Friday, July 11, 2008

Sour grapes make for a lousy bottle of whine

I want everyone to picture someone, Paris Hilton or Robert Downey Jr. if you can't think of anyone else. They've just had good news. Maybe Downey saw the Iron Man box office numbers? They're at a party. They stop to speak to the press.

Anyone reading the write-up would expect to read some happiness. Outside of the brooding Greta Garbo, it's hard to think of anyone who specialized in selling enui, let alone whining.

Yesterday, US war resister in Canada Corey Glass learned he wouldn't be deported. He may still be, but the decision is under review. Celebrations took place. "Eleventh Hour Hope For Corey Glass" was the title of Todd Aalgaard's piece. No link to trash.

The feature article contains multiple photos, try to find one where the "eleventh hour hope" results in Glass smiling.

How much of that has to do with Glass and how much with the writer, I don't know. (Nor do I care to read any e-mails whining about this post. I give you no protection in your e-mails.)

Glass is quoted whining, "The guy from ABC News called to tell me what he'd found out from the military and they had to have the story published before I had time to talk to a military lawyer in the States to find out what this actually entailed." Well goodness me.

You mean a press outlet contacted a person for a comment, he gave the comment and the press outlet didn't say, "Thanks. Hey call your lawyer. We'll hold our story. In fact, call your lawyer, go for a run, have a knosh, take your time. We'll hold our story."

If you weren't prepared to be quoted, you should have stated, "No comment."

It's all some dastardly plot against Corey Glass on the part of ABC News and the Pentagon, right? That is what the e-mail last week said, that ABC News was in the tank with the Pentagon. Now, at his celebration, where he looks glum in every photo, Glass is going to the well (again) on ABC News.

Is he never happy?

That's the question many readers would ask. Especially if they knew that Wednesday saw demonstrations in the US and demonstrations were supposed to take part in Canada Thursday but turned into celebrations for Glass.

Is he never happy?

Then comes this passage:

The difference between today and the Vietnam War, critics assert, is that the fifty thousand-or-so draft dodgers of the Trudeau era were fleeing conscription, while war resisters--according to ABC News--are seen as "volunteers unwilling to fulfill their promise to the military and [are] undeserving of refugee status." In this case, however, Mr. Glass and others are resisting redeployment under stop-loss, the so-called "back door draft" that involuntarily extends active service for veterans beyond their tours of duty. "My MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) typically gets stop-lossed because of the nature of the job that I was trained to do," Glass says. "And we get stop-lossed a lot."

That is bad writing on every level and it's a bad comment from Glass.

The report has already called into question ABC News and now the reporter wants to cite them to explain a situation?

Let's assume the reporter's an idiot unable to speak in his own words.

Did the conversation really go where the journalist says it did?

If so, Glass is behaving foolishly.

The thing he and all war resisters in Canada need to stress whenever they are interviewed by the press is that today Canada is being asked to do what they did during Vietnam: Welcome deserters.

Has Corey Glass been stop-lossed? No. So why is he wasting everyone's time with fantasies of what might happen?

That helps his case how?

Maybe the writer screwed him over and maybe Glass was laughing and smiling and enjoying the celebration that had a lot of people around the world happy for him?

Or maybe that's Corey Glass?

I have no idea. I also don't care.

It doesn't matter what really happened in the interview, what matters is how Glass came off in it.

Whine: ABC News. Fret: I might be stop-lossed.

Where's fact?

Where's "Canada welcomed deseters before"?

Apparently, less important than the plight of war resisters is Corey Glass doing a political endorsement:

Looking ahead to the U.S. election in November, Mr. Glass is hopeful. "I hope Obama gets in and pulls the troops out of Iraq," he says. "Maybe then they'll start admitting the war was wrong in the first place. I mean, this is my home now."

Do you hope that, Glass, do you really, really hope that?

Well good for you. You're setting yourself up for heartache.

Barack Obama is not about ending the illegal war.

When he ran for the US Senate, I found that out face-to-face. The hype machine was in low-gear compared to today. But I went, and drug C.I. along, because I was so thrilled that the 'anti-war' candidate might win a Senate seat. There was Barack telling me that the US was in Iraq now and withdrawal wasn't something that could be considered. So, when he did go on to win, it was no surprise to me that he immediately began voting for the illegal war.

I did attend his first townhall with a friend, his first after being elected. It wasn't a pretty sight. He had no answers on Iraq. He was providing no leadership. Some people walked out, some booed.

Most woke up to reality.

Three years later, he's running for the Democratic nomination. All he can offer is what he did in 2002 and then one vote in the summer of 2007. For someone who wants credit for knowing the Iraq War was "dumb" (his term), he deserves none. Someone who knew it was wrong before it began should not have caved repeatedly upon entering the Senate.

He made a great deal out of John Edwards and Hillary Clinton's vote for the 2002 authorization (which required UN approval that was never granted before going to war). He said it showed they lacked judgment because he knew all along the Iraq War was wrong.

I would say the judgment problem is with someone who 'knew' that all along but voted repeatedly to fund it.

Barack has surrounded himself with counter-insurgency lovers, like Sarah Sewall who oversaw the manul and Samantha Power who gushed over it from the book's cover. Sarah Sewall made an appearance on The Charlie Rose Show at the end of last December. (Ava and C.I. noted it in "TV: Charlie Rose by any other name would still be as bad"). On the broadcast, she bragged about being able to get talking points into speeches of a candidate for president but Charlie laughed that he knew who she meant and the audience apparently was supposed to be left hanging. That candidate was Barack Obama. In the same broadcast, Sewall insisted that the Iraq War -- and remember, she is one of his advisers -- could not be considered a mistake because it would harm public opinion on future interventions.

What's she doing on Barack's campaign, what's she doing as one of his advisers? If he's really against the illegal war, what's she doing?

Barack will return from Iraq having heard the military say (as they always do) that a corner's been turned, that withdrawal would undue the 'progress' and he will cite that as he explains that he continues to 'refine' his view/plan. Maybe he'll crib from John Kerry and promise to fight the Iraq War 'smarter'?

Why would anyone believe that Barack plans to end the illegal war?

Because he said so?

Samantha Power told the BBC in March that Barack was not bound by any 'promise' he makes on the campaign trail and that he would decide what to do after he gets into the White House.

It needs to further be noted that Samantha Power is not a critic of the Iraq War. She is of the interventionist school that supported the illegal war from the 'left.' As part of the media hype surrounding Barack, Samantha Power was recast an Iraq War critic and someone opposed from the start. Power, a journalist who now teaches 'humanity,' was not against the illegal war. Not publicly. She penned numerous articles. Find the one where she called out the Iraq War.

It's a nice little myth.

But then so is Barack's 'anti-war' position.

Remember Amy Goodman and others tsk-tsking over Madeline Albright and all they read into that (about Hillary)? Whose campaign is Albright on now? Barack Obama's. Did Mad Maddie suddenly have a change of heart?

As an American citizen abroad, Corey Glass is open to spying. He should be aware that Barack's cave this week on expanding the spying of American citizens came only after intense pressure and calling out from his supporters -- asking him not to cave.

What did he do?

He caved.

Where do we get the idea that he will listen?

He can speak forever. But when does he listen?

He promised publicy that he would vote against the expansion. This week, he voted for it. He promised Common Cause he would take public financing. Last month, he announced he wouldn't. On Iraq, his own adviser revealed withdrawal wasn't a promise and he echoed that on CNN June 5th.

This is the candidate who will end the illegal war?

The asshole who wrote C.I. insisted that ABC News shouldn't be listened to begin with because it was mainstream media.

What media does Corey Glass follow?

It's not a very informed media but the media hasn't been informed on Barack. His long-term friend Tony Rezko was indicted and then found guilty. He steered $250,000 to Barack's campaigns. He and his wife bought the adjoining lot (at cost) when Barack couldn't afford the mansion he wanted. He'd just gotten into the US Senate and felt it was time for a mansion. That tells you a great deal about the man who stated on TV that he would not run in 2008, that it would be too soon. But who's running for president now?

Despite his lie in the debate about his relationship with Tony Rezko being nothing but a few hours of legal work, Barack and Tony are old friends. Why do you think Tony agreed to tour the property with Barack in the first place? Why do you think Barack can be placed at Rezko's office nearly daily before going into the US Senate? Why do you think Rezko rounded up $250,000 for Barack's campaigns?

He used homophobia in South Carolina, putting homophobes on stage (despite protests from gay rights groups) and let the 'ex-gay' preach more crackpot theories.

That's Barack for you. He will do or say anything to take office. With such a tiny record, it's not hard to examine what Barack will do. (It's so small that he lies about a veterans bill that he did not support.) Barack will repeatedly cave. That's what his pattern indicates.

I don't see the 'hope' in that. But, again, I faced the liar face-to-face in his Senate run and learned then that he wasn't for withdrawal.

There was time to promote Barack's campaign (will Corey Glass be voting?) and there was time to whine about ABC News. There was time to fantisize about stop-loss.

There wasn't time for laughter or even a smile. Most of all, there wasn't time to get the real facts about Canada's past welcome of deserters.

Was Corey Glass stabbed in the back by another reporter?

Or did the reporter capture Corey Glass?

I don't know and I don't care. I just know that it was ineffective press.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, July 11, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, 2 US soldiers classified MIA/POW are discovered dead, the Green Party convention kicked off yesterday and runs through Sunday and more.

Starting with war resistance.
Patrick Arden (Metro) reported earlier this week on the NYC demonstrations to show support for Canadian war resisters and noted Matthis Chiroux:

Wearing his dog tags and waving a copy of the U.S. Constitution, Matthis Chiroux is a sergeant in the Army's Individual Ready Reserve. Last summer he was honorably discharged after five years of active duty that included a stint in Afghanistan. In February he received a reactivation order. "I was supposed to report for deployment to Iraq on June 15," said Chiroux, 24, who intends to stay in Brooklyn. "They'll have to arrest me."

Iraq Veterans Against the War asks that you:

Contact your congressional representatives and ask them to publicly support Matthis.
Contribute to IVAW's legal defense fund to help Matthis and other resisters.
Send a message of support to Sgt Matthis Chiroux at

Joy Wiltermuth (Downtown Express) profiles Fabian Bouthillette who "is the secretary and outreach coordinator for Iraq Veterans Against the War's New York chapter, which shares space with the War Resisters' League in Noho, at 339 Lafayette St." as he lays out his last night years (he enlisted at 18). He explains, "I'm a guy who grew up ppor. It was just that simple. . . I was quick to jump on it [leaving the Navy -- he did not self-checkout]. I was not going to work hard to support the war machine anymore. Once I came to that realization, I could no longer do it."

Meanwhile in Canada,
Judge Robert Barnes' decision in US war resister Joshua Key's case last week opens up a number of possibilities for war resisters. Dee Knight (Workers World) reports on the latest and also provides the background such as: "Joshua Key went to Canada with his wife Brandi and their four small children following 16 months living underground in the United States after he decided not to return to Iraq. He served as a combat engineer in Iraq for eight months in 2003. His book, 'The Deserter's Tale,' has been an international best seller. He said he and his family have felt support from 'about 95 percent of the Canadian people'."

Last night we were noting continued failure of the war resistance 'movement' to get across the point (or even be aware of it) that Canada gave asylum to deserters during Vietnam (and didn't ask: "Were you drafted or did you enlist?") and reviewing real time press noting war resisters (who were deserters) like Jeff Enger, Jack Colhoun, Victor Schwarzmann who did make lives for themselves in Canada. And it's all wiped away/ignored by today's 'movement' which continues to blater on about "draft dodgers" when there is no draft today so it's really not pertinent to the discussion but certainly does allow the right-wing to dismiss calls for asylumn by insisting, "Well that was draft dodgers. There's no draft today!" Today, the the Wall St. Journal's offered the editorial "AWOL in Canada" which shows 'reason' and 'sympathy' by stating, "Vietnam-era draft dodgers were breaking the law, but at least they could claim to be avoiding conscription. Today's U.S. soldiers and reserves are volunteers, who enlist knowing full well that they could be sent overseas and into combat." Repeating: Five years the 'movement' has wasted. Five years of gas bagging about a draft -- when there is no draft today. Five years of insisting that Canada took in draft dodgers -- when there are no draft dodgers today. Five years of blathering on about crap that doesn't matter. The only point today's 'movement' should have made regarding Canada granting asylum to today's war resisters was: "They should because they welcomed deserters during Vietnam." That's not a difficult sentence. And, unlike what the 'movement' offers today, it is factually correct. Until the basics are correct -- until they are stressed over and over -- the 'movement' will continue to muddle along. "Almost 40 years ago we accepted deserters from an illegal war" is the talking point the movement in Canada should be using and the US side should be noting, "Hey, 40 years ago, they accepted deseters from an illegal war." Canada is not being asked to do anything it hasn't done the past.

To pressure the Stephen Harper government to honor the House of Commons vote,
Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at ""). Courage to Resist collected more than 10,000 letters to send before the vote. Now they've started a new letter you can use online here. The War Resisters Support Campaign's petition can be found here.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean, 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).

Early this morning,
Patrick Donahue (Bloomberg News) reported AP was stating -- but the DoD has not confirmed -- that Alex Jimenez and Byron Fouty's corpses have been discovered while David Aguila (AP) cited Fouty's step-father as confirmation that the corpses of both were "found in the Iraqi village of Jurf as Sakhr." Jeannie Nuss and Milton J. Valencia (Boston Globe) speak with Ramon "Andy" Jimenez (Alex's father) who states that, in his grief, "It comforts you when you accept something, and Alex did what he wanted to do." Korie Wilkins (Detroit Free Press) quotes Byron's friend Ashley Tremble stating, "What was important [for him] was the here-and-now. There is no bad to Byron" while his mother Hilary Meunier states, "A part of me believes he's already gone, but I still have hope." And please note, there's no mention of his body being found in Wilkins' article. David Aguilar spoke with his step-father Gordon Dibler who said Byron's corpse was found on Thursday. Boston's NECN has video of the family of Alex Jimenez gathering and lighting candles. O'Ryan Johnson (Boston Herald) quotes Ramon Jimenez stating of his son, "He always had the hope that he would return back to the city. But due to the nature of where he was, it was difficult for him to return alive." Mark E. Vogler (Eagle Tribune) reports that, in Lawrence, "American flags fly at half staff on municipal buildings throughout the city today in honor of the late Army Sgt. Alex Jimenez." This afternoon the US Dept of Defense released a statement: "The Department of Defense today announced the deaths of two soldiers previously listed as "Missing-Captured" while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. On July 10, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner positively identified human remains recovered in Iraq July 9 to be those of two soldiers who had been previously listed as 'Missing-Captured.' . . . Jimenez and Fouty were part of a patrol that was ambushed by enemy forces south of Baghdad on May 12, 2007. They were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y. The Department of Defense previously announced the names of soldiers killed in the attack. They were Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack, Jr., 20, of Torrance, Calif.; Sgt. 1st Class James D. Connell, Jr., 40, of Lake City, Tenn.; Pfc. Daniel W. Courneya, 19, of Nashville, Mich.; Cpl. Christopher E. Murphy, 21, of Lynchburg, Va.; and Sgt. Anthony J. Schober, 23, of Reno, Nev."

From the May 14, 2007 snapshot:

On Saturday an attack took place outside Mahmudiya.
Damien Cave (New York Times) reported: "A cooridnated attack on seven American soldiers an Iraqi Army interpreter Saturday morning south of Baghdad left five of them dead and three missing". Initial reports, based on what the US military was saying, included that five US service members were killed. The US military corrected this on Sunday: 4 US soldiers died as did 1 Iraqi translator. Three US soldiers are still missing. Scott Canon (McClatchy Newspapers) reported that approximately 4,000 US service members were searching for the 3 missing soldiers on Sunday. Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) reports that at least one of the five dead had "gunshot woundes, though it was unclear whether he was shot before or after blasts enveloped the soldiers' two vehicles in flames, said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman." Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) notes that the group was "parked in two Humvees in an area 12 miles west of Mahmudiyah" when the attack took place with "a roadside bomb . . . followed by gunfire, officials said. The two vehicles went up in flames and were spotted 15 minutes later by a surveillance drone, after a nearby unit that heard explosions could not make contact with the Humvees. The extent of the damage made it difficult to identify the slain soldiers." Stephen Farrell and Tom Baldwin (Times of London) note that the Islamic State in Iraq has claimed, via a website, responsibility for the raid and that they have the three missing US soldiers. Scott Canon (McClatchy Newspapers) noted that the grop has "offered no proof". CBS and AP report that the group claiming to have the three American soldiers issued a warning: "'If you want their safety do not look for them,' the Islamic State of Iraq said on a militant web site. 'You should remember what you have done to our sister Abeer in the same area,' the statement said, referring to five American soldiers who were charged in the rape and killing of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and the killings of her parents and her younger sister last year. Three soldiers have pleaded guilty in the case." AFP notes that, in June of last year, two US soldiers were captured and their "bodies . . . were later found outside a power station south of Baghdad, mutilated and bearing signs of torture." That attack was also seen as resulting from the gang-rape and murder of Abeer in Mahmoudiyah on March 12, 2006 and, as Gregg Zoroya (USA Today) reported last September, Justin Watt came forward with what he was hearing about Abeer and her family when the June attack on US soldiers took place. Though the statement put up by the group claiming to have the 3 missing US soldiers is cited often in part, most outlets have avoided noting the mention of Abeer. (But then many avodied reporting on the Article 32 hearing last August or much that has happened since. As CBS and AP noted, 3 US soldiers have confessed to their part. Steven D. Green, who has been portrayed as the ringleader in press accounts as well as the testimonies of those who have pleaded guilty, maintains he is innocent.) Julie Rawe and Aparisim Ghosh (Time) reported last June, "Abeer's brother Mohammed, 13, told TIME he once watched his sister, frozen in fear, as a U.S. soldier ran his index finger down her cheek. Mohammed has since learned that soldier's name: Steven Green."

ICCC has moved the two over the total for deaths in Iraq since the start of the illegal war bringing that total to
4118. The third missing soldier was Joseph Anzack who was later found dead (and it listed in the DoD announcement). As for Steven D. Green? Green's scheduled trial was postpone for a quilting bee and, apparently, hasn't been rescheduled even though that was months ago. (All other US soldiers involved in the incident entered pleas of guilty.)

On the subject of Iraqi women,
Zaineb Naji tells her story at Baghdad Life (Wall St. Journal) and explains that the decrease in violence (that's how she judges it) means some tentative steps back towards the time before the start of the Iraq War, "After sectarian violence increased after the Samarra shrine bombing in February 2006, fundamentalist insurgents and Shiite militias started to forbid women to drive cars, saying it was unacceptable according to Islamic law. They threatened to kidnap women drivers or kill them and leave their bodies by the road. They also said women would have a similar fate if they didn't wear the traditional Islamic clothing -- an abaya and a hijab (head scarf). So women, including me, stopped driving. I stopped driving even in my neighborhood, which made me feel depressed because I felt like I had lost one of my rights. I had always worn a hijab, but women who didn't started to wear one to protect themselves. Not driving affected my work as a reporter and it was difficult to use other means of transportation, such as taxis or buses. I couldn't take my children to school or pick them up, or even go shopping alone. In the early 1950s, Iraq was one of the first Arab countries that allowed women to drive cars. During the Hussein regime, women drivers were very common on the streets and women even drove public buses or tractors in the countryside."

From life on the ground in Iraq to in the air. Iraq does not control their air space currently and the treaty being discussed by the White House and the puppet government in Baghdad had one puppet so excited that maybe Iraq could control its own air space! So what's going on in the air in the meantime.
The Jerusalem Post reports the back and forth in Iraq as to whether Irsraeli Air Force has been utilizing Iraqi air space to prepare "for a possible attack against Iran in its airspace" (the article has the latest official statement from Iraq as "no" it is not happening). UPI carries the denials from the US government and the Israeli government. On claims, Ann Scott Tyson and Dan Eggan (Washington Post) report the latest claim of success just around the corner -- Lt Gen James Dubik Happy Talked Congress yesterday: "The ground forces will mostly be done by middle of next year; their divisions, brigades and battalions are on a good timeline." Can you die from a whopper? I believe Bully Boy's false claims of yellow cake uranium demonstrate that many can.

In some of today's reported violence . . .


Reuters notes a Mosul roadside bombing that left six people wounded, a suspected bombing attempt outside Samarra that led to 4 suspects being shot dead by Iraqi police.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports an attack on a Baghdad checkpoint this afternoon "and casualties are still unknown."


Reuters notes 2 corpses discovered in Iskandariya today and 1 in Hilla yesterday.

Turning to the race for US president, Drew Pritt denies masturbating in public. Yesterday's snapshot note
Austin Cassidy's Independent Political Report article on Drew Pritt's attack on presumed Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney. Pritt only continued his attack after the article published by taking to the comments section repeatedly. Insisting, "I do not stomp squirrels, or masturbate in public, or do the other things I am accuesd of," and blaming malicious gossip on any rumors to the contrary, he then goes on to repeat an obvious lie, that his hero Jesse Johnson will be "denied a nomination, by a woman who used the Green Party REPORTEDLY to pay off her debt, before she switched parties." That is a lie. It's an ugly lie. And while whining about the meaness towards him, Drew Pritt wants to lie about McKinney. Democratic Party member Pritt (who's run for several state offices in Arkansas) maintains, "If the Green Party is to thrive it has to appeal to progressives like myself. Cynthia McKinney does not appeal but repels." Again, Democrats need to stay out of the selection of the Green Party's presidential nominee. He does not know what he's talking about (McKinney's "HIGH WATER MARK" is not 3%, she's defined victory -- if she's the nominee -- as 5%). If any Greens are offended by Pritt's attempts to derail their own selection (and they should be), hopefully, they'll remember that in 2012 because a number of 'high profile' Greens damn sure didn't feel bad about butting into the Democratic primary. Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) annouces the "hope to have video up sometime today" of the ongoing Green Party Convention taking place in Chicago through Sunday and notes, "There is a great feeling that Cynthia McKinney will be the next candidate." Regardless of whom the nominee is, the acceptance speech will be made Saturday and a press conference with the presidential and vice-presidential nominee will be held after. Yesterday, Kat Swift's questionnaire response was not mentioned. It had not been posted. It still hasn't. ("Questionnaire from Kat Swift will be posted shortly.") Since she has publicly asked people to donate to Cynthia's campaign, it may not end up posted. The convention isn't just about the national ticket. On the charitable side, Green Party 2004 v.p. nominee Pat LaMarche is overseeing "donations for area shelters" and states, "I would like for folks with less agreeable resting places for their heads to know that Greens came to town and that we did not forget them." A noble effort and one that the big-money RNC and DNC might consider emulating. Green Party Congressional candidate Steve Alesch spoke yesterday at the start of the convention. Patrick Ferrell (Suburban Chicago News) notes that was one of two "high-profile positions at the group's national convention" for 2 "local Green Party candidates" and explains the other, IVAW's Jason Wallace, was slotted for "a Friday morning speech" and "selected to serve as the convention's election administrator. In that role he will oversee the casting of delegate votes for the presidential and vice presidential nominations as well as the approval of the national party platform." Tuesday Jason Wallace's campaign announced: "Veterans issues are of key importance to 11th Congressional district Green Party candidate Jason Wallace. Wallace, the only veteran in the race, is calling for several key changes in the government's approach to caring for those who have served in the United States military. These include changes in funding and coverage as well as his support for the idea of replacing Silver Cross in Joliet with a VA hospital. . . . Wallace calls for complete, mandatory funding for the VA. This is an idea that is supported by voters in the district." [The press release will run in full tomorrow, there isn't room for it in the snapshot.] Ron (Green Party Watch) reports: "Jason Wallace, Illinois candidate for the 11th district CD, noted that he is running in one of the top five competitive races in America. Wallace noted that his campaign is committed to run for ten thousand dollars only, 10K in 08, versus the multimillion dollar campaigns his Republican and Democrat opponents are working with. Education is probably his number one issue, and he has seen first hand the impact of underfunded education on middle class families. Wallace is also a member of Veterans for Peace, attended Winter Soldier, Wallace was serving in the Iraq 'Occupation'. The war is obviously a big issue for Wallace. Wallace also wants to make his district in Illinois a leader in the production of "green manufacturing"."

Though the votes haven't been made (let alone counted)
National Journal states: "Road to the White House features Bob Barr, and will cover Green Party WH candidate Cynthia McKinney's Green Party Convo speech (C-Span, SUN, 6:30 pm/9:30 pm)." (The other Cynthia, the evil faux-gressive, will be on The Chris Matthews Show so she'll probably make time for a hate-out to McKinney.) The Minneapolis Star Tribune notes, "Former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney's trek back from defeat takes her to Chicago this weekend and an improbable political rebirth. She is expected to be nominated as the presidential candidate for the Green Party of the United States and could appear on the ballot in as many as 36 states." Grist magazine picks up on McKinney's v.p. choice, "Yesterday hip-hop activist Rosa Clemente accepted McKinney's invitation to run as the VP candidate. More to come on the Green ticket soon." NYC IMC offers, "Clemente, born in the South Bronx, is a graduate of SUNY Albany and Cornell Univeristy." What About Our Daughters? explains that, if McKinney is the nominee, this is the third time two women of color would be on the ticket with the first being Lenora Fulani and Maria Elizabeth Munoz in 1992 (New Alliance Party) and Monica Moorehead and Gloria La Riva (Workers World Party) in 1996. Deanna Taylor (Dee's 'Dotes) observes, "It will be interesting to see how Cynthia McKinney's choice affects her chances for obtaining the GPUS Presidential nomination." Wake Me Now advocates for Cynthia, "Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who seems poised to capture the Green Party presidential nomination, in Chicago, this month, 'is at this juncture in history the only vehicle through which progressives can both register their outrage at Barack Obama and begin the process of rebuilding a mass, Black-led movement for real social change.' Meanwhile, the frequency of Obama's Right turns seem to increase in direct proportion to the nearness of the general election. 'Surely no one with a brain any longer believes that Obama is a closet progressive, or even a genuine liberal.' The question is, How many progressives will put their votes and resources to honorable use?" Matt (The Underview) notes Cynthia McKinney will be among his guests on Shared Sacrifice Saturday which airs "from Noon to 2:00 PM mountain time" and is also downloadable. Rick Pearson (Baltimore Sun) sums up Cynthia's positions on the issues: "In her presidential campaign, she has pushed for a quick end to the Iraq War and has promoted impeachment proceedings against the Bush administration. She also has advocated a 10-point human rights plan that includes integrity in the nation's voting system, full employment and reparations to African Americans over slavery--which has been a plank in the Green Party platform." Cynthia's campaign site has reposted an essay by Vivian Berryhill which asserts, "Securing the Green Party's 2008 standard-bearer position would bestow on McKinney the historic title of 'first' African American woman to be on the ballot as a viable candidate of a major party for President of the United States. That title alone will not only lessen the aura surrounding Barack Obama's position as the 'first' African American male presidential nominee, but she may also siphon off just-enough left-wing, African American, and women voters, to sink both their chances for victory in the Fall." The one and only Roseanne weighed in Wednesday at her site (Roseanne World) stating: "for president GREEN PARTY. . . .the party for feminists. Let's replace pelosi with sheehan as soon as possible, and then as fast as we can replace the entire woman hating democrat party with a green ecofeminist progressive socialist one that really works and is not afraid to make campaign finance reform a priority." Pacifica Radio will broadcast a three hour special on Sunday "as the convention comes to a close) that will stream online at the Pacifica website (noon to 3:00 p.m. EST; 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Central and 9:00 a.m. to noon PST).

Barack Obama is the presumed Democratic Party nominee.
Susan (Random Thoughts) notes Tom Hayden's July 4th moment of "WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIS EYES!" (Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby -- the response is "He has his father's eyes.") and advises, "Well, Tom, maybe you SHOULD have critically looked at Obama's slipperiness on this and many other issues before making a fool out of yourself." I have to disagree with Susan on this because if Tom Hayden couldn't make a fool out of himself, what would he have to offer at this point? Yes, I really agree with Susan (though Tom-Tom has nothing left to offer) and Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report) also notes Hayden and Hayden's (drug induced?) belief that a 'movement' exists for Barack and it can and will (didn't happen with FISA) pressure him: "Nothing of that nature will occur, because Hayden and other progressives are not organizing to make it occur. They are too concerned with remaining 'for' Obama. Not only are Hayden's and Fletcher's peculiar 'movements' without political content - they emerge like magic, requiring none of the hard work of organizing. And just how were those popular 'rising expectations' that Hayden speaks of supposed to express themselves? Progressives waited until it was far too late to bring these 'expectations' - to whatever extent they exist - to bear on the candidate. Obama coasted through the primaries with virtually no dissent from his loyal progressives, and now sees his way clear to publicly dismiss them, so as to never again be 'tagged as being on the Left'." Tom-Tom's probably hopping from foot to foot and straining to contain himself -- it's truly been years (decades) since he received so much attention. Black Agenda Report -- Ford, Margaret Kimberly and Bruce Dixon -- are not 'waking up,' they always called it like it was and if Tom-Tom needs tuturing, he might try contacting them. In the meantime, he can read Kimberley's latest: "All hell broke loose and tongues wagged endlessly and needlessly because of an accurate statement made by the candidate first husband and former president Bill Clinton. 'It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war. There's no difference in your (Obama's) voting record, and Hillary's, ever since. Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen'. The words fairy tale resonated in millions of ears, but the validity of Clinton's comments were lost on a public incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction, or trivia from substance." Added note, the Green Party will be discussing impeachment at their convention. "Calls for impeachment have become so common in the last few years that we forget how recently it has entered the political arsenal. Once viewed as a blunderbuss, it is now used as a bludgeon." That's from Jo Freeman's review of David E. Kyvig's The Age of Impeachment (link goes to her own site, it's also available at Senior Women Web here). In terms of the current administration, you can refer to Jason Leopold's latest at The Public Record. While the Green Party convention goes on, Bill Moyers Journal explores the GOP and, no doubt, has Cynthia, Ralph and Bob Barr penciled in for an upcoming show in order to maintain the PBS diversity mandate. Tonight also provides a new feature "What's your vision for the future of the American Dream?" It's a segment tonight (tonight in most markets) and will also be an online feature. Click here for YouTube video.

Ralph Nader is running for president. Check the transcript of "
Election 2008: Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader" (Washington Post) and Team Nader notes:

Here's is your task for today.
Drop a $20 bill on Nader/Gonzalez.
Why $20?
Because we want to get to $20,000 by the end of the day.
On our way to 15 states.
And $60,000.
By July 20.
We are now at over $15,000.
In just two days.
So, $20,000 by the end of the day shouldn't be a heavy lift.
(If we get there early, take us to $25,000. We're easy.)
On our way to 15 states.
And then 45 states.
By September 20.
Nader/Gonzalez is the positivo campaign.
Two rules here at Nader/Gonzalez headquarters:
Rule Number One: No whining.
And Rule Number Two: Get it done.
It's not that we don't take our world seriously.
We do.
But whining and negativo man attitude doesn't get us where we need to go.
Which is 45 states by September 20.
Take the telecom immunity/spying bill that Obama voted for, McCain dodged, and Bush signed into law.
It's an unconstitutional law.
Did we whine and cry about it?
No, we did not.
We spoke out against it.
We're running this campaign, in part, to defend the Fourth Amendment and the Constitution.
And we've produced
an awesome video denouncing the new law.
Or take ballot access.
Our young roadtrippers are busting it all around the country to leap the ballot access hurdles the Democrats and Republicans have erected to make life miserable for us.
But we refuse to be miserable.
Check out
this neat video about our roadtrippers in Nevada.
No whining there.
We tried to get on the ballot in 2004 but only made it on 34 states. (We're shooting for 45 this time around.)
Why only 34 states?
One reason: The Democrats organized an underground campaign to knock us off.
When we say this, people don't believe us.
But just yesterday, a grand jury in Pennsylvania indicted twelve Democratic political operatives for the illegal use of millions of dollars in taxpayers' funds, resources and state employees for political campaign purposes. (
See Nader/Gonzalez press release here.)
The grand jury found that as many as 50 Democratic House Caucus staff members contributed "a staggering number of man-hours" to successfully knock Ralph Nader off the ballot in 2004.
A House Democratic employee testified before the grand jury that "everybody was working on this."
"A veritable Army" of Democratic staffers were enlisted in the effort to deny Nader ballot status, the grand jury found.
It was virtually a caucus-wide endeavor and many of the employees spent an entire week on the Nader petition challenge, the grand jury found.
This is a scandal of immense proportions.
And twelve Democrats in Pennsylvania now stand charged with crimes.
Attorneys General Oregon, Illinois and Ohio - three states where Democrats successfully knocked us off in 2004 - should launch similar investigations.
This year, we're not taking no for an answer.
We're building our funds to secure ballot access and to fight back if they come after us again.
So, please,
drop a $20 bill now on Nader/Gonzalez.
We're fighting not just for 2008 - but for future generations of independent citizen activists, candidates and campaigners.
(In case you missed it, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals knocked out a requirement that only residents of Arizona be allowed to petition in the state. Ralph Nader challenged this requirement as unconstitutional We're hoping to carry this victory to other states that have similar requirements.
See story here.)
We're a positivo locomotive.
We've got the Big Mo.
Nothing will stop us now.
Together, we are making a difference.

iraqtom squitierijoshua key
iraq veterans against the war
matthis chiroux
the wall street journaldee knightthe new york timesdamien cave
tina susman
the washington postjoshua partlow
ann scott tysondan eggen
greg zoroya
bill moyers journal