Friday, May 30, 2008

Claire Shipman, Susan Rucci, Joann Brady, etc.

"Hey Hill: Love Your Hair, Now Iron My Shirt: Did Hillary Clinton Get Torpedoed by Sexist Media Coverage?" (Claire Shipman, Susan Rucci and Jonann Brady, ABC News):
They point to a number of examples: Detractors can buy a Hillary Nutcracker with stainless-steel thighs online, or join the Facebook group called Hillary Clinton: Stop Running for President and Make Me a Sandwich.
When two men shouted "Iron my shirts!" at a Clinton campaign rally in New Hampshire, she shrugged it off, saying, "Ah, the remnants of sexism, alive and well."
On the other side, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan calls the sexism charge "sissy, blame-gaming."

The Women's Media Center, which doesn't endorse a specific candidate, has put together a "greatest hits" video called Sexism Sells.
Press reports have frequently focused on Clinton's appearance, from her figure to her hair to her wide array of pantsuits. Many people have pointed out that male candidates don't face the same kind of scrutiny when it comes to their looks.

Does sexism exist? Absolutely. Has the media coverage of Hillary been sexist? Absolutely.

Peggy Noonan doesn't think so. Well that's Peggy. But there's another person, a woman, with a pointy chin and frizzy hair who better roll herself a joint (I'm told she partakes to be 'mellow') because Ava and C.I. have her in their crossfires and the only question is whether they will just focus on that piece of trash or not?

They were going to do a sampler review and had hoped to construct it around films. They're not sure they can use that framework now and are considering chucking everything but the appalling TV show. They were Fed-Exed a copy of the show today and gave up lunch to watch the episode. The waiter (we were at lunch) came back to the table with a notepad ("Tony Stewart 20" -- some NASCAR racer, I don't follow sports) and they have 121 pages of notes, front and back. I love the "that's cute!" note they've written by the refusal to address the sexism aimed at Hillary but claiming John Edwards was a victim of sexism. I also love the Nico reference they've made in the margins. I assume those things will be included because they have stars by them but going through these notes, I can picture the commentary Ava and C.I. are planning to write. You do not want to miss Third this weekend. Take my word for it.

Trina and I both said, "Help!" because we're trying to blog quickly (everyone's blogging right now except Betty who's getting her kids down for the night) and C.I. checked messages and said, "Oh, this is good." So we're both grabbing the above article but I'm going to steer you to Trina because she's probably going to really tackle the above passage.

To save time, in this post I will probably be mentioning the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,

Most of us are in Puerto Rico and those who are not are in South Dakota. Everyone's attempting to turn out the vote. Jim, Dona and Ty are in South Dakota. Everyone else is here in Puerto Rico. Because the primary is this weekend. We're hitting hard.

"Campaign question-5: Obama's latest racial problem" (Andrew Ross, The Ross Report, San Francisco Chronicle):
Apart from the appallingly racist nature of Father Michael Pfleger's remarks about Hillary Clinton, what is one to make of the congregation who seemed to lap it all up?

Thank you to Kat who just said, "Elaine, use this!" I agree with Ross' point. (If I remember correctly, that's Andrew S. Ross but I don't have time to look it up.) What did that video say about the people at Trinity? I heard woops of joy, applause, I saw people standing. I didn't see anyone call him out, I didn't see anyone walk out.

That's Barack's church of choice. For twenty years. That video is frightening and Ava and C.I. will probably address that so I'll leave it to them. (If they don't, I will on Monday.)

It goes to the crowd Barack hangs around with and they are a disgusting crowd. I'm referring to the White crowd which Wright's outrageous statements deflected attention to. I won't be voting for Barack. Sell it to someone who doesn't know his Hyde Park base.

They've only served to remind me why I have kept them at a distance all these years. (That and the fact that they are beggars always trying to hit you up for money for their latest 'transformation' of society scheme.)

"HUBdate: 'Top Candidate for Dems'" (Howard Wolfson,
Argus Leader Endorses Hillary: South Dakota’s Argus Leader today endorsed Hillary, calling her the "Top Candidate for Dems...Clinton is the strongest Democratic candidate for South Dakota. Her mastery of complex policy detail is broad and deep, and her experience as a senator and former first lady matches that…Her resilience and determination never should be questioned. She has met or overcome every challenge or roadblock in her way, and there have been many." Read more.
Automatic Delegate Watch: Washington State Democratic Party Chair Eileen Macoll endorsed Hillary yesterday: "On the issues that matter most -- from establishing universal health care to improving our schools to ending the war in Iraq--she has never backed down and never wavered. Hillary has what it takes to beat John McCain this Fall and win back the White House."
Read more.
Endorsement Watch: Puerto Rican music artist Ricky Martin yesterday endorsed Hillary: "These elections will have historic repercussions both in the United States and the world. Senator Clinton has always been consistent in her commitment with the needs of the Latino community…she has always fought for what is most important for our families."
Read more.
"She's Going to Pull It Off" Hillary had "one of the best turnouts of her South Dakota campaign" yesterday at a stop in Huron, where supporters waited to see her "in a line stretching down the block." One supporter said, "She's what we're for. She's against the war in Iraq…Hillary doesn't crack under pressure." Another supporter remarked, "We really think she’s going to pull it off in the end."
Read more.
On the Air in Montana: Hillary began airing her first television ad "Only One" in Montana: "She's the only one in this campaign who voted against the Bush energy bill against six billion dollars to the oil companies, the only one taking on the insurance companies to guarantee health coverage for every American and she's the one who'll end fifty five billion dollars in giveaways to corporate special interests and cut taxes for the middle class instead." Watch here.
Previewing Today: Hillary travels to Puerto Rico to host a rally in Old San Juan.

The race isn't over. Don't believe the nonsense. Don't believe Nancy Pelosi's attempt to end it. It only ends if Hillary or Barack drop out. It can, and should, go all the way to the convention.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, May 30, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, did the demonstrations take place as planned?, the media looks at their own pre-war behaviors, and more.

Late yesterday Canada's Liberal Party issue "
Liberals Call on Government to Show Compassion for War Resisters."

The Liberal Opposition is calling on the Conservative government to support a motion that would allow conscientious objectors to apply for permanent resident status in Canada, said Liberal Citizenship and Immigration Critic Maurizio Bevilacqua. "Five years ago, the Liberal government made a principled decision not to participate in a war that wasn't sanctioned by the United Nations (U.N.). We should not now punish individuals and their families for making the same decision based on their personal principles," said Mr. Bevilacqua. The motion, which was passed by the Immigration Commmittee and is being debated in the House today, calls on the government to allow conscientious objectors, and their immediate family members, who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the U.N. and who do not have a criminal record to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada. The motion also stipulates that the government should not proceed with any action agains any war resister who currently faces deportation. "The government has a choice: it is not compelled to force these people to go back to a country where they may face prosecution under military law, or may be permanently branded for making a principled decision," said Mr. Bevilacqua. "Stephen Harper has indicated that, had he been Prime Minister in 2003, Canada would have participated in the Iraq war. I hope that the fact that Mr. Harper got it wrong at the time will not prevent him from showing compassion for those who made the right decision."

Kristen Thompson (Vancouver's Metro) reports that retired US Col and former US diplomat Ann Wright will be speaking in Vancouver Sunday "at an event honouring women war resisters". While Wright speaks up, many stay silent and war resisters in Canada today need support as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor. You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: 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. In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses 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. Lahey quotes NDP's Oliva Chow, who steered the motion, explaining, "If (Liberal leader) Stephane Dion were to say tomorrow that he supports this motion . . . we will then debate it. So we need people to call Mr. Dion . . . 'whose side you on Mr. Dion'?" The number to call is (613) 996-5789.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, 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, Jose Vasquez, 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, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, 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. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Dropping back to
this from the November 16, 2007 snapshot:Another reality that some (the press) has a hard time acknowledging is the number of service members electing to check out of the military on their own. AP reports that this year the desertion rate has jumped to "the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase" since the start of the illegal war. AP continues to deny reality by offering the claim that the US military does little to track down those who go AWOL or desert -- despite the mountain of public evidence to the contrary.As to the figure cited, September 21st, Nick Watt (ABC's Nighline) examined war resisters and noted the number of people being processed for desertion at Fort Knox "jumped 60% last year" (to 1,414 for Fort Knox -- US military figures) while concluding his report with, "If the total for the first six months of 2007 doubles by year end, it will become the highest annual total in twenty-six years." At 80% the total has more than doubled and not only is there another full month left in the year, it's also true that you have to be gone at least 30 days to be declared a deserter (unless you're Agustin Aguayo and the military wants to screw you over) and, in addition, the military figures have been 'lower' than they should be before (NPR caught that earlier this year) and the rolls aren't up to date for AWOL let alone desertion.

So last year saw the largest number of army desertions. What else did last year see?
Australia's ABC notes that the deaths of 115 members of the US army were classified as suicides "in 2007, the most in one year since the service began keeping records in 1980."
Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "The study found a 'significant relationship' between the risk of suicide to the number of days a soldier serves in Iraq and Afghanistan. About one-quarter died while serving in Iraq of Afghanistan, the report found. The largest percentage of suicides occurred during the first three months of a deployment to Iraq or Afghnistan, the report found. The largest percentage of suicide attempts came during the second quarter of deployment." Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic (ICH) observes, "These traumas return home with us and we carry them, sometimes hidden, for agonizing decades. They deeply impact our daily lives, and the lives closest to us. To kill another human being, to take another life out of this world with one pull of a trigger, is something that never leaves you. It is as if a part of you dies with that person. If you choose to keep on living, there may be a healing, and even hope and happiness again, but that scar and memory and sorrow will be with you forever. Why did the recruiters never mention these things? This was never in the slick pamphlets they gave us."

Turning to Iraq where the big question today was regarding cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who had called a demonstration to protest the treaty puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki and Bully Boy are attempting to work out (on al-Maliki's side it may or may be presented to the Parliament for approval; however, the White House made clear that the Constitutional provisions on treaties will be ignored). With speculation over al-Sadr's base (eroding or not), would his call for a protest be met or ignored? Thousands turned out today in Baghdad and throughout Iraq; however
Khalid al-Ansary (Reuters) states the "turnout on Friday was lower than past marches" in Baghdad which al-Sadr's spokespeople said resulted from "the protests . . . [being] widely spread through the country . . . [and] security forces prevented marches in some areas." AP reports, "The outcry could sharply heighten tensions over the proposal. The deal is supposed to be finished by July and replace the current U.N. mandate overseeing U.S.-led troops in Iraq." Robert H. Reid (AP) quotes sheik Assad al-Nassiri declaring in Kufa, "We denounce the government's intention to sign a long-term agreement with the occupying forces. Our army will be under their control in this agreement, and this will lead to them having permanent bases in Iraq." Nicholas Schifrin (ABC News) describes the scene in Baghdad: "As American helicopters hovered overhead, young and old men and even children flowed out of their weekly Friday prayers and began burning American flags and chanting 'no, no to America' and 'yes, yes to independence.' The residents carried posters of Moqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric whose Mahdi Army has fought against U.S. soldiers and who is accused of carrying out much of the violence here." Shifrin notes that Baghdad, Kufa, Basra, Amarah and Nasarriah are known to have demonstrations. Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) observes, "In Sadr City, followers set fire to an American flag and an image of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki in Saddam Hussein's green military uniform" while chanting, "A curse upon him who agrees! We are with you Sayyed Muqtada for liberating Iraq from the aggressors." The New York Times' Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Stephen Farrell (IHT, some version should be in tomorrow's Times) quote a Baghdad particpant who declares, "This isn't an Iraqi government, it's an American government. The Americans keep pressuring Maliki to carry out what they want. The agreement will only serve the Americans' interests" and they quote Parliamentarian Mahmoud Othman who feels the UN mandate should be allowed to run out (end of the year) and only then should any talks take place: "The negotiations now are not equal, and the results will be more for the benefit of America. To have a long term agreement with the Bush administration, which has five months to go, is wrong. The Iraqi government should wait fo rthe new American administration and then have an agreement with it." [Here it is at NYT but you know they vanish things so don't e-mail a day from now saying "It's not there!" if it's gone.] James Denselow (Guardian of London) observes, "Despite more than five years of state collapse, civil war and chaos the US still seems to believe that it is in a position to dictate what is best for Iraq. The deadline for the UN security council resolution 'allowing' US troops to be in the country expires at the end this year. US diplomats are today desperately trying to create a bilateral SOFA by the end of July in the face of wide-ranging opposition."

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Diyala Province mortar attack that claimed the lives of 3 women and left two men wounded, while a Buhrz roadside bombing claimed 1 life. Reuters notes a Baquba bombing that claimed the life of 1 child and left two more injured during a soccer game.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports police Col Ali Kadhim Salman was shot dead in Basra and an "Awakening" Council member was shot dead in Hibhib. Reuters notes the US military states they shot dead 1 man in Tarmiya and 1 man in Tikrit -- both were 'suspects.'

Turning to the media and Iraq. Earlier this week, CNN's Jessica Yellin -- while discussing the Scott McClellan book on Anderson Cooper's program -- spoke of the pressure she was under as a reporter from higher ups. Yesterday afternoon,
she posted at CNN to explain all those leaping to the conclusion that she was referring to ABC were wrong, she was referring to "my time on MSNBC where I worked during the lead up to the war. I worked as a segment producer, overnight anchor, field reporter, and briefly covered the White House, the Pentagon, and general Washington stories." Media Matters notes that on NBC's Today show, guest (and former host) Katie Couric and Matt Lauer disagreed about pressure from the administration during that period.

Katie Couric: Well, we have different points of view, and I'll start by saying I think he's fairly accurate. Matt, I know when we were covering it -- and granted, the spirit of 9-11, people were unified and upset and angry and frustrated -- but I do think we were remiss in not asking some of the right questions. There was a lot pressure from the Bush White House. I remember doing an interview and the press secretary called our executive producer and said, "We didn't like the tone of that interview." And we said, "Well, tough. We had to ask some of these questions." They said, "Well, if you keep it up, we're going to block access to you during the war." I mean, those kind of strong-arm tactics were ... really inappropriate.

Who's right and who's wrong? Try who's truthful on top of that. Couric is telling the truth. Lauer (Poppy Bush's golfing partner and so much more) is lying. Ava and I covered the reality of Today during the lead up to the war in 2006 ("
TV: Katie Was a Cheerleader"). And to add that, while Couric and others pressed for more to be done (Today's staff fought like hell to present a wide ranging picture), Lauer didn't give a damn. You didn't get that story from Michael Moore and why the hell aren't we surprised?

Less noted was another telling moment.
Todd Purdum (Vanity Fair) examines his own various reactions to the book and concludes: "I do know one thing: even the slightest distance from an all-powerful institution like the White House (or a big corporation, or The New York Times) can produce a sudden, even stunning, clarity of feeling about all that was wrong with the place, and a terrific sense of liberation at being freed from it."

Turning to US political races.
Panhandle Media is a complete utter failure and they damaged not only themselves, they damaged the work of the few truly independent journalists who actually work. John Pilger is one of the few and you can view the hatred in the comments (some of which may be deleted when this goes up) his article (New Statesman) has received. Pilger's not doing anything different than what he has always done, be a journalist. But those who pretend to be his peers have so debased 'independent' media that the real independent journalists have to put up with nonsense from the Cult Panhandle Media built. From Pilger's article (and, note, Pilger would be just as harsh on Hillary and has been before):

On the war in Iraq, Obama the dove and McCain the hawk are almost united. McCain now says he wants US troops to leave in five years (instead of "100 years", his earlier option). Obama has now "reserved the right" to change his pledge to get troops out next year. "I will listen to our commanders on the ground," he now says, echoing Bush. His adviser on Iraq, Colin Kahl, says the US should maintain up to 80,000 troops in Iraq until 2010. Like McCain, Obama has voted repeatedly in the Senate to support Bush's demands for funding of the occupation of Iraq; and he has called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. His senior advisers embrace McCain's proposal for an aggressive "league of democracies", led by the United States, to circumvent the United Nations.

[ . . .]

Despite claiming that his campaign wealth comes from small individual donors, Obama is backed by the biggest Wall Street firms: Goldman Sachs, UBS AG, Lehman Brothers, J P Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, as well as the huge hedge fund Citadel Investment Group. "Seven of the Obama campaign's top 14 donors," wrote the investigator Pam Martens, "consisted of officers and employees of the same Wall Street firms charged time and again with looting the public and newly implicated in originating and/or bundling fraudulently made mortgages." A report by United for a Fair Economy, a non-profit group, estimates the total loss to poor Americans of colour who took out sub-prime loans as being between $164bn and $213bn: the greatest loss of wealth ever recorded for people of colour in the United States. "Washington lobbyists haven't funded my campaign," said Obama in January, "they won't run my White House and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president." According to files held by the Centre for Responsive Politics, the top five contributors to the Obama campaign are registered corporate lobbysits.
What is Obama's attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy's. By offering a "new", young and apparently progressive face of the Democratic Party -- with the bonus of being a member of the black elite -- he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell's role as Bush's secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US anti-war and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent.

Meanwhile Barack is in trouble despite the efforts of
John McCormick and Manya A. Brachear (Chicago Tribune) to rescue him. Another crackpot Barack friend, mentor and supporter (as noted in yesterday's snapshot) showed their ass: Michael Pfleger. Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite maintains that she spoke at Trinity (Barack's church) Sunday as well (different services -- Trinity has mutliple services each Sunday) and writes: "We in the United Church of Christ are trying to have what we call 'A Sacred Conversation on Race' and I did not find Pfleger's sermon to represent what we in the UCC are trying to do in having a sacred conversation. Instead, Pfleger's sermon was a bullying rant that was disrespectufl of the members of Trinity United Church of Christ, disrespectful of Senator Hillary Clinton and really also disrepectful of Senator Obama" blah blah. SBT, you lost it. You were making sense and then you had to toss out poor Barack. Poor Barack's been friends with Pfleger since Barack first breezed into Chicago over a decade ago. Also, the members you are offended for, the video shows no booing. Clapping, yes. If SBT is not the most embarrassing person in all of this named Barack or Pfleger, that's only because Senator Dick Durbin had to butt into it. He told the Chicago Tribune, "I like Mike. He's my friend." You need to find some better friends, Durbin. He almost outs himself in his vast wordage. What's the difference between Jeremiah Wright and Pfleger? Pfleger's White and that's it. They both 'preached' hate speech. But Wright, according to Durbin, allowed for 'marvelous' opportunities because Barack dould say, 'What's he so angry about?' And a race conversation, according to Durbin, could begin. That conversation never took place. But here's where Durbin clams up -- obviously when you ask, "What's he so angry about?" regarding Pfleger, you can't point to this and that and everything else that was trotted out for Wright's crackpot theories such as the US government created AIDS to wipe out African-Americans. Pfleger's just a hate monger.

Jake Tapper (ABC News) quotes Cardinal Francis George of the Archidoces of Chicago in this statement: "The Catholic Church does not endorse political candidates. Consequently, while a priest must speak to political issues that are also moral, he may not endorse candidates nor engage in partisan campaigning. Racial issues are both political and moral and are also highly charged. Words can be differently interpreted, but Fr. Pfleger's remarks about Senator Clinton are both partisan and amount to a personal attack. I regret that deeply." All the links contain text (and most video) of Pfleger's hate speech yesterday. This was Barack's response: "As I have traveled this country, I've been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that unites us. That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-thinking rhetoric, which doesn't reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause." That's not an apology.

Here's an apology Barack: "
This will be the second time in two weeks I have apologized to someone over the actions of a Roman Catholic Priest. It is not a pleasant thing but it is the right thing. Rev. Michael Pfleger had no business giving any kind of sermon like the one he did ridiculing Hillary Clinton let alone giving a sermon anywhere else than in his own Parish at a Mass. This kind of grandstanding mockery of another human being is totally against the Catholic faith and the spirit of inclusivity and respect for all human beings that Catholics hold dear. He has sinned against God, Hillary, and his priesthood for which an apology is not enough. I hope he has scheduled a confession and a retreat to rethink his role as Priest would not hurt either. To Mrs. Clinton I apologize as a Roman Catholic and am embarassed by this priests words and actions. I have no idea his motivations but please do not take this man's view nor his words as that reflecting Catholics, or the Catholic Church." That's Catherine J. writing at Gather. She didn't do anything requiring an apology. She and Pfleger are the same faith. But she wanted to apologize and she offered a real and heartfelt one. That's an apology. What Barack offered was sop and insulting. His friend for over twenty years, his patron, his mentor, a part of his campaing (until weeks ago -- as all the media rushes to insist) trashed Hillary Clinton and others in despicable terms, in outrageous sexist slander and did so at Barack's church of 20 years -- to the applause and shouts of encouragement from Barack's church. He owes an apology. But he's never been forced by the press to apologize once. He's never apologized to anyone. "I regret . . ." That's not an apology, it's a declined invitation. That's Barack's buddy offering that hate speech. Barack steered $100,000 of tax-payer money to the crackpot's church. Yeah, he owes a big apology.

Pfleger thinks he can get away with this crap as well.
CNN notes his 'apology': "I regret the words I chose on Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama's life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them." He doesn't regret anything. He thought he was cute as he minced around and did his little parody of women on stage. You can watch the video and see him grinning. (Liars at the Chicago Tribune tell you he was rushed off stage by organ music -- that's a lie. Watch the video. There is a time lapse and no organ music is played to tell him to wrap it up.) Foon Rhee (Boston Globe) reports the Clinton campaign's Ann Lewis declared on MSNBC, "I'm not sure what the 'if' was about" -- Pfleger's statements are "simply appalling."

John Bentley (CBS News) notes Senator John McCain (presumed GOP presidential nominee) stating, "I have known Sen. Clinton for a long time. I respect her, and I think that kind of language and that kind of treatment of Sen. Clinton is unwarranted, uncalled for, and disgraceful." Barack could have said that but chose not to. If it's a race between McCain and Obama in November, McCain's ahead currently because spoiled little princes aren't generally embraced by America. As Ken Dilanian (USA Today) points out, "Obama has not specifically addressed what Pfleger said about Clinton."

Hillary's still in the race and she's winning the popular vote.
Fabien Levy ( observes, "Wild weather did not stop residents of Huron from coming out to see Hillary on Thursday. Droves of voters turned out to see Hillary at Campbell Park, but due to inclement weather the event was moved into the Huron Events Center. Once inside, a packed house heard Hillary speak directly about the issues including our broken economy, the war in Iraq, veteran's affairs and universal health care." Huron, South Dakota, bit of trivia, is where Cheryl Ladd was born. So there's the trivia and now for the important take-away. The primaries will end with neither Hillary or Barack having enough delegates awarded (through primaries and caucuses) to calim the nomination. The race should continue to the convention in August. Some are trying to stop democracy, some don't trust the voters, some don't trust Democrats. Apparently, Democrats gathering together in Colorado this August is a frightening thought to Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean and Harry Reid. Oh goodness, the trio worries, what might they do! They might ensure that the people are heard. Shame on anyone who attempts to end this historic race before the finish line is reached. Michael P. Forbes (Austin-American Stateman) tells you what Pelosi, Reid and Dean can't and won't:

As the last primary votes are cast on Tuesday, some will want a coronation before the will of the Democratic Convention has been adjudicated.There will be very loud and very determined illegitimate calls for Clinton to bow out. They will cry of suspect pleas to party unity and ill-conceived suggestions that a prolonged nominating process -- one that rightfully should go to decisive balloting for president at the Democratic Convention from August 25-28 -- is harmful to the party. That's baloney. The excitement of this Democratic primary season as attested to by burgeoning party coffers and unprecedented levels of voter participation serve to reinvigorate the national Democratic Party after 12 years of Republican reign in Congress and eight years of a very unpopular Republican president. With daily reminders at the gas pump and in the grocery store of an ailing economy and two wars abroad, Americans are more than ready to put Democrats back in the White House. A national dialogue that continues all the way to the Democratic Convention on the attributes and abilities of Clinton and Obama and who is the Democrat most competent to be president is healthy for the political process and advantageous to the nation.

mcclatchy newspapers