Friday, March 02, 2007

Knollenberg Votes Against Middle Class Workers & Their Families

In yet another attack on the middle-class, Joe kNOllenberg voted NO on the Employee Free Choice Act.

The Act was merely to assure that workers would have a free choice as to whether to join a union.

Apparently, Knollenberg prefers an economy where CEO's can drag a company into bankruptcy, lay off workers, ship jobs overseas, default on workers pensions, and cancel long promised health care benefits -- all while making millions in bonuses for themselves. The average worker -- particularly white collar employees and middle managers in our local auto industries -- have no say in the matter. They are the ones losing their jobs, pensions, benefits, etc.

Soon the average white collar worker is going to wish he or she had a union to protect them from being fleeced by the robber baron CEO's and Wall Street Moguls.

But the average worker doesn't have a lobbyist. And we all know by now that Joe Knollenberg always votes the way the lobbyists tell him to vote.

Why does Joe Knollenberg hate the middle class?

Majority of Americans Support Universal Healthcare Even if it Means Higher Taxes

In another rebuke of the "Conservative Agenda" of the Radical Right, a majority of Americans believe that the federal government should assure that every American is covered by health care insurance.

Moreover, the poll reveals that Americans are willing to pay higher taxes for such a program.

In fact, 80% think assuring health care to all is more important than extending Bush's tax cuts.

According to the NYT,

The poll found Americans across party lines willing to make some sacrifice
to ensure that every American has access to health insurance. Sixty percent,
including 62 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans, said they would be willing to pay more in taxes
. Half said they would be willing to pay as much as $500 a year more.

Nearly 8 in 10 said they thought it was more important to provide
universal access to health insurance than to extend the tax cuts of recent years;
18 percent said the tax cuts were more important.
One of the most important Conservative leaders in the Republican Party is Grover Norquist -- a good friend of shamed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Norquist is President of Americans for Tax Reform. He is so powerful, even Karl Rove attends his weekly strategy sessions with other right wing lobbyists.

"My goal
is to cut government in half in twenty-five years," he says, "to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

The Radical Right been promoting that agenda since Reagan was first elected. After nearly 30 years of watching our infrastructure crumble because the Radical Right wanted to give tax cuts of up to a few dollar per week to average families rather than invest in the future of our country. (Of course wealthy people got millions in tax breaks -- and that is who they really represent anyway.)

Americans are waking up and seeing that the Radical Right Agenda has been protecting the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. The Radical Right has won many elections by being as divisive as possible in their politics. But on important issues like Iraq and Healthcare, Americans are remarkably unified in their positions -- and they are not lining up with the Radical Right anymore.

And where is Joe Knollenberg in all of this?

Once again, Joe is lined up with the Radical Right.

Joe opposes universal health care.

Instead, Joe Knollenberg's proposal for addressing the health care crisis is to give taxpayer money to companies who offer seminars to their workers on health issues.

Once again, Joe is lined up with the Radical Right and out of touch with the 9th District.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

NRCC Transfers Funds from Accused Terrorist to Joe

Accused terrorist Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari contributed over $15,000 to the National Republican Campaign Committee. While the National Republican Senatorial Committee has agreed to donate their donations from Alishtari to charity, the NRCC has not.

Could this be because they have already distributed some of those funds? 22 Republicans have accepted from the NRCC, including Joe Knollenberg.

If Knollenberg wants to talk tough on terrorism, he should return contributions from accused terrorists, and demand his party do the same. Or is Knollenberg so strapped for cash he will turn a blind eye to hypocrisy?

Affordable & Accessible Healthcare Will Save Both Lives & Money -- So Why Is Knollenberg Against It?

Affordable & Accessible Healthcare Will Save Both Lives & Money -- yet Joe Knollenberg does has not supported any programs that will make healthcare more affordable and accessible.

Washington Post reported on a tragic case where a child's parents couldn't afford to pay a Dentist to have a tooth extracted and the abcess in the tooth spread to the child's brain and killed him.

Not only did an innocent child die needlessly, anyone who says that the US cannot afford to provide universal healthcare would be wise to consider the financial toll of this case.

According to the Washington Post, the tooth extraction would have cost $80.

Instead, after the abcess had spread, the child spent 6 weeks in the hospital and had two surgeries to try to fight off the infection in his brain at a cost of over $250,000.

So for those with a cold heart who say that as a Country we can't afford universal healthcare, ask whether we can continue to afford not to have it.

So for those with a cold heart who say that as a Country we can't afford universal healthcare, ask whether we can continue to afford not to have it.

And where is Joe Knollenberg on this topic, well the only thing Joe has proposed is to give a $200 tax credit to the employer of the dead child's parents if they go to a seminar on how to quit smoking. Joe's plan wouldn't have done a thing to help that poor kid.

Knollenberg's "healthcare" plan is not about solving the healthcare crisis in this country, it is about giving taxpayer money out to companies as a favor to wealthy lobbyists who in turn fill his campaign coffers and take him on luxurious vacations.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Knollenberg's Proposed "Solution" for Healthcare is Woefully Inadequate

The Detroit News is reporting that health care costs are going to skyrocket for GM -- reaching $1,904 per vehicle by 2008. Ford comes in at about half that with costs for healthcare predicted to be $969 per vehicle.

In reality, health care costs have been skyrocketing for years now. The same article in the News also shows that the costs projected for 2008 are more than double the cost of healthcare in 1999.

We all know that these costs and other legacy costs such as pension plans are a large burden on the domestic auto industry. These are costs that make them less able to compete because the off-shore companies don't have those same liabilities.

Knollenberg's Proposed Healthcare Solution

Joe Knollenberg recently proposed his plan for healthcare -- he proposed to give companies $200 in tax credits if they hold a seminar for their employees on topics like stopping smoking or the dangers of obesity.

Knollenberg proposes that the tax credit be given to companies even if the company does not offer health care insurance to their employees.

All they have to do is have someone from the local health department come out and give a talk for a few minutes, and voila! the company gets a $200 tax credit.

Now, some of you reading this may think I'm joking. I'm not. Here is a link to the proposed bill.

Oh, and lest you think Knollenberg thought this all up by himself, don't be silly.

Knollenberg only does what wealthy lobbyists like Jack Abramoff tell him to do. In this case, this "preventative" plan -- which is really nothing more than Corporate Welfare -- was devised by extreme right wing think tanks like the The Heritage Foundation, the Galen Instiute, the National Center for Policy Analysis, and the American Enterprise Institute.

Certainly preventative medicine is a critical component of a strong health care system. In fact, I would agree that it is important to have enough Dr's trained in that field to provide such care. But they are not likely seeing the uninsured.

And giving your company $200 to have you sit through a seminar that was given to the company for no charge isn't part of a strong health care system. If it wasn't so serious, it would be laughable.

Here goes Joe again. Coming up with a solution to something that isn't a problem. There is no crisis of a lack of seminars in the workplace.

There is a healthcare crisis in this Country

Joe Knollenberg has done nothing to address it.

The real solution is universal healthcare coverage for all Americans and preventative medicine should have an important role in a comprehensive system of health care.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Knollenberg Ignores His Constituents & Supports Bush's Escalation of the War in Iraq

Once again we see Joe ("NoNo") Knollenberg blindly obeying the commands of George Bush and ignoring the interests and concerns of the vast majority of his constituents.

Like his friend George Bush, Knollenberg has been steadfast and resolute in his support for the escalation of the war in Iraq. Knollenberg not only sides with Bush on the issue, but he refuses to even meet with his constituents to discuss it.

In fact, as we approach the 5th anniversary of "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, we note that Knollenberg has not held a single community or townhall meeting on the issue of the Iraq War. Not a single meeting. Not once has he ever publicly invited constituents to a meeting to discuss the Iraq War. Never.

It isn't as though he has been busy on the matter in Washington. He has never, ever called a hearing about the Iraq War there either.

A poll in today's Washington Post shows that the vast majority of Americans think Bush and Knollenberg are wrong. According to the Post/ABC News poll, 67% of Americans disapprove of the way Bush and Knollenberg are handling the war in Iraq.

That means that 2 out of every 3 Americans disapprove of the way Bush and Knollenberg are handling the war in Iraq.

The Post/ABC poll also shows that the majority of Americans disapprove of the way Bush & Knollenberg are handling terrorist threats and the economy.

But Bush & Knollenberg just continue down the same failed path -- they are both steadfast and resolute. They are wrong, but they are steadfast and resolute.

The bad news is that the war in Iraq has been more than just a series of unfortunate disasters, and Joe Knollenberg has not taken a single step to turn the situation around.

The good news is that by making his positions and his record more available to voters, he won't stand a chance at re-election in 2008.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Visit the Retire Joe Knollenbeg web site

There's a new web site aimed at keeping those that want to retire Joe Knollenberg from his 9th District seat in 2008. Please visit and sign up for our e-mail list and spread the word to others that support the cause of a Democratic Congress person for the 9th Congressionsal District of Michigan.

Welcome One and All

I want to invite everyone in the 9th District to join us in our discussion about the issues that face the voters of this District.

We welcome your comments regardless of whether you agree or disagree with our positions.

Between now and November 2008 we will present information to the voters in this District about Knollenberg's activities (and lack of activities) in Congress so that you will have the information necessary to make an informed decision when you go to vote in November 2008.

We will report on how even though the 9th District is overwhelmingly against Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq, Knollenberg is supporting it. We will give you links to his voting record and his statements on the issue so that you can see for yourself whether he is representing your interests or the special interests of lobbyists like Jack Abramoff.

We'll tel l you what he does and what he doesn't do. For example, in the area of healthcare, Knollenberg supports giving tax payer money to Corporations offer to give their workers seminars on health issues -- even though the company doesn't offer healthcare benefits to their employees.

We will be giving you information on the people and organizations and special interests that have contributed large amounts of money to Joe Knollenberg's campaign and how Knollenberg repaid them with legislation that would guarantee them millions of dollars in government contracts.

For example, we will give you the facts on how Knollenberg inserted a provision into federal law that would have required Amtrak to purchase $8 million in equipment from a company whose owner is one of Knollenberg's biggest campaign contributors. (See, New York Times, December 11, 2005.)