voter turnout

mccain and palin got 4,467,748 votes in texas

barack and biden got 3, 521, 164

barr and root got 56,398 votes

baldwin and castle got 3, 418 votes

hill and baily got 148 votes

allen and sath got 57 votes

keyes and sprouse got 586 votes

nader and gonzalez got 3,053

mckinney and clemente got 415 votes

and moore and alexander got 49 votes.

those are the texas totals for the 2008 vote. are those totals correct? texas community members don't think so. eddie said, 'a few people were nervous and might have decided to vote mccain - palin at the last minute the way ___ did but if they made that decision it seems like they would have talked about it like ___ did.' it does seem that way.

are these the final results above?

if they are i doubt the results. i divided texas up into 9 regions and then called c.i. to find out who was a key member in each area? i think contacted the key member (and any 1 they suggested) and this nader vote is underwhelming compared to what every 1 thinks. maybe they haven't added all the votes? maybe some regions didn't bother to count the write-ins? but our estimating makes it appear that count is less than solid.

i'm not accusing any 1 of fixing the elections.

i am however asking that write-in ballots be treated as real 1s and it doesn't appear that they were in texas. the number for ralph is too small.

i am not contesting the election results for the winner. i do not think ralph won texas. but i do not think that write-in votes were counted in full in texas. maybe i'm wrong. maybe a lot of community members switched to cynthia (doesn't look like it from her numbers) or to barack (doubtful) or to mccain (ditto) and just didn't want to say so?

i don't think so.

in connecticut (pdf format, click here), nader got 19,058 while cynthia got 53. i don't know about cynthia, but ralph was listed on that ballot and wasn't a write-in.

in rhode island, ralph got 4819 and cynthia got 793.

now here's bob somerby from today:

You’ve got to be kidding: Good grief! We scanned his words a second time, to see if we’d read them correctly. We’re fairly sure you know our view: Paul Krugman has been the very best, at the top of the pile, for a very long time now. But golly Ned! Here’s how he started this morning’s column. We had to read it twice:
KRUGMAN (11/7/08): Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, is a date that will live in fame (the opposite of infamy) forever. If the election of our first African-American president didn’t stir you, if it didn’t leave you teary-eyed and proud of your country, there’s something wrong with you.
If those are the rules of the current game, sign us up for “something wrong with you.”

that's going to be it for me tonight. everybody have a great weekend. let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Friday, November 7, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, the pathetic voices of the left continue cooing while stronger voices from the left speak to realities, Talabani makes an announcement, and more.

Tuesday a presidential election was held in the US. It could have been about something but that would have required actual issues. Instead it was stroke, fondle and feather-kiss Barack by All Things Media Big and Small while real candidates were shut out of the coverage -- by all outlets and Amy Goodman a crappy once a month nod to Ralph or Cynthia didn't mean s**t when every day you swung that tired ass under the street lamp once more for Barack. In 2004, we heard "never again." Never again would we allow the movement to end the illegal war to be derailed by a presidential campaign. That got tossed aside and ripped to shreds, now didn't it?

Let's move over to Loony Tune Stephen Zune who
lied in a 2008 article, never corrected it and, before you knew it, all the simple minded were running with (Dahr Jamail, come on down!). No, Hillary did not visit Iraq only once. "Dr." Zunes, correct your lying mouth. He, of course, refused to. And he's back to lie some more at ZNet: "Obama's honest and prescient understanding of Iraq prior to the invasion gives hope that as president he will be less inclined to engage in such acts of reckless militarism." Apparently Zunes is back on the meds that regulate his intense mood swings (sadly, the meds do nothing for his delusions). The 2002 speech was an embarrassment and nothing for the peace movement to praise. There's been some question about that speech so let's put Zuney to the side for a moment. The speech did take place. It is recorded. On video. The reaction from the crowd is the only reason Team Barack had to lie and claim that the speech didn't exist. The crowd wasn't applauding, they weren't cheering. It was a meek and embarrassing speech (delivered to a sparse crowd, it should be noted). When Barack finished there wasn't even polite applause. But Zuney liked it and, if you're off your meds, you may as well.

Loony Tunes Zunes goes on to argue that if the War Hawk Barack isn't a dove, so what, because "he owes his nomination -- and therefore his election -- to those who opposed the invasion of Iraq". Yeah, try collecting on that, Stephen. Hey, remember Stephen Zunes' snit-fit at Barack a few months back? When Barack picked Joe Biden as his running mate? The Joe Biden who supported the illegal war? But Loony wants you to believe that Barack's indebted to the 'anti-war' 'movement.' (That would be the same Barack who punked Iraq Veterans Against the War in Denver -- they were protesting and getting attention, he sent out a Texan known for lying -- one who even lied for W. -- out to trick them and they fell for it and gave the media a lot of statements about how groovy Barack was. As soon as the protest ended so did Barack's 'promise' to them.) Zunes uses phrases like "surely Barack is aware of this" and what's really hilarious is that someone who whored his ass for Barack as hard Stephen did has to guess as to what Barack is and isn't aware of. But a debt is owed, Zunes maintains, and pressure will be applied! In the real world,
Mickey Z points out:

While the savvy strategist/activists of the Left harbor their delusions of grandeur about their ability to sway the Prince of Hope, here's a tiny bit what they--and all of us--have allowed to happen without exerting our "influence": epidemics of preventable diseases; the poisoning of our air, water, and food (including mother's breast milk); global warming, climate change, animal and plant extinctions, disappearing honeybees, destruction of the rain forest, topsoil depletion, etc.; one-third of Americans either uninsured or underinsured in terms of health care; 61% of corporations do not even pay taxes; presidential lies, electoral fraud, limited debates, etc.; the largest prison population on the planet; corporate control of public land, airwaves, and pensions; overt infringement of our civil liberties; bloated defense budget, unilateral military interventions, war crimes committed in our name, legalization of torture, blah, blah, blah...
Before you know it, the US government will start spying on American citizens and detaining prisoners without charges while allowing corporations to ravage the earth in pursuit of profit, wiping out entire eco-systems in the process. Oops . . . sorry: they're already doing all that and the mighty Left is fighting back by supporting Obama?
Everywhere I went on Election Day, I was asked by friend and stranger alike: "Did you vote?" Once the polling booths closed, I could be 100% certain I'd not be asked another politically motivated question by such people for another four years. No one would be rushing up to me and demanding to know if I was planning to do anything about, say, FISA, the death penalty, the PATRIOT Act, homelessness, or factory farming. The election is over. Obama has won. For 99% of the Left, that means their work is done until 2012. It's time to gloat and reap all the rewards, right?
My prediction: The only pressure that will be consistently exerted by those on the Left will be the pressure of their soft butts on their couch cushions as they sit back to smugly watch Jon Stewart, Keith Olbermann, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Maher.

Zunes can never stick to the facts and, having a word count, has to resort frequently to falsehoods. Which is how you end up with his claim that the likes of Susan Rice (she works herself into a war frenzy at the drop of a hat) and Our Modern Day Carrie Nations Samantha Power (Sammy, get the axe!) are "innovative and enlightened members of the foreign policy establishment". Keep dreaming and keep lying Zunes. If you told the truth at this late date, your head might fall out. For reality on the likes of Sammy Power, see John R. MacArthur's "
Pro-War Liberals Frozen in the Headlights" (Common Dreams). Or maybe you want to refer to Howard Zinn on Power's "myopia":She believes that "there is a moral difference between setting out to destroy as many civilians as possible and killing civilians unintentionally and reluctantly in pursuit of a military objective." Of course, there's a difference, but is there a "moral" difference? That is, can you say one action is more reprehensible than the other? In countless news briefings, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, responding to reporters' questions about civilian deaths in bombing, would say those deaths were "unintentional" or "inadvertent" or "accidental," as if that disposed of the problem. In the Vietnam War, the massive deaths of civilians by bombing were justified in the same way by Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon and various generals.

Or maybe you'd prefer
Edward S. Herman (ZNet) explaining Power's belief system?She believes that "there is a moral difference between setting out to destroy as many civilians as possible and killing civilians unintentionally and reluctantly in pursuit of a military objective." Of course, there's a difference, but is there a "moral" difference? That is, can you say one action is more reprehensible than the other?In countless news briefings, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, responding to reporters' questions about civilian deaths in bombing, would say those deaths were "unintentional" or "inadvertent" or "accidental," as if that disposed of the problem. In the Vietnam War, the massive deaths of civilians by bombing were justified in the same way by Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon and various generals.

No, it doesn't sound very enlightened but then Stephen Zunes is the Minute Rice 'Scholar' of the campus set. Here's
Noam Chomsky (via ZNet) explaining the basics re: Sammy Power, "I don't think, incidentally, that it would be fair to criticize Power for her extraordinary services to state violence and terror. I am sure she is a decent and honorable person, and sincerely believes that she really is condemning the US leadership and political culture. From a desk at the Carr Center for Human Rights at the Kennedy School at Harvard, that's doubtless how it looks."

Let's spread the joy and turn to the Pathetic
Dave Lindorff who writes (at CounterPunch), "And don't tell me 'Good, we should have all voted for Ralph Nader.' The political left in the US is a pathetic joke." Some parts of it are. Such as Dave Lindorff. Dave Lindorff is a PATHETIC JOKE. He will die one because he made himself one. In February, Third noted a Barack supporter and his IDIOTIC reasons for supporting Barack:

I think it is ridiculous not to acknowledge that a black candidate at this level is fundamentally different from all white candidates who have come before or who are now competing. the more so a black candidate who has risked jail by doing drugs, and who has relatives TODAY living in the Third World (Kenya).

The person making a PATHETIC FOOL of himself? That's Dave Lindorff. Yes, Dave Lindorff supported Barack because he was "a black candidate who has risked jail by doing drugs". It doesn't get anymore pathetic than that. Davey-Boy thought Barack was fighting the brave fight, just, no doubt, as Amy Winehouse does on the streets of London today. The same 'civil rights' battle that River Phoenix gave his life for, Dave?

Dave Lindorff is an idiot, he is pathetic and he has proven that
In These Times had good reason to end their relationship with him over his 'curious' assertions. We stood by Crazy Ass back then. We walked away after he made a frothy-mouthed fool of himself in February. You can't go home again, Crazy Ass. This is the world and bed you made, live with it. Pablo Ouziel (Dissident Voice) tracks the continued disengration of left 'voices':

The new era of voting for the lesser of the two evils has penetrated the core of America's critical intellectual community, and some of the biggest voices for change have endorsed Obama. In effect, what has taken place is the union between those opposed to imperial ideology and those endorsing it. Although this serious event has gone largely unnoticed, American intellectuals will need to reflect on its consequences seriously if they are to contribute to the building of a stable future for humanity as a whole, and in particular to mending the tarnished corrupt fabric of American society.
One American intellectual, James Petras, has been able to identify the direct social consequences of such a paradigm shift and prior to the elections has publicly expressed his views in an article titled "
The Elections and the Responsibility of the Intellectual to Speak Truth to Power: Twelve Reasons to Reject Obama and Support Nader/McKinney."
As the title of the article clearly states, Petras voices the reasons why intellectuals have the responsibility of voting against Obama just like they should vote against McCain. In regards to those intellectuals who have endorsed Obama he says:
They are what C. Wright Mills called 'crackpot realists', abdicating their responsibility as critical intellectuals. In purporting to support the 'lesser evil' they are promoting the 'greater evil': The continuation of four more years of deepening recession, colonial wars and popular alienation.
After listening last night to Obama's first speech after his victory, a victory he said was of the people, what Petras is saying seems disturbingly accurate when looked at through the prism of critical discourse analysis. One can look back now to the presidency of George W. Bush and listen to his rhetoric. What has been his message throughout the last 8 years? When Obama's core messages are compared to Bush's, it becomes apparent that the coming presidential plans are not too different to current presidential policies.
Even more disturbing, is the fact that when Bush spoke throughout his presidency there was always a slight cynical reaction by the majority of the public, as most of the surveys have shown time and time again. However, last night the cynicism seemed to have vanished and the hope of a new American century was reborn with full force, to the clapping thunder and joyous splendour of the reborn American people. With every word uttered by Obama one could see how the empire was not gone, Bush almost killed it, now Obama the symbol of hope, together with all the American people in unity, are going to reconstruct their country and the world, restabilising America's faltering hegemony.

All of the above effects the illegal war. The defocusing on what mattered, the hijacking of the peace movement result in the illegal war being prolonged. The decisions Barack will be making (and receiving excuses on from Panhandle Media) will prolong the Iraq War. All of the appointments will say something (usually, "Empire! Empire! Empire!"). We'd planned to be dark after this day so you can see some of the above as raided from what would have been the year-in-review but it's also true that some topics we'll ignore.
Rahm Emanuel is now Barack's Chief of Staff. I know Rahm. If he makes a real ass out of himself, we'll call him out here or have a laugh over it, otherwise we'll ignore him. (You can think back to the way Joe Biden was covered here after he became the v.p. nominee.) You can go elsewhere community wide for negative criticism of Rahm (Rebecca doesn't like him) and we can highlight that here (or other trusted voices from outside the community) but unless Rahm makes a real ass out of himself on a particular day, I'm not going to be weighing in on him here. (And no compliments or defense unless he's the target of a pile-on.) Example, Joshua Frank (Dissident Voice) offers, "For starters, Emanuel is a shameless neoliberal with close ties to the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), even co-authoring a strategy book with DLC president Bruce Reed." Tariq Ali (CounterPunch) opines, "The same day that Spain denied the son of Osama Bin Laden political asylum, Obama appointed the son of an Irgun terrorist as his Chief of Staff. Osama's son declared that he did not agree with his father's actions or opinions. Rahm Israel Emmanuel is an Israel-firster, a pro-war DLC hack and bully."

Meanwhile the
Whig Standard editorializes today that Barack should use "soft power" and argue Barack "should start by reaffirming his greatness by demonstrating to the world the 'enduring power of our ideals.' He should start by reaffirming his campaign pledge to stand is in U.S.-occupied Iraq where Assyrians -- an ancient Christian people indigenous to northern Iraq -- are the victims of a jihadist campaign of ethnic cleansing. The U.S. must accept some blame for this crisis. By deposing Iraiq dictator Saddam Hussein, the U.S. unwittingly unleashed sectarian forces that are bent on destroying religious pluralism in Iraq." Meanwhile the National Council of Churches in Australia issues an alert and calls for their country to take in more Iraqi reufgees and to provide more funds for external and internal Iraqi refugees. They note:

Violence and persecution against minority groups in Iraq continues, including communities of Christians which have been in existence for over 1500 years. The Assyrian Church of the East, as one of the Churches most affected, has mobilised itself worldwide to call attention to the crisis, and seek help where help can be found. Other Churches under extreme duress are the Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Chaldean. Prior to 2003, 4% of Iraq's population was Christian. Yet 40% of Iraq's 2.2 million refugees are Christian, which indicates the seriousness and disproportionate degree of violence and persecution to which Iraqi Christians are being exposed. "No one has been untouched by grief either by personal loss or to see their country torn apart by violence," said Bishop Mar Meelis Zaia, Australian head of the Assyrian Church of the East. According to Church sources this exodus is the result of a campaign of violence, murder, terrorism, threats, and intimidation targeted at the Christian minority. Attacks have escalated since September, when the electoral law was changed to remove the system of quotas that ensured minority groups representation on provincial councils. The result of government investigations and the arrest of about 12 people in relation to the latest wave of attacks are being awaited. The international Assyrian Christian community is raising money to help. Local parishes are collecting money to help the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation (ACERO) provide aid for people in the city of Mosul, where the recent escalation of attacks has been most severe. In the long run the hope of those fleeing the country is for a self-governing administrative region within Iraq.

Journal of Turkish Weekly reports that Chaldean-Assryian Council chair Jamil Zito declaring, "Iraq's Christians were hoping that various political factions would accept the UN Mission in Iraq proposal". Iraq may hold provincial elections in January (or not). Article 50 provided for religious minority representation. Article 50 was stripped out of the bill before Parliament passed it. A compromise was proposed this week which Iraqi Christians find insulting. Earlier this week, Sam Dagher and Mohammed al-Obaidi (New York Times) explained that Christians would get one seat each on Baghdad, Basra and Nineveh council
while Yazidis would get one seat on Nineveh for a total of 4 seats combined while Article 50 guaranteed the religious minorities 13 seats and the UN proposed 12 (the United Nations proposal came after Article 50 was deleted). Today
Waleed Ibrahim, Tim Cocks and Philippa Fletcher (Reuters) report that the office of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani issued a statement yesterday about his meet up with Christians, "They expressed worries about the negative impact of the law passed in parliament, which they said gives them a small number of seats and does not protect their rights. They asked the [presidency] council to reject this law. The president showed full support to Christian and other minorities (and) . . . promised he will not sign any law that could deprive any Iraqi group of their rights." If you thought that or the treaty might have resulted in questions at the White House today you missed Tony Fratto's and the press' embarrassing performances.

The treaty?
Leila Fadel, Nancy A. Youssef and Warren P. Strobel (McClatchy Newspapers) report, "Many Iraqi officials are now calling the status-of-forces accord, or SOFA, 'the withdrawal agreement,' possibly as a way of marketing it to a wary public." Ernesto Londono, Mary Beth Sheridan and Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) quote government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh, "Iraqis would like to know and see a fixed date" and that the US has to be prepared for more negotiatings while the US Embassy maintains (as does the US State Dept) that what Iraq has been given is the "final text." Daniel Williams (Bloomberg News) adds that Hoshyar Zebari, the country's foreign minister, has stated that the treaty will be finalized with "the current administration." AFP reports that al-Sadr follower Sheikh Sattar al-Batat, "Every Iraqi should read this agreement and decide for himself whether he agrees or disagree with it. . . . No one in his right mind can accept this agreement, so how can we?" NYT's Katherine Zoepf (for the paper's other holding, International Herald Tribune) quotes al-Batat declaring, "We will continue to condemn the Iraqi-American pact because it will legislate the American presence in Iraq. Sadr City has lost 4,300 martyrs since the invasion, so how could we accept this agreement? We say no to the Iraqi government if it wishes to sign anything." And Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) notes that Sunnis are also nervous over the treaty and Rubin also notes, "The Iraqi government, made up of exiles who were able to rise to power only as a result of the American invasion, has been looking for a way to support the pact without appearing to be kowtowing to Americans."

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing killed Haider Hassoon (an Iraqi refugee who'd just reclaimed his home) and left six people wounded, a Baghdad sticky bombing that claimed 2 lives and left seven people injured and a Diyala Province roadside bombing targeting "Awakening" Council members -- two were killed, five more wounded.

Today the
US military announced: "A Coalition force Soldier died in a non-combat related incident Nov. 6 in Kirkuk province. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The incident is still under investigation." The announcement brings the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4191.

Public radio note, Monday on
WBAI (2:00 pm EST), Cat Radio Cafe features: "Writer/performer Danny Hoch on Taking Over, his hip-hop infused play about New York gentrification; and Coney Island documentarian Charles Denson, photographer Claude Samton, and PS 225/ Shell Bank JHS/Abraham Lincoln HS graduate Sheila Samton on The Puffin Room's multi-media celebration of Coney Island Maybe. Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer." And TV note, Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes Steve Kroft explores president-elect Barack's "brain trust," Scott Pelley explores the final destinations for discarded cell phones, monitors, etc and Morley Safer speaks with pioneer Ted Turner.

Community member
Stan started his own site yesterday entitled Oh Boy It Never Ends. He's still playing around with it and has so far offered "Good for Nader" and "Stan 411" and "Robin Morgan". Also posting yesterday, Mike's "Joshua Frank, Murphy, Cocktail Weinie Norman" covers the strong and the pathetic, Marcia's "A lot including my cousin is blogging!" is a grab bag post on a multitude of topics, Ruth's "McKinney results, Doug Ireland" continues Ruth's following of election results, Kat's "Pathetic Green Party" explores the planned uselessness of a political party, Cedric's "And she smells like urine" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! TINA FEY'S A SKANK!" (joint-post) pulls a Jim and assigns Ava and I an article (joking, it falls under the topic we're already covering) and Rebecca's "gail collins is an idiot" covers the embarrassment of Collins. On the Green Party, Kimberly and Ian Wilder (On The Wilder Side) are advocating for action and not waiting around until Januray 2012 to start figuring out what to do:What next for the national Green Party? Let's send Malik Rahim to CongressThe Green Party has a golden opportunity to elect a Congressperson next month. Let's work together, in this lull after the election, to focus on a powerful strategy and a winnable race.It has created such interesting timing, that the election for Congress, District 2, in Louisiana was changed to December 6, 2008. And, we have one of our strongest Green Party candidates running in that race. In the vacuum of the November elections being over, this is a chance for green throughout the country to focus their energy in one place, on one candidate, who has the qualifications, resume and charisma to win.Malik Rahim has credentials. He was a member of the Black Panther Party. He was a founder of Common Ground, an organization dedicated to supporting poor and working class people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Malik's story has been in a variety of national media outlets. And, Malik's work after Hurrican Katrina is a story in Amy Goodman's book, "Standing Up To The Madness." Malike gave one of the most compelling and inspiring speeches at the Green Party National Convention in Chicago this summer. (Video of his speech is: here.)

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gail collins is an idiot

gail collins is tragically flat-chested, single and homely. the unibrow doesn't help her. if that seems harsh, too damn bad. i never promised to be nice and the dog-face is lying in print today. gail collins is an idiot.

in her piece of trash column today ('thinking of good vibrations' - sort of picture her spending another lonely night with her vibrator, don't you), gail concludes her bitchy column with this:

finally, on behalf of the baby-boom generation, i would like to hear a little round of applause before we cede the stage to the people who were too young to go to woodstock and would appreciate not having to listen to the stories about it anymore. it looks as though we will be represented in history by only two presidents, one of whom is george w. bush. bummer.

dumb ass gail, barack obama is a baby boomer.

what an idiot you are.

i read that and it stood out immediately because the baby boom is a huge demographic and it was a rare ad campaign that didn't target that demo or some aspect of it. so i know the damn demography, gail collins - the ill-educated, flat-chested, spinister - doesn't.

1946 - 1964. that is the accepted period for any member of the baby boom to be born in. barack obama was born in august of 1961.

now maybe gail's hairy uni-brow blocked her vision and she didn't see what year barack was born in?

or maybe she's just such an idiot and so used to lying that she thinks she can get away with anything?

look at the other spinster aunt, banging around in the attic, maureen dowd. she's been so cowed, she can't even pull it together for 4 opening sentences. click here to read her garbage and note that this sentence does not fit: 'i don't know if w. was inside talking to the portraits on the wall.' ???? what?

she doesn't set that up in the sentences prior and it really requires that in the sentence before or after (or a compound sentence but maureen has trouble with those as well) and instead it just stands out like the eye sore it is. in the next sentence her 'or' is that maybe paintings talk?

no, modo, you idiot, that sentence requries an 'or' for bully boy. 'i don't know if he was inside talking to the portraits on the wall or if he was . . .'

what awful writers the new york times has. and ugly. david brooks, modo, gail collins, bob herbert, we're talking a lot of ugly. since they weren't hired for their looks, how the hell did they get hired because it certainly wasn't due to writing ability.

i mentioned i was tackling this and c.i. suggested i note the difference between modo today online and in print. that really requires me scanning so i'll do it tomorrow or take it over to 3rd for a short entry.

community member stan has started his own site called oh boy it never ends so be sure to check it out. he is marcia's cousin. we just found out (except for c.i.) tonight. stan started his site this morning. check it out.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, November 6, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the treaty maybe moves forward but American citizens cannot have any details, Iraqi Christians feel betrayed by those who promised representation, Joshua Frank explores the War Hawks considered for cabinet positions and more.

At the Vatican today, a conference of Muslim and Christian leaders came to a close today.
BBC (text and video) quotes Pope Benedict XVI stating, "Muslims and Christians have different approaches in matters concerning God but must consider themselves members of one family." The Pope completed his remarks with a request (video, not in text), "Let us work with all people, especially the young, to build a common future." AP's Frances D'Emilo notes that Archbishop Louis Sako (from "the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk") was among the religious leaders present. Dr. Seyyed Damdad (Dept of Islamic Studies at The Academy of Sciences in Iran) and Tariq Ramadan were among the Muslim leaders attending. Asia News reproduces the joint declaration those attending agreed to. Last month in Iraq, the exodus of Iraqi Christians from Mosul following attacks and threats garnered some press attention. IRIN reports, "About 400 Christian families, (some 2,400 individuals) have returned to their homes in the northern city of Mosul after a spate of threats and killings led them to flee in early October, according to officials." Today the Kurdish Globe interviews Nechirvan Barzani, the KRG's prime minister (Massoud Barzani is the region's president and also Nechirvan's uncle).

Nechirvan Barzani: There is an unfortunate history of attacks against Christians in Iraq by terrorist groups since the liberation of Iraq in 2003. For example, in August 2004, churches in Baghdad and later in Basra, Mosul, and Kirkuk were targeted by terrorists. Christians were assassinated, abducted, and pressured to convert or pay ransom. Such things continued until nearly 50,000 Christian families had no option but to flee. Of these, 20,000 families fled to the Kurdistan Region and settled in the Duhok and Erbil governorates. Other families settled in the towns around the Nineveh Plain, and the remainder left Iraq for Syria and Jordan. The Kurdistan Regional Government has provided as much assistance as possible to these Christian families. This assistance has included employing them within the Kurdistan Regional Government, reconstructing approximately 100 villages, and helping around 10,000 families with monthly stipends. The KRG has been helping Christian families with assistance through churches and cultural and community centers. When the exodus of Christians became know, the KRG allocated 250,000 ID to each family to help them until the federal government in Baghdad can find a permanent solution. Other KRG institutions, like the Parliament and the governorates of Duhok, Erbil, and Sulaimaniya, have also offered financial and material aid to those in need, through churches and civil society organizations. The KRG Council of Ministers convened to condemn attacks against the Christians. Even before this, many KRG cabinet members, parliamentarians, and governors visited locations where the displaced Christian families have fled.

Barzani goes on to reject the talk that the Kurds were behind the assaults and threats on the Christians stating, "The Kurds would politically lose most from these incidents, since the Arab proportion of the population would rise. Those wishing to lay the blame for these incidents on our doorstep are enemies of democracy, enemies of a federal Iraq. They wish to make blatantly false claims in order to undermine the basic rights of freedom, democracy, and fair representation." That may be but those pointing the fingers at the Kurds were not claiming that the assaults were meant to push Christians out of the area for all time. The assertion was that Kurds wanted to send in the Pershmerga and had created a situation that only they could be the 'heroes' and 'saviors' of. This would, the accusations argued, allow the Kurdish region to get a stronghold in an area that is not widely seen as up in the air as to who has dibs on it. True or false, that was the accusation. (At this point, no group has been found responsible for the attacks and threats.)

Meanwhile Baghdad's
Bishop Shlemon Warduni speaks with Asia Times which reports: "The auxiliary bishop of Baghdad had far harsher words for the 'slashed representation' of minorities in the upcoming provincial elections. On Monday 3 November the Parliament approved a resolution, by 106 votes out of 150, to reserve only 6 seats for all minorities: three for Christians (Baghdad, Nineveh and Bassora), one each for Yazidis and Shabaks in Nineveh and the last to the Sabei, in the capital. 'It is pittance -- dencounces Msgr. Warduni - but we don't want it. We want equal rights'. The Chaldean bishop recalls the battle launched by the Church 'for the reinstatement of article 50 of the electoral law', which would have guaranteed 15 seats (out of a total of 440) to minorities, 13 to Christians, one to the Shabaks and the last to the Yazidis. 'We met with Premier al-Maliki, the president and the Muslim religious leaders among them the great Ayatollah al Sistani, the Sheiks and tribal chiefs. All of them promised the article would be reintroduced based upon the principal, enshrined in the constitution that all Iraqis are equal and enjoy equal rights. Evidently they preferred to give us this pittance; but we won't accept it, we want equal rights'." Alaa Majeed (UPI) explains, "Elections are one of those factors of the Iraqi Constitution that rely on transparent principles as a guide for the people. Democratic elections are an achievement in Iraq that will enable the people to decide for their future. The upcoming provincial elections, scheduled tentatively for January, give reason for the people to participate in forming a solid foundation for their country." Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) noted yesterday, "The elections will feature political races heavily influenced by Iraq's complex and sectarian conflicts. They could exacerbate tensions in southern Iraq between U.S.-backed Prime Miniter Nouri Maliki's nationalist Islamic Dawa Party and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, the two main Shiite Muslim parties in the country. The results of the internal Shiite rivalry are likely to determine whether Iraq is broken up into semiauntonomous regions or retains a strong central government."

But some will not be participating due to a number of reasons. For religious minorities, it's the seat assignment which they find insulting and which is less than Article 50 guaranteed them (before it was stripped) and less than what the United Nations was recommending.
Qassim Khidhir (Kurdish Globe) reports that the bill is now before Iraq's presidency council and "Christians, Shabaks, and Yazidis have warned the presidency council not to approve it. Nevertheless, the Iraqi presidency spokesman stated that the Iraqi presidency will still approve the bill despite the warning. Mahma Khalil, a member of Iraqi Parliament from the Kurdistan Alliance list who is a Yazidi, threatened that Yazidis will merge their territories with Kurdistan Region if the bill is approved."

From the elections to the treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement. This morning
AP reported that the US has 'officially' responded to Iraq's requests for amendments and Reuters quoted Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesperson for al-Maliki, stating, "America has responded and the Iraqi side has received the American response. They had some remarks on some of the amendments, which now requires meetings with the Americans to reach a common understanding." At the White House this morning, Dana Perino told the press, "We have gotten back to the Iraqis with a final text. Through this step we've concluded the process on our side, and now it is their court to move forward with their process." Asked about the ticking clock (December 31st the UN mandate expires), Perino responded, "We've been trying to get it done and we recongizne that there's a deadline for when the UN security mandate expires. But we're moving forward. Now they have our response to the request of the changes that they had. So they'll move forward now. I think their parliament is in session for the next two weeks. I don't know all the details in terms of how -- what the next steps are on their end, but we've returned a final text to them." Later this morning, the State Dept's spokesperson briefed the press. Robert Wood declared, "Yeah, we've gotten back to the Iraqis with a final text, and so the process has concluded on our side and we look forward to hearing back from the Iraqis. . . . We believe the process has -- on our side, has been concluded. So it's now the Iraqis' turn for them to move the document through their internal polticial process." He stressed that "the negotiating process has come to an end" but despite the US having 'finished' on their end ("the process has concluded") according to Wood, he refused to provide any details. He was no more specific on when Iraqis were informed of the official response: "Last night or early this morning."

Yesterday Ryan Crocker entertainined Iraqi officials at the fortress US Embassy in the Green Zone and
Suadad al-Salhy and Katherine Zoepf (New York Times) explain that approximately "250 Iraqi officials, diplomats and dignataries" gather "Wednesday morning" where they were served "green-tinted fruit punch" and a huge sheet cake (which was dry -- not a detail in the paper). Gina Chon (Baghdad Life, Wall St. Journal) notes. "The U.S. embassy used the elections as the reason to have its first official function at the new embassy in Baghdad." Staying with so-called diplomacy, Joshua Frank (Dissident Voice) examines possible cabinet members in Barack's administration and we'll focus on The Problem From Hell Samantha Power because that War Hawk is so rarely called out:

Samantha Power, cheerleader for humanitarian intervention, also has Obama's ear and may even entice him to put U.S. forces in Darfur.
"With very few exceptions, the Save Darfur campaign has drawn a single lesson from Rwanda: the problem was the US failure to intervene to stop the genocide. Rwanda is the guilt that America must expiate, and to do so it must be ready to intervene, for good and against evil, even globally. That lesson is inscribed at the heart of Samantha of Power's book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. But it is the wrong lesson," writes author Mahmood Mamdani in the London Review of Books.
As Mamdani continues: "What the humanitarian intervention lobby fails to see is that the US did intervene in Rwanda, through a proxy … Instead of using its resources and influence to bring about a political solution to the civil war, and then strengthen it, the US signalled to one of the parties that it could pursue victory with impunity. This unilateralism was part of what led to the disaster, and that is the real lesson of Rwanda … Applied to Darfur and Sudan, it is sobering. It means recognising that Darfur is not yet another Rwanda. Nurturing hopes of an external military intervention among those in the insurgency who aspire to victory and reinforcing the fears of those in the counter-insurgency who see it as a prelude to defeat are precisely the ways to ensure that it becomes a Rwanda."

Prior to Our Modern Day Carrie Nation visiting England and imploding, Amy Goodman was all over Power and how amazing it was and how she was going to be the next Secretary of State (and as bad as Goody was on DN!, she was far worse on WBAI airwaves as she yammered on about Samantha endlessly in one Friday's pledge drive) and of course Jeremy Scahill was all up in some Samantha Power because the Bloody War Hawk had been acting as one of his unnamed sources. But then Power went to England and imploded. She talked smack about Gordon Brown (which never got publicity here -- apparently the US doesn't give a damn if Power insults a world leader who is one of America's closest's allies), called Hillary Clinton a "monster" (which got all the attention) and told the BBC Barack's 'promise' that US troops would be out of Iraq in 16 months wasn't for real. Samantha Power was not called out for those March remarks. Instead,
Tom Hayden showed up July 4th wanting to know why they were ignored. Ask John Nichols (busy lying that Samantha and Hillary were close friends to excuse the "monster" remark), ask David Corn who shot down Samantha's remarks repeatedly in press briefings with the Hillary campaign, ask ALL THE LIARS WHO REFUSED TO CALL THE WAR HAWK OUT. As irritating as Tom-Tom can be and as much as he's sold out in 2008, it does bear noting that in 2007, he was among the few willing to call out Samantha Power or her running buddy and fellow counter-insurgency cheerleader Sarah Sewall. Whatever happened to that Tom Hayden? As Bananarama once sang, "He was really saying something . . . "

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 Baghdad roadside bombing targeting "Awakening" Council members that left 2 dead and five wounded, a Baghdad sticky bombing, a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed 1 life and left five people injured and another Baghdad bobming ("put in a rubbish bin") that resulted in five wounded, and a Mosul roadside bombing that left two Iraqi soldiers injured.


Reuters notes 1 person shot dead by US forces in Hawija.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse discovered in Mosul and 1 outside of Kirkuk.

Yesterday (late) the
US military announced: "A Multi-National Division – Center Soldier died of non-combat related causes Nov. 5." That brings the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4191.

Ralph Nader was this year's independent presidential candidate and Matt Gonzalez was his running mate. We'll note
this from Team Nader:

Against all odds.
We prevailed.
On $4 million total -- what Obama raised in one day.
Nader/Gonzalez overcame ballot access obstacles.
We put our shift the power agenda on 45 state ballots.
We set the world record for campaigning in 21 towns and cities in 24 hours during our Massachusetts Marathon.
We exposed Obama and Biden for the corporate politicians they are.
(And today, ABC News is reporting that Obama wants the militarist reactionary Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff.)
We drew the line.
And together, we chose to make a stand.
You stood with hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Against the corporate militaristic machine.
Our consciences are clear.
Our hands are clean.
We made the moral choice.
History will look back and say -- those Americans back in 2008 who supported Nader/Gonzalez -- they were right.
So, thank you fellow traveler.
Thank you for your donations.
And your hard work.
It has been a joy -- standing with you.
Fighting for justice.
The Nader Team

Chris Floyd (Empire Burlesque) evaluates president-elect Barack:

To which we could add his bellicose saber-rattling at Iran, his promise to roll back "Russian aggression" and extend war-triggering treaty protection to an aggressive Georgian regime (which cluster-bombed its own people, as we learned this week), his advocacy of destabilizing and civilian-shredding military strikes in Pakistan, his opposition to gay marriage (and campaigning with gay-bashing preachers), and his support for extending the death penalty to cover non-fatal offenses, and so on.Any one of these positions would be roundly condemned by "progressives" if they were taken or advocated by George W. Bush -- as in fact many of them have been. Indeed, one of the most remarkable things about this campaign is how Obama has managed to embody the deep and desperate thirst for change among millions of Americans -- hence the genuinely moving scenes of jubilation and revived hope that have greeted his victory -- while his actual positions in many if not most key areas track very closely with Bush's, if they are not actually identical with them.Take Iran, for example. Obama has taken what is regarded as a more nuanced position, holding out the promise of direct negotiations with Iranian leaders. Yet he has repeatedly stated what the outcome of these "negotiations" must be: Iran must "abandon its nuclear program." If it does not, then more and more draconian sanctions will be applied, with the clear threat of military action if these don't bring Tehran to heel. This is, chapter and verse, the precise policy followed by Bush, who has also repeatedly offered to "negotiate" with Iran as long as they agree to surrender on every point before talks begin.

iraqthe los angeles timesned parker
gina chonthe wall street journal
the new york timeskatherine zoepfsuadad al-salhy
joshua frank
chris floyd


gossip post

this is my gossip post so enjoy.

1st up, tacky, tacky, tacky. what else to expect from michelle obama but that dress last night? omg. she already suffers from huge hips, no waist and small breasts. wearing a black dress with read across the hips and boobs only emphasized her faults. without the red it would have been a fine dress. with the red, along with maximizing her flaws, it made the dress look like a cheap t-shirt.

we'll leave out what red might have meant just like we'll pretend closeted lesbian katharine hepburn wasn't making a political statement by wearing pink to decry mccarthyism.

we'll instead move onto another elderly actress.

8 of you e-mailed to ask why jane fonda is returning to broadway?

i got on the phone (and didn't call c.i. - to be clear, c.i. wouldn't have given me any dirt on jane).

fonda has no career. georgia rules flopped like a dying fish and she is as much responsible for that as crazy lindsay. equally true is that she was calling out lindsay when the film was debuting and it's thought that didn't help the box office.

she attacked hillary which irritated a number of people and this was after she was box office poison. as c.i. has noted, she took to hanging out with the wrong crowd and that only lowered her further.

there were no film offers and the only thing she had prospects of were t.v. roles (and not strong 1s). she's been insanely jealous of the praise estelle parsons has been receiving.

she's put some of her own money into the production which helped guarantee the role.

now for non-gossip i did call c.i. because i've read 800 different things. c.i. cleared up the numbered items.

1) jane was not a lead in strange interlude. it ran briefly on broadway as a benefit for the actor's studio. jane had the small role of madeline. the production starred geraldine page and others in the cast included franchot tone, ben gazzara, pat hingle, richard thomas and betty field (among others). jane is only in the last 2 acts and doesn't have much to do in those acts. she wasn't praised for her acting. that was her final broadway performance. (her only stage work since was reading monologues in eve ensler's laughable vagina monologues.) repeating, that was her last broadway appearance.

2) her 1st was there was a little girl. the press gets this wrong as well. c.i. says joshua logan directed and the playwright was daniel taradash and fonda was the lead, a woman who was raped. c.i. says jane got huge praise for her broadway debut. she won the new york drama critics award for this performance.

3) jane next did invitation to a march. c.i. says, 'i know too many people - some now dead - in that cast so you list every 1 or you don't list any.' fair enough. the cast was celeste holm, madeleine sherwood, jeffrey rowland, eileen heckart, tom hatcher, jane fonda, james macarthur and richard derr. and that was the order of the billing. it debuted on broadway oct. 29, 1960 at the music box theatre. arthur laurents directed and he was also the playwright. jane got strong reviews for this play as well (c.i. says the new yorker's kenneth tynan was among the strongest but also notes walter kerr) but jane wasn't the lead and was playing 'the girl' in a heavy cast.

4) jane's disaster that had her walk away from broadway is not mentioned. while 2) and 3) ran for a few months and 1) was a benefit performance that was not supposed to have a long run, jane signed for a comedy and it was an outright bomb. in fact, c.i. says it is 1 of the biggest bombs of its day and it's surprising that the press hasn't mentioned it: the fun couple. as part of the publicity for this expected broadway hit, the defense department named jane "miss army recruiting of 1962.' she was the female lead and ben piazza was the male lead, the supporting leads were a very young dyan cannon (a wonderful actress!) and bradford dillman. jane wanted the director to be her then boyfriend and drama coach, the bi-sexual andres voutsinas. the play was a bomb (dyan got some nice notices). the new york post said of the bomb: 'the most incredible thing about the play is that two such talented young performers as jane fonda and bradford dillman were willing to appear in the title roles.' they called it 'an epic bore.' ('they' is richard watts. had to call c.i. back because i didn't write down the reviewer's name.) the play was written by john haase and neil jansen. c.i. notes that there is a documentary entitled jane that was made during the lead-up to the fun couple. the new york herald tribune critic walter kerr appears in the documentary because his review of the fun couple included: 'i find it impossible to believe that the fun couple ever went out of town. if they'd gone out of town, they'd have closed it.' for the documentary, kerr told the camera, 'if you asked me for a list of the 5 worst plays of all time, the fun couple would be on it.' the lay opened october 26, 1962. its last performance was october 27, 1962. yes, it closed that quickly. it was a huge bomb. the only 1 who entertained the audience was dyan cannon. it was the end of andreas' directing career (and really of jane and andreas' relationship) and the end of jane's stage career. strange interlude, again, was a benefit performance and an ensemble cast.

so there's some gossip for you. i wasn't going to do a heavy post tonight. let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snaphot:'

Wednesday, November 5, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the empire gets a new ruler, Nouri al-Maliki claims credit, the treaty remains stalled, Iraqis are far from overwhelmed and more.

Yesterday the US elected a new ruler for the empire, War Hawk Barack Obama.
David A. G. Fischer (Dissident Voice) reports on an election night panel independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader took part in:

He goes on to contrast his campaign with that of Obama as not having any hoopla, hope or rhetoric; Ralph continues to campaign on the real issues affecting the people in spite of overwhelming odds -- he is a champion despite Obama's victory.
Along the same line and with applause, his lack of hoopla and rhetoric is still so out-of-sync with the media cartel's disinformation campaign that he was once again ignored by the mainstream. What we have here is a man who refuses to sell out and complacently surrender to the status quo, he is a man based on strong principle who perceives reality for what it is -- a sham directed by the controlling institutions of power, of which Obama is just another cog in their finely-tuned machine.
But what do we really know about Mr. Barack Obama? Here we have a candidate who received hundreds of millions in campaign donations by corporate America and Wall Street. Nader sensibly asks something I've pointed out many times, "Why are the corporations investing in Obama?" By looking at his voting record it is obvious who he supports with approbation for illegal surveillance, a permanent presence in Iraq with a potential spread to neighboring countries, offshore drilling which he used to be against, an economic bailout lacking oversight and transparency, and so forth. Where is this great change that he has been spewing forth to the public for the past twenty months? It is likely just more of what the public wants to hear, but it's apparent by voter turnout that they fail to feel the hot air blowing by them.
Part of the problem with Obama, as Nader points out, is that while Obama is pulled to the right by the corporate establishment, there are no demands being put on him by organized groups such as labor and unions to pull him the other direction and thus "make him better."

Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report) notes this refusal to make demands on Barack as well:

We have learned that Black politicians and activist-poseurs have an infinite capacity to celebrate not having engaged in struggle with Power, and that the Black masses can be made drunk by the prospect of vicariously (through Obama) coming to power. Having failed to make even the mildest of demands on Obama in return for unquestioning support, Black misleadership vowed they would press for firm commitments on issues of importance to African Americans once Obama had passed the final hurdle. (White progressives who were similarly self-neutered during the campaign also promise to begin acting like real people's advocates, any day now...just you wait and see.) We have already learned that "Progressives for Obama" of all ethnicities, who failed to put pressure on the candidate early on, when it might have made a difference, are full of crap.

Yes, they are full of crap. Including the Agency-fronted political closet case who has already shown up with a pep-talk about how the economic crisis is a good thing, a really, really good thing! Those in the closet politically might want to check their language so they don't expose themselves by accident. But lets' move to the economy. The
San Francisco Business Times observes, "A day after the United States made history by electing Barack Obama president, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 486 points Wednesday, ending at 9,139.27." The Phoenix Business Journal notes that news as well: "The election is over and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has taken a dive of nearly 500 points." No, there was no magical 'cure' nor was there going to be. Any zowie-wowie article on the election today notes in cautionary tales how things will have to be scaled back or dropped. That's your preparation for expecting nothing from the man who promised even less. Larry Pinkney (Information Clearing House) offers a list of things to expect:

In relative short order - inside the United States itself - under a Barack Obama presidency, the living conditions of the majority of Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow peoples will continue to steadily and massively deteriorate while the corporate Wall Street barons prolong their glut of the every day people's finances, resources, hopes, and dreams. Under an Obama presidency those non Blacks who stand in opposition to Barack Obama's de facto pro Wall Street backers and their blood-sucking policies will be branded as racists and traitors, while those Blacks who oppose Obama's policies will be ignored and/or branded as fringe radicals and traitors. Thus, the horrors of the U.S. Empire will continue unabated, and in many respects, under Barack Obama, actually worsen. The blame for the deteriorating economy and continued war will of course quickly be laid by the Obama / Biden regime and the Democratic Party Republicrats on the previous Bush / Cheney regime, despite the fact that it was the complicity of the Democratic Party itself with the Bush / Cheney Republican Republicrat regime that facilitated the despicable policies and practices of the Bush / Cheney regime. The fact is that the Democratic and Republican Parties are de facto Republicrats with the objective of exploiting the majority of people and maintaining U.S. Empire abroad.After the Democratic Party Republicrats so-called election euphoria and celebrating is over, the Obama / Biden Republicrat regime will get down to the business of placing the ongoing exploitation of the every day people of this nation on fast track. The masses of Black Americans, along with the oppressed and exploited Brown, Red, Yellow, and White peoples of this nation will learn first hand that, notwithstanding the deceptive Obama rhetoric, exploitation nationally and internationally will be intensified. The "clash between those who want freedom, justice, equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation" about which Malcolm X referred, will be intensified under Barack Obama, with Obama representing the interests of the oppressors. The political contradictions in this regard will also be increasingly obvious.Those so-called leftist and progressives who were and are collaborators with U.S. Empire will, for a time, try to pretend that their support of Barack Obama was not a sell out, and that they simply need more time to persuade the U.S. Empire's colored corporate emperor to do the right thing. Meanwhile, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White peoples will be enduring an unprecedented rate of economic and social suffering. The anger of the people will ultimately peak and explode, as a result of having bought into false hope and raised expectations. This is precisely why the U.S. corporate government has already made military contingency plans to contain and massively quash dissention within the United States. Barack Obama will serve to provide his corporate / military masters with colored political cover for political repression in this nation; and he will have already provided a small respite of wiggling room for them in this regard. Nevertheless, as brutal reality forces the proverbial scales of blindness to drop from eyes of the masses, it will become crystal clear that the supposed "change" to which Barack Obama referred in his campaign rhetoric, was nothing more than a vicious ruse of double-speak by him, backed by his corporate and military handlers. Indeed, the emperor will be shown to "have no clothes." But what of the fate of millions of Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow peoples inside the U.S.? How many horrible sacrifices will have been, and will yet need to be made by the people in order to get the boot of economic blood-sucking and political repression off their / our necks?

Emperor Barack gave his victory speech in Chicago.
Gary Leupp (Dissident Voice) decodes it:

"And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand."
In other words: Don't worry, world. The bad old days of George Bush are over.
"To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you."
In other words: Under my administration we Americans will continue to simplistically conceptualize the existence of an enemy that is pure evil and wants to destroy the world, and imagine we can "defeat" it through the War on Terror.

Exit polls demonstrate that the economy was the number one issue, ahead of the illegal war. Going unnoticed is how Iraq was taken off the table by All Things Media Big and Small. When the faux activists of CODESTINK are protesting Wall St. -- not for the war machinery they manufacture and sell but over the economic meltdown -- and Jodi's given everything but her uterus to Barack's campaign, don't pretend anyone's being encouraged to give a damn about ending the Iraq War. To really ensure that it be a non-issue, did someone else take it off the table?
Damien McElroy (Telegraph of London) reports that Nouri al-Maliki is claiming to "close aides" that he gave the election to Barack because "he took the Iraqi issue 'off the table' for Obama by endorsing his timetable during his visit to Baghdad in July." Don't be too angry with al-Maliki, CIA assets tend to face very violent rub-outs when they've exhuasted their usefulness and al-Maliki's pretty much squeezed out. al-Maliki reportedly believes he can get further concessions from Barack on the treaty between the White House and the puppet government. At the US State Dept today, Sean McCormack was asked about the treaty and the spokesperson stated that the US has not yet responded (officially) to the amendments suggested by Iraq and that US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker will convey communications to al-Maliki. As for whether the amendments will fly or not, McCormack declared, "Well, again, I go back to what -- you know, what I've said and what Dana Perino has said over at the White House in terms of the bar for any changes. You know, it's a pretty high bar for any changes. But again, we'll take a look at what is suggested. We're formulating our responses. The Iraqis took some time to think through what they wanted to provide us by way of comments, and we're taking our time in providing that response back to them."

One thing Ambassador Crocker already conveyed to the Iraqi government was, "While this historic election has changed a great many things, we will also have full continuity of policy and purpose as we move through our transition."
NPR's Corey Flintoff (All Things Considered) reported that today and on the reaction of Iraqis to the election results with Abu Osama stating, "We don't know whether he'll change now that he's elected" and
Rana Sa'ad Diyab stating she's not seen any improvements in six years and "she'll wait and see whether Obama's policies bring any changes in security or her family's standard of living, but she doubts that will happen."
Hameed Kamil Hilal tells Leila Fadel and Corinne Reilly (McClatchy Newspapers), "We have seen nothing positive from any American president, and McCain and Obama are two faces of one coin, one policy." Meanwhile Demetri Sevastopulo (Financial Times of London) explains that it's not just Iraqis who are doubtful that any 'change' will take place, "On Iraq, the Illinois senator campaigned on a pledge to remove US combat troops within sixteen months, but some military officers privately argue that he will show more flexibility on timing after assuming responsibility for the war started by George W. Bush."

In some of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad car bombing where the driver killed him/herself and 4 people with nine more wounded, a Baghdad roadside bombing where three people were wounded and a Mosul roadside bombing that claimed 1 life with three more wounded.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 police officers shot dead in Mosul.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse discovered in Mosul Tuesday night and, also Tuesday night, 2 corpses discovered outside of Kirkuk.

In peace news, Cindy Sheehan ran for the US Congress from California's 8th district. She lost to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday. While others tried to hop a bandwagon and refused to challenge Democrats, Cindy had the strength to stand up.
At Information Clearing House she shares her thoughts:

This past month, I kept on saying to my supporters, staff, interns, volunteers and myself, that no matter what happened on November 4th that we could hold our heads up high and be very proud of our campaign. Until yesterday, I wasn't sure that what I said would be true, but I feel an incredibly sense of peace and pride in our accomplishments. There were so many victories over the last year that the American paradigm of "winner-take all" just doesn't fit.We moved into San Francisco a little over a year ago with less than nothing. We used savings and credit cards to open our office and sometimes to keep it open. We transformed a former "sex shop" to a fully functioning and vibrant campaign office. Our "natural base" never materialized, so we had to build a foundation in less than a few months.In August, we historically gained ballot access as only the 6th independent campaign in California history to do so. Our platform based on humane economics was in place long before the recent collapses and resultant bailouts. Our labor platform was hailed all over the world, while unions here in SF supported the corporate "rescuer" Nancy Pelosi.Cindy for Congress never once sold out our solid principles based campaign and would never sell out the voters of San Francisco like Nancy Pelosi has. Nancy Pelosi ran from my campaign and our demands to debate me and we persevered and did so amazingly well after a near total media black out and several attempts at political intimidation.We got to the end of this stage with a barrel full of integrity and a boatload of dedication and love. Dozens of activists came from all over the country to be here to help us spread our progressive, peace based message and thousands donated to help keep our campaign afloat.We have moved right through November 4th because this is a movement for peace and against corporate control of our political system. Movements can't stop, we must keep moving.

gary leupp
glen fordblack agenda report
larry pinkney
nprcorey flintoffdemetri sevastopulo
leila fadel
mcclatchy newspapers
hussein kadhim
corinne reilly
damien mcelroy
cindy sheehan


nothing will change

ML: Obama vs. Hope

November 4, 2008
from Matt Lavery:
Both the ”hope” and “change” elements of the Obama candidacy have been roundly debunked by thoroughgoing progressives (i.e. ones who don’t cave in on warrantless wiretapping, nuclear energy, continued/ ratcheted UP militarization, etc.), nowhere better than in Alexander Cockburn’s powerful “Against Obama” in the last The Nation of October (his too-quick slagging of Cynthia McKinney’s “5,000 post-Katrina executions” aside). But with him looking very strong in the exit polling and early EST reporting, it does seem time to talk more clearly about how his election and a more empowered Democratic majority (they’ve already picked up two senate seats, one in VA and one in NH) could actually create some hope for progressives. Here’s my thought: a strong marginalizing of the GOP should create an opportunity to really push the Dems. to be more responsive to (a) progressive agenda(s). This is a traditional “role” of third parties that can easily be lost as we push to run more candidates. Reduced temptation to pander to the “right”–which has kept Dems. from disavowing or marginalizing their own progressive caucuses–should definitely give (especially) Greens hope that we will have more influence to peddle in any upcoming new “New Deal” body politic.
We all know “on-the-fencers” who may even be tempted to call themselves “Progressive Democrats” in the furor of an Obama landslide. We mustn’t forget how to speak to them; how to make them see that it is progressives whose votes may be lost to them in the future as the country continues to turn blue.

that's from kimberly wilder's site and she's live blogging election night so you can visit on the wilder side for more. i agree with pretty much everything matt says about the future.

i have no idea how long matt's followed politics but there will be no 'progressives' in congress. get over it. and i really loathe that term which is nothing but something for political closet types to use.

here's what happens if barack wins and dems significantly increase their numbers in congress: nothing.

we're told 'that's great but we don't have the money.' and 'if it weren't for the economic crisis . . .'

as ava and c.i. documented sunday, senator chuck schumer was on charlie rose last week bragging, delighted that barack as president meant nuclear energy was on the table. that's schumer.

more importantly, barack is the corporatist candidate and all a win by him does is convince themselves to sell out even more to corporate america.

people are really idiots and i'm not talking about matt in this section.

i'm talking about liars like norman solomon who want to argue that you can hop on board corporate train and the dems will be so thrilled they'll support your needs. uh-uh. the lesson, the take-away, is that they need to whore themselves out to big money even more - just like bambi did!

it's: whore yourself out cause where else are the people going to go?

so get over the idea that there's about to be some left movement in this country. it's not happening. the dems have caved non-stop since 2006 and even with the worst polling numbers, they held on to their seats in congress. so quit lying to yourself that they're going to 'learn' something from this election that is helpful to the people.

my thoughts for tonight. check out kimberly's blog for her thoughts and for other people's. she's following more than just the presidential race, by the way.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Tuesday, November 4, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the illegal war is not ending anytime soon judging by most signals, Talabani and Barzani continue to have conflict, the treaty is said to be progressing . . . to a national referendum (?) and more.

In the US voting takes place today. It does not mean life stops or that the entire world does.
Gina Chon (Baghdad Life, Wall St. Journal) writes of "Samir Ahmed, a government employee, said he had also once assumed a different U.S. administration would mean a different policy towards Iraq. The presidential race he was thinking of was between Bill Clinton and the first George Bush. Mr. Clinton won, but continue a tough stance against Iraq. Today, he expects that no matter who wins the current race, American policy toward Iraq will remain the same." Mariam Toma agrees and tells Chon, "Both of them will not withdraw U.S. forces. In contrast, maybe the will actually find another reason to stay even longer in Iraq." Meanwhile Stephen Farrell, Mudhafer al-Husaini and Abeer Mohammed (Baghdad Bureau, New York Times) did a snap-poll, "an informal snapshot of Iraqis living or working in the Green Zone. Of 200 Iraqis spoken to after they streamed out of two Green Zone exists into the 'real' Baghdad on Monday, just over a third of them wanted the Americans to leave Iraq as soon as possile while just under half wanted them to stay. The remainder offered options somewhere in between." These are Green Zoners and they do fear the fall of the Green Zone and the puppet government. They're protected while, everywhere else, Iraqis aren't so lucky.

Meanwhile Germany's increasingly pathetic
Der Speigel (which has been justifying and supporting the illegal war for sometime if you'd bothered to pay attention) runs the craked musings of Peter Ross Range who just knows Barack will win the presidency and calls for him to "revise" the 16-month 'plan' for 'withdrawal.' PeePee Ross Range is a DLC-er (Der Spiegel calls him "moderate") and he cheerleader the illegal war before it started and justified it for years and years. As late as July 22, 2005, he was whining that 'liberals' and 'progressives' needed to praise Saddam being disposed and be less criticisl ("Liberal's War" published in the DLC bible). January 8, 2004, he was writing that the US shouldn't withdraw or even "pull-back" ("Remembering the Middle Class," ibid). October 21, 2005 PeePee was whining, "Many war opponents, often still traumatized by Vietnam, are preoccupied with what invading Iraq says about America rather than what it does for the Iraqis" ("War of Conscience"). Der Spiegel's become an embarrassment but for those who know PeePee's work, it's probably worth a chuckle -- September 30, 2002, he was wondering if Germany was "Anti-American" or "Anti-Bush"? Translation, the two deserve one another.

Barack's 'plan' for withdrawal? Are we actually back to that lie? Droping back to a
Third editorial from June:

Here's the interview Panhandle Media couldn't tell you about:
Stephen Sackur: You said that he'll revisit it [the decision to pull troops] when he goes to the White House. So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out within sixteen months, isn't a commitment is it?Samantha Power: You can't make a commitment in whatever month we're in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are going to be like in January 2009. We can'te ven tell what Bush is up to in terms of troops pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US Senator.

When Power gave that interview, she was still his foreign policy advisor. And backing up her claims that promises weren't really promises,
here's Barack speaking to Candy Crowley June 5th on CNN when asked about his 'promise' to withdraw (combat troops):
Well, you know, I'd never say there's 'nothing' or 'never' or 'no way' in which I'd change my mind." 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.
In April Power tells the BBC that Barack's 'pledges' and 'promises' on Iraq are non-binding and, if elected, he'll decide what to do then. June 5th, Barack echoes that to CNN. And Panhandle Media works overtime to ignore reality. And if you like being played, you'll love what they have planned.

--- End of excerpt. Get it. No 'plan,' no 'promise.' That's reality. So why is PeePee asking Barack to rethink a non-pledge? Because PeePee's audience isn't Barack, it's you. PeePee wants to soften the public up to the idea that Barack in the White House doesn't have to mean an end to the illegal war. If elected, Barack can't break what so many wrongly believe was a 'promise' on his own. He needs a lot of liars who can soften up public opinion.

There's no rush to leave Iraq or even a desire. That needs to be grasped. Iraqi General Nasier Abadi made that pretty clear during Sunday's press conference in the Green Zone. Questioned by the Washington Post's Mary Beth Sheridan as to when the Iraqis would be able to handle "their own internal security . . . how many years are you away from reaching that goal," Abadi tried to distract by listing duties before declaring, "We have no duties or missions to protect the air on the borders of the country. But in case we have this responsibility, there is a brief that -- to the minister of defense, if he ask us to -- task us with that, a reportw ent also to the Prime Minister, what are the capabilities and the army's specifics to do those duties?" Asked how many years again, he responded, "Building an aerial force, building an Army is not easy, but it's still easier than building naval and air force. The naval force, as I said before, that the first ship will come in 2009 and the fourth will arrive in . . . at the end of 2011. In regard to 200- . . . Air Force, the first aircraft we will receive in 2011 until 2015. And that depends on the support and the help that the coalition forces can secure to Iraq so we can be able to maintain and defend our airspace and territories. Without that, there will be also agreements with the neighboring countries on the security of Iraq. But it's possible that we will go with those missions without having an air force or naval force because this is a common battle, it's not just an army's duty." Setting aside the naval force and focusing only on the air, if the period they'll be taking possession of aircraft will last from 2011 through 2015, how likely is it that they will be prepared to handle their own airspaceby the end of 2011?

At the Pentagon today, spokesperson Bryan Whitman informed reporters that there was a plan in place for transition from the Bully Boy to the winner of today's election. A comparison was rightly made between LBJ and Tricky Dick. Nixon didn't end the illegal war, he only continued it. Whitman declared, "One of the important components of this is ensuring that we've identified and highlighted some of the key department events, actions, milestones that a new administration will face in its first 90 days."

Turning to the topic of the Status Of Forces Agreement masquerading as a treaty,
CNN reports Sami al-Askari (Nouri al-Maliki adviser) states that the White House "has signaled to Iraqi officials that it is seriously considering proposed changes to an agreement that would set the terms for U.S. troops in Iraq". Al Jazeera notes that al-Askari has no official response from the White House and that Iraq's Sunni vice president Tareq al-Hashemi is advocating that the treaty be put up for approval to all Iraqis (not just the Parliament), "This agreement is an important and sensitive subject . . . Iraqis should have their say." Khalid al-Ansary, Missy Ryan and Kevin Liffey (Reuters) add that al-Hashemi is indicateing that the agreement be placed on the ballot with "provincial elections scheduled to take place by the end of January." At which point, who would be in Iraq? The United Nations mandate that governs the occupation expires December 31st at which point, if no new agreement has been reached, there is no legal authority for foreign forces to be on Iraqi soil. The White House has attempted political blackmail insisting that they will cut off this and that if Baghdad won't sign off on the treaty. Richard Tomkins (UPI) notes, "Iraq, with no air control capability at present, nonetheless would have to take over air traffic control and also assume total responsibility for guarding its borders." Al Bawaba notes that today's "Baghdad edition of the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat said the Americans had agreed to three of the five latest changes proposed by Iraq. It said, quoting unnamed sources, that Washington had dropped the clause that authorises Baghdad and Washington to seek an extension for retaining troops in the cities beyond 2009 and in the country beyond 2011." Maria Appakova (UPI) explains:

However, Americans are in no hurry to raise this question at the U.N. Security Council. Staying in Iraq in accordance with an international mandate is one thing, but having a strategic partnership treaty and receiving dividends from it is quite another matter.
Yet Washington has no choice -- it cannot take offense at Iraqis and pull out its troops from Iraq. It won't be able to attach the blame for withdrawal to Russia, since Moscow does not mind Americans continuing their presence there for a while, and Russia is not in favor of an upsurge of terror in the region, after all.
[. . .]
[US} House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton stated that he is "deeply concerned" with what he heard. Skelton is referring to the agreement's provisions that recently leaked to the press, which include, for example, the Iraqi government's ability to put American servicemen and private security companies' personnel on trial for cirmes they committed while on leave and outside military bases.
It must be said that if this provision really has been included in the draft, it is quite a victory for the Iraqi government.

Gulf Daily News notes continued conflict between the Baghdad government and the Kurdish one with the country's President Jalal Talabani stating the US cannot set up bases anywhere in Iraq "without the approval of the central government" in Baghdad which was a strong rebuke to KRG president Massud Barzani who stated last week that, should the US and Baghdad not sign off on a treaty, the US could just set up bases in the Kurdish region. The tensions between the Kurdish region and Iraq are never not on display. Last Wednesday, at the White House, Barzani was being translated when he cut in to correct the translator:

Translator: And in terms of SOFA, we do believe that it is in the interest of the Iraqi government --

Massud Barzani: Iraqi people.

Translator: -- it's in the interest of this country and we have been and we will continue to support it and support its ratification.

Hoda Abdel-Hamid (Al Jazeera) notes that the US popularity in the Kurdish region is sinking (after years of sucking up) and quotes Barzan Mohamed stating, "America was not honest with the Kurds. They've let them down in the past and they only follow their interests. They can leave the Kurds any time and I don't trust having an alliance with them or even friendship. Yes, they rid us of dictatorship, but they came here to control the region and the Middle East." Iran's Press TV states that Talabani made a point to praise Iran Sunday for their help with Iraq's security and that Talabani also cited Syria and that, on the treaty, Talabani "said that Iraq is a unified country and no one has the right to object the Iraqi government's decision, should it refuse the security deal. Talabani was referring to a recent interview by Massud Barzani, the president of the local government of Iraq's Kurdistan during which he said that the Kurdistan region would provide the U.S. with military bases if Baghdad refuses to sign the security deal with Washington."

We've noted the Iraqi Air Force twice in today's snapshot. 1) It's not due to be ready until 2015 at the earliest and 2) the US is using the lack of one to threaten Baghdad into signing off on the treaty. For those not grasping how "shambles" is too mild a word to be applied to IAF, let's drop back to October 24th. M-NF trumpeted "
Iraqi Air Force celebrates another milestone." Sounds good, right? Yeah, as long as you don't go beneath the headline. If you do, you find: "The Iraqi Air Force surpassed another milestone Oct. 22 when an all-Iraqi flight crew took to the air in the King Air Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft for the first time in support of an Iraqi Special Operations Forces training exercise." Five years after the start of the illegal war (six this March) and that's where the IAF is? They've just finished their first "all-Iraqi flight crew" flight?

Moving on to some of today's reported violence . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad sticky bomb wounded three people (all family members), another Baghdad sticky bombing reulted 1 person being killed and seven more wounded, a third Baghdad sticky bombing claimed 1 life and left five wounded, a Baghdad roadside bombing resulted in 4 deaths and eight people being wounded and another Baghdad bombing claimed 7 lives with eighteen people wounded. Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) updates the seven dead by 4 for eleven and notes that the bomb was "hidden in a car at a bus stop" (wounded rose to twenty-one). Reuters notes a Mosul roadside bombing that claimed 1 life and left one person wounded and another Mosul roadside bombing resulted in five people being injured and a Mosul "suicide car" bombing left four police officers injured.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 Iraqi police officer was shot dead in Baghdad (three more wounded) and 1 "Lieutenant Colonel working for the ministry of interior affairs" was shot dead in Baghdad. Reuters notes 2 police officers was shot dead in Mosul while 2 civilians were shot dead in different incidents.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses were discovered in Nineveh Province.

Michael Birnbaum (Washington Post) reports that DoD "announced yesterday the death of Pfc. Bradly Shane Colemn of Mratinsville, VA, who had been serving in Iraq" and whose October 29th death is under investigation. His death brings the toll to 14 for the month of October.

Scott Fontaine (News Tribune via Seattle Post-Intelligencer) reports that the Fort Lewis Stryker's "3rd Brigade is getting ready to make its third deployment to Iraq next year." This as Will Dunham (Reuters) notes, "More than 2 million U.S. children have had parents deployed to fight in Iraq since 2003 or in Afghanistan since 2001."

Katharine Q. Seelye (New York Times) points out, "The fact is, there is plent of mystery -- nad there is only one poll that counts." It is election day and anything can happen. Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) will live blog the election tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST. So check out her site which will go beyond the D and R to include other letters in the alphabet. Including "G" (Wilder is a Green.)
Starting with independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his running mate Matt Gonzalez.
Team Nader notes:

We're having a party!
A Nader/Gonzalez party!
Tonight, we celebrate.
If you are a skeptic, you might be asking -- what, pray tell, are you celebrating?
To which we answer --
The power of the people.
The power of you -- our loyal supporters.
Against all odds -- and in the face of a major media blackout -- together, we have given the American people a choice today.
For the Nader/Gonzalez shift the power agenda.
With eight months of hard work, we have put that agenda on the ballot in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Ralph has campaigned in all 50 states.
And together we have organized a network of American citizens to press onward for single payer health insurance, a living wage, a cut in the bloated, wasteful military budget, for a reversal of U.S. policy in the Middle East -- everything the Nader/Gonzalez campaign stands for.
So, today, if you haven't already done so, vote with pride for Nader/Gonzalez.
And then, no matter what the outcome tonight, celebrate!
With the coming disintegration of two party domination of our politics, you have chosen to be on the winning side of history.
So, celebrate tonight!
And while celebrating, follow Ralph's results on the net or television.
(Unfortunately, most of the major news outlets apparently will not include third party and independent candidates in their result totals -- but Fox News' map apparently will (fair and balanced?) -- county by county and nationwide.
Check it out here.
And finally, only 500 copies left!
Let's move them today!
Get one of the last copies now!
It's autographed by Ralph!
And is bound to be a collector's item!
Of course, we're talking about the 40th Anniversary edition of Unsafe at Any Speed -- Ralph's classic expose of the American automobile industry.
And we have only 500 copies left!
If you
donate $100 or more today -- up to the legal maximum of $2,300 -- we will ship to you one of the last copies we have of this classic -- autographed by the man himself.Let's move the last 500 copies today -- and hit our goal of $4 million by midnight tonight.

Today Nader held his
one-word press conference and Jimmy Orr (Christian Science Monitor) provides an excerpt:

What is your opinion of Obama? "Clever."
What is your opinion of Palin? "Developing."
How much money did you raise for your campaign? "Insufficient."
Why do you keep running for president? "Justice."
Will you be elected president? "No."
When do you think you will win? "Sometime."
What should Bush do on his last day in office? "Surrender."
Will Obama be able to provide tax cuts to 95 percent of the population? "Impossible."
What is your opinion of the media? "Servile."

John McCain is the Republican presidential candidate, Sarah Palin is his running mate. John and Cindy McCain have four children and Meghan McCain is the one who blogs online (at McCainBloggette.com and has also
written a book for children about her father) and she notes today:

What a long strange journey it's been. Dad I love you so much and am so proud to be your daughter every day. If you need to know why you should vote for Dad,
click here. Thank you to everyone for everything... And yes, we will be posting about election night. You didn't think I would leave my loyal readers hanging, did you? Now get out and vote!

McCain - Palin will hold their election night party in Manchester, New Hampshire at Jillian's (50 Phillippe Cote Street) starting at 8:00 p.m. Of Govenor Palin, Scott Conroy (CBS News) reports:

After campaigning coast to coast on Monday, Sarah Palin caught a few winks on a red-eye flight to her home state, where fresh snow glistened in the early-morning moonlight as the temperature hovered around 14 degrees. Palin voted early this morning inside the tiny City Hall building where just six years ago she presided as mayor of this once unknown frontier town outside Anchorage. Proudly donning her "I Voted Today" sticker, the Alaska governor delivered a short statement to reporters and took a few questions before she heads to Phoenix to find out whether she'll become the first female vice president of the United States. It's been a whirlwind couple of months for Palin, who has fallen under perhaps more scrutiny than any vice presidential candidate in the nation's history. But as usual, she portrayed an almost mystifying sense of calm, considering all that she has been through in such a relatively short time.

Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) notes, "Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney will be spending Election Night with California Congressional Candidate and Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan. There will be live streaming here starting at 8pm."

iraqgina chonthe wall street journal
the new york timesstephen farrell
abeer mohammed
katharine q. seelye
michael birnbaumthe washington postthe los angeles timesned parker
scott conroycbs news
kimberly wilder