Progressive Calendar 05.24.07
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 20:39:42 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   05.24.07

1. Somali rally      5.25 1pm
2. Cavlan/US Senate  5.25 6pm
3. MuslimAmerSocMN   5.25 6pm

4. NWN4P Minnetonka  5.26 11am
5. Northtown vigil   5.26 2pm
6. Islam diversity   5.26 2pm
7. Vegan dinner      5.26 6pm

8. Dave Lindorff    - And now it's a Democratic war: Kerrycrats all!
9. Kim Petersen     - The utter futility of Lesser Evilism
10. Laura Flanders  - Sacrifice the troops bill
11. Robert Borosage - Funding Bush's war: this is no game
12. Keith Olbermann - The entire government has failed us on Iraq
13. CorpCrimeRptr   - House Democrats buckle to Big Oil
14. Norman Solomon  - Democrats collapse on the war

--------1 of 14--------

From: <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Somali rally  5.25 1pm

Join Somali Women and Children's Peace Rally!

Friday, May 25, 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul.

"For those whose hearts are touched by the illegal invasion of Somalia,
indiscriminate killings of Somalis and situation of more than 400,000
refugees without access to shelter, food, safe water and basic security,"
you are invited by Somali women to join hands with them and their
children. The current plight of Somalis is particularly heartbreaking
because the international community has had difficulty getting in to
assist the victims. Minnesota has the largest population of Somalis in the
U.S. All women and children are invited to join in solidarity in this
peace rally for Somali women and children and for all women and children
victims of war. Participants are asked to respect the request of
organizers, who are immigrants, for a solemn, quiet vigil without loud
chants or signs criticizing the U.S. Organized by: Somali women.


--------2 of 14--------

From: PRO826 [at] aol.com
Subject: Cavlan/US Senate 5.25 6pm

CELEBRATE!!!!!

We're celebrating Michael Cavlan's birthday on Friday, May 25, 2007, at
the Eagles Club in Minneapolis, at 25th Street and 25th Avenue South. The
festivities will begin at 6:00 PM and go on til it's done.

Michael Cavlan, the endorsed Green Party candidate for the US Senate seat
in 2006 has announced his candidacy for that seat in the 2008 election.
This is a fundraiser to finance the beginning of that campaign.

Happily, Willie Murphy has consented to play for us that night along with
his friends.  That's good news for those of us who love to hear Willie and
those who don't yet know his tremendous talent.  His music itself is a
celebration and fun to dance to.

Come with us to celebrate the Birthday of a true Peace Activist who has
the integrity and courage to stand strong and won't sell out those who
invest their trust in him.

Your appearance at the party and your donations will assist Michael to
spread the message to no longer fund the occupation of Iraq by our
military and promote the means to reverse global warming.

SEE YOU  THERE!!!!

--Dori Ullman, Campaign Manager
Michael Cavlan for US  Senate 2008  Campaign


--------3 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: MuslimAmerSocMN 5.25 6pm

5/25 (6 to 10 pm) and 5/26 (10 to 10) and 5/27 (10 to 4), 3rd annual
conference of the Muslim American Society of MN, Mpls Convention Center,
1301 - 2nd Ave S, Mpls.


--------4 of 14--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka  5.26 11am

NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7
and 101.  Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We
will walk along the public sidewalk. Bring your own signs.


--------5 of 14--------

From: Lennie <major18 [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Northtown vigil 5.26 2pm

Mounds View peace vigil EVERY SATURDAY from 2-3pm 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] comcast.net or call Lennie at
763-717-9168


--------6 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Islam diversity 5.26 2pm

Alternate Saturdays, 1/13 to 6/9, 2 to 4 pm, interfaith dialogue
organization Northern Lights Society presents series Understanding Islam,
2469 University Ave, Suite 110 E. St Paul.  bilgin [at] nlight.org Series
includes topics: diversity in Islam on 5/26 and Islamic art on 9/9.  RSVP
to rsvp [at] nlight.org


--------7 of 14--------

From: David Strand <mncivil [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Vegan dinner 5.26 6pm

Join EarthSave Twin Cities as we "dine-out" at a vegan/vegetarian
restaurant:
Saturday, May 26, 2007, 6:00 P.M.

"Mysore Cafe" (Indian, vegan, vegetarian), 2819 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.
Please try to RSVP to the EarthSave info line by 2:00 PM on Saturday (May
26th): 952-930-1205.  For directions, please call the restaurant: 612
871-1110.


--------8 of 14--------

And Now It's a Democratic War
Kerrycrats All!
By DAVE LINDORFF
CounterPunch
May 24, 2007

The defining moment of the disastrous and laughable presidential campaign
of John Kerry for president came when he tried to explain his vacillating
and spineless position on the Iraq War, saying, of an earlier war funding
appropriations bill "I voted for the bill before I voted against it."

That sleazy, two-faced, slippery effort to have it both ways, to give
himself the ability to tell some voters he was "supporting the troops"
while telling others he was "against the war," sank his candidacy faster
than any swiftboat cannonfire could have hoped to.

Now Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid, and a whole slew of so-called Congressional progressives, are trying
the same gambit. Pelosi and Reid, too timid to seriously confront
President Bush and call a halt to the disastrous war on Iraq by simply
refusing to fund it, have orchestrated a bill that provides the president
full funding to carry on with the killing for the rest of his term, while
allowing those of them who have to confront anti-war voters to claim they
voted against their own measure.

"I will vote against this bill," says Pelosi, who personally crafted this
cave-in to Bush and Cheney.

The whole Democratic Party caucus in Congress has morphed horribly into
John Kerry clones.

They will be voting against the war funding bill that they engineered,
knowing that with Republican support, the bill will pass and go to the
president with no strings attached.

The Iraq War is now fully a Democratic War. The hand-off is complete, just
as the handoff of the Democratic Vietnam War was handed off to Richard
Nixon and the Republicans in 1968.

One can only hope that the Kerrycrats, including Pelosi, Reid, and the
rest, will suffer the same fate as did presidential candidate John Kerry,
in the coming primaries and the 2008 general election.

Voters remember: It's not what candidates say; it's what they actually do,
or don't do.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the
Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns
titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press.
Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment", co-authored by
Barbara Olshansky. He can be reached at: dlindorff [at] yahoo.com


--------9 of 14-------

The Utter Futility of Lesser Evilism
by Kim Petersen / May 24th, 2007

"By God, we've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!"
- George H.W. Bush

US Congressional Democrats, in "a wrenching reversal," backed down on
their demand for a timetable on the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.1 It
flies in the face of the electoral will of Americans expressed in 2006,
and it exposes, again, who the master of the Democratic Party is.

The mere fact that US occupation forces, British occupation forces, client
states - scanty give-a-veneer-of-coalition forces, and mercenaries are
still being repulsed in Iraq by lightly armed guerrilla fighters, that the
bombardment of the "safe" Green Zone is increasing, that Basra is
spiraling, that the "surge" is sputtering, and that the US-UK are looking
for a way out not of their choosing or timing, is clear evidence that the
"war" is lost. It demonstrates a limitation of the hyperpower: it can
wreak destruction from afar, but it is vulnerable when it attempts to
impose occupation.

So what prevents the US from immediately pulling its troops completely out
from Iraq?

With the end of the Bush administration approaching, Republicans are
interested in preserving party fortunes and Bush is scrambling for a
face-saving presidential legacy. The self-proclaimed war president dug a
Sisyphean hole for himself when he foolishly declared the aggression
against Iraq to be a mission accomplished. It is not just an
invasion-occupation lost in Iraq; there is also the invasion-occupation
that is also lost in Afghanistan. The neoconservative think tank Project
for the New American Century laid out its military policy in the paper
"Rebuilding America's Defenses," which warned that "even a small failure
like that in Somalia or a halting and incomplete triumph as in the Balkans
can cast doubt on American credibility".2

For the Democrats, a troop withdrawal timetable would have hamstrung
candidates running for the presidency. It would have put them at odds with
their campaign funders (many from the Jewish lobby who support aggression
in the Middle East) and the US voters (who now favor removing the forces
from Iraq).

What Bush Jr. has done is bring back in full force what his father claimed
to have vanquished forever: Vietnam syndrome. A resurrected Vietnam
Syndrome will hinder American militaristic ambitions.

Despite the fact that the imperialistic invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq
are failed, Washington feels compelled to persist. There is so much at
stake:

- control of oil. Imagine the shock among US oil oligarchs at seeing the
oil in Iran and Iraq being under predominantly Shi'a control

- the future of permanent US bases in Iraq. It will be interesting to see
how these bases without US forces would be explained

- lessons learned: resistance is not futile. Opponents of western
imperialism know to develop a deterrent defense, that US occupation forces
can be defied and defeated

- a potential backlash at the Jewish lobby that goaded the US regime to
attack Iraq and is pressing for an attack on Iran

- implications for the Zionist occupation of Palestine: will the US
continue to pursue a Israel-Palestine policy that supports the theft of
land from Palestinians and slow-motion genocide against them? What will
the defeat of US occupations forces in Iraq and Israeli occupation forces
in south Lebanon portend for the the Zionist occupation of Palestine?

- the power of the corporate-political duopoly. Halliburton, Bechtel, and
the military-industrial complex profited immensely from unleashing US
violence abroad. In the meantime, wealth has been further concentrated
among the wealthy few while social programs have been gutted. Will the
shrinking middle class and expanding poor classes remain quiescent?

- the continued domination of the corporate-political duopoly. The
Democrats have stood steadfastly during the Bush presidency behind the
Republicans' malapropistic "war on terrorism".

What is palpable is that there are negligible differences between the
Democratic Party and the Republican Party regarding corporation-driven and
Zionist imperialisms. The two parties are colluding, and, hence, they can
be regarded as the same.3

It is clear that Saddam Hussein was duped into attacking Iran and bleeding
both countries for eight years. This belligerent policy served naught
domestically in the US. But it served US corporate-political and Zionist
purposes. Later, the Iraqi government was presented with a false green
light to attack Kuwait, which was pressuring Iraq for a speedy repayment
of loans used to fight Iran (something that served Kuwaiti oligarchic
interests as well) and also, reportedly, slant drilling into Iraq.s
Ramallah oil field. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait presented the contrived
opportunity for president H.W. Bush to punt Vietnam Syndrome - with the
aid of a 28-country coalition.

The Republican administration strong-armed UN Security Council backing for
a resolution imposing a punishing disarmament and sanctions regime on
Iraq. The Democratic administration of Bill Clinton did not waver an iota
on the lethal sanctions regime; US official Madeleine Albright even
admitted that the killing of half-a-million Iraqi children was worth
attaining US foreign policy goals.

It is transparent that there is little to distinguish Democrats from
Republicans on a most substantive matter: aggressive foreign policy. US
foreign policy terrorizes, tortures, and violently kills people abroad.
This policy did not begin with the "war on terrorism". It has been around
for a long time and is central to US hegemonic aspirations throughout
history up to today.4

People who viewed the Republican party, especially while "led" by George
W. Bush, as a great evil, identified the logical recourse to be voting for
the Democratic Party, reasoning that whatever pain the Democrats inflicted
on others would be less than Republican-inflicted pain: something akin to
a quick death versus a lingering death. In the end the victim is dead
anyway.

The tactics used to prevent or hinder the candidacy of third party
contender Ralph Nader in 2004 was condemnatory of the Democrats. What kind
of presidential slate did the Democrats offer? A man who vowed to boost
troop levels and did nothing to placate the antiwar population. Even the
propeace candidate Dennis Kucinich did an about-face and pledged
solidarity to his warmongering leader John Kerry.

A Democratic Party breakthrough came in 2006 when they regained the
Congress and Senate over public disaffection with US troops dying and
being maimed in Iraq. Deluded people expected a change of course, that
Democrats would parlay the antiwar sentiment to buttress their chances for
a breakthrough in 2008.

Progressives see little attraction in the Republican Party. However, on
the flip side of the corporate duopoly, Americans and the world public are
presented with the bathos of Democratic presidential contenders
prostrating themselves before the Mammon of the Jewish lobby. These
candidates mouth platitudes of undying fealty to a foreign state, a state
spawned through ethnic cleansing (similar to the US) that cares little for
the US that provides sophisticated weaponry and generously pumps billions
of dollars into it.5 The US wields its UN Security Council veto in a most
irresponsible and self-damaging manner to protect the serial violations of
human rights by Israel. This Israel-centric foreign policy means
continuing the occupation of Iraq and not "taking anything off the table"
regarding Iran.

The foreseeable result: Iraq Syndrome will be indelibly stamped on the
American consciousness for years to come.

In November 2007, the American voter will be presented an option. A vote
for either the Republicans or Democrats will, in effect, be a prowar vote.
For peace to prevail in the policy of the United States, lesser evilism
must be consigned to the political scrap heap. Only a propeace "third"
party will set the US on a new path. Outside of a revolution, the election
of a propeace "third" party is the only feasible direction on the horizon
for Americans truly interested in steering their country toward peace and
restoring the ensanguined US reputation.

1. Carl Hulse, "Democrats Pull Troop Deadline From Iraq Bill," New York
Times online, 21 May 2007.

2. Thomas Donnelly, Donald Kagan, and Gary Schmitt, "Rebuilding America's
Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" (Washington,
DC: The Project for a New American Century, September 2000): 5.

3. Frederick H. Gareau, State Terrorism and the United States: From
Counterinsurgency to the War on Terrorism (Clarity Press, 2004).

4. William Blum, Rogue State (Common Courage Press, 2000).

5. Is caring typified by spying on one's friends, the sinking of the USS
Liberty, the plan to bomb US buildings in Egypt, and urging the US to put
the lives of its citizens on the line and having the US's international
reputation besmirched?

Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at:
kim [at] dissidentvoice.org. Read other articles by Kim.

This article was posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2007 at 3:02 am and is
filed under Elections, Democrats and "Third" Party. Send to a friend.


--------10 of 14--------

Sacrifice The Troops Bill
by Laura Flanders
Published on Thursday, May 24, 2007 by CommonDreams.org

I spent some of Wednesday with a worried mom from Idaho Falls, Idaho,
whose only son is in the National Guard. Once a month he drives 200 miles
to train, then he drives 200 miles back home again. (All for $200 most of
which is spent on gas.) He served in Bosnia. Will he be deployed to Iraq?

"I was counting on the Democrats to stop this war," said Marianne, blue
eyes blazing. So were thousands of other mothers.

It's time to turn this story around. Rove's wrong. This so-called
"supplemental" isn't about supporting troops; this blank-check bill is
about sacrificing them.

At the current rate of fatalities, another 200-300 US troops will have
been killed by the time the Congress votes on funding again. Ten times
that many Iraqis will have perished. Squandering human lives and health
for Exxon and Chevron's wealth is not supporting the troops. It's
sacrificing them.

By voting more money for Bush's war, the Congress will be sacrificing more
lives to a President who has no plan, for a cause he can't explain, at a
cost that none of us can count.

The bill your Senator and Representative are likely to vote on today is
about sacrificing lives in a country whose people want us gone, where our
presence is only inflaming extremists and speeding on theocracy.

Once upon a time, the President said something about bringing "democracy"
to the middle east. It sends quite a message to the world that the
people's majority in the most powerful democracy in the world doesn't give
a damn about the people who voted them into office. Vote and still you
die.

The only way to support the troops is to fully fund their withdrawal now.

Call your representative today: 202 224 3121.

Vote against the Sacrifice the Troops bill. Stand up for Marianne and the
millions of moms - US and Iraqi - who were counting on the American peace
and justice movement to stop this madness.

Laura Flanders is the author of Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back
Politics from the Politicians, out now from The Penguin Press.


--------11 of 14--------

Funding Bush's War: This Is No Game
by Robert L. Borosage
Published on Thursday, May 24, 2007 by TomPaine.com

President Bush forced Democrats to "fold," the press reports. He vetoed
the Iraq funding bill that set a deadline for getting U.S. troops out of
the war. The Republican minority blocked any effort to overturn the veto.
Now Congress is about to vote on a funding bill the president will accept,
one that doesn't offer a path out of the mess. Bush wins, the Republicans
exult, the Democrats "flinch".

But this isn't poker. This is life and death. The president insists on
escalating the catastrophic occupation of Iraq. He scorned the bipartisan
Baker-Hamilton Commission that offered a way out. He scorns the American
people who voted in 2006 to bring the debacle to an end. He scorned the
majority of both houses of Congress that voted to start bringing the
troops home on a date certain. He sustains an occupation opposed by a
majority of Americans, a majority of Iraqis and a majority of the
Congress.

He is aided and abetted in this folly by the Republican minority in
Congress, which votes en masse to sustain his vetoes and continue the war.
They murmur their concerns, clear their throats, profile their
independence, but with rare exceptions, they vote en bloc to support the
president's ruinous course.

He is aided and abetted in this folly by a minority of Democrats who are
afraid to take on the president, fearful of being blamed for undermining
the troops, and frightened about being held responsible for bringing the
occupation to an end. They, in turn, are misled by the political
consultants and the national security "experts" on the Democratic side who
have been wrong from the start. They advised Democrats to vote for the war
to look strong. They advised Democrats to support the president to look
tough. When the folly became apparent, they advised Democrats to avoid
being blamed for ending the war. At the beginning of the 2006 election,
they advised that Democrats focus on the lack of body armor and the
mistreatment of veterans, and stay away from the debate about the war. Now
they warn Democrats to keep this "Bush's war" and not get blamed for
ending it. Their expert credentials have somehow survived their consistent
inanity.

The Congress will now vote on a funding bill for Iraq that offers no
change of course. Every legislator open to reason, concerned for the
troops, worried about this nation's real security, or accountable to the
voters will vote against this bill.

Those who vote for it are voting to enable a rogue president. They are
sacrificing the nation's security and the lives of many young soldiers to
stand with George Bush.

This vote will be registered. In every state and district of the country,
voters will know where their legislator stands. There are no dodges, no
excuses. Vote to sustain the rogue president's ruinous course or vote
against. This is a question of life and death, not of partisan politics or
Beltway political poker. Every legislator is free to vote his or her
conscience. Each should be held accountable.

The writer is co-director of the Campaign for America's Future.

 2007 TomPaine.com


--------12 of 14--------

The Entire Government Has Failed Us on Iraq
By Keith Olbermann
MSNBC Countdown
Wednesday 23 May 2007

For the president, and the majority leaders and candidates and
rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party - there is only
blame for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.

This is, in fact, a comment about betrayal.

Few men or women elected in our history - whether executive or
legislative, state or national - have been sent into office with a mandate
more obvious, nor instructions more clear:

Get us out of Iraq.

Yet after six months of preparation and execution - half a year gathering
the strands of public support; translating into action, the collective
will of the nearly 70 percent of Americans who reject this War of Lies,
the Democrats have managed only this:

The Democratic leadership has surrendered to a president - if not the
worst president, then easily the most selfish, in our history - who
happily blackmails his own people, and uses his own military personnel as
hostages to his asinine demand, that the Democrats "give the troops their
money";

The Democratic leadership has agreed to finance the deaths of Americans in
a war that has only reduced the security of Americans;

The Democratic leadership has given Mr. Bush all that he wanted, with the
only caveat being, not merely meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for
the Iraqi government, but optional meaningless symbolism about benchmarks
for the Iraqi government.

The Democratic leadership has, in sum, claimed a compromise with the
Administration, in which the only things truly compromised, are the trust
of the voters, the ethics of the Democrats, and the lives of our brave,
and doomed, friends, and family, in Iraq.

You, the men and women elected with the simplest of directions - Stop The
War - have traded your strength, your bargaining position, and the uniform
support of those who elected you. for a handful of magic beans.

You may trot out every political clich from the soft-soap,
inside-the-beltway dictionary of boilerplate sound bites, about how this
is the "beginning of the end" of Mr. Bush's "carte blanche" in Iraq, about
how this is a "first step."

Well, Senator Reid, the only end at its beginning... is our collective
hope that you and your colleagues would do what is right, what is
essential, what you were each elected and re-elected to do.

Because this "first step" - is a step right off a cliff.

And this President!

How shameful it would be to watch an adult... hold his breath, and
threaten to continue to do so, until he turned blue.

But how horrifying it is - to watch a President hold his breath and
threaten to continue to do so, until innocent and patriotic Americans in
harm's way, are bled white.

You lead this country, sir?

You claim to defend it?

And yet when faced with the prospect of someone calling you on your
stubbornness - your stubbornness which has cost 3,431 Americans their
lives and thousands more their limbs - you, Mr. Bush, imply that if the
Democrats don't give you the money and give it to you entirely on your
terms, the troops in Iraq will be stranded, or forced to serve longer, or
have to throw bullets at the enemy with their bare hands.

How transcendentally, how historically, pathetic.

Any other president from any other moment in the panorama of our history
would have, at the outset of this tawdry game of political chicken,
declared that no matter what the other political side did, he would insure
personally - first, last and always - that the troops would not suffer.

A President, Mr. Bush, uses the carte blanche he has already, not to
manipulate an overlap of arriving and departing Brigades into a "second
surge" - but to say in unequivocal terms that if it takes every last dime
of the monies already allocated, if it takes reneging on government
contracts with Halliburton, he will make sure the troops are safe - even
if the only safety to be found, is in getting them the hell out of there.

Well, any true President would have done that, Sir.

You instead, used our troops as political pawns, then blamed the Democrats
when you did so.

Not that these Democrats, who had this country's support and sympathy up
until 48 hours ago, have not since earned all the blame they can carry
home.

"We seem to be very near the bleak choice between war and shame," Winston
Churchill wrote to Lord Moyne in the days after the British signed the
Munich accords with Germany in 1938. "My feeling is that we shall choose
shame, and then have war thrown in, a little later."

That's what this is for the Democrats, isn't it?

Their "Neville Chamberlain moment" before the Second World War.

All that's missing is the landing at the airport, with the blinkered
leader waving a piece of paper which he naively thought would guarantee
"peace in our time," but which his opponent would ignore with deceit.

The Democrats have merely streamlined the process.

Their piece of paper already says Mr. Bush can ignore it, with impugnity.

And where are the Democratic presidential hopefuls this evening?

See they not, that to which the Senate and House leadership has blinded
itself?

Judging these candidates based on how they voted on the original Iraq
authorization, or waiting for apologies for those votes, is ancient
history now.

The Democratic nomination is likely to be decided... tomorrow.

The talk of practical politics, the buying into of the President's
dishonest construction "fund-the-troops-or-they-will-be-in-jeopardy," the
promise of tougher action in September, is falling not on deaf ears, but
rather falling on Americans who already told you what to do, and now
perceive your ears as closed to practical politics.

Those who seek the Democratic nomination need to - for their own political
futures and, with a thousand times more solemnity and importance, for the
individual futures of our troops - denounce this betrayal, vote against
it, and, if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi if
they continue down this path of guilty, fatal acquiescence to the
tragically misguided will of a monomaniacal president.

For, ultimately, at this hour, the entire government has failed us.

Mr. Reid, Mr. Hoyer, and the other Democrats... have failed us.

They negotiated away that which they did not own, but had only been
entrusted by us to protect: our collective will as the citizens of this
country, that this brazen War of Lies be ended as rapidly and safely as
possible.

Mr. Bush and his government... have failed us.

They have behaved venomously and without dignity - of course.

That is all at which Mr. Bush is gifted.

We are the ones providing any element of surprise or shock here.

With the exception of Senator Dodd and Senator Edwards, the Democratic
presidential candidates have (so far at least) failed us.

They must now speak, and make plain how they view what has been given away
to Mr. Bush, and what is yet to be given away tomorrow, and in the
thousand tomorrows to come.

Because for the next fourteen months, the Democratic nominating process -
indeed the whole of our political discourse until further notice - has,
with the stroke of a cursed pen, become about one thing, and one thing
alone.

The electorate figured this out, six months ago.

The President and the Republicans have not - doubtless will not.

The Democrats will figure it out, during the Memorial Day recess, when
they go home and many of those who elected them will politely suggest they
stay there - and permanently. Because, on the subject of Iraq...

The people have been ahead of the media....

Ahead of the government...

Ahead of the politicians...

For the last year, or two years, or maybe three.

Our politics... is now about the answer to one briefly-worded question.

Mr. Bush has failed.

Mr. Warner has failed.

Mr. Reid has failed.

So.

Who among us will stop this war - this War of Lies?

To he or she, fall the figurative keys to the nation.

To all the others - presidents and majority leaders and candidates and
rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party - there is only
blame. for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.


--------13 of 14--------

Strip Down Price Gouging Bill
House Democrats Buckle to Big Oil
By CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER
CounterPunch
May 24, 2007

Behold the spineless Democratic Party.

On Iraq, no deadlines.

On trade, no enforceable worker protections.

Now, on oil industry price gouging, collapse.

In the face of withering pressure from the oil industry, the Democrats in
the House, led by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Michigan), have reportedly
castrated their own legislation.

Stupak's original bill - HR 1252 - would make it unlawful to sell crude
oil, gasoline, natural gas, or petroleum distillates at a price that "is
unconscionably excessive" or "indicates the seller is taking unfair
advantage unusual market conditions (whether real or perceived) or the
circumstances of an emergency to increase prices unreasonably."

The law would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

But according to a report by Darren Goode in Congress Daily AM, late last
night, Stupak "added a trigger to his bill allowing the FTC to go after
price gougers only during presidentially-declared energy emergencies."

In other words - almost never.

Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen's Congress Watch called the move "pretty
unfortunate."

Slocum said that Stupak's original bill would have given the FTC long
needed powers to go after oil companies in situations like the one the
country is facing today - skyrocketing gasoline prices.

"There is no question that the record high gasoline prices we are seeing
today amount to just a transfer of wealth," Slocum said. "Up until this
point, the FTC has not moved, because the antitrust laws on the books are
so weak. There is no price gouging law currently on the books."

Stupak and more than 100 House members said they wanted to put that law on
the books. But now, it looks like the Democrats have once again caved to
the dominant corporate powers that be.

The House will vote on the bill later today.

Slocum said that Public Citizen was strongly in favor of the original
Stupak bill.

But if the bill is going to be similar to a bill introduced by Senator
Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) - only enforceable in times of energy
emergencies - Public Citizen would not fight for it.

"This shows the oil industry still holds sway over the Democratic Party,"
Slocum said. "Things are definitely different, but not that much
different. Are you going to see the Democrats taking big swings at Big
Oil? No."

Stupak's office did not return calls seeking comment.

Slocum said that some environmental groups want to see higher gasoline
prices so that Americans drive less - like in Europe.

"But in Europe, the gasoline prices are higher because of taxes," Slocum
said. "And the taxes are used to fund mass transit. Here, the money goes
straight to the oil companies. It's just a transfer of wealth."

Corporate Crime Reporter is located in Washington, DC. They can be reached
through their website.


--------14 of 14--------

Democrats Collapse on the War
Deadly Illusions, Rest in Peace
By NORMAN SOLOMON
CounterPunch
May 24, 2007

This week's cave-in on Capitol Hill - supplying a huge new jolt of funds
for the horrific war effort in Iraq - is surprising only to those who
haven't grasped our current circumstances.

Public opinion polls aren't the same as political leverage. The Vietnam
War went on for years after polling showed that most Americans opposed the
war and even saw it as immoral.

Slick phrases about the need to bring our troops home can easily become
little more than platitudes on wallpaper in media echo chambers.

No matter how many Democrats are in Congress, they won't end this war
unless an antiwar movement develops enough grassroots strength to compel
them to do so.

Unfortunately - and unnecessarily - for years now the Internet powerhouse
MoveOn.org has often functioned as a virtual appendage of the national
Democratic Party. That close relationship has largely squandered MoveOn's
opportunities to help build strong deep independent activism for the long
haul. And, on crucial issues of the Iraq war, MoveOn has failed to back
the positions of such gutsy progressive visionaries as Reps. Barbara Lee,
Lynn Woolsey and Maxine Waters.

A statement issued Thursday by the national Progressive Democrats of
America (PDA) pointed out that "the approach of the Democratic leadership
has utterly failed - as they now prepare to give President Bush $95
billion more war funding through a bill that no longer has any timelines
for troop withdrawal."

Asking a key question - "How can you oppose a troop escalation while
funding it in full?" - PDA reiterated its longstanding position that
Democrats in Congress should be "using the power of the purse to cut off
funds to Iraq, except those needed to safely withdraw our troops (and for
humanitarian/reconstruction aid to the Iraqi people)." And legislators
should be "using their investigative power to probe White House deceptions
and distortions that propelled the Iraq invasion and occupation, and to
impeach if necessary."

Memorial Day 2007 comes at a disastrous time. Political power brokers and
media elites insist on opting for a mix-merge of tragedy and farce. A key
reality is that we won't be able to change the militaristic direction of
the country without effectively confronting the congressional Democrats
who are fueling the engines of destruction.

When considering what to demand now, it's helpful to put the current
moment in historical perspective. The same basic arguments for keeping
U.S. forces in Iraq have long been presented by reigning politicians and
key media outlets as self-evident wisdom.

A cover story in Time magazine laid down the prevailing line: "Foreign
policy luminaries from both parties say a precipitous U.S. withdrawal
would cripple American credibility, doom reform in the Arab world and turn
Iraq into a playground for terrorists and the armies of neighboring states
like Iran and Syria." That was in April - 2004.

Norman Solomon is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits
Keep Spinning Us to Death.

The new documentary film "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep
Spinning Us to Death," based on Norman Solomon's book of the same title,
will be released directly to DVD in June. For information about the
full-length movie, narrated by Sean Penn, go to:
www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org


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