If the middle class could give your Congressmember a grade, what would it be? Today, DMI releases grades for every senator and representative, evaluating their votes on key legislation that affects the current and aspiring middle class.
DMI’s Rapid Response to the 2008 State of the Union
Click here to read the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy’s full analysis of the President’s domestic policy prescriptions – complete with statistics and talking points -- online at www.drummajorinstitute.org/sotu2008
The American people want change. Every Presidential candidate, Democrat and Republican, has made this a mantra. But the State of the Union Address reveals no alteration from President George W. Bush. This year the President labored to keep breathing life into the same worn out ideology that has repeatedly failed America’s current and aspiring middle class.
The writers strike is still going on and going strong. Writers are still picketing The Daily Show.
So why did the self-professed "champion of the middle class" CNN pundit Lou Dobbs go on The Daily Show show last night? That's scabbing. I wonder what Dobbs would have to say to all those professional writers who's struggle for a fair deal he just slapped in the face. Don't they count as America's squeezed middle class (and not even middle class in many cases)? Isn't that the group he claims to speak for?
Dobbs hasn't commented on this controversy yet and didn't even use his air time to make any statements supporting the writers in his interview. I know because I watched the show online. The writers are fighting for their contract to include their being paid for shows that are watched online. Daily Show is VERY popular online.
Oh the irony.
From the Drum Major Institute's 2007 Year In Review. A look back at the numbers that paint a picture of our nation in 2007.
Minimum number of hazardous children's toys recalled by Mattel in August 2007: 9,500,000
Number of employees on the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2007: 420
Number of CPSC staff who currently inspect toys, according to the New York Times: 1
Number of CPSC staff eliminated by the Bush administration's 2008 budget: 19
In today's presidential campaign, America is all heartland -- tractor pulls, county fairs, town halls and truck stops. Candidates scramble for photo ops in plaid, stump in wheat fields and scarf down corn dogs. Our country, it seems, is all country.
Yet we are an urban nation. More than 80% of Americans live in cities. Urbanites drive 90% of our economy. In pandering to rural voters, presidential candidates ignore the bread and butter issues that most Americans deal with every day -- housing, transportation, infrastructure, crime, education.
The Memo to the Netroots on Immigration that I posted here yesterday caused a lot of discussion and one of the things readers requested was a diary that would sum-up the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy's immigration policy report and link you all to our informational sources.
TO: The Netroots
FROM: Elana Levin, The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy
RE: Immigration and the blogosphere
America’s current immigration policy is clearly unacceptable to the general public, immigrant rights activists, immigration opponents and organized labor. Even corporations are dissatisfied with the status quo, even if for their own profit-driven reasons. There is a consensus that reform is needed but there is no consensus on what that reform should look like. At the same time, the status quo of maximum noise with minimum action is a political strategy for a certain segment of the organized right wing. The netroots can play a critical role on this issue by facilitating a conversation that will lead to increased political will for a progressive immigration policy that will benefit America’s squeezed middle class and all those struggling to become middle class.
Dream with me for a minute. Imagine that we-the-people could easily find out how our members of Congress voted on the bills that are most important to us. Imagine that there was a place that explained clearly and simply how those votes really impact America's current and aspiring middle class.
And, while we’re dreaming, imagine that Congress knew that Americans of all walks of life could keep an eye on them, comparing their rhetoric in favor of strengthening and expanding the middle class with their votes.
Wake up and smell the Web 2.0 glory.
Everyone remembers former Governor of New York Mario Cuomo’s famed speech at the 1984 Democratic Convention. Even me (and I was 5). In it he said: "President Reagan told us from the very beginning that he believed in a kind of social Darwinism. Survival of the fittest. ‘Government can't do everything,’ we were told, so it should settle for taking care of the strong and hope that economic ambition and charity will do the rest. Make the rich richer, and what falls from the table will be enough for the middle class and those who are trying desperately to work their way into the middle class."
The speech could have just as easily been delivered in 2007 as 1984. So as the country plunges into another Presidential election cycle, Governor Cuomo, a practitioner and one of the left’s most eloquent voices, once again asks to candidates to step back and examine their governing philosophy and the challenges the country faces, arguing that pat answers and rhetoric are insufficient to address them.
(by Amy Traub of DMIBlog) Based on his own superior knowledge of the American national character – not actual surveys of what Americans say they want[pdf] – David Brooks tells us that "European-style" single-payer health care is anathema to the American way. Funny, it would sounds less foreign if you called it "Canadian-style" which is what it is. And it would sound still less exotic if we called it "Medicare for All," another accurate description.
(By DMI Fellow Ezekiel Edwards) I am going to tell a brief story. Tell me whether you think it takes place in 1957 or 2007.
There is a small town of under 3,000 people. There is a high school in the town. There is a tree at the school known as the "white tree", because only white kids sit under it.
A black student asks school officials for permission to sit under the "white tree". The student receives permission.
A group of black students then sit under the "white tree".
The next day, three nooses, in school colors, are hanging from the "white tree".
Three white students are found responsible. The high school principal recommends expulsion.
My friend Margaret Goodwin also from DMIBlog hails from New Orleans and wrote this post today about the toxic FEMA trailers what it all means.
- * *
Being a native of New Orleans, I am constantly appalled, yet not surprised by FEMA's actions with regard to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. However, the current revelation of FEMA's complete botching of the recovery effort amazes me. According to the Washington Post, "The Federal Emergency Management Agency since early 2006 has suppressed warnings from its own field workers about health problems experienced by hurricane victims living in government-provided trailers with levels of a toxic chemical 75 times the recommended maximum for U.S. workers."
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