Friday, June 26, 2009

PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT CONGRESSMAN KUCINICH IN THE NEWS

Kucinich: “We Cannot Afford These Wars”
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=131683
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement against the war supplemental on the House floor:
“Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, had no intention or capability of attacking United States, had nothing to do with Al-Qaida’s role in 9/11, and each and every statement made by the previous administration in support of going to war turned out to be false. Yet here we are. A new administration and the same old war, with an expansion of the war in Afghanistan. We cannot afford these wars. We cannot afford these wars spiritually. They are wars of aggression and they are based on lies. We cannot afford these wars financially. They add trillions to our national debt and destroy our domestic agenda. We cannot afford the human cost of these wars, the loss of lives of our beloved troops and the deaths of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. So, why do we do this? Why do we keep funding wars when they are so obviously against truth and justice and when they undermine our military? These are matters of heart and conscience, which must be explored. Our ability to bring an end to these wars will be the real test of our power.”

Kucinich: Fed Deserves Audit First, New Authority Second
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=133014

U.S. Congressmen oppose Obama proposal to fund IMF
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/003200906121111.htm
Washington (PTI): Two Democrat Congressmen on Thursday appealed to their colleagues in the U.S. Congress to oppose the Obama Administration's proposal to fund $108 billion to the International Monetary Fund.

In a "dear colleague" letter, the two Democrats argued that giving such a huge amount to the IMF to bail out the third world countries from their current economic crisis is not going to work because of restrictive policies enforced by it in the countries where it provides such aid.

The letter was written by Congressmen Dennis J.Kucinich from Ohio and Bob Filner, Democrat, from California.

"In fact, while the G20 states that this funding is intended for global stimulus, the IMF has imposed budget deficit targets, tax hikes, pension and wage freezes, and high interest rates on loan recipients," the two Congressmen said.

"The IMF has a long history of placing economic conditions on countries receiving loans that have actually damaged, rather than stimulated, those economies, and its policies have not changed enough to warrant support," they said.


Referring to media reports in Europe, they apprehended that the IMF funding would be used to bail out private European banks with U.S. taxpayer money.


"Recently, Iceland entered into an agreement with the IMF in which the IMF required the government of Iceland to guarantee private sector debt. Why? Because the U.S. would not support the IMF loan without the provision because of British interests in Iceland's private sector debt," the Congressmen asked.


"Our country and thus body cannot afford to spend American tax payer dollars to bail out private European banks. Please oppose the war supplemental and the funding for the IMF," they said in the letter.


Kucinich: “It is Time to reevaluate our use of Force in Afghanistan”
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentPrint.aspx?DocumentID=133561

Kucinich: Made in America – War
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentPrint.aspx?DocumentID=132487
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement against the war supplemental on the House floor:

“We are destroying our nation’s moral and fiscal integrity with this war supplemental. Instead of ending wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan now by appropriating only enough money to bring our troops home, Congress abdicates its constitutional authority, defers to the president, and asks for a report. That’s right; all we are asking for is a report on when the president will end the war. “There is also money for the IMF, presumably to bail out private European banks. Billions for the IMF so they can force low and middle income nations to cut jobs, wages, health care and retirement security, just like corporate America does to our constituents. “And there’s money to incentivize the purchase of more cars, not necessarily from U.S. manufacturers because a ‘Buy America’ mandate was not allowed. “Another $106 billion dollars and all we get is a lousy war. Pretty soon that is going to be about the only thing made in America – war.

Kucinich: Will Increased CO2 Emissions be our Gift to the Next Generation?
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=133863

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda, in Texas, in sharing these wonderfully informative articles. Bravo Kucinich is being there for the American people.]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

“Childhood Memories”
[Written by the Duchess]

Where does one begin sifting through the memories from one’s youth in a town like Pound Ridge? What stands out the most, as one gazes down a long dimly lit corridor, with doors leading off to a multitude of reminiscence? These thoughts could be triggered by the scent of newly cut green grass, maybe a song from one’s youth, and then the door quietly opens. . . . . . .

Being the daughter of a terrific though restless carpenter, I must confess that my family moved around Pound Ridge a lot before I ventured forth on my own at age twenty-one. I have many fond memories of our family home on Old Stone Hill Road, were we lived for eight years. Most of the homes along this winding road had two or more acres with lots of lovely trees.

What comes immediately to my mind was the large, hilly field beyond the backyard of our home. The field was owned and maintained by the Marshall family. The Marshalls, Ernie and Nancy, were good friends of my parents, Bill and Loretta. I played out there with friends throughout the four seasons. During the chill of snowy winters we’d go sledding down those hills, shrieking with joy, and feel the wind tingle our faces. When the pond had been deemed worthy by our parents, we’d go ice skating for hours. Upon arriving home we’d get warm bowls of tasty soup, as well as steaming cups of hot chocolate. One cold, sunny winter day stands out in particular, when the pond was frozen solid. Down onto the ice rode the adults [i.e.: parents] on two snowmobiles with toboggans being dragged behind. This treat was courtesy of the Marshalls. Round and round the pond we’d go, being pulled on those toboggans, occasionally clinging to an adult on a snowmobile, with snow and bits of ice flying all over. That day was so much fun and quite a memorable occasion for me.

During the warmth of the summer months, my friends and I would be out in the field playing with our Barbie’s, Kiddles and Trolls. We would share in a simple picnic lunch packed by our Moms. There were times we’d even try our hand at fishing at the pond, but we gave up quickly, as we were a bit squeamish about using worms as bait. At other times my beloved dog Angel and I would scamper around the field, nothing particular in mind, just a sense of quiet peace. I loved climbing the trees, which bordered the crumbling stonewalls of our property, and creating adventures in my mind. As I climbed higher and higher, my dear Angel would watch from below, waiting for when I’d finally descend and give her cuddles.

During my childhood, we never required parental supervision as we rode our bikes along country roads. Life seemed safer then like something out of the early 20th Century; not like the 21st Century, full of paranoia, fear, excessiveness, and lack of trust and over protectiveness. As I strive every day to be a compassionate and dedicated peace activist, at times I find it difficult in keeping cynicism on the backburner. Then I reflect on my childhood perspective, and the 1960s seemed like a terrific time; full of hope and a world were anything was possible. What was it like for the adults, who lived through this time of the Vietnam War, riots, the Kennedys, Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights, LSD, the Beatles and flower power? From time to time I have wondered and even speculated on that era. Answers always hovering beneath the surface, but what comes to mind are the lyrics to Bucky Covington’s song “A Different World” . . . . . . . . . . . ”Rode bikes with no helmets and still here we are, still here we are, we got daddy’s belt when we misbehaved, had three TV channels you got up to change” . . . . . . . . . . Yes, we are still here, and with a desire for a world were anything is possible.

PERSONAL NEWS #164

Tuesday evening, June 3rd, I participated in a NYDoP CCR conference call. This call is a follow-up to faxing specific City Councilmember’s on Friday, May 29th, regarding R627.

Thursday evening, June 4th, I attended an inspiring, moving event called “Inspiration” at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. My friend Eileen was one of the several speakers on the topic of dealing with cancer. It was great seeing her again and catching up on “news”. Afterwards she introduced me to her brother, his wife and TJ Glenn. The latter I’d seen, as well as “noticed”, over past few years at the Fort Tryon Park Medieval festivals. We enjoyed a terrific conversation on diverse topics, and our political leanings are very similar. Very much attracted to the tall TJ and we exchanged phone #s.

Friday evening, June 5th, I attended the Friday Nite Knits in Brooklyn at “The Oak & Iris”.

Sunday afternoon, June 7th, I went to “petition training” at Josh Skaller’s city council campaign headquarters in Park Slope.

Thursday evening, June 11th, I rented the DVD “Robots” … it was enjoyable.

Friday evening, June 12th, I watched a DVD I’d purchased the day before called “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”. Excellent film, wonderful acting and the visuals were stunning. I highly recommend this film.

Saturday, June 13th, I joined many others at the Brooklyn library in Grand Army Plaza for the annual “World Wide Knit Day” event from 10am to 1pm. It was great fun and the weather held up while we sat outside the library. Tables were set up to teach folk how to knit, demonstration on spinning, charity projects, etc. There was even a raffle with assorted prizes, and I won a book [Knitting for Good! by Betsy Greer] on knitting and activism. Afterwards I walked down to 4th Avenue along Carroll Street, as I thought some of the Skaller Campaign volunteers would be there petitioning. They weren’t and later learned they had been there, but in the morning. Anyhow, I headed over to Ozzie’s on 5th Avenue for a light lunch and use of the internet. Called Skaller Campaign central, spoke with Dan and then walked to the campaign office on 8th Avenue near 12th Street. Definitely getting a workout today, but its not over yet, I went out petitioning in the Fort Hamilton area with another volunteer [Charlie] from 3-6pm. We traipsed up 3 short street blocks, knocked on people’s doors and got 12 signatures for 3 hours of work. Many people were not home or weren’t interested. Then it rained abit throughout all this and I had to protect the signatures on the clipboard. Every signature is precious to the campaign. Jumped on a bus and headed back to campaign headquarters to return petitions. By the time I arrived home with a rented movie [X-Men], my feet and calves were screaming.

Next day, June 14th, I joined my friend Gail in going to northern end of Greenpoint to an awesome ice cream shop, plus check out the area, and then leisurely strolled back along Franklin Street. This street has developed a lot over the past 8 years with many boutiques, cafes, stores, etc.

Tuesday evening, June 16th, I attended the NYDoP speaker event at HealthyBody and Carol Hillson gave a wonderful lecture on “Restorative Circles”.

Wednesday evening, June 17th, I headed down to Brooklyn Heights and talked with Doug Biviano at his City Council campaign headquarters on Montague Street. To learn more about his campaign, go to http://www.bivforbrooklyn.com/ . Afterwards I got a tour of charming Grace Court, and the awesome roof garden views of Doug’s apartment building.

Thursday morning, June 18th, I had an emergency appointment with my foot doctor in lower Manhattan regarding serious pain on top of my left foot. Yep, the same foot that in October / November 2007 gave me troubles with Plantar Fascia. After an examination, X-rays and two painful shots into my foot, I learned that I have Neuroma [ie: inflammation of nerves].

Early Sunday afternoon, June 21st, I joined Doug Biviano in petitioning for signatures in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. He needs 900+ signatures to get on the ballot for the NYC primary on September 15th.

Wednesday evening, June 24th, I attended a panel discussion and forum on Afghanistan’s, which was hosted by “Brooklyn for Peace”. The guest speakers were Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, who’ve written a book called “Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story”. The authors have traveled to and reported on Afghanistan for over 30 years. The evening’s discussion was regarding this war which is destroying the lives of thousands in that country, undermining domestic reform in the USA, and may yet become the next Vietnam. The Q&A segment was very lively and at times passionate in discussion.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

LATEST IN NATIONAL NEWS

Interview with Cynthia McKinney Regarding Obama Administration – Bushism without Bush
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQN_3rn9Cy

Moyers Interviews Robert Reich on "Who Runs Government"
http://www.truthout.org/061509A
Bill Moyers, PBS: "Despite the speech President Obama made at a Wisconsin Town Hall meeting this week, the question now is will he push back against the profiteers of health care? A powerful coalition has emerged to keep the profit in sickness and disease - the Business Roundtable, the Chamber of Commerce, the big drug companies, the insurance giants, Rupert Murdoch's media empire, all of them opposed to what my guest says is real health care reform."

Obama and Anti-War Democrats
Norman Solomon
http://www.truthout.org/061809A
Norman Solomon, Truthout: "As a close vote neared on a supplemental funding bill for more war in Iraq and Afghanistan, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that 'the White House has threatened to pull support from Democratic freshmen who vote no.' In effect, it was so important to President Obama to get the war funds that he was willing to paint a political target on the backs of some of the gutsiest new progressives in Congress."

Senators Held Stock in Bailed-Out Banks
R.Wilson & K.Bogardus, Focus
http://www.truthout.org/061309Z
Reid Wilson and Kevin Bogardus, The Hill: "Senators who oversee the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package held stocks in many of the banks bailed out towards the end of last year, according to financial disclosure reports released Friday."

The American Empire Is Bankrupt
Chris Hedges
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/06/15-0

Obama’s New Economic Plan: The Good, the Bad and the Weak
Nomi Prins, Mother Jones
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/140770/obama's_new_economic_plan:_the_good,_the_bad_and_the_weak/

Obama’s Emerging Legacy: Wars, Bankers and For-Profit Healthcare
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/obama%E2%80%99s-emerging-legacy-wars-bankers-and-profit-healthcare

ObamaCare: A Non-Existent Health Plan That Begins with Cuts
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/obamacare-non-existent-health-plan-begins-cuts

Pearl Jam’s New Album ‘Backspacer’ Slated for September Release
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/entertainment/pearl-jams-new-album-backspacer-slated-for-sept-release_100199979.html

Petraeus Is a Failure – Why Do We Pretend He’s Been a Success?
Fred Branfman, Truthdig
http://www.alternet.org/world/140827/petraeus_is_a_failure_--_why_do_we_pretend_he's_been_a_success/

US and Kyrgyzstan Sign New Air Base Deal: MP
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/06/23-2

Obama Running Scared
Helen Thomas
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/06/23

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Come Meet Team Biv!
Come and meet the team this week at our brand new Campaign Headquarters (89 Montague St in Brooklyn Heights, corner of Hicks St. and just a couple blocks from the beautiful Brooklyn Heights Promenade in NYC). Team Biv will be hosting back-to-back fundraising events this Thursday, June 18th from 5:00 - 8:00 PM and Friday, June 19th from 5:00 - 9:00 PM. For a suggested donation of $10 come have some cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and meet and greet with Doug Biviano and his brand new staff. Speaking of whom, we are very excited to introduce:

Campaign Strategist, Wilson Karaman, (978) 578-2786
Campaign Manager, Henry McCaslin, (513) 646-2240
Public Relations Consultant, Frank Lentini, (917) 699-5450
and The real life version of the Incredibles

Kick it with us on the stoop, Brooklyn Style! And bring the kids - we've got plenty of fun activities for the whole family!

RSVP appreciated but not required.

If you can't attend our events ... We really need your help volunteering for ballot petitioning -- it's vital for us to get on the ballot. Even an hour or two of your time can make a huge different in helping us secure a place on the ballot. Also, the best part about making a campaign contribution? Doug Biviano is participating in the public financing system the first $175 of any donation by a NYC resident is matched 6:1 by the city!

So please put the word out via email, facebook, twitter and even good ol' fashion word of mouth! And for every contribution, I'll toast to restoring our local economy by fighting for healthcare reform, standing up for our schools and public parks, and a greener New York!

Doug Biviano - Candidate for NYC City Council
Brooklyn's 33rd District
www.bivforbrooklyn.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kucinich on Supplemental: “Cash for Clunkers and Bunkers”
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=131451

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today [June 9th] made the following statement against the war supplemental on the House floor:

“It is good that our Administration is reaching out to the Muslim world. It is bad to spend another $100 billion to keep wars going which will kill innocent Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“It is good that we try to create an incentive for people to buy efficient cars. It is bad that the car vouchers will not be expressly for the purchase of cars made in America. It is even worse that we tie such an incentive to a war funding bill. Cash for clunkers and bunkers in the same bill!

“Cash for more war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Cash to help China sell its cars to Americans. Meanwhile, back in the U.S. of A., factories and auto dealers are closing, people are losing their businesses, their jobs, their homes, their health care, their investments, their retirement security."

“Who are these people who keep coming up with these innovative ideas to keep wars going and to move jobs out of America? Who are these people?”

[Duchess Note - While all this has been going on since Sept 2008, its taking away the focus on "Goldman Sachs", who continue their "rape of America" with the aid of the Bush/Cheney, and now the Obama Regime.]

Taxing Grandma to Subsidize Goldman Sachs - Sacrifices of American retirees are helping pay off Wall Street’s losses
Peter Morici, Business Week
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30229503/

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

PERSONAL NEWS #163
Saturday, May 2nd, I took MetroNorth up to Stratford, CT for an afternoon visit with my good friend Katherine. We snacked on a tasty meal at a local Red Lobster and caught up on lots of news. Afterwards we stopped by her home to enjoy a visit with her hubby and grandson. From there we travelled down to Norwalk, CT to do some shopping at several of our favorite shops, and then it was back on MetroNorth bound for NYC.

Sunday, May 3rd, I attended a Josh Skaller City Council Campaign Party, which was hosted at Marjorie and Alan’s home in Brooklyn Heights. Nice turnout at the party and I ran into an acquaintance of mine [P.Brown], whom I hadn’t seen in 1 ½ years. After the fundraiser bit; Josh talked about Gowanus Canal, Atlantic Yards, education, condos, Mayor Bloomberg, MTA, homeless issues, being transparent and he’s for “less testing”. Josh also recommends that NYDoP CCR Team contact Yetta Kurland and Brooklyn Democrat Clubs about R627. I’ll bring up this info at next CCR Team conference call.

Thursday, May 7th, I attended TGTSNBN meetup at Café Metro. This meetup was called “Witch & Stitch” and about 15 to 20 of us showed up to knit, crochet or do needlework. Marci showed us a lovely, long scarf she’d finished recently with the Ravenclaw house colors. Had a fun time, chatting with other members and mostly sat with Deborah and Deanna with our knitting.

Saturday afternoon, May 9th, I joined my friend Jackie in taking one of the tours at “Lower Eastside Tenement Museum” on Orchard Street in Manhattan. I’ve never walked around this part of Manhattan and it’s a fascinating area, along with its history over last 150+ years. Jackie and I took a tour regarding an Irish family from the 1860s who lived on Orchard Street. Walking through some of the tenements made me realize that my Brooklyn apartment isn’t small. These tenements had no utilities or other amenities that we take for granted these days. Just a basic apartment with a small parlor, kitchen and bedroom; plus the tour was very informative and even provided us with a slideshow. I really liked the gift shop and if had some extra funds would have picked up books on NYC during the 19th century. Afterwards Jackie and I strolled up Orchard Street to have a nice brunch at an outdoor café. [Weather was slightly overcast and abit muggy.] Then we were off for our own walking tour through lower Eastside, Chinatown and Little Italy. Stopped for ice cream along the way near Columbus Park and then parted company on Canal Street. Very enjoyable outing with Jackie.

Sunday evening, May 10th, I participated in a NYDoP CCR conference call to prep for our “meetings” with City Council members on Monday, May 11th. All part of the “Peace wants a Piece of the Pie” campaign.

Wednesday evening, May 13th, I watched the season finale of LOST. It started at 8pm and on through 11pm … it was amazing, intense and we finally got to see Jacob.

Friday evening, May 15th, I attended the Friday Nite Knits meetup in Brooklyn at “The Oak & Iris”. Hadn’t been to this particular meetup for many months and it was lovely hanging out with the gals.

Saturday evening, May 16th, I joined my friend Jackie in seeing the new Star Trek movie, which we both enjoyed a lot. I went in with some reservations about this film, but was surprised on how good it was, as well as funny. I highly recommend it and the visuals were awesome. Afterwards we jumped on the E train for Greenwich Village and had leisurely dinner at Fiddlesticks on Greenwich Avenue.

Tuesday, May 19th, I participated in the NYDoP board meeting at a new location near Madison Square Park. Really good meeting, allot accomplished, most of the board members attended and also one of our interns [Claire].

Thursday, May 21st, I participated with other NYDoP CCR Committee members in our first “in person” meeting, which we held in Bryant Park, as the weather was very nice out. It was a good, productive meeting, plus one of the interns [Claire] attended.

Friday, May 22nd, I volunteered with City Harvest at the Union Square farmers market.

May 23rd through 26th – I spent a nice, long Memorial Day weekend visiting my parents in upstate NY. Weather was pretty decent most of the time and got outdoors a lot. Helped Dad with yard work and I attended some yard sales with Mom. I visited the gals at “Over the Moon” bead/gift shop and as always we get talking about national/local politics. I took my parents out the breakfast at the “Country Gal Café” and enjoyed some tasty fixins. I also visited Cambridge cemetery, Memorial Day parade, farmers market, shopping, hair salon, bike riding, cable TV and just plain ole relaxing by the fire pit. Overall a good weekend.

Saturday evening, May 30th, I joined my friend Linda in seeing the film “Angel & Demons” in the Sheepshead Bay area of Brooklyn. Huge cinaplex in that area near the water and a lot of people on lines to see Disney’s UP and “Night at the Museum”. We both enjoyed the new Ron Howard film, though I have to admit the “DaVinci Code” was a slightly better movie.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND – Upstate NY
Photobucket
[Duchess family homestead in upstate NY]

Parents Garden
[My parents garden and landscaping is quite lovely]

Photobucket
[I adore the deep, lush purple shade of Lilacs & the scent is lovely]

Cambridge Cemetery
[Views of the cemetery in Cambridge]

More views of the lovely cemetery in Cambridge
[More lovely views of the Cambridge cemetery]

Dad in Memorial Day Parade
[Dad participating in the Memorial Day parade in upstate NY]

Monday, June 08, 2009

MESSAGE FROM JIM DEAN AT DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA – Josh Skaller for NY City Council

If you are an active DFA member in New York, you probably know about Josh Skaller. He's a long-time DFA activist and has served as a director of the local volunteer DFA group, Democracy for New York City, for the last 4 years. Now he's running for a City Council seat in Brooklyn's 39th District.

After years of activism, Josh is fed up. The plea for good government reform continues to fall on the deaf ears of entrenched politicians -- particularly in New York City. When Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council overruled the voice of NYC voters to extend term limits, it was the final straw.

Josh Skaller is the only DFA-endorsed candidate in the race for District 39.

On the New York City Council, Josh Skaller will work with fellow reform-minded leaders to affect real, lasting changes in the way the city conducts its business and relates to its citizens. At a time when billionaire Mayor Bloomberg dominates city politics, Josh Skaller will use his position to empower like-minded local community groups and organizers and give them a strong voice at City Hall.

Josh Skaller knows New York is a place where true progressive leadership is really needed and where it has the potential to take hold and set the tone for the country. His goals fall under five agenda points:

Revitalize New York's economy
Protect Brooklyn's neighborhoods
Enforce accountability and transparency in all areas of city government
Improve the lives of all New Yorkers
Build a sustainable and prosperous future

Josh has been working with you to move this country forward. Now it's up to us to work with him. Please volunteer, make a contribution, call a friend in the District ... support Josh Skaller any way you can. Thank you for everything you do.

[Duchess Note: I am a proud supporter and volunteer on the J.Skaller campaign. We need more true progressives like Josh, not only in NYC, but around the country. His campaign is funded by "we the people" and doesn't take a dime from Corporate Lobbyists.]

Ten Questions For Everyone Who Supported Obama
by Stewart Browne

Dear Supporters of Barack Obama,

You presented Mr. Obama as the candidate of change. You attached that word to his face and plastered it across the country. Change We Can Believe In. Change From Day 1. The Candidate of Change. It's time for Change in America.

On election night, you announced to the world that Change has come to America . You hijacked Google so that the first search result for Change led to Obama's change.gov web site.

America responded. Clearly, the country was in the mood for change. Bush left office with dismal polling numbers, some of the worst ever, and Obama's victory was decisive. Not only did your guy win the White House, but his party locked in a solid majority in both houses of Congress. The first quarter of Obama's first fiscal year is now closing...

1. How much change has Obama brought to America?

His first major decision was announced before he was sworn in. The country was in the throes of the worst economic firestorm in a century, and the markets demanded to know who would be the new Treasury secretary.

The candidate of change chose the man who constructed all the corporate bailouts of the Bush Administration.

2. Who might McCain have chosen as his Treasury secretary?

and...

3. If Bush were given a third term, what role might Timothy Geithner have played in it?

4. Were you expecting Obama's financial rescue program to be the same one proposed by the Bush Administration last fall?

5. When you voted for him, did you think Obama would propose and oversee the biggest piece of fascist corporatism in American history?

Your guy just gave a trillion dollar gift to the bankers who drove their companies off the cliff and took the global economy with them. He put together a complicated scheme where the taxpayer ensures that neither the stakeholders in the insolvent banks nor the wealthiest institutional investors have to take a loss.

6. Why is Obama giving even better deals to the financial tycoons than they got under Bush?

All this makes me wonder...

7. Is the Obama Administration in the pockets of the big banks, or are they just getting rolled?

8. Are you sad that Obama is escalating our wars overseas?

Hidden in his super mammoth budget is a huge increase in defense spending. Obama wants to spend 2 percent more in the next fiscal year than President Bush allocated, and 9 percent more than we spent last year.

The bulk of this increase is in Afghanistan, where even Time Magazine can't help but notice that the Obama plan is very reminiscent of something else we've heard.

9. Are you excited that Obama has initiated a Surge of his own?

Shortly after taking office, Obama announced he'd add 17,000 troops to the 36,000 already in Afghanistan . A few weeks later, he made a surprise second announcement that he was sending 17,000 more.

And more troops is just what he announced. In addition to the soldiers and civilians, Obama is also overseeing enormous growth in the number of private military contractors set to operate in Afghanistan.

An army of mercenaries, a quagmire of a war with no exit strategy, even a Surge -- it doesn't sound terribly different from what we've been getting. Gee...

10. Who is Obama's Defense Secretary?

Oh yeah, the same one who served under Bush.