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Will Dean Make a Difference?

With Dean at the head of the Democratic Party, will it wtop being a confrontation-averse, Republican-aping, corporate-cash wheedling... and election-losing opposition, or will it start fighting back? The Social Security battle will be a good place to find out whether Dean can still yell.

Does Howard Dean at the helm of the Democratic Party matter?

Most analysis and pundits, as well as many critics on the left, are saying no. First, as N.Y. Times columnist Paul Krugman pointed out (quoting that "muckraking" left-wing publication, Counterpunch), Dean is no progressive, and second, the party chairman is just a fund-raiser, with no power to set policy or direction.

In fact, however, Dean could make a difference, particularly on the issue of Social Security, and that could make a difference in the party's fortunes in next year's Congressional elections.

It seems clear that the Bush administration has overstepped badly in its attack on Social Security. The effort to scare young people with talk of the system going bankrupt has not worked. Even the tame corporate media have not bought this story for the most part. While they submissively adopt the administration's terminology, calling the president's demolition plan a "reform" effort, many news outlets have pointed out the falsehood of that bogus bankruptcy claim.

Now many Republican in Congress, faced with the prospect of going to the voters next year, are anxiously telling the president to back off, to slow down.

Where Dean comes in is in his instinct to be combative.

The reflexive Democratic response to every issue in recent years has been to seek compromise, to back off.

Social Security is no place for this to happen. As any general knows, with the Republicans in retreat, the Democrats need to go on the attack.

Democrats have their strongest issue in decades in the fight over Social Security and they should be going for the jugular on it.

They have a president who has squandered his credibility, first with his now fully exposed lies about Iraq, and now about his transparent lies regarding Social Security.

Meanwhile, Republicans as a party have been exposed as liars. For years, the GOP has cried foul saying the Democrats unfairly tried to frighten voters by saying that Republicans were out to weaken or destroy Social Security. They always insisted that they had no such intention.

Now that claim stands fully exposed. The Bush administration and the Republican majority in Congress clearly are on an ideological crusade aimed at gutting the retirement program and causing its collapse.

Dean needs to make that case, and to bring the party, and its elected officials with him. They need to make the argument that Democrats will not compromise on Social Security, and that they will not allow the president's plan to peel younger workers off of the program with a promise of "private" investment accounts.

For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .

homepage: homepage: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

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Full Text 16.Feb.2005 15:08

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Will Dean Make a Difference?

Does Howard Dean at the helm of the Democratic Party matter?

Most analysis and pundits, as well as many critics on the left, are saying no. First, as N.Y. Times columnist Paul Krugman pointed out (quoting that "muckraking" left-wing publication, Counterpunch), Dean is no progressive, and second, the party chairman is just a fund-raiser, with no power to set policy or direction.

In fact, however, Dean could make a difference, particularly on the issue of Social Security, and that could make a difference in the party's fortunes in next year's Congressional elections.

It seems clear that the Bush administration has overstepped badly in its attack on Social Security. The effort to scare young people with talk of the system going bankrupt has not worked. Even the tame corporate media have not bought this story for the most part. While they submissively adopt the administration's terminology, calling the president's demolition plan a "reform" effort, many news outlets have pointed out the falsehood of that bogus bankruptcy claim.

Now many Republican in Congress, faced with the prospect of going to the voters next year, are anxiously telling the president to back off, to slow down.

Where Dean comes in is in his instinct to be combative.

The reflexive Democratic response to every issue in recent years has been to seek compromise, to back off.

Social Security is no place for this to happen. As any general knows, with the Republicans in retreat, the Democrats need to go on the attack.

Democrats have their strongest issue in decades in the fight over Social Security and they should be going for the jugular on it.

They have a president who has squandered his credibility, first with his now fully exposed lies about Iraq, and now about his transparent lies regarding Social Security.

Meanwhile, Republicans as a party have been exposed as liars. For years, the GOP has cried foul saying the Democrats unfairly tried to frighten voters by saying that Republicans were out to weaken or destroy Social Security. They always insisted that they had no such intention.

Now that claim stands fully exposed. The Bush administration and the Republican majority in Congress clearly are on an ideological crusade aimed at gutting the retirement program and causing its collapse.

Dean needs to make that case, and to bring the party, and its elected officials with him. They need to make the argument that Democrats will not compromise on Social Security, and that they will not allow the president's plan to peel younger workers off of the program with a promise of "private" investment accounts.

But they need to go further and make the point that only the return of a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress can insure against further, or future attacks on the system.

That's something that Dean should yell about. The louder the better.

Progressives working with Democrats? 16.Feb.2005 16:56

politics as impossible

It's been shown here at PIMC that the reaction of those whose politics embrace street demonstations and marches but end there -- those folks dread being in any way caught in or out of bed with ANY Democrat (even Dennis Kucinich is denounced as a sell-out). Such folks also indulge anyone running outside the Democratic (and/or Republican) parties as someone perhaps to support, as long as that someone is seen as denouncing the treachery of the Democrats! It's a philosophy negatively defined, the anti-Democrat philosophy, which I think is so prominent because it serves by its very vacuity to unite angry radical dissenters by targeting a scape goat -- scape-goating apparetnly being the key to forming any kind of political alliance. (I think better scape-goats could be found, but radicals like kicking the poor old donkey around.)

Well, I understand their point of view, although I do not understand why it is repeated so often -- after all, registered Democrats are themselves very skeptical of the Democratic Party leadership. It's like the old "Dog Bites Man" headline, it's what comes under the heading of "so what else is new?" That's why I thought maybe something about the possibilities that are emerging with Dean heading the Democratic Party apparatus could be seen as a "Man Bites Dog" headline. But no, not with the self-proclaimed lefties (radicals): their politics, insofar as it is a part of the real world at all, both begins and ends with the slogan "those damn dems, they're just (ugh!) LIBERALS!"

(I have to wonder why they like to pick on "liberals" -- there isn't even such a thing as "liberalism" -- when they could attack the core of what the neo-con Republicans and the DLC Democrats are doing and have done, namely Libertarianism. But no, radicals seem to accept Libertarians as somehow valid in a quaint kind of way, while "liberals" -- they are hardly even human, just scum who need their asses kicked.)

Now progressives, that's another matter. Of course, it is true that Dean is no progressive. That certainly shouldn't stop progressives from wanting to see a shift toward what Dean has proclaimed as his platform: "I hate the Repblicans and everything they stand for!" I think progressives, for example, Greens, (and maybe even card-carrying Communists), are probably cautiously considering how to work in ways that mesh with tendencies that perhaps are awakening within the Democratic Party. That doesn't mean the Green Party will cease to exist -- that is the baseless prediction of the radicals -- on the contrary, it may mean that the Greens and other progressives will find some unity with the Democrats around election reform, with the possibility of changing things so that the national politic will make room for a third party (and maybe more parties than three). I have stated that possibility in my article "Radicals working with Democrats?" and found considerable resistance to it -- from self-proclaimed "radicals." Certainly, a problem in all this is the bad blood between Nader and the Democratic Party, as that Party has been under DLC leadership. Hopefully, Dean will avoid the mistake of trying to limit the ballot options of the public under a theory that elections are a zero-sum game -- a theory that is ridiculous when you consider that there are more non-voters than voters in America today. We shall see what we shall see. In that spirit, I change the title of my article to "Progressives working with Democrats?"

To people like myself, who like to analyze things from a distance, as though living on another planet, (or at least in another country) -- the main headline is less "Dean Becomes DNC Chair" than it is "DLC Defeated!" -- that is, to us "objective observors," a very interesting news story. It is clear that neither Kerry nor Gore nor Clinton will be able to lead the Democrats, after the failure to hang in with Ohio (as with Florida in 2000). Also, it is clear that the neo-con Republicans have no credibility left, except for the ever-more-shallow support of ditto-heads, FOX's couch-potato patriots, and other followers of radio evangelism and television idiocy. It's hard to assess how thin this pool of support has to get in order for its surface area to begin visibly shrinking. As for the underlying realities, considered apart from public opinion, the neo-con "contract on America" -- the plan to return America to an imagined glorious pre-FDR past -- is disappearing like a plane crashing into a swamp (bloated public debt resulting from graft and corruption and resulting in the on-going slow run on the dollar), just as the so-called "Bush doctrine" has crashed and burned in the desert sands of Iraq.

So there you are. Opportunity knocking? Or is electoral politics a dead horse -- too late?

time to move away from generalizations and labels 16.Feb.2005 17:47

analyst

First of all, I don't consider pointing out the democrats complicity in supporting the republican/democrat agenda to be scapegoating. That's simply acknowledging reality. The democrats may be no more to blame than the republicans, but perhaps no less so either.

>> But no, not with the self-proclaimed lefties (radicals): their politics, insofar as it is a part of the real world at all, both begins and ends with the slogan "those damn dems, they're just (ugh!) LIBERALS!"

As opposed to those self-proclaimed "liberals" who spend their days bashing "radicals" or "lefties"?

Such generalizations are foolish as you cannot speak for others nor do represent an ideology that you do not understand.

>> from self-proclaimed "radicals."

If one wants to be persuasive don't make statements that can so easily be proven false. It's also best not to insult your audience unless your goal is to alienate them.

>> (I have to wonder why they like to pick on "liberals" -- there isn't even such a thing as "liberalism"

There is such a thing as liberalism though it's classical meaning is largely ignored today. I do think it's wise to move away from such obviously useless labels such as "liberal", "conservative", etc which embody no shared beliefs and are used carelessly in today's writing.

>> when they could attack the core of what the neo-con Republicans and the DLC Democrats are doing and have done, namely Libertarianism. But no, radicals seem to accept Libertarians as somehow valid in a quaint kind of way, while "liberals" -- they are hardly even human, just scum who need their asses kicked.)

There is nothing libertarian about the democrat and republican agenda. In fact, it is the antithesis of libertarianism: bigger government, more costly government, more intrusive government, less civil liberties, less privacy, eroding of constitutional protections, the rise of mercantilism (some would say feudalism).

>> Greens and other progressives will find some unity with the Democrats around election reform

If you think the democrats are ever going to support election reform you're in for some disappointment. After the past several elections I can't imagine any greens supporting the democrats again. What's more likely is a coalition of greens, libertarians, and independents backing a single presidential candidate in 2008. Given that the platforms of Cobb, Badnarik, and Nader were more similar than not, and more dissimilar to the republican/democrat platform I see a presidential ticket backed by these parties are others being particularly viable in 2008.

>> It is clear that neither Kerry nor Gore nor Clinton will be able to lead the Democrats

That's not clear. I'd still put money of Hillary Clinton being the democrat nominee in 2008. It is true that Kerry and Clinton were making statements of caution against changing the democratic party which may show there uncertainty about Dean. But it's a far cry from them and the rest of the DLC losing control over the party.

As far as I can tell, most democrats are all too anxious to continue embracing their failed strategies and failed party. Will Dean make a difference? I wouldn't bet on it but perhaps he'll provide some entertaining rhetoric in the meantime.

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all."
-- Thomas Jefferson

PAI 16.Feb.2005 20:01

U. Sam

I like you being here, I enjoy your comments and think they add to the cause. But the writing is on the wall. Repeating the same mistakes over and over and expecting differen't results is insanity.

Are you insane? ;)

Look, it's very simple. I explained this the other day. Democrats are scaredy cats, in plain english. Sure, no one wants to wind up in a trunk, so they tip toe around and then they cave. Did you forget 2000? Had more people known what was going on, we might of been able to force them to stand up. The fact is, NOT ONE democrat stood up for the black caucus in 2000. Sure, there are black democrats that would like to "work" within the system. But the system is rigged. Do you honestly think Dean lost to kerry in the primaries? C'mon man.

"hope is on the way"...that sounds like a line from lelo & stitch. Kerry is out there stumping for more troops in Iraq.(40,000) What will that do? Since your so inclined to support them, why don't you make it easy for them and join up. More troops aren't going to do shit. I know your competent and can surf around, it's a guerilla war dude. Saddam lured us in there. You think his army just got "crushed" by the US onslaught. Please, I'm sure you've played enough capture the flag to realize our strategy was weak. Go in and smash the place. DUH. These people have fought more wars then we could dream of.

So going back to democrats, they don't have a clue or their in on it. Do you know who RFK is? His son, rfk jr., who is planning to run as a democrat for AG of NY has said, "95% of the republican party is corrupt, 75% of the democratic party is corrupt." Who are you going to believe? A guy who's uncle, father, and cousin all died under "mysterious" circumstances, or the talking heads? Who are the 25% who are not corrupt? We'd all like to know that. The fact is, they know if they stand up loudly, they will probably be assassinated. So they will push only so much and then cave. The republicans know this, so they let them push a little, because without them, well then, you don't have a democracy, do you?

Furthermore, when David Cobb and Michael Badnarik show up with a court order to show cause at the presidential debates and get arrested, you still want to support this scam? I know you want to "hope", but the hope lies in you and me, and him, and her. It's time to take responsibility for what we created. Every society gets the government they deserve. You can talk linguistics to me all day long, but 9/11 was an inside job. Stick your head in the sand, but I will not. People may forget JFK and ultimately 9/11, and we may not fall into a complete dictatorship, but I will never hold this government as legitimate. Most people don't, regardless of what label you carry. I work with so called "wealthy" people, part of my job is selling them ideas, one of the first things I ask them, to break the ice. "Do you trust the government?" most laugh out loud, some snicker, some ask, "do you?". Never have I had someone say "yes". You can wear rosey colored glasses, but most don't.

So where does that leave us? Infiltrate. If you love the "dems" so much, then get up in their forums, start raising hell, I have, but I'm not a dem, I get banned because I don't "protect" the party. Why are you trying to protect them? I'm not an anarchist(but I like their ideas a whole lot more then "dems"), I also like greens(because they fight), I really like libertarians(because they have a simple plan, stay the fuck out of my life). So where does that leave me? Doubting the system always, we must, that is how we keep them in check. You just want some saviour to come through so you can go back to sleep. If Kerry had won, we'd probably be in Iran right now. At least this way, we all know dubya is shady, and we are all watching him tight.

I think Dean has been compromised to tell you the truth. He was talking 9/11 foreknowledge and they came down hard on him, just like cynthia mckinney. I know, it sucks, here...cry on my shoulder. Now suck it up and start pushing back, within your own party. If there were some republicans with balls they would stand up for truth, regardless of their "political careers". Remember, these guys are supposed to be public servants, we tell them what to do, not the other way around. Shit man, you keep this up, your going to be holding your face in your hands in 2006 and 2008. I'm not sure we're going to make it though. I think the bush clan(wich includes his cousin and sponsor into skull bones, kerry) have some tricks up their sleeve. They just passed their little doomsday act, did you hear about that? "in the event that congress is wiped out, a few guys can run the show", how's that make you feel? It makes me feel like they've got something in store for us. Did you know that there are democrats signed onto the PNAC. HELLO, "a new pearl harbor"...dude, your fooling yourself if you think someone other then you and me and him and her can change them. If you start putting your foot down and challenging them, then you force them to challenge the republican brownshirts. Your not going to get them to challenge anything if you keep bending over for them. So, as I mentioned before, if they are going to bend over...Then someone has to get "radical", what is radical about standing up to a bully? Nothing. You've just been conditioned to think that if you speak out, it's like, uncool dude. I guess in democrats eyes, the revolution was uncool then.

You might as well go over to daily kos and start talking about gay marriage, because your not ready to challenge your own freedom. You don't realize what you don't have, untill you challenge it, if your not ready to challenge it, why bother complaining? Just go to work, buy your house, get your spouse, put your nose down, and enjoy that. But I think I see a spark in you, I've been reading and listening, I think you know what truth is and you want to try. We tried, it didn't work. Enough is enough. If I have to push you, to start pushing them, then that's what I'll do. I tried pushing them, it's a lost cause, they're sheep. They want clinton status quo, I don't. Speaking of clinton, it's his fault(and reagan) for relaxing the laws on the media, which is why your on this site in the first place, to hear something you won't hear in most places, because even "liberals" censor their own shit...it's ridiculous. Find me a democrat speaking truth to power and I'll support them. In the meantime, I'll do all the shit talking.(at least untill I get that knock on the door-thanks democrats, love that patriot act)
"shady" business

Cosmetic change for a right-wing party 16.Feb.2005 21:53

SEP Supporter

Howard Dean's role is to give whatever credibility he may retain among opponents of the war in Iraq to block any effort to "start from scratch" — i.e., build an independent political party genuinely opposed to American imperialism and its wars of aggression.

For the rest of this article by Patrick Martin, visit:

 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/feb2005/dean-f15.shtml

and also see:

 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/feb2004/dean-f19.shtml

New York civil rights attorney convicted on frame-up terror charges 16.Feb.2005 21:57

Peter Daniels for the World Socialist Web Site

The conviction of New York civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart on charges of aiding terrorism is a travesty of justice. It is a major blow against the right of criminal defendants to defend themselves, a right provided by the Sixth Amendment of the US Bill of Rights.

Stewart, 65 years old, is a veteran advocate and activist who has made no secret of her radical political views, and has effectively defended a wide range of clients over the past three decades, from the poor and defenseless, to more high-profile cases involving the Weather Underground and other middle class radicals.

The guilty verdict came after a trial that lasted an unusually long seven months. The jury deliberated for a total of 13 days over a one-month period before pronouncing Stewart guilty on all five counts on February 10. She faces up to 30 years in prison on charges including conspiracy to provide and conceal terrorist activity, providing and concealing material support to terrorist activity, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and making false statements by promising to uphold various administrative rules. Under rules for those convicted of a felony, Stewart was immediately disbarred. She was allowed to remain free on bond, pending sentencing on July 15.

The ominous-sounding charges of which Stewart was convicted all flowed from one thing—her effort to defend her client. Stewart never engaged in or planned terrorist activity. The only argument used by the government was that she had promised to abide by extraordinary restrictions barring any communication by her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, with the outside world. Abdel Rahman is the blind Egyptian cleric currently serving a life term after being convicted of conspiracy to blow up various New York City landmarks.

Convicted along with Stewart in the current trial were her co-defendants—Ahmed Abdel Sattar, who had worked as a paralegal on the 1995 case involving Abdel Rahman, and Mohammed Yousry, the interpreter in the work with Abdel Rahman. Abdel Sattar faces a possible life sentence, and Yousry 20 years.

Stewart and the other defendants took the stand at the trial and denied any support for terrorism. Basing its case on illegal spying on Stewart's meetings with her client, however, the government made the claim that Stewart had abetted terrorism by making Abdel Rahman's views available to his supporters in Egypt. The prosecution presented thousands of pages of transcripts of phone calls, as well as videotapes of Stewart's meetings with Abdel Rahman, to tie Stewart to terrorism. Although Federal District Judge John Koeltl repeatedly informed the jury that the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Osama bin Laden were not part of the case, the court allowed the prosecution to present constant reminders of the World Trade Center disaster and of the government's "war on terrorism."

As Stewart said after the verdict, "When you put Osama bin Laden in a courtroom and ask the jury to ignore it, that's asking a lot." The prosecutors played a videotape of bin Laden threatening to "spill blood in the fields of jihad" if Abdel Rahman were not released.

As the New York Times acknowledged in its report on the verdict, "The government never showed that any violence ever resulted from Mr. Sattar's calls or from any action by Ms. Stewart or Mr. Yousry; there were no victims in the case."

Nevertheless, violations of procedural rules, conduct which would normally lead to administrative penalties, were in this case utilized to build up the Bush administration's campaign against basic democratic rights.

The trial itself presented numerous echoes of the McCarthyism of more than 50 years ago. Just as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage on the basis of hysterical and false claims that they were responsible for giving the "secret" of the atom bomb to the Soviet Union, the prosecutors in the current trial demonized Stewart as a traitor and cross-examined her on her political views. Statements by her that violence was sometimes necessary to overthrow oppressive governments were used to argue that she advocated the overthrow of the Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak. This was the charge sanctimoniously leveled by a government which boasts of the "regime change" it carried out through unprovoked aggression in Iraq at the cost of tens of thousands of lives.

There were other sinister incidents during the trial. A few days before the verdict, when the notorious fascistic group that calls itself the Jewish Defense Organization put up flyers near the courthouse providing Stewart's home address and calling for her to be hounded out of the city, the prosecutors, not even paying lip service to Stewart's rights in the face of this physical threat, claimed that it merited no attention from the court and was no different from the actions of Stewart's supporters who had proclaimed her innocence.

The defense argued that Stewart was within the bounds of attorney-client privilege when she attempted to help her client keep his name and his views before the world. Stewart testified that she had been an aggressive defense lawyer, and that she had not attempted to pass messages but had tried to prevent prison guards from overhearing what she regarded as confidential and privileged communications with her client. "I see myself as being a symbol of what people rail against when they say our civil liberties are eroded," Stewart declared after the verdict. "I hope this will be a wake-up call to all the citizens of this country, that you can't lock up the lawyers; you can't tell the lawyers how to do their jobs."

Several jurors reportedly held out against the guilty verdicts but finally succumbed to pressure in the jury room after 13 days. When the jurors were polled to confirm the verdict, several were obviously distressed and one was barely audible in affirming the guilty verdict.

In the immediate aftermath of the verdict, civil liberties and civil rights attorneys around the country warned that it represented a dangerous escalation of attacks on democratic rights. This was the first case of the government prosecuting an attorney for someone accused of terrorism. "This will have a chilling effect on lawyers who might represent an unpopular client," said David Cole, a noted civil liberties advocate and professor at Georgetown University. Cole accused the government of conducting its case against Stewart in a "very inflammatory" fashion.

National Lawyers Guild President Michael Avery issued a statement declaring, "The US Department of Justice was resolute from day one in making a symbol out of Lynne Stewart in support of its campaign to deny people charged with crimes of effective legal representation. The government is bent on intimidating attorneys from providing zealous representation to unpopular clients. The National Lawyers Guild strongly urges its own members and other defense lawyers to continue to proudly represent clients who are openly critical of government policies. We will not be intimidated and this prosecution has only strengthened our resolve to oppose the repressive attacks this government has made on the civil liberties of everyone in this country. We will also continue to stand by Lynne Stewart."

The political significance of this trial was also spelled out in the immediate reaction of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to the verdict. The motive behind the prosecution of Stewart was clear from the fact that the indictment in 2002 was announced by Attorney General John Ashcroft at a Washington press conference. Today Ashcroft's successor, the man who told the White House the Geneva Conventions were "quaint" and gave the green light to Bush for the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere, wasted no time in hailing the verdict as sending "a clear, unmistakable message that this department will pursue both those who carry out acts of terrorism and those who assist them with their murderous goals."

In the eyes of the current regime in Washington, devotion to due process and the Bill of Rights and the application of these rights to all constitute "assistance" to the enemy. This is a government which no longer even makes a pretense of defending the Constitution, even as it makes its lying claims to be spreading "freedom" through invasion and conquest.

Lynne Stewart will be appealing her conviction to the US Court of Appeals. She will also be handing over outstanding legal cases to her son, who has been a part of her law practice. "I will fight on, I'm not giving up," she said after the verdict. "I know I committed no crime. I know what I did was right."

-- This article was originally published at the World Socialist Web Site (www.wsws.org) on Feb. 14.

TO U Sam (and others) 17.Feb.2005 21:21

politics as impossible

TO: U Sam (and other critics who misrepresent my statements)

Hey, U Sam, why is it that you (and many others) like to read more INTO what I post than I ever actually said there? Thanks for indulging me, by the way:

U Sam: "I like you being here, I enjoy your comments and think they add to the cause. But the writing is on the wall. Repeating the same mistakes over and over and expecting differen't results is insanity. Are you insane?"

PAI: Sometimes I wonder, and I was once briefly incarcerated in a mental hospital.

U Sam: "So going back to democrats, they don't have a clue or they're in on it. Do you know who RFK is? His son, rfk jr., who is planning to run as a democrat for AG of NY has said, "95% of the republican party is corrupt, 75% of the democratic party is corrupt." Who are you going to believe? A guy who's uncle, father, and cousin all died under "mysterious" circumstances, or the talking heads? "

PAI: What did I actually write that could make you suppose that I am anything other than fully aware of RFK, Jr.'s 75% estimate of the corrupt portion of the Democratic Party? As I pointed out, that is less than a big surprise, even to registered Democrats.

U Sam: "Who are the 25% who are not corrupt? We'd all like to know that."

PAI: You have mentioned one of them: Cynthia McKinney. (Or has she joined the Libertarians and I just didn't notice?)

U Sam: "It's time to take responsibility for what we created. Every society gets the government they deserve. You can talk linguistics to me all day long, but 9/11 was an inside job. Stick your head in the sand, but I will not."

PAI: Where the HELL, U Sam, did you get the idea that I have no understanding that 9/11 was an inside job -- or that I am sticking my head in the sand about the JFK assassination(s) and the 9/11 atrocities? You did NOT get that impression from anything I have posted. I think the way you think is this: "PAI is discussing the Democratic Party (rather than talking shit and condemning it), therefore (???), PAI must BE a Democrat." Your logic is pathetic, U Sam. Try actually READING what I say, rather than reading some script of yours INTO what I have said.

U Sam: "If you love the "dems" so much, then get up in their forums, start raising hell . . . "

PAI: So why do you LOVE the Libertarians so much, U Sam? Yeah, that's your "thinking" -- PAI discusses the dems (as though they were a real part of the political world of SuperAmerikka? -- where'd I get a nutty idea like that?), therefore, PAI must LOVE the "dems"! U Sam, I have to tell you, I like you being here, I enjoy your comments and think they add to the cause. BUT your thinking, if it can be called that, is sometimes just plain sloppy.

U Sam: " . . . what is radical about standing up to a bully? Nothing. You've just been conditioned to think that if you speak out, it's like, uncool dude."

Where the HELL did you get the idea that I object to anyone speaking out? Or that I give a rat shit what is "like uncool, dude"???

U Sam: "Find me a democrat speaking truth to power and I'll support them."

PAI: Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Cynthis McKinney -- or are they figments of my imagination? (Do it, U Sam, support them!)

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