Policies to Bridge the '08 Voter/Candidate Divide

According to national public opinion polls and the '08 candidates' platforms, there is an enormous gap between the policies voters' want and need compared to the policies the candidates will implement if elected.

For example, the recent Pew Research Center survey, Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007, shows that the political preferences of the large majority of voters are converging in a major progressive shift in political values, attitudes and voting patterns. It is a shift that crosses party lines and sets the stage for a dramatic realignment of national priorities.

However, the platforms of the '08 presidential candidates in both major political parties indicate that the candidates are trying to sweet talk the voters into embracing policies that fail to reflect this progressive shift. The platforms and policies that do appear on the surface to reflect voters' preferences tend to be contrived look-alikes that will not lead to the enactment of the policies the voters have in mind.

In the past, elected representatives who ignore their constituents' preferences have been able to remain in office by runnning in gerrymandered, single-party districts and raising campaign funds from economic interests located outside their districts. But these days are coming to an end, thanks to the wrath of the voters in all political persuasions that is now bubbling to the surface and the inexorable forward march of redistricting, campaign finance reforms and popularly-mandated changes in election laws and the way the electoral college functions.

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A Free Internet: Another Rip-Off in the Works?

When the telecoms start talking like they own the Internet, it is wise to keep in mind the following:

1. They did not invent the Internet. In fact, it took them years to understand that the Internet was going to wreck their landline telephony businesses.

2. The only reason they are in the game at all is because of the regulated monopoly position they enjoyed before divestiture. They installed the telephone lines that run into our homes and connect us to the switched networks that route our calls to their destination. In many areas, these lines are being used for "dial up" access and DSL access to the Internet. Many of the largest of these telecoms have now gone into the business of connecting their customers to the Internet through networks that bypass their telephone networks.

3. Now they are claiming that they can use these connections to put toll booths on our access to the Internet to add extra charges to the fees we already pay to our Internet Services Providers (who do the heavy lifting when it comes to routing our packets of information over the Internet) using bogus rationales to slap differential rates on different types of transmissions. Yet all they control here is the immediate connection to our homes, just an itty bitty piece of the chain of relays that comprise the Internet. They want to put toll booths everywhere there is an uplink or downlink to an actual person or corporation sending or receiving packets of information. This is, literally, highway robbery, especially since it was the U.S. government using taxpayers money that originally created the Internet.

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Ten Reasons Why Political Candidates Who Focus on Livelihoods Will Win Their Election Campaigns

If political candidates in the upcoming elections read between the lines of the words that the media and pollsters put in our mouths, they will realize that our core concerns as working Americans are quite different from what they are made out to be.

It is true that many of us have gotten caught up in the "culture wars" or even the so-called "war on terror", whose importance has been exaggerated and hyped by politicians who promise to protect us from groups they claim are threatening us if we vote for them.

But these ploys are becoming increasingly transparent as we realize that they have diverted our attention from the most serious and fundamental threats we face. These are the attacks on our economic security and on the economic and political power of American working families.

The attacks on our economic security stem from the deformation of the free enterprise system by large corporations so that it no longer generates the jobs we need with the living wages we deserve.

The attacks on our economic and political power stem from the deformation of our electoral processes by corporate special interests. These interests now dominate the vast majority of our elected representatives by funding their electoral campaigns in exchange for legislative acts and omissions that enable them to maximize their profits at the expense of working families.

In order to protect our livelihoods and wield the economic and political power that we need to do so, it has become clear that we must join forces to defeat incumbents who have been working against our vital interests. We must elect representatives who put forth workable plans for protecting our economic security. Political candidates who want to get our votes will make our livelihoods the central focus of their campaigns and keep in mind the following ten reasons for doing so.

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