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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Memorial Day Weekend Madman

Friday-Monday, May 25-28, 2007


It All Comes Down to Texas, Again

Here's an interesting bit of Memorial Day weekend news. The Associated Press reported on Saturday that Republican Tom Craddick, Texas' Speaker of the House, has refused any and all debate as to whether he should continue in what many consider the most powerful office-holder of any office in any state, Governors included.

Everything runs through the Speaker's podium, and that includes, believe it or not, the right to speak. According to Craddick, any move to ouster him would be impossible because in order for any "move to vacate", the process which would begin his removal, would have to begin with Craddick's recognition of the legislator. This means that no one - and with the chorus of "get him out" coming from both Republicans and Democrats, that means everyone - will be recognized for any business at all in the Texas House. No laws will be written and no business will be done on behalf of the people of Texas until January 2009, when his term ends.

"The speaker's discretion to recognize a member on a motion on any matter is unappealable,"

I guess that makes Craddick "Texas' Decider".

Craddick, it seems, runs Texas' state legislature much in the same way the Republicans ran Capital Hill when they were in charge: No questions answered because none were asked and those who spoke for the minority were muzzled rather than given any opportunity to speak. Comparing the situation in Texas today to the 107th, 108th and especially the 109th US Congress, all GOP-led makes one wonder how anyone could vote for these charlatans. Maybe the Texas House will have to start meeting in the basement of their building in order to bring light to any subject whatsoever, much like the Democratic minority had to do in the US House. Like the 109th Democrats, the Texans apparently will have to wait it out.

It got so bad that Craddick had to have a couple of Democratic lawmakers physically restrained as they tried to wrest the podium away from the Speaker.

"It is clearly an abuse of power and of office,"
-Rep. Todd Smith (REPUBLICAN representing Bedford, TX)

It isn't unusual that this kind of political posturing comes from the Lone Star State. Just a short look back into their recent history will show maneuvering and conniving of all sorts in order to get the GOP where they are today. It was in 2001 that Former US House of Representative Majority Leader, Tom Delay (REPUBLICAN-TX) organized his TRMPAC (Texans for a Republican Majority) in an effort to re-district Texas' US Congressional seats. The plan was to get more Republicans into the US House of Representatives, and it worked.

The results, however, were disastrous. Nothing got done for the people of America unless, of course, they happened to be in the Bush "base" of "haves and have mores". Government suffered, the poor suffered, the middle class suffered and our troops suffered most of all.

Craddick is the perfect man to lead Texas into a DeLay-like future and, much like President Bush, he has another year and a half to do so. The people of Texas deserve more - much more.

-Noah Greenberg

Media Madman: 0-2-1

So I'm watching CNN this weekend, and Lou Dobbs This Week, to be more precise. Lou's seniority gave him the weekend off no doubt because there was one of his substitute talking heads, Christine Romans, taking his place.

The latter part of the show, which stretched over a commercial break, Ms. Romans was hosting a panel discussion about the new immigration bill and - get this - how it affected the Democrats in Congress and two of the front-running Democratic nominees, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) and Senator Barak Obama (IL), both of who voted against the new Bush war in Iraq funding bill. The questions began and ended with the Democrats and the perception of the Democrats. If you had just woken up from a long coma, you wouldn't have known that Republican George W. Bush was President. It appears that someone in the Main Stream Media put the Dems in charge and forgot to tell them.

The panel was introduced. Two of them were in studio while one was there via a televised link. Along with Romans were New York Daily News' columnist, Errol Louis, Washington Times' columnist, Diana West, and Republican strategist, Georgette Mosbacher.

Now it's time to get out your calculators and do the math. Louis is a writer for a moderate, New York tabloid, Dianna West writes for the ultra-conservative Washington Times and Mosbacher is a Republican contract worker. If you're a Democrat they would call this, in sport's terminology, no wins, two losses and a tie.

The "chat" was based on how bad the Democrats look and, more precisely, how bad the Democratic presidential hopefuls looked by voting against the war funding bill. Mosbacher, the admitted partial party involved made sure to include Senator Chris Dodd, a long shot for the Dem top spot in 2008 in the "no vote for money for the troops so you must not support the troops" group. She made sure to get her "They're not supporting the troops" and "They're playing politics" stuff out without any retort from the other two (not that we'd expect disagreement on the "bad Democrats" from a Washington Times employee).

The debate(?) began with immigration but was led skillfully by the Right-siders into the weak Democrats. Romans couldn't control them and, without so much as a slight descent after Mosbacher's speech (and it was a speech), said "That's all we have, good-night.

I guess all of the Democrats went away for the long weekend because there were, obviously, none available to participate. Or maybe CNN didn't even bother to look.

-Noah Greenberg

To End Bush's War


I am frustrated with the Iraq supplemental bill. As I said earlier, my emotions ran the spectrum from feeling betrayed to resignation that this is the way it is with politicians. But, I don't think I can give up. I want to share a post I came across on the DNC blog today (leaving the person's handle out):

"I'm a veteran and a soldiers wife...thank you to all the democrats who support the troops but want them home and thank you for fighting for the rights of us vets. lets win this in 08 so not one more of my friends have to die and leave their children and wives behind and also to keep my husband safe. We in the military community see the direct heartache in front of our faces every day. I've seen kids younger than I am with no limbs from roadside bombs, our friend was killed last week and leaves behind a wife and 3 kids, my husband has been to war 3 times I sat on the phone numerous times hearing explosions in the background wondering if I would ever hear from him again he would tell me it was nothing just so I wouldn't worry. This is no life, this war is a lie and a disgrace to our troops! bring them home Dems. I'll be at the polls in 08!"

This is why I remain committed to the struggle to end Bush's senseless and immoral war by political and direct action.

-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane

A Letter to Speaker Pelosi

As a Vietnam veteran, I'm outraged at the cave-in of the Democrats in Congress. You need to realize that "funding" does NOT keep our troops alive and healthy. Only ending this war, which is based on lies, and bringing home the troops, will do what is needed to save their lives.

Furthermore, giving this insane president an inch means that he will be fortified to take a mile, and thus destroy more of our precious Constitutional liberties and rights. He and Cheney need to be impeached--pronto.

I've worked hard to elect Democrats over the years, especially since 2000. There ARE alternatives, and I am thinking that I should change parties--politically leftward, of course. Neither party serves the people of the United States any more. Those in Congress with few exceptions live in an insulated, cushy, benefits-rich world. You should all get out of the Beltway and smell the garbage!

In sincere indignation,

-Jenny Hanniver

In response to The NASCAR-Dump Bush bumper sticker mix, David McReynolds writes:

Thank God for the things you see in the street!

There is always hope!

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-Noah Greenberg