Political Parties With Awesome Names!

ImpeachBushNow
AntiBushist
In order to overthrow the tyranical Republican leadership, I’ve been towing the Democratic line pretty hard since the 2000 elections, in which, along with many others, I voted for Ralph Nader and unwittingly helped Bush and his cronies to power.

Despite my year 2000 voting embarrassment however, I remain a proponent of a political landscape that features a broad array of political parties. In practice, we have to unite behind the Democratic party to neutralize Republicans, but in theory I strongly support minor parties, and I remain saddened that they are relegated to obscurity by our two-party system.

Never the less, if America had a state where the effectiveness of a multi-party system could be demonstrated, Vermont would be that state. We have more independents holding elected office than any other state in the union, and the major parties have proven that they can, and do unite behind minor party candidates that have sufficient public support and similar political platform.

My political slant is no secret, so it was with great joy that I opened my ballot this year and discovered two candidates running under very provocative party names: Dennis Morrisseau, running for US House under the “Impeach Bush Now” party, and Peter Moss, running for the Sennate as the “Anti-Bushist” candidate.

My vote went to Peter Welch and Bernie Sanders respectively, but I love that I live in a state where an “Impeach Bush Now” party can exist.

Chavez Donates Oil to America’s Poor

My Father watches Fox News, so I’m pretty clear on the miserable slant to their reporting. I have to say, however, that I was a bit surprised to find that despite his hours in front of the Republican Propaganda channel, he had never heard anything about Hugo Chavez offering to donate oil to America’s poor in Boston and New York. I guess that just goes to show how Rupert Murdoch’s politics corrupt the reporting on this “news” channel.

My father didn’t even believe me when I mentioned it to him. Well, here is a section from an interview with Chavez where he speaks about his offer to the US. Is it just me, or is it a little strange that the richest, most powerful country in the world is somehow unable to help its own people pay for heat, but the leader of a small nation like Venezuela can? Apparently New York is happily accepting the offer.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Mr. President, welcome. Bien venido a los Estados Unidos. Your democratic revolution has a different aspect to it, in that your rich in oil, and the world badly needs oil. What do you do in Latin America to use oil as a weapon to assist the poor. Can you tell us a little more about what you are offering to the communities of the United States who are also suffering from high oil prices.

PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ: This is the result of our awareness, that only through integration we can advance and we can progress among Latin American countries, breaking the paradigm of capitalism, of free trade, and neo-liberalism. In the year 2000, we started a cooperation program especially with the Caribbean and Central American countries, and some of the South American countries, with the Caracas Energy Accord, and there for the first time in history we included Cuba, because Cuba is considered like a country that is not part the Americas, and we think it is part of the Americas; Jamaica, nicaragua, grenada, many countries.

This mechanism includes the sale of oil and oil by-products with a discount of up to 25 percent. This discount becomes in the end a donation we give these countries, however, when the price of oil, starts increases, in the year 2000 we signed the Caracas Accord and the price at that time was 20, 25 dollars a barrel. When we realized that the prices started to increase and it goes beyond 40 and beyond 50, and I doubt very much the price is going to drop any time soon because this is part of the structural crisis, the world has to face it, it is a reality. There is a drop in the oil reserves, there is an increase in consumption and demand. The refining capacity is low.

The consumerism of the world is unbearable. The world of the U.S. people must come to understand, how this country with 5 percent of the world population only, consumes 25 percent of the oil and the energy of the world. I mean that type of consumption is totally unbearable and this planet cannot stand it any more. When we realized that the price of oil went up beyond 50 dollars, we initiated another cooperation scheme. We have created, therefore, Petrocaribe and we are going to start with small Caribbean and Caricom countries, and the larger Antillas such as Cuba, Jamaica, and Dominican Republic.

So we’re now providing, first we’re ensuring the supply of oil, direct supply of oil from state to state, in order to avoid the speculation of multinationals and traders. They buy gasoline in Venezuela and then they go to a Caribbean country, and they charge double so we are selling the products to the states directly. We are not charging for freight, we assume the cost of freight. But apart from that, this discount is not of 25 percent it goes to 40 percent of the total, and this money will be paid back in 25 years time, with 2 years of grace and 1 percent interest rates. So if you make all of the mathematical calculations, the donation percentage is almost 70 percent because it’s a long term adjusted 1 percent. So what Venezuela’s doing is supplying 200,000 barrels of oil to the Caribbean and other Central American and South American countries such as Paraguay, Uruguay and smaller nations in South America. 200, 000 millions of barrels, if you apply calculations, mathematical calculations by 1.5 percent of our GDP, 1.5 percent of the GDP is devoted to this cooperation. It means we are financing these sister nations that next year will reach 1.7 billion dollars a year, in 10 years is 17 billion dollars. It’s a way for us to share, to share our resources with these countries.

And what about the us population? Well after many meetings with the U.S. citizens, we decided to propose a scheme for poor populations and low-income populations in the us. We’ve seen that poverty in the us is growing everywhere. It’s close to 11 percent poverty according to some estimates and instead of the figures you have to go deeper into it because if you see Katrina, and you saw what’s happened, 100,000 people were abandoned and they are abandoned, and they’re just surviving.

So here we have CITGO, this oil company. We have the CITGO company here in the United States. This is a Venezuelan company, so let’s have a look at the U.S. map the distribution area of CITGO in the U.S. We are present in 14,000 gas stations in the U.S., and here we have a different refineries, asphalt refineries, eight refineries that we have in the U.S., the plants for filling units, the third, refineries, terminals, and so on.

We want to use these infrastructures to help the poor populations. We have made some progress. We have given instructions to the president of CITGO, Felix Rodriguez. We want that up to 10 percent we refine here. We supply every day to the us 1.5 million barrels of oil, crude and product and we refine, here, close to 800,000 barrels a day refined here in the us. So we would like to take 10 percent of what we refine those products and to offer these products in several modalities to the poor populations. And the pilot project will be starting in Chicago we are already operating in Chicago. Well let’s hope that there’s not going to be any obstacle by the government opposed to this project being implemented, but we will be working in those poor populations. We have some allies, local partners and we have a number of communities, and we are going to donate some heating oil, because the winter is close, and for the school transportation to school, for the Mexican neighborhood which is the largest in Chicago, La Villita, is the name of this neighborhood with close to 900,000 inhabitants, and so there are other neighborhoods with Hispanics and Latinos. October, the 14th we’re going to start with these pilot projects with small communities and schools, but there are other pilot projects that will start in November in Boston, and here in New York.

So different modalities, with local authorities, mayors, organized communities, religious groups. So we are very pleased to announce this. And to help just with a drop, and a grain of contribution to help these low-income populations, Blacks or Hispanics or also White population so we’re just starting with this project.

Bush Attempts Damage Control

I’d like to remind everyone who believes that Bush is finally taking responsibility for responding poorly to Katrina that both he, and the republicans running congress have repeatedly thwarted attempts to form a bipartisian committe to investigate the National government’s failures surrounding the disaster. They favor instead, a republican-led committie that will undoubtedly stage another massive coverup for this corrupt government.

This is not taking responsibility; it is damage control. It’s like asking Enron to investigate its own accounting practices and deliver an unbiased report. It is simply foolish to believe that the republican-led congress will hold the president accountable, and it is important to acknowledge that his half-hearted acceptance of responsibility is a smokescreen to divert our attention away.

Don’t let him get away with it! Criminal negligence and negligent homicide are impeachable offenses.

Will Pat Robertson Be Extradited?

Christian radical Pat Robertson provoked outrage last week when he called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. The Bush administration, who seems to have close ties with Robertson has since been trying to distance itself from the TV evangelist by playing down the statement but has thus far, failed to renounce it publicly.

This lack of action by the US Federal government has prompted calls from Mr. Chávez for the extradition of Robertson to Venezuela, where he would be tried as a terrorist. The Rev. Jesse Jackson offered support for the for Venezuelan President on Sunday, saying a recent call for his assassination was a criminal act.

Chávez said:

His government would take legal action against Pat Robertson, stressing that “to call for the assassination of a head of state is an act of terrorism.”

Robertson is known for throwing out corrosive, Christian fundamentalist propoganda. For instance, in 2003, he earned the disdain of the State Department after suggesting:

“Maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off … to shake things up” in US diplomacy.

In 2001, as America reeled from the September 11 attacks, Robertson got into trouble after agreeing with comments by Christian right sidekick Jerry Falwell that

“America’s tolerance for lesbians, gays and abortionists had drawn God’s wrath.”

Earlier this year, he angrily commented on the ABC News “This Week” show.:

“I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that’s held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings”

Personally, I believe that he should be extradited. This is clearly a person that is out of control, and so blinded by the irrationalities of the religious right that he is beyond the sway of reasoned argument.

I’m also excited to see how Bush dances around this fire. Given his clear ties with Robertson, I have no doubt that he will be reluctant to act, however, should Chávez Formally seek extradition, Bush’s hand will be forced, and he will have to either defend Robertson or renounce him. Given Bush’s past allegiance to the Bin Laden family despite Osama’s acts of terrorism against the US, I have every reason to believe Bush will go to the end of the Earth to defend Robertson.

Thanks to Jon Emmons for pointing this story out to me >

Robertson and the Christian Right Crusade

I got this e-mail from Jim Dean at Democracy For America this morning, and while I usually hate to just republish content, I think this one is worth putting out there for more to see.

Not only has Robertson called for the assassination of the president of Venezuela, he has repeatedly prayed for vacancies in the Supreme Court, which pretty much amounts to him praying for the death of our most respected judges, since they are appointed for life terms. It looks like this guy is looking to start a neo-conservative crusade of Christian fundamentalists.

As far as I can tell, Pat Robertson is a terrorist!

From DFA:

The Bible tells us “thou shall not kill.” And we consider it a key value to live by. It’s a shame that Rev. Pat Robertson, self-appointed leader of America’s so-called Christian right, does not.

Robertson’s fatwah, calling for the assassination of the president of Venezuela — in the name of keeping access to a “huge pool of oil,” among other excuses — exposed the warped values of many religious radicals with the ear of the president of the United States.

From efforts to squelch the teaching of sound science in our schools, to the “Justice Sunday” rallies trying to impose religion on the courts, to the quixotic jihad against SpongeBob SquarePants, fundamentalist power grabs make the news and have a huge impact.

But they don’t have the teachings of any religion we know of — and they don’t have us. That’s why we’re sending Robertson a message: “Thou shall not kill.” Join your voice with ours, and we’ll print your name in Robertson’s local daily newspaper:

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/robertson

Even Donald Rumsfeld — a man we hardly ever agree with — had the sense to play down the statement. “Certainly it’s against the law,” he told the press. “Our department doesn’t do that type of thing.”

But this calls for more than an offhand comment, because the allegiance that Republicans owe to Robertson and his Christian Coalition allies lets them influence the Bush agenda. Bush and company need to condemn Robertson’s outrageous statement.

Rather than wait on the White House though, we’ll set an example: we’ll reject Robertson ourselves. Join Americans across the land in telling Robertson it’s time he learned to love his neighbor as himself:

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/robertson

Your feedback — and your name — will go into an ad in the Virginian-Pilot, the Norfolk area’s leading newspaper. We’ll put you on record with thousands of Americans rightly — and righteously — angry that Robertson keeps twisting our values to serve his petty political agenda.

“I don’t want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore,” Howard Dean once told us. We don’t have to.

UPDATE: Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez calls for Robertson’s extradition.

Downing Street Memo picks up traction

Not to revisit recent topics, but I must say that I really am amazed that the mainstream press has finally started talking about the Downing Street Memo. More than two months after the memo was leaked, the so-called “liberal” media has finally gotten around to covering it, albeit not with much enthusiasm.

Not that they came to it on their own, mind you. Bloggers have bee covering it since it came out and congress has taken note with many House and Senate Republicans demanding an explanation from the White House. Democracy For America even has a petition with more than a half a million signatures calling for an independent investigation, yet somehow, up to now, the major news sources have fallen silent.

When bloggers, and the United States Congress cover a political scandal like the Downing Street Memo long before the major news sources we are supposed to be trusting for independent, objective reporting, we have to start asking ourselves about the integrity of our Nation’s media. We are living in a time when multinational conglomerates control both our politicians and our news sources. They used their money to finance the campaigns of their pocketed politicians, and their news channels to ensure the public maintains a favorable opinion of them. While voters maintain an illusion of the electoral final say, the truth is a disturbing flourish of Orwellian smoke and mirrors.

Sign the petition! >
Read the Memo! >

Howard Dean Speaks for me!

I’m getting a little sick and tired of hearing supposed Democrats wine and complain about how Howard Dean in not speaking for them. Dean mentions that Republicans are mostly a “White, Christian” party; a statement that is entirely backed up by scientific data, and these cowards get scared and start knifing him in the back again.

Maybe it’s true. These fair weather Democrats have clearly bought into the Republican lies and rhetoric, and are now feeling guilty about their own political party and convictions. In that case, Howard Dean, a person who is willing to stand up for his beliefs and the values of his party, is most certainly not speaking for them, or anyone else who lacks the backbone to speak out against those in power.

I have a message for these wavering politicians. Howard Dean speaks for me, and he speaks for a lot of other people that would still be cynical and uninterested in government had it not been for his empowering message! Not only is he the first politician I have ever campaigned for, he is also the first political candidate to whom I’ve made a campaign contribution. If the Democratic party is to form a cohesive unit with a single, powerful message, we need Howard Dean at the helm.

So join me in demanding that these “Democrats” stop knifing the leader of our party in the back. By doing this, they are not only weakening their own credibility, they are destroying our chances of taking our country back from the Neo-Conservitive radicals in power.

Sign the “Howard Dean Speaks for me petition > 
Cheney’s runs his mouth again >