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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Not Good Enough - Obama's First 100 Days

Please forward widely...

Civil liberties: F

The Executive Branch is finally following the law by releasing and repudiating the Bush Administration's legal memos that attempted to justify torture. The President also raised the possibility of prosecuting those responsible for providing that justification.

However, the Obama Administration defends the illegal wiretapping program, leaves the door open to outsourcing torture through "extraordinary rendition", and argues that prisoners can be denied habeas corpus if they are shipped to the Bagram prison in Afghanistan instead of Guantanamo! The Administration also opposes a Congressional truth commission to investigate torture by the Bush Presidency, although citizen pressure may successfully force an investigation.

Obama supporter Glenn Greenwald, who writes for Salon.com, recently wrote: "What's being asserted here by the Obama DOJ is the virtually absolute power of presidential secrecy, the right to break the law with no consequences, and immunity from surveillance lawsuits so sweeping that one can hardly believe that it's being claimed with a straight face."

The Green Party supports a ban on torture, the repeal of the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and opposes the warrantless surveillance of US citizens, 'extraordinary rendition' of prisoners to extract information, and denial of habeas corpus and due process.

Environment: D+

The Obama Administration has taken some positive steps on global warming by allowing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants, initiating legislation to reduce greenhouse gases, and providing funds for alternative energy in the recently passed economic stimulus bill.

Unfortunately, the Administration has committed to spending only $145 billion on alternative energy over the next 10 years, about 0.1% of our country's gross domestic product (GDP). In contrast, the proposed military budget for 2010 alone is $664 billion. The Administration supports nuclear power and "clean" coal, and its proposed cap and trade scheme is vulnerable to abuses such as free giveaway licenses for utilities to emit greenhouse gases. In the European Union, free licenses have resulted in increased emissions from coal plants that have offset the reductions gained from new wind power.

The Green Party advocates a moratorium on new coal fired power plants, ending subsidies to the nuclear and fossil fuel industries, increasing CAFÉ standards, and ending mountaintop removal mining.

Economy: D-

The Obama Administration's economic stimulus bill is headed in the right direction with new infrastructure projects that can put Americans back to work. Plans to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire are also encouraging.

However, the stimulus was too small and too focused on tax cuts. The Administration's plans for repairing the financial system are likely to result in a great deal of wasteful spending, reward those who got us into the current economic crisis, and ignore the fundamental problems. It is unfortunate that the Administration has rejected calls to nationalize the largest and most insolvent banks in favor of a plan that loans nearly $1 trillion to hedge funds to indirectly subsidize the banks. By contrast, Wall Street Journal recently reported that only "10% of borrowers in some stage of foreclosure appear to be eligible for the federal aid to homeowners program."

The Green Party advocates ending trade in the highly speculative financial instruments that helped cause the crisis, restoring regulations on banks, breaking up financial conglomerates, promoting small local banks and credit unions, implementing a much larger public works program, and working to build a steady state economy based upon sustainability.

Health Care: D+

The Obama Administration has proposed substantial increases in federal spending in order to extend health coverage to more Americans. The Administration's spending plans will extend coverage only to about one-half of uninsured Americans and are short of effective methods for cost control.

The Green Party continues to advocate the single-payer health care systems as the most efficient and effective way to deliver health care to all Americans.

Foreign policy/military: D

The Obama Administration has taken a few encouraging steps, such as starting to at least open talks with foreign leaders. The President has shown an increased willingness to negotiate with Iran, and has stated plans to discuss nuclear arms reductions with Russia. However, there are numerous loopholes in the agreement to withdraw all troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, and the Administration is re-deploying some of the troops to Afghanistan. The U.S. is also continuing to launch military operations in Pakistan that have killed and displaced many civilians and contributed to destabilizing the country. The Administration also plans to maintain unnecessarily high levels of military spending.

The Green Party advocates the complete and immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops and contractors from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq and deep reductions in military spending.

Help us hold that vision of a healthy environment, single payer health care, a sustainable economy, civil liberties, and an appropriate military before the American people, on behalf of our children and those to come.

The Green Party takes no money from real estate companies, investment firms, or insurance companies; In fact, we don't take any corporate money because we think corporate money in politics is wrong.

We are not the alternative - we are the imperative. Rosa Clemente

Friday, April 24, 2009

9-11 truth movement has matured

Author Griffin: Obama, special prosecutor best hope for new 9-11 probe
OpEdNews - Newtown, PA, USA

"The 9-11 truth movement has matured, and now includes many professional organizations, such as Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth, Scholars for 9-11 Truth and Justice, Lawyers for 9-11 Truth, Religious Leaders for 9-11 Truth, and Political Leaders for 9-11 Truth. Scientists and engineers have successfully had their papers on 9-11 published in peer reviewed journals."


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Global currency?

The Tower of Basel: Secretive Plans for the Issuing of a Global Currency –
Do we really want the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) issuing our global currency?

by Ellen Brown

“The BIS is now composed of 55 member nations, but the club that meets regularly in Basel is a much smaller group; and even within it, there is a hierarchy. In a 1983 article in Harper’s Magazine called ‘Ruling the World of Money,’ Edward Jay Epstein wrote that where the real business gets done is in ‘a sort of inner club made up of the half dozen or so powerful central bankers who find themselves more or less in the same monetary boat’ – those from Germany, the United States, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and England.”

“Why did the BIS not retract or at least modify Basel II after seeing the devastation it had caused? Why did it sit idly by as the global economy came crashing down? Was the goal to create so much economic havoc that the world would rush with relief into the waiting arms of the BIS with its privately-created global currency? The plot thickens...”


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Obama's broken promises

As a Green, it is my role to call attention to those promises of Obama's that have been broken:

No. 24: End income tax for seniors making less than $50,000
No. 234: Allow five days of public comment before signing bills
No. 240: Tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials
No. 505: Create a $3,000 tax credit for companies that add jobs
No. 508: Allow penalty-free hardship withdrawals from retirement accounts in 2008 and 2009
No. 511: Recognize the Armenian genocide


The Greedsters Are Back!

"Here is a sample of the appalling dynamics of corporate greed and continuing over-reach each day in your nation’s capital."

By Ralph Nader


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pirate animation peculiarities

The recent shooting of the three pirates off the coast of Somalia has all the appearances of a happy ending. The day before it happened, I was asking my coworkers if snipers could get an accurate shot from a floating ship. The Navy Seals apparently synchronized it perfectly, and were justified since the captain had been kidnapped.

Yesterday I watched an animated depiction of the incident on NBC. I noticed some things that seemed peculiar to me, and I was wondering if any of you could explain things for me.

1. They showed a man below deck pointing a gun at the U.S. captain. It was a cutaway graphic. How could the Navy see that from the outside? They said the standing order was they could use force if the captain’s life was in danger, and this was why they decided he was in danger.

2. In one picture, they showed three bullet holes through a back window. In another picture, they showed two (not three?) heads popping out of a hatch. Which was it? Did they shoot through a window with a hatch on the other side?

3. They showed the pirates’ boat being towed by the Navy ship, and then they were reeled in slowly like a fish. Why did the pirates agree to be towed by the enemy? Were they really that stupid that they thought they could still get away by then?

Just askin’.


“We've got to change the tone in Washington. The Senate adjourned, and there's no prescription drug benefit bill, there's no energy bill, there's no budget. And so we can't go back to the kind of partisan divides. I really believe, if you look at the experience that I've had in the last eight years, that is what I think all of Minnesota would want today -- figure out a way to get it together…and do it, as we did with jobs, as we did with education, as we did with keeping a lid on taxes….And we could fight -- we could fight endlessly over partisan politics. We could fight endlessly over what we think is the perfect solution, but I think you've got to move it forward…would you rather have something today…something that the president would sign? Because if the president doesn't sign it, then we're stuck in gridlock…. I really believe we got to change that tone in Washington, move away from the strict partisan divides, find a way to cross the aisle. That was my experience in St. Paul, and that's the experience that I'll bring to Washington….We got it done by working in a bipartisan way, by changing the tone in the way we operate in St. Paul. We need to do the same in Washington. This election is about the future. Who, in your judgment, has the ability to do those things to grow jobs, to provide for quality education, to make sure that we live up to the obligation to our parents, make sure that we have quality healthcare -- who will work tirelessly, who will change the tone in Washington, who will reach across the aisle a bipartisan way, as I did in St. Paul, Republican mayor in a Democratic city?”

Norm Coleman, November 4, 2002


It seems the Fox teabagging parties are a Republican perversion of the ideas pioneered by the campaign of Ron Paul, not to mention our founding fathers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

From my hero

Revive Lincoln’s Monetary Policy: an Open Letter to President Obama
by Ellen Brown

Friday, April 03, 2009

MN Senate passes nuke bill

Subject: ALERT!! MN Senate passes pro nuke bill today

Get a load of this ...

To my knowledge, there was no hearing in committee. It was an amendment on the floor.

Tom Casey
West Metro Global Warming Action Group, Inc.

Obama's Wall St. rescue scheme

America needs a Green economic recovery plan, not Obama's Wall Street rescue operation, say Greens: