Thursday, September 08, 2005

Walking and Chewing Gun

This afternoon, while driving home from work, I had my local NPR station on and I heard that some chickens were finally coming home to roost on Tom DeLay. Ironically, the story was on Market Place , a business show imported by NPR. The link is to an audio file and speaks about the indictment against the PAC formed by Mr. DeLay filed by a Texas Grand Jury. The reporter hinted that some deals might be cut that would involve direct testimony against DeLay.

Sure enough, as soon as I got home, I fired up the ancient lap top I'm using until I can get the ailing PC into the doctor and discovered that in fact an indictment had been filed against Texans for a Republican Majority.

AUSTIN, Texas — A grand jury has indicted a political action committee formed by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and a Texas business group in connection with 2002 legislative campaign contributions.

The five felony indictments against the two groups were made public Thursday. Neither DeLay nor any individuals with the business group has been charged with any wrongdoing.

The charge against Texans for a Republican Majority alleged the committee illegally accepted a political contribution of $100,000 from the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.

Four indictments against the Texas Association of Business include charges of unlawful political advertising, unlawful contributions to a political committee and unlawful expenditures such as those to a graphics company and political candidates.

The story in and of itself is important because it involves some potential wrongdoing with respect to, among other things, funding for the redistriction of Texas. The story also, however, reminded me that a whole lot of stuff has happened since May of this year.

We've had the Downing Street Memos confirming what many of us believed right from the start: that the Iraq Invasion was illegal and based on bogus, "fixed" facts. We've had Plame Gate. We've had Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an Iraqi soldier, camp out during yet another Bush month-long vacation trying to meet with him to get some answers as to why her son had to die in what now looks to be an illegal war. We've had the nomination of someone to the Supreme Court who looks very much like a right wing hack, and whose history is being deliberately hidden by the maladministration. And, of course, we've had the unspeakable tragedy of the government disaster in dealing with the natural disaster which visited New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

Congress has now reconvened, and their first and most important order of business has been to deal with the people so thrashed by the government in the wake of Hurrican Katrina. This is as it should be: these people need relief, and need it now. We should all be working towards alleviating their suffering.

However, and this is a big but, we must not lose sight of all of the other instances of the malfeasance of the Bush Administration. Liberals/progressives have to keep hammering at all of these issues in the wells of the Senate and the House and in the media and in local town meetings.

Yes, juggling all of these issues are difficult, but no more difficult than the issues American families have to juggle on a daily basis. Most of us have to juggle a shrinking paycheck, increased gasoline and heating bills, increased education costs, increased food costs, but we somehow manage. So should our elected representatives.

To remind them of that, I urge everyone to participate in the anti-war demonstrations set for September 24, whether in Washington, DC, or in the local variations of that protest.

If enough people hit the streets, especially as we approach another election cycle, perhaps we'll get the attention of a few of our representatives. If not, we should prepare to storm the polls in November, 2006.


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