Third Party & Independents Archives

We giveth power...

We can taketh away.

What’s going on with Congress?
Or more precisely … not going on.

Right now our Politicians can't decide whether to pass a resolution taking away the power they gave the President to fight the war in Iraq, take the funding away from the troops to end the war, or allow the General they just unanimously put in charge to carry out the plan approved when he was appointed.

Most people agree that we cannot 'Cut 'n Run'. Most people understand that if we pull out now we will be in a bigger mess than we're in now - in just a few short years.

Do members of Congress not read/research the laws and/or resolutions before they vote on them?
Oh...that's right, they have 'people' who do that and report back to them.

It seems as though they rely on the same news bites and talking points we are subjected to when deciding which way they will vote. Much like we do?
Sounds silly doesn't it?
You would think that when it comes to something as important as starting a war OR ending a war - they would do more than check the polls - which they themselves and the media have an enormous influence over.


"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions.
Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133."

""Congress abdicated its oversight responsibility," he says. "The press abdicated its responsibility, and the American people abdicated their responsibilities. Terror was on the minds of everyone, and nobody questioned anything, quite frankly."" - Chuck Hagel

Well...very few asked questions.

from: 'FRONTLINE: the dark side: ...'
"'One of the things we have heard about the National Intelligence Estimate -- I don't know whether it is true, but I've seen it often enough that I suspect it might be -- [is] that only about six people in Congress read it. If you look at some of the speeches made in the debate a week after the receipt of the National Intelligence Estimate, even my people who say they read it, they are in some cases more affirmative on some of the issues than is the National Intelligence Estimate. ..."

"... It was a document that contained, in my judgment, more grist for debate than people understand. "

"The effect of it is what? It goes to Congress; that's the evidence for war. Whenever the vice president now says, "You saw what we saw, you knew what we knew," is that what he's talking about?
I think that's basically what he's talking about, because before the vote endorsing the resolution to use all means necessary against Saddam Hussein, that version of the National Intelligence Estimate is made available to everyone in Congress. They have to go to a compartmented room, a skiff, so called, in order to read it. Most people who do that just read the summary and conclusions, don't read the whole document itself. And yeah, that's what the vice president means when he says, "You saw what we saw." Of course that's disingenuous because they didn't see the president's daily brief, and the president's daily brief was saying some things that were not in the National Intelligence Estimate."


I would love to have a penny for every time I heard 'Bush Lied' since the start of the Iraq war.
I have NEVER heard one single politician admit that they DID NOT BOTHER to read the actual NIE that was available to them.
I have heard them say that they relied on the briefing they received - and that is why they are able to say 'Bush Lied'.
Some of those stating that 'Bush Lied' were quite vocal in their support for the war.


Now the political winds have shifted - these shifting winds are partially the result of the 'Bush Lied' crowd.

from: 'Conduct polls on issues, not popularity'
"I hope this doesn't shock you, but polls are manipulated easily by how the questions are asked. Take, for example, polling on the Iraq War.

It was widely accepted that Americans favored the Iraq war before we invaded in March 2003. But, actually, it depended on how you asked the question. ......"

"....... No, the message you got from reading the newspaper headlines was more simple: strong support for the war, maybe fading a touch before the invasion, but strong support nonetheless. And, of course, war support surged, if you'll pardon the expression, after the invasion.

Now it's in the dumps, with about 60 percent favoring withdrawal by the end of next year. There's a lesson here for journalists. If you're going to insist on polling us so much, which I think is a mistake, at least emphasize the nuances in our responses."


Pelosi is in charge... here's what she said previously and what she says now.

'Pelosi Hails Democrats' Diverse War Stances' :

"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.

Pelosi said Democrats will produce an issue agenda for the 2006 elections but it will not include a
position on Iraq. ....." Dec., '05

THAT is pretty much how the Dems won back power.

"WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday she supports legislation to redefine U.S. troops' mission in Iraq away from combat and focus it on training Iraqi soldiers and thwarting terrorism, an idea that is circulating among Senate Democrats.

"I do support the idea of 'the authorization could be more focused,'" the California Democrat told reporters, adding that she had not yet read the specific Senate language."

NOT AGAIN !!!! READ Nancy READ !

GET IT TOGETHER !
STOP screwing with the lives of our fighting men and women!
STOP screwing with the American people.
STOP screwing with the Iraqi's AND...
STOP showing the terrorists that we can't get our.... selves together and defeat them !

Update:
'Congress Gears Up for Debate on Getting U.S. Out of Iraq' -
By ROBIN TONER
Published: March 14, 2007



Posted by Dawn at March 13, 2007 11:33 PM
Comments
Comment #211871

Dawn,

More has gone on in both the Senate and the House in the past 60 days than in the past 6 years.

9-11 blew everyones mind, but it’s time to think about border security, port security, etc, etc…………

We need to ensure the integrity of our military!

So, what are you saying?

Honestly, 100 words or less, what are you saying?

From what you’ve posted in the green column I wonder if it doesn’t belong in the Red column. Maybe I’m wrong! Maybe I’m having an Obey moment.

Just say what you want!

I’ve signed anti-war petitions left and right.

Where is the major protest? one step behind the draft, eh?

I think the left is pushing as hard as possible.

Lance

Posted by: KansasDem at March 14, 2007 12:42 AM
Comment #211873

Just one question KansasDem…

Have you ever said an article in this column should be posted in the Blue column?

Posted by: Dawn at March 14, 2007 12:53 AM
Comment #211879

“Have you ever said an article in this column should be posted in the Blue column?”

No, I don’t think so.

For what it’s worth you just gave me verbal whiplash! You wrote a good article. It just seemed to lean pretty far right to me.

Is it OK with you if I just express my opinion? Honestly I just want to know what you want. What could the Dems do right now to make you happy? Or, what could the Republicans do to make you happy?

I’ll bet you’d like the new populist party.

Posted by: KansasDem at March 14, 2007 1:22 AM
Comment #211882

Dawn, you are making a simple situation appear very complicated.

You see, the simple truth is we taxpayers are paying to, and our troops are dying and losing limbs to, protect and defend the Constitution of Iraq and its sovereign borders. That is not the mission the taxpayers or our military should have ever been given in a nation of people that do not want that Constitution or Sovereignty.

If we leave we will have to continue to fight terrorism wherever it rears up. If we stay there, WE STILL have to fight terrorism wherever it rears up.

So, to make your long story short, we have nothing to lose by removing our troops and curtailing spending on Iraq’s Civil War. But, we have many bodies, lives, and billions of dollars to save if we do.

It really is that simple. OIL, you say? Bottom line, we won’t get off it unless it is in short supply. So, if some oil is stopped from flowing because of Middle East instability, in the end we will better off for having adapted to a much lower oil dependent state anyway.

We pay more for oil later if the Middle East becomes unstable, or we pay more now to protect and defend the Constitution of Iraq. Either way, we will pay.

See, Dawn, it’s not that complicated when one puts one’s fears aside and looks at the situation squarely and without a prior agenda or bias. Of course, such a view of things is scary as hell for a politician.

How does an incumbent win on less than stellar results of past actions? Promise better results if reelected, even if the truth says such promises are a lie.

I heard a Republican Representative on C-Span this morning say, we are fighting in Iraq to protect and defend our way of life here. What a fantastik lie that was. He said Democrats want to “bleed” the troops, bleed the funding for their mission in Iraq. Bleed the victory from America’s grasp.

The only bleeding going on is by our troops and thousands of Iraqis, but not because of cutting funding, but because of FUNDING their role as monkey in the middle of a civil war with both sides aiming at them.

Again, the simple truth is, if the funding isn’t there for the Iraq civil war, the troops will be withdrawn from Iraq’s civil war, and the bleeding and maiming of our soldiers will slow or halt.

What General isn’t going to be fired for sending our troops into battles for which they have no bullets? That whole argument that cutting funding will hurt our troops is pure bullcrap. All that will happen is their mission will change definition toward mission’s which they are funded adequately for.

The lies and deceit Republicans are spewing out today is about this issue is glaring example of politicians grasping at straws to fend off owning the consequences of their bad decisions.

We have a lot more house cleaning to do in 2008 in Congress. There are a still a large number of irresponsible and incompetent incumbents on both sides of the aisle to remove from office before this country can get back to serving the people instead of killing them and bankrupting their futures.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 14, 2007 1:39 AM
Comment #211890

Good post, David.
I’m pretty disgusted with the way that the Dems can’t seem to all get on the same page together about getting us out of Iraq. It seems pathetic — most especially since they won because the American people want out of the war pronto. That said, I understand that they didn’t get enough of a majority to make anything happen without really major struggles.
As for the GOP, they are clearly doing all they can to keep honest debate and decisive moves on the Dems part from happening. I think however, that if they continue to keep this up, and never really step away from supporting this utterly failed and disastrous administration, their party is going to end up paying an even heavier price in the next election.
The American public is paying closer attention now because they aren’t getting what they thought they were voting for. Thus, they’re now starting to realize that it is the opposition that is truly stalling any discussion of our withdrawing. If the violence and the casualties continue to grow as they have been, and we begin to lose even larger numbers of our troops as a result, they will deserve most of the blame, and will undoubtly be complete toast in ‘08.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 14, 2007 2:33 AM
Comment #211895

Adrienne,

The problem of poitics is at hand here. Everyone would like to roll back the clock about 6 years and take back the vote for Bush. That isn’t going to happen. He should be impeached, but it isn’t in the political cards.

The smart political play here is to resist and force Bush to continue to promote his failed policy. Sadly more soldiers will die and more hatred of Americans will be generated by this tactic. It isn’t a matter of will, it’s pragmatism.

If you cut funding and force withdrawal, you play into the Republican political ploy of blaming Bush’s folly on the Democrats. It’s a cynical politic to continue a war that has clearly resulted in the wasted deaths of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Sadly, to silence the idiots who think there is something left to win there, it will take continued failure up until the election. That there are those blind still to these failures is sad commentary on these citizens. The political play is to continue the drip, drip, drip of imcompetence and lies promulgated by the administration and promoted by the Republican Party. This will erode even some of the hard core.

Pelosi is not a fool. Exposing the Nazi lies took walking the Germans in front of the concentration camps. Exposing the Republican lies will taking making the American public witness the death throes of a elemental lie. The Bush administration. There will be no impeachment. There will be continued lies, exposure, and incompetence. It isn’t easy to watch, but necessary.

Posted by: gergle at March 14, 2007 5:38 AM
Comment #211905

Gee, politicians voting based on popular opinion instead of the facts? And this is suprising……how? The only difference between now and, say, six years ago is that current circumstances is throwing their behavior into sharp relief. Congress members are like teachers: tenure is their holy grail. All else falls by the wayside.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at March 14, 2007 9:46 AM
Comment #211915

That’s why they call it Do-Nothing Congress.

Just look at what our Congress is doing while our troops are risking life and limb. While are troops are dying, Congress voted itself 8 raises between 1997 and 2006. But, why shouldn’t they get raises since they are doing such a wonderful job, eh?

But, voters bear half of the responsibility, because voters keep repeatedly re-electing them; rewarding them; giving them a cu$hy, coveted 90% re-election rate.
It’s really not hard at all to see why Congress is called the Do-Nothing Congress. Voters keep rewarding them for it.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 14, 2007 11:04 AM
Comment #211928

Lance,

‘For what it’s worth you just gave me verbal whiplash!’

Give me a break. I try to start a discussion and I get - this belongs in the Red column.

I wasn’t aware that the Green column wasn’t allowed to ‘lean’.

Actually, I tried to be equal in my bashing of our political parties. If it did not come across to you that way…

What do I want?
I want Malaki’s phone # so I can tell him to get his head out of his Shi’a Muslim ass.
Maliki urges regulation of Iraq’s oil wealth
“US State Department spokesperson Tom Casey denied the administration would withdraw support. “The notion that we have in any way shape or form threatened to bring down his government over this law is simply untrue,” he said in Washington.”
WHY NOT?

“To that end, al-Maliki made an unannounced visit Tuesday to Ramadi, the Sunni Arab insurgent stronghold, to meet with tribal leaders, the provincial governor and security chiefs in a bid to signal his willingness for reconciliation to end the bitter sectarian war that has riven Iraq for more than a year.

Compounding al-Maliki’s fears about a withdrawal of American support were visits to Saudi Arabia by two key political figures in an admitted bid to win support for a major Iraqi political realignment. Saudi Arabia is a major US ally and oil supplier.”


I want al-Sadr in prison.
I want UBL dead.
I want the US to be more clear with the Iraqi’s that they ARE responsible for much of the mess and that THEY need to take the lead in stopping the violence.

I want our politicians to stop debating this issue in the press via soundbites - for political gain - and get behind closed doors and come up with a solution we can all understand and support.

It is my opinion, that because we are in never-endering election cycles, this may never happen.
It is also my opinion that the Dems are hem-hawing around because they do want to give the surge a chance while appearing to be for removing the troops immediately.
The debate is on right now.. we’ll see. -If we can get past the butt kissing….
Start removing troops in 120 days? Sounds like they are giving the surge a chance - how long was that expected to last to begin with?

I want our government to make it clear that we will still support Israel - because we have to I guess - while speaking LOUD & CLEAR that we are not promoting the destruction of everything Muslim.
We have got to start winning in the propaganda war - that some believe we shouldn’t even be involved in … for whatever reasons.

The Muslims not only fight & kill us - they fight & kill each other.
The hatred for us did not start with Bush, and they have been killing each other for eons, -but this Congress has the chance to correct problems and get this fight against terrorism back on track.


Posted by: Dawn at March 14, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #211936

Great article Dawn.
Interesting how doing nothing to stop “the evil Bush” was bad but is now ok isn’t it.
We’ll keep seeing that more and more too.

And don’t forget now, EVERYTHING wrong in the world started in the year 2000. Demanding action or questioning the left automatically means you should be in the red column.

Posted by: kctim at March 14, 2007 12:37 PM
Comment #211967

Agree with your last comment entirely, Dawn. Well said.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 14, 2007 3:54 PM
Comment #211997

We are stuck where we are at because neither the President or members of the House and Senate did their due dillegance. Should this surprise us? They pass enourmous budgets every year; does anyone beleive that they actually understand what is in there?


There is no intelligent debate that is taking place because there is a deft lack of interest any longer in dealing with facts. Everyone from a partisan standpoint is set on what they think is right, that the facts have become irrelevant.

The politicians are doing what they need to do to make sure that they satsify ther partisan constituents and doners without alienating the moderate voters, while the true majority of the people in this country are so tired of all the crap that they have checked out figuring that there is nothing they can do to incite change.

Perhaps if everyone could let go of their hard headedness we could have an honest review of the facts, and an honest dabate (not empty speaches made to empty chambers) we might be able to put something together that might have a chance at bringing resoltion.

I’m not holding my breath.

Posted by: Shorty at March 14, 2007 5:55 PM
Comment #212031

Is it that shocking that the Dems are having trouble when 90% of encumbants were reelected in 2006? The problem never went away. There was a shift in majority, however, little shift in thinking.

Posted by: Honest at March 14, 2007 9:32 PM
Comment #212097

Gergle:

“Sadly, to silence the idiots who think there is something left to win there, it will take continued failure up until the election. That there are those blind still to these failures is sad commentary on these citizens. The political play is to continue the drip, drip, drip of imcompetence and lies promulgated by the administration and promoted by the Republican Party. This will erode even some of the hard core.”

There is much truth to what you say. However, there are several caveats to such “pragmatism.”

First, there is a moral imperative that precludes the drip, drip, drip method of enlightening the unenlightened. There is a dangerous damage being done to the younger generation, and the world view at large, that witnesses such cynicism from a great power, that wrings it’s hands at its own inability to marshall a political will to end a hated criminal enterprise. There is a very high price to be paid by taking impeachment off the table. It won’t be just the GOP that pays that price, believe me.

Secondly, there is an unspoken assumption by most of us here that things will continue in their murderous way in Iraq, without any blowback or unpredictable consequence. This assumption may be the height of folly—there is no assumption more dangerous in my view, that is, that things will continue in this vein. The entire Middle East is a tinderbox, and unintended consequences flowering from a cynical ‘do-nothing’ approach until January 2009, whatever you may think of the moral imperative, may be a path that confirms a diaster unforseen.

With this administration, unforseen and unintended consequences are a given. No impeachment? No linking of funding for this war to a pullout? Okay—but we have 22 months until this administration leaves office (maybe). That we will allow another 2000-2500 American dead (if we’re ‘lucky’), another, say, 100,000 Iraqi dead, as well as increased chance of war with Iran—all simply because we can’t end our war madness… that is a cynicism, a helplessness, a moral cowardice that ill-serves our nation, or the principles we suppossedly believe in.


Posted by: Tim Crow at March 15, 2007 2:01 PM
Comment #212124
Honest wrote: Is it that shocking that the Dems are having trouble when 90% of encumbants were reelected in 2006? The problem never went away. There was a shift in majority, however, little shift in thinking.
You’re right.

The problem never went away.
The two-party duopoly just takes turns being irresponsible and unaccountable.
Yet, too many of the 200 eligible voters (78 million that don’t even bother to vote) keep on rewarding the politicians for it, by repeatedly re-electing them, which simply makes them more irresponsible, as the nation’s pressing problems continue to be ignored and continue to grow in number and severity.
We need a Article V Convention to address many badly-needed, common-sense amendments that Congress refuses to address.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 15, 2007 4:25 PM
Comment #212177

Tim,

I agree with you that there is a moral imperative to end the killing in this war.

But political reality is political reality. Joe Scarborough recently stated that the Dems have had supoena power for only 6 weeks, yet they go from scandal to scandal. Something may stick and lead to an impeachable offense. But that egg has not hatched.

As much you and I may wish to end things, wars have ways of tumbling out of control, and political reality is that the Commander in Chief holds the reigns of the military. Defunding the troops prematurely would be a tactical error politically. It would likely prolong the war and may return a Republican majority and president in 2008.

This albatross will have to stink it’s way to 2008 unless unforseen circumstances intervene.

Posted by: gergle at March 15, 2007 9:33 PM
Comment #212190

I knew when the dems took over that pretty much nothing was going to change. The two parties say they are different but their agendas and objectives are pretty much the same.It is very much the time for a third party, the only problem is enough people need to be pulled off of the republican and dem parties at the same time to make it successful.

I seriously wish Lou Dobbs would run.
He’s about as American as it gets.
He’s a bit overboard on immigration but I think we should be letting anyone come here that wants but they are not eligible for any benefits until 10 years after they sign up to be here. That would solve an immense amount of issues.


Posted by: jrjr at March 15, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #212214
or allow the General they just unanimously put in charge to carry out the plan approved when he was appointed.

Dawn, nobody approved the plan when they put Petraeus in charge. Had Congress failed to approve Petraeus’ promotion, his career would have been over. Petraeus is a good good guy and nobody wanted to screw him. It had nothing to do with Bush’s plan.

I want al-Sadr in prison. I want UBL dead. I want the US to be more clear with the Iraqi’s that they ARE responsible for much of the mess and that THEY need to take the lead in stopping the violence.

That’s the President’s job. I’m pretty pissed that he’s not doing it as well.

Posted by: American Pundit at March 16, 2007 12:06 AM
Comment #212226

jrjr, no, that would not solve a host of issues, it would only compound them. You see, our 300,000,000 population is the root of all our problems. Adding to its numbers only compounds the demands on our national systems which are already creaking and groaning under the strain.

Remember Aristotle’s Prime Movers and Plato’s socratic method of stripping the definition of problems down to their nub and root cause.

Population growth is the source of our most of our problems. I should write an article about the myriad ways this is true. But, start with the premise that two families on a deserted island with ample life support environment have a microscopically small set of problems to deal with compared to our society. Only difference to account for magnitudes of difference in intractable and worsening problems in our society is population numbers.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 16, 2007 2:10 AM
Comment #212389

The problem is not with this congress, it goes back to Harry S Truman, who was given the power to send troops to Korea without a Act of War being declared, and since then every President as used this power that congress gave up, to send troops into ill thoughtout wars and conflicts. This was done by both parties i.e.
Congress needs to get some B***s, and tell the President no more, and to take back the power on where and how US Troops are sent to die for some ungreatfull person/nation, and for so called security, when we have illegals streaming across the borders.
Maybe the power to declare war should go with those that have served in the Military and have had to be away from family, see friends killed, or have had to kill, someone other then the President(current one a AWOL), or most of congress.

Posted by: KT at March 16, 2007 7:23 PM
Comment #212531
Kt wrote: Congress needs to get some B***s, and tell the President no more, and to take back the power on where and how US Troops are sent to die for some ungreatfull person/nation, and for so called security, when we have illegals streaming across the borders.
Absolutely.

Unfortunately, Congress won’t become responsible until the voters do.

And that ain’t gonna happen as long as voters keep rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them; by blindly pulling the party-lever and wallowing in the circular, divisive, distracting partisan warfare

Until then, the nation’s pressing problems will continue to grow in number and severity … at least until that becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 17, 2007 5:44 PM
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