Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bankers, Financial Speculators & Lobbyists React in Horror to idea of a "1% Sales Tax on Wall Street"

Update: After helping launching a campaign to save California through a 1% tax on speculative trading activities, we expected some pushback from the Wall Steet financier clique and their powerful lobbying arm, the Chamber of Commerce - and here it is:

from the March 11th edition of The Guardian)
US Chamber of Commerce slams Tobin tax proposals

Indeed, the bankers are correctto fear for their excessive profits, which are squeezed out of the working people by such tricks as speculating the price of gasoline up to $4.50 a gallon (from which Goldman Sachs profited about $1.00 each gallon) via speculation in ICE trading, futures markets, and market manipulation.

From San Diego to the City of London, those who WORK for a living are starting to look at the concept of a "Sales Tax on Wall Street", (a VERY modest one, mind you) of only 1% on each securities trade over $1 million in valude, compared to the 8.25 to 10.25% sales tax that Californians must pay on necessities like school supplies.

The idea of taxing speculative trades was proposed by Nobel prize-winning economist James Tobin in 1972. Recently, Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and union leaders in the AFL-CIO have joined this growing and urgent call to implement small levies on speculative trades in a way to help rescue failing cities, counties and state governments.

I am very pleased by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's howls of impotent fury in response. There are few greater compliments than to have one's ideas attacked by the paid 'Meretrices' of the parastic financiers -- it gives the proposal for a "Tobin Tax" idea a sharp edge, and credence.

As New Dealer Franklin Roosevelt said in 1933, "The Wall Street Banks hate me; and I welcome their hatred." We will see more push-back from Wall Street. As the popular movement to save states like California, Iceland, New York, Greece and Spain gathers international steam, we will be treated to the spectacle of Wall Street and its lobby arms starting to look like Rush Limbaugh at a PRIDE parade -- the Chamber will be sputtering in rage, howling epithets and protestations of purple fury.

In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (which is currently aggressively lobbying against any Consumer Financial protections) howls, if a Sales Tax on Speculation is implemented the "stock market will plunge" -- and it "would hurt Main Street!"


Think about it: we Californians pay nearly 10% in sales tax on things like our kids' school supplies and shoes. The hedge funds, banks, and entities like Goldman Sachs pay ZERO sales tax on their speculation on oil, electricity, commodities, mortgages, and the like.

As these ideas percolate up through our consciousness, and gain traction, the Chamber and allies on Wall Street (and San Francisco's financier establishment) will surely launch a howling and distortion-fueled PR campaign of opposition -- and with every fear-inducing soundbite coming across the TV screen, you will be further convinced of why the bankster class, engorged with wealth transferred from your pocket to their, fears such ideas so much.

The good news? If such a modest sales tax were to be implemented, Wall Street will survive. In fact, resilent as ever, the markets will simply adapt away from pure speculation and "betting", and towards productive investment. (Right now, pure bets of billions and trillions are the most lucrative, precisely because they face no regulation nor fee.)

What will happen to California if we don't get serious about calling for similar "Tobin tax" proposals coming into legislation? Without a revenue-producing giant like this (capable of turning $15 to $60 billion annually), the chances of the state of California surviving as we know it are slim.

The threat of California bond debt default looms, which can only be avoided with savage cuts across critical functions. (Hedge funds are already buying and selling positions in order to turn a profit on a California default, believe it or not. JPMorganChase and other large financiers have already placing large bets on Greece and Spain defaulting, and stand to make a killing. (Literally.)

Why do we believe that a small "Tobin Tax" on speculative trades may be able to help rescue the Golden State, which faces a $20.7 billion shortfall? The world-wide notional value of derivatives trades (and all securities transferred) annually has skyrocketed to estimated $743 trillion to $1.5 quadrillion. California's fraction of that trading is estimated at well over $6 trillon each year. One percent of Six Trillion is a big number.

Here's our proposal: Make all derivative trades reportable, just like equity trades are (i.e. stocks) -- and levy a 1% tax on trades of over $1,000,000 annually -- so that it is a "Millionaire's Tax" -- and a fairly modest one, at that.

What follows is a short resolution submitted to the California Democratic Party and a number of political clubs.

Emergency California Economic Stabilization via a One Percent Sales Tax on Wall Street Speculation”

Whereas reckless and unregulated financial speculation by investment banks and hedge funds in securities transactions, particularly the use of derivatives to manipulate markets, has contributed to spikes in California prices of electricity, oil, and commodities via a hidden and massive financier “tax” on working people, and speculation results in the siphoning of capital away from investment desperately-needed productive manufacturing enterprises, and

Whereas the State of California is in a state of budgetary crisis, with a predicted deficit for 2010-11 of at a staggering $20.7 billion, and faces greater rounds of austerity measures, including cuts to fire crews, educators, and police, coupled with continually increasing unemployment and a contracting tax revenue base,

Whereas of California’s fraction of the est. $743 to $1,500 trillion global annual securities and derivatives turnover, investment banks and hedge funds operating in California currently pay zero sales tax on speculation and trading, in contrast to the highly regressive sales tax of between 8.25% to 10.25% paid by Californians on purchase of items including children’s shoes and school supplies;

Therefore be it Resolved that the [institution or group ] proposes that “Wall Street banks” and hedge funds pay a fair share in California through the levy of a 1% “Sales Tax on Wall Street” (aka “Tobin Tax” after Nobel Prize Winning Economist James Tobin) on all securities transfers of greater in value than cumulative $1,000,000 per year per seller (exempting the vast majority of retirement-associated investment moves) and that over-the-counter derivative transactions currently hidden be made reportable and subject to the same levy, particularly speculation in oil futures, credit derivatives, commodities, foreign exchange, and mortgage-backed securities,

Be it further resolved that a such a “Sales Tax on Wall Street ” on securities transfers, notably may generate revenue of between $15 and $60 billion in the first year, and be used for the purpose of lowering or eliminating the California state budget deficit, to reduce tax burdens on job-creating small businesses, and off-set or reduce California’s high personal income tax, all of which would have a net effect of creating a desperately-needed new sources of revenue for California, as well as returning investment flows towards creation of job-producing enterprises and productive manufacturing (including energy-efficient technology), rather than to the reckless speculative “casino finance” currently created by investment banks and hedge funds.

Authors: Mike Copass & Derek Casady, San Diego CA

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

News Release: Lutz for Congress 2010

Ray Lutz for Congress 2010
CONTACT: Raymond Lutz, Candidate, U.S. Congress, 52nd District / 619-447-3246
1265 Avocado Blvd Suite 104-335
El Cajon, CA 92020

March 8, 2010

Citizens' Oversight Advocate, Blackwater Foe Enters Congressional Race

Citizens' Oversight Projects (COPs) founder Ray Lutz declares candidacy for the 52nd Congressional District

SAN DIEGO, CA (March 8) – Ray Lutz, advocate for citizen oversight and activist who fought with the community against Blackwater expansion in San Diego, took out nomination paperwork and paid fees today to formally declare his candidacy for the the 52nd Congressional District, encompassing most of East San Diego County.

Lutz responded to an overwhelming response to the “Draft Ray Lutz for Congress” campaign, only active for a couple of weeks and resulting in a landslide of support from the community, even with residents still hard-pressed by the economic meltdown.
“I feel like George Bailey, surrounded by friends and neighbors as they try to cover the lost check at the bank,”
Lutz said.
“One fellow said he was completely strapped but was able to pledge $2.17 -- like the woman asking for money at the Bailey Savings and Loan, and willing to accept just a couple of dollars to get her through the week. Tears come to my eyes -- I thank everyone for their kind and unwavering support.”
Lutz was initially reluctant to run, but now he says he has no choice but to respond to the tidal wave of support. “You've got a candidate now!”

This grassroots support is in stark contrast to that of Lutz's ultimate opponent, who inherited his seat through name confusion (he has the same name), and who has a long list of favors to repay, continuing from the first 28 years of his father's regime. But today, the voter is sophisticated enough to see through the glitz. More than ever, we obviously need to shed the "good ol' boys" incumbent legacy.

Lutz says he intends to push for a “Green Manhattan Project” to build solar panel plants across the country, and especially in the 52nd district. “We need solar panel manufacturing plants, not more outdated and polluting fossil-fuel power plants or dangerous nuclear plants,” Lutz said.

Lutz explained that we are, at the present time, at worldwide peak of oil production. In the next few years, the amount of oil that can be produced will decline, while at the same time demand will continue to increase. The developing countries of India and China, for example, will increase their demand by 15% per year. The result is that we will face a dramatic change in the energy landscape, from cheap and plentiful to costly and scarce energy supplies. Even if we drill all we can, it won't alter the larger trend.

Lutz is also noted as one of the leading opponents to the Blackwater mercenary training camp in Potrero, and then the expansion in Otay Mesa and at Southwestern college. He says he will be pushing for enactment of the “Stop Outsourcing Security Act” which will defund and outlaw private mercenary forces such as Blackwater (AKA “Xe”).

But that’s not the only important issue for Lutz. He’s also been an active opponent of the Sunrise Powerlink, a massive 500kV transmission line planned by Sempra Energy and San Diego Gas & Electric. The transmission line was planned to go directly through the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park but is now slated to run along a southern route taking private property from backcountry residents and going through the pristine El Monte valley.

“The Sunrise Powerlink has little to do with the energy needs of the San Diego area, and it is not required to tap into renewable plants in the desert. Instead, SDG&E has admitted their long-term plans will mainly benefit the LA market with Mexicali power plants dodging California smog regulations and using fuel imported from Asian sources through Mexico. This proposal takes us in the wrong direction and costs $7+ billion over the life of the project with little, if any, benefit to my district.

“Instead we must push for rooftop solar, local generation, and conservation. We are on the precipice of dramatic change, and we must not continue to repeat mistakes from the past.”
Lutz included health care, the economy, and jobs in his top issues.

Lutz is a native of East San Diego County and is also the founder of watchdog group Citizens’ Oversight Projects (COPs). His website, includes a careful analysis of many other important issues confronting our region and state. He is a resident of the unincorporated county area bordering on the City of El Cajon. Lutz and his wife operate a private school in El Cajon, and he sells electronic devices into the medical marketplace for drug-free treatment of ailments such as ADD, austism, and migraines. He has a Master of Science degree in Electronics Engineering from San Diego State University. His novel, Coils of the Serpent, describes a linkage between DNA science and biblical texts and is available at

> Please visit to submit your pledges to the campaign.
> Please endorse the Stop Outsourcing Security act here:
> Read the full report of the COPs review of the Registrar of Voter's office:
> Visit for background on Blackwater.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Update: Homeless, Stranded No Longer (AMIKAS)

Young woman living on San Diego streets and shelters receives transportation home to Texas from benefactor -- feel the AMIKAS energy moving forward!

Wednesday March 4th, 2010 (San Diego) -- In a previous posting on this page, I recounted that Jeeni & I had met a San Diego homeless "Street Family" with ersatz "Mom" and "Dad" , and few more. The self-assembled family group rotates between 8th and 10th, helping each other with meals, water, finding shelter, providing companionship and assistance to each other.

In a follow-up that might cheer you, a reader of this blog reached out found a way to contact the young woman on the streets who wanted to go back home to her family in Texas. The reader, a San Diegan, bought the girl a Greyhound bus ticket, and met her at the Broadway Bus Terminal to see her off with a "Bon Voyage." (young woman, benefactor are not pictured) A very kind gesture by a member of the San Diego community -- and a sign that if simply take a moment, and take an action, we can do wonderful things. Like help families who are already helping each other!

From February 10th:

"The "family" on the San Diego sidewalk, with gear, blankets, and puppies, proudly talked about having already helped each other stay safe, dry, clothed and fed. The family included a young ex-Marine named Matt with a leg injury, aka "Dad" and "Mom" -- a homeless woman who looks after their small cluster.

(Pictured at above, right: Jeeni Criscenzo of AMIKAS, and Street Mom & Dad)

The street family's small bivouac in the East side of Broadway area was abuzz with tales about their own organizing activity -- this impoverished group was collecting money to help a young woman, abandoned by her partner, to get Greyhound ticket back to her mom in Tyler, Texas.

A cold wet sidewalk - or a jail cell (a possible penalty for "obstructing" the sidewalk) - is hardly a place for such energetic warmth and humanity."

If only each of us could be moved to take a simple action. For those who have a home to get back to, let's offer a helping hand, extending the compassion we would hope others would extend to us or our loved ones.

For those that need a home, we can create them.

For those that need work, we can create those jobs -- trading with an updated version of a non-debt-based monetary system, like many of our grandparents did during the Great Depression.

For those that are already forming "families" -- let's create a way to keep that family structure, and build on it.

With the vision of AMIKAS, nearly 2000 human beings -- including families, kids in school, moms, dads, working people, who currently live on the streets, in shelters, or in their car, could be housed and provided with the opportunity to work towards their own betterment and that of their community.

People are ready to work, want to work, but having a job does not = housing. Fully ONE THIRD of all San Diegans who spend time living in their minivans, on the streets and in shelters have jobs, and are working people -- but they can't afford rents and mortgages in San Diego.

So, kids who need a desk to study at -- instead read in the Pollo Loco, sleep in minivans, and bathe in the sink at school. Dads sleep on the street, so that the family can stay in the shelter. Inevitably, the family unit is strained, and suffers.

The success of the AMIKAS project seeks to re-create the family structure, by providing clusters of housing for 10 people, with very modest personal space surrounding a common area. Farming, learning, teaching, work, recovery, libraries, recreation centers, sustainable currency, sustainable energy, water recycling -- its all in the AMIKAS business plan.

A compassionate San Diegan reached out and helped a young girl get home last week to her mom. But for those San Diegans who ARE the moms, the dads, they have to create a home, here. It's not sustainable to shuttle the working poor and homeless from County Services to Shelters to Streets to City Jail to Courts to County Services and back.

Let's try something new.

I can see the cardboard signs, already: "AMIKAS: Will Work."

(See petition to advance the AMIKAS "re-creation" project here in San Diego -- and show the rest of the nation 'how we do in the 619')

Mike Copass

Monday, March 1, 2010

California Emergency Economic Stabilization via One Percent "Sales Tax on Wall Street"

Today, banker Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, warned investors that "California is at greater risk than Greece" for default.

Dimon, (pictured at right) who holds a seat on the Board of the New York Federal Reserve bank, may in fact be in a position to make a very educated assessment -- made with the precision that comes from a lifetime of taking huge bets and hedging against default risks, a strategy which has created record profits for JPMorgan Chase recently, despite the hardship experienced by nearly everyone else, save Goldman Sachs, a fellow practitioner of the "dark side" of the financial arts.

California faces a massive budget deficit of $20 billion -- and growing -- which may precipitate a debt crisis not dissimilar to that of Greece. Despite the already-bloody axe that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken to the state budget, including cuts in subsidies for medications necessary to life for those living with HIV/AIDS and diabetes, Schwarzenegger now demands that the legislature must come up approximately $9 billion more in state budget cuts over the next 16 months. Failure is not an option; default on California bond payments would trigger a tsunami of credit rating downgrades on the state's bonds, and foreclose on the California's ability to borrow in the future -- not unlike the effect on personal credit of mortgage default or missed credit card payments.

But where are the solutions? To deal with the debt crisis, California faces brutal choices, either proceed with massive cuts including laying off hundreds of educators, peace officers, and state fire crews, or revert to issuing IOUs, a stop-gap measure at best, according to Treasurer John Chiang. The austerity measures envisioned for California are tantamount to "death by Banker" -- and default would make the Golden State the nation's first failed state.

Should the state increase taxes? California residents already pay between 8.25% and 10.25% sales tax, even on necessities like a child's shoes, and the current state income tax already has the "Tea Party" movement issuing calls to arms.

But what about the fees on transfers of securities, such as bonds, credit default swaps, and mortgage-backed assets, and the alphabet soup of Wall Street's securitized instruments (CDO, MBS, ABS, etc)?

It may come as a surprise, but the state of California imposes no fee on the sales of these arcane and largely speculative financial instruments, many of which first came to our attention during the collapse of Bear Stearns, nor on any securities transfer. Period. This, despite the fact that California's own Orange County was forced into bankruptcy, having lost billions gambling in the derivatives game, with the connivance of Wall Street's Merrill Lynch & Co.

Furthermore many of the most complex structured finance products are traded "over the counter" designer derivatives bets which ought to be cleared on regulated exchanges. Proprietary and speed-trading systems churn further billions daily at banks and hedge funds from San Francisco to San Diego. All in all, not a dime's sales tax is levied on California's fraction of the estimated at $1,500 trillion of annual securities transfers world-wide. (In case it didn't register, that's $1.5 quadrillion dollars, a sum that dwarfs the GDP of the planet many times over.)

Therefore, as one pillar of an urgent "Emergency Economic Stabilization Program" for California, we issue a call for a small fee to be imposed on the sales of securities -- not the 8.25% rate paid by a working parent for a child's shoes, but a far more modest one percent sales tax, payable by the seller of the security or paper instrument. Moreover, this "Tobin Tax" (named after the Nobel-prize winning economist James Tobin who first proposed it) would only be levied on securities trades of over $1,000,000 in value per year, exempting the vast majority of California households making sales or trades in their personal investment portfolio.

This securities transfer tax (SST) would truly be a "Millionaires' tax" -- and may be critical to generating the kind of annual revenue streams California so desperately needs to stay afloat and thrive. Moreover, in addition to staving off collapse, a securities transfer tax could provide the foundation for California's eventual recovery and growth, allowing the state to invest in large scale infrastructure projects, such as the maglev & high-speed rail project, massive renewable energy arrays, and improvements to shipping ports, all of which would support California's organic economic growth.

How much annual revenue could this modest "Sales Tax on Wall Street" generate? By requiring all securities transfers to be reportable, including the opaque and obscure derivatives market, and subject to a small sales charge, a conservative estimate suggests that California could raise $15 to $50 billion per year in revenue through such a plan. (Precise estimates are difficult to calculate, since the trades of many structured financial products are not reported.)

We fully expect howls of protest from bankers and hedge fund managers like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Goldman Sachs and the titans of private equity. They have become accustomed to profiting through massive daily trading operations, even during the recession, and earning large bonuses as a result of the trillions in securities traded. Let us welcome the howls of Wall Street rage. It would be a small price to pay for what could be gained. Unlike many services that the state of California provides, speculative financial trades are not essential to human life.

In the year 2010, California faces no easy choices. It is time for California to seriously consider a 1% tax proposal on securities transfers, for the sake of its survival, and for the people, the children and grand-children of the Golden State.

The author is a former Candidate for United States Congress, currently working with the San Diego homeless, working poor and the new victims of the economic collapse.

Mike Copass

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

From City Hall to City Streets: AMIKAS outreach on Tuesday February 9th

Wednesday February 10th, 2010 (San Diego)


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of accompanying Jeeni Criscenzo to two appointments in to offices of City Hall. We brought AMIKAS information to the Chief of Staff of Councilmember Tony Young, where we met with Mr. James Slack and Mr. Bruce Williams. Later, we had a separate meeting with Ms. Raquel Maden, a policy advisor to Councilmember Ben Hueso.

Jeeni (left, at City Hall) brought a copy of her professional-grade AMIKAS business plan, which has carefully calculated budgets, timelines, and goals for creating a sustainable working neighborhood in San Diego.

With the vision of AMIKAS, nearly 2000 human beings who currently live on the streets, in shelters, or in their cars could be housed and provided with the opportunity to work towards their own betterment and that of their community.

After sharing the business plan and AMIKAS concept with City Hall, (see photos of meeting with Mr. Sack and Williams in the Councilmember Young office) Jeeni went out on 9th Avenue and talked to San Diegans living on the streets.

These included a young ex-Marine named Matt with a leg injury, and his "mother" -- an older homeless woman who looks after their small cluster. Their small bivouac in the East side of Broadway area was abuzz with tales their own organizing activity among the homeless -- this impoverished group were collecting money to help a penniless young woman, abandoned by a new husband, to get Greyhound ticket back to her mom Tyler, Texas.

The "family" on the sidewalk, with gear, blankets, and puppies, proudly talked about having already helped each other stay safe, dry, clothed and fed. (Photo of Jeeni with "Mom" and "Matt", wearing his Marine battle dress trousers aka "BDU" - where you can see the USMC logo, in detail.)

A cold wet sidewalk - or a jail cell - a possible penalty for "obstructing" the sidewalk - is hardly a place for such energetic warmth and humanity.

To help Matt the Injured Marine, his "Street Mom," their ersatz family unit, and hundreds of other self-assembling street families like them, AMIKAS needs a space of about 75 acres of arable land in a quiet place not to urban but not too far from Downtown and mass transit.

We may have found the perfect location at an Executive Golf Course near University of San Diego, where the City has land. The golf course and open space is for the purpose of recreation.

It is very apt that the City documents specifies the critical importance of public lands as being for "recreation" -- or "re-creation" if you change the emphasis. It is high time that San Diego considers a way to "re-create" itself, and AMIKAS will be foundational aspect of the "Recreation of San Diego."

With the waves of an economic tsunami beginning to rise, with 10,000 people on the streets and in shelters -- San Diego' social services simply cannot absorb new people into too-few beds, and too few jobs.

Forget the hope of a "bailout" -- the State is bankrupt, the City is too, and our city and region will have to bail ourselves out -- or more accurately, not "out" -- but rather "Up." The old ways have been tried, and we need an Addendum to our skill-set of living. The "old ways" aren't wrong, they are merely insufficient to meet the task.

A "bail-UP" --and by stroke of the pen (or 5 pens, precisely) it's do-able. We need to start by getting the AMIKAS plan on the November 2010 ballot. Jeeni and AMIKAS board members will continue meeting with un-housed San Diegans, City Council representative, the Regional Task Force on Homelessness, the Girls Think Tank, and other stakeholders.

Mike Copass
AMIKAS Secretary

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Will Congressmen Bilbray, Issa & Hunter support Obama's War Funding Request?

Obama Seeks Record $708 Billion in Defense Budget

President Barack Obama on Monday asked Congress to approve a record $708 billion in defense spending for fiscal year 2011, including a 3.4 percent increase in the Pentagon's base budget and $159 billion to fund U.S. military missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The White House budget request also included $33 billion in additional funding for fiscal 2010 to pay for increasing military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and drawing down U.S. forces in Iraq. That comes on top of $129.6 billion already provided for the current fiscal year, which ends September 30.

The Pentagon's base budget request of $549 billion is up $18 billion from $531 billion in fiscal 2010, and will pay for continued reforms of defense acquisitions, development of a ballistic missile defense system and care of wounded soldiers.

The budget also calls for cancellation of several major weapons programs, including Boeing Co's C-17 transport plane, saving $2.5 billion, and a second engine for the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet, saving $465 million in fiscal 2011 and more than $1 billion longer-term. The White House tried to kill both programs last year, but lawmakers revived them during the budget process.

The second engine is being developed by General Electric Co and Britain's Rolls-Royce as an alternate to the main engine built by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

The proposed budget also kills plans for development of a new Navy cruiser, scraps plans to replace the Navy's EP-3 intelligence aircraft and halts work on a missile early-warning satellite, opting instead to upgrade the Space Based Infrared System satellite already being developed by Lockheed.

The budget proposal also calls for a delay in replacing two new Navy command and control shops until after 2015, a move the White House said would save $3.8 billion across the Pentagon's five-year defense plan. The Navy had planned to buy one command ship in 2012, and a second one in 2014.

Procurement of a new amphibious vehicle being built by General Dynamics Corp for the Marine Corps would be delayed by one year, saving $50 million in fiscal 2011 and cutting risk by allowing more time for testing.

The Pentagon also said it would further reduce its use of high-risk contracts in areas that related to time, material and labor hours by 17 percent through the end of 2011.

The budget underscored the administration's commitment to a "robust defense against emerging missile threats," saying it would pay for use of increasingly capable sea- and land-based missile interceptors and a range of sensors in Europe.

The Pentagon's budget continues to fund new weapons already under development, including the F-35 fighter, a new ballistic missile submarine, a new family of ground vehicles and the P-8 surveillance aircraft built by Boeing.

It will also pay for more unmanned planes, helicopters, electronic warfare capabilities and cybersecurity measures.

Overall, the budget includes $112.8 billion for weapons procurement, up from $104.8 billion in fiscal 2010, and $76 billion for research and development, down from $80 billion.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

David Swanson on "Undoing the Imperial Presidency"

January 15th, 2010 (San Diego, CA)

Has the executive branch taken on more authority than is proper for our Constitutional system, creating a dangerous "Imperial Presidency?"

Mike Copass interviews David Swanson, author of Daybreak

Author and nationally-recognized activist David Swanson came to San Diego as part of coast-to-coast tour discussing his latest book, "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Creating a More Perfect Union."

Swanson shared his views in an inteview with Mike Copass of San Diego-based Liberty One Radio. At a relatively youthful age, Swanson has already put in many years of media and activism at a high level of visibility, penning the introduction to "The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush," by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, and having served inthe labor movement for a year, serving as media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, which is the AFL-CIO's organization of labor media outlets.

In early 2005, Swanson was instrumental in publicizing the "Downing Street Memo," which directly implicated the highest levels of American and British government in covert collaboration to "sell" the Iraq war to the public based on false information. In response to this revelation, Swanson founded, and led a powerful campaign to use Congress's Constitutional authority to impeach and remove President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney for their role in the Iraq war deception and sales operation.

David Swanson's Speech to the San Diego Progressive Community, Jan. 15, 2010

Swanson serves on a number of high-profile boards and anti-war organizations. Swanson is a Director of, with Robert Fertik, and serves as a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, a nationwide grass-roots lobbying group.

Swanson reminded the audience that the struggle for justice may remind one of Sisyphus endlessly rolling the rock up the mountain, but that activists must find joy in the fight. Moreover, admonished the writer, "all relevant victories in social justice movements were not won by those who initiated them; rather, by successive generations that built upon their work."
More about Swanson's book "Daybreak" can be found here.

-Mike Copass, for Liberty One Radio