The Rural Patriot

November 5, 2006

Big Pharma and the Republicans

None of this will probably surprise you, but with the election two days away it’s important to review.

Drug companies use part of their profits to make sure that the very best people are elected to the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. To them, the very best people are Republicans.

Through September 2006 drug companies had given $8.7 million to political campaigns. If both Democrats and Republicans were equally good, those funds would be distributed evenly between the two parties. Democrats and Republicans are not equally good-Republicans are better. That’s why 69% of drug company contributions have gone to Republican candidates. (In fairness it must be noted that although Pfizer sent 67% of its contributions to Republicans before October, its most recent disclosures show that it has had some sort of epiphany and during October gave only 41% of its contributions to Republicans and 59% to Democrats. There is no logical explanation for this change of heart.)

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October 30, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 7

The last story in this series: Day 7 – Mallory

On Day 7, Mallory shares her story of dreaming of a better future of education and independence, but facing no opportunities on a minimum wage paycheck.

This linked page contains all links for the prior six chapters.

This is my last plea for your involvement prior to election day.

Tell Congress: It’s Time for a REAL Vote to Raise the Minimum Wage. Send a letter to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the AFL-CIO are partners in a grassroots movement to do what the U.S. Congress refused to do. We urge voters in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio to raise the minimum wage by voting “Yes” on November 7.

For more information, visit:
ACORN
AFL-CIO
ROSEANNE BARR

Please support this effort.

October 28, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 6

Day 6 – Amanda

On Day 6, Amanda talks about missing the opportunity to do “normal” things with her family, like go to the movies or buy birthday presents for her siblings, because her minimum wage paycheck doesn’t cover the things she needs.

Day 1 – Paul & Susan
Day 2 – Erin
Day 3 – Jeffrey
Day 4 – Jessica
Day 5 – Chris

Will you contact Congress  or talk to friends/family in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and/or Ohio to have them vote “Yes” on November 7 to increase the minimum wage?

October 27, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 5

Day 5 – Chris

On Day 5, Chris tells a shocking American tale of day to day existence on the edge of homelessness. Without a regular 9-to-5 job, Chris searches for work everyday. If he can’t make $35 a day, he will lose his room and be forced onto the streets.

Day 1 – Paul and Susan
Day 2 – Erin
Day 3 – Jeffrey
Day 4 – Jessica

As I have been urging you throughout this series, please view these videos and take action “to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda”.

October 26, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 4

Day 4:  Jessica

Jessica, an educated mom of four, tells her life-story of struggle to get ahead and make a future for her family. Jessica does everything she can to break out of a daily cycle of pain inflicted by having to scrape by on the minimum wage.

Day 1 – Paul and Susan
Day 2 – Erin
Day 3 – Jeffrey

I’m going to say it again: “Tell Congress: It’s Time for a REAL Vote to Raise the Minimum Wage. Send a letter to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda.” And don’t forget to tell your friends and family in “Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio to raise the minimum wage by voting “Yes” on November 7″.

October 25, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 3

Day 3 – Jeffrey

Jeffrey shares his story of taking care of his newborn son with his minimum wage paycheck. After paying for rent, diapers, formula, and the electric bill, there is little left for groceries.

As Ms. Barr says:

Its not about teenagers working for pocket change at a hamburger joint, because 70% of people working at the minimum wage are adults with family responsibilities.

If you have seen these posts this week but haven’t clicked and watched the videos, I challenge you to do so. Please don’t make assumptions about our citizens who earn the minimum wage. These are real people with real stories to tell, and we all need to hear these hard truths.

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October 24, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 2

I encourage you to visit the site and watch the video every day during this campaign. Comments are allowed at the site for each day’s viewing.

Day 2′s video:

“On Day 2, Erin talks about needing to work increasing hours at her minimum wage, grocery store job to make ends meet.

Day 1′s video can be found here.

Again, if you have friends and/or relatives that live in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and/or Ohio, ask them to vote “Yes” on November 7. to raise the minimum wage.

October 23, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage

The ALF-CIO and ACORN are sponsoring the video blog “7 Days @ Minimum Wage”. For the next seven days, we will post their link. Please click this link and watch the video.

7 Days @ Minimum Wage brings you 7 real people with 7 real stories of living on the minimum wage, hosted by Roseanne Barr and sponsored by the AFL-CIO and ACORN.

On Day 1, Denver couple Paul Valdez and Susan Windham tell their story of living on the minimum wage. Paul receives $35 for a full day’s labor in back-breaking construction work.

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October 20, 2006

IAVA Ratings

The group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America recently released their ratings for congressional members:

Each IAVA Congressional Rating is based on a given legislator’s voting history on issues that affect US Troops, Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and military families.

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October 16, 2006

Deconstructing a Negative Ad

I’ve recently received the mailing from the Kuhl Campaign, “Eric Massa must think money grows on trees”.  As with any negative ad I read or hear, my natural instinct is to (first cringe, because I feel that what I’m reading is distorted)  look beyond the rhetoric and try to find the truth. So, lets take a look.

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October 8, 2006

Interesting observation

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day that we decided to take a long drive. Our drive took us through Franklinville, Ellicottville, Little Valley, South Dayton and all the hamlets and communities along that route.

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October 2, 2006

The Possible National Child Strip-Search Bill

Filed under: Congressional Votes,Federal Government,Randy Kuhl — theruralpatriot @ 10:08 pm

Well, knock me over with a feather.

This is what happens when you are just surfing the net and post from a press release without actually looking into the details of the subject matter. My own post from 9/20/06, “Kuhl Announcements on School Safety and Chemung County”, contained a huge issue that I had inadvertantly overlooked. And, dear readers, I sincerely apologize for my lack of oversite. It’s not going to happen again if I can help it.  (All bolding emphasis throughout this post are mine.)

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sep 19 – U.S. Rep. John R. “Randy” Kuhl, Jr. (R-Hammondsport), a member of the House Education and The Workforce Committee, today managed floor debate in favor of H.R. 5295, the Student and Teacher Safety Act. Rep. Kuhl and two other Members of Congress are coauthors of the bill, which passed the House today.

It wasn’t until today that I learned just what H.R. 5295 is all about.
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September 22, 2006

Kuhl: View My Records. Me: Let’s Do It!

(First, though, a little bit about the Vice President’s visit to Rochester today…) 

Vice President Cheney attended a fundraiser today for Congressman Randy Kuhl.  As is normal in these types of events, air traffic was shut down, and the driving route to and from the event forced road closures.  Approximately 200 people were scheduled to attend, and $100,000 from just this one single event was expected to be raised for Kuhl’s campaign.

Bringing the polarizing Cheney to Rochester is a risk for Kuhl, political experts said. Some Republicans running in this year’s midterm elections have tried to distance themselves from the administration.

“I find it kind of surprising that he would bring him in,” said Jeffrey Koch, a political science professor at the State University College at Geneseo. “What a lot of Republicans are trying to do is localize the race.”

Surprising or not, $100,000 for just one event, under two total hours, is not chickenfeed.  Guess we don’t have to be too “independent” if the VP can pull in that type of money for you. (more…)

September 7, 2006

Bolton Confirmation Proceeding Cancelled

Filed under: Bush Administration,Congressional Votes,Federal Government — theruralpatriot @ 11:28 am

In an unexpected move earlier today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cancelled the proceeding regarding John Bolton’s nomination to continue as the US Ambassador to the UN. 

Senate panel scrubs vote on Bolton as U.N. envoy

Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, did not explain why the vote on whether to send Bolton’s nomination to the full Senate was removed from the day’s agenda and did not say if or when it would be taken up again.

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August 1, 2006

The House Raises the Federal Minimum Wage, but at What Cost? (Part 2)

Filed under: Congressional Votes,Randy Kuhl — theruralpatriot @ 9:16 pm

Randy Kuhl was one of two sponsors for a provision relating to hedge funds and pension plans for the recently passed HR 5970.

Sell-out: Why hedge funds will destroy the world

Hedge funds are private investment funds, primarily organised as limited partnerships – in essence, betting syndicates for the very rich.

If hedge funds were a country, it would be the eighth-biggest on the planet. They can sink whole economies, and have the potential to crash the entire global financial system. Yet they are beyond regulation. We should be very afraid.

…the hedge-fund industry – lords of havoc who, a consensus is building, have the potential to be responsible for the next great crash. … The key features of these funds are that they trade in eye-watering risk and they are barely regulated. The two are related. Because they answer to nobody but themselves, hedge funds have side-stepped regulation and can do as they like.

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The House Raises the Federal Minimum Wage, but at What Cost? (Part 1)

Filed under: Congressional Votes — theruralpatriot @ 4:40 pm

At 1:41 am, July 29, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5970:

to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the unified credit against the estate tax to an exclusion equivalent of $5,000,000, to repeal the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes, and to extend expiring provisions, and for other purposes

While there are many other provisions/sections to this bill, several notable ones stand out.  This first post on the topic discuss the Minimum Wage Hike implications and the Estate Tax provisions.

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July 31, 2006

Schumer: No Filibuster on Bolton Vote

Filed under: Congressional Votes — theruralpatriot @ 2:19 pm

Yesterday, on CNN’s “Late Edition” program, Senator Charles Schumer indicated that John Bolton’s nomination as Ambassador to the UN will unlikely face a filibuster by the Senate.  Although Schumer disapproved of the nomination last year, he is now considering approving the nomination.

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July 28, 2006

The Federal Minimum Wage Debate

Filed under: Congressional Votes,Eric Massa,Randy Kuhl,Wages — theruralpatriot @ 12:42 pm

The minimum wage rate hike issue has become a hot campaign topic not only across the nation, but also on our local level.

From  Randy Kuhl’s July 25 press release:

“Massa attacked Kuhl for what he claimed was Kuhl’s vote against an increase in the federal minimum wage. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out similar news releases attacking other Republicans around the country, including Rep. James Walsh (R-Onondaga).  Both Kuhl and Walsh have long supported an increase in the minimum wage. Both, in fact, are co-sponsors of a bill to do exactly that. So, what’s going on here? Are Kuhl and Walsh talking one way and voting another? Nope. In fact, the vote that the Democrats are talking about actually had very little, if anything, to do with the minimum wage.”     (Canandaigua Messenger 7/21/06)

Eric Massa counters this argument:

Massa repeated his charge today that Kuhl plays politics with his vote on the minimum wage, and that while he appears to support the increase, he has also worked to block votes on the increase procedurally. “Randy Kuhl says, ‘I’m in favor of increasing the minimum wage – but let’s not vote on it.’ If that’s not playing politics, I don’t know what is.”

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July 22, 2006

Randy Kuhl House Votes (week ending 7/21/06)

Filed under: Congressional Votes,Randy Kuhl — theruralpatriot @ 1:02 am

The following list contains information related to Mr. Kuhl’s House Votes for the month of July, 2006.

7/20/06 Vote 392; H R 5684: Passed, 221-205, with 7 not voting; Kuhl votes YES

To Implement the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement

7/19/06 Vote 388; H R 810: Failed, 235-193, with 5 not voting; Kuhl Votes NO

Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act

7/18/06 Vote 378; H J RES 88: Failed, 236-187, with 1 voting Present and 9 not voting; Kuhl votes YES

Proposing An Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Relating to Marriage

7/13/06 Vote 374; H R 9: Passed, 390-33, with 9 not voting; Kuhl votes YES

Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act

For complete information on Representative Kuhl’s House votes held this month, click on his votes database link located under the Blogroll category at the right of this screen.

Hillary Clinton/Charles Schumer Senate Votes (week ending 7/21/06)

Filed under: Charles Schumer,Congressional Votes,Hillary Clinton — theruralpatriot @ 1:01 am

The following list contains information related to Senate Votes for the month of July, 2006. Senators Clinton and Schumer voted YES on the following items:

7/20/06 Vote 212; H R 9: Passed, 98-0, with 2 not voting.

Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006

7/18/06 Vote 206; H R 810: Passed, 63-37.

Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005

7/13/06 Vote 197; Rejected, 38-62

On the Motion: Motion to Waive CBA Re: Dodd Amdt. No. 4641; To fund urgent priorities for our Nation’s firefighters, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical personnel, and all Americans by reducing the tax breaks for individuals with annual incomes in excess of $1,000,000.

7/11/06 Vote 193; H R 5441: Rejected, 32-66, with 2 not voting.

Clinton Amdt No. 4563; To establish the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an independent agency, and for other purposes.

7/11/06 Vote 191; H R 5441: Agreed to, 68-32

Vitter Amdt. No. 4548, As Modified; To prohibit the United States Customs and Border Protection from preventing an individual not in the business of importing a prescription drug from importing an FDA-approved prescription drug.

For complete information on Senators Clinton and Schumer’s Senate votes held this month, click on their votes database link located under the Blogroll category at the right of this screen.

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