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While the Democratic and Republican candidates for president blather on about non-issues like who will be meaner to immigrants, who will use the most water on torture victims, who wanted to be president at the youngest age, who’s the best Christian and other such nonsense, and while Congress and the president dance their meaningless dance of pretend conflict, let’s for a moment ponder something more momentous.
Okay folks ! Let's call the Des Moines Register and PROTEST !!! There are two numbers listed on directory assistance: 515-280-3271 and 800-365-4692
How dare the "fourth estate" - the guardians of our "democracy" - exclude the major progressive candidate!
The highest polling Democratic Presidential candidate among the Party's progressive, grassroots, activist base, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, has been excluded from the Des Moines Register-sponsored Presidential debate here on Thursday because his Iowa field director operates from a home office rather than a rented storefront.
If you are in the DC area please join us tomorrow in front of HUD during your lunch break.
If you are not in the area you can read Bill Quigley's article HUD Sends New Orleans Bulldozers and $400,000 Apartments for the Holidays or visit AdvancementProject.Org to get more information about the issue to pass along to friends and colleagues.
By Dave Lindorff
President Bush got run off the track by the CIA analysts over at the Langley, who apparently, after being trampled by Vice President Dick Cheney and his Neo-Con and AIPAC-backed hordes into twisting intelligence into lies about Iraq’s non-existent nuclear and WMD programs in 2002, decided that they wouldn’t do the same thing this time on Iran for two lame-duck warmongers.
With our beloved Constitution under attack, and new legislation (H.R. 1955 and S. 1959) that will further usurp our freedoms, Americans are reaching back into history for the familiarity of their Revolutionary past. American freedom fighters, determined to reNEW their democracy, are digging into the fashion of their Founders, donning tricorn hats, and preparing to reNEW their Constitution.
The New American Revolutionaries are here!
Anyone up for a little solidarity?
Pledge Not to Ship With FedEx Ground This Holiday
FedEx has built a successful company on the backs of its drivers while pledging to "never recognize any unions" at the company. Only public pressure will drive FedEx Ground's leadership to stop harassing workers and meet them at the bargaining table. Take this pledge to show your support for the drivers at FedEx Ground.
It's easy: just don't use FedEx Ground for your holiday deliveries this year. We'll deliver the signatures to FedEx to show them we mean business.
Full Petition Text:...
By Dave Lindorff
I’m looking out my window here in southeastern Pennsylvania at a wild cherry tree that, on November 28, is still covered in green leaves. A butterfly bush nearer to the house is still blooming. We have yet to have a “killing” frost this year in this part of Pennsylvania, though just five years ago and earlier, such frosts were the rule by mid October, and sometimes even came at the end of September.
War-making is a socialist government program, hobgoblin of the right
posted on November 19th, 2007 by Don Williams
I’m amused when far right ideologues denounce equitable health care, affordable housing and other safety net features of liberal democracies as “socialized medicine” or other derisive labels. Such offenders of language are insulted when I fire back: “There’s nothing more socialized than the U.S. military.” It’s true. Every soldier gets government housing, price-fixed salaries, government education (indoctrination into killing), health care, clothing and much more. And with an annual budget that threatens decades or centuries more of national debt to finance war in the name of “spreading democracy,” children not yet born will pay for our socialized army should civilization last long enough...
Last week I turned on CSpan. I planned to watch the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the FISA Amendments Act of 2007, which contained the issue of telecom company immunity.
On my TV appeared the usual suspects - current Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT), former Committee Chair and current ranking member Arlen Specter (R-PA), and former two time Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Their faces were all too familiar, and their seats were all too owned.
Between Leahy, who took office in 1974, Hatch, who took office in 1976, and Specter, who took office in 1980, and who's served on the Judiciary Committee since day one, I was staring at a cumulative 91 years on the job.
Damn that's a lot of years! - 33 for Leahy, 31 for Hatch, and 27 for Specter.
After nearly seven long years of Americans being derided by a smug dictatorial President, there is a near compulsion amongst the electorate to choose a leader in 2008 who understands participatory democracy. A leader who sees the President as the RESPRESENTATIVE and SERVANT of The People. A leader who accepts dissent and dissenters - not simply as Constitutionally ordained - but as sincere patriotic investors in their nation.
Under the regime of George W. Bush, those who oppose him have been ridiculed and persecuted. Patriots are arrested and jailed when disputing his policies. The FBI has compiled a list of citizens charged with misdemeanors for non-violently opposing the war on Iraq, rendition, torture, and other unConstitutional and impeachable crimes of his administration.
Does anyone else think it's time to take away thier tasers?
Taser video shows RCMP shocked immigrant within 25 seconds of their arrival Last Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2007 | 12:52 PM ET CBC News
An eyewitness's video recording of a man dying after being stunned with a Taser by police on Oct. 14 at Vancouver International Airport has been released to the public.
The 10-minute video recording clearly shows four RCMP officers talking to Robert Dziekanski while he is standing with his back to a counter and with his arms lowered by his sides, but his hands are not visible.
About 25 seconds after police enter the secure area where he is, there is a loud crack that sounds like a Taser shot, followed by Dziekanski screaming and convulsing as he stumbles and falls to the floor.
Another loud crack can be heard as an officer appears to fire one more Taser shot into Dziekanski.
As the officers kneel on top of Dziekanski and handcuff him, he continues to scream and convulse on the floor....
By Dave Lindorff
The State Department’s top internal investigator, Inspector General Howard Krongard, revealed in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Tuesday, that his brother, Alvin B. Krongard, was a member of the advisory board of Blackwater, the very private mercenary company whose bloody, murderous behavior the IG office was supposed to be investigating.
By Dave Lindorff
Now even the New York Times is saying it. In an editorial on Oct. 20, the Times wrote, “Every now and then, we are tempted to double-check that the Democrats actually won control of Congress last year.” Noting how the Democratic House and Senate had rolled over and given the president permission to massively spy on Americans without showing any probable cause, the Times concluded, “It was bad enough having a one-party government when Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the one-party system continues.”
Was it retaliation by the the Democratic Leadership that exempted Dennis Kucinich from appearing with fellow Presidential candidates at Friday's Jefferson Jackson Day fundraiser in Iowa?
Was it Speaker Pelosi's vindictive payback to Kucinich for his impudent dismissal of her "impeachment is off the table" dictum that kept Kucinich out of the Jefferson Jackson Day party? After all, hadn't Kucinich introduced HRes 333 on the House Floor just that week, calling for the impeachment of Vice President Cheney, in defiance of the prescripted cowardice in Pelosi's House of Wacks? (http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/int2.pdf)
After six years of America's mainstream media bowing to its corporate mandate to ignore all opposition to George W. Bush, a media miracle has happened. Thanks to the great camera work of AP photographer, Charles Dharapak, the American anti-war movement has been revealed to the world. In one flash of a magical millisecond, photographer Dharapak captured CODEPINK peacemaker Desiree Fairooz confronting George Bush warmaker Condoleeza Rice. It was the shot SEEN 'round the world:
A huge thank you to photographer Charles Dharapak and to the Associated Press for letting the truth be told - for passing the message to the world that within the boundaries of imperial America thrives a valiant peace movement that opposes George W. Bush, and works hard to overthrow him.
Every American who opposes the immoral wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and fears an encore on Iran, owes a heart-felt thanks to Desiree Fairooz for placing herself in the cross hairs for peace. The responses to Fairooz' patriotism, and to the brazen women of CODEPINK, have been astounding. Across the nation, on blogs, on television, and on radio, there has been a steady stream of support. Fairooz has shown that the opposition to Bush from inside America equals the opposition of the outside world.
First, let's clear the air: Someone please tell the White House we're already fighting World War III. Yes, they're great at picking buzzwords, but the truth is our global "war on terror" has engaged (or enraged) every nation on the planet.
And according to the latest Congressional Budget Office estimates it's costing America a whopping $2.4 trillion. That's $8,000 for each of us. So what'll the coming WWIV add? And how will it impact your retirement? Scary huh!
WWIV already? Yes, the White House is preparing us for an invasion of Iran. That case has been made by many neocons, most recently by Norman Podhoretz in his new book, "World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism." And as Pat Buchanan reacted on MSNBC's "Hardball" about all their warning signals: "I don't see how [the White House] can avoid attacking Iran and retaining their credibility going out of office."
So what will WWIV cost you and me personally? This is crucial, folks, because every dollar spent on expanding our global "wars on terror" will be one less dollar for your retirement nest egg, your health care, your kids education, your grandkids lifestyle -- all of which are being outsourced to a free market system that's forcing you to take personal responsibility rather than get benefits from government or Corporate America.
The media is focused on the peace movement after Desiree Fairooz of CODEPINK confronted Condoleeza Rice in the Senate on Wednesday. Desiree, her hands stained red with faux "blood," accused Rice of having the blood of thousands of Iraqis on her hands.
The Bush administration has murdered and maimed hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our name. We've all been bloodied by it!!
Tomorrow, on October 27th, I'm marching for peace with red "blood-stained" hands. Until this war is over and these murders are stopped, I, as an American, am culpable, too.
I'm fascinated by the way there's nothing new in politics--it works essentially the same way in every country in every period. If you want proof of this, check out my post about how 18th century British politician Edmund Burke was talking about the importance of blogs and why the Democrats suck 240 years ago
By Dave Lindorff
Several years ago, I warned that as the Bush/Cheney administration sought to reduce politically problematic casualty rates in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would resort to increased use of air attacks to combat the growing insurgency in Iraq and the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan.
I also predicted that the result of this switch in tactics would lead to higher civilian casualties in those two countries.
President Bush is no chump. He has figured out how to emasculate the Democrats (those that aren't already eunuchs). Instead of making a decent estimate of the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and asking for it up front for the 2008 fiscal year, he is asking for it piecemeal, giving Democrats opportunity after opportunity to turn him down and end it all, knowing all the while that they'll cave and give him his war money.
By Dave Lindorff
The Air Force’s Friday report on the August 29-30 nuclear weapons incident which saw six armed cruise missiles flown across the continental US in launch position on a B-52H bomber leaves all the big questions unanswered, attempting to shuck the whole thing off as an “unacceptable mistake.”
To be sure, Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne and Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Maj. Gen. Richard Newton, said that after a six-week investigation, five officers, including Col. Bruce Emig, commander of the Fifth Bomb Group at Minot AFB in North Dakota, where the flight originated, have been relieved of duty, and 65 other Air Force personnel were also removed from their duties, and both Barksdale and Minot were decertified for their strategic nuclear responsibilities. But that’s still pretty small beer for an incident so serious it’s never happened before in half a century of nuclear weapons handling.
Buthaina Al-Nasiri is a well-known and prolific Iraqi writer and journalist living in Cairo. In response to my last article (on American killings in Iraq), she offers these thoughts on the wholesale slaughter of Iraqis by American forces, and on the routine and deceptive mis-identification of those killed (males) as "members of Al Qaeda":
You may remember that the Iraqi resistance has called by the US spinners by different names at different stages of invasion and occupation:
Life was easy for George W. Bush. Fortunately so. As an unspectacular man, his only gift was his privilege. Without it, he would never have risen to the top. He's no John Edwards, who rose from poverty to a successful law career, and on to the US Senate. He's no Obama, who taught Constitutional Law, and also went to the US Senate. Absent his privilege, life would have been much different for incurious, obsessive, less-than-average George.
Aside from his incurious nature, compulsions and recklessness, what's most sad about Bush is his lack of compassion. Privilege makes no provision for that. He's loyal - but just to his famiglie (families) - his blood family, and the non-blood enablers around him. He's simplistic, self-righteous and rigid. Even in matters of life and death, he lacks an inner-compassionate guide. He's a mobster. A sociopath. He lies, cheats and uses any means to achieve his goals - dismissive of the cost. (How to judge a sociopath: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_know_if_someone_is_a_sociopath)
By Dave Lindorff
So it turns out that there are still honest, thinking judges in the federal court system who take their Constitution seriously, despite seven years of Bush administration court packing (and years more of such packing under two prior Republican presidents).
The first sign of
Constitutional life in the federal system came on October 5, when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California issued an emergency injunction against the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), saying the space agency “could not require Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists and engineers holding non-sensitive positions to sign waivers of their privacy rights.” As lawyers for the scientists put it, “If the Court had not issued this injunction, thousands of scientists would have had to choose between waiving their privacy rights and keeping their jobs.”
Every afternoon in CNN's "Situation Room," anchored by milquetoast non-talent Wolf Blitzer, Blitzer shares a few short exchanges with self-styled curmudgeon, Jack Cafferty.
Cafferty's 90-second segments, whored to viewers as "The Cafferty File," broadcast the purposely craggy Cafferty from CNN in New York City to The Situation Room in Washington, DC. Cafferty, disguised as a wisecracking '50s-'60s style newsman, plays the vexed moralistic foil to Blitzer's dispassionate bore.
It's Cafferty's loose cannon "Lucy" meets Blitzer's timid "Ethel Mertz." Those silly girls are at it yet again!
Since I posted my call two days ago for registered Democrats to re-register as independent voters (and to sign the petition here which will be sent to Democratic Party leaders when it's big enough to make an impression), I have received some complaints from progressive Democrats that it risks handing the 2008 election to the Republicans.