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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS A DILEMMA - And I'm Part of It


U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (L) and senior adviser David Axelrod (2nd L) look on during a news conference at the White House briefing room December 7, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama held a news conference after he had announced a deal with Republicans to temporarily extend Bush-era tax cuts to all tax brackets. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

I am on the email list that receives frequent messages from the Obama administration. Today, I got one about the tax breaks issue with a video from President Obama and a form to write a comment. I took the opportunity to say some things off the cuff. I used to spend a lot of time, editing my letters to him. But this one is a quick message.

I am concerned about the division in this country, notably the racism that is rampant since people feared Barack Obama would possibly be President. And now, there are transparently many who feel they have constituent support to cause President Obama a failure, even at the cost of the "health" of the country. This is not the United States of America that Barack inspiringly said was not a country of blue or red states. It is a country that is facing loosed racism at the cost of saving any integrity as a country.

President Obama is in a tough position. Being the first African American President carries weight that no white person could imagine.

When I was in New Hampshire working for Obama for America, Barack Obama said that he couldn't do what needs to be done alone, that we as citizens needed to be part of the solution. And he also said, that when he was off track, he welcomed hearing from us. Well, he is hearing from us, today, I suspect. Especially those of us, who were with him, now we feel he is not with us.

December 7, 2010


To President Obama,


If I wasn't so frustrated with President Obama, I would be more outraged. The Republicans want to make President Obama's Presidency something that they can spin to their advantage and President Obama is playing on their team.


I am a 61 year old white woman - not in the demographic that voted him into office. And yet, I not only voted for him, I went way outside my comfort zone and knocked door-to-door for him in my state of RI and incurred the personal expense to work for his campaign for one week leading up to the New Hampshire primary. It was an economical hardship for me to do so. And I donated to his campaign repeatedly, though I shouldn't have, as I am in a financial situation that may cause me to lose my house this coming year when my pension gets slashed when I turn 62 years old.


I say all this, because I did all of this because I believed Barack Obama would be the President that he said he would be. But he hasn't been. To start with, I am a world citizen who is an activist to end genocide and he has been thoroughly disappointing regarding Darfur. General Gration has been a disaster of a Special Envoy and he still has that job.


I will not, not - go door-to-door or do phone banking (which I did in 3 states) for him next campaign. This time I will not vote “for” him, but “against” his opponent. And I believe he needs people like me to be excited about his Presidency. We were the backbone of his winning candidacy.


President Obama needs to "spin" better than the Republicans. And not only has he not done this, he hasn't even "sold" his "victories" that he has done. Unlike me, most citizens don't watch his every move, as well as members of Congress. So he needs to become a better salesman of what his administration has done and what needs to be done. Fire us up again or the fire we have building inside will be in opposition to a man we once voted for.


And the racism that has come boldly out of the closet needs to be addressed directly. It is not healthy for this country.


Respectfully,


Sandra Hammel


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2009 incomes of leading Republicans
who are fighting for millionaires over middle class taxpayers


Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky)
Average $19,929,018

Rep John Boehner (R-Ohio)
Average $3,570,547

Rep Eric Cantor (R-Va)
Average $4,854,578

Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine)
Average $28,612,527

Source: www.opensecrets.org


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Benefits for Retirement of Senators and Reps at
www.senate.gov/reference/reference
(they introduce and vote for their own benefits)



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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


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Some other problems I have with President Obama ~

To President Obama ~

*This is unacceptable from any man with principle:

"President Obama grants waivers to Chad, the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen, which use child soldiers but are strategically important to the US. The waivers mean military aid will continue."

*Obama-waives-sanctions-for-four-countries-that-use-child-soldiers

How do you square this with your principles of children's human rights? You are compromising your soul.

Sandra Hammel


*Obama-waives-sanctions-for-four-countries-that-use-child-soldiers

By Howard LaFranchi, Staff writer / October 29, 2010

Washington

As a senator, Barack Obama supported legislation requiring the United States to cut off military aid to countries recruiting and deploying child soldiers.

This week as president, Mr. Obama acted to ensure that four countries found to use child soldiers – but which are also considered key national security interests – do not lose their US military assistance. Obama heeded the recommendation of a State Department review and waived application of a year-old law on child soldiers in the case of Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen.

In a Oct. 25 presidential memorandum, Obama said he had “determined that it is in the national interest of the United States” to waive application of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act for the four countries.

Click the link to read the entire post.

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Obama White House pressured Spain to drop Bush torture prosecution, leaked cable shows

obama-spain-bush-torture-prosecution

The Obama administration went to the mat to defend its predecessors from a torture prosecution in Spain last year, a leaked State Department cable shows.

The cable, released by WikiLeaks this week, shows that senior US diplomats teamed with Republican lawmakers -- including a former Republican Party chairman -- to put pressure on Spanish officials to drop a criminal investigation into the Bush administration's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques."

In the spring of 2009, Spanish Judge Balthasar Garzon launched an inquiry into six Bush officials linked to the torture policy. They were then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; Cheney adviser David Addington; Pentagon lawyer William Haynes; Pentagon official Douglas Feith; and Jay Bybee and John Yoo from the Office of Legal Counsel.

According to Mother Jones' David Corn, US officials began to put pressure on Spain almost as soon as the probe was announced.

Soon after the request was made, the US embassy in Madrid began tracking the matter. On April 1, embassy officials spoke with chief prosecutor Javier Zaragoza, who indicated that he was not pleased to have been handed this case, but he believed that the complaint appeared to be well-documented and he'd have to pursue it. Around that time, the acting deputy chief of the US embassy talked to the chief of staff for Spain's foreign minister and a senior official in the Spanish Ministry of Justice to convey, as the cable says, "that this was a very serious matter for the [US government]." The two Spaniards "expressed their concern at the case but stressed the independence of the Spanish judiciary." Read more at the link above.

Click the post title to contact the Whitehouse.

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A Separate Part of This Post

Has to Do With Darfur

and following a team the next several days

who is over in Chad

visiting a Darfuri refugee camp

~ A Must See ~

stopgenocidenow.org/iact/iact9

Teamwork and Technology

Posted by Gabriel on December 7th, 2010

It was nice to see Yuen-Lin (YL) and Eric (E) live on our computers last night. We tested the three way communication using the equipment we’ll be using out in the refugee camps. It was quick and pretty simple. Out here, there’s no high speed internet. There’s no medium speed internet. There’s slow and slower. To be able get on a video conference with someone halfway across the world is, in reality, no simple task. Except that our tech team makes it easy for out here, even if we don’t exactly understand how they do it.

img_0087.jpg

I remember when I first spoke with YL, using basic technology - a phone. He called me from Malaysia, where he was spending some time with his family. I told him how we wanted to come out to Eastern Chad, spend time in the camps with the refugees, and, oh by the way, we wanted to upload video from the middle of the desert, where there is no infrastructure at all. After hearing me, YL said, “Hmm…I see. It is not my area of expertise, but I will find a way to do it. I’m in.”

Back then, technology was not close to what we have right now, and it’s still quite a challenge to do what we do. We’re just lucky to have YL and E and our team.

img_0060.jpg

Oh, I also have to thank VSee Lab, who provides the video conferencing software. It’s amazing that we can stream video through such low bandwidth! Thanks also to Eric Talman at SatellitePhoneStore.com, who has been great to work with for our satellite service. And, since I’m in thanking mode, thanks to the great team at the Darfur Dream Team office in DC! We are involved in a complex program, and they are managing so many parts of it, but it’s nothing but a pleasure to work together with them on this very basic concept, connecting people to people.

It’s definitely all about teamwork!

G

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