It's the Budget, Stupid

Alexander Cockburn's article titled "Bush hawks war surge" [2/15/07 TPP] is too mild a chastisement of the Democratic Congress members. They should have realized by now that Bush will never ever admit his failures and it is up to them to correct the situation by using the only tool they have -- the power of the purse. It is not as if that without funds our troops would have to subsist with only one meal a day or they could not fire more bullets then those rationed for the day or other such extreme measures. "Why -- how can you not support our troops and let them have two eggs for breakfast?" These are some of the mindless examples with which the Right-Wing Media has bombarded the airwaves to discourage attempts to cut the funding. It seems the Democratic leadership has "fallen" for this pressure and are afraid of political repercussion if they do not continue to support. If they want the war to go on and the killings to go on by all means support the financing of the war. If they wish to end this nightmare than the answer is very simple -- IT IS THE BUDGET -- STUPID!

M. Askarian
New York, N.Y.


War Spending

Just how many billions are we going to spend on the Iraq War? The World Health Organization eradicated smallpox for only about $300 million. How much could be done for people if we spent all those billions on human needs instead of war?

Clean water supplies for the world could be provided for less than total US military spending. We could put a huge dent in world poverty with efforts to make the impoverished self-sufficient by providing farm equipment to be used in producing food.The world's family planning needs could be met thus reducing overpopulation and its attendant difficulties.We might even make a beginning to lessening the impact of AIDS and it's related suffering.

According to one anti-war group 29 RNs could get associate degrees for the cost of one bunker-buster guided bomb while a mere minute of war spending would pay 15 RNs annual salary. Multiply this by all the billions spent on the war and we can see what we are doing to ourselves as well as others. Or rather, what the war hawks of our government, under our war president, do to us all.

Think about that as they gear our people up for an assault in Iran.

David Tyler
Lafayette, La.


Political Blood

There's a great deal of discussion and debate going on as to when and how we should pull out our troops out of Iraq. Here's how I see it.

If our troops remain there to avoid the severe bloodshed that will follow in our absence, the United States will have to "stay the course" for decades.

If we leave precipitously, there will be severe bloodshed among Iraq's people for decades.

If we follow the first course &endash;- stay there for decades -- when we do finally leave, there will be severe bloodshed.

There is no good, bloodless solution to this Gordian knot with George W. Bush has tied us up in his endless wars.

Get 'em out now!

Percy Pascoe
Cuba, Mo.


Facing Reality

It is time to stop clinging to positions that conditions in Iraq and revelations about the lies, spins and cherry-picked intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq have made totally inoperable.

For the flying monkeys of the right it is time to admit that statements such as Cheney's "There is no doubt that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction" or Bush's "I had no choice but to invade Iraq because Saddam wouldn't allow the UN inspectors in" were outright lies. It is time to recognize that predictions such as, "our troops will be greeted as liberators" and "The war will cost very little and Iraq will pay for its own reconstruction," along with a myriad other such statements from the Bush administration were totally wrong if not outright lies.

It is time for you to accept the fact that the war and its aftermath have been totally mishandled from not preventing tons of high explosives, later used to blow up our soldiers, to be looted from weapons depots and sending hundreds of thousands of Iraq troops home with their weapons to face having their families starve for lack of income, to allowing billions of dollars to be stolen. Its quite simple! Just stand up, say you were wrong, and let your representatives know what you think rather than continuing to mindlessly repeat the talking points issued by the GOP.

For you people who have opposed the war from the start it is time to accept the fact that we are where we are in Iraq and that there is no magic wand that will make the nightmare go away. So far only Sen. Biden has come up with a potentially workable plan which, if adopted would probably lead to at least a short term spike in bloodshed as different factions circle their wagons in three separate regions. Accept the fact that pulling the troops out of Iraq immediately is not an option because it would almost certainly lead to more chaos in the Middle East. Accept the fact that the Democrats in Congress are playing politics with their toothless anti-troop-surge resolution and don't have the guts to stand up and demand that Bush and Cheney resign or face impeachment. It is time stop to standing back; stop patting yourselves on the back for being right and fill the streets to demand pragmatic leadership in D.C. that is willing to make hard choices rather than in scoring political points.

For President Bush and Vice President Cheney it is time to recognize the fact that, due all to your lies and spins, nothing you propose and no action you take in Iraq will be accepted by the overwhelming majority of the American people, even if it would be a stroke of genius. That being the case it is time, for the good of the country, for both of you to resign and allow someone who might be trusted attempt to get the country out of of the mess you have created in Iraq.

Charles Leach
Lynchburg, Ohio


Ditch Electoral College

Re: "States Plan a More Perfect Union," by Rob Richie and Ryan O'Donnell, [2/15/07 TPP] A change to the Electoral College is a step forward, but elimination should be the goal. Do people realize that Wyoming has an electoral vote for 171, 668 people (based on the estimated 2006 census), while Texas has a vote for 691,405 people? That doesn't sound as though all votes are equal.

Paula Brinton
Wethersfield, Conn.


Impeach Now

In your editorial of 1/1-15/07, "The Impeachment Trap," you argue against impeachment. You suggest there are not sufficient votes in the Senate to convict. This is a poor argument. The impeachment investigation would bring out the crimes of the Bush administration. It would be revealed day by day that this is a lawless gang running the country into the ground. Whether there is a conviction in the Senate is important but not the prime reason to impeach. The point is to bring out the crimes, discredit the administration and force the Senate to go on record.

With a spineless Congress afraid to do anything substantial to confront the Bush/Cheney gang, the message is clear to the White House. They can get away with breaking the law, whether it is illegally starting a war, spying on American citizens, or violating common human decency in the treatment of prisoners. This also creates a climate that the next administration will most certainly take advantage of. The new administration in '08 will have little reason not to continue illegal activities using the unending "war on terrorism" as their justification. There are few cases in history where such powers have been relinquished.

In the 2/1/07 issue, in your response to Mr. Berg's letter when he suggests that we need a "really progressive, really populist newspaper," you say that "until public opinion forces Republicans to decide that Bush and Cheney are dragging them down -- and 16 Republican senators are needed to convict -- impeachment isn't going to happen."

First, why wait for Republicans to decide? The investigation would reveal the extent of the lawlessness of the administration. If it is done with style and conviction the public will follow. And, your remark that "impeachment isn't going to happen" because 16 Republican votes are needed in the Senate to convict, approaches the incredible. Impeachment occurs in the House, not the Senate. An impeachment is likened to an indictment, an accusation. The House impeaches, the Senate tries the case with the sitting Senate acting as the jury. No matter how many senators may be opposed to conviction, it in no way stops the House from impeaching. And, as stated, the investigation in the House would bring the crimes before the people, possibly forcing many Senators to vote for conviction. Whatever happens in the Senate, the White House must be put on notice that the people, as represented by the House, will fight them when they break the law. 

If the administration is not stopped, they are going to drag our country to ruin. As I write they are plotting their attack on Iran and many knowledgeable observers are convinced they are going to attack. How can they be stopped? Only by Congress. Only by impeachment. The Progressive Populist must support impeachment, NOW.

Geoffrey Colegrove
Grosse Pointe, Mich.


Too Many People

Finally, some one had the courage to print something about population, see "Population Bubble" by Dr. David Bacon [2/15/07 TPP].

Population is the unmentionable 800-pound gorilla in every article about environment, war, resources, immigration, you name any problem we have. Just ask yourself, would the problem be smaller or larger if the population were smaller or greater.

Kerry Lund
Oklahoma City, Okla.


God Bless Molly

America lost one of our great intellects and a courageous voice of clarity when Molly Ivins recently passed. Her humor and insight will be missed.

The shining example of her life helped focus a light in two very dark places: George Bush's empty head and Dick Cheney's black heart.

God bless you, Molly.

Mike Kohr
Princeton, Ill.


A Great Patriot

I was very sorry to hear about the passing of Molly Ivins. She was a great one for telling it like it is and not sugar coating all the lies and illegal activities of the White House, like the mainstream press has been doing. And especially she wasn't afraid of "Shrub" and his ilk like so many of our elected officials seem to be.

She was a great patriot and contributor to your paper. I loved her commentaries on Dimbulb.

She will be sadly missed.

Robert G. Reed
Bay City, Mich.


Molly Ivins

She had a phrase, she had a word,

She was from the land of Ladybird.

She had a Texas smile wide,

Behind every cutting sharp bromide.


We will miss the words she wrote,

About democracy and the vote.

Her wit and journalistic style,

Always made us laugh and smile.


Now, she's gone and left us here,

With the state run by a billionaire.

We will have to find our way,

'Cause our Molly's gone away.


Her voice was firm and true,

Looking out for me and you.

Every time the racketeers saw her come,

They would grab their stuff and run.


When they read a column from our Molly,

The oligarchy would grow melancholy,

For she seldom lent her consent,

To the antics of their President.


Goodbye Molly you were indeed a gift,

Your spirit gave us quite a lift.

In everything we think or do,

Our memories will be of you.

Linn F. Hamilton
Houston, Pa.

From The Progressive Populist, March 15, 2007

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