Obama in Cuba

Obama to Castro: It’s Time for a New U.S. Approach toward Cuba

I am very happy about Obama’s Cuba policy, in addition to his Iran agreement. So that’s for all the people who say I never say anything nice about him:

In short, Obama’s diplomacy at the Summit of the Americas in part consisted of going around promising not to overthrow his fellow leaders, which would be faintly ridiculous if Washington hadn’t in fact intervened so much in neighbors’ affairs.

The Obama moment in Latin America most resembles presidentFranklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” during the Great Depression and WW II, when FDR similarly ceased trying to impose the US will on countries it its south. (Unfortunately in the Cold War period, the interventions were revived).

It is worth pointing out that one of the reasons Obama has difficulty in his negotiations with Iran is that its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, distrusts Washington because of its long history of intervention in Iran. The US along with its WWII allies invaded and occupied Iran in the 1940s; the allies overthrew the ruler, Reza Shah Pahlevi in 1941. The in 1953 the CIA conducted a coup against popular Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh because he led the nationalization of Iranian oil. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the US allied with Saddam Hussein of Iraq, who had invaded Iran in a wanton act of naked aggression in 1980. When Saddam used chemical weapons against Iranian troops, the US ran interference for Baghdad at the UN Security Council, ensuring that Baathist Iraq was not sanctioned for its war crimes against Iran.

So maybe Obama needs a sidebar with Khamenei to reassure him that Washington is not trying to overthrow him, either.

Action needed today

<> on December 13, 2011 in Washington, DC.

I was on a call with Sen. Bernie Sanders last night, and he said it was very important that you email or call your congressmembers and senators this week, no matter where you think they stand on TPP. He said if we can kill it this time, it will stay dead for a long time because no one wants it to be an issue in the presidential campaign.

So call or email your electeds TODAY:

This week, a bill to give the president Fast Track authority — designed to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership with little public debate — will be introduced in the Senate.The TPP is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world.

Big corporations wrote the TPP behind closed doors.
Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process.

All Americans, regardless of political ideology, should be opposed to the “Fast Track” process which would deny Congress the right to amend the treaty and represent their constituents’ interests.

I will help lead the fight in the Senate to stop the Fast Track bill. Will you stand with me? Sign my petition and tell the Senate: Reject Fast Track authority for the TPP.

Let’s be clear: the TPP is much more than a “free trade” agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street. Here are just a few of the ways the TPP is going to destroy the American economy. The TPP will:

  • Outsource jobs
  • Undercut workers’ rights
  • Dismantle labor, environmental, health, food safety, and financial laws
  • Allow corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system

If the TPP was such a good deal for America, the administration should have the courage to show the American people exactly what is in this deal, instead of keeping the content of the TPP a secret.We can stop Fast Track authority for the TPP in the Senate. Opposition from both parties is growing and momentum is building. With your support we can show Senators that the American people do not want them to give up their power to fix a bad deal.

Will you stand with me and DFA to stop the TPP? Sign our petition today and tell the Senate: Say NO to Fast Track!

Thank you for standing up against the TPP.

Just awful

This story is horrible on so many levels.

He was left in the park where we played as kids, and where my own children played. It’s awful. But I will withhold judgment of the mother, because I have friends with disabled kids and I know the strain they’re under. We used to fund things like respite care, but not so much these days.

Relatives say they would have watched him, but who knows? It’s an enormous task, taking care of a child who’s this profoundly handicapped. The whole thing is very sad.

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