REPUBLICAN CONTRACT WITH AMERICA

Submitted by PAAMember on September 29, 2005 - 6:00pm. ::

Wow - are you ready for a good laugh? This is on the
official House or Representatives website.

*JUST* what welfare mothers need to motivate them. Put
this together with Bush's abstinence only sex ed, I'm
sure the problem will *miraculously* disappear, like
"POOF" and I quote from #3 below...

Discourage illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by
prohibiting welfare to minor mothers

Lots of other heinous things, but one interesting
reference is #9 - I would actually support the "loser
pays", that's what they do in Europe and it indeed
does eliminate the majority of frivilous lawsuits.
But... consider the horrid legislation they did pass
which I imagine was at least *influenced* in some way
by this.

Anyway - take a look for yourself.
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/CONTRACT.html

As Republican Members of the House of Representatives
and as citizens seeking to join that body we propose
not just to change its policies, but even more
important, to restore the bonds of trust between the
people and their elected representatives.

That is why, in this era of official evasion and
posturing, we offer instead a detailed agenda for
national renewal, a written commitment with no fine
print.

This year's election offers the chance, after four
decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a
new majority that will transform the way Congress
works. That historic change would be the end of
government that is too big, too intrusive, and too
easy with the public's money. It can be the beginning
of a Congress that respects the values and shares the
faith of the American family.

Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we
intend to act "with firmness in the right, as God
gives us to see the right." To restore accountability
to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace.
To make us all proud again of the way free people
govern themselves.

On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new
Republican majority will immediately pass the
following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith
and trust of the American people in their government:

* FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest
of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
* SECOND, select a major, independent auditing
firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for
waste, fraud or abuse;
* THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and
cut committee staff by one-third;
* FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
* FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in
committee;
* SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to
the public;
* SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to
pass a tax increase;
* EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our
Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line
budgeting.

Thereafter, within the first 100 days of the 104th
Congress, we shall bring to the House Floor the
following bills, each to be given full and open
debate, each to be given a clear and fair vote and
each to be immediately available this day for public
inspection and scrutiny.

1. THE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT: A balanced
budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative
line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an
out- of-control Congress, requiring them to live under
the same budget constraints as families and
businesses.
Bill Text
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/fiscrespb.txt

Description
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/fiscrespd.txt

2. THE TAKING BACK OUR STREETS ACT: An anti-crime
package including stronger truth-in- sentencing, "good
faith" exclusionary rule exemptions, effective death
penalty provisions, and cuts in social spending from
this summer's "crime" bill to fund prison construction
and additional law enforcement to keep people secure
in their neighborhoods and kids safe in their schools.

Bill Text
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/safetyb.txt

Description
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/safetyd.txt

3. THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT:
and denying increased AFDC for additional children
while on welfare, cut spending for welfare programs,
and enact a tough two-years-and-out provision with
work requirements to promote individual
responsibility.

Bill Text
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/persrespb.txt

Description
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/persrespd.txt

4. THE FAMILY REINFORCEMENT ACT: Child support
enforcement, tax incentives for adoption,
strengthening rights of parents in their children's
education, stronger child pornography laws, and an
elderly dependent care tax credit to reinforce the
central role of families in American society.

Bill Text
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/familiesb.txt

Description
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/familiesd.txt

5. THE AMERICAN DREAM RESTORATION ACT: A S500 per
child tax credit, begin repeal of the marriage tax
penalty, and creation of American Dream Savings
Accounts to provide middle class tax relief.

Bill Text
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/amdreamb.txt

Description
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/amdreamd.txt

6. THE NATIONAL SECURITY RESTORATION ACT: No U.S.
troops under U.N. command and restoration of the
essential parts of our national security funding to
strengthen our national defense and maintain our
credibility around the world.

Bill Text
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/defenseb.txt

Description
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/defensed.txt

7. THE SENIOR CITIZENS FAIRNESS ACT: Raise the Social
Security earnings limit which currently forces seniors
out of the work force, repeal the 1993 tax hikes on
Social Security benefits and provide tax incentives
for private long-term care insurance to let Older
Americans keep more of what they have earned over the
years.

Bill Text
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/seniorsb.txt

Description
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/seniorsd.txt

8. THE JOB CREATION AND WAGE ENHANCEMENT ACT: Small
business incentives, capital gains cut and indexation,
neutral cost recovery, risk assessment/cost-benefit
analysis, strengthening the Regulatory Flexibility Act
and unfunded mandate reform to create jobs and raise
worker wages.

Bill Text
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/cre8jobsb.txt

Description
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/cre8jobsd.txt

9. THE COMMON SENSE LEGAL REFORM ACT: "Loser pays"
laws, reasonable limits on punitive damages and reform
of product liability laws to stem the endless tide of
litigation.

Bill Text
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/legalrefb.txt

Description
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/legalrefd.txt

10. THE CITIZEN LEGISLATURE ACT: A first-ever vote on
term limits to replace career politicians with citizen
legislators. (Description)
http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/termlimd.txt

Further, we will instruct the House Budget Committee
to report to the floor and we will work to enact
additional budget savings, beyond the budget cuts
specifically included in the legislation described
above, to ensure that the Federal budget deficit will
be less than it would have been without the enactment
of these bills.

Respecting the judgment of our fellow citizens as we
seek their mandate for reform, we hereby pledge our
names to this Contract with America.

Sarah Gonzales


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Submitted by PAAMember on September 29, 2005 - 8:00pm.

Yes, the Republican's "Contract with America" was a total farce since
there were no enforcement provisions. A contract is worthless if there
are no real penalties for violating its terms. They just put
it out on a "trust us" basis and of course they turned out not to be
trustworthy.
 
But the basic idea is still good and one I think the Dems should pick up
on. The really scary thing about our present situation is that no matter how bad
the Repubs get, the Dems are not able to take advantage because most people do
not know what they stand for (if anything) and don't think they would be much
better. They just have no confidence in them either.
 
I think if the Dems would put out a list of things they are for - not
the longwinded laundry list of everything for everybody in the
national platform - signed and notarized by all of them with a pledge to
resign it they can be shown to have violated their pledge, they might have some
credibility. But of course they can't do that because they probably could never
agree on what they stand for and would not have the backbone to stand up
for all the things that the nation despeartely needs such as ending the
war, a sane foreign policy, campaign finance reform, nuclear control and
disarmament, a living wage, verifiable voting, environmental protection, a
reasonable energy policy, and on and on and on.
 
No matter how corrupt and incompetent the Repubs are (and there seems to be
no limit to that) the Dems can't hope to win just by not being Repubs.
They need to come up with something dramatically different that will
inspire confidence, and hopelessly confused Republican lites like
Kerry are not the answer. Maybe we need to do it for them - create a
movement to generate a real Contact with America and demand that they all
sign on to it. If properly drawn, I'll bet it would attract the vast
majority who have just about given up hope.
 
Charlie M


Submitted by PAAMember on October 13, 2005 - 7:00am.

Charlie, do you have an alias you would like to tell us about?
 

10 Pledges to Demand from Democrats


By Stephen Pizzo, News for Real
Posted on
October 13, 2005, Printed on October 13,
2005
http://www.alternet.org/story/26759/

The current issue of The Nation magazine
contains an important essay by Bob Borosage, head of the Center for America's Future. Like many of us,
Bob has spent the last few years watching in awe and shock as the Democrats
triangulated themselves into irrelevancy. With there being no realistic hope a
viable progressive third part will emerge he and other progressive thinkers have
been trying to figure out how to round up our wayward mule team and get it
hitched back to the right wagon.


Bob's article, "A
*Real* Contract With America
," is an important step in that direction. In it
he lays out a set of clear pledges Democrat candidates can embrace in the
upcoming '06 and '08 races.


Such a "contract" is critical if Democrats are going to once again become a
great party, and here's why. Democrats will regain some seats in both houses in
coming elections. How could they not, considering the mess the GOP has made of
things since becoming the majority party? And therein lies the entire current
platform of the Democrat Party -- "Vote for us because we are not them."


But winning only because the other team committed too many errors is not the
same thing as governing. It's simply being the only other alternative -- the
lesser of evils. And that's not a foundation upon which greatness can be
built.


You hear it every day in Washington: "Democrats have no ideas, no programs,
no deeply held beliefs, no lines in the sand they will not cross." The only
discernible passion Democrats display is a passion to be in power again. But in
power to do what? You tell me. I have no friggin idea, and I deeply suspect
neither do they.


That's why we need to force them to sign a contract with us this time. To put
it bluntly, we don't trust them any longer. They've double-crossed at every
major moment -- on war, on taxes, on the environment, on health care. They took
or votes and our hopes and bargained them away to the enemy for the political
equivalent of nylons, smokes and chocolate bars.


So I took the points Bob listed in his article, "embellished" them and put
them into the form of 10 contractual pledges Democrat candidates can and should
embrace. (To see Bob's original -- un-Pizzo'ed -- list click here.) Here is my
list, which began as Bob's list, and will hopefully become every Democrat's
list:


A Progressive Contract With America


If elected to office I promise to fully, enthusiastically and aggressively
work to pass legislation that achieves the following goals:



We Will Bring the Troops Home. Our military has been stretched to
the breaking point through a series of unwise deployments, particularly the
war in Iraq. We will begin rebuilding America's all-volunteer military by
first setting a date-certain for withdrawal from Iraq, beginning with National
Guard and reservists. We will pass legislation requiring US troops begin
leaving Iraq at the rate of 15,000 a month. We will work as closely as
possible with Iraqi government officials to make this withdraw orderly while
continuing to provide them the resources needed to train and equip their own
soldiers and police forces.


We Will Crack Down on Corruption. The revolving door between
corporate lobbies and high public office must be closed. We will pass
legislation prohibiting legislators, their senior aides and executive branch
political appointees from lobbying for two years after leaving office. We will
let the sun shine into the deepest corners by requiring detailed public
reporting of all contacts between lobbyists and legislators and the timely
posting of such contacts on the Web. We pledge to apply these rules to all,
regardless of party, as one way to take big money out of politics.


We Will Make Public Officials Accountable. When public officials
fail to do their job, as in the pre-9/11 and WMD intellegence faliures, we
will require an independent investigation be launched so that no official's
actions, regardless of rank or position, escapes review. We will detail action
on the urgent needs that this Administration has ignored: Improve port
security, bolster first responders and public health capacity, and require
adequate defense planning by high-risk chemical plants. And we will attack
fraud, waste and abuse, beginning with the pork-barrel squandering of national
security funds.


We Will Unleash New Energy for America. We understand that the "age
of oil," is nearing an end. Therefore we pledge to launch and fund a concerted
drive towards real energy independence for America. We must approach this task
with the same sense of urgency, funding and attention that the nation gave to
the Manhattan Project. We will focus these efforts solely on mainstreaming
renewable, non-polluting sources of energy such as hydrogen, wind and solar,
with the goal of achieving total energy independence no later than 2020.


We Will Rebuild America First. We will pass legislation rescinding
Bush's tax cuts for the already wealthy and corporations in order to create
more jobs here than overseas. We will accomplish that, in part, by using the
additional tax revenue to create good-paying jobs rebuilding America's
decaying infrastructure.


We Will Make Work Pay Once Again. There are only three nations on
earth with such a vast disparity between rich and poor, Russia, Mexico and the
United States. It is a disgraceful effect of GOP economic policies that favor
corporations and the wealthy while ignoring hard working Americans. While CEO
pay has moved steadily upward, the pay of working Americans has fallen, in
many cases below the official poverty level. We promise to reverse that trend,
beginning by passing legislation raising the minimum wage to a level that
reflects current economic reality. We will encourage workers, including white
collar workers, to take a hand in their own destinies by joining unions, as
well as becoming shareholders in the companies that employ them and fully
participating in both union and shareholder activities. We will insist that
any companies that receive government contracts pay the prevailing wage.


We Will Make Healthcare Affordable. We pledge to fix America's
broken healthcare system, a to do so quickly. We will study and then propose a
single-payer, universal, healthcare system to be in place no later than 2015.
We will also immediately reverse the Republican shameful sellout to the
pharmaceutical industry by empowering Medicare to bargain down drug prices
andallowing people to purchase drugs from safe outlets abroad.


We Will Protect Retirement Security. We pledge to strengthen Social
Security. We will not risk Social Security by privatizing it. Instead we will
modernize Social Security by, in part, recognizing that people live and work
longer than they did 75 years ago.We will also modernize the ways the Social
Security Trust Fund is invested to assure it always grows at least as fast as
core inflation. We will also require companies to treat the shop floor like
the top floor when it comes to managing their pensions and healthcare
benefits.


We Will Keep the American Dream Alive. We will immediately stop and
reverse current GOP efforts to cut eligibility for college grants and to limit
loans. Instead we will offer a contract to American students: If they graduate
from high school, they will be able to afford college or the higher technical
training needed to be successful in today's economy. We will pay for this by
preserving the estate tax on the wealthiest multimillion-dollar estates in
America.


We Will Provide Real Security for America. We will foster and lead
an aggressive international alliance to track down stateless terrorists,
capture or kill them and confiscate their assets. Captured terrorists will be
always be treated in accordance with international law. We will increase
efforts and funding to track down and secure "loose nukes." We will detail
action on the urgent needs that this Administration has ignored: Improve port
security, bolster first responders and public health capacity, and require
adequate defense planning by high-risk chemical plants. We will also affirm
the reality that no nation can ever be secure as long as its borders are not.
We will bring order and security to our borders by increasing border patrols
and controls and by instituting a fair, manageable and humane guest worker
program. We will also aggressively prosecute employers who employ or exploit
illegal immigrant workers.



Date:______________________


Candidate:______________________________________




So, maybe you should email or mail this to your elected representative and
let him/her know that, if they intend to run for re-election the price of your
vote is their signature on this document.


Stephen Pizzo is the author of numerous books, including "Inside Job: The
Looting of America's Savings and Loans," which was nominated for a
Pulitzer.



Submitted by PAAMember on September 29, 2005 - 6:00pm.

On Thu, 29 Sep 2005, S Gonzales wrote:

> Discourage illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by prohibiting welfare to
> minor mothers

Just one more way the Right demonstrates just how out of touch it is with
reality. They see welfare as some sort of "reward" system rather than a
pitiful excuse for helping to keep people from starving to death.

"Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"

No one reads Dickens anymore.