We're getting F*&$#ed at Home

While everyone focuses on Iraq, we get F*&$#ed at Home, and it's our own fault.

Politicalwire, has this entry from the Evans-Novak Report:100 Hour Agenda Stalled in Senate
From the latest Evans-Novak Political Report: "Republicans have recovered from the initial blow of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) early blitz, thanks largely to the Senate's playing its historical role of the saucer cooling the hot coffee from the House. Of the six early bills passed by the House, none has yet gotten through the whole legislative process."

"The minimum wage increase surely will be passed in time, but the House-approved measure for now is stuck in the Senate quagmire. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who no longer is Finance Committee chairman but only its ranking Republican member, is still powerful enough to demand....

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Funding Presidential Libraries

Say George Bush needs to raise half a billion dollars for his eventual presidential library and scholarly institute in Texas. In fact, he does, and that's the most a presidential library has ever cost -- Clinton's ran $165 million and George H.W. Bush's half that. The way the law stands now, anyone and everyone is welcome to anonymously chip into the kitty: Halliburton, the Saudi government, somebody looking for a pardon, whomever. Heck, a single donor could kick in every red cent needed for construction and his or her name need never appear anywhere in the public record. Think someone who's willing to help a sitting president erase what is in effect a huge debt is going to curry a little bit of favor? It's a giant backdoor into the president's good graces. Rep. Henry Waxman's been fed up with the way that presidential libraries are funded since when Clinton was passing the hat for his. Today, at about 11 or so, Waxman's Oversight Committee will be hearing a bill that would amend the Presidential Libraries Act. He'd make it so that the name of every donor over $200 is disclosed and posted online in a timely fashion.

Crossposted at Daily Kos

A Survey of Anti-Escalation and Redeployment Bills

I am compiling a list of bills introduced in the 110th Congress dealing with ending, lessening, or keeping at the status quo, American involvement in Iraq.  

H.Con.Res.23: Offered by Dennis Kucinich
Expresses the sense of the Congress that troops not be escalated (note the use of the word "escalated") in Iraq.  I may be wrong, but this appears to be a non-binding resolution.  Judging from the compartively high number of cosponsors and the fact that Lynch is a cosponsor, it appears this may become a "consensus" piece of legislation, basically hot air but no substance.  It has 21 cosponsors as of 12:28 PM EST on January 11:  

Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-8] | Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] | Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] | Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14]| Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] | Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] | Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] | Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] | Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] | Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] | Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] | Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [GA-4] | Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] | Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] | Rep Lynch, Stephen F. [MA-9] | Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] | Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] | Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] | Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] | Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] | Rep Wu, David [OR-1]

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More Perfect: Open Source Legislation Project

A few weeks ago, there were some posts about how the netroots could participate in not just watchdogging, but creating new legislation now that the Democrats are in power.

I just ran across a new project by Zephyr Teachout and The Sunlight Foundation tackling this very problem:

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Democratic Legislative Priorities Demanded By Voters

Democratic Legislative Priorities Demanded By Voters

Congressional Democrats are on notice. They must pass legislation in a few key areas quickly to keep their jobs. The anger shown by voters in defeating Republican incumbents will be turned on Democrats if they fail to address key issues.

Of course, we need to get out of Iraq. This issue has seen plenty of attention by other pundits and the mainstream media so this column will not cover it in depth.

We should increase the minimum wage and index future increases to inflation. The goal must be to have all American workers earn a living wage. The American nation needs to address the plight of the working poor.

Congress has to dramatically increase financial aid for college students in the form of scholarships and grants. We must reduce the debt burden faced by college students from student loans.

Democrats in Congress will have to pass legislation that requires broadcasters to conform to the Fairness Doctrine. They must reduce the ability of the FCC to exempt corporations from regulations concerning monopoly ownership in media markets. Laws need to be passed that encourage local media ownership, content diversity and minority ownership.

National standards for voting machines and uniform practices should be mandated by Congress. Verified voting procedures, with easy recounts in close races, must be required by law in every election. The right to have all votes counted should be formalized in law. Public officeholders whose actions deny voting rights to large groups of voters should face serious felony criminal charges and long sentences in prison

We must expand the healthcare rights of all citizens. We need to rapidly move toward single-payer, government provided universal healthcare under Medicare. It is a national disgrace that Americans spend so much of our national wealth on healthcare for such meager results. We are the last major industrialized nation on the planet not to have government provided universal healthcare.

Our national economy must reverse course on outsourcing of good paying American jobs. We must rebuild our industrial base or face a rapid decline of our international power. Our national security is being threatened by an insane trade policy. The self-interest of our nation must come before the profits of large international corporations.

America must move rapidly to expanded alternative and renewable energy sources. Our national energy policy cannot be designed by the oil industry. We need a national push for ethanol production, solar power, bio-diesel and wind power. Our tax codes should massively reward energy efficient building practices.

Stricter limits must be placed on the role of money in American politics. We must find a way to halt campaign money flowing from large corporations and corrupting our political system.

If Democrats move quickly to take action on these problems, we can dominant American politics for a generation or more. If not, we will have difficulty in retaining majority control of Congress.

Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com .) Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21919. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: midsouthcm@aol.com .

Feel free to publish without prior permission at no charge.

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