Thursday, June 19, 2008

Democrats in Congress Giving in to Bush?

Today it was announced that a "comprimise" has been reached on the FISA bill or in other words the Bush "Make My Crimes Legal Bill."

A week after the Supreme Court Ruled on Habeas Corpus sending a message to the President and Congress that the Consititution still applies even to this Administration, the Congress with Democratic Support are attempting to usurp the Constitution again.

This bill will give Immunity to Bush and the Telecom companies for illegaly wiretaping citizens of the United States. This bill will allow the government to wiretap anyone..yes I said anyone, just because they "suspect" they may have talked to a terrorist. They don't have to prove this, they don't have to even present facts to a court, even after the fact as is the law now. They just get to do it.

How can the Democrats in Congress expect to increase their numbers and make a case they will restore the rule of law and the Constitution, when they make a compromise like this.

This Bill must not pass. Contact your Senator and Congressman today. Let them know the Constitution is still import to you.

They should be impeaching this President not covering up his crimes.


The Hypocrisy of McCain

Today John McCain made the following statement: "This election is about a lot of things. Its about trust its also about whether you can take peoples word."

This was in response to Obama’s decision regarding participating in the public financing of the campaign. First of all, all those years when the Repuboilcans had the big advantage in fundraising, who was fighting for public financing then. Who was for restricting 527’s and corporate donations? Well it sure wasn’t the Repoilcans. Now that Obama has the huge advantage from his unprecedented millions of donors that send an average of $100 to his campaign, they want the Democrats to give up the advantage.

But lets take a look at McCain’s “word”. This is a man that was one day against the Bush tax cuts and is now for them. One of the Keating 5, one of the most notorious lobbying abuses in Senate History and now he claims to be the king of lobbying reform. He was against off shore drilling and now for it. And finally and most outrageous a man who was held prisoner of war himself and tortured voted to allow the United States of America to torture detainees.

Yes John McCain it is about trust and a man’s word. You have clearly proven yours cannot be trusted.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Blackmailing of America

It has become quite clear that the gas prices we are now paying are either the result of or at the very least being used by the Oil Companies and the Rep-oil-cans to blackmail this nation into giving up concessions that will increase the profits of Big Oil. Bush, McCain and the Repoilcans and the Oil Companies themselves have been marching to the same drumbeat, claiming the problem is restrictions on drilling.

They want more rights to lease more areas to drill, so that they can do so when and if it provides them the best profits. The reality is there are 68 million acres with oil rich land that the oil companies currently hold leases to and could drill if they so choose. Yet they have not. Among these acres is 16 billion gallons of oil available just in the North Slope of Alaska that they can drill now. This is more oil then has been gained from Alaska since drilling began there. There are 800,000 barrels of oil coming through the pipeline today, there used to be 2.1 million per day. The oil companies have reduced production by choice period.

By choosing not to drill in these 68 million acres available to them, the Oil Companies have helped increase our dependence on foreign oil, caused the price of oil to rise, put our nation in danger, caused wars, is damaging the auto industry, food prices, recession and now according to a Pugh Research poll released today, damaging the tourism and restaurant industries in the process.

This handful of powerful companies is trying to force our nation to its knees so that they can get more and increase their profits. What’s worse they have Bush, McCain and the Repoilcans in their pocket. They have even managed to get the Governor of Florida Charlie Frist to put the tourism industry that is vital to his state at risk by changing his position on off shore drilling.

While McCain runs commercials on his new realization of the importance of
Global warming, he gives speeches demanding we damage the environment more by doing more drilling in more places.

The answer is to force the companies to drill where they already have leases. We must hold them accountable for their illegal manipulation of supply. To stop the speculating that only increases the greed of these companies and to search for real solutions that both reduce our dependence on oil foreign and domestic along with saving our environment.

Standard Oil was broken up for a reason, its time that these companies also be prevented from holding America Hostage.

sources:The Ed Schultz Show, Nancy Pelosi

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Our Country is in Crisis

When you saw that headline, what “crisis” did you think of? The economy, gas prices, the war in Iraq, terrorism? The crisis I speak of is the end of our country as we knew it.

Most Americans are struggling; many have lost their jobs, some their homes, most of us are seeing our savings shrink and our debt grow. Meanwhile the politicians argue over tax cuts for the richest Americans and whether it’s fair for Exxon Mobile to make 80 billion in profit. The congress debated several measures this week on extending unemployment, windfall profits taxes for the oil companies and even a bill to impeach the President was introduced. Yet all they actually did was give speeches blaming the other side for the problems and in fact doing nothing. Oh wait they did pass a resolution asking Americans to spend their $600 windfall on American made products, how ridiculous.

Our country is ruled by men raised, tied to and that benefit financially from the Oil industry, while they have been in office they have managed to become richer and make their friends richer on the backs of Americans. Oil related companies have been given billion dollar contracts from the war; doing something that was once considered treason, war profiteering. Knowing this, how can any of us be surprised nothing is being done to stop this current environment where their profits go through the roof while you and I struggle.

A President of the United States lied to the world, and to the Congress and to us to lead us to attack a country that did not attack us or any of our allies. For the first time in our nations history we started a war. Most Americans know this is what happened. Congress knows this is what happened, the world knows this is what happened. Yet we do nothing. We impeached a President for sex, and this Man has started a war and nothing has happened, no outrage by the citizens, Congress decides that despite their oath to defend and protect the Constitution its too politically hard to hold these criminals in the White House responsible. Some say they will be out of office anyway. Yes but what will prevent this from occurring again in the future.

The fear of terrorism has allowed this administration to shred the Constitution and the principals that our country has always held despite the fact our enemies did not. It was what made us great; it was what put us above our enemies. It was what gave us the respect of the world. Now we hold prisoners with no trial, Republican pundants actually sit on news shows and justify that these people don’t deserve the rights given in our constitution nor should we abide by the Geneva conventions for these prisoners. The United States of America is torturing people! . Held them without telling them why or actually charging them with a crime. Our Administration justifies wiretapping and spying on its on citizens saying that the rule of courts or the law that has long been constitutional glue that has held our country and our rights together is too much a hassle.

Yesterday the Supreme Court by a very narrow margin 5-4 had to step in to restore the right of Habeas Corpus a basic right that not only our President but also the Congress tried to suspend. A basic unalienable right, yet people actually straight faced on news programs accused this court who just took a small step in restoring our constitution of being some liberal activists.

Let me summarize, A President lied to start a war, we are being held hostage by oil companies, our economy is failing, our constitution is being ignored and 10 more soldiers died in Iraq so far this month. An all that is being done is Congressmen and Senators pointing fingers at each other? Surrogates’ pointing out one Presidential Candidate is Old and the other is Black and people crying that everyone was mean to the female candidate.

Wake up people, this crisis is real. We must light a fire under our leaders to actually accomplish something. They must take real action to solve problems rather then band aids that get them votes. They must stop spending all their time accusing the other side and start working with the other side.

Most importantly the Supreme Court narrowly saved one piece of our constitution yesterday. We must make sure we elect a man that will appoint Justices who have the integrity to defend the constitution rather then pushing ideological agendas. One more like Roberts, Scalia or Alito on the Supreme Court could result in the end of the country, as we knew it.

It doesn’t take long to see the McCain Bush Republican path is leading us to disaster. . This country will not survive if change doesn’t come now. Barack is someone we can believe in. This election isnt a sporting event, its now about blue states or red states, its about the well being of our nation.

Its time to wake up and shout that we must have change to fix the real problems and to stop the bickering and smearing over matters that mean nothing and to do something about real issues.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Payday Lending Law Costs Eastern Ohio

The effects of the latest government "protect us from ourselves law" the payday lending bill, are being seen already in a number of communities in eastern Ohio. One Zanesville based firm has now closed stores in Cambridge, Byesville, Barnsville, Coshocton, Logan, St Clairsville and stopped the opening of a new store in South Zanesville.

In a time of economic tightness in retail this law has resulted in 7 new empty retail spaces in small towns in Ohio from this one company alone. 7 locations that paid rent, taxes, and provided jobs to citizens in this hard hit area of the state.

7 towns where an option was taken away from its citizens so that now in a short term financial emergency they must either try to float a check which could result in $50 or more overdraft fees, or result to credit cards whose application fees, late fees, annual fees and interest rates way over shadow the $15 these citizens could have paid for a 2 week $100 loan.

Thanks for protecting us ohio legislators and Governor Stickland

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hillary says: "Yes we can!"

Hillary Clinton's speech today was absolutly terrific in my humble opinion. She did everything she needed to do to thank her supporters, to note the historic nature of her campaign and to make it clear the importance of electing Barack Obama in November.

I have been as hard on Hillary as anyone. I have been in many discussions even arguments with her supporters. I know how passionate her supporters were and are. I know how hard it is to lose a campaign. I have been there. In 1980 I was a leader in Students for Carter Mondale. I spent months barely attending classes, giving speeches in high schools, knocking on doors, working the phones and standing at plant gates at 5 am in the morning. When the results came in I was demoralized, as I barely left my room in my fraternity house the next few days I swore off involvement in politics ever again. It took me years to even consider getting involved again. But 4 years later there I was sitting at a phone bank making calls for Walter Mondale.

Those of you that supported Hillary have an opportunity and a challenge I didn't have back then. In 1980 our loss was in the general election. We were stuck with Ronald Reagan for at least four years. But this was the primaries. We must not lose in November. The damage done to our country affecting us both domestically and world wide is deep. The risks to our future are even deeper. The opportunity for all of us is to change the path we are on. The challenge for those of you that supported Hillary is to recognize the importance of this election and though Obama may not have been your first choice, another 4 years of Bush policies must be your last choice.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Southeastern Ohio Honors Fallen Hero

As I write this the funeral procession for Army Specialist Kyle Norris continues to make its way from Zanesville to Lowell Ohio. Kyle who was 22 gave his life in service to his country near Baghdad.

I passed along the route earlier and found it lined with American flags and many citizens paying their last respects. As the procession proceeded through downtown Zanesville, two fire trucks outlined the street.

The Zanesville Times Recorder followed the procession live on its website as it made its way along the Muskingum River as thousands of citizens in McConnelsville,Beverly and Lowell lined the streets. They reported families coming out of their homes, soliders in battle fatigues, boy scouts and veterans groups among the crowds.

Source: Zanesville Times Recorder

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Crys of Anguish

40 years ago tonight I was a 10 year old boy sleeping soundly in my bed when I was awoken by the sound of the phone ringing late into the night. In my parent's house that ring at such an hour was never good news and that night was no exception. Moments later I heard my aunt, who lived with us at the time let out a cry of pure anguish.

Soon after, my parents, my aunt and I all sat in the living room staring in horror at the images coming from California on our television. Bobby had been shot.

This man who carried the hope of so many Americans on his shoulders. Who had the potential to bring a nation out of its mourning and hopelessness that began with the loss of his brother 5 years before and then Martin Luther King Jr. just months earlier. A nation divided over the war in Vietnam, a nation where the poverty in places like West Virginia led to Robert Kennedy to cry visibly at what he saw. A man that so many thought was the one that can lead us through that time of turmoil. But it was not to be.

Later that night I stood in my room praying, no begging to God to not let this happen, to not take this man from us. Even at 10 years old somehow I knew this man was important to me personally even if I didn't know why at the time.

In the 40 years since as I have read so many of his words that he spoke in that campaign, learned about his toughness as an Attorney General and yes seeing that photograph of him sitting on a rock, holding his face in his hands crying from the shock of seeing the utter poverty he just saw in Appalachia, it has been this man more then anyone else that has inspired my political beliefs. It is Robert F Kennedy that has inspired me to care about working to make this country better. I know I am just one of thousands who's lives were changed by this man.

An assassin's bullet may have taken his physical being from our presence but that bullet failed to take him from us. His beliefs, his courage, his words and his vision have and will always inspire so many of us.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Their Arrogance is Insulting

Barack Obama came from nowhere to win the perhaps the biggest upset in American political history. He has run a campaign that will be studied by political strategists for decades. He has brought 10's of thousands new voters to be involved. He has gotten demographic groups that never vote in high numbers to do so. He has raised more money from more donors then was conceivable by anyone. He won more states and more votes and most importantly the most delegates. He is not only the clear nominee of the Democratic party but he is most likely favored to win the election to be our next President.

So how dare people attempt to force his hand in anything. He will not be forced by anyone to chose anyone as his running mate. He will do what he has always done to make his decision, using his own judgement, advice from wise sources and in the end use his reasons.

He will not be forced by Hillary Clinton to do anything to get her endorsement. The longer she shows her lack of acceptence of reality, the more she becomes less of a factor to influence anything.

He will not be forced to accept debate formats, schedules and even travel arrangements by John McCain. He will travel to Iraq if he feels its the best thing to do not because he was dared to by McCain or anyone.

Barack Obama is a proven leader. He has proven his judgement and his skill. No one will force him to do anything. Those attempting to do so are insulting and in the end will find any such attempts will only result in failure. It is they that will appear weak, not Barack Obama.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama Clinches Nomination

According the the Associated Press, Barack Obama has now clinched the democratic nomination for President of the United States. This is based on super delegate committments both public and private along with the minimum number of delegates he will win tonight in Montana and South Dakota.

On one hand this may be a time to celebrate the end of what some have called our ongoing nightmare, but I see it as the beginning of the campaign for America's future. This is not a time to gloat or to whine. It is a time to reflect and to prepare for the campaign to come.

This was not about Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. It is not about race or gender. It is about the good of our nation.

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