Sparky: Revamping the Right won't work! They don't care how many “good Americans” they kill — and we know they lie about how many civilians over there who died due the war and it's ongoing aftermath. Big Jack the Marine sent Sparky mail! This starts with Murtha and ends the distraction these bad people are trying to hype to divert attention ...
I'm writing to thank the more than 40,000 of you who signed my petition demanding an open and honest debate on the war in Iraq. Your overwhelming response reinforces my belief that people are looking for new direction and honest engagement on this issue.
And while this issue of war is neither a Democratic nor a Republican one, the need for new leadership in the House is clearly a party issue. The Republican-led Congress has become an automatic stamp of approval for the policies of the Bush Administration, and has squashed any debate to find alternatives that might better serve the American people. Even worse, when Representatives have offered opposing views, there have been vicious personal attacks on character.
If we want Congress to once again be a place where open debate is supported and encouraged, then we need Democrats to regain the Majority in 2006.
Click here to make a contribution of $25, $50, or more for a Democratic Majority
By winning just 15 seats in 2006, Democrats will regain the Majority.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) provides both strategic and financial support to the nearly 50 new Democratic candidates as well as our incumbents. It is the only organization dedicated solely to electing more Democrats in the House.
The DCCC plays such a vital role in our chances to regain the Majority that it's critical for every good concerned citizen to support the organization however he or she can. With your help, Democrats can bring new leadership to Congress and change the dialogue for the better.
Click here to make a contribution of $25, $50, or more for a Democratic Majority
With Democrats back in charge of Congress, we will restore honest and open debate. We will honor our democracy by respecting opposing views rather than demonizing them. We will hold the Bush Administration accountable for policies at home and abroad - not for the sake of partisanship, but in order to properly serve the American people.
America needs and deserves a House of Representatives that looks at all available options in order to determine how best to serve our citizens. With Democrats in the Majority, that's exactly what we'll do.
Click here to make a contribution of $25, $50, or more for a Democratic Majority
Thanks for your support,
Pennsylvania's 12th District
John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr.
Rep. Murtha dedicates the National Drug Intelligence Center
in Johnstown, PA in 1993.
John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr. (born June 17, 1932) is an American politician. He has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1974; he represents the Twelfth Congressional District of Pennsylvania (map). The district is based in Johnstown and includes a large portion of southwestern Pennsylvania.
Early life and service in Vietnam
He was born in New Martinsville, West Virginia, and grew up in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania where as a youth he became an Eagle Scout. He also worked delivering newspapers and worked in a gas station before graduating from Ramsay High School in Mount Pleasant.
He left Washington and Jefferson College in 1952 to join the Marines during the Korean War. There he earned the American Spirit Honor Medal. He rose through the ranks to become a drill instructor at Parris Island and was selected for Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. He then was assigned to the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In 1959, then Captain Murtha took command of the 34th Special Infantry Company, Marine Corps Reserves, in Johnstown. He remained in the Reserves after his discharge from active duty until he volunteered for service in Vietnam in 1966-67, receiving the Bronze Star with Combat "V", two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He remained in the Reserves until his retirement as a colonel in 1990, receiving the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.
After his service, he ran a small business, Johnstown Minute Car Wash, attended the University of Pittsburgh on the GI Bill, and also attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, receiving a degree in economics. Murtha and his wife Joyce were married on June 10, 1955, have three children, and live in Johnstown.
He was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1968 and served there until 1974, when he ran in a special election for Pennsylvania's 12th District. The seat had come open after 24-year incumbent Republican John Saylor died in October 1973. He won by 122 votes, making him the first Vietnam veteran to serve in Congress. He won a full term later that year with 58% of the vote. In 1980, he received 59.6% of the vote against Charles A. Getty.
Murtha faced tough primary challenges in 1982, 1990 and again in 2002. The 1982 challenge came when the Republican-controlled state legislature redrew the district of fellow Democrat and Vietnam War Veteran Donald A. Bailey and incorporated most of Westmoreland County into the 12th District. The 2002 challenge came when the state legislature redrew the district of fellow Democrat Frank Mascara to make it more Republican-friendly, but incorporated a large chunk of Mascara's former territory into Murtha's district. Even though Mascara had represented more of the new 12th, he was badly defeated in the primary.
Murtha is a somewhat conservative Democrat. He opposes abortion, and generally opposes gun control. He is also one of the more hawkish Democrats in the House. However, he is strongly pro-labor. He chaired the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense from 1991 to 1995, and has since served as its ranking Democrat.
Recently, he has led the effort of House Democrats to offer a motion to endorse language in a military spending bill, written by fellow Vietnam veteran Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, that would prohibit abusive treatment of terror suspects.
Views on the 2003 Iraq war
Murtha initially voted to approve the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. However, he later changed his mind about the war. On March 17, 2004, he called for a recorded vote on the "War in Iraq Anniversary resolution" then voted against it. The Republican sponsored resolution "affirms that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq." In May, he proclaimed the problems that the military had faced up to that point were due to a "lack of planning" by Pentagon chiefs and "the direction has got to be changed or it is unwinnable."
On November 17, 2005, he created a firestorm when he called for the immediate redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq, saying, "The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home."
Later staff members "clarified" his statement claiming by "bring them home" Murtha really meant establishing an "over-the-horizon" presence of Marines within the region by redeploying the existing troops in Iraq as described in his resolution. To this point, however, staffers have been unable to clarify "over-the-horizon" as another middle eastern country, aircraft carriers and assault ships, Europe or the United States. Murtha later reiterated the statement "it is time to bring them home" when defending his resolution (below) but he referred to "bringing them home" as a redeployment.
Resolution on removing American armed forces from Iraq
Murtha then submitted the following resolution in the House of Representatives:
Whereas Congress and the American People have not been shown clear, measurable progress toward establishment of stable and improving security in Iraq or of a stable and improving economy in Iraq, both of which are essential to "promote the emergence of a democratic government";
Whereas additional stabilization in Iraq by U, S. military forces cannot be achieved without the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional U S. troops, which in turn cannot be achieved without a military draft;
Whereas more than $277 billion has been appropriated by the United States Congress to prosecute U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan;
Whereas, as of the drafting of this resolution, 2,079 U.S. troops have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom;
Whereas U.S. forces have become the target of the insurgency,
Whereas, according to recent polls, over 80% of the Iraqi people want U.S. forces out of Iraq;
Whereas polls also indicate that 45% of the Iraqi people feel that the attacks on U.S. forces are justified;
Whereas, due to the foregoing, Congress finds it evident that continuing U.S. military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the people of Iraq, or the Persian Gulf Region, which were cited in Public Law 107-243 as justification for undertaking such action;
Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That:
Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.
Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines shall be deployed in the region.
Section 3 The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.
Criticism of resolution
The Bush administration sharply criticized Murtha's comments, with Press Secretary Scott McClellan stating that "Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party. The eve of an historic democratic election in Iraq is not the time to surrender to the terrorists. After seeing his statement, we remain baffled -- nowhere does he explain how retreating from Iraq makes America safer."
Counterresolution on removing American armed forces from Iraq
Murtha's comments forced a heated debate on the floor of the House on November 18, where Democrats and Republicans sparred on the question of whether the U.S. should make an immediate withdrawal. Republicans led by Duncan Hunter of California, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, responded by proposing their own resolution which read:
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated right away.
Republicans claimed that their amendment was simply intended to force a vote against troop withdrawal and to actively demonstrate their assertions that those calling for immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq are "out of the mainstream". Supporters of Murtha have claimed that he, himself, did not call for a withdrawal, merely a redeployment to some other geographic location. Murtha's resolutions read in part "the deployment of United States forces in Iraq...is hereby terminated...". Duncan Hunter's resolution, the one voted on, read in part "...the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately." Republicans have argued that there is no actionable difference between the two resolutions, however Murtha's resolution included the qualifier that the redeployment take place "at the earliest practicable date" and that a quick-reaction U.S. force would remain in the region in case of emergencies. This language was not present in the Republican resolution, as it is apparent to even the casual observer that the only quick-reaction force worth retaining would be the entire force currently in Iraq.
Democrats criticized the Republican counterresolution as a political stunt meant to caricature Murtha's continually "evolving" stance on Operation Iraqi Freedom, citing the fact that the Hunter resolution lacked many of the provisions that existed in Murtha's resolution. They also noted that Hunter did not even support the counterresolution. As expected, the resolution was overwhelmingly defeated, 403-3, with only three Democrats voting for it. Murtha took the floor after the Democrats yielded all of their time to him, and denounced the resolution. However, he was unable to clarify what over-the-horizon meant, or the proper size, or role, for a rapid deployment force.
The discussion grew especially heated when during debate on adopting the rule for the resolution, Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, a Republican from Ohio, made a statement attributed to Danny Bubp, an Ohio state representative and Marine Corps reservist, "He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do." Angry Democrats, seeing Schmidt's remarks as a personal attack against Murtha, brought House business to a halt for ten minutes until Schmidt herself asked and received permission to withdraw her comments. Bubp has since claimed that he never mentioned Murtha by name, let alone attack him. He added that he would never question the courage of a fellow Marine. Bubp later said, "I don't want to be interjected into this. I wish (Congresswoman Jean Schmidt) never used my name." 
Murtha has never actually called for a withdrawal; he has only called for a redeployment of American troops. However, since redeployment would in a sense amount to a withdrawal from Iraq, his opponents have denounced his words as an attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. 
- Official website
- Congressman Murtha's Book From Vietnam to 9/11
- Veteran Lawmakers Allied Against Abuse (Associated Press)
- John Murtha's Iraq Exit Strategy
- H. Res. 557, the "War in Iraq Anniversary resolution"
- 'Unwinnable' comment draws GOP fire (CNN)
- Murtha calls for change in U.S. Iraq policy (Associated Press)
Here's the best response to the phony war on Xmas - Remembering how Sparky views “baby Jesus” as fictional at best...
Town Hall says:
“... Take Christmas. Gibson and his Fox News “pardna,” Billy-the-Buckin’ O’Reilly (host of the wildly popular, top-rated cable news program, “The O’Reilly Factor”), have been stirrin’ up some trouble at the OK Media Corral as they set off on a journey to whup-up on the modern-day villains who are stealing the true meaning of Christmas.
O’Reilly led the charge in exposing how secularists and anti-religious types have for years been stripping the season of its original meaning. Now Gibson has written a well-documented book illustrating just how absurd and prevalent the efforts are.
It’s drawing heavy fire, of course. Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein, for example, took a shot at it last week. He insists “there’s no war on Christmas,” although, by his own admission, “I did not actually read the book.” He then proceeds to mock Christians: “We Jews find it a little embarrassing that adults can still make such a big fuss over Christmas. To us, Jesus was just a cool guy everyone liked because he died young.”
But for those who want to read past the title, here are some case studies from “The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.” ... ”
Then there's my hero Jon Stewart:
“The Daily Show's Stewart responds to O'Reilly's misleading attack
Summary: Daily Show host Jon Stewart took Bill O'Reilly to task for his misleading use of a year-old Daily Show clip (noted December 6 by Media Matters for America) to demonstrate what O'Reilly claims to be an ongoing "war on Christmas."
STEWART: But apparently, we liberal secular fags here at Comedy Central --
STEWART: -- have fired a devastating year-old six-second-long joke that doesn't barely even make any sense to us anymore across the bow of Christianity. When you think of liberals, your thoughts naturally turn to others who are fighting against Christmas like the Puritans: the first white Americans who banned Christmas celebrations for 22 years in Boston because they deemed all of them unseemly. Godless pricks.
STEWART: Mr. O'Reilly also objects, obviously, to the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" as anti-Christian, although, for some people, there is also a -- a celebration of the New Year. So Christmas and the New Year are actually two holidays, so there is a plural, which in the English language necessitates the use of the letter "S." Now, I suppose you could say "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" but you probably have (expletive) to do.
STEWART: You shorten it to "Happy Holidays."
STEWART: Not everybody who says that is anti-Christian, but for those of you who don't feel like you want to be idiots walking around starting on November 27 saying "Merry Christmas" to people, knock yourself out. You know what, it's OK. If Bill O'Reilly needs to have an enemy, needs to feel persecuted, you know what? Here's my Kwanzaa gift to him. Are you ready? All right. I'm your enemy. Make me your enemy. I, Jon Stewart, hate Christmas, Christians, Jews, morality, and I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's homo-abortion-pot-and-commie-jizzporium.
You can view the whole video by searching archives for "Jon Stewart" at Crooks and Liars.
“ This year's Christmas "defenders" are also rewriting Christmas history on another key point: non-Christians' objection to having the holiday forced on them. The campaign's leaders insist this is a new phenomenon. But as early as 1906, the Committee on Elementary Schools in New York City urged that Christmas hymns be banned from the classroom after a boycott by more than 20,000 Jewish students. In 1946, the Rabbinical Assembly of America declared that calling on Jewish children to sing Christmas carols was "an infringement on their rights as Americans." ...
The Christmas that O'Reilly and his allies are promoting fits with their effort to make America more like a theocracy, with Christian displays on public property and prayer in public schools.
Most Americans do not recognize this commercialized, mean-spirited Christmas as their own. Of course, it's not even clear the campaign's leaders really believe in it. Just a few days ago, Fox News's online store was promoting its "Holiday Collection" for shoppers. Among the items offered to put under a "holiday tree" was "The O'Reilly Factor Holiday Ornament." After bloggers pointed this out, Fox changed the "holidays" to "Christmases." ”
To sum up - the only war we real Americans need be concerned about is the phony war those who cheated their way into power are trying to repackage poorly to us as necessary when it is obviously was not.
O'Reilly should just admit he's a facist dog lacky and wear a brown shirt and little moustache ...
from Fark's Forums
Learn from your betters - perhaps I'll tell you of racing SNL's “Hanukah Harry” twice - one of these days - or maybe not. - Sparks