Mar 12 2010
We've got to stop Wall Street from bringing us another economic disaster — before it happens.
A real financial reform package must include an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency, restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, and strict new limits on the derivatives market.
To protect citizens from rapacious banks, we need a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to stop abusive mortgages and credit card terms, and other predatory financial schemes.
The Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banking, was enacted after the financial crash of 1929, but it was repealed in 1999. It is crucial to preventing the reckless investing by commercial banks that caused some of the greatest financial disasters in U.S. history.
Rampant speculation in the unregulated derivatives market was a major factor in the collapse of the global financial system. We need tough new restrictions on the derivatives market, or speculators will continue to imperil our country's economic stability for short-term profit.
Mar 03 2010
President Obama has proposed a whopping $54 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of new nuclear power plants.
What does that mean? If the costly new nuclear plants aren't finished, then taxpayers cover the huge financial loss.
If they are built, then we're stuck with power plants that generate overpriced electricity and create deadly radioactive waste that will remain toxic for thousands of years.
Either way, the nuclear industry wins, and we lose.
Nuclear power creates deadly radioactive waste, from the mining process onwards. It's got a scary history: think Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.
Just recently, a nuclear plant in Vermont was ordered shut down after radioactive tritium, which is linked to cancer, leaked from the plant into local water supplies.
Nuclear power is so financially risky that even Wall Street won't bet on it. It's a public health and financial disaster waiting to happen.
Instead, our government should promote energy efficiency and a decentralized power system based on safe, clean, renewable energy.
Feb 24 2010
Unemployment in the United States is a heart-wrenching problem, with 14.8 million Americans seeking work.1
Yet the same U.S. senators who gave trillions to bail out Wall Street are now offering a paltry $15 billion for a jobs bill that won't create many jobs.
What an insult. In effect, senators are telling unemployed Americans that they matter little compared to Wall Street.
With unemployment so high, it's time for a Green New Deal to tackle economic and ecological problems at the same time.
We should put Americans back to work with living-wage green jobs: retrofitting homes for energy efficiency, building modern mass transit systems, installing renewable energy technology, and conserving our irreplaceable ecosystems.
Instead, the Senate's current bill fails to offer even a short-term solution to joblessness.
After bailing out Wall Street at a cost of trillions, all that the Senate Democratic majority will offer 14.8 million unemployed Americans is a jobs bill that union leaders have called “puny” and “like sticking a band-aid on an amputated arm”.2
Where's the helping hand for the millions of jobless Americans who are struggling because Wall Street's recklessness and greed caused an economic meltdown?
Tell your senators: put Americans back to work with a giant green jobs bill.
1. “Employment situation summary.” 2/5/10, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2. Walter Alarkon, “Unions and liberal groups blast Reid's $15 billion jobs legislation as 'puny'.” 2/22/10, The Hill.
Feb 10 2010
In his 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama called nuclear weapons the “greatest danger to the American people.” Yet his 2011 budget proposes a major increase in spending on the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
Incredibly, President Obama proposes to spend $600 million more on nuclear weapons than did George W. Bush in his final year.1
Obama's proposed new nuclear spending boost will enable construction of new facilities that would allow the U.S. government to develop new nuclear warheads in the future. That flies in the face of Obama's professed goals of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
Nuclear bombs are a grave threat to life on Earth — that's why we need the president to walk his talk.
1. Carol Driver, “Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack Obama ups spending on nuclear weapons to even more than George Bush.” Daily Mail, 1/30/10.
Feb 09 2010
Dr. Jill Stein’s formal announcement on Monday of her campaign for governor of Massachusetts as the Green-Rainbow Party candidate drew coverage from media outlets including the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, MySouthEnd.com, and Open Media Boston.
“If you’ve had enough business as usual, if you’ve had enough of the culture of influence, if you’ve had enough payoffs and layoffs and rip-offs and bailouts, this is the campaign for you,” Stein told about three dozen cheering supporters who waved her green campaign signs.
“It’s true I’ve never been a CEO and I’ve never been a Beacon Hill insider,” Stein said. “I’ve never huddled with health insurance executives who have denied people their health care. I’ve never met in the backrooms with predatory lenders or casino ambling executives or real-estate schemers. And I just don’t owe any favors to machine bosses or big-money donors who are looking to buy influence. Sorry. I’m a mother and a medical doctor and an advocate for healthy people, healthy economies and a healthy democracy.”
The full text of Dr. Stein’s remarks can be found on her website JillStein.org.
Jill Stein ran for governor once before in 2002, when she earned 3.5% of the vote and was widely recognized for her excellent performance in the one debate she was allowed in. She received over 20% of the vote in a 2004 state rep. race and garnered over 350,000 votes for secretary of state in 2006. She currently serves as a member of Town Meeting in Lexington.
To learn more about Jill Stein’s campaign, check out JillStein.org.
Feb 03 2010
Attention Green Party members!
I'd like to invite you to an experiment in online democracy.
The Green Party of the United States is amending its platform for 2010.
A number of volunteers have already joined our platform writing team – will you help too?
The Green platform represents our movement's collective aspirations for an American society based on peace, justice, democracy and sustainability.
In the spirit of grassroots democracy, we want to maximize participation in the platform amendment process. So we've posted the 2004 Green platform, section by section, and we invite you to post your suggestions on how to improve it.
Read and comment on the platform. Post your suggested amendments too.
We have until February 15th to collaborate, discuss and debate, then we'll work with you to pass on your suggested amendments to your state Green Party. Only state Green parties and national party caucuses can submit amendments. The amendments must be sent to the Platform Committee no later than April 15th.
This is your chance to lend your voice to the Green Party's vision for our world.
I hope you'll join us today, and forward this invitation to your friends and colleagues.
Jan 20 2010
Our nation's big polluters and their allies in the U.S. Senate are launching a direct attack on efforts to stop climate change. We must defeat them — right now.
Today, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is expected to offer an amendment to revoke the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate carbon dioxide.
Sen. Murkowski is trying to destroy the most effective tool we currently have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions — the EPA's Clean Air Act power to reduce CO2 emissions.
The Clean Air Act gives the EPA power to regulate dangerous pollutants in our air, including greenhouse gases. Right now, that's the only legal authority the federal government has to fight climate change.
Sen. Murkowski's agenda isn't hard to understand: fossil fuel lobbyists helped write the original version of her amendment,1 and she is Congress's top recipient of campaign contributions from the massively polluting electric utility industry.2
We expect the vote on Murkowski's amendment will be close, and that some Senate Democrats will vote for it.
Tell your Senators today: Defend the Clean Air Act and vote NO on Sen. Murkowski's amendment.
Dec 16 2009
Within the next few days, Congress will vote on a incredibly bloated $636 billion military spending bill, which includes $128 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At this time of economic and ecological crisis, the U.S. government wants more money than ever for indefinite war and occupation.
A recent poll showed that a majority of Americans believe the war in Afghanistan is “not worth fighting.”1
However, President Obama is sending at least 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, on top of the 21,000 he already sent earlier in 2009.
Make no mistake: our troops won't come home until we convince our Members of Congress to cut off funding for the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Let them know where you stand today.
1. Jennifer Agiesta and Jon Cohen, “Public Opinion in US Turns Against the War.” 8/20/09, Washington Post.
Nov 19 2009
Recently, world leaders announced some deeply disturbing news: they gave up on reaching a binding climate deal at the upcoming Copenhagen conference. 
A major impediment was the refusal of President Obama and Congress to enact tough cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
We've got to turn that around. Immediately.
Right now, the most ambitious target that Obama has endorsed is a 3.5% reduction in emissions by 2020. 
That's pathetic, compared to the 25-40% reduction that we need to have a 50:50 chance of avoiding disastrous runaway global heating, according to the International Panel on Climate Change. 
The United States ought to lead by example. We can do it with strong emission reductions.
Nov 11 2009
Last week, House Democrats killed two provisions that could have given us the best health care in the world: single-payer. But we've still got a chance in the U.S. Senate.
Single-payer health care is the only kind that would both control costs and cover all Americans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had pledged to hold a House vote on single-payer, but she broke her promise, and did not allow the vote.
Even worse, Speaker Pelosi stripped a provision from the health care bill that would have allowed states to try single-payer.
As a final insult, the House approved an anti-choice amendment that will remove abortion coverage from millions of health insurance policies.
That's just not good enough.
Americans deserve a healthcare system that will cover everyone and won't bankrupt anyone.
Let's make our voices heard for real health care reform. Sen. Bernie Sanders has introduced S. 703, a bill that would create single-payer systems in every state to cover all Americans.
Nov 06 2009
Gary Ruskin | Green Change | 11.05.2009
It's easy to lie with statistics. Politicians do it every day. Climate change is the latest example.
Look at the leading climate change bills in Congress. The main Senate bill — approved today by the Environment and Public Works Committee — proposes a 20% target for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over 2005 levels by 2020. The bill passed by the House of Representatives sets a 17% target for greenhouse gas emissions cuts over 2005 levels by 2020.
Sounds good. Except it's not.
Here's the trick the Democrats are playing on you. They're moving the goalposts.
Most of the world — 184 nations — have ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Those nations follow the Protocol's use of 1990 as a base year for calculating emissions reductions. The United States didn't ratify the treaty, so our politicians use whatever base year makes them look good. Let's see how this works in practice.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has called for a 25-40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, over 1990 levels – not 2005 levels.
When you use the standard baseline — 1990, not 2005 — to evaluate congressional emissions reductions targets, suddenly they look very small. Which they are.
That's the key fact that President Obama and the Democrats are trying to hide.
The House bill would only cut 3.5%, and the Senate bill only 7%, over 1990 levels, by 2020.
That's not even close to the 25-40% that the world's leading climate scientists think we need to cut by 2020.
Last week, Europe offered a 30% cut.
It's time for the United States to lead by example on climate change.
Tell your Members of Congress to play it safe with our climate. Tell them to support a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.
Oct 23 2009
President Obama will soon decide whether to send as many as 60,000 additional U.S. soldiers to the war in Afghanistan. 
Let's urge Obama to live up to his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Tell him to withdraw troops from Afghanistan — not send more.
The U.S. military has been in Afghanistan for more than 8 years. Enough is enough.
It's no surprise that 59% of Americans now oppose sending more troops to Afghanistan. 
We need to remind Obama that Lyndon Johnson's choice to escalate the Vietnam War doomed his domestic agenda to failure.
(1) Peter Spiegel and Yochi Dreazen, “Top Troop Request Exceeds 60,000.” Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2009.
(2) Paul Steinhauser, “CNN Poll: Will Afghanistan Turn Into Another Vietnam?” CNN, October 19, 2009.