Posted on March 31st, 2009 1 comment
After trying out a number of blogging tools and finding them less than adequate, I came across WordPress inside my web hosting control panel. Nah. It can’t be that easy I told myself. So I clicked the button that looked like this:
To get your own one-click WordPress install button you need to sign up with Novahosting.com. Click on the Contact button and tell them you want a WordPress site. They’ll set you up with one for a decent price. You’ll also get your own Mail Manager for your domain’s email addresses…that’s your own domain name (no blahblah.blogger.com). There’s lots of other stuff in the web-based toolbox, a.k.a. Control Panel, so you can expand your horizons beyond your blog only when you’re ready.
Yikes! Let me apologize if this sounds like an ad. It’s just that I’m very happy with the turn of events (and my ability to install this blogging platform with just a mouse-click. Cool!)
Posted on January 21st, 2010 289 comments
What happened in Massachusetts yesterday?
The people of Massachusetts who are frustrated with the seeming lack of change, voted for change.
Unfortunately, a bit more than half the voters picked the wrong side to blame. Regardless of how you feel about the way the health insurance reform effort has played out, it’s important to note that most Democrats in Congress, and certainly the White House, supported swift, bold and effective change. The majority of Democrats in the Senate, for example, support the public health insurance option. But they couldn’t get it done because the minority Republicans blocked an honest up-or-down vote.
When it comes to financial reform, the Obama Administration and Senate Banking Committee proposed strong legislation to reign in the abuses of the big banks that led to this horrible mess. Meanwhile, the banking committee’s Republican leader said “no way, no how, not ever.” Why, I ask, is this republican supporting the very crooks who nearly sent this country into a Second Depression?
You get the idea: Lack of change is not for lack of trying. But despite being the majority, the Republicans have blocked the Democrats from voting. Of course, what else could we expect from the Party of No?
Scott Brown, the man who posed as a half-naked centerfold model for Cosmos, is just another republican who will refuse to clean up Wall Street and provide good, affordable health care for all. He has shown on the campaign trail that he will stand firmly with his Republican colleagues in favor of the Bush-era policies and politics that got us into this mess in the first place.
And if that doesn’t scare you into fighting even harder, I don’t know what will.
Posted on June 10th, 2009 345 comments
Posted on June 9th, 2009 312 comments
It’s time to tell the politicians that it’s time to get with it or move over. Janis Joplin, prophetically, said it well
There are Democrats and there are Blue Dogs. I’d suggest that the BD’s move over and move on or else risk blowing it…again. It’s 2009. Democrats have ample majorities in both houses of Congress. President Obama campaigned on the promise to tackle climate change and boost our economy by investing in clean energy.
So why on earth is Congress considering an energy bill that:
* Would weaken current law, repealing President Obama’s authority to crack down on dirty power plants,1 and
* Doesn’t actually require the creation of new solar or wind power? (The Union of Concerned Scientists has concluded that the clean energy standards won’t make power companies produce more clean energy than is already in the works.)2
Why? Because Big Oil and Coal have teamed up with conservatives in both parties, and they’ve been successful in weakening the bill.
These are major flaws, but the bill has a lot of really good provisions, too. The key thing is that Congress can still strengthen it—if there’s a public outcry. But we don’t have much time: Congress is expected to vote on this bill in less than three weeks.
Can you sign this petition to your representative today? Many have already signed. We need to double the number of signatures immediately—that means we need your support too! MoveOn members will personally deliver this petition to many congressional offices. Click here to add your name.
The petition says: “We need a stronger energy bill to fulfill Obama’s vision of a clean energy economy. Congress should strengthen the clean energy standards and restore Obama’s authority to crack down on dirty coal plants.”
Congress must change the energy bill to require power companies to produce more clean energy for America. Wind and solar create more than twice as many jobs as coal and oil.3 And Congress needs to hold polluters accountable by restoring President Obama’s current authority through the EPA to crack down on global warming pollution from power plants.
The Union of Concerned Scientists analysis finds that the current version of the clean energy standard “won’t require utilities to use any more renewable electricity than…would be generated as a result of state renewable electricity standards already in place and the recently enacted stimulus package.”4
If we just sit back, we’ll miss our chance to go big with wind and solar—and we’ll lose the jobs those industries would create. Big Oil and Coal will keep getting billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. And President Obama will be powerless to stop more than 100 new dirty coal plants, which will crowd out the clean energy growth we need to boost our economy.5
There are some good parts of the bill, but these are significant problems. As the Sierra Club’s Carl Pope writes, the bill establishes strong long-term goals for cutting carbon pollution and very strong energy-efficiency investments, “but in its present form, it won’t do all that’s needed. The oil, coal, and dirty-utility interests…were able to prevent enactment of President Obama’s much bolder vision…Yes, they will try to kill the green-jobs recovery in its cradle, and yes, they will try to block our clean-energy future.”6
Please urge your congressional representative to fight for a stronger energy bill. Clicking here will add your name to the petition
Thanks for all you do.
1. “Bill Needs Strengthening to Guarantee Necessary Carbon Reductions, New Green Jobs and Consumer Benefits, Science Group Says,” Union of Concerned Scientists, May 14, 2009
“EPA urged to act on climate, not wait for Congress,” Associated Press, May 18, 2009
“American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” Library of Congress, May 15, 2009
3. “Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy,” Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, September 2008 (Psst…my alma mater
4. “Bill Needs Strengthening to Guarantee Necessary Carbon Reductions, New Green Jobs and Consumer Benefits, Science Group Says,” Union of Concerned Scientists, May 14, 2009
5. “Stopping the Coal Rush,” Sierra Club
6. “So How Good Is This Climate Bill, Anyhow?” Sierra Club, May 22, 2009
“Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way,” says the staff at MoveOn. Not a bad deal if you ask the TruthPeeler!
Posted on May 27th, 2009 326 comments
Matthew Alexander was the senior military interrogator for the task force that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq and, at the time, a higher priority target than Osama bin Laden. Mr. Alexander has personally conducted hundreds of interrogations and supervised over a thousand of them.
“Torture does not save lives. Torture costs us lives,” Mr. Alexander said in an exclusive interview at Brave New Studios. “And the reason why is that our enemies use it, number one, as a recruiting tool…These same foreign fighters who came to Iraq to fight because of torture and abuse….literally cost us hundreds if not thousands of American lives.”
Watch our exclusive interview with Matthew Alexander from Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Foundation team Cheney torture policy cost thousands of lives.
As Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post reported, “Alexander easily takes down Cheney’s arguments…The video is at once an effective rebuke of the former vice president and a sign of how the changing media landscape can flatten the field of political debate.”
Posted on April 22nd, 2009 324 comments
On April 16, 2009, President Obama released memos that describe, in horrific detail, the torture techniques authorized by the Bush administration.
So far there’s been no accountability for the architects of Bush’s torture program. We need a full investigation and real consequences for those responsible — it’s the only way to keep this from happening again.
I signed a petition urging Attorney General Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the Bush-era torture program. Can you join me?
Posted on April 16th, 2009 326 comments
The April 15th teabag approach to republican politics was unveiled amidst throngs of nay-wishers and right wing bloggers who basically are sore losers. With a 62 percent popularity rating among Democrats and Independents, Barack Obama has the wherewithal to persuade fence sitters, who no doubt make less than $250,000 a year, that his plan has already reduced taxes for the vast majority of Americans, if they care to listen. Regardless of party, these people need to see that government can do some good, and ignore the loudmouths at Fox News and a couple of other malcontent broadcasters at CNBC who insist we are now in deep debt because of the current Administration. Period. No mention about the massive budget deficit under George W. Bush. Nor the fact that the economy teetered on the brink of extinction just before GW left office! All this debt and nothing to show for it! Where are the pundits? “Tea party” indeed, and they don’t know how to read the tea leaves.
Posted on April 6th, 2009 301 comments
In the 1990s, the FCC promulgated rules and regulations prohibiting restrictions that would interfere with the individual right of homeowners to install, maintain and use small satellite dishes in areas within the owner’s “exclusive use or possession.” 47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000 (the rules); see Second Report and Order, F.C.C. 98-273 (1998) (adopting rules); Section 207 “Restrictions on Over-the-Air Reception Devices” of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 114. The FCC defended the regulations as a constitutionally lawful exercise of authority delegated to the FCC by Congress and in accordance with the Commerce Clause. Initially, the regulations strongly favored the individual homeowner, but the FCC relaxed the restrictions over time in response to complaints by homeowners associations. Currently, under the Rules, homeowners associations (HOA’s) may impose reasonable “time, manner, and place” restrictions when necessary to address legitimate and clearly articulated safety or historic preservation issues, provided such restrictions are as narrowly tailored as possible, impose as little burden as possible, and apply in a nondiscriminatory manner to all members of the homeowners association. Courts have held that homeowners associations may impose restrictions related to aesthetic camouflaging and location as long as the restrictions do not impair clear signal reception or cause discriminatory effects. The restrictions must not impair installation, maintenance or use of the dish or antenna.
See, e.g., Lemle Realty Corp. v. Desjardin, 787 N.Y.S.2d 678 (2004) (recognizing the right of homeowners to install a satellite dish on a patio or balcony but not on the roof without prior permission).First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Posted on April 3rd, 2009 304 comments
Should Church dogma–any dogma for that matter–overrule scientific thought and the scientific method? Should government policy? Fortunately, President Barack Obama’s understanding of the process is a quantum leap away from his predecessor. Now that the scientists have been unshackeled from the know-nothings, stem-cell research can move forward.