Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Other Items (noon Pacific Time, Anthony Arnove on KPFA's Against the Grain)

The House intends to summon Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, before the Judiciary Committee to justify its search of a Congressional office, the panel chairman said Tuesday.
The chairman, Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Republican of Wisconsin, called the search "profoundly disturbing."
Mr. Sensenbrenner also said he planned a legislative response to the search on May 20 of the office of Representative William J. Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana. The bill would be patterned on a law limiting searches of news media offices.

The above is from Carl Hulse's "House Plans to Call Gonzales to Justify Search of Office" in this morning's New York Times. Last night, a friend phoned screaming, "Turn on your TV!" Which I did. There was a bean counter (Democrat) going on and on about how this was a distraction and blah-blah-blah, embarassing himself more than one might think his past actions would allow for (how do you continue to embarrass yourself repeatedly?). For him and anyone else who misses it, this is about whether Congress is going to roll over (yet again) or stand up. I don't give a damn about Representative Jefferson or why Repubes are outraged, I do care about the checks and balances, I do care about three branches of government. But, in keeping with everything else the bean counter represents, he just wanted to focus on "Elections!" and what might be the easiest and most helpful activity to do. If you wonder why we're in our current state, a lot of people (lot of bean counters) set the stage for the Bully Boy by trashing Constitutional issues if it meant "easy win." By lowering our standards and reducing complex issues into bumper sticker slogans to appeal to the most easily swayed swing voter (while alienating large portions of the electorate), the bean counters have a slice of the blame for the current state of our nation as well.

But as usual, we're supposed to have 'faith' that if we all just vote the way we 'should' ('should' depends upon the bean counter speaking), things will be taken care of . . . after the next election.
It's nonsense and disempowering. Turns citizens into nothing more than ticket buyers at a sporting event.

Martha notes the Associated Press' "Afghanistan Wants U.S. Troops Prosecuted" (Washington Post):

Afghanistan's parliament has approved a motion calling for the government to prosecute the U.S. soldiers responsible for a deadly road crash that sparked the worst riots in Kabul in years, officials said Wednesday.
The assembly passed the nonbinding motion Tuesday, after debating Monday's crash in which a U.S. truck plowed into a line of cars, killing up to five Afghans and sparking citywide, anti-foreigner riots, said Saleh Mohammed Saljuqi, an assistant to the parliamentary speaker.

A lot going on and none of it will be solved by replying, "What am I doing? I'm voting in November! Straight ticket!" (Regardless of which party.) America needs to get active, they don't need bean counters attempting to turn them into spectators in their own country, in their own lives.

Lynda notes Katrina vanden Heuvel's "All About Paris" (Editor's Cut, The Nation):

Senator Bill Frist has promised a vote to repeal the estate tax soon after Memorial Day and the spin on this issue is as egregious as it is outrageous. So let's get one thing straight: it's not a "Death Tax" and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Family Farm.
Here are the facts: the estate tax is levied only on estates worth over $2 million ($4 million for couples), which means approximately one-fourth of one percent of all estates on America will pay it in 2006. Over 99 percent of all Americans will pass their estates on to their heirs completely tax free – and there is no tax whatsoever on assets left to a spouse no matter the amount.
The anti-estate tax
American Farm Bureau Federation could not find a single case of a family farm lost due to the tax. (Moreover, if there were any evidence of such problems down the road one could easily protect family farms and small businesses by raising the exemption level.)

Remember to listen, watch or read Democracy Now! today and Amy Goodman has several upcoming dates (including one today):

* Amy Goodman in San Jose, CA:
Wed, May 31 *
The NetSquared Conference
Cisco Systems' Vineyard Conference Center
260 East Tasman Drive, San Jose, CA

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:

Sat, June 3 *
A Dialogue on Shias, Sunnis and Politics in Iraq with Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Noam Chomsky, and Shia-Sunni Speaker's Panel: Anas Shallal, Dr. Anisa
Abd el Fattah, Salam Al-Marayati, Salma Yaqoob, Shaykh Ibrahim Kazerooni, Dr.
Umar Faruq Abd-Allah
New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street at Central Park West
New York, NY 10023
For more information:
Reception is at 9 AM,
Amy moderating morning panel at 10:30 AM
Chomsky at 2PM
$20 online, $35 at the door

* Amy Goodman in Montclair, NJ:

Sun, June 4 *
TIME: 2:45 PM
VUPE Voices United of Passaic/Essex Presents: Not One More Mother's
Featuring Cindy Sheehan, Nassir Almukhtar, and Amy Goodman
The First Congregational Church, 40 South Fullerton, Ave., Montclair,
Admission: Free
Donations Appreciated
Refreshments Will be Sold
For more information: To Reserve Tickets e-mail:

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Sun, June 4 *
The William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice Celebrates its Ten
Year Anniversary. Hosted by Amy Goodman and Danny Glover. Harry Belafonte
will receive a Lifetime Freedom Fighter Award.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine Synod Hall
Low Income: $50
For more information: call: 212-924-6980
1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 110th Street

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Tues, June 6 *
Helen Thomas on the Press and the President, with Amy Goodman,
92nd Street Y Kaufmann Concert Hall
For more information: visit:
call: 212-415-5500
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:

Sat, June 10 *
Birthday Celebration for Father Dan Berrigan

Amy will co-MC

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:

Tues, June 13 *
The New Class War in America. With Paul Krugman, Greg Palast,

Randi Rhodes and Amy Goodman
New York Society for Ethical Culture,

2 West 64th St. at Central Park West,
New York City

(subways 1, A, B, C, or D to Columbus Circle)
Admission: $10 Donation
For more information: To purchase tickets in advance please visit

And Cindy notes two programs, both on KPFA today (time is Pacific):

The Morning Show
Wednesday, May 31st, 07:00a.m.
Anti-war protests at the Port of Olympia, WA; Max Pringle on the Democratic Primary in District 6; David Bacon on Labor; Microbicide Gel Could Protect Women from HIV/STIs; Incarcerated Mothers in the United States

Against the Grain
Wednesday, May 31st, 12:00p.m.
Anthony Arnove: How soon should US and other foreign troops leave Iraq?

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