Monday, February 04, 2008

Isaiah, Joshua Frank, Taylor Marsh


Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "State of Misunion" is above and I was laughing when I saw it. I really needed a laugh. The Bambi Lies have ticked me off. It is amazing that 'independent' media still fools so many. "We need more voices!" is the unstated cry. But the reality is they all read off the same script. How else would you get Tom Hayden (ugh), Norman Solomon, Amy Goodman, Medea Benjamin, Stephen Zunes, Katha Pollitt, John Nichols, Matthew Rothschild, and so many more -- all alleged 'independent' voices -- reading from the same script?

"MoveOn's Obama Endorsement" (Joshua Frank, CounterPunch):
MoveOn is mobilizing. The "antiwar" group's Political Action members across the country voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Democratic candidacy of Barack Obama last week. MoveOn claims to have 1.7 million members in states that vote in Tuesday's primaries. "[Our] endorsement means a fresh infusion of people-power for Obama in the critical days before Super Tuesday," read the organization's press release. "MoveOn will immediately connect thousands of progressive activists into the Obama" volunteer operation.
Obama's campaign is no doubt pleased, for its mantra of "hope" and "change" has begun to echo in the deep subconscious of many well-intentioned progressives. Obama's best quality at this point seems to be the fact that he's not a Clinton. When it comes to foreign policy, however, he may as well be, which makes MoveOn's shallow approval of his candidacy all the more hypocritical.
After Obama won his senatorial race in 2004 he quickly abandoned the antiwar rhetoric he had touted along the campaign trail. While remaining critical of the White House and the lies that pushed us towards war, Obama still maintained that US military should remain in Iraq until the job was completed.
"Given the enormous stakes in Iraq, I believe that those of us who are involved in shaping our national security policies should do what we believe is right, not merely what is politically expedient," Obama proclaimed in a speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in late November 2005. "In sum, we have to focus, methodically and without partisanship, on those steps that will: one, stabilize Iraq, avoid all out civil war, and give the factions within Iraq the space they need to forge a political settlement; two, contain and ultimately extinguish the insurgency in Iraq; and three, bring our troops safely home."
Obama continues to favor a "phased redeployment" of our troops as well as "benchmarks" for the Iraqi government, but promises to not "fully withdraw" -- hence why the Illinois senator has supported the majority of Bush administration's pork-engorged appropriation bills that are draining the U.S. Treasury. Obama wants to keep cadres of troops throughout Iraq with others all other the region to strike if necessary.
So where would President Obama send the troops he's redeployed? A good guess might be Iran.

Supposedly, Alexander Cockburn offered a critique of Bambi over the weekend. I'm not going to bother reading it. I'm still too angry that he would start reciting from the same script -- which he did earlier. Oh, add his niece Laura Flanders to the list but remember that she'll do anything to save her show put out by The Nation which also dictates who she can have on and who she can't. So much for 'independence,' huh?

Independent media is nothing but an echo chamber. They're supposedly diverse but find the diversity when everyone's been a Bambi cheerleader, when everyone's attacked Hillary Clinton. There's no diversity and there's no 'media.' It's nothing but propaganda to get a candidate elected. I saw this with Jimmy Carter in 1976, I'm not surprised to see it today.

But if this is your first time living through it, you need to pay close attention so that you grasp what LIARS they all are. Make a note of who demonstrates 'fairness' and who actually grasps what fairness means. The bulk of 'independent' media have no idea what it means. As noted before, they couldn't get jobs in real media. They are they scummiest of the scum. No one would hire them. So they claim they're 'independent' but true independents wouldn't all hop on the same bandwagon.

Or, for that matter, any bandwagon.

"Obama Hearts Nuke Giant Exelon" (Taylor Marsh, The Huffington Post):
Well isn't this a cozy little group:
Obama, Exelon, and their consultant, Obama's main man David Axelrod. A partnership made in heaven for the nuclear giant Exelon, which has given "at least $227,000" to Obama's campaign that eventually got them legislation from the Illinois Senator written with their best interests in mind. If this was a story about Clinton rewriting legislation to benefit one of her biggest campaign contributors, who also happened to be Big Nuke, there would be blaring headlines across the web. That it revolves around nuclear leaks and helping provide cover for Exelon, a big biz corporate contributor for Obama, against the best interest of a community, is not a small issue either. You cannot buy this type of free pass from the traditional media. They have to be willing to be complicit in it, because any way you slice it this is a huge story.
report in the New York Times is alarming. For one thing, you've got to wonder why he told a whopper in Iowa when the records are so easily revealed. Of course, to win. But when it concerns radioactive leaks and the protection of citizens, we're talking about the morality of personal politics and professional ethics. Guess Obama knows the press has been asleep where he's concerned and counted on that continuing. Oops.
Mr. Obama scolded Exelon and federal regulators for inaction and introduced a bill to require all plant owners to notify state and local authorities immediately of even small leaks. He has boasted of it on the campaign trail, telling a crowd in Iowa in December that it was "the only nuclear legislation that I've passed."
"I just did that last year," he said, to murmurs of approval.
A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks. ... ..
Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate
This is what has bothered me about Obama from the start. The let's make a deal approach to bipartisanship. I'm all for compromise when it's required, but the type of stuff the Times talks about is a problem for Democrats who believe we've got better ideas, answers and solutions, and should hold off caving to wingnuts, especially the nuclear industry.

Yes, nuclear energy. Now the disgusting Tom Hayden -- who could still have a political career if he knew how to keep it in his pants -- was a "No Nuke"er. Kind of. Sort of. He was only invited because of who he was married to. He's not married to her anymore. Instead of becoming an 'independent' voice, he sells his ass out in a pathetic effort to be liked and welcomed. Which is why he endorsed Obama who trashed the 60s and referred to some people as "Tom Hayden Democrats." Hayden turns around and endorses him. Why?

Because he's hustling for a buck and hustling to be let back in. Jane Fonda paid his way in. Without Jane Fonda, he's nothing. Without Jane Fonda, he's been nothing. The only reason Tom Hayden was needed today was to address the illegal war. Instead of doing that, he's written repeatedly about Bambi.

He's got Bambi Love. It's not pretty. But it won't get him a power seat. Being an independent agent might have. Now he's the pathetic guy who was begging for money for his lost run after he and Jane split up. It's worth noting that Jane always refers to Ted Turner as "my favorite of my ex-husbands." There's a reason for that.

Some tried to put that all in the past due to the illegal war. But obvioulsy the illegal war doesn't matter as much to Tom as trying to get back into power. He will never be back in power. We all remember those days where he seethed when Jane would be complimented. We all remember his efforts to 'get a little on the side'. He was a hustler then and he's still one. He demonstrated it when he wrote that pathetic support-Obama column.

He is pathetic because the only thing sadder than the fact that he will never be welcomed back 'in' is that it's the only thing in the world he wants. Desperation is never attractive. Even less so when you will always be on the outs.

The only thing that would have salvaged his reputation (I could be really cruel and talk about the poll he ran right before he divorced Jane -- C.I. knows about that poll and was furious in real time so I wouldn't be surprised if now that Tom's yet again shown his ass C.I. ends up mentioning it at some point, it reveals just how craven Tom can be) was to be an independent agent and an outside critic. Instead, he's sucking up to Dems and running that pathetic PDA thinking it will make him a player again. The only reason he was ever a player was because of the fact that Jane had millions and was willing to allow him to spend them.

As C.I. and I remember very well, Tom Hayden was kicked out of the left, kicked to the curb before he ever met Jane. For those who are shocked by his recent behavior, there's nothing new about it. There was a reason the left expelled him then and it still applies today. He had his chance at a comeback after the current illegal war began. He blew it. It's all over now Tommy be blue.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Monday, February 4, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US admits Iraqi civilians were killed by US fire, Henry Waxman reveals that Cookie Krongard lied to Congress and Congress knew, things get worse daily for women in Iraq, political coverage at the request of members sick of 'alternative' and 'independent' media, and more.

Starting with war resistance. On Saturday
Angela Hickman (Queen's Journal) spoke with author Lawrence Hill who had two books released last year -- the fictional Someone Knows My Name (Canadian title: The Book of Negroes) and The Deserter's Tale, with Joshua Key, which documents Key's service in Iraq and how he came to the decision that he could no longer participate in the illegal war. Hill explained, "[The main characters are] both ordinary people who are drawn into a canvas of world events that they didn't ask to be drawn into." Hickman explains, "Hill said he heard Key interviewed on CBC and thought his story was fascinating and the next day his publisher approached Hill about doing the story." Joshua Key, wife Brandi and their children went to Canada as have many war resisters. Dee Knight (Workers World) reports on the actions two weekends ago in support of war resisters being granted safe harbor in Canada:

The rallies urged the Canadian House of Commons to adopt a recommendation of its Committee on Citizenship and Immigration that would make it possible for U.S. Iraq War resisters to obtain permanent resident status in Canada.
[. . .]
Courage to Resist in collaboration with the War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada) initiated the actions at Canadian consulates across the U.S. They had the support of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and many other groups. This event was the first nationally coordinated action in the U.S. in support of war resisters in Canada. Since the illegal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, many soldiers have been going AWOL (Absent Without Leave). GIs who have publicly refused to deploy--or re-deploy--to Iraq have been court-martialed and imprisoned. Thousands of service people are AWOL and are believed to be in hiding in the U.S. and abroad. Hundreds have fled to Canada.

You can make your voice heard by the Canadian parliament which has the ability to pass legislation to grant war resisters the right to remain in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( -- that's pm at who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion ( -- that's Dion.S at who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua ( -- that's Bevilacqua.M at 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.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Chuck Wiley, 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'." As part of their fundraising efforts for the event, they are holding houseparties and a recent one in Boston featured both IVAW's Liam Madden and the incomprable Howard Zinn as speakers.

In Iraq a law has been passed -- a benchmark, in fact -- but hold off on sounding the trumpets.
Amit R. Paley and Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) report that the de-de-Baathification law will be practiced law next week since it is "considered as approved" following the refusal of anyone on the presidency council to officially object. CBS and AP observe it became law without the singature of the Sunni representative on the three-member presidency council because the constitution requires the body to act within 10 days after the panel received the law, according to Iraq's constitution." Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) reported yesterday (before it was known what step the council would take) CIA asset and Iraqi exile into the US invaded Ahmed Chalabi has been blistering in his criticism stating that the result of passage would be "all former Baathists now serving in the security services would lose their jobs, a total of 7,000 people" and, of the Iraqi Parliament, "People should pay attention to what they are discussing and voting on."

Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) again explores conditions for women in Iraq (and the outlet should create a folder of her reports on this topic and cites the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights as the source for 1.5 million figure -- the number of women who have become widows during the illegal war -- while Iraq al Amal Association's Hanaa Edward explains that "11 percent of the more than 20 million Iraqi families were supported by unmarried or widowed women in 2005. Widows who register with the state receive about $40 a month, barely enough to survive on their own, let alone take care of their children." Meanwhile Weam Namou ( looks at what has been lost for women during the Iraq War for 'liberation,' "Since the invasion, many women have been executed, assaulted, raped or released only after their families paid considerable ransom money. Serious threats and deadly attacks have forced Christians and Muslims to wear the veil and quit their jobs, and to avoid makeup and education. My friend's sister-in-law, at the start of the war, was stabbed in the heart simply because she was wearing a cross, which was ripped off her neck and thrown over her body. Today when you talk to Iraqi women they remember 'the good old days' when Saddam was in power and women were able to safely go to work, participate in social activities, take part in politics or stroll outside in the middle of the night. During Saddam's regime, women were free to choose whether to wear western-style dress and make-up or the black abaya. When I was in Baghdad, I wore the clothes I'd packed from America. No one in the streets blinked an eye."

Wikileaks publishes a US government document on Iraq. From their summary:

SECRET consolidated US Forces Rules of Engagement (ROE) for Iraq.On first reading, the document contains a number of items of interest to the press, including rules about mosque attacks, detention of immams, cross border incursions (including Iran and Syria), the use of mines and riot control agents, terrorist targeting, the destruction of Iraqi government property used by insurgents and even kafkaesque rules for attacks on WMD mobile production labs. Deeper reading by those more familiar with the US-Iraq war is likely to reveal other items of interest, for instance variations in the declaration that Al Quds, the Mahdi Army and armed supporters of Muqtada Al-Sadr are enemies who may be engaged at will.The document forms a talking point to most US operations in Iraq and the degree of official sanction for them.

In it, you'll learn -- among other things -- that US forces could cross into Syria or Iran, that tasers are permitted in US controlled Iraqi prisons (with consent of the prison's US commander) and more. Meanwhile,
Garrett Therolf and Saif Hameed (Los Angeles Times) report, "Nine people were killed and four were injured in an errant U.S. airstrike southeast of Baghdad, the military said Sunday.One child was among the dead, and two children were among the injured, said U.S. Army Maj. Brad Leighton." The numbers are in dispute with some putting the number of innocent civilians killed at 20. Martin Fletcher (Times of London) notes: "Even the US figures would make the civilian death toll the highest since last October, when a US air strike killed around a dozen Iraqis, including women and children, near Samarra, north of Baghdad. In November a leader of one of the 'Awakening Councils' of Concerned Local Citizens claimed US soldiers mistakenly killed dozens of his fighters during a protracted gun battle north of Baghdad. The US military admitted killing 25 men, but insisted they were insurgents."

Turning to some of today's reported violence . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded two people and another Baghdad roadside bombing wounded two police officers. Reuters notes a Kirkuk roadside bombing left two people injured. CBS and AP notes, "Turkish warplanes on Monday bombed some 70 Kurdish rebel targets in nothern Iraq, the military said. It was the fifth aerial attack against Kurdish rebel bases in nothern Iraq in two months."


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that Waleed Haitham Idrees ("employee of the ministry of foreign affairs") in Baghdad today while an attack in Diyala Province a bus driver was shot dead "along with a 7-year-old girl. Her 4-year-old brother was injured." Reuters notes 3 police officers were shot dead in Mosul, 7 suspected of something people shot dead in Salman Pak by US and Iraqi forces and "Gunmen killed a foreign ministry official in a drive-by shooting in western Baghdad's Mansour district, police said."


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that a a man was kidnapped in an armed home invasion in Baquba and found dead shortly after while clerics Ali Hassan al-Khafaji and Abdul Rahman al-Idreesi were kidnapped in Basra.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses were discovered in Baghdad today.

Reuters reports, "Iraq has halted oil supplies to Austria's OMV AG in protest over a deal between the company and the Kurdish regional government, Iraq's oil minister said on Friday." This as Reuters also reports the Turkish military sent planes over northern Iraq to bomb three villages today.

In the New York Times,
Thom Shanker reports, " The Pentagon on Monday will unveil its proposed 2009 budget of $515.4 billion. If it is approved in full, annual military spending, when adjusted for inflation, will have reached its highest level since World War II." And where is the oversight?

"I am not personally following every allegation of corruption in Iraq, Mr. Chairman. But I am certain that we are tracking these allegations of corruption, because no one is more concerned about allegations of corruption, because no one is more concerned about what is, in fact, a pervasive problem of corruption than we are," declared US Secretary of State and Anger Condi Rice to the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last October. The chair of that committee told Bill Moyers (on last Friday's
Bill Moyers Journal -- text, audio and video), "I was so stunned when finally she admitted that somebody at the State Department should have been looking after these things. And I said to her, 'But you're the Secretary. You're in charge of the State Department. You're the one who should be making sure that the job is being done.' But I think it was a rare moment of candor."

The set of hearings on Blackwater got some attention from the media and some white washing.
Scott Shane (New York Times) decided to play balladeer (November 17, 2007) with a feel-good write up on one aspect: brothers Howard Cookie Krongard and Alvin Buzzy Krongard. Cookie was the State Department's Inspector General, Buzzy was on the advisory board for the mercenary company Blackwater. During the November hearing, Cookie tried to deny Buzzy was on the board. After the committee broke for lunch, Cookie swore he'd just learned -- on the break -- that Buzzy was on Blackwater's board and announced he would be recusing himself from Blackwater matters (after having covered for Blackwater throughout his tenure as Inspector General). Cookie would finally step down, as Warren P. Strobel (McClatchy Newspapers) noted, "forced out for allegedly impeding ongoing criminal investigations into the construction of a new, $740 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and security firm Blackwater Worldwide." With Moyers, Waxman revealed what really happened.

Henry Waxman: He thought he could just get away with saying, "No, it's not true." His brother's not on the board of Blackwater. And that would be it. But the members of our committee were ready. And one member asked him -- here's -- "See, this e-mail from Eric Prince, who's the head of Blackwater to your brothers, thanking him for joining the board."

Moyers then plays the clip with Cookie denying further and Waxman calling a break only to have Cookie return afterward and claim he had 'new information.'

Bill Moyers: What went through your mind as you watched that performance unfold before your eyes?

Henry Waxman: The man was absolutely lying. His brother claimed that he inform him well in advance that he was on board of Blackwater. When he was asked after our hearing, the brother made that statement publicly. And we even threatened to bring both brothers in, put them under oath and see who was telling the truth and who was not.

Bill Moyers: Why didn't you do that?

Henry Waxman: Well we were set to do it, but we heard from Mr. Krongard at the -- inspector general of the state department -- offering to quit rather than have that hearing. And in my view, it was better to have him leave that job than go through a hearing that wou'dve been embarrassing. But at least we got the result that seems in the best interest of the American people.

Bill Moyers: What does the failure of the inspector general's office at the state department and that episode say about oversight in Iraq today?

Henry Waxman: Here's the watchdog, the Inspector General for the State Department was impeding the work of doing the investigations to keep the State Department honest. Nobody was keeping them honest.

There is a great deal in the two-parter on government corruption, but note that the chair of the committee has stated clearly that Cookie was lying and that only after the threat to take testimony from both brothers on the issue was made and being moved towards did Cookie resign. That tidbit didn't make it into the official record previously. That's
Bill Moyers Journal and also of interest may be the show's opening segment with a discussion of endorsement.

Jess, Martha and Shirley gave me a summary of today's e-mails.
In political propaganda news,
Amy Goodman disgraced herself today -- a regular pattern these days. No link to the Cynthia McKinney interview, as requested, read Marcia later today for why. Goody can take comfort in the fact that Stephen Zunes seems determined to be Loony Zoony as judged by his 'performance' on the KPFA Evening News but even he was drawfed by Norman Solomon whose appearance will bite him in the ass at a future point. So eager to pimp for Bambi, Solomon began praising the weak-ass MoveOn which he's criticized before and, yes, will again. So file away his claim about the laughable 'analysis' about MoveOn's 'poll' that led to their endorsement:

And I think that explains why for instance, the voting by MoveOn members nation wide -- which is a pretty good barometer and expression and, in a sense, galvanization of a left liberal constituency in this country. Why did MoveOn voters went 70% for Barack Obama rather than Hillary Clinton?

Norman, Norman. At least with ____ we all know he still wants back in the 'club' -- back in the halls of power. It's never going to happen. Never. He's disgraced himself and the only thing that had most of us return to speaking to him after the whole Vickie affair (yeah, I said it) was that an illegal war broke out and we thought he was getting back to his roots. His endorsement of Bambi was an insult to all who fought for Civil Rights, against the death and dying in Vietnam, for women's rights, for gays rights, for Chicano rights, for labor rights, go down the list. But it was a sign of how eager to suck up he still is, how he continues to delude himself that he'll be invited back into the power 'club' (never, ever happening) that he'd sell himself out. So that's _____. But Norman?

Ay-yi-yi. MoveOn claims over 3 million "members" and less than 200,000 people voted.
Read Bill Samuel's analysis at OpEd News and grasp that Solomon has written similar analysis in the past . . . of MoveOn. When MoveOn drops the illegal war further off the radar remember that Norman Solomon -- so desperate to pimp for Bambi -- declared them the "barometer" of the left-liberal consensus in the US. Remember it. Those lunatic words will haunt him. Norman, Norman. He's not a politician, why he wants to hop on board a campaign is anyone's guess but it does need to be called out because, as Third Party notes, this is exactly the nonsense that led to left names attacking Nader in 2004 and silencing their criticism of the illegal war. To be really clear for those who may be too young to remember, turning the peace movement into the John Kerry for President campaign prolonged the illegal war and made it that much harder to pick up the pieces. Why "media analyst" Norman Solomon feels the need to cheerlead a candidate -- any candidate -- is a puzzler. But Third Party is correct, this is how it started, how 'brave' voices on the left dropped the illegal war for a full damn year.

"What is the alternative to 'alternative' media?" wonders Lynda noting, "I really need an alternative from Bambi love." Don't we all. For those who specifically complained about Sunday's KPFA Evening News (28 members), Democracy Now! (1323 members) or about the alleged independent media in general, we'll note the campaigns by providing what 'independent' media couldn't address today: reality. They've never been able to address it -- Big or Small Media. As high school senior
Lee Thach (New America Media) explains how the media 'steered' his choice: "'Race was one of the issues we expected to discuss here tonight,' said moderator Brian Williams, referring to Barack Obama's blackness. At that moment I switched party affiliations and joined the Green Party because I would rather be insane and care about issues than sane and pretend Barack Obama was running as Al Sharpton. . . . Months into the election, I would have expected to know Obama's healthcard plan or Clinton's plan to get us out of Iraq. But based on watching 24-hour news, I really only know their gender, their race." In today's New York Times, Paul Krugman explains, "The principal policy division between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama involves health care . . . there really is a big difference between the candidates' approaches. And new research, just released, confirms what I've been saying: the difference between the plans could well be the difference between achieving universal health coverage -- a key progressive goal -- and falling far short. Specifically, new estimates say that a plan resembling Mrs. Clinton's would cover almost twice as many of those now uninsured as a plan resembling Mr. Obama's -- at only slightly higher costs." Krugman goes on to explain why and concludes, "If you combine the economic analysis with these political realities, here's what I think it says: If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance -- nobody knows how big -- that we'll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won't happen." KPFA will broadcast live coverage Tuesday night starting at 5:00 pm PST, 7:00 pm Central and 9:00 pm EST. The broadcast will be hosted by Aimee Allison and Larry Bensky "with Davey D." (Note, I am not making fun of Davey D, that is how KPFA is billing the event.) KPFA streams online (for free) and can be heard over broadcast airwaves at 94.1 FM in the Bay Area. With David Solnit, Aimee Allison is the author of Army Of None cover in their book. Here's Ralph Nader on Barack Obama:

He's too abstract and too general. He comes on as a constitutional law specialist, but he offers nothing to hold this outlaw presidency of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney accountable. There are so many impeachable offenses that have been documented by epeople such as the head of the American Bar Association a copule years ago, Michael Greco and many other legal scholars and pracitioners. And he's not speaking out. He's backing away from any kind of accountability for a presidency that has made a mockery of the constitution, made a mockery of federal law and international treaties, whether it's systemic torture and illegal war in Iraq, spying on Americans without judicial approval or undermining the authority of Congress, which he's a part of.
The other thing, he says he wants to reduce health-care expenses, but again he avoids issues where the corporations are ripping into the health-care dollar, over $200 billion of computerized billing fraud and abuse, according to the GAO. You have over $300 billion that can be saved by a full Medicare system in administrative expenses.
You have too many operations. You have over-medication. These are the things that corporations are profitting from, and he's not focusing enough. In addition to medical malpractice and infectious hospital-induced infections. So he's got to have more fortitude. He is censoring himself. And that's the tragedy.

Nader was appearing on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer and also cited John Edwards critique of the two-front runners while discussing his own moves to run for president. Blitzer cited The Nation's slam piece from last week on Nader -- by John Nichols who did dirty work on the Kucinich campaign via a cover story for The Progressive last year -- and asked about the suggestion that 2004 results indicated a decrease of support for Nader from 2000 and Nader replied: "The Democrats filed 23 lawsuits in 12 weeks to get us off the ballot in state after state like Pennsylvania and Ohio. They did it, in their own words, to distract us and to drain our resources. They're not going to get away with that this time. We're ready for them. We're developing a pro bono network of lawyers. We've already sued the Democratic National Committee for what they did in abuse of legal process in 2004. We are now being flooded with volunteers. Donations are coming in in the testing of the water, period. And I always believed, Wolf, that the forces of injustice work 24 hours a day. The forces for justice and redirection in this country that's desired by so many Americans who are dissatisfied with the two parties, the forces for justice must also work 24 hours a day." Nader also explained why Michael Bloomberg throwing his hat into the ring as a third-party candidate wouldn't mean he (Nader) would pull out.

Finally, from John V. Walsh's "
The Invisible Green Primary" (CounterPunch):Massachusetts has three primaries on Super Tuesday--a Republican, a Democrat and a Green. (In MA, the Greens have made common cause with the Rainbow Coalition to form the Green Rainbow Party, GRP). But you would never know it from the declarations of Democrat Secretary of State William Galvin who in his public service announcements speaks only of the Republican and Democrat contests. This is especially damaging to the GRP, because in MA those who are not registered with any party, the so-called "unenrolled" voters are eligible to vote in the GRP primary. These are the most disillusioned and most likely to go Green. But such voters must ask for the Green ballot at the polling place. The people staffing the polling places are supposed to inform the unenrolled voters of all three options, but right now it is unclear if Galvin has so instructed them in a way that will guarantee it happens. Given Galvin's public service announcements, that seems doubtful.This is an outrage since the GRP had to work very hard to win ballot access after the "safe states" debacle of 2004 in which the GP suffered mightily at the hands of the DemoGreens who gained control and sought above all to protect the prowar John Kerry. So in 2006 the hard working Greens set about gathering signatures once again for a series of statewide offices, Governor, Secretary of State and Treasurer. The GRP candidates for Secretary of State, Jill Stein, and for Treasurer, Jamie O'Keefe, both won close to 20% of the vote, giving the GRP back its ballot status. And so the GRP is entitled to have a presidential primary this coming Tuesday. The ballots are printed and available at the polling places.Not only that but both Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney, along with a number of lesser known candidates, will be on the GRP ballot. Ralph and Cynthia are certain to attract votes if the people know about the primaruy. But so far not a whimper out of Galvin, who is considered a "liberal" Democrat, or the mass media despite a steady stream of letters to the editor and op-ed submissions. So tell your friends in MA that there are three primaries afoot on Tuesday--and in two of them there are genuine antiwar candidates, Ron Paul in the Republican primary and all the candidates in the GRP primary. There should be enough variety there for everyone to cast a genuine antiwar vote, no matter your other beliefs.