Green Means \”Impeach\”

A Reply to “An Appeal to Third Party Voters, Make the Difference for Obama” by Tom Hayden (Huffington Post)


For a very long time, I have admired your work for civil rights and for peace. Therefore, I feel that you have the right to know why I cannot and will not vote for Barack Obama.
It is simply not true that George W. Bush won the 2000 election, or that all but a few “thousand” people believe this. The evidence proves that, if all the votes cast in Florida that year had been counted, Gore would have won. The Greens were scapegoated by a Democratic Party that supported most of the Bush agenda.
Though Obama allegedly opposes the Iraq War, he will leave troops to defend our “national interest” — oil — and will *expand* the war in Afghanistan. To vote for Obama, a war candidate masquerading as a peace candidate, would betray my most cherished beliefs.
In the very near future, if political trends continue, the human race will either become extinct, or will exist in such wretchedness that extinction would be preferable. The Green Party advocates new ways of dealing with these crises. Both the Democratic and Republican parties are ideologically exhausted.
If Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party gets just five percent of the vote on November 4th, the Greens will gain ballot access and funding and become a powerful force for progressive values. Therefore, I challenge you, Tom Hayden, to be true to the convictions of your youth, and pull the lever for Cynthia McKinney on Election Day for *real* change.
More on Barack Obama
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


Bailout Madness!

According to this story in The New York Times, Washington was in a state of utter chaos on Thursday ¾ or, as Sean O’Casey would have said, “a state o’ chassis¾ over the proposed bailout, using taxpayer money, of the thieves and frauds of Wall Street. Actually the Times piece reads more like a Monty Python skit (see my post on Michael Palin, below), so full of demented dialogue and comic bits of business was the account (given by an eyewitness and several people briefed later) of the negotiations that went on in the White House, as both Democrats and Republicans tried to make up their minds how best to steal the people’s hard-earned cash. The POTUS, George W. Bush, was actually quoted as saying, “If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down.” Apparently, the “sucker” to which Bush was referring was the American financial system as a whole, not John Q. Citizen… but I suppose that interpretation might also make sense.

Who put a stop to what had originally been planned as the biggest, fastest swindle on record? Was it Barack Obama or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who declared that this act of highway robbery would not stand? Of course not. Exactly as occurred during the failed Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Myers, it was Bush’s own party that balked ¾ to the Democrats’ shame. No less a right-wing bigwig than House GOP Leader John Boehner came out publicly against the bailout, putting forth his own cockamamie plan that involved the use of government-backed insurance to purchase the failed banks’ mortgage-based securities. According to the article, for several days conservative Republicans on the Hill had fretted that a government intervention of such magnitude would serve as “a step down the path to socialism.” (If only…)

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (who, contrary to popular opinion, is unrelated to the late comedian and presidential candidate Pat Paulsen) made a desperate attempt to save his $700 billion bailout plan. His zeal was understandable, since the proposal, which eliminates all possibility of Congressional or judicial oversight, would have made the Secretary, whose lax supervision of the markets helped bring about the mess in the first place, a kind of tsar of the American economy. In the heat of the moment, Paulson in the Roosevelt Room actually got down on one knee before Pelosi, not to propose marriage but to beg her not to “blow it all up” by withdrawing her support for the bailout. To this, Pelosi was reported to have quipped, “I didn’t know you were Catholic.” (I’m not making this stuff up!) Then she added, all too accurately: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”

The real comic relief, though, was supplied by John McCain. Big John suddenly decided that he was so indispensable to the process that he suspended his campaign ¾ canceling and then uncanceling his scheduled appearance at Friday’s televised debate with Obama, with the McCain campaign stupidly declaring victory in an ad in the Wall Street Journal before the debate even took place ¾ and speeded to Washington to save the day, like a political superhero. When he got to the Big Meeting in the Cabinet Room, however, he had practically nothing to say, which is not surprising, as he apparently did not bother to read Secretary Paulson’s plan, which is all of three pages long and widely published on the Internet. Obama ¾ the smart imperialist to McCain’s buffoonish one ¾ reportedly “peppered” Paulson with questions without committing himself, and after this seasoning lambasted his opponent at a news conference for kibitzing where he wasn’t wanted. What is truly revolting, however, is what the Times article revealed in passing: that (if the Republican leadership is to be believed) the Democrats cynically tried and failed to “jam through” an agreement on Thursday morning ¾ one that would have cost every man, woman, teenager and toddler in America over $2000 ¾ just to deny McCain the opportunity to participate in the negotiations later on and possibly gain some political capital. 

The Times itself is clearly in favor of the biggest possible bailout as quickly as possible, ostensibly to avert a recession ¾ I thought we were already in one ¾ without taking into account such perils as inflation, or even hyperinflation. (That $700 billion has to come from somewhere, and since no sane politician is going to advocate the raising of that much money in new taxes, the cash would have to be produced by the government simply printing more money, devaluing the dollar yet further.) The prospect of America repeating the history of Germany in the 1920s, when ordinary people had to trundle their wildly inflated wages home in wheelbarrows, has now become by no means an improbable one. By throwing a monkey wrench into the bipartisan deal, Representative Boehner may have committed an inadvertently patriotic act.

By contrast, Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney has come up with an eminently reasonable proposal, one that favors ordinary Americans, not the masters of Wall Street. In her essay, Seize the Time, McKinney proposed the following list of steps (by no means exhaustive) to deal with the crisis:

  1. Enactment of a foreclosure moratorium now before the next phase of ARM interest rate increases take effect;
  2. Elimination of all ARM mortgages and their renegotiation into 30- or 40-year loans;
  3. Establishment of new mortgage lending practices to end predatory and discriminatory practices;
  4. Establishment of criteria and construction goals for affordable housing;
  5. Redefinition of credit and regulation of the credit industry so that discriminatory practices are completely eliminated;
  6. Full funding for initiatives that eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in home ownership;
  7. Recognition of shelter as a right according to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, to which the U.S. is a signatory, so that no one sleeps on U.S. streets;
  8. Full funding of a fund designed to cushion the job loss and provide for retraining of those at the bottom of the income scale as the economy transitions;
  9. Close all tax loopholes and repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% of income earners;
  10. Fairly tax corporations, denying federal subsidies to those who relocate jobs overseas; repeal NAFTA.

So progressives have a critical choice this year. They will have to decide whether they want to give their vote and support to Cynthia McKinney, a candidate with fresh ideas who is not beholden to the money men (and if McKinney receives just five percent of the total vote on Election Day, the Green Party would then become a major force in U.S. politics), or an intelligent yet empty agent of the corporate state like Barack Obama. If they don’t choose correctly, the “sucker” may indeed “go down.”

No More Bleeding Heart (Or, Don’t Cry for Yourself, Pappy Bush)

Posted in Bush,Cheney,Iraq,Politics,Uncategorized by dylanfreak on August 12, 2007

People on the Left are routinely ridiculed or even despised for displaying what their adversaries perceive as an excess of compassion. Ironically, a lot of this sneering emanates from right-wing Christians, who claim to subscribe to a faith based upon the moral imperatives of forgiveness and love. Thus, whenever we progressives advocate peace and social welfare, or — God forbid — oppose the death penalty, the Right and its media sycophants revile us as soft, weak, cowardly. Lily-livered liberals. Bleeding hearts.

But even for Lefties, empathy has its limits. There exist some institutions, some systems, some humans, for which we can honestly concede no fellow feeling. They evoke none of the sober commiseration granted to those who have tried and failed to meet some exacting ethical standard, nor the mellow philosophical relativism implied by the famous quote from Jean Renoir’s film, Rules of the Game: “everyone has his reasons.” The actions of such entities and individuals extend so far beyond the moral pale that they can turn the most enlightened among us, at least temporarily, into emotional neocons.

Such a person is President Bush… the former President Bush, that is. (To avoid confusion between George Herbert Bush and the current misleader, we will henceforth refer to the former by his middle initial, and to the latter, of course, by the initial “W.”) What prompts these reflections is a piece published in Thursday’s (8/9/07) New York Times, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, about the dark curse blighting H’s sunset years: the long shadow of his appalling son.

In January 2001, no dad could have been prouder than was H of his newly-selected eldest boy, hanging chads be damned. As the sentimental story went, father and son even promised each other to avoid eye contact during the swearing-in, for fear that, in the elder Bush’s words, both men might be “overcome by the enormity of the moment.” (Though, as Village Voice critic Tom Carson pointed out at the time, the dictionary definition of “enormity” is “a great wickedness.”) That initial euphoria has long faded, replaced by a nightmare reality in which H is haunted literally everywhere he goes by well-meaning strangers who ever-so-tactfully skewer his unpopular son. It gives H no satisfaction, apparently, that these critiques of W are almost always prefaced by approval for his own, briefer presidency. (It seems he has never been confronted by anyone who has ever repeated the merry chant often heard at protest marches: “Hey Bush! / We know you: / Your father was a killer, too!”) Rather, such backhanded praise, according to The Times, is pure agony for the old man. But what is most astonishing about the article is what it reveals about the egotism and smallness of soul displayed by this once powerful man and his whole rotten family.

Often,” Stolberg asserts, “he likens himself to a Little League father whose kid is having a rough game. And like the proud and angry Little League dad who cannot help but yell at the umpire, sometimes he just cannot help getting involved.” 

Little League! Now, a strong case could be made that W is the most powerful individual who has ever lived. After all, the office of the president, for the past fifty or so years, has wielded more influence — because of the wealth and prestige of the United States, as well as our stockpile of nuclear weapons — than any king or emperor has ever known, and Bush Junior’s personal power, thanks to 9/11 and his own actions, exceeds that of any previous chief executive. Yet here is this morally purblind old geezer talking Little League! George W. Bush is a man, dammit! Stealing an election (make that two elections) is not quite the same as a little kid stealing home plate. Invading a sovereign nation and then smashing it to bits through greed and incompetence, destroying hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in the process, cannot be reduced, by the most grotesque imagination, to the embarrassment of striking out with the bases loaded. 

And it’s revealing, in a sick way, that H doesn’t even compare his son to an adult athlete. It’s as if W were still the spoiled, not-so-young brat who caroused, drove drunk and otherwise humiliated his prominent parents. And the father’s indulgent (and self-indulgent) fantasy of his son as an underdog on the baseball diamond goes a long way towards explaining why, beginning with his childhood, W has never once been held accountable, in any meaningful way, for a single misdeed he’s ever done. 

The message the article sends, and was intended to send, is bizarrely schizoid. According to “the official line,” the attitude shown by “41” (as H is coyly referred to, in recognition of his numerical position among the presidents) towards his son’s administration is strictly hands-off. But the testimony of those who spoke, off the record, to Stolberg tells a very different story:

“… he has privately expressed irritation with some of his son’s aides. At times, he has urged White House officials to seek outside advice, and he has passed on his own foreign policy wisdom to the president, even as he makes a point of saying his son’s administration is not his… sometimes the ex-president would raise a foreign policy question, or suggest the White House reach out to those ‘in his circle,’ like James A. Baker, the former secretary of state…”

Since H is definitely not the kibbitzer type — he surely would not be making his opinion felt so strongly if he thought his son’s administration wasn’t going terribly wrong — we must conclude that, whatever he may say publicly, the elder Bush is in reluctant agreement with those who walk up to him and slam his son’s administration to his face. But what is really peculiar about the Times piece was the candor with which Stolberg concedes that the son, rather than submitting dutifully to his father, has been going out of his way to humiliate him:

“Tensions between aides to 41 and 43 ran especially high when Mr. Baker was co-chairman of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. When President Bush  rejected the group’s recommendations, some in the 41 camp viewed it as an outright rejection of the father. When Mr. Scowcroft spoke out against the war, some thought the father was sending a message to the son” – a message that W gleefully and spitefully ignored.

Junior’s oft-quoted statement to Bob Woodward to the effect that, when seeking inner strength, he ignores his weak, earthly father in favor of his mighty, heavenly one, is trotted out one more time by Stolberg, and she also produces the following nugget:

“The rivalry theory flared up again last year, at the christening of the Navy’s newest Nimitz aircraft carrier, the George H. W. Bush. The president joked that given the ship’s qualities — ‘she is unrelenting, she is unshakeable, she is unyielding’ — it should have been named for his mother. The line brought a laugh, but some close to the elder Mr. Bush winced at what seemed a subtle dig.”

Subtle? What’s subtle about W saying that his mother is tougher than his father (a devastasting put-down indeed, from the point-of-view of the male chauvinist Bush clan)? Such incidents are not isolated examples of W’s insensitivity, either. At every opportunity, the son has systematically rejected — indeed, smashed like a rampaging bull — the father’s ostensible legacy.

Shakespeare was fascinated by such fraught relationships among kings and princes, in which the fates of proud families dangerously intertwine with those of great nations. And the anguish, both pathetic and ludicrous, that H is enduring now has all the earmarks of a Shakespearean curse/prophecy come to pass. For the tragedy in Iraq that a horrified world is now witnessing had its prologue in the actions of none other than George Bush Senior.

In late July 1990, Saddam Hussein demanded an interview with US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie, essentially requesting permission to conquer his neighbor, Kuwait. The pathologically selfish and stupid Sabah family had been making life tough for the Iraqi dictator by refusing to renegotiate the $10 billion debt Saddam owed them for their financial support in the war against Iran; the Saudis had already forgiven Iraq their debts. (Also, the Kuwaitis were busy “slant drilling,” from wells on their side of the border, into oil deposits that lay beneath Iraqi territory, in effect picking Hussein’s pocket.) With sixteen infamous words – “… but we have no opinon on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait” – Glaspie gave the green light (or so Hussein believed) to the tyrant’s plan, sealing Kuwait’s fate… and Iraq’s. On August 2, Saddam went ahead and launched his illegal and immoral invasion of Kuwait.

At first, H seemed to have no intention of responding with military force. After all, it could be argued that, prior to 8/2/90, he was the best friend Saddam Hussein had ever had, inside or outside Iraq. Whenever Congress, in one of its ethical moods, had wanted to punish Iraq for human rights violations, H had always blocked such efforts. And according to George Bush’s War, by Jean Edward Smith, soon after he got word of what had happened, he promised Jordan’s King Hussein and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak that he would say nothing publicly for forty-eight hours, in the hope that those leaders might be able to privately talk Saddam into reversing his decision.

But then H flew to a previously scheduled conference in Aspen, Colorado, and had his head turned around by the Iron Lady of Britain, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (Ironically, Bush had gone to Colorado to speak about the domestic “peace dividend” following the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.) Thatcher was adamant that Bush needed to respond in stiff-upper-lip, Churchillian fashion to Hussein’s heinous act. After this “successful backbone transplant” (in the words of one British official), Bush publicly pronounced “this will not stand,” thereby smashing King Hussein’s and Mubarak’s backstage attempt to resolve the crisis peacefully.

Bush’s behavior throughout the buildup to Gulf War One repeated this pattern. Whenever the possibility of peace reared its ugly head, H would brutally crush it by, say, publicly comparing Saddam to Hitler, or sneering at the dictator’s intransigence and ignoring his own. Indeed, in the weeks immediately prior to the war, the prospect of a sudden and unexpected withdrawal from Kuwait by Hussein’s forces became the administration’s worst-case scenario: retreat, they believed, would leave Iraq unpunished and still strong. Bush and his cronies were definitely looking to give war a chance.

According to Desert Mirage, an important, little-known book by journalist Martin Yant, Saddam offered, for weeks before the 1991 US air assault on Iraq, the perfect face-saving deal. He would withdraw Iraqi forces from Kuwait, on the condition that this be linked to serious talks, involving the US, to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. In this way, Hussein would shore up his image as a hero to the Palestinians. And Bush would have emerged as a double peacemaker – averting a confrontation with Iraq and reviving the stalled peace process. Though H agreed with UN Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar that a solution to the Palestinian problem was necessary, he refused Saddam’s olive branch. (He also rejected a last-minute French plan for Iraqi withdrawal in exchange for an overall Mideast peace conference.) Nothing was going to stop the United States in the New World Order, which turned out to be identical to the “order” that has existed since the beginning of the world: the exercise, by the powerful, of blind force for its own sake.

The peace movement at that time argued that going to war to save the dictatorial emirate of Kuwait was not justified under any circumstances. But even if one does not accept the movement’s position and argues that Hussein’s aggression had to be opposed, it cannot possibly be claimed that H did everything possible to avert war: quite the contrary. Indeed, though conventional wisdom claims that Bush the First’s response to the “threat” of Iraq was diammetrically opposite to that of Bush the Second, it is remarkable how similar the actions of the two men were.

Though H wore the fig leaf of international support to cover his naked aggression (thereby gaining a false reputation as a leader who avoided major decisions until he received multilateral consensus), essentially the slaughter in the Gulf was, as Professor Smith rightly claims, “George Bush’s war.” From the beginning, only H’s opinion, not that of any other head of state, or of any military leader or regional expert, ever really mattered. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney strong-armed Saudi Arabia into agreeing to host American military forces on their border with Iraq, ostensibly to defend against Hussein’s (nonexistent) plans to invade that country, while lying to the media that the troops were there at the Saudis’ request. H made dirty deals with the other tyrants in the area – in Syria, Turkey and Morocco, particularly – to support his coalition, often at the expense of the human rights of the victims of those regimes (just as his son would later do with Pakistan). Finally, and again like W, when all else failed, H opened his checkbook to get other nations to knuckle under. This included a bribe to the UN, in the form of payment of a portion of the US’s long-outstanding debt to the organization. Indeed, the UN violated its own charter, and brought infamy upon itself, by green-lighting both Gulf Wars… except that the world body gave its imprimatur to Junior’s more deadly aggression after the fact, essentially washing its hands, Pontius Pilate-like, of all responsibility to the Iraqi people.

Yes, the double tragedy of the Persian Gulf Wars is truly Shakespearean in scope. The only problem is that George Herbert Bush, in his infuriating narcissism and parochialism, is utterly inadequate as a Shakespearean character. Henry IV and Henry V, as portrayed by the Bard, may not have been very nice guys, but at least they possessed self-awareness: they knew that their actions impacted upon the fate of England and the rest of Europe — they held no illusions that the world revolved around the Bolingbroke family. There is no doubt in my mind that neither H nor W has ever lost a minute of sleep, in guilt or even grief, about the US casualties of either conflict, never mind the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead. What is breaking the elder Bush’s heart is not the wreckage of a once-proud and prosperous Mideast nation or of America’s reputation in the world, but the utter destruction of the bogus Bush image: good Christian soldiers, noble warriors for peace and democracy.

So don’t cry for Pappy Bush: in the end, he deserves everything that is happening to him. And if we don’t do everything in our power to try to remove his son from office — even if the effort be futile — we will deserve everything he and Cheney do to us in the next seventeen critical months.

Bush Is Still in Office and My Knee Is Killing Me…

Posted in Bush,Cheney,Iraq,Politics,Uncategorized by dylanfreak on August 9, 2007

There are not even a hundred people protesting with me outside the Central Park West entrance to Tavern on the Green, as the Democrats drive or walk blithely by. The Dems are heading to TOTG to attend a fundraiser for Congressman Charley Rangel (see Action Alert below). We’re hoping to get the urgency of our impeachment message across. Indeed, passing motorists honk and a few passers-by (some of them, perhaps, among the fundraiser’s attendees) give us dissidents the thumbs-up. But I fear that there are not nearly enough of us.

If I were Rangel (or Hillary, who also was scheduled to attend), I would hardly be intimidated by this ragtag group. All Democratic lawmakers undoubtedly receive untold numbers of faxes and emails more or less ordering them to impeach the bums. But it’s one thing to have one’s office inundated with messages and quite another to come face-to-face with a horde of outraged constituents, all demanding Bush’s head on a platter. If there had been thousands, or even hundreds of people outside that entrance, it would have made all the difference.

And where are the students? The average age of the protesters tonight must have been at least thirty-five. The big mystery of the peace movement was and remains the relative absence of the young. (And yes, at all the big demos and rallies, I always see college and even high school students, overwhelming female, marching in pride and anger, but they are hardly leading the way, as students did in the 1960’s.) Was antiwar idealism, in the last analysis, all about the draft after all? A disturbing question.

It’s a hot evening in the park, the kind of night I love, but I can’t enjoy it. Because of Bush. Because of Cheney. Because of the brave, gallant, exciting youth movement that has yet to be born. But also because of that goddam knee…

The Stake in Dracula’s Heart

Posted in Bush,Cheney,Politics,Uncategorized by dylanfreak on August 8, 2007

The following two linked articles provide fascinating and terrifying insights into the psychological conditions, respectively, of POTUS Bush and VPOTUS Cheney. Although the tone of both articles is calm and subdued, the scenarios they imply suggest a real life horror movie waiting to happen. And, for both authors, the only remedy — the equivalent of driving the stake through the vampire’s heart — is (you guessed it) impeachment.

Dangers of a Cornered George Bush by Coleen Rowley

Bush and Cheney Cornered; The Need to Impeach Before Iran Attack by Bill Hare

The first piece is a very interesting collaboration between the “Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity” (VIPS) — a group that includees administration critic Ray McGovern and famed whistleblower Coleen Rowley — and the Washington-based psychiatrist and author, Dr. Justin Frank. Progressives will be very familiar with Dr. Frank as the author of the excellent  book-length psychological study, Bush on the Couch, which was published in 2004. In the intervening years, Bush’s behavior has proven Frank’s dire diagnosis of the Resident to be all-too-accurate.

In the article, Dr. Frank makes much the same case about Bush’s destructive, dangerous and frighteningly unstable mindset as he did in the book, except he uses it to attempt to predict (using the principles of applied psychoanalysis) Bush’s behavior in response to several plausible near-future scenarios. These are: a) a major Tet-like attack by insurgents upon Baghdad’s “Green Zone,” b) an Israeli air attack on Iran and c) a decision by Congress to cut off all war funds.

The second article deals with both Bush and Cheney and the effects that substance abuse (and, in Cheney’s case, food abuse) might be having on their actions. Mr. Hare, interestingly, reminds us of one of the most intriguing episodes of the 2004 campaign: the Vice-Presidential debate, when former Senator Edwards tore apart Cheney’s anti-progressive record as a Congressman, much to the VPOTUS’ evident astonishment. Mr. Hare attributes Cheney’s loss of composure on that occasion with a loss of oxygen to the brain caused by his health problems. With all due respect to Mr. Hare, I prefer to see the cause not as built-up cholesterol, but as built-up arrogance, produced by the obscene deference routinely lavished upon him by both Congress and the supine news media, who insist on seeing this extreme-right-wing political hack from Wyoming as some kind of elder statesman. No wonder that he was flabbergasted when Edwards insisted that he actually be judged on his record!

But one thing in Hare’s article cannot be argued with: the urgent need posed by his question “is it not all the more imperative to move with swift vigor toward impeachment?”

Impeachment Action Alert: New York Area

Posted in Bush,Cheney,Politics,Uncategorized by dylanfreak on August 7, 2007

I’m posting this Action Alert for those in the New York area: 




This Wednesday evening, most likely the entire NY Congressional Delegation will attend a fund-raiser birthday party for Congressman Charlie Rangel. Senator Hillary Clinton will be a “special guest”, and even national treasure Aretha Franklin will be attending.

It’s time for us to demand R-E-S-P-E-C-T from our Congressional Representatives.

Approval ratings for Congress are even lower than for Bush, yet Congress refuses to end the Iraq war funding or move forward on the Impeachment of Bush & Cheney.

Demand that our representatives represent the people and take action!


Evan Giller

Good Website to Begin to Learn about Impeachment

Posted in Uncategorized by dylanfreak on August 4, 2007

Click on the following link to find out more about what you need to know if you want to help impeach the POTUS and the VPOTUS: GreensForImpeachment.