Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented. “American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders.
The threat of a wave of resignations coincided with a warning by Vice-President Dick Cheney that all options, including military action, remained on the table. He was responding to a comment by Tony Blair that it would not “be right to take military action against Iran”.
If this is true, what would it mean (should it actually happen)? People often talk tough in the heat of the moment, saying things they don't really mean; usually, when given time to think about their actions, they go back on their earlier words. However, given that the U.S. military has been pushed to the breaking point no thanks to the imperial ambitions and incompetence of the regime occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, anything could occur.George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have been using the same lies against Iran that were used against Iraq. They've been ordering another military buildup in the region in anticipation of the planned war. But a number of military commanders have not been playing ball by going along with the regime's rhetoric. In fact, they've contradicted it quite publicly. As the Times Online article reports, "General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff...played down claims by US intelligence that the Iranian government was responsible for supplying insurgents in Iraq, forcing Bush on the defensive." British officials have supported Pace's assertions, saying the extent of Iran's involvement was "far from clear."
This was demonstrated when the Shrub was forced to backtrack on his claims that the U.S. had "proof" Iran's government had supplied weapons to the Iraqi resistance.
If the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is publicly contradicting what the Shrub is saying, it means he is essentially calling Bush a liar (which he is). Even Colin Powell wasn't brave enough to do that during the first Gulf War, when his boss, George H.W. Bush, was lying through his teeth about the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Kuwait was eventually discovered to have been "siphoning oil from the shared Ar Rumaylah oil field straddling the Iraq-Kuwait border," according to one website. Greg Palast reported, too, that Kuwait had been "Kuwait's craven siphoning of borderland oil fields jointly owned with Iraq gave Saddam the excuse to take Kuwait's share." Powell didn't get to be chairman of the joint chiefs by being stupid, and not asking certain people the relevant questions. He surely knew his boss was lying. Yet he went along with Bush Sr.'s war anyway, with no thought of resigning in protest. Eventually, as Secretary of State, Powell passed on the opportunity to resign in protest over what he knew was deliberate deception by his employer, George W. Bush.
But here we have Peter Pace, the current joint chiefs chairman, going against the rhetoric being spewed out by the Shrub and his gargoyle. If the military is in a state of near-revolt, what will result from an attack on Iran? There is no question that commanders already in position, upon orders from the White House, will launch the attack. They have been picked for their ability to follow orders without question. But if the top brass does resign in protest there is no way the rest of the U.S. military won't hear about it.
Whatever this news means, it won't be good for the Bush regime. I'll keep you posted as I learn more information.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Now, however, he's singing a different tune. He is revealing the reason why he lost the courage of his convictions. And in so doing, he is exposing the cynicism inherent in the politics of convenience. As reported by The Nation, Conyers went on Democracy Now! and uttered the following:
Impeachments come to the Judiciary Commitee. And, believe me, to tie up this government just as we're trying to stop the war and the clock is running on both the President and the Vice President, I think would be a mistaken strategy. We've got to win the next election which is next year.
What did I tell you, good readers? Congressional Democrats are so worried about protecting their party's presidential ambitions, that they'll let traitors and criminals get away with their shit with nary a slap on the wrist. Conyers knows full well Democrats won't be able to end the war in Iraq or prevent war with Iran, because George W. Bush and Dick Cheney think they will face no penalty for their multitude of crimes and therefore will not stop doing what they're doing.
I'll list just some of the crimes Bush and Cheney have committed that justify impeachment: Illegal surveillance; torture of prisoners; illegal arrests (kidnapping); denial of charge and trial; lying to Congress and the public about Iraq; manipulating and falsifying intelligence; leaking the identity of a covert CIA operative; criminal negligence for 9/11/2001 and Hurricane Katrina. All of these crimes and more have been committed by the Bush regime. Yet Conyers is saying he will not pursue impeachment of the Shrub and his co-dictator, because it might jeopardize his party's chances of winning the presidency?
Someone ought to explain to Mr. Conyers, in the strongest terms possible, what happened to Gerald Ford when he refused to let Richard Nixon be prosecuted for crimes the latter committed as president. Someone ought to explain to Conyers the awful consequences of letting Reagan and Bush Sr. off the hook for treason.
Or maybe just threaten a recall election if he doesn't do as he's told. The American public gave Democrats control of Congress last year because we want Bush and Cheney and their regime to be stopped in their tracks. The only way to do that is through impeachment.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Conservative leader David Cameron told the Commons that the announcement would be "welcomed in this House, in the country and especially to the families of those serving in Iraq over the coming months."
But he said that the security situation in Basra remained "dire" and urged Mr Blair finally to accept the need for an inquiry into the Iraq war to "learn the lessons" of "many bad mistakes".
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell, whose party opposed the war in Iraq, said the target should be the full withdrawal of British troops by the end of October.
He added that the "unpalatable truth" was that Britain was leaving behind a country on the brink on civil war.
"This is a long way short of the beacon of democracy for the Middle East which was promised some four years ago," he said.
The proposed cut in numbers of British troops comes at the same time as 21,500 more US troops are being sent to Iraq.
The White House is eager to put a positive spin on this, but there's really no denying what's going on. With Tony Blair due to step down as Prime Minister some time this Spring, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney will lose their biggest supporter of the war in Iraq (next to al-Qaeda). Anticipating the failure of the U.S. troop surge, Blair seems to have concluded now is the time to declare victory and begin the pullout.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Let's get straight to the point: Democrats in Congress will not take any action against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney because they think it'll somehow jeopardize their party's chances of winning the White House next year. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi publicly removed impeachment of Bush and Cheney from the table. Harry Reid has proven ineffectual in getting fellow Democrats in the Senate to really stand up to the regime occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Reid's position, however, is precarious; as long as there remains an even split in the Senate Joe LIEberman will continue to be in a position to jump ship completely and caucus with Republicans, throwing control of that body once again to Bush & Co. So the Senate being deadlocked, it is up to the House of Representatives to take action. But it won't, for the reasons I have stated.
Unless the voting public that elected Democrats back into power after twelve years to act as a check on the Bush regime does something to get the ball rolling, our elected officials will allow their chance to hold lawbreaking executives accountable to slip away. And, having allowed cowardice to govern their actions, Democrats will not only watch as Bush and Cheney start a war with Iran but see their majority disappear in next year's elections.
Those who lived through the Nixon era of executive abuses remember what happened to Gerald Ford when the president, in a selfish act of political pragmatism, pardoned his predecessor for high crimes that would have resulted in impeachment had Tricky Dick not resigned under pressure from his own party. In spite of the whitewash following Ford's death about those events, it is important to remember what happened in their immediate aftermath. Ford lost to Democrat Jimmy carter, largely because his pardon of Nixon stole the public's much-needed closure. Voters wanted Nixon to be held accountable for his crimes. Ford denied them that. So he was voted out of office. Democrats today would do well to remember this harsh lesson, lest they follow Ford down the path to political oblivion.
Listening to the callers on C-Span and on the radio shows, it isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. There is a rising tide of voter anger, and Republicans felt it last November. They found out the hard way what happens when a public that is fed up with the excesses of government exercises its power to change that government.
But let us look at the other side of the coin: when Republicans impeached Bill Clinton, they did not lose control of Congress in the next election cycle. Not only did they keep Congress, they managed to successfully steal the White House--no thanks to electoral fraud by the Bush/Cheney campaign and an illegal Supreme Court ruling. Since then they've gutted the Constitution, systematically dismantled the nation's institutions, allowed a major terrorist attack to be carried out on American soil, lied us into a pointless war in Iraq, interfered with a family's private conflict over what to do about their brain-dead loved one, illegally wiretapped our phones, authorized the illegal detention and torture of prisoners, sat on their asses while poor people in the Gulf States were killed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina--the list goes on and on. Do you think any of the bastards fretted over what impeaching Bill Clinton might have cost them? No, they set out to do something and they did it regardless of the risk. Their gamble paid off, big time.
When you really think about it, there is no excuse for Pelosi to forbid impeachment. If she just doesn't want the responsibility of being the first president to come into office having impeached a pair of dictatorial pretenders, she should just come right out and admit it. At least it would be honest. But when Pelosi took on the responsibilities of her office, she swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. The luxury of sitting on her keister and letting Bush and Cheney get away with their crimes, indeed starting yet another war we can't win, was never part of the package.
Meanwhile, Democrats in the House passed a toothless resolution that doesn't do anything to end the war in Iraq, or prevent Bush and Cheney from starting another one with Iran. The time for such feel-good-but-empty actions passed by long ago. Now more than ever, they need to do something. And if they won't, We the People must.
So this is where we take matters once again into our own hands. Here are the websites for Nancy Pelosi, Jack Murtha and other Congressional Democrats in positions to end the war in Iraq and hold Bush and Cheney accountable for their multitude of crimes.
Pelosi, obviously, tops the list because she is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. She gets to decide what legislation comes up for debate by the full chamber, and what languishes on the legislative table gathering dust. John Conyers is Chair of the Judiciary Committee (where the process of impeachment must begin). David Obey of Wisconsin heads up the Appropriations Committee, and Jack Murtha leads the subcommittee on appropriations for the Iraq war. Finally, Ike Skelton of Missouri heads the House Armed Services Committee. These five are the ones to keep on your list, who are in the House of Representatives.
Robert Byrd of Virginia runs the Senate Appropriations Committee, Ted Kennedy is chairman of the Armed Services committee, and Patrick Leahy of Vermont heads Judiciary. Byrd and Kennedy especially are in positions to block legislation from coming up that does not bring an end to the war in Iraq and which does not prevent a war with Iran. Leahy is in a position to block Bush's judicial nominees.
So there you have it, just eight members of Congress to hold accountable. This is what you can do to make sure they do their jobs: threaten to get a recall election if they refuse to end the war in Iraq, and refuse to allow Bush and Cheney to be impeached. Organize people who live in their states and districts who are pissed off at their failure to do their jobs. Obtain petitions for the task, and then write a POLITE letter and follow-up e-mail urging them to use their power to start the ball rolling. Here are some talking points to use.
- Democrats have control of the committees, and can use their power to prevent funding for the Iraq war and operations against Iran from getting through.
- Republicans had no problem abusing their power to shut Democrats out of the legislative process, and Democrats are under no obligation to play nice now that they are in charge.
- Democrats can take the high road by engaging in true compromise; if Republicans will lend their support to Democratic legislation and resolutions, then their legislation will at the very least get a debate. There is no need to promise that GOP legislation will pass, that would just be stupid. But if Democrats are smart, they will learn--quickly--to flex their newly strengthened muscles.
- If Democrats are serious about ending the war in Iraq and preventing war with Iran, they must pass binding resolutions. People are dying, and time is running out.
- Impeachment must be put back on the table, and the Articles of Impeachment introduced against both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
- Gerald Ford failed to hold Richard Nixon accountable for his crimes, and as a result lost his bid for election in his own right. Similarly, if Democrats fail to remove Bush and Cheney voters will remove them from power in 2008.
- When Republicans impeached Bill Clinton, not only did they retain control of Congress in the next election cycle they went on to successfully steal the presidency.
- Recall petitions are being prepared in the event Democrats in a position to end the war and hold Bush and Cheney accountable refuse to do so within ninety days.
You don't have to use all of the above talking points, and you should put them in your own words. Use one to three of these points, and make sure you get voters who live in these Democrats' states and districts to organize. Send written letters and e-mails, and make phone calls. It is especially important to get the people who live in the states and districts of the above-mentioned Democrats to do this, since it is their states and districts whose representatives and senators are the ones we need to apply pressure to. Do this, and do not let up. Above all, be firm but POLITE. Nothing causes someone to hold to his position out of pure, stubborn pride than having someone talk shit to him. Start drives to obtain these petitions and gather signatures, and then have them ready to file. You may have to raise money to pay a filing fee, and obviously candidates willing to impeach and tie the purse strings shut must be available.
Finally, be realistic in your thinking. Any effort to recall the representatives and senators mentioned above is probably not going to succeed. If such efforts do succeed, great. But do not expect that they will. What is important, at this stage, is not sucess but the media attention derived from large, organized efforts to recall politicians who refuse to carry out their Constitutional duties. If we can pull this off, we may be able to light the fire under Congressional Democrats. Lives are at stake, as is the future of our country. For what good is having a representative form of government, if that government does not obey the wishes of the public it is supposed to represent? And what good are the Democrats, if after being elected to power they fail to do what the public wants them to do?
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Senate Republican leaders say they oppose considering measures denouncing Bush's Iraq strategy unless Democrats also agree to allow a vote on a Republican-backed proposal forbidding a cutoff of funding to U.S. troops.Democrats now control the Committee seats. If they're smart, they'll retaliate by preventing all GOP legislation from even coming up in Committee until the GOP plays ball and allows Democratic legislation to get an up-or-down vote. Unfortunately, there aren't enough smart Democrats in either chamber of Congress to do that. Never mind that for twelve years, the Republican Party completely shut them out of the legislative process.
But I digress. This ought to signal to the American public that as long as Republicans retain even a hint of power, they will continue using it to screw things up for the country.
The war in Afghanistan came back to the forefront of American consciousness, albeit briefly; the Shrub demanded more troops from NATO to secure the country, because he has completely abandoned it to the Taliban. A mere 25,000 U.S. soldiers remain to try and tackle a nation even the Soviet Empire couldn't successfully invade and occupy. That's what happens when you abandon the hunt for the guy who was actually behind 9/11 to pursue your own agenda in Iraq. So now this is two wars in the Middle East that have been lost by the Bush regime's incompetent ambition. And they're trying to start a third no-win conflict, this time with Iran. Some folks never learn.
Then, of course, two more things happened as the week drew to a close. First, the U.S. House of Representatives did what the Senate couldn't, no thanks to GOP filibustering (I'll bet Repugs are glad they didn't get rid of that when they had the chance, aren't they?); it passed a non-binding resolution opposing the Shrub's threatened surge of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. It would have been better to pass binding legislation cutting off funding for the war, but that's another subject that I'll touch upon next week. The second thing that happened is that an Italian court has indicted twenty-six suspected CIA officers for kidnapping. It seems this has to do with that business of kidnapping people and shipping them to other countries to be tortured.
It's been a bad week indeed for the Shrub. Now Congress needs to step things up and pass binding resolutions cutting off funds for the war in Iraq, and preventing funds from being used to start a war with Iran.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
According to News Hounds, North -- a traitor who helped Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in their own acts of treason by way of selling weapons to Iran and funnelling the profits to the terrorist Contras in Nicaragua -- went on Fox Noise's Hannity and Colmes and declared that "military commanders in Iraq never said they wanted more troops, despite the claims of Senators Lieberman and McCain to the contrary. With video." The segment, according to News Hounds, was about an editorial in the Washington Post criticizing U.S. troops who in turn criticize critics of the Iraq war. Kind of confusing reading that, but then so is most of the doublespeak coming out of Fox Noise Channel.
It should be noted that North's intention was to rant and rave against dissenting members of the media. As News Hounds put it, "North, convicted of lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra investigation (his conviction was overturned on a technicality) joined in the lie-fest."
This is how it apparently went down (copied and pasted from the News Hounds link):
Colmes then asked North about a comment he made on O’Reilly’s show in January opposing the troop surge because the soldiers opposed it.
North insisted he had not changed his views, that while he had not been for more troops, now that the president has made the decision, he supports it. North continued, “I was there with the same guys who briefed John McCain and Joe Lieberman and they told (McCain and Lieberman) the same thing and they walked out of the briefing and said (the military) wanted 20,000 more troops.
Now go figure. And I know what was said because I lived with those same guys.”
Colmes asked, “What did the troops say? They said they did or did not want reinforcements?”
“They said what they wanted were more trainers, more MTT’s, these military transition teams, these police transition teams, that are working in Al-Anbar to bring Sunni and Shia to work together against Al Qaeda. That’s what they said they wanted, not 20,000 more combat troops.”
This presents an interesting bit of irony. North, a convicted liar trying to discredit war critics, is contradicting false statements by LIEberman and his buddy McCain -- two of the Bush regime's biggest enablers in the U.S. Senate who support an escalation even the U.S. military does not support (polls by the Military Times show only 38% of soldiers favor the proposed surge by the Shrub). Ordinarily North's credibility is nonexistent, given his penchant for lying. But in this instance, he is supported by the facts at hand: polls conducted by military newspapers show that yes, even most soldiers do not see the sense in adding another 21,000 + troops to a failed occupation. McCain and LIEberman are not.
Before closing, I just want to welcome aboard the newest members of the Truth Zone team. They are:
The Truth is best served when it has more than one voice telling it. I look forward to working with all of you as we work to speak truth to power.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Where to begin.Well, the chronological approach seems as good as any, so let's step back for a brief moment to his pre-mayoral days. As a federal prosecutor under Reagan, some would say that he did a good job, and they'd be partially right - he tackled the mob with excellent results. Of course, he neglected to disclose to the FBI (as required by law) that his father was a Mafia underling who served a stretch in Sing-Sing for robbing a milkman. This info did not come to light until much later so it will come up again in a future post.
In 1982, he was entrusted with the job of making sure that no Haitian refugees made it into Miami.. At the time, there was a class action lawsuit seeking the release of 2,100 refugees in federal detention camps. Giuliani went to Haiti and upon his return. said there was no political oppression and that the Papal Nuncio in Haiti had personally informed him that the refugees were "economic" refugees and not political ones. The Papal Nuncio said that no such conversation ever took place. Rudy! Wotta fun guy!
Next - The mayoralty years.
Libby's lawyers turned out to be just as dishonest as he is. Today the defense rested its case, having been denied even the opportunity to take another lame crack at trying to impugn Tim Russert's credibility. The Nation's David Corn reports. The judge chastised the lying morons for having misled the court.
But is this really surprising? After the damning testimony by prosecution witnesses and its failure to knocks holes in any of it, there was no way Cheney was going to risk committing yet another impeachable offense by taking the stand and himself lying under oath. And putting Libby on the stand was out of the question; he would have lied again, and there was no way he would have been able to fool the jury.
So, having failed to make a dent in the prosecution's case, the defense rested. Closing arguments will be heard Tuesday, but the outcome is all but determined. Libby will be convicted of perjury. And then the investigation into who leaked Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA identity to the press in 2003 will proceed...where?
Evidence and testimony implicates Cheney. Will Fitzgerald seek an indictment? That can only happen through Congress, and weak-willed Democrats refuse to allow it. One thing is certain, though. This investigation is far from over.
Tomorrow I will discuss Oliver North's (yes, Iran-Contra's Oliver North) charge that Republican senators John McCain and Joe LIEberman lied about what soldiers in Iraq are saying about the threatened surge. That, and irony.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
This is after months of wrangling by the defense and the prosecution, in which it was touted in the press that Cheney would likely be called to testify on behalf of his former chief of staff. In the end, given the revelations of Cheney's active role in outing Joe Wilson's wife as a CIA NOC, putting the vice dictator on the stand would have opened him up to facing perjury charges of his own. And testimony by Cheney's current national security adviser implied that Libby was an opportunistic, sneaky bastard who took credit for the ideas of his subordinates.
Damning testimony by witnesses for the prosecution, and incompetence by the defense, has spared Dick Cheney the prospect of being impeached on perjury charges. For now. But Libby's conviction and the testimony implicating the vice dictator in the leak case may yet result in the latter's own removal from office.
Only time will tell.
The aim was to show that Libby was not willy-nilly spreading information to reporters about Valerie Wilson and her CIA employment in the weeks before she was outed as a CIA officer by Novak's July 14, 2003 column. Libby stands accused of having lied to a grand jury and the FBI when he told both that he had not passed official information regarding Valerie Wilson to reporter Judith Miller, then of The New York Times (during conversations on June 23, July 8 and July 12, 2003) and correspondent Matt Cooper, then of Time (during a phone call on July 12, 2003).
Libby is as good as convicted. Nevertheless, Bush will probably pardon him upon leaving office. This despite the fact Libby helped compromise national security by leaking classified information about the identity of a CIA operative to members of the press.
The prosecution closed its case last week on a very strong foundation: Libby lied to the FBI and a federal grand jury. Witnesses, including those from the Bush regime, contradicted everything his defense team has argued thus far--that Libby and all the other witnesses suffered from poor memory, or that he is somehow the victim of a vast conspiracy to protect Karl Rove. Yet every witness, and every piece of evidence presented by the prosecution, has shown Libby to be the liar he is.
The weakness of the defense's opening testimony hinges on facts that are completely irrelevant to the case at hand. Libby is charged with perjury, lying to authorities and a grand jury. It does not matter that he leaked the CIA identity of Joe Wilson's wife only to select members of the press. It matters only that he falsified testimony. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald made his case. It is now the Libby defense team's task to knock holes in that case.
So far, it has failed. Miserably.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Write your Representatives and Senators -- NOW -- and demand impeachment proceedings begin IMMEDIATELY. Before the maniacs of the Bush regime drag America into yet another disastrous war. Specifically, write Representative John Conyers of Michigan's 14th District and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California's 8th District. Conyers is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, where the Articles of Impeachment against Bush and Cheney must be drawn up. Pelosi is the Speaker of the House, in charge of deciding which legislation is allowed to be debated and which gets left on the table to gather dust.
This is what you need to do: write a letter, or call and leave a message, and as politely as possible inform Mr. Conyers and Ms. Pelosi that if they refuse to do their Constitutional duties -- if they continue to allow fear of jeopardizing their party's presidential ambitions guide their thinking, rather than the Constitution and the will of the public -- then petitions will be submitted to mount recall elections. They won't even make it to next year, because they will be replaced. Do this politely and, above all, calmly. You do not want to be antagonistic, because that will merely cause Conyers and Pelosi to cement their cowardice out of spite. But make it clear that these two have a duty to perform, and if they refuse to do it they will share the political fate of Gerald Ford.
Lives are depending on the ability of the American public to force Congress to do its job and remove the dictatorship that has infested the White House.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
It looks as if you've learned nothing from the last time the Bush regime lied us into war. All the signs are there that the Shrub is using the same lies against Iran that he and his regime used on Iraq. The military is being moved into position to launch an attack. The changes at Central Command (CentCom) add further proof of this.
Craig Unger, who wrote about the ties between the Bush crime family and the Saudis in his book, House of Bush/House of Saud, lays out the case for how the same deceptions that were used on Iraq are now being used to justify war with Iran. He also lays out the case for why such a war is doomed to failure.
Yet you're too paralyzed by fear to stop these maniacs from getting the U.S. involved in a war against Iran that it will surely lose -- just as it has lost the war in Iraq. More people are going to die that shouldn't, and you're too scared of jeopardizing your chances of winning the White House next year to do anything about it.
What good are you people? Why did we voters hand you control of Congress, if you're just going to piss away the power we gave you? What good did electing you to power do, if you refuse to do what We the People want you to do -- namely, hold the regime accountable for its crimes?
Time is running out. You have the power to end Bush and Cheney's wars in the Middle East. You have the power to bring them to justice for their multitude of crimes. You have the power to stop them in their tracks and put the fear of God into them, for once in their soulless lives.
But you're going to let them get away with their shit, because God forbid you should put the American public ahead of your party's ambitions. You don't realize the consequences, and it looks increasingly as if you simply wouldn't care, even if you did.
Think about what happened to Gerald Ford when he pardoned Nixon. Voters wanted, after the reaming Tricky Dick's abuses of executive power gave them, to see the bastard go to prison for his crimes. Your colleagues in that era's Congress knew the genius inherent in the gift of impeachment given us by the Founders of this once-great nation. Nixon resigned not because he knew he'd fucked up royally; that would've required a conscience, and he didn't have one. No, Nixon resigned because he was about to be impeached for high crimes. And Ford let him off the hook.
Voters were rightly outraged by this selfish act, and they punished him by handing the White House to Jimmy Carter. I want you to think about this really hard. Ford was voted out of power, because he let a criminal executive get away with committing high crimes against the United States. He had the power to truly heal this nation, but instead chose to let the wounds inflicted by Nixon fester. All because he selfishly wanted to preserve his party's chances of regaining the power it had abused. Gerald Ford was too big a coward to allow Nixon to be punished for his crimes. And voters, in turn, held him accountable.
Now, more than thirty years later, we have an executive so drunk with power, who has committed crimes that make Nixon's look like a walk in the park by comparison, that he is prepared to sacrifice thousands more in his failed and delusional quest to set up a global empire. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their regime have done things that require impeachment, removal from office and imprisonment.
Stolen not one but two presidential elections;
Failed, perhaps deliberately so, to stop an attack on U.S. soil by al-Qaeda;
Made only a half-hearted attempt to go after Osama bin Laden, finally abandoning the effort to go to war in Iraq;
Lied us into a war in Iraq;
Gutted the Constitution;
Illegally spied on American citizens;
Denied us the right to trial by eliminating habeas corpus;
Bankrupted our treasury;
Dismantled our emergency infrastructure, culminating in the tragic deaths in the wake of Hurricane Katrina;
Slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent people;
Are now preparing to do the same with Iran.
They have committed these crimes and many more, too many to list in their entirety. They did all this with the help of a corrupt and complacent Republican Congress, which abdicated its Constitutional duties to act as a check on the executive branch. Because the GOP failed in its duties to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for their crimes, voters gave you Democrats control of Congress. You now have the power to stop those maniacs from ushering in yet another war America cannot win, and that will result in mass death and destruction. But you won't do it, because you're afraid to risk losing your shot at the White House.
Gerald Ford played it safe, and look what it got him -- and the rest of America. Will Democrats, newly empowered but like an abused spouse that doesn't yet realize she is free and in a position to do serious hurt to her abuser, fail to learn the lesson Ford's cowardice taught? It looks as if you will.
Well, I've got news for you. We don't have to wait until the next election cycle to remove you from power. We can launch efforts to remove you now.
This last part is for concerned citizens, who want an end to this war and this regime but have been frustrated by the cowardice of Democrats in Congress.
I am calling upon concerned Democrats and Independents in the districts of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Democratic Committee Chairs, to mount recall efforts against anyone who refuses to initiate impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney. I am calling on you to launch recall efforts against anyone in a position to end this war, but won't on account of cowardice. I am calling upon you to do this, to show that We the People are--as the late Molly Ivins so eloquently informed us--are the deciders in this country.
I do not harbor any illusions about whether such efforts will succeed, and neither should you. But we need to try, because it is important that we send a message to those in Congress who have the power to stop Bush and Cheney, but won't. That message is this: "if you will not follow orders, if you refuse to do the duty we elected you to perform, then you won't even have to wait until next year to be voted out." It doesn't matter if recall efforts fail. The attention such efforts get in the media will be enough to perhaps light the fire under the butts of Congressional Democrats. And maybe then, they will do something.
Don't be dissuaded by cynicism. That's what the assholes in power are counting on; they want you to give up, and let them continue doing what they're doing. Don't let them have that power. You took some of it back last November, and you can take back more. Why settle for crumbs when you can have the whole loaf? The Founders of this nation set it up so that the citizenry would have the power by staying informed and, above all, involved in the workings of our government--which is paid for with our tax dollars.
So get those recall petitions filled, and ready to turn in. Hillary Clinton is running for president on the promise that if she wins, and we are still in Iraq by the time she takes office, she will end the war. But she, and the rest of the Democrats in Congress, have the ability to end this war now. They can cut off funds, and use the power of their Committee chairmanships to block funding for the war. They can block funding for Bush's war plans against Iran. They can do this, but won't because they're too scared of being beaten up for it by the right-wing press. They're too scared to take the risk. Make them more scared of not taking the risk.
We the People can end this war and this regime now, if Congress won't. We only need the will.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
What's funny about this, however, is that Republicans are taking issue not with Pelosi's use of military transport, but the size of the airplane.
"Republicans are taking issue with the size of the plane. Pelosi and the Defense Department are discussing letting her fly in a C-32 plane, a military version of the Boeing 757-200. Neither the Speakers's office nor administration sources has ever specifically said that Pelosi has requested the modified 757."This is what GOPers, deprived of their power in the House of Representatives after twelve years, have come to? An empty criticism, devoid of any real merit? If Pelosi were caught, say, taking bribes as disgraced former Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham was, that would be a legitimate complaint. If she were caught with bundles of money in her freezer, like William Jefferson was, that too would be legitimate cause for concern. And it might even be a valid point if, having exploited military transport for personal use for years, Republicans were accusing Pelosi of hypocrisy after her party promised to clean up corruption at the Capitol Building.
But this is mere quibbling over an unconfirmed charge about the size of an airplane. If that's the biggest complaint Republicans can make about the new majority, they risk relegating themselves permanently to the role of circus clowns, providing comic relief and little else of substance during the current session of Congress.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
It seems LIEberman doesn't think Americans are sacrificing enough for his little tin dictator's war. Of course, over three thousand American families have already sacrificed the lives of their loved ones; tens of thousands of soldiers have sacrified their health and their limbs.
But this inconvenient detail doesn't seem to matter to the Shrub's little bitch.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Today's headline about the presidential hopeful states he is offering universal health care, which is more accurate. But already the GOP is rising up to denounce the plan using the usual round of dishonest attacks.
The proposal drew immediate fire from Republican critics, who said Americans would reject any candidate who runs on a platform of higher taxes and more government.
"The 2003 Bush tax cuts produced one of the broadest and strongest economic expansions in the nation's history," said Pat Toomey, president of the anti-tax group Club for Growth.
"It is mind-boggling that John Edwards would seek to derail that expansion for the sake of his big-government, collectivist schemes."
The labels of "tax and spend", "communist" and "big government" would be laughable, if they weren't so tragically hypocritical. Toomey's political party has presided over the largest government in American history, which has intruded far into our every day lives to spy on us and read our mail without warrants; arrest and detain us without charge; torture us; and use military circus trials in which secret, often fabricated evidence may be used. And the government under George W. Bush has sent the federal debt to levels so astronomically high as to bankrupt the country for generations to come.
In fact, while proposing hundreds of billions of dollars in borrowed money to pay for the Iraq war, Bush is demanding even further cuts on domestic spending.
Yet we're supposed to believe that repealing ill-considered tax giveaways to the top 1-5% to pay for health care coverage is tantamount to communism?
Such criticism is hypocritical in the extreme. And we'll be seeing it increase exponentially as the 2008 presidential season kicks into high gear.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
The article did say Edwards' plan would "raise taxes, chiefly on the wealthy, to pay for expanded health care coverage." But the headline should have said as much. Knowing how few Americans bother to read past the headlines, and knowing GOPers will jump on Edwards as a 'tax and spend' liberal, Reuters' headline misrepresents what Edwards is actually stating as to who would actually get their taxes raised.
Friday, February 02, 2007
"Molly Ivins was a Texas original. ... I respected her convictions, her passionate belief in the power of words and her ability to turn a phrase. She fought her illness with that same passion. Her quick wit and commitment to her beliefs will be missed," the [Shrub] said in a statement.Given the depths of evil and depravity to which this dictator has dragged this once-great nation of ours, for him to speak any words of Ms. Ivins--for they are surely as empty as the void where his soul ought to be--is to soil the memory of her.
That was probably his intention.
I can imagine Ms. Ivins, sitting now in her seat in Heaven, looking down at this pathetic little wannabe-king and coming up with something acidic, drop-dead funny, and too smart for the mediocre Shrub to understand.
But all I can do is imagine what she might say, and my poorer writing skills would not do her memory proper justice; so I can only say if it were me up there in Heaven I'd reply to those empty words of condolence with, "How very kind of the Shrub to say he respected my convictions. I'd have liked to have respected his own convictions, but first he would have to have faced a judge and jury."
The biggest insult you can throw upon the memory of a dead person--especially one like Molly Ivins who, in life, earned nothing but respect and admiration--is insincerity. The Shrub would have done better to keep his lying mouth shut.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
I made it a point to buy some of her books after that, including the one she had co-written with fellow journalist Lou DuBose, Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America (the tome she was dicussing at that panel in Los Angeles). And I read her columns online whenever I could.
The Lady had won my admiration, and inspired me to be a voice for Truth in a world where deceptions are presented as valid, "alternative viewpoints" on a daily basis.
You might ask, "how can you tell she was a Lady?" But it's not something you can put into words. Once you heard her speak, you just knew it. And because she was a Lady, she earned respect--even from most of those who fell under the scalpel of her pen, however grudgingly.
Ms. Ivins was an ardent critic of the Bush regime, and had zero tolerance for fools in public office, particularly in the Texas Legislature. She stood up and told the Truth, even when it was unpopular, and threw in her own brand of wit, Southern charm and biting humor.
It is a sad truth that the good die, while the bad manage to stay behind to continue fucking things up for the rest of us. MSNBC reports that Molly Ivins, aged 62, died yesterday of breast cancer.
The world is a much darker place now that her light has gone out. So it is up to the rest of us who value Truth to take up our own torches, and throw our spotlights on those who abuse the power life has given them. And, as Ms. Ivins urged, have fun doing it.