(or even semi crappy underfunded things that at least provide a basic service)
LIEBERMAN: I want to indicate today to my colleagues that Senator Coburn and I are working again on a bipartisan proposal to secure Social Security over the long term, we hope to have that done in time. To also forward to the special committee for their consideration. So, bottom line, we can’t protect these entitlements and also have the national defense we need to protect us in a dangerous world while we’re at war with Islamist extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and will be for a long time to come.
Sorry grannies, we need 1000 of your pensions to buy another missile. Keep on working, the war machine needs your social security.
In June 2001 Brian Haw set up Parliament Square to protest against UK and US foreign policy towards Iraq.
Initially, the protest was against the sanctions against Iraq. His vigil started after seeing the images and information produced by the Mariam Appeal, an anti-sanctions campaign. Haw justified his campaign on a need to improve his children’s future. He only left his makeshift campsite in order to attend court hearings, surviving on food brought by supporters and well-wishers.
He later extended the protest to include opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The protest became part of the scenery of London, despite numerous attempts to remove him and the posters. Among the artwork displayed was a Banksy stencil of two soldiers painting a peace sign and Leon Kuhn’s anti-war political caricature 3 Guilty Men. It was a symbol of protest for a decade.
Westminster City Council attempted to prosecute Haw for causing an obstruction to the pavement in October 2002 but the case failed as Haw’s banners did not impede movement. The continuous use of a megaphone by Haw led to objections by Members of Parliament who have offices close to his protest. The House of Commons Procedure Committee in 2003 heard evidence that claimed permanent protests in Parliament Square could be used by terrorists to disguise explosive devices, and resulted in a recommendation that the law be changed to prohibit them.
The Labour Government passed a provision banning all unlicensed protests, permanent or otherwise, in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (sections 132 to 138); however, because Brian Haw’s protest was started before the Act was passed his protest a judicial review ruled that his protest could not be banned on a retroactive basis.
The Government appealed to the Court of Appeal, which decided “that Parliament intended that those sections of the Act should apply to a demonstration in the designated area, whether it started before or after they came into force. Any other conclusion would be wholly irrational and could fairly be described as manifestly absurd”.
While the Government was appealing the decision, Haw made his protest compliant with the Serious and Organised Crime act by applying for permission to protest. The police granted the application but only on condition that his display of placards was no more than 3 m wide.
In the early hours of 23 May 2006, 78 police arrived and removed all but one of Haw’s placards citing continual breached conditions of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 as their reason for doing so. This police operation against one man cost over £27,000.
The police prosecuted for his breach of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. Brian refused to enter a plea. The Court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.
Haw was acquitted on the grounds that the conditions he was accused of breaching were not sufficiently clear, and that they should have been imposed by a police officer of higher rank. District Judge Purdy ruled: “I find the conditions, drafted as they are, lack clarity and are not workable in their current form.”
The placards were returned.
In January 2008, seven people were arrested, outside the Downing Street gates, including Brian Haw because they were protesting the Serious and Organised Crime Act.
He was injured, while “filming the students lying down in the road when one officer stepped forward, as I was walking back, and pushed the camera with his hand. It struck my face.” He added that he was “dragged” by police into a police van, who pushed “my head close to the ground with my arms handcuffed high above my back”.
In May 2010, Mr Haw was charged with obstructing police during searches of tents on the green. Speaking after a court appearance, he set out his intention to remain in the square for the rest of his life.
The Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, won a possession order to evict Mr Haw and other campaigners from Parliament Square Gardens, which is owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA). He moved the protest on to the pavement, which is owned by Westminster City Council.
The driving force of his protest was his love of his own family. He said the children of Iraq and other countries were “every bit as valuable and worthy of love as my precious wife and children”.
“I want to go back to my own kids and look them in the face again, knowing that I’ve done all I can to try and save the children of Iraq and other countries who are dying because of my government’s unjust, amoral, fear – and money-driven policies,”
The whole of the British government, from the Mayor of London to Parliament and the Courts could not silence that message. He will be missed and never forgotten.
Rush Limbaugh did he rarely, if ever does: he praised President Obama on his Monday show for the death of Osama bin Laden.
We need to open the program today by congratulating President Obama,” he said. “President Obama has done something extremely effective, and when he does, this needs to be pointed out.
The effectiveness, he said, came from President Obama’s decision to send a Special Forces team to kill bin Laden–something he said, citing news reports, that none of the president’s military advisers had thought of doing.
Our military wanted to go in there and just scorch the earth…but President Obama single-handedly understood what was at stake here. He alone understood the need to get DNA to prove the death…it was President Obama single-handedly and alone who came up with the strategy that brought about the effective assassination of Osama bin Laden,” he said, adding, “thank God for President Obama.
Wow. Well, not really, he was being a sarcastic blathering idiot.
Well done Seal Team 6, a job well done. They deserve the credit, as do the troops in Afghanistan.
President Obama came into office with the promise that if he ever got the chance to pull the trigger and capture or kill Osama, he would not hesitate to do just that and that’s exactly what happened, he got information on the whereabouts of Bin Laden and gave the order to kill; a true Commander in Chief.
FOUR MORE YEARS!
“WAAAH!! No fair!!”
“He really was looking for someone to tell him what it was he went over to do and why those sacrifices were made.”
Using his military training, he went to Haiti several times and Chile once to help with the countries’ earthquake relief efforts. He proudly told his parents of splinting an infant’s leg, and after meeting a young orphaned boy in Haiti named D’James, tried to persuade his family to adopt him. “If I had one thing to say to my fellow veterans, it would be this: Continue to serve, even though we have taken off our uniforms,” Hunt wrote in an online testimonial for Team Rubicon. “No matter how great or small your service is, it is desired and needed by the world we live in today.” Hunt’s friends say he was an idealist and voiced frustration that he couldn’t make changes overnight. He also questioned why troops were still dying. “He really was looking for someone to tell him what it was he went over to do and why those sacrifices were made,” Wood said. Last year, Hunt’s life took a downward spiral. His marriage ended, he dropped out of school and he began to have suicidal thoughts, his mother said. She said Hunt sought counseling from the VA and moved in temporarily with Wordin in California. Things seemed to improve for Hunt in recent months after he returned to his hometown of Houston to be near family. He got a construction job, leased an apartment, bought a truck and began dating. He called friends to discuss the possibility of re-enlisting. In the days before he died, he hung out with friends, and he had plans the following weekend to do a Ride 2 Recovery bike ride. He even told Garza he couldn’t wait to see him at a Fourth of July reunion with other Marines. Then he was dead. “Clay was always a fighter,” Wordin said. “He was always a guy to stick things out and he basically quit life, and I was mad that he felt he had to do that at that particular time.” Hunt’s friends and family count him a casualty of war — just like his buddies who died in the battlefield.
“Civilian Ways” I hold the cold steel of my rifle as I dream of foreign lands And I promise myself I will cherish every moment I can But there’s ghosts that follow me around Everywhere I am When I say goodbye I try to be strong Now I’m going back to the U.S. where I belong
I ain’t never alone The war seems to follow me home No longer an active soldier When I walk down the street I’m shaking hands with everyone that I meet And I watch everyone wondering what they see
Civilian ways are now what’s foreign to me I came off a long tour I left this place in two o three May we never forget the sacrifices My friends made for me
I live in Marysville out on the county line And my Brother and my Mother both visit me all the time And visions of you are always running right through my mind We always talk about what we’re gonna do when the war is won We’re gonna fix up them old cars and ride them into the sun When I heard you’re no longer with us Man I was done
Civilian ways are now what’s foreign to me I came off a long tour I left this place in two o three
May we never forget the sacrifices My friends made for me.
His education policy is in the works and is a source of controversy.
Still in the face of the worst economic disaster in more than 70 years, having inherited two wars, and despite an increasingly volatile political climate, President Obama is rising to the occasion to become one of the country’s most effective leaders.
He withdrew 100,000 troops from Iraq and ending the occupation is in progress:
He added troops to Afghanistan, which is what he said he would do, but he has also announced the withdrawal will begin in summer of this year.
The proposed $117 billion for fiscal year 2012, which begins Oct. 1, would be the lowest expenditure for the wars since fiscal 2005.
The Pentagon today has roughly 97,000 troops in Afghanistan and 47,000 in Iraq. The 144,000 total is the lowest since July 2006, when the U.S. had about 148,100 deployed, according to military data compiled by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. U.S. troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of this year.
The war-spending number is the smallest since Congress approved $102.6 billion in fiscal 2005, said Amy Belasco, war cost analyst at CRS.
Last week, the DNC passed a resolution calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan
President Obama promised to close Guantanamo, and he is still trying to do so, but not everything goes according to plan: President Obama Correctly Rebukes Congressional Attempt To Hinder Transfer Of Guantánamo Detainees To U.S.
On the environment: 7 Big Green Moves by the Obama Administration
- 7. Offshore oil and gas drilling bans. It was a bit of an obvious call to put a moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling in the midst of the horrific BP oil spill last year. Nonetheless, it was an important decision. Going further, later on in the year, the administration decided to cut regulatory shortcuts for deep-water drilling projects. It didn’t cut this fast-tracking for shallow-water drilling projects, unfortunately, but at least deep-water projects will receive more oversight. And, in December, the Obama administration extended some of the offshore oil and gas drilling bans that had been implemented in the summer for another 7 years.
6. Fast-tracking of clean tech patent approvals. To help the country roll out promising clean technologies faster, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has had a policy in place for about a year now to significantly speed up clean tech patent approvals. The program is reportedly doing well and helping more clean technology get to market and has been extended for another year.
5. EPA reversed largest Appalachian mountaintop removal permit in U.S. historyIn a big move to help protect the mountains of West Virginia and the communities living in or near them, the EPA recently vetoed the largest single mountaintop removal permit in West Virginia history. This was a huge, unprecedented step that hopefully signals a reversal of mountaintop removal coal mining policies in the U.S.
4. Cape Wind, large offshore wind farm near Cape Cod, finally approved….
3. Clean energy tax credits. Clean energy industries received a lot of support in 2009 when the Obama administration decided to give companies a “tax credit of 30% is for investment in new renewable energy manufacturing facilities and re-equipped or expanded facilities” as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This program has been highly successful at creating jobs and improving the economy and has now been extended for another year (2011).
2. Over $10 billion invested in high-speed rail…
1. The EPA ruled CO2 a pollutant. Due to the fact that CO2 is a major cause of global warming, the EPA finally ruled that CO2 was a pollutant and needed to be regulated in late 2009. With Congress essentially unwilling to address climate change, this ruling is likely to become a very important way for the U.S. to cut its global warming emissions relatively soon. To get things rolling, Obama recently transferred the regulation of greenhouse gases from refineries and coal plants emitting over 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases to the EPA. (Note: with plenty of support from the courts and science, climate zombies would have to find some really innovative, extreme ways to block the EPA from climate action now that this ruling is in place.)
President Obama has also established a record as the most pro-regulation President in last 40 years:
- Obama signs bill putting tobacco products under FDA oversight
- Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act
- Banning antibiotics in livestock production
- Food Safety bill
- Appointed Elizabeth Warren to establish the consumer bureau
- Elizabeth Warren Recruits Dodd-Frank Enforcers From 50 States
- Enacted shareholder rules on executive pay
- Fed’s massive data release offers new insight into financial crisis
- Panel Begins to Set Rules to Govern Financial System (Volcker Rule)
- New EPA Boiler Standards Will Save 6,500 Lives Per Year
- S.E.C. Proposes Crackdown on Wall Street Bonuses
- Obama Reverses Bush Executive Orders, Creates Middle Class Task Force
- Obama Overturns Bush Exec. Order on Project Labor Agreements
- Executive Order: Creating Labor-Management Forums To Improve Delivery of Government Services
- Saving the auto industry
- Nominating Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the SCOTUS
- Hospital Visitation Rights for Gay, Lesbian Partners Take Effect
- Sustainability partnerships
- Grants for renewable energy
- New regulations on debit card fees and credit cards
- Scientific Integrity Directive (America COMPETES Act)
- Obama signs veterans, caregivers legislation
- Health Reform Expands Medicaid Coverage For People with Disabilities
- Expand Pell grants for low-income students
- Providing Free Preventive Care for Seniors.
- President Obama keeps promise, creates “first major federal antipoverty effort in decades”
- President Obama’s Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness (updated)
- Obama signs DADT repeal before big, emotional crowd
- ACLU: President Obama Says Discriminatory “Defense Of Marriage Act” Is Unconstitutional
- Changes for America & Cuba
- January 29, 2009: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-2
- February 4, 2009: Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (SCHIP), Pub.L. 111-3
- February 17, 2009: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Pub.L. 111-5
- March 11, 2009: Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub.L. 111-8
- March 30, 2009: Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-11
- April 21, 2009: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, Pub.L. 111-13
- May 20, 2009: Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-21
- May 20, 2009: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-22
- May 22, 2009: Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-23
- May 22, 2009: Credit CARD Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-24
- June 22, 2009: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as Division A of Pub.L. 111-31
- June 24, 2009: Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 including the Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash for Clunkers), Pub.L. 111-32
- October 28, 2009: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Pub.L. 111-84
- November 6, 2009: Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-92
- December 16, 2009: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Pub.L. 111-117
- February 12, 2010: Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, as Title I of Pub.L. 111-139
- March 4, 2010: Travel Promotion Act of 2009, as Section 9 of Pub.L. 111-145
- March 18, 2010: Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, Pub.L. 111-147
- March 23, 2010: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub.L. 111-148
- March 30, 2010: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, Pub.L. 111-152
- May 5, 2010: Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-163
- July 1, 2010: Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-195
- July 21, 2010: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub.L. 111-203
- August 3, 2010: Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-220
- August 10, 2010: SPEECH Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-223
- September 27, 2010: Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-240
- December 8, 2010: Claims Resolution Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-291, H.R. 4783
- December 13, 2010: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-296, S. 3307
- December 17, 2010: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-312, H.R. 4853
- December 22, 2010: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-321, H.R. 2965
- January 2, 2011: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-347, H.R. 847
- January 4, 2011: Shark Conservation Act, Pub.L. 111-348, H.R. 81
- January 4, 2011: Food Safety and Modernization Act, Pub.L. 111-353, H.R. 2751
MADDOW: If the Senate ratifies the START Treaty tomorrow, it caps an astonishing period in American political history.
For the last two years, Democrats have held the White House as well as big majorities in both the House and the Senate. Their record of achievement in that time, even in the face of unified, at times totally random Republican opposition, Republican opposition even do things Republicans had proposed in the first place, unified Republican opposition even to their own ideas—their track record even in the face of that is historic.
Whether you agree or disagree with what Democrats have done in the first two years of President Obama‘s presidency, they have freaking done it. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for women, expanding children‘s health insurance, new hate crimes legislation that they said could not be done, tobacco regulation, credit card reform, student loan reform, the stimulus – which in addition to helping pull this country back from the brink of a Great Depression was also the largest tax cut ever, the largest investment in clean energy ever, the single largest investment in education in our country ever.
There was also a little thing you may have heard of called health reform. Also, Wall Street reform, the improvements to the new G.I. bill, the most expansive food safety bill since the 1930s.
Presidency in progress.
I was a semi-supporter of the coalition, although I voted for no-one in the General Election. I looked forward to the end of the database state and the bureaucracy. I was very happy to see New Labour go but I was not happy with the other choices available to me. Nothing has convinced me about the wisdom of my non-choice at the election and not one Party has since convinced me that they are worthy of my vote.
I kind of wanted to believe that the Liberal Democrats were a bit more of a Party than their image of being Labour without the War. I also kind of wanted to believe that the Conservative Party was no longer the nasty party.
The problem with this coalition is that we will never know what the true identities of the two Parties are. What we have now is a Conservative Government able to operate further to the right than it would have on its own due to their Liberal Democrat enablers.
As a direct result of this coalition, Osborne can be as far-right as he wants, without any consideration of consequence. It is after all not the Conservative Party losing popularity. Everything proposed by Osborne is given an orange glow of approval by the ever so compliant and complicit Clegg.
This morning Nick Clegg was explaining why it is fair to stop the benefits of those who refuse to take up jobs for the fair and progressive period of 3 years.
A few days ago we had Nick Clegg explaining why a tripling of student tuition fees was extremely progressive and fairer than say a graduate tax.
Last week Nick Clegg explained why massive cuts to Housing Benefit that effect over 95% of those claiming were fair and progressive.
If George Osborne appeared on television tomorrow eating and killing the second child of all families, Nick Clegg would be on breakfast tv explaining why such a move is progressive and “fair”. After all such an action would help poor families save on childcare.
As the coalition haemorrhages popularity, it is not the Conservatives losing ground it is the Liberal Democrats.
According to the latest polls, the Liberal Democrats now command only 9% support. Well they hold around 9% of the seats in Parliament and they have always been supporters of proportional representation, so now they have it, by default.
Everyone knows that the Liberal Democrats are the junior partner. They are still however supposed to be a partner. Partners in a relationship can say no. If junior can not say no, he is not a partner, he is being abused.
The dangerous consequences of the Tea Party victory are soon going to be felt and it will hurt.
While Sarah Palin chased around America parroting the term “American exceptionalism”, her Tea Party representatives are set to destroy American standing in the World.
If they fail to increase the debt limit the Country and the World will be in for a new wave of hurt.