Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Other Items

Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) embarrasses herself with "Enough Joe the Plumber; here's to Kareem the Soldier" today. First off, it's not a competition. Second of all McClatchy (formerly Knight-Ridder) is too damn smart to fall for Colin Powell's sap. But here's McClatchy not only falling but printing KNOWN LIES:

On Sunday, Powell said that Khan's sacrifice and service had swayed him to discuss the way that Muslims have been portrayed in the presidential campaign, and the contention that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Obama "is a Christian," Powell said. "He has always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, 'What if he is?' Is there something wrong with being Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That is not America."

Known lies? Barack's not "always been a Christian." As the press damn well knows, there's no baptismal record for his days at Trinity -- the time when he allegedly became a Christian. (Like many, I don't believe Barack is a Christian or a Muslim.) Powell lied, the press ran it -- it's just like 2003 all over again!

As for his sudden concern for Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, shovel that ___ somewhere else.

As Ava and I wrote in "TV Review: Barbara and Colin remake The Way We Were" (September 11, 2005):

Having dismissed the need for facts, the "reluctant warrior" Powell now wants to weigh in on the invasion/occupation. Powell explains that we can't "cut and run" with regards to Iraq. We have to stay. He offers that "I'm not a quitter" himself -- amidst his stay the course nonsense. All this from the former Secretrary of State.

If it's so damn important that we "accomplish" over there, that we "stay the course," are the words really convincing coming out the mouth of the cut and run Secretary of State? Seems to us if you believe in this war as much as you say you do, and believe in staying the course, you . . . stay the course in your job. Powell didn't. There are the Rules for Powell and there are the rules for the rest of us.

Take Cindy Sheehan. She's a grieving parent and he feels sorry for her. Walters actually wakes up for this moment. And, in one of the few times prior to Powell's wife being brought on, she actually looks him in the eye while delivering her line.

Walters: But if you feel the war is just -- that's a different feeling than if you feel the war is is not.
Powell: Well, of course, for the person that is effected, it is. If they don't feel the war is just, they will always feel it as a deep personal loss.

Unlike Powell, we'd argue that regardless of beliefs on this war, the loss is a "deep, personal loss" for most, possibly all, who've lost family members. Maybe if he sent fat-boy Michael over there, he could find out for himself what it feels like? Till then, by his remarks, he's not anyone effected. How nice that must be.

Well golly Collie, is it just Muslims you have sympathy for? If Casey Sheehan had been Muslim would Collie have mustered a tear or two? Collie was a robot and indifferent to Cindy Sheehan's suffering but suddenly he cares about someone? (He cares about saving his own ass as always.) It's really past time for the press to stop spit-polishing the War Criminal Colin Powell. They're so deluded -- including the 'watchful' McClatchy -- that they not only don't call him out, they let him lie through his teeth and completely contradict himself while pretending it's not happening.
How shameful.

Corinne Reilly's "Iraq's unschooled children evidence of devastation's depth" (McClatchy Newspapers) examines 'average' children (hang on after the excerpt for the explanation):

The biggest reason that Iraqi children stay home from school is money. A public education is free in Iraq, but a lot of families are too poor to afford backpacks, notebooks and proper school clothes. The cost of living has risen dramatically across the country in recent years and the unemployment rate is around 50 percent.
"I can't buy milk for them, so how can I buy schoolbooks?" asked Abeer Abdulrahman, a 36-year-old unemployed widow and mother of five. "I want to give them more, but tell me how?"
Two of Abdulrahman's children are old enough for school, 7-year-old Nora and 9-year-old Omar, but neither has ever gone. They spend their days begging on the streets with their mother.
"It's more important for my children to beg so we can eat," Abdulrahman said. "What good will education do?"
Even before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, low school enrollment was a problem. It worsened along with violence after the war began.
By late 2006, many parents had decided it was too dangerous to send their children to school. Other children stopped attending when their families were forced by sectarian violence to flee their neighborhoods. Some have re-enrolled and some haven't.
Instead of going to school, 7-year-old Shahad Tahseen and her 6-year-old brother, Nibras, sit in their grandmother's dirty one-room flat in central Baghdad. They came here from a nearby neighborhood in 2006 after their parents were shot and killed.

Iraq is a war torn country and many children have lost limbs, eye sight, hearing and much more due to the conflict. As with any country, many children are born with disabilities or develop them. I think it's more than a little head in the sand to write about a war torn country that has already seen malnutrition rates sky rocket and act as if the special needs population among school children hasn't sky rocketed. And that's before you even consider the unseen effects on Iraqi children. There's value in the article and it's worth reading but it's all a little too "Pleasant Valley Sunday"-ish for me this morning.

In other Iraq news, Walter Pincus' "Private Iraq Investigators Out" (Washington Post) explains how the US State Dept was not only apparently outsourcing but going back on a pledge:

The unit was created after an incident last year in which 17 Iraqi civilians were allegedly killed by private security guards from the firm Blackwater, which was hired to protect State Department officials. When the agency announced the Baghdad unit last October, Undersecretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy told reporters that no contractors would be part of the investigative teams, which would be "composed of State Department employees."

Pincus notes that Senator Russ Feingold raised the issue, followed up on it, and forced action. Feingold is quoted stating, "I am pleased the State Department has terminated what appeared to be a illegal contract."

Susan notes this from Team Nader:

In the Public Interest: Debatable Debates


In the Public Interest: Debatable Debates .

In the Public Interest
Debatable Debates
By Ralph Nader

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.


And still on the Nader-Gonzalez campaign, this is from Alysa Landry's "Atypical voter: Bloomfield man stomps for Nader" (Farmington Daily Times):

A lifelong blue collar worker, Peskor says Nader best represents the working class.
"We need a third party because politics is always the same thing," he said. "Working class people are losing their jobs and everything is going overseas. Nader has been for the working class from way back. We have to bring back our factories, bring back our jobs."
Nader represented the Green Party on the New Mexico ballot in 1996 and 2000. He was the independent candidate in 2004 and is again this year, Gardea said. Nader is not on the ballot in every state, but voters in New Mexico consistently have supported him.
New Mexico voters began writing Nader's name on ballots in 1992, Gardea said, but his national legacy as a write-in candidate goes as far back as the 1970s.
This year, Nader is on the ballot in 45 states. He is not represented in Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma or Texas.
His campaign is based on ending corporate control and shifting government control back to the people.

Nader is on the ballot in 45 states plus DC and voters in Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas can write his name in if they support him. Their write-in votes will count. Oklahoma is the only state where residents cannot vote for Ralph -- he's not on the ballot and he cannot be written in.

Not on the ballot in Oklahoma and can't be written on. Oklahoma community members have endorsed the McCain-Palin ticket. Here are a list of upcoming campaign events for the Republican Party ticket:

10/22/2008 12:30:00 PM - Green, OH
Please join John McCain & Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally on Wednesday October 22nd in Green, OH.

10/22/2008 3:30:00 PM - Cincinnati, OH
Please join John McCain & Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally in Cincinnati, OH on Wednesday October 22nd. Special Performance by Gretchen Wilson.

10/23/2008 7:00:00 AM - Ormond Beach , FL
Please join Senator John McCain for a Campaign Rally in Ormond Beach, FL on Thursday October 23rd.

10/23/2008 7:30:00 AM - Denver , CO
Please join Senator John McCain for a Road to Victory Rally in Denver, CO on Friday October 24th.

10/23/2008 10:00:00 AM - Troy, OH
Please join Governor Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally in Troy, OH on Thursday October 23rd.

10/23/2008 3:00:00 PM - Sarasota , FL
Please join Senator John McCain for a Campaign Rally in Sarasota, FL on Thursday October 23rd.

10/23/2008 4:15:00 PM - Beaver, PA
Please join Governor Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally in Beaver, PA on Thursday October 23rd.

10/24/2008 3:00:00 PM - Durango , CO
Please join Senator John McCain for a Road to Victory Rally in Durango, CO on Friday October 24th.

10/25/2008 9:00:00 AM - Sioux City, IA
Please join Governor Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally in Souix City, IA on Saturday, October 25th. Doors open at 9:00am.

10/25/2008 12:30:00 PM - Des Moines, IA
Join Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally in Des Moines, IA on Saturday, October 25th. Doors open at 12:30pm.

10/25/2008 2:00:00 PM - Mesilla, NM
Join John and Cindy McCain for a Road to Victory Rally on Saturday, October 25th in Mesilla, NM.
Josh noted that and also noted that we don't have McCain-Palin on the permalinks. My mistake and oversight. When Oklahoma community members made their endorsement, the John McCain and Sarah Palin campaign should have been linked on the left the same way Ralph's campaign is. I goofed. My apologies. It is now linked and, in addition, if you scroll down the left side of the page to where the archives start, you'll find a video box. Clicking on it will allow you to stream any McCain-Palin event that's carried by the campaign live and a large number of events are being carried live. It would be higher up on the site but it took forever just to get it to work there.

Marcia is and has been covering ACORN at her site. ACORN is the subject of another investigate report by Stephanie Strom in today's New York Times, "Acorn Report Raises Issues of Legality" which includes:

The June 18 report, written by Elizabeth Kingsley, a Washington lawyer, spells out her concerns about potentially improper use of charitable dollars for political purposes; money transfers among the affiliates; and potential conflicts created by employees working for multiple affiliates, among other things.

It also offers a different account of the embezzlement of almost $1 million by the brother of Acorn’s founder, Wade Rathke, than the one the organization gave in July, when word of the theft became public.

"A full analysis of potential liability will require consultation with a knowledgeable white-collar criminal attorney," Ms. Kingsley wrote of the embezzlement, which occurred in 2000 but was not disclosed until this summer.

The McCain-Palin campaign's latest press release on ACORN is here.

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. Talk of the Nation is today. Cynthia's running mate is Rosa Clemente and for those who wonder why I am critical of the campaign behind Cynthia, visit the campaign website. Cynthia's on NPR today and there's nothing up. Yes, weeks ago, they gave a heads up. Big damn deal. She's on NPR today. It should be at the top of the site. It should also be at the top of the Green Party page today and it is not. Put Kimberly Wilder in charge because her site makes it the top news. (Why isn't it at the top here? We've noted it every day this week. No one has endorsed Cynthia in this community. The endorsements went to Nader-Gonzalez or to McCain-Palin.) (I have not endorsed and will not be endorsing.) Talk of the Nation will archive if you miss the live broadcast. It is not carried by all NPR stations so remember that you can stream it live. Where? You can look up a station or you can use KQED which will start airing it at eleven this morning (Cynthia's in the first hour) and that's Pacific Time. So one p.m. Central, two p.m. EST and KQED streams online.

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