Sunday, September 30, 2007

Desperate McCain says U.S. is a Christian nation

Just imagine (as difficult as it may be) that in Jan. 2009 John McCain is about to take the oath of office as President. Oh but wait, can one take an oath to uphold a document (the Constitution) that one's never read

Here are some comments he made to BeliefNet. If McCain really believes this nonsense, he will make a disasterous president. If he is just saying it and doesn't really believe it, he will be Bush redux.

BN:Has the candidates’ personal faith become too big an issue in the presidential race?
McCain: Questions about that are very legitimate.... And it's also appropriate for me at certain points in the conversation to say, look, that's sort of a private matter between me and my Creator.... But I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, 'Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?'"

BN:It doesn't seem like a Muslim candidate would do very well, according to that standard.
McCain: I admire the Islam. There's a lot of good principles in it. I think one of the great tragedies of the 21st century is that these forces of evil have perverted what's basically an honorable religion. But, no, I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles.... personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith. But that doesn't mean that I'm sure that someone who is Muslim would not make a good president. I don't say that we would rule out under any circumstances someone of a different faith. I just would--I just feel that that's an important part of our qualifications to lead.*

BN: People are raising similar concerns about Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, which some consider to be outside the Judeo-Christian tradition.
McCain:I believe that the Mormon religion is a religion that I don't share, but I respect. More importantly, I've known so many people of the Mormon faith who have been so magnificent. I think that Governor Romney's religion should not, absolutely not, be a disqualifying factor when people consider his candidacy for President of the United States, absolutely not.

BN: A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think?
McCain: I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. But I say that in the broadest sense. The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn't say, “I only welcome Christians.” We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles.

Here's Article VI, Section III of the Constitution:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

I think we have had enough of a President who has never read the Constitution ands even when he is told about it doesn't care.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hillary reverts from neo-peacenick to long-time hawk

American presidential politics gets more and more bizarre with every day (or every congressional vote).

I expect that six years after the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iran, Sen. Hillary Clinton will explain that "if I knew then what I know now I would not have voted to encourage the presidential Bush and vice-presidential Dick to invade Iran." It's hard to believe that she and the other 29 Democrats including the leadership - Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, California’s Dianne Feinstein and Michigan’s Carl Levin - called on Bush on Sept. 26 to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as “specially designated global terrorists” have learned nothing about this administration. Give them an inch and they will take a mile. Give them a resolution and they will use it as a Congressional declaration of war. With their total disrespect for the Constitution, they will probably act precipitously anyway, but at least make them do it without Congressional approval (or at least with just the support of their Republican enablers).

As Robert Parry argues:
...Hillary Clinton, who also voted to grant Bush the authority to go to war with Iraq in 2002 and staunchly supported the war for the next three years before reinventing herself as an Iraq War critic, now has reverted to her old hawkish self, jumping out ahead of Bush in urging a more hostile policy toward Iran.

I can't help but wonder if when this 2008 election charade is over whether Sept. 26, 2007 will be remembered as the date on which the latest Democratic snatch of defeat from the jaws of victory began.

Sen. Clinton, words are cheap when they are constantly contradicted by actions.

Oh, and Sen. Obama, you gotta be there to vote nay. Not voting against the bill is not much better than voting for it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sept. 27: Michael Moore on Oprah

Michael Moore on Oprah Today

Thursday, September 27th

Michael Moore will be appearing again on Oprah today. Oprah has received thousands of letters from viewers since Moore's appearance in June -- viewers who wanted to share their own health care horror stories. So she invited a number of them to come on today's show, which will feature not only Moore but the head of the health insurance lobby in D.C.

The theme of the show is, "It Can Happen to You." And, unfortunately, it can. Joining Oprah and Moore on the show will be Steve Skvara, the steelworker who famously popped the health care question at the Democratic presidential debate in August, and Civia Katz, a Pennsylvania woman who saw 'SiCKO' and decided to send her health care story to

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Senate moves toward legitimating Iran invasion

It seems that the primary goal of the vice-presidential Dick and his neo-con groupies before this administration leaves office is to invade Iran

The Senate yesterday took a major step in that direction. Sen Jim webb of Virginia said the following before that vote was taken:

"We are about to vote on something that may fundamentally change the way that the United States views the Iranian military, and we haven’t had one hearing. This is not the way to make foreign policy. It’s not the way to declare war, although this cleverly worded sense of the Congress could be interpreted that way.

"Those who regret their vote five years ago to authorize military action in Iraq should think hard before supporting this approach, because in my view, it has the same potential to do harm where many are seeking to do good. The constant turmoil that these sorts of proposals and actions are bringing to the region is counterproductive. They are regrettable substitute for a failure of diplomacy by this Administration.

"I do not believe that any serious student of foreign policy could support this amendment as it now exists.

"This proposal is Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream. It’s not a prescription for success. At best, it’s a deliberate attempt to divert attention from a failed diplomatic policy. At worst, it could be read as a back door method of gaining congressional validation for action with one hearing or without serious debate."

The following are the votes on this bill. I have highlighted the Democrats who voted for it (including Sen. Clinton and note that neither Sen. McCain nor Sen. Obama even showed up to vote)

YEAs ---76
Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)

Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)

Chambliss (R-GA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)

Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)

Lott (R-MS)
Martinez (R-FL)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)

Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)

Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Schumer (D-NY)

Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

NAYs ---22
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Dodd (D-CT)
Feingold (D-WI)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Sanders (I-VT)
Tester (D-MT)
Webb (D-VA)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting - 2
McCain (R-AZ)
Obama (D-IL)

House condemns MoveOn ad instead of war

The House yesterday approved a stopgap spending measure designed to give Congress and President Bush more time to avert a budget gunfight, but only after Republicans forced Democrats to condemn the MoveOn Petreus/Betray Us ad.

Here is a Statement by Eli Pariser, Executive Director, Political Action in Response to the House Vote:

"With every passing day, more information comes to light casting more and more doubt on the validity of the facts and conclusions presented by General Petraeus in his testimony before Congress.
With every passing day, more American soldiers and Iraqi civilians lose their lives in this unwinnable civil war. It is unconscionable and outrageous that instead of doing the people's work and ending this war, Congress chooses meaningless and distracting gestures.
With every passing day, America's frustration with politicians in Washington drops the approval ratings for this Congress to new lows. Congress is fiddling with an ad while Iraq burns.
We will continue our ad campaign to accuse the Republicans who are blocking an end to the war of a 'Betrayal of Trust.'"

Monday, September 24, 2007

Is Iraqi sovereignty another Bush lie?

If you still believe in the fantasy of Iraqi sovereignty under the Malaki government after their futile attempt to outlaw Blackwater and other mercenary armies in that country, try this on for size

"WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Senate is expected to vote as early as Tuesday on a Bosnia-style plan to subdivide Iraq on ethnic lines, touted by backers as the sole hope of forging a federal state out of sectarian strife.

"Though the measure is non-binding, and would not force a change in President George W. Bush's war strategy even if it passes, the vote will provide a key test of an idea drawing rising interest in Washington.

"Advocates say the plan, championed by Democratic senator and presidential hopeful Joseph Biden, offers a route to a political solution in Iraq that could allow US troops to eventually go home without leaving chaos behind.

"A loose autonomous federation of Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni entities might look good on paper, but critics charge it ignores Iraq's ethnic stew, such as cities where ethnic groups live side-by-side and inter-marry, and are not divided by lines on a map."

The issue, of course, isn't where you stand on the question of the subdivision of Iraq but that this decision is being made in Washington rather than Baghdad. Does this bring back visions of the Roman Senate deciding the fate of the occupied territories?

The Senate circus plays on

From The Senate Clown Show by long-time media critic Jeff Cohen:

Cable news networks that cheer-led our country into invading Iraq took a break from their latest all-O.J.[all-Brittany]-all-the-time binge to make an antiwar ad more controversial than the ongoing slaughter of Iraqis and Americans that the invasion predictably unleashed. And 22 Democrats were more desperate to distance themselves from the 3-million-member MoveOn than from less than 50 Republican dead-enders bent on prolonging the killing.

The 22 Democrats can be reached by dialing the Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121. They are Baucus (MT), Bayh (IN), Cardin (MD), Carper (DE), Casey (PA), Conrad (ND), Dorgan (ND), Feinstein (CA), Johnson (SD), Klobuchar (MN), Kohl (WI), Landrieu (LA), Leahy (VT), Lincoln (AR), McCaskill (MO), Mikulski (MD), Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE), Pryor (AR), Salazar (CO), Tester (MT) and Webb (VA).

Oct. 2: Free the Jena 6

Free the Jena 6!
Free Mychal Bell!
Join the Protest at the U.S. Justice Department

Tuesday, October 2, 5:00 pm
9th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC

"On Sept. 20, tens of thousands of people marched in Jena, La. to demand immediate freedom for Mychal Bell and the Jena 6. The case of the Jena 6 has garnered international attention, and shone a spotlight on the racist nature of this country's criminal "injustice" system.

"Although the message of the Sept. 20 protest was broadcast far and wide, just one day later, a Louisiana judge delivered another outrage. Mychal Bell, 17, was denied bail while awaiting an appeal of his recently overturned adult conviction."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sept. 25: Protest Bush at UN

Tuesday, September 25
Bush At The UN
Converge On The UN At 8:30 am

Stop The War Now!!!
No Attack On Iran!!!

Rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 47th Street & 1st Ave.
Speakers will include Cindy Sheehan and Ret. Col. Ann Wright

The eyes of the world will be on New York when this monstrous commander-in-chief of a government responsible for horrendous death and suffering from New Orleans to Iraq comes to speak at the UN. He is expected to present his lying justifications

Join with: World Can’t Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime, the War Resisters League, Code-Pink, Granny Peace Brigade, student organizations including Columbia Coalition Against the War and Students for Democratic Society, Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas, Movement for a Democratic Society-NYC, National Lawyers Guild - NYC chapter, Center for Constitutional Rights, Troops Out Now Coalition, Stop War on Iran Committee and many more in a broad range of bold and determined actions:

DECLARING NOW to the world that Bush and Cheney don’t speak in our name!

Bring all your friends, drums, whistles, signs. We will make some noise

Emergency Forum:

September 25th, 7:30 PM
Judson Memorial Church, 55 washington Square South

"The Threat of a U.S. Attack on Iran and our Responsibility to Stop It"

Featuring: Chris Hedges

(donation requested at door)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Iraq Moratorium

From United for Peace and Justice:

Dear Friend of United for Peace and Justice,

The Iraq Moratorium is about to begin. Initiated by antiwar activists from several groups around the country, it calls for local, decentralized, personal action or statements against the ongoing war and occupation of Iraq on the 3rd Friday of every month. This Friday, Sept. 21st, is the first of what promises to be a growing movement in the coming months.

United for Peace and Justice is enthusiastically supporting this effort. The delegates at our National Assembly a few months ago agreed: It is critically important to offer as many opportunities for a wide range of people to express their opposition to this horrendous, criminal war.

The idea is simple: Everyone, wherever you are, should try to do something that publicly says, "I am against this war -- and I want it to end now!"

The Iraq Moratorium is something everyone can get involved with, either as an individual or as part of a group. Here are just a few ideas for what you can do:

1) Wear an antiwar button or sticker to work or school.

2) Wear a black armband to let people know you mourn the overwhelming loss of life in this war.

3) Hang an antiwar sign in your window, or put one on your lawn.

4) Call a local radio talk show and explain why you want this war to end.

5) Today, or tomorrow, write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper and let people know about the Iraq Moratorium and how they can get involved.

6) With just a few people, you can make a large antiwar sign or banner and hang it from a busy overpass where people traveling to or from work will see it, or from some other highly visible location.

7) Put together a small group to stand vigil in front of a military recruiting station, your local federal building, or the office of your senator or representative in Congress.

8) Call the Washington, DC, offices of your senators and your representative.

For more information about the Iraq Moratorium, visit:

And remember, if you are planning anything that others are welcome to join, please be sure to post it on UFPJ's online calendar.

We encourage each of you getting this message to do something as part of the first day of the Iraq Moratorium this Friday, Sept. 21st!

And don't forget: United for Peace and Justice has initiated a call for a massive national mobilization against the war on Saturday, October 27th. This mobilization will be different from others -- instead if everyone going to Washington, DC, there will be 11 regional actions spread out across the country. In the coming weeks we will be sending you more details, and we encourage you to check for updates.

Save the date! Saturday, October 27th
National Mobilization to End the Iraq War!
11 Massive Demonstrations for Peace!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Iraq bans Blackwater

According to the N.Y.Times, after eight Iraqi civilians were killed over the weekend by shots fired from a diplomatic motorcade under the protection of agents of the mercenary organization Blackwater, the Iraqi government revoked Blackwater's license to operate anywhere in Iraq.

Jeremy Scahill, author of the invaluable expose, Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army ,

previously said:
While the initial inquiries into Blackwater have focused on the complex labyrinth of secretive subcontracts under which it operates in Iraq, a thorough investigation into the company reveals a frightening picture of a politically connected private army that has become the Bush Administration's Praetorian Guard.

At this point it's not entirely clear how much authority the Maliki government has to outlaw Blackwater, since the "White House outsourced the job of protecting America's most senior officials in Iraq to Blackwater beginning in 2003" and the company ostensibly works for the State Department.

In its article the Times quotes an American official in Baghdad saying
This incident will be the true test of diplomacy between the State Department and the government of Iraq,

And that State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said that
In an effort to defuse the situation, ...Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice planned to call Mr. Maliki to express regret and assure him that the United States had begun an investigation of the shooting.

It's not yet clear how this will affect the presidential Bush's ability to market his war.

(also see Blackwater Banned After Deadly Firefight by Daniel Luban on

MoveOn's response to Giuliani

I'm sure that you are aware of the Giuliani attack on MoveOn this past week. One thing that it tells us is that if Giuliani is nominated we are faced with another mud-slinging campaign. If by some chance he is elected, we will be faced with Deja Bush all over again. The world can't afford that.

Here is MoveOn's response to Giuliani's attack:

This weekend, Rudy Giuliani launched a series of attacks on MoveOn for exposing the White House spin on the "surge."

Giuliani is hoping to scare war critics into staying silent. But that isn't going to happen. We've put together a rapid-response ad which demonstrates that Giuliani doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to leadership on Iraq: He was booted from the Iraq Study Group after missing meeting after meeting so he could make millions of dollars giving speeches.

The facts are very clear: When it really mattered, Giuliani chose to make big money from speeches rather than helping figure out a strategy for Iraq.

The Iraq Study group (ISG) was a bipartisan panel appointed by Congress in March of 2006 to evaluate the situation in Iraq and make policy recommendations on the war. Sometimes it's referred to as the Baker-Hamilton commission.

Giuliani originally said that he looked forward to participating in the group, but then he never showed up to any of the meetings.

Newsday reported earlier this year that, "Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said."

Giuliani later said that he couldn't participate in the group because of "time constraints." A close look at his financial records shows that those time constraints actually consisted of a series of speeches that he made millions of dollars on.

In April of last year. Giuliani skipped a meeting and made $200,000 giving a keynote speech at an economic conference in South Korea.
The next month he skipped another meeting to give a $100,000 speech on "leadership" in Atlanta. Later that day, he attended a $100-a-ticket political fundraiser for conservative activist Ralph Reed.
For Giuliani to claim any authority on handling the war in Iraq when he abdicated his responsibilities to the Iraq Study Group is a plain betrayal of the nation's trust. In fact, Stephen Hess, who served on the panel and has served in Republican and Democratic administrations, said, "Leaving that study group was not exactly an act of courage."

While the media spotlight is on Giuliani and MoveOn, we've got an opportunity to remind voters about his real record on Iraq.

Giuliani's ad against MoveOn is in response to the ad they ran in the New York Times last Monday. The ad really got under Republicans' skin—Senator John McCain even called for MoveOn to be "thrown out of the country." (His campaign later conceded that we have the right to free speech.)

But Republicans are right to be nervous about the facts that ad brought to light. As cognitive scientist George Lakoff said, "The ad worked brilliantly to reveal, via its framing, an essential but previously hidden truth: the Bush Administration and its active supporters have betrayed the trust of the troops and the American people."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Bush continues to exploit 9/11

It's becoming more and more clear that the the presidential Bush is further exploiting the tragic events of 9/11 in his continuing effort to prolong the war in Iraq. It is hardly coincidental that both the Petraeus/Crocker congressional appearances on 9/11 and the following day and the presidential Bush speech to the U.S. are occurring during this week of remembrances. Coincidences like that just don't happen.

This is particularly likely because it isn't the first time the presidential Bush (and his vice-presidential Dick) have exploited 9/11. In 2003 the Bush and the Dick used the U.S. fury against the perpetrators of 9/11 in order to carry out their long-planned attempt (which they thought would be a "slam dunk," a "mission easily accomplished") to get control of Middle Eastern resources (particularly Iraqi oil - why else Iraq?) and to enhance the Bush's chances for election in 2004 by invading Iraq and becoming Commander-in-Chief.

It is necessary for these con-men to continue to link their occupation of Iraq with 9/11 in order to sell their particular brand of snake oil.

The Bush/Cheney administration continues to be a criminal embarrassment to the civilized world and particularly to the U.S.

Sept.13: Hear Ramsey Clark on Iraq

If you're looking for something to do while the Presidential Bush is telling more lies on TV, here's an idea.

Hear former U.S. attorney-general Ramsey Clark tell the truth on Iraq

Thurs. Sept. 13
Community Church
40 East 35 St.
(bt. Park & Madison)

---U.S. Role in Sectarian Violence

---Gen. Petraeus' Report on the 'Surge' of 170,000 U.S. Forces
and 200,000 U.S. Paid Mercenaries

---Congress' Complicity in this War

---U.N. Complicity in Granting U.S. Authority in Iraq

Sponsored by Troops Out Now

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Americans believe Saddam-9/11 link, but still don't trust Bush

So you wonder why so many people vote for the vice-presidential Dick and the presidential Bush:

Here's what a New York Times/CBS poll discovered that, despite all the evidence to the contrary brought forward by the 9/11 commission and everyone else who has examined the question, "33 percent of all Americans, including 40 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats, say Saddam Hussein was personally involved" in 9/11. This means that "1/3 of Americans believe the Big Lie propaganda tactics employed by the pro-war lobby."

But only 5 percent of respondents "most trusted the Bush administration to resolve the war, the poll found. Asked to choose among the administration, Congress and military commanders, 21 percent said they would most trust Congress and 68 percent expressed most trust in military commanders." That is almost certainly why the White House has bet so much on the Congressional testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker."

There is some evidence that the presidential Bush may have lost that bet.

(See: Center for Media and Democracy, PR Watch

Sept. 14: Rally outside Sen. Clinton's Office

It's time to put up or shut up Sen. Clinton


Veterans and Military Families Speak Out Against the War
Friday, Sept. 14, Noon
Sen. Hillary Clinton's Office
780 Third Ave

Not one more dollar!
Not one more Death!

United for Peace and Justice

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bush's Tiananmen Square

This is the man who claims he is spreading democracy around the world - but he's killing it at home

"Three anti-war activists were arrested in front of the White House today after the U.S. Park Police moved to suppress a press conference called to protest the fines and threats against the ANSWER Coalition for putting up anti-war posters promoting the September 15 March and Die-In in Washington DC. "

Oct. 27: Anti-war demonstrations

From our friend Georgia Weaver:

Pressure to end the war in Iraq is mounting and it's not going to stop.

On October 27, 10 massive demonstrations initiated by United for Peace and
Justice will be held in cities around the country. This national day of action to end the war will show that opposition to the war is strong, growing and stepping up to take action nationwide.

Visit in the coming days for more updates and information on how
to get involved in the demonstration in your region.

Monday, September 03, 2007

G.B. Shaw on Iraq

Here we are in beautiful New Hampshire at one of our favorite places in the world, World Fellowship Center. The other day I heard what may be one of the best explanations of our invasion and occupation of Iraq from WF co-director Andy Davis. And it was said by, of all people, George Bernard Shaw, who died in 1950.

"Capialism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self-interest backed by force."