Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What Now?

Basking in the glow of victory and just beginning to come back to earth from the orbital bliss of returning the Congress to responsible Democratic control, it is easy to overlook the fact that the Republicans have left this country in an abyss of debt, considered by the rest of the international community as reprobates, and with a nation of well meaning citizens more fiercely divided than at any other time in our history with the exception of the Civil War.

With all that, the Democratic hold on the Senate is precarious at best due to Senator Joseph Lieberman (CFL) defeating his former Party’s candidate, Ned Lamont. Lieberman’s Neoconservative leanings have become more apparent throughout the Bush administration’s term. His personal thirst for the slaughter of innocents having been motivated by the blood-lust of the Bush chicken hawks, Lieberman threw his support to the administration and even ran interference against his own former Party to ensure the carnage continued unabated. His re-election was entirely the doing of the Republicans from Connecticut responding to the Fox News Network’s promotion of Lieberman as Bush’s choice over their own Party candidate, Alan Schlesinger. Those few Democrats who supported Lieberman over their Party’s justly elected candidate can now share in the responsibility for the continuing deaths of U.S. military personnel in Iraq.

Within the rank and file of the Democrats in Congress there have been those who believe that their return to the majority Party means that they will enjoy the advantages while business goes on as usual in the House and Senate. Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York is a good case in point. Rangel will be the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, a powerful and highly prized position and the focus of a great deal of attention by the biggest lobbyists on K Street. In less than a month after the elections Rangel is attempting to change his position on Bush’s millionaires tax cuts and is willing to lie to accomplish this. He made the statement that no one promised to reverse the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy during the campaign and he believes they need to stay in place to spur the economy. He is LYING! A majority of Democratic candidates advocated the roll back of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and for Rangel to now disregard the importance of that pledge is dishonest and shameful.

Just a reminder to the 110th Congress and to the US Senate in case one is required. The Left wing blogosphere that hounded corporate owned Republicans right out of office is not about to allow you to take over where they left off. The fact that you’re Democrats does not get you a free pass because we expect even more from you than from the jerks we just voted out. Let’s start off on the right foot in January by restoring the tax burden on the wealthiest among us, reforming our elections by banning corporate money and eliminating partisans from vote counting duties. Also, Congress is Constitutionally obligated to perform Executive oversight and therefore must investigate actions by the administration that may have been criminal. Investigations must be carried out regarding Bush’s possibly lying to Congress to get us into war with Iraq, outing of a CIA operative, creating fake news stories for the media, misappropriating 9.5 Billion dollars in Iraq, etc., etc., etc.

If these investigations turn up evidence that could lead to the impeachment of the President and Vice President, Congress must take steps to remove them from office, regardless of Nancy Pelosi’s pledge that impeachment was off the table. She had to say that or appear to be staging a coup. If the evidence is there and she still will not act, she needs to be removed and a Speaker named who will follow the law.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

More Bad News

Bad news for the Bush and Blair governments has been coming out of Great Britain, Ireland and Germany recently and it appears to be the type of thing that could become a trend in other countries as well. The bad news is that people charged with crimes for having taken action against military targets as a protest against the Iraq war have successfully used the defense that the war is illegal and an act of aggression by the United States and the UK.

The courts are starting to accept that the war against Iraq is a crime

The Guardian newspaper carried this headline on Tuesday October 17, 2006 for a story reported by George Monbiot. (The link is to a Raw Story article on the Guardian piece) The story cites several incidents where protesters have been arrested for sabotage of military equipment to prevent its use in the Iraq war. In one case “The defendants were allowed to show that they were seeking to prevent specific war crimes from being committed - principally, the release by the B52s of cluster bombs and munitions tipped with depleted uranium. They cited section 5 of the 1971 Criminal Damage Act, which provides lawful excuse for damaging property if that action prevents property belonging to other people from being damaged, and section 3 of the 1967 Criminal Law Act, which states that "a person may use such force as is reasonable in the prevention of a crime". In summing up, the judge told the jurors that using weapons "with an adverse effect on civilian populations which is disproportionate to the need to achieve the military objective" is a war crime. Another case involved a German Army Major who refused to obey an order he felt would implicate him in the invasion of Iraq. In his case, “The judges determined that the UN charter permits a state to go to war in only two circumstances: in self-defence, and when it has been authorised to do so by the UN security council. The states attacking Iraq, they ruled, had no such licence. Resolution 1441, which was used by the British and US governments to justify the invasion, contained no authorisation. The war could be considered an act of aggression.”

These findings may become the legal precedents that sound the death knell for Bush and his war council. One, a judicial finding that the invasion of Iraq by the United States and Great Britain was not justified either as an act of self defense or under UN Resolution 1441 which was determined not to contain authorization to do so. The other, a finding of “disproportionate force to achieve a military objective” was further amplified by the recent findings of researchers at John Hopkins University that 655,000 Iraqis have died due to the current war.

This would mean that the US and UK have committed an act of aggression in the eyes of the international community. Yet, every American politician that appears with some talking head on the cable/network news shows continue to assert that they were correct to support the invasion, some saying they would do the same today even knowing at the time what we have learned since.

Basically, we sent inspectors into Iraq to verify that no weapons existed. Then, having proven their defenselessness, invaded their country with such devastating force that the operation was dubbed “shock and awe”. What is different about this administration’s actions from a person shooting another person they know to be unarmed and claiming to be justified because the person they shot had a weapon? Many Americans are of the opinion that our country and our leaders are guilty of a crime but, fear the reprisal of the White House that this administration is famous for.

If the Democrats regain control of either branch of Congress they MUST use their subpoena power to conduct honest, open investigations and, most importantly, they must be willing to pursue the evidence without reservation and to hold responsible anyone the investigations determine to be in violation of the law, including the President himself.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dirty Dozen

Thanks to the U.S. Senate the President now has the ability to classify anyone as an enemy combatant then detain them without charges for an indefinite period of time, block any judicial review of this process, disallow any challenges by prisoners to their incarceration while subjecting them to torture to obtain coerced evidence which can then be used against them along with other secret evidence to which these prisoners nor their attorneys would ever have access. Sounds as “Fair and Balanced” as Fox News.

Section 9, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

"The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended,
unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety
may require it."

What is at all difficult to understand about this clause in the U.S. Constitution? There is neither a rebellion nor an invasion threatening the public safety. America has engaged in war before without the need to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus with two infamous exceptions. On both occasions the government was subsequently found to have violated the constitutional rights of the individuals involved.

President Bush has been attempting to secure unrestricted power for the executive since taking office, but this is a scarier proposition than most. According the Michael Ratner, President for the Center for Constitutional Rights, in an article posted at the Nation:

Twice in the past five years the Supreme Court has insisted that habeas
corpus applies to these prisoners and ruled that the Bush Administration
must apply the law. Yet last week Congress buckled in the face of

election-year rhetoric about "terrorism" from the White House and passed
new legislation denying our clients the right to challenge their detentions,
or even to see the evidence against them. While I'm convinced that this
law will not stand in court, we are still facing at least a year of
challenges before it is declared unconstitutional


The Administration has been attempting to use military commissions

for five years and has not yet been able to set up one that complies
with the laws of war or the Constitution. Bush's most recent effort
was struck down by the Supreme Court in June. This legislation is no
better: Coerced evidence is still permitted; a detainee does not get to
see all the evidence against him, and a wide variety of hearsay
evidence can be used.

The President has wanted such sweeping authority since 9/11. He has

been getting it piece by piece. First, with the Authorization to Use Military
Force, he obtained from Congress the right to go after those involved

with 9/11. Then he issued an "executive order" in November 2001 granting
him the authority to detain indefinitely without charges any non-citizen
allegedly involved in terrorism--not just those supposedly connected to 9/11.

Subsequently, he claimed the power as commander in chief to detain anyone,
citizen or not, allegedly involved in terrorism or who might be giving support
to those who attack the United States. The Administration argued that those
so detained could be held forever, never charged and, except for US citizens,
denied habeas corpus. Now Congress has placed its imprimatur on these
fantasies of executive omnipotence--what can only be called the legal
structure of a police state.

The remainder of the legislation passed the Senate by a much greater
margin, 65 to 34, with twelve Democrats backing the entire bill. I was
shocked: It did not need to be this way. The Democrats could have
filibustered the legislation; with only a few days left before recess,
they could have succeeded. Despite their strong vocal arguments against
this legislation, in the end the Democrats caved. It was not a moment to
be proud of.

This is the stuff of Soviet spy novels and the communist oppressions that Reagan and the Republicans claim to have eliminated along with ending the cold war. Even worse is that the Senate has given these powers to a man who is without doubt, the most sadistic person to ever lead this nation. As Governor of Texas, George Bush oversaw the executions of 155 individuals, more than any other elected official in recorded American history! He executed the innocent, the mentally disabled, juveniles, and he violated international law by denying foreign citizens the right to contact their government before they were sentenced to death. As President he re-started federal executions, the first since the 1960's and 2 of 3 were Gulf war veterans.

An example of Bush's compassionate conservatism can be found in an interview with Talk magazine and their one time reporter, Tucker Carlson:

In the week before [Karla Faye Tucker's] execution, Bush says, Bianca
Jagger and a number of other protesters came to Austin to demand
clemency for Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask.

Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them,"

he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question
ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for
it. I watched his interview with [Tucker], though. He asked her real
difficult questions, like 'What would you say to Governor Bush?' "

"What was her answer?" I wonder.

"Please," Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "don't kill me."

To the 155 souls executed at his order, we can now add almost 3000 American service men and women and over 20,000 wounded or injured, plus as many as 655,000 Iraqi citizens. In fact, George Bush has managed to kill more Americans and innocent Iraqi citizens than the total number of people killed by Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein combined.

What reason can be offered by the U.S. Senators who voted for the Military Commission Act which effectively abolished the writ of habeas corpus? What mitigating factors will they offer for having destroyed the very cornerstone of our democracy and the rule of law? Whose agenda were they enabling by emasculating the legal principle that has prevented the use of unwarranted arrests to eliminate opponents and silence critics?

There are no acceptable reasons for any Senator to have voted for this bill while claiming to support democracy. Of course, Republicans no longer support either a republic or a democracy as they have all cast their lot with Bush’s Neoconservative administration which has been instituting Fascism in place of our representative form of government since 2001.

The Democratic Senators (listed below) who voted for this bill are reprehensible and not deserving of our future support. Although it is imperative for Democrats to take back the House and Senate if the country is to survive as a democracy, these Senators must be held accountable for their disloyalty to the Nation’s principles and their Party’s tenets. Their re-elections should be challenged from within the Party by honorable candidates who understand the damage these Senators have committed to the U.S. Constitution. They are:

Carper (Del.)

Johnson (S.D.)

Landrieu (La.)

Lautenberg (N.J.)

Lieberman (Conn.)

Menendez (N.J)

Nelson (Fla.)

Nelson (Neb.)

Pryor (Ark.)

Rockefeller (W. Va.)

Salazar (Co.)

Stabenow (Mich.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Path to Shinola

Anything But Credible

The ABC movie event "The Path to 9/11" is scheduled to air on September 10 & 11 and is purported to be based on the 9/11 commission report. It is, in fact, a revision of history and events written by an extreme Conservative nut case with an ax to grind for Liberals.

This story has been all over the blogsphere, but for a really good take on things go read digby at Hullabaloo.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Olberman Speaks!

Seldom have we been treated to a more satisfying performance than that of Keith Olberman last evening. In his closing segment, Keith addressed Rumsfeld's speech to the American Legion in which the Secretary "impugn(ed) the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans". Rumsfeld went on to assert that our nation faces a new type of Fascism and to invoke the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis.

The irony of his statement is stark and glaring. This new Fascism he speaks of is a product of his own administration. As it has been understood since its debut in Italy prior to World War II, Fascism is the merging of Government and Corporations. More than any previous administration, Bush and company exemplify this model of government. Yet, Bush, Cheney, Rummy and Condi are currently in the midst of a PR blitz to equate Fascism with the war on terror through the constant repetition of the phrase “Islamo-fascist”.

This effort to equate Islam with Fascism is an exercise in deceptive branding that this administration has used repeatedly in the past. It is analogous to the “Clear Skies” program which increased the level of air pollution or the “Healthy Forests Initiative” which should be called “Leave no tree behind”.

Importantly, by labeling Middle Eastern radicals as Islamo-Fascists they are attempting to redefine the term to be less relevant to the form of government they have instituted. Fascism was coined by the Italian dictator, Mussolini in the 1930’s. In fact, he said it could be more accurately referred to as Corporatism. Under the Bush White House we have seen drastic increases in the number of corporate lobbyists, the amount of legislation written by corporations for corporate benefit, federal judges with a history of corporate friendly decisions and in the use of the revolving door policy between legislators and lobbyists.

It is undeniable that the Bush administration has been complicit in the corporate infiltration of government and the introduction of fascism into their governance of the country. It is also undeniable that these same corporations are notorious for their appeasement of the Nazis before, during and after World War II. Bush’s own grandfather, as managing director for Brown Brothers Harriman, was cited under the “Trading with the Enemy” act in 1942. Standard Oil (now Exxon-Mobile) , General Motors, Ford, ITT, J.P. Morgan, Guaranty Trust of New York, Bank of the City of New York, Chase National Bank and American Express were all engaged in support for the Nazis throughout the war.

The corporations most responsible not just for appeasement, but for materially and financially supporting the rise of Fascism and Nazism in Europe, are the corporations with the greatest influence in the Bush White House today. Much of the wealth of the Bush family came from the profiteering they engaged in with the enemy while our troops were engaged in battle with the same enemy.

So, Secretary Rumsfeld is correct when he says we are facing a new type of Fascism, but he lies when he attributes it to Islamic radicals. The Fascists we should most fear are the ones occupying the White House.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


After more than 5 years of the most disastrous leadership this country has ever had to endure at the hands of the most incompetent politician democracy has ever seen, the political landscape is finally ripe for change. The Democratic Party is in an advantageous position as the 2006 mid-term elections approach, yet the voices of dissent can be heard among the rank and file.

Within the party the Democrats are not agreed upon how they should proceed and opposing factions are beginning to take shape. There are those who want desperately to retake at least one, if not both houses of Congress and believe that to do so there must be no talk of vengeance against the administration. Others want equally to regain power in Congress but feel their best hope of doing so is by exposing the lies and incompetence of the Bush White House.

In my humble opinion, if it was so almighty important to investigate then impeach Clinton for what turned out to be a minor infraction, how do we fail to investigate George W. Bush for what must be seen as crimes against humanity. If you strongly disagree with this view, you may not wish to read on however, if the concept of equal justice is germane and vital in your view, to the continued health of democracy, read on.

The Starr investigation was at the insistence of the Republicans in Congress demanding answers about what they were calling the “Whitewater Scandal” before any evidence of a scandal had been discovered. The “lap dog” complicity of the press was demonstrated by the pushing of the scandal angle on the Whitewater story day after day while developing worthless leads that all wound up at the same dead end. We now know that most, if not all of the accusations and charges about the Clintons were the products of the “Arkansas Project”, an extreme radical right wing group of Neoconservatives financed by Paul Mellon Scaife. The cost to the American taxpayer was between $60 million to $80 million and lasted over six years.

Now, the same Republicans who pushed for the unnecessary, costly, wasteful and fruitless investigation of Clinton are doing everything they possibly can to prevent any investigation of the Bush administration and disgracefully, many Democrats are going along with them!

This is not a difficult decision if any consideration is given to the historical fallacy of "forgiving and forgetting" where Neoconservative operatives are involved. This is precisely the mistake made by Bill Clinton and being repeated by Hilary Clinton. A mistake that increases in severity by an order of magnitude with each occurrence.

When Clinton was elected ending the Reagan/Bush era, a decision was made not to pursue the numerous scandals and outright crimes committed by these two conservative icons in the name of the American people. Clinton felt that his best chance to obtain bipartisan support for his agenda was to allow the acts of his predecessors to go not just unpunished, but unmentioned. For this gesture Clinton was rewarded with eight years of relentless allegations and accusations of crimes and ethical misconduct that were all dreamed up by highly paid propagandists in a program known as the “Arkansas Project”.

The same divisive forces that plagued Clinton and turned otherwise thoughtful caring people into loathing scornful psychotics, are gearing up to smear and discredit any and all honorable Democrats who dare to run against them. The Rovian loyalists who so readily respond to the raw meat offered them via Limbaugh, Hannity and O’Reilly hate media are being prepared to plunder anew the Democratic lambs brought for slaughter.

Do not make the mistake of taking Republican opposition lightly because they have suffered from the Bush Presidency and numerous high profile criminal indictments within their ranks. Too many Democrats are speaking of the 2006 mid-term elections only in terms of how many seats they can win and fail to realize the potential ferocity of this caged animal. Karl Rove and his minions are in power positions because they campaigned with a “take no prisoners” mentality from the onset and are showing no indications of changing. They have employed dirty, unethical and illegal tactics to gain and keep power and they will continue to do so and worse.

Some Democrats are now saying that their party should look forward and not worry about making Republicans pay for the crimes committed during the Bush administration. That strategy didn’t work for Carter or Clinton and America has become less of a democratic nation thanks to their spinelessness.

It is probably true that Rove will attack the Democrats not by flaunting how well his party led the country but, by scaring people about the potential mayhem of having Democrats in charge. What better response to this charge than stating Republicans are afraid that when Democrats regain power they will seek justice by investigating alleged crimes of this administration and THE POSSIBLE AIDING AND ABETTING OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY BY MEMBERS OF CONGRES such as Senator Roberts of Kansas who has stonewalled any investigation of the intelligence fiasco leading up to the Iraq war.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

H.R. 5878

U.S. Representative Linda Woolsey, (D CA) is introducing legislation that would repeal the Iraq war powers given to Bush in 2002. This is an important piece of legislation that would put the responibility for declaring war back in Congress where it constitutionally belongs. It may also assist in exposing many of the administration's lies that led to the US invasion of Iraq.

Congress acted irresponsibly when they voted to give the president the power to declare war and avoided their constitutionally mandated duty as the only governmental body with that power. This legislation would return that power to Congress and remove it from the president who has proven to be too incompetent to be trusted with it.

The President has put our troops in a position they should not have gotten into in the first place. Our troops were not prepared to occupy Iraq. They weren't given the proper equipment, nor were they properly trained. And most importantly, the US Congress never authorized this President to undertake an occupation.

In Representative Wooley's own words. "This occupation of Iraq must end, now, and President Bush must bring our troops home. It is past time for Congress to demand that the Bush Administration come clean on Iraq, and put the safety of our troops, and the security of our nation first".

Please contact your Representatives to encourage their support for Rep. Woolsey's legislation.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lieberman v. Lamont

Many websites have been focused on the Senate race in the state of Connecticut between incumbent Senator Joseph Lieberman and upstart Greenwich business man, Ned Lamont. Anyone following this race is aware of the major issue, some would say single issue where Lamont is concerned, that puts these two at polar opposites. Lieberman has been a strong supporter of Bush’s Iraq war while Lamont is advocating an end to the conflict.

Being a Connecticut resident and an “anti-war nutcase”, I was immediately drawn to Lamont’s campaign, yet I am also aware of his conspicuously conservative voting record as part of the Greenwich legislature, but this concern was not adequate to overcome my distaste for Lieberman’s lust for battle and his irresponsible support for the war.

Yet, it is still a concern and one that can not be dismissed lightly. Lamont is from the affluent city of Greenwich, a successful businessman married to a successful woman who has started several businesses, and the descendent of generations of Wall Street gentry who enriched themselves in the employ of J. P. Morgan.

In the course of researching Ned Lamont I came across some interesting information about his Grandfather, Thomas W. Lamont, Wall Street magnate and chairman of the board for the J. P. Morgan Co. It is a fascinating bit of history that you will not find in any text books used for our children’s education. To learn more about it, follow this link.

If you do take the time to read this under-reported bit of history you may conclude that I am against the candidacy of Ned Lamont, but that is not the case. I am being cautious and I believe with good reason. His grandfather was directly involved with a fascist plot to overthrow the legally elected leader of the United States. Who would not be concerned about that?

Conversely, Ned’s Uncle Corliss Lamont was a Humanist who stood for the rights of individuals and championed leftist ideologies. An ardent champion of civil liberties, he believed that McCarthy's crusade against left-wing liberals represented a dangerous attempt to regulate speech. He served as the director of the American Civil Liberties Union and as chairman of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, eventually winning the Gandhi Peace Award in 1981 for his work. For more info, please go here.

I believe voters need to be cautious and aware of the pitfalls when voting for candidates that are primarily business people. The current administration is evidence of the need for caution. Both Bush and Cheney are former CEO’s and both have alliances to big business that take precedence to the concerns for individuals. It is this kinship with the chieftains of industry that has caused democracy to take a backseat to capitalism. Free Trade has trumped Free Speech and minimized many other freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

Finally, I'm sure all of us have heard this lament many times in the past: If I ran my company the way the government runs this country, I'd be out of business! Well, now we have experienced running the country like a business and I think we've had enough of it. I would ask Ned Lamont to acknowledge the failure of the "business model" of government and the need to run government as a Non-profit entity that it must be.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Broken News

The Bush administration has released information revealing that it has been conducting an ongoing investigation of terror related activities by probing into the personal bank accounts, telephone records and internet activities of Democrats throughout the United States. A massive effort has been underway for over two years, utilizing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Intelligence Angency (DIA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (formerly NIMA), Interpol, KGB, The Young Marines, Boy Scouts of America, Ann Coulter Fan Club and most viewers of Fox News. The resultant database is said to be the largest on the planet, literally visible from outerspace.

Attorney General, Alberto Gonzoles, when asked why only Democrats are being targeted for this massive investigation, explained that it is common knowledge that Conservatives are patriotic while Democrats are cheer-leaders for Osama bin Laden.

Congressional Democrats are outraged and speaking out about the administration's questionably legal undertaking. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) addressed the issue while on a speaking tour of the mid-west where she is not campaigning for the presidency. "I believe that Presiden Bush is acting in good faith and for the security of all Americans (except those here illegally) and I support him in this effort however, I believe he is handling the program all wrong. He should have leveled with Americans about the danger they are in and the need for this action. The fact that the investigation excludes everyone but Democrats does worry me a bit. He should at least include Republicans making less than $150,000 per year. As President, that is what I would have done".

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) was in Washington, D.C. where he attacked the administration for its secrecy and lack of transparency. Said Kerry, "This President continues to hide behind a smoke-screen to shroud his activities from the public". Asked if he will take action in the Senate over the President's program, he responded. "His tactics, though dispicable, are not overtly illegal as far as I can tell so I will not demand that the administration cease and desist".

Another high profile Senate Democrat was reached for comment. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) said of the investigation, "President Bush is an honest and decent man with the best interests of all citizens foremost in his thoughts and efforts. We need to support this program as it is part of the ongoing war on terrorism and producing essential information required to deter the enemy from striking us again here at home". Lieberman added "The President would not do this if it were not absolutly necessary for our security. He assured me of this during our embrace at the State of the Union Address earlier this year".

Due to the recent Republican policy change forbidding the press from being told the whereabouts of any Republican member of Congress when detremental information is discovered about the Bush administration, no one could be immediately reached for comment. Once the Republican talking points had been decided upon, John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement. "Who cares what those whiny Democrats are saying, I'm boffing Ann Coulter".

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hate Speech

On June 6th, 2006, we were treated to yet another helping of demented spiteful bile spewed from the bottomless pit of verbal diareha that is Ann Coulter.

However, Coulter may have inadvertently assisted in overcoming the chasm between Left and Right ideologies created by Bush’s divisiveness. In her latest book, “Godless, the Church of Liberalism”, Coulter viciously attacks the widows of the 9/11 victims. "These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' death so much."

Many on the Right, politicians, Bloggers, Pundits, etc. have spoken out against Coulter’s comments for having crossed the line or being cruel and vicious or for going beyond the bounds of human decency.

Interestingly, this is not even close to the first time one of Coulter’s screed have gone beyond the bounds of human decency nor is this her vilest utterance. In fact, Coulter has devised a career out of producing insidious, racist, hateful commentary that could not have existed in this country a mere 15 years ago. Here are a few samples of her work:

 Which brings me to this week's scandal about No Such Agency spying on "Americans." I have difficulty ginning up much interest in this story inasmuch as I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East, and sending liberals to Guantanamo.

 "Oh, it was so much fun this year, because saying 'Merry Christmas' is like saying 'Fuck you!' I've said it to everyone. You know, cab drivers, passing people on the street, whatever."

 “Oh, how I hate them! And, oh how I hate the waiting….Tomorrow we take revenge”

 I, for one, bolted past indifference straight into loathing long ago”

 “We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate Liberals, by making them realize they can be killed, too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."”

 “Both [Al Gore and Gray Davis] were veterans, after a fashion, of Viet Nam, which would make a Gore/Davis Presidential ticket the only compelling argument yet in favor of friendly fire”

 "...a cruise missile is more important than Head Start."

 "Women like Pamela Harriman and Patricia Duff are basically Anna Nicole Smith from the waist down. Let's just call it for what it is. They're whores."

 The swing voters? I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don't have set philosophical principles. You're either a liberal or you're a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster"

 "[Clinton] masturbates in the sinks"

 To a disabled Vietnam vet: "People like you caused us to lose that war."

 "My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism."

 "liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots..."

 "I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning."

 "Press passes can't be that hard to come by if the White House allows that old Arab Helen Thomas to sit within yards of the President."

 "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."

 "Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment."

 "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee."

So, it would seem that the accumulation of hateful, bigoted, violent intolerance advocated for years by Ms. Coulter has reached a limit many on the Right refuse to go beyond. Good! Perhaps they will reconsider supporting her earlier comments and insults and begin to see her for the mentally disturbed poster child for Bi-polar disease that she actually is.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Question of Conviction

It is incredible that Senate Democrats are so pitiful and disconnected with their constituency. In spite of the deafening uproar of disenfranchised Democratic voters after the 2000 election who called for Democratic Senators to defeat the newly appointed president's nominations for the Federal Courts and other government positions, nearly every single one was confirmed with the minimum of resistance. This wimpiness demonstrated to the administration that they could nominate even more obnoxious candidates for even more sensitive positions, thus the appointments of the Johns, Negroponte and Bolton. Roberts was seen as a wash on the SCOTUS but, should have been questioned more pointedly and aggressively. However, handing over SCOTUS to absolute Conservative control by not filibustering Alito was beyond stupid, it was spineless or complicit.

Yet, the aforementioned appointments lacked, in varying degrees, the certainty we now have that this administration is all about ending democracy and is willing to openly violate all existing laws to accomplish that goal. Bush's admission of eavesdropping on American citizens without a legally required warrant removes any mitigation the administration might have claimed. They are guilty of felonies by violating the very laws written and enacted by this Congress and yet, the Senate today approved the appointment of the person responsible for implementing the illegal wiretap program in defiance of the rule of law.

As for Republican approval of General Hayden to head the CIA, as much as the act is treacherous it is also expected from the party of Fascist dogma and theocratic zealotry. Each Republican member of Congress is a fully owned subsidiary of one global corporation or another and would cease to hold their seat if they dared to step out of line. This situation exists only because corporations have succeeded in making Republicans completely dependant on their funding to achieve and hold office and by the Republican politician's compliance with this unwritten contract.

Democrats are equally exposed to the corruption and influence of corporations but have not, as yet, totally surrendered their integrity. Obvious exceptions, such as Bill Jefferson must be expected, but it is the less obvious ones that truly hurt the Party. To identify which Democratic Senators are now or are swiftly becoming DINOs (Democrats In Name Only) one need only review the voting for confirmation of General Hayden to head the CIA.

Let me save you the trouble. Here are the Democrats in the Senate who do not feel that we as citizens deserve protection of our freedoms:

Akaka HI
Baucus MT
Biden DE
Bingaman NM
Byrd WV
Cantwell WA
Carper DE
Feinstein CA
Johnson SD
Kohl WI
Landrieu LA
Lautenburg NJ
Leahy VT
Levin MI
Lieberman CT
Lincoln AR
Mikulski MD
Murray WA
Nelson FL
Nelson NE
Pryor AR
Reed RI
Reid NV
Sarbanes MD
Schumer NY
Stabenow MI

If the Democratic Party, and by that I mean the voters not the office holders, ever hope to regain a majority in Congress we need to understand the need to get rid of members who repeatedly vote with Republicans on issues that have a catastrophic effect on that goal. Several of the names listed above are those of recognized leaders within the Party who have a greater potential to help or harm Democratic objectives. Senators like Joe Biden with presidential aspirations, but who has done more to help the conservative cause by advocating and pushing through the crushingly undemocratic bankruptcy bill, are deserving of ouster from the Party. Senator Feinstein, with her ethically challenged husband and questionable financial dealings, is prone to speaking from both sides of her face on issues affecting her favorite special interests. And what is left to say about Senator Lieberman that has not already been said by the entire Republican Party as well as Fox News? Oh wait, that would only be laudatory statements. Let's just say that if Joe loses his seat in Congress it will be absolutely his own doing. He made the mistake of getting into a seat on the Left side of the aisle when he is so richly deserving of one on the Right.

Please take the time to contact the Senators who voted against our freedoms by approving General Hayden as Chief Spy-Master at the CIA and let them know that we do not appreciate our REPRESENTATIVES failing to represent us with the powers of the offices to which WE elected them. Let them know that what they may perceive as compromise is actually conceding to this administration because Bush and his posse do not and will not negotiate with anyone.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Signing Statements

The Boston Globe recently published a story by Charlie Savage detailing President Bush’s claimed constitutional authority to place himself above the laws issued by the Congress of the United States. Mr. Savage reveals the strategy Bush has employed by not using his veto power since taking office. Basically, Bush signs bills into law then issues a “signing statement” exempting the chief executive from adhering to the very law he just enacted.

Without fail, Bush’s justification for declaring himself exempt has been his constitutional authority as interpreted by the president and his legal counsel. Incredibly, he has exempted himself from over 750 bills enacted as law by his own signature.

As citizens, we also have constitutional rights. We are all entitled to the protections under those rights and the liberties guaranteed by them. It is only logical then, that when Congress passes a law that imposes upon our rights and/or liberties that we must have the same prerogative to exempt ourselves from the oppressive nature of that law.

I am proposing the use of “Citizen Signing Statements” to be issued by individual citizens to interpret your personal understanding of a law and how, or even if, that law applies to you.

Below is an example of a Citizen Signing Statement based on a statement issued by President Bush for one of the many laws he intends to ignore. Please, feel free to copy and modify the statement to apply to any law you feel particularly adamant about and from which you would like to be exempt.

Constitutionality Signing Statement

I, ____(name)____, as a citizen of the United States of America and a licensed driver in the state of Connecticut, shall construe as advisory the provisions of the Connecticut Seat Belt Law that purport to direct or burden the conduct of an adult operator of a motor vehicle with the mandatory usage of seat belts even when no other passengers are in the vehicle, which purport to direct drivers to conform to legislation originated and promoted by the insurance industry and intended to achieve specific policy objectives which would monetarily benefit said industry by reducing the number of traffic accident related injuries, but containing no provision for the reduction of policy premiums to the consumers.

Such provisions, if construed as mandatory rather than advisory, would impermissibly interfere with citizens' constitutional liberties under the fourth amendment to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures as well as the eighth amendment banning cruel and unusual punishment as would surely be the case of any penalty imposed for the victimless crime of failure to use a seat belt.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Marketing Idiots

The last Republican president who actually had a brain and a sense of compassion was Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was the very fact that Ike was capable of critical thought that led the corporate masters of the GOP to reconsider the strategy of running candidates with a 3 digit IQ. After eight years of playing golf and pretending to be president, Ike became aware of what the moneyed sponsors of his party had done under his watch and was shocked. His realization that a military-industrial complex (MIC) had grown unencumbered in both wealth and power compelled him to warn American citizens of the dangers posed by the situation.

Their next pick for chief executive was Richard Nixon who, although intelligent, was corrupt to the bone and more than happy to continue making war profits for the MIC. Nixon’s downfall was the result of absolute power corrupting absolutely as he believed he had the right and the power to ignore all laws.

Nixon’s act of desperation to avoid imprisonment was to appoint Gerald Ford as his Vice President who would assume the presidency when Nixon resigned. This insured that he would receive a pardon from his replacement, a man who couldn’t compose a coherent sentence or appear in public without embarrassing himself, but would show his gratitude for being allowed to play president.

Having been stung by Eisenhower’s betrayal followed by Nixon almost destroying the Republican Party and relinquishing power to the court jester, the CEO conservative king makers decided on a new marketing strategy to sell a president to the American people.

Name recognition is a time honored tenet of marketing and the Big Business owners of the GOP had been grooming just such a name in the arena of California politics for several years. Ronald Reagan, a one time Democrat and president of the Screen Actors Guild (God forbid – a union!), had become a Republican to further his political aspirations. His image makers had convinced him that appearing tough on communism would capture for him the elusive John Wayne persona he would require to obtain higher elected office. Reagan was accustomed to following scripts and therefore easily led by his corporate handlers to do their bidding.

After Reagan, Big Business felt secure enough about the government they now owned to allow George H. W. Bush to take a turn at the country’s helm. Yet, they used the opportunity for an experiment in public acceptance by having Bush name as his Vice President an individual whose stupidity would challenge the most loyal wingnut. Danforth Quayle, an Indiana Republican Senator occupying the office his Daddy bought and paid for, would have been better as a poster child for special education. Nevertheless, Americans ignored the fact that an idiot was a mere single step from the Oval office and ultimate power.

Bush the senior disappointed his corporate masters when he allowed reason to interfere with governance and reneged on his promise not to raise taxes. The Republican base, who have been convinced that no one has to pay taxes and government will still work, revolted against him and allowed the Democrats to get their candidate elected.

Four years later Bob Dole became the Republican candidate, but not the president and for all appearances seemed like the sacrificial lamb. The conservative party leaders realized that Clinton was still popular enough to win so they held back their secret weapon for the next election. This gave the Arkansas Project team another four years to invent crimes and other violations with which to tar the incumbent president and weaken the Democrats for the 2000 elections.

George W. Bush, son of the 41st president, was presented to the nation as the Republican candidate for president of the United States and a non stop string of lies and crimes have been perpetrated against the American people since that day. Bush has proven himself to be a total moron, yet he holds degrees from both Yale and Harvard to their never ending shame. He was the incompetent CEO of several failed oil companies and he depended entirely on the largesse of family friends for his livelihood, friends who continually came to his rescue financially (including Osama bin Laden's brother).

The Republican experiment conducted on or against the American people, depending on you point of view, had proven successful if the aim was to determine if it was possible to get the American public (with some minor assistance from the Supreme Court) to elect a complete idiot as president. If the aim was to determine if a complete idiot could lead the American people than the experiment was a miserable failure.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Snow Job

It is being rumored that Scotty McClellan's replacement as Press Secretary will be Tony Snow from Fox News. Following recent revelations about the NSA secret wire tapping of US citizens, misuse of intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq and the ongoing investigation of the outing of an under cover CIA agent, Mr. Snow will be at a decided disadvantage if he accepts the position. He is likely to be met by a hostile press corps frustrated by the evasions and non-answers by his predecessor.

Some administrations require a higher degree of ideological loyalty than others which can severely tax the credibility of the White House's liaison to the news media. Perhaps this is the reason for choosing a journalist with no credibility to begin with. Snow, along with his cohorts at Fox News, surrendered any journalistic integrity they may have once possessed to work for the Rupert Murdock propaganda machine.

Appointing Tony Snow as the White house Press Secretary will effectively remove any remaining expectation of credibility from the position. Snow’s credentials couldn’t get him a job as a security guard at Wal-Mart, which makes him the perfect selection for Press Secretary in George Bush’s White House. True, he may have neither honor nor integrity as a journalist but, to this administration that makes him even more attractive.

Serious journalists should be offended, not only that Tony Snow might be the next Press Secretary but, that this administration considers Fox News in the same league of journalism with the traditional news media. Selecting someone from Fox News for a serious political position is an attempt by this administration to acknowledge Fox as a legitimate news agency, which it is not.

If you haven't already done so, go to Media Matters.org for a well researched list of lies, spin and misleading comments by Tony Snow that should convince anyone of this man's shameless partisanship and hatred of all things liberal. By the way, the web site, Media Matters for America, is an important resource for progressives and deserves your support. The site was developed by David Brock, a reformed conservative journalist who intimately understands the power of the news media and the importance of holding people accountable when they attempt to misuse it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


The latest technology and corporate despotism are combining again to screw the average people who, by the way, are their life's blood for revenue. Philips Electronics in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has divulged their new patent which will FORCE the entire television watching audience around the world to watch the commercials by preventing anyone from changing channels when an advertisement is being broadcast.

Please take a second to completely wrap your mind around that concept. Philips Electronics intends to enable the gluttony obsessed corporate sponsors to shove their advertising down our collective throats. Channel surfing, a truly American patriotic past time, will forever be inhibited thanks to Philips Electronics.

This should please the army of sports fans who check the scores of other games during breaks. It is also sure to bring joy to the millions of TV watchers who enjoy clicking back and forth between several programs. But, most assuredly, it will elate every individual who attempts to change their channel for any reason what so ever and realize they are being held prisoner by the commercial they are being forced to endure.

It has always been acknowledged that advertising was a cost of doing business and therefore smart businesses have always tried to get the most for their advertising dollars. In the past, responsible governments have stepped in when businesses overstepped boundaries, whether legal, moral or just common sense.
  • Lawmakers passed legislation preventing movie theaters from showing films that contained subliminal advertisements. This was determined to be a form of brain washing that manipulated audiences to purchase products they didn’t really want.
  • Many state highway departments had to step in and limit the number and size of billboards along the roads, in some cases also regulating their distance from the traffic and use of lighting because it was having an adverse effect on the flow of traffic and safety of passengers.
  • The “Truth in Advertising” law was necessary due to the abuse many companies were guilty of in promoting their products. Unsupported claims about products are reminiscent of snake oil salesmen of old, yet even with regulations banning the practice there are still many willing to employ this method.
  • False advertising is flat out lying about products or services being advertised.

As evidenced by the long sad history of companies and their willingness to step outside the law, it must be acknowledged that most companies will do anything to sell their products. It should also be evident that governments must do more to protect consumers from the predatory tactics some companies are willing to employ. In the case of forcing TV audiences to watch commercials, Philips electronics should be prevented from introducing this device into the commercial television market. This device will have global impact and the international community needs to unite to ban this aberration from entering the market.

Yet, there is still one effrontery by Philips Electronics I have not mentioned. Take a
look at their concern for customers who may be upset by their new invasion of privacy device:

Philips' patent acknowledges that this may be "greatly resented by viewers" who could initially think their equipment has gone wrong. So it suggests the new system could throw up a warning on screen when it is enforcing advert viewing. The patent also suggests that the system could offer viewers the chance to pay a fee interactively to go back to skipping adverts.

Perhaps it would be best to fight fire with fire. Corporations understand one thing better than anything else, Money! Notice how easily they justify adding yet another service charge to retain a feature we already have. Charging viewers who may be upset by being held prisoner by their televisions seems simply natural to the mentality of corporate gluttony. So why shouldn’t we, the viewers who pay their salaries through our purchases, demand payment for the time we are forced to view unwanted advertisements. If enough people write the representatives to demand we receive the same monetary consideration for our time that corporations want for sponsoring programs we could shut this idiocy down quickly.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Revisiting the Declaration of Independance

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776 (April 13, 2006)

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain (President of the United States) is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world:

He has refuted his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
NSA illegal wire tapping of American citizens, lying to Congress and manipulating intelligence to initiate war with Iraq

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
Medical marijuana, The Patriot Act

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
The Patriot Act

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
Hasstert & DeLay holding vote open until they got the prescription drug bill passed

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
The Patriot Act, the House Ethics Committee

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
The House Ethics Committee

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
Immigration Reform, Guest Worker Program

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
Refusal to comply with FOIA requests. Appointing Radicals to the SCOTUS, SCOTUS overruling Florida Supreme court to appoint Bush President

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
Attempt by Ashcroft to abolish judicial discretion and impose max sentencing

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
Massive new Department of Homeland Security, Privatization of government positions

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
Proposed use of military for domestic emergencies including weather

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
Proposed use of military for domestic emergencies including weather,
Pentagon Disinformation Program and Spying on Anti-war and Gay Protesters

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
The Marriage Protection Act, Immigration Reform and Promotion of Racism

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
Proposed use of military for domestic emergencies including weather,
Excessive Police Presence at Anti-war and other Liberal Protests and rallies

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
Proposed use of military for domestic emergencies including weather

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
Outsourcing of Jobs to Foreign Nations, No Bid Contracts to Political Contributors for Jobs Better Performed by Government Agencies

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
Unfair tax Relief for the Affluent, Irresponsible Budgeting Resulting in Unprecedented National Debt

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
Guantanamo, Enemy Combatant Law

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
Illegal Rendition, Officially Sanctioned Torture of Prisoners

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
Illegal re-districting of Texas by DeLay and the Republican Party

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
Tort Reform, Corporatism

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
Intrusive government e.g. abortion ban, Anti Gay Agenda

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
You are either with us or you are with the terrorists

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
Deregulation of polluters, deforestation and selling off our national resources

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
Iraq, Afghanistan and, coming soon, Iran

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
The Patriot Act Provision encouraging spying on Neighbors and Clients
Lowered qualifications to increase military enlistment

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
Truly an unfortunate statement however, Our Uniter not Divider has caused the greatest discord in this country since the Civil War

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British (Republican) brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. To disavow these usurpations would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the (Democratic) Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies (this country), solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies (States) are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown (the Bush administration), and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain (the Bush administration), is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Grow a Pair

Why have the politically correct police emerged from the Democratic woodwork and jumped all over advocates of accountability? Seems crazy to me that from within our own party is an apparently growing force of do-gooders who see it as their responsibility to ensure opinions are not too strong or objectionable. That certainly seems to be the case where Senator Feingold and his censure proposal are concerned. I have heard so many Democrats deny or apologize for the censure proposal, doing all they could to assure their Republican, conservative detractors that they have nothing to worry about. Of course the Democrats are not going to attempt to censure the president.

If I may be so direct, BULLSHIT! Of course we ARE going to censure the president and only because the government is skewed so badly against the Democrats that any attempt to impeach the bastard will fail.

The degree of acquiescence from Democrats is nothing less than vomit inducing. The obvious treason against his own party committed by Joe Lieberman can not be allowed to become the rule rather than the exception. Democrats need to grow a pair and then have them bronzed. When Republicans spew their talking points of disinformation, every Democrat should reach between their legs to get a feel of the metallic testicular orbs and, thus fortified, challenge the facts, the context and the reasoning of every disingenuous utterance from the Right.

The other thing that has caused the gag reflex to kick in is the perceived need by prospective candidates to be as committed to carrying on the war on Terrorism as the nutcases now prosecuting this failed and illegal occupation. Biden and Clinton have both attacked Bush for how he has handled the war and both pledge to continue to do the same thing.

I think that a Democrat needs to come to the fore of this party if we are to have any hope of taking back 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or the institutions at either end of the street. The party needs an individual unafraid to speak truth to power, which is what we are not getting now. For instance, people of this country concerned that our democratic system of government is in jeopardy would most likely listen to a candidate willing to accuse the Bush administration of crimes we all know they have committed. Those who realize the current Republican leaders are willing to watch democracy destroyed rather than risk the wrath of the White House, would be happy to hear from anyone who will enunciate the offenses and transgressions of those whose job it is to oversee Executive authority.

Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Democratic candidate with the best chance of being elected is the one with bronzed balls of such immense scale that they campaign on a platform of restoring democracy to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches and by imprisoning those government officials suspected of having failed to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. If that means calling for the new Attorney General to take the entire outgoing administration into custody during the inauguration, so be it.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

God Bless Molly Ivins

Thank God for Molly Ivins. It’s about time someone from the Democratic Party spoke the truth, as Ms. Ivins did in her recent column, about Hillary and other Democrats who seem willing to surrender their identity and credibility in a futile effort to appease Conservatives. Democrats like Senators Clinton and Biden roundly criticize the Bush administration and simultaneously do all in their power to emulate them. Lieberman no longer even pretends to uphold his party’s ideals and deserves to be voted out of office in Connecticut.

Ms. Ivins points to recent polls which clearly indicate the majority of Americans do not agree that the Iraq war is worth the cost, or that the economy has improved or that the Medicare reform helped anyone except the pharmaceutical industry. Yet, leading Democrats do not feel that they can oppose any of these policies lest they be maligned by Bush’s henchmen and jeopardize their re-election.

DUH! Every Democrats re-election is jeopardized as long as this administration remains in power. They do not feel bound either legally or ethically from using any ploy, deception or outright attack against opponents.

It gets worse. Republicans rule Congress so Democrats can’t even get them to investigate blatant violations of law. And in a true act of stupidity, Democrats look poised to confirm Alito to the Supreme Court ensuring no Republican sponsored laws will be found unconstitutional. And the whole process is being fed to the American public through a complicit corporate media willing to cover and even lie for their favorite politico, GW.

Please, start acting like Democrats. Oppose this illegal war. Demand investigations of the premeditated falsehoods that got us into war. Demand bush be impeached for warrant less wiretapping. Demand election and campaign reform that really achieves something by removing ALL corporate money and influence from the process.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pressed For News

Norman Solomon wrote in the Huffington Post that spying on the U.N. Security Council “had nothing to do with protecting the United States from a terrorist attack. The entire purpose of the NSA surveillance was to help the White House gain leverage, by whatever means possible, for a resolution in the U.N. Security Council to green light an invasion. When that surveillance was exposed nearly three years ago, the mainstream U.S. media winked at Bush’s illegal use of the NSA for his Iraq invasion agenda.”

The plan to conduct espionage against certain member countries of the U.N. was the brain-child of top members of the Bush administration and was approved by then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

Solomon continues: “Back then, after news of the NSA’s targeted spying at the United Nations broke in the British press, major U.S. media outlets gave it only perfunctory coverage -- or, in the case of the New York Times, no coverage at all.”

This story is a precursor of the news that the New York Times had withheld for over a year the story of President Bush’s approval to use the NSA to spy on American citizens without obtaining a warrant as required by the FISA law. Is this lack of reporting information that could be harmful to the administration merely a coincidence or is it revealing a trend? Consider some other stories that the Main Stream Media in the US have covered scantily or not at all.

The Downey Street Memo, written by a senior member of the British government who was in attendance at the meeting with top members of the US government, describes the Bush administration’s strategy to justify the invasion of Iraq by “fixing the facts around the strategy”. Although this item was the big story in the UK and headlined in other countries around the world, it was barely covered in the US.

WMD Lies by Judith Miller filled the pages of the NYT in the lead up to the Iraq war, published without question by her editors. Yet, they all turned out to be false as they were based on extremely questionable sources and shaded with the utmost in poor judgment.

Bush Administration Moves to Eliminate Open Government, The administration has drastically changed the rules on Freedom of Information Act requests and laws that restrict public access to federal records, mostly by expanding the national security classification, operates in secret under the Patriot Act and consistently refuses to provide information to Congress and the Government Accountability Office.

Distorted Election Coverage: Faulted study that caused most of the corporate media to dismiss the discrepancy between exit polls and the vote tally and missed the still-contentious question of whether the vote in Ohio needed closer examination.

U.S. illegally removes pages from Iraq U.N. report: Even as Bush urged military action against Iraq for the country's failure to divulge details of its alleged chemical, biological, and nuclear arsenal, the U.S. government covertly removed 8,000 of the 11,800 pages of the weapons declaration the Iraqi government had submitted to the United Nations Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Closing access to information technology: The Internet has functioned as the single most important medium for accessing these kinds of information. But if big communications companies get their way, the Web could be compromised as a democratic source of alternative news and perspectives. Soon, what we get from the Web could be a carbon copy of what we already get from corporate TV, cable, radio, and newspapers.

Sale of electoral politics: As much hope as electronic voting offers (ease of use, access for the disabled etc), it offers just as many reasons for skepticism and fear. A look behind the curtain reveals that the programmers and manufacturers of the machines are a combination of defense contractors and corporations headed by staunch Republicans whose programming codes are dangerously faulty and whose results are impossible to verify.

Secrets of Cheney's energy task force come to light: In 2001 the Task Force formulated the National Energy Policy (NEP), or Cheney Report, bypassing possibilities for energy independence and reduced oil consumption with a declaration of ambitions to establish new sources of oil. Via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in 2003, documents revealed the Task's Force interest in Iraqi oilfields as early as March 2001, pre-9/11.

Bush administration hampered FBI investigation of bin Laden family pre Sept. 11: Less than two months after Sept. 11, a Guardian reporter got hold of 1996 Federal Bureau of Investigation memos indicating the bureau suspected Abdullah bin Laden, brother of the most infamous terrorist in the world, of funding terrorist activity. Unfortunately, angry agents who spoke to the reporter told him the counterterrorism probe was scuttled by bureau honchos before it could even get off the ground.

Taken alone any of the stories above would be considered not just significant but, a major story with profound political ramifications. Or rather, it would have been ten years ago. In today’s world of issue free news, this unbelievable collection of near mortal attacks on democracy remain unheralded in the media even when it is inescapably evident that they all occurred in the current administration’s term. There is only one logical reason for the medias lack of interest in events such as those above. Not reporting them is in the best interest of the media’s own ideological agenda.

Nearly all of the media is corporately owned and is operated for profit. When the networks first developed news departments to keep the public informed, they were divisions of the networks that operated as non-profit entities. They were also an obligation the network/corporation had accepted to obtain a broadcast license. These laws and policies have been quietly changed over the years to allow for profit news and the definition of what public service they should provide became so distorted that Fox News is licensed by the FCC.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

First Things First

Why is Congress holding hearings on whether or not to confirm Justice Alito before they conduct investigations into the legality of the Bush administration’s eavesdropping on American citizens? For that matter, why is our government continuing in a “business as usual” manner instead of taking action on a possible felony committed by the President of the United States? There is no more urgent issue for the House and Senate than performing their sworn duties of protecting and defending the constitution and if, as it appears, this president has violated citizens rights and liberties protected by that document it is their duty to remove him from office.

Let’s take this a step further. Congress should propose legislation to withhold funding for the recent appointments made by Bush while they were recessed. They should additionally refuse to acknowledge these appointments as official and prevent the appointees from assuming their new positions until the investigation of Bush’s actions are complete.

If Congress holds hearings that result in the adoption of articles of impeachment against Bush and the impeachment proceedings succeed in removing him from office, the country will be saddled with the political appointments and a Supreme Court Justice placed in their positions by a felon.

Of course, this suggestion will drive conservatives up the wall with self righteous indignation and surely unleash a firestorm of criticism and accusations. So please consider the reasons this proposal is made:

• A majority of Americans believe the president has over-stepped his authority by ordering these wire taps and a great deal of legal experts have opined that this is a direct violation of the FISA law which is a felony and demands the impeachment of the President.

• Congress must investigate the citizen surveillance carried out by the NSA as ordered by the president because he openly and publicly admitted to this. Regardless of his claim that he advised Congress of this program, or that the Patriot Act gives him authority to carry out the surveillance, or that as Commander in Chief he has this right due to the concern for national security, spying on private American citizens has been and is presently illegal with monumental judicial precedent to back it up. President Nixon was forced to resign the presidency for exactly the same type of illegal activity and the same laws must apply to Bush.

• By acknowledging the unwarranted invasion of American citizens, Bush has in effect pleaded guilty to violating the law. Consequently, he has assumed a posture above the law, one neither restrained by its authority nor subject to its penalties. In other words, a Dictator.

• Bush’s assertion that he needed to circumvent the FISA court to expedite investigations is not tenable because of the 72 hour grace period allowed by the court in which to apply for and obtain a warrant. It is a logical conclusion then, to believe that Bush has avoided the FISA court because the target of surveillance was not an issue of national security, but one of political nature. Recall the corrupt Republican gambit of spying on the Democrats in Congress when they “accidentally” tapped into shared memory files on government computers. Also, that when an investigation was undertaken to determine how this could have happened a suspicious anthrax scare occurred in Sen. Frist’s office which prevented investigators from accessing the computer of Frist and his staff. No anthrax was ever found and the timing and probability of such an event has never been credible.

• It is now known that Bush authorized the NSA surveillance prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This totally repudiates his assertion that it was for national security purposes.

Conservatives would no doubt demand to know what gives me or anyone else the right to question our Commander in Chief and to make demands on Congress to impeach a sitting president. The authority behind my demands is the same each of us holds as citizens of this country. It is the authority invested in each patriot who defends the document this nation was founded upon which begins with the empowering phrase “We the People”. It is the constitutional authority and responsibility of every citizen to ensure we remain faithful to the spirit and wisdom embodied within the courageous words of our forefathers when they established a new government based on democracy, liberty and equality.

Each of the principals listed above is anathema to the Bush administration and they have gone to great lengths to eradicate them. If Congress will not take action to prevent this president from establishing a dictatorship then it must be done by the people of this nation who do not want to see over 200 years of democracy wiped out in the course of one president’s administration.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Clean House

It is not enough to impeach the president for his latest act of treachery against the constitution, not by a long shot. Americans must not be satisfied in simply removing George Bush from office, we must insist that he be tried for his criminal acts and incarcerated if found guilty so future presidents will be loathe to attempt similar crimes.

It would be ultimately fitting for this president's legacy to be the image of him being taken into custody and led off to jail. It would stand for the victory of Democracy over would be tyrants who attempt to corrupt our system of government and strengthen the resolve of those who believe in Democracy and stood by their principles throughout the past 5 year Neoconservative reign of terror.

Additionally, each Congressional Conservative that has come out in support of the president's decision to spy on Americans and have attempted to justify what is essentially an attack on the constitution, should be brought before Congress and censured for their subversive behavior.

This will seem severe to some and unwarranted to others, but consider the response of the Republicans to the manufactured assault against President Clinton. Many on the right took to the floor of Congress to make some of the most outrageous allegations and unfounded accusations against Clinton. Six years and $80 million of our taxes later, not one charge was ever substantiated or even found to be credible. This is because they were all the work of fanatical Neoconservatives and Richard Mellon Scaife, the right-wing Pittsburgh billionaire who funded the 1990s dirt-digging operation against the Clintons known as the Arkansas Project.

The Republicans must be held accountable for their party’s protection of this president over the past five years. Initially, it is understandable that Republicans were overly enthusiastic about gaining control of both the executive and legislative branches and some of their excesses can be attributed to that. Yet, as time progressed along with the administration’s abuses of power and privilege, this excuse lost its potency. Congress is obligated by oath to uphold the constitution and protect and defend the country. The Republicans in Congress opted for partisan and ideological goals in conflict with their duties. The American public needs to be informed of this and of how damaging their dereliction has been to our nation.

If the Democrats can take back either the House or the Senate in 2006 it will be possible to begin some long overdue investigations of this administration’s actions as well as the actions of many in Congress. This would be a good start but, not be as effective as regaining the White House and access to the documents and records the administration has refused to release in defiance of FOIA suits filed by many parties. I believe this to be crucial to any serious investigation of presidential, cabinet and Congressional misconduct and it is precisely for that reason I believe that Bush will be compelled to decree all such documents sealed for years to come. The American public must not stand for that or any other attempt to hide, obscure or destroy evidence that this administration broke laws, weakened democracy, defied the constitution, engaged in cover-ups, lied to the nation, authorized the illegal invasion of Iraq in defiance of international law, and caused the death and maiming of thousands of American soldiers for selfish purposes.