|by Dave Lindorff,
With Democrats in control of Congress again, it's time to start a national campaign for impeachment.
Nancy Pelosi may say no impeachment, but the American public wants it to happen. They know that this administration is a clear and present danger to Constitutional government and to the rule of law, and they want Congress to act.
Music by Tom Chelston
In order to get Pelosi and the rest of Congress to obey their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, a coalition of organizations is meeting this Saturday at 1 in Philadelphia, just a block north of Independence Hall where over two centuries ago the Constitution was written and signed. Groups including Gold Star Families for Peace, Democrats.com, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Impeachpac, and others, joined by representatives from such organizations as NOW, Constitution Summer and the After Downing Street Coalition, will be plotting on how to build a national movement.
Among the plans being discussed are a march on the Capital in January and delivery of a million signatures on an impeachment petition.
There will also be a panel of bloggers, including yours truly, talking about how to get impeachment into the media and public consciousness.
Tickets to this historic event are $10 at the door, but readers of this column can get theirs free by going to national impeachment movement. Look there too for a schedule of events, directions to the Constitution Center and Kirby Hall, where the forum will be held.
Spread the word, and let's make impeachment happen!
|by Will Durst
Guess who the Republicans snuck in as Senate Minority
Whip? Trent Lott. Yes, that Trent Lott. Welcome back
buddy! You’re a breath of stale air. And just the shot
of smack in the arm the GOP needs. A return to the
good old high flying junkie days of yore when votes
stayed counted and people had priorities. Winning. At
Don’t worry about those silly racist slur charges.
Hardly anybody remembers how or why you were
unceremoniously bounced from your Majority leader
position in the first place. That was four long years
ago, which in politics is measured via carbon dating.
It was so long ago we hadn’t discovered the phantom
nature of weapons of mass destruction yet. When
President Bush had a higher approval rating than the
puppy- eating- snake level he’s at now. Back when he
acted like he was better than you. And to reclaim a
position of power right after the midterms that he
fumbled away like a running back wearing ham mittens…
genius move. As was the secret ballot. Need more of
those in the Senate.
As per your controversial speechifying about how
better off America would be if Strom Thurmond’s
Presidential bid on the Segregationist Dixiecrat
Ticket had been successful: don’t sweat it, people
already forgot. Most Americans are hard pressed to
recall anything before the last “Lost.” And your 25-
24 vote margin in the Asleep At The Wheel Party
Sweepstakes is especially delicious, considering these
are the same folks who insist they’re doing all they
can to reach out to minorities. Apparently still don’t
realize you were arguing integration is bad. Besides,
you did apologize, and if nobody could quite
understand what you were saying because of the hood
muffling your words- tough.
By Norman Solomon
Saddam Hussein has received a death sentence for crimes he committed more than a year before Donald Rumsfeld shook his hand in Baghdad. Let’s reach back into history and extract these facts:
* On Dec. 20, 1983, the Washington Post reported that Rumsfeld “visited Iraq in what U.S. officials said was an attempt to bolster the already improving U.S. relations with that country.”
* Two days later, the New York Times cited a “senior American official” who “said that the United States remained ready to establish full diplomatic relations with Iraq and that it was up to the Iraqis.”
* On March 29, 1984, the Times reported: “American diplomats pronounce themselves satisfied with relations between Iraq and the United States and suggest that normal diplomatic ties have been restored in all but name.” Washington had some goodies for Saddam’s regime, the Times account noted, including “agricultural-commodity credits totaling $840 million.” And while “no results of the talks have been announced” after the Rumsfeld visit to
Baghdad three months earlier, “Western European diplomats assume that the United States now exchanges some intelligence on Iran with Iraq.”
by Dave Lindorff,
The big losers on Election Day were of course President Bush and the Republican Party, but there was another loser too: the conspiracy theory that had it that a slick operation run out of Karl Rove’s office, and working in cahoots with the makers of the electronic voting machines increasingly being installed by voting districts around the country would steal the key elections electronically.
I always felt that this conspiracy theory was over the top, and that it moreover was having the pernicious effect of creating massive cynicism about elections that would keep many people from voting who otherwise might have.
There's no way to know how many people didn't go to the polls because they decided that it would be a waste of time, but I sure have heard plenty of people saying, over the past year, "What's the point? The Republicans are going to steal the election anyway."
Well, if they were ever going to steal an election, this would have been the one to do it to. The last thing a criminal president whose popularity is in the cellar needs is a Congress armed with subpoena power in the hands of the opposition party. Surely, if Karl Rove could have tinkered with the numbers on those voting machines in just a few dozen districts, or in states like Montana or Virginia where the margin was a few thousand votes, and where the key voter registrar officials were fellow Republicans, he would have done it.
Instead, we saw dozens of congressional races and a handful of key Senate races switch to the Democrats, and sometimes by the narrowest of margins.
|by Will Durst
If you need more proof that President George Bush is
as clueless as a goldfish on a leash in a space
shuttle, you obviously didn’t see him in all his
counter- intuitive glory this week adamantly refuting
the slogan of “staying the course” while keeping its
policy EXACTLY THE SAME. That’s right, George Bush is
cutting and running from “stay the course.” This
doesn’t mean he’s a Defeatlican, though. Because “we
are winning in Iraq and will continue to win.” And
you’d better hope we do, because if this is winning,
you really REALLY don’t want to see what losing looks
He went on to speak of the differences between “a
timetable” and “benchmarks,” declaring one to be the
way of the winner and the other the path to Loserville
City. Now, as to which is which, your guess is as good
as anybody’s. And that probably includes his own
staff. It definitely includes Iraqi Prime Minister
Nouri al- Maliki who either has or hasn’t agreed to
benchmarks or timetables or touchstones or yardsticks,
although a Donald Rumsfeld yard sign looks to be
entirely out of the question.
Straight lines. Stark choices. Bold differences. Say
what you will about Mister Bush, that’s what he’s
always stood for. “Us versus them.” “Good versus
evil.” “Black versus white.” Now, that may be a great
world view… for an eighth grader, but hey, in the last
six years of fighting for the hearts and minds of
American voters, its worked. Nuance is for sissies.
by Jason Miller
[I dedicate this essay to the untold millions who suffered as a result of Milton Friedman’s creation of an intellectual bulwark for economic brutality. On 11/16/06, Friedman died of heart failure, an ironic cause of death for a heartless individual.]
We have reached the deplorable circumstance where in large measure a very powerful few are in possession of the earth's resources, the land and its riches and all the franchises and other privileges that yield a return. These positions are maintained virtually without taxation; they are immune to the demands made on others. The very poor, who have nothing, are the object of compulsory charity. And the rest -- the workers, the middle-class, the backbone of the country -- are made to support the lot by their labor.
-- Agnes George de Mille (granddaughter of Henry George), New York, 1979
Note that Ms. George de Mille penned her observations before the patron saint of the “have mores” established residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In less than three decades, a Friedman-inspired Reagan and his successors made astounding gains for the “very powerful” de Mille described.
Reagan wielded the scalpel that emasculated organized labor and convinced America that “regulation” is a four letter word. George H.W. Bush further crippled unions and condemned many poor Mexicans to corporate exploitation through his relentless efforts to make NAFTA a reality. Convincing the multitude of his compassion and empathy, Clinton proceeded to sign NAFTA into law and cheerfully eviscerated public assistance.
|By Nicola Nasser
American and European official and public opinion reactions to Saddam Hussein’s guilty verdict on Sunday artificially removed both the trial and the death sentence out of context and focused instead on “flaws” in the legal technicalities of a fair trial and on death penalty as a punishment, which exposed the trial/s in Baghdad as merely another episode in the U.S.-British so far unsuccessful efforts to establish their occupation of Iraq and to develop the current status quo there as the new order.
Saddam’s trials were staged to buy the U.S. and British leaders as well as the rulers of their new Iraq some time for political survival, but the trials needed no time to prove they are counterproductive and will in no way make the conclusion of a farce trial a turning point, a “milestone” or an end of era as President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki prematurely stated.
Democrats’ crushing victory in the U.S. mid-term election was the latest proof that his administration’s gimmick of orchestrating trials of Saddam Hussein was a failure that clearly turned the pre-planned verdict against Saddam into a popular verdict against Bush himself, in a referendum on his performance in the war on Iraq that broke his grip on power in Washington by depriving him of ruling with his own Republican party in charge of both houses on Capitol Hill, as he has done for six years.
|by Chris Floyd
I don't know that much about Jim Webb. I don't know how he will actually vote when lobbyist push comes to corporate shove in the Senate. And I certainly don't buy into the propensity of so many in the blogosphere (not to mention the mainstream media) to fall into swoons of hero worship over this or that politician.
But I will say this: Webb's recent opinion column – in the Wall Street Journal, no less – put the facts about the elitist rapine of the American people about as squarely as you could hope for from an elected official writing in an Establishment paper. If Webb backs up these insights with political guts, he could serve as a formidable champion for economic justice – or at least (and more likely, given the near-total corporate-elite control of Congress) an outspoken gadfly, in the Proxmire mold, who by stating bald truth draws constant attention to the hypocrisy and servility of his colleagues.
What I found especially interesting was Webb's insider exposé of the true attitudes of the corporate elite – their overwhelming sense of entitlement, their utterly callous dismissal of the rabble they squeeze their riches from. Let us have more of this, Senator Webb.
The most important--and unfortunately the least debated--issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes.
" Thank you for not putting a bomb in your
"President Bush said the
United States is still under the threat of attack and
will continue to be right up until Election Day."
Hand-in-hand with his threat
warnings, Bush keeps telling us how his War on Terror has
made us so much safer, bragging that there hasn't been a
terrorist attack in the United States in the five years
since the one of September 11, 2001. Marvelous. There wasn't
a terrorist attack in the United States in the five years
before that day either. But thanks to the War on Terror --
particularly the bombing, invasion, occupation, and torture
of Afghanistan and Iraq -- numerous new anti-American
terrorists have been created since that historic day. The
latest confirmation of this, if any more were needed, is the
recently leaked National Intelligence Estimate conclusion
that "the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has
helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and ...
the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11
|by Craig Murray
similarities between Craig Murray, former British ambassador to
Uzbekistan, and a character in a new spy series are uncanny. So why is
the BBC denying it?
was first alerted to BBC1's new conspiracy thriller The State Within by
a friend who pointed out some of the BBC publicity to me. It concerned
a character in the series, a former British ambassador, whom the BBC
described thus: "James Sinclair. An outspoken critic of President Usman
and the human rights abuse he encountered in Tyrgyzstan. As a result he
was recalled and subsequently fired from the job of ambassador. Seen as
an embarrassment to the UK government, who support Usman and have many
commercial and strategic interests in the country.
Now determined to
turn western public opinion against Usman. And to force both the UK and
US administrations into withdrawing their support for him."
if you substitute the very real Uzbekistan of President Karimov for the
fictional Tyrgyzstan, you get a description of me precise in every
detail. Uniquely so; there is nobody else that description remotely
fits. There are other coincidences. When I was ambassador, the Uzbek
prime minister was named Usmanov. James Sinclair is an anglicised Scot
like me. I live in Sinclair Gardens. Sinclair's wife has the common
Uzbek name of Saida. I have an Uzbek partner. Like me, his tipple is
neat scotch (not as common as you might think). Both "Tyrgyzstan" and
Uzbekistan are in Central Asia; both have major US airbases threatened
by a change of allegiance of the dictator. Both are described by the US
and UK as "an ally in the war on terror" and "a backdoor to
Afghanistan". Both have perpetrated a large-scale massacre of
Fine by me. I like the series, and
Sinclair is well played (by Alex Jennings). I have received scores of
emails from viewers, mostly complete strangers, commenting on the
series, often asking me about its accuracy. So I was surprised to hear
the BBC was not just denying the character was based on me, but denying
it vehemently, as though it were an appalling accusation. A journalist
had inquired on my behalf, and received rebuttals from both the press
department and a producer.
By Mike Whitney
“She has represented the poor, the disadvantaged and the
unpopular….It is no exaggeration to say that Ms. Stewart
performed a public service not only to her clients but her
nation.” Judge John G. Koeltl; Federal District Court,
So far, Bush’s only triumph in his muddled war on terror has
been locking up the two Stewart Sisters, Lynne and Martha.
(They’re not really sisters) Neither posed any threat to
national security, but that’s beside the point. Their arrest
sends a chilling message to “home-decoration mavens” and 67 year
old cancer patients that they’d better “watch their step” or
they’ll find themselves in prison-pinstripes.
Do Americans really see how crazy this is or have we been so
subsumed in “terror-hysteria” that we’ve lost our sense of humor
Consider this: while attorney Stewart is tottering off to prison
for defending a “blind Sheik”, a tan and rested Bin Laden is
somewhere in the Pakistan-outback working on golf swing and his
Does that make any sense?
Only if the real objective is to intimidate lawyers who defend
unpopular clients rather than nailing terrorists.
|By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
“Welcome to Americans for Truth, the only national organization devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda.” That’s the proud-to-promote bigotry greeting on the AFT website.
The “homosexual agenda” they want to counter was eloquently exposed by Rep. Barney Frank:
We want all people in the United States to enjoy the same legal rights as everyone else, unless they have forfeited them by violating the rights of others. We believe this should include some things that are, apparently, very controversial.
They include the right to serve, fight, and even die on behalf of our country in the military; the right to earn a living by working hard and being judged wholly on the quality of our work; the right for teenagers to attend high school without being shoved, punched, or otherwise attacked; and, yes, the right to express not only love for another person but a willingness to be legally as well as morally responsible for his or her well-being.
Civil equality is what the so-called ‘homosexual agenda” is all about. Denying civil equality is what AFT is all about, as was well illustrated by its president, Peter LaBarbera, in one of his recent “press releases.” Consider his convoluted words and overt desire to discriminate.
by Mickey Z.
In the midst of our current, perpetual war against evil, America is yet
again reflecting upon the "good war." If Clint Eastwood is allowed to
recycle those images in ³Flags of Our Fathers,² as the author of an
alternative history of WWII, why shouldn't I state my case yet again?
The U.S. fought that war against racism with a segregated army.
It fought that war to end atrocities by participating in the shooting of
surrendering soldiers, the starvation of POWs, the deliberate bombing of
civilians, wiping out hospitals, strafing lifeboats, and in the Pacific
boiling flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts.
FDR, the leader of this anti-racist, anti-atrocity force, signed Executive
Order 9066, interning over 100,000 Japanese-Americans without due process.
Thus, a war fought in the name of taking on the architects of German prison camps became
the architect of American prison camps.
Before, during, and after the Good War, the American business class traded
with the enemy. Among the U.S. corporations that invested in the Nazis were
Ford, GE, Standard Oil, Texaco, ITT, IBM, and GM (top man William Knudsen
called Nazi Germany "the miracle of the 20th century").
And while the U.S. regularly turned away Jewish refugees to face certain
death in Europe, another group of refugees was welcomed with open arms after
the war: fleeing Nazi war criminals who were used to help create the CIA and
advance America's nuclear program.
The enduring Good War fable goes well beyond Memorial Day barbecues and
flickering black-and-white movies on late night TV. WWII is America's most
popular war. According to accepted history, it was an inevitable war forced
upon a peaceful people thanks to a surprise attack by a sneaky enemy. This
war, then and now, has been carefully and consciously sold to us as a
life-and-death battle against pure evil. For most Americans, WWII was
nothing less than good and bad going toe-to-toe in khaki fatigues.
But, Hollywood aside, neither Ryan Phillippe nor John Wayne ever set foot on
Iwo Jima. Despite the former president's dim recollections, Ronald Reagan
did not liberate any concentration camps. And, contrary to popular belief,
FDR never actually got around to sending our boys "over there" to take on
Hitler's Germany until after the Nazis had already declared war on the U.S.
Films like "Flags of Our Fathers" and Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private
Ryan" teach us that even if war is hell and the good guys sometimes lose
their way, there is still no reason to question either the morality of the
mission or the stature of that particular generation.
Revolutionary pacifist A.J. Muste said in 1941, "The problem after war is
with the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war and violence pay. Who
will now teach him a lesson?" Precisely how and when such a lesson will be
taught is not known, but it can be safely assumed that this lesson will
never be learned from a standard college textbook, an insipid bestseller, or
a manipulative box office smash. The past six decades have also shown that
without such a lesson, there will be many more wars and many more lies told
to obscure the truth about them.
by Chris Floyd
Ordinarily, the elevation of a gaggle of corporate bagmen, spine-free time-servers and craven accomplices of tyranny and aggression to the control of Congress would not be a cause for rejoicing. With a few notable exceptions, the Democratic Party has displayed nothing but cowardice and cluelessness over the past five years, betraying the interests of the American people at every single gut-check point in the long march to the self-proclaimed "Unitary Executive" dictatorship of George W. Bush. Whenever it really counted – Supreme Court nominations, tax cuts for the rich, the class-warfare nuclear bomb of the Bankruptcy Bill, the appointment of sleazy, third-rate officials such as torture-enabler and Constitution-gutter Alberto Gonzales to high office, and of course, the eager goose-stepping into the war crime of Iraq (which was, let us remember, approved by a Democratic-controlled Senate) – the Democrats folded, would not even go down fighting.
Is there any greater example of this than the vote, just a few weeks ago, on the "Military Commissions Act," the republic-killing measure that gave the president virtually unlimited, unchecked, unappealable powers over the life and liberty of every citizen? The Democratic "leadership" – now suddenly basking in media lionization – would not even mount a filibuster to defend the Constitution (not to mention the Magna Carta). Many Democrats actually voted in favor of ending the American Republic. (Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee was one of these – and now he has reaped his reward: defeat. That's how it goes, Harold; you can make a deal with the devil, but he'll always cheat you in the end. You sold out the nation for nothing – and now Bob Corker, yet another feckless, faceless, money-grubbing tycoon will pollute the Senate chamber.) The MCA debacle was the last full measure of fear and servility from a group whose collective record is one long tissue of shame.
And yet, and yet…this is indeed a time – a brief, brief time – for celebration. For the fact remains that the Republican Congress is – as Matt Taibbi has detailed so forcefully – the worst in American history: corrupt, incompetent, dysfunctional, lazy, and ignorant almost beyond measuring. As often mentioned here, they are the very picture of the Roman Senate described by Tiberius, after they'd voted him yet another grovelling set of honors and powers: "Men fit to be slaves." The damage they have done to the nation, and the world, as the bootlicking handmaidens of George W. Bush and his militarist mafia is incalculable, and will go on producing foul repercussions for years, perhaps generations.
|By Rod Amis
The level of political discourse in these United States has sunken to a level where most people tune it out anymore. There's no surprise there, since most of us have to deal with paying mortgages, childcare and healthcare costs and get exhausted from the guano that the Mouthpiece Media believe is news. For the most part, many have decided the celebrity media figures are talking among themselves and no longer to or for us. The Kerry Flap du Jour is a classic example.
We ask when is the next episode of the television program "Deal or No Deal?" At least there is some excitement to be derived there.
The problem with the Kerry Flap is two-fold.
It's impossible to address the first point without lapsing over into the second point and I'll explain why. Promoting democracy, if you listen to the current political establishment, is supposedly the mission of the United States in the region of the globe known as the Middle East today. The problem with this mission statement, as any thinking person can easily discern, is that the United States is actively, and by military force, promulgating undemocratically elected regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq while threatening democratically elected regimes in Palestine and Iran. Among other places.
- It points to how we have made the Military-Industrial Establishment (thank you, President Eisenhower) so sacred that any comment upon its by-products is immediately deemed news. And;
- It speaks to how trivial our definition of "democracy" has become.
|by Mike Whitney
In the next few months, a financial crisis will arise somewhere in the world which will jolt the American economy and trigger a swift and precipitous decline in the value of the dollar.
This is not speculation; it will happen and there is nothing that the Bush administration can do to stop it.
All of the traditional supports for the dollar have been removed by a shrinking economy, a massive $800 billion account deficit, dramatic increases in the money supply, and the reckless manipulation of interest rates.
Now, the noose is tightening. Our foreign trade partners can see that we are bobbing in an ocean of red ink and are refusing to buy back our debt in the form of US Treasuries. This is a death sentence for the dollar. It means that in a matter of months the once-mighty greenback will crash through the floor andfree-fallthrough open space.
Mike Swanson of the WallStreetWindow explains the worrisome details related to last month’s trade deficit:
“Just a few days ago the US Treasury rported that the net capital inflows from the rest of the world into the US fell for a 6th month in a row. Private from abroad fell to $34.7 billion in August and from $72.9 billion in July. Asian central banks made up for the shortfall. If they hadn’t the current account deficit would have exploded. The NY Times quoted Ashraf Laidi, a currency analyst at MG Financial Group as saying, “foreign central banks saved the dollar from disaster. The stability of the bond market is at thee mercy of Asian purchases of US Treasuries.”
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