Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Countdown Special Comment: Death of Habeas Corpus: “Your words are lies, Sir.”

Countdown Special Comment: Death of Habeas Corpus: “Your words are lies, Sir.”


Keith Olbermann has been calling it like it is. His "Special Comments" are indeed special because no other talking head outside of Cafferty is willing to step up to the plate and say what needs to be said on 24/7. "Your words are lies, Sir." They are lies, that imperil us all.' Sounds about right to me.

Video - WMV Video - QT

Olbermann: And lastly, as promised, a Special Comment tonight on the signing of the Military Commissions Act and the loss of Habeas Corpus.

We have lived as if in a trance. We have lived… as people in fear.

And now — our rights and our freedoms in peril — we slowly awake to learn that we have been afraid… of the wrong thing.

Therefore, tonight, have we truly become, the inheritors of our American legacy. For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:

(Read the rest of this story…)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Quoting Vanity Fair on Yellowcake - "Ruthless Relentlessness"

Quoting Vanity Fair on Yellowcake - "Ruthless Relentlessness"

"In addition, Vanity Fair has found at least 14 instances prior to the 2003 State of the Union in which analysts at the C.I.A., the State Department, or other government agencies who had examined the Niger documents or reports about them raised serious doubts about their legitimacy-only to be rebuffed by Bush-administration officials who wanted to use the material. "They were just relentless," says Wilkerson, who later prepared Colin Powell’s presentation before the United Nations General Assembly. "You would take it out and they would stick it back in. That was their favorite bureaucratic technique-ruthless relentlessness.""Just another reason to end Catastrophic Conservatism - so we can have Consistent Constitutionality

Friday, October 13, 2006

Open Letter Sent to States Urging Emergency Paper Ballot Plans and Procedures for November Election

BLOGGED BY Brad ON 10/12/2006 1:03PM
Open Letter Sent to States Urging Emergency Paper Ballot Plans and Procedures for November Election
Urgent Plea Mailed to 50 State Governors, Sec's of State and Election Directors Signed by Broad Coalition of Election Integrity Advocacy Orgs, Congressional Members, Elections Officials, Computer Scientists, Civil Rights Attorneys and Journalists
Initial Federal Effort Calling for Back-Up Paper Ballots Now Moves to States, Citizens Asked to Join the Call!

An urgent letter has been sent today to the Governors, Secretaries of State and State Election Directors of all 50 states urging them to immediately create and implement plans and procedures for allowing the use of Emergency Paper Ballots at every local jurisdiction during this November's general election.

The missive, signed by a broad coalition of more than 50 Election Integrity Advocate groups, congressional members, elections officials, computer scientists, attorneys and journalists comes on the heels of Federal legislation recently introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. Those bills, which were not brought up for a vote before Congress adjourned for the Election Recess, called for funding to states who implement plans to provide Emergency Paper Ballots. The legislation was introduced in the wake of recent primary elections around the country where voters were unable to cast a vote due to failure, malfunction, or other inability of electronic voting systems.

The two-page letter [PDF] (also posted in full at the end of this article) was signed by individuals such as: Sen. Barbara Boxer, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Rush Holt, Leon County, FL Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho, OH elections attorney Cliff Arnebeck and University of Iowa computer scientist Doug Jones. Organizations signed on include: Common Cause,,,,, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation,, and many other national, state and local Election Integrity advocate groups.

"No legally registered voter should ever be told to 'come back later,' or be forced to use a provisional ballot simply because a voting system is unavailable to them at the time they are able to vote," the letter reads. "It is imperative that an ample supply of Emergency Paper Ballots be made available to account for any unforeseen circumstance."

The letter continues, "All voters must have the option to vote on an Emergency Paper Ballot if necessary and all such ballots must be counted as regular — not provisional — ballots."

As well, it's pointed out that some states already have certain procedures required by law to ensure that registered voters are allowed to vote, in the event that primary balloting procedures break down. Officials are urged to check those requirements and otherwise "draft, establish and publicize your own state's common-sense plans for Emergency Paper Ballots at every polling place this Nov. 7th, so that every election official, poll worker, and voter may be crystal clear on the procedures for utilizing such measures."

The movement calling on states to create Emergency Paper Ballot plans began just three weeks ago when The BRAD BLOG first called on the U.S. Congress to introduce and pass legislation in order to ensure that legally registered voters would not be turned away from the polls without being allowed to vote, as has been the case for thousands of voters in a number of states this year due to voting machines that failed to start up, were misprogrammed, failed during voting or, in some cases, hadn't been brought to polling places at all until several hours after polls were to have opened.

Many voters were either told to "come back later" or given Provisional Ballots, which are not counted as normal ballots on Election Night and frequently not counted at all.

Legislation for Emergency Ballots was introduced the following week in the U.S. Senate by Senators Boxer, Christopher Dodd, Russ Feingold and Kerry. A matching House version was filed the next day by Rep. Rush Holt and co-sponsored by 28 other House members. As well, Feingold and Kerry introduced a "Sense of the Senate" resolution calling for same, but that effort was also never brought up for a vote on the floor before the recess.

The letter, drafted by this journalist along with a number of other signatories, was sent to all recipients via return-receipt requested certified mailing this morning by [DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]

With the failure of Congress to pass such crucial legislation prior to this November's important general election, the effort now moves to the State and Local level. Organizations and individuals are called on to contact their State and Local Elections officals to assure that plans are in place to accommodate any and all unforeseen circumstances.

Alluding to Americans who have fought for and defended the right to vote in the past, and indeed to this day around the globe, the letter concludes: "Our vote is our precious franchise. We believe it is worth defending, and worth the effort to guarantee that that right remains assured and inviolate."

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), one of the initial signatories, has created an online petition for citizens to urge their Secretaries of State and Governors to ensure such plans and procedures are created and implemented immediately. Take action by clicking here…

The open letter, sent to all State Governors, Secretaries of State and State Election Directors calling for Emergency Paper Ballot plans and procedures and signed by 55 organizations and individuals, can be downloaded here [PDF]. It also follows below in full…

October 11, 2006

Honorable Governor, Secretary of State & State Election Director:

As you likely know, many legally registered American voters across the country were turned away from polling places without being able to cast a ballot this year. In state after state, voters were unable to exercise their franchise simply because electronic voting systems malfunctioned, suffered programming problems, or were otherwise unavailable for use.

We are sure you'll agree that should never happen in this country. No legally registered voter should ever be turned away from the polls without being allowed to vote on Election Day in America. No legally registered voter should ever be told to "come back later," or be forced to use a provisional ballot simply because a voting system is unavailable to them at the time they are able to vote. It is imperative that an ample supply of Emergency Paper Ballots be made available to account for any unforeseen circumstance.

Common-sense legislation for Emergency Paper Ballots at the polling place this November was recently filed in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposed legislation would have:

  • Mandated that voters be given a paper ballot upon request
  • Required election officials to post information announcing and confirming that right at each polling place, and
  • Mandated that all such paper ballots be counted as regular, not provisional, ballots.

Unfortunately, legislators were unable to pass this important measure before adjourning for the Election Recess. Now the responsibility for this vital democratic process must rest on the States and Counties to ensure that millions of Americans will be able to cast their ballots in the general election on November 7th.

Many of your state's citizens and polling places will be using new electronic voting systems for the first time. Such systems have already caused unforeseen problems this year, resulting in disenfranchised voters from Maryland to California, from Texas to Indiana to many other states and counties around the union.

In Maryland, the Governor recently called for Emergency Paper Ballots statewide after catastrophic problems in their recent primary. In Texas and Arkansas, election officials wisely instructed their counties to have Emergency Paper Ballots on hand during runoff elections after thousands were unable to vote during primaries, or when voting machine companies failed to program balloting systems properly.

In America, in 2006, such occurrences should never have happened, and we write to you hoping that you will take every measure to ensure they do not happen anywhere in your state this November.

Therefore, we, the undersigned groups and individuals, strongly urge you to make contingency plans and procedures to ensure that every legally registered American voter can vote in the upcoming general election. All voters must have the option to vote on an Emergency Paper Ballot if necessary, and all such ballots must be counted as regular — not provisional — ballots.

We hope that your state and every county therein will take careful, yet aggressive measures to institute plans for ample Emergency Paper Ballots, to be made available in every voting jurisdiction.

Several states have laws in place requiring the use of emergency paper ballots for voters if voting equipment is unavailable or has malfunctioned. Many more states and counties, however, do not have such provisions. In addition, many poll workers are unaware of such state laws and elections code.

So many Americans have fought and died in this country and around the world — and indeed, are fighting today – in the defense of our most basic freedoms, to ensure the right to freely cast a vote and thus determine the consent of the governed in this great democracy. Our vote is our precious franchise. We believe it is worth defending, and worth the effort to guarantee that that right remains assured and inviolate.

We urge you to please take this opportunity to draft, establish and publicize your own state's common-sense plans for Emergency Paper Ballots at every polling place this Nov. 7th, so that every election official, poll worker, and voter may be crystal clear on the procedures for utilizing such measures.

With Great Respect,

The Undersigned

Broward Election Reform Coalition
Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota
Citizens for Legitimate Government
Coalition for Peace Action, Princeton NJ
Coloradoans for Voting Integrity
Common Cause
Election Defense Alliance (EDA)
Election Reform Network
Florida Fair Elections Coalition
Georgians for Verified Voting
Iowans for Voting Integrity
Las Vegas, NM Peace and Justice Center Political Action
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
National Committee for Voting Integrity
National Election Data Archive
New Yorkers for Verified Voting
Ohio Honest Elections Campaign
Palm Beach Coalition for Election Reform
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)
SAVE Our Votes:
Secure, Accessible, Verifiable Elections for MD

United Voters of New Mexico
Valley Grassroots for Democracy
Voting Matters [New Mexico]
Wake Up and Save Your Country
We Do Not Concede

Clifford O. Arnebeck, Jr, election attorney, OH
John C. Bonifaz, voting rights attorney, Boston
Sen. Barbara Boxer
Bob Fitrakis, Ph.D, J.D.
Brad Friedman, investigative journalist
Bruce Funk, County Clerk, Emery County, UT
Sarah Granger, computer security consultant
Rush Holt, Member of Congress
Douglas W. Jones, computer scientist, U. of Iowa
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Sen. John Kerry
Prof. Mark Crispin Miller, NYU
Freddie Oakley, Yolo County, CA, Clerk/Recorder
Ion Sancho, Supvsr. of Elections, Leon County, FL
Barbara Simons, retired, IBM Research

Monday, October 02, 2006


by Carol Wolman



The Bush junta has stolen two presidential elections, and now has dismantled the most basic rights of citizens under the guise of "fighting the war on terror". Our country, our heritage, our Constitution has been taken over by ruthless people, who care only about power and money.

The shameful "Military Tribunal" bills passed by Congress last week shows that its members, of both parties, are utterly craven and corrupt. The Democrats could have organized a Senate filibuster of the bills that Gitmo-ize us all, but they didn't even try. Both parties are in league with the "devil in the White House", to quote Hugo Chavez.

We need a clean sweep in Congress this November, getting rid of all the incumbents who are not actively opposing the tyranny being imposed upon us. We need to vote in true Representatives of "we the people", who will make it the first order of business to impeach Bush and Cheney.

This is our very last chance to remain a free people.

The Longhouse Coalition is collecting all candidates for Congress, of whatever party, who will serve the people rather than the super-rich. Our members are Democrats, Independents, Greens. We are up and running. We will not split the "left", as we are reserving seats for good incumbents and candidates. With Creator's help, we'll replace this rotten Congress of pandering politicians with a group of people who are dedicated to peace, freedom, and the wellbeing of "we the people".

The Solidarity Movement in Poland was able to replace the oppressive Communist regime with a people's government, that was put into office peacefully and legally, through the electoral process.

Our situation is identical. A core group of 6 internet activists have been planning the Longhouse Coalition for a year, and worked tirelessly to put it into effect. The bandwagon is rolling! Many people are now working together to recruit candidates, both on the ballot and write-ins. Our numbers are growing rapidly.

To learn details, go to

The files there contain our platform, an introduction to our strategy, list of member candidates- all of whom have endorsed the platform-, a list of seats we have reserved for candidates who have not yet joined, and other important information

Some highlights of the platform:


2) Peace- leave Iraq and Afghanistan, support UN peacekeeping forces, uphold international peace treaties like the Geneva Conventions and the Nonproliferation Treaty, defund the military.

3) Environment- join the Kyoto treaty, switch to clean, renewable energy, clean up pollutants, get rid of toxics.

4) Land- return a portion (30-45%) of National Forests to Native Americans to redress a historic wrong, change the tax structure to favor small farmers over agribusiness.

5) "Moral issues" - prochoice- make birth control more available, legalize all natural substances.

This is a battle for life, for survival of a habitable planet. We can no longer ignore global warming and the threat of nuclear war. It's a spiritual battle, has to be if we are to avoid the literal Armageddon, nuclear holocaust, with which the warmongering plutocrats keep threatening us. The organizers of the Longhouse Coalition are in constant prayer to our Creator.

We are thankful that Creator has blessed us with a Constitution that safeguards human rights and dignity, and enables us to live in peace. We are using the tools given us by the Founding Fathers- the right of any citizen to run for Congress, and the right of the people to impeach members of the Executive Branch who commit high crimes and misdemeanors. What we are doing is peaceful, legal and democratic.

Where does the name come from? The Longhouse was the meeting place of the Iroquois Federation, where they made their laws. Ben Franklin attended many of their meetings, and brought the principles of Iroquois government to the Constitional Convention. The emphasis on human equality and protection of basic people's rights in our Constitution come from the original Longhouse, or Haudenosaunee. In fact, "we the people" is a Native American, not a Europen concept- England and European countries were still ruled by kings and aristocrats in 1776. Thus our Congress is a direct descendant of the Longhouse.

To learn more, email us at with your questions, comments, assistance.

Carol S. Wolman, MD is a psychiatrist in Northern California. A lifelong peace activist, she has written extensively on the psychology of our times. She is actively working to impeach Bush and Cheney, and suggests you join or form a local group at She is running for Congress as a nonpartisan write-in candidate in CA district 1.

Contact Author

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Proessive Fest Illinois Planning Thread


I have a phone call in to George from Progressive Forum inquiring if they are interested in this. Voice-mail just a few minutes ago, so obviously no answer yet. I am really hoping they get on board with this...George, if your group devcides to come onboard for this, please make it known to all the various groups attending those awesome meetings of yours down there in Matteson. We will be developing a flyer within the next week, I will update it periodically as we get closer, but please start putting the word out now.

I need to aask you guys if someone can contact DAWN, and also United Progressives. I do not have contact info for them as yet. UFPJ contact would be good too.

I will start up a running list of groups / people contacted and get it on another e-mail thread with the subject line "Progressive Fest Illinois Invited List." Whoever contacts anyone on this from outside organizations, please "reply all" to that thread with the info. (Gary, please add all such contacts to a spreadsheet for later incorporation into the PDI internal database.)

I will starting hunting down regional contacts for environmental and farming interests to see if I can find any speakers.

Sherry at PDA: PDI is going to try to start up an annual Progressive Festival here in Illinois to begin in late October of this year. We are interested in developing something similar to Fighting Bob Fest in Wisconsin over time. As PDA State Coordinator, I am going to try to get as many PDA list signups as possible involved in this, PDA National is welcome to follow this thread and decide if they want to represent themselves at this event or wait for a future year.

Ruben: I need to hear from you the specific dates that the farm is available.

All: We need to consider audio equipment needs, restroom facilities, tents, any required permits, etc. We should get a list of items started now. We had best start asking for donations NOW in order to fund these types of items. Anyone with fundraising experience, PLEASE step up on this one.



Illinois State Coordinator, Progressive Democrats of America. (PDA)
PDA e-mail list-serve:


Progressive Democrats of Illinois

Winning Illinois back for the People of our great State.

Dan Stafford, Co-Chair, PDI

*PDI is a separate organization from PDA*
One person, One vote, It Counts! Do it, America!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Judge Order's Bush's NSA To STOP SPYING on US Citizens


The warrantless Internet and telephone surveillance program authorized by the Bush administration violates the U.S. Constitution and must cease immediately, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The landmark decision makes U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's once-secret program. The American Civil Liberties Union had filed suit against the government, claiming the program "ran roughshod" over the constitutional rights of millions of Americans and ran afoul of federal wiretapping law.

In a sweeping victory for the ACLU and its clients, which included organizations representing criminal defense lawyers, journalists, Islamic-Americans, and academics, Taylor appears to knock down every major legal argument that the Bush administration has used to defend the program since it was revealed by The New York Times last December.

The terrorist surveillance program, she ruled, violates the First Amendment's right to freedom of expression and the Fourth Amendment right to privacy--that is, freedom from unreasonable searches. It also ignores requirements of a 1978 electronic wiretapping law known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and represents an overstepping of presidential powers, Taylor wrote.

The judge also dismissed the government's request that the suit be thrown out because of the "state secrets privilege," which permits the government to suppress a lawsuit that might lead to the disclosure of military secrets.

"We are enormously gratified with the court's historic ruling today," ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a conference call with reporters. "At its core, today's ruling addresses the abuse of presidential power and reaffirms a system of checks and balances that's necessary in our democracy."

U.S. Department of Justice representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The government has, however, notified the ACLU of its intention to request a stay of Taylor's opinion while it files an appeal, ACLU attorney Jameel Jaffer said during the conference call.

Clients defended by ACLU in the suit praised the district court's decision, saying it would allow them to carry out their professional duties without fear of being spied upon.

New York University Professor Barney Rubin, a plaintiff in the case who has authored several books on Afghanistan, said the ruling gave him "greater confidence" that he would be able to conduct interviews with subjects located in the nation considered a state sponsor of terror without worrying his conversations would be scooped up by the NSA.

"I'm extremely relieved to know that this court believes in the right of our clients, who are all people accused of crimes, to the confidentiality that has long believed to be essential to the criminal justice system," said Nancy Hollander, a New Mexico-based attorney who spoke on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

It wasn't immediately clear what impact the ruling will have on a number of other cases challenging the legality of the NSA program. On July 20, a federal judge in San Francisco dismissed the government's assertion of the state secrets privilege and ruled that a case brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, against AT&T could proceed--a move that the government readily appealed.

Five days later, however, a federal judge in Chicago granted the Justice Department's request to throw out another suit related to the NSA program brought by the ACLU.

A number of congressional proposals also seek to broaden wiretapping law, essentially making the existing NSA program legal. One controversial bill endorsed by the Bush administration proposes moving all cases disputing electronic surveillance programs to a secret court.

The ACLU said it was confident that the constitutional arguments raised by Taylor's opinion would prompt the politicians to rethink taking such steps. "Members of Congress have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution," said ACLU Legislative Director Caroline Fredrickson, "and they're going to have to take this decision very seriously."

"Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution," the judge wrote in her 44-page opinion (click here for PDF).

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blowing the Whistle on Diebold

Blowing the Whistle on Diebold
By John Ireland (
In These Times

Monday 17 July 2006

On July 13, the Pensacola, Fla.-based law firm of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed a "qui tam" lawsuit in U.S. District Court, alleging that Diebold and other electronic voting machine (EVM) companies fraudulently represented to state election boards and the federal government that their products were "unhackable."

Kennedy claims to have witnesses "centrally located, deep within the corporations," who will confirm that company officials withheld their knowledge of problems with accuracy, reliability and security of EVMs in order to procure government contracts. Since going into service, many of these machines have been linked to allegations of election fraud.

In the wake of alleged vote count inconsistencies and the "hanging chad" debacle of 2000, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002. HAVA appropriated $3 billion to replace voting equipment and make other improvements in election administration. Diebold, Election Systems & Software and Sequoia Systems secured the lion's share of $300 million in contracts to purchase EVMs. All 50 states have received funds and many are hurriedly spending it on replacing lever and punch card machines in time for November.

According to the Election Assistance Commission, more than 61 percent of votes in the 2004 presidential election were cast and/or tallied by EVMs. Election Data Services, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, estimates that the figure will jump to 80 percent by November, which will see elections for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives.

Matt Schultz, an attorney with Kennedy's law firm, Levin Papantonio, describes the process of competition for HAVA's $300 million of contractor funds as "a race to the bottom." "There is no question in my mind that these companies sacrificed security and accuracy, mass-producing a cheap product to cash in on tons of federal money," Schultz says. "It's an industry-wide problem."

Qui tam lawsuits stem from a provision in the Civil False Claims Act, which Congress passed in 1863 at the behest of President Abraham Lincoln to respond to price gouging, use of defective products and substitution of inferior material by contractors supplying the Union Army. The provision allows private citizens to file a suit in the name of the U.S. government charging fraud by government contractors and other entities that receive or use government funds.

Long known as "Lincoln's Law," it is now commonly referred to as the "Whistleblower Law." Since the mid-'80s, qui tam recoveries have exceeded $1 billion, mostly after exposing medical and defense overcharging.

Mike Papantonio, partner in the law firm and co-host with Kennedy on "Ring of Fire," a weekly radio show on the Air America Network, explains the value of the qui tam approach. "The problem with injunctive relief, or [a writ of] mandamus, or prohibition-type writs, is it all comes down to politics.… How do you bring injunctive relief with [Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth] Blackwell? How do you get [Florida Governor] Jeb Bush to do anything? They won't. You have to move outside of that political realm."

In 2004, Blackwell was in charge of implementing state and federal election laws, while, at the same time, co-chairing the state's 2004 Bush/Cheney Campaign. Under his watch, election officials neglected to process registration cards from Democratic voter drives, purged tens of thousands of voter registrations and distributed EVMs unevenly, leaving some voters waiting up to 12 hours. According to Kennedy, "at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted." Ohio was decided by 118,601 votes.

The contents of the suit could be under judicial seal for at least 60 days while the U.S. Department of Justice considers whether or not to join the suit. If U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales decides not to join the suit, Levin Papantonio may approach individual state attorneys general. If no one joins, the firm is free to, as Papantonio puts it, "stand in the shoes of the Attorney General and fight on behalf of the taxpayers and the nation."

"The single greatest threat to our democracy is the insecurity of our voting system," warns Kennedy. "Whoever controls the voting machines can control who wins the votes."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore's new documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" is an important opportunity to further educate the public and inspire action towards global warming solutions.  And since the movie opened last month, most of you have seen it and made it one of the most successful documentaries ever.

Now we need to make sure that more people see it--not just people already concerned about the environment like you, but all your friends, family, and neighbors as well. The more people who see this film, the greater chance we'll have to convince our political leaders to enact real global warming solutions.

To pledge to bring friends to see "An Inconvenient Truth," click on the link below or paste it into your web browser:


Global warming is starting to change weather patterns. Scientists predict that these changes will accelerate in the future and say that we can expect:

* Extreme weather. Scientists expect hurricanes to become more intense and say that the hurricanes that hit the Gulf states in 2005 may be an indication of what's to come.

* Public health risks. Scientists also expect heat waves to become more dangerous, causing more people to suffer heat stress and stroke. Other impacts include the spread of infectious diseases.

* Less snow, less water. Many of the rivers and streams that we rely on for our water supply are fed by mountain snow. But warmer winters are starting to cause less precipitation to fall as snow, which may cause serious future water shortages.

Most global warming pollution comes from burning oil, coal, and natural gas in our power plants, cars, SUVs, and factories. Power plants are the single biggest source, responsible for about 40% of U.S. global warming pollution. Because there are no federal limits on global warming pollution, industry can pump unlimited amounts of the pollution into our skies.

Some states have already taken the first steps, such as by requiring power companies and automakers to reduce global warming pollution from power plants and cars. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has sided with the coal, oil, and auto industries to reject limits on global warming pollution. Without federal action, pollution will continue to rise.

The good news is we can reduce global warming pollution by using existing technology to make power plants and factories more efficient, make cars go farther on a gallon of gasoline, and shift to cleaner technologies, such as hybrids, biofuels, and wind and solar power.

These are win-win solutions because they also will reduce our dependence on oil, reduce air pollution, protect pristine places from oil drilling and mining, and bring many other benefits.

We're urging Congress to set science-based targets for reducing global warming pollution from power plants, cars, and other sources. These targets should put us on the path to reduce global warming pollution by 15-20% by 2020 and by 60-80% by 2050.

Al Gore's new documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" is an important opportunity to educate the public and inspire action towards global warming solutions.

"An Inconvenient Truth" has opened in many cities and is opening in many more this week. We hope you'll pledge to be one of the first to see this groundbreaking film and, even more important, that you'll get your friends and family to go see it as well.

To pledge to see "An Inconvenient Truth," click on the link below or paste it into your web browser:


Rebecca D. Stanfield
Environment Illinois State Director

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gary has our revamped web site up

Nice work, Gary - it looks like navigation and registration is greatly simplified, especially the online forums.

Definitely a winner.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Progressive Festival Illinois

An interesting idea came out of tonight's meeting. We are looking into holding a Progressive Festival on a farm in Rural Kane County, which we would like to become an annual event. Tentative time frame is a Saturday around the end of September. PDI will be looking for other Progressive organizations to co-sponsor the event as well. ( info at illinoisprogressives dot org for inquiries) We are interested in speakers, local musical acts, etc.

The idea is in the very early planning stages, and we are just beginning to send invitations out for co-sponsorship of the event as of this evening.


Hal Snyder has been voted to replace Nayana as Co-Chair of PDI, I remain as the other Co-Chair.

Kat Doyle replaces Hal as Secretary and should be posting minutes in the near future.

We are also investigating the possibility of forming multiple PDA chapters from PDI's membership. This would help grow both organizations and help coordinate Progressive activity in the state if we can successfully implement such a strategy. Nothing finalized on this as yet.

We also are discussing further methods of growing PDI and leaning towards more focus on PDI's secondary mission of setting up tools to act as a bridge between Illinois Progressive groups and organizations for the near term. General consensus is that this strategy will help us achieve our long-term mission of reforming the Democratic party from within in the State of Illinois.

The web site at is undergoing a revamp and should be vback up in the next few days per Gary Kleppe. After that point, he will pursue implementing our new database.

All in all, a productive meeting.

Rough ideas for growing PDI

> Get the database up and running so we can do some coordinated outreach.

> Start actively tabling at events.

> Create a broadcast list for press releases, including position statements.

> Find a way to teach everyone to use online chat so we can get things done without waiting for the -monthly- meetings.

> Schedule chat sessions as soon as the above is completed - weekly?

> Compile a list of locations in reach of our members that allow free publications to be left out.

> Do at least a quarterly newsletter and leave a few at the above locations.

> Start collecting a dollar a head at the monthly meetings so we have a few bucks to print up flyers or newsletters at Kinkos or wherever. Voluntary, of course.

07/06/06 Meeting Agenda

Meeting Agenda:

7:00 - 7:30: open discussion period is typical, we might as well do it here.

7:30 - 8:00: We need to call for a second person to Co-Chair PDI as Nayana is unable to do so per our last meeting. If there is more than one volunteer we will hold a vote.

8:00 - 9:00: Discussion on ways to grow PDI, status reports on on-going efforts, and discussion of any events we can participate in or co-sponsor