Posts Tagged ‘George W. Bush’

It’s no secret that InSanity has long-favored W’s impeachment. Yet in the euphoria over Obama’s victory and the dream it represents, the soon-to-be-evicted White House resident has been diminished greatly — reduced, in my mind at least, to a petty, small-minded failure who is best ignored completely so as not to sully or distract us from the noble work ahead.  

On the other hand, that task is hollow if we don’t return to our founding values and rule of law. How can justice and fairness be restored throughout the land, how can our constitutional framework be given new vitality if those who violated their oath of office and destroyed countless lives won’t be held accountable? Will citizens ever truly cherish and defend their fundamental liberties if leaders are allowed to trample rights at will? Would it be possible to bring the Bush administration to justice in the spirit of a national civics lesson? 

I honestly don’t know the answer now.

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When Dennis Kucinich spoke earlier this week at the Democratic National Convention, the party censors excised a line from his prepared speech. Speaking of the Republicans, the words that Dennis wasn’t allowed to say were: “They’re asking for another four years — in a just world, they’d get 10 to 20.”

Truer words were never not said!

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been touring the country promoting her book “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters.” Considering what a dismal failure she’s been as leader of the House Democrats, it’s a wonder she expects anyone to take her seriously. The following account of her appearance in Philadelphia earlier this month is a perfect portrait of hypocrisy at a level that rivals George W. Bush’s when he talks about democracy. Pelosi’s words would be absolutely laughable if she weren’t playing us all for fools.

Thanks to Cheryl Biren-Wright, an indefatigable New Jersey patriot, for the kind of reporting that our local and national media fail to do. It’s a longer than usual post but well worth the read:




 Nancy Pelosi Book Signing: Know Your Power, Just Don’t Speak Truth to It

Inside Nancy Pelosi’s book signing in Philadelphia. Her remarks on Iran, Iraq – impeachment? And, what did this reporter ask that caused her to be escorted out of the building?

Arriving at the steps of the Free Library of Philadelphia Tuesday night where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was promoting her book, “Know Your Power,” I was promptly scolded by my good friend, activist Joanne O’Neill.

“What? No impeach sign? Here, take a sign,” Jo insisted. “Nope,” I replied. “I’m goin’ in.”

An hour earlier, I swallowed my pride – along with some bitter acid reflux – as I shelled out 17 bucks to purchase a book about “knowing my power” authored by a woman who spent the last few years wielding very little of it when it mattered the most. But, a little heartburn and forgoing a few lattes for the rest of the week was what it would take for me to get close enough to pose a question to the “most powerful woman” in America.

Having learned of the event just the day before, I was relegated to the simulcast room with about 60 others as the auditorium was sold out. I spotted one friendly in the crowd, but he was clearly in plotting mode so I decided to crack the binding of my new book while I waited for the Speaker to arrive. It was a quick read at just over 170 pages laced with anecdotes, some touching, some inspiring – okay, not so much.


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The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. ~Abraham Lincoln~

Last April, I received a letter from my congressman, Rush Holt, explaining his opposition to bringing impeachment charges against the president. As Independence Day approached, I wondered what stance Rush would have taken during the tumultuous debates that preceded the American Revolution. What follows is the letter I imagine he would have written to a constituent had he been in office then. It borrows heavily, and in places quite literally, from his letter about impeachment as well as the Declaration of Independence:

Dear Citizen,

Thank you for contacting me to urge armed rebellion against the Crown. I appreciate hearing from you and apologize for the delay in replying.

Like you, I believe King George III’s transgressions are many. Above all, I am angered by his attempts to: (a) impose taxes on us without our consent; (b) deprive us of the benefits of trial by jury; (c) transport us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses; and (d) take away our charters, abolish our most valuable laws, and alter fundamentally the forms of our government.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting armies of mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

In every stage of these oppressions, we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Although I would like to see us freed from the House of Hanover’s imperious yoke, armed rebellion would be unwise. The King’s approval ratings still hover around 20%–30%, irrefutable evidence that there is a lack of consensus in the colonies regarding the seriousness of his transgressions. I fear that taking up arms now will be seen as driven by petty slights and leave our colonies in even worse shape than now. We cannot use, or be perceived as using, rebellion as a way to nullify an existing decades-old relationship, or to express generalized anger and opposition to the King. Heaven forbid. With so many Loyalists among us, including small farmers, artisans, shopkeepers, wealthy merchants, Anglicans, slaves, and Indians — not to mention our own Governor, William Franklin, (Benjamin’s son) — it would be very polarizing to launch an insurrection at this time. Years ago, my family strongly opposed the protests against George III’s father, George II, for keeping mistresses and fathering an illegitimate son on the grounds that such outrage was needlessly partisan and hurtful to civic life.

Contrary to what others say, I do not come to this position out of political timidity. I am as bold a leader as you will find, and that is also true of my like-minded colleagues, especially the honorable Madam Pelosi who has courageously taken revolution off the table. Citizens who adamantly insist on the need to rebel would do well to listen to those obviously wiser citizens from whom I also hear, who believe that a successful insurrection would be militarily impractical and unachievable and worse than unwise.

Launching a revolution now would only stymie further efforts to undo the damage caused by the King’s policies. Most significantly, it would distract us from the day’s most important issue — the reason why Marie Antoinette and Louis Auguste have yet to consummate their marriage even now.

If George III’s approval ratings fell below 5%, perhaps the revolutionary cause would then have support. But it is not even close. It would be like bringing an accused suspect to trial without being assured that the jurors are predisposed to find the defendant guilty. No judicial system can afford such unpredictability at a trial’s outset.

For those in government who believe that the King has betrayed his sacred role, the task is to find a way to establish a record and reverse his evil policies. Any ideas? Do you think it’s a good idea to invite His Royal Highness to visit our shores and personally ask him to stop?

I want you to know that I have heard from many citizens like yourself who are frustrated with British tyranny. Two of the great strengths of our fledgling political experiment are the right to disagree and to vote for or against officeholders. I will continue to do my best to represent my district even if it means that 232 years from now, we will still be ruled by another corrupt and dangerous ruler named George.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.


Rush Holt

New Jersey Legislature

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On February 29, 2008, Nancy Pelosi visited Princeton as guest of honor at a fundraiser for our local Congressman. This was the color version of a b&w ad that greeted her in the local paper:

This next flyer was deemed a bit too confrontational for Princeton’s delicate sensibilities:
Protesters were kept hundreds of yards away from the hotel where Pelosi was speaking. It’s only right, after all, that lawmakers who send American men and women overseas to dodge bullets, rockets, and IEDs in an unjustified, catastrophic war, should be protected from critical words.

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GWB speaking to Robert Draper, author of “Dead Certain” (a book about the Bush presidency), about life in retirement—as quoted in the NY Times, September 2, 2007:

We’ll have a nice place in Dallas,” where he will be running what he called “a fantastic Freedom Institute” promoting democracy around the world. But he added, “I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch.” 

Only GWB could boast about his institute for promoting global democracy one moment, and anticipate being bored, the next.

Besides, what does he know about democracy anyway—other than how to subvert it?

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CNN has just reported that a fire has broken out at the National Archives and destroyed its original copies of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, and Bill of Rights. All that is left of the historic documents is a handful of ashes.

A sobbing, grief-stricken National Archives spokesman who wished to remain anonymous says that the loss is unfathomable and leaves the United States eternally stripped of its collective identity. While firefighters worked feverishly to douse the remaining flames, employees were observed outside the building wandering around in a state of shock, some lost in disbelief, others on their hands and knees weeping uncontrollably.

Although authorities have no idea at this point whether the fire was due to an accident, negligence, or terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security has already raised the national threat status to its highest level, “Red/Severe.” President Bush left Washington earlier today for an undisclosed location to oversee plans for the imminent invasion of Iran and North Korea. “We think it’s pretty obvious that this was a terrorist act by those two governments,” a senior official said. “They are the only axis-of-evil nations who hate our freedoms whom we have yet to destroy. America can’t wait for the next attack to start with a mushroom cloud over Crawford, Texas or the Eastern Shore of Maryland.”

Asked how the United States could possibly fight two formidable opponents concurrently with major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this official explained that the following categories of able-bodied citizens would soon be drafted: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, food stamp recipients, the unemployed, filers for bankruptcy protection, unmarried mothers, and registered Democrats.

UPDATE: An FBI investigation into the fire has been brought to an immediate halt by the White House. Press Secretary Tony Snow asserted at an emergency press briefing that FBI agents do not have the proper security clearance to look into this matter. His declaration aroused immediate suspicions that the Administration has something to hide.

2nd UPDATE: People magazine has uncovered evidence that the recent destruction of historical documents at the National Archives was an act of arson perpetrated by Karl Rove on orders from Vice President Cheney. The revelation sent millions of citizens into the streets and flooded the Congressional switchboard with demands for the president and vice president’s immediate removal from office and arrest. Concerned about the possible effects of a Republican backlash, and not wanting to appear soft on international terrorism or divide the country at a time of crisis, Democratic Congressional leaders are continuing to support the invasion of Iran and North Korea. In an emotional gathering on the steps of the Capitol just a few moments ago, they sang the national anthem and announced changes to the Patriot Act that would repeal the First Amendment and prohibit gay marriage.

Cross-posted at: Daily Kos

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What more can anyone say about our current president? The man is convinced he’s a leader, and despite his approval ratings in the mid-twenties, he may have a point. After all, who else in the world—besides the Pope—inspires hundreds of thousands of people on every continent to regularly take to the streets with colorful banners, high-energy chants, and passionate displays of emotion?

For several years now, I’ve been one of those people. This is a pictorial record, in reverse chronological order, of what I’ve had to say on these occasions.

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The People’s March for Peace, Equality, Jobs and Justice, Newark, NJ, August 25, 2007



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Anti-Bush Rally, Edison, New Jersey, May 30, 2007
The president came to a fund-raiser in Edison that was notable for the pathetic amount of money it raised and the few Republican candidates who dared to actually be seen with him. Two miles away, opponents were allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights. Fortunately, the progressive mayor of Edison, Jun Choi, intervened and arranged for the demonstrators to stand in a spot that the presidential motorcade would pass. I swear the president gave me a “thumbs-up” as he read my sign going 60 mph—


I guess he’s probably a slow reader though.


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GOTV Campaign, 2006 Elections, Princeton, NJ, October, 2006



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Anti-War Protest, New York City, April 29, 2006

For me, this one says it all:




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Protest against Condoleezza Rice Appearance at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, September 30, 2005

Princeton University pissed off a lot of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and concerned citizens when it invited Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to give the keynote address at the 75th anniversary of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Rice was welcomed by university administrators as a stellar example of the university’s motto, “Princeton in the Nation’s Service, and in the Service of All Nations,” and invited to join the faculty after her retirement from government service. As a convicted war criminal though, she may have trouble giving lectures in person.

(Click on thumbnail to view.)


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Anti-War Demonstration, Washington, DC, September 24, 2005

A huge anti-war mobilization took place in our nation’s capital less than a month after Katrina had nearly destroyed New Orleans. In the midst of a federal response that was equally disastrous, Bush praised FEMA’s head for “doing a heck of a job.” It was just what you’d expect from a White House occupant whose only success is holding everyone hostage to his failures.


The VIP dignitaries were a magnet for photographers before the march began. I confess to shamelessly positioning both myself and the sign in order to maximize our chances of being immortalized in print.

From the Washington Post website coverage:


(Click on thumbnail to view.)


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Communiversity , Princeton, NJ, April 30, 2005

We know that George likes to look to his heavenly father for guidance, but look at the mess that that’s created. Although I have nothing against Jesus personally, I’m much more interested in asking what a reasonable person would do in response to a challenging problem—someone like Einstein, for example, whose profound awe at the great mystery went hand-in-hand with his scientific search for truth. It was Einstein himself, in fact, who told me to produce these “W.W.E.D?” stickers for distribution at a Democracy for America booth at Princeton’s Communiversity street festival in April, 2005. The different designs were meant to appeal to different personality types.


(Click on thumbnail to view.)


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Protest against President Bush, Westfield, NJ, March 4, 2005

Westfield, NJ was one of those places Bush visited when he was pushing his privatization scheme for Social Security. Although these town hall meetings were conducted at taxpayer expense, only carefully screened supporters were allowed entry into the Presidential Bubble. Say what you will about New Jersey but in the last two presidential elections, most of its voters had enough common sense not to vote for this national embarrassment.




And here is my letter to the editor that was published in the Newark Star-Ledger soon afterwards:

To the Editor:

President Bush and I both visited Westfield last Friday to talk about Social Security. Interestingly, our paths never crossed—not surprising given the heavy-handed attempt to marginalize opposition voices.

While the president takes credit for tackling the “third rail” of politics, his actions are hardly courageous. A true leader would be seeking broad consensus on Social Security and listening to both sides. Instead, Bush hides in a protective bubble speaking only to supporters. Even he admits his solution doesn’t solve the problem he claims needs attention. In lieu of leadership, we get crisis mongering and bait-and-switch—the same duplicity that sold the Iraq war.

If this president were as interested in repairing, respecting, and reinvigorating representative democracy as he is in destroying Social Security, there’d be no need for street protests—or reason for police to act as they did. In treating non-violent demonstrators as would-be criminals undeserving of minimal decency and politeness the cops behaved like jackbooted thugs. Any balance between presidential security and honoring the right to assemble peacefully was distorted beyond recognition. It is yet another example of how our civil liberties are gradually eroding and our democracy diminishing under this hypocritical presidency.
Sp Spaceace

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Washington, DC Counter-Inaugural, January 20, 2005

Governor Ahnold of California is fond of calling his political opponents “girlie men.”
Our president persisted in calling his highly suspect 2004 election win a “mandate.” Someone had to set him straight and what better place to do it than at his inaugural parade.



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Protest March at the Republican National Convention, New York City, August 29, 2004



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