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By Dave Lindorff
It’s fascinating to watch the long knives coming out for Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, now that according to some mainstream polls he has become the front-running candidate in the Jan. 3 GOP caucus race in Iowa, and perhaps also in the first primary campaign in New Hampshire.
Russian v. US Elections - by Stephen Lendman
Russia's December 4 elections filled 450 State Duma seats, Russia's Federal Assembly lower house.
Claims of electoral fraud followed. All elections have irregularities. At issue is whether results are comprised. Election monitor Golos accusations were spurious. America's National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funds it. It supports regime change in non-US client states.
National security advisers to the Republican presidential candidates have ties to defense, homeland security and energy companies that have received at least $40 billion in federal contracts since 2008.
Five of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s 41 national security and foreign policy advisers have links to companies that last year alone received at least $7.9 billion in federal contracts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Government analyst Christopher Flavelle. Of that, $7.3 billion came from the Department of Defense.
Romney and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who are leading in the polls, have advisers who sit on the board of directors of BAE Systems Inc., which has received at least $37 billion in U.S. government contracts since 2008, the most of any of the companies with ties to Republican national security advisers.
William Schneider, an adviser to Gingrich, and Michael Chertoff, who counsels Romney, serve on the board of the U.S. subsidiary of BAE Systems Plc, Europe’s largest defense contractor. The American company makes the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle and provides information technology systems to American intelligence agencies and repair services to the U.S. Navy.
Here's the weakness in this plan:
Eight people affiliated with Occupy Des Moines were arrested this afternoon at the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters in Des Moines.
The eight, whose hands were zip-tied behind their backs, were placed in a police wagon and transported to the Des Moines police station, where they were cited and released.
Each was to be charged with criminal trespassing, which is a misdemeanor. They did not resist arrest and were escorted out of the headquarters at 5661 Fleur Drive without incident.
Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Occupy protesters in Des Moines were joined by members of Veterans for Peace outside of President Barack Obama's Iowa re-election campaign headquarters Saturday, calling on the president to end all foreign wars and cut the U.S. military budget in half.
Using the people-powered megaphone the Occupy movement calls a "mic check," some 35 protesters spoke with a unified voice.
"To fulfill the Occupy Wall Street movement's call to return our country's economic and political life back to the 99%, we will need a president who will make the dismantling of the U.S. military empire their number one foreign policy priority," they said.
Protesters had planned to commit an act of civil disobedience, by entering Obama's headquarters and staying put, but were thwarted because the campaign office was closed.
Rather than be discouraged, however, they said the closed office was a victory.
"We know this office is open on Saturdays ... they knew we were coming, and President Obama is afraid to deal with us," said Frank Cordaro, a protester.
A call to the main number at the Des Moines office was not answered on Saturday.
As the Iowa Caucus heats up, so too will the protests in and around Des Moines. The local Occupy movement says it expects hundreds of people from across the country to join its protests in what is being dubbed "Occupy the Caucuses."
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Occupy Des Moines activists on Saturday vowed to shut down President Barack Obama's campaign offices and set up a camp outside they plan to maintain around the clock.
"We have every intention to keep this place closed down until we are satisfied," said Frank Cordaro, an activist and founder of the Catholic Worker group in Des Moines.
The current President and Congress are destroying our Constitutional rights, our planet's climate, and the vestiges of a social safety net, and you are obsessing over a freak show of self-hating homosexuals and anti-intellectual intellectuals jumping through hoops in a corporate media circus with Ringmaster Donald Trump. Is this a good use of your time?
By Jeff Cohen
What an exciting trip I just took up and down the beautiful North Coast of California. But I wasn’t on vacation. Nor harvesting pot. I was campaigning for my buddy Norman Solomon for Congress.
Over the years, Norman and I have written hundreds of columns and three books together. He cofounded FAIR with me.
Today he’s building an amazing, grassroots campaign – more a movement than just a congressional campaign. Call it “Occupy Congress.” If he can win in 2012, he’ll be unbeatable forever in that progressive district . . . another powerful Bernie Sanders or Barbara Lee in Congress.
Norman’s got one need above all else right now: MONEY. He needs it this month. Please send anything you can.
Catch Rocky on Rachel Maddow Show at 9:40 tonight.
From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Disgusted with what he calls the corrupting influence of corporate money and militarism in politics, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is launching a new national political party and will likely be its presidential nominee.
“The end game is changing public policy in the interest of the people of this country. It’s changing our government,” Anderson said. “This is about taking on the two corporatist, militarist parties and in the process bringing the people of this country together so they can see that their interests, by and large, are really aligned.”
Anderson said he will likely be a candidate for the presidential nomination for the new party — which is yet to be named. He said the formation of the party will be announced next week “and shortly thereafter, I’ll be announcing my candidacy.” He has already started filling out paperwork for a presidential exploratory committee.
Once the announcement is made, he said a major effort to get on the ballot will start soon in all 50 states. The focus will first be on Mississippi and Vermont, which have a Jan. 1 deadline, but a relatively low bar to get on the ballot, Anderson said.
Illegitimate Egyptian Elections - by Stephen Lendman
Last February, Mubarak's 30-year dictatorship ended. Another one replaced him. Egypt's military holds absolute power.
Authoritarian dominance is unchallenged. Elections are more theater than real. Egypt's multi-round complex process complicates them further. So do logistics. Understanding what to do is daunting.
By Dave Lindorff
What a devilishly sneaky guy that Jose Danial Ortega Saavedra is!
Why this president of Nicaragua, and former leader of the Sandinista rebels in their successful 1979 overthrow of U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle, in order to win re-election this fall, as he appears to have done, according to the New York Times, “shrewdly adopted policies aimed at pleasing his base of poor and working-class Nicaraguans, including supplying them with government-donated food”!
Why of all the nerve! What a crook and a scheister! Imagine catering to the needs of the poor in order to win an election. How low can a politician stoop?
Our campaign for Congress has climbed into second place. The presumed frontrunner keeps socking away corporate cash -- he recently had a PAC fundraiser just a few blocks from the Capitol -- while I refuse to take a single dollar of corporate PAC money.
Our strength is at the grassroots. At the same time, we need more resources to get our message out: No to Wall Street power. Democracy not "corporatocracy." Healthcare not warfare. A sustainable future.
Can you pitch in?
I'd sure appreciate whatever you can do. To contribute, or for background info, please click here.
Thanks a lot --
P.S. -- Can I win? The latest polling results say YES. But I need your help!
By John Grant
By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
Tuesday’s most important vote is the repeal of Ohio’s vicious anti-labor Issue 2.
Polls show the repeal winning by 20% or more. But will it---like the 2004 presidential election---be stolen by a 1% intent on crushing working people and stealing huge sums of money?
Like Wisconsin’s millionaire assault on the bargaining rights of public unions, the thoroughly bought Ohio legislature has passed a draconian law aimed at crippling the organizing ability of working people.
The attack has the loud, persistent support of Wall Street’s hand-picked Governor John Kasich, who made millions as a Foxist commentator and Lehman bond dealer. Among other things, Kasich helped pawn $400 million in Lehman’s junk bonds onto the Ohio teacher’s pension fund, making him a multi-millionaire. Control of that money would be directly affected by the outcome of this referendum.
Lately, the phrase "public servants" has struck me as ironic, not because government officials fail to serve the public, but because much of the public serves them. The public is the servants. Activist groups and individuals devote themselves to bettering the fortunes of political parties or politicians, at the expense of pressuring government officials to represent public demands.
Nobody favors eliminating elections, and nobody favors eliminating activism. But there are those who cannot see how prioritizing money-marinated, gerrymandered, cable-news-controlled, unverifiable elections will reverse the train wreck in progress. And there are those who cannot see what it would mean to engage in activism that wasn't aimed at promoting electoral victories.
Putin in 2012 - by Stephen Lendman
Currently he's United Russia's Prime Minister, serving with President Dmitry Medvedev.
From May 7, 2000 - May 7, 2008, he was Russia's second President, succeeding Boris Yeltsin, a man known for destructive "shock therapy" that created shocking levels of poverty and social inequality.
Progressive leaders led by Ralph Nader and Cornel West unveiled a proposal today to challenge President Obama in the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries in 2012.
The proposal, which has been endorsed by over 45 distinguished leaders, seeks to have a slate of six candidates run against President Obama, each representing a field in which Obama has never clearly staked a progressive claim or where he has drifted toward the corporatist right.
“Without debates by challengers inside the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries, the liberal/majoritarian agenda will be muted and ignored,” said Ralph Nader.
“The one-man Democratic primaries will be dull, repetitive, and draining of both voter enthusiasm and real bright lines between the two parties that excite voters,” Nader said.
By Charles M. Young
Is Smartphone Technology the Future of US Elections?
ScienceDaily (Sep. 13, 2011) — With more and more Americans upgrading to smartphones, and as smartphone capabilities continue to improve, even the U.S. government is considering innovative ways to harness this advancing technology. Human factors/ergonomics researchers have evaluated the potential benefits of using smartphones to enable online voting in future U.S. elections and will present their findings at the upcoming HFES 55th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here's a way to make this work within a Democratic Primary or in the general election of 2012.
Nobody can just announce that they are running in the general election as a candidate of the people, of peace, of justice, of decency, because all the corporate media would want to talk about was Spoilerdom.
And running instead in only non-swing-states, or asking voters in swing states to swap their votes with people in non-swing-states, would lead to only that same conversation about Spoilers and the mechanics of theatrical electioneering.
Here's a simple proposal. I'm sure it's too much to ask for, but I'm asking anyway. Let's set aside a single month, say the month of April, following each federal election, and for that single month behave like the citizens and elected officials of a normal representative republic.
In 1960 Martin Luther King supported Kennedy instead of Nixon
Then he marched in the streets of Birmingham to pass the Civil Rights Act
to move the nation ahead.
In 1964 Martin Luther King supported Johnson instead of Goldwater
to prevent America from going backwards.
Then he marched in Selma to pass the Voting Rights Act
to move the nation ahead.
For Dr. King there was no conflict between voting strategically
to prevent the triumph of reaction and leading a nonviolent mass movement
to pressure a president to achieve profound social change.
When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped weak presidents become stronger.
When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped good presidents become great.
Rev. Jessie Jackson Jr. at the evening reception of the joint AFL-CIO/Martin Luther King Center conference on Jobs, Justice and the American Dream.
The Democratic Strategist