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Wall Street's Mercenaries Ride Donkeys

Robert Scheer's new book "The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street," is not yet another account of how we got robbed or "why the economy imploded for dummies." If you're like me, you just didn't need another lesson in how swapped collateralized debt obligation derivative tranches didn't really make the pie higher. Scheer's book is something else: a straightforward broad-view account of the past thirty years focused on who did the robbing.

Here's the short answer that Scheer provides: Reagan announced the robbery but couldn't pull it off. Clinton robbed us blind. Bush Jr. and Obama drove the get-away car, with Obama disguised as a security guard.

Let's Fact Check the AP's Fact Checking on Obama's Speech

By David Swanson

FACT CHECK: Is Iraq combat really over for US?
WASHINGTON — Despite President Barack Obama's declaration Tuesday of an end to the combat mission in Iraq, combat almost certainly lies ahead. And in asserting the U.S. has met its responsibilities in Iraq, the president opened the door wide to a debate about the meaning of success in the muddle that most — but not all — American troops are leaving behind. A look at some of the statements Obama made in his Oval Office speech and how they compare with the facts:


OBAMA: "Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended."

More War Lies

By David Swanson

Lies aren't used just to start wars, but also to escalate them, continue them, and even reduce or end them. And we got a pile of war lies from the president Tuesday evening.

Obama claimed the war on Iraq was initially a war to disarm a state. Really? And then "terrorist" Iraqis attacked our troops in their country. Yet if they had done that in our country, I suspect they would still be the terrorists. And then it became a civil war which we were innocently caught up in. Uh huh.

Comparing Democratic and Republican Blood

By David Swanson

This coming March 19th we'll have two occasions to mark. One will be the start of the ninth year of occupying Iraq. And, if my math is correct, within a few days of that anniversary we'll reach the point at which the Democratic House of Representatives and Senate have funded more days of occupying Iraq than those chambers did when they had a Republican majority. In funding days of occupying Afghanistan, the Democrats already have a big lead in the Senate but trail far behind in the House.

F--- the Filibuster

Here's something I wrote in December 2008, with an update below:

2009: Year of the Filibuster

By David Swanson

Trying to squeeze any sort of peace on earth out of our government in Washington has been a steep uphill climb for years. For the most part we no longer have representatives in Congress, because of the corruption of money, the weakness of the media, and the strength of parties. There are not 535 opinions on Capitol Hill on truly important matters, but 2. Our supposed representatives work for their party leaders, not for us. Luckily, one of the two parties claims to want to work for us.

Peace Movement Pushes for End to War on Iraq

By David Swanson

As news stories are leading those still aware of the war on Iraq to believe it's over, it was encouraging to see Busboys and Poets restaurant in Washington, D.C., packed Sunday evening for a four-hour forum on actions needed to actually end that war, make reparations, and deter future wars of aggression. The event was advertised with the following description:

Withdraw the Last Combat Politicians from Washington

By David Swanson

Pretending to end a war and occupation, while stationing 50,000 soldiers, 18,000 mercenaries, and 84,000 support contractors in massive and permanent military bases in Iraq is a far cry from what candidate Barack Obama described as ending "the mind-set that got us into war in the first place." It fits better with Nobel Peace laureate Obama's description of war as "not only necessary but morally justified."

HOTSEAT- Swanson's song: Give peace a chance


It's not too hard to pick out David Swanson's house. That would be the one with the "Wage Peace" and "End the War Now" signs in the front yard.

On his website, there's a picture of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and in the background there's Swanson, holding a small pink sign that reads, "Torture is Illegal."

Other places you might have run into David Swanson: Protesting former President George Bush at Monticello. Protesting "torture memo" author John Yoo at the Miller Center. Protesting a Congressional vote to spend an additional $33 billion in Afghan war spending at U.S. Representative Tom Perriello's office.