AN ALTERNATIVE STATE OF THE UNION
A sampling from The Nation:
Jesse Jackson, Jr. "The Right to Vote" : ""The vote" is a human right. It is seen as an American right. In a democracy there is nothing more fundamental than having the right to vote.
And yet the right to vote is not a fundamental right in our Constitution. [...]
In four states, if you're an ex-felon you're barred from voting for life. There are 5 million Americans (including 1.8 million African-Americans, mostly in Southern states--where 55 percent of African- Americans live) who have paid their debt to society but are prohibited from voting. At the same time, in Maine and Vermont you can vote even if you're in jail." (more)
MAJOR OWENS: "Education Mobilization" : "The United States spends a far smaller percentage of its national budget on education than other developed--and developing--nations. Not only do we lack the skilled workforce we need; we are accumulating masses of dysfunctional citizens who imperil our society.
The only solution is to aggressively place education at the top of our federal budget priorities, where military spending now sits. We must increase the federal government's share of public education financing from 8 to 25 percent.
Nothing less than a plan for total national mobilization will suffice. (more)
DENNIS KUCINICH: "The Big Fix" : "The Big Fix" : "Soon after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and jobs, President Bush said the region looked like it had been obliterated by a weapon. It was. Indifference is a weapon of mass destruction. And the Bush Administration's indifference to the economic security of New Orleans residents continues to this day.
For the 500,000 evacuees still not back in their homes, unemployment is epidemic: About one-quarter of whites, and one-half of African-Americans, are still out of work. It's not because jobs are scarce; in fact, there is a labor shortage in New Orleans. Most of those who have returned from the Katrina diaspora have found jobs. The massive unemployment is caused by the lack of housing near the reconstruction job sites." (more)