The National Guard Belongs in New Orleans and Biloxi. Not Baghdad.

By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Wednesday 31 August 2005

The men and women of the National Guard shouldn't be killing in Iraq. They should be helping in New Orleans and Biloxi.

The catastrophic hurricane was an act of God. But the US war effort in Iraq is a continuing act of the president. And now, that effort is hampering the capacity of the National Guard to save lives at home.

Before the flooding of New Orleans drastically escalated on Tuesday, the White House tried to disarm questions that could be politically explosive. "To those of you who are concerned about whether or not we're prepared to help, don't be, we are," President Bush said. "We're in place, we've got equipment in place, supplies in place, and once the - once we're able to assess the damage, we'll be able to move in and help those good folks in the affected areas."

"It's devastating, it's got to be doubly devastating on the ground."

[Bush speaks wisely from air-conditioned comfort of his jet plane. Just imagine the brilliance of the remarks his press secretary chose NOT to repeat to the media.]

Bush Views Katrina Devastation From Plane By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

President Bush flew over areas of the South devastated by Hurricane Katrina after holding a video conference Wednesday with top aides to discuss federal relief efforts. "It's totally wiped out," he told aides at one point during the hastily-arranged inspection flight.

Bush, who may visit the area later in the week, cut short his working vacation in Texas by two days — even though aides have long contended that his duties are uninterrupted when he spends time at his ranch in nearby Crawford, which has White House-level communications capability.

Camp Casey comes to an end, bus tours begin

http://crawfordupdate.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Camp Casey comes to an end, bus tours begin
Today is the last day of the encampment. Setting off from Crawford, Texas today are three buses that will make up The Bring Them Home Now Tour. Each bus is carrying military and Gold Star families, veterans of the Iraq War and veterans of previous wars. These buses will travel different routes across the country, converging in Washington, DC on September 21, for the United for Peace and Justice Mobilization Sep 24th-26th.

I was talking to Iraq veteran Kelly Dougherty yesterday. She summed up what many were thinking, "This (Camp Casey) was not supposed to happen. No one could have planned it, but here it is. It has been amazing. And it is just the beginning. We are going to keep at it until all of the troops are brought home."

‘Out of Iraq’ Caucus Membership up to 66 Now

(As of August 31, 2005)

Rep. Maxine Waters, Chair, Co-Founder
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Co-Founder
Rep. John Conyers, Co-Founder
Rep. Charlie Rangel, Co-Founder
Rep. Barbara Lee, Co-Founder
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Co-Founder
Rep. William Delahunt, Co-Founder
Rep. John Lewis, Co-Founder

While Rome Burns & the Crescent City Drowns...

http://thebodypolitic.typepad.com/

President Bush happily picked guitar at one of his famous spin rallies yesterday before a typically cherry-picked audience in Colorado yesterday:

Associated Press photo

Other U.S. Presidents, including his father, made a beeline for major U.S. disaster areas, but not this President. Apparently, the only disasters he appreciates are those he can leverage to invade other countries. The closest he has gotten to this disaster is a 20,000 foot fly-over. A FLY-BY.

It took him 3 days to realize the magnitude of this disaster even though it has had wall-to-wall coverage on CNN and all of the networks. (Of course, it took him 3 days to respond to the Indonesian tsunami, too... but this effected HIS constituents, HIS voters).

Bush's Exit Strategy: Escape to Crawford

By Gar Smith / The-Edge

On August 2, George W. Bush fled the clamor of the Capitol and hopped aboard Air Force One for a two-and-a-half-hour flight to his Texas ranch ‹ 1,300 miles from the Oval Office. Bush's five-week vacation has set a new record for the longest presidential hiatus in US history. It also marks a personal best for Bush, who had already established several benchmarks for excessive executive lay-offs.

According to the Washington Post's tabulations, by August 2003, Mr. Bush had spent 250 days ‹ 21% of his presidency ‹ on vacation (166 of those days ensconced at his Crawford ranch). This year's jaunt marks Bush's 49th trip to Crawford since he was handed the presidency.

Cindy’s Song

(Tune: “Mr. Tambourine Man

Activism Photos from Texas, Utah, California

Here are a couple of beautiful photos of Crawford sent in by William Frey, a bunch of Sacramento from Gary Zimmerman, and a whole lot of Salt Lake City from Laura Bonham.

OPEN GALLERY

Mr. Bush, Go Cheney Yourself!

By Larisa Alexandrovna
Huffington Post

We have no leadership, no captain at the helm as it were. We are, in effect, being led from disaster to disaster by a headless horseman run amok with stuffed pockets and an empty conscience.

SUSPENDING HIGHER GROUND

On September 11, 2001, The Vacationing and un-elected President of this country was tooling around on his holiday and even making time to fit in a little PR in Florida too.

Later it was the "bring it on" hubris of a boy-king, who had spent his entire life doing absolutely nothing of value, now deciding the fate of thousands upon thousands of people.

Cindy In Houston, September 1, 2005

Here's the text of an e-mail I received earlier tonight.

Hope to meet some of my fellow Houstonian DUers there Thursday night!

BTW, this is not too far from where our Harris County Dem Party HQ is located.

Cindy Sheehan
and the Bring Them Home Tour
in Houston
Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

at the Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church
located at 2025 West 11th Street (at W. TC Jester)

Let's give Cindy and the military vets and families traveling with her a big, generous Houston WELCOME!
Attendance is free, but donations are appreciated to cover the venue rental and to continue the Bring Them Home Nationwide Tour.

Bring Them Home Now Tour

Bring Them Home Now Tour
From Camp Casey, Crawford to Washington DC

From George Bush’s door step to Communities along the way, We Demand That:

Elected Representatives Decide Now to Bring the Troops Home
We Take Care of Them When They Get Here
We Never Again Send Our Loved Ones to War Based on Lies!

We are currently at a significant turning point in how the American public views the war in Iraq. As the death toll in Iraq rises, Cindy Sheehan’s vigil near President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of Americans. Bush’s approval rating is falling. The voice of military families, who have lost loved ones and those with loved ones in harm’s way or about to deploy, can activate the American people. The voice of veterans, both of this war and of previous wars will also build the movement to end the war. Together these critical voices can demand that President Bush make the decision now to bring the troops home.

Cindy Sheehan to protest against Blue Angels air show in Maine

(Editor's note: Is Cindy Sheehan protesting against the Blue Angels air show or is the writer misstating the protest? Is the author just a poor woodsmith or is this title intentionally poorly constructed and thus deliberately misleading?)

Cindy Sheehan to protest against Blue Angels air show in Maine

BRUNSWICK, Maine The woman leading protests against President Bush's conduct of the Iraq war will protest a Blue Angels air show in Brunswick, Maine, next month.

Bruce Gagnon (GAHNG'-yuhn) of Maine Veterans for Peace says Cindy Sheehan will be the featured guest at a protest outside the Brunswick Naval Air Station on September tenth.

Organizations Joining AfterDowningStreet Coalition

More and more organizations keep joining this coalition.

Current Members.

Join here.

"The Left has deserted Cindy Sheehan..."

according to the words of Rush Limbaugh. The left has deserted Cindy to instead use a natural disaster to politically attack this President.

Audio of each day's show posted by 3:30PM EST. Full site updated by 6:30PM EST. Transcript not available yet.

The War on Terror is Like WW II Except. . . .

By Larry C. Johnson

Does George Bush hum Sam Cooke’s lyrics from “Wonderful World

MSM Refuses to Poll on Impeachment

From Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com

http://www.democrats.com/node/5884

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll was published today, and despite record-low approval ratings for Bush (45%), there was no question on impeachment.

I sent the letter below to the authors of the survey - WP's Richard Morin and Dan Balz (morinr@washpost.com,balzd@washpost.com) and ABC's Gary Langer (newspolls@abc.com)

I will post their replies below.

I encourage everyone to write a polite letter of your own and to post any replies you receive.

Gentlemen,

I'm blogging on the reasons why no polling organizations have followed up on the June poll by Zogby which found "42% say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq."

Meet with the Mothers

http://meetwiththemothers.org/

Wednesday, August 31st Camp Casey expands to include not just the front door to Bush’s vacation home in Crawford Texas, but to the front doors of members of Congress and the Senate. Three buses left Camp Casey to head North, East and South carrying Gold Star Moms, Military Families Speaking Out, Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War. On the road they will visit members of Congress in the districts they pass asking for a meeting and answers to Cindy’s questions. You can join this campaign as the buses pass through or join actions being organized in your community. Cindy sent a letter to all the members of Congress holding them responsible for taking us into war and therefore ending this war. We need you to create a Camp Casey outside the offices of those who are not agreeing to a meeting. Sign up here to join in, check in daily to see who is answered and who hasn’t, and support this effort to hold our leaders responsible and accountable. We have a short window, we want to have contacted all the members by the time Cindy and the buses arrive in Washington, DC for the mass mobilization on September 24th. We will be at the offices of those who aren’t responding on September 26th to lobby them and let them experience the pressure from citizens’ voices emboldened at Camp Casey.

719 Dead, 383 Hurt in Iraq Bridge Stampede

By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer

Trampled, crushed against barricades or plunging into the Tigris River, more than 700 Shiite pilgrims died Wednesday when a procession across a Baghdad bridge was engulfed in panic over rumors that a suicide bomber was at large.

Most of the dead were women and children, Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman said. It was the single biggest confirmed loss of life in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion. Sabah Ali, a senior official in the Health Ministry, said 719 were killed and 383 injured.

Tensions already had risen among the Shiite marchers because of a mortar attack two hours earlier on the shrine where they were heading. Then the crowd was slowed by barriers about a quarter of the way across the Two Imams Bridge, Interior Minister Bayn Jabr said on state-run TV.

t r u t h o u t | One Mother's Stand

t r u t h o u t | One Mother's Stand
By Scott Galindez
Wednesday 31 August 2005, 7:19 AM
http://truthout.org/cindy.shtml

This will be my last blog from Camp Casey. The last 3 weeks were full of many fascinating moments. Will Pitt and I arrived on day 5. We were greeted by a determined group of Americans working for peace. Their resolve has never wavered. The first night, we stayed out at Camp Casey I until 2 am because of the rumors of imminent arrests. They turned out to be false. The Sheriffs turned out to be our allies here. They handled themselves professionally and did a wonderful job to help facilitate our stay in Crawford.

The Neglected Levees of New Orleans: A Victim of Iraq War Spending

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org
___________________________________________________

PM Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Interviews Available

The Neglected Levees of New Orleans: A Victim of Iraq War Spending

"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to
handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the
price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished,
and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security

Bush and the Democrats: The Real Disaster

By Dave Lindorff
http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/

The destruction of New Orleans--a catastrophe far worse than anything Osama Bin Laden could hope to wreak, considering the number of deaths, the closing down of a major U.S. port city for months, the destruction of an urban environment that will take years to repair, and the devastating disruption of one-fourth of the nation's oil production, which is likely to initiate a national recession--gives final proof of the stupidity and criminality of the Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq and of the bankruptcy of the Democratic so-called oppositon.

New Shirts

I have added a new logo to my AfterDowningStreet.org sections. As always, I will donate a portion of sales to AfterDowningStreet.org and Crawford House. Thanks so much for linking to me.

Victoria Love
http://www.CafePress.com/liberalprogdem

http://www.ChurchoftheFrontPorch.blogspot.com

Places for Peaceful Protests

NEW* BUSH in Crawford, TX: President Bush held a morning conference call
at his ranch with federal officials who are coordinating the recovery
effort. [AP, 8/31/05]

NEW* BUSH in Washington D.C.: President Bush will meet with a task force
established to coordinate the efforts of 14 federal agencies that will
be involved in responding to the disaster. [AP, 8/31/05]

NEW* SANTORUM in Honesdale, PA: U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum will visit
Wayne Memorial Hospital today to discuss health care issues. Mr.
Santorum will have lunch in the hospital's boardroom and then tour the
construction site of the new emergency department from noon to 1:15 p.m.

New Cartoons

Check out this new collection.


This one illustrates a new tradition in Germany.
It was also practiced at Camp Casey by some fun-loving campers who, when I was there, were eagerly waiting on a Great Dane to contribute to their project.

Check out this new collection.

The Day Casey Died

The Day Casey Died: Cindy Sheehan, Journalist and Wounded Soldier Remember the Battle of Sadr City

http://www.democracynow.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the last day of Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's estate in Crawford, we look back at the day her son, Casey, died. We speak with a U.S. army soldier who was wounded on the same day Casey was killed, an independent journalist who visited the area shortly afterwards and Cindy Sheehan. [includes rush transcript]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PROTEST ON THE ROAD

San Francisco Chronicle
Anti-war demonstrators leaving Bush's Texas ranch to take their message to the people, leaving media short of story ideas
- Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Even though Cindy Sheehan is likely to leave Crawford, Texas, this morning without having accomplished her goal of meeting with President Bush, there's little doubt the Vacaville resident brought renewed energy and attention to the anti-war movement through her story of grief.

But Sheehan's story became a phenomenon in part because she was surrounded by a press corps starving for stories outside Bush's ranch in the slow news days of August.

Congressman Mike Thompson Co-Sponsors Resolution of Inquiry

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) has just cosponsored the Resolution of Inquiry into Bush's lies. That makes 59 cosponsors. Do I hear 60?
WHAT ABOUT YOUR CONGRESS MEMBER?

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