Code Pink To Dems: Stop Drone Warfare, Bust Up Big Banks


by Pamela Powers Hannley
I knew when I saw that hot pink bra on the sidewalk, I knew that Code Pink must be nearby. 
Code Pink, the women-initiated peace and social justice group, protested the War on Women at the Republican National Convention. Their message for President Barack Obama and Democrats targets the military-industrial complex.
At the People's Convention, sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin spoke against war– particularly drone warfare– and called for Congress and the President to make dramatic cuts to the military budget.
Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, is a highly vocal peace activist.
At the PDA event, she said that there are strong, powerful men like Arizona Senator John McCain, who are standing up against cuts to the military budget, which are scheduled to go into effect due to sequestration.
But where is the movement to protect Pel Grants, Medicaid, and other social programs? she asked. According to Benjamin, the US could cut the military budget by 80% and still have the largest military in the world.
"Slash the Pentagon and put that money into life-affirming activitieis, which is what the people on the planet need," Benjamin demanded.
Attacking the other sector of the military-industrial complex, Benjamin and other Code Pink protesters wore pink bras on the outside of their clothes and shouted "Bust up the banks" in front of Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte, host city of the Democratic National Convention.
Video after the jump.

Undocumented protesters arrested outside of Democratic Convention

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by Pamela Powers Hannley

Ten undocumented protesters from Arizona were arrested late Tuesday afternoon outside of the Time Warner Arena in uptown Charlotte, as Democratic National Convention delegates watched.

Chanting in Spanish and English, the protesters– surrounded by media and conventioneers with smart phone cameras– quickly marched toward the arena where First Lady Michelle Obama was scheduled to speak.

As throngs of convention delegates bustled down the sidewalk, the small band of Latinos laid a large yellow mat decorated with butterflies in the middle of the intersection and sat in protest of US immigration policies. Just as quickly, they were surrounded by police on foot and on bicycles. Although it was difficult for passersby to see them, we could hear their stories and feel the passion. 

More details and video after the jump.

First Lady Michelle Obama owns the convention


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

First Lady Michelle Obama owned the convention last night with a brilliantly written emotive speech that connected on an emotional level with the delegates in the hall and viewers at home. This was a masterful speech that will be remembered as one of the great convention speeches, certainly by a First Lady.

And let's not forget that Michelle Obama is a skilled attorney. She deftly destroyed the narcissistic GOP meme of their convention, which took the words of President Obama out of context, to assert that "we built it" (all by ourselves). Transcript: Michelle Obama's Convention Speech

Like so many American families, our families weren't asking for much.

They didn't begrudge anyone else's success or care that others had much more than they did…in fact, they admired it.

They simply believed in that fundamental American promise that, even if you don't start out with much, if you work hard and do what you're supposed to do, then you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grandkids.

That's how they raised us…that's what we learned from their example.

We learned about dignity and decency – that how hard you work matters more than how much you make…that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.

We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters…that you don't take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules…and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square.

We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean…and we were taught to value everyone's contribution and treat everyone with respect.

Those are the values Barack and I – and so many of you – are trying to pass on to our own children.

That's who we are.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro delivers the Keynote Address

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a rising star in the Democratic Party, is the first Latino to deliver the Keynote Address at the DNC National Convention. And boy howdy, did he deliver a speech! Mayor Castro rocked the house and he did it with a confident smile. Transcript of Julian Castro’s remarks at the Democratic National Convention:

Now, like many of you, I watched last week’s Republican convention. They told a few stories of individual success. We all celebrate individual success. But the question is, how do we multiply that success? The answer is President Barack Obama.

Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it. A few months ago he visited a university in Ohio and gave the students there a little entrepreneurial advice. “Start a business,” he said. But how? “Borrow money if you have to from your parents,” he told them. Gee, why didn’t I think of that? Some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn’t determine whether you can pursue your dreams. I don’t think Gov. Romney meant any harm. I think he’s a good guy. He just has no idea how good he’s had it.

We know that in our free market economy some will prosper more than others. What we don’t accept is the idea that some folks won’t even get a chance. And the thing is, Mitt Romney and the Republican Party are perfectly comfortable with that America. In fact, that’s exactly what they’re promising us.

The Romney-Ryan budget doesn’t just cut public education, cut Medicare, cut transportation and cut job training.

It doesn’t just pummel the middle class — it dismantles it. It dismantles what generations before have built to ensure that everybody can enter and stay in the middle class. When it comes to getting the middle class back to work, Mitt Romney says, “No.” When it comes to respecting women’s rights, Mitt Romney says, “No.” When it comes to letting people marry whomever they love, Mitt Romney says, “No.” When it comes to expanding access to good health care, Mitt Romney says, “No.”

Actually, Mitt Romney said, “Yes,” and now he says, “No.” Gov. Romney has undergone an extreme makeover, and it ain’t pretty. So here’s what we’re going to say to Mitt Romney. We’re going to say, “No.”

Gov. Deval Patrick: ‘In Massachusetts, we know Mitt Romney’

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick focused his convention speech on his predecessor's record in Massachusetts, something that Willard "Mittens" Romney rarely talks about. "In Massachusetts, we know Mitt Romney." 2012 Democratic National Convention: Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by The Honorable Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusett:

In Massachusetts, we know Mitt Romney. By the time he left office, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation—during better economic times—and household income in our state was declining. He cut education deeper than anywhere else in America. Roads and bridges were crumbling. Business taxes were up, and business confidence was down. Our clean energy potential was stalled. And we had a structural budget deficit. Mitt Romney talks a lot about all the things he's fixed. I can tell you that Massachusetts wasn't one of them. He's a fine fellow and a great salesman, but as governor he was more interested in having the job than doing it.

When I came to office, we set out on a different course: investing in ourselves and our future. And today Massachusetts leads the nation in economic competitiveness, student achievement, health care coverage, life sciences and biotech, energy efficiency and veterans' services. Today, with the help of the Obama administration, we are rebuilding our roads and bridges and expanding broadband access. Today we're out of the deficit hole Mr. Romney left, and we've achieved the highest bond rating in our history. Today—with labor at the table—we've made the reforms in our pension and benefits systems, our schools, our transportation system and more that Mr. Romney only talked about. And today in Massachusetts, you can also marry whomever you love. We have much more still to do. But we are on a better track because we placed our faith not in trickle-down fantasies and divisive rhetoric but in our values and common sense.

Gov. Patrick then rallied the troops with an impassioned plea to Democrats to work their hearts out:

If we want to win elections in November and keep our country moving forward, if we want to earn the privilege to lead, it's time for Democrats to stiffen our backbone and stand up for what we believe. Quit waiting for pundits or polls or super PACs to tell us who the next president or senator or congressman is going to be. We're Americans.

We shape our own future. Let's start by standing up for President Barack Obama.

Video below the fold.