Another New Year, another set of Resolutions? This year's set of resolutions should be about issues that affect the future of our country and the well being of the middle class, retirees and the poor.
The choice is yours, you can make resolutions about losing a few pounds or you can make a resolution that will help get America get back on track by visiting my Listen Here! page.
Wishing you the best this holiday season. To hear an audio Christmas Card, visit my Listen Here! page.
Watch this great video made by Donalee King, a.k.a. Paladinette on Twitter. She is an activist who is a great spokesperson for the 99ers, people who have been unemployed for more that 99 weeks, have exhausted their unemployment benefits and were not covered by last week's unemployment extensions. They are probably the majority of our unemployed and have been ignored by most of our electeds including President Obama. Warning: The video has some off-color language.
Chalk up a big win to President Obama for finally obliterating Bill Clinton's right wing pandering Don't Ask Don't Tell law. Getting that reprehensible law off the books is the first step in restoring sanity to our country. Removing DADT falls under the heading of being a social issue and is a definite win for the President. His attempts at getting the Dream act, also a social issue passed were admirable.
When it comes to pocket book issues, the issues that keep food on the table and people working, President Obama becomes quite a different person. His support of the South Korea U.S. "Free" Trade Agreement, an agreement that has the potential to become the NAFTA of our time is a slap in the face to unions and working people. That wolf in sheep's clothing agreement is not needed in this time of high unemployment. Most unions hate the agreement. Who likes it? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce loves it and praised President Obama for supporting it. President Obama is on the WRONG side of this issue, the pro-corporate side!
President Obama has been on the corporate/big business side of so many pocketbook issues that I'm not going to enumerate them in this article. You know what those issues are, they started out looking like they could help us, but were compromised to death. What's important is that you know that they ALL have one common thread, in their final form, they favored corporate interests at OUR expense!
Mr. President while supporting moral issues is the right thing to do, being on OUR side of pocketbook issues is putting your money where your mouth is.
When President Obama was running for office and making those soaring "yes we can" speeches, he was inadvertently drawing a future line in the sand. That line was drawn when he made a constant reference to Bush's tax breaks for the rich. That reference was very different from a campaign promise casually tossed out in a speech by a politician trying to curry favor and win votes, it defined him as a man and represented who he was to become as an elected official. In other words, he wasn't a Republican and subconsciously, it was why we voted for him.
When Bill Clinton supported "free" trade agreements like NAFTA, it upset many union people who silently wondered how ANY Democrat could support something that would cost so many working Americans their jobs. They were agreements that the Republicans, always taking care of their corporate friends endorsed. He made a constant reference to those agreements creating "new" jobs and offering a bright future for all concerned. In other words, those agreements were there to help working people as well as corporate interests. Bill Clinton didn't know it then, but he was drawing a future line in the sand for the Democratic party.
As we all know, President Obama is seemingly more eager to please the Republicans and get the unemployment extensions that they are holding hostage passed, than to live up to how he defined himself during his campaign and by extension, his integrity as a man. By extending tax breaks for the rich, he has crossed the line in the sand that defined him as being the antidote to Bush and joined his predecessor on the wrong side of that line. That will render him politically unacceptable to many of his core supporters.
As we all know, President Obama is actively supporting the South Korea US Free Trade Agreement, an agreement that was originated by the Bush administration. Once again there are claims that the agreement will create many jobs due to an increase in exporting. Careful examination of the agreement by many unions and yours truly show that it has the potential to be a huge job killer, in other words NAFTA II. Unions have been in denial about Bill Clinton's support of NAFTA and have continued to support the Democrats for years. Obama's support of the South Korea US FTA just put the Democratic Party on the wrong side of the line that Bill Clinton drew in the sand years ago.
Now that the lines of integrity have been crossed, we have two choices:
1- To go into denial and pretend that the President and the Democratic Party actually represents us, not corporations and the rich.
2- To help form a pro-labor third party that will restore the American dream to the 98% of us who aren't millionaires.
The choice is yours, choose wisely!
Our "two" party system offers the same endless cycle of promise now, disappoint later every campaign season. Make grandiose promises during campaign season and use the other party as a convenient scapegoat when your corporate backers call in their chips later. The severity of the disappointment is a function of which party is in charge at a particular point in time. I'm going to discuss the Democratic Party because, I'm a union person and because we have a "two" party system that consists of the Pro-Corporate rich man's Party and the Almost Pro-Corporate middle class Party. Unions, at the top levels tend to give the Democrats unconditional and many times undeserved love.
The Democratic Party presents itself as a middle class/poor person's alternative to the clearly pro corporate, pro wealthy Republican Party. The Republicans try to get middle class support by wrapping themselves in a protective shield of patriotism and use their secret weapons distortion, implication and innuendo quite successfully. The Democrats play the role of the middle class and poor person's protector and benefactor with some success. In other words, good cop/bad cop.
History repeats itself and subjects us to enough good cop/bad cop cycles to make us think that we are part of a prime time police series. The current "no drama" administration seems to have brought brought the good cop game to a grand crescendo. During campaign season, the President promised his supporters, people who were pummeled by eight years of Bush baloney "change".
Over time, almost all of his campaign promises were compromised into oblivion. The initial excuse being that he's "everyone's President" and wants to extend the hand of bipartisan friendship to the other side. As the first year progressed, the blue dogs sided with the Republicans and created another reason why he couldn't deliver a full measure of change.
Now that his luke-warm advocacy of many issues that were important to a dedicated, core part of his base alienated them to the point of not voting, a loss of Congressional seats gives him the excuse to go beyond compromise, all the way to capitulation.
Ask yourself these questions:
1-Since the same corporate lobbyists influence BOTH parties. Do I want to have this endless game of pretend finger pointing and faux political stalemates continue and affect future generations?
2- Do I feel that my party is Democratic in name only?
3- Since the Republicans always seem to defend corporate interests, and the Democrats seem to be indifferent. Wouldn't a bonafide, unified, Labor Party better represent my interests as a working person?
If your answer to the above questions is "YES", start a dialog at your union local.
We have to grow our OWN candidates and political party NOW, so we can break the cycle of disappointment and secure our children's future! SOLIDARITY!
If you watched Sen. Bernie Sanders' speech on CSPAN yesterday, you realized that he's one of the few politicians that put's our interests before that of corporations and the rich. He clearly explained how the compromise deal's gift basket of goodies for the rich hurts the rest of us. If you didn't watch CSPAN, you're out of luck because the big three networks and the cable networks had virtually no coverage of his speech, but gave lots of coverage to Bill Clinton's speech that endorsed the Deal.
Help to restore fairness to the mainstream media by visiting my Listen Here! page.
It's easy to smugly defend Obama's compromise if all you have to worry about is if your new Iphone is better than an Android. People are suffering and counted on the change that Obama promised in his campaign to, in many cases, save lives. How many of you have experienced the grinding poverty that this depression for the poor/recession for the middle class has caused? How many of you have seen people with cancer, cardiac, life threatening conditions go untreated because they have NO insurance and will not reach a distant date in 2014? How many of you complacent souls have seen what life is like for a person in his/her fifties who was laid off and can't get another job due to age discrimination? How many have experienced the joy of losing a job because it was outsourced overseas due to Bill Clinton's support of "free" trade agreements? Isn't President Obama hawking a "free" trade agreement even as
we speak? Oops!
People, this isn't about my team or your team, Mets V.S. Yankees, it's about people's lives! The President had eons to exert the kind of political pressure that great Presidents of the past have expertly used to get legislation passed that protected our most vulnerable. We are now reaching the end of this lame duck session of Congress. The Republicans are using unemployment to extract anything they want from President Obama. If he took a STRONG advocacy roll from the get-go, he wouldn't be subject to that kind of Republican blackmail. He didn't even include the 99 'ers in the deal.
Think about the real victims of this recession, they are counting on people to stand up for them. I'm not going to let them down. So play your political games and try not to see the faces of the suffering when you go to sleep tonight.
The President broke a major campaign promise when he literally surrendered to the Republicans and gave them a two year extension on the Bush tax breaks for the rich. Some people say that President Obama did it out of concern for the unemployed who had their unemployment insurance held hostage by the Republicans. Apparently that concern didn't extend to the many people who have been unemployed for over 99 weeks. I say that any defense at this point is just the bleating of Obama apologists who are starting to look more like members of a cult than a members of a political party.
The Unemployment issue should have been resolved earlier in the game.There are ways of throwing negative bargaining chips on the table that would have had the Republicans quaking in their boots.
For many of us, President Obama's caving on tax breaks for the rich was the last straw, for me it was when he became a "free" trader like his fellow Democrat Bill Clinton and supported KORUS FTA, The South Korea US Free Trade Agreement, an agreement that was originated by the Bush administration and has the endorsement of the US Chamber of Commerce.
Frankly, when November 2012 rolls around, I don't want to be presented with the classic Democratic/Republican lesser of two evils scenario. We don't need a Republican or a someone who makes deals with Republicans in office. If we genuinely fear for the future of our country if it continues along the current path, we have to start planning for REAL change NOW!
You can take the first step by taking this poll:
President Obama just announced that negotiations were completed on the South Korea United States Free Trade Agreement. This agreement was a product of the Bush administration and has been reworked by Obama's people to make it more palatable to Democrats. President Obama touts the exporting possibilities of the agreement as something that can help to bring jobs to the USA. I say that "free" trade agreements like Bill Clinton's NAFTA that were also hawked as job creators have always been job killers. Even if we do increase our imports, my Show No 56 - Exporting, Corporate Snake Oil For Working People, explains why exporting actually hurts working people by lowering their standard of living.
Democrats like to campaign against the Republican "free" market philosophy then, once elected, push for the passage of "free" trade agreements. The current agreement has earned President Obama accolades from The US Chamber Of Commerce and other pro corporate groups. The trickle down philosophy is alive and well in BOTH parties. Both parties do not deserve OUR support! A new third party will have to be created to genuinely represent working people and field candidates for 2012.