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Last Year's Excuses Are Gone. Come On Already

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A few days ago, a citizen asked the progressive legislator from
California, Congressman Henry Waxman why he took his name off the list
of about Eighty House sponsors of single-payer health insurance? Mr.
Waxman replied: "it [H.R. 676] isn't going to happen."

In early January and last year, Americans who believe in Presidential
accountability for constitutional, statutory and treaty violations
asked Democrats in Congress-"If not impeachment, why not at least a
resolution of censure of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney?" The uniform
reply was "It's not practical."

These lawmakers-Democrats all, who are the majority in Congress and who
agree with these questioners-keep saying "It's not going to happen" or
"It's not practical."

"It's just not practical" to provide a federal minimum wage equal to
that in 1968, inflation adjusted, which would be $10 an hour.

"It's not going to happen" to get comprehensive corporate reform at a
time when a corporate crime wave and the Wall Street multi-trillion
dollar collapse on Washington, on taxpayers and on the economy is
tearing this country apart. A little regulatory tinkering is all
citizens are told to expect.

"It's just not practical" to give workers, consumers and taxpayers
simple facilities for banding together in associations with their own
voluntary dues to defend these interests in the corporate occupied
territory known as Washington, D.C.

Last year, the excuse was a Bush veto. So the Democrats didn't even try
to advance reforms they believe in, knowing Bush and his Republican
Party would stonewall. What's the excuse this year with Obama in the
White House?

After all, it was only a year and a half ago when nominating and then
electing an African-American President was "not going to happen, was
not practical."
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But since it did happen, why aren't these and many other long overdue
beneficial redirections and efficiencies happening for the American
people? Why aren't there rollbacks, at least, of the Bush-driven
inequities and injustices that have so damaged the well-being of
working people?

Why isn't a simpler and more efficient carbon tax more "practical" than
the complex corruption-prone, corporatized cap and trade deal driven by
Goldman Sachs and favored by most Democrats? The avaricious tax cuts
for the super-wealthy are still there.

The statutory ban on Uncle Sam negotiating volume discounts on
medicines purchased by the federal government are still there. Taking
the huge budgets for the Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan off their
annual fast track, and putting them a meaningful House and Senate
Appropriations Committee hearing process has not happened.

Face it, America. You are a corporate-controlled country with the
symbols of democracy in the constitution and statutes just that-symbols
of what the founding fathers believed or hoped would be reality.

Even when the global corporate giants come to Washington dripping with
crime, greed, speculation and cover-ups, and demand gigantic bailouts
on the backs of taxpayers and their children, neither the Republicans
nor the now majority Democrats are willing to face them down.
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The best of America started with our forebears who faced down those who
told them "it's not going to happen," or "it's not practical" to
abolish slavery, give women the right to vote, elevate the conditions
of workers and farmers, provide social security and medicare, make the
air and water less polluted and so on. These pioneers, with grit and
persistence, told their members of Congress and Presidents-"It is going
to happen."

To paraphrase the words of a great man, the late Reverend William Sloan
Coffin, it is as if those legendary stalwarts from our past, knowing
how much more there is to achieve a practical, just society, are
calling out to us, the people today, and saying "get it done, get it


Ralph Nader is one of America's most effective social critics. Named by The Atlantic as one of the 100 most influential figures in American history, and by Time and Life magazines as one of (more...)

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It isn't going to happen.  Daily I read editorial... by Robert Moen on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 11:09:41 AM
Replacing coal plants with natural gas would not r... by Berry Ives on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 1:53:17 PM
Americans need to abolish corporations!  Enough w... by wagelaborer on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 11:51:08 AM
Corporations are the root, stem, and leaves of the... by Jennifer Hathaway on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 1:36:22 PM
Jennifer, it is always a distinct pleasure to hear... by martinweiss on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 1:57:08 PM
Another way you could put it is the way Joseph J. ... by Guy Dwyer on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 8:43:14 PM
Mr. Nader,The US has been aspiring toward its idea... by martinweiss on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 1:38:09 PM
Corporate influence has grown exponentially in rec... by Berry Ives on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 2:05:43 PM
Sir, we are not giving up. I just read that this c... by Carol Crown on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 2:52:54 PM
Where?  What are you proposing to do? If corporat... by Paula Sayles on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 4:55:56 PM
The answer is certainly not a third party, or any ... by Arthur Avalon on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 7:06:24 PM
I suggest the following as initial steps:1. State... by Berry Ives on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 7:12:30 PM
The Democrats, even though they are the lesser of ... by Guy Dwyer on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 5:59:29 PM
Joseph tells it like it is, and like it will be as... by Arthur Avalon on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 6:52:57 PM
of the current system, and some have suggested met... by WML on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 10:47:51 AM
W.M.L., that's exactly what Joseph J. Adamson does... by Guy Dwyer on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 4:58:57 PM
It is all really quite simple: money=corruption, a... by cosmic J. on Friday, Jul 17, 2009 at 2:42:12 PM
iF OUR DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY OF CONGRESS HAD ANY BAL... by Mel Smith on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 6:05:55 PM
They don't have any "balls", huevos, or gonads of ... by boomerang on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 8:49:22 AM
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain... by Nemo on Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009 at 11:18:09 PM
Corporations ARE people. They have the rights of c... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 6:54:59 AM
One of my favorite gurus since the 1960s, Stephen ... by Guy Dwyer on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 5:08:53 PM
Following after Thom Hartmanns's book, Unequal Pro... by Berry Ives on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 5:27:50 PM
The SCOTUS never finalized any interpretation of t... by cosmic J. on Friday, Jul 17, 2009 at 3:26:30 PM
1886 Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railro... by cosmic J. on Friday, Jul 17, 2009 at 3:35:26 PM
The way a third party candidate wins vote... by Sherry Gadberry Turner on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 10:56:07 AM
The corporations in the United States have taken c... by August Adams on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 10:57:32 AM
Corporations In forming a corporation, prospecti... by Nemo on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 8:10:20 PM