Bring Rail Service to Iowa. An Action Alert.

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Bring Rail Service to Iowa

We need your help. Right now, the Iowa Legislature has the opportunity to invest in Passenger Rail service that will connect Iowa cities to Chicago and the Midwest Regional Rail Network. $8 billion in Federal stimulus funds are available for rail projects, and Iowa could benefit tremendously from using these funds to establish rail service.

Passenger rail service is three times more efficient than cars, and six times more efficient than air travel. It’s convenient, affordable and enhances quality of life. And, perhaps even more importantly in tough economic times, it creates tremendous economic development opportunities and thousands of jobs. But unless our legislators and Governor Culver make securing the funding a priority, we may have to continue waiting for service while other states move forward with their own rail projects.

To get passenger rail service moving into Iowa, we need to put forward an initial investment of $3 million in state funds that will allow us to get Federal funding for rail service.

Please, take a moment to let your legislators and Gov. Culver know that you support an investment in passenger rail service for Iowa’s future. And once you’ve sent your message, forward this to every person you know who might want to help. Together, we can make rail service in Iowa a reality!

Take action today it’s easy and only takes a minute or two to get it done!…

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Breaking news - Chicago workers occupy factory

crossposted at Class War Iowa,

Breaking news – Hat tip to Lee Sustar at

WORKERS OCCUPYING the Republic Windows & Doors factory slated for closure are vowing to remain in the Chicago plant until they win the $1.5 million in severance and vacation pay owed them by management.

In a tactic rarely used in the U.S. since the labor struggles of the 1930s, the workers, members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1110, refused to leave the plant on December 5, its last scheduled day of operation.

“We decided to do it because this is money that belongs to us,” said Maria Roman, who's worked at the plant for eight years. “These are our rights.”

rest of story at

Jobs With Justice has launched an email campaign for these workers, aimed at Bank of America, which is behind management's actions.

Hold Bank of America Accountable
Only weeks after taking $25 Billion in bailout money, Bank of America is turning its back on hundreds of workers making energy efficient doors and windows in Chicago by refusing to continue credit to Republic Windows and Doors.  To make matters even worse than putting 300 people out of work, Bank of America has instructed Republic to refuse to pay workers compensation they are legally entitled to, either earned vacation pay or the severance pay legally required under the WARN Act, in lieu of proper notice of plant closing.

Go to

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Obama: The Only Thing You Need to Know, Part 3

This week I've been doing / will be doing a series of diaries entitled Obama: The Only Thing You Need to Know (Yes, the irony is apparent).  Two days ago, this started with the first diary on Barack Obama's time as a constitutional law senior lecturer at the University of Chicago, entitled Obama: The Only Thing You Need to Know.  It was so successful that yesterday I followed up with a diary on his time as a civil rights lawyer, entitled Obama: The Only Thing You Need to Know, Part 2.

I know everyone is waiting for the diary on community organizing, but today I chose to focus on an area of Barack Obama's experience that often gets overlooked, and ironically may have helped Bill Clinton win the election in 1992.  I'm of course talking about when Barack spearheaded Project Vote! on the eve of the 1992 election, with “George Bush gaining ground in Illinois” and “Carol Moseley Braun embroiled in allegations about her mother's Medicare liability”.

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Register for Yearly Kos!

Today is the last day for discounted registration for this year’s Yearly Kos convention, being held in Chicago, IL, from August 2-5.  I just paid for my registration, since I’m a student and qualify for the ‘guidelines’ of being a student.  Now I just have to find the money to make sure to pay for my hotel room for my stay there.  I also gave a $25 donation to the convention as a whole.

The schedule of events and speakers haven’t been announced yet, but last year’s conference was amazing.  I was sad I was unable to make it all of the way to Vegas, but I’m sure lots of you know just how the college life is essentially a nice money crunch.

If you can, please sign up and attend.  I’m sure there will be several (if not all of) the Democratic presidential candidates, as well as other Democratic leaders from across the nation.  Best of all, we’ll be able to network with like-minded people offline and in person.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

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