read kat's 'NOW members endorse Dennis Kucinich' a.s.a.p. i am happy to sign off on that. in addition, my days of donating to now are over until the demonstrate they are committed to peace. endorsing hillary clinton alone calls that into question. the fact that they have also elected to 'disappear' the white dove that's illustrated the slogan 'peace is a feminist issue' as they rush to endorse hillary clinton calls their committment to peace into question in my mind.
and let's be clear on this because the media will tell you tomorrow that the national organization for women endorsed hillary clinton - no such thing happened. the now pac endorsed hillary clinton and did so without, apparently, consulting the over 500,000 now members.
since this site started, i don't think any 1 would ever assume i would endorse hillary clinton. now pac, however, appears to have made that decision. if the peace issue continues to be sidelined, i will be following trina's lead and becoming a former member of now.
had now polled members and the candidate who received the most votes gotten an endorsement, i'd be okay with it. but, despite the statement issued, now itself has not endorsed (and legally cannot endorse). the now pac is endorsing hillary clinton.
i really do hope that each and every now member will make known their own endorsement - even if it's mitt romney for some. the now pac should not presume to speak for a membership of now that was never polled on the issue.
Dennis Kucinich is where to go for information on a candidate really trying to end the war and committed to peace.
turning to the alberto gonzales scandal, as cedric's 'Return of the scapegoat' and wally's 'ROLL OVER ALBERTO! SAMPSON ROLLS OVER ON YOU!' notes, kyle sampson's prepared remarks (to be delivered tomorrow to the senate judiciary committee) contains the admission that the firings were over politics. sampson sees nothing wrong with that.
alberto gonzales has, of course, maintained that they were not political. tony snow and the white house have maintained that the federal prosecutors were fired for job performance.
sampson's testimony tomorrow destroys that lie. it does even more damage because the white house has potrayed sampson as the leader on this - going so far as to deny that alberto had any knowledge (which is a lie that's also now been exposed).
having established sampson as a leader on this issue, the white house should have a very difficult time dismissing sampson's testimony.
this is from the opening of robert parry's 'Rise of a Very "loyal Bushie"' (consortium news):
If you want to know what the career path of a "loyal Bushie" looks like, let me introduce you to J. Timothy Griffin, a Karl Rove protege who was slipped into the post of U.S. Attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas, and now is at the center of the controversy over whether the Bush administration has sought to politicize federal prosecutions.
Since college, the 38-year-old Griffin has been following the stations of the cross for a Republican legal/political operative with ambitions to rise to a position of power and influence in a government like the one headed by George W. Bush.
Griffin has pretty much touched them all -- the Federalist Society, work for a Clinton-era special prosecutor, the Florida recount battle in 2000, opposition research and voter security duties for the Republican National Committee in Campaign 2004, a brief tour as a military lawyer in Iraq, a deputy in Karl Rove’s political shop at the White House.
But now this carefully groomed Republican operative stands out as Exhibit A for Democrats as they contend that the Bush administration imposed political litmus tests on federal prosecutors who wield enormous power over the lives of those they investigate. A U.S. Attorney not only has wide discretion over normal prosecutions but can tip a political race by either shutting down or starting up a criminal probe.
Beyond being the personification of proof that Bush put political loyalty over legal competence, Griffin has become the test case for the use of new emergency powers in the Patriot Act to circumvent Senate confirmation for U.S. Attorneys.
The administration's gamble on Griffin was underscored by an e-mail in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's chief of staff Kyle Sampson warned that "there is some risk that we'll lose the [Patriot Act] authority, but if we don't ever exercise it then what's the point of having it?"
Sampson's e-mail added, "I'm not 100 percent sure that Tim was the guy on which to test drive this authority, but know that getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc." references to White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and then-White House counsel Harriet Miers.
Sampson also mapped out plans for frustrating any congressional objections to Griffin's interim appointment.
"We should gum this to death," Sampson wrote in a Dec. 19, 2006, e-mail to a White House aide. "Ask the senators to give Tim a chance . . . then we can tell them we'll look for other candidates, ask them for recommendations, evaluate the recommendations, interview their candidates, and otherwise run out the clock. All of this should be done in 'good faith,' of course."
part of the conspiracy to put 1 over on the american people and the congress while sidestepping the congressional approval provision.
as the ground shifts, so do the white house claims. bloomberg news reports:
The Justice Department said it provided inaccurate information to members of Congress in a February letter about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
Writing today to lawmakers investigating the terminations, the agency's acting head of legislative affairs, Richard Hertling, said that "certain statements'' in the Feb. 23 letter were contradicted by documents that the department provided to Congress this month. Hertling didn't specify what the misstatements were.
The Feb. 23 letter to Democratic lawmakers discussed the appointment of Timothy Griffin, a former aide to White House political adviser Karl Rove, to a U.S. attorney position in Arkansas. The letter said Rove had no role in the decision to appoint Griffin and that nobody "inside or outside of the administration'' lobbied for Griffin's appointment.
Internal Justice Department documents show that Rove and ex- White House counsel Harriet Miers did weigh in on Griffin's appointment.
"We sincerely regret any inaccuracy,'' Hertling said in his letter today.
that final statement should read: 'we sincerely regret that we were caught in our lie.' the e-mails prove they lied and now they rush to say 'oops, we made a mistake' and act like, 'how did that happen?' it happened because you lied.
i love how a 'lie' is a 'mistatement. here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Wednesday, March 28, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, The John McCain Showboat Express continues chug-chugging into Crazy Town, the National Organization for Women endorses Hillary Clinton as the dove on their website vanishes and the US Senate pretends to take action.
Starting with war resistance. US war resister Mark Wilkerson speaking about the military's record keeping, "When I was AWOL I called this Army deserter's hot line about once every two weeks to see if my name would ever show up on the list. I deserted in January 2005 and I started calling this list in February. What I found was that I would call and give them my Social Security number and they would come back and say, 'No you are not on the list yet. You are present for duty'." Mark Wilkerson quoted by Cox News Service in their story on how: "The Army, which has been stressed by repeated deployments in Iraq, is no longer classifying some soldiers as deserters even though they have run away, according to those who counsel deserters and deserters themselves. It is unclear how widespread the practice is but counselors say they believe the Army has failed to classify hundreds of soldiers as deserters even though they have been gone for more than six months." The article also quotes Brian C. Hilferty (Army spokesperson, lt. colonel) stating that "the military no longer tries to hunt down deserters. Instead, it assumes that deserters will eventually run afoul of police who check the NCIC computer." Of course, that's not true either AEB by the military's attempts to bring in the California police while war resister Kyle Snyder was speaking there at the end of last year, by the military's ordering the Canadian police to arrest Kyle Snyder in Canada and by the still unexplained issue of three US military members posing as Canadian police officers and attempting to locate US war resister Joshua Key. Speaking with US House Rep and 2008 presidential contender Dennis Kucinich, Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted that "the men and women who have gone AWOL, there have been thousands of them, some are bing count-martialed, like Lieutenant Ehren Watada, will be court-martialed again -- it was a mistrial in his first trial -- first officer to say 'no' to war, to deployment to Iraq. What do you think should happen to these men? Agustin Aguayo, an Army medic who applied for CO status, didn't get it, and is now in prison in Germany. Do you support their saying 'no'? Do you support their refusing to go to Iraq or redeploy to Iraq?" Dennis Kucinich's response: "I support the troops who serve and also those who don't feel it's right to serve. I think we have to ask our troops to be able to reserve the right of their conscience, and if they feel it's the right thing, we should support that, too. I think we're in a point in the history of this country where many people have looked at the war and realized that it's wrong. Some of those people are soldiers. Soldiers are put in an impossible situation, not only those who are committed to serving in Iraq, but also those who know that the war is wrong and who question the war. I think we have to love our troops, whatever situation they find themselves in. And the way to support them is to bring them home. . . . . You know, I don't think that anyone who's taken a principle and conscientious position should be subject to a court-martial. They should be permitted to leave the service if they so desire, but not be forced through that kind of a process. I think, you know, there has to be an underlying truth here, and the underlying truth is the war was wrong, period. The war is based on lies. We should support our troops by bringing them home, and we should support those who have challenged the war by giving them a chance to leave honorably."
Wilkerson, Watada, Aguayo, Snyder and Key are Clousing and Wilkerson are a part of movement of resistance within the military that also includes Darrell Anderson, Dean Walcott, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Ricky Clousing, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-nine US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum. As the Cox News Service report indicates, the number of those self-checking out is far greater than the US military admits to.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.
In the US, the Senate passed (50 to 48) an ammendment yesterday on Iraq. As Andrew Ward (Financial Times of London) observes that "both houses of Congress must first reconcile their differing bills in conference" and Republican senators dropped their "attempts to remove the nonbinding timeline from a $121.6 bn war-funding bill". Non-binding once again being the key point. Robert Knight (Flashpoints) yesterday observed that the "Senate bill . . . is even weaker than the House bill since it only expresses the uneforceable goal, but not requirement, that most troops leave Iraq by March 31, 2008. As with the House's war preservation bill, the Senate version would enable an unknown number of US troops to remain in Iraq beyond April 2008 for counter-insurgency training and security operations. . . . The final legislation will almost certainly be met with a veto from President Bush." [Note:
Flashpoints can be heard over the airwaves and online at KPFA and KFCF. Archived broadcasts can be found at Flashpoints and in the KPFA archives. Yesterday's snapshot included links to Flashpoints that were wrong. My apologies for my mistake. Thanks to Kyle for pointing that out.] Larry Everest (CounterPunch) reminds, "In November, millions voted for the Democrats to protest Bush and the war, and in hopes they would end it. Today, many -- including people who worked energetically to elect Democrats and who've been lobbying them to cut off war funding -- feel bitter, betrayed, and outraged. They should be outraged. The lesson is not that the Democrats 'sold out' or are 'spinless.' The lesson is that the Democrats are a ruling class party (and this is deeply institutionalized, regardless of the desires or intentions of its supporters or even some elected Democrats), acting to advance the interests of a capitalist-imperialist system they're part of and represent."
The attempts to trick the people could backfire on the Democrats who see this non-binding, toothless nonsense as a sure vote-getter for 2008. As Rebecca (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude) argued, this can be a sold as 'victory' for the GOP come 2008: "bully boy should sign it into law. i'm not in the mind to help bully boy but, seriously, he should do it. and if the dems don't offer anything stronger between now and august 2008, when they start finger pointing, he should say, 'look, i lived up to your bill.' it won't be hard to do. he's the 1 who gets to judge if the benchmarks have been met. he can override things by declaring 'national security'. the dems, if they offer nothing else, have set their own trap."
In one of the more interesting developments, as Mike (Mikey Likes It!) notes, as more and more people catch on to the realities of the Democrats' measures, one of the biggest cheerleaders of the House action, someone who lectured and hectored people about how they weren't as realistic or as smart as he was, is now attempting to play populist of the people: "How stupid does Stupid Ass [David] Sirota think we all are? Does he think we've all forgotten his attacks on everyone who had the strength to point out that the Pelosi measure did nothing? Does he htink we've forgotten his pompous lectures? Today he wants to play 'one of you'." And some by it. Though Mike didn't link to "Democracy Haters" (nor will we) some are happy to link the nonsense as the political hack now attempts to recast himself yet again.
So-called independent media made a big deal, rightly, about the mainstream media repeating Bully Boy's claims as facts. That criticism looks far less strong when so many supposedly "independent" outlets rush to provide the Democrats spin while presenting themselves as factual outlets. Meanwhile big media has failed repeatedly on the discussion in another regard. Like US Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, they all rush to affirm Bully Boy's right to chart the illegal war. A president's commander-in-chief role applies to the battle field -- a recognized and defined one -- and the people of the United States are the check on that. Congress, representing them, can set dealines and should set them considering the 2006 election results. Parroting Hillary, many media outlets rush to state that timelines could interfere with Bully Boy's ability to wage war. The people have decided. In the 2006 elections, in the polls consistently. The one interfering is the Bully Boy who wants to continue his illegal war. (And Congress is certainly aiding him in that.) Bully Boy is not King of America. There is no king in the United States.
Staying on the subject of politics for a moment, Hillary Clinton has been endorsed in her 2008 presidential bid by NOW -- the National Organization For Women. As to whether or not the endorsement required that they remove "Peace is a feminist issue" -- a slogan displayed on their site for years -- is a question someone should ask NOW. Where the dove and slogan used to be, visitors are now told "Love Your Body" and apparently that somehow factored into the decision process by which War Hawk Hillary Clinton won an endorsement from what was an organization strongly dedicated to ending the war. Again, NOW has removed the dove and slogan "Peace is a feminist issue" from their website and they have endorsed War Hawk Hillary Clinton for 2008.
Today on Democracy Now!, Dennis Kucinich addressed the realities of what was being promised and reality:
Dennis Kucinich: Well, we were given false choices. We were told that we either buy into president Bush's plan, which is keep the war going indefinitely, or accept the Democratic version of the war in Iraq, which would keep the war going for another year or two. I say those choices weren't sufficient. The Democrats could have refused to send a bill forward. We didn't have to fund this war. We're not under any obligation to keep the war going. And yet our leaders took another path. Furthermore, Amy, you may be interested to know that the 2008 budget, which is before Congress today and will be voted on tomorrow, contains another $145 billion for the war, and on top of that, they're putting another $50 billion for the war in fiscal year 2009. So this talk about ending the war by March or by September belies the fact that the budget has money in it to keep the war going into 2009. And I think that's wrong. I think the American people will reject that type of thinking. And I'm standing strong to say "Get out now." I put forth a plan embodied in HR 1234 to accomplish just that.
Amy Goodman: But what do you say to those make the argument that, if president Bush has on his desk a bill that gives money, gives a fortune in continuing the war, and he has to veto it because he doesn't like the timetable, that this puts him in a very difficult position?
Kucinich: Our decisions have to be way above politics. We have the lives of our troops at stake here. There's no military victory in Iraq. We're there illegally. The occupation is fueling the insurgency. Democrats can still, after president Bush vetoes the bill -- which he will -- Democrats can still take the right position, which is refuse to fund the war, use money in the pipeline to bring the troops home.
Kucinich addressed how Bully Boy's not ending the war and how the current legislation isn't addressing it. He noted he "crafted my plan with the help of the people at the UN, and I will tell you that they say that it would take about two months, three months to mobilize a sufficient force that would replace US troops leaving. So I say two, to three months, we could have troops home and have an international force that would help stabilize Iraq. But the international community will not become involved as long as the United States intends to occupy Iraq and keep bases open. So we need to take a new direction. My plan would be as follows: to put in place the provisions of HR 1234, which ends the occupation, closes the bases, sets in motion a plan to bring the troops home, bring in international peace keepers, and stop the privatization of Iraqi oil. One of the things in the bill that passed the House was a demand that the Iraq government pass a hydrocarbon act which sets the stage for broad privatization of trillions of dollars of Iraqi oil interests. Now think about it. If Democrats had told the American people last October that, 'If you vote Democrat in November, we'll not only give you enough money to keep the war going through the end of President Bush's term, but we'll also privatize the oil of Iraq and then help the US oil companies' -- with the prize that I think the war was all about from the very beginning -- I don't think the people would have voted Democrat. So Democrats have to keep faith with the American people."
Interviewed by Bonnie Faulkner (KPFA's Guns and Butter) today, professor Francis Boyle discussed how a 2003 exploration of impeachment by the Democrats was cut short when John Podesta announced that there would be no introduction of bills of impeachment because it would harm Democrats chances in the 2004 election. Speaking of the measures being applauded by much in the media, big and small, Boyle declared, "It's all baloney. All they had to do was just do nothing and Bush would have run out of money. . . . The DNC fully supports the war, that was made clear to Ramsey [Clark] and me on 13 March 2003 and nothing's changed." John Podesta, former Clintonista, is with the Democratic talking point mill (that attempts to pass itself as a think tank) Center for American Progress -- with an emphasis on "Center" and not "Progress."
Meanwhile The John McCain Showboat Express chugged back into DC in time for US Senator and presidential wanna-be to issue a statement (much more important than his vote). David Esp (AP) quotes McCain's laughable claim that "we are starting to turn things around" which may strike some as McCain trying out a new campaign slogan: "Vote Insane, Vote John McCain."
In Iraq today . . .
Reuters notes truck bombings involving chlorine Falluja, outside a government building, wounding "15 Iraqi and U.S. security forces," a car bomb in Mahaweel killed five and left 25 wounded, a car bombing in Baghdad killed 2 and left 10 injured, a rocket attack in the fortress that is the Green Zone killed one "U.S. government contractor" and a car bombing near Ramadi "killed one civilian and wounded seven others".
Following yesterday's bombings in Tal Afar, more violence took place. AFP reports that 75 are dead from the Tuesday's bombings and that at least 45 people were "massacred" today and the town is now under "a strict curfew". Kim Gamel (AP) reports that the violence was launched by "Shiite militants and police" in response to the Tuesday bombings, that 40 people are believed to be kidnapped and that 18 police officers have been arrested "accused in the shooting rampage after they were identified by Sunni families."
Reuters reports five corpses were discovered in Suwayra.
Finally, AP reports that Gale Polluck ("Maj. Gen.") who is the acting surgeon gneral for the Army told the US House Armed Service Committee, "When the original plans were made, we did not take into consideration we could be in a long war" and therefore at question is if "the military lacks money to hire enough nurses and mental health specialists to treat thousands of troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan." If the sudden concern strikes you as familiar, it's because Elaine's long made this point (most recently yesterday), Monica Benderman covered it this week in "On Ending War" (CounterPunch).
like maria said pazmikey likes it
sex and politics and screeds and attitude
kpfabonnie faulknerguns and butter