 2002
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Maybe organized labor namely AFL-CIO should have thrown some $$$$$$ to the GOP. Years and Years of painting the GOP as anti-union-pro business dinosaurs has proved that they need a new play book. Correct me if I wrong, I think union members account for about 12% of all working Americans, (again, please correct me If I am wrong). A majority of working Americans still view union workers as over-paid-underworked-lazy do-nothings. This has been the bane of union membership. The cashier working in Walmart could give a rat's ass about unionism. The stuffed shirt working on Wall St. couldn't care less about unionism even though the unionized workforce he manages has helped him to amass fat bonuses and perks. Organized Labor needs a new plan. Mayber they should throw their support to the candidates that will help them rather than the assumption that one party will do their bidding. Prior to Bush, we had the Clinton Administration for eight years. Did we fare any better during that period as union workers? I don't think so.
 

Wild Onion

Advanced
Aug 21, 2002
120
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[/blockquote]

Be afraid...be very afraid. all that you've known about American Democracy is about to be flushed down into the toilet of humanity.

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[/blockquote]


Wow, I didn't know that the Republican party had all that in mind! I thought they just wanted to reduce my tax burden and protect me from terrorism.
 

ITRADE

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
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DCA/IAD US2
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[BR]You poor dears. [BR][BR]Unfortunately, it goes to show you that the Dems who have attempted to be Republicans have been discovered as nothing but wolves in sheeps' clothing. Considering that Enron gave about the same amount of money to the Dems as it did to the Republicans goes to show you that the Party of the Working Class is a farcial joke that is a tagline of a party that cares about nothing but power and control. The fancy Hollywood dinners and Hamptons parties certainly are a bit more upper crust than working class.[BR][BR]With victories lilke the Maryland governor's race, the Florida races, the Georgia races, the Minnesota senate race, the Texas races, and New York, you'd think that the Dems should simply throw in the towl and admit that they've been a well orchistrated sham without backbone for the past two years. [BR][BR]
 

WingNaPrayer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
1,742
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EYW
Visit site
[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/6/2002 11:30:34 AM Wild Onion wrote:

[/blockquote]

Be afraid...be very afraid. all that you've known about American Democracy is about to be flushed down into the toilet of humanity.

----------------
[/blockquote]


Wow, I didn't know that the Republican party had all that in mind! I thought they just wanted to reduce my tax burden and protect me from terrorism.


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[/blockquote]

Wow, the PhUnTs snagged another one!

Believe what you want to believe, your taxes go up under republicans, they always do, or have you forgotten about the most famous republican of all who more than DOUBLED the national debt in four years...Ronnie Regan? (I'm sure HE'S forgotten about it, no pun intended)

Dubya Jr. had completely wiped out the budget surpluss in his first nine months in office. If he gets re-elected, he's expected to add 3.5 Trillion to the national debt and that's only if we DON'T stick our noses into Iraq.

Protect you from terrorism? The only things terrorizing this country are the media...and the republicans.
 
OP
Buck

Buck

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Aug 20, 2002
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www.fairtax.org
The intent of my post was to express my position in reference to the AFL-CIO extorting my dues for political positions I disfavor. They do this without my real consent. For those of you who understand, I am an Agency Fee Dues Objector. Please become informed about not just where, but how your dues are being used.

What does Mr. Pitt's letter have to do with the AFL-CIO and the airlines?
 

MiAAmi

Veteran
Aug 21, 2002
1,490
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www.usaviation.com
If Mr Bush declares War with Iraq, Don't think all the killing will be in Iraq. I think you will see more Isreal type terrorism here at home. Are you ready for that? And I'm glad we all got that $300.00 refund last year because it really stimulated the economy. Republicans are so short sighted. I can't wait to vote again in 2004!
 

Sean

Member
Aug 20, 2002
42
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I guess then that the majority of voters yesterday were short sided? The country overwhelmingly voted Republican. They realized that if anything is going to get done we needed to get rid those who want to sit on their cans and draw a paycheck off the American taxpayers. All the while doing everythig they can to block any kind of meaningful legislation.

As far as the economy you know the facts. This poor economy started under your beloved Clinton. We were in a recession when he left office. After we got out of the (Clinton) recession 9-11 came along and sent the economy into a tail spin. However even with that it has not gotten as bad as it was when Clinton left. It is growing. It grew at over 3% last quarter. Those are facts. I know a lot of you are unfamiliar with them from reading your posts on this board.

Buck, you are correct. Most union members have no idea where there money goes. They should be informed. But for some reason they choose to just accept whatever the union does to them.

Wing, you are a disgusting person. You little crack about Reagan's memory shows the type of person you are. As for the national debt, there is one sure way to cut that. Quit socializing this country. Quit wasting money that the hard working taxpayers earn. You can start with that multi-trillion dollar failed program call social (in)security.

MiAAmi,you won't be alone in 2004. We will be ready to vote as well.

-Sean-

[blockquote]
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On 11/6/2002 1:11:53 PM MiAAmi wrote:

If Mr Bush declares War with Iraq, Don't think all the killing will be in Iraq. I think you will see more Isreal type terrorism here at home. Are you ready for that? And I'm glad we all got that $300.00 refund last year because it really stimulated the economy. Republicans are so short sighted. I can't wait to vote again in 2004!
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[/blockquote]
 

JI Guy

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Aug 20, 2002
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Sean, check your facts..The recession did NOT start until 2001..Hello! And I will be pissed if once again these tax cuts are geared for the wealthiest one percent..And stop short-circuiting the 9-11 hearings...Dick Cheney placed a call to Porter Goss after a deal had been reached on the structure and had him pull it back!!! STOP THE CRAP!!!!!!!!!
 

Sean

Member
Aug 20, 2002
42
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What year do you think Clinton left office? 2001. The economy started tanking in 2000 and went into recession 2001. If I remember correctly it was first quarter 2001. If I am wrong in that please correct me. As for your tax cut for the wealthiest one percent, it is they who pay the majority of taxes in this country. Start paying the same percentage of your wages to taxes as they do and that same old tired whine might have some validity to it.
 

mga707

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
1,330
2
[blockquote]
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On 11/6/2002 5:43:54 PM Sean wrote:

What year do you think Clinton left office? 2001. The economy started tanking in 2000 and went into recession 2001. If I remember correctly it was first quarter 2001. ----------------
[/blockquote]

No, you are absolutely correct. The markets peaked in March of 2000. That month will be forever burned into my memory because that's when I finally followed friends/coworkers advice and took quite a bit of money out of nice, safe, boring, 5-6% annual return T-Notes and invested it in cant miss stocks and mutual funds. At least 10% per year, for sure...
Boy, am I glad I listened to them...
 

mturpiz

Member
Aug 22, 2002
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The markets peaked in March 2002, but Dow Jones Industrial Average does *not* equal economy.

It's nearly impossible to pinpoint when the economy really started to hit the skids. By standard definition based on quarterly domestic product, we didn't hit recession until *well* after W was in office. But on the other hand things were already slowing down *before* Clinton left office, and it's real speculation to guess what the economy would look like if Clinton hadn't had to leave or if Gore became president.
 

Sean

Member
Aug 20, 2002
42
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[BR][BR]
[BLOCKQUOTE]
[P][BR][BR]----------------[BR]On 11/7/2002 9:11:39 AM mturpiz wrote:[BR][BR]The markets peaked in March 2002, but Dow Jones Industrial Average does *not* equal economy.  [BR][BR]It's nearly impossible to pinpoint when the economy really started to hit the skids.  By standard definition based on quarterly domestic product, we didn't hit recession until *well* after W was in office.  But on the other hand things were already slowing down *before* Clinton left office, and it's real speculation to guess what the economy would look like if Clinton hadn't had to leave or if Gore became president.----------------[/P]
[P]mturpiz,[/P]
[P]I wouldn't describe the start of the recession as being well after W was in office. He took office Jan 20, 2001. The recession began March 2001 making his term less than a month and a half old.[/P][/BLOCKQUOTE][BR][BR]
 

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