January 2009


100-daysAlternet has defined where the newly elected President should begin his 100 days. Some of which can be done right at his very first day while some will need the help of legislative bodies. With the broken and stained reputation that the Bush administration has left, Obama needs to bold the tough times.

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Bush Executive Orders: As Obama himself said of his first 100 days when campaigning in Denver, “I would call my attorney general in and review every single executive order issued by George Bush and overturn those laws or executive decisions that I feel violate the constitution.”

Economic Stimulus: Stop the bleeding — through expanded health and unemployment benefits and providing real aid to beleaguered state and local governments so they can sustain essential public services.
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Iraq: Present plan and hold to your timeline for withdrawal.

Health Care Reform: Begin immediately by expanding health insurance to kids and passing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program legislation vetoed by Bush.

Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights: Repeal the Global Gag Rule that requires NGOs receiving federal funding to neither promote nor perform abortions in other countries.

Energy and the Economy: Announce a clean energy strategy that will reduce oil dependence, address global warming, create thousands of green jobs, and improve national security. Groups like the Apollo Alliance, Center for American Progress, and Natural Resources Defense Council have strong and concrete plans in this regard. Incorporate elements of this plan into stimulus package.
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Bailout for Main Street: Work to ensure that homeowners have real opportunities to renegotiate mortgages and remain in their homes.

Poverty and Inequality: Appoint a Hunger Czar — as Senator George McGovern and Congressman Jim McGovern call for in a recent op-ed — who would “coordinate the various food, nutrition and anti-poverty programs… to increase the independence, purchasing power and food security of every human being.” Announce your commitment to the goal of cutting poverty in half in ten years.

Labor and Trade: Reject Colombia, Korea and Panama trade agreements as currently written and ensure future agreements promote the public interest. Work towards passage of Employee Free Choice Act.

Science: Allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Global Warming: Reverse the Bush EPA decision and allow California to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. Call for a new climate treaty and ask Al Gore to lead that effort.

Guantnamo: Close it, and try people in the US or resettle in countries where they face no risk of persecution or torture. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof offers a compelling idea to “turn it into an international center for research on tropical diseases that afflict poor countries… [serving as] an example of multilateral humanitarianism”

Detention: Close all CIA black sites and secret detention sites. End extraordinary rendition. Abolish preventive detention that allows people to be held indefinitely without charge. Initiate criminal investigations into programs of rendition and secret detention. End trials by military commission. End opposition to full habeas corpus hearings for detainees in Guantnamo and other similar situations. Make known the names and whereabouts of all those detained in rendition and secret detention programs.

Torture: End use in court of any evidence obtained through torture. Officially reject all memos, signing statements and executive orders that justify the use of torture. Establish an independent commission of inquiry into all aspects of detention and interrogation practices in the “war on terror.” Announce administration will work for redress and remedy for victims of human rights violations for which US authorities are found to be responsible.

Protect Dissent: Ensure that the FBI adheres to surveillance guidelines. Open Justice Department investigation into surveillance related misconduct. Pledge to end all secret surveillance programs not reviewed by courts or congressional committees.

Limit State Secrets Privilege: issue new Executive Orders that reverse the expansion of state secrets privilege and the over-classification of documents. Pass legislation making it clear that military contractors are accountable for abuses.

Roll Back Executive Power: Repudiate unitary presidency. Renounce use of signing statements as a tool for altering legislation. Pledge to abide by the War Powers Act and end abuse of Authorization to Use Military Force. (Or as Bruce Fein — a key player in the Reagan Justice Department — said, “Renounce presidential power to initiate war anywhere on the planet, including Iran.”)

Obama InaugurationThe newly sworn 44th President of the United States dances his first of the seven during the Neighborhood Ball with wife, Michelle. They danced sweetly in the tune of ‘At Last’ performed by Beyonce off-stage. The President is in white tie while the first lady graces a one-shoulder, floor-length shimmering white gown by New York designer Jason Wu. You could tell by the way they doted on each other how affectionate they are and what kind of unison they have. This ball they are attending is just one of the ten they pledge to go.
Obama Inauguration Home States Ball
The President, before started dancing, had even asked the celebrity and supporter attendeed how good his wife looks. That was typically Obama, always showing affection publicly to his wife by words or by action. There was even a time when he pulled the first lady closer, wrapped her with his arms, and locked his fingers together at the small of her back. At that time, it seems to the audience that they are violating some intimate moment but decided it was a lovely sight. A moment later, the President cut loose to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Sign, Sealed, Delivered’, a song played in the two years of his campaign across the USA. This song was performed by Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill, and Mariah Carey together with its real performer.

All these are happening while at the Commander in Chief Ball, Vice President Joe Biden is saluting the nation’s men and women in the army. He addressed all those present in the ball that he is not looking forward for his moment in the spotlight. What he meant is that he is not dreaming of standing in the dance floor for a minute of dancing with all the people’s eye riveted on him and his wife.

usDays before the 16th President of the United State Abraham Lincoln’s 200th anniversary of birth, President Barack Obama will swear before millions of Americans and allies to be the 44th leader of the most powerful nation in the world. As a great fan of the Lincoln, Obama themed his inaugural speech from Gettysburg Address ‘A new Birth of Freedom’.

From Lincoln’s speech:

The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

It seems a great coincidence, Obama giving his inaugural speech days before his idol ex-Presidents birthday at a distance where his memorial and immortal words are scribed. I think this is actually a moment for the new President who in his early age has been looking forward to be where he is now. And it will also be a great moment for us, indeed! We who never thought that when this time comes we will be led by a black president to a democratic rebirth!

Friends say that I am a very impulsive buyer. Kerreeekkkk! I really am, and I am like one of those online shopping stores that have categories or product days. When I get the feeling of buying something, a phone for example, I tend to overdo it. It’s always ‘buy till you drop’ for me! I don’t know, I just get the hang of it and I feel good with it. Just the other day, I took home a complete set of personal computer. Nothing is wrong with it, I know but until you know that I already got one at home. And mind you, what I bought is a lower version! And later, I am to check out another set. Oh no, don’t tell me to just quit because I feel like I am an addict. I just cannot stop.

And I have my favorite places and sites where to find my latest craze. Usually, I’ll be juggling all of them to see if there are new items or anything. Later though, I found out that there are so many other items I can get my eyes on in much lower price because they are not paying advertisings. And my sites are just some of those that are advertising only the paid ones. Good thing, I have learned about shop wiki dot com. Here, I can check out any item that is for sale anywhere in the web. And for more of my computer
choices, I can always find the bests in town!

sendianefeinsteinChair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies Sen. Dianne Feinstein has announced on a press conference that the Inaugural Speech of the incoming president of the US, Barack Obama, will be themed on A New Birth of Freedom. This is very relevant to the immortal words of his idol, 16th US President Abraham Lincoln whose memory stands in a distance from the National Mall.

Here’s an excerpt from the Chair:

“A New Birth of Freedom” commemorates the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The words come from the Gettysburg address, and express Lincoln’s hope that the sacrifice of those who died to preserve the nation shall lead to “a new birth of freedom” for our nation.

The inaugural theme, which was selected by Senator Feinstein and the members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, will be woven through the inaugural ceremonies. The theme is traditionally linked to a major anniversary, and in her announcement Senator Feinstein spoke of the appropriateness of the chosen theme to our present day circumstances, particularly in light of the historic election of Senator Barack Obama.

In addition to Senator Feinstein, the members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies include: Senator Bob Bennett, Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer; and House Republican Leader John Boehner.

“At a time when our country faces major challenges at home and abroad, it is appropriate to revisit the words of President Lincoln, who strived to bring the nation together by appealing to ‘the better angels of our nature’,” Senator Feinstein said. “It is especially fitting to celebrate the words of Lincoln as we prepare to inaugurate the first African-American president of the United States.”

“On January 20, as President-elect Obama takes the oath of office, he will look across the National Mall toward the Lincoln Memorial, where the sixteenth president’s immortal words are inscribed. Although some inaugural traditions have changed since Lincoln’s time, the swearing-in ceremony continues to symbolize the ideals of renewal, continuity, and unity that he so often expressed.”

directional chartGee, I can’t believe that my time at home is about to end. Today, I am busy preparing my things so I can board the bus later in the afternoon. But then I have too, unless I wanted to get fired; which is definitely, not an option for now. Everyone is going sick of the glooming world economy with the US struggling in their own recession. It is unlikely for anyone to go loathing their current jobs as there are less and less opportunities coming. In fact, there had been so many who have lost their jobs just the other month. Our company alone has retrenched around 30 employees. I am one of those that are considered lucky.

At the same time, my nieces and nephews are milling around my room. They kept on asking where I am going and when will I be back. They also want to know when I will be able to take them along, which is a little difficult to answer. Of course I don’t have the heart to put them down, but then, it’s not also a good thing to promise. I am working hundreds of miles away from home and what I have out there is just a bed and my share of space. I tell them I will be back after 13 days of waking ups.

At noon, the kids are still with us. They get a treat of generous lunch with great dessert. My mom is a great cook, and they earned it anyway after helping her prepare the food. I am just looking, enjoying the food and the sight of a happy family. I can’t ruin this scene just because I feel sad out there or simply getting tired of my job. Maybe someday, when our company gets better in terms of financial gains, they might expand and find a good place somewhere nearer home.