By Charlotte Dennett
ConsortiumNews.com, February 28, 2010
ConsortiumNews Editor’s Note: As President Barack Obama is busy promoting a new generation of “safe” nuclear power plants, residents and legislators in Vermont are taking action to rid their state of nuclear power.
In this guest essay, Charlotte Dennett explains why Vermonters have come to distrust what they’re told by the owners of the Vermont Yankee plant:
A driving snowstorm could not keep Vermonters away from the statehouse in Montpelier as the Vermont Senate convened a historic debate and then voted on the future of the state’s aging nuclear power plant.
Some 1,300 people – most of them standing before live video coverage outside the small, overcrowded Senate chamber — listened to several hours of respectful debate that even included the proposition of building a new nuclear power plant in Vermont as per President Obama’s pro-nuclear agenda.
But when it was all over, senators from both parties resoundingly voted against a last-minute amendment for a new plant to replace the old one, and similarly defeated re-licensure of Vermont Yankee in 2012 by a vote of 26 to 4. Continue reading
…If Obama wants to revive the American economy, he needs to adopt a much more aggressive program than has been contemplated to date. Specifically, he needs to address the chronic shortfall in workers’ incomes and the recent collapse of middle class wealth which are the root causes of the crash. The most effective way to do that is with a Manhattan Project-like program to reconfigure the way the nation uses energy.
Such a program would be surprisingly inexpensive, especially when compared to the $14 trillion dollars handed to the banks in the recent bailout. It would not only resuscitate employment and incomes and, therefore, American living standards, it would revive American competitiveness in the world, reduce its dependency on Middle Eastern oil, and improve the economy’s impact on the environment. In all of these ways, it would prove a huge boon the American people and the world….
from “Why Obama’s Economic Plan Will Not Work—And a Better Plan” by Robert Freeman, January 17, 2010 at CommonDreams.org
Letter, New York Times, 1/28/10
President Obama’s State of the Union address had a high point when he pledged that anyone with a “better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.”
Thank you, Mr. President. The answer is the reform supported by 65 percent of the public and even 59 percent of physicians. It’s remarkably simple, and the nation has already had 44 years of successful experience with it in financing health care for our elderly and the totally disabled.
It is, of course, Medicare-for-all, single-payer, not-for-profit national health insurance. Its superiority lies in excluding profit-seeking insurance companies and Big Pharma from controlling and undermining our health system. This is your answer, Mr. President.
Chicago, Jan. 28, 2010
The writer, a doctor, is national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program.
Seth Kahn, Here Comes Trouble, February 10, 2010
Dear Tea Party Activists:
When are you going to get this? I’m not talking about the Republicans in Washington, DC, or the ones who write the talking points memos. I’m talking to you, the “activists,” the ones who believe you’re the vanguard of a revolution.
It’s hard to be the vanguard of revolution when you’re such buffoons. Here’s a simple example of how flagrantly wrong you are–
Barack Obama is not a socialist. He’s not anti-capitalist. He doesn’t advocate workers’ controlling the means of production. He doesn’t advocate government control of much of anything.
Your leadership keeps telling you contradictory things, both of which you continue to repeat willy-nilly. On the one hand, they tell you Obama is a socialist. On the other, they tell you he’s in bed with the banks, financial planners, pharmaceutical companies, and insurers. If your IQ is above 20 or so, you ought to see the problem with that. It’s NOT POSSIBLE to be both anti-corporate and in bed with corporations at the same time. Continue reading