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Stop the War Supplemental
We managed to get 32 Democrats to join almost all the Republicans in voting No on the war supplemental. We needed 39. We now have: Congressional Heroes and Frauds. Here's the roll call. Here's a report by John Nichols. We also now have: Progressives, RahmBots, and BlueDogs. Glenn Greenwald nails the problem in House Democrats prioritize loyalty to the president over their own judgment. Now Obama's putting out statements praising each Yes voter. And IAVA is celebrating sending more troops to kill and die for no good reason anybody has even alleged. Norman Solomon reflects on Obama and Anti-War Democrats. Ron Paul denounces all the pretend anti-war Democrats who only opposed wars when they could be called Republican. And voters are not happy.
June 16th: Here's what happened on the floor of the House on Tuesday: Live Blogging June 16, 2009, House Debate on War Supplemental: $106 Billion More for War.
June 16th: Iraq Veterans Against the War just sent out an alert. Code Pink has sent out targeted alerts. Democrats.com sent alerts to districts of Moore, Payne, Nadler. My Congressman Tom Perriello sent out an Email today praising PAYGO, no doubt because he's about to vote for $100 billion for war and $100 billion for the IMF, all without PAYGO.
June 16th: Republicans now swear that they have to vote against war funding to protect the troops (because IMF money would end up in the hands of terrorists). It's nice to have SOMEONE finally say in Congress what we've shouted for several years: Protect the Troops: Bring Them Home! Steny Hoyer just sent out a statement titled "IMF Funding Is Critical to our Recovery, Security."
June 16th: Rumors now have Donna Edwards voting Yes. I spoke with her press person who said he did not know and would call me back. Sam Farr is still also in doubt, as is Capuano. Farr's constituents have just gotten alerts from Democrats.com and The Santa Cruz Progressive Email List (SCPEL) and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
June 16th: After Downing Street and the Backbone Campaign have just sent out new alerts. Democrats.com is sending targeted alerts to districts to generate more calls. And Chris Bowers at Open Left finally gets it.
June 16th: Blood for Clunkers: the cash for clunkers measure has passed alone in both houses and so does not need to be included as lipstick on a war bill. But it's being used to persuade truly stupid Midwestern Democrats in the House to back mass-murder, even though the Senate will toss the clunkers out after the House votes.
June 16th: Roll Call: "House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday expressed doubt that Democratic leaders have the votes to pass the $105.9 billion war supplemental. 'I think we have the votes. Confident might overstate it,' Hoyer said at his weekly press conference. The supplemental spending bill is scheduled for debate Tuesday and will be voted on later Tuesday or Wednesday, he said."
June 16th: Tom Andrews / Win Without War comes through, opposing supplemental. I'm moving Win Without War to the heroes category.
June 16th: Progressive Democrats of America has put out this press release. Bob Fertik points out that: "Any midwestern House Dem who hinges their vote on cash for clunkers needs to understand it could be stripped in the Senate." Center for American Progress keeps pushing the war bill without mentioning the war, pretending the IMF is a force for "progress". Alternet is still pushing for peace. A bunch of Dem bloggers are going after Republican hypocrisy for voting against "duh troops." I'd prefer to praise them for finally voting against a war, even if for twisted reasons. People like Eric Cantor now seem to think it's just nuts to suggest that somone opposes troops because they vote against a war -- and he's RIGHT. And it looks like all the Republicans will vote No except Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), who has been tapped to serve as Army secretary. Peace No War is with us. So is Calitics.
June 16th: National Journal: "President Obama has been calling members to help secure their vote for the supplemental, according to a senior Democratic aide."
June16th: The coalition push for cosponsors of McGovern's bill for an exit strategy has been put off until the supplemental fight is over, in order to avoid allowing cosponsorship of that bill to be widely used as an excuse for voting yes on the war money. This is the right move and to be applauded.
June 16th: Where Northern California Democrats stand
How House members polled Monday broke down on the $106 billion bill:
On the fence: Sam Farr, Monterey; Mike Thompson, Napa; Mike Honda, San Jose; Jerry McNerney, Pleasanton; Doris Matsui, Sacramento
Likely/definite yes: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco; George Miller, Martinez
Likely/definite no: Lynn Woolsey, Petaluma; Barbara Lee, Oakland; Pete Stark, Fremont; Jackie Speier, San Mateo
Not returning calls: Anna Eshoo, Palo Alto; Zoe Lofgren, San Jose
June 16th: Watch Bob Fertik on Democracy Now - It's at the very end of the video. Bob nails it. Also watch Jane Hamsher on C-Span's Washington Journal on June 16th show, when that clip is posted. I hear she was great. Here are Youtubes of Jane (incomplete, to post the rest when I get it). Here's full clip in C-Span.
June 16th: Open Left has joined the peace movement at the last moment, sending out an alert that includes a link to this blog post. I'm moving them from frauds to heroes. And DailyKos came through yesterday with this post. I'm moving them to heroes too. And might Californian Congress members have more motivation than others to for once do the right thing: Will Zoe Loefgrin Vote $108 Billion for European Banks While California Goes Bankrupt?
June 16th: Catch Jane Hamsher on C-Span at 8:10 a.m. ET. Catch Bob Fertik on Democracy Now! at 8:45 a.m. ET. Then catch the vote on C-Span if it happens. It IS on the schedule for late morning. Emanuel is still trying to bribe Republicans to fund war (odd as that may sound) by including funding for the flu (bizarre as that may sound, and they were going to include it anyway) in an attempt to somehow overcome the Republicans' opposition to the IMF's doing things Republicans support if only it were with someone else's money. Clear? The San Francisco Chronicle has an article quoting Sam Farr putting the question of whether Obama is embarassed above the question of whether people in Iraq or Afghanistan are killed, and George Miller professing his blind obedience to the President. The same article reports that Jackie Speier and Lynn Woolsey will vote No.
June 15th: Congress Now is reporting that Congressman Jim McGovern, who taped a video posted below opposing the war supplemental, is now planning to vote for it. We know what pressure all Democrats are facing, but I wonder whether there's also a connection here to McGovern's push for his toothless eventual exit strategy bill that Moveon and others plan to promote on Tuesday and some members are already using as an excuse to vote Yes on the money. Is it possible someone gave McGovern a commitment to bring his bill up for a vote if he voted Yes for the war funds? And the Hill is reporting that the Republicans will all vote No. Meanwhile the Backbone Campaign is pushing Jim McDermott to vote No.
June 15th: Now it's in the corporate media: Emanuel is trying to get Republican votes because we're denying him Democrats. Plus he doesn't seem to have a clue how to do it. And it may have fallen apart already.
June 15th: They Don’t Have The Votes:
Paul Martin from PeaceAction is up on the Hill today. He emails this:
House leadership definitely does not have the votes yet. It sounds like the leadership is going to use floor time tonight on various votes to do face-to-face whipping. If they have the votes, the house will bring the supplemental up as early as tomorrow.
This confirms what I've heard from other sources on the Hill -- they would like to bring the bill up first thing tomorrow morning. If they don't, we'll know they don't have the votes.
June 15th: Jackie Speier to Vote No On Supplemental — 36 of 39 Needed. Voters for Peace sent another alert.
June 15th: I spoke with Keith Ellison's office earlier today and told them it would be outrageous for him to make a great speech about being like MLK, as he did last week, and then vote for war. They wouldn't tell me where he stood. Now FireDogLake has report that he's voting No. Meanwhile Jeremy Scahill is reporting that Jan Schakowsky is committed to avoiding any principled stand for anything and won't say how she's voting until she votes (which usually means that someone will vote for peace if the war money can pass without their vote, but vote for war if their vote is needed). Here's Scahill's blog.
June 15th: We've already heard of at least one member using cosponsorship of McGovern as an excuse to vote Yes on the money. McGovern's bill is a nice gesture, but has no teeth and even if it did would be no excuse to vote Yes on war money. -- Also, we're beginning to suspect that Emanuel has cut a deal with some Republicans. We may start to see more Democrats commit to voting No because Republicans are voting Yes. We may also see more rightwing Blue Dog Democrats voting No because of the IMF, which would cost even more than stated.
June 15th: Robert Greenwald is making video messages to members. Here's one to John Conyers. Here's one to Peter Welch. And one to Texas Congress members. And Colorado. And Maine. And Virginia. And Massachusetts. And Connecticut.
June 15th: The gory details of what's in the bill now.
June 15th: Congress members are reportedly under great pressure to vote "present" if they won't vote "yes".
June 15th: Healthcare Not Warfare: Peace groups have always helped push for single-payer healthcare, but this is the first time I've seen a group of doctors push for peace (or at least oppose IMF bailouts).
June 15th: Fraud Mitigation Update: A number of big whig groups that have maintained silence on the war supplemental will continue to do so, but will join with the rest of us tomorrow in urging cosponsorship of McGovern's bill to require an eventual exit plan for Afghanistan. This is progress. It's a halfway step. It's not a bad thing -- but it could be if it's twisted into a way to achieve cover for voting Yes on the war money. Instead, anyone who claims they want an exit plan but votes to fund more war should be considered a very weak advocate for peace at best and a hypocrite at worst.
June 15th: UPDATE: Grijalva is disowning the statement below and committing to voting No. We need him to urge others to vote No. THAT would be leadership. Here's his statement, thanks to Progressive Democrats of America.
June 15th: : How's this for disturbing:
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., said Thursday: "I'm undecided myself." The second-term lawmaker added: "I've always been with the troops."
Almost the exact same answer comes from a spokeswoman for Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., co-chairman of the Progressive Caucus. "He's now undecided," said the spokeswoman for Grijalva.
She said Grijalva is torn because he supports the troops but continues to hold fast to his view that, as written, the supplemental will only aggravate the situation in which the United States finds itself in Afghanistan.
Grijalva was among 51 Democrats to join nine Republicans in voting against the House bill on May 15. That version passed, 368-60, with the help of 168 Republicans.
Grijalva wants to be a leading progressive but spouts neocon nonsense to kill troops for their own good out of "support" for them -- or, rather, caves to Pelosi and Emanuel and throws this s--- in our faces.
June 15th: : E-Democracy Also Threatens Conservative Rule in Washington DC. And Valuing Democracy: Iran, Iraq and the War Supplemental. But not all work is E-work: Brooklynites Tell Nydia Velasquez Not to Fund the Wars. Here's a good sample letter: Ray McGovern Asks a Member of Congress to Vote No on War Supplemental. Here's a group that's with us: Humanists for Peace. As outrageous as torture is, we are trying to stop something worse. Progressive Democrats of America just sent out an alert, and United for Peace and Justice just sent out another one.
June 14th: Funding War Is Good for Babies and Your Garden. Democrats.com has sent out its third alert, and AfterDowningStreet is doing the same. We get what we pay for: Afghan Villagers Slain as They Took Cover. Here's what we need: Progressive Democrats We Can Believe In. How could I have forgotten Democracy for America as a group that is maintaining silence on this war supplemental? I've added them to the list of frauds. Check out this blog and video from Nathan Havey of Brave New Films: Why the War Supplemental Should Be Defeated (Video). And here's one in an infinite series of What If Labor Were to Oppose Wars articles in the context of the current campaign. Alternet is on the right side, as is Bruce Gagnon in Maine. Valtin is on board.
June 14th: Veterans oppose war funding: Rick Reyes, Christopher Gallagher, Devon Read. Vermonters oppose Peter Welch funding wars. Mainers confirm Maine's reps will vote No. There's a growing proposal that before we bailout European banksters while funding war, we bailout California.
June 13th: US Labor Against the War sent out another alert. Calls are still flooding Congress.
June 13th: New tool will connect your phone to each key office and even let you leave a message after hours. Ask all the fence-sitting congress members to vote No on the war supplemental with this virtual phonebank.
June 12 super late night update: How funding wars "supports duh troops": Fifteen Months After Bloodbath in Iraq, Young Veteran Takes His Life.
June 12 late night update: Latest Whip Count: 34 Down and 5 More Needed.
Keith Ellison made this speech and has NOT committed to voting No - Is he looking for a prize in hypocrisy?
What if instead of bombs we gave people in Afghanistan jobs? http://jobsforafghans.org
June 12: In a (subscription required) Roll Call article, the White House claims it is NOT threatening freshmen Congress members to get them to vote for war funds, and Rep. Lynn Woolsey says she learned that it WAS doing that during a meeting in her office with members who voted No last time. This means that if she heard it directly from freshmen, it was from one or more of these: Donna Edwards, Alan Grayson, Eric Massa, Chellie Pingree, Jared Polis, and/or Jackie Speier. Woolsey also said that she was NOT lobbying her colleagues to vote No. If that's true, two questions arise: (1) what was that meeting in her office about? (2) What the hell good is committing to cast a single No vote if you fail to lobby your colleagues, which ought to be considered the primary duty of Congress members at least when what they are lobbying for is backed by their colleagues' constituents -- instead it's considered rather uncouth except when done by those with the money.
June 12: The Last Temptation of Congress
[lost June 12 updates but trying to recover] Rebuilding the high points:
[A lot of what I lost in updates posted here June 12th was recording which groups and bloggers had done what, and which had done nothing. A summary of who stands where is at the Heroes and Frauds link above.]
June 11th midnight - do ya laugh or cry - despairing update: True Majority has finally sent out an alert on the supplemental, and instead of urging No votes, True Majority urges keeping the beautiful genocidal piece of legislation free of pork and passing it. Morally this is nuts. But even in real politik terms I don't get it. Removing the unwanted airplanes from the bill won't help it pass. Nor will it touch the mega-pork IMF funding, the removal of which WOULD help the bill pass. Obama Writes Letter Opposing Inclusion of Graham-Lieberman in Supplemental. True Maine Blue is with us, as is Brendan Calling. And The Hill reports some more good news from the land where "fellow liberals" kick each other in the balls, and funding wars creates healthcare and environmental protection:
Pelosi started off the day without enough votes to pass the bill in the House, but she cobbled together a majority by appealing to her fellow liberals in the caucus. She told them they needed to get the supplemental off the table in order to move on to healthcare and climate change legislation.
June 11th evening update: The House has voted in non-binding manner to put photo release ban back in - which David Waldman seems to think involved numerous members voting Yes because they knew it didn't matter. FireDogLake has an updated whip list with Jay Inslee, Pete Stark, and Peter DeFazio (IMF), voting NO. Meanwhile, Yes votes on the IMF could end the careers of some Democrats. June 11th afternoon update: The Hip Hop Caucus urges calls against the war supplemental. I missed it, but Code Pink sent this alert to a certain list yesterday, and sent out via their facebook cause and twitter this a.m. Kucinich and Filner have put out a statement against IMF bailout.
June 11th midday update: A senate candidate from Ohio opposes the IMF bailout without noticing the war bill it's attached to or opposing or supporting it. A senate candidate from New York opposes funding wars. UFPJ sent another alert to its little legislative list. The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) sent out an alert too.\r\n\r\nJune 11th morning update: Declaration of Peace sent out another alert, and so did Progressive Democrats of America. Apparently they did not reach the San Francisco Examiner which is OUTRAGED that Congress would load little tidbits of pork onto a perfectly clean and decent $100 billion bill to kill people, and someone appropriately called the Hollywood Liberal is upset at Republicans for not supporting the war bill. But The Nation has posted another Tom Hayden article criticizing MoveOn.org's silence. (Good, but don't forget the deadly bloody silence of the Out of Iraq Caucus, True Majority, Open Left, TPM, the Campaign for America's Future, and the Center for American Progress.) IMF opp osition is still strong.
June 10th late night update: CQ reports that Pelosi is hammering her "fellow anti-war Democrats" to fund the wars (as she ALWAYS does to her "fellow" "anti-war" Democrats), and Marcy Kaptur is commited as a matter of principle and honor to voting No as long as she can be sure the bill will pass, and Mike Honda wants to vote No unless it's too unpleasant, in which case he'll vote yes. Meanwhile, The Hill reports that cash-for-clunkers may or may not be added to the war bill. (No word on whether a free beer amendment is under consideration.)
June 10th night update: This from Steny Hoyer:
“Tomorrow morning, the House will appoint Members to the conference committee on the supplemental. The House and Senate conferees are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. tomorrow, and I expect to bring the supplemental conference report to the House Floor for a vote early next week.”
June 10th evening update: CQ reports deal likely and vote may come Thursday. Doug Tudor, candidate for Congress from Florida, opposes the war money, and Jennifer Brunner, candidate for U.S. Senate from Ohio, opposes the IMF money (what about the WAR?). US Labor Against the War sent out another alert!
June 10th late afternoon update: Kucinich and Woolsey Write Colleagues Asking for No Votes on War Supplemental.
June 10th afternoon update: Just Foreign Policy just sent out this alert arguing that we only need to swing 10 more votes now to block the war supplemental.
June 10 update: Here's the latest whip list. Sign bloggers letter against war supplemental. Watch yesterday's video and read today's statement of Kucinich telling it like it is. Peace Action just sent out an Email alert on this, and Democrats.com sent out its second. AfterDowningStreet is sending its second today, and Code Pink says it is sending one today.
June 9, update 6: We're now counting 15 solid No votes against the war money: Xavier Becerra, Lynn Woolsey, Yvette Clarke, Bob Filner, Tammy Baldwin, James McGovern, Sam Farr, Maxine Waters, Eric Massa, Alan Grayson, Barbra Lee, Keith Ellison, John Conyers, John Lewis, Dennis Kucinich. AND President Obama is opposing the passage of any spending bill without clear explanation of where the money is coming from: that should mean the death of this war supplemental and of the IMF spending attached to it.
June 9, update 5: The American Friends Service Committee just sent out an alert urging calls against the war supplemental.
June 9, update 4: Rep. Jim McGovern will vote no even though he supports the IMF scam. He opposes the war funding. That's six.
June 9 update 3: Robert Naiman says Rep. Sam Farr will vote No on the war money regardless of what's attached to it! THANK HIM!! And Jane Hamsher says Tammy Baldwin and Yvette Clarke have told people they are No votes. With Kucinich and Waters, that gives us five, plus all the Republicans. It's a start.
June 9 update 2: Rep. Dennis Kucinich has released a statement opposing the war spending and the newly added cash for clunkers measure (which does not require purchasing cars made in the United States). Meanwhile Graham-Lieberman promise to attach the photo release ban to every bill in the Senate, and Reid is already helping them.
June 9 update: Win Without War contacted me to claim they are opposing the supplemental. That's great news, except that I've received no alerts from them and can't find a word about it to link to on their website, and they tell me they're unlikely to post or send anything. Also, David Sirota Emailed to say he was out of the country and offline but he did not reply to whether he opposes the supplemental or whether Open Left might oppose it.
Late late June 8 update: Maxine Waters is apparently committed to voting No on the war money even if the IMF section is changed to suit her (which is very unlikely to happen). But she's given no indication of leading her Out of Iraq Caucus to join her in voting No. And the bill is being laden with nonsense galore.
Late June 8 update: Ban on torture photo release now removed from the bill. This means: to block the bill in the House we need opposition to war, IMF, or both. It also means: we may finally see a filibuster of a war bill in the Senate, for the most deranged of reasons.
June 8 update: Nadler Won’t Vote for the Supplemental: 10 Down, 29 to Go. Make it 11: Dennis Kucinich plans to vote No. Also UFPJ just sent out another good alert on this. We now face the wonderful prospect of finally seeing someone in the Senate filibuster war money, thus proving that it CAN be done: but sadly it'll be Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham for all the wrong reasons, leading TPM to advocate accusing Lieberman and Graham of "hurting our troops" -- Yaaaaaaaay War! Go Team!
Whip list here with contact info and updates. (Help us update the list!)
Will Congress Member _______ vote No with those Democrats who support peace?
Will he/she vote No with those Republicans and Democrats who oppose the expense and destructive activities of the IMF?
Will he vote No because both measures put our grandchildren into debt and (I suppose this is the good news) most of the war money would be wasted?
Will he vote No against the blocking of torture photos from being released?
Or will he vote Yes for war, Yes for the IMF, and Yes for immunity for torturers?
The House is about to vote on another supplemental spending bill for continued and escalated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (without any exit strategy for Afghanistan whatsoever -- having refused to include that amendment). We're not accustomed to winning in our efforts to block war money, but the Democratic leadership has delayed the vote out of concern that we will -- and is resorting to accusing Republicans of "not supporting the troops". Here are three reasons to join with the peace movement in asking your representative to vote No: This bill funds illegal and immoral wars; it funds the IMF; and it bans the release of torture photos and videos from the Bush-Cheney years. Republicans may vote No because of reason #2 (good for them!) and 41 Democrats have signed a letter from Rep. Maxine Waters asking for good changes to #2 (good for them! but why monkey around with a war bill?). Democrats may try to get reason #3 removed (good for them! but why monkey around with a war bill?). The "leadership" may stick in a cash-for-clunkers measure or other bribe to get "progressives" to vote for the war money (measures that could be passed on their own). (Apparently 27 Dems want to be bribed with mass transit funding.) But what we need are No votes on the war funding, no matter which other outrages or good measures are attached to it.
Democratic congress members are starting to say that they'll vote yes on this supplemental because it's the last war supplemental. But would it be OK to murder one last person nearby? Will it be OK to fund death and destruction once it's all done through the regular budget? How can you ask a supplemental to be the last supplemental to kill for a mistake?
Call your Representative and urge them to vote no: 202-224-3121.
Whip list here with contact info and updates. (Help us update the list!)
Robert Naiman has been blogging about this at Just Foreign Policy and at DailyKos, and so has Digby at Hullabaloo, and Glenn Greenwald at Salon, and Nick Baumann at Mother Jones, and Jason Rosenbaum at the Seminal, and Dday at D-Day, and Howie at Down With Tyranny.
Taylor Marsh loves wars but opposes the protect-the-torturers measure.
United for Peace and Justice is fully on board opposing war funding.
CODE PINK has sent two alerts already.
Congressional candidate to unseat Jane Harman, Marcy Winograd, has sent out an alert and published an op-ed.
The Out of Iraq Blogger Caucus is blogging.
Progressive Democrats of America has a blog post here.
World Can't Wait says they will oppose it.
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)'s Los Angeles Chapter has been doing a lot of great work around opposing the war supplemental, and to further support their work the national office will be sending an Email out to IVAW's supporter list on June 8th asking supporters to send Emails and make phone calls to reps asking for a no vote.
Peace Action opposes the supplemental, and says they've sent several alerts, but is predicting failure.
MIA but expected to join in at any moment: The Out of Iraq Caucus, True Majority, Moveon.org, Open Left, TPM, Campaign for America's Future, the Center for American Progress.
Military Families Speak Out just asked the president to end the wars and so, presumably, will ask Congress as well.
Veterans for Peace has always opposed war funding and should do so now.
The Young Turks oppose this bill.
Thomas B. Edsall has blogged about this at Huffington Post, but framed it as a vote on whether or not we adore Obama, who - by the way - is not a member of the legislative branch of our government.
These Democrats voted No last time:
Frank (MA) -- has told reporters he'll switch and vote yes now, and also said he'll vote No if photos ban included
Miller, George -- has told reporters he'll switch and vote yes now
These Democrats did not vote last time:
Sánchez, Linda T.
These Democrats have newly told us they'll vote No this time:
Slaughter - No if photos ban included