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Obama, GOP pushing U.S. in wrong direction in “Fiscal Cliff”

From Jill Stein & Cheri Honkala, the Green Party’s 2012 Presidential ticket:

Ending the Great Recession, not the deficit, is nation’s top priority

2012 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said today that the so-called Fiscal Cliff Talks “need to focus on putting Americans back to work while creating a sustainable economy,” and that the U.S. can do that and end the deficit by:

  • Restoring progressive taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, comparable to rates in the Eisenhower and Nixon eras.
  • Cutting the waste and excess in the military budget.
  • Curtailing rising health care costs by transitioning to a Medicare for All insurance system.
  • Investing in a “Green New Deal” that would create the foundation for sustainable prosperity for the 21st Century.

Stein criticized Obama’s latest proposals as, “throwing ordinary Americans under the bus while continuing to reward the economic elite.” These proposals cut the cost of living adjustments for Social Security, seek $400 billion in unspecified cuts to Medicare and other health care programs, extend the Bush tax cuts for households making as much as $400,000, and fast track changes to the corporate tax code.”

“The bipartisan policies of recent decades made the rich a lot richer, pushed millions into poverty and insecurity, and created a 16 trillion dollar national debt. Now both establishment parties are using the national debt as a concocted excuse to cut critical services including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance and food stamps.  While their proposals differ around the margins, both Democrats and Republicans are promoting austerity budgets that are highly likely to deepen and extend the Great Recession. We need a prosperity budget not an austerity budget. By redirecting trillions of dollars being wasted on the bloated military, Wall Street bail outs, health insurance profiteering, and tax breaks for the wealthy, we have more than enough money to fund our real urgent needs – job creation, infrastructure investments, reducing mortgage and student debt, health care as a human right, and aggressive action against climate change,” said Dr. Stein.

Cheri Honkala, the Green’s 2012 vice-presidential candidate, added “Obama’s token tax hikes of a few percent on high incomes won’t raise significant revenue and are being used as a phony progressive cover to sell the public on Wall Street’s program of cutting social insurance and public services so the super-rich won’t have to pay their taxes. The Fix the Debt crowd are willing to use their small hit on personal income taxes in order to get big cuts on their corporate tax rates, including a ‘territorial tax system’ that enables them to repatriate profits from abroad at no or very low tax rates.”

The proposal made by Jill Stein is consistent with a deficit plan that came from the Occupy Movement, The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending. “When people outside of the bipartisan consensus look at the problems the country faces, they see real and immediate solutions. It’s the establishment politicians, corrupted by billions in campaign contributions, that don’t get it.”

Stein went on, “Case in point – the military budget, which consumes more than half of  discretionary dollars, can be cut significantly by replacing private contractors, closing many of the more than 1,100 foreign military bases, and eliminating massive waste, including weapons systems that even the Pentagon says it does not need.

“The solution to the increasing costs of health care for programs like Medicare and Medicaid is not to raise Medicare age limits or reduce health benefits but to bring all Americans into an improved Medicare for All. Medicare for all would eliminate the$570 billion wasted annually on health insurance companies and control rising health care costs,” added Stein.

According to Stein, an array of progressive tax proposals should be implemented including: taxing capital gains at the same rates as wages, ending off-shore tax havens, and enacting a  ½% financial transaction tax that could raise over $800 billion in a decade.

Stein also called for a carbon tax on fossil fuel companies to pay for hundreds of billions of dollars every year in military expenditures, health injuries and environmental damage. Billions could also be saved enacting a windfall profits tax and ending tax subsidies for fossil fuels and nukes.

“We reject the austerity policies being foisted on us by both parties, which will hurt everyone, especially working people and the poor. It’s time to stand up for real solutions that will fix the deficit by creating an economy that works for everyday people,” added Honkala.

1

Nader Lawsuit Against Democrats Proceeds in Maine

Election Law Blog reports:

MACHIAS, ME – Maine Superior Court Justice Kevin M. Cuddy ruled on September 20, 2012 that a lawsuit filed by consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his Maine electors Christopher Droznick, Nancy Oden and Rosemary Whittaker against the Democratic Party and several of its allies must proceed to trial.

Background:

Originally filed in 2009, the lawsuit alleges tort claims under Maine law for civil conspiracy, abuse of process and malicious prosecution. The plaintiffs allege that Democrats orchestrated a concerted, nationwide effort to interfere with the campaign of Nader and his running mate, the late Peter Miguel Camejo, by filing 29 complaints in 19 states, including Maine, and that many of the complaints included groundless and demonstrably false allegations of fraud.

According to defendant Toby Moffett, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist who helped recruit an estimated 95 lawyers from 53 law firms to join the effort, the purpose of the Democrats’ complaints was to “drain,” “distract” and “neutralize” the Nader-Camejo campaign, by “forcing [them] to spend money and resources defending these things.”

In addition to Moffett, the lawsuit names as defendants the Maine Democratic Party, its former Chair Dorothy Melanson, the Democratic National Committee, its former Chair Terry McAuliffe, the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign and a Section 527 political organization Moffett headed called The Ballot Project.

Nader says:

“Former Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and former Congressman Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party are now facing what the Nader-Camejo campaign confronted in 2004,” Nader added. “Both the Democratic and the Republican parties treat the electoral process and the voters as if they own them, and they will continue to do so until Americans of all political persuasions put a stop to it by demanding a broader choice of candidates on the ballot in each election cycle.”

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Cornel West and Cynthia Mckinney for the Green Party Presidential nomination in 2012?

Cornel West: ‘We’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties’

From Chris Hedges’ column this week at Truthdig:

“We have got to attempt to tell the truth, and that truth is painful,” [Professor Cornel West] says. “It is a truth that is against the thick lies of the mainstream. In telling that truth we become so maladjusted to the prevailing injustice that the Democratic Party, more and more, is not just milquetoast and spineless, as it was before, but thoroughly complicitous with some of the worst things in the American empire. I don’t think in good conscience I could tell anybody to vote for Obama. If it turns out in the end that we have a crypto-fascist movement and the only thing standing between us and fascism is Barack Obama, then we have to put our foot on the brake. But we’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties.”

0

McClarty Questions for the Tea Party (& Democrats)

In a piece published at OpEd News, Green Party Media Director Scott McClarty asks some questions for the Tea Party Movement:

By Scott McLarty
OpEdNews.com, August 31, 2010

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Some-Modest-Questions-for-by-Scott-McLarty-100831-706.html

Having followed the news about the “Restoring Honor” Tea Party rally organized by Glenn Beck on Saturday, August 28, I have some questions for its leaders and participants. Some of the rhetoric I heard about a new movement to bring back America’s traditional values left me a little confused.

Which traditional values would Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party like to see revived? Robber Baron Era values, before laws guaranteeing workplace safety, eight-hour workdays, vacations, benefits, and the ban on child labor? Pre-Social Security values, when old age meant destitution for millions of Americans? Religious values of the 19th century, when Roman Catholics, Mormons (like Mr. Beck), and other non-Protestant Christians suffered discrimination? Jim Crow values, before an activist Supreme Court rendered its Brown v. Board of Ed decision and Big Government passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

If the Tea Party is conservative, why don’t its members complain about warrantless surveillance of US citizens, extraordinary rendition and torture, the USA Patriot Act, the neocon doctrine of preemptive invasion, the ‘unitary executive theory’ of presidential power (endorsed by Justices Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and possibly Roberts), subprime mortgage schemes, Wall Street trading in derivatives and similar financial arcana, international free-trade cabals like NAFTA, and other radical innovations of the past two decades?
Continue Reading

1

USA Today: Obama’s liberal base ‘disengaged'; Some going Green

USA Today has an article entitled “Obama’s liberal base ‘disengaged'”. An excerpt:

“…a growing number of liberal groups and activists say they’ve had enough of Democrats who break their promises or cater to conservatives.

“The liberal wing of the Democratic Party is now in shock,” says longtime Democratic activist-turned-blogger Chris Bowland, 52, of Santa Rosa, Calif. “It’s very clear the party hates us and has no respect for its base.”

Bowland, who this month changed his party registration to the Green Party, says the Democrats are going to pay for it at the polls in November.

“Who is it that shows up to man your phone banks and who goes knocking on your doors? Unions and left-wing activists like me,” he says. But Obama has broken his campaign promises and now, “we’ve had it. I’m done.”

5

Greens Vs Democrats Vs Republicans

Greens have been around long enough to include us in the spectrum of political ideas. All too often Greens are lumped into the “left” end of the spectrum. It’s time to evaluate Green perspectives from our base up. To do that we have to address matters such as voter support and electoral strategies and find ways to implement our Platform.

It is worthwhile to review the current administration’s policies with the previous administration’s and ask: “What’s new about this or that?” We also can ask why are we not making the structural changes that are really needed for ecological democracy or adaptive governance. We don’t need to gloss over differences to include them in the decision-making processes and yet, that is what we continue to do. Rather then using a model that proposes central government versus state governments, I would suggest a model that presents autonomous regions (or governing entities) with defined authorities integrated into both state and Federal governments. Continue Reading

8

The Difference Between Democrats And Greens Is As Big As Hiroshima’s Mushroom Cloud

Some people say that there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans. I don’t think it’s fair, or for that matter, plausible, to make that claim. The problem with the Democratic Party is that there isn’t as much of a difference between Republican politicians and Democratic politicians as there ought to be – certainly not as much of a difference as Democratic voters like to believe that there is.

Those of us who are in the Green Party need to remember that most Democrats truly believe that there is a great deal of difference between their leaders and the leaders of the Republican Party. What Green Party candidates need to do is to walk a balanced line, acknowledging the differences that really do exist between Republicans and Democrats, while showing Democrats the ways in which the distinction between the two dominant parties is insufficient.

A timely example of this balanced approach is the issue of nuclear weapons. Tomorrow is the 64th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. A poll of Republicans, Democrats and political independents (not members of the Independent Party) about the Hiroshima bombing, by Quinnipiac University, was released just yesterday.

The results: Republicans were strongly in favor of the nuclear attack, 74 percent supporting the decision to drop the atom bomb, and only 13 percent against. Democrats were different. The largest group of Democrats, 49 percent, expressed support for the nuclear attack. Only 29 percent of Democrats said they disagreed with the attack, and 22 percent said they were unsure.

Let’s not make the mistake of thinking that political independents are more likely to reject the Hiroshima attack than Democrats. 65 percent of independents expressed support for the nuclear attack against Hiroshima, and 23 percent being unsure.

What about Green Party members? Where did they stand in the poll? Well, they didn’t stand in the poll. They weren’t counted as Green Party members. However, it’s a safe bet that a strong majority of Green Party members would express rejection of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. After all, the Green Party has non-violence as one of its 10 key values. The Democratic Party doesn’t even have the word “non-violence” in its platform.

What do we do with this information?

It’s clear that the Democratic Party is not a party of non-violence. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any Democrats who support non-violence. There are many who do. In fact, of the three political groups considered by this poll, the Democratic Party had the most non-violent members. With only the information contained in the poll, many voters might conclude that the best way to support non-violence. Of course, if the Green Party is added to the consideration, the Democratic Party’s support for non-violence looks downright weak.

There are 29 percent of Democrats who expressed a strong belief in non-violence in this poll. They aren’t being represented well by their own political party. They ought to be open to considering the Green Party, but that consideration won’t take place unless they perceive the Green Party as being a politically viable option.

We need to woo these Democrats, not assault them with generalizations that they know aren’t true. They know that there’s a difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and they also know that there is a great deal of diversity within the Democratic Party. When we acknowledge that diversity, we encourage non-violent Democrats to differentiate themselves from their political party as a whole. When that differentiation is accomplished, these Democrats can begin to see that their ideals aren’t being promoted by the Democratic Party leadership, and the Green Party option, reasonably communicated, becomes a lot more attractive.

You’ve got to recognize the sheep as an individual separate from the flock before it will have the courage to start acting like a goat.

1

Democrats Working To Hide Spy Abuses Even As They Bubble Out

When government agencies release a report on a Friday, you know that there’s someone who’s hoping that news about the report will get lost in the weekend news cycle and be forgotten by Monday. When that government report is released on a Friday evening in the middle of the summer, it’s a sign of something particularly embarrassing.

That’s just what happened with the release of an inspectors general report about the use of Big Brother spying techniques by the White House against law-abiding Americans within the borders of the USA. There’s a lot to cover from this report, but here are some highlights:

– The Bush Administration was engaging in much more surveillance against Americans than has been revealed so far. The report calls this spying “extraordinary and inappropriate”, but the inspectors general won’t reveal to the public just what it involved.
– Top officials concluded that the Big Brother spying wasn’t actually very effective in protecting Americans against terrorism.
– Congress was not informed of the spying as required by law.

That last point is extremely important because of two other factors:

– Much of the warrantless spying against Americans continues under President Barack Obama
– The story expanded last night with leaked information that Vice President Dick Cheney himself was directing intelligence agencies to keep information about spying secret from the U.S. Congress.

What makes this a Green Party issue? For one thing, the Green Party is opposed to government secrecy and violations of Americans constitutional rights. On a political level, the Green Party can be strongly differentiated from the Democrats and the Republicans, as both of these political parties are involved in the cover-up of government surveillance programs against the American people.

Not only has the Democratic-led Congress failed to conduct any meaningful inquiry into the illegal spying, but last year, many Democrats, including then-Senator Barack Obama, joined the Republicans in passing the FISA Amendments Act, a law that legalized massive electronic surveillance of our private communications and provided retroactive immunity to telecommunications corporations who helped George W. Bush with his spying programs. Furthermore, President Obama has opposed efforts by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to reveal the extent of electronic spying against Americans.

Last month, in order to start to control the abuse, a small number of Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee introduced a measure into an appropriations bill that would increase the number of members of Congress who would have to be informed of CIA spying activities. Almost immediately, President Obama announced that he was opposed to the measure, and would veto any legislation that included such requirements for increased oversight.

How did the House Democrats react? They backed down, saying that they’ll work with the White House to cripple to oversight provision.

At the very time that it’s becoming clear that the Republicans’ illegally kept secrets about government spying from Congress, Obama and the congressional Democrats are working to make sure that the secrecy continues. The Democrats aren’t repairing the Republicans’ attacks against the Constitution – they’re continuing them. It’s going to take another political party with true progressive values to undo the damage.

6

New Jersey Democrats Not Even Green Enough For the GOP

It’s a sad sign of how unreliable the Democratic Party has become on environmental issues: In New Jersey’s campaign for Governor, the Republican candidate (Christopher Christie) has criticized the Democratic incumbent (Jon Corzine) for not doing enough to promote sustainable energy. An Associated Press article on the subject leads with the headline, Christie wants N.J. to go greener.

Of course, if you really want to go greener in New Jersey, you ought to be supporting the Green Party of New Jersey. Unfortunately, there is no Green Party candidate for Governor of New Jersey this year. However, there is an independent candidate, Chris Daggett, who is a former Commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

2

Grassroots and Grass-Fed Roots In Illinois Politics

Over in Illinois, the Democratic Party is preparing to hold a reception – not even a dinner – that will cost $150 per head.

On July 18, the Illinois Green Party will be holding a fundraising dinner that will cost 25 dollars per plate, with an option for low-income participants to pay an alternative rate of 10 dollars.

Which political party do you think is really representing the interests of the working families of Illinois?