Progressive Calendar 07.13.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2007 17:39:24 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    07.13.07

1. Moyers/impeach   7.13 9pm

2. Vento trail ext  7.14 9:30am
3. GP party         7.14 3pm

4. Stillwater vigil 7.15 1pm
5. Amnesty Intl     7.15 3pm
6. PeaceP PotPicnic 7.15 3pm
7. Jesus/Gitmo/play 7.15 7pm
8. KFAI/Indian      7.15 7pm
9. Black rebellions 7.15 10pm

10. Palestine/film  7.16 6:30pm
11. Youth violence  7.16 7pm

12. M Albert/CTV    7.17 8am
13. M Albert/CTV    7.17 5pm
14. Forests/ATV/OHV 7.17 6pm Menahga MN
15. LRT boondoggle  7.17 6pm
16. Impeach         7.17 7pm

17. David M Green - Empire on fire/In the last throes
18. Sam Husseini  - Killing the Constitution

--------1 of 18--------

From: ed
Subject: Moyers/impeach 7.13 9pm

Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2007 15:31:06 -0700
From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at]>

Bill Moyers Journal | Talk of Impeachment

Bill Moyers Journal explores the talk of impeachment gaining steam as a
new opinion poll says nearly half of Americans favor impeachment of the
president and more than half want to impeach the vice president.

--------2 of 18--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at]>
Subject: Vento trail ext 7.14 9:30am

I am writing to invite you to an event hosted by the Lower Phalen Creek
Project and Historic Saint Paul.  Please join us for a free community
celebration of the Bruce Vento Regional Trail Extension on July 14th.
Historic Saint Paul is sponsoring an interpreted walk that will start at
the Science Museum at 9:30 a.m. and end at the trail celebration site in
the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.  The walk (titled "History on the
Mississippi") will highlight our local national parks and historic
buildings along the Mississippi River.  Come early and visit the
Mississippi River Gallery at the Science Museum (the gallery opens at 8:30

A flier with more information on the event is attached to this message.
Please contact me with any addition questions. I can be reached at
psingh [at] <mailto:psingh [at]> or
(651) 222-3049.

Paul Singh Historic Saint Paul 318 Landmark Center 75 W 5th Street Saint
Paul, MN 55102 (651) 222-3049 psingh [at] <>

--------3 of 18--------

From: psariego [at]
Subject: GP party 7.14 3pm

Thank you to those of you who inquired about the address of our upcoming
Party to support our Party! Please join together on:

Saturday, July 14, 2007
3:00-7:00 PM
@ The Terminal Bar 409 E Hennepin Ave Minneapolis 55401

"Rated low on romantic atmosphere, but high on Happy Hour and the Social
Scene and good local music"  featuring our own Greens:
N. O. T. A.
The Turn

$7 @ the door will contribute to funding our State Fair booth, our
treasurer's salary and a field organizer.

--------4 of 18--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 7.15 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------5 of 18--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 7.15 3pm

Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, July 15th, from 3:00 to 5:00

Our presenter this month will be Gary King, who will give us an update on
the human rights situation in the Philippines. An escalating trend of
extrajudicial killings in the Philippines is gaining international
attention, and our group recently formed a sub-group to focus efforts on
the country. Look for important actions on this issue below.

In our second hour, we will catch up with the work of our various
sub-groups and other Amnesty International news and campaigns.

Everyone is welcome, and refreshments will be provided.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn).

A map and directions are available on-line:

--------6 of 18--------

From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at]>
Subject: PeaceP PotPicnic 7.15 3pm

Join us for summer fun!

Peace in the Precincts Potluck Picnic, Sun 7/15 3-6pm
Join your peace pals for fun and networking. Take a look at this fall's
activities for peace. Bring a dish to share, and a chair if possible.

Dunning Rec Center just off 94 and west of Lexington
1221 Marshall Ave (Griggs and Marshall)
St. Paul MN 55104

Sunday, July 15th 3-6pm
Exit Lexington south, go one block to Marshall, turn right, go past
Central High School to rec center (light at Griggs St) turn right into
parking lot. Proceed thru or around building to back of building for

--------7 of 18--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Jesus/Gitmo/play 7.15 7pm

Come see a preview of Mathew Vakey's  play, JESUS AT GUANTANAMO, as well
as other plays in this years MannaFest.

THIS SUNDAY July 15 at 7:00.
Hennipen Methodist Church
(art gallery)
511 Groveland,
intersection of Hennepin and Lyndale, just north of Franklin.


You will see a 7-8 minute preview of the following shows:
Potato Chip Head  by Heidi Arnesen.
Martin Luther The Musical!  by  Peter Bodurtha.
Interplay: Wake up and Smell the Blank.   by  Catherine Roach
Irruptive Hope by  Kristen Maier
Witnessing to a Murder.  by Elizabeth O'Sullivan
Hill of Zion by  Paul Wilson.
God's Mischeifs    by
Lead Me Not   by. Gregg Peterson
GanElvis by   Laura Littleford.

--------8 of 18--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI/Indian 7.15 7pm

KFAIšs Indian uprising for July 15, 2007 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT

The AIN DAH YUNG CENTER -- which means "our home" in the Ojibwe language
-- began in 1983 as an emergency shelter for runaway and homeless American
Indian youth. The shelter quickly filled the need for a culturally
relevant and safe place in the Twin Cities ­ one of the most concentrated
urban American Indian populations in the United States. While the shelter
remains the backbone for the Ain Dah Yung Centeršs mission to strengthen
American Indian youth and families, it has grown to address a wide variety
of issues in the American Indian community.

Today, the Ain Dah Yung Center is a national model for providing a broad
spectrum of culturally relevant and cost-effective social services to
American Indian youth and their families ­ a group that has been reluctant
to use mainstream government services and programs. The Ain Dah Yung
Center provides a continuum of care and services ­ recognizing that, in
American Indian culture, you canšt grow as a person until you have honor,
dignity, and respect for both yourself and everything around you.

Each year, the Ain Dah Yung Center provides services to about 500 youth
and families, using traditional American Indian beliefs as a starting
point for personal and community growth. The Center is a nonprofit
organization and its mission is: "To assist American Indian youth and
families to thrive in safety, wholeness, and a healing place within the

Guest: Mr. Shawnee Hunt (Ho-Chunk/Ojibwe), Director, Ninijanisag (Our
Children) Program, Ain Dah Yung Center.

+ + + +
Indian children were quite literally kidnapped (and later by social
services or law enforcement), forcibly put in boarding schools for almost
a century from the 1870s, until the last of these schools was closed in
1968.  The Indian boarding school was forced cultural genocide by
State-sponsored child abuse.  Scholar-activist Professor Ward Churchill
has written a short, powerful and totally documented book about these
schools called, Kill The Indian, Save The Man ­ Lydia Howell, Journalist.

* * * *
Indian Uprising a one-hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for and by
Native Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CDT on KFAI 90.3
FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.  Producer and host is volunteer Chris
Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue,
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454, 612-341-3144.

KFAI's website, provides "Program Archives˛ that have current
programs available for listening for two weeks. Programs can also be heard
via KFAI's "live streaming" using RealAudio. Click "KFAI Live Streams."

--------9 of 18--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Black rebellions 7.15 10pm

Here's some Black History we all too rarely hear aobut...on the
documentary film show on PBS. Check local listings for times--what's

P.O.V./Revolution '67
tpt2 Sunday, July 15, 10pm
tpt17 Monday, July 16, 8pm

P.O.V. chronicles the events of the black urban rebellions of the 1960s.
Focusing on the six-day Newark, N.J., outbreak in mid-July, Revolution
'67 reveals how the disturbances began as spontaneous revolts against
poverty and police brutality and ended as fateful milestones in America's
struggles over race and economic justice.

--------10 of 18--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine/film 7.16 6:30pm

FREE Third Monday Movie and Discussion: "The Iron Wall"
Monday, July 16, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall, 4537
Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Following the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, more than
200 settlements and outposts were built in violation of international law.
"The Iron Wall" exposes this and follows the timeline, size, and
population of the settlements, reveals how they have been a crucial part
of Israeli policy, and demonstrates how the Wall secures them as permanent
and irreversible facts on the ground. It warns that a contiguous and
viable Palestinian state is becoming no longer possible, and that the
chances for a peaceful resolution of the conflict are slipping away.
Sponsored by: WAMM Third Monday Movies. FF: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364.

--------11 of 18--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at]>
Subject: Youth violence 7.16 7pm

Youth Violence Steering Committee public forums.  The Youth Violence
Prevention Steering Committee I helped form will present a first draft of
our strategic plan for preventing youth violence, at two public forums:
Thursday, July 12th, 7-9 pm, YWCA, 2121 E Lake St; and Monday, July 16th
7-9 pm, North High School, 1500 James Ave N.  Your participation is

News from Cam Gordon Council Member, Second Ward July 2007

--------12 of 18--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: M Albert/CTV 7.17 8am

Revered Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts weekly on MTN Channel 17.  Households with
basic cable can watch.  "Our World In Depth" is on Saturday at 9 pm and
the following Tuesday at 8 am (as well as other times).

** 7/14 and 7/17 **  "Michael Albert: From SDS to Life After Capitalism"
Part 2 of recent talk in St. Paul.

--------13 of 18--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: M Albert/CTV 7.17 5pm

Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10
am each Wednesday in St. Paul.  All households with basic cable can watch.

7/17 and 7/18 "Michael Albert: From SDS to Life After Capitalism"  Part 2
of recent talk in St. Paul.

--------14 of 18--------

From: Debbie <ddo [at]>
Subject: Forests/ATV/OHV 7.17 6pm Menahga MN

Subject: West Central Forests - South Unit:  Upcoming Public Meetings

DNR is conducting a forest classification review regarding motor vehicle
use for the West Central Group of State Forests.  Proposed designations of
forest roads and trails, and Areas with Limitations on Off-trail and
Non-designated Trail Use, are also being considered.

The West Central Group - South Unit includes Huntersville, Lyons, Smoky
Hills, and Two Inlets State Forests and scattered forest lands in Clay,
Douglas, Otter Tail, Pope, Todd, and Wadena Counties.

You provided DNR with comments earlier in the West Central planning
process.  This email is to alert you that DNR will be holding two public
meetings very soon.  Specifically:

Meeting #1:  July 17 at Menahga School, 216 Aspen Avenue SE, Menahga, MN

Meeting #2:  July 19 at Detroit Lakes Middle School, 500 11th Avenue
South, Detroit Lakes, MN

Both meetings will start at 6:00 PM and end at 8:30 PM.  The first hour
will allow people to informally review the plan, maps, and other summary
materials.  The DNR interdisciplinary team and other supporting staff will
be present to answer questions the public may have.  During the remainder
of the meeting, DNR will present its proposal and respond to questions and
accept comments.

Public review documentation, including the Draft Plan and forest maps, are
available at the following link:

Scroll down the webpage to the West Central - South Unit row in order to
access relevant information.  DNR will accept written or email comments on
the proposed forest classifications and road/trail designations through
August 1 at 4:30 PM.

Thank you for your interest in the review process.

Bill Johnson, Planner MnDNR Division of Trails & Waterways 500 Lafayette
Road, Box 52 St. Paul, MN 55155 651-259-5643 fax:  651-297-5475
bill.johnson [at]

--------15 of 18--------

From: SAPark [at] [mailto:SAPark [at]] On 
Behalf Of
Subject: [LRT boondoggle] 7.17 6pm

The planning for Light Rail is now going on in earnest. Important
decisions about streetscape, construction, cars-per-train, and the U of M
proposed tunnel will be made by the end of 2007! Planning for the two
stations in St. Anthony Park will start soon. Now is a great time to learn
more about what is happening.

We will be having an Open House co-sponsored with the Metropolitan Council
for people to hear about University Avenue Light Rail Transit. Please come
with your questions and ideas about issues including stations, parking,
street redesign, and construction.

6:00 to 8:00 PM
Tuesday, July 17
South St. Anthony Park Rec Center
890 Cromwell Avenue

--------16 of 18--------

From: Impeach <lists [at]>
Subject: Impeach 7.17 7pm

meet Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.
Joe's Garage (Restaurant along Loring Park)
1610 Harmon Pl
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 904-1163

--------17 of 18--------

Empire on Fire
In the Last Throes, Judiciously
July 13, 2007

David Labowitz, an insurance salesman here [Narberth, Pennsylvania], said
he voted for Mr. Bush in 2004 and was eager for the next election to come
along so he could rectify what he called his mistake. "I am a registered
Republican," Mr. Labowitz said, "but I am so embarrassed to be a
registered Republican." (New York Times, July 9, 2007)

Imagine a burning building, with the people inside scrambling to find the

Now imagine that building located on the deck of a large ship, isolated in
the middle of the Pacific Ocean, riddled with gaping holes and sinking

Keep that image in your mind, and add to it the tsunami that is fast
approaching the ship's location.

It will get there soon, but not before the Enola Gay, which is buzzing
overhead with a special delivery item in its payload.

Got that picture in your mind? Welcome to the Republican Party, July 2007.

Or, the "Grand Old Party", as our regressive friends like to call it. Old?
Sure - as old as greed itself. Party? Well, there ain't a lot of
celebrating going on in its vicinity, but if you mean a congregation of
ever-narrowing numbers of people aggregated around certain political
ideas, however ridiculous they may be, well then, sure, this is a party.
But grand? Only in the scale of its current mess.

If you've got any political antennae at all, any sensitivity to the moods
and trends of American politics, you can't help but conclude that it is
all collapsing fast, and with it as well many of the multiple enablers who
have assisted in bringing us this ugliest of disasters these last years.
It's all coming apart now, bursting its tawdry seams, and doing so not
only with a tremendous rapidity, but with even a tremendous increase in
the rate of rapidity.

What a week it has been.

The most obvious signs of implosion, of course, are the Republicans in
Congress who, one after another, are now ditching the president with
sunrise-like regularity. It seemed like there was hardly a day this week
when one or two more didn't abandon the sinking ship of Bush's Iraq
catastrophe. Or should we say that you are "cutting and running", my dear
GOP friends? Should we now question your patriotism? Should we note that
many of you are up for reelection next year and, having seen what happened
last go-round, are now "playing politics with national security"?

If we were Karl Rove, George Bush or Dick Cheney, we would say those
things, of course. If we were garden variety regressive fellow-travelers -
much like, well ... you, actually - we would. If we were your attack dogs,
like O'Reilly and Limbaugh, we most certainly would. But we needn't do any
of those things, because you folks have spoken for yourselves. You backed
an insanely incompetent buffoon for president, little distinguishable from
Caligula other than by the suit and tie where the toga once resided. You
supported his administration's every move even when you saw that it
catered to the worst possible instincts of our country, and that it
represented the very antithesis of American constitutional government. You
stood by or piled on as its agents berated, vilified and destroyed any and
every true patriot who showed the greatest courage by expressing the
slightest objection to these toxic policies.

Now that you are seeking rescue from the burning building on the
aforementioned sinking ship awaiting the fire of the gods to be quenched
only by the great exhalation of Poseidon himself, you should count
yourself lucky - Mr. Voinovich, Mr. Lugar, Mr. Domenici, Mr. Alexander,
Ms. Snowe - if your too-little-too-late-mealy-mouthed-half-baked attempts
to undo the tragedy you helped create in Iraq results only in the loss of
your seats in Congress. How will you face the mothers of those who have
lost so much more - who have lost everything - for your astonishing lapse
in judgement, at best, and your raw political opportunism at (probable)
worst, my proud Republican friends?

One by one, two by two, they bailed this week, so that sometimes it seemed
that the only Republican senator who didn't jump ship was that good old
patriot, John McCain. I guess McCain must be a religious true believer,
because after Bush and Rove sicced the sickest dogs on him in 2000, he's
done nothing since but love his former enemy. Indeed, so great is McCain's
Christian embrace of George Bush that he seems to have even adopted the
latter's delusional personality out of sympathy. The only week McCain's
presidential campaign has ever had that was worse than this week was last
week. The guy has a whopping two whole million dollars left in the bank,
hasn't bought a single ad with the tens of millions already wasted on a
caviar campaign, is slipping in the Republican polls behind a pro-choice
guy with a lisp and another guy from Massachusetts, can no longer raise
contributions for the campaign, and therefore had to lay off more than
half his national staff. Then, on top of all that, this week he loses his
two top operatives through what appears to have been a civil war going on
inside the campaign. We can't quite tell who quit whom, but either way,
McCain's bid for the White House nowadays looks rather more like an
episode of ER than a presidential campaign.

Asked if he fired these guys, Big John said: "No, no, no, no. I'd describe
the campaign as going well. I'm very happy with it. People are free to
make their own assessments. I think we're doing fine." That's scary. Of
course, it also fully explains how McCain can be just about the only
person this side of Dick Cheney who thinks things are going just fine in
Baghdad. And isn't that just what we need right now, another four or eight
years of a 'round-the-clock hallucinating chief executive? No matter. Like
Don Rumsfeld, Tony Blair and the former Republican majority in Congress
before him, McCain is being amply rewarded for his loyalty to The Wrecking
Machine Formerly Known As George Bush, and for sharing the president's
megalomania. Twice McCain has been the odds-on favorite to be the
Republican nominee for president, only to watch the little terror from
Texas destroy his great life ambition, now for a second time as well.

[Last minute update as we go to press: It has been reported that McCain
had a huge fight with Senator Voinovich on the Senate floor (the biggest
row people have seen there in decades), that he illegally called campaign
contributors from the Senate cloakroom (the very thing that he lambasted
Al Gore for doing in 2000), that his two top people in Iowa have joined
the exodus from his campaign, and that his campaign co-chair in Florida
just got busted for offering to perform oral sex on an undercover cop for
twenty bucks. You think I'm making this stuff up, don't you? But I'm not.
That's the beauty of the regressive right - with these guys you don't have
to! That was today's news. I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Oh, did I
mention that McCain turns 71 next month?]

Looking across to the other side of the aisle, one could certainly be
equally amazed at the 'leaders' of the majority party in Congress, Harry
Reid and Nancy Pelosi. If anyone could possibly be more ineffective at the
job of opposing a reckless, dangerous and now publicly despised president,
it is hard to figure how. Perhaps if they were to send Dick Cheney a dozen
roses and asked him please to end the war he might feel more pressure than
he has since January, when the Democrats gained control of Congress. It's
hard to know which would be more intense.

The most astonishing thing to know about Harry Reid is that he was
reputedly once a boxer. Does that mean someone threw a punch at him on the
schoolyard grounds in seventh grade and broke his horn-rim glasses? Is
that what they mean when they say this guy was a boxer? I only ask because
I desperately want the leader of the Democratic Party in the Senate to be
a fighter. But, today, everything about what Harry Reid says, does and
even looks like to me telegraphs punching bag, not fighter. Or wet noodle.
Under a doormat. You know - the one leading into the servants' quarters.

I am therefore at least slightly pleased to see that Reid is apparently
nearing the end of his rope on Iraq. Gee, could that be because Congress
now has job approval ratings even lower than George Bush, and without
having done anything to anger anybody except those who expected it to
actually do something, especially on Iraq? Having utterly and
unnecessarily capitulated a month ago on the supplemental appropriations
bill for the war, Reid is supposedly now already gearing up for action
rather than waiting for September as the White House wants. Whatever else
the majority leader is, it would seem doubtful that he is so stupid that
he'd aggravate his base to the point of frenzy by raising this issue again
only to cave once more, so maybe we'll actually see some action this
time... But then, that's what I expected last month, too.

If he wants to know how much is at stake, he can just ask his pal Nancy
Pelosi next door. The most astonishing thing to know about her is that she
represents one of the most liberal districts in America. So she becomes
Speaker following an election, the clear message of which was 'end this
nightmare', and the first thing she does is take impeachment off the
table! What is it with these people? Do they go native in Washington and
just lose all sense, including any sense of themselves and their own
backgrounds? If Congress met on the moon, would they start acting like

Life just got a lot uglier for Nancy, and deservedly so, in what is
undoubtedly the political highlight of the week, if not the decade. In the
most clever and thrilling application of progressive politics we've seen
since Larry Flynt brilliantly offered a million bucks to any mistress who
would out her Republican hypocrite paramour during the Clinton
impeachment, Cindy Sheehan has threatened to run against Nancy Pelosi for
her San Francisco congressional seat unless Pelosi proceeds on impeachment
against Bush within two weeks time.

I wish we progressives could do more of this sort of clever infighting,
but here the circumstances are rather unique. Nevertheless, this maneuver
by Sheehan is brilliant. Much like the campaign to embarrass China during
their Olympics if they don't put pressure on Sudan over the Darfur issue,
it is a case of leverage on leverage. Sheehan is leaning on Pelosi to lean
on Bush. If Pelosi isn't crapping in her panties right now, she's a bigger
fool than would be the test-tube offspring of George W. Bush and Dan
Quayle, carried to term by Paris Hilton. Pelosi's district is perhaps the
most progressive in the country. If angry sentiment against Bush and
against his Iraq war doesn't run at least 90-10 there, I'd be shocked.
Pelosi's already an enormous source of disappointment for anyone to the
left of Joe Lieberman, and Cindy Sheehan - backed by an army of motivated
volunteers and donations literally from across the world - would have an
excellent chance of dethroning the New Queen of the House, only two years
into her reign.

Sheehan has, with this single bold stroke, completely reshuffled the deck
for Pelosi, Congress, Bush, America, Iraq and the world. A coldly
dispassionate look at the new lay of the land suggests that Nancy Pelosi
now has two options ahead of her. She can either become (the first female)
president of the United States following the impeachment of Bush and
Cheney (and perhaps even keep the job after the 2008 election), or she
will likely lose both her Speakership and her seat in Congress. There
probably is no in-between. That doesn't seem like such a tough choice to
me, especially because the only ones who pay in this scenario are Bush and
Cheney. But it does require a certain boldness - even if its boldness
driven by terror - which is a quality not exactly in abundance among
Democrats in Congress these last, well, decades.

There are two other beautiful aspects to impeachment that should be kept
in mind. One is that the public is ready for it - as Dick Cheney might
say, "big time". Half of those polled - an astonishingly high number -
believe that Bush should be impeached, and probably most of them don't
even quite know why they feel that way. For Darth Cheney the numbers are
54 percent in favor versus 40 percent against. In short, there is little
political risk here for Pelosi to proceed. That is especially true given
that ample evidence of the administration's lies on Iraq is already in the
public record, and that Bush has already admitted to both breaking
statutory law and violating the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution with
his illegal domestic spying program. He couldn't be more guilty than he
already is if he gave his next press conference in handcuffs and an orange

But the juiciest joy of impeachment, besides of course conviction and
removal (or better yet, conviction and removal of a disastrous president
who also happens to be the leader of a party that wrongly impeached a
Democratic president), is that the White House could no longer continue
hiding evidence by invoking its bogus executive privilege or national
security doctrines. Or, more precisely, they could, but only if they
wanted to stand by watching themselves lose the trial in the Senate. Their
position would be tantamount to an accused murderer refusing to present
exonerating evidence at his trial because of devotion to some relatively
obscure constitutional principle (I mean, how many Americans understand
the doctrine of executive privilege?). You can do it if you want, but
there will be a price to pay. You'll lose badly.

Of course, if the evidence you're supposedly protecting on principle
doesn't actually exonerate you but in fact proves your guilt, well then
that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish, isn't it? Once the impeachment
process begins, I see little hope for Bush and Cheney other than that
enough Republicans and perhaps even a few Democrats would prevent the
two-thirds vote necessary to convict. But given public sentiment right
now, let alone later, and given the evidence (or unanswered accusations)
that would be brought out via an effective prosecution combined with the
mounting electoral vulnerability of Republicans generally and anyone
supporting this White House specifically, even thirty-four votes in
defense of the indefensible in the Senate might be hard to muster. Cindy
Sheehan has started a pebble rolling down a mountainside. There is every
possibility this could turn into a landslide of international proportions.

The same failings of Congress must also be applied to the mainstream
American media. Much like the preening blowhards on the Hill, the press is
enormously culpable in the multiple tragedies of Bushism, for both utterly
failed their assigned role in the American constitutional firmament as the
watchdog and check against the accretion of executive power. The media's
guilt regarding the specific matter of Iraq is even more egregious, as
they not only failed both in asking tough questions about the policy or
even questioning the patently bogus claims of the administration before
the war, but also frequently served as a mouthpiece for broadcasting
precisely those lies.

So the New York Times - which has the most to atone for, if only because
it violated the most trust of all - began its week with an extended
editorial calling for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. Yep,
they're fed up with Mr. Bush's deceits, it would seem, and they've finally
figured out that the succession of benchmarks and breakthroughs claimed by
the administration are little more than smokescreens intended to delay any
real action on Iraq until January 2009, when the agony of Bush/Cheney
finally and mercifully comes to a halt (assuming Cheney doesn't first
rewrite that part of the Constitution as well).

I couldn't be more delighted to see a bit of wisdom from our national
paper of record (still, however, mixed with naivete about the position and
power of George Bush's America in the world), but gee, would it have been
too much to have asked for that back when it mattered? Would it have been
too much for you guys to have covered, two years after the war was
launched and when the rough extent of its utter foolishness was already
clear, the Downing Street Memos, which proved beyond question that the war
was based on lies? And while we're at it, if you folks really want to
atone for your sins, why don't you do something slightly bold now, like
call for the impeachment of the president and vice president?

I suppose we should be thankful for the little we've gained in recent
years, even if the emphasis truly is on the little. I have been reminded
of this of late in reading coverage of the Bush administration in the
media. Here's a decent example, excerpted from an AP article by Jennifer
Loven, entitled: "Bush Rips Democratic Lawmakers' Failures":

President Bush accused Democratic lawmakers on Saturday of being unable to
live up to their duties, citing Congress' inability to pass legislation to
fund the federal government.

"Democrats are failing in their responsibility to make tough decisions and
spend the people's money wisely," Bush said in his weekly radio address.
"This moment is a test."

The White House has said the failure of a broad immigration overhaul was
proof that Democratic-controlled Capitol Hill cannot take on major issues.
"We saw this with immigration, and we're seeing it with some other issues
where Congress is having an inability to take on major challenges," said
spokesman Tony Fratto.

The main reason the immigration measure died, however, was staunch
opposition from Bush's own base-conservatives. The president could not
turn around members of his own party despite weeks of intense effort.

Here we see the White House in its usual Rovian posture, simply inventing
reality out of whole cloth, never mind the mind-bending absurdity of it
all. If it is advantageous to describe black as white, up as down, Kerry
as coward and Bush as courageous, Iraq as necessary to our security and
its opponents as America-haters - then just do it. They have very good
reason to continue in this Wonderlandian mode. It's worked brilliantly for
years, and hardly anyone - certainly in the press - ever has the courage
to inject silly stuff like facts and reality into the discussion.
Moreover, if someone is ever foolish enough to do so, there's always the
politics of personal destruction to rely upon. Make an example out of Joe
Wilson and Valerie Plame, and the rest will get the idea.

If you want to see how far we've come, though, take a good look at the
last paragraph in the passage quoted above. It's what the nice folks in
the media biz like to describe as "context". Not so long ago, had this
article run, that paragraph would have been missing - completely AWOL. The
administration, and especially this ridiculous imbecile of a president
(but wasn't it just so endearing how he mangled words and didn't know the
name of the president of Pakistan?!) could make any claim, no matter how
absurd, no matter how contrary to known fact, and you wouldn't find such
corrective context anywhere in sight, let alone in the same article. It
was crucial that the nonsense go unchallenged, and so it did. Of course,
to inject such contextual background into a story of this sort is arguably
to add a political slant to it, something that a 'neutral' American press
fancies that it doesn't do. What they don't tell you, however, is that
failing to add such context in the face of known absurdities (like the
notion that the Democrats spiked the president's immigration bill) is just
as much if note more of an act of politicization as is adding it. Worse,
it is also an act of cooptation.

And, speaking of absurdities, notice also how far we still haven't come.
Someday in the future, perhaps, there will also be some qualifying context
behind this jaw-dropper: "Democrats are failing in their responsibility to
make tough decisions and spend the people's money wisely". Imagine how
differently - and how much more honestly - the piece would have read if
the next paragraph had said: "George Bush inherited America's biggest
budget surplus in history, and turned it into the biggest deficit in
history, because of which the national debt is now at $9 trillion, or
about $60,000 per taxpayer, and rising, and accumulating additional
interest every day. When Republicans took control of government, they went
on a spending spree that dwarfed anything Democrats had ever done. Bush
never vetoed a single spending bill."

Of course, the media - like Congress - have been way behind the public at
virtually every step of this process, and that continues to be the case
today, so that even though the public views the administration (albeit
still too generously, merely) as dishonest and inept, it will be some time
before anyone inside the Washington establishment can hint at such a
perception, despite that it is fully rooted in fact. Outward
acknowledgment of any (and every, real or fabricated) pejorative quality
is, of course, reserved for Democratic presidents only.

And then, of course, there is Bush himself to consider. Fully seventy
percent of the public are now reported to want the troops out of Iraq by
April. My guess is that that number will skyrocket even further now that
it has been revealed that the cost of the war is running $12 billion per
month. The president is due to report to Congress this week on the
progress made in Iraq, but there isn't any. Literally. Reported one story,
"The Iraqi government is unlikely to meet any of the political and
security goals or timelines President Bush set for it in January when he
announced a major shift in U.S. policy, according to senior administration
officials closely involved in the matter". Is it therefore any surprise
with these guys that, as another headline put it, "Administration Shaving
Yardstick for Iraq Gains", and that they are furiously trying to lower
expectations in advance of the report? In yet another media report, the
categories they invented trying to gussy up the corpse of Iraq were
described by one insider as "bizarre". No doubt. Perhaps they'll be citing
the Iraqi government for increased efficiency in addressing the problem of
the global population boom. Could that be a category?

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Robert Gates canceled his trip to Latin
America this week and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley bagged his
family vacation, both returning to Washington in a hurry. According to
ABC, an insider described the White House as being in "panic mode" as
members of Congress are trying to ditch Bush and Cheney faster than a
nasty case of the clap picked up on some overseas junket.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects from the rabid right are desperately trying
their level best to keep the poison flowing, of course. The New York Times
was attacked by conservative papers for capitulating to some very, very
bad people in the Muslim world, while the Washington Times attacked both
Democratic and Republican members of what it dubbed the "appeasement
caucus", who are "are poised to send another unmistakable message of
weakness to the jihadists". I had always thought that spending half a
decade and half a trillion dollars only to see the entirety of your
empire's land forces get the shit kicked out of them was a pretty good
definition of sending an unmistakable message of weakness to your enemy,
but what do I know? The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, cautioned
frightened Republican members of Congress that "their best prospect for
making Iraq less important in 2008 is military progress that allows for a
reduction in US forces with honor and a more stable Iraqi government".
Hmmm... "Peace with honor", "Peace with honor" - where have I heard that
gem before?

In any case, the old magic doesn't work anymore, especially when applied
to former stalwarts from their own party. While we may have passed the
point where anyone in the public cares enough about them that trashing
wobbly GOP legislators appears at all unseemly, it nevertheless is
certainly missing more than just a bit in the way of credibility. I don't
think many Americans are going to be angry at these Republicans for only
supporting an insane and hated war for four-and-a-half years, instead of
for "a generation", as the White House has suggested.

We have very far to go, to be sure, but the project of regressive politics
and the Bush administration to which it has been intimately tied is
crumbling before our eyes. Like David Libowitz, quoted at the top of this
piece, voters have lately been clocked departing the GOP at speeds
approaching Mach 5, horrified and shamed at their own foolishness for ever
associating with such monsters in the first place. And still the worst
tales of greed and deceit and murderous violence have yet to emerge from
the bog that produced Bush, Cheney, Rove, DeLay and Scalia, of that I am
as sure as can be. Imagine how it will look when more - and the worst - of
the truth is revealed.

It's worth considering how far we've come, and how perilous was the fate
of the republic, only a short time ago (and, unquestionably, still to some
degree today). The most chilling words ever to emanate from this or any
administration were surely also the most honest these guys ever spoke. In
the summer of 2002, a "senior advisor" to Bush (my guess has always been
that it was Rove) spoke off the record to reporter and author Ron Suskind,
and in so doing revealed the true project of the regressive movement, now
firmly lodged in the White House. Suskind reported this conversation in
the following paragraph from his 2004 article, "Without A Doubt", and the
words have been frightening many a thoughtful reader ever since:

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based
community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge
from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured
something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off.
"That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're
an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while
you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again,
creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how
things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you,
will be left to just study what we do."

Fortunately for the entire world, it turned out a bit differently.

History's actors are now history's acted upon. Perhaps they are stunned to
find that they are mere mortals, like the rest of us.

And the empire has gone the way of every other empire before it. Only a
lot faster.

And they did, indeed, create realities through their actions. Those
realities are called Iraq, global warming, Katrina, the debt, and more.

And we in the reality-based community did indeed study them, and
increasingly, we did so rather judiciously.

And we don't like what our studies have revealed. And we don't want their
empire, especially with them at the head of it. And we don't want their
reality creations.

And so we're creating a new reality, ourselves, we pathetic peons in the
reality-based community.

And they can study our reality. Judiciously, as they will.

And they'll have plenty of time to do so. In their jail cells.

David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra
University in New York. He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to
his articles (dmg [at], but regrets that time
constraints do not always allow him to respond. More of his work can be
found at his website,

--------18 of 18--------

How I Became a Radical, 20 Years Ago Today
Killing the Constitution
July 13, 2007

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
for trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now - I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan then we take Berlin

-- Leonard Cohen

Many think they now see through the Democrats' complicity with the Bush
administration's illegal wars and unconstitutional actions. If they think
this is new, they don't know that half of it.

Exactly twenty years ago today, on July 13, 1987, I witnessed the
Democratic Party establishment covering up - and therefore helping - the
subversion of the U.S. Constitution. It was actually on national TV, but
few seemed to care.

The Iran-Contra hearings were going on. I watched them almost in their
entirety, had just graduated from college and wasn't sure what I wanted to
do, so I spent time with my dad, who'd just been diagnosed with a severe
heart condition and we watched much of the hearings together.

For a while, I was admiring of the co-chairs of the Iran-Contra committee,
the Democrats Sen. Daniel Inouye and Rep. Lee Hamilton - who would go on
to co-head the 9/11 Commission and the Iraq Study Commission.

But, following events closely, it became clear Inouye and Hamilton were
covering things up things. This became glaring on July 13, 1987 when the
following exchange took place as Rep. Jack Brooks, a Democrat from Texas
questioned Oliver North:

REP. BROOKS: Colonel North, in your work at the NSC, were you not
assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the
"<> continuity of
government " in the event of a major disaster?

BRENDAN SULLIVAN (North's lawyer): Mr. Chairman?

SEN. INOUYE: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and
classified area so may I request that you not touch on that, sir?

REP. BROOKS: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in
Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed by
that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would
suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and
wondered if that was the area in which he had worked. I believe that it
was and I wanted to get his confirmation.

SEN. INOUYE; May I most respectfully request that that matter not be
touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I'm certain
arrangements can be made for an executive session.

And go into executive session they would. I expected a firestorm about
this. It never happened. The media were largely silent, the Chicago
Tribune the next day was rare in having a page one story (which I of
course didn't see till years later) leading with:

Members of the Iran-contra congressional panels Monday questioned Lt. Col.
Oliver North about his alleged involvement in a highly secret government
plan that reportedly included suspension of the Constitution in times of
national crisis.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Select Committee
on Iran, immediately cut off discussion of the plan, saying it touched on
a "highly sensitive and classified area."

The reference by Rep. Jack Brooks (D., Tex.,) to the plan followed
comments Friday by chief Senate committee counsel Arthur Liman that the
late CIA Director William Casey was attempting to promote "a CIA outside
of the CIA" to carry out covert policy.

And the committee did go into executive session at various points. In his
questioning, Brooks was referring to a few articles like the Miami Harald
piece of July 5, 1987 by Alfonso Chardy, which I didn't find until much

Some of President Reagan's top advisers have operated a virtual parallel
government outside the traditional Cabinet departments and agencies almost
from the day Reagan took office, congressional investigators and
administration officials have concluded.

Investigators believe that the advisers' activities extended well beyond
the secret arms sales to Iran and aid to the contras now under

Lt. Col. Oliver North, for example, helped draw up a controversial plan to
suspend the Constitution in the event of a national crisis, such as
nuclear war, violent and widespread internal dissent or national
opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad.

You might have watched the hearings but not remember any of this -- that's
probably because most of the media wrote pieces like the liberal Mary
McGrory in the Washington Post quoting Inouye shortly thereafter: "We have
a job to remind people of the Constitution and what it stands for."

In fact, just a few days after the Brooks-Inouye exchange, much of
Congress went on to Philadelphia for the 200th Anniversary of the
Constitution that they were in the process of undermining. ABC reported on
July 16:

Two hundred years ago today in Philadelphia the Constitutional convention
designed what we now call the Congress of the United States. And for the
occasion a delegation from Congress rode a special train to Philadelphia
for a ceremony in the same room where the Constitution was written.

The ABC piece quoted Lee Hamilton: "The whole art of government consists
in the art of being honest. I do not see how your attitude can be
reconciled with the Constitution of the United States."

If the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights are dead,
their death did not just happen during one administration or by one
political party. It was indicated on national TV by a few brave
representatives like Jack Brooks and Henry Gonzalez, written about by some
independently minded journalists. And the establishment of both the
Democratic and Republican parties with the big media outlets covered it up
- while celebrating the Constitution they were killing.

Many of Sam Husseini's writings are at


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