An Oscar for Activism by Ralph Nader

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page

As the 2009 Academy Awards swept their way into history, the glitz and the massive global audiences show that across cultures fictional stories, mythologies and money go hand in hand.

As the nominees for the awards were briefly showcased for their artistic imagination in one category after another, it occurred to me that the saying “truth is stranger than fiction” has another meaning. Many people would rather see fiction than the real thing.

What if, permit a flight of fancy, there were the equivalent of the “Academy Awards” for the civic heroism that goes on every day here and abroad. The powerless valiant ones who challenge the powerful and corrupt in ways that throughout history have broken new ground for more justice, economic well-being, health, safety and freedom. They are mostly unsung. They are often marginalized or maligned.

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President Obama Announces Budget Blueprint + Deficit hits post-WWII record

Dandelion Salad


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As Obama unveils budget, deficit hits post-WWII record

By Steven Thomma and David Lightman
‘McClatchy Newspapers


President Barack Obama unveiled his first federal budget proposal Thursday, a $3.55 trillion plan for 2010 that would start to alter the course of American government dramatically.

He sought to put his imprint on the coming decade with an agenda that’s sharply different from the past eight years under Republican President George W. Bush, including universal health care, broad tax cuts and a helping hand for the working and middle classes, greater regulation of business and an aggressive plan to limit emissions that cause global warming.


via As Obama unveils budget, deficit hits post-WWII record | McClatchy Washington Bureau


The “Geithner Put”: It’s time to break up the big banks by Mike Whitney

The U.S. Economy: Designed to Fail by Richard C. Cook

Cut the Military Budget By Barney Frank

In address to Congress – Obama pledges bigger Wall Street bailout

President Barack Obama: Address to Joint Session of Congress

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse 2

The “Geithner Put”: It’s time to break up the big banks by Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

by Mike Whitney
Global Research, February 25, 2009

Dumping $1 trillion of toxic assets onto US taxpayers

Timothy Geithner is putting the finishing touches on a plan that will dump $1 trillion of toxic assets onto the US taxpayer. The plan, which goes by the opaque moniker the “Public-Private Investment Fund” (PPIF), is designed to provide lavish incentives to hedge funds and private equity firms to purchase bad assets from failing banks. It is a sweetheart deal that provides government financing and guarantees for illiquid mortgage-backed junk for which there is no active market. As one might expect, the charismatic President Obama has been called in to generate public support for this latest addition to the TARP bailout. In this week’s address to Congress he said:

“This administration is moving swiftly and aggressively to restore confidence, and re-start lending.

We will do so in several ways. First, we are creating a new lending fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto loans, college loans, and small business loans to the consumers and entrepreneurs who keep this economy running.”

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Obama’s Afghan “surge” sows seeds of new wars by Keith Jones

Dandelion Salad

by Keith Jones
24 February 2009

US imperialism is set on a course to expand and intensify the Afghan War—vastly increasing the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan and extending the war into neighboring Pakistan.

The Obama administration’s Afghan troop “surge” and the ensuing ratcheting up of violence will have catastrophic consequences for the Afghani and Pakistani peoples. It adds a new, explosive dynamic to the decades-old geopolitical rivalry between India and Pakistan and will intensify the great power competition for control of oil-rich Central Asia, sowing the seeds for even larger and more destructive wars.


Since last August, the US has carried out 38 missile strikes inside Pakistan, the two most recent coming within days of a visit to Pakistan by Richard Holbrooke, Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to an article in last Saturday’s New York Times the two latest air strikes represented a change in US policy, bringing it even more directly into Pakistan’s internal politics. For the first time the US targeted Islamist militia who have not been involved in the Afghan insurgency.


The New York Times and other liberal supporters of the Obama administration have promoted the Afghan war as the so-called “good war,’ in contrast with the Iraq war (which the Times nonetheless also enthusiastically supported.) In fact, the two wars are of a piece. Both have been waged with the aim of imposing US hegemony in regions where there are vast reserves of oil and thereby securing US global predominance, under conditions where the US’s economic power has been vastly eroded.


via Obama’s Afghan “surge” sows seeds of new wars

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Afghanistan + More Troops = Catastrophe (Full Video)

Turkey prepares to assume a more significant role in Afghanistan

Bill Moyers Journal: Obama and Afghanistan

The Pakistan puzzle, with Gareth Porter

Obama expands US military intervention in Pakistan

Google exposes US airbase in Pakistan used to launch drones + Exposed: Secret CIA Base For Drone Raids

Surging towards a US-NATO Military Disaster: Obama’s Escalating War in Central and South Asia by Tom Burghardt



Campaign to close down School of The Americas

Dandelion Salad

Updated: 3.02.09  added Pt 2


Pablo Ruiz: US tax dollars are used to train Latin American soldiers how to oppress their own people

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Justice Department will stop medical marijuana raids, Attorney General says + Massive drug sweep nets 750 arrests

Dandelion Salad

by John Byrne and David Edwards
The Raw Story
Thursday February 26, 2009

In a little-noticed remark Wednesday, Obama Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Justice Department will no longer raid medical marijuana dispensaries established under state laws but technically prohibited by the federal government.

The decision marks a shift from the Bush Administration, which was more draconian in its approach to hunting those who sought to dispense marijuana for medical purposes.

Numerous states have decriminalized marijuana in recent years, and new fiscal pressures are turning more states toward being more lenient toward first-time drug offenders as the cost of keeping drug users in jail becomes untenable for state budgets.


via The Raw Story | Justice Department will stop medical marijuana raids, Attorney General says

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Empire: Israel and the US

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In this episode of Empire, Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, and his guests zero in on the special relationship between the US and Israel.

They explore who benefits from the special relationship and whether the status quo will prevail.

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Part 2



AIPAC – Israel Lobby

Iran Israel US Nukes

Afghanistan + More Troops = Catastrophe (Full Video)

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Sign the petition:

President Obama has committed 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. This decision raises serious questions about troops, costs, overall mission, and exit strategy. Historically, it has been Congress’ duty to ask questions in the form of oversight hearings that challenge policymakers, examine military spending, and educate the public. After witnessing the absence of oversight regarding the Iraq war, we must insist Congress hold hearings on Afghanistan.

Watch the first part from our full-length documentary that will serve as a driving force to help make oversight hearings a reality. Sign the petition urging oversight and tell us what questions you would ask.

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Iran sought Turkey’s help to mend links with US, says Erdogan (updated)

Updated: 12 March 2009

compiled by Cem Ertür
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
26 February, 2009

“We are ready to be the mediator [between Iran and the incoming Obama administration] … I do believe we could be very useful.”

[Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, interview with the New York Times, 9 November 2008] [1]

“We think the comments … stem from Turkish goodwill and good and growing neighborly ties between Iran and Turkey, so we will certainly not raise any obstacles. But the reality is that the issue and problems between Iran and the United states go beyond the usual political problems between two countries”

[Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi, 18 November 2008] [2]

“Iran does want Turkey to play such a role. And if the United States also wants and asks us to play this role, we are ready to do this. They [the Iranians] said to us that if something like this [an opportunity for rapprochement] would happen, they want Turkey to play a role. These were words that were said openly. But I have told this to President Bush myself.”

[Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, interview with the Guardian, 25 February 2009] [3]



[1] Turkish Leader Volunteers to Be U.S.-Iran Mediator

by Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times, 11 November 2008

[2] Iran not Opposed to Turkish Mediation with US

Fars News Agency, 18 November 2009

[3] Iran sought Turkey’s help to mend links with US, says Erdogan

by Robert Tait, Guardian, 25 February 2009



“And with Iran, you know the Iranians better than we do. You have shared a border for – I think I was told over 350 or so years. So we are going to ask for your help in trying to influence Iranian behavior.”

[US Foreign Minister Hillary Clinton, interview with Kanal D TV, Ankara, 7 March 2009]  [1]

“We can contribute to bringing relations between the two countries to a much better place, and our hope is that this search for dialogue will bring concrete results”

[Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, after meeting his US counterpart Hillary Clinton and before his visit to Tehran, 8 March 2009]  [2]

“There is no need for mediation. Our stances our clear: if there is justice and respect no issue would remain in the world.”

[Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after talks in Tehran with regional leaders including Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül, 11 March 2009]  [3]


[1]  Interview With Mehmet Ali Birand of Kanal D TV

US Department of State website, 7 March 2009

[2] Turkey to consider mediating between Iran, U.S. if requested

Hürriyet, 9 March 2009

[3] Iran says no need for Turkish mediation with U.S.

Reuters, 11 March 2009


A Choice Between Peace and Peril by Chris Hedges

Turkey prepares to assume a more significant role in Afghanistan


Iran Israel US Nukes

The U.S. Economy: Designed to Fail by Richard C. Cook

by Richard C. Cook
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
February 26, 2009

President Barack Obama showed a great deal of gumption in standing before Congress last night delivering his first speech to the joint assembly. All the trappings of power were on display as members of the House and Senate, the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs, the Cabinet, and the VIP guests hugged and waved at each other, radiant in their tailored attire only two nights after the Hollywood stars put on their own show on Oscar night.

Too bad neither the president, nor Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi applauding on the podium behind him, nor the jubilant Democrats with their solid majorities, nor the grumpy Republicans slouching in the minority across the aisle, know what they are doing as economic extinction stares the United States of America in the face.

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