Monday, May 08, 2006

Vigilance on the Edge of a Knife

You know, I really should be happy at the moment. I just finished reading about George's latest poll numbers from Gallup/USAToday. He's tanking, even with the rabid locksteppers that have given him political cover to carry on his destructive policies over the past five years.
President Bush's approval rating has slumped to 31% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the lowest of his presidency and a warning sign for Republicans in the November elections.

The survey of 1,013 adults, taken Friday through Sunday, shows Bush's standing down by 3 percentage points in a single week. His disapproval rating also reached a record: 65%. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.


Bush's fall is being fueled by erosion among support from conservatives and Republicans. In the poll, 52% of conservatives and 68% of Republicans approved of the job he is doing. Both are record lows among those groups.

Moderates gave him an approval rating of 28%, liberals of 7%.

Talk about scraping the muck from the bottom of the barrel. This should be exactly what I need to brighten my day. Right? RIGHT? Well, I can't bring myself to care what his poll numbers are anymore, given the fact that his handlers and enablers in the halls of power are part of that 31% minority that are destroying the social fabric of my country. I feel more of a steely resolve to keep fighting, ensuring that this trend is one that ends rapidly:

Americans on the lower rungs of the economic ladder have always been exposed to sudden ruin. But in recent years, with the soaring costs of housing and medical care and a decline in low-end wages and benefits, tens of millions are living on even shakier ground than before, according to studies of what some scholars call the "near poor."

"There's strong evidence that over the past five years, record numbers of lower-income Americans find themselves in a more precarious economic position than at any time in recent memory," said Mark R. Rank, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis and the author of "One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All."

In a rare study of vulnerability to poverty, Mr. Rank and his colleagues found that the risk of a plummet of at least a year below the official poverty line rose sharply in the 1990's, compared with the two previous decades. By all signs, he said, such insecurity has continued to worsen.


Growing up in a rural community of less than 5,000 residents, I've always understood the harsh impact of economic policies on areas that are often forgotten and sometimes outright ignored by the politocracy. The vast majority of people in those areas commute upwards of 150 miles per day to get to their jobs so when gas prices skyrocket without a complimenting boost of pay, the pinch will squeeze the life out of their happiness. That hardship is echoed in any of the impovershed neighborhoods that can be found in any urban area.

There was a time when the Democratic Party fought hard for the working class. The New Deal Era brought about unprecedented aid to the poor and middle class who were trying to make their way out of the shadowy fog of war and economic stagnation. Labor unions were given center stage to fight for their workers to ensure just wages and acceptable working environments. The Party also supported the expansion of rights to Americans and those striving to gain full equality that citizenship bestows upon its people here.

As the congressional election season starts to heat up, the battle for the soul of the Democratic direction will be fought. Here is a glimpse of the path their platform is heading.
House Democrats have formulated a plan of action for their first week in control. Their leaders said a Democratic House would quickly vote to raise the minimum wage for the first time since 1997. It would roll back a provision in the Republicans' Medicare prescription drug benefit that prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services from negotiating prices for drugs offered under the program.

It would vote to fully implement the recommendations of the bipartisan panel convened to shore up homeland security after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Democratic leaders said.

And it would reinstate lapsed rules that say any tax cuts or spending increases have to be offset by spending cuts or tax increases to prevent the federal deficit from growing.


Economic relief to the people, a commitment to health care reform, implementation of bipartisan recommendations to strengthen our security infrastructure, and fiscal responsibility? Sounds like a good start to me. What do you think?

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