Monday, January 26, 2009

The To Do List Today Is Growing By The Minute: Eric Holder At The Top! And Check Out Iraq And Afghanistan Issues Here.

The To Do List Today Is Growing By The Minute: Eric Holder At The Top!

And Check Out Iraq And Afghanistan Issues Here.



"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!"

- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) –



Commandant Says U.S. Marines Can Pull Out of Iraq Within Months

Marine Corps Commandant James Conway believes the time is right to pull the force of roughly 23,000 Marines out of Iraq, a task he estimated could be done in months. "We've been steadily removing equipment from theater on a not-as-needed basis and we've been fairly successful doing that," the four-star general said. "So, the timeline, we think today, is down to six to eight months to get the rest of our equipment out of Iraq." (

Wake Up Obama: Afghanistan is No Threat to America

Mon, 01/26/2009 - 15:31 — dlindorff

American foreign policy is moving from the absurd to the ludicrous.

Back in 2002, President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney managed to snooker the people of the United States, or at least a large number of us, into believing that Iraq, a pathetic Third World country ruled by a corrupt tin-pot dictator, was a grave danger to America, akin to Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1940. We learned how absurd that claim was when two hundred thousand American troops backed by the mightiest air force the world has ever seen, slammed into the country in March, 2003, and the Iraqi military simply folded up, and the Saddam regime along with it.



The Way Forward on Holding the Bush/Cheney Administration Accountable

Fri, 01/23/2009 - 19:17 — dlindorff

As someone who has spent nearly three frustrating years actively advocating the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their many crimes and abuses of power, I have to admit that not only did it not happen, but that the likelihood of their being indicted and brought to trial now that they have left office is exceedingly slim.


Camus Cafe Political Coffee House: It Seems Like The Question Is ...
By Ed. Dickau 
Posted by EdDickau at 7:49 AM. Labels: Questions Answers Obama Economy Gaza ImpeachmentInvestigations Prosecutions War Crimes · Older Post Home. Fair Use Notice: This blog may contain copyrighted material. ...
Camus Cafe Political Coffee House -


What is the Obama promise? Pt. ½ The Real News network

People at the inauguration say what Obama has to do to live up to his promises


The cult of the Presidency Pt.1/2 The Real News network

Matt Welch: How will George W. Bush’s concept of the "unitary executive" play out under Barack Obama?



Top Myths About Closing Guantanamo
Think Progress - Washington,DC,USA
Rod Blagojevich's (D) impeachment trial --which he claims is "rigged" -- is set to begin today. TEXAS: "Lobbyists have spent at least $12.8 million in the ...See all stories on this topic

The confirmation of President Obama's choice for U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, is being held up by Senator Arlen Specter and others.

Please call Senator Specter's office and voice your disapproval. Ask the Senator to release his hold on the confirmation of Mr. Holder.

Washington, D.C. Office: 711 Hart Senate Office Building,
District of Columbia 20510-3802
Phone: (202) 224-4254
Fax: (202) 228-1229

  • Philadelphia (215) 597-7200
  • Pittsburgh (412) 644-3400
  • Harrisburg (717) 782-3951
  • Scranton (570) 346-2006
  • Allentown (610) 434-1444
  • Erie (814) 453-3010
  • Wilkes Barre (570) 826 6265

As you know, there is much work to be done by the next Attorney General in investigating the firing of the U.S. Attorneys and Karl Rove's involvement in my prosecution. The new Attorney General will be able to facilitate the House Judiciary Committee's investigation of the use of the Department of Justice as a political weapon and those who abused their power.

Also, please urge your delegation to support a full investigation into all of the abuses of power of the Bush Administration.

Tell Congress we cannot let the wrong doings of the past Administration be swept under the rug.

Demand action! Tell Congress to keep digging for the truth!

Thank you so much for all you've done!


Don Siegelman
Governor of Alabama 1999-2003


Dear Ed.,

I'm writing to you now to let you know about my friend and President Obama's nominee for Attorney General, Eric Holder.

Eric Holder is a man of unique integrity, as committed to liberty, the rule of law and our constitutional rights as anyone I know. He has enormous experience pursuing justice as a Superior Court Judge, a U.S. Attorney and as Deputy Attorney General for the United States. He has worked with people on both sides of the political aisle. That's why I'm so angry that Republicans in the Senate have chosen to make him a target.

And it's why I am asking you to join me in making a donation to People For the American Way today to help them rebuke the partisan attacks on Eric Holder and ensure his speedy confirmation. 

After you donate, please make sure to sign the Confirm Holder petition if you have not yet added your name.

President Obama made an excellent choice when he nominated Eric Holder for Attorney General. I am fearful that this Republican opposition is really about pushing back on the Obama administration and testing the waters for future judicial confirmation fights. This is typical Washington partisan politics at a time when our nation needs to join together to solve the crises confronting America. Disturbingly, a good man is caught in the middle of these partisan tactics, someone who will be an excellent Attorney General for all Americans. 

I've supported People For the American Way for years, for their steadfast defense of the First Amendment and their effectiveness in advocating progressive values in Washington. I'm glad it's People For who has taken up this fight. 

But they need your help and your support. People For the American Way is generating grassroots pressure on senators from their home state constituents, leading efforts to get our message out in the media (and doing a fabulous job) and even mobilizing activists in Washington to physically show up for the hearings and the vote on the nomination. 

Be part history. Reject Republicans' partisan obstruction and help give all Americans an Attorney General who will fight for them. 

Please join me in supporting this work. 

Thank you. 


Barbra Streisand 

P.S. We can't let Republican delays deny the American people the Attorney General they deserve. Please support People For's campaign to confirm Eric Holder with a gift right now.


Call Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Toll-Free NOW:
Urge Support for U.S. Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder
Call toll-free anytime between today and Wednesday, January 28


Take Action Now:

Call members of the Senate Judiciary Committee toll-free at 866-346-7779 and urge them to support U.S. Attorney General nominee Eric Holder.

This Wednesday, January 28, the Senate Judiciary Committee will likely vote on Eric Holder’s nomination for U.S. Attorney General – our nation’s highest law enforcement officer.


Call the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) 
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) 
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) 
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) 
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Sen. Edward Kaufman (D-Del.)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) 
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)


Eric Holder has proven his reputation as a fair-minded, tough and aggressive foe of political corruption. Additionally, Holder’s record of service on behalf of the American people, as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and as Deputy Attorney General, demonstrates he is the right candidate to lead the Justice Department.


Eric Holder’s confirmation will allow the Justice Department to return to its mission: diligent, vigorous enforcement of the law and protection of the rights of all Americans, regardless of political affiliation or ideology. 


Holder’s record of impartiality and independence will restore credibility to the Justice Department by ensuring that the rights of people are more important than partisanship.

After last week's delay, the Senate Judiciary Committee must vote to confirm Holder on January 28. The rebuilding of the Justice Department must begin now. Call members of the Senate Judiciary Committee toll-free at 866-346-7779 and urge them to confirm U.S. Attorney General nominee Eric Holder.

Learn more about Eric Holder's nomination.




In the next few days Congress is going to vote on the economic recovery package that everyone's been talking about for the last two months.

For the environment, the big question remains: Will Congress vote to create a stronger, more sustainable economy by investing in green jobs and a green economic recovery?

The answer: Not without your action this week.


Dear ed.,


This week is Voting Rights week!



Several DC4D members (Hugh Broadus, Kim Elliott, Nooshin Mahalia, Susan Meehan, and Mary Beth Tinker, among others) have been collecting signed postcards to deliver to President Obama about the DC House Voting Rights Act.  We are delivering them today to DCVote.  If you haven't signed a postcard yet, it's not too late.  You can sign a virtual postcard at DCVote's website (  Please forward this link to your friends, both in DC and anywhere in the country or world.


TUESDAY JANUARY 27TH 10AM: HOUSE HEARING (plan to be there early to get a seat with us)!

House Judiciary Committee Hearing: DC Voting Rights Act, which will give DC a true vote in the People's House!

Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2141

Help pack the room with voting rights supporters.  Wear your DCVote t-shirts, buttons, etc.



As a DCVote coalition member, DC4D has adopted 5 new House members to brief on the DC Voting Rights Act, and we will visit their offices this Wednesday.  Following this, we will join DCVote in a full scale Lobby Day on the Hill in February.  If you would like to participate in either event, or simply would like to join our Voting Rights & Democracy Committee, chaired by Karen Rose, please email us at


Best Regards,

Kesh Ladduwahetty





This morning, President Barack Obama signed two executive orders that could be remembered as the critical turning point toward achieving real energy independence and stopping global warming.


President Obama directed the EPA to review the Bush administration's denial of a waiver request by California to cut global warming pollution from automobiles. The president also ordered the Transportation Department to enact short-term rules on how automakers can improve the fuel efficiency of their new models.


Politically, what President Obama said was at least as important as what he signed.


The President's powerful statement affirming his commitment to moving aggressively to cut global warming emissions and unleash America's clean energy future laid out clear goals for action in the coming weeks and months.


The President's plan—including the next step of a cap on carbon pollution—means more new jobs, a rebirth for the American auto industry, and less global warming pollution.


If today's announcement is the start of a comprehensive policy like that, I'd say that's pretty darn good for the first week in office.


I was deeply honored to be among those who attended the White House ceremony and witness history in the making. And, I couldn't help but think that this is what change looks like.


For more on today's news, here's a good article from the Washington Post.


And, please feel free to offer your own comments on our Green Room blog.


We'll keep you posted as we continue our efforts to support President Obama's goal of capping and reducing America's global warming pollution.


Thanks for everything you help make possible,

David Yarnold
Executive Director
Environmental Defense Fund




Bud Cramer takes job with lobbying firm - Breaking News from The ...
In the statement Cramer said he was excited about joining Wexler and Walker. "I thought long and hard about where I could best use the policy expertise I've developed in Congress, and I concluded the team at Wexler and Walker was the ...
Breaking News from The Birmingham... -


Griffith: Can't cut missile tests


Saturday, January 24, 2009


Times Staff Writer


He says Congress grasps importance of defense work.


There is recognition in Washington that missile defense programs are vital to national security as other countries and groups continue testing and buying new weapons, U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith said, and that will help protect work in Huntsville as budgets are affected by the economic crisis.


"In the world we are living in today, our defense of our country and of our friends and producing the weaponry and missile defense capabilities have never been more important," he said. "Every time we hear or see Iran test a missile, Huntsville, Alabama, becomes more important."


In his first trip home since being sworn in Jan. 6, the freshman Democratic congressman met Friday morning with local leaders from Boeing, Northrop Grumman and other companies.


"There's a lot of anxiety about what attitude the new administration may take toward missile defense and the military in general," Griffith said. "But we are hearing a lot of positive comments, both from our industry groups and our administration."


He said campaign rhetoric appears yielding to the hard-core reality of what the world is like. So far, he has found Republicans and Democrats cooperative and supportive, at least when it comes to protecting the nation.


The 2009 defense budget is pretty much set, Griffith said. He and other representatives - including members of a bipartisan Missile Defense Caucus - will work to establish missile defense as part of the foundation of what is most important to the United States in future budgets.


"We've got a lot of people in Congress who think just like we do," he said. "My job is to bring them together, bring them to Huntsville, show them what is here if they haven't already been here, and convince them that we're on the right track."


Because of the tough economy, some people may call to "slow down" spending on these programs and focus elsewhere, but that is a dangerous attitude, he said.


"When you're in the missile defense arena ... you really can't slow down your research and development. You really can't slow down your testing," Griffith said. "You really have to have a consistent budgetary process that doesn't wax and wane, so to speak, so that our military and our companies can count on it every year."


What message did missile defense leaders want Griffith to carry back to Capitol Hill? That our nation will be challenged by growing missile and weapon programs in China and Russia, by radical Islam in the Middle East, and by threats elsewhere.


"That we're prepared to meet those challenges, but we must emphasize research and development," he said. "And we must emphasize education, particularly education in the sciences and mathematics."


Otherwise, the United States won't continue be the dominant force in space, militarily and technologically.


"We know we're in a huge financial crisis," he said. "But we also recognize the fact that it's going to be temporary. It may last two years, it may last three years, but we're going to work our way out of that.


"At the same time, we can't take our eye off of how important research and development" are to our security and future, Griffith said. "So we're going to do both. We're going to get ourselves out of this financial crisis and we're going to maintain a strong military."


Editorial: Congress Must Stop the Stimulus  (Calling All Squirrels!)


The $825 billion economic “stimulus” plan now being proposed by President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats could well result in a federal deficit in excess of $2 trillion for 2009. Which means that it is now up to Senate and House Republicans to make certain that the American people are not consigned to a future of permanent serfdom to foreign creditors.


That is, if those creditors will continue to even service the national debt, now totaling nearly $10.7 trillion. That includes $4.3 trillion “owed to ourselves” in the form of Social Security, Medicare, and other obligations. And even more ominously, it also includes $6.4 trillion held privately, $3 trillion of which is held overseas, as reported by the Washington Post on January 3rd. Significantly, 40 percent of the debt held privately is coming due this year, and the only way for the government to pay it is to borrow yet more money.


The Post’s article warns that “foreign investors, the largest U.S. creditors, may prove unable to absorb the skyrocketing debt…” And in the January 23rd edition of the Wall Street Journal Euro Pacific Capital president Peter Schiff writes that in order to continue to service the nation’s debt, “our creditors must give up all hope of accessing the principal, and may be compensated only by the paltry 2%-3% yield our bonds currently deliver.”


Assuming that this curious status quo will not long be allowed to stand, it is high time for Congressional Republicans to, in the very least, construct a comprehensive alternative to begging foreign powers—including China, currently the nation’s largest individual creditor—to pay for America’s unsustainable year-to-year expenditures.


This will not be easy. Confidence will not be restored to overseas markets if those markets come to believe that the United States cannot even afford to fund its own gargantuan financial obligations. House Republicans report that they share this fear. But that is not enough. Particularly when President Obama’s response to their concerns was an off-handed, “I won.” The critical error by the President and Congress is in assessing the current crisis as some sort of shortage of money in the economy—hence the need for “stimulus”—and not the astronomical debt of government that is burying the nation in financial ruin.


In truth, there is no money shortage. Quite the opposite: The monetary base has never been larger according to the Fed, and has more than doubled since September. Government spending has never been higher. The debt has never been deeper. And if Congress does not act, taxes will automatically increase by 2010. Congressional Republicans must present a plan that reduces and eventually seeks to eliminate the national debt, slashes spending, and provides permanent tax relief to the American people—before it is too late.


The basic goals of the pork-laden $825 billion package, clearly stated from the legislation itself, are “job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization…” Put simply, these are not the fundamental problems with the economy that need fixing. As talk radio host Mark Levin notes on his program every evening, it is the giant, gaping hole in the economy that comes in the form unfunded debt obligations that lead, over time, to higher taxes and higher interest rates on the American people. And should the nation’s foreign creditors prove unable to continue servicing that debt, it may well lead to hyperinflation that would make the happy printers of the Weimar Republic blush.


So, now, Congressional Republicans must stop the madness. And they can begin by stopping the “stimulus.” They must stick together and permanently discard the notion that government must “do something” in order to validate their political authority. Otherwise they will be complicit in shackling the American taxpayer to a mountain of foreign debt, that the creditors could call in at any time. Going along with the Democratic alternative will result in a government-run, make-work society, whose currency is thoroughly devalued—and whose foreign creditors look upon the U.S. as little more than a bare-bones carcass from which to pick the final strands off molding flesh.


WASHINGTON - Leading Republicans yesterday said they were unlikely to support President Obama's economic stimulus package in its current form, girding their party to confront the popular new president on a major, early initiative he had hoped would pass with broad, bipartisan support.


"Right now, given the concerns that we have over the size of this package and all of the spending in this package, we don't think it's going to work," the House minority leader, John Boehner, said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "And so, if it's the plan that I see today, put me down in the 'no' column."


A vote could come in the House on Wednesday, and the measure is expected to pass, but if the vote were to fall largely along party lines it would be an early setback to Obama's pledge to bring a new consensus to governing.


Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden portrayed the legislation as already a bipartisan compromise that he said would earn a "fairly strong vote across the board."


"If you notice, roughly 40 percent of this entire package is tax cuts," Biden said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "That's not what the Democrats wanted. And 60 percent of it is spending, economic stimulus. That's not what the Republicans wanted. But we've come a pretty long way already. So there will be, I'm sure, more compromise."


Over the last week, some Republicans have intensified their criticism of the $825 billion package as too big, too slow, and too wasteful to pull the country out of recession.


"There should be an endpoint to all of this spending - say, two years," Senator John McCain, the party's 2008 presidential nominee, said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." He vowed to vote against the bill in its current form.


"We need to have a commitment that after a couple of quarters of GDP growth, we will embark on a path to reduce spending . . . to get our budget in balance," McCain said.


With diminished minorities in both chambers, Republicans are unlikely to find the votes to block the bill. In the House, there are enough Democrats to pass it without any additional support. In the Senate, Republicans could derail the bill, but only if united; two Republicans crossing over to support Obama would allow Democratic leaders to thwart a filibuster.


"Most of the Republican caucus has acquiesced to the political reality that the stimulus is going to happen," said strategist Phil Musser, who has advised Republicans in both the House and Senate. "The question is how much political support it's going to happen with."


In a speech on Friday, the Senate's Republican leader sounded less inclined than his House counterpart to marshal forces in opposition to the stimulus bill even as he pushed for his party's voice to be heard on the matter. Continued...

Has the “Dream” Been Realized? |  And What Is The Dream We Really Need?


Dear Ed,

The fate of the historic wilderness legislation that you've fought hard to gain is about to be decided.


On Jan. 15, the Senate passed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act that will designate over two million acres of wilderness in nine states, create a new 26 million acre National Landscape Conservation System, protect over a thousand miles of free-flowing rivers, and establish four new national conservation areas.


Now the measure heads to the House of Representatives where we are expecting a vote within weeks.


The vote could be very close. And, if the House makes any changes to the legislation, the bill would be sent back to the Senate where it could again be stalled by a lengthy filibuster.


Help us get this legislation to the President's desk quickly.


The legislation would protect special places in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, Virginia's Jefferson National Forest, and on Oregon's Mount Hood. If passed, it would be the largest expansion of wilderness in fifteen years, providing permanent protection for spectacular landscapes across America.


It is essential that the House passes the bill without any amendments. Please urge your Representative to support the landmark Omnibus Public Lands Management Act without amendment.


Best wishes,

Kathy Kilmer
The Wilderness Society


This Land Really IS Made for You and Me

Tue, 01/20/2009 - 14:37 — dlindorff

Maybe symbolism is just symbolism, but the optimist in me says that Barack Obama's invitation to former Communist and life-long political activist Pete Seeger (along with Bruce Springstein and 89-year-old Pete's full-throated grandson Tao) to sing Woody Guthrie's anthem This Land is Your Land, and the fact that the once blacklisted folk legend chose to do not just the feel-good, approved-for-public-school-music-class-use verses, but all the verses, including Woody's long-censored "commie" verses, and that Obama was right there singing those verses along with the rest of the million people on the Mall, has to mean something.


Now, of course, we need to see if there is more to this than just a change in the Washington soundtrack. A good test of Obama's real intentions will be to see if his new administration presses forward with winning passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would finally give workers a decent chance at winning union representation in the workplace. Maybe Woody's old song needs a new verse:


The boss where I'm working is anti-union,
He fires our members, and fights elections.
But with Free Choice we'll defeat his harassment
And win the union contract we all need.


Here, meanwhile, is the song as Woody wrote it, and as Pete sang it on the National Mall yesterday:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me


I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me


The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me


There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn't say nothing;
That side was made for you and me.


In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there whistling
Is this land made for you and me?


Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

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