Court grants preliminary injunction against Amendment 41 Common Cause Calls for Elected Officials to Pledge to Follow Voters Wishes
Jenny Flanagan, Executive Director of Colorado Common Cause:
"Judge Habas' decision to enjoin the gift ban adopted by Coloradans last fall is disappointing. Voters supported the ethics law in overwhelming numbers because they wanted to level the playing field for all Coloradans, not just the wealthy interests who can afford to wine and dine the legislators.
Lobbyist gift restrictions are common in many other states and the United States Congress recently acted to limit freebies from lobbyists. The constitution doesn't require that lobbyists be allowed to spend whatever they please when attempting to influence the vote of a lawmaker.
The State argued that substantial case law supports reading the language of Amendment 41 as a whole to prevent the wild interpretations of the ethics law suggested by its opponents and many of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit. We are confident that the Colorado Supreme Court will ultimately affirm Amendment 41 and this common sense application.
The fight for meaningful ethics laws in Colorado is far from over. Indeed, despite today's ruling, we call upon our state's elected officials to continue to follow the core elements of the ethics law that voters overwhelmingly approved.
Specifically, we are calling upon elected leaders to pledge to:
- Accept no gifts, trips, or meals from lobbyists
- Follow the $50 gift limit on all other gifts that are given because of the public official's office.
The voters have spoken. While the Court's initial ruling is disappointing, we hope our elected officials will honor the intentions of their constituents.
Colorado Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working for open, honest, and accountable government. For more information, visit:Link
If Elizabeth Stars and Colorado Bar Association want to defend individual's rights to habeas corpus, then I suggest that they start by addressing their own membership. I was denied the right to habeas corpus in 2001 by members of the CBA as I was wrongfully imprisoned for nine-days without explanation. No warrant could even be produced at my arraignment and I was instructed to appear in court a month and a half later on charges and warrant unspecified. You can read about my ordeal in detail at:
Despite filing formal detailed complaints with other CBA members employed at the Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline, and Denver County Court Judicial Review Committee, no investigation was ever conducted on my behalf. The Colorado Bar Association demands that individual's rights to habeas corpus be enforced by the Federal Government, and I suggest that they first demand the same from their own rank and file membership.
Colorado's (non)regulating agencies protect corrupt CBA practitioners from oversight and accountability as they hold these individuals to a lower standard than that prescribed by law and to which they would hold the citizenry. (Remember Ben Franklin's famous words? "In free governments the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns"). Corruption continues in Colorado courts every day due to the de facto immunity made possible by the aforementioned (non)regulatory agencies. Mine is not an isolated case and you can corroborate this fact at KnowYourCourts.com.
President Bush's recent disclosure of 2005 al-Qeida plots aimed at Iraq and the U.S. represents yet another transparent manipulation of (un)intelligence information by this Administration designed at shoring up support for the increasingly unpopular War through fear tactics.
Isn't it just a little bit hypocritical that this Bush-League Administration would have the American people believe that we must face terrorists in the Middle East so that they don't make it to American shores while simultaneously refusing to secure our own borders. Not only has this Administration put our Country on every terrorist organization's chart, it has laid out the welcome mat.
And doesn't it bother anyone that this Bush-Wacking Administration's hypocritical foreign policy condones civil-rights violations in China, Saudia Arabia, Korea, the Soviet Union, Africa, and the U.S. but would invest $1 trillon to halt civil rights violations in Iraq (and install a government which still tolerates stoning women to death for allowing themselves to be raped.)
This Administration is not about fighting terrorism, eliminating WMD's, installing democracy in Iraq, or defending the American people. This Administration is about one thing and one thing only, greed. This Administration has perpetuated and proliferated the corporate war-machine-for-profit and the interests of it's wealthy friends, period. You may recall that President Eisenhower first warned Americans about the corporate war-machine-for-profit, and how it had pervaded every level of government, in 1960 just prior to leaving office. Any do any of you think it is a coincidence that Cheney's Halliburton relocated their top executives to Dubai shortly after it was learned that they had bilked American taxpayers out of $2 billion.
All of this, however, does not in any way diminish the honor or tremendous sacrifices of our Service Men, Service Women, and their families. If Americans want to truly support our troops, then they must continue to pressure Congress to end our involvement in Iraq regardless of what those two tyrants in the White House want. It's time to halt the bloodshed for profits agenda of Bush and Cheney and bring our troops home.
President Bush would like to see the U.S. military provide long-term stability in Iraq as it has in South Korea, where thousands of American troops have been based for more than half a century, the White House said Wednesday.
Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, told reporters that Bush believes U.S. forces eventually will end their combat role in Iraq but will continue to be needed in the country to deter threats and to help handle potential crises, as they have done in South Korea.
The United States has 30,000 troops in South Korea; its military presence there dates to the 1950-53 Korean War.
Of course, US forces in South Korea protect a static border between two states, not a 'front-line everywhere' insurgency spanning an entire country. This might make you think at first glance that unlike Korea, American troops will be dying in Iraq for the next 50 years if President Bush gets his way. But that's wrong, obviously that's wrong--and you're helping the terrorists win just by thinking that. Funny how for all the times I hear Harry Reid condemning this war with his mousy little oratory, what really sticks is when Dick Cheney says we're all enabling Osama bin Laden for daring to question it. Blink.
So these are the people you're going to "work with" to "responsibly" end the war--right, "majority" Democrats? Good luck with that.
In the end, it doesn't matter if the GOP was swept out of power in 2006 because the people demanded an end to this misguided Iraq war. The Magic Murdoch Message Machine has been confounding the people's will for decades now--why should one election make any difference? Maybe you'd better just shut up and keep doing what you're doing, Congress, or Bill O'Reilly's gonna start asking why the hell you're not in Camp X-Ray. Even though the polls say only 30% of Americans still trust this administration (and that's on a good day), even after bearing their sickening attacks on our patriotism as they deflect from their own broken policy, and as America bears the scorn of the free world because of what they have done in our name, we can't get too impolite about this...?
"Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated "I am the president!" He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of "our country's destiny.""
Just as an experiment. Scroll down to the bottom of the poll--to the national stories--and vote for the "arrest of one of the world's most prolific spammers" article. If just a dozen of us vote for that article... it's going to win.
Tony, Tony, Tony….Say it isn't so!
Tell me that it is just a nightmarish aberration of that Fox fed, Project led, tormented washed and dried Brain of yours …………A fantasy born of too many chemicals and too much radiation!****
The Project has announced that the new Iraq plan is South Korea in the Desert!
I don't usually extensively quote someone else - but I have to make an exception today. Bernie Sander, the Independant (Socialist) Senator from Vermont hits the nail right on the head:
"The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act addresses the concern all of us have about securing our borders, something I strongly support. It addresses the need to hold employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants, something the Bush administration has neglected. It addresses the contentious and difficult issue of how we respond to the reality that there are some 12 million illegal immigrants in this country today, and carves out a path which eventually leads to citizenship, which I also support. What concerns me," Senator Sanders said, "are provisions in the bill that would bring low-wage workers into this country in order to depress the already declining wages of American workers. With poverty increasing and the middle-class shrinking, we must not force American workers into even more economic distress."
Well, there you have it. The voters (all 81 of them) overwhelmingly voted to put the Swift buyout story up on the front page and, well, there it is (Sorry, you have to pay to actually SEE the electronic edition... they have a free daypass if you really want to see it for yourself).
But, the work of an editor is never done! We have a new crop of stories to look after and it's up to you to get out and VOTE.
Not many people participated in the poll on national stories (only 14!!), so make sure you cast a vote on that as well. See the choices after the jump.
(cross-posted on ColoradoPols.com and SquareState.net)
The Employee Free Choice Act matters to Colorado workers and it needs support by Senators Allard and Salazar. I'm not a Colorado blogger, and some of my more local colleagues have asked me why I care so much of late about the Act. It's not that I march in lockstep with my fellow Progressives across the country. I've seen many friends and colleagues get treated unfairly when it comes to labor-management issues and in the line of work I'm in, I've heard far too many horror stories. I happen to think it's a damned good piece of legislation and the country's best hope of saving our dying middle class. Here's why...
In a Nutshell
The Employee Free Choice Act is widely considered to be the most important piece of labor legislation in America since the National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act of 1935 and enjoys strong bipartisan support. However, opponents of the Act are out there disseminating misinformation about its elements in order to kill it and keep America's workers from exercising what is supposed to be their legal right to come together to form unions and bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Why the Employee Free Choice Act is Needed
The American middle class is quickly disappearing. Millions of workers increasingly struggle through long days for low wages and meager benefits. More than half of U.S. workers--60 million of them--say they would join a union right now if they could. That's because a union card is one of the best anti-poverty instruments in America: on average, union workers earn 30% more than their non-unionized counterparts, are 62% more likely to have employer-provided health coverage, and are an astounding 400% more likely to have pensions.
But it's more and more difficult for American workers to form unions to bargain for a better livelihood. On paper, the Wagner Act gives workers the right to form unions and collectively bargain. In practice, however, myriad loopholes and laughable penalties make it easy for companies to actively--and illegally--discriminate against workers seeking to exercise their federal labor rights.
According to national labor data, workers are illegally fired in one-quarter of all union organizing campaigns, including 1 in 5 active union supporters. More than 75% of companies force workers to attend one-on-one anti-union interviews with their supervisors. Half of all companies threaten to close the plant if a union is authorized. And one-third of companies take advantage of procedural loopholes--in many cases for years--in order to delay ever reaching a first contract.
Penalties for illegal firings and intimidation are ineffective and out of date. Financial penalties are so low, most companies simply pay them as a regular cost of doing business. And even for illegal firings, judicial remedies can be as hollow as simply requiring an employer to post a notice on a bulletin board.
When faced with threats like these, under the current system no American worker has a protected way to make a free, unfettered choice when it comes to forming a union.
What the Employee Free Choice Act Does
The Employee Free Choice Act will help bolster the middle class in America by by making it easier for working people to form unions and bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. It does three things to level the playing field between employees and employers:
1. It strengthens financial penalties for companies that illegally coerce or intimidate employees in an effort to prevent them from forming a union;
2. It brings in a neutral third party to settle a contract when a company and a newly certified union cannot agree on a contract after 90 days;
3. It establishes majority sign-up, meaning that if a majority of employees sign union authorization cards validated by the National Labor Relations Board, the company must recognize the union.
With these three provisions in place, workers wishing to form unions and bargain for a better livelihood will be effectively shielded from much of the coercion, intimidation, and foot-dragging that thousands of companies engage in each year in an effort to unfairly deprive their employees of their freedom to form unions.
Falsehoods and the Truth About the Employee Free Choice Act
Some opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act--including several front organizations for business interests masquerading as workers' rights groups such as the so-called "Center for Union Facts" and the "National Right to Work Committee"--claim the Act would eliminate the existing secret-ballot system for certifying a new union--an alleged slap in the face to democracy--and open employees up to potential intimidation by union organizers to sign authorization cards. That's just not true.
Under the Employee Free Choice Act, workers are free to choose either majority sign-up or the existing secret-ballot system to authorize a new union. In fact, the same choice exists today, except right now it's management who gets to decide--and it's management who's in charge of the voting process. When the very people who may have threatened to fire you or close your place of business for organizing a union are the same ones in control of the authorization vote, that ceases to be a fair, uncoerced vote.
Moreover, new unions depend on the freely given support of workers in order to become authorized. Organizers engaging in intimidation would be detrimental to gaining that support. The record shows such union coercion rarely happens. Since the Wagner Act's inception, there have been only 42 verified cases of union coercion in the signing of authorization forms. Yet in 2005 alone, there were more than 31,000 verified cases of illegal firings and other forms of illegal discrimination perpetrated by companies against workers seeking to exercise their federal right to organize to seek a better life. That's a ratio of more than 30,000 to 1.
In reality, the Employee Free Choice Act puts the choice about how to authorize a union squarely in the hands of workers, where it belongs, and protects workers from the current, nonstop onslaught of illegal intimidation by anti-union companies.
What to Do
I and many other blogger around the country are concerned about the falsehoods being disseminated about the Employee Free Choice Act. A good way to fight back is to contact Senartors Allard and Salazar to tell them to support the Act's passage and, if you're a Colorado blogger, to ask your readers to do the same. You can use this on-line petition created by the AFL-CIO to be sent directly to the senators.
You can also call you Senators Allard and Salazar in Washington directly at the following numbers and tell them to support the Act:
Office of Senator Wayne Allard, 202-224-5941;
Office of Senator Ken Salazar 202-224-5852.
For a very thorough look into the Employee Free Choice Act, an enormous amount of information--including daily news updates regarding Senatorial support--can be found on the AFL-CIO's comprehensive Employee Free Choice Act page.
As I scribed earlier on my personal blog, I would watch for workers rights to be major issues in Election 2008. The next presidential election is gearing up to be won--or lost--on issues other than terrorism: issues such as the ability for working Americans to live a good life, be well-paid for their work, and retire with honor.
In an article from McClatchy Newspapers, the Democrats will not risk possibly offending some voters by taking action against Bush and Cheney. Quoted by Ward Reilly, the article states:
"There are both policy and political reasons that Democratic leaders are
risking the anger of their base.
One is that some don't see an impeachable offense in what Bush has
done, what the Constitution calls "high crimes and misdemeanors." They
might find such evidence in any of the many congressional investigations, but they haven't yet.
Another is that they fear a political backlash from voters similar to
the one that punished Republicans after they impeached Bill Clinton. One factoron the side of the pro-impeachment crowd: Clinton was much more popular than Bush.
The third is that they're eager to keep Bush and Cheney around as
punching bags for Democratic candidates in the 2008 campaign."
This confirms my personal suspicions I alluded to in my earlier post today about the two parties... cut from the same political cloth... looking out for their interests, not ours. Sorry, no link for this one, you have to go to VVAW.net yourself.
As smarmy and feel good as grassroots politics may sound to progressives, in Washington DC, our elected officials uncover all kinds of news they don't want to hear and cover it up because it doesn't pertain to whatever they are investigating. Negligent, that is the only word to describe it. BBC has exposed a system of 'caging' in emails subpeonaed during the Gonzales hearings, an illegal process, in fact a felony, whereby registered voters are disqualified from participating in an election by elimination from the roles. The shocking part is that black American soldiers and servicemen are being targeted. The link is below.
After reading this, I can hardly blame Cindy Sheehan for abandoning the Democratic party. Her analysis, in so many words was correct... they have their heads up their a**es almost as far as the Republicans.
The Greeley Tribune is tossing the reins of their newspaper over to the chaos of the internet... sort of.
We report. You pick the news.
Help the Tribune reflect your interests. Each day from noon to 5 p.m., Tribune editors will list the top stories being considered for tomorrow's front page. You tell us which ones should make the cut.
One poll focuses on our local stories. The second poll highlights the top national and international stories of the day. Vote for one on each poll. Use the comment feature to elaborate, to lobby fellow readers or to discuss the news. If a story on your mind is not on our list, please tell us about it.
So I thought I would try an experiment. For the next week or so, I'll post the story titles that are in the running. Then I'll follow up with a post that says which story won, and whether it was indeed on the front page.
Could be boring, could be fun, either way everyone should do their civic duty and VOTE.
You can review today's options after the jump. The polls close at 5:00.
(cross-posted at http://www.squarestate.net and http://www.coloradopols.com)
The Republicans are whining about how aggressive Rep. Waxman's committee is in investigating wrongdoing by Bush's administration that has resulted in America being less safe and much more insecure and afraid.
"The administration, for a variety of reasons, is wounded, and Chairman Waxman is going in for the kill," David Marin, Republican staff director for the Oversight Committee, wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle."
Republican subpoenas by Dan Burton: 1052
Democratic subpoenas by Henry Waxman: 3
Now tell me who is the "sissy" and who is "crying" and not "taking it like a man"?
Just look a Republican Representative John Boehner (Minority Leader) crying in front of the cameras because he is a man who cannot control his emotions under stress.
Or look at John McCain's temper tantrums.
I would say that Republican leaders are much more immature and emotional to such a degree that they are unfit to lead a great nation like America. Heck, they shouldn't even be elected "dog catcher" because they are so emotional.
This is a good opportunity to find common ground with the next generation of evangelicals. MyDD.com's Matt Stoller thinks that this may be a way to find out if the next evangelical's really do believe in "good stewardship of the earth" and in "social justice" issues that have been shunned by the old generation like Falwell and Dobson.
Matt excerpts a part of the book "The Irresistible" by Shane Claiborne:
"We fight terrorism -- the terrorism within each of us, the terrorism of corporate greed, of American consumerism, of war. We are not pacifist hippies but passionate lovers who abhor passivity and violence. We spend our lives actively resisting everything that destroys life, whether that be terrorism or the war on terrorism. "
The phrase "Verschärfte Vernehmung" is German for "enhanced interrogation". Other translations include "intensified interrogation" or "sharpened interrogation". It's a phrase that appears to have been concocted in 1937, to describe a form of torture that would leave no marks, and hence save the embarrassment pre-war Nazi officials were experiencing as their wounded torture victims ended up in court. The methods, as you can see above, are indistinguishable from those described as "enhanced interrogation techniques" by the president. As you can see from the Gestapo memo, moreover, the Nazis were adamant that their "enhanced interrogation techniques" would be carefully restricted and controlled, monitored by an elite professional staff, of the kind recommended by Charles Krauthammer, and strictly reserved for certain categories of prisoner. At least, that was the original plan.
You can count me among the people who were Not Very Happy about how the voting went Friday on the Iraq funding bill. I've read quite a few commentaries on the matter now, so it's only fair I subject people to mine.
Picture this. In the middle of a grocery store aisle, a kid who's plenty old enough to know better is on the floor, kicking his heels, pounding his fists, and screaming the place down because he isn't getting something he wants.
A mortified mom is standing by, aware everyone is staring. It's a no-win situation. She can't run the little heathen over with the shopping cart and go merrily on her way--she's stuck with him. She's not quite at the point where she's willing to become even MORE of a spectacle by dragging him out by his ear. The only way to end the ugly scene, she thinks, is to cave and give the brat what he wants.
That's our Democratic congressfolks.
And of course, there's a self-righteous know-it-all watching the whole thing and saying, loudly enough for everyone to hear, "I have never SEEN such a horrible example of incompetence! She's just GIVING IN to him -- HE'S the one in control!"
That's the media.
I know my little parable isn't a perfect fit for every Dem who didn't vote the way WE would surely have done, if WE were there as the elected representatives of the people. I'm sure at least some of them did what they always do and voted in the way they thought would be most expedient -- for them. But on the other hand, I am willing to believe others honestly felt torn and were trying to do the best they could in a bad situation.
Because there's a much older tale that applies here too. Remember the story of King Solomon and the two women who claimed the same baby? He suggested the fair way to settle the matter was to cut the baby in half. Of course the REAL mother caved in an instant. She would rather lose her child to the phony than see him killed.
Bush has made it crystal clear that he is fine with cutting any baby in half, any where, any time, if it means that he isn't giving in and "losing" a battle of wills. The tactic of putting withdrawal dates and benchmarks in funding bills was a good idea, well worth an attempt. But sometimes the best way to win a fight is to change up and try something new, not keep bulling forward with the same weapon until all you end up with is a dead and bloody "victory".
To go back to my first parable, what is needed to help the mom deal with the heathen child is straight-forward, caring, intelligent assistance from someone who's a step or two outside the central situation. A very good friend, say, able and willing to suggest something else to try that might work better. Someone to be supportive, and yet honest about how things will get much MUCH worse for everyone involved if SOMETHING isn't done, and soon.
That friend is us.
No matter how upset and disappointed we are, we have to remember we're needed.
If people are misinformed then look no further then the Washington Post's editorial on Rep. Murtha. It is intellectually dishonest. Talkingpointsmemo.com nailed them on their smear of Rep. Murtha by comparing him to the corrupt Tom DeLay.
Here is the nail:
"But there's a key detail the Post editorial neglected to mention -- Murtha's threat was entirely hollow. As Dana Milbank explained this week, "By tacit agreement between the parties, Murtha controls only the Democratic earmarks and lets the ranking Republican on the committee, Bill Young of Florida, handle GOP earmarks." Murtha wasn't in a position to punish Rogers, even if he wanted to.
When DeLay threatened a House colleague, he or she knew DeLay would follow through. Murtha's threat was largely meaningless."
So their readership at the Washington Post who by and large are ignorant of the workings of the House would think that the Dems are just as corrupt as Tom DeLay's House was.
This is why we have to vigilant and aggressive in attacking dishonesty in the press.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
May 27, 2007
America the Generous: A Lost Story of Citizenship
By LAWRENCE DOWNES
When people bicker over immigration, it's often not long before the topic turns to My Family Came Here Legally. People whose roots go to Ellis Island or deeper like to say that. It fills their family trees with hard-working people who were poor but played by the rules, who got with the American program. It draws a bright line between upstanding Americans and those shadowy illegal workers hiding one big secret and who knows how many others.
Nut job Washington Post reporter John Solomon writes:
"The dispute over Gupta's bankrolling of the Clintons offers new detail about how successfully Bill Clinton has leveraged the inner circle of donors he cultivated during his tenure in the White House to his personal financial benefit since he left office. In addition, it suggests the degree to which Hillary Clinton's political career is also benefiting from those connections...."
But what is the ending of his "smear":
"The Clintons are not parties to the lawsuit, nor are they accused of any wrongdoing. In fact, the lawsuit refers only to a "former high-ranking government official" and his wife."
John Solomon has written major "hit" pieces on Edwards and McCain.
The Columbia Journalism Review writes:
"Like NFL coaches who always seem to land with another team no matter how many bad decisions they make, some reporters are able to churn out a steady stream of mediocrity, with little consequence.
For whatever reason, Washington Post scribe John Solomon appears to have achieved this status, and has been milking it for years. (We first flagged some of his suspect work when he was with the AP back in 2004.)"
It turns out that our Senator Salazar is one of the prime movers behind the Senate's decision to cave in to Bush's demands for a war appropriation without milestones. Those of us who view this as cowardly capitulation need to let him know of our cntempt for the weak politica calcualtion that has led to this awful result. The soldiers of Fort Carson and their families and the people of Colorado will bear the cost of this in th form of body bags and wounded young men.
Letting Bush repeatedly veto the bill containing deadlines would have put him into the position of denying the funding to the troops.
Well it's that time again, Memorial Day, when we honor our fallen. This is a time for reflection and a time to think about the costs of war. The rhetoric of "Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." seems to be a slippery slope. We are creating more instability and new enemies than we are helping or creating long term solutions. I feel that economic, diplomatic and political solutions are the only way out of the grave we continue to dig ourselves into. The military solution is not working. Either we roll in with 500,000+ troops and create a three state / administrative zone/ profit sharing solution in Iraq or we pull out completely and let them settle it themselves. Any thing else will prolong our pain and suffering in the region.
May god help and bless us all.
Someone in the Green Zone leaked the following memo, which shows that US personnel are now actually facing difficulties in getting food by convoy up from Kuwait. They avoid local food in the Baghdad region because of the danger guerrillas will poison it.
'Due to a theater-wide delay in food delivery, menu selections will be limited for the near future. While every effort will be made to provide balanced meals, it may not be possible to offer the dishes you are used to seeing at each meal. Fresh fruits and salad bar items will also be severely limited or unavailable.
The informant adds his own comment:
The bottom line is that our troops depend on a ground supply line that runs from Kuwait to the various bases in Iraq. When I was in Iraq last year at the U.S. base in Balad I had the chance to eat four meals a day--breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight rations (midrats). If you like late nights the midrats were great--steak, eggs, pancakes. Pretty good food. Well, based on this memo, it looks like those were the good old days. We don't have enough convoys to give our troops three hot meals a day. '
posted by Juan @ 5/23/2007 11:24:00 AM "
It's simply: The Iraqi government wants the US out. A timeline is demanded by the Iraqi government but that demand is ignored by the Blood King Bush and Blood Queen Cheney- BTW, Cheney is interfering with the choices that Bush "sees" for Iran, specifically Condi's diplomatic overtures.
Support in September that there be no funding bill for the occupation of Iraq. A clean solution. The military must plan now to do with current funds for a withdrawal.
Remember: The lottery of death for the next 300 + American soldiers lives in Iraq has begun (remember in September we will see who has lived).
The following is from an email I just received from "The Pen". I'm not sure who this person is but he/she hits the Cheney Nail on the head.
If you agree with the points raised by 'The Pen':
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sure we're angry about the failure of the Democrats to stand up for
ending the Iraq occupation.
But what is the root cause of that anger, and where do we productively
DIRECT our anger so that the REAL problem is impacted?
It's not just this latest Iraq supplemental.
This is just the latest example of the failure of the (Democratic) Congress to actually confront the MANY Constitutional Outrages of the Cheney Administration.
That's right, we said
the Cheney Administration.
Bush is nothing more than a stooge . . . a hapless, snickering,
stubborn stooge perhaps, but a stooge nonetheless, who couldn't complete a
logical sentence in the English language without the talking points they
give him to rehearse and read from.
It is Cheney who dragged the country into invading Iraq, who was the
master chef in cooking the intelligence, who pushed for torture as
accepted U.S. foreign policy, who was the driving force behind the illegal
wiretaps, the unprecedented expansion of executive power, the outing of
Valerie Plame, who ordered the stand down of our air defenses on 9/11,
and is even now working overtime to plunge us into an even more
monumental debacle in Iran.
It's been all Cheney, all the time, since day one of this disastrous administration.
So why won't Congress (with the exception of Kucinich and the other 3
sponsors of H.R. 333) even talk about impeaching someone who has
committed every Constitutional high crime in the book?
Have you voted in the National Cheney Impeachment Poll yet? More then
50,000 of your friends and neighbors have,
but what about you?
Maybe there's 'your' complete answer.
Why would we expect Congress to act on what we want them to do unless we TELL them what we want them to do (and often)?
Why should we accuse them of not listening to the people(us), unless we
are actively talking to them.
Why should we be mad at them for not acting, UNLESS we force them to act.
A lot of people are calling their members of Congress right now to yell at them about the Iraq supplemental surrender. And we should join them
in that too.
But it's kinda like trying to put out a fire on one side of a room with someone pouring on more gasoline from the other side.
Unless we confront the REAL problem, Dick Cheney, and remove him from
power soon, the flames may be so high over our heads that we may no
longer be able to do anything about it. We are that close to a military
holocaust right now.
So DO call your members of Congress. at 800-828-0498
And let them know they have ZERO chance of getting elected again
themselves if they continue to vote for funding the Iraq sinkhole without accountability.
But the same time, and most importantly, demand that they step up and confront the Cheney Impeachment Imperative.
As long as Cheney is in the White House, Bush will just continue to arrogantly parrot the words Cheney feeds him, and we are in greater peril each successive day.
It's Cheney, folks. The problem is Cheney.
Please take action NOW
Call everyone in Congress... Call 800-828-0498
starting with your Congressman/woman and Speaker Pelosi
Tell they if they want to be relected and avoid a Primary Challenge they'd
better Stop The Iraq War Now (don't the 1000 extra Dead US Soldiers matter?)
and Impeach VP Cheney
Make Your Vote Count at the
NATIONAL CHENEY IMPEACHMENT POLL:
(is not Just a Poll... filling out this form allows you to Vote on Impeachment and email your support for Impeachment to your Senators and Congressmen, and your local newspapers as well. Link
And Call 800-828-0498 Tell Speaker Pelosi and all of the Congressmen to
Stop The Iraq War Now and Impeach Cheney (be a Co-Sponsor on HR-333)
Memorize this Number 800-828-0498 and tell your friends to
Call their congressman Often.
From: "The Pen"
Note: So far there are 3 Weekly Impeachment Rallys in Denver Colorado
JOIN US.... Show us you Care About the Constitution and the Rule Of Law
Every Tuesday: Noon-1:00 pm at East 6th & Speer
Every Wednesday: Noon-1:00 pm Lincoln & 14th @ St. Capital
The Neighborhood Congress is a coalition of places of worship, businesses,and community associations.During the spring of 2006,our group polled 500 residents in the Mar Lee and Harvey Park neighborhoods of southwest Denver.We asked our neighs to list three major concerns.Response:
The Entire Government Has Failed Us on Iraq
By Keith Olbermann
Wednesday 23 May 2007
For the president, and the majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party - there is only blame for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.
This is, in fact, a comment about… betrayal.
Few men or women elected in our history - whether executive or legislative, state or national - have been sent into office with a mandate more obvious, nor instructions more clear:
Today is another day when a Radical Colorado Right WingNut sacrificed the welfare of the members of our Armed Forces to bolster the gutter-low public opinion of the current occupant of the White House. What appeared in today's "Open Forum" section of the Loveland Reporter-Herald cannot go unanswered.
Really support our troops
To the editor:
How many anti-Bush commander-in-chief of the military protestors served in the U.S. military? How many street corner Iraq war protestors actually served in the U.S. military? How many of those who protest military action ever served in the U.S. military? How do you think all this protesting helps the morale of our service people? Just curious. Don't erode the morale of the young men and women in uniform.
You say, "we support the troops." If you support the troops, you have to support the assignment they have been given to carry out. Otherwise, the statement of supporting the troops is hollow and meaningless.
Well, neighbor Flock just doesn't get the concept of Constitutional Rights, nor does he have a clue to what the true needs are of the members of the Armed Forces, their families and loved ones. Here is my response. Let's see if the R-H will publish it.
Support the Troops, or Fall for Blind Obedience?
To the Editor:
The health of the American Democracy is at risk when hypocritical accusations appear in the RH Open Forum. The truth is out there, veterans are consistently speaking out against the occupation of Iraq and the failure to pursue the perpetrators of 9-11.
Demeaning the service records of demonstrators is meaningless compared to protecting freedom of speech and assembly. “Really support our troops” on May 24 was a collection of myths and half-truths that ignore the plight of those in the Armed Services and bolster the gutter-low approval of the President. The facts are out there. That opinion piece has none and deserves its place in the trash.
Beyond my 26-years of military service there is the example of retired Generals Clark, Batiste and Eaton actively criticizing Washington, DC policy makers. But, the fact is they never criticize the troops sent to risk their lives for a cynical and deceptive war. Maybe there’s a wider truth to why record numbers of officers are abandoning the armed forces, and those who stay are depositing $10,000 bonuses for the first time in modern US history.
The mercenaries in the employment of the US in Iraq (120,000) almost match the number of soldiers (135,000). Nearly 800 of them have paid for their employment with their lives. The military is recruiting more foreign nationals to wear US uniforms, the US Army can’t keep track of deserters first reporting 2,011 for 2005 – then 3,196, and the heroism propaganda of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch are now proven to be hoaxes.
It is a dubious claim that blind obedience to the policies of the mis-adminstration is required to support the troops. What the troops need is the full confidence that their mission is just, and that they and their loved ones will be cared for by the Nation they serve.
Supporting the troops is really about fixing the devastated Veterans Administration healthcare system and the active military’s out-patience care procedures. Military families left at home need care and support to save marriages. Traumatized soldiers need mental health care not the unchanged persecution they receive at Fort Carson.
Why consult and pay big bucks for idiots? What are the political affiliations of these pollsters?
This is bad advice:
""Obviously it's a good move," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang. "It gives President Bush and Republicans one less thing to shoot at" during the upcoming recess week."
This is Matt Stoller's take on this abdication of moral responsiblity by the Democratic Party on the Iraq appropriation bill:
"Yang's comments are particularly silly, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised since he accepted Third Way's fraudulent study as 'useful' when it was actually statistical malpractice. There's actually a secret problem in Democratic politics where a lot of our pollsters actually don't know how to do professional polling. But we'll leave that aside.
The key take-away here is that the Democratic Party is degraded and disorganized, and it shows. It's not just that the party is bought off, though some members are. It's that even the ones who want to do the right thing are constantly being told by people like Yang that capitulating to the President is obviously the right move, and that their concession is not actually a concession."
.........or throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Like most of you I have been disgusted with most Democrats. My fervent hope for 2008 was a run by Russ Feingold. The smartest bravest Democrat this side of RFK. But leadership is what we pay a congressman $165,000 a year for and leadership is what? It is leading by example, it is a man or woman with the confidence that says, "Follow me" into hell if necessary for the sake of what is right and noble. I wouldn't expect that from anyone in the Colorado delegation except Perlmutter. And what is right and noble and how does one express it? I say it is passion tempered with concern for those you are charged with protecting. It is the ability to express the mission in terms that are coherent yet vital, not do as I say. In the case of Ken Salazar, what is Colorado's land, air and water if we are all going to hell in a hand basket? He had at least four variations of "walking the walk" and never did get "talking the talk" down. Handing olive branches and plums to Republicans as if they were going to miraculously change was about as ridiculous as his assessment of Alberto Gonzales. Democrats are not bound by the 11th commandment and Ken can not walk the walk.
I don't see throwing the baby out with the bath water, at least half of the Democrats have a clue, a quarter vote the way they are told to vote and if we can't do better than the quarter that actually are responsible for the weak willed, immoral screw ups we have, then you can't do the math or you are not willing to do the door to door work necessary to BUILD the party. Perhaps the animosity felt by Republicans and Independents toward Democrats is our leadership or lack thereof.
On May 9, 2007, President Bush promulgated two Executive Directives - NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51 and HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20 which will allow him to suspend our democratic republican government both national, state, local and tribal in the event of a "national emergency." Link The only problem is that the definition of a "national emergency" is so vague that literally any natural disaster anywhere in the country - earth quake in California or hurircane in the gulf coast - could trigger the implementation of the directive. Oh - and guess who decides if there is a "national emergency?" The Great Decider. There is no place for Congress or the Federal Courts to check the Executive Branch.
For those of you old enough or with a keen interest in recent history, this is Nixon's Houston Plan in spades.
Apparently, virtually no one in Congress is aware of these Executive Directives. Congress has the power to reject these directives if they act quickly. Please write your Congressmen and Senators and demand that they reject these attacks on our way of life.
There's a saying that goes, "Wearing buttons is not enough." That's true, but on the other hand, they can help start conversations that a good grassroots progressive can use to advantage.
I am going to try to share a new button idea, WITH artwork, once a week. You can download it, copy it, use it, send it around, whatever you want. You can even rewrite and redraw it to better suit your own style and needs!
I missed last week, so today I am doing a twofer.
Don't try to print from the above image...it will come out way too small.
The link below will give you one that should print out art the right size for a 2 1/4" button.
Button making kits are inexpensive (for the small sets, anyway) and easy to use. Feel free to contact me for more details and advice on that topic.
Thanks to a very smart suggestion from Michael Ditto, I checked in on my old Cafe Press account, and I have now set it up so you can get these buttons made there. You can also get the famous "Still A Deanocrat/Still Want My Country Back" shirts I originally set the storefront up to provide, if you are so inclined.... There is a 25 cent markup on the buttons because they won't let you have more than one button unless you are a "Premiere" store, which requires a fee. If I start selling 25 buttons a month, I'll take the extra off again.
In a post today Colorado's Dave Chandler of the Metro Denver Greens asks "
Is there anything ... anything ... important enough to the Democrats that they are willing to go to the mat for?" from this post
Colorado 'Peace Democrats' -- It's Time for a Change Link
As a life long Democrat I've been asking myself the same question for years.
If the Dems don't stand up to Bush soon the 2008 Election is going to be not a Democratic disappointment... it is going to be
a Democratic Disaster.
The public is sick of spineless, deceitful smarmy politicians. The Dems need to vigorously oppose Bush and Cheney on all the Major Issues that caused the voters to support Dems in the 2006 election.
The Dems Congressional Majority is theirs to lose. Beware.
Something fun I just sent out in my county party's weekly e-newsletter. Enjoy!
Here's something I stumbled on that is too good not to share, a parody of the old kids TV cartoon, the Wonder Friends. It seems to be a trailer for a longer web production coming out this summer. Worth a view just to see Hillary in a Wonder Woman style costume!
"Hillary, Obama, Edwards and Gore use their superpowers to thwart the administrations conquest of the universe."
May 23, 2007
Bill Moyers is chairman of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy and an independent journalist with his own production company. This article is the commencement address Bill Moyers gave this year at Southern Methodist University.
Thank you for this honor and for inviting me to participate in this occasion. It would be a privilege to receive your honorary degree anytime, but I am especially pleased to be on the same platform with Marsh Terry, a beacon from "High on the Hilltop" for all these years now, and Bill Solomon, whose business and civic contributions are laced with a deep social conscience. I am humbled to be standing between two originals--one in literature, the humanities and the classroom, and the other in corporate governance and community service.
I talked with Greg Diamond today on the appropriation for war. He said that Diane doesn't have a position on the bill because the bill hasn't been written yet.
He thinks there will be a bill on Thurs or Fri of this week.
Go down to DeGette's office (6th & Grant) and let them know what the voters think of this bill which does not have a time table for withdrawal from Iraq.
As I said in a previous post: It is time for the Democratic leadership to face the fact that this is total war, a burnt earth approach because Mr. Bush and his allies in Congress only understand the power of the fist.
Read what is on Dailykos:
"Channel Your Fury
by Meteor Blades
Tue May 22, 2007 at 06:10:11 PM PDT
It would be hard to find a progressive who had a good Tuesday as far as Iraq is concerned. The Senate-House conference committee put together an ugly compromise that would give Mister Bush tens of billions of dollars to continue the catastrophe in Iraq. Call it what you will - a blank check, a sell-out, a surrender - it ultimately amounts to failure, unless victory is defined as getting a signable bill on the President's desk regardless of its contents.
Compromise is when two sides each give up something they want in order to get something they want in return. But from this compromise among themselves, what exactly is it that the Democrats will be getting in return from the White House?
Nothing. Because the President refuses to compromise."
"In Case There Was Any Doubt
Tue May 22, 2007 at 03:56:39 PM PDT
Here's how it plays in the media:
Democrats Concede On Iraq
Democrats Retreat in Funding Showdown
Bush Wins Congressional Battle Over Iraq
Democrats Concede. Democrats Retreat. Bush Wins. And that's not even covering the many stories on how the Democrats "caved in" or "blinked." Yes, that's exactly the kind of news everyone was looking for after 2006. I think we were all hoping for headlines just like these.
There are a few stories out there about how Democrats need to explain this position to "liberals," that being the 70% of the public who wants out of Iraq. I can answer that one quickly: don't bother."
I for one have a hard time explained to progressives and liberals as to why they should support the Democratic Party and its elected officials when they wither before a dictator.
I will be going down to DeGette's office on Thursday. Anybody willing to come along at 1 p.m.?
"I cannot support a bill that contains nothing more than toothless benchmarks and that allows the president to continue what may be the greatest foreign policy blunder in our nation's history," he said. "There has been a lot of tough talk from members of Congress about wanting to end this war, but it looks like the desire for political comfort won out over real action. Congress should have stood strong, acknowledged the will of the American people, and insisted on a bill requiring a real change of course in Iraq."
Some other Democrats are considering funding the war for domestic pork
As Clinton strategists and other Democrats here explain it, state law will require that absentee ballots be sent to voters by January 8, 2008.
The Clinton campaign's aim is to make sure that the lioness's share of those early votes - an estimated 1.5 million "PABs", or "permanent absentee ballots" - are for Hillary.
Why? There are more PAB voters in the California primary than there are voters in total in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada all put together. And though voting at the polls is on Feb. 5 in California, those absentee ballots drop a month earlier. The same will be true in Colorado.
There's far too much of this kind of conventional wisdom amongst the Democratic Party's old guard:
Coffman caught keynoting Republican lunch one day after he bans partisan activities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
CONTACT: Michael Huttner
Denver: One day after Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman told his employees he would be held to same "standard" of not actively working for "a political party" as his employees, he was a featured speaker at the Mesa County Republican lunch in Grand Junction.
"Coffman's do as I say, not as I do policy reeks of hypocrisy," stated Michael Huttner, Executive Director of ProgressNowAction, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization.
Last Thursday Coffman issued a statement to his office in which he ordered strict new guidelines on the partisan activities of his employees. Specifically, Coffman's new policy states that no employee of the Secretary of State's office may "actively work for or against . . . a political party." (www.state.co.us)
Coffman went out of his way in the release to note that he placed himself under this same standard stating: "I believe it is important for the Secretary of State, as the state's chief elections official, to be held to the same high standards."
One day after issuing this stringent set of rules of his office, Coffman was caught keynoting the Mesa County Republican Party lunch in Grand Junction. (ColoradoConfidential.com)
"Coffman needs to explain why he believes himself to be above his own rules," stated Huttner. "That Coffman would state he will not work for a political party and then keynote a partisan lunch the next day is hypocrisy at its worst."
"We call on Coffman to hold himself accountable to the same standards that he expects of others," stated Huttner.
Coffman is scheduled to keynote another Republican event in Larimer County this Wednesday. (Fort Collins Coloradoan, 5/21/2007)
ProgressNowAction Assails Wayne Allard's Failed Leadership
Allard refuses to call for Gonzales' resignation, claims he doesn't "see any alternative"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
CONTACT: Michael Huttner
DENVER - In response to this morning's published statement by Senator Wayne Allard that he is 'sticking with Bush' and refusing to call for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, ProgressNowAction today blasted the retiring senator as deserving of Time magazine's recent ranking as one of the "Five Worst Senators."
"Yet again Wayne Allard shirked his responsibility to Coloradans and continues his blind allegiance to the corrupt Bush administration," said Michael Huttner, Executive Director of ProgressNowAction. "Even after it was revealed that Allard's own nominee for U.S. Attorney, Bill Leone, was targeted for ouster by Gonzales' Justice Department, he failed to join the the bipartisan call for Gonzales' resignation."
Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado recently called for Gonzales' resignation despite the fact that they have been personal friends for years. Salazar introduced Gonzales to the Senate during his confirmation proceeding.
Allard told the Pueblo Chieftain that despite his concerns over the way Leone was passed over for allegedly 'not [being] loyal enough to the Bush administration,' "I don't see any alternative, so I'm going to stick with the president. Whatever his position is, I'll be supportive of that." (Pueblo Chieftain, 5/22/07)
"It appears that nothing, not even brazen partisan corruption at the highest levels of the Justice Department, is enough to shake Allard from his role as lapdog for the President," stated Huttner. "Colorado has spent the last eleven years deserving better."
In 2006, Time magazine ranked Allard as one the country's five worst senators. The magazine dubbed Allard as "The Invisible Man" noting that Allard "almost never plays a role in major legislation" and referred to him as one of the "least influential senators." (Time, 4/16/2006)
In January of 2003 I arrived in Burlington, Vermont to help start the Dean campaign. The next 14 months were transformational for me, as they were for a lot of other people.
I was happy to be invited recently by Zephyr Teachout to participate in a book project to write from my perspective about our use of technology. Since I was on the campaign from beginning to end, I focused my chapter on providing an overview of how the campaign's use of technology evolved as the campaign went on and what we learned from our successes and our failures.
Others wrote from their own particular perspectives. Here's what you can expect:
PART I: Overviews 1. Thomas Streeter, Introduction: Redefining the Possible 2. Howard Dean, How the Internet Taught Me that You have the Power 3. Thomas Streeter and Zephyr Teachout, Theories: Technology, the Grassroots, and Network Generativity
PART II: Stories of the Campaign 4. Zephyr Teachout, Something Much Bigger Than a Candidate 5. Jerome Armstrong, How a Blogger and the Dean Campaign Discovered Each Other 6. Bobby Clark, Swept Up in 'The Perfect Storm' 7. Aldon Hynes, A Coder Becomes a Political Activist 8. Mathew Gross, Blogging for America 9. Michael Silberman, The Meetup Story 10. Pam Paul, Experiences of a Grassroots Activist 11. Amanda Michel, The Lessons of Generation Dean 12. Larry Biddle, Fundraising: Hitting Home Runs On and Off the Internet 13. Nicco Mele, A Webactivist finds Dean 14. Kelly Nuxoll, Email: Sign your Own Name 15. Joshua Koenig, Beyond Protest: Everyone’s a Kingpin if They Want to Be 16. Zach Exley, An Organizer’s View of the Internet Campaign 17. Kelly Nuxoll, After New Hampshire
PART III: Reflections 18. Manuel Castells and Araba Sey, From Media Politics to Networked Politics: The Internet and the Political Process 19. Zephyr Teachout and Thomas Streeter, The Legacies of Dean's Internet Campaign
I'm told the book will be coming out sometime in the fall.
John Avavosis has an important post up regarding an SF Chronicle article that ran yesterday. The Chronicle quoted our neighbor in the Springs, Paul Cameron, as an expert saying that gays are bad parents who are likely to molest kids. Paul Cameron is an utter, unmitigated, hack who leads what the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as one of the most dangerous hate groups in America. Here's a sample of Paul's "work", per the Southern Poverty Law Center:
"He told the 1985 Conservative Political Action Committee conference that "extermination of homosexuals" might be needed in the next three to four years. He has advocated tattooing AIDS patients in the face, and banishment to a former leper colony for any patient who resisted. He has called for gay bars to be closed and gays to be registered with the government."
Frida Berrigan is a Senior Research Associate at the World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center. This article appeared first in TomDispatch.com .
They don't call us the sole superpower for nothing. Paul Wolfowitz might be looking for a new job right now, but the term he used to describe the pervasiveness of U.S. might back when he was a mere deputy secretary of defense—hyperpower—still fits the bill.
Face it, the United States is a proud nation of firsts. Among them:
First in Oil Consumption:
The United States burns up 20.7 million barrels per day, the equivalent of the oil consumption of China, Japan, Germany, Russia, and India combined.
Either the decision-makers at CBS News have totally lost their nerve following the Don Imus scandal; or Karl Rove's bag of tricks includes a direct line to Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation and Sean McManus, President of CBS News.
Remember when shock-jock Don Imus used racist and misogynistic terms to refer to a women's college basketball team? Well, it took CBS two weeks to fire him for that, but it only took them TWO DAYS to fire a respected General who had served with distinction in Iraq for speaking out against the current occupant of the White House.
General (Retired) John Batiste is one of the deeply courageous few who have joined General (Retired) Wes Clark and VoteVets.Org in speaking the truth about how this nation is being destroyed by the war in Iraq. CBS shouldn't be censoring or firing people for speaking their mind.
A petition urging CBS to re-hire General Batiste is under-way. Reversing the reprisal and intimidation of the original "firing" of General Batiste is a minimal step: I want to see a full-fledged apology -- on the air!
Do what you can to support a distinguished soldier restore some of his honor and reputation.
Thanks to the open border policy, unfair trade agreements, and $1 Trillion price tag for the War in Iraq suffered unto the Middle Class by the Bush Administration, our numbers are shrinking as we all sink into the abyss of poverty. And let's not even discuss the tremendous toll on humanity that this Administration's partisan policies have caused.
Therefore Congressman Kucinich, Americans are desperately looking for bargains and couldn't you offer us a two-for-one deal on House Resolution 333. Perhaps you could resubmit the revised document as House Resolution 666.
In lieu of the enormous public response denouncing the agreement reached between Senate leaders and the White House regarding immigration reform, Congress needs to round-file this proposed legislation before Memorial Day. The new immigration measures are supposed to provide tougher controls on immigration and make our borders more secure but when you cut through all of the rhetoric, it still represents amnesty for individuals who violated current immigration laws. Should all Americans violate statutory, federal, and constitutional laws and demand that the legislature rewrite them to cloak our misdeeds and ensure our now compliance?
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor appeared on FOX News yesterday with Chris Wallace, again claiming the "independence" of the judiciary is being threatened by the heightened criticism of the judiciary.
If Sandra Day O'Connor would obviate judicial accountability and discipline in Colorado, that has already been accomplished by our (non)regulating Commission on Judicial Discipline who have abdicated all responsibility to the judiciary themselves. Read about the failings of this Commission at KnowYourCourts.com. If Sandra Day O'Connor would suggest that the judiciary in Colorado or anywhere is above reproach, then I suggest that either she is dishonest, an idiot, or a total fool.
Let Sandra Day O'Connor stand before a Colorado judge who ignores all statutory, federal, and constitutional law with impunity while threatening her with months or even years of incarceration on contrived and fraudulent contempt of court charges.
In truth, written laws are no longer being enforced by our courts at any level as new laws are being legislated from the bench. These same court tyrants irreverently disregard our Constitution as a matter of convenience and Sandra Day O'Connor is not part of the solution, she's part of the problem.
On May 20, 2006, The Colorado Democratic Party included in its platform a call for Bush and Cheney to be "investigated, censured or if appropriate, impeached.
Source: Link a posting by David Swanson at Democrats.Com Source: Link
Fourteen state Democratic parties have now passed resolutions demanding impeachment, nine of them since Nancy Pelosi ordered the Democratic Party away from impeachment.
The Democratic Party of Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New Mexico, Vermont , Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Washington, Oregon, California have all joined the Call For Impeachment Of Bush, Cheney and even Alberto Gonzales. Many others have debated Impeachmentt.
The majority of these resolutions have never been reported in the media. Therefore, this list is almost certainly incomplete.
Impeachment momentum stretches now from one corner of our country to another. On Saturday, the Massachusetts Democratic Party resoundingly passed a resolution to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney - just 20 days after the California Democratic Party passed its impeachment resolution.
With ever more revelations of an out-of-control White House (now with sick-bed coercion), support for impeachment is growing generally and is becoming mainstream inside the Democratic Party. . .except for a few national leaders.
The Mass. charges were as follows:
"Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have:
• Deliberately misled the nation about the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war;
• Condoned the torture of prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention & US law;
• Approved illegal electronic surveillance of American citizens without a warrant."
A year ago now, the Republican National Committee made its baseless claim that talk of impeachment would benefit Republicans in the November 2006 elections, and Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi immediately announced that impeachment was off the table.
* Cities and towns that have backed impeachment by resolution, public vote, or both: 79.
* Largest cities:
Detroit, home of the Democratic Chair of the House Judiciary Committee,
Measure was sponsored by the Wife of the above Chair.
San Francisco, home of the Speaker of the US House, Nancy Pelossi
It would appear that Speaker Pelossi is no longer in touch with the voters,
even in her own Congressional District.
One suspects that Democratic Voters want Bush and Cheney held accountable for misleading us into invading Iraq, a four year war in which 3,400/25,000 Americans Soldiers have been killed/wounded because of the WMD lies of these Oil Family Scion/Oil Barrons who played at war.
I'm told that the Congress will Impeach if We tell them to.
This 800 number will allow you to reach the Washington, DC office of Speaker Pelossi,
all of your State's Congressional Representatives
and the members of the US House's Judiciary Committee.
Those wanting Congress to impeach would be well advised to call all of these people (and often) and demand they put Impeachment back on the table.
Call 800-828-0498 and ask for the ofice of each of the following, one by one.
Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelossi
Ask her to allow and support debate on HR-333 the VP Cheney Impeachment Bill by Kucinich
Ask all Democratic Congressmen to become Co-Sponsors on Rep. Kucinich's Bill HR-333.
Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette
Colorado Congressman Mark Udall
Colorado Congressman John Salazar
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter
I have included only the Democratic Congressman for a simple reason. GOP Congressman will not support Impeachment until forced to. The process of Impeachment must start in the US House Of Representatives and the Democrats therein are the only Congressman likely to initially support Impeachment. When the process has moved far enough forward that GOP Congressmen begin to feel the heat, they will then begin to support it.
US House Judiciary Committee Members (who control whether Impeach Bills get debated)
Call them all and ask them to Support Kucinich's HR-333 for debate by the full House
Rep. John Conyers (MI-14th), Committee Chairman
Rep. Howard Berman (CA-28th)
Rep. Rick Boucher (VA-9th)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-8th)
Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-3rd)
Rep. Melvin Watt (NC-12th)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-16th)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18th)
Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35th)
Rep. Marty Meehan (MA-5th)
Rep. William Delahunt (MA-10th)
Rep. Robert Wexler (FL-19th)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA-39th)
Rep. Stephen Cohen (TN-9th)
Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-4th)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL-4th)
Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-27th)
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (WI-2nd)
Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY-9th)
Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-29th)
Rep. Artur Davis (AL-7th)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20th)
Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5th)
US Congressman Kucinich has recently introduced a Bill to Impeach VP Cheney, HR-333.
He has four Co-Sponsors but needs more. Ask all Democratic Congressmen to become Co-Sponsors on Kucinich's Bill HR-333.
You might also consider adding your name to this Petition to get MoveOn.org to Poll their entire Membership on Impeachment Link
MoveOn has curiously avoided allowing internal debate on Impeachment even though many members support it.
List of all known Colorado Impeachment Protests, Vigils, Rallys
(email: email@example.com to get your event on the list)
at E 6th & Speer (near Channel-7 TV, every Tue Noon),
at Lincoln & 14th ( the State Capital, every Wed Noon)
at Denver Post/RM News Building at Colfax & Broadway at 5 pm every Wed.
Sponsors include Impeachment By The People Link , Progressive Democrats Of Colorado http://pdcolorado.org , Colorado Link , Colorado Chapter Of World Cant Wait Link and Weekly Vigils To Impeach Link , a project of this Group Link
Useful Colorado Impeachment websites:
Impeach Blog at Progress Now Action Link
Impeachment By The People Link
We are in the midst of a political crisis that goes right to the heart of our constitutional government. Yet, without a depression or civil war on the horizon, we have been slow to respond to this threat to the future of our democracy
Can what Thomas Jefferson called the
"common sense and good judgment of the American people" help us now?
In the past, they have been a critical last resort
when our leaders endangered the constitutional checks and balances that have made us the world's oldest democracy. But first the public must wake up to this constitutional crisis. Gary Hart LinkLink
When will you step up and help Impeach Cheney First?
Much of the news and blog coverage of the US Attorney scandal has centered on the US Attorneys in question prosecuting Republicans, as in the case of US Attorney Carol Lam and disgraced former representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham. But the larger over-arching issue what Republicans call "voter fraud." Voter fraud is almost nonexistent in this country, but Republicans like to wave this red herring in their attempt to suppress minority voter turnout.
But let's remember that these efforts at suppressing minorities, though being taken to a recently unheard of level, are not new. Republicans have long sought to use the law to suppress their opponents' right to vote. Before becoming a drug-addled Supreme Court appointee, the late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist was a foot soldier in the Republicans' minority vote suppression machine in
Democrats have rightly long been apologizing for and distancing themselves from racist Jim Crow laws perpetrated by conservative Democrats in the South after the Civil War. But the racists just switched parties, and their efforts to marginalize minorities continues at full steam under the Republican Party's umbrella. Like Osama bin Laden in a cave, Jim Crow is alive and well, hiding in plain sight. The Republican Party gives Jim Crow aid and comfort, and furthers his insideous agenda from the highest levels of government.
Access to voting, registration for voting, voting machines (DRE), paper ballots...wasn't that solved with HAVA?
What's the big deal about the firing of those eight (or nine) federal prosecutors?
The end game for Rove has been exposed through the politicization of the Department of Justice under the leadership of Ashcroft and Gonzales for the single purpose of having a permanent Republican majority in Congress.
By suppressing a mere 3% of the Democratic vote will be enough to swing the 2008 elections in favor of the Republicans.
For partisan gain Rove is willing to destroy the integrity of the Department of Justice. That is un-American for Rove to act with the blessings of Mr. Bush to undermine the confidence that Americans have in the system of justice that we have abided by since the beginnings of this nation.
McClatchy newspapers has been at the forefront of this scandal:
"U. S. ATTORNEYS
Efforts to stop `voter fraud' may have curbed legitimate voting
By Greg Gordon
WASHINGTON - During four years as a Justice Department civil rights lawyer, Hans von Spakovsky went so far in a crusade against voter fraud as to warn of its dangers under a pseudonym in a law journal article.
Writing as "Publius," von Spakovsky contended that every voter should be required to produce a photo-identification card and that there was "no evidence" that such restrictions burden minority voters disproportionately.
Now, amid a scandal over politicization of the Justice Department, Congress is beginning to examine allegations that von Spakovsky was a key player in a Republican campaign to hang onto power in Washington by suppressing the votes of minority voters...
Readers of BradBlog.com know the dangers that face democracy in America. Even the network television shows are showing the dangers:
"The following compilation of a few scenes from last week's HEROES on NBC demonstrates a very real scenario: the ability of a single person to hack an election via inappropriate access to a voting machine --- the type of access regularly granted to election officials, voting machine company employees, and poll workers allowed to take voting machines home for "sleepovers" prior to elections."
How secure is voting on electronic voting machines? Think that those companies like Diebold and ESS have secured their machines since 2004?
"Worm attacked voter database in notorious Florida district
Machine in hotly contested 13th Congressional district lain low by Slammer on first day of election
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May 16, 2007 (Computerworld) -- The computer database infrastructure of Sarasota County, Fla., was attacked by a notorious Internet worm on the first day of early voting during the 2006 election, which featured the now-contested U.S. House race between Democrat Christine Jennings and Republican Vern Buchanan in Florida's 13th Congressional district.
In the early afternoon hours on Monday, Oct. 23, 2006, an Internet worm slammed into the county's database system, breaching its firewall and overwriting the system's administrative password. The havoc brought the county's network -- and the electronic voting system which relies on it -- to its knees as Internet access was all but lost at voting locations for two hours that afternoon. Voters in one of the nation's most hotly contested Congressional elections were unable to cast ballots during the outage, since officials were unable to verify registration data...."
This is all about the next presidential election. There is the very real possiblity that the progressive/liberal wing in the U.S. Supreme Court will retire within the next few years. A Republican will have the chance to place on the Supreme Court that likes of three more Scalia, Roberts and Alito clones that will turn back the clock to a gilded era, free market, pre New Deal society.
This is the choice for 2008: Let the liberal ideals that have made this nation great or let America become the Pottersville of the world.
It's all about energy, the future that is and will be. The sustainable future, in my opinion, will not include automobiles. The most wasteful energy drain and climate heater in the world today. In the United States the auto has killed more people than all of our wars. The quality of life that could be afforded without the "necessity" of the actual "luxury" of automobiles is seldom explored. Can you imagine a world where soccer moms marched their soccer players to the soccer fields. Communities built on the assumption that public transportation is a necessity. Think in terms of total cost of operation versus disposable income, the fattest 401K you can imagine. Think in terms of horse power, one average vehicle producing enough power to run 10 houses. The auto needs to go the way of the horse and buggy, we can not afford the human and environmental toll.
The real upside is the positive effect on community, can you imagine meeting your neighbors on a daily basis? I want to, actually, it's easier to influence them without the protection of the front door.
New Energy for AmericaRobert L. Borosage and Katrina vanden HeuvelMay 18, 2007
Robert L. Borosage is co-director of Campaign for America's Future. Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor and publisher ofThe Nation, where this article originally appeared.
Confronted with the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, rising gas prices and the "inconvenient truth" of global warming, Americans are looking for leadership on energy independence and the threat posed by catastrophic climate change. Even George Bush, Big Oil's pocketed president, now pays lip service to the need to end our "addiction to oil." But with his policies making us more, not less, dependent on foreign oil, energy will be at the center of the 2008 campaign. The question is whether the presidential candidates have caught up with the voters.
Energy independence now rivals health care as the top domestic concern. In an April Center for American Progress poll, 60 percent of Americans supported bold action on global warming. A staggering 79 percent believe shifting to alternative energy sources will help the economy and create, not cost, jobs. Voters think the United States is falling behind other countries, and they want government to lead.
British Jurisprudence has befallen two whistleblowers who disclosed to the press the contents of a 'secret' discussion between then Prime Minister Tony Blair and George Bush. Without calling it by name, the two governments have been working on turning back free speech two hundred years in the form of dissent. Why the hell don't they just call the Patriot Act the Sedition Acts and get it over with? See story here:
At 9:40PM the night before last, the management at "Gunny" Bob Newman's 850 KOA slipped this message onto his show's homepage.
Newsradio 850 KOA understands that some of you may have been offended by remarks Gunny Bob made regarding Muslim immigrants to the United States. That was not the intention. 850 KOA believes in being fair and respectful while encouraging discussion and debate of complex issues.
Allow me to take issue with a couple of points expressed here.
1. "...some of you may have been offended...[t]hat was not the intention."
It's true you may not have personally been offended by "Gunny" Bob's statement that "every Muslim immigrant to America who holds a green card, a visa, or who is a naturalized citizen [should] be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times." Or that Newman called for the U.S. government to "bug their places of work and their residences" and monitor "[a]ll mosques and community centers," ending with "If they don't like the idea, or if they refuse, throw their asses out of this country." You might, for example, hate Muslims. But in order for you to not be taken aback by his comments you also would have to hate the U.S. Constitution, which specifically forbids the sort of religious persecution Newman is calling for.
If you're a Muslim, it's impossible to imagine this not offending you. But you're not in KOA's demographic in that case, so this "apology" doesn't apply to you anyway.
2. 850 KOA believes in being fair and respectful while encouraging discussion and debate of complex issues.
Somewhere between Rush Limbaugh's "Dancing Parkinson Disease Victim" impression and Peter Boyles' recent attack on "butt-boys and bendovers," I have to conclude that the people who wrote this don't actually listen to their radio station. It's ridiculous, and even if it's offered sincerely, management this thoughtless and obtuse will only understand one thing -- an imperiled bottom line.
If you give up your principals for "compromise" and "accomodation" then what do you have left? Political total war should be brought to the Blood King Bush.
The Democratic Party's elected officials did just that but the Blood King Bush's lust for total control spurned the Democrats offer of a "waivable timetable" for the killing fields in Iraq of our American soldiers.
What I say is that the Democratic Party's elected leadership should devote its resources to forcing the Blood King out of Iraq by any and all means necessary. A timetable should be brought onto every bill presented for signing by the Blood King. Every day the flag should be at half staff in Congress. Everyday there should be huge pictures hung in both chambers of Congress of each new dead American soldier. Everyday our elected representatives should be bombarding the press with the facts of the Blood King's war of conquest in human terms. Everyday should the America be reminded that the cost of this war will be for decades to come in financial slavery to those who bought our IOU's for this war for oil. Everyday the cost of this war should be shown in the loss of loved ones. This is war that should be fought for the "hearts and minds" of an America that owes its very existence to the ideals within the Constitution and Bill of Rights which has been summarily aborted by the Blood King.
It is only the fact that the Blood King Bush wants Americans to die in pursuit of his own hidden dry drunk demons of his soul that his minons reject any and all compromise.
We are right and the Blood King will continue to kill until he is brought to justice.
We must speak truth to those that we elected.
"Talks Between White House And Congressional Dems Breaking Down
By Greg Sargent | bio
The meeting between Dem Congressional leaders and the White House over how to resolve the Iraq war spending standoff has just ended, and it looks like things are at a serious impasse.
Dem leaders just said at their post-meeting press availability that the White House's negotiators rejected everything that Dems offered. A Dem offer of a war timetable that the President could actually waive -- that is, not follow? Rejected. A Dem offer to get rid of the pork in the supplemental? Also rejected."
Looks like Colorado needs to create another pair of binoculars (or a microscope) to look into the political agenda of US Attorney Troy Eid. The veil of secrecy has been lifted and it turns out that Eid's appointment may have had much less to do with competency as a prosecutor than his reliability as a partisan political operative in the eyes of Karl Rove (with the almost certain glowing endorsement of Rove's "mini-me" Dick Wadhams).
Today's Rocky Mountain News report, Allard: Nominee's rejection 'strange' Link fills in a picture of the Rove machine rejecting Allard's firm endorsement of William Leone to stay in the job. He was a veteran prosecutor who had earned Allard's praise as "…an effective federal prosecutor."
Eid feigns ignorance as to why he was selected by the Rove - Harriett Miers justice as political theater team. But, that doesn't hold water under the degrees of separation test. Connecting the dots between Eid, Wadhams and Rove provides a "well, duh!" explanation.
Once again, the most radical elements of the GOP have brushed aside Senator Wayne Allard in favor of the scandal of the day scheme that has turned the once venerable US Attorneys into petty political lackeys for the hypocritical and destructive aims of Karl Rove and the neo-con cabal surrounding the current occupant of the White House.
The people of Colorado should be very afraid that Troy Eid is taking his cues for prosecution from Karl Rove, and not from the US Code and Federal law enforcement investigators. Once again it seems that Colorado holds a prominent Republican office-holder (this time an appointee rather than an elected Secretary of State or Jefferson County Commissioner) deserving of a criminal investigation.
Today's report makes it certain that effectiveness as a prosecutor was not on the White House (Rove/Miers - Alberto Gonzales) menu when they placed Troy Eid as US Attorney. Thus every action Eid has taken since being installed in now in question. The integrity of his tenure is now as suspect as the US Attorney General.
Truly Eid can do a lot of damage in the 613 days until the current occupant of the White House leaves and the next Democratic US President must start the long, hard process of un-doing the great debacle of the previous eight years. Action should be taken to quickly minimize the damage that can be done to rule of law and the US Constitution by Troy Eid as the Rove - Gonzales political prosecutor in-chief in Colorado.
What a glorious way to start the weekend. Paul Wolfowitz has resigned as President of the World Bank. It's a good thing that his mistress (believe it, "Wild Wolfie" is still married to another woman), Shaha Razi, is still making more than enough to support them both.
The walls fell in quick succession after the rat-run of long-time neo-con aide Kevin Kellem, and the revelations that his other gatekeeper, Robin Cleveland, crafted a blatantly neo-con (admit nothing, deny everything, and make false counter accussations) public statement about the scandal. The prospects of the rest of the banking world stripping the current occupant of the White House of the traditional US right to nominate the WB President likley accelerated Wolfowitz' deserved demise.
In stereotypical Right WingNut fashion Kellem bailed from the sinking ship of his benefactor. The standard excuse of "...seek opportunities elsewhere..." serves as a forewarning that he will land on the staff of one of the GOP Presidential campaigns. Curriously though, he brole from typical neo-con international institution bashing and praised the WB staff by saying, "I have tremendous respect and admiration for the bank staff and management."
Rumsfeld is now long-gone, and now in addition to having fled the Pentagon, Wolfowitz has lost his hold on world financial concerns. The demise of these two architects of our national malaise is a good omen. efforts must continue to weed-out the rest of the neo-con chicken-hawk cabal that is driving this country into the quagmire.
So, celebrate today and continue the vital work to purge the despicable influence of the likes of Gonzales, Rove, Cheney and the current occupant of the White House. All are worthy targets for a fate similar to Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.
With 613 days remaining in office it is still possible for the current mis-adminstration to wreck more havoc. The results of the past 1,478 days since the "Mission Accomplished" farce are grim testimony to the devastation this crew can bring.
In introducing the "Question of the Day" to viewers of their May 17 broadcast, KDVR Fox 31 Good Day Colorado co-anchors Steve Kelley and Shaul Turner provided only partial information about the controversy surrounding anti-Muslim remarks that Newsradio 850 KOA host "Gunny" Bob Newman made on his May 8 broadcast. Kelley characterized the issue as a case of "[f]ree speech ... being tested again" and noted that The Denver Post had reported that three metro-area businesses have decided to withdraw advertising from Newman's The "Gunny" Bob Show .
But neither Fox 31 nor the Post noted the earlier, publicly critical responses from the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), or the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) to Newman's demand that "every Muslim immigrant in America ... be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times." Newman made the remark while discussing the breakup of an alleged terrorist plot to attack U.S. soldiers at New Jersey's Fort Dix and further suggested that the U.S. government "bug [Muslims'] places of work and their residences," monitor "[a]ll mosques and community centers" and "throw their asses out of the country" if they object...
Media Matters goes on to describe the Denver Post's and others' coverage of the "Gunny" Bob situation, noting how that coverage has focused on our (meaning ProgressNowAction's) petition and business contact drive, although
Neither Fox 31 nor the Post noted, as Colorado Media Matters did, that the [Anti-Defamation League], the [American Friends Service Committee], and the [American Civil Liberties Union] publicly condemned Newman's comments in advance of the advertisers' actions.
It's not hard to understand why media coverage would omit these reputable organizations. We at ProgressNow have spent over two years refining our strategy for engaging our large member base in actions of this kind. We're in the press enough that our actions are...frequently pigeonholed ideologically. And we're okay with that--our job is to express and promote the progressive position on issues, and we do it well.
It seems in this case, however, that we were held up as the 'left-wingers' going after "Gunny" Bob, which allowed the media to "forget" to note that the ADL and the ACLU had also condemned Newman's hateful remarks. If you were looking at this situation from, say, Clear Channel's headquarters, who would you notice in the paper first? The ADL, the ACLU, or a 'left-leaning' advocacy group based in Denver whose name you may or may not even recognize?
It's situations like this that make me very glad Media Matters is here--without them, "Gunny" Bob's remarks might have escaped scrutiny to begin with. And now they're holding the media accountable to fully report the story, not use pieces of it in order to intentionally downplay its significance.
What is it? That Rudy Giuliani is a moron of colossal proportions, and the only way he'll be at inauguration day is as a spectator.
From Rudy's flip-flops on all of Dobson's pet issues to his unabashed support for torture, to his own Gonzales-esque stripping of New Yorker's Fourth Amendment rights, to Bernie Kerik, everything about the guy says that he has toys in the attic.
But his latest takes the cake. His claims that he "usually" hears Democrats blame America for 9/11, and his retort to Ron Paul that it was "absurd" to suggest that the US presence in the Middle East was the reason Al Qaida launched an attack, plainly identify Rudy as an unmitigated fool.
Let's make this so simple that even Rudy can understand it: If you punch a bully in the nose, you'd better be prepared to defend yourself from the counter-punch.
Detroit is the largest city to date to vote to urge the US House of Representative to Impeach Bush and Cheney.
This action is significant because it was sponsored by by Detroit City Council President Pro Tempore Monica Conyers. She is also the wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers who is the the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, where an impeachment effort would begin in the US House.
Welcome news....eh! jhk
The Detroit City Council joins a growing list of governmental groups that have voted to urge the US House of Representatives to Impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
The resolution says Bush and Cheney conspired to defraud the United States by "intentionally misleading Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify the war."
Given that over 3,400 US Soldiers have lost their lives (and many times that in seriously wounded) this crime easily meets the definition of High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
"This may tell us that … the Democratic leadership is closer than one may have thought to looking at the crimes of this administration." See this article by By Dawson Bell and Marisol Bello Staff Writers for the
Detroit Free Press on Freep.Com source: Link
Those of you who think Bush & Cheney need to be held accountable for their crimes against our Constitution may wish to
Join our Progress Now Group '1stProtestInTheStreet'. See Link
or Attend our Impeachment Rallys.
We have 2 each week...
one on Every Tuesday at Noon at the Capital (Lincoln & 14th) within sight of the Denver Post/Rocky Mountain News building. See Link
and one on Every Wednesday at Noon at East 6th & Speer within sight of the Channel 7 TV Station.. See Link
As the purpose of our Rally is to get voters to call Congress and tell them to Impeach.... the title/description of our Rally is
CONGRESS Will IMPEACH IF YOU Call 800-828-0498 Tell Pelossi & All 'Dem' US Rep's Co-Sponsor Kucinich Impeach Cheney Bill HR333
Since US Rep. Kucinich has already introduced an Impeachment Bill we need to demand that our US Congressmen and Congresswomen agree to become Co-Sponsors on his Bill HR333.
We have plenty of Impeach signs... you just need to show up and carry them. Thanks for caring about your Constitution.
NOW... If we could Just Get MoveOn.Org to Ask All Of It's Members If THEY Want To Impeach Bush And Cheney.... given that MoveOn took millions of people away from the anti-war movement... their help on the street would be invaluable.
Please consider signing this Petition
to Ask the MoveOn.org Leadership to Support Impeachment
I was reading a recent post on FDL about Jose Padilla. When this graf stood out:
"Attorney Mark Silverberg, author of “The Quartermasters of Terror” has written, “In our prison system, Islamist imams have demanded, and, for the most part, have been granted the exclusive franchise for Muslim proselytization to the forceful exclusion of moderates.” So it wasn’t all that unusual that while in jail Jose Padilla became a Muslim, a militant one. After his release Padilla changed his name and wanted to be called Ibrahim, and later Abdullah al Muhajir."
This particular denomination of Islam called Wahhabism.
If I remember it is this denomination of Islam that is represented in the Armed Forces religious through the accredidation organizations that the U.S. Armed Forces Chaplain Services uses.
If Wahhabism is an extremist denomination with Islam then why are state and federal governments so complacent?
From the Muslim American Society on Sen. Schumer:
"He also testified in June before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on terrorism and homeland security. During his testimony, Schumer warned of the “growing influence of Wahhabi Islam” in the U.S. military and U.S. prisons. He also accused the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of the largest Muslim organizations in North America, of having “disturbing connections to Wahhabism and terrorism.”
“[T]he Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Pentagon continue to allow these Wahhabi organizations under federal terrorist investigation to serve as their sole religious advisors when it comes to Islam,” he said.
The Senator also charged Saudi Arabia with spreading “Wahhabi” Islam in the U.S. and said he advocates an end to the government’s “friendly” relations with the kingdom.
"The Saudis are a large part of the terrorism problem - without the Saudi government exporting extremism, we wouldn’t have had 9/11 - and yet this administration has been coddling them," Schumer told the New York Observer. "It should be our policy that we’re not friendly with them.""
Interesting in that like Christianity there are those who espouse an intolerant view of other religions.
Perhaps it is time to just say "No" to religion entirely. It time for humanity's "childhood" to end.
I know there are always going to be people with divergent opinions about whatever, but here we have a situation of presumably well intended people on both sides of a divisive issue in an apparent state of inflamed anger against the "other side." There are those, I suspect who would seek to gain by such devisiveness.
And a well defined issue gets sidetracked and obfuscated by meandering into yet another issue - from Islamics in America to Mexican migrants/immigrants.
A radio talk show host, one of many that dominate corporate owned radio outlets, is given a platform and spouts what could possibly become ferment that could conceivably become a more widespread call for ethnic based represssion.
True - PC often becomes Orwellian Think-speak and a self-imposed censorship with a censor that no one can see.
Is this about one guy's opinion or a corporate dominated media?
Once upon a time, FCC regulation limited any entity's ownership of radio outlets to, I believe 3 - now it's up to 8, which is what Clear Channel owns in the Denver market. The intent was (and still is) that the airwaves belong to the people and not to the media owners. The airwaves were leased to the media owners in trust that they may use the airwaves in the best interest of the people and consistent with the constitution and other laws and FCC regulations. Does anyone remember Public Service Announcements? Those were part of this.
When was the last time you recall hearing a PSA on a Clear Channel?
And PSA's were, at best, modest examples of operating in the public interest.
The reality is that the overwhelming majority of corporate owned talk radio bents is to what is perceived as one side of an issue. Maybe it will amount to nothing more than talk, but maybe it can become something more.
Or maybe the corporate owners have a vested interest in seeing a supposedly well-intended populace breathing down each other's necks as they get them to take aim at each other and over any number of hot-button issues, rather than to look at these owners and see how, by policy and law, the populace has suffered a loss of protection and security from within and at the highest levels.
If you continuously react against each other you won't be able to recognize the real threat to your rights, freedoms, protections, etc. There are real threats, you all sense and feel threatened. But no one should overlook the biggest threat as they get bent out of shape over lesser and secondary threats.
All of the perceived threats are real, on both sides, but until we all can even get on the same page about the biggest threat, we will be beset by any number of lesser, puppet threats.
Each hot-button issue is a two-sided coin, a double-edged sword - and each "side" really needs to understand the other to the extent that it can or no one will stand a chance.
For a start: we need to realize certain facts...
If there is at all any kind of prevailing sympathy that any or many Islamic people in America may have for what corporate media calls terrorists, it is because this attack on and occupation of Iraq (mis-called a war) is wrong. The good ole USA is the bad guy here and horribly wrong to have even done this. It was and is a huge mistake to have invaded this country for corporate control of oil and corporate contracts. You and I sure don't control the oil - what are you paying for gas? The attack & occupation may prove our economic undoing - that's the real threat. It only fosters more terror. What did Iraq have to do with 9/11 or WMD's?
Mexicans are overworked (much like every other historical immigrant group to the US) and contributing to the system by their labor. They often pay into the social security system (using fake ID) and this may have actually kept the system from going under - so far, as baby boomers begin to retire. They generally don't pay into the IRS as they tend to over count their dependants on the tax form to keep taxes from being deducted - but again, they are largely being overworked/underpaid and this is happening because those same corporate interests want it so (cheap labor). Otherwise it wouldn't be happening and La Migre would now be doing its job.
It is the world-wide and hemispheric economic disparity that has grown out of a heavy handed, US and developed nation dominated world trade scenario, that has brought about this situation. The US and other developed nations have not played even handedly with the rest of the world (see the books: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man or The Control of Oil/The Seven Sisters). These bitter fruits are what we are reaping from what we have allowed others to sow in our names with our tax dollars and with our consumer dollars.
So long as you set your sites on brown-skinned people (Islamic or Mexican) and overlook the corporate interests overseeing this situation, and their servile puppets in public office, you will continue to loose.
The US is stolen property to begin with - ask any remaining Native American man, woman or child now incarcerated on a reservation. Our nation was built with natural resources stolen either from these people or from developing and undeveloped countries (copper from Chile, coffee from Guatemala, oil from Saudi, etc). All the while the CIA, the School of the Americas and other corporate and gov't interests worked to set up puppet regimes to maintain this status quo to their benefit and we have paid the price in taxes and costs for these products as we spent productive hours watching inane corporate programming like Gilligan's Island.
Unless you can step back and see the big picture and know who the real enemy to America is, you will be lost. So long as you see each other as the hot-button enemy and not recognize the man (and/or woman) behind the curtain, and their political puppets of both persuasions who render mostly lip service to our interests, and seek to restore or maintain protective laws, policies and regulations we will all be lost.
Progress Now seems to be about just this.
Remember the words about united and divided - standing and falling?
Peter is still at it and doesn't belong on "Progressive Talk". Advocating for bombing of religious sites is horribly extreme (right) Let them know how you feel! Tell ClearChannel/AM760 that Boyles doesn't belong on progressive radio and ask that they drop him as host of "Biker Nation" on Saturdays.
From 'Media Matters for Colorado':
On his May 16 show, 630 KHOW-AM's Peter Boyles alluded to the Allied bombing of Dresden during World War II to defend U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo's 2005 remark in which the Republican presidential candidate suggested the United States could bomb Islamic holy sites if Muslim extremists attacked the United States. Boyles also repeated falsehoods about 2006 Colorado immigration legislation and a 2007 measure regarding state identification requirements. Link
Can anyone imagine Ken Salazar being this lucid? Asserting leadership such as this, however misguided? Considering blunder after considerable blunder, we have seen the enemy and it is us. Kick enough doors in and kill enough civilians, you give only fuel to a fire that won't burn out. MC
May 16, 2007
Webb Calls for Realistic Alternatives, Responsible Troop Withdrawal
Washington, DC - Below are remarks delivered by Senator Webb on the Senate floor today with respect to his votes on Iraq-related amendments:
This is a very difficult time for those of us who have long known that the war in Iraq was a strategic error of monumental proportions, but who also understand the practical realities of disengagement. A majority of this country believes that we need to readjust our Iraq policy and to get our combat forces off the streets of Iraq's cities. A majority of our military believes that this Administration's approach is not working. A majority of the Congress believes that we need a new approach.
May 15, 2007, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey (second in command at the DoJ from 2003 to August 2005.) testified under oath to the Judiciary Committee that on March 10, 2004, as then Attorney General John Ashcroft lay ill in intensive care, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and President Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card, decided to "visit" him…
Thanks for your efforts--our call for advertisers to pull their funds from "Gunny" Bob Newman's 850 KOA radio show is working. Yet another former "Gunny" Bob advertiser, Excel Roofing, has agreed that their money and good name should not be associated with hate radio.
I agree, I don't like hate speech. I never bought times in that show, the station placed them. I told Clear Channel to not allow my spots to run in that time slot anymore.
J Bretz Owner, Excel Roofing, Inc.
Thanks, Mr. Bretz. We don't like hate speech either, and we thank you for taking responsibility for the programming your advertising dollars pay for. You stepped up right away, and our network members won't forget it.
Keep the pressure on the other sponsors--it's working! Click here to see the list and give them a call, and let us know what they said.
Second, we are launching a contest, based on what you already know about Bob to determine which of the following descriptions best answers the question "Who Is the Real Bob Schaffer?"
I. Backwards Bob. Bob's views are fundamentally out of touch with Colorado values. Instead of pursuing progress for our state and country, Bob will take Colorado and its citizens backwards.
1. He opposed Referendum C, which passed statewide yet supported Ref A to take water from the Western Slope which voters overwhelmingly defeated. (Fort Collins Coloradoan, 7/23/2005 and RMN, 11/6/2003)
2. He tried to gut the Food Quality Protection Act which imposed strict regulations on pesticides in foods, especially to protect children. Instead, he promoted a bill written by the chemical industry. (FCC, 3/1/2001)
3. He received an embarrassing 5% lifetime average voting for the public interest rating. His votes were worse than other Republicans in the state when he voted NOT to cut federal subsidies for coal and tobacco industry. He was also one of only 4 members of Congress to vote against continuing funding for student loans.(www.uspirg.org)
II. Big Oil Bob. Bob is a full time employee of an oil company. Combined with all the donations he has taken from big oil, he is little more than a puppet of the Big Oil industry.
1. After his time in Congress with his campaigns bankrolled by Big Oil, Schaffer immediately went to work for an oil and gas company here in Colorado. (www.campaignmoney.com)
2. He voted against raising fuel efficiency standards and he opposed incentives for alternative fuels. He also voted against implementation of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce global warming. (www.ontheissues.org)
3. While in Congress, Schaffer supported the expansion of oil and gas drilling in national monument areas while earning dismal report cards from conservation groups.(www.hcn.org)
III. Beltway Bob. There are many values that all Coloradans hold sacred, yet Schaffer is willing to bring the worst of Washington ethics back here to promote himself.
1. He never returned the donations he received from indicted ex-Congressman Tom Delay's PAC. (www.citizensforthics.org)
2. He was caught in 2004 greatly exaggerating his resume by claiming to be the director of a bank which did not exist. (Denver Post, July 18, 2004)
3. He was criticized last year for using a 527 political committee to create a "phony" community newspaper in order to attack a state representative.(DP, 7/20/2006)
Click below to let us know which of these you think best defines Schaffer or submit your own:
I always try to be an active participant in the stand against this illegal war, but sometimes find that the other issues I know are important are taking a back seat to Iraq. So now I'm asking for a little help for just today or the day you read this blog. Please go to www.buffalofieldcampaign.org. This is the only volunteer organization that works full time to stop the slaughter of the last remaining free roaming herd of American Bison, in Yellowstone National Park. I could write a book on what has happened over the last 20+years and the number of Buffalo slaughtered by the Montana Dept. of Livestock to "save" 200-300 head of cattle being grazed on the traditional land of the Buffalo, but it would take way too long. So please find out for yourselves if our wildlife is important to you. I've also posted three of my prints on eBay, 100% of sale to be donated to the BFC, so please take a look and a bid if you like them. Thanks so much, Renee
Our call for advertisers to pull their funds from "Gunny" Bob Newman's 850 KOA radio show is gaining momentum rapidly. Today, in response to your phone calls and letters, another former "Gunny" Bob advertiser, Ralph Schomp Automotive, has agreed that their money and good name should not be associated with hate radio.
Michael, I just spoke with Marty Kroll and he is working on getting the advertising taken off the Gunny Bob show. He will be talking with KOA again tomorrow. He said, there is a ball game in that time slot on Tue. Wed. and Friday and will try to get it taken off on Thursday. Lisa had called him yesterday so he had already started working on it. That spot was not chosen it just fell in the package.
If I can be of any further help or you need any more information please give me a call or you can e-mail me...
Sandy [Luebben, Ralph Schomp Automotive]
We thank Schomp Automotive for their prompt response, and they are to be commended for stepping up and taking responsibility for their advertising. As with other sponsors, Schomp Automotive didn't specifically request ad time on the "Gunny" Bob show -- and once they were advised of the kind of hate speech they were subsidizing, they took action to stop it. That's corporate responsibility, and our members appreciate it.
Keep the pressure on other sponsors! Click here to see the list and give them a call, and let us know what they said.
Demand that the House of Representatives begin impeachment proceedings immediately.
Bush tells American citizens that he will spy upon you without oversight by any court in the land.
New York Times, May 2, 2007:
"WASHINGTON - Senior Bush administration officials told Congress on Tuesday that they could not pledge that the administration would continue to seek warrants from a secret court for a domestic wiretapping program, as it agreed to do in January.
Rather, they argued that the president had the constitutional authority to decide for himself whether to conduct surveillance without warrants."
Now with testimony by Jim Comey at the Senate Judiciary Committee it is shown that Mr. Bush did knowingly committ criminal acts.
Glenn Greenwald has the smack down of Mr. Bush and his administration's willful transgressions against the laws of this nation.
It is time to light a fire under Rep. DeGette (since she is a deputy whip in the Demo House caucus) and see that we, as Americans, will not live under the rule of one man and will live under the rule of law.
Yolanda King, eldest child of Martin Luther King, died yesterday at the young age of 51. She'll be remembered as one who tirelessly worked for the rights and dignity of all people, including gay and lesbian people. She shared her mother's vision for a world where gay and lesbian people, racial and religious minorities, women, and the disabled are accepted as equals, and she never gave up on her father's vision for a nonviolent society.
The degradation of our civil rights in the name of "security" is preposterous. These are the vary freedoms that our nation is founded on, by letting the actions of a few twisted individuals deprive us of the very rights many of us have fought for is a travesty indeed. We cannot allow our freedoms to be stripped for the sake of "protecting" us. True patriots must stand up for what civil liberties we have left.
An examination of the psychological effects of combat must begin by acknowledging that there are some positive aspects to combat. Throughout recorded history these positive aspects have been emphasized and exaggerated in order to protect the self-image of combatants, to honor the memory of the fallen and rationalize their deaths, to aggrandize and glorify political leaders and military commanders, and to manipulate populations into supporting war and sending their sons to their deaths. But the fact that these positive aspects have been manipulated and exploited does not deny their existence. There is a reason for the powerful attraction of combat over the centuries, and there is no value in going from the dysfunctional extreme of glorifying war to the equally dysfunctional extreme of denying its attraction.
We've had an enormous response to our call for advertisers to pull their funds from "Gunny" Bob Newman's 850 KOA radio show, after he called last week for "every Muslim immigrant to America who holds a green card, a visa, or who is a naturalized citizen" to "be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times," as well as have their homes, offices, mosques, etc. "bugged"--and if they refuse, "throw their asses out of this country."
Today, in response to your phone calls and letters, the first former "Gunny" Bob advertiser, Three Tomatoes Catering, has agreed that their money and good name should not be associated with hate radio.
I am writing to you in regards to your web-site (progressnowcolorado.org) and it's position on the radio talk show " Gunny Bob". We have been fielding numerous phone calls from angry listeners and subscribers to your web-site, that we advertise on his show. I want to share with everyone that wepurchased a 2-week block of ad space with Clear Channel, and we do not get to choose when and where the ads will appear. They run the ads between all of their stations. Our owner, Peggy Beck has called Clear Channel to voice her opinion, and disgust that her highly reputable 30-year old catering company is being associated with this idiot. In the future we are going to place our ads with contingencies as to what stations and when they are to be aired. Three Tomatoes Catering is listed as a boycott company due to this on your web-site. If there were anything you can do to help us not be affiliated with Gunny Bob, we would appreciate it.
Thank you, Gary Woods Vice President of Sales Three Tomatoes Catering
Thank you, Mr. Woods, we absolutely believe that your company had no intention of being associated with this man and his vile rantings. We will let our network members know immediately, and you are to be commended for taking control of your advertising dollars.
Keep the pressure on other sponsors! Click here to see the list and give them a call, and let us know what they said.
As of yesterday, U.S. soldiers are blocked from accessing YouTube,
MySpace, and 11 other websites on official Defense Department computers
nationwide, "severing some of the most popular ties linking U.S. troops
in combat areas to their far-flung relatives and friends, and depriving
soldiers of a favorite diversion from the boredom of overseas duty."
Given the large numbers of e-mails that legislators receive, it's understandable that they would want to weed out spammers by using some sort of challenge-response system on their contact forms. Personally I think it's counterproductive, as they can install software like the rest of us that will simply blacklist spammers or shunt their messages into junk mail folders.
But Allard's web staff has gone to the extreme, by forcing people to interpret a skewed set of letters and numbers presented in the form of a graphic, and then type them back in. This completely shuts out the blind, because screen reading software will not interpret those letters. This is in direct violation of Section 508, which mandates that government web sites be accessible to those using assistive technology.
Specificaly, it mandates that "individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal department or agency to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by such members of the public who are not individuals with disabilities."
I don't usually talk about my service in Desert Storm, so I'm going to be brief.
My original service was in the United States Army from 1986 to 1990. I was a Small Arms Repairer and a Unit Armorer. I received my Honorable Discharge, was released from active duty, and went home to start my civilian life.
I was recalled for Desert Shield / Desert Storm in January 1991, six months after I had been released from active duty. As an "IRR", Inactive Ready Reserve, I received a telegram recalling me to active duty. I was attending college full time, so I dropped my college courses, said goodbye to my family, and reported for duty.
After a few weeks of training, upgrading my Military Occupational Skills, recertifying my basic soldier skills, and receiving numerous inoculations and examinations, I received orders to deploy to Saudi Arabia. I was issued full combat gear and got on a civilian flight to the Middle East.
I was attached to the 18th Airborne Corps, and my primary duty was to wait and replace a soldier in my same job field when they were killed in the battlefield. As I waited to be called to the front as a replacement, we moved around a lot, by bus, plane, truck, and on foot, never spending more than a few days in any given location. I was in Riyadh, Dhahran, and the 1 K. zones of both Kuwait and Iraq.
Receiving mail and staying in contact with family back home was a constant challenge, as I was never assigned to a permanent unit. There were several scud missile attacks, incoming artillery and chemical weapons alarms we responded to.
I received orders to report to the front lines. My number had been called. By the time I made it to the front, the ground war was over. Over the next six weeks we withdrew and were eventually sent back state side to out-process.
When responding to the question: "What did my service mean to me?" I have mixed emotions on how I should respond. I was proud to serve my country, even though I had personal and political disagreements with the Gulf War.
My old unit had been deployed, and I had a lot of buddies over there, so when I received my orders to reactivate, I answered the call and served my country with honor.
I feel that had we been allowed to complete our mission 15 years ago, perhaps we wouldn't still be there now.
Thank you for standing up to "Gunny" Bob Newman's racist and bigoted on-air comments. We have had more than 1,000 people sign the petition urging the sponsors to pull their ads during his show.
But we still need your help. Please email or call me if you have already contacted the local businesses that sponsor Gunny Bob’s show because we are talking with an interested reporter at a local news source. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (303) 991-1900. Also, take a moment right now to post your experience on this blog (below).
If you haven't already called the businesses listed below, please take a few minutes and call them to tell them how disappointed you are that they support such a bigoted and racist show.
Thanks again for giving these local businesses a call. It's important that they know what kind of programs they support financially.
A Denver Post columnist, Dick Kreck, reported on this story and the only response Clear Channel, the owner of 850 KOA radio, made was: “I think ‘Gunny’ was expressing an opinion, an extreme one, but his opinion. (Hosts) are paid to express opinions. That’s the nature of what we do.” Read the full column here.
850AM “The Gunny Bob Show” advertisers for May 9, 2007:
Revive, Inc. 6501 West 91st Avenue Westminster, CO 80031 (303) 426-0373, (303) 426-0442 fax email@example.com
B&M Transmission Owner: James (303) 693-1400
Lithia Dodge of Cherry Creek 2727 South Havana Street Aurora, Colorado 80014 1-888-794-0264
Rocky’s Autos 6350 Federal Blvd Denver, CO 80221 303-426-4646
Double Eagle Casino and Resort 400-442 E. BENNETT AVE. CRIPPLE CREEK, COLORADO 80813
Coyote Motorsports Owners: David Wagner and Steve Trujillo 301 East 57th Ave Denver CO 80216 (303) 293-8000
Excel Roofing (ADS HALTED!) Owner: J Bretz 3560 S Lincoln St Englewood, CO 80113-3632 (303) 761-6400
Three Tomatoes Restaurant (ADS HALTED!) 3050 Illinois St Golden, CO 80401-6033 (303) 433-3332
Ralph Schomp BMW Honda Mini (ADS HALTED!) 5700 S Broadway Littleton, CO 80121-8000 (303) 798-1500
Clark Auto Owner: Lance 1207 S Platte River Denver, CO 80223-3144 (303) 733-2274
Last week, a citizen journalist revealed that newly elected Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman hired a director to oversee and maintain the state's master voter registration database, while this same employee ran a for-profit political firm that sold voter lists to partisan political campaigns, in possible violation of state laws. (epluribusmedia.org, 5/3/2007)
Coffman immediately denied that he ever knew about his employee's "side business" and instead, placed the blame on his employee. (Rocky Mountain News, 5/12/2007) The facts show otherwise.
The facts about Coffman's denial:
Coffman's own campaign expenditures from last fall show multiple expenditures to this very employee and his political consulting firm. These expenditures can be seen at his own Secretary of State website: www.sos.state.co.us/cpf
Specifically, on August 9, 2005, Coloradans for Coffman-Coffman's campaign committee-made one of its very first expenditures to this exact firm for "software" to be used by Coffman's political campaign committee.
And on November 20, 2006, Coffman paid this same firm for political consulting.
In fact, Coffman's relationship with this very employee dates back to 1994. (Denver Post, 5/9/2007) This employee previously worked for Coffman in the Treasurer's Office during the same time at which he was also running the political consulting firm in question. Coffman admitted that he knew that the employee ran a political consulting firm while he was working for him at the Treasury Office but said it didn't conflict with the business of the Treasurer's Office. (DP)
Under the Colorado Personnel rules Coffman is "accountable for compliance with these [Board] rules and state and federal law." (Board Rule 1-11) These rules specifically state that Coffman is accountable when "outside employment…is inconsistent with the interests of the state (BR 1-14). In addition, it is a violation of state criminal law to utilize a public office for private gain. (CO Const. XXIX, CRS 18-8-407)
Don't let Coffman throw his employee under the bus. Click on the link below to sign a petition calling for an investigation of Coffman to find whether he knew about the "side business" of his long-time employee and former political operative:
We will deliver the petition to the State Department of Personnel, the Ethics Committee of the Colorado Legislature, and the Denver District Attorney formally requesting an investigation of Coffman.
This is not the first time Coffman has been investigated. In 2004 he was the first public official guilty of violating the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act for knowingly misusing his staff for campaign purposes. (DP, 12/7/2004)
We cannot tolerate any possible misuse of our Secretary of State's office. Click below to sign our petition to investigate Coffman:
The proprietor of the Family Research Institute, Paul Cameron, has been tagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "[echoing] Nazi Germany in that [his] disparaging descriptions of homosexuals are reminiscent of themes found in the ugly history of anti-Semitism, where Jews were historically associated with disease, filth, and child stealing." At the time the SPLC's report was issued, there was some concern over this characterization as violating Godwin's Law which, in a nutshell, says that specious Hitler references are an automatic argument-loser. (Image: Nazi Swastika as it appears in Paul Cameron's newsletter)
Well it turns out SPLC was right on the mark, though they may not have realized it at the time. In the March 1999 issue of his monthly newsletter, Cameron appropriates the so-called research of Rudolph Hoess, one of the architects of the Final Solution. Only Cameron doesn't identify the mass murder for who he was--a SS officer whose innovations in the art of mass killings at Dachau and Sachsenhausen led to his promotion to camp commandant at Auschwitz by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Cameron himself has, in fact, called for the extermination of gay people on numerous occasions, however he demurs when asked about it, saying it's just one "plausible option".
We know there are crazy people out there all over the place, so why is Paul Cameron worth talking about? It's because Paul Cameron's so-called research is quoted on a daily basis by the religious right and many prominent Republicans in their quest to dehumanize, demoralize, and suppress gay and lesbian people. Whenever you hear the right wing claim that gay men don't live past their 40s, or that gay people are more likely to be child molesters, or that gay people recruit others, it's Cameron's hate screed that they are quoting. As Cameron's pseudoscience has been repeatedly debunked, and Cameron himself has been exposed as the hateful neo-Nazi that he is, many of these Christians and Republicans have stopped quoting him by name--but they still quote his numbers.
For a full report on Cameron's paranoid and hateful little existence, check out Paul Cameron's World on Box Turtle Bulletin.
One of the stories on the TV news magazine "60 minutes" was about the CNN anchor Lou Dobbs. When Lesley Stahl said to him that he had been called a racist he said that it was not true because he did not believe that one race was better than another, but yet other things that he said and believed had the same "tone" or attitude as a racist. As I thought about this it came to me that maybe the reason that people were using the term racist to describe Mr. Dobbs belief system, was not because they though he believed in racial inequity, but because of the attitude he projected. So maybe what is going on is that the term racist has expanded to describe an attitude, one which makes judgments about one belief being better than another, which is not racisms original meaning. It was the attitude that people were calling racist.
The attitude that people refer to as racist, but is more than the old term, appears to be a new and growing understanding that any judgment that says that something is innately better than some other thing makes no sense in the broader scheme of things or nature. Where this idea is not new to philosophers it is new in the sense that more and more people are embracing it and have an understanding of it. It is in fact one of the signs of the new paradigm. Things like nationalism are breaking down. The U.S. is not the best country; there is no best country, only countries that people like better than another. Most Americans like America best, but the ones that have the new understanding, understand that the Japanese like Japan the best, and from natures perspective one nation is not any better or worse than any other nation.
Pomegranates are not a popular fruit in the U.S., and some think of it as a messy and therefore bad fruit, but from natures perspective it is not better or worse than any other fruit. There are no bad or evil people from nature's perspective, only people that do bad things. By the same token there are no good people only people who try to do the right thing by other people.
Mr. Dobbs told a story of having one of his professors in college put him down in front of the class for being from Idaho, which the professor called the "cultural wasteland of America." The professor was projecting the attitude I am referring to here. He believed that because the eastern U.S. had a big city culture it was somehow better than the farm culture in Idaho. Growing up, the professor must not have heard the story of the country mouse and the city mouse. If he did he didn't get the message. Then Mr. Dobbs said, "He was right, but he didn't have to say it in front of the class." This showed that Mr. Dobbs had the same judgmental attitude as the professor, a judgment that nature would not make.
Jesus of Nazareth is quoted as saying that unless we become like little children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus was clearly trying to teach this new paradigm. What he meant was that little children don't engage in Mr. Dobb's or his professor's judgments. The children's world just is, then we adults teach them judgment, and the us against them attitude. Since Jesus believed that the kingdom of heaven was within us, he was saying we couldn't have true inner peace until we look at the world from nature's perspective.
Two thousands years before Jesus the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said it this way:
"As soon as the world regards something as beautiful,
ugliness simultaneously becomes apparent. As soon as the world regards something as good, evil simultaneously becomes apparent."
Lao Tzu then went on to say that the more we get away from making judgments the more like nature we become, and the more inner peace we have. So maybe a broader definition of racism is progress.
Peer review is one of the benefits, and pitfalls, of serious scholarship and writing. This is typically only recognized in the scientific and medical journals. But, today, I will submit a peer review of my fellow US Army Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling's hot of the presses article in "Armed Forces Journal" - General Failure: America's Military Leadership is in Crisis.
On the surface this article appears to lay the full weight and blame for the Iraq Debacle on the shoulders of the generals. Or, in his words:
"If the general remains silent while the statesman commits a nation to war with insufficient means, he shares culpability for the results."
Throughout his article Paul makes a strong case for the charge of professional ineptitude on the part of several cycles of generals involved in the preparation for the invasion of Iraq, the combat, and then the occupation. Very nicely interwoven in the article in the subtle challenge to Paul's (thankfully, no longer mine also) highest ranking current and former superior officers to defend themselves.
This is because I do not see Paul's writing as professional suicide or the expression of a "Don Quixote" syndrome, rather it is a slap across the forehead with a cannon barrel that says, "Damn it, you've been silent too long!"
While the condemnation of the US military's denial and intransigence over counter-insurgency warfare is well deserved, there are hints that others should have stood their ground like former US Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki(and should now start digging themselves out). It was only Shinseki who publicly bucked the mis-administration line on the Iraq invasion before Congress. Paul correctly implies that others had the same knowledge, but not the courage and integrity of Shinseki.
In short order Rummy sacked Shinseki only to find that none of the current 3-star and 4-star Army generals would accept the job. By recalling recently retired General Peter Schoomaker, Rummy laid the catalyst for a purge of the US Army general officer ranks that borrows from Josef Stalin.
The real stick that Paul chooses to wield against the silent stars is his description of changes to the Senate nominating and confirming procedures for the generals. His call for accountability and consequences would serve as a severe shake-up of an all too comfortable and conformist exclusive club.
Hopefully, Paul Yingling's article will light a fire under a few more current and retired generals to break the code of silence, and set the record straight on the failings of the current occupant of the White House and his chicken-hawk handlers. Otherwise, Congress would be well within its rights and responsibilities to enact every process outlined by Yingling; and more.
At a Mayday protest in Minneapolis the Mayor spoke out on Impeachment as he was attending a protest run by ImpeachForPeace.org.
As we were preparing to march, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak stopped by and shared his thoughts on impeachment. At first, he noted, he had considered impeachment a distraction from the important political work that needed to be done, but he had been convinced after hearing a talk by Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who leaked "The Pentagon Papers" in 1971: "If the actions of the Bush Administration don't justify impeachment, what would?"
Public passion for impeachment was becoming increasingly obvious. The enthusiasm of the event goers for signing Do-It-Yourself impeachment memorials to impeach Bush and Cheney was, frankly, beyond all of our expectations. Four booth staffers were kept busy for hours ensuring that the throngs of people had DIY petitions to sign. We had petitions in our teeth, between our fingers, and under our elbows to keep them from flying away in the wind while trying to keep up with the crowd surrounding our table waiting to sign the memorials for impeachment. At one time, we ran out of our 400 to 500 petitions and sent someone to a printer to make more. When one of the boothers held up the last petition and yelled, "Last petition to impeach Cheney!" people raised their hands and jumped up and down to be able to be sign the petition with their name and demand impeachment. Numerous people commented that we had the most popular booth at the event. After we ran out of petitions, we had to pass out our web address and let people know that they could download a petition to sign. As soon as the new petitions arrived, however, it was back to finding room on the table and pens to accommodate the crowd at the table to sign them. Even as the event was calming down, people continued to crowd around to sign petitions. Source: Impeachforpeace.org Link
It is becoming obvious that there is a large percentage of Voters that want Bush and Cheney held accountable for their actions in the run up to the Iraq War and for other transgressions against our Constitution.
We in Colorado need to do our part to pressure our Colorado Delegation in the US House of Representatives to become co-sponsors with US Rep. Kucinich on his bill to Impeach VP Cheney.
You can call the Washington DC office of your US Representative For Free at 800-828-0498
It also would be helpful if you called that number and asked for Speaker Pelossi's office and told whomever answers to tell the Speaker to 'put Impeachment back on the table'.
Members of our ProgressNow group called 1StProtestInTheStreet do a
Weekly Protest at Lincoln and 14th on every Wednesday at Noon
to Impeach Bush & Cheney and to press Congress to Stop the Iraq War Now. Our next weekly event info can be found at Link
Editor’s Note: Scott Ritter was a Marine Corps intelligence officer from 1984 to 1991 and a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. He is the author of numerous books, and his latest is “Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement” (Nation Books, April 2007).
I joined the American Legion a few years back. As a veteran of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, I was eligible to do so for some time but always hesitated, perhaps out of a sense of trying to deny that my days as an active-duty combatant were long past. Every year, on Memorial Day, my fellow firefighters and I would gather in the basement of the local American Legion hall before we paraded before the town we protect. I would look around at the uniforms and faded patches and ribbons worn by the veterans who joined us in the hall and realize that they, too, were deserving of a great deal more support than simply being wheeled out once a year to participate in a parade. So I sent in my application and was accepted.
In order to preserve our liberties, we must not allow hate and bigotry to go unanswered.
Earlier this week a popular right-wing host on Denver's KOA radio, "Gunny" Bob Newman, stated on-air that "every Muslim immigrant to America who holds a green card, a visa, or who is a naturalized citizen [should] be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times," and that the government should "bug their places of work and their residences" and monitor "[a]ll mosques and community centers."
During World War II, people like Gunny Bob stoked the fears that resulted in tens of thousands of Japanese Americans being rounded up and sent to prison camps in the name of national security. This was a dark time in our nation's history and we must not allow it to happen again.
To the extent that anyone's rights are not protected under the Constitution, no one's rights are protected. Of course, Gunny Bob has the right to speak his mind freely. But we also have the right to respond to him with one loud voice, telling Gunny Bob, KOA radio, and their sponsors that we will not tolerate hate.
Tell "Gunny" Bob Newman's advertisers: don't pay for this. Click here to sign the petition:
Tuesday night, I introduced a bill that would create an Office of the Ombudsman within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. HR 2192 is motivated by the clear need for an independent office that advocates specifically for veterans and their families. The office would function as one-stop shopping for veterans, protecting their interests and coordinating their benefits as they move through the system.
With more veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the mismanagement we witnessed at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, it became clear to me that we needed to do something to pierce a federal bureaucracy that has become virtually unmanageable for our returning servicemen and women.
Everyone agrees that the process is unnecessarily complex. After fighting our wars abroad, the last thing we should do is force our veterans to fight bureaucracy here at home. Passing this bill will tell Americans that the government is looking out for our veterans, and that they have somewhere to turn.
There's a saying that goes, "Wearing buttons is not enough." That's true, but on the other hand, they can help start conversations that a good grassroots progressive can use to advantage.
I am going to try to share a new button idea, WITH artwork, once a week. You can download it, copy it, use it, send it around, whatever you want. You can even rewrite and redraw it to better suit your own style and needs!
This week's button might be a good one for creating a chance to talk to someone at the grocery store or gas station about how awful it is that racist, anti-American jerks like the radio guy on KOA want to make American citizens wear tracking devices and be forced to submit to the scrutiny of some Big Brother type government office, JUST because of their choice of religion!
Who benefits from trying to make us afraid to stand up for our American rights and freedoms, huh?
Don't try to print from the above image...it will come out way too small.
This link will give you one that should print out art the right size for a 2 1/4" button.
Button making kits are inexpensive (for the small sets, anyway) and easy to use. Feel free to contact me for more details and advice. If you MUST have a button like this and CAN'T get it made any other way, I will commit to making some now and then, as time permits, in exchange for a donation by check to the Prowers County Democrats.
"There are several key congressional moves on withdrawal today. The first one already took place in the Iraqi parliament, and looks ready to pass:
A majority of Iraqi lawmakers have signed onto draft legislation calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq and demanding a freeze on the number of such troops already in the country, lawmakers said Thursday.(...)
The proposed Iraqi legislation, drafted by the parliamentary bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, was signed by 144 members of the 275-member house, according to Nassar al-Rubaie, the leader of the Sadrist bloc."
More on the politicization of the Department of Justice, Abu Gonzales, and Karl "The Third Man" Rove:
"The Plot Thickens
Thu May 10, 2007 at 10:48:46 AM PDT
Murray Waas has a new report at the National Journal that could get Rove, et al. in serious hot water. According to Waas, the Bush administration has withheld information from Congress that would reveal efforts by senior officials at the White House and Justice Department to conceal Karl Rove’s role in naming Timothy Griffin to be the new U.S. Attorney in Arkansas.
The withheld records show that D. Kyle Sampson, who was then-chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, consulted with White House officials in drafting two letters to Congress that appear to have misrepresented the circumstances of Griffin’s appointment as U.S. attorney and of Rove’s role in supporting Griffin."
Isn't it about time to say that enough is enough? The politicization of the Department of Justice is a clear demonstration that Mr. Bush has never been a defender of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He has broken oath to the Constitution and should be impeached (along with "Shooter" Cheney).
Impeachment will happen on a domestic issue not on foreign policy.
I wanted to take a moment to thank all of our members who are breathing new life into the community blog here at ProgressNow. Lots of great stuff being posted in the last couple of weeks, please keep it up.
Remember, you can blog here as well--click on the "MyProgress" button in the menu at the top of any page and create an account. It's easy, and you can our "yaplet" chat box (lower right of this page) to get help from us at any time.
We try not to impose rules on our bloggers, but one thing that's come up recently is important to note: some of you have been posting copyrighted news articles in their entirety. I know it's nice to have that stuff consolidated, but it's not a legal practice and we'll have to start editing posts if it persists. Please limit yourself to no more than a few paragraphs of cited material, and remember to always provide a link back to the source.
Anyway, thanks again, and if there's anything you're having trouble with using our system, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, use our chat channel, or simply post a comment below.
Labor Law Reform Not Just For UnionsPeter Dreier and Kelly Candaele May 10, 2007
Peter Dreier is professor of politics at Occidental College and coauthor of several books, includingThe Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City. Kelly Candaele, a trustee of the Los Angeles Community College District, has recently produced the documentary film,"When Hope and History Rhymed," about the Northern Ireland peace process.
A bill now moving through Congress to expand workers' rights could be the most important legislation in decades to advance the concerns of environmentalists, public schools, higher education, senior citizens, universal health care, housing, women's and gay rights, and civil rights.
Last time I talked about the National Guard's strain from repeated deployments overseas and potentially compromised ability to respond to domestic emergencies, I raised a few defensive hackles--so today I'll let the L.A. Times do the talking for me.
The Pentagon, bearing the brunt of criticism for shortfalls in National Guard supplies after last week's devastating tornado in Kansas, acknowledged Wednesday that Army National Guard units had only 56% of their required equipment...
At the hearing, a bipartisan group of senators confronted Gates with pointed questions on Guard readiness. The lawmakers argued that repeated deployments to Iraq were causing shortages in equipment needed for domestic security and national disaster response.
The issue moved back into the spotlight after Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, noted the shortfalls after a tornado flattened nearly all of Greensburg, Kan. Guard shortfalls delayed the state's emergency response, she said...
Sebelius reiterated the criticisms during Bush's visit. She said the state had mustered the resources to deal with the Greensburg disaster but would be hard pressed to meet any other contingencies.
"If we have another incident … that needs Guard support, I will be in a situation where we have to choose what we do -- and that's a terrible choice to make," she said. "After four years [of war] there's no question that, year after year, Guard supplies are depleted not just in Kansas but all over the country."
White House and Pentagon officials have insisted that sharing agreements among the states would ensure that any shortfalls faced by one state during a disaster could be filled by neighboring states. But some experts have challenged that assertion, saying that nearly every state is running short of equipment because of overseas deployments...
"A Crusade and a Holy War in the US Military
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Tuesday 08 May 2007
An Orthodox Jew and former petty officer in the US Navy said his civil rights were violated after a chaplain and officials at a Veterans Administration hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, tried to convert him to Christianity while he was under the VA's care.
David Miller, 46, who is on full disability, said in an interview that his physician at the VA hospital told him last week to go home and pray or meditate in place of using medication to relieve the pain he was experiencing from kidney stones. When Miller complained to VA staffers that his physician suggested he turn to God to treat his medical condition and refused to prescribe pain medication, VA officials provided him with a new doctor.
"My doctor said that since I am a religious Jew, I should try prayer or meditation to deal with the pain," Miller said. "I was shocked that a medical doctor would make such a suggestion. I immediately raised hell and was assigned a new physician."
Kurt Sickels, a spokesman for the Iowa City VA Medical Center, said that he could not comment on Miller's specific allegations against the hospital, but he said the VA does not try to convert patients to Christianity.
"We respect all religious preferences and beliefs, and we make every effort to accommodate what those beliefs may be," Sickels said.
If that's the case [that officials tried to convert Miller], Sickels said, the hospital staff is not adhering to its policy.
Miller dresses in the traditional attire required for Orthodox Jews. He started receiving treatment for a heart condition and kidney stones at the Iowa City VA hospital after moving back to his hometown two years ago. Since then, he said, a chaplain on duty at the hospital has tried on numerous occasions to convert him to Christianity.
"The first two visits by the Protestant (Assembly of God) chaplain were all about trying to convert me, trying to convince me that I needed Jesus, that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews too," Miller said. "My medical records clearly indicate that I am Jewish. However, with each admission, I have informed the nursing staff both verbally and in writing that I require kosher food and that I do not wish to be visited by anyone from the chaplain's office. I requested they contact my rabbi, and I provided them with his name and telephone number. Despite these instructions, during all three of my hospitalizations, I have been denied kosher food and have had to endure my entire hospitalizations without eating."
The chaplain, Miller said, provided him with a copy of a scripture from the New Testament, despite Miller's protests that he be left alone.
After filing complaints with the hospital's patient advocacy board, Miller and his rabbi met last week with hospital officials and the chaplain who tried to convert him. He said the hospital has agreed to provide him with kosher meals in the future, suggesting that he be more assertive in resisting the next time the VA chaplain attempts to push Christianity on him. That, Miller said, was the last straw.
Late last month, Miller contacted Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, about the issue. Harkin wrote a letter to Barry Sharp, the director of the Veterans Administration hospital in Iowa City, to inquire about Miller's allegations against the VA.
"A Jewish constituent has complained that each time he is admitted to [Veterans Administration Medical Center] Iowa City, a Catholic chaplain is sent to his room to counsel 'pray and offer communion,'" Harkin wrote. "The patient has repeatedly advised staff that he does not want a chaplain to visit. He is also concerned that he is not offered and cannot get kosher meals. Additionally, he mentioned that when new patients arrive and are given orientation, the session is conducted in a church/chapel. I would like to know the national policy regarding these issues. If this is an isolated incident or miscommunication, that guidance should be given to the ... management and staff."
In an email response to Harkin, a copy of which was obtained by Truthout, the hospital said when a patient is admitted to the VA hospital he or she is queried about religious preference at registration.
"There is a standard list which, includes Jewish as one of the religious preference options," Sharp said in his response to Harkin, without specifically addressing Miller's claims. "The admissions clerk should be checking with the patients to ensure that their preference or no preference is accurately indicated on the admission registration forms."
Sharp said that in accordance with Department of Veterans Affairs guidelines, "pastoral counseling to patients" is not limited to a specific faith.
"The spiritual aspect of health and wellness is recognized by all caregivers and addressed in all patient care settings," Sharp wrote.
In addition to contacting Harkin, Miller enlisted the help of the nonprofit Military Religious Freedom Foundation, whose founder, Mikey Weinstein, a former White House counsel who defended the Reagan administration during the Iran-Contra probe, has been waging a one-man war against the Department of Defense for what he says is a blatant disregard of the Constitution. He recently published a book on the issue: "With God on Our Side: One Man's War Against an Evangelical Coup in America's Military." Weinstein is also an Air Force veteran and a graduate of the Air Force Academy. Three generations of his family have attended US military academies.
Since he launched his watchdog organization 18 months ago, Weinstein said he has been contacted by more than 4,000 active duty and retired soldiers, many of whom served or serve in Iraq, who told Weinstein that they were pressured by their commanding officers to convert to Christianity.
Weinstein said Miller's case is just the latest example of how the military has been hijacked by a right-wing fundamentalist Christian agenda, in what appears to be a clear-cut violation of the constitutional separation between church and state, which has rippled across all four branches of the military under President Bush.
"The rise of evangelical Christianity inside the military went on steroids after 9/11 under this administration and this White House," Weinstein said in an interview. "This administration has turned the entire Department of Defense into a faith-based initiative."
On Thursday, Weinstein said he intends to push back. He plans on holding a news conference in Des Moines to discuss Miller's case and draw attention to the broader issue of "religious fanaticism" plaguing the military. Weinstein added that his organization would likely file a lawsuit against the Veterans Administration hospital for violating Miller's civil rights.
"We will rapidly explore all legal options available, and I fully intend to file a lawsuit against the VA for massive constitutional violations against Mr. Miller," Weinstein said. "We will look at the law and lay down a withering field of fire at the feet of the VA to stop this tidal wave of unconstitutional destruction."
Weinstein, who is Jewish, said that VA chaplains, as federal government employees, are not supposed to "proselytize or rescue souls."
VA chaplains "are not supposed to view the VA hospitals as their own personal mission field, or the veterans as low-hanging fruit," Weinstein said. "The VA is not the Southern Baptist Convention. In this country, we have a separation between church and state. The religious right views the separation of church and state as a myth. There is no difference between the VA hospital and a US Air Force fighter squadron. They're both part of the federal government. It doesn't matter if you're an Orthodox Jew, a Buddhist or an atheist."
I paid $3.19 per gallon today to fill my family's van with mid grade. This price per gallon, works out to $1,083 more per year over 1999 if I drive only 12,000 mi/yr Per Van. In 6 years I may have paid Over $ 6,000 to Cheney/Bush's oil cronies per vehicle. **
Was the Iraq War all about a run up in Oil Profits? With gas prices creeping up on $ 4.00 gallon in some areas, the folks that want to Impeach Cheney may have a solid pocketbook reason that affects everyone.
According to an article on CommonDreams.org Link
"Americans in 50 metro areas will pay $83 billion more for gasoline this year at $3 per gallon, compared to the prices they paid in February 2003 -- and even more if prices continue to rise as expected, says a new Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis that calculates the increased cost of gasoline per family in the 50 largest metro areas.
Families in sprawling Southern cities with limited mass transit systems drive the most miles per year and will pay more. In Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta the average family will pay at least $2,000 more for gasoline this year than in 2003 at $3 per gallon.
In... Denver, Oklahoma City and Jacksonville, a two-car family will pay between $4,000 and $4,800 per year for gasoline, a huge bill for the typical family earning the median income of $45,000."
EWG's Gas Gouge Calculator is the only tool of its kind available online.
To see how your community ranks, go to this Website: Link
To calculate Your Own Additional Cost Of Gasoline, based on your car and the amount you drive, go to This Website: Link
"As gas prices surge past $3 per gallon, families are paying for the nation's failure to invest in transportation options, alternative energy and tough fuel efficiency standards," said Dusty Horwitt, EWG energy analyst.
These glaring gaps in national energy policy leave Americans at the mercy of spiking gasoline prices -- whether they are caused by global demand for oil, a terrorist attack, a hurricane or investors pushing oil past $75 a barrel.
As politicians pander to consumers with schemes for rebates or calls for investigations of price gouging, they've really done nothing to address the needs of American families, Horwitt said.
Nationwide, soaring gas prices amount to a multi-billion dollar tax on consumers. In the largest 50 metro areas, consumers are spending $86.7 billion more per year on gasoline than they did in January 2001.
Instead of bogus $100 bribes or shortsighted gas tax rollbacks, Congress and the administration need to get real about national energy policy," said Horwitt. "We need higher gas mileage standards, funding for rail and transit equal to what we spend on new highways, and oil company taxes that reflect their windfall profits."
Meanwhile California passed the $3 milestone two months ago. California's average for regular gasoline hit $3.46 Friday, jumping 2 cents overnight. San Francisco, meanwhile, reached $3.60, with no slowdown in sight. Per SFGate.Com article Link
And a Chicago Tribune article Link
reports "Some analysts say drivers could pay $4 to $5 per gallon". In Chicago, regular gas sold at a record average price of $3.339 compared with $2.885 a month ago.
** According to the Calculator
The Bush Administration is responsible for the Nation's Energy Policy and the Iraq War.
Our Troops pay for the Bush/Cheney Iraq Oil Industry Adventure with their Blood.
You and I and our children and grandchildren will pay for it out of our financial nest egg.
From the Vietnam Veterans Against the War Network today... does this news surprise anyone?
"From: Lane Anderson
Majority of Iraqi Lawmakers Now Reject Occupation
By Raed Jarrar and Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on May 9, 2007, Printed on May 9, 2007 Link
On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media, more than half of the
members of Iraq's parliament rejected the continuing occupation of
country. 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on
United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar
Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia
group that sponsored the petition.
It's a hugely significant development. Lawmakers demanding an end to
occupation now have the upper hand in the Iraqi legislature for the
first time; previous attempts at a similar resolution fell just short
the 138 votes needed to pass (there are 275 members of the Iraqi
parliament, but many have fled the country's civil conflict, and at
times it's been difficult to arrive at a quorum).
Reached by phone in Baghdad on Tuesday, Al-Rubaie said that he would
present the petition, which is nonbinding, to the speaker of the Iraqi
parliament and demand that a binding measure be put to a vote. Under
Iraqi law, the speaker must present a resolution that's called for by a
majority of lawmakers, but there are significant loopholes and what
happen next is unclear.
What is clear is that while the U.S. Congress dickers over timelines
benchmarks, Baghdad faces a major political showdown of its own. The
major schism in Iraqi politics is not between Sunni and Shia or
supporters of the Iraqi government and "anti-government forces," nor is
it a clash of "moderates" against "radicals"; the defining battle for
Iraq at the political level today is between nationalists trying to
the Iraqi state together and separatists backed, so far, by the United
States and Britain.
The continuing occupation of Iraq and the allocation of Iraq's
-- especially its massive oil and natural gas deposits -- are the
defining issues that now separate an increasingly restless bloc of
nationalists in the Iraqi parliament from the administration of Iraqi
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose government is dominated by
Sunni and Kurdish separatists.
By "separatists," we mean groups who oppose a unified Iraq with a
central government; key figures like Maliki of the Dawa party, Shia
leader Abdul Aziz Al-Hakeem of the Supreme Council for the Islamic
Revolution in Iraq ("SCIRI"), Vice President Tariq Al-Hashimi of the
Sunni Islamic Party, President Jalal Talabani -- a Kurd -- and Masoud
Barzani, president of the Kurdish Autonomous Region, favor partitioning
Iraq into three autonomous regions with strong local governments and a
weak central administration in Baghdad. (The partition plan is also
favored by several congressional Democrats, notably Sen. Joe Biden
Iraq's separatists also oppose setting a timetable for ending the U.S.
occupation, preferring the addition of more American troops to secure
their regime. They favor privatizing Iraq's oil and gas
and decentralizing petroleum
operations and revenue distribution.
But public opinion is squarely with Iraq's nationalists. According to a
poll by the University of Maryland's Project on International Public
Policy Attitudes, majorities of all three of Iraq's major
ethno-sectarian groups support a unified Iraq with a strong central
government. For at least two years, poll after poll has shown that
majorities of Iraqis of all ethnicities and sects want the United
to set a timeline for withdrawal
even though (in the case of Baghdad residents), they expect the
situation to deteriorate in the short term
as a result.
That's nationalism, and it remains the central if unreported motivation
for many Iraqis, both within the nascent government and on the streets.
While sectarian fighting at the neighborhood and community level has
made life unlivable for millions of Iraqis, Iraqi nationalism --
portrayed as a fiction by supporters of the invasion -- supercedes
sectarian loyalties at the political level. A group of secular, Sunni
and Shia nationalists have long voted together on key issues, but so
have failed to join forces under a single banner.
That may be changing. Reached by phone last week, nationalist leader
Saleh Al-Mutlaq, of the National Dialogue Front, said, "We're doing our
best to form this united front and announce it within the next few
weeks." The faction would have sufficient votes to block any measure
proposed by the Maliki government. Asked about the Americans' reaction
to the growing power of the nationalists, Mutlaq said, "We're trying
best to reach out to the U.S. side, but to no avail."
That appears to be a trend. Iraqi nationalists have attempted again and
again to forge relationships with members of Congress, the State
Department, the Pentagon and the White House but have found little
interest in dialogue and no support. Instead, key nationalists like
al-Sadr have been branded as "extremists," "thugs" and "criminals."
That's a tragic missed opportunity; the nationalists are likely Iraq's
best hope for real and lasting reconciliation among the country's
warring factions. They are the only significant political force focused
on rebuilding a sovereign, united and independent Iraq without
and ethnic tensions or foreign meddling -- from either the West or
Hassan Al-Shammari, the head of Al-Fadhila bloc in the Iraqi
said this week, "We have a peace plan, and we're trying to work with
other nationalist Iraqis to end the U.S. and Iranian interventions, but
we're under daily attacks and there's huge pressure to destroy our
A sovereign and unified Iraq, free of sectarian violence, is what
Bush and Tony Blair claim they want most. The most likely reason that
the United States and Britain have rebuffed those Iraqi nationalists
share those goals is that the nationalists oppose permanent basing
rights and the privatization of Iraq's oil sector. The administration,
along with their allies in Big Oil, has pressed the Iraqi government to
adopt an oil law that would give foreign multinationals a much higher
rate of return than they enjoy in other major oil producing countries
and would lock in their control over what George Bush called Iraq's
"patrimony" for decades.
Al-Shammari said this week: "We're afraid the U.S. will make us pass
this new oil law through intimidation and threatening. We don't want it
to pass, and we know it'll make things worse, but we're afraid to rise
up and block it, because we don't want to be bombed and arrested the
next day." In the Basrah province, where his Al-Fadhila party dominates
the local government, Al-Shammari's fellow nationalists have been
attacked repeatedly by separatists for weeks, while British troops in
the area remained in their barracks.
The nationalists in parliament will now press their demands for
withdrawal. At the same time, the emerging nationalist bloc is holding
hearings in which officials from the defense and interior ministries
have been grilled about just what impediments to building a functional
security force remain and when the Iraqi police and military will be
able to take over from foreign troops. Both ministries are believed to
be heavily infiltrated by both nationalist (al-Sadr's Mahdi Army) and
separatist militias (the pro-Iranian Badr Brigade).
The coming weeks and months will be crucial to Iraq's future. The
States, in pushing for more aggressive moves against Iraqi nationalists
and the passage of a final oil law, is playing a dangerous game. Iraqi
nationalists reached in Baghdad this week say they are beginning to
hope of achieving anything through the political process because both
the Iraqi government and the occupation authorities are systematically
bypassing the Iraqi parliament where they're in the majority. If they
end up quitting the political process entirely, that will leave little
choice but to oppose the occupation by violent means.
~Raed Jarrar is Iraq Consultant to the American Friends Service
The good news is you'll be able to stop saying "they hate us because we're so free" -- if 850 KOA's "Gunny Bob" has anything to say about it.
Discussing the breakup of an alleged terrorist plot to attack U.S. soldiers at New Jersey's Fort Dix, Newsradio 850 KOA host "Gunny" Bob Newman said on his May 8 show that "every Muslim immigrant to America who holds a green card, a visa, or who is a naturalized citizen [should] be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times," and that the government should "bug their places of work and their residences" and monitor "[a]ll mosques and community centers." Newman added, "If they don't like the idea, or if they refuse, throw their asses out of this country."
Newman also suggested refusing Muslims entry into the United States by imposing a "moratorium" on visas for them. Speaking directly to the Muslim community, Newman warned, "You better get control of your own people. Once you get control of them, then come see us again and we'll think about -- however many decades down the road it is -- we'll think about maybe opening our doors to you again. But you are doing absolutely freaking nothing to help ... this nation."
Awesome, "land of the free" lovers -- and if we turn a couple million Americans and foreign visitors into a mass-surveilled underclass with no rights to privacy...based on their religion...we'll be even...free-er...
If you're thinking to yourself "wait a minute, I don't live in the same country, let alone state, as this whackjob fascist pinhead--do I?" I'm sorry to disappoint you.
Desmond Tutu is a former archbishop of Cape Town and a Nobel peace laureate. This article originally appeared inThe Guardianand is reprinted fromBlack Agenda Report.
What if dealing with climate change meant more than a flick of a switch? Would our friends in the industrialized world think differently if the effects of climate change were worse than extended summer months and the arrival of exotic species? Cushioned and cosseted, they have had the luxury of closing their minds to the real impact of what is happening in the fragile and precious atmosphere that surrounds the planet we live on. Where climate change has occurred in the industrialized world, the effects have so far been relatively benign. With the exception of events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the inhabitants of North America and Europe have felt just a gentle caress from the winds of change.
Pelosi threat to sue Bush over Iraq bill
By Jonathan E. Kaplan and Elana Schor
May 09, 2007
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening to take President Bush to court if he issues a signing statement as a way of sidestepping a carefully crafted compromise Iraq war spending bill.
Pelosi recently told a group of liberal bloggers, “We can take the president to court” if he issues a signing statement, according to Kid Oakland, a blogger who covered Pelosi’s remarks for the liberal website dailykos.com.
“The president has made excessive use of signing statements and Congress is considering ways to respond to this executive-branch overreaching,” a spokesman for Pelosi, Nadeam Elshami, said. “Whether through the oversight or appropriations process or by enacting new legislation, the Democratic Congress will challenge the president’s non-enforcement of the laws.”
It is a scenario for which few lawmakers have planned. Indicating that he may consider attaching a signing statement to a future supplemental spending measure, Bush last week wrote in his veto message, “This legislation is unconstitutional because it purports to direct the conduct of operations of the war in a way that infringes upon the powers vested in the presidency.”
Time to not tell but demand that Congress have a hard deadline of withdrawal this year. No more being wishy washy with the blood-king Bush and blood-queen Cheney.
Remember- there is the idiotic Bush mantra of "The terrorists will follow us if we quit Iraq". Richard Clark calls it the "puppy dog" theory of terrorism and is utterly false.
Remember that to continue having this ridiculous counter insurgency plan by Gen. Praterous that was green lighted by the blood king Bush and his Sec. of Defense Gates will translate into at least 500 more Americans being killed.
Oh, everybody now says that the blood beasts- Bush & Cheney- have that September deadline.
So much for that magic September deadline:
U.S. commanders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that heightened troop levels, announced by President Bush in January, will need to last into the spring of 2008. The military has said it would assess in September how well its counterinsurgency strategy, intended to pacify Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, is working.
"The surge needs to go through the beginning of next year for sure," said Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the day-to-day commander for U.S. military operations in Iraq. The new requirement of up to 15-month tours for active-duty soldiers will allow the troop increase to last until spring, said Odierno, who favors keeping experienced forces in place for now."
May 9, 2007
NY Times Editorial
The Democrats' Pledge
Last year, Congressional Democrats allowed the Bush administration to ram through one of the worst laws in the nation's history -- the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This year, the Democrats pledged to use their new majority to begin repairing the profound damage the law has done to the nation's justice system and global image.
But there are disturbing signs their pledge may fall victim to the same tactical political calculations and Bush administration propagandizing that allowed this scandalous law to pass in the first place.
Could it be that even the Conservatives are beginning to accept that Bush and Cheney have committed unforgiveable, impeachable offenses against the voters and the Constitution? And deserve Impeachment?
Time will tell.
According to an article at Townhall.com a very Conservative website
By Matt Towery
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Bush-Cheney Impeachment Might Be Idle Talk,
But Numbers Show True Trouble
Anti-war Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania is prominent among some Democrats in his use of the "I" word -- impeachment -- about President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Murtha made his comments on CBS's "Face the Nation" and elsewhere.
Few serious observers think things will ever get to actual impeachment.
And yet the American public seems more open to the concept
than many imagine, according to a new national poll.
The implications of this public sentiment could be huge for the 2008 presidential elections.
"Pentagon has notified more than 35,000 Army soldiers to be prepared to deploy to
Iraq beginning this fall, a move that would allow commanders to maintain the ongoing buildup of troops through the end of the year if needed."
Conservative Assault On America's FamiliesBeth ShulmanMay 08, 2007
Beth Shulman is a lawyer and consultant focusing on work-related issues. She is the author of The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans. Shulman delivered these remarks at the Failure of Conservatism ConferenceLinkon May 3 in Washington, sonored by the Campaign for America's Future and The American Prospect.
Conservatism historically has seen government as a problem to overcome, an albatross. President Reagan stated it succinctly when he said, “we need to get government off our backs.” Conservatives usually justify this negative view of government in the name of freedom. They conflate freedom with unregulated markets, anti-unionism, low taxes and a rabid individualism. Without so-called government interference, people would be free to make their own choices. But what has this restricted view of government and the notion of freedom it embraces meant for America’s families today? In one word—disaster.
Veterans for Progress members Mike Collins and Jim Hudson are saints in my eyes. Diane Carman has another great story today of how these guys have been busting their butts to help a fellow disabled vet, Robert Lee, who has found himself in a desperate situation. The sorry state of the Veterans Administration, and the suffering of our veterans as a consequence, is a national tragedy.
Remember Mike Collins ad blasting Musgrave for using a wounded Marine from Iraq to cover her horrible record of not supporting veterans? Robert Lee's story shows you why Musgrave's ad made Mike and other veterans so angry.
Click on one of Mike's posts and then click on his name (as the author) to email him and ask how you can help Robert Lee.
Looooonnnnnnngggggggg oneBush's favorite historianBritish author Alistair Horne explains what Pinochet, Sharon and Bush have all taken from his work, why peace means getting rid of the priests, and why Iraq is the wrong war in the wrong place.
By Gary Kamiya
May. 08, 2007 | Sir Alistair Horne may be the only author in the world whose books have been read and praised by George W. Bush, Ariel Sharon and Robert Fisk. Not to mention by much of the senior military staff of the U.S. Army, Middle East scholars, State Department policy wonks, and realpolitik statesmen. The distinguished British historian, author of 18 books, became the talk of the U.S. chattering classes when it was revealed that President Bush was reading his classic account of the 1954-1962 Algerian War, "A Savage War of Peace." Indeed, Bush was so impressed with "A Savage War of Peace" that he invited Horne to come to the White House for tea and a talk last Thursday.
May 8, 2007
Obama Criticizes Automakers on Fuel Economy
By MICHELINE MAYNARD
DETROIT, May 7 -- Senator Barack Obama of Illinois delivered a stern message to Detroit auto companies on Monday, saying they had done little to lessen the nation's dependence on foreign oil and needed to improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles.
Sounding at times like a teacher scolding a lazy but promising student, Mr. Obama at the same time proposed incentives to help General Motors, the Ford Motor Company and the Chrysler Group out of a lingering slump that has resulted in dozens of plant closings and the elimination of tens of thousands of jobs this decade.
Please write to AM760 and express your disapproval of their Saturday show 'USA Biker Nation' hosted by PETER BOYLES! Their 'Clear Channel' is showing!
This is my letter to them (via their website Link )
"I believe you are showing your disrespect and disdain for your listeners by airing a show whose host is the arch-fascist Peter Boyles. Come on! Ed Schultz and CBS News are bad, but Boyles is egregious. Didn't you dispose of one Saturday show because of their liberal remarks (on a, supposedly, liberal radio station)? Thanks to Reagan/Clinton/Bush efforts, you're about my only choice for moderate and liberal talk. Don't slap me in the face with Boyles!"
Impeaching Bush, Cheney and Gonzales might help slow down their march to a dictatorship
Wednesday May 2, 2007 10:32 EST Link
The right's explicit and candid rejection of "the rule of law"
The Wall St. Journal online has today published a lengthy and truly astonishing article by Harvard Government Professor Harvey Mansfield, which expressly argues that the power of the President is greater than "the rule of law."
The article bears this headline: The Case for the Strong Executive -- Under some circumstances, the Rule of Law must yield to the need for Energy. And it is the most explicit argument I have seen yet for vesting in the President the power to override and ignore the rule of law in order to recieve the glories of what Mansfield calls "one-man rule."
That such an argument comes from Mansfield is unsurprising. He has long been a folk hero to the what used to be the most extremist right-wing fringe but is now the core of the Republican Party. He devoted earlier parts of his career to warning of the dangers of homosexuality, particularly its effeminizing effect on our culture.
He has a career-long obsession with the glories of tyrannical power as embodied by Machiavelli's Prince, which is his model for how America ought to be governed. And last year, he wrote a book called Manliness in which "he urges men, and especially women, to understand and accept manliness" -- which means that "women are the weaker sex," "women's bodies are made to attract and to please men" and "now that women are equal, they should be able to accept being told that they aren't, quite." Publisher's Weekly called it a "juvenile screed."
I'll leave it to Bob Altemeyer and others to dig though all of that to analyze what motivates Mansfield and his decades-long craving for strong, powerful, unchallengeable one-man masculine rule -- though it's more self-evident than anything else.
But reading Mansfield has real value for understanding the dominant right-wing movement in this country. Because he is an academic, and a quite intelligent one, he makes intellectually honest arguments, by which I mean that he does not disguise what he thinks in politically palatable slogans, but instead really describes the actual premises on which political beliefs are based.
And that is Mansfield's value; he is a clear and honest embodiment of what the Bush movement is. In particular, he makes crystal clear that the so-called devotion to a "strong executive" by the Bush administration and the movement which supports it is nothing more than a belief that the Leader has the power to disregard, violate, and remain above the rule of law. And that is clear because Mansfied explicitly says that. And that is not just Mansfield's idiosyncratic belief. He is simply stating -- honestly and clearly -- the necessary premises of the model of the Omnipotent Presidency which has taken root under the Bush presidency.
This is not the first time Mansfield has expressly called for the subordination of the rule of law to the Power of the President. In January of 2006 -- in the immediate aftermath of revelations that President Bush had been breaking the law for years by spying on the telephone conversations of Americans without warrants -- Mansfield went to The Weekly Standard and authored a truly amazing article, which I wrote about here (see item 2).
Unlike dishonest Bush followers who ludicrously claimed that Bush's eavesdropping was not illegal, Mansfield embraced reality and candidly argued that President Bush possesses the power to break the law in order to fight The Terrorists. The headline of that article presented the same mutually exclusive choice as the WSJ article today: The Law and the President -- in a national emergency, who you gonna call?
In that article, Mansfied claimed, among other things, that our "enemies, being extra-legal, need to be faced with extra-legal force"; that the "Office of President" is "larger than the law"; that "the rule of law is not enough to run a government"; that "ordinary power needs to be supplemented or corrected by the extraordinary power of a prince, using wise discretion"; that "with one person in charge we can have both secrecy and responsibility"; and most of all:
Much present-day thinking puts civil liberties and the rule of law to the fore and forgets to consider emergencies when liberties are dangerous and law does not apply.
"Law does not apply" -- that is Mansfield's belief, and the belief of the Bush movement. I didn't think it was possible, but Mansfield, with today's article in The Wall St. Journal, actually goes even further in advocating pure lawlessness and tyranny than he did in that remarkable Weekly Standard screed. He begins by describing "the debate between the strong executive and its adversary, the rule of law." He then says: "In some circumstances I could see myself defending the rule of law," but "the rule of law has two defects, each of which suggests the need for one-man rule."
The rule of law has two defects, each of which suggests the need for one-man rule. That is what is on the Op-Ed page of The Wall St. Journal this morning. The article is then filled with one paragraph after the next paying homage to the need for a Great Leader who stomps on the rule of law when he chooses -- literally:
The best source of energy turns out to be the same as the best source of reason--one man. One man, or, to use Machiavelli's expression, uno solo, will be the greatest source of energy if he regards it as necessary to maintaining his own rule. Such a person will have the greatest incentive to be watchful, and to be both cruel and merciful in correct contrast and proportion. We are talking about Machiavelli's prince, the man whom in apparently unguarded moments he called a tyrant. . .
The president takes an oath "to execute the Office of President" of which only one function is to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." In addition, he is commander-in-chief of the military, makes treaties (with the Senate), and receives ambassadors. He has the power of pardon, a power with more than a whiff of prerogative for the sake of a public good that cannot be achieved, indeed that is endangered, by executing the laws. . . .
In quiet times the rule of law will come to the fore, and the executive can be weak. In stormy times, the rule of law may seem to require the prudence and force that law, or present law, cannot supply, and the executive must be strong.
In the course of explaining how the rule of law applies only in "quiet times," Mansfield also argues that "civil liberties are subject to circumstances," not inalienable, and that "in time of war the greater dangers may be to the majority from a minority." Thus, he explains -- in what might be my favorite sentence -- "A free government should show its respect for freedom even when it has to take it away."
I'm not going to spend much time rebutting the notion that the American President has the power to act as a Prince and override the rule of law when circumstances supposedly justify that. For one thing, given that this belief has governed our country since the 9/11 attacks, I've made the argument many times before, including here and here, as well as in my book.
But more so, one would hope that no response is really necessary, since most Americans -- outside of the authoritarian cult that has followed George W. Bush as Infallible War Leader -- instinctively understand that America does not recognize such a thing as a political official with the power of "one-man rule" that overrides the rule of law. That we are a nation of laws, not men, is so basic to our political identity that it should need no defense.
And for those with any lingering doubts about how repugnant Mansfield's vision is to the defining American political principle, I would simply turn the floor over to the great American revolutionary Thomas Paine (.pdf), writing in Common Sense:
The point here is not to spend much time arguing that Mansfield's authoritarian cravings are repugnant to our political traditions. The real point is that Mansfield's mindset is the mindset of the Bush movement, of the right-wing extremists who have taken over the Republican Party and governed our country completely outside of the rule of law for the last six years. Mansfield makes these arguments more honestly and more explicitly, but there is nothing unusual or uncommon about him. He is simply expounding the belief in tyrannical lawlessness on which the Bush movement (soon to be led by someone else, but otherwise unchanged) is fundamentally based.
This is why he is published in The Weekly Standard and The Wall St. Journal -- the two most influential organs for so-called "conservative" political thought. All sorts of the most political influential people in our country -- from Dick Cheney to Richard Posner to John Yoo and The Weekly Standard -- believe and have argued for exactly this vision of government. They literally do not believe in our constitutional framework and our most defining political values. They have declared a literally endless War which, they claim, not only justifies but compels the vesting of unlimited power in the President -- "unlimited" by Congress, the courts, American public opinion and the rule of law.
That continues to be the central political crisis we have in this country. It is an encouraging development that Congress is exercising aggressive oversight and investigative powers, but the administration is stonewalling completely, and will continue to, because they do not recognize any duty to respond, to answer questions, to be subject to scrutiny or accountability. We live in stormy times, and thus, as Mansfield says: "In stormy times, the rule of law may seem to require the prudence and force that law, or present law, cannot supply, and the executive must be strong."
That is why -- as jarring as it is -- it is actually necessary to ask presidential candidates whether they intend to exercise the power to imprison American citizens with no charges of any kind. The dominant political movement in this country believes in that power and has defended and exercised it. Mansfield's beliefs may be twisted and tyrannical and radical and profoundly un-American. But they are also the beliefs that have propelled our government for the last six years and -- absent some serious change -- very well may continue to propel it into the future.
UPDATE: I just want to add one related point here. Much of the intense dissatisfaction I have with the American media arises out of the fact that these extraordinary developments -- the dominant political movement advocating lawlessness and tyranny out in the open in The Wall St. Journal and Weekly Standard -- receive almost no attention.
While the Bush administration expressly adopts these theories to detain American citizens without charges, engage in domestic surveillance on Americans in clear violation of the laws we enacted to limit that power, and asserts a general right to disregard laws which interfere with the President's will, our media still barely discusses those issues.
They write about John Edwards' haircut and John Kerry's windsurfing and which political consultant has whispered what gossip to them about some painfully petty matter, but the extraordinary fact that our nation's dominant political movement is openly advocating the most radical theories of tyranny -- that "liberties are dangerous and law does not apply" -- is barely noticed by our most prestigious and self-loving national journalists. Merely to take note of that failure is to demonstrate how profoundly dysfunctional our political press is.
Don't worry, be Mike GravelNo job, no money, no problem -- after personal setbacks, the quirky Alaskan returns to his first love as a long-shot contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.
By Alex Koppelman
May. 07, 2007 | If Mike Gravel, the former senator from Alaska now running for president as a quasi-lefty long shot, can be said to have a base, then he should have been standing right in the thick of it Wednesday night.
I came upon a message requesting for a petition to be signed....It asked one simple question, but what a loaded question it was....One that should have garnered a good deal of thought possibly a bit of research as well before answering...but by the responses I read, we are certainly not giving much thought; And research? The question? oh, yeah.... (Link from Care2 (asking for 5,000 signatures...Why only 5,000?)
WHAT shouldCongress Send to The President Regarding the Iraq War?
My 1st thought was a warrant for his arrest, but then I can't quite get past the criminal behavior of this Banana Republican Regime.
I began reading the responses which tended to run 1 in 7 to Win the war and the rest seems muddled with out now, impeach Bush, and give a timeline with benchmarks. So, understanding the stats match the rest of the polls but what still strikes me everytime are the responses....Some of my favorites:
The High Cost of Ignoring Poverty Link
Posted on May 4, 2007
By E.J. Dionne
WASHINGTON--Republicans once preached compassion, but then went off to war. Democrats waged a war on poverty, but then lost some elections. They decided the middle class is where it's at.
But the poor are still with us and their ranks are growing. One in eight Americans lives in poverty, which seems obscene given that the really rich are enjoying a level of privilege that may make the Vanderbilts in the Gilded Age look like abstemious Puritans.
I got a laugh out of "Environmentalism is a danger to all human beings," published in the C. Springs Business Journal 4/27/07. The Ayn Rand Institute's Michael Berliner made assertions so absurd I wondered if the author was pulling our legs. A Google search indicates the Business Journal was about the only publication that felt Berliner's essay was worth printing (after all, it wasn't April Fool's Day). Still, if even one reader fell for his fictions, a reality check is in order. So I sent this response to the journal and it ran in this week's edition.
Make room for DaddyAt the Reagan Library, the GOP's 2008 contenders compete for the Gipper's mantle -- and for the title of Most Macho.
By Michael Scherer
May. 04, 2007 | Ten Republican men gathered on a stage Thursday night to pound their chests. Each of them looked tough. Each talked tough. Each tried to be the alpha dog, the real-deal decider, the next Ronald Reagan.
Put another sticker on your SUV. MCAfrican oil: The real heart of darknessFrom the Congo to Nigeria to Angola, a new book details the ravages wrought by world's most coveted resource.
May. 04, 2007 | "The Chinese are exploring Ethiopia," writes John Ghazvinian in the penultimate paragraph of "Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil," a new book looking at the dramatic emergence of sub-Saharan Africa as a significant global producer of petroleum. In the wake of the murder of nine Chinese oil company workers by the Ogaden National Liberation Front two weeks ago, the sentence takes on an ominous cast. China's Ethiopian disaster has already been the hook for scores of stories assessing China's recent African adventures. If you want the back story to that narrative, "Untapped" is an excellent place to start.
May 6, 2007News AnalysisStress on Troops Adds to U.S. Hurdles in Iraq By BENEDICT CAREY
WASHINGTON, May 5 — The detailed mental health survey of troops in Iraq released by the Pentagon on Friday highlights a growing worry for the United States struggle to bring order to Baghdad: the high level of combat stress suffered during lengthy and repeated tours.
The fourth in a continuing series, the report suggested that extended tours and multiple deployments, among other policy decisions, could escalate anger and increase the likelihood that soldiers or marines lash out at civilians, or defy military ethics.
This is a start on my new sworn creed to give the GOP types in our county a collective nervous breakdown. Every time they turn around, THERE WE'LL BE! AAAAHHH!
Here's my son and I at our neighborhood elementary school's Cinco de Mayo fest. We gave out three forms but also we were VERY VISIBLE (next to the main food booth) for two busy hours with a key demographic group.
Anyone can make up a kit like this and be able to head to work any crowd at a moment's notice. You need:
1. Nice three-sided poster board, as sold for science fair displays and such. I like it better than regular poster board because it's so sturdy and portable. When you fold it, your content inside is protected from damage while you tote it around.
2. Stuff to decorate it. I have awful hand-writing so I print my signage. Hand-lettered is just as good, maybe better. There is plenty of good stuff to print out available online. I bet you can think of some things right off!
3. Voter registration forms. Print off a master copy from the Colorado Secretary of State's page and make as many photocopies as you want. (Unless you get your printer ink WAY cheaper than *I* do.)
4. Envelopes and mailing labels with your county clerk's address. They told us down here that we could not collect up batches and bring them in. The prospective voter has to either take them in by hand OR mail them, along with a photocopy of their driver's license. (For a BIG event, if you were going to have access to electricity, you might BYOCopier. That impresses people.)
5. Flyers for your group, and a notebook to take down contact info from potential new members. If you are set up to get data to update VAN, even better!
May 6, 2007Op-Ed ColumnistIs Condi Hiding the Smoking Gun? By FRANK RICH
IF, as J.F.K. had it, victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan, the defeat in Iraq is the most pitiful orphan imaginable. Its parents have not only tossed it to the wolves but are also trying to pin its mutant DNA on any patsy they can find.
George Tenet is just the latest to join this blame game, which began more than three years ago when his fellow Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Tommy Franks told Bob Woodward that Douglas Feith, the Pentagon’s intelligence bozo, was the “stupidest guy on the face of the earth” (that’s the expurgated version). Last fall, Kenneth Adelman, the neocon cheerleader who foresaw a “cakewalk” in Iraq, told Vanity Fair that Mr. Tenet, General Franks and Paul Bremer were “three of the most incompetent people who’ve ever served in such key spots.” Richard Perle chimed in that the “huge mistakes” were “not made by neoconservatives” and instead took a shot at President Bush. Ahmad Chalabi, the neocons’ former darling, told Dexter Filkins of The Times “the real culprit in all this is Wolfowitz.”
Rep.Alice Borodkin emailed the good news a few minutes ago.
"We passed the Senate version(SMJ07-002). Actually, I was glad we did.
It had much stronger wording in it. If we did not pass that,
the entire resolution would have been lost."
See... all those emails we asked you to send to legislators really paid off.
The effort to influence the Senate to adhere to their version and the House Democrats to adopt the Senate version was enthusiastically supported by our 1StProtestInTheStreet.Org PNA group, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center of Boulder, CO and members of many other peace and justice and anti-war groups across Colorado.
Stay the course Democrats can kiss my ass. MC
May 6, 2007With New Clout, Antiwar Groups Push Democrats By MICHAEL LUO
WASHINGTON, May 4 — Every morning, representatives from a cluster of antiwar groups gather for a conference call with Democratic leadership staff members in the House and the Senate.
Shortly after, in a cramped meeting room here, they convene for a call with organizers across the country. They hash out plans for rallies. They sketch out talking points for “rapid response” news conferences. They discuss polls they have conducted in several dozen crucial Congressional districts and states across the country.
Is George W. Bush even trying to make sense anymore?
On Wednesday, speaking to the Associated General Contractors of America, Bush gave himself a new nickname. Responding to a question from the audience, he asked rhetorically whether "the Congress or the commanders" should decide how many U.S. troops are needed in Iraq.
"And as you know," he went on, "my position is clear -- I'm the Commander Guy."
No way to put lipstick on this pig. Lowered entrance standards, peer influence, multiple tours, serving with PTSD symptoms. Don't think the military is broken? You go to war over and over and over again with the army you have. It's not a war, but an occupation, something they were never trained for. And we have a president who is worried about HIS legacy and 9 Ronald "Raygun" wannabees waiting to continue down the same horrid path.. MC Troops at Odds With Ethics Standards Army Also Finds More Deployment Means More Mental Illness By Thomas E. Ricks and Ann Scott Tyson Washington Post Staff Writers Saturday, May 5, 2007; A01 More than one-third of U.S. soldiers in Iraq surveyed by the Army said they believe torture should be allowed if it helps gather important information about insurgents, the Pentagon disclosed yesterday. Four in 10 said they approve of such illegal abuse if it would save the life of a fellow soldier.
Thanks to everyone who signed the petition calling on Governor Ritter to sign SB 25, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) into law. Today we handed over 1,050 signatures to the Governor's office.
An IT manager for Colorado's state-wide voter database has been selling "targeted voter data" through a "GOP Campaign help" web site at PoliticalLiveWires.com. According to his online resume, Dan Kopelman is currently "Elections Technology Manager" with "oversight and guidance of the State Wide Voter Database" in the office of Colorado's newly elected Republican Secretary of State Mike Coffman.
Returning ePluribus Media's request for information, a spokesperson for Colo. Secretary of State Mike Coffman confirmed Kopelman's employment, but said the office was unaware of his "side business" selling voter lists and other web-based campaign tools.
Furthermore, after learning about the IT manager's "conflict of interest," Deputy Secretary of State William A. Hobbs met with the Kopelman and directed him to take down his campaign web site immediately...
Political issues aside, Coffman's office is responsible for selling its master voter registration lists.
In other words, Kopelman was under-cutting his boss -- the Colorado Secretary of State -- by pulling, bundling, and privately selling the state's voter information.
Unless he bought the information within the databases he maintained, Kopelman actions may even constitute theft. And given that the Secretary's office was unaware of his actions, characterizing them as a "side business," it seems a stretch that Kopelman was regularly purchasing updated voter data...
Yeah, that does seem a little unlikely. And even if there was no per se violation of law (meaning he was paying the SoS retail price for this data, per copy for each of his clients, each month as it's released, one hell of a stretch), this pretty neatly does away with some of those bipartisan imaginings you were almost ready to entertain about Mike Coffman's Secretary of State office. If I were Coffman I would get out in front of this thing on the double quick, maybe with Ken Gordon as a human shield (that was not intended as a Haditha massacre reference).
And God help all of them if it comes out that this was privileged data of some kind that the SoS office doesn't release (driver's license, etc.)...this turns into a Bob Woodward Washington Post-style spectacle of its very own right about there...
The Conservative Alternative RealityIsaiah J. PooleMay 04, 2007
Isaiah J. Poole is the executive editor of TomPaine.com.
If Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate left you feeling as though you were watching 10 white men from some alternate universe, you would not have been as surprised if you had seen a debate at the National Press Club in Washington just hours earlier.
So I guess this means we are finally done with the idiotic hits on Speaker Pelosi's visit to Syria? You remember, the one preceded by a bunch of Republican congressmen that the White House/Fox News never bothered to mention?
As you know, Pelosi was looking at the situation in Syria as recommended by the Iraq Study Group. The bipartisan commission whose conclusions Bush had summarily rejected over and over, doggedly pursuing our failed Iraq occupation policy even after the nation threw out everyone they possibly could who supported it, and now...
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met here Thursday with her Syrian counterpart in the first high-level talks between the two governments in more than two years. Rice characterized the 30-minute session, held on the sidelines of a two-day international conference on Iraq at this Egyptian Red Sea resort, as "businesslike" and "very constructive."
Don't give yourselves whiplash trying to backpedal on this, righties. The Pelosi-bashing over her visit to Syria was ridiculous, and if it hadn't been for a complicit media not reporting all the Republicans who went to Damascus the day before she did, it would have been laughed off the airwaves then. Now her visit is fully vindicated.
And good on the Bush administration for trying out (gasp) a little engagement as opposed to the usual neocon arrogance and precision weapons. Who cares where they stole the idea from, it could be the belated start of something good.
Congress critical of VA bonuses
By Hope Yen
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders on Thursday demanded that the Veterans Affairs secretary explain hefty bonuses for senior department officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1 billion short and jeopardized veterans' health care.
Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee on oversight, said he would hold hearings to investigate after The Associated Press reported that budget officials at the Veterans Affairs Department received bonuses ranging up to $33,000.
Activist Groups believe impeachment is 'more on the table than people think'
Many activists including this writer think a backlash is rising to Speaker Pelossi's "Impeachment is off the table" congressional policy.
Progressive Democrats Of America had a major presence at the California Democratic Convention and pressed for adoption of a resolution by the California Dems to investigate and Impeach Bush and Cheney.
And across the nation on April 28 the many member groups of A28 http://A28.org held 100s of Impeachment rallys.
There were five in Colorado including two on last Saturday in Denver spondored by local activist groups. The groups in Denver were Weekly Vigils To Impeach Link , Progressive Democrats of Colorado http://pdcolorado.org , Impeachment By The People Link , and Colorado 911Visibility Link
Dave Chandler of the Metro Denver Greens counted at least 75 in attendance.(photos) Link Other photos at Link We were glad to see MoveOn members there as well. Thanks guys.
At the MoveOn organized Veto The Veto Rally on Wednesday May 4 a great many Impeach Bush and Cheney signs were in view. The event was supported by most Colorado activist groups from the Denver area and many attended. I think there were perhaps 2-300 total there. The group occupied the entire block between Colfax and 14th on Lincoln at the Capital.
MoveOn has for some years kind of ignored the possibility of impeachment but even it is being pressured by other activist groups and by its own members to deal with impeachment.
At an A28 California Impeachment Rally many were from MoveOn. "One third of those were Move On members," said Will McRae, MoveOn coordinator for San Diego County. "For MoveOn to pretend impeachment isn't on the table is the same as Pelosi. They need to put it on their website [for a vote]. We owe it to our members." Link
At the California Democratic Convention
PDA president Tim Carpenter called passage of the impeachment resolution by California delegates "the culmination of one month of effort by PDA to put the issue of investigating, accountability and impeachment" on the table.
On Saturday, Carpenter revealed, he met with Pelosi. "I think the fact that she met with us shows she is a listener," he said, but he added, "We agreed to disagree."
Impeachment is a constitutional imperative, he believes. "If we don't begin to talk about impeachment, the next president will be allowed to torture, do wiretapping, lying, and engage in manipulation of everything in signing statements," the PDA leader predicted.
Jim Dean, head of Democracy for America and brother of Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, said "I think it's more on the table than people think."
Some of the above from this article by Miriam Raftery at Rawstory.com
Published: Wednesday May 2, 2007 Link
The California Democratic Party held its Annual Meeting and passed a resolution
CALLING FOR FULL INVESTIGATION INTO ABUSES OF POWER
BY PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND RICHARD B. CHENEY
Text of CA Democratic Party Impeachment Resolution
April 30, 2007, San Diego, CA Link
REAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have acted in a manner contrary to their trust as President and Vice President, subversive of the Constitution, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of California and the United States of America, by intentionally disseminating and propagating knowingly false and fabricated "evidence" regarding the threat from Iraq in order to wage a tragic, bloody war with the loss of thousands of brave American troops and Iraqi civilians, and
WHEREAS, it is clear that since September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have abused their powers of office by: 1) using information they knew to be false as justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq; 2) condoning and authorizing the torture of prisoners of war; 3) authorizing wiretaps on U.S. citizens without obtaining a warrant; 4) disclosing the name of an undercover CIA operative contrary to law in order to harm her for her husband's opposition to the Iraq War; 5) having suspended and denied the historic Writ of Habeas Corpus by ordering the indefinite detention of so-called enemy combatants without charge and without access to legal counsel; and 6) overstepping Presidential authority by signing statements used to ignore or circumvent portions of over 750 Congressional statutes he brought into law; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party supports vigorous investigation of these charges by the Congress of the United States, including the full use of Congressional subpoena power authority to completely disclose the actions of the Administration to the American people and to take necessary action to call the Administration to account with appropriate remedies and punishment, including impeachment.
Submitted by Senator Art Torres (Ret.), Chairman of the California Democratic Party; CDP Resolutions Co-Chairs; Emily Thurber; Bob Farran; Michael Barnett; Tim Carpenter, Joye Swan; Patrick Henry Demo Club; 69th AD Cmte.; The Hull-Richters; Alexandar, Mark and Natasha
(Adopted April 29, 2007)
Impeachment of at least Cheney is coming... it is just a matter of time.
This is a fantastic speech by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in support of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. Later, the House passed the bill on a bi-partisan vote of 237-180.
After the VetoSenator Russ FeingoldThe ink on the President's veto is barely dry, and already, a lot of Washington insiders - including some Democrats -- are saying Congress should just give in to the President. Never mind how hard people have pushed to bring Congress to this point, when we are finally standing up to the President's disastrous Iraq policy -- they want to give up on the binding language in the bill requiring the President to begin redeploying troops from Iraq.
Reading some of the shrill comments posted online by World Bank staffers expressing (anonymously) their loathing for Paul Wolfowitz, you can understand why the bank president feels he has been the victim of a " smear campaign." But in taking the role of wounded victim, Wolfowitz seems blind to his own mistakes, which have had ruinous consequences for a great institution.
Wolfowitz has failed at the World Bank not because his underlings were out to get him (though many probably were) but because he treated the organization itself as an enemy. He saw its professional staff as an impediment to achieving his goals, rather than as a potential ally. Instead of heeding advice to work with the prickly international staff and win them over, he installed a palace guard of Americans who, like him, exuded the cocky "we know best" confidence of the Bush administration.
When we met in Saigon in May 1963, David Halberstam was only 29, but he was already the dominant figure among an influential group of journalists who reported what they observed even when it contradicted the version of the war put out by the military. This was daring stuff; only 18 years after World War II, reporters were not supposed to question senior American military commanders. It was such a serious matter that President John Kennedy asked New York Times Publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger to reassign Halberstam, a request Sulzberger rejected.
In the decades since, Halberstam and his colleagues often have been blamed by right-wing commentators and some military officers for the loss in Vietnam, on the grounds that their reporting undermined domestic support for the war. This is, of course, nonsense; in war, success speaks for itself. Spin may delude the public for a while, but not indefinitely -- and meanwhile people die. The basic truth is simple: Halberstam's reporting was right, and the official version was not.
Alan Franklin alerted me to a veteran in distress recently, I'm glad he did. There can be no doubt that veterans are a different breed, reminding me of an old cowboy song, "Cowboys are special, with their own brand of misery........." How special are combat veterans and their needs? Link
The cracks in the floors of the VA are a mile wide, without parachutes and other luxuries of the ownership class. Look for Diane Carman's column in Sunday's paper.
May 2, 2007Op-Ed ColumnistBetter Never Than Late By MAUREEN DOWD
Instead of George Tenet teaching at Georgetown University, George Tenet should be taught at Georgetown University.
There should be a course on government called “The Ultimate Staff Guy.” A morality saga about how much harm you can do as a go-along, get-along guy, spending so much time trying not to alienate the big cheese so he doesn’t can you that you miss the moment where you have to can him or lose your soul.
If Colin Powell and George Tenet had walked out of the administration in February 2003 instead of working together on that tainted U.N. speech making the bogus case for war, they might have turned everything around. They might have saved the lives and limbs of all those brave U.S. kids and innocent Iraqis, not to mention our world standing and national security.
Hi All - I'm looking for people who might be interested in talking about growing a Deep Economy (Bill McKibbin) in east Boulder county... local farmers and ranchers, local food (maybe a co-op), groups of people that know each other and live within biking distance...
Yesterday, the legislature sent Senate Bill 25 to Governor Ritter for his signature. SB25 will prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and religion. State law already prohibits bias against employees because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, age or national origin.
SB25 is about creating basic fairness in the workplace for all Coloradans. Governor Ritter has indicated that he will sign this bill into law, but he will face tremendous opposition from the radical right. Make sure that they aren't the only ones the Governor hears from. Click on the link below to express your support for SB25:
"These People Frighten Me"The Candor of Mike Gravel
By MARGARET KIMBERLY
During the first Democratic presidential debate a little known candidate, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, ended up with one of the most memorable lines of the evening:
"And I got to tell you, after standing up with them, some of these people frighten me--they frighten me. When you have mainline candidates that turn around and say that there's nothing off the table with respect to Iran, that's code for using nukes, nuclear devices.
Tell Salazar and the rest of the elected officials like Ritter and Hickenlooper that Americans want a time table for withdrawal from the Bush created hellhole called Iraq.
Read what the Pew Research results are:
"Roughly six-in-ten people in the Pew sample (59 percent) said they want their member of Congress to back an Iraq funding bill that includes a timeline for American troops to begin withdrawing. Of that 59 percent, more than half (54 percent) said Democrats should "insist" on a timeline's inclusion in the legislation while 42 percent backed the party working with Republicans and the Bush Administration on a solution."
Tell them that the independently registered voters are:
"Independents surveyed by Pew strongly favored a bill with a timeline included -- by a margin of 61 percent to 33 percent. Of that 61 percent, more than half believe Democrats should refuse any compromise with the White House."
Sealing His Eyes And Ears
Robert C. Byrd
May 02, 2007
Robert C. Byrd is the senior senator from West Virginia.
Four years ago, President Bush landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln to declare, "Mission Accomplished." For thousands of our soldiers and their families, and likely for the Iraqi people, it feels like a lifetime has passed. How wrong the president was then and how wrong he continues to be today.
I have had about eleventy-million things pulling me different directions the last few weeks, but I hope my life is going to calm down a little so I can get back to posting more again.
This past weekend I was at the Organizing Summit in Georgetown, put on by the CDP and the DNC. It was easily one of the best I have ever attended, even though we were all at serious risk of having our brains asplode from taking in too much information!
The site is called Shadows Ranch, and it is gorgeous. Lots of people book it to hold weddings. They even have a big fancy enclosure with WOLVES, who kept mounting their special platform to stare in at the humans.
There are two versions, Senate & House. The Senate last voted to stick with their version. I'm told many House Representatives did not read the Senate version prior to voting on the House version. They will do today.
Now that it is going back to the House TODAY! there is a good chance to ask for passage of 'a bill' and/or compromise by both House and Senate Leadership to pass it TODAY or this week.
So please IMMEDIATELY.. Email the following
(or in your own words)
Subject: Please support Senate's SMJ2 or Find Compromise and Pass 'An' Anti-Escalation Bill this session.
I ask that you support the Senate Version of SMJ2 or find a Compromise position with Senator Tupa and the Senate Leadership.
Above all, Pass 'An' Anti-Escalation Memorial this Session.
Above all... support your Congressional Democrats in their struggle with Bush over ending the Iraq War.
Thank You for all your effort given this goal now and in the past.
YOUR CITY, CO YOUR ZIP
YOUR PHONE NUMBER
Email the above letter to:
And a Carbon Copy ( CC ) to
And the rest of the House
BE SURE To Put IN your BCC Field
( Cut & Paste the following in to the BCC Field)
The current system for forming unions and bargaining is broken. Corporations routinely block workers' freedom to decide for themselves whether to form unions to bargain by intimidating, harassing, coercing and even firing workers.
The Employee Free Choice Act would restore workers' freedom to make our own choice about whether to have a union and bargain for a better life--without interference from management. The legislation, which the House has passed, would:
* Strengthen penalties for companies that coerce or intimidate workers;
* Establish mediation and binding arbitration when the employer and workers cannot agree on a first contract; and
* Enable workers to form unions when a majority signs union authorization cards.
* Bring needed balance to the American workplace.
Today, CEOs get contracts that protect their pay and benefits--but they fight tooth and nail to keep workers from having the same opportunity. As a result, good jobs are vanishing and health care coverage and retirement security are slipping out of reach. Only 38 percent of the public say their families are getting ahead financially, and less than a quarter think the next generation will be better off.
This bill passed the House. Please contact your Senator to urge their support. This legislation is vital to the progressive movement .