Thursday, January 19, 2006

"Has America given all sense of 'government of the people, by the people, for the people' in order to sell it to the highest bidder?"

There are a few topics for tonight. Remember to check out Mikey Likes It! for Mike's take on the news.

Today's the 19th. The Alito vote is due to take place in the Senate on the 24th. Make sure you're views are known to your senators. We need a filibuster. We can make this happen. C.I. noted something that community member Rhoda found on the Feminist Wire:

January 19, 2006
No on Alito Momentum Building
The momentum to stop the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court is growing. Several Democratic Senators have already announced their intention to oppose Alito.
These Senators include Patrick Leahy (VT), Ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee; Judiciary Committee member Ted Kennedy (MA); Barbara Mikulski (MD); and Max Baucus (MT). Senators Leahy and Baucus had voted to confirm John Roberts in September. The option for a filibuster to block Alito is still on the table.
with The Smeal Report and the New Leif blogs at
Call your Senators and urge them to oppose Alito
Make an emergency contribution to the Feminist Majority’s Save Roe Campaign. We must be a strong voice in this crucial fight to save Roe and the Supreme Court for women’s rights.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority

At the start of this week, when we were all depressed and (as Rebecca pointed out) shocked, it did seem like a "done deal." But look at what we're doing right now as we pull together. On Tuesday, when I opened the gina & krista round-robin, I told myself, "Okay, this is what you have to do." I didn't have a great deal of hope then. But I called my senators' office, I used the resources provided and took the "Tell Ten People A Day" pledge. I have hope now. And I'm still keeping the pledge and still weighing in. I call each day to ask, "Has a position been reached on the filibuster? I support a filibuster." We can do this if we keep working.

HRW Says Bush Foreign Policy Undermining Human Rights (Democracy Now!):
Here in the United States, Human Rights Watch released its annual report Wednesday. The report includes a scathing critique of the Bush administration, accusing it of undermining human rights around the world by the way its waging the so-called war on terror. The group also called on Congress to set up an independent panel to investigate U.S. human rights abuses.
Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth : "I'm sorry to report that the global defense of human rights has been profoundly compromised by the Bush administration's policy level decisions to flout some of the most basic human rights norms out of a misguided sense that is the best way to fight against terrorism. It's long been understood that the Bush administration's torture and inhumane treatment could not be blamed on a handful of low level soldiers on the night shift. At minimum, we understand until now, that policy decisions taken at the top had created an atmosphere of tolerance for abuse. And among those policy decisions that one could cite would be, for example, is the Bush Administration's ripping of the Geneva Convention with respect to Guantanamo, its extraordinarily narrow definition of torture to the point that most forms of abuse are not considered torture."

If there's any surprise in the above story it's that the Bully Boy's Scott McLellan continues to feel the need to make empty statements that no one believes. HRW are correct, actions have consequences and we will be stuck with the fall out from the Bully Boy for many years to come. If we can impeach him, that would help in the eyes of the world. In 2092 when a dictator says to the US that s/he will continue torturing an American citizen because the Bully Boy did it to her/his people, we can at least point out, "We impeached him. We forced him out of office. He left in disgrace. His actions were not the actions that America points to with pride."

IAEA Announces Meeting On Iran (Democracy Now!):
This news on Iran -- The International Atomic Energy Agency announced Wednesday it will hold an emergency meeting on Iran's nuclear program early next month. The Iranian government sparked an outcry last week when it removed U.N. seals on its uranium enrichment equipment and resumed nuclear research. Iran insists it removed the seals to resume research activities, and has maintained a freeze on full-scale uranium enrichment, which can produce nuclear reactor fuel that can be used for bomb material.

This is what the Bully Boy takes pride in, a new stage, a new battle ground, a new war zone. If we'd had an adult as a leader in September 2001, would we really have two wars going on currently? Would we have a leader itching for a third? He's itching. He's got the blood lust. Add in that nothing has silenced criticisms of his actions before as much as war and it's a natural response for him.

In 2003, we went to war with Iraq based upon lies. We need to be prepared for more of them and willing to confront them.

Part of working together is knowing when to give thanks and Cedric did yesterday.

"Filibuster" (Cedric, Cedric's Big Mix):
I've got church shortly and I don't usually even try to blog on Wednesdays but
Wally called today and asked me if I saw the nice thing C.I. wrote about us at The Common Ills?I did and Wally appreciate the kind words but Wally's back in college and trying to get into the swing of that while also helping out with the gina & krista round-robin this evening. So I told Wally, I'd take care of it.Gina and Krista are doing a great thing, each day between now and the 24th, they will be putting out daily round-robins with action tips and explaining why you need to contact your senators to tell them to filibuster Alito. That's more than an e-mail or an e-mail and a petition.Gina and Krista deserve huge thanks.But like Wally pointed out, slice off some of that thanks for C.I. too.

Let me join Cedric, Gina, Krista and Wally in saying, "Thank you" to C.I. Speaking only for myself, if C.I. had given up and "moved on" after this weekend, I wouldn't have felt the need to do anything myself. I was depressed, upset, you name it. C.I.'s ability to push on and persist gave me the nudge I needed.

Finally, because peace isn't a "pipe dream" but a potential reality, I'm doing something a little different with the "Peace Quote." We've highlighted Monica and Kevin Benderman before and I had an e-mail reminding me that Monica posts letters from Kevin regularly. I've meant to note the Bendermans regularly but I have forgotten. Information can be found at the Kevin Benderman Defense Committee and I'lll try to highlight their case at least twice a month. Hold me accountable.

"Peace Quote/ Reality Check" (Kevin Benderman, Kevin Benderman Defense Committee):
Has America given away all sense of "government of the people, by the people, for the people" in order to sell it to the highest bidder? Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist guilty of buying members of Congress, seems to be trying just that along with the members of Congress who are willing to sell it to him.
The sorry thing about this is that members of both the Democratic and Republican parties have taken money from him and the agencies he represented, and yet both parties continue to point the finger at the other, implying that it must be the "other side" that is doing something criminal. The people who are supposed to be represented by these members of Congress are not getting the service they deserve from their elected representatives, or are they?
We as American citizens, are so caught up in getting more, more and yet more, that we turn a blind eye to the illegal actions of these people. We act indignant about such an outrageous attack on our constitutional laws and representative government for a minute, then we turn on MTV or Maury Povich, and forget about what is actually going on around us.