Those Darn Pesky Socialists–Page1

Since Obama has been accused of being a socialist, I thought I would illustrate some of the issues that the Socialist Party candidates.

The Socialist Party has a long history of productive campaigns for the nation’s highest office. At our October, 2007 National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, we nominated Brian Moore of Florida for president and Stewart Alexander of California for vice-president. For more information, visit their campaign Web site at www.votesocialist2008.org

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Education
The Socialist Party recognizes the right of students of all ages to a free, quality education in a safe and supportive environment, and of all school employees to good wages, benefits, and working conditions.
1.  We call for full and equal funding of public education; for the restoration of a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, including art, music, world languages, and physical education; for an end to all public funding of private schools; and for free tuition and full-time teachers with full benefits (not “adjuncts”) at the post-secondary level.

2. We support public child care starting from infancy, and public education starting at age three, with caregivers and teachers of young children receiving training, wages, and benefits comparable to that of teachers at every other level of the educational system.

3.  We oppose merit pay for teachers, standardized testing, competition between schools within the same district, the sale of on-campus advertising in order to raise funds, and the increasing dependence of post-secondary institutions on corporate funding.

4.  We call for an egalitarian educational system with teaching methods that accommodate the wide range of teaching and learning styles, and that provides all students with the means to obtain the post-secondary education they desire.  We call a maximum of 15 students per teacher for grades K-12, and a maximum of 50 students per teacher at the post-secondary level.

5.  We call for vigorous affirmative action programs so that the faculty and student-body of all schools reflect the community at large in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, and economic background.  We support multicultural, multilingual, experimental education at all levels.

6.  We support student, parent, and teacher control of curriculum formation, and in the hiring and dismissal procedures of school personnel, through the formation of local school/community committees.

7.  We call for student representation on school boards, and for those boards to be fully accountable to students, parents, teachers, and school workers.

8.  We call for opportunities for lifelong self-education, with retraining programs and transitional financial support for workers displaced by technological advances.

9.  We support full and unrestricted health education programs, including sex education, with curriculum input from parents, students, teachers, and health care professionals.

10. We oppose school-sponsored prayer or any other religious practice in public schools, and all efforts to limit the teaching of evolution or to combine it with non-scientific theories.

11.  We call for free and open access to information, including the public ownership of all large databases.

Health Care
The Socialist Party stands for a socialized health care system based on universal coverage, salaried doctors and health care workers, and revenues derived from a steeply graduated income tax.
1.  We support a national health program with full standard and alternative medical, dental, vision, and mental health coverage for all, publicly funded through progressive taxation and controlled by democratically elected assemblies of health care workers and patients. The National Health Program should extend, and replace, Medicare and Medicaid.

2.  We call for a health care system that emphasizes preventive care, respects patients’ privacy, gives special attention to the needs of the physically and mentally disabled, and conducts treatment and research unimpaired by sexism, racism, or homophobia.

3. We call for full funding for AIDS research, prevention, and treatment.   We demand full civil rights for people living with AIDS.

4. We call for public ownership and worker and community control of the pharmaceutical industry.

5.  We call for educational programs to help prevent drug addiction; for voluntary treatment programs for addicts and alcoholics; and for the availability of free, sterile needles for those still using IV drugs.

6.  We call for the reinstatement of funding to community mental health services so that low-cost or no-cost treatment is available on a voluntary basis, with clients’ rights respected. We oppose involuntary incarceration for treatment without due process.

7.  We support the right to choose or refuse medical treatment, the right to die, and the right to assisted suicide.

Housing
The Socialist Party recognizes the right of all people to high quality, low cost housing.
1.   We call for a vast increase in Section 8 housing subsidies as one element of major public investment in the construction of low cost, scattered site, community-based, high quality housing.

2.  We call for rent control for all rental units, and the right of tenants to organize.

3.  We support the formation of non-profit land trusts and of socially owned, tenant controlled housing cooperatives.

4.  We call for the organization of a housing rehabilitation program aimed at renovating and remodeling existing homes to bring them up to housing and safety codes, as part of a broader public works program.

5. We call for an end to home foreclosures

Transportation
The Socialist Party calls for extensive public transportation in both urban and rural areas.
1.  We call for the creation of a fully funded high-speed national rail system with fares set low enough to be a viable alternative to the use of the automobile.

2.  We call for an end to the expansion of the interstate highway system and the reduction of combustion engine/auto based transport.

3.  We call for government subsidized programs to expand safe routes for foot and bicycle paths.

4.  We call for pedestrian ways, accessible by mass transit, which exclude vehicles from the downtown area of cities and towns.

5.  We support publicly funded development of renewable fuels.

6. We support federally funded auto insurance.

7. We call for public ownership and worker control of the airline industry.

This taken from their website at:

http://socialistparty-usa.org/platform/

I hate to bring this up, but, don’t you people think that if Obama was truly a socialist that the SP would be supporting him and not running their candidates?  Just a thought.  But then that is something I do, unlike most voters.

For Voters On Environmental Issues

Just as a soldier needs to be well armed to enter into combat, a voter needs all the ammo available to be well armed with knowledge.

Climate Change

We face economic, humanitarian and environmental crises from unchecked global climate change, including the loss of important water sources that help quench the needs of our industry, agriculture and homes. Our coastal cities will also be threatened by rising sea levels, and the frequency and severity of storms are predicted to increase.

Solution: We need to pass a comprehensive bill on climate change to cut emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, as the world’s leading scientists of the IPCC have prescribed.

Obama’s Plan: Obama supported legislation to cut emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and has a plan to achieve that through a market-based cap-and-trade system.

McCain’s Plan: McCain co-sponsored the first bill in the Senate calling for mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, in 2003. He supports action on climate change, but his proposals fall far short of what is recommended by scientists. His plan only calls for a 60 percent drop below 1990 levels by the year 2050.

Coal

Half of Americans get their energy from coal, but it is the dirtiest of our energy sources, and the extraction, cleaning and burning of it has caused major environmental and health problems.

Solution: We need to end our use of coal and instead use cleaner, renewable sources of energy. We should not be supporting “clean coal” technology or coal-to-liquids fuels because these do nothing to address the destructive practices of coal extraction, including mountaintop removal mining.

Obama’s Plan: Obama has proposed investing $150 billion over 10 years in renewables, but this includes so-called “clean coal” technology. He also was the co-sponsor of the Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act, which he later “clarified,” saying he would only support liquefying coal if it emitted 20 percent less carbon than conventional fuels.

McCain’s Plan: McCain is also a supporter of “clean coal” technologies and wants to spend $2 billion annually investing in it. He has said he wants to “find a way to use our coal resources without emitting excessive greenhouse gases.”

Renewable Energy

As we face dwindling supplies and increasing environmental harm from fossil fuels like oil and coal, not enough attention and resources are being directed toward developing and implementing renewable energy projects.

Soluiton: Cut our dependence on energy sources that cause carbon emissions and instead focus our resources on clean, renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and geothermal.

Obama’s Plan: Obama’s plan would double federal research money for renewable energy, would aim to get 25 percent of our electricity from clean sources by 2025 and would create a clean technology venture capital fund. Obama supported renewables in the Senate, making it back for a key vote (that McCain failed to vote on) during the primary campaign.

McCain’s Plan: In both 1994 and 1999, McCain voted against more money for renewable energy, including solar. In 2005 he voted against legislation that would have required utilities to get 10 percent of their power from renewable sources. In 2007 he missed every vote on renewable energy. He is against subsidies for wind and solar energy, although he is in favor of subsidies for nuclear power.

Biofuels

With the price of gas rising, many people are looking to biofuels, such as ethanol, as a replacement. But growing food for fuel has caused the price of commodities like corn to rise and has increased the use of water and pesticides, causing more environmental harm.

Solution: Explore the development of fuels that are created from waste products and other nonfood items.

Obama’s Plan: Obama’s plan calls for 36 billion gallons of biofuels to be used in the United States each year by 2022 and 60 billion gallons of biofuels to be used in the country each year by 2030.

McCain’s Plan: McCain used to be against ethanol but is now in favor of it, although he is not in favor of government subsidies for it. He also favors the development of “second generation” fuels like cellulosic ethanol, which wouldn’t compete with food crops.

Fuel Efficiency and Home “Greening”

While there is an increasing recognition that we need to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of energy, there has been little talk about how much money we can save and how much emissions we can cut by increasing efficiency.

Solution: _Raise energy efficiency and fuel efficiency standards and help people save money by saving energy and lowering their carbon footprints.

Obama’s Plan: Obama’s plan has a goal of improving new building efficiency by 50 percent and existing building efficiency by 25 percent in the next 10 years and providing energy incentives for conservation. He voted yes on comprehensive energy legislation that included raising automobile fuel efficiency standards to 35 mpg by 2020.

McCain’s Plan: McCain has repeatedly voted against raising efficiency standards and still opposes setting a specific target for an increase in fuel efficiency standards. McCain didn’t show up when the Senate voted and approved comprehensive energy legislation that set a deadline to raise automobile fuel efficiency standards to 35 mpg by 2020.

Water

We face a water crisis from global warming, pollution, scarcity and privatization. In the next 10 years, 36 U.S. states will be facing water scarcity. Municipalities are strapped for money to maintain and repair aging infrastructure as funding from the federal government has fallen 66 percent since 1991. This has opened the door for the privatization of public water sources, causing rates to rise and services to diminish.

Solution: We need full funding from the federal government to protect and clean up water sources, stop the privatization of municipal water, and ensure adequate funding of our water infrastructure.

Obama’s Plan: Obama voted for on an amendment that would include $900 million for flood management and pollution caused by runoff from roads. Obama supports full funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which helps states keep their water clean and safe.

McCain’s Plan: While in Congress, McCain cast 10 votes against clean water, which also were against drinking water protection and enforcement, controlling microbes in water, and money for water pollution control. He supported delaying funds for leaking underground storage tanks and allowing municipalities to set their own standards for toxic waste.

Oil Drilling

As Democrats and Republicans talk about solutions to rising gas prices and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, there has been renewed interest in offshore oil drilling and drilling in ecologically pristine areas like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Solution: New offshore permits and drilling in ANWR should be taken off the table, as they would do nothing to ease the strain of drivers struggling with rising prices.

Obama’s Plan: In 2006, Obama rejected efforts to open up 8 million acres off the coasts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana for oil and gas drilling. He has also been against drilling in ANWR. However, this summer he said he would reconsider lifting the ban on offshore drilling if it were part of a larger energy bill.

McCain’s Plan: McCain has recently come out in favor of new offshore drilling permits. He does not support opening up ANWR to drilling — but his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, does.

Air

Coal-burning power plants, vehicle emissions and other pollutants threaten air quality and health.

Solution: We need to phase out coal plants and strengthen the Clean Air Act to make sure corporations are accountable to the communities where they operate.

Obama’s Plan: In the Senate, Obama helped to stop Bush’s rollbacks on the Clean Air Act, which would have increased industrial emissions of mercury and sulfur. And he fought a Bush administration rule that would have delayed meaningful reductions in mercury emissions from power plants for 20 more years.

McCain’s Plan: McCain voted to squash an amendment that was intended to reinstate the mandate to control toxic emissions from motor vehicles. He also voted yes on the Nickles-Heflin amendment, which would handcuff the EPA’s ability to enforce all Clean Air Act requirements and limit citizen suits.

Nuclear Energy

As awareness about global warming has increased, the nuclear industry is trying to rebrand nuclear power as a clean, renewable source of energy.

Solution: Nuclear power is not a clean or safe form of energy and should not be given government subsidies.

Obama’s Plan: Obama has said that he supports nuclear power if it is clean and safe, but he has not defined what it would take to make nuclear power and its waste clean and safe. He is against the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and has not specifically called for building any nuclear power plants.

McCain’s Plan: McCain is in favor of nuclear power as an energy source for the United States, and his plan calls for building 45 new nuclear power plants in the country by 2030. He would use money raised from auctioning emissions permits for his global warming plan to spend on R&D for nuclear power. He is in favor of storing nuclear waste at Yucca

Green Jobs

The economy is tanking and global warming emissions continue to rise despite warnings from leading scientists about the threats of climate change. A green jobs program could help tackle both of these problems at once, but action needs to come from the federal government to jump-start it.

Solution: We need a federal initiative that would invest $100 billion over the next two years to help create 2 million new jobs in clean energy products and services. Such a program would provide good-paying jobs for middle-class Americans, help lift people out of poverty, help increase energy efficiency and reduce global warming emissions.

Obama’s Plan: Obama would use revenue from auctioning emissions permits from his global warming plan to help develop cleaner energy sources, create green jobs and help lower-income people pay for their energy bills. He also seeks to create a Clean Energy Jobs Corps and Green Job Corps for disadvantaged youth. His plan would create 5 million new green jobs.

McCain’s Plan: McCain has said he is interested in “building the infrastructure for a non-carbon energy future.” However, he missed a key vote in the Senate that would have provided around $5 billion for renewable energy, energy efficiency and green jobs.

As The Economy Contracts

Gross domestic product (GDP) figures released yesterday by the Commerce Department show that the US economy shrank by 0.3 percent on an annualised basis in the three months from July to September. With economists expecting even poorer GDP figures for the fourth quarter, the latest data confirms that the economy has now entered into severe recession.

Negative GDP growth for the third quarter was driven by a 3.1 percent decline in consumer spending, the first such contraction since 1991 and the largest fall recorded since 1980.

Consumer spending, partly fuelled by personal debt, has accounted for more than two-thirds of all economic activity in the last period. But mounting layoffs, home foreclosures, credit card defaults, the rising cost of living and the declining value of retirement savings have had a devastating impact on broad layers of the population. The Commerce Department reported an extraordinary 8.7 percent third quarter decline in disposable personal income—that is, income after taxes and adjusted for inflation. This is the largest fall ever recorded since figures were first kept in 1947.

Unsurprisingly, spending has declined together with incomes. In the three months up to October, purchases of non-durable goods—smaller purchases such as food and clothing items—plunged by 6.4 percent, the biggest decline since 1950. Spending on durable goods, such as cars and furniture, declined by 14.1 percent.

The third quarter 0.3 percent GDP decline was not as severe as had been anticipated. Stock markets lifted marginally yesterday, with the Dow Jones closing 2.1 percent higher. Goldman Sachs economists, however, warned their clients that the GDP report was “weaker than implied by the initial market reaction.”

The data would have been significantly worse had it not been for a narrower trade deficit caused by continuing export growth to Europe and Asia. This growth has since ceased and exports are in decline as the world economy follows the American into steep recession. Also preventing a sharper drop in third quarter GDP was federal government spending and investment, which was up 13.8 percent on an annualised basis, largely due to an 18.1 percent rise in military expenditure.

Info for the voter to take into the general election on Tuesday.

Yet Another Media Whore

Who am I talking about?  Joe the ConMan, oh sorry, my bad, the Plumber.  I am absolutely positive that there is NO one in the US that does not know who the hell this guy is.  If there is please do not vote!

In the past I have called a lot of individuals “media whores” because of various reason, mostly because they are trying hard to cash in on their momentary celebrity status.  Let us get back to our man “Joe”.  He was used to confront Obmaa in the beginning that turned into a major celeb, even though his lies about the business were shown that he would benefit from Obama’s tax plan.

He has not decided what to do with his life, he is NOT buying a plumbing company and apparently he never liked beiong a worker anyway he wants to be so much more……there have been rumblings that he is hawking a book deal…….then he is considering a run for Congress….he has hired a PR firm and been offered a song deal from Nashville.

He whined on Bill O’s show about how the media is tearing his life apart, but has put himself at the disposal of the McCain campaign for rally appearances…..how much is his dignity worth?  Hopefully, the McCain people are paying well.  Will he be a flash in the pan like Cato during the OJ trial?

Today In Labor History

31 October

Tennessee sends in leased convict laborers to break a coal miners strike in Anderson County. The miners revolted, burned the stockades, and sent the captured convicts by train back to Knoxville – 1891

Int’l Alliance of Bill Posters, Billers & Distributors of the United States & Canada surrendered AFL-CIO charter and disbanded – 1971

I have been remiss in my duty here…..I have neglected to mention that the information for this and all post on labor hiustory can be found at :

http://www.biglabor.com

The Next President

Back in June I did a post on what the next president would be facing, unfortunately I was mistaken in some areas for the economy had not gone into the toilet yet.

November 4th, the next president will be chosen by the American people (actually the electoral college, but believe what you will) and he will immediately be confronted with a wealth of problems that need immediate attention.

He will face 2 wars, the worst economy since 1930, a growing deficit, job losses, energy independence, a crumbling infrastructure and the list goes on and on, those were the immediate problems that must be faced.

US President George W. Bush’s successor inherits a world of troubles come January, including wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a defiant Iran, and a US economy battered by the global financial crisis.

The new president will take the reins of a limping superpower facing deep doubts overseas about the limits of its strength, and sharply diminished US standing even among Washington’s closest friends, recent studies find.

If these cannot be handled and handled quickly, then our next president will most likely be a ONE term president.  He will be held responsible for everything that occurs within those 4 years, no matter where they originated.

Now the question will be, will the Congress work with the new president or will they just be a hinderance?  Will a democratic Congress be willing to change things?  Or will they like the status quo?  IMO, there are a lot of “Blue Dog” Democrats in the Congress, I do not see them helping the Obama presidency much.

“America’s moral leadership and decision-making competence will continue to be questioned at home and abroad, despite the arrival of new leadership in Washington,” a Georgetown University working group said earlier this year.

Bush leaves a mountain of unfinished business. Barring perhaps unimaginable breakthroughs, it will fall to one of his successors to end the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, herald the end of nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea, and celebrate a lasting peace deal in the Middle East.

And the next president will certainly inherit a grim economy — the White House this week predicted a sharp rise in unemployment, while some private-sector forecasts warn of a trillion-dollar budget deficit in 2009.

The new president will likely face difficult decisions on Iraq. Recent US public opinion polls reveal new optimism amid decreased violence there, but most Americans still want US troops to come home as soon as possible.

The new president will also inherit Iran’s defiance of international pressure over its suspect nuclear program and a fragile six-country deal making ginger progress towards ending North Korea’s atomic weapons ambitions.

Other headaches include Washington’s chilly ties with Moscow — their worst since the Cold War — as well as relations with Pakistan which have tensed over suspected US strikes at extremists along the border with Afghanistan.

Info Ink: Election Comment

People realize that I am a political junkie, I live for this stuff and I guess that in some circles that makes me about a boring as watching flies mate. But to me this stuff is fascinating watching the chess game that is politics.

I entered into this year with the promise of something new and a good feeling about the future of this country. Ever so slowly that warm fuzzy feeling began to wane. I liked the idea that there were populists on both sides of the stage. I liked the idea that there was a real life maverick in the fray. I was also amazed to see that there were a couple of real honest to god progressives in the contest. I even found the appearance of bored business men that wanted to play presidential politics rather amusing.

Yes but slowly the ones that made the primaries interesting began to drop like flies, either because of money problems or lack of support. They just could not break the vote barrier to stay in the race. Their messages did not play to the public and they became also rans. Finally we were down to the two eventual nominees.

The messages of something new for Washington got drowned out by the shouts of partisanship. The situation in the United States just begs for new thinking, but the candidates smack of old school. We will go to the polls and cast our votes then sit back and wait to see if anyone can pull the country out of a tail spin.

In November, someone will win the election and someone will be the runner up. In the end, the loser will be the American people. I fear that no matter which party wins it will be business as usual in Washington with minor adjustments to appear productive.

Go out and vote! Please vote for the good of the country, not for the massage of some guys overinflated ego.

YOU HAVE THE POWER—CHOOSE WISELY!