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Ear to the Ground

Déjà Vu:  Another Iraq Withdrawal Bill Shot Down

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Posted on Jul 18, 2007

Well, we might have seen this one coming, but yet another plan to set a timetable to begin the gradual withdrawal of American troops from Iraq has been deep-sixed in the Senate.


AP via Huffington Post:

Senate Republicans torpedoed legislation Wednesday to force the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq, bowing to President Bush’s adamant refusal to consider any change in war strategy before September.

The 52-47 vote fell far short of the 60 needed to advance the legislation and marked the final act in an all-night session that Democrats engineered to dramatize their opposition to the war.

“Time and the American people are ... on our side,” said a defiant Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has made ending the war the Democrats’ top goal since they took control of the Senate in January. “We will do everything in our power to change course in Iraq,” he said moments after the vote.

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By ardee, July 25, 2007 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

Please excuse the repetition but I fear you missed the message:

“At the same time I could send a message to the ruling parties that I wanted specific changes and was willing to vote only for someone who represented them to me. If we just vote for the same old spiel, the same tired rhetoric, then we are to blame when no changes occur. How else do we hope to retake our government from the interests that run it?

As the Green party continues to garner more votes in each election cycle I see the Democrats slowly beginning to address some of the same issues that these Green voters are responding to, in order to recapture those votes. That means , to me, that my strategy is working, slow though it may be. Beats heck out of trying to foment violent revolution.”

...oh and Cyrena, it wasnt that long ago that a group of (insert appropriate expletive) were advocating exactly that, violent overthrow. I suspect they were neocons trying to gain agreement from the ‘librals’ so they could point to our basic untrustworthyness, but you never know…...

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By cyrena, July 24, 2007 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

#89224 by ardee on 7/24 at 5:09 pm

Ardee: This was part of your reposte to my own:

I get a lot of flack because I vote for that candidate who best expresses my views for the direction if this nation. In two national elections that person was Ralph Nader. Did I think he was going to win? of course not. Did I think I was “wasting my vote”? Nope not a chance. But he was someone I could vote for without compromising my ideals for this country.

And yes, I do believe that it’s admirable to vote the way you do, since it’s clearly always been my own way of voting (as a registered Independant) myself. And, based on that reasoning, your vote is certainly no more “wasted” than my own would be, if I simply choose NOT to vote, because there was NOBODY that represented my own ideals for the country.

So, I understand perfectly. On the other hand, when idealism and pragmatic realism are sometimes worlds apart, (most of the time) it’s hard to assess, (even after 40 years)whether or not it does any good. In other words, I’m not sure that anyone has “gotten the message”.

So, while those committments to personal integrity should always be acknowledged and upheld, I’m still more inclined to choose a candidate that at least addresses some, or most, of what my own ideals are, even if they don’t think exactly the way I would, rather than do a write-in.

You’ve at least had a candidate who has stayed on the political front, and has made himself “available” to but your vote behind. I’ve never been particularly impressed by Ralph Nadar, though I would certainly have taken him over what we’ve got now. (but then, I really WOULD have taken ANYONE over them)

So, you’ve had someone that you could “vote for” no matter who was running, and thereby maintain that integrity. My only option, (if I were to be so pure) would have to be to not vote, since there have been very few candidates that have acted or expressed intentions that overwhelmingly represented my own ideals for the country.

But, that WOULD be a waste, because we all need to participate in the system, if it is to be successful.

But you’re right…it certainly beats an armed revolution, but I haven’t heard anybody talking about such things, (at least not for a good 40 years or so).

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By ardee, July 24, 2007 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena notes:
“But, if we’re past the primaries, and the choices are Hillary, and any of the Republicans that are currently vying for that office, (and that was the hypothetical that I was actually responding to, from Skruff) then that would mean that I either wouldn’t vote, or do a “write-in”, for you or somebody else that isn’t going to win, or…vote for her, even though I’m not committed to her principles of corporate hegemony here, or US hegemony over the rest of the world. “

Ardee ripostes:
As I stated, you would vote for someone to whom you are not committed simply because h/she has a chance to win. But then what have you got?

I get a lot of flack because I vote for that candidate who best expresses my views for the direction if this nation. In two national elections that person was Ralph Nader. Did I think he was going to win? of course not. Did I think I was “wasting my vote”? Nope not a chance. But he was someone I could vote for without compromising my ideals for this country.

At the same time I could send a message to the ruling parties that I wanted specific changes and was willing to vote only for someone who represented them to me. If we just vote for the same old spiel, the same tired rhetoric, then we are to blame when no changes occur. How else do we hope to retake our government from the interests that run it?

As the Green party continues to garner more votes in each election cycle I see the Democrats slowly beginning to address some of the same issues that these Green voters are responding to, in order to recapture those votes. That means , to me, that my strategy is working, slow though it may be. Beats heck out of trying to foment violent revolution.

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By cyrena, July 23, 2007 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, a vote for someone to whom you are really not committed seems such a shame. Is it that you cannot see the vote as a message but must vote for someone who might actually win, even though that winning means we all lose?

Ardee:,

I must agree with you on this. It is NOT a good thing to vote for something to which one is not really committed. The options would be to not vote at all, (which is just as bad in a sense) or to “cast a message” as you say, for someone who has no chance of winning. (at least in the primaries).

But, if we’re past the primaries, and the choices are Hillary, and any of the Republicans that are currently vying for that office, (and that was the hypothetical that I was actually responding to, from Skruff) then that would mean that I either wouldn’t vote, or do a “write-in”, for you or somebody else that isn’t going to win, or…vote for her, even though I’m not committed to her principles of corporate hegemony here, or US hegemony over the rest of the world.

In the primaries, I can certainly vote my “message”, but as things narrow down, the choices become much slimmer, which is why I had acknowledged the dilemma..all too often..we find ourselves stuck with choosing the least of the evils.

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By ardee, July 23, 2007 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

#88810 by Skruff on 7/23 at 5:50 am
(Unregistered commenter)

88799 by ardee on 7/23 at 4:31 am

“So, Skruff, a vote for another actor in the offing,ehh? The last one didnt turn out to be all that good for us.”

Which of the 10 actors who have played “president” (in my lifetime) are you speaking?


Why Reagan, the former Boraxo salesman, President of the Screen Actors Guild where he ratted out so many of his constituents to HUAC, actor of sorts, and Fred Thompson, soon to be far right wing candidate of choice, former do nothing Senator and perhaps soon to be do nothing good President.

When you noted you might have to vote GOP in the coming election I assumed you would be voting for him…..

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By cann4ing, July 23, 2007 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

What is Skruff talking about?  A vote for “Hillary” is a vote for a Republican.  The only difference between her and the Republic-crooks is that they make no effort to hide it.

On the other hand, all this talk of whom we intend to vote for in the Nov. 2008 election is speculative.  If Paul Craig Roberts, a former assistant Secretary of the Treasury in Reagan Administration, is correct, something is in the works.  Roberts points to executive orders in place that will permit our lawless “Unitary Executive” to use another “terrorist incident” as a pretext to declare martial law.  Given that an end to their reign could potentially subject these men to future prosecutions for crimes against humanity and fully appreciating Cheney’s ruthlessness, the odds that any of us will be permitted to vote on a replacement in November 2008 may be slimmer than we realize.

The light of liberty embodied in our Constitution is flickering, ready to go out, yet America’s Democrats, like the hapless Social Democrats in the waning days of the Weimar Republic, are blind to the danger.  Impeachment, the one Constitutional instrument still available to avert a decent into a totalitarian America is “off-the-table.”

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By Skruff, July 23, 2007 at 6:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

88799 by ardee on 7/23 at 4:31 am

“So, Skruff, a vote for another actor in the offing,ehh? The last one didnt turn out to be all that good for us.”

Which of the 10 actors who have played “president” (in my lifetime) are you speaking?

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By ardee, July 23, 2007 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

So, Skruff, a vote for another actor in the offing,ehh? The last one didnt turn out to be all that good for us.

Cyrena, a vote for someone to whom you are really not committed seems such a shame. Is it that you cannot see the vote as a message but must vote for someone who might actually win, even though that winning means we all lose?

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By cyrena, July 23, 2007 at 12:45 am Link to this comment

#88690 by Skruff on 7/22 at 11:25 am

•  I have made only one certain choice for 2008, If the D party runs Hill-the-Shill I will definately return to the Republican camp.

I hear ya on this Skruff, about the risk of running Hillary. She makes me very nervous, because of what the Truman quote indicates. She’s really far too close to being a republican. Not quite as bad as the republicans that are running for office, but way too close to the center for me.

Unfortunately, any return to the repubs means a guaranteed death. That’s like considering suicide.

So, if they run her, I’ll have to vote for her. It’ll be another one of those “lesser-of-the-evils” elections if that happens.

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By Skruff, July 22, 2007 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Skruff has not announced as yet”

I will vote in the general election, as in Maine “Independents” may not vote in Caucus other than their own, and we have none.

I generally vote Republican BUT did not vote for either Bush or his father. I voted for Reagan in 80, and Clark in 84. Voted for Dole in 96, and Perot in 92. Voted Ford in 76, and McGovern in 72.
Voted for Robert Fennedy in the 68 Primary, and passed in the general election. Was too young for Goldwater/Johnson in 64, but was a young Republican and worked for Barry, although I was ultimately happy with Johnson’s domestic policy.

I have made only one certain choice for 2008, If the D party runs Hill-the-Shill I will definately return to the Republican camp.

“If the people are given a choice between a Republican and a republican they will choose the Republican every time.”

Harry Truman

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By ardee, July 22, 2007 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Timeline…:

Obama elected to Senate….Nov.2004

Iraq invaded…............Mar 2003

So Cyrena, was Obama’s opposition to the invasion of Iraq mailed in from Illinois? I do not doubt his words when he says that IF he were in the Senate he would have voted against such invasion, but it is certainly far easier for his not having been there for that vote.

This is neither a rejection of Barak Obama nor a rant against anyone who supports him. I see that Mr. Canning is firmly with Kucinich ( and thanks, Ernest, for the interesting news that he, like the Greens refuses corporate donors) and Cyrena seems to lean towards Obama. To my knowledge Skruff has not announced as yet and I await the candidates from third parties before a decision needs to be made. We still have considerable time before the actual election.

I risk sounding like a broken record, especially when I see no response to my frequent notations that it is not a candidate who will save this nation but an awakening, but I will say again this system is broken and no candidate who fails to address the fix will get my support.

It is nice that polls have taught the candidates that they must address health care issues, it is not so nice that whatever is said by every one of them comes from such polling data. I wont vote for a parrot mouthing what h/she thinks popular, or one who speaks to the cause of the moment.

As Cyrena notes, Medicare is already in place, operates at about a 3% cost of service, and seems an ideal way to give health care to all those 45 million without it. But who risks alienating the Insurance Industry to suggest such a thing?

I do regret that it seems any discussion of a broken system and a way to effect repairs thereof falls silently on deaf ears.

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By cyrena, July 22, 2007 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

#88463 by Skruff on 7/21 at 4:59 am

Skruff:

•  HOWEVER on his “caving” on the war, Were I a Senator, I would be present for votes where I had a storng interest. Obama is not, and far from “a leader” in the health care game, Obama wants to keep insurance companies involved which deletes most of the cost savings present in Dennis Kucinich’s plan.

**************
I do get your point on the voting, and I haven’t checked to see which voting opportunites Obama may have missed. (as a result of his campaigning). It would be worth it to me, to check it out, when there’s time. (somewhere, there must be a summary of how all of them voted, on all issues.)

I only know that he has been vocally opposed to the invasion and occupation of Iraq since before it happened.

As for the health-care plan, Obama’s IS a single-payer plan, and I don’t know how he intends to incorporate “insurance companies” into that. So, he will have to explain. They will ALL have to explain, (and Michael Moore may have some suggestions)for how they intend to simply RID all insurance companies from our health care system. Even if it is a “single-payer” system, SOMEBODY(S) or agencies, have to administer it.

Now, cutting out the middle man, (the insurance companies)is obviously the center of reducing the costs. So yeah, the HMO’S, should be the first to go. But, should we also eliminate all of the medical professionals that are employed by them, along with all the rest of their staffs? I would say NO!!! We NEED as many trained professionals as we can create, and they need a place to work from, and a universal system for being paid, and all the rest.

So, eliminating the middle man is more than a notion, but surely it can be accomplished. Despite ANY single payer health plan that ANY of them can come up with, it will NEVER eliminate those medical establishments that will continue to cater to those people who have more than enough money to pay for whatever very superior and very private health care needs they may demand, (and from their own checkbooks, on the spot). And, there will always be very greedy medical professionals, who will be glad to serve them. None of the current candidates’ plans make any mention of phasing them out, because those aren’t the folks that we need to be concerned about. THEY will always be able to afford whatever they want.

But, for the rest of us, the “conversion” needs to be in the policy and the paperwork, which eliminates the “for-profit” nature of health care -for the masses-. And, they will need an institutionalized sort of a system, to work that out. And, at the logistical level, those are likely to be people formerly employed at insurance companies.

For me, the best way to do that, is to simply allow Medicare to be the institution that does this for ALL of us. But, that too, is more than a notion, and like every other government agency, it is not particulary efficient, at least not now. But…it could be.

At the end of the day, it probably isn’t important WHO the “single-payer” is, as long as it isn’t an insurance company, and as long as it can be consistently monitored by “we the people”, and is AVAILABLE to all of “we the people”.

For the most part, Obama’s plan seems to accomplish that, as does the plan by Kucinich. But, as of now, all of those plans are only basic. None of the logistical details about how this can actually be accomplished, are yet available.

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By cann4ing, July 21, 2007 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

ardee, I know for a fact that Dennis Kucinich absolutely will “not” accept corporate campaign contributions.  The relatively meager sums he has received are individual contributions, usually in the $100 range.

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By ardee, July 21, 2007 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

Well, ardee, this is one time I have to disagree with you.  Hillary Clinton is a complete sell-out.  The only Democrat who is worthy of our support is Dennis Kucinich.

Ernest,
My reference to Hillary was to her experience in comparison to Obama’s miniscule tenure on the national scene. As I said in closing:
I gotta add that I will never, ever vote for Hillary though I respect her intellect and aplomb.

I believe that we on the left must swallow the bitter pill of knowledge that this is going to take much time. Much needs reforming, including attitudes. There is really no ONE candidate who is going to resolve our problems, they will be addressed incrememntally.

This is the main reason I am willing to throw my support to third party politics, with its detachment from corporate strings. It is also the reason why, though I love his positions on the issues, I cannot support Kucinich. He is, in the end, a member of the Duopoly that is enslaved by corporate money. Have you looked to see where his contributions flow from?

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By Skruff, July 21, 2007 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

88327 by cyrena on 7/20 at 2:23 pm

This isn’t entirely true. Barak Obama, has NEVER caved on the War in Iraq. He wasn’t a representative, but rather a senator, and he has never “caved” on Iraq. Rather, he’s been opposed to it from the beginning, and has always said so. Specifically, he said long ago, that he was NOT against, “war” in general, but that he was emphatically opposed to STUPID wars. Illegal ones. Wars of aggression. Wars for no valid purpose.

You are right about Obama’s status as a represenative, he was not one.  I got my information from a source which I no longer use.

HOWEVER on his “caving” on the war, Were I a Senator, I would be present for votes where I had a storng interest. Obama is not, and far from “a leader” in the health care game, Obama wants to keep insurance companies involved which deletes most of the cost savings present in Dennis Kucinich’s plan.

Along with familiar ties to Walmart China free trade, and the open borders bill, for me, Barak is not an option.

If Hillary, Barak, or John get the D nodd, I’ll be returning to my R roots in the general election.

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By cyrena, July 21, 2007 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

Comment#88435 by Ernest Canning on 7/20 at 10:08 pm

Ernest, thanks for the rundown. I was unaware that NOBODY else supported Kucinich’s impeachment resolution. I know I sure have been beating the bong for the past several years, but then…I think I mentioned that. I was a very early casualty…though surely not the only one. But…after one very lengthy corporate slave career, I found myself without a job, without a house, without any health insurance, and very, very, sick. But, I survived, and in a way, it’s a good thing, because now I know that as bad as things are, they could actually be worse. I just don’t want these guys to PROVE that to me anymore. They’ve clearly already convinced me.

It doesn’t bother me in the least that Kucinich is goofy looking, and I won’t hold it against him if his wife appears to be five feet taller. (NOT his fault). I’d like him to get some more time in the foreign policy area though. He doesn’t have that, and it’s not enough to just say that he’s gonna bring everybody home, and shut down all of the bases.

And, NOBODY has a bead on Iraq. Barack DID make the point a few days ago, that we should not, and cannot, use Iraqi genocide as a reason to stay. But every single body else, has been blaming the Iraqis for ages, for not following our orders, and never bothering to consider the fact that they are far more equipped to decide what’s best for them. And, all THEY want, is for us to leave.

NAFTA of course, has been the death of us all, and for a long time. Americans are all terrorized by this influx of Mexicans, without understanding that NAFTA is part of the reason for them. Same with the WTO. So, if Dennis has a plan for that, I’ll certainly be glad to hear it.

Meantime, I can’t believe I’m actually sitting here hoping that bozo makes it through his colonoscopy tomorrow. Cheney will already have at least 12 hours of being “officially” in charge, and that’s enough for him to do all sorts of damage.

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By cann4ing, July 20, 2007 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, here is the bottom line.  There is only one presidential candidate who is calling for a single-payer healthcare system that would eliminate both HMOs and the for-profit healthcare insurers; only one candidate who is calling for a repeal of NAFTA & the WTO—Dennis Kucinich.  While you were quite right when you noted that others, like Cynthia McKinney, had called for impeachment, there is only one presidential candidate who actually brought articles of impeachment.  Dennis Kucinich.  When, at the first Democratic Presidential forum the candidates were asked for a show of hands as to who would join with Kucinich in calling for the impeachment of Richard Cheney, every last one of those cowards stood there as stiff as statues, including Obama and even Mike Gravel.  It was left to Kucinich to defend his call for impeachment, a point he underscored forcefully by retrieving a little booklet from his pocket, the documentthe Bush/Cheney regime has trampled on for the past seven years—the Constitution of these United States.

What we are witnessing is what Noam Chomsky calls a “democracy deficit.”  54% of Americans favor impeachment of Cheney.  A significant number, especially after Sicko! have had it with our corrupt health care system.  The vast majority of our people are suffering from the outsourcing of America’s manufacturing base by an economic elite which has absolutely no loyalty to America and its people.  If our corporate media actually linked candidates to where they stood on issues that truly matter, Dennis Kucinich would win in a landslide.  Instead, we find time and again that the focus is on the shallow and the meaningless.  Support Hillary.  After all, its time we had a woman President.  Support Obama, after all it’s time we had an African American President.  The fact that these two and Edwards are corporatists, the fact that all three offer sham “universal coverage” plans that amount to subsidy schemes for the health care insurers who are funding their campaigns doesn’t matter.  Dennis who? most people ask.  He looks like Alfred E. Neuman.  How can I vote for him?

Is it any wonder we are in this sorry mess?

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By cyrena, July 20, 2007 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Comment#88368 by Ernest Canning on 7/20 at 5:13 pm

Ernest, you beat me to it. I mentioned in my other lengthy post, (that I don’t see yet) that I’d read on a post somewhere, that Michelle Obama had served on Wal-Mart’s board, and I promised to swallow my words if it could be confirmed. smile). So, I am.

HOWEVER…You sound like a typical MALE.smile Blame the poor guy for who he married, and call him a corporatist because SHE is. (they’ve only been married for 10 years). He wasn’t a “corporatist” before that. I think both of his parents were academics, and he was raised in Kansas for crying out loud!!! (do you know any rich corporate academics? Well, there may be some). Anyway, maybe he should have married me instead, and then he sure wouldn’t have to be worried about any “corporate” connections rubbing off on him.

OTOH, that would be cradle robbing for me, and I’m not into that.

It always tickles me when folks bring up his “experience” issue, because of well…george. Before 2000, nobody outside the state of Texas had ever heard of him, because he’d never had a real job, and everybody knew that his MBA was purchased by his daddy. All the while, the Floridians were sure that brother Jeb was gonna be the next PNAC signator to the While House, and I’d never paid any attention to HIM myself. (I don’t like anything about Florida). But, if ever there were a president with NO experience, and NO intellect, and NO anything…we’ve got this george II, who’s parents allowed Cheney to run with him, just so that he’d have some adult supervision. Now even Bush I is devastated. Imagine after such a long legacy, jr comes along to be the absolute worst thing that’s ever happened to our country.

But, with that said, I’m going to check out Dennis’ web site again, since I haven’t looked at it recently, and get up to speed. It is imperative that we all make very well informed decisions. And, he might have something there that is in fact impressive. (Obama’s health plan is actually the best I’ve seen, but I’ll check out what Dennis has to offer.)

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By cann4ing, July 20, 2007 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

Well, ardee, this is one time I have to disagree with you.  Hillary Clinton is a complete sell-out.  The only Democrat who is worthy of our support is Dennis Kucinich.

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By ardee, July 20, 2007 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Obama talks the talk but I wonder if a first term Senator, with no other national experience is the right choice for the White House?

I believe that his candidacy and popularity are more symptomatic of a paucity of leadership than his fitness for office. Frankly, were I only considering a realistic democratic candidate I would choose Hillary Clinton before Barak. I say realistic because both Gravel and Kucinich are ahead on my short list, but face it folks, as much as I believe Dennis to be the perfect candidate he hasnt a snowball’s chance in hades. I gotta add that I will never, ever vote for Hillary though I respect her intellect and aplomb.

I am firm in my opinion that capitalism is killing us, at least the rampant unchecked variety currently in vogue. Under a corporatist President we will never see single payer health care, we will never see elections return to paper ballots, we will never see campaign finance reform and we may never see and end to war…...it is, after all, so very profitable.

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By cann4ing, July 20, 2007 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, did you know Obama’s wife, like Hillary Clinton before her, served on Wal Mart’s board of directors.  Sorry, but this guy is a corporatist.

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By cyrena, July 20, 2007 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

#88208 by Skruff on 7/20 at 5:22 am

On this one Skruff, I hate to seem obsessive…BUT

•  Having said that I go along with the “spineless Democrat belief as many Democrats voted to ceed their constitutional authority to the president. Hillary, Edwards, Obama (when he was a represenative) Biden, they all caved when we needed them, now they tell us they made a mistake.  I say, OK.  Thanks for the admission…. “your fired!!

This isn’t entirely true. Barak Obama, has NEVER caved on the War in Iraq. He wasn’t a representative, but rather a senator, and he has never “caved” on Iraq. Rather, he’s been opposed to it from the beginning, and has always said so. Specifically, he said long ago, that he was NOT against, “war” in general, but that he was emphatically opposed to STUPID wars. Illegal ones. Wars of aggression. Wars for no valid purpose.

So, while I’m still not entirely narrowed down on him as my choice, I still feel obligated to correct this, if only because I’ve noticed a few people who seem to be unaware of this, even though it would seem like he’d be kind of hard to confuse with the others. 

BTW…Obama was never a representative in the House. He WAS in the Ill State Congress, but I don’t remember what his position was. From there, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he is still a junior Senator.

  So, he DOES have that much of an edge over Edwards, and Clinton, and really, all of the others. Edwards has of course since admitted to being wrong, and Clinton has never been quite willing or able to admit that.

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By THOMAS BILLIS, July 20, 2007 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I do not usually comment twice but in reading some of the comments I sense that some people on the Democratic side are defending their approach to this problem.We need statesmen not party loyalists.Someone’s kid is going to die in Iraq today.The democrats have the power to cut off the funding or impeach the Pres and Vice Pres.This posturing for the 08 elections does a disservice to the family of that kid who is going to die today.Politically what they are doing probably makes sense but if the you put the country and that kids family ahead of what is politically expedient you can acheive statesmen status.Republicans will tow the party line as they follow George Bush over the cliff but I beleive with coercion from us the democrats can be led kicking and screaming into statesmanship.

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By Mudwollow, July 20, 2007 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

#88224 by Emily Anne on 7/20 at 7:24 am
(Unregistered commenter)

“Democrats in Congress do not seem to understand why they were elected.”

Okay, if that’s the case these unfortunate Democrats should be relieved of their duties and treated for Alzheimer’s.

Don’t you get a little sick of hearing our politicians hide behind been bumbling idiots but still claim they’re doing a great job for us all? This is like saying George Bush incompetently transferred hundreds of billions of dollars to his good buddies. Can’t have it both ways Emily.

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By ardee, July 20, 2007 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Current Party Numbers: 110th Congress, 1st Session

  House Senate
Republicans 201 49
Democrats 231 49
Independents 0 2
Vacancies 3  

Excuse the formatting….

As to Bernie Sanders, my favorite Senator, he is of course a Democratic Socialist, as am I frankly. I believe he can be counted on to vote with the democrats as Joe Lieberman cannot.

Regardless of the numbers, the democrats do control the Senate , have all the chairmanships of the committees and could, if they wished, make a much larger and more public effort to explain to the American people the truth of our position in Iraq, the facts of our economic decline, the serious nature of our faulty health care system etc. That they do not is more a factor of those campaign checks than any powerlessness of numbers.

Skruff, welcome to the world of the Indie!

As to Bernie Sanders

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By Emily Anne, July 20, 2007 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Democrats in Congress do not seem to understand why they were elected. Though they are frustratingly limited in what they can do, they nonetheless were given considerable power. Unfortunately, with too few exceptions, they are not speaking out, much less acting with the strength necessary to bring about the changes in policy and direction we desperately need (and thought we were going to get). If this is so, and if, as is obvious to the meanest intelligence, their Republican counterparts have also failed us, then it makes sense to seek other recourse. Since the easiest route, which is electing a greater majority of Democrats, might not be a solution to the perceived problems, a third party, despite the risks made clear in the past, could force the changes essential to the restoration of democracy in the United States. We all know something must be done, and done sooner rather than later. From what I read in these blogs, we have become quite impatient.

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By Skruff, July 20, 2007 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ardee (and the other folks who speak of a Democratic Senatorial Majority)

“The Democrats may hold the germ of truth when they claim too small a majority in the Senate”

No, they do not. The Democratic Party holds 48 Seats, the Republican Party holds 50 Seats, Bernie Sanders usually votes with the Democrats is a Socialist, and Joe Lieberman who ran against the anti war Democrat Ned Lamont is an Independent.

Even if both Joe and Bernie voted with the Democrats, (highly unlikely Joe would support a withdrawal as he now wants a war with Iran)they still would not be a majority because
Dick Cheney would break a tie.

Having said that I go along with the “spineless Democrat belief as many Democrats voted to ceed their constitutional authority to the president. Hillary, Edwards, Obama (when he was a represenative) Biden, they all caved when we needed them, now they tell us they made a mistake.  I say, OK.  Thanks for the admission…. “your fired!!

Last week I changed my registration status from Republican to Independent , which is how I will be votying in the fall.

I liked that little bit above about how “third party voters gave the 2000 election to Bush.” not the way I remember it, but an interesting thought.

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By ardee, July 20, 2007 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

Bradley
Just when I posted extolling the nature of the posts on this thread we get you, oops.

Here is a news flash for you sonny, your opinion is not written in stone, nor is it to be valued any more or any less than any other such opinion.

I am sure you wish to be taken seriously, your passion is commendable but your self control is less so, thus you owe Emily Anne an apology, and you owe everyone calm and rationale responses.

If you wish to post childish prattle instead of political opinion you are free to do so, but expect to get blasted in response….so if you are a masochist reveling in insult go on ahead, jump froggy.

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By The Old Hooligan, July 20, 2007 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

So the Democrats are the MAJORITY in Congress these days?

So what?

I don’t see any difference. The same lying Republicans -and- Democrats on Capitol Hill that continue to so slavishly kiss “The Decider’s” ass are determined to go right on bankrolling/approving of this senseless, costly and hugely unpopular “war,” and the American voters can in the meantime go straight to hell.

What a colossal joke last November’s elections turned out to be. It’s getting to the point where I am almost embarrassed to call myself a Democrat these days.

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By Bradley Minoski, July 20, 2007 at 1:22 am Link to this comment

Democrats are spineless and stupid on this war, please give me a break. Once again this vote proves that it’s the Democrats that are trying to end this war and the Republicans are the obstructionists. There spineless, there finally growing one by pulling this all nighter. There far from stupid, there doing there best it’s the Republicans that are blocking everything and Bush vetoing in the Senate. There spinless and stupid please grow up. Emily Why don’t you get out of that bubble you been and and get a reality check when the Democrats are in the right in this and do you not see the news when basically poll conducted shows that the public is dead set on impeachment and cutting off funds not to mention the votes aren’t there for impeachment, are you that stupid and blind.

So go ahead leave the party and join a 3rd party better yet join thr Green Party you know the shill for the GOP, the party that cost Al Gore the 2000 election, yeah you’ll fit right in.

So why don’t you calm down and be rational when you post because THE DEMOCRATS ARE NOT THE BAD GUYS AND ARE NOT SPINELESS..JESUS!!!! Your the one that stupid when you post crap like that Emily.

Get out of the bubble you been living in and get a reality check, Jesus.

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By Bradley Minoski, July 20, 2007 at 1:12 am Link to this comment

#88040 by Emily Anne on 7/19 at 12:52 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

You actually expect the congress to act intelligently and end the illegal war and occupation of Iraq? You’re dreaming. Compared to the Republicans, the Democrats have repeatedly demonstrated that they are spineless and stupid. All they need do is stop funding the war. We gave them that power. We need a third party, and the sooner, the better.

Yeah your a real smart one aren’t ya. Once again it proves that the Democrats have been the ones trying to end this war and the GOP are the ones being obstructionists. Spinless and stupid my ass, there finally waking up on this one. and a third party, we got plenty why don’t you go out and join one and stop supporting the Democats if you don’t like it your way because I have had it with all the cry baby liberals why bitch that Dems don’t cut off funding when every poll being relased shows that the american people don’t want to cut off funding and they don’t support impeachment and the votes certainly aren’t there

So go ahead go cry 3rd party because you can’t have it your way, the party dosen’t need you but all of you who can’t even shred one bit of loyality and support to the party.

Emily how bout to come out of that bubble you live in and start seeing some reality on this issue THE VOTES AREN’T THERE TO DO NOTHING RIGHT NOW, THIS ISN’T THE DEMOCRATS FAULT you freaking moron, your the one who’s spineless and stupid on this issue. Go ahead joing the Green Party, the party who is a pawn to the GOP, the party who was associated with Ralph Nader the man who cost Al Gore the election, go ahead and join the pawns.

Get some reality and get out of your bubbles, the Democrats aren’t spineless and stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By ardee, July 19, 2007 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Many perceptive comments and even a primer on Legislative mechanisms too…Good thread.

The Democrats may hold the germ of truth when they claim too small a majority in the Senate…may. But that does not explain their complete lack of any attempt to bring the truth directly to the American people.

There are a deal of folks who are sick of this hopeless war for profit, there are a slightly lesser bunch who are sick of this administration as well. One may claim impotence in Congress but laryngitis too? I believe that a turning point or a tipping point could be reached by holding forums in every region of the nation explaining the truths to the electorate. This might very well be followed by enough warmth under the seat of Republican legislators from their own districts to gain the additional eight or nine votes necesary to complete the bills passage.

This would have the added advantage of allowing the Democrats in the Senate to tell Joseph Lieberman to go climb a tree!

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By cyrena, July 19, 2007 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

87941 by Skruff on 7/19 at 5:39 am

Thanks for the clarification Skruff, and particularly for adding the obvious. Too many people still making too much money to halt the haul.

I wasn’t aware of the Iraq Investment Establishments (on line) but I’m not surprised. It means that at some point, (sooner now, than later) the ENTIRE “establishment” (as in the U.S. economy)will come crashing down. Enron and the others were previews to the finale.

It’s time to start packing up. I just haven’t done a pragmatic approach to finding an escape destination.

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By catoutofthebag, July 19, 2007 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

A more accurate comment would have been “shot down by the Republicans.” While it happened in the Senate, keeping our soldiers in harms way and protecting President Bush was not condoned by a majority of Senators.

Give credit where credit is due.

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By Emily Anne, July 19, 2007 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You actually expect the congress to act intelligently and end the illegal war and occupation of Iraq? You’re dreaming. Compared to the Republicans, the Democrats have repeatedly demonstrated that they are spineless and stupid. All they need do is stop funding the war. We gave them that power. We need a third party, and the sooner, the better.

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By Mudwollow, July 19, 2007 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Less than 18 months left to stall and fumble and posture and wine and wring their hands and make sure that nothing gets accomplished to end the war or to impeach the president. It will be tough work for the Democrats to BS the American people that much longer, but they have a lot of experience.

The Plan from Mike Gravel’s website
http://www.gravel2008.us/?q=node/1191
1. The Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate must coordinate the immediate introduction of the United States Armed Forces Withdrawal From Iraq Act in their respective chambers and bring the Act to final passage as soon as possible. To avoid a conference committee, amendments to the Act must not be permitted.
2. The House of Representatives will likely pass the Act first since it has a clear majority of Democrats and is not subject to a filibuster.
3. Those opposed to the Act in the Senate will undoubtedly mount a filibuster to deny passage by a simple majority. At this point the Leader must schedule a cloture vote at noon on the first day of extended debate. A cloture vote requires 60 Senators to vote to limit debate, thus permitting the Act to be voted on for final passage by majority vote.
Assuming the required 60 votes to close debate (invoking cloture) are not secured initially, the Leader must schedule a cloture vote the next day at noon, and at noon on every subsequent day until there are 60 votes to invoke cloture. The Senate must remain in session seven days a week and all vacations canceled. This is small discomfort for Congress compared to that of our soldiers dying and maimed every day in Iraq.
4. President Bush will veto the Act.
5. The same tactic that was used in the Senate to secure the 60 votes to limit debate must now be employed in both the House and the Senate to override the President’s veto. The Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate must schedule an override vote at noon on the first day that the Act is returned to the Congress, and continue to schedule override votes at noon every day, seven days a week without vacations, until each chamber is able to override the President’s veto.
6. Once the veto is overridden and the President begins to withdraw American troops, the Congress can enact additional legislation attendant to the withdrawal.
Passage of the United States Armed Forces Withdrawal From Iraq Act will allow our nation to remove its soldiers from harm’s way and then permit the United States to pursue a diplomatic solution with nations in the region and the United Nations to end the bloody civil war Bush’s unprovoked invasion brought to Iraq.

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By QuyTran, July 19, 2007 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

After another Iraq withdrawal bill being shot down, Senator Reid said :“We kind to put them to the test today. They are more interested in protecting the president than protecting the troops”. You’re absolutely right and this was a naked truth and makes GWB a debauched emperor before the civilized world. Those who voted against the withdrawal bill have tainted their hands with blood of not our troops but innocent people of Iraq.

Just try to play one another game until the end of this criminal administration.

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By kevin99999, July 19, 2007 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I cannot blame Republicans for using filibuster to defend their war stance on Iraq…at least they believe in something to defend. Why didn’t Democrats use the filibuster to block nomination of conservative supreme court judges? Because they are gutless and have no abiding principles.

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By GW=MCHammered, July 19, 2007 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We can’t leave Iraq until we defeat Iran. See, Cheney keeps ‘The Plan’ constipated betwixt his cheeks until the moment is right. That’s when he loosens his morbid crap upon the world via his burning Bush.

Now Mister McCain, please: I’ll take a lame Political Theater Show over a Never Ending War, Doubling of Public Debt, Fuel and Home Prices GOP reality any day.

So, does Big Pharma have a prescription to end this nightmare of rampant disease? No, I didn’t think so. It’s all just Sicko.

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By cann4ing, July 19, 2007 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

More game playing.  If the Dems in the Senate really “wanted” to end this war, all they have to do is fillibuster any bill required to fund it.  This particular vote entailed an amendment to the defense appropriations bill, which the Republi-crooks easily blocked.  If the dems had any scroats, they’d respond by saying, until you agree to an up or down vote on the amendment, we will fillibuster the defense authorization bill.  Cut off all funding for the military-industrial complex and see how long it would take for the Republi-crooks to engage in an abrupt reversal of their obstructionism.

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By THOMAS BILLIS, July 19, 2007 at 8:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Okay Dems you have played out your Shakespearan drama.Either impeach or cut off funding.All this posturing has not saved one American life.The remedies to this problem are in the Constitution.I know that the number one priority is to get elected and that being a statesman is somewhere down around hiring office staff in your priorities but you will find out when you face voters we were looking for statesmen not party hacks.You democrats are our only hope and you are are not fulfilling your constitutional duty to fulfill the wishes of the American people.When an independent runs and wins you will have only yourself to blame.

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By Groovesmoothly, July 19, 2007 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

-Among the presidential hopefuls, only McCain referred to their common goal, the White House. Casting himself as willing to defy public opinion on the war, he said, “The public’s judgment of me I will know soon enough. I accept it, as I must.”

McCain is crazier than 10 Gravels, 5 Guiliani drag shows and 3 Edwardian haircuts. It should have read he’s cast himself as The Defier.

I think the characterization of Cheney as Darth Vader is mistaken. He’s way more Palpatine/Darth Sidious. Nixon was Darth Maul, Reagan was Darth Tyranus, etc… Bush with his knack for nicknames thought he needed a “D” name. Since the Darth monikers were trademarked he chose The Decider.

Thanks to McCain’s ingenuity he could now hand off to The Defier. Much like The Decider the primary objective will be to defy the only actual mandate the American people have made in 7 years.

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By allan scheer, July 19, 2007 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

” The Congress have lost influence. I have for a long time seen the neccesity of some new plan of Civil Constitution . Unless thre is some control over the States by Congress, we shall soon be like a broken hand. “

General Greene

Quartermaster General
1780

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By Skruff, July 19, 2007 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

87864 by Hank Van den Berg on 7/18 at 6:11 pm

“But what I don’t understand is why Harry Reid withdrew the bill.


While Cyrena is correct that it is a proceedural matter and allows reintroduction of the bill, the truth remains (no matter what the “show” tells) that neither party wants to withdraw from Iraq.  Everyone (except the troops) is making too much money.  Whole investment firms have sprung up telling folks how to make money on Iraq without ever leaving your computer. Just key in “Iraq investments” 

If we really wanted “out” both Repyublicans and Democrats could save face by letting the Iraqi people vote the issue… Simple question:

Should the US withdraw from Iraq by (set a date)

The R’s could say “We brought democracy to Iraq and honored their vote.

The D’s could say “We promised a solid withdrawal effort, and we have delivered.

Of course this solution would result in a downturn for Iraq-defense based investments.

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By Marjorie L. Swanson, July 19, 2007 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

Looks like Warner and Lugar just like to lip sync to opposing the president. When it comes to putting their vote where their mouths are they have neither the courage nor the integrity. And by the way, the tactic the Republicans are using is a filibuster. Isn’t that something they was agin before they were the minority? Didn’t they accuse the Democrats of being obstructionists? Is there no end to their hypocrisy?

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By Margaret Currey, July 19, 2007 at 5:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is why some people who should vote do not vote, after all I did not choose this President and neither did a lot of people, if the people who could have voted in Fla. did (those who were taken off the voter rolls by mistake) then Bush would still be in the bushes in Texas.

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By Expat, July 19, 2007 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

Let’s see…70% dissapproval rating…hmmm…doesn’t that include Re, Re, Re, Republicans?  So why are’t they telling the Rebastards in power to listen up and fly right?

We, none of us, need the elected representatives presently in power but they sure as hell need us if they want they’re cushy, very well paid, health insured, pension assured jobs.  Hello!!!!!  Nothin means nothin anymore.

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By cyrena, July 18, 2007 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

While this may be only slightly off the subject, it’s getting to be yet ANOTHER deja vu.

This isn’t so far off the subject, and admittedly, it’s only one sentence from the piece:
•  “Congress issued a subpoena for Miers after negotiations with the White House broke down.”

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/071807A.shtml

BUT…read out of context, doesn’t this sound like a description of some “hostage” negotiation, like a gun stand-off in a crime movie, or just the evening news? And then, you “connect” that these are “negotiations” between us and the WHITE HOUSE, and it all just seems sort of surreal.

Then again, maybe it’s all perfectly real, and Harriet is just any other hostage that we’re trying to negotiate a release for. We need the information she has, and it’s a lot better than snatching her up in a rendition operation, and taking her to some dungeon somewhere for “enhanced interrogation”, AKA torture.

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By cyrena, July 18, 2007 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Well Hank, for what it’s worth, this is the explanation that the Congressional Quarterly gave:

“The only Democratic “no” vote was cast at the last minute by Reid, who made the move in order to be able under Senate rules to offer a motion to reconsider at a later time.”

“Reid made clear that he expected to return to the defense bill - and the Iraq debate - at an unspecified later date.”

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/071807R.shtml

With Iraq Amendment Blocked, Reid Sets Defense Bill Aside for Now
  By Adam Graham-Silverman and Josh Rogin
  Congressional Quarterly

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By cyrena, July 18, 2007 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

#87864 by Hank Van den Berg on 7/18 at 6:11 pm

But what I don’t understand is why Harry Reid withdrew the bill.

Hank, if I understand it correctly, Reid’s no vote, (once the thing failed a vote) was a parliamentary procedure that allowed him set it aside, so as to address it at another time when it may in fact pass. Now, I don’t know that for sure, so maybe I should dig up the article that spelled it out. I’ll look now.

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By Stephen, July 18, 2007 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What pull out when Goliath is getting ready to Rape The tribe of Benjamin (Franklin)?
Especially when David still feels like a unabused child with a hefty slingshot?
Think about George Washington who found she could’nt force him to tell a lie about the Cherry tree in order to remain a Big woman.

It takes a Big woman to tempt the Son’s of a Heavenly Father to revert to being a Big woman without a Father to guide them straight, even in this Desert night of feminine abandonment.

There are alternatives to being a Big woman you know ~ Did’nt you hear?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, July 18, 2007 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

The closer the election comes the more we will see a change of heart of those who want to be re-elected.

We and the San Francisco voters have to get Pelosi off her ass and get impeachment in the works. 

I writeto my state representatives frequently and sign petitions.

There’s a nice green sign out now in my yard that simply says “impeach him” it should say impeach them.

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By Hank Van den Berg, July 18, 2007 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But what I don’t understand is why Harry Reid withdrew the bill.  Why not just force the Republicans to keep talking day and night all summer?  The 60 votes are needed to stop the filibuster and vote on the bill, so if there are only 52 votes for now, just keep the bill on the floor until the republicans agree to vote for cloture.  In the meantime, there won;t be a defense appropriation, that has to be agood thing in itself.  And that incredibly awful ammendment setting Iran up for our planned bombing won’t become law either.  Best, it won’t appear like the Democrats caved in once again.
But, I guess that would be too much courage for Harry Reid.  Perhaps he is in a rush to get his own special interest legislation through the Senate.

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By lawlessone, July 18, 2007 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Iraqi Parliament, by President Bush’s own admissions, has not bothered so far to met more than a few of the many “benchmarks” the President is insisting are absolutely critical to give “victory” even a minimal chance.  The Iraqi politicians decided to add insult to indifference by disappearing on vacation for an entire month while our own troops are giving their lives and limbs in hellish 130 degree heat. 

Since the Iraqi government does seem to care about our expensive “surge” to protect their perks, how about our own President set a good example for once by spending his own usual month long vacation in Baghdad - with our troops instead of loafing at his air conditioned ranch in Crawford, Texas this year.  If he has been able to conduct business remotely from his ranch and on foreign soil such as the long G-8 Conferences, then he can do it from a bunker in the Green Zone while showing whether he really supports the troops. 

Besides, he doesn’t seem to be doing any good in Washington anyway.  It might make up for his ducking combat in Vietnam.  Maybe he might end up learning something first hand which will allow him to see whether he should remain so unshakably confident about “staying the course.” And, if he is worried about his “legacy,” think about how history would react to a self styled war president actually going to the front lines.

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By Enemy of State, July 18, 2007 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

We just aren’t there yet (with enough votes) to stop this tarbaby. Unfortunately we will have to wait until the Splurge plays out before we get a few more Republicans to jump ship.

  QuyTran, I doubt he paid with money. Political favors, possibly. Few Republicans are ready to be seen pulling the plug on this.

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By QuyTran, July 18, 2007 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

I ask myself that how much did Bush pay for those who voted against Iraq withdrawal bill or the Senate just played a sordid game to blindfold us ?

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