Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Other Items

Since Sunday, when two US service members were announced dead there have been at least two more deaths. M-NF, tasked with announcing deaths, did not announce them. The Defense Department's job is to announce names after the families have been informed. 4159 is the current total of US service members who have died in Iraq since the start of the illegal war.

Robert F. Worth (New York Times) notes (in a brief) that Nawaf Fares is now Syria's ambassador to Iraq (Syria's first "since the early 1980s").

A number of e-mails note that yesterday's House Budget Committee doesn't appear to have gotten any press. I'm not interested in the second panel. We can go back to the first panel today. We covered some of it in yesterday's snapshot and Mike grabbed a section last night. It is interesting how little anyone seems to care about covering the issue of the tax payer moneys. For laughs, you can watch Nomi Prinz make a bigger fool of herself than usual on Democracy Now! today as she rushes to spin Barack's corruption as John McCain's only. Funniest one might be when she rips McCain apart in multi-sentences before adding as an after thought, 'Barack's the same.' A lot of liars passing themselves off as informed and honest. And just calling yourself a 'journalist' doesn't make you one. Prinz has no journalistic ethics and that's because she's not a journalist.

IRIN reports over 100 cases of cholera are now confirmed in Iraq. AP reports Baghdad bombings today have already claimed 8 lives and that a shooting last night in Kirkuk claimed 3 lives.

Susan notes this from Marie Cocco's "Sexism Again" (Washington Post Writers Group):

This has a lot to do with a graphic image of Palin I just saw in which she is dressed in a black bustier, adorned with long, black gloves and wielding a whip. The image appeared in the Internet magazine Salon to illustrate a column titled: "The dominatrix," by Gary Kamiya. Kamiya calls Palin a "pinup queen," and says she not only tantalized the Republican National Convention with political red meat, but that her "babalicious" presence hypercharged the place with sexual energy, and naughty energy at that. "You could practically feel the crowd getting a collective woody as Palin bent Obama and the Democrats over, shoved a leather gag in their mouths and flogged them as un-American wimps, appeasers and losers."
That's some sexual mother lode. Dare I point out that I have never -- ever -- in three decades of covering politics seen a male politician's style, even one with an earthy demeanor, described this way?
Salon editor Joan Walsh says she agrees the "dominatrix" piece had a "provocative cover,'' and that her columnists enjoy great freedom. "One day Gary (Kamiya) called Palin a dominatrix, the next day Camille Paglia called her a feminist." The magazine exists, Walsh says, to "push the envelope."
No sooner did Walsh give me this explanation than another Salon contributor, Cintra Wilson, pushed that envelope again. Wilson described Palin as follows: an "f---able ... Christian Stepford wife in a 'sexy librarian' costume" who is, for ideological Republicans, a "hardcore pornographic centerfold spread." That is, when Palin is not coming across as one of those "cutthroat Texas cheerleader stage moms."
What is it about a woman candidate that sends the media into weird Freudian frenzies?

For the record, Joan Walsh could say "Cut it out" any damn time she wanted to. The fact that she refuses to do so goes a long way towards explaining why she offered, at best, weak-ass calls against sexism while Hillary was in the race. Walsh should be ashamed of herself and maybe everyone should begin posting visuals of Joan Walsh online along the lines of what Walsh thinks is acceptable for Salon?

Speaking of pathetic, 'voices' in the Green Party. Find anyone tackling the insult to Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente from NOW PAC and Kim Gandy yesterday. If you do, it's not going to be a Green. They have the worst and most useless 'voices' and bloggers who seem to think that they can have a presidential candidate but never blog or write about her. If you're a Green and have a blog, it's your job every day to make Cynthia part of what you write about. They really are a pathetic party at the top. Disgusting, boring and do-nothing. And if someone outside the community doesn't like that call, prove me wrong. I'm looking at e-mails from Green Party members talking about this and saying over and over, 'This is why my party sucks.' Yes, that is exactly why. Your bloggers write dithering posts that read like bad Erma Bombeck and never find time to note the national ticket. They are unfocused and, honestly, they come off like self-rightetous prigs. "OH [website] IS CATCHING ON THAT WE ARE RIGHT!" Pathetic. Just disgusting. Cynthia deserved better. Bad enough that Kim Gandy stabbed her in the back, the Green Party 'voices' always have something else to do besides promote their candidate. When the campaign's over, hopefully Cynthia will write a blistering book about all the attacks and betrayals -- including the way she was begged to run and then shunned the minute some Green 'leaders' thought they could get Nader to run again. As Marcia pointed out yesterday, Green 'leaders' and 'voices' have spent more time promoting Barack this year than they have their own nominee. Again, Cynthia deserved better than this rag-tag group of freaks. There's a reason Ralph Nader refused to run as a Green and it goes straight to the all the problems at the top of the Green Party -- a political party whose motto at the top should be, "Others run, we dabble."

They really are pathetic. Cynthia or Rosa has a speaking engagement and maybe they have time to note it (once) and maybe they don't. And then they whine, "We're a party! We're better than the Dems! Why won't anyone vote for our pathetic asses!" Your last sentence answers your question.

Rosa does have an upcoming event. You can find out about it at a non-Green site (naturally). "Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate Rosa Clemente to Speak at Uhuru Convention" (Assata Speaks - Hands Off Assata):

In August, following its internationally televised protest at a Barack Obama rally, the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) invited all U.S. presidential candidates to participate in its annual Convention to address the question raised to Obama, "What About the Black Community?"
The Green Party presidential ticket of Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente accepted that invitation and will be represented by Clemente at the September 27-28 Convention in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Prior to entering this year's U.S. presidential race, Clemente has worked as a community organizer, journalist and Hip-Hop activist. Born and raised in the South Bronx, Rosa is a graduate of the University of Albany and Cornell University. Her academic work has been dedicated to researching national liberation struggles inside the United States, with a specific focus on the Young Lords Party and the Black Liberation Army.

I think Joy says it best in the morning e-mails, "Let's face, Cynthia was never going to try to be White or male and that's really all the Green Party wants." It would appear to be the case. But, hey, they couldn't prop up Barack as a community organizer and also push their own presidential candidate so it's toss Cynthia aside and rush to prop up the corporate candidate while pretending they are in some way better than anyone else. Again, self-righteous prigs. And Cynthia deserved so much better.

Lauren notes this from Team Nader:

Pass It On Invitation


Pass It On Invitation .

The Nader Team is launching an exciting new e-mail campaign, called Pass It On, that will feature an important news article from the mainstream, Internet, or alternative media. These e-mails will give readers crucial information about important election issues and prepare them to make educated arguments to their friends, families, and news outlets.

With so much news happening out there, it can be difficult to sort through it all to find relevant information on important topics. This becomes increasingly frustrating in an election year, when there is more news than ever and a good knowledge of the issues is imperative to voters. In an election dominated by corporate media, it is vital for informed citizens to counteract misinformation with intelligent, articulate arguments.

But why do we need to do this ourselves? Aren't the mainstream media providing enough information in their round-the clock news programs?

Quite simply, no, they're not.

Here's an example. While stuck at a Greyhound bus station last month, I had the dubious fortune of watching fours hours of unrelenting election coverage on national television. A dozen different pundits, bloggers, and politicos came on, ostensibly to discuss pressing issues in the campaign. The strange thing was, not one of those speakers addressed a single substantive issue. Instead, they spouted strategy and traded in trivia: who had collected the most money, who was or wasn't wearing a flag pin, the effect smiling had on a candidate's electability.

This is the national network news, the place where millions of Americans get their information on critical issues. Yet in an election year when so much is at stake -- when we have to make decisions about war, recession, healthcare, poverty, and global warming -- we are being given virtually no valuable information that could help us make good decisions.

As Bill Moyers reminds us in "Moyers on America," the media aren't so much biased as they are plain bad. Not only do they commit egregious errors of omission -- refusing to cover third-party candidates and failing to convey the context of a situation -- they also fail to fact-check the information they present, choosing instead to quote from two equally vapid and opposing sources and then hastily ending their reports.

These media failures have a doubly negative effect on candidacies like Ralph Nader's. As a corporate critic and third-party candidate, Nader threatens both the two-party system and the media conglomerates -- which then prove him right by refusing to cover his campaign! As a candidate who tries to address the roots of problems, Nader is misrepresented by a sound-bite media that depends on bipartisan platitudes.

The result?

Millions of voters don't know Ralph Nader is running and don't understand the significance of the critiques he is making. Without a responsible media articulating the cause and effects of the different crises we are facing, we will continue to throw $500 rebate checks at a failing economy and ethanol at oil.

With that in mind, we are pleased to introduce our Pass It On campaign. On a regular basis, we will send you a compelling, well-researched article about a pressing election issue -- something you won't get from the sound-bite media. Reading the article will help you stay informed. But the next step is most important -- and this is where you come in. You become the alternative media by passing the article on to your friends, family, and co-workers. Think of it as information's pay-it-forward movement: regular people circulating good articles until they go viral. With this kind of concerted grassroots media effort, we can change the conversation, educate the electorate, and pass along Ralph Nader's ideas.

Sign up now to become the new media!

Yes, I’m in! (Fill in your e-mail address in the form below.)

No, I'll trust the mainstream corporate media to provide all the info I need.

Onward to November!

Ashley Sanders
The Nader Team


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