Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Other Items

First up, the New York Times was handed a story with an easy headline, how did they miss it? "Democrats Withdraw on Troop Withdrawal." That should have been the headline to Carl Hulse's "Democrats Pull Troop Deadline From Iraq Bill." We covered this in the snapshot yesterday so we'll emphasize this section:

But even so, many Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, indicated that they would not support the war money, meaning that a significant number of Republicans would have to sign on to ensure the plan's approval.
Ms. Pelosi made clear that if money for the war was going to be provided without a timeline for withdrawal, it would be without her personal support. "I would never vote for such a thing," Ms. Pelosi said as she entered the office of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, to put the final touches on the $120 billion proposal.

If that's how Pelosi feels, why was Steny Hoyer up front talking the press non-stop yesterday?
Where is the Pelosi leadership which is supposed to be more than "inspirational"? She can certainly clamp down on Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, etc., when need be but she refuses to stand up to the Blue Dogs. What's the point of being Speaker of the House if you won't use the power that comes with it?

Russ Feingold issued a statement yesterday:

"Under the President's Iraq policies, our military has been over-burdened, our national security has been jeopardized, and thousands of Americans have been killed or injured. Despite these realities, and the support of a majority of Americans for ending the President's open-ended mission in Iraq, congressional leaders now propose a supplemental appropriations bill that does nothing to end this disastrous war. I cannot support a bill that contains nothing more than toothless benchmarks and that allows the President to continue what may be the greatest foreign policy blunder in our nation's history. There has been a lot of tough talk from members of Congress about wanting to end this war, but it looks like the desire for political comfort won out over real action. Congress should have stood strong, acknowledged the will of the American people, and insisted on a bill requiring a real change of course in Iraq."

As did Dennis Kucinich:

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) gave the following speech on the floor of the House of Representatives today:
"The Associated Press reports that the latest Iraq Supplemental funding plan, incredibly, will tie an increase in the minimum wage to funding the war through October.
"If this is true, and I hope it is not, it tells American workers that the only way they will get an increase in wages is to continue to support funding the war which is taking the lives of their sons and daughters.
"First blood for oil. Now a minimum wage for maximum blood. Aren't the American people giving enough blood for this war without having to give more to have a wage increase?

"What's happened to our country? We are losing our moral compass. We're losing our sense of justice. We're losing touch with the difference between right and wrong.
"We do not have to fund this war. We must leave Iraq now. Support our troops and bring them home. HR 1234 is a plan to end the war and stabilize Iraq and give Iraqis control of their oil. "We must take a new path. We must take a path of truth and justice."

Kendrick notes "The Truth About Oil and Iraq : Watch Dennis on C Span this morning around 11am EST" (AfterDowningStreet) which is a message from Kucinich that we'll treat as a press release and post in full:

Please watch C-Span this morning, Wednesday, May 23 at approximately 11 am EST
I will invoke a rarely used House rule of personal privilege to gain one hour of time in Congress for the purpose of discussing in detail the Congressional and White House efforts to privatize the oil of Iraq.
Oil was the primary reason for the invasion of Iraq []. There were, of course, no weapons of mass destruction, no connection between Iraq and 911, no connection between Iraq and Al Queda's role in 911. Despite that the Bush-Cheney Administration, with the approval of a Democratic-controlled Senate and the Democratic leader of the House, supported and commenced a brutal campaign of shock and awe, of bombing, invasion and then occupation of Iraq.
Iraq may have as much as 300 billion barrels of oil untapped. With oil headed toward $70 a barrel, the oil wealth of Iraq could be worth as much as $21 trillion. Nearly 3,400 sons and daughters of America have been sacrificed. As many as 1,000,000 innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed in the course of the US occupation. The taxpayers of the United States will pay between one and two trillion dollars for this war which is based on lies.
Throughout this entire murderous enterprise I have consistently challenged the war, challenged our right to be in Iraq, and challenged my own party about its commitment to peace. Many of the Democratic candidates for President say they are for peace but keep voting to fund the war in Iraq. They say they are for peace, but they vote for legislation which will privatize the oil of Iraq, thus insuring that there will be no peace. Why? Because the privatization of Iraqi oil will be rightly seen as one of the greatest acts of thievery of one nation against another.

That's today. Lastly Brad asked that we note this:

Mad at Congress? Take the Iraq Vote Pledge
Are you mad at Congress for surrendering to George Bush over the Iraq Supplemental? So are we - and we're determined to do something about it.
Together, we have spent the past six months doing everything in our power to persuade the new Democratic Congress to end the disastrous Iraq War. But even though a majority of Democrats (including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid) want to set a timetable for withdrawal, Republicans are marching in lockstep behind Bush along with a crucial minority of "Bush Democrats."
So what can we do? Let's put them on notice that we will defeat all pro-war Republicans next November, and replace "Bush Democrats" with progressive Democrats in next year's primaries. Take the Iraq Vote Pledge:
"I pledge to vote against every Senator and Representative who approves funding to continue the disastrous Iraq War. We have already given far too much of our blood and treasure - and killed far too many Iraqis - for a war based on lies. We are now occupying a hostile nation divided by civil war for the benefit of military contractors and Big Oil.
The only way to support our troops is to bring them home NOW, and no funds should be used for any other purpose. If Congress fails to bring our troops home, I will do everything I can - and urge everyone I know - to defeat pro-war Senators and Representatives, both in my party's primary elections and in the November general election."
Sign it now:
Read about our plan to support anti-war Democrats in primaries:

The e-mail address for this site is