Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some commentary from Congressman Hall

Read here as Congressman John Hall (NY-19) speaks truth to power about the fascist direction of American politics. Hopefully, he will stay engaged in the fight for democracy.

In an interview this week, Rep. John Hall (D-NY), who lost his seat in the mid-term elections, told the New York Observer that he sees a threat to American democracy in the court's ruling.

"I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called fascism. So that's really the question -- is that the destination if this court decision goes unchecked?"

The Citizens United decision upended decades of campaign finance regulation, allowing corporations, unions and other groups to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns without having to identify themselves. In a decision split along ideological lines, the court ruled that restrictions on spending amounted to a violation of First Amendment rights. Others have challenged the notion that corporations and other organizations have the "personhood" needed to be granted constitutional rights.

Hall was a key player in efforts to mitigate the effects of the Citizens United decision. He backed the DISCLOSE Act, which would have required groups to identify themselves when campaigning. Hall added provisions to the bill limiting the ability of foreign corporations to spend money on US elections. But, after passing the House, the bill was defeated by filibuster in the Senate.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why is Obama giving Bush torturers a free pass?

This is a very disturbing article, one which calls into question the Obama Administration's promise to abide by the rule of law.

An excerpt:

....Judge Baltasar Garzón—a world-renowned jurist who had initiated previous prosecutions of war crimes and had publicly said that former President George W. Bush ought to be tried for war crimes—to decide whether to pursue the case against the six former Bush officials. That June—coincidentally or not—the Spanish Parliament passed legislation narrowing the use of "universal jurisdiction." Still, in September 2009, Judge Garzón pushed ahead with the case.

The case eventually came to be overseen by another judge who last spring asked the parties behind the complaint to explain why the investigation should continue. Several human rights groups filed a brief urging this judge to keep the case alive, citing the Obama administration's failure to prosecute the Bush officials. Since then, there's been no action. The Obama administration essentially got what it wanted. The case of the Bush Six went away.

Back when it seemed that this case could become a major international issue, during an April 14, 2009, White House briefing, I asked press secretary Robert Gibbs if the Obama administration would cooperate with any request from the Spaniards for information and documents related to the Bush Six. He said, "I don't want to get involved in hypotheticals." What he didn't disclose was that the Obama administration, working with Republicans, was actively pressuring the Spaniards to drop the investigation. Those efforts apparently paid off, and, as this WikiLeaks-released cable shows, Gonzales, Haynes, Feith, Bybee, Addington, and Yoo owed Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thank-you notes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marian Wright Edelman's Thanksgiving Prayer

A Thanksgiving Prayer to End Poverty in Our Lifetime

God help us to end poverty in our time.

The poverty of having a child with too little to eat and no place to sleep, no air, sunlight and space in which to breathe, bask, and grow.

The poverty of watching your child suffer and get sicker and sicker and not knowing what to do or how to get help because you don't have a car to get to the emergency room or health insurance.

The poverty of working your fingers to the bone every day taking care of somebody else's children and neglecting your own, and still not being able to pay your bills.

The poverty of having a job which does not let you afford a stable place to live and being terrified you'll become homeless and lose your children to foster care.

The poverty of losing your job and searching and searching and searching for another amidst an epidemic scarcity of work.

The poverty of working all your life caring for others and having to start all over again caring for the grandchildren you love.

The poverty of earning a college degree, having children, opening a day care center, and taking home $300 a week or even month if you're lucky.

The poverty of loneliness and isolation and alienation -- having no one to call or visit, tell you where to get help, assist you in getting it, or care if you're living or dead.

The poverty of having too much and sharing too little and having the burden of nothing to carry.

The poverty of convenient blindness and deafness and indifference to others, of emptiness and enslavement to things, drugs, power, money, violence, and fleeting fame.

The poverty of low aim and paltry purpose, weak will and tiny vision, big meetings and small action, loud talk and sullen grudging service.

The poverty of believing in nothing, standing for nothing, sharing nothing, sacrificing nothing, struggling for nothing.

The poverty of pride and ingratitude for God's gifts of life and children and family and freedom and country and earth and not wanting for others what you want for yourself.

The poverty of greed for more and more and more, ignoring, blaming, and exploiting the needy, and taking from the weak to please the strong.

The poverty of addiction to drink, to work, to self, to the status quo, and to injustice.

The poverty of fear which keeps you from doing the thing you think is right.

The poverty of despair and cynicism.

God help us end poverty in our time in all its faces and places, young and old, rural, urban, suburban and small town too, and in every color of humans You have made everywhere.

God help us to end poverty in our time in all its guises -- inside and out -- physical and spiritual, so that all our and Your children may live the lives that You intend in the richest nation on earth

Sunday, November 21, 2010

from Daily Kos - some tactics for Democrats

From Chris Bowers, the following article is posted today on Daily Kos

Bowers writes,

Over the last two years, those of us engaged in legislative fights in Congress repeatedly saw the Senate either water down the decent bills passed by the House (such as the stimulus, the housing bill, health care) or just block those bills entirely (such as the energy bill, or the series of measures collectively known as the second stimulus).

There was, however, one time when the Senate actually passed a stronger version of a piece of major legislation than House: the financial reform bill. Even with all of the shortcomings of the financial reform bill kept in mind, passing a stronger, more progressive version of a major piece of legislation through the 60-vote threshold of the Senate is a remarkable achievement.

As such, with Republicans about to take control of the House, and see their numbers significantly increase in the Senate, it's time for a review of the tactics that allowed for this success. There are many lessons we can learn from these tactics that will be of use in all legislative fights to come.

Some useful insights, and pathways to push our representatives on in the months ahead.

PRESS CALL ADVISORY: The Power of the President—Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change

Thanks to Nancy Heilmann for posting this and for her suggestion

From Center for American Progress

Washington, D.C.—November's midterm election aftermath has caused both pundits and politicians to predict overwhelming deadlock and stalemate in the upcoming 112th Congress that will prevent President Barack Obama from advancing his policy priorities. Additionally, there is an ongoing debate as to whether Obama's administration should move to the left or to the center and compromise with the new House leadership.

Despite all this banter and politics, the U.S. Constitution and the laws of our nation grant the president significant authority to create and implement policy. This is an opportunity for President Obama to demonstrate strength, resilience, and a capacity to get things done in order to improve our nation. The following authorities can be used to ensure progress on key issues facing the country today:

* Executive orders
* Rulemaking
* Agency management
* Convening and creating public-private partnerships
* Commanding the armed forces
* Diplomacy

Join the Center for American Progress in a press call to discuss the grave importance of using executive orders and other authorities to take our nation forward on the issues of energy, the economy, healthcare, education, foreign policy, and national security.

Nancy's suggestion:

I think we could be helpful in finding out which aspects of the Obama agenda can be implemented through executive order. We can contact the "expert advice" folks listed on the side of the page. Find out what efforts are already in place for putting pressure on the Obama administration in these areas and figure out a plan for the next two years.

It is essential that Obama do whatever he can, both for the dire need of these policies and to keep the Republicans from taking the presidency in 2012.

Let's come to the next meeting prepared to discuss these issues.

Nancy Heilmann

Petition to break up the big banks

From a New Way Forward,

follow the links to sign this petition

Many candidates and political leaders need an economic vision with concrete proposal plans to get us there. We are helping to develop this vision – we need a less speculative, sustainable, growing, vibrant economy – and we have 5 questions you can ask your local candidates to get them there.

Tell Them: Co-sign! You can email Congress to tell them to co-sponsor the Brown/Kaufman SAFE Banking Act that puts hard caps on the size of banks.

Citizen Action of the Hudson Valley

Perhaps the MHPA might consider organizing an event in concert with the organization Citizen Action of the Hudson Valley?

Here is a statement from them.

Citizen Action of the Hudson Valley has been working towards expanding its reach into Dutchess County. At this time, CAHV has some members from Beacon, in Dutchess County, but most of its active membership is from Ulster County, the west side of the river. The CAHV steering committee decided to focus its Dutchess recruitment efforts on the City of Poughkeepsie. An important factor in this decision was the steering committee’s desire to recruit more people of color to its leadership and general membership. Working towards racial justice is central to Citizen Action’s mission. The local chapter also wants to ensure its steering committee reflects the diversity of the Valley.

CAHV is interested in involving more people from Poughkeepsie in the health care campaign and other important campaigns. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me at (516) 749-1995. We need your energy, activism, and leadership. Don’t wait another day to advocate for yourself, your family, and your community – become an active member of Citizen Action today!

-Stephanie Ruggiero, CAHV Steering Committee Member

Citizen Action of NY offers the following description of itself and its goals.

Citizen Action of New York is a grassroots membership organization taking on big issues that are at the center of transforming American society – issues like:

* quality education and after-school programs for all our kids
* guaranteed quality, affordable health care
* public financing of election campaigns
* dismantling racism and promoting racial justice
* a more progressive tax system
* an end to the War in Iraq

New York Activist Groups

Here is a link to a variety of activist groups in New york State, courtesy of Activist Resource Dot Org.

I have updated their list for us to include this website as a place for folks to reach us.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

MHPA Survey of members

Dear MHPA members. I have created a survey for the MHPA so as to survey present and former members on their connection to our organization. The intent here, ultimately, is to strengthen progressive politics in our area by strengthening the MHPA and making it more responsive to the needs and wishes of the local progressive community.

Please take a moment to answer this survey. There are only ten questions and your answers will be anonymous.

Click here to take survey

Paul Wellstone, a Model of a Progressive Activist

Oh how I miss the late Paul Wellstone, a smart, principled, truly decent man who represented the people of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate and who, tragically, left this world at way too young an age. If we are looking for a reminder of what the word "progressive" might mean, we might consider looking to the legacy of Paul Wellstone.

Grover Norquist Wants another Govt Shutdown

The GOP is not even pretending that it will be pursuing a moderate course, as one of its modern day tax cutting architects, Grover Norquist, famous for the line about wanting to "reduce it (government) to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub," is openly cheering for another government shutdown, a battle that he and likely other Republican radicals believe will benefit the GOP.

Video: Women in Afghanistan

Nan Hayworth's Radical Right-Wing Agenda

Following today's MHPA meeting, it was decided that we should keep tabs on our various elected officials, starting with our soon to be Congressperson from the NY 19th district, Dr. Nan Hayworth, seen here with House GOP whip, Eric Cantor.

One question that came up at our meeting today was that of what Nan Hayworth stands for and what she will stand for once she is sworn in. Time will tell, of course, but in the meantime, we can hazard some educated guesses.

The website On the Issues gives us some indication, and it is, of course, some bad news for progressives, as well as for the citizens of the 19th district; in general, Dr. Hayworth looks to be positioning herself to represent a swing district while nonetheless taking a series of very radical right wing positions, including supporting the following statements and positions:

*Cap-and-trade has no impact on global temperatures
*Identify constitutionality in every new congressional bill
*Audit federal agencies, to reform or eliminate them
*Moratorium on all earmarks until budget is balanced
*Defund, repeal, & replace federal care with free market
*Taxpayer Protection Pledge: no new taxes
*Adopt a single-rate tax system
*Repeal tax hikes in capital gains and "death taxes"

In other words, an imbalanced political economy that benefits the economic elites!

The website Left of the Hudson has a series of links on Hayworth and her positions. One particular link that caught my attention raised the following concerns.

At last night's Congressional debate, Nan Hayworth refused to denounce the actions of exrteme Tea Party group, Tri-State Sons of Liberty, which notoriously brands Democrats as "socialists" and "communists" and brazenly flies the Confederate Flag at their rallies. She also refused the repudiate the Club for Growth, which is dedicated to destroying Social Security, pushes for a 23 percent National Sales Tax, which really means higher taxes for the poor and middle class and greatly reduced taxes for the rich, and refers to President Obama as "Comrade."

But Hayorth's no fool, she knows that in order to win this election, she needs to fool the Tea Party folks into thinking she's one of them while also working as a double agent for one of their objects of ire, the pro-TARP Wall Street interests that nearly destroyed our economy. This is a precarious tight-rope she's walking.

Clearly, progressives will need to keep up the pressure on Nan Hayworth so as to counter the far right wing proclivities that she has already clearly expressed.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

We need to keep the Alliance going

Following Tuesday's election outcome

we might be seeing these two corrupt elitists running Congress and promising a much more regressive direction for the country. Let's keep the Mid Hudson Progressive Alliance, and other local, grass roots progressive organizations vibrant and active, for the sake of truth and democracy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"No Compomise", promise the GOP

This article is in today's Daily Kos, in which Republicans let their followers just what's in store, should they win back Congress, i.e., much much more gridlock and ideological warfare.

A Quick Reflection from Howard "Lev" Levin

As a conservative thinker and a full time progressive tinkerer, I am often reminded of my sometimes bleeding hearts. I mean you can only chase your tail in a dizzy so long, before you realize that your extremities,are just as much integral to your life,as the blood pumping and coursing to that tail.

So,why am I waxing poetic?

Simple: to remind all not to retire from our wonderful progressive alliance. Because, at best our alliance is like the blood of harmony that flows between us, for the further development of justice for all.

I believe that progress is developing mindfulness, even in my sometimes conservative thought.


P.S. Get out and vote!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This is a revision of something I recently wrote on the Daily Kos website, which is a website that publishes largely Democratic/progressive posts on current politics, and then posted to Facebook, where, because it generated a lot of interesting discussion, I am now posting here. Anyway, here is what 1st wrote on Daily Kos.

My father was a good man. He was born in NJ in 1929, and passed away from a stroke in 1992, and was living in Florida at the time. My dad was a young guy, in his early 20s, when he served his country in uniform in the Korean War And while he didn't always understand the social and cultural changes taking place in this country in the 1960s and 70s, when I was a kid, my dad was a good man, who tried, ultimately, to understand the world, particularly as it was explained to him by his three kids.

And while my dad - a Democrat to the very end - was a bit more conservative than his three kids, he would likely be disgusted by a the Tea Party and all of their stupidity. My dad also happened to have lived in the district where this piece of right wing thuggery occurred recently.

So when I saw this, I immediately thought of my dad and my visits to Florida to visit with him. I miss him and I wish he were still around. I'd also really like to hear his take on this.

Anyway, there is something of a disconnect between myself and some of my friends and relatives when it comes to politics and it is something that, I must admit, I have a very hard time understanding. It is very hard for me to understand how people who, like me, grew up not living in a mansion and flying off on a family private jet to an exotic vacation but rather with blue collar roots, can support Republicanism, that is, Republican party candidates, Republican rhetorical statements, and Republican media, like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Fox News. I can't, for the life of me, see how people - who I see as decent, smart, and ultimately, fair-minded - can get behind this. Is it a dissatisfaction with Obama, the Democrats, and the political status quo? I am not entirely satisfied with these things, though I do think that Obama is trying to do his best. Is it religion, or specifically Christianity? If so, I too was raised with a pretty authoritarian version of Christianity, but in spite of this, I never quite saw how Jesus Christ supported violence, free market libertarian capitalism, war and torture, or the hatred of gays. Christianity, like all religions, can easily become distorted and used, as Marx said, as a sort of opium of the masses.

Anyway, I don't think that I could ever support the Republican Party because as far as I can tell the Republican Party doesn't support me or the things - fairness and equality, tolerance for difference, the rights of workers and consumers, separation of church and state, protecting the environment - that I think are important. The GOP as far as I can see has given us cultural warfare in an alliance with the Religious Right and with social conservatives who seem to want to take us back to the 1800s. And they have given us class warfare in an alliance with big banks, investment banks, and corporations (though admittedly, a few too many Democrats have also sought out this alliance, which is why some of their base has grown a bit dejected). The GOP has also played the race card, starting back when I was much younger and Richard Nixon began recruiting in 1968 Southern Dixiecrats into the Republican Party, and then continuing with Ronald Reagan and his code words ("states rights," "welfare queen") and then Willie Horton, Jesse Helms. and most recently the Tea Party and its candidates appealing to xenophobia and Islamophobia. Of course, no one ever wants to admit to their own complicity with racism. Finally, the Republicans also pretty much stood and cheered as Bush and Cheney led us into a costly and illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, which was accompanied by torture and indefinite detentions of people who were presumed guilty before being proven guilty; and during this time, here on the domestic front, Bush engaged in a policy of secret, illegal domestic surveillance; where were the Tea Party protesters, with their stated concerns about obeying the Constitution, when the previous administration was tearing the Constitution to shreds?

That said, and again, acknowledging that everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, with friends/loved ones who express political views that are the opposite of mine and when they do so in direct response to me expressing my views, my response is to try, via dialogue, to arrive at mutual understanding. Because, I really do believe that there are decent people on all sides of the political spectrum and that we are all in this together. I won't pretend to respect the political party that you support, because I don't respect it, but I can respect and care about those to whom I am connected.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Letter to the Poughkeepsie Journal

I read the Poughkeepsie Journal everyday and recently had this letter published on the hate filled candidacy of Carl Paladino. What does it say about NY state Republicans who would support this truly loathsome character?

Paladino's actions disqualify him

Sadly, once again we have seen racism and bigotry rear their ugly heads with this year's electoral races. We have seen, for example, a white supremacist running for Congress in New York's 18th District. And in the race for governor, we have the Republican candidate, Carl Paladino, who has displayed bigotry by referring to poor, unemployed people as lacking in hygiene, by referring to a Jewish Assembly leader, Shelly Silver, as an "anti-Christ," and most nefariously, by making blatantly racist jokes.

What does it say about the character of a man who would think amusing, images of President Obama as a pimp, Obama's supporters as dancing African tribesmen, and images that refer to black people using the racist "N" word? Paladino's supporters, seeing him as representing a needed potential shakeup of Albany, are quick to forgive him for forwarding e-mails containing these images, but the fact remains that Paladino has demonstrated extremely poor judgment. His actions were racist, and in the context of his campaign, are confrontationally so.

The rest of us have a choice, which is to stand up to racism and confront it or to tacitly condone it. Paladino's supporters and his fellow Republicans who do not condemn Paladino's racist behavior are themselves guilty of racism, no matter what their reason for support for Carl Paladino. Blatant racism — like a record of political corruption — ought to automatically disqualify one from holding public office.

Tom Conroy

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beacon Canvas on Sunday

The following message was posted on the MHPA Google page

This Sunday there will be a joint John Hall-Didi Barrett canvass in Beacon.

Canvassers will be meeting at 1pm at Zuzu's on Main Street.

Contact Adrian Culea, Field Organizer, NY-19, New York Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign, (845) 242-5391 if you have any questions.

Polling is showing that this race is statistically tied right now, no matter what the Hayworth campaign may claim.

Also, please everyone, note the following blog post reminder of Nan Hayworth's political extremism

Nan Hayworth is extreme indeed in her support of the "legislative roadmap" crafted by right-wing Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Ryan's plan calls for steep cuts in both Social Security, Medicare and other safety net programs, all in the name of reducing the federal debt.

In addition to cutting benefits, the plan calls for diverting individual Social Security contributions to private stock market accounts while, at the same time, leaving the federal government in the position of bailing out beneficiaries if the stock market declines. Ryan's plan also calls for abolishing Medicare for everyone currently below age 55 and replacing it with a voucher for purchasing private insurance. The catch of course is that the proposed voucher amount does not keep pace with increases in the cost of health care so would become increasingly inadequate over time, leaving seniors without access to needed care. Pataki health care ads make false claims

The Website Factcheck.Org has examined former Governor George Pataki's campaign against John Hall and the federal health care reform bill and finds them to be a lie. To quote,

* The ads claim the law will create "longer waits in doctors offices" and that "your right to keep your own doctor may be taken away." The group points to an opinion piece written by a health care expert who told FactCheck it is "bogus" to cite his article as support.
* The ad calls the health care law "government-run health care." While the law expands government regulation of health care, it maintains the nation's largely private health insurance system and creates more business for private insurers, says FactCheck.
* Viewers are told "costs will go up," while FactCheck says premiums would stay the same or decrease slightly for most Americans, while rising for people who buy their own insurance, and whose plans will be required to become more expansive.

Interviews with the Tea Party

Once upon a time, these sorts of ranting, irrational characters were thought of as a political "lunatic fringe," but now, they have more or less taken over the political party that put one of their own on a national ticket (that, of course, would be a certain Alaskan governor). That they are as prominent as they are, right now, seems to reflect a leadership void in the Republican Party, a party which may possibly gain the House this Fall, but which will then be very unlikely or unwilling to govern; not when it is being dragged around by people such as these.

My thanks to Andrew for posting this link.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

From the Huffington Post, article about New York's 19th Congressional District race

Insightful article by Jay Michaelson in the Huffington Post, focusing on the Tea Party takeover of the GOP in NY's 19th district.

Hayworth, in contrast, is a cookie-cutter Tea Party pseudo-libertarian. Her talking points are straight from the national strategy desk: Glenn Beck's rhetoric of patriotism and limited government, Sarah Palin's homey amateurism, and wild exaggerations of the evils of health care reform and other "nationalized" programs. Her platform is cookie-cutter as well: lowering the "oppressive, enterprise-killing taxation" (translation: lower taxes on the richest Americans -- including, in Hayworth's case, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax), "reform" of social security (i.e., mandatory IRA's, which everyone knows are meant to replace, not reform, the existing system), increasing domestic oil production (read: more BP spills in the gulf, more drilling in Alaska), anti-immigration measures, and so on.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Open Thread

Use the comment window below to say what is on your mind.

Donna Edwards Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Undo SCOTUS Ruling

I am hoping that the MHPA can help support passage of this amendment, so that corporations cannot outright buy and sell our democracy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some polling data on Obama's approval ratings

Some interesting polling data from Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. Approval or disapproval of Obama varies considerably by a variety of demographic factors.

Who likes Barack Obama -- and who doesn't -- in one table
Gallup breaks it down:

The Tea Party is taking its toll on the GOP

A highly recommended essay in the Daily Kos today which lays out the fact that a GOP sweep in the elections this year is hardly a done deal. Huffington Post also has a profile of Sharron Angle pointing to some inherent tensions between the establishment GOP and its loud activist faction.

The hardcore rightward drift of the GOP under the direction of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the rest of the Tea Party appears to be taking a very negative toll on the GOP. I would also lump in some of our own candidates in NY, like George Phillips, Carl Paladino, and Nan Hayworth in with the GOP's Tea Party faction. Let's defeat them all this November!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Let's make Election Day a National Holiday!

This is an essay I originally posted on Daily Kos back in September 2008. I still believe in this idea.

Given that California is currently circulating a new initiative petition that would make Election Day a state holiday, I would like to support continuing suggestions that Election Day be made a paid national holiday. Given both the low voting rates in this country and the desire of many who have to work on that day to instead volunteer their day toward the election, such as by serving as an election monitor in a swing state, the status quo is an impediment to democracy.A while back, Senator Debbie Stabenow proposed the national election holiday idea

In an effort to boost participation in the nation's elections, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) offered legislation that would make Election Day in November a national holiday.

Stabenow says her proposal is rooted in studies of voter participation in the world's major democracies and in a survey completed by the U.S. Census Bureau. The legislation also draws on the findings of a bipartisan commission headed by former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. The commission was created to recommend election reforms after the 2000 election.

"Studies of the 21 most advanced democracies, going all the way back to 1945, show the United States rate of voter participation is one of the lowest in the world - and continues to fall," Stabenow says. "Between 1980 and 2000, voter participation in Australia, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Sweden was 80 percent or better, and participation in Israel, Great Britain and Canada was 70 percent or better. Over the same period, however, voter participation in the United States was just 50 percent."

Stabenow notes a survey done by the U.S. Census Bureau shortly after the 2000 elections that found respondents cited a schedule conflict with work or school as the number one reason for not voting.

"Declaring Election Day a national holiday would make it easier for millions of busy Americans to get to the polls," Stabenow says. "In addition, we would have more public buildings - especially schools - available as potential polling places, and we would have a larger pool of potential poll workers to staff those locations."

Studies suggest that countries that vote on non work days have voting rates about 24% higher than in the U.S.

Of course, critics will counter that businesses would lose a day of productivity. Of course, merchants certainly don't complain when holidays free up people for a day of shopping.

Perhaps, as some suggest, we can trade Columbus Day for a national Electtion Day holiday. After all, why is a discovery myth more important than the vitality of our democracy? Or, perhaps the national election day can be combined with Veterans Day. What a better way to honor veterans than to enhance the sacred act of voting.

Incidentally, here is the link to Stabenow's bill also co-sponsored by Senators Durbin, Kerry, Landrieu, and Levin.
To make a well visited blog, I have heard a good advice somewhere.

The advice was to list references to as many other blogs, as possibly.

It will induce many cross visits.

My first recommendation is:

Education Notes Online

I met one of their contributors in search for information on one great history professor, Bela Kiraly.

One of his former students, Norm Scott answered my email. Norm blogs about education, and participates in the work of the union to preserve a high quality public education.

It is one noble cause.

This weekend's Washington DC rally for progress

As reported in today's New york Times, yesterday saw a large rally in the nation's capitol to promote a message of jobs, peace, and justice, with this a very timely concern just prior to the November elections. One of our members, Vane Lashua, was here. I am hoping that he might share his reflections on this event.

In the meantime, here from another website, is a slideshow of the rally.

A Portrait of the Bush Economy

Here is a detailed picture of the mess that Barack Obama inherited and a portrait of the GOP's war on working people.

John Hall for Congress

In 2006, the Mid Hudson Progressive Alliance endorsed and supported John Hall for Congress. This year, while we have not yet officially endorsed him, many of our members are active in helping toward his re-election. This year, given the shift in the political climate, he faces a tough fight.

If you want to get involved, here is how.

Updating this site

Hello Everyone!

The Mid Hudson Progressive Alliance continues to meet locally on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays in Beacon, NY and its members continue to engage in a variety of progressive activist efforts. We have also started a roundtable discussion series, in which people can share their knowledge and expertise in leading a discussion on a topic of interest.

This, our blog, will thus be updated so as to reflect on current developments.