Archive for February 24th, 2009

Obama’s Tuesday Speech: President Addresses Congress

Huffington Post |   February 24, 2009 09:38 AM

Check back here on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 9 PM ET for live video of Obama’s address.

Barack Obama will strike a note of optimism Tuesday evening, declaring that America’s best days are ahead even if, at this moment, the future looks bleak. As released by the White House, the president will say the following before a national television audience and joint-session of Congress:

But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.



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OEN is participating in the call for a special prosecutor for Bush and Cheney.



For Immediate Release

February 24, 2009

Contact: David Swanson david@davidswanson.org <mailto:david@davidswanson.org

*Statement on Prosecution of Former High Officials *

We urge Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush Administration.

Our laws, and treaties that under Article VI of our Constitution are the supreme law of the land, require the prosecution of crimes that strong evidence suggests these individuals have committed. Both the former president and the former vice president have confessed to authorizing a torture procedure that is illegal under our law and treaty obligations. The former president has confessed to violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

We see no need for these prosecutions to be extraordinarily lengthy or costly, and no need to wait for the recommendations of a panel or “truth” commission when substantial evidence of the crimes is already in the public domain. We believe the most effective investigation can be conducted by a prosecutor, and we believe such an investigation should begin immediately.

Drafted by The Robert Jackson Steering Committee


Signed By:

Center for Constitutional Rights

http://www.ccrjustice.org <http://www.ccrjustice.org/>
The National Lawyers Guild
After Downing Street
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org <http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/>
American Freedom Campaign
http://www.americanfreedomcampaign.org <http://www.americanfreedomcampaign.org/>
Ann Wright, retired US Army Reserve Colonel and US diplomat http://www.voicesofconscience.com/
Backbone Campaign
http://www.backbonecampaign.org <http://www.backbonecampaign.org/>
Brad Blog
Cities for Peace

CODE PINK: Women for Peace

http://www.codepink4peace.org <http://www.codepink4peace.org/>

Daniel Ellsberg, Truth-Telling Project

Defending Dissent Foundation

Delaware Valley Veterans for America

http://www.delvalvets4america.org <http://www.delvalvets4america.org/>

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space


Gold Star Families for Peace

Grandmothers Against the War
Grassroots America

High Road for Human Rights Advocacy Project
Iraq Veterans Against the War

Justice Through Music
http://www.jtmp.org <http://www.jtmp.org/>
Marcus Raskin, co-founder of Institute for Policy Studies, member of editorial board of the /Nation/, member of the special staff of the National Security Council in the Kennedy Administration

Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored

Naomi Wolf, author of /End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot/, and /Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries/

National Accountability Network
Northeast Impeachment Coalition

Op Ed News
Peace Action
Peace Team
The Progressive
Progressive Democrats of America
Republicans for Impeachment

United for Peace and Justice

Velvet Revolution

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Veterans for Peace
Voters for Peace
War Crimes Times

Wisconsin Impeachment/Bring Our Troops Home Coalition

http://www.impeachwi.com <http://www.impeachwi.com/>
World Can’t Wait
http://www.worldcantwait.net <http://www.worldcantwait.net/>

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by Geezer Power

February 19th 2009

Brian Views Destruction in Gaza – Calls for Immediate Relief and Change in Policy

Washington, D.C. – Two members of Congress, Brian Baird (D-WA-03), and Keith Ellison, (D-MN-05), visited Gaza on Thursday to view firsthand the destruction from recent Israeli air and ground attacks and to meet with international and local relief agencies. This visit, which did not have the official sanction of the Obama Administration, is the first time anyone from the U.S. government has entered Gaza in more than three years.

Prior to Gaza, both Congressmen met with the chief negotiator of the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Saeb Erekat, as well as with Dr. Riad Malki Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority. On Friday, Baird and Ellison will tour the Israeli towns of Sderot and Ashkelon, which have been the target of numerous rockets before and throughout the recent attacks launched from within the Gaza strip.

“Staff from the U.S. State Department advised us of security concerns for our own safety, and we are well aware of the sensitive political issues involved in this visit,” said both Congressmen in an official release.

“We believe it is important to be here to see what happened for ourselves, to meet with people who have been affected, and to express our concern and support,” said Congressman Baird.

“We also want to better understand what can and must be done to recover from the destruction, address the underlying issues, and work toward a lasting, just and peaceful resolution,” added Congressman Ellison.

After spending the day visiting various locations within Gaza and meeting with civilians and relief workers, Baird and Ellison were deeply affected by what they had seen and heard.

“The stories about the children affected me the most,” said Ellison. “No parent, or anyone who cares for kids, can remain unmoved by what Brian and I saw here.”

“The amount of physical destruction and the depth of human suffering here is staggering” said Baird, “Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed, schools completely leveled, fundamental water, sewer, and electricity facilities hit and relief agencies heavily damaged. The personal stories of children being killed in their homes or schools, entire families wiped out, and relief workers prevented from evacuating the wounded are heart wrenching – what went on here, and what is continuing to go on, is shocking and troubling beyond words.”


Congressman Baird interviews the principal of the destroyed American School in Gaza


WHY was this school purposefully destroyed?

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Bernanke Appears Before Senate Banking Committee (WATCH LIVE VIDEO)

The Huffington Post |   February 24, 2009 09:29 AM

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke faces questions from the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday.

His testimony comes a day after the government moved closer to dramatically expanding its ownership stakes in the nation’s banks, including Citigroup Inc. The Treasury Department, the Fed and other banking regulators said Monday they could convert the government’s stock in the banks from preferred shares to common shares.

The event is expected to begin at 10 AM Eastern Time.


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Phil McCarten / Reuters

Arnold Considered Party Switch

The Daily Beast- by Joe Mathews

Feb 23, 2009

How bad did things get between Der Governator and his fellow Republicans? Schwarzenegger’s biographer, Joe Mathews, reports that he recently considered dropping out of the party altogether. It’s the latest blast in a long-running war.

A few months ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger and a few close associates discussed whether he should leave the Republican Party, according to two people familiar with the conversation. His friend Mike Bloomberg, the New York mayor, had become an independent. Maybe Schwarzenegger should, too. But the governor and his people quickly concluded that Californians already saw him as independent of the Republican Party. So what would be the point of a switch? (A spokesman for the governor declined comment.)

To people outside the state, Schwarzenegger’s recent battles with Republican legislators over a budget and his criticism of GOP governors and congressmen for their opposition to President Obama’s stimulus package might sound jarring. Schwarzenegger once was “Conan the Republican” (the first President Bush’s nickname for him), a politician who declared in his 2004 convention speech, “I’m proud to belong to the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Ronald Reagan and the party of George W. Bush.” Now he is on ABC News saying that “it doesn’t really mater [matter] if you’re a Republican or a Democrat.”


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