Independent grassroots organization of progressives, liberals and moderates promoting an activist democratic agenda in the state of Illinois.

Saving the Republic vs. Filibuster

EVANSTON, IL, WED., MAY 25, 05 THE HARD SCHELL REPORT

I tell you--I love Harry Reid! When I first saw he was our new Minority Leader, I almost died. One look--and I thought, Oh My Gosh--this Grandpa looks like he will be eaten up alive by the REPUBLICANS. My next thought was, here's a "pro-life" conservative Democrat we've put up in reaction to the "moral values" junk on the heels of the election. Haaaaaaaaa--Never judge a book by its cover, right? I have been so impressed with this man and I ask myself, why had I never heard more about him before? He is TERRIFFIC!

Bill Maher, Guilty of Truth or Treason?

EVANSTON, IL, MAY 24, 05, THE HARD SCHELL REPORT

Are people who go on record telling the truth NOW going to be referred to as treasonous? We all know the ever so familiar expression, The truth hurts! Evidently, it’s true--especially, if in one of those rare exceptions, it involves someone in the media attempting to represent the facts to its audience, whether it be in comedy or news, in a fashion that this administration attempts to keep quiet, i.e. their attempt to whitewash the bad news coming out of Iraq.

On May 13, Comedian Bill Maher commented on his HBO show “Real Time With Bill Maher that the U.S. military has already recruited all the “low-lying fruit” and now was having trouble hitting its recruitment targets by as much as 48%. By making this comment, Maher intentionally inferred that a draft could be in our future.

DMR Editorial: Iraq War Inquiry Needed

A big shout-out to my old hometown paper! The Des Moines Register is the first major paper to call for an independent inquiry into the circumstances under which President Bush led, or rather misled, the country into war in Iraq. LINK.

Perhaps the tide is turning is our efforts to find out just exactly how the President was able to lead us into a war that (1.) is based on lies, (2.) is illegal, (3.) is immoral, (4.) is a waste of American lives, (5.) is a waste of taxpayer dollars, (6.) makes America less safe, (7.) has ruined our reputation as the leader of the free world, and (8.) has made life demonstrably worse for millions of Iraqis.

Senate Countdown Begins

Call these Senators today and urge them to hold the line and support the right to a filibuster (from the DSCC):

Senator Susan Collins (ME)
Phone: (202) 224-2523

Senator Olympia Snowe (ME)
Phone: (202) 224-5344

Senator Chuck Hagel (NE)
Phone: (202) 224-4224

Senator Arlen Specter (PA)
Phone: (202) 224-4254

Senator John W. Warner (VA)
Phone: (202) 224-2023

TALKING POINTS FOR SOMEONE FROM ILLINOIS CALLING AN OUT-OF-STATE REPUBLICAN SENATOR:

Speak as a concerned citizen -- how this action by the Senator is going to affect the entire country, how this is an action of historic proportions that we need to work out in some other way than the "nuclear option".

Election Reform Bills Need Your Help Now

Several bills related to election reform are pending in the Illinois House and Senate and may not come up for a vote, let alone pass, if we don’t make it known that there is substantial support for them. There are only ten days left to this session of the General Assembly, perhaps a bit more if it goes into overtimeso time is of the essence. We can do something about this if we act right now!

Letters to the editor may be the best way to help move this legislation forward. The more letters the newspapers get, the more likely they are to print them, which will in turn attract the attention of the legislators. However, individual letters to Speaker Madigan as well as to your representatives (including Republicans, who may be less likely to support these bills), will also help. Letters to the editor need to be individualized, so I have not included a sample. Information about the bills, however, is provided below.

When the Overwhelming Stench of Mendacity Becomes Too Much for the Media to Bear...

THE HARD SCHELL REPORT, May 17, 05, Evanston, IL

Today, reading on page 1 of the TRIBUNE, I finally saw THE STORY given it's proper due. Quite honestly, I cannot believe the media in this country hasn't been dissecting it, since it first appeared in the British media on May 1st. I'm referring to the British official's report that the Bush administration had been intent on invading Iraq more than a year before it sought Congress' approval. In other words, the administation fixed its intelligence reporting to fit its original intentions.

Yes, I like all other Democrats-- and I do believe more and more Republicans,-- are frustrated by the incredible strength of this TEFLON administration to hold back any criticism, even when caught with the smoking gun. On May 12, I BLOGGED on this story after wading through the U.S. media for days upon days, hoping to read about the new revelation, only to see it reduced to about one paragraph somewhere. Here's a link to that story:

Why Care About the Media? -- Because We Own the Airwaves!

THE HARD SCHELL REPORT, Monday, May 16, 2005, Evanston, IL.
The "airwaves" are the transmission frequencies used by radio, tv and satellite broadcasters, cell phone companies, even your TV remote control, to transmit signals. The airwaves themselves, while utilized by a wide variety of users, ultimately belong to us in the same way that our sidewalk and public parks belong to us. Some businesses, like cell phone companies, pay the government to use their airwaves or "spectrum". Radio and TV broadcasters, though, use these airwaves free of charge — even though they make enormous profits, why can't we all be so lucky, eh? In return for this favor, by law, broadcasters are supposed to serve the "public interest." And, how about this--not only do we own the "airwaves" --we also own the land that cable companies use to lay their networks, even though citizens have rarely played a role in spectrum allocation debates.

The Media's Big Lie: Liberals Want the Nuclear Option Too!

Yes, that's it! The liberals are just aching for the nuclear option too.

On Thursday's NewsHour with Jim Leher, David Brooks explained who benefits from a collision over the Nuclear Option this way:

I would say the groups benefit. The James Dobsons of the world, the People For the American Ways of the world, because they, first of all they believe in it as a matter of conscience -- they want their kind of judges in; but secondly, if they get just a majority it's easier [to] get a much more liberal judge or a much more conservative judge in. So they both benefit, they both want it, they both like the fight.

But he's a Republican hack you say. Well, how about this explanation by Doyle MacManus on NPR this morning:

Republican conservatives would like to drive this to a collision because they think they will win. A lot of Democratic Liberals would like to drive this to a [collision] on the other side because they think they will. We've been talking about 'nuclear option', this is more like World War I with each side trying to figure out what works.

Notice a similarity in the rhetoric?

Does Anyone Else Smell Mendacity in the Air?

Evanston, IL, May 12, 05, THE HARD SCHELL REPORT, Is anyone else as mad as me at the fact that the truth, which we all suspected to be the truth, had to be revealed by the British media. For over two years, we’ve had to bear the smell of mendacity in the air while the US media did it’s best to whitewash the Iraq situation. Did anyone ever for one minute, buy into Bush’s story that "We were going to give the Iraqis what they deserve---DEMOCRACY!"

On May 1, when the British Times printed an incriminating memo, challenging the official government fibs, we could all take heart in knowing that the majority of the American people knew we were being lied to, but now here was the proof. The fix had been in, which leads to the question of how come the US press did not dig around for the incriminating memos as the Brits did? Is British journalism just that much smarter at uncovering the facts, news, investigating its government?

The 2008 Presidential Race and the New York State of Mind

cross-posted from Joe's Prediction

I'm looking to the vanishing point on the horizon. What's out there? I can just barely see it: the beginnings of the Presidential race of 2008.

Do we have a chance? What's our best bet? Believe it or not, there is already some polling data available for the '08 race. LINK.

And I find myself smiling a little. Why? Because it's possible that the Republicans will nominate a candidate so poor they can't possibly win.

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