Fri, 07 Nov 2014 00:21:41 +0000391 of 1,000 people have signed – see totals by state and Congressional District.BackgroundBarack Obama was elected President twice because he created a historic coalition of minorities, women, youth, and progressives. But Democrats lost the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014 because the Democratic Party failed to mobilize this powerful "Obama Coalition" without Barack Obama leading the ticket. Since President Obama will not run again, the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the Senate, House, and Democratic National Committee who can keep mobilizing the "Obama Coalition" in Presidential years and off years. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) is a proven champion for women, minorities, youth, and progressives - the heart of the "Obama Coalition." She would make an outstanding leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and every Democrat in Congress should urge Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to appoint her. PetitionTo: Democratic Members of Congress Democrats have the chance to make a historic comeback in 2016. Not only can we elect another Democratic president, but with the bigger turnout of a presidential race, we can wipe out recent Republican gains and take back Congress with a huge new class of energetic progressive leaders. To win back the House, we need a strong progressive chair of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) - someone who can raise the money we need to win, communicate our values to voters, and recruit progressive leaders who will make great candidates and even better Representatives. We need Rep. Donna Edwards. Constituent infoThe form below is blank because you are not logged in to Democrats.com. If you have a Democrats.com account, you can login to retrieve your name and address from past petitions. If not, simply complete the form below. Thanks for your support! Email * Prefix * - select -Ms.Mrs.MissDr.Mr. First Name * Last Name * Address * City State * - select - [NON-US]AlabamaAlaskaAmerican SamoaArizonaArkansasArmed Forces AmericasArmed Forces EuropeArmed Forces PacificCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaGuamHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaNorthern Mariana IslandsOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaPuerto RicoRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUtahVermontVirgin IslandsVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming Zip Add your own personal message to your Congress This is an important section. Your members of Congress want to know what you think. All comments should be appropriately respectful and in acceptable taste. The way to have maximum impact is by sending voting invitations to as many of your fellow constituents as possible and encourage them to make their voices heard also. I would like to receive priority alerts from Democrats.com I would like The People's Email Network's weekly action newsletter Powered by The People's Email Network, subject to their own terms and conditions. [...]
Sun, 02 Nov 2014 19:35:18 +0000
Don't forget to vote on Tuesday November 4 2014!
Wed, 23 Nov 2011 20:28:23 +0000Here are some of the thoughtful and passionate letters you sent us recently. Feel free to comment on any of these letters below. If you wrote one of these and want to take credit, don't be shy - we're all friends here! Emily writes: Why is it that we don’t see many Christian fundamentalists or Tea Partiers taking part in the 99% Movement? Because of an alliance that began in the 70s, which began when corporations wanted more voice and religious Americans needed more cash. The result was the “Moral Majority” and it explains why religious right wingers, who claim to be moral and pro-family, vote with Tea Partiers against help for families and the middle class – after all, we can’t afford all that and letting corporations get away with not paying taxes. The tolerance we’ve shown toward the Religious Right has only encouraged them to become more extreme. Their emergence as the Tea Party and continued access to corporate coffers has corrupted our democracy by depriving us of our rights. Americans now work more and have less vacation and sick leave than workers in most industrialized countries. Seniors and the poor are constantly facing cuts, abortions are more difficult to get and the gap between rich and poor, by which we once judged the stability of “third-world” nations, is now higher in the US than any other industrialized country. At the same time, corporations have become scary-powerful. The Supreme Court’s bizarre Citizens United decision (thanks to a vote by five Supreme Court Justices – all appointed by Republican presidents), the sky’s the limit when it comes to big business (now considered people) heaving money into election campaigns. Republicans fight on other fronts to allow their benefactors to influence elections. Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen noted last year the number of lobbyists fighting financial reform outnumbered those representing pro-consumer reforms 11 to 1. Other strategies involve fighting against measures that would end corporate tax havens and subsidies, close tax loopholes and promote environmental regulation. At the same time they rally against any bills that would help union workers. Luckily the number of fed-up people has grown about as fast as a CEO’s annual bonus and we now have the power to put a stop to the corporate influence that has infested our politics. But without all the facts we can’t make proper voting decisions. Since six mega-corporations now control much of our prime time news flow (see Who Owns the Media?), mainstream media hasn’t been too accurate in covering a movement striving to reign in the power of corporations. And it’s not just FOX. The rest of corporate media and local network affiliates minimize the corporate accountability message by painting the 99% Movement in socially unpalatable terms, utilizing words like “chaotic,” “anarchistic” and having “no common purpose,” although all you have to do is glance at the sea of signs to notice that the message is calling on corporations to pay their taxes and take responsibility for the environment. Other ways the message is diminished is by lowballing. Many local news channels claimed NYC had only a 1,500-2,000 protesters, while non-corporate news sources gave figures of over 20,000. Then there’s unabashed neglect. The night of the Oakland fiasco, ABC first ran a story about Bernie Madoff’s wife. Only after did they show footage of tear gas flashing through a rose-colored fog, a symphony of yells, shouts, cries and screams in accompaniment. ABC punctuated its coverage by citing an unidentified poll showing the Movement’s “unpopularity.” A fact check, however, revealed the opposite. A Fairness and Accuracy in Media report noted that during the initial protests only CNN briefly mentioned it. On his TV show (9/21/11), Keith Olberman said: “So five days … protesting corporate control of the economy, and you haven't heard a word about it on the news?” He later remarked, "If that's a Tea Party protest [...]
Sun, 27 Mar 2011 03:17:30 +0000
David Swanson, author of War Is A Lie, talks about Libya. Along with Robert Smigel, Mark Thompson, Andy Caploe, Jackie Kashian, Chris Pina and Jane Edith Wilson.Written by Steve Rosenfield, Ben Zelevansky, Mark Thompson, Kevin Rooney, Robert Smigel and Andy Caploe. War Is A Lie can be purchased by going to WarIsALie.org
Tue, 01 Feb 2011 18:59:38 +0000
David Swanson and Nicolas "Sandy" Davies in South Florida on Feb. 26, 2011
David Swanson will discuss and sign copies of "War Is A Lie".
Sandy Davies will discuss and sign copies of "Blood on Our Hands".
3-5 p.m. Saturday, February 26, 2011
Saint Andrews Estates South Auditorium
6045 Verde Trail South
Boca Raton, FL 33433
PLEASE RSVP to nparker0511 at gmail dot com
Sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America
"While most media continue to ignore the US-installed disaster in Iraq, author Nicolas Davies refuses to do so, and his book 'Blood on our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq' could not be released at a better time. This sweeping work covers US policy in Iraq that spans decades, and is written as a call to action for the US to begin following international law—not just in Iraq, but everywhere. For it was the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq that, more than perhaps anything else, continues to defile what is left of the tattered reputation of the US." -Dahr Jamail
"David Swanson’s War Is A Lie may be the most comprehensive antiwar statement available in the English language." — Kevin Young
"Not since General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket has a simpler, more brilliant, or truer book been published." — Geoffrey Millard
“David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare intelligence. I learn something new on every page.” — Jeff Cohen
Fri, 14 Jan 2011 15:19:59 +0000According to the Pentagon's lawyer, Martin Luther King Jr., if alive today, would view the US war on Afghanistan as both the act of a Good Samaritan and as necessary self-defense. Jeh C. Johnson, the "Defense" Department's general counsel, said, on the one hand: "I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation's military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack." On the other hand, he also said this: "I draw the [Good Samaritan] parallel to our own servicemen and women deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, away from the comfort of conventional jobs, their families and their homes. [They] have made the conscious decision to travel a dangerous road and personally stop and administer aid to those who want peace, freedom and a better place in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in defense of the American people. Every day, our servicemen and women practice the dangerousness -- the dangerous unselfishness Dr. King preached on April 3, 1968." Now, when President Barack Obama in 2009 gave a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, he had the decency to admit that he was disagreeing fundamentally with King's position: "There will be times when nations -- acting individually or in concert -- will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified. I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. said in this same ceremony years ago: 'Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.'…But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by [King's and Gandhi's] examples alone." There has long been a segment of the U.S. population susceptible to the fear-mongering of "defensive" wars of aggression. When told that we have to go attack an impoverished nation halfway around the world and continue doing so for many years, certain people eagerly climb on board. But others need a war to be a humanitarian act of racist kindness before they'll support it. So, by a happy coincidence, every nation in which our military wants bases and weapons or our oil companies want wells or pipelines happens to both threaten our very existence and desperately need the humanitarian aid of our military. The humanitarian war sales pitch is made to those motivated by kindness. I call it racist kindness because we impose our "aid" on foreign nations fully aware that they don't want it. Of course, two-thirds of Americans oppose the war on Afghanistan, so majority opinion may never matter. But Afghans overwhelmingly oppose the occupation of their country. Now, the man aided by the Good Samaritan was half-dead, perhaps unconscious. It may be that Jeh Johnson thinks of the Afghans in the same way. They can't possibly make the right decisions in their state, so we'll decide for them. Dr. King rejected such logic in the case of Vietnam: "As I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond to compassion my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. . . . They must see Americans as strange liberators. . . . They languish under our bombs and consider us -- not their fellow Vietnamese -- the real enemy." A poll last spring found that 85% of Kandaharis consider the Taliban "our Afghan brothers." The poll was commissioned by the Pentagon. The same poll found that 94% favored peace negotiations, not war. So, out of the goodness of our racist hearts, we brought them more war. The parable of the Good Samaritan has been lost on the Pentagon's lawyer. A Samaritan, to Jesus' audience, was a foreigner of a disreputable sort. But this Samaritan was made a model of humanity for others to follow. The point was not only to help people you find half-dead on the side of the road. The revolutionary point was to see others as fully human despite superfic[...]
Thu, 13 Jan 2011 18:57:05 +0000Fifty years ago this Monday, President Dwight Eisenhower gave a farewell address in which he famously warned of the dangers of influence on our government by the "military industrial complex." Our current Secretary of War, Robert Gates, has proposed to retire this year and has recommended that his successors stop increasing the military budget. But Eisenhower didn't just bring this up on his way out the door. It was seven years earlier that he had remarked: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed 8,000 people." But pulling these quotes out of context, as we like to do, misses the reprehensible context of the speeches in which they originated. It would be a similar act of distortion to quote President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and leave out everything but that peaceful opening line, "Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world:" Obama went on to argue the necessity of war. And that is what Eisenhower did in his farewell address. He argued against unlimited militarization while arguing for something just short of it. He proposed disarmament while suggesting that we'd really better not do it. These lines are less well remembered: "We face a hostile ideology, global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily, the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration." How does one dismantle the military industrial complex in the face of a ruthless, atheistic ideology? Of course, Eisenhower did not do so. He refrained from some of the excesses, in both war funding and war lying, of his successors. He dug our country into a pointless war on Vietnam, but not to the extent of his successors. And when his immediate successor resisted the military machine more than Eisenhower had, a single bullet struck him multiple times in Dallas. If we set aside for a moment the pressing question for all presidents of whether Eisenhower was a devil or a saint, we can appreciate the value of having a president say anything worthwhile. But a half century later, we should be able to bring ourselves to also recognize what ideally should have been said -- and was being said by others. In the same speech in which Eisenhower spoke of the theft from those who hunger, he claimed eternal innocence for the United States in foreign affairs. The United States had never been an aggressor; that was the Soviet Union's role. The United States relied on "trust and mutual aid" while the USSR relied on "force: huge armies, subversion, rule of neighbor nations." Why did we have to steal from the hungry in order to build weapons? Eisenhower had the answer: "The amassing of Soviet power alerted free nations to a new danger of aggression. It compelled them in self-defense to spend unprecedented money and energy for armaments." Eisenhower blamed the Soviet Union for "aggression in Korea and southeast Asia." We know that to have constituted a pair of super-destructive lies. The point is not that Eisenhower wasn't relatively responsible, when compared with his predecessors and successors. But he maintained the same set of lies that allowed for the military industrial complex to grow into something today that probably didn't penetrate his worst nightmares. Fifty years later it has come to look likely that militarized global empire cannot be maintained at a li[...]
Wed, 29 Dec 2010 06:27:31 +0000There's a simple reason why the Democrats in Washington, D.C., can't end the wars or shrink the military or close Guantanamo or legalize union organizing or create a real health coverage system or repeal NAFTA or tax carbon or (fill in the blank). But the simple reason keeps changing. In 2005 and 2006 it was that they were in a minority in the House and Senate. In 2007 and 2008 it was that they lacked the White House. In 2009 and 2010 it was the filibuster. In 2011 and 2012 it will be that they are a minority in the House. The 2005-2006 reason was credible, even if Republicans seem to have no trouble passing tax bills in the minority. The 2007-2010 reasons were not credible. Without passing a single bill, Congress could have stopped funding wars and/or impeached the top war criminals. And the filibuster was kept around by choice. It could have been eliminated in January 2009, or the credible threat to eliminate it in 2011 could have resulted in its elimination or reform at any time during the past two years, as has been done before. Throwing out the filibuster rule this coming January (next week) wouldn't eliminate the Republican majority in the House. A credible reason for not passing decent bills will have been restored just in time. But some of our courts might have judges confirmed to sit at them for a change. And horrible House legislation would not have to be made even worse to get it through the Senate -- well, not as much worse anyway. And if, at some point in the future, a majority of senators -- from whatever party or combination of parties -- is willing to work with the House to pass decent laws, it would be able to do so. The filibuster rule does not protect minority rights. The filibuster rule creates minority rule. In a democratic republic, every individual should have protected rights (remember when Americans had those?), but no minority should have the right to rule, certainly not 41 wealthy old white men elected in states containing 11 percent of the U.S. population. The filibuster has roots in opposition to U.S. involvement in World War I. There's no reason a filibuster can't be used to block an injustice. When the whole Senate is bought and sold through corrupt elections, party control, corporate media, and lobbyist pressure, there is no reason to suppose that a majority of senators represents majority opinion in the country. When Wyoming has as many senators as California, talk of majority representation in the Senate is outlandish to begin with. But the filibuster rule makes these problems worse. We are likely to always be better off on the whole with the rule of 51 senators than with the rule of 41. Partial reforms, like ending senators' power to place "secret holds" on bills or removing delays in the process of confirming nominees, are all good. Such reforms limit the power of senators to block the work of the House and the will of the majority of the Senate. But the most needed reform is the elimination of the filibuster rule, a change from requiring three-fifths of senators to move a bill to a vote to requiring a simple majority. Such a change would not prevent Senator Bernie Sanders from making a long speech, as he did recently -- an act widely mislabeled a "filibuster" despite the fact that he was not blocking any legislation. Such a change would simply end the power of 41 senators to block bills or nominations. A reform requiring any number between 41 and 51 would be an improvement as well. Making the filibuster "real," that is, requiring that senators stand and speak to maintain a filibuster, is much less of a real reform. It might break some filibusters; it might not. It would certainly give a platform to a minority of senators to mouth off while the corporate media compares them to Jimmy Stewart and describes their late-night heroics as they prevent any other senate busi[...]
Thu, 23 Dec 2010 18:09:09 +0000
David Swanson, author and activist talks about his new book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming A More Perfect Union." The host is Marianne Barisonek.
Swanson talks about how the office of Presidency has acquired more and more power while Congress neglects its duties. He offers ideas on how we the people can rebalance the political structures.
Powers taken by George Bush will become cemented into place during the Obama administration unless Congress takes action. The aberrations of the Bush years will become norms and now is the time to undo the damage.
Many of the abuses committed by the Bush presidency were given legitimacy by the actions of his predecessor, Bill Clinton.
Thu, 23 Dec 2010 05:30:38 +0000"And the bewildered herd is still believing Everything we've been told from our birth Hell they won't lie to me Not on my own damn TV But how much is a liar's word worth And what happened to peace on earth" --Willie Nelson When President Barack Obama joined the ranks of Henry Kissinger and the other gentle souls who have received Nobel Peace Prizes, he did something that I don't think anyone else had previously done in a Peace Prize acceptance speech. He argued for war: "There will be times when nations -- acting individually or in concert -- will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified. I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. said in this same ceremony years ago: 'Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.'…But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by [King's and Gandhi's] examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history…. So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace." But, you know, I've never found any opponent of war who didn't believe there was evil in the world. After all, we oppose war because it is evil. Did Martin Luther King, Jr., stand idle in the face of threats? Are you serious? Did King oppose protecting and defending people? He worked for that very goal! Obama claims that his only choices are war or nothing. But the reason people know the names Gandhi (who was never given a Nobel Peace Prize) and King is that they suggested other options and proved that those other approaches could work. This fundamental disagreement cannot be smoothed over. Either war is the only option or it is not -- in which case we must consider the alternatives. Couldn't we have halted Hitler's armies without a world war? To claim otherwise is ridiculous. We could have halted Hitler's armies by not concluding World War I with an effort seemingly aimed at breeding as much resentment as possible in Germany (punishing a whole people rather than individuals, requiring that Germany admit sole responsibility, taking away its territory, and demanding enormous reparations payments that it would have taken Germany several decades to pay), or by putting our energies seriously into the League of Nations as opposed to the victor-justice of dividing the spoils, or by building good relations with Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, or by funding peace studies in Germany rather than eugenics, or by fearing militaristic governments more than leftist ones, or by not funding Hitler and his armies, or by helping the Jews escape, or by maintaining a ban on bombing civilians, or indeed by massive nonviolent resistance which requires greater courage and valor than we've ever seen in war. We have seen such courage in the largely nonviolent eviction of the British rulers from India, in the nonviolent overthrow of the ruler of El Salvador in 1944, in the campaigns that ended Jim Crow in the United States and apartheid in South Africa. We've seen it in the popular removal of the ruler of the Philippines in 1986, in the largely nonviolent Iranian Revolution of 1979, in the dismantling of the Soviet Union in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany, as well as in the Ukraine in 2004 and 2005, and in dozens of other examples from all over the world. Why should Germany be the one place where a force more powerful than violence could not possibly have prevailed?[...]