Art offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.
Great news! Former Senator Russ Feingold has endorsed Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the Wisconsin senate race. This is a huge deal and makes Baldwin the front runner for the party nomination and perhaps the general election. Feingold is very respected and popular in Wisconsin these days despite voters foolishly tossing him out. More from Feingold:
“I know Tammy has the values, the vision, and the guts to be a force the middle class in the U.S. Senate,” he writes. “We stood together against going to war in Iraq. And nearly 10 years before the financial collapse, we fought the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.”
“These commonsense rules of the road prevented Wall Street and the big banks from making risky investments, and the end of those safeguards led to our economic crisis. Tammy has always put what is right for working Wisconsin families ahead of powerful special interests in Washington.”
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Baldwin said she was “honored to have the support of Russ Feingold, a progressive champion who always puts Wisconsin’s working and middle class families first.”
Notice a endorsement pattern from Feingold? The only other candidate he has backed so far is Warren because she has fought the banks and Wall St.
The Keystone pipeline decision will be soon and a movement has grown to stop this calamity. It includes Republican leaders in Nebraska, tea party activists, and progressives. Environmental activist McKibben narrates this stirring 10 minutes film on the fight to stop the pipeline which has gained attention and traction:
Read more about action you can take here in The Nation.
Reich hits austerity for what it is: a trap engulfing the world. And yes, if the GOP gets power because of their obstruction they to will fall:
Greece is already in the trap. Spain and Italy are perilously close. Even Britain, France, and Germany are tip-toeing up to it. And now us.
Deficit hawks have to understand: The first step must be to revive growth and jobs. That way, revenues increase and the debt/GDP ratio drops. Only then — when the economy is back on track — do you start cutting.
At the start of the Clinton administration the annual budget deficit was almost $300 billion. But rather than take a meat-axe to spending, we pushed for growth, as did the Fed. The expansion of the 1990s made it easy to get the budget under control. By 2000 we had a $226 billion surplus.
The austerity trap will even hurt Mitch-McConnell Republicans whose top priority is to “make sure Obama is a one-term president.”
While it increases the likelihood of this Republican goal, it doesn’t stop there. Because the austerity trap will last for many years, any Republican successor will also be a one-termer.
Think Progress shows that Occupy Wall St. has changed the MSM dynamic on the issue of debt reduction. Now MSM is mostly talking about jobs and unemployment. A change we would not see if it were not for OWS. More here.
FDR would have not just embraced Occupy Wall St. , he would have immediately pressed for their demands. Historian Woolner says that if it were not for protest movements in the 1930s we would not have key things:
The passage of the all-important Wagner Act, which established a permanent National Labor Relations Board and enshrined the right of private sector workers to form unions, was inspired in large part by the more than 1,800 strikes that broke out in 1934. The Social Security Act, which provided an old-age pension and established unemployment insurance, was spurred on in part by the 2 million-member Townsend movement that put forward a tax and pension scheme that made it clear that the government had to do something to provide basic economic security for the elderly.
FDR embraced the demand for jobs and saved the nation from a revolution. Will Obama?
Sen. Lautenberg (D-Nj) is a awesome old school liberal, who says Obama and the GOP need to do something very aggressive. We need a WPA and NOW. He has proposed such legislation in fact:
Lautenberg’s legislation, called the 21st Century WPA Act, wouldn’t be exactly like the WPA that gave Lautenberg’s own father a job during the Great Depression. Rather, it would award funding to projects that would give jobs to people unemployed for more than 60 days; have a continued economic benefit after their completion; and would devote a “high” portion of each dollar spent to employee pay. The legislation suggests — but does not limit departments to — a variety of projects, including the construction of water treatment plants, schools and firehouses, highway repairs and maintenance, building weatherization and trail maintenance.
He says that the projects he suggest aren’t simply make-work: “Since 1970, our population has increased by about 110 million people, which by itself would create a need for [these facilities],” he said. And because the priority would be on funding projects that would “get people a job in a hurry,” he says it would get people working faster than the jobs legislation that Senate Republicans blocked last week.
Thank you Sen. Lautenberg.
In Ohio we find polling showing SB5- the law that undoes collective bargaining, going down for defeat next month. Why? Dems are united , and indies are aligned against SB5. More here.
In nut watch poor Rep. Eric Canton (R-Va) was slated to speak at elite Wharton School for Business in PA. But:
…numerous Philadelphia protesters from groups including Occupy Philly, Americans United for Change, Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Fight for Philly, SEIU PA State Council, Protect Your Care, Keystone Progress, Moveon.org, NCPSSM, Progress Now, and AFSCME demonstrated at the Wharton School for Business at the University of Pennsylvania after Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) canceled his speech there, apparently afraid of dissident audiences.
As the hundreds of protesters entered the Wharton School and chanted about economic justice, a number of students appeared on the balcony above. These students began chanting in unison, “Get a job! Get a job!” Watch it: