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You've seen and heard the number everywhere, 877-762-8762. Thom Hartman has a jingle that was produced for his radio program to help you remember the number. You have also heard Al Franken talk about 877-SOB-U-SOB. Do a Google search for the number and look at all the sites that have used it as their PRIMARY contract number for people to call Congress. And now it is gone, a permanent fast circuit busy, even in the middle of the night. There are two other more obscure toll-free numbers you can use to call your senators right now, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588 (and you can get other working numbers at http://www.millionphonemarch.com), but the one most familiar to all of us is out of commission.

It started last Friday morning with thousands and thousands of people calling their senators to complain about the John Roberts' nomination. Many were very angry at the three Democrat senators, Leahy, Feingold and Kohl, who inexplicably voted for Roberts in the judiciary committee, despite their serious misgivings about his record. By late afternoon you could no longer get through on the main line, and it's been that way ever since.

There are an enormous number of people out there who have a very bad feeling about John Roberts. Why is he being hustled up to a position of such absolute power without adequate scrutiny? Why have the people been denied access to any of his memos for the last 20 years? Why is he incapable of telling the truth about his leadership role in the reactionary extremist Federalist society? And why should the most unpopular second term president in American history NOT be challenged on this when he tries to elevate yet another personal crony?

For weeks an enormous PR campaign has been saturating the media with the talking point that Roberts was a "done deal," even before the first question at his hearing. They set out to sell the American people a product, and the product they were pushing was not just Roberts as a squeaky clean blank slate (which he clearly is not), the product was the CONCEPT that resistance was futile. It was the Borg sales pitch, and its insidious tentacles have extended everywhere, perhaps even into our own minds.

Karl Rove likes to say that politics is all about perception. Their objective was to create the perception that Roberts would be confirmed regardless. They wanted to discourage people from speaking out, just as they have always worked to suppress with so many dirty election tricks the turnout of voters opposed to their minority fringe agenda. They have employed broken voting machines, long lines, smear campaigns, tallies far in excess of the number of registered votes, swapped hard drives, exit polls that don't add up, and some believe even gross tabulating fraud. When the majority does not participate or votes against its best interest that is the only way they can maintain their power. The easiest way to win is to get the other side to not put up a fight.

But this time people were speaking out. Installing a hardcore reactionary into a lifetime position as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court with barely a whimper of opposition was just too much for the American people to swallow. There were speaking out in increasingly large numbers in vocal opposition to the Roberts' nomination, and somebody, somewhere decided they had to put a stop to it.

What will they do now? Will they trot out some phone technician to say it was just an innocent technical glitch? Will they find someone like Bush's tailor to tell us we did not see what we all saw, a gigantic inexplicable bulge under the president's jacket during the debates? Whether somebody made a deliberate move to suppress the right of the people to express opposition or not, the FACT remains that so many people WERE speaking out that the line went down. And that is the story.

How many times have you heard the words "pick our battles," "save our ammunition," "keep our powder dry," and so many other euphemisms for what amounts to one thing and one thing only . . . abject, utter and unilateral surrender? What fight IS worth taking a stand on if not for the chief justice of the Supreme Court? What kind of leaders do we have it they will not take a stand on THIS one? Somebody explain to us, we the people, how you are fighting for our rights by throwing in the towel before the game even starts? What is a filibuster good for if can't be used out of sheer cowardice?

The confirmation hearing of Roberts was a sham. As an attorney himself, Roberts would NEVER go to trial without full access to ALL the evidence needed for a full and effective cross-examination. Did you hear him and his defenders complain about being questioned about 20 year old documents? If they had their way, he would not have been questioned at all.

For all we know, Roberts has grown even more radical than the willing and enthusiastic firebrand that peeks through his early memos. They weren't going to make the same mistake they made with Robert Bork, putting up a nominee with a paper trail of writings and speeches about what he actually stood for a mile wide. Instead they have spent decades grooming a stealth candidate, a Trojan Horse of reactionary policy initiatives, a Bork in sheep's clothing, and they are desperately trying to keep it a secret until it is too late.

It is not too late. You can call your senators right now and demand that they place an immediate hold on the Roberts' nomination until he can be properly examined with full access to all relevant documents. Bolton was rejected by the Senate for that VERY SAME reason. You can call 888-818-6641 or 888-355-3588, 24 hours a day, and ask to be connected to your senators. If those numbers go down too, you can go to http://www.millionphonemarch.com and get the DIRECT phone and fax numbers of all your senators right down to the district level. At that same site you can send emails to all your senators and a letter to the editor at the same time, all with one click. You can tell them that Roberts must be rejected, by FILIBUSTER if necessary.

If you will ever in your life make a call to Congress about anything, you must make this call now. Every right we have fought for and won in the last century hangs in the balance. You have the power with the phone in your hands to change the course of history. Do it.
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