Don't petition the White House, Use

Don’t petition the White House, Use

Nov 18, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
Secessionists. I first want to say thank you for finally learning something from history. The last time so many desired to rid themselves of a tyrannical president they declared war on the Union. Thus, your use of a peaceful means through petitions on the White House’s site is commendable. Furthermore, each state now finds themselves represented by a petition and signatures from people possibly wanting to secede from the United States. Texas leads the way with more than 100,000 people asking the White House to address the issue. This is the same state governed by Rick Perry who drummed up his base of supporters with calls for seceding prior to his Republican bid for President. The irony seemed lost on him. Governor Perry is obviously not a viable option to lead the cause. He hardly put up a fight against a weak group seeking his party’s nomination. I also question...
The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The whole campaign season did not just depend upon the presidential race that finally came to an end last night. Yes, the country voted clearly to give Barack Obama another four years in the White House. He received more than 50 percent of the vote and won handily in the electoral college. Yet, it is what happened down the ballot that shows the nation’s move toward progressive values. It appears that Democrats will pick up a couple seats in the lower chamber but the real change happened on the senatorial level. Voters said no way to Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock after they attempted to scapegoat women and downplay the trauma of rape and sexual abuse. Furthermore, women won in Massachusetts, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Wisconsin for their first terms. All four of them will be more progressive legislators than their predecessors. In Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin will be the...
Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Oct 24, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
During last night’s Indiana Senate debate the Republican candidate, Richard Mourdock, did more than stick his foot in his mouth. I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen. Mourdock joined a club made exclusively of Republicans but a club that seems to be growing as the November election nears. Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh made a reprehensible comment about exceptions for the life of the mother following his debate. “There is no such exception. With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance.” Complete crap as this woman explains. Of course who can forget Missouri...

Dear Rahm, You Want Accountability?

May 17, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel celebrated his first year in office on Wednesday by touting his accomplishments and work towards greater transparency in city government. He even sent an email out to his list entitled, “Hold me Accountable” but the ability to do just that is a near impossible task.

Larger media outlets highlighted Emanuel’s first year with headlines like this from the Chicago Tribune – “An impatient mayor who always wants to be in control” or Crain’s “A new mayor lives up—and down—to his multifaceted reputation” while the Sun-Times notes he may have ambitions of higher office… even the White House. If I had the chance to title a one-year review of the mayor, it would be short and to the point, “God Save Us.”

Emanuel’s political team put together a report on his first year calling it “Changing Chicago Together.” The together part is troublesome. It is like saying we when you really mean I. Maybe this whole report is just one big pat on the back to his administration. One thing is clear though – the people are not part of this togetherness his team mentions. They could point to high approval ratings but it misses the broader picture of what just one year of Emanuel’s rule has done to this city.

He broke campaign promises:

He pledged to stem a chronic financial crisis without tax hikes, then unleashed a menu of new and increased fines and fees so broad that Chicago is more expensive for most.

He vowed an end to insider politics, yet gave the hard sell to a controversial speed-camera program that could benefit his onetime campaign manager.

He is the self-proclaimed champion of transparency who has proved to be secretive.

But that is just like most politicians. Things get left to the side or conveniently forgotten.

More so this:

“I’m not in the position of analysis,” the mayor said last month. “I’m in the position of getting things done.”

Recklessly moving ahead just for the sake of forward motion is akin to putting the car in drive while still sitting in the garage. As the Sun-Times notes:

Former independent Ald. Dick Simpson (44th) said he is troubled by Emanuel’s now-familiar pattern of hatching plans without public input, then making minor tweaks to make it appear that he’s compromising.

“He’s not really good at democracy. … What Rahm prefers to do is announce what he’s done for us, rather than consulting with us on what ought to be done,” said Simpson, head of the political science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Emanuel is a magician when it comes to appearances. He touts private jobs coming into the city but more than 600 employees lost their own jobs in the last year. He increased the cost of living in this city with higher fines and fees after promising not to do so. His move to reassign a 1,000 cops doesn’t seem to have done much to curb homicide in the city – it has actually increase dramatically.

The impatient mayor has pushed the buttons of labor leaders. After years of mismanagement and borrowing against city employees pension funds Emanuel now wants to use the employees retirement funds as the scapegoat. Emanuel is pushing for legislation at the state level that would punish hard working city employees, force them to retire later, and prevent them from cost of living increases promised to them in their contracts. Some might say that the city employees are a bloat on taxpayers and they don’t deserve it. Well that is buying into the right-wing narrative.

All employees deserve quality pay and retirement packages for years of dedicated service. Reneging on contractual obligations makes the word of the mayor’s office worth nothing. Emanuel is doing nothing more than following Daley’s dictator-like rule for two decades. The mayor’s first year has proven that he listens to only himself and those who can help him get where he wants.

Over the last year the mayor ignored the librarians, the mental health advocates, government watchdogs, and public school teachers. Last fall the Chicago Reader published a story that dived into the people important enough for the mayor’s personal time. Millionaires.

Where were the grassroots activists? In the cold, protesting for a place at the table. A progressive organization has not met with mayor, or at least publicly said so. Mental health advocates have resorted to occupying closing clinics because patients are being hospitalized due to their therapists losing their jobs.

Teachers face the mayor’s wrath all because they want to be properly paid for a longer school day. Yet, the administration says there is not enough money to fund the school system but they happily hand it over to charter schools once run by members of his administration. The speeding cameras received little public input and now stand to benefit a former campaign manager. The Trust initiative promises profits for private companies – a promise that will be kept, unlike the one made to public employees, at the expense of user fees for Chicago residents and visitors. Did an advocacy organization meet with the mayor? None that we know of.

I haven’t even touched on your handling of Occupy Chicago or the pending NATO conference. You’ve refused to hear from everyday people and yet you dare ask for accountability when you’ve shown your disdain for us.

So, “Hold me Accountable” he says. Just how are we supposed to do that when you don’t come back on the ballot for nearly another three years?

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