Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 289
In the Middle East protests continue to grow in Bahrain, Lybia (of all places), Jordan (despite a reformist cabinet being sworn in), and Yemen. Meanwhile the dictators in these nations are trying to suppress the protests with bullets. The situation remains in flux and the reformist spirit has even spread to several African nations, most recently in Djibouti. It still remains unclear where these protests will go and who will benefit the most. In Egypt the military is largely maintaining control while pushing aside the dictators they had propped up. So far no real change has happened but on the good side the fears that the Muslim Brotherhood will come out on top after the dictators fall have not materialized yet. This is history in the making but you never know what history will bring until it happens.
BBC News has a good overview of the situation.
Turning to the Midwest we are seeing working class Americans finally getting fed up with stupid and mean-spirited Teabagger Republicans. In Wisconsin and Ohio pro-union protests are the story of the week. And Democratic legislators have been defying the Republicans and blocking their efforts at union-busting. And progressives are considering a move to recall some of the extremist Teabagger Republicans in Wisconsin (see here and here). Can it be working class protesters in Tunisia and Egypt have inspired America's working class? I believe we are seeing the beginning of a resurgence of progressivism in the US and the retreat of the Teabaggers...but only if we fight back hard. I particularly ask my readers to donate through my Liberals Strike Back in 2012 Act Blue Page. In particular I think now is a critical time to donate to Russ Feingold's Progressive Patriot PAC, Tom Harkin's To Organize a Majority PAC, and Al Franken's Midwest Values PAC, both of which I include on my Act Blue Page. Another crital effort I include on the page is Progressive Majority. Together those three organizations can help the resurgence of progressivism in the Midwest really take off. But only if we give them the support they need.
The People for the American Way is leading in support of working class Americans in Wisconsin, even sending care packages to support the pro-union protesters. From People for the Amreican Way:
Wisconsin's Tea Party Governor, Scott Walker, is leading a brazen assault on state employees and workers' rights, using a budget deficit -- created by his own corporate tax cuts -- as the excuse.
We must fight this! Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites have been protesting at the state capitol. We stand in solidarity with them and the working people who are under attack. We also stand in solidarity with Wisconsin's Democratic state senators, who have left the state in order to prevent the Republican majority in the legislature from ramming the governor's proposal through.
Please show your solidarity by signing our statement of support for Wisconsin's Democratic senators and its public employees.
We'll also be sending a care package to the state senators who have left Wisconsin so that they can't be compelled by state law enforcement to show up in the Capitol and allow the bill to pass. After you sign the statement, you can chip in $5 toward the care package if you'd like.
In addition to attacking state employees' benefits, Gov. Walker's proposal is aimed at stripping their rights to organize and bargain collectively -- a clear example of right-wing union busting. It's a blatant effort by Republicans to destroy institutions that benefit their political opponents ... but the casualties will be real people and families.
All across the country, the Right Wing is waging a campaign to demonize public employees and blame them for budget shortfalls. The lies they are telling are appalling. It's an easy enough strategy to understand -- Republicans are exploiting concern about budget deficits and vilifying public employees and their bargaining rights so they can check off one more item long a part of their political to-do list: destroying unions.
Please join PFAW in speaking out right now.
We're all Wisconsinites today.
-- Ben Betz, Online Communications Manager
P.S. Other states are now considering similar proposals to Gov. Walker's. If this union-busting, benefit-gutting plan succeeds in Wisconsin, it is sure to succeed in others. We need to send the message now, in Wisconsin, that Americans won't stand for these attacks. Sign our statement.
Please sign their statement, donate for a care package for pro-union protesters, and spread the word.
Want to do more? Show your support of the Democratic State Senators in Wisconsin who have stopped the extremist Teabagger agenda in its tracks. From Daily Kos:
By now, you’ve probably heard about the amazing protests in Wisconsin. Public sector unions are making an historic stand against both the Tea Party and the billionaire Koch brothers who finance that "grassroots" movement.
Even though you don’t live in Wisconsin, there's a way you can help. The 14 Democratic state Senators who kept the fight alive are on Act Blue, and we’ve put their party committee on our Orange to Blue 2012 page.
Please, contribute $14 to the Wisconsin State Senate Democratic committee, $1 for each of the heroic Senators.
Republicans hold a 19-14 edge in the Wisconsin state Senate, but 20 Senators are needed for a quorum. So, in response to a Republican attempt to pass a bill making public sector unions virtually illegal, all 14 Democrats simply left the state. If even one of these Democrats had remained in Wisconsin, then s/he would have been rounded up by the police, forcibly brought to the state Capitol, and the bill would have passed. At great personal and electoral risk, these 14 Democrats are protecting workers' rights and making resistance to the Tea Party the top news story in the country.
This could be a turning point for our movement. This time the Tea Party is reacting to, and several steps behind, our activism. Similar rallies are now being planned in over a dozen other states. As the opening salvo, the outcome of this fight will go a long way toward determining the outcome everywhere.
We have to support the people who are leading the resistance. Please, contribute $14 to the Wisconsin State Senate Democratic Committee.
Here is this week's newsletter:
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
From GreenAmerica.org: Ten Easy Ways to Cut Your Energy Use In Half
From MoveOn.org: Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP War on Women
Continued from last week: Responding to Intolerance: Resources from the Southern Poverty Law Center
New York Focus: Green Power Switch
Manhattan, NY Focus
Brooklyn, NY Focus
Queens, NY Focus
Bronx, NY Focus
Suffolk County, NY Focus
Rochester, NY Focus
New York 19th District Focus: Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Westchester Counties
NEW YORK STATE FOCUS
Austin/Travis County, TX Focus
Houston/Harris County, TX Focus
Dallas County, TX Focus
Texas 10th District Focus: Bastrop, Lee, Burleson, Washington, Austin, Harris, Waller Counties
Texas 15th Congressional District Focus: Hidalgo, Brooks, Duval, Live Oak, Bee, Jim Wells, Karnes, DeWitt, Goliad, San Patricio, Refugio Counties
Texas 21st District Focus: Travis, Kerr, Real, Bandera, Kendall, Comal and Blanco Counties
California Focus: Green Power Switch
Los Angeles, CA Focus
San Diego, CA Focus
Orange County, CA Focus
Silicon Valley Area, CA Focus
California 11th District Focus: San Joaquin, Alameda and Santa Clara Counties
Northern California Focus: TAKE BACK RED CALIFORNIA
Southern California Grassroots Alliance
Pennsylvania Focus: Green Power Switch
Philadelphia, PA Focus
Lancaster Co. PA Focus
New Jersey Focus: Green Power Switch
Jersey City, NJ Focus
Sussex County, NJ Focus
Warren County, NJ Focus
Passaic County, NJ Focus
New Jersey 7th Congressional District Focus: Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, and Union Counties
NEW JERSEY FOCUS
Colorado Focus: Green Power Switch
Denver, CO Focus
Boulder County, CO Focus
Douglas County, CO Focus
Larimer County, CO Focus
Washington State Focus: Green Power Switch
Seattle/King County, WA Focus
Spokane County, WA Focus
Thurston County, WA Focus
WASHINGTON STATE FOCUS
Florida Focus: Green Power Switch
Tampa/Hillsborough County, FL Focus
Orange County, FL Focus
Broward County, FL Focus
Pinellas County, FL Focus
Wisconsin Focus: Green Power Switch
Madison, WI Focus
Milwaukee, WI Focus
Monroe County, WI Focus
Illinois Focus: Green Power Switch
Chicago/Cook County, IL Focus
McHenry County, IL Focus
Virginia Focus: Green Power Switch
Charlottesville/Albemarle County, VA Focus
Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania County, VA Focus
Roanoke County, VA Focus
Hanover County, VA Focus
Stafford County, VA Focus
Iowa Focus: Green Power Switch
Davenport/Scott County, IA Focus
Michigan Focus: Green Power Switch
Detroit, MI Focus
Oakland County, MI Focus
North Carolina Focus: Green Power Switch
North Carolina Focus: NC-5 District Focus (Forsyth, Stokes, Statesville, Surrey, Iredell, Watauga, and Yadkin Counties)
North Carolina 11th District (Cherokee, Graham, Clay, Macon, Swain, Jackson, Transylvania, Haywood, Madison, Buncombe, Henderson, Polk Counties)
NORTH CAROLINA FOCUS
Arizona Focus: Green Power Switch
Phoenix/Maricopa County, AZ Focus
Minnesota Focus: Green Power Switch
Minneapolis, MN Focus
Olmsted County, MN Focus
SOUTH CAROLINA FOCUS
Georgia Focus: Green Power Switch
Atlanta, GA Focus
Coweta County, GA Focus
Fayette County, GA Focus
Tennessee Focus: Green Power Switch
Wichita, KS Focus
Oklahoma County, OK Focus
Nevada Focus: Green Power Switch
Las Vegas, NV Focus
Arkansas 1st Congressional District Focus
Arkansas 3rd Congressional District Focus