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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com MichaelMoore.com Mike s Letter
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13, 2006
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      Mike's Letter

      Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
      LANDSLIDE! ...a big thanks from Michael Moore


      You did it! We did it! The impossible has happened: A majority of
      Americans have soundly and forcefully removed Bush's party from
      control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans have
      also, miraculously, been tossed out of running our United States
      Senate. This was done because the American people wanted to make two
      things crystal clear: End this war, and stop Mr. Bush from doing any
      more damage to this country we love. That is what this election was
      about. Nothing else. Just that. And it's a message that has sent
      shock waves throughout Washington -- and a note of hope around this
      troubled world.

      Now the real work begins. Unless we stay on top of these Democrats
      to do the right thing, they will do what they've always done: Screw
      it up. Big Time. They helped Bush start this war, and now they
      should make amends.

      But let's take a day to rejoice and revel in a rare victory for our
      side -- the side that doesn't believe in unprovoked invasions of
      other countries. This is your day, my friends. You have worked hard
      for it. I can't tell you how proud I am to count all of you as part
      of the greater American mainstream we now occupy. Thank you for all
      the time you gave this week to get out the vote. Some of you have
      been at this since the large demonstrations of February 2003 when we
      tried to stop the war before it started. Only 10-20% of the country
      agreed with us at that time. Remember how lonely that was? Some
      people were even booed! Now, 60% of the country agrees with our
      position. They are us and we are them. What a nice, strange, hopeful

      A woman, for the first time in our history, will be Speaker of the
      House. The attempt to ban all abortion in the conservative state of
      South Dakota was defeated. Laws to raise the minimum wage were
      passed. Democrats were elected to fill Tom DeLay's and Mark Foley's
      seats. Detroit's John Conyers, Jr. is going to be the Chairman of
      the House Judiciary Committee. The Democratic governor of Michigan
      beat the CEO from Amway. The little township next to where I live in
      Michigan voted Democratic for the first time since... ever. And on
      and on and on. The good news will continue throughout today. Let's
      enjoy it. Savor it. And use it to get Congress to finally listen to
      the majority.

      If you want to do one thing today, send an email or a letter to both
      of your senators and your member of Congress and tell them, in no
      uncertain terms, what this election means: End the war -- and don't
      let George W. Bush get away with any more of his bright ideas.

      Congratulations, again! Now let's go find a spine for the Dems to do
      the job we've sent them there to do.

      Yours in victory (for once!),

      Michael Moore

      P.S. Thanks for all those photos you sent me of you with your brooms
      at your polling places. They're still coming in and we're posting
      them here throughout the day. And for those of you who asked
      how "Sicko" is coming along, the answer is: better than we ever
      expected! We're hard at work in the edit room and it will be in
      theaters in June. Thanks again, everyone, for your support.


      The American revolution of 2006 and beyond
      Sidney Blumenthal
      November 9, 2006

      The concession by George Allen today confirms that James Webb has
      won in Virginia, a victory that gives the Democrats a majority in
      the Senate, completing the party's sweep of both houses of the
      Congress and ratifying the repudiation of President Bush and his
      policies, especially in the Iraq war.

      Bush's radical presidency was the number one issue in the mid-term
      elections. Republican candidates lived in fear that they would
      receive calls from the White House suggesting that the president
      wanted to campaign for them. His last minute blitz in Montana on
      behalf of Senator Conrad Burns seemed momentarily to lift the
      beleaguered incumbent, but virtually the moment Air Force One
      departed the Republican sank once again, this time for good. In
      Florida, the Republican candidate for governor, Charles Crist, fled
      upon the president's arrival at a rally on his behalf in the state
      capital of Tallahassee. Crist's disloyalty and rudeness, leaving
      Bush in the lurch, was the better part of wisdom. Crist, like other
      Republicans caught in the storm, managed to survive only by avoiding
      him. The once eagerly sought presidential photo-op had become the
      kiss of death.

      Before the spotlight turns to the repositioning of the president,
      the appointment of a new secretary of defense and the machinations
      of the new 110th Democratic Congress, it is worthwhile to sift
      through the extraordinary election returns, which contain the
      makings of a further realignment of American politics in the
      presidential election of 2008 and beyond.

      Bush's radical presidency consolidated the grip of Southern
      conservatism over the Republican party. He completed the "Southern
      Strategy" launched by Richard Nixon in 1968 in the aftermath of the
      civil rights movement, a strategy that assimilated the Dixiecrat
      George Wallace third party into the Republican ranks. Over time, the
      strategy that was supposed to be an add-on to the traditional GOP
      engulfed it. Bush finished the project that Nixon began. Karl Rove,
      his chief political aide, hypothesized a permanent national majority
      rooted in a Southern Strategy in which the rest of the country was
      an add-on. But in his quest for realignment Rove has left a rump
      regional party mired in the swamps of Dixie. What purpose does Rove
      with his scenarios of polarization now serve Bush?

      After the midterm elections, the GOP has become a regional party of
      the south. And, in the future, Republicans can only hold their base
      by asserting their conservatism, which alienates the rest of the
      country. More than ever, the Republicans are dependent upon white
      evangelical voters in the south and sparsely populated Rocky
      Mountain states. The Republican coalition, its much-touted "big
      tent," has nearly collapsed.

      Republicans under Bush are beginning a downward spiral that
      parallels the decline of the Democrats. From 1968 through 1988, the
      story of the Democratic party had been its internal disintegration
      and reduction to its base. Clinton's presidency served as an
      interregnum, which might have broken the Republicans had his vice-
      president, Al Gore, been permitted to assume the office he won by a
      popular majority but was thwarted by the conservative bloc on the
      supreme court.

      The 2006 elections have started to hollow out the Republican party
      outside the south. Of the Democratic gains reported thus far (there
      are still races too close to call), 11 of 36 House seats held by
      Republicans in the north-east were captured; that is, nearly one-
      third of the Republicans there were wiped out. In the Midwest, nine
      of 60 flipped, that is, 15%. These Republicans are not the more
      conservative members, but the most liberal and prominent moderates
      in their party. According to an unpublished post-election study by
      Thomas Schaller, a University of Maryland political scientist, 14 of
      48 of the most "liberal" Republicans were defeated.

      The Democrats who defeated them can be expected to hold these seats
      indefinitely. Historically Republican districts going back to the
      founding of the GOP in the civil war are turning into Democratic
      bastions. After the failure of Reconstruction, the south became
      wholly Democratic, the "solid south", and the basis of a Democratic
      party that was mostly out of power, unless the Republicans split,
      until the rise of Franklin D Roosevelt and the New Deal during the
      great depression. The pre-FDR Republicans, after Reconstruction,
      gave up on ever building a two-party system in the south. Instead,
      in reaction to the solid south, the Republicans consolidated
      national power in the solid north.

      This post-civil war/pre-New Deal pattern is now turned on its head.
      Voting patterns today almost exactly resemble voting patterns of the
      late 19th and early 20th centuries, but with the parties in reverse

      The Democratic party that has advanced from the 2006 elections
      reasserts the solid north, with inroads in the metropolitan states
      of the west, and, like the GOP of the past, challenges in the states
      of the peripheral south such as Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia.
      This Democratic party has never existed before. It is a center-left
      party with wings that can flap together. The party's opposition to
      the Republicans on economic equity and social tolerance are its
      defining characteristics.

      The pace of this realignment is uncertain, but the underlying
      dynamics are not. That the Senate fell to the Democrats in Virginia
      is telling about the weakness of the Republicans and suggestive
      about the future. Senator George Allen represented the fulfillment
      of the Republican Southern Strategy. He intended to use his win in
      this contest as a platform for his presidential campaign in 2008. He
      had already assembled around him throngs of experienced and
      expensive Republican political consultants. James Webb, who had
      originally been a Democrat, but become a Republican long ago and
      rose to be Reagan's secretary of the navy, returned to his roots in
      response to Bush. His victory represents the emergence of a
      Democratic party that even has a new appeal in the upper south.

      Sidney Blumenthal will discuss his new book, How Bush Rules, at the
      Guardian Newsroom in London on November 15. For details see


      R.I. senator may leave Republican Party
      By MICHELLE R. SMITH, Associated Press Writer
      Fri Nov 10, 2006

      Two days after losing a bid for a second term, Sen. Lincoln Chafee
      (news, bio, voting record) said he was unsure whether he would
      remain a Republican.

      Chafee lost to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in a race seen as a
      referendum on President Bush and the GOP. On Thursday, he was asked
      whether he would stick with the Republican Party or become an
      independent or Democrat.

      "I haven't made any decisions. I just haven't even thought about
      where my place is," Chafee said at a news conference. When pressed
      on whether his comments indicated he might leave the GOP, he
      replied: "That's fair."

      Chafee, 53, is a lifelong Republican who has represented Rhode
      Island for seven years. His father held the same seat for 23 years
      before that.

      He is the most liberal Republican in the Senate and was the sole
      Senate Republican to vote against the war in Iraq. But that was not
      enough to prevail against Whitehouse, who shared many of Chafee's
      views but was a Democrat in a heavily Democratic state.

      Chafee said he has not decided what to do after leaving office, but
      he hoped to stay involved in public life. He said his loss may have
      helped the country by switching control of Congress.

      "The people have spoken all across America. They want the Democrats
      and Republicans to work together," he said. "I think the president
      now is going to have to talk to the Democrats. I think that's going
      to be good for America."

      Chafee said he waged a lonely campaign to bring the party to the
      middle. He described attending weekly lunches with fellow GOP
      senators and standing up to argue his point of view, often alone.

      "There were times walking into my caucus room where it wasn't fun,"
      he said, adding that he stayed with the GOP largely because it
      helped him bring federal dollars home to Rhode Island.


      Wash. Post editorial acknowledged Republicans dominated in "negative
      campaigning" but said it was "because they were the ones on the
      Thursday November 9, 2006

      Summary: In an editorial, The Washington Post asserted that "[t]he
      worst offenders" of "negative campaigning" were "Republicans, but
      that probably was because they were the ones on the defensive." In
      fact, Republicans also employed vicious smears in winning the 2002
      and 2004 elections.

      In a November 9 editorial, headlined "A Better Way," which discussed
      how "[n]egative campaigning hit new lows this year," citing four
      tactics used by Republicans this election cycle, The Washington Post
      asserted that "[t]he worst offenders ... were Republicans, but that
      probably was because they were the ones on the defensive." In fact,
      Republicans also employed vicious smears in winning the 2002 and
      2004 elections. For instance, during the 2002 Georgia Senate race,
      then-Republican challenger Saxby Chambliss linked then-incumbent
      Sen. Max Cleland, a former Army captain who lost three limbs during
      the Vietnam War, to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and attacked
      Cleland's record on national security. During the 2004 presidential
      race, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (now Swift Vets and POWs for
      Truth), which backed President Bush, also employed smear tactics to
      falsely attack Sen. John Kerry's (D-MA) record during and after his
      service in Vietnam, a smear previously noted by the Post's editorial

      Additionally, the Post editorial cited the "sleazy new practices
      such as robo-calls designed to annoy and deceive voters" but did not
      note that they were employed by Republicans, not Democrats, as its
      own reporting has. The editorial also referred to "the Election Day
      disgrace of Maryland's top two elected officials sanctioning the use
      of a clearly false campaign flier and then compounding the insult to
      the targeted Prince George's County audience by using out-of-state
      homeless people to distribute the material" but did not note that
      the campaign was conducted by Republicans. As the Post reported on
      November 7, "Inaccurate sample ballots describing Republican Gov.
      Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Senate candidate Michael S. Steele as
      Democrats were handed out to voters in at least four polling sites
      in Prince George's County."

      Despite the Post editorial's suggestion, Republicans have a history
      of engaging in controversial attacks on their Democratic opponents
      and such attacks are not unique to the 2006 midterms. For instance,
      as Media Matters for America has previously noted, during that 2002
      Georgia Senate race, Chambliss aired advertisements against Cleland
      that featured footage of Saddam and bin Laden and attacked Cleland
      on his record on national security. As the Post itself reported in a
      July 3, 2003, article:

      It [the ad] opened with pictures of Osama bin Laden and Saddam
      Hussein. "As America faces terrorists and extremist dictators," said
      a narrator, "Max Cleland runs television ads claiming he has the
      courage to lead. He says he supports President Bush at every
      opportunity, but that's not the truth. Since July, Max Cleland voted
      against President Bush's vital homeland security efforts 11 times!"

      The Chambliss ad was immediately condemned, as the Post reported, by
      Republican Sens. John McCain (AZ) -- who said of the ad, "[I]t's
      worse than disgraceful, it's reprehensible" -- and Chuck Hagel (NE) -
      - who threatened to run an ad denouncing Republican officials if
      they didn't pull it off the air.

      Additionally, in 2004, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth became
      famous for airing false and discredited ads attacking Kerry's
      Vietnam service record. Among other things, the Swift Boat Veterans
      accused Kerry of lying to receive the medals he was awarded during
      his service and of betraying the troops by giving anti-war testimony
      before Congress in 1971. An August 24, 2004, Post editorial
      condemned the ads, stating that "ads by the group calling itself
      Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had crossed the line in smearing the
      service that earned Mr. Kerry three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and
      a Silver Star." The editorial further noted that "additional
      evidence has emerged, in reporting by The Post's Michael Dobbs and
      in other papers, that further discredits the group's claims."

      The Post's editorial reflects a pattern among the media in
      denouncing "dirty campaigning" and suggesting both parties are
      culpable, while providing only Republican transgressions as
      examples, as Media Matters has previously noted (here and here). For
      instance, the October 25 broadcast of ABC's Nightline reported
      that "both sides are playing a serious game of hardball"
      with "mudslinging" attack ads hitting "below the belt," focusing
      entirely on a handful of controversial Republican ads that garnered
      wide media attention and were broadly condemned, both for their
      inaccuracies and their personal attacks. But the report did not cite
      one instance in which a Democrat had made similar attacks. Likewise,
      in an online report on how recent campaigns advertisements
      are "getting ugly," ABC News, unable to point to a single instance
      of "nasty" attacks from Democratic candidates or their supporters,
      suggested it is only a matter of time before "the left" begins
      to "unleash its garbage as well." ABC News offered no evidence to
      back up its assertion.

      — J.M.


      And just in case you think it's all good news...

      Conyers Toes Party Line: No Impeachment
      Something Is Extremely 'Rotten In The State Of Denmark'
      Steve Watson
      Friday, November 10, 2006

      The latest Democrat "saviour" to flip flop 180 degrees in light of
      their victory is Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. Presumed to become
      chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in January, Conyers today
      said that impeachment of President Bush "is off the table."

      "In this campaign, there was an orchestrated right-wing effort to
      distort my position on impeachment," Conyers said in a statement
      released by his Judiciary Committee spokesman. "The incoming speaker
      (Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.) has said that impeachment is off the
      table. I am in total agreement with her on this issue: Impeachment
      is off the table."

      Conyers seems to have forgotten that last December he laid out the
      grounds for impeachment in a 350 page long report called "The
      Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception,
      Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Cover-ups in the Iraq War"
      and later updated to add "illegal domestic surveillance."

      For a while Conyers was the darling of left leaning bloggers and
      readers everywhere:

      At this site, we are especially proud of the new Conyers
      Report, "The Constitution in Crisis." By purchasing this book, you
      have the opportunity to own a part of history and help the
      Congressman hold the Bush Administration accountable. Your
      assistance in helping Congressman Conyers become the next Chairman
      of the House Judiciary Committee will bring us one step closer to
      getting the American people the answers from this Administration
      that they deserve.
      - www.afterdowningstreet.org

      Conyers is so admirable. One of the very few in Congress who still
      has integrity and principles. It is too bad that he does not get
      more MSM coverage but why would they do that? He might upset the
      Republican and Corporate plans for total control and could expose
      their nefarious doings.
      He is risking much by not following the official DNC program too, in
      addition to challenging the Bushies.
      - Huffington Post

      In december 2005, upon release of the report, Conyers stated:

      The Report concludes that a number of these actions amount to prima
      facie evidence (evidence sufficiently strong to presume the
      allegations are true) that federal criminal laws have been violated.
      Legal violations span from false statements to Congress to
      whistleblower laws... The Report also concludes that these charges
      clearly rise to the level of impeachable conduct... In response to
      the Report, I have already taken a number of actions. First, I have
      introduced a resolution (H. Res. 635) creating a Select Committee
      with subpoena authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush
      Administration with regard to the Iraq war and report on possible
      impeachable offenses.

      So Conyers was already underway with setting up investigations into
      impeachable offences, but now he says that impeachment is off the
      table? Clearly he has been given orders to toe the party line or
      face the consequences.

      Despite the fact that 86% want to see the President impeached,
      leading Democrats have already ruled this out. The same leading
      Democrats that voted for the war in Afghanistan, for the Patriot
      Act, for Homeland Security and against a bill that simply condemned
      torture of prisoners in Iraq.

      After Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean, Conyers is the latest Democrat
      to show us their true colours once in power.

      Conyers and the other Democrats highlight precisely why we need to
      regroup, consolidate and redouble our efforts in light of the
      theatrical shift of power in Washington to the left. Because as soon
      as this happened, overnight, the truth movement lost a great deal of
      support from those that believe the job is now done.

      Taking note of many reader comments over the past few days I have
      noticed a startling uprise in the amount of negative and dismissive
      feedback from some readers. Evidently those who expected us to be
      out dancing in the streets at the news of a Democrat landslide in
      Washington have been bitterly disappointed.

      We have never once suggested that the solution to a corrupt and
      fascist Neocon leadership is a passive and capitulating Democrat
      sideshow leadership, so why is it any surprise that we are
      continuing on the same course as before?

      Comments such as the following emphasize my point:

      "You can only have it one way. What the hell is up with you people.
      The whole time the Bush regime was in power you begged for change.
      Now you have it, but your still complaining."

      Yes we are seeking change, but not a simple change of personnel as
      we have witnessed this week. As we reported yesterday "There's no
      doubt about it, to see frothing Neo-Cons who have been strutting
      around like John Wayne for the past five years finally eat humble
      pie is a breath of fresh air, but let's not be so deluded as to
      think that the Neo-Con agenda, which took decades to craft, was
      simply brushed aside by the victory of a party that has supported
      Bush every step of the way on major issues."

      Seeing Bush on TV admitting he'd took a hell of a beating was great,
      for about five minutes, then he started laughing and joking about it
      and talking about pushing forward to work closely with a new crowd.

      Is rolling over and going back to sleep going to get Bush impeached?
      Should we shut down the websites now and go save the whales or
      something else we'd all love to be doing if we didn't have to
      relentlessly keep fighting to stop our leaders killing our freedoms?

      Within hours the Democratic elite have shown us that they don't give
      a damn about holding the Bush administration up to scrutiny. With no
      effective opposition in the form of a political party it is up to
      the people to continue to demand justice and to continue to attempt
      to reign in those who have heinously abused their power.

      Thomas Jefferson described Congress as "a body to which the people
      send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question
      everything and yield nothing."

      In light of this how can any representative say something like
      impeachment is 'off the table?'
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