House Progressives STOP $163B for Iraq Occupation!

We won!!! 149 Members (147 Democrats and 2 Republicans) voted against $163B in Iraq occupation funds, and only 141 Members voted for it. (Roll Call below).

Those 149 no votes were the result of your protests, emails, and calls - congratulations!!!

Speaker Pelosi knew a majority of Democrats opposed the funds, but she pushed the vote anyway, assuming Republicans would provide the votes needed to approve the funds. But 132 Republicans decided to vote "present" to protest the outrageous and un-democratic procedures Pelosi used to bring the bill to the floor. According to Politico,

Many liberal Democrats, overjoyed that the measure failed, burst into applause after the vote was brought to a close. “The war is over!” screamed Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) on the House floor.

Of course, this is just a temporary win. The Senate will vote on funding, and if it passes the Senate, it will come back to the House. So call your two Senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them both to vote no on Iraq occupation funds. 

And if your House Representative voted against the funds, please call 202-224-3121 to thank him or her!

Economic Exploitation and Empire

By David Swanson
This combines remarks made on two panels on May 23, 2008, in Radford, Va., at the Building a New World Conference: http://www.wpaconference.org

Key to enforcement of US economic exploitation of people outside the US is the use and threat of military force. The dominance of the military in US public life and the US economy is also key to the economic exploitation of Americans. Our largest export is weapons, and our largest and longest public investment is in killing. With corporations no longer paying significant taxes, and progressivity stripped out of the tax code, the use of half of every tax dollar for death and destruction is a direct drain on working people. So is major borrowing of money for imperial adventures.

Rice's Lies About Torture

By Dave Lindorff
 

Is anyone surprised that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the Bush/Cheney administration’s authorization of torture of captives has been consistently legal and in compliance with all treaties the US has signed, including the Geneva Conventions?

After all, she was at the meetings in the White House in 2001 at which various acts of torture, ranging from waterboarding to exposure to extreme heat and cold, to enforced long periods in stress positions, and to treatments which have not been disclosed (no doubt because they are so outrageous and offensive to common decency) were dreamed up, proposed and approved for use—meetings that were manifestly criminal in nature and in violation of international and US law.

Election Radio

Listen to pro-peace, pro-impeachment candidate Donzella James, (GA-13, Democrat, versus DINO David Scott), today on the Urban Journal:
http://www.theurbanjournal.org

The Politics of Peace

By Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services

So we blink, take a breath, stare once more at the vote total: 149 nay, 141 yea. War funding request denied!

This is a first, fleeting and fluky though it may be. Look quickly and imagine a Congress that doesn’t feed the war god every time it pounds the table. Look quickly and imagine what courage can accomplish. We can breach the fortress of special interests that is our government and let historic change flow in.

Well, maybe. This isn’t the time to get carried away. If the “victory” for peace last week in the U.S. House of Representatives turns out to have historic significance, it will be because history has a sense of humor.

I say this not to denigrate the passionate effort that peace-minded citizens put into it; their lobbying and calls to power have created a constituency that 147 Democrats and two Republicans were unable to ignore.

Speak With Mary Pallant, Democratic Candidate from California's 24th District

By David Swanson

Tonight, May 21st, from 8-9 p.m. ET, I'll have the pleasure of interviewing, with your help, Mary Pallant, Democratic candidate for Congress from California's 24th District. Go to: http://thepeoplespeakradio.net to learn more. Go to http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net/listen-live to listen live. You'll find instructions there to enter a paltalk chat room where you can post questions. You can also phone in and ask Mary Pallant your questions on the air. Call in tollfree from anywhere in the United States or Canada at 888-228-4494 or anywhere else in the world at 877-489-6350. Following the show, the audio file will be posted at http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net/audio/2008 and you can find there now the recordings of numerous shows with amazing guests, including Cindy Sheehan, Lincoln Chafee, Brad Friedman, Shirin Ebadi, Phil Donahue, Mark Crispin Miller, William Odom, etc. Mary Pallant's campaign website is http://marypallant.com

Confronting The Prophets of Doom and Political Futility

[I sent this in an email to someone, but thought it nicely summarized some things I've been thinking about for a long time. This is regarding that species of man I've encountered often in my own life -- the prophets of doom and futility who predict economic collapse, an energy cataclysm, chaos, even the end of the world. These are the same ones who argue we should just do nothing -- cause it's all for naught anyway, or only make a symbolic gesture, like vote for a third party presidential candidate.]

Interview with Congressman Dennis Kucinich by Hooshang Amirahmadi

By American Iranian Council

Dennis Kuicinich (DK)
Hooshang Amirahmadi (HA)

Office of the Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat-Ohio), Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, Wednesday May 14, 2008.

HA: Congressman Kucinich thank you for this interview on US-Iran relations. Please feel free to answer or not answer any question or speak as short or as long as you want.

DK: My pleasure!

HA: My first question is a personal one; you are a democratic super delegate in this election; who are you supporting?

DK- I have not made up my mind yet.

HA: My next question is a broader one. The US and Iran have been in hostile terms for almost thirty years. Has the time come for the relations to be normalized?

Speak With Leading Iraq Veteran Against War

By David Swanson

Tonight, May 20th, from 8-9 p.m. ET, I'll have the pleasure of interviewing, with your help, Board Member of Iraq Veterans Against the War Jason Lemieux. Go to: http://thepeoplespeakradio.net to learn more. Go to http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net/listen-live to listen live. You'll find instructions there to enter a paltalk chat room where you can post questions. You can also phone in and ask Jason Lemieux your questions on the air. Call in tollfree from anywhere in the United States or Canada at 888-228-4494 or anywhere else in the world at 877-489-6350. Following the show, the audio file will be posted at http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net/audio/2008 and you can find there now the recordings of numerous shows with amazing guests, including Cindy Sheehan, Lincoln Chafee, Brad Friedman, Shirin Ebadi, Phil Donahue, Mark Crispin Miller, William Odom, etc.

Jason Lemieux testified in Congress on May 15th. Find the video at http://ivaw.org

Big John McCain and the Scary Iran Threat

By Dave Lindorff

Mighty war hero John McCain has a troublesome perceptual problem. He sees things as being bigger than they really are.

When he was flying fighter-bombers over North Vietnam, he, like many in the military, imagined that he was fighting against a mighty foe (world communism, I suppose). What he was really doing was dropping bombs on a peasant country that was essentially still in the 19th or even, in much of the countryside, the 18th Century. It was also only a sixth of the size of the US. But John McCain bravely battled against this pipsqueak enemy, dropping his bombs until some of those peasant soldiers shot him down and captured him.

Is John McCain's Age Just a Joke?

Is John McCain's age just a joke? FOX's Neil Cavuto thinks so, but do you?

Ronald Reagan, who was a year younger than McCain would be when sworn in, developed Alzheimer's while in office. McCain has had a few "senior moments," including his recent statement that the "League of Nations" needs to deal with Iran. (The League of Nations was disbanded in 1946 when John McCain was 10.)

And McCain's brain has taken a number of heavy blows, both physical and psychological. According to Dr. Kirk James Murphy, a V.A. physician who has long experience treating veterans with PTSD,

Sen McCain's life history indicates that his brain is at greater than average risk of dysfunction and impairment in the following areas:

- capacity to learn, recall, and reason with complex new information

- judgement and impulse control

- capacity to devote sustained attention.

Many of McCain's contemporaries feel the Presidency is far too demanding a job for someone their age.

Given these facts, isn't McCain's age more than just a joke?

U of Virginia Does Iraq

By David Swanson

As an alumnus of the University of Virginia, I receive its magazine in the mail, a magazine that always makes me question how I can have received as good an education at UVA as I think I did, when the people who produce this magazine seem not to have received the same. The Summer 2008 issue contains an article called "Stories from Iraq", which contains not a single story of a single Iraqi, coincidentally the exact same number of campus peace organizations in existence at UVA. Instead, we get the stories of alumni, and most of them could have been written from summer camp - except that letters home from summer camp usually include complaints. Judging by the article UVA Magazine has concocted, this "war" is going so well, and its main purpose of training Americans in a variety of job skills and esteem boosting progressing so well, that it'd be a shame to ever end it.