Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We don't need your 'side boob'

I want to talk to you about . . . What's that? Oh, it is a new dress, yes.

So what I'd like to talk about is how I'd like you to see me and I think . . . Yes, I do think I look good in this dress.

What's that? Am I about to pop out?

Barack Obama's never been a fair candidate, not when he ran for the Illinois legislature, not when he ran for the Senate. So it's no surprise that he's running a dirty race -- even if the press doesn't have the guts to call him out.

Last night, he stood onstage in a debate. The people he was supposed to be debating were Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Yet Bambi kept getting in digs at Bill Clinton.

While it must hurt him that Bill Clinton calls him out the way the press refuses to do, the fact of the matter is that Bill Clinton wasn't on stage.

There are certain no-nos and one of them is going after a candidate's spouse.

Barack Obama has shredded that rule and did so in a debate.

He needs to reign himself in because, if he doesn't, he's altering the process forever.

Bill Clinton is Hillary's spouse. He is not the candidate. Bill Clinton has not said anything that's stronger than what Elizabeth Edwards has said. Barack Obama may not feel that it's fair Hillary's spouse is a former US president; however, those are the breaks.

If he can't shut up about Hillary's spouse, he's inviting talk of his own.

His wife has a 'complicated' (being kind) work history that doesn't fit with Obama's attempt to paint himself as fighting for the little guy. Going into that will take real opposition research and education for the press so it would probably only take place if Bambi won the nomination.

But it's not hard to go after her right now.

Women attempting to be the First Lady are expected to follow a few basics. I'm not talking about Michelle Obama's past which is her own business. I'm talking about the way she's conducted herself on the campaign trip.

It was only hours after her California event that cell phone snaps started popping up my e-mail. C.I. confirms that some of those ran in small presses (not independent).

A woman who wants to be First Lady doesn't need to be sporting 'side boob.' If the dress doesn't allow you to wear a bra, guess what, Michelle, you shouldn't wear it. Even if Oprah tells you that you look "darling" in it.

You didn't. It was basically a skirt with two strings that tied behind the neck.

No one wants to see that on a First Lady.

Unlike her business dealings, no complicated sidebar is needed to note her dress. All that has to happen is for the press to run those photos. (That's not the only dress 'problem' she's had since her husband declared.) Considering that each of the photos sent to me during that party usually contained what I hope were jokes about her 'popping out,' I'm fully aware that she offended a number of people with that outfit.

If Barack Obama wants to go there on Bill Clinton, he better grasp that a picture doesn't require an explanation. A few shots of 'side boob' from Michelle Obama splashed on the front pages and he'll have a serious problem.

I'm surprised that they've only popped up in the smaller press (with no comment, although one clearly showed 'side boob' as she had her arm raised).

First Lady isn't an Angelina Jolie job. It's supposed to carry some dignity. Message to Michelle, if you're considering a dress in the future but can't wear a bra with it, it's not the dress to wear. You're not in your 20s and you're not a starlet. Oprah may like you dressed like that, you may tell yourself that's how they dress in California, but it's tacky. The world didn't need to see Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, . . . 'side boob' and they certainly don't need to see your 'side boob.'

"TV: Democracy Sometimes?" is Ava and C.I.'s latest (and greatest) so be sure to read it. And, if you missed it, this is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Mystique Candidate"


"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Tuesday, January 22, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, Amy Goodman continues to turn over a news broadcast to Bambi Love, the US military announces another death, the theft of Iraqi oil gets closer, Iraq is raised in Democrat debate, and more.

Starting with war resistance. As
UPI noted yesterday, it was 30 years ago that "President Jimmy Carter pardoned American Vietnam War-era draft evaders and ordered a case-by-case study of deserters." 30 years ago. This week actions take place allowing us to show support for some of today's war resisters.

A number of war resisters have gone to Canada and attempted to be granted asylum.
November 15th, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeals of war resisters
Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Parliament is the solution.Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pm@pm.gc.ca -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use. Both War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist are calling for actions from January 24-26. The War Resisters Support Campaign has more on the action in Canada:

The War Resisters Support Campaign has called a pan-Canadian mobilization on Saturday, January 26th, 2008 to ensure : 1) that deportation proceedings against U.S. war resisters currently in Canada cease immediately; and 2) that a provision be enacted by Parliament ensuring that U.S. war resisters refusing to fight in Iraq have a means to gain status in Canada. For listings of local actions, see our
Events page. If you are able to organize a rally in your community, contact the Campaign -- we will list events as details come in.

Courage to Resist notes:

Join and support January 25 vigils and delegations in support of U.S. war resisters currently seeking sanctuary Canada.
Actions are being planned in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Supporters will meet with officials at Canadian Consulates across the United States in order underscore that many Americans hope that the Canadian Parliament votes (possible as early as February) in favor of a provision to allow war resisters to remain. Download and distribute Jan. 25-26 action leaflet (PDF).Supporting the war resisters in Canada is a concrete way to demonstrate your support of the troops who refuse to fight. Help end the war by supporting the growing GI resistance movement today!
Details January 25-26 actions/events in support of U.S. war resisters.
Sign the letter "Dear Canada: Let U.S. War Resisters Stay!" and encourage others to sign.
Organize a delegation to a
Canadian Consulate near you .
Host an event or house-party in support of war resisters.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb,
Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:

In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan

March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation.
Dee Knight (Workers World) notes, "IVAW wants as many people as possible to attend the event. It is planning to provide live broadcasting of the sessions for those who cannot hear the testimony firsthand. 'We have been inspired by the tremendous support the movement has shown us,' IVAW says. 'We believe the success of Winter Soldier will ultimately depend on the support of our allies and the hard work of our members'."

Dropping back to Friday when
NPR's Anne Garrels (Morning Edition) followed up on the claim by Iraq's Minister of Defense claiming US forces would be needed in Iraq "until 2018" by speaking with "Iraqi ground forces" who "say their units are under strength and that better weapons are needed." Garrels noted complaints about training, complaints about the quality of recruits, the fact that the Iraqi air force still doesn't fly missions, high desertion rates, lack of treatment for Iraq soldiers wounded in battle, no death benefits for Iraqi soldiers who die in battle, infiltration and host of other issues. How the US addresses the above is important and some aspects were raised in a debate yesterday; however, indymedia's too busy propping up Bambi to go into reality.

On Sunday,
Deborah Sontag (New York Times) followed up her earlier report (with Lizzette Alvarez) on crimes being committed by veterans who are being failed by the White House wants to pass off as 'health care' by zooming in on the case of Walter R. Smith who saw combat in Iraq ("We were opening fire on civilians. We were taking out women and children because it was them or us," he remembered of one incident) and disintegrated leading to him being discharged and left with no care program which may very well be why he now is on trial for murdering of the mother of his children, Nicole Marie Speirs. Meanwhile Mary McCarty and Margo Rutledge Kissel (The Dayton Daily News) explain the reactions to the death -- assumed murder -- of US marine Maria Lauterbach's whose pregnant corpse was discovered buried in the backyard of the man she had accused of raping her, Cesar Laurean, with Marsha Williams delcaring, "Absolutely she would still be alive if the Marines had taken her seriously. She was missing for three weeks yet it took them until Jan. 7 to come to that house? That's too much of a gap." Mary Lauterbach, Maria's mother, speaks to the reporters and clears up some of the distortions that have been put out by the presss and also quotes her stating, "My instinct tells me the majority of rapes are not reported. For a woman to come forward and complain about a rape takes a lot. It took Maria a lot." Another person who had to show tremendous courage to step foward was Suzanne Swift who was harassed, abused, assaulted and the victim of command rape while serving in Iraq. No Congressional investigation ever resulted from the crimes against Suzanne. None will probably result from the death of Maria Lauterbach. But, probably after the illegal war ends, there will be some show hearings in the US Congress where members pretend to be shocked by what's going on. We've seen that repeatedly. Congress refuses to utilize its oversight and the US military command knows they can ignore rape charges.

On Monday,
War Pornographer Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt (New York Times) reported that Davey Peteraeus -- who is both commander in Iraq and the one whose fanciful tales to Congress in September have now fallen apart -- is in line for a promotion: chief of NATO. Reuters reports today, "The Pentagon sought on Tuesday to cool talk about future assignments for Army Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. Commander in Iraq, following reports he was a candidate for the top NATO command post." The Pentagon's press secretary Geoff Morrell briefed reporters today and the issue of Army General John Creddock -- current head of NATO -- came up: "Does the secreatry [of Defense, Robert Gates] expect General Craddock to serve the standard three-year term as Supreme Allied Commander Europe?" Morrell responded, "As it stands right now, the secretary is very pleased with the leadership that's being provided by General Craddock in his current role. He's very pleased, obviously, with the leadership that's being provided by General Petraeus in his current role. And until the secretary recommends to the president otherwise and the president approves otherwise, those two commanders will continue in the roles that they now have." He dismissed talk of anything else as mere "contingency plans" noting they have them "for virtually everything in the world." That doesn't mean Gordo was wrong.

In another press briefing at the Pentagon, General Mark Hertling appeared via video link (from Iraq) to take questions from reporters. He sang the praises of the "Awakening" Councils, declaring that there were 14,900 Iraqis signed up approximately and, "We think of that -- and in fact as we've signed up new concerned local citizens, we literally give them a paper to fill out, a form to fill out, and we ask them how many of them would prefer to go in there to Iraqi security forces. We're getting, on average, depending on the twon, anywhere from 15 to 20 percent who say they would like to stay in some type of Iraqi security force." He spoke of how some wanted to become part of the Iraqi police, some the army, la-di-da, la-di-dah. What he didn't speak of was the realities of those willing to turn for a buck.

Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reported an al Hajjaj bomber killed himself and 15 others (eight more injured) while attempting "to assassinate the security deputy of Salahuddin province Ahmed Abdullah was was in the mourning tent of his dead uncle". Dean Yates (Reuters) reported the number wounded in the attack on the US collaborator jumped from eight to ten and notes, "Monday's attack took place in al-Hajaj village, 5 km south of Baiji, home to Iraq's biggest oil refinery. The city, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad, has been the scene of a number of bombings in the past few months. On Dec. 25, a suicide bomber killed more than 20 people in the city." Today, Reuters reports the death toll from the bombing was 17. And Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) reported today, "Meanwhile, in the wake of a suicide bombing on Sunday near Falluja in Anbar Province local tribesmen burned the house of the young suicide bombger's family and prevented a female cousin from collecting the bomber's head for burial." Those "local tribesmen," as Rubin words it, are members of the "Awakening" Council. The bomber, a young teenage boy, blew himself up, but the thugs thirst for blood was so great, they burned the family's home down and refused the boy's head for a burial. Those are the thugs who, if offered coin, will turn at least temporarily.

In news of the air war,
Reuters noted yesterday, "U.S. military aircraft hit more than 30 targets with 35 bombs weighing a total of 19,000 pounds in air strikes in Al Jabour".

Monday the
US military announced: "A Marine assigned to Multi-National Force - West was killed while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province Jan. 19." And they announced: "A Multi-National Division - Center Soldier was killed in an improvised explosive device attack in Arab Jabour Jan. 19. " Today, the US military announced, "A Multi-National Division - North Soldier died from injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover while conducting operations in Kirkuk Jan. 22. Additionally, one other Soldier was wounded and evacuated to a Coalition hospital." ICCC's totals currently stand at 27 for the month adn 3931 since the start of the illegal war.

In some of today's reported violence . . .


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded one police officer, a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed 1 life and left six workers for the transportation ministry wounded and a bomber "blew himself up near Al Mutatawira high school in Baquba, injuring 21 among them four women teachers and 5 students." AP's Christopher Chester notes, "The target of the latest bombing was unclear: The school is next to the provincial governor's office and a municipal building in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad."


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a police officer was shot dead in Basra while "one body guard of Salahuddin police chief" was shot dead and another wounded in Al Shirqat.


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 school teachers were kidnapped in Tikrit.


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports three corpses discovered in Baghdad and a woman's corpse found in Kirkuk. Reuters reports 7 corpses -- family members -- were discovered "outside Iraq's volatile city of Baquba" -- "a father and his five sons as well as a nephew" with "all bearing signs of torture and shot execution-style".

Turning to Iraq's Parliament,
Aseel Kami and Waleed Ibrahim (Reuters) reports that the 2008 budget has still not been passed, that there are disputes about where the money will be allocated and that Speaker Mahmoud Mashhadani is urging members of Parliament to pass it when they meet next on Thursday. Earlier today Waleed Ibrahim reported that the Iraqi Parliament had made time to decide on a new flag.

In economic and theft news,
Dow Jones reports, "An Iraqi Oil Ministry delegation will meet in Amman later this week with senior executives from five oil majors to discuss the possibility of signing technical support agreements to help develop five oil fields, an Iraqi oil ministry spokesman said Tuesday." Citing an unnamed source, they list the five companies as Chevron, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total.

Turning to the US, in South Carolina yesterday the Democratic party's presidential debate took place, participating were John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Noting that Senator Crazy (aka John McCain) loved the escalation in Iraq, moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Edwards why McCain was wrong?

John Edwards: He's wrong because George Bush himself said the entire reason for the surge was to create an environment for political progress. Everyone from the Iraq Study Group, to even Bush recognized -- and if Bush recognizes it, man, it's really got to be out there. Even President Bush recognizes that unless the Sunni and Shia reach some political reconiciliation, there cannot be stability in Iraq. And the problem with this definition and evaluation of where the progress has been made is that there has been no meaningful political progress. There has been a little bit, in fairness. A little bit, but very little. And I don't think it changes anything. The one thing I would say is -- and I would actually like for both of them to have a chance to respond to is this -- what I have said very clearly, all of us has said, we would end the war. And I don't have any doubt that all of us are committed to that, I don't doubt that. But how aggressively and how quickly is an important question. And I have said in the first year that I am president, I will have all combat troops out of Iraq. All combat missions will end in Iraq, and there will be no permanent military bases in Iraq. I have no heard -- now, admittedly, just to be fair, I don't hear everything they say on the campaign trail, but I have no heard either of them say that definitively. So I would be interested in knowing whether they will commit to having all combat troops out and ending combat missions in the first year.

Barack Obama responded first and, as usual, he used a lot of words. The answer was "no," Bambi can't commit to that (he offered maybe "some time in 2009"). And that's just combat troops. Please note, combat troops pulling out of Iraq does not mean "TROOPS HOME NOW!" But Bambi couldn't commit to it. While Bambi meandered, Hillary Clinton's first two sentences gave her answer: "What I have said is that I will move as quickly as possible. I hope to have nearly all out within a year." She then raised the issue that an independent media with an ounce of life left in it would have made the focus daily.

Hillary Clinton: We don't know what we're going to inherent from President Bush, but there is a big problem looming on the horizon that we had better pay attention to, and that is President Bush is intent upon negotiating a long-term agreement with Iraq which would have permanent bases, permanent troop presence. And he claims he does not need to come to the United States Congress to get permission, he only needs to go to the Iraqi parliament. That is his stated public position. He was recently in the region, and it is clear that he intends to push forward on this to try to bind the United States government and his successor to his failed policy. I have been strongly opposed to that. We should not be planning permanent bases and long-term troop commitments. Obvioulsy, we've got to rein in President Bush. And I've proposed legislation and I know that members of the Congressional Black Caucus are looking at this, as well. We need legislation in a hurry which says, "No, Mr. Bush, you are the president of the United States of America. You cannot bind our country without coming to the United States Congress." This is a treaty that would have to be presented and approved, and it will not be.

Both of the above are important. Naturally Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) ignored both. She did, however, elect to promote Bambi full time and even offered a lengthy interview with
Grace Lee Boggs, a noted intellectual -- and someone who has done a lifetime of amazing work -- but who states there is no difference in the records of the front runners for the Democratic Party therefore people should vote for Obama because of the engineered mania around him or, as Grace Lee Boggs put it at one point, because "he has unleased that, though his policies are not that different from Clinton, but he has unleashed an energy" -- when elders start trying to play rate-a-record on American Bandstand, it's not pretty. Hitler unleashed an energy, Mussolini unleashed an energy. Bambi is about high-voltage as Pat Boone. What does the candidate stand for and what does s/he say? Pointing those factors out qualify as "wisdom." Anything else is just being a disappointment, a huge disappointment. Even more so considering what Amy Goodman (naturally) didn't explore Rezko -- we'll get to him.

The segment also continues Goodman's practice,
noted and charted at length by Ava and myself at The Third Estate Sunday Review Sunday, of shutting out Hillary Clinton supporters, booking Barack supporters with no opposition voices and asking on difficult questions of them. Is Democracy Now! ever planning to explore the issues raised by Hillary Clinton above? Or does the program intend to continue to stack the deck and call that 'fair'?

We've noted this before here, the arrangement Bully Boy and al-Maliki are trying to force on two countries is against the constitutions of both the United States and Iraq. It is a big issue. It is a violation of the laws of both countries, it is a violation of the seperation of powers in both countries. It's just not important to Amy Goodman. She's into covering for slum lords.
Here's Hillary after she's talked about Bambi praising the Republican movement of the 80s (and she didn't mention Reagan's name, check the record -- Bambi lied again), "It certainly came across in the way that it was presented, as though the Republicans had been standing up against conventional wisdom with their ideas. I'm just reacting to the fact, yes, they did have ideas, and they were bad ideas. . . Bad for America, and I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago."

All the Bambi groupies tremble (apparently including Amy Goodman). Rezko, Antoin "Tony the crook" Rezko. Under federal indictment, accused of buying influence, kickbacks and much more.
Taylor Marsh (TalyorMarsh.com) observes, "Clinton took what was aimed at her and gave it back. Obama said Wal-Mart. She countered with Rezko. Clinton also didn't flinch at the heckling and booing at her when she mentioned 'slum lord' and Rezko, the word the press still hasn't found how to spell. . . . The other big problem for Obama was his answer on Rezko. That's because he didn't answer it. He talked about being an associate laer, but that's not good enough, especially once the trial heats uup. It's not going to be enough when the stories start hitting the front pages." On Sunday, David Jackson (Chicago Tribune) reported, "Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama said Saturday that his campaign would give charities $40,350 in donations linked to his former friend and fundraiser Tony Rezko, a Chicago businessman who has pleaded not guilty to federal influence-peddling and bank fraud charges." Jackson noted Obama "was the unnamed 'political candidate' referred to in a Dec. 21 court document that accuses Rezko of orchestrating a scheme in which a firm hired to handle state teacher pension investments first had to pay $250,000 in 'sham' finder's fees. From that money, $10,000 was donated to Obama's successful run for the Senate in the name of Glenview enterpreneur Joseph Armanda, the story said." Jackson goes on to report that, in 2005, Obama would hire Joseph Armanda's son as an intern for his DC office "after Rezko recommended him."

Tim Novak (Chicago Sun-Times) reported on Bambi and the Kingpin in April of last year (not Novak's first report) and noted that, in 1997, refusing to turn on the heat for the apartments Rezko and partner Daniel Mahru were the slumlords of: "Rezko and Mahru couldn't find money to get the heat back on. But their company, Rezmar Corp., did come up with $1,000 to give to the political campaign fund of Barack Obama, the newly elected state senator whose districts included the unheated building. Obama has been friends with Rezko for 17 years." Novak notes Bambi "took campaign donations from Rezko even as Rezko's low-income housing empire was collpassing, leaving many African-American families in buildings riddled with problems -- including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers." Novak explains how Bambi's law firm steered "more than $43 million in government funding to" Rezko.

Bob Somerby (Daily Howler) notes Rezko (as well as pointing out that Bambi praised Reagan in his first book), "But for Dems, it's a good idea to bring Rezko out now, just as it would have been good for Demas -- and for Michael Dukakis, a superlative person -- to explore the prison furlough program during the 1988 primaries." How bad was it? Even Hillary Hater Ruth Conniff (The Progressive) had to note, "Still, some of Hillary's points were valid: Obama did praise Ronald Reagan, and not just in the qualified terms he claimed in the debate. He did have a business relationship with Tony Rezko, the indicted businessman Clinton called a 'slum landlord.' Not only did Obama do legal work for Rezko in association was a 'church group' that had a parternship with him, as he explained in the debate, he also bought land from Rezko, and the now-indicted REzko has been a longtime contributor. The relationship has been a problem for Obama, because Rezko is such a shady character and because it is more than a passing association, as a detailed investigation by The Chicago Sun Times reveals." Conniff is wrong about Edwards performance -- Edwards was challenging Obama on his voting records and other issues. Mike will be covering that tonight while Elaine will be explaining why Obama doesn't need to bring Bill Clinton's names into debates.

Amy Goodman wasn't interested in exploring Rezko or even noting him. Nor was she interested in airing a clip from John Edwards. This is the same Goodman who devoted an entire broadcast to one candidate (Kucinich) because he was 'shut out' of a debate. What she did have time for, what she wanted the world to know that Grace Lee Boggs -- based on feel-good 'energy' -- was endorsing Bambi. Bambi got another endorsement Goodman left out.
Taylor Marsh notes Bambi continues his practice of "embracing homophobics" with his endorsement from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell who believes in homophobia and puts it online, "But this latest development is very interesting. Now Rev. Caldwell's ministry, after he endorsed Obama, has nuked the page everyone was linking to yesterday that outlines his church's mission statement, which trumpets homosexuality as something a person 'seeking freedom' from 'habitual sins' should seek out." Ruth Rendon (Houston Chronicle) reported Saturday, "The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, longtime spiritual adviser to President George W. Bush and senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church, plans to campaign on behalf of Illionis Sen. Barack Obama." Noting the pattern of Bambi's homophobia, "Charli" commented, "This issue seems to be coming up frequently with regard to Barack Obama and begs the question of whether he truly believes in equality under the law for all or in some cases simply for those who are 'saved' from their sins."

Sorry, "Charli," Bambi believes in "equality" as given by church denominations. As
Ava and I explained two Sundays ago:

Loving v. Virginia was a breakthrough, a legal landmark, for the United States. In a debate, Barack Obama was asked, "Senator Obama, the laws banning interracial marriage in the United States were ruled unconstitutional in 1967. What is the difference between a ban on interracial marriage and a ban on gay marriage?" Obama mouthed a lot of nonsense about 'equality' and then went on to state it's a decision for different denominations to make. There should have been a gasp heard round the country.Barack is a lawyer, a trained legal mind. Though we find it difficult to believe he's never studied Loving v. Viriginia (as difficult to believe as Clarence Thomas Senate testimony that he'd never thought about Roe v. Wade), we'll allow that maybe it fell into some gap in his education. But as a trained legal mind, he does grasp court billing. "v. Virginia" means versus state. Not versus a denomination.In that historic case, the Supreme Court of the United States found the laws of the state of Virginia to be unconstitutional and illegal. That finding meant that all states could no longer refuse to issue marriage certificates to couples of different races. Obama's weak-ass response should have been considered weak ass. (John Edwards also embarrassed himself in that debate noting he was against "gay marriage" and "I do not" support it leading us to shout back at the screen, "Gee, John, we weren't aware you were being inundated with proposals!") But it was also dishonest. A law student, forget the former president of the Harvard Law Review, grasps that Loving v. Virginia was not about whether "denominations" could make a decision, it was about what the government could do. To provide perspective, imagine the issue was illegal search and seizure on the part of the government (forbidden by the Constitution) and Obama had responded, "I think it's up to denominations." The government was discriminating and the Supreme Court stood up for the rights of all. A trained legal mind should grasp that. If Obama didn't, he's either not much of a student or he's a really bad liar.

CNN has the transcripts in three parts,
here, here and here. In addition, they have video highlighting Edwards and Obama 'debating' Iraq (Bambi's in his feel good mode).