3/17/2005

A really bad day...

From Will Pitt of Truthout:
So...to recap:
Neocon warlord Paul Wolfowitz will head the World Bank;
The White House illegally puts out fake news reports, and the Justice Department does nothing;
Another $81 billion of your money and mine is to be poured onto the Iraqi sand;
The GOP majority in Congress is preparing to trash 200 years of Senate tradition in order to post a number of certifiably insane people to the bench;
Kevin Martin, a conservative Christian activist for the GOP, will now chair the FCC;
The Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve, one of the most ecologically pristine areas remaining to us, will be paved and drilled for its tiny amount of petroleum.
And that was just yesterday.
The list of appalling and abominable and flatly criminal acts perpetrated by this administration is literally becoming too long to manage. I suppose this is what happens when the entire government is owned by one party. I suppose this is what hapens when that one party is owned lock, stock and barrel by a cancerous combination of oil companies, weapons manufacturers and Rapture-happy fundamentalist Christians who think God put dinosaur bones in the ground to mess with our heads. This is what happens when the ‘opposition party’ sells its people down the river. Let us be clear: The Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve is about to be ravaged for one reason. Three Democratic Senators jumped the fence and voted with the drill bits, undoing a twenty-year-long fight to preserve the land. Senators Landrieu, Akaka and Inouye were the reason this went 51-49 the wrong way. Advocates for drilling in ANWR have said the issue is nobody’s business but the Alaskan people’s, so there is some irony in the fact that one Senator from Louisiana and two from Hawaii – the three of whom are a combined 20,000 miles away from Alaska - made the difference here. Mary Landrieu’s constituents include a bustling petrochemical industry out there in the Gulf, and I guess Akaka and Inouye somehow think drilling in Alaska will make Hawaii’s expensive gas a little cheaper. Seems worth it, don’t you think? This isn’t the first time Ms. Landrieu has gone sideways on an important vote. She voted in favor of cloture on the ruinous bankruptcy bill, and then voted for the bill itself. In a statement about her ANWR vote, Landrieu said, "My colleagues and I have been encouraged in recent days that a revenue-sharing measure is forthcoming that will benefit our coastal oil- and gas-producing states. Hopefully, we'll be able to get this done this year, just as we have helped Alaska today." Yeah. Thanks for the help. Here’s the thing, Mary: Democrats from all across the country contributed to your campaign in 2002. A lot of people worked very hard for you. Your victory was one small bright spot in the debacle that was the 2002 midterm elections, a debacle that included the death of Paul Wellstone, a man whose eyes you could not now meet were he alive today to see how you’ve been voting. A lot of people helped you, and ANWR belonged to all of us. Your betrayal here is epic in its proportions, yet sadly all too common these days...This weekend, a global protest will be taking place. Here in America, there will be demonstrations in 574 cities and towns in all 50 states. Ostensibly, this protest is to be aimed at the anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It needs to be about more than that now. It needs to be about public, vocal citizen action in and of itself. It needs to be about We The People reaching out to the one recourse we have left while we still have it: The streets, our numbers and our voices. Yesterday was a bad, bad day. Today and tomorrow will probably be worse, and next month isn’t even to be contemplated. You are running out of options, so you’d better make use of the few arrows left in the quiver: Economic boycotts and the streets. Put your boogie shoes on.

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