Thursday, March 31, 2011

Truthout: Congress Must Debate Libya War

The US is now at war in a third Muslim country, according to the "official tally" (that is, counting Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, but not Pakistan or Yemen, for example.) But Congress has never authorized or debated the US military intervention in Libya.


Click on blog title post above -- or -- cut and paste the following link:


http://www.truth-out.org/congress-must-debate-libya-war68643

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Egyptian-American Producer Recommends Web Articlehttp://www.alternet.org/world/150303/vision%3A_revolution_is_%22unpredictable_and_as_beautiful_as_spring%22/

Democracy Now! producer, Sharif Kouddous, recommends the descriptive article referenced here, which tells of the recent revolution in his home country of Egypt. I am mentioning this article on the strength of Kouddous' recommendation, not on my own personal review.


http://www.alternet.org/world/150303/vision%3A_revolution_is_%22unpredictable_and_as_beautiful_as_spring%22/

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Important Reminder

Let us remember:

1. Bombing a sovereign nation is an act of war.

2. The Constitution gives Congress alone the power to declare war:

"To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;..."


Clearly, the President does not have the power to send bombs on a sovereign foreign nation without a Congressional declaration of war. This was true in 1789 and it is true today. Therefore, President Obama, all high-sounding words to the contrary, is in violation of the Constitution, pure and simple. Mr. Obama now stands in a sad line of Presidents, including Johnson, Reagan, both Bushes and others who either fudged on Congressional mandates or acted flat-out without specific Congressional authorization for the use of force.

It is long past time to end the Imperial Presidency!

How Long Will It Be?

In light of recent developments in Libya, one wonders how long it will be before we begin to hear the word "quagmire."

John McCain in reacting to the President's speech warns about what happened after the no-fly zone in Iraq was imposed. While I disagree with the rationale set forth by McCain, he is quite right in alerting the U.S. to the limitations and dangers of imposing no-fly zones with the hope of driving out a nations leader but without the desire to use force to do so. Again, I disagree in most cases with the need to drive leaders out of power by force, though certainly this was done in both Germany and Italy in World War II.

No one has a crystal ball, but clearly there are vast dangers.

Reporters Add Perspective

Bob Scheiffer of CBS calls it a strong defense of his policy.

Wolf Blitzer of CNN says this speech is a clear explanation of what can be called the Obama doctrine. As I hear it this doctrine is an expansion of the rationale for U.S. military involvement around the world.

Reporters on CNN are likewise reporting armed civilians now involved in defending the Qaddafi regime. They ask how the Coalition is going to respond to this new situation.

A Rallying Cry

Our ideals "are the true measure of our leadership."

"For generations we have done the hard work of protecting our own people as well as millions of people around the world."

"Let us look to the future with confidence and hope..."

"We Can Make a Difference"

We (the U.S.) stands behind "the principles which have guided us through many storms."

"History is on the move in ... North Africa."

U.S. Action Tied to Democracy Movement in Arabia

Pres. Obama claims the U.S. action is allied with the democratic movements now sweeping the Arab world.

The Nature of Real Leadership

Real leadership creates the conditions when others can step up to the plate.

Circumstances Under Which President Will Commit U.S. Forces

Mr. Obama outlines reasons when U.S. forces will be deployed. He states there can be times when, for reasons of national interest, not only for sheer security, the military should be mobilized.

Trying to Overthrow Qaddafi by Force Would Be a Mistake

The President outlines the reasons why the U.S., while propounding the need for "regime change" in Libya, should not seek to drive Qaddafi out by force.

Lead to Shift to NATO

Earlier in the speech the President claimed that the lead role for the attack has shifted to NATO.

The President Answers His Critics

Mr. Obama states that while it is true the U.S. cannot act in every case to militarily oppose oppression around the world, this is not an argument for never acting.

He says he refuses "to wait for slaughter and mass graves" before acting.

Blogging the Presidential Address on Libya

Tonight, while President Barack Obama is still speaking I begin posting here.

The speech is a defense of the President's decision, and his alone, to commit U.S. forces to an air attack on the sovereign nation of Libya.

Everyone Has a Right, Including the Radical Right

Everyone has a right to his own opinion, including those on the radical right. But when anyone -- right or left -- tries to silence someone simply for disagreeing with him that is a direct attack on our democracy. For no democracy can long survive when persons feel inhibited from participating in normal political discourse.

It is a sign of the feableness of the arguments involved that far-right reactionaries feel compelled to take such dubious means as trying to seize the e-mails of a highly respected, law-abiding college professor. The nit-wits of negativism have succeeded only in proving their desperation. However, I am proud to say: Long live their right to express their opinion! And long live the right of responsible, rational people to appropriately rebut them!



http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=homepage

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wisconsin Up-Date: Republican Legislative Leader Defies Court

Republican legislative leader Fitzgerald has attempted to defy a court order prohibiting the infamous anti-union law from taking effect in Wisconsin. Details are at the Huffington Post web site page linked below.

Republican efforts to kill unions continue even at the expense of the court system. Let us be clear: any attack on the legitimacy of the courts is an attack on our system of justice. Certainly judges can be wrong, but to defy a restraining order -- something which only temporarily delays enactment of this law -- is especially brazen. It is one thing to dislike unions. It is quite another to upend our system of checks and balances entirely. If such efforts are allowed to stand in Wisconsin, the entire nation is at risk.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/27/wisconsin-union-law_n_841106.html

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Good News Regarding Big Money in Politics

The news report linked here shows the ingenuity of American political reformers. The Supreme Court may have the ability to bolster big money in politics but there are clearly other forces at work. Prepare to be encouraged as you listen.


javascript:NPR.Player.openPlayer(134735125,%20134800861,%20null,%20NPR.Player.Action.PLAY_NOW,%20NPR.Player.Type.STORY,%20'0')

Monday, March 21, 2011

Congress Must Debate Libyan Attack

The attack by U.S. forces upon the sovereign nation of Libya is un-Constitutional and therefore illegal under our system of government. Even though one may sympathize with those who are opposing Gaddafi in that unfortunate country, the fact remains that the President does not have the power to unilaterally commit acts of war against a sovereign nation absent a Congressional declaration of war.

The reason for this is obvious. The framers were well-acquainted with a king who made war against the American people virtually at will. Furthermore, a future President of another party could launch strikes against Iran, or North Korea with potentially catastrophic consequences while claiming precedent for doing so.

News reports are saying members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are expressing concern about the Obama decision to send bombs flying into the territory of Libya. While the Gaddafi rule is most un-commendable, our Constitution must be followed. Congress must be consulted and Congress must declare war before any bombs can legally fall. Now that such bombs have fallen and are continuing to fall, Congress must act to cut off funds for this operation. Further, it must be said, that this action is in fact impeachable. (See previous posts on the illegal acts of the Bush II administration.)


http://www.truth-out.org/congress-must-debate-libya-war68643

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ron Paul: U.S. Attack on Libya un-Constitutional

U.S. Representative and former Presidential candidate Ron Paul, has stated on the House floor that the United States attack on Libya yesterday is un-Constitutional. His statement is must-reading for all lovers of the Constitution. (Click blog post title above or cut and paste link below.)

I will have more to say later.


http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-libya-airstrikes-unconstitutional-only-congress-can-declare-war.html

Friday, March 18, 2011

Implentation of Wisconsin Anti-Union Law Blocked

A judge in Wisconsin has issued a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the recently-signed bill which sought to cripple public-sector employee unions in the state. The ruling appears to hold up the effective date of the new so-called law, at least for the time being. While much more will be required to stop this horrendous bill from taking effect, this ruling is clearly a step toward greater enlightenment regarding the issues at stake.






http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/18/wisconsin-union-law-lawsuit_n_837580.html

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Archive of Past Special Notices

Retired March 15, 2011:


REPUBLICANS CAUSE CHAOS IN WISCONSIN: ON-GOING REPORTAGE

Next to the poor economy, the political chaos in Wisconsin is undoubtedly the biggest story in America now. This blog will be watching the situation in Wisconsin carefully with the purpose of reporting news and opposing over-reach by the political thugs found in the Wisconsin Republican Party.

Note: This blog strongly supports a policy of non-violence.

Democracy Under Attack in Michigan and Elsewhere

What is being called a "financial martial law" bill in Michigan is really out-and-out fascism, masquerading as a financial repair measure. The article from the AFL-CIO linked below tells more and has links to video on the subject.

This measure if passed and signed, as appears likely, would allow the governor to totally up-end local governments, thus completely subverting the democratic process in municipalities across the state. More can be read at the web page, but, in brief, the governor could even suspend elected officials! Perhaps we should call the new governor there Adolf HitSnyder.

For those who know their history it was a financial and thus societal crisis that led to fascism taking hold in Germany in what had been one of the most enlightened democratic republics in Europe. Those who think such a thing couldn't happen here should think again. I am willing to agree that a full unabashed fascism a la Nazi Germany appears unlikely in America as a whole at this time. But to make certain, we must oppose the Republican oligarchs and their minions in Michigan and elsewhere by every non-violent means available (and I do stress "non-violent") and with all due speed.

You may also click on the blog title above to access the web page.


http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/03/09/michigan-republicans-use-budget-crisis-to-make-outrageous-assault-on-democracy/

Monday, March 14, 2011

Democratic Pollster Optimistic About Recall Success in Wisconsin

As Wisconsinites by the tens of thousands protest the bald-faced attack on collective bargaining in their state, Democratic pollster Paul Maslin predicts the Republican state Senators targeted for recall will be thrown out of office this summer. He further predicts an effort to put a recall of Scott Walker on the ballot next year will also succeed. He says the recall effort itself will ultimately succeed or fail based on whether Independents decide whether his governorship is salvageable.

Ultimately, the status of corporations and wealthy donors who put these nasty ideologues into office must be decided, as both categories of givers are far too powerful. What is not seen is their power derives from our economic system itself and our attachment to it. Thus the capitalist system must go.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/11/gray-davis-pollster-bulli_n_834783.html

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kudos to the U.S. Military

It isn't often I am able to applaud the United States military for its major operations. For their heroic work in and around Japan, today is such a moment for recognition. The U.S. military, under the overall command of President Barack Obama, is deploying admirably in that disaster-struck nation.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why Obama Isn't Fighting the Budget Battle

Robert Reich, the twenty-second Secretary of Labor explains why Barack Obama is acting coy in the budget battle. Worry on the part of Congressional Democrats is justified. Here is a quote from Reich at his web log:


Worried congressional Democrats say the President needs to use his bully pulpit to counter defections in Democatic ranks, such as the ten Democrats and one allied Independent who on Wednesday voted against a Senate leadership plan to cut $6.2 billion from the federal budget over the rest of fiscal year 2011. They want Obama to grab the initiative and push a plan to eliminate tax breaks for oil companies and for companies that move manufacturing facilities out of the country, and a proposal for a surtax on millionaires.

Most importantly, they’re worried the President’s absence from the debate will result in Republicans winning large budget cuts for the remainder of the fiscal year – large enough to imperil the fragile recovery.

But Obama won’t actively fight the budget battle if the current White House view of how he wins in 2012 continues to prevail.

-- http://robertreich.org/

(This is the 600th post on The Musical Patriot.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Democrats and Labor Fighting Back in Wisconsin and Elsewhere

Plans to fight the Republican stealth tactics in the Wisconsin legislature moved forward today as both labor and the Democratic Party strengthened mobilizing efforts throughout Wisconsin. The effort moved ahead on multiple fronts including recall efforts, court challenges, and renewed protests in Madison and elsewhere. In addition, the national Democratic Party began increasing efforts to combat similar anti-union efforts in other states.

Taking pundits by surprise, the public strongly opposes the movement to curtail the rights of unions. With public backing and hundreds of thousands of dollars already accumulated, pro-worker forces are ready to do battle with the special (monied) interests.

For more on this exciting development see articles at the two links below.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/10/democrats-labor-set-their_n_834232.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/10/labor-recall-wisconsin-gop-court-challenge_n_833848.html

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Trouble for Obama on the Left?

A quick check of Internet sources including the Gallup polling web site, indicates trouble brewing on the left for President Obama. Approval numbers among "liberals" (an old-fashioned term) had dropped for Obama in the most recent poll related on the site. In addition, talk of an alternative to Obama among anti-war Democrats has begun. It appears at this point there is no figure who is well-known nationally who has agreed to run against Mr. Obama in the Democratic primaries.

One potential candidate, virtually revered by progressives, is former U.S. representative Alan Grayson. Mr. Grayson has so far declined to rule out a possible run. With growing opposition to the Afghan war (which Grayson has opposed) and an economy which refuses to really take off, a possible challenge is not lacking in credibility. And with something of a personal fortune, Grayson could at least get a start.

I still favor, of course, better efforts to try to ensure candidates meet all Constitutional requirements for holding office. This is an area where there are continuing questions relative to Mr. Obama. But as things stand any disqualification of Obama is a ways off, at best.

In the meantime, the pros and cons of a candidacy challenging Obama must be weighed carefully. Yet, increasingly, a challenge from the left looks possible.


http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/12/28/an-anti-war-challenge-to-obama-in-2012-the-case-for-alan-grayso/

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Real News About Jobs

Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under Pres. Clinton, details the numbers behind the numbers on jobs. What the numbers show is wages gone to seed no matter whether overall jobs numbers are up or down. Highly Recommended.


http://archive.truthout.org/the-real-news-jobs68236

Monday, March 07, 2011

A Simmering Time

A number of important news stories are simmering both domestically and internationally. Today I have heard about the Libyan situation, have up-dated on the Wisconsin situation, and have scanned a piece by David Swanson on Iraq.

After I have had a chance to read the Swanson article more thoroughly I will likely post a link to it here. It appears to be an excellent review of recent Iraqi history and how the United States government has let down the people of that great and historic region.

In the meantime, let us find hope amid the mayhem which sometimes seems to flourish. There is change afoot and mostly the end goals are worthy even if the process is messy. Worthy goals alone are cause for hope.

-- The Musical Patriot

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Michael Moore Fortifies Wisconsin Protestors; Sees New National Movement

Michael Moore, award-winning film-maker spoke to Madison protestors yesterday and said their efforts presaged a new national movement opposing corporate control of the country. Speaking on short notice on a day which saw 30-40,000 persons demonstrating on behalf of union rights, Moore offered hope and encouragement to workers everywhere.

"Right now the Earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge," said Moore, the Oscar-winning maker of "Bowling for Columbine," whose documentaries also include "Fahrenheit 911" and "Capitalism: A Love Story." -- Wisconsin State Journal

Indeed there is now a movement for worker justice showing itself strongly in several places, waiting to manifest itself everywhere soon. The tipping point, Moore says, is here; it is now. As the cup tips, may justice flow out upon the land we call home.

Friday, March 04, 2011

U.S. Representative Agrees Wisconsin Governor Is a Thug

This from The Cap Times of Madison, Wisconsin (March 3, 2011):


...former U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, was turned away from the Capitol where he began his career as a state representative.

Obey said on Wednesday that he was denied entry to the Capitol for the first time in his five decades of visiting and serving in Madison.

"I think the governor is a political bully and a political thug," said Obey, who urged the governor to stop locking citizens -- and in some cases legislators -- out of the building and begin negotiating with the 14 Democratic senators who fled to Illinois when it became evident that the governor and his legislative allies were seeking to limit debate on what the Democrats see as a union-busting bill.

"I think the governor has needlessly divided the state," said Obey. "I can't think of a bill that will do more to weaken the future of Wisconsin. This is an anti-education, anti-union budget, and people ought to understand that."

Thuggery in Madison

Tonight I am continuing to present the news from Madison, Wisconsin, as the citizens of the state begin to organize to oust the cheapskate Republican legislators with close ties to Gov. Walker.

Part of the story is an incident in which a Democratic law-maker was denied access to the Capitol building.

Is Madison, Wisconsin, completely different from Tripoli, Libya? In a different and more roundabout way do we have thugs hired by the highest authorities in the state? While the legislator in question later praised the police, how can we laud a system which keeps a legislator out of the Capitol building of Wisconsin?


http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_816d3ea2-467b-11e0-86ef-001cc4c002e0.html

Will Democrats Betray Unions?

The New York Times reports today that Democratic law-makers are in discussions with Scott Walker which may lead to Walker getting some of the restrictions on unions he seeks. It is all a dirty, dirty business.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/us/05wisconsin.html?_r=1&ref=scottkwalker

Wisconsin Recall Effort Launched

Wisconsinites have wisely launched an effort to recall state legislators most-closely tied to Governor Scott ("The Wrecker") Walker. The effort is serious and may very well result in the removal from office of these cretinous Benedict Arnolds. Circulators are being sought to get petitions around to voters. Evidently, one does not need to be a Wisconsin resident in order to be a circulator as long as one meets the other simple criteria.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Walker of Wis

The Walker of Wis

I am Walker – the Great and Powerful. Who are you? WHO ARE YOU?

Dorothy: If you please, I am Dorothy -- the teacher small and meek. We've come to ask --

Walker: Silence!

Dorothy: Oh, Oh, Jiminy Crickets!
 
Walker: The Great and Powerful Walker knows why you have come. Step forward, IT Man.
 
IT Man: U-ahh.

Walker: You dare to come to me for a salary, do you? You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk!

IT Man: Oooohhh. Uh, yes, yes sir. Y-y-yes, your Honor. You see, awhile back we were walking down State Street --

Walker: QUIET!

IT Man: Oooohhhhhh!
 
Walker: And you, Park Ranger, have the effrontery to ask for a pension. You billowing bale of bovine fodder!
 

Ranger: Thanks, your Honor – I mean, your Excellency –
I mean, your Governorship.

Walker: Enough! And you, Librarian. Well?!

[The Cowardly Librarian faints]
 

Dorothy: You ought to be ashamed of
yourself, frightening her like that when she
came to you for help!
 
Walker: Silence, Whippersnapper. The beneficent Walker has every intention of granting your requests.
 
The Cowardly Librarian: [coming to] ...What's that? Huh? What'd he say? What'd he say?

Walker: But first you must prove yourselves worthy by performing a very small task. Bring me the Skype of David Koch!

The Park Ranger: B-b-b-b-b-b-b-but...if we do that, we'll have to offend him to get it.

Walker: Bring me his Skype and I'll grant your requests. Now, go.

The Cowardly Librarian: But what if he kills us first?

Walker: I said GO!


*************

With apologies to and great love for: The Wizard of Oz.

(c) 2011 by The Musical Patriot. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Coming Soon

Coming Soon: The Walker of Wis: A Spoof for Our Time. An original take-off of a favorite movie scene. Check back here soon.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Wisconsin Gave Hope

This evening I continue to follow the situation in Wisconsin. As I write this I am following various leads on line. My usual sources of information, including Huffington Post and the Wisconsin State Journal, are letting me down so far this evening.

When I get better information I will post the latest on the situation in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, the protestors in Wisconsin over the last several weeks have given such hope to workers all across the country. We realize that if we all had collective bargaining rights our lives could be ever so much better than they are, for so few of us now have such basic rights.

More power to the Wisconsin protestors.

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