Three years ago today, my friend and mentor passed away unexpectedly. By its nature, sudden death is shocking. It's especially stunning when it happens to someone as vibrant and healthy as Bob Edgar appeared the day before he died, when he wisecracked to me that he figured he had until age 70 before "living on borrowed time."
President Obama's valedictory State of the Union last week brimmed with optimism. Refraining from a traditional laundry list of policy proposals, he stayed rooted in big themes about America, our future and the challenges ahead. He spoke eloquently about how our democracy is built upon "voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love."
Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) tells us about CMD and Common Cause's latest submission to the International Revenue Service (IRS) showing that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) functions as a corporate lobbying group, in violation of the tax code for 501(c)(3) charities.
If ALEC were an honest broker, it would recommend market-based solutions, like the Republican-inspired, acid rain cap-and-trade program championed by President George H.W. Bush. But that's not likely going to happen, because doing so would alienate its fossil fuel industry and trade association members.
The majority of Americans want the minimum wage raised, unemployment insurance extended, Social Security protected, and infrastructure like highways improved, but that's not what Congress is doing. Instead, it is slashing the budget in ways that the majority hates, including cutting food stamps and preserving tax breaks for corporations.