That should be Job One, as these two articles make clear…

Expressing dissent has become a felony. What a country!

Steve Howards, 54, and his wife were walking their son to piano practice in Beaver Creek, Colo., and were surprised to see Vice President Dick Cheney on the street chatting with citizens. “Many of us fantasize what would we do if we had the opportunity to really tell Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney how we feel,” Howards said, so as he passed by he told Cheney, “I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible.”

After dropping off his son, a Secret Service agent approached Howards and asked, “Did you assault the vice president?” Howards said no, and made it clear he didn’t even attempt to touch Cheney. “If this had happened, I would think if they were doing their job, I would have been face-down in the concrete five or 10 minutes earlier,” he said later.

Still, he was handcuffed and jailed, with the Secret Service demanding he be charged with harassment. The Eagle County District Attorney dropped the charge. Howards has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing Secret Service agent Virgil D. Reichle Jr. with civil rights violations. (Rocky Mountain News) …Dick Cheney’s America: where exercising one’s rights has become an act of courage.

Our Long National Nightmare Has Just Begun
Like Cornered Rats, GOP Losers More Dangerous Than Ever
By Ted Rall

11/09/06 “Information Clearing House” — — NEW YORK–“My fellow Americans,” assured incoming president Gerald Ford hours after the Watergate scandals forced Richard Nixon to resign, “our long national nightmare is over.”

I’m tempted, in the aftermath of the widest and most stunning electoral repudiation of Republicanism since Watergate, to mark the Democratic recapture of governorships, the House of Representatives (and probably the Senate) as the beginning of the end of Bush’s fascism lite, and thus a long overdue vindication of what I’ve been saying about him since his December 2000 coup d’état.

Back in 2001 and 2002, state-controlled media called me radical. Now, with most Americans seeing things my way, I’m mainstream. Yet I’m more scared now.

“Iraq,” I wrote a week before the 2003 invasion, “will probably be Bush’s Waterloo.” And so it has been: Exit polls found voters more motivated by opposition to the war than any other issue. “There was general revulsion in the country, particularly among Democrats and independents, against the conduct of the war in Iraq,” said pollster John Zogby. “This was, at the grass roots, a referendum against the war and the president. For Republicans, there was significant disappointment about opportunities lost through enormous budget deficits, threats to civil liberties, a failed social agenda, and the war.” Although Democrats failed to nationalize the election, Iraq succeeded: a pitiful seven percent of respondents to the latest Gallup survey still want to “stay the course.”

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