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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).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

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

  • Help end world hunger
  • Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 289

    The big news this week is both in the Middle East and in the Midwest.

    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:


    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


    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


    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


    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)


    Arizona Focus: Green Power Switch

    Phoenix/Maricopa County, AZ Focus


    Minnesota Focus: Green Power Switch

    Minneapolis, MN Focus

    Olmsted County, MN 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


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