1. PROTECT OUR OCEANS.
I will fight to ban deep-sea trawlers. Massive fishing trawlers systematically move from one deep-sea ecosystem to another, crushing coral reefs, sucking up all living creatures and leaving vast areas of waste behind them that won’t regenerate for hundreds of years. In a single swoop, some boats are capable of clearing an area the size of 5000 football fields. Canada, Russia, and Spain lead the world in spreading this destruction throughout our most diverse and precious waters. Ban this practice - see my Second Bill
2 BIOFUELS FOR AMERICAN PROSPERITY AND TO ELIMINATE LANDFILL WASTE - CLEAN ENERGY
I believe in green investment. I support the research and development of alternative energy sources such as highly functional hydroelectric facilities, ethanol conversion, and biofuels facilities. I’ll support research and investment into alternative solar, wind, nuclear, and geothermal.
We need continuous and ongoing public investment in clean energy technology to develop new ideas and efficiency. Unfortunately, the high-profile bankruptcy of the solar company Solyndra will set back this goal. Clean energy investment should not be left to the "free market." We need government investment in energy innovation to realize a clean energy future. Federal investment in technological innovation has always successfully created economic growth. The Breakthrough Institute has documented in "Where Good Technologies Come From" that the federal government has made key investments in most of the technologies we take for granted, including the personal computer, the Internet, the jet engine, GPS, cell phones, the biotechnology industry, and many pharmaceutical advances. Such investment is urgently needed for innovation in clean energy technologies in order to make them cheaper, more reliable, and therefore more widely adopted around the world.
I support the federal energy loan guarantee program ARPA-E, the government's innovative, high-risk energy research agency. Boost it to $1 billion annually from around $200 million today. Clean Energy Deployment Administration aids the commercialization of first-of-their-kind innovations and combines it with significant private-sector capital to turn successful university projects into businesses.
In order to avoid the perpetual boom-bust cycle in clean energy - keep funding consistent. Some good projects worth noting: Waste Management's alternative to garbage burned and turned into electricity, including municipal waste and biowaste. Companies like Foss Manufacturing in New Hampshire are turning plastic bottles into useful products. This is especially important for the 51 billion plastic bottles generated a year - only 1 out of 5 are recycled. In far off paradise locations like Camilo Beach, debris from Asia reaches this area and plastic debris is all over the beach. The impact on marine life is significant. Fish mistake plastic for food. They ingest a toxic diet that leads to starvation. Toxic fish are ingested by humans. Plastic will not degrade for 600 years and so source-reduction is the only answer.
And my personal favorite project: Pyrolysis. All kinds of unwanted yucky stuff is turned into fuel: municipal waste, medical waste, biowaste, and even toxic chemicals. A newly invented continuous feed process is key! A vessel is heated to 1800 degrees and a series of chambers make a continuous feed which requires no cooling down - so the process can keep going and generating more energy which is continously returned to the grid.
We need self-sustaining, reliable energy for our country's long-term prosperity.
3. NO MORE GAS CHAMBERS FOR OUR PETS
(Please see my proposed Fourth Bill on this important issue) Ban the euthanizing of unwanted and abandoned animals in shelters by gassing. The use of carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide in a "gas chamber" is painful and horribly inhumane. Instead, shelters will use the humane practice of lethal injection. According to American Humane, "Currently, only nine states have laws that explicitly ban all forms of gassing for all types of animals in shelters (including ferals and wildlife): Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wyoming. Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Virginia have prohibited carbon dioxide and monoxide for shelter cats and dogs." Let’s fight so that all states ban "gas chambers" to euthanize unwanted shelter pets. Lethal injection is actually cheaper – there is no reason to continue the practice.
Additionally, according to The American Veterinary Medical Association, Guides on Euthanasia 2007 "Carbon Monoxide is extremely hazardous for personnel because it is highly toxic and difficult to detect . . . The advantages of using barbiturates for euthanasia in small animals far outweigh the disadvantages. Intravenous injection of a barbituric acid derivative is the preferred method for euthanasia of dogs, cats, other small animals, and horses."
4. I SUPPORT DODD-FRANK
Government must prevent the kind of abuses we saw in the sub-prime mortgage business. I support Dodd-Frank, which will regulate the derivatives industry. In the long run, our economy will grow again by creating jobs for all Americans.
Financial lobbyists are working hard to kill or water down Dodd-Frank. Wall Street has hired Mark Young of Scadden Arps to attempt to water down derivatives legislation. Sefcon it‘s called. They are asking members of Congress for “clarification” of Dodd-Frank. Their “clarification” is just an excuse to get into the politician’s office and attempt to influence to have the legislation dropped. If elected, the Wall Street lobbyist can skip my office. Regulation is to protect the least of us and is long overdue.
In the UK they are also attempting to regulate derivatives. The European Commission recently proposed regulations to limit investor positions in commodity derivatives and increase oversight of high-frequency and algorithmic trading. Also, the new rules require off-exchange brokers to meet the same trade transparency requirements as large exchanges. It also scraps transparency exemptions for derivative and bond trading. Good government regulation is the only thing that protects people from greed.
5. VOLKER RULE
Former FED chairman Paul Volker created a rule which prohibits “proprietary trading” but lobbyists fueled by big Wall Street firms are fighting to be allowed to continue making risky bets. They claim they should be allowed to do so with their "own capital.” But is it their own capital? Unfortunately they are gaining a lot of ground in that they have submitted a draft which dilutes the provision's original ban on "proprietary trading."
At issue is how regulators and banks define "hedging," or trades designed to offset risk taken by a bank, usually on behalf of customers. The law originally defined hedging narrowly as trades tied to specific bets. The new draft proposal says hedging can cover bank risk on fund-owned money. Regulators: just say no to the lobbyists. Ditch the draft - go with the original Volker rule and regulate these guys. No more bailouts.
6. UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE COVERAGE AND A PUBLIC OPTION
More than 47 million Americans have no healthcare coverage and live their lives one illness away from economic collapse. Millions more pay for complex and expensive private health insurance. We need sanity in the pricing. Case in point: Recently a friend of mine had an over-night hospital stay. Fortunately, it turned out that nothing was wrong with him. Medicare was charged $24,000 for a man who had nothing wrong with him. That's $1,000 an hour. That is ridiculous.
We need health care for all of our citizens including a public option for those who can't afford it otherwise. We need to shift our emphasis from disease care toward prevention. We need new technology and administrative standardization to reduce staggering overhead costs.
Americans need to be proactive about their health. A recently study said that 1/3 of all incidents of breast cancer were lifestyle related. I believe this is true. I am a cancer survivor and although I was never overweight, I did not have a healthy lifestyle. As Americans we need to be proactive about our health before the wakeup call of a significant health issue. I applaud First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to eliminate childhood obesity; I’d follow her lead to encourage this in our own state.
7. THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT FOR BRINGING OUR TROOPS HOME.
We should never have gone there. We were stupid as hell. The ignorant Bush administration was played into unnecessary war by a handful of Neoconsertives who are card-carrying Israelists (people who put the best interests of Israel before those of the United States – or on equal footing). I do not. I am neither Israelist nor Islamist – I am an American and I’m going to do what is in the best interests of my country. Please see my link on the Real Reason for the Iraq War.
According to Michael Scheuer invading Iraq was a huge strategic error that has cost our nation dearly. This war has damaged our military readiness, eroded our reputation and credibility around the globe, made our country less safe from terrorism, and cost taxpayers in our district alone an astounding $3 billion.
We now must help to navigate the delicate relationships among the Iraqi Sunni, Shia and Kurds and Iraq's neighbors. Most experts feel the new Iraqi structure of the government can never mirror our own. It could, however, mirror the Egyptian model where several ethnic groups are doled out seats in the congress based on population. I believe this is the only form of government that can work in such a fractionated culture.
Regarding the inevitable backlash for 600,000 innocent civilians we killed - we can only wait and see. This was a foolish war for Netanyahu and a handful of his minions, the Israelist Neconservatives. I believe you never get away with anything in life and we will all pay in some way, as a country. Our blind support of Israel and Israel's wishes has cost us dearly and will continue to errode our power and strength. The double-standard has gone on too long. Israel and AIPAC'S influence must be put in check.
Congressman Brian Baird spoke out on the floor of the House against the Israeli soldiers shooting children who were collecting rocks to fill in the holes in their houses that were made by Israeli gunfire. He is the first politican to speak out. He has the strength to do so because he is a lame duck. If half of our polticans at any given time were lame ducks - we'd have a very different Congress. AIPAC's power would be greatly diminished. So much lobbying power curtailed - so much good would come of term limits. See Baird in action.
If elected I would not seek re-election. I'm not going for a career - I'm going to fight for change. If I can't do what I set out to do in 6 years then I don't deserve to go back. I'm committed to fight. I’m willing to lead by example. Desperate measures are needed to break the stranglehold of lobby groups that currently have no checks and balances. AIPAC is a leviathan. Its unbridled power is the reason nothing ever gets resolved in the Middle East - and why we are unsafe. I’d fight at every opportunity to install term limits and campaign finance reform to curtail the unchecked power of lobby groups, especially AIPAC. Many members of Congress throw their country under the bus for their own political careers. We need to shift the tide away from that tendency; to do so we need to take the money and ambition out of the equation through term limits and campaign spending caps.
It wasn’t until 1951 that the presidency was limited to two terms by the 22nd Amendment of 1951. I support a Constitutional Amendment to limit the terms of Senators and Members of Congress (Please see my Constitutional Amendment). As with all Constitutional Amendments it would require 2/3 of state legislators to approve it. Senator Jim Demint (R-SC) has worked very hard on this but these bills don't seem to make it past the mark-up section. There is no way these guys are going to vote themselves term limits - we must take it to the state level.
9. REVERSE BAD BUSH POLICIES
Reverse the Bush tax cuts. Fortunately the Bush tax cuts will expire saving $1 trillion on tax cuts for the rich. We spent $2 trillion on two unnecessary wars. Never forget that this deficit was caused by a disastrous unnecessary preemptive war in Iraq for Israel (see my link on this website The Real Reason for Iraq). Stop the tax cuts for the wealthy, stop the tax dodging by corporations; slash military spending, make the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.
10. SHAME ON GROVER NORQUIST AND HIS POLICY. REPUBLICAN OBSTINACY IS CONTRARY TO KEYNESIAN ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES AND IS TOTAL FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY
The Republicans have made a pact with Grover NorquIst a simple-minded "do not raise taxes." Republicans do our country a great disservice. Their behavior is contrary to basic Keynesian economics. We all hate the deficit but to get out of it we need to spend to jump start: people work, they buy etc. The only way out of this is increased spending. Give President Obama the power to do his job!
Shame on the Republicans, they got us into this mess with their lack of regulation, liaise faire attitude for the banking industry, their war-mongering, their election of an incredibly stupid man, George W. who was played by a handful of card-carrying Neoconservatives into unnecessary war for Israel at a cost of $1.5 trillion. The Republicans should hang their heads in shame for what they did to our country. Instead they stand there behind Grover Norquist and act like they are on the moral high ground. They are all hypocrites.