Liberal, Irreverent

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Leave No Corporation Behind

There has been a flurry of activity in Washington this week as the current short-term budget expires next Friday—on April 8th. So far bipartisan agreement on long-term spending remains elusive. Children of all ages remain in danger, as some lawmakers continue to set their sights on drastic cuts to Head Start, Community Health Centers, Pell Grants, and other lifelines for poor children and families.

Did you know that in 2010 corporate profits grew at their fastest rate since 1950 yet many of the most profitable paid no federal taxes at all? Did you know the richest 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all American households combined yet four months ago Congress extended their tax cuts and increased the deficit by 100s of billions of dollars?

Some members of Congress are choosing billionaires over babies and corporations over children in what seems to be a concerted effort to Leave No Corporation Behind. Download our new Budget Watch Trade Offs document and arm yourself with the facts.

Marian Wright Edelman's interview on CBS' The TalkVisit our Budget Watch Web pageto stay up-to-date on the latest budget news. Watch Marian Wright Edelman’s recent interview on CBS’ “The Talk” in which she gives a resounding call to action for women to raise a ruckus before it’s too late and Congress balances the budget on the backs of babies and the poor. We urge all of you to raise a ruckus and raise your voice for children.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Soon, ground troops to Libya. Helping ot

Under a humanitarian UN Resolution Tomahawks rained over Libya at the equivalent cost of 400,000 American green jobs the first day of the humanitarian mission.

The defenseless civilians who quickly became a loose Rebel Army, have demonstrated that the Libyan revolution cannot win on its own merits.

The Libyan revolution lacks all the elements to succeed. The Army is not standing down and the Army elements have deserted Qaddafi are not fighting. The government is not willing to yield and the elements who have left the government do not seem to be making a big enough impact inside the country. Third and most importantly, the revolution appears not having enough strength within the people, not because the people want the dictator, but because of the fear factor is still too high. The revolution may have the hearts of the people but they are too afraid to act. Under these conditions any revolution is destined to fail...unless, external forces shift the balance of events in one direction. This is where the US comes into play.

The goal of the Obama administration is clear: end the Qaddafi rule, topple the dictator. The purpose of the bombing and tomahawking in Libya is really to provide air cover for the Rebel Army. Obama, Clinton, NATO should just stop the facade and admit the obvious as it is an open secret and people are not stupid.

Now that had become clear that bombing Qaddafi's forces is not enough, Obama and Clinton have started to set the stage to arm the rebels. Obama says he doesn't rule it out and Clinton says it is legal under the UN resolution.

This is obviously an escalation and I don't see how arming the Rebel Army is humanitarian. However more importantly is what would happen if after sending arms and equipment to the rebels is not enough. One problem with the rebels is that they not only need arms/equipment, they also NEED TRAINING. So, unless Obama is planning to send manuals to the rebels or set training webinars, TROOPS ON THE GROUND WILL BE NEEDED ("military advisors" like the hundreds of thousands "advisors" we sent to Vietnam) (btw, we already have special operation teams in Libya right now).

Unless Qaddafi left or is killed this is posing to become a long and costly third war. Another trillion dollars to help people in foreign countries while we abandon our own people. I support and it is OK to help other people, but we need to take care of our own first. Otherwise, what are we? I don't know, but whatever it is not good.

A chance to kill Wisconsin anti-workers

The fate of the bill stripping collective bargaining rights for public workers in Wisconsin is being decided in the courts. It is "100%" likely to end up before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, according to one Supreme Court Justice.

Conservatives currently hold a 4-3 edge on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which means the law will probably be upheld unless the membership of the court changes. Fortunately, on Tuesday April 5th, one of the conservative members of the court is up for re-election. He is in real danger of losing to a center-left candidate, as polling shows the race nearly even.

If we can turn out the progressive base in Wisconsin, then we can strike an immediate blow against Scott Walker's agenda. You can be a part of that by signing up to make Get Out The Vote phone calls for the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

Normally, this would be a low-turnout election we would be hard-pressed to win. However, the new grassroots energy in the state prompted by Governor Scott Walker's draconian policies has changed the equation. The spirit of the Madison protests is alive and well, as election officials are running out of ballots in Democratic areas due to extremely high demand.

In Wisconsin, the base is energized and ready to strike a blow against Scott Walker. All we have to do is tap into that energy and get people to the polls. You can make that happen by signing up to for GOTV phone calls.

In solidarity,
Chris Bowers
Campaign Director, Daily Kos

Bernie Sanders: You pay more taxes than

Exxon Mobil, Bank of America, GE and other giant corporations paid no

U.S. taxes despite billions in profits. In fact, they pocketed big IRS

refunds. As congressional leaders and the White House haggled over

how many billions of dollars to cut spending on programs for working

families, Bernie tried to broaden the debate. He compiled a top-10

list of tax dodging corporations. It's a scandal, Bernie told

colleagues today. "We have a deficit problem. It has to be addressed,

but it cannot be addressed on the backs of the sick, the elderly, the

poor, young people, and the most vulnerable in this country. The

wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country have

got to contribute."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WE MUST Cut Spending!

I agree there is too much spending and all that wasteful spending must be cut. Some spending is worthy like Social Security, Medicare, Education, Health Care, Green Jobs, Environmental Protection. Other spending is questionable like all the pork in defense systems that don't work or we don't use or spending in wars. However, there is one special expenditure line on the budget we must cut. It is called TAX EXPENDITURE. This item describes all the tax revenue we do not receive because it is given away in tax breaks mostly to the rich and corporations. While Conservatives are pushing for $44 billion in cuts in needed social programs, the tax expenditure in Bush tax cuts for the wealthy alone is $42 billion. Some want to take away $44 billion from people who need that help, to give it to wealthy people and corporations that clearly do not need it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

What is right?

Obama has said much about what is right when justifying intervention in Libya. The cost of this adventure will at least be $1 billion assuming ground troops are not needed later if Libya sink into chaos. But in talking about what is right, I wonder where is the morality in citing moral grounds to defend the people of Libya from a humanitarian crisis, while ignoring the humanitarian crisis here at home. For example workers in Wisconsin are being stripped from their rights under the excuse of only a $137 million deficit. The same abuses against American workers are happening all around the nation. Schools are being closed, teachers are being fired, the surviving schools are being defunded and quality of education is not important anymore (because quality is linked to resources as you need sources to provide quality education. If you take resources away, then you don't care about quality). So for Obama a third war in Libya and keep utilizing our resources overseas is the WHAT IS RIGHT. I wonder when intervening at home, declaring war against poverty, war against unemployment, war against mediocre education, war against abuses to workers and spent OUR treasure here at home, because it is our money, will be the right to do.

Vermont Progressive Party News

Legislative Update: NRC's VY License Extension

This past week, Rep. Sarah Edwards of Brattleboro and a group of Windham County legislators representing communities in close proximity to the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant issued a resolution at a press conference.  They expressed deep regret at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) failure to delay action on the Vermont Yankee license extension, especially pending lessons that will be learned from the unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan.  They called for the NRC to rescind the issuance of a 20-year license until the catastrophe unfolding in Japan is better understood.  President Obama and the NRC issued statements supporting a wait and see approach, yet the NRC went ahead and issued the license, contradicting its own advice. 
The plant, owned by the Louisiana-based Entergy Corporation, is the same vintage (1972) and design (Mark 1) as the besieged reactors in Japan.  The NRC originally announced it would issue a 20-year license extension for the plant the day before the earthquake and subsequent meltdown began in Japan, and they put the final stamp of approval on a few days later.
 Vermont Yankee has some of the same vulnerabilities and weaknesses as the Japanese Fukushima plants. As far back as 1972 the industry has known that there is a significant weakness in the Mark 1 reactor: if a Mark 1 reactor's cooling system failed, the fuel rods would overheat and, as a result, the primary containment vessel surrounding the reactor would burst, spilling radiation into the environment.

In addition, a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission said in 1972 that the Mark 1 system should be discontinued because, among other concerns, the smaller containment design is more susceptible to explosion and rupture from a buildup of hydrogen, which may be the case at Fukushima Dai-ichi.

Legislators cited NRC Chairman Jackzo’s comments from last Monday: "Today everybody is worried about the spent fuel pools. Until this (the Japanese crisis) is resolved we are not going to ultimately know what the most important factors are in terms of what needs to be addressed."  Vermont Yankee uses the same sort of pool to cool the highly radioactive spent nuclear-fuel rods as the ones now in danger of releasing radiation at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. The VY spent fuel pool is located up seven stories and has no containment other than a reinforced metal roof.

The legislators were joined by Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Takoma Park, Maryland.  Dr. Makhijani is a national expert on nuclear energy and has served as a consultant on energy issues to utilities including the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Edison Electric Institute, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and several agencies of the United Nations.

Legislative Update: Chronology of shifting excuses

Three weeks ago, Rep. Paul Poirier (I-Barry City), one of the more progressive members of the House, approached our caucus and asked if we were interested in working together to raise important questions about revenue and the budget. They were. 

They attempted to launch a discussion before the tax bill and the budget reached the floor, because by then it's usually too late. Besides, any amendment to increase spending during the budget debate can't include new taxes or it gets ruled non-germain (the budget bill is a spending bill, not a revenue bill). They decided to approach the chairs of House Appropriations and House Ways and Means to see if they would be willing to meet with any and all members of the House to discuss what many of us believe is a painful situation for our state. 

As this idea was explored, House leadership returned with a different proposal: a joint hearing with the Appropriations and Ways & Means committees where only members of the House could testify. This handed control to leadership but sounded like a good idea, so they agreed. 

A week later this hearing was scuttled. Instead the three at the head of the revenue discussion (Reps. Pearson, Donovan and Poirier) were invited into the tiny Ways & Means committee to testify.

A day later the tax bill came out without increasing taxes on the wealthiest Vermonters. Folks said next year could be even worse and we had better hold off on raising taxes now. Of course H.401 doesn't take effect until Jan 2012 anyway.

During floor debate they tried to amend the tax bill to ask the Vermonters who will save $190 million this year thanks to the Bush tax cut extension to share some savings with Montpelier. No dice. Leadership especially disliked the idea that our amendment would be retroactive to Jan. 2011. 

By late last week the House was debating the budget. While House Approps should be commended for restoring half of the cuts to many important programs, we need to find a way to keep other cuts from happening. This is the fourth year in a row. We have cut 10% of the state workforce. When is enough enough?

To restore these cuts Rep. Poirier suggested a floor amendment that used $11 million in rainy day funds to draw down another $10 million in federal funds and make important programs whole. 

This time leadership said you can't use the rainy day funds, because it was irresponsible. At the same time, leadership commented in caucus how much folks care and how proud of the budget they are. Hey, these are tough times. 

Faced with a certain loss over the rainy-day strategy, Rep. Poirier went back to the drawing board, found unused money in the tobacco fund and returned with an amendment that didn't rely on new revenue or rainy day money. 

This time the objection was zeroing out the tobacco fund. Democratic leaders suggested this was like "burning the furniture" to stay warm. Hard to understand since the tobacco fund earns about $30 million a year. It's like burning the furniture if Ikea makes a monthly home delivery. 

In the end, attempts to start the conversation early where thwarted just like the attempts to responsibly amend bills on the floor. But hey, several democrats offered vote explanations telling voters that despite their "no" votes, they feel your pain. And if the budget and tax package they support isn't corrected in the Senate, you will have a lot more pain for them to feel in the coming year.

From the Media: Vt. House gives initial OK for $24M in tax hikes

"Sen. Tim Ashe of Chittenden County said that when the miscellaneous tax bill makes its way to the Senate, he will seek to amend it to get the state to do a better job collecting taxes from the seven Vermonters who reported incomes higher than $1 million in the 2009 tax year and paid nothing in state income taxes."

From the Blog: Tax Amendment Fails

"Taking this cue from leadership, several others who voted against the amendment did so hoping that it would be brought up at some future time. You can read their comments here. None of those explaining that their "no" votes are really "yeses" voted against those tax cuts for those wealthiest of Vermonters in 2009."

From the Media: Universal health care bill passes, 89-47

"All Vermont residents would be eligible to receive an “essential” health benefit package; health insurance companies would be effectively cut out of the game and relegated to a peripheral role in the new system; and cost containment measures would be designed to push the system toward fiscal sustainability. All this would be accomplished under an ambitious, three-year timeline."

From the Blog: Leading With Retreat

"How big a majority is needed before abandoning the idea that you lead with retreat? If the Republicans were down to one member in the house, would we still be watering down legislation to try (and fail) to get that one vote?"

Vermont Progressive Party
802-229-0800 ~

Ray Buursma: American workers got what t

COLUMN — American workers got what they deserved


Posted: 03/23/2011 4:40 AM

Are you an American employee? If so, today’s column will likely offend you. If you’d rather not be offended, read no further. If you continue and then complain, I’m sorry, but that simply proves you’re, well, stupid. But then again, stupidity plays a large role in today’s topic.

Still reading? OK. You’ve had fair warning.

So you’re an American employee. Maybe you make car parts. Maybe you’re an engineer or designer. Maybe you’re an accountant, store clerk or tradesman. Whatever you do, you’re probably stupid or lazy. Yes, I wrote it, and I mean it. You are either stupid or lazy. Maybe both.

Now, I’m not referring to your work ethic or job performance. No, most of you are competent and devoted to your profession or vocation. I’m addressing the way you view economics and employment. I’m challenging your gumption to advocate for yourself and your fellow Americans.  Here’s what I mean.

Remember the Reagan standard? Are you better off today than you were a decade ago? Two decades? Three? Unless you make more than $380,000 a year, the answer is no. In fact, your standard of living over the last quarter century has actually decreased while millionaires have added 30 percent to their net wealth. Why? Two reasons.

First, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs went overseas while the politicians you elected did nothing to stop them. Yet you continue to elect leaders who offer nothing but tax cuts, as if that would stem the flow of disappearing jobs.

Did you demand your leaders address America’s trade imbalance or continuous outsourcing of jobs? Did you demand your leaders require foreign countries to buy a dollar’s worth of American goods for every dollar of goods they sell here?

No and no. You didn’t bother. You simply crossed your fingers and prayed, “I hope my job’s not next.” You made concessions to your employer and hoped that would stem the exodus of jobs, or at least yours. How’d that work for you?

Second, you bought into the myth that unions are the cause of America’s demise. You didn’t bother to learn America became a world power when union membership was at its peak. You didn’t bother to learn America became the envy of the world while 1 of every 3 Americans was a union member.

 So, how are things going for you? How do your benefits compare to a quarter century ago? Are you paying a higher or lower percentage of your income for health insurance? Does your company offer a pension plan, or do you now fund your own 401(k)?

Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m not a union worker, so this doesn’t affect me.”

Stop being stupid. Union benefits provide a standard other companies have to match, or at least come close to. When those benefits are cut, yours are, too. Or do you think you operate in your own little employment vacuum?

To make matters worse, you’re again being played for a chump. The same puppets who did nothing while your standard of living decreased are now using the oldest gimmick in the book — jealousy — to continue their assault on American workers. Rather than protect Americans’ jobs, they deflect your attention through jealousy.

“Cut the pay of government workers,” they cry. “Increase their health premiums. Decrease their pensions. Break their unions. After all, you’ve suffered so they should suffer too.” And in your misery, you buy their argument while more jobs head oversees. Pretty stupid, eh?

If their antics weren’t so pathetic, if the consequences weren’t so dire, if they didn’t prey on your stupidity, and if you didn’t buy into their convoluted reasoning, this whole situation would be laughable. But of course it’s not.

I warned you I’d likely offend you, and I suspect I did. But once you overcome your anger, consider my analysis. Then, either wise up and do something about it, or resign yourself to a lower standard of living for the next decade.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Who’s REALLY behind recent GOP legislati

Who’s REALLY behind recent Republican legislation in Wisconsin and elsewhere? - A historian ANSWERS

Who’s Really Behind Recent Republican Legislation in Wisconsin and Elsewhere? After watching the sudden and impressively well-organized wave of legislation being introduced into state legislatures that all seem to be pursuing parallel goals only tangentially related to current fiscal challenges–ending collective bargaining rights for public employees, requiring photo IDs at the ballot box, rolling back environmental protections, privileging property rights over civil rights, and so on–I’ve found myself wondering where all of this legislation is coming from.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Presidential address Monday 7:30 p.m. on

On Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. EDT, President Obama will deliver an address at the National Defense University in Washington, DC on the situation in Libya. You can watch the speech live at

President Obama's Weekly Address: Libya

The White House, Washington

Good morning,

I'm writing today with an update on the situation in Libya, including the actions we've taken with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar Qaddafi. For further details, please take a moment to watch this morning's Weekly Address: 

Watch the Video

Sending our brave men and women in uniform into harm's way is not a decision I make lightly. But when someone like Qaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region, it is in our national interest to act.  In fact, it’s our responsibility.

Our mission in Libya is clear and focused -- and we are succeeding.

Along with our allies and partners, we are enforcing the mandate of the United Nations Security Council.  Working with other countries, we have put in place a no-fly zone and other measures that will help prevent further violence and brutality. Qaddafi's air defenses have been taken out, and his forces are no longer advancing across Libya.

As a consequence of our quick action, the lives of countless innocent civilians have been saved, and a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided.

The role of American forces in this mission is limited. After providing unique capabilities at the beginning, we are now handing over control of the no-fly zone to our NATO allies and partners, including Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. 

The United States has also joined with the international community to deliver urgent humanitarian assistance.  We're offering support to the Libyan opposition and have frozen tens of billions of dollars of Qaddafi's assets.

Our message to Qaddafi is clear: attacks against innocent civilians must end, his forces must be pulled back, humanitarian aid must reach Libyans in need, and those responsible for the violence in Libya must be held accountable.

The progress we've made over the past seven days demonstrates how the international community should work, with many nations, not just the United States, bearing the responsibility and cost of upholding international law.

Every American can be proud of the service of our men and women in uniform who have once again stood up for our interests and ideals.  And as we move forward, I will continue to keep each of you fully informed on our progress.


Barack Obama
President of the United States

P.S. On Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. EDT, I will deliver an address at the National Defense University in Washington, DC on the situation in Libya. You can watch the speech live at


The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 •202-456-1111 


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The White House Breaks it Silence on Gun

On March 13, a surprise editorial appeared in the Arizona Daily Star entitled "We Must Seek Agreement on Gun Reforms." It was written by a man who up until that point had been conspicuously silent on the issue:  President Barack Obama.

In the editorial, the President acknowledged that a young man who was clearly unstable was able to legally purchase the handgun used in the Tucson massacre. And he stated that "our focus right now should be on sound and effective steps that will actually keep those irresponsible, law-breaking few from getting their hands on a gun in the first place."

Specifically, the President called for full funding to provide incentives to states to submit disqualifying records to the background check system for gun purchases. And he seemed to embrace the idea of universal background checks by saying, "If we're serious about keeping guns away from someone who's made up his mind to kill, then we can't allow a situation where a responsible seller denies him a weapon at one store, but he effortlessly buys the same gun someplace else."

It was a great first step.
 More needs to be done, however, to turn the President's good intentions into actual reform that will saves lives in our country. 

The White House has now begun to meet with advocacy groups to discuss effective strategies to prevent gun violence. The NRA was invited, but callously refused the president's gracious invitation, deeming him a "destroyer" of the Second Amendment.

Please call President Obama today at (202) 456-1111 and thank him for taking these initial steps to address the scourge of gun violence in our country.  And please encourage him to press forward expediently with his efforts, with the goal of embracing legislation in Congress to deal with the problemregardless of the position of the corrupt gun lobby. If you prefer to email the president, you can do so here.

Thank you for your support in this critical hour!


Josh Horwitz

Executive Director

P.S. This is truly a pivotal moment. Give now and help CSGV hold the Obama administration accountable for delivering real change Is Obama to Blame for $4

Democrats, Republicans spin oil data in dispute over high gas prices.

March 24, 2011


Conflicting, false and misleading statements on oil production and gasoline prices have become the currency of politicians lately, as oil tops $100 per barrel and gasoline hovers near $4 per gallon. Among some of the claims that got our attention:

  • Top Republicans blame President Obama’s moratorium on deepwater drilling for rising gasoline prices. The moratorium delayed drilling of some new wells, but did not affect the output of wells already in production. A projected drop in total domestic oil production this year should amount to six-tenths of 1 percent of all U.S. consumption of liquid fuels. A Wall Street oil analyst told us the moratorium has had "zero" effect on prices.

  • Obama said domestic oil production last year was its highest since 2003. That’s true — but U.S. oil production is projected to drop this year.

  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy said "under this administration our output has gone down 13 percent." McCarthy is wrong — U.S. oil production was up in 2009 and 2010, and is projected to decline only 2 percent this year.

  • Sarah Palin said Obama is "allowing America to remain increasingly dependent on imports" from unstable countries. But there has been a decline — not an increase — in total oil imports from Middle Eastern and African countries, as well as countries identified by the State Department as "dangerous or unstable," since Obama took office.


Note: This is a summary only. The full article with analysis, images and citations may be viewed on our Web site:

Desktop Users

Mobile Users

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Obama wants to craft an anti Bush doctri

That is fine with me. As a matter of fact, very fine. The problem is that Obama already has a history of saying one thing and later doing another. (Public Option comes to mind). Obama's bark has always been stronger than his bite. Therefore, I now wait to see what he does, more than what he says. No ground troops in Libya? Let's see first if Libya does not sink into a chaos. The Obama doctrine for international intervention right now looks like just Bush...but with a lighter twist. Like a friend used to say, "rum and coke is 'till rum and coke with or without the lime twist".

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thom Hartmann | The Corporate Conquest o

Thom Hartmann, Berrett-Kohler Publishers: "While corporations can live forever, exist in several different places at the same time, change their identities at will, and even chop off parts of themselves or sprout new parts, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, according to its reporter, had said that they are 'persons' under the Constitution, with constitutional rights and protections as accorded to human beings. Once given this key, corporations began to assert the powers that came with their newfound rights.... Interestingly, during the era of the Santa Clara decision granting corporations the full protections of persons under the Constitution, two other groups also brought cases to the Supreme Court, asking for similar protections. The first group was women. This was a movement with a fascinating history, its roots in the American Revolution itself." 
Read the Article 

Libya is a potential next Iraq

If Obama were smart, he would distance himself and the nation away from Libya faster than he can say quagmire. Libya's society, system of government, economy, etc is almost identical to Iraq.

Obama and the coalition are hoping that the dictator quickly fades into the night, the population receives the coalition soldiers with flowers, the people solve their differences and quickly come together and rally around a leader, and use their oil wealth to rebuild the nation into a model of democracy in the Arab world. Sound familiar? The same dream George Bush had for Iraq. It didn't happen in Iraq because of the particulars of the Iraqi society (and the mistake of dismantling the Iraqi army) and it won't happen in Libya either because of the particulars of the Libyan society ( and that we are destroying the Libyan army).

If Libya deteriorates into chaos the next step is ground troops (because the UN is already committed, so there is no turning back) and the question is if Obama wants so bad to be like Bush that he also wants to have his own Iraq.

The Nation: Wars should be declared by C

Even if a war is considered "just," even if it is launched under the auspices of the UN, US military interventions should be debated and approved by Congress before the bombing starts, argues John Nichols in a new Nation post.

Peter Rothberg, The Nation

Libya revolution WAS destined to fail

The upraising in Libya was destined to fail because it lacked some of the 3 necessary elements to succeed: popular revolt, stand down of the military, government willing to yield to the inevitable (given the previous 2 elements). That is why the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt succeeded but failed in Bahrein and Yemen.

Now the we have intervened, the revolution may succeed. The problem is that the United States and its new coalition of the willing decided to intervene under a "humanitarian" cover, but the humanitarian help as of now, has been showering the country with remote controlled Tomahawks and destroying the Libyan army. This looks more like an intervention to help one side of the conflict (the rebel army) than helping civilians, and that's illegal mingling in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.

I want all dictators toppled and democracy to flourish but that has to come organically from the grassroots inside the country, with broad support from all sectors, the people, the government, the military. Otherwise that country is not ready yet and forcing democracy will just lead us into another Iraq.

Another unanswered question is why there is intervention in Libya under the cover of a humanitarian UN Resolution, when similar abuses are happening in the other countries and we are doing nothing.

This Libya intervention is more about politics, egos, grandiose and saving face than anything else. And I just hope we learned the lessons of Iraq and have a strong leadership ready to assume control of the country after Gaddafi, because otherwise Libya will sink into chaos and then ground troops and nation building will be next step. Just another Iraq and another trillion dollar$ wasted when we are firing teachers and closing schools at home.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sounded just like Faux News

Watched Ed tonight in his defense of Obama's intervention in Libya. Ed sounded exactly like FauxNews when it was defending Bush's intervention in Iraq. How sad. If Libya descends into chaos and we go from no fly zone to ground troops, what will be the next excuse? Ground troops on a "limited scope"?

Hypocrisy of defending democracy

Why are we intervening in Libya under the excuse of defending the people and democracy but let dictators kill innocents and democracy with them in Bahrein and Yemen? it's just hypocrite.

Libya may become Iraq Part II

I don't how many have realized that Libya is just another Iraq. Other than the centralized power under the Gaddafi there is only tribes, ethnic groups and religious sects. As happened in Iraq after the centralized power of Saddam was eliminated, all these factions will fight for power sinking Libya into a bloody fratricidal civil war. I hope we are grooming that former prime minister take power immediately after Gaddafi, because otherwise (or if this person fails) the only thing I see is another Iraq like trap. Because Libya is a big producer of oil, if after Gaddafi the country descends into civil war WE WILL HEAR OBAMA ANNOUNCING THAT WITH REGRET HE HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO SEND GROUND TROOPS TO DEFEND AMERICAN INTERESTS, STOP THE BLOODSHED, AVOID INSTABILITY IN THE REGION, AVOID THE POWER VACUUM THAT WILL MAKE LIBYA A SANCTUARY OF TERRORISTS, ETC, ETC, ETC. Sound familiar? Yes, same arguments we used to bankrupt the USA in the Iraq war.

Barney Frank: Obama might not have stoma

Nothing new here. That Obama does not have neither the balls, nor interest, nor inclination to fight for Elizabeth Warren? We know that. Especially if that puts him at odds with one of his new daddy's and masters, the financial industry. Worth reading anyway.

From The Hill:

President Obama may not be willing to endure the ideological battle that would result from nominating Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer protection agency, a top Democrat said Monday.

Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.), who co-authored the law creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said that if she were nominated, Warren...

Cut Spending in the Tax Code

Wasteful Spending in the Tax Expenditure Budget Is Fertile Ground for Deficit Reduction

By Seth HanlonMichael Ettlinger

Our nation needs jobs, a strong and competitive economy, and deficit reduction. The way to win that trifecta is not the House of Representatives’s continuing resolution for the remaining seven months of fiscal year 2011—a bill panned by a wide range of economists from across the political spectrum as a threat to economic recovery and a job destroyer. And the way to get deficit reduction is not as the House-passed bill does, to initiate immediate cuts concentrated in one narrow area of the budget that funds the most critical investments for long-term economic growth.

Instead, the focus should be on the waste found in the largest area of spending, an area of the budget larger than Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or national defense: the more than $1 trillion of tax-code spending hidden in the federal tax code. Dollars spent through the tax code in the form of tax breaks, called tax expenditures, are widely recognized to be the functional equivalent of direct government spending.

With the debate raging in Washington over spending cuts, tax-code spending should be on the table. In this report we identify individual tax-code spending cuts that could total $64 billion in FY 2012 and $502 billion over five fiscal years. If enacted, these cuts would be far less harmful than the $60 billion of short-term direct spending cuts that have passed the House of Representatives.

Read and download this report here.

More Koch buying of politicians & legisl

Dan Eggen reports for the Washington Post on freshman Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo's business and political relationship with Koch Industries and the ire they have raised from the political left. 'When Mike Pompeo needed funding for a Wichita aerospace company, one of the places he and his partners went for help was Koch Industries, a hometown firm that is among the world's largest privately held corporations. Last year, Pompeo turned to Koch for help again - this time to support his successful campaign for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pompeo received $80,000 in donations from Koch and its employees,' Eggen writes. 'Now liberal groups have begun turning their ire toward Pompeo, who hired a former Koch Industries lawyer as his chief of staff and proposed legislation in his first weeks in office that could benefit many of Koch's business interests. The measures include amendments approved in the House budget bill to eliminate funding for two major Obama administration programs: a database cataloguing consumer complaints about unsafe products and an Environmental Protection Agency registry of greenhouse-gas polluters.'

(Taken from Politico)

Juan Williams earning his $$$$$$ at Faux

After resisting to opinion on the calls to defund his former employer, NPR, time came for Juan Williams to show something for the BIG, BIG, BIG $$$$$$ that Conservatives, FauxNews and the hate anti Islamic groups are investing on him. Today, Juan Williams decided to officially jump into the right wing agenda pushed by the GOP and publicly call for defunding of NPR. Not that will make any difference as Juan Williams is not the voice of objectivity on Muslim issues or public radio issues for that matter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Howard Dean: Death by 1,000 cuts

Last December, when President Obama made a deal with Republicans to continue the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, I said there was no shared pain in the agreement. I called it the easy way out for everybody. And I emphasized it's not fiscally responsible in addressing the deficit, the biggest long-term threat to America. 

Now, Republicans are pushing for well over $50 billion in cuts to the budget, which would result in the loss of 700,000 jobs nationwide according to leading economists. They won't even consider cutting the $53 billion the Republicans have used to subsidize the oil industry or eliminating projects out of the defense budget that even the Pentagon says it doesn't need and doesn't want. Instead, they want cuts on everything from local law enforcement to community health centers, from food assistance to low-income women, infants, and children to rural development investment. And of course, they made it clear over and over again, that cutting Social Security benefits must be on the table. 

Republicans have gone from being fiscally irresponsible to morally reprehensible in only a few short months. Their goal appears to be the death of civil society by a 1,000 cuts.

It's time for Democrats to stand up and hold their ground. Republicans in Congress can't balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class -- there must be shared sacrifice. 

Join me, and our partners at CREDO Action, in calling on Democrats in Congress to accept no new budget cuts while we continue to give tax breaks to people who make a million dollars a year. 


This approach to shared sacrifice is backed up by the support of the American people. A recent Washington Post poll shows the vast majority of Americans believe the best way to reduce the deficit is through a combination of spending cuts and increased taxes on America's most wealthy. 

But it's not about polling. It's about responsibility. If there is one thing we've learned from years and years of Republican misleadership, it's that you just can't trust Republicans with your money. 

Republicans don't know how to balance budgets. They never have. I've balanced budgets. I did it as Governor for 12 straight years. I'm not the only Democrat with a strong fiscal record. Republicans like to forget that the last President to balance the budget and create a surplus was Democrat Bill Clinton. 

Democrats can get the job done as long as we stand up for what we believe and never back down. 


Make no mistake about it; the Republicans' obsession with cutting the federal budget at all costs may be good short-term politics, but it's bad policy and not the best course for the country.

It's up to Democrats in Congress to stop them. It's up to us to make sure Democrats know where we stand. 

Thank you, and DFA members nationwide, for everything you do. 


Governor Howard Dean, M.D. 
Founder, Democracy for America

If Palin were president...

Actually, this is a very good interview by Sarah Palin. Definitely the coaching she's having is paying off. This is the first time I read an interview that she hasn't gone bananas. I don't know if something crazy was said in this interview that will surface later, but at least what is published in this article deserved mention. IF (and that's a big IF), she continues this way, she will make a very strong GOP candidate and Romney and Huck better start worrying.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Liberal Democrats in uproar over Libya

I have my doubts on this Libya thing. There are things that just dont add up. First, one thing is defending the unarmed civilian populations. But what we have in Libya now is a civil war. There is a rebel army. So if we are going to take sides, at we should be honest and say we are supporting the rebel army against the government army, and not that defend unarmed civilian bullshit. Also, we should be consistent. Why arent we launching missiles against the Yemen govt forces and against the Saudi army?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Your choice: Obedient slaves in an army

Congress is not preparing to defend the people of the United States. It is planning to protect the capital of American speculators and investors.... Incidentally this preparation will benefit the manufacturers of munitions and war machines.... Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought! Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder! Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings! Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction! Be heroes in an army of construction!

-Helen Keller at Carnegie Hall January 5, 1916

CNBC's Larry Kudlow shows his colors

Larry Kudlow, the tea partier, conservative, GOP supporter that also hosts a show in that Republicorp promoter of irresponsible free market capitalism called CNBC, was very honest and spontaneous when giving his true thinking of the disasters in Japan: “The human toll here,” he declared, “looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that.”

I am really not surprised as I have known for a long time that GOP, conservatives, tea partiers just don't care about people.

Evan Bayh to trash Liberals at Faux News

Faux News signs former "Democratic" Senator Evan Bayh (a bluest of the blue dogs) as a Contributor. Evan Bayh wants to be president. And he wants to polish his conservative image by going to Faux News and trash Obama and Liberals. BTW, he is still mad Obama did not select him as VP.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nuclear energy lobbyists scramble

Nuclear energy lobbyists scramble on Capitol Hill. A truckload of money if flowing to politicians in order to keep the ranks closed amid Japan nuclear disaster. You can imagine this just like Qaddafi in Libya, who stays in power by paying mercenaries to eliminate the opposition and keep things under control. The nuclear energy industry pay their mercenaries and politicians to keep things under control.

AP: "Europe has to wake up from its Sleeping Beauty slumber about nuclear safety, Austria's Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich told reporters in Brussels"

The people in the US need to wake up from the same dream.

There is a difference between something that is safe (like walking) but that sometimes may become deadly and dangerous (like walking at night in a bad neighborhood), and something that is 100% deadly and dangerous (like a nuclear chain reaction) but that commercial and political interests want us to believe has been made safe because of the use of technology.

Nuclear plants are ticking time bombs, because nuclear plants are just the same nuclear reactions that destroyed Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl enclosed inside a man made structure. Structures that will always be vulnerable to everything you can think can destroy those structures.

Think about it and lets put our money in developing energy systems that won't kill people or the ecosystem.

Republican deficit math in WI

The state of Wisconsin went into a $137M deficit after GOP's Scott Walker gave $140M in breaks to the millionaires and special interests who funded his campaign. Now Scott Walker and the GOP pretend workers give up their salaries, benefits and worker's rights to fix the budget. Do the math about who should pay for the deficit problems in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin recall poll results

Here are the topline results for the Daily Kos / Public Policy Polling surveys of all eight Republican-held state Senate districts targeted for recall. The polls were conducted March 11th, 12th and 13th. Among other questions, each of the eight surveys tested a "generic Democrat" against the named Republican incumbent.

Democrats need to win three of these eight districts in order to regain a majority in the Wisconsin state Senate. As it happens, Democrats currently lead in three districts:

  • Senator Dan Kapanke trails a generic Democrat 55-41

  • Senator Randy Hopper trails 49-44

  • Senator Luther Olsen trails 49-47

In two other districts, incumbent Republicans are under 50%, and should face competitive elections:

  • Senator Rob Cowles leads 45-43

  • Senator Sheila Harsdorf leads 48-44

The Republican incumbent is favored in another district, but still isn't safe:

  • Senator Alberta Darling leads 52-44

Republicans are strongly favored in two deep red districts:

  • Senator Mary Lazich leads 56-34

  • Senator Glenn Grothman leads 60-32

All in all, Democrats have a solid chance to retake the Wisconsin state Senate through the recall elections. However, the task ahead of them is far from a slam dunk.

The polls had very small margins of error, due to an extremely strong survey response rate. Full analysis, survey results, crosstabs and data will be posted on Daily Kos at 11 a.m. eastern, Tuesday.

In solidarity,
Chris Bowers
Campaign Director, Daily Kos

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NYT: "The essential problem is the definition of “off” in a nuclear reactor. When the nuclear chain reaction is stopped and the reactor shuts down, the fuel is still producing about 6 percent as much heat as it did when it was running, caused by continuing radioactivity, the release of subatomic particles and of gamma rays.

Usually when a reactor is first shut down, an electric pump pulls heated water from the vessel to a heat exchanger, and cool water from a river or ocean is brought in to draw off that heat.

But at the Japanese reactors, after losing electric power, that system could not be used. Instead the operators are dumping seawater into the vessel and letting it cool the fuel by boiling. But as it boils, pressure rises too high to pump in more water, so they have to vent the vessel to the atmosphere, and feed in more water, a procedure known as “feed and bleed.”

When the fuel was intact, the steam they were releasing had only modest amounts of radioactive material
NYT: "as one senior official put it, “under the best scenarios, this isn’t going to end anytime soon.” "
NYT: "More steam releases also mean that the plume headed across the Pacific could continue to grow. On Sunday evening, the White House sought to tamp down concerns, saying that modeling done by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had concluded that “Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity.”

Which means that some radioactivity will be hitting the US. But our officials want us to believe that being exposed to radioactivity, that we are not supposed to will not be harmful. So cheers and be happy while your cells keep mutating.
NYT: "tens of thousands of people who have been evacuated may not be able to return to their homes for a considerable period, and that shifts in the wind could blow radioactive materials toward Japanese cities rather than out to sea"
NYT: "Pentagon officials reported Sunday that helicopters flying 60 miles from the plant picked up small amounts of radioactive particulates — still being analyzed, but presumed to include cesium-137 and iodine-121 — suggesting widening environmental contamination"
NYT: "Japanese reactor operators now have little choice but to periodically release radioactive steam as part of an emergency cooling process for the fuel of the stricken reactors that may continue for a year or more even after fission has stopped. The plant’s operator must constantly try to flood the reactors with seawater, then release the resulting radioactive steam into the atmosphere".

Take note as the nuclear energy industry will be pushing a big PR campaign very very soon.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nuclear power: Another GOP idea that mus

For all those who say that nuclear energy is a solution I always had one word for them, Chernobyl. Now it appears that unfortunately for those poor souls, Japan will join Chernobyl as another example why nuclear plants are just not an option. The technology may be advanced enough to keep the plant from killing millions under normal operational circumstances, but earthquakes can and will always happen everywhere. Not mentioning that disposing of the nuclear waste is as dangerous as the plant itself. If people are smart enough, they should support real clean and safe energy solutions like solar, geothermal, wind, etc. Time to dump the dirty lethal energy scheme that we currently have.

Fwd: BREAKING: Radiation Leaks After Exp

Reader Supported News | 12 March 11 AM

It's Live on the HomePage Now:
Reader Supported News

BREAKING: Radiation Leaks After Explosion at Japan Nuclear Plant
A large explosion has occurred at the Fukushima-Dalichi nuclear power plant in Japan, 03/12/11. (photo: AP)
Aidan Lewis, Victoria King, Peter Jackson and Joe Boyle, BBC News Live Coverage
BBC News reports, "A large explosion has occurred at the Fukushima-Daiichi - or Fukushima I - nuclear power plant in north- eastern Japan, close to the epicentre of Friday's earthquake. Officials fear a meltdown at one of the plant's reactors. Tens of thousands of people in the surrounding area have been urged to evacuate."

Keith Olbermann | And Good Night, American Nuclear Power
Keith Olbermann, FOK News Channel
Keith Olbermann writes, "This is not to minimize the horror or the suffering of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but for our purposes here the headline is a stark and inarguable one: Japanese Power Company Says It Has Lost Control Of Three Nuclear Plants. There is really very little else to say. The perfected, flawless, clean-operating, state-of-the-art, ideal future of energy has in 32 years given us Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and now the nightmare scenario of one company saying there is rising pressure at three of its nuclear facilities and it really doesn't have a damn thing it can do right now except tell everybody to run."

On the Brink of Meltdown: The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Robert Alvarez, Institute for Policy Studies
Robert Alvarez writes, "The devastating Japanese quake and its outcome could generate a political tsunami here in the United States. For instance, it may become impossible for the owners of the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon reactors to extend their operating licenses. These two California reactors are sitting in high seismic risk zones near earthquake faults. Each is designed to withstand a quake as great as 7.5 on the Richter scale. According to many seismologists, the probability of a major earthquake in the California coastal zone in the foreseeable future is a near certainty. The US Geological Survey reports the largest registering 8.3 on the Richter scale devastated San Francisco in 1906."

PETITION: I Stand in Solidarity With the Workers of Wisconsin
Reader Supported News Petition
Reader Supported News has launched a petition for those who stand with the workers of Wisconsin: "I Stand in Solidarity With the Workers of Wisconsin." Sign it and pass it on.

RSN Special Coverage: GOP's War on American Labor
Reader Supported News
Some call it labor's swan song, others call it labor's wake-up call. Right now it's a grassfire spreading across the upper Midwest, and RSN is staying on it.

Fwd: Bigger than Wisconsin

DFA Member - 

Karl Rove announced that he would spend $750,000 in corporate money bashing unions and supporting Governor Walker and the Wisconsin Republicans.

Well, we flipped that on its head -- smashing Karl Rove with people-power.

As Politico reported, Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee "have raised $750,000...for a television campaign against GOP state senators." We're now aiming to raise a million for ads statewide and in the districts of Republicans who are up for recall.

Can you help us outspend Karl Rove and make sure every Wisconsinite knows about the Republican war on working families? Click here to see the ad and donate $5..

Our ad, combined with activism on the ground, is working. Every poll shows that public opinion is on our side and consistently moving even more in our direction.

Republicans will soon be facing recall campaigns across the state. It's never been more important for us to make sure that Wisconsinites fully know what just happened: Republicans have declared war on working families. Our ad features the eloquent voices of Wisconsinites who make that case.

See the T.V. Ad and contribute $14 right now to keep it on the air.

This fight is bigger than Wisconsin. It's Ohio and New Jersey. It's nationwide.

What happens here -- what happens now -- will have an impact on the Presidential race in 2012 and beyond.

We're fighting back and will never give them an inch. And thanks to members like you, and DFA members nationwide, this is a war we're going to win.


Charles Chamberlain, Political Director
Democracy for America

Democracy for America relies on you and the people-power of more than one million members to fund the grassroots organizing and training that delivers progressive change on the issues that matter. Please Contribute Today and support our mission.

Workers in WI need to stay on the street

Koch puppets in Wisconsin are hoping for two things: 1) workers just forget and be back to business as usual. 2) with the help of Koch billion$ they can confuse the people & pretty much buy public opinion. 

Workers need to keep reminding everyone that the rights and salary levels for all workers, public & private, start and end with the rights and salary levels of union employees. Rights in the workplace exist b/c unionized workers fought and won those rights for all of us. Salary and benefit levels are higher, because union bargaining for better wages and benefits impact all surveys and benchmarks private companies use to determine salary and benefit levels for non union employees. 

Koch, the unAmerican Chamber of Commerce & greedy corporations & billionaires are funding Scott Walker, the GOP and their union busting campaign for 2 simple reason: 1) the less salary and benefits they can give workers, more remains for their pockets. 2) the weaker the worker movement is, easier to elect Republicans who will continue trickle down economic policies. Shifting our tax money to corporations under the argument they would create economic activity. No matter studies have shown that per $1 in tax cuts rich and corporations receive, only 30 cents are created in economic activity. In other words, it's all about pocketing 70% of each dollar given to them, which they did so brilliantly during the GOP BUSH Recession, and plan to keep doing forever. 

This is what Wisconsin is all about. Money for corporations and billionaires, political power for Republicans, and the short end of the bargain for you and me.  Workers need to not only continue recalling Republicans in WI, but also need to stay on the streets. Let Scott Walker and the GOP know that the toughest fight is yet to come and their days in power are over.