Art offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.

“Every American ought to have the right to be treated; as he would like to be treated, as one would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated.”


Labor is launching a great ad campaign against Republican lawmakers in key states warning they not vote to make cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. Too bad they don’t hit some of the Dems pushing cuts as well…

In Illinois Rep. Hoyer (D-Md) intervenes against one of the top progressive recruits of 2012 for the “moderate” candidate. Another memo from the DCCC against the liberal grassroots:

One of the highest ranking House Democrats is intervening in an Illinois primary, accenting the widening fissure between moderates and progressives in the battle to take back Rep. Robert Dold’s seat.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer is choosing the more moderate Brad Schneider over the more progressive Ilya Sheyman in the 10th District.

A release from Schneider’s campaign inexplicably failed to include a customary quote from Hoyer, and instead included the candidate’s praise of the Maryland congressman.

Hoyer appears to line up with Schneider more on ideological grounds, but it’s still striking for him to involve himself in a race that doesn’t include an incumbent or former member.

Sheyman, who is just 25, has racked up endorsements from the liberal wing of the party, including Reps. Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva and former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean. Last week, he won the blessing of eight-term Rep. Danny Davis.

This is one primary to watch.

The stark raving mad GOP House passed a NRA backed gun bill that defies sanity. It allows terrorists to cross state lines with guns legally among other things. And 43 Democrats voted with the GOP majority to approve this legislation. See those who wasted their votes protecting the rights of terrorists here.

More folks on the Hill are rooting for the Super Committee to fail. The idea of this committee itself was a failure of intellect. Liberals are openly urging this committee go die:

Now, in sharp contrast to this summer, Democrats say they are in the driver’s seat. They note that Republicans are already vowing to torpedo the sequestration cuts to the Defense Department, something Democrats say they will not go along with.

Many Democrats would prefer the sequestration cuts over a deal that would make major reforms to entitlement programs.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who voted against the debt deal on Aug. 1, is openly rooting for the super-panel to fall short.

“I hope that they cannot reach an agreement,” Nadler told Capital New York.

Nadler favors major cuts to the military ““ which could happen in 2013 if Congress cannot pass a deficit-reduction bill…

House Financial Services ranking member Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said, “Rather than a bad deal from the supercommittee, I would prefer a situation in which we had the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and sequestration and we could then work those two together ““ use revenue from letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the very wealthy as a way of moderating the blow of sequestration.”

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, suggested recently that the panel’s failure would be preferable.

“We can maneuver those [automatic cuts] around, and quite frankly, that might be the better path to take,” Harkin said last month on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program.

The Super Committee lurches towards it’s deadline and Sen. Sanders (I-Vt) launches into both parties for their failures:

As a Thanksgiving deadline nears for action by the powerful Super Committee on deficit reduction, I hope (but doubt) that Republicans will listen to the American people and support deficit reduction in a fair and responsible way. I hope (but doubt) that Democrats will not once again capitulate just for the sake of an agreement – but that’s been the pattern.

In December — when Democrats controlled the Senate, the House and the White House — Congress and President Obama not only extended Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthy but also gave new breaks to heirs of the super-rich.

In April — with a Democrat in the White House and Democrats still in the majority in the Senate — Republicans threatened to shut down the government and delay the processing of new Social Security benefits for senior citizens unless their demands were met. Democrats went along with $78 billion in cuts from the president’s budget request.

In August, in an outrageous display of unprincipled gamesmanship, Republicans put the United States on the brink of bankruptcy. Instead of invoking clear 14th Amendment powers to honor our nation’s debts, the president and most Democrats agreed to a $2.5 trillion deficit-reduction package.

That’s how we got to where we are today.

Incredibly, throughout all of these negotiations — in December, in April, in August and again today — the wealthiest Americans and the country’s major corporations have not yet been asked to contribute one penny toward deficit reduction. That is despite huge cuts in life-and-death programs for working families.

The American people have had it. The Occupy Wall Street movement is growing. A virtual popular uprising forced Bank of America to drop an unpopular $5 monthly debit card fee. On Election Day 2011, in Ohio and many other states the American people said NO to right-wing extremism and corporate greed.

Sen. Sanders thinks stalemate makes for a critical election, but I am not as sure:

What if the super committee ends in stalemate? Across-the-board, automatic cuts are set to kick in. That so-called sequestration wouldn’t start, however, until 2013. That would make 2012 one of the most important election years in modern American history.

If Democrats stand with ordinary Americans and make it clear that they are prepared to take on the wealthy and the powerful, they could win both houses of Congress. They could give Obama a fresh infusion of boldness as he enters a second term in the White House.

Somehow I recall a few years ago millions of Americans chanting, “Yes, We Can.” Now is the time to hear their voices.

There is nothing more progressive than cleaning up government and making it open for all. And now Sen. Gillibrand (D-Ny) and others senators are putting forward a bill to end the practice of insider trading- from members of congress:

The lawmakers are urging passage of a measure that redefines insider trading to include knowledge gained from congressional work. It would also require “political intelligence consultants” to register as lobbyists.

“The American people deserve the right to know their lawmakers’ only interest is what’s best for the country, not their own financial interests,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in a statement.

The other seven proposing the bill were Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

“Members of Congress should not have a different set of rules, they should be treated the same as everyone else. This is not a Democratic or Republican idea, it is just a good idea that can create wide bipartisan support,” Gillibrand said.

The senators said members of Congress and their staff are not prohibited by law or by congressional rules from using private information to invest and trade in stocks.

The measure would enable the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prosecute cases of insider trading by lawmakers, similar to a bill in the House, and make it a violation of the rules of the House and Senate to engage in such an activity.

Good to see Sen. McCaskill (D-Mo) pushing this agenda. For once she is inline with Truman.

This week’s Tea Party prize of idiocy goes to a bill they are pushing into law. It makes pizza a vegetable and would help kill our kids sooner. Oh boy:

Specifically, the bill would:

““ Block the Agriculture Department from limiting starchy vegetables, including corn and peas, to two servings a week. The rule was intended to cut down on french fries, which many schools serve daily.

““ Allow USDA to count two tablespoons of tomato paste as a vegetable, as it does now. The department had attempted to require that only a half-cup of tomato paste could be considered a vegetable. Federally subsidized lunches must have a certain number of vegetables to be served.

““ Require further study on long-term sodium reduction requirements set forth by the USDA guidelines.

““ Require USDA to define “whole grains” before they regulate them. The USDA rules require schools to use more whole grains.

Food companies who have fought the USDA standards say they were too strict and neglected the nutrients that potatoes, other starchy vegetables and tomato paste do offer.

Millions unemployed yet pizza is now a vegetable!

Second prize for idiocy:

In Texas a stunning error in a bill may force a special session. The GOP was so focused on passing garbage critical bills were left to the last day of session- and thus terrible mistakes were made. :

A Texas law passed on the frantic final day of the legislative session mistakenly omitted the $200 fine for driving a vehicle without license plates, possibly jeopardizing the enforcement of related laws including a ban on false, altered or obscured license plates.

The author of the bill, Rep. Joe Pickett, has asked the attorney general’s office to determine whether the omission will be a problem when the new law takes effect Jan. 1.

House Bill 2357, approved in May, divided motor vehicle violations into individual chapters as part of an effort to reorganize and modernize much of the Texas Transportation Code. Each chapter included the penalty for violations, eliminating the need to hunt through the voluminous code for punishment information.

But the 234-page bill inadvertently dropped language setting a $200 fine from the chapter outlawing the operation of vehicles without license plates, Pickett said.

“It was just a very huge, detailed bill that we’d already rewritten three, four, five times,” Pickett, D-El Paso, said Tuesday. “This wasn’t a first draft. We made so many corrections and changes, we thought we caught everything.”