What the world thinks of Trump Voters

This great video sums up the thoughts of so many voters that were shocked that Donald Trump won. Things have somehow progressed well beyond basic policy ideas. They have transcended into basic human rights and decency. This quick video does a great job of summing up our thoughts.

 

 

Thanks!
Credit: Tess Rafferty.
Video shared by Occupy Democrats

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Primary or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday

Head out to vote in the primary or caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday. It is vitally important! Our power lies in our participation in the political process. One of the places where our vote still holds a huge amount of sway is in primaries and caucuses. It is arguably the place where the individual voter’s vote still has real, tangible power. Use it!

Find out how and where here: http://voteforbernie.org/

In some years the differences in candidates for president for each party is minimal. This year is not the case. In fact, the democratic candidates are remarkably different. This difference is will mean whether we have a chance to fix and correct our political system or if we remain in the embarrassing and dysfunction quagmire that is our corrupt political process and government functionality.

Here is the evidence that shows their differences and why voters need to mobilize and caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton & Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday Comparison

Issue Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders
Super PAC Contributions $64 Million

(Many large corporate & banks)

NONE

 

TPP Changed from Support to Opposed

(Supported until started Campaign)

Opposed
Keystone Pipeline Recently Opposed

(No Stance for a Long Time)

Opposed
Campaign Contributions 18% Small/82% Large

(Corporations & Banks)

71% Small/29% Large

(Small Business and Individuals)

Presidential Polls against GOP GOP Consistently Wins

(She is very divisive)

Consistently Beats GOP

*Data from: http://presidential-candidates.insidegov.com/compare/35-40/Bernie-Sanders-vs-Hillary-Clinton

Primary or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday - Bernie Sanders vrs Hillary Clinton

*Chart from: http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-vs-bernie-sanders-on-the-issues-2015-9

Primary or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday
As demonstrated in by the data above Senator Bernie Sanders has a much more progressive agenda with hopes and plans to continue to improve America. Bernie Sanders is pushing for further steps to tackle every major issue.

Much of what Hillary Clinton proposes is to stick with much of what we already have, such as healthcare and energy policies.

When looking at each candidate’s stance on issues both in the past and present, their outlined plans for American policy, and the drive they have to make a difference in the coming years the choice is clear.

  • Bernie Sanders is the best choice to advance American policy in meaningful ways demonstrated by his decade’s long history of fighting against the corporate takeover of America.
  • Bernie Sanders clearly has the majority of American’s people’s best interest in mind demonstrated by his empathy and vigor through demonstrating for civil rights.
  • Bernie Sanders is the best choice to bridge the gap between people in America demonstrated by his ability to compromise and find middle ground on long lists of passed legislation.

Vote or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday

Please take a little time out of your day today and head out to your local Primary or caucus and vote. It is a rich and rewarding experience. Your vote holds significant weight in the outcome of who will end up being the Democratic nominee for president.

Ask those around you if they would like to join you. Make a night out of! It will be fun and it is so very important to be involved in our democratic process. If we don’t use our democracy, we just might lose our democracy.

So get out there today and caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday!

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2013 State of the Union Address Enhanced Youtube Video

2013 State of the Union Address Enhanced Youtube VideoPresident Obama delivers the 2013 State of the Union Address to Congress and the nation in this enhanced YouTube video. Here President Barack Obama lets the American people know the state of America.

President Barack Obama then proceeds to go through his goals and aspirations for his second term in this enhanced YouTube video.

In this enhanced YouTube video on the 2013 State of the Union Address has many overlays and other information added throughout President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

So if you have not yet the State of the Union yet or are watching again to get a deeper understanding of the goals ahead this is the version to watch.

2013 State of the Union Address Enhanced Youtube Video

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Plan Your Election Day

Vote Democratic in the 2012 General ElectionElection Day 2012 is tomorrow, are you ready to vote? Make sure you know who and what you are voting for. It is very important that everyone that is registered to vote get out and get their vote in tomorrow. We live in a great country and it can only become greater if we all do our civic duty and vote in our countries elections. Elections are the very core of America and the democracy we all hold so dear. It is the responsibility of every American to vote in every election. Only then can we truly be the masters of our own fate.

Make a plan. Schedule a time to hit the polls and grab your friends and family that still need to vote. It is a lot of fun and there is a certain sense of pride and accomplishment that can be felt when we do vote.

Most people in America have already decided who and how they are going to vote. However if you are still undecided here are some of the big issues that are on everyone’s mind this election year.

  • If you are a college student, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are a firefighter, police officer, teacher, or any other government worker, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that the health care industry should profit off us being healthy instead of being sick, , vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are a woman, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are on unemployment, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are one of the 47%, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are one of the 99%, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on Medicaid, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on Medicare, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on Social Security, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you don’t have a job now, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on PERA, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on a retirement fund, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you don’t want to see another  financial crash, , vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know that a person’s health is vital to our pursuit of happiness, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know that cooperation and bipartisanship is the only way to move forward, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know that every human, without exception, has inalienable rights to freedom and happiness, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know we solve problems through kindness and cooperation, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know woman deserve equal pay for equal work, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you lost your job in the great Republican Market Crash, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you live on the coast, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you do not enjoy disastrous weather, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you realize a balanced approach to fiscal responsibility is the only feasible way to dig this country out of the financial hole we are in, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you remember the downward spiral of our country prior to  2008 and want to keep us on the path the repairing that damage, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you report less than 1,000,000 dollars on your business taxes, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you report less than 250,000 dollars on your income taxes, , vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you show up at the polls this year and you can’t vote, , vote for Democratic candidates next election.
  • If you think it is wrong to buy elections, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think it was about time that someone brought Osama Bin Laden to justice, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think our environment is worth protecting, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that every America equally share the burden of balancing our national budget, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that everyone deserves to be healthy whether they are rich or poor, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that people of all origins deserve a chance in America, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that women’s health care is important, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a better education for your children, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a chance to afford education, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a government that focuses on real problems, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a President that can get things done even when an entire political party’s singular goal is to undermine him, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a President that nurtures and grows foreign relations, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a President that sticks to what he says, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want American businesses to pay taxes in a country that makes them successful, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want bridge the income gap, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want cheaper drug prices, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want healthcare to be better and cheaper, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want jobs to be created in America and the jobs that are here to stay in this country, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want our schools to continue to improve, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to expand our energy independence and versatility, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to have a real shot at the American Dream, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to make a positive difference in America’s future, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to move America back to being a world leader, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to see the reckless behavior of Wall Street stop, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want us to push forward into the 21st century instead of falling back into the 20th century, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.

But if you want to take a step back in time, forgot about the costly illegitimate wars, the economic crash, don’t care women’s health, corruption, and cronyism that brought our country down so fast, vote for the other guys.

The bottom line is that everyone needs to get out and vote. So make a plan, talk to your friends and get out there and participate in one of the most important things that you can do as an American.

Happy voting!

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Top Ten Ways to Vote Responsibly in Politics

people-politicpolitics-voter-infoWe are just under a month away and it is time to make sure that everyone, and I do mean everyone, in the United States of America is prepared, registered, and eager to vote in the upcoming presidential general election.

I would love to see Americans set a new standard this year for voter turnout. I would love to see the American people finally step up and show the world through their political actions that we are the premiere democracy we all hope and wish to be.

To this end I have whipped up this quick Top Ten Ways to Vote Responsibly in Politics checklist to make sure every eligible voter in America is registered and ready to make a responsible political vote come November 6th.

Top Ten Ways to Vote Responsibly in Politics

Number 1: Make sure you are Registered

With the voter fraud and ID laws that have been enacted in many states, many eligible voters have been purged from the system. Many of my friends and family who have been active in every election for years were removed, so don’t believe for a second you are immune to these voter purges. Make sure you are registered! Just Google “Register to vote [your state]” and pick the website that is a .gov.

Number 2: Make sure you have the Required ID(s) to Vote

Some of the voter fraud laws have restrictions that only those with certain types of ID or proof of identity can vote, even if you are registered. So be sure to have the correct ID ready and available. You should be able to find out this information when you verify your voter registration at your state’s website.

Number 3: Decide how you will Vote

In most states you have the ability to either vote in person at a polling place or to vote by mail. The preference is yours but I would suggest figuring out exactly what you are going to do so you are prepared come election day. If your state has been part of the new voter fraud laws you may want to vote by mail this year as the polling places are going to be stuffed and chaotic with many voters that will not be able to vote due to these new restrictions and laws. It might get really ugly. So to avoid these you may want to vote by mail this year. Or at the very least have a mail in ballot ready should your polling place be packed on Election Day.

Number 4: Know where you will Vote

It is important to find out ahead of time where your polling place is. Depending on the state you might have a very specific location where you have to vote or you might have the freedom to vote at any polling place in your district.

Even if you plan to vote by mail it is important for you to learn where these ballots have to be turned in should you need to turn it in at the last moment.

Number 5: Learn when you can Vote

This is also important as it can save you a headache come November 6th. Many states now offer early voting. This has really helped to alleviate Election Day woes of long lines and confusion at the polling places. Most early voting starts around a week ahead of Election Day, but your area may be different. Make sure you know so you can take advantage of it.

Employers are federally required to give their employees time to go vote. So don’t let your work schedule stop you from getting out there to vote!

Number 6: Learn about the Presidential Candidates

Make a point to go out and learn about all of the political candidates for president. Read through the top issues they are campaigning on figure out who best suits your ideals, values, and beliefs. Then please make a point to do some research on them. Don’t limit this research to just the websites, media outlets or talk shows that support your candidate. Also search for those that represent the other side as well as those that are try to be unbiased and neutral. You will never ever hear the truth from a single source so do yourself a favor, become broadly informed.

Number 7: Learn about which Representatives are up for Election

These are the politicians that are going to represent your political will at the national level. These are very important as they will have your state issues in mind. They will also follow their party line to some degree. This can be very tricky as often times these two things conflict politically. When it comes to your representatives look to how and what they voted for. On occasion you will have a representative that doesn’t yet have a voting record so you have to take their word on faith. This can be difficult.

Number 8: Learn about your Local Representatives

Local political representatives are often harder to learn about due to many are often running for office for the first time. Generally this is where many politicians start. If they like being a politician and are liked by the people they often move up to the state level.

However, these politicians are the ones you can easily go out and talk to. They will have town hall type meetings in the area. Will often respond directly to email or phone questions. This can make it more personal but also allows you to find out where they stand on issues directly.

You might have to do a little digging depending on where you live to get good information on them but most local newspapers do a great job of going through the candidates that in your area. So pick up your local papers special politics additions to get the bead on which local politicians you want to support.

Number 9: Learn about the Local and State Issues up for Vote

You should be able to learn about the local issues that are coming up for a vote through your local newspaper and their website. You should also receive a voter booklet to help you learn about the issues.

Often times these are the same issues you will hear about quite a bit leading up to the election. These are going to be votes to change the local budget, approve taxes for schools, constitutional amendments, and a myriad of other political issues. You may only have a couple to look into or several dozen depending on your location.

Even though it may seem arduous, these local issues are going to be the ones that directly affect you so it is very important that you learn about these issues. Try to watch the news on these up until the time you vote as there can be some last minute changes and information that comes up on these local political issues.

Number 10: Create a Voting Cheat Sheet for Yourself

Whether you are voting at the polling places or you are voting with a mail in ballot make sure                   that you create a cheat sheet for yourself so you are sure you are voting how you want to. It is easy to get pressured, nervous, or forgetful when it is time to pull the lever and pick your circles. It’s important to make sure that you know exactly how you want to vote when the times comes.

Most states have sample ballots that you can print off. This is the best route to take as it should be an exact copy of the ballot you will fill out. Mark your answers on it and any notes that you want to add. Then when the time comes, double check the official ballot you are filling out is the same and you can quickly mark down your answers.

This assures that you vote how you want to vote and you speed up the process for everyone when the time comes.

The Final Touch to being a Responsible Voter in Politics

All of these tips and tricks should help you make an informed decision about what is best for you, your family and your area.

The very best thing you can do, after becoming an educated and responsible voter, is to speak to those around you about how to follow these steps and become a better citizen of these United States of America. At times it is hard to see how our one vote in millions makes a difference. It does, and it can make a dramatic one at times. However, these effects are often hard to see immediately and can lessen our civic excitement and duty.

However, by being a responsible, educated voter in America you are one of millions that is working to shape our future as a people and as a nation. Only through the power of the people will we be able to assert our will past the demagogues, the mountains of money, and those bent on keeping the people disenfranchised, and instead bring this country to a better place. By voting, you keep the reins in the hands of the people. By asserting yourself and helping others to become better voters you help the people to keep the power. And only by showing that we the people of the United States of America are engaged, educated and insistent can we hope to make a brighter future for our children and the generations to come.

See you are the polls on elections day!

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2012 Presidential Debate Schedule

people-politico-president-barack-obama-debatingThe Presidential Debates have been scheduled and their formats and topics have been chosen for the 2012 Presidential Election season.

I always look forward to these Presidential Debates because we get to see what the candidates are going to say and they are put on the spot, and face to face, with all of the political rhetoric that they have been firing at each other for months. Not only do they have to answer the questions that are presented by the debate moderator they often slip these other counter points into their responses. More often than not it seems to draw the presidential candidates into a more real and genuine response instead of those that are tailored by their publicist.

The Republicans have Mitt Romney as their candidate this year and I really do not feel that he is going to be up to the challenge of truly and honestly competing with President Obama at the podium. These Presidential Debates should be very interesting and unless Mitt Romney begins to truly solidify his platform beyond the catch phrases he is going to be in a world of trouble come these Presidential Debates.

I have discussed these Presidential Debates with many others and they seem to feel that though President Obama will likely dominate the Presidential Debates they are not going to be nearly as interesting as they might have been with Rick Perry or Herman Cain. Both of which have incredibly interesting personalities which may have been far more entertaining. What are your thoughts on these debates?

Regardless of who you are supporting in the upcoming elections it is important to watch these as they should help you forge your opinions come the general election. Mitt Romney is going to have to get studying and practicing for these debates because he is going up against a skilled and seasoned challenger who many agree is a master of debating.

2012 Presidential Debate Information

The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced the formats for the 2012 presidential and vice presidential debates, each of which will be 90-minutes long. Moderators will be selected in August.

  • First presidential debate: October 3, University of Denver, Colorado: Domestic issues, questions selected by moderator.
  • Vice presidential debate: October 11, Centre College, Danville, Kentucky: Domestic and foreign issues, questions selected by moderator.
  • Second presidential debate: October 16, Hofstra University, Hampstead, N.Y.: Town-hall meeting format with questions from undecided voters.
  • Third presidential debate: October 22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida: Foreign issues, questions selected by moderator.

Make sure to tune and and watch these important debates Presidential Debates. We often get some real insight into what and who these presidential candidates are and what their platforms and plans are for the United States of America for the next four years. Even more importantly, we often see who is not going to be up to the challenge of being the President of the United States.

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President Obama’s State of the Union Address 2012

people-politico-president-barack-obama-debatingThe President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, gave his 2012 State of the Union Address. Whether you love or hate President Obama, there is no denying that he knows how to give a great speech. President Obama is a very charismatic speaker using a great amount of intelligence and elegance when he speaks. Whether you agree or disagree with what he said last night does not change the fact that he is great at addressing America.

Watch the web enhanced video of the 2012 State of the Union Address


It’s always interesting to see how the fact checkers rate these addresses. Not just the State of the Union Address but the many other speeches, policies, rallies and other promises that are made by politicians. They are so easily lost in the tumult that is politics that no regular person, like you and I, can keep track of it all. So I like to wait at least a day for all of the fact checking places to do their due diligence. Then I peruse through them to see what was real and was smoke. I urge everyone to take a few extra minutes and check several different sources yourself, especially about the political issues you care most about.

It turns out that on the scale of what was true and what is reality President Obama’s State of the Union Address turns out to be mostly true! This is great news and a refreshing change of pace from the last administration. I always hate when we hear great promises or “facts” about what they have done or not done only to find out it was a thinly veiled attempt to earn favor, and far from the truth. Unfortunately, our first impressions are often the strongest. This means it is much harder for us to “unlearn” the lies we hear first instead of being able to believe the truth we learn later. Unfortunately this is widely known and is an often used tactic in politics. Know they use it, so you can guard yourself from it.

President Obama definitely covered the full gamut of issues that America is facing. There is a lot to talk about for sure and it will be interesting to see what, if any, action is actually taken. President Obama took a tougher stand last night during the State of the Union Address than we have seen before. We can only expect this “toughness” to increase over the course of the election year. I do appreciate that even though President Obama was talking tougher, he was still addressing everyone with respect and dignity. This is something that is unfortunately becoming more and more rare.

Formation of Committee to Investigate Misconduct of Big Oil and Wall Street

I think this was one of the biggest, most important announcements from the State of the Union Address, the formation of a Committee to formally investigate big corporations. If this actually happens, and actually gets to a place that they can actually do their job, it has the possibility to illuminate the insanity that our financial system and its corporations that puts on the people of American and the rest of the world. This decision alone could reach deep into the workings of our government and economy to expose the massive issues and broken systems that have brought the world economy to its knees. It amazes me how fast people have already forgotten how close we were to a calamity of massive proportions. Hopefully this will help to expose these issues and help us move forward to a solution in the future.

I know these are high hopes, look at how crippled some of the others have been. Tied up in the bureaucracy but more importantly the lobbyists pushing their congressman to fight against these common sense steps to a better America.

Combine the Citizen’s United, political partisanship, election year politics and it will honestly be a miracle if anything gets done at all this year. However, I am still hopeful that something will be, or at least could be, accomplished. We have to keep on trying and keep on pushing forward. Contact your representative and urge them to action!

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Political Mockery of Our Hope

white-houseSo I have been trying to get around to saying something about this over the last couple of weeks but have been unsure how to approach it or even talk about it. Finally, I decided to just say what was on my mind to voice the frustration with one of worst and most despicable acts I have witnessed to date.

On December 31st President Barrack Obama signed into law the Defense Authorization Bill. This bill effectively continues funding to the military and its vital services as well as addresses some health care issues inside of the DOD.

However, it also contained a provision supporting and continuing the policy that it is legal for America to arrest and detain non-American citizens indefinitely and without being charged, effectively stripping Habeas Corpus. Habeas Corpus is Latin for “you [shall] have the body,” a legal action or writ by which detainees can seek relief from unlawful imprisonment.

Habeas Corpus has been granted by America to both citizens and non-citizens over much of our history. And it should be. It is a shining example of high moral fiber allowing ANYONE who has been wrongfully imprisoned the right to be set free should the courts decide they are not guilty. To make any distinction to any human at any time on whether they deserve Habeas Corpus is simply wrong. This should NOT be a debate. Period.

So instead of cleaning up the unjust laws that were passed during the last administration and solidifying the moral fiber of America itself, our President has allowed, and we have allowed, this disgusting and disgraceful provision to be included to legalize imprisonment without reason or recourse. This is a sad day for America.

In an effort to appease the Democratic base he also issued a signing statement with it. Signing statements are another one of those problems about I need to rant about, but that is for another article or ten.  Basically a signing statement says that “X” is a law but not a law I have to follow, or will follow. I know it might sound like a joke, but it isn’t. Signing statements are real, they are used, and they undermine our judicial system and the powers held by each branch of government.

Anyway, my point is this:

It is never right to deny basic human rights to any human.

It contradicts our very way of life. It is wrong. And it is heartbreaking to see President Obama be OK enough with this to allow it to become law.

Here is the full signing statement issued by President Obama.

Today I have signed into law H.R. 1540, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.” I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed. In hundreds of separate sections totaling over 500 pages, the Act also contains critical Administration initiatives to control the spiraling health care costs of the Department of Defense (DoD), to develop counterterrorism initiatives abroad, to build the security capacity of key partners, to modernize the force, and to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of military operations worldwide.

The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists. Over the last several years, my Administration has developed an effective, sustainable framework for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected terrorists that allows us to maximize both our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals in rapidly developing situations, and the results we have achieved are undeniable. Our success against al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents has derived in significant measure from providing our counterterrorism professionals with the clarity and flexibility they need to adapt to changing circumstances and to utilize whichever authorities best protect the American people, and our accomplishments have respected the values that make our country an example for the world.

Against that record of success, some in Congress continue to insist upon restricting the options available to our counterterrorism professionals and interfering with the very operations that have kept us safe. My Administration has consistently opposed such measures. Ultimately, I decided to sign this bill not only because of the critically important services it provides for our forces and their families and the national security programs it authorizes, but also because the Congress revised provisions that otherwise would have jeopardized the safety, security, and liberty of the American people. Moving forward, my Administration will interpret and implement the provisions described below in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends and upholds the values on which this country was founded.

Section 1021 affirms the executive branch’s authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary. The authority it describes was included in the 2001 AUMF, as recognized by the Supreme Court and confirmed through lower court decisions since then. Two critical limitations in section 1021 confirm that it solely codifies established authorities. First, under section 1021(d), the bill does not “limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any “existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” My Administration strongly supported the inclusion of these limitations in order to make clear beyond doubt that the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF. Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.

Section 1022 seeks to require military custody for a narrow category of non-citizen detainees who are “captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” This section is ill-conceived and will do nothing to improve the security of the United States. The executive branch already has the authority to detain in military custody those members of al-Qa’ida who are captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the AUMF, and as Commander in Chief I have directed the military to do so where appropriate. I reject any approach that would mandate military custody where law enforcement provides the best method of incapacitating a terrorist threat. While section 1022 is unnecessary and has the potential to create uncertainty, I have signed the bill because I believe that this section can be interpreted and applied in a manner that avoids undue harm to our current operations.

I have concluded that section 1022 provides the minimally acceptable amount of flexibility to protect national security. Specifically, I have signed this bill on the understanding that section 1022 provides the executive branch with broad authority to determine how best to implement it, and with the full and unencumbered ability to waive any military custody requirement, including the option of waiving appropriate categories of cases when doing so is in the national security interests of the United States. As my Administration has made clear, the only responsible way to combat the threat al-Qa’ida poses is to remain relentlessly practical, guided by the factual and legal complexities of each case and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each system. Otherwise, investigations could be compromised, our authorities to hold dangerous individuals could be jeopardized, and intelligence could be lost. I will not tolerate that result, and under no circumstances will my Administration accept or adhere to a rigid across-the-board requirement for military detention. I will therefore interpret and implement section 1022 in the manner that best preserves the same flexible approach that has served us so well for the past 3 years and that protects the ability of law enforcement professionals to obtain the evidence and cooperation they need to protect the Nation.

My Administration will design the implementation procedures authorized by section 1022(c) to provide the maximum measure of flexibility and clarity to our counterterrorism professionals permissible under law. And I will exercise all of my constitutional authorities as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief if those procedures fall short, including but not limited to seeking the revision or repeal of provisions should they prove to be unworkable.

Sections 1023-1025 needlessly interfere with the executive branch’s processes for reviewing the status of detainees. Going forward, consistent with congressional intent as detailed in the Conference Report, my Administration will interpret section 1024 as granting the Secretary of Defense broad discretion to determine what detainee status determinations in Afghanistan are subject to the requirements of this section.

Sections 1026-1028 continue unwise funding restrictions that curtail options available to the executive branch. Section 1027 renews the bar against using appropriated funds for fiscal year 2012 to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. I continue to oppose this provision, which intrudes upon critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and the circumstances of each case and our national security interests. For decades, Republican and Democratic administrations have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorists in Federal court. Those prosecutions are a legitimate, effective, and powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation. Removing that tool from the executive branch does not serve our national security. Moreover, this intrusion would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.

Section 1028 modifies but fundamentally maintains unwarranted restrictions on the executive branch’s authority to transfer detainees to a foreign country. This hinders the executive’s ability to carry out its military, national security, and foreign relations activities and like section 1027, would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers. In the event that the statutory restrictions in sections 1027 and 1028 operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will interpret them to avoid the constitutional conflict.

Section 1029 requires that the Attorney General consult with the Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of Defense prior to filing criminal charges against or seeking an indictment of certain individuals. I sign this based on the understanding that apart from detainees held by the military outside of the United States under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, the provision applies only to those individuals who have been determined to be covered persons under section 1022 before the Justice Department files charges or seeks an indictment. Notwithstanding that limitation, this provision represents an intrusion into the functions and prerogatives of the Department of Justice and offends the longstanding legal tradition that decisions regarding criminal prosecutions should be vested with the Attorney General free from outside interference. Moreover, section 1029 could impede flexibility and hinder exigent operational judgments in a manner that damages our security. My Administration will interpret and implement section 1029 in a manner that preserves the operational flexibility of our counterterrorism and law enforcement professionals, limits delays in the investigative process, ensures that critical executive branch functions are not inhibited, and preserves the integrity and independence of the Department of Justice.

Other provisions in this bill above could interfere with my constitutional foreign affairs powers. Section 1244 requires the President to submit a report to the Congress 60 days prior to sharing any U.S. classified ballistic missile defense information with Russia. Section 1244 further specifies that this report include a detailed description of the classified information to be provided. While my Administration intends to keep the Congress fully informed of the status of U.S. efforts to cooperate with the Russian Federation on ballistic missile defense, my Administration will also interpret and implement section 1244 in a manner that does not interfere with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs and avoids the undue disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications. Other sections pose similar problems. Sections 1231, 1240, 1241, and 1242 could be read to require the disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications and national security secrets; and sections 1235, 1242, and 1245 would interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with foreign governments. Like section 1244, should any application of these provisions conflict with my constitutional authorities, I will treat the provisions as non-binding.

My Administration has worked tirelessly to reform or remove the provisions described above in order to facilitate the enactment of this vital legislation, but certain provisions remain concerning. My Administration will aggressively seek to mitigate those concerns through the design of implementation procedures and other authorities available to me as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief, will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future, and will seek the repeal of any provisions that undermine the policies and values that have guided my Administration throughout my time in office.

There you have it as sad as it is. Guantanamo is still open and operational. President Obama says he won’t use the law he passed. Which is sort of true. He “legalized” the prisoners we still have. We are pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan so there will be much less temptation to do so.

However, that still leaves the law on the books. It still leaves an unjust prison open. It still threatens each and every one of our security.

This all coming from the person that spread Hope as his message. Then to make a mockery of our hope is just not right, especially with something that can be so easily classified as fundamentally and unequivocally wrong.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Political Book Deals

government-buildingThe flurry of holiday shopping is underway and now is a great time to stock up on all those great political books you have seen through the year.

With the presidential election coming up here in 2012 it is time to make sure you are up to date on all of the hot topics of today.

With the horrible state of our politics, the misrepresentation in much of our news, and emotional tempers running hot, it is hard to have a clear, objective look at the political layout of today.

Along with reading the papers, surfing the online news sites and watching both network and cable news it can’t hurt to back up your political ideals through the wide variety of great political books as well. The more sources you gather your political information from the better. We as people are able to sort out the facts from fiction when we have enough information from enough sources. With this bounty of real and factual information we can make truly good choices when it comes to election time and our decisions on politics.

Our political systems works so hard to manipulate the voters instead of educating voters. That is why it is up to you to be sure that you remain truly educated on the political topics of the day.

Barnes and Nobel is having some great deals this Black Friday. They are also planning on some great blowout prices come Cyber Monday. Use the link below to get 50% off the books and other political media that suits your needs.

Barnes&Noble.com

Grab some great deals this holiday season!

Once you are done reading these make sure to pass them around your friends and family. Ask them to share what political books and media they have as it can only help everyone increase their understanding of our incredibly complex and dysfunctional politico environment.

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UN Coalition Defends Democracy in Libya

libya-protestsLead by the US, UN forces started a campaign to enforce a no fly zone in Libya dubbed Odyssey Dawn. Approximately 110 new and old Tomahawk missiles were fired into the Libyan night, targeting roughly 20 strategic locations to knock out the Libyan surface to air defense network.

Some of the countries involved in enforcing the UN resolution are; United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Qatar

Everyone hates to see it come to such violence and deadly actions. It is good to see that the UN is standing behind their promise and moving in institute a no-fly zone as requested by the Libyan people. Gadhafi’s military and supports have been violently attacking demonstrators in Libya, and the UN is helping to defend this country’s people against their own government.

It is amazing to me to see how democracy is spreading throughout the world recently. It is amazing how 21st century technologies are being used to spread the word of the people. Social media has proven to be a powerful force in uniting people toward a common cause. Too long have many people been suppressed, downtrodden, suffering terrible human rights violations. This new technology has been used in many unforeseen ways and empowered nations of people who for decades, had no voice.

Stand by the Libyan people and support their revolution into democracy. Don’t let the talking heads convince you that anyone, anywhere around the world does not have the right or is not ready. It is a fundamental right to have what a true democracy brings to its people. Everyone on the planet deserves to have a voice in the world around them, no matter their race, creed, economic status or politico faction.

There may be micro issues on why some would argue against a democratic country but the larger and most important thing is that all people deserve the most basic human rights. From there, we can begin to tackle the smaller or more focused issues of the world and how they affect us.

Why would anyone else ever deserve less then what we have?

 

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