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11.20 The arts have a leading role to play in tackling climate change [We have to stop killing everything!!!]

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11.18 How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet

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11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]

11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

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11.21 With Statement Equal Parts 'Dangerous' and 'Imbecilic,' Trump Smears Khashoggi and Vows to Back Murderous Saudis [Keeping oil prices affordable prolongs its use, its burning and our dying]

11.21 Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith's Demands for Runoff Debate So Ridiculous, Viral Story Crashes Local Paper's Website

11.20 'Get Our Country Off Fossil Fuels': Demanding Green New Deal, Youth Climate Leaders to Flood Congressional Offices Nationwide

11.20 New York City subway and bus services have entered 'death spiral', experts say [death spirals are the end-thing nowadays]

11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]

11.19 Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid

11.19 Trump’s Diminishing Power and Rising Rage

11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder

11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]

11.19 SNL explains Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s HQ2 strategy: trolling President Trump [2:55 SNL video]

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11.21 Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker got $1.2 million from non-profit that won’t disclose its donors [Mafia rule...]

11.20 'He may not rewrite immigration laws': Trump's asylum ban blocked by federal judge [Has anyone thought about putting razor-wire around the White House?]

11.20 Legal Blue Wave? New Democratic AGs Could Change the Face of Climate Fight

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11.21 Saudi Arabia Accused of Torturing Jailed Women’s-Rights Activists [Trump's great friends...]

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

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11.18 New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit

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11.17 Saudi crown prince's 'fit' delays UN resolution on war in Yemen

11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]

11.17 CIA finds Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi killing – report

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  Unnecessary Concerns: Democratic Leadership Should Have Little Fear of an Obama Administration
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POLITICAL ANALYSIS:

Unnecessary Concerns: Democratic Leadership Should Have Little Fear of an Obama Administration

by Walter and Rosemary Brasch
Monday, 12 January 2009
By nominating Panetta, Obama was sending a clear message that unquestioned execution of Bush–Cheney policies that led to rendition and torture would not be tolerated under an Obama Administration.
Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) flexed their muscles, shook their rattles, and told President-elect Barack Obama not to tread upon them.

"I don't believe in the executive power trumping everything," Reid, the Senate's majority leader, told the political newspaper, The Hill. He said he believed "in our Constitution, three separate but equal branches of government." For emphasis, he warned, "If Obama steps over the bounds, I will tell him...I do not work for Barack Obama, I work with him."

Feinstein, incoming chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, whined that Obama didn't consult her before nominating Leon Panetta, former Clinton chief of staff, to be CIA director. She then tagged her complaint with an unveiled attack upon Panetta. "My position has consistently been that I believe the Agency is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time," said Feinstein.

Both concerns by Reid and Feinstein might be commendable—had Reid and Feinstein been as tough on George W. Bush before his popularity sank lower than a Texan wearing Hush Puppies at a line dance.

Reid and Feinstein voted for the PATRIOT Act not once but twice. Feinstein was even one of the co-sponsors to renew the Act. By the time Congress voted to renew the PATRIOT Act, the federal courts had already ruled several parts to be either unconstitutional or constitutionally questionable.

Reid eventually opposed the President's illegal wiretapping of citizens. However, Feinstein supported continued wiretaps without court authority. She later joined a coalition of conservative Democrats and Republican senators to support a reduction in proposed civil liberties protection in the modified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and to extend the power of the executive branch.

Both Reid and Feinstein willingly approved the invasion of Iraq. They eventually changed their position more than four years later, at a time when Americans, who once said anti-war protestors were traitors and un-American, had finally realized that they had been lied to as to reasons for the invasion.

One reason Obama may not have consulted with Feinstein about Panetta's nomination, although he later apologized for the "oversight," may be because Feinstein supported CIA activities under the Bush–Cheney Administration. Panetta's nomination was partially because Obama wanted a strong administrator at the CIA and partially because he was sending a clear message that unquestioned execution of Bush–Cheney policies that led to rendition and torture would not be tolerated under an Obama Administration. Feinstein supported Bush's nomination of Porter Goss as CIA director. Although once a CIA agent, Goss had spent three decades as a career politician who had viciously attacked those whose political beliefs didn't agree with his; as director of Central Intelligence he allowed his agency to massage data to the Administration's wishes.

Although Reid did call Bush a "loser" and a "liar," he later apologized for the comments and showed little rage against the bullying tactics of the Republican-controlled Congress during Bush's first term. During Bush's last term, Reid became more aggressive against the Administration's incursion upon civil liberties, and did lead his Democratic colleagues to oppose numerous Bush–Cheney power plays. However, as minority leader in December 2005, he acknowledged in an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News that Congress "has done very very little oversight" of the President's actions.

Barack Obama is the most popular president-elect in almost four decades. He received 52 percent of the popular vote, a higher percentage than Bush received in his second election, and for which the second term president said he had a mandate from the people. At the end of 2008, a CNN/Opinion Research poll revealed that two-thirds of all Americans said they admired Obama, about three-fourths said Obama was a strong and decisive leader, and four-fifths said they believe Obama inspires confidence.

Reid and Feinstein's challenges to the hugely-popular incoming president, one who—unlike Cheney and Bush—believes in following constitutional and international law, as well as transparency of government, were unusual and defensive. More important, they weren't necessary two weeks before inauguration.


Rosemary Brasch is a former secretary, Red Cross national disaster family services specialist, union grievance officer, and university labor studies instructor. Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and university professor. For a more complete look at the Bush–Cheney Administration and its effect upon Americans, read his critically-acclaimed books America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights (2004); 'Unacceptable': The Federal Government's Response to Hurricane Katrina (2006); and the 560-page Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush (2008). All books are available at amazon.com, and most bookstores. You may contact Dr. Brasch through his website, www.walterbrasch.com, or by e-mail at brasch@bloomu.edu



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This story was published on January 12, 2009.
 

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