Another Very Large Blank Check for the Emperor Bush’s Quagmire

by Kevin Martin
Executive Director, Peace Action
Will the people of Iraq ever forgive us? Every Member of Congress who voted for this is an accessory to quagmire, murder and destruction, plain and simple.

Senate vote was 80-14 for blank check, interesting that Obama and Clinton voted right, shows they are no dummies, they know their presidential aspirations woulda been toast had they voted wrong, a bit of a silver lining in a very dark cloud of entitlement and cluelessness in the “world’s greatest deliberative body”, surely that is a cruel joke at this point.

Here are some senators Peace Action/Peace Action PAC endorsed/supported last year who voted to continue the blank check for the worst president in US history – Sherrod Brown (what the hell was he doing voting for this pile of manure?), Daniel Akaka, Robert Byrd, Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Jim Webb. To be clear, we didn’t think any of these folks were the second coming of Gandhi, but neither would we expect them to vote to give Bush a blank check.

See how your senator voted at

Only 11 Democrats made anti-war/anti-blank check votes:


Repubs Burr, Coburn and Enzi voted no, presumably because of the minimum wage increase or something else they didn’t like, I doubt any of them have seen the light and crossed over.

A few others who deserve special spanks for their blank check votes – Tom Harkin, Frank Lautenberg (what in the hell were they doing voting for this?), Debbie Stabenow, Ben Cardin, Barbara Mikulski.

House vote was 280-142, roll call vote is at

Thanks and very, very hard spanks are in order. Sorry for my anger here, trust you share it. We have been doing our jobs, would that Members of Congress would do theirs.

Categories: Congress, Iraq, Peace, War

51 replies »

  1. My wife and I are so disgusted with the lack of leadership in this country that we are ready to leave-…”Who are these people listening to?” Every where we have been in the last three years and every person that we have spoken with does not want this war to continue….The Iraq people certainly don’t want it either….The policies of this Government are clear….”Hooray for us and the Hell with you”…and that certainly isn’t limited to the politics of war…it extends to Health, Education, and safety….We are no longer operating for “the common good”, but instead for the rich and powerful……..It is a small consolation to think that when the day of reckoning comes for all of the “Bushites” that they will be “rewarded” apppropriately……Amen and Amen…

  2. Congress often ignores their duty to represent the people. I cannot find one action that the legislature has done since taking office that is in line with what their constituents want. It’s been a congressional free-for-all since the beginning of the year… I don’t know why so many people seem so surprised at this latest action…

  3. This is the final straw for me. I now realize the people of this country have no voice and certainly now, no representation.
    It is said that people do not change unless they reach a level of discomfort in some area. I say we are beyond uncomfortable and it is time to take action that our representatives apparently lack the courage to do!

  4. We should not give up. Maybe we should call up the congress people and ask thm how much stock do they have in Iraqi (and/or Iranian) oil.

  5. When the elected representatives of a people no longer accurately represent the expressed goals of their constituents, then the form of government in place is NOT a democracy anymore. We are losing our democracy by the ancient method of death by a million small cuts: during the current administration’s tenure our civil rights have been encumbered, freedom of speech has been suppressed, the potential for election fraud is increasing due to paperless voting, and the corruption in the Bush administration has been shown to be running rampant. How can we promote the ideas of freedom and democracy to other nations while we are dismantling it here?

    The American people have spoken. Their representatives are obliged to listen to the electorate or be voted out. We have invaded and decimated a sovereign nation, destroyed its infrastructure, and created a civil war. We have strengthened Al Qaeda and turned Iraq into a giant recruitment poster for terrorists. Meanwhile, it’s becoming clear that the sham government in Afghanistan has no control over the growing Taliban threat. Our resources should have been used in Afghanistan to shore up the government, keep the Taliban suppressed, find Bin Laden, and promote good will. Instead, we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq, and have nothing to show for it. Lesson to be learned: do not invade a country unless that country attacks you. Do not use false evidence to justify war. Do not try to impose democracy – the very concept is ludicrous.

  6. Barbara Boxer, and Russ Feingold have always been our pick for President, and
    Vice President. They have been right on all the issues, and stick by their convictions. You can depend on them not to falter.

    We need to get behind those who will take our country in the right direction. They both can, and have proven by their consistant support for the issues the public is
    concerned about.

  7. It seems the only way our country knows how to solve problems is by the use of the bomb or gun. Actually, all the bomb or gun has done in Iraq is excasperate the situation. We need a government that is for the people and by the people and has learned to negotiate.

  8. How did the citizens of our country turn it over to a group of liars and power-hungry politicians? Our Democracy is in major danger now that they have given this country to Bush et al for 8 years and the Congress is too weak (or frightened for their jobs) to stand up to Bush et al. Instead of supporting impeachment proceedings for our criminal president and vice president they cower in their chairs. The longer this hideous, illegal war continues the more enemies are made and certainly the less secure we are as a nation–especially when our military is elsewhere instead of at home to protect us. It is indeed tragic that our soldiers, marines and sailors are dying and being maimed in a country that does not want them there.

  9. I am very pleased to have a senator and a representative who voted responsibly on this bill. I’m upset that Senator Durbin who is one of the senate leaders did not see fit to listen to his constituents.

  10. I know this is a little off subject but in order to understand the depravity of this bunch we need to truly understand what we’re up against. I would encourage all to go see the new 9-11 documentary that I believe needs to be the starting point for all of us. There is no question that some extremely sinister minds were behind this most catalyzing of events and all indicators point toward the cabal.

    Listen, I’m just a regular, college-educated guy with kids who loves this country like all of you. I have spent months delving into election fraud and the ludicrous government story of September 11th – the latter which has served as the gasoline for all of this mess! Let’s get real about the neo-fascists who illegally seized our country in 2000 and get the damn word out. America, show some backbone and know that no citizenry countered fascism before admitting that it was truly a threat. Patriot Act/Homeland Security anyone?

  11. My district number seven in Wisconsin is strong against the war in Iraq. ‘Congressman Obey, Senator Kohl and Senator Feingold. I write to them all regularly and sometimes I get an answer. They are listening to the people…and they vote accordingly. (As far as I have read so far) Keep writing to your reps and keep on them…..This war is an abomination….we are losing our freedoms…
    I am an old woman of 72, and can no longer even walk fast. I can still see, and I can still write and read. I am poor with no money. I do what I can…it isn’t enough for sure….but I am doing the best I can. You young passionate folks need to stand up for us weaker ones…..FIGHT. Marlene Lunsman

  12. Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq to get control of their oil. Bush came in
    office with the intent of invading Iraq. 9/11 gave them the excuse to
    invade. All the rest is a smoke screen. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) has given the information on C-SPAN proving that they continue the war and
    refuse to bring home the troops because the Iraqi officials refuse to sign
    over their oil rights to Halliburton et al. How low can a person get? Hell
    awaits them.

  13. We are saddened today by this vote because we have worked non-stop this past several weeks emailing and calling Congress and now this! So much death and destruction against a people who were NO THREAT TO OUR SECURITY! So many more mothers, fathers, children, brothers, husbands, daughters, sisters, grandparents hearts broken and lives changed forever! Yes, we feel discouraged by the Democrats not standing up to this administration on our behalf, like we elected them to do, but we will never stop fighting on a grass roots level to bring this evil bunch down and drive these criminals out of power permanently!

  14. I am sorry to see this page. I am sure that you believe you’re doing the right thing and still supporting the troops, but as a soldier this type of support is not helpful.

    If you want to be helpful to our soldiers, show a solid front of support now and then file your complaints when the smoke clears and you can read the signs. Until then, the demonstrations where some of the radicals are lighting soldiers burning in effigy and the actions of spitting on our veterans and soldiers are simply disgusting and un-American.

    Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that you are wrong, I am saying that neither side knows enough anymore to determine right from wrong at this point.

    Do I believe that we are doing the right thing? I did at the beginning, now I am just waiting to see what is truth when the smoke clears. Do I support the troops? I am a troop, so yes.

    Since our leaders have been elected, we have to assume we elected the right ones for the job. Evidently the democrats didn’t get the right ones and the republicans have enough power left to force change. Next election cycle, change it.

  15. we the people,those words have always been very powerful to me. the only way the people, the planet can survive ,what we have so blindly alowed to happen ,is to truly have our voice heard. and that is to get out on the streets and march for what is right.we must band together to end the wrongs of this administration. it wont happen by sitting at home . its apparent that we dont have a voice in washington. but the problem is that we cant bond together. most of us cant even get along with our nieghbors. we must join together. only together will our voice be heard.

  16. To aablehome:

    Where are people spitting on soldiers or burning them in effigy? (In Iraq, perhaps, but it’s their country – I have seen nothing like that in the U. S.) I have taken part in four demonstrations, all very peaceful, with signs like “Support our troops – bring them home alive.” If the war is wrong, and it’s clear by now that it is, Americans know that it is not the fault of the soldiers. I was very interested to see the comment about Dennis Kucinich claiming that Bush is keeping the troops there until he gets the concessions he wants on control of the oil fields. I had thought it was just the billions flowing into the coffers of Halliburton, KBR, and others, that made it attractive to those in power whose children are not risking their lives. But Kucinich’s is a more likely explanation. I noticed long ago that how Iraq’s oil was to be managed and who was to get the profits is not discussed in the media. Saboteurs keep blowing up pipelines and facilities. Maybe the Iraquis don’t want multinational corporations controlling their oil? I’m with them – I don’t want multinational corporations controlling much of anything. They exploit workers and when workers try to form unions, they fire them and shoot the organizers. It used to be handy to call them Communists. Now they call them terrorists if the crimes come to light. Meanwhile, big corporations like Exxon pollute the environment, control government policy (huge tax writeoffs for SUVs aren’t exactly good policy, George) and use their money to pay a few renegade “scientists” to claim that global warming isn’t happening. For over 20 years I have been reading Science News. In every weekly issue, there have been at least one and often more articles showing exactly what’s happening, with all kinds of evidence from many, many branches of science. The predictions are coming true – more severe storms were predicted at least 15 years ago. Exxon, et. al., count on people not reading, but getting their news from TV stations that survive because they carry advertising paid for by these same companies. Any TV or radio station that tried to present a factual picture of the world would go out of business. That’s why the right wing has tried to destroy public TV and radio. They have reduced government funding so as to make public media more dependent on handouts from big corporations. Viewers like you and me can’t match those contributions. Public media are to be congratulated for battling against this, but they cannot completely defy their funders or they would have no money to pay staff and produce shows.
    We must have public funding of elections. It may cost each of us $5-10 a year or so, but think how much you would save on other things – $1 of each gallon of gas you pay for goes into pure profits now. I buy about $250 worth of gas a year, not much – I commute 7 miles – that’s over $60 per year to fund Exxon’s lobbying. Think how much prescription medications cost you – same situation. And that’s only two industries. What does it cost when people get sick and die from contaminated food because the Agriculture Department doesn’t get money to hire inspectors? And, of course, how much has it cost us to invade and occupy Iraq? Overall, it costs each of us many thousands of dollars per year in taxes, overpriced goods, poor health, storm damage, and on and on and on because we allow special interests to control Congress. Congress will not represent voters until their campaign money comes only from voters. The root of all of the problems facing us is the control of our government by special interests. A few brave Senators cannot change this. We must insist they break the hold of special interest money, and we must vote only for representatives who will fight for this.

  17. Oops! my math was way off. My gas costs more like $960 per year, or $240 dollars for oil company profits. And people with longer commutes and cars that get less than my 30 mpg pay LOTS more. If taxpayers funded political campaigns, we’d save LOTS of money.

  18. Patti,

    Thank you for the response.

    However, you can’t blame big business for our woes. You have every right to find a product or company that falls in line with your beliefs, it’s the capitalist way. Since you only commute 7 miles, why not ride a bike or get a scooter or an electric?

    The Halliburton story line is getting old as well, unfortunately they have the expertise to do the job. Are they the best ethical choice? I’ll leave that up to you.

    As I said earlier, I am not here to fight, just to express my opinion and I thank you for yours. But, I wouldn’t place blame on companies, persons, or things if I did everything I could to make a better decision. Simply vote and hope enough people feel the same as you.

  19. the list of 11 democrats that voted against the blank check is a list of the biggest bunch of liberals in the country. their problem is that they hate bush and the republican party. they could care less about the average person in this country.

  20. I’m VARY disapointed in this new Congress “caving in” to the likes of fake Bush the president and “F.U. Cheney making a bet the Congress will cower to bush (Who paid you Cheney and how much this time,huh?) These are the most crooked, murdering, good for nothing in the United States Government to proceed with all illegal activity in and out of the White House.
    Not one charge has come upon them for breaking our laws you and i would fry for if we did anything like it!! How can people allow this to continue ~ Congress made a big mistake; I will no longer be a Democrat and certainly I’m not going to be a Republican either.
    I’d like to see more of us disgruntled people start looking for a THIRD party to make strong and oust the other two. ANYONE SINCERELY INTERESTED, LETS HAVE A POLL ON IT OR FIND PEOPLE IN BLOGS WHO THINK LIKE WE DO AND GET SOME ACTION GOING!!

  21. I expected more of Ohio’s newest Senator Sherrod Brown. His support of the the funding bill makes all of his campaign anti-war rhetoric a big joke. And as expected, our senior Senator Voinovich remained true to form and supported the bill inspite of his rhetoric about concern for war spending and pleas for restraint on spending.

    I am pleased and proud that my Congressman Dennis Kucnich remained true to his long time opposition to the war and voted NO! So why does the growing majority of anti-war citizens refuse to take him seriously as a Presidential candidate?

  22. I am very perplexed by the vote of senator Bird for this bill , Senator Bird was one of the few that challenged the administration from the beginning about the need for this war and the way it was carried out .
    the first victim of this war were our values , principles and moral positions , it was built on lies , carried with carelessness about any human right violation and the planners felt no sympathy for any human values .
    Examples are the horrible events in Abu Ghrib , the stories of Tillman, Lynch and the leaking of the name of CIA agent to the media because her husband was outspoken against the war in Iraq .
    This administration and the advisors and planners of this war in particular are clear that they will use any and all MIchiavellian methods to reach their destructive goals. it is not theAmerican empire but the empire of the hidden government in control behind the scenes .

  23. I will not make any comment on what is happening to this country because it is painfully apparent that my meager voice would NEVER be heard anyway, especially since I am part of the dreaded “young black male” population. However, I will go on record to say that gasoline IS expensive but necessary, this war MUST come to an end and I can’t wait until 20 Jan 2009.

  24. To aablehome:
    I will read your comments and the link with care. For your initial point, that soldiers are being burned in effigy and being spat upon here is the experience of one soldier, as related by his mother, who was beside him at the time:

    Families leaving for a weekend at the beach, a day of barbeques or off shopping to snag a great deal. Memorial Day, a day of vacations and sales.

    Our Memorial Day is a little different since my son returned from Iraq. Last year’s Memorial Day started with a parade. WWII vets dressed in their military finest, the rest of us dressed in our t-shirts, “Vets for Peace,” “Military Families Speak Out,” or “Iraq Vets Against the War.”

    A WWII vet looks upon us with a smile, “No soldier who has ever been shot is for war,” he says as he walks towards the front of the parade. We are recent additions to this parade. Silence greets us; pockets of applause and calls from the crowd, “TRAITOR!” “TERRORIST!” as we continue to march the parade route.

    We will not be turned away. We hold our heads high. I reach out to my son. A proud Marine, awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and Good Conduct Medal because he served two tours in Iraq. He could have chosen to march with the Marines and received numerous cheers. For him, it’s not a choice. He has a moral imperative to speak out to end this war, and for this he is booed. It is not an easy route to take, but the one our family has chosen. Our children are being killed and maimed as others celebrate and we will not let them forget it.

    Now it’s time for me to see what information you have on this.

  25. This will be my last comment, since I don’t want to take up too much space.
    1. I watched the video of Portland “anarchists” burning a GI in effigy. I think that was a very poor way to express opposition to the war. However, I know that during Viet Nam, there were government people attending meetings of peace groups urging violent actions. My father was a member of such a group and couldn’t figure out why this one guy, who no one knew, kept advocating violence. The group ignored him. That makes me wonder about this “anarchist” group. I’ll try to do more research.
    2. My comments about big business were an attempt to explain the real basis for this war. If you don’t know why things happen, you can’t do much to change them.
    3. There is no way to be sure that Halliburton and others are the companies best able to do the jobs they were hired to do. What we DO know is that they are doing a poor job, but that their stock and profits have risen enormously since they received these contracts. (Watch “Iraq for Sale”) for starters.)
    4. What I am doing: trying to keep myself informed from reliable sources, writing letters to newspapers and politicians, occasionally joining demonstrations, contributing to candidates I feel are honest and intelligent (till I had nothing left in my bank account last November!), and, of course, voting in every election. In addition, I recycle, compost, reuse, and try to buy only what I need. I don’t bicycle to work because I am 64, and even during the warm weather here in New England, it can rain suddenly even though they haven’t predicted it. Since I work in an office where I meet the public, I can’t arrive sweaty at work. Otherwise I would consider it. My car does get 30 mpg. – it’s a 1986 Honda – and I’m trying to save up for a hybrid when it dies, though I’ll probably have to re-mortgage my house because I can’t seem to save – there’s always a good cause to contribute to. There ARE people starving in the world right now, just as there were when I was a child and my mother told me not to take more food than I could eat. In fact, there are MORE of them now because the population has grown so much. (Why do you suppose the Republicans keep opposing funds for family planning in developing countries, even when the funds are not being used for abortions? Makes no sense to me. Perhaps you have an explanation.) Anyway, I never take more food than I can eat, and whenever I take a drink of nice cold, clean tapwater, I thank God that I am lucky enough to live in America. It may be the best country in the world in many ways, but that doesn’t mean that the government never does anything it shouldn’t. Trying to steer things in a better direction is not treason. I don’t think I should shut up or leave the country. If you love America, you want what is BEST for America and you try to help make that happen. That is the highest form of patriotism.

  26. The highest form of patriotism is the daily immersion of self in thoughts and work that gear a government and nation toward peaceful and civilized resolutions of our differences with our world neighbours; not the arrogant belligerence, intransigence and bellicosities that immorally and illegally infuse trained killers into foreign lands under false pretexts and outright lies with so-called “missions” of “pacification”.
    Shame on all those so-called leaders in the congress who voted for the issuance of the blank check under the misguided notion of “supporting the troops”. Their votes represent an affront and an unwelcome assault on our collective consciences. Let us not forget this when they begin to seek our votes again.

    Njegann P. Njai

  27. As for what one of you said, I am definately peed off about this whole Iraq thing. My so-called husband went back in National guard like an idiot. This whole this is all Bush’s fault. If he didn’t start bombing things over 10 years ago, none of this probably would have happened. I have mailed about 12 letters to different people in Congress to raise the age to get in military/reserves/national guard to age 55 years old, because I’m wanting to get in really bad. Since he can get back in, I think I should be able to get in. I’m 47 years old. I, also, have a bumper sticker I’m going to put on my car about the military being very discriminating about the age and under the ADEA act. So that’s what I have to say about the subject for now before getting really upset about the whole issue. Hopefully Congress will contact me about this issue. I’m going to bug them enough about this issue until it gets passed.

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