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Friday, July 29, 2005


No, I have NOT lost my mind. And you read the title correctly.

Face it, I don't like Harold Ford's politics. 'Nuff said. But when people start attacking the man because he's a bachelor and has no kids (which is a plus because too many brothers have kids they aren't taking care of out of wedlock), well, my instincts as a Christian kick in and I have to defend this guy's right to live his life the way he sees fit, married or not.

From the comments board at Half-Bakered:

The way to beat Ford is for his opponent (whomever that may be) to play up the 'wife and family, regular guy' angle. Ford is a bachelor with no kids and he never worked in a normal job in his life. As heir to a political dynasty he went to college and law school and then straight to congress. No joke. He graduated law school in Spring '96 and started campaigning that summer.

His opponent should have years of experience doing something in the private sector and preferably a wife and a few kids. Mention them often. What's Ford got? An empty house, corrupt relatives, and experience doing nothing but politics. As a long time Ford follower I would be shocked, stunned really, if he won the Senate rate. What he's selling won't find many buyers in Middle and East TN.

Rant Wraith Homepage 07.28.05 - 12:15 am #

And here's my response:

Two comments:

One blogger said to play up the fact that Harold Ford is a bachelor and has no kids. What does that have to do with his qualifications to be in the U. S. Senate? Personal attacks on Mr. Ford's private life aren't warranted, and I say this as one who believes his political stances spell "selling out for personal gain."Many married politicos are closeted gays and are currently being exposed as the hypocrites they are, especially those espousing family values. So, IMO, a candidate's private life should remain that, unless it influences his/her stances on political policy. Has anyone gone after Rosalind Kurita for the same things as you have with Harold Ford?

Two, Ford's voting record (Bankruptcy Bill, School Vouchers, Privatization of Social Security, and elimination of social programs designed in FDR's "New Deal" to assist the poor and downtrodden) are the REAL issues. His positions on them sucks BIG TIME, and that's what all of you in Tennessee should focus on. The things that his father's generation benefitted from, as well as himself, are those programs he seeks to trash. He is aware of my positions on these issues, because I've told him about them during Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Weekend on several occasions when I've had the opportunity. Like any self-seeking politico, he blew me off, until those of you in Memphis, not drunk on the GOP Kool-Aid, started lighting fires under his collective horses' rear end on the matter, and forced him to publicly change his position. Politicians who respond in this manner will say and do anything to retain public office, regardless of their first obligation, which is to serve the people who elected them.

Should he become your Senator, God help all of you, because he really will be no better than Zell Miller. But his lack of a wife and kids should not be the issue in this campaign. Even though I hate his policies, I would also hope he's not pressured to go get a wife just to cater to what you think should be seen in a candidate.

Example: Rep. Don Sherwood is a married father of three daughters, who is being accused of physically abusing his 29 year old mistress of five years by choking her. The married politicos are either married and having affairs on the side, or married and having homosexual affairs. As much as I dislike Ford's political views, he's more honest by remaining a bachelor until he finds a woman who he loves and who loves him, regardless of whether or not he wins that Senate seat.

Flame away. Oh, and Harold? I'd defend anyone who's attacked personally, because IMO, it's your qualifications to do the job, and not your personal life that counts.

Now, allow me to go back to ranting about this guy's POLITICS...yeesh

Thursday, July 28, 2005


The following is a commentary from David Sirota on Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, and her spine. She appears to have rediscovered hers, as indicated by the fact that the Democratic Steering Committee is considering SANCTIONS against the Gang of 15 who sold out America with their CAFTA vote.

Sirota tells us they are already whining. Go read about it on his blog (about the whining they have done by flooding him with emails) at

I've included his post regarding Ms. Pelosi and her spine. For once, it's nice to be able to say something nice about the House Minority Leader (guess her San Fran Constituents are lighting fires under her these days) and not puke over the things she's done.

Pelosi Courageously Steps Up & Demands Accountability

Roll Call has a new report up about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) holding an emergency meeting of the House Democratic Steering Committee tonight to discuss formal sanctions against the 15 Democrats who sold out their party and voted for the corporate-written Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Pelosi raised "the likelihood that defectors' committee assignments would be reviewed at tonight’s meeting of the Steering Committee." That's absolutely necessary - why should Democrats who undermine their party be given plum committee assignments over other, far more loyal and principled Democrats? Pelosi should be commended for her courage - and now she needs to back up her words with action.

The story goes on to note that "Several Democratic sources said Pelosi and other House leaders are particularly upset with New York Reps. Greg Meeks and Ed Towns, members of exclusive committees with safe seats, who voted for CAFTA."
Meeks had the nerve to say that he "vote[d] my conscience" on CAFTA, despite his long history selling off his votes on trade to the highest corporate bidder. He also said while he "knows many of my colleagues are disappointed," he said he has is with Democrats "90 percent of the time" – yeah, except for on all most of the recent key economic votes that would allow the Democratic Party to actually paint the kind of serious contrast with the GOP that polls show the American people are waiting for.

Roll Call goes on to lay the groundwork for supposedly "endangered" Democrats who represent swing districts to claim they had to vote for CAFTA for their re-election. But as I have earlier noted, that rationale is so dishonest it's hard to believe a Member of Congress could utter it with a straight face.

Read the whole Roll Call article attached. Then go to Pelosi's website at and call/email her to thank her for trying to enforce some discipline among Democrats. And make sure to tell her to back up her words with action - the only thing that will change this kind of behavior on core issues in the future is if Democratic turncoats know there are real consequences when they sell out their party and the American people.


Dear Gang of 15 Democratic Sellouts (Melissa Bean - IL; Jim Cooper - TN, Henry Cuellar - TX, Norm Dicks - WA, Ruben Hinojosa - TX, William Jefferson - LA,
Jim Matheson - UT, Greg Meeks - NY, Dennis Moore - KS, Jim Moran - VA, Solomon Ortiz - TX, Ike Skelton - MO, Vic Snyder - AR, John Tanner - TN, Edolphus Towns - NY):

You say that you are Democrats and that you are in office to fight for people like me. How does voting for legislation like the CAFTA bill do that? How does sending our jobs out of the country boost the American economy? Many of you represent economically poor and hard hit districts that are still reeling from the effects of NAFTA, and now this? Could you take a minute from feeding at the corporate trough to tell me how your representation in Congress, by selling out your vote on bills like CAFTA is helping people like me be protected from Corporate monsters like Wal-Mart?

You say that you represent labor unions, yet every time you vote on legislation like CAFTA, or the Bankruptcy Bill, you show your true allegiance. As David Sirota says on his blog, you should be targeted for defeat in 2006. It matters not that the Democrats may remain in the minority for some time, thanks to your machinations, but Americans would rather have a minority that includes John Conyers, Barbara Lee, Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold and others, who believe in us, and who really will fight for our rights by exercising minority rights; not to mention, actually go to the mat for us, than keep the likes of you in Congress just to keep up the numbers.

Most of you represent what is considered "safe" House Districts; in fact, Greg Meeks, I understand you're running for re-election virtually unopposed. So why did you cast that vote for CAFTA? You don't want to pay for your own Jamaican vacations, so you would rather travel on the Corporate dime and call it job-related? Shame on you for getting so fat at the trough, that you have forgotten who sent you to Congress in the first place. The rest of you, have no excuse, unless it's like Greg Meeks. We scream at you, "HAVE YOU NO SHAME" and you answer with a resounding "NO, WE DON'T HAVE ANY SHAME! WE'RE PROSTITUTES! WE SELL OUR VOTES TO THE HIGHEST PAYING JOHN (read Corporate Interests)! SCREW YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RIDE ON!"

The reason you have sustained for so long is that you continue to get free passes from the rest of your Democratic collegues, and the Democratic National Committee, just to keep up the numbers of Congressional seats. But your presence indicates that it is worthless for you to hold that seat, because the longer you hold your seat, the more opportunities you have to be derelict in your duty to the people who elected you to office. However, now that Howard Dean is driving that mighty Wurlitzer, money that you think you will get towards re-election, will probably go to any progressive candidate who mounts a worthy challenge to you. We're sick and tired of watching you sell us out, and then expect us to continue voting for you, like a crack addict continues to hit the pipe, and continues to lose all of his teeth as a result! So, should you lose your seat to a Republican, or better yet, another progressive Democrat, the sooner you lose that seat, the better it will be for us.

The wingnuts in the Democratic Leadership Council is starting to sing the "Let's Play Nice" theme song again, with Senator Hillary Clinton singing lead. Do you honestly think we're going to allow the Group of Consistent Losers to drive the bandwagon this go-around? Not if MoveOn, Working For Change, David Sirota, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (aka DailyKos), Duncan Black (Atrios) John Aravosis (Americablog) Steve Gillard, and others like little ol' me have anything to do with it. So, fasten your seat belts, because we are about to give you a bumpy, bumpy ride, until we ride you hard out of Congress and hang you up wet!

The American people you purport to represent deserve better than your cowardly appearance on the floor of the House in the disguise of representing your constituents' best interests. We are not drunk on the Kool-Aid as you would wish, so you can keep us in the dark like a plant and feed us your particular brand of BS, as you have done in the past. We are wise and we are on to you. If the Democratic Party has to lose the likes of you in order to save its very soul, and stand for the principles, beliefs and values that she has long stood for; while we may be a minority party, we will also be a party that the American people will know what we stand for. You DLC demagogues have had almost twenty years to establish the message, and you are still screwing it up to this day.

Sometimes, the purpose can be diluted by too many in numbers, and that's where the Democratic Party is today. On the brink of annihilation, yet you 15 members of Congress call yourselves Democrats, while shooting at the rest of us and picking us off one by one. Perhaps, with less Democrats like you holding political office, the rest of the Party and Democratic Congressional members can truly focus on what matters to the rest of us, and become a more united front, even though they might be small in number. A united front can shut down Congress, based on minority rights alone, and force the Thug Party to come to the table and play fair. Your continued presence in Congress, enables them to attack at will like rabid dogs, and the result is a fascist government, with a self-imposed Dictator in charge. While the GOP may have orchestrated the theft of elections and hijacked the courts to get what they have, they could not have done it without the likes of you, and your brand of "Democratic" beliefs that have never represented us, and they never will.

My wish is that you would do the real honorable thing and resign your seat. But you are too selfish to do that. So the only option is to make sure you don't regain your seat in 2006 and beyond. Don't think we can't do it, because we can, and if you're arrogant enough to believe you're untouchable, go read "It Can't Happen Here" and learn of the fate of those who thought they were untouchable. The cycle of life demands justice at some point, and the justice for you would be a place on the unemployment line as an ex-politician, replaced by someone who is going to be of the people and for the people.

You have been warned, and you ignore this warning at your own peril.

Leutisha Stills (aka The Christian Progressive Liberal)
Oakland, California

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


God, Dave, when you're on a roll, you really can cook! While I don't normally blog twice in the same day, David Sirota sends me this gem:

The Democrats 2008 Choice: Sell Out & Lose, Or Stand Up & Win

The 2008 Democratic presidential candidates this week are busy genuflecting at Corporate America's altar - otherwise known as the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Now, it's true - the DLC is really just a group of Beltway-insulated corporate-funded hacks who have spent the better part of the last decade trying to undermine the Democratic Party's traditional working class base - a base that had kept Democrats in power for 40 years and now, thanks to the DLC, has been forfeited to the Republicans. Even so, the fact that these presidential candidates feel the need to bow down to the DLC is a troubling sign about whether the Democratic Party is really serious about regaining power in America.Let's just look at the cold, hard facts about the DLC and its record.

The DLC has pushed, among other things, the war in Iraq and "free" trade policies, using bags of corporate money to buy enough Democratic votes to help Republicans make those policies a reality. They have chastised anyone who has opposed those policies as either unpatriotic or anti-business - even as a majority of Americans now oppose the war in Iraq, oppose the DLC's business-written trade deals, and are sick of watching America's economy sold out to the highest corporate bidder. Additionally, in Orwellian fashion, the DLC has also called its extremist agenda "centrist," even though polls show the American public opposes most of their agenda, and supports much of the progressive agenda. Now, you could make a credible argument that the DLC's corporatization/Republicanization of the Democratic Party was justified, had it led to electoral success for Democrats. Few would argue that today's split-the-difference Democratic Party hasn't followed the DLC's policy direction over the last 10 years. That means the last 10 years of elections really have been a referendum on whether the DLC's model - regardless of any moral judgements about it - actually wins at the polls. And that's when we get to the real problem with the DLC - its policies are BOTH morally bankrupt, and politically disastrous. The rise of the DLC within the Democratic Party has coincided almost perfectly with the decline of the Democratic Party's power in American politics - a decline that took Democrats from seemingly permanent majority status to permanent minority status. In this last election, just think of Democrats' troubles in Ohio as a perfect example of this. Here was a state ravaged by massive job loss due to corporate-written "free" trade deals - yet Democrats were unable to capitalize on that issue and thus couldn't win the state because the DLC had long ago made sure the party helped pass the very trade policies (NAFTA, China PNTR) that sold out those jobs.

To counter, the DLC holds up Bill Clinton's 1992 win as proof that its policies win elections, but that is so dishonest it's laughable. First and foremost, almost everyone would agree Clinton ran a very un-DLC-like populist campaign for President in 1992, and won far more on the strength of his charisma/personality than any policy platform from a bunch of pencil-pushing geeks at the DLC in Washington, D.C. Secondly, since that 1992 victory - with the exception of Clinton's 1996 victory over one of the weakest GOP challengers in modern history - Democrats have been roundly destroyed in national election after national election. Thus, we are brought back to the bottom line: with the DLC, Democrats get all of the bad policies, and none of the good electoral outcomes - it is the worst of both worlds.Why is this the case? Because, above any one issue, Americans don't think Democrats stand for anything. They hear Democrats say they stand up for America's middle class, but then watch as the DLC loudly supports things like Social Security privatization (which the DLC's Wall Street backers love), "free" trade that sells out American jobs (which the DLC's corporate backers love), and wars that send middle-class kids off to die for lies (which the DLC's neo-con ideologues love). The DLC attracts undue attention to itself and these awful policies by claiming to speak for Democrats, attacking the Democratic Party, and reinforcing dishonest right-wing lies about progressives - a surefire way to get press attention. What's left is a widespread impression that the Democratic Party deliberately misleads voters about its priorities, cares only about its own political advancement, and possesses absolutely no core convictions.

Thankfully, the rise of a new populism within the Democratic Party is challenging the tired, hackneyed suits at the DLC, as is alternate fundraising sources that allows candidates to ignore the fat cats who fund the DLC. But make no mistake about it: the Democratic Party is in the throes of a battle for its soul - a battle that will decide whether Democrats will ever be a majority party again. On one side, you have the DLC which seeks to remold the Democratic Party into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate America, controlled by a tiny cadre of conservative-leaning elitists in Washington, D.C. who are desperate to hang onto their power over the Democratic Party apparatus in Washington, D.C. These are the people who are so desperate and conniving, they viciously attacked Howard Dean in 2004 and now ruthlessly attack grassroots groups like who, unlike the DLC, actually goes out and does the hard work of trying to WIN elections. They are also the same people who are now working overtime to undermine Democrats' opposition to President Bush's extremist economic agenda. On the other side are progressives who want to see the party go back to what made it successful for decades: a willingness to stand up for America's middle class.The 2008 presidential candidates would rather there not be this choice, and that's why they are trying to have it both ways, speaking at the DLC conferences, while reassuring progressives they are real Democrats. But ultimately, that won't be possible. Each of them will have to make a choice - kiss the elitists' ring, sell out to the highest corporate bidder, and be ridiculed on the national stage for standing for nothing other than fat cats and political expediency. Or, actually follow the lead of conviction politicians, ignore the D.C. cocktail party circuit, create a principled McCain-like image, and stand up for the millions of Americans who the DLC and the Beltway crowd have arrogantly alienated for so long.

We've tried the former for many years now, and it has meant loss after loss after loss after loss (the repetition of this disastrous formula kind of makes you wonder whether the current crop of Democrats actually enjoys losing). Personally, I don't like losing and I don't like selling out, so I'm hoping the Democrats reject the DLC model and change course. While it might be a fine life to be a comfortable-in-the-minority elitist in the cushy confines of Washington, D.C. where the consequences of selling out are muted, out here in the real world, the results of Democrats' permanent minority status in national politics have very real and very harsh effects - and its time for a change.

The DLC's time has come and gone. When will they get their heads out of that vat of Kool-Aid from which they have been drinking and...just DISAPPEAR?


My God, some days, David Sirota and Markos Moulitas do the work for bloggers like me. It's like someone who watches Fox News: They watch it, so I don't have to...

Sirota nails the tepid and insipid DLC with his post:

Bowing Down to Those Who Undermine

More food for thought about the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and the future of the Democratic Party...Can you imagine if an organization existed that purported to speak for Republicans, yet whose entire premise was undermining the conservative base of the Republican Party? Do you think GOP presidential candidates would be flocking to address that organization's meetings? The answer, of course, is no, they wouldn't - and you can bet the GOP leadership would crush that organization before it ever got off the ground. But on the Democratic side, the story is far different.

Democratic presidential contenders go suck up to the DLC, an organization whose for the last two decades has done everything it can to undermine the Democratic Party - even going to great lengths to attack Democratic presidential candidates it doesn't like. Then, hilariously, these same Democratic politicians who genuflect to the DLC claim to be shocked - shocked! - that the public has no idea what the Democratic Party stands for anymore.

Just look at this Knight-Ridder story detailing the agenda the DLC rolled out yesterday - it reads like Republican talking points:

- Topping the agenda [DLC President Al From] wrote with former Clinton White House adviser Bruce Reed were several proposals on national security. "It's a toughness issue. We have to prove we're willing to pull the trigger," From said. In other words, the DLC argues that Democrats must show they are willing to indiscriminately bomb, kill and maim people in order to win elections, even though the public now fully opposes what we're doing in Iraq.
- The DLC wants to "allow military recruiters unrestricted access to college campuses." Again, the American people oppose what we are doing in Iraq, and the DLC's response is to push for more militarization and to push for more recruitment of young people to send them off to fight overseas in wars based on lies that the DLC helped justify.
- The DLC wants "to cut the federal budget deficit, they proposed cutting congressional and nondefense government staff by 10 percent. Cutting "Nondefense" is a nice way of saying cutting things like health care, labor rights enforcement, housing, etc - cuts the GOP is already proposing. In other words, the DLC wants to hack into the social progress that Democrats have fought for for the last fifty years.

And remember, this says nothing about the DLC's willingness to continually undermine every Democratic Party effort to make sure trade policy starts working for ordinary Americans.

I'd like to believe that the Democratic presidential candidates who came to make nice with the DLC yesterday only did so because they didn't want to be attacked for not kissing the Beltway gliterrati's rings. Because, frankly, the DLC has become the poster-boy for unprincipled stand-for-nothingism. Because of that, the DLC is becoming more and more of a political liability to candidates for national office, especially with the rise of the populist Democrats and the rise of alternative fundraising sources that allow candidates to circumvent the DLC's high-roller political donors.

Sure, the DLC will technically exist forever - there are always corporate funding sources available to preserve an insular Washington, D.C. organization that shills for Big Business and the Republican Party agenda. But politically, the DLC - and its constant undermining of the Democratic Party - is on its way out in terms of real relevance.

Sounds like Sirota is singing the death dirge for the DLC. If we keep this up, I'll have to rename my blog...and that's something I will gladly look forward to, if it means we've stomped the hell out of this group of "Benedict Arnolds" and relegated them to oblivion...

I live in hope.

Monday, July 25, 2005


As a Political Junkie, whenever I have an opportunity to attend Congressional "Town Hall" meetings in my district, I take the opportunity to go. The Downing Street Memo is so tied to Karl Rove's Outing of an undercover CIA agent for pure, spiteful revenge, one can't sneeze without the other hiccupping.

So, on Saturday, a clear, blue, 85 degree day in Oakland, when I would have rather been elsewhere (like on a beach in Monterrey), I crowded into the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland's Lake Merritt district, to hear what my representative, Barbara Lee, had to say about the DSM, Karl Rove's implication in the outing of CIA Agent Valerie Plame, and other stuff.

My first thought was that, although the theater was packed, and many were standing, more people should have been there to ask questions, and get information about what's going on inside the Beltway that you are not going to get from the likes of the MSM (or what's passing for the MSM these days). My second thought was me sitting there, fuming, at the apathy of my friends and colleagues, when I told them about this Town Hall Meeting.

" You should come with me to find out how the President has lied, manipulated evidence and events to facilitate attacking Iraq, and how he's now trying to cover it up", I said, with a catch in my voice.

"I'm not into that 'political' stuff. Leave me out of it", said my friends.

I wept with the frustration that the "political" stuff are decisions being made in our name as American citizens, that are basically screwing up our communities, our very lives, the lives of our loved ones; our children. The "political" stuff is resulting in one party government, fascist dictatorship in a democratic land, and the rich getter richer on the backs of, and at the expense of, the poor, working class and downtrodden.

Despite my friends' apathy, I went to spend my day on Downing Street, anyway. One day, I hope they will thank me for it, but I won't hold my breath. You never know what you have until it's gone, and thanks to Bush, it may be gone sooner than you think, if this Administration is not stopped.

After getting through with the parking nightmare (seven blocks away from the theater and hoping my car wasn't in a tow-away zone), I settled in with my notebook to record my observations of the Town Hall meeting. I was encouraged by many who came, and said that they'd invited friends to attend and got virtually the same responses I did. So, we all bonded in solidarity, Jew and Gentile, African-American, Latino, White, Asian - wealthy and just-getting-by; children, and the elderly, who still have the wisdom to pass on to those of us who think we know everything. We united on common ground - the right to know the truth, and the right to hold our elected officials accountable for what they are doing in OUR NAME.

The Town Hall meeting was opened and MC'ed by actress Mimi Kennedy. Medea Benjamin introduced Representative Lee. The panel seated included Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Pentagon Papers; Bill Mitchell of Gold Star Families for Peace; Steve Cobble, of, and Representative from Iraq Veterans against the War. I learned that nine members of Congress were holding similar Town Hall meetings nationwide; John Conyers (of course), Maxine Waters, Maurice Hinchey, Xavier Becerra, Jim McDermott, Charles Rangel, Barney Frank, and Tom Udall. Frankly, I thought that since 131 members of Congress signed Conyers' letter demanding answers from the White House, all of them should have been holding Town Hall meetings on the DSM, and I wondered why they weren't.

Bill Mitchell was the most poignant speaker. His son was killed in Iraq, and to listen to him share his pain with us was enough to make me weep in sorrow and anger. Sorrow for the families who had loved ones die for a lie. Anger, again at the apathy of my friends and families, for not caring enough to do something to stop the onslaught against our country, which is being peddled as governing. You would think C-Span would have covered some of these Town Hall meetings. Then you remember that C-Span is starting to have kool-aid addictions themselves, and forget about CBS, NBC, ABC coverage. Faux NEWS? Not unless they could include their own brand of snark.

Congresswoman Lee told us that this week, she is introducing a Resolution of Inquiry on the House floor, which essentially will force the Bush Administration to release their information from the DSM, and all relevant documentation or information or have hearings held. Although the Republican majority wouldn't think of holding hearings on DSM (they hope it will go away), Rep. Lee reminded us that the minority party does have rights, such as forcing hearings on these issues. Taking this issue to the American People is the only option the Democrats really have, now. Documentation of evidence, said Mr. Ellsberg and the Iraqi Vet, were the key to forcing the hand of the Administration.

Steve Cobble read excerpts from the DSM itself, and added his own brand of snark, as in "Man, can you believe this???". If you haven't read the DSM, go to, and download the document for yourself! If the British knew America was looking for a reason to invade Iraq, and "sex" up the reason for attacking them, know you know why the Bush Administration pooh-poohed the release of the document when they did. But you must also notice that they haven't denied the authenticity of the DSM, nor have they denied the facts stated in the memo are true! So, we have to keep repeating that the Bush Administration hasn't denied that the document itself is telling the truth! We have to mention this along with the words, "Lies", "Treason" and "Outing a CIA Agent".

I was thinking there's always someone leaking stuff to the media in the hopes that the clones of Dan Rather, Bill Moyers and others will show up and do their jobs in reporting the true issues, and not get sidetracked by stories of missing white women and other fluff. I am convinced that someone in the White House remembers democracy, and is doing their best to restore it before being "outed" themselves by the cartel. You know what they do to those not pledging "loyalty" above everything else, even honor....

Daniel Ellsberg was the most prolific speaker in that he could draw distinct parallels between what happened during his days in the Beltway, when he found that LBJ was lying during the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and other matters pertaining to the Vietnam War. For me, having watched the movie, "JFK", there is a clear indication that the theory Oliver Stone raises in "JFK' wasn't too far off (that LBJ may have conspired with the government to assasinate Kennedy because Kennedy had no interest in going to war in Vietnam, and Johnson was willing to give up a war, if he got the Presidency). Mr. Ellsberg also gave sharp commentary on the fact that several Democratic leaders are too cowardly to vote their conscience and do their jobs (he invoked Dianne Feinstein's name several times to choruses of boos and hissing). He also lamented if he had been brave enough to come forward with his information on Vietnam before he did, how many lives would have been saved?

Likewise, how many lives would have been saved from the egregiousness which is now known as the Iraqi war, if the person who leaked the DSM leaked it three years ago. Or if the United States have a second version of "Deep Throat" to out the Bush Administration's culpability in this whole mess.

I forget the name of the representative from Iraq Veterans Against the War - but I remember that he made the point of telling us not to just shout our frustration, but become more methodical in asking questions, organizing, and most of all, being able to argue with those who are still drinking Bush's kool-aid regarding this war. You can stop them by asking them why do they still support Bush, even though you can now park a truckload of the lies his Administration have parlayed into reasons. Ask them if their lives are any better under Bush, now that their job has been outsourced, they don't have medical coverage, and oh, yeah, your kid has been shipped off to Iraq and could be killed in a war that was facilitated on the basis of a lie. Collect documentation to convince them that you're not talking out the side of your neck. Documentation is the only evidence that stops rogue Administrations like this one in their tracks. The fact that Nixon taped his conversations was what basically hung him out to dry...

We were also told that the Administration has Iran in its' sight for the next "war on terror". We were reminded that if there is such an uproar from the American People, GeeDubya may want to re-think going after Iran, since it's been verfied that they DO have WMDs as well as a few nucs to take out America.

The Question and Answer session was lively. Most of the questions were directed at Congresswomen Lee - primarily thanking her for her representation of US! She invited us to participate in mass demonstration that's going on in Washington the weekend of September 24th, regarding the Iraq war, the DSM and other stuff. She reminded us we need to keep connecting the outing of Valerie Plame to the article her husband, Joe Wilson, wrote in the NYT, which basically verified the contents of the DSM. We keep it up, the Administration is going to basically have to look the American people in the eye and tell us to go to hell (my words, not Rep. Lee), which, I think, GeeDubya and Cheney are just that arrogant to do.

One question asked - Why isn't no one in Congress willing to mention the "I" word? As in "Impeachment"? Rep. Lee outlined the process of introducing Articles of Impeachment, but she also informed us who chairs the judiciary and rules committees (Senselessbrenner and the Cockroach, DeLay) and how that hurdle would have to be overcome. It can be overcome with the help of people like you and me keeping pressure on our representatives. My thought is to start by emailing and calling the other 122 Democratic members of Congress and ask them why they didn't host Town Hall meetings on the DSM in their districts this weekend.

Lord, someone asked why John Kerry wimped out after the election, after promising he would question the votes. Rep. Lee told us to ask John Kerry, LOL! Personally, I'm offended that Kerry would deign to promote himself as a candidate in 2008...

Then another audience member reminded us that the GOP weren't they only guilty parties in the Iraq war. He reminded us that there were a godly number of pseudo-Democrats that aided and abetted the abidication of Congressional authority in authorizing the Iraq quagmire, such as Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, and Dianne Feinstein (talk about the boos and hissing that drowned out Rep. Lee's response!). I believe the guy was asking what could be done about the pseudo Democrats and how they voted and are basically complicit in the whole mess.

Rep. Lee responded that as long as the Progressive members of Congress stayed strong and begin to increase, either the pseudo-Democrats will either get with the program, or be exposed to their constituents and get voted out. I remember how some pseudo-Democrats are counting on keeping their constituencies ignorant of their Beltway selling out, and how pissed they got with David Sirota when he exposed how they sold out their constituents on the BK bill. Educating the constituencies was the key, said Rep. Lee, and I whole heartedly agree with her.

I took a bunch of flyers to pass out, urging a petition to initiate Articles of Impeachment against GeeDubya. As Rep. Lee reminded us, we on the West Coast don't drink a lot of kool-aid and we saw the lies for WMD and other toady reasons given by Bush as far back as 2002. If we'd had that DSM then, Bush would have been a one-term President. For every one of my "apathetic" friends who aren't into "political stuff" but will some day be screaming about the loss of social benefits as a result of the government's robbing of Peter to pay Paul, I will continue to stand in your stead, because I want my country back.

And a fine time was had by all.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Most of us who blog tend to use pseudonyms, or nicknames, to protect our identities, not to mention our jobs and businesses, while engaging in political or social activism as best we can. Some bloggers, while we use a pseudonym, will occasionally identify themselves, like I have done.

Those of you who read this blog, you probably know that my name is Leutisha Stills, and I've made no attempt to hide that, while sharing my rage or passion in the world of politics on this blog, and on other blogs, such as DailyKos, Steve Gillard, and others.

But today, I've learned that a blogger from Tennessee, who was a passionate progressive, was engaged in a war with a local paper in Knoxville, and the publisher engaged in a pissing contest with the blogger to the point that the blogger was forced to "out" himself. Many of you know him as South Knox Bubba.

Today, South Knox Bubba shut down his blog.

It's a sad day in the blogsphere when a person has to shut down a blog that gave keen insight into political dealings in Tennessee, not to mention that SKB shared his vacations with us, and his bird blogging on Fridays. I, for one, will miss him.

What caused Bubba to shut down his blog, as far as I can tell, is that the publisher of a local newspaper in Knoxville (The Knoxville Sentinel, I think) got into an e-mail pissing contest with SKB because SKB's posts were hitting close to home regarding local real estate development and it's effects on the economy. SKB also posted a critical review of that paper's "reporters" coverage of a local nightspot, which appeared to be the straw that broke the camel's back. A developer by the name of Brian Conley, didn't care for SKB's take on Knoxville life and proceeded in an email pissing contest with him, to the point of nearly being illegal in publishing some of SKB's personal business on the blogsphere.

To avoid confusion and to protect his business, SKB "outed" himself. Shortly thereafter, and in light of all the support Bubba received from those of us in the blogsphere, while Bubba continued valiantly to blog, we all noticed his posts weren't the same; they didn't have that "bite" that they used to have. And, I guess, with the outing of himself, his business began to suffer as well, to the point he's shut down his blog.

We can't let this happen to bloggers. We need to organize and lobby to protect our rights as bloggers; we can't allow corporations to shut us down when we use our blogs for protests and informing others who are tired of the BS coming from the MSM.

I will try to find out more about Bubba's shutting down, but for now, this serves as a wake-up call to us bloggers.

OK, then.

Monday, July 18, 2005


As we Americans continue to watch the latest episode of the "As Karl Rove Turns" soap opera coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, there's a new plot twist you need to be aware of: the one where the "who-done-it?" video game, is being pointed at another character in the Bush Administration - Condoleezza Rice.

Yes, that Condoleezza Rice. Is there any other? Who else would go on TV to defend why the White House dragged their feet in responding to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, by saying "We didn't know that the hijackers would use airplanes as missiles"; yet be in possession of a Presidential Daily Briefing Memo, dated August 6, 2001, titled: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U. S."

Senator Barbara Boxer came within a hair's breath of calling girlfriend a liar. As an African-American woman, I wish Boxer had quit fencing with Rice during her confirmation hearings and did just that. For those of us African-Americans who consider Rice and her accomplishments to be a credit to the race, consider the facts that she's done nothing remarkable except be rewarded for following orders. Nothing she has done can be considered a credit to the race. As far as I know, we don't consider TREASON and LYING worthy of American Heritage, let alone African-American heritage.

She did what she was told, regardless of if those orders hurt Americans overall. Like developing lies as reasons for the Iraq war. As you recall, her predecessor, Colin Powell, proceeded to ruin his reputation in the global community, by taking those lies (complete with PowerPoint Presentation) and presenting that crock of crap to the United Nations as justification for attacking a nation that has not bothered the United States in almost 25 years. When they did, Donald Rumsfeld was making a delivery of WMDs to Mr. Hussein back in 1983. How much do you want to speculate that Saddam is on the CIA payroll, just like Manuel Noreiga was back in the 1980s during Iran-Contra Gate?

I don't think anyone honestly believed that the man known as "Bush's Brain" was going down alone - he's taking participants with him, because that's what cowardly primordial slime does. And since Rice was National Security Advisor at the time of Robert "Novakula" Novak's column which effectively outed Ms. Plame and equally effectively ended her career as a CIA undercover operative, it is being suggested that she, as well as her deputy, Stephen Hadley, also had knowledge of Plame being Joe Wilson's wife. Rice could just as easily leaked the information, or at most, had knowledge of who orchested the leak to Novakula, Judy Miller and Matt Cooper, while sitting on her lacquered behind and said or did nothing. Cooper decided he didn't want to go to jail and become an inmate named "Skillet's" girlfriend, so he's given up Turd Blossom (Rove) as the source.

It's disingenious of Rove to say while he didn't say "Valerie Plame" that he didn't out her as a CIA undercover operative. It doesn't pass the smell test.

It would also stand to reason that somehow, the entire mess is going to be laid at the feet of Condoleezza Rice. My question is: should we feel sorry for her?

My answer is: She knew what she was dealing with, and all soldiers with a conscience know when to disobey an order if the order means violating ethics or morals - neither of which she has. None of which anyone in this Administration has, come to think of it. It's practically a job requirement to lack morals, ethics and call yourself a Christian.

The leak trail is pointing to Condoleezza Rice. What is she going to do about it?

Saturday, July 16, 2005


David Sirota gives us another reason why the DLC is useless and needs to be terminated. Read more about it below:

CAFTA: DLC Stabs Democrats in the Back...As Usual

The Beltway-brain-rot insiders at the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) have once again stabbed Democrats in the back, this time releasing a report defending the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in an effort to help President Bush attract enough peel-off Democratic votes to pass this corporate-written sell out. I am on book deadline right now so I don't have enough time today to go into all the reasons that CAFTA is bad, except to say look at the links below. I also don't have enough time to go into how this just once again proves the DLC exists to help Corporate America corrupt the Democratic Party. But make no mistake about it: the DLC is doing everything it can to undermine House Democrats, who are trying to stand up for America's middle class and stop this corporate-written atrocity.

As if the DLC is just an arm of the Bush White House, the organization timed its CAFTA report perfectly to coincide with the President's final push for the legislation. Despite the DLC's pathetic, transparent rhetoric about wanting to "bring a spirit of radical pragmatism" to the debate, what the DLC is showing is that it is an organization devoted to urging Democrats to sell their souls to the highest bidder. That may sell well with the DLC's corporate funders in Washington, D.C., but out here in the heartland, that kind of gutless behavior only hurts the Democratic Party over the long run.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


It's no fun being sick. Or being operated on.

Within the last two weeks, I've had both. But I'm on the mend now, and ready to resume blogging.

Since England was awarded the 2012 Olympics and the G-8 Summit is supposed to be going on in Scotland, I wake up at 3:00am this morning to hear that the London Subway is shut down, and the double decker buses exploded, right during rush hour, when there were most likely to be countless casualties.

I thought that waging war with Iraq was supposed to make the Nation safer. But, as I recall, Osama Bin Forgotten orchestrated and directed 20 of his boys, better known as Al Queada, to hijack four airplanes and fly them into the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and God knows where else.

But we're told that Saddam Hussein is responsible for terrorism. Are you through chugging that Kool-Aid yet?

At first, when Prime Minister Tony Blair responded and held a press conference, in which he classified this as a "terrorist" act, I thought he was jumping the gun; then I thought that maybe the terrorists were HOME GROWN. It wouldn't be the first time. On April 19, 1995, the most egregious act of terrorism, the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, which killed 168 people, including children, occurred on American soil. The fact that such a terroristic act was committed by an American born citizen, a former Marine, who just happened to be pissed off by the Federal Government, is very rarely mentioned. Why isn't the name of Timothy McVeigh being invoked in the same tone we do with Saddam Hussein?

In the last few months, I've grown very cynical. That's not good for a Christian Progressive Liberal - I have Jesus, right? Well, yes, I do, but my point is, whenever Bush needs Americans to look elsewhere, and not focus on his failings as President of the United States, this Administration's hubris leads them into orchestrating such events that are guaranteed to divert your attention some where else. And since Tony Blair has practically been joined at the hip with Bush, I can't help but wonder if the sacrificing of the lives of innocent Britions, served up as canapes for the enemy, is also an orchestrated plot to distract the British from the fact that their Prime Minister sold them a false bill of goods, and gave them the same Kool-Aid that Gee Dubya's supporters continued to drink?

The Blair-Bush Project is a colossal FAILURE. Their only solution is to allow and orchestrate events and fire Weapons of Mass Distraction in a futile attempt to divert the attention of their citizens from what is known to be the cold, hard, realistic TRUTH.

Even though Karl Rove got a come-uppance (of sorts) when he was forced to verify Joe Wilson's assertion that he was the one who leaked the name of Wilson's wife, to Robert Novack, why hasn't he resigned or better yet, doing the perp walk? That was also trotted out to distract Americans from the failings of this President; too numerous to name.

While my heart goes out to the British victims of the bombing attacks, I can't shake the sense in my spirit that both Governments have become so cold, and addicted to power that human lives no longer matter, so they willingly sacrifice them in an effort to distract your attention and mine elsewhere.

They forgot Osama Bin Laden. But today, Osama reminded us of why we're fighting a war on terror, and he also stands as the symbol that our President, and the British Prime Minister have failed, and continue to fail to keep us safe.