Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Next Big Republican Lie

Karl Rove's former aide, Kyle Sampson is expected to try and dismiss the Constitutional Crisis that has arisen from George W. Bush's latest abuse of power when he addresses Congress today.

What he will actually be doing is admitting to high crimes and misdemeanors, but I don't expect the corporate media to ever address that angle.

8 US attorneys were fired because they wouldn't bend to Republican demands in executing their duties. Carol Lamb of California for example, was fired because she successfully prosecuted a Republican and good friend of Karl Rove, Duke Cunningham, last year for corrruption and bribery.

Mr. Sampson's prepared statements were leaked to the press and among other things, he is expected to say the following:

"The distinction between 'political' and 'performance-related' reasons for removing a United States attorney is, in my view, largely artificial," he said. "A U.S. attorney who is unsuccessful from a political perspective ... is unsuccessful."

Mr. Sampson's whole argument is dependant upon the idea that the US Attorneys serve the President.

He is wrong. They do not.

The US Attorney's oath of office is to uphold and defend the Constitution, not the President.

This is their Oath of Office.

I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

The President may enjoy the pleasure of picking who serves, but that does not mean they serve the President.

Their Oath of Office specifically says their loyalty lies with the Constitution, not the President.

I predict that the entire rightwing echo chamber will be parroting the lie that "political firings are ok" often and loudly.

Once again Republicans are relying on their domination of the media and the strategy of Joseph Gobbels,

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

Why not? It worked for them with WMDs in Iraq. It worked for them regarding a connection between Saddam and Al Queda and 9-11.

I fully expect them to continue using a strategy that has worked in the past.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Tax "Burden" Myth

I reject this whole notion of tax as a "burden".

Taxes are the dues you pay for membership in this great society.

Taxes are the cost of doing business in our Markets.

Taxes are what pay for the hundred Billion dollar "defense" industry right-wingers love so much.

Taxes built our interstate highway system.

Taxes built our schools.

Taxes built our bridges.

Taxes built this Internet we are using right now.

You don't want to pay taxes?

Fine, get your lazy ass out of America.
Stop sponging off us.

The common complaint is that taxes are a ‘redistribution of wealth”.
Corporate subsidies are a redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich, but you never hear the anti-tax crowd say that.

If you think certain taxes are too high, that’s fine, let’s look at alternate revenue streams.

For instance, I am all for offsetting our income taxes through alternate revenue streams, such as tariffs.

What is the one thing everyone in the world wants?

Access to our markets.

They want access to sell their cheap goods to American Consumers by the boatload.

So charge them for it, like they charge us for access to their markets.

Prior to the 20th Century the Federal Government was funded almost solely by revenue from Tariffs. The 20th century brought about the shift in funding our government from Business and Industry to the Workers.

And who uses the Commons more, the individual or the Business?

Who do you think puts more wear and tear on our roads, Wal-Mart or you?

So who do you think should pay more for that wear and tear?

Right now, it is you and I who pay for it.

I don't think that is right.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wanton Removal of Meritorious Officers is an Impeachable Offense!

On June 17th, 1789, the first US Congress was gathered to discuss, among other things, the removal from office of politcial appointees. Regarding the idea of allowing the President, solely, to dismiss appointees, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, said this:

"The danger then consists merely in this: the President can displace from office a man whose merits require that he should be continued in it. What will be the motives which the President can feel for such abuse of his power, and the restraints that operate to prevent it? In the first place, he will be impeachable by this House, before the Senate for such an act of maladministration, for I contend that the wanton removal of meritorious officers would subject him to impeachment and removal from his own high trust. But what can be his motives for displacing a worthy man? It must be that he may fill the place with an unworthy creature of his own."
The next time some knucklehead tries to tell you that the attorneys "serve at the pleasure of the President", remind them that just because they serve at the President's pleasure, they do not serve the President, they serve the Constitution, according to their own oath of office.

Then remind them that that the wanton removal of meritorious officers is an impeachable offense!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Joe Biden Rips the GOP

Go Joe!
You are spot on!
He is right there with me. See my last post.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Democrats - Plan the Post-Surge Strategy Now

What are we going to do when the “surge” inevitably fails?

This is the question of the hour.

I think most people already know that it is going to. General Patreus, the new guy in charge, only gave the “surge” a “one out of four” chance of success. That’s only a 25% chance of success, in case you are really bad at math. The military commanders have been saying all along that the solutions to the problems in Iraq are political and diplomatic, not military.

The conservatives responsible for this Mess-O-Potamia thought they were going to prove the Marshall Plan was wrong. The conservatives thought that they could rebuild Iraq into a privatized, free-market utopia. The rhetoric was all about “bringing democracy”, but as Naomi Klein points out in her fantastic article, “Privatization in Disguise”:

“By the time the Iraqi people have a say in choosing a government, the key economic decisions about their country's future will have been made by their occupiers.”

The reason the Marshall Plan worked was that it gave money directly to the governments of Germany and Japan and let them invest in their own economies, putting Germans to work rebuilding German roads and buildings and stimulating a middle class in Germany. It gave the Germans and Japanese advantages that we lack in America like universal healthcare and strong labor unions. And here we are, 2007 and the Germans and Japanese are dominating the auto industry. Go figure.

The conservatives, in a needlessly partisan attempt to prove the Democrat Truman wrong, thought that by selling off Iraq’s infrastructure and resources to foreign investors that would somehow be enough to rebuild the Iraqi economy. The problem comes back to the recurring theme with Conservatives, a general disregard for the working class everywhere.

The largest construction project in Iraq right now is the U.S. Embassy, a massive $600 Million campus and the Iraqis are not building it. They gave the contract to a Kuwaiti company instead because they were the lowest bidder.

Paul Bremmer came into Iraq in 2003 and immediately fired thousands of Iraqi bureaucrats, intelligence emloyees, teachers and government employees in a “de-baathification” project that ultimately ended up creating willing fodder for the insurgency.

In 2004, Al Jazeera reported that the unemployment rate in Iraq was at 70%.

The unemployment rate in Iraq remains above about 50% to this day.

If the unemployment rate in America was 50% we would probably have an insurgency here too.

Of course, the US Government says the unemployment rate is only 30%.

In the depths of the Great Depression in America, unemployment hit 29%.

President Hoover was in such fear of a domestic insurgency that he ordered an attack on the Bonus Marchers, veterans of WW1 who were in Washington DC, petitioning to get a promised bonus early.

That is the plan that the Democrats need to be thinking about now if they want to succeed in 2008. We cannot pull out of Iraq immediately because it would cause it to escalate into a regional war. Before we can leave, we have to stabilize Iraq. It’s the Pottery Barn rule, you break it, you bought it. We broke Iraq. We have to fix it or at least figure out a way to pay for it before we leave.

We need to stabilize Iraq by creating a strong central government. The way to do that is to give the people a stake in its survival. One way to do that would be to nationalize the oil industry and give every Iraqi citizen a share of it. Literally. Issue shares of it to everyone who can prove their citizenship. That would give every Iraqi, regardless of tribe or religion, a shared bond and a stake in some badly needed common ground.

The way to attack the insurgency in Iraq is to create jobs. Give the Iraqis something constructive to do and give them a stake in rebuilding their own country. Let’s start by letting the Iraqis build our embassy. We bombed them, for Pete’s sake, it’s the least we can do.

The Democrats need to start citing the Marshall Plan openly as one example of how to handle Iraq correctly. Of course because this has been bungled so badly, for so long, and so much damage has already been done to the entire region, that we cannot succeed without including Iraq’s neighbors in more active and constructive roles.

Of course, in order to get behind this plan, DLC Democrats like Hillary are going to have to abandon the corporatist meme and acknowledge the fact that some socialism can be positive and productive, especially when rebuilding a broken economy.

Once one escapes the conservative, corporatist meme, it opens up all sorts of possibilities to benefit America. It is simple common business sense; any costs that the government can subsidize will give businesses in that country a competitive advantage. Want to help revitalize GM? Institute Nationalized Healthcare! Gm has more healthcare cost in their cars then cost of Steel. Want to rebuild the American manufacturing base? Reinstitute Import Tariffs! There is no reason that China should be allowed to put 30% import tariffs on our products but we can’t even put a 5% tariff on theirs.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Hey Ann, John Edwards is Happily Married

I just donated $50. You should too.

Fuck Ann Coulter and "her" massive adam's apple.

Seriously, look at that thing. It's bigger than mine.

Dear Kyle,

Did you hear about Anne Coulter's speech this afternoon attacking John? A friend just forwarded me the video and it's one of the worst moments in American politics I've seen.

I can't bring myself to even repeat her comments. Her shameless display of bigotry is so outrageous you actually have to see for yourself to believe it.

This is just a taste of the filth that the right-wing machine is gearing up to throw at us. And now that it's begun, we have a choice: Do we sit back, or do we fight back?

I say we fight. Help us raise $100,000 in "Coulter Cash" this week to show every would-be Republican mouthpiece that their bigoted attacks will not intimidate this campaign. I just threw in 100 bucks. Will you join me? Just click here.

Coulter's attack was no accident. It happened on national television at one of the year's biggest conservative conferences. Dick Cheney and most of the Republican candidates were in the audience. She was even introduced by Mitt Romney.

John was singled out for a personal attack because the Republican establishment knows he poses the greatest threat to their power. Since they have nothing real to use against him, Coulter's resorting to the classic right-wing strategy of riling up hate to smear a progressive champion. And the Republican attack dogs will keep playing this despicable trick as long as they think it works.

But this time, you and I can change the game.

If we can raise $100,000 in "Coulter Cash" this week, we can show that bigotry will only backfire on those who use it. John is not the first progressive leader to face this kind of slime, but together, we can make sure he is one of the last.

Tonight, I've put in 100 bucks of "Coulter Cash" to get us started. Can you match me, or chip in whatever you can afford? Just click here:


David Bonior
Campaign Manager
John Edwards for President

Friday, March 02, 2007

Had a DUI? Forget about going to Canada!

Have you heard about this yet? I am suprised it isn't getting more attention.

If you are an American trying to go to Canada and you have even a minor criminal conviction on your record, including misdemeanors, as far back as your juvinille record, you will now be turned back at the border.

If you have been convicted of a DUI, reckless driving, or posession of marijuana, even on your juvinille record, you have to obtain a waiver saying you are "rehabilitated". They cost money, involve a lot of paperwork and take approx 6 months to get.