City's troop withdrawal resolution turned away at White HouseThe occupiers of the White House have their excuses for turning away hand delivered messages from We The People. But that doesn't change the fact that they're continuing to act against the will of seven out of ten Americans.
Bornemann, other reps told to put measure in the mail
WASHINGTON — A copy of a resolution adopted by the Bellingham City Council calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq was hand delivered to the White House on Tuesday.
But a White House security guard refused to accept it and told Bellingham City Councilman Terry Bornemann and representatives from about two dozen other towns and cities that had passed similar resolutions to drop them in the mail.
"It's against protocol," the unidentified member of the U.S. Secret Service's uniformed police said as he stood behind the tall, iron fence at the White House's North Gate. "We just don't take packages. We've got security issues. Sorry, I can't do more."
Bornemann said he wasn't surprised or disappointed. ...(more)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The Old Settlers Picnic is actually more like a fair than a picnic and runs for four days. Hundreds of people stopped at our booth to ask questions or just to say Hi and chat about politics.
Impeachment, ending the occupation of Iraq, fixing health care and local growth/sprawl were the most popular topics of discussion.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
While Bush and his Republican guard continue to spin the tale of "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here", actual experts on the subject say the occupation has created a cause that helps Islamist extremists recruit new members from around the world and a place to train them. Watch the video.
At the end of his Journal, Bill Moyers did a essay on sacrifice. He contrasted the service and death by IED of 18 yr old Private First Class LeRon Wilson, a young immigrant from Trinidad with the lip service of College Republicans as it is exposed by journalist Max Blumenthal. Watch Max' video:
Young Republican Chickenhawks
Strained relations between Maliki and Petraeus.
A key aide to to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that “relations with U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus are so poor the Iraqi leader may ask Washington to withdraw the well-regarded U.S. military leader from duty here. The Iraqi foreign minister calls the relationship ‘difficult.’”
Iraqi government ‘in the midst of the worst crisis.’
“Iraq is in the throes of its worst political crisis since the fall of Saddam Hussein with the new democratic system, based on national consensus among its ethnic and sectarian groups, appearing dangerously close to collapsing, say several politicians and analysts.”
Thursday, July 26, 2007
First, a dandy rundown on what's gone wrong at the DOJ
And then, some push back against all the damned lies FoxNews has been telling about the netroots and progressive bloggers.
If it steams you the way it steams me to be lies about like that, you may want to Volunteer to call or identify FOX News advertisers
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Arm chair generals help shape surge in Iraq
Jul 25, 2007 8:30 AM (3 hrs ago)
by Rowan Scarborough, The Examiner
WASHINGTON (Map, News) - When it comes to the troop surge in Iraq, a bunch of arm chair generals in Washington are influencing the Bush Administration as much as the Joint Chiefs or theater commanders.
A group of military experts at the American Enterprise Institute, concerned that the U.S. was on the verge of a calamitous failure in Iraq, almost single handedly convinced the White House to change its strategy.
They banded together at AEI headquarters in downtown Washington early last December and hammered out the surge plan during a weekend session. It called for two major initiatives to defeat the insurgency: reinforcing the troops and restoring security to Iraqi neighborhoods. Then came trips to the White House by AEI military historian Frederick Kagan, retired Army Gen. John Keane and other surge proponents. ...(more)
Along with that exposure of Bush Administration dishonesty and half-baked-ness comes this news (by way of Think Progress):
But gosh and gee golly, could anyone be surprise that it would be tough to find people willing to join the military when 68% of Americans disapprove of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq.
Army orders surge in recruiters.The Army Times reports that “the Army has ordered 1,106 soldiers, former recruiters, away from their current assignments and back to recruiting duty starting on Friday.” The Army issued the order because it is “having significant difficulties getting new recruits because of the unpopularity of the Iraq War.”
Of course Bush will not be diverted from his stubbornly destructive course. Nor will being caught in a lie (again), change Bush's Orwellian ways. And Orwellian isn't an exaggeration as Rick Perlstein has noted:
"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."
President Bush , June 18,
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The bigger question every American should ask is; why did the haircut story ever get printed. What did it have to do with anything? Was this somehow different from how the other candidates operate or was it just a way to pigeon hole a candidate? Is MSM campaign coverage really about the campaigns and the issues or is it about who the reporters like and dislike?
Monday, July 23, 2007
When pressing a tough sale, Bush is a lousy salesman
By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers
President Bush now has what he asked for — time to sell the people and the Congress on the Iraq war. But an extra 60 days from Congress, the addition of the talented Ed Gillespie to run the White House communications strategy, and a newly ramped-up sales pitch cannot change the underlying fact: George Bush is a poor salesman. » read more
Senate tied in knots by filibustersAnd the "Conservative" reaction, to blocking the will of the American people, is joy. Fred Barnes at the Weakly Standard wrote an ode to anti-democratic obstruction. He thinks embarrassing Democrats is job #1 for Senate Republicans... good government and the will of the majority count for nothing in "Conservative" eyes, getting and holding power is the only thing they care about.
By Margaret Talev | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — This year Senate Republicans are threatening filibusters to block more legislation than ever before, a pattern that's rooted in — and could increase — the pettiness and dysfunction in Congress. ...
- Posted on Fri, July 20, 2007
The Truth... those "Conservative" Republicans don't like democracy.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Gov. Bill Richardson calls for a new plan for Iraq
I’m Bill Richardson, and here in New Mexico we’ve lost too many soldiers in Iraq — just like Iowa and every other state. We have to end this war now.
The one thing the Iraqis agree on is they want us to leave. Our troops have done everything we’ve asked, and I don’t want to see any more die.
I approved this message because Congress has to stand up to this president. We need to get all of our troops out of Iraq. George Bush won’t do that, but I will.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
You may ask; Who the hell is Eric Edelman? Well, here's a little background:
Bush Bypasses Senate: Installs Eric S. Edelman as Undersecretary ...
'Principal Deputy' In Libby Indictment is Eric Edelman - TalkLeft ...
Lesser Neocons of L'Affaire Plame - by Christopher Deliso
As to Edelman's current misdeeds; Juan Cole gives us more info.
And, Keith Olbermann has a thing or two to say about it.
I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise that NeoCon's are looking for a way to divert attention or change the subject. The results of the NeoCon's lame-ass surge are already coming in and it ain't pretty:
Daily attacks in Iraq hit new high
Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:41AM EDT
By David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attacks in Iraq last month reached their highest daily average since May 2003, showing a surge in violence as President George W. Bush completed a buildup of U.S. troops, Pentagon statistics show.
The data, obtained by Reuters from the Defense Department, showed an upward trend in daily attacks over the past four months, when U.S. and Iraqi forces were ramping up operations against insurgents and militants, including al Qaeda, in Iraq. ...(Reuters)
Friday, July 20, 2007
ThinkProgess.org has the news. In a speech this morning, Bush criticized Senate Democrats for setting aside the Defense Authorization bill. He used the same lame construct that Senate Republicans McCain and Kyl used a few days ago. His argument, that Democrats were preventing the troops from getting a pay raise. But what makes his assertion doubly lame is that in May he threatened to veto the House version of the bill because it contained a pay raise for the troops.
These Republican politicians are such piles of steaming hypocrisy!
What an amazingly twisted bunch! The lunatics in control at the Whitehouse have come to the conclusion that those who are appointed by the President owe him absolute loyalty and have no obligation to obey the law. These people are truly a danger to our democracy.
Broader Privilege Claimed In Firings
White House Says Hill Can't Pursue Contempt Cases
Friday, July 20, 2007; Page A01
Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.
The position presents serious legal and political obstacles for congressional Democrats, who have begun laying the groundwork for contempt proceedings against current and former White House officials in order to pry loose information about the dismissals.
Under federal law, a statutory contempt citation by the House or Senate must be submitted to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, "whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action." ...(full article)
Thursday, July 19, 2007
On July 13, 2007, I visited Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where the bodies of American soldiers killed in Iraq were freshly interred. Afterwards, I headed across the street to the Sheraton National Hotel, owned by right-wing Korean cult leader Sun Myung-Moon, to meet some of the war's most fervent supporters at the College Republican National Convention.
In conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq, I listened as they lip-synched discredited cant about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called "war on terror" as nothing less than the cause of their time.
Yet when I asked these College Repulicans why they were not participating in this historical cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school. "Medical reasons." "It's not for me." These were some of the excuses College Republicans offered for why they could not fight them "over there." Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP's next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die. ...
He's filmed it all and it's a must see video:
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Senator Tom Harkin takes a break from the all-night debate session to speak to online activists about the Levin-Reed amendment to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end.
President Bush uses al-Quaida in Iraq to sell the occupation in Iraq but terror experts claim al-Quaida is incapable of spreading its terror operations to the US. Roger Cressey weighs in.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
1,000 people gathered outside the Capitol tonight for a rally and candlelight vigil. Watch a highlight video of speeches from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Iraq war veteran Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), and Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Patty Murray (D-WA):
Monday, July 16, 2007
here's Ken Mann a few minutes after he won 3rd place
Barry Buchanan wins 2nd!!
and 1st place to Stan(?)Snapp....
candidate speeches are here
Whatcom Democrats endorsements here
and our guest speaker Darrell Hillaire here..
THERE ARE ONLY 14 DAYS UNTIL THE FIRST CANOES ARRIVE ON LUMMI SHORES!
Canoe Journey ~ July 30th - August 4th, 2007
Darrell Hillaire speaks about event and issues his invitation at the annual Whatcom Democrats Annual Picnic.....
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Saudis' role in Iraq insurgency outlinedWith something like 19,000 suspected insurgents being held in Iraq, a 135 foreigners isn't very significant.
Sunni extremists from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign fighters in Iraq, many suicide bombers, a U.S. official says.
By Ned Parker, Times Staff Writer
July 15, 2007
BAGHDAD — Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers.
About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said. ...(more)
There's no mention of any Iranians. That is highly significant.
Observing that foreign fighters make up less than one percent of the insurgents, it's pretty obvious that al-Qaeda isn't going to take over Iraq... U.S. troops or no U.S. troops.
Midwest Towns Sour on War as Their Tolls Mount
By Peter SlevinWashington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 14, 2007; Page A01
TIPTON, Iowa -- This farming town in Cedar County buried Army Spec. Aaron Sissel during the Iraq war's ninth month. It buried Army Spec. David W. Behrle during the 51st. Along the way, as a peaceable community's heart sank, its attitude toward President Bush and his Iraq strategy turned more personal and more negative.
Sissel and Behrle were popular young sons of Tipton, a community of 3,100 where anonymity is an impossibility. Sissel bagged groceries at the supermarket and often bowled at Cedar Lanes. Behrle served, just two years ago, as Tipton High's senior class president and commencement speaker.
The town, by all accounts, once gave Bush the benefit of the doubt for a war he said would make America safer and a mission he said was accomplished four years before Behrle died. But funeral by funeral, faith in the president and his project to remake Iraq is ebbing away. ...
Bush says give the Occupation more time; but as the most vacationing President in history, his arguments aren't very convincing. His disrespect for the Iraqi government isn't winning him any points either (of course Bush never has demonstrated an understanding of the term sovereignty).
Iraq Can Handle Security, Premier Says
But Maliki Acknowledges That His Forces Need More Troops, Training, Weapons
Sunday, July 15, 2007; Page A19
BAGHDAD, July 14 -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the Iraqi military and police are capable of maintaining security "any time" the Americans want to leave the country. ...
The only thing Bush seems to be putting any real energy into is finding someone to blame for his failures:
Bush Leans On Petraeus as War Dissent Deepens
General Set Up as Scapegoat, Some Say
... With opposition to Bush's Iraq strategy escalating on Capitol Hill, the president has sought, at least rhetorically, to transfer some of the burden of an unpopular war to his top general in Baghdad, wielding Petraeus as a shield against a growing number of congressional doubters. In speeches and meetings, the president has implored his critics to wait until September, when Petraeus is scheduled to deliver a much-anticipated assessment of the U.S. mission in Iraq. ...
... Some of Petraeus's military comrades worry that the general is being set up by the Bush administration as a scapegoat if conditions in Iraq fail to improve. "The danger is that Petraeus will now be painted as failing to live up to expectations and become the fall guy for the administration," one retired four-star officer said. ...
... When Bush and his aides shift military strategy, they seem to turn on the generals on whom they once relied publicly, said Lawrence Korb, a former Pentagon official. During the run-up to the war, when Gen. Eric Shinseki, the former Army chief of staff, told Congress that more troops were needed to secure Iraq, he was publicly rebuked by then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz. ...
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Urges President Bush and Senate Republicans to Change Mission in Iraq
Brandon Friedman, a former infantry officer in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, delivers the Democratic radio address this week. In March 2002, Friedman led troops into Afghanistan as part of Operation Anaconda and later commanded troops during the invasion of Iraq and combat operations in Hillah, Baghdad, and Tal Afar.
In the address, Friedman urges President Bush and Senate Republicans to vote with the Democratic majority to responsibly redeploy our troops from Iraq. Especially in light of the fact that the war has kept us from devoting resources needed to fight terrorists and the escalation of the Iraq war is failing, Friedman called on Republicans in Congress and those in their party running for President to support changing the mission in Iraq. ...
Transcript of Radio Address:
Friday, July 13, 2007
Since 1966, local Whatcom county residents have gathered each Friday from 4-5 PM in front of the Federal Building in downtown Bellingham to express their firm commitment to creating a world full of peace. In recent years, peace groups in Skagit County started their own weekly Friday evening vigil in Mount Vernon to express their solidarity with the Whatcom Peace Vigil.
my new sign....gotta keep tryin'
House Passes Responsible Redeployment from Iraq ActThe Washington State Congressional delegations votes split on party lines;
July 12th, 2007 by Jesse Lee
The legislation, sponsored by Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, would begin the responsible redeployment of U.S. troops within 120 days and complete redeployment by April 1, 2008. The President would have to report to Congress why troops should remain in Iraq for limited purposes such as to fight terrorism or to train Iraqi forces.
H R 2956 YEA-AND-NAY 12-Jul-2007 6:13 PM
QUESTION: On Passage
BILL TITLE: Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act
YEAS: Brian Baird, Norm Dicks, Jay Inslee, Rick Larsen, Jim McDermott and Adam Smith
NAYS: Doc Hastings, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dave Reichert
Looks like the crickets will continue to chirp over at "Dave Reichert's record of independence and bi-partisan leadership" webpage. (Thanks to Dan at On the Road to 2008 for spotting this gaping void)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
... The truth is we conflate Al Qaeda with Islamic extremists in general. We talk about Al Qaeda as if it is a hierarchical international corporation, with groups regularly signing up as "new" members. We act as if they issue identity cards to their members. Sort of like AARP or the Sierra Club, only lethal.
We need to cut the bullshit and stop deluding and scaring ourselves at the same time. There are Islamic extremists in the world who would like to do us harm. If left to their own devices, if allowed unfettered training, if permitted to travel at will, and if ignored we would likely see regular attacks and a significant loss of life.
But they aren't and we aren't. If terrorism was a simple matter of desire and intent then I have no doubt we would see daily attacks in most every country in the world. But that is not the reality. Outside of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan there is very little terrorist activity. Why do we persist in acting as if we are the Brits being blitzed every day by Nazi missiles? ... (read the whole thing)
The masterminds of the 9/11 attack run free while our troops are bogged down in an undermanned occupation of a country (Iraq) that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda or the 9/11 attack. Bush and friends have other goals that have nothing to do with destroying al-Qaeda or bringing democracy to Iraq; for them, talk of a "war on terror" is just a means to expand their power and take future generations of American tax-payers to the cleaners.
There's still a clamor about "fighting them over there", but all that noise is coming from an rapidly shrinking group of Bushie loyalists who don't know one "over there" from another. A bunch of cyber 'dead-enders' who get pleasure out of immersing themselves in the fantasy that they are battling the existential menaces of the Islamo-Jabberwock with their vorpal keyboards...
Firing by Bush rejected by boundary official
By David Bowermaster - Seattle Times staff reporter
A dispute over a backyard wall in Whatcom County has reached all the way to the White House, with President Bush firing International Boundary Commissioner Dennis Schornack over his handling of the matter.
But on Wednesday Schornack rejected his dismissal by the commander-in-chief.
In a strongly worded letter to Bush, Schornack said the International Boundary Commission (IBC) is an independent, international organization outside the U.S. government's jurisdiction. Schornack wrote that according to the 1908 treaty that created the IBC, a vacancy can only be created by "the death, resignation or other disability" of a commissioner. ...(full article)
Why would Bush fire a boundary commissioner? Maybe this sentence in the article: "So Schornack pressed ahead, against the wishes of the Justice Department, and last week enlisted former U.S. Attorney Mike McKay to represent the IBC in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Feldman said." could give us a clue.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq at 3,610
Al-Qaida Has Rebuilt, U.S. Intel Warns
Uneasy GOP Senators Beseech Bush on Iraq
Turkey: US Arms End Up in Kurdish Hands
Al-Qaida: Wage Holy War Against Pakistan
Mortars, missiles pour into Green Zone
Obviously the Bush/Republican "War On Terror" has been nothing but a PR campaign.
The staff of the Public Disclosure Commission says it will investigate whether Dino Rossi's non-profit Forward Washington should be registered as a political committee.
The state Democratic Party filed a complaint with the PDC late last month. Democrats said the Rossi group is "functionally indistinguishable" from a campaign effort and that it is clear Rossi is running for governor.
Rossi has denied that, and said he did not create the group or set off on a statewide tour as part of any potential second run against Gov. Christine Gregoire.
PDC Assistant Director Doug Ellis said that Rossi and the Democrats will be officially notified Monday that a formal investigation is beginning. He said the key issue for the PDC is to determine is whether Rossi fits the definition of a candidate under state statute. ...(more)
Since Rossi's activities revolve around Governor Gregoires schedule, it shouldn't take too long for the PDC to figure this out.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House has called an urgent multi-agency meeting for Thursday to discuss a potential new al Qaeda threat on U.S. soil, ABC News reported on Tuesday.And there you have it, a "gut feeling"... and now we're all supposed to panic, right?
Top intelligence and law enforcement officials have been told to meet in the White House Situation Room to report on steps to minimize or counter the threat and what steps are being taken to tighten security at government buildings, ABC said. ...
... ABC News cited senior U.S. intelligence officials as saying that new information suggests a small al Qaeda cell was on its way to the United States or may already be in the country.
Separately, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the Chicago Tribune's editorial board his "gut feeling" is that the United States faces an increased risk of attack this summer. ...
The Silver Beach Neighborhood sits on the shores of Lake Whatcom. And the
SBNA - the Association of and for that Neighborhood, has a special role in the
caring for the Lake. The SBNA also has a website: http://silverbeachneighbors.googlepages.com/silverbeachneighborhoodassociation
I am adding this link to the general site http://lakewhatcom.org
This Thursday, July 12th, there will be a Candidates' Forum as the topic of the
monthly meeting. 7:00 PM at Bloedel Donovan Park. Also, there are some statements by some candidates, at a page for that purpose:
Monday, July 09, 2007
Al-Qaeda’s organisation is weaker, but the message still spreadsIraq had nothing at all to do with the 9/11 attack or al Qaeda... Nothing At All!
Published: July 5 2007 21:51 | Last updated: July 5 2007 21:51
Less than a week ago London had an extraordinarily lucky escape when two car bombs failed to explode in the centre of the city. Another terrorist attack at Glasgow airport proved equally futile. Terrorist incompetence helped the police detain eight suspects in swift succession. But the incidents underlined a more disturbing reality: that in nearly six years since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the phenomenon of militant Islamism disseminated by al-Qaeda has not been tamed. Rather, it has spread to new groups and new parts of the world. ...
... Jihadism is not a single phenomenon and cannot be defeated by a single strategy. As peddled by al-Qaeda, it exploits perceived humiliation and grievances, whether in Iraq or the Palestinian territories, in Pakistan or the immigrant communities of western Europe. Good security measures are essential. But jihadism will not be defeated by a “war on terror” that actually glorifies the confrontation. Rather, the grievances must be understood and the emptiness of the ideology exposed. Hearts and minds must be won, not just bloody confrontations.
At the same time Bush was announcing "Mission Accomplished" the occupation of Iraq was lost. The failure to bring in enough occupation troops to keep civil order and quickly begin reconstruction doomed Iraq to insurgent attacks and civil war.
There aren't any "do overs"; the "surge" is a useless gesture, good only to postpone the admission that the occupation is a failure. Only a political solution worked out amongst Iraqi's can end the violence in Iraq. The current government of Iraq is incapable of hammering out any sort of solution, it is a dysfunction conglomeration of corrupt former exiles who do not have the trust of the Iraqi people. Using the U.S. military to prop up an Iraqi government that is making no real effort to build a democratic Iraq, is only deepening the conflict and spreading the violence.
This UPDATE shows exactly how dysfunctional the Iraqi government is:
Jul 9, 11:34 PM EDTThe occupation of Iraq is far more valuable to al-Qaeda as a propaganda tool than it is to the U.S. as way to "fight terrorism". The U.S. military is being worn down while al-Qaeda grows stronger.
Official: Iraq Gov't Missed All Targets
By ANNE FLAHERTY and ANNE GEARAN
Associated Press Writers
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A progress report on Iraq will conclude that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad has not met any of its targets for political, economic and other reforms, speeding up the Bush administration's reckoning on what to do next, a U.S. official said Monday.
An increasing number of Republican politicians are finally seeing the light or mustering the courage to say what they've thought all along.
From Reuters:From The Sunday TimesJuly 8, 2007Powell tried to talk Bush out of warSarah Baxter, Washington
THE former American secretary of state Colin Powell has revealed that he spent 2½ hours vainly trying to persuade President George W Bush not to invade Iraq and believes today’s conflict cannot be resolved by US forces.
“I tried to avoid this war,” Powell said at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. “I took him through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers.”
Powell has become increasingly outspoken about the level of violence in Iraq, which he believes is in a state of civil war. “The civil war will ultimately be resolved by a test of arms,” he said. “It’s not going to be pretty to watch, but I don’t know any way to avoid it. It is happening now.”He added: “It is not a civil war that can be put down or solved by the armed forces of the United States.” ...(more)
...Following are some key Republicans challenging Bush on Iraq.
* SEN. GORDON SMITH: Smith joined critics of the war in late 2006. Delivering one of the harsher criticisms of the war, Smith of Oregon said on the Senate floor in December that the war might even be "criminal."
* SEN. CHUCK HAGEL: Hagel has been a harsh critic of Bush's handling of the war and co-sponsored a non-binding resolution condemning his proposal to send more troops to Iraq. The Nebraska senator called the buildup "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam" and said Bush was playing "a ping pong game with American lives." Hagel's comments drew a rebuke in January from Vice President Dick Cheney.
* SEN. RICHARD LUGAR: Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declared in June that Bush's strategy was not working and troops should start leaving. In a Senate floor speech, the Indiana senator said the United States should draw down its troops in Iraq and redeploy some of them in the region before it was too late to do so politically -- before the U.S. 2008 presidential campaign gets into full swing and partisan confrontation limits options.
* SEN. GEORGE VOINOVICH: In June, Voinovich of Ohio sent Bush a letter "expressing his belief that our nation must begin to develop a comprehensive plan for our gradual military disengagement from Iraq." As with Lugar, Voinovich is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
* SEN. PETE DOMENICI: A day after Bush appealed to Americans to be more patient with the unpopular war, the six-term New Mexico senator, who is up for re-election next year, urged a new course. "I am unwilling to continue our current strategy," Domenici, who serves on the Senate's defense appropriations subcommittee, said in a statement on July 5.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Sheehan Considers Challenge to Pelosi
By ANGELA K. BROWN
Associated Press Writer
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) -- Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized the anti-war movement, said Sunday that she plans to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unless she introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.
Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That's when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from the group's war protest site near Bush's Crawford ranch.
"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money." ...( AP article)
In 1998 impeachment proceeding were brought against Bill Clinton by a Republican majority in the House for purely political reasons. There was no popular sentiment to impeach Clinton, as a matter of fact Clintons approval stood above 70%, but that didn't stop Republican congressmen from carrying out their political vendetta.
Now evidence that Bush has headed a criminal regime mounts with every passing day. A majority of American voters favor impeachment of both Bush and Cheney.
American Research Group, Inc.
July 6, 2007
Question: Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush? 7/5/07 Favor Oppose Undecided Voters 46% 44% 10%
Question: Do you favor or oppose the US House
of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice
President Dick Cheney?
7/5/07 Favor Oppose Undecided Voters 50% 44% 6%
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Published on Friday, July 6, 2007 by Truthdig
A Farewell to Arms Controlby Scott Ritter
The organization that was at the center of the maelstrom of the Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction fiasco, responsible for bringing the world to the brink of war on no fewer than a half-dozen occasions during the 1990s, and then unable to prevent a war in March 2003, has departed the global scene. It left not with a dramatic flair befitting its former status, but rather with barely a whimper, reduced to nothing more than a historical footnote in the grand tragedy that has become Iraq. The United Nations Monitoring and Verification Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), successor to its more accomplished parent, the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), was found to be redundant by an act of the United Nations Security Council, which created its disarmament mandate over 16 years ago when it passed Security Council Resolution 1687 in April 1991. The United States and Great Britain had been trying to close down the weapons inspection operation since the invasion of Iraq, citing the demise of Saddam Hussein and the occupation of Iraq by coalition forces as evidence that the U.N.-mandated inspection process was now moot.
In a way, the U.S.-British position has merits, as I for one, having led numerous inspections inside Iraq from 1991 to 1998, would have a hard time imagining the inspection teams operating in a safe and effective manner inside the insurgent-ridden Iraq of today. But the issue of the ongoing relevance of U.N. weapons inspections goes far beyond a simple matter of inspector security. What really galled the U.S. and British officials were the inconvenient truths about Iraq’s disarmed status, something a continued viable inspection operation would officially register in politically damaging fashion. The lies and distortions concerning the threat posed by Iraqi WMD promulgated by the governments of George W. Bush and Tony Blair have been blasted into the background of domestic discourse in both the United States and Britain by the ongoing cacophony of violence exploding from occupied Iraq today, more than four years after the invasion.
While the ongoing violence is widely seen by most rational humans as a tragedy of enormous proportions, for those who lied their way into this illegitimate war by fabricating a nonexistent threat the continued surge of violence in Iraq provides a welcome buffer from any probing into the corrupt foundation of fabrication and deceit upon which the precarious structure of this pre-emptive war of aggression continues to be constructed. With the U.S. Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, growing increasingly discontent with the status quo in Iraq, anything that prompted a renewed examination of why America and its few remaining allies are trapped in the quagmire would be most unwelcome. This is the true reason behind the demise of UNMOVIC-politics, nothing more or less. ...(more)
WMD's were just an excuse the Bush Administration used to sell their plan to invade Iraq.
Now the Bush Administration is saying that fighting al-Qaeda is the reason to stay in Iraq.
But the latest news shows that, in spite of all their fear mongering about the threat of terrorism, the Bush Administration hasn't really been serious about destroying al-Qaeda: (from the NYT):
U.S. Aborted Raid on Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05
WASHINGTON, July 7 — A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning. ...(more)
Friday, July 06, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
MoveOn Members in Bellingham Gather for a Virtual Town Hall Meeting with Presidential Candidates on Climate Crisis
Local residents gather at 7 house-parties to watch Live Earth concerts and launch a Virtual Town Hall Meeting with new video of presidential candidates talking about climate solutions
Bellingham – On Saturday, July 7, local residents will participate in MoveOn’s second Virtual Town Hall meeting. The gatherings, called “Parties for the Planet,” will allow members will watch the presidential candidates, for the first time, discuss their plans for addressing the climate crisis. Over 1,300 “Parties” will take place around the country, sponsored by MoveOn.org Political Action.
Saturday evening’s event coincides with the Live Earth concerts sponsored by former Vice President Al Gore, which partygoers will watch live on TV after they watch the presidential candidates answer questions about the climate crisis. The questions the candidates will respond to were posted by MoveOn members on YouTube.
8 Democrat and 8 Republican Presidential candidates were invited to participate in the climate crisis discussion; however the Republican candidates all declined. Participating in the discussion are: Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Obama, and Richardson.
On June 11th MoveOn members were asked to post video questions on YouTube and on June 15th, members were asked to vote for the top questions. The top 13 questions are being shown to the candidates who will respond in their own recorded video. The most illuminating 35 minutes will be on the Virtual Town Hall DVD presented at the “Parties for the Planet,” and the entire Town Hall video will be available for download on Sunday July 8th on the MoveOn.org homepage.
MoveOn members will vote for the candidate they think has the best plan for handling the climate crisis. Voting begins on Sunday, and the outcome will be announced on July 11th.
“People who participate in MoveOn's Virtual Town Hall on climate are part of the solution to a crisis that affects us all,” said former Vice President Al Gore.
“I look forward to comparing the presidential candidates’ side-by-side on the climate crisis,” said Ellen McDermott, a WWU staff member and 6 year resident of Bellingham “The public is paying attention to the climate crisis like never before, and we will insist that our next president take bold action on this issue.”
Beginning Sunday, July 8th, MoveOn members will vote for the candidate with the best plan. The results of the vote will be released on Wednesday, July 11th, 2007. Votes taken after the Virtual Town Halls do not represent an endorsement.
The first Virtual Town Hall was held in April and focused on Iraq. A third Virtual Town Hall will take place this fall on health care. MoveOn’s membership voted to make these three issues the organization’s top priorities.
In recent weeks, MoveOn gained 250,000 new members from a petition asking Congress to move toward a clean energy future—showing high energy among voters on this issue. The “Party for the Planet” is being co-sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
There will be 7 parties in Bellingham, 16 in Washington's 2nd Congressional District (Rep. Rick Larsen’s District), 71 in Washington State, and over 1300 of these parties around the country!
Saturday “Party for the Planet”: Join the Party - Get Details
GoIAM.org - Just how devastating has Wal-Mart's exploitation of cheap labor in China been?
Since China's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 -- the corporate giant's trade deficit with China has cost the U.S. nearly 200,000 jobs.
A new report from the Economic Policy Institute outlines the extent U.S. workers have been hurt by Wal-Mart's dealings with China.
Hit hardest by Wal-Mart's imports from China has been the manufacturing sector -- with 133,000 decent, well-paying jobs lost.
Wal-Mart was responsible for $27 billion in U.S. imports from China and 11 percent of the total growth of the U.S. trade deficit with China over the past 5 years.
While the U.S.'s overall trade deficit of $235 billion with China has cost nearly two million jobs -- the EPI report points specifically at Wal-Mart's role in the job loss.
The report states: Wal-Mart has aided China's abuse of labor rights and its violations of internationally recognized norms of fair trade behavior. GoIAM.org
Economic Policy Institute website
Machinists News Network on YouTube
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers website - goiam.org
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Initiative to halt benefits to illegal immigrants seen as failing
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- A massive last-ditch effort is being made to try to get an initiative to halt government benefits for undocumented immigrants on the ballot this fall, the prime sponsor says.
With fewer than half the signatures that likely will be needed on petitions for Initiative 966 to date, however, there is little chance the measure will go to a vote of the people, said Mathew S. Manweller, a political science professor and specialist in initiatives and direct democracy at Central Washington University.
"They're dead in the water," Manweller told the Yakima Herald-Republic. ...(more)
In spite of all the demagogic fear mongering done by anti-immigrant extremist groups, few in Washington State are buying it. Most people have the common sense and the heart to look for a reasoned answer to the problem of undocumented workers coming to the U.S..
July 4th Reflections on the Founding Fathers
Tula Connell at the AFL-CIO uses Thom Hartmann’s recent book as a way to look at some of the history of this country, and what it means in terms of economic issues. It’s a great post for this Fourth of July - check it out.
'08 Campaign News
A Stark Edge in Race for '08 Cash
New Numbers Heavily Favor The Democrats
Wednesday, July 4, 2007; Page A01
Campaign contributors to the 2008 presidential candidates heavily favored Democrats in the three-month period that ended Saturday, giving three dollars to the party's leading contenders for every two dollars they gave to the top Republican candidates. ...
... Political observers said the Democratic enthusiasm is being fueled by anger over the Iraq war, while dissatisfaction among conservative Republicans with their choices has dampened the mood of traditional GOP givers. ... (full article)
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Published on Tuesday, July 3, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
Call Out The Instigatorby Cindy SheehanCall out the Instigator
Because there’s something in the air
We got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here
You know it’s right!
I’m not backing off. I tried to remove myself from the political realm of the US, what BushCo is turning into an Evil Empire, but the blatant audacity of George commuting Scooter’s sentence (he’s not ruling out a full pardon —and you know he will) has dragged me kicking and screaming back in. I can’t sit back and let this BushCo drag our country further down into the murky quagmire of Fascism and violence, taking the rest of the world with them! ...(MORE!)
And that's why much of what people voted for in '06 hasn't come to pass in Congress. Jim Hightower has some pointed thoughts on the subject:
CLOGGING UP CONGRESS
Monday, July 2, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
July 2 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush commuted Lewis "Scooter'' Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence in the CIA leak case, sparing him from punishment the president called "excessive.''
From a May 25, 2007 ABC News Report:
Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby could face up to three years in prison, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald on Friday.
Fitzgerald wrote in the memorandum, "Mr. Libby maintains that despite his conviction, he is totally innocent. He has expressed no remorse, no acceptance of responsibility, and no recognition that there is anything he should have done differently."
Accepting responsibility and a show of remorse are usually a requirement for getting a sentence commuted... BUT Maybe, Bush is just a kind hearted guy; at least when it comes to someone like Scooter, who knows about all of the skeletons in this Administrations closet.
..."When Bush left the governor's office, he had denied clemency in all cases and refused to commute from death to life imprisonment a single death sentence but one—that of Henry Lee Lucas—and that because knowledge of Lucas's innocence of the murder for which he was about to be killed had become the subject of such national scrutiny that Bush could not afford politically to ignore it." ... (source)
UPDATE: Here's what Speaker Pelosi has to say about Bush handing Libby a "get out of jail, free" card.
Press ReleasesFor Immediate ReleasePelosi Statement on President's Commutation of Scooter Libby Prison Sentence
– Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on President Bush’s commutation of Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison sentence today: Washington, D.C.
"The President's commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence does not serve justice, condones criminal conduct, and is a betrayal of trust of the American people."The President said he would hold accountable anyone involved in the Valerie Plame leak case. By his action today, the President shows his word is not to be believed. He has abandoned all sense of fairness when it comes to justice, he has failed to uphold the rule of law, and he has failed to hold his Administration accountable.”
Since Rossi's "foundation" says "Our goal is to promote and offer proposals that will improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for all of Washington’s citizens.", what possible reason could they have for hiding who their contributors are? Anyone with any business sense knows that it's great PR to contribute to civic minded endeavors; so if Rossi's "foundation" really was pursuing those noble goals, why wouldn't all the contributors be clamoring to be recognized as sponsors?
So then… what happened to the $324,000 he’d raised for his official 2008 campaign? What happened to the computers, office furniture and other assets his 2008 campaign bought? What happened to the $79,000 he had left over in the bank? Did he really shut down his campaign and start Forward Washington, or did he just hang a different shingle on the door?
Now Rossi claims that he was only raising money to pay for his lawsuit? Well, he was either lying to the PDC back in December of 2004… or he’s lying to the PDC (and the public) now.
There’s no question that Rossi is intentionally skirting the law, but if the PDC determines that this is technically legal, than he has laid out a roadmap for killing public disclosure and campaign contribution limits in Washington state. Every candidate can be “undeclared” or “undecided” until officially filing. Every candidate can run a shadow campaign, hiding contributors, and directly drawing a salary.
The public has a right to know: who is paying Dino Rossi’s bills? The only thing stopping this disclosure is Dino Rossi.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
While the Bush Administration and it's Republican allies (in politics and the media) busily hype the threat of Jihadi terrorism in an attempt to frighten Americans into surrendering their Unalienable Rights, they're ignoring a real and growing danger:
Schumer Faults U.S. Safety Checks of Chinese Goods (Update1)
By Nadine Elsibai
July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Senator Charles Schumer criticized the Food and Drug Administration and other U.S. agencies for not adequately protecting American consumers from harmful Chinese- made imports. ...
..."The fact that every week we have to frantically pull Chinese goods off store shelves shows that our safeguards are failing,'' Schumer said in a statement today.
... 'Filthy' Food
Seventy percent of the New York-bound refusals resulted from products deemed health hazards, Schumer said. Among them were ``filthy'' food unfit for human consumption and pharmaceutical products tainted with veterinary drug residue that could result in resistance to antibiotics or cancer in humans.
The FDA said on June 28 it would detain three types of Chinese farm-raised fish, catfish, basa and dace, as well as shrimp and eel unless suppliers could prove the shipments didn't contain harmful residues. ...
... ``There is no question that too many Chinese manufacturers and food producers put the bottom line ahead of safety,'' Schumer said in the statement. ``The FDA and other agencies regulating the safety of imported goods need to do much more to address this worsening crisis.'' (full article)
Remember the dogs and cats that died from eating pet food tainted by ingredients from China? Don't think next time it could be people instead of pets? Think again!
...The discovery over the last few months of tainted or defective products from China - including toothpaste, tires, toys and fish - has prompted U.S. lawmakers to fault companies for compromising quality in their quest for inexpensive imports and higher profits.
If companies do not improve their safeguards, the safety of imports could take on a bigger political dimension, the lawmakers said.
"Food companies have been among the most resistant to informing the public about their ingredients," said Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, who has been a leading congressional critic of China. "Now that's more worrisome because these ingredients are coming from an unregulated environment."
No fatalities or serious injuries from Chinese food products have been reported in the United States, although counterfeit Chinese glycerine has been linked to at least 100 deaths in Panama. ... (full article)
I'm not trying to say that the Chinese government is intentionally attacking us. The American people are actually under attack by the Republicans, whose 'Free Trade' fanaticism has stripped away all our safeguards and opened the door to defective, tainted, dangerous, even deadly products from around the world.