Tag Archives: white house

We The People, Your Voice is Worthless

we_the_people11The White House “We the People” petition site — where citizens lobbied for issues such as LGBT rights and the “construction of a Death Star” — was temporarily shut down on Monday.

The Trump administration said the platform, created during the Obama administration, will return in late January as a new site.

A White House official says the move will save taxpayers $1.3 million annually.

The site launched in 2011 and was initially named “We the People.”

Some of the petitions caught on as viral stunts while others addressed more serious concerns.

In 2015, the death of Leelak Alcorn sparked a petition on the site to ban “conversion therapy.” It received more than 120,000 signatures.

The 17-year-old Alcorn left a online note before committing suicide that explained how religious therapists had tried to convert her.

As a response to the petition, President Obama called for an end to “conversion therapy” for gay and transgender teens.

In a statement posted on the site, a senior adviser to Obama said the White House shared the concern about conversion therapy’s “potentially devastating effects” on LGBT youth.

In November 2012, a petition asking the Obama Administration to “begin construction of a Death Star” was met with a less than enthusiastic response.

“The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it,” read the statement from Paul Shawcross, chief of the science and space branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

“The Administration does not support blowing up planets. Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”

The Death Star is a moon-shaped battle station in the science fiction film “Star Wars.”

The official from the Trump administration said that all existing petitions and responses will be restored next year.

Petitions that reach the required 100,000 signatures will begin receiving responses.

Among the recent unanswered petitions that have met the threshold are calls on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns and to place his assets in a blind trust.

These are some of the petitions that have hit the 100,000 signature threshold:

WE THE PEOPLE
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Common Sense Test

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PBS talk show host Charlie Rose, right, interviewed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Sunday in Damascus. His interview will air on PBS at 9 p.m. EDT Monday. PBS NewsHour Weekend’s Hari Sreenivasan spoke to Rose Sunday. Listen to their conversation below.

MDC says, the whole war propaganda play is getting almost comical. “The common-sense test says he is responsible for this,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said of Assad during a round of Sunday network interviews. “He should be held to account.” MDC says, The common sense test? WTF is the common sense test? Give the American citizens a break and stop bullshitting.

Rose also said Assad “suggested that there would be, among people that are aligned with him, some kind of retaliation if a strike was made.” Assad, however, “would not even talk about the nature of the response,” Rose said.

“He had a message to the American people that it had not been a good experience for them to get involved in the Middle East in wars and conflicts … that the results had not been good,” Rose said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Charlie Rose on Sunday that he is preparing for a U.S. strike, and that Syria and some of their allies would retaliate. I spoke with Rose, host of the PBS program that bears his name, as he was boarding his flight back to the United States after interviewing Assad in Damascus, Syria, Sunday morning. It is the first interview the Syrian president has given to an American network in nearly two years. The approximately hourlong interview took place at the presidential palace.

Rose said that Assad denies he had anything to do with the alleged chemical attack on Aug. 21 which the U.S. administration reports killed more than 1400 Syrians.

President Barack Obama has planned a media blitz on Monday when he is expected to discuss his latest attempts to build support for a military strike against Syria. The president has granted interviews to several network news anchors including PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill. The president also plans to address the nation Tuesday night to make his case directly to the people on the need for military action in response to what he believes is the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

Assad also said that he finds chemical weapons abhorrent and equates them to nuclear arms as weapons of mass destruction, Rose said.

Rose’s entire interview with President Assad will be aired on PBS at 9 p.m. EDT Monday. Excerpts will be released Monday on CBS This Morning as well as CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. Rose works for multiple programs on both PBS and CBS.

The Stock Act

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A year ago President Obama signed the so-called STOCK Act. The point of the act was to allow the public to see for themselves if members of Congress and their employees were trading on material, non-public information. “The STOCK Act: Bans Members of Congress from Insider Trading” was the bolded headline at the top of a lengthy and self-congratulatory press release.

Last Monday the White House website took the guts out of the STOCK Act in one run-on sentence under the headline “Statement by the Press Secretary on S. 76.” Those so inclined are invited to read the memo themselves. The gist is that disclosures will no longer be practically available for all employees but only for the elected officials, which means staffers, lobbyists, employees, aides and anyone who works for or is close to a serving politician can do whatever they want. Corrupt officials could theoretically still dish insider info with little fear of discovery — it’s just hard for them to trade off of the information themselves.

The idea of transparency is to remove doubt about conflicts of interest and malfeasance, real or imagined. When the rules are quietly changed to such a degree, it defeats the purpose entirely.
Hank Smith of Haverford joined Breakout to discuss this backtracking. “We only have ourselves to blame because we’re the ones voting these clowns in,” notes Smith in the attached video. It’s a fair point, but the government doesn’t make it easy for the public to see these flip-flops. The STOCK Act passage was on the front page. When it got de-fanged, the announcement was so buried that only the most hardcore of wonks could find the news.

Smith thinks the existing regulations are deeply flawed but more than sufficient to level the investing playing field if the same rules applied to everyone and were enforced consistently. When the laws are baffling and when those entrusted by the public to look out for citizens quietly carve out exemptions for themselves, the STOCK Act and everything of the sort is little more than a cynical attempt to con the unwitting.

It is our responsibility, as voters, to raise our collective voice against the double-dealing sleaze like the phony STOCK Act and its quiet neutering. If you’ve read this far, take it to the next level: Let your Congressperson know you’re mad as hell and you’re not going to take it anymore.

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White House Raises Petition #

 

MDC says the White House couldn’t handle all the people throwing your experiment back in your face I guess.

White House raises petition signature threshold to 100K. We the People platform quadruples the number of signatures required on petitions before they merit the Obama Administration’s attention. MDC says, this just eliminated the small civil rights fighter without social media or community assistance to raise awareness.

Future petitions to the White House to build a Death Star, have Piers Morgan deported, or fire Aaron Swartz’s prosecutor will have to attract more support to merit the White House’s attention.

Beginning today, petitions filed on WhiteHouse.org’s We the People platform will need to log 100,000 signatures in 30 days to receive an official response from the Obama Administration, quadrupling the previous minimum of 25,000.

The higher threshold will “ensure we’re able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve,” Macon Phillips, the White House’s director of digital strategy, wrote in a blog post today. “This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist.”

Activity on the petitions platform skyrocketed in late 2012, with the average time that petitions took to cross the 25,000-signature platform being slashed from 18 days during the first 10 months of the year to 9 days for the last two months. More than 60 percent of the petitions receiving 25,000 signatures last year did so in November and December.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people using We the People to add their voices to important policy debates here in Washington and bring attention to issues that might not get the attention they deserve,” Phillips wrote.

 

UNCLE SAM

MDC shares a little riddle for your morning.

I do not like this Uncle Sam,
I do not like his health care scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks,
or how they lie and cook the books.
I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.
I do not like ex-speaker Nan ,
I do not like this ‘YES, WE CAN!’
I do not like this spending spree —
I’m smart; I know that nothing’s free.
I do not like your smug replies,
when we complain about your lies.
I do not like this kind of hope.
I do not like it — nope, nope, nope!

                    Go Green – recycle the White House!