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Obama Administration


by Linda Milazzo

According to the local Los Angeles newspaper, The Daily Breeze, California Congresswoman, Jane Harman, a blue dog conservative democrat, is up for a high level intelligence position in the Obama administration. The positions being considered are CIA Director, Director of National Intelligence, and Secretary of Homeland Security. If this speculation becomes fact, and Harman is appointed overseer of the freedoms of the American people, the people's freedoms are toast. Conservative Democrat Harman consistently legislates AGAINST participatory democracy and against personal freedom.

The most egregious example of Harman's disregard for participatory democracy is HR 1955 - the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007" - a frightening bill she slipped in the House for passage just over a year ago. HR 1955 is so anti-dissent, so anti-freedom and so McCarthy-like in its establishment of citizen review Commissions that I've written on it twice - both times appealing to the public to stop passage of its Senate clone, S 1959, which luckily has not yet come up for vote. Unfortunately, Mrs. Harman was so covert when sneaking in "1955" that no citizens could lobby to stop it.

The U.S. Has Power. What It Needs Is Authority.

The U.S. Has Power. What It Needs Is Authority.
By Ron Suskind |

Moral authority.

What is it? Do you have any? Would you like to lend some to the U.S. government?

Because that will be the holy grail for President Barack Obama: Finding moral authority -- the quicker, the better.

The rap against the United States is well known by now: Over the past eight years, we have embraced a reckless unilateral posture of action over analysis, discarding the "good process" of prudent, evidence-based policy debate in favor of the Nike Doctrine -- just do it, and clean up the mess later.

Obama’s Historic Victory

Obama’s Historic Victory
by Howard Zinn | Howard | Submitted by Michael Munk |

Those of us on the Left who have criticized Obama, as I have, for his failure to take bold positions on the war and on the economy, must join the exultation of those Americans, black and white, who shouted and wept Tuesday night as they were informed that Barack Obama had won the presidential election. It is truly a historic moment, that a black man will lead our country. The enthusiasm of the young, black and white, the hopes of their elders, cannot simply be ignored.

Impeachment Already?

I posted this because there are those of us who are disappointed with a number of Obama's positions, and there are Obama opponents who are concerned about"the fate of the Constitution and the future of the nation." So, see, we can agree on some things. It's a start, anyway.

Impeachment Already?
East of Eden |

Mahatma Gandhi Inspires Obama

Mahatma Gandhi inspires Obama |

Washington: Barack Obama, who today scripted history by getting elected as the first black President of the United States, has always seen Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration who reminds him about the "real message of life".

Obama also flaunts his love to the apostle of peace by having a portrait of Mahatma at his Senate Office.

The Democrat, who favours US having close links with India, has told an Indian magazine that he was "fortunate" to have close Indian-American friends and recalled about the rural development work his mother did in the country.

Through the power of his example and his own unshakable spirit, Gandhi inspired a people to resist oppression, sparking a revolution that freed a nation from colonial rule, the Democratic Presidential-elect had said.

"Gandhi s significance is universal. Countless people around the world have been touched by his spirit and example. His victory in turn inspired a generation of young Americans to peacefully wipe out a system of overt oppression that had endured for a century.

Send a Congratulatory Note to President-Elect Obama Using the Avaaz Wall of Well-Wishes

In just 24 hours, over 150,000 people from 189 countries have signed and sent a message for Barack Obama to our huge global wall in the centre of Washington DC, and it has been covered on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and in the US on front pages of two of the biggest newspapers and on the evening news!

Together, we're helping to seize Obama's election as a major global moment for unity and reconciliation, when the US can finally join with the world community in facing our common challenges together. We're congratulating Obama on his election and commitments to stop climate change, withdraw from Iraq, double aid for poverty, ban torture and more.

Avaaz's Global Message-to-Obama Wall in Washington DC has become THE place for citizens around the world to speak to Obama. If you haven't already, follow the link to see the Wall and send your message, and forward this email to friends and family who might want to join in: .

Change will not come easily to the US or its foreign policy. Entrenched interests -- including oil companies, war contractors, and neo-con ideologists -- stand in the way. But those interests have always sought to divide us -- the greater international unity and goodwill we have, the better we'll be able to confront the challenges head on and make progress as one world. The Global Obama-Message Wall is a symbol of change and an investment in the new goodwill between the US and the world -- with major global climate change negotiations coming up next month, it will not be long before that good will is tested. Let's get to a million messages to Obama!

Obama's Victory Could Signal End of Racial-Identity Politics

Obama's Victory Could Signal End of Racial-Identity Politics
Supporters Say Obama's Qualifications Led Him to the White House, Not His Race
By Peter Grier |

Like Barack Obama, Tom Muriuki is half Kenyan and half white. The same student program brought both men's fathers to North America. There are only about 600 first-generation biracial Kenyans in the country. Yet despite this personal connection, Mr. Muriuki, an Oakland, Calif., civil servant, emphasizes the political over the racial when talking about President-elect Obama's historic victory.

The Bush administration made so many mistakes that the nation was desperate for change, said Muriuki. Obama was sailing with the tides of history. That he was African-American didn't matter, one way or another.

Can Barack Obama Undo Bush's Tangled Legal Legacy?

By Marisa Taylor and Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers

Washington - When Barack Obama becomes president in January, he'll confront the controversial legal legacy of the Bush administration.

From expansive executive privilege to hard-line tactics in the war on terrorism, Obama must decide what he'll undo and what he'll embrace.

The stakes couldn't be higher.

On one hand, civil libertarians and other critics of the Bush administration may feel betrayed if Obama doesn't move aggressively to reverse legal policies that they believe have violated the Constitution and international law.

On the other hand, Obama risks alienating some conservative Americans and some - but by no means all - military and intelligence officials if he seeks to hold officials accountable for those expansive policies.

These are some of the legal issues confronting him:

Defense Secretary Gates Doesn’t Belong in Obama Cabinet

By Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive

A few days ago, the New York Times sketched out who would likely be in an Obama cabinet.

His Secretary of Defense was predicted to be none other than Robert Gates, who currently holds that post under Bush.

Obama should think again.

On Tuesday, Gates expanded the infamous Bush doctrine, saying, “The United States will hold any state, terrorist group, or other nonstate actor or individual fully accountable” for supporting or enabling terrorist efforts to obtain or use weapons of mass destruction.” And the definition of “supporting or enabling” was very broad: “whether by facilitating, financing, or providing expertise or safe haven for such efforts.”

Under this doctrine, the United States should have bombed Pakistan because it gave a safe haven to A.Q. Khan, who was running a nuclear Wal-Mart there.

Baracking Around the World!

Baracking around the world!

President-elect's Queries to Briefers

By Ray McGovern,

After a week lecturing at Kansas State University and then in Kansas City, Missouri, I could not shake the feeling that what Kansas and Missouri need most is the equivalent of Radio Free Europe, which was so effective in spreading truth around inside Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

(Truth in advertising: during the late Sixties, I served for two years as substantive liaison officer between the RFE and Washington.)

So I was amused while still in Kansas to get a call from Mike Caddell of “Radio Free Kansas” asking me for an interview. Broadcasting from rural northeastern Kansas, Caddell does his own part in spreading truth around.

Most of his fellow Kansans are malnourished by a steady diet of extreme right-wing media gruel that helps re-elect folks like see-no-evil Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who did Bush’s bidding in “justifying” Bush’s attack on Iraq when Roberts headed the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Will Obama Administration Signal Return to Rule of Law?

Will Obama Administration Signal Return to Rule of Law?
By Brian Baxter | The American Lawyer

President-elect Barack Obama will have a lot on his plate during his first 100 days in office.

Foremost among the pressing issues he faces: rebuilding America's reputation in the international arena, says Philippe Sands, author of "Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values." The book, excerpts of which appeared in a May 2008 Vanity Fair feature story, examines how U.S. lawyers abandoned the Geneva Conventions and other international protocols after the 9/11 attacks.

President-Elect Obama and Getting the Change We Deserve

By Dave Lindorff

Now that the street dancing is over, and President-elect Barack Obama is measuring the drapes for the new Oval Office (let’s hope he loses the mounted Saddam Hussein matching pistol set and that he has the direct hard-wired link between the Vice President’s Office and the Pentagon severed), it’s time to start focusing on how to make this new president live up to his mantra of “Change We Can Believe In.”

Well over 65 million people voted Obama in on the belief that he meant what he said with that largely empty slogan. They are going to be hugely disappointed if he doesn’t deliver.

Labor Reborn: A Department of Labor Worthy of the Name

By David Swanson

According to news reports, president elect Obama is considering for Labor Secretary three people who actually know something about labor and actually support the intended mission of the labor department, which is protecting the rights of laborers. And by laborers, I mean you. If you have not recently received a government bailout, you're one of us. Here's the short list:

•Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of House Education and Labor Committee
•Former Rep. David Bonior, member of Obama's Transition Economic Advisory Board
•Andy Stern, president of Service Employees International Union

Any of these men as Secretary of Labor would be a 180 degree reversal from the past eight years, during which the so-called labor department has done everything it could to damage the labor movement and the rights of working people.

Lying 101: Obama Considering Colin Powell for Secretary of Education

By David Swanson

According to news reports, one of the names president elect Obama is considering for running our national education system is Colin Powell.

This is not from The Onion, but the Houston Chronicle. But there's hardly a non-humorous way to envision it. Presumably schools will be required to institute new policies in favor of cheating on tests if they want to keep their federal funding. Lying will be developed as an academic field fully integrated in the curriculum from preschool on.

And if you thought military recruiters had too much access to kids, just wait. If you thought history books were already flawed by leaving out everything that happens between wars, get ready.

Mazel Tov, Mr. President-Elect! Now Do We Have Some Advice for You...

Mazel Tov, Mr. President-Elect! Now Do We Have Some Advice for You ...
By Yossi Alpher | Jewish Daily

Get Your Mideast Priorities Straight

Your Middle East agenda is huge. You are going to be preoccupied in the years ahead with Iran and Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Al Qaeda and the Taliban. These matters will loom much larger for you than will Israel and its immediate and problematic environs.

Nevertheless, you will quickly be confronted with the need to deal with Israeli-Arab issues, too. In responding, first keep in mind that Israel now looks at its security environment through an Iranian prism, not an Arab prism. Second, remember that Syria, and not the Palestinian Authority, is the linchpin in any effort to turn the tide in Israel’s vicinity against Iran and militant Islam.

Obama: 'New Mission in Iraq: Ending the War'

By Jason Leopold, The Public Record

President-Elect Barack Obama, who defeated Republican John McCain in an Electoral College landslide in Tuesday’s historic presidential election, is following through on one of his early campaign promises: ending the war in Iraq.

Although the economic meltdown on Wall Street eclipsed much of the debate surrounding the conflict in Iraq during the last few months of the presidential campaign, Obama has returned to the issue that formed the basis of his presidential campaign 22-months ago.

The proposals he and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden have introduced, some of which Obama outlined in the early days of the Obama's campaign, will no doubt lead to a conflict with the Bush administration’s own plans for the region the White House is currently trying to hammer out before Bush leaves office.

YES to RFK Jr. to Head the EPA

By David Swanson

After numerous disastrous appointments and rumored appointments, some good news out of the Obama camp: consideration of Robert Kennedy Jr to head the EPA. Say yes to this and say it loud and now to Obama and to the media and to your friends and to Kennedy. And take a look at what Kennedy would be coming in to restore at the catastrophe that is the Cheney EPA.

Obama: Drop Gates

By Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation

Barack Obama will be getting off on the wrong foot, to put it mildly, if he does what seems likely now: allow Robert Gates to stay on as Secretary of Defense.

For reasons that are unclear to me, many in Obama's inner circle seem to believe that it's important to bring so-called "moderate" Republicans into the president-elect's national security team. That is an awful idea, for two reasons: first, even though many of the names being floated -- such as Gates, Dick Lugar of Indiana, and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska -- come from the traditional wing of the GOP, and they are not neoconservatives, they are almost guaranteed to push for an expansion of the U.S. military budget and a bigger armed forces. And second, by doing so Obama would be conceding many critics' argument that Democrats are somehow not suited to control the national security apparatus.

Focus on the Family’s Toxic Corn Pone Letter From 2012

Focus on the Family’s Toxic Corn Pone Letter From 2012
By Robert Weitzel

“You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ’pinions is.”-- Mark Twain

Mark Twain once said that “in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.” Now if the two are combined, as James Dobson’s right-wing Christian organization, Focus on the Family, did in their recent “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America,” the bar has been lowered to somewhere between the reasoning power of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, the most poisonous biological substance known, and that of George W. Bush . . . the most toxic presidential substance yet known [19 percent approval rating].

Obama To Support Defense, Space Technology

Obama To Support Defense, Space Technology
By Michael Bruno | Aviation Week | Submitted by Bruce Gagnon |

President-elect Barack Obama, the next commander in chief starting Jan. 20, 2009, is expected to emphasize technological investments under national security and space exploration efforts at the expense - albeit still uncertain - of the Defense Department's bigger-ticket acquisition efforts.

Cashing the Obama Check: Will It Come Back Marked “Insufficient Funds?”

By Bruce Dixon, Black Agenda Report

"Will the First Black President be of any use cashing the check for real racial justice...?"

Election night 2008 was over by 11 PM eastern time. Only two hours after the polls closed on the west coast, pundits called it for Barack Obama. Now that we know a black boy can indeed grow up to be president, it's time to get over ourselves, over our wonder and amazed self-congratulation about how far we've come, time to look around to see where we really are.

In Our Lifetime

In Our Lifetime
By Henry Louis Gates Jr. |

A new dawn of American leadership is at hand. --President-elect Barack Obama

We have all heard stories about those few magical transformative moments in African-American history, extraordinary ritual occasions through which the geographically and socially diverse black community—a nation within a nation, really—molds itself into one united body, determined to achieve one great social purpose and to bear witness to the process by which this grand achievement occurs.

It's Officially to Be a War-Minded White House

Obama wants Emanuel for chief of staff
By Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen Jim Vandehei, Mike Allen, Politico

In his first major move as president-elect, Barack Obama has asked Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), a tough-minded tactician with West Wing experience, to serve as his White House chief of staff, Democratic sources tell Politico.

Emanuel has said to friends that he wants and will take the job, but it was not a done deal as of early this morning. Obama plans to move swiftly with his transition announcement and could name Emanuel this week, the sources said. He then plans rapid-fire announcements on his economic and national security teams.

If Emanuel — a member of the House Democratic leadership with ambitions to one day to be House speaker — were to turn it down, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) would likely get the nod, the sources said.


By Sherwood Ross

November 4, 2008, will be remembered as the night Americans cried for joy. It was not only the hundred thousand partisan Chicagoans gathered in Grant Park that were moved to rapture. Good people across the nation wept with gratitude that America at last had taken a giant step to overcome its racism, just as the martyred Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had dreamed in his historic speech at the Lincoln Memorial 45 years ago. They wept because Barack Obama had scored a smashing victory over his rival that could not be denied by any combination of vote thieves or by the U.S. Supreme Court. They wept because the better man won.

Obama Wins; Will the People?

By Ted Glick

“It was, however, the inauguration of a president [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] who promised to look to the forgotten man and the passage of legislation which promised to protect the forgotten industrial worker that gave the discontented an élan, a righteousness, that they had not had before. The impact on workers was electrifying. Felt grievances became public grievances, for the federal government itself had declared the workers’ cause to be just. In industries that had already been organized, somnolent unions sprang to life. In nonunionized industries ‘there was a virtual uprising of workers for union membership,’ the executive council of the AFL reported to its 1934 convention.”

Francis Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward, “Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail,” pps. 113 and 114

Speaking Events



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.


September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

Find more events here.


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