Friday, June 13, 2008

Michele Bollinger plays with her own feces

Do Socialists in America have any standards?

I'm speaking of the leadership who set themselves up as the talking heads.

Michele Bollinger is the latest ass and she contributes "Did Clinton lose because she's a woman?" (to Socialist Worker). It's a hateful little screed by a petty woman (apparently trying to shore up Sharon Smith's cred after Smith embarrassed herself by recycling lies).

Here's reality Michele Bollinger, try to pay attention, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are corporatist Democrats. Unlike Barack, Hillary didn't vote to due away with bankruptcy protections for individuals.

It's sort of funny the way they work over time to defend Barack.

That's Anthony Arnove, that's the pathetic Jeremy Scahill and that's especially Sharon Smith.

Add little Michele (one "l") to the list.

She sees racism everywhere.

Such a good little stooge.

That was actually the Barack Obama campaign strategy. They had to win South Carolina so they had to smear people as racists. The campaign knows there's a backlash brewing but think they can make up any losses of past support with what they pick up from the general public that has been playing close attention.

Barack is his campaign. They do not act independent of him. They smear someone as a racist and then the media goes into overdrive. Then Barack comes out a few days after and says the person is not a racist. For South Carolina, they even prepared the list of 'charges' and faxed them out to reporters. Their fax was exposed and that was one of those 'pesky' questions in a debate that Barack took offense to. He tried to take the position that he'd never called anyone a racist and had said that he didn't think they were racists and then it was pointed out that his own campaign had faxed charges of racism to the press.

Along comes pathetic little Michele, so glad to be race-baited, that she has to turn Hillary into a devil. Hillary did this in the 90s and this as senator -- none of it having to do with race so why does Michele even bring it up? Because if she throws enough s**t, she figures something will stick. She might want to check her own shoes.

The lies never stop with Michele:

As the battle for the nomination went on, Clinton was given an inane hypothetical situation in which Iran attacked Israel, and she told Good Morning America that she would "totally obliterate" Iran.

Really? That's not how Jake Tapper, of ABC (same outlet as Good Morning America) reported it:

Clinton further displayed tough talk in an interview airing on "Good Morning America" Tuesday. ABC News' Chris Cuomo asked Clinton what she would do if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons.
"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Clinton said. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

She said she'd attack in that hypothetical and she wanted them to know that "we would be able to totally obliterate them."

"Would" gets left out by liars like Michele.

She really has to leave out a lot to be such a damn liar.

Socialists, rank and file, better grasp that these ass wipes are hurting you and your party. Sharon Smith, Anthony Arnove, Michele, all of them.

Sharon's already been caught publicly and revealed as a liar. Now Michele thinks she can make it all right by lying herself.

Here Michele tries to pull a triple-play by going stoning three women at once:

Thus, when Clinton supporters like Geraldine "Whites-are-the-real-victims-of-racism" Ferraro and Gloria "Black-men-have-it-easier-than-women" Steinem began speaking out, it wasn't to advance a discussion about the status of women in U.S. society, but to draw a line in the sand around the defense of Clinton's decision to stay in the race.
Some of the arguments for Clinton and against Obama were appalling. The 1960s radical feminist Robin Morgan, for example, condemned young women who supported Obama as "eager to win male approval by showing they're not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten the status quo), who can't identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her."

Geraldine Ferraro never made the claim LIAR Michele puts in quotes. Ferraro was asked a question and gave a response that was just like what Peter Hart had written in FAIR's Extra! a year before and just like what Barack had told the Chicago Tribune (and, as of a month ago, still had that Jeff Zeleny write up posted at his Senate website -- Zeleny was with the Tribune then before anyone says, "Oh, he's with the New York Times!"). Gloria Steinem is a special case for LIARS like Michele. A Socialist has no business taking sides in a Democratic primary to begin with. That didn't stop them from butting in, though did it? But a Socialist makes herself a joke when she refuses to call out Barack or to note how he used false charges of racism to drum up knee-jerk support. Michele can't note that because she's too busy lying and her knee's too busy jerking. Gloria Steinem pointed out that women's enfranchisement (voting) came long after African-American males and she pointed out that African-American males move up the ranks in the corporate, government and military realms faster than women. But Michele doesn't know history or doesn't care about it. It's more important to her to smear Gloria Steinem.

As for Robin Morgan, she was exactly right and she responded (in her essay) to repeated comments. Michele quotes one and wants to claim that Morgan's wrong. Actually, Salon did a piece on young women and they all talked about the hostility Hillary faced among their male peers and how it could silence them.

Robin wasn't writing about anything new. We saw that during the second wave as well. There were always little pieces of trash like Michele Bollinger and Sharon Smith ready and willing to sell out women in order to advance any other male cause.

That Anthony Arnove allowed this crap to be published makes him no better than Michele Bollinger. But look what he's done with crap-ass ISR. They've got their "Racims!" features but they have no features on sexism.

A Socialist should have no favorables for Hillary. They should also have no favorables for Barack.

But you've got a pathetic part of the left that will always respond to false charges of racism. They need to prove how much they 'get it.' They only prove how little they get it. That's why there have been so many efforts to smear Puerto Rico as racist as well.

Yes, Michele, the whole world is against the Black Man. The women, the Latinos, the elderly, the working class Whites, the whole wide world. Ironically, ISR recently published a piece calling out that stereotype and noting how it got started. How nice of Michele and the rest to perpetuate the stereotype.

All it does is create a wall between Socialists and non-Socialists. Anyone half-informed reading Michele's garbage realizes what a liar she is. Realizes how insulting she is. Realizes she's carrying water for Wall St.'s candidate Barack. (John Pilger called it out even though the pathetics in America couldn't.)

So it's time to prove that Michele knows about 'suffering' and how to prove that then by attacking a woman (how brave!) and defending corporatist Barack.

It's cute the way LIAR Michele avoids naming Keith Olbermann, isn't it?

That's how you tell a Red, they won't call out Keith. They think Keith is their ticket to 'advancement' and they'll never call him out. In a few years, as he gets more and more insane, they'll have to call him out. It won't be for sexism, of course. But they'll find something to call him out on and they'll pretend like no one could have seen it coming.

Michele closes her drivel with this:

And they fail to recognize that what inspired support for Obama wasn't a backlash against a strong woman candidate, but that he was perceived as representing a fresh alternative, while Clinton was the candidate among the Democrats most associated with business as usual--the status quo of mainstream politics in the U.S.

Actually Michele, labor's calling out Barack and that was the front page of the New York Times' business section this week. Actually Michele, he's got advisors from the Clinton era as well as the name that must never be mentioned (AUSTIN!) who wants to privatize Social Security.

Actually, Michele, Hillary Clinton got more votes than Barack.

But here's the thing little ass-wipe, you couldn't write about sexism.

Look at what you wrote. You had to write a compare & contrast between sexism and racism.

It is your refusal to treat sexism as a serious issue and one worthy of its own article that most reveals you. Communists in the last century didn't give a damn about women either. I'm beginning to supsect that a lot of these "Socialists" women don't have the guts to declare what they are and "Socialist" sounds nicer to their ears than "Communists."

Sexism is vile and it's disgusting.

Michele never indicates she's aware of that.

She only LIES, smears and proves that she can play with her own feces in public. What a proud moment for her.

"Sen. Dodd accused of getting sweetheart loans" (NECN):
Connecticut's Chris Dodd chairs the Senate banking committee and has been a leading critic of predatory mortgage lenders during the sub prime collapse. Now the website portfolio-dot-com reports that Dodd is one of several high ranking political figures to benefit from a special program at countrywide financial, one of the biggest sub prime lenders in the country. The website says Dodd refinanced his home in Connecticut and townhouse in Washington paying no closing costs or points. In addition he got a 4-point-25 percent rate in Connecticut and 4-point-5 percent in Washington... Both fixed for the first 5 years of the 30 year loans. Connecticut's republic leader is fuming.

Another Barack supporter goes down.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, June 13, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, SOFA talks break off (or do they?), Laura Bush sees a mending, al-Sadr issues instructions to resistance fighters, and more.

Starting with war resistance. As
Dusti Fansler (Wellington Daily News) explains, "Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. While the totals are still far lower than they were during the Vietnam War, when the draft was in effect, they show a steady increase over the past four years and a 42 percent jump since last year." Sunday Matthis Chiroux is order to deploy to Iraq. This despite the fact that he was discharged and is in the IRR.

Chiroux made his decision public
May 15th and Iraq Veterans Against the War carried his statements (text, video):

Good afternoon. My name is Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, and I served in the Army as a Photojournalist until being honorable discharged last summer after over four years of service in Afghanistan, Japan, Europe and the Phillipines. As an Army journalist whose job it was to collect and filter servicemember's stories, I heard many stomach-churning testimonies of the horrors and crimes taking place in Iraq. For fear of retaliation from the military, I failed to report these crimes, but never again will I allow fear to silence me. Never again will I fail to stand. In February, I received a letter from the Army ordering my return to active duty, for the purpose of mobilization for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Thanks in great part to the truths of war being fearlessly spoken by my fellow IVAW members, I stand before you today with the strength, clarity and resolve to declare to the military and the world that this Soldier will not be deploying to Iraq. This occupation is unconstitutional and illegal and I hereby lawfully refuse to participate as I will surely be a party to war crimes. Furthermore, deployment in support of illegal war violates all of my core values as a human being, but in keeping with those values, I choose to remain in the United States to defend myself from charges brought by the Army if they so wish to pursue them. I refuse to participate in the occupation of Iraq.

Courage to Resist has posted an interview with him (audio only). At the end of last month, California's New University weighed in on the issue, "Whether you have signed up for the military, are currently enlisted, are open to the idea or are violently opposed to serving, what remains clear is that if you are tapped to serve in Iraq, just don't go. First, the conflict has proven to be aimless, as little has gone smoothly since the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003. Second, because so many individuals are already unwilling to serve in Iraq, the U.S. army is ready to send just about anyone, whether they are prepared or not. Lastly, make no mistake that Iraq is a war zone. Despite the invasion being invalid, this illegal war can have the same effect on its soldiers as any credible conflict. . . . Over the years, the objectives of the war in Iraq have changed from toppling a dictator to finding harmful weapons to flat-out nation-building. As such, the Baush administration or its successor may attempt to shift the aim of the conflict again, to something that is anybody's guess. Still, know that the war in Iraq is an illegal and aimless conflicts and that soldiers such as Chioux should be applauded for their refusal to support it." May 23rd, he explained to Leia Petty (US Socialist Worker), "I didn't like the war from the start. I always thought it smelled fishy, but I knew at the time, the Army owned my ass for at least the next four-and-a-half years. So I got in line like most soldiers, and prayed night and day that I could trust American civilians to end the war. I was so disappointed when my prayers went unaswered. . . . I do want to be clear though that I did not make this decision to benefit any movement or serve anyone's agenda. I made this decision for myself, based on an intense personal conviction that what I am doing is not only right, but the only decision possible for me as a person and a veteran."

Two years ago this month,
Ehren Watada became the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. He cited the illegality of the Iraq War. In August 2006, an Article 32 hearing was held. In February 2007, a kangaroo court-martial took place. Over defense objection, Judge Toilet (John Head) ruled a mistrial. Toilet insisted that a new court-martial would take place immediately (March 2007 was when Head said it would take place). It has never
taken place. The Constitution forbids double jeopardy and the US military has been trying
to get around the Constitution but were
stopped last November by US District Judge Benjamin Settle. Tara McKelvey (American Prospect) reports:

Watada, 30, is an unlikely icon of war resistance. At 5 feet 7 inches, he is unimposing and even shy, dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and sandals, with his dark hair cut Army-short and his ears sticking out. He was raised in Honolulu, where his father, Bob, worked for decades in campaign-finance reform, and his mother, Carolyn Ho, was a high school guidance counselor. Watada, an Eagle Scout,
joined the Army in March 2003, his senior year at Hawaii Pacific University and,
like everyone who enlists, pledged an oath that members of the U.S. military have taken since 1789. "It doesn't say, 'I, Ehren Watada, will do as I'm told.' It says I will protect the Constitution," Watada says. He supports war in principle and is not a conscientious objector--in fact, he offered to go to Afghanistan (his commanders turned him down). "I'm against the Iraq War," he says. "By law, the war is

Pacific Citizen Staff reminds: "It was seven months ago that a federal judge blocked the U.S. Army from conducting a second court-martial of Watada for refusing to deploy to Iraq with his unit in June of 2006. U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle ruled that a second
trial would violate Watada's constitutional rights, essentially agreeing with the officer's attorneys who argued double jeopardy -- that a person could not be tried twice for the
same crime." And
Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) spoke with one of Watada's two civilian attorneys, Ken Kagan, and reports that Kagan believes "federal judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma will probably take up the matter early this fall. . . . Kagan said he expects the case to eventually go before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where it may take up to three years before a decision is rendered."

May 21st was when Corey Glass was told he would be deported. Iraq War vet and a US war resister Corey Glass was to be deported yesterday, however he's been 'extended' through July 10th. June 3rd Canada's House of Commons voted (non-binding motion) in favor of Canada being a safe harbor for war resisters. The Laval News quotes War Resisters Support Campaign's Lee Zaslofksy stating, "This is a great victory for the courageous men and women who have come to Canada because they refuse to take part in the illegal, immoral Iraq War, and for the many organizations and individuals who have supported this campaign over the past four years." In the US, the press has played mute with few exceptions. Already noted last week were Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times which did report the historic vote. Sunday, Jim Fox (Tampa Bay Times) included it in news roundup. Liam Lahey (Ontario Mirror Guardian) profiled Corey Glass this week noting, "Glass, who arrived in Canada in August 2007 and resides in a modest apartment in Parkdale, hails from Fiarmount, Ind. He voluntarily joined the National Guard in 2004 believing he could help in disaster zoen scenarious or to defend American soil should the country fall under an enemy attack and quotes Glass explaining, "It got to me one day after something that happened and I can't go into that detail but I had to quit. I didn't feel (the war) was the right thing to do from the beginning and I definitely didn't feel we should be doing this to the Iraqis." Dan Glaister (Guardian of London) notes, "A former US national guardsman will learn next month whether he can remain in Canada, where he has sought refuge from military service in Iraq." Mary MacCarthy (FRANCE 24) reports, "Corey joined the National Guard hoping to do humanitarian work, but ended up being sent to Iraq to work in military intelligence."

To keep the pressure on,
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 "").

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).

Turning to Iraq. The White House wants to push through a treaty with Iraq (the UN authorization expires at the end of this year).
Steve Negus and Harvey Morris (Financial Times of London) report that the puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, declares talks over a Status Of Forces Agreement is at a "dead end" and they noted the White House attempts to play down the news: "Zalmay Khalilzad, US envoy to the UN, told the Financial Times the Bush administration remained optimistic that a bilateral aggreement would be reached." At the US State Dept, they were spinning yesterday as well with press flack Gonzalo R. Gallegos insisted on denying to reporters that there was in prolbem in negotiations on the SOFA and declared, "I think that the UN mandate does run through the end of the year, we've got about six more months to get to that point. I believe that we had Ambassador [Ryan] Crocker up here last week. He spoke very clearly about his concerns that this be done -- more important to him, this be done right, be done correctly than quickly. There's time left. We're continuing with our discussions with the government of Iraq. It's important to us that this be done correctly and we will see where we got with that."
In Brussels today US Secretary of State Robert Gates was caught by surprise when confronted with the "dead end" remarks declaring, "I had not heard that and I'm not quite sure what the exact circumstances are. So I will have to, when I get home, find out what the status of those negotiations is, and whether there's a difference between what's actually going on in negotiations and the public posture. I just don't know the answer at this point." Which actually might be a wise position to take.
Patrick Worsnip (Reuters) reports Hoshiyar Zebari (Foreign Minister of Iraq) states the talks are still ongoing.

AP reports Moqtada al-Sadr issued a statement today declaring that resistance fighters battling the illegal occupation of Iraq "should be limited to a select group" (AP not al-Sadr quoted) and (al-Sadr quoted) "weapons will be in the hands of this group exclusively and will only be directed at the occupier." Mike Tharp (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "Sadr's statement was issued to his Mahdi Army militia and is the latest evidence that he is reacting to pressure from the U.S. and Iraqi military to disarm his followers, estimated at some 60,000. In August last year, he called for a cease-fire by his supporters, which was renewed in February for six months."

In the United States,
Ben Pershing (Washington Post) documents that the war between Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House) and Harry Reid (Senate Majority Leader) continues well after she trashed the Senate to the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board. At issue? The supplemental spending for the illegal war. Despite the fact that continuing to fund the illegal war continues the killing and Pelosi's Show Dancing of Opposition to the Iraq War, she insists that Congress must send Bully Boy something before July 4th: "I have made clear to the White House ... that we want to pass a bill that will be signed by the president, and that will happen before we leave for the 4th of July. I feel confident that will happen. . . . . We don't have that much time left. There are two and a half weeks left until the recess, and we will have a bill sent to the president by then, and it will have to be a bill that will pass in the House and the Senate." However, Pershing notes that US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid states there's no rush, "They [the Pentagon] have enough money till the end of July, so we're not really that panicked about it."

Today US First Lady Laura Bush gave the press conference on Air Force One while it headed to France. During the press conference, she spoke warmly of France, Italy and Slovenia (but didn't cite Germany by name -- read the transcript of the press conference, I'm being kind) before agreeing with a reporter that the relationship between the US and Europe is mending ("I think it -- yes, I think it's on the mend, and --" at which point someone told Laura Bush the conference was over). If Germany was frosty, Sunday doesn't appear to be shaping into a church social either.
UK's Socialist Worker gets instructive with, "Tell George Bush: 'Go to hell!'" and notes, "He will land in Britain this Sunday 15 June and his final stop will be Belfast. Since he stole the US elections in 2000, Bush has brought untold disaster on the world. He has launched wars without end, run a worldwide regime of kidnapping and torture, and brought death and ruin to every corner of the world." And they also note:

Socialist Worker is calling on anti-war activists to defy a police ban on the George Bush Not Welcome Here demonstration.
A Stop the War Coalition (StWC) statement says, "We are calling on those who care for our democratic rights to come to Parliament Square at 5pm on Sunday 15 June. Some of those who signed statements accusing Bush of war crimes will be leading this protest."
StWC convenor Lindsey German said, "George Bush has been dictating British foreign policy for many years. Now it appears his security services are determining our rights of protest. This is a disgrace and we will challenge the ban."
Playwright Harold Pinter commented, "The ban on the Stop The War Coalition march in protest at the visit of President Bush to this country is a totalitarian act. In what is supposed to be a free country the Coalition has every right to express its views peacefully and openly. This ban is outrageous and makes the term 'democracy' laughable."

Turning to some of what Bully Boy (and Dems who refuse to stand up to him) have brought Iraq . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed 1 life and left three injured and a Baiji roadside bombing wounded a police officer.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports the male in charge of an "Awakening" council in Uthaim was shot dead as were his 2 guards. CBS and AP report: "U.S. troops killed five suspected Shiite gunmen and detained two others Friday in a raid south of Baghdad, according to the U.S. military, and Iraqi police said two civilians were killed when they were caught in the crossfire."


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

Turning to the US political race for president, will sexism ever be seriously examined? Let's not even consult Magic 8ball, it's too depressing. But Katharine Q. Seelye and Julie Bowman offer "
Critics and News Executives Split Over Sexism in Clinton Coverage" today on the primary season. Women's Media Center -- not mentioned in the article -- is holding a panel on this topic Tuesday in NYC, free and open to the public. From nine in the morning until noon at The Paley Center for Media (25 West 52nd Street, NYC) and participants will include Juan Gonzalez, Christiane Amanpour, Sue Carroll, Courtney Martin, Celinda Lake, Mika Brzezinski, Catalina Camia, Geneva Overholser, Ron Wlaters, Dr. Kathy and Patricia Williams. "Sponsored by The White House Project, The Women's Media Center and the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the forum is free of charge and open to the press and the public." Click here for the announcement and for information on registering.

Staying with the US political race,
Team Nader issues the following:

2008 Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader discusses a remark made to him by a fellow alumnus at a recent Princeton reunion.
Watch the video here, read the transcript below.
Do you think Ralph Nader should run? If so,
let him know now with your contribution. (Your contribution could be doubled. Public campaign financing may match your contribution total up to $250.) - The Nader Team
I was at my Princeton reunion the other day, and a young alumnus came up to me - he was very kind - and he said "You know, I really like what you're doing - I like what you did - but please don't run."
I said "Do you realize what you are saying?"
And he said "Yes, I said please don't run."
I said "You're telling me not to use my First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, and petition inside the electoral arena. You're telling me to shut up. Are you aware of what you're saying?"
He said "I understand, I understand, I like what you're doing, but please don't run."
So I went through and I said "Well, would you tell those voters instead of trying to determine which one was worse between the Democrats and the Whigs, the two major parties in the 19th century, and instead cut out and voted for the Liberty Party, which was the anti-slavery party - would you say to those candidates, 'Don't run'?"
And he sort of paused.
And I said "How about the people who refused to go least-worst between the Republicans and Democrats on women's suffrage? Would you tell those candidates 'don't run'? What do you say to that?"
And he paused.
And I took it up to date and I said "Would you tell Buchanan not to run?"
And he said "I understand what you are saying, but please don't run."
And I said "You know, unwittingly, you are engaging in a politically bigoted statement. Because you can oppose, and you can support, any candidates you want. But when you are saying to someone 'don't run' you are saying to someone 'do not speak, do not petition, do not assemble inside the electoral arena.'"
Now I'm saying this because I'm sure you've had these conversations with people. Look at the word spoiler. Spoiler is a contemptuous word of political bigotry. They do not accuse George W. Bush of being the spoiler in 2000, and last I heard he got more votes than I did, vis-a-vis Al Gore. It's only the independent and third parties that are called spoilers.
And think of the hubris here - these two parties have spoiled our elections, they've spoiled our government, they've spoiled our politics - and to have the temerity to say to someone who wants to reform the process that they are spoilers - they have no sense of humor - I mean, how do you satire satire?
- Ralph Nader, New York City, May 31, 2008 -
Watch the video
"Ralph Nader should run for President so we all have a better choice in November. Please accept my support!"

iraq veterans against the war
matthis chiroux
tara mckelveyehren watada
gregg k. kakesako
jim fox
liam lahey
ben pershingthe washington post
mcclatchy newspapers
the new york timeskatharine q. seelyejulie bosman

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Peggy Simpson, Katie Couric

"Clinton, Paul and Couric--How Barriers Fall" (Peggy Simpson, WMC):
Alice Paul took nothing for granted. She didn't expect those with power to give it up; she knew challengers had to take it. And she was a brilliant tactician with a sense of what drove politics. When existing suffrage organizations didn’t move politicians, Paul created a more radical National Women’s Party. When President Wilson appeared indifferent to the very idea of extending votes to women--at the time he was pushing democracy for all, overseas--she organized a suffrage parade on the eve of his inauguration in 1913. Marchers were attacked but the headlines expanded support for the cause. Her activists organized the first-ever civilian protest in front of the White House, with some suffragists chaining themselves to the White House gates. Alice Paul and dozens of others went to jail and, when jailers force-fed her to end her hunger strike, she managed to get the word out. The subsequent outrage persuaded Wilson to reverse course and support the suffrage amendment.
Alice Paul continued organizing for another 50 years, working from a house a stone's throw from Congress. She wrote the proposed Equal Rights Amendment in 1923. She lobbied successfully for Title VII of the 1964 Civil rights Act, which bans workplace discrimination.
Today, the Sewell-Belmont House is a nonprofit museum educating students of all ages about women's struggle to win the vote and giving "Alice" awards to women who break barriers and set new precedents.
On Tuesday, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric will get this year's "Alice."
Board chair Audrey Sheppard said the focus on barriers broken, and on those that still remain, is "very timely" in the wake of Clinton's narrow defeat in her presidential nomination bid.
Last Saturday, Clinton told her supporters to get on with the future. She pledged her unequivocal support for Obama and urged her supporters to follow her lead this fall but also signaled she meant to keep pushing for women’s rights.
"When I was asked what it means to be a woman running for president, I always gave the same answer: that I was proud to be running as a woman but I was running because I thought I'd be the best president. But I am a woman and, like millions of women, I know there are still barriers and biases out there, often unconscious.
"I want to build an America that respects and embraces the potential of every last one of us," she said. "We must make sure that women and men alike understand the struggles of their grandmothers and mothers and that women enjoy equal opportunities, equal pay and equal respect."

Ruth found the above and suggested we both highlight it. We know C.I. has enough to note in the snapshot and that there has to be a reason to mention Hillary. That sounds rude. It's not meant as such. But C.I. believes, as do I, Hillary should take it to the convention. Since she has suspended the campaign, there has to be a plethora of commentaries for C.I. to feel that it can be included in the snapshot.

It's also true that C.I. regularly highlights WMC and Peggy Simpson especially. There was one article by Simpson that did not get highlighted in some manner at The Common Ills and that was the article where she repeated the lie the Obama campaign put out: He was only eight-years-old!

Tell it to someone who either didn't live through it or else baked their mind. Weather Underground was not a one year action. From 1969 (the eight-year-old lie) through 1975, Weather was active. (It was also active in 1976.) Barack Obama was not eight-years-old through all of that. Equally true was that their targets included banks by the time he was a teenager and his grandmother who raised him was a vice-president of a bank so Weather should have been on his radar. He was in college when Bernardine and Bill made national news by turning themselves in. They were on the lam the entire time prior and they popped up in the news throughout that period. The "he was eight-years-old!" lie was repeated by Diane Rehm (which is why I will never again listen to her show, Diane damn well knows better).

I share C.I.'s strong distaste for revisionary history. Whether it's the lie that war resisters who went to Canada during Vietnam were just "draft dodgers" (Canada also welcomed "deserters" and the draft had nothing to do with Canada's policy) or anything else, I do not enjoy seeing the times I lived through rewritten and altered after the fact.

"Bash the bitch" (C.I. and Ava's phrase which is much better than what Maureen Dowd attempted today with "Kill the witch") has had three targets this decade: Judith Miller, Katie Couric and Hillary Clinton.

Miller was held responsible for all the bad reporting that led up to the illegal war. She was publicly stoned while the males slinked away (including her frequent co-writer Michael Gordon). As a 'reporter,' Miller's 'power' was not as great as a prominent columnist. As a print 'reporter,' her reach was not as great as someone on TV. But she and only she was targeted. Pointing that out is not defending Miller, it is noting a lot of men got off scott-free and should have faced the same treatment Miller did.

We all saw what happened with Hillary. Between the two women, Katie Couric was the target.

If you don't grasp that the attacks on Katie were sexism, read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Katie Was a Cheerleader." You will note from the date of the article that they wrote this before Couric ever anchored The CBS Evening News. The reason for that is because the attacks started immediately, months before she became the evening anchor or even moved over to CBS. It was never about her qualifications. Were it about qualifications, Charlie Gibson (moving from Good Morning America to anchoring World News Tonight at ABC) would have been called out as loudly. He was not called out at all. (Ava and C.I. did call him out, see "TV commentary: About the women.")

At some point, our society is going to have a take serious look at the way women are demonized. Miller was not the target solely because of what she did. Were that the case, the many other males who did the same things she did would have been called out. Hillary was so close to the brass ring -- obviously too close which is why the 'left' Nation magazine (men and women) deployed sexist attacks on her non-stop to destroy her. Couric never even got to anchor before the attacks started. Many years ago, I had a semi-long affair with a man who still works for CBS News. It ended on a good note and we've remained friends who talk at least twice a month by phone all these years later. As a result, if I watch a TV newscast, it's always CBS. Katie Couric has never done anything on air that has been out of the norm for anchors. More importantly, her work has been surperior to the bulk of those who have come before her (and they were all males -- she is the first to anchor the weekday newscast).

In case anyone missed Ava and C.I.'s piece all those years ago, I'm going to offer a condensed form of it below. I think it's one of their finest pieces of writing.

"TV: Katie Was a Cheerleader" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
Who knew it was a war crime? Katie Couric was a cheerleader and an army of Beate Klarsfelds are on her trail in an attempt to warn America of this dangerous contravention of the law. We imagine it's only a matter of time before the tribunal is held. The cheerleader as Eichmann, no doubt, sends shudders through the hearts of many women on the left, center and right, since they too may be charged.

Couric's apparent crime, for some on the left, is saying that Navy Seals "rock." That moment was immortalized in Michael Moore's FAHRENHEIT 9/11 and seems to be the chief piece of evidence that will be introduced when the commentators gather at the Hague.
For some of the left, though not all, that's at the root of their pursuit of Couric. It's the gift of impunity that allows them to operate in a fact-free environment as they compose the charges against Couric. But those who hear such a statement and nod agreeably are also engaged in the national pastime of bash-the-bitch.
Bash the bitch is as American as apple pie and rush to judgement, so who are we to complain?
If it makes us "America haters" to say "Just a minute now" then so be it. Let all the ones partaking in bash-the-bitch wrap themselves in Old Glory, we'll call it the way we see it.
Here's what we see. A woman's trashed. For what she did?
Oh cookie, please, it's for being a woman. Read the commentaries. "Cheerleader" is a trumped up charge -- as usual, the true crime is gender.
[. . .]
If women learned anything from the trashing of Katie Couric last week, it was that today, we're all cheerleaders. In their eyes, we're all cheerleaders. Our own work isn't addressed and there's no desire to familiarize themselves with it before weighing in. Call us when it's our turn to stand trial at the war crimes tribunal.

Again, I would strongly encourage you to read it in full. That last paragraph? Take it and apply it to the attacks on Hillary. The attackers didn't feel the need to actually examine Hillary's record, they thought it was enough to make snide remarks, 'jokes' and attacks on her, to suggest that, since she was a wife, her work didn't matter. It certainly didn't matter enough for them to explore it.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Wednesday, June 11, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, issues fall by the wayside for the 'issues' (smears and distortions) and more.

Starting with war resistance.
May 21st was when Corey Glass was told he would be deported. June 3rd Canada's House of Commons voted (non-binding motion) in favor of Canada being a safe harbor for war resisters. He's no longer threatened with deporation on the 12th (Thursday) but has been 'extended' to July 10th. Will the Stephen Harper government really attempt to deport him? That will depend upon how much support Corey Glass has. Over the weekend Canada's National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) issued "NUPGE urges Harper to let Iraq war resisters stay in Canada:"James Clancy calls on minority Conservative government to respect the will of Parliament and stop the deportation of Corey Glass on June 12 Ottawa (9 June 2008) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is asking the Harper government to honour a House of Commons motion that clears U.S. Iraq war resisters and their families to live permanently in Canada.The non-binding parliamentary motion was approved June 3 with support from all three opposition parties by a margin of 137 to 110. Conservative MPs opposed the motion and the minority government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has indicated it will ignore parliament on the issue. The War Resisters Support Campaign, based in Toronto, estimates that as many as 200 American soldiers have come to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq. Many of those active in the campaign are resisters who were granted refuge in Canada during the Vietnam war in the 1960s and 1970s. In a letter to Harper, NUPGE president James Clancy urged Harper to intervene in the case of Corey Glass, who has been in Canada for the past two years. His application for citizenship on "humanitarian and compassionate" grounds was denied on May 21 and the Canadian Border Services Agency has ordered him to be deported on June 12. "From all indications, your government is planning to ignore the democratic will of the House of Commons," Clancy wrote. "I am urging you and your government to reconsider this position. This is a matter of some urgency. The war resisters have taken a principled stand against participating in an illegal and disastrous war in Iraq. Their reasons echo those that Canada used when it, too, refused to participate in this war," Clancy said. "Canada must continue to act to honour its own principles and maintain our status in the world community as a peace-building nation. We should quickly welcome the young men and women and their families who have come here to live in peace and who are already starting to contribute to our country's future," he said.Clancy urged Harper to "act now to make it possible" for the resisters to stay in Canada by: ● Stopping the deportation of people of conscience who have resisted an illegal war; and ● Supporting the democratic decision of the House of Commons and the will of the Canadian people. NUPGE More information: ● War Resisters Support Campaign

That's their statement in full and it's very important. A huge cross-section of people ensured that war resisters could stay in Canada during Vietnam -- students, labor, churches. NUPGE's stepping up is important. To keep the pressure on,
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 "").

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).

Turning to US catty-claws. Senator John McCain made a statement that was clear and one that this community disagrees with. Appearing on
NBC's Today Show, he was asked about withdrawal from Iraq. And stated he wasn't worried about withdrawal estimates ("that's not too important") and somehow it was time for Democrats to embarrass themsleves. What's McCain talking about? His position is that troops should stay in Iraq. He would argue he's not talking about a continued war, he would state that (as he said on Today this morning), troops should remain there as they do in Japan, South Korea, etc.

Anyone truly opposed to the illegal war has an opening to go after McCain. Sadly, we don't have a lot of elected officials really opposed to the illegal war. So instead it was time for hypocrisy and catty natures. Susan Rice -- a long time War Hawk and monger working for the Obama camapign -- repeated talking points of how McCain was "confused," "confusing," etc. As
Lynn Sweet (Chicago Sun-Times) wonders, "Is that a code for suggesting McCain is too old to understand what is going on?" Rice denies it but the Catty Obama Crew has already attempted that nonsense before. They are the cattiest campaign. Senator John Kerry tried to rescue Rice. As usual, he failed (and needs to stop worrying about Obama's campaign and start worrying about the Democratic challenger to his own seat). US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi saw an opening and immediately issued her own statement: "Senator McCain's statement that it is 'not too important' when U.S. troops are redeployed from Iraq is yeat another indication how out of touch he is with the effect the war in Iraq is having on the readiness of our military. Addressing the national security implications . . ." blah, blah, blah. No one cares, Nancy. Everyone knows you're the Speaker of the House. Everyone knows you took power in January 2007. Everyone knows the illegal war drags on. Before you hop on your high horse you need to grasp just how disliked you are around the country. (Visit some campuses, Nancy.) Your self-serving statements only reflect poorly on you and Democratic leadership.

And that's the real revelation here, how Iraq is now a non-issue for Democrats. They can't even showboat convincingly because they've had nearly two years in which they controlled both houses of Congress and they didn't do a damn thing to end the illegal war. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, uses a lot of words as well. He only makes himself sound like a hypocrite. Too many to name embarrass themselves deliberately twisting McCain's meaning. Of all the people in the world who make sense on McCain's remarks, it's Senator Joe Lieberman. (Whom I personally loathe.) Lieberman labels the organized hit "reflexive attacks" and notes, "It's very obvious what John McCain is saying, and it's consistent with what he's said along the way." [
Click here for the Baltimore Sun's Mark Silva's write up which includes text but also includes video of McCain on Today.] Lieberman also notes what Pelosi, Reid, Biden, Kerry and Rice don't, John McCain actually has a child DEPLOYED to Iraq.

We're not getting issues, we're getting smears. McCain firmly believes the US needs to remain in Iraq and he's not arguing for the illegal war to be continued, he thinks the illegal war (which he doesn't think is illegal) can be tranferred to a smaller US presence which would include many decades on Iraqi soil. That is his position.

It's a position the Democrats should love because it should provide them with the ability to present a strong contrast between McCain and themselves. Today we get smears, catty remarks (that were intended to be about McCain's age or mental well being), we get hypocrisy and so much more. The country (US) would be better off if we could address the issue. The issue isn't "Is McCain senile?" (he's not) nor is it "McCain disrespects the military!" (he doesn't). The issue is McCain has a viewpoint on how he sees the US presence in Iraq. Why can't the Democrats take that issue and run with it?

Partly because for all the nonsense of 'hope' and 'change,' Barack's advanced via character assassinations on his opponents and that's what's going on when McCain's sanity or his support for the military is questioned. It's catty, it's embarrassing and it doesn't help Barack appear mature. But there's no real difference Barack's calling for.
June 5th he told Candy Crowley (CNN, link has text and video) that his Iraq 'policy' on withdrawal (his 'promise' throughout the campaign that US troops would be out of Iraq within 10 months of his becoming president -- in a speech in Houston, Texas, he dropped from 16 months down to 10), "Well, you know, I'd never say there's 'nothing' or 'never' or 'no way' in which I'd change my mind." Really? Because in your speeches you don't include that qualifier. He added, "Obviously, I'm open to the facts and to reason. And there's no doubt that we've seen significant improvements in security on the ground in Iraq. And our troops, and Gen. Petraeus, deserve enormous credit for that. I have to look at this issue from a broader perspective, though." He has to look at it from a broader perspective? Does anyone remember his stump speech that included that 'applause' line? No, because he didn't include it in his speeches.

Barack Obama is not promising to end the illegal war. He is not promising anything. That's the point Samantha Power was making to the BBC in April and why she explained that these 'pledges' he makes on the campaign trail mean nothing, that he'd decide what to do about Iraq if he got into the White House. Not before then.

And that's why this mock outrage is being created by various Democrats [on the very day that
Michael Scherer (Time magazine) points out how faux outrage bit Barack in the butt]. It's a way to create the appearance of a difference between Barack Obama and John McCain. Heaven forbid we have a real difference.

When Barack is asked hard questions or hit with real criticism, his response is to whine that he wants to focus on the issues, that he wishes he could focus on the issues (and his waffles) but instead . . . His campaign launched a smear job on John McCain today. They didn't have to do that. They could have taken the issue of Iraq and presented an actual difference. Instead, it was John McCain's too old, he's senile, he doesn't appreciate military service, blah, blah, blah. Not an ounce of truth in any of those charges.

It didn't have to be that way. If Iraq's going to be an issue, let's have it be one, a real one. Let's see Barack stop the character assassinations and start having that always postponed conversation about the issues he keeps insisting he wants.

And anyone considering themselves part of the peace movement better start hollering. If this is what's going to pass for "Iraq discussions" ('McCain's old and crazy and he hates the military!'), don't even pretend that the illegal war is ending in the next four years. We should all be appalled and saying, "ENOUGH!"
Joshua Frank (Dissident Voice) explains, "Four years ago, as the sentiment against George W. Bush's administration mounted, the entire left-wing spectrum hung on tight to the coattails of John Kerry, grasping for dear life. Critics called it the 'Anybody but Bush' syndrome, but it should have been more aptly coined 'Nobody but Kerry.' Virtually every progressive cause, from labor to environment, had been co-opted by a mindset that would have ensured more of the same. There was no pressure put on Kerry to change, and he didn't." Naomi Klein called that nonsense out in real time and has repeatedly warned since then that the peace movement does not need to go silent for the 'good' of an election.

The peace movement can get co-opted again, it can buy into the Iraq War 'really doesn't matter,' or any other nonsense it wants but as someone who was on campuses after that crap, 'leaders' who think they can pull the wool over the young people again better grasp there will be fallout. The peace movement should call out any candidate who refuses to address Iraq. When Team Obama has the perfect opportunity to draw a real distinction and instead results to smears, it's an indication that Barack's not overly concerned about Iraq. The Iraq War is an ongoing, illegal war that will hit the six year mark next year. Any candidate who thinks character attacks are addressing it really isn't fit to run for the presidency. And anyone thinking "We just have to be silent until November" better accept the illegal war isn't ending via silence. As
Joshua Frank notes, despite Democrats being given control of both houses in the November 2006 elections, "Two years later, we have nothing to show for it. The Democrats have controlled both houses of Congress, yet have rubber stamped virtually ever Iraq war spending bill that has come down the pipeline -- ensuring the bloodbath for years to come."

Let's go straight into some of today's reported violence because the refusal to address Iraq allows the dying to continue.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 police officer and left seven more wounded, a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed 5 lives with ten more people wounded, a third Baghdad roadside bombing that injured two, a Kirkuk roadside bombing that wounded six people and a Wasit bombing that claimed the life of 1 police officer with four more wounded.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 corpses discovered in Baghdad and 4 in Kirkuk. Reuters notes 5 corpses discovered in Falluja ("shot and tortured").

Today the
US military announced: "A Multi-National Corps -- Iraq Soldier died of non-battle related causes in Baghdad, June 11. An investigation into the cause of death is under way." 4095 is the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war, 11 is the number for the month thus far.

As the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer points out, "It doesn't matter that people of two nations -- the U.S. and Iraq -- are dead set against an agreement, or treaty -- for permanent, er, long-term military bases in Iraq. And never mind what having such a presence in Iraq would do to that nation's relationship with Iran (a major player on the ground), where leaders suspect that the bases in the 'enslaved' Iraq might be used as launching points to attack their country. The Bush administration is hellbent on banging out the much-denied treaty by the end of July." Leila Fadel and Warren P. Strobel (McClatchy Newspapers) report that the White Hous insists the negotiations on the treaty "can be completed by a July 31 target date" but the White House "is apparently scaling back some of its demands, including backing off one that particularly incenses Iraqis, blanket immunity for private security contractors." They also report that in the US Congress objections are coming from both sides of the aisle as well as from the chairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Joe Biden) and the Senate Armed Services Committee (Carl Levin). Amit R. Paley and Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) explore objections to the treaty in Iraq and quote Sami al-Askari ("senior Shiite politician on parliament's foreign relations committee who is close to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki") stating, "The Americans are making demands that would lead to the colonization of Iraq. If we can't reach a fair agreement, many people think we should say, 'Goodbye, U.S. troops. We don't need you hear anymore.'" Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) also quotes al-Askari, "There is the camp who still believe that we need the Americans to stay and the other camp that says we don't need them anymore. . . . If I'm from the group that believes in the need for the Americans to stay, and then they face me with such a draft, then I'll say, look, I'd rather go with the others." As was noted (and objected to) throughout The Petraeus & Crocker Variety Show that played Congress in April, the Iraqi Parliament will get a vote on the treaty (disguised as a "Status Of Forces Agreement" by the White House) but the US Senate will not. Apparently, Bully Boy needed to wipe his rear on the US Constitution at least one more time before leaving office so that Constitutional mandate that all treaties be approved by the Senate got tossed out the window. M.D. Nalapat (UPI Asia) argues that if SOFA goes through, the puppet of the occupation (al-Maliki) will fall and "other moderate politicians in Iraq could soon become history. From then onwards, public opinion in Iraq will almost certainly turn in favor of those Shia and Sunni politicians opposed to the pact, creating more followers of Moqtada al-Sadr and the former Baathists." Ghida Fakhry (Al Jazeera) asserts, "If the original deadline is missed, it could mean that major obstacles have emerged and that the plan to rush through a deal before George Bush steps down as president might also be in jeopardy." As Dan Eggen (Washington Post) observes, speaking from Germany, Bully Boy referred to Iraq opposition as "noise".

The Bully Boy of the United States: "First of all, I think we'll end up with a strategic agreement with Iraq. You know, it's all kinds of noise in their system and our system. What eventually will win out is the truth. For example, you read stories perhaps in your newspaper that the U.S. is planning all kinds of permanent bases in Iraq. That's an erroneous story. [58 bases.] The Iraqis know -- will learn it's erroneous, too. We're there at the invitation of the sovereign [puppet] government of Iraq. And I strongly support the agreement because I think it helps send a clear message to the people of Iraq that, you know, that security you're now seeing will continue. And one of the lessons of Iraq is, is that in order for a democracy to develop or in order for an economy to develop, there has to be a measure of security, which is now happening. So I think we'll get the agreement done."

Bully Boy went on to declare, "You know, as to -- look, Eggen, you can find any voice you want in the Iraqi political scene and quote them, which is interesting, isn't it, because in the past you could only find one voice, and now you can find a myriad of voices. It's a vibrant democracy; people are debating." Yes, it appears that one thing the America has transferred to Iraq is relief that the reign of the Bully Boy will end in a few months.

On the US political front,
Team Nader breaks down the Lehman Brothers scandal whose Richard S. Fuld announced "a staggering $2.8 billion loss in the second quarter, exceeding the most dire forecasts" and yet nothing changes on Wall Street or, for that matter in Congress: "Still, there is no regulatory action in Washington which doesn't even move on behalf of consumers to regulate the New York Mercantile Exchange where rampant speculation, not supply and demand, decides what you are paying for gasoline and heating oil. With the politicians sleepwalking in Washington, while their campaign pockets are filled by Wall Street cash, isn't it time for the people of America to rouse themselves civically and politically? Act before the financial sector, using your money, shreds itself under the weight of its own top-heavy greed and cliff-hanging mismanagement." Ralph Nader is running for the White House. Matt Gonzalez is his running mate. Team Nader also addresses the NBA today by noting an objection Nader raised in 2000. Steve Powell (The Olympian), writing today of the criminal activity of "former referee Tim Donaghy" who has entered guilty pleas to multiple felony charges, points out: "Donaghy claims it happened in a playoff game in 2002. And looking at the Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings series, he makes a good case. Even at the time, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, a presidential candidate this year, sent a letter to Stern complaining about the officiating. The Lakers won the game after shooting 27 free throws in the fourth quarter.".

iraqcorey glasswarren p. strobel
mcclatchy newspapersleila fadel
the los angeles timesned parker
the washington postamit r. paleykaren deyoung

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Returing to the topic

I really had not planned to return to the dull topic of Taylor Marsh.

I assumed everyone had grasped that she's just another beggar who will sell out any belief in her misguided attempts to be a "player." I honestly find her pathetic.

Who knew she would choose to start the day by lying?

If she didn't intend to lie this morning, her refusal to correct her error, to defend it, qualifies as lying.

Hillary did not release her delegates in a phone call last night.

That is a LIE.

To then refuse to correct it and claim that "release" means the same as whatever crackpot nonsense Marsh thinks, is appalling.

She started a rumor online that was never true. She then refused to correct it, even when repeatedly called on it.

She is not a Hillary supporter.

Her comments are hilarious and when Sunny told me about them at lunch today, I picked up the phone and called an old friend on Hillary's campaign. His first comment after hello was that C.I. had already called "to scream." We both laughed and I said, "I'm not calling to scream but I will assume that Marsh has it all wrong." Which she does.

C.I. includes the point that Taylor Marsh does not speak for the Hillary campaign and that is in there because C.I. was asked to. I was asked to note that as well.

It really takes a lot of nerve to try to pretend you speak for Hillary and the Hillary campaign. C.I., who has known Hillary for years, does not try to speak for her.

C.I. repeatedly states online that Hillary will do what she decides is best, that she will make her own decision. C.I. has stated that throughout the campaign and has never attempted to speak for the campaign. I know C.I. and ____ are on the phone constantly. But ___ is not Hillary and only Hillary makes her decisions. The press does not decide for Hillary, though they wish they did. The opinions that matter most to Hillary are her husband's and her daughters. Even people in the campaign are not all on the same page and a lot of them spend a great deal of time second-guessing what's going on based on 'indicators.' Bill Clinton will offer his opinion when asked but he does not decide for Hillary and he would never attempt to pretend that he does. So it takes a lot of gall for Taylor Marsh to pretend that she can. Who knew that Taylor Marsh was closer to Hillary than Bill Clinton is?

That is how Marsh presents herself as she writes about what Hillary really wants (apparently a little birdie told Marsh) and about what is needed for Hillary now and blah, blah, blah.

As I noted yesterday, weeks ago, Taylor Marsh was stating she's an American first and could never vote for Barack. These days, she can't stop schilling for him and, of course, revealed today that she feels it is her job to get the Christ-child elected. That's yet another turnaround for Marsh. If you'll remember, last month she was saying that she would work for Democrats and she would call out John McCain but, based on what she'd posted throughout the primaries, no one would accept her as a Barack booster.

She appears not to know her own work. Possibly, she's too busy transcribing her imaginary conversations to grasp remarks she repeatedly made (over and over) only last month?

Or maybe she just feels that she can clown and treat her readers as if they are stupid?

When she prints a false rumor on her site and refuses to retract it, when she insists that it's the same thing and people are splitting hairs, she's playing her readers for stupid.

"Releasing delegates" has only one meaning. It did not happen. Taylor Marsh refuses to get honest. I can't imagine why anyone who once saw Marsh as a honest voice would bother to read her again. She whined at her site that she has received all these e-mails about it ('it' would be her lie and error) and how that is people focusing on something minor and missing the big picture, something unimportant.

Now Marsh voted for Ronald Reagan, so she's not all that smart. But a woman of her age (whether you go by her real age or the age she admits to) has been around long enough to see some real conventions (as opposed to the ceremonial one in 2004) and is either an idiot or grasps what "pledged delegates" and "released" means.

She spread a false rumor this morning by her own choice. When truth slapped her in the face, she tried to act as if it was something minor (despite using it for the headline of the morning post). It is not "minor."

Hillary shouldn't release her delegates. She may decide to and that will be her decision. My opinion on what she should do will not matter in her decision.

But anyone who knows a thing or two about party conventions knows that the moment you release your delegates, you lose all power. She can use the power for a floor fight on the convention floor. I would if I were her but I'm not her. She'll make that decision herself. She can use her power to get issues that matter to her addressed at the convention and included in the party plank. There are any number of ways Hillary can use her power if she doesn't want to release her delegates before the convention. But the moment a candidate releases their delegates, they have no power. That's Politics 101 and for Taylor Marsh to claim, at a political site, that it doesn't matter that she said Hillary was "releasing" her delegates when Hillary has done nothing of the sort either indicates that Marsh knows nothing about politics or is stupid.

Another option, of course, is that Marsh is so desperate to run with the Blogger Boyz that she's willing to turn her site over to Bambi-mania.

You'll have to draw your own conclusions and you'll have to do that because Taylor Marsh was dishonest today. If the morning post was an error, she was dishonest when she refused to correct it.

As I stated yesterday, if Hillary is not the nominee, my vote will be for Ralph Nader. I will not hop on board the Bambi-train.

I know too much about Barack and, especially, about those around him. I made the decision not to contribute to his Senate campaign and I would never vote for him.

If he is the nominee, my vote for Ralph Nader is not 'wasted.' Enough of us could put Nader in the White House. If Barack's the nominee and he loses to John McCain, that's really not my problem.

It is not and will never be my duty to vote for a candidate I have no faith in.

If John McCain becomes president, then that falls back to the rigged primary that installed Barack. He did not win the majority of the votes, he did not carry the states needed for a general election. He had a few good weeks and then either was neck and neck with Hillary in needed states or he lost in a big blow out that Hillary won.

If he is the nominee and he loses, the ones to finger point at are Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Donna Brazile, etc.

It will not be voters who have already made their rejection of him a part of the public record.

You can insult and smear West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, etc. all you want. But the reality is the media had already crowned Barack the winner and yet voters said otherwise. That was a warning. If the DNC choose to ignore that very clear warning, they deserve to lose.

McCain is the GOP nominee because he was their strongest candidate. If the same winner-takes-all system had been used in the DNC race, Hillary would be the nominee. The Republicans will be putting forward their strongest nominee. If the Democrats want to go with Barack, they have only themselves to blame.

Texas is the best example of Barack's weaknesses. Texas will probably not go Democrat with Hillary as the nominee. It will not with Barack. But Barack 'won' Texas. He didn't win the primary. Hillary won that. He won the caucus that took place after the primary. He won that the way he won the Iowa caucus and others as well. (Nevada was the only caucus Hillary won.) He did it by intimidation on the part of his supporters, by their seizing the registration lists, by their forging the sign-in sheets. Texas had two 'votes.' There was the real vote, the primary, which is the way the states will vote in the general election (secret ballot). But he ended up with more delegates from Texas due to the caucus.

There will be no caucuses in November. There will be no way to intimidate voters or to deny them a voice as you drag the process out. People will go into a booth or stand at a display and vote.

As a woman, I will not support Barack on the ticket because of all the vile and rank sexism used throughout the campaign including by Barack himself.

Party leaders and Barack should have called it out. They didn't do that. It was more important to them to install the Christ-child than to take a moment to defend all women. Bi-racial Barack spoke for nearly 4,000 words in Philadelphia about race. The great speechmaker. But he never had time to call out sexism? I noticed he had plenty of time to contribute to it.

I will not vote for Barack. I am not a Taylor Marsh. I am not on the outside looking in, face pressed against the glass, desperate to become a 'name' online and parlay that into riches.

In fairness to her, I don't need money. She probably has to fight for every nickel and dime. But I don't think that, even if I were in her situation, I would betray what I stand for. Like myself, C.I. was also born into money. C.I. helped everyone during Vietnam, everyone but C.I. The end result was C.I. was broke. There was no betrayal of beliefs to get rich. Through a lot of work and a lot of luck (and an uncanny ability to play the stock market -- not joking, never doubt C.I.'s instincts, knowing nothing about Enron but hearing Rebecca had sunk a big size of money into a company, C.I. asked which one and, when told Enron, immediately had severe stomach cramps that went on for three hours until Rebecca and her husband finally said, "Okay, we'll sell it"), C.I. ended up sitting more than pretty. But in between giving away a fortune and amassing a bigger one, C.I. never betrayed her beliefs.

As Katie tells Hubbell in The Way We Were, people are their beliefs.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Tuesday, June 10, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, Canadian Jonathan Kay needs a history tutor to explain war resistance to him, a guilty plea is entered in a US court, and more.

Starting with war resistance,
the BBC had US war resister Corey Glass and Jonathan Kay of Canada's National Post debate and have posted it today. The winner of the debate? Corey Glass. In fact, Glass didn't have to say one word to win. Not when conservative Jonathan Kay doesn't think a debate requires knowing facts. Kay argues: "There's no draft in the United States -- as there was in the Vietnam era: No one forced him to put on a uniform. Why should Canadians help this deserter go back on his freely given word?" Why did Canada do it during Vietnam? See, Jonathan Kay is only the latest in a long line of Dumb Asses who wants to hop on a soapbox without ever knowing what the hell he's talking about. Let's toss out some basics for everyone. January 1969 was an important month for Canada. Why? The issue of deserters.

Not the issue of draft dodgers, the issue of deserters. The US wanted Canada to refuse to give them asylum. At that time, pay attention Dumb Ass Jonathan Kay, both groups (deserters and draft dodgers) qualified to become Canadian citizens or permanent immigrants. Canada's Dept of Manpower and Immigration informed the world on January 30, 1969 that Canada was considering refusing deserters. In July of of 1968, the Canadian government had already encouraged immigration workers to begin refusing applications from anyone who was active duty meaning deserters could be refused. By January 1969, it was so bad that deserters in Canada (who had not already been granted either citizenship or permanent immigrant status) were being encouraged to apply in areas far from the borders because applying at the border could result in a "no" and being escorted back to the US side of the border (where an arrest would take place). Prior to that, Canada -- much to the LBJ administration's displeasure -- was regularly granting citizenship and permanent immigrant status to deserters and draft dodgers. As a result of the above, it became harder for deserters (but not for draft resisters).

That's why the new policy, explained May 22, 1969 by Allan J. MacEachen (Canada's Minister of Immigration) was so significant: "If a serviceman from another country meets our immigration criteria, he will not be turned down because his is still in the active service of his country. The selection criteria and requirements applying to him will be the same as those that apply to other applicants." Get it? There was a tiny move in July of 1968. January of 1969 there was a move to make it policy that deserters would be rejected/ejected. By May of 1969, that was no more. The draft was never the issue for granting war resisters asylum in Canada during Vietnam.

We can go as deep into this as we need to but, possibly, Jonathan Kay and other Canadians might just be so ashamed at this point -- that an American knows more about this aspect of their own country's history than they do -- that they decide it's past time for them to try brushing up on the facts?

Here's Corey Glass speaking from the BBC:

Last week I was in Ottawa, when the House of Commons passed a motion saying that the Canadian government should make it possible for conscientious objectors to get permanent residence in Canada. The motion also said that all deportation proceedings against us should be stopped.
But I may be deported anyway. On 21 May I was told that my last chance to stay in Canada had failed, and I must leave by 12 June (since extended to 10 July). I know that if I return to the US I will face imprisonment and possibly a criminal record.
I don't think it is fair that I should be returned to the United States to face unjust punishment for doing what I felt morally obligated to do. I am hoping that Canada, which stayed out of the Iraq War for reasons similar to my own, will reverse the deportation order and let me stay, as parliament has urged.

To keep the pressure on,
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 "").

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).

Iraq. Treaties. April 10th,
US Senator Joe Biden outlined the basics:

We will hear today about the two agreements that the Administration is negotiating with Iraq which were anticipated in the November Declaration. On Tuesday, Ambassador Crocker told us that these agreements would set forth the "vision" -- his phrase -- of our bilateral relationship with Iraq. One agreement is a "strategic framework agreement" that will include the economic, political and security issues outlined in the Declaration of Principles. The document might be better titled "What the United States will do for Iraq," because it consists mostly of a series of promises that flow in one direction -- promises by the United States to a sectarian government that has thus far failed to reach the political compromises necessary to have a stable country. We're told that the reason why we're not continuing under the UN umbrella is because the Iraqis say they have a sovereign country. But they don't want a Status of Forces Agreement because that flows two ways. The Administration tells us it's not binding, but the Iraqi parliament is going to think it is. The second agreement is what Administration officials call a "standard" Status of Forces Agreement, which will govern the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, including their entry into the country and the immunities to be granted to them under Iraqi law. Unlike most SOFAs, however, it would permit U.S. forces -- for the purposes of Iraqi law -- to engage in combat operations and detain insurgents. In other words, to detain people that we think are bad guys. I don't know any of the other nearly 90 Status of Forces Agreements that would allow a U.S. commander to arrest anyone he believes is a bad guy.

On the Status Of Force Agreement,
Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that "member of the two ruling Shiite parties" in the Iraqi Parliament are stating "the United States is demanding 58 bases" and quotes Jalal al Din al Saghir explaining, "The points that were put forth by the Americans were more abdominable that occupation. We were occupied by the order of the Security Counil. But now we are being asked to sign for our own occupation. That is why we have absolutely refused all that we have seen so far." Rob Corbidge (The Scotsman) cites the bases as "the most obvious physical legacy". The Status Of Force Agreement is to replace the 2004 UN authorization which neither the White House or the puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, wants to renew. (al-Maliki ignored the Parliament and the Constitution twice to renew it previously.) That authorization ends at the end of this year. Were it not renewed, there would be no cover for the US to remain in Iraq. As Nazila Fathi and Richard A. Oppel Jr. (New York Times) point out that the SOFA has "become a major political issue, further splitting Shiite allies of Mr. Maliki and the political movement of Moktada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric." al-Sadr has made clear his opposition to the SOFA and is calling for demonstrations every Friday to show objections to it. AP reports, "The Bush administartion is conceding for the first time that the United States might not finish a complex security agreement with Iraq before President Bush leaves office. Faced with stiff Iraqi opposition, it is 'very possible' the United States might have to extend an existing U.N. mandate, said a senior administration official close to the talks. That would mean major decisions about how U.S. forces operate in Iraq could be left to the next president, including how much authority the United States must give Iraqis over military operations and how quickly the handover takes place." Howard LaFranchi (Christian Science Monitor) maintains that a big obstacle is the "growing economic and political relationship" Iraq has "with Tehran" that's become the obstacle. As Ashraf Khali (Los Angeles Times) points out, "Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki concluded a three-day visit to Iran after meeting Monday with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who warned that the continued presence of U.S. troops was 'the main obstacle on the way to progress and prosperity in Iraq'."

Dropping back to
the August 28, 2007 snapshot:

James Glanz and Eric Schmitt (New York Times) report . . . "federal agencies are investigating a widening network of criminal cases involving the purchasing and delivery of billions of dollars of weapons, supplies and other materiel to Iraqi and American forces" -- "the largest ring of fruad and kickbacks uncovered in the conflict here". Among those under investigation is "a senior American officer [Lt. Com. Levonda Joey Selph] who worked closely with Gen. David H. Petraeus in setting up the logistics operation to supply the Iraqi forces when General Petraeus was in charge of training and equipping those forces in 2004 and 2005". The reporters cite an August 18th interview with Petraeus where he explained "he made a decision not to wait for formal tracking systems to be put in place before distributing weapons". There is no tracking system for the tax payer dollars and no tracking system within Iraq where the weapons were apparently passed around like candy. (US arms already glut the blackmarket in Iraq.) Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted that the "investigation includes the Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Department of Justice, the FBI and others. The senior officer, Lt. Col. Levonda Joey Selph, worked closely with General Petraeus to set up logistic services for Iraqi forces." And in response to that, Pauline Jelinek (AP) reports, "The Pentagon is sending a team of investigators to Iraq because of the growing number of cases of fraud and other irregularities in contracts involving weapons and supplies for Iraqi forces."

November 11th,
Eric Schmitt, Ginger Thompson, Margot Williams and James Glanz (New York Times) reported on the latest when Levonda Joey Selph's was visited by the paper at her Virginia hom and "Selph would say only that she was not guilty of any wrongdoing, and she said she was under orders not to speak to the press." AP reports Selph entered guilty pleas "to bribery and conspiracy in U.S. District Court" today and that "Selph admitted she leaked confidential government information about the contract to the head of the winning contracting company and helped him submit phony bid packages on behalf of six separate companies he controlled 'to create the appearance of competition, when, in fact, no competition existed.' In return, she was paid $4,000 by the contractor and took a trip with his wife to Thailand during which he paid $5,000 for Selph's airfare and accommodations." Everyone lives high on the hog except the Iraqi people. As Naomi Klein has documented, the Iraq War, for the White House, has been very much about""Baghdad Year Zero" -- where they would take an existing system, reduce it to rubble and rebuild it into their neocon, economic wet dream. [Also see Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism.] One of the non-stop efforts on the part of the US has been attacks on the rations system. Prior to the illegal war, Iraqis had ratiions card that the guaranteed the people basic necessities. Attempts to do away with them weren't working out so it's been a process of chip away bit by bit. Dropping back to the December 4th snapshot for the most recent attack: "The United Nations' IRIN reports that Abid Falah al-Soodani (Trade Minister) announced yesterday that, starting next month, 'the quantity of national food rations delivered freely to all Iraqi families will be futher reduced -- from 10 to five items.' Now let's be clear, this isn't just halfing the food supplies. He told the Iraqi Parliament that the five items provided will be provided in lower numbers. Here's what's getting cut out: tea, beans, children's milk, soap detergent and tomato paste. Here's what's getting reduced: rice, sugar, cooking oil, flour and milk for adults. What a way to say, "Welcome Home!" And to be clear, despite the lies, this has nothing to do with a government 'shortfall.' This is about ending the subsidies which Paul Bremer already tried once. The Iraqi government has more money than they spend at this point (though a great deal ends up in personal pockets) and this claim that they can't afford to supply children with milk is nothing but a lie." Today IRIN reports that Iraq's Ministry of Trade is floting a new plan that will mean more cuts but just of "those with high incomes". In the midst of an ongoing, illegal war and in a country with unemployment rates in excess of 60% since 2006?

Turning to readily acknowledged violence . . .

Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing wounded four police officres, while another wounded two civilians and a Salahuddin Province roadside bombing claimed the life of "[t]he tribal leader of the AIBu Nasir clan" and wounded the leader's driver and two bodyguards. Reuters notes a grenade bombing on a home that left four family members injured and a Suq al-Shiyukh roadside bombing that claimed the life "of a member of the provincial council" and left four bodyguards injured.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports unknown assailants attacked an accountant in Salahuddin Province and stole $60,000. Reuters notes 2 people shot dead in Mosul.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad.

Turning to US politics. This morning (no links to trash) Taylor Marsh declared that Senator Hillary Clinton had released her delegates -- no release took place -- and instead of saying, "Oops! My bad!" she wants to insist this afternoon it doesn't matter. The word "release" has a particular meaning in this context and if Marsh isn't smart enough to grasp that or how to say "My bad!", she really needs to find a topic other than electoral politics to cover. She also has taken it upon herself to act as if she's speaking for the Hillary campaign and for Hillary herself. Taylor Marsh is not speaking for the campaign or for Hillary.
Elaine addressed Taylor Marsh last night and, as Elaine points out, Marsh is no feminist. No delegates have been "released." The convention is in August. A candidate would be very foolish to release delegates. In 2004, Dennis Kucinich gave a lot of promises and kept none of them at the convention. If he'd had a significant number of delegates, he could have made a difference. Any candidate would hold on to their delegates if only to ensure that issues will be addressed.

Bonnie Erbe (US News & World Reports) points out: "The Democratic National Committee either doesn't get it or refuses to admit it. Nothing short of a lengthy, detailed mea culpa by the DNC and by Obama himself, directed to Clinton supporters for the sexist name-calling and personal, nasty characterizations Clinton was alone forced to endure, will do. Even that may not persuade these voters to consider supporting the party this fall. The DNC, Democratic Party leaders in Congress, and Obama should have been at her side, calling her treatment by the media (and even by some Obama supporters) unacceptable." Erbe points out that Barack misses the point appearing on CNN and also note the rush on the part of the media to say that it's all water under the bridge. And she points out the obvious: No one knows what Hillary supporters will do this fall if she is not on the ticket.

Though the media and the Obama campaign want to pretend this is over, there's no reason to hold that belief. Hillary gave a great speech Saturday. That helped Hillary. Her supporters waited to see some positive feedback from Barack and the DNC 'leaders' . . . and waited . . . and waited. This went beyond Hillary a long time ago. Probably around the time the thugs (Robert Scheer, Robert Parry, et al) went after Gloria Steinem and then thought they could turn Robin Morgan into part of the circus as well. Around that time it became 'acceptable' for White Males to show up with columns lecturing women that they shouldn't vote for Hillary -- as the PIGS assumed women would only vote for Hillary because she was a woman. And, strangely, the same White males, so quick to write "Don't vote on gender!" columns, never wrote "Don't vote on race!" columns. Get it? They were afraid to go that far but they were more than comfortable trying to shove women around in the public square. Next was the Obama's campaign's embrace of homophobia because what's more 'hopeful' than spreading lies that the LGBT community 'recruits' and children must be protected from them? It's confusing to faux feminists, but real feminists don't condone that b.s. And it is not going away. The LGBT factor especially is boiling right now and will continue to do so.
It's Gay Pride Month. Poor little Sharon Smith, she can't write about that. Laura Flanders and Betsy Reed wanted to talk about homophobia . . . in terms of how it hurt John Edwards (a straight male). They're hypocrites but people catch on. These things are not going away and the DNC and Barack seem to think they'll just vanish. I'd love to know what they're basing that on because it's not based on any real world event. And on women, Bonnie Erbe isn't making predictions. One reason for that, as people who watch PBS' To The Contrary know, Erbe speaks to a vareity of women -- far, far from any echo chamber.

Ralph Nader is running for the presidency. Matt Gonzalez is his running mate.
As Team Nader points out, Friday's AP polling showed Nader at 6%: "And that's Nader at six percent with virtually no mainstream national press coverage." It should be added, that's Nader at six percent when the campaign's main focus right now is ballot access (meaning Nader has to raise his candidacy and ballot access while Dems and Repubes only have to get the word out on their campaigns). Brian Montopoli (CBS News) notes a CNN - Opinion Research Corporation poll that also found Nader at 6%. Ann Marie Somma (Hartford Courtant) reports on Nader's stop in Middletown, Conn where he spoke to "about 60 supporters at First Church of Christ" and told them, "Corporations have hijacked our government, turned Washington, D.C., into a corporate-occupied territory." Bill Coleman (Burlington Free Press) maintains, "In reality, the worthiest of candidates, namely Ralph Nader, is disregarded from the outset because the election of someone such as Mr. Nader would bring about a true day of reckoning for American corporations. . . . Yes, Ralph Nader supports an end to corporate personhood in contrast to Barack Obama or John McCain, whose campaigns are awash in contributions from corporate America. The differences between Mr. Nader and the candidates that you are permitted to read about or see on television each day are very far reaching and vast. For well over 30 years Mr. Nader has been actively supporting major cuts in military spending while Mr. Obama says that he wants to 'strengthen the military' and McCain also supports the extension of the U.S. oil empire." Patti Smith is doing her part for the Nader campaign and click here for a video of her at a campaign event at Cooper Union last month. Nader was in Cambridge over the weekend and Michael Horan (No Supper Tonight) posts the video and takes on the nonsense of a Nation editorial: "My initial reaction: somebody's not paying attention. Because I can answer that question without qualification, having watched Ralph Nader get up in front of a small crowd at First Parish Church in Cambridge Friday night and discuss each and every one of these issues. Head-on. (Along with tax reform, electoral reform, Palestine, the voting age, single payor healthcare, and etcetera). Issues that neither Obama or Hillary are going to acknowledge, much less address . The question isn't 'who is willing to point out the veritable herd of elephants in the room, and, great, stinking beshitted angry elephants at that?'; the question is why on earth The Nation and its readership, since they apparently share precisely the same ideals, refuse to acknowledge the obvious answer. Of course, what The Nation is really asking is, 'what magnificently-funded Democratic candidate bearing the corporate nihil obstat and the Wall Street imprimatur is raising these issues?' To which the answer is, such a beast does not, cannot exist in nature, and the absurdity of of asking this basilisk beast to bite the hand that feeds it-or rather, to devour its keeper whole--is patently obvious."

Team Nader notes: "They say it's a foregone conclusion that either Obama or McCain will win the November election. After all, Obama and McCain are the odds on favorites to win. On the other hand. If you believe in betting against the crumbling corporate controlled two-party system. Then you have a choice. The long shot independent - Nader/Gonzalez. (Of course, if you bet and win, all that you will get is a shift of power from the big corporations back to the people. Not bad for politics.)"

iraqcorey glass
liam lahey
walter pincusthe washington post
mcclatchy newspapersleila fadelrob corbidgehoward lafranchinazila fathirichard a. oppel jr.the new york timesashraf khalilthe los angeles times