Follow by Email

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Heh!

Maybe this is what the Wigman meant when he said we would have to get a closer look at the birth certificate. Heh!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Peace & Life Connections

This issue of Peace and Life Connections has a great answer to the notion that Planned Parenthood should continue to receive funding simply because of things like cancer screenings that it does. It's worth considering their argument. Peace & Life Connections

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Catholic and Enjoying It!: Lefties Bravely Beat Up a Child With Down's Syndrome

My friend Mark has also posted on the Palin child question. Although I am of the left Mark, I swear on a copy of the Long Loneliness (Dorothy Day's autobiography), I shall never beat up on a Down's syndrome child. Catholic and Enjoying It!: Lefties Bravely Beat Up a Child With Down's Syndrome

Pro-Abortion Blog Attacks Sarah Palin's Son: "Retarded," "Somewhat Alive" | LifeNews.com

I'm not a Sarah Palin fan, but picking on a kid with Down's syndrome because you don't like his grandmother is not what is consider "progressive" and I shall attempt to communication such to the website that did this. I think it is particularly important for progessive pro-lifers to speak out on something like this. I also want to make clear that any political humor I may have leveled against Palin in the past, nor any vociferous disagreements  I expressed with her politics were not meant to in anyway deny her dignity or that of her family members.  I actually admire the positions and work she has done on Down's syndrome.  Pro-Abortion Blog Attacks Sarah Palin's Son: "Retarded," "Somewhat Alive" | LifeNews.com

Poll: What kind of president would Donald Trump make? - USATODAY.com

Some people are not sure Trump was born in the U.S.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Trump’s Eminent-Domain Empire - Michelle Malkin - National Review Online

Donald Trump as a real estate mogul, takes full advantage of the recent Supreme Court decision governments to using eminent demand to do redevelopment with private developers "to raise property values". Trump is a crony capitalist, not a freemarketer. I'm not a big fan for the National Reviews politics, but on this I agree with them. Trump’s Eminent-Domain Empire - Michelle Malkin - National Review Online

Friday, April 22, 2011

Attorney General Holder Announces Formation of Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group to Focus on Energy Markets

The Koch Brothers(Koch Enterprises) are siphoning off petroleum into reserve storage to drive up the price so they can sell there commodity futures are a dear price. They are doing this right out in the open. The AG's office is right to investigate.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CNS STORY: Church, society still lag in help, welcome to those with mental illness

As a Catholic that grew up in a family with more than one member who suffered from mental illness, I'm glad to see the church taking the issue head on these days. CNS STORY: Church, society still lag in help, welcome to those with mental illness

Big Brothers: Thought Control at Koch | The Nation

Union busting Koch brothers are forcing political propaganda on their employees. See: Big Brothers: Thought Control at Koch | The Nation

May Day

Sunday May 1st at 1PM there will be a rally on behalf of immigrants and to stop the attacks on workers through the budgeting and union busting processes. The budgets are being balanced on the backs of the poor, disabled, seniors, immigrants, families with their children, union workers while someone has designed the tax loopholes big enough that you'd think they were trying to drive a herd of camels through to heaven.  It may turn out to be a disappointment to them!  It should be a good day for a walk and a good day to tell the world there is a side to this that isn't Sarah Patin's cup of tea.


Event Location

Judkins Park (next to St. Mary's Church)611 20th Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98144

Directions

(Look for our banner at the northern baseball diamond on the field)

Mail Call!


Mail today from Washington can on the budget in Washington State and what we can do about it.

A lot has happened since the last time we emailed you. The ‘We Are One’ week of action was a huge success! For over five days, Washington CAN members and community members took over the capitol to demand that lawmakers put people first in the budget. One hundred people slept in the rotunda to protest outdated tax breaks and more than 10,000 people rallied outside the capitol steps to call on lawmakers to pass a just budget. Last week, a group of faith, labor, and Washington CAN leaders participated in the People’s Walk for Our Future. Marchers walked over 50 miles in rainy, cold, windy weather from Auburn to Olympia to demand that lawmakers pass a moral budget by closing frivolous tax breaks for the wealthiest. 

Health care, schools, immigrants, children, communities of color, seniors, no one is spared from budget cuts except for one group: special interests. The budgets recently put forth by the House and Senate slash billions of dollars in funding for health care, education, and other cores services while sparing billions of dollars in outdated tax breaks for corporations and special interests. Now more than ever, as we enter the final week of the legislative session, lawmakers need to hear from YOU.

Demand that lawmakers pass a just and moral budget that puts protects people not corporations. Two ways you can help:

1. CALL YOUR LAWMAKERS TODAY 800-562-6000. Demand that corporations share the sacrifice and give back outdated frivolous tax breaks to raise revenue for critical programs.
2. Hit the streets!Sign up to join us for the May Day march to stand up for our communities.

Our protests have gotten the attention of lawmakers and they are starting to take action. Last week, 10 senators introduced a series of bills that would end specific tax breaks to fund education, health care, and essential state services. But we need to keep the pressure on, particularly now as a special session is on the horizon. That’s why on May Day, May 1st at 1pm, Washington CAN! and various community partners are marching to stand up for workers, immigrants, and all our communities. We must unite to protest cuts that target immigrants and workers in our state while corporations and special interests continue to get lofty tax breaks.

Stand with us to protect our communities. Take a minute to:

1. CALL YOUR LAWMAKERS TODAY 800-562-6000. Tell them you want corporations and special interests to pay their fair share to stop devastating budget cuts to kids, seniors, immigrants, and our communities.
2. Sign up for the May Day march to stop the attacks on workers and immigrants in our state.

Thank you for all you do,
the Washington CAN! team

Donald Trump's Birth Certificate

Donald Trump, allegedly the son of Fred Christ Trump, who left him most of a $400 million dollar estate and a real estate business is running now, allegedly, for President of the United States, after having become, allegedly, pro-life, and he is demanding to see the birth certificate of President Obama, because he allegedly does not believe the one posted on line is real. Trump was born in the United States, allegedly, although I have never seen his birth certificate, and is therefore eligible to run for president although his birth may have been complicated by his having a silver spoon in his mouth at the time. I have, therefore, grave doubts that he was indeed born in the United States, since such complicated birth procedures are normally done in places with long traditions of aristocracy.   I therefore demand, that Donald Trump produce an authenticated copy of his birth certificate that proves that he is "one of us".  Furthermore, I think we should launch an investigation into the possibility that some of his banker friends, who have been known to bail him out in real estate, may have paid bribes to produce a forged birth certificate. After all, I never knew personally anyone who was born with expensive dining ware hanging from the corner of his mouth, so how could he be one of us? 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DownWithTyranny!: Are The Republicans Still Looking For Candidates Who Even Obama Could Beat? Donald Trump Says He's Available

Here is a old bog post on Trump, but it reveals his banker connections. DownWithTyranny!: Are The Republicans Still Looking For Candidates Who Even Obama Could Beat? Donald Trump Says He's Available

Letting the Banks Off the Hook - NYTimes.com

NY Times asks some questions about the regulations of the banks. Banks are still doing many of the things that lead to the financial crisis, consumers are still unprotected. Are we going to have another round of bailouts down the road as a result? Letting the Banks Off the Hook - NYTimes.com

Spy infiltrates "Tax Day" event at B of A in Columbia, MD


This tongue and cheek "supporter" of Bank of America has nailed the problem on it's head. Yesterday there were picket lines at B of A's all over the country because they and other large banks are not paying their fair share in taxes.

USCCB - (Liturgy) - Eighteen Questions on the Paschal Triduum

If any of my Catholic readers have questions on Holy Week this should answer them. USCCB - (Liturgy) - Eighteen Questions on the Paschal Triduum

Mail from Bernie

I got some Move On mail from my friend  Bernie (Bernadette), that is from another Bernie (Sanders) .  So I'm reporting here on some related matters and then opening the mail bag for you.  Lots to do for those of you who love writing Congress poeple or clicking internet buttons. 

Yesterday I went to a Move on picket line/rally in front of the B of A in Ballard, part of a national effort to deliver peoples tax bills to Bank of America and other  big banks, get people to close their big bank accounts and open Credit Union or community bank accounts.  There were similar events from other organizations in other locations.  the Catholic Workers had a  over turning the money changers table event down in Columbia city.  Someone held one at the B of A on Lake City Way.   

So here is what I think you should do:
1) Close your big bank accounts if you can.  
2) Change over your Credit Cards and Mortgages if you can. 
3) Write you Congress people on taxes and budget questions.
4)I'm starting a campaign on my blog to get politicians to pledge not to balance the budget on the backs of the poor http://roominhouseblues.blogspot.com/2011/04/pledge-to-protect-american-citizens.html  Read my blog and write to politicians to ask them to take the pledge and give them my blog address.  
5) Show up at the next bank picket line. 






A few weeks ago, Senator Bernie Sanders released a list of the 10 companies worst at paying their fair share in taxes. We liked it, and our designer Gabe quickly put it into chart form and put it up on our website.
What happened next was exciting: Tens of thousands of people started sharing the chart on Facebook. Blogs started posting links to it. It began to really blow up—and that gave us an idea: What if we could get this popular chart in front of millions of people today as they're finishing their taxes?
So here we go: We're going to try to saturate Facebook with the chart below, so that everyone sees the shameful behavior of these 10 companies. Can you join in? All you have to do is click this button to share it:



Share This on Facebook




Senator Bernie Sanders Guide To Corporate Freeloaders

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mail Bag

More mail from public citizen.  I give you the reader lots of chances to participate in letter writing campaigns. This one is to Congress.


Public Citizen
Joseph,

Through tax breaks, loopholes and subsidies, billions of our tax dollars are being transferred away from working people and into corporate coffers.

Meanwhile, corporate lobbyists and their allies in Congress are trying to eliminate funding for public protections that benefit the American people.

Our tax dollars should be used to prevent reckless corporations from ransacking our economy, poisoning our environment and injuring workers — not to pad corporate profits.

Let’s tell Congress: Stop giving away our tax dollars to reckless corporations, and start fully funding the agencies that protect us from corporate wrongdoing.

Right now, the money we give away to corporations that break the law and endanger public health by far surpasses the amount we’re spending to keep them in check:
  • Wall Street gets more than $6 billion in tax breaks; agencies charged with monitoring and holding the industry accountable get just over $1 billion.*
  • Big Agriculture receives more than $7 billion in subsidies; government food safety and inspection services receive just over $1 billion.*
  • And though the government spends more than $11 billion to fund environmental protection, it gives away even more than that (more than $11.5 billion) in tax breaks, write-offs and subsidies to the oil and natural gas industries.*
It’s wasteful. It’s inefficient. And it has to stop.

Tell Congress to fully fund effective regulations and stop giving handouts to corporations.

Go to: www.citizen.org/no-corporate-subsidies

Thanks for all you do,

Rick Claypool
Public Citizen’s Online Action Team
action@citizen.org

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Koch Industries Lackeys Admit To Manipulating Oil Prices…And Gloat About It, Too - By Yasha Levine - The eXiled

Same old same old. There are always those who corner the market, for a while anyway. The almost unregulated commodities market is one of the most pernicious features of modern capitalism as it overprices something one day, and ruins the small investor the next. Koch Industries Lackeys Admit To Manipulating Oil Prices…And Gloat About It, Too - By Yasha Levine - The eXiled

The Ramallah miracle: Is Palestine ready for independence? - The Globe and Mail

It's about time for a Palestinian state and about time for formal and complete peace between Israel and Palestine. Everybody has to recognize the needs and aspirations of the other guy. The solution to this problem is long overdue and it was held in check for decades by Cold War politics, indirectly. Now Palestine is growing economically and both sides are tiring of the fighting. If Israel will signal that it will recognize a Palestinian state a permanent peace becomes possible. The Ramallah miracle: Is Palestine ready for independence? - The Globe and Mail

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stations of the Cross


It's Friday in Lent and time for Stations of the Cross.  The simple image and music on this video make for a great Way of the Cross meditation. 

What is a Consistent Life Ethic ?


I am a advocate of Consistent Life, also known as Seamless Garment.  I think this is a very good explaination of this position. 

Mail from the Farmworkers


wrapper
donate
Toxic pesticide up for re-evaluation. Stop its use now.

I have been a supporter of the cause of farmworkers since I was in high school.  They suffer many indignities, including low wages, backbreaking labor and exposure to dangerous chemicals. Suppose you were at work and your boss sprayed you with toxic bug spray?  Please read the letter below from UFW and take action.   





For the last 5 years, we've been tirelessly working to stop the use of methyl iodide, a cancer causing pesticide that scientists call, "one of the most toxic chemicals on earth." In March of 2010, the UFW even took legal action joining with other environmental groups.

Our hard work is paying off: The U.S. EPA has announced it will reconsider its decision to allow the use of this toxic pesticide. It has opened a public comment period.

On April 28th, the day before the EPA's comment period closes, the UFW and our partners' goal is to turn in a petition with 200,000 signatures. We already have more than 40,000 signatures.
The science is clear: This pesticide is too toxic to be used safely. But big ag wants it, and they are used to getting what they want.

As Cesar Chavez said, "Why do we allow farm workers to carry the burden of pesticides on their shoulders?"

Help us get rid of this toxin for once and for all. Sign our petition and urge the EPA and Administrator Lisa Jackson to do their job and protect the people.

Si Se Puede! 
sign petition graphic
Sign the petition at: http://action.ufw.org/mi411

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bruce Springsteen - O Mary Don't You Weep


From Springsteen's Pete Seeger CD, as we are getting ready for Good Friday, thinking of Mary weeping for her son.

Don't Weep


Getting read for Good Friday I will begin to post passion and crucifixion scenes to my blog.

Where has All the Money Gone? ~ Angry Tired Teachers


What has happened to money for schools and social services. Isn't it time we stood up for what we need in this country instead of letting inequality grow by leaps and bounds.

I Won't Back Down ~ Angry Tired Teachers ~ Pink Friday!


Made at a protest of teachers in 2009, this song is my answer to the budget cuts. 

Forgiving the Image of the Crucified

Christ, in every sense,  makes himself human, including by  the ignominy of his death.  Tortured on the rough wooden cross, because people with power felt threatened by him, he gave his life as an innocent victim for his friends.  He gave his life for us while we were still sinners.  Then he turned to his Father and said, "Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do."

Was he crucified because his persecutors could not recognize his divinity?  Or  was it because they could not recognize his humanity?

Isn't it always the case that those who torture have failed to recognize shared humanity with their victims?   Our first duty to others is to recognize the humanity we share with them.  We are told that what we do for the poor, prisoners, the sick, we do for Our Lord, and when we failed to help those in need, we have failed him

In the Lord's Prayer we ask for our forgiveness on the basis that we have forgiven others. If we do not extend that forgiveness to others, we have failed to extend it to Our Lord on the cross, and we will be held to account for it.

There are many  people in the world who seem intrinsically evil, have committed crimes and moral outrages against humanity.   It becomes difficult to forgive them  and it a great challenge for us to see their humanity.  Terrorists for example have often inflicted horrible pain and suffering on their victims and  in turn are often punished by torture.

 But did not Christ forgive us?  He forgave us after what our sins did to him on the cross.  And he presented to us the image of a tortured one.  If we fail to recognize the humanity of a prisoner, regardless of their crimes, and torture them, we have tortured Christ.

We are required  to see the dignity of each human being and there are no exceptions.  This is foundational to Christian social teaching.  We can punish prisoners to protect ourselves and others and to attempt to rehabilitate them, but we cannot deprive them of their dignity, which torture and inhuman punishments do.

A friend of mine, a Muslim, says that in his opinion torturing someone was worse than killing them, because it was as if you had killed them, and at the same time you have taken their dignity.

It's time for religious people to work to end torture.  I find it shocking to learn that religious people are more likely to support the torture of accused terrorists than non religious people.  It is our duty to recognize Christ in even the worst criminal.  The National Religious Campaign Against Torture is asking us to support Torture Awareness Month this coming June.

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do".

Obama Exclusive: Concedes Senate Vote Against Raising Debt Limit Was 'Political' - George Stephanopoulos' Bottom Line

Showing some political honesty and courage, Obama discusses raising the debt limit. Obama Exclusive: Concedes Senate Vote Against Raising Debt Limit Was 'Political' - George Stephanopoulos' Bottom Line

Mail Again


It is my usual practice to post mail I receive when I am in sympathy and agreement on the issue. I find it strange that religious people might consider torture acceptable.  All that is required of us is to reflect on the torture inflicted on our Lord and Savior on the cross, and remember that each human being is in some sense him, and we would refuse under any circumstances to torture.

TORTURE IS A MORAL ISSUE

Dear NRCAT Supporter:
Many of you have already begun planning activities to mark Torture Awareness Month during the month of June.
We are pleased to announce that NRCAT has developed these additional resources for congregations to use for education and advocacy:
You’ll find more information about these and other resources on NRCAT’s
Torture Awareness Month webpage.
Please use this brief form to tell us about your plans and how we can better support your local efforts during June.
Watch the Video
Thank you for helping to raise awareness of this important issue in your congregation and community.

Sincerely,

Linda Gustitus, President
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director

Correspondence with the Political Class

Today I received mail from Rep. Jaime Pedersen expressing his concern for education in this state, but his inability to ensure it's protection.  I responded with a challenge that may take a while to have meet.    Both are below.


Dear Mr. Drake --

Thanks for your message and for your advocacy for ending tax breaks to support public education, our paramount duty. I am a co-sponsor of HB 2078 and hope that I will have a chance to vote for it on the House floor before the end of session. As the father of four young kids, I am strongly interested in preserving smaller class sizes for early grades.

Last year, I was proud to vote to suspend Initiative 960 (which required a 2/3 vote in the legislature to increase taxes or repeal tax loopholes) and to vote for a bill that repealed a variety of tax exemptions and increased several taxes to avoid an all-cuts budget. That bill was not as broad as I would have liked (for example, it did not repeal the longstanding B&O tax exemption for banks on their interest income from first mortgages, which is the tax break that would be repealed by HB 2078), but it did raise nearly $800 million for the 2009-11 biennium and nearly $2 billion for the 2011-13 biennium. But for that bill, our shortfall would be much worse.

Then came the 2010 elections. The voters soundly rejected I-1098 (the income tax initiative, which I endorsed and voted for), approved I-1107 (which repealed taxes on candy, soda, and bottled water I mentioned above), and approved I-1053 (which requires a 2/3 majority to increase taxes). The Democrats also returned with smaller majorities in the House and Senate. The net effect is that we have no ability to increase revenue unless we can convince the voters to agree. Realistically, we will not have a 2/3 majority for HB 2078 in the House -- so it will not pass unless a referendum clause is added.

I am very open to sending tax breaks to the voters. In addition to HB 2078, I also co-sponsored HB 1847, which would eliminate a variety of exemptions to help fund the Basic Health Plan. 

But the other reality that we must face is that even if we send a package to the voters and get it approved, it will not come soon enough to help with this budget -- which we are required by law to balance before we leave Olympia. I am deeply saddened by the effect that an all-cuts budget will have on people in our state. But I don't see an alternative. And at some level, candidly, I think that the voters need to see this pain before they really understand the consequences of supporting Tim Eyman.

Best wishes, Jamie


Representative Jamie Pedersen
43rd Legislative District
pedersen.jamie@leg.wa.gov
Dear Rep. Pedersen,
I appreciate your dilemma, but I have to ask you to stand firm, not only on this issue, but on other issues of budget crucial to families, the poor, disabled or elderly.  They say it is always darkest before the dawn, and taking hope from that, I am using my blog, http://roominhouseblues.blogspot.com as a platform to campaign in 180 degrees the opposite from the infamous Grover Norquist pledge.  At the risk of asking for a great deal of political bravery, I am giving you the opportunity to sign it. 
Public Protection Budget Pledge
I, _______________, pledge to the citizens of the _____ district 
In the state of__________, and to the American people that I will: 
ONE, oppose any and all efforts to balance budget deficits at the expense of families, the poor, elderly,
disabled or vulnerable.
TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of programs helping these populations, unless matched dollar for dollar by improved programs.  
                          
THREE, oppose cuts in entitlement programs that substantially harm these populations.
__________________                                         ___________________
Signature                                                              Witness
        
 ________________                                             ___________________
                                                             
Date                                                                       Date   
Document should be signed, dated, witnessed and returned to:
Committee to Protect the Budget for the American People
P.O. Box 95472
SeattleWA 98145  

Pledge to Protect the American Citizens

This Blog is promoting a pledge that runs 180 degrees the opposite of Grover Norquist's  infamous American Taxpayer Protection Pledge.  The weak are being assaulted in the name of balancing the budget.  A committee is being started on an ad hoc basis until membership and officers can put it on a firmer footing.  Below is the pledge and information about the committee.


Public Protection Budget Pledge, State Legislators and Congress People. 


I, _______________, pledge to the citizens of the _____ district 
In the state of__________, and to the American people that I will: 

ONE, oppose any and all efforts to balance budget deficits at the expense of families, the poor, elderly,
disabled or vulnerable.

TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of programs helping these populations, unless matched dollar for dollar by improved programs.  
                          
THREE, oppose cuts in entitlement programs that substantially harm these populations.

__________________                                         ___________________

Signature                                                              Witness
        
 ________________                                             ___________________
                                                             
Date                                                                       Date   

                                                                                                                
                               



Public Protection Budget Pledge  U. S. Senators and Governors


I, _______________, pledge to the citizens of the state of _____
and to the American people that I will: 

ONE, oppose any and all efforts to balance budget deficits at the expense of families, the poor, elderly,
disabled or vulnerable.

TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of programs helping these populations, unless matched dollar for dollar by improved programs.  
                          
THREE, oppose cuts in entitlement programs that substantially harm these populations.

__________________                                         ___________________

Signature                                                              Witness
        
 ________________                                             ___________________
                                                             
Date                                                                       Date                                                                                                                   
                                                       
                       
Document should be signed, dated,  witnessed and returned to:

Committee to Protect the Budget for the American People
P.O. Box 95472
Seattle, WA 98145


Equal Voice Newspaper | Communities in Action

Another urban farming story here, of The Skid Row Community Garden in downtown L.A. Equal Voice Newspaper | Communities in Action

Oakland gardener questions need for permit to sell produce

More elsewhere on this Blog. city of Oakland charging $5,000 use permit for a vacant lot sized farm. Oakland gardener questions need for permit to sell produce

April Fool’s Day | Ghost Town Farm

An Oakland Woman turned an unused lot into a garden and chicken coop. When the San Francisco Chronicle reported it, the city of Oakland followed up by fining her $5,000 April Fool’s Day | Ghost Town Farm

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How Much Will the Budget Cuts Cost?

The deepest budget cuts in American  history on the heels of  end of the last Congress continued give away of reduced tax rates to the wealthy has only whetted the appetites of conservatives who are staying firm in there attempt to restructure wealth upwards massively.   I thought perhaps we need to look at some of the costs of budget cuts.
One of the cuts I have greatest difficulty with is a $500 million cut to Women, Infants and Children (WIC).  The Tea Party Enthusiasts actually had tried to completely scrap the program which provides milk and other high protein or hi nutrition items  to families with infants and young children as a supplement to food stamps.  Without WIC many families would be replacing milk for children with Kool Aid and mothers would be forced to water down formula.  Statistics prove that WIC reduces infant mortality and "failure to thrive". This massive cut means that some infants will die who would have lived and some children will suffer years or a lifetime of poor health from poor nutrition.  The cost is in children's health.


$3.5 Billion cut in CHIP, Children's Health Insurance Program, which is awarded to states to distribute to generally uninsured children.  Again, a massive cut that will affect children's health and lead to higher infant and children's mortality.  A cost in lives.


A $600 million cut to community health centers, forcing some perhaps to close and others to cut back services. Here at least the cuts don't fall entirely on children, but on all who are uninsured or under insured who seek help from Community Health Centers.  A cost in higher diabetes, greater health problems for children, higher rates of treatable common illnesses.


The next cut is a slap in the face from those who opposed Obama's new health care program.  Republican critics said over and over again, why don't you just promote CO-OPS for health care.  So large amounts of money were put into the budget to create CO-OPS.  Now $2.2 billion has been cut  from the new COOPS program, which allows community health organizations to create these health care cooperatives.  The COOPS would  lead to lower costs, so cutting the funds actually will increase costs later, unless we abandon completely the attempt to provide improved health care for the majority of Americans. 
There will be a $500 million cut in Pell Grants, aimed at denying year round grants making it difficult or impossible for low income students to go to school for 12 rather than 9 months of the year. This will prevent students from foreshortening there time in school, forcing some to drop out as expenses mount.  A major cost in lowered educational standards. 


There will be a $2 billion cut from Public Housing and Community Development programs.  forcing greater homelessness and less community development, higher poverty in urban areas.   A cost in homelessness. 


$317 million cut from from literacy programs including Striving Readers and Even Start.  A cost in lifetime lower literacy and a greater disadvantage to poor children.  This program helps fund pre-school for low income children.  


Why have the Republicans been able to cut so deeply?  Because they have been able to stand firm on preventing taxation of the wealthy.  Closing tax loopholes for corporations or allowing recent tax cuts to thew wealthy to lapse is always greeted with "tax increases" are not on the table.  The Republicans have mobilized this through a pledge not to increase taxes, so that any Republican candidate who refuses to tax the pledge is under suspicion in the primaries.   This was a pledge promoted by Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform.  It is  called the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and was started in 1986. there are different versions for state and national elections.      Here is the wording of the pledge for House of Representative Elections. 




I, _______________, pledge to the taxpayers of the _____ district 
of the state of__________, and to the American people that I will: 
                       ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax 
         rates for individuals and/or businesses; and 
                       TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and  
          credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. 


This pledge is then signed and witnessed and is considered a binding and permanent pledge. 


What we need is a pledge running in a different direction.  A "Public Protection  Budget Pledge"



I, _______________, pledge to the citizens of the _____ district 
of the state of__________, and to the American people that I will: 
                       ONE, oppose any and all efforts to balance budget deficits at the expense of
         families or the poor, elderly, disabled or vulnerable.  
                       TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of programs helping these populations, unless matched dollar for dollar by improved programs. 
                       THREE, oppose cuts in entitlement programs that substantially harm these populations.

Lets see if we can get politicians to sign this pledge.   If we don't the costs to families, the poor, elderly, disabled or vulnerable and ultimately to all of America will be enormous.