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Elections: What Are They Good For?

By David Swanson, Remarks at Left Forum

I think two opposing trends have been at work in U.S. history. One is that of allowing more people to vote. This is an ongoing struggle, of course, but in some significant sense we've allowed poor people and women and non-white people and young people to vote. The other trend, which has really developed more recently, is that we've made voting less and less meaningful. Of course it was never as meaningful as many people imagine. But we've legalized bribery, we've banished third parties and independents, we've gerrymandered most Congressional districts into meaningless general elections and left one party or the other to exercise great influence over any primary. Rarely does any incumbent lose, and rarely does a candidate without the most money win. Extremely rare is a winning candidate who lacks some major financial backing. Rarer still is a candidate who even promises to pursue majority positions on most major issues, or who convincingly commits to following the will of the public over the will of the party. Most Congress members are pawns in a government with two partisan voices, not the voices of 535 individual representatives and senators. Rare, as well, is any possibility in a close primary or general election of verifying the accuracy of a vote count.

Afghanistan: The Wheels Are Coming Off

 

By John Grant

 

When does a determination to look on the bright side turn into a state of denial? That is, when do leaders of a secrecy-obsessed US government admit the decision-making surrounding the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan was misguided from the beginning and the endgame is a mess because of it?

While the leadership of America is mud-wrestling with itself in the election "silly season," the nation is watching the wheels come off its military occupation of Afghanistan. It feels like that special effects TV ad for a new SUV in which, as the SUV speeds forward, thousands of its parts magically come flinging loose until we see nothing but the truck chassis speeding ahead.

The Peace Movement Needs Kucinich, With or Without Congress

If Congressman Dennis Kucinich becomes simply Dennis Kucinich sans the "Congressman" his value to the peace movement need not diminish. 

I admit it's been nice having someone in Congress who would say and do what he would.  There have been and remain other relatively strong voices for peace, but none as strong as Kucinich's.  His resolutions have forced the debates.  His bills have changed the conversation.  His questioning of witnesses has afflicted the comfortable while seeking to comfort the afflicted.  Perhaps Congressman Norman Solomon will pick up the baton.  Time will tell.

Putin Wins

  Putin Wins

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Pre-election polls predicted around a 60% majority. Final results show Putin won 63.6% of the vote. He got a clear third term mandate. In 2004, he won 71%.

 

Five candidates contended:

 

Last Chance to Help Dennis Kucinich

We need his voice in Congress

Dear Friends,

This is your last chance to help Dennis Kucinich win his tough primary fight.

The election is Tuesday.

If you want to help one of our truly great progressive members of Congress, you need to act now.

Click here to donate to the Kucinich campaign. Any amount helps!

I know you remember when Dennis stood up as that first brave and prophetic voice against the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq.

I know you remember when he brought articles of impeachment to the House floor, a lonely progressive, trying to defend the Constitution against the illegal and immoral acts of the Bush/Cheney crowd.

I know you remember when he was the last member of Congress publicly defending single-payer health care for all.

I know you remember when he was one of the few who voted "no" on the original Patriot Act. Remember why? He read it.

And I know you understand that Dennis is still fighting these battles today, one of the few still standing up to prevent the deja vu of an attack on Iran, under the same false pretenses as the attack on Iraq a decade ago.

No one else has a record of leading the progressive struggles we care about like Dennis Kucinich. Shouldn't we be doing everything we can to keep him in Congress?

Think of how much we will miss him next year, if Dennis is not there to hold the warmongers accountable, to raise his passionate and intelligent voice for peace, to keep pressing for Medicare for All.

Click here to make a last-minute donation to Dennis. We need him back in Washington!

Then pass this email on to all your lists, call your friends in northwest Ohio, to make sure they vote for Dennis on Tuesday.

Dennis Kucinich helped PDA get off the ground back in the summer of 2004. With your help, we can keep working together for a better nation.

Thanks for all you do,


Tim Carpenter & Steve Cobble of PDA

Last chance--donate to Dennis now. The election in Ohio is Tuesday!

Paid for by Progressive Democrats of America (http://www.pdamerica.org)
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee

Electoral Politics in America

  Electoral Politics in America 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He said, she said, who's ahead, who's behind discourse dominates political reporting. As a result, issues go unaddressed. People are left uninformed in the dark. Media scoundrels focus on popularity, not competence, and what readers and viewers most need to know.

 

Israel Lobby Beats the Drums For War

 

By John Grant

 

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (or AIPAC) is having its three-day annual meeting in Washington DC beginning Sunday March 4th. AIPAC is arriving in an atmosphere of beating war drums and rattling sabers against Iran.

Israel preemptively starting a war with Iran would be bad enough, but the assumption that the United States will be part of that war should be very disturbing to Americans -- who are just getting over one misguided, costly war in Iraq and are still involved in another in Afghanistan.

End of Yearning

 

By Gary Lindorff

 

Yearning for this or that impossible thing,

I started to become indifferent,

Which was for the best. . . 

But,

Stubborn as I was proud,

I still wanted them to stop

What they were doing in my name.

I wanted them to listen to my stewing.

All I got was bad dreams.

So I gave my conscience an ultimatum:

...

 

Vote for Norman Solomon

By Jeff Cohen

. . .even if you don’t live in his California North Coast district. TELL FRIENDS they can vote, too. (It’s legal, NOT Chicago ballot stuffing!)

Norman came in 3rd out of 200 liberal/progressive Congressional candidates nationwide in the first round of the online ‘Grassroots All-Star’ straw poll.

If you VOTE FOR NORMAN (it takes 3 seconds) in the final round of voting among the 10 finalists, you help him get access to grassroots $$ and volunteers.  Vote here: http://grassrootsallstars.com/norman-solomon

Norman has built one of the biggest grassroots campaigns ever.  If sent to D.C. in November, Norman will function as "America's Congress member" -- an advocate for all of us committed to peace and justice.

BARBARA EHRENREICH said this:   I strongly endorse Norman Solomon for Congress. I’ve followed his activism and advocacy for years – voters can trust that he is a historical progressive, not a rhetorical one. Norman is a fighter for women’s rights who understands class in America and how our country’s “social safety net” now resembles a greased chute. He would never take money from Walmart or any corporation. To turn our country around, we need independent progressive Democrats like Norman Solomon in Congress, not business-as-usual Democrats.

Donate directly to Solomon for Congress. Norman’s website.

Jill Stein Answers the "Are You Afraid of Romney?" Question in the New York Times

From the NY Times:

Q. What do you think of Mitt Romney?

A. He responds to his electorate. When he’s running in Salt Lake, he’s anti-abortion. When he’s running in Massachusetts, he’s pro-abortion. He responds to his electorate, broadly, except that he remains basically pro-business in a very narrow sense of the word — that is a pro-one-percent big, corporate multinational business. You know what, that’s not so different from the way Larry Summers and Tim Geithner are running the country under Barack Obama. When our governorship changed from Mitt Romney and it went directly to Deval Patrick, who is another poster child for progressive Democrats, no difference. Nothing detectable. Nothing changed in Massachusetts whatsoever.

Progressives Nationally Boost Kucinich Campaign

Progressive activist leaders around the country are throwing their support behind Congressman Dennis Kucinich's bid for reelection in a race in which redistricting has pitted two Democratic incumbents, Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur, against each other.

A statement released Tuesday by Progressive Democrats of America was signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Mimi Kennedy, Medea Benjamin, Norman Solomon, Tim Carpenter, Andrea Miller, Tom Hayden, Jodie Evans, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Ray McGovern, David Swanson, Carolyn Eisenberg, Steve Cobble, Jeff Cohen, Sandy Davies, Mike Ferner, and David Shreve. It read in part:

Rocky Anderson's Plan for the USA

The Strategic Plan for the United States of America

By Rocky Anderson

Introduction:  All Presidential candidates must be able to articulate a clear vision for our country.  The vision is a statement (or a collection of statements) that describe the country we want to have and that, with the right leadership, the country we can have.  I believe that, over the past generation or so, our leaders have made many very important strategic decisions that have resulted in much harm to our country and, in some cases, to our world.  My Vision for the United States of America – still the greatest country the world has ever known – encompasses what I believe are fundamental principles and priorities, including the rights and freedoms of our citizens; how we should treat one another (not just fellow U.S. citizens, but citizens of our world); the proper role of our government and of our leaders; the basic values we as a nation, and as individuals within our nation, should have; the need to better educate and guide our youth, and to care for our youth and other people of our country who cannot care for themselves; the benefits of working hard, earning our place in this world, saving for the future, and protecting our resources for future generations; maintaining a strong defense and using it only to preserve peace; and improving the lives of all of our people, not just a chosen few.  I have articulated my Vision for our country in more detail below.

 My Vision [the nation we want to have] for the United States of America is:

A nation which, first and foremost, respects all people, within and outside our borders, irrespective of ethnicity, race, religious affiliation (or not), sexual orientation, and economic status, and which embraces diversity and accepts and celebrates (not simply tolerates) our differences.

A nation that values and promotes the freedom of its people and the freedom of people everywhere.

A nation that understands that the rights of the individual must be protected, so that each individual is able to pursue his/her own life and goals without arbitrary or coercive hindrance from others.

A nation that understands the sanctity of human life and which recognizes that, as long as an individual is alive, that individual has the opportunity to contribute to our world and to live with dignity and self-respect.

A nation which understands we are all in this life together and, therefore, accepts differences of opinion and teaches acceptance and compromise.

A nation that encourages and allows each of us to capitalize on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses.

A nation that cultivates in its citizenry a drive and desire not only to care for oneself, but also to proactively care for those in need – in our communities, in our nation, and in our world.

A nation that recognizes that its greatest hope for the future is its youth and which, therefore, places extraordinary value on education for and cultivation of its young people.

A nation that values education, hard work, entrepreneurialism, dedication, and passion, and which strives to ensure that, if we are educated and work hard, we will create a sustainable and robust economy, and each of us will have the opportunity to build  meaningful economic security, achieve our dreams, and live meaningful, fulfilled lives.

A nation that understands that a healthy citizenry is a much happier and productive citizenry and that government plays an important role in promoting health and fitness.

A nation that understands we are stewards of our world, that sustainable policies and practices are required to preserve resources for future generations, and that we have an obligation to leave our world better than we found it.

A nation that maintains a strong military capability balanced with robust diplomatic and intelligence capabilities, and is firm but fair in its dealings with transgressors against our safety and the safety of our world, but which never uses its superior capabilities to oppress other nations, groups, or individuals or to engage in a war of aggression.

A nation that values peace within and outside our borders, and which will not allow economic interests to overshadow our nation’s and our world’s right to and need for peace.

A nation that understands and appreciates the fundamental values and principles contained in our Constitution (including the Bill of Rights and other amendments), and which seeks to adhere to those values and principles for the benefit and betterment of all of our citizens.

A nation that understands the value of the three co-equal branches of government and our constitutional system of checks and balances, and which will not tolerate the erosion or usurpation of the powers and prerogatives of any one branch or branches of government.

A nation that values the rule of law for all of its citizens, regardless of status and wealth, and which abides by its agreements with and obligations to other nations.

A nation whose leaders understand that their jobs are to work relentlessly and exclusively to improve the condition of our people, and not to succumb to the demands and influence of special interests; and that in our leaders we have placed our trust, and it is their highest calling in life to fulfill that trust and to never breach it.

A nation where the role of government is neither to be paternal or intrusive in the lives of its citizens nor to ignore (i) the needs of those among us who are unable to care for themselves, or (ii) the challenging characteristics of human nature (e.g., greed and selfishness); rather, where the role is to assist its citizens in achieving their potential.

Our Mission [which is how to achieve our Vision, i.e., to obtain the nation we want] is to:

  • support and adhere to the fundamental values and principles contained in the Constitution;
  • promote a capitalistic economy, limited by reasonable regulatory constraints;
  • live within our means (except as war, catastrophe, or impending economic collapse may require);
  • operate an efficient, effective, and transparent government;
  • operate a government that meets the needs of its people, including their health, education, environment, and well being; and
  • restrict the influence of money, particularly from the corporate sector and other sources of concentrated wealth, on legislation and government policies.

Our Core Values [which are the principles we adhere to in carrying out our Mission] are to:

  • Treat all people, including those of future generations, with respect;
  • Always act with integrity, i.e., always take the high moral road and do the right thing;
  • Communicate fully and transparently (except when absolutely necessary to maintain secrecy to protect our national interest);
  • Listen first, understand other perspectives, then respond;
  • Be a consensus builder, domestically and internationally;
  • Make decisions based on facts;
  • Respect the fundamental values and principles contained in the Constitution; and
  • Respect and uphold the rule of law.

If this is an America you wish to be realized, please share, and get involved with the campaign today!

Kucinich v Kaptur

The Election We Should Be Following

For progressives and populists around the country who take an interest in Congressional races there are always a few good challengers we might hope to send to Washington.  Incumbents, we assume, can take care of themselves. 

But in Northern Ohio, redistricting has thrown two incumbents into one district.  It's a heavily Democratic district created purposely to guarantee a number of other districts to Republicans.  The incumbents are both Democrats, both white, both 65, and many imagine that they do similar work in Washington.  In fact, they could not be more different.  One of them does tremendous good for our national politics, working to move our government in a better direction from inside it, just as the rest of us do from the outside.  We cannot afford to lose him.  We would be obliged to work for his reelection even if his opponent were far above average.  The record suggests something else.

A useful example to highlight the contrast between Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is found in the funding of wars.  Between 2001 and 2009, Congresswoman Kaptur voted for $545 billion in war funding, voting Yes over and over again for Bush's wars.  Congressman Dennis Kucinich voted for a total of $17 billion. (See the chart below.) 

In the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, Kucinich's was the clearest voice against it.  He circulated evidence of war lies to his colleagues.  He organized many of them to vote No with him.  Kaptur, too, voted No on the authorization.

But once the war had started, many Congress members, including Kaptur, turned around and voted to fund its continuation and escalation, year after year, even as the public turned more and more strongly against the war.  While Kucinich was working to impeach Bush and Cheney, Kaptur was voting to fund their wars.  While Kucinich was advancing resolutions to shift the debate toward ending wars and preventing new ones, Kaptur was claiming wars made us safer and reciting "support the troops" rhetoric, as though what veterans need most is the creation of more injured veterans. 

This distinction matters more than ever as the prospect of a war on Iran looms larger.  Kaptur wants NASA and the Pentagon to work together more closely, while Kucinich opposes the militarization of space.  Kaptur seems to believe the military industrial complex is a beneficial jobs program, whereas Kucinich seems to believe it is what Eisenhower said it would be.

Congresswoman Kaptur has been spending a lot of money on television ads in hopes of defeating Kucinich in the upcoming primary.  Where does her money come from?  Well, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org), in the current election cycle, she gets 77% of her money from PACs, and 5% from small individual contributors.  Kucinich, in contrast, gets 5% from PACs, and 68% from small individual contributors.  Kucinich does not get money from war contractors.  Kaptur is a different story.  Thus far, in the current election cycle, her fourth biggest "contributor" is a little operation known as General Dynamics.  Her third biggest is Teledyne Technologies.  Tied for seventh place are American Systems Corp and Northrop Grumman.  Tied at 16th are Boeing and Lockheed Martin.  Most of these corporations have been among Kaptur's regular funders in past campaigns as well.  They are also among the leading violators of U.S. laws. 

According to the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (ContractorMisconduct.org), these are the worst four offenders from any industry:

Contractor                           Federal Contract $       Instances of Misconduct        Misconduct $
                                                     (FY2010)                          (Since 1995)                        (Since 1995)

1. Lockheed Martin                      $34367.4m                           57                                       $590.1m

2. Boeing Company                     $19366.6m                            43                                       $1600.5m

3. Northrop Grumman                   $15522.7m                          35                                       $850.7m

4. General Dynamics                  $14908.8m                             13                                        $78.5m

Among the types of misconduct engaged in by these four leaders, as detailed at the above database, are the following: contract fraud, kickbacks, defective pricing, unlicensed exports, emissions violations, groundwater cleanup violations, inflated costs, providing of bribes and sexual favors, nuclear safety violations, nuclear waste storage violations, federal election law violations, radiation exposure, illegal transfer of information to China, violations of the National Labor Relations Act, embezzlement, racial discrimination and retaliation, age discrimination and retaliation, unauthorized weapons sales to foreign nations, retaliation against whistleblowers.  And that's just Lockheed.  In fact, that's just a small sampling of just Lockheed.  Why take money from these companies?

According to the National Priorities Project (CostOfWar.com) Kaptur's Ninth District of Ohio (prior to redistricting) has shelled out over $3.1 billion for wars since 2001.  That expense has been with Kaptur's full cooperation.  And that is an expense measured purely in dollars taken from tax payers to pay for wars.  It does not include further costs for veterans' care, for interest on war debt, for increased fuel prices, or for lost opportunities.  Nor does it include the cost already extracted of several times the $3.1 billion for a base annual military budget that has roughly doubled this decade and done so on the basis of the wars. 

According to a report titled "The U.S. Employment Effects of Military And Domestic Spending Priorities: An Updated Analysis," (PDF) by Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, (October 2009), spending the same dollars on the military (without specifying war spending which would likely make the contrast even greater) produces many fewer jobs than if spent in other industries.  If Ohio's Ninth District's $3.1 billion had been spent on tax cuts for working people, instead of on the military, the people of the Ninth District could have seen a net gain of 9,920 jobs.  That's considering the full impact of jobs lost, directly created, and indirectly created.  Military spending, purely in terms of job creation, is worse than nothing.  Tax cuts -- not for Mitt Romney but for the rest of us -- does more good.

But the same study also shows a better path.  If the $3.1 billion had been taken away from the military and spent instead on clean energy, we would have seen a net gain of 17,050 jobs.  If instead the investment had gone to healthcare, the net gain would have been 24,000 jobs.  And if the choice had been to fund education, the gain in jobs would have been 54,250.  Could Ohio's Ninth District use 54,250 jobs?  Not many people would choose to chase those jobs away in order to support wars based on lies, wars that endanger us, wars that devastate the natural environment, wars that erode our civil liberties, wars that carry a heavy human cost -- not just an economic one.  Not many people, but one of them is Marcy Kaptur.

If you visit Kaptur's campaign website at MarcyKaptur.com, only one specific issue is immediately visible, front and center: celebration of a World War II memorial.  At Kucinich.us there is also only a single issue immediately visible: a petition urging the Congressman's colleagues to stop funding the war in Afghanistan.  In the "Agenda" section of Kaptur's site there is no acknowledgement that war or peace is an issue to be considered at all.  In the "Issues" section of Kucinich's site, there is a section on war and peace that addresses a number of specific wars.

There is also, on the Kucinich site, a lot more detail than on Kaptur's about numerous other issues.  The example of wars and war funding is fairly typical.  In rough terms, Kucinich tends to back peace, justice, and the will of the public, while Kaptur tends to back the very same things when and if the leadership of the Democratic Party happens to do so.  Back on February 25, 2010, she voted to extend the PATRIOT Act without reforms of its abusive procedures.  Kucinich voted No.  Back on October 23, 2007, Kucinich had also voted No on the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, while Kaptur voted Yes.  On December 8, 2010, she voted against the DREAM Act, while Kucinich and a majority of the House and of the Democrats voted for it.  Any elected official will let us down sometimes, but Kaptur is just no Kucinich. 

Many organizations agree. VoteSmart.org lists the rankings of various groups.  Planned Parenthood gives Kucinich a score of 100%, Kaptur 71%.  The ACLU scores Kucinich 94%, Kaptur 75%.  Also favoring Kucinich in their rankings are the Arab American Institute, the Human Rights Campaign, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the League of Conservation Voters, Peace Action, the AFL-CIO, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, etc.  I'm not being selective here.  There don't seem to be any progressive analysts scoring Kaptur over Kucinich on anything.  Progressives like Alan Grayson and Barney Frank are urging us to support Kucinich over Kaptur.

How independent and principled a member of Congress is has a direct, and sometimes devastating, impact on their district and the nation and the world.  Kaptur believes a nuclear power plant at the edge of Lake Erie with a bad history of safety violations should be allowed to continue to operate, while Kucinich has asked for it to be repaired or decommissioned.  Only one of these two representatives is putting the safety of the public first. 

I believe people who care about the future of the United States, from Ohio's new Ninth District or anywhere else, should be following and supporting Kucinich's campaign.  If he loses, we lose.  We may not always agree with him.  He may not always be able to win over a majority of his colleagues.  He may sometimes let us down.  But were he not there, votes that helped end the Iraq war would have never been held.  Debates that have helped curtail further war making would simply not have happened.  Articles of impeachment for Bush and Cheney would never have been introduced.  Countless witnesses before House committees would have gotten off without ever facing the important questions.  Many people pushing for single-payer healthcare in their states would have never heard of it.  Our televisions would be better able than they are now to pretend that majority positions on major issues do not exist, because there would not be that one man in the government willing to raise the issue and publicly lobby his colleagues to join him.

We're such defeatists these days, that we either condemn Kucinich's compromises, forgetting that Kaptur outdoes him in that regard 100-fold, or we imagine that because he's so much better he must be doomed to lose.  On the contrary, Kucinich has a long history of winning congressional elections, both primaries and general.  While the redesigned district includes a larger population from Kaptur's former district than from Kucinich's, it includes more Democrats from Kucinich's than from Kaptur's.  Kucinich inspires his supporters, and in primaries it is the relative turnout of tiny percentages of people that decides. 

Who is in Congress or the White House is going to be of far less importance than who is in the streets and what kind of people's movement is developed to nonviolently resist injustice and war.  But without a single voice inside Congress willing to speak up in the ways Kucinich has, the people's movement will suffer.  There's no lesser-evilism required here.  Kucinich is actually a good representative.  There's no partisanship required here.  Love a party or hate them all; regardless, we should reward those who have listened to our demands.  Or why would anyone listen again?

##

The table below shows enacted appropriations, adapted from "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11" by Amy Belasco, Congressional Research Service, March 29, 2011, (PDF).  Votes are on final passage of the conference report unless there was no recorded vote.  In that case, the indicated vote is on initial House passage.

Name of Law

Public Law No.

Date Enacted

DOD Funds ($bln)

Kucinich Voted

Kaptur Voted

FY01 Emerg. Supp. Approp. Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the US

P.L. 107-38

9/18/01

13.6

Yes

Yes

FY02 Dept. Of Defense and Emergency Terrorism Response Act

P.L. 107-117

1/10/02

3.4

Yes

Yes

FY02 Emergency Supplemental

P.L. 107-206

8/2/02

13.8

No

Yes

FY03 Consolidated Appropriations

P.L. 108-7

2/20/03

10.0

No

Yes

FY03 Emergency Supplemental

P.L. 108-11

4/16/03

62.6

No

Yes

FY03 DOD Appropriationsa

P.L. 107-248

10/23/02

7.1

No

Yes

FY04 DOD Appropriations Act (rescission of FY03 funds)

P.L. 108-87

9/30/03

-3.5

No

Yes

FY04 Emergency Supplemental

P.L. 108-106

11/6/03

64.9

No

No

FY05 DOD Approps Act, Titles IX & Xb

P.L. 108-287

8/5/04

25.0

No

Yes

FY05 DOD Appropriations Actc

P.L. 108-287

8/5/04

2.1

No

Yes

FY05 Supplemental Appropriations

P.L. 109-13

5/11/05

75.9

No

Yes

FY06 DOD Approps. Act, Title IX

P.L. 109-148

12/30/05

50.0

No

Yes

FY06 DOD Appropriations Actc

P.L. 109-148

12/30/05

0.8

No

Yes

FY06 Emergency Supplemental

P.L. 109-234

6/15/06

66.0

No

Yes

FY07 DOD Appropriations Act

P.L. 109-289

9/29/06

70.5

No

Yes

FY07 Supplemental, Amendment #2 (Did not include Withdrawal Deadlines from Iraq)d

P.L. 110-28

5/25/07

94.5

No

No

FY08 Continuing Resolution

P.L. 110-92

9/29/07

5.2

No

Yes

FY08 DOD Appropriations Act

P.L. 110-116

11/13/07

11.6

No

Yes

FY08 Consolidated Approps. Act

P.L. 110-161

3/11/04

70.0

Not voting

No

FY08 Supplemental, FY09 Bridge Approps. Act (Roll call #431)d, e

P.L. 110-252

6/30/08

157.9

No

No

FY09 Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act

P.L. 110-329

9/30/08

2.5

No

Yes

FY09 Supplemental Approps. Act

P.L. 111-32

6/24/09

80.0

No

No

FY10 Consolidated Appropriations Act

P.L. 111-117

12/16/09

1.4

No

Yes

FY10 DOD Approps. Act, Title IX

P.L. 111-118

12/19/09

127.3

No

Yes

FY10 Supplemental

P.L. 111-212

7/27/10

30.8

No

No

FY11 DOD and Year-Long Continuing Resolutionf

P.L. 112-10

4/15/11

159.1

No

No

TOTAL WAR FUNDING VOTED FOR

 

 

 

$17 billion

$545.3 billion

a.      FY03 Appropriations Act included $7.1 billion in regular FY03 defense appropriations for GWOT thatDOD cannot track; the FY04 DOD Appropriations Act rescinded $3.5 billion in FY03 war monies.

b.      Title IX funds in FY05 do not include a $1.8 billion scoring adjustment that reverses the previousrescission of FY04 funds because this did not change wartime monies.

c.      Reflects funds obligated for Operation Noble Eagle from DOD’s regular appropriations as reported by the Defense Finance Accounting Service.

d.     The House took separate votes on different sections of the bill, which were then combined when sent to the Senate.

e.      The FY08 Supplemental included funds for both FY08 and bridge funds for FY09.

f.       This bill was the final DOD Appropriations Act and the final version of the CR.  It was preceded by seven other CRs.

Building a Blue-Green Coalition in California

By Marcy Winograd
Former Democratic Candidate for Congress

After the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, with its codification of imprisonment without charge or trial, I could no longer register voters for the Democratic Party – even with the hope of involving new registrants in the California Democratic Party’s popular Progressive Caucus. If I could not ask someone to join the Democratic Party, I could not in good conscience stay in the party, even as an insurgent writing resolutions and platform planks to end our wars for oil.

The State of Obama's 2008 Promises

Presidential candidate Barack Obama won the Democratic primary last time around largely on the strength of his extremely limited and inconsistent opposition to the war on Iraq.  Then he chose as his running mate Senator Joe Biden, a man who had led efforts in the U.S. Senate to support the invasion. Obama's staff told reporters that he would be inclined to keep Robert Gates on as Secretary of War (or "Defense") -- exactly the same plan proposed by Senator John McCain's campaign. Obama said he'd like Colin Powell to be a part of his administration, and repeatedly announced that his cabinet would include Republicans. Obama had approached leading warmonger Congressman Rahm Emanuel about becoming his chief of staff.

Gingrich Phony Populism Sells in the South

By Michael Collins

Bionic candidate Mitt Romney went from inevitable to simply evitable thanks to South Carolina Republican primary voters. With 600,000 voting, turnout was up 34% over 2008. Ninety eight percent of voters were white. This is even less representative of the nation than Iowa and New Hampshire. But that's how things work in this democracy

The South Carolina exit poll (sponsored by the mainstream media) had a new question for voters as they left their polling places. They were asked if they had a positive or negative opinion of Mitt Romney's background as an investor. Investor refers to Romney's time as an investment banker with Bain Capital and can be taken as a proxy for a pro or anti-Wall Street/financial elite stance.

The results indicate what may turn into a fatal flaw in the Romney campaign. Sixty four percent of voters had a positive view of Romney as an investor with 28% negative. However, Gingrich won 50% of those who had a negative view of Romney's wheeler-dealer days as an investor. Romney took only 3% of voters who had a negative view of his role as an investor.  Mitt can't buy an anti-wall Street vote.

How Newt Gingrich Saved the Military Industrial Complex

The idea of economic conversion, of retooling and retraining pieces of the military industrial complex to build what other wealthy nations have (infrastructure, energy, education, etc.) converged with the end of the Cold War two decades back.  It was time for a peace dividend as well as a little sanity in public spending.  Among the cosponsors of a bill to begin economic conversion in the late 1980s was a guy by the name of Leon Panetta.

Standing in the way was Congressman Newt Gingrich (Republican, Lockheed Martin).

As Mary Beth Sullivan recounts ( http://MIC50.org ),

Climate Change a 'Fabrication'? Ask a Wintering-Over Hummingbird, or Check out Your Daffodils

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

On my Yahoo home page today, there was a picture of the globe, and an instant poll asking me to check one of two choices: Yes or No, Do you believe global warming is a real threat?

 

I don’t usually waste my time on these things, but there was that tantalizing link to “See the results,” and you had to vote to see them, so I voted.

 

Booing the Golden Rule

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. An important rule to live by. So is this corollary: Friends don't let friends watch presidential primary debates.

I think the clip at this link is a safe dose bit.ly/xVAIF6 and I have survived it myself or I would not urge it on others.

I recommend it to you only because I believe it is important for us to stop and ask what it means for a group of people who tend to promote both Christianity and the combination of Christianity with politics to have just booed the golden rule.

Informed Activist

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