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imperialism & war

Democrat "Anti-war" Betrayal

Three "Anti-war" Democrats said they now back a $50 billion bill that funds the war but calls for most troops to come home by December 2008. Their support paves the way for the bill's passage Wednesday. The end date of having our troops out by December 2008 included in the bill is a goal and not a requirement.
"Out Now" has a new meaning and timetable. It now means December 2008,a whole year away in which a whole lot can happen. This sounds like one more maneuver in a war of posturing.

The News: Three Anti-war Democrats said they now back a $50 billion bill that funds the war but calls for most troops to come home by December 2008. Their support paves the way for the bill's passage Wednesday. The trio, California Reps. Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters, represent a liberal anti-war caucus that last week expressed opposition to the measure.

Here's a statement by Woolsey and Lee:

We know that most of you are disappointed that the end date of having our troops out by December 2008 included in the bill is a goal and not a requirement. So are we.

But let's be clear about what this bill accomplishes-this is the first time that this Congress has put forth a bill that ties funding to the responsible redeployment of our troops, and it also includes language mandating a start date for the President to begin the redeployment of our brave men and women. The bill also incorporates the principles put forth in H.R. 508, and provides for a regional stability plan which includes diplomatic, political, and economic strategies.

And most importantly, this is a concrete step in the right direction, and an important marker for this Congress to lay down.

Does any informed person still believe in the integrity of the Democratic party? 15.Nov.2007 12:47

StevetheGreen

When Al Gore refused to even offer a symbolic challenge to the fraudulant election of 2000, some democrats swore they had had enough.

When the Dems gave Bush authorization for the war on Iraq, many democrats swore they had had enough.

When The Dems overwhelmingly passed the patriot act, not once but twice, more democrats swore they had had enough.

When John Kerry refused to even challenge the fraudulant election of 2004, even more democrats swore they had had enough.

When the Dems told the American people that once they captured the house and the senate, they would end the war on Iraq and then failed to do so and offered nothing but excuses, an even larger percentage of democrats swore they had had enough.

Now when the so-called "progressives" in the congress (like Defazio and Conyers) said they won't pursue impeachment proceedings against Bush or Cheney or any of the rest of this ultra-corrupt administration, the howling of pissed off lifetime Democrats has never been louder.

But you know what?
That's right!

When the chips are down, they will vote for these corporatist militarists again.
They will do so using the predictable "lesser of two evils" logic that has been the saving grace for the failed Democratic party.

There are people reading this right now who swear they will not vote for Hillary or Obama or any of the other latest corporatist militarist trotted out by the bought and sold DLC.

But they will.
How do I know?

Because they always do.

It is far past time that people realize that continuing to rationalize their votes with the lesser of two evils logic is the biggest reason we are in the position we are in today as a country. At some point brave people need to stand up and vote for who they want instead of against who they don't want.

The huge corporate media push to diminish and marginalize third party candidates has not yet begun, but rest assured it will! And when it does, just like Pavlov's dog, self proclaimed progressives will rationalize their votes for Democrats one more time.

Bank on it!

More Betrayal 15.Nov.2007 12:54

Liev La Partie

Democratic Leaders Poised to Sabotage Hope for Renewable Energy

By Kelpie Wilson, TruthOut.org

Posted on November 13, 2007, Printed on November 15, 2007
 http://www.alternet.org/story/67793/

Last Thursday, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid said that they would jettison the renewable energy provisions in both the House and Senate versions of the 2007 energy bill in the interest of passing a bill before the Thanksgiving recess begins on November 17.

Republicans have been holding up action on the bill for months now, refusing to participate in conference committee meetings to reconcile the House and Senate versions. The big sticking points for Republicans have been support for renewable energy and ending billions of dollars in subsidies for oil companies. Democrats would like to use the oil subsidy money to support solar and wind power.

Representatives of the renewable energy industry were dismayed by the Democrats' abandonment. "This is basically Congress delivering an early Christmas present to the American public -- and it's a lump of coal," said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "We are feeling disgusted because this energy bill goes right back to maintaining the status quo."

The renewable energy provisions in the bill come in two forms: a Renewable Electricity Standard that requires utilities to supply 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind, and tax provisions, including a production tax credit for wind power and a tax credit to encourage investment in solar power equipment.

While the Renewable Electricity Standard would be a new federal program (31 states already have some kind of renewable mandate), the tax incentives for solar and wind would continue programs already in place. Losing these tax breaks would be devastating to the renewable energy industry, said solar lobbyist Scott Sklar of the Stella Group: "It will cause sales and investment to implode."

By giving up on renewable energy, lawmakers are losing an opportunity to increase energy security and strengthen the economy. Last week the American Solar Energy Society released a report on the economic benefits of investment in renewable energy, finding that major investments in renewables and energy efficiency retrofits could produce 40 million jobs and generate $4.5 trillion in US revenue by 2030.

The latest turn in the energy bill would actually force the country a few steps backward. Scott Sklar said that unlike in past years, there is little chance that the renewable tax incentives will be attached to another bill for passage this year.

If those tax incentives are lost, Americans will feel the pain quickly. Randall Swisher, head of the American Wind Energy Association said that the rapid growth of the American wind industry would go into a stall. "Getting into 2008, we will start to see uncertainty creep in in terms of getting projects financed and, even more importantly, attracting manufacturers to this country, bringing with them the jobs that are a critical part of what this industry can deliver for the future of this country," said Swisher.

The Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) was one of the provisions that passed only in the House version of the energy bill. Some Republicans, along with President Bush, have strongly opposed the mandate. Senator Domenici, ranking member of the Senate energy committee, cited complaints from utilities in the Southeast that they lacked renewable resources required to meet a 15 percent standard, but renewable energy experts say it won't be that challenging.

Domenici and some other Republicans want to keep the current state-by-state approach. They say it makes the most of regional differences in renewable resources. Scott Sklar warns that a strictly regional approach would shrink the potential of renewable energy.

"If the goal is to build a national, sustainable set of clean energy industries, the entire US market needs to be included," Sklar said. "Blending tax credits, an RES and national interconnection standards is the core government tool box to accelerate and enhance these technologies and build these industries. With energy imports increasing, prices increasing, climate change emissions increasing, our electric infrastructure aging, now is not the time to balkanize energy efficiency and production, but [to] set goals and nurture new technologies and new markets."

Republican maneuvers to kill the energy bill also came to light last week when Senator Domenici introduced a pair of amendments to the farm bill now being debated in the Senate. Domenici wants to migrate two of his favored energy provisions -- the ethanol mandate and $50 billion in nuclear power loan guarantees -- into the more viable farm bill. The loan guarantee title is called "loan guarantees for renewable fuel facilities," and never mentions nuclear power specifically. Dave Roberts, a writer at the green magazine Grist, called the move "sneaky."

With agribusiness lobbying hard for it, transferring the ethanol mandate to the farm bill would weaken bipartisan support for the energy bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters last week that the language should stay in the energy bill and that Democrats were going to "do an energy package separate from the farm bill."

With the Democratic leadership willing to sacrifice renewable energy provisions to pass an energy bill, what will be left? One controversial provision that may make it to the final bill is a watered-down version of the Senate's auto fuel efficiency standard. This provision has a lot going for it politically.

First, it has the support of President Bush and many Republicans. In an October 15 letter to Speaker Pelosi, Bush outlined a framework for an energy bill that would get his support. It would not include a Renewable Electricity Standard, but it would "reform and strengthen the fuel economy standard for cars."

In the letter, Bush then goes on to spell out the loopholes he wants inserted into a fuel economy standard. There must be separate standards for cars and light trucks (no holding SUVs to high standards) and there must be a cost-benefit analysis safety valve.

Fuel economy for cars is also polling very well. A bipartisan poll conducted last week found that voters connect better fuel efficiency with national security. Pollster Mark Mellman said: "The overwhelming support for CAFE standards cuts across all the traditional demographics in this country." Overall, 86 percent of voters said they support requiring automakers to increase fuel economy -- 90 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of independents and 83 percent of Republicans. Only health care costs and the Iraq war show similar levels of concern at 79 percent and 72 percent respectively.

Passing a weak fuel economy standard may let both the parties say they have done something about energy security, but it won't do much to build a renewable energy economy for the future.

But some Democrats are still willing to fight for the renewable energy provisions. Colorado Congressman Mark Udall said that he will meet with Speaker Pelosi this Wednesday about the energy bill.

Judith Kohler, writing for The Associated Press, reports that Udall believes support for renewable energy is a more important priority for the energy bill than increasing the CAFE standard. He is also meeting with senators to share his experiences with Colorado's successful Renewable Electricity Standard and to reassure senators from Southern states that energy experts believe they will be able to meet a Renewable Electricity Standard.

Udall is co-chair of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus in the House. Referring to his work on the House version of the energy bill that passed last August, he said, "Those of us who fought really hard in August are not going to rest until the final decision is made."

Kelpie Wilson is Truthout's environment editor. Trained as a mechanical engineer, she embarked on a career as a forest protection activist, then returned to engineering as a technical writer for the solar power industry. She is the author of Primal Tears, an eco-thriller.

2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:  http://www.alternet.org/story/67793/

Steve is right 15.Nov.2007 14:02

Brian the Green

How many times do you have to get burned by the Democratic party until you say "ENOUGH"! So many Democratic party members, supporters and voters, behave just like Charlie Brown in the comic strip gag about kicking the football. Where Lucy holds the football for Charlie Brown to kick, but never fails to pull it away as Charlie runs up to kick it sending him ass over tea kettle as he swings his foot at the missing ball. Each time he approaches the ball HE KNOWS Lucy is going to pull it away yet he somehow fools himself into believing different so despite all the evidence, does the same thing over and over again.

When in the hell are you going to just give up on the Democrats and join the Green Party? We may not be perfect but at least we have values and ideals. We are also part of an international movement with considerable success but are hampered here by laws created by Democrats and Republicans to keep people out of their rigged game.

I am so sick of the Democrats. They are spineless and stupid.

Not spineless and stupid 15.Nov.2007 15:57

Iris No Dem

It's a mistake to see the Dems as spineless and stupid. What they are is COMPLICIT!!

don't call it a betrayal 15.Nov.2007 15:59

dex

to be betrayed insinuates that the other person was once on your side; this is not the case with the Democrats, who have ALWAYS been on the side of big business.

but replacing a capitalist party with a green flavored 'capitalist light' is not the answer. The Greens, having values as vague as the Democrats, have firmly inserted themselves into the status quo EVERYWHERE they have gained a smidge of power -- ALL over Europe, Australia, even San Francisco! the elite are not threatened by the Green party for the same reason that working people should not vote for them: they offer no real alternative.

However, building a political alternative for working people is still a necessity. I suggest people look into the newly formed Reconstruction Party, which at least has working class roots; something the Green Party cannot claim.

Dex seems to be ignorant of the facts 15.Nov.2007 16:36

StevetheGreen

I find it humorous that someone would bring up party viability only to announce support for the Reconstructionist party. LOL
But silliness aside....

First of all, comparing the USGP to what has happened with some international green parties is comparing apples and oranges. A few minutes of cursory research would reveal that basic fact.

Secondly, the various state green parties are made up of working class people from all over the country.
Again, a few minutes of research would also reveal that fact.

The green party's ten key values are the basis for what constitute a true alternative.
Once again, only those who choose to be ignorant would not know this.

Finally, it is only the draconian US election laws that prevent the Green party from achieving faster viability.

Steve is right again 15.Nov.2007 21:31

Brian the Green

Dex seems to be ignorant of the facts. Google Greens and do any research and you'll find courageous working class people leading the way to a sustainable future. For a party that's been around less than 25 years, our members and supporters have done an amazing job of changing the political landscape for ALL people. Whether it is winning the Noble Peace Prize for planting trees to help women in Africa, to pushing for the rights of all people to marry, to steadfastly opposing war and the military industrial complex, the Green Party is getting shit done.

Dex is free to support the Reconstructionist Party (FYI - That's a terrible name from a marketing perspective - maybe that's why I've never heard of it till now), but I would recommend helping the Green Party reach the tipping point.

some Green Party facts 16.Nov.2007 08:57

dex

the above two posters seem hell bent on focusing on the facts, but they give none, minus tree planting in Africa and winning the Nobel Prize (Bush was a nominee for the nobel prize too).

and what's this about the actions of the international sections of the Green Party being an "apples vs oranges" debate; does not the Green Party internationally have the same political program?

here is an article about the Green Party's involvement in bombing Yugoslavia:

 http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/apr1999/grn-a30.shtml

The German Greens for military action in the Congo:

 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jun2006/gree-j01.shtml

an article about the opportunist politics of US Greens:

 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/jun2000/gp2-j27.shtml

an article about an international Green Party convention where they defend the Yugoslavia war

 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/jul2000/gp-j11.shtml


Anybody could also go to San Francisco, where Greens virtually run the city, and see just how typical San Francisco is when you compare inequality, homelessness, crime, etc.

I don't expect the above two posters to read the above articles, this is simply for people who might be fooled by their baseless assertions.

Look at the source 16.Nov.2007 10:37

Brian

Dex,

I appreicate you posting some information to back up your claim but it is all from one source: The World Socialist Web Site. Also, except for one link the stories are all more than 5 years old. While I respect some of the wsws opeds, this site has a well known penchant for bashing Greens. What would you expect -- we aren't a socialist party and they seem to feel like they get more mileage bashing Greens rather than taking on the people in power.

I did quickly read two of the links. I don't know enough about Congo politics but is it wrong to provide a UN peacekeeping force to the Congo to help support elections? I don't necessarily think so.

If you look at Green Party platforms and positions, you'll see almost universal opposition to the military industrial complex, militarism, war, and violence. Besides Greens, I think you'd be hard pressed to find candidates talking about these issues and yet, I'll bet most Greens have addressed them and clearly stand on the side of peace.

While we may not be perfect and politics is often the art of compromise, I'm sure many of the bills elected Greens have supported are far less "Green" than we'd like if we had all the seats at the table.

As to SF, how much power do you believe Greens have? Last time I looked, SF political leaders have to deal with MANY constituents within the framework of the US and CA constitutions. It aint' easy being Green.