The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. After much pressure from readers, this email newsletter is now going the blog route. I update the blog once a week focusing on both national issues and issues of interest to particular regions or states. In general, NYC, California, New Jersey, Virginia and the Midwest get special attention simply because those are the areas where I seem to have the most readers. However, these days I am too busy to give each region the attention I used to. As my readership on Daily Gotham and Culture Kitchen goes up, I have to spend more time on those sites. So this newsletter is fading a bit. I hope it is still usefull to you, though.
This week I talk about corruption in government, focus on a Sierra Club action targeting Home Depot and Fox News, energy solutions and I focus on some local goings on in New York, Florida and New Jersey.
The levees broke in New Orleans...and Bush claimed "no one could have predicted the levees would break."
That was a lie. It was predictable AND predicted in clear terms in a report that was on his desk. He ignored it. Money was withheld from upgrading the levees. People died because Republicans cut the budget so they could boost Halliburton profits and cut taxes on the richest 1% of Americans.
The Republicans have been cutting the budget for food inspections. The result: tainted products from China poisoning pets and quite possibly contaminating human food. Americans may have been poisoned because Republicans cut the budget so they could subsidize oil companies that charge us over $3/gallon for gas while making record-breaking profits.
Republicans have been cutting regulations on pollution emissions, so we see mercury levels in our fish rise, more and more lakes and rivers are now closed to fishing and recreation, asthma rates are increasing...and the companies that pollute our environment (because WE are the ones who drink the contaminated water, eat the contaminated fish and breathe the contaminated air) make record profits while polluting our neighborhoods.
And now Minnisota. A bridge that had CLEARLY become unsafe was ignored...until it collapsed. And there are many more bridges out there in the exact same state of neglect as the one in Minnisota.
Neglect. That is the word. Neglect.
The neglect of America. While we spend BILLIONS of dollars bogged down in a civil war in Iraq that really has nothing to do with American security, America itself is neglected. While Halliburton, Bechtel and Exxon/Mobil, whose CEOs are all close buddies of Cheney, make record profits, America's roads, levees, wetlands, lakes, rivers and bridges are all neglected. While taxes are cut for some of the richest men in the world, the rest of us suffer with America's neglected infrastructre.
This is not accidental. It is the POLICY of the modern Republican party to neglect America. I have written about this before, but it bears repeating. The Republican party has a POLICY of neglecting America and we all suffer for it.
Grover Norquist, one of the darlings of the extreme rightwing, Gingrich/Bush/McCain branch of the Republican party, once said, "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." This statement has been the basis of Republican policy. Norquist went into more detail:
"Cutting the government in half in one generation is both an ambitious and reasonable goal," Norquist stated in May 2000. "If we work hard we will accomplish this and more by 2025. Then the conservative movement can set a new goal. I have a recommendation: To cut government in half again by 2050"
This is what happens when you drown government in the Norquist's bathtub: you put American lives at risk. Simple as that. Katrina was a very predictable consequence of the Republican Doctrine. The importation of contaminated food from China was a very predictable consequence of the Republican Doctrine. The collapse of the bridge in Minnisota was a very predictable consequence of the Republican Doctrine. And it won't end there. You weaken government until it can no longer do its job, and then shit like this happens. And will keep happening until we STOP SACRIFICING GOOD GOVERNMENT FOR HALLIBURTON PROFITS.
The Republican Doctrine of neglecting America has been in full swing. Halliburton and Exxon prosper. Working class and middle class Americans suffer. It is as simple as that.
Here is this week's newsletter:
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