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Archive for February 26th, 2009

After nearly three decades of Reaganomics in which the wealthiest two percent of Americans have grown exponentially wealthier while middle class wages have remained stagnant, a growing faction of super rich Americans is seriously pissed off — and their Wingnut Revolution is upon us.

Sure, the interests and influence of the wealthiest two percent make them more responsible than most for the free market policies that created this current economic crisis. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned about those responsible for this recession, it’s that the concept of accountability is about as foreign as their live-in au pairs. Instead, they’re blaming this on Barney Frank and a legion of “losers” (read that: working class minorities) even though Ben Bernanke himself has debunked this myth.

But accountability (a “reckoning” as President Obama called it) is underway in the form of the president’s housing proposal, his healthcare plan and, naturally, the recovery act. At the end of the day, ninety-five percent of Americans will benefit from what amounts to the largest tax cut in American history, along with increased access to affordable healthcare and millions of new jobs.

Though, alas, the super rich will have to pay slightly more in taxes.

Yeah, that’s a shame.

(more…)

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Pelosi: Bush Administration lawbreakers should face prosecution, not immunity

Raw Story- John Byrne
Published: Thursday February 26, 2009

Not so fast.

Bush administration officials who broke the law should face criminal prosecution and shouldn’t get immunity in exchange for testimony under a proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission being discussed in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in an interview broadcast late Wednesday.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) yesterday announced his committee will hold hearings on creating a panel to investigate alleged crimes committed by Bush administration officials, including torture of detainees and illegal wiretapping. Leahy has said the panel would avoid criminal charges except in cases of perjury.

Pelosi said she supported the investigation, but any plan should hold open the possibility of prosecution.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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Bill McKibben: Why I’m Planning to Get Arrested on Monday (and You Should, Too)

By Bill McKibben, Yale Environment 360. Posted February 24, 2009.

With thousands of big names and small gathering, the first massive protest of its kind against global warming will put the heat on DC.

It may seem odd timing that many of us are heading to the nation’s capital early next month for a major act of civil disobedience at a coal-fired power plant, the first big protest of its kind against global warming in this country.

After all, Barack Obama’s in power. He’s appointed scientific advisers who actually believe in… science, and he’s done more in a few weeks to deal with climate change than all the presidents of the last 20 years combined. Stalwarts like John Kerry, Henry Waxman, and Ed Markey are chairing the relevant congressional committees. The auto companies, humbled, are promising to build rational vehicles if only we give them some cash. What’s to protest? Why not just give the good guys a break?

If you think about it a little longer, though, you realize this is just the moment to up the ante. For one thing, it would have done no good in the past: you think Dick Cheney was going to pay attention?

More importantly, we need a powerful and active movement not to force the administration and the Democrats in Congress to do something they don’t want to, but to give them the political space they need to act on their convictions. Barack Obama was a community organizer — he understands that major change only comes when it’s demanded, when there’s some force noisy enough to drown out the eternal hum of business as usual, of vested interest, of inertia.

Consider what has to happen if we’re going to deal with global warming in a real way. NASA climate scientist James Hansen — who has announced he plans to join us and get arrested for trespassing in the action we’re planning for March 2 — has demonstrated two things in recent papers. One, that any concentration of carbon dioxide greater than 350 parts per million in the atmosphere is not compatible with the “planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.” And two, that the world as a whole must stop burning coal by 2030 — and the developed world well before that — if we are to have any hope of ever getting the planet back down below that 350 number.

MORE HERE

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