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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Impeach Him!

Posted: 05/05/05 16:43, Edited: 05/26/13 11:25

by Dave Mindeman

When we became embroiled (in excruciating detail) in the sex life of Bill Clinton, Conservatives in this country seemed to have no trouble with bringing this seaminess to an impeachment level. Well, I want your reaction to the following paragraph:

"...(C) reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjucntion of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

This is a paragraph from a secret memo retrieved and published by the London Times. It was written by Matthew Rycroft (a Downing Street foreign policy aide) on July 23, 2002. The memo was restricted as "SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL -- UK EYES ONLY".

Another telling paragraph: "The Defence Secretary (British) said that the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US congressional elections. The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. ....We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force."

"Fixed around the policy" ... "the case was thin". The clear implication is that we were being led to war and the reasons were being sought after the decision had been made. Is that the type of leadership we can put our confidence in going forward in a very uncertain world?

Does this rise to the level of an impeachable offense? Well, as Greg Palast (the author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy) puts it, "a conspiracy to commit serial fraud is, under federal law, racketeering. ... (but) the Mob's schemes never cost so many lives."

It is clear from that memo that the British and American government had cleared a course of action prior to raising the issues that would justify that action. That, ladies and gentleman, is clearly fraud.

George Bush campaigned on bringing honor and integrity back to the White House. It looks like we are still waiting....


Travelin' Norm

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 05/05/05 13:43

Check out this blog post over at Clever Pleasantry on Norm's "foreign" travel paid for by others. A small bite:

All told, Sen. Coleman has taken 36 privately funded trips. Most of them were paid for by PACs or lobbying groups.

My question would be whether or not his staff has been on some of these trips (and how many went.) I?m sure they have. Do they have to claim any expenses? Email Kevin Diaz and ask him to find out.

Coleman?s travel is completely unique in the Senate. His predecessor only made 15 privately funded trips during his last 2 years in the Senate; something Coleman has more than doubled.

The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Dick Lugar, has made 17 privately funded trips since the beginning of 03.

Senator Dayton has one privately funded trip in the same time period. Norm outpaces every member of the Foreign Relations Committee. His staff response is that his duties on this committee require travel. But virtually none of these privately funded trips is out of country.

Feudal (or is it futile?) System

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 05/02/05 21:30

By Dave Mindeman

Scene 1: The Middle Ages. The landowner has all the rights and your voting rights increase as you acquire more property. Tax collections, payment, and grievances involve only the landowners. The property owner's tenants have no rights. If taxes increase, the rent on the land increases. If the tenant objects, a new tenant is found. The Tenant's increased expenses reduces his ability to make a living and it's without redress or representation.

Scene 2: The 2005 Republican House Caucus and Governor. Proposals on the table -- "Truth in Taxation"-- meaning property owners, and only the owners, will get the right to weigh in on proposed property tax increases. Postcards with objections can trigger a referendum. Landlords get a postcard for EACH unit of property. Landlords get more than one card, tenants get none. In Minnesota, at least up until now, tenants could get some relief in a renters' credit as an umbrella against escalating tax triggered rent increases. The GOP Caucus has proposed slashing that credit by 25% affecting 270,000 Minnesotans; 1/3 of them earning incomes less than $46,000 per year. If the taxes go up, the rent goes up. If the tenant objects, a new tenant can be found.

Any similarities between Scene 1 and Scene 2 are purely coincidental.


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