Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

What Congress really needs is more fools!

What Congress really needs is more fools!

It says something when the most insightful and effective legislator in the US Senate is a comedian: Al Franken (D-MN).

Al Franken Gets Alleged KBR Rape Victim Her Day In Court
Franken’s stern words for Obama administration revealed
Franken could be US fiscal savior
Comcast execs make few guarantees to Franken
Franken chairs as ‘Vote-a-rama’ begins

Copyright © 2010 Henry Edward Hardy

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25 March, 2010 Posted by | Congress, liberal, media, Minnesota, news, politics, scanlyze, Senate, US | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A response to Ron Suarez’ A New Ann Arbor City Council Resolution to End the War in Iraq?

A response to Ron Suarez’ A New Ann Arbor City Council Resolution to End the War in Iraq?

Note: the antiwar resolution mentioned on Ron’s site was passed by the Ann Arbor City Council in March, 2007.

Ron said:

I received this request from Michigan Peaceworks to support a new Ann Arbor City Council resolution that would hopefully push Congress to bring an end to the war in Iraq…

Here is their [Michigan Peaceworks] Proposed wording for a City Council Resolution:

We urge Congress to move in a bi-partisan way to address war policies in the Middle East. The United States now spends more on military defense than all other nations combined, but the world is less safe than when we embarked on our present policies. It is time for Congress to provide leadership by:

* re-establishing its on-going, joint authority with the President over war powers and war expenditures
* using Congressional appropriations authority to protect our troops by establishing conditions for their mobilization and deployment, conditions and time-lines for their return home, and needed assistance to veterans of our recent wars
* providing international humanitarian leadership
* developing a humanitarian budget to meet non-military needs of the worlds’ people, including our own
* using Congressional oversight to help strengthen international cooperation in peace-building

…But, I could use help identifying other government officials who could use a nudge in the correct direction.

John Dingell, D-MI

John Dingell. He often wears red.

His recent antiwar resolution, HR 3938 sounds good at first in that it reportedly withdraws the use of force authorization. The full text was not yet on Thomas when I wrote this. But the 2009 timeframe is too long. And this is a political cover for Dingell in that it distracts from what matters, which is his votes for the appropriations for the wars. Dingell’s resolution won’t pass both houses, and if it did it would be vetoed. He knows that.

If a majority of the House would refuse any more defense authorizations the war would end. Soon. Maybe some mainline Democrats want the war to continue. It is good for the business of the people who give them money. One hopes Dingell would not be in this category.

We need to focus in the short term on amending or defeating war appropriations. Resolutions like the proposed council resolution and HR 3938 give political cover to mainline Democrats who feel pressure from an increasingly frustrated public. But they don’t end the war. They give it political cover to continue.

What does Peaceworks mean that Congress should “move in a bi-partisan way?” Isn’t that kind of like a three-legged sack race? Seriously are the Democrats supposed to wait to defund the war until the Republicans turn into a pro-peace, anti-war party? This is a poor idea at best.

The Peaceworks resolution’s reference to “joint authority” between the president and Congress over “war spending and war powers” is inaccurate. The Constitution reserves these powers to Congress alone.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; ….

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; …

US Constitution, Article I, Section 8

The president is an executive of the People, who acting through their Legislature, make the laws and raise taxes. We rely on the President to obey and fairly enforce the laws, not to ignore, make, or break them. The president is not a sovereign. Bush is not “King (or warlord) of America”.

We oppose:

HR 2638: Making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes, in committee.

HR 2642: Making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes
, in committee.

HR 3222: Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes, resolving differences.

And we need to oppose any more continuing resolutions like Democratic sponsored H.J.RES.52: Making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 2008, and for other purposes, which Bush signed September 29, 2007.

Bush and the House and Senate Democrats like Dingell and Stabenow are pretending to disagree over the war to appeal to their base constituencies, while they are collaborating in continuing to fund it. I don’t have the same issue with Carl Levin, he and John Rockefeller have been fighting very hard behind closed doors on the war, concentration camps, and surveillance issues for a long time now.

What’s the cost to the citizen? Tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead; Thousands of American casualties; Military suicides and fragging incidents on the rise; America’s democracy and reputation in ruins; and $8,000 per person in the US through the next ten years. Or, if you want to look at it another way, $80,000 per person in Iraq. We could have bought all of Iraq intact for less than what it is costing to destroy it.

Feel-good resolutions without the force of law are a distraction and an impediment to holding our legislators accountable for real effective actions to end this garrison state of permanent war and neoconservative-neofascist oppression.

A New Ann Arbor City Council Resolution to End the War in Iraq?
Dingell bill sets date for Iraq pullout
War costs may total $2.4 trillion

See also, Bush on Iraq: ‘We’re Kicking Ass’
Letter to the youth of America
Scanlyze tag: Stabenow

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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24 October, 2007 Posted by | Afghanistan, Ann Arbor, budget, Carl Levin, city council, cost, Dingell, distraction, H.J.RES.52, H.R.2638, H.R.3222, House of Representatives, hypocrisy, Iraq, John Rockefeller, Levin, Michigan, Michigan PEaceworks, neocon, neoconservative, news, oppression, peace, permanent war, politics, resolution, Rockefeller, Ron Suarez, Senate, Stabenow, US House of Representatives, US Senate, war | Leave a comment

Follow-up on Resolution calling for Ending the Iraq War by Ann Arbor Democratic Party

Here’s a follow-up to Resolution calling for ending the Iraq War:

This is the text of the letter sent to Senators Levin and Stabenow and to Congressman Dingell on or about January 20 as provided to me by Susan Greenberg, Ann Arbor Democratic Party Chair [minor reformatting to fix word-wrapped lines from email–HH]:

Date: Saturday, January 20, 2007 4:04 PM -0500
From: [address removed for privacy reasons]
To: stabenow@senate.gov
Subject: Ann Arbor City Democratic Party urges end the war

Ann Arbor City Democratic Party, P.O. Box 4178, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106
734/480-4986, aadems@comcast.net

January 20, 2007

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
133 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Stabenow:

It is now time for the Iraq War to end. Despite the election results in
November 2006, the Bush administration seems hell bent on implementing the
McCain Doctrine ? a serious escalation in the number of US troops deployed
in Iraq. The American people, the people of the state of Michigan and
the people of the 15th district in Michigan support an end to this conflict
forthwith.

The Ann Arbor City Democratic Party asked me as chair to send this
letter to ask you to strongly and publicly support an end to the Iraq war. No
good can come from the continued US presence in Iraq. No good can come
from the additional loss of life an escalation in the war is likely to
cause.

Due to the malfeasance of the Bush administration, the US has no viable
option other than to as swiftly as possible end US military involvement
in this most misguided engagement.

We strongly encourage you to use all tools at your disposal to compel
the US government to end our nation’s involvement in the Iraq war.

Sincerely,

Susan Greenberg, Chair
Ann Arbor City Democratic Party

I called Senator Levin and Senator Stabenow in Washington to see if they had received, read and responded to the resolution and letter from the Ann Arbor Democratic Party organization regarding the Iraq War. Neither senator’s staff seemed to know what I was talking about.

I got a big run-around from Stabenow’s people, had to call three times and was told the first two that they were too busy to look for the resolution or tell me if Senator Stabnenow had yet seen it or replied. I had to remind them that I worked as a campaign volunteer for the Michigan Coordinated Campaign for six months last year helping to re-elect the Senator and ask if they would prefer that I table a resolution censuring her or asking for her expulsion from the party at this month’s State Convention before they suddenly found the motivation to locate the letter from Chairperson Greenberg they had had for almost two weeks.

Still waiting to hear from Justin at Levin’s office.

Dingell I know got our message because his wife Debbie was there to represent him at the meeting on Jan. 13 and endured some somewhat rough handling on his behalf. She also read a long letter from him which I’ll see if they can/will provide for posting here.

I wrote down some of the things said during the debate (paraphrased and mostly unattributed unless someone can provide me the names):

We support our young men and women in the Army and Navy.

Our children are dying.

I am losing my students to this war.

We urge that this war be ended this year.

No public involved in war wins — both sides lose.

Armies cannot establish democracies or establish societies.

We need to replace US troops with an international force.

We [Democrats] don’t want to own this war.

We ask that you rescind the Iraq War Authorization Act, PL 107-243 [that was me–moving to strike and replace language calling for immediate halt to funding–motion failed]

We ask that the United States government utilize diplomatic means to resolve international issues.

Any mother mourns the loss of her son or a daughter in war equally; wherever she lives; in Iraq or America, be it a grand palace or a hut so rude. [That is my poor paraphrase from memory from a very moving speech from former Congressman Ray Clevenger, D-Mich].

I’d also say many of us had tears in the eyes during this debate and I do now again thinking of it.

We debated passionately for two hours until we were told our room reservation was up and the University of Michigan was kicking us out. Then we voted in the affirmative, with the no votes split about equally between those who thought the resolution too strong and those who thought it too weak. My motion for unanimous consent was shouted down.

I would like to give credit to Dana Barton, Tim Colenback, Kathy Linderman; and Carlos Acevedo; who submitted the two draft resolutions we used to forge the resolution which was passed. And thanks to Susan Greenberg for getting me the copy of her letter as sent.

see also: Resolution calling for ending the Iraq War

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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3 February, 2007 Posted by | Ann Arbor, archives, Army, Congress, democratic, Dingell, funding, Iraq, letter, Levin, media, Michigan, military, Navy, news, peace, politics, protest, resolution, scanlyze, Senate, Stabenow, US Congress, US Senate, war | 1 Comment