Report: 1.3 million more Americans in poverty
Ranks of uninsured grow by 1.4 million, Census Bureau says

"The rise was more dramatic for children. There were 12.9 million living in poverty last year, or 17.6 percent of the under-18 population. That was an increase of about 800,000 from 2002, when 16.7 percent of all children were in poverty."

"The poverty rate has risen from a recent low of 11.3 percent in 2000, meaning an additional 4.3 million people are living in poverty as defined by the government."

These are the results of the Bush policy, supported lockstep by Rep. Petri. It further shows how incredibly out of touch Petri is - the headline of his last (June 2004) newsletter - "The Economy is Back on Track"

Some quotes from Petri:

"Underlying the improved jobs picture is America's current strong economic performance. In the third quarter of 2003, the economy spurted ahead by 8.2%. Gross Domestic Product growth continued well above the historical average at 4.1% in the fourth quarter and at 4.2% in the first quarter of this year."

"All in all, it's obvious that we have finished correcting the economic excesses of the late '90s and are back on track. Many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet, but the overall outlook shows considerable opportunities ahead."

If this is how Petri expects to put us 'back on track', I'd like to offer you a different train. Mr. Petri, the 'economic excesses' of the 90's left us with historically low poverty. I call that success, not excess.

We need to end the tax cuts on the wealthy that are strangling the American economy. We need to direct this relief where it will do the most good, the middle and working class.

We need to invest in getting people out of poverty, not take away overtime and make the crawl up the ladder of the American Dream harder yet.

We need jobs that will provide not only income, but benefits the workers. We need to make sure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable healthcare. It is a moral shame that in history's wealthiest society, we can have workers - much less children - without health coverage.

I challenge Petri & the Bush administration to release the chains they have put on the market. Allow Medicare to bargain for drug prices, allow importation if drugs, allow the working poor to advance themselves.

And above all, allow every American access to life saving healthcare regardless of their station in life or their place in the economy.

Sen. Edwards is correct when he talks about the two America's. Petri's personal economy may be right on track, but it is at the expense of the millions of American's his policies are are driving deeper and deeper into poverty and hopelessness.

I will be the representative of all members of American society.

This is too important to ignore. We have given Petri 25 years to work on these issues, he has failed. It is time for change.
I'm copying Eric Alterman, my favorite blogger - his link is to the left 'Altercation' - read it everyday, please.

He makes a great point of what a truly moral position in war is.

Here is the post below:


It’s amazing and a bit disgusting that our election seems to be turning on a war that took place thirty years ago in which the man who served honorably both in the war and in the anti-war movement is on the defensive against the man who supported the war but took a pass on any service or sacrifice it might have involved, but there it is. Given that we have no choice but to engage the issue, let’s think about it for a moment and see if we can isolate the kinds of decisions that faced young men in those dark days when American leaders—as they are doing today—unjustly sent America’s youth to pay for their own folly and ignorance.
Recall that only privileged Americans had a choice as to whether to fight in Vietnam. The sons of poor and working-class people did not have access to educational deferments and hence were unceremoniously sent to the firing line. Given that, here are a few categories of the choices faced and the choices made, in what I judge to be descending order of moral fortitude.

A taxonomy of positions on Vietnam:

Category A: Exhibiting the strength of one’s moral convictions.
Supported the war and served in Vietnam (John Kerry, John McCain)
Opposed the war and served in Vietnam because it would have been unfair to force someone less fortunate to take one’s place (Al Gore)
Opposed the war and dedicated oneself to anti-war movement at some personal risk, including conscientious objection. (This position is not as dangerous as serving in a war, but it is nevertheless just as moral. The war was evil. Putting oneself at legal and physical risk as many did to try to end this evil strikes me as an unimpeachable moral position, though given America’s political culture, it would also be untenable for any contemporary presidential candidate to hold.)

Category B: Exhibiting the strength of one’s moral convictions after protecting one’s posterior
Opposed the war, protected self, and then worked for anti-war movement (Bill Clinton)This position seems to me to be the minimum necessary to consider oneself a moral being. Risking one’s person for one’s principles is a lot to ask for most of us, but the least one could ask is that if we identify an evil that is literally killing people, our peers included, one lifts a proverbial finger to stop it, say, by working for the presidential candidacies of Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy or George McGovern.

Category C: Having no convictions to protect save self-protection
Opposed the war, protected self, let others worry about it (Howard Dean, Joe Lieberman)This is the position of those who merely opted out of the question, accepted their college deferments and went on with their lives and did not feel any sense of responsibility for their peers and countrymen.

Category D: Contradicting one’s alleged convictions in the service of protecting one’s posterior
Supported the war, preferred to let others fight and die for it (George W. Bush, Dick Cheney)This seems to me to be the least defensible position imaginable. Bush and Cheney both used their privileged positions to protect themselves; Cheney says he did it because he had “other priorities.” Bush says he did it because he wanted to “better himself” by learning to fly planes. Whether he deserted his post or not—and I think he did-- it is incontrovertible that he wasted the government’s million dollar investment in his training by allowing his qualifications to lapse while he was still supposed to be on active duty. (And what if during this period, the Guard was actually needed, if say, Oklahoma had invaded Texas?)

One day, historians will attempt to explain just how two men who fall in category D somehow made the election about the moral rectitude of a man who fell into category A not once but twice. We have to admit this. This Rove feller really is a genius. Just when you thought the media couldn’t be any more irresponsible, he proved it had even more to give. (Most journalists today of the proper age, I imagine, fall into category B or C, with a significant number in D and a tiny, tiny minority in A.)

Earlier Monday, the Bush-Cheney campaign issued a statement from U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis. "As John Edwards travels through Wisconsin today, people may hear the false charge that their overtime is at risk," Petri said. "The truth is that President Bush is absolutely committed to putting more money in the pockets of working people — both through good pay and less taxation."

Let's fact check this statement:

1. As discussed below - 2/3 of all the tax cuts went to people making over $200,000. If you are a Middle Class earner, ($50-75,000) your tax burden actually increased. Median Wisconsin Income (about $40,000) received less than a 2% cut.

2. Even if you were in a group that received a tax cut, you most likely sent more money to the government this year - in the form of fees.

3. The overtime rule changes were sponsored in the House by Petri. He is directly responsible for the loss of overtime pay for up to 6 million people. Luckily, our Democratic Governor stepped in to protect Wisconsin workers, after our Republican Representative sold them out.

10 Reasons Wal-Mart is good for us:



"Thurlow, the commander of another swift boat who won a Bronze Star for helping the crew of PCF-3, insists there was no enemy gunfire during the incident. The citation and recommendation for Thurlow’s Bronze Star, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, also mention enemy fire, however.
Thurlow’s medal recommendation, for example, says he helped the PCF-3 crew “under constant enemy small arms fire.” That recommendation is signed by George Elliott, another member of the anti-Kerry group. It lists as the only witness for the incident Robert Eugene Lambert, an enlisted man who was not on Kerry’s boat who also won the Bronze Star that day."


Can we put this to rest now?

When it came out that Thurlow won a bronze star the same day as Kerry, he said it was because Kerry faked the report. Now it turns out that another member of the 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' wrote the report.

How many more stories are they going to make up?

How many more direct connections to the Bush campaign do we need to find? Their lawyer, their financiers, their member on Bush's steering committee - enough is enough.

While this has been going on, workers have lost overtime benefits, Rumsfeld has been implicated in the Iraqi prison events and elderly black GOTV organizers have been harassed in Florida.

Are these not much more important stories?

We are debating the future of America, John Kerry and the Democrats have a much plans for the country. This is what we are being distracted from.

Here is a story about the fog of war:


Make the change. Decide Democrat.



"Since February, the White House has banned all Guard and military commanders outside the Pentagon from commenting on Bush's records or service."


As of Monday, the media has been discussing Kerry's war record, yet not commenting on Bush's....

All the while, the workers are losing overtime protection. Where are the real issues?

More to come - sorry I've been to busy to blog.....