It is no wonder that Mr. George Bush is so rabidly concerned about his "reputation" in the annals of history. When a presidential impostor such as he has a legacy written in blood there is no way to change the course of an honest, factual layout when those archives are made. Sending more troops to Iraq to be slaughtered is not going to clean up the ugly American image of the Cheney-Bush reign of terror -- for there is no chance of a victorious taming of middle eastern chaos. Violence and religious intoxication with its natural bent for intolerance of other sects is the manna and sustenance of the male consciousness for the most part, in that whole area. American military there -- even with good intentions -- simply increases the turmoil by giving them the thrill of resistance and divine hero-making opportunities.
We have seen over the span of the Bush-Cheney six years that there is indeed a consistently reliable system of Karma. The 2000 election was a complete fraud, perpetrated by desperate ideologues who were umbilically attached to the military/industrial complex, that giant ogre that is only concerned with power, self-preservation and immense wealth. Since the will of the people was ignored, the Bush/Cheney regime was doomed from the start. The 2004 election was even more of a fraud, so much so that it didn't need the emergency expertise of their newly minted right-leaning Supreme Court.
The 2006 election was finally the first turning of the tide back toward sanity. The polls definitely show that there is a consistent rejection of the Bush/Cheney administration, which has revealed itself to be borderline fascism! The overall heart and soul of the American population can not tolerate the cronyism, incompetence and war-mongering any longer and, as it has many other times in the past, the will of the people will prevail.
President Bush is unconscionably ready to send 20,000 troops to Iraq even though staunch Republicans such as Gordon Smith of Oregon and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and several generals, including Colin Powell, and many of our troops in Iraq who were recently interviewed, all have seriously questioned the value of adding more troops in the middle of a rampant deadly civil war. In addition there is the basic lack of a clearly-defined patriotic mission. Without firmly understanding why there is a need to be there, our soldiers would be more vulnerable to a ruthless and admittedly, say our top brass there, an increasingly deadly foe.
Does Bush really believe that victory in Iraq is achievable or is it that he is so intent to save himself from his perceived stigma of failure that he is willing to sacrifice more troops regardless of the waste of lives to avoid defeat? Considering that he has vowed to stay the course until he leaves office, it raises the serious question: Can we the people stand by and let this bloodletting continue for another two years?
Elkins Park, Pa.
Referring to your 1/1-15/07 editorial: "It won't do the Democratic Party any good to try to impeach the president (what president?) until the Republican Party decides it can no longer afford to defend George W. Bush and Dick Cheney."
Since when is abiding by the supreme law of the land conditional upon "doing good" for the Democratic Party? To plagiarize Cicero in his third oration against Catiline, how long will Bush abuse our patience? How long will his madness mock us? To what limit will his unbridled audacity vaunt itself? Apparently, per TPP, there are to be no limits. Which leads me to fantasize that what this country needs is a really progressive, really populist newspaper.
Bernard J. Berg
Editor Replies: As we've said, the Democratic Congress should thoroughly investigate Bush and Cheney and document their misdeeds before House leaders talk about impeaching them. Because until public opinion forces Republicans to decide that Bush and Cheney are dragging them down -- and 16 Republican senators are needed to convict -- impeachment isn't going to happen.
Old Joe Conason finally came 'round to give Howard Dean some hard-earned props.
[In the 1/1-15/06 TPP], Joe gave Dean a "wag of the finger" for some off-the-cuff remarks Dean made about Republicans. As I wrote to you back then, given the 24/7 lies and distortions voiced by Republicans, Dean's words were harmless.
Yes, Mr. Conason, Dean's grassroots party-building strategy was crucial to victories and near victories in many states, especially in districts where a Democratic presence was either dormant or on life support. I'm glad Conason admits this -- unlike his delusional cronies on Air America and NPR who credited Rahm Emanuel's "brilliant" campaign tactics for Democratic victories.
It takes a nation (not just a few states) to win elections. Most important, it takes candidates who truly focus on daily life issues of the Democratic Party's base (poor, working, middle classes) to bring voters to the polls. This focus will also win votes from the Republican working stiffs the party craves too.
Sadly, I fear Dean's influence in the DNC won't last long. [Democratic Leadership Council] evildoers such as James Jackass Carville, Rahm Emanuel, the Clintons, etc. are working 24/7 to overthrow the Dean regime. It's up to us grassrooters, netrooters, and progressive media people to fight down and dirty against these party terrorists.
David Sirota's cover story ["People vs. Money Party: The Players," 1/1-15/07 TPP] is certainly a breath of fresh air to those of us who despair of ever being represented in our so-called "Representative Democracy." His list of "players" is a good start, despite a few notable omissions (Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi and all the "Blue Dogs" come immediately to mind). Hal Crowther's equally penetrating essay in the same issue ("Remember November") adds considerable fuel to a fire which has been left untended for far too long.
Clearly, we need to demand, forthwith, either a dedicated Progressive Party or a binding platform for those who wish to run for office as Democrats, embracing "People" values and unequivocally rejecting all programs which benefit "Money" at the expense of the People. The primary reason for the recent electoral successes of Rove, DeLay and their ilk has been their ruthless insistence on party loyalty.
The electorate are desperate for unambiguous champions, so much so that they have, until this November, mistaken the stubborn intransigence of the Bush gang as courageous consistency. Sadly, the fractious, timid Democrats are not likely to demonstrate any "courageous consistency" over the next two years, despite their recent victories.
As for 2008, the only hope we have is that John Edwards is for real. Let us pray.
Shorey H. Chapman
San Francisco, Calif.
Amen to Edward L. Koven's "Special Elections" letter [1/1-15/07 TPP]. When St. Louis, Mo., was incorporated in 1765, election day was on Trinity Sunday, a holiday. All males at least 15 years old were allowed to vote. Letters published in the 12/23/06 St. Louis Post-Dispatch about Iraq show that middle school students have remarkable maturity for their age regarding political issues. The third item that needs to be corrected is that felons should be allowed to vote everywhere in America. In 14 states they are banned for life. The Stars and Bars had 15 states in the Civil War. (Missouri was also considered free. Its governor, John C. Fremont, issued an emancipation proclamation before President Abraham Lincoln did.) Since felon is another name for slave, we have as many slave states now as we did then. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s constitutional amendment to let every American of age vote and have every vote counted should correct this problem.
Joseph J. Kuciejczyk
St. Louis, Mo.
Lots of stuff in the latest TPP about the need for the Democrats to get an agenda that will satisfy us Progressives. And nice things being said about Pelosi and her first 100 hours of progressive legislation. I'm still holding my breath. I'm almost up to "underwhelmed."
Did you notice what was being proposed for minimum wage? By 2009 we'll have a minimum wage of $7.25. WOW! That will have a spending power of $6.75 today. Do you think the country will survive all this?
Look, six states passed a minimum wage law this November with an index to the cost of living. Polls show that 84% of the people want this problem corrected. Even Republicans are predicted to vote for the bill. It's almost assumed that any minimum-wage bill would pass and, even if vetoed, it would be overridden. Why aren't the Democrats talking about something substantial? Was Robert Reich correct when he said neither party really wants this problem to go away? He said "both parties need it to energize their base every two years."
We haven't had this much difference in the rich and poor in the country in over a hundred years. Can we really count on the Democrats to do something about it? Heck, they would have a fringe benefit to do something realistic. More payroll taxes would be paid into Social Security and Medicare. It's a win, win, win, win idea. Contact your congressperson. Be nice, but tell 'em a thing or two.
Apropos the Bushes: Who remembers the unbelievable tugs at the heartstrings of America with such slogans as "A kinder gentler nation" and being "a compassionate conservative"? The fact that neither promise has been kept seems to have eluded public scrutiny, just as much as the Elder's call for the "thousand points of light," which is an insult to the needy, who have been relegated to beggars and the whim of others.
Evidently, Iran seems to be next and I wonder what the buzz-word is likely to be, beyond "nuclear perpetrator," possibly "butchers of sheep" (their preference of meat), since the "axis of evil" designation has long ago lost its impact. How about "Survivors of the Shah and SAVAK" and the overthrow of their democratically elected President Mossadeq in 1953, which preceded that, paid for by us (US) which nobody seems to be aware of.
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with US, which is the biggest threat to it.
Red Bluff, Calif.
Hooray, Amy Goodman is on board! I hope it is for more than one take. She is a voice in the desert, an oasis for truth and justice.
This talk of a minimum wage is all wrong. The talk should be of a living wage. Thank you, Ralph Nader. For too long have the workers of the United States been taken advantage of by professional unionist, the Chamber of Commerce and the Congress, who for too long have forgotten the workers of America but not themselves. It is time for a living wage and not more minimum-wage talk.
As for health care, it's too early for a one-payment plan (but it will come). But states [are talking about it.] Forget talk and pass a comprehensive health initiative as a first step toward eventually having a one-payment plan. I know that California is looking into it. It is time to take that step and do it as a prelude to universal health care for all. ...
North Babylon N.Y.
President George W. Bush is rattling the sabers again, in a not-so-veiled military threat. He says that the nuclear developments of Iran and North Korea threaten America's safety and he's not going to tolerate this.
There is no military threat to the US from these two nations. Why not, in view of their drive to produce nuclear bombs along with long-range missiles that can reach our shores or those of our allies in the middle east, primarily Israel?
The Russians had such weapons and possessed missiles capable of sending them to targets anywhere in the continental US. We faced each other with varying degrees of anxiety for more than 40 years. Why were we safe from Russian threats? Simple. The acronym MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) is the answer.
MAD prevented either side from launching a first strike. The other superpower could detect this attack and would loose its missiles also loaded with nuclear bombs. MAD was the condition that prevented either country from striking first.
Why, then, are Iran and North Korea working furiously to develop a nuclear bomb capability? To launch a first strike against us? No. That would be insane! What is their purpose? In a word, deterrence! They want us to know that, if we are so foolish as to attack them first, we will suffer an equally great catastrophe from their missiles.
What we need is a president intelligent enough to revive MAD, not make threats. Unfortunately, it will be two years before we have an opportunity to make this change.
If the marines who killed civilians during the heat of battle deserve to be tried for murder, then every one of the damned chicken hawks of this lying Bush administration who sent them into this mess, should be tried in the same court.
I suppose it's quite all right to sit safely in the Oval Office and order the dropping of cluster bombs on innocent Iraqi civilians or to allow the continuing use of depleted uranium in the munitions, endangering everyone for years on end.
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