Kevin Zeese on pollster Zogby’s web site calls attention to the potential electoral power of the antiwar voting block [A Powerful New Voting Block Emerges]:
A new national poll shows that a near majority of voters either strongly or somewhat agree with a pledge not to vote for pro-war candidates. This makes the antiwar movement’s potential impact on elections larger than pro-gun, anti-abortion, or anti-gay marriage voters. Politicians will have to pay heed to this new political force.
The pledge states:
“I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or president who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression a public position in his or her campaign.”
The national poll found that 45.9% of US voters agree – 20.1% strongly agree and 25.8% somewhat agree. Among Democrats 67.1% agreed – 33.3% strongly, 59.2% of Independents – 25.3% strongly and even 25.7% of Republicans agreed – 5.5% strongly. The poll was conducted by ICR Survey Research of Media, Pa., which also polls for ABC News, The Washington Post and many corporations and research organization
I would suggest adding to the pledge: “I will not support any candidate who does not make curtailing the unlawful and unconstitutional actions of President Bush a prominent position in his campaign.”
March 25th, 2006
The Bush administration is very concerned about the avian flu danger. Their taking major steps to respond. Most recently, in order to prepare the country, they’re proposing massive cuts in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). What a creative way to respond to a possible pandemic. Who else would have thought of it? [See the Atlanta-Journal Constitution: CDC cuts could hurt bioterror effort. See also the California Healthcare Foundation: President Bush's Budget Plan To Cut CDC, HHS Funding; Increase for FDA, SCHIP]
To be fair, the proposed budget does allocate specific monies for avian flu. But cutting the already decimated public health infrastructure in this country is so far beyond perverse that I can’t think of words to describe it. Only the people who thought up the Iraq war and have a “Plan for Victory” in that war would even consider something so dangerous. This time, it may not be just Iraqis and the small minority of Americans in the Armed Forces who pay the price for their arrogance, incompetence and corruption, but all of us.
According to CHF, among the cuts are:
A 9% reduction in CDC’s budget to $6.9 billion;
A 12.6% spending reduction for public health emergency centers, which distribute medications and vaccines in the event of a bioterrorist attack [and presumably important in the event of a pandemic];
The elimination of a $131 million block grant for preventive health services that address “urgent health problems” affecting different states;
A 6.5% decrease in funding for a Public Health Service program that addresses chronic disease prevention and health promotion, including efforts to prevent and control obesity, to $841 million.
Thanks to Revere at Effect Measure for calling attention to this.
March 25th, 2006
Raw Story has a piece on an upcoming article in the LA Times on Delta Force founder Retired Command Sergeant Major Eric Haney, who thinks that the Iraq war may be the parting shot of World War III. When even warriors are criticizing the war in these terms, we can be sure the situation is as dire as we believe.
Q: What’s your assessment of the war in Iraq?
A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and … pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That’s why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.
We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies.
Q: What do you make of the torture debate? Cheney …
A: (Interrupting) That’s Cheney’s pursuit. The only reason anyone tortures is because they like to do it. It’s about vengeance, it’s about revenge, or it’s about cover-up. You don’t gain intelligence that way. Everyone in the world knows that. It’s worse than small-minded, and look what it does
March 25th, 2006
We’re seeing the beginnings of an enormous social movement with the rallies for immigrant rights and against the perverse anti-immigrant bill in Congress. Today saw a reported 500,000 in Los Angeles, which, by the usual media reporting standards means between 750,000 and 1,000,000. In any case, that a HUGE rally. To get a sense of the magnitude of the rally, look at the pictures on the LA Times web site and keep in mind that the rally extended for 26 blocks!
And this issue isn’t going away as long as the bill is before Congress. Perhaps these rallies represent a turning point for the country and a reversal of the hopelessness people have been experiencing in the wake of the Bush/Republican steamroller that’s bee driving over us for five long years. Those with the most to loose are showing us the way. I sure hope the American populace will follow.
March 25th, 2006