Will Work For Food?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

PETITION: Dr. Dean Keeping Up The Fight For The Public Option

Stand With Dr. Dean ! Nothing good will happen if we don't keep asking for it.

Health Care: Something For The "I've Got Mine Who Cares About You" Group

The middle class may find paying for health care harder and harder if health care reform fails.

DONATIONS NEEDED: End the CA Budget Crisis Once And For All: George Lakoff Plan!

Pass This On!

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Our budget process is failing California. Right now, a small minority of legislators (1/3 plus 1) of either the assembly or senate can block the will of the majority. This is undemocratic. It has led to the closing of our state parks, public libraries, andfire departments. It has decimated our educational system and social safety net. It is now time to ACT.

We have an opportunity to pass a proposition in November 2010 to overturn the 2/3 requirement to pass the California budget and raise revenue. Our proposition is simple - one sentence, 14 words:

"All legislative actions on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote."

The CA Majority Rule campaign is dedicated to making this happen. This is your chance to change California history with one simple sentence.

In order to run an effective campaign, we first need to conduct a public opinion poll to aid in our message strategy. Author and Professor George Lakoff has drafted questions and we are in the process of hiring a reputable polling company. We need to raise money to conduct this unique poll.

If we don't act now, we may lose the opportunity to pass this initiative.

To DONATE, click on the link below:

Please donate what you can. If each of our supporters donates just $35, we can reach our $35,000 goal quickly and entirely with grassroots support!!

The West L.A. Democratic Club has offered to accept funds for the poll through this special Act Blue page. With your support, WE WILL WIN in November 2010.

Deana Igelsrud

Help fund the George Lakoff Poll go to:

To learn more about CA Majority Rule
visit our website: (www.CAMajorityRule.com)

Man Of The Hour: Thom Hartmann

Thom Hartmann: let us buy into Medicare.
(photo from the web)

Why is Medicare confined to the elderly and the disabled/chronically ill...the most expensive health care users? Why do the private companies get exclusive rights to the healthier population they carefully cherry-pick for maximizing premium collections vs. potential claims? We tolerate this, which lets many of our citizens remain uncovered or undercovered, and also comes with at least 18,000 fatalities ANNUALLY...for what reason?

Could the extremists sit down and shut up so the rest of us could get some health care?

Medicare is not perfect (nothing is) but with what we are paying for our crazy "system" now, we could afford to fix its problems with $$$ left over. Oh, maybe a few bloated executive wallets might suffer, but I can live with that. Can't you?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I thought I would be shopping at the new one coming to my area. I was wrong!

Their CEO does NOT need my barely-enough food money. I'm not going to fund his propaganda.

Progressive Caucus in San Luis Obispo this weekend

I only just learned about it, so apologies for the short notice! http://www.progressivecaucuscdp.org/home.html

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cuts That Bleed...

Domestic Violence Shelters

No, I don't know how any policymaker of any political persuasion could have in good conscience slashed all of the funding for the above. I have not figured out how this happened, in the early part of the 21st century.

See Stop Family Violence to take action.

The California Budget, as signed in July 2009

California is still suffering from high unemployment (a shout-out here to my own household and to so many friends who have also lost their jobs) and shows other indications of economic weakness. So the hope was for something less contractionary than the current all-cuts budget, with the cuts affecting mainly the poor and the middle class. Isn't this a classic way to fuel demand destruction?

In addition, from a humane, common sense, let's-get-out-of-the-short-term-thinking-trap point of view, this budget is the nightmare many of us prayed we would not see in real life. It is needlessly cruel and dangerous to many vulnerable citizens, such as the sick, the disabled and children. It takes from education, thus eroding the pool of talent our state needs to both attract and keep businesses here and to cope successfully with the new economy of the 21st century.

This budget is not a permanent solution to the deficit problem, and adds new debt. For those of you concerned with the cost vs. benefits of the presence of illegal immigrants in our state, this budget does not address that issue in any way. The closure of our parks will take away more than 2 dollars from our economy for every 1 dollar saved. The cuts to firefighting allocations, from the point of view of someone who was recently close to the Jesusita Fire, the Gap Fire, and the Tea Fire, simply take my breath away.

There WERE other alternatives--so why these and other terrible furies leashed upon us? It is as if the leaders were trying to punish the citizens of this state. Is that a crazy thought? Or is it perhaps something real, such as retribution for those who did bother to vote having voted a big NO on the ballot propositions of last May, in a special election which was to help balance the budget -- with the one YES vote from the electorate going towards prohibiting increases to legislators' salaries during times of budget deficit...?

I cannot say for certain what produced this horrific end product of months of tortured negotiations. But it is interesting to note that once again, a minority successfully held the majority hostage, delaying the signing to the point where the state began to issue IOUs instead of paying obligations, delay which once again wasted a great deal of money and time.

As a former Republican, I keep calling on the California GOP to please move back towards the moderate center, where the majority of us are sitting on the Confused Couch, wringing our hands. No one I know, Republican or Democrat or Other, refused the entire idea of more taxes to help balance the state budget. People don't want their money wasted. They want to see government, including politicians, sharing in the sacrifice we all must make to get the books permanently in order. But only extremists are ok with ripping health care from sick citizens, leaving disabled people without care, taking away education and health insurance and funding for necessities of life for children, closing our parks, reducing our firefighting capabilities, and in other ways attacking our communities.

Most of us just want common sense. So naturally questions begin to be asked, such as why is California the only oil-producing state which does not have an extraction tax (as opposed to such commie pinko liberal hangouts such as Alaska and Texas) ? Why were there recent tax cuts for corporations in the billions of dollars? What was so wrong with the proposed FIFTEEN DOLLAR PER YEAR fee to be added to the vehicle license fee which would have kept the parks open? I'm very low-income and yet I could have come up with that, and would have gladly contributed to something so important to our state.

Now the silent sane majority, who would have stayed quiet had this 2009 budget been a rational product of sincere negotiation, are now going to have to join some of the passionate advocates for reform of some of the provisions which were slipped into Proposition 13, many years ago. At that time people were voting to help homeowners who were losing their homes due to rapidly rising home values and the accompanying too-rapidly rising property taxes. This was the famous "Tax Revolt," which was to usher in an antitax national rebellion. If it in any way contributed to Ronald Reagan's election, perhaps it did do some of that ushering. But that was thirtysomething years ago and our economy has changed dramatically in those years.

The voters who proudly voted back in '78 to keep property taxes on homes from rising too fast were not also vocally championing keeping taxes on commercial property artificially low as well: but that's what 13 gave them, thus making the state heavily dependent on income tax revenue, which varies wildly in "boom" and "bust" years. 13 also slipped in a mandatory requirement for 2/3 of the legislature being needed to agree before a tax could be passed, before a tax cut could be repealed, and for a budget to be passed. 2/3 is hard to get in a large state with strong political divisions. In fact the only other states who require a 2/3 vote to get a budget passed are Arkansas and Rhode Island. California does not have much else in common with these states, AFAIK. I know Rhode Island pretty well, actually. Have ancestors there going back to the state founder. Arkansas, I need to rely on others to tell me about.

Anyway, for 30 years this state has had trouble getting any needed revenue increases passed as well as getting budgets passed on time. And we scratch our heads and wonder where these deficits come from.

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An undergrad economics degree was all I could afford. Alas and alack, it did not guarantee me regular meals.

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Except where individually noted, photos for this blog were taken by xbeepx .