"Battle-tested: Hillary Clinton fought the Republican attack machine, and emerged stronger" (Joseph C. Wilson IV, Baltimore Sun):
Barack Obama claims to represent the future, but it should be increasingly evident that he is not the man for this moment, especially with Mr. McCain's arrival. We've seen a preview of that contest already. It was a TKO.
Anyone remember "Uninvited"? The Alanis Morissette song? The last one that rocked? Well "Uninvited" should be the theme song for Joe Wilson, Paul Krugman, Joe Connason and assorted others. Why? They came out for Hillary Clinton and the same 'left' that booked them on their programs non-stop in 2004, 2005 and 2006 wants no part of them. They've been 'disappeared.' They've been kicked to the curb.
Amy Goodman loves to spend the hour with Larry Flynt, but apparently a pornographer grosses her out far less than a Hillary supporter. (Flynt didn't gross her out at all, in fact, which is why she was publishing in Hustler. Wonder if she showed that issue to her grandmother while she was still around? "Look, Grammie, I'm published in Hustler!") It really is interesting the way the 2008 primaries are playing out. People who were trusted voices are kicked to the curb by a Little Media intent on selling you Bambi.
I'm not in the mood to blog tonight to begin with. But if you go to The Third Estate Sunday Review, you'll find many articles on this topic that we wrote this weekend. But let me stress that C.I. called this nonsense out at The Common Ills and at The Third Estate Sunday Review. I had an e-mail from community member Lynda and she asked me if I could note that because she wrote a lengthy one that C.I. replied to and the reply was, "The community deserves the credit." Like Lynda, I believe the reality is that it would have been very, very easy for C.I. to stay silent. Many have. Many continue too. The same Little Media that wants to call out others but can't stand it when they're also held to standards has gotten on board with a candidate who can't be called out either. They've worked overtime to ensure that was the case. They are disgusting. C.I. called it out and I'm with Lynda on this: Credit where it's due. Lynda wrote before the snapshot went up (reposted at the end), so I'm sure she feels even stronger about this. I feel very strongly as well.
Today, Sunny was talking about how pathetic Little Media was and what a huge letdown. How there wasn't a magazine from Little Media she'd even waste a quarter on used at the public library (in the recycle bins) and how there was no show she'd bother to listen to. Her husband is the same way. They had a friend over this weekend who is from out of state and he attended their wedding last year but hadn't stayed with them for a visit since before that, about this time last year in fact. So it was Saturday night and they went to see a movie (I forget which one) only to find all the tickets were sold. They thought about waiting around for another sr showing but ended up grabbing some food, beer and heading back to Sunny's place. (Her husband's place as well but I do not have permission to put his name in. I only name people I know who've given me permission.) Sunny's a big board game player (it's one of the first things she and her husband realized that they had in common). So the plan was to just relax, play games and eat. But when they get back, the friend asks, "Aren't you going to turn on Laura Flanders?"
This time last year, Flanders did a show worth listening to. It was six hours of live radio, Saturday and Sunday night. Sunny explained that Flanders was no longer on Saturday nights. Her husband added, "We wouldn't listen to her anyway because a lesbian who won't call out homophobia is either an idiot or a fraud."
Doesn't that really sum it?
How much self-loathing do you have (I'm not trying to diagnois) in order to root for a candidate who will put homophobes on stage?
So there's no more Laura Flanders.
There's really not anyone. I'm hearing that Air America Radio is just awful and I know Pacifica's not worth listening to. (Nor worth giving your money to.)
Magazine? Find one worth reading even half-way through.
Lesbians were kicked to the curb, women were kicked to the curb, multi- and bi-racials persons were kicked to the curb, the working class was kicked to the curb, the elderly were kicked to the curb . . .
All for Bambi.
Look at Amy Goodman. Does that woman ever stop begging? She begs in the fundraisers for Pacifica, yes. But she begs for computers, she begs for this and she begs for that. Beg-beg-beg.
Always with the pitch that she's in it for the people. But when the working class selects a candidate, her response isn't to be fair to that candidate (let alone to explore why they identify), her response is to slant her bad show even more to Bambi.
"We know best!" has been the cry of Little Media as the Democratic Party base has largely rejected Bambi Mania.
They've blown their credibility. On the plus side, if anyone brings up my longheld belief not to give them your money in e-mails these days, it's to say, "I agree now." It's a hard lesson to learn. But this happened with Little Media before. After Watergate. Jimmy Carter (who makes a better former president than he did a president) was not the best choice in 1976. He was the choice that the 'alternative' media seized upon. He was sold by them the same way Obama's sold today. Not because of policies but because of idiotic things like, "Cool! He quotes Bob Dylan!" It was very embarrassing to watch that. To be clear, I do not dislike Jimmy Carter and like his post-presidency career a lot. I'm speaking of the way the 'simple peanut farmer' was sold by the left then. There were other choices and there were choices with actual plans.
One thing that encourages me the most about today is how strong the support for candidates other than Bambi has been. Whether it was Edwards when he was in the race or Hillary throughout. I do not remember that happening in real time. I do remember some of the same tired voices still around today schilling for Carter the way they do today for Bambi. In the primaries. I'm not speaking of when he was the candidate for president.
There really was a feeling, then, of you couldn't buck it. Few even called it out. So I do agree with Lynda, C.I. deserves credit. C.I.'s also not the only one. A visitor sent me the following by Vast Left.
"I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than an Obama in front of me" (Vast Left, Corrente):
Before I go join Dick Nixon in the Mighty Corrente Building’s Room for People You Can’t Kick Around Anymore, I’ll summarize my objections to Obama’s approach and reiterate what I’d suggest he do about them — if he deigned to run a less noxious campaign:
His campaign elevates a modestly accomplished first-term senator into peer status with the martyrs of the 60s (even as he belittles the accomplishments of everyman/everywoman activists from that era)
It shamelessly panders to religion and unabashedly paints its candidate as the Second Coming
It gleefully embraces hoary rightwing smears of fellow Democrats
It trumps up charges of racism, just for the audacity of expediency
It surreally paints a glib centrist with a bottomless bag of GOP talking points as a progressive champion
It is built on vague chants about "change" and "transformation" without anyone being able to tell us what he's going to change and transform and how
It has also brought out the lowest quality of discourse I have ever seen among Democrats, with more and more bloggers despairing over the wrath of unquestioning low-information voters. I don’t intend to characterize all Obama voters that way, because it isn't true. But I will say that those who merely made a reasoned decision to prefer Obama (and who accept that he and his campaign may be less-than-perfect) are largely in denial of the unyielding joinerism that increasingly surrounds his campaign.
That's just an excerpt. Vast Left writes that if March's primaries do not go favorably for Hillary, s/he is stepping back. I saw a few try to fight the media snowball that was Jimmy Carter back then and most of them just got tired of it. So I can understand the frustration. I can even relate to it. It is insane that someone who offers nothing but platitudes is being pushed so hard by the 'left' and that's before you even get into his attacks on the left.
But there is no 'independent' media. There is just people who will take your money and disrespect you.
I love the snapshot today but that really had me thinking about the way this has worked out. As C.I. says, nothing wrong with holding Hillary accountable however you want to in your own voice. But there is something wrong about a standard she's held to when there's no standard for Bambi. C.I. does a good job of demonstrating that with two quotes from 'journalists' who, when confronted with ugly realities, invent excuses for Obama.
That's what they've done all along. Challenge what he said and you'll be greeted with, "What he really meant was . . ." Challenge what he did and you'll be met with, "Yes, but it was only because he is so pure of heart." Saint Bambi.
If I go further and start thinking about how Obama's campaign set people out, sent out, to destroy others -- Gloria Steinem being the best case of someone they attempted to destroy -- I grasp there is no difference between Bambi and the current occupant of the White House.
Those liars calling Gloria Steinem a racist, inventing some faux offense and taking to blogs and to Amy Goodman's trashy show to scream and yell "racist!" It's not that different from Bully Boy setting people out on the Dixie Chicks. He could have stopped that at any time. (As C.I. can tell you, Karen Hughes actually encouraged him to say something to stop it.) He didn't want to. Bambi took the same attitude with Gloria Steinem. He didn't care about the attacks on her. He just cared about himself. He suffers from an extreme sense of entitlement and that should have been obvious when he felt the need to write his first autobiography before he was 35.
If you've forgotten, it was a non-stop wave of attacks. First up, you had the Roberts -- Parry and Dumb Ass of Truth Dig -- and when that didn't work, it was time to hide behind women who posed as 'feminists.' The most ridiculous moment was when a blog featured an 'explanation' on Gloria. The 'explanation' was that Gloria ran from lesbians. The writer didn't know anything. Gloria fought for lesbians to be included in the feminist movement. Red Betty (The Ego Of Us All) was the one who attacked lesbians and called for purges. But that's how the Bambi minions behaved and, if you think about it, it's not that different from the Bully Boy and his once sizeable following. They tarred and feathered others for things done by the Bully Boy. Gloria Steinem is not a homophobe. Gloria doesn't tolerate homophobia. Who does? Who put them on stage in South Carolina? Barack Obama.
So it was hilarious and revealing to read a Bambi supporter try to smear Gloria with lies and misinformation including homophobia which is what Bambi traffics in.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Tuesday, February 12, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the Iraqi Parliament may split up, one journalist turns up dead the two from CBS News remain missing, and more.
Starting with war resisters. Linchpin's "US AWOL's in Canada -- Let them stay" (Anarkismo) provides the background on war resisters in Canada:
Hear any of the Toronto based war resisters speak at a public meeting and patterns become clear in their experiences. Kim Rivera, a red head in her early twenties, served in an Artillery unit in Baghdad, that shipped out first in August 2006. Tales of gore, IED's and guts quickly changed her mind about the mission. The dehumanisation of Iraqi workers forced to etch out employment inside forward operation bases added to it.Another of the Toronto based war resisters is Phil McDowell. He joined straight after the September 11th attacks during his senior year majoring in IT. He was discharged in June 2006, some months later while traveling, he got notice he was being stop lossed back to Fort Hood, Texas for yet another deployment to Iraq.The Stop Loss policy is designed to offset the ebb and flow of recruiting patterns. It allows the military to forcibly re-enlist soldiers or involuntarily extend their tour of duty in a war zone -- it's a virulent source of antagonism for soldiers.
Canada's Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals on the issue of safe harbor status and the country's Parliament remains the best hope for safe harbor war resisters may have. 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 (email@example.com -- 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.
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).
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC action:
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.
As Steve Lannon (McClatchy Newspapers) explains today, "Violence is increasing In Iraq . . . Car bombs in Baghdad on Monday killed at least 11 people and injured a prominent leader of one of the country's most influential American-allied tribal militias. The Ministry of Electricity announced that power to much of the nations, already anemic, is likely to lag in coming days because insurgents had blown up transmission facilities and natural gas pipelines that fuel generators." And on the 12th day of the month, there have been 16 US service members announced dead thus far this month. The stated purpose of the escalation, stated by the White House, was to allow 'breathing space' for the puppet government in Baghdad to reach benchmarks -- those would be benchmarks that they failed to reach in 2007, White House defined benchmarks. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who earlier was seen as in a battle with other members of the cabinet over his insistence that the drawdown start and proceed smoothly so that the approximately 30,000 US troops sent over to Iraq as part of the escaltion return as they were supposed to, has now declared that a 'pause' can be taken in the drawdown -- indicating that he either had a mysterious change of heart or he is not calling the shots for the department he heads. Thom Shanker (New York Times) observes that Gates' turnabout "was something of a surprise," that he was once "seen as a potential counterpoint to General Petraeus's calls for caution about withdrawing troops" and notes Gates previous public statements about the drawdown (which he then favored). Anna Mulrine (US News and World Reports) opines, "Gates's statement yesterday make it clear that the pause will likely last for some months and become the operative word in Iraq -- and it may become as overused as the now-familiar term surge." This as Richard Cowan (Reuters) reveals Gordon England, the US Deputy Secretary of Defense, informed the Senate Budget Committee today that in addition to the $70 billion planned for funding the illegal war in 2009, the White House will be asking "Congress for more money".
AFP addresses the realities of what's been accomplished during the escalation (nothing): "The reconciliation program was supposed to hang on three main pieces of legislation: a relaxation of the law to bar former Baathists from public office, a provincial election law and a law to distribute oil revenue. Of the three, only one has been passed." That would be the de-de-Baathification program. At the start of the month, Amit R. Paley and Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) reported on the passage/approval of that law while Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) reported on the criticism coming from CIA asset and Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi 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." One of three and the one is a nightmare (as all will no doubt be -- illegal occupations do not make for pleasant dreams). Working from agency reports, The Daily Star reports Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the Iraqi Parliament's Speaker of the House, revealed that the country's treasury had thrown away $3 million by still not approving the 2008 budget and "threatened Tuesday to disband the legislature" which is permitted by the Constitution provided the move has the support of at least a third of the Parliamentay members (which he says it does) and this action "would further undermine Premier Nuri al-Maliki's shaky government, which is currently limping along with nearly half of the 40 government departments without ministers." Ahmed Rasheed (Reuters) maintains that an "absolute majority" of Parliament must favor dissolution for the body to be dissolved and quotes a member of Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc, Bahaa al-Araji, stating, "The crisis of conficence in parliament has grown. I think we should admit the failure of the (political process), dissolve parliament and hold new elections."
Today, Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, the corpse of Husham Mijoud was discovered. AFP explains, "Underscoring the perils, the Young Journalists League said the body of an Iraqi journalist was found in Baghdad on Tuesday, two days after he disappeared after heading out shopping. According to League president Haider Hassoon, the body of Hisham Mijwit Hamdane, a 27-year-old married father of two, was found by police in the Bab al-Sheikh neighborhood of central Baghdad." The discovery comes as two CBS News employees remain missing (and unnamed). Deborah Haynes (Times of London) notes an ongoing hunt "for a British journalist and his Iraqi interpreter who were kidnapped at gunpoint from a hotel in Basra at the weekend. The two men, who were working for the American network CBS, were seized in the early hours of Sunday morning from the Qasr al-Sultan Hotel in the centre of the city by a gang of five to ten men." AFP explains, "Police on Tuesday threw a cordon around the Palace Sultan hotel in Basra, searching for clues and restricting movement in and out of the premises". Michael Howard (Guardian of London) takes the history route, noting, "If the accounts of the latest kidnapping in Basra are confirmed, it would be the first abduction of a western reporter in Iraq since Jill Carroll of the Christian Sciene Monitor was seized and her driver killed in western Baghdad in Janurary 2006. She was released two months later."
In other violence . . .
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded one police officer, a Baghdad mortar attack that claimed 2 lives and wounded eight people a Diyala Province bombing that claimed the life of nine-year-old girl
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 girls and 1 boy were shot dead in an attack on a studen bus in Diyala Province with the driver and two boys also wounded while an armed clash in Mosul claimed the life of 1 police officer and seven unknown assailants and 2 police officers were shot down in separate incidents outside Basra. Reuters notes 'Awakening' Council member Ahmeda Mahmoud al-Nattah was targeted with an unsuccessful assassination attempt today outside Ramadi (two of his body guards were wounded).
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad and 13 in Diyala Province.
As noted yesterday, Rose Gentle and Beverley Clarke are fighting for the truth in England. This is Great Britain's Socialist Worker's "Military Families challenge war in House of Lords:"
Two women whose sons were killed serving in Iraq took their case for a public inquiry into the legality of the war to the House of Lords on Monday of this week.
Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb in 2004, and Beverley Clarke, whose son David was killed in a 'friendly fire' incident in 2003, are asking the law lords to overturn a court of appeal judgement. This ruled that the government is not obliged to hold an inquiry into the deaths of the two soldiers. Rose and Beverly want an inquiry into government decisions in the run up to the invasion.
In particular they want to know why 13 pages of "equivocal" advice from the attorney general was reduced to one page that stated that the war would be legal.
Lawyers for Rose and Beverley argue that they should be granted an inquiry under Article 2 of the Europen Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to life.
The case is being heard by nine law lords and a judgement is expected to take six months.
Just before she attended court on the first day of the hearing, Rose Gentle told Socialist Worker, "We want the right to have a public inquiry -- not just for us and our families, but for everyone. The whole world is watching what happenes.
"We are still not allowed to know the truth about the war. What does the government have to hide?"
Rose has campaigned tirelessly for justice for her son and for other victims of the war -- including the many thousands of Iraqis skilled.
She said, "We need to make sure the government can't get away with doing this again. I will be marching on 15 March to say we want all the troops back home."
© Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.
Turning to US politics with a qualifier. Politics don't belong in the snapshot unless it has to do with Iraq. We are a feminist community and we will note attacks on women regardless of Iraq-related or not. At the request of the community, we're addressing the sexism one more time since it's being ignored by many in Little Media. On MSNBC, David Shuster raised the 'issue' of Hillary Clinton's daughter in an offensive, insulting and sexist manner. Democracy Now! refuses to report on it. Free Speech Radio News refuses to report. Smut Merchant Matthew Rothschild, so eager to link to the neocon bible The Weekly Standard and to do so with "RECOMMENDED" hasn't said a word. Bob Somerby (The Daily Howler) notes that Tapped (American Prospet) has stayed silent as well. That's not a surprise. They know who writes the pay checks and they know Robert Kuttner was lying hard on Democracy Now! last Friday when he claimed 'evil' Hillary has mandates in her health coverage and, as usual, Amy Goodman let him get away with that nonsense. It took Juan Gonzalez, citing Paul Krugman, to point out that Obama's plan also has mandates. Ooops. Called on, the idiot Kuttner offers a lot of nonsense rushing to this laughable conclusion, "Now, we can split hairs and argue whether Obama is being principled or tactical, but I think his discomvort with the ieda of a mandate is something that I applaud." In that laughable statement you can see how Little Media has repeatedly LIED and repeatedly DISGRACED themselves. Yes, Obama has mandates and Kuttner knew that before tearing into Hillary. Confronted on the reality, what happens? Obama's uncomfortable with them. That's good enough for Kuttner. Yes, Obama has mandates just like Hillary and if forced to acknowledge that, Kuttner will allow they exist but rush in to offer an excuse that attempts to create a difference where there is none. Or take, as Ava and I noted, Allan Nairn's ridiculous response when forced to admit that Obama's taking Big Bucks from Big Business: "He actually doesn't need to finance his campaign, to go to the hedge funds, to go to Wall Street. But he does anyway. And he does, I think, because if he doesn't, they wouldn't trust him [. . .] because he doesn't want to be attacked by those corporations." As Ava and I pointed out, "Nairn is (illogically and with no basis in reality) arguing that, yes, Obama does take big money but he only does so because, if he didn't, big money would attack him. It's a laughable 'theory' and a generous one -- one that's not extended to other candidates." But that's how it goes over and over. Kuttner thinks mandates are awful. Kuttner's forced to admit Obama's plan has them and offers that he feels they make Bambi uncomfortable. Nairn invents an excuse for why Bambi's taking huge monies from Big Business. This is how it plays out over and over.
Take Slate which features Guy Branum. For what reason? Because there are no journalistic standards. Guy Branum's infamous for a number of things. This includes being in the closet when everyone knew reality but that didn't prevent from writing a column on a 'date' with a man who won a contest (and that Branum had expected was a woman) where he made nasty little Crying Game jokes and presented himself as straight. He has issues. He has always had issues. His latest trash (no links to trash) is entitled "It's time for the press to scrutinize Chelsea" and Branum kind-of (not really) explains why he loathes Chelsea Clinton (without ever admitting that he loathes Chelsea). When he was in college (and still in the closet) and a football game was coming p, it was time for him to pen a column asking that his school "show your spirit on Chelsea's bloodied carcass" and that she "must be destroyed." He can offer any excuse he wants but you don't write that about any individual going to another school on the eve of a campus match up. The smart thing to do would be to admit, a decade later, that you were in the wrong. Instead Branum's showing up to distort reality again. He's probably not lying, to make such a fool of yourself probably requires a level of sincerity. He says of his 1997 column today, "The comments made their way to Mrs. Clinton, who asked the Secret Service to search my apartment and quiet me down, according to Chris Van Holt, one of the nice agents who visited. The Clintons later denied any involvement, but I did manage to get the agent's claim otherwise on a tape recorder I had with me." Again, he's not lying, he's just delusional. What he has on tape is a Secret Service agent responding to his whines of "WHY!" and at one point the agent states that his boss told him and his boss said Hillary told him. Setting aside the fact that it sounds like the Secret Service agents are trying to humor a delusional paranoid, if Branum would think about it, all he actually has is a game of telephone. He has: 'We were told by and he was told by and . . .' Apparently journalism didn't sink in while he was in college because he has no source. (At best, he has a lead. A decade later, his lead has gone cold.)
He shows readers just how much he hates women -- should have been clear by the 1997 column on Chelsea -- by calling Elizabeth Edwards' a "primary attack dog." I guess b**tch was off limits because she has cancer? Here's the reality Branum can never face -- his column was out of bounds regardless of which college freshman he was going after. But Big Bad Guy didn't care. Well, no one cares that after you write a column that can be seen as threatening to the daughter of the then-president, the Secret Service came to visit you. That's to be expected when you encourage others to "show your spirit on Chelsea's bloodied caracass" -- and no, Hillary didn't have to make any phone calls for such a visit to take place. (He does realize, right, that the Secret Service was on Chelsea's campus and that the tip-off to the San Jose office most likely came from those agents who would have, in fact, been doing their job.)
It helps Guy to believe that Hillary sicked the Secret Service on him because it allows him to avoid responsibility for his own actions. The same way looking at trannies and putting them down helps him feel like he's just a little gay and not really out there. (He's written of that, I'm not outing him on anything here.) Slate chooses to publish him when the only thing they should have done was encourage him to get help. Guy did something that required an investigation. An investigation by the Secret Service took place. It wasn't the end of the world. Ten year (and three months) later, you'd think the 28-year-old would be able to apologize to the 27-year-old (yes, Chelsea wasn't even an adult when Guy launched his attack on her). Instead he wants to offer up his nutso, watered-down. sort-of-almost Hinckley account and argue that the press is too kind to Chelsea. Crawl back under your rock, your basic cable rock.
Jesse Sheidlower (Slate) attempts to navigate the history of the term used. What Sheidlower doesn't grasp is that for the 'new' meaning to be used, there would be a workable substitute. "Pimp my ride" or "Pimp my car" can be seen as similar to your ride being "tricked out." Is that what David Shuster was suggesting on MSNBC, that Hillary had given Chelsea a makeover? No, that's not what Shuster was attempting to say. There's also where it was said. As Somerby points out, "As noted, the gentlemen at MSNBC have been piling up quite a track record lately . . . . In less than a year, three of the network's major male screamers have been forced to apologize for rude comments about women; one of the three has been fired, another has now been suspended. But then, Jack Welch's king of cable, Chris Matthews, has been gender-trashing Hillary Clinton for more than a year at this point." That would be the same MSNBC that Joan Walsh (Salon) was characterizing last week (before the remark was made by Shuster), "My frineds at MSNBC were getting ready for a big party Tuesday night when the first results came in, showing Barack Obama winning handily in Georgia. There was genuine news, and very good news in the results: Obama carried more than 40 percent of white Georgia voters . . . But it was really good news at MSNBC. You could see the expectations grow that finally they would be able to finish the dance on Clinton's grave they'd begun on Jan. 8, when she denied them the fun by winning New Hampshire." That is the climate in which Shuster made his comment. Somerby's dealing with what's being beamed across America, Walsh is talking about the behind-the-scenes mood. It does go into it. A comment wasn't just made, it was made on a network with a history and pattern of similar remarks.
Now a lot of older women who should know better write nonsense online (no names, we'll be kind) and fail to convey the importance of how Hillary's campaign is handled by the press. You don't have to be for, you don't have to like her. But you do need to grasp that she is now the template for media coverage. And what's done to her will be done to women who come later. Then the excuse will be, "What's your problem? That's how we covered the first female candidate for president that was seen as viable." So if sexism is okay with you for all women, by all means, go ahead and pile on. If that's how PATHETIC you are, pile on. But the reality is what is accepted from the press right now will be used on all other women with the defense that, "Well that's how we covered Hillary." A lot of damage is being done currently and it makes some fools gleeful (fools and half-wits) because it's Hillary in the cross-hairs. That's not what feminism's about. And think about how Uncle Tom Laura Flanders could call out the press coverage of Condi Rice but doesn't have a thing to say today (other than ga-ga-ga-goo-goo-Bambi). It's pathetic. And we do have a responsibility not to make things worse for those who come after. (We should be responsible for a great deal more than that but hopefully even half-wits like Laura Flanders can agree that we have a responsibility not to make things worse for those come after.) If the coverage of women doesn't matter, why did Flanders waste our time talking about and writing about the way the press responded to Condi Rice? It does matter. And if it's not called out, it makes things worse for every woman that comes after.
Equally true is who is fueling this. It's not the right-wing. They're focused on their own primary. It's the left and 'left' that's fueling it and they've done it over at The Nation, The Progressive, Democracy Now!, etc. There's nothing wrong with holding Hillary accountable. And it doesn't just have to be for her record. People should speak in their own voices with their own type of criticism. But that's not what we're seeing. What we're seeing is Hillary is held to standards and Obama's not to held to any. And that's come from the alleged 'independent' media. Sombery often refers back to the damage The Nation, in particular, did to Al Gore. It would probably be helpful for him to show his readers what they're doing to Hillary currently, what they've been doing. Show it as it happens in real time, not after the election's over. For how Amy Goodman skews the race, you can see Rebecca's post from last night. And let me echo what Elaine wrote about the closeted last night. It is amazing to see a Communist or Socialist or Green self-present as a Democratic in their endorsement columns of Bambi. It's amazing and it's a lie. Day after day, they pop up, people who never even could endorse John Kerry during the ABB mood of 2004 but there are a number of behind the scenes deals taking place. And we've got a lot of non-Democratic Party types making endorsements which isn't really a good idea. If you're building your endorsement around "I'm just like you" then you better be honest about who you are or else you're begging for voters to make the connection that frauds and phonies hope on the Bambi train. (You're also begging for someone to go digging in your own backyard.) SusanUnPC (No Quarter) documents what the right-wing is doing with a Che flag hung at an Obama campaign office. You better believe closeted types offering endorsements are creating a future problem for his campaign. (As one political reporter at a daily paper put it yesterday, "Oh look, another Red for Obama.") There is no reason for anyone to hide in this day and age. Grace Lee Boggs is a radical and doesn't hide that. Her endorsement doesn't hurt. But, for instance, when you're a Socialist and you pen a "I'm a feminist for Barack Obama" column, you're not only being laughed at the mainstream media, you're creating a future problem should Obama get the nomination. That's not when this stuff needs to come out. If you're in the closet politically and you favor Obama, you're not doing him any favors by endorsing him publicly. [To be clear, Obama is just another corporate Democrat. He is not in the closet politically. He is not the issue, the issue is supporters creating an embarrassment if you're in the closet politically.] (Again, Grace Lee Boggs is not a problem. She's not in any closet. Others can't say the same.) By the same token, Obama needs to worry less about Hillary's tax returns and a little more about Antoin "Tony" Rezko (and the Landmark commission which will be big news in a general election). Pressed yesterday, Alex Koppelman (Salon) writes, Hillary responded stating if she got the nomination, she'd release them and noting Obama's ties to the nuclear industry as well as, "We still don't have a lot of answers about Senator Obama and his dealings with Mr. Rezko." As Wally, Cedric and Mike noted yesterday, David Roeder (Chicago Sun-Times) reported Sunday that the FBI's "mole" (John Thomas) on the Rezko investigation reportedly "logged frequent visits to Rezko from Gov. Glagojevich and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) . . . Sources said Thomas helped investigators build a record of repeat visits to the old offices of Rezko and former business partner Daniel Mahru's Rezmar Corp., at 853 N. Elston, by Blagojevich and Obama during 2004 and 2005."
Joe Wilson used to a topic of 'independent' media and it often that the only time Amy Goodman, Laura Flanders, et al could shut about him was if they were speaking with him for their programs. Wilson endorsed Hillary in December. Suddenly the name Joe Wilson appears 'banned' by Little Media. In today's Baltimore Sun, he writes:
Sen. Hillary Clinton is one of the few who fully understood the stakes in that battle. Time and again, she reached out to my wife - outed CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson - and me to remind us that as painful as the attacks were, we simply could not allow ourselves to be driven from the public square by bullying. Mrs. Clinton knew from experience, having spent the better part of the past 20 years fighting the Republican attack machine. She is a fighter.
But will Mr. Obama fight? His brief time on the national scene gives little comfort. Consider a February 2006 exchange of letters with Mr. McCain on the subject of ethics reform. The wrathful Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of being "disingenuous," to which Mr. Obama meekly replied, "The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you."
Mr. McCain was insultingly dismissive but successful in intimidating his inexperienced colleague. Thus, in his one known face-to-face encounter with Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama failed to stand his ground.
Again, once upon a Little Media couldn't shut up about Joe Wilson. Somerby notes Paul Krugman's blog where he explains, "Folks you've been played like a fiddle by people in the media who just plain hate the Clintons." That says a great deal. For more you can read his Monday New York Times column.
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