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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Our Next Senator - The View From Above 


From WCBS:


Cindy Sheehan...was arrested and removed from the House gallery Tuesday night just before President Bush's State of the Union address, a police spokeswoman said.

Sheehan, who had been invited to attend the speech by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., was charged with demonstrating in the Capitol building, a misdemeanor, said Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider....

Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said....

"I'm proud that Cindy's my guest tonight," Woolsey said in an interview before the speech. "She has made a difference in the debate to bring our troops home from Iraq."

Woolsey offered Sheehan a ticket to the speech — Gallery 5, seat 7, row A — earlier Tuesday while Sheehan was attending an "alternative state of the union" press conference by CODEPINK, a group pushing for an end to the Iraq war.



More about the progressive State of the Union (emphasis mine):


For Information Contact:
Bill Goold, CPC: 202-226-4055
Mike Webb The Nation: 212-209-5426
Joia Jefferson Nuri, IPS: 240-603-7905
Nathan Britton, Rep. Lee 202-225-2661
Susannah Cernojevich, Rep. Woolsey 202-225-5187

PROGRESSIVE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO OFFER PROGRESSIVE ALTERNATIVE STATE OF THE UNION

Washington, DC - Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) will present an alternative, inclusive, and uplifting vision for the United States of America on the morning of the President's State of the Union address. The Members will convene a special forum at the Democratic National Committee headquarters to propose a new direction for the country and articulate concrete plans for achieving change. The meeting will feature Progressive Caucus leaders discussing issues ranging from how to bring our troops home from Iraq to ending the Republican culture of corruption and cronyism to healthcare reform to rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and achieving broad-based economic growth.

"The Congressional Progressive Caucus has a bold vision for America," said Rep. Woolsey. "Our agenda speaks to hard working Americans who play by the rules and want a bright future for themselves and their families."

“We offer a fresh, vigorous alternative for the 21st century, and we’re going to present an unapologetic plan that offers hope and a better quality of life for all Americans--- not just the powerful and privileged,” said U.S Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), Co-Chair of the CPC....

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is a group of 62 Members of Congress who believe in fair government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Their agenda embodies national priorities that are consistent with the values, needs, and hopes of all Americans....

PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS
Co-Chairs
Lynn Woolsey
Barbara Lee

Members
Neil Abercrombie
Tammy Baldwin
Xavier Becerra
Madeleine Bordallo
Corrine Brown
Sherrod Brown
Michael Capuano
Julia Carson
Donna Christensen
William “Lacy” Clay
Emanuel Cleaver
John Conyers
Elijah Cummings
Danny Davis
Peter DeFazio
Rosa DeLauro
Lane Evans
Sam Farr
Chaska Fattah
Bob Filner
Barney Frank
Raul Grijalva
Luis Gutierrez
Maurice Hinchey
Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Sheila Jackson-Lee
Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Marcy Kaptur
Carolyn Kilpatrick
Dennis Kucinich
Tom Lantos
John Lewis
Ed Markey
Jim McDermott
James McGovern
Cynthia McKinney
George Miller
Gwen Moore
Jerrold Nadler
Eleanor Holmes-Norton
John Olver
Major Owens
Ed Pastor
Donald Payne
Charles Rangel
Bobby Rush
Bernie Sanders
Jan Schakowsky
Jose Serrano
Louise Slaughter
Hilda Solis
Pete Stark
Bennie Thompson
John Tierney
Tom Udall
Nydia Velazquez
Maxine Waters
Diane Watson
Mel Watt
Henry Waxman



Actually, I goofed. There was yet another alternative State of the Union event:


On January 31st President Bush will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress. He'll defend the mounting death toll in Iraq, claim that spying on peace groups like CODEPINK is lawful and make more excuses for the sorry state of our union. But no matter what he says "we the people" know the truth. In times like these it’s important to keep our spirits up. We suggest you get together with your CODEPINK cohorts and head to your favorite watering hole for a People's State of the Union.


What? Go to a watering hole and support the fascist alcohol lobby? But I digress. Here's more on the Washington event:


For Immediate Release: January 30th, 2006
Contact: Gael Murphy 202-412-6700
Allison Yorra 202- 487-5112

Bush Critics to Offer Their Own Perspective on the State of the Union

Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan, Congress Members John Conyers and Lynn Woolsey, Hurricane Katrina Survivor Malik Rahim, and Others to Speak at People’s State of the Union Event in DC

WHEN: Tuesday, January 31, 3 PM

WHERE: Stewart R. Mott House, 122 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC

WHAT: Prominent critics of President Bush’s response to the country’s most severe crises of 2005 – the ongoing Iraq war and the impact of Hurricane Katrina – will offer their perspectives on the real state of the union at a “People’s State of the Union” event on Tuesday, January 31st, 3 PM at the Stewart R. Mott House in Washington, DC. That evening, President Bush will make his official State of the Union address.

The People’s State of the Union event will feature:

Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), who recently introduced several resolutions that could lead to the censure of the president and vice president

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), author of legislation asking President Bush to develop and implement a plan to begin the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq

Gold star mother Cindy Sheehan, who is considering running for CA Senator Dianne Feinstein’s seat this November as a progressive anti-war candidate

Malik Rahim, a survivor of Hurricane Katrina who works with the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans

Ann Wright, a former high-ranking Foreign Service officer and Army Reserves colonel who resigned from the State Department in protest over the Iraq war.

John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, which has released several reports on the cost of the Iraq war.

The People’s State of the Union events are being organized by the national women’s peace group CODEPINK (www.codepinkalert.org).

Later in the day, many of the speakers will gather at the restaurant Busboys and Poets for a public viewing of the President’s State of the Union address. That event will take place at 8 PM at Busboys and Poets at 2021 Fourteenth Street, N.W. (corner or 14th and V). The evening event will be simulcast by Pacifica Radio Washington Bureau Chief Verna Avery Brown.



However, Sheehan could not attend the Busboys (remember the album "American Worker"?) event. She was otherwise detained. Incidentally, here's what Sheehan said before the address:


Cindy Sheehan said she will be part of the live audience during the president's State of the Union speech to congress Tuesday.

Bay Area Congresswoman Lynn Woosley gave anti-war activist a gallery pass late Tuesday, just hours before the planned State of the Union speech. Sheehan was in Washington to protest the president during his national address, but then came word she was invited to see the speech live.

A spokesman for Sheehan says she decided to accept the invitation two hours prior to the speech. The spokesman also said that Sheehan will be respectful and listen to the address because she is a guest of a member of congress.

Sheehan is expected to fly back to Berkeley Wednesday. She announced over the weekend that she is considering running for Senate against Sen. Dianne Feinstein.



So what will she do in Berkeley? Talk with her children (at least the living ones).


Sheehan, 48, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., said she would head to Washington on Sunday for protests against Bush's State of the Union address on Tuesday, and then return to California to discuss her idea of running against Feinstein with her son and two daughters.

"I can't see - if they think it's going to help peace - that they would be opposed to me doing it," she said.



Why is she (possibly) running?


"If I decided to run, I would have no illusions of winning, but it would bring attention to all the peace candidates in the country," she said.


The baby seal clubbers are jumping for joy and hoping she'll run and that Feinstein will get bloodied.


I can not begin to express my pleasure at the prospect of you running against Senator Feinstein for the Senate. Long have I waited for some one like you to push yourself into the spotlight for the Democratic Party. You have shown that the so called progressives and liberals in the Democratic Party aren’t as progressive or as liberal as their constituents.

When was the last time anyone saw Democratic leadership show their support for Hugo Chaves, a true visionary in the Communist and Socialist movement? Where was the Democratic leadership when you were calling for the end of occupation in New Orleans? How come the current Democratic leadership isn’t speaking about the Zionist Jews that have taken over our government? Surely all these things are absent because the Democratic Party has no courage, or because it’s a Zionist/ Neocon conspiracy to stifle their dissent. Either way, I’m sure that you would be allowed to speak out.

I think you should not stop at running for the Senate Mrs. Sheehan. Surely for the sake of all that’s holy in the Democratic Party you would contemplate being Howard Dean’s running mate for the 2008 Presidential election. It would be truly amazing to see you on the news every night expressing the core values of the Democratic Party. If you haven’t seen the overwhelming support by the online vote, then you don’t know just how much people want you to run as a Democrat against that so called liberal Feinstein. Come to think about it, she might be a part of the Zionist conspiracy that you talk about.

In closing, keep up wonderful speeches and your Anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-capitalism views. I know that you will find the monetary support for your campaign from such groups like Code Pink, Socialist Workers Movement, The American Communist Party, Hamas, Socialist Party USA, Hizballah, and Ansar Al-Islam, for I’m sure they share much of your views on peace and economic distribution.



However, anyone that thinks that Feinstein would be damaged by Cindy is smoking something. Remember, California kicked Gray Davis out of office; we're not complete lunatics. I don't think.

So why was Sheehan evicted? Here is the relevant House rule (emphasis mine):


RULE XVIII
The Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union

Resolving into the Committee of the Whole

1. Whenever the House resolves into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, the Speaker shall leave the chair after appointing a Chairman to preside. In case of disturbance or disorderly conduct in the galleries or lobby, the Chairman may cause the same to be cleared....



I guess wearing a t-shirt is considered a disturbance in the U.S. That's because we're wimpy. Try the legislatures in the United Kingdom or Israel. They make our so-called divided red/blue government look like a lovefest.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Comments:
My reasons for her running are much more selfish than you would want. Plus it's been months since I clubbed a seal.
 
One of the arguments against open primaries is that the "opposition" could dominate another's primary. Imagine if we had an open primary in California this year; Feinstein would have a tough time.

Regarding seal clubbing - spring training is coming up.
 
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