Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


All across America there are reports that key local activists are losing faith in the Democratic party. (As I travel and speak this topic is one of the top issues that always comes up during the question and answer period.) Folks are joining the Green party or they, like me, become an independent. People have lost faith that the Democrats will stand up against the war in Iraq, against the destruction of social progress, or will fight to keep the right-wing from controlling the Supreme Court. (Among many other issues.)

At the statewide level here in Maine the debate about the future of the Democratic party is intense. On November 28 State Rep. Joanne Twomey of Biddeford resigned from the Democratic party and became an independent. The Democratic majority in the state house is now down to one slim vote. Rep. Twomey has been described as the "heart" of Maine's Democratic when she pulls out it is a big deal. In her public statement Rep. Twomey said, "I don't know what being a Democrat means anymore. I call myself a Democrat in exile. I have to stand up and tell the people that our party has lost its roots."

Rep. Twomey is known as one person who always stands with the poor and working people in Maine. At a time when corporations have gained greater influence within the Democratic party across the country, Rep. Twomey has been one who has resisted going along to get along.

The Democrats in Maine have not appreciated Rep. Twomey's efforts to keep the party close to its origins. Nor have the Democrats in Maine appreciated those who work as grassroots activists and organize people in the state to keep the party from drifting to the right. As a result the "party of the people" is abandoning the public. As this happens key activists, and now even leaders within the party, are leaving.

What comes next? How can truly progressive people find their way in this political wilderness? The answer I think is that we have to gather ourselves. Those who are Greens, independents, and Dems of good heart must come together and find ways to work together and to promote our core issues. Now is the time for principled people to stand together. The storm is coming that will shake the very roots of democracy in America. We need to stand with people of good will - - back to back.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Boeing Corporation workers at the Florida space center are still on strike over health care and retirement benefit issues. They've been on strike since November 2.

What makes this story important is that these are the very same workers who are normally supposed to be preparing the Atlas launch rocket that is scheduled to lift-off on/after January 11, 2006 with the New Horizons plutonium probe to Pluto. The mission will carry 24 pounds of deadly toxic material on board.

The striking workers have been replaced by management employees and the Florida Today newspaper has reported that the union is concerned that the replacement workers might not have the skills to ensure a successful launch. Already there have been incidents that required investigation by NASA and the Air Force after union workers claimed that Boeing managers were in over their head.

Even in ideal conditions rockets have about a 10% failure rate at the space center. Add radioactive plutonium into the equation and you are asking for trouble.

Protests are now being planned at the space center prior to the launch. Florida residents who are concerned about what could happen after a launch accident are now organizing the planned protest. The NASA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the New Horizons mission says that there is a 1 in 300 chance of an accident leading to the release of plutonium.

The nuclear industry views space as a new market. Unfortunately, we know that space technology can and does fail from time to time. NASA intends to expand the numbers of nuclear launches in coming years in order to put nuclear-powered bases on the moon and send nuclear rockets to Mars. The military wants nuclear reactors in space to provide power for weapons in the heavens. Would you feel safe with all these nuclear missions being launched from the space center if you lived near it?

Doesn't it make more sense to demand that NASA fund the development of alternative space power sources? Shouldn’t taxpayers demand that NASA not play Russian roulette with the lives of the people?

One serious space nuclear accident would kill the space program and destroy the Central Florida economy and environment. The time has come for the public to intervene on behalf of the future generations.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


I was watching CNN news last night and they were covering the day after Thanksgiving national shopping craze. They showed folks lined up outside WAL-MART at about 5:00 am and how they rushed the doors once the store opened. In the rush to get in people fell to the floor, were trampled on, and then once inside they began literally fighting with each other over various "sale" items.

Now is it just me or is this not insanity? Is it not absolutely crazy to first of all spend the night outside some store so you can be first in line? Is it not insane to trample others who have dropped to the ground as the crowd makes the mad rush for the door? Is it not totally stupid to get into a fight with other people over the "latest" toy or other such gizmo? Are we not a nation out of control?

At the end of the segment on CNN one young man shopper was quoted as saying that in the end he did not think he "saved as much money as he expected." Hello, don't you know the mega-stores use these tactics of a few sales items to get folks into their stores so they can then take you to the cleaners on the other items!

This is capitalism at its worst. This whole "holiday" shopping thing is a societal sickness. Consuming is the god of our day. Materialism is a symptom of a much deeper sickness in the hearts and minds of the American people. We are a people without a soul. Shopping and consumerism is a band-aid on our aching national psyche.

Boycott the big box at your local mom and pop stores....don't buy junk just to pass on presents because you think it will show people how much you love real and save your money.

Friday, November 25, 2005


Oh, gee let's go explore Pluto and put bases on the moon. That sounds like fun. I can't wait until we land people on Mars....let's find the origins of life!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


NASA plans to launch 24 pounds of highly toxic plutonium (pu-238 & pu-239) on a New Horizons mission to the planet Pluto. The launch is set to lift-off on/after January 11, 2006 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The plutonium will be used in a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) to convert the heat from the radioactive decay of the plutonium into on board electricity.

We are urging the public (in the U.S. and worldwide) to contact NASA, Congress, and send a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper stating your opposition to this launch. See contact information below and also key questions to raise. Please help us spread the word to others in your community. NASA and Congress must hear that the public does not support launching more nuclear materials into space.

Write to:

Michael Griffin
NASA Administrator
300 E. Street SW
Washington DC 20546
(202) 358-0000

U.S. Congressional Switchboard: (Toll-free number) 1-888-355-3588

Important Questions:

1) NASA acknowledges in their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the New Horizons mission that there is a 1 in 300 chance of an accident resulting in release of the plutonium. In the event of such an accident the EIS states that the deadly plutonium could be carried by winds for a 60-mile radius throughout Central Florida. Clean-up costs for a plutonium accident would range from $241 million to $1.3 billion per square mile.

2) NASA is moving toward a dramatic escalation in the numbers of nuclear launches in the coming years. Everything from nuclear powered bases on the moon to nuclear reactors on rockets to Mars. The Department of Energy (DoE) is now doing a $300 million laboratory expansion in Idaho to produce plutonium for future space missions.

3) The Pentagon has long stated that they will require nuclear reactors to provide power for space-based weapons. NASA says that each of its space missions will now be dual use, meaning military and civilian at the same time. The obvious next question is what is the military application for nuclear power in space?

4) At a time of major fiscal crisis in the U.S. why is NASA using public tax dollars to put the lives of the people on Earth at risk?

5) Why does NASA not invest in development of alternative space power technologies and move away from the use of deadly plutonium?

Thank you for your support.

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 729-0517
(207) 319-2017 (Cell phone)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Scientists at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, N.M. have invented a directed energy weapon that can vaporize water in the human skin. A full-blast wave hitting a body would be unbearable and could be used for crowd control. The weapon is being tested in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program is called "Project Sheriff." Stay tuned for its use in the USA as our job losses grow and people begin to hit the streets demanding health care, jobs and a future. The powers that be, as Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld likes to say, "are planning ahead."

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Late last night I watched the House of Representatives debate the war and then vote on an "immediate withdrawal" resolution that was disingenously introduced by the Republican leadership. Having been stung by the Rep. John Murtha call for a planned withdrawal, the Repubs thought they'd go one step better and challenge the Dems to vote on an immediate withdrawal. In the end the vote was 403-3 to defeat the resolution, as both Repubs and Dems alike spoke out against it. The three Dems who did vote for an immediate withdrawal should be remembered - Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), and Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA).

Some of the key things that came out during the debate were that there is a growing number of troops, both in Iraq and in the military hospitals in the U.S. after being wounded, that are speaking out about the war. Another is the growing talk about the military falling apart as they are stretched beyond the breaking point. And finally, even with all the massive amount of money the Pentagon has been receiving for the war, they are now saying it is not enough money and that they will need a huge amount more to replace equipment that is falling apart as a result of the war. Where will the money come from?

The Dems are slowly creeping up, and I stress the word slowly, on supporting a planned withdrawal. But even Murtha's plan just calls for a pullout of troops into Kuwait so they can quickly be redeployed if things don't go well after we left Iraq. In addition the Murtha plan calls for a rapid-deployment force to do quick preemptive strikes back into Iraq whenever necessary so in the end the war would continue - the difference being that we'd do it from a bit of a distance. No real solution. The peace movement should not grab onto this sinking ship of a plan.

Rep. Murtha said during the debate last night that his phone calls were coming in at a rate of 4-1 in favor of a withdrawal. He said the American people are ahead of the politicians. About that he is right. Unfortunately only 3 members of the House reflected that in their vote last night on the withdrawal resolution.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Dick Cheney has joined the campaign to attack, attack, attack any critics of the administration's war policy. In recent days he has been calling any criticism of the war "dishonest and reprehensible."

Just yesterday long-time war hawk, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) called the war unwinnable and concluded that "we have become a catalyst for violence." Some years ago, on a anti-Star Wars lobbying trip to Washington, I met with Rep. Murtha's staff in his DC office. All over the walls he had photos of weapons systems, model planes and ships on all the desks...the man is a real drummer for the military industrial complex. I heard a few of his remarks on TV last night and he talked about how the war was tearing the military apart. My guess is that there is a simmering mutiny in the ranks of the military and that he is giving voice to it. He mentioned that many troops are now on their third assignment to Iraq. This is what is forcing many GI's to want out and my guess is that Murtha's loyalty to the military is such that he feels he must speak out about Iraq or face having the military services internally torn to shreds.

The Bush crew is showing that they are going to play out their hand. They have gone this far, staked their careers on this occupation for oil in Iraq, and are determined not to back down. And they will keep slinging hash at any of their critics that dare speak up. One Bush supporter, Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), yesterday accused the Dems of making "shameful statements" and said the Dems have "cooperated with our enemies and are emboldening our enemies."

The Bush bunch are trying to rally their ever-shrinking base but this strategy is doomed to failure. The country is onto their game now and in time the opposition is only going to grow. The peace movement must step on the gas now - escalate our anti-war activity like never before.

All of the Dems are not to be trusted. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said on the news last night that he disagreed with Rep. Murtha on the question of pulling out of Iraq. Retired Gen. Wesley Clark (a Democratic party presidential candidate in the last election) agreed with Sen. Kerry saying "you have to still work the problem." Translation - the U.S. can't cut and run from Iraq. Not much different from the Bush program.

The South Korean government has announced that they will bring 1/3 of their present troops in Iraq home in the near future. They made this announcement while Bush was in their country. This is an obvious testament to how unpopular Bush is in South Korea.

In the end the peace movement must press to cut all funding for the war. It is one thing to say bring the troops home and then vote for the funding to wage the war. The determining factor, just like with the Vietnam War, is that wars end when Congress cuts the money. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) has introduced legislation to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to deploy U.S. troops to Iraq. We must build awareness and support for this legislation. And we need to force the Dems to have to choose between guns and butter. We can't have both.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The Senate debated a bill yesterday to establish a time-table to end the war. Since Republicans control the Congress it did not pass though a weakened Republican drafted version, calling on Bush to begin to do more frequent reporting to Congress on the war, indicates that even the war-thumping Repubs are beginning to fear the next election.

Bush has just flown the coop again and is doing an extended tour of the Asian-Pacific region. He knows he has to get out of the country in order to try to repair his sagging poll numbers. Support for the war is at an all time low. The more he opens his mouth, the worse his numbers get. Maybe being on the other side of the world, looking presidential, will help his advisors must figure.

The war is not going well. As of today 2,069 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq with 15,568 GI's wounded in action. The war has now cost U.S. taxpayers $300 billion - money that will not be now available for home heating assistance this winter, health care, hurricane relief, education, and the like.

Increasing numbers of U.S. troops, and their families, are speaking out against the war. Many GI's have become disillusioned as they witness first-hand that the rhetoric about "freedom" in Iraq does not match up with the reality of U.S. torture and killing of legions of innocent civilians.

This was supposed to be a high-tech war from a distance. A computer terminal kind of war where the U.S. military did not have to get their "hands dirty". But the reality of the occupation has been a different story. The Iraqi's, not ready to hand over the country to an occupation for oil, increasingly fight back just as Americans would do if a foreign power had attacked and occupied our nation.

Bush's war to control the oil of the Middle East is not going as expected. Or maybe it is. Maybe when Bush warned the American people to "Be is going to be a long, long war" - maybe he meant it. Maybe Bush knew that the only way he could justify creating permanent bases in Iraq was if the entire country was a mess, in chaos. Then he could make the case that we can't "cut and run" because if the U.S. military was to leave there would be a bloody civil war.

Well now we have a bloody civil war and our troops are right in the middle of the mess. Many of the GI's have been there two or even three times. The odds of them getting home safe and sound dimish with each IED or mortar attack.

The time has come for the Congress to demand that the troops come home. Let Bush and Cheney and the rest of their Congressional team go take up arms in Iraq if they want to. My guess is that they'd fly the coop pretty fast if they had to serve there.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Back home in Maine after a wonderfully successful trip to Florida. My last talk in Deland at the DaVinci Caffe was really fun and the place was packed with veteran activists, church folks, and students and faculty from nearby Stetson University. Very well received.

While in Florida it became clear that the Bush bunch had decided that they need to fight back to try to stop the downward fall of their poll numbers. So they decided to deceive some more by saying that they did not cheat and lie their way into a war. This won't help them a bit but will just reveal to even more people what an out-of-control pack of scoundrels they really are.....the administration's freefall will likely continue.

Bush's best hope now is another terrorist attack in the U.S. to draw focus away from his own evil doings. Many people are now predicting that the Bush team will create some kind of internal event in the U.S. that will allow them to declare martial law. Do you think such a desperate bunch would be capable of pulling another 9-11? It is hard to swallow but not hard to imagine that the immoral bunch of crooks in the White House would do something like that. What else are they to do? Do you think Bush would admit he lied about the war, fire Cheney (the real boss), fire Karl Rove, and most of the rest of his cabal?

I saw one very funny e-mail the other day that said they had a sure way to get rid of Bush. Someone, the e-mail pleaded, just give Bush a blow job!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I am visiting my mom in Titusville, Florida and when I arrived last night one of the first things she did after I walked in the door was comment on the oil corporation executives being called before Congress yesterday. Mom, not one who follows politics closely but has always had to struggle to stretch a dollar, was clearly showing joy about the fact that big oil was having to explain themselves to the public. She said, "They even interrupted regular shows on the TV to tell the story." As I was driving up to Titusville from south Florida I heard on the radio that the oil execs were given $3-$4 million bonuses in recent times to reward them for the massive profits they have brought in. I heard one oil boss say on the car radio that they "have to be responsible to their investors." Yeah, right.

Then this morning, after looking at the front page of the local newspaper, mom freaked about the headline announcing a 19% increase in electricty approved by the state for the Florida Power & Light Corporation who wants to pass on their increased fuel costs. When we walked down the street so she could pay her monthly $174 electric bill she complained the whole way and when she took me across the street to visit with neighbors she brought up the increase to them as well. "How am I going to afford this?," she asked. Her husband died recently and she struggles to make it on a meager $11,000 a year social security income.

This is the reality for a growing number of people these days. Prices of virtually everything going up and people are wondering how they are going to make it. What are the politicians doing now to help them? More tax cuts for the super rich? Won't help mom.....more give-a-ways to the multi-national corporations who are moving jobs out of the country? Won't help mom..... Price of health care and medicine going up? Won't help mom who is a heart patient and reliant on expensive drugs.

My mom, the lifelong Republican, is against the Iraq war. She literally hates Bush....she is fed up with the politicians....she believes both parties are corrupt. Who is she to turn to for relief? Who supports her and other working class and poor people?

Mom has it right....the Repubs and Dems are selling her out to the big corporations.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I am in South Florida on a short speaking tour and witnessing the aftermath of a harsh hurricane. I spoke today in Delray Beach at the county civic center and it was not certain until just a couple days ago that the building would be open and available to the public. The air conditioner was not working so the place was cooled by huge, and very loud, industrial fans. I spoke to the Citizens for Social Responsibility, the one group in the entire world that I have spoken to more times than anyone else. During my 15 years working with the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice they had me speak to them nearly every year and since I left there in 1998 they still have me back quite often. Today I learned that my dear friend Nap Kaplan, one of the founders of the group, had recently died, not long after his beloved wife Grace had passed on.

I flew down last night from Pease, N.H. into Sanford, Florida on a $135 round-trip flight on Alliant airlines. I can see why it was so cheap as the toilet would not flush on the plane, the seats were jammed together closer than most airlines, and they even were charging $2 for a bottle of water - which I skipped. I then rented a car and drove as far south as I could before I got too tired to keep going. I made it to Vero Beach and got to bed at 1:00 am.

From the Delray Beach talk I speak on Wednesday in West Palm Beach and then head up to visit my mom in Titusville before speaking at Daytona Beach Community College on Friday and in Deland on Saturday.

At each stop I will be sure to mention NASA's planned launch of plutonium from the space center next January. The New Horizons mission to Pluto will once again be using the controversial and dangerous nuclear generators on-board.

On Sunday, just before flying back to Maine I will have the great pleasure of meeting Will Park for BBQ in the Orlando area. Will is the artist who illustrated my book and has done political art for my work for the past 20 years or more. Can't remember when we started working together but it seems like we've been collaborating forever. Before leaving Maine yesterday I dropped the Global Network's latest Space Alert! newsletter off at the mailing house and the front page cartoon is one done by Will. Our tradition, when I used to live in Orlando, was to meet for a BBQ lunch fairly often where we'd discuss the state of political affairs in the U.S. Will told me today he'd discovered a new BBQ joint with a buffet that he wants me to check out - fried okra, collard greens, the works he said. Can't wait.

People here say that folks are still stunned from the never ending cycle of hurricanes that have hit Florida hard the past couple of years. Those who recognize the impact of global warming are preparing for more of them in the years to come. Trees are down all over the place and piles of trash are set up by the road in front of many homes. Furniture, stoves, and other such things are included in the trash piles so it is clear that there was severe interior damage to many places.

It is now estimated that more than 27,000 housing units are uninhabitable in South Florda. Particularly hard hit are migrant farmworkers who have lost as much as $50 million in wages due to hurricane Wilma. The storm has affected up to 100,000 farmworkers. Hundreds of farmworkers homes, destroyed in last year's four-storm season, were never rebuilt. They are surviving by cramming 20 people into one trailer.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


We are told that the people own the airwaves. We are told that the vehicle of TV, used by the corporations as an instrument of social control and a fantastic merchandising mechanism, must fairly and honestly be used to the benefit of all the people.

Sadly though, like so much else in our land, TV has been used and abused to sell not only products to the public, but in more recent times we've seen how TV can be used to sell wars and the expensive weapons that go with them.

Then after the lies are told to create a war, the TV must be used to cover up the lies. So more lies are heaped on top of the original sins and on we go. The people, knowing that they are being lied to begin to trust no one and give up hope that their government can ever be changed. People, whose very own lives are increasingly controlled on some level by multi-national corporations, begin to fear the powers that be as much as the feudal peasant feared the noblemen inside their castles, protected by moats and well-equipped armies.

As my mother often says, "You can't beat city hall." This was learned by years of witnessing the smashing of idealism in the body politic to the point where people now see expressions of democracy and justice as quaint and meaningless.

The lies are so frequent and so blatant that people's ability to feel outrage at those who decieve us are almost gone. The hardened heart becomes protection - don't expect justice, don't expect truth, don't expect real democracy and you won't have your heart broken again. Don't bother with politics, it's a dirty game and a waste of time we tell each other.

In the old Soviet Union the joke was that if you wanted to move up the ladder you had to join the party. Party membership increased the chances for better apartments, more food, a better job. Go along to get along.

In the United States of America the fact is that people have learned a similar lesson. If you want success, if you want to climb the corporate ladder, you have to learn to look away. You have to learn to kill the feelings of outrage. Keep your mouth shut when your president lies and drags your country into a war. Turn the other way when your government drains the federal treasury to enrich the big corporations, enriches the weapons makers, puts people in jail without trail, tortures the innocent in hidden detention centers around the world. Learn to look away (mumble angry things if you must, go vote for tweedle-dum every election day)but do look away. If you want to be liked by your neighbors then you must learn to kill the rage inside.

The worst lie of all is that the American people are the best people in the world. That America is an exceptional nation. This lie, stacked on top of all the horrid other lies, gives the people the internal justification they need to continue on each day with business as usual. "Well, there is no place better than this. This is the best country in the world, so my notions about democracy and justice are just naive and foolish. This is the way the world is and I'd just better make the best of it." Oh well, we say to goes on.

This is the power of the TV. This is what you will find on the TV if you look behind the layers...look behind the illusions....

What is a TV worth? It is worth an entire empire.

Friday, November 04, 2005


NASA is now preparing to launch another plutonium-powered space probe from the space center in Florida.

Called New Horizons, the spacecraft is scheduled to be launched sometime between January 11 - February 14, 2006. The mission will carry a nuclear generator on-board that will provide power and heat for the instruments as it travels to Pluto.

Striking workers at Boeing were supposed to now be preparing the Atlas 5 rocket to carry the New Horizons probe into space, but replacement workers have taken over the job.

As usual, controversy surrounds the launching of deadly plutonium into space. NASA has in the past acknowledged that if there was a launch pad accident, and a release of the plutonium, winds could carry the highly-toxic substance for a 60 mile radius. Contamination would be found, NASA has admitted, as far west as Orlando and Disney World and as far north as Daytona Beach and south to Vero Beach. In past Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for plutonium missions, NASA has said that such an accident would require permanent evacuation of the population, removal of all buildings, vegetation, animals, and the top 1/2 inch of soil. A nuclear wasteland would have been created.

NASA plays with their accident probability numbers by creating computer programs that limit the possibilities of accidents. They do this as a way to reassure the public that there is no need for concern.

Before the 1997 launch of the controversial Cassini nuclear space mission, the Cape Canaveral City Council invited me to come speak to them about the launch. Cassini, which carried 72 pounds of plutonium-238 on-board, was going to the be "last nuclear launch" the city council had been told the week before by space center officials. So don't worry they were told. I handed city council members a list of NASA nuclear missions that they had on the agenda at that time and told them there were more coming. I suggested they might want to invite space center representatives back to go over the list with them.

NASA, working with the Department of Energy and the Pentagon, are eager to move nuclear power into space. Project Prometheus, the nuclear rocket, is one technology that the military is especially excited about as they will need nuclear reactors to power weapons in space like the space-based laser. NASA and the military are also anxious to put nuclear-powered bases on the moon in order to have the U.S. establish a permanent outpost there in hopes of controlling eventual mining operations for helium-3 and water.

The public must demand an end to the launching of nuclear power in space. Just one accident will make the damage from a hurricane look like nothing.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Yesterday, for the first time in what seems like years, we saw a slight sign of life from the Senate Democrats. Led by their leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the Dems invoked a rarely used tactic that allowed them to hold a closed-door session in the senate and for 3 1/2 hours they had at the Repubs, non-violently I presume, demanding a real investigation into the Bush administration's handling of pre-war intelligence.

The Republicans expressed outrage, as could be expected. They claimed to have been blind-sided by the tactic. Republican majority leader, Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) claimed that he would not trust Harry Reid for the "next year and one-half." Wow,
the truth is I won't trust the Repubs for the rest of my life.....

The Republicans are outraged that the Dems stood up for themselves and the country. Like any victim of domestic abuse, the Dems are supposed to just lie there and take the beating. Like any abuser, the Repubs are astonished when the abused stands up and says, "Hold it, stop this.!" Using the abuser/abused image himself, Sen. Harry Reid told the media that, "It's a slap in the face to the American people that this investigation has been stymied." In fact, the slappers even accused the slapees of doing the slapping. Sen. Frist, turning the tables, said he felt "slapped in the face" by Reid.

Truth is both parties need a good smack across their behinds by the American people. Both corrupt parties need a good whack, a shaking up, and a shaking down. But that might be just too much to expect from a populace distracted by the abortion buzz this week.

The Republicans want to ride the abortion issue as long as they can. By appointing Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court, a clear "pro-life right-winger," George W. Bush was hoping he could knock the Iraq war and Scooter Libby legal indictments off the front page. There is nothing like a good abortion fight to distract the American people from a war, a massive budget crisis, growing job losses, and more. Now don't get me wrong, I think Judge Alito will be a disaster for all of us. Our constitutional privacy protections will be destroyed with him on the court. But can we get as outraged about the premature "abortion" of over 100,000 Iraqi lives (mostly innocent civilians) from this illegal and immoral war?

Now the question for me is, was yesterday's slap happy event just a one-slap deal or is this a sign the Dems are getting real. I have my doubts. I'd like to be wrong.