Friday, October 28, 2005

Follow-up to the Scott Ritter Inteview

A few words from Craig Rhodes:

As a follow up to Alison's excellent post, I've just finished with Scott's 3 day visit here. I was the primary organizer and contact within our peace group because of my past work with Scott so I had the advantage of spending a lot of time with him both in the past as well as now.

After having spent the last 3 days with Scott, I'm even more impressed with him than I was the first time he came to our area. Anyone here who has met him can attest to that fact. He is one of the most dynamic, convincing speakers I've ever heard. We are fortunate to have him on our side. I'm a retired teacher so my job required an ability to speak before large groups. I'm no slacker on this score but Scott has a unique talent in this regard that is inspiring. He is an orator of the old school.

During the last three days, he spoke to a dizzying number of groups and venues. I was with him at every speech and learned something new each time. I witnessed him speaking to college classes that numbered from 300+ to only 13 as well as large audiences of the general population. Classes that included journalism, senior sociology majors, political science, international law, middle eastern history etc. both grad and undergrad, and he tailored his message to the subject matter and age of each class but still within the context of his core message. His argument was cogent, fact, experience-based, and convincing. It was all done without notes and extemporaneously. His memory and command of the facts is prodigious as evidenced by Seymour Hersh who was going to write a book about him entitled "Scott Ritter is a Big Fat Liar" until he began to check Scott's facts. Hersh then asked to write the introduction to his new book and is now his friend. Scott has the ability to mesmerize an audience regardless of the age or demographic. It's quite a feat to be able to hold the rapt attention of a large class of undergraduate freshmen who might be otherwise bored and disengaged. I've never seen anything like it.

At the end of every speech he challenged the audience to challenge him, being deliberately provocative in order to gain credence for what he had said. There were many who took him up on the challenge and most who did were obviously well informed themselves. He was able to answer, refute or expand on their questions with knowledge of the most minute details that surpassed their own knowledge, and he did it without resorting to cheap shots. He answered every question. It was always with respect for the questioner. In every case, bar none, the questioner went away convinced of Scott's argument as well as his integrity. Moreove, Scott would have stayed until the last person or until I had to drag him away to arrive at the next scheduled venue. And he did so after being on the road and working without sleep for over 30 hours.

If you're wanting to make a difference in your area, you will have no better opportunity than to have Scott speak. A word of advice, he encourages you to have him there for more than one day in as many venues as possible. He is tireless. He is just as effective one on one as he is with a group. By having him there for a lengthy period his message is reinforced. His knowledge, experience and presentation is unassailable. We had him debate one of the most rabid pro-war spokespersons in our area on air twice. A man who is a retired CIA agent who himself has spent significant time in Iraq and Kurdistan. It was taped and is going to be rebroadcast over the local public access channel over the next month. He effectively defanged the spokesperson on both occasions and did so in such a way that his opponent is now somewhat sympathetic to what our peace group is doing. His efforts will be extremely effective and helpful regarding our activities.

I like to believe I'm a pretty good judge of character and it is my opinion that Scott Ritter is the real deal, especially after having been in his company, one on one for days at a time. We bonded. He and his family have suffered greatly, both financially and otherwise, for the fight he has chosen to take on but he continues on, which is inspiring in itself. If you have any connections with a college or similar organization in your area that would be interested in having him speak it would go a long way toward changing the minds of those who support the Iraq debacle and thus bring our troops home ASAP.

His contact email is Tell him I sent you.

"Only when love and need are one
And the work is
play for mortal stakes
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the
future's sake."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Scott Ritter Interview in Southern Illinois

Scott Ritter, a former Marine officer, was a top United Nations (UN) weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. He lead more an a dozen missions often facing top Iraqi military and security personnel. He has maintained the argument that Saddam Hussein had been disarmed and has never threatened U.S. security. The "justification" for the invasion was nothing more than domestic politics.

During an interview with the former UN weapons inspector, Scott talked about looking for weapons of mass distruction (WMDs) in Iraq. He also explained how much of the intelligence used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq was discredited by work he and fellow inspectors conducted in the 1990s. His new book,
Iraq Confidential : The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein (Nation Books), is now available.

Scott's position as a weapons inspector was quite specific. As a Marine intelligence officer with 12 years experience gathering information, he had all the qualifications for it. He also had some knowledge of the Russian language. After former President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Marines assigned him to the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic in a missile production facility learning how to be a weapons inspector. He was a ballistic missile advisor to General Norman Schwarzkopf during the first Gulf War. He has specialized in this field ever since.

Scott has been very professional in his approach to Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people. His attitude is neither pacifist or sympathetic. It is factual. When a country agrees to submit their data and does not, members of the intelligence community know that it is time to pay a visit, ask questions, gather information, assess the findings, and develop conclusions.

Iraq had weapons of mass destruction -- in 1991. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) maintained the illusion that a legitimate reason to invade the Mideast country existed. George H. W. Bush began a policy of regime change for Iraq. He used the inspectors as a Trojan horse to report on the security Saddam Hussein and deliberately mislead Congress and the American people. Bill Clinton inherited the policy. Against his better judgement, there was little he could do at the time. The current President George W. Bush has actively followed through with his predecessors' legacy. By 1997, 90 to 95 percent of those weapons were disarmed. By 2003, the country did not pose a threat to America's security. With the most intrusive procedures possible, the inspectors proved that the country's weapons of mass destruction no longer existed.

The the current Bush Administration uses its ideology to permeate a sense of fear throughout the country -- without justification. Scott uses Iraq Confidential to outline all the factual non-classified intelligence information. He had 100 percent access to the primary UN points of contact. His sources are legitimate. The contents of his book are grounded in reality.

The country does have its share of issues. There are no security forces in Iraq that people can be loyal to. No one has truly defined the problem. Without defining the problem, there can be no solution. Why has the U. S. invaded Iraq? Why does the U. S. continue to occupy Iraq?

The U. S. has a Rule of Law yet the legislators deliberately allowed the country to enter into into a war based on a lie. The neo-cons then created their own politically correct reality of 12 to 20 missles, used CIA policy to undermine and infiltrate the UN inspection teams during the 1990s, and then to undermine their efforts again before the 2003 invasion. They thought they could gain access to the planet's second largest oil resources in Iraq with a quick and easy invasion. Once they acquired access, they planned to leverage the U. S. political and economic control with global control.

The plan backfired, and getting the U. S. out of the lie is long overdue. The
exit strategy that Rep. Ike Skelton (MO-04) proposes is unrealistic since it has no basis for reality. Here is the reality:

  • The US occupation forces created Iraq's civil war in the first place.
  • The country's insurgencies are anti-occupation in nature.
  • The US goal has never been to build a Mideast democracy.
  • Iran is now in charge of Iraq.

Scott offers his own viable exit strategy that is not a capitulation. It is a multi-lateral process with the U. S. leading it:

  1. Remove the occupation troops. They need to come back home to the U. S. The Shiites, Khurds, and Sunnis will learn to live with it.
  2. Reinfranchise the Sunnis with political and economic forces to remove the radical Islamic factions.
  3. Encourage the Khurds to stop talking about independence. The Turks will never allow it. They cannot allow it because they want to be part of the European Union.

There are no other suggestions for a viable exit strategy based on reality and the Rule of Law. If it compromises anything, it is the U. S. government's political lies about Iraq.

This has been Scott's second visit to Paducah, KY. His first visit in 2003 was warm and receptive with friendly audiences. For this year's visit, Craig Rhodes and the other members of the Patriots of Peace sponsored Scott's visit to Paducah, KY, on October 25 and 26. He also provided telephone interviews to a variety of radio stations.

It was a rare opportunity for him to share his knowledge of Iraq with the residents of Kentucky and Illinois. People can make all the negative statements about Scott that they want. They also have to admit that he has consistently stood up for the truth, spoken truth to political power -- regardless of the personal consequences and has taken a good many hits for it-- and then gotten up and done it all over again. Honesty and courage are two of his strongest hallmarks. His
interview with Diane Riehm on National Public Radio offers greater detail on the facts, answers a lot of common questions, and summarizes his thesis on the policy history, CIA, and US government very poignantly and effectively at one point in the interview. The Nation's Seymour Hersh interview and Democracy Now interview and transcript are also available. Readers can find another brief article on Alternet.

Scott encourages everyone to listen to his presentations with an open mind for facts and analysis, create a forum for discussion, and leave with a more informed opinion. It is working. His staunchest critics are now acknowledging that they owe him long overdue apologies, and they are delivering them publicly.

With 2,000 Americans now dead, the invasion is nothing short of a disaster on every level. Iraq and its people are worse off today than under Saddam Hussein. The invasion was illegal and therefore, an impeachable offense. Congress and the president are culable in this fraud.

It is very American and completely patriotic for members of a representative democracy to hold their elected representatives accountable. The 2006 Election is the best place to start.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Scott Ritter Information

Craig Rhodes provided this response to a Republican blogger's continuing questions of Scott Ritter's credibility, speaking fees, and erroneous allegations of illegal behavior:


It would appear that Spongeblog has learned his lessons well from the Karl Rove slime machine. If it worked on John McCain, Max Cleland, Joseph Wilson, Al Gore, John Kerry then why not try it on Scott Ritter.

Nevermind that Mr. Ritter's warnings before the Iraq invasion regarding the lies being used for the rationale for war, have been proven correct.

Nevermind the untold deaths and injury that have resulted from this ill fated neo-con Bush war crime.

Apparently, all of this pales in significance to the right wing blogosphere who are so desperate that they hang their hats on a dismissed case against Mr. Ritter in their futile attempt to justify an illegal war and torture.

At this point, every warning that Mr. Ritter has made has been proven correct. To question his "creditability" (sic) at this point indicates that Spongeblog is little more than a thirty percenter. As such Spongeblog and his kind have no credibility themselves except among other thirty percenters.

Getting your info from CNN does not necessarily mean that you aren't using Rove's talking points. I doubt you have a direct link to Rove. A case in point, CNN among others including NY Times, Wash. Post etc., helped Rove out a covert CIA agent in retaliation against Joseph Wilson. This is Rove's modus operandi and you're following suit.

Secondly, Mr. Ritter broke with Clinton, not because he wasn't doing enough to oust Hussein but because the CIA under Clinton was trying to use UNSCOM as a spy agency for the U.S. thus diverting its mission, which is why Mr. Ritter resigned his commission as weapons inspector. I agreed with Mr. Ritter then as now. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because I oppose W that I supported Clinton. Only those who live in a B&W world come to such simplistic conclusions.

Weapons inspection regimes under Rolph Ekeus, Richard Butler, Hans Blix (whom W ordered out of Iraq), David Kay, and Duelfer found no WMD. They had staffs of thousands and spent hundreds of millions but found nothing. And it bears noting that Kay and Duelfer were the Administration's men who were sent in after the invasion specifically to find something that would help justify the invasion. "Retroactive Justification" for war as the noted conservative George Will called it.

Both Kay and Duelfer, like the other inspectors before them, came back stating that not only were they unable to find WMD but that there probably never were any. This was what Mr. Ritter was saying before the war, which is why he was slimed by the Administration. Meanwhile nearly 2000 American soldiers are dead with thousands more maimed.

I've noticed that thirty percent of any given population will always support their leaders no matter what. It has been estimated that at least thirty percent of the German pop. supported Hitler even when he was in his bunker and Berlin reduced to rubble. We know that thirty percent supported Nixon even as he was waving bye-bye from the heliport after resigning as pres. This thirty percent rule of thumb seems to apply throughout history.

We know from the polls that W's approval rating is now into the 30 percentile range. Therefore, it's hard not to conclude that anyone now supporting this regime is among the thirty percenters. W could BBQ a baby on the WH lawn and the thirty percenters would find a way to defend him.

And yes, I believe that at this late date, with all of the info we now have as to the lies that were used to justify the Iraq invasion, anyone who still defends this war would seem to be a right "wringer".

No true conservative that I know would advocate nor support foreign entanglements much less the Iraq debacle. So contrary to your assertion, your position does not seem to be conservative.

Speaking Fees

The last time Mr. Ritter spoke here, he did it for nothing because, as he stated to me, it was his duty as a citizen. We have insisted on paying him this time, against his wishes, because he and his family deserves it.

Erroneous Allegations of Illegal Behavior

My inclination is not to descend to the level of the right wing and allow them to divert the issue from their support of an illegal war and torture, among other things, because it encourages them to continue to resort to ad hominem arguments rather than address the issues at hand.

However, since you asked, I'll address your fascination with this issue this one time. As I mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to spend 6 hours one on one with Mr. Ritter and during that time I asked him point blank about the questions you've raised. His answer was that the case was dismissed and that he and others involved were under a gag rule issued by the judge. He said that he would prefer to address it outright but was prevented from doing so on advice of his lawyer and until or when the judge released the gag order. He said that he had had a long talk with his wife in which he offered to stop speaking out against the Iraq invasion but that his wife had told him that she would prefer he continue the fight no matter what the right wing did to him. He said that she was the only one who could have stopped him but given her encouragement, he would continue. By the way, they have twin teenage daughters.
Craig continues with his comments:

Most of the "facts" you've cited in your post are mainly innuendo that has percolated throughout the right wing blogosphere which means there's no credibility at all to what you've written. That coupled with the Republican penchant for character assassination, as they've done with those I've identified in a previous post, should make you reconsider your prurient interest in this issue. In this country and under what's left of our Constitution since the Bushites began to shred it, a person is innocent until proven guilty (unless you've been labeled an enemy combatant or terrorist under the Patriot Act).

I too have worked in a field that dealt with this kind of thing and in nearly every instance the circumstances were the same as those surrounding Mr. Ritter. I'm a retired H.S. teacher and there were times in which a female student accused a male teacher of unwarranted advances. The trial in cases like this, because it involved a minor, was always behind closed doors . . . like Mr. Ritter's. In nearly every case, the female student admitted she lied, more often than not, because she had an ax to grind. At that point, again because a minor was involved, the case would be dismissed and the records sealed. However, this seemed to never fully exonerate the teacher because of the resulting ambiguities of no one being able to talk about it. More often than not, the teacher who had been falsely accused would have to leave the district to teach elsewhere. It wasn't fair nor just but that's the way it is.

Now the right wing, which in my opinion includes you because you use their talking points, is using the same ambiguities to smear/slime/character assassinate Mr. Ritter. Why? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure it out. He has consistently and eloquently spoken out about the illegal invasion of Iraq and now Iran, as well as Bush's official endorsement of torture in violation of the Geneva Conventions of which we're signatories.

So I would suggest that you forget your prurient interest and consider the issues that Mr. Ritter has rightfully raised. Why is it you keep harping on a dismissed case that proved nothing instead of speaking to what Bush is doing to our country? Why are you not concerned about our soldiers being killed and maimed over a war that has no justification? Why are you not concerned, like John McCain, with the Administration's official endorsement of torture . . . a first in our history as a nation? Why are you not
concerned about the largest national debt in our nation's history? Why are you not concerned about the Republican corruption of Congress with Delay being only the tip of the iceberg? Why are you not concerned about an Administration that would out a covert CIA agent charged with finding WMD? Why are you not concerned about the destruction of our environment by this same Administration? Why are you not concerned about the passing of top secret material to Israel from the Oval Office? Why are you not concerned about our loss of civil liberties through the Patriot Act which did nothing to increase our security? Why are you not concerned about the cronyism rampant in the Bush Administration that became apparent when Katrina hit, and now even more so with the nomination of Meirs to the Supreme Court? Why are you not concerned that the government has grown more under Bush than any other administration in history. I could go on but hopefully, you get the picture.

If you were a true conservative, all of the issues I've raised above would be of paramount importance to you rather than your continued diversion of the smearing of Mr. Ritter including your non sequitur extrapolations as to whether it's his first time . . . did he get away with it . . . what if it were my daughter etc. Conservatives believe in the rule of law, fiscal responsibility, no foreign entanglements and smaller government. Your tacit support of Bush coupled with your posts here forces me to conclude that you are definitely not a conservative.

I answered your questions. Now if you have the same consideration, answer those I've raised above. However, if you continue to try and divert the issues to a dismissed case against Mr. Ritter, then we have nothing else to say to each other.
Craig's response should be enough to satisfy every conservative question. Continuing this discussion without factual evidence is a capricious defamation of character. Most lawyers in So. IL do not need the extra income.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Return of Scott Ritter, Chief Weapons Inspector, UNSCOM

Thank you to Craig Rhodes from the SIDemocrat YAHOO! Discussion Group for this news tip:

Scott Ritter, Former UN Weapons Inspector and author of the newly released Iraq Confidential, was available for media Q & A on Wednesday, October 12 in Washington at a 9 a.m. breakfast briefing at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th floor. The Nation Books and the Government Accountability Project co-sponsored the event.

Patriots for Peace, Massac County, arranged the return of Scott Ritter to Illinois and Paducah, KY. He will speak at 7:00 on October 25th at the Paducah Tilghman Auditorium (directions are available). It is an event open to the public. His speech will be a blueprint for a viable exit strategy from Iraq. His articles and his profile are available on the Internet.

He is the author of several books including Iraq Confidential. His articles have appeared in various media: the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Guardian, AlterNet, CommonDreams,, and others.

Mr. Ritter was a chief weapons inspector under the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) for 7 years during the '90's. He spoke out forcefully in the run up to the Iraq invasion. He spoke from personal experience on the ground -- There were no weapons of mass distruction (WMDs). The Rovian Republican machine subsequently attacked Mr. Ritter unmercifully as they do to anyone standing in their way (e.g., McCain, Gore, Wilson/Plame, Kerry, et al.). But Mr. Ritter continued with his criticism undeterred. He has paid his dues and events have vindicated him.

Mr. Ritter is a dynamic and credible speaker. He speaks extemporaneously without notes. This is an opportunity to hear from someone who has earned the respect he has received due to his dogged determination to prevent the invasion in the first place and now to end it. He is possibly the only one offering a viable exit strategy to successfully remove U.S. troops from Iraq -- ASAP.

He will be in the area of Paducah and Murray KY, for 3 days (Oct 25, 26, 27) to speak, sign books at Books-A-Million, meet with various community groups, and grant interviews with regional media. Patriots for Peace could also have a debate arranged in time for Mr. Ritter's visit.

Patriots for Peace has been raising money for this event for several months now. They hope for a large turnout of people from Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois taking advantage of this opportunity to learn.

Plan ahead! Join Craig and the Patriots for Peace! Listen to an expert offering solutions to the Iraq debacle!

Monday, October 10, 2005

For Every Democratic Congressional Candidate

There is is a new discussion group available to Democratic Congressional Candidates challenging the enrenched Republican incumbents. Democrats are committed to winning back the U.S. House of Representatives. Unfortunately, there are Congressional Districts with a Democratic candidate challenging the entrenched Republican incumbent and the persistent perception that the democratic challenger has no chance of winning. Therefore, the person receives little or no national support. For the most part, the situation leaves a candidate entirely on his/her own. All the skills needed for waging an effective campaign fall on the shoulders of the person who decides to step into the arena.

There is now another networking resource available to all Democratic Congressional Candidates.

Cynthia Pooler, the Vice Chair and Communications Director for the
Democatic Commitment Conference Political Action Committee, has established the NovemberVictory YAHOO! Discussion Group.Cynthia began the online forum in 2004 so that Democratic Congressional Candidates could network together and provide support for each other throughout the country. The online discussion network connects candidates together. It allows each of them to coordinate with one another on exactly what is working -- and what is not. It provides a resource for those who are succeeding to share the tools, techniques, and other ideas that are helping them succeed. This is a way to share the community knowledge with those who need it now -- a real-time resource for committed Democratic congressional candidates.

The current members of the online discussion network completed
three days of Washington meetings during September 13 through 15, 2005. The Democratic congressional candidates in attendance completed their unprecedented agenda with a meeting with the Democratic Congressional Candidate Committee (DCCC) leadership on Thursday morning. The candidate delegation consisted of eleven candidates from eight states. As a delegation, the group represented thirty-five candidates in twenty states.

Members of the online discussion network are now organizing a March meeting. The proposed dates are March 7, 8 and 9. This meeting will be a caucus of 30 to 50 Democratic challenger congressional candidates from across the country. The caucus will include PACs and other interest groups. The agenda will include issues facing the country with a unified message.

The issues facing us today on both the state and national level are reaching crisis proportions. The resolution of these issues needs the cooperation of those who are winning with those who are facing greater challenges in their districts. For that reason, the
NovemberVictory YAHOO! Discussion Group is a vital resource in achieving that goal.

To join, please send a blank email to

This is a totally free online discussion network. All Democratic Congressional Candidates from previous elections are welcome!

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Latest Misleading Republicrap Legislation

In typical greedy Texan arrogance, Rep. Joe Barton (TX-06) introduced H.R.3893, Gasoline for America's Security Act of 2005, as a blatant and outrageous give away to big energy and big business under the guise of solving America's energy problems. One of the contributors to USDemocrat YAHOO! Discussion Group accurately calls this proposed law Republicrap -- and for good reason. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • encourages further wasteful consumption of gasoline,
  • encourages further dependence on imported oil,
  • discourages conservation,
  • misrepresents its true intent so that the public trust believes it solves energy problems,
  • increases revenue for the oil and gas industry and the related big businesses.
It gets better. This bill uses the damage to Gulf oil facilities by recent hurricanes as a justification for the following:
  • New refineries will receive federal funding after receiving free land for them.
  • New refineries will receive federal funding for construction
  • The Federal Government will sell or lease new refineries to oil companies to produce fuel for DOD assets
  • Oil companies will sell any fuel in the private markets if DOD assets does need that quantity.
  • The Federal Government could disregard some of the Clean Air Act provisions for the direct benefit of these refineries and other energy facilities without hindrance.
  • The Federal Government becomes liable to contracted oil company for unlimited claims based on delays from individual law suits or fromy local, state, or federal agencies in completing or operating the refineries that the Federal Government has already paid for.

Congressmen that are supposed to be working FOR the public trust (as opposed to the oil and gas industry) introduced H.R. 3893 to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Armed Services Committee, and the Resources Committee. They are fast-tracking the proposed legislation at a record pace. The vote could come as early as Friday, October 7.

Save Our Environment has an online letter prepared so constituents can let their congressmen know that they need to vote against this legislation. Based on their proven track record, Illinoisans already know that everyone of their Republican representatives will vote YEA. They need to hear from everyone that they need to think of their constituentsvote NAY.

UPDATE: The bill passed by 2 votes. In the planned 5-minute vote, it would not have passed according to
The Stakeholder:

[. . .] Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Speaker Pro-Tempore of the House, held open a five-minute vote on HR 3893, the Gasoline for America's Security Act, for over forty minutes. For nearly all of that time, Republicans were unable to produce a majority vote in favor of the bill. Rep. Simpson repeatedly stated that he was using his discretion to hold the vote open until all Members had voted. But as soon as Republicans had gained the needed number of votes to pass the Act, he closed the vote. The final vote total was 212 to 210. [. . .]
Almost every Illinois Republican congressman voted YEA. Rep. Johnson (IL-15) & Rep. LaHood (IL-18) voted NAY with the Democrats (makes a person wonder what they are up to breaking ranks that way). Rep. Shimkus (IL-19) was the typical mindless soldier following orders and voting against the best interests of his constituents. It is amazing what 40 minutes of DeLay's arm-twisting will do. He is such an "effective leader" -- like a Mafia Don.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Symbols of a Scandalous GOP in Illinois

The House of Scandal has published some wonderful research regarding every member of the House. It proves that they have allowed Illinois to become a colony of Texas. Voting percentages are calculated through between Jan. 1 2004 and March 31 2005. Contributions are found on

06th CD

Henry Hyde voted with Tom DeLay 95% of the time.
10th CD

Mark Steven Kirk voted with Tom DeLay 91% of the time.
11th CD

Jerry Weller has taken $4,520 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC. No surprise that he voted with Tom DeLay 93% of the time.
13th CD

Judy Biggert has taken $1,764 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC. No surprise that she voted with Tom DeLay 92% of the time.
14th CD

Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, voted with Tom DeLay 100% of the time.
15th CD

Timothy Johnson has taken $25,000 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC. No surprise that he voted with Tom DeLay 87% of the time.
16th CD

Donald Manzullo voted with Tom DeLay 92% of the time.
18th CD

Ray LaHood voted with Tom DeLay 92% of the time.
19th CD

John Shimkus has taken $21,934 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC. No surprise that he voted with Tom DeLay 90% of the time.

Each one of the Illinois GOP Congressional Delegation except for the Speaker (although it is his job to control the voting for his soldiers) is guilty of the following:

  1. Each voted to weaken the ethics rules in a move that many say served only to protect Tom DeLay (H Res. 5, Roll Call #6, 1/4/05).
  2. When Republicans realized it was "impossible to win the communications battle" over the gutted ethics rules, all of them flip-flopped and voted to put the old rules back into place (H Res. 241, Roll Call #145, 4/27/05).
  3. When Democrats offered a solution to clean up the House by strengthening ethics rules, all of them voted to make sure it never even came to an up or down vote (H. Res. 153, Roll Call #70, 3/15/05). John Shimkus, Tim Johnson, Jerry Weller, Donald Manzullo, Judy Biggert, and Mark Kirk voted TWICE (H. Res. 213, Roll Call #106, 4/14/05).
Jerry Weller and Dennis Hastert also voted to allow Tom DeLay to continue serving as Leader even if he is indicted. Tom DeLay's behavior is not the kind of leadership that should be REWARDED. Obviously it should be punished.

Although, Rep. Hyde is retiring, his voting record is still important for IL-06. Peter Roskam is his heir apparent. He has already proven to his constituents that Tom DeLay is the alpha and omega of his political life.

Rep. Shimkus just announced that he is cosponsoring H.R. 1070, the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005. Dr. Bagwell has responded quite well to this latest development:

[. . .] I am not opposing this because it has to do with God or any one religion. Here is the thing. Shimkus is a religious fanatic. What this proposed law in effect does is outlaw the Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers are the main body of secular thinking that forms the framework of the constitution and American Law. In nearly every one of the papers non-American thinking in referenced and non-English thinking and cases are referenced. The Federalist Papers form the framework of separation of church and state.

Throughout history American lawyers, legislators, and judges have referenced non-American philosophers and jurists in their arguments, hearings, and decisions. The Shimkus backed law would require all case law to pass a kind of no-nothing test. A test of purity of thought, purity of legal bloodline, an inquisition of the origins of an argument based on a test of the nationality of thought. This is at the heart of facist thinking, this is at the heart of intolerance. One recalls Hitler’s admonition to his scientists against Einstein’s "Jewish physics." The tests established by the Shimkus backed legislation is in the same line of deluded thinking.

Our founders read the great philosophers. Shimkus would like to purge the englightenment in favor of a Spanish style inquisition of American legal thought.
Members of Congress are supposed to work for the good of the public trust not Tom DeLay and certainly not religious fanaticism. To them the integrity of the House means so little that they would sacrifice it to defend Tom DeLay. They only care about the integrity when cable news is covering it. The final message from this group is simple: Instead of a bipartisan effort to get government working for Americans, they stand for cronyism and partisan politics. Families working hard to improve their quality of life deserve better than this kind of lock-step government-for-hire.

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