Art on Weaver

Guest Post by Sammy Slade

While going to get breakfast this morning 9 a.m., I was pleasantly surprised to find this sign pasted on the Good Neighbor Rules sign at Weaver Street Market. The person who was about to take the sign down kindly allowed me to photograph it before she did so. I asked if she worked for Carr Mill Mall. She said no, she works for Weaver Street Market. When I asked why she was taking it down if she was not Carr Mill Mall she explained that she was responsible for P.R. with Weaver Street Market and that they wanted to maintain a good relationship with the mall. When someone complimented the 'political message on the piece of art' the P.R. person agreed and said that she 'just wished people would post it elsewhere'.

(Click above for larger versions.)



David Price IS listening. He may not be giving the answers some want to hear, but he IS listening. Sammy, didn't his aide meet with your group last Wed? And Price himself met with the 4th District Democratic Party Exec Comm. (including me) on Saturday and listened to our views on Iraq for almost 2 hours. Again, he may not have given the all the answers we wanted, but he clearly wanted our opinions, it wasn't PR.

A supplemental appropriations bill is going to pass at some point this spring, period. The only question now is will it be an appropriations bill with real timetables and restrictions and oversight, as Price and others in the Democratic caucus are trying to put together to get 218 votes they need to pass it, or will it simply be a bill appropriating the money Bush wants.

Price is one of the good guys. He wants out, ASAP. And he IS listening!

Thanks Paul for the update. Did you see the Obey video?

You can see his frustration with both the process and having to deal with irksome "liberals" with wild ideas about quitting the war. Maybe Price does too. Of course, Obey has a better track record on opposing the war than others in his party (wonder who?) - maybe that sharpened his frustration.

The question, as the activist on the video noted, is whether this bill really does what you advertise - get the troops out quickly - or is the "oversight" mechanism and checkpoints for Iraqii compliance going to drag on through 2008.

And what is quickly? The current bill fully funds the war through Mar. 2008 and sets withdrawal as a "goal" instead of a requirement. Is that quick?

Further, Obey claimed that the Dems proposal will "make the war illegal" but nothing in either of the competing bills or amendments does that...

But the strangest bit - at least to me - is that the Dems are having problems rounding up the requisite 218 votes. Yeah, there's the "Blue Dogs" who want Bush to have a $100 billion in flexibility in contest with Lee's allies who want to cut the purse strings - but aren't both groups Dems? Can't the party, who's rank-n-file seem to overwhelmingly want us out of Iraq, for once, get together on pulling the plug at some fixed point in time?

Here's just the big ticket civilian kills this year:

01/16/07 100 killed, 245 wounded
01/22/07 75 killed, 160 wounded
01/30/07 38 killed, 100 wounded
02/01/07 60 killed, 150 wounded
02/03/07 120 killed, 340 wounded
02/12/07 90 killed, 190 wounded
02/18/07 60 killed
03/06/07 120 killed, 200 wounded

Many more die each day throughout the country.

Then there are coalition casualties:


There have been 3,451 coalition deaths -- 3,193 Americans, two Australians, 134 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, six Danes, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Fijian, one Hungarian, 32 Italians, one Kazakh, three Latvian, 19 Poles, two Romanians, five Salvadoran, four Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians -- in the war in Iraq as of March 12, 2007, according to a CNN count.



There have been 536 coalition deaths -- 367 Americans, one Australian, 52 Britons, 45 Canadians, three Danes, three Dutch, nine French, 18 Germans, nine Italians, one Norwegian, one Portuguese, four Romanians, one South Korean, 20 Spaniards, two Swedes -- in the war on terror as of March 12, 2007, according to a CNN count. Below are the names of the soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors whose deaths have been reported by their country's governments. The troops died in support of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom or were part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.


Against that backdrop all this wangling on procedure doesn't seem credible.

Will, unlike you and I, David Price and Dave Obey need to find a plan that is acceptable to 216 more of their fellow Democrats. Now you may lament the fact that the Democrats can't get together, but it is a fact of politics in this country that most members of congress consider themselves "free agents" who do as they please, despite the "official" party position. Nancy Pelosi is not Richard J. Daley, she can't just say "this is the way it is" and expect all the aldermen to fall in line. This is not a parlimentary system, there are not "responsible parties" in the USA as they have in Europe. No one leader calls the shots here, especially in the party that does control the White House; they need to compromise on Iraq and find something that the Blue Dogs and the Progressives can agree on and it appears they are making progress. Yes, I know compromise is a "dirty word" to some, but politics is the art of compromise. If you don't understand that, you really don't understand our system.

No, we're not go to be out "quickly." But the leadership bill does set August 31, 2008 as the latest date we can be there, no matter how things are going.

Early enough for you and I and others, perhaps not. But its progress. Our system is evolutionary, not revolutionary. And yes, procedure DOES matter. Without it, we'd have anarchy.

Paul, of course I don't expect the Dems to fall into lock step with their leadership all the time or even most of the time but I do expect the Dems to stand united when our country faces one of the worst debacles in its history.

Why the hesitancy? Is it that the Iraq and Afghanistan situation isn't dire enough? Is it that there are too many other domestic issues - Presidential signing statements, NSA spying, FBI malfeasance, failing economy, war profiteering, pharma pickpocketting - that the Dems can't pick one to start cleaning up? That they're immobilized by the criminal Bush madministration hydra?

Burke's quote "All that is required for evil to flourish is that good men do nothing" is way over used, I prefer King's "The greatest sins of our time are committed not by the few who have destroyed, but by the vast majority who sat idly by."

Obey, Price, Miller and other representatives in each party appear to be "good men". From the legislation blatting around Congress they don't appear to be idle yet nearly 90 days into the Dem reign we appear to still be stuck in the bloody mud.

While not exactly rooting for the Democrats, I've gotta say that more serious political turmoil is ahead if y'all keep letting Republicans be the only party with a vision (whether you agree with it or not). WillR has already been introduced to my thoughts on the subject.

That is neither here nor there though. Point is, has anyone actually just asked whatshisname to just relocate the signs to less offensive areas of the lawn? That seems to be the big gripe.

Obey and Price et al are not "sitting idly by" they are doing their best to bring this war to an end.

But as Dave Obey told that woman in the video, he has no "magic wand" that can do this.

Obey and Price are not the enemy, as some on the far left are treating them (I'm not saying you are one of them, Will). Disagree with them, fine, but don't demonize them.


Do you know if Price joined the Democratic leadership in giving up their Constitutional duty to require Congressional permission for an attack on Iran?

Chris, WSM staff asked for the signs to be moved as soon as they were installed. You can see two management members discussing this with the guy who installed the sign here:

I haven't been down there in a while, but for some reason I have the urge to bring my unleashed German Shepard down there, so I can run around on the fountain and pass out literature, and throw a few pieces in the fountain, while drinking a 40 I bought up at the Exxon station, before swinging from the trees, singing "Oh Come all Ye Faithful" and then passing out on a bench. It will be quite an unauthorized performance. Thank you.

That sign is flat out disgusting. And I thought the Weaver Street sign was bad. All these sign posters and anarchist painters stink, on an equal level, as far as I can tell. Paint your own house. In my view, painting "Free Sima" on the side of the KFC ain't cool, Carr Mill posting a sign on the lawn ain't cool, and some jerk posting an anti-Price poster on it ain't cool, and Sammy making it look cool by posting it on Orange Politics ain't cool either. I just can't help thinking about that big ol' political circle where the ultra-left meets the ultra right in a joyous anarchy/libertarian fiesta...

Mark, unfortunatly, it does appear that the original language regarding invasion of Iran will be dropped from the Democratic supplemental appropriations bill.

However, it is not at all true that the leadership did not want it, Pelosi strongly supported it; I don't know about Price, I didn't ask him (I would guess he did, but I don't want to speak for him) but it appears that such language would sink the whole bill, which is the ONLY viable alternative to giving Bush another blank check. This bill is about Iraq, after all, not about Iran. I too personally wish such language regarding Iran were included, but lack of such should not be allowed to derail the Democratic bill.

Once again, this is a compromise bill designed to get 218 votes to pass the House. I know that words like "viable" and "compromise" are dirty words to you Mark, but those of us who live in the real world recognize that that is how our system works.

There is not another public official in Orange or Durham Counties that I would want instead of Price as my congressman.

Pelosi also fielded criticism from lawmakers for removing language from the bill barring military action against Iran without congressional approval. She said the issue would be addressed in future legislation.

"We're having folks expressing every doubt, every reservation, every aspiration they have for this bill," said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., another supporter.

In a bid to broaden its appeal, leaders stripped the Iran requirement and omitted language favored by several liberal members that would have specifically prohibited funding of military operations after fall 2008.

While the liberals said this threat would help enforce the deadline, Democratic leaders viewed the politically charged language as unnecessary.

The measure provides nearly $100 billion for two wars, including more money than Bush had requested for operations in Afghanistan, and to address what Democrats called training and equipment shortages. House Republicans say they will work to sink the measure, and the White House threatens a veto.

USA Today

OK. No withdrawal by 2008. No restrictions on an Iranian adventure. $100 billion for "readiness training and equipment shortages" on top of the $540+ billion already ear-marked for 2007/2008 (and the US already accounts for 48% of the world's total military spending).

So Will, your alternative is.......???

Will's alternative is the same alternative that was expressed by both Durham and Orange County Democratic parties and their resolution to withold furhter funding of the war in Iraq unless a provision were included specifically stating that no more money would be used to further funding the war.

The grassroots understands that a vote for money by Congress for Iraq is a vote for the war. Like it or not, this is the deciding moment of whether or not the Democrats own this war or not, no need to wait for '08.

Paul, did you represent the Orange County Democratic Party in this demand? Did Rep. Price listen? 81% of the 4th District vote comes from Durham and Orange County. As a minnimum, on this very significant issue, and with this very clear mandate given by the county Democratic parties (his constituents), of the largest portion of his District, I would expect our REPRESENTATIVE to represent.

Rep. Price will vote for both further money towards the 'surge' and for the continued presence of the U.S. in Iraq. His vote is how I measure his worth. He may listen, and he may even say stuff (i.e. 'wanting tho get out of Iraq by the end of the year') but if he isn't backing his listening and talking with EFFECTIVE action (his vote and usage of the only power, the Purse strings, that Congress has to change the course of a war that is based on lies and which is exacerbating hatred torwards Americans [seemingly with good reason because we aren't accurately represented] by the rest of the world, lead by a renegade President that no one is holding accountable) then he fails in my view as a representative.

If the President vetos this bill that would be great! He would not get any more money for the war. Paul, what is the point of passing a bill for the sake of passing it when what the bill is for is what most people are against (The War).

Did you represent us? ... How?

Holding up your definition of the "real world" and bluntly assuming anyone who defines their world differently as being out of touch with reality is mean, divisive, and short sighted.

We are all free to work towards our own realities. By my definition real change is possible by evolution and revolution. To be able to to define ones own political reality is part of a free and fair Democracy. One that the Democratic Party is part of and is sworn to uphold. Do you deny our right to define our own "real world"?

Do you have anything to gain personally by defending Price so vigorously? or are you just a big fan? Oh yeah that's right... you're an officer in the Orange County Democratic Party. So you come here and bash your base. Ya think that will win Orange County Dems more votes? Do you really think its a good organizing tactic? I don't.

Please stop trying to save us. All liberals don't have to agree or support Democrats. Can't you just leave it at the fact we disagree on some issues and agree on others?

Thank you.

BrianR, from somebody that tussles a bit with Price's avid supporters - Paul and David notably - I appreciate their willingness to get online and mix it up. They're exposing themselves - as are we - to some rough criticism due to their beliefs (which are incredibly short-sighted ;-) ) and opinions (which are woefully misinformed).

Sammy is right. This is the crux moment for the Democratic party. They said "wait until we hold the reins and watch what we do". Well, they hold the reins - even if its a bit loosely by Paul's standards. Now comes the doing. There is absolutely no credible plan that involves a sustained conflict. Zero.

Only misery and blood and continued failure will meet us on the fields of Iraq , Afghanistan and Iran (which we seem to be scheduled to bomb this Spring).

And this won't be the end of it.

What are to do when Afghanistan, the world's largest narco-state, home of the reconstituted Taliban has their anticipated Spring "Tet offensive"?

The Dems waver now and the Commandant In-Chief will be "surging" yet again. Waver now and even the pretense of "checks and balances" is out the door. Waver now and end the relevance of your currently constituted party.

BTW Sammy, your URL is - you lost the % sign.

On a purely realpolitick level, the Republicans took over in the last couple of decades by standing firm on issues and winning respect for standing firm and not compromising all over the map.

The people are yearning for real leadership and can't begin to fathom the inside-the-beltway doublespeak that passes for the Democratic Party position. What's wrong with losing a few battles but going down with the integrity of a strong message? People will respect that. Tepid "victories" fashioned out of inside politics will not fuel any poltical revival, much less help us out of our mess.

Sammy, while I certainly told Price my opinion, I made it very clear to Price that most active OCDP members disagreed with me; I think Jack would back me up on that, so ask him if you are skeptical.

Brian, I have nothing personally to gain from backing Price, I don't work for him, I simply believe he is a very good rep, not perfect, but who is?
You are free to define any reality you want for yourself, or course . But Price and Miller and Obey and others have to find a "reality" that 218 of them agree with. That's the "real world" reality, whether you like it or not.

Mark, there will be a supplemental. ANY restrictions in it, no matter how tepid, will be a victory, as it will be the first time ANY restrictions are put on Bush's ability to conduct the war.

"Baby steps?" Sure. But at least it's movement.

BrianR stated above that I am an OCDP officer. That is not correct; the only OCDP position I hold is Vice-Chair of the Efland precinct.

I am an officer (2nd Vice-Chair) of the 4th Congressional District Committee and it was because of that position that I met with Price last Saturday.

Thanks Paul for representing us when you met with Rep. Price. What did he have to say about his going against the wishes of his constituency?

It is a shame that 'Representative' Price feels he has to take baby steps even though he has the full support of his constituency, fortunately, there are other Representatives in this Country who aren't afraid of being bold and effectively representing their constituents.

I am represented by them ... as are the Durham and Orange Democratic Parties.

Please, everyone, call Representative Price before the vote on the Supplemental Approriations bill (scheduled for some time next week), now while the National Democrats are negotiating with the Democrats with a spine, and let Representative Price know that you want him to vote on the Supplemental ONLY if it includes the Lee amendment.


Washington Office
2162 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-1784
Fax: 202-225-2014

Chapel Hill
88 Vilcom Center
Suite 140
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: 919-967-7924
Fax: 919-967-8324

Sammy, Price voted with every single one of the other Dems on the Appropriations Comm. yesterday EXCEPT Barbara Lee.

So just who is out of step here?

Paul, I know at least Barbara Lee is 'in step there' because she is actually representing her constituency.

As for the others I can only speak for Representative David Price as I know that he is 'out of step' because he is not representing his constituents. Durham and Orange counties are 81% of Representative David Price's District. The Orange and Durham Democratic County Parties have clearly asked him to vote against funding for the war unless the funding is to be used for pulling out of Iraq only.

Paul, you seem to have a strange notion of what it means to 'represent' in a Democracy. Our representative's job is to Represent us in the Governemnt and not the other way around: the Government to us.

People, not renegade politicians, should be the 'deciders'.

Are you getting it?

So Sammy are you saying that those of us not registered as Democrats do not get to have our opinons represented? Do you really know what the people who live in the 4th District want?

I think it is you that has the strange notion of what it means to ‘represent' in a Democracy.

So Barbara Lee is correct and 35 others were wrong, Sammy? Including reps like Jose Serrano, one of only three Dems who voted last year to leave immediately, who yesterday voted for this bill? Who is the "renegade" here? The one or the 35?

Are you getting it now?

And check your numbers again, Sammy. Durham and Orange do not cast 81% of the votes in the 4th district.

Sammy keeps posting that Durham and Orange are 81% of Price´s district, which I knew was way too high, but I didn´t look up the correct numbers until now. Fact is, Wake Co. casts more votes in the 4th District than Durham and Orange COMBINED. In round numbers, Wake cast 98K of the 195K votes cast in the district last November, which is just over half. Durham cast 55K, Orange 33K and Chatham 9K. That´s about 45% of the vote in Durham and Orange, a long way from 81%.

Yes, Wake is more GOP than Orange and Durham, but even just looking at Price´s 127K votes, Wake gave him about 53K, Durham 41K, Orange 26K and Chatham 7K. Using this computation, Durham and Orange are about 53%, still a long way from 81%.

Sammy, the voters of the district have clearly spoken in support of David Price. So you are quite wishful in your thinking that he's not representing his district. And to call David Price a "renegade" politician is positively absurd.

I also continue to think your posting of this picture is innapropriate and thoughtless. It is a jerky and rude thing to post.

Even if you were right on how the district feels, to me the job of a representative is more than just following orders of constituents. It's trying to make the best decision given the totality of all evidence and opinions at hand. For instance, what if 100% of 4th District voters told Rep. Price we should reinstitute slavery? By my definition, a good representative would say that was morally wrong and not in the best interest of the country and vote against the constituents' will and risk getting voted out of office.

Which leads me to realize that you can't have it both ways. If one accepts your premise on the attitude of 4th district voters (which I don't) you can't honestly claim that Price is spineless for not voting to get out of Iraq tommorrow AND a 'renegade' for voting against the will of his constituents. A spineless politician always just follows the voters no matter how wrongheaded their views...

Paul, thanks for providing some actual facts on the district demographics. Perhaps that will spur WillR to rethink his arrogance that we're always wrong and he's always right? ;) (I'm not holding my breath... :) )

The vigor of opposition to Rep. Price here is just crazy. Rep. Price voted against this war. And now the question is, how do we extricate ourselves from it? It's a hard question. Maybe to leave Iraq tomorrow is the best course of action. Maybe staying a while longer and trying to stabilize the country is. None of us really knows, do we? And to pretend one has the Right answer is again, arrogant. And it reminds me how thankful I am that I have a deep-thinking congressman who's trying to figure this mess out, not some "renegade" trying to figure which way the wind is blowing or some absolutist so sure in his position that he's unwilling to see other points of view.

David, if it's arrogant to think that this madministartion's war, its shredding of the Constitution and its usurpation of power is one of the worse crises our country has ever faced, then I'm guilty. If it is arrogant to think that our representative has acquiesced, is partially complicit, because he hasn't put his political career on the line and forcefully repudiated what has happened - not called his own party's leadership to task - well, then I'm guilty.

I'd rather be guilty of what you call arrogance than be guilty of letting a war whose true cost will be measured in decades of misery, a war that's already cost so many so much, continue.

And, in case you haven't been keeping track, local conventional wisdom pretty much has me wrong on most everything.

David, good post, I was going to post similar thoughts about what it really means to be a representive in our constitutional republican form of government, but you said it well.

Will, easy for you to say all that as you don´t have to actually sit in the congress and vote on actual legislation, not some vague concept of what is right or wrong. You can be "Citizen Will," slaying the dragons and tilting at the windmills with no ramifications whatsoever.

"Monday-morning quaterbacking" is easy and anyone can do it. Actually playing the game is a whole different thing.

How vague is "thou shall not kill" a bunch of folks for oil profits Paul? If the folks dying are just part of a larger "game", I guess it might seem "vague" to you. Sorry, but this citizen will continue to tilt at that windmill.


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