Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pressure to push through the treaty continues

Sunday night, Roy Gutman and Leila Fadel's "U.S. threatens to halt services to Iraq without troop accord" (McClatchy Newspapers) was published online (but not at McClatchy's site proper where, for some reason, it has never been published -- link goes to McClatchy's Kansas City Star). Fadel updates it with "U.S. lists services it'll cut off if Iraq rejects pact on troops" which explains the political blackmail includes threats of $6.3 billion in US aid plus "$10 billion a year in foreign military sales" being cut off according to Gen Ray Odierno. Fadel reports:

The warning was spelled out in a three-page list that was shown to McClatchy on Monday. Iraqi officials consider the threat serious and worry that the impasse over the so-called status of forces agreement could lead to a crisis in Iraq. Without a new agreement or a renewed United Nations mandate, the U.S. military presence would become an illegal occupation under international law.
Odierno's spokesman, Lt. Col. James Hutton, said that the list "provided information as a part of our normal engagements with many in the government of Iraq."
If no new mandate or agreement is in place on Jan. 1, the U.S. would stop sharing intelligence with the Iraqi government and would cease to provide air traffic control, air defense, SWAT team training or advisers in government ministries, according to the document. The list also says that there'd be no "disposition of U.S.-held Iraqi convicts" without a security agreement.

AP plays catch up and adds

Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi told McClatchy News Service that the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, listed "tens" of areas that faced cutoff in a three-page letter that al-Hashemi called "really shocking for us."
The Associated Press was unable to contact al-Hashemi for comment. Odierno's spokesman, Lt. Col. James Hutton, said there was no letter but "we provided information as a part of our normal engagements with many in the government of Iraq."
He would not elaborate.

The McClatchy report referred to is the one by Fadel and Gutman. The treaty is masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement. December 31st, the UN mandate under which foreign fighters legally operate in Iraq expires. (This mandate came after the start of the illegal war. There was no UN mandate for starting the war.) Nouri al-Maliki has twice ignored Parliament and had it renewed over their heads and over their objections. The first time, he played dumb and swore he would seek their permission before attempting it again.

The White House has decided that a treaty should take the place of a UN mandate because a treaty will allow them to tie the hands of the next president of the United States (whomever he or she is). The administration has indicated that to go for a one-year (or less) renewal of the UN mandate would be problematic because Russia sits on the UN Security Council and they know Russia would use its permanent member status to veto a renewal. Last week, Russia made it clear publicly that they had no intention to veto a renewal. Pressed publicly in briefings, US State Dept spokespersons push aside the issue of renewing the mandate and insist that the administration's energies are rightly focused on the proposed treaty -- which they call a SOFA and, more specifically, the "text" of an "agreement." Mary Beth Sheridan's "Iraq Security Pact Highlights Battle Between U.S., Iran" (Washington Post) addresses other pressures regarding the proposed treaty:

A deal to authorize the presence of American forces in Iraq beyond 2008 is forcing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to choose between two influential powers in this country: the United States and Iran.
[. . .]
If Maliki pushes the U.S.-Iraq security agreement through parliament without support from his Shiite partners, "the Iranians will turn his life into hell. He will have no chance of winning in the south," Attiyah, the political analyst, said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the Iraqi people have a "duty" to resist the Americans. The Iranian parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, warned of "unpleasant impacts" if Iraq signs the deal. And a senior Iranian cleric with ties to Iraq's Shiites, Ayatollah Kadhim al-Husseini al-Haeri, has pronounced the accord "haram," or forbidden under Islam.

The last entry noted Sam Dagher's NYT front page report and I'll toss out a link to it because on another day it would have received more attention here. Also in today's New York Times is Alissa J. Rubin's "Rejection of Oil Law and Move to Create Tribal Councils Add to Tensions With Kurds" details the rejection of the oil law and the apparent rejection (by Kurds) of efforts by the Baghdad government to create a sort of "Awakeing" Council for the disputed areas (disputed by the Kurds and the Baghdad government). Rubin notes:

It has become an article of faith for Kurdish political leaders that the Kurds have a right to fold Kirkuk into Kurdistan. The Kurds are also seeking to maintain influence over a number of other disputed areas along their border with the rest of Iraq.
The central government has long opposed Kurdistan's claims to Kirkuk because it wants access to the region's oil wealth, and also because historically many other peoples have lived there: Turkmens, Arabs and Christians, many of them Assyrians.

Saturday, in the New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin contributed "As Iraq Takes Control, Puzzle Over Prisoners" which asked what happenes at US prisons like Camp Bucca when Iraq has control or something resembling it? Corinne Reilly's "As clock ticks, U.S. letting thousands of Iraqi prisoners go" (McClatchy Newspapers) offers that the US plan (aspiration)is to have no Iraqi prisoners after December 2009. Reilly reports:

In the five and a half years since the Iraq war began, U.S. troops have arrested and detained roughly 100,000 Iraqis, almost all of them without formal criminal charges. A year ago, 26,000 Iraqis were in American military detention, more than at any other point since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. About 17,000 remain imprisoned, but that number is dropping fast.
Brig. Gen. David Quantock, the U.S. deputy commanding general in charge of detainee operations in Iraq, told McClatchy that he thinks the vast majority of detainees who remain in custody aren't dangerous. Most of them participated in the insurgency because they were paid to do so or because they were threatened, he said. "I think it's a small number who are here because they really believe in the ideology of it."
Within the next 14 months, Quantock said, the military hopes to turn over a few thousand detainees who are considered the most dangerous for prosecution under Iraqi law. The rest will be released, he said.

Turning to the US presidential race. CBS News reposted a piece by William Greider from The Nation, "Why Ralph Nader Runs:"

Nader stood at the podium and read from a lengthy speech describing the corporate dominance of politics, the stranglehold exercised on dissent by the two-party system, the presidential candidates packaged like soap and cars, the failure of left-liberal progressives (including The Nation) to demand conditions on their support for the Democratic candidate.
"The hypocrisy of liberals, which may in some ways be unconscious, is empowering the forces that are destroying our nation," Nader asserted in an even-tempered voice. "The left in this country has been successfully cowed by the Democratic Party," he continued. "The votes of progressives are taken for granted by Democrats.... By allowing ourselves to be manipulated, we have demonstrated that we have no moral substance. We have no line that can be never be crossed, no stance so sacred and important that we are willing to stand up and fight back."
So long as progressives are willing to settle for the "least worst" alternative, they will remain ignored and excluded from power, he suggested.
This kind of talk from Nader drives some people to rage against him. He returns the favor by discussing "the rage that many in our nation feel towards liberals." Barack Obama, he insists, does not intend to alter anything fundamental about the causes. "This rage is a legitimate expression of very real betrayal," Nader explained. "The working class, most of whom do not vote, watch Democratic candidate after Democratic candidate run for office promising to support labor and protect jobs and then, once elected, trot off to Washington to pass the corporate-friendly legislation drawn up by the 35,000 lobbyists who work for our shadow government."

As Marcia observed last night, "That's from The Nation originally and I'm trying to figure out whether or not they've been shamed into finally doing something on Ralph (don't pretend that crap John Nichols offers -- what 1 piece on Nader for every 75 he writes on Barack) or if this is just them grasping how PISSED so many on the left will be if Barack gets elected because they will realize how badly they have been LIED to and that the LYING includes Panhandle Media. I mean, there's a day of reckoning coming and it's going to be ugly if Barack gets elected."

Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate, Matt Gonzalez is his running mate. Brandon notes this from Team Nader:

Nader Urges Courts to Challenge Constitutionality of Corporate Personhood
Monday, October 27, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM
Contact: Toby Heaps, 202-471-5833, toby@votenader.org
Nader Challenge to American Legal Community: Take Justice Scalia Up on His Invitation to Put Corporate Personhood on Trial
Following is a statement by Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader:
The word "corporation" or "company," or the words "political party," do not appear anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. How then can these two excluded corporate institutions have such power over Americans who, as "real people," are the only "persons" protected and given rights under our Constitution? Corporations are artificial legal entities. They are not human beings. They do not vote. They do not breathe. They do not have children. They do not die in Iraq. Why have they been given all the rights under our Constitution, except for the right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, and why did they obtain these rights from judges, not from the legislature?
I put these and other questions in writing to Justice Antonin Scalia -- deemed an extremely conservative judge who believes in "originalism," or strict interpretation of the Constitution. Recently, Justice Scalia and I caught up together on the phone: I asked him how the application of the Bill of Rights and related constitutional protections to the artificial creations known as corporations can be squared with a constitutional interpretation theory of "originalism?"
Justice Scalia said he had not put much thought into unconstitutional corporate personhood, but if a case was brought before him on the topic, he would be happy to delve into it. Unconstitutional corporate personhood is the central issue that prevents equal justice under the law and provides privileges and immunities to corporations completely outside of the framers’ frame of reference in that large hot room in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787.
The $700 billion blank check bailout of Wall Street is the latest manifestation of private corporate domination of our national government, a situation that Franklin Delano Roosevelt foresaw as "fascism" in a message to Congress in 1938. The relentless decline in the livelihood of America’s working families and growing unemployed reflects the radical concentration of power and wealth in a few hands.
To turn back this tide, the first step is for someone among the legal community -- the sooner the better -- to bring a case centering on unconstitutional corporate personhood to the fore on the floor of the Supreme Court. And then, perhaps, Justice Scalia’s originalism can be brought to bare on restoring justice and allowing the Constitution’s words "we the people," to once again ring true.
*Please see link to Mr. Nader's letter to Justice Scalia

And Tori notes this from Team Nader:

Breaking Point: We Will Decide


Breaking Point: We Will Decide .
Ralph and Matt,

I just wanted to drop you a line from here in Florida. I am proud to have voted for you today. It is the first time I have voted since 1992…and I know that you represent me and millions of others who have been seeking truth and liberty. I voted in Lee County Florida and the turn-out at my precinct was in my estimation a record. I waited in line for aproximately 1 1/2 hours (which was well worth it) and as luck would have it there was a guy in from of who had an Obama button on. He asked me who I was voting for and I said, "I am voting for a third party." He said, "You can tell me, you’re voting Nader right?" I thought OK I’ll play his game.

He went on to ask me the obvious question. (I saw it coming—I was licking my chops!!) He asked me why I would vote for a candidate who can’t win. I said because "today I am voting my conscience and not the Evil of two lessers." I told him I would not vote for either corporate candidate-Obama or McCain. By the time I was through explaining to him about the erosion of the Constitution, the MSM Blackout, Wall Street Bail Out, etc, I had him thinking at the very least.

Mr. Nader and Mr. Gonzalez, it has been a gratifying experience for me to have watched you two unite millions of Americans behind truth, justice, liberty and the foundation of the Constitution. "We The People"…WE Will Decide!!!


—Patrick Brian Lee

Photo above by a supporter.

If you haven’t reached your breaking point, visit www.breakingpoint08.com.
Send me your Breaking Point story to share at loralynne@votenader.org, so the growing numbers of independent voters can join our voices, and together, we can change the system.

Loralynne Krobetzky
Communications Director
Nader for President 2008


Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential nominee and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. Cynthia will be campaigning in Illinois today and tomorrow:

Monday, 27 October 2008 22:27
For Immediate Release:

Contact: Rich Whitney, 618-924-4308
John Judge, 202-583-5347, press secretary


Appearances set for Chicago, Naperville, Springfield and Alton

Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney brings her "Power to the People" campaign to the nation's heartland of Illinois on Tuesday, October 28 and Wednesday, October 29. Highlights include appearances in downtown Chicago, a meet-the-candidate breakfast in Naperville, a press conference in Springfield at the State Capitol and a candidates' forum in Alton, Illinois, in the St. Louis Metro East area.

At many of her appearances, Cynthia will be joined by some of the record 54 Green Party candidates running for office throughout the State of Illinois, including 11 congressional candidates.

"The Green Party is making waves running competitive races for public office throughout much of the State," commented Rich Whitney, who won over 10 percent of the vote as the Green candidate for Governor in 2006. "And McKinney's appearance here comes at an opportune time. While the two corporate-sponsored candidates have exposed themselves as being tools of Wall Street, with no real answers to the collapse of the economy, McKinney has shown real leadership on economic issues. She is the only candidate who talks about dismantling the military-industrial-prison complex, winning a job-creating peace-and-justice dividend to rebuild our nation's energy, housing and transportation infrastructure on a green foundation; ending corporate welfare, and putting an end to the biggest act of predatory lending of all -- the control of the nation's money supply by a private consortium of banks, the Federal Reserve."

"And while the twin corporate-sponsored candidates try to outdo each other in saber-rattling against Pakistan, Iran and Russia, while supporting the continued occupation of Iraq and escalation in Afghanistan," Whitney added, "Cynthia McKinney has distinguished herself as being the principled advocate for peace and the peace movement, calling for a complete and fast end to U.S. military deployments worldwide. She and the other Green candidates are standing up for the principle of national self-determination and standing against our government's strategy of serving corporate interests through military domination -- a strategy that breeds more hatred of the U.S. and more terrorism." Whitney will be accompanying McKinney on her campaign swing through Illinois.

The following is an itinerary of McKinney's campaigning in Illinois:

Tuesday, October 28

7 p.m. Reception at Black Independent Political Convention, Ms. Sis Place, 1401 E. 75th St., Chicago.

8:15 p.m. (approx.): Speak at Green Party candidates' reception and forum, YWCA, 360 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago (at Wacker). $15 admission includes refreshments. This event begins at 7:00 p.m. and continues until 10:00, and will feature talks by other Chicago-area Green Party candidates, including Senatorial candidate Kathy Cummings and congressional candidates Omar Lopez (4th Dist.) and Jeremy Pohlen (3rd Dist.).
[The YWCA notes that the appearance of Cynthia McKinney and other Green candidates at the YWCA does not reflect any opinion or position on the part of the YWCA in favor of any political candidate.]

Wednesday, October 29th

8 - 9:30 a.m.: Breakfast meet and greet, at Egg Harbor restaurant, 175 W. Jackson, in Naperville, with Senate candidate Cummings, Congressional candidate Steve Alesch (13th Dist.) and DuPage and Kane County Green candidates, members and supporters, including State Rep candidates Dan Kairis and Kevin O'Connor.

1:30 p.m: Springfield. (Time probable but not yet confirmed) Press conference at the State Capitol "Blue Room." Radio interview at WMAY, 970 AM news-talk radio, time not yet confirmed.

4:00 - 6:30 p.m.: Green Party candidate Meet-and-Greet/forum, Holiday Inn, 3800 Homer Adams Pkwy, Alton, with Rodger Jennings, 12th Dist. Congressional candidate, and Troy Dennis, 19th Dist. Congressional candidate.

And Cynthia takes the campaign to Texas later this week:

Mckinney to Visit Texas Communities
Friday, 24 October 2008 22:30

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, October 23, 2008

kat swift, co-chair, cell 210-471-1791, kat@txgreens.org

Thomas Muhammad, Co-Chair, 214-460-7672, tmuhammad2003@yahoo.com

Presidential Candidate's Texas Visit Brings Communities Back to into the White House Discussion

GALVESTON, TX -- 40 days after Ike and one week from today,
Presidential Campaign Team McKinney/Clemente will tour Tejas
beginning with the devastation in Galveston & Houston.

"Our plight has been overshadowed by the election and the economy.
I had been supporting Barack Obama, but I am getting more and more
disillusioned with the Democratic party altogether." - a native
Galvestonian, recently told the Power to the People Campaign.
"Seventy percent of the homes here were destroyed and this is a town
of sixty thousand people. That's a lot of votes..."

Cynthia McKinney, former Congresswoman who lead the investigation
into the federal government response to Hurricane Katrina, will be
in Galveston for a Press Conference on Thursday, October 30th. A
follow-up Press Release will give specifics.

Beginning 10 days after Hurricane Katrina ravaged parts of the
south, Rosa Clemente provided on the ground reporting as an
independent journalist to independent radio stations and mainstream
media outlets all over the world. Friday, October 31st she will
travel to Galveston.

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente seeking election to the White
House in 2008. On October 30th and 31st, voters in Texas will hear
what these women have to say about current issues impacting our
local communities and those that continue to be put on the back
burner during every election season - class struggle, the prison
industrial complex, media justice, gentrification, a just
immigration policy, police brutality, war crimes and impeachment
proceedings being levied on those responsible in high office, and
addressing the Palestinian perspective in the Middle East.

Rounding out their Tejas Tour, Rosa Clemente speaks in San Anto Oct
30th at Ruta Maya Cafe and at HallowGreen in Houston, Oct 31 at the
Houston Institute for Culture. Cynthia McKinney will be speaking at
the S.H.A.P.E. Center in Houston, October 30th, be interviewed Oct.
31st on on KHVN-AM Radio (97.0) from 12-1PM, and participate in a
free, public Candidate Forum in Plano, Oct 31, at the MAS Youth


Location of Events:

S.H.A.P.E. Center at 3815 Live Oak, Houston, 77004 at 7 pm.
Houston Institute for Culture at 708B Telephone Rd., Houston, next
door to Bohemio's, 7pm
MAS Youth Center, 740 F Ave, Plano, 75074, 8-10pm
Ruta Maya Riverwalk Cafe, 107 E. Martin St., San Antonio 78205

For further details:

In Dallas/Ft.Worth area:
Thomas Muhammad, 214-460-7672, tmuhammad2003@yahoo.com

In San Antonio:
kat swift, 210-471-1791, kat@txgreens.org

In Houston/Galveston:
Don Cook, 713-705-5594, zenblews@hotmail.com
Green Party of Texas, http://www.txgreens.org

Recovery efforts in Galveston: Operation H.E.A.R.T. (Helping
Everyone Achieve Recovery Together) at San Jacinto Elementary. They
are accepting donations of all kinds of things, especially school
supplies, backpacks, clothing, etc. All money and items go directly
to Galveston students and their families. The center is open M-F
from 9-4.

For more Power to the People campaign information:

Digg "Rosa Clemente" & "Cynthia McKinney"

Cynthia McKinney on video
here, here, BreakTheMatrix here, Democracy Now! here, music video here

Rosa Clemente on video
- Interview: Current TV/Rock the Vote

- Clips from recent NYC lecture:
here, here, here

~ E N D ~

John McCain is the Republican presidential nominee and Sarah Palin is his running mate. Vernon notes this from the McCain - Palin campaign:

McCain-Palin 2008 Launches New Television Ad: "Compare"

ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, McCain-Palin 2008 released its latest television ad, entitled "Compare." The ad highlights the clear choice Americans have at the polls this year. For higher taxes, policies that spread the wealth around, increased government spending and pain for small business, Barack Obama is the clear choice in this election. For policies that promote economic growth, help working Americans, lower taxes and eliminates government waste, the choice is John McCain. The ad will be televised in key states.


Script For "Compare" (TV :30)

ANNCR: Your choice...

For higher taxes ... for workin' Joe's.

Spread your income ... keep what's yours.

A trillion in new spending ... freeze spending, eliminate waste.

Pain for small business ... economic growth.

Risky ... proven.

For a stronger America, McCain.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

AD FACTS: Script For "Compare" (TV :30)

ANNCR: Your choice... For higher taxes ... for workin' Joe's.

  • Barack Obama Has Called For Higher Income Taxes, Social Security Taxes, Capital Gains And Dividend Taxes, And Corporate Taxes, As Well As "Massive New Domestic Spending." "Obama's transformation, if you go by his campaign so far, would mean higher income taxes, higher Social Security taxes, higher investment taxes, higher corporate taxes, massive new domestic spending, and a healthcare plan that perhaps could be the next step to a full-scale, single-payer system. Is that what most Americans want, someone who will fulfill a Democratic policy wish list?" (James Pethokoukis, "Barack Hussein Reagan? Ronald Wilson Obama?" U.S. News & World Report's "Capital Commerce" Blog, www.usnews.com, 2/12/08)
  • Barack Obama Would Raise Capital Gains And Dividend Taxes. "Sen. Obama wants to raise the long-term capital-gains rate for families making more than $250,000 to around 20 percent or somewhat higher but not above the 28 percent level it reached during the Reagan presidency, an Obama economic adviser says. The same rate would apply to most dividend income for these investors." (Tom Herman, "Tax Report Your Tax Bill: How McCain, Obama Differ," The Associated Press, 6/18/08)
  • Tax Policy Center: Barack Obama Would Raise Taxes On One Out Of Every Three Senior Households. "Even though Senator Obama's plan eliminates individual income taxes for seniors with incomes less than $50,000, his plan would raise taxes for almost 10 million senior households, over a third of the total (not shown in table). On average, seniors would face a tax increase of about 2 percent of income." (Burman et al., "A Preliminary Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans," The Tax Policy Center, 6/11/08)
  • Tax Foundation: Seniors "Rely Most On The Stable Flow Of Income That Dividends Provide." "Most debate over whether to extend the reduced rates on dividends and capital gains has focused on the tax benefits of these cuts to high-income taxpayers. What has been largely ignored is the impact these tax policies have on corporations' decisions on how best to distribute their income to shareholders -- including senior citizens, who rely most on the stable flow of income that dividends provide. A recent Tax Foundation analysis illustrated that a large number of those benefiting from dividends are seniors and those on the verge of retirement (See www.taxfoundation.org). A further analysis of these seniors earning dividends reveals that lower-income seniors who file tax returns depend more heavily on divide nd income than high-income seniors." (Gerald Prante, "The Importance Of Dividend Income For Low-Income Seniors," Tax Foundation, http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/1354.html, 2/8/06)
  • Barack Obama Would Raise Income Taxes. Obama: "[I] would roll back the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000." (Sen. Barack Obama, CNN Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Manchester, NH, 6/3/07)
  • U.S. Department Of Treasury: Small Business Owners "Are Frequently Subject To The Highest Individual Income Tax Rates." "Changes in the individual income tax affect most businesses in the United States. That is because taxes on business earnings are often paid through the individual income tax when 'passed-through' to business owners. The business income from sole proprietorships, farm proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, etc., is all taxed at the owners' individual income tax rates. This year 34 million business owners are expected to receive this type of income and pay tax on this income through the individual income tax. These businesses are typically small and often entrepreneurial in nature, and a source of innovation and risk-taking in the economy. Moreover, these business owners are frequently subject to the highest individual income tax rates." ("Topics Related To The President's Tax Relief," U.S. Departm ent Of Treasury, http://www.ustreas.gov/press/releases/reports/president_taxrelief_topics_0508.pdf, May 2008)
  • Barack Obama Would Raise Social Security Taxes. "Obama's proposal would impose social security taxes on income above $250,000 per year. He would continue to exempt income between $102,000 and $250,000 from social security taxes." (Teddy Davis, Sunlen Miller, and Gregory Wallace, "Obama Kisses Billions Goodbye," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog, blogs.abcnews.com, 6/18/08)
ANNCR: Spread your income ... keep what's yours.
  • Barack Obama: "I Think When You Spread The Wealth Around, It's Good For Everybody." JOE WURZELBACHER: "I'm a plumber. You know, I work, you know, 10, 12 hours a day. If I buy another truck and add something else to it, and you know, build the company..." OBAMA: "Right." WURZELBACHER: "... you know, I'm getting taxed more and more." OBAMA: "Nobody likes high taxes." WURZELBACHER: "No, not at all." OBAMA: "Right? Of course not. So -- but what's happened is, is that we end up -- we've cut taxes a lot for folks like me who make a lot more than $250,000. We haven't given a break to folks who make less. It's not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance at success, too. And everybody is so pinched that business is bad for everybody. And I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Toledo, OH, 10/12/08)
  • In 2001, Barack Obama Said One Of The "Tragedies" Of The Civil Rights Movement Was That It Did Not Bring About "Redistributive Change." OBAMA: "You know if you look at the victories and the failures of the Civil Rights movement and its litigation strategy in the Court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order in as long as I could pay for it I would be okay. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and the Warren Cou rt interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf and that hasn't shifted. And one of the I think the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court focused I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change and in some ways we still suffer from that." (Barack Obama, Interview With WBEZ Chicago, 2001)
ANNCR: A trillion in new spending ... freeze spending, eliminate waste. Pain for small business ... economic growth. Risky ... proven. For a stronger America, McCain. JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.
  • If Barack Obama Could Enact All Of His Campaign Proposals, Taxpayers Would Be Faced With Financing Over $1 Trillion In New Spending Over One White House Term. (Barack Obama's Spending Proposals: http://www.barackobama.com/index.php, Accessed 10/19/08)
  • Investor's Business Daily Said Under An Obama Administration There Would Be "Nearly $1 Trillion" In New Spending. "Absent enormous cuts in government spending -- and Barack Obama alone promises new spending of nearly $1 trillion -- there will be no hope of anything resembling a balanced budget." (Editorial, "A Bad Scenario," Investor's Business Daily, 2/28/08)
  • PolitiFact Discredits Obama's Claim That His Proposals Are Paid For; Says His Rhetoric Is "Disingenuous." "Until he fleshes out his economic plan considerably more, it's disingenuous to go around claiming his proposals are 'paid for.' And that claim is even more suspect considering that his proposals would leave a larger deficit than would the tax laws currently on the books. We find his claim to be Barely True." ("'Paid For' Without Real Money," St. Petersburg Times' "PolitiFact.com," www.politifact.com, 6/16/08)

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.