Progressive Calendar 11.12.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2006 06:10:29 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.12.06

1. Atheists/rights 11.12 1pm
2. CO status       11.12 1pm
3. Peace march     11.12 1pm Duluth MN
4. Ground Truth/f  11.12 1:30pm
5. MN FOR/coffee   11.12 2pm
6. WAMM awards     11.12 3pm
7. KFAI's Indian   11.12 4pm
8. MEinforcement   11.12 5pm
9. Vets4peace      11.12 6pm
10. Babylon/film   11.12 7pm

11. Mn Fed housing 11.13 9:30am many MN locations
12. US empire 101  11.13 5:30pm
13. Sustainability 11.13 5:30pm
14. Peace church   11.13 6:30pm
15. Spirit progs   11.13 7pm
16. Dakota walk    11.13 7pm?

17. Joshua Frank - You call this a sweep? Post-electoral deliriums
18. John V Walsh - The war loses, voters win. Rahm's losers
19. Gary Leupp   - Keep Congress feet to fire; Dems can be Neocons, too
20. Hill/Richie  - A pro-democracy agenda for a new Congress
21. Alan Maas    - The repudiation of one-party rule
22. ed           - Right and wrong (poem)

--------1 of 22--------

From: "jimpwright [at]" <jimpwright [at]>
Subject: Atheists/rights 11.12 1pm

Atheists For Human Rights
Sunday, November 12
Southdale Public Library, 7001 York Ave. S., Edina, Mn.

Michael Newdow: Why Religion and Government Don't Mix
Michael Newdow discusses his landmark Supreme Court battle to remove the
words. "under god." from the Pledge of Allegiance. There may also be a
discussion with a person supporting the "under god" wording (as yet

--------2 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: CO status 11.12 1pm

Sunday, 11/12, 1 to 3:30 pm, Vets for Peace classes to prepare families for
conscientious objector status, basement of St Stephens school building, 2123
Clinton Ave S, Mpls.  $10/family.  RSVP Kim at 612-721-6908.

--------3 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Peace march 11.12 1pm Duluth Mn

Sunday, 11/12, 1 pm in Duluth, march from the Rose Garden (London Road
next to Leif Erickson Park) to Portland Square, with speakers from
Military Families Speak Out, Wisc National Guard, various vets and poets.

--------4 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Ground Truth/f 11.12 1:30pm

The powerful, highly rated film, "The Ground Truth," will be shown at the
First Unitarian Society, 900 Mount Curve, on Sunday November 12th, 1:30
PM. This film traces the lives of Iraq vets from the day of swearing in to
their return to civilian life and the struggles of readjustment.
Sponsored by the Peace Committte of the First Unitarian Society, the
purpose of this film is to help military families and all citizens to
better understand what those who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan may
have experienced.  Additional information, Carole Rydberg, 763-546-5368.

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>

Last night [some weeks ago -ed] our NWN4P screening of "The Ground Truth"
was very successful ... at least 80 people came and all want to do more to
spread the word.  I have three copies of the DVD now (Best Buy sells it
for $9.99, it is on Netflix, and can be purchased from the web site ...
the latter includes a donotion toward helmets) and we are passing these
from person to person like a "hot potato".  EVERY peace activist is
advised to see this film as soon as possible and then pass the word to
others.  Screenings can be listed on "The Ground Truth" site.  The next
screening in the Twin Cities area that I am aware of is at the First
Unitarian Society, 900 Mt. Curve (behind the Walker) on Sunday November
12th at 1:30 PM.  Hope there will be many others before that date,

--------5 of 22--------

From: "Don,Rachel Christensen" <chris385 [at]>
Subject: MN FOR/coffee 11.12 2pm

Join us for Free Trade coffee and dessert and the music of "Art and Henry"
at the Annual Celebration of the Minnesota FOR.  Activities will include
presentation of our "Peacemakers of the Year" award to the Community of
St. Martin, and a Conversation Cafe on the question, "What makes a peace
community meaningful to you?"  On view will be a special showing of
paintings on "War and Peace" by local artist, Cara Hochhalter.

SUNDAY, NOV. 12 - 2:00-5:00 PM
(Lincoln and Macalester streets, west side of Macalester College campus)

--------6 of 22--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: WAMM awards 11.12 3pm

Vincent L. Hawkinson 2006 Peace and Justice Awards: WAMM members Marie and
John Braun of Minneapolis and Ralph and Kay Hilgendorf of St. Paul

Sunday, November 12, 3:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third
Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Two activist couples have been selected to receive the 2006 Honorary
Awards of the Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and Justice.
Long-time WAMM member and former Board member Marie Braun, who together
with John Braun of Minneapolis, are widely known for their opposition to
the deadly sanctions and war on and occupation of Iraq, and long-time WAMM
members Ralph and Kay Hilgendorf of St. Paul, familiar figures at the Lake
Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge Vigil to end the war and occupation of Iraq,
are being recognized for their lifelong involvement in peace and social
justice causes. Selected annually by the Foundation, the honorary awards
and Hawkinson scholarships are aimed at furthering the commitment to peace
and justice of the late Rev. Vincent L. Hawkinson, who served as pastor of
Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis for 30 years. The
presentation is open to the public. A reception follows.

--------7 of 22--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI's Indian 11.12 4pm

KFAI's Indian Uprising for November 12th

SANDRA WHITE HAWK (Sicangu Lakota), Executive Director, First Nations
Orphan Association.  The mission of the FNOA is to unite Native American
(First Nation and Aboriginal) adoptees, fostered individuals and their
families with professionals, other adoptees, community spiritual leaders
and traditional elders.

As early as 1890, thousands of Indian children were forcibly removed from
their Indian homes.  Between the years 1941 and 1978 it is estimated that
35 percent of all Indian children were removed from homes and placed in
orphanages, white foster homes and adopted into white families.  "The time
has come to heal the wound of this forced assimilation" said White Hawk.

An adoptee: "I am 23 years old, adopted when I was six months.  These past
years I felt as though I had no real identify.  Whites donšt like me
because I am Indian.  Mexicans don't like me because I am Indian.  The
worse thing, though, is that I don't fit in with the Indians, either,
because I was not raised in the culture and don't know the ways of the
tribe."  Another said, "Adoption causes such intense inner pain that you
do anything just to get away from it.  No one understands you, you are
different, and there's no one to talk to.  You withdraw into yourself,
keep it all inside.  That's how I got into trouble with alcohol.  It was
pain medicine."

November is National Adoption Month and November 18th is National Adoption
Day. There will be a Midwest book launch of Outsiders Within: Writing on
Transracial Adoption (see attached) at the Barbara Barker Center for
Dance, 500 21st Avenue South, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis,
Saturday, November 18th, 6:00-9:00 p.m.  Event is co-sponsored by the
First Nations Orphans Association and The University of Minnesota to
include the Consortium for the Study of the Asias, the Institute for
Global Studies, American Studies, Asian American Studies.  Program will
include readings/commentary, a dance and song featuring Ananya Dance
Theatre and a ceremony.  Emcee is Jerry Dearly (Lakota).  Event is free
and open to the public.

 * * *
Indian Uprising a one-half hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for
and by Indigenous people broadcast each Sunday at 4:00 p.m. over KFAI 90.3
FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.  Producer and host is Chris Spotted
Eagle.  KFAI Fresh Air Radio,, is located at 1808 Riverside
Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144.

--------8 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: MEinforcement 11.12 5pm

For immediate release: DR. (not really) Matt Peiken reads and signs his
book "Positive MEinforcement," 5PM Sunday, November 12 at Magers and

Spoofing more than two dozen best-selling self "help" books and their
celebrated authors, Positive MEinforcement teaches you to lie to yourself,
stalk success, sweat the small stuff, dodge death and make every day all
about YOU!

"Dr." Matt Peiken lives in Saint Paul and is on staff at the Pioneer Press
where he is a reporter and writes unsigned editorials. He read/performed
Positive MEinforcement at this year's Fringe Festival.

For more information, contact: David Unowsky 612-822-4611
davidu [at]
Author's website:

55408 612-822-4611

--------9 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Vets4peace 11.12 6pm

Sunday, 11/12 (and every 2nd Sunday), 6 to 8:30 pm, Veterans for Peace
chapter 27 monthly meeting, VFP office, St Stephens School basement, 2130
Clinton Ave S, Mpls.  612-821-9141.

--------10 of 22--------

From: "Krista Menzel (Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace)" <web [at]>
Subject: Babylon/film 11.12 7pm

Film screening with filmmaker, David Martinez:
500 Miles to Babylon
Sunday, November 12, 2006
7:00 p.m.
St. John's Episcopal Church,
Kent Street, St. Paul

Produced by Graffiti Films, 500 Miles to Babylon is a one-hour documentary
film about Iraq under U.S. occupation. Narrated by filmmaker David
Martinez, using footage shot in Iraq during the past year threaded with
graphically animated archival sequences to provide historic context, the
film addresses the current war not simply as a conflict over petroleum
profits or a scheme to fill a company's coffers, but as part of a larger
American imperial project.

Through impromptu interviews, glimpses of daily life, still photographs,
and footage of car-bombs, demonstrations, night-time graffiti artists,
Sufi rituals, and the celebrations following Saddam's capture, 500 Miles
To Babylon reveals the complex situation in contemporary Iraq through a
personal lens. Far from being a simple anti-war movie, 500 Miles attempts
to illustrate the terrible complexity of a people brutalized by a
dictatorship, and the catastrophic results when that system is changed
overnight by shortsighted military means.

Cost: A minimum donation of $5 per person is requested, but not required.

Sponsored by: <>Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace and
<>Crocus Hill/West 7th
Neighbors for Peace

More Information: Krista Menzel: (651) 641-7592 Anne Benson: (651)
647-0580 E-mail: <mailto:info [at]>info [at] Minnesota
Neighbors for Peace Web Site: Graffiti
Films Web Site: Subject: Babylon/film 11.12

--------11 of 22--------

From: Barb Jacobs <Bjacobs [at]>
Subject: Mn Fed housing 11.13 9:30am many MN locations

November 13, 2006


State-wide virtual briefing session to inform Minnesota's Congressional
delegation about the impact proposed federal housing policies will have on
Minnesota. Groups of constituents across the state will participate from
one of sites listed to the left. The topics addressed will include the HUD
budget, Public Housing funding, Section 8 vouchers, and USDA/Rural
Development.To participate, simply join us at one of the following

Bemidji, BI-County Community Action Programs
2529 15th ST NW Bemidji MN, 56601 Duluth, Northland Foundation Conference
Room 202 West Superior St. Suite 600 Duluth, MN 55802

Elbow Lake, West Central MN Community Action Council 411 Industrial Park
Blvd. Elbow Lake, MN 56531

Moorhead, Clay County Family Service Center 715 11th Street North
Moorhead, MN 56560

Rochester, First Homes 2200 2nd St. SW, Ste 300 Rochester, MN 55902

Mankato, Blue Earth River Room Mankato City Hall 10 Civic Center Plaza
Mankato, MN 56001

St. Cloud, Catholic Charities Al Loehr Studio Apartments 405512th St N.
St.Cloud, MN 56301

Willmar, Heartland Comm. Action 409 19th Ave SW Willmar, MN 56201

Virginia, Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency 702 Third Avenue South
Virginia, MN 55792

Spring Lake Park (North), Rise Inc 8406 Sunset Road NE Spring Lake Park,
MN 55432

Stillwater (East), Wash. Cty. Govt. Center, Rm 520 14949 62nd St. North
Stillwater, MN 55082

Bloomington (Southwest), Cornerstone 1000 East 80th Street Bloomington, MN

Minneapolis, The Church Center 122 West Franklin Ave Minneapolis, MN
55404St. Paul, Community Stabilization Project 671 B Selby Avenue St.
Paul, MN 55104

Own the Housing Issues!Be a part of a briefing session that will include
people throughout Minnesota, as well as staff members from the offices of
Minnesota's Representatives and Senators.By participating in this call,
you can:
   --Communicate and develop relationships with your congressmen and
women and their staffers
   --Become active in the legislative process
   --Be part of a state-wide campaign designed to emphasize the
importance of housing as a federal issue
   --Show that affordable housing is important to

To participate, simply reply to this e-mail and include the following
Location from which you plan to participate

E-mail: davey [at]
Fax to 612-870-9085Questions: call 612-879-9437

--------12 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: US empire 101 11.13 5:30pm

Monday, 11/13, 5:30 to 8 pm, free class "American Empire 101" with U of M
prof Richard Martinez, Jack Pine Center, 2815 E Lake, Mpls.  612-624-6005.

--------13 of 22--------

From: Karen Engelsen <Karen [at]>
Subject: Sustainability 11.13 5:30pm

Sustainability and the Natural Step Framework:
A Win-Win-Win for Business, Our Community and the Earth

This Seminar provides an innovative, successful, and cost-effective
approach for becoming environmentally and socially responsible based on
consensus and systems thinking. Its purpose is to present a common
framework comprised of easily-understood, scientifically-based principles
that can serve as a compass to guide society toward a just and sustainable
future. Learn to create positive, shared solutions, while becoming
environmentally and socially responsible.

In 2 Parts: Nov 13 & Nov 15 6:15-9:30 pm
5:30 pm Nov 13 Registration and Optional Dinner
5:30 pm Nov 15 Optional Dinner and Tour of St. Joan's Award-Winning

Green Building Based on the Natural Step Framework

St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Ave. S, Minneapolis

RSVP Requested and Advanced Registration Discount: $95 ($75 for
contributing members of Alliance and other sponsors) if payment received
by Monday November 6. $10 additional after and $20 at the door if space is
available. There are a limited number of scholarships available. If you
can't come to the second session you can come another time. Fee includes
all resource materials. Contact: Alliance for Sustainability,
612-331-1099, info [at]; www.afors <http://www.afors/> .org

Presenter: Terry Gips is an economist, ecologist, and author of Breaking
the Pesticide Habit and The Humane Consumer and Producer Guide. Terry is
one of the first US NSF trainers (independent), President of the Alliance
for Sustainability and head of Sustainability Associates, a Minneapolis
environmental consulting firm. He has served as a White House and
Congressional aide, co-founder of the Sacramento Community Garden Program,
Cargill economist, and Aveda Sustainability Director. He worked with St.
Joan of Arc Church on their $2.7 million gorgeous green building

Thank you for providing a path to sustainability that is not overwhelming,
but completely possible for all of us to use in all aspects of our lives.
-- Brenda Adams, Mediator - Resolution Consultant

--------14 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Peace church 11.13 6:30pm

Monday, 11/13, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, bimonthly potluck supper meeting of Every
Church a Peace Church, with video of Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy on the
nonviolence of Jesus, Hamline United Methodist church, 1514 Englewood Ave,
St Paul.

--------15 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Spirit progs 11.13 7pm

Monday, 11/13 (and each month's 2nd Monday), 7 pm (socialize 6:30), Network
of Spiritual Progressives including viewing and responding to presentations
from the Washington gathering last May, Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900
Nicollet, Mpls.  brucelissem [at]

--------16 of 22--------

From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at]>
Subject: Dakota walk 11.13 7pm?

CONTACT: Diane Wilson 651-257-7214, dianewilson [at]


Lower Sioux, MN-October 17, 2006--On November 7, 2006 Dakota people from
the United States and Canada will begin a 150-mile long Commemorative
March through southern Minnesota in honor of their ancestors who were
forcibly removed from the Lower Sioux Agency to concentration camps at
Mankato and Fort Snelling in November of 1862.  For the Dakota this
commemoration signifies an opportunity to remember and grieve for the
suffering endured by their ancestors as well as to relate a perspective of
the event which has rarely been told.

At the close of the U.S-Dakota War of 1862, Dakota people surrendered to
the United States believing they would be treated as prisoners of war.
Instead, most of the men were shackled and tried by a military tribunal,
which initially sentenced 306 of them to execution.  On November 7, 1862,
the remaining group, primarily women, children and elderly, were
force-marched in a four-mile long procession from the Lower Sioux Agency
to Fort Snelling. The condemned male prisoners were transported a day
later to Mankato, where they awaited final news of their execution.  On
these journeys, the Dakota faced harsh conditions including sickness,
cold, violence, and inadequate food supplies (usually thrown onto the
ground from large lumber wagons).  As they were paraded through the small
towns in southern Minnesota, white settlers lined the streets to taunt and
assault the defenseless Dakota, often assailing them with bricks, stones,
clubs, rotten food, and even boiling water. Poignant and painful Dakota
oral accounts detail the abuses suffered by the Dakota at the hands of
angry mobs and soldiery.  An unknown number of Dakota men, women, and
children died along the way and knowledge about the fate of those bodies
has yet to be recovered.

After 38 of the condemned men were hanged the day after Christmas in 1862
in what remains the largest mass hanging in United States history, the
other prisoners continued to suffer in the concentration camps through the
winter of 1862-63.  In late April of 1863 the condemned male prisoners
were then shipped to a prison near Davenport, Iowa where they served an
additional three years.

Shortly thereafter, in early May, those from Fort Snelling were shipped
down the Mississippi River to St. Louis, and then up the Missouri River to
the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota.

This ethnic cleansing of Dakota people from Minnesota was one part of the
fulfillment of a larger policy of genocide.  On September 9, 1862,
Governor Alexander Ramsey declared that "The Sioux Indians of Minnesota
must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state."
After the forced removal, bounties were placed on the scalps of Dakota
people, eventually reaching as high as $200, and punitive expeditions were
sent out in 1863 and 1864 to further insure that the Dakota would not

While small numbers of Dakota began trickling back to Minnesota in the
late 1880s, most Dakota people today remain in exile from their ancient
homeland. Thus the Commemorative March occurring November 7-13, 2006 is
not only an opportunity for the Dakota to honor their ancestors by
remembering the suffering they endured in 1862, it is also an opportunity
for Dakota reconciliation in their homeland of Minnesota Makoce (Land
Where the Waters Reflect the Skies) 140 years later.

The Third Commemorative March will commence from the Lower Sioux
Reservation at 7:00 am November 7, 2006 and will continue through the
communities of New Ulm, Henderson, Jordan, and Prior Lake, finally
finishing at Fort Snelling on the evening of November 13.  This event is
supported by the Lower Sioux Reservation, Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska,
Southwest State University and numerous other individuals and
organizations.  Those who wish to support the Dakota may join them for all
or part of their seven-day journey.  For further information contact
Dottie Whipple (507-627-1091) or Chris Mato Nunpa (320-564-4348),
matonunpa [at]

--------17 of 22--------

You Call This a Sweep?
Post-Electoral Deliriums
November 11 / 12, 2006

A progressive sweep?


John Nichols of The Nation claims that the Congressional Progressive
Caucus (CPC) is now "crowded" as a result of last week's Midterm
elections. Indeed the CPC will be growing by 8, which is almost on par
with the growth of the conservative Blue Dog faction. Nick Burt and Joel
Bleifuss of In These Times also chime in, writing that the Democratic
takeover of the House was not a victory for centrist Democrats, but for
left-leaning progressives. "CPC members will now be in a position to both
promote progressive legislation and investigate administration

All of these sentiments are extremely misleading. If you combine the
growth of New Democrats and Blue Dogs, two of the more conservative
Democratic groups in the House, their numbers far surpass the numbers and
growth of the CPC this year.

"Do the math," Nichols challenges. "While the Blue Dogs are predicting
that the membership of their caucus may grow from 37 to 44 members, and
the New Democrats hope their membership will edge up from the mid-forties
to over the 50 mark, the Progressives are looking at the prospect that
their caucus -- the most racially and regionally diverse ideological
grouping in the Congress -- could number more than 70 members once the new
House is seated."

Okay, let's do the math. According to the numbers Nichols provides, the
Blue Dogs grew by 7 (it's actually going to be 8 or 9) seats and the New
Democrats by at least 5. That's a total of 12 seats gained by conservative
Democrats providing no overlap between the two groups. The PCP, on the
contrary, gained only 8 seats. More importantly, the total number of seats
now controlled by conservative Democrats in the House is well over 90, as
compared to the CPC's 70.

Who, then may I ask, outnumbers whom? Conservative Congressional Democrats
do -- for they gained more House seats than progressives -- and of course,
that's not taking into account that the majority of so-called progressive
aren't even all that progressive to begin with. Especially when it comes
our Middle East foreign policy.

The majority of the CPC won't embrace Rep. Murtha's call for redeployment.
And that's a redeployment to other areas in the region, not a plea to
bring our troops home now. Like their leader Nancy Pelosi, the CPC's
members also overwhelmingly support Israel and remain committed to the
neo-con principles underlying Bush's war on terror -- as the majority of
current members voted to support the invasion of Afghanistan.

And take Rep. Pelosi's stance on Israel and Iran, "The greatest threat to
Israel's right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now
comes from Iran," Pelosi lamented in a speech to the Israel-American lobby
AIPAC in 2005. "For too long, leaders of both political parties in the
United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the
Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear
and missile technology."

The push inside the Democratic Party in the House remains to the far right
not the moderate-left, despite what The Nation and In These Times would
have us believe.

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

--------18 of 22--------

The War Loses, Voters Win
Rahm's Losers
November 11 / 12, 2006

Now that the Democrats have won the House overwhelmingly, the media is
falling all over itself to proclaim Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee, and dearest friend of Israel, a boy
genius. Even that congenital liar and close friend of Ariel Sharon, the
ever tendentious NYT neocon William Safire, came out of retirement to hail
Rahm as the Karl Rove of the Dems and to spin the election in various ways
designed to keep Emanuel's influence alive.

But is Rahm a boy genius or did the Dem establishments succeed despite him
and in fact despite itself? After all, the Dem establishment, partisans of
oil, empire and Israel, chose Rahm to lead them. Let's do the numbers to
see how Rahm and his employers really did.

On these electronic pages during the electoral season we have tracked the
machinations and motives of Rahm Emanuel (1,2). Long ago Rahm chose 22 key
races, open or Republican seats, where Dems might win. By any reasonable
criteria, all the candidates chosen by Rahm, save perhaps for one, were
pro-war as is Emanuel himself. In two cases Rahm had to put in
considerable dollars and effort in the primaries to drive out antiwar
candidates. He drove out Cegelis in Illinois's 6th CD, at the cost of one
million dollars, in favor of Tammy ("Stay the course") Duckworth who lost
in the general election. In California's 11th CD primary, Emanuel backed
the prowar Steven Filson who lost to the antiwar candidate, Jerry
McNerney, who went on to win in the general election.

Looking at all 22 candidates hand-picked by Rahm, we find that 13 were
defeated, and only 8 won! (3) (One is still undecided.) And remember that
this was the year of the Democratic tsunami and that Rahm's favorites were
handsomely financed by the DCCC. Tammy Duckworth, for example, was infused
with $3 million  and was backed in the primary by HRC, Barack Obama, John
Kerry, etc. The Dems have picked up 28 seats so far, maybe more. So out of
that 28, Rahm's choices accounted for 8! Since the Dems only needed 15
seats to win the House, Rahm's efforts were completely unnecessary. Had
the campaign rested on Rahm's choices, there would have been only 8 or 9
new seats, and the Dems would have lost. In fact, Rahm's efforts were
probably counterproductive for the Dems since the great majority of voters
were antiwar and they were voting primarily on the issue of the war (60%
according to CNN). But Rahm's candidates were not antiwar.

So Rahm Emanuel nearly seized defeat from the jaws of victory. The Dems
fully intended to pursue the war and the neocons thought that they had
found a new host in the Dem party  but the voters now perceive the Dems as
antiwar and if they do not deliver, they will be damaged. After all Ralph
Nader and Chuck Hagel are waiting in the wings for 2008. Either Emanuel is
completely incompetent or else Emanuel is putting the interests of Israel
ahead of Democratic victories. You decide. In either case why would he
remain in a position of influence in the Dem party? A good question.

A footnote to all this is the skullduggery behind the scenes in the
campaign of one of Rahm's losers, Diane Farrell, who lost to Christopher
Shays in CT. Farrell successfully passed herself off as antiwar in some
quarters, getting the last minute endorsement of Katrina Vanden Heuvel at
The Nation. But here is Farrell's "plan" for Iraq according to her web
site: "Have Congress step up to its proper oversight role and get the
administration to articulate and implement a transition plan in which the
U.S. will reduce its role and begin to bring troops home. Set achievement
benchmarks, rather than dates, for implementing such a pullback." Farrell
does not support the Murtha or McGovern bills; she even rejects
"timetables," and puts the onus of getting out of Iraq on "the
administration" as opposed to Congressional action, namely her had she
won. Why would The Nation support such a candidate? Was it simply
incompetence, not doing one's homework?

At the same time backers of Farrell, calling themselves Greens, managed to
get the hard working and principled Green candidate in her district to
withdraw on the basis of "private" and still secret assurances that
Farrell would be antiwar in the end. Maybe we will now find out the nature
of those assurances. One suspects that if Farrell had adopted a strong
antiwar position and challenged her Green opponent that way, rather than
conniving to force him out, she might have won the race. But then of
course she would have lost Rahm's lucre.

John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar [at]

He welcomes more information on the machinations of Schumer or of Rahm,
the loser.



(3) Rahm's Losers: Darcy Burner (WA), Phyllis Busansky (FL), Francine
Busby (CA), John Cranley (OH), Jill Derby (NV), Tammy Duckworth (IL),
Diane Farrell (CT), Steve Filson (CA), Tessa Hafen (NV), Mary Jo Kilroy
(OH), Ken Lucas (KY), Patsy Madrid (NM), Lois Murphy (PA). Winners: Brad
Ellsworth (IN), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Baron Hill (IN), Ron Klein (FL),
Harry Mitchell (AZ), Chris Murphy (CT), Heath Shuler (NC), Peter Welch,
who was apparently antiwar (VT). Undecided: Joe Courtney (CT).

--------19 of 22-------

Keeping Congress's Feet to the Fire
Democrats Can Be Neocons, Too
November 11 / 12, 2006

The great hope among Americans opposed to the war in Iraq is that the
Democratic majority in both houses of Congress will now bring the troops
home. But anyone paying attention realizes that the Democratic leadership,
however much it's recently rejected, and even ridiculed, the Bush mantra
"stay the course," is as committed as its Republican rivals to somehow
"winning" in Iraq. So the best hope is that the Congress will now conduct
tough investigations into what the administration's innumberable
fabrications justifying the war and this will fan overall "bring 'em home"
political pressure.

The neocon-led Bush administration has indeed been dealt a body blow. It
will surely announce some changes in Iraq policy in the near future,
designed to mollify critics. It may trade some concessions on policy for
political opponents' assurances that they won't aggressively pursue
investigations into the pre-war campaign of lies. Thus far Pelosi has been
at pains to say that "impeachment is off the table." Yesterday she denied
ever calling Bush a liar. A mass movement could change her mind of course,
and if John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat poised to take over
chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee, wants them we could see
impeachment hearings, though last May he specifically denied that as chair
of the committee Judiciary Committee, he "would immediately begin
impeachment proceedings against President Bush. I will not do that," he

We must not underestimate the tenacity of those who feel that the
post-9-11 environment still offers opportunities for the reconfiguration
of the "Greater Middle East" in ways that could benefit U.S. imperialism
in what the neocons boldly call the "New American Century." We should not
underrate the neocons' ability to adjust to changing political
circumstances. Many of them have been distancing themselves from Bush,
including Richard Perle, himself a registered Democrat. Key neocons such
as the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol have criticized the Bush
administration for being too soft in its war to conquer and shape the
Muslim world; Kristol rounded on Rumsfeld and heaped praise on Joe
Lieberman for his many services to the neocon cause.

One Democrat to watch is Congressman Tom Lantos of California. He will
probably succeed defeated Congressman James A. Leach of Iowa as chairman
of the House International Relations Committee. In this instance, Lantos
probably the most virulent Zionist in the entire Congress -- is by far the
more dangerous of the two. In a detailed statement in November 2004, Leach
opposed the use of military force against Iran. He voted against the "Iran
Freedom and Support Act," which allocates funding for "regime change" in
Iran. Liberal Democrat Lantos on the other hand cosponsored the act, and
is a leading advocate of sanctions. Lantos enthusiastically supported the
first Gulf War, and voted to authorize the second one. He was a big
supporter of Israel's latest war on Lebanon, and has vowed to Israel's
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to block aid to Lebanon until the latter agrees
to international troops on its border with Syria. He wants U.S.
intervention in Sudan. The neocons could ask for no more solid ally than
Tom Lantos. And he is by no means alone in this prospective role among the
Democratic victors in the midterm elections.

At Princeton in January, Hillary Clinton criticized the Bush
administration for being too soft on Iran. "I believe we lost critical
time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the
threats and to outsource the negotiations," she declared. "I don't believe
you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it to others and
standing on the sidelines." Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana is another leading
Democrat who wants a more hawkish stance towards Iran.

The Democrats could be pushed to accept some strategic retreats from the
neocon game plan. [After all, neocons were mostly Democrats in the first
place, before they swerved into Reagan's ranks in the late 1970s.
Editors.] Certainly corporate America is divided about how to proceed,
with some indeed counseling a "cut and run" strategy simply because it
means cutting losses. But the Democrats could also, having inherited a
war, decide to keep it and expand it in their own fashion, claiming to do
so with greater wisdom and competence than bungling Bush was ever able to
do. It could go either way. Those both antiwar and jubilant in the wake of
the Democrats' glorious victory should resolve to keep the victors' feet
to the fire.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct
Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands
and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The
Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy
in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a
contributor to CounterPunch's merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq,
Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.

He can be reached at: gleupp [at]

--------20 of 22--------

A Pro-Democracy Agenda for a New Congress
by Steven Hill and Rob Richie
Saturday, November 11, 2006

With Democrats moving into control of Congress for the first time in a
dozen years, one means to build faith with voters would be seeking
policies designed to improve democracy within Congress and elections in
the United States.

Change is certainly needed. Our constitutional framers designed the U.S.
House of Representatives - the "people's house" - to be the branch of
government with the most power and most democratic accountability. From
the beginning every Member had to be elected and face the voters every two
years, in contrast to presidents picked by an Electoral College and U.S.
Senators by state legislators.

But the reality is that House elections now provide no more choice or
competition to most voters than the former Soviet elections to the
Politburo. November 7th marked only the second shift of partisan control
in more than five decades, spanning 26 elections and a period when the
presidency shifted between the major parties six times.

It's high time to modernize our elections and establish a more vital
democracy. Consider these five proposals:

1) Better governance. Democratic leaders should change the ugly traditions
of recent congressional leaders and run the House with more openness to
ideas, regardless of their source. Even though in the minority,
Republicans should be able to propose amendments. Earmarks should be
banned or at least open to full disclosure, and substantial bills should
allow time for review and deliberation.

2) Run better elections. Non-partisan, accountable election officials and
a national elections commission are essential for elections that are
accurate and secure. The U.S. leaves election administration to a
hodge-podge of over 3,000 counties and nearly 10,000 municipalities
scattered across the nation with too few standards or uniformity to guide
them. Election administrators should be highly-trained civil servants who
have a demonstrated proficiency with technology, running elections and
making the electoral process transparent and secure. A national commission
should establish minimum standards and partner with state and local
election officials to ensure pre-election and post-election accountability
for their plans and performance and prevent poor decisions like purchasing
glitzy voting machines that lack voter-verified paper trails.

3) Universal voter registration. We need a system of universal voter
registration in which election officials automatically register all
eligible voters and change records when people move. Most established
democracies have voter rolls that are far more complete and clean than
ours - even Iraq has far more adults registered to vote than the United
States. Universal voter registration will be all the easier now that
states must establish voter databases that can be cross-checked with other
lists of adults like Department of Motor Vehicle databases. Done well,
universal registration would add 50 million eligible voters to our voter
rolls and make it easier to eliminate redundancy.

4) Changing our 18th-century electoral system. We should end redistricting
shenanigans that block accountability and adopt proportional voting
methods. Partisan gerrymandering is bad enough, but most House districts
have natural partisan tilts that turn a majority of the vote into 100% of
representation - with Democrats having majorities in most cities and
Republicans in most rural areas. In an era of hardening partisan voting
patterns, those tilts since 1996 have led to more than 98% of House
incumbents winning re-election - even this year, 19 out of every 20
incumbents won. In addition, more than nine in ten House races were won by
noncompetitive margins from 1998 to 2004, and while that number increased
in 2006, expect it to settle back into dormancy in a "normal" election..
In the states, nearly four ten state legislative winners did not face even
token opposition. Proportional voting systems would put all voters into
competitive elections where their votes count more than district lines.

5) Majority, spoiler-free voting: Instant runoff voting (IRV) is an
increasingly popular system at the local level that allows voters to rank
a first, second and third choice on their ballots. If your first choice
can't use your vote to win and no candidate has a majority, your vote
moves to your second ranking as your runoff choice. IRV would pry open our
political system and liberate voters to select candidates they really like
instead of picking "the lesser of two evils." More candidates can run, but
we're all the more certain of majority winners. Introduced with sparkling
success in cities like San Francisco and Burlington, IRV has the support
of reform-minded major party leaders like Barack Obama and John McCain and
could be adopted immediately for most elections. Voter certainly like it
- IRV swept four campaigns this year in Minneapolis (MN), Pierce County
(WA) and Oakland and Davis in California, while the North Carolina adopted
it for certain vacancy elections and up to 20 pilot uses at a local level
in 2007-2008.

By acting on such an agenda, congressional leaders would take a strong
step toward earning the faith and respect of voters from across the
spectrum. Whether you're a Democrat, Republican, minor party or
independent, you can be part of one big party: the "Better Democracy"

Steven Hill directs the Political Reform Program for the New America
Foundation and is author of "Ten Steps to Repair American Democracy. Rob
Richie is executive director of FairVote.

--------21 of 22--------

What Can We Expect from the Democrats?
The Repudiation of One-Party Rule
November 9, 2006

Going into the midterm congressional elections, Republicans held all the
power in Washington. But after the drubbing they got on November 7, only
the White House remained firmly in their grasp.

The Republicans' 30-seat majority in the House of Representatives was
turned around, into a Democratic majority of nearly 30 seats. Even more
remarkable was the Democrats' near-total sweep of competitive Senate
races, giving them a majority if razor-thin leads in Virginia and Montana
held up through the final count and likely recounts. The Democrats also
won enough governorships to take a majority of state mansions as well.

For millions of people who have opposed George Bush and his right-wing
agenda for six long years, this election is a long-awaited cause for
celebration. It represents a rejection of one-party Republican rule and
the GOP program on a range of issues - corporate greed, political
corruption, Religious Right fanaticism, and, looming above them all, the
disastrous U.S. occupation of Iraq.

This is why the 2006 vote took on much greater importance than most
midterm elections. A Gallup poll in the lead-up to the vote found that
half of respondents were paying "quite a lot" of attention to the
elections, the highest since 1994 when the Republicans took control of
Congress in the so-called "Republican Revolution." Nearly two-thirds of
people surveyed in Election Day exit polls said they voted on the basis of
national issues, not local ones.

On those issues, the tide has turned dramatically against the Republicans.
A USA Today poll survey found that six in 10 Americans were dissatisfied
with "the way things are going in the country."

Exit polls showed almost the same proportion opposing the Iraq war, with
the overwhelming majority of them voting Democrat. A succession of
scandals culminating in the Mark Foley congressional page scandal took
another leg out from under the Republicans - exposing the hypocrisy of
party leaders who covered up for one of their own.

The right did have some successes pushing through ballot measures on
hot-button issues such as banning same-sex marriage, making English the
official language of Arizona and supporting the death penalty in
Wisconsin - even in states where the Republicans suffered significant
losses. As in 2004, these referendums passed not because masses of people
embrace the Religious Right, but because Democrats ducked every
opportunity to make the case against them - leaving the debate over them
one-sided in favor of the right.

By contrast, the best news of the night on ballot measures - the sound
victory for a South Dakota referendum to overturn a state law banning
virtually all abortions - was the result of a grassroots effort by
pro-choice supporters to win opinion to their side.

* * *
Already on Election Night, the professional pundits were spinning the
results into a new conventional wisdom that Democrats won because they ran
more conservative candidates.

In Indiana, for example, Brad Ellsworth, the Democrat who beat Rep. John
Hostettler, brags about the "A" rating he received from the National Rifle
Association. In North Carolina, Heath Shuler, who trumpets his evangelical
Christianity and opposition to abortion rights, defeated incumbent
Republican Charles Taylor.

But the idea that Democrats won because they were more conservative is as
wrong-headed as the idea that the election represented no change at all.

The fact about the U.S. two-party system is that it normally presents
voters with two choices - the status quo or "throwing the bums out." The
Democrats became the beneficiaries of a mix of sentiments, most of them
against Bush and the war, without doing much at all to present an

But in an election like this one, that hardly mattered. According to ABC
News exit polls, 62 percent of Rhode Islanders said they supported the job
that incumbent Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a moderate Republican, was doing. Yet
Rhode Islanders voted Chafee out of office anyway - as a clear protest
against Bush and the Republicans.

The Democrats did their very best to win this election without proposing
any concrete alternatives on the Iraq occupation or other major issues.
But among those who voted against the Republicans by voting for the
Democrats, there is nevertheless an expectation that a Democratic Congress
will make some difference.

According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, for example, nearly
three-quarters of respondents say they expected U.S. troops would be
withdrawn from Iraq more quickly under a Democratic-led Congress. The poll
also showed that people expect a Democratic Congress to try to deliver a
minimum wage, lower health care and prescription drug costs, and an
improved economy.

But these expectations won't come close to being met if Democrats are left
to themselves. As left-wing writer Joshua Frank pointed out on the
CounterPunch Web site, two-thirds of Democrats in tight House races oppose
even setting a timetable for troop withdrawal - in other words, "exactly
the same position on the war as our liar-in-chief, George W. Bush," Frank

Even setting aside these party conservatives, though, the Democrats share
much more in common with the Republicans than they differ on. As a party,
the Democrats are the U.S. ruling establishment's B-team, coming off the
bench to save the game after the A-team Republicans have nearly blown it.

Thus, on Iraq, the Democrats - when they say anything concrete at
all - propose a repackaged occupation in Iraq, not an end to it.

The Democrats are not defining themselves as opposed to the Republicans,
but rather as the not-Republicans - and that is a crucial difference. The
party leadership wants to become the new "center" in American politics,
uniting sensible liberals - so long as they've broken with inconvenient
illusions that Democrats should oppose war or increase social spending or
roll back tax break giveaways to the rich - with conservatives who were at
home in the Republican Party until the right-wing kooks took over.

In an interview with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, Hillary
Clinton used all the catchphrases we can expect to hear from Democrats for
the next two years. "Americans are primarily pragmatic," she said. "We are
both conservative and progressive. In the pragmatic center, you get people
together; you listen, you learn; you don't draw lines in the sand."

Expect the Democrats to push for measures they know Republicans will be
hard-pressed to oppose, like a long-delayed increase in the minimum
wage - or, as House Majority Leader-to-be Nancy Pelosi never tires of
repeating, implementing the national security recommendations of the
commission that investigated the September 11 attacks.

But on the issue of the war, reports the Wall Street Journal, Pelosi "is
privately trying to insist that liberals tamp down expectations of getting
out of Iraq now. Democratic allies in the House say she wouldn't do
anything to jeopardize the new recruits' electoral future, and by
extension Democrats' newfound power."

* * *
The Democrats won't pose a real alternative to the Republicans - unless
they face pressure from below. But the demise of Republican one-party rule
in the 2006 election creates the potential for this pressure to build.

The right's stranglehold on politics has been loosened, opening up new
space in the mainstream debate that can embolden people in their growing
questioning of U.S. government policies overseas and at home.

On Iraq, Republicans and Democrats alike have vowed to seek a "new
direction" - in other words, a Plan B that will repackage the occupation.
But even a debate over pro-imperialist alternatives for Iraq will open
splits at the top that can cast further doubt on the legitimacy of the
occupation and give confidence to activists to press ahead with their
ideas and activism.

Already, the movement of active-duty GIs and antiwar veterans has taken
some new steps forward - these can serve to inspire a revitalization of
the wider antiwar movement.

What's more, the Democrats' newfound power in Congress will force them to
define their proposals more clearly - exposing them in the eyes of people
who believe they represent a real alternative to the Republicans.

The key in all this will be to take advantage of every opportunity opened
up by the crushing election rejection of the Republicans to rebuild the
struggles against war and for justice and democracy.

Alan Maass is the editor of the Socialist Worker and the author of The
Case for Socialism. He can be reached at: alanmaass [at]

--------22 of 22--------

 Emily Post says
 there's a right and a wrong way
 to drop cluster bombs.

 Minnesota nice
 cluster bombs bounce through the hut.
 Instant peasant stew.

 Death with decorum.
 Here. Politely we turn from
 cluster bomb fodder.

 Life there is cheap. It
 wasn't before. It is now.
 It's what we do best.

 You can't make rich men's
 omelets without breaking herds
 of poor people's heads.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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