You did it! We did it! The impossible has happened: A majority of Americans have soundly and forcefully removed Bush's party from control of the House of Representatives. And ... the same miracle has happened in the Senate. The American people have made two things crystal clear: End this war, and stop Mr. Bush from doing any more damage to this country we love. That is what this election was about. Nothing else. Just that. And it's a message that has sent shock waves throughout Washington &emdash; and a note of hope around this troubled world.
Now the real work begins. Unless we stay on top of these Democrats to do the right thing, they will do what they've always done: Screw it up. Big Time. They helped Bush start this war, and now they should make amends.
But let's take a day to rejoice and revel in a rare victory for our side &emdash; the side that doesn't believe in unprovoked invasions of other countries. This is your day, my friends. You have worked hard for it. I can't tell you how proud I am to count all of you as part of the greater American mainstream we now occupy. Thank you for all the time you gave to get out the vote. Some of you have been at this since the large demonstrations of February 2003 when we tried to stop the war before it started. Only 10% to 20% of the country agreed with us at that time. Remember how lonely that was? Some people were even booed! Now, 60% of the country agrees with our position. They are us and we are them. What a nice, strange, hopeful feeling.
A woman, for the first time in our history, will be speaker of the House. The attempt to ban all abortion in the conservative state of South Dakota was defeated. Laws to raise the minimum wage were passed. Democrats were elected to fill Tom DeLay's and Mark Foley's seats. Detroit's John Conyers, Jr. is going to be the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The Democratic governor of Michigan beat the CEO from Amway. The little township next to where I live in Michigan voted Democratic for the first time since ... ever. And on and on and on. The good news will continue throughout today. Let's enjoy it. Savor it. And use it to get Congress to finally listen to the majority.
If you want to do one thing today, send an email or a letter to both of your senators and your member of Congress and tell them, in no uncertain terms, what this election means: End the war &emdash; and don't let George W. Bush get away with any more of his bright ideas.
Congratulations, again! Now let's go find a spine for the Dems to do the job we've sent them there to do.
Yours in victory (for once!),
New York, N.Y.
Re: "Dems: Get in W's Face" [Editorial, 11/15/06 TPP], Pelosi's 100 Hours should be extended to include:
1. Law to ban factory farming. Big agribusiness is killing the environment, our health, and the economy. Shift more money to support smaller farms and green markets to help revitalize and create jobs in rural areas. Eliminate subsidies to large farming operations. This would also improve air/water quality and overall public health.
2. Legislation to curb outsourcing. Companies with at least 60% of their operations located in the US would be eligible for tax breaks and other corporate welfare. Those with fewer than 60% of operations here get assessed higher tariffs on imported goods and NO corporate handouts from the government. Increase IRS staff/funding to collect from corporations that aren't paying their fair share of taxes.
3. Moratorium on genetically modified foods. This issue will be the cigarette smoking of the future when we learn years later the food industry knew Frankenfoods posed a health risk but buried the info in order to sell product. We don't need faster-growing, super-nutrient-filled animals and plants. We need more farmers (in US and rest of the world) making a decent living raising and selling naturally grown livestock and produce to feed the world.
As a faithful subscriber, I am disappointed with Alexander Cockburn's column on the 9/11 conspiracy [in the 11/1/06 TPP], as well as your editor notes following Karen Amin's letter in the 11/15/06 issue. I find that I agree with Karen; I too am appalled that [Cockburn] cannot find a single "serious question" about 9/11! As of today, 45% of Americans are demanding a new investigation; hundreds of victims' families' questions remain unanswered. Some of the more telling information includes the fact Building 7 collapsed when it was not hit by any plane (it went down in only a few seconds), and the fact that all the features of the collapse of all three buildings point to classic controlled demolition; for example, how could the concrete be completely pulverized by a hit from a plane -&endash; dust was blown out horizontally from the building site and covered blocks around Manhattan! The crime scene was immediately cordoned off and all steel was quickly loaded on trucks and sent to China, so it could not be studied.
Perhaps the most important proofs that something was wrong are the comments of eye witnesses and first responders as to explosions -&endash; these people heard explosions which "sounded like gunfire" and "huge secondary explosions we all heard" (after the planes had flown into the buildings). Are all these people wrong? A new video, September Eleventh Revisited, which consists of video excerpts taken on the scene that day, brings out a lot of these comments &endash;- available at the website www.911revisited.com.
Whatever the true facts, isn't it time they were all brought out so the American people can judge for themselves? At the very least, there are still many unanswered questions! We deserve the truth.
Port Washington, Wis.
I always read Alexander Cockburn's column, as it is usually informative, interesting and incisive. However, I must take issue with part of his recent article, "Decline of the Left" [11/1/06 TPP], the part about "9/11ers."
As I see it, there are two 9/11 conspiracy theories: the official one promoted by the highest echelons of our government, and the other one, which has evolved from obvious discrepancies and unanswered questions.
Cockburn says that "the 9/11ers" are "nuts" and that many of them have insulted him. I guess he would call me a "9/11er," but that doesn't make me a nut. I am a rational, thoughtful, intelligent, intuitive person who is generally accepting of people and events at face value. But if I smell a rat, I tend to investigate. ...
Mr. Cockburn is obviously a respected journalist, but to maintain that reputation he should educate himself on 9/11. He could start by reading two of the most compelling books that I have read: Against All Enemies by former counterterrorism czar Richard A. Clarke, and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions by David Ray Griffin. We need to do what has not been done: thorougly investigate both conspiracy theories and get to the truth of the matter once and for all. The 9/11 Truth Movement is not going to go away.
On the subject of 9/11 conspiracy, I have come to favor the following view:
The administration knew that an "action" was likely.
The administration probably knew the proposed date. (Do we believe that they did not translate the intercepted message giving this date?)
The administration had as little idea of the scale of the devastation as did Osama bin Laden.
The curious fact that the usual reaction of interception of off-course, perhaps hijacked planes, did not occur on 9/11 seems to me a very telling fact and one which has not been dealt with/explained by the official words.
Yadviga D. Halsey
The 11/15/06 TPP is a rather amazing read and has been greatly enjoyed. By most accounts, a horrific stench has been detected as arising from the depths of the Grand Old Potty, and seems to have permeated the majority chambers of the Senate and House. That this has happened is no great surprise. The big surprise is that the noses of the Dems have finally picked up the smell, and that they are pinning down the source of the stink, which undeniably is the R's. The mental image of the eminent majority members in both Houses, feverishly wielding Johnny Mops on their tarnished reputations, amuses me a lot. It should happen more often.
Walter B. Mueller
Brooklyn Center, Minn.
Thanksgiving will soon be upon us. Are you thankful? Are you grateful for the hundreds of thousands of our young men and women whose lives are constantly at risk, fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq? How deeply? In your heart? In your checkbook?
The phrase, "Support the troops," has been said so often that it's lost some of its impact. Many vehicles have a plastic yellow ribbon stuck somewhere on its frame. Is that the extent of your support? If so, it falls pathetically short of genuine, concrete action to match this symbol.
Few, if any of our active veterans &emdash; only a handful &emdash; will see this token of support on your vehicle. It's not enough!
Unless you are a close member of the family of a serviceman or servicewoman who has returned in a flag-draped coffin, you are unlikely to comprehend the depth of loss this means for them. This is the only true measure of sacrifice. Where does that leave us?
There will be tens of thousands of surviving men and women in that brutal war who will be unable to share Thanksgiving with their families back here.
There is a way for you and I to do something about this. We can send direct financial support to the only organization that is close enough to these beloved men and women serving in those two hotbeds of death, injury or maiming: the USO. ...
The services the USO provide to these Army, Navy, Airmen and Marines are of incalculable value: cell phones to call home, computers to send email home, babysitting expenses for those families who plan to visit their sons, daughters, fathers and mothers in that almost God-forsaken region, USO entertainment tours &emdash; right up front where they share the risk as these do &emdash; USO day rooms in military hospitals, and on and on with services too numerous to list.
So ... write out a generous check, enough to make it hurt, to USO. Mail it to:
USO World Headquarters
PO Box 96860
Washington, D.C. 20077
It'll be the best gift you ever gave yourself and you'll find greater satisfaction at your Thanksgiving feast, knowing that your check will have made their dinner a bit better in the ever-shifting war zone they live in.
I may not always agree with your regular columnists, but until now I have been impressed with their tone of discourse. Arianna Huffington's diatribe about Bob Woodward's book, State of Denial ["Woodward as Hero: Real State of Denial," 11/1/06 TPP], is simply shrill. Nowhere does she question his facts. She loads her text with satirical quotation marks, a dead giveaway for unfair bias. And you devoted nearly 30 column inches to this stuff!
This one leaves me wondering if Woodward hurt her feelings. It is possible to be forceful without being petty &emdash; assuming one propounds a point of view that is worth the space it takes up. Perhaps Huffington could take lessons from Molly Ivins.
Although Jerry Flanagan and Judy Dugan enumerate many important points in their article, "Stop Saying 'Single Payer'" [10/15/06 TPP], they obviously don't understand the meaning of the designation "Single Payer."
According to the joint research project by Harvard Medical School and Public Citizen, one of the main reasons that $286 billion could be saved yearly from America's health care cost is the single payer aspect. Single payer means that, instead of all the separate medical bureaucracies, such as Veterans, Medicare, Medicaid, Children etc. that process our medical bills on both the state and federal level, only a single bureaucracy in each state would process all medical billing. The other chief savings, of course, would be the elimination of the profit-driven insurance companies from all basic health care, and preventive care for everyone.
Robin E. Nadeau
St. Augustine, Fla.
An article by Nicholas Von Hoffman in the 11/1/06 TPP asks the question that if the Democrats win, "Will they screw it up?" I for one do not think so. I have a great deal of confidence in Nancy Pelosi, who is one hell of a tough cookie. She is currently planning for that eventuality and has made clear to pursue the following changes: no pay raises for House members until the minimum wage is increased; allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices for seniors; expand Pell grants and lower interest rates on loans for tuition; push for exit from Iraq; implement security measures that the 9/11 commission recommended and ignored by Bush; and roll back subsidies and royalities granted Big Oil while oil prices and profits soared. I think many Democrats as well as Republicans will be greatly influenced when the shift in congressional power occurs, and pressure on the Bush administration to compromise will increase dramatically.
Carroll O. David
San Marcos, Texas
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