Saturday, May 03, 2008

Buy NYT a map, they can't find Iraq

The New York Times ignores Iraq this morning. They can't even cover the conflict between Turkey and nothern Iraq. Not even with Hurriyet reporting that the Turkish government released video of Thursday night/Friday morning's air assault. And you have to wonder what the purpose of the State Dept doing their annunal, Congressionally mandated reports is if the paper -- the 'paper of record' -- doesn't even find it worthy of note? Maybe they were too distressed by the weak cheerleading the report managed for Iraq? From "Country Reports on Terrorism:"

The government's national reconciliation programs made incremental progress. The Iraqi Council of Representatives passed a unified pension law important to reconciliation efforts, and local working level reconciliation initiatives also successfully brought Sunni and Shia groups together to promote a message of unity. In October, Anbar and Karbala provincial government officials and tribal sheikhs met three times in two weeks to foster improved Sunni-Shia reconciliation.

Wow. Not quite the hard-sell Ryan Crocker delievered last month, is it? It's still putting a positive spin on it, but not like the US Ambassador testifying to Congress. Remember the hustle to get that 'law' passed -- the hustle to get anything passed as al-Maliki's coalition fell apart? It's still not implemented and has no built-in mechanism to measure it. The best the State Dept can offer is to recap that it was pushed through and that, in October, there were some meetings. Wow. Non-Reconciliation laid bare.

Meanwhile Mick Walsh (Columbus Ledger-Enquirer) writes about Adam Martin's loony family. Martin went AWOL from the US army and he's apparently not a war resister. But he is alive and his crazy family that even hired an investigative team to search for him is less than thrilled. Sometimes only a corpse will satisfy the blood lust and that's apparently the explanation for the family's angry reaction. If the name Adam Martin seems familiar, or Mick Walsh, near the end of March, when the 'caring' family was pretending concern (he suffered rectal bleeding before disappearing), we noted him in "Where is Adam Martin?" Today his family knows the answer to that question and it appears to have been anti-climatic for them, hence the anger. They sound like the crazy mother in Love and Death snarling, "He'll go and he'll fight. And I hope they will put him in the front lines!" Gotta be a sac-sac-sacrifice. As Tori sings:

Well I know we're dying
And there's no sign of a parachute
In this chapel
Little chapel of love
Can't we get a little graceAnd some elegance
No we scream in cathedrals
Why can't it be beautiful
Why does there gotta be a sacrifice
Gotta be a sacrifice
Gotta be a sacrifice
-- "I I E E E" words and music by Tori Amos, from her From The Choirgirl Hotel

On Barack's latest turn around ("I never knew that Jeremiah Wright!), Glen Ford's "Obama's 'Race Neutral' Strategy Unravels of its Own Contradictions" (Black Agenda Report):

Things fall apart; some things, like an ill-tied shoelace, sooner than others. Barack Obama's strategy to win the White House was to run a "race-neutral" campaign in a society that is anything but neutral on race. The very premise - that race neutrality is possible in a nation built on white supremacy - demanded the systematic practice of the most profound race-factual denial, which is ultimately indistinguishable from rank dishonesty. From the moment Obama told the 2004 Democratic National Convention that "there is no white America, there is no Black America," it was inevitable that the candidate would one day declare the vast body of Black opinion illegitimate.
[. . .]

Obama was less than eloquent. "All it was is a bunch of rants that aren't grounded in truth," said Sen. Obama, low-rating Rev. Wright's remarks at the National Press Club, in Washington, the morning before. Rev. Wright had become a "caricature" of himself, said the wounded candidate - another way of calling the minister a clown.
Under questioning from reporters in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Obama swore up and down that he had never before, in 16 years as a member of Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ congregation, observed his pastor behave in such a way. The declaration rang patently false, as even a red-state Republican white evangelical observer would have recognized Wright's Press Club performance as that of veteran pulpit-master with a vast repertoire of church-pleasing moves and grooves to draw upon, all of them honed over decades for the entertainment of his parishioners - including Obama. But the senator was intent on giving the impression that Rev. Wright was - unbeknownst to Obama - a Jekyll and Hyde character, whose statements "were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate."
An amazingly Bush-like turn of phrase! The man who married Barack and Michelle and baptized their children is now rhetorically linked to Osama bin Laden or the Ku Klux Klan.

Liang notes Howard Wolfson's "HUBdate: A Star Endorsement" ( from Friday:

A Star Endorsement: The Indianapolis Star today endorsed Hillary: Hillary "offers nuanced positions on how to address the war in Iraq, trade with China and economic expansion. Her depth of knowledge is remarkable…[she] is well prepared for the rigors of the White House. She is tough, experienced and realistic about what can and cannot be accomplished on the world stage…Hillary Clinton is the better choice." Read more.
HRC Strongest v. McCain: "A spate of new public polls out this week confirms what we have been arguing for some time: Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to beat John McCain in November. The data shows that Clinton not only outperforms Obama in head-to-head matchups, but is also stronger in the all important subcategories that serve as bellwethers for a candidate’s overall strength. In addition, new data out [yesterday] in three swing states vital to Democratic prospects in November show Clinton beating McCain." Read more and more.
Superdelegate Watch: Five superdelegates announced their support for Hillary yesterday. Read more and more.
Relief for Millions of Americans: In Indiana yesterday, Hillary talked up the gas tax holiday and went after those who are out of touch with millions of Americans: "I find it, frankly, a little offensive that people who don't have to worry about filling up their gas tank or what they buy when they go to the supermarket think it's somehow illegitimate to provide relief for...millions and millions of Americans." Chief Strategist Geoff Garin had this to say: "There's a real gap here in how some people see this from 30,000 feet and how real people in places like North Carolina and Indiana experience it every day, and they really want somebody who will say, 'You know what, we get that you’re facing a very difficult economic situation here - we're going to stand by you.'" Read more.
If You Watch One Thing Today: A senior takes Obama to task over his gas tax position. Watch here.Three Generations in Brownsburg, IN: Hillary, joined by Chelsea and her mother Dorothy, spoke to supporters and their children yesterday in Brownsburg, IN. Read more.
Energy in Terre Haute, IN: Today’s front page of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star features Hillary’s latest visit...Hillary told the crowd: "There’s another source of energy we’re going to harness…the people of Terre Haute." Read more.
Derby Picks: Yesterday, Hillary visited the Kentucky headquarters and "revealed her sentimental choice for Saturday's Run for the Roses -- the filly Eight Belles." Read more.
On Tap: Tomorrow, Hoosier singer and songwriter John Mellencamp performs at an event with Hillary in Indianapolis, IN.

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