Progressive Calendar 11.11.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2006 02:01:01 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.11.06

1. Kip/Health care  11.11 9:30am
2. Youth & peace    11.11 10am
3. Health/artists   11.11 10am
4. Salvador/photos  11.11 10am
5. Vs army con job  11.11 10:30am
6. CAMS/vs mil      11.11 10:30am
7. Armistice bells  11.11 10:30am
8. NWpeace vigil    11.11 11am
9. Socialist conf   11.11 11am
10. StP Green Party 11.11 12noon
11. Northtown vigil 11.11 1pm
12. Planning peace  11.11 1pm
13. Kertzer         11.11 2pm
14. Left elections  11.11 3pm
15. Karen Clark     11.11 4pm
16. Picket ShellGas 11.11 5pm
17. Climate change  11.11 6pm
18. Afterwar/recep  11.11 6pm
19. BigBox swindle  11.11 8pm
20. Chante/peace    11.11 7pm
21. AWC new members 11.11 7pm
22. Palestine/film  11.11 7pm

23. Joshua Frank     - Bye-Bye Coke, hello Pepsi: Blue Dog group
24. Robert Rodriguez - No to Bushworld: A thumpin' or a whippin'?
25. Mike Whitney     - Cheney in a box
26. John Chuckman    - Watching the US elections from Canada
27. Robert Jensen    - The 2006 elections and the coming train wreck

--------1 of 27--------

From: Kip Sullivan <kiprs [at]>
Subject: Kip/Health care 11.11 9:30am

November 11, 9:30 to 11:30 am, City Council Chambers, St. Louis Park City
Hall, 5005 Minnetonka Blvd, St Louis Park. The Wayzata/Plymouth League of
Women Voters and District 3 Minnesota Nurses Association are co-sponsoring
this event. Kip Sullivan, on behalf of the Minnesota Universal Health Care
Coalition, will explain the health care crisis and why a single-payer (or
Medicare for all) system is the best solution to the crisis.

--------2 of 27--------

From: Doris G. Marquit <marqu001 [at]>
Subject: Youth & peace 11.11 10am

Minnesota Metro Branch of the
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
invites you to its November 2006  COFFEE WITH Program

"Youth Views on Peace: Report Out from PeaceJam"
with Angie Martinez and Shivani Bhatt

Sat. November 11
10 am to noon
Van Cleve Community Center, 901 15th Ave. SE, Minneapolis

Hear firsthand reports from PeaceJam, an international education program
built around Nobel Peace Laureates who work personally with youth to pass
on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody. Hear from a new generation
of peacemakers who can transform the world!

Sponsored by MN Metro WILPF FFI: 651-458-7090; wilpf [at];;;

--------3 of 27--------

From: joel michael albers <joel [at]>
Subject: Health fair/artists 11.11 10am

MN UHCAN will be tabling at the Health Fair For Uninsured Artists, Nov
11, 2006, 10AM - 2PM (info below).

We will be distributing literature, doing a powerpoint workshop/discussion
on HC Reform, and doing health screenings, (including total-cholesterol,
glucose, and blood pressure) for about $10. We need 1 or 2 people to help
table and w/ health screenings.  We especially need a health practitioner
who has experience w/ fingersticks to help w/ blooddraws from which to do
the screenings. If you can help, and it will be fun, let me know very
soon. A lot of artistes are expected to attend. thanks, joel

Health Fair for Artists
Basic Information

Our Health Fair is intended for uninsured and under-insured artists and
their families as well as arts organizations looking to explore heath
insurance options for their employees. Our Health Fair will feature
resources and information about programs offered by low-cost providers of
medical, dental insurance and health and wellness care.

The event is sponsored by Springboard for the Arts and Intermedia Arts.
Our media sponsors are City Pages and Drive 105 Radio. We expect 300-500
artists and their families to attend.

November 11, 2006 10:00am-2:00pm

The event takes place at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Avenue South in
Minneapolis and is FREE of charge to all attendees, but reservations are

Joel Albers Minnesota Universal Health Care Action Network 612-384-0973
joel [at] Health Care Economics Researcher,
Clinical Pharmacist

--------4 of 27--------

From: Mary Turck <mturck [at]>
Subject: Salvador/photos 11.11 10am

Saturday, November 11 El Salvador: Photography's Power to Heal - featuring
Laurie McGinley and Terry Gydesen. War ended in El Salvador in 1992 but
the wounds of war are still fresh today. Long after the bombs stopped
echoing there is destruction of spirit that is caused by the fear and pain
that war created in the Salvadoran people. Come hear how El Museo de la
Palabra y la Imagen uses photographs to create community forums where
remembrance, healing and reconciliation are encouraged, and how you can
help Salvadorans heal for less than the cost of lunch. [Part of weekly
coffee hour series, with a talk by a featured speaker and discussion.
Saturdays, 10-11:30 a.m. $4 includes first cup of coffee. Resource Center
of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis 55406 FFI: 612-276-0788]

Friday, November 17, 6 p.m. Opening Reception-Rites of Passing Works by
Aaron Johnson-Ortiz. Artist's statement: "My current work explores
surveillance and resistance. The artwork is informed by several pressing
concerns: racial profiling in public spaces, the theatricality of war news
coverage, the warmongering rhetoric of 'terrorism,' and the growing
corporate and governmental scrutiny in search engines and online networks.
My Passing Series is composed of movie stills from Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966
film 'The Battle of Algiers,' interpolated with my own photographs. The
carefully selected stills present my fictitious autobiography. The film
took on new political meaning in 2003 when the Pentagon screened the film
to military officers to discuss insurgency and counterinsurgency tactics
in Iraq." Lower level gallery, Resource Center of the Americas, 3019
Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis. October 25-December 1. FREE NOCHE CULTURAL.
6 p.m. Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis
55406 FFI: 612-276-0788.

--------5 of 27--------

From: "Murphy, Cathy" <CMurphy [at]>
Subject: Vs army con job 11.11 10:30am    [ed head]

Army opening "Career Center" in Knollwood Mall
Knollwood is a community meeting place. Our kids spend time there,
sometimes alone or with friends. Army recruiters, who are increasingly
desperate, aggressively target them, using lies & coercive tactics.

What can we do about it?

ProtectAction is a group of local folks working to protect our kids. You
can help.

Raise awareness in the community:
Join us - Every Saturday  -  10:30 a.m.
Meet under the large Knollwood Mall sign (Hwy7 & Aquila), where we put
on white shirts with ProtectAction on the back.
We walk into the mall via several entrances and meet at the recruiting
center, each carrying a sign with the name of a Minnesotan killed in
Iraq or Afghanistan since 2003 (49 so far)
We stand briefly in front of the recruiting center and then depart
(total time commitment = 20 minutes) <>

--------6 of 27--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: CAMS/vs mil 11.11 10:30am

Saturday, 11/11,  (and 2nd Saturday of each month), 10:30 am, Coalition for
Alternatives to Military Service (or CAMS, a counter-recruitment group)
meets at Twin Cities Friends Meeting, 1725 Grand, St. Paul.  Contact Mary at
wamm [at]

--------7 of 27--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Armistice bells 11.11 10:30am

Saturday, 11/11, 10:30 to noon, Veterans for Peace bell-ringing program for
Armistice Day at First Shot Memorial, Capitol grounds, St. Paul.  Wayne
Wittman at 651-774-4008.

--------8 of 27--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWpeace/vigil 11.11 11am

The NW Neighbors for Peace

On Saturday, November 11th, we will begin having our weekly demonstrations
every Saturday between 11 AM and noon along Vinewood, near Rockford Rd.
(also known as 42nd Avenue or Cty. Rd. 9) and just east of 494.  This is
the entrance to Target, Rainbow, and other stores.

--------9 of 27--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Socialist conf 11.11 11am

Socialist Minnesota - Conference to Confront Capitalism

Saturday, November 11
11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Walker (Uptown) Library, Meeting Room
2880 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

Organized by Socialist Alternative <> /
Complete conference schedule below

With each passing year, global capitalism is lurching deeper into crisis.
Poverty and exploitation, war and violence, environmental disasters -
these are just a few of the headlines defining the lives of a growing
majority of humanity.

As elsewhere, here in Minnesota the CEOs are making record profits - the
result of growing attacks on working peoples' living standards and the
social programs we rely on like public education and public health.

But as Karl March explained over 150 years ago, capitalism creates its own
gravediggers. A new wave of mass revolt is sweeping the globe, from
Lebanon to Mexico, France to Chile, and even here in Minnesota. We cannot
forget that the largest demonstration in Minnesota history took place last
April 9th, when 40,000 immigrant workers descended on the Capitol to
demand their rights.

"Socialist Minnesota - A Conference to Confront Capitalism" will be an
opportunity for local worker and youth activists to come together, discuss
some of the pressing issues of the day, and develop ideas to organize an
effective fight-back!

11am: Coffee and Bagel breakfast


11:30am - 12:45pm
The End of the American Dream
Growing class divisions and perspectives for mass struggle
 Recent reports show that the class divide in America is growing while
social mobility is declining. What does this mean for working people in
the US? Does this mean that the American Dream is over? Will this lead to
mass struggle?
 Speaker: Bryan Koulouris, national organizer for Socialist Alternative,
from Boston

1:00pm - 2:00pm
Four Breakout Workshops
   1. The War on Terror
   2. Employed and in Poverty
   3. Mexico Rising
   4. Abortion Rights Under Attack
(---See below for workshop details---)

3:00pm - 4:20pm
DEBATE: Left electoral strategy
 Should we support progressive Democrats like Keith Ellison or
struggle to build a political alternative?
 Between Ed Felien, editor of The Pulse, and Ty Moore from Socialist
 Between the war in Iraq, attacks on civil liberties and the ideological
offensive of the Neo-cons, many people on the left are asking themselves:
Even though we don't like the two-party system, should we vote for left
Democrats in order to stop the Republicans?

4:30pm - 5:45pm
Reform or Revolution?
 How can we ultimately end war, poverty, sexism and racism? Is socialism
possible in the United States? Can we introduce socialism little by little
through smaller reforms? Or is it necessary to confront capitalism
 Speaker: Katie Quarles, University of Minnesota School of Nursing student

1:00pm - 2:00pm
Four Breakout Sessions

1. The War on Terror
   Five years of deception and slaughter Five years ago, Bush and the
Neo-cons took advantage of the tragedy of September 11th to launch their
'war on terror' - which they have used to attack civil liberties, gain
access to oil and to attack regimes who are less friendly to US
imperialism. In that time, they have managed to, among other things, get
over 2,500 US troops killed in Iraq and bring that country to the brink of
civil war. Can the attacks on our civil liberties and the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan be stopped? What are the next steps for the anti-war movement?
 Facilitated by Theodros Shibabaw & Brandon Madsen*

2. Employed and in Poverty
   Organizing a fight-back in the low wage service sector* 36% of all
workers in the US are employed in the retail or service sector. These jobs
are amongst the lowest paid in the country. Most of these workplaces will
stop at nothing to keep their shops from being unionized. Is there any way
to organize the low-wage sector? What kind of tactics are necessary?
 Facilitated by Canyon Lalama & Sheryl Raygor

3. Mexico rising
 Lessons from the unfolding revolution The past months have seen mass
protests against rigged elections, and a huge strike that has taken over
much of Oaxaca, which was recently attacked by federal troops. Will these
mass movements continue? Will they be successful?
 Facilitated by Ryan Timlin & others

4. Abortion Rights Under Attack
 Strategies for revitalizing the resistance
 The recent attacks on women's right to choose in South Dakota have
brought the struggle to defend abortion rights to the forefront. How can
we stop these kinds of attacks and the eroding away of the right to
 Facilitated by Katie Quarles & Laura Madsen

FOR MORE INFORMATION on Socialist Alternative, or to find out about our
local meetings and campaign activities, contact us at:
mn [at] <mailto:mn [at]>

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LINKS Socialist Alternative's national website
is: <> We
are linked to socialists around the world through the Committee for a
Workers' International:

--------10 of 27--------

From: ed
Subject: StP Green Party 11.11 12noon

All people interested in finding out more about the Green Party of St. Paul
are invited to:

Our monthly meeting
Mississippi Market, 2nd floor
Corner of Selby/Dale in St. Paul
noon until 2 pm

--------11 of 27--------

From: Lennie <major18 [at]>
Subject: Northtown vigil 11.11 1pm

The Mounds View peace vigil will be peace vigiling EVERY SATURDAY from
1-2pm at the at the southeast corner of the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and
University Ave NE in Blaine, which is the northwest most corner of the
Northtown Mall area. This is a MUCH better location.

We'll have extra signs.  Communities situated near the Northtown Mall
include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden
Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids.

For further information, email major18 [at] or call Lennie at

--------12 of 27--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Planning peace 11.11 1pm

Saturday, 11/11, 1 to 4 pm, Peace First think tank session "Planning the
Peace," Friends for a Non-violent World, 1050 Selby Ave, St Paul.

--------13 of 27--------

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at]>
Subject: Kertzer 11.11 2pm

A Conversation with David Kertzer
Saturday, November 11, 2:00 p.m.
Nolte Library -- room 125
Moderator: Paula Rabinowitz
East Bank Campus next to Bell Museum of Natural History
Parking at nearby lots

Please join us for an informal conversation with historian and
anthropologist David Kertzer. Kertzer's 1997 book "The Kidnapping of
Edgardo Mortara" has been made into the play "Edgardo Mine" by Alfred
Uhry, which opens at the Guthrie Theater on November 10. David I. Kertzer
is Provost and Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science at
Brown University.

--------14 of 27--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Left elections 11.11 3pm

[See #9 above for the socialist conference of which this is a part -ed]

Left  Electoral Strategy
Should the left support progressive Democrats
or struggle to build a political  alternative?

Ed  Felien, editor of The Pulse, and
Ty  Moore from Socialist Alternative

SATURDAY, November 11 3:00pm Walker (Uptown)  Library, Meeting Room 2880
Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

This debate is one highlight of a day-long conference put on by Socialist
Alternative. For more information on "Socialist Minnesota - A Conference
to Confront Capitalism" check out _www.SocialistMinnesota.org_

Left Electoral Strategy
Is Transforming the  Democrats Possible?
By Ty Moore

This Saturday, at the Socialist Minnesota Conference, The Pulse editor Ed
Felien has graciously accepted our invitation to bring his experience and
ideas into a debate on left electoral strategy. And to initiate the
discussion, Ed invited me to summarize in this week's edition of The Pulse
a socialist perspective on the elections and the role of the Democratic

For us, the central question is this: Is it possible to transform the
corporate controlled Democratic Party into a vehicle for peace and
justice, or should we struggle to build a working class political
alternative?  The entire history of attempts to transform the Democrats
shows that, far from transforming the Party, the social movements that
have made the attempt find themselves transformed into weak hollow shell
organizations, their activist bases embittered and demoralized by the
endless compromises and betrayals this "sensible" strategy always entails.

[It ends with us being insensible, emotionally and mentally dead, deaf,
blind, mute, castrated. Just what the bosses ordered. I flip the bird to
the bosses. -ed]

In this light, we think the approach advocated in The Pulse - supporting
left Democrats like Keith Ellison or the so-called "populist" Mike Hatch
(alongside Greens in mostly uncompetitive races) - points in the wrong
direction.  After all, why would big business give Democrats their
millions when the Republicans will more nakedly pursue their agenda?
Because corporate America understands that their imperialist agenda abroad
and war on workers at home inevitably stirs up rebellion. They need the
Democrats to contain and manage working class anger, providing a safety

For example, in 2004 Kucinich and Dean rallied the strength of the antiwar
movement behind them. But when the corporate media and Democratic
leadership predictably crushed their campaigns in the primaries, they
dutifully rallied the ranks behind John "The War Hero" Kerry's miserable
"challenge" to Bush.  Noble intentions aside, what is the actual role of
left Democrats like Keith Ellison, Dennis Kucinich, or Howard Dean?
Through raising the utopian prospect of transforming the Party, they use
their influence to draw social movements into the safe channels of the
corporate controlled two-party system.  When the 2008 election rolls
around, will Keith Ellison use his political influence and access to the
media to help us mobilize mass antiwar demonstrations calling for troops
out now? Or will he dutifully back Hillary Clinton's pro-war campaign?

Instead of following these left Democrats into the dead-end trap of
corporate politics, we should urge them to join the growing struggle to
build a political alternative, consistently standing up for working class
interests, in this country and internationally.

[If Kucinich had not buckled to the pro-war Dem bosses, they would have
cut all support for his next election, and financed an opponent. I'm sure
he knew that; I knew it when he was campaigning. It is elementary politics
101. Ellison has to know it too. Be for Hillary (war, PAC $$$) or be
ruthlessly brought down. Dem bosses don't mess around, and they don't
allow alternatives. You do what you're told, or else.  Ellison could
reject Hillary et al only at the price of being a one-term Representative.
I doubt he will choose that path. So he has, really, no freedom not to
back Hillary. No wannabe-reelected Dem does. Long knives will be out for
rebel Dems; examples will be made - you just don't do this, see, and we're
the boss not you. The DP is one-half of the bipartisan grave of peace.

--------15 of 27--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Karen Clark 11.11 4pm

Saturday, 11/11, 4 to 5:15 pm, MN Rep. Karen Clark reflects on "Harvest of
Gratitude" at 11th day prayer for peace, Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet,
Presentation Chapel, 1880 Randolph Ave. St Paul. or

--------16 of 27--------

From: Mike Whelan <mpw4883 [at]>
Subject: Picket ShellGas 11.11 5pm

We will picket the Shell station on 94 and Riverside on Saturdat Nov 11,
from 5 PM to 6PM--Bring banners and friends.

November 10th is the anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and
eight other Ogoni anti-Shell activists by the Nigerian state for
campaigning against the devastation of the Niger Delta by oil companies,
especially Shell and Chevron.

The production, transportation and processing of oil and gas has polluted
many parts of the world. Tanker spills, refinery emissions, gas flares,
oil well blow-outs, and pipeline explosions have spilled highly toxic
fluids and gases into the atmosphere, across land and into rivers and
oceans around the world.

Many people who live in countries where the big energy companies operate
have seen the land despoiled, their neighbours imprisoned, their
governments corrupted. In our own country we are currently witnessing the
conflict between Shell and the peaceful residents of Erris in north Mayo.
Last year my father was one of the five men imprisoned in high-security
conditions for more than three months in Cloverhill Prison, because they
refused to undertake not to protest against Shell.

This year, on November 10th, people from around the country are asked to
join in a peaceful mass protest to stop Shell contractors from getting
into and working on the site of the giant raw gas refinery that they seek
to impose on the people of Mayo. We ask people to show solidarity with the
residents of Erris, and commemorate Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni Eight through
peaceful direct action. We also wish to bring to national attention the
appalling situation whereby the natural resources of Ireland are being
given away to multi-national companies, with no benefit to the people of

The following is a quote from Saro-Wiwa at Port Harcourt prison on the eve
of his death by hanging: "I'll tell you this, I may be dead but my ideas
will not die".

--------17 of 27--------

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at]>
Subject: Climate change 11.11 6pm

Saturday, November 11, 6:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers 3038 Hennepin
Ave. South Minneapolis. 612-822-4611

Robert Henson discusses "The Rough Guide to Climate Change"

The Rough Guide to Climate Change is a complete, unbiased guide to one of
the most pressing problems facing humanity. From the current situation and
background science to the government sceptics and possible solutions, this
book covers the whole subject. The guide looks at:
 Visible symptoms of change from a warming planet
 How global warming works
 The evolution of our atmosphere over the last 4.5 billion years
 What computer simulations of climate reveal about our past, present, and
 The sceptics: Who are they? What are their grounds for disagreeing with
the crowd?
 Battle of the titans: The oil industry vs. the global commons
 Global warming in the media: A review of the last few decades
 Global solutions: What governments and scientists are doing to try and
solve the problem
 Plus much, more

The guide also includes lifestyle advice and tips for consumers who want
to make a difference in tomorrow's climate, and comes complete with a
glossary of websites for further information.

For further info: David Unowsky 612-822-4611 davidu [at]

--------18 of 27--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Afterwar/recep 11.11 6pm

November events at MN CENTER for PHOTOGRAPHY include the opening of
AFTERWAR: Veterans from a World in Conflict by Lori Grinker, with several
surrounding events and workshops

AFTERWAR: Veterans from a World in Conflict
Exhibit Dates: November 4, 2006-January 7, 2007
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 11, 6-9pm.

Lori Grinker's AFTERWAR: Veterans from a World in Conflict is a 15-year
project of photographs and interviews, documenting the physical and
psychological wounds of frontline war veterans, from World War I to the
present-day war in Iraq.  Grinker's photographs transcend the personal
tragedy of these individuals to become something universally symbolic
and understood.  This tour de force chronicles the scars left on people
around the world as a result of armed combat.  In the past century, over
100 million people have died in over 150 conflicts, in places as
globally prominent as Germany, and as remote as the Falkland Islands.

--------19 of 27--------

To: MGCC [at]
Subject: BigBox swindle 11.11 8pm

Stacy Mitchell
Presentation of new book
Macalester College Chapel
Saturday, November 11, 2006

Please join the Metro Independent Business Alliance (MetroIBA) this
Saturday night, November 11th, to hear Stacy Mitchell discuss her new
book, "Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for
America's Independent Businesses."  Ms. Mitchell's research not only tells
of the rise of chain stores, the demise of local businesses and the
affects of these on the local economies but also what citizens are doing
to reclaim their local retail community.

Ms. Mitchell will begin her talk at 7 p.m., which will be followed by a
question and answer period.  There will then be a reception, books for
sale and time for book signing.  The event takes place at the Macalester
College Chapel, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

See these sites for further information: <> <>

--------20 of 27--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Chante/peace 11.11 7pm

Saturday, 11/11, 7 pm, photographer Chante Wolf describes her transformation
from Air Force warrior to Veteran for Peace, St Martin's Table, 2001
Riverside Ave, Mpls.  lhowell [at]

--------21 of 27--------

From: Jess Sundin <jess [at]>
Subject: AWC new members 11.11 7pm

AWC New Members Meeting

Thursday 11/11 @ 7pm @ 1313 5th St SE, Rm 102A, Mpls
We meet every week to organize events and actions to oppose the war in
Iraq, and US intervention around the world. New members are welcome
everyday, but this week's meeting is planned with you in mind!

--------22 of 27--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Palestine/film 11.11 7pm

Movies @ Mayday: "I Know That I'm Not Alone"
SAT NOV.11, 7pm:
Mayday Bookstore (301 Cedar Ave., West Bank, Minneapolis)

"I Know I'm Not Alone"
debut film from SPEARHEAD's Micheal Franti
a journey to Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Territories of Palestine with
a guitar and a camera crew
$5 All goes to Youth Against War & Racism/YAWR who do counter-military
recruitment in TC high schools

Michael Franti: Spearhead singer/songwriter goes global
by Lydia Howell
PULSE, Grassroots Alternative Newspaper of the Twin Cities
October 25, 2006

Contact the store directly at 612-333-4719, or email us at
coreymattson [at]

--------23 of 27--------

Bye-Bye Coke, Hello Pepsi
Blue Dog Group
November 10, 2006

It's going to take a little time to get used to it. The Republicans will
no longer control Congress come January. Voters on November 7 stormed the
polls to denounce the Bush administration's scandal-laden entourage and
the occupation of Iraq. One by one they went down. Even so, the defeat of
the neo-cons certainly doesn't mean Republican values are on the skids.

You would guess that with the massive anti-Bush uproar the Democrats would
now possess a progressive mandate to reshape the corruption that engulfs
Washington. But you'd be wrong. Many of the Republicans' substitutes are
anti-choice, pro-war, socially conservative centrists. Of the newly
elected House Democrats at least 9 will be joining the conservative Blue
Dog caucus. According to the coalition's spokesperson Vicky Walling, the
organization had endorsed 16 new candidates this year.

The difference between the Democratic Leadership Council liberals and the
Blue Dogs is marginal. Whereas New Democrats tend to be socially liberal,
Blue Dogs maintain traditionally conservative ideals. They may oppose free
trade but the majority, like the DLC patrons, voted to limit access to
bankruptcy protection and see social programs as expendable in the quest
to balance budgets.

Of the 37 current Blue Dogs in Congress, 36 were reelected with the
exception of Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee. Not one had opposed the
invasion of Iraq. All supported the Bush tax cuts as well as the wall
along the border of Mexico. None support impeachment. All support Israel
unequivocally, and if Bush moves ahead with a military intervention in
Iran, they'll all be on board.

Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had
chosen 22 pro-war candidates to run this election season in open districts
or against Republican incumbents, 9 of which were victorious. Of the 9
winners, 4 are Blue Dogs: Brad Ellsworth (IN), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY),
Baron Hill (IN), and Heath Shuler (NC).

That means of the 29 new Democratic Representatives, 13 are staunchly
pro-war. Of the rest, only a handful hold moderately decent positions on
US foreign policy, yet the small group will continue to remain a minority
within their party. Not surprisingly, none feel our relationship with
Israel should be altered. Clearly, that is the direction the Democratic
leadership in Washington is looking for in its candidates.

The Blue Dog caucus will no longer have minority status in the House, and
will bump their numbers to at least 45 next year. If Christine Jennings
wins her recount in Florida that total could reach 46. To put this in
perspective, the Blue Dogs are on their way to being on par with DLC's
strength in the House and could outnumber the Black Caucus. The Blue Dogs
will soon make up at least 20% of the Democrats in the House of

The future looks bleak for progressives in the Senate as well. Of the 6
new Democrats who won Senate races, none plan on challenging the Bush
administration's war on terror. Aside from Jon Tester of Montana who
supports Murtha's call for redeployment, virtually every new Democratic
Senator-Elect opposes a timetable for troop withdrawal and believes the
Bush administration, not the Democrats, should come up with an alternative
course for Iraq.

Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island was quoted in October 2005 by the Brown
Daily Herald as saying, "[by] disclosing an exit strategy ... US leaders
would be compromising troops' safety." Senator-Elect Jim Webb of Virginia,
who served as Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, "opposes a timetable for
withdrawal." Democrat Bob Casey, who knocked off Sen. Rick Santorum in
Pennsylvania, does not support a timetable to get troops out of Iraq. And
while Sherrod Brown of Ohio supports a timetable for Iraq, he believes
Bush should put more pressure on Iran, noting that while we've been
occupying Baghdad, Iran has "gained ground in their effort to posses
weapons of mass destruction." And if you think Vermont's big Bernie
Sanders has what it takes, don't forget he supported the bombing of

Every new Democratic Senator-Elect also supported Israel's invasion of

>From the Blue Dog take over of the House to the Democratic saturation of
the Senate, Election Day 2006 may have brought change to Washington. Sadly
it was only in name, not in policy.

Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George
W. Bush, and edits

--------24 of 27--------

No to Bushworld
A Thumpin' or a Whippin'?
November 10, 2006

The people have spoken. They have voted a resounding no to Bushworld.
Translated, this means: No to the Iraq war. No to a United States of Fear.
No to corruption, and, Yes to the U.S. Constitution.

In Bushworld, however, the president's faith and delusion have not been
shaken: His take on the election is that now that Democrats are in control
of Congress, their primary responsibility is to say yes to his thoroughly
discredited agenda. This means yes to his Iraq war, yes to his war on
terror, yes to his fear-mongering and yes to allow him to continue his
policy of disregarding the law.

It comes as no surprise that many equally deluded conservative talking
heads and Republican operatives not only agree with the president's
interpretation, but all of a sudden find themselves empowered to lecture
majority Democrats as to how they must govern. They must avoid hearings
and investigations of the administration, steer to the middle, which in
conservative lingo means moving toward Bushworld and on some issues, such
as immigration, move to the fanatical right of the president.

What's mind-boggling, is that some Democrats (New House Speaker, Nancy
Pelosi & Rahm Emmanuel of the Democratic National Campaign Committee)
actually are signaling agreement with this advice. Most amazingly, they
have already stated that impeachment hearings are "off the table."
(Perhaps they have not read John Nichol's book: The Genius of

Maybe this is what is meant when analysts say that politicians are out of
touch with the people. The thumpin' the president and the Republican Party
suffered means a total rejection of Bushworld. Perhaps an interpretation
of this whippin' requires elaboration.

A no to Bushwold also means no to:

o the Bush war doctrine: This 2002 illegal and dangerous doctrine calls
for preemptive and permanent worldwide "w on terror" that ensures U.S.
world domination.

o unilateralism. This means rejecting the Bush policy of ignoring
international treaties & obligations and ignoring the rest of the world in
making decisions that affect the entire world. This includes a no to the
president's desire to employ smaller tactical nuclear weapons.

o an imperial presidency. This has led to the illegal usurpation of power
and excessive secrecy.

o one party rule. This is what has led to both to a rubber-stamp Congress,
but also to unbridled corruption.

o tax breaks and the subsidizing of the military-industrial complex and
global corporations.

o the exemption of global corporations from health, labor, environmental
and safety regulations

o the blurring of church & state.

o the rejection of science, particularly in matters relating to our
fragile environment.

o scapegoat politics. Blaming illegal aliens became the failed Republican
strategy of "energizing" the base.

o the demonization of one's opponents. The president created the
discredited "Either you're with us or against us" politics which he has
used both at home and abroad.

It also means yes to:

o adhering to the International War Crimes Tribunal, ensuring that no one
is above the law and that there is no refuge for war criminals.

o governmental checks and balances. This is what a rubber-stamp Congress
has failed to provide the past 6 years.

o tax relief for those that actually need it (as opposed to tax breaks for
the super-rich). Incidentally, the Iraq war is proving to be the "Mother
of all taxes" upon the people, with some analysts estimating a cost of 2
trillion dollars.

o fair-minded justices.

o a raise in the minimum wage (and hopefully leading to a living wage).

o affordable universal health care.

o a genuine solution to the issue of immigration - without the
demonization of the hardest working sector of society.

All this is a complete rejection of Bushworld. It's true that Donald
Rumsfeld as head of the Defense Department has already been given the
boot, but former CIA director, Robert Gates, of Iran-Contra notoriety,
will be charged with continuing the president's failed war policies.

It bears repeating. The will of the people, via this election, is a clamor
not simply for heads to roll (such as UN ambassador, John Bolton), but
more importantly, for policies to change. Indeed, Congress must focus on
finding solutions - on undoing all the damage this administration has
wrought upon the world. Yet, to preemptively take hearings and
investigations off the table is to essentially abscond from one of its
primary responsibilities and to essentially get free Congressional passes
back into Bushworld.

Roberto Rodriguez can be reached at: XColumn [at]

--------25 of 27-------

Cheney in a Box
By Mike Whitney
11/10/06 "Information Clearing House"

It was the worst outcome imaginable.

They lost the House and the Senate in one night with one savage blow. Even
the Confederate flag at Senator "Macakaw's" house was flying at half-mast.
Suddenly the Reich that was "built to last a thousand years" had been
reduced to small blocks of dusty-rubble extending from sea to shining sea.
At the very epicenter of the twisted-iron and smoldering wreckage; was
George W. Bush, President Hologram, the celluloid executive whose smirking
puss had appeared daily on every American TV and in every American
newspaper spreading the "good news" of domestic repression and nonstop
war. Now, here he was, once again, convening a news conference, dazed and
ashen, propped up amid the scattered debris of a midterm massacre; his
party left in utter ruins.


In a moment worthy of Shakespeare, the Fraudster-in-chief had been
scuttled by his own party; knifed in the back by his own friends and
family who knew that it was finally time to extract the drunken driver
from behind the wheel of a Mack Truck.

The Democrats didn't win anything; that's all hogwash. Bush was buried
beneath an avalanche of bad news which was timed to begin with the release
of Bob Woodward's book "State of Denial", followed by the National
Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Lancet's Iraqi casualty report, the Mark
Foley page fiasco, and a barrage of ethics-scandals, corruption
investigations, and intensified coverage of the war. It was a
carefully-coordinated coup intended to install "adults" (like Robert
Gates) in positions of power, change the policy in Iraq, and remove
Rumsfeld and Cheney from office.

One down; one to go.

The "vanilla" Democrats had nothing to do with Tuesday's results. It was a
"planned demolition" from the get-go.

Robert Dreyfuss said it best in a recent article when he opined that Bush
was handled in the same way "a family confronts an alcoholic. You bring
everyone in, and you say, 'Look, my friend, it's time to change.'" (And
then you remove the bad influences)

Elite powerbrokers and Republican Party kingpins extended their hoary grip
all the way into the Oval Office and took the country back from the
teenagers. But the boulder is still only half way up the hill. After all,
what are their plans for Cheney?

Cheney wisely decided to go hunting when he discovered that friend
Rumsfeld was being led to the gallows. Cheney's no fool. He knew that
if he hung around, he'd be blamed as the co-conspirator of the Iraqi
debacle and the subsequent destruction of the Republican Party.

So he did what Cheney always does; he skedaddled. He suddenly discovered
that he "had more important things to do"; just like Vietnam.

He said he was going hunting, but that's rubbish. He wanted to be as
far from the political fallout as humanly possible, so he vamoosed.
There's nothing more to it than that. Besides, there've been no
reports of "downed lawyers full of birdshot" this week in Wyoming so
we know that Cheney's firearms are still safely tucked-away in the
family vault.

Right now, Cheney is probably huddled somewhere with his national
security team, rubbing his sweaty-hands together, figuring out how he
can get back in the game and keep his fetid plan moving forward.

Cheney is smart; real smart. Smart like a cobra. He's not going down
without a fight and he doesn't give a damn if he takes the whole
country with him.

This is all about Cheney now; Dick Cheney, political survivor and
skilled bureaucratic infighter. If anyone thinks that he's going to
sit around waiting for the Democrats to start sniffing around the
Republican corruption-cesspool; they're crazy.

He knows what's going on. He knows that Bush Senior, and Brzezinski,
and Baker, and the rest of the "old order" Republicans have muscled
in and are taking over. He knows he won't be able to bomb Iran, kill
another 650,000 Iraqis, or declare martial law at home. And, he also
knows that Conyers and the rest of them will be nosing-around the
Halliburton "no bid" contracts; going through every sordid detail
with a fine-tooth comb, and dredging up new scandals on a daily basis.

He grasps all of that. He understands the political climate and he
knows that he only has two choices left; offense or defense?

Either he steps down or he collects his wits, gets his team together;
Addington, Abrams, Chertoff, Gonzales etc; all the guys who are "one step
ahead of the hangman"; and slaps together one "last-ditch" effort to
establish absolute-dictatorial power that will put him forever beyond the
reach of the law or of any future accountability for his war crimes.

It's a tough task. Bush is teetering and he's probably left the
Cheney-Rumsfeld orbit already. Robert Gates' job is to influence Bush, to
win him over with reason and, thus, move the country away from the brink
of disaster. Cheney has been removed from the policy- making apparatus and
he knows it.

So, what'll he do next?

What will Cheney do now that he's been backed into a corner and his power
is oozing away like the blood from a sucking chest-wound?

Will he quietly retire and disappear into the political vapor or
"lock-n-load" and go down with both guns blazing?

Here's a clue: Cheney is "dead-ender". He won't go peacefully.

--------26 of 27--------

Watching the US Elections from Canada
As I Lay Dying
November 9

Sadly, little coming from America's politics can fire my enthusiasm.
During my lifetime, America has busied itself with the task of burying
liberalism, reminding one of October's frenetic squirrels hunting and
burying acorns.

The nation is pretty much at ease with ugly imperial government.
Liberalism, and I mean liberalism in the broadest, richest sense of the
word, is a topic of bathroom humor.

We read and hear a great deal about the Democrats' sizable victory in
mid-term elections, and I suppose after six years of Bush's near-insanity,
people have a right to a little excitement, although one is sobered by the
recollection that the same people returned him to office just two years
ago. At least, the world can be grateful that Bush has been hobbled for
his last two years.

The Democratic Party has been all but dead for years as a meaningful
national alternative. The party has no recognized national leader. It has
no cause, no fire in the belly. It has been largely silent for six years
while Bush rampaged through the world and literally peed on American
liberties like a grotesquely-smirking, small-town sheriff. No President in
history has shown so little respect for human rights, and with so little
excuse, yet all the would-be defenders of the Republic, whether
Congressmen or the Don't-Tread-on-Me crowd, have been no where to be seen.
And Democrats like Lieberman or Kerry can hardly be distinguished from

The Democrats have been elected because Americans are now sick of Iraq.
Their enthusiasms die quickly. American expectations for the wars they
start are perfectly captured by the image of Bush landing on an aircraft
carrier with a big banner behind him saying Mission Accomplished. It's a
blockbuster version of the Homecoming Game with guys in uniforms and
cheerleaders and flags, and there is no hint of death or decay. Anything
beyond that kind of performance is welcomed like the kid who couldn't make
the team.

I doubt there is widespread concern that Iraqis still huddle in homes with
no reliable electricity or clean water, no jobs, and fearful to step into
murderous streets. I doubt there is much guilt over having killed half a
million of them. I doubt there is guilt about running a secret gulag and
torturing helpless captives. I doubt there is guilt about blood-spattered
holes like Abu Ghraib. Because if there were such guilt, there would have
been a revolt against Bush's criminal government.

The American tendency to quickly tire of things is mightily reinforced by
the depressing consciousness of having lost. Americans are conditioned in
the great booming engine of Social Darwinism they call society that there
is no substitute for winning, and winning in a chest-thumping way. Losing
is for losers, and loser is a favorite American expression of contempt for
others. They hate losing, and yet the simple fact is that many of the
conflicts into which they thoughtlessly are led end up lost.

I am sure Americans are tired of images and commentary about Iraq on
television, tame as they have been deliberately kept. They're tired of
knowing that cute little Steve and Susie graduating high school this year
can't just join up to have their college paid and be heroes in uniform
without risking their health.

The greatest horror Bush has inflicted on humanity, the suppurating body
of Iraq, is unlikely to be attended by Democrats. They want the White
House in two years, and they do not want to be left holding Bush's
"tarbaby." Instead, they will scrutinize and highlight every twist and
turn of Bush's bumbling, murderous efforts as he struggles to leave Iraq.
American politics are just that brutal. No wonder there are so many wars.

John Chuckman lives in Ontario.

--------27 of 27--------

The 2006 Elections and the Coming Train Wreck
Blood on the Tracks
November 9, 2006

As I stood in line for coffee on the morning after election night, a
Democratic Party supporter ahead of me in line said, "Thank God this
country is finally switching trains."

If only that were true.

On Election Day 2006, the U.S. public didn't switch trains but simply
ratified a different group of conductors.

It's the same old train, on the same tracks, heading in the same

This isn't an argument that there are never any meaningful differences
between politicians; sometimes it does matter who is giving the orders on
the train. But on this day after the morning-after, it's crucial for those
with a critical perspective to highlight that this train -- contemporary
U.S. society -- is barreling forward toward disaster, no matter who's
punching tickets.

Here's the unavoidable reality: Our train is on an unsustainable course in
cultural, political, economic, and ecological terms. In a predatory
corporate capitalist economy in an imperial state -- a system that values
the concentration of wealth and power, and devalues people -- certain
things are inevitable:

--Our deepest values concerning justice and solidarity will be undermined
by the anti-human values of capitalism and empire.

--Truly democratic politics, in which ordinary people have a meaningful
role, will be subverted by the concentration of wealth.

--An increasingly fragile economy mired in self-indulgent deficit and
debt, with an artificially inflated currency, will start to collapse when
our military and political power are unable to keep the rest of the world
in line.

--The ability of a finite planet to sustain life as we know it will
diminish dramatically in a system based on fantasies of unlimited growth
marked by the glorification of domination.

The train moves forward, as the vast majority of Democrats and virtually
all Republicans avoid these realities. Where can such a train take us?
Pick your metaphor.

--It could be that the train tracks end at a cliff, or

--it might be that the train is heading for a brick wall, or

--perhaps the train will derail along the way, or

--maybe the tracks will simply end abruptly and the train will run into
the ground.

If we don't take radical action relatively soon, every ending we can
imagine is likely to be brutal and violent, deadly not only for most of
the world's population but also for the non-human world. This isn't
irrational apocalypticism but a rational approach to the evidence in front
of us. No one can predict how this will play out, but it will most
certainly play out ugly unless we change the trajectory.

Many who would agree in some fashion with such an assessment will say,
"Yes, but at least electing Democrats might slow down the train." With a
reactionary right-wing Republican Party in total control, the train is
hurtling forward at 100 miles per hour, according to this position, but
with Democrats in charge the train might slow down to 90 miles per hour.

Theoretically they could, though I hear little coming from Democratic
Party leaders that suggests they will pursue policies that will
significantly turn from an unsustainable capitalism or a profoundly
immoral empire. Instead, they talk of different strategies and tactics for
managing those systems.

But, for the sake of argument, let's assume that Democratic Party rule
could slow down the train and buy us more time. If nothing is done to
change the direction of the train, the end remains the same. So, the
important question is, what can we do with that time -- not off in an
abstract future, but now?

The small amount of time we might gain will be meaningful only if we
confront the harsh reality that the systems that shape our world --
capitalism and empire, rooted in white supremacy and patriarchy -- are
fundamentally bankrupt and indefensible, yet deeply rooted in our culture.

When I make this point, I'm often told by liberals and progressives that
I'm not being realistic, that ordinary people won't listen to such
analysis. That's not my experience. When I have tried to articulate this
worldview in plain language in recent political talks, I have found that a
growing number of people not only will listen but are hungry for such

Of course not everyone agrees -- not anywhere near the number needed for a
mass movement right now, and certainly not a majority -- but one wouldn't
expect that in this affluent society in which many people are still
insulated from the consequences of these systems. But more and more
people, from many sectors of society, are facing these realities, and we
are searching for a community in which to confront this together.

Our political work should focus on connecting with people on common
ground, and then working to shape a radically new vision of justice and
sustainability. The time for that is now; the direction and speed of the
train dictate that we not put it off any longer. It's time to dig in for
what one writer has dubbed "the long emergency."

I think that in the two years to come before the presidential election,
pressing this kind of analysis is the crucial political work for those
committed to left/feminist/antiracist values and progressive politics.
Rather than fussing about how to persuade Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean of
the need for radical action, let's take that message to ordinary people,
who are more likely to listen.

This isn't about who can be most radical for the sake of being radical --
it's about whether we can be realistic. Such an approach cannot promise
political transformation in the short-term, but I believe it is the only
hope for our future.

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at
Austin and a member of the board of the Third Coast Activist Resource
Center. He is the author of The Heart of Whiteness: Race, Racism, and
White Privilege and Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our
Humanity. He can be reached at rjensen [at]


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