Sunday, April 23, 2006

Democrats 4 Peace Protest - April 29, 2006

Join us on April 29th in demanding an end to the Iraq War... announcing the Democrats 4 Peace Contingent
The war in Iraq is a bi-partisan war. Join the movement to drive the Democratic Party leadership in a progressive direction by marching with other committed Democrats demanding an end to the war in Iraq. We are building support for the April 29th protest in New York City.
Democrats 4 Peace: 22nd b/w Broadway and Park.
Join city Democratic clubs, Progressive Democrats of America, Democracy for America, Democratic Socialists of America, progressive candidates and campaigns and grassroots activists in demanding that our representatives support legislation that would bring our troops home and end the war in Iraq.
Democrats 4 Peace: 22nd b/w Broadway and Park.
Show support for a Democratic Party that stands for peace. Let’s network to build support for candidates willing to stand up and be counted.
Please pass this announcement to all Democrats and Democratic Party organizations.
Who we are: This call was initiated by Progressive Democrats of America, http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/ and http://www.democrats.com/. Contact us for more info, to RSVP and volunteer: clenchner01@yahoo.com. This call was released on April 22. Feel free to modify it with your organization's logo and text and send out your own announcement.
PDA has been an active member of United for Peace and Justice since our founding in 2004. We support primary challenges against Democrats who will not oppose the war in Iraq. PDA will be tabling all day long together with afterdowningstreet.org. Come visit us!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bethel Gospel Assembly Choir Celebrates 27th Anniversary with Easter Concert

On Saturday, April 15 The Bethel Gospel Assembly Church
Celebrated the choir’s 27th Anniversary with a delightful evening of
music and dance. The music was provided by the Bethel Gospel
Assembly Choir under the direction of Ms. Beverly L. Robinson, which
performed several outstanding selections including the inspiring
“God Has a Blessing” Special guest Craig Crawford, an accomplished
saxophonist not only entertained those present with his extraordinary
numbers on the saxophone, but he also captivated his audience with his
testimonial. Mr. Crawford had been laid off for his job and had only
two thousand dollars to embark on a musical career. That $2,000 dollars
surprisingly became $28,000 after Crawford convinced others to
invest in his career. The dance of the evening was provided by “Beauty
for Ashes” which provided contemporary choreography to several of the
choir’s numbers.
Ms. Zelda Washington was among the stellar solo vocalists.
Like Mr. Crawford, Ms. Washington also had a remarkable testimony.
She shared the horrendous experience of Hurricane Katrina and the
devastating effects it had on her family and friends in New Orleans. It
has often been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, well those
in the audience saw exactly what Ms. Washington was talking about
when they saw the slide show of the destroyed homes and flooded
highways of New Orleans after the wrath of the hurricane. Elder Mimsie
Robinson narrated the story of Jesus Christ between the music and
dance performances. Congratulations to Rev. Carlton T. Brown, Rev.
Gordon E. Williams, Minister of Music Beverly L. Robinson and all of
the outstanding performers for giving all present a night to remember;
An excellent time was had by all.

The Truth About The DLC and friends

The Progressive Independent has provided a comprehensive history of the DLC and its affiliates that every Liberal/Progressive Democrat should familiarize himself/herself with. It is for this reason that I have posted it on "Democrats Against The DLC" and "Anti DLC Coalition". Our battle is not just against Republicans, we as progressives must be cognizant of the enemy within whose primary objective is to create ONE political party consisting of the Republican party and its surrogate cancerous sibling the Democratic Leadership Council. PNAC. What informed American hasn't heard of the treacherous Project for a New American Century by now?
PNAC is a small off-shoot, occupying the 5th floor, of the American Enterprise Institute which has been around since 1943. The AEI has 12 very busy floors where its operative have had plenty of time to send their operatives over to infiltrate the Democratic Party, or leave them in to be more accurate since the PNACers & AEIers are ORIGINALLY DEMOCRATS. To this day Richard Perle, Fieth and Wolfowitz are still Democrats. The day the Republican party, which they hijacked also, no longer suits their needs, they'll follow other PNAC neo-cons like Marshall Wittman back to the Democratic Party where the neoliberal Democratic Leadership Council is laying out the welcome mat for them. The AEI, the PNAC & the DLC were founded by Scoop Jackson democrats who follow the philosophy of Leo Strauss. To this day the DLC is stacked with neo-conservative ideologues, who maintain deep personal ties to the war-mongers in the Bush Administration.
The DLC is following the footsteps of its neo-conservative, war-mongering predecessor organizations of the 1970s: the Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM)((also see http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Coalition_for_a_Democratic_Majority )), founded in 1972 by the likes of Richard Perle, Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, and Jeane Kirkpatrick, among others; the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) ((also see www.rightweb.irc-online.org/groupwatch/cpd.php )), founded in 1976 by Richard Perle, Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, and Jeane Kirkpatrick, et al; and the Committee for the Free World (CFW) (( also see http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Committee_for_the_Free_World )), founded in 1981 by exactly the same crew. Rounding out the picture, CFW's chairman was none other than Donald Rumsfeld.The "missing link" between the "Democratic" DLC and the now "Republican" CDM/CPD/CFW neo-cons, is the Social Democrats-USA, (SDUSA), whose chairman, Penn Kemble, was the Executive Director of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority in 1972, until he brought in Richard Perle's underling Stephen Bryen to take his place. Bryen, who created the hawkish Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) in the early 1980s, when he served as Perle's aide at the Department of Defense, is another leading member of the neo-conservative gang that wants to go to war against the entire Arab world in the name of anti-terrorism. Providing daily coordination between Perle and Bryen would be Joshua Muravchik, a fixture at nearly every American Enterprise Institute event--but also a leader of SDUSA since its creation.The DLC and SDUSA both maintain extremely close links to Tony Blair's British "New Labour" party faction, and in parallel, are out to recreate a new version of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority in time for the 2004 elections. The battle cry for this effort is to follow the "strong defense" lead of the original CDM's heroes: the late Dem Senators Henry "Scoop" Jackson, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.The CDM's two leading lights in Congress were the Democratic Senators Jackson and Moynihan. The Cold Warrior and fanatically pro-IsraelJackson remains the model for the DLC crowd today. Former DLC president Joe Lieberman declares he is proud to be identified as a"'Scoop' Jackson Democrat." It was these two Senators' offices that housed the Straussians behind the no-exit Iraq War. http://forums.alternet.org/guest/motet?show+-ui13dz+-ilad+Issues+527+-25 -From Jackson's office: Paul Wolfowitz Richard Perle Frank GaffneyFrom Moynihan's office: Elliott Abrams Abram Shulsky Gary SchmittIn 1999, Norman Podhoretz, known as the "father" of neo-conservatism, wrote that the CDM was created to destroy the policies of 1972 Dem nominee George McGovern in the Democratic Party, especially because of McGovern's opposition the CDM was a flop that "never got off the ground." But in the mid-80s, the DLC certainly did get off the ground, and controls the Democratic Party today. http://forums.alternet.org/guest/motet?show+-ui13dz+-ilad+Issues+527+-25 -"...In the 1970s, under the leadership of Carl Gershman, SD/USA ((Social Democrats-USA)) became a supporter of Sen. Henry Jackson and his contingent of conservative, hawkish "defenders of democracy." As such, they gained a great deal of political experience and savvy, but little political power. It was not until the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, that the SD/USA achieved positions of power and influence in both the labor movement and the government. (2)...""http://rightweb.irc-online.org/groupwatch/sd-usa.php "Some SD-USA members:"Carl Gershman, chair of SD/USA from 1974 to 1980, was an aide to Jeane Kirkpatrick when she was the U.S. ambassador to the UnitedNations. In 1984, he served as an adviser to the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America (the Kissinger Commission) establishedby President Reagan. (2) Penn Kemble was on the advisory committee of the U.S. Information Agency's (USIA) Voice of America. (34) ArchPuddington worked for USIA's Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. (35) Elliott Abrams was Assistant Secretary of State for InterAmericanAffairs in the Reagan administration. Prior to that he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and as a staffer forSen. Henry Jackson. (40) Abrams was a major figure in the Iran-Contra Affair. (41) Bruce McColm served as a consultant to the U.S. Senate'sCentral American Monitoring Group and has taken congressional representatives on fact-finding tours in Central America. (11) JeaneKirkpatrick was the U.S. delegate to the United Nations during the Reagan administration. (53) Max Kampleman was a legislative counselfor Sen. Hubert Humphrey and a chief U.S. negotiator to the Geneva arms talks with the Soviet Union. (40)The anti-communist, anti-left fervor of SD-USA is no second to PNAC (or the DLC, for that matter). Members were leaders in the AFL-CIO's efforts in overthrowing Allende in Chile, and later in anti-left action in Central America; they have been in the leadership of theCIA's subversion wing -- the NED -- since its inception; they have been on the board of the terrorist Mas Canosa's Cuban-AmericanNational Foundation; they supported the 2002 coup against Chavez in Venezuela and continue to support opposition terrorists, purgingunions in Venezuela (just as everywhere else) of any "left" leadership or influence by whatever means necessary.http://forums.alternet.org/guest/motet?show+-ui13dz+-ilad+Issues+527+-25 -Michael Lind for instance traced their roots back to the right wing Shactmanite faction of the American Trotskyite movement who entered the Democratic Party in the 1960s and then split with the Left over the Vietnam War. Many members of this group continued their rightward itinerary by rallying to Senator Scoop Jackson’s campaign against the New Democrats. Some finished with the Democratic Leadership Council, while others found a home in the Reagan and now the Bush fils administrations. Other critics who promote an “Iran-Contra bis” scenario for the current flap over intelligence trace the group back to the policy cabal that had promoted the Contra war against the Sandinistas and who had lost their power and influence in the second Reagan Administration as a result of the Iran-Contra hearings of the late 1980s.http://www.logosjournal.com/mason.htm
Let me point out, that another committee spawned from the same hellish cancer was the Balkan Action Committee which brought us step one of the PNAC wars, the one against Yugoslavia, and was staffed by the same neo-Cons. Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz, Abramowitz, Carlucci were all on its executive Committee. They're pretty much the same. Both the same cancer, coming from the same place & destroying both parties. If I were a Republican, I'd be pissed as hell at the Democrats from whom this spawned. But as such I'm just a Progressive Democrat determined to keep that vermin out and toss out the ones they left behind warming their butts in my party. Lieberman, Feinstein, Kerry- ever wonder why they really went along with the war? It had nothing to do with being fooled! These wars were planned long ago with full complicity of the Democratic Leadership Council which firmly endorsed this war and has endorsed every scheme against the people that the Bush Administration has wanted.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Way To Pay Less At The Pump? ! ! !

This is an excerpt from a letter of Philip Hollsworth that was sent to me by my friend Patricia Young. This is something that I feel I should share with as many people as possible. The author is responding to the idea of not buying gas on a specific dayl. He feels that is not the best way to go since we must have it. He suggests specifically targeting the top oil company Exxon-Mobil "This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join with us! By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $2.79 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace..... not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a> price war. Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do! Now, don't wimp out at this point.... keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people. I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us sends it to at least ten more (30 x 10 =3D 300) ... and those 300 send it to at least ten > >more (300 x 10 =3D 3,000)...and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth group of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers. If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!! Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all. (If you don't understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is send this to 10 people.... Well, let's face it, you just aren't a mathematician. But I am, so trust me on this one.) How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!! I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you? Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK." I have gone one step further for a little over a year now I have only purchased gas from CITGO because it comes from Venezuela and I support Hugo Chavez. I don't buy any gas from SHELL/CHEVRON because they have blood on their hands with regard to the death of Ken Saro-Wewa and other Nigerian activists who were trying to get that company to take responsibility for the environmental damage it caused.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Greg Palast: "Venezuela now #1 oil producing nation"

According to political investigative reporter Greg Palast "Venezuela now has MORE oil than Saudi Arabia." This is the same Greg Palast who was the first to report that Katherine Harris took the names of thousands of eligible African-Americans from Florida voting lists during the 2000 Bush/Gore presidential campaign. The Republican party is actually funding the Hugo Chavez opposition. This is a totally illegal operation. In spite of all the Republican/Endowment For Democracy efforts Hugo Chavez's popularity continues to grow in Venezuela. He has been elected four times. This explains the reasons for US involvement in the attempted coup of Chavez. Hugo Chavez has endeared himself to a huge segment of the U.S. public by providing petroleum products to several U.S. states at reduced costs. This is coming at a time when the price of oil is inching up towards 3.00 a gallon at most gas pumps. At the same time the US ambassador to Venezuela has infuriated local residents in rural Venezuela with his obviously political donations of food and other ammenities in an attempt to irritate and embarrass Hugo Chavez. This tactic apparently is not working because angry residents hurled food items at the ambassador, who is saying that this was all engineered by Hugo Chavez. The Bush administration seems to be determined to initiate a war with Iran (another oil producer) while vigorously attacking Venezuela (4th U.S. supplier of petroleum) while gas prices at the pump here in the U.S. are rising makes the Bush Administration look absolutely clueless after the Iraq fiasco. History teaches us that it is unwise to be fighting several wars simultaneously....look at what happened to Hitler, Napoleon and Caesar.

George W. Bush IS a liar - by Robert Parry

The White House is taking umbrage over new press reports that George W. Bush misled the American people on a key justification for invading Iraq. But Bush’s latest excuse – that he was just an unwitting conveyor of bad information, not a willful purveyor of lies – has been stretched thin by overuse.
Nevertheless, White House spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out at a Washington Post report that in May 2003, Bush described two Iraqi trailers as mobile biological weapons labs although two days earlier a Pentagon field investigation had debunked those suspicions in a report to Washington.
“The lead in the Washington Post left the impression for the reader that the President was saying something he knew at the time not to be true,” McClellan said on April 12, 2006. “That is absolutely false and it is irresponsible, and I don’t know how the Washington Post can defend something so irresponsible.”
But the truth is that Bush has been caught, again and again, relying on lies and distortions to confuse the American people about the Iraq War. Sometimes, he can blame U.S. intelligence agencies for the false information, but other times, he simply lies about facts that he personally knows.
For instance, just weeks after Bush made his false statement about the bio-labs, he also began rewriting the history of the Iraq War to make his invasion seem more reasonable.
On July 14, 2003, Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein had barred United Nations weapons inspectors from Iraq when, in fact, they were admitted in November 2002 and given free rein to search suspected Iraqi weapons sites. It was Bush who forced the U.N. inspectors to leave in March 2003 so the invasion could proceed.
But faced with growing questions about his justifications for war in summer 2003, Bush revised this history, apparently trusting in the weak memories of the American people and the timidity of the U.S. press. At the end of an Oval Office meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Bush told reporters:
“We gave him (Saddam Hussein) a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power.”
In the following months and years, Bush repeated this claim in slightly varied forms as part of his litany for defending the invasion on the grounds that it was Hussein who “chose war,” not Bush.
Meeting no protest from the Washington press corps, Bush continued repeating his lie about Hussein showing “defiance” on the inspections. Bush uttered the lie as recently as March 21, 2006, when he answered a question from veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas.
“I was hoping to solve this (Iraq) problem diplomatically,” Bush said. “The world said, ‘Disarm, disclose or face serious consequences.’ … We worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny the inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did. And the world is safer for it.”
The significance of this lie about the inspectors – when judging Bush’s proclivity to lie – rests on the fact that he can’t simply blame his advisers when cornered. Bush was fully aware of the U.N. inspectors and what happened to them.
'Downing Street Memo'
Indeed, documentary evidence shows that Bush was determined to invade Iraq in 2002 and early 2003 regardless of what U.S. intelligence could prove or what the Iraqis did.
For instance, the so-called “Downing Street Memo” recounted a secret meeting on July 23, 2002, involving British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security aides. At that meeting, Richard Dearlove, chief of the British intelligence agency MI6, described his discussions about Iraq with Bush’s top advisers in Washington.
Dearlove said, “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
At an Oval Office meeting on Jan. 31, 2003, Bush and Blair discussed their determination to invade Iraq, though Bush still hoped that he might provoke the Iraqis into some violent act that would serve as political cover, according to minutes written by Blair’s top foreign policy aide David Manning.
So, while Bush was telling the American people that he considered war with Iraq “a last resort,” he actually had decided to invade regardless of Iraq’s cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors, according to the five-page memo of the Oval Office meeting reviewed by the New York Times.
The memo also reveals Bush conniving to deceive the American people and the world community by trying to engineer a provocation that would portray Hussein as the aggressor. Bush suggested painting a U.S. plane up in U.N. colors and flying it over Iraq with the goal of drawing Iraqi fire, the meeting minutes said.
“The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours,” the memo said about Bush’s scheme. “If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Time to Talk War Crimes.”]
Regardless of whether any casus belli could be provoked, Bush already had “penciled in” March 10, 2003, as the start of the U.S. bombing of Iraq, according to the memo. “Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning,” Manning wrote.
According to the British memo, Bush and Blair acknowledged that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, nor were they likely to be found in the coming weeks, but that wouldn’t get in the way of the U.S.-led invasion. [NYT, March 27, 2006]
Ousting the Inspectors
So, Bush clearly knew that Hussein had permitted the inspectors into Iraq to search suspected weapons sites. Bush also knew that he was the one who forced the inspectors to leave so the invasion could proceed in March 2003.
“Although the inspection organization was now operating at full strength and Iraq seemed determined to give it prompt access everywhere, the United States appeared as determined to replace our inspection force with an invasion army,” the UN’s chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, wrote in his memoir, Disarming Iraq.
In other words, neither the U.N. inspectors’ negative WMD findings nor the Security Council’s refusal to authorize force would stop Bush’s invasion on March 19, 2003. [For more on Bush's pretexts for war in Iraq, see Consortiumnews.com’s “President Bush, With the Candlestick…”]
By late May 2003, however, the failure of Bush's own inspectors to find any WMD, compounded by the stirrings of a bloody Iraqi insurgency, left Bush and his advisers scrambling to refurbish old justifications for the war and to cobble together some new ones.
The two trailers came in handy, even though the evidence was always clear that the equipment was to produce hydrogen for weather balloons, not biological agents.
Like other WMD evidence, however, the case of the trailers was stretched to serve Bush’s political needs. Despite the field report debunking the bio-war claims – sent to Washington on May 27, 2003 – the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a misleading “white paper” on the alleged bio-labs on May 28.
Bush began citing the trailers as the conclusive WMD proof on May 29, 2003. “Those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons are wrong,” Bush declared, referring to the mobile labs. “We found them.”
By June 1, 2003, after simply reading the “white paper,” I was able to post an analysis showing how shoddy and flimsy the CIA/DIA claims were. At the time, I was not aware of the field report, which had been stamped secret and shelved. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “America’s Matrix, Revisited.”]
The Plame Case
But even worse challenges to Bush’s credibility lay ahead. In June 2003, a former U.S. ambassador, Joseph Wilson, was briefing a few reporters about what he considered the administration’s twisting of intelligence on Iraq’s supposed pursuit of enriched uranium from Niger.
Bush had included the bogus Niger claim in his State of the Union Address in January 2003. But Wilson’s first-hand account of his assignment in 2002 to check out the Niger suspicions – and his conclusion that the evidence was weak – represented the first major assault on Bush’s pre-war intelligence from a mainstream government figure.
The White House struck back, organizing anti-Wilson leaks to friendly reporters. Privately, Bush declassified information that tended to bolster his Niger claim – even though by then its truthfulness had been discredited by U.S. intelligence agencies.
With President Bush’s clearance, Vice President Dick Cheney dispatched his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, to leak information to Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward on June 27, 2003. Libby approached New York Times correspondent Judith Miller on July 8 and Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper on July 12.
On July 14, 2003, the behind-the-scenes attack on Wilson surfaced in a column by conservative writer Robert Novak, who divulged that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA officer who had a hand in arranging Wilson’s trip to Africa, implying that Wilson’s investigative work in Niger had resulted from nepotism.
In a court filing nearly three years later, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald described the anti-Wilson campaign as a “concerted” effort by the White House to “discredit, punish or seek revenge against” a troublesome critic.
Ironically, the same day of Novak’s column, Bush introduced a new rationale for the war – his revisionist history that he was forced to invade because Saddam Hussein had refused to let the U.N. inspectors in. The White House apparently saw little danger in deceiving the Washington press corps about Iraq War intelligence, no matter how blatantly.
When the Plame affair exploded as a scandal in September 2003 – after the CIA complained that her exposure violated a law designed to protect the identity of intelligence agents – Bush escalated the deceptions.
Bush knew that he had authorized the declassification of some secrets on the Niger uranium from a National Intelligence Estimate and that those secrets were given to reporters to undercut Wilson. But Bush acted like he was clueless when the investigation began into how Wilson’s wife was exposed.
If Bush had wanted to be honest, he would have disclosed immediately that he had approved a plan to release information to reporters in order to discredit Wilson’s claims. Bush might have explained that he never intended that Plame’s identity be divulged, but he nevertheless had information that would help investigators solve the mystery.
Instead, Bush went out of his way to play dumb, while telling the American people that he wanted to get to the bottom of the story.
“If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is,” Bush said on Sept. 30, 2003. “I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.”
Perhaps, having gotten away with even more brazen lies – like claiming the U.N. inspectors were kept out of Iraq – Bush may have judged that he could pretty much tell the American people whatever came into his head.
Wiretap Lie
Sometimes, Bush lied even without a clear reason. For instance, during a campaign stop in Buffalo, N.Y., on April 20, 2004, Bush went out of his way to mislead his listeners on the question of whether he always got warrants when he conducted wiretaps.
“By the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires – a wiretap requires a court order,” Bush said. “Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.”
Two years earlier, however, Bush had approved letting the National Security Agency use warrantless wiretaps to intercept international calls and other communications made by some Americans.
When Bush’s wiretap lie was exposed in December 2005, the White House insisted that Bush had not lied, that his comments related only to roving wiretaps under the USA Patriot Act, an excuse that Bush adopted as his own on New Year’s Day 2006.
“I was talking about roving wiretaps, I believe, involved in the Patriot Act. This is different from the N.S.A. program,” he said.
However, the context of Bush’s 2004 statement was clear. He broke away from a discussion of the USA Patriot Act to note “by the way” that “any time” a wiretap is needed a court order must be obtained. He was not confining his remarks to “roving wiretaps” under the Patriot Act. [For Bush’s 2004 speech, click here.]
Despite this history of Bush’s deceptions, White House spokesman McClellan still flies into a rage whenever news organizations note that Bush has said something that turned out not to be true.
After the Washington Post’s disclosure about Bush’s bogus bio-war claims, McClellan called the article unfair and noted that Bush made his comments in response to a question, not in a formal speech.
“I saw some reporting saying he had gone out and given a speech about it, and that’s not true,” McClellan said. “I saw some reporting talking about how this latest revelation … was an embarrassment for the White House. No, it’s an embarrassment for the media that is out there reporting this.”
McClellan said the White House also demanded and got an apology from ABC News for suggesting that Bush touted the supposed bio-lab findings while knowing that the CIA/DIA “white paper” was bogus.
“I talked to one network about it and they have … expressed their apologies to the White House,” McClellan said. “I hope they will go and publicly apologize on the air about the statements that were made, because I think it’s important, given that they had made those statements in front of all their viewers.”
Right-wing bloggers also rallied to Bush’s defense.
Yet, while it may be impossible to know exactly what’s in a person’s head when something false is stated – whether the person thinks it’s true or knows it’s false – Bush’s record of deception shouldn’t earn him much benefit of the doubt from the American people.
When apologies start for misleading the public on matters of war and peace over the past several years, George W. Bush should be standing near the front of the line.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

June Pointer 1954-2006

June Pointer, the youngest of the popular female vocal group of the 80's, the Pointer Sisters succumbed to cancer at the age of 52. The Pointer Sisters first came to prominence in the 70s with hits like "Yes We Can Can" and "How Long". When June Pointer replaced Bonnie Pointer (who embarked on a solo career) the group shed the 40s attire, changed labels and modernized their sound. When the Pointers worked with producer Richard Perry they had their greatest success releasing hit after hit after hit "Fire" "Jump(For My Love)" " Neutron Dance" "Slow Hand" "Automatic" "He's So Shy" and the mesmerizing "I'm So Excited"(which entered the charts on two separate occasions) penned by June and her sisters Ruth and Anita. Most of these hit records came from the "Breakout" lp. The sisters proved their versatility by having one of their song's "Fairytale" near the top of the Country chart. This is an extremely rare occurance for an R&B act. June did have a substance abuse problem which caused so much friction with her sisters that it was decided that it would be best that she leave the group. June was making progress with the drug problem and completed two CDs before the onset of cancer caused her demise.

Let Your Elected Officials Know That You Want BUSH IMPEACHED NOW

It is painfully obvious that this dubiously selected president is hurting our country. What is so shocking is that after countless outrageous accusations of wrongdoing the supposedly "opposition" party says little and does nothing. Only two senators Feingold and Boxer support censure. Keep in mind I am talking about censure, which really amounts to a slap on the wrist, what is really needed is impeachment. George Bush has lied to the American people about the reasons for war. George Bush deliberately leaked information about a CIA agent to the press as vengeance for the agent's husband's opposition to the Iraq war.George Bush has been elected twice due to blatant voter intimidation, manipulation and outright fraud in Florida, Ohio, and now we are learning about the phone jamming scheme in New Hampshire. George Bush was totally inactive in protecting the American people when natural disaster struck. George W.Bush deliberately placed false or misleading news articles in newspapers across the country and paid huge sums of taxpayer money (over $240,000 in the case of Armstrong Williams)to selected journalists to spread the word. This is payola, a crime that we crucified Disc jockey Alan Freed for a generation earlier. George W.Bush and most members of congress have conspired to make our seniors pay more for prescriptions while at the same time making it harder for the average U.S. citizen to declare bankruptcy. George W. Bush "admits" that he is spying on Americans by using wiretaps. George W. Bush has sanctioned exporting prisoners to foreign countries to be "tortured" George W. Bush did not provide proper armor for our soldiers in Iraq and at the same time had the unamigitated gall to cut their salaries and benefits. I am a Democrat who is angry at the inaction of most Democrats in Congress. Polls show that the President's approval rating is hovering at around 37% which is incredibly low for second term presidents. The polls also indicate that the approval rating for Congress is even lower. Democrats should be taking the lead in the impeachment process, but most in Congress are doing NOTHING. This leads me to believe that Congressional Democrats have become puppets of the pharmaceuticals, the insurance companies and the WAL-MARTS of this country. Don't think for a moment that everyone is influenced by the media induced blackout coma. If you are a Democrat who has been silent about the known criminal activity of this administration you will be challenged by a Democrat who favors impeachment. The november elections will be a wake-up call to Republicans and DEMOCRATS. Any man who thinks that as president he is above the law should have no place in the White House. George Bush would not have been able to create the havoc he has invoked without the acquiesence of those Democrats who saw no evil, spoke no evil and heard no evil when evil was all around them. A recent Democrats.com poll suggests that those Democrats who oppose the war and who have been actively critical of the Bush administration are preferred by the Democratic voter. According to their poll Al Gore is the leading Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2008, but Gore has repeatedly said that he has no intention of running. Surprisingly the man in second place in Russ Feingold with 19%. Feingold was never fooled by Bush's lies that lead to the war in Iraq, in fact he was the ONLY one who wasn't fooled and voted against giving George Bush extraordinary powers to initiate a war without congressional approval. It is suprising that at this time Feingold even surpasses Hillary Clinton, who has 12% in this poll. Senator Clinton was considered a certainty for the nomination but she is paying a price among progressive Democrats for her "quiet" support for the Iraq war. The DLC candidate Tom Vilsack has only 1% of the vote. This is significant because the normally conservative DLC politicians, like Joe Lieberman are more likely to support Bush policies. Removing George W. Bush from the presidency is not going to be easy in spite of the succession of blunters that he has committed. He has insulated himself in congress and in the Supreme Court. Removing him is going to take action. Senators, Congresspeople and the media must be contacted by as many people as possible. The bottom line is money. If it is made absolutely clear that you will not patronize businesses that actively support George W. Bush and if you make it clear that you will not vote for candidates (regardless of party) who tacticly support George W. Bush then we can get our country back.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Introducing www.colorofchange.org

Friends,It's not in the headlines, but the voting rights of displaced New Orleanians are under attack. As the city gets rebuilt, not everyone is excited about all New Orleanians coming back--especially not those that are Black and poor. Now, there's pressure to keep those who've evacuated from voting--by making it so impractical and confusing to vote that their numbers are guaranteed to be low.When Iraq held its elections, the US government provided satellite voting centers in areas of the country where there were large concentrations of Iraqis. How can it make sense that we can't provide the same for Americans, displaced right here within America? It doesn't, but the position of those in power in Louisiana, including the Governor, while saying they support voting rights, is to refuse to allow satellite voting outside the state.Without a strong vote and adequate representation, Black and poor evacuees are one step closer to being permanently shut out of the city. What's happening is undemocratic, and it's simply wrong.I've signed on to ColorOfChange.org's campaign. They're trying to bring attention to the issue and apply pressure on Governor Blanco to provide satellite voting for evacuees outside the state. Using their website, I was able to write to Gov. Blanco and add my voice to the chorus supporting the voting rights of evacuees. I wanted you to know about the effort and invite you to do the same. It takes only a moment. Just click on the link below to get started.http://www.colorofchange.org/voting/?id=1790-114613We can make a major difference for those displaced from New Orleans who want to go home and be a part of the rebuilding of their city. Each of our voices counts. Please consider taking a moment to add yours.Thanks.