Posted by Timbuk3 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Jan 13th 2008, 11:55 AM
I have some questions for the Democratic candidates for POTUS.
All of them. Even "mine".
I am planning to send these questions to the candidates early next week along with the promise to post their replies (or lack of reply) here, on Daily Kos, and on my own blog on January 30th.
I will ask them to supply concise, easily cut and pasted comments so that my own "editing" isn't necessary.
I've tried to ask these questions in a way that doesn't favor any candidate. The list of questions isn't based on any foreknowledge of the answers. Trivial matters are far more important to our fourth estate than informing voters where our next President stands on things that matter to us, so they're not being asked, or asked often enough for me to have seen it.
1. Will you issue an executive order overturning Bush's first executive order sealing Presidential records, including those of Ronald Reagan? When?
2. When will you close the prison at Guantanemo, and what will you do with the prisoners?
3. What specific actions will you take to show the world that the United States does not torture prisoners?
4. What will you do to restore FISA court protections of our 4th amendment rights, habeas corpus, and to assure the American people that we are not "surrendering our liberty" for the illusion of "safety"?
5. Who will you nominate as your Attorney General, and will you encourage him or her to investigate known violations of the constititution by the current administration?
6. What characteristics will you look for when choosing judges to nominate to the SCOTUS?
7. What is your plan to deal with the sunsetting of the "Bush" tax cuts?
8. When will the last American soldier leave Iraq? (Note to John McCain: "100 years from now" is not an acceptable answer.)
9. When will you end "faith based funding" which sends taxpayer dollars to tax-exempt organizations?
10. What percentage of your campaign funds are derived from "the grass roots" or other sources that are traditionally supportive of the issues you speak about the most in your stump speeches?
11. What will you do to restore the "Fairness Doctrine" abolished by Reagan?
12. What will you do to protect the rights, and jobs, of workers who go on strike?
13. On what basis would you exclude living, breathing American citizens from the protections guaranteed by the 14th amendment.
14. Do you agree that corporations are people under the meaning of the 14th amendment?
15. What is your view of the powers of the Executive Branch as expressed in the Constitution?
I'm asking these questions sincerely. I'm interested in the answers based on what the candidate has said or has put in writing, not what what some media opinion writer says they think.
These are issues that matter to me, and aren't being addressed in the tradmed. I sincerely hope I'm not alone in caring about these things. If you know where any of the candidates stands on these things, for sure, please tell us all.
And, last but certainly not least, if you have a question that should be added, please let me know.
Disclaimer: Although I STRONGLY support John Edwards, I don't know the answers to ANY of these questions for ANY of the Democratic candidates. Well, maybe the funding one, but there are 15 questions on the list, and I may have to vote for someone else in the general election. Let me learn about them, too.
If you're already in a bad mood about the things our government has done in your name, don't read any further. It won't cheer you up.
I knew we'd go to war in Iraq in April of 2002, long before anyone else was willing to admit that train had already left the station. Once his majesty King George the 43rd had been convinced by the powers behind the throne, most notably Dick "Dick" Cheney and the Vulcans, it was only a matter of manipulating the right things. The hostile firing of Jose Bustani was the last clue I needed. It was no longer a question of "if", but "when". http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2002/04/16... /
"When" turned out to be March of 2003, nearly a year later, timed perfectly to ensure a Bush victory in his second run for the Presidency. We don't change Presidents when we're at war. This is how jaded, self-serving, cynical, greedy, and corrupt our government has become. And when we do nothing to change it they don't change, they take notice that what they're doing is working, that they can do it again, and keep doing it until they get it right or until they get caught.
I know, there is no doubt in my mind, that we will be at war with Iran, with the enthusiastic support of the people of this country, before Bush leaves office. I should have admitted this to myself long ago, but I just couldn't bring myself to believe that he, or the people of our country, could be that insane. I forgot about the media, who owns the media, and where these monstrous corporations make their money. What passes for "the fourth estate" in America are whores, suckling at the teat of the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about.
Everything they need is there, of course, and the media will soon begin to again beat the drums of war, for the simple reason that war is profitable for the corporations that own them. These soulless corporations, legal entities not "people" as the Supreme Court has declared, have exactly one motive. It's not us, it's not "the common good", it's not "freedom", it's not "preserving the constitition", it's not even the well-being of the CEO or the board of directors (much less the well-being of their employees.) The sole motivation of a corporation, any corporation, is profits, and war is immensely profitable. It is the only racket in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles...
The pro-war media has everything it needs. "Terra", "nuke-ya-ler weapons", and an oppressed people who will, no doubt, greet our troops with parades and flowers before they start naming parks after George W. Bush, if only we'll help them throw off the shackles of the government that they just elected. We will be sold on this war just like we were on the last one. The media will tell us that Americans are dying at Iranian hands, the Iranians are building nuke-ya-ler weapons and will use them against us, Iran is supporting/allied with terrorists (and if you missed Mr. Bush tying iran to Hezbollah lately, you haven't been paying attention.) If we don't go to war with Iran, we will learn, we will all die. And we will believe it.
There can be no mistaking this rhetoric from last week's state of the union address, because we've heard something similar in the past during the PR blitz in support of a war: "Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror -- pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve. We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing, and end its support for terror. And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...
Paraphrased: "Be afraid. Be very afraid. And BTW, they'll love us for it." All that will be needed for us to be convinced is that we continue believing that we are an invincible force for good in the world (or, for some, an invincible force for God), and we will embrace another chance to prove it. And we will fail. Again.
Iran appears to be doing their part. Today they announced they will be installing 3,000 centrifuges for their "peaceful" nuke-ya-ler program. This number of centrifuges is sufficient to purify enough uranium for a bomb within a year. Iran is afraid, and there is no doubt in my mind that they do want to build a bomb. They are afraid, and anyone but a loyal, patriotic, nationalistic American would say "and with good reason." As North Korea told James Kelly, US assistant secretary of state for Asian affairs, in 2002, "Your president called us a member of the axis of evil. ... Your troops are deployed on the Korean peninsula. ... Of course, we have a nuclear program." The difference this time is, this nuke-ya-ler program threatens Israel, and Israel's lobby is far too strong in our government for us to allow that. http://www.cfr.org/publication/12495/new_s...
The fact is, we are already at war with Iran. A second carrier battle group is now in place. There are few news reports about it, and they are not on the front page anywhere in America, but the BBC has published Sy Hersh's assertion that our special forces are already active within Iran's borders. We have arrested Iranian envoys, in Kurdish territory at the invitation of the Kurds, on the grounds of their own consulates, sovereign Iranian territory awarded to them by the host country. (And so that you don't miss the greater point, Kurdish territory is peaceful by any measure, and especially in contrast to one mile outside the green zone in any direction. There are no "terrorists" operating in Kurdish Iraq. The grass is too green for fighting in Baghdad, al Ansar, Fallujah, Mosul...Kabul, the Afghan-Pakistani border...) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/418008...
But after all the other evidence this is the piece, the "Bustani moment", that made it all clear. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...
Troops Authorized to Kill Iranian Operatives in Iraq
Excerpted sentence: The new "kill or capture" program was authorized by President Bush in a meeting of his most senior advisers last fall, along with other measures meant to curtail Iranian influence from Kabul to Beirut and, ultimately, to shake Iran's commitment to its nuclear efforts.
Now answer this question honestly. "Why was a program that was authorized last fall just announced today, and why was it only directed at Iranians?" Why not Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, or any of the other nationalities in Iraq? Why now, after our carrier battle groups have arrived?
I believe the answer to that question is, "Because President Cheney has convinced his sock puppet that the only option is war with Iran. Now, 'we' just need to provoke it."
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