WASHINGTON, December 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today placed a hold on the nomination of Ben Bernanke for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
“The American people overwhelmingly voted last year for a change in our national priorities to put the interests of ordinary people ahead of the greed of Wall Street and the wealthy few,” Sanders said. “What the American people did not bargain for was another four years for one of the key architects of the Bush economy.”
With Obama’s announcement of troop escalation in Afghanistan last night, we bring you a voice from inside the country: Zoya, a member of RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.
Last weekend, I was walking on a street in New York City when two stickers on the back of a smaller, older, before bankruptcy, Chevy SUV caught my eye. One said “McCain 2008” (just McCain, no Palin). The other was of the Obama “sunrise” logo, with the old Soviet hammer and sickle symbol imposed upon it. That’s a clear message, no? Obama is a communist, no, rather a commie, and likely a Kenyan Muslim one to boot. And oh yes, just in case you might think that New Yorkers don’t harbor such thoughts, the car did have a New York State license plate.
This morning I got an email from a friend who tipped me off to a conference call for “progressives” to discuss Obama’s Afghanistan speech last night.
The call announcement included this: “The narrative so far is that the left is against sending more troops and the right is for it,” said Jim Arkedis, Director of the National Security Project at the Progressive Policy Institute. “But that’s not the reality of the situation. There are reasons for progressives to take heart from much of the President’s new strategy, as well as reasons to tread carefully. We want to make sure all those voices are heard.”
Rep. Kucinich on Afghanistan War: “We’re Acting Like a Latter Day Version of the Roman Empire”
As President Obama unveils his plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan, we speak with Ohio Congressmember Dennis Kucinich. “The United States is going deeper and deeper into debt,” says Kucinich. “We have money for Wall Street and money for war but we don’t have money for work…for healthcare. We have to start asking ourselves, ‘Why is it that war is a priority but the basic needs of people in this country are not?’”[includes rush transcript]
Nir Rosen: “We Managed to Make the Taliban Look Good”
Nir Rosen, independent journalist and fellow at the NYU Center on Law and Security, responds to President Obama decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan. Rosen has covered both Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. His latest articles cover the current state of the US occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.[includes rush transcript]
Vietnam Vet, Scholar Andrew Bacevich on Obama War Plan: “The President Has Drawn the Wrong Lessons From His Understanding of the History of War”
Andrew Bacevich, a retired colonel and a Vietnam war veteran who spent twenty-three years in the US Army, responds to Presidnt Obama’s plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University and the author of “The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.” [includes rush transcript]
The leaked emails from the University of East Anglia seem to have put the proverbial cat in with the climatic pigeons. So what to make of it? Firstly, there’s an awful lot of information to wade through, some of which I find extremely confusing eg, Climate Change: This is the Worst Scientific Scandal of our Generation by Prof. Christopher Booker. What is he saying? That the data has been fixed to prove that the planet is heating up? And if so, does the ‘fix’ mean that the planet isn’t heating up after all? And what of the agenda of the individuals who hacked the emails, are they only concerned with the truth? And what is the ‘truth’?
As far as I can ascertain the debate comes down to the finding that the planet’s temperature appears to have dropped by an average of 1C over the past ten years. What isn’t clear is whether this is a ‘blip’ in the graph of steadily rising temperatures or as some analysts claim, a natural process connected to changes in the Sun’s activity?
I have had to reluctantly watch many presidential speeches since my son was killed in Iraq in 2004. I was even dragged out of a Bush State of the Union speech in 2006, that I didn’t want to go to anyway, for just wearing a shirt with an anti-war message.
Now, I knew that Obama was going to announce that he would be condemning 30-35,000 more troops to Afghanistan(Pakistan): that wasn’t exactly a state secret. I also knew that his speech would be filled with jingoistic propaganda—that’s a given with presidential speeches–and the Pope of Hope is no different. However, I was not prepared for the physical sickness that overcame me while he was speaking. His delivery was wooden and not convincing, but the words tore my heart apart like I was a newby to presidential calumny.
Pepe Escobar: It’s not Vietnam, said Obama, but neither it is what he said it is. President Obama’s widely expected surge in Afghanistan is the “gift” US taxpayers received right in the middle of the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression. The Pentagon for its part got (more or less) what it wanted – for now. As much as Obama stretched himself to stress this was not a new Vietnam, he trapped himself by conflating al-Qaeda with the Taliban and rehashing the same “war on terror” rationale – all clad in the glorious robes of a “noble struggle for freedom”. Pepe Escobar argues the most significant point about Obama’s West Point address is what he omitted. He simply ignored the current, high-stakes New Great Game in Eurasia, on which the Pentagon is focused like a laser, and of which Afghanistan is just a peon.
The former media mogul Ted Turner challenged us in 1992 with this statement: “If we don’t make the right choices after we have all the information, then we don’t deserve to live.”
Well, we have more than enough information. Oil and gas, the stored sun’s energy, which took hundreds of millions of years to incubate, gone forever within this century. We are, in fact, approaching PEAK EVERYTHING.
Our planet will be around for millions of years, what gives us the right to dig out the last of the non-renewable resources and destroy the environment in the process? And now, nations are posturing to exploit the Arctic resources, just because they’re there?
It didn’t take the Israel Lobby very long to bring President Obama to heel regarding his prohibition against further illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama discovered that a mere American president is powerless when confronted by the Israel Lobby and that the United States simply is not allowed a Middle East policy separate from Israel’s.
Obama also found out that he cannot change anything else either, if he ever intended to do so.
The military/security lobby has war and a domestic police state on its agenda, and a mere American president can’t do anything about it.
The Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the “devils in the details” in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from what’s really required to tackle the climate crisis. If you’ve heard about Cap & Trade, but aren’t sure how it works (or who benefits), this is the film is for you.