Sunday, September 30, 2007



John Hall, Jackson Browne, John Amato, Lucas Gardner & your host

So I just got back from the meeting I alluded to below. It was John from Crooks & Liars, Lucas from The Battle School, myself and Congressman John Hall. Music by Jackson Browne. Yeah, it was a benefit concert for John's campaign but he asked us to get their a half an hour early for a meeting so he could explain why he voted against the newspaper ad (not against MoveOn).

It was all that Betray Us headline that caused the problem, not the body of the ad, which he thinks was accurate. John is serious about ending the war and serious about supporting the military. As a congressman he represents West Point and Petraeus' hometown as well. He's on the Veterans' Affairs Committee and one of his biggest concerns in Congress has been the unbelievable and catastrophic increase in severe brain injuries from the war. He said that if Bush's war were to stop today, the American taxpayers would have a trillion dollar bill just in caring for the wounded soldiers from this war so far. And it's not stopping today. Which is why that whole MoveOn fiasco was such a drag for so many of us. It drove a wedge, like the Republicans had hoped it would.

John and I explained as best we could why it was a betrayal for so many Democrats to follow Emanuel and Hoyer and vote against the ad. He had already read the comments at Kos and was more than aware of why progressives and anti-war activists were angry. John is offering an identically-worded bill tomorrow that condemns Limbaugh for the outrageous statements he said about "phony soldiers."

After our talk the fun started. There was good food; John made a nice speech; I got to reminisce with Jackson about how we met when we were teenagers. I had booked a concert at my school with the Jefferson Airplane and a little known band from Seattle called the Daily Flash and Jackson and his two pals, Tim Buckley and Steve Noonan came. After there was a party at my house and many of us had something Owsley gave us. I was shocked Jackson remembered! It was my first real trip.

Anyway, Jackson started playing mostly socially relevant songs, like Lives in the Balance and anti-war songs and he was smokin'! There were like 4--50 people in a really intimate and ideal setting and his voice was incredible. And then John Hall grabbed a guitar and started playing with him. At one point Jackson asked him to leave the stage because he played a song that he thought could get John in trouble with Nancy. It's called "Drums of War" and the line "Why is impeachment not on the table?" brought down the house. I noticed John was applauding as loudly as enthusiastically as everyone else. The song hasn't been properly recorded but Jackson said it would be ok to use this funky early version someone shot live. (Oh yeah and he did stuff like "Doctor My Eyes" and "Running on Empty" and I called friends up from my old college days as well as Jane and held my cell phone up to the speakers.)

"Roll out the drums of war
Roll up the cover of the killing floor
Roll out the drums of war
and let's speak of things worht fighting for
Roll out the drums of war

Time comes when everything you ever thought you knew
comes crashing down and flames rise up in front of you

Roll out the drums of war
Roll back the freedoms that we struggled for
What were those freedoms for?
Huh, let's not talk about it anymore
Roll out the drums of war
Roll out the drums of war

Whatever you believe the necessary course to be
depends on who you trust to identify the enemy
Who beats the drums for war
even before the peace is lost?
Who are the profits for
and who are they who bear the cost
when a country takes a whole world to war?

Who gives the orders
orders to torture?
Who gets the no bid contracts of the future?
Who lies then bombs and calls it an error?
Who makes a fortune from fighting terror?
Who is the enemy trying to crush us?
Who is the enemy of truth and justice?
Who is the enemy of peace and freedom?
Where are the courts, now when we need them?
Why is impeachment not on the table?
We better stop them while we are able

Roll out the drums of war
Roll out the drums of war
If you know what your freedom's for
Roll out the drums of war

Whatever you believe the necessary course to be
depends on who you trust to identify the enemy
Who took this country to war
long before the peace was lost?
Who are the profits for
and who are they who bear the cost
when a country takes the low road?"


"I don't have Exxon and Mobile, I have Jackson and Bonnie (Raitt)."

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At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hoping for more of an explanation, really. Saying he was displeased with the title of the ad really doesn't cut it for me.

This Sista Soulja'ing of 3 million of his party's most passionate supporters to help Republicans diffuse a tough news week just shows weakness.

At 5:58 AM, Blogger cybermome said...

Did you hear from Patrick Murphy? I too was hoping for more of an explanation from John Hall

I'm in Pa and my DFA group worked our collective asses off to raise $$$ for Patrick and do phone banking for him...His vote was a real slap in the face

Yesterday clearing out my garage I found albums of Jackson Browne and No Nukes...My digital 17 year old was playing them on my old turn table last night!!!!!

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting John Hall uses the same rationale as Rahm Emanuel to justify his vote ..... hmmm ..... is there a caucus to get stories straight?
Pleasing or being afraid of R's is what one of the bigger problems is with reactionary D's.
I think a very careful review of Blue
America candidates (which I mostly support) by donors is required as with any critical decision.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, what I take away from this is that music still brings us together.

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