anti-war protest in senate gallery

“About 20 people stood up in the Senate galleries, in violation of chamber rules, and were asked to leave. “They can’t stand up in the galleries,” Capitol Police … said.

After the group left without resistance, they were detained by several Capitol Hill police officers. Although several aides looked up at the demonstration, there were fewer than a dozen people on the floor at the time. …

“We tried voting. We tried marches. We tried writing letters and making phone calls. Now we’re coming to the House and Senate chambers. We’re done waiting for Congress to do its job.”

TheHill.com

the only solution

e-mail to Senator Barbara Boxer today:

Dear Senator Boxer,

I received your email newsletter today, asking for support in ending the occupation of Iraq. You ask your constituents to take a stand. With respect, Ma’am, after you. Asking President Bush for his attention in this matter is futile. He has long proven only a tenuous grasp of reality; he has no wish or willingness to be reasoned with. The only solution is the one solution that Speaker Pelosi declared to be off the table: impeachment. This is the right and proper solution envisioned by our founders. You take that stand, Senator, and we’ll be right behind you.

Respectfully …

one for the vine

That’s what’s on the iPod this afternoon. Any Genesis fans out there? Sure. See how these lines from One for the Vine fit your brain:

In his name they could slaughter, for his name they could die.
Though many there were believed in him, still more were sure he lied,
But they’ll fight the battle on.

capitalism

“We’ve been tracking Cindy Sheehan for a long time, and we think it’s disgusting that she’s capitalizing on her son’s death,’ said Stephanie Hottenstein of Bethlehem. The wife of an Army National Guardsman was accompanied by her 5-month-old daughter, Karlyn, and 6-year-old son, Miles.” Link

Please take a moment and look around you, so you’ll know exactly where you were when you read the single stupidest thought uttered aloud by a private citizen of these United States in the year 2007. I’m wagering it can’t be topped.

I wouldn’t have thought Cindy Sheehan needed to be tracked. She’s been kind of on the visible side, from my perspective. So we’ve all been able to see the fun and profit she’s gained from her son’s death. Oh yeah, her life’s a damn hoot.

For the record, I checked the list of dead, and Hottenstein’s husband isn’t on it yet. Maybe we should check again later, and after he makes the list, she can give us her opinion again. Maybe she’ll have something to say about dead hubby. Or maybe Miles would like the war to stop so other kids don’t lose their Dad. Then some poor pitiful moron can criticize him for capitalizing on his father’s death.

I did find this:

Sheehan, Casey Specialist 04-Apr-2004

The font is pretty small, for obvious reasons. There are a lot of names, amounting to a lot of grieving people out there, capitalizing on death dealt entirely in vain.

Impeachment – Jimmy Breslin style

Newsday.com: Impeach George Bush to stop war lies, deaths

I am walking in Rosedale on this day early in the week while I wait for the funeral of Army soldier Le Ron Wilson, who died at age 18 in Iraq. He was 17 1/2 when he had his mother sign his enlistment papers at the Jamaica recruiting office. If she didn’t, he told her, he would just wait for the months to his 18th birthday and go in anyway. He graduated from Thomas Edison High School at noon one day in May. He left right away for basic training. He came home in a box last weekend. He had a fast war.

The war was there to take his life because George Bush started it with bold-faced lies.

He got this lovely kid killed by lying.

If Bush did this in Queens, he would be in court on Queens Boulevard on a murder charge.

Recommended reading.

air force building up in iraq

Away from the headlines and debate over the “surge” in U.S. ground troops, the Air Force has quietly built up its hardware inside Iraq, sharply stepped up bombing and laid a foundation for a sustained air campaign in support of American and Iraqi forces.

Squadrons of attack planes have been added to the in-country fleet. The air reconnaissance arm has almost doubled since last year. The powerful B1-B bomber has been recalled to action over Iraq. [AP Story]

Let’s take a moment to remember those about to die, simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, in the path of the shock and awe.

cookie monster

Cookies for peace:

“Members of the peace group Stop the War Machine are no strangers to Sen. Pete Domenici’s office in Albuquerque. But they’re usually bearing protest signs, not cookies and flowers.

So activist Jeanne Pahls took a few precautions with the two dozen roses and three dozen store-bought cookies they dropped off on July 10 to thank Domenici, an Albuquerque Republican, for his break with President Bush over the war in Iraq.

‘We left the labels on the cookies so they wouldn’t think we tampered with it,’ Pahls said, laughing.”

Now there’s an idea I can sink my teeth into.

He said, laughing.

Actually, I don’t know. I think the gesture was extremely well intentioned. And I’m all for flowers in gun barrels, and taking the argument to a more humane and thoughtful level. But should a legislator really get cookies – or a brownie medal – for finally pulling his head out of his ass and breaking his complicity with chaos and disaster? I think the people can do him a sugary solid by sparing said plentiful posterior when the revolution comes …

… to a polling place near you, is what I meant.

He said, no longer even amused.

Wars Cost $12 Billion a Month

Report: Wars Costing $12 Billion a Month

Washington – The boost in troop levels in Iraq has increased the cost of war there and in Afghanistan to $12 billion a month, and the total for Iraq alone is nearing a half-trillion dollars, congressional analysts say.

All told, Congress has appropriated $610 billion in war-related money since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror assaults, roughly the same as the war in Vietnam. Iraq alone has cost $450 billion.

For the 2007 budget year, CRS says, the $166 billion appropriated to the Pentagon represents a 40 percent increase over 2006.

The Vietnam War, after accounting for inflation, cost taxpayers $650 billion, according to separate CRS estimates.

The $12 billion a month “burn rate” includes $10 billion for Iraq and almost $2 billion for Afghanistan, plus other minor costs. That’s higher than Pentagon estimates earlier this year of $10 billion a month for both operations. Two years ago, the average monthly cost was about $8 billion.

We’re paying pretty heavy for a way that was supposed to pay for itself, huh? Here’s a little walk down memory lane:

“The United States is committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid.”
— Budget Director Mitch Daniels, April 2003

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”
— Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, March 2003

“If you worry about just the cost, the money, Iraq is a very different situation from Afghanistan. Iraq has oil. They have financial resources.”
— Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Fall 2002


in but not with

Since the beginning of the war in March 2003, I thought that it was wrong. I thought that we had jumped, vigorously, into quicksand. A bottomless pit; a quagmire to easily rival the Vietnam War of my childhood. I never really thought the US would lose a war in Iraq. I guess that’s because I, perhaps naively, thought a war in Iraq would be a war with Iraq.

America, off the table

I was listening to Democracy Now on PBS today, and heard some remarkable comments by Salt Lake City’s democratic mayor on the subject of Bush-Cheney impeachment, and the failures of the Democratic Party.

ROCKY ANDERSON: It seems very odd to me that any Democrat would say that a constitutional remedy, a remedy the founders felt very strongly about, when a president through his or her wrongdoing is doing damage to our country, that that remedy would ever be off the table. There can only be one reason for it, and that’s the Democrats want to politically cash in on this disastrous administration in the 2008 elections. And I think that’s wrong.

I think that when we have a president who has blatantly violated our own Constitution, our own treaty obligations, our own statutory law, abused his powers in remarkable ways, undermined the balance of power, exerted a unitary executive power unknown to this country and to our democracy, and at the same time betrayed his trust with our Congress, with the American people, by his deceit in leading us into this war and through his utter incompetency — if impeachment were ever called for, this is certainly the time, and this is exactly what the founders had in mind.

I strongly recommend the whole interview.