the press is saying bill richardson is dropping out (announcement to come tomorrow) from the democratic race for the presidential nomination.
ava and c.i. summed up what richardson was offering sunday in 'TV: The Dead and Missing Persons:'
Yesterday, in New Hampshire, a debate took place. 'Candidate' Kucinich was excluded. We found it interesting who went for the role of the clown when Kucinich wasn't there to play it: Barack Obama and Bill Richardson.
Richardson provided one laugh-getter after another including, "Well, I've been in hostage negotiations that are a lot more civil than this." Possibly too much time has been spent with the lie that you learn everything you need to know in kindergarten? Certainly high school teaches its own lessons such as this one: The class clown rarely becomes the class president. But at least Richardson's jokes actually got laughs. Obama's attempts were far worse.
Charlie Gibson ('moderator') asked Clinton about Obama's record and, in one section of her response, she declared, "You know, Senator Obama has been -- as the Associated Press described it, he could have a pretty good debate with himself, because four years ago he was for single-payer health care. Then he moved toward a rejection of that, a more incremental approach. Then he was for universal health care; then he proposed a health care plan that doesn't cover everybody." Obama's response? "Well, I think the Associated Press was quoting some of your folks, Hillary." As any professional comic knows the only audience response to fear is dead silence which, for the record, greeted that lame attempt at humor by Obama.With Kucinich out of the debate, Richardson and Obama seemed bound and determined to land the title Funny Boy. That may be a result of the popularity of one-liners under Reagan. "Where's the beef?" was simple and possibly that's because Regan couldn't handle anything too complex. "Well, I think" "the Associated Press" "was quoting" "some of" "your folks, Hillary" is never going to get a loud laugh. It's badly constructed, it depends upon listeners following groupings and it's just badly, badly worded. Though not nominally funnier, it would get the point across much better if he'd said, "Sounds like AP was quoting your people." No need for "Hillary." Funny lines rarely end with a person's name and "eee" syllables, as ending ones, don't lend themselves to that harsh landing needed to pull off the catty Obama was aspiring to. He reminded us of the critic John Simon being channeled through Herman Munster.
"Where's the beef?" was to the point and made the point, for those who liked Reagan, "He's like us, repeating a slogan." Wit really isn't a factor in presidential elections but bad attempts at it distance the voters from the candidate.
i could quote the whole thing, it's wonderful.
this is a grab bag post. a kucinich supporter e-mailed me that before i reposted today's snapshot, 'you need to put in a correction because it wasn't just mike gravel, dennis was excluded as well.' c.i. was talking about real candidates. kucinich isn't 1.
as ava and c.i. noted, kucinich's campaign is over, he just didn't make the announcement.
another e-mailer wanted to tell me that bob somerby 'is back on board and back in the fight today.' yeah, after throwing in the towel on friday, on monday and on tuesday. after saying that obama would have an easier chance to win. the alleged fighter just needed a new hampshire victory by hillary clinton to stop writing off her campaign as dead.
'back in the fight today' is actually the key phrase. when the going gets tough ... bob somerby gets going ... away from the fight.
mike's 'Robert Scheer: Human Trash' is amazing. if i'd known he was writing about that, i would've passed on 1 thing: gloria steinem's 'Women Are Never Front-Runners' from tuesday's paper was still the number 1 most e-mailed column or article at the new york times this afternoon. something that would never happen with anything robert scheer might write.
elaine's 'Clinton tells the truth, Matthew Rothschild doesn't' is elaine ticked off and i love that side of elaine. when she's had enough, she's had enough. (unlike c.i. & elaine, i didn't grow up rich so i wasn't asked for money back in the day. but you better believe i instilled every word i heard from elaine during that period. and she's right, c.i. is a soft touch. that's not an insult to c.i. but it is noting that any sob story can pull c.i.'s heart strings.) it's equally true that independent media has nothing to show for itself today. they all seemed to stop working in 2005 and having just been boring us since then.
linda e-mailed to say i forgot to talk about 'Kat's Korner: The year in music.' i didn't. last friday, i was too tired. and in too much of a rush. i was hoping to get to it this friday. but i don't want any 1 to think i'm ignoring it, so i'll make a stab tonight.
kat showed up at the common ills writing about music before i started my site. i love c.i. very much but know from college that there is no 1 like c.i. those who try to compete lose. but kat's voice was 1 that i could not only relate to but that i could see using something similar. my strongest posts early on are directly a credit to her writing. (to her 'writing' - i didn't meet kat until april of 2005.) i was stumbling around and i'd read or re-read 1 of her music pieces and find my way back. (i tried fantasies, i tried story-time, i tried everything in the early days.)
so i really love kat the person, yes. but i also love her writing. she inspires me and i aspire to write like her. (but with dirty words!) (that's a joke. kat has had to censor her own language due to the 'work place friendly' nature of the common ills. that was a big problem for her in the early days. now she says it's not very hard to do.)
in her look at 2007's music, she reminded me yet again why i love her writing. she just puts it out there. she calls it like she sees it. and she's got information to back up her view. (which doesn't mean you have to agree with her and kat's not interested in that to begin with.) but she's so amazing and has found a way to bring women back to music. i don't just mean in terms of the pieces being written by her, i mean her context. she's not playing the boys' game. she has examples that honor the women who came before. she is 1 of the most female-affirming writers out there and i just can't say enough about kat.
her own site is Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills) (yeah, i'm lazy and swiping links off my website) and she always entertains me. sometimes she's brief, sometimes she's long.
but do you know that ava and c.i. begged her to let them post for her this week?
monday, kat smashed her thumb on her left hand. really bad. c.i. and ava took her to the emergency room. (that's why c.i.'s morning entries went up late, late in the morning on monday.) she's fine but it's a pain to use the thumb. so ava and c.i. were telling her they'd fill in for her. she loved the idea but the events of the day had her saying, 'i've got to write.'
and she's written amazing posts all week long. despite her thumb.
she's rounded up, in her music retrospective for 2007, the best of the year as far as i'm concerned. i didn't disagree with 1 of her picks. i thought she brought insight to them that i had missed. it's a pleasure and a joy to read so i read it often (i have it bookmarked on my favorites on the explorer page).
i'm tired tonight and might have had more if i waited until friday. but if linda thinks i forgot that means somewhere some 1's thinking that i ignored it because i didn't like it. i hope i've made it clear that i loved it.
'Ruth's Report' is among the things i meant to note this week and i'll close by noting that (i'm about to fall asleep, i'm that tired). ruth, ruth, you used to feel so badly when you called out reality! :) ruth is a truth teller and we're lucky to have her. she points out what counterspin consider a best-of and what they didn't. and she does so with humor. she always makes me laugh. but where's the yiddish! i miss her yiddish phrases. (i was actually learning them.)
c.i.'s always pointing out that wally & cedric link to everything we write but we always forget them. it's because they make us laugh and then we put on our 'serious' (yes, for me, this is serious) thinking caps and forget the funnies. read their joint-post today 'THIS JUST IN! BAMBI SMELLS CROTCH ROT IN THE MORNING!' & ' Bambi's dainty crotch rot.' it's very funny and i've loved the 'jobama' theme they've been working.
i really am exhausted. from the baby. winter cold. i take to the bed with the simplest illness. or used to. now i fret and worry over everything that happens to the baby. remember, this is my 1st and i tend to panic over everything. 'it's not pneumonia.' flyboy told me that repeatedly today. so did ruth. around noon, i finally accepted that it was just a cold.
let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Wednesday, January 9, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, Big Oil is salivating for Iraq, Matthew Rothschild accuses Bill Clinton of distortions but, in this case, it's Rothschild who is distorted, and more.
Starting with war resisters. Earlier this week Andrea Stone (USA Today) reported on Darren Manzella who is a sergeant in the US army and openly gay. Stone noted that he discussed this recently with 60 Minutes "and the program aired a home video that showed him kissing a former boyfriend" and there's been no fallout. Stone also notes that the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network estimates there are 500 out troops currently. Who knew the US military brass was so laid back? Of course the reality is that they aren't but have little choice but to enter this century as a result of the Iraq War. War resister Bethany "Skyler" James shared her story upon arriving in Canada. She explained to Ariel Troster (Capital Xtra) back in October that her plan was to be low key about her sexuality but she "was ridiculed daily by other soldiers and even received hate letters" which led Skyler to be more open "even hanging a rainbow flag in her room at the military base, despite a rule which prohibits anyone who 'demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts' from serving in the US army." So what was going on? Troster explains, "You would think that by disclosing her identity, Skyler would have received a 'get out of the army free' card. By outing herself, she was clearing contravening regulations in a way that should have earned her a discharge. But according to Skyler, it isn't that easy. The US military is so desperate to enlist more troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, that they are willing to turn a blind eye to even the most blatant homosexual conduct -- leaving people like Skyler to endure the double injustice of fighting in wars they don't agree with, while also being subjected to harassment and intimidation from their fellow soldiers."
This is another example of what is missed when independent media doesn't cover war resisters. And note that the MSM view puts foward a concept of tolerance when the reality is that the military can't afford to kick anyone out.
Skyler is in Canada hoping to be granted refugee status. November 15th, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeals of war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Parliament is the solution.Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use. Both War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist are calling for actions from January 24-26. The War Resisters Support Campaign has more on the action in Canada:
The War Resisters Support Campaign has called a pan-Canadian mobilization on Saturday, January 26th, 2008 to ensure :
1) that deportation proceedings against U.S. war resisters currently in Canada cease immediately; and 2) that a provision be enacted by Parliament ensuring that U.S. war resisters refusing to fight in Iraq have a means to gain status in Canada.
For listings of local actions, see our Events page. If you are able to organize a rally in your community, contact the Campaign -- we will list events as details come in.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes 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, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla 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, 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. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation.
US civilians have been in Iraq (that comment isn't recognizing mercenaries as civilians) and one example is Jamie Leigh Jones. Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted today, "The Pentagon's top watchdog has announced he won't investigate rape allegations made by a former employee of the war contractor Halliburton and its subsidary KBR. The alleged victim, Jamie Leigh Jones, says she was gang-raped by co-workers in Iraq. Jones has accused KBR and the US government of covering up the crime. On Tuesday, Pentagon Inspector General Claude Kicklighter said he won't look into the charges because the Justice Department still considers it an open case. Democratic lawmakers and Jones' defense team both criticized the decision. A criminal probe has already last more than two and a half years with no charges filed." Yesterday, ABC News' Justin Rood reported on the latest and noted the office of US Senator Bill Nelson (Florida) says, "We're not satified with" the non-response and Rood noted, "Despite deferring to the Justice Department, Kicklighter's office told Nelson it was willing to pursue other questions Nelson raised about Jones' case. Kicklighter agreed to explore 'whether and why' a U.S. Army doctor handed to KBR security officials the results of Jones' medical examination, a so-called "rape kit," which would have contained evidence of the crime if it had occurred." Justin George (St. Petersburg Times) reports that Nelson is focused on two cases specifically -- Jamie Leigh Jones and another, unidentified woman: "The Tampa woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by a drunken male colleague while working in Ramadi, Iraq in June 2005 for KBR Inc. subsidary Service Employees International Inc. Nelson has said the Navy Criminal Investigative Service turned its finding over to the Justice Department, but nothing has come of the matter. The woman sued KBR, claiming the company failed to protect her from foreseeable harm." That's Tracy Barker. Today David Ivanovich (Houston Chronicle) reports that in addition to determining that, "The Inspector General's office also is trying to learn how many other rape examinations have been performed by U.S. military doctors in Iraq, as well as what steps federal departments are taking to ensure similar criminal cases are properly investigated." Ivanovich also cites Republican US House Rep Ted Poe (who was informed of the gang-rape and imprisonment of Jamie Leigh Jones by Jones' father and began pressing the US State Department to expalin why a US citizen was being held against her will by a contracting company with State Department knowledge) stating, "Who is in charge here? With a $400 billion budget, you would think that the Defense Department would have the resources to protect Americans overseas and maybe even a little left over to investigate allegations of criminal activity as well."
While the White House has shown no interest in the assaults on women in Iraq, Bully Boy did get a briefing on the non-progress in Iraq. CBS and AP report that "John Jones, the provisional reconstruction team leader in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad" gave the feel good performance of the day. "The key thing for us," said Jones of Diyala, "is we're making small steps." That would be the province Stephen Farrell (New York Times) reported on today where "American troops began a major offensive on Tuesday". Farrell quotes Major General Mark P. Herling (you thought the Times would quote rank and file?) who declares, "What has been happening in Baquba and Wajihiya specifically has been somewhat of a deception effort. We have allowed the enemy to believe that Diyala has been wide open while we have been generating forces in here to nail them." The deception is in Herling's remarks. The 'plan' was a last-minute scramble to use the surplus forces the escalation provided before significant numbers are deployed out of Iraq. CBS and AP forget to name the province (might it hurt Jones' feel-good report on Diyala? -- no need to worry, reality hurt Jones' feel-good report when the US military announced multiple deaths in the region today) but note that "No. 2 U.S. commander, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, announced the new operations and took pains to say it would focus on bettering Iraqi lives". Two things. Odierno was among those stating publicly last summer that the escalation would end this year because the US military did not have the numbers to maintain it. Second, for those who want to believe Herling's lies, they need to immediately call for him and others above him to be brought on charges of War Crimes. If you really believe the lie that this was planned months ahead -- to route violence into Diyala Province -- then the US military brass willfully made Iraqi civilians living in that area a target which would be a violation of the rules of law.
Meanwhile another province, Al Anbar, is the focus of a corporate struggle. Robin Pagnamenta (Times of London) reports that Shell and Total both want "to develop a huge gasfield" in Al Anbar -- in an area that "is thought to contain up to seven trillion cubic feet of gas -- up to 6 per cent of Iraq's estimated total of 112 trillion cubic feet. The field is capable of producing up to 50 million cubic feet a day, but this could be raised to 450 million cubic feet per day if developed further." Pagnamenta states Shell maintains the Iraqi Oil Ministry requested their involvement. Thomas Financial reports that talks were held by the Iraqi government "with a number of potential companies last week". Last week, Ahmed Rasheed (Reuters) noted, "Iraq has set a Jan. 31 deadline for international oil firms to register to compete for tenders to help develop the world's third-largest oil reserves, the Ministry of Oil said today."
While the corporations rub their hands eagerly, others are less eager to enter Iraq. Sue Pleming (Reuters) notes, "Nearly half of U.S. diplomats who do not want to serve in Iraq say a key reason is because they do not support the Bush administration's policies there, according to a union survey released on Tuesday. The survey by the American Foreign Service Association, which represents the rank-and-file diplomatic corps, not political appointees, also found that most U.S. diplomats were frustrated by what they saw a lack of resources." The American Foreign Service Association has the report [PDF format warning] by Steve Kashkett entitled "ASFA Opinion Poll Results Highlight Disturbing Trends" which notes early on, "With regard to Iraq, a clear majority believes that war-zone postings should remain voluntary; some 68 percent oppose directed assignments as unneccsary and undesirable. More than 2,000 FS members -- including 110 currently serving in Iraq and 295 who said they had previously done tours of duty there -- provided comments on ways to encourage more people to volunteer for Iraq assignments. Many themes emerged repeatedly: increasing the Separate Maintenance Allowance, getting tax exemptions for war-zone service, awarded meritorious step increases, shortening the length of a standar unaccompanied tour. But a large number of comments suggested a fundamental disagreement with the whole approach of seeking evver greater incentives to staff an escalating list of Provincial Reconstruction Teams and an expanding embassy; instead, many hundreds of employees urged a downsizing of the U.S. mission there, both for practical and policy reasons."
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Kirkuk car bombing that wounded one person and another that wounded two, a Khalis bombing that wounded a police officer and a Baquba bombing that left four people wounded.
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a suspected member of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia was shot dead in Salahuddin and two people were woundedin a Baquba shooting.
Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad.
Today the US military announced: "Three Multi-National Division -- North Soldiers died from injuries sustained during an attack while conducting operations in Salah ad Din province Jan. 8." And they announced: "Six Multi-National Division -- North Soldiers were killed by a house born improvised explosive device while conducting operations in Diyala Jan. 9. Additionally, four MND-N Soldiers were injured in the explosion and evacuated to a Coalition Forces' hospital." Peter Graff (Reuters) notes the six deaths today is "one of the highest daily death tolls for U.S. troops in Iraq for months and followed the deaths of three soldiers in the operation a day earlier."
Meanwhile, CBS and AP report, "The number of Iraqis fleeing their homeland has declined in recent months, primarily because neighboring countries refuse to let them enter, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday." IRIN notes the UN World Food Program is ready to begin in Iraq, "will run for a year and target 750,000 of the most vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside Iraq, as well as over 360,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria."
Turning to US politics. On Saturday the Democratic nominees for president (minus Mike Gravel) debated in New Hampshire. On Monday, Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive) weighed in with observations such as "Obama played it cool throughout and projected calmness to Clinton's desperation." While Rothschild channeled Whoopi in Ghost ("Molly, you danger in, girl" became "Hillary is in deep trouble") for Hillary, he laid it on thick for Bambi: "played it cool throughout," "projected calmness," "Obama's eloquence," "his eloquence," etc. On Ava and my scale, egg on your face for failed attempts at humor and awkwardly worded statements don't qualify as "eloquence," but whatever . . . except, post-New Hampshire results (last night), Rothschild ponders how Hillary won in New Hampshire last night and offers, among other things, "It could have been Obama's lackluster debate performance Saturday night . . ." Huh? The one where he was "cool throughout," the one Rothschild found so eloquent he had to note the eloquence twice in what appears to have been a 21 sentence column? (Check my math.) Help 'em out, do they hum along to "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" or "The Morning After"? The Bambi-boys are needing a tune today that will carry them over to the primary after next.
Rothschild maintains, that the Clintons are going to make it "uglier" (as opposed to the gauzy haze the press has created?). Rothschild declares we can see that in a speech Bill Clinton gave (isn't it funny that Elizabeth Edwards has called out both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton repeatedly in the press -- even in the pages of The Progressive -- but that's never an issue?). Rothschild writes that "Bill said the media had fed the public a 'fairy tale' about Obama, and then he distorted Obama's record on the Iraq War." Goodness me! I thought it was the press' job to distort Bambi's record on the illegal war (in his favor). Turns out, Bill Clinton didn't distort Bambi's record, Bill Clinton told the truth (try it, it's liberating). The Chicago Tribune has the video and text online. Here's Bill Clinton:
"But since you raised the judgment issue, let's go over this again. That is the central argument for his campaign. 'It doesn't matter that I started running for president less a year after I got to the Senate from the Illinois State Senate. I am a great speaker and a charismatic figure and I'm the only one who had the judgment to oppose this war from the beginning. Always, always, always.' "
"First it is factually not true that everybody that supported that resolution supported Bush attacking Iraq before the UN inspectors were through. Chuck Hagel was one of the co-authors of that resolution. The only Republican Senator that always opposed the war. Every day from the get-go. He authored the resolution to say that Bush could go to war only if they didn't co-operate with the inspectors and he was assured personally by Condi Rice as many of the other Senators were. So, first the case is wrong that way."
"Second, it is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, numerating the years, and never got asked one time, not once, 'Well, how could you say, that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your website in 2004 and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since?' Give me a break.
"This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen...So you can talk about Mark Penn all you want. What did you think about the Obama thing calling Hillary the Senator from Punjab? Did you like that?"
"Or what about the Obama hand out that was covered up, the press never reported on, implying that I was a crook? Scouring me, scathing criticism, over my financial reports. Ken Starr spent $70 million and indicted innocent people to find out that I wouldn't take a nickel to see the cow jump over the moon.
"So, you can take a shot at Mark Penn if you want. It wasn't his best day. He was hurt, he felt badly that we didn't do better in Iowa. But you know, the idea that one of these campaigns is positive and the other is negative when I know the reverse is true and I have seen it and I have been blistered by it for months, is a little tough to take. Just because of the sanitizing coverage that's in the media, doesn't mean the facts aren't out there.
Where's the distortion, Rothschild? That the resolution wasn't seen as an automatic greenlight? I believe Elizabeth Edwards has made that point herself . . . in the pages of The Progressive. That wasn't flagged in the article as a falsehood. Is Rothschild now saying Elizabeth Edwards lied? The White House wanted the Iraq War to start. That was not in doubt. Some, like Senator Chuck Hagel, did believe that the resolution passing would mean war would only break out if a resolution passed in the United Nations or other conditionals. So Bill Clinton is correct on that point. In fact, let's hear how that resolution was explained not all that long ago: "And the resolution wasn't really to go to war. The resolution, if you remember, was forcing Bush to to the U.N. first. Of course, we expected him to actually listen to the U.N., which didn't happen. The resolution was actually a slowing technique".
That had better be correct, even for Rothschild, because it was printed -- without challenge -- in The Progressive. It's from Ruth Conniff's "Elizabeth Edwards Interview" which The Progressive printed last fall. As for Bambi, Elizabeth Edwards stated in that interview, "Obama gives a speech that's likely to be extrordinarily popular in his home district, and then comes to the Senate and votes for funding." (She also notes, "So you are going to get people behaving in a holier-than-thou way." Gee, whom do you think she was referring to?)
His second point? Clinton maintains Bambi "got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, numerating the years, and never got asked one time, not once, 'Well how could you say, that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on this resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your website in 2004 and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since?' Give me a break." First Whoopi, now he channels John Stossel.
Bill Clinton told the truth. Matthew Rothschild is either ignorant of the truth or he is lying. It pains me to say that but that is reality. Bill Clinton could have carried the 2004 point through to 2006 and noted that Bambi told The New Yorker he didn't know how he would have voted in 2002 if he was in the US Senate at that time. Again, Bill Clinton is correct. Bill Clinton didn't distort a damn thing, Matthew Rothschild, however, has -- intentionally or not. And he needs to get his facts right -- facts, after all, are supposed to be his business.
It is a "fairy tale." We've used that term and many others to describe the lies about 'anti-war' Bambi. The New York Times? I believe we last noted Bambi telling them he didn't know how he would have voted in the January 4th snapshot: " Obama tells Monica Davey (New York Times, July 26, 2004) he doesn't know how he would have voted if he'd been in the Senate. Two years later, he's telling David Remnick (The New Yorker) he doesn't know how he would have voted." Bill Clinton noting the disappearence of the speech Obama is now so proud of? Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon (then at The Black Commentator) pointed that out before Bambi made it to the Senate (the date of that is addressed later in the snapshot). Bruce Dixon (Black Agenda Report) reminded people of that again on December 12th of last year. Where's the distortion, Rothschild? There is none. Either Rothschild is suffering from the fairy tale Bill Clinton rightly noted or else he's lying. Hopefully, it's the former and not the latter. The reality is that the media -- Big and Small -- have fed the public a fairy tale on 'anti-war' Obama and. The reality is that Bill Clinton didn't distort Bambi's record -- the distortions have been done by the media. Matthew Rothschild joins in the distortions today and needs to do a reality check real quick.
Does independent media follow independent media? Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon and Margaret Kimberley (Black Agenda Report) have done tremendous and amazing work but maybe Little White Media sees "Black Agenda Report" and scurries off in fear? (If so, apparently Ford, Dixon and Kimberly changing the title to "Biracial Agenda Report" would make the site more 'friendly' for some Whites.) Let's start with Margaret Kimberley's latest and in the excerpt below, she's commenting on New Hampshire:
The media have already begun making fantastic claims attributing the backhanded treatment to his multi-racial heritage. Those ridiculous assertions must be dismissed out of hand. There is a lot less to Obama than meets the eye. He is little more than a very slick and very savvy politician. He knows how to impress and please powerful people, and speaking up for black Americans accomplishes neither one of those things.
Obama has masterfully out maneuvered the amateurish Hillary Clinton. She isn't smart enough to know that she should at least attempt to give Democratic voters a little bit of lip service. While she voted in favor of a senate resolution against the Iranian government, Obama stayed on the campaign trail and conveniently missed the vote. In fact he is just as willing to go to war as she is.
That reality (not a distortion, Rothschild) matters for a number of reasons. Kat noted one reason last night with AP reporting that exit polls in New Hampshire found those citing the Iraq War as the top issue resulted in "an advantage" for Obama. That's due to what Bill Clinton, rightly, called a "fairy tale." (We'll address another reason at The Third Estate Sunday Review this weekend.) Also citing Bill Clinton is Glen Ford -- no surprise, Clinton was citing work he and Bruce Dixon have been doing for years -- who notes, "Actually, Clinton got one of the dates wrong. We at Black Agenda Report know -- because we have been closely scrutinizing Obama since his Illionis state senate days, and engaged him in a month-long interchange in June of 2003. Obama's October 2002 anti-war speech first disappered from his U.S. Senate campaign site, not in 2004, but in 2003, when public perception of the war and occupation -- with the exception of Black opinion -- had dramatically shifted towards war. At the time, Bruce Dixon and the core Black Agenda Report crew, including myself, were housed at Black Commentator.com. . . . What a difference a shift in public opinion on war makes. Bruce Dixon put it well: 'His passion evaporated, a leading black candidate for the US Senate mouths bland generalities on war, peace and the US role in the world." Ford goes on to offer a walk-through for those who missed reality in real time. (Ironically, Matthew Rothschild was one of the few in indymedia not to be taken in by the nonsense Barack offered at the 2004 DNC convention -- Rothschild rightly called it out in real time, one of the few who did.)
As Glen Ford again notes, Barack and Hillary are siamese twins. He notes they are "political twins" on Democracy Now! today where Amy Goodman hosted a debate between him and Michael Eric Dyson (Dyson being a long-term Barack supporter only recently out of the closet as such):
GLEN FORD: Well, it wasn't really a loss. He only lost by a couple of points. I think with New Hampshire and Iowa, Barack Obama has won a great unprecedented historical victory in proving that he can win the support of huge numbers of white people in essentially white primaries. And by doing that, he has accomplished the central mission of his entire campaign, which is to prove that a black man can be embraced by masses of white people. The problem is, he has done that at the expense of black people, by constantly, relentlessly sending out signals to white people that a vote for Barack Obama, an Obama presidency, would signal the beginning of the end of black-specific agitation, that it would take race discourse off of the table. And he's gone to extraordinary lengths to accomplish that. He said things that white Democrats would--that no white Democrat would ever say--for example, the ridiculous statement that blacks had already come 90% of the way on the road to equality, with the implicit idea that a vote for him would take black people the other 10% of the way. Now, it's a ridiculous statement. It's based on no substance whatsoever. No indexes show blacks 90% of the way towards equality in any area of life. We've never made 65% more in income than white people. Black median household wealth is one-tenth white median household wealth. And on and on and on and on. In fact, we can't find 90% figures relevant, outside of NBA teams and prison. But no white man, no white Democrat who said that would avoid being excoriated by the entire spectrum of black political opinion.
Goodman stated "this is part one of of this debate" so look for continued coverage on Democracy Now! and it's needed. It's not just the 'public' that's assuming myths of 'anti-war' Bambi, Matthew Rothschild does as well. In other New Hampshire primary news, Dennis Kucinich had a "narrow" fifth place "win." He received approximately 417 more votes than the sixth place winner when 100% of the precints had reported. Both he and the sixth place "winner" received one percent of the vote. Who was sixth place? "Total Write-ins." So Kucinich managed a "narrow" fifth place upset over the write-in candidates. The Concord Monitor has the results on the front page of their websites and, again, that's with 100% of the precints reporting. Also Michigan holds primaries January 15th, Democratic and Republican. Ted Roelof (Chronicle News Service) reminds that the DNC has attempted to punish Michigan as it's trying to punish Florida. This issue was raised on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show today around the forty-minute mark of the first hour). Stuart Rothenberg (The Rothenberg Political Report) offered, "At the end of the day, I can't imagine a Democratic Convention without Florida and Michigan delegates that would be crazy," Rehm agreed, "I mean, it just doesn't make sense." Roelof notes of Michigan, "A squabble between state and national party officials over the state's early primary date led Obama and Edwards to withdraw their names. Clinton faces token opposition from Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich, and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel. The other name on the ballot, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, dropped out last week."