The Opposition – Registering Green in 2008

Posted with permission from Jeremy Cannon.  He sums things up pretty well.

On November 4th, 2008, I will be eligible to vote in my first federal election.

On the ballot will be what seems like the scripted tale of American
governance: The "maverick" war hero Republican and the smooth talking
young Democrat.

Who really wins in this ballet of moderation?

I know who will lose:

People seeking effective universal healthcare.

McCain plans on tearing down any real way to assist people in getting
healthcare with what is the most conservative healthcare plan I have
ever heard be promoted nationally.
Obama has a plan with a lot of specifics that don't add up and when
they do add up, it doesn't equal universal healthcare and sounds far
more expensive than it is helpful.

People seeking marriage equality.

McCain and Obama agree – gay people should not get married.

People seeking an end to war.

McCain and Obama have both voted, whenever possible, to continue the
War in Iraq. Obama was not in the Senate when it started, but he has
voted to fund it every time.

McCain and Obama agree, we need more troops in Afghanistan. Not a
different strategy on combating global terrorism, but more troops in

People seeking education reform.

McCain and Obama agree with Bush – charter schools are a good solution.

People seeking privacy.

McCain and Obama voted to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act and for FISA.

People seeking clean energy.

Both McCain and Obama have expressed support for the oxymoron of an idea of "clean coal".
Both McCain and Obama have expressed support for nuclear power.
Both McCain and Obama have expressed support for offshore drilling,
even though Obama had clearly been against it until he made his recent
Senator Obama voted FOR the Energy Policy Act of 2005 – which amounts
to a $12,300,000,000 subsidy for big oil and nuclear power.

People seeking budget reform.

Both McCain and Obama have voted consistently for Bush's budgets.

People seeking electoral reform.

Both McCain and Obama have supported excluding people from the debates that do not agree with their corporate agenda.

People seeking corporate accountability

Both McCain and Obama supported the bail out. The same one that
continues to allow people to do the same things that led to the current
economic mess.

You get the idea: John McCain and Barack Obama win – the majority
continues to lose. I will not vote for this. I cannot consciously
support either major party candidate.

So what will I do? I will vote for the candidate that represents me best.
This radical idea was not mine first, admittedly, as George Washington
himself opposed the party system. I do not oppose the party system, I
oppose the TWO party system.

So, I registered Green.

The Green Party, like many other third parties, is funded by the people (not corporations) and provides answers:

YES to Single-Payer Healthcare – accessible to all citizens.
YES to a living wage.
YES to marriage equality – no more discrimination.
YES to ending wars.
YES to education reform.
YES to privacy.
YES to clean energy – no oil or nuclear money.
YES to budget reform.
YES to electoral reform – more than two candidates!
YES to corporate accountability.

I, no longer, have to wonder what will happen to the poor family that
can't afford healthcare, the working mom that just can't make enough
money, the gay couple ready to tie the knot, the brother in Iraq, the
children who need to learn, the conversations I have in private, the
planet I love to live on, the money I spend, the people I vote for, and
the unchecked corporate fat cats that have squandered our future for
their own gain.

The Green Party has the answers to the questions I asked.

Maybe the Green Party doesn't answer questions in the way you support,
but a different third party probably does. I URGE you to look up a
party that supports what you want NOW, not tomorrow.

Jeremy Cannon

Well, guess $700 billion still isn’t enough

The Big Picture has a good post about what the true potential cost of the government's bailout of Wall Street could cost us: over $ 2.25 trillion.  The break down is:

  • $250 billion of capital into banks;
  • Guarantee $1.5 trillion in new senior debt issued by banks;

  • Insure $500 billion
    in deposits in noninterest-bearing accounts (primarily businesses accounts).

Now, with any luck, the government won't have to make good on these promises.  Well except for the $250 billion invested into banks in exchange for shares with NO VOTING RIGHTS.  So we take the risk and get no say in how the bank is run.  Just freaking marvelous!

With the $2 trillion promised by the European Union countries, we are talking over $4 trillion in government guarantees.  Yes, Wall Street has left us one very large hangover.

I crossed a line …

I crossed a line today.  Till now I have confined my "friends" on sites like facebook to people with whom I have interacted.  I crossed that line today by "friending" Naomi Klein, author of one of my favorite books on globalized corporations, No Logo.  This seems to be the actual person and not a fan page.  Facebook is now a little less personal, I guess.  Hopefully, I'll keep this status to facebook and not the other sites on which I am .

Bailout passes House, and a bit more on who caused this mess

The BBC and the Boston Globe are reporting that the House approved the $700 billion wall street bailout bill.  We'll see how well that does with settling the financial markets.  Certainly it seems the economy continues its meltdown with spiking un/underemployment reaching mid-1994 levels (see the U6 measure reported by krugman), rapidly falling motor vehicle sales, and decreased factory utilization.

I have mentioned to some friends about the SEC's decision to allow the five big investment banks to take on way more leverage (11x before to 30-40x pre-crash) then they were previously allowed.  I first read about it on The Big Picture, who now reports that the NY Times just covered it as well.  As Barry Ritholtz cites and says:

The five investment banks led the charge, including Goldman Sachs, which was headed by Henry M. Paulson Jr. Two years later, he left to become Treasury secretary.

(emphasis added)

No wonder the bailout package is so poorly crafted: The
same genius, Hank Paulson, that helped us to get into this, and has
utterly failed to see this coming until it was all but on top of is, is
trying to get us out. He is uniquely  unqualified for this task. How this guy hasn't honorably fallen on his own sword yet is beyond me.

Gotta agree with him there.

The other debt problem

Just wanted to remind folks about the other debt problem we are dealing with: GHG/CO2 emissions and global warming. 

Apparently emissions are increasing at a rate faster than anticipated, more from the US, China and India,  while the various carbon sinks that have taken some of the CO2 we have pumped out (forests, oceans, etc.) are not taking in as much as they did.  See: Greenhouse gas emissions shock scientists.  Plus, we have started freeing methane (30 times more powerful than CO2 as a global warming gas) that has been locked away.

This debt problem is going to be a whole lot harder to deal with if we don't do anything about it soon. 

Thankfully, all our electricity usage is from wind power now.