Forget the thousand explanations pundits have offered for the administration's beef with the left; this is the single biggest reason the left is furious with Obama: that one by one, he has willingly and unnecessarily bargained away the progressive positions that would move the national debate back to the center. After all, the counterweight to the right is not the mushy middle, it's the principled left. Did progressive bloggers really think Obama was going to establish a single payer health care system, bring all Bush warmongers to justice, stop the looting of the poor by the ultra-rich, revitalize the environmental movement, undo Bush-Cheney's executive power excesses, bring about true social justice and stop needless wars? No. They're far more jaded and pragmatic than anyone admits. But at least make those the debate points rather than ditch them unilaterally.
As I've argued, it matters not one iota if Obama is a progressive at heart. What matters is that Democrats run away from the left like it's the plague while Republican run to the right like it's nirvana. The net effect is that the media end up reporting far right positions as though they were mainstream and reporting liberal positions as thought they were heinous aberrations. And you wonder why America is veering off the rails?Who pushes the country to the right? As Daou's noting, Barack Obama is one of the ones pushing it to the right.
Barack Obama, for those who don't know, has been giving speeches for nearly 3 years now where he trashes the peace movement of the 'sixties.' He tells lies about it, he repeats falsehoods and, pay attention, he gets away with it. Outside of Ava and C.I., have you ever seen anyone call him out on it?
He declares that he has no use for "Tom Hayden Democrats" and Tom Hayden doesn't write a firm reply, he excuses Barack. He trashes the sixties and we're all supposed to look the other way. Facts and history must be sacrificed in order to maintain the Cult of St. Barack.
I'm damn sick of it.
Barack's repeated the lie about how 'the people' betrayed the veterans of Vietnam. Wet behind his balls doesn't know the first damn thing he's talking about as usual. As someone who personally knows Bill Ayers, I laughed my ass off as Barack went around LYING about his relationship with Ayers and insisting that, regardless, it all took place "when I was eight-years-old!" Suddenly, that same time period, he thinks he's an expert on.
He's lied and repeated in speech after speech and who has called him out? Ava and C.I. I've called him out some but not enough.
Today, stealing a page from Barack's stupid speeches, the Christian Science Monitor repeats as fact the long disproven lie that the peace activists spat on Vietnam veterans.
Little Josh Burek, don't they teach fact checking at Harvard Divinity School?
In any of your many long and personal conversations with Jesus and the Easter Bunny, didn't anyone ever tell you that lying was wrong?
So today little Josh Burek pulls his tiny pud and gasps, "I'm going to get back at the peace movement! I'm going to lie about them! Oh, my pee-pee feels so strange! Oh!"
Josh Burek needs to learn a lot about reporting before he starts 'writing' again.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Today Alsumaria TV reports that State Of Law submitted a "political reform paper" to Iraqiya and Iraqiya has refused the paper. UPI notes that Nouri's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh issued a statement denying that Iran was attempting to influence the process. Phil Sands (National Newspaper) adds that Syria is working on the political stalemate and attempting to encourage negotiations. Rahmat al-Salaam (Asharq Alawsat Newspaper) reports:
For his part, Al-Iraqiya member Muhammad Allawi said that "Al-Maliki has two options; he can either assumes the second post after the prime minister or accepts to stay as a member of parliament." On the possibility of starting dialogues with the SLC anew in spite of Al-Maliki's insistence to remain a candidate for the post of prime minister in the next government, Allawi said that "Al-Iraqiya had set a condition not to mention the name of Al-Maliki as a candidate to head the next government during the dialogues or the negotiations with it, and in case this happens, the meeting with the SLC would stop." He stressed that Al-Iraqiya is adopting this stand since it is the bloc that has the electoral right which authorizes it to form and head the government."
Muhammad Allawi added that the Al-Iraqiya list "is going ahead in its negotiations with the Iraqi National Alliance (led by Ammar al-Hakim) in determined steps, and the same is the case of the Kurdistan Alliance, while keeping the door open for the SLC to take what it deserves of main posts, specifically the second highest post after the prime minister."
Craig Windham: The number of US troops in Iraq is now below 50,000 for the first time since the American-led invasion of that country seven years ago NPR's Mike Schusther in Bagdad says the drawdown of combat forces has been completed a week before the date set by President Obama.
Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .
In other violence news, there's an update to the 2007 murder of Lance Cpl Maria Lauterbach who was murdered while she was eight months pregnant. Amy Thorpe (News 14 -- link has text and video) reports Cesar Laurean was convicted of first degree murder yesterday: "Jurors sided with the state that the defendant wanted to salvage his military career after Lauterbach accused him of rape. Prosecutors said the defendant had a plan to make it seem she went AWOL by sending her to Mexico. An SBI pathologist testified and said Lauterbach's blood was in the Laurean's garage and on a crowbar the prosecution said killed her." His family is quoted worrying about him and expressing no remorse for his actions. For those who've forgotten, he murdered her, dug a hole/pit in his backyard and attempted to destroy her body that way. Maria's body was only discovered when his wife called the authorities to say he'd confessed to her that he'd killed Maria. Chris Brown and Andrew Doud (WNCT -- link has text and video) report that the verdict was returned in "less than 3 hours." In the video, Mary Lauterbach is shown explaining:
This case has begin a tragedy from beginning to end. It started with Maria's chain of command and the NCIS agents who would not listen to me. They cast Maria as a deserter without making any connection with her sexual assault allegation.
For those who've forgotten, Cesar eventually ended up in Mexico. How did that happen? The military refused to take anything seriously. He was the prime suspect. The police were moving in and the military -- despite the rape charge and the fact that Maria was missing -- didn't even bother to keep an eye on him. Emily Friedman (ABC News -- link has text and video) reports: "Sources familiar with the probe told ABC News at the time that Laurean boarded a bus in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and then rode to Houston. In Houston, he allegedly boarded another bus and then traveled to San Luis Potosi, a state in central Mexico. The massive three-month international manhunt eventually culminated in Lauren's capture in Mexico in April 2008. Mexican police on an anti-kidnapping operation reportedly spotted Laurean wandering the street and became suspicious when they realized he didn't speak Spanish very well."
CODEPINK: Women for Peace
Community Organizing Center
Courage to Resist
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Institute for Policy Studies' New Internationalism Project
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Jeannette Rankin Peace Center
Just Foreign Policy
Military Families Speak Out
Nicholas (Nick) Dibs, Independent candidate for Congress
Pax Christi - USA
Under the Hood
United for Peace and Justice
US Labor Against the War
Veterans for Peace
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Voters for Peace
War Is a Crime
Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) Los Angeles Branch
wisconsin public radio