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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion
Fri Sep 02nd 2011, 12:46 PM
I really hope it does not come to this, but if today's backtrack on the smog regulation signals a "trend" for President Obama - then there is not much hope for a NO vote on the Tar Sands pipeline.

If the pipeline gets approved, then the President I worked so hard to elect will have completed his transformation to republican-lite.

I have never voted for a republican and never will.

This would signal a call to action for some true DEM from within our party to run against him in the primary next year. I know, historical precedent suggests this is unlikely to succeed. Yet in my lifetime I don't believe we have ever had such a case of "bait and switch" from an elected president. At least with Bushco, nobody was surprised at his fuckups while running the criminal regime.

This is not (yet) a call to make it happen, but it's getting close. We all know that a divided party runs poor vs a united party. Yet there has to be a minimum standard of sensibility applied to what we expect from a candidate's campaign pledges - a YES on the pipeline suggests a total abandonment on Obama's commitment to fight global warming etc.

Maybe this smog capitulation was his way of setting the stage to vote NO on the pipeline, so he shows some compromise to Wallstreet minions. That's the optimistic view and it would keep my vote. Yet if it's a trend, finding a viable challenger from within may not win - but he or she might at least hold Obama accountable for his campaign promises, because apparently he is not beholden to those who voted for him.

There is still time to change this trajectory, but not much.

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion
Fri Aug 26th 2011, 11:35 AM
We all have issues we are most passionate about, for this life long Dem voter - it's the environment and sustainability.

I worked hard to elect Barack Obama and shed tears of joy when we was elected in 2008. Finally, an end to the bushco criminal regime!

Even with his lukewarm ratings (at best) from progressives, as of today he has my vote and I expect that not to change. The only blip on the horizon that would change that is if he authorizes the Tar Sands pipeline. In my view, that would be hypocrisy of the highest order and a capitulation to BIG OIL and over consumption that I could not stomach.

I'd still work like hell to elect progressives, but if Barack Obama capitulates to the corporations on this permit, he then becomes Republican-lite and I have never voted for a rethug!

I don't make a post like this to be dramatic, I just think his handlers (who may read DU) need to appreciate that he could lose the election over this. Hate to quote this but really ---- Just Say No!

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion
Fri Apr 15th 2011, 11:11 AM
Many are quick to blame Obama for being Dem-lite or capitulating too much of what we value in the budget. Much of that criticism would have never materialized if millions of Dems had not sat on their ass in 2010 with a protest (or flat out lazy) non-vote!

If we had maintained a majority in The House, or even if the Rethugs had a far slimmer majority - Obama would be in a position to mandate rather than negotiate. Now we are stuck having to deal with the Tea Party wingnuts.

Where I can fully appreciate the criticism leveled at Obama for not following much of the progressive agenda leading up to the 2010 vote, I hope non-voting progressives realize now that far worse than a Dem-lite President, is a country ruled by Fascists. More not-votes in 2012 will certainly lead to a Rethug Senate, and even a greater percentage of those flat-earth believing conservative fucks from the TP in The House.

Until we move beyond the 2-party system, even if President Obama is not "left" enough - Dems have to vote in far greater numbers in 2012. As much as some of us would like to see a Dem president in the mold of Howard Dean (myself included), there will be no viable challenge to President Obama from within our party next year.

So I hope that the 29 million Dems who did not vote for Obama in 2010 pay close attention to what's been happening in Wisconsin. If you sit on your ass in 2012, expect to lose more personal liberties including your right to reproductive freedom, collective bargaining, separation of church and state etc.

Obama on his worse day is still far better than having a knuckle-dragging Tea Party person trying to control who and what you are. I know how I voted in 08 and 10 --- and in 2012, President Obama will be getting my vote.

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion
Wed Feb 16th 2011, 06:13 PM
At first glace, the very sad story (below) kicked in my rage. As a strong proponent of *no kill* animal shelters, it's always sad when an other wise healthy animal is put to death.

Digging a little deeper into this story, it's hard to be as judgmental given the extreme poverty in Kyrgystan - with an average per capita gross income of $268 (USA). Solving human hunger and poverty on a global scale would have the most profound effect, but no answer will arrive in time to save these animals. I hate that the dogs are not being euthanized more humanely, yet without a doubt, many of them are either starving or sick.

It seems the only way to save some of them would be for an outside animal rescue or advocacy group to come go into Kyrgystan and offer support. I doubt any money sent into the state would reach saving the dogs, it would need to be hands on. Please pass along the link to such a group if you know a good one.

As a young man, I remember traveling through the streets of Khatmandu Nepal - and with all the amazing sights, sounds, and smells - there were countless diseased and injured dogs and cats. When people are trying to survive on pennies a day compared to what we in the US are used to, taking care of animals just does not take precedent (in the same way as here). And even at that, thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized weekly in the USA - where we can access resources which offer humane and effective animal control.

Check out:

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Officials in the capital of Kyrgyzstan say budgetary constraints are forcing them to shoot the city's estimated 10,000 stray dogs rather than build shelters for them.

Bishkek city hall spokesman Pavel Klimenko told The Associated Press on Tuesday that around 5,000 strays were shot last year because the impoverished Central Asian nation couldn't afford kennels that would have cost $300,000.

He said the dogs this year are being killed in the early morning and in the evening by a team of 10 shooters and dog catchers.

Klimenko urged the world not to consider the act barbaric.

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Oct 30th 2010, 04:13 PM
I get the Obama admin gets a C- in delivering "change", but compared to the criminal regime that preceded him - ya know, Shrub and Shooter fucking with your personal liberties, reproductive freedom, GITMO, the illegal war tax (from an illegal act of aggression) --- compared to our disappointment, well - there is no comparison! President Obama inherited a train wreck, it will take lots longer than 2 years to clean it up!

Hold your nose and vote, but to either not vote or go rightie wacko tea party/republican is a step back into the dark ages! I don't get the angry mob mentality who wants change, yet thinks the tea party wingnuts will deliver it?

Worse still are those lazy ass Dems who feel not voting at all will deliver a message. For them, they might as well find the nearest tea party ass and kiss it (as disgusting as that sounds)!
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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion: Presidency
Tue Jun 22nd 2010, 10:44 AM
I voted for President Obama. In areas of personal liberties, reproductive freedom, the SCOTUS, and tax reform (to name a few), we have progressed positively. Sadly however, President Obama's appointment of Ken Salazar as Interior Secretary showed an outright indifference to environmental issues. His admin's continued rubber stamping of oil industry requests to drill reflects a business as usual attitude that's no better than the record of our past horrendous president from Texas.

If President Obama truly is an enlightened man, he will completely dismantle the corrupt Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service from the ground up. Giving BP the pass on safety and inspections led to the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf. If he does not learn from past mistakes, his hands will remain covered in oil - and he will be the "change president" no more!

License To Drill - Mother Jones 6/17/10

At his long-awaited press conference on the Gulf oil disaster last month, President Obama announced a moratorium on new oil drilling and exploration for six months. "We can't do this stuff if we don't have confidence that we can prevent crises like this from happening again," he declared. But while existing rigs may be out of commission for the near future, the administration hasn't exactly put the brakes on new oil and gas drilling ventures. In recent weeks, the government has quietly approved the sale of more than 400 new leases for vast swaths of the Gulf of Mexico. And these contracts—which mark the first step in the drilling process—were subjected to the same slapdash environmental oversight that failed to prevent the BP catastrophe.

The region was included in a plan created by the Bush administration's Department of the Interior to lease new areas of the Gulf to the oil and gas industries. But it was Obama's Interior secretary, Ken Salazar, who gave the go-ahead for the sale of Lease 213—6,800 tracts covering 36 million acres off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in November 2009. The sale—which was held on March 17 this year in the New Orleans Superdome—attracted $1.3 billion in bids. Since then, the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) has approved the sale of 448 of those tracts, 198 of them in deepwater, which is defined as more than 656 feet below the sea. BP is the proud new leaser of 13 of those tracts.

The lease sale is the first step in the oil drilling process. Companies must first obtain the right to drill the tracts before they can devise exploration plans, which must be approved by MMS.

And that's where the problem lies. MMS has been notorious for rubber-stamping the oil industry's plans. The lease for the well that's spewing oil into the Gulf, the Macondo, was sold in March 2008. The exploration plan for that well was granted a "categorical exclusion" from the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in April 2009, paving the way for drilling to begin.


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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Apr 06th 2009, 02:59 PM
This story was from 2 weeks ago, and granted there are a few policies President Obama is not acting to change as quick (or at all) as we on the left would like. Though on balance, given that he has only been president for 2.5 months --- there is real change to celebrate!

I prefer to look at the change glass as 1/2 full vs 1/2 empty. President Obama is not the perfect president nor will he ever be, but the change he has already brought is long over due and light years ahead of the neanderthal policies fashioned by his predecessor.

From Gitmo to Stem Cell Research, Obama Veers Away From Bush's Policies
ABC News 3/18/09

President Obama may not have changed the decor of the Oval Office, but he's quickly taking steps to overturn policies that marked the legacy of his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Soon after being elected last year, the 44th president advised his transition team to draft an executive order to close down the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay, a move assailed by former Vice President Dick Cheney. Since entering the White House, Obama has quickly taken action to revoke additional Bush-era policies.

The swift-moving president says he is trying to fulfill his campaign promises and supporters applaud his efforts. Critics say he could be trying to do too much too soon.

Here is a list of the Bush administration policies and laws that Obama has reversed so far:

compete story:

List of changes to date (summated from above article):

Endorsing gay rights
Lifted ban stem cell research
Global gag rule on promoting safe family planning (contraception)
Provider Conscience Rule
Close Gitmo
Photo caskets
Troop Drawdown in Iraq
Enhance endangered species act
Expand designated wilderness areas by 2 million acres
Allow states set fuel efficiency standards
Labor laws --- level the playing field
Withdraw oil and gas leases

Please add more examples...

I wonder how many of these changes we would have seen from a President McCain?

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Feb 02nd 2009, 04:49 PM
"Outrageous." That's President Barack Obama's one-word reaction to a report that Wall Street employees got more than $18 billion in bonuses last year.

I'm not a prosecutor, but certainly what happened to our money is criminal.

Using our tax payer funded bailout money for personal bonuses seems no different than stealing from a charity. Why have these greedy fucks not been charged with embezzlement of public funds?

Our money was supposed to be used to bolster our economy, reduce mortgage costs, and to save or create jobs. 18 billion dollars of it going to bonus pay sure seems criminal!!!

Has anybody heard of anyone on Wall Street being pressed to return this money? If not, then why not?

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jan 20th 2009, 06:28 PM

U.S. President Barack Obama waves alongside his wife Michelle, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) and his wife Jill (2nd R), as the presidential helicopter carrying former U.S. president George W. Bush and his wife Laura, leave the U.S. Capitol after Obama was sworn in as the 44th U.S. President in Washington, January 20, 2009. Obama became the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool (UNITED STATES)
1:38 p.m. ET, 1/20/09

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Jan 12th 2009, 04:56 PM
I think we are going to love our healthier majorities on The Hill!!!

WASHINGTON - In a rare Sunday session, the Senate advanced legislation that would set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as wilderness. Majority Democrats assembled more than enough votes to overcome GOP stalling tactics in an early showdown for the new Congress.

Republicans complained that Democrats did not allow amendments on the massive bill, which calls for the largest expansion of wilderness protection in 25 years. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other Democrats said the bill — a holdover from last year — was carefully written and included measures sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats.

By a 66-12 vote, with only 59 needed to limit debate, lawmakers agreed to clear away procedural hurdles despite partisan wrangling that had threatened pledges by leaders to work cooperatively as the new Obama administration takes office. Senate approval is expected later this week. Supporters hope the House will follow suit.


The bill's chief opponent, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., denounced what he called Democratic bullying tactics.

Speaking of using a bully pulpit, Senator Coburn's lame tantrum's last year twice created a one-vote procedural hold on the passing of this legislation. Guess what Coburn.... your hissy fits are now set on ignore. Enjoy getting

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Dec 20th 2008, 03:32 PM
In the BIG picture, a Barack Obama presidency will still swing the pendulum far closer to progressive ideals than the alternative would have.

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Oct 21st 2008, 02:10 PM
Barack and Hillary in Orlando yesterday...

More pics:
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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Aug 07th 2008, 02:55 PM
The path to unity seems crystal clear (to this voter anyway). People are reading all sorts of nefarious intent into Hillary's recent YouTube revelation suggestion "all the voices need to be heard" --- here:

I really don't think she is still trying to position herself for the presidential nomination. I think she already knows that she will not be the VP choice as well (just my guess), but is leaving the door open for a very loud and potentially divisive Hillary chorus (or possible protest) on the convention floor.

Somewhere along the way before the convention ends, Hillary supporters are expecting one last chance to express and acknowledge her candidacy. Given her historic campaign and hard fought battle, I believe she and her supporters have a right to claim that celebration. They earned it! We are talking about a celebration here, NOT a protest.

How do we ensure Hillary and her supporters get a celebration of her accomplishment, but not a divisive protest on national TV?

Obama should name his VP choice before the convention and I am assuming it won't be Hillary Clinton. In that way, the folks hanging on to extreme Clinton hope can let go, the conspiracy theorists can let go, and the MSM can let go. We will all know ahead of time that the dye has been cast and our future president has made his choice. It will be definitive!

Hillary can have her Tuesday speech, the party can celebrate her historic run for the nomination, and we can do so without the drama of a last minute protest on the floor.

Barack Obama can take charge of this road map, and set a direction towards unity by naming his VP selection after (or during) the Olympics, but before the Democratic Convention in Denver begins.

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Posted by RiverStone in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat May 24th 2008, 11:19 AM
Sadly, Hillary revealed yesterday not what I think was malicious intent, but reckless and irrational thinking as a result of utter exhaustion. In her campaign's fragile state, I don't think she would ever intentionally suggest willful harm to Obama. That would be political suicide.

I do think she had a Freudian slip of sorts, and her assassination comment revealed something she never intended to so obviously surface. That she is desperate and the only path to a nomination is some bizarre or unforeseen calamity. One can't control their dreams and she might as well have dreamed it. Yet her dream was exposed. In fact, beyond the reference to Robert Kennedy - her entire original statement was rambling and disjointed. She is like a marathon runner who can't feel the pavement anymore.

I don't want to see Hillary tar and feathered and run out on a rail, and yet the stakes are so high. An Obama win this November literally may mean a far more peaceful and sane planet. And when we who support Obama sense Hillary's protracted fight may hurt that possibility, it is only fair to fight back. Ultimately, I hope Hillary has the grace to step aside very soon. I still think after all this, an exit in short order will salvage some of her political capital. There was a time when I worked hard to elect Bill and held Hillary in high regard. Somewhere along the way, the need or greed for power has morphed them into people I barely recognize anymore.

From a compassionate perspective, I really would prefer to see Hillary bow out with respect and dignity intact. Her campaign is almost off life support, so I am thinking lets let her campaign die in peace. It should end very soon. Hillary will be yesterday's news and we can focus all this energy on beating the real enemy...McCain and his war mongering minions.

But if Hillary is determined to artificially keep this tempest going well into the summer, all the way to the convention, then I'll get the (proverbial) tar. World peace is at stake.


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