YESTERDAY, KILLER BARRY O NOMINATED ANTHONY FOXX TO BE THE NEW SECRETARY OF TRANSPORATION.
BECAUSE, ACCORDING TO BARRY O, HIS GREAT SUCCESS AS MAYOR OF CHARLOTTE:
Since Anthony took office, they’ve broken ground on a new streetcar project that’s going to bring modern electric tram service to the downtown area. They’ve expanded the international airport. And they’re extending the city’s light rail system. All of that has not only helped create new jobs, it’s helped Charlotte become more attractive to business.
OKAY. THE AIRPORT:
The runway opened January 6, 2010. The cost for the runway and taxiways was $325 million, with the federal government paying $124 million and the rest funded by a $3 fee added to the cost of a ticket.
OKAY. THE LIGHT RAIL EXTENSION:
The four Republicans, who each hold a post overseeing transportation, defended GOP Gov. Pat McCrory’s comments that Foxx’s pursuit of a streetcar was “making my job harder” to keep state money for the $1.1 billion Lynx Blue Line extension.
The FTA will spend $580 million for the extension. The N.C. Department of Transportation will spend $299 million, or 26 percent, of construction costs.
SOUNDS LIKE FOXX IS REALLY GOOD . . . AT SPENDING FEDERAL MONEY. SOUNDS LIKE HIS 'SUCCESS' IS BASED ON NOTHING BUT HIS ABILITY TO GRAB THE BIGGEST PIECES OF PORK.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with war resistance, from the April 7, 2008 snapshot:
"I guess the hardest thing for people to understand is the reason you join the military is not the reason you leave it," writes war resister Kimberly Rivera (Rivera Family). Rivera is a US war resister in Canada. Like war resisters Josh Randall and Brandon Hughey, Rivera is from Texas. February 18, 2007, she, her husband Mario Rivera entered Canada. Rivera is the first known female US war resister to apply for refugee status in Canada.
Earlier, Daniel Chacon (Colorado Springs Gazette) reports that Iraq War veteran Kim Rivera was scheduled for a court-martial today. Patricia Collier (KOAA) adds, "Rivera faces a maximum sentence of reduction to E1, total forfeiture of pay and allowances, 5 years confinement and a dishonorable discharge." War Resisters Support Campaign announces Kim "was sentenced to 14 months in military prison and a dishonourable discharge after publicly expressing her conscientious objection to the Iraq War while in Canada. A pre-trial agreement capped the sentence at 10 months of confinement and a bad conduct discharge."
As Kim observed last September, "I don't regret refusing to participate and speaking out against what I felt was a completely unjust war. Doing the right thing is not always the same as doing the easy thing."
Though the left outlets in the US spent the day ignoring Kim (The Nation has nothing online nor does The Progressive), the Libertarian Reason magazine does have a small write up. Please grasp that as The Nation and The Progressive fail yet again, Al Arabiya is carrying a report on Kim.
How can that be? How can our left media repeatedly and continuously fail We the People? John Stauber explained Friday in an interview at CounterPunch:
These big players -- the paid activists at CREDO, Greenpeace, 350.org, MoveOn, the paid pundits at Nation and Mother Jones -- they work for corporations who have their own agenda, a business agenda, and are primarily funded by wealthy Democrats and their foundations, or by “socially responsible companies” that these wealthy individuals and foundations invest in.
The real agenda of the Big Green groups, the Progressive Media and Progressive Think Tanks, is raising money for themselves. What they do is decided and directed by their small group of decision-makers who are funders or who play to the funders. The professional Progressive Movement I criticize and critique does not ultimately represent or serve any real progressive movement at the grassroots. It markets to them for followers and funding, and every two years votes for Democrats as the lesser of the evils.
If you missed his article last month, make a point to read it as well. Kim Rivera stood up against a war that The Progressive and The Nation opposed in order to enrich their own coffers. Opposing the illegal war allowed them to reach circulation highs (while the pro-war New Republic tanked). But they stopped caring about being anti-war when a Democrat made it into the White House because that meant that they'd have to call out a Democrat and they're not going to risk the big money that comes in to have ethics or convictions.
Kim's a thorny issue for them. She stood up while they cower. Let's quote from John Stauber's column last month:
After the 2004 flop of the Kerry/Edwards campaign, luck shone on the Democrats. The over-reach of the neoconservatives, the failure to find those weapons of mass deception (sic), the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, turned American public opinion, especially among the young, against the Republicans. Growing anti-war sentiment, which had little to do with the organized anti-war movement, delivered to the Democrats what Governor Mario Cuomo called “The Gift.” The horrific Iraq war, he explained to a Democracy Alliance gathering, was the gift that allowed the Democrats to take control of the US Congress.
It was at this point in early 2007 that the truly dark and cynical agenda of the professional Progressive Movement and the Democratic Party revealed itself. Under Pelosi the Democrats could have cut off funding for Bush’s unpopular wars and foreign policy. Instead, with PR cover provided by MoveOn and their lobbyist Tom Matzzie, the Democratic Congress gave George Bush all the money he wanted to continue his wars. For the previous five years MoveOn had branded itself as the leader of the anti-war movement, building lists of millions of liberals, raising millions of dollars, and establishing itself in the eyes of the corporate media as leaders of the US peace movement. Now they helped the Democrats fund the war, both betting that the same public opposition to the wars that helped them win control of the House in 2006 could win the Presidency in 2008.
Kim faces a court-martial when a Democratic occupies the White House. President Barack Obama, remember the myth they created, excuse me, the fairy tale (Bill Clinton was right), that Barack was anti-war. If he really was anti-war, he would have offered some form of amnesty the way Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter did previously. Grasp that. Neither Ford nor Carter presented themselves as 'anti-war.' But the Republican and the Democratic presidents both managed to do more than Barack.
Covering Kim now would be mean Barack might get called out. Were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to face execution today, The Nation and The Progressive would gladly sell them out to protect Barack. They've deluded themselves that the mission of a free press is the same as the mission of the Secret Service.
Last fall, Yves Engler (iPolitics.ca) reported on Kim:
While Rivera expected to spend her time unloading equipment at a Colorado base she soon found herself guarding a foreign operating base in Iraq. It was from this vantage point that she became disillusioned with the war. Riviera was troubled by a two-year-old Iraqi girl who came to the base with her family to claim compensation after a bombing by U.S. forces. “She was just petrified”, Rivera explained. “She was crying, but there was no sound, just tears flowing out of her eyes. She was shaking. I have no idea what had happened in her little life. All I know is I wasn’t seeing her: I was seeing my own little girl. I could imagine my daughter being one of those kids throwing rocks at soldiers, because maybe someone she loved had been killed. That Iraqi girl haunts my soul.’”
Kim Rivera was deployed to Iraq. She's an Iraq War veteran. She came back to the US and couldn't continue to participate in the illegal war. So she, her husband and two kids drove to Canada where she sought political asylum. (Once in Canada, Kim and Mario had two more children -- their children are Christian, Rebecca, Katie Marie and Gabriel.)
While the Canadian government couldn't offer her support, many others did. Last September, Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined the call to support Kim. Erin Criger (City News) noted the support also included, "Amnesty International, the Canadian Labour Congress and the United Church of Canada have all supported Rivera." In addition, many individual Canadians support her as well as organizations such as the United Steelworkers of Canada which issued a statement calling for the government of Canada to let Kim and her family stay and Canada's National Union of Public and General Employees which also issued a statement.
Canada deported Kim and, September 21st, she was arrested as she turned herself into US authorities. In the weeks before she was deported, 20,391 people signed a petition calling for the government to allow Kim to remain in Canada. KKTV reports, " She has been charged with two specifications of desertion under Article 85 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a dishonorable discharge." She stood up and did so without any help from The Nation or The Progressive. Kim's biggest 'mistake' was going to Canada after the 2006 mid-terms. Had she gone before that, she could have been Ehren Watada. The left outlets pretended to support Ehren. In 2006. Of course, after the 2006 mid-term elections, Ehren could -- and did -- receive more press from Rolling Stone magazine for his brave stand than he got from the 'left' outlets. While a few went through the motions of covering Ehren only because they'd already started the coverage in the summer of 2006 (when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House), most pretended not to know who he was. Kim went public in March of 2007 -- by which point, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and, as Bill Van Auken (WSWS) observed, Democrats in office and The Nation magazine had other priorities:
Having won the leadership of both houses of Congress in the 2006 congressional elections thanks to a groundswell of antiwar sentiment, the Democratic Party leadership has now provided all the money and more that President Bush requested for the continuation and escalation of a criminal war, and it has done so under terms dictated by the White House.
[. . .]
In the six months since the November elections, the Democrats have sought to placate and deceive the voters who handed them the reins of power in the House and Senate by posturing as opponents of the war, while at the same time pledging to “support the troops” by funding that war and continuing to support the geo-strategic goals that underlay the March 2003 invasion in the first place.
On Thursday, this political balancing act fell apart in a cowardly and cynical capitulation to the White House. The inevitable result of this cave-in is massive anger among those who voted for the Democrats last November and a growing sense that none of the institutions or political parties of the ruling establishment reflect the democratic will of the people.
Countering such sentiments and attempting to resuscitate illusions in the Democrats is the specific task of a layer of the American “left” that is thoroughly integrated into the Democratic Party. Its political conceptions and aims—shared by a variety of protest groups, “left” think tanks and a smattering of elected officials—are expressed most clearly by the weekly Nation magazine.
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