mid-party post

i am stuffed.

fly boy's had us eating out ever since we landed. c.i. asked what i wanted to do this evening and i said 'just relax here.' ha!

a ton of people are here (all wonderful, not complaining) and it includes kat who lives out here and ty and jess who are both staying with c.i. ty's doing an internship and jess is taking a class out here so they're both 'house guests from hell' (they told me to put that in - they're wonderful, you know it, i know it). ava came out here today to visit family and of course she's here now. (she said if i mentioned that to caution people to shed no tears for jim & dona who have the apartment to themselves). but it just hit me that usually the 'core' or the majority is on the east coast. elaine and her current boyfriend were supposed to have dinner tonight with mike and his family (including trina, his mother) tonight so don't worry about them either.

by the way when some 1 writes something like 'i made a sandwich, don't tell triva!' they're not making fun of trina or asking you to keep a secret, they're just trying to get her another link and get the word out on her.

c.i. said dinner would be something simple. it's a plethora of food. fajitas, enchiladas, tostadas, and i'm blanking on the thing that took c.i. the most to make. tamales! it's all wonderful and, again, i am stuffed. i was planning on blogging tomorrow morning but i think i'll sleep in so i grabbed a moment to get online and blog tonight instead.

i'm not tired yet but i can feel it coming on. you know that moment when the crash will come shortly and if you're silent you can hear it moving it in?

there was an e-mail from some 1 wondering if i thought i was 'dealing with my miscarriage' and noting that i called a guy 'hot' yesterday which appeared to be a clear indication to them that i was not 'dealing.'

i know what happened. it's happened before. i've lived through far worse (including 2 summers ago). i'm aware of what happened but if you're worried i might forget that i miscarried, let me assure it hits me at least once an hour, right out of the blue.

deal with your sorrows however you want and i'll deal with mine the way i want.

or, as deliah boyd would say, kiss my ass.

in happier news, flyboy got us tickets to my favorite singer. i didn't even know she was going back on tour. the 1, the only barbra streisand. i was buzzing on a high from that news all afternoon. i have been lucky enough to see her many times but my favorite was probably the rehearsal she did to perform at the 1993 clinton inauguration.

i just love barbra. always have, always will. she's wonderful and amazingly gifted.

in fact, i may muscle my way over to the stereo when i rejoin the party and put on some streisand.

not that there's not wonderful music playing already. i think jess has picked most of the selections and it's been very up and very festive. he's gone from the 60s to current day, to the 70s, to you name it. leaping all over the place and without obvious choices.

i had to ask ty what the diana ross & the surpremes song was because it came on and i knew it but couldn't place it. (it was 'forever came today.') there's been beatles, carly, stones, coldplay, white stripes, stevie nicks, ani difranco and pretty much every 1 you could think of coming out of the speakers.

jess being jess, there was, of course, the mamas and the papas. i was standing with a group when the song about 'when the mind that once was open shuts ...' (i forget the title, it's on the cd the papas & the mamas) and this woman told me about a dream she had.

we all got into it.

last night, she dreamed that she woke up and it was 1965 and she knew everything then that she did now. she had no money she could use (because she had modern day dollars on her and no 1 is going to take a 20 marked 2006 in 1965) so she decided to beg for some money and then bet people on things. like who would win the world series. then she realized she didn't know who would because she didn't follow sports. (that made me laugh.)

so she started betting on what she did know and so we were all trying to think what we could bet on (and win the bet) if we were transported back to 1965 right now?

there was a man who was a walking encyclopedia and he put all of us to shame.

and there was this guy who said he'd just write what he knew would be a hit and sell those songs. he kept going on about how he'd scoop simon & garfunkel by writing 'bridge over troubled water' years before.

which would, if you ask me, totally throw off history. i also don't think you could bring in that song earlier and have a hit, or as big of 1, the way it ended up. that song very much reflected its year.

but it was interesting to think of what i would and wouldn't be able to make ill gained bucks from due to my (poor) knowledge base.

okay, that's it for me tonight. going back to the party.

back and adding. c.i. linked to counterpunch in the iraq snapshot so i wanted to be sure to post it this evening. (counterpunch deserves a lot more links than it gets online and it's also elaine's favorite magazine.)

c.i.'s "Iraq snapshot"

Chaos and violence continue.
The ten day old "crackdown" in Baghdad, which has had little measurable impact on stopping violence, sprouted a new development today: "State of emergency." As Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted this morning, "Earlier today, insurgents set up roadblocks and opened fire on U.S. and Iraqi troops close to the US-run Green Zone." The Associated Press reports this was done as fighting forces seemed intent on breaching "the heavily fortified Green Zone." As Sandra Lupien noted on KPFA's The Morning Show, amidst the violence, US troops "rushed to the area." Current prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has "ordered everyone off the streets" of Baghdad, provided "broader arrest powers" and placed "a ban on carrying weapons."
Iraq last declared a state of emergency (or martial law) in November of 2004 for the entire country (exempting only Kurdish areas in the north).
Then prime minister Iyad Allawi declared it when violence broke out through much of the country as US forces geared up for their attack on/slaughter of Falluja. Current prime minister al-Maliki has declared a state of emergency for Baghdad only. A state of emergency was declared for the city of Basra in May of this year. Euronews notes that the Basra state of emergency "has not deterred militants." Omar al-Ibadi and Haider Salahaddin (Reuters) report that today in Basra a car bomb went off (police say ten killed, hospital says five).
Sam Knight (Times of London) reports that "the 5 million inhabitants of the Iraqi capital [were] given just two hours notice of a curfew" (started at 2:00 pm in Baghdad, as Knight notes, but it was set to end at 5:00 pm and not, as Knight reports, on Saturday -- since Knight filed, al-Maliki shortened the curfew). Knight notes the paper's Baghdad correspondent Ned Parker terming the "extended gun battle . . . just north of the fortified Green Zone" a "free-for-all." Along with gunfire and mortars, Reuters reports that two US troops died today "when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb southeast of Baghdad."
In Hibhib, the Associated Press notes the bombing of a Sunni mosque resulted in at least ten dead and fifteen wounded. Reuters notes two police officers shot to death in Hilla. The AFP reports that five corpses were found in Mishada.
In peace news, Will Hoover (The Honolulu Advertiser) reports on Ehren Watada's refusal to ship to Iraq when his unit left Fort Lewis, Washington yesterday (6:45 am), he refused to board. Ehren's father Bob Watada tells Hoover of the three officers that spent hours on Wednesday trying to convince Ehren to change his mind: "They put the full-court press on him. They were telling him, 'You know, you're facing 10 to 15 years in jail, and do you want to do all of that?'" The Army issued a statement saying that charges wouldn't be filed "until the commander has had a chance to review all of the facts of the case and consult with the Staff Judge Advocate." Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports that the gag order placed on Watada has been "rescinded . . . allowing Watada to talk to anyone." As Alex Fryer (Seattle Times) notes, "Peace groups around the nation plan a day of protests and vigils in support of Watada on Tuesday." For more information, click here.
Elsewhere, Australia's ABC reports that the Australian government "is playing down reports" of a threat to future trade arrangments with Iraq as a result of Australian troops shooting bodyguards of Abdel Falah al-Sudany (Iraqi Trade Minister) -- one died "at least three others [were] injured." Despite John Howard (prime minister of Australia) continuing to downplay the issue (he won't apologize at present), ABC notes "reports [that] the Iraqi Trade Minister is threatening to ditch all trade deals".
The AFP reports that the United States Senate "unanimously approved a $707 billion defence bill for the next financial year that includes almost $70 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."
In news of future wars, Col. Dan Smith reports, for CounterPunch, on a little known development from June 20, 2006. As the 2007 Defense Department Appropriations bill was being addressed, Representative Maurice Hinchey attempted to attach the following amendment: "None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to initiate military operations against Iran except in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States." Though the amendment was only underscoring the true powers of the U.S. Congress, it failed on a 215/47 vote. Unlike Michael R. Gordon, war pornographer and his "Iran Aiding Shiite Attacks Inside Iraq, General Says" (New York Times), the AFP notes of George W. Casey's allegations against Iran: "The White House and Pentagon have repeatedly accused elements in Tehran of arming Iraqi insurgent groups. But they concede they have no clear proof that the Iranian government is sponsoring the activities."


mccain the pain

that's from "Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts 'Playful Bully Boy'" and it ran Sunday. I wanted to put it up here because it made me laugh on a difficult day. (isaiah's comics usually make me laugh but i didn't see this 1 until monday and got online depressed. when i saw this, i had to laugh.) bully boy, the pretend warrior.

in other tough boy news, i swear that on kpfa's The KPFA Evening News tonight, i heard john mccain say that most people agree with him - as opposed to his agreeing with most people. if that was said, it's perfectly in keeping with everything he else he says. john mccain's always in it for john mccain.

he's a nasty little thing.

i still am appalled that when he hosted saturday night live, he did a skit where he sang barbra streisand's songs. (slaughtered them, he sings as well as he thinks - not too good.) but the point, the little message he had at the end, was that he couldn't sing and he'd stop trying if barbra would stop trying to do politics. that is so disgusting. he's supposedly an elected official.

who is he to tell any 1 in a democracy to leave politics to others? democracy is all about every 1 getting involved. he's just a rude, little, angry man.

if the vote in 2008 ends up being between mccain and hillary clinton, america may end up staying away from the polls. i've voted for the lesser of 2 evils before but i don't think i could vote in that match up without feeling like some sort of perv in a raincoat.

it's laughable because most dems don't like hillary and i remember hearing mccain trashed throughout the 2000 primaries - by republicans. the 1s with money were for flat-tax boy (forget his name, his father was gay and he's happy to spend all of daddy's money but won't support gay rights) (steve forbes) and the others 1s were for bully boy. mccain has 'indepedent' (read 'swing') voter appeal but he doesn't have a republican base. how he thinks he can run in 2008 when bully boy and rove smeared him so badly in 2000 is beyond me. does he really think some photo ops with religious extremists matter as much as the (false) rumor that he'd fathered an african-american child? that rumor hurt him and it's still out there. (it is also false, just to be clear.) he's a media creation who kissed their ass on his so-called 'straight talk express.'

it's weird to listen to kpfa over the airwaves. (at home, i grab it via the net.)

i read elaine's "A number of topics" and, just to be clear, she's right. i wouldn't have been overjoyed to see her the night before the doctor's visit. elaine's wonderful and caring and a best friend but it would have been (her presence) making me think about the appointment and think that i had to discuss it. c.i. came over monday night with the goal of making me laugh and keeping my mind off of everything. (and succeeded.) elaine downgrades her own humor (she's very funny) but she's right that since she set up the appointment, i would have been associating the evening with going to the doctor's the next day. she's a wonderful friend. i called her last night and i've called her today (twice, once she was in a session so i told sunny not to leave a message and i'd try to call back at noon). it had nothing to do with her or with our friendship, just the association of the doctor's appointment and she was very wise to know that without it being explained to her.

the senate played around while soldiers died in iraq today. it's time for a withdrawal but too many want to play and pose. darrell anderson is a hottie! for that and more, here's c.i.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Chaos and violence continue in Iraq. Elsewhere some merely strike poses.
In the United States, the Senate has said "NO!" to US forces leaving Iraq by July 2007. As the so-called coalition continues to break apart with other nations deciding to pull their troops out of Iraq, one might think the issue would garner a serious debate. Always one to posture, John McCain (Senator from Arizona) declared: "The United States, with our Iraqi partners, has the responsibility to see this through" apparently auditioning for the role of passenger on the Titanic. Russ Feingold (Senator from Wisconsin) stated: "It is time to tell the Iraqis that we have done what we can do militarily." Instead of addressing that reality, most preferred to posture; however, 13 senators did vote in favor of the proposal John Kerry and Feingold were supporting (troops out by July 2007). The other (weaker and, as Sandra Lupien noted on KPFA's The Morning Show, "nonbinding") proposal much supported by Democratic Party hacks such as DiFi and Harry Reid? It lost in a 60-39 vote. In Vienna, the Bully Boy faced questions about Iraq. "What's past is past," declared the Bully Boy on the issue of Iraq. What's past? How about what's passed? The 2500 mark for American military fatalities. As Amy Goodman noted today on Democracy Now!, 2512 is the current fatality count.
While the United States Congress can't say "Withdrawal" and the Bully Boy can't even toss out a phrase correctly (it is: "What's done is done."), it's not suprising that it has become increasing harder for US military recruiters to meet the needed recruitment numbers. As the UK's Daily Mail notes, the U.S. Army's decision to raise the maximum age for recruitment, to forty-two, is the second time this year that the military has raised the age. In January, the maxium age was raised from 35 years-old to 40. Why the Army? As Reuters notes: "More than three years into the war, the Army continues to provide the bulk of U.S. ground forces in Iraq." Which is why military recruiters, when not stalking school campuses, attempt to recruit at NASCAR events.
Speaking to Fluxview, for their AWOL in Canada series, Christopher Mogwai noted that, "In the Vietnam era they didn't kick you out for drugs, now they do" so some choose any number of means to leave the service. Fluxview also interviews war resistors Darrell Anderson and Ryan Johnson.
Noting the charging of "eight US troops with kidnapping and murdering a handicapped Iraqi civilian," Demetri Sevastolulo and Neil Buckley (Financial Times of London) note that the speaker of the Iraqi parliment is asking "the US to investigate the killings of 'many innocent people' by American forces." According to CNN, Masmoud al-Mashhadani is specifically calling for "an investigation . . . into this week's U.S. bombing of a poultry farm in northern Iraq." This is the incident Amy Goodman noted yesterday where a human rights worker states that "two of the dead were young boys aged ten and twelve." As Al Jazeera noted: "The Association of Muslim Scholars said US warplanes bombed a house and a poultry farm in al-Bushahin village in northeast Baquba, then dropped soldiers to kill the survivors of the attack."
In Baghdad today, CNN notes a car bomb went off by a movie theater and two people were killed, five wounded. Reuters notes a motorcycle bombing, in Baghdad, which resulted in two dead and eight injured.
In Baquba, Reuters reports that Raad al-Mowla was wounded in a roadside bomb (al-Mowla is the governor of the Diyala province). The Associated Press notes a bomb in Jibla that resulted in the death of an unidentified civilian and an "Iraqi army solider." As Amy Goodman noted this morning, "at least fifty of the more than eighty [kidnapped] workers have been released or freed."
Reuters notes the discovery of 14 corpses of electricity plant workers who were "abducted and killed June 12". Associated Press notes that six corpses ("bullet-riddled bodies") were found in Kut. In Najaf, a police officer was shot dead, Reuters notes, and, in Dhuluiya, an Iraqi soldier was shot dead.
Like the US Congress, John Howard (prime minister of Australia) plays baby Bully Boy and speaks of how things might get even riskier for Australians stationed in Iraq, Australia's ABC reports Labor leader Kim Beazley's response in Parliment: "Iraq is a quagmire and staying htere is not in our national interest. Make no mistake about it, we are opposed to the war in Iraq, we want these troops in Al Muthanna province home now."
While Japan used the Iraq government's decision to take over responsiblity for the Al Muthanna province as a sign to withdraw troops, Howard has decided to move Australian troops to other areas in Iraq. Though of little concern to the mainstream US press, the shooting by Australian security guards yesterday of three Iraqi bodyguards (one dead, two wounded) for Iraq Trade Minister Abdel Falah al-Sudany has resulted in an expression of regret from the Australian Defense Force and, today, has led al-Sudany to issue a statement that he "demands an apology and payment of compsenation." Reuters notes: "The incident could potentially embarrass Australia, which has been trying to imrpove trade ties with Iraq after Iraq suspended dealings with Australia's monopoly wheat exporter AWB over a kickbacks scandal."
Besides trade deals being put at risk (remember, it's the markets), Labor and Green reps in Australia says that the incident is another reason Australia needs to withdraw troops from Iraq. Kim Bezley stated, "The point is this: we shouldn't be there." Bob Brown, Greens leader, stated: "It should send a signal to this Prime Minister, who just does not seem to connect that we should be bringing the troops home. They shouldn't have been there, they should be brought home."
Speaking to Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales on Democracy Now! today, Italian journalist Giulana Sgrena discussed the details of her kidnapping in Iraq as well as the details of the rescue that went wrong when US troops fired on her vehicle as it was enroute to the airport. During the interview, Sgrena stated: "So there are many things that we don't know and we would like to know. I don't want to accuse Mario Lozano to know who was in the car and to shoot because he knew that there, there were agents and me. But we want the prosecution just to know, to have more information of what happened, because we gave the information to the commander, the Italian one that was in touch with the American one in the airport, that we were on this road to the airport. And we know that they were monitoring the telephone that we used in the car, the Americans, and they were monitoring the mobile telephone on the satellite." Remember that: Sgrena will be in New York City Friday June 23rd for an event with Amy Goodman at Columbia University. (Event starts at 7:30 p.m.)


the point is ...

1st, thank you to every 1 for their concern. it was nice to read the e-mails and see that expressed.

but i'm not stella dallas.

the whole point of last night's entry was to make sure that no 1 would worry. that they'd see i wasn't falling to pieces.

today, i had flyboy here. i had my 2 best friends elaine and c.i. - so things were good.

if things would have been awful, i probably could have gotten through the day just off everyone's kind words and having 3 people who matter to me so much here.

i'm probably not posting tomorrow. don't freak. i'm just taking a vacation before my vacation.
so we'll be on a plane tomorrow and i'm 1 of those people who needs a shower immediately after getting off a plane, plus i'll probably want to kick back a little.

if i've got anything to say, i'll pass it through mike (who wrote up something for me tonight with his 'Iraq, Watada, Rebecca and Dave Zirin').

let me do the book because i was in too much saturday to get to that. remember that we were talking about the apathetic. they don't read papers (not necessarily a bad thing) or really anything. but they might get (especially the males) an al franken book as a gift. they don't read it all the way through because most people can't. it's like watching a two-part episode trying to turn into an 18 hour mini-series. it just ain't there.

what effect does the book have? (other than boredom.) nothing.

he's not that different. that's what i heard. he's like those people on tv.

probably because he has nothing to say.

but no 1 i spoke to finished his book. (that's true of a lot of non-apathetic people i know.)

the 1 before the new 1, the biggest criticism was over his 'dream' or 'fantasy' of various chicken hawks serving. that's when most people put it down. they didn't think it was funny and pointed out that al hadn't served.

but al, yeah i defended him on this a few times, didn't start the war.

'well he supports it' i'd hear over and over. why's he making fun of republicans who didn't serve since he didn't either and they both support the war?

look, there's only so much defense i can offer to baby cries a lot. i don't care for him.

1 person, who may have been the most educated of the bunch, holds a graduate degree, said it was just a lot of talk. he said he never got what al stood for except that it wasn't anything bill o'reilly stood for. (no 1 had read, or seen, franken's latest book. which is true of most of america.) he said he read the 1st 15 pages and was interested for about the 1st 2 pages. (i loaned him arianna huffington's pigs at the trough, which he hadn't read, and he actually loved that book.) ('actually loved' isn't meant as an insult to arianna. i have the book and i enjoyed it. i just knew he wasn't into reading.) he felt it was 'funny with a point' whereas al's whole point was 'i'm so much better than bill o'reilly.' to which he added, 'if he has to write a book about it, maybe he's not?'

i'm trying to think if i left anything else incomplete from last week. i'm not remembering anything but i'm sure i did.

the point is to say don't worry.


i told c.i. not to bother flying in for the doctor's visit tomorrow. elaine's much closer and she and fly boy are going with me. but try telling c.i. anything. in college, when we were feeling down, we'd pig out on ice cream and laugh at the tabloids. c.i. got here about 25 minutes ago with ice cream and tabloids. we haven't dived into them yet, but the cover of this 1 is too priceless so we're both posting it. Posted by Picasa

nancy keenan, rick hertzberg (the useless 1s)

hey, everybody, i'm nancy keenan. i'm president of naral and i'm, uh, just pretty, um upset, and i'm, uh, so mad, right now, i just might let some expression come into my voice. no, i don't think i will. i think i'll just play poor pathetic for another year. i like that. i like to picture the supreme court as tonya harding and myself as nancy kerrigan. i bet if i just sit here and do nothing but hold my knee and scream 'it hurts' then america will love me.

nancy keenan was on kpfa's evening news tonight and she played bland when not saying 'uh' and 'um' a lot. she had another repeater, maybe it was 'i ... i' but i don't remember. 9you can go the archives and listen yourself.)

naral has made them useless and there was la-la nancy making herself more useless. it's not just that it was a snooze-fest while she used words about how 'alarmed' we should all be without ever sounding alarmed (or prepared for an interview, or, as she would put it, prepared for an, uh, uh, interview). you're useless, nancy. if there's any 1 in power at naral that is useful, let them speak. you're a lousy speaker. or, if you prefer, you're a, uh, lousy, um, speaker.

get kim gandy (president of now) on the air or any other woman who is a passionate fighter. don't let little nancy whine about the boo-boo on her knee while we see roe v. wade under attack again.

she's bound and determined to destroy abortion rights.

at 1 point she spoke of how the late-term abortion (the issue's been picked up, via a case the supreme court will be hearing) should be a medical decision. then she went on to say it should be a decision between a doctor, a woman and, um, her family.

her family?

know your shit. seriously. it's an issue for a woman and her doctor only.

nancy, did you have an abortion for medical reason?

i did. it was my decision. the doctor presented me with the facts after the test and i made the decision. it's my body. my body wouldn't belong to a 'family.'

what an idiot. every time she opens her mouth, she chips away at abortion rights. she needed to step down as president a long time ago. it's too late for that now. but it's not too late for her to designate some 1 else as the public speaker for naral.

so, here's the deal every 1's worrying about. during the third estate sunday review edition, i explained, as i did here saturday, that i was cramping. c.i., elaine and betty started saying, 'rebecca, you need to go to a doctor.' with c.i. asking which doctor's office i was writing about saturday - my dentist or my dermatologist? i avoid medical doctors. (it was my dentist. a dentist is a doctor.) i can deal with the externals like skin and teeth. i can't handle the internals. (and c.i. and elaine would go to town on that admission.)

this was probably a 30 minute discussion during the edition putting us all behind. then we were working on some piece, i don't remember which 1. and some 1, jim?, asked c.i.'s opinion after i had weighed in. c.i.'s response was a shocker: 'oh my god. you're not getting your period. you miscarried.'

yes, that's what the cramps were. i love c.i. but it always freaks me out when that happens. and it's always the same way. you think something's over and you've moved on and then out of the blue, it will hit c.i. what's going on (it was the same with my divorce from fly boy which i wasn't rushing to tell c.i. or elaine about, with an annullment - 'i don't care what we eat ... oh my god, rebecca he's gay' - and over and over throughout the years). i used to kid, 'what are you, psychic?' c.i. just has always been able to zero in on something if you're trying to put a happy face on it. and when the realization hits, it's usually as c.i.'s speaking - taking even c.i. by surprise.

i wasn't that far along. i hadn't even told fly boy. i wasn't surprised because i had miscarried twice with fly boy and once with my first husband.

i was surprised because we were using birth control, surprised to be pregnant.

that's just the way it goes.

did i cry. yes, i cried saturday afternoon for several hours. then saturday night, i put on my thinking cap and got to work with the gang on the latest edition. i hadn't planned on telling any 1 but my saturday entry came up and then elaine, betty and c.i. were saying 'you need to go to the doctor.' then c.i. realized what was going on. every 1 was supportive and caring, i thank them for that, but it put the whole edition behind and brought every 1 down. don't feel down. it's life.

i am going to the doctor tomorrow. elaine arranged the appointment. everything's fine.

i know everyone's sad for me and i appreciate that.

things happen.

you live with them.

i purposely started off the post with nancy keelen to show i'm fine. i'm not sobbing. i'm not whimpering. i'm fine.

now let's talk about something else. rick hertzberg. t is pissed and i don't blame her 1 bit.

in the new yorker, hertzberg has another 1 of his nonsense pieces (he's new republican and then some) 'distraction.' what's it about? among other things same-sex marriage.

talk about your bullshit. talk about your nonsense.

who but an unfeeling straight boy (white) would label the right to marry for all a 'distraction.'

i'm really sorry that little ricky thinks the issue is eating up his valuable time.

but it's an issue to a lot of people.

t was insulted and i didn't blame her 1 bit.

she wondered if, since she was both african-american and a lesbian, she was a 'double distraction'?

that's my best friend, little ricky, who are you to label issues that matter to her a distraction?

little ricky is an idiot. in 2004, during 1 of the conventions, i think the democratic 1, he was a guest on the majority report on air america. if you remember back then, you know that the networks decided the conventions weren't worthy of a great deal coverage. it was all a dog and pony show, blah, blah, blah.

so janeane made the point that there were stories there (and they found some) and that reporters shouldn't allow themselves to be managed, or something like that, by the party. about how the delegates were left outside. and she asks rick about that because he's written about it. his basic response is: what are you talking about?

little ricky has written about it over and over. i called my ex-mother-in-law (they love the new republican - though i was glad to hear that they'd finally stopped reading it - apparently it's gotten even worse - who thought that was possible?). her husband has each few months leatherbound (or had) and i wanted her to go summer 1988 because i remember that 1 where little ricky was whining about how all the delegates weren't even allowed in the democratic convention hall (it was too small for them all). she found it. it's ran in the august 8, 1988 issue.

that's not the only 1. that's just the 1 i could remember off hand (i wasn't going to make my ex-mother-in-law go through every election year convention).

now hertzberg would probably argue he didn't say anything bad about gays and lesbians. he didn't. he did the 'tolerance' speech. oh how brave.

he's running scared like all the other 'career pundits.'

stop being scared. let's have the discussion.

quit playing like now-is-not-the-time.

if you wait for 'career pundits,' it's never the time.

he's tolerant.

tolerant enough to allow that they are serious issues to gays and lesbians (despite the column's title 'distraction'). i'm sorry, i'm not 'tolerant.' i embrace the right of gays and lesbians to live in an equal world with equal benefits, equal access, go down the list.

little ricky's too old to not grasp that running scared is not going to play. not for equality and not for an election.

bully boy wants to paint some 1 as a gay and lesbian friend? go for it.

the natural response is: 'yes, i support equality. i'm not sure why he doesn't. but i believe in america that we are equal.'

b-b-but some nutcase like james dobson says if you allow same-sex marriages, the next thing you know some 1 will want to marry a goat!

'i have to wonder what sort of fantasy life a person like that has? let's just say i wouldn't visit a farm with them.'

ha-ha. big laugh for the nation. point made.

instead, the nation's leaders want to run from. why should we support a run for office by anyone we only see running AWAY FROM issues?

leave it to a career pundit.

paul krugman isn't a career pundit. but his column pissed me off. today, he's waxing on about the 50s. oh yeah, he tells you, it wasn't great for every 1 and not every 1 got to be middle class, but we were closer together then and there wasn't bipartisanship (he credits that to wwii).

does he not get how offensive that is?

on today of all days?

if you're blanking, while he's praising the 50s and noting how the policitians could work together in the column that ran today, today is also the day on which, in 1953, ethel and julius rosenberg were executed. that's the 50s he's waxing on about and about the story in time magazine that he read blah-blah-blah.

yeah, there was a bond between a lot of dems and a lot of repubes - it was the desire to launch a witch hunt. ethel and julius were only 2 of the casualities.

krugman should be embarrassed that his paen to the 50s ran today, on the 53rd anniversary of their executions.

hertzberg would rather talk about the economy too. at least krugman is an economist.

but the point here is, and it's what ava and c.i. were getting at in their wonderful review this week, it's easy for those white, straight males, to scream 'single-issue' on anything that doesn't effect them directly. but white, straight, male does not cover every 1. it doesn't even cover the majority of americans.

'single-issue' allows abortion to be pushed aside, gay rights, civil rights, just go down the list.

if bully boy could pull a wonderful economy out of his ass tomorrow, it wouldn't address racism. it wouldn't address any of these issue.

it's really funny because he writes (and he was on a progam, krugman, that i'm not providing a link for because i'm pissed at him for publishing that column on the anniversary of julius and ethel's executions, talking about it as well) how the 'other' was used as a dividing issue before.

guess what, it will be again. until the 'career pundits' stop dismissing issues that impact people's lives as 'side issues,' there will always be an 'other' and it will always be used to demonize.

'demonize' that's the title a thinking person would have used - not, as hertzberg did, 'distraction.'

what's the biggest distraction (and election turnout drag)? straight, white males who think only the issues in their lives matter.

so that's my entry for tonight. any 1 reading it should be able to tell, i'm my usual self. things happen. i appreciate the concern. i really do. i'm glad that so many take my life so seriously and care so much for me. but there's no reason to worry.

what happened happened. it's happened to me before. it happens to many women. it's life.

want to worry? worry about c.i. who has nightmares, i'm told wake up screaming 1s, since friday about what's being done at guantanamo.

here's c.i.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Chaos and violence continue.
In Baghdad, Reuters notes two bombings, a "car bomb" at "a police checkpoint" resulted in three deaths and three wounded and a "sucicide car bomber" who killed at least four others and wounded at least ten. CBS and the AP note "[a] parked car bomb" that killed five and wounded nine.
The BBC notes: "Violence is continuing in Baghdad despite the introduction of stringent new security measures last week that have seen more than 40,000 Iraqi and US forces deployed in the city." Dahr Jamail reports on the days since Bully Boy's photo-op in the Green Zone and concludes: "Each passing day only brings the people of Iraq and soldiers serving in the US military deeper into the quagmire that the brutal, despicable, tortured occupation has become."
Bombings also took place outside of Baghdad. The AP notes that three people were killed in Fallujah when a roadside bomb exploded while another roadside bomb, in Hillah, killed at least person and wounded at least four others. Reuters notes that, in Najaf, one person died from a bombing while at least five were wounded.
Reuters also reports an attack in Karbala where "a senior police officer" was shot to death and two of his bodyguards were wounded. AP identifies the man as Abdel-Shahid Saleh and notes that Saadoun Abdul-Hussein Radi, electrician, was shot to death in Amarah.Kidnappings? Reuters reports that the Mujahideen Shura Council, which most recently claimed credit for four of the seven Saturday bombings in Baghdad, is now claiming to be holding four Russian diplomats which, Reuters notes, appears to be a reference to the June 3rd attack. The attack resulted in the death of Russian diplomat Vitaly Vitalyevich Titov and the four who were kidnapped were identified by the Russian embassy as: Feodor Zaycev, Rinat Agliulin, Anatolii Smirnov and Oleg Feodosiev. AFP reports that the Mujahideen Shura Council is also claiming that it has the two US soldiers reported to have been taken by "masked gunmen" on Friday. AFP describes it as a body that "groups eight armed factions led by Al-Qaeda."The US military has not confirmed the abduction of the two soldiers. AFP reports that their names have been released: "Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Thomas L. Tucker, 25."
Richard A. Oppel Jr. (New York Times) reported that "more than 8,000" US and Iraqis are searching for Menchaca and Tucker and the AFP notes that seven US troops have been wounded since the search began Friday.
Meanwhile, CBS and AP quote Christina Menchaca, wife of Kristian, saying, "We're basically just watching the news because no one else knows anything about it, no one has heard anything about it."
On the American, Keith Maupin, who has been MIA since April 8, 2004, the AFP reports: "The Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera aired a video a week later that showed the American seated on the floor surrounded by masked gunmen. A month later it aired what it said was the execution of an American soldier, but the images were unclear and the army said it was inconclusive."
Al Jazeera is reporting that Iraq forces will be responsible for Muthanna relieving the British forces. This is the area that Japanese troops were also responsible for possibly adding creedence to the press coverage of the rumors that Japan will be announcing, prior to June 29th, that it is withdrawing all of its troops from Iraq. CBS and the AP note that Japan, England and Australia will "continue moving to "support role." The AP notes: "The decision, announced after [Nouri] al-Maliki met with Japan's ambassador, does not necessarily mean that any U.S.-led coalition forces will be withdrawn from Muthana province."
Ramadi? As noted by Sandra Lupien on KPFA's The Morning Show, "major military operations" continue as "helicopters and airplanes are flying over the town." Reuters reports that "seven tanks moved along Maarif Street and July 17 Street. Two explosions were heard but the cause was not clear." Ali Hussein Mohammed is quoted as saying: "The water is totally cut off. We have to go to the river to get water. There has been no water for 24 hours and we have no gas to boil the river water to drink it."
Meanwhile, in Italy, the AFP reports that prosecutors are saying that the US marine who shot Nicola Calipari should be put on trial. Calipari had been sent to Iraq by the Italian government to rescue kidnapped Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena. Though he and Sgrena made it safely to the car, while traveling to the airport to leave Iraq, their car (or "caravan" in some reports at the time) was shot at by US forces. In the attack, Calipari was killed. Sgrena will be in New York City Friday June 23rd for an event with Amy Goodman at Columiba University. (Event starts at 7:30 p.m.)
Finally, Bully Boy is due to visit Vienna this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) and a group is attempting to organize a loud, if not welcoming, reception for him. "Bush Go Home" organizer Michael Proebsting tells the AAP: "The name George Bush, the name of the American president, has become a symbol for war crimes, for Abu Ghraib, for Guantanamo, for Jenin."