Thursday, February 28, 2008
"The principal difference between Obama and Bush is of a tactical, not a principled, character. It is not over whether the United States must maintain access to oil and control of strategic territory, but over what methods should be used."
Patrick Martin, World Socialist Web, "The Circularity of Hope: The Nation Endorses Obama"
"Mass social movements aim to alter relations of power. They are impolite and sometimes operate outside of or in defiance of the law. They make impossible, reckless, irresponsible demands, like respect, human rights and the vote to people who didn't have them - like stopping an unjust war, halting foreclosures and gentrification, like guaranteeing the absolute right to organize a union, to strike and to win a living wage. But the Obama “movement” demands nothing from the candidate except to get elected. There are no yardsticks, no demands placed upon Obama by his constituents, no goals that have come from independently organized meetings or other processes in Black America."
Bruce Dixon, Black Agenda Report, "Obamarama: Is it a movement? Or is it marketing?"
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Even though Ohio allows cross over voting, Dennis Kucinich has a comfortable lead over Joe Cimperman. He now leads his main challenger, Joe Cimperman, 55% to 29%. Kucinich is in the lead despite the fact that Ohio permits Republicans and independents to cross over and vote in the Democratic primary. The Cleveland Plain Dealer will just have to deal with it.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The editors of the Cleveland Plain Dealer want to see Dennis Kucinich defeated. The paper already endorsed City Councilman Joe Cimperman and now they are livid that Kucinich has raised more than $700,000 in just six weeks and given himself a chance to win.
In a bizarre, mean spirited editorial entitled "Kucinich's far flung fans fatten his finances," the Plain Dealer complains that donations have come to Kucinich from outside of Ohio. Well, so what? If Cimperman doesn't even live in the 10th district and may be allowed to represent it, why can't American citizens in other states make contributions?
Of course they don't really care where Kucinich supporters come from. They just want him gone and they are mad that he won't take the hint. Too bad for the Plain Dealer. You go Dennis!
Last week I said it is over for her and it is over because the media have turned against her. She can't over come their bias.
She has a bigger problem in Texas. Texas allows crossover voting. Party switching is allowed in primaries there, so many Republicans there are planning to vote for Obama even though they will vote for McCain in November.
Dick Morris, another Clinton deal with Satan that has come back to haunt them, is actively asking Republicans to do just that. White Texans who usually vote Republican are going to cross party lines to vote for Obama.
She doesn't stand a chance.
Kucinich has done a great job fund raising in the last six weeks. He went from almost nothing to $700,000. He now has more cash on hand than Cimperman and has ads on the air. That is good news, but his enemies are still out to get him. They too have ads on the air and Republicans are being urged to cross over party lines and vote against him, a la the campaign that ousted Cynthia McKinney. He still needs your help.
Friday, February 22, 2008
" 'I can’t believe that you, as a civil rights attorney yourself, would vote to take away the writ of habeas corpus' and his unfortunate response was 'it was going to pass anyway' "
Everybody loves a winner, even lawyers representing Guantanamo prisoners. Unlike most of the pro-Obama herd, this group is not easily dismissed. They are the best the legal profession has to offer. They work without pay and try to represent people deprived of the most basic legal rights. They would not do what they do if they didn't truly believe in protecting the American constitution and international law.
Now they are tired, precisely because of the battle they have been waging. They see the hand writing on the wall for Obama. They can count delegates and they know when the media have anointed a winner. Clinton is history and anyone with common sense knows it. A group of smart, top notch lawyers can certainly see it.
On January 28 some of these attorneys signed an open letter endorsing Barack Obama.
"The Administration's attack on habeas corpus rights is dangerous and wrong. America needs a President who will not triangulate this issue. We need a President who will restore the rule of law, demonstrate our commitment to human rights, and repair our reputation in the world community. Based on our work with him, we are convinced that Senator Obama can do this because he truly feels these issues 'in his bones.' "
The slap at Hillary Clinton stands out, but the letter is also noticeable for what it does not say. It doesn't say what Obama has done to restore habeas corpus rights or how he has stood up in the Senate to fight Bush. The endorsement is full of so much wishful thinking it is pathetic.
"When others stood back, Senator Obama helped lead the fight in the Senate against the Administration's efforts in the Fall of 2006 to strip the courts of jurisdiction, and when we were walking the halls of the Capitol trying to win over enough Senators to beat back the Administration's bill, Senator Obama made his key staffers and even his offices available to help us. Senator Obama worked with us to count the votes, and he personally lobbied colleagues who worried about the political ramifications of voting to preserve habeas corpus for the men held at Guantanamo."
Sounds nice, very Obamaesque. Going through enough of the motions to look good without really doing anything. There is no mention of filibuster, the tool that any Senator can use to stop any legislation. If he wanted to, Barack Obama could recite the old and new testaments, Hamlet's soliloquy, the Gettysburg address or the complete poems of Langston Hughes and stop any bill from becoming law. He hasn't.
One Guantanamo lawyer is underwhelmed with her colleagues' support. H. Candace Gorman notes Obama's support for the Detainee Treatment Act, the first effort to strip detainees of their habeas corpus rights.
"But Obama should not be held up to what he isn’t and he should not be portrayed as some kind of hero for the gitmo detainees…by the way Obama did not even bother to show up for the ban on waterboarding a week ago…."
In addition, Hillary Clinton recently showed a little more courage than her adversary. She said that the trial of six men charged with planning the 9/11 should be taken away from the military commissions. Obama's response proved he didn't deserve the attorney's endorsement. "As a candidate to be the next commander-in-chief ... I think it's important to be careful about commenting on specific cases pending before the tribunals at Guantanamo Bay." I wonder if those lawyers would sign that letter now.
Who am I kidding? They are doing what everyone else is doing, going with the winner and hoping for the best. Thank goodness we have Gorman and a few others who have not succumbed to Obamamania.
Dennis Kucinich has now raised more money than his main challenger, Joe Cimperman. Kucinich raised nearly $700,000 in the last six weeks and he now has more cash on hand than Cimperman. You can see the Federal Elections Commission chart here. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
This is not just good news for Dennis. It is good news for democracy. We already know that Bush will win November, because he has achieved his goal of silencing the Democrats for good. The system is rigged, guaranteeing that the eventual Democratic nominee will not deviate from his awful legacy.
A Kucinich victory will reverberate across the nation. The few progressives in Congress must not be picked off by Pelosi and her check bundlers. Dennis has to win and so far the signs are good.
"We must own crisis. We must brand crisis. I think we should make a commitment. We should bet the house on the message". - "Our Brand is Crisis"
Only a Democratic consultant can earn big bucks in a losing effort. Mark Penn snookered Hillary Clinton out of $3.8 million. Am I being harsh? Don't think so. It is all over but the shouting, for Hillary, and Penn gets megabucks for dispensing lousy advice. It is a fine tradition in the Democratic party. In 2004 Bob Shrum, Tad Devine and others made $9 million for sending John Kerry to Loserville.
Not content to bring corporate branding to American politics, Democratic consultants have spread their worthless nostrums around the world, including to nations in crisis like Bolivia. Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS) used a marketing campaign to win a presidential campaign in Bolivia. Bolivians were none too pleased with the "shock doctrine" foisted on them and the president was forced to resign in disgrace and hightail it to the U.S.
It is all sickening. Political consultants who can't win political contests at home make tons of money selling snake oil and death to the rest of the world. God bless America.
Hillary Clinton was outmaneuvered by someone better at spreading the corporate message than she was. You have to give Obama credit for doing the same thing but with more finesse. He looks like a champion for change while Hillary wasted her money on Penn and his incompetent ilk.
She is so desperate that she is clinging to the plagiarism charge that Obama steals his lines from other people. No one cares and she was booed at last night's debate event when she didn't let that sleeping dog lie. That is what happens when you hire non-politicans to do political work. $3.8 million for losing. Priceless.
Don Siegelman was the Democratic governor of Alabama. He is now sitting in federal prison, after being convicted of bribery. Siegelman was elected in 1998 and was defeated under suspicious circumstances in 2002. There is evidence that the election was stolen. There is also evidence that his prosecution was selective, and took place on orders from Karl Rove.
60 Minutes recently postponed the airing of a report on his case, giving rise to worries that the story would be spiked. Fortunately it will be broadcast this Sunday, February 24th at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. So give up your oscar night red carpet show and check out 60 Minutes. There will be endless television and internet coverage of who wore what, Siegelman needs you to watch this story. Who knows? Maybe Karl Rove will end up in jail some day. I guess that is the audacity of hope.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
"When people thought she was a winner, then they were inclined to feel more warmly toward her, and when they suspect that she's a loser, they decide — like all Americans toward all losers — that she must be humiliated and crushed." - John Podhoretz
I assumed that Hillary Clinton's fund raising prowess would give her the nomination. I assumed that her husband would be an asset with most Democratic voters. I didn't think that Obama would get votes from so many white people.
I don't think I was wrong in making those assumptions, but I missed one thing completely. I forgot that when Hillary Clinton tries to be slick, she f_ _ks up badly. Sucking up to Rupert Murdoch and Matt Drudge are definitely in the trying to be slick category. More importantly, I forgot about the role of the corporate media, and I didn't foresee that they would side so obviously with Obama.
That is why Hillary is done. She cannot over come the barrage of negative press that has hit her. The press are in the tank for Obama, and that is obviously because he is the corporate media favorite.
Hillary and Bill realized that the media, especially conservatives like Rupert Murdoch and Matt Drudge, could make or break her campaign. They set off on a course that seemed to make sense, get them on her side and keep them there.
But no one likes a traitor, and I'm sure that is how Murdoch and Drudge regarded her pitching and wooing. Along comes Obama, proving time and again that he is "safe" as the Drudges and Murdochs define it. He endorsed Joe Lieberman, his Senate mentor, he waffled on Iraq, often contradicting his own statements about being anti-war. He said he would bomb Iran. He said that Israel can keep killing people whenever and wherever it chooses.
Most importantly he told them that he will keep black people quiet. Like the right wing he thinks that the 60s and 70s were "excessive." He says "there is no black America" and in any case we are "90% of the way towards equality."
What's not to like? Obama made the case he could beat the woman they always hated and he talked the way they liked. Now you can stick the fork in her.
I never liked Hillary Clinton. I am a New Yorker and I have never voted for her. In her last Senate campaign I voted for her opponent, Jonathan Tasini. In the recent New York primary I voted for Dennis Kucinich.
Now that she is getting her comeuppance I don't feel as happy as I thought I would. If we were getting a better deal with Obama, I could rejoice. If the attacks against her were based on facts I would be happy.
Instead her political twin will beat her. Obama has given more money to super delegates than she has. His contributions since 2005 total $698,200 while she has only given $205,500. He is getting more bang for his buck, with 35 of 82 recipients pledging their support. She has the support of only 13 out of the 109 who have gotten money from her. They used to call this vote buying, I don't know what it is called now. Money still talks.
"In every case the Center (Center for Responsive Politics) found in which superdelegates received money from one candidate but not the other, the superdelegate is backing the candidate who gave them money."
If Obama's super delegate hunting continues to run as smoothly as the rest of his campaign, he will buy off more of them and still manage to look good while Hillary will be portrayed as a sharp elbowed harpy.
Hillary has been hoisted on her own petard. She isn't Mrs. Slick Willie after all. She could have used her husband's popularity among Democrats, she could have said she made a mistake when she voted to occupy Iraq. Instead she chose to cozy up to people who threw her under the bus at the first opportunity. She doesn't know what hit her, and she doesn't have a way out.
If she did it wouldn't matter. The corporate media have chosen Barack Obama and that is why he will get the nomination.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Two weeks ago a story began to circulate on the web about Congressman Dennis Kucinich's re-election bid. According to a confidential source, representatives from AIPAC and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Kucinich he would keep his seat without any problem if he dropped his call for impeachment.
Last week Kucinich denied that the story was true. Vin Gopal, a staffer on the Kucinich presidential campaign now owns up to being the source but denies having spoken as reported. Gopal said he would give more details but has not done so as of today.
I believe some aspect of the story was true. I'm sure that Dennis has been told that he will be safe if he shuts up. I'm sure that Pelosi would be happy to see him go, and the check bundlers probably needed little prompting to send cash in Cimperman's direction.
In any case, things are looking up for Dennis. He has commercials on the air, which is a good sign that he is raising money.
If you haven't already, you should send a contribution his way.
"Have we learned nothing from the tragic events of 1998, when, under the watch of President Morgan Freeman, this nation was plunged into chaos, and hundreds of millions of people died at the hands of the deadly Wolf-Beiderman space rock?"
I thought I had made a logical case against Barack Obama becoming president. Well it seems I have wasted many hours thinking and writing when I needed only to read the Onion. As usual they have all the answers.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
"We know they will get away with their crime now, but we will teach our children that America and the whole West are our enemies, so that they take revenge for these crimes."
Two weeks ago the United States dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs in a ten minute period on the people of Juboor, in the Latifiyah district south of Baghdad.
I had to read and reread that number. Is that 40,000 one-pound bombs? Is it 10,000 four-pound bombs? Is it one big ass 40,000 pound bomb? Do the bombs leave a lot of small craters, or one big crater? How many bombs failed to explode and killed children later? How many homes were hit? How many schools, or farms, or hospitals? How many human beings died in those ten minutes?
While our media tell us nothing about the savagery committed by our government, they waste no time in telling us about human rights abuses committed by Muslims. A Saudi woman has been sentenced to death after being accused of witchcraft. That is truly awful, but who is worse, Saudi mullahs or American members of Congress who either cheer on the mass killing or do nothing to stop it?
The Saudis could be like Americans, killing hundreds or thousands of people in one fell swoop. They aren't citizens of the country that commits more killings than any other. Then they would truly have reason to feel ashamed. Thank God they aren't Americans.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
"Congressman Kucinich, if we were to pull out now, who wins this war? Is it the United States or al-Qaeda backed terrorists?"
"I would reject that formulation. . . Now that we are there we need to get out. And I have introduced legislation, HR 1234. It is a plan to end the Iraq war. I wrote it in consultation with people at the United Nations. And this plan provides for ending the occupation, closing the bases, bringing the troops home. In a parallel process an international peace keeping and security force would move in as our troops leave. But we cannot get that agreeement until we end the occupation because the occupation is what is fueling the insurgency."
That was one of Dennis Kucinich's responses during a debate yesterday. His four opponents all gave the same immoral responses. We have a right to kill people, if we leave it will be a mess, we should partition the country, etc. Only Kucinich gave the moral answer, the answer that would save many thousands of lives. You can listen here.
The only time Dennis was caught a bit flat footed was during a discussion on gay marriage. He supports gay marriage but was taken to task for missing a vote on the issue. I feel a little better knowing he is running against four other people. Hopefully they will split the vote in the Ohio primary on March 4th. Of course the turn out will be bigger than it ordinarily would be because of the presidential primary. A larger turn out may help his main opponent, Joe Cimperman.
Keep those contributions coming.
Monday, February 11, 2008
They are every where, like pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If you don't fall asleep and turn into a pod person too, they are out to get you.
I mean Obama supporters of course. If their adoration for cynical nothingness wasn't so dangerous it would be funny.
Today I'm going to take the easy way out and copy my response to a Crooks and Liars post complaining about Paul Krugman. Krugman is one of the few in the corporate media who are actually dispassionate about Obama and ask hard questions about his policies. My response is as follows:
" 'though I’ve been a little troubled of late by his apparent pre-occupation with opposing Barack Obama'
You make Krugman’s case for him. Obama supporters are like cultists. They can’t stand for anyone to ask hard questions about him. Thank goodness Krugman is paying attention. He is an economist and he knows when numbers don’t add up.
He is also a shrewd observer of Washington, and he knows that unless Obama hires Pollyanna as a cabinet member, the Republicans will get what they want out of him. Obama is either naive, as Krugman kindly asserts, or he is cynical and willing to say and do anything to win.
His eloquent speeches that actually say little tell us all we need to know. He wants to be president. Period. He intends to do nothing to turn back the clock on Bushism. After all, he says the 60s and 70s were “excessive.” In other words, he wants the Democratic base to shut up and assume the position.
Right now I am angriest at John Kerry. If he wasn’t such a dope we would be talking about his re-election instead of this slap fest between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee."
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Congressman Robert Wexler goes where Conyers and Nadler won't. He asks that Congress enforce subpoenas issued to Harriet Myers and Joshua Bolten and hold them in contempt of Congress. Instead they only put baseball players under oath. Pathetic.
In today's Black Agenda Report I take Congressman John Conyers to task for acquiescing to Nancy Pelosi on impeachment. The old lion of the progressive movement is now toothless under the thumb of his boss, the House Speaker.
It matters little that he talked about impeachment before he became Judiciary committee chairman. Now he bobs and weaves, claiming that impeachment is still on the table but steadfastly refusing to hold hearings.
New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler is his partner in this crime. Nadler is an important subcommittee chairman, and should push to hold Cheney and Bush accountable. Instead he makes useless excuses.
There is only one way to sway Nadler. He needs to fear an electoral defeat. Nadler needs an opponent in New York's September primary.
His district winds down Manhattan's west side, an area with a high percentage of allegedly smart, well connected people. Will one of them step up? It shouldn't be too hard to find a credible candidate to run against him.
Run against Nadler. That is the only hope for impeachment.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Dennis has no ads on the air, but his opponents do. All that can change if he gets more money in his campaign coffers. Please make a contribution and return a true progressive to Washington. He is a champion to all of us, not just to his constituents. Go to www.kucinich.us and make a contribution today.
Monday, February 04, 2008
You read correctly. I’m supporting someone who has dropped out of the presidential race. Dennis Kucinich was the only true progressive Democratic candidate and he is on the ballot in many states.
Kucinich has tirelessly campaigned for impeachment. He had a plan to end the occupation of Iraq. Clinton and Obama have nearly identical plans to maintain the occupation, albeit with smaller numbers of troops, but neither is truly committed to bringing the troops home.
Obama is getting the progressive title he doesn’t deserve, so I will focus on him more than on Clinton. For some reason voters can clearly see her as she is, but allow Obamaniacs to tell them that up is down.
Obama has pledged to increase the size of the army overall. Nothing good can come from increased militarization. Don’t be fooled by the claim that he is progressive. A progressive wouldn’t advocate attacking Pakistan. If Bush attacks Iran, before next January, will Obama end that action, or will he use weasel words about “being against it from the beginning” but do nothing to stop the carnage?
Remember his stump speech line. Obama isn’t against wars, just “dumb” wars. That means he will continue the expansion of theAmerican empire, the empire that only leads to death, that drops 100,000 pounds of bombs on human beings.
It doesn’t matter if Clinton and Obama are the only two still standing. You don’t have to vote for either one of them. If you want to work for peace you have only one choice. His name is Dennis Kucinich.
Forget the claim that you are wasting your vote. Those of us who want to work for peace are wasting our votes if we give them to Obama or Clinton.
Don't listen to the naysayers who claim your vote is wasted. Anyone who works for peace and justice has only one candidate, and his name is Dennis Kucinich. If he is on the ballot in your state he should get your vote. After all, if AIPAC and Nancy Pelosi don't like him, you should.
Don't forget to make a campaign contribution, Dennis is in danger of losing his House seat to a well financed opponent. Give today. Every dollar counts.