American Samizdat

Thursday, May 24, 2007. *

May 24

From Tom Moody, who got it from an unknown artist.

I just think there's a real need for a viable third party right now. We certainly needed it locally. (Did the Greens run a candidate for mayor?) And I think we need it nationally. Here's the trick: It probably can't be done by the usual suspects with your crazy ACORN/PIRG types and your wish fulfillment candidacies. You don't have to win every seat. You need to vie for 25 House seats and 5 Senate seats nationally. You need to work with the dems and focus on republicans and whatever dems voted for continued funding. There needs to be a third option, certainly for progressives but really for everybody.

You need 1 million dollars to run a viable house campaign at the federal level and you need 2 million dollars to run a viable race at the senate level. Period. Otherwise you're being silly. That's about 35 million. That's a lot of money, but not an impossible amount of money to raise. What to call it? "The New Party" is taken but they haven't done anything "new" in years. We've seen where the Green's all volunteer efforts have taken us: nowhere fast. (New Rule: Build a new party around the canvass. Pay your workers and occasionally ask them to pay themselves. Use Progressive Discipline in firing and not the crazy cultlike ACORN/PIRG rules.) How about "The Enlightenment Party"? Turn that new science lobby into something bigger...

More on this later. I'm going to codify these rules when I have some more time.

Jim Hightower on Walmart. Well done.

David Sirota has the best wrap up of the carnage.

It is a dark day in our nation’s history. That sounds melodramatic - but it is true. Today America watched a Democratic Party kick them square in the teeth - all in order to continue the most unpopular war in a generation at the request of the most unpopular president in a generation at a time polls show a larger percentage of the public thinks America is going in the wrong direction than ever recorded in polling history.

The numbers are not pretty. First, 216 House Democrats cast the key vote to send a blank check Iraq War funding bill over to the Senate. As I reported at the beginning of the day and as the Associated Press now confirms, the vote on the rule was the vote that made it happen. As the AP said: “In a highly unusual maneuver, House Democratic leaders crafted a procedure that allowed their rank and file to oppose money for the war, then step aside so Republicans could advance it.” Nauseating.

In the Senate, we saw lots of promises and tough talk from senators telling us they were going to do everything they could to stop the blank check. Some of them bragged that they were going to vote against the bill - as if that was the ultimate sign of heroics. Then, not a single senator found the backbone to stand up to filibuster the bill a la Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Apparently, Senate club etiquette comes even before the lives of our troops. The blank check sailed through the upper chamber on a vote of 80-14 with 38 Democrats (the majority of the party) voting yes. In all, at a time when 82 percent of Americans tell pollsters they want Congress to either approve funds for the war with strict conditions or cut off all funding immediately, 90 percent of House and Senate Democrats combined voted to give George W. Bush a blank check.

The worst part of it all was the overt efforts to deceive the public - as if we’re all just a bunch of morons. House Democrats have the nerve to continue to insist the blank check they helped ram through the House was all the Republicans doing, and that a sham vote on a GOP amendment today - which most Democrats opposed for show - was the real vote for the war. But, again, as the AP reported, it was their parliamentary motion - passed so quickly and under the devious pretenses of mundane procedural necessity - that showed their calculated complicity. Now, tonight, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is actually sending out fundraising emails, claiming: the House just passed legislation that will go to the White House that includes critical issues Democrats have been fighting for including canceling the President’s blank check in Iraq.” Beyond nauseating.

I’m not a purist nor am I a “pox on both their houses” kind of guy. I have worked to elect Democratic politicians and I supported Democratic leaders when they pushed an Iraq funding bill that included binding language to end the war. But what happened today was perhaps the most stunning travesty I’ve seen in a decade working in Democratic politics. A Democratic Party that six months ago was elected on a promise to end the war first tried to hide their complicity in continuing the war in the House, and then gave a few token speeches as the blank check sailed through the Senate club. And it all happened, as the New York Times reported today, because these Democrats believed criticism from President Bush - the man who polls show is the most unpopular president in three decades - “seemed more politically threatening to them than the anger Democrats knew they would draw from the left.”

Of course, according to Real Journalist Greg Palast, the republicans are already trying to purge 8 million voters for the 2008 election. Palast has to have a hacker under his hire. How does he do it.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast says 4.5 million votes will be shoplifted in 2008, thanks largely to the “Rove-bots” that have been placed in the Justice Department following the U.S. Attorney firings. Being the guy who uncovered the voter “purge lists” of 2000 that disenfranchised black voters, he’s worth listening to, even if the mainstream press chooses not to.

This time around, he claims to have the 500 emails that the House subpoenaed and Karl Rove claims were deleted forever. They prove definitively, says Palast, that the Justice Department is infested with operatives taking orders from Rove to steal upcoming elections for Republicans and permanently alter the Department.

The “clownocracy” of Bush and Rove is criminal and even evil in its attempts to steal past and future elections, according to Palast, and can only be stopped if “Democrats…find their souls and find their balls.”

In an updated new version of his best-selling book, Armed Madhouse, Palast lays out the case for the future theft of the presidency, along with lots of other Executive malfeasance. I chatted with him about the role of the Justice Department in this scheme, and what it means for the viability of our “democracy.

Read the whole thing. No matter how depressing.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 8:21 PM
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