Independent grassroots organization of progressives, liberals and moderates promoting an activist democratic agenda in the state of Illinois.

DEMOCRATS Know How to Win Legislative Seats - Now Must Prove They Know How to Hold on to Them During an Election Year

The Hardschell Report, Sunday, July 17, 2010, Evanston, IL

Word is out that if in November, the GOP can reclaim the House and/or Senate, GOP leader Boehner wants to repeal the new Wall Street reform laws . I was aghast when I first read this. I'm sorry, but I think it sounds a bit wild, if not irrational. Despite Wall Street plunging us into the worst recession since the Great Depression and unemployment over 10%, how is it that Boehner can have the arogance to think that the public doesn't like the new Wall Street Legislation. I, for one, really am very pleased with the law because it provides some regulatory safeguards to investors. Once again, Boehner has proven himself to be only concerned with protecting the Investment Houses and Banks, and not private investors,like you and me. The Bill, which Boehner is wanting to repeal, just days after its passage, is actually, the first new regulatory law to effect Wall Street since World War II. You see, not having enough regulations guiding our financial institutions, in part, is what led to the near collapse of our financial system. I'm sorry, but this whole experience has been, and remains, just too painful to let go of. How can we forget so quickly the Lehman Brothers demise. Or AIG's near collapse?

You can bet that I am going to begin to let everyone I know my political views on Boehner and the GOP because this kind of nonsense is the last thing America needs. I am urging everyone to make sure the REPUBS do not win back those House and/or Senate seats this Nov. I am planning to be as active as it will take to insure that we WIN every open seat. Also, I urge all of you , to get involved and stay involved in these races around our country because every single seat is important.

Because DEMS have proven that we do know how to win seats in Congress..., now, all we have to do is prove we know how to hold on to them.

Better Paychecks -- Coming to a Walmart Near You

I'm not too up on the agreement between Walmart and Labor about opening a 2nd WalMart store in Chicago but Progress Illinois is reporting that part of the deal is a $8.75/hr. starting salary and then an increase of 40-60 cents after the first year.

Just a thought: will the increase in salary these employees are getting -- will that be credited to the efforts of the UFCW and CFL? You know, something along the lines of 'A buck or more an hour -- Courtesy of the UFCW/CFL'.

Would be nice.

Site de Jour: Good Jobs Chicago

From their 'About Us' page:

The Good Jobs Chicago Coalition (city-wide religious and community coalition) advocates for the importance of quality jobs to stabilize and grow our communities. The Good Jobs Coalition is made up of community partners with a commitment to responsible growth and corporate accountability.

Question of Media Accountability, WBBM Newsradio 780 Edition

Here's an interesting question:

Walmart is trying to bust into the Chicago market with a 2nd store, thus dragging down the wages and working conditions of employees at competitor companies, many of whom are represented by the good people at UFCW.

So, in order for them to grease the way so to speak, this monster corporation has flooded the airwaves with testimonials supposedly from employees of how awesome Walmart as an employer is.

I've heard the same commercial over and over again on the CBS affiliate WBBM the whole week.

Suddenly I just heard a 'news' report on the same station: it was about the wonderful opportunity Walmart was giving to employees through the Internet-based 'American Public University'.

So here's the question, was it legitimate for a 'news' organization to run what literally was an 'info-mercial' without any input from educators as to the real value of such a program -- particularly considering who's buying all the ads this week?

Herbert Hoover Economics

Not a big deal but Kimbriell Kelly, editor of The Chicago Reporter, rattles off this cheap shot as her contribution to 'losers of the month' on WBEZ's 'Month in Review: Winners and Losers in May Headlines':

Kimbriell Kelly (18:55): "I would say losers -- the taxpayers a little bit with this pension bailout. I mean, essentially people are told that if you're in debt, don't use your credit card to pay your bills and then the State is doing this and we as taxpayers have to pay for it. So we're the losers in that category." [emphasis added]

Someone please explain to Kelly that it's precisely when you're broke that you hit up on the plastic. If grandma has to go to the hospital or junior has to go to school, you don't sit around thinking how much it'll add to your debt. You just pull out the plastic and hope for better days. Ditto for government.

When times are good you worry about deficit reduction; when times are bad you worry about getting back to when times are good -- otherwise you risk following in the footsteps of Herbert Hoover.

UPDATE: Krugman this week on "fiscal austerity":

...Both textbook economics and experience say that slashing spending when you’re still suffering from high unemployment is a really bad idea — not only does it deepen the slump, but it does little to improve the budget outlook, because much of what governments save by spending less they lose as a weaker economy depresses tax receipts.

Make Believe Across from Cubs Park

I'm not against development per se but why in the world do they call this a 'park'?

Socialism: the New Definition

Socialism: An intolerable state of affairs where right-wingers are no longer in a position to call the shots, generally on the heels of a decision by the electorate. See Popular Sovereignty.

VAT - The Next Big Bait and Switch

The inestimable Steve Benen quotes the line-up for this week's Fox News Sunday:

A familiar face leads the charge against President Obama: In an exclusive interview, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joins 'Fox News Sunday' to discuss his opposition to the potential use of a Value Added Tax.

McCain's going on FOX to talk about his opposition to the VAT? And who precisely is pushing for a VAT? The only mention you'll find is by Nancy Pelosi in October and then by "outside adviser" Paul Volker -- both in response to questions as to whether such a tax might be on the table at some point off in the future at least theoretically.

And that's it! No endorsement. No statement that this was in the works by anyone even remotely connected to the Obama Administration -- in other words, a completely fabricated issue suitable only for a propaganda network like Fox News.

HCR : 'First Major Progressive Legislative Achievement of the 21st Century'

This is how Greg Sargent put the successful passage of HCR in his 'Morning Plum' for today:

A new era in American politics dawns this morning, in the wake of the House's successful passage of the reconciliation fix last night. The first major progressive legislative achievement of the 21st Century has now been achieved.

I like the sound of that!

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