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Independent Blog

The Foreclosure-to-Rental Boondoggle

March 31, 2012

“The national housing market took a hit in the latter half of 2011, falling to new lows not seen since the housing crisis began six years ago, according to data out Tuesday by S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices……The index is down 33.6 percent from its peak in mid-2006.”

– Washington Post

An open letter to Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO

by Ralph Nader

Posted 3/31/12

Dear Mr. Trumka,

You have come to your leadership position of our country’s labor federation of unions with 13 million members the hard way. Starting by working in the coal mines, then becoming a lawyer, heading the United Mine Workers, then becoming the Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO before assuming your present position in 2009, who can pull rank on you in the formal labor movement? [President Obama with president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka.] President Obama with president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka.

$16 million spent lobbying Oregon legislature in 2010

The Oregon legislature met for only a few months in 2010, but that didn't stop corporations, government agencies, and public employees from spending more than $16 million lobbying the Oregon legislature in 2010, according to a report generated by Oregon's Government Ethics Commission. See below for a list of groups that spent more than $100,000:

130 Former Members of Congress call for Greater Civility in Politics

Dear Candidate for Congress:

We are all former Members of Congress - and all partisans. We do not recoil from the term, or from the concept of partisanship.

Although political parties were not mentioned in the Constitution or considered directly by the Framers, they have been a core part of American democracy from the beginning and are central to every democracy. Parties are the way we organize to debate our differences; the way we organize Congress to do its work; the way we organize to offer citizens choices in elections. They pave the way for the orderly and peaceful transfer of power.

None of us shrank from partisan debates while in Congress or from the partisan contests getting there. During our time in Congress, partisans on the other side may have been our opponents on some bills and our adversaries on some issues. They were not, however, the enemy.