Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

From February 16 & 28, 2011

With  phenomenal speed in a seemingly covert legislative action, the US PATRIOT extensions moved through the House and Senate in 10 days this past month, February 2011. An overview on what happened in the House & Senate ~ http://bit.ly/icSZZA

The glimmer of blue sky is that the Senate only upped the Patriot Act for 90 days (unlike the House Valentine’s Day vote for ten months) so the window is now through May 27, 2011. Considering ‘they’ herded the US PATRIOT Act through so effectively, ‘they’ will again ‘speed’ this through the Senate soon.

Reality is our legislative leaders do not want to hear from The People on the US PATRIOT Act. ‘They’ are highly-paid to effectively manage their constituents and from their activity in February, it is clear we are not on their list.

On the other hand, if we act quickly and decisively, there is a promising opportunity for us to gather, organize as we come together to begin to abolish the Patriot Act. Let’s ADD to past call-to-actions. Before we got together to make phone calls and send emails, letters. Thanks for your help in spreading the word, your support and for taking action.

Our best course of action is to assemble peacefully in numbers. Our only chance is for us to move forward together to demand greater freedom and civil liberties as well as accountability from our government.

As we gather together, we demand the Senate listen to the people. That the people want to dismantle the US PATRIOT Act and see the process started now. The people will be heard, our personal liberties are written in the US Bill of Rights, not in the US PATRIOT Act!

Discovered in the U.S. Senate Calendar ~ Select Committee on Intelligence in the Senate is met on Monday, February 28, 2011 at 2pm, Room SH-211. Hart Office Building. Dianne Feinstein, of California, Chairman, John D. Rockefeller IV, of West Virginia, Ron Wyden, of Oregon, Barbara A. Mikulski, of Maryland, Bill Nelson, of Florida, Kent Conrad, of North Dakota, Mark Udall, of Colorado & Mark R. Warner, of Virginia. A key focus of this group is the US PATRIOT Act and Sen. Feinstein is fostering the extension to three-years also at President Obama’s recommendation ~ a notable step toward removing the sunset clauses in the US PATRIOT Act. Anyone know how it went?

And a recent act of civil disobedience not covered by mainstream media ~ Ray McGovern’s violent arrest February 15, 2011 at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s address with her expressing concern for protection of the Internet and US calling for protesters, civil rights respect in other countries. Here’s the video ~ http://bit.ly/dUwfcx. Mr. McGovern in the audience, a 71 year old military, CIA veteran, stood and turned his back to Clinton as she addressed, in peaceful protest. Security quickly and violently hauled him out of there, arresting him for disorderly conduct. Most notable was Sec. Clinton’s giving her address without pause. Read Rory O’Connor’s blog ~ http://bit.ly/g5lhyw

Response to the arrest of Ray McGovern ~ “It is the ultimate definition of lip service that Secretary of State Clinton would be trumpeting the U.S. government’s supposed concerns for free speech rights and this man [Raymond McGovern] would be simultaneously brutalized and arrested for engaging in a peaceful act of dissent at her speech,” stated McGovern’s attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of PCJF (Partnership for Civil Justice).

Back to the US Patriot Act and surprisingly,  Sen. Feinstein/CA the US PATRIOT Act extension for three years and that’s also President Obama’s recommendation to Congress. A three-year extension marks a key attempt to remove the sunset clauses as well as strengthening the scope, reach of intrusion by U.S. intelligence communities into peoples’ homes, businesses and everyday lives domestically.

The charade is our government still frames the Patriot Act as important for national security against terrorists, originally created as a response to 9/11. Now in force 10 years, the Patriot Act has flourished, opening our front door to FBI and intelligence intrusions down to the granular bits of what books we take out of the library.

Alarmingly, anti-war, peace activists and opposing forces to the Patriot Act are rebranded as ‘terrorists.’ Then once under investigation, the harassed are forbidden from speaking about it. Due process and search/seizure-related civil protections are clearly circumvented by today’s Patriot Act, crossing the line in limiting personal freedoms and privacy, making a farce of democracy and freedom in America.

We call for your help and ask you to GET UP, STAND UP with us! Defeat civil rights-infringing legislation before Congress in 2011!

Senate passes 90-day extension of Patriot Act

FreeSpeech Radio, 2/15/11 ~ The US House once again took up the reauthorization of the Patriot Act today, passing the Senate version. Earlier this week, the House passed a 10-month extension. But yesterday the Senate passed a version that only extended for 90 days. California Republican David Drier supported the Senate version.

“In ensuring that we don’t see the expiration of these very important three provisions of the Patriot Act, I’m going to urge my colleagues to support this rule.”

The three provisions are the so-called “lone wolf” provision, which allows monitoring of foreign nations not connected to terrorist organizations; a provision that allows searchers access to “any tangible thing” related to a terrorism suspect; and the “roving wiretap provision,” which Colorado Democrat Jared Polis questioned for lack of oversight.

“There’s nothing to restrict it from being used to tap the phones of an entire neighborhood, and entire block, and entire city. Has it been used for that? I don’t know, because we haven’t had yet a classified briefing on this matter.”

The three-month extension passed 254 to 176, largely along party lines.

Want to join our action? Drop a comment here.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

BREAKING ~ With regard to the Patriot Act in the House of Representatives, the YEA’s have it. 275-144 and the Patriot Act passed, evening of 2/14/11.

February 12, 2011

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives rejected legislation extending key provisions of the Patriot Act, watch here ~ http://bit.ly/eOjSez.

In an active response from America, concerned citizens took action by contracting Congress, demanding they vote down the Patriot Act H.R. 514 and on February 8th Congress did just that!

The TROUBLING NEWS is that it’s up for another vote on Monday, Feb 14th, so we (again) strongly encourage contacting your representative in the House. Demand they defeat the Patriot Act H.R. 514.

Taking action is easy and quick, just follow this link ~ http://bit.ly/htAkJf from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, eff.org to send an email to Congress and your representative.

We also invite you to call your congressperson direct and leave a comment, certainly before the vote on Monday, Valentine’s Day at 2pm eastern. Here’s a handy link to contact Congress ~ http://bit.ly/hZr8xf

BREAKING: The Patriot Act H.R. 514 is in the House of Representatives TODAY (2/14/11) and will be debated at 5pm eastern, VOTED ON at 6:30 pm eastern. Please make your calls, send your email to Congress NOW!

You may also gather at federal buildings across the nation to peacefully assemble and demand Congress Defeat the Patriot Act, H.R. 514. Let them know the Patriot Act is UNPATRIOTIC!

Our first assembly to reclaim civil liberties, demanding Congress vote down these Patriot Act extensions and protests will continue as the Patriot Act travels through Congress.

Stand for greater civil liberties, freedom and privacy for citizens in America, Defeat the Patriot Act H.R. 514!

Key reasons to VOTE DOWN the Patriot Act provisions:

  • The Patriot Act has not established that any of the powers given to the FBI and other intelligence agencies have actually PREVENTED acts of terrorism. What’s worse is the Patriot Act severely limits our personal freedoms and privacy. And now with the F.B.I. claiming peace protesters are ‘terrorists,’ our right to dissent also goes out the window.
  • There is no oversight or accountability written into these key provisions of the Patriot Act. We suggest that Congress investigate the F.B.I., or hold the F.B.I. accountable for >40,000 of abuses as noted by eff.org here http://bit.ly/f0Jfcn

The Patriot Act severely limits civil liberties and personal privacy. Additionally the provisions that Congress is voting on actually EXPANDS the reach and ‘teeth’ of the Patriot Act, H.R. 514.

The more people participating and taking action over now, the better the our chances of voting the Patriot Act down again.

Yet be aware that the Patriot Act Valentine’s Day vote has much better odds of passing (we do not want this) as the House of Representative voting procedures required only greater than 50% to renew the Patriot Act. It’s clear the backers of expanding and renewing H.R. 514, the Patriot Act are attempting to sneak this by us and Congress. Don’t let them get away with it!

Do not allow H.R. 514 be renewed or enhanced. Stand for your rights now and make the call, send the email. Also, forward this note to your friends and family.

Thank you for joining me in TAKING ACTION TODAY!

Read Full Post »

Laurel Krause, November 29, 2010

The government crossed the line
in the killing of four young people
in the killing of our Allison
as she rallied against the war on May 4, 1970
A civil rights battle on U.S. soil in our times
Kent State is personal for us yet important for all

Representative Dennis Kucinich
upon learning of the new audio truth
discovered in the Kent State Tape
Launched a Kent State congressional inquiry
and scheduled a hearing
Calling for swift examination of the new evidence
found in the Kent State Tape
Scheduling a Kent State hearing before Congress
before the Domestic Policy subcommittee
for Wednesday, December 1st, this week

Yet In these political times
with Congress soon adjourning for 2010
and our government’s concerted effort
to keep truth at Kent State covered up
Kucinich’s Congressional Kent State Hearing is
AT HIGH RISK OF CANCELLATION

Allison’s family asks all who read this
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD
Join our urgent Kent State Call-2-Action
Demand Truth at Kent State in 2010
Send a note to http://kucinich.house.gov/Contact/
Make a call to 202-225-5871
Send inbound calls to Representative Kucinich
HOLD the KENT STATE HEARING
this week, on Wednesday December 1st at 2 p.m.

Arthur Krause knew the importance
of the Kent State Tape
My dad knew it held the truth
of what happened at Kent State
even though back in 1970
and until just recently
truth from the Kent State Tape was locked up
in a jumbled maze of analog antiquity
Dad passed away over 20 years ago
He knew the truth in the Kent State Tape

A patriot and WWII soldier
Dad believed the American dream
When Allison his firstborn
a freshman at Kent State University
was protesting the Vietnam war on her campus
He never anticipated the American apocalypse
our family would endure
at the hands of our government

Like Sandy, Jeff and Bill
our Allison was shot dead at Kent State
Homicide by national guard gunfire
Dad knew they got away with murder
at Kent State University
just after noon on May 4, 1970

Over the next ten years
Dad sought truth and justice at Kent State
demanding to know what happened to our Allison
Taking it to the courts yielded only
road blocks, cover-ups and threats
Every effort to uncover and face
the deadly inhumanity of Kent State
was completely thwarted

A series of seamless stonewalls
Never examining the wrongs of Kent State
No accountability for the killings of Kent State
Not one person or group ever held responsible
Not one apology uttered

Yet governmental claims were consistent:
There was no order to fire
The Guard reacted to sniper fire
The Guard felt under attack from the students

A government-fabricated pack of lies
that has now transformed
into the recorded history
of the killings of Kent State
That is … until 2010
and the examination of the Kent State Tape

40 years after the shootings
the Kent State Tape that Dad held so dear
that was used as evidence in his court cases
finally examined using
tools of state-of-the-art audio technology
unlocking the true record of what occurred
at Kent State on May 4, 1970

Sounds expertly analyzed by
world-class forensic scientist Stuart Allen
commissioned by the Cleveland Plain Dealer
to explore the Kent State Tape
for the very first time

Whether copy or original is moot
Truth is recorded in the Kent State Tape
A tape does not remember, forget or change its story
The Kent State Tape does not lie

At the Kent State Truth Tribunal in NYC
October 2010 with Stuart Allen examining
Hearing and unraveling the labyrinth of deadly sounds
including shots and national guard commands
and a violent altercation with FBI-paid Terry Norman
all contributing to the shootings at Kent State 1970

The government denied
orders to fire were isolated, heard and verified
orders of Guard, Prepare to Fire
orders of Alright, Guard, Fiii-
with the last word of the deadly order stepped on
by a barrage of 67 shots over 13 seconds

At unarmed students changing classes at noon
At unarmed students more than a football field away
At unarmed students rallying against the Vietnam War
At unarmed students rallying against the military occupation of their campus
in a battle where American dissent was also slaughtered

Read Full Post »

MendoCoastCurrent, June 24, 2010

Public institutions and private sector organizations from across the country should form a coalition to help states, localities and regions develop and deploy successful and cost-effective electric demand response programs, a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff report says.

The coalition effort is the centerpiece of the National Action Plan on Demand Response Report , issued today, that identifies strategies and activities to achieve the objectives of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

“There is strength in numbers. Coalitions harness the combined energy of individual organizations, producing results that can go far beyond what can be accomplished on an individual basis,” FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said. “The success of this National Action Plan depends on all interested public and private supporters working to implement it.”

The public-private coalition outlined in the National Action Plan would coordinate and combine the efforts of state and local officials, utilities and demand response providers, regional wholesale power market operators, electricity consumers, the federal government and other interest groups. Demand response refers to the ability of customers to adjust their electricity use by responding to price signals, reliability concerns or signals from the grid operator. Demand response is a valuable resource for meeting the nation’s energy needs.

The 2007 law required FERC to identify the requirements for technical assistance to states so they can maximize the amount of demand response that can be developed and deployed; design and identify requirements for a national communications program that includes broad-based customer education and support; and develop or identify analytical tools, information, model regulations and contracts and other materials for use by customers, states, utilities and demand response providers.

The National Action Plan applies to the entire country, yet recognizes Congress’ intent that state and local governments play an important role in developing demand response. It is the result of more than two years of open, transparent consultation with all interested groups to help states, localities and regions develop demand response resources.

The National Action Plan on Demand Response is available at here.

Read Full Post »

Editor’s Note: To learn more about the Kent State Truth Tribunal 2010, please go to www.TruthTribunal.org and pre-register to participate as well as support us with your generous donation. Thanks!

From 1970 to 1980, Senator Kennedy was our single-best crusader from Congress in supporting my family’s attempts to learn the truth about the Kent State Massacre where my protesting sister, Allison Krause, was murdered. We grieve for Senator Kennedy and deeply thank him for always listening to our pain and working alongside my father, Arthur S. Krause, in his fight to have my sister’s death not be vain. Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy. Know that your compassion and tremendous life force had immense positive impact on my family and America.

BRIAN MERCHANT, Treehugger, August 26, 2009

edward-kennedy-green-tributeKennedy was a masterful politician and an effective, aggressive reformer–he was instrumental in shaping the policies, ideology, and face of modern America. More so, as Slate argues, than any other Kennedy. And though he may have more famous achievements (immigration reform, expanding health care, civil rights for the handicapped) he was also a champion of environmental causes. Here, we pay tribute to the less celebrated–but no less important–legacy of green achievements he left behind.

And it’s a pretty staggering list of achievements–from cosponsoring the first bill to put fuel economy standards in place, to tightening regulations on oil companies, to fighting to keep ANWR safe, to being an early proponent of renewable energy promotion, Kennedy has a long history of championing green causes and protecting the environment.

Here are some green highlights:

Holding Oil Companies Accountable During consideration of a 1975 tax cut proposal, Kennedy introduced a provision targeting the oil depletion allowance, which since 1926 had enabled oil producers to exclude 22 percent of their revenues from any taxes. Kennedy’s initiative passed overwhelmingly, trimming the allowance for independent producers and ending it for the major oil companies.

Raising Fuel Economy Standards

Senator Kennedy has a long and distinguished record supporting clean renewable sources of energy and reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels. More than 30 years ago he cosponsored the first law to establish fuel economy standards. And in 2007, he supported a law which increased fuel economy standards, which is essential to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Improving Energy Efficiency

Senator Kennedy was a strong proponent of increasing energy efficiency, which is an essential part of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He was a long time supporter of programs like the weatherization assistance program and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program that helps those most in need reduce their energy bills by improving home energy efficiency.

Kennedy Fought to Cleanup Brownfields Sites and Revitalize Local Communities

In 2001, Senator Kennedy was a lead sponsor of the Brownfields Revitalization and Environmental Restoration Act, which authorized funds for assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites.

Of course, he did much more in his six terms as senator, but there’s not room to print the entire list here. But it’s safe to say that the US is a greener place thanks to his efforts. Ted Kennedy was one of the most powerful, respected, and influential senators in US history–his progressive vision and will be sorely missed.

Read Full Post »

Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, July 26, 2009

Ken SalazarJust north of the Colorado-New Mexico border, in the sunny expanses of my native San Luis Valley, America’s clean energy future is taking root.

Under President Obama’s leadership, four tracts of land in southern Colorado and two dozen tracts across six Western states may soon be supplying American homes with clean, renewable electricity from the first large-scale solar power projects on our nation’s public lands.

The 24 Solar Energy Study Areas that Interior is evaluating for environmentally appropriate solar energy development could generate nearly 100,000 megawatts of solar electricity, enough to power more than 29 million American homes.

The West’s vast solar energy potential – along with wind, geothermal and other renewables – can power our economy with affordable energy, create thousands of new jobs and reduce the carbon emissions that are warming our planet.

As President Obama has said, we can remain the world’s largest importer of oil or we can become the world’s largest exporter of clean energy. The choice is clear, and the economic opportunities too great to miss. Will we rise to the challenge?

It is time that Washington step up to the plate, just as states like Colorado and local governments are already doing. Congress must pass strong and effective legislation that will steer our nation toward a clean energy economy that creates new jobs and improves our energy security.

We will not fully unleash the potential of the clean energy economy unless Congress puts an upper limit on the emissions of heat-trapping gases that are damaging our environment. Doing so will level the playing field for new technologies by allowing the market to put a price on carbon, and will trigger massive investment in renewable energy projects across the country.

We are also seeing the dangerous consequences of climate change: longer and hotter fire seasons, reduced snow packs, rising sea levels and declines of wildlife. Farmers, ranchers, municipalities and other water users in Colorado and across the West are facing the possibility of a grim future in which there is less water to go around.

But with comprehensive clean energy legislation from Congress, sound policies and wise management of our nation’s lands and oceans, we can change the equation.

That is why I am changing how the federal government does business on the 20% of the nation’s land mass and 1.75 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf that we oversee. We are now managing these lands not just for balanced oil, natural gas, and coal development, but also – for the first time ever – to allow environmentally responsible renewable energy projects that can help power President Obama’s vision for our clean energy future.

American business is responding to these new opportunities. Companies are investing in wind farms off the Atlantic seacoast, solar facilities in the Southwest and geothermal energy projects throughout the West. We need comprehensive legislation that will create new jobs, promote investment in a new generation of energy technology, break our dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Let us rise to the energy challenges of our time.

Read Full Post »

TOM DOGGETT, Reuters, March 12, 2009

WASHINGTON – Congress should give the federal government more authority to approve extra powerful transmission lines to move electricity generated by renewable sources, overriding state objections when necessary, a top energy regulator said on Thursday.

Broader federal authority would help meet President Barack Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. production of renewable energy like solar and wind power in the next three years, said Jon Wellinghoff, acting chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee.

This could help cut greenhouse gas emissions spewed by coal-fired power plants that contribute to global warming, he said.

The timely siting of electric transmission facilities will be essential to meeting our nation’s goal of reducing reliance on carbon-emitting sources of electric energy and bringing new sources of renewable energy to market,” Wellinghoff said at a Senate Energy Committee hearing on new transmission lines.

At the end of the day if there is a state who blocks a line that’s in the national public interest I think, unfortunately, there needs to be a federal override,” he said.

Congress gave FERC authority to site and permit electric transmission lines crossing state borders within important corridors with grid congestion. But a federal court ruled FERC cannot use this authority if a state denies a transmission project in a timely manner.

Without broader federal siting authority … it is unlikely that the nation will be able to achieve energy security and economic stability,” Wellinghoff said. 

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, chairman of the energy committee, agreed FERC’s current siting authority is insufficient.

It does not apply to most of the country and does not take into account future need,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, has introduced legislation to give the government broader siting authority for new power lines for renewable energy.

Reid, who also testified at Thursday’s hearing, later told reporters he wanted to roll that bill along with a new national renewable electricity standard into climate change legislation.

The bill he envisions would cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and require power plants, oil refineries and other industrial facilities to buy permits to emit carbon polluting emissions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to take a similar approach, Reid said:

The House has decided to take them all up together. That’s probably where we’re headed.”

Reid said he hoped the combined bill would clear the Senate this summer. He said he would consider tacking the bill on to budget reconciliation legislation the Senate could pass with a simple majority, without needing 60 votes to stop a filibuster.

Oh I love 51 (votes) compared to 60,” Reid said. “We know that’s an alternative.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the top Republican on the energy panel, said she opposed combining the energy and climate change bill and folding it into budget legislation.

I also strongly disagree with attempts to do an end run around Congress and mandate what would be the biggest change in our energy policy in the nation’s history through the budget reconciliation process,” she said.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »