From Stop the Madness http://msnoh.tripod.com
CONTENTS: Stopping the Ashman, Senate Fax lists, Super Ex-Presidents, DC Crackdown for Shrub Coronation, Undercounting the Overvote, Kathy’s Comeuppance, March on DC, How the Networks Got It Wrong, Relativity, Talk Soup, 585 Law Profs Protest Supremes, An Offensive Defense
Your help is required to Stop the Abominable Nomination of Ashcroft. Fax YOUR or my letter to these Senators: bolds (Judiciary Committee + liberals) first. This is the most important thing you can do in the next 5 years. It’s vital to stop this horror show appointee.
‡ Senate systems may be set to reject more than 5-10 grouped e-mails, or your browser/e-mail client may have a limit, so try small groups.
We strongly urge you to reject the nomination of John Ashcroft for Attorney General. He is the worst nominee for any cabinet position in the last half-century, way too extreme in philosophy and position to hold this sensitive and powerful position. Top-cop is not the place for someone who would deliberately violate the boundaries of church and state, someone who believes that birth control should be prohibited, let alone abortion, someone who has shown his contempt for the Constitution by conspiring to oppose and delay Judicial nominees for years, someone whose commitment to civil rights and the environment is negligible, someone who would endorse and expand the imprisonment of 2 million citizens by stiffening draconian drug penalties.
Please don’t adhere to the royalist notion that you can’t oppose a fellow Senator, another member of “The Club”. After this tawdry bitter election, that attitude smacks of another form of corruption. Don’t presume you must find a smoking gun to reject Ashcroft: his radical and reactionary principles are sufficient to render him inadequate (like the atrocious Clarence Thomas- we’ve seen the fruit of that bush). Coupled with 1-3 more appointments to the brazen right-wing Supreme Court, a hard-right AG could damage civil liberties in ways that would render America unrecognizable in a decade. The Afghan Taliban and murderous mullahs of Iran demonstrate the risks of the fundamentalist path. Although Ashcroft is congenial and friendly, Advise and Consent isn’t an opportunity to rubber stamp acquaintances - it’s a sworn duty to make sure that unqualified or dangerous candidates aren’t handed powerful executive reins. And his promises to defend women’s choice shouldn’t be taken seriously, as Bush’s promise to be a uniter shouldn’t have been.
Additionally, Ashcroft may be intended to fail: he may be a sacrificial lamb to appease and energize the extreme right-wing, and to give wounded Democrats some red meat to appease their outrage over the foul tricks of this election. If he is passed anyway, Democrats may as well lay down in the road to be rolled over, because it will be a signal that they are weak and perhaps afraid at the semi-coup that installed our new Loser-in-Chief. It’s a gesture of contempt to the vast center of the country.
All it would take is for 2-3 Democrats to state that he will not fly, or threaten a filibuster, and Bush would fold. Boxer, to her enormous credit, has. For the sake of our country, laws, and future, you must do so and force Bush to chose a more mainstream candidate.
In addition, you might mention something about Norton, who should be seen only on the Honeymooners- although I don’t want to confuse the issue. Norton’s miserable record: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/13/politics/13NORT.html Ashcroft is the nightmare appointee that a Bush regime always had the potential to do. One Nation writer thinks Whitman would disembowel the EPA: http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20010129&s=ireland
PASTEABLE SENATE FAX LIST (dems + liberal Repubs)
Names relate to same position in faxes; Top 3-4 lines most important
If you must enter faxes as items use a,b,c…, but many programs allow you to paste in a group.
* new Senators
Kennedy Leahy, Wellstone Reed Schumer* Durbin Kohl
Cantwell*, Stabenow*, Corzine*, Biden, Clinton,H* Carnahan* Feingold
Lincoln, Feinstein, Boxer, Murray, Harkin, Kerry, Mikulski
Daschle, Kennedy,P Nelson,Ben* Graham Lieberman Cleland Levin
Inouye Akaka Bayh Landrieu Breaux Sarbanes Rockefeller
Baucus Edwards Conrad Dorgan Torricelli Bingaman Reid
Wyden Hollings Johnson,T Byrd Nelson,Bill* Miller* Carper*
202-224-2417, 202-224-3479,202-224-8438, 202-224-4680, 202-228-3027, 202-228-0400, 202-224-9787,
202-228-0514, 202-228-0325, 202-228-2197, 202-224-0139, 202-228-0282, 202-228-0043, 608-828-1203,
202-228-1371, 202-228-3954, 202-228-1338, 202-224-0238, 202-224-9369, 202-224-8525, 202-224-8858,
202-224-7895, 202-225-3290, 202-228-0012, 202-224-2237, 202-224-9750, 202-224-0072, 202-224-1388,
202-224-6747, 202-224-2126, 202-228-1377, 202-224-9735, 202-228-2577, 202-224-1651, 202-224-7665,
202-228-3687, 202-228-1374, 202-224-7776, 202-224-1193, 202-224-8567, 202-224-2852, 202-224-7327,
202-228-2717, 202-224-4293, 202-228-5765, 202-228-0002, 202-228-2138, 202-228-2090, 202-228-2190
Patrick Kennedy is listed because of his influence with his father, Ted. A filibuster (or threat of) may be necessary.
Chafee,L Collins Snowe Jeffords Grassley Specter Hatch
Not fax nowß
401-453-5294, 202-224-2693, 202-224-1946, 202-228-0776, 202-224-6020, 202-228-1229, 202-224-6331
202-224-2207, 202-224-6519, 202-224-3149, 202-224-1353, 202-228-3997, 202-224-5213
Senate Judiciary Committee
202-224-2417, 202-224-3479, 202-228-3027, 202-228-0400, 202-224-9787, 202-228-0514, 202-224-0139,
202-224-6020, 202-228-1229, 202-224-6331, 202-224-2207, 202-224-6519, 202-224-3149, 202-224-1353
We’ve missed 2-3 Dems- let me know who they are or if any fax numbers are bad. Most right-wing (75%) Repubs aren’t listed, since they are beyond hope. It might be smart to concentrate on Judiciary Com, but Ashford was a longtime member and was assisted in his most grievous offense, conspiring to delay and permanently block the Presidents appointments to the Fed. Courts by Orin Hatch and others. This was the greatest offense to the Constitution in the last decade (till Impeachment and bushycoup), simply preventing the President from filling Judicial slots and violating the separation of powers. They are among the Ashman’s best buddies. This must be stopped by the Dems in the Senate- maybe by a filibuster (or threat of) by 3 or more committed Senators. That’s why concentrating on Kennedy, Schumer, Wellstone and the women Ashcroft would like to imprison if they violate his religious code, is best. They are in the first 3 rows. The Repubs that might break w the lunatics are in the first row- esp Chafee, who is furious at the right wing defeat at their liberal whip nominee.
SUPER EX-PRESIDENTS: Jimmy Carter has said in interviews that if he was observing the election in Florida, his International Vote Observer group would not have certified Florida, they wouldn’t have even monitored USA, because the system is so varied and arbitrary: http://www.herald.com/content/archive/news/elect2000/decision/058861.htm
BRAVE NEW ABROGATION of RIGHTS: For the first time ever the Secret Service is considering the inauguration a “national security event”, with all the attendant restrictions. Henceforth protesters are all to be considered potential terrorists (we haven’t seen this attitude since Nixon- no we’ve never seen it). Thought those confused WTO + World Bank protesters were cutting their own throat, by the time some serious outrage happens, like this foul election, a massive preemptory police reaction force is in place- overwhelming police presence, million dollar bail, unconstitutional arrests, absurd assessments (puppets are dangerous), miles of chain link fence to separate people + force long detours Isn't political protest (esp. against such a rotten election) a fundamental part of the Constitution and American democracy? Not, perhaps, for long.DC sealed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49708-2001Jan11.html
UNDERCOUNTING THE OVERVOTE: When the Supremes were plaintively told by Repubs about the lost overvote, it was obviously yet another cheap trick to delay the counting. But they were RIGHT. An Orlando Sentinel investigation in Republican Lake Co. (NW of Orlando) found 622 votes (out of 3114 overvotes + 88,000 total) in which people voted for a candidate and also voted for that candidate as a write-in, normally voiding their ballot. The stunner was that although the county went 15% more for Bush than Gore, the net change was 130 more votes for Gore. There were also hundreds more obvious ones crossed out (w “wrong” or erased) that went heavily for Gore. Dems are just incompetent voters. Although statistically worthless (since it only applies to the 16 counties that use the same machine), extrapolated out statewide that would yield 43,000 more votes never before considered- 73% Gore. So GORE WON- any way you counted em, except Kathy’s way.
KATHY’S COMEUPPANCE- As we predicted in the beginning of Dec, Harris will spend years in court- the Fl Sec State (+ some supervisors) were hit with a blunderbuss suit from a vast coalition of liberal groups (ACLU,PFAW,NAACP) alleging suppression of votes, discriminatory practices, etc. We haven’t seen Harris’s performance on Prime Time Live yet (in the can), but she finally got some prof. make-up advice.
Fm BosGlobe: “The largest single bill so far is for $682,266, submitted by the law firm of Steel, Hector and Davis to represent Secretary of State Katherine Harris in 40 lawsuits around the state. One item on that bill is $10,000 for a chartered airplane to take attorney Joe Klock from Tallahassee to Washington to appear before the US Supreme Court. Expenses for a special legislative session ordered by House Speaker Tom Feeney and Senate President John McKay to consider whether to appoint the state's electors for George W. Bush total more than $425,000.”
MARCH ON WASHINGTON - January 20th - http://DemocracyMarch.org
HOW THE NETWORKS GOT IT WRONG: The complete story of the election night mistakes from our contributor Michael Hammerschlag on MediaChannel.org The following story about the nature of lies + evil is also on OnlineJournal.com http://www.onlinejournal.com/Commentary/Hammerschlag011001/hammerschlag011001.htm
There was a point in this terrible election where it became all clear, like a B+W photo in developer, that they were going to get away with it- that the Republicans would manage to stop the recount and force their man into the White House.. against all reason, facts, and fairness. That point was when Bob Dole and Christine Whitman, moderates of whom one might have expected a dollop of justice, paraded down to Florida and added their voices to the congealed impervious mass of Republicans parroting the amazing lie that humans couldn’t fairly count votes… though we had managed quite well for 200 years. It was a betrayal of integrity, of honesty, of decency, that left one breathless in its audacity. Wasn’t there one Republican who had any bedrock respect for our Constitutional principles, who had any principles beyond their own Party’s self-promotion, who would publicly speak out against this intellectual violence? As in the Impeachment, apparently not. A candidate that had campaigned on “bringing back integrity” endorsed the most cynical untruth possible, one that dwarfed Monica. Republicans mobilized every branch of government in their service- it was total war, while Democrats wrung their hands, and pundits relentless pressured the winner (by 1/3 million votes then) to concede.
If Katherine Harris couldn’t deliver Florida by her machinations (ordering supervisors to stop legitimate hand counts, throwing thousands of out of state innocent “felons” off the rolls- 30% of all blacks), then maybe the Fl Supreme Ct. or US Court of Appeals would (they didn’t). If not them, the Florida legislature prepared to usurp their own voter’s will in the most naked abuse of power we have seen in ages. If not them, the Supreme Court prepared to throw out every principle they espoused to cobble together a decision so shoddy that every American election in history would be invalidated by its application. For the Bushmen, losing was not an option. But if losing wasn’t an option, then this wasn’t an election and we aren’t a democracy- which brings us back to the conundrum of preventing a fair recount. Future eons of schoolchildren will ask, “Why did people let this happen?” Simply, the Democrats didn’t care enough, and the Republicans were willing to do anything to win. Add 98 million couch potatoes who couldn’t get off theirs’ to vote. And pundits just didn’t like Al.
Democracy and our entire electoral process rely on good will, on public-spirited decency far more than people realize. Election officials (which I’ve been a couple of times) aren’t supposed to be impartial, indeed, they aren’t allowed to be impartial- you must be a member of the 2 parties to be a poll worker. The theory is of balanced power and a passionate interest, but in practice, it often relies on people to: ‘due unto others as you would have them (lest they) do unto you’. If this overweening principle collapses far enough, the entire system breaks down and isn’t easily reconstitutable, which is why all-out political war is rightly feared by many. In this election, the Bush forces shredded that principle and demonstrated a deep contempt for democracy. If conditions had been reversed and Bush was ahead by 700 votes, do you think for one second that Gore would have opposed recounting the votes? He is such a civic stickler that he wouldn’t even let the black Reps talk about their motion to contest Florida electors when the Loser-in-Chief was certified the victor Sat.. The Republicans have been fighting no-holds-barred for 20 years now, since 1980, Reagan, Terry Dolan, and NCPAC; and almost rabidly since Clinton’s ascension. Democrats, however, have maintained a befuddled civility as if they couldn’t quite understand why the Republicans hated them so much, as the Republicans- fueled by hate radio - became dominated by extremists and fringe fundamentalists. Nothing demonstrated this vicious hatred better than the demonstrators picketing and harassing the Vice-President at his home to “get out of Dick Cheney’s house”, as the Presidency was corruptly and violently ripped from his pocket. At some point hated and lies must be classified in their larger category: evil.
Politics all involves some damage to the truth, but when one repeat an egregious lie over and over, until half the country repeats (or believes) that untruth, you haven’t just damaged the system, you’ve damaged the very language and changed the firmament on which the system sits. And nothing is ever the same again. It’s been so in every dictatorship, as rulers conditioned their people to accept constantly rising levels of outrage, of violence, of enemies – internal and external - that must be warred against. And this lie involved the voting that’s the very basis of democracy. The next step of shifting relativity, already floated by Bushmen and perhaps soon to be picked up by vapid commentators, is to seal the votes- to prevent all this uncertainty and instability.
This is a different Bush, not one of noblesse oblige, but one of simmering anti-intellectual resentments; a compassionate conservative who drives his heart-surgeried Veep pal out of the hospital like a plow horse, who goes golfing 800 miles away as his daughter recovers from emergency surgery with orders to “clean out her room”; an Ivy league graduate so bereft of ideas that he had to reach ¼ century back to staff his administration, his Corporation USA/Bush; a West Texas product who believes that millionaires should be in control and what’s right for corporations is right for America. We are moving from the best public speaker in a century to the worst. Contrast this man with the Gore that warmly and graciously greeted every Senator in the historic swearing-in*, including his sworn opponents. It’s a matter of class. Bush only values money, power, and loyalty. Witness White House Counsel appointee Alberto Gonzales (who helped Bush avoid jury duty in DUI case), a potential Supreme Court nominee, as he swore his fawning fealty, his undying loyalty to Bush at his public debut. He would have kissed his ring, if Bush had one. It was embarrassing, and chilling in its exposition of the quality of Bush’s nominees.
The Ashcroft nomination could be seen as an act of contempt- offering up an extreme right-wing ideologue for top cop, but it’s something else. It’s a test: a sop to the hard right, who will be suitable energized if he is defeated, and some red meat to aggrieved Democrats to chew on. He isn’t supposed to be confirmed. If he is, the shell-shocked Dems will have demonstrated how weak and directionless they are (frightened?), and set themselves up to be steamrollered on a variety of issues. And America, prosecuted by a religious fanatic, judged by the Supreme Republicans, will take another giant step towards the terrifying shifting landscape of a dynastic reactionary relativistic ether, where the truth itself will…. depend.
And red is gray and gray is white, and we decide which is right. --- Moody Blues
*You have the President of the Senate: the Vice President who became President, but had the election stolen from him, greeting his running mate, the real next Vice President, but now Senator again, and the President’s wife, who is now also a Senator, while the President watched from the gallery; and the opposition beamed with pride, as if they hadn’t banded together en masse to strip the Presidency from Veep, who would in 2 weeks, …. be nothing. If this were a TV movie with Alan Alda, you’d turn it off for being too absurd.
As an example of this shifting realty: in Texas, Stalinist TX Repubs prevailed on the publisher to remove Gore from student textbooks: http://www.dallasnews.com/texas_southwest/205959_textbooks_03te.html
585 LAW PROFESSORS Protest Supreme Decision: http://www.the-rule-of-law.com/statement.html
AN OFFENSIVE DEFENSE: Gb2’s obsession with creating the massive military defense contractor subsidy of a Nat. Missile Defense will blind him to the dangerous and negative affects on allies and enemies. The only reason for an NMD is an accidental or terrorist launch of missiles by Russia, which has some small measure of probability. Against any massed attack, it would almost assuredly be worthless. Immediately, it would threaten the SALT agreements and enrage our allies, Russia, and China. And of course, Moslem terrorists would use a cargo ship docking at 42nd St., not some Pakistani missile that would ensure the origin country’s destruction.
More alarming is Bush’s determination to not make any special effort to relate to Russia, to treat them as just another country in some West Texas macho tough guy way. This will throw away the connections painfully gained in the last decade (inc. those by his father) and is contemptibly stupid. Russia is the only country that has thousands of nuclear warheads pointed at us and the only one that’s ever seriously contemplated their use- it will always be special, and so deserve special treatment and handling. Not doing so will mean that during some mistake or accident, precious personal relationships that could stop terrifying escalation… won’t exist.
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