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Texas’ Annual State Green Party Meeting

June 25 – 26, 2011
The Havens Center
1805 West Alabama Street
Houston, TX 77098

Every summer, those of us interested in “greening” the state of Texas come together to socialize with like-minded people, learn about Green activities around the state, and, importantly, make decisions about the rules and issue positions of the party–decisions that will influence the course of this movement in our state.

Please make your plans now to join us!

http://txgreens.org/drupal/

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Make a list of your dream candidates running on the Green Party ticket

The reason for this thread is simple – Make a list of candidates you would like to see on the Green Party ticket in 2012. This would include the Presidential, Congressional, and Senate races. At the state and local level, also make a list of who you would like to see run.

Now, what is the point? The point is that we can all see who we would like to see nominated, perhaps names we had never before considered, and see what the consensus is.

Just throw any name out there, from environmentalists, radicals, independents, non-Greens, celebrities, politicians, etc. Try to make your list concise by organizing it around the Presidential, Senate, Congressional, and state/local races.

Here’s a quick example(I live in Los Angeles):

President: Laura Wells, Howie Hawkins, Cynthia Mckinney, Cindy Sheehan, Bernie Sanders, Cornell West, Kent Mesplay, Ralph Nader

Senate: Jesse Ventura, Laura Wells, Jello Biafra, Matt Gonzalez, Ian Murphy, Howie Hawkins, Kent Mesplay, Mike Feinstein

Congress: Laura Wells, Cornell West, Deacon Alexander, Mike Feinstein

Los Angeles mayor: Ed Begley Jr., Deacon Alexander, Derek Iverson, Julia Butterfly Hill, Tom Morello

For local races, perhaps it would be best to consult your state Green Party and see what they think.

This is an example. The key in to throw out as many names out there as possible. The goal is to present this list to the national Green Party and state Green Party and ask them if we would consider nominating them on the Green Party ticket.

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Greens urge rejection of ‘Catfood Commission’ plan to reduce Social Security, Medicare

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders called on Congress and the American people to reject a proposal by President Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to scale back Social Security and require Medicare recipients to pay more out-of-pocket costs for services.

Greens said that the bipartisan commission’s recommendations, if supported by Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats, would amount to a betrayal of voters, and called the attempt to link spending on Social Security with the deficit a deception.

• Starlene Rankin, co-chair of the Green Party’s Lavender Green Caucus: “Taking an ax to Social Security does nothing to close the federal budget deficit, because Social Security is a separate account. If President Obama and Congress really want to reduce the deficit, they should begin by ending the war in Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq, ordering all troops and military contractors home, and reducing the military budget. The debt was caused by the two wars, bloated military budgets, tax breaks for rich people, and the huge Wall Street bailouts.”

• Julia Willebrand, 2010 Green candidate for New York State Comptroller and Social Security recipient: “Powerful lobbies want to turn Social Security into a feeding trough. Congress and the White House are under heavy pressure from the financial industry to scale back Social Security, which would have the effect of privatizing it, by driving people to invest more of their retirement savings in the Wall Street casino. Indexing Social Security to life expectancy and raising the age for recipients would place more older Americans in competition with younger people for jobs and depress wages for everyone.”
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Greens protest Obama proposals that would dismantle Social Security, public housing

WASHINGTON, DC — The Obama Administration’s current plans to roll back Social Security and mortgage off all public housing amount to privatization schemes to dismantle public services, said Green Party candidates and leaders.

“President Obama is trying to accomplish what Republicans have long dreamed about — privatizing public services and resources,” said Rick Staggenborg, MD, Oregon Pacific Green Party candidate for the US Senate (http://staggenborgforussenate.org).  (Dr. Staggenborg is founder of Soldiers For Peace International and a member of the Alliance For Democracy National Council.)

President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is expected to recommend cutting Social Security for future retirees, and the president himself has said “everything has to be on the table.”  The commission is stacked with conservatives hostile to Social Security. Continue Reading

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Green Party: Obama Needs To Reject Bush-Cheney Policies

From the Green Party:

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders challenged the Obama Administration to reverse the failed policies and reject the agenda of the Bush Administration, citing as examples the war on drugs; torture, illegal surveillance, and other Bush-Cheney abuses of power; and cuts in Social Security.

“The Clinton Administration accomplished what the Republicans had tried to enact but failed — welfare ‘reform’, NAFTA and other antidemocratic international trade authorities, deregulation of credit markets and telecommunications giants. Will Barack Obama deliver what George W. Bush promised?” asked Budd Dickinson, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

Greens said that the Democratic Party’s retreats, betrayals, and capitulations on so many major issues proved the failure of the two-party status quo and the need for the Green Party’s emergence.

WAR ON DRUGS The bipartisan war on drugs has proven disastrous on two fronts, said Greens. Domestically, it has resulted in the incarceration of record numbers of Americans, especially young African Americans, Latinos, and poor people on nonviolent drug charges, with one in 31 Americans now in prison or on parole. South of the border, US drug prohibition has led to the breakdown of civil order, with powerful drug cartels, corrupt law enforcement, and a spike in killings most recently in Mexico, and similar long-term effects in Colombia and other Latin American countries where drug production serves a US market.
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The approaching 401 (K) Tsunami following the Stock Quake

Ordinary people are confronting significant losses in their retirement funds as a result of the stock market crash. Whether or not the stock surge today is a significant indicator for the road to come, it will not prove capable of saving the 401(k). As an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) indicates: “This year through Thursday, the average 401(k) account balance dropped roughly 19% to 25%, depending on the participant’s age and tenure with the plan, according to Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI].” As in the case of high winds and heavy undergrowth, this lays the case for a red flag alert for the stock market and investment banking in the days, months and years ahead.

Again from the same WSJ article, it is reported that: “Fully 27% of 401(k) participants age 56 to 65 years old devoted 90% or more of their account to stocks in 2006, according to EBRI.” This is the real indicator of the fact that any significant upswings in the stock market will likely spark mass withdrawals from 401(k)s. The recent up turn of the stock market could be just the motivator for the 401(k) tsunami to come.

Politically, Obama has come out in support of withdrawal of funds up to $10,000 from 401(k)s without penalty. This is a good idea, but too little, too late. The time to have had this was before the crash, not after it. As people look to rescuing their 401(k)s right now they are not looking to save $10,000, but they are ready to bailout their whole savings which could be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Reflect on this given the WSJ’s sum up of retirement funds: “There was $4.5 trillion in defined-contribution retirement plans at the end of 2007, including roughly $3 trillion in 401(k) plans.”

The response from employer-based matches to employee 401(k)s (see WSJ article again) will also make the 401(k) dead on arrival at the financial hospital. Without significant matching funds from employers, this will just become an employee savings account that is invested in the stock market or weak bonds. We need a DNR, Do Not Resuscitate, order for the 401(k) and focus on restoration and strengthening of Social Security in the recognition that it will be more than just a supplement to the elderly in the years ahead.