"Record Number of Women Running in State Elections"
A record number of women are running for state legislative seats this year, with 10 percent more women candidates running than in 2004. According to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University, 2,431 women are running for state legislative seats. The former record of 2,375 was set in 1992, the "Year of the Woman," when women's organizations made an effort to turn out women voters and women's representation made the largest increase in the US Congress. In addition to state legislative seats, large numbers of women are also running for statewide executive offices. Ten women are running for governor, and 93 women won a party nomination for other positions such as lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and state treasurer, Women's eNews reports. While these numbers do not break the 1994 record of 109 women running for statewide office, they do come close.
that's from feminist wire daily. i haven't heard much about the above news which is rather strange considering how much i've heard about various other demographic characteristics of candidates in the last few weeks.
i don't vote 'woman.' that's because not every woman is pro-woman. i had a friend who voted 'woman' in the so-called 'year of the woman' and she was so proud of herself. i pointed out the fact that by voting that straight ticket, she voted for anti-choice women. she couldn't believe it until we went over each woman that she voted for. that was 1992. hopefully, we're all smarter now. there are women who are anti-woman and would like nothing better than to turn back the clock of progress. so vote wisely.
reading the e-mails today, i was glad to see that the 'healing power' of bo derek worked for so many. she's so hideous in fashion house that just watching picks you up. ava and c.i.'s review remains a classic ('TV: Bo provides the B.O. stinking up Fashion House'). today in the arts section of the new york times, alessandra stanley also weighed in with 'high drama, little spirit in a season of telenovas.' stanley compares fashion house (and desire) to dynasty and falcon crest and notes: 'ms. fairchild, who actually was on "falcon crest," wears huge hats and tight suits to play a selfish, conniving sexpot-of-a-certain-age.' i didn't remember fairchild on falcon crest so i called c.i. she was on one season. she played a character who was the victim of incest while she was a child and was dealing with that as an adult. c.i. noted she was also on dallas (she was jenna wade before priscilla presley) and, of course, first got america's attention with her role as constance in flamingo road. i'd forgotten, until c.i. jogged my memory, that she'd played racine on the tv prime time soap opera paper dolls. joan collins played the role in the mini-series or tv movie (i forget which) and when it was turned into a tv series, morgan fairchild took over the role.
she's also done a lot of sitcom spots: mork & mindy, roseanne, friends (as chandler's mother), that 70s show, cybill, dharma & greg and there is more.
i really like fairchild. she always brings something to her scenes. in terms of looks, i've been jealous of hair for years. it looks so thick.
every 1 who e-mailed noted that they had a hard time taking it episodes without fairchild and i'd agree with that. i couldn't watch fashion house regularly without her either.
returning to the topic of the elections, i'll note robert parry's 'How Democrats Might Blow It' (consortium news):
As Democrats go through their biennial rite of premature victory celebrations, they are inviting defeat again by obsessing on polls about how many congressional seats are "in play" rather than on explaining to the American people what a Republican victory on Nov. 7 would mean to the nation.
In the last three elections, George W. Bush has claimed mandates for his policies even when there were questions about the legitimacy of Republican victories. In Election 2000, Bush brushed aside the fact that he lost the popular vote to Al Gore and pressed ahead with a right-wing agenda.
The Republican congressional victories in Election 2002 convinced Bush that the voters were behind his plans for "preemptive" wars. He called Election 2004 his "accountability moment," ratifying both his invasion of Iraq and his expansion of executive powers.
So, there should be little illusion how Bush would interpret a Republican upset victory on Nov. 7. It would be taken as a public embrace of his authoritarian vision for America's future and as an endorsement of the neoconservative commitment to wage "World War III" against Islamic militants around the world.
If the GOP keeps control of Congress, Bush would be strongly tempted to double up on his bloody wager in Iraq with military attacks on Iran and Syria. That expanded war would guarantee reprisals by radicalized Muslims around the world and thus draw the United States into a virtually endless conflict.
At home, the consequences of indefinite war would be fatal, too, to the already wounded American democratic Republic. Bush would translate a GOP victory into public acceptance of his de facto elimination of key constitutional rights and his creation of an imperial presidency.
Though the major U.S. news outlets have paid scant attention - and the Democrats have mostly ducked the issue - Bush already has put in place the framework for a modern-day totalitarian state.
Operating under Bush's assertion of "plenary" - or unlimited - presidential authority, his administration has devised a system of electronic eavesdropping that can pry into the private lives of Americans; has set up arrangements for detention camps; and has secured from Congress the power to detain American citizens for allegedly aiding U.S. enemies.
i agree with parry's comments, especially about how bully boy's already set up the stage for a totalitarian country. but since i'm talking elections, let me note something from the green party as well. you may be voting for a green candidate and have decided that long ago. you may have 2 people running that you're unimpressed with. you might not have even thought about voting for a green. it's something to consider and i hope every 1 who is old enough to vote (i know a lot of my readers aren't) will be weighing their vote. this is 'Latino Green Candidates Lead on Immigrants' & Labor Rights:'
Green Party of the United States
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, firstname.lastname@example.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, email@example.com
Latino Green candidates lead on immigration, call for living wages and repeal of 'three strikes' law
Repeal of NAFTA urged; sharp criticism for U.S.-Mexico 'security wall'
List of Latino Green candidates included below
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Latino Green candidates for congressional, statewide, and local office in the 2006 election have taken the lead on civil rights, immigration, labor rights and living wages, and numerous other issues.
In California, Peter Camejo, the Green candidate for Governor <http://www.votecamejo.com>, has strongly criticized his state's 'three strikes' law. Mr. Camejo initiated and is serving as spokesperson for the campaign to free Santos Reyes, who was convicted six years ago for cheating by taking a DMV test for a relative <http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0914-07.htm>.
Mr. Reyes was convicted at age 17 back in 1981 for stealing a radio and at 22 for robbery; after serving time he had no offenses for the next 11 years, found a job, and raised a family.
"It's no secret that life sentences, 'three-strikes' laws, and the death penalty fall disproportionately on Latinos, immigrants, African Americans, and other people of color and the poor," said Liz Arnone, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and an immigrant to the U.S. "Greens call this a civil rights issue. We believe that justice begins with making punishment commensurate with the seriousness of the crime. Otherwise, it means punishment for being the wrong color or not having enough money."
Greens have called for full human rights and amnesty for undocumented immigrants, and have blamed the passage of trade agreements like NAFTA for the increased flow of immigrants across the U.S.'s southern border.
"If we want to curb the number of undocumented immigrants, the first step must be repeal of NAFTA, which forced people all over Mexico into poverty and desperation," said David Minton Silva, Green candidate for California State Assembly (District 34, Tulare) <http://home.comcast.net/~greensurfer2/greensurfer2.html>.
"We must renegotiate with Mexico and Canada for a real 'fair trade agreement' that would provide for livable wages. Working people and families throughout North America would prosper, and there would be little need to sneak across borders. The worst things we can do are to enact vicious punitive measures against undocumented immigrants and those who assist them, or erect a medieval 'security wall' -- which passed in the Senate with a bipartisan 80-19 majority."
"We must look to the root causes of immigration -- our government's meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations for corporate profit, disastrous free trade agreements such as NAFTA, and economic strangulation and destabilization by the U.S. government of nations who decide to take matters into their own hands and care for their citizens, as opposed to having their national policy decided in Washington," said Paul Aranas, Oregon Green candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in District 5 <http://www.votearanas.org>.
Mr. Aranas noted Public Citizen's critical report on NAFTA's ten-year track record <http://www.citizen.org/trade/nafta>.
Other Latino Green candidates on the November 7 ballot:
Ricardo Costa, for California State Assembly (District 44, Los Angeles) http://www.vote4ricardo.net
Pamela Elizondo, for U.S. House of Representatives, California (District 1) http://sonomagreenparty.org/pages/hotstuff/gpsc_election_main.shtml
Francisco Romero, California, for Oxnard City Council http://allpowertothepeople.org
Joseph Sanchez, for Maryland House of Delegates (District 36)
Edgar Rodriguez (incumbent), for School Committee, New Paltz Central School District, Ulster, New York
Anita Rios, for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio http://www.bobforohio.com
'Logan Martinez, for Ohio State House of Representatives (District 39) http://www.votelogan.org
Green Party of the United States
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41GREENFax 202-319-7193
now if you're 1 of the readers who can't vote, that doesn't mean you shouldn't pay attention and that doesn't mean that you have no power. if there's a candidate you believe in, you can volunteer. or you can talk her or him up to people you know who are old enough to vote. c.i. was debating before voting, going around and supporting candidates by debating their merits against some 1 in favor of another candidate. if i'm remembering right, that was in junior high. (i found out about that in college when i visited during a break and i flipped through some photo books.) i'm not guilt tripping you but i had an e-mail from a young guy who wrote about how he wished he could vote this election (he turns 18 a week after the election) and he felt like he was left out. he already knows who he would vote for so my advice to him was to go down to the local campaign office and ask what he could do.
so i'm attempting to think of some things and if you're doing something to turn out the vote even though you will not be able to vote, drop me an e-mail and we'll note it.
but elections are just a prelude. i would love to see the dems take the house. but if they do, that doesn't mean we wake up the next day and every thing's wonderful and great. it just means maybe we've got a chance of being heard if we make our statements loud enough.
elaine and i were talking about this on the phone with betty last week and we were talking about how disappointed we were with the clinton administration. 1 thing we remember, besides the triangulating, was the right wing was organized. they contacted senators and congress members. they made sure their voices were heard. i think we too often make the mistake of thinking, 'oh i voted for her/him and they agree with me so my job is done.' that's not the case.
i want you to picture yourself in congress for a moment. there's an abortion vote coming up. you're going through the summaries of the calls, letters and e-mails and you're seeing all this stuff, the majority, saying abortion should be illegal.
is that going to influence your vote?
that's not the majority opinion - that abortion should be illegal. but that's 1 of the issues the right works like crazy. my opinion, a lot of candidates look at the summaries and think, 'oh the national polls must not apply to my areas, my constituents are all against abortion.' that's not true but if that's the only group that's bothering to weigh in, it can appear true. so what we need to do, on reproductive rights and other issues, is to make sure that we make ourselves heard.
we also need to realize that a lot of 'brave' candidates go soft when they get into office. it's our job to make sure they stay strong.
it's even more important that we remember we have the power. congress doesn't 'give' anything. they act when they're forced to. we can apply the pressure (and should). and that means standing up.
so no 1 should think that even if the dems won both houses of congress, that every thing is wonderful. politicians only act when they're forced to and there are other ways to be heard than just through the ballot box.
or just e-mailing, letter writing or phone calling. we need to be prepared and willing for mass mobilization. when reproductive rights supporters gather in d.c. it is noted. when people gather to protest the war, it is noted.
and more important than just congress noting, people notice.
so those are my election thoughts tonight. obviously, my ballot will be heavy on democrats. i have 1 green in a race that i will be supporting but otherwise i'm going strictly democrat. if you're voting straight ticket green party or straight ticket democrat, good for you. i did look at all the candidates and was honestly hoping there would be more greens in my area. that didn't end up being the case. but i did look at all running. (i'm on the fence about 1 and might go green in that race as well.)
remember that you're voting for more than congress. there are state races (noted at the top), there are local races, there are ballot measures. on that, please don't guess. if your ballot offers a measure in full, read it carefully. most won't. if you haven't looked into the issue beforehand or had a freind you really trust break it down for you, don't vote on the measure. they're usually carefully worded on the ballot so that they seem to say 1 thing but actually say another.
closing with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Tuesday, October 24, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the US military announces the deaths of more US troops today, a US soldier is missing in Baghdad, CNN becomes the first news outlet to call the 2,800 marker, the people of England, Iraq and the United States do not support the illegal war and 65 active duty US soldiers call for an end to the war.
In England, Julian Glover, Richard Norton-Taylor and Patrick Wintour (Guardian of London) report on a Guardian/ICM poll which found: "A clear majority of voters want British troops to be pulled out of Iraq by the end of this year, regardless of the consequences for the country" and that the breakdown is only 30% stand with the soon to be bailing ship Tony Blair's position of "as long as is considered necessary" while "61% of voters say they want British troops to leave this year, even if they have not completed their mission and Washington wants them to stay." The results are an increse of ten percent of respondents saying it's time to leave since the poll was last done in September 2005. In addition, Reuters notes, of the poll, that "72 percent felt the Iraq war was 'unwinnable.'"
On the other side of the Atlantic ocean, CNN reports on a new poll by to determine American attitudes about the war which has found that only "[o]ne in five Americans believes the United States is winning the war in Iraq," that 64% of respondent opposed the illegal war, and thtat 57% of respondeds "want the United States to announce it will pull all troops out by a certain date."
Both polls reflect continued trends in their countries (as backed up by polling for the last year). In addition, as Amy Goodman noted at the top of today's Democracy Now! and Aileen Alfandary noted on today's KPFA's The Morning Show, 65 active duty service members have contacted Congress. Goodman: "For the first time since the invasion, a group of 65 active duty service members are formally asking Congress to end the U.S. occupation and bring the troops home." The topic was raised Monday in the White House press briefing and White House flack Tony Snow job dismissed it:
Q Tony, quick -- there's 65 active duty troops that are coming out with a letter today, saying they think the occupation should end, and they're saying that -- this is part of the military whistle blower. Any reaction to that?
MR. SNOW: Well, number one, it's a Fenton Communications job, which means clearly it's got a political edge to it. But number two it's not unusual for soldiers in a time of war to have some misgivings. I believe at least two of them have served in Iraq proper, active duty. We don't know how many have actually served --
Q I think the majority of them have.
MR. SNOW: But let's say they all did. You also have more than -- you have several hundred thousand who served in Iraq. You have reenlistment rates that have exceeded goals in all the military. You've had a number of people serving multiple tours of duty. And it appears that there's considerable --
Q They don't have much choice.
MR. SNOW: Well, no, I mean they do have choice. If you've got a chance to sign up or not sign up, and you decide that you're going to sign up again and go serve in Iraq, it means it means something to you. And so I believe that there is also -- you get 65 guys who are, unfortunately -- no, not unfortunately -- 65 people who are going to be able to get more press than the hundreds of thousands who have come back and said they're proud of their service.
"Hundreds of thousands who have come back"? Does Snow Job know how many have served in Iraq and returned? His comments do not indicate that he does.
In Iraq, polling has consistently found that the majority wants all foreign troops out and the most recent poll to back that up was conducted by the US State Department. Katherine Shrader (AP) noted that the polling focused on "Iraqi youth" and found the majority opinion to be that "security would improve and violence decrease if U.S.-led forces left immediately," that "strong majorities" expressed opposition to the option that they might join the either the Iraq military or the Iraq police and that "nine out of 10 young Iraqi Arabas said they see the U.S. and allied forces in Iraq as an occupying force."
The perception is not going away and certain events add to it. Reuters reports: "U.S. troops pulled over a fire truck and killed four Iraqi firefighters in a case of mistaken identity on Monday after a report that a fire truck had been hijacked in western Falluja, the military said. The firefighters, whom U.S. troops first believed were armed insurgents, were responding to a call." Al Jazeera reports that the "killings happened . . . when the unarmed firefighters got out of their vehicle and were fired upon by US soldiers."
Reuters notes two Iraqi soldiers died and another was wounded in Kirkuk by a roadisde bomb while two other roadside bombs left five people wounded. CNN reports: "Five Iraqis also were killed in three incidents Tuesday in the capital. A bomb exploded in a parked car near a Shiite mosque in northwestern Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 12 others, Baghdad emergency police said. An Iraqi civilian was killed and seven others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in a central Baghdad market."
Al Jazeera reports that Ala Ghleim was shot dead in Amara as was Hussein Salah in another attack (a home invasion) which also "left two of his brothers wounded." Both of the men who were killed were police officers. Later, Al Jazeera updated the number of police officers shot dead in Amara to four. CNN notes two people were shot dead in Baghdad and seven more wounded.
CNN notes eight corpses were discovered in Baghdad ("riddled with bullters").
Meanwhile an American soldier is missing. Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) reported that he "went missing in Baghdad on Monday night" according to the US military and that a search was ongoing. Ellen Knickmeyer (Washington Post) noted that "residents said American forces had sealed the central Karrada district and were conducting door-to-door searches, according to the Associated Press." AFP reports the soldier is "an American of Iraqi descent" and that Al-Forat television network was searched in addition to "neighbouring houses". Al Jazeera reports: "On Tuesday, the US military said that the soldier, a linguist assigned to a reconstruction team, was handcuffed and forced into a vehicle" and that he had left the Green Zone to visit "a relative's house in Baghdad outside the Green Zone." The US military's press release summarizes the events as follows: "It is believed that the Soldier left the IZ to visit with family. He was reportedly at a relative's house at the time of the abduction when three cars pulled up to the residence. The men, who were described to have dark colored rags over their noses and mouths, handcuffed the Soldier and forced him into one of the vehicles. The Soldier's relative, who claimed to be at the residence when the abduction occurred, was reported contacted by the kidnappers using the Soldier's cell phone. After being notified of the telephonic contact, MND-B leaders immediately took decisive actions to locate the Soldier."
Since the US military is now claiming all the above was known Monday night, one may wonder why they didn't bother to inform the press. They had stated that the name was not being released until the soldier's family could be contacted -- are we to believe the relative in Baghdad did not contact them? Are we also to believe that there was some 'value' in not identifying the soldier as an American of Iraqi descent which would have allowed the number fearing that it was a Baghdad soldier they knew or were related to be narrowed considerably?
Turning to US military fatalities, as noted at the top, CNN was the first news organization to note that the number of US military fatalities had hit the 2800 mark.
Iraq Coalition Casualties currently puts the fatality count at 2803. Depending on the time zone of the intended audience for the report, three to four US troops have been announced dead today. The US military has released two press releases on Tuesday declaring deaths: a sailor was killed in Al-Anabar Province Monday, and two Marines were killed in Al-Anbar Province on Monday as well. Some reports count a release that went out late Monday noting the Sunday death of a US soldier in Baghdad from an IED.
In peace news, last week war resister Corey Glass spoke publicly about his decision to self-check out of the US military and relocate to Canada. The CBC reports that Glass noted that early on, "[Army officials] stopped by my parents' place to try to find me. Somehow they must have gotten hold of my stuff that I'd left [behind] and started calling numbers they found." Glass was speaking at the Tilley Hall Auditorium at the University of New Brunswick. IMC Maritimes notes that "Glass joined the National Guard in Indiana in 2002, thinking he would be doing things like filling sand bags to stop a flood on American soil. Instead, he was sent to Iraq, and discovered he couldn't fight a war he didn't believe in. When he was given a two-week leave to return home, he deserted. After seven months in hiding, he fled to Tornoto where he is seeking refugee status." Glass has stated (in September): "I knew the war was wrong before I went, but I was going to fulfil my end of the bargain, right or wrong and eventually my conscience just caught up with me. . . I felt horrible for being a part of it. If I could apologise to those people [Iraqis], every single on, I would."
Also in peace news, peace activist Cindy Sheehan will be speaking at the University of Iowa (Macbride Auditorium, 7:30 pm) while Sunday, Michael Yoder (The Intelligencer Journal) reports, Ray McGovern spoke at the Lancaster Church of the Brethren in Penn. noting, of Iraq, : "We need to call lies 'lies'."
Turning to the land of fiction and myth. The US administration continues to be jaw-dropping amazing in the worst way possible. After hair splitting over the definition of milestone and hair splitting over the defenition of deadline, the administration, as reported by Jim Rutenberg and David S. Cloud (New York Times), has decided one thing they will drop is the phrase "stay the course." The dropping should not be read as a sign of embracing reality, just dropping a slogan that's no longer marketing well. Proving that they hold reality at arms length, Mark Tran (Guardian of London) reports that the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad (who did such a bang-up job with Afghanistan!) says the 'success' is still within reach in Iraq. As Sam Knight (Times of London) notes, "benchmarks," not deadlines, are the buzz of the day. Appearing with Khalilzad was George Casey ("top US general") and Paul Reynolds (BBC) notes that they are both "predicting an improvement in Iraq in 12-18 months". Reynolds observes: "The problem for General Casey is that he has said all this before. In July 2005 he predicted major troop withdrawals by this summer, only to have to accept today that he had to reverse that trend when summer came because the Iraqis could not cope with the surge of sectarian violence in Baghdad. He even said today that he would ask for more troops if necessary."
On Kahlilzad, AFP reminds: "In July of this year Khalilzad had said that the 'next six months will be critical for Iraq'". Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post) wants you not to be fooled should a man in a Jack Murtha mask come to your door on Halloween because it's really Joe Lieberman: "Lieberman has been trying out his costume on the campaign trail in Connecticut, desperately trying to trick voters into thinking that he's against the war so he treat himself to their support. . . . Lieberman clearly hopes that by paying lip service to being against the war he can confuse voters into forgetting that he was a lead sponsor of the resolution authorizing the war, has been a bellicose backer of the president's failed policy ever since -- repeatedly voting against efforts to change course in Iraq -- and continues to attack Ned Lamont for working to end the war."
While the people can see reality (note the polling at the top), leadership refuses to. Tony Blair makes the illegal war a point of "nerve." John Howard, prime minister of Australia, says to depart would mean "no hope of demomcracy." This despite the rumors that Howard has no intention of 'staying the course' and would turn over leadership to Peter Costello if his party wins in the upcoming elections. Elections? The Labor Party is arguing for pulling Australian troops out of Iraq. Australia's ABC reports Robert McLelland ('defence spokesman") stating: "There's every indication that the presence of Western troops is actually something that inflames the violence itself. It's just not working -- there has to be alternative solutions."
Now that McLelland has transitioned us back into reality, David Goldstein (McClatchy Newspapers) reports on a recent study of Vet Centers in the US: "The report last week from the Democratic staff of the House Veterans Affairs Committee said demand had risen for outreach and other services at nearly a third of the centers because of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan." The report, entitled "House Veterans' Committe Report Concludes VA Counseling Center Services At-Risk," is available online.
Finally, in other reality news, Philip Webster (Times of London) reports that Margaret Beckett (Britain's Foreign Secretary) "acknowledged the limitations to what could be achieved by coalition forces. She also accepted that the invasion might come to be judged as a foreign policy disaster for Britain."