Monday, December 31, 2012

The Past Year's Leading Nonsense

Here are the top twelve political fallaces of 2012, and it wasn't even necessary to include the Mayan calendar flap to make twelve.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sign The Petition

Take a minute to click on the link and sign a petition to the President and Congress calling on them to end the wars, cut military spending, care for veterans and the poor, create jobs, and rebuild the infrastructure.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Amy Goodman On The UN Gun Control Treaty

Last year when the UN tried to move a gun trade treaty, the Obama administration pleaded for "more time."  Amy Goodman thinks they've had enough time, and we ought to join others in the UN passing this treaty.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Go See"Promised Land"!

This movie is terrific!  In Pennsylvania's Montgomery County you can see it now at UA KingofPrussia, Clearview Anthony Wayne, Regal Plymouth Meeting 10, Regal Marketplace 24, AMC Plymouth Mtg Mall12.   Drop everything!

Who For Speaker?

If The House throws out the Speaker, why not Huntsman of Utah?  Maybe it's time to break the cake of custom.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sandy Hook: Remember The Victims

This was the opening of yesterday's Bill Moyers program, a powerful, touching essay on the events at Sandy Hook and our responses to them.  History teaches us that the push for gun control runs out of steam fairly quickly, and that if we hope to get something done, we must keep our grief and outrage alive at least until Vice President Biden's commission reports at the end of January.  Keep the issue alive.

The Fiscal Prophets Are Wrong

The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, Simpson and Bowles, and even Alan Greenspan (why does anyone still listen to him?) have been telling us for years about the economic doom guaranteed by our deficit. They've been wrong over and over, but like doomsday prophets everywhere, they just redouble their efforts.  Our favorite economist sets us straight.

Friday, December 21, 2012

NRA: "We Need More Guns"

With incredible timing, someone in Blair County, Pennsylvania, was shooting up the area and killing a number of people while the NRA was holding a press conference in defense of guns.  Read the Altoona newspaper at the link.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We Need A Nuclear Elimination Treaty

Reasons you might not have thought of why we need to eliminate the possibility of nuclear exchanges.  And this doesn't even mention the considerable cost of maintaining (and updating) our existing stockpile. This cost doesn't show up in the Pentagon  budget because it is the responsibility of the Department of Energy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Find Out About Fracking

This 18.5 minute documentary is by "Gasland's" Josh Fox and is well worth the time you'll devote to it.  The time to stop fracking is now, not when our country is full of "orphan wells", abandoned and leaking dangerous liquids into our ground water.  Keep and eye out also for "Promised Land," a new film with Matt Damon and Frances McDormand about a pair of agents for a giant gas company who undertake to buy up all the land leases in a depressed county.  It will be in general circulation starting January 4.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Worshipping Molloch

What To Do About Guns

Amazingly, the trend in recent months has been toward easing gun restrictions.  The justification seems to be that if more people carried guns, they would be better able to shoot "bad guys."  That suggests schools as armed camps in which children grow up among weapons.  And it counts on the gun-toting citizens being such good shots that no one but the "bad guy" gets hit.  It seems to us that a better solution is a federal law outlawing all automatic and semi-automatic guns except for those held by police officers.  Start a gun buy-back program in which the government pays $100 for each gun turned in with a deadline after which the gun owner gets not money but arrest.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Building Overseas Bases

Vicenza is a beautitul northern Italian town that is a United Nation Heritage Site and home to Palladio's Villa Rotundo.  Next door to them we store mountains of explosives.  Your tax dollars at work.

Picking Up a $170 Billion Tab
How U.S. Taxpayers Are Paying the Pentagon to Occupy the Planet
By David Vine

“Are you monitoring the construction?” asked the middle-aged man on a bike accompanied by his dog.

Ah, sì,” I replied in my barely passable Italian.

Bene,” he answered. Good.

In front of us, a backhoe’s guttural engine whined into action and empty dump trucks rattled along a dirt track. The shouts of men vied for attention with the metallic whirring of drills and saws ringing in the distance. Nineteen immense cranes spread across the landscape, with the foothills of Italy’s Southern Alps in the background. More than 100 pieces of earthmoving equipment, 250 workers, and grids of scaffolding wrapped around what soon would be 34 new buildings.

We were standing in front of a massive 145-acre construction site for a “little America” rising in Vicenza, an architecturally renowned Italian city and UNESCO world heritage site near Venice. This was Dal Molin, the new military base the U.S. Army has been readying for the relocation of as many as 2,000 soldiers from Germany in 2013.

Since 1955, Vicenza has also been home to another major U.S. base, Camp Ederle. They’re among the more than 1,000 bases the United States uses to ring the globe (with about 4,000 more in the 50 states and Washington, D.C.). This complex of military installations, unprecedented in history, has been a major, if little noticed, aspect of U.S. power since World War II.

During the Cold War, such bases became the foundation for a “forward strategy” meant to surround the Soviet Union and push U.S. military power as close to its borders as possible. These days, despite the absence of a superpower rival, the Pentagon has been intent on dotting the globe with scores of relatively small “lily pad” bases, while continuing to build and maintain some large bases like Dal Molin.

Americans rarely think about these bases, let alone how much of their tax money -- and debt -- is going to build and maintain them. For Dal Molin and related construction nearby, including a brigade headquarters, two sets of barracks, a natural-gas-powered energy plant, a hospital, two schools, a fitness center, dining facilities, and a mini-mall, taxpayers are likely to shell out at least half a billion dollars. (All the while, a majority of locals passionately and vocally oppose the new base.)

How much does the United States spend each year occupying the planet with its bases and troops? How much does it spend on its global presence? Forced by Congress to account for its spending overseas, the Pentagon has put that figure at $22.1 billion a year. It turns out that even a conservative estimate of the true costs of garrisoning the globe comes to an annual total of about $170 billion. In fact, it may be considerably higher. Since the onset of “the Global War on Terror” in 2001, the total cost for our garrisoning policies, for our presence abroad, has probably reached $1.8 trillion to $2.1 trillion.

Mitch McConnell uses Senate rules to slow and block much needed legislation and judicial nominees. CREDO supports the efforts of Senate reformers like Jeff Merkley who want to update the filibuster rules. 

Please click Like if support fixing the filibuster.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hilary And The Pipeline

In this article, Bill McKibben tells us why Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice want the transCanada pipeline built despite environmentalists' objections.  They are both personally deeply involved in the project either as investors or friends of investors.

Drinking Liberally Is Back In Bryn Mawr

After a four year hiatus, Drinking Liberally will convene again this  Wednesday, December 12, 6-8pm, at The Grog, a tavern on Lancaster Avenue just east of Merion Avenue.  The purpose of drinking liberally is to bring together people of the liberal persuasion for friendly talk and refreshments.  No speeches, no electioneering, no credit cards.  Just a pleasant time.  Please join us.
The Air Force wants to base the new F-35 stealth fighter in Burlington, Vermont, but it doesn't want to talk about it.  No information about the possible ill effects of its incredible noise levels has been released.  No elected official attended the Board of Health hearing.  Almost  no media were there, certainly not the mainstream ones.  This is a stealthy business.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dinosaurs And The GOP

Charles M. Blow in the Times today writes about the overwhelming anti-intellectualism of the Republican party.  Last week Senator Rubio, when asked the age of the earth, said we'd have to ask the theologians. According to Gallup, 58% of Republicans believe that God created man in his present form less than 10,000 years ago. Only 16% of Republicans worry a great deal about global warming.  The party is being taken over by fundamentalist Christians and appears headed for the same fate as the dinosaurs.

Rally In Philly Monday!

Come downtown to rally with our labor friends:

PHILADELPHIA LAME DUCK RALLY  12:30-1:30 Monday 12/10
  Send a message to our senators and representatives about lame duck issues.
  Sponsored by AFL-CIO, PA Alliance for Retired Americans, and MoveOn.
1401 JFK Blvd (Municipal Services Building).

  Write cards to our congressmen protesting any cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.
  Sponsored by the Central Labor Council.
Love Park,  16th & JFK, Philadelphia.

Bill Moyers Sunday On Media Monopolies

Bill's guests are Senator Bernie Sanders on the growing danger of media monopolies, and Mickey Edwards on the conservative movement.  Bill will talk about the real meaning of Grover Norquist.  Sunday Noon.  Philadelphia Channel 12, WHYY-TV.

Friday, December 7, 2012

End The Corruption

This video is about the American Anti-corruption Act and a strategy to end lobbying and campaign distortions of our democracy.  For more information, go to or or contact the organizing group at
If you agree with Teddy Roosevelt, Like and Share. 

How fed up are you with the increasing corporate takeover of our government?

It's Good To Be Rich

This timeshare tycoon threatened to fire his colleages if Obama won.  Stay tuned.  But why would anyone want to raise his tax rate?

Save The Media Marketplace

The big boys are at it again: trying to get the FCC to change the old rule that limited the number of stations one corporation could own in a marketplace.  Click here to learn more and to send a message to Senator Bernie Sanders who is fighting this grab. He'll be in Bill Moyers's program in Philadelphia, WHYY-TV Channel 12, Sunday at Noon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Too Many Generals!

One of many wasteful areas in the US military is the cloud of generals in and out of the pentagon.

(M) Nobody in the United States should be okay with this...

Posted on the @[177486166274:274:Being Liberal] fan page.

A New Low For Senate Republicans

Our own Senator Toomey voted against this treaty. You might ask him why: 202-224-3121.

Divest University Fossil Fuel Holdings

This is a tactic used to end apartheid in South Africa years ago.  Economists differ on its effectiveness, but it certainly brought the problem to the public's attention and it succeeded in ending the white-controlled government in that country.  Now the tactic is being applied at colleges and universities in this country to end investments in fossil fuels, oil drilling, and mountaintop removal coal mining.

Commemorate Fallujah This Sunday

Brandywine Peace marks the 8th anniversary of the siege of Fallujah in Iraq with a program Sunday, December 9, at 4:30pm at University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.  Pot luck dinner and speakers:  Ross Caputi, Univ. of Delaware, Iraq veteran, and Dr. Dahlia Wasfi, Swarthmore, who made two trips to wartime Iraq. Details: 610-544-1818.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Petulant Plutocrat Of The Week

Brian MoynihanAmerica’s bankers have a problem that's bugging them bad: all those lingering lawsuits that blame the big banks for the massive frauds that inflated the housing bubble. Among the plaintiffs: MBIA, the bond insurer that lost $2.2 billion after mortgage-backed securities turned out to rest on frauds committed and concealed by Countrywide Financial, now a Bank of America subsidiary. MBIA lawyers sat Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan down for a deposition last May. The deposition went public last week — and reveals a CEO with nothing but contempt for his accusers. Moynihan invokes one “I don’t recall” after another, then deadpans, “I have a good memory.” Moynihan pulled in $8.1 million in 2011, the same year his Bank of America announced 30,000 layoffs.
From Too Much on line, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies, Program on Inequality and the Common Good.
What's Next for Diplomacy and Disarmament
in the Second Obama Term?

article thumbnail

Talk by Ambassador Thomas Graham, Former Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency on Tuesday December 4th from 12:15- 2:00 pm. Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia. Co-sponsored by CFPA, Pennsylvania Peace Voter Project, Drexel University and United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

They Were Going To Vote!

Elizabeth Drew says that it was the Republicans' determined push to suppress the minority vote that inspired the minorities to vote at any cost: past 1am on line in Ohio, and waiting eight hours to vote in Florida.   From New York Review of Books.   Worth a read.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What's Bernie Saying?

Read up on what our favorite Senator is saying and doing.  It has to make you feel better.

Krugman On Class War

They couldn't keep their taxes low by pushing Mitt Romney, so now the plutocrats are pushing Bowles-Simpson and other strategies to raise the retirement age, cut medicare, and otherwise hurt the middle and lower classes.  Krugman says don't let them do it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

About Fixing The Senate

Speaking of the Senate, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, said "a body like this runs on comity and common sense."  We fear the Senator has been spending too much time in the Florida sun.  As usual, Gail Collins had the last word.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Walter --
When the Senate's new session convenes in January, we'll have 55 members in the Democratic caucus, and the Republicans will have 45 members.
With that expanded majority, Democrats will be able to enact the kind of policies that Americans clamored for in the last election -- creating more jobs, protecting Social Security and Medicare, ending tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, implementing the DREAM Act, changing Citizens United, and so much more.
Unfortunately, it's not that easy. Because of the increasing abuse of the filibuster by Republicans, the kind of real progress demanded by the American people on Election Day will be difficult -- unless something changes.
That's where you come in.
Click here to help me build public support for vital filibuster reform. Sign my petition to my Senate colleagues today!
A filibuster is supposed to be used in rare situations when a senator strongly opposes a piece of legislation. My colleagues are supposed to take to the Senate floor and passionately defend their opposition, to build support for their point-of-view and make their objection clear for all to see.
That's how it's supposed to work.
But today, a single senator can simply threaten to filibuster, and the Senate's business comes to a grinding halt. The senator doesn't even have to show up or make their name public, for fear of defending an indefensible position.
When the Senate reconvenes in January, we will have the rare opportunity to change our rules, and return the filibuster back to its original form. If a senator wants to filibuster, come to the Senate floor and talk. And if the American people agree with them, they'll prevail. If their filibuster is not worth defending on the Senate floor, the new rule will allow the Senate to move on.
It's going to be tough -- we face a lot of Republican opposition -- but if you help me build public support, I think we can do this.
Click here to sign my petition, urging my Senate colleagues to pass filibuster reform when the new Senate convenes in January.
Since we retook the Senate in 2006, Republican senators have used this filibuster tactic more than 300 times to block Democratic priorities -- they've stood in the way of important judicial nominations and bills that would create jobs, end taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil… the list goes on.
It's time to break through the partisan gridlock. It's time to reform the filibuster.
Thank you for standing with me,

Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator
Take action
Paid for by Friends of Dick Durbin