SENATOR SWEETIE BARACK OBAMA DECLARED THAT HE "DOES NOT LOSE SLEEP OVER LOSING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION." OF COURSE NOT.
HE DIDN'T LOSE SLEEP OVER LOSING THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES EITHER.
BUT WHEN REACHED BY THESE REPORTERS, HE WAS UNDER THE MISTAKEN IMPRESSION THAT THE GENERAL ELECTION WAS LIKE THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES.
"I ONLY HAVE TO WIN A FEW STATES," HE EXPLAINED, "AND THEN THE COUNTRY HAS TO GIVE ME THE PRESIDENCY. VOTES DON'T MATTER."
SHH, DON'T WAKE SENATOR SWEEITE. HE NEEDS THAT BEAUTY SLEEP.
On Democracy Now! today, a vice presidential debate took place between Matt Gonzales (Ralph Nader's running mate) and Rosa Clemente (Cynthia McKinney's running mate). During their debate, they were shown clips of GOP v.p. nominee Governor Sarah Palin and Democratic v.p. nominee Joe Biden weighing in on various topics from last night's debate.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Biden, talking about the war in last night's debate. Rosa Clemente, Green Party vice-presidential nominee, what's your viewpoint on the war?
ROSA CLEMENTE: Well, the Green Party's viewpoint -- and Cynthia has been very clear, and the party has been very clear -- an immediate end to the war, an immediate withdrawal of troops in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan. And, you know, one thing Cynthia agrees with a former colleague of hers, Dennis Kucinich, is that we now have to talk about creating departments of peace. And we have to also talk about withdrawing troops wherever they reside in other people's homelands. I always found it interesting -- or, you know, the fact that we, as the United States government, and we, as the people in this country, allow our military to be placed in other people's homelands. And being from Puerto Rico, I'm very clear on why the military does what it does. But we would never allow another country to have a military base there. And that might be a little simplistic kind of thing to throw out there, but I also think it speaks to the way we want to move forward in the future. And I don't think that either party is planning on ending the war. I think that the Democrats are more about transferring troops to Afghanistan and potentially preparing for a war in Pakistan. And even yesterday, Joe Biden talked about the possibility of putting troops in in Darfur. And I think that's something that we have to say immediately is unacceptable and that the majority of young people in this country have been clear for the last five years that we want an end to the war right now.
AMY GOODMAN: Independent vice-presidential candidate Matt Gonzalez?
MATT GONZALEZ: Well, I certainly -- and Ralph Nader supports getting our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. I think the problem with a lot of the rhetoric that we're hearing is that if you concede that the surge is working, which we do not concede--but the moment you do that, you are going to run into a problem with the so-called timetable. Are the Democrats going to stick to a timetable if, as they start to draw down troops, there's increased sectarian violence? And I think the answer to that is really unclear, and probably no. I think the only way that we can successfully get out of this country is if, at the outset, we make it clear we're going to -- we're going to work quickly to get our troops out of the region, that we're part of the reason why the region remains unstable.
And we'll also note this section of the debate:
AMY GOODMAN: Matt Gonzalez, I know you have to leave, so I'm going to give you the first stab at this, as you catch a plane. And also, a correction: in 2004, yes, Ralph Nader was an Independent candidate, as well. He was, 2000, the Green Party candidate. Your comment on same-sex marriage?
MATT GONZALEZ: Well, obviously, Nader and I support marriage rights for all. I think it's insulting to hear these candidates want it both ways. They're essentially trying to appeal to both conservative voters who are opposed to gay marriage and somehow also appeal to progressive voters who want to see equality. You know, I think Ralph Nader, you know, when you step back and look at his history, he is somebody who is an enormously important voice against the growing corporate greed in this society and what concentrated capital does when it's left alone. And I think he's not somebody who has decided to fight against the two parties. You know, he has, his entire life, been fighting against these parties -- it's not a recent conversion -- on a host of issues. And I think he should have been in this debate. I think he has a legislative record that's stronger than the candidates that we saw in that debate. I mean, Joe Biden should have been asked about his support of credit card companies in Delaware, of the federal sentencing guidelines that he helped pass in the 1980s that, you know, has disproportionately hurt people of color. These were things that were absent. And I think if Rosa and I had been in that debate, it would have been a better debate.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Rosa Clemente, your perspective on gay marriage?
ROSA CLEMENTE: I mean, full 100 percent equal rights for everybody. I also take it a step further for it being about human rights. LGBT people are human beings, and they have a right, like anyone else, to get married, to get divorced, to not get married. But if I could just quickly just say, yes, Cynthia did leave the Democratic Party after twelve years, but while she was in there, it was Cynthia McKinney that had a hearing on the issue of political prisoners, the first-ever congressional hearing on that. It was Cynthia that pushed the envelope about what happened on 9/11. It was Cynthia that wrote the articles of impeachment. And I think that speaks highly to someone who will leave a party, finally, based on principles and values and then pick someone that truly represents what the majority of this country is going to look like. I think if me and Matt were on there, and if Cynthia, Bob Barr, [Chuck] Baldwin, Ron Paul and Ralph Nader were allowed to debate, the presidency on November 4th would look radically different and would represent the majority of American people.
Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney took the "super pledge" Thursday:
I, Cynthia McKinney, pledge to use my candidacy, whenever feasible, to advance the preservation of democracy. I will officially challenge the results of the election as provided by law if the combination of election conditions, incident reports and announced election results calls into question the reliability of the official vote count. I will wait until all valid votes are counted and all serious challenges resolved before declaring victory or conceding defeat. I will involve my campaign volunteers in actions to enhance the accuracy and verifiability of the election in which I am a candidate. I will speak out publicly during the pre-election period about the importance of fair, accurate and transparent elections and about this pledge. I will designate a liaison between my campaign and "Standing For Voters" so that "Standing For Voters" can alert me to any red flags they are aware of regarding my election.
Meanwhile independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader weighs in on the economic bailout. Click here for his post before the House voted today (it passed) and here were his thoughts prior to vote:
People often ask me -- what forces shaped you, Ralph?
I reply simply:
"A lucky choice of parents."
Among other things, my parents passed down many traditions.
Traditions that were handed down from generations before them.
Traditions that served as a counterweight to the addictions.
Of modern life.
Traditions such as:
The tradition of listening.
The tradition of scarcity.
The tradition of discipline.
And the tradition of civics.
A couple of years ago, I sat down at my manual Underwood typewriter and wrote a book titled The Seventeen Traditions (Harper Collins, 2007).
It's about growing up in my hometown of Winsted, Connecticut (above is a picture of me standing next to my mother Rose).
And it details the seventeen traditions of my youth.
It's the only book that I've written that everybody loves.
When you get a copy, you'll know why.
Flipping through a copy of the book the other day, I asked myself --
If the majority in this Congress was governed by the traditions that we grew up with in the New England of my youth -- wouldn't they have acted to prevent Wall Street's "sustained orgy of excess and reckless behavior" -- as Richard Fisher, the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank put it last week?
Surely they wouldn't then turn around and reward that behavior with a $750 billion bailout?
By now you know that McCain, Obama and Bush all support the bailout.
And Nader/Gonzalez are opposed.
And we again urge all members of the House to vote against the bailout today.
But no matter how the House votes today, Nader/Gonzalez will be barnstorming the country in October.
Putting front and center our platform of shifting the power from the corporations back into the hands of the American people.
We're on the ballot in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
We've deployed a contingent to each state to coordinate our get out the vote drive.
And we're raising money to drive the campaign home to election day.
But we need to raise $1,000,000 in October to get it done.
Our first October goal is to raise $250,000 by October 12.
Yes, that's a heavy lift.
But it's been heavy before, and you've come through every time.
So, here's the idea:
If you donate $17, or $170, or $10, or $50 -- whatever you can afford to donate -- by midnight tonight, we'll e-mail to you tomorrow a signed one pager listing the 17 traditions.
You can share it with your friends and family.
Or just stick it in your drawer for posterity's sake.
If you donate $100 now, we will send you a copy of the 150-page hard cover edition of The Seventeen Traditions -- my favorite book.
And I'll autograph it.
In my humble opinion, this book makes a wonderful present -- for the upcoming holidays, as a wedding present, birthday present, Mother's Day present, or for a baby shower. (This Seventeen Traditions book offer expires on October 12, 2008 at 11:59 p.m.)
So, stock up now.
The more the merrier.
The proceeds will power our campaign during this momentous October.
Thank you again for your generous support.
Together, we are making a difference.
Onward to November
Thursday night, Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden debated. The John McCain - Sarah Palin campaign issued this statement regarding the debate:
Statement From Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker
ARLINGTON, VA -- McCain-Palin 2008 Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker issued the following statement on tonight's Vice Presidential Debate:
The McCain - Palin campaign also quotes Geraldine Ferraro, the first women to make the ticket of one of the country's two major parties (1984, the Democratic ticket of Mondale - Ferraro). Ferraro stated on NBC: "I really wanted her to get up there and do a good job, and I think she did. . . . I think it was a good evening for -- certainly for Governor Palin. . . . . I think she showed she is certainly capable of going toe to toe with a man who is more than qualified to be vice president, if not president of the United States."
Quickly, TV notes, NOW on PBS offers a look at New Mexico which is seen as a battleground state in the 2008 election and speak to various voting groups as well as to Governor Bill Richardson. Washington Week finds Gwen sitting around the table with four journalists including the AP's Charles Babington. (And for others, 'journalists' is being generous.) In a book note, independent journalist David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which came out last month. The Oakland Institute notes: "Since NAFTA's passage in 1993, the U.S. Congress has debated and passed several new trade agreements - with Peru, Jordan, Chile, and the Central American Free Trade Agreement. At the same time it has debated immigration policy as though those trade agreements bore no relationship to the waves of displaced people migrating to the U.S., looking for work. Meanwhile, a rising tide of anti-immigrant hysteria has increasingly demonized those migrants, leading to measures that deny them jobs, rights, or any pretense of equality with people living in the communities around them. To resolve any of these dilemmas, from adopting rational and humane immigration policies to reducing the fear and hostility towards migrants, Uprooted: The Impact of Free Market on Migrants, a new Backgrounder from the Oakland Institute, suggests the starting point has be an examination of the way U.S. policies have both produced migration and criminalized migrants."
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"THIS JUST IN! PRECONDITIONS THROWS JOE! "
Saturday, October 04, 2008
THIS JUST IN! HAND HIM THE PRESIDENCY!
Friday, October 03, 2008
THIS JUST IN! PRECONDITIONS THROWS JOE!
TONIGHT THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TOOK PLACE AS GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN AND SENATOR JOE BIDEN SQUARED OFF.
LOOKING TIRED AND FREQUENTLY COMING OFF GRUMPY AS HE WAS FORCED TO DEFEND BARACK OBAMA, SENATOR BIDEN WAS FORCED TO DEFEND BARACK OBAMA'S HUMAN-RIGHTS-KILLING PROPOSAL TO MEET "WITHOUT PRECONDITIONS" WHICH IS WHY HIS VOICE STRAINED AS HE DECLARED, "CAN I CLARIFY THIS? THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE ABOUT BARACK OBAMA. HE DID NOT SAY SIT DOWN WITH AHMADINEJAD."
IN FACT, HE SAID IT IN SEPTEMBER 2007 IN NYC. HE WAS ASKED IF HE WOULD "MEET WITH PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD" AND HE RESPONDED, "YEAH, NOTHING'S CHANGED WITH RESPECT TO MY BELIEF THAT STRONG COUNTRIES AND STRONG PRESIDENT'S TALK TO THEIR ENEMIES AND TALK TO THEIR ADVERSARIES."
IT WAS A VERY SAD MOMENT.
REACHED FOR COMMENT AFTER, SENATOR SWEETIE BARACK OBAMA INFORMED THESE REPORTERS, "DID YOU SEE IT! I NEVER GOT CHOKED UP IN A DEBATE AND ALMOST CRIED! HA HA!"
WHEN THESE REPORTERS REMINDED HIM THAT THE PERSON WHO DID, JOE BIDEN, IS HIS RUNNING MATE, BARACK REPLIED, "REALLY? OH YEAH, I DON'T PICK CHICKS. YEAH. SO THE CRY BABY'S ON MY TEAM? HOLY S**T!"
Turning to the US presidential race. Robin Morgan has a column at Women's Media Center. Violet Socks (Reclusive Leftist) has a response. You can also see Marcia's "" and "." I'll address in part tonight in "I Hate The War." Robin's column is a very bad column. It will be addressed in part tonight because Jim's asked me to save a topic (as Kat noted Monday) for Third this weekend. After that goes up, Robin's column will appear even more uninformed. For now, you can read Marcia's "When feminist 'leaders' lie" and "Ralph Nader, HB Melissa, and more" Robin is a strong voice and real feminist leader (not a 'leader') so it's a damn shame she chose to publish that column. Again, we'll address tonight. For now, she's elected to play a round of "Bash the Bitch." It's not pretty. It is embarrassing and it is deeply harmful to feminism. And let's be really clear, no one would mistake Robin's column for a "catfight." It is "Bash the Bitch." Which is worse? "Bash the Bitch" is how you get women burned at the stake in earlier times. Today, you burn them with lies, half-truths and a double standard. My opinion, "Bash the Bitch" is much worse than a "catfight." Robin should have known better. Violet Socks also points out that while Governor Palin proudly defines herself as a feminist, Michelle Obama replied when asked that question, "You know, I'm not that into labels. So probably, if you laid out a feminist agenda, I would probably agree with a large portion of it. I wouldn't identify as a feminist just like I probably wouldn't identify as a liberal or a progressive." Well of course she wouldn't. Sexism is the theme of the Obama household. Many a foolish woman has said "well he has two daughters!" That has to be the most insane and ahistorical remark made yet. Are we supposed to believe that women just emerged in the last few decades? Men have always had daughters and sons. And sexism has always thrived. Get a grip. Your first clue was his insistence upon going along with Michelle to a job interview (Michelle's job interview). That tells you his actual opinion of women -- their abilities and their intellect. It would appear Robin's been bitten by the Sour Grape Girl syndrome. Hopefully, it's a 24-hour viral sort of illness. Semi-related, garychappelhill (The Confluence) has a post. It has nothing to do with this topic but a comment garychappelhill left on Riverdaughter's post resulted in a number of e-mails here. While the sour grape girls can't bring themselves to call out homophobia, a lot of people are suffering. Gary is a gay man and wrote of the damage done to the LGBT community in Barack's campaign. That topic will be brought up tonight but I probably won't have time to link to him and will probably focus more on lesbians than gay males so we're including a link to his post. A number of community members e-mailed afraid that he would stop writing. He's already written a post today. That's an understandable fear. Team Obama has run an ugly, disgusting campaign and the 'progressives' have refused to call it out thereby sending the message to so many people that they are unwanted. PUMA is only one response to the ugly campaign. There are a number of people who've been made to feel they do not fit in with the 'grand vision.' Sadly, Robin's very bad column will only further that impression.
Tonight Governor Sarah Palin debates Senator Joe Biden in the 'vice presidential' 'debates.' Palin is the v.p. nominee of the Republican Party, Biden of the Democratic Party. Today, the McCain-Palin ticket picked up an endorsement from the Lowell Sun which notes Senator John McCain's work with Senator Ted Kennedy on immigration and with Senator Russ Feingold on campaign-finance reform and calls McCain "America's true-blue, principled maverick."
Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate and Monet Drake (Howard University's The Hilltop) weighs in on her candidacy:
History is certain to be made this election, but not by Sen. Obama and Gov. Palin, but rather by the Green Party's Presidential nominee, Cynthia McKinney - a black woman.
Cynthia McKinney, who was previously a Democrat, expanded her political views and won over the Green Party as the nominee for the presidential candidacy.
She is a firm believer in the 2008 Green Party's Platform and a strong advocate for her "Power to the People" campaign.
In a press release, her running mate, Rosa Clemente said, "Cynthia McKinney is a hero to me and many others across this country and around the world."
McKinney has been actively involved in politics since 1986. She was born the daughter of Georgia state representative Billy McKinney. Previously a resident of Jamaica, she ran and won a seat in the House of Representatives representing Georgia along side her father, in 1988. She was elected the first African-American woman to Congress in 1992, however, just 10 years later, she lost her seat.
Congresswoman McKinney has since been able to move forward and attempt to promote a new health care plan and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, key values set forth by the Green Party. In an International Tribunal Press Release, McKinney expressed her concern for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"I am pleased to be among this tested and true group of activists who are committed to Katrina justice," McKinney said to dozens of supporters in the press release.
Meanwhile the US Senate passed a bail out measure late yesterday. Voting in favor of it were Senators Joe Biden, John McCain and Barack Obama. While they were all in agreement on the need or 'need' for the measure, many other Americans were not. Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and Team Nader issued this today:
NADER STATEMENT ON BAILOUT
Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez vigorously oppose Bush's $700++ billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street.
"This is not just a bailout of Wall Street" says Nader, "It's a bailing out of the bankrupt Republican and Democratic policies that have led us to where we are today with Senators John "Deregulation" McCain and Joe "MBNA" Biden leading the way.
Full Statement from Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez:
"The revised bailout legislation is the same $700 billion piece of burnt toast, with some window dressing, sugar coating, and $150 billion of pork tax cuts covering everything from casinos to coal.
But this isn't even the main course that Senate is serving up for Congress on Friday. The main course is on page 92 of the 451 page document:
BORROWING LIMITS TEMPORARILY LIFTED. - During the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on December 31, 2009, the Board of Directors of the Corporation may request from the Secretary, and the Secretary shall approve, a loan or loans in an amount or amounts necessary to carry out this subsection, without regard to the limitations on such borrowing under section 14(a) and 15(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1824(a), 1825(c)).
Translation: Bush, McCain, and Obama want Congress to co-sign off on the mother of all blank checks, paving the way for a sinking dollar and higher interest rates.
By bumping the FDIC's line of credit at the Treasury from $30 billion to infinity, the FDIC assumes fiat powers to bailout to its heart content, leaving the taxpayer to pay the bill. This unacceptable unlimited right to ransack taxpayers would last until 2010.
"The bailout ignores the needs of millions of swindled families facing foreclosure, and it squanders an opportunity to bring about real regulatory change, decisive shareholder power over their companies' bosses, and authentic taxpayer equity that would prevent economic crises like this from happening again. Wall Street's wildly overpaid bosses are addicted to speculative gambling with other people's money. When a drug addict is facing overdose, you don't give them more needles.
According to Richard W. Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas: "The seizures and convulsions we have experienced in the debt and equity markets have been the consequences of a sustained orgy of excess and reckless behavior, not a too-tight monetary policy. In the end, we're going to have to deal with the underlying stock of housing."
"We need to protect homeowners and our neighborhoods first. That's why Nader/Gonzalez support introducing a law with a 5-year sunset clause that would provide homeowners facing foreclosure the right to rent to own their homes at fair market value.
"Wall Street is out of control. We need to bring some sense of accountability, transparency, and law and order back to Wall Street's crooks and speculators, or they will desperately seek socialism to bail out their criminal corporate capitalism, going again and again to the taxpayer trough in Washington DC each time. That's why Nader/Gonzalez support a Wall Street speculation tax, starting on derivatives, which would make Wall Street less like Las Vegas, and generate enough funds to more than eliminate the federal tax burden on the first $50,000 of income for every working American.
Click here for Nader's Ten Point Plan
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
Thursday, October 02, 2008
THIS JUST IN! AND THE MOST REPEATED GAFFES GOES TO ...
TONIGHT SENATOR JOE BIDEN DEBATES GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN. THE DEBATE COMES AMID GROWING CONCERNS AROUND BIDEN'S PINOCHIO PROBLEM WHICH INCLUDES CLAIMS OF BEING ON A HELICOPTER IN AFGHANISTAN THAT WAS "FORCED DOWN" BY ATTACKERS WHEN IT WAS, IN FACT, FORCED DOWN BY SNOW. HAS BIDEN DECLARED THE WEATHER ELEMENTS PART OF THE "AXIS OF EVIL"?
SPEAKING IN VIRIGINIA AND ATTEMPTING TO RELATE TO THE WORKING CLASS, BIDEN STATED HE WAS "A HARD COAL MINER" WHEN, IN FACT, HE HAS NEVER WORKED IN A COAL MINE -- THOUGH WE ARE TOLD HE CAN HANDLE A MEAN COAL PIT FOR A B.B.Q.
THESE MISSTATEMENTS ONLY SERVE TO AMPLIFY HIS FALSE CLAIM THAT FDR, AS PRESIDENT, WENT ON TELEVISION IN 1929 TO DISCUSS THE GREAT DEPRESSION. AS DOES A FELLOW DEMOCRAT, SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL, DECLARING HAT JOE BIDEN "SAYS THINGS THAT ARE KIND OF STUPID."
MAYBE SHE WAS THINKING OF BIDEN ANNOUNCING LAST WEEK, "WE'RE NOT SUPPORTING CLEAN COAL." NOT ONLY HAS HIS RUNNING MATE CLAIMED OTHERWISE BUT ONE WOULD THINK "A HARD COAL MINER" WOULD BE PREPARED FOR THE QUESTION.
Moving over to the US presidential race. David Hoff (Education Week) explores what the presidential choices mean in terms of the No Child Left Behind Act (also known as "No Learning, Just Crib Notes") since both GOP presidential nominee John McCain and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama support it. Hoff notes three who are for quality education (first step, end NCLB):
Ralph Nader, who is running as an independent, says "federal policy needs to be transformed from one that uses punishments to control schools, to one that supports teachers and students; from one that relies primarily on standardized tests, to one that encourages high-quality assessments. Broader measures of student learning are needed that include reliance of classroom-based assessments along with testing."
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate, writes: "Turning education over to the federal government, as through such legislation as the No Child Left Behind Act has not worked. Trying to fix failing schools with more money and regulations also has failed to do anything other than waste taxpayer money without results." He proposes ending the federal government's role in education and turning decisions back to state and local governments.
The Green Party, which has nominated Cynthia McKinney to be its candidate, writes in its draft platform that "the federal Act titled No Child Left Behind punishes where it should assist and hinders its own declared purpose. It should be repealed or greatly redesigned." The federal government's roles should be limited to ensuring students across states have a "level playing field," the platform says.
Hoff notes that Barr and McKinney did vote for NCLB in 2001 while both were members of the US House of Representatives. Anita Zimmerman (The Chetek Alert) covers many presidential candidates and we'll note this section:
The state's Green party has many of the same challenges. They don't get much media coverage, their candidates are rarely invited to debates, and their resources are too limited for national advertisement. Like the Constitution party, there are "scattered individuals" but no cohesive Barron County organization, says Jeff Peterson, co-founder of the Wisconsin Green Party.
Peterson, a 20-year veteran of the party and a Luck resident, believes presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney appeals to urban voters and young people. Peterson's been "politicking from his computer," he adds.
On the national level, the Green party's base is split between 20-somethings and 50-somethings, Peterson explains. While the party enjoys support on college campuses, it has never succeeded in garnering the 5-percent vote necessary to "unlock all sorts of resources," especially the monetary kind.
Peterson's goal for the election is to "maintain a presence." Voters need third-party options, he believes, and candidates like McKinney, a former congresswoman from Georgia, take stances on issues Republicans and Democrats may not address.
Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and Team Nader's Ashley Sanders explains:
Many people tend to see the economic crisis as a problem from nowhere, divorcing it from the deliberate and systematic dismantling of regulation and oversight waged by the corporate sector in its fight for ever-greater profits. Many of these same people view Barack Obama's candidacy in similar but opposite terms, seeing him as the change candidate from nowhere who will save our economic and political our economic and political system--divorcing his hope message from his actual platforms and legislative history. In part two of her February analysis of Obama's campaign, Pam Martens makes the connection between our rootless critiques of the economy and our rootless support of Obama. When the same people causing a crisis are funding the man claiming to solve a crisis, we can expect more of the same.
Governor Sarah Palin is the GOP nominee for vice president and yesterday Katie Couric interviewed the McCain-Palin ticket for The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric (link has text and video and click here for transcript):
"I do," Palin said. "I'm a feminist who, uh, believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly today have every opportunity that a man has to succeed, and to try to do it all, anyway. And I'm very, very thankful that I've been brought up in a family where gender hasn't been an issue. You know, I've been expected to do everything growing up that the boys were doing. We were out chopping wood and you're out hunting and fishing and filling our freezer with good wild Alaskan game to feed our family. So it kinda started with that."
Today, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Durant (Ret.) issued the following statement on Joe Biden's apparently false accounts of near-misses on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq:
"Senator Biden claimed at a debate last year that he'd been 'shot at' while visiting Iraq. And he has claimed repeatedly, most recently last week, that his helicopter was 'forced down' in Afghanistan -- leaving his audience with the impression that it was fire from the Taliban which had grounded the aircraft. Neither of these stories appears to be true, and Senator Biden has never accounted for the discrepancies.
"I've been on a helicopter that was 'forced down' by enemy fire, and I've been 'shot at.' Neither is easily confused with being caught in a snow storm or awakened by a loud bang in the night. Senator Biden has a responsibility to come clean on what actually happened, and explain why he would ever say such things to the American people. And with the Vice Presidential Debate coming up on Thursday, it is incumbent on the news media to ask Senator Biden the tough questions -- as they have so far failed to do -- and examine his responses closely for inconsistencies of the kind we've witnessed in recent months.
"The American people expect and deserve leaders who tell the truth about their record and their experiences, and a news media that holds all candidates -- no matter their party -- to the same standard."
When it was Hillary, it was BIG NEWS. Was it just because she's a woman? Was it just because the press wants to elect Barack? Tomorrow night Joe Biden and Sarah Palin are scheduled to debate. Prior to the start of the vice presidential debate, (3:45 p.m. local time), Senator McCain will be participating in the Women's Town Hall Meeting in Denver.
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Wednesday, October 01, 2008
THIS JUST IN! CRACK A WINDOW FOR BARACK!
TODAY SENATOR SWEETIE BARACK OBAMA DECLARED OF THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN IN THE U.S., "FRANKLY WHENEVER WE TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES IN THIS CAMPAIGN, WE HAVE THE BETTER ARGUMENT. I MEAN, THERE WAS A TIME PRETTY RECENTLY WHEN WE WERE TALKING ABOUT LIPSTICK AND PIGS."
WHEN THESE REPORTERS INFORMED SENATOR SWEEITE, YOU'RE THE ONE WHO STARTED THAT CONVERSATION. HE GIGGLED AND SAID, "I REALLY AM FULL OF S**T, AREN'T I?"
HE CERTAINLY IS BECAUSE PRIOR TO PRAISING THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN AS A POLITICAL WIN FOR HIM, HE ALSO DECLARED OF THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN, "IT IS NOT A TIME FOR POLITICS. IT IS NOT A TIME FOR PARTISANSHIP. IT IS NOT A TIME FOR POLITICIANS TO CONCERN THEMSELVES WITH THE NEXT ELECTION."
LIKE SENATOR SWEETIE SAID, HE REALLY IS FULL OF S**T.
DON'T BLAME THE CHILD, BLAME THE PARENTS: THE MEDIA: "2007 WAS WHEN THE BULK OF LITTLE MEDIA ENLISTED IN THE BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN -- A KATRINA COFFEE FETCHER EVEN WENT TO WORK FOR IT. BAMBI WOULD WALK ON HIS OWN AND GO TO POTTY ALL BY HIMSELF IN 2008, INDY MEDIA INSISTED, BUT RIGHT NOW HE NEEDED COAXING. AND WHAT BETTER WAY TO GUARANTEE THAT THAN BY LAVISHING HIM WITH NON-STOP PRAISE. AS THEY CROWDED AROUND THE POTTY CHAIR, THEY PRODUCED MANY EMBARRASSING MOMENTS." BARACK HAS 2 MOMMIES: BIG MEDIA AND PANHANDLE MEDIA.
Turning to the US presidential race. Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes (link has text and video), the US top commander in Iraq, Gen Ray Odierno, explained to Lesley Stahl that he doesn't vote and why: "I will say this. I made a decision when I got promoted to colonel that I would not longer vote in national elections because I feel it's my job to serve the commander-in-chief. So I have not voted. Probably a bad American for not voting, but I made that decision because of the position that I have." Voting or not voting is a personal decision. So is taking accountability which the Democratic presidential nominee cannot apparently do still. CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic reports that Barack Obama thinks the meltdown is just groovy because it allows talking about issues: "I mean, there was a time pretty recently when we were talking about lipstick and pigs." We? We? Barack plagiarized a Washington Post comic and made insulting remarks but it's "we". He can always grab credit for what he hasn't done, he just never takes accountability for what he did do. Where it gets really funny is if you compare Maria Gavrilovic's reports today. In one, Barack is saying that the economic meltdown is "not a time for politics" and, less than an hour later, Barack's stating the economic meltdown allows for a good test of the candidates. But who will he cheat off of?
Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential nominee and here's an important statement regarding her campaign:
Green Party National Women's Caucus challenges NOW to support the historic McKinney/Clemente presidential campaign
Monday, 29 September 2008 19:38
Distributed by the Green Party of the United States
National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release
Monday, September 29, 2008
Morgen D'Arc, Spokesperson, 207-761-7797, firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Manning Myatt, Spokesperson, 248-548-6175, email@example.com
Green Party National Women's Caucus challenges NOW to support the historic McKinney/Clemente presidential campaign
WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States has sent an open letter to the National Organization for Women (http://www.now.org) urging support for the Green Party's presidential ticket. The text of the letter is appended below.
The letter cites Green nominee Cynthia McKinney's six terms in Congress and her unmatched dedication to the principles of equality and human rights championed by NOW. The National Women's Caucus emphasizes the historical role that alternative parties have played in the struggle for women's suffrage and rights, and notes that NOW has failed even to recognize the significance of America's first national campaign by two women of African descent: Ms. McKinney is African American and running mate Rosa Clemente is Black Puerto Rican.
OPEN LETTER TO NOW, THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN
National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Dear National Organization for Women leadership and members:
The National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States is dismayed that your recent endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States did not acknowledge the first all-female ticket in recent U.S. history. Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente are running for President and Vice President, respectively, on the Green Party ballot line.
Cynthia McKinney served six terms in the U.S. Congress and two terms in the Georgia General Assembly. She is a global human rights and peace activist with a substantial voting record supporting women. Rosa Clemente is a community organizer and journalist who was one of the founders and primary organizers of the first national Hip Hop political convention. Their "Power to the People" campaign goal is to ensure that public policy reflects the Green Party values of ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence.
Cynthia McKinney has been a steadfast supporter of full reproductive rights for women throughout her legislative career, including funding for contraception and UN family planning, and opposition to "abstinence only" sex education. Rosa Clemente has been an outspoken advocate on issues affecting people of color, particularly women, and has directed her campaign toward the 48% of young people who don't vote, to encourage participation in the electoral process.
Additional positions of the McKinney/Clemente campaign that will benefit women include:
- Equal Rights
- End to forced sterilization and coerced or uninformed consent procedures,
- Immediate end to the War in Iraq and reinvestment of the money into our communities
- Single-payer, universal "Medicare for All"
- Election integrity where every vote is counted
- Right to same-sex marriage
- Free higher education
- End to the drug war
- Right of return of survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
- Withdrawal from corporate trade agreements such as NAFTA that are devastating economies worldwide
- Promotion of renewable energy (no coal or nuclear) to create hundreds of thousands of new manufacturing, construction and service jobs
Neither Obama nor his Republican opponent John McCain support these positions. The National Organization for Women PAC repeatedly praised Congresswoman McKinney during her six terms in U.S. Congress; and her record, on every relevant issue, surpasses those of the male endorsees. But now, these two women of color -- powerful and power-challenging, real choices, and nominated by a political party that proudly boasts Feminism & Gender Equity among our Ten Key Values -- don't even receive acknowledgment.
The National Organization for Women, at all levels, has long struggled over diverging feminist paths -- choosing either to press for change within the existing power structure, and its institutions, or to step outside of the expected and challenge the institutions themselves. In the view of the National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States, NOW has best served women when NOW has recognized, in the words of Audre Lord, that "when you look back on the road you've come, and see pain, and look forward to the road you're on, and see pain, then, step off the road, and make a new path."
We recall when NOW distributed buttons proclaiming that "Women were not born Democrats, Republicans, or YESTERDAY." We recall when the heroines of our heritage were Belva Lockwood, Alice Paul and Sonia Johnson, each willing to form her own political party, or run for president independently, or both. They were willing because that path provided fewer barriers to telling the plain truth, the truth that needed to be heard, than did service to the establishment parties. We even recall when NOW announced the formation of its own, alternative, political party, the "Party for the 21st Century," with Dolores Huerta at its head. We rejoiced when NOW sought to make a new path, because the old political road was simply too filled with the pain of condescension and compromise, deferment and settling for what was offered.
Even when NOW, through its political action committee, decided in the last two decades to bestow its endorsement on candidates from the over-represented political parties, it was to reward them for actually moving closer to the day when a woman might be president, with a Geraldine Ferraro and a Hillary Clinton sitting in the candidate car, and not just trudging behind it, pushing. But this past week, that endorsement reward was offered without even that, out of the same "fear of the alternative" that has driven women to set our own hopes, dreams and destinations aside, time and again, to let the men drive the car.
Belva, Alice and Sonia did not become president of the United States, but, with the support of the feminists of their time, speaking truth, each re-formed the vision that America had about women. While men can be feminists too, their institutions can only be deemed feminist if they produce equality. The dearth of elected women, at every level, is its own condemnation of the party structures that are the paved road of American democracy. It disappoints us greatly, that earlier this month, NOW has not made a new path. By failing to commend, or even comment on, the presidential candidacy of Cynthia McKinney and her Green Party running mate, Rosa Clemente, NOW is driving on the wrong side of history.
We invite the National Organization for Women, and feminists everywhere, to support the Green Party and the McKinney/Clemente campaign. Come walk the walk with us, and make a new path.
National Women's Caucus, Green Party of the United States
Nan Garrett, Co-Chair
Ginny Marie Case, Co-Chair
National Women's Caucus Member Claudia Ellquist, National NOW Board member, 1990-94, participated in the drafting of this letter
National Women's Caucus
Green Party of the United States
1711 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Abortion and contraception: McKinney is a firm supporter of abortion rights, appearing on EMILY's List of pro-choice women. She has also supported federal funding for contraception and U.N. family planning programs.
Quite a long statement on Women, Families and Children [. . .]
* Voted YES on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years. (Mar 2001)
* Supported funding child care, child health, & child housing. (Jul 1999)
McKinney immediately challenged Georgia House rules requiring women to wear dresses by wearing slacks
Green Party of the United States
Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente 'Power to the People' Campaign for the White House
Cynthia McKinney on video
• Press conference, September 10 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5ivgS4asc
• Speech in Denver, August 24:
• Music video:
For more on the embarrassment that was the NOW PAC endorsement, see the Sept. 16th snapshot. Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate, Matt Gonzalez is his running mate. Team Nader notes:
Donate it now to Nader/Gonzalez.
We're just $25,000 from reaching the $3 million mark.
Three million dollars for the year!
That might be peanuts to McCain and Obama.
But it's real nutrition for Nader/Gonzalez.
And it's literally three times what any other third party or independent campaign has raised so far this year.
October promises to be a month of surprises -- for both Obama and McCain -- but also for Nader/Gonzalez.
But before we deal with October, we have to finish off September.
And we need to reach our $3 million goal by midnight tonight.
Because we've always liked Ralph. (pictured here in his hometown of Winsted, Connecticut at age 11.)
And because at midnight tonight we close our books for the month of September. And report to the FEC.
All the national pundits will ask -- hey Nader/Gonzalez.
How much money have you raised with one month left until the election?
And we can say -- $3 million.
And we'll also meet our most recent Three Way Race fundraising goal of $150,000 by midnight tonight.
So, let's crank 'er up.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Jordan gets oil, refugees shown the door"
"Iraq: War Hawks flutter"
"katha pollitt and other bitches"
"The double standard is getting damn old"
"Melissa's a fool, Tina's a Mean Girl"
"Monday feminist post"
"Sexism and classicism"
"Gaffe prone Biden"
"THIS JUST IN! BIDEN MAKES ANOTHER GAFFE!"
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
THIS JUST IN! BIDEN MAKES ANOTHER GAFFE!
ASKED TODAY ABOUT THE BAILOUT BILL NOT PASSING IN THE HOUSE, DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN DELCARED, "HEY FOLKS. OH, THINGS ARE GOING WELL."
THIS FOLLOWS A NUMBER OF GAFFES BY BIDEN LAST WEEK WHICH INCLUDED BIDEN CRYING WHILE SPEAKING AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN PENNSYLVANIA AND DECLARING IN A TV INTERVIEW: "WHEN THE STOCK MARKET CRASHED, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT GOT ON THE TELEVISION AND DIDN'T JUST TALK ABOUT THE, YOU KNOW, THE PRINCES OF GREED. HE SAID, 'LOOK, HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED'."
FDR WAS NOT PRESIDENT WHEN THE STOCK MARKET CRASHED (IT WAS HERBERT HOOVER) AND FDR DID NOT GO ON TELEVISION (WHICH DID NOT HIT MOST HOMES UNTIL POST-WWII). BIDEN HAS YET TO EXPLAIN HIS CONFUSION.
Moving into the US presidential race. Lynette Long is supporting the McCain - Palin ticket and Long is a feminist. Bill Clinton cited her last week on ABC's The View and yesterday on NBC's Meet The Press. At her site, Long compiles a list of reasons as to why Governor Palin is "Good For Women" which includes "keeping the issue of sexism in the United States of America front and center" and expanding "the definition of feminism." She also writes that following speaking at a McCain - Palin rally, "An executive member of the National Organization for Women contacted me the very next day. It was a friendly conversation tinted with sarcasm. 'How do you feel about your speech?' she asked me. 'Great.' I responded. 'Why shouldn't I feel great. I gave a speech about women's rights in front of a large audience. I highlighted the under-representation of women in every branch of government, the sexism in the media, and the unfair treatment of Hillary Clinton by the Democratic Party.' 'Where did you give your speech?' A rhetorical question deserved a quip answer, 'Before thirty-thousand Americans.' Republicans are Americans, aren't they. 'By speaking at a McCain-Palin event people will think you are endorsing McCain.' That's the point, I am endorsing McCain-Palin." We're starting with this because a number of members of the Cult of Obama are repeating the lie that many 'feminists' have. (And it will be 'feminists' until they correct that and other lies they've spread.) 'Sarah Palin wants rape victims to pay for their own rape kits!' Prove it. September 24th, FactCheck.org published their item on it and they found nothing to prove that rumor. No proof. That's how the Cult took down Hillary, they repeated lies and piled on more lies. Usually, the most effective lie was the one that turned a Hillary strength into a liability -- a strength Barack didn't posses. So when 'feminists' rush to tell you Sarah Palin hunted wolves from a helicopter, the appropriate response is, "You, ma'am, are a damn liar." And when they insist that Palin forced rape victims to pay for rape kits, the same reply should be followed by pointing to Barack's "Faith, Family, Values Tour" with headliner Doug Kmiec who is both a homophobe (and actively fighting to overturn marriage equality in California) and an anti-choice advocate who admitted to the New York Times last month that he wanted Roe v. Wade overturned. If 'feminists' think that's feminism, they have more problems than lying.
As the press continues digging around Palin's past can someone help me out here? I thought during the Democratic Party primaries, when Barack kept suggesting that there was something evil in Hillary and Bill Clinton's tax returns, that Barack himself made a promise. There was nothing evil in their tax returns as was demonstrated when the Clintons released them. But didn't Barack promise to release his papers from when he was in the Illinois legislature. It was hard, he whined, because he didn't have that much money. Well he's sitting on a large wad of Wall St. money and surely, all these months later, the papers must have been compiled. Exactly when will he be making them public?
Violet Socks (Reclusive Leftist) explains, "Whenever women in a patriarchal society buck male opinion, there's hell to pay and they know it. Women in America really went out on a limb this year by backing Hillary in the face of withering derision from men (and from young women attempting to curry favor with men, consciously or not). Now they're making amends by piling on Palin. Ridiculing Sarah Palin as a moron -- which she clearly is not -- is de rigueur for everybody now in the Obama camp. It's their preferred sport. It's true that Palin is verbally awkward in interviews, but then, Obama himself is a man whose unscripted remarks are so ignorant and confused they defy belief. A teleprompter-deprived Obama thinks there are 57 states in the Union, believes Oregon is in the Great Lakes region, doesn't know which states border his own state of Illinois, and has no idea which Senate committees he's on." And, yes, in response to some e-mails today, the ridicule Palin faces is sexism and just because some self-proclaimed 'feminist' online wants to pretend Tina Fey's sexist (and, yes, bitchy) portrayal of Palin is nothing to fret over doesn't make it so. Staying with stupidity, the I-stalk-my-ex-and-trash-his-younger (and prettier)-new-partner 'feminist' Katha Pollitt who offered up that Palin was an "affirmative action babe." First, there's nothing wrong with affirmative action when someone is qualified. Second, when Katha's sold out feminism (as she freely admitted doing in April) for her hero Barack, maybe calling a candidate an "affirmative action" hire isn't the way to go because Barack's qualifications are non-existant. Katha wipes the sweat from underneath her many chins, hunkers down at the keyboard and comes up with one falsehood after another. At one point, she has to drag Carly Fiorina into it because Katha longs for a girlfight (longs for anything that will get her fat ass some attention but it's not 1996 and most stopped reading Katha long ago) so she rushes to type that Carly Fiornia was "ushered off the stage after she pointed out that Sarah Plin couldn't run a major corporation". Just as Katha has to insist that she was dumped by the one who got away because of his own problems (not the story everyone else heard), Katha has to omit a lot of reality when pretending to talk politics. CNN quoting Fiorina, "Well I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation, I don't think Barack Obama could run a major corporation, I don't think Joe Biden could run a major corporation." It must be very sad to be Katha Pollitt. It's even sadder to have to read her (no link to trash so no link to Katha). Long after the election's over, feminists will be addressing what went down and Liars for Barack like Katha will be the new Susan Brownmillers (and that's not anything to wish for, read Susan Faludi's Backlash). And since Katha crossed my line-you-do-not-cross (special needs children), let me toss out that each passing day finds Katha looking more and more like Bill Clinton's ugly brother. And for Katha's friend who sometimes e-mails, ask Katha to watch her words about special needs children before you beg me not to comment on Katha's Butt Ugly-ness. Meanwhile Mollie (Get Religion) explains how the press regularly distorts Palin's religion and, no surprise there, she just had to look to the Los Angeles Times.
Barack participated in a two-party presidential 'debate on Friday. Susan (Random Thoughts) offers this evaluation, "Thank God it's over. I call it a draw; both were equally boring, equally deceptive, equally unfit for the job of president." Klownhaus notes the Cult reaction and attempts to break it down for TalkLeft's Jeralyn: "Do you want to know what the difference between spinning and outright lying is? There isn't one." Patrick Martin (WSWS) found the debate underscored "that there is no choice in the 2008 presidential election within the confines of the official two-party system. Two candidates stood facing each other, espousing nearly identical positions in defense of Wall Street and American militarism which would, in any other country in the world, immediately identify them as representatives of the ultra-right. . . . Obama said that the lesson of Iraq was 'we should never hesitate to use military force, and I will not, as president, in order to keep the American people safe, never hesitate to use military force'." Asked by moderator Jim Lehrer ("how do you see the lessons of Iraq, Senator Obama?"), Barack responded, "So I think the lesson to be drawn is that we should never hesitate to use military force, and I will not, as president, in order to keep the American people safe. But we have to use our military wisely. And we did not use our military wisely in Iraq." That was a good catch by Martin and one I honestly missed. After the question is asked by Lehrer, Barack takes six paragraphs to get that point (six paragraphs according to CNN transcript). Speaking to PBS' Ray Suarez following the debate (transcript and audio), presidential historian Michael Beschloss noted that "John McCain was repeatedly on the offensive and, to some extent, Obama was on the defensive. I was surprised by that. In terms of strategy, we'll see what works. But oftentimes in debates, if a candidate does go on the offensive, it does tend to work. That's what Kennedy did in 1960. It's what Ronald Reagan did in 1980. And it is what Bill Clinton did in 1992." PBS' Washington Week did two broadcast on Friday instead of their usual one. The first was pre-debate (standout there was the Washington Post's Dan Balz reporting from the debate location) and the second was a post-debate discussion. From the second broadcast:
Gwen Ifill: I was struck Michele that Barack Obama didn't seem to have much of an answer to that experience question.
Michelle Norris (NPR): I was surprised because it was basically John McCain's closing statement. He said that he had been involved in virtually every major national security crisis over the last 25 years and he said directly --
Gwen Ifill: He named half the leaders he'd met with.
Michele Norris: Yes. And he said I don't think Barack Obama has the experience or the judgment to be president and Jim Lehrer didn't say anything and basically let Barack Obama respond and the first thing he said was my father came from Kenya It was not directly dealing with that and I was very surprised by that.
It isn't who won. It's what won.
Peace advocates lost.
Solar energy really lost.
You ought to ask what they don't talk about, what they ignore, what they avoid. Both of these candidates are vying to get into the White House so they can take orders from their corporate paymasters.
That's what it's all about. Corporate government or the people's government? That's why we're running: to make a people's government.
When you ask what won you get a clear view that these two candidates are really afraid of challenging corporate power. It's our job to make them more afraid of the people than big business.
Video of Ralph's critique can be viewed here. KPFK broadcast the debates (click here for KPFK archives -- it's Friday under "Special Programming" at 5:03 p.m.) with commentary provided by, among others, Sonali Kolhatkar (host of Uprising) who stated, "I think Obama lost a lot of opportunities to strike back at McCain. Obama was on the defensive, as you said, Obama sounded like he was on the defensive and overall, I think, the debate was quite a bit more boring than I think most people thought." The only worthwhile guest not running for office was Chris Hedges who noted of the debate, "A lot of empty talk. It's pretty clear nothing's going to change in Iraq. Both candidates are going to ramp up the war in Afghanistan. Neither of them would address the real issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because their hands are tied by the Israeli lobby and the Israeli government." You can also laugh at many crackpots if you listen (Dr. Drew -- and add counting to the many skills Dr. Drew lacks). You can hear Sonali's co-host Ian Masters -- aka Babbling Brook or maybe just "Trainwreck" -- utilize non-stop sexism in his 'commentary' on this week's debate (the one that hasn't taken place). It wasn't just enough that he deploy SEXISM against Palin, after Cynthia McKinney was off the air he mocked her and called her "loopy" for her Florida analysis which, for the record, was correct. Ian Masters is a sexist idiot. It's pathetic that KPFK aired that embarrassment. It's linked for three reasons. 1) Audio for those who want to listen to the debate. 2) Cynthia McKinney. 3) Ralph Nader. Sonali asked Cynthia whether she supported the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq?
Cynthia McKinney: Absolutely, there's no way that -- I think the Democrats and the Republicans are on the wrong track when they say that we need to have more troops in Afghanistan. No. the people of Afghanistan don't want more missiles, more deaths, more bombs, more violence. They want peace. They want justice. They want self-determination. And that is what the United States ought to be offering the people of Afghanistan. And they want legitimate government which Ha mad Karzi does not represent.
Asked of differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, Cynthia replied:
Well of course I understand the Democratic Party very well after having served four years in the Georgia legislature as a Democrat and after having served twelve years in the United States Congress as a Democrat. What I can say is that voters never lose when they vote their values and that is really the message that we should be sending. And for voters who might be torn because of what the corporate press has told them to support -- the corporate political parties about the election of 2000, basically what has been told to voters has been told to them in an effort to prevent them from voting their values because if they voted their values and their values included peace then they would not vote Democrat or Republican, they would vote Green. . . . If their values were social justice, they would not vote Democrat or Republican, they would vote Green. And what the corporate press has failed to tell us is that the corporate political parties were engaged in the rankest form of disenfranchisement to the tune of one million Black people all over the United States being disenfranchised, being denied the right to have their votes counted in 2000. 78,000 of them were right there in the state of Florida and the Democratic Party did nothing to protect the right of their own voters, which the Black community represents, to have their votes counted. And then in 2004, the further insult was made by John Kerry who made a commitment, a recorded commitment, that we weren't going to see a repeat of 2000 where one million Black people had their votes not counted and then despite the fact that reports were coming in from Ohio of tremendous disenfranchisement in the Black community, John Kerry conceded the very next day.
Following McKinney, Aura Bogada (Free Speech Radio News) spoke to Ralph Nader.
Ralph Nader: I think something needs to be done for the millions of home owners who are going to be foreclosed. There are a lot of good ways to save them from losing their homes. The progressive economist Dean Baker in Washington suggests that they be allowed to rent their homes until the situation is stabilized -- rather than be evicted from their homes, they become tenants so that's one approach. But by and large the White House has not made the case that there needs to be a gigantic bailout and Congress is not investigating having a series hearing of deliberative hearings the way they did for a tiny bail out of Chrysler in 1979. So they haven't made the case and if there is to be a bailout they haven't shown what kind of bailout, how much is needed, should it be injection of capital, how do they evaluate the distressed assets, how are they going to pay for it, when are they going to pay for it. It's nothing but a blank check. $700 billion. George Bush wants. King George the IV, and that's it. This is dictatorial rule-making and unfortunately the Democrats with a few tweaks here and there are going to roll over.
The measure Ralph spoke of died in the House today. Offering a Green perspective, Kimberly Wilder (On the Wilder Side) writes about the topic (one attempt by the House to kill the bill doesn't mean it's over) and her suggestions include:
-Demand the absolute moratorium on foreclosures that some people have already envisioned might be needed.
-Demand a moratorium on apartment evictions.
-Encourage our friends and neighbors to truly evaluate their resources now, a few days or weeks before something happens: Make a network with 3 or 4 family members. Where would everyone go, who would they live with, if one by one they got kicked out of their homes?
-Start thinking of laws to propose, or amendments to this bailout bill, that either punish landlords with residential property not rented out, or make squatting rules so simple that there will not be empty apartments rotting around the country, while some people are homeless and looking for a place to lie their head.
-Start thinking about a way to put a moratorium on the enforcement of "keeping my neighborhood affluent laws" such as in the town I live in, where it is illegal to have a home with two front doors. Or, rules that only one family can live in a home. (Which should be well thought out, I realize. Because, they could be misapplied by bad landlords to overcrowd, or create burdens that make impossible parking/traffic situations if there is not an emergency.)
We're working that topic back to the presidential election via US House Rep Dennis Kucinich. On Democracy Now! today, he revealed that Barack Obama was said, by House Democrats not to want bankruptcy protection for the home owners:
Amy Goodman: Congressman Kucinich, can you explain how it is that the Democrats are in charge, yet the Democrats back down on their demand to give bankruptcy judges authority to alter the terms of mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure, that Democrats also failed in their attempt to steer a portion of any government profits from the package to affordable housing programs?
Dennis Kucinich: Well, I mean, those are two of the most glaring deficiencies in this bill. And I would maintain there was never any intention to -- you know, well, many members of Congress had the intention of helping people who were in foreclosure. You know, this -- Wall Street doesn't want to do that. Wall Street wants to grab whatever change they can and equity that's left in these properties. So --
Amy Goodman: Right, but the Democrats are in charge of this.
Dennis Kucinich: Right. You know, I'll tell you something that we were told in our caucus. We were told that our presidential candidate, when the negotiations started at the White House, said that he didn't want this in this bill. Now, that's what we were told.
Amy Goodman: You were told that Barack Obama did not want this in the bill?
Dennis Kucinich: That he didn't want the bankruptcy provisions in the bill. Now, you know, that's what we were told. And I don't understand why he would say that, if he did say that. And I think that there is a--the fact that we didn't put bankruptcy provisions in, that actually we removed any hope for judges to do any loan modifications or any forbearance. There's no moratorium on mortgage foreclosures in here. So, who's getting --who's really getting helped by this bill? This is a bailout, pure and simple, of Wall Street interests who have been involved in speculation.
Hardly surprising considering where Barack's campaign money comes from. But see if that gets any more news traction than Biden's speaking error did last week. Barack and John got to stand on stage in a so-called presidential debate. Shut out were presidential candidates Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. Team Nader reports that Trevor Lyman is attempting to organize a debate in NYC for McKinney, Nader, Barr and Baldwin as well as (invited even if they don't show) Barack and McCain. Lyman explains: "Please join us for a third party candidate debate and money bomb (date to be announced as we approach 10,000 pledges mark, location in New York City). All of the major candidates will be invited to participate. The event will be broadcast via BreakTheMatrix.com and many others (details to come). Remember, all of America is on the Internet. Together we can break the media blackout on third party candidates. Be sure to tell your friends and family to tune in." And before any e-mails come in, no, all of America is not online.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Kat's Korner: Hold Me Down"
"Kucinich says Barack doesn't want to protect people from bankruptcy"
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