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MA Greens Strongly Rebuke UniParty Charade

7:25 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

Following is an article released today by Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party co-chairs John Andrews and Jill Stein, in advance of Green Fest, the annual meeting of the Green Party of the United States, which begins Friday in New York State. Stein also serves on the New Progressive Alliance Steering Committee.

WARNING: WASHINGTON IS NOT ON OUR SIDE

by John Andrews and Jill Stein

The shameful debt ceiling flap that has embroiled Washington in recent weeks has left the American people wondering if they can trust any of their current political leaders to do the right thing. The immediate cause of this manufactured crisis lies with the Republicans holding the American economy hostage to a threatened default if their anti-government demands were not met.  President Obama is fully justified in rejecting those proposals which would do enormous harm to essential functions of government.

But President Obama has repeatedly failed to stake out a principled counter position that would force a truly “ balanced” compromise. Instead he has shown his basic agreement with the key Republican positions from the outset. The heated rhetoric and insults that are flying about in Washington today are merely camouflage for the fact that the two dominant parties are occupying a very narrow part of the political spectrum. The bitter arguments are all about who can best accomplish the common goals of protecting the wealthy and well-connected while scaling back programs that ordinary people depend on.

In 2008, Americans elected Barack Obama in the belief that he would reverse the policies of George W. Bush. But he has betrayed the hopes of constituency after constituency. Now Obama’s “balanced” plan elevates deficit reduction to the highest priority, so important that it justifies massive cuts in badly needed domestic programs. He has falsely declared Social Security and Medicare to be too expensive to maintain and proposed a destructive “trimming” – including cuts of up to 9% in Social Security income and a two-year delay in Medicare coverage. Obama’s plan allows the bloated Pentagon budget to trundle along with only minor cuts achieved through “efficiency.” Despite his attempt to label his plan as “balanced,”  Obama cuts $3 for every $1 in proposed revenue enhancement.  He’s declared tax increases off the table before 2013, and even then advocates only small steps to correct the worst abuses.

Through all this, the President has skillfully deflected attention from the fact that all $4 trillion targeted for debt reduction could be recouped through long overdue measures to restore fairness to a drastically unfair tax system – namely reining in offshore tax dodging, modestly taxing Wall Street speculation, raising income taxes on households earning over $1 million annually, and progressively taxing estates worth over $5 million.

It’s no accident that in his nationwide speech President Obama cited former President Ronald Reagan in support of his position, and emphasized that the Republicans have nothing to object to in his plan because it is pursuing their longstanding goals. The apparent Democratic strategy is to brag about their opposition to the more extreme proposals of the Republicans. And the Republicans are happy to ask for more than they really think they can get, and watch the Democrats move ever further to the right.

Lost in the shuffle are the real concerns of everyday Americans, whose real wages are declining, whose jobs are disappearing, who can’t afford the rising costs of health care and education for their children, who are still losing their homes in record numbers, and who cannot afford lobbyists to plead their case.

The convergence of the two major parties in America has robbed voters of a way to fix a government that is failing them. When you have just two choices on the ballot, neither of which are on your side, your vote loses most of its value. The “hope for change” that drove Obama’s election in 2008 is clearly dead. But the thirst for real change still runs deep in the electorate.  This makes us more grateful than ever to be part of an independent third party that consistently stands up for the public interest, and doesn’t need a spin machine to manufacture excuses for selling out. Life becomes much simpler when you just decide to do the right thing.

The NPA Update, April

12:47 pm in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

There’s much progress to report in the New Progressive Alliance’s effort to leverage the 2012 election to create a unified, uncompromising voice for Progressive ideals and reform at the national level. Your recommends, shares, tweets and facebook likes of this diary will help grow the organization and increase the chances of fielding both a primary challenger to Barack Obama and a viable indie or third-party candidate in the general election.

Thanks for your help.

Anthony Noel, NPA Facilitator

The NPA Update, April, 2011

In this issue…

- Finding A Primary Challenger

- Coming Soon: NewProgs.org

- Spotlight: United Progressives

- Steering Committee Supports Work on a Unified Platform

- Calling All Artists: Design the NPA Logo!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finding a Primary Challenger

The New Progressive Alliance has begun contacting prospective challengers to Barack Obama for the 2012 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

A new and growing organization, the NPA is dedicated to shifting the electoral paradigm in America from one that is largely closed, and in which voters are given only two choices – bad and worse, and both beholden to for-profit conglomerates – to a truly open system which enables genuine social democracy.

As the first of its two-stage strategy for achieving this goal, the NPA is actively seeking a 2012 primary challenger who will commit to turning the electoral process, as we know it, on its head.

Readers of the progressive blog “MyFDL” chose ten current and former Democrats as prospective primary challengers to Mr. Obama last fall. Elizabeth Warren placed first, followed by Russ Feingold, Howard Dean, Richard Trumka, Alan Grayson, Cynthia McKinney, Al Franken, Paul Krugman, Dennis Kucinich, and Jane Hamsher.

We seek a challenger who recognizes the rare opportunity 2012 provides for boldly leveraging Americans’ broad support of real Progressive policy and programs. Our challenger must pledge to oppose Mr. Obama throughout the primary season, and to play a key role in the second stage of our strategy, by changing the “traditional” script and throwing their support not to Mr. Obama, but to an as yet undetermined independent or third-party candidate who earns our endorsement.

That endorsement will not come easily. Both our primary challenger and general election candidates must publicly pledge to uphold the NPA’s core values, also chosen by readers at MyFDL last fall: Full Employment, Medicare for All, Civil Rights / Human Rights / Civil Liberties, Fair Trade, and Ending the Wars Immediately. (See related story, “Steering Committee Supports Work on a Unified Platform,” below.)

NPA volunteer Ed has written a terrific recruitment letter customized for each of the prospective primary challengers. We gratefully acknowledge his hard work.


Coming Soon: NewProgs.org

Thanks to the efforts of two more volunteers, Tenisha and Jay, the NPA will soon have an online home!

NewProgs.org will list the members of the NPA Steering Committee; link to every issue of The NPA Update; report on our work toward a Unified Progressive Platform; detail the organization’s short, mid, and long-term goals; list membership and volunteer opportunities, and offer many more features.

We’ll send out a notification when NewProgs.org goes live.

——————————————————————-

We Need You

Without the help of volunteers like Jay, Tenisha and Ed, the progress you’re reading
about would be impossible. Survey after survey has shown more than 60 percent of
Americans favor Progressive policy initiatives, but a relatively small number of
professional corporate and political elites prevent those voices from being heard,
and America from joining the global community of social democracies. We will not
change this reality without the help of large numbers of everyday people who are
committed to doing so. The NPA seeks State Founders, writers, organizers, researchers
and legal and accounting pros. To help, write admin_at_themalcontent_dot_com.

And thank you.

——————————————————————–

Spotlight: United Progressives

Earlier this year, former Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate and NPA Steering Committee member Jill Stein suggested United Progressives as a potential member of the NPA. Her idea has created what looks to be a promising partnership. From the United Progressives’ “About” page:

“A policy group was formed following the end of the 2008 Presidential bid of Dennis
Kucinich by seven people from his campaign who sought ways to advance the objectives
of progressives through alternative avenues.

“It was clear, through our experience with the campaign and from long experience
with the American system of government, that change was needed. American citizens
are not being adequately represented.

“One of the alternatives our policy project decided to act upon is United Progressives,
a union intended to unite progressives on issues rather than candidates. By uniting
progressives on issues rather than candidates, we believe that the change we seek
in our lives and to our political system of government is possible.”

After representing United Progressives in an observing role during the March meeting of the NPA Steering Committee, Paul Barrow, one of the organization’s founders, received a terrific response to this diary, which he posted both at his organization’s site and here at “MyFDL.”

We urge you to consider joining United Progressives – a group which shares the NPA’s underpinning beliefs of issues over identity and strength in Progressive unity.


Steering Committee Supports Work on Unified Platform

In its March phone conference, the NPA Steering Committee supported efforts to assemble a Unified Progressive Platform.

Jill Stein, Cindy Sheehan, Paul Barrow (see previous story), and Norman Bie (organizer with Independents, Greens, Libertarians, and Others) joined NPA facilitator Anthony Noel via phone March 28th. Labor organizer Alan Maki could not join the call but provided his thoughts via an advance email. Absent due to prior commitments were Richard Winger, Cornel West, and David Swanson.

The Unified Platform is being worked on now by NPA volunteers. Five more simply stated values, incorporating beliefs stated in existing platforms of various Progressive organizations, will be added to the five chosen last fall by MyFDL readers, and all ten will be supported in detailed position papers.

When completed and approved by the Steering Committee and the NPA’s member organizations, the Unified Platform will be housed at the NPA website and presented to other Progressive organizations to encourage their participation in the Alliance. It will be our foundational document, a crucial element in determining whether candidates earn our endorsement, and in assessing their performance while in office.


Calling All Artists: Design the NPA’s Logo!

We’re seeking the definitive graphic representation of the NPA’s mission. If you painted “our” picture, what would it look like?

Take a crack at designing our logo! Submit your design as a .jpg file by June 1, 2011. We’re looking for a strong mark that conveys a theme of unity. It should remain crisp, clear and immediately recognizable when reproduced in a variety of sizes.

The winning design will appear in all NPA communications. Enter as many designs as you like, but each must include the acronym “NPA” and/or the words “New Progressive Alliance.” Five finalists will be chosen by the NPA Steering Committee, with final voting to take place online at “MyFDL.”

The winning designer receives a lifetime membership in the NPA; a one-year Benefactor’s Membership to FireDogLake; and the pride of knowing they’ve contributed to a movement committed to changing how politics is done in America.

Send your design to admin_at_themalcontent_dot_com. And good luck!

(All entries become property of the NPA; entry constitutes assignment of each design’s copyright and ownership to the New Progressive Alliance. Entry period may be extended in the absence of suitable designs, at the sole discretion of the judges.)

Cross-posted at The Malcontent and Antemedius

Cindy Sheehan Calls Out the UniParty’s “War-Loving Frauds”

7:09 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

Cindy Sheehan, “Peace Mom” (and a member of the New Progressive Alliance’s Steering Committee), excoriated “War Loving (Democratic/Republican) Frauds” on her blog yesterday. (Reprinted here by permission; cross-posted at The Malcontent.)

I know many of you don’t really care, but in exactly 15 days, it will be seven years since my oldest son (whom I never “abandoned” and raised with his father and three siblings until he went into the Army when he was 21), Casey was killed in this Empire’s insane War OF Terror. Was Casey the first, or the last? No–but he was my first and the shock knocked me out of my quiet complacency–which was just as wrong as the Empire’s unending wars.

When I began protesting, Bush was president and my protest and the energy that grew around it was used by you Democrats to regain political power in the federal government. Four years later and a change of Executive, this nation is still mired in Arab countries waging a war against Arabs of all, or no, faith. Now brought to us by the Blue Team.

Three days after the current evil Emperor was installed by the oligarchy, he ordered a drone bombing in Northern Pakistan (a country that we are supposedly not at war with) that killed 36 civilians and since then, he has been absolutely mad about drone bombings, increasing Bush’s total over 300 percent in far fewer years. Even though I never supported Obama who funded wars as a Senator and who is NOT a peace president, I said at the time: ”Three days in and already a war criminal.” I was thoroughly attacked by Democrats who once affiliated as “peace” activists for not giving Obama “time.”

Well, Gitmo is still open, military tribunals will resume for men who have been illegally detained for up to a decade now, US Tomahawk missiles are raining down on innocents in Libya (killing people to save them is the NEW PEACE), dictators are still supported, Israel is still occupying and oppressing Palestine, activists are being targeted by Obama’s DOJ while BushCo are being protected, the USA PATRIOT ACT was renewed, the Gulf is dying–and where is the outrage? 

This is where I think the outrage is–the oligarchy of this country is clever, they knew that it would take a person of color with an Islamic name who sold his soul many years ago–to fulfill the neocon agenda of planetary dominance (see: Project for a New American Century). So if one criticizes Obama, then we are attacked by War Loving Democrats for being: ”divisive fanatics,” “racist,” ”Tea Baggers,” “crazy,” etcetera. Could McCain be getting away with bombing North Africa? Or does that take an African-American to give political cover to the war jackals?

The last four paragraphs were for War Loving Democrats, Greens and Socialists–yes I have heard from all three groups denouncing me for being against bombing Libyans to save them (same thing BushCo said about Iraqis, by the way–and the very same rhetoric used for Vietnam, etc).

This next part is for war loving Republicans and “Independents,”

What? Are you people morons? First of all, you should be dancing in the streets praising the name of Obama like your comrades in the Democratic Party who hypocritically support his murders. Face it–YOU OVERTLY LOVE WAR–when a Republican is doing it. Admit it, you salivate over killing innocents so those “jihadist” babies won’t crawl over here to cut your throats and make your women wear burkas! How dare you attack me and complain that I don’t protest Obama’s wars, when you should be out supporting him with all of your violent hearts and souls.

Before you write to attack ME for being a hypocrite, I suggest a five minute exercise in “googling.”
If you do that, then you’ll see since before he was even elected, I opposed Obama, while I was running for election in San Francisco AGAINST a Democrat, Nancy (War Lover and Torture Supporter) Pelosi.

You’ll also see that I wrote a book in January of 2009 detailing everything I discovered that was wrong with this Empire and the myths that bind both sides to the establishment. Then you’ll find that I traveled to Martha’s Vineyard in 2009 when the Obamas took a $50,000 per week vacation there to demand a meeting with him to ask him “What Noble Cause?”

But that’s not all, my War Loving Republican “friends.”

In March of 2010, I set up a Peace Camp called Camp Out Now on the lawn of the Washington Monument for two weeks protesting Obama and his wars. Near the end of that Camp, I was arrested in front of the White House and jailed for 52 hours, then given a four month “stay away” order from the White House–does this sound like someone who supports, or is supported by the Obama regime?

Not being one to abandon my principles so quickly, I went back in July for two weeks to try and do the same thing.

I have protested the regime’s drone bombing campaign in front of CIA HQ in Langley, Va AND at the Smithsonian Institute where the harbingers of massacre are proudly displayed–I even traveled to Oslo, Norway to protest his awardence of the Nobel Peace Prize.

So, War Lovers on the “right”–hate me if you will, but hate me because I am diametrically opposed to everything you stand for, not because I am a “hypocrite.” Look inside yourselves and realize that Obama is ONE OF YOU–scary isn’t it?

And War Lovers from the “left”–hate me if you will, too, but not because I am a “fanatic” (how can one be a fanatic about non-violence?), hate me because the light I shine back at you exposes your own lack of integrity around these issues–be honest and look deeply inside yourself and see that if it were McCain/Palin or Bush/Cheney bombing the crap out of Libya, you would be furious with me, not at me.

Peace Before Partisan Politics,

Cindy Sheehan

PS: Being against the US and its toadies bombing Libyans DOES NOT mean I am for Qaddafi killing Libyans either (or anyone killing Libyans, or others, for that matter). 

PPS: In his own words:
‎”The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Barack Obama, Boston Globe, December 20, 2007