Panhandle (W.Va.) Grassroots for Democracy

The Panhandle Grassroots for Democracy is working to improve our corner of eastern West Virginia, our state and our nation.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Independent voice?

The other day I received a message from Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito saying she should be re-elected since she's an "independent voice" in Congress.

The thing is, she can't run from her record of being a Rubber Stamp Republican, one of the largest recipients of the corrupt Tom Delay's campaign contributions. And now she has President Bush fundraising for her.

How independent from Bush's failures do you think she can be when he's campaigning for her?

She's been nothing but a Rubber Stamp Republican who has provided no oversight of the run-amuk corruption and incompetence of the Republican leadership and this administration. Indeed, she's benefited by it, receiving campaign contribution after campaign contribution from Delay and from corporations eager to profit off the Iraq War at the expense of our soldiers and eager to see the elimination of worker safety regulations and inspections. From the invasion of Iraq to the cutting of federal mining inspections before the Sago Mine Disaster, she's been with the administration in lock-step all the way.

From the Charleston Gazette:

President George W. Bush spent a few hours in Charleston Wednesday afternoon, raising money for a political ally at a private fundraiser and getting jeered by opponents of the war in Iraq.

Air Force One touched down at Yeager Airport at 4 p.m. Bush and U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., got off the plane and were first greeted by Gen. Allen Tackett, head of the state’s National Guard.

Republican officials said about 275 people attended the fundraiser, which raised an estimated $500,000 for Capito. Many paid the maximum of $2,100 per person. She is seeking a fourth two-year term in a race against Democrat Mike Callaghan.


Callaghan, Capito’s opponent, said Bush’s visit shows Capito’s vulnerability this November and her solidarity with the Bush administration’s failed policies. He held his own fundraiser Wednesday evening, asking $21 per person for dinner, or 1 percent of the maximum allowable donation.

“The Callaghan campaign is about changing the direction of this country, which includes pushing the administration to find a way to end the war in Iraq, pushing the administration into providing health care for every man, woman and child, and pushing the administration into making prescription medication affordable to our seniors,” he said.

If we really want an independent voice who'll fight for the working people of West Virginia and not just for the wealthy people outside of the state, we need Mike Callaghan in Congress.


From the White House press briefing July 27:
Q In terms of world opinion, you keep saying the "what if" game, if it seems as though the strategy is to isolate Hezbollah. Is there a risk with the United States and Israel gets isolated in terms of world opinion by not saying, let's cut the shooting now, cut the rockets now, and work it out? I hear what you're saying about --

MR. SNOW: Let me counterpose. There's an even greater danger that if the U.S. looks ineffective in doing this, that you not only have a loss in terms of world opinion, but credibility. And you cannot -- we've said it many times, you cannot run foreign policy on the basis of public opinion polls. Quite often there are perceptions that people may get from fractional coverage of the situation that don't expose the real realities on the ground. We are in very constant consultation with people in the region to try to find out exactly what the facts are.
From The New York Times:

Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements.

The Saudi royal family and King Abdullah II of Jordan, who were initially more worried about the rising power of Shiite Iran, Hezbollah's main sponsor, are scrambling to distance themselves from Washington.
Listen. Some where at this moment in Israel or Lebanon or Iraq, a father like me is wailing in agony because his child is dead from an explosion or gun shot.

With each birth of my daughters I thought my heart would swell and explode through my chest because I was so filled with so much love and happiness by their arrival. I love my life, but if I ever had to trade it to keep one of them safe from harm, I would make that bargain with a glad heart for I love them so.

And some where in Lebanon or Israel or Iraq, a father who felt the same way about one of his children is holding a still-form. No torment in hell holds worse suffering.

Listen. Close your eyes and listen. You can hear his screams even here on the other side of the world.

The world should stop spinning in orbit to hear such a tormented soul's cry of despair.

Dear Lord, people are dead because the president failed to listen. Children are dead. They cannot listen. They cannot hear their father's cries. They cannot hear their mother's desperate screams to come back to them. They cannot hear their brothers and sisters calling out their names.

Listen. Diplomacy begins with listening to each other. awol just wants to speak and have people follow his orders rather than listen.

Listening never killed anybody.

He did not listen to those who warned of the dangers of invading Iraq.

He did not listen to the screams of the tortured.

No, he believes he can govern by photo ops. They do not require him to listen.

So when awol's spokesman speaks of a "greater danger," what danger is he speaking of? There is no danger in asking people to stop killing each other and to sit down and listen. What is more dangerous than the bombs dropping and the gun shots flying? Snow claims that the administration is in consultation with people, but certainly the Lebanese people will no longer listen to us. They are going to listen to Hezbollah for standing up to those that sent the bombs that were dropped on them.

The same is true for the Israelis and the Iraqis. They are not going to want to listen to those that shipped death and destruction their way.

And so the world trembles at the anguish of the fathers and mothers with their children dead. You can hear them, but awol cannot. He does not listen.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

'The President is always right'

Crossposted at Political Cortex, skippy, Booman Tribune, and my blog, The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire.

Asked to explain the differences between the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Hamdan and President George W. Bush's description of the case, the U.S. Department of Justice's head of the Office of Legal Counsel Steven Bradbury told the Senate Judiciary Committee: "The President is always right."

In decision after decision, we have seen that this was not a lone statement from a sychophant. Remember, George W. Bush could not think of any mistakes he had made despite failing to prevent the worst attack to the United States in modern history. "The President is always right" is a view  held by George W. Bush himself.
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On a spring afternoon in May 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that separate but equal was anything but equal.

"We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate ­but­ equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

But the schools did not become desegregated overnight. When the Little Rock Nine enrolled and were scheduled to attend school in September 1957. It prompted one of the most dramatic moments in U.S. history.

When Governor Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School to keep the nine students from entering the school, President Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock to insure the safety of the "Little Rock Nine" and that the rulings of the Supreme Court were upheld.

What is often forgotten, but important to remember today, President Dwight Eisenhower had opposed desegregation. Before the Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Topeka, Eisenhower had appealed personally to Chief Justice Earl Warren. He invited him to the White House to meet with segregationists in an attempt to persuade Warren to maintain "separate but equal" as the law of the land.

President Eisenhower, who later described the appointment of Earl Warren as chief justice as the worst decision he had ever made, was not as jubilant. At a White House dinner, he told Warren, "[Southern whites] are not bad people. All they are concerned about is to see that their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big overgrown Negroes." Eisenhower added, "It is difficult through law and through force to change a man's heart."4 His heart, however, seemed to be with the opponents of integration.

One can say many things about President Eisenhower's personal views on racial inequality.

But when the time came, he set aside his own desires. He sent the federal troops in to enforce the Supreme Court's decision.

Eisenhower knew the president is not always right. And that alone makes him a better human than George W. Bush will ever be.