Re: The Office of The Presidency

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Posted by Jeff from ( on Wednesday, March 26, 2003 at 10:50PM :

In Reply to: The Office of The Presidency posted by iraqi pancho from ( on Wednesday, March 26, 2003 at 6:52PM :

You are correct. Over the past few months I have been slowly "weaning" myself off of a diet of corporate bullshit. I stopped shopping at super duper duper stores, I watch the brands that I buy (avoid the really evil ones), try to purchase locally manufactured goods and services over national ones, and just be conscious of what I am buying. I think there are several sites that encourage boycotting, etc. I even saw a site that had some sort of a bar code scanner with a red, yellow, and green light. You scan the barcode of what you are going to buy and if the company is one with sweat shops, one that pollutes, or one that is generally evil the light turns red and you don't buy!

PS. I have included something from an that is encouraging:

The Other Side of

Chances are, you know primarily as a peace organization. You may not know that we're also making a tremendous difference here at home. In just the last few weeks, members have been instrumental in victories in three key areas:

* Judicial Nominations. We're preventing President Bush and his right- wing friends from seizing absolute power through our federal courts.

* Protecting our Environment. We helped block a recent attempt to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development.

* Tax Fairness. Just yesterday, we won a major Senate vote, cutting President Bush's package of tax cuts for the rich in half.

How are we doing all this? Here's how:

Judicial Nominations

When the right wing took over the Senate in January, we figured the first thing they'd do would be to grab for more power, by packing our federal courts with radically conservative judges. These judges, serving for lifetime appointments, would have enormous power over almost every aspect of our lives.

We were right. President Bush nominated 30 right-wing lawyers for federal judgeships in January. The first to be considered was Miguel Estrada, a stealth extremist who has never served as a judge before, yet was nominated to America's second-highest court, and was widely seen as President Bush's top choice for a seat on the Supreme Court, in the likely event of a vacancy later this year. Estrada's lack of experience means there's no paper trail indicating his views on the law; Estrada took pains to keep his views secret, refusing to answer Senators' legitimate questions during his confirmation hearings. It was all part of a White House gamble that the Senate would roll over and confirm Estrada rather than insist on this information. In fact, the White House hoped that a quick Estrada confirmation would set a precedent for Senate rubber-stamping of all of Bush's judicial nominees, and even for passage of the whole right-wing agenda. members stepped right up to this challenge, with resounding success. First, we partnered with Working Assets and People for the American Way to hold 23 constituent meetings on Estrada with Senate offices -- an unprecedented action on an appellate court nominee. Then we made thousands of calls to key Senators on the Judiciary Committee, keeping committee Democrats unified against Estrada; one key Senator cited our calls in explaining her vote. That victory made it possible for Senate leaders to filibuster the nomination on the Senate floor.

The filibuster is a tactic of last resort, unique to the U.S. Senate, in which a minority party refuses to allow especially dangerous items to come to a vote, unless at least 60 Senators demand it. The decision by Senators Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Harry Reid (D-NV) to launch the filibuster was a bold, decisive move, carrying big risks.

With the support of more than 40,000 phone calls from members, the Democrats are now taking a stand on principle. The Estrada filibuster has held for six weeks now, and survived three attempts to end it. Senate Democrats are learning the power of unity, proving to themselves that they can prevent the right wing from taking even greater control over our lives. This filibuster has stiffened Democrats' resolve across the board, enabling other victories as well. members have made it possible, every step of the way.

Protecting our Environment

President Bush and his friends are using the cover of war to undermine environmental safeguards on many fronts. One of their most brazen moves was an attempt last week to open the Artic National Wildlife Refuge -- the heart of North America's last great wilderness -- to oil drilling. Knowing the Senate would filibuster a normal bill to drill there, they slipped drilling language into the budget bill, which is not eligible for filibuster, even though Arctic drilling would have almost no impact on the budget.

Once again, members swung into action, generating thousands of phone calls to three key Senators in just two days. These calls may have made all the difference: all three voted with us, accounting for the margin of victory in the 52-48 vote last Tuesday to remove the Arctic drilling provision from the budget bill.

There will be more attempts to roll back our environmental laws, and more efforts to commit America to backward energy policies leading to more oil consumption, not less. Last year, we were instrumental in preventing passage of a backward energy bill. We're keeping a close eye on energy & environmental legislation this year too. With your help, we'll make sure our kids can still inherit a healthy environment.

Tax Fairness

The White House is also using the diversion of war to push for massive new tax cuts that primarily benefit the very wealthy, at a time when America's fiscal health is already precarious. members have played a key role in limiting the damage.

President Bush recently proposed $700 billion in new tax cuts, which would reduce revenue by more than $2 trillion over ten years. In the next year alone, this plan would give millionaires an average tax cut of $90,000.-, while half of all tax filers -- those most in need -- would receive less than $100.- in tax relief.

As economic stimulus, this plan is backwards. The right way to stimulate the economy is to help people whose need is greatest, because they'll spend the money fastest. And this tax cut plan would make it much harder for us to meet real, immediate needs, including:

* Homeland Security: The Bush budget shortchanges homeland security by $10 million, even as firemen & police are being laid off in many states.

* Education: The Bush budget gives almost no help to schools nationwide as they face drastic budget cuts; it also underfunds the President's signature "No Child Left Behind" act by almost one-third.

* State and local governments everywhere are struggling with massive deficits, forcing deep cuts in health care, education, and child care.

* Unemployment: The Bush budget fails to extend unemployment insurance to all of the 2 million people who've lost jobs in the last two years.

Yesterday, helped win a crucial victory, when the Senate voted to reduce this Bush tax cut by half. In just one week, members had made almost 10,000 phone calls to key Senators supporting this vote. The AFL-CIO helped make these calls possible by providing a toll-free phone line to Capitol Hill. members have also played a key role in another tax fairness issue: preservation of the Estate Tax on the very rich. Two years ago, Congress voted to temporarily repeal this fair and necessary tax, with the repeal to take effect in 2010. Last week, pro-repeal forces tried a test vote on advancing the repeal to 2009. They'll need 60 votes to succeed, and they thought they could count on 57. However, our calls helped hold them to only 51 votes. This is yet another sign that the Senate is hearing our call for tax fairness.

How This All Fits Together

These domestic issues -- judicial nominations, environment, tax fairness -- might seem to have little in common with each other, or with our work for peace.

But consider that President Bush got his war resolution passed by cowing a few Democrats into submission. Then imagine how much worse things could get if the Senate were to roll over and approve all of Bush's domestic agenda too: we'd soon lose virtually all our rights, at least as far as the courts are concerned; the social programs we value -- education, firefighting, health care, unemployment insurance -- would be starved for funding, for the sake of tax cuts for the rich; and our environment would be dug up, drilled, and burned as fast as the oil companies could deploy their machines. We'd wind up leaving a totalitarian, bankrupt, and scorched legacy for our children.

The key to preventing all this is to drive the Democrats to dig in and stand together against the Bush policy onslaught. Only with a unified, loyal opposition in Congress can we hope to stop the assault on America's core values of democracy and equal opportunity.

By engaging on these key domestic issues at the moments of greatest opportunity, members are winning real victories, the first specific signs that the tide may be turning. You are giving America a ray of hope to hold onto.

We'll you informed about key opportunities to make a difference, and we hope you'll keep up this fine work.

: ...if you respect it, you donīt want to see it from the orifice of this president...FLUSH BUSH FROM YOUR TUSH!

: Screw the vote, the ballot, the adding machines that "tabulate" your meaningless with bucks. The internet allows people around the world to band together and really make an impact...BOYCOTT...scares the shit out of them...fuck the vote...they made it meaningless and thought to control the game that way...NEVER play by the rules...ALWAYS seek to modify them first...or else weīd still be eating our grandmothers raw.

: An international, coordinated boycott.

: Ya gotta understand their own to use their weaknessess againt good trying to outspend them come election time...theyīve got that one figured out.

: But every corporation, no mater how rich...HAS to make more and more and more money...itīs the game THEY play...THEY set up...THEY control.

: Even a company that makes fifty million a year canīt afford to drop one million. Often, just like stores at Christmastime...that last million is the profit for the whole year, itīs "make or break"...or the quarter. Without just one million more, serious damage can be done to even the richest company...especially in time.

: And how easy it is...again, you use their own so called "prowess" against them...theyīve got so many kinds of soft drinks you can do without one or two of them...itīs the only REAL power we have...itīs direct, it hits where it hurts.

: They can trot out one Tweedledee after another Tweedledum FOREVER...and burn us out in the process....but hit their PROFITS...the thing they live and KILL FOR???

: Theyīll be jelly...what can they do? Lay you off?

: And it would be fun too, to watch the numbers drop, the income dip...while the numbers of people joining in this direct and democratic system of voting grows.

: They said Greece was a true democracy because everyone had a voice...white males with property that is...and that hasnīt changed. But they werenīt counting on Capitalism and its need to constantly grow and watch its bottom line grow bigger and bigger forever, like a tumor does.

: Well...there is an antidote and it is FUN...Life has to be FUN again...and itīs fun to be empowered...not according to THEIR rules...but to those of the people who are without power today...and there are a lot more of us than there are of them...and kids can join too...scare the mouse turds out of Minnie Mouse!

: "Carpe Diem"...seize the internet by the balls and donīt let go! (Loose Latin translation from the Sumerian.)

-- Jeff
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