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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Saturday, November 25, 2006

    Progressive Democrat Issue 97: A NATIONAL PLAN

    Here are my suggestions for a Democratic Agenda in Congress. I am choosing plans that make sense for the nation and that can either attract bipartisan support, or would show up Republican hypocricy if they don't go along with it. There are many other ideas I would have for where Democrats should lead us, but with a hostile media and a threatened Bush veto and recalcitrant Republicans in Congress preventing an override of Bush's veto, we have to accomplish what we can and I think the following are where we should start (in no particular order).

    1. Help Working Americans, Raise the Minimum wage: The minimum wage has been stuck at $5.15 an hour since 1997, but corporate profits are at the highest level since 1929. It is time for a minimum wage increase. It isn't even keeping up with inflation, let alone with the increases in CEO profits.

    2. Restore Fiscal Responsibility, Balance the budget: we did it before, year after year under Clinton. Let's do it again. Congress should challenge Bush to accomplish what Clinton was able to accomplish every year. If we can't do it now, let's work towards it rather than continue year after year the irresponsibility of Republican overspending.

    3. Boost the Economy through Energy Independence means American Jobs: invest in alternative, clean, AMERICAN energy. Wind power costs the same as clean coal...and it is far cleaner. With 1995 technology the Great Plains states could have been energy exporters with wind power alone. That was more than 10 years ago. In Iowa, farmers make more money by allowing wind generation on their land than they do selling their farm products. Farmers are increasingly adding wind generation on their farms to supplement their income. Investment in wind and biofuels will help reduce our trade deficit, create American jobs, help our farmers and clean up our air. Other technologies (geothermal, solar) should be encouraged where appropriate. We should have done it 10 or 20 years ago. Let's not wait any longer. It's good for the economy and it's good for the environment.

    4. Accountability in Iraq: Demand the Bush Administration makes a clear and detailed exit strategy for Iraq before any more money is allocated to fighting in Iraq. Also demand that veterans benefits be restored and combat pay increased and demand oversight of the contracts to rebuild Iraq before any more money is allocated or a new Secretary of Defense is approved. Halliburton and Exxon should not be making record profits over the deaths of our soldiers. Demand Accountability!

    5. Clean Up Washington, Campaign Finance Reform: end the culture of corruption that has been thriving in Washington over the last 6 years.

    6. No More Katrina Disasters, Restore America's Wetlands and Infrastructure: Wetlands protect settled areas and save lives. Restoration of America's infrastructure creates jobs and benefits our roads and cities. Restore levees, roads, bridges, etc. No one loses.

    7. Fair Taxes: end the tax relief for the very wealthy and help the poor and middle class. Bush's tax cuts benefitted the top 1% the most. Make the richest pay their fair share. Make big corporations, whose profits are reaching record highs, pay their fair share of taxes.

    8. Stop the Terrorists: the number one suggestion for stopping terrorists is NOT wiretapping American citizens, but is cutting off their funding. Clinton tried implementing this by closing loopholes in international financing, but Bush stopped it. Let's cut off the funds that terrorists depend on. Demand more from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in stopping al-Qaeda funding and training. Partner with Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and other nations with al-Qaeda problems to end those problems. The war in Iraq and saber rattling against Iran does NOTHING to stop those who attacked us. In fact they have made us LESS SAFE and al-Qaeda MORE POPULAR in the Muslim world. It is time to refocus our efforts back to fighting al-Qaeda.

    9. Restore the Fairness Doctrine: The news media should not be a propoganda machine for either party. The Fairness Doctrine requires both sides get to be heard. Let's go back to fairness.

    Click here to go back to THOUGHTS section and Table of Contents for this issue.

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