Politics


January 31, 2012

In late December, Green Party (GP) Media Coordinator Scott McLarty said he hadn't heard from declared candidate Kent Mesplay in several weeks. Two months earlier, the Boston Globe quoted fellow GP candidate Jill Stein saying his campaign was "not particularly active." Indeed, the San Diego County air quality inspector did not attend the California State Green Party meeting in early December. And he hasn't yet qualified for the 2012 ballot.

But when Mesplay joined Stein for a live-streamed party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Jan. 24, he confirmed he is still in the race and called on the party to embrace the youth and their issues, especially student loans.

"Since Washington likes to bail out bankers, we ought to be bailing out students from having to pay their student loans," he said, adding that, at a minimum, they should be relieved of the excessive fees and fines charged by the banks.


January 28, 2012

Truth be told, I was only half listening to President Obama’s State of the Union (SOTU) address the other night. The once soaring rhetoric rings hollow these days. Not that I wasn’t skeptical of Mr. Hope-y Change-y from the get-go.

Even fervent Obama supporters are disappointed with the president’s inability – make that his unwillingness – to take on the moneyed interests that have colonized our politics and wrecked the economy. And Obama’s paean to militarism that bookended the SOTU makes it clear that the 2009 Noble Peace Prize winner has cast his lot with American Empire.

Citizens will be online, back in the streets, protesting military power
January 28, 2012

It is already the one-year anniversary of the ongoing Egyptian revolution. After Hosni Mubarak, one of the most hateful dictators of modern times, was forced to step down on Feb. 11, 2011, the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took control over the largest, and historically most influential, Arab country.

Headed by the 76-year-old Field Marshal Tantawi, SCAF continued Mubarak’s non-democratic, in some cases brutal, practices of cracking down on civil organizations, putting civilians into military trials, attacking peaceful protesters, self-admittedly spreading rumors and maintaining control over an already-notorious state TV.

January 27, 2012

Alternative report

Hoosiers who value recycling and other services provided by solid waste management districts should tell their Senators to oppose Senate Bill (SB) 210, according to the Monroe County district's Media and Education Director Elisa K. Pokral.

SB 210, introduced by State Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, proposes elimination of the taxing authority of solid waste management districts, Pokral said in a Jan. 27, 2011, news release. Professionals, business owners, council representatives, mayors, town councillors, county commissioners, county councilors are especially needed to call for No votes on the bill.

January 25, 2012

News Release
CWA Local 4730, AFCME Local 832

Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 4730, representing 1,650 support staff at Indiana University Bloomington and Northwest, and AFSCME Local 832, representing service maintenance staff at IU-B, is calling on President Michael McRobbie, Chief Financial Officer Neil Theobald and IU board of trustees to do the fair, and right, thing with respect to cost-of-living raises for IU employees in 2012, as well as reinstating equity raises for those employees who have had, and will have, many additional job responsibilities added to their job descriptions due to personnel losses.

In recent years the IU Board of Trustees, President McRobbie, and many well-paid administrators have forced the lowest paid employees to make sacrifices during hard economic times, the same hard economic times that allowed McRobbie to accept a single raise greater than the rate of growth workers had seen in their checks over the last five years, combined.

Indiana governor 'ignorant' of income inequality, exacerbates injustice
January 24, 2012

News Release
Indiana AFL-CIO

INDIANAPOLIS – Following Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Republican response to the State of the Union address, Indiana AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott issued the following statement:

“The irony surrounding Gov. Daniels’ response to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech is seemingly endless. While the governor seemed unaware of the problems the president addressed in his speech, it almost seemed as if Gov. Daniels was talking about a completely different country, one with a completely different set of economic and social circumstances than the one we all actually live in.

State MIA while waterways assaulted
January 24, 2012

The headline this week from EPA read, "Triad Mining agrees to resolve Clean Water Act violations and restore affected waterways in Indiana." The press release told of violations of the Clean Water Act by a mining company that had operated in Indiana for years without much oversight. Finally EPA was stepping in because the state agencies that EPA had authorized to regulate such things had failed to do so.

Like so many other enforcement actions that EPA or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers undertake in Indiana leave one to ask, "where was IDEM and DNR while this was going on?"

Sadly, we almost all know the answer, and that is that Indiana is a state where nearly anything goes.


January 22, 2012

Occupy protesters from around the nation gathered at the Capitol and congressional office buildings in Washington on Jan. 17 to rally and attempt to speak with lawmakers as they resumed the 2012 legislation session and returned from holiday break recess.

The crowd was diverse and composed of hundreds, according to a Jan. 17 Huffington Post article. Known as Occupy Congress, the event was a day of actions against corrupt political institutions and an effort to inspire activists and ordinary Americans to participate in real democracy, according to Occupy Wall Street's website.

Jan. 20 national day of action aimed at federal judiciary

January 16, 2012

Several Occupy groups around the Midwest have turned to the courts to contest encampment evictions and demand the abolishment of corporate personhood, specifically the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allows unlimited corporate money to flood the political system and corrupt the democratic process.

“Corporations dominate the political process through political action committees, high-paid lobbyists and multi-million dollar contributions by the wealthy 1 percent," Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, national field organizer for Move to Amend, said in news release. "On the most critical issues that impact our everyday lives, corporate interests are defeating critical policies to protect We the People and the planet.”

January 16, 2012

News release
Indiana AFL-CIO

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers overwhelmingly support a public referendum on the controversial “right to work” legislation and are unhappy with the Indiana General Assembly’s rush to pass it, a new poll conducted by the Indiana AFL-CIO this weekend found.

Among the survey’s finding were that only one-third of Indiana voters currently favor passage of so called “right to work” law, while 69 percent say that the Indiana General Assembly should slow down the process to allow more debate. The poll also found that an overwhelming 71 percent of respondents want to give voters — not the legislature — the final say on this controversial legislation.

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