08/23/10 – The United Auto Workers is the latest union to join the BlueGreen Alliance, which unites labor and environmental groups pushing for greenhouse gas limits and other policies to create “green” jobs.
The UAW — also known as the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America — claims to have more than 390,000 active members.
“UAW members produce best-in-class cars and trucks, key vehicle components, and top quality heavy-duty trucks, and we know that we can rebuild the American auto industry by building cleaner, more efficient vehicles — and developing the technologies that will get us there,” UAW President Bob King said in a statement Monday about joining the BlueGreen Alliance.
“We have enormous opportunities to revitalize this industry, and the American economy, by embracing the clean energy economy of the future,” he said.
Social Security just turned 75, and all across the country, people and senior organizations are celebrating this enormous achievement. Before President Franklin Roosevelt signed the law on August 14, 1935, about half of the senior citizens in America lived in poverty. That began to change on January 31, 1940, when the first monthly retirement check, for $22.54, was issued to retired legal secretary Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vt. <!– [more] –>
Today, more than 52 million Americans, including over 124,000 Vermonters, receive benefits. For three quarters of a century, Social Security has been a great success doing exactly what it was designed to do. During that entire period not one American who has been eligible for Social Security has failed to receive benefits they were entitled to receive. That’s a pretty good record. Today, Social Security not only provides retirement benefits to seniors, it provides support for the disabled and widows and orphans.
[ Note from John Leonard: When I was growing up for many years, Pleasant Drive in Potter Twp. Beaver Co. Pa was called Poorhouse Run Road because the Poorhouse was located on what is now the property of Horse Head Industries. Looks like some Republicans want to resurrect some bad parts of history. Their families should be the first to enter into the new ideas they seek. ]
If elected governor of New York, Tea Party Republican Carl Paladino wouldn’t criminalize being poor, per se. That would be unconstitional. He’d just rather see them “voluntarily” move into state prisons where they could work on improving, among other things, their “personal hygiene”.
Paladino is competing for the Republican nomination with former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio. The primary is Sept. 14th and Paladino has campaigned hard to the right of Lazio. He’s routinely argued that New York’s social services encourage illegal immigrants and the poor to come to live in New York.
According to Paladino his poor-to-prison plan is modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal program that paid young unemployed men during the Great Depression to plant trees, build roads and develop parks. Paladino’s program would be open to long-term welfare recipients and to people who had lost their jobs during the recession. Paladino is proposing to consolidate prison facilities and using the vacant ones into dormitory style housing where they could work for the state in some military or public works capacity in exchange for a receipt of benefits.
Among Obama’s principal tasks right now are to reverse his dwindling popularity and to bolster the Democrats’ chances in the the upcoming fall elections. These are not unrelated objectives. He’s got to get people to perceive him as on their side with respect to things that matter, and matter big, to the electorate, and to credibly distinguish himself from the Republicans on these same issues. After all, the cardinal political objective of liberal Democrats is to keep Republicans out of office.
Bob Stewart (left), a member of Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees and Randy Shannon (right), Treasurer of the 4th CD’s Progressive Democrats of America, hold sign while others sign messages at Congressman Altmire’s Aliquippa office. ‘We just want him to state in plain language that he will not vote for cutbacks to Social Security. So far, he has refused, and that’s the message we are writing on the sheets we a delivering here today.”
The next vigil to protest Altmire’s intention to cut social security will be on September 15th at noon, 2110 McLean St., Aliquippa.
Have you got three minutes. Because that’s all you need to learn how to defeat the Republican Right. Just read through this handy guide and you’ll have everything you need to successfully debunk right-wing propaganda.
It’s really that simple. First, you have to beat their ideology, which really isn’t that difficult. At bottom, conservatives believe in a social hierarchy of “haves” and “have nots” that I call “corporate feudalism“. They have taken this corrosive social vision and dressed it up with a “respectable” sounding ideology. That ideology is pure hogwash, and you can prove it.
But you have to do more than defeat the ideology. You have to defeat the “drum beat”. You have to defeat the “propaganda machine”, that brainwashes people with their slogans and catch-phrases. You’ve heard those slogans.”Less government“, “personal responsibility” and lots of flag waving. They are “shorthand” for an entire worldview, and the right has been pounding their slogans out into the public domain for getting on forty years.
So you need a really good slogan – a “counter-slogan” really, to “deprogram” the brainwashed. You need a “magic bullet” that quickly and efficiently destroys the effectiveness of their “drum beat”. You need your own “drum beat” that sums up the right’s position. Only your “drum beat” exposes the ugly reality of right-wing philosophy – the reality their slogans are meant to hide. Our slogan contains the governing concept that explains the entire right-wing agenda. That’s why it works. You can see it in every policy, and virtually all of Republican rhetoric. And it’s so easy to remember, and captures the essence of the Republican Right so well, we can pin it on them like a “scarlet letter”.
Rep. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, pledged Saturday to fight any attempt to privatize Social Security or cut the program’s benefits, including by raising the retirement age for full benefits.
Schauer, who faces Republican Tim Walberg in the race for the 7th Congressional District seat, spoke to a group of about 35 people at the Adrian Senior Center on the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act.
To make his point, Schauer signed a written pledge on a poster board in front of the group, promising to strengthen and protect Social Security and fight any attempt to convert its funds to private investment accounts.
“I will oppose with every ounce of energy privatization of Social Security,” Schauer said.