Posted tagged ‘Congress’

Barack Obama’s Inauguration: Stories From The Mall

January 20, 2009
Millions on the national mall awaiting the inauguration of President Obama.

Millions on the national mall awaiting the inauguration of President Obama.

(Washington D.C.) – Today I along with a few other College Democrats joined the millions of Americans from every state stretching from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Within 5 feet were people from Florida, North Carolina, Connecticut, California, Kentucky and a multitude of other states. Even more impressive were the people from the Bahamas and the Netherlands.

Every race, color and creed was visible on the mall. After arriving around 1am there were plenty of people who were rich, poor, tired and eventually just a huddled mass. All of them telling us how they came with friends from South Africa and as far away as Australia. Everyone sharing stories about how Barack Obama’s election has personally touched them in a way no election ever has.

Singing songs together in unity to stay warm, loudly cheering for President Obama when he appeared on the jumbotron and quietly listening to pastor Rick Warren when he spoke to everyone.

Whether you were there in person, saw it at home on your television, saw it online at work, or listened to it on the radio this was a moment for the history books. From Los Angeles to New York to the forgotten corners of the world everyone will remember this moment. What did you make of this moment?

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After Guantanamo… part 2

December 14, 2008

This is part two of a two part series on Guantanamo Bay. The first part can be found here.

Previously we answered the question about where detainees who are set free can go. Now we address the rest of the detainees….

So what about the rest of the detainees? Well most of them will face trails under the plans being crafted by the Obama administration. The Bush administration has set up military tribunals for the detainees.

Various organizations such as the ACLU and Amnesty International have cited these tribunals as unfair. Recently the ACLU released a letter about the tribunals.

“Many of us do not believe these military commissions to be fair, in accordance with American values, or capable of achieving the justice that 9/11 family members and all Americans deserve,”

Many are asking to give the detainees fair trials with Constitutional rights, the same rights anyone on American soil is entitled to. There is opposition to the plan to give the detainees trials in the US. One of those is Senate Judiciary Committee member John Cornyn, (R-TX) said it is a “colossal mistake to treat terrorism as a mere crime.”

Human Rights First which recently met with the transition team issued a statement saying since the attacks of 9/11 there have been 107 successful prosecutions of international terrorism cases in the federal courts, compared with three convictions in military commissions at Guantanamo Bay.

President-Elect Obama will no doubt have to address this issue very early on in his presidency. Many have cited the unfair treatment of prisoners as a violation of human rights and some have even resigned their positions in protest of the treatment.

Many inside the current administration are hoping Obama will keep the camp open after reading some of the classified information he now has access to. Will it happen? (more…)

After Guantanamo…

December 13, 2008

This is part one of a two part series covering the future of Guantánamo Bay.

(NEW YORK) Guantánamo Bay is a bay located in Guantánamo Province at the south-eastern end of Cuba. Most people however know the bay by the U.S. Naval base there. The land granted to the United States was granted to them in the terms of the Cuban-American treaty of 1903 which effectively leases the land indefinitely to the United States. Currently the United States leases the land for $4,085 annually.

In the American controlled Guantánamo Bay Naval Base are more than ships, barracks and an airfield. There are various food franchises owned by the Department of the Navy. There’s a Taco Bell, Subway, KFC, A&W, pubs, bowling allies, and even Cuba’s first and only McDonald’s.

Guantanamo Bay inmates upon arrival

Guantanamo Bay inmates upon arrival

The base is best known for the now infamous Guantánamo Bay Naval Base Detention Camp, where many detainees are held.

There has been controversy time and time again regarding the base. From the treatment of inmates, to the conditions they’re held in, to the ages of them.

Barack Obama campaigned on the promise of closing down the Detention Camp. He will not be closing down the base itself as the base is vital to the Navy’s interests and is a key strategic location in the Caribbean. The closing of the detention center on the base he has said is one of his top priorities.

There are very few, if any people who are against shutting down the detention center. But there’s a question which looms large and seems to have gone unnoticed by the media. What happens after the Detention center at Guantánamo Bay is closed?
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Big Three Bailout

December 7, 2008

Congress your approval rating is horrible, I wonder why? You can’t do anything right, year after year your still re-elected.

Why hasn’t this zero interest bridge loan been given to the automakers yet?

Because Brad Sherman and other congressmen have decided to grandstand. That’s why.

Brad Sherman, where the hell were you when AIG, Citigroup, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had their hands out? You want to grandstand and make a name for yourself by asking these CEO’s if they’re willing to sell their jets? You ask the “Big Three” CEO’s to take pay cuts and not accept bonuses?

Robert Nardelli, CEO of Chrysler has been working for $1 a year since 2007 with no bonuses or stock options. They have all sold their jets since them because of absurd public criticism.

The entire committee is asking some great questions, questions they didn’t ask the financial companies. The banks had NO, NONE, ZERO, NADA, ZILCH, information about how much money would be needed. Paulson and Bernake were stumped. Here you have companies with a plan laid out before you asking for 33 Billion instead of $700,000,000,000.00 and your grilling them.

Dennis Kucinich made great points before the bailout was passed.

You gave them the money, our money with great risk. AIG has since come back for more, spending money frivolously. AIG needs 152 Billion itself to keep going. These three companies combined are asking for close to 20% of that.

Three companies which directly or indirectly employ millions of Americans.

You gave Wall Street $700 Billion dollars because Henry Paulson told you to. None of you have any idea how much money was needed, or how this would fix anything. You all speculated, even the experts weren’t sure.

Wall Street lost TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS doing nothing!

When other countries go through a credit crisis our government has told them to raise interest rates, stop spending and let failing companies fail.

When we’re going through a credit crisis we lower interest rates, spend unprecedented amounts, and prop up failing banks. This led to the problem spreading to other countries.

I have a few words of advice for you Washington.

Don’t let the financial companies spend a dollar more. Make sure there is proper oversight of the money before you even give anyone another penny.

And give Detroit the loan. America needs it right now. You morons have screwed up enough. Somewhere Adam Smith is turning in his grave……

Morons.

Barack Obama’s Cabinet, who’s next?

December 4, 2008

Yesterday with the announcement of Bill Richardson to take Carlos Gutierrez’s spot as Commerce Secretary Barack Obama filled another spot in his cabinet. We’ve mentioned who is in. But who’s left? What positions are left that the President Elect has yet to fill?

Agriculture, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs.

Now all cabinet positions are nominations and they have to be approved by Congress in order for them to serve in the cabinet.

Considering President-Elect Obama has such high ambitions for getting the United States off of Middle

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America)

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America)

Eastern oil the Energy Secretary will play a key role. It seems Dan Reicher has been getting some attention lately. This would be real change, seeing as how many see him as an environmentalist. He has pushed strongly for clean energy and has advised Obama before.

Obama also will need someone who has some respect and pull to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services. If he wants to pass health care reform and start building universal health care he is going to need someone he can trust and who is well known in Washington.

Former Senate Majority Leader

Former Senate Majority Leader

The rumors about are citing Tom Daschle as that person. Recent L.A. Times reports say he has already accepted the position.

Tom Vilsack, again and again and again has been mentioned as a possible nominee to head the Agriculture department. I won’t beat this dead horse anymore.

These seem to be the most pressing cabinet positions considering the President Elect’s positions and ambitions. We can only wait and see, and speculate, about who will be named next to the cabinet of President Obama.

What if the bailout fails?

September 23, 2008

During this brief hiatus I have received many questions asking about when I would blog again. Good news, it’s right now.

Now, we’ve all heard the arguments about the bailout. People inside and outside the beltway have been saying we need to do it. No one is saying that we don’t need this, we all agree that the economy is in crisis. From Secretary Paulson to President Bush to the presidential candidates, we have to work together.

Congress has been saying that we need more oversight of the money before we pass anything. I agree with them on this and it seems as if Congress has learned from the Patriot Act and the Iraq War resolution to not act immediately and to take some time to analyze the situation. This includes having some sort of government oversight.

One question thought hasn’t been asked.

President Bush stares down the Secretary of the Treasurer Henry Paulson

President Bush stares down the Secretary of the Treasurer Henry Paulson

What happens if it doesn’t work?

What if Congress passes it, but it just fails to boost the economy?
As those insurance company ads say….. “Now what?”

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