Saturday, October 25, 2008


Stopping for the public airwaves (and all listed can be streamed), in public radio news, WBAI Monday features Judy Collins. Collins and Kenny White appear on Janet Coleman and David Dozer's Cat Radio Cafe along with playwright Shem Bitterman.  The program airs Monday at 2:00 p.m. EST.  Public television? NOW on PBS offers a report on the nursing crisis: "According to a government study, by the year 2020, there could be a nationwide shoratge of up to one million nurses, which could result in substandard treatment for hundreds of thousands of patients.  Just as alarming, fewer nurses are choosing to teach the next generation of professionals, resulting in tens of thousands of applicants being turned away from the nation's nursing schools."  NOW on PBS begins airing on many PBS stations tonight (check local listings) as does Washington Week which finds Gwen joined by journalists Shailagh Murray (Washington Post), Michael Viqueira (NBC) and David Shribman (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) and, for the child-at-heart, Gwen also provides two circus clowns on the panel.
Turning to the US race for president.  Barack Obama is not a Socialist or a Communist (or a socialist or a communist).  He is a Corporate War Hawk.  But the confusion is understandable considering all the efforst to prop Baby Barry up throughout the Democratic Party primary by non-Democrats.  It's the general election and Barack's just received his latest endorsement from a Socialist or a Communist: Howard Zinn. (Zinn is a Socialist.)   Watch him make an ass out of himself via the so-called "Real" NewsMickey Z (Dissident Voice) provides the takedown for that pathetic sort of cowardice: "This strategy of choosing an alleged 'lesser evil' because he/she might be influenced by some mythical 'popular movement' would be naive if put forth by a high school student.  Professors [Noam] Chomsky and Zinn know better.  If it's incremental change they want, why not encourage their many readers to vote for Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney?  The classic (read: absurd) reply to that question is: 'Because Nader or McKinney can't win.'  Of course they can't win if everyone who claims to agree with them inexplicably votes for Obama instead.  Paging Alice: You're wanted down the ______ rabbit hole."  And on the subject of Noam Chomsky, let's drop back to 2007 when Panhandle Media was far less concerned with propping up Weather Underground.  This is Michael Alpert of ZNet (ZMag) speaking to Amy Goodman in April of 2007:
Michael Albert: One example was, Weatherman was a group that was engaged in activity at the time.  It was part of SDS, not a part I was belonged to, but they wanted to recruit me.  At a particular moment, I went into Noam's office, and I asked him about it, this recruitment effort by them and whether -- you know, how I should relate.  Noam was loath to give people advice about what to do in their life or about strategy. 
Amy Goodman: And explain what the Weathermen were.
Michael Albert: The Weathermen were a very -- they were the most militant, most violent wing of SDS.  Their analysis was a bit peculiar.  I don't think we need to go into details.  But in any case, so I asked him about that, and he was very loath to do that, but in this particular case -- we were already pretty close, and he -- you know, he didn't want me to make an error, so he did make a suggestion.  And he sort of said very quickly, he said, "They're wonderful people.  They're great people.  They're moved well.  I mean, their motives are good.  Some of them are going to die.  Some of them are going to hurt others.  They're going to have very little effect on the well-being of people around the world because of what they're doing."  And in a phrase, right, he captured what was there, and his advice was important.  I don't think it was a difinitive in my choice not to join, but it certainly would have been a big factor.
And there's actually a lot more to the above anecdote.  (I know Michael, I've heard the anecdote repeately over the years in expanded form.)  But Chomsky is warning Albert against the Weathermen.  The Weathermen, Chomsky is arguing, is too dangerous.  The Weathermen is the group that breaks off from SDS and will become Weather Underground.  The Weathermen do the Days of Rage in Chicago (1969). 
And let's do a book plug.  Paul Street's Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics came out last month and Street's one of the few on the left who has not embarrassed himself in 2008.  And here's Street mentioning his book at ZNet: "It shows Obama and his marketers working effectively to create a false left impression among certain targeted voters.  As I demonstrate, Obama posed as a left-leaning antiwar and social justice progressive, donning deceptive rebel's clothing in numerous speeches, town hall meetings, and television commericals through much of the primary campaign.  He claimed falsely to be a dedicated opponent of American emprie, war and inequality, even going to the sickening point of telling Iowa voters that they could 'join the movement to stop the [Iraq] war' by Caucusing for him.  For all his claims to be a nobel reformer 'above the fray' of America's plutocracy and 'ideological' politics, the real Obama excavated in my study is no special exception to -- and is in many ways an epitome of -- what the still-left Christopher Hitchens called (in his 1999 study of the Bill and Hillary Clinton phenomenon) 'the essence of American politics.  This essence, when distilled,' Hitchens explained, 'consists of the manipulation of populism by elitism'."  If you use the link to the article, you should check out the comments as well (Street's contributing to the comments).  But to clarify something for this site: As repeatedly stated here, Barack is not a Socialist.  However, as Ava and I noted -- addressing Leela's brave piece of writing:
First, thank you to Dee Dee for finding that post and e-mailing to ask that it be highlighted. Second, read what Leela's saying. We don't agree with her view of Democrats. We do, however, know where's she's coming from on that view. Her view is the sort of thing that can start a conversation. It may never bring feminists into one political party's tent (we don't think that should be a goal of the feminist movement short of a feminist party being started), but conversations can illuminate and increase our understandings.

Leela is obviously upset (first hint, her title), so even though we disagree with her view of the Democratic Party (re: Socialism), we would have first registered that she was upset and then attempted to engage. That didn't really happen on the thread and we'll assume that was due to the anger/ill will her view caused others.

But here's the reality: some people do see the Democratic Party as a Socialist Party. Some people see the Republican Party as an Evangelical Party. Neither belief is accurate but to understand each other, we need to understand where we are all coming from."
That is the reality of perceptions.  (And of course alleged brainiac Rachel Maddow doesn't grasp that there is a difference between Socialism and Communism.)  For this site, we are a left site and see no Socialism in Barack.  But the right insisting Barack's a Socialist are not necessarily lying or even wrong.  The terms are largely undefined in discussions today (again, allegedly educated Maddow -- from the center -- expressed on her bad MSNBC show this week that Socialism and Communism were the same thing).  Leela is among the women blogging at Citizen Girl, by the way. And the US has a Socialist in Congress, Senator Bernie Sanders.  But -- as is usually the case -- 'helpers' and the 'shocked' obscure reality by referring to him as 'independent.'  He is a Socialist openly and the refusal to apply that label goes a long way towards explaining how screwed up US politics are.  Another sign of the sickness in the US is this country's Socialist Worker and crap like Ashley Smith's "Fighting for what we want" that wants to argue there's no difference on the wars between the McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden ticket (there isn't) but uses pejoratives for McCain-Palin ("moronic," "knuckle dragging") but not for Obama-Biden.  It's not even-handed and it does imply -- by insulting only one side -- that one ticket is 'better.'  There is no difference on the Iraq War between the tickets for the two major parties.  One would assume an allegedly Socialist periodical would have no reason to take sides between two Corporatist candidates.  There's a lot more honesty -- from their political perspective (right-wing) -- in Stanley Kurtz' most recent National Review piece: "In short, the New Party was a mid-1990s effort to build a 'progressive' coalition to the left of the Democratic party, uniting left-leaning baby boomers with minorities, relatively militant unionists, and 'idealistic' young people."
Moving over to political lies, Mark Hosenball (Newsweek) underscores a big lie that passed with little attention, "'All the public reports suggested,' Obama said, that people shouted 'things like 'terrorist' and 'kill him'.' Making a death threat against a presidential candidate can be a crime. But even before Obama cited "reports" of the threats at the debate, the U.S. Secret Service had told media outlets, including NEWSWEEK, that it was unable to corroborate accounts of the 'kill him' remarks--and according to a law-enforcement official, who asked for anonymity when discussing a political matter, the Obama campaign knew as much. Now some officials are disgruntled that Obama gave added credence to the threat by mentioning it in front of 60 million viewers. At this point in the campaign, said one, candidates will 'say anything to make a particular point.'"  [For more on that topic, see this snapshot from last week.]
On the subject of political lies, yes, people in the US do have the right not to vote.  That is their decision and it can be a perfectly acceptable one despite the harping from certain quarters that insist "YOU MUST VOTE!".  Linda Averill (FSN via Information Clearing House) explains that position and also provides some history:
Outrageous rules, media censorship, private financing of campaigns, and sheer thuggery have marginalized political parties that compete with labor's fake friend, the Democratic Party. This includes even parties like the Greens, who simply want to reform capitalism.
It's not people who vote socialist or Green who throw away their votes. The system does it! U.S. elections are "winner take all." If a socialist gets 20 percent of the vote, a Green gets 15 percent, and a Democrat gets 51 percent -- all votes go to the Democrat.
Things weren't always so sewn up. At the start of the 20th century, socialists ran on explicitly pro-labor, anti-capitalist platforms. And they won seats -- more than 1,200 offices nationwide.
To eliminate the threat this posed, the Democrats and Republicans launched a political witch-hunt. Socialist party offices were raided, pro-labor representatives were denied their seats, radicals were tossed in jail, and restrictive ballot laws were passed.
Averill closes by quoting Mother Jones: "I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country.  You don't need a vote to raise hell!  You need convictions and a voice!"
Those who wish to vote will have many choices to chose from (except for the state of Oklahoma whose restrictive laws allow voters to only pick the Democratic or Republican presidential ticket).  Ther is the Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney who will appear Saturday October 25 on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday. Cynthia's running mate is Rosa Clemente and Cynthia will be in Seattle:

The Washington State Power To The People Campaign has announced that Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney will be visiting Seattle on Sunday, October 26th and Monday, October 27th. Scheduled activities include:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

* 3pm - 7pm
"Vote...Then What?
From The Day After The Election Onward: Strategies for Community Organizing, Greening & Reconstruction"
Umojafest Peace Center
24th Ave & E Spring St, Seattle
The public is invited to attend.

Cynthia McKinney will be speaking in support of grassroots and institutional solutions to violence and other issues plaguing urban communities nationwide. This event is hosted by the Umojafest Peace Center and the McKinney/Clemente 2008 Power To The People Campaign. The program will include hip-hop and spoken word performances, speakers from youth and community based organizations, and a showing of the award-winning film, American Blackout.

Monday, October 27, 2008

* 11am - 12:30pm
"The Power of Student Movements: How to Use Your Campus as a Tool to Change the World!"
Broadway Performance Hall
Broadway at Pine Street, Seattle
The public is invited.

Ms. McKinney will address the growing concerns of students, the need for student leadership, and how students can organize on campus to engage in and impact social justice struggles and make meaningful contributions to communities outside school. This event will be hosted by the Black Student Union of Seattle Central Community College.
The Republican presidential candidate is John McCain, Sarah Palin is his running mate.  
"And as governor, I've succeeded in securing additional funding and assistance for students with special needs. By 2011, I will have tripled the funding available to these students." -- Governor Sarah Palin, 10/24/08

Governor Palin Has A Proven Record Of Commitment To Special Needs Children:

Governor Palin Has Increased Funding For Special Needs Education. Overall funding for Special Needs students has increased every year since Sarah Palin entered office, from $219 million in 2007 to a projected $276 million in 2009. Breakdown below:
  • FY07: $219,358,041
  • FY08: $220,420,268
  • FY09: $275,827,909
On March 28, 2008, Governor Palin Signed Legislation That Will Nearly Triple
Per-Pupil Funding Over Three Years For Special Needs Students With High-
Cost Requirements. Per-pupil breakdown below:
  • FY08: $26,900
  • FY09: $49,320
  • FY10: $61,380
  • FY11: $73,840
Governor Palin Has Directed State Funds To Other Special Needs Programs.
This funding includes $500,000 for diagnostic services for autistic children and $250,000 for training in early autism intervention in her FY2009 budget.

The Executive Director Of The Association Of Alaska School Boards Called
The New Funding Palin Fought For A "Historic Event." "Carl Rose, the executive director of the Association of Alaska School Boards, praised the changes in funding for rural schools and students with special needs as a 'historic event,'
and said the finance overhaul would bring more stability to district budgets."
("Alaska Legislators Overhaul Funding," Education Week, 4/30/08)

Families Of Special Needs Children "Have Been Flocking To Palin Rallies ...
They Say, Because Her Story Is Theirs, Too." But in the sea of faces, nearly everywhere she goes, she encounters people who aren't really there for the politics. ... Families of children with Down syndrome have been flocking to
Palin rallies. They come to shake her hand, grab a hug or snap a picture,
drawn there, they say, because her story is theirs, too." (Savannah Guthrie,
NBC "Nightly News," 10/14/08)
Scott Conroy (CBS News) reports, "The Alaska governor, whose infant son Trig has Down syndrome, said that a McCain/Palin administration would allow more flexibility for parents to choose their children's schools, committed to fully fund the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, and promised to reform and refocus special needs services."  This was a major speech and text of it (and video) is up at McCain-Palin:
Too often, even in our own day, children with special needs have been set apart and excluded. Too often, state and federal laws add to their challenges, instead of removing barriers and opening new paths of opportunity. Too often, they are made to feel that there is no place for them in the life of our country, that they don't count or have nothing to contribute. This attitude is a grave disservice to these beautiful children, to their families, and to our country -- and I will
work to change it.

One of the most wonderful experiences in this campaign has been to see all the families
of children with special needs who come out to rallies and events just
like this. We have a bond there. We know that children with special needs
inspire a special love. You bring your sons and daughters with you, because
you are proud of them, as I am of my son.

My little fella sleeps during most of these rallies, even when they get pretty rowdy. He would be amazed to know how many folks come out to see him instead of me.

When I learned that Trig would have special needs, honestly, I had to prepare my
heart. At first I was scared, and Todd and I had to ask for strength and understanding. 
I did a lot of praying for that understanding, and strength, and to see purpose.

And what's been confirmed in me is every child has something to contribute to the
world, if we give them that chance. You know that there are the world's standards of perfection, and then there are God's, and these are the final measure. Every child is beautiful before God, and dear to Him for their own sake. And the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are most vulnerable.

As for our baby boy, Trig, for Todd and me he is only more precious because he is vulnerable. In some ways, I think we stand to learn more from him than he does
from us. When we hold Trig and care for him, we don't feel scared anymore. We feel blessed.

Of course, many other families are much further along a similar path -- including my
best friend who happens to be my sister, Heather, and her 13-year old son Karcher, who has autism. Heather and I have worked on this for over a decade. Heather is an advocate for children with autism in Alaska. And as governor, I've succeeded in securing additional funding and assistance for students with special needs. By 2011, I will have tripled the funding available to these students.

Heather and I have been blessed with a large, strong family network. Our family helps make sure that Trig and Karcher have what they need. But not everyone is lucky
enough to have that strong network of support. And the experiences of those millions of Americans point the way to better policy in the care of children with special needs.

One of the most common experiences is the struggle of parents to find the best and earliest care for their children. The law requires our public schools to serve children
with special needs, but often the results fall far short of the service they need. Even worse, parents are left with no other options, except for the few families that can afford private instruction or therapy.

Many of you parents here have been through the drill: You sit down with teachers and counselors to work out the IEP -- an individual education plan for your child. The
school may be trying its best, but they're overstretched. They may keep
telling you that your child is "progressing well," and no extra services are required. They keep telling you that -- but you know better.

You know that your children are not getting all of the help they need, at a time when 
 they need it most. The parents of children with special needs ask themselves every day if they are doing enough, if they are doing right by their sons and daughters. And when our public school system fails to render help and equal opportunity -- and even prevents parents from seeking it elsewhere that is unacceptable.

In a McCain-Palin administration, we will put the educational choices for special needs children in the right hands their parents'. Under reforms that I will lead as vice president, the parents and caretakers of children with physical or mental disabilities will be able to send that boy or girl to the school of their choice -- public or private.
And McCain picks up another endorsement today, South Carolina's The State which asserts that "we prefer Sen. McCain. First and foremost, he is far better prepared not only to be commander in chief, but to lead the nation as it deals with a complex array of global challenges, from Iran to North Korea, from Russia to Venezuela. Consider two widely different areas of foreign policy, Iraq and Colombia.  Sen. McCain has often led the charge against the Bush administration when it was wrong on national security, from the 9/11 Commission (working with Joe Biden to make that happen) to the use of torture. But the most dramatic case regards Iraq. For years, he insisted we needed to send more troops. When Mr. Bush finally agreed to the "surge," Sen. McCain was Gen. David Petraeus' most conspicuous supporter. The surge worked. Sen. McCain was for it, and Sen. Obama was against. That's no accident. Sen. McCain's support arose from his superior understanding of the situation and how to approach it."
Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and Matt Gonzalez is his running mate.  The campaign has toured all fifty states and this Saturday?  "Nader to Attempt Guinness World Record on Saturday: Massachusetts Marathon, Most Speeches in 24-Hours:"

This Saturday, Ralph Nader will hold campaign events in 21 cities across Massachusetts in an attempt to set a sanctioned Guinness World Record
to give the most speeches in a 24-hour time period. The minimum threshold
he must meet is 15. He is scheduled to deliver over 315 minutes of speeches
and drive over 365 miles. Each speech will last at least 10 minutes and will
tackle a separate issue.

Nader/Gonzalez campaign events are scheduled to be held in the
following cities:

Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Somerville, Medford, Arlington, Lexington,
Concord, Waltham, Watertown, Newton, Worcester, Auburn, Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, West Springfield, Westfield, Stockbridge
and Sheffield.

There is an additional van for intrepid journalists who want to chronicle the adventure from start to finish.

For a full itinerary or other related inquires, please contact Ryan Mehta at
408-348-0681, or Rob Socket at 202-471-5833.
And events are lined out throughout the final days of the race.  One just announced will take place November 2nd:


WHO: Ralph Nader

WHAT: Campaign rally/speech on the Wall Street bailout and other current

WHEN: Sunday November 2 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Scottish Rite Cathedral, 1533 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18102

On Sunday, November 2 at 7:30pm, consumer advocate and Presidential candidate
Ralph Nader will hold a press conference followed by a rally in Scottish Rite Cathedral.
He will speak about the Wall St. Bailout, single-payer health care, the Iraq
War, the environment, and the state of the Presidential debates from which
he was excluded.

Ralph Nader is the only Presidential candidate who recommends jail time,
not bail time for Wall Street fat cats (and the only one who has been pointing
out the risks of deregulation for the last 20 years).  He is the number three contender for the Presidency, America's number one consumer advocate,
and he has real solutions to our economic woes.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Tuesday's snapshot started with independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader because Ralph getting network attention is news.  Today's snapshot starts with Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee, from a speech she gave Tuesday in Henderson, Nevada.
A couple of people I would like you to meet, a couple of my kids, three of them who are here, we have Willow and Piper and Trig Palin. So glad to have them on the trail with me.  Alright, Nevada.  Now John McCain and I, we take your state motto so seriously: "All for country."  And let's take a moment to honor the Americans in this crowd who have put our country first those of you who have served in the past as veterans or you're serving today, if you could raise your hands, let us honor you guys, we thank you so much.  Thank you.  We do thank you for your service and for your sacrifice.  We owe you.  Thank you, sir.  Thank you.   
Okay, so we are here near UNLV's campus.  The home of the Runnin' Rebels.  It's great to be here as part of a team that has a kinship with them.  And John and I, though we don't call ourselves the Runnin' Rebels, we consider ourselves a team of mavericks and we do share that unique spirit though and I hope that we can count on you to put the maverick of the Senate in the White House November 4th.  We need your vote, Nevada. Are you ready to help carry your state to victory?  Are you ready to make John McCain the next president of the United States of America? Are you ready to send us to Washington to shake things up?  Thank you.
And today I have another question that is especially for the women in this audience and all across our great country, all you women, yes: "Are you ready to break the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America?" 
Now it is such an honor for me today to have up here on stage some very independent, very courageous, very accomplished women and I am so honored to get to introduce you to these women who have broken a few glass ceilings of their own and I ask you gals to stand up here as I introduce you.  First, Prameela Bartholomeusz, a small business owner and a member of the Democratic National Platform Committee.  She's with us today.  Thank you.  It is my honor to have with us also Linda Klinge, the former Oregon president and now vice president of the National Organization of Women.  She's with us here today! And Shelley Mandell, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization of Women, here with us today!  And Lynn Rothschild also.  You may have seen her on television a whole lot lately.  She is a member of the Democratic Platform Committee.  She is with us here today.  And Elaine Lafferty, a former editor in chief of Ms. magazine.  They are here today to endorse the McCain-Palin campaign.  We're honored.  We are proud.  And I thank them for their confidence, for their support, especially for their courage.  Thank you so much.  Thank you, thank you. 
Our opponents think that they have the women's vote all locked up which is a little presumptuous.  Little presumptuous since only our side has a woman on the ticket. So.  We won't ignore any of the men in the audience but again this is for the women in the audience here.  When it came time for choosing, somehow Barack Obama just couldn't bring himself to pick the woman who got 18 million votes in his primary.  And that seems to be too familiar a story, isn't it?  That, uh, how it is for so many American women that the qualifications are there but for some reason the promotion never comes.  There is always some long explanation for why they got passed over or some unseen barrier, some excuse and that's just one of the things that I so admire about John McCain: He is not someone who makes excuses.   
You've got to ask yourself why wasn't Senator Hillary Clinton  even vetted by the Obama campaign?  Why did it take 24 years, an entire generation, from the time Geraldine Ferraro made her pioneering bid until the next time that a woman was asked to join a national ticket.  In the long history of our country, 74 people have held the position of president or vice president and why have the major parties given America only two chances to even consider a woman for either office?  88 years after women gained the right to vote and 83 years after Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming became the first woman governor in our great nation and 60 years after Margaret Chase Smith was elected to the Senate this glass ceiling it -- it is still there.  But it's about time that we shattered that glass ceiling once and for all.  See -- see there is a difference, there is a difference between what Barack Obama says and what he does and his primary opponent wasn't the first one to notice this.
Out on the stump he talks a good game about equal pay for equal work but, according to the Senate payroll records, women on his own staff get just 83 cents for every dollar that the men get.  That's 9,000 dollars less every year that he pays the guys. And you gotta ask what is with that? Does he think that the women aren't working as hard?  Does he think that they are 17 percent less productive?  And Barack Obama can't say that this is just the way that its always been done around the Capitol because I know one senator who actually does pay women equal wages for equal work: Senator John McCain. 
See this is just another reason why American women -- Democrat, Republican, independent -- should not let Barack Obama just take their votes for granted.  And let me give you a few more reasons starting with his plan to, as he puts it, spread the wealth around.  That is how our opponent defended his so-called tax cut to Joe the plumber the other day.  Or Wendy the plumber's daughter, there you go.  Now that spreading the wealth around really is just a scheme for income distribution.  Joe didn't buy it.  Joe the plumber, he would have none of that.  He called him on it.  In fact, he said that he sure thought that sounded like socialism.  Joe the plumber. 
And the rest of us shouldn't buy it either -- especially the millions of women in America who own small businesses.  Women start as many new businesses as men start and they are entrepreneurs, trying to make a better life for themselves and for their families.  And trying to make payroll for their employees.  They're women, just like Irma Aguirre is her name.  She owns a restaurant close by.  She dreamed for years of owning her own restaurant and she made it just a year ago.  Irma, she owns the La Madonna Mexican Restaurant, right here in Las Vegas.  She employs 20 people.  And she's exactly the kind of small business owner whose taxes would go way up under the Obama tax plan.  And the health care fines and the mandates that our opponent would impose aren't gonna help her much either.  They're gonna force her to let employees go if they are too high and they could even put her out of business.  And our opponents thinks he's got problems with Joe the plumber?  Well he should talk to Irma the restaurant owner because she's voting for John McCain too.  
The working women of this country -- those who work inside the home and outside of the home -- they're overlooked by politicians in Washington and Barack Obama hasn't given us a single reason to believe that he would be any better.  A company's balance sheet tallies up just the same whether it's a man who owns the business or a woman.  And women want the same opportunities as men.  And they're entitled to the same rewards.  See, the point here, the point here is that women would suffer just as much from the massive tax increase that Senator Obama proposes.  And, you know, there are a lot of families in this country with no father present.  And when we make laws in Washington, those laws need to understand that --  they need to serve the mothers who are taking care of their families. 
I've been very, very blessed to have a husband who's supported me along the way.  He's a great dad who doesn't disappear at bath time or run from diaper duty and I appreciate that.  But a lot of women have it much, much harder than I've had it.  And they need child care -- which today can cost some families a third of their household budget.  And they need reforms in labor laws that allow greater flexibility in the workplace, including more telecommuting.  And they need a tax code that doesn't penalize working families.  They need health care that the family can take with them when they move or change jobs.  And they need better choices in retirement plans and worker retraining when things get tough.  Women also need equal pay for equal work -- and not just be a 'talking point'.
Really, it is that simple.  It's a matter of fundamental fairness -- fairness in this country.  And to make all this happen, working mothers need an advocate and they will have one when this working mother is working for all of you in the White House.  
When I was a kid, Congress passed a law that's come to be known as Title IX.  And that law allowed millions of girls to play sports.  And over time -- and over time, that opened more than just the doors to the gymnasium.  Along with other reforms, Title IX helped us to see ourselves and our futures a different way.  Women of my generation were allowed finally to make more of our own choices with education and with career, and I have never forgotten that we owe that opportunity to women, to feminists, who came before us.  We were allowed to be participants instead of just spectators on the achievements of others.  And I was lucky to have a lot of support at home too.  Now among the many things I owe my parents is one simple lesson, and that was this is America and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity.  The belief in equal opportunity is not just the cause of feminists, it's the creed of our country: equal opportunity.  
And if I'm given the honor of serving you in the White House, I intend to advance that creed in our own nation and beyond because, across the world, there are still places where women are subjugated and persecuted as they were in Afghanistan, places where they're bullied and brutalized and murdered in honor killings, places where women are sold like commodities in the nightmare world of the sex trade, and places where baby girls are unwelcome as a matter of state policy and their mothers are forced to have abortions.  Now no one person, no one leader, can bring an end to all of those ills, to all of the injustices inflicted upon women, but I can promise you this, if I am elected, these women, too, will have an advocate and a defender in the 47th vice president of the United States.   
John McCain and I will be strong advocates for women's rights right here in the United States and around the world and we will confront the challenges that our country faces, challenges that concern all Americans.    
There are approximately ten more minutes of the speech.  You can click here to view it at The Confluence, here to view it at Reclusive Leftist
[. . .]
Turning to the US presidential race, Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate, Matt Gonzalez is his running mate.  Team Nader notes:
We're less than two weeks out.
As of yesterday, Ralph has campaigned in all 50 states.
Media exposure is picking up.
Crowds are getting bigger at the Nader rallies.
Last night, Ralph spoke before a packed crowd of over 1,000 in Boulder, Colorado.
Starting Monday, our radio ads will be playing in key states around the country.
On Saturday, Ralph will go for the world record for most campaign stops in a day as he motors across Massachusetts, hitting 21 towns and cities.
And tonight, Ralph will participate in a Third Party debate that will be shown live on C-Span at 9 p.m. EST.
We're firing on all cylinders.
And as of this writing, we're just $70,000 shy of meeting our goal of $200,000 by tomorrow night.
So, please, donate now whatever you can afford -- $5, $10, $50, $100 -- up to the legal limit of $2,300.
Or, if you haven't purchased our Nader '08 Buffalo T-Shirt (men's or women's), please do so now.
Yesterday, late at night, the Nader Media Team pulled together a new video featuring National Campaign Coordinator Jason Kafoury.
Jason updates you -- our loyal supporters -- on where we stand -- and where we're heading.
We haven't missed a deadline yet this year.
Let's get it done.
Onward to November
Nader to Attempt Guinness World Record on Saturday: Massachusetts Marathon, Most Speeches in 24-Hours

This Saturday, Ralph Nader will hold campaign events in 21 cities across Massachusetts in an attempt to set a sanctioned Guinness World Record to give the most speeches in a 24-hour time period. The minimum threshold he must meet is 15. He is scheduled to deliver over 315 minutes of speeches and drive over 365 miles. Each speech will last at least 10 minutes and will tackle a separate issue.

Nader/Gonzalez campaign events are scheduled to be held in the following cities:

Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Somerville, Medford, Arlington, Lexington, Concord, Waltham, Watertown, Newton, Worcester, Auburn, Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, West Springfield, Westfield, Stockbridge and Sheffield.

There is an additional van for intrepid journalists who want to chronicle the adventure from start to finish.

For a full itinerary or other related inquires, please contact Ryan Mehta at 408-348-0681, or Rob Socket at 202-471-5833.
Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney will appear Saturday October 25 on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday. Cynthia's running mate is Rosa Clemente and Cynthia will be in Seattle:
The Washington State Power To The People Campaign has announced that Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney will be visiting Seattle on Sunday, October 26th and Monday, October 27th. Scheduled activities include: 

Sunday, October 26, 2008 

* 3pm - 7pm
"Vote...Then What? 
From The Day After The Election Onward: Strategies for Community Organizing, Greening & Reconstruction"
Umojafest Peace Center
24th Ave & E Spring St, Seattle
The public is invited to attend.

Cynthia McKinney will be speaking in support of grassroots and institutional solutions to violence and other issues plaguing urban communities nationwide. This event is hosted by the Umojafest Peace Center and the McKinney/Clemente 2008 Power To The People Campaign. The program will include hip-hop and spoken word performances, speakers from youth and community based organizations, and a showing of the award-winning film, American Blackout.

Monday, October 27, 2008

* 11am - 12:30pm
"The Power of Student Movements: How to Use Your Campus as a Tool to Change the World!"
Broadway Performance Hall
Broadway at Pine Street, Seattle
The public is invited.

Ms. McKinney will address the growing concerns of students, the need for student leadership, and how students can organize on campus to engage in and impact social justice struggles and make meaningful contributions to communities outside school. This event will be hosted by the Black Student Union of Seattle Central Community College. 
John McCain is the Republican presidential candidate.  Today McCain-Palin released a new radio ad (click here to listen):
GOVERNOR CHARLIE CRIST: Hi, this is Governor Charlie Crist.

Let me tell you why I support my friend John McCain.

He will lower your taxes.

He will stop wasteful government spending.

And John McCain knows that people don't want to "spread the wealth."

He knows that Congress should let you keep more of your money, and not take it away.

Thank you very much.

ANNCR: Your savings, your job and your financial security are under siege.

Congressional liberals will make it worse.

Congressional liberals plan nearly a trillion dollars in new government spending.

To pay for it, Congressional liberals promise higher taxes on American families making over $42,000 a year.

Barack Obama and Congressional liberals call it spreading the wealth around, we call it higher taxes, bigger government.

Either way, it will cost you.

Stop 'em before they make it worse.

Paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.
Jimmy Orr (Christian Science Monitor) reports Joe Biden, Democratic v.p. nominee, is in media lock-down, "That's probably why the Democratic nominee for vice president isn't talking much.  Because when he does, he's the gift that keeps on giving.  Take the 'Gird your loins - an international crisis is coming' speech.  No matter how the remarks were intended, his prediction that, if elected, 'a generated crisis [would occur] to test the mettle' of Barack Obama has been a hot topic and an unwelcome one for the Obama campaign."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney was a guest on NPR's Talk of the Nation today.  There seemed to be confusion or outright hostility aimed at her from Ken Rudin and host Neal Conan.  A perfect example is when Cynthia was asked how her run was different from independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader's run.  Either the two men were extremely dense or they were hoping to create some slug-fest. 
"Well first of all," she began, "I'm running as part of the Green Party" which has over 200 elected officials in the US . . . But it was lost on the two men.  She then attempted to explain that November 5th the Green Party would still be in place.  For some reason, this was confusing and very hard for the two men to understand.  Cynthia is not the independent presidential candidate, she is the nominee of a party.  That is one way in which her run and Ralph's run are different.  Somehow that was either confusing to the men or they were just hoping that Cynthia would launch a slug-fest.
What she did have to speak about they weren't interested in.  That included the death penalty and who would have guessed that was a 'fringe' issue to NPR?  Repeatedly pressed as to how much difference she saw between the Republican and the Democratic Parties, she offered as an example the issues that get addressed and discussed and the ones that do not.  Cynthia pointed out that the death penalty has been ignored by the campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain.
There wasn't any interest in exploring the death penalty issue even after Cynthia pointed out that it hadn't been included in the debates.  There was no interest in exploring anything.  Asked about her run at the start, she began, "Well basically, le me sort of bring you up to speed on when all of this started and how all of this started."  She then briefly recounted how she found herself, last year, standing in front of the Pentagon and delivering a speech about how the shift to a Democratically controlled Congress (following the November 2006 mid-term elections) had not resulted in any movement, how the Democratic leadership had become complicit on issues they supposedly opposed such as the Patriot Act and the illegal war in Iraq.  The boys weren't interested in that.  They weren't interested in her tying her departure from the Democratic Party to "the footsteps of people who a hundred years ago declared their independence" -- referring to the suffragette movement and the "260 women and 40 men gathered in a room and they also declared their independence" was about all she got to before the boys wanted to cut her off. 
It wasn't a conversation, it wasn't a discussion.  It wasn't pleasant to listen to.  At one point Cynthia McKinney was attempting to discuss the issues she and her running mate Rosa Clemente supported such as college education and how the government will "spend $720 million" for violence and war but not to put America's youth through college.  "People need the opportunity to hear a different set of issues discussed," she would explain.  But college education didn't matter to the boys. 
Repeatedly, Cynthia would present a topic and either be cut off or allowed to make her remark only to have the topic immediately switched by the boys.  It was not a professional interview, it was not a joy to listen to.
Cynthia wisely chose to take the Sarah Palin path. (Palin in the Democratic and Republican vice-presidential debate: "And I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let 'em know my track record also.")  Since Neil and Ken weren't interested in a discussion or anything even approximating a follow-up question, Cynthia was correct to talk beyond and over them noting that she and Rosa were "broadening the political discourse and we're representing those people and their values who've been locked out of the two party paradigm."  She explained she and Rosa were on the ballot in 32 states and that people in 17 other states could write the McKinney-Clemente ticket in.  A caller named Daneil phoned from North Carolina to explain that, "In our state, North Carolina, we can't really write in a candidate" because there's a space but he doesn't believe a write-in vote will be tabulated.  Cynthia discussed the hurdles involved involved in just becoming a write-in candidate in North Carolina and, had the boys paid attention, they could have explored this issue in depth.  Instated, they came to the interview with a set of questions they were going to work through regardless of any reply or topic raised.  Facts also weren't important which is why Cynthia had to correct Neil when he wrongly characterized her as not having campaigned in the north.  (Also true is her running mate Rosa has done multiple events in the north.) 
What may have been most shocking considering the boring trivia the boys started the hour with -- first African-American woman to head a political party ticket (answer, Charlene Mitchell the 1968 Communist Party presidential nominee).  The fumble, stumble, eat up time with bad guesses would have only been worthwhile had the overgrown boys ever taken a moment to ask Cynthia about her own historic run.  Needless to say, two tired boys are rarely interested in discussing progress for women.  Cynthia next appears Saturday October 25 on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday.
Your experience with the Counter-Intelligence Program of yesterday is instructive today now that the Patriot Acts, the Secret Evidence Act, the Military Commissions Act, the Funding for the War on Terror Act are all carved into the law. Kathleen and Natsu and, of course, King Downing, and others can describe how vastly the legal landscape has changed. But there is one aspect of the operation to neutralize your good works and your good name that has not changed. And that's what I want to talk about today.  
How many times has the corporate press used the word "spoiler" in reference to the 2000 Presidential election and every Presidential election since then and how many times have they reported accurately the number of black votes cast and not counted or the way in which black voters were disfranchised?  
How many times did the corporate press use the word "conspiracy," not in conjunction with the September 11th tragedy, but in conjunction with those who want to know the truth about what happened on that day?  
How many times did the corporate media lie to the people of this country and the world in the lead-up to the war against Iraq?  
In the wake of accounts of torture and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, how many times were prisoner abuse and torture inside this country mentioned? How many times was Attica, the Angola 3, Chicago's Area 2, or the San Francisco 8 mentioned?  
In this, an election year, how many times have stories on election integrity been written that inform and warn potential voters of the problems they might face at the polling place and what their rights are if they encounter them?  
Margaret Kimberley (Black Agenda Report) believes Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama will be swept into office and notes how 'calming' his signals to conservatives are: "He makes it clear he will address black people directly only when chastisement is on the agenda.  If anyone has doubts, the sight of Obama campaign commercials featuring one or two black faces, Obama's included, seal the deal for the two Christophers and their friends.  What will Progressives for Obama have to say about the conservative pitching and wooing for their candidate? If past history is any indication, they and other progressives will say nothing at all.  They made a decision to collude with the Obama agenda that progressives ought to oppose.  The praises of Buckley and Hitchens will have no effect on them any more than the pledges to keep troops in Iraq or to escalate the war in Afghanistan.  Obama will make history in more ways than one.  He won't just be the first black president.  He will be the first president in modern history that convinced millions of people not to believe the words that came out of his own mouth.  'Change' is the campaign slogan, but his policy agenda tells us we will see anything but that.  Hitchens and Buckley are certainly convinced that there won't be any changes that aren't to their liking."
Senator John McCain is the Republican presidential nominee and Governor Sarah Palin is his running mate.  Brian Montopoli (CBS News) reports on "Sweat Equity," the new ad from McCain-Palin '08 that takes issue with Barack's "spread the wealth around" comment to Joe Wurzelbacher.  Jake Tapper, Matt Jaffee and Imtiyaz Delawala (ABC News, Political Punch) echo CBS News' Scott Conroy from earlier in the week noting of Palin, "In the last two weeks, Palin has fielded questions twice from the Palin traveling press corps on board the campaign plane, and on Sunday night, Palin took impromptu questions from reporters on the airport tarmac in Colorado Springs, Colo., on issues ranging from her thoughts on Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama to the role of robocalls in the election.  An hour later, she took questions again from the press pool during an unscheduled stop for ice cream before returning to her hotel for the night.  Palin has also become increasingly accessible to local and national media."
I wanted to take a moment and post, with her permission, an email we recieved from a supporter after a McCain event in Missouri. Thank you Melanie for your support, it is because of the support and activism of people like you that keeps this country great. Thank you for fighting for a better America. If you'd like to join Melanie and stand up for what's right for America, click here to take action today. Additionally, if you want to share your story from the campaign trail, please send them along to    
I had the honor to be seated right beside Senator John McCain today for an informal lunch in Columbia, Missouri. I can tell you that he is the real deal. We had an opportunity to ask him questions, share a few laughs and provide him with insight from fellow Americans. He listened, he provided us with real answers and I truly believe he not only has the experience and the right plan but also a big heart for America. The media was present when he first entered the room and then were asked to leave as we had lunch with him. He wasn't interested in pandering to the media. He instead wanted to spend time with the people. If you want to know his answers to questions regarding the economy, support of small businesses, job creation, national security, education funding, etc. let me know. I got the answers I needed. John McCain is the right choice.  
I have voted on both sides of the fence in the past, Democrat and Republican. I know what it's like to only have $30 to my name. I know what it's like to work hard to get a job. It took me 3 years to get the job I wanted as a teacher. I know what it's like to start a business from absolutely nothing. And I know what it's like to pay student loans for 15 years. Why? Because I believe in opportunity. I didn't ask for a hand-out. I just wanted the opportunity to use my skills, to help others and to provide for my family. Sound familiar to the rest of you? I bet we all have similar stories. America is a country of endless opportunities. We are not a country of hand-outs. We are a country of leg-ups. People...get the word out...we need a leader that has had more than 144 days of experience in the U.S. Senate. You are as good as your word. But actions speak louder than words. Honor, Honesty, Hard Work should matter... must matter.  
Columbia, Missouri 
Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate, Matt Gonzalez is his running mate.  Nader notes:
The three so-called presidential debates--really parallel interviews by reporters chosen by the Obama and McCain campaigns--are over and they are remarkable for two characteristics--convergence and avoidance.

A remarkable similarity between McCain and Obama on foreign and military policy kept enlarging as Obama seemed to enter into a clinch with McCain each time McCain questioned his inexperience or softness or using military force.

If anyone can detect a difference between the two candidates regarding belligerence toward Iran and Russia, more U.S. soldiers into the quagmire of Afghanistan (next to Pakistan), kneejerk support of the Israeli military oppression, brutalization and colonization of the Palestinians and their shrinking lands, keeping soldiers and bases in Iraq, despite Obama's use of the word "withdrawal," and their desire to enlarge an already bloated, wasteful military budget which already consumes half of the federal government's operating expenses, please illuminate the crevices between them.

This past spring, the foreign affairs reporters, not columnists, for the New York Times and the Washington Post concluded that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are advancing foreign and military policies similar to those adopted by George W. Bush in his second term.

Where then is the "hope" and "change" from the junior Senator from Illinois?

Moreover, both Obama and McCain want more nuclear power plants, more coal production, and more offshore oil drilling. Our national priority should be energy efficient consumer technologies (motor vehicles, heating, air conditioning and electric systems) and renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal.

Both support the gigantic taxpayer funded Wall Street bailout, without expressed amendments. Both support the notorious Patriot Act, the revised FISA act which opened the door to spy on Americans without judicial approval, and Obama agrees with McCain in vigorously opposing the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

What about avoidance? Did you see them speak about a comprehensive enforcement program to prosecute corporate crooks in the midst of the greatest corporate crime wave in our history? Did you see them allude to doing anything about consumer protection (credit card gouging, price of medicines, the awful exploitation and deprivation of the people in the inner city) and the ripoffs of buyers in ever more obscure and inescapable ways?

Wasn't it remarkable how they never mentioned the poor, and only use the middle class when they refer to "regular people?" There are one hundred million poor people and children in this nation and no one in Washington, D.C. associates Senator Obama, much less John McCain, with any worthy program to treat the abundant poverty-related injustices.

What about labor issues? Worker health and safety, pensions looted and drained, growing permanent unemployment and underemployment, and outsourcing more and more jobs to fascists and communist dictatorships are not even on the peripheries of the topics covered in the debates.

When I was asked my opinion about who won the debates, I say they were not debates. But I know what won and what lost. The winners were big business, bailouts for Wall Street, an expansionary NATO, a boondoggle missile defense program, nuclear power, the military-industrial complex and its insatiable thirst for trillions of taxpayer dollars, for starters.

What lost was peace advocacy, international law, the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement, taxpayers, consumers, Africa and We the People.

The language of avoidance to address and challenge corporate power is spoken by both McCain and Obama, though interestingly enough, McCain occasionally uses words like "corporate greed" to describe his taking on the giant Boeing tanker contract with the Pentagon.

Funded by beer, tobacco, auto and telecommunications companies over the years, the corporation known as the Commission on Presidential Debates features only two corporate-funded candidates, excludes all others and closes off a major forum for smaller candidates, who are on a majority of the states, to reach tens of millions of voters.

In the future, this theatre of the absurd can be replaced with a grand coalition of national and local citizen groups who, starting in March, 2012 lay out many debates from Boston to San Diego, rural, suburban and urban, summon the presidential candidates to public auditoriums to react to the peoples' agendas.

Can the Democratic and Republican nominees reject this combination of labor, neighborhood, farmer, cooperative, veteran's, religious, student, consumer and good government with tens of millions of members? It will be interesting to see what happens if they do or if they do not.


Starting with the US race for president, NBC Nighly News with Brian Williams featured a report on the independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader yesterday.  Tonight Nightly News begins the first of two-nights inteviewing the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin. Ron Allen interviewed Nader at length for the report and the interview is available online at Nightly News.  Below is a transcript.
Ron Allen: I think the first question everybody has is why do you keep doing this because it would seem you really don't have a chance of winning?  So why do you keep pursuing this?
Ralph Nader: You have to keep justice on the front burner.  The forces of injustice never take a vacation and the forces of justice can never take a vacation.  So as long as I can go around the country putting the progressive agenda on the front table for people, giving voters a choice, I feel I have to do it.
Ron Allen: So what is winning? Is there a specific policy, a specific change of the process that in your mind, makes this worth it?
Ralph Nader: There are a lot of different definitions of winning.  One of them is building for a future third political force that can really win an election.  The second is bringing lots of people into local, state and national elections as candidates -- especially young people in the future.  The third is to push the two parties -- a tugboat candidacy to either make them less worse or a little better which is a historic function of third parties.
Ron Allen: And do you think -- do you think -- is there a way to really measure what you've accomplished, do you think?
Ralph Nader: Oh we'll see.  We're pressing for example for single payer health insurance.  They're 93 members of the House who've signed on John Conyers HR 676 so let's say we get a good vote and we're trade marked by this agenda -- more people sign on, we think we've played a part.
Ron Allen: This time your signature issues seems to be the rescue package, the bail-out, your opposition to it.  It's a consumer-ish issue which is in your wheelhouse.  Do you think however -- the administration, the Congress seemed to insist that this was absolutely necessary to avert wider catastrophe -- do you think your message is getting through though?
Ralph Nader: Yes, because I think it was the wrong kind of bail-out.  They shouldn't have bailed out first the speculators and the high-risk paper, you should have helped the prudent institutions and the prudent savers  that developed a wall to protect them from the ruinous fall-out from Wall St. Second, I think that there should have been re-regulation because de-regulation opened the doors to this excessive speculation and most important the Congress should have made the speculators pay for their bail-out with a tiny tax, 1/10 of 1 percent of the security transactions that are traded every year.  That would produce $500 million.
Ron Allen: Part of the rescue package -- without getting too much -- contains some of that, some of the broader principles that Obama and McCain and others argued for, seemed to contain some of that.  That tax payers would be investors, that there would be a return on this.  Is that not enough?
Ralph Nader: It wasn't thorough enough, it's too easily evaded in terms of the tax payer equity.  For example, they weren't given any representation on the boards of directors and there was a cut-off below which they wouldn't have any equity and it was very complex and not really very enforceable.  I think when it came to the $700 billion bail-out of Wall St., Washington had Wall St. over a barrel.  They could have gotten anything in that bill because Wall St. wanted that $700 billion and, instead, Wall St. pushed Washington in the barrel and rolled it to a blank check.  That's why I think Congress has got to revisit this issue.
Ron Allen: Now there's an issue where there was a lot of support for that point of view in the country as there have been for other ideas you have pushed.  I hear both candidates, for example, talking about public works projects which you were talking about only a moment ago. Do you think that, having run for the office so long and been out there for so long and not increased your margin significantly, do you think that perhaps you're not the best messenger for your own cause now?
Ralph Nader: No, I think I am the best manager because it's very hard to be nationally known for any candidate unless you're a multi-billionaire.  And I am nationally known, I have a track record, I have constituencies around the country which I have helped over the years so I thank I am the candidate for those positions.
Ron Allen: But some people would argue it's the ideas, it's the positions, it's not you.  And I think that Obama and others have suggested that in their assessment of you, it's too much about you and it's not about the ideas.  I think he said something to the effect that his sense was that if you don't agree with everything Nader stands for, he thinks less of you, he thinks you're not substantive. I think was the word he used.
Ralph Nader: Well let's put it this way.  Take all our speeches -- my speeches, Senator Obama's, Senator McCain's -- and count the number of times they say "I" compared to the number of times I say "I" and I think that's your answer.  I'm the least egotistical candidate probably in presidential history. 
Ron Allen: Let's take them individually.  Senator McCain, Governor Palin, what's wrong with them?
Ralph Nader: Well they're corporate candidates.  Except for Governor Palin -- she did stand up to the oil companies.  But if you look at Senator McCain's positions he is for restricting the rights to have their full day in court of wrongly injured people.  That's tort reform, for example.  He has consistently supported a bigger military budget.  He is very militaristic towards certain countries in the world.  He wants the idea of a hundred military bases around the world.  He has a cockamamie health insurance plan that's not going to give sufficient health care to all the people in this country.  And Governor Palin has fallen in line.
Ron Allen: What do you think of her?
Ralph Nader: Well I think that she has been mistreated.  But I think that it was the fault of the Republicans because they introduced her to the American people not as a governor of a state, they introduced her as a soccer mom, they introduced her as having five children, NRA member, a hunter, a fisherman, and once you have that folksy image it's easy to prick the balloon and give the impression she's empty.
Ron Allen: Do you think she's qualified?
Ralph Nader: She's as qualified as any other presidential and vice presidential candidate.  What do you have to be to be a member of the two parties and run for president?  All you have to do is know how to read and write, get advisers and follow corporate orders.
Ron Allen: When you were talking about -- when you were talking about Senator Obama, you said prepare to be disappointed if he wins.  What did you mean by that?
Ralph Nader: Because I think he is very receptive to corporate power and that's why he doesn't have a full Medicare plan for the American people, that's why he doesn't press for a real living wage, just to keep up with inflation on the minimum wage it would be $10 an hour instead it's $6.55 an hour.  He doesn't have a platform to crack down on the corporate crime wave that the mainstream press keeps reporting.  He doesn't have a program for the bottom 100 million poor Americans and that's just the beginning of what we're going to see of Senator Obama if he wins.  
Ron Allen: And you were also in there railing against the mainstream media, us.  Why do you think it is that you think you don't get a lot of coverage?  Why is it that you don't get any coverage?  I think the editors would say, as I think they've told you, you're not that relevant you're not going to win why should we spend the time devoting scarce resources at what you're doing?

Ralph Nader: Because I think the media should be interested in a competitive democracy.  I think they believe there should be a competitive economy.  I think that without a competitive democracy, voter choices are narrowed and the voters that are their audience and one would think they would give more voices and choices in their own reporting other than the same routine daily, redundant, five-minute speeches by Senator Obama and Senator McCain. Reporters keep telling me how bored they are covering the presidential campaigns.  Well, we can give them some excitement.
Ron Allen: And also listening to you, it sounds like, it sounds like for you it's not about, you don't seem to -- you're not telling your audiences 'we're going to win, we're going to go to the White House'  Winning is a much different goal.  You talked about some thirty-odd states where it's not going to be a contest, you can vote your conscience in other places.  Have you gotten much more realistic about this?
Ralph Nader: Well I'm always realistic but I know that if you don't allow seeds to sprout, you'll never get plants or trees and if business doesn't allow entrepreneurs a chance, you're never going to rejuvenate the business community but somehow the press has bought into this two-party duopoly which is very exclusionary on presidential debates, on ballot access and this two party duopoly can't be regenerated unless small political starts have a chance to be heard by the American people and that means the mass media.
Ron Allen: And in terms of the two parties, there are still some people out there who -- you may never live this down -- as you know, there are many people who, there are people out there who still blame you for Al Gore's loss in Florida and in 2000 and therefore for the last eight years.
Ralph Nader: Well Al Gore doesn't blame the Green Party to his credit.  He thinks he won the election --  which he did in the popular vote but the electoral college threw it into Florida and he can give you chapter and verse on how it was taken from him illicitly from Tallahassee all the way to the five Republican politicians on the Supreme Court who selected  George W. Bush as president.  But it's interesting that you raise this because I don't think the mass media can have it both ways.  On the one hand they say, Nader-Gonzalez doesn't have a chance to win therefore don't cover them.  On the other hand, they say well Nader-Gonzalez may be 'spoilers,' that bigoted political word, and tip the election by tipping some of the close states.  Well, which is it?
Ron Allen: I think that was the case back in 2000. I don't think people think that's the case now.
Ralph Nader: Well because of recent polls but they thought that back in July.
Ron Allen: Do you think you're going to influence some of these battlegrounds?  I've heard you suggest that Colorado, Nevada, places where you think you could in fact effect the outcome.
Ralph Nader: Well we want to get as many votes as we can so we're traveling and getting votes in all fifty states but if we are going to be able to be heard more by going into the close states and effecting the margins, we'll be very pleased to do it because our interests are the health, safety and economics well being of the American people not the plight of one party over another.
Ron Allen: But do you actually think, is there a state where you think that you are really going to have an impact at this point, just a few weeks -- couple of weeks -- before the election?
Ralph Nader: Well it could be Ohio but it's trending towards an Obama landslide so Ohio I suppose is close maybe Florida is still close.  What else would there be?
Ron Allen: But again in states where you seem to be running the strongest, Colorado, Nevada,
Ralph Nader: Yes, in Colorado --
Ron Allen:  Even if you don't effect the overall outcome, do you really think you're going to have an impact?  Where do you think you're going to have the greatest impact?
Ralph Nader: Well I think the greatest impact will be where ever the media covers us the most and they'll probably cover us the most when we go into the small states.  Assuming there isn't a landslide by then.
Ron Allen: Do you think -- how do you think the election is going to turn out?
Ralph Nader: Right now?  If nothing happens in the next two weeks, I think it will be a big Democratic landslide for the Congress and probably 330 electoral votes for Barack Obama.
Ron Allen: And what's wrong with that? 
Ralph Nader: Well one thing that is not wrong is that the Democrats will control the White House and the Congress with large minorities and they'll have no more excuses How many times have I gone up on Capitol Hill and said, "Why don't you strengthen the consumer protection laws and why don't you end these corporate subsidies?  And why don't you get full health insurance and living wage?"  And they always say well we can't get it through because Republicans will stop us.  No more excuses.  If there's a Democratic landslide we're going to put so much heat on Congress and the White House that they're going to have to move for the American people and stop succumbing to the demands of their corporate pay masters.
Ron Allen: And if there was one idea or one thing you would like to accomplish, of if there was one part of a platform or a policy proposal that McCain or Obama or the Democrats or Republicans were willing to adopt that would say, that would make Ralph Nader say "Okay, I'll stop running for president I'll join you" what would it be?  What would have to happen for you not to do this?
Ralph Nader: Well that they take the populist positions that we have on our website and --
Ron Allen: The whole thing?
Ralph Nader: They're very long overdue. Western Europe has most of them, out of the rubble of WWII full health insurance, living wage, decent pensions, four weeks paid vacation, university free tuition at public universities.  The kind of elementary civilized benefits like paid maternity leave, paid family sick leave, decent day care, they've had these for years and we're the richest country in the world. Barack Obama and John McCain will not come out for these straight and clear. 
Ron Allen: That sounds like a very socialistic position.
Ralph Nader:  Well it's called a Social-Democratic position in Europe and basically to me it's just elementary humanity because if we really love our country we will have to love the people in our country and people who are poor or disabled or otherwise disadvantaged but work hard and want to play a role in our society and raise their children why can't we give them a lending hand?
Ron Allen: And lastly, why -- why is someone not wasting their vote if they vote for you?
Ralph Nader: Because they'll be voting for their conscience.  They'll be voting for what a middle-aged man told me in Syracuse recently when he came up to me and he said, "I'm voting for myself, therefore I'm voting for Ralph Nader."
Ron Allen: Meaning?
Ralph Nader: Meaning -- meaning that for forty years I've demonstrated that I will not succumb to corporate power, I will not be tempted by corporate accouterments.  I will stand for the people of this country from A to Z, I will stand for their just treatment by the powers that be whether they be in Wall Street or whether they be in Washington.
Ron Allen: And again what is -- when you look back on this campaign months from now what will -- what will have made it a success?  What does it take to make this a success for you?
Ralph Nader: Well we're turning a corner on the violations of candidates' civil liberties by winning cases to break down the ballot access barriers in many states that deny voters a choice.  These are Jim Crow type laws to keep candidates off the ballot and without candidate rights, voter rights aren't worth as much because voters won't have a choice.  That's a clear trend that we are advancing.  Number two, we keep alive a future progressive enlightenment in our country.  All of the things that are so overdue that the American people need and deserve and are being denied because of the concentration of power and wealth in so few hands.  Number three and the most gratifying for me is the young people who are volunteering, who are going to be the political leaders of the future, who are learning the skills of clean political activity.
Ron Allen: And do you still think that you can be an effective messenger for that cause, again, given the last number of years that you've run unsuccessfully, the criticism that you've endured, the fact that a significant number of people don't take you seriously you still think you can be an effective messenger?
Ralph Nader: Well I take the American people seriously and that's enough for me.  But I remember the famous progressive writer I.F. Stone who once said that every social justice in this country started by people who lost and who lost and who lost but in the process of losing built more and more support for the breakthrough that made this a better country.  So I am not afraid to keep losing and losing as long as we are expanding awareness and galvanizing energies of the American people for a better future.
Nightly News has the video of the report from last night as well as the interview Allen conducted with Nader (the latter is a "web only" feature).  Warning, the clip will quickly feature the gutter trash of MSNBC including IDIOT Rachel Maddow -- the War Hawk Elaine caused to meltdown back in 2005.  So Rachel The Dog Face Anchor likes to brag about her alleged big brain and yet the IDIOT has no idea that there's a difference between Socialism and Communism.  (People, she's a dumb ass.)  Ralph Nader has been blocked out by many outlets -- including the alleged public airwaves of PBS -- so when NBC Nightly News does a report on him, we will open the snapshot with it.  It is big news. 
[. . .]
In US presidential race news, Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney will appear Wednesday October 22nd on NPR's Talk of the Nation and Saturday October 25 on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday.
The Republican presidential nominee is John McCain and Sarah Palin is his running mate.
Matt Lira posts this to the McCain-Palin campaign blog:

ICYMI: Chicago Superintendent Gives Obama An F

The former head of the Chicago education system has spoken out against Barack Obama. The education foundation headed by Barack Obama "failed to monitor projects and funded school 'reform' groups that campaigned against boosting academic standards."

Paul Vallas, who was the superintendent of the Chicago school system when Obama chaired the Chicago Annenberg Foundation, said "There was a total lack of accountability. If you went back and asked, you'd be hard-pressed to find out how the money was spent."

Click here to read the full article.
McCain-Palin also note that Govenor Tim Pawlentry believes John McCain is ready to be president on day one, "John McCain is respected around the world because of his national security, military, and foreign affairs experience.  The country is struggingly economically and in many other ways and we don't need the added pressure of some sort of invitation or tempation by others to see that kind of weakness.  This is not coming from me or from somebody on our side, this is coming from his own vice presidential candidate, Joe Biden, who repeatedly has suggested Barack Obama's not ready."  Delilah Boyd (A Scriverner's Lament) has the run down on Biden's statements (the sort called out in 2004 when Republicans made them during a presidential election). 
And Ralph Nader and his running mate Matt Gonzalez released the following "Brief Statement on War, Education:"
The United States, through its various agencies and aid programs, touts itself as a leader in global humanitarian and educational assistance. A glance through USAID's FY 2008 Budget Appropriations report indeed reveals an extensive list of programs broken down by country to which our government is donating. But while the list may run long and cover a wide range of programs, the amount of cash this country sends overseas in assistance nowhere near matches the amount it spends to fight Bush's costly, illegal wars.

At a rate of $14 million per hour, 24 hours per day, the US spends roughly the same amount of money occupying and destroying Iraq in one hour as it does annually to fund the three American universities in the Middle East (The American University of Beirut, The American University in Cairo, and The Lebanese American University).

This demonstrates the folly of a foreign policy based on militarist interventionism as opposed to a foreign policy driven by true humanitarian principles. A humanitarian foreign policy is much less costly and much more effective in both the short and longterm, especially if more democracy is the goal at home and abroad.

One can only imagine how much support and goodwill we would find around the world if we spent a significant fraction more overseas promoting education and knowledge rather than wasting hundreds of billions devastating and destabilizing entire countries, regions, and their peoples.

To truly gain credibility and earn trust as a humanitarian superpower, the US must reverse its current foreign policy by immediately ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and ending all military aid and supplies to Israel used to brutalize its Arab neighbors. Instead, we need to use some of those funds to invest in education and help rebuild the nations we destroyed and the much larger amounts to rebuild the public works and infrastructure inside the United States. Good jobs are created in both places.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"

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