Republican President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address warned the US, that is, us, about the potential dangers of a “military-industrial” and by extension “congressional complex” having inordinate influence over our domestic and foreign policy. Since the shooting death, August 9th, of unarmed Michael Brown, an 18-year old African-American man, by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, much has been learned about the pervasive militarization of our nation’s local police departments. Through the obscure “1033″ program, enacted by Congress in 1997, military-grade weaponry has been given directly to local police departments by the Defense Department or purchased with grants issued by the Department of Homeland Security. “1033″ has made it possible for defense contractors, their lobbyists, and weak-kneed legislators to expand the production and profits of weapons manufacturers by the duplicitous justification that it provides a continued use for excess military equipment. Consider this. Well over $32 billion in equipment … Continue Reading…..
July 2, 2014 Sen. Bernie Sanders 332 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Re: S. 268; “Carried Interest Loophole”; Regulation of Hedge Funds Dear Sen. Sanders: I am writing to you because you are a champion, fighting to change the disastrous course our country has taken. You seek a more just, humane, and ultimately stronger union. Though I know you are aware of the many areas our country significantly lags behind OECD member nations, there are two areas where we hold the shameful distinction of leading all others: income inequality and social immobility. Indeed, this has not been the land of opportunity for some time. The playing field, as some have aptly put it, has been “rigged.” And though you have been leading efforts to deal with the student loan crisis, the corrupting influence of money in politics, and raising the minimum wage, among others, there is one area … Continue Reading…..
Ironically, the success of the Working Families Party in building a viable alternative to our two major parties since its founding in 1998, led to a monumentally difficult decision at its nominating convention this past weekend: whether to endorse Gov. Andrew Cuomo for reelection or a challenger, Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor, expert in political corruption and campaign finance reform, and former internet organizing director for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. The WFP endorsed Cuomo in 2010 only to see him abandon the progressive agenda they believed he would champion. Among Cuomo’s 2010 promises was cleaning up Albany by reforming New York’s campaign finance laws and incestuous redistricting process. He caved on the latter, and failed to lead on the former for four straight years, all the while building up a $34 million campaign war chest from wealthy individual and corporate donors. His tax and fiscal policies have … Continue Reading…..