Monday, December 17, 2007

Liberman endorses McCain

Senator Joe Lieberman will finally come clean on Monday, unleashing his inner-Republican to endorse the struggling campaign of Senator John McCain, according to several news reports. It is a bittersweet alliance for both men. Lieberman's move confirms his critics' longtime argument that he is a "Democrat in Name Only," while McCain looks desperate by leaning on backers beyond the G.O.P. base in the homestretch of a partisan primary.

During his 2006 reelection campaign, Lieberman emphasized that he would support Democratic candidates in 2008. "I want Democrats to be back in the majority in Washington and elect a Democratic president in 2008," he said during a televised debate in July. Lieberman promptly backtracked after his reelection, announcing this January that he was "open" to supporting a Republican or Democrat for president, depending "on a whole range of issues." By not even waiting to see who the Democrats nominate, now Lieberman is revealing that the issues aren't important to him, either.Click here to read more.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Unite for a Progressive President

We have one month left before the first votes are cast.

Right now, the polls show a dead heat in Iowa between Senators Clinton, Edwards, and Obama.
This is our time to impact the Democratic nomination. DFA members excel at taking close races over the top. We will lead the way in calling on Iowans to Unite for a Progressive President.
Sign the nationwide call to action right now:
The Iowa caucus isn't a typical election. There are no secret ballots. People state their candidate preferences and then are given multiple chances to switch based on the viability of their chosen candidate and conversations that occur in the caucus room. This allows for the unique opportunity for Iowa voters to Unite for a Progressive President before the end of the night rather then split the progressive vote between one or more candidates.

Last month over 154,000 of you voted in the largest primary poll of 2008. The poll made clear two striking facts: A 78% consensus for the top three progressive candidates of Edwards, Kucinich, and Obama¹. And 95% of DFA members voted for someone other than the media's frontrunner.

The message is clear. Unite for a Progressive President who will embrace grassroots engagement, not the beltway establishment. Unite for a Progressive President with the backbone to fight for change, not the same poll driven status quo.

Unite for a Progressive President who proudly stands with the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

Let's show Iowa Democrats that tens of thousands of progressives are ready to follow their lead:

Last January, we asked you if DFA should be involved in the Presidential race and 80% of the vote was a resounding yes. Starting in February, DFA members pressured the candidates on progressive issues and in return, the candidates responded to you with videos on Iraq and Global Warming.

Now, it all comes down to this. Any of the Democratic candidates will make a great President. Each of them is significantly better than any of the Republican candidates. But, primaries matter, and this is our chance to elect not just a Democrat but a progressive President.

The campaign escalates on Wednesday as DFA members will write thousands of letters to Iowa asking voters to lead the way on January 3rd. Followed quickly with statewide newspaper ads, media buys and on the ground emergency rallies. By caucus day, every Iowa DFA member and Democratic voter will know the national movement of 675,000 progressive activists is united and ready to follow their lead. You empower Iowa voters with a positive call to action: Unite for a Progressive President.

There is no time to sit on the sidelines and wait. This is a fight for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. It is up to you to make change happen.

Thank you for working to take our country back.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

3rd District Independent States Case

By: Paul Giblin, East Valley Tribune

Congressional candidate Annie Loyd largely laid out her political agenda 18 months ago when she founded the online magazine One Planet. The e-zine, which calls itself a “social entrepreneur publican,” serves as a forum on topics that includes the arts, education, economics, water policy, justice, energy and more.“We’ve had such a focus on what the problems are, but very little focus on what good solutions are. And that’s why we created it,” said Loyd, who serves as co-publisher.

This month’s cover story: “Gratitude: Maintaining Moments of High Resolve.”Her political campaign is built upon similar principles. Loyd, a 43-year-old Phoenix resident, is running as an independent in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District. Republican incumbent John Shadegg and Democratic challenger Bob Lord also seek the U.S. House seat.Loyd said she plans a serious campaign in the urban district that takes in central and north Phoenix, plus Paradise Valley, Cave Creek and Carefree. She formally launched her campaign with a rally at Paradise Valley Park in Phoenix last weekend, but she essentially has been on the campaign trail meeting and greeting voters since February.Shadegg and Lord may spend more than she will during the next 12 months, but she promises she’ll campaign harder. She said she has a core committee of 30 volunteers and a broader network of 300 volunteers already in place.“Nothing seems insurmountable to me,” said Loyd. “It’s not that I’m not realistic, and it’s not that I’m not pragmatic.

There’s an old saying that says you don’t know what’s possible unless you reach for what is seemingly impossible.” The idea of voters electing an independent candidate to a major office seems more possible all the time.Voter registration records compiled by the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office show that independents comprised 27 percent of all voters in the district on Sept. 30.That marked a 1 percentage point increase for independents, and conversely, a 1 percentage point drop among Republicans since June 30.Independent voters are engaged with their communities, but they’re fed up with the current state of politics, Loyd said. She plans to reach out to independents, at school board meetings, charitable events, cultural actives and youth sports events.“From the two-party system, the political spin has been independents don’t care, that they’re not active, that they’re not affiliated because they don’t want to make a commitment.

That’s not what they’re saying at all. They’re saying, ‘Neither party represents fully what I believe.’”The very fact that voters are ditching the established parties to re-register as independents illustrates that they care deeply about politics, she said.Loyd’s primary goal is bridging the partisanship among sitting elected officials. Republicans and Democrats alike, she said, are at fault for creating gridlock that has stalled progress on any number of national issues ranging from education to Iraq, immigration, health care and taxes.“It’s not what you typically hear from political consultants. ‘It’s taxes. It’s the war.’ All of those issues are of concern, but No. 1 on people’s minds is how ugly politics has become,” she said.She plans to take what she calls a “transpartisan” approach — and she has experience in that realm. She has worked on both sides of the aisle for years.In addition to working in the public and mental health arenas mostly in California, and running a design/build residential construction firm in Arizona, she has served as a volunteer, paid consultant and staff member for more than 20 years in local, state and national campaigns for both Democratic and Republican candidates.Now, she said, it’s time for a fresh perspective.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Court Rejects Weak Bush Rule on Fuel Economy for Light Trucks

Ninth Circuit Ruling Is Major Win for Consumers, Environment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumers and the environment both scored a tremendous victory today when a federal court threw out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) rule on the fuel economy of light trucks – a category that includes SUVs, minivans and pick-up trucks.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of consumer and environmental groups that challenged the Bush administration’s 2006 fuel economy regulation for light trucks. The groups argued that the administration’s increased fuel economy standard was unacceptably paltry in view of what manufacturers can do to increase fuel economy and what the government can do to decrease the impact of large vehicles on global warming.

“The ruling is a strong rebuke to the Bush administration, which has been missing in action on both global warming and vehicle fuel economy,” said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. Claybrook was head of NHTSA when the agency issued the first fuel economy standards in the 1970s. “NHTSA’s light truck rule missed out on critical opportunities to decrease our dependence on oil, save money at the pump and reduce carbon emissions – and the court agreed that more must be done.”

The petitioners, which included Public Citizen, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council, 11 states and the District of Columbia, argued that the rule was arbitrary and capricious for a number of reasons, including its failure to close “the SUV loophole” that allows far laxer standards for light trucks than for cars. The Ninth Circuit agreed with most of the groups’ arguments, sending the final rule back to the agency for reconsideration and issuance of an improved – and legal – standard as quickly as possible.

Specifically, the court held that the rule was contrary to law because it: 1) failed to adequately consider the reduction of carbon emissions from vehicles; 2) failed to close the SUV loophole; and 3) failed to apply any fuel economy standards to vehicles between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds.

The court also held that it was arbitrary for NHTSA to create a sliding scale for light trucks, in which fuel economy standards vary by the size of the vehicle, without any “backstop” – a measure needed to ensure that the Bush administration’s sliding scale would not result in a downward slide in actual vehicle fuel economy as manufacturers game the standards and produce more large vehicles over time. Public Citizen recently exposed the behind-the-scenes meetings that led to the development of the sliding scale approach, revealing that senior-level White House officials, including staff of Vice President Dick Cheney, strong-armed the Department of Transportation into adopting that approach.

In addition, the court found that NHTSA should have conducted a full environmental impact statement to measure the consequences of its rule and ordered that one be completed.

“This victory should spark some serious reconsideration in Congress,” Claybrook said. “While gas prices increase, this is no time for Congress to dither over the weak fuel economy proposal in the Senate’s energy bill that would, among other things, mandate the Cheney sliding scale approach without a backstop – a scenario the court threw out. Americans are rightly growing impatient with half-measures.”

Added Robert Shull, deputy director of auto safety and regulatory policy, “We urge the agency, as it moves forward to issue a new rule, to do something substantial that truly improves vehicle fuel economy. With 60 percent of domestic oil consumption related to transportation, no global warming priority should be more important.”

READ the court’s ruling.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Government Is Illegally Taking Money From Soldiers and Veterans Who Used Military Credit Cards, Lawsuit Alleges

Public Citizen Files Class Action on Behalf of Soldiers and Veterans Nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is breaking the law by taking money from soldiers and veterans who have military credit card debts that were either improperly calculated, too old to collect or both, Public Citizen said today in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco.

Public Citizen, with San Francisco consumer lawyers Chandler Visher and Marie Appel, filed the suit on behalf of veteran Julius Briggs and a class of soldiers and veterans nationwide.

For years, the AAFES has offered credit cards, known as Military Star cards, to military personnel to purchase uniforms and other items from the stores it operates on military bases. If a service member is delinquent in paying a debt, the government has the right to deduct the money owed from the member’s government benefits or tax refunds. The government can add interest, penalties and administrative costs as permitted by the credit card contract or federal law.

AAFES, however, is not permitted by law to collect debts that have been outstanding for more than 10 years or amounts in excess of what the contract allows. In improperly collecting these debts, the AAFES has steadily appropriated millions of dollars from soldiers and veterans nationwide, Public Citizen says.

“It is shocking that a U.S. government agency would illegally take this money from veterans who have served our country well, particularly from those veterans who may be depending on government benefits,” said Deepak Gupta, an attorney for Public Citizen who is working on the lawsuit.

Briggs, the plaintiff, is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserves with an honorable record. He served in Germany and later in Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. While on active duty in 1977, he suffered a back injury that has since limited the number and types of jobs he can take.

Since 2004, the U.S. government has withheld more than $2,300 in federal payments to Briggs to pay an AAFES debt that was outstanding more than 10 years. The withheld payments have caused Briggs to be unable to pay his housing costs, leaving him homeless for several periods over the past few years. Not only has the government collected money beyond the time limit, but it also has inflated the amount due through improper interest rate calculations.

“With any luck, this lawsuit will force AAFES to stop collecting money that it has no right to take,” said Briggs.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against further illegal collection of debts by AAFES and restitution of all funds inappropriately collected.

READ the complaint.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Join us in an exceptional, intimate celebration.

Annie Loyd, the future congresswoman for Arizona District 3, will inspire, challenge and empower your leader within. Take this special opportunity to spend an evening that will change your life. Take this opportunity to be a part of the new politics of change and recapture the faith, dedication, excitement and spirit that built this county.

So often we complain that our leaders do not lead and that our vote doesn't count.

Now is the time for all of us to lead our country - of the people, by the people and for the people.

With more than half of new voters registering as independents we have the opportunity to make positive change. It is no longer about being Democrats or Republicans it is about being Americans - engaged, committed and innovative.

To run a campaign takes money. The Annie Loyd for Congress campaign does not have a party machine behind it. It takes people like you, who believe in the American dream, to help get Annie elected. We can't do it without your support and you can't afford to let this opportunity pass you by.

Come join us!

There will be incredible art, music by Grammy Award winning musicians, food by Robert McGrath, owner of the new restaurant R.E.M. and of course Annie Loyd in the beautiful Paradise Valley home of Steve and Veva Eickelberg.

Space is limited to 100 people.

This is the place to be. Don't miss it!

WHEN: Sunday, November 18, 2007
5 to 9 p.m.

WHERE: 6316 E. Arabian Way
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

COST: Seating limited to 100, $500 per person.

RSVP: call 602-909-0409

or email

Annie Loyd Press Conference

DATE: Thursday, November 15th, 2007

TIME: 7:00 AM

LOCATION: Paradise Valley Park, 17642 N. 40th Street, Phoenix, AZ

MORE: 40th St. and Bell. Just East of the 51 Parkway Map

For More Information Contact: Stephen Perry at

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Majority of House Democrats Stand up for Constituents

Majority of House Democrats Stand up for Constituents, Vote ‘No’ onPeru NAFTA Expansion, Demand a New Direction on Trade

Statement of Lori M. Wallach, Director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch Division Despite intense pressure and lobbying from some Democratic leaders, a massive corporate coalition and the White House, a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives today opposed Bush's Peru NAFTA expansion agreement, echoing the American public's widespread discontent with the status quo trade policy. That a majority of Democrats opposed the Peru NAFTA expansion - theoretically the least controversial of Bush's remaining trade deals - will put the final nails in the coffins of any further Bush administration expansions of NAFTA to Panama, Colombia or South Korea. The opposition from 117 Democrats - including nearly three-fourths of Democratic freshmen and a majority of the party's committee chairs- shows that significant work remains to create a framework for trade agreements that can earn public support nationwide and thus bipartisan support in Congress. Despite the fact that many more Democrats occupy House seats, the Peru "free trade agreement" (FTA) obtained less Democratic support than the 2004 Australia FTA, the 2004 Morocco FTA, and the 2005 Bahrain FTA. The Peru FTA, because it fell short of approval by the Democratic majority, has proven itself an unacceptable framework for future trade deals. Hopefully the next trade debate in the Congress will be about how to create a new template for future trade agreements that will benefit the majority of Americans and thereby be able to win the support of the Democratic majority. In light of the 2006 elections, when Democrats took control of Congress after 37 freshmen successfully campaigned against the Bush trade agenda and replaced 37 anti-fair traders, many Americans likely will wonder how President Bush managed to eke out this rare victory and get a NAFTA expansion agreement through the Democratic-majority Congress. That a Democratic-majority Congress would pass a Bush trade agreement opposed by most Democrats may be especially puzzling since the vote came a week after Bush announced he would veto Democratic legislation to help workers who lose jobs to trade, and after Bush vetoes of Democrats' priorities - children's health insurance and anti-war legislation. This vote reveals that many in Congress understand that what determines the effects of a trade agreement is not mainly the economic size of the country involved but instead the scope of the extraordinary corporate rights established under the agreement - rights that undermine U.S. domestic and foreign policy goals. Trade per se was not the issue today. The Peru NAFTA expansion was opposed by so many Democrats because it establishes new corporate rights that promote offshoring of U.S. jobs; expose our environmental, food safety and health laws to challenge in foreign tribunals; empower foreign corporations to skirt Buy America and anti-off-shoring policies; provide Big Pharma with extended patent rights that undermine affordable access to medicine; and empower U.S. firms, such as Citibank, to demand compensation if Peru reverses its disastrous social security privatization. No U.S. labor, environmental, consumer, faith, family farm or development group supported this agreement, which also is opposed by both of Peru's labor federations, its major indigenous people's organization and its archbishop. The passage of the Peru NAFTA-expansion, which was overwhelmingly opposed in the United States and Peru, is bad foreign policy, bad domestic policy and egregiously bad politics.

Activists Rally Nationwide in Support of Fair Elections

House Parties, Town Meetings in Support of Publicly Funded Elections

Washington, DC -- Organizations and activists next week will hold rallies, host house parties, attend town hall meetings and participate in panel discussions nationwide in support of the Fair Elections Now Act, legislation that would create a voluntary system of full public financing for congressional races.

Throughout the week of action Nov. 12-16, activists and supporters will be gathering and educating citizens about the need for Fair Elections. People are knocking on doors in Rhode Island, holding a town hall meeting in Iowa, and asking people to sign petitions in Minnesota. Over 50 events are happening in nearly 20 states.

The Fair Elections Now Act, introduced in March by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Arlen Specter (R-PA), would provide candidates an option to seek office with a public grant. Qualifying candidates would also have to adhere to strict spending limits and forgo all private fundraising in order to accept the public money. Modeled on successful Clean Elections systems in place in Maine, Arizona, Connecticut and four other states, Fair Elections style systems make elections about volunteers and voters instead of campaign contributors and special interest donors.

"Americans recognize that money sometimes plays a warping role in electoral politics and hobbles progress on issues crucial to our country. It's clear now that the remedy that will make the biggest difference is a move toward public funding. It's constitutional, it's simple, and based on experience across the country, it works," said Michael Waldman, the Brennan Center's Executive Director.

“If we want solutions to tough issues like the health care crisis and global warming, we need to take the flood of special interest money out of our political campaigns,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. “Public financing would restore voters’ voices to the political process and then we would have policies that serve the public’s interest.”

“Students at universities all over the country are rallying behind the promise of Fair Elections,” said Joan Mandle, executive director of Democracy Matters. “This reform will mean that young people can run for office and can elect representatives who will listen to and address their concerns.”

“In a corruption-ridden Washington DC, the biggest scandal is the fundraising system itself,” said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. “Next week, all across the country, ordinary citizens will stand up and demand their voices be heard above the ‘ka-ching’ of the political money chase.”

“How can the United States be a global champion of democracy when our own elections demand such a high admission fee?” asks Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. “It is time to take the price tag off the democratic process and return elections to their rightful owner: the American citizen.”

“Voter frustration over the flood of special interest money in political campaigns has reached historic highs while confidence in Congress has reached historic lows,” said U.S. PIRG’s Gary Kalman. “Lawmakers can reverse the trend but only if they listen to their constituents and replace the campaign cash they now take with public funds.”

The Fair Elections Action Week is sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government, Common Cause, Democracy Matters, League of Young Voters, Public Campaign, Public Citizen, and U.S. PIRG.

In 2006, more than 200 officials elected under Clean Elections systems took office free of the influence of special interest campaign money. Eighty-four percent of the Maine legislature is made up of Clean Elections candidates. In Arizona, 9 of 11 statewide officials used the system, including Gov. Janet Napolitano.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

AMP It Up: Art - Music - Politics

Be part of a spectacular evening in the beautiful Paradise Valley home of Veva and Steve Eickelberg.

WHAT: AMP It Up: Art, Music and Politics
Showcasing for purchase, gallery art by renowned contemporary artists.
Feasting on culinary creations and presentation by an extraordinary chef.
Grammy award winning musicians.
Arizona's Independent Choice for United States Congress

WHO: Annie Loyd, Independent, Candidate US Congress district 3.
Contemporary Artists; John Battenberg, Mimi Esser, Rudy Fernandez, Ricardo Mazal, Gunnar Plake, Shahrokh Rezvani, Gustavo Ramos Rivera, Fritz Scholder, Arthur Secunda, Beth Ames Swartz, Mark Spencer and Bob "Daddy-O" Wade!
Grammy award winning musicians; Dominic Amato, Michael Broening, Mel Brown and a special guest . . .

WHEN: Sunday, November 18, 2007
5 - 9 p.m.

WHERE: 6316 E. Arabian Way
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

COST: Exclusive seating limited to 100, $500 per person.

RSVP via email to:
or 480-703-7117

Additional information available on

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Joanna and Victor Chernauskas invite you to meet Annie Loyd

Sunday, October 28 2007, 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Dear Friends,
A few months ago my husband, Victor, and myself were invited to our friends' home to meet and hear Annie Loyd speak. We were so moved and motivated by her personality and message that we wanted to create an opportunity for the individuals we know to have a similar experience. We've met her, we've shared a meal with her, we've heard her speak and have come to consider her a friend. So, no matter what your politics may or may not be....don't miss this opportunity to meet Annie Loyd. We promise that you will be inspired by her story and her vision, which you truly must hear for yourself. She's a perfect example of someone who is putting her heart and soul into being the change she wants to see in this world. We look forward to sharing this time together and introducing you to Annie.
Best regards,
Joanna & Victor Chernauskas
COST: Open to the public
Location: Phoenix Friends Meeting, 1702 E. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85020 Contact: RSVP: by October 25th via e-mail

or phone at 602.368.8970

Phoenix Friends Meeting, 1702 E. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85020 Two streets west of Glendale Ave. exit off H-51. Turn right onto 17th St. and take next right onto Cactus Wren.
Mapquest Directions Here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Time Magazine's profile on Al Gore

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore's political consultants counseled him to quit talking about the issue that, since his college days, had stirred his passions more than any other. Voters didn't care about global warming, his political brain trust told the then Vice President, and going on about it would make him look like the kind of fuzzy-headed extremist that George Herbert Walker Bush had once mocked as "Ozone Man."

Gore took that advice, which may help explain why he came up short in that race. It also may account for the zeal that the man who describes himself as a "recovering politician" has displayed in his second act. Rather than retire to the sidelines of public life, Gore has stayed in the game by continuing to fight for the environment and other causes close to his heart—whether as a teacher, an investor whose fund puts its money in socially responsible ventures or an entrepreneur who founded a youth-oriented television network.

Gore, 58, now finds himself in his unlikeliest role yet: movie star. The lecture on global warming that he has been giving for decades to any audience that would let him set up his flip charts has been turned into the indie documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The movie got raves at the Sundance Film Festival in January and will begin rolling out in theaters across the country in late May. In Los Angeles theaters, the trailers have been getting ovations.

There could hardly be a more opportune time for the country to be giving Gore another look, given that the man who edged past him in Florida is at his all-time low in the polls. But while Gore has not entirely shut the door on another run for President, he insists that he is "not planning" to be a candidate again. After all, 2008 is still a long way away. And in the meantime, Gore has decided, there's a planet to save.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gore goes to #1 in latest DFA pulse poll

Despite not being included as a candidate in the latest DFA (Democracy for America) poll, Al Gore has taken first place over all the declared candidates. DFA provided a space for a write-in vote, allowing people to cast their vote for Al Gore.

Here are the current standings:

Candidate %

Al Gore 25.02%
John Edwards 24.41%
Barack Obama 1 8.46%
Dennis Kucinich 15%
Hillary Clinton 6.82%
Bill Richardson 4.1%
Other 1166 2.66%
Joe Biden 1.44%
Mike Gravel 1.21%
Christopher Dodd .88%

You can vote in the poll here (one vote only per e-mail address):

Friday, October 19, 2007

I support the draft Al initiative

I took on the role of committee chairman of the Sun City West Draft Al Gore for President Initiative yesterday. So far the committee is comprised of one member, me. I guess we'll see what I can do to muster up support out here in what is widely known to be Republicanville. My opening statement was:

The time has come to elect a man of intelligence, integrity, and moral fortitude, social and global responsibility to lead our nation and represent us in the domestic and international communities. Al Gore is quite simply the most logical choice in 2008. He has both the political experience and moral conscience to effectively bring this nation out from the recent period of smug indifference we have shown the international community.

We are a group of Sun City West residents who say enough is enough! It's time for America to be a leader in what is the right thing to do for our parents, our children, our nation and our planet. To do that we need a leader in the oval office!

Draft Al Gore in 2008!

Steve Barr

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY- The monthly newsletter of CUIP

October Issue: County Fairs, Corridor Fights and Cold Calls
Independents around the country are using every opportunity, from county fairs, to the Texas toll road fight and good old fashion cold calling to build the network of independents. Read their inspiring stories below.

Mitch Campbell, founder of the American Independent Movement, spoke with hundreds of fair-goers at the Idaho Twin County Fair over Labor Day weekend. "The responses I received have been positive, overwhelming and humbling," said Mitch.

Robert Sullentrop of St. Louis, MO founded an organization called Rock The Debates which has posted video clips of nine presidential candidates on its website responding to the question of whether they would be willing to debate an independent in the 2008 general election. The candidate responses range from straight to downright squirmy.

Linda Curtis, founder and chair of Independent Texans reports, "I recently met with Presidential candidate and Congressman Dennis Kucinich. We had a one-on-one 90 minute discussion that focused on the growing corruption story in Texas surrounding the Trans-Texas Corridor and freeway-to-tollway schemes of Governor Rich Perry's administration."

New Hampshire Independents Make Their Voices Heard. Activists with the NH Committee for an Independent Voice ("NH-CIV") hosted a forum for independents on Sunday, October 14, 2007 at Alpine Groves in Hollis, NH. CUIP President Jackie Salit - a leading strategist for the independent political movement - was the featured speaker. Presidential candidates Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Senator Mike Gravel also addressed the gathering. Read coverage in the Nashua Telegraph.

Nancy Ross, CUIP Speacial Projects Coordinator, attended the Democracy in America conference and reports, "The conference--and the larger process of which it's a part--are about finding ways to break down barriers that divide the American people from one another. That concern is something independent voters feel very close to, since so many of us feel the partisan divide is making it impossible for the country to move forward."
NYC Activists Call for Clinton/Obama Debate at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. At a press conference and at the annual African American Day parade, NCY activists with The Committee for a Harlem Debate Between Clinton and Obama took their message out to the community calling for an opportunity to more seriously consider their '08 choices. The group polled over 750 parade goers about their desire to see Clinton/Obama Harlem debate.

Facing America's Independents, a short documentary featuring independent voters from around the country, is now viewable online. In the film, independents express their views on the following: Are independents gaining more political recognition? Why did you become an independent voter? What does the independent movement stand for?

CUIP also produces a free weekly political commentary called Talk/Talk - a fun, feisty and philosophical review of the Sunday morning political talk shows -
click here to receive it.

Nobel Prize money benefits Palo Alto nonprofit Gore founded

Jonathan Curiel, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, October 13, 2007

The group that founder Al Gore once praised as the planet's "PR agent" became $750,000 richer after the former vice president announced Friday that his Nobel Prize winnings would be given to the Alliance for Climate Protection.

The money is a financial boost that could help the year-old organization assume an even larger role in the campaign to fight global warming and its potentially catastrophic impacts.

The alliance is a kind of think tank-in-action whose major goals include publicizing the effects of global warming and turning citizens into climate change activists. Through this summer's Live Earth concerts and a follow-up campaign, the alliance has persuaded tens of thousands of Americans to pledge to lobby Washington on global warming.

The alliance is distinguished by its pop-culture approach (one of its campaigns features the voice of actor Tommy Lee Jones), connections to big names from the corporate world, and a staunch bipartisanship. The board of directors is led by Gore but also includes prominent Republicans such as Theodore Roosevelt IV, the managing director of the Lehman Brothers investment bank, and Brent Scowcroft, the businessman who was once national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.

The alliance also works with environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, pushing to educate the public about the effects of global warming.

Working with Gore's Current TV and such actors as George Clooney and Orlando Bloom, the alliance created a "60 Seconds to Save the Earth" contest in which people were invited to submit short videos on taking environmental action. In the coming months, the organization will unveil a multimillion-dollar TV campaign created by the Martin Agency, the advertising agency behind Geico's successful Cavemen commercials.

"What sets them apart is that it's not just about getting a bunch of environmental groups together, but they're also looking at business partners. And they certainly have access to some pretty big channels for communications and they're reaching out to people in the corporate world who are ready to start talking about solutions to global warming," said David Willett, the Sierra Club's national press secretary.

The alliance's bipartisanship gives it credibility that counts on Capitol Hill, said Karen Florini, a Washington, D.C., attorney for Environmental Defense who's on the alliance's advisory committee.

"Ultimately, what's going to matter is whether we get across the line on enactment of federal legislation," Florini said. "Part of the process of doing that is bringing the message into mainstream mass media to an ever-increasing degree, and the alliance is aiming specifically to do that."

The Alliance for Climate Protection has been a major beneficiary of Gore's recent success, getting millions of dollars from the Live Earth concerts and Gore's hit documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

Until Friday, the alliance has been a behind-the-scenes player in the debate over climate change. Now, the alliance name may get more recognition.

"Given that our mission is to create a shift on opinion about the importance of climate change and solving the climate crisis, (Gore's Nobel Prize) galvanizes the movement," said alliance CEO Cathy Zoi. She worked as chief of staff in the Clinton administration's White House Office on Environmental Policy. "I feel like we've turned a corner."

On Friday, after briefly celebrating the news of Gore's prize, the staff at the Alliance for Climate Protection met as usual in Palo Alto, a headquarters chosen for its proximity to Silicon Valley's thriving academic and entrepreneurial atmosphere.

"Both symbolically and practically," Zoi said, "to be down the road from the brightest minds inventing sustainable energy solutions makes sense to us."

The alliance is not the only Bay Area connection to the Nobel Prize awarded to Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Hundreds of California scientists have contributed to research prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The U.N. panel of 2,000 scientists has released four major assessments since 1990 that synthesize the known science on global warming. Nearly every major academic and governmental scientific institution in California has added its research.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory issued a statement saying that more than 40 of its researchers are key contributors to the reports. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory lists a dozen who have contributed.

All the campuses in the UC system, Stanford University and the California State University system, among others, have scientists who have been lead authors or contributing researchers to the reports.
Online resources
Alliance for Climate Protection:

Sign the petition

Our friends at began a petition drive demonstrating the broad support for a Gore campaign. If you haven't signed yet, please do so below!
Dear Vice President Gore:Americans from every corner of our nation are calling on you. Please listen to our plea and run for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States in 2008.Never before has America needed a leader of your stature, vision and experience more than now. The next presidential election will be the most crucial one in our history, and you are the only Democrat who can unite the country and lead us to victory. And this country -- indeed, the entire world -- cannot afford anything less.Our nation and the planet itself are entering “a period of consequences,” as you so well stated in “An Inconvenient Truth,” but in more ways than one. We are ruled by a government of the powerful and for the powerful -- a government that tramples our Constitution, wages unjust war in our name, sacrifices our economic future, and puts our very planet on the endangered species list.America and the world need you now more than ever. Be our candidate. Run for president. And we pledge that we'll be there for you every day until the last vote is counted.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wikipedia for politics?

New politics-and-government wiki hopes to draw readers by offering neutral information and the opportunity to add to entries.

A political Web site set to launch on Tuesday plans to become a kind of Wikipedia-like destination specializing in elections, governments, and political candidates. The idea behind is to provide a neutral, one-stop source of information about politics (and politicians) to which anyone can contribute. Changes must be approved by a staff editor before they take effect.

Shelby Bonnie, who served as chief executive of CNET Networks from March 2000 to October 2006, is funding and has moved it into offices in Sausalito, Calif. Four former CNET employees, including Mike Tatum of, have joined him.

Bonnie says his new advertising-supported venture benefitted from his experience with technology reviews built atop a database of product names, specifications and user opinions. "We've made a database of people. We've made a database of issues. We've made a database of advocacy groups. We've used the (Federal Election Commission) data," he said.

Most wikis and wiki platforms--including the general-interest Wikipedia; EmacsWiki, a text-editor resource popular among computer programmers; and PBWiki, for business collaboration--tend to be free-form and allow users to veer in any direction. Even Campaigns Wikia, which Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launched last year, takes that approach.

In addition, bloggers can embed live charts showing political candidates' fund-raising on their own blog sites by copying and pasting a small chunk of Flash code into their Web page.

"This is a category where people tend to be passionate," said Bonnie, who hopes to tap into political candidates' 2008 advertising budgets.

Bonnie said that some upcoming features--such as pages listing politicians' votes on the No Child Left Behind Act or the federal Assault Weapons Ban--would be added in the next six months.
The domain name was purchased for $10,220 in August, according to a report in DN Journal.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Close Tally on CAFTA by Costa Rica

Close Tally on CAFTA by Costa Rica in First-Ever Public Vote on a NAFTA Expansion Shows That Bush Administration’s Continual Push for These Deals Hurts U.S. Foreign Policy in Latin America

Even After U.S. Threats Aimed at Stimulating Public Fear of Reprisal and Big-Dollar Campaign Pushing ‘Sí’ Vote, Result Is Marked by Razor-Thin Margin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The depth of public opposition to North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)-style pacts was demonstrated Sunday by Costa Rica’s massive “no” vote to CAFTA despite a intensive campaign led by the country’s president, months of deceptive radio and television advertising in favor of the pact, and a threatening statement issued Saturday by the White House, Public Citizen said today.

The strong vote against CAFTA likely will fuel growing opposition to another Bush proposal now before Congress to expand NAFTA to Peru. The Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) contains the same foreign investor privileges, service sector privatization, agriculture and other provisions that fueled Costa Rican public opposition.

“That nearly half the public in Latin America’s richest free-market democracy opposed CAFTA despite the intensive campaign in favor of it should end the repeated claims that pushing more NAFTA-style free trade deals is critical to U.S. foreign policy interests in the region or helps the U.S. image,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division. “This vote also debunks the claim that these pacts are motivated out of U.S. altruism to help poor people in trade partner countries, given that many of the people in question just announced that they themselves don’t want this kind of trade policy. This policy, supported by the elite, will help foreign investors seize control of their natural resources, undermine access to essential services, displace peasant farmers and jack up medicines prices.”

Preliminary results showed that those opposing CAFTA garnered just over 48 percent of the vote and those for it garnered under 52 percent. The anti-CAFTA vote received the majority in most rural regions, where fears about campesino displacement drove opposition to the pact. The pro-CAFTA vote won narrow majorities in most urban, populous regions, where Bush administration’s threats made Thursday and Saturday were widely covered by the media despite a legally mandated black-out on advocacy for or against CAFTA in the press. As of Monday morning, the “no” campaign had not conceded and was awaiting a partial recount on Tuesday and an investigation into polling station irregularities.

Citizens of El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic had no opportunity to voice their own views of CAFTA. Despite massive, long-running public demonstrations against CAFTA in those countries – which resulted in protestors being killed by the police in Guatemala and a legislature fleeing its own building to hold the vote in a downtown hotel in Honduras – legislatures in those countries ultimately ratified and implemented CAFTA by mid-2006.

In Costa Rica, the CAFTA debate coincided with that nation’s presidential election. With fair trade presidential candidate Ottón Solís running against CAFTA-supporter and Nobel-Prize winner Oscar Árias on a campaign focusing on the widely unpopular NAFTA expansion, CAFTA never came to a vote in Costa Rica. Early in 2007, after Árias narrowly won, Costa Rica’s legislature passed a measure establishing a national referendum on whether Costa Rica should enter CAFTA.

That Sunday’s referendum resulted in narrow passage is not surprising given considerable intervention by the Bush administration and a massive, well-funded campaign for the pact led by Costa Rica’s president and pushed heavily by the corporate sector and much of Costa Rica’s media. The Bush administration repeatedly threatened to remove Costa Rica’s existing Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) trade preferences if the public rejected CAFTA, even though the program was made permanent in 1990 and only an act of Congress could terminate it. (A tiny percentage of Costa Rica’s U.S. exports enjoys duty-free benefits under a CBI add-on program that was approved in 2000. The tremendously popular program, which covers nearly two dozen countries and cannot be removed for rejection of an FTA, is set for renewal next year.)

“Right now, we see the same duplicity with the proposed NAFTA expansion to Peru, where proponents claim that implementing the Peru agreement is critical to building a positive U.S. image in the region,” Wallach said. “Yet if these agreements are good foreign policy, why did the Bush administration also threaten to remove existing Andean trade preferences to force the deal over the opposition of the Peruvian public as well as its religious, indigenous and labor leaders?”

The U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, Mark Langdale, was slammed with a rare formal denunciation before Costa Rica’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal in August after he waged a lengthy campaign to influence the vote on CAFTA. As part of that, Langdale employed misleading threats and suggested there would be economic reprisals if CAFTA were rejected. In response, Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in late September demanding the cessation of Langdale’s interventions. “Even the perception of such interference harms the U.S. image in a region already suspicious of our intentions,” Sánchez wrote. “If we are to be seen as respecting democracy, sovereignty, and economic development, we must not interfere in any way with the historic popular referendum on CAFTA in Costa Rica, the region’s oldest and strongest democracy.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in late September sent a letter to Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United States correcting Langdale’s false threats that Costa Rica would lose its CBI trade preferences if the public rejected CAFTA. “Participation in CBI is not conditioned on a country’s decision to approve or reject a free trade agreement with the United States, and we do not support such a linkage,” Pelosi and Reid wrote. Despite this, Bush’s U.S. Trade Representative renewed the threats on Thursday, and the White House issued a statement repeating the threats on Saturday – just hours before the vote.

“Only two years after CAFTA squeezed through Congress on a one-vote margin, the narrowest margin ever for a trade deal, nearly half of Costa Rica’s public took a strong stand, in the face of campaign trickery and lies, against the damaging agreement,” said Todd Tucker, research director for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division and author of the CAFTA Damage Report. “No more countries should be subjected to the damaging policies imposed by overreaching ‘trade’ agreements.”

For more about CAFTA and pending NAFTA expansions to Peru and other countries, visit

Monday, October 1, 2007

Federal Court Strikes Down Bush Executive Order

Oct. 1, 2007

Federal Court Strikes Down Bush Executive Order on Presidential Records Court Finds Bush Order Impedes Access, Violates Presidential Records Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal district court today struck down part of an ex
ecutive order issued by President Bush in 2001 to limit public access to the records of past presidents. The ruling by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in American Historical Association v. National Archives and Records Administration (No. 01-2447) holds that the Bush order violates a requirement of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) that historical materials of former presidents be released to the public "as rapidly and completely as possible."
READ the entire press release.
Unhealthy Hours-of-Service Rules to Stay in Effect Just 90 Days; Court Ruling Supports Safety Groups
Statement of Joan Claybrook, Public Citizen President
A court's decision to let the current hours-of-service rules stand for just 90 more days supports the recommendations of safety groups determined to protect drivers and passengers alike on the nation's highways.
READ the entire statement.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mike Bryan - Interviews Annie Loyd

Interview with Annie Loyd, Independent for Congress in Arizona's CD3

Annie Loyd is running for Congress in CD 3 as an Independent. Mike Bryan of Blog for Arizona sent Annie a questionnaire about her views and positions on the issues that she returned as a PDF that you can download, or read online by clicking the continuation link here.

Annie and Mike also had a roughly half-hour telephone conversation following up on her answers, and touching on some additional matters, which you can listen to as a podcast here.

The full questionnaire is after the click...

Continue reading "Interview with Annie Loyd, Independent for Congress in Arizona's CD3" »

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stop Playing Games With Safety: Stop the NAFTA Trucks 'Pilot'

Congress was very clear with the Bush administration: before allowing any Mexico-based trucking companies to cross into the U.S. beyond a limited border zone, it must guarantee the public's safety. But the administration has failed to meet even the most basic conditions.Now, the Bush administration is barreling ahead with a so-called "pilot project" to allow 100 Mexico-based companies to send their trucks into the U.S. -- even though the congressional demands for safety guarantees have not been satisfied.The Bush administration announced the "pilot project" while Congress was out for the August recess. Now that Congress is back, demand that it take action and stop the NAFTA trucks pilot program! >>Learn More

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Driving Social Change on the Web:

Sedo would like to announce a special partnership with drives social change by providing free technology services to non-profits so they can better focus their resources on their organizations. They also host a portal of high profile websites to educate citizens on making social impact. Sedo will be contributing $50,000 as well as advertising space to" shares our vision that the internet and related technology can make a huge, positive difference in the world," said Tim Schumacher, CEO of Sedo. "We also value its use of generic domains to inform citizens seeking to both digest and deliver content regarding key social issues."Currently, operates more than 30 portals, including,,,, and

TOP OF THE TICKET Blog on Bloomberg Candidacy

And, boy, does he have the immense fortune to philanthropy with.

From the Associated Press 12:22 PM PDT, September 16, 2007

NEW YORK -- Whether Michael Bloomberg decides to run for president in 2008, it is clear he is serious about building up his philanthropic giving.The billionaire mayor is expected to disclose shortly that he gave $165 million to more than 1,000 charities in 2006, and is forming an organization called Bloomberg Philanthropies that will organize all of his giving: his personal one-time contributions, his company's donations and the projects undertaken by the new foundation.
TOP OF THE TICKET Blog on Bloomberg Candidacy

He recently purchased two buildings near his home on Manhattan's Upper East Side to use as the headquarters and has begun to assemble a staff that is sketching out some of the foundation's first projects. He is even recreating another Bloomberg bullpen there -- his trademark office arrangement that has everyone sitting together with no walls.Despite the speculation that Bloomberg will dip into his fortune to bankroll a presidential run, the billionaire insists that when he leaves City Hall at the end of 2009, he will take a vacation and then focus on giving his money away.But if he were to run for president while also operating a foundation, it would be a historic moment in the philanthropic world and likely a tricky road to navigate."It has never happened before -- people who are affluent do run for president, but nobody who's had such a major role in philanthropy," said Stacy Palmer, editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy. "Foundations are really not allowed to be involved in politics at all, so he would have to be extra careful so that one world doesn't mess with the other."Palmer said the fact that Bloomberg is creating an official foundation is a signal "that even though he's been giving generously, he is going to ratchet up his giving and needs something more formal."He's already supporting a huge number of charities, but this is probably a sign that he needs more professional advisers and may be thinking about something more ambitious," she said.
Estimates of Bloomberg's wealth range from $5.5 billion to more than $13 billion, and his riches would multiply if he sold the financial information company he founded in the early 1980s. He said last year he had decided not to sell at that time. But he had previously indicated that establishing his foundation would probably involve selling the company.Bloomberg has been giving his money away for many years. Since he has been in office, his staff has released annual lists of where his money goes and the total amount.Every year, he is giving more money to more groups. In 2005, he gave $144 million to 987 organizations, compared with $139 million to 843 groups in 2004 and $136 million to 653 charities in 2003.Some of last year's $165 million went toward starting a worldwide campaign he announced last year against smoking, a health concern he says is often overlooked in philanthropy. He has pledged $125 million over a few years for the cause.The anti-tobacco initiative is the first project by his foundation. It is consistent with the overall themes that have guided his giving over the years, such as public health, medical research, arts and education.Aides said he is set to announce a $9 million gift to the World Health Organization over the next two years to prevent traffic fatalities. They are a leading cause of death among young people in low- and middle-income countries and one more cause that does not get a lot of philanthropic attention.The money will go to pilot programs in Mexico and Vietnam to reduce drunken driving and improve use of motorcycle helmets, seat belts and child restraints.Some of his largest personal gifts have gone to his alma mater, The Johns Hopkins University. In 2006, in addition to the $165 million he spread to hundreds of charities, he also gave $100 million for medical research and a new children's hospital at the university.Bloomberg will continue to make personal contributions while his foundation will focus on wider projects, including newer interests such as government accountability that have sharpened during his public life.The agenda for this cause is not fully formed, but Bloomberg envisions a sort of scorecard to keep track of elected officials and candidates. The mayor, who this summer dropped his Republican affiliation to become an independent, says it would give voters a chance to scrutinize their leaders but not favor any candidate."What I would like to focus on a little bit is how the public knows who they're voting for, what they've done, whether once elected they do it," Bloomberg said in describing the concept earlier this year. "Being able to improve the democratic process, not trying to influence it in one direction or another."Bloomberg has hardly avoided throwing his money behind candidates and political causes -- thousands of dollars on both sides of the aisle for races at all levels of government. He also contributed $7 million to the host committee for the 2004 Republican convention in New York that nominated President Bush for re-election.Bloomberg gave more than $2.13 million to the housekeeping account of the state Republican Committee between 1999 and 2006, a record for any individual, according to the state chapter of Common Cause, a government watchdog group.The mayor, who was a Democrat for most of his life, steers his money toward New York-centric groups and causes typically considered to be liberal. He has given millions to abortion rights groups, stem cell research, gay rights and gun control advocacy organizations.But there are more conservative groups as well, including the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Boy Scouts of America.Within his foundation, Bloomberg says he has little interest in starting his own programs. He will fund existing organizations that he believes are already doing good work.He also wants his foundation to fund projects with measurable results, which is what he calls a "new trend in philanthropy." He points to the Robin Hood Foundation, which targets poverty in New York City, as an example. That group uses independent evaluators to hold accountable the programs it supports.His eldest daughter, Emma Bloomberg, has recently begun working for that foundation. Bloomberg told Contribute magazine last year that both of his daughters are socially conscious and support a number of causes, but he does not expect they will run his foundation.Bloomberg's donations are ostensibly anonymous, but his giving is not a closely guarded secret either, with the donations often easily traced back to the source. Although he does not like to publicly discuss dollar amounts, he does not mind talking about his pet causes and reasons for giving.An oft-told story is that he first learned about the importance of philanthropy from his father, a bookkeeper whom Bloomberg says never earned more than $11,000 a year. Still, the mayor recalls, the family gave money to the Red Cross, UNICEF and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People."I've always believed it's important to give during your lifetime," Bloomberg told Contribute last year. "I mean, you can't take the money with you. You should be able to enjoy any difference you can make."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One Planet Conversations Launching the 2007-2008 Salon Series

Phoenix, AZ

Information Event Info Name: One Planet Conversations

Tagline: Launching the 2007-2008 Salon Series

Host: One Planet Magazine

Type: Meetings - Informational Meeting

Time and Place Date: Thursday, September 20, 2007 Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Location: Creative Living Fellowship (CLF)

Street: 6530 N 7th St

City/Town: Phoenix, AZ

View Map Contact Info Phone: 480.217.1720

Description What can Annie Loyd and Renee Morgan Brooks do together in one evening? Come and find out as One Planet magazine ( celebrates positive visions and solutions for all of us. This month, at CLF, for our One Planet Conversations, our monthly speaker salon, we proudly present our Publisher, Annie Loyd, speaking on "Together - we can make the change." Are you confused by the "conservatives" but leary of the "liberals"? Are you weary of the war and peeved at pundits of both major parties? Have you almost or already given up on voting? Do you ever wonder if Oneness can be applied for results and resolutions? Join us for a dialogue and discussion on transpartisan politics, the transformational politics of hope. Let Renee Morgan Brooks raise you soul with song and Annie Loyd lift your heart with hope.

Be part of the dialogue as Annie shares her inspiring message of healing yesterday’s political wounds, standing n the Consciousness of today, and bringing fourth the Vision for tomorrow. Will you find out you’re Planetarian?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hunter S. Thompson on Politicians & Journalism

"He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time." –on Richard Nixon

"Jesus! How much more of this cheap-jack bullshit can we be expected to take from that stupid little gunsel? Who gives a fuck if he's lonely and depressed down there in San Clemente? If there were any such thing as true justice in this world, his rancid carcass would be somewhere down around Easter Island right now, in the belly of a hammerhead shark. " –on Richard Nixon's life after resignation

"Richard Nixon has never been one of my favorite people anyway. For years I've regarded his existence as a monument to all the rancid genes and broken chromosones that corrupt the possibilities of the American Dream; he was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad."

"The Nixon I remembered was absolutely humorless; I couldn't imagine him laughing at anything except maybe a paraplegic who wanted to vote Democratic but couldn't quite reach the lever on the voting machine."

"Bill Clinton does not inhale marijuana, right? You bet. Like I chew on LSD but I don't swallow it.'"

"Did you see Bush on TV, trying to debate? Jesus, he talked like a donkey with no brains at all...It was pitiful...I almost felt sorry for him, until I heard someone call him 'Mr. President,' and then I felt ashamed." -on Bush's 2004 debate performance

"In four short years he has turned our country from a prosperous nation at peace into a desperately indebted nation at war. But so what? He is the President of the United States, and you're not. Love it or leave it." –on George W. Bush

"Richard Nixon looks like a flaming liberal today, compared to a golem like George Bush. Indeed. Where is Richard Nixon now that we finally need him?"

"Nixon was a professional politician, and I despised everything he stood for -- but if he were running for president this year against the evil Bush-Cheney gang, I would happily vote for him."

"Bush is a natural-born loser with a filthy-rich daddy who pimped his son out to rich oil-mongers. He hates music, football and sex, in no particular order, and he is no fun at all."

"I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, but I will not make that mistake again. The joke is over for Nader. He was funny once, but now he belongs to the dead."

"There was one exact moment, in fact, when I knew for sure that Al Gore would Never be President of the United States, no matter what the experts were saying -- and that was when the whole Bush family suddenly appeared on TV and openly scoffed at the idea of Gore winning Florida. It was Nonsense, said the Candidate, Utter nonsense. . .Anybody who believed Bush had lost Florida was a Fool. The Media, all of them, were Liars & Dunces or treacherous whores trying to sabotage his victory. . . Here was the whole bloody Family laughing & hooting & sneering at the dumbness of the whole world on National TV. The old man was the real tip-off. The leer on his face was almost frightening. It was like looking into the eyes of a tall hyena with a living sheep in its mouth. The sheep's fate was sealed, and so was Al Gore's."

"[T]his blizzard of mind-warping war propaganda out of Washington is building up steam. Monday is Anthrax, Tuesday is Bankruptcy, Friday is Child-Rape, Thursday is Bomb-scares, etc., etc., etc.... If we believed all the brutal, frat-boy threats coming out of the White House, we would be dead before Sunday. It is pure and savage terrorism reminiscent of Nazi Germany."

"We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear -- fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts, or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer."

"If we get chased out of Iraq with our tail between our legs, that will be the fifth consecutive Third-world country with no hint of a Navy or an Air Force to have whipped us in the past 40 years."

"He knew who I was, at that time, because I had a reputation as a writer. I knew he was part of the Bush dynasty. But he was nothing, he offered nothing, and he promised nothing. He had no humor. He was insignificant in every way and consequently I didn't pay much attention to him. But when he passed out in my bathtub, then I noticed him. I'd been in another room, talking to the bright people. I had to have him taken away." -on meeting George W Bush at Thompson's Super Bowl party in Houston in 1974

"All we have to do is get out and vote, while it's still legal, and we will wash those crooked warmongers out of the White House."

"America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

"A word to the wise is infuriating.""So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here -- not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms."

"The genetically vicious nature of presidential campaigns in America is too obvious to argue with, but some people call it fun, and I am one of them."

"Election Day -- especially a presidential election -- is always a wild and terrifying time for politics junkies, and I am one of those, too. We look forward to major election days like sex addicts look forward to orgies. We are slaves to it."

"Every GOP administration since 1952 has let the Military-Industrial Complex loot the Treasury and plunge the nation into debt on the excuse of a wartime economic emergency. Richard Nixon comes quickly to mind, along with Ronald Reagan and his ridiculous 'trickle-down' theory of U.S. economic policy. If the Rich get Richer, the theory goes, before long their pots will overflow and somehow 'trickle down' to the poor, who would rather eat scraps off the Bush family plates than eat nothing at all. Republicans have never approved of democracy, and they never will. It goes back to preindustrial America, when only white male property owners could vote."

"I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours."

"If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people - including me - would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism."

"Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect."

"You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when its waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye."

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

"Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads?"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

For Campaign ’08, Video Web Seen Making Inroads on Traditional Media

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While “traditional media” – TV, radio and print – figures to remain in the driver’s seat during Campaign ‘08, established outlets will increasingly need to share the road with online video.

That’s the clear conclusion of a new consumer survey, conducted for ClipBlast! (, the Web’s premier video search platform, by Chicago market researcher Synovate. The survey – which asked 1,000 Americans to identify the various sources from which they anticipate getting their news on the presidential candidates – was fielded in August, shortly after the CNN/YouTube debate among Democratic presidential hopefuls.
Overall, 86 percent of respondents say they will turn to TV and radio for information on the candidates; 63.5 percent will rely on newspapers and magazines. Even so, substantial percentages expect to get their news from the Video Web: 29.5 percent from news video, 22 percent from debates online, and another 7.5 percent from video bloggers.

“These findings unquestionably affirm the rise of the Video Web in public life,” said Gary Baker, CEO, ClipBlast! “What’s more, we believe that online video is engaging new audiences and drawing new, otherwise disaffected or disinterested viewers. Organizing debates on the Video Web is anything but a novelty – it’s an alternative that has emerged literally from nowhere to capture the public’s imagination.”

Indeed, the fall season figures to be dotted with successors to the CNN/YouTube experience. This Wednesday, Yahoo!, in tandem with Slate and The Huffington Post, will host the first Web-only U.S. presidential debate, with PBS’s Charlie Rose serving as moderator. Two weeks later, on Sept. 27, MySpace and MTV will hold the first of 11 hour-long candidate dialogues, to be streamed live on their respective websites. And on Nov. 28, CNN and YouTube will reprise the online/broadcast debate format, in association with the Republican Party of Florida.

It IS Your Father’s Video Web

Although youth will be served, so will their elders, according to the ClipBlast!/Synovate survey. Findings confirm the popularity of online video with the youngest demographic – 37 percent of those 18-24 will turn to the Video Web – and reveals that that group hasn’t forsaken TV (87 percent) or newspapers (54 percent). While those in mid-life and beyond maintain their loyalty to traditional media (89 percent for anyone over 55), they’re also embracing new media, albeit at a lesser pace (29 percent for those over 65, marginally more than those 45-54 and 55-64, at 25 percent and 23 percent, respectively).

And while just 16 percent of those 55-64 expect to turn to the Web for presidential debates, 27 percent of those over 65 plan to be there – the highest percentage among all demographic groups. Likewise, video blogging isn’t solely the province of the young; 10 percent of those 35-44 will include vlogs in the information mix – roughly the same as those in 18-24 age group.

Among other notable survey findings:

The more affluent you are, the more likely it is that you’ll rely on TV and radio for campaign news (88 percent, for those with annual incomes in excess of $75,000, against 82 percent for those at the bottom rung of the income ladder). Those with incomes of $50,000-$75,000 are relatively more inclined to include news video in their diet of campaign info (32 percent) than are those in other income strata. And those in the $25,000-$50,000 bracket are relatively more likely to view debates online (23 percent) than the rest of the population.

Those who aren’t married tend to gravitate to the Video Web and are relatively less enamored of traditional media. By an eight-point margin, marrieds prefer newspapers and magazines (66 percent to 59 percent); that almost exactly flips when online video is in play. (34 percent of unmarrieds will look to news video online, against 27 percent of marrieds). Households without children will be tuning into debate coverage online in greater numbers than those with kids (24 percent to 18 percent).

On a regional basis, TV and radio are robust nationwide, but strongest in the South (87 percent); newspapers and magazines fare best in the Midwest (71.5 percent). News video online will capture an identical 30 percent in both regions – a marginally greater number than in the Northeast, ostensibly the home base of traditional media. Debate coverage online looks to be relatively strongest in the South and West, at 23 percent each.

Considering race as a factor, newspapers and magazines draw significantly more whites than non-whites (65 percent to 54.5 percent). Conversely, presidential debates on the Video Web are expected to attract a greater percentage of nonwhites than whites (28 percent to 21 percent). Similarly, nearly twice as many nonwhites expect to get their info from video blogs (11 percent to 6.5 percent).

Looking at educational levels, while TV and radio are consistent across the board, newspapers and magazines draw significantly more respondents with post-graduate degrees (78 percent, to 65 percent with some college and 52.5 percent with high school or less). That pattern – the greater the educational level, the greater the reliance on online video for information – holds steady across the range of sources on the Video Web (news video, debates and video blogs).
Based on employment status: those employed fulltime are marginally less likely to depend on TV and radio; retirees are most reliant on traditional media, print and broadcast.

The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent. For a full copy of the survey results, email

About ClipBlast!
Founded in 2004, ClipBlast! provides pioneering Web-wide video search that uses patent-pending technology to continuously update the largest index of video content across the Internet. ClipBlast!’s fast, easy interface gives users instant access to millions of quality, highly relevant, targeted video clips from the world’s major media brands, independent producers and individuals – video that informs, enlightens, inspires and entertains. The company is based in Agoura Hills, Calif. To learn more, visit

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Emerging Transpartisan Field in American Politics

Transpartisanship Defined

Transpartisanship represents an emerging field in political thought distinct from bipartisanship, which aims to negotiate between “right” and “left,” resulting in a dualistic perspective, and nonpartisanship, which tends to avoid political affiliation altogether. Rather, transpartisanship acknowledges the validity of truths across a range of political perspectives and seeks to synthesize them into an inclusive, pragmatic container beyond typical political dualities.In practice, transpartisan solutions emerge out of a new kind of public conversation that moves beyond polarization by applying proven methods of facilitated dialogue, deliberation and conflict resolution. In this way it is possible to achieve the ideal of a democratic republic by integrating the values of a democracy -- freedom, equality, and a regard for the common good, with the values of a republic -- order, responsibility and security.

The Transpartisan Field

Transpartisanship is increasingly being used to describe the collaborative efforts of citizens and leaders who seek to discover and implement the best possible policies regardless of political ideology. Transpartisanship practices and methods are currently being employed by all levels of government (national, state, and local), various citizen groups, nonprofit organizations, corporations, consulting and conflict-resolution firms, university programs and more. Together these efforts have generated a considerable body of work that is forming the Transpartisan field.

History of the Emerging Transpartisan Field

Like most modern schools of political or social thought it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of Transpartisanship. The term was used as early as the late 1980’s when it appeared in an essay titled “Self-Reliant Defense: Without Bankruptcy or War,” by American scholars Gene Sharp and Bruce Jenkins of the Albert Einstein Institute. Sharp and Jenkins state: “whether the proposal is to add a civilian-based resistance component or to transform to a full civilian-based defense policy, the presentation, consideration, and decision should not be made on an ideological or partisan basis. Instead, civilian-based options in defense need to be presented and evaluated in a "Transpartisan" manner-not tied to any doctrinal outlook or narrow group.” This early use of the term Transpartisanship emphasized the selection of best practices regardless of specific political ideologies. The ideas behind Transpartisanship have quickly spread into other disciplines including politics, society, culture, economics etc.

Emerging Elements of the Transpartisanship Field

  • Transpartisanship is a vibrant and evolving field; however there are a few key concepts that are especially characteristic:
  • All systems are interdependent - All things are fundamentally interconnected influence one another, which in turn validates each individual component (or belief). Transpartisanship therefore honors each belief and strives to fully integrate it into the system, thus achieving equilibrium.
  • All points of view are equally valuable - Every belief or view can be important in reaching collaborative decisions.
  • Optimal solutions are reached through honest and authentic dialogue - In order to arrive at practical and sustainable solutions all viewpoints can be shared openly and honestly.
  • Disagreement can be an asset - Disagreements over an issue need not undermine consensus if all parties are willing to harness existing tension to find common ground. New alliances will naturally form and collaboration will often reveal previously unanticipated solutions that can satisfy all those involved.
  • The public must take responsibility for being heard - Transpartisanship holds that good decisions are made by considering a wide range of opinions. Reintegrating the public at large into the conversation can enhance the range of opinions and lead to better decisions.
  • Need to protect the sovereignty of the individual - While the role of the community is undoubtedly vital for reaching effective solutions, so too is the need to protect individuals from the dictates of the collective. Views and opinions may only be expressed honestly when the individual is free from coercion.

Note: Transpartisanship in currently an evolving field and therefore lacks a unitary definition or set of core values. The definition and values listed above should be seen as a guideline to begin the discourse over Transpartisanship, not a terminus.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sam Nunn's Being Court For Independent Bid - And Now He Confirms Interest

As first reported by InsiderAdvantage Georgia and the Southern Political Report, former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn is being courted for a possible third-party bid for president or vice president next year, and now Nunn has publicly confirmed he may be interested.
Last night, WSB-TV’s Lori Geary caught up with Nunn – and he didn’t close the door on the possibility.

Nunn told Geary he didn't hear the current crop of candidates discussing the issues he believes are important and went on to say he plans to spend the next few months considering his options.
When she asked him point-blank about a possible independent bid, he didn’t rule it out.
Nunn, now 68, was Georgia’s U.S. senator for 24 years (1972-1966). During part of that time, he chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee. John Kerry considered the moderate Georgia Democrat as a potential running mate in 2004.

Nunn currently is chief executive officer of the NTI (Nuclear Threat Initiative), a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
We reported on the possible Nunn bid on July 26 and said our sources were telling us that Nunn continues to be known among the DC establishment and media as "the man" when it comes to matters related to defense.

We also told our readers that a group of former Washington operatives, including former Carter administration members Hamilton Jordan and Gerald Rafshoon, has been quietly working to create a legitimate third-party effort in 'o8, and that they were sounding Nunn out, possibly with an eye towards a Bloomberg-Nunn independent candidacy.

You can read that story here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Bush Administration Ignores Safety

Bush Administration Ignores Safety, Presses Ahead With Dangerous NAFTA Trucks Pilot Program.

Statement of Joan Claybrook, President, Public Citizen

The Bush administration continues to ignore the safety of the American public with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trucks pilot program that it announced late last night would begin immediately.

READ the entire statement.


Public Interest Groups Appear in Federal Appeals Court to Challenge License for Proposed New Mexico Uranium Enrichment Plant

Louisiana Energy Services' Project Would Violate Law and NRC Safety Regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and Public Citizen today appeared before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to challenge the legality of the license for Louisiana Energy Services' (LES) proposed uranium enrichment plant near Eunice, N.M. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted the license in June 2006, despite not having decided on the classification of the depleted uranium waste the facility will create.

READ the entire press release.

Friday, September 7, 2007

One Planet Conversations - Annie Loyd & Renée Morgan Brooks

WHAT: What can Annie Loyd and Renée Morgan Brooks do together in one evening? Come and find out as One Planet magazine celebrates positive visions and solutions for all of us. This month, One Planet Conversations proudly presents our publisher, Annie Loyd, speaking on "Together - We Can Make the Change." Are you confused by the "conservatives" but leery of the "liberals?"

Are you weary of the war and peeved at pundits of both major parties? Have you almost or already given up on voting? Do you ever wonder if Oneness can be applied for results and resolutions? Join us for a dialogue and discussion on transpartisan politics, the transformational politics of hope.

Let Renée Morgan Brooks raise your soul with song and Annie Loyd lift your heart with hope. Be part of the dialogue as Annie shares her inspiring message of healing yesterday's political wounds, standing in the Consciousness of today, and bringing forth the Vision for tomorrow. Will you find out you're a Planetarian?

WHERE: Creative Living Fellowship 6530 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ 85014
WHEN: Thursday, September 20th6:30 to 8 p.m.
COST: There is no cost, but a love offering will be accepted.
RSVP: Reservations are appreciated! Please call Janine at Diamond Life Creators at 480-217-1720, or email: the number of people you are bringing.