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Peter B. Collins
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December 5, 2005
Think about that. Tonight Dick Cheney goes to a ritzy district in Houston to host a fundraiser for Tom DeLayin spite of DeLay's felony indictment in a Texas court. Regardless of our disgust at the wave of indictments, investigations and resignations among Republicans in the last few months, for DeLay and Cheney it's business as usual.
And what a business it is. According to the Houston Chronicle, "for $4,200, a donor gets an invitation to a VIP reception, a photograph with Cheney, and recognition at the event. For $2,100, attendees can rub elbows at a 'congressional reception' and have their photo taken with DeLay."
DeLay and Cheney make it clear that money is the only language they know. So it's time for usworking togetherto raise their cost of doing business. DeLay and Cheney use money to maintain their corrupt hammerlock on Washington, so to beat them we have to match them candidate for candidate.
When we brought the bat back last week, you responded overwhelmingly, raising over $20,000 in a day. But we're not done.
DeLay has funded 29 candidates for Congress this year. Once we raise $34,800, we can tell DeLay and Cheney just how we feel about thatto the tune of $1,200 each for 29 progressive candidates of our own. Make it happen:
Is this a momentary lapse in Cheney's judgment? Not a chance. Right now, his ex-chief of staff faces spending the rest of his life in jail on perjury charges. So Cheney riding to the rescue of Tom DeLay arrives as no surprise. The two are peas in the same, ethically challenged pod.
His mission to support a man under indictment sends a message that top Republicans don't care about the law. They only care about power, and about the money that makes their hold on power possible.
But guess what? We have power in numbers. By coming together we can break their hold on power, and give this country the ethical, progressive leadership it deserves.
So let's get started. Swing the bat:
Four award-winning photojournalists show the world truths (up close and personal) about the war in Iraq. Working independently, they have run the risks and spent the time it takes to build rapport with Iraqi civilians and insurgents alike, and their lenses report with a depth and eloquence uncommon in the chaotic, fast-paced environment of war.
In contrast to the sound-bite depth of most news coverage from Iraq and the limited reports of its embedded reporters, Unembedded offers a nuanced perspective. This is not the view from the top of a tank or the backseat of a Humvee. These images document issues often underreported by mainstream media: the insurgency as seen from inside the separate resistance movements, civilians affected by the violent battles between the U.S. and insurgent forces, growing conservatism and fundamentalism and their effects on women, and the devastating effects of civilian casualties.
These photographers take viewers with them as they go where few dare, crossing front lines and cultural barriers, "unembedded" into the lives of a nation in crisis.
Images from Kael Alford:
Images from Rita Leistner:
Liz Herbert is the Editorial Director of the Rapid Response Network. The Rapid Response Network offers guest commentary at Democracy for America every Monday.
Last weekend I finally caught Goodnight, and Good Luck before it left the big screen. We left wondering who the Edward R. Murrow of our generation was. We had more success making a go of who it isn't.
Murrow surely couldn't have fathomed an O'Reilly when he said "[i]t is not necessary to remind you that the fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other."
Murrow saw a battle "to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference" in which television could be a tool, but "only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box."
I understand that you are compiling an enemies list. Please include my name on your list.
PS: Merry Christmas
Liz Herbert (FL)
December 4, 2005
By David Swanson On Tuesday in New York, Jonathan Tasini will announce the launch of his campaign for United States Senate, challenging Hilary Clinton in the Democratic primary. A Democrat, at least one who convincingly opposes Bush, is very likely to win the general election in this race. This means that the [...]
A GRASSROOTS REPORT BACK FROM THE DNC MTG. IN PHOENIX, AZ (Thurs. 12/1/05 - Sat. 12/3/05) A great weekend was had! Many from PDA, DFA and others from the grassroots attended a DNC meeting for the first time.:) PDA organized getting grassroots participants democratically (small d) educated about and involved in a DNC meeting.:) All meetings [...]
Source: The Nation's Weblogs
Roger Lund is the vice-chair of the Gettysburg Area Democracy for America group.
Luke Norris, 20, was one of 32 Americans awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, and one of 85 world-wide. Beginning in the fall of 2006, he will study at Oxford University in England.
Luke is the chair of Gettysburg College DFA which served as host for the PA For Democracy DFA conference in Septemberhe was on the steering committee for the event.
Luke will be doing research on how international relations have changed now that "non-state actors," such as terrorists, figure in the relations between nations.
"I'm particularly interested in the changing structure of the international system, post-Cold War," said Norris. He also wants to study "Democracy Peace Theory," which is based on the premise that democracies tend to form economic bonds with other democracies, which raises the costs of war. Norris believes, "Democracies are accountable to the people, so they're less likely to invade and pillage other (democracies)."
Luke has done volunteer work in orphanages in Argentina as well as working with people with AIDS in New York City. "It's my passionsocial justice, that is," said Norris.
Luke will spend 2 years in Oxford working on his masters degree in International Relations. This is the first Rhodes Scholarship to be awarded to a Gettysburg College student since 1917.
We are proud to know Luke and wish him the best. "Luke Norris" will be a name to look out for in the decades ahead.
From Phoenix... [Original Post] Rachel Gluck On Thursday, December 1, The Progressive Democrats of America hosted the opening party of the Democratic National Committee semi-annual meeting at The Lucky Break on Second Street and Jefferson in downtown Phoenix. It was a boisterous event with about 200-300 of the party’s 450 delegates present. People milled around the pool [...]
The president faces growing doubts about his leadership, or lack thereof — and in the New York Times, a reporter documents the breakdown in support for the White House one voter at a time:
Leesa Martin never considered President Bush a great leader, but she voted for him a year ago because she admired how he handled the terrorist attacks of 2001.
Then came the past summer, when the death toll from the war in Iraq hit this state particularly hard: 16 marines from the same battalion killed in one week. She thought the federal government should have acted faster to help after Hurricane Katrina. She was baffled by the president's nomination of Harriet E. Miers, a woman she considered unqualified for the Supreme Court, and disappointed when he did not nominate another woman after Ms. Miers withdrew.
And she remains unsettled by questions about whether the White House leaked the name of a C.I.A. agent whose husband had accused the president of misleading the country about the intelligence that led to the war.
"I don't know if it's any one thing as much as it is everything," said Ms. Martin, 49, eating lunch at the North Market, on the edge of downtown Columbus [Ohio]. "It's kind of snowballed."
Her concerns were echoed in more than 75 interviews here and across the country this week, helping to explain the slide in the president's approval and trustworthiness ratings in recent polls.
... Several of those interviewed said that in the last year they had come to believe that Mr. Bush had not been fully honest about the intelligence that led to the war, which he said showed solid evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
"I think people put their faith in Bush, hoping he would do the right thing," said Stacey Rosen, 38, a stay-at-home mother in Boca Raton, Fla., who said she voted for Mr. Bush but was "totally disappointed" in him now. "Everybody cannot believe that there hasn't been one shred of evidence of W.M.D. I think it goes to show how they tell us what they want to tell us."
Quite right, Mrs. Rosen — and for what it's worth, we can't believe it either.
This Week (ABC) - George Stephanopoulos sits down with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and Rep. John Murtha, (D-PA). Plus, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin gives a firsthand look at what some are calling a forgotten city.
Face the Nation (CBS) - Topic: The War in Iraq; Politics with Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Foreign Relations Committee
Meet the Press (NBC) - With less than two weeks until the Iraqi elections, the debate over U.S. involvement in the region has intensified. How long should American troops stay in Iraq? What progress is being made in training the Iraqi forces? MTP will ask key member of the Armed Services Committee and Vietnam veteran Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Then, more than four years have passed since the September 11th attacks. What have we learned? Are we more prepared than we were in 2001? We will ask the Chair and Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission, former Gov. Tom Kean (R-NJ) and former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN) in an exclusive, joint interview on this Sunday's "Meet the Press with Tim Russert." The chairmen will preview their final status report on terrorism & U.S. preparedness, "The 9/11 Commission Report: The Unfinished Agenda."
Chris Matthews Show (NBC) - Guests include: Katty Kay of the BBC, David Gregory of NBC News, Elizabeth Bumiller from the New York Times, amd Andrew Sullivan from New Republic and Time Magazine. Topics include: THE PRESIDENTS DIGS IN HIS HEELS ON THE WAR. CAN HE THWART THE MOVEMENT TO WITHDRAW U.S. TROOPS? IS THE PRESIDENT SUFFERING FROM LBJ-STYLE ISOLATION? IS HE CUT OFF FROM THE COUNTRY?
Fox News Sunday (Fox News) - Speaking to an audience of students and faculty at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Bush stressed that Iraq is the terrorists' "central front in their war against humanity" and said U.S. forces can come home once Iraqis can defend themselves and once an effective government is installed. But the president's speech did not stem the criticism by Democrats that the Bush administration does not recognize that Iraqis want U.S. troops out of Iraq.
"When 80 percent of the people say we want America to withdraw and when 45 percent of the people in the country we're fighting for believe it's OK to kill Americans to help us get there, the president is not dealing with a certain kind of reality that's important to the lives of our troops," said Sen. John Kerry, (D-MA)Mass.Is the president's strategy for victory in Iraq a winning formula or nothing more than a glossy version of the status quo? We'll get a fair and balanced debate from National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and Sen. Barbara Boxer, (D-CA).
Late Edition (CNN) - Wolf Blitzer will dissect the president's strategy for victory in Iraq, timetable for U.S. troops to come home, and a check up on the war on terror. Guests include: Stephen Hadley, National security adviser; Sen. Richard Lugar, (R-IN); chairman, Foreign Relations Committee Indiana; Sen. Joseph Biden, (D-DE), Foreign Relations Committee; Hoshyar Zebari, Iraqi foreign minister.
60 Minutes (CBS) - CHASING THE FLU Steve Kroft tracks the bird flu authorities fear could change into a human pandemic in which millions could die. MS-13 Now in 33 states and in four other countries, the MS-13 gang is dangerous enough for the FBI to create a task force to combat it. Dan Rather reports. HOWARD STERN In a rare interview, the controversial radio jock talks about his personal life and his new business venture in satellite radio. Ed Bradley reports. SWIMMING WITH SHARKS The rising business of shark tourism, in which people are brought into close contact with them, is making the sharks more used to people and therefore more dangerous to surfers and swimmers, say critics. Bob Simon reports.
December 3, 2005
Post by Kevin Spidel, PDA Hey fellow progressive bloggers the movement needs your help! Did you know there is a Congressional Election this Tuesday! The California's 48th District. The right wing extremist running against a solid progressive candidate is one of the founders of the "Minute Men Project." Yes that is right... the new armed organization with links [...]
I've been home for fifteen days in post-Katrina New Orleans. And a single one of the many sites, sounds, smells should be enough to break one's heart. The scenes I've seen and stories I've heard are horrific.
But, strangest and scariest of all is the new attitude the city holdsa distinct perspective on life that isn't normal.
Here are some situations that my fellow New Orleanians (the few that have returned) have faced or described with some degree of flippancy.
Examples of honest and dishonest conservatives on ScAlito and his 1985 memo on overturning Roe. First, the honest conservative, Bruce Fein:
Conservative lawyer Bruce Fein, who was a Justice Department official in the Reagan administration, said he is baffled that Alito is pulling back from his well-argued 1985 memos. "I think the administration is misreading the Senate and the public, because you end up losing more if your credibility is strained and people think you're playing them for dupes," Fein said.
Now the do anything to win, embrace dishonesty conservative, Janet LaRue:
Janet M. LaRue of the conservative group Concerned Women for America said she is not bothered that Alito is putting space between himself and his 20-year-old memos. "I would have been surprised if he had said anything else," she said. All her group wants, she said, is a judge "to make an objective ruling based on the law and the facts. It's a joke for the left to pretend that none of their favorite judges have deeply held beliefs."
Notice the straw man, another dishonest conservative favorite - "It's a joke for the left to pretend that none of their favorite judges have deeply held beliefs." Er, Ms. Liar-ue, we don't pretend it. Unlike you, our favorite judges don't have to lie to hide their extreme judicial philosophies:
Judge Alito is suggesting now that he may not vote to overturn Roe out of respect for precedent. But the Supreme Court reverses its own precedents with some frequency.
Justice Clarence Thomas spoke at his confirmation hearings about his respect for precedent. On the court he has opposed not only Roe, but also the 1965 case recognizing married people's constitutional right to buy birth control.
Been there, done that, Ms. LaRue. We know what you and ScAlito are about. "Say anything" is the motto of the dishonest extremists that run the Republican Party.
Update [2005-12-3 1:11:4 by Armando]: Crooks and Liars also on the case. Booman Tribune is reporting:
Booman Tribune has now obtained a copy of a memo that implicates employees of a second private security company, Triple Canopy, Inc., an American firm operating in Iraq, in the possible homicide of two Iraqi civilians on the road from Ramadi to Amman near the Jordanian border in December, 2004.
The memo appears to have been sent in January, 2005 from a Director of Intelligence Services for SEC Associates to one of SEC's employees based in Baghdad, regarding the need to investigate a possible double homicide by a PSD ("Personal Security Detail") working for Triple Canopy.
C O N F I D E N T I A L PROPIN
SUMMARY: (C/PR) //MAKIDJ/ FORWARDS INFO REPORTING POSSIBLE DOUBLE HOMICIDE OF UNARMED IRAQI TRUCK DRIVERS BY PMC PSD TEAM OPERATING IRAQ EARLY DEC 2004 WEST-BOUND ON AMMAN- BAGHDAD HIGHWAY NEAR JORDANIAN BORDER.
. . . 2. (C) MAKIDJ EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN THAT "THESE GUYS WERE ON THE WAY HOME AND DECIDED THAT THEY NEEDED TO KILL A FEW IRAQIS JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT---COWBOYS AND MURDERERS LIKE THESE [EXPLETIVE DELETED] ARE GOING TO UNDERMINE THE ENTIRE EFFORT IN IRAQ. THEY HAVE STAINED THE NAMES OF THE US MILITARY PERSONNEL WHO HAVE BEEN KIA OR WIA IN IRAQ. IF I WAS [IRAQI] I'D BE TRYING TO KILL THESE [EXPLETIVE DELETED] 'CONTRACTORS', TOO!"
Go to Booman for the whole story.
Update [2005-12-3 1:5:20 by Armando]: firedoglake. is that everybody? Update [2005-12-3 0:27:20 by Armando]: Jeralyn's take. Update [2005-12-2 23:49:42 by Armando]: emptywheel's take Update [2005-12-2 22:42:47 by Armando]: Fitz's filing. After you read it, you'll see that the Times has written a totally bogus story. Frankly, it is inaccurate. Very bad show. Update [2005-12-2 22:7:45 by Armando]: Sam Loomis has more info. This is intriguing:
There are eight blank pages in the public version of a decision the federal appeals court in Washington issued in February. The decision ordered two reporters to be jailed unless they agreed to testify before a grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of a C.I.A. operative, Valerie Wilson. What is in those pages is one of the enduring mysteries in the investigation.
In a filing yesterday, the special prosecutor in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, told the court that he had no objection to the unsealing of parts of those pages, and he gave hints about what they say.
. . . Mr. Fitzgerald told the court yesterday that he did not object to the unsealing of the parts of Judge Tatel's analysis concerning Mr. Libby because most of the facts in it had become public through the indictment and statements from grand jury witnesses.
The Times reporter, Adam Liptak, and the Times' and Judith Miller's attorney Floyd Abrams, do some rather ridiculous spinning:
The pages, in a concurring opinion by Judge David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, analyze secret submissions by Mr. Fitzgerald. Judge Tatel suggested, in a terse and cryptic public summary of what he wrote in the withheld pages, that testimony from the reporters, Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, was needed to determine whether a government official committed a crime in identifying Ms. Wilson.
. . . Yesterday's filing, in response to a motion by Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, seemed at odds with Judge Tatel's summary. It made clear that the case against at least Mr. Libby had for some time concerned obstruction of justice rather than the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity.
. . . Floyd Abrams, who represented Ms. Miller and Mr. Cooper before the appeals court, said Mr. Fitzgerald's filing was significant for the light it shed on the inquiry's progress.
"The revelation," Mr. Abrams said, "that Mr. Fitzgerald advised the court as early as the spring and fall of 2004 that his focus on Mr. Libby related not to potential threats to national security but to possible violations of perjury and related laws raises anew the question of whether the need for the testimony of Judy Miller and Matt Cooper was at all as critical as had been suggested."
What balderdash! The testimony clearly involved elements of the potential crimes that implicated national security interests. That Fitzgerald has not yet charged those crimes does not mean that the testimony does not implicate those crimes. In the case of Judy Miller especially, it clearly does. In the case of Matt Cooper, Karl Rove is still under investigation.
And thus the very intriguing part that makes complete mincemeat of the silliness from Adam Liptak, the Times reporter, and Abrams:
Mr. Fitzgerald said he did object to unsealing other parts of the analysis. Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a lawyer for Dow Jones, said, "We are hopeful we can persuade the court to release the rest."
Well, good luck with that Mr. Boutrous. Obviously those portions of the opinion deal with Rove and others. Fitz has really got his eyes on Rove. And I imagine this motion is, in some ways, a shot across the bow at Robert Luskin, Rove's lawyer, who has been very talkative lately, anonymously of course.
On Tuesday, California will hold another special election - this time, to fill the vacant House seat in CA's 48th CD. Our candidate is Steve Young. Here's how you can help him for the final weekend push:
UPDATE: House race guru Superribbie details why he thinks we might have a shot in this district.
P.S. Response to this call to action has been very strong, so if you've e-mailed the campaign and have yet to hear back, please be patient. They are working very hard to get back to you as soon as possible. Also, if you want to volunteer in person, you should try phoning rather than e-mailing.
Continuing a tradition as old as Christmas itself, O'Reilly lays the blame for the "War on Christmas" directly where he thinks it belongs. After puttering around with the coded notion of the "secular progressive" attack, he is pressed for names, and gives one. He says the attack on Christmas is, behind the scenes, being financed by a secular Jewish "moneyman".
O'REILLY: This is insulting to Christian America. It's insulting. This is driven by secular progressives --
CAVUTO: The Jews and Muslims say it's insulting to keep the Christmas.
O'REILLY: I say that Muslims are less than 1 percent of the population, and Jews are less than 3 percent of the population. They're entitled to their opinion, they're entitled to their opinion and they are entitled not to shop in places that say "Merry Christmas," just as I'm entitled not to shop in places that don't. That's what I say. But the bottom line on this is this: Secular progressives which are driving this movement, OK, don't want Christmas. They don't want it as a federal holiday, they don't want any message of spirituality or Judeo-Christian tradition because that stands in the way of gay marriage, legalized drugs, euthanasia, all of the greatest hits on the secular progressive play card. If they can succeed in getting religion out of the public arena --
CAVUTO: Who's "they?"
O'REILLY: George Soros. He's the moneyman behind it. It's a philosophy. Go on the websites and look at it. It's there. It's a secular, progressive --
CAVUTO: It has come to this --
O'REILLY: They're afraid. They've been intimidated, but I say, fight back.
In honor of the increasingly repugnant O'Reilly, we shall repeat below a post on the subject from last year, featuring great moments from Henry Ford, David Duke, and other voices who similarly explain the origins of the so-called War on Christmas. As well as a few hits from Bill O'Reilly himself, last year.
Please tell me in comments what you think that phrase means.
After you've done that, read Kevin Drum.Update [2005-12-2 14:32:17 by Armando]: My answer is more about what jumped into my head than what it means - The Paranoid Style in American Politics.
ScAlito Met With Specter today:
Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, who expressed strong opposition to abortion rights two decades ago, pledged Friday that his personal views on the subject "would not be a factor" in his rulings, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said.
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Alito had told him in a private meeting that "with respect to his personal views on a woman's right to choose ... that is not a matter to be considered in the deliberation on a constitutional issue of a woman's right to choose. The judicial role is entirely different."
The problem is ScAlito has a memory like Rove ("forgot" he talked with Matt Cooper about Valerie Plame). Who's to say he won't "forget" this too?More on the flip.
Help Needy Monterey Families and Children
Children's Services International is a unique and wonderful local non-profit that serves homeless and low-income families and children throughout Monterey County.
Call to participate 3-6pm PT:
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