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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, October 15, 2011

    Progressive Democrat Newsletter 305

    Here in NYC Bloomberg wanted to break up the protests. Seems he got enough pushback that he decided to put that off, for now. From what I am seeing Congressman Jerold Nadler was one of several prominent politicians who told Bloomberg to back off.

    However, at the same time the NYPD started getting rough, actually running over a legal observer. I want to say this: Bloomberg and the NYPD have used these kind of thuggish tactics before, during the 2004 protests against the Republican Convention. They harassed every protest every day with the exception of the large union march. I personally witnessed plainclothes cops on scooters push their scooters into crowds. It was inevitable that at some point that kind of stupid tactic by the NYPD would lead to someone needlessly getting hurt. In this case it was a legal observer. I think that was a big mistake on their part. Hopefully it will lead them to rethink their use of scooters on people who are doing nothing wrong and who are exercising their First Amendment Rights. The instance I witnessed was a crowd contained within the barriers set by the cops doing nothing unruly. And yet, without any warning or communication with the protesters, the cops rode right up to the crowd, slowed, and pushed their scooters into the crowd. Pure thuggishness.

    I am in general sympathetic to cops. They do a vital job that puts them in danger. They get paid crap for it while billionaires get tax breaks. Bloomberg has screwed them over the same way he screws over firefighters and teachers and nurses. They were sympathetic to the protesters in Wisconsin. But honestly, when cops pull crap like they have against Occupy Wall Street, it makes it that much harder to be sympathetic with them. And it only benefits the Billionaires when that kind of wedge is placed between progressives and cops...after all, cops are one of the public sector employees whose rights we are fighting for!

    From Occupy Wall Street this week:



    Many are saying, probably with some justification, that the Occupy Wall Street movement was inspired by the pro-democracy protests in the Middle East. Well, if true, then the cycle is continuing because the Occupy Wall Street movement is inspiring protests worldwide now.

    To get involved visit the Occupy Wall Street website to see what actions are coming up. Or click here for a map linking to actions nationwide and even worldwide. Even more importantly, join in the movement (which I again cover below) to move your money out of the worst of the greedy banks. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and Citibank all were the worst predatory lenders, together get the vast majority of official customer service complaints, have screwed over veterans, have used racist lending policies, oppose unions, demand tax breaks for billionaires, and whine about "big government" while taking taxpayer funded bailouts. Divest from these four banks. I discuss alternatives below, including TD Bank (they are a large bank but have avoided all of the worst bank practices), USAA, local banks, and Credit Unions. I want to emphasize that this divestment is actually having an effect. People are getting fed up with the big greedy banks. I do want to emphasize that by far the worst culprits are the four I am targeting: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and Citibank. I hesitate to make the divestment push any larger than those because we risk overextending and actually hurting perfectly decent banks. If those four are hurt by divestment but other banks with better customer service and no predatory lending benefit, I think the message will be clear.

    I also want to point out another excellent resource: The Center for Responsible Lending. They have good information on lending practices, what to ask when talking to your bank, and what red flags to look for when working with a bank.

    Finally I want to add apologies to my Texas readers. And you are still there, I notice! Somehow the Texas pages got dropped. I am adding them back. I have had a fair number of Texas readers for some time, so it is a shame that it got dropped. In my reorganizing it must have been forgotten. Time to rectify! The state that gave us Ann Richards deserves some respect!

    Here is this week's newsletter:

    TABLE OF CONTENTS:

    ARTICLES:

    Taking on Wall Street Every Day (Revised)

    Oct. 14, 1943: Jewish Rebellion at Sobibor Death Camp


    IMPORTANT LINKS:

    President's Weekly address: Obama challenges Republicans to answer to Americans for upcoming jobs votes:



    Scientists Revolt against Greedy Oil Party Censorship of Science

    REALITY TO GREEDY OIL PARTY: Regulations don't kill jobs!

    This is just bizarre, and yet ANOTHER reason to divest from crappy banks like Citibank: 30 Citibank customers arrested for closing their account

    Yetta Kurland of NYC reacts to NYPD’s defense after injuring man at Occupy Wall Street



    One bank's response to the Big Bad Bank's charging people to use their debit card: Community bank will pay customers to use debit cards

    This is seriously good news...it is about time something was done to get this international criminal: US troops to aid Uganda battle (I should note the LRA commits rape, mutilation and murder in at least three nations: Uganda, DR Congo and South Sudan).

    Massive 'Occupation Party' underway in Times Square

    Is Burma finally making progress?...Burma law to allow labour unions

    MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren tells her story:



    Vanishing ice: Breathtaking images of glacial shrinkage in the Himalayas

    From Current TV: Tom Morello on role of music and culture in the Occupy movement




    MUSICAL SELECTIONS:

    An amazing performance...and I am trying to find out more about these folk! The song is a Yemenite Jewish song:



    And in honor of Occupy Wall Street, time to get back to some good old fashioned labor songs:

    Billy Bragg - There is Power in a Union:



    A Union Song from the Wisconsin Protests in February:



    PLENTY TOUGH & UNION MADE:




    STATE AND LOCAL PAGES:

    CALIFORNIA FOCUS

    Silicon Valley Area, CA Focus

    Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley/San Gabriel Valley, CA Focus

    NEW YORK FOCUS

    NYC LAUGHING LIBERALLY CHAPTER:
    Saving Democracy One Laugh At A Time
    http://livingliberally.org/laughing/chapters/NY/nyc

    The Midtown Theater, 163 West 46th Street (www.laughingliberallynyc.com)

    NYC READING LIBERALLY:
    Saving Democracy One Book at a Time
    http://livingliberally.org/reading/chapters/NY/nycclassics

    First Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm
    Law Office of Hugh L. Rothbaum, 450 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2304

    CENTRAL BROOKLYN EATING LIBERALLY
    Combining Food and Politics
    http://livingliberally.org/eating/chapters/centralbrooklyn

    Second Tuesday of each month, 7:00 pm
    Rotates among several restaurants in Park Slope, Gowanus and Prospect Heights
    Contact me (at mole333_at_gmail.com) for more info or watch the Central Brooklyn Eating Liberally website.

    Brooklyn, NY Focus

    Manhattan, NY Focus

    VIRGINIA FOCUS

    Virginia Focus: Second VA Energy Conference: a time to spotlight the desire for renewables

    Richmond, VA Focus

    Virginia Focus: David Bernard for State Senate - District 10 (Progressive Majority Endorsement, EMT) (2011 endorsement)

    Virginia Focus: E. Wayne Powell for Congress (2011 endorsement)

    To help elect Progressive Democrats in Virginia, here are some local Dem organizations worth checking out if you live nearby:

    Hanover County Democratic Committee:
    Meet Second Saturday of every month
    9:00am - 10:30am
    Location: Ashland Coffee and Tea
    Address: PO Box 22
    Ashland, VA 23005

    E-mail: info@hvadems.com

    Louisa County Democratic Committee
    Meetings Third Wednesday of every month
    6 pm at Roma's in Louisa
    For more info contact: (540) 967-5302

    Spotsylvania County Democratic Committee
    The Spotsylvania County Democratic Committee meets the 3rd Monday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Salem Church Library, 2607 Salem Church Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22407
    (540) 785-9267

    Albemarle County Democratic Committee
    300 Preston Avenue, Suite 308
    Charlottesville, VA 22902
    434.264.6872

    Monthly Meeting of the Albemarle Democratic Committee is the third Monday of every month, 5:30pm – 7:00pm
    Albemarle County Office Building, room 235, 401 McIntire Rd, Charlottesville

    Franklin Democratic Committee
    540-483-0636
    Meetings are the third Tuesday of the month at 4:15 PM at the Franklin County Library (355 Franklin St, Rocky Mount VA).

    FLORIDA FOCUS

    Florida Focus: Corrupt Republican David Rivera's fundraising down in wake of ethics, criminal probes

    Florida Focus: Florida Sportsman lashes out against mercury pollution

    Florida Focus: Keith Fitzgerald for Congress in the Florida 13th

    Broward County, FL Focus

    Miami, FL Focus

    Florida Focus: Alan Grayson for Congress (2012 endorsement)

    ILLINOIS FOCUS

    Chicago/Cook County, IL Focus

    Chicago Area Laughing Liberally:
    Saving Democracy One Laugh At A Time
    http://livingliberally.org/laughing/chapters/IL/chicago

    First Wednesday of each month, 8:00 pm
    At No Exit, 6970 N Glenwood Ave

    Laughing Liberally Chicago hosted by the Accountants of Homeland Security. The Accountants are an independently-produced Local affiliate of Laughing Liberally

    Illinois Focus: Ilya Sheyman for Congress (IL-10) (Democracy for America Endorsement)...more here (2012 endorsement)



    Illinois Focus: Bill Foster for Congress (IL-11) (2012 endorsement)...Check out other people and organizations endorsing scientist and entrepreneur Bill Foster for Congress.

    MICHIGAN FOCUS

    Michigan Focus: Hey Michigan! It's time to take some action! Occupy Wall Street! Protest Bank of America

    Michigan Focus: Zero, Zilch, Nada, None: Jobs Brought to Michigan from Asia by Governor Snyder...more proof that the idea that Republicans create jobs is a complete lie

    Michigan Focus: Occupy Michigan events scheduled statewide during October

    Michigan Focus: George Brown for Jackson City Council - Ward 4 (Progressive Majority Endorsement) (2011 Endorsement)

    Michigan Focus: Kyle DuBuc for Royal Oak City Commissioner (Progressive Majority Endorsement, Peace Corps volunteer) (2011 endorsement)

    Michigan Focus: Mamie Moore for Highland Park City Council (Progressive Majority Endorsement) (2011 endorsement)

    Michigan Focus: Zack Stanton for New Baltimore City Council (Progressive Majority Endorsement) (2011 endorsement)

    TEXAS FOCUS

    Dallas County, TX Focus

    Austin/Travis County, TX Focus

    GEORGIA FOCUS

    Atlanta, GA Focus

    Get more involved in Georgia Politics through Young Democrats of Georgia:
    http://georgiayds.org

    Members of the organization strive to make a positive difference in the community by working within the political process and upholding the principles of the Democratic Party. The membership base reflects the broad diversity of Georgia and the party, including high school students, college students, young workers, professionals and families.

    Find your local chapter here

    I want to particularly highlight:

    Kennesaw State University Young Democrats:
    http://www.ksudemocrats.org/

    The KSU Democrats is the premiere progressive student organization at Kennesaw State University that strives to make a difference in aspects that affect our everyday lives. Two of our main goals include representing the democratic voice on campus, and educating students about recent political information.

    Check out their calendar of events here.

    COLORADO FOCUS

    Denver, CO Focus

    Colorado Focus: Teachers Union Makes School Board Endorsements...Please pay attention to local elections like this. They are critical!

    Colorado Focus: Alfonso Nunez for Aurora City Council - Ward 5 (Progressive Majority Endorsement, Firefighter) (2011 Endorsement)

    PENNSYLVANIA FOCUS

    Pennsylvania Focus: Jason Salus for Montgomery County Treasurer (Progressive Majority Endorsement) (2011 Endorsement)

    NEW JERSEY FOCUS

    New Jersey: One Million Additional Young Adults Have Health Coverage Because of the Affordable Care Act

    WISCONSIN FOCUS

    LET'S KEEP THE FIGHT GOING IN WISCONSIN: Below are some local Dem organizations in Wisconsin. Help them out!



    Democratic Party of Milwaukee County:

    Our general membership meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of most months. Check our calendar for exact dates. We meet in the Hall of Fame Room of the Pettit National Ice Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park, 500 S. 84th Street. We look forward to seeing you there.

    Oconomowoc Dems Breakfast
    First Saturday of each month, 10am – 11am
    The Depot/Maxims Restaurant, Hwy 67 and Main St., Oconomowoc



    Winnebago Dems Monthly Meeting
    Second Wednesday of every month, August 10, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
    Delta Restaurant - 515 N Sawyer St, Oshkosh, WI

    Winnebago County Democratic Party Unity Breakfast
    Last Friday of Each Month, 7:00am – 8:30am
    B J Clancy's Restaurant - 3341 S Oneida St - Appleton, WI 54915

    Click here to find out more about the Winnebego County, Wisconsin Democratic Party

    Waukesha County Democratic Party

    Monthly meetings held every 3rd Thursday of the month, except in July
    Waukesha Labor Temple.
    Contact us at websupport@waukeshadems.org



    Ozaukee County Democrats
    The Ozaukee County Democrats will be holding monthly meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7pm on the lower level of the the Cedarburg City Hall.

    WASHINGTON STATE FOCUS

    Washington State Focus: Richard Mitchell for King County Council. (Progressive Majority, Washington Conservation Voters, Teamsters Joint Council 28, and Sierra Club Endorsements) (2011 endorsement)

    Washington State Focus: Ryan Mello for Tacoma City Council, Pos. 8 At-large (Tacoma Firefighters' Local 31, Sierra Club, People For the American Way, and Progressive Majority Endorsements) (2011 endorsement)

    Washington State Focus: Joe McDermott for King County Council - District 8 (Progressive Majority, Washington Conservation Voters, NARAL, Teamsters and SEIU Endorsements) (2011 endorsement)

    Washington State Focus: Cathy Lehman for Bellingham City Council - Ward 3 (Progressive Majority and Sierra Club Endorsements) (2011 endorsement)

    UPCOMING EVENTS TO ELECT CATHY LEHMAN TO BELLINGHAM CITY COUNCIL:

    Whatcom Conservation Voters Doorbell Day - October 15th, 10:00-12:30 (Volunteers needed, email info@votecathylehman.com)

    Happy Valley Doorbelling - October 22nd, 10:00am (Volunteers needed, email info@votecathylehman.com)

    South Hill Doorbelling - October 29th, 1:00pm (Volunteers needed, email info@votecathylehman.com)

    Washington State Focus: Stephanie Wright for Snohomish County Council - District 3 (Progressive Majority, Deputy Sheriff's Association, Sierra Club, Washington Conservation Voters, and AFL-CIO Endorsements) (2011 endorsement)

    Washington State Focus: Rob Gelder for Kitsap County Commissioner - District 1 (Progressive Majority Endorsement) (2011 endorsement)

    Washington State Focus: Richard Rush for Spokane City Council - District 2 (Progressive Majority Endorsement) (2011 endorsement)

    More on Richard Rush: Standing On Principles - Declining Council Pay Increase



    Washington State Focus: Ben Stuckart for Spokane City Council President (Progressive Majority, Spokane Regional Labor Council, NARAL, and Spokane Firefighters Local 29 Endorsements) (2011 endorsement)

    More on Ben Stuckhart:



    Washington State Focus: David Stalheim Whatcom for County Executive (Progressive Majority, Teamsters, Planned Parenthood and Sierra Club Endorsements) (2011 endorsement)

    More on David Stalheim: David Stalheim Announces Endorsements from Planned Parenthood Votes, Teamsters Local 231, Nooksack Tribe and Progressive Majority

    Washington State Focus: Othman Heibe SeaTac City Council - Position 3 (Progressive Majority Endorsement) (2011 endorsement)

    Washington State Focus: Joy Jones for Spokane City Council - District 3, Position 1 (Progressive Majority, Spokane Regional Labor Council, and Spokane Fire Fighters Local 29 Endorsements, CRITICAL RACE) (2011 endorsement)...this race is critical for achieving a Democratic and progressive majority in the Spokane city council

    More on Joy Jones: Joy on Small Business



    Washington State Focus: Christina Maginnis for Whatcom County Council - District 2, Position B (Progressive Majority, Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, Sierra Club and Democracy for America Endorsements, CRITICAL RACE) (2011 endorsement)...this race is critical for pushing back against Teabagger gains in Whatcom county. A true progressive vs teabagger race!

    Washington State Focus: Mia Gregerson for SeaTac City Council - Position 7 (Progressive Majority Endorsement) (2011 endorsement)

    MINNESOTA FOCUS

    Minnesota Focus: Joe Tatalovich for St. Louis Park School Board (Progressive Majority Endorsement, CRITICAL RACE) (2011 endorsement)...I feel all judicial and school board races are critical but too often ignored, and we need more progressives elected to these positions.

    NORTH CAROLINA FOCUS

    SOUTH CAROLINA FOCUS

    ARIZONA FOCUS

    Arizona Focus: Learn how to run for office, run a campaign, and win elections: The Arizona Progressive Candidate Training Program

    Arizona Focus: Jonathan Rothschild for Tuscon Mayor (Progressive Majority Endorsement) (2011 endorsement)

    IOWA FOCUS

    Des Moines Food Co-op Now Open

    Iowa Focus: Sustainable Agriculture Events

    TENNESSEE FOCUS

    NEVADA FOCUS

    Nevada Focus: Affordable Health Care Act for America is helping

    KANSAS FOCUS

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