Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Impeach Bush and Cheney, March 1, 2008...Hot Button Impeachment and Political Clippings

Click for a full report.

Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Impeach Bush and Cheney, March 1, 2008...Hot Button Impeachment and Political Clippings

Hot Button Issuse…March 1, 2008…I have my own version of “March Madness”…Impeach Bush and Cheney; Keep Up With Current and Coming Events as well as Carnival 2008 (Election), Queen Pelosi on The Merry-G0-Round, The House Horror House, and And Candidates Throw a Ball Dunking Pool. Rasmussen Today and Clippings from Around the Internet….so….

The Real News Network Videos (Home Page) Don’t Miss Them! Like Bush Pressing For His FISA VERSION

Which Virginia’s 8t

District Congressman Jim Moran (Mine) does not support; Read what he has to say:

Neocons Fine Tune Iran (They never stop. They must be stopped) Now.

Don't Let Internet Companies Violate Net


And while we’re at it…

Let's ask Congress to increase funding for public broadcasting.


How is it that miscreants from the Bush administration can ignore legally issued congressional subpoenas, be cited for contempt of congress, yet still walk the streets with apparent immunity from prosecution (or arrest or detention) by the U.S. Justice Department????

Let’s drop in on some important people and good listening sites.

George Bush Is Engaged in an Epic Battle to Cover His Ass
By davidswanson
By Allan Uthman, Buffalo Beast, AlterNet. Something astonishing happened the other day in the House: The Democratic leadership found some courage. After over a year of demoralizing, often inexplicable capitulation, they actually...

Impeachment Matters–Even More
By admin
Nearly two weeks ago, I took a deep breath and wrote out my thoughts on impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Some readers agreed, though equally many–particularly some who read my essay here at Ezra's–were opposed to ...
Jacob Talks -

It’s March…Time To March Again!

As we work to build a movement to end this war, I encourage all of you to watch the new PBS documentary about the life of one of my personal heroes - Pete Seeger, the folksinger, teacher, and activist who helped to end the last war and continues at age 88 to work for the world we all hope for.

As You Take to the Streets, Take This With You

As you take to the streets to protest and commemorate the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March, make sure that the message of protest is getting through to Congress. Take along copies of FCNL's flyer that spells out how people around the country can keep the U.S. from establishing a permanent military presence in Iraq. Make sure you have enough War is Not the Answer signs and bumper stickers to go around.

Ask Congress to support legislation that would bar the U.S. from building permanent bases in Iraq and require a congressional decision on whether the U.S. can maintain a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq. The outrage, sadness, and anger at this anniversary need to be conveyed to members of Congress in a language that they can understand, with a concrete action that they can take. If the U.S. establishes a foothold of bases in Iraq, it will be a lot harder for the war to truly end.

The evidence is pretty overwhelming: The United States has already built several enormous military bases in Iraq, including one with the second busiest airport in the world that stretches over 15 square miles, and has its own auto dealership and bus service. Our research team has developed a map of permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq that is also a part of our flyer that you can use to educate others about efforts to lock in a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq. Congress needs to act soon to prevent any agreement between the U.S. and Iraqi governments from including permanent bases. World Can’t Wait March 19

What Our Day Will Look Like

We are organizing creative, nonviolent acts of civil disobedience in Washington DC to interrupt business as usual for those promoting and profiting from war and empire building. Focusing on the pillars of war, our actions will take place at multiple sites, demonstrating the real costs of war and offering visions for a more just and sustainable world, a world at peace.

United by common demands and organizing principles, groups are encouraged to participate in nonviolent mass actions and/or organize their own actions in coordination with others. There could be sit-ins, die-ins, blockades, pray-ins, bike blockades, street theater, poetry readings, puppets, speak-outs and more at government agencies, war profiteers, corporate media, military recruitment centers, or other pillars of war and empire in DC. Unleash Your Imagination! If you are planning on organizing your own affinity group action, please contact

The Pillars of War

  • Military
  • Funding
  • Corporations
  • Security State & Law
  • Media

March 19th Actions
Click here for the full schedule of events.

  • Blockade the IRS with War Resisters League, CODEPINK and friends - Help expose the real cost of war by shutting down the IRS first thing in the morning and making a clear statement to stop FUNDING war! Click here for more info.
  • Disrupt the War Profiteers with No War, No Warming, Peace Action, Student Peace Action Network (SPAN), and a whole host of student groups who are planning a variety of creative actions using nonviolent civil disobedience, mobile teams and delegations to offices in the K St. Corridor. Who's in the K Street area? The American Petroleum Institute, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Bechtel, the IMF/World Bank, the American Enterprise Institute, and lobbyists and lawyers for many, many more. Click here for more info and the call to action
  • Funk the War with Students for a Democratic Society! Join SDS for a dance party in the streets, touring the war profiteers in the K St corridor. Click here for more info
  • Civil Resistance by the Vets with the Veterans March for Peace that will visit several key sites with creative acts of civil resistance culminating with an action at the White House by IVAW demanding that the White House hear their Winter Soldier testimony and that they end the war and bring the troops home now. Click here for more info and the call to action
  • Shut Down the Military Recruiters Office on K St with the Grannies, bring your rocker and knitting needles and prepare to stay for the day!
  • March of the Dead with Activist Response Team (A.R.T.) and other activists who join us will imagine what would happen if the dead, civilian and military, return to enter Washington to seek justice for the crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan because of U.S. foreign policy. In death masks, all in black, some wearing the name of someone killed, others with statistics measuring the scale of the tragedy, we will proceed through the city in small groups riding the metro, walking the streets and haunting the periphery of the other actions. We will then converge at a given time all-together to make the long march for justice with stops at the State Department, Justice Department and Supreme Court culminating with acts of civil resistance. We want to make this a very powerful presence so we are encouraging large numbers of people to join us. Contact: if you are interested in participating in this action.
  • Drive the War Criminals from Office! join World Can't Wait in acts of civil resistance. Gather in Lafayette Park at 1:30 pm in an action against torture. Join with people in a sea of orange jumpsuits in solidarity with and representing those that are being tortured in Guantanamo Bay Prison, Abu Ghraib, Bagram in Afghanistan, and CIA “black sites” around the globe. A demonstration showing that waterboarding IS TORTURE, is planned directly in front of the residence of the biggest war criminal in history. Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War will congregate at approximately 3:30 PM at the White House and we will be there to join and support their actions at the scene of the crime. For more info, go to

Permitted Areas

Different actions will be happening throughout the day at various locations in downtown DC. We will also have a number of permitted areas and opportunities for those who don't want to risk arrest to be involved in the day of action. ­The main permitted area will be at McPherson Square (15 & K Streets NW), with speakers and activities planned all day. Lafayette Park, Farragut West and other areas around the Capitol will also be permitted.

There will be three publicly announced convergence times which are at 7:30 AM in McPherson Square, then at Noon and then again at 5:00 PM. This is where people who are not already involved in an action can get updates and plugged into what is happening next. It is possible that small marches may be organized for people not involved in the actions to go from one to the other supporting each group.

Training Info

All trainings and meetings on March 16th - 18th will be held at the Warehouse Theater, 1017 7th St NW - go to for directions. More details about trainings coming soon...

Mon. March 17
All day trainings & workshops at the Warehouse Theater

Tues. March 18
All day trainings & workshops at the Warehouse Theater
6 - 8pm - Final Spokes council Meeting

Legal Info

Other Important Info

Nuclear Whitewash
By Dave Lindorff
Dave is an award winning journalist and Co-author of “The Case for Impeachment: Legal Arguments for Removing President George W. Bush from Office.” His work can be found at his website ...

Impeachment Podcast -

Francis A. Boyle's "Protesting Power - War, Resistance and Law"
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
... and currently he's a leading proponent of an effort to impeach George Bush, Dick Cheney and other key administration figures for their crimes of war, ...

Our last 10 shows
By JBiethan
February 29th, 2008; Our Guests - February 28th, 2008; Our Shows - February 28th, 2008; Podcast Release - February 28th, 2008; Foreclosures and Impeachment - February 28th, 2008; Nuclear Whitewash - February 27th, 2008 ...
Impeachment Podcast -
The part of CBS 60minutes on former gov of Alabama was blackout on Alabama's CBS affiliate. From what I hear on the Mike Malloy show he was a good man that was framed for bribery.
here it is if you want to see it
Don Abrhams on the Siegelman story.

Despite constituent discontent, Kucinich is leading challengers in ...
By (Kevin Niedermier)
There's a real Democratic primary race in Cleveland's 10th Congressional District for the first time in years. Six term incumbent Dennis Kucinich is campaigning hard for re-election after dropping his long-shot Presidential bid last ...

OH-10: Kucinich Looks Safe For Re-election
By Chris Bowers
I am relieved to report that Kucinich appears safe for re-election in OH-10, according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling:. Kucinich does though appear safe to ward off the challenge he is facing from four challengers in the ...
Open Left - Front Page -

Kucinich Cruising In OH
Though Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich suspended his presidential campaign in order to focus more closely on his Congressional re-election bid, he may cruise to re-election, a new poll shows. The survey gives little hope to Cleveland City ...
RealClearPolitics - Politics Nation -

Iraq Vet to McCain: "How About 1,000 Years of Affordable Health Care?" [VIDEO]
By Faiz Shakir, Think Progress
Rose Forrest asks, "Can we afford that for my child, Senator McCain? Or have you already promised to spend trillions of our dollarsâEURO|in Baghdad?" Read more

Iraq Lies in Tatters Beneath a 'Surge' of False Claims
By Dahr Jamail, Ali Al-Fadhily, IPS News
When U.S. forces speak of a reduction in violence, many Iraqis simply do not know what they are talking about. Read more

Impeachment means accountability
[Impeachment is a tool that all educated and free people should demand when a so called leader abuses his oath of office or authority. Both Bush and Cheney have met the reasonable evidence of guilt phase to go forward with impeachment ...

Betty Hall requests the people's voice and email support of HR24
We are gathering emails in support of Representative Betty Hall's House Resolution to commence impeachment in the US Congress. What is unique to New Hampshire citizens, is that every bill introduced and sent to committee receives a vote ...

Letter in Support of NH HR24
By Watcher(Watcher)
The New Hampshire legislature is considering a resolution that urges Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney. More info here: Here is a letter I wrote in support of this action: ...
Impeach Bush -

Betty Hall requests the people's voice and email support of HR24
We are gathering emails in support of Representative Betty Hall's House Resolution to commence impeachment in the US Congress. What is unique to New Hampshire citizens, is that every bill introduced and sent to committee receives a vote ...

Fasters 'Break Bread' in Congressman Conyers' Office Today
By davidswanson
Bay Area mom goes 25 days without a meal- Conyers Refuses to put Impeachment on the Table. Where: 2426 Rayburn Building When: 2pm, Friday February 29. read more.

Last Demo Before Vote-O
By john
The usual Friday afternoon “Honk for Impeachment” march before Vermont’s primary next Tuesday included some signs urging residents of Brattleboro to vote yes on the question of whether or not Brattleboro should indict Bush and Cheney if ...
March in My Name -

Senate candidate asks for ordinance allowing town leaders to ...
York County Coast Star - Kennebunk,ME,USA
If impeachment doesn’t happen, though, she said arresting Bush and Cheney – after they leave office – would be the “patriotic” thing to do. ...

Do your job or resign
By clammyc(clammyc)
That they are aiding and abetting all of this lawbreaking - complicit in the actions of Mukasey, Gonzales and Ashcroft as well as Rove, Bush, Rice, Cheney, Goodling, Rumsfeld and all others who have lied under oath, and ...
My Three Cents -

Letter Box
Brattleboro Reformer - VT, United States
In one way or another Bush and Cheney must be held accountable for their actions. As every schoolboy knows, no one is above the law in the United States of ...

[A Forum on Brattleboro’s Indictment Resolution: An information session and discussion about the Brattleboro Town Meeting Ballot Article calling for the Indictment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney will be held on March 2nd ...

Minnesota: Impeach or Else Rally, March 17th
By Causal(Causal)
We shall demand that the Minnesota House and Senate immediately pass a resolution calling for the Impeachment of George W Bush and Dick Cheney (Contact them yourself Now and demand Impeachment!). Our message will be clear to those ...
Impeach Bush for Peace -

Zogby Poll a Disappointment
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
Zogby found much lower support for impeachment than have a number of polls in the past (see ) and at a time when Bush ...

Impeachment; a Challenge to Dem Integrity and Courage
By christine
The impeachment movement has a tough road ahead. The fear that it will hurt election chances is great. I am convinced that impeachment will dramatically HELP the democrats score even bigger victories. There's a reason the congressional ...

Rep. Bobby Scott Still Not On Board With Impeachment
Richmond, VA - I discussed impeachment with Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott at the February 19th meeting of the Richmond Crusade for Voters. His excuses for not moving forward with impeachment remain questionable: ...

Time for change's Journal
Democratic Underground - Washington,DC,USA
One of the four articles of impeachment against George Bush drawn up by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) was for his warrantless spying program. ...

Some Nails Get Pounded
By massmarrier(massmarrier)
Thinking about Bill Clinton impeached for lying about receiving fellatio from a young woman while Bush, Cheney, Rove and their gang walk about should stun us all. So, Congress protects us from lies by fat old baseball players at the end ...

House must update foreign surveillance act (TYPICAL REDNECK OHIO)
Cincinnati Enquirer - Cincinnati,OH,USA
17 deadline, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) blocked the bill's consideration. Congress returns to session this ...

McCain and FISA (You can get to the full hysteria here)
By ethan
Intelligence agencies are being stymied in monitoring foreign communications that pass through the US That’s because the House of Representatives led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to vote on a bipartisan Senate bill that would have ...

Sanity Here!

Attack Group: Telecom Money Didn't Fund Campaign
TPM - New York,NY,USA
I don't think they're asking for immunity because they would likely get immunity anyhow if they were to comply with a Bush and Cheney impeachment....

I don't think they're asking for immunity because they would likely get immunity anyhow if they were to comply with a Bush and Cheney impeachment. And, since they are communications companies after all, they may very well be sitting on a gold mine of material that would be worthwhile in such proceedings.

Let’s look at the way Bush has framed this entire fight so far: he's literally stumped to the level of equating non-compliance with passing this bill to appeasing the terrorists, despite the fact that security, intelligence and IT experts have all said hand over fist that the 1978 version of FISA was adequate to deal with the terrorist threat. Yet, if you look at this through another window -- the one with the knowledge that the telecoms aren't exactly pushing for immunity in the first place with the same veracity as Bush, you see that something doesn't add up. It looks more like Bush is appeasing the telecom companies, promising them immunity for crimes despite the fact they wouldn't need legislation or blanket immunity in the first place to protect the companies.

Bush and his cronies are hand serving immunity on a silver platter and they are not chowing down. The curtains of Oz are about to be thrust open, and it's a lot easier to do now that he won't have those extensions passed.

Bush and Cheney know that they can be impeached, it's just a matter of what they can be impeached for now, and it's not just the illegal spying, but has to be the kitchen sink, which is why they've been throwing in the kitchen sink.

Nancy Pelosi Requests Grand Jury Into Contempt For Miers, Bolten
By The Huffington Post News Team(
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the Justice Department on Thursday to open a grand jury investigation into whether President Bush's chief of staff and former counsel should be prosecuted for contempt of Congress. ...

Pelosi Wants Bush Aides Investigated (HOW ABOUT BUSH?)
Ledger Independent - Maysville,KY,USA
By LARA JAKES JORDAN WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the Justice Department on Thursday to open a grand jury investigation into whether ...

Nancy Pelosi Wants To Sue The White House
By Mark Hutcherson(Mark Hutcherson)
In an angry emotional state, yesterday Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi said that she might consider suing the White House because the US Attorney General will not follow her direction and start investigating members of the Bush ...
Hutch Report -

Michael Mukasey Tells Nancy Pelosi To Shove It!
By Mr. Grey Ghost(Mr. Grey Ghost)
As promised, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she has given the Judiciary Committee authority to file a lawsuit against Bolten and Miers in federal court. "The House shall do so promptly," she said in a statement. ...
Politik Ditto -

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the Justice Department on Thursday to open a grand jury investigation into whether President Bush's chief of staff and former counsel should be prosecuted for contempt of Congress.

Pelosi, D-Calif., demanded that the department pursue misdemeanor charges against former White House counsel Harriet Miers for refusing to testify to Congress about the firings of federal prosecutors in 2006 and against chief of staff Josh Bolten for failing to turn over White House documents related to the dismissals.

She gave Attorney General Michael Mukasey one week to respond and said refusal to take the matter to a grand jury will result in the House's filing a civil lawsuit against the Bush administration.

The White House branded the request as "truly contemptible." The Justice Department had no immediate comment. The top House Republican called it "a partisan political stunt" and "a complete waste of time," according to a spokesman.

The Democratic-controlled House voted two weeks ago to hold Bolten and Miers in contempt for failing to cooperate with committee investigations.

"There is no authority by which persons may wholly ignore a subpoena and fail to appear as directed because a president unilaterally instructs them to do so," Pelosi wrote Mukasey. She noted that Congress subpoenaed Miers to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the firings.

"Surely, your department would not tolerate that type of action if the witness were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury," Pelosi wrote.

She added: "Short of a formal assertion of executive privilege, which cannot be made in this case, there is no authority that permits a president to advise anyone to ignore a duly issued congressional subpoena for documents."

Pelosi sent an additional letter to U.S. Attorney Jeff Taylor, the chief federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia, whose office would oversee the grand jury. The letters point to sections of federal law that require the Justice Department to bring the House contempt citations before a grand jury to investigate.

At the White House, spokesman Tony Fratto said House Democrats "have been trying to redefine the notion of contempt and they succeeded."

Both Fratto and House GOP leader John Boehner said the House should focus on passing legislation allowing the government to more easily eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists.

"Rather than passing critical national security legislation, they continue to squander time on partisan hijinx," Fratto said. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said "this sort of pandering to the left-wing fever swamps of loony liberal activists does nothing to make America safer."

The Justice Department historically has resisted directing its prosecutors to enforce congressional subpoenas against White House officials. Fratto referred questions to the department and noted the agency "has longstanding views on this question, which they have repeated recently."

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers, said he hoped Pelosi's demand would spur the department to "put the partisan manipulation of our system of justice behind it" and take the issue to a grand jury. "To do otherwise would turn on its head the notion that we are all equally accountable under the law," said Conyers, D-Mich.

The letter was the latest chapter in a yearlong saga that began with the firings of nine federal prosecutors and led to Alberto Gonzales' resignation as attorney general last August.

The House voted 223-32 this month to hold Miers and Bolten in contempt for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether the prosecutors' firings were politically motivated. Angry Republicans boycotted the vote and staged a walkout in an unusually bitter scene even for the fractious House.

At the time, the Bush administration was no less harsh, saying the information sought by the House was off-limits under executive privilege and that Bolten and Miers were immune from prosecution. The White House said the department would not ask the U.S. attorney to pursue the House contempt charges.

It was the first time in 25 years that a full chamber of Congress voted on a contempt of Congress citation. The White House pointed out that it was the first time that such action had been taken against top White House officials who had been instructed by the president to remain silent to preserve executive privilege.

Here's a Shocker
By davidswanson
As expected, Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused Friday to refer congressional contempt citations against President Bush's Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and the president's former counsel, Harriet Miers, to a federal grand jury ...


Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill Is Reintroduced in the 110th Congress

On April 18, 2007 Representative John Lewis (GA05) reintroduced the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill (H.R. 1921)
<> in the 110th

This legislation establishes a governmental trust fund into which designated conscientious objectors will pay their full federal income taxes. The accumulated revenue will then be allocated yearly by Congress to any federal program that is unrelated to military purposes. (Full

A link that containing the above clip. Full site
at <

Rejecting the Rule of Law: Part 1
By Jesse Wendel(Jesse Wendel)
Washington , DC – Today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent the following letter to US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, informing him of the enclosed referral letter sent to US Attorney of the District of Columbia Jeffrey Taylor on contempt ...
Group News Blog -

Is Blind Allegiance Blinding the Democratic Party?
Muslim American Society - Falls Church,VA,USA
This lobby, in the opinion of many, dominates the national political discourse related to the US relationship with Israel , and in the final analysis, ...

Pelosi on Texas and Ohio

San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked today in her weekly press conference what she, as a super superdelegate, might do if there is no clear result from the ...

Diverse Demographics In Texas Could Determine Outcome Of March 4 ...
Huffington Post - New York,NY,USA
"I applied my (analysis model to Ohio and Texas, and got that of the Texas electorate, 23% would be African-American and 25% Hispanic; Ohio would be 18% ...

White Men Seen All Wrong
Yahoo! News - USA
The bulk of the white men voting in Democratic primaries are not the same white men who migrated from the Democratic Party in the last half century. ...

Young America May Lift Democrats,
Wall Street Journal - USA
5 Democratic primary, up from 59% in 2004, according to exit polls. The sharp, steady rise in the Hispanic population is now showing up in voter ...

High Democratic Turnout Sends a Mixed Signal for November
U.S. News & World Report - Washington,DC,USA
*A note on the calculations: All primaries and caucuses between and including January 3 and February 5 were included in the analysis, with one exception: ...

Political Perceptions: ‘Junk Food Polling’ You Can Just Ignore
Wall Street Journal - USA
By Gerald F. Seib and Sara Murray In their final sprint toward the March 4 primaries, the campaigns of both Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are using ...

US House Retirements Spelling Trouble For GOP In November
Media General Washington Bureau - Washington,DC,USA
Not since 1958 – a half-century ago – has a political party in the House minority faced such an uphill battle to merely keep the number of seats it has, ...

The Early Word: Talking Texas
New York Times Blogs - New York,NY,USA
Much of the excitement down comes because the Texas primaries haven’t really held a powerful role like this in decades. And, um, Barack Obama’s campaign ...

Young Dick Cheney Going Up For Sale

Many Troops Would Stay in Iraq if a Democrat Wins
By davidswanson
By YOCHI J. DREAZEN, Wall Street Journal. WASHINGTON -- Despite the rhetoric of the Democratic presidential candidates, significant numbers of US troops will remain in Iraq regardless who wins in November. read more.

Obama Will Not 'Rule Out' Private Security Contractors in Iraq
By Jeremy Scahill,
Blackwater might not be leaving any time soon. Read more

The House is scheduled to vote this week on a resolution (H.Res. 895) that will institute, for the first time in history, an independent Office of Congressional Ethics with the power to file and investigate ethics complaints. The independent panel's reports will be made public, and new timelines and reporting requirements will stop the Ethics Committee from burying complaints for years without action. Except Pelosi wants to pre-screen!!!! (NO!!!!)

Common Cause Ethics Reform

Common Cause Money In Politics

House Democrats Postpone Ethics Vote
CBS News - New York,NY,USA
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats have proposed a new, independent ethics office to evaluate complaints against lawmakers. ...

Jack Abramoff, Jack Abramoff ...
New York Times - United States
Despite last-minute cries of alarm and resistance from both sides of the aisle, the public is counting on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to stand fast and steer this ...

Anxiety is palpable in the House as lawmakers try to wriggle out of a vote on whether to create an independent Office of Congressional Ethics. Despite last-minute cries of alarm and resistance from both sides of the aisle, the public is counting on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to stand fast and steer this overdue dose of ethics reform to passage.

"The most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history" is what Nancy Pelosi promised not quite 15 months ago.

And yet, here is just the latest scandal, this time with Pelosi center stage:

[Pelosi] has interceded on behalf of pharmaceutical company Amgen in an attempt to encourage expanded government purchasing of an HIV drug. Without her intervention, a change in Medicare rules was set to dramatically reduce the use of the same drug -- so her intervention meant the difference between a falling stock price and a rising stock price for Amgen. At the same time, she owns $500,000 worth of stock in Amgen, and the company employs two former senior staffers as lobbyists.

It's central to House ethics rules that a Member of Congress may not use his or her official position for personal gain. Ms. Pelosi was aware of her stake in the company. Rather than intercede on their behalf, it would have been more appropriate to divest her stake in the company. Instead, she used her office to push a policy that would fill her purse.

Pelosi: Changes to ethics panel plan under consideration
The Hill - Washington,DC,USA
By Mike Soraghan House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Thursday insisted that an independent ethics commission to screen outside complaints will get ...(Screen Out!!!)

In Obama’s Corner, Many of Pelosi’s Top Allies - Washington,DC,USA
By Alan K. Ota, CQ Staff Members of Speaker Nancy Pelosi ’s inner circle have been moonlighting as whips for presidential candidate Barack Obama . ...

Dems work to keep subsidies for agribusiness
San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA
... giveaways to the rich, home foreclosures, job losses and a middle-class squeeze, back in Washington House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats ...

News From and Preparations In Denver!

Larry Hale’s court date for tomorrow has been postponed. We will let you know of his new date as soon as possible.


Thank you to all the folks who came to the last working meeting. As we discussed, we would love to see you come to the next one and bring a new friend. For those who have not made one, it is time to put the active back in activist. Help plan the largest progressive event Denver has ever experienced.

WHEN: Thursday, March 6th at 6:30 pm

WHERE: The Gypsy House Cafe 1279 Marion Street, Denver


Permitting for parks and parades (marches) during the Democratic National Convention, August 24-28, will fall under a new category recently established by city ordinance which allows the mayor to declare an "extraordinary event," defined as "a time period during which a large-scale special event of national or international significance is occurring within the City and County of Denver and for which a large number of permit applicants are anticipated." This allows the city to use a lottery system when more than one application is received for the same time and place.

The city has told us that they will begin accepting permits for parks for the period of the DNC on Monday, March 3. Permits can be filled out on line on the city website ( and we have been told there will be a link to the permit form on the front page of the website. This will not be a "first-come, first-served" system. All applications received within the application period (which we think will be ten days) will be considered to be received at the same time, and will be put in a pool for the lottery. For the lottery, which will probably be held around March 17 or 18, "you must be present to win," you have to show up in person for it.. Supposedly, if you don't get picked first, but do get picked before everything is gone, the city will offer you an alternative place and/or time to your first choice.

When you fill out the form, it's very important that you indicate that you are applying for an assembly permit This means you will be using the park for First Amendment-protected free speech and assembly, and therefore you don't have to pay anything for use of the park

There are a couple of issues with regard to use of parks that we are still trying to negotiate with the city. In the current ordinance, camping overnight in any of the parks in or near downtown is prohibited. Also, the ordinance allows setting up tents in parks only with a permit from the manager of parks and rec, and we still need to find out how to get that permit. Also, selling any items–even things like buttons, bumper stickers of T-shirts–requires you to go through an elaborate process, which not even the city seems to understand, to get a permit. We are hoping to get those provisions changed, at least for the period of the DNC. Also, the ordinance grants priority for "historical usage," which means specifically in regard to Civic Center Park that the "Taste of Colorado" would have the right to use that park to start setting up possibly on Wednesday and definitely on Thursday. However, the organizers of that event have indicated a willingness to work with people who want to use that park for free speech activities, so people should not hesitate to apply to use the park for the entire period of the DNC.

As far as parades during the "extraordinary event," as far as we know, that permitting process will work basically the same way, with a lottery system. The way the ordinance stands, you have to pay a non-refundable application fee of $50 to apply for a parade of under 15 blocks, and $150 for a parade longer than 15 blocks, and if a parade goes longer than 15 blocks, you have to pay for police protection for the extra distance. The amount would be determined by the police department, and could run into thousands of dollars. The ordinance say the mayor may allow a refund of application fees for people who don't get a permit–but don't hold your breath on that.

Also, under the ordinance, no parades are allowed between 6 am and 9 am or between 4 pm and 7 pm, except on weekends of holidays, supposedly so as not to interfere with rush hour traffic. These of course would be prime times to catch the delegates, and since the DNC will already disrupt traffic, we will continue to try to get that changed.

We have been told that no permits for parades will actually be issued for as much as several months, because the city hasn't yet been told what the security parameters will be. Our position is that this won't allow sufficient time for us to advertise march routes, and we may wind up in court over this. We encourage people to consider applying for permits to march right up to the Pepsi Center, so that we can hopefully force the city to tell us what the security arrangements will be.

If that all sound unnecessarily complicated and restrictive, it is. But in the first draft of the ordinance, the city had proposed that it have first priority in any use of public facilities. Fortunately, we got them to change that. But we need to assert the public's right to use public facilities.
Questions? E-mail Mark at

(02-28) 04:00 PST Washington - -- As Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton toured the land denouncing special interests, giveaways to the rich, home foreclosures, job losses and a middle-class squeeze, back in Washington House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats met behind closed doors on a plan to raise taxes and cut food stamp money to protect billions of dollars for agribusiness, a sector of the economy that is booming.

The negotiators agreed Tuesday to find $10 billion in extra money in a last-ditch effort to save the farm bill, once seen as an opportunity to reform commodity programs and divert scarce funds to conservation, nutrition, organic research and California fruit and vegetable growers who are locked out of the Depression-era programs. The money is needed to appease these interests while still maintaining the commodity subsidies. Yet in proposals so far, those areas get trimmed to keep the subsidies flowing.

The subsidies demanded by the farm lobby would help big corn, wheat and soybean growers in areas where income is shattering records, credit is flowing and real estate values soaring.

Because of government ethanol subsidies and rising demand for grain in developing nations, grain farmers are enjoying such whopping price increases that food inflation is becoming a worry. U.S. bakers are even urging a restriction on grain exports to try to dampen prices.

When America is, on the eve of a recession, to give unlimited subsidies to millionaires is absolutely disgusting," said Scott Faber, head of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. "It just defies logic. ... I can't imagine why Democrats and Republicans of conscience aren't screaming from the highest rooftops."


In a February 27 article, the Associated Press reported that "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says she won't release her tax returns until she has the Democratic presidential nomination in hand, and not before tax filing time comes in mid-April," but did not note that Sen. John McCain has yet to release his tax returns and has reportedly made no pledge to do so. Indeed, in a February 27 editorial, noting that Clinton has not released her income tax returns, The Washington Post wrote that McCain has also "so far refused to do so. Most troubling, Mr. McCain isn't even pledging to release his returns once he becomes the nominee."

On the February 28 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, commentator Jack Cafferty similarly did not mention McCain's failure to release his filings, stating: "There's a lot of information that voters still don't have about Hillary Clinton, including the White House records from when she was first lady and her tax returns." Moments later, Cafferty added: "As for the tax returns, Hillary Clinton also said at the debate that she would release them once she becomes the nominee or, quote, 'even earlier,' unquote, but her campaign seems to be backing away from that statement now, suggesting that Clinton won't release the financial information until tax time in April." Cafferty later asked viewers to respond to the question: "How important is it for Hillary Clinton to release her tax returns and White House records now?"

Cafferty's question about Clinton's tax returns also appeared in a February 28 post on his CNN blog, with no mention of McCain.

From the February 28 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

CAFFERTY: There's a lot of information that voters still don't have about Hillary Clinton, including the White House records from when she was first lady and her tax returns. When asked at this week's debate, a couple of days ago, about those White House records, Clinton said she would absolutely release the documents to show the public what she did and who she met with over the course of those eight years. She said she's, quote, "urged the process be as quick as possible," unquote.

Well, the Bush administration now says it's actually the Clintons who are holding up the release of these records. They say the former President Bill Clinton's representative has not made any move yet to release over 11,000 pages of records. The Clinton campaign says it made two -- may take two more weeks for that representative to decide what to release and then to request the actual release of the documents from the White House. That's convenient. That would be after next Tuesday's primaries in both Texas and Ohio.

As for the tax returns, Hillary Clinton also said at the debate that she would release them once she becomes the nominee or, quote, "even earlier," unquote, but her campaign seems to be backing away from that statement now, suggesting that Clinton won't release the financial information until tax time in April. When Clinton loaned her own campaign $5 million, Barack Obama suggested she should follow his lead, release her tax returns, so the public could see where the money came from.

Here's the question: How important is it for Hillary Clinton to release her tax returns and White House records now? Go to, you can post a comment there on my blog.

Satirical Fantasy?

If Bush resigns - his resignation speech.

Interesting, I thought!

If Bush resigned today, this is what his speech would be.....

Normally, I start these things out by saying 'My Fellow Americans', not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not fellow Americans any longer.

I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution, let me assure you: There's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.

The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people. I'm fed up because you have no understanding of what's really going on in the world. Or of what's going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.

Let's start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media. Polls show that the majority of you think the economy is in the tank. And that's despite record numbers of homeowners, including record numbers of MINORITY homeowners. And while we're mentioning minorities, I'll point out that minority business ownership is at an all-time high. Our unemployment rate is as low as it ever was during the Clinton administration. I've mentioned all those things before, but it doesn't sink in.

Despite the shock to our economy of 9/11, the stock market has rebounded to record levels and more Americans than ever are participating in these markets. Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there's increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than your economic security.
We face real threats in the world.

Don't give me this 'blood for oil' crap. If I were trading blood for oil I would've already seized Iraq 's oil fields and let the rest of the country go to hell. And don't give me this 'Bush Lied; People Died' crap either. If I were the liar you morons take me for, I could've easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be 'discovered.' Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty.

Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office. Clinton established that policy. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. & nbsp;We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to outspend and out-tech them.

That's not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill you, and the bastards are all over the globe. You should be grateful that they haven't gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11. But you're not. That's because you've got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement, and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I'm disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of 'Survivor.'

Instead, you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.

Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-an d-run Democrat's political campaign, well, you might just as well FedEx a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.

In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over the Internet, it just isn't on the pages of the New York Times or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter. Most of you would rather watch American Idol.

I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out, even if you're too stupid to leave a city that's below sea level and has a Cat 5 hurricane approaching.

I could say more about your idiotic belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from. But I've come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.

So, I quit. I'm going back to Crawford. I've got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream of) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I'm done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.

Oh, and by the way, Cheney's quitting too.

That means Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it - you can have her. Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there are just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008.

So that's it.

God bless what's left of America . Some of you know what I mean. The rest of you - kiss my a$$!

{A note of warning: below is ALL of the 6 pages of notes I took at the event. Quotes, quips, and all.}

Livenotes on Nader: 2.28.08

T-minus 6 minutes: I'll give Nader this: he sticks to his guns. They might be peashooters in a sea of battleships, but he sticks to them. His message is optimistic and relatively refreshing, yet his entrance at this point is a strange one.

Were too many candidates already dropping out? And if something like that is the case, was this a response more to McCain or to the Clinton/Obama dichotomy?

They handed out an article by "" which seems to use the word "disenchanted" more times than it refers to Nader himself. (It’s actually tied, 6 to 6, but "disenchant" and its derivatives get their 6 in the title and the first two paragraphs.)

Admittedly, the article, it seems, is about more than it is about the Nader-Gonzalez campaign. At this point, though, I'm just writing because I'm bored and waiting for the event to start.

A few minutes ago, I texted a few friends, both here at GWU and elsewhere, asking what their most outrageous question for Nader was (without being vulgar or overly offensive). The responses I've gotten so far:

- What does he think about Ron Paul?
- What does he think of black-and-gold striped ties?
- What are his thoughts on Eugenics?
- What is his favorite smell?

So, if he does open the floor up to questions, I may try to ask some of those.

By the way, did you know Nader wrote a book? It's called "The Good Fight" -- which I can only assume refers to the Bush/Gore elections before Nader got involved.

In this lecture hall, I count 7 large video cameras, and a slew of smaller ones and camera-phones and the like, and at least 4 media photographers, maybe 5. You'd think this was a presidential candidate or something who was speaking.

And, here he is!

Lots of applause, and his running-mate Gonzalez is here as well. The photographers begin their flashing-photo-orgy as a graduate student introduces Mr. Candidate himself.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Nader!

OK, they're recapping his legislative record, and he is a fair bit of badass there. I didn't know he was involved with the Freedom o Information Act...
The Atlantic listed him as one of the 100 most influential Americans of all time.

Matt Gonzalez, super-lawyer for those abandoned by the Justice-machine.

Okay, my cynicism outweighs his record as well, but he oozes lawyer/politician more loudly than Mr. Nader.

He wasn't announced as Nader's running mate at the time of this event's announcement, but they're not making a very huge deal of it here.

Gonzalez is speaking first. To recap his priorities and history:

- from South Texas, went to Columbia University, and then Stanford Law School.
- For 10 years after that, served as a Public Defender for San Francisco.

- Entered politics to try to change not one defendant at a time, but ... something obscure. Ran unsuccessfully for DA, running against the death penalty. Came in 3rd, and in the next election everyone ran against the death-penalty.

He later became president of some confusingly described political group in California.

His theme seems to be the Underdog. On a mostly unrelated note, Nader is the stoop-iest candidate by far.

Gonzalez's goals:

- election reform: we're electing presidents with less than 50% of the vote. Clinton, <50% because of Perot.

This is an easy issue to fix, he says. In San Francisco, they have a ranked-choice vote, which assures a majority. (Is it really better to rig the system so it creates a majority like that, or is it better to have stronger candidates, that stand on a real platform rather than flipping, flopping, and pandering?)

- Poverty issues: Addressing the widening disparity between rich and poor. U.S. has the highest income inequality out of the industrialized nations. He fought in San Francisco to create the highest minimum-wage in America. He built in adjustments for the cost of living.

- Get us out of Iraq: Says we should stop the occupation. It's cost D.C. alone 600-700 million dollars, California ~20 billion. Consider the education opportunities, etc. that we could do with that money, instead of, well, killing terrorists. They don't see 60,000 troops there residually, nor do they see Obama's platform of rising troop levels currently as well (is that even Obama's platform?) "Cynicism isn't a democratic approach," quoth Gonzalez, "and people should not be prevented from voting for whom they want to vote for. They shouldn't go out and vote for someone they don't truly want. "

He faults the Democrats with complacency regarding the Presidency and the voting system, because it allows them the power and post roughly half the time. Gonzalez leaves the stage, and now Nader is speaking. Maybe the quote of the night: "When I was your age, a student, I hitchhiked a lot." He's segued from that into talking about horrific car crashes, which inspired him to pioneer Federal Motor vehicle and Highway Safety Laws.

I think I just saw one of the photographers snap a shot of ... the other photographers. "The beginning of the slide of the Democratic party, of doors closing in the Capitol" began when the Democratic Party began to pursue the same donors, same advocate groups, etc., as the Republicans. He calls it the "least-worse" voting mentality, IE the Democrats were less-bad than the Republicans, and thus they got votes and could be almost-as-bad.

This led in to Corporate government. The pattern these days is that corporate appointees get the high positions in every government agency, including the Department of Labor. Focus on Corporate Scandals and the like. Nader is the people's candidate, quite loudly. The concentration of power in our country is well in place, quoth Nader, and that leads to the concentration of wealth, and thus to inequality. Does this remind anyone of a Marxist argument?

He fired a nice shot at Bush Jr., with a mention of his losing the popular vote. "We've lost our government" he says, and the room erupts into applause. 'We love lost government' it seems to cry, but nay, he speaks of recovering it. His rhetoric is against commercialized elections, and how that causes the people who have the most money to have the most power, to have the rule. Yet, hasn't it been that every president, ever, has been among the richest, or wealthiest?

Good shot at Wal-Mart too, regarding their upper executives' $11,000 per hour salary versus their workers $6-7 per hour. Now, he seems to be talking about the end of Slavery, the civil rights movement, and the citizens' movements and small parties. (Is he talking about the Populists, the Grange, and such?) His point seems to be this: They didn't win the election, but they showed that they existed, that there were enough of the voters who stood up for that possibility. "People of Western Europe and Canada learn of our electoral system, and are aghast!" "The last political bigotry, where they joined in their nefarious tradition,... would tell people 'do not speak, do not vote, do not put that play on, do not print that story.' And now the Liberal Intelligentsia is saying 'do not vote for other small parties that may challenge the hegemony of the corporate democrats.'

They are...exerting every effort to push us off the ballot." "Without candidate rights, voter rights do not mean much." It's upsetting, because he has some incredibly good points, and he makes a very strong speech. I want to like him, but his late entry, his underdog rhetoric, none of it says 'electable.' In a less-contentious year it might be worth voting for him, even if it were only a demonstration of support. But in a year like this, after 8 years of Bush, our change must be smaller than a Nader or a Gonzalez.

Nader is only taking individual donations. "The central issue of this presidential campaign is the overwhelming power of giant corporations over foreign policy, domestic policy, over our elections, over what we see, read, and in some cases even what we think." Business Week, apparently, said that corporations today have too much power. Out of 72% of American people polled, most thought corporations had too much power, and that was in 2000. Business Week's essential point was this, quoth Nader: "Corporations are not human beings... 'Corporations should get out of politics'" Nader's bullet points:

- expect a high degree of voter power
- be an informed voter
- don't be flattered or flummoxed into inaction.
- you can't stay home anymore. It "creates a vacuum that is filled by antithetical power"
- organize in major cities in which candidates are to campaign.

"Last I heard, none of these corporations have a vote... so why do the candidates listen to them?... What does that say about us back home?"

"They may have the cash, the power, but that doesn't elect candidates."

Yep, there he goes. He’s just cited the Populists.

They discussed all kinds of policy issues, and realized that if they worked together they could match the larger, professional politicians.

"If somebody knocked on your door, and introduced oneself as your neighbor, said ' Hi, I'm your new neighbor, spent 22% of your income, can send your children off to war...' and then walks away, what are you gonna say? ... Do you say 'Hey, come back here? You mean something to me, so I'd better mean something to you.' And that's our representatives... people who put their shoes on every day just like we do."

"Our country could become a humanitarian superpower- not a military superpower."

"More and more necessities are bought on credit-card debt... Why should we live this way?"

He cites GM as conspiring to disable major public transportation routes in the U.S. They were fined $500,000, after WWII. Not much, really.

He's gone from public transport to the beauty and fashion industries, and they way they fuel consumerism that destroys human confidence and appreciation of actual beauty.

"What kind of society would tax capital gains, primarily owned by the rich, at 15%, and tax auto workers and their families at 33%?"

"We tax what we like the least first, before we tax what we like the most."

So, what we don't like:

- Wall Street.
- The addictive industries (can you, define that, Mr. Nader?)
- Gambling (before you tax food, clothing, necessities)

He's working up the crowd quite nicely. They're yelling back, getting a bit passionate about this.

We also don't like motor vehicle parties.

Another question just came in, via text:
- "Why? Just why?"

A Canadian ditty: "Tax what we burn, not what we earn. Tax what we bet, not what we get."

Now, can we sing along, Mr. Nader?

"Small businesses have freedom to go bankrupt. But if you're a big company, you don't go bankrupt when you're mismanaged... you go to Washington."

"Thanks to George W. Bush - the most impeachable president in American history"

"Autocratic procedures are likely to produce autocratic outcomes."

Yes, Mr. Nader is most quotable, and a good speaker. Now, if he and Ron Paul, the right-hand independent-esque fellow, could just be one and the same person, this might be a 3rd party worth voting for.

Hey, speaking of which, he just encouraged Libertarian candidates to be on the ballot too! Maybe it's a possibility, maybe, in 50 years or so, we'll have a Paul/Nader test-tube hybrid, ready and able to run for the Presidency of the United States. Let us look forward now, friends, to the might Paul/Nader protofetus, waiting on the sidelines to pull our country from the hands of giant, freedom-squashing corporations.

"We can be motivated by what we're going to say to our grandchildren, when, at the open-eyed age of 9 or 10, they ask us what we were doing when all this went down."

"I want you, afterwards, to list what you think are the 10 most serious problems and injustices in the world...

Ask yourself: are these large corporations contributing to these problems, or are they neutral?"

"Another way to do it is to ask yourself 'Who says no?' , who says no to a living wage? It might be the McDonalds, the Burger Kings."

"Our per-capita litigation in this country, by people, are lower than they were in 1840."

"The unity that's needed in this country is not Blue State, Red State. The unity that's needed in this country is the unity to overthrow the corporations in control" -- or something along those lines.

He just made a beautifully elaborate analogy about making a friend list everything they own, and then illustrating that they've left out: 1/3rd of America, its public lands. Government medical research and development. The public airwaves.

Yeah, shitty deal on the former 2, it sounds like.

"The towering similarities between the major parties tower over the dwindling differences."

Nader's list of subjects that are off the table by the two major parties, but "not off the table for Nader-Gonzalez":

- Single-payer national health insurance
- Halliburton investigations
- Opposition to the restart of nuclear power plants
- aggressive crackdown on corporate crime and abuse
- They don't want to reverse U.S. Policy in the Middle East.
- They don't want to impeach Bush and Cheney for flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions, or for surveillance of U.S. citizens.
- Wall St. Speculation Tax
- questioning corporate personhood, and subordinating the rights of the corporation to the rights of human beings.

"The more we grow our own food... the less is the power of the giant agriculture foundations"

He's pro neighborhood solarization. Snazzy, new word?

His ending note: "This campaign will be a function of your energy." "We're looking for that essential spark of the democratic spirit- that sense that an individual can make a difference not just individually but also collectively."

Marcus Cisero: "Freedom is participation in power."

Ancient Chinese Proverb: "To know and not to do is not to know."

He's talking about forming a new party now, and how they're looking for names.
Hopes that we'll talk about being a 'smart voter'
and yes, his points are all damn good, as is that one.

And, that's all folks. Vote Nader?

Actually, they're taking questions, but the line is way long, and I feel inclined not to intrude in that case.

Annnnd, three questions, that’s all the time we’ve got.

'It's a shootout in Texas!' One View Of Texas.

Allen Abel, National Post Published: Saturday, March 01, 2008

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. -We are driving slowly through the side streets with the windows rolled down, handing out flyers for Hillary Clinton, when the man at the wheel turns to me and says, "I served five years in prison for murder."

It is a few days before the Texas primary election, and a few hours before Senator Clinton herself is to arrive for a Friday-night rally near the Alamo, the bloodied stone shrine that stands at the nucleus of the mythology of the Lone Star State. In San Antonio, this day, the Senator's Home Guard of loyalists is circling the wagons for one final stand; or, in this case, circling the minivan, rolling past sun-bleached houses with bars on the windows, dust-covered pickups with sagging flat tires, and great-tailed grackles raucously croaking in the budding trees.

We are a group of six, "block walking" for Hillary, and finding few listeners. Either no one is home on this cloudless Texas afternoon, or else no one in this lower-end district of a city deeply pockmarked by poverty dares open his door to a stranger, even by day.

By chance--or sheer audacity --Ms. Clinton's opponent, Senator Barack Obama, has scheduled a rally for the same city, at the same hour, a few blocks from the Clinton gathering. The challenge is clear, but even my friend the canvasser and convicted killer does not suggest that, at this late stage of the campaign, more voters will come to see the lady than the gentleman.

"We are being outmaneuvered," Henry Rodriguez sighs. "The bandwagon is starting to fall apart."

It is hardly fair to dwell on his criminal past, though Henry Rodriguez, a devoted community activist and one of the fixtures of Democratic party politics on the Latino West Side of ol' San Antone, offers the confession immediately to almost everyone he meets.

TEXAS -He is 63, the son and grandson of women who worked other farmers' fields, and, when he was 28, shot down a white guy named Patterson in a bar downtown and got five years in the state penitentiary for what they called "murder without malice."

"He was a hothead, and I had a short fuse," Mr. Rodriguez says. "But now Patter-son's daughter is a very good friend of mine."

So is nearly everybody else. (Henry was crowned "Inmate of the Year" in prison.) Even his ex-wife, a city council member from the poorest Hispanic district in San Antonio, is still on good terms. Both of their sons served in the U.S. Navy and one of the daughters is a captain in the Marine Corps, a record of voluntary military service considerably more impressive than that of the sitting U.S. President, or the husband of (potentially) the next one.

"Why are you working for Hillary?" I ask Mr. Rodriguez.

"We make the connection first with the Democratic Party," he replies. "Then we make the connection with Bill -- we love the man. I admire Senator Obama quite a bit also, but in the final analysis, experience and a proven track record do count. The stakes are too high, and we do not want to take the chance."

"What is Obama doing right?" I ask Mr. Rodriguez.

"He's a phenomenon, no?" he replies. "He's captured the imagination of a lot of people with his great oratorical ways. I equate him to a televangelist -- he's like Joel Osteen, he's like a Bible-thumper, so of course people write him cheques. Of course he gets cheques from the common people -- because they don't look at the experience."

"Is race a factor as well?" I wonder.

"Let's be honest," Henry Rodriguez says. "The average Mexican thinks blacks are clowns. They're too loud, their lifestyle is completely different from ours. There was a time when I would have said the same thing -- I didn't like illegal immigrants, I didn't like gays. I mean, everybody's a product of their own environment and that's what I was hearing around me.

"But now I've learned that we can get along. In fact, I even said a prayer for Obama, that he be safe. He is so vulnerable to some white supremacist, to some crazy person with a gun."

The plaque beside the door to the Alamo says: Be silent, friend/Here heroes died/To blaze a trail/For other men.

Inside the consecrated ruin, tourists in their dozens mill about the smooth rock floors. Guides in blood-red blazers point to the spots where (they imagine) the great knife fighter Jim Bowie fell, and the real Davy Crockett, an ex-congressman from Tennessee, was bayoneted, and their commander, Colonel William Travis, died a hero on a morning in March of 1836, when the Mexican Army stormed this thick-walled redoubt of "Texian" patriots and slaughtered every last man without mercy.

"If they overpower us, we fall a sacrifice at the shrine of our country," Col. Travis wrote shortly before the siege.

"Remember the Alamo!" the rebel remnants in other Texas towns would cry, learning of the martyrdom of their brothers, and their revenge was swift. Six weeks after the rebels fell at San Antonio, Sam Houston's army would destroy the Mexicans' elite forces in a battle that lasted only 18 minutes.

Even the president of Mexico was captured and forced to concede the independence of the Texas Republic, which would turn out to be a short-lived caliphate of foreign-born insurgents.

So this is the fount from which all that Texas bluster and bravado has issued ever since, even as Mexicans in their millions walk back across the desert and build their houses, and new lives.

Up on San Pedro Street, a mile north of the Alamo, the Hillary people have rented a vacant cancer clinic and from there they send out their block walkers and sign wavers and precinct organizers.

I wander inside and am directed to an elegant, older, black-haired woman working the phones -- Dolores Huerta, age 77, 11 times a mother, 20 times arrested, a feminist and Democratic icon, co-founder with the late Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers of America in California in the 1960s. They were the activists who put their lives on the line for the sake of the voiceless Mexicans and Filipinos who pick our lettuce and oranges and grapes.

Now Dolores Huerta is in San Antonio, lobbying for Hillary Clinton. "Our people are very determined," she says. "It's like a shootout in Texas! We're talking about the leader of the free world here.

"In California, everybody and her brother was against her, but she still carried the state. She's had 20 years of working with poor communities. She's walked the picket lines. She's sponsored or co-sponsored more than 20 pieces of legislation to help working people."

Dolores Huerta says that the Latino community's love for Hillary Clinton is the most passionate groundswell of political excitement she has felt since she stood next to Bobby Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in June of 1968, and he embraced her and thanked her for her help in winning the California primary, and then he turned to walk toward the hotel kitchen and the assassin's waiting hand.

"What if she loses?" I ask her. "I am convinced that Obama cannot win in November," Dolores Huerta says. "The press has been selling him and building him up so big, and as soon as he gets the nomination, they'll go after him even bigger. They build people up just so they can tear them down.

"There are a lot of accusations that Latinos won't support Obama because he's African-American. But the real reason is that they just don't know who he is. He hasn't been with the Latino community."

"What did Hillary do wrong?" I ask Dolores Huerta now.

"It's the Obama people who have done wrong," she replies. "In Nevada, the Obama people did everything they could to stop people from voting for Hillary." She launches into a long story about the Nevada caucuses, claiming poor immigrant women working as cleaners at the big hotels on the Strip were threatened with dismissal if they voted for Ms. Clinton, and so on.

I excuse myself to let Dolores Huerta go back to the phones.

"One more thing," she says as I get up. "Please don't write that I used the word 'shootout.' "

The next morning, just after sunrise, five Clinton activists of a certain age are shivering on the corner of Buena Vista and Zarzamora avenues, brandishing "Hillary For President" placards at the rush-hour drivers squinting into the rising sun.

A woman called Gloria P., who doesn't want to give her last name, says she has been provoked into activism by America's anarchic health care system, which she is convinced Hillary Clinton will be able to rectify.

"If you ever go to a hospital," Gloria says, "and you don't have insurance, they charge you more than you pay for a house! It happened to me -- I fell and had a wrist injury and they charged me $35,000 and that's in the state hospital, which is not even one of the good ones."

The story seems legitimate enough -- she has an Ace bandage on her right wrist.

"Doesn't Obama promise free health care as well?" I ask.

"Sure," Gloria says. "He's for this, he's for that -- but he doesn't say how he's going to do it."

"Have you ever done anything like this before?" I wonder.

"I worked for Senator Edward Kennedy," Gloria replies.

"He endorsed Obama," I remind her.

"Yes, I know," she shrugs. "It's very sad."

"What if Hillary loses?" I venture.

"Then she's still going to be in the Senate," Gloria with the bad wrist replies.

"Is it really the government's job to give everybody free health insurance?" I prod her.

"They do it in France!" she says. "In France, if you go to the hospital and you don't have a ride home, they give you $20 for cab fare. Why can't we do that in America?"

While Gloria P. and I are talking and she is waving her cardboard sign and some of the passing drivers are honking their horns in support, a man gets out of a Chevy Aveo and begins bellowing through a bullhorn: "HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT! VOTE FOR HILLARY CLINTON!" and, by the most remarkable of coincidences, it turns out to be my friend Henry Rodriguez, the ex-con.

We decide to grab some huevos rancheros at a place on the west side called Mariposas, a cinder-block cafe the color of orange Fanta where waitresses in micro-skirts, bikini tops and fishnet stockings dance suggestively for the customers, even at 7:30 in the morning.

"The girls aren't all that pretty," Henry says as we walk in, "but you know how men are."

It 's his old stomping ground, the neighborhood where, back in the '60s, you could pay a girl a quarter to dance with you and maybe get lucky for not much more. Or you could get into a gunfight with some dude named Patterson and get only five years in Huntsville because you didn't really mean for him to die.

"We came in here the other day and leafleted the tables," Henry says. "We're talking about a district that is 98% Hispanic and definitely for Hillary."

At this early hour, the tables are filled with a few dozen working men--painters, roofers, day laborers --picking at their $1.25 plates of eggs and chorizo, staring blankly at the picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe, waiting for one of the girls to start dancing.

At last, a young senorita, all in white lace, climbs up to a platform and starts swaying her hips and rubbing her hands over her brassiere and Henry Rodriguez says, "I'm losing my appetite already."

I try to refocus his attention on the campaign, which may well not be at hand much longer, depending on what Texas has to say. "What if you lose?" I ask, trying to cheer him up. "You're still a good Democrat. You'll still campaign for Obama, won't you?"

"I'll be very disappointed if Hillary loses," Henry Rodriguez says. "But I'll have to regroup myself, and I will. I don't know to what degree, but I'll do something. I'm sure it's the same for the people on the other side, if Hillary somehow snatches this out of his jaws.

"I'm fascinated by politics, absolutely fascinated by it. I love taking the heartbeat of the community on the street. That's what it's all about -- taking your fight to the community.

"When I got out of the joint, nobody ever told me, 'You're a convicted felon, you can't vote anymore.' The first thing I did was go register to vote, and I've been voting ever since."

We go back to our eggs and salsa.

"Remember," Henry Rodriguez says. "Any fool can go to prison. It takes a real man to stay out."

Republicans, the Republic, and the Imperial Presidency: Clinton's ...
By Jerry Monaco(Jerry Monaco)
Twelve years after Iran-Contra, the issue of presidential power came up again, only this time Congress actually voted to impeach. This time the president was chief of the Democratic Party and the party of impeachment was the Republican, ...
Shandean Postscripts to Politics,... -

The Bottom Line: These Is Still A Mission; There Is Still A Message and there are still 435 vulnerable members of The House of Representatives! There is work to be done!




Total “It’s The Judiciary Committee Stupid!” On Line Package

Open Letter: “Nancy Pelosi”

Open Letter: ” John Conyers”

Open Letter: “Steny Hoyer”

Open Letter: “Dear Congressmen”

The Bottom Line: These Is Still A Mission; There Is Still A Message and there are still 435 vulnerable members of The House of Representatives!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's so funny, look here Bush don't want even talking to Iran because it keeps dissidents in jail, but that's exactly what Israel does, keeps Arab and Jewish dissidents in jails. Why don't Bush stop talking to Israel?