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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 5/1/13

Time to Create a Progressive "Club For the Commons"

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In Norman Solomon's article, Don't Vent, Organize -- And "Primary" a Democrat Near You,   he points out that 44 Progressive Caucus Democrats (out of 71) have not signed on to a letter promising not to vote for cuts to social security and two other crucial social compact programs. They give progressive a bad name. They make the word sound like BS. These include some people who progressives have worked hard for and raised money for. 
If you haven't reached the point where you are looking at the Democratic party as another part of the problem, come on. Wake up!!  Norman calls for primarying these losers. I pause when I say losers because the list has some big progressive names. But they're selling out, wimping out and really betraying their constituents. 

At Opednews we're going to go after all the politicians who betray we-the-people, who despoil the commons. That includes progressive democrats as well as republicans. Congress has become a corporate fiefdom. The member of congress who is not owned and operated by corporations is becoming rarer and rarer. And the Democratic party is led strictly by corporate owned and operated people. 

There ought to be a way to identify truly independent, constituent-loyal legislators-- of all parties, who protect we-the-people and the commons. When it comes to progressive credentials-- we need to do what Club For Growth does and develop a list of issues and positions progressives should take-- create a "Club For the Commons." These can include:

Defending social security, medicare and medicaid. 

Building the costs of protecting the environment into products and services-- and including those costs in global trade agreements.

Eliminating corporate personhood.
Pruning back or ending the sequester, and many of the draconian laws that were passed in response to 911.
Reversing Citizens United and limiting campaign spending to a fixed amount. Eliminate PAC spending on campaigns entirely.
Making computerized and internet and mail-in ballots illegal-- only allowing hand counted paper ballots.
Taking government out of personal lives-- but allowing maximum freedom of choice-- that applies to contraception, abortion, gay marriage. 
Supporting legislation like Australia has for guns-- make it illegal to own automatic or semi-automatic weapons, gun clips that hold more than 10 bullets, requiring registration of ALL guns, including existing ones, requiring guns made illegal to be handed in. 
Protect workers and unions. 
Ban global trade agreements as they now exist, which enable American industries to be wiped out. 
Dismantle or nationalize too-big-to-fail banks and financial institutions. 
Apply strict environmental regulations to all domestic oil and gas drilling and transport, including shale gas and Keystone XL.
Establish a national public bank and make it easy and support state, county and municipal public banks. 
Support single payer health care. 
Reduce the military budget by 50%. 
Support job creation over budget balancing. The austerity research was bogus. Trash and attack it and its advocates.
End the use of drones to attack civilians or anyone in civilian areas. 
Change laws so formerly US corporations can't become multinational, using foreign offices to avoid taxes. Apple, with $100+ billion in its coffers, announced it is borrowing $17 billion because of crazy tax laws.
Put everyone who wants to work in a job-- create a modern day conservation corps.
Use bottom up economics wherever possible, as opposed to lazy top down approaches that have proven ineffective. Use bottom up job creation approaches.
Enable instant run-off voting or a similar approach that allows people to pick their first, second and third preference candidates. 
Protect and reward government whistleblowers.
End the filibuster entirely or drastically change the rules.
Re-establish the balance of power between the three branches of government. 
Prosecute war criminals
End torture
make it illegal and un-profitable to buy media so it reduces media diversity
make it illegal for a member of congress or a staffer to work for any company with lobbyists or any organization that advocates before congress-- for ten years after leaving the job. 
Make it illegal for legislators to give more to candidates than any citizen may give. 
Challenge the intelligence/police state we have become. Investigate, with complete access, the CIA, the FBI, NSA, defense intelligence and every other agency that spies and collects intelligence. 
Pass Internet openness laws. Build a national WIFI system. 
Make college education free to all students who qualify-- and do what it takes to wipe out the crushing student debts that now exist.
Take aggressive steps to ban billionaires and make it illegal for people to become billionaires (It's my list) 
Make it illegal for corporate heads to make more than 50 times the lowest salaried employee's income. 
Raise the minimum wage so it is a living wage. 
Stop supporting all dictators. 
Stop supporting Israel when it elects right wing Dick Cheney MINI-MEs with right wing extremist policies. 
Reverse policies that allow massive, privacy invading spying. 
Support strong legislation that funds development of viable sustainable alternative energy solutions-- aiming towards elimination of the use of fossil fuels. Make all the costs of using and drilling for fossil fuels be included in the price. 
Legalize marijuana. 
Reverse privatization of prisons, the military, security, and anywhere else where privatization has been foisted, usually at greater cost, upon the public.
Take strong steps to protect the commons. 
Pass the ERA (suggested in a comment by ANN)

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by rob kall

Give each member of congress a score-- a report card-- like Club for Growth, the NRA and other orgs do. Then, find strong candidates to primary them or oppose them as third party candidates.
This is a partial list I've thrown together off the top of my head. Please do add your suggestions to add to the list. 
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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

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He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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