30
Sep
2004

Moving Ideas News: September 23-29, 2004

NEW FROM MOVING IDEAS

Manipulating Elections
Voter intimidation and suppression in America's past, present, and future. Join the fight! Part 4 of a series on voter protection.
http://www.movingideas.org/activism/networks/voter_intimidation.html

Protect the Privacy & Integrity of Soldiers’ Ballots
Take action today to urge Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to protect our soldiers’ right to a secure and private ballot by opposing the ill-conceived e-mail balloting in Missouri and North Dakota.
http://action.movingideas.org/dia/organizations/movingideas/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=177

FEATURED ARTICLES

Corporate Income Taxes in the Bush Years
From: CITIZENS FOR TAX JUSTICE
This study details which companies have benefitted the most from the decline in corporate taxes over the past three years, and which have been less fortunate. It also measures the effects of loopholes in our corporate tax laws that predated the George W. Bush administration.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5810

Americans Pay High Cost for War
From: NATIONAL PRIORITIES PROJECT
State-by-state data on the number of soldiers killed and wounded, the dollar cost, and the number of reservists and National Guard troops on active duty. This data is presented in the context of worsening conditions in Iraq as well as expert opinions on national security policy.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5807

Health Care: Are You Better Off Today than You were Four Years Ago?
From: FAMILIES USA
This new report shows health care is far less affordable than it was four years ago.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5804

DOMESTIC SOCIAL

Take Action to Protect Voting Rights of Citizens in Ohio
From: VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE
Information and action alert about Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell’s decisions that may negatively affect the ability of Ohioans to vote.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5815

Fox News in Arizona Misleads Students about Voting Rights
From: BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE
Fox 11 News in Tucson broadcast reports aimed at scaring off University of Arizona students from voting on campus.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5812

Democracy Dispatches
From: DEMOS
In this issue: Asian Voters Challenged at Polls, Voter Intimidation Targets Immigrant Community, ACLU Wins Redistricting Case on Behalf of Native American Voters, and much more.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5829

Most of New York State's Prison Cells are in Republican Assembly Districts
From: PRISON POLICY INITIATIVE
Peter Wagner
While the majority of the state's prisoners come from heavily Democratic New York City, they are disproportionately incarcerated in Republican Assembly Districts. As of January 2003, 69 percent of the state's prison cells are in Assembly Districts represented by Republicans.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5805

Head Count
From: PRISON POLICY INITIATIVE
Drake Bennett
The Census counts prisoners as residents of the towns where they're incarcerated. One crusading lawyer from Northampton thinks this little clerical matter is a big problem for American democracy.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5806

The Debate over Medicare Costs: A Primer
From: CENTURY FOUNDATION
Leif Wellington Haase
The author provides answers on recent Medicare news, including the hike in premiums, the outlook for Medicare's finances, and the new prescription drug benefit.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5793

New York City Health Care Security Act
From: BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE
This New York City Council bill protects NYC businesses from unfair competition and secures health care for 152,000 workers.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5785

Bazelon Mental Health Policy Reporter
From: BAZELON CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH LAW
In this issue: A look at recently passed youth suicide prevention legislation, an analysis of Medicaid reform efforts, information on new funding for states' efforts to transform their public mental health systems, and much more.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5789

Bazelon Center, Housing Advocates Criticize Proposed Rule Change for Supportive Housing Program
From: BAZELON CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH LAW
Groups argue that the change could undermine state judicial decisions that hold programs like SHP to be subject to state landlord-tenant laws and increase the risk of arbitrary eviction of vulnerable populations.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5790

Wal-Mart Pulls Out of Chicago Southside Development
From: ACORN
Under pressure from an ACORN and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) backed Big Box Living Wage Ordinance, Wal-Mart announced that it was pulling out of the Southside development.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5822

The Push for Homeownership
From: THE NATIONAL HOUSING INSTITUTE/SHELTERFORCE MAGAZINE
Violet Law
The Section 8 Homeownership Program, a small HUD program, may be promising more than it can deliver to a handful of low-income tenants.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5808

Educating Homeless Children
From: THE NATIONAL HOUSING INSTITUTE/SHELTERFORCE MAGAZINE
Damien Jackson
Thanks to the McKinney Vento Act, more homeless children are receiving a decent education. But much still depends on the ability of states and local school districts to reach families in need.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5809

Memo to Members: Low-Income Housing News
From: NATIONAL LOW INCOME HOUSING COALITION
In this issue: TANF Extension Introduced, Illinois Judge Rules in Favor of Tenants, Rural Borrowers Victims of Disastrous Prepayment Policies, and much more.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5820

Representatives Push Discharge Petition for Stalled National Housing Trust Fund Bill
From: NATIONAL LOW INCOME HOUSING COALITION
This bill would provide communities with funds to help build, rehab and preserve 1.5 million homes.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5824

DOMESTIC ECONOMIC

First-Ever Consumer Agenda Seeks to Close Growing Gaps In Marketplace Protections
From: PUBLIC CITIZEN
With consumer protections under unprecedented assault, six of the country's leading public-interest groups have developed an agenda of the top six issues consumers should question policymakers about.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5816

Annual Unemployment Insurance Exhaustion Rate at Highest Level in 60 Years
From: ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE
Last year, 43.4 percent of people who began receiving state unemployment benefits ended up exhausting all the benefits to which they were entitled without finding a job. This exhaustion rate is the highest rate since 1941, and it exceeds the 38.5 percent rate for 1982 when the unemployment rate was over 10 percent.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5826

Letter to Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. on Balanced Budget
From: ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE
Max B. Sawicky, Ph.D.
The author writes about how the Balanced Budget Amendment is still a bad idea.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5832

New Middle-Class Tax-Cut Bill Represents Cynical Policymaking
From: CENTER ON BUDGET AND POLICY PRIORITIES
Robert Greenstein
The tax cuts’ "middle-class" label cloaks several significant deficiencies, the author states. For example, the legislation benefits high-income households considerably more than the middle class, and even though the bill emerged out of dormant legislation designed to help low-income working families, the revised legislation treats these families unfavorably.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5825

Millions to the Middle: Three Strategies to Expand the Middle Class
From: DEMOS
David Callahan, Tamara Draut and Javier Silva
This new report outlines a long-term policy agenda to address the economic opportunity and mobility challenges apparent in America's economy. The report focuses on three strategies that have historically been pivotal to growing the middle class: investments in higher education; incentives for home ownership; and support for income growth.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5811

How Much Does Wealth Matter for Well-Being? Alternative Measures of Income from Wealth
From: LEVY ECONOMICS INSTITUTE
Edward N. Wolff, Ajit Zacharias, and Asena Caner
This document explores the sensitivity of the Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being (LIMEW) to the underlying assumptions on imputing income from wealth, a major component of the LIMEW.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5800

FOREIGN POLICY

Back Door Draft - U.S. Rep. DeGette Urges Army Probe at Fort Carson
From: VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE
Dick Foster
The author reports that Rep. DeGette is calling for an Army recruiting inquiry and soldiers are citing threat of coercion: re-enlist or go back to Iraq.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5814

Legions Stretched Thin: The U.S. Army's Manpower Crisis
From: CENTURY FOUNDATION
With ongoing engagements across the globe, the U.S. military is facing more wide-ranging and intensive demands than at any time since the end of the Vietnam war. A new report examines the strain on the armed forces, and considers how long the current situation can be maintained.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5792

The Military Recruitment Gap
From: CENTURY FOUNDATION
For the first time in a decade, the Army National Guard has just failed to meet its annual recruitment goal. For the fiscal year ending September 30, the National Guard needed 56,000 recruits to meet its goals - it got 51,000. The Guard's recruiting shortfall is just the latest indicator that the U.S. military is stretched dangerously thin by its commitments in Iraq.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5794

Afghanistan Watch
From: CENTURY FOUNDATION
New: Europeans still falling short on Afghan security. Plus, current facts and figures on the elections, the security situation and reconstruction efforts.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5795

Who are the Progressives in Iraq? The Left, the Right, and the Islamists
From: FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS
Frank Smyth
A review of the political parties in Iraq and what election results might look like.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5828

Coalition Files Suit against U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control
From: BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE
Coalition calls the U.S. Treasury Department's continued attempts to exert control over publishing activities that involve information and literature from countries under U.S. trade embargo a violation of the essential right of all Americans to learn about the world.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5784

States at Risk and Failed States
From: CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE
Marina Ottaway and Stefan Mair
Failing and failed states are a threat to their citizens and to the international community, creating a need for international intervention.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5802

Terrorist Watch
From: THE AMERICAN PROSPECT
Noy Thrupkaew
The indiscriminate detention of Arabs and Muslims after September 11 devastated thousands of families. A new film tells their stories.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5782

Before Abu Ghraib
From: THE AMERICAN PROSPECT
Peter Kornbluh
The United States has a long, sad history of sanctioning murder and torture.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5783

COMMENTARY

More Bureaucracy, Less National Security
From: THE INDEPENDENT INSTITUTE
Ivan Eland
The author argues that the most effective solution to improving U.S. national security is proper funding and staffing of the existing Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and the streamlining and consolidation of the government's numerous intelligence agencies.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5813

The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! - To Iraq?
From: THE INDEPENDENT INSTITUTE
William Marina
The escalating crisis in Chechnya, and the deteriorating situation in Iraq, suggest that both the U.S. and the Russians are still considering a long-rumored negotiation for the Russians to deploy 40,000 troops in Iraq before the end of this year, says the author.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5817

Match Iraq Policy to Reality
From: CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE
Jessica Mathews
The author says that the sobering truth is that a path to a not-awful ending in Iraq is extremely hard to see, and there may not, in fact, be one.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5801

President Bush's UN Speech: Idealistic Rhetoric Disguises Sinister Policies
From: FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS
Stephen Zunes
The author ponders why commentators in the mainstream media seem genuinely perplexed over the polite but notably unenthusiastic reception given to President George W. Bush's September 21 address before the United Nations General Assembly.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5821

The Crisis in Darfur: This Wolf is Real & Nobody's Listening
From: FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS
Salih Booker
After the U.S. cried "Wolf" about Iraq weapons of mass destruction, the world wondered if it could ever believe the United States again, the author says. Enter Darfur, western Sudan, site of the world's worst humanitarian crisis, born of a government-sponsored campaign of genocide.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5831

A Turning Point in Beijing: With Jiang Gone, China Can Rebalance
From: CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE
Minxin Pei
The author argues that Jiang Zemin's surprise resignation of his chairmanship of China's Central Military Commission on Sunday marks a critical turning point in an otherwise murky and uncertain process of leadership succession in Beijing that began nearly two years ago.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5803

Schoolhouse Schlock
From: THE AMERICAN PROSPECT
Lawrence Mishel
The author, president of the Economic Policy Institute, argues that conservatives flip-flop on standards for charter school research.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5819

Democracy For Millionaires
From: TOMPAINE.COM
Stuart Comstock-Gay
Some states and towns have realized that spending limits work - and even encourage political participation. Now's the time, says the author, for the U.S. Supreme Court to realize it too.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5796

Schooling America
From: TOMPAINE.COM
Robert Borosage
More than 4,000 groups across the country hosted house parties on September 22 to discuss education. The author offers some ideas for what should be on their agenda.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5797

Walking The Child Care Tightrope
From: TOMPAINE.COM
Karen Schulman and Helen Blank
Child care can cost as much as public college tuition per year, and yet Congress continues to cut funding for low-income families. Child care isn't a luxury, say the authors. It's a necessity if we want to keep parents in work and families off welfare.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5798

It's Not Easy Being Green
From: TOMPAINE.COM
Jonathan Tasini
Because being "green" also means being pro-worker - you can't separate a company's environmental policies from its labor policies, says the author.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5799

The Twilight Zone of Wonderland
From: WORKINGFORCHANGE.COM
Molly Ivins
The author says that when things get this weird, one metaphor just isn't enough.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5786

Closing California
From: WORKINGFORCHANGE.COM
Bill Berkowitz
The author looks at two new anti-immigration initiatives intended to revive the state's highly divisive Proposition 187.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5787

Don't Blame the NRA, Blame Swing Voters
From: WORKINGFORCHANGE.COM
Steven Hill and Rob Richie
The authors fault our two-party system for the expiration of the assault weapons ban.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5788

Cheater's Proof
From: WORKINGFORCHANGE.COM
Will Durst
Satirist Durst takes an irreverent look at Florida's election history.
http://www.movingideas.org/cgi-bin/rd/epn_letter.pl?id=5791
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