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

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  • Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 290

    It has been a really bad week for Lybia's Qaddafi and Wisconsin's Scott Walker. And may they have many more bad weeks!

    Some BBC headlines covering the Middle East. Midwest coverage below.

    LYBIA: Anti-Gaddafi forces widen control

    TUNISIA: Tunisian PM resigns over protests

    JORDAN: Jordan sees biggest reform rally

    EGYPT: Egypt backs constitution changes

    BAHRAIN: Bahrain opposition figure returns

    As oil prices spike on Mideast unrest, can I just take this opportunity to once again say isn't it about time America makes the switch to local, Green energy resources like wind, solar, methane production from waste, geothermal, biodiesel, etc? That way our economy won't be so affected by the Middle East and we will create American jobs and clean up our air. What could be smarter???

    Turning to the Midwest and the war between the Billionaire Koch brothers and their Teabagger minions like Scott Walker.

    From the Wisconsin AFL-CIO:


    ble
    And footage of the protests:



    Let me also repeat my coverage from last week:

    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.


    I want to note that one of my sources for local and state level news, Lefty Blogs, seems to be funky this week. Some articles that are listed as being from this week are actually from the period of October-December 2010. I have tried to weed those out, but it means their real coverage is faulty and though I draw from other sources, it does mean that one of my main sources seems messed up this week. So forgive any problems.

    Here is this week's newsletter:

    TABLE OF CONTENTS:

    A perspective on the Middle East from my fellow Culture Kitchen Blogger from Nigeria: Political Islam and the emerging(New) Arab World

    Continued from last week: From GreenAmerica.org: Ten Easy Ways to Cut Your Energy Use In Half

    Continued from last week: From MoveOn.org: Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP War on Women

    California Focus: Green Power Switch

    Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley/San Gabriel Valley, 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

    CALIFORNIA FOCUS

    Wisconsin Focus: Green Power Switch

    Madison, WI Focus

    Milwaukee, WI Focus

    Monroe County, WI Focus

    WISCONSIN FOCUS

    Illinois Focus: Green Power Switch

    Illinois Focus: Republican Assault on the Middle Class

    Chicago/Cook County, IL Focus

    McHenry County, IL Focus

    ILLINOIS FOCUS

    New York Focus: Green Power Switch

    Brooklyn, NY Focus

    Manhattan, 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

    New Jersey Focus: Green Power Switch

    Jersey City/Hudson County, NJ Focus

    Warren County, NJ Focus

    Passaic County, NJ Focus

    Sussex County, NJ Focus

    New Jersey 7th Congressional District Focus: Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, and Union Counties

    NEW JERSEY FOCUS

    Virginia Focus: Green Power Switch

    Charlottesville/Albemarle County, VA Focus

    Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania County, VA Focus

    Hanover County, VA Focus

    Stafford County, VA Focus

    Roanoke County, VA Focus

    VIRGINIA FOCUS

    Washington State Focus: Green Power Switch

    Seattle/King County, WA Focus

    Spokane County, WA Focus

    Thurston County, WA Focus

    WASHINGTON 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

    TEXAS FOCUS

    Florida Focus: Green Power Switch

    Tampa/Hillsborough County, FL Focus

    Orange County, FL Focus

    Broward County, FL Focus

    Pinellas County, FL Focus

    FLORIDA FOCUS

    Michigan Focus: Green Power Switch

    Detroit, MI Focus

    Oakland County, MI Focus

    MICHIGAN FOCUS

    Wichita, KS Focus

    KANSAS FOCUS

    North Carolina Focus: Green Power Switch

    North Carolina Focus: We Have a Moral Obligation

    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

    Minnesota Focus: Green Power Switch

    Minneapolis, MN Focus

    Olmsted County, MN Focus

    MINNESOTA FOCUS

    Arizona Focus: Green Power Switch

    Arizona Focus: Stop the Republican war on working families

    Arizona Focus: The results of right wing Extremism

    Phoenix/Maricopa County, AZ Focus

    ARIZONA FOCUS

    Colorado Focus: Green Power Switch

    Denver, CO Focus

    Boulder County, CO Focus

    Douglas County, CO Focus

    Larimer County, CO Focus

    COLORADO FOCUS

    Georgia Focus: Green Power Switch

    Georgia Focus: Bringing the fight to Georgia

    Atlanta, GA Focus

    Coweta County, GA Focus

    Fayette County, GA Focus

    GEORGIA FOCUS

    Pennsylvania Focus: Green Power Switch

    Philadelphia, PA Focus

    Lancaster Co. PA Focus

    PENNSYLVANIA FOCUS

    Oklahoma County, OK Focus

    Tennessee Focus: Green Power Switch

    TENNESSEE FOCUS

    SOUTH CAROLINA FOCUS

    Iowa Focus: Green Power Switch

    Davenport/Scott County, IA Focus

    IOWA FOCUS

    Nevada Focus: Green Power Switch

    Las Vegas, NV Focus

    NEVADA FOCUS

    Arkansas 1st Congressional District Focus

    Arkansas 3rd Congressional District Focus

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