Poole, Isaiah J.

Isaiah J. Poole has been the editor of OurFuture.org since 2007 and also directs the Campaign for America's Future's online communications.

The 'Plot Against Pensions' Takes Aim At California

Isaiah J. PooleBy Isaiah J. Poole

David Sirota, the author of the Institute for America's Future report on "The Plot Against Pensions" that detailed the right-wing collaboration to dismantle public pension programs around the country, is now reporting in Salon that "the Enron billionaire whose former company wrecked the Golden State's economy appears to be using a shadowy Texas front group to now try to loot the Golden State's public pension system."

Back Bernie's Budget—Yes To Jobs, No To Austerity

By Isaiah J. Poole
Campaign for America’s Future

As progressive leaders from around the country prepare for next week's Take Back the American Dream conference, we're not waiting to start hitting Congress with our key demand: Bury austerity, put jobs first and resurrect the middle class.

We're asking you to sign the "Bernie Budget," Sen. Bernie Sanders plan to grow the economy now, close the tax loopholes through which millionaires escape paying their fair share, and to responsibly pay down the deficits run up as a result of wrong-headed conservative economic policies.

How Activists Score Wins Taking On The Banks

By Isaiah J. Poole

There is some good news in the fight for homeowners and against the big banks. Homeowners who are facing foreclosures because of unfair and often illegal practices by the major financial Goliaths are learning how to organize, how to shame bank executives and how to get local media attention.

But a panel of activists at Netroots Nation also expressed disappointment that there has not yet been any prosecutions of banking industry executives for any of the wrongdoing that led to the financial crisis and the millions of home foreclosures that followed.

That disappointment will greet Eric Schneiderman, the New York state attorney general who is also the head of an investigative task force on the financial crisis commissioned by President Obama, when he speaks tonight at a Netroots Nation plenary session.

Don't Give Up The High Ground In The Tax Fairness Fight

By Isaiah J. Poole

The gauntlet has been thrown down in the tax fairness fight. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced this week that House Republicans will schedule a vote before the August recess on making the Bush tax cuts permanent for everyone, including the rich and super-rich.

The question now is will Democrats continue to give away the high ground in this fight before the battle even begins.

With members in their districts for the Memorial Day recess, it is a good time to tell your member of Congress, face to face if you can, "Stop cutting essential programs for the middle class and economically struggling to protect and even increase tax breaks for the wealthy. Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. Let those who are doing good in America do right by America."

Uniting Against The Buyout Of Democracy

By Isaiah J. Poole

The fight to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and to undo its effects on our democracy is now being ratcheted up as a spectrum of progressive organizations are cooperating on multiple fronts.

The groups, which include the Campaign for America's Future, discussed their objectives and strategies at a news conference Monday at the headquarters of the Service Employees International Union in Washington. Some of the actions that are planned for the coming weeks will include activists from the Occupy movement.

“We’re like a hornet's nest that got whacked," said Erin Black, an Occupy movement activist. "We're scattered everywhere and ready to swarm on a particular target."

Members Of Congress Join Activists In Demanding Homeowner Relief

By Isaiah J. Poole

Key voices on Capitol Hill today echoed the message that underwater homeowners need the principal on their mortgages reduced, and that the government official responsible for keeping that from happening should either change his position or step down from his post.

Principal reduction is the the critical fight going on in the housing front right now, and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the financial reform group New Bottom Line, and other grassroots organizations gathered outside the Capitol to challenge the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Edward DeMarco: Move on principal reduction or be removed.

Their call echoes our own campaign calling on DeMarco to get out of the way of the relief homeowners need, which has generated several thousand messages that have done directly to DeMarco's office. Click here to send your message.

Internet Blackout Today: The Fight For A Free And Open Web

By Isaiah J. Poole

Because our fight for a people-powered democracy and an economy that works for all Americans depends on a free and open Internet, OurFuture.org today is standing in solidarity with the many websites that are protesting two bills pending in Congress that are direct and profound threats to that freedom.

Many of these websites, including the reference site Wikipedia and MoveOn.org, have decided to "go dark" today to symbolize what could happen if the draconian measures in these bills are put into effect. The organization "Fight for the Future," which bills itself as a nonprofit defending "online freedom," calls today's action "the largest online protest in history."

The bills are the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. The bills are ostensibly intended to crack down on copyright infringement, but both bills contain clauses that allow copyright holders to launch legal actions that would shut down an entire website, and the Department of Justice could demand that Internet service providers, search engines and social networking sites block access to the site. The Senate bill would allow a website to be blocked before the owners of the targeted site could defend themselves in court.

Consumers Win Debit Card Victory, But War Against Reform Continues

By Isaiah J. Poole

Sometimes, even an institution that is "too big to fail" is not too big to be influenced by energized citizens on a quest for basic fairness.

With a national "move your money" day coming up on November 5 and facing the prospect of losing tens of thousands of customers, Bank of America announced yesterday that it was canceling plans to charge debit card users $5 a month for the service.

The Math Behind "Class Warfare" And A Middle Class Under Attack

By Isaiah J. Poole

President Obama said on Monday that his proposal would bring taxes for millionaires in line with those paid by the middle class. This “is not class warfare; it’s math,” he stated. But he could have easily been referring to math that hasn’t favored working-class and middle-class households for most of the past 30 years.

To be among the bottom 90 percent of income earners in the United States is to be under siege in an economic war in which the top 10 percent have been winning all of the territory.

That nine in 10 Americans have been struggling for decades is a direct consequence of policies that have stacked the deck in favor of corporations and the wealthy. Those policies range from the tax breaks highlighted in Obama’s address to the decline in wages and benefits received by rank-and-file workers, as unions have lost power.

Air-Conditioned Poverty: A Right-Wing Diversion

By Isaiah J. Poole

The Census Bureau reports that the percentage of people living in poverty in the U.S. is at its highest level in almost two decades. But not to worry, says the conservative Heritage Foundation: Poor people are doing just fine:

Few of the 46.2 million people identified by the Census Bureau as being “in poverty” are what most Americans would consider poor—lacking nutritious food, adequate warm housing, or clothing. The typical “poor” American lives in an air-conditioned house or apartment and has cable TV, a car, multiple color TVs, a DVD player, and a VCR among other conveniences.