Thursday, March 11, 2010

The elections, the fraud (Tom-Tom) and more

Ahmed Rasheed, Rania El Gamal, Aseel Kami, Waleed Ibrahim, Jim Loney and Ralph Boulton (Reuters) report ballots continue to be counted in Iraq. Marc Santora (New York Times) notes preliminary results which indicate that it is "an exceedingly close race." Which would normally indicate that it's too close to make calls. So we'll wait until more votes are counted (30% of the vote really shouldn't be released, that's beyond laughable). Santora notes the madcap cut-up Ahmed Chalabi is demanding candidates see the tallies before the public does. No, Chalabi doesn't even pretend to embrace democracy.

A friend called this morning and I was already on one cell so I said I'd call back and looked at what he was noting, Tom Hayden's "Exit Strategies for Afghanistan and Iraq" at Znet. I called back and said ___ (unprintables). I'd thought the point was 'Tom Hayden's finally remembering the Iraq War so, to be fair, could you highlight it.' That wasn't the point. The point was, why he called, Tom-Tom is such a damn-damn liar. Agreed. Here's the excerpt we'll tackle:

Progressive Caucus co-chair Lynn Woolsey is up in arms against progressive Democrats who are supporting Marcy Winograd, an antiwar citizen-candidate running against hawkish Representative Jane Harman in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Woolsey now refuses to work with "outside groups" such as Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) who are backing Winograd's primary bid. Woolsey also opposed last year's forums on Afghanistan sponsored by Democrats including Honda and CPC co-chair Raul Grijalva. Woolsey simply says the US shouldn't be in Afghanistan, but nothing more, which leaves her isolated from peace groups and leaves her own colleagues searching for strategies.
During the Iraq war, the congressional Out of Iraq caucus represented a bloc of 70. Nothing on that scale exists for Afghanistan and Pakistan and few are paying attention to the continuing tensions in Iraq. The Out of Iraq Caucus appears dormant or dissolved, despite the growing threats to Obama's plan for a phased withdrawal of all troops from Iraq by 2012.

Please note first that the second paragraph above? It's Tom's Iraq 'coverage' in it's entirity. Oh, the old whore. Oh, the tired old whore.

Now let's deal with Lynn Woolsey. I know Lynn and she's a strong voice for peace. This isn't about peace. She and others in PDA were treated lilke crap by people like Tom Hayden. I'm not surprised if Lynn's walking away from the group. I would encourage to do so (but I doubt she'd follow that encouragement). She and Maxine Waters (who I also know and respect) were among those the PDA freaks -- they know who they are -- tried to bully throughout 2008. Over an election. Not an issue, an election. (Yes, it was Barry v. Hillary. And the biggest freak in PDA, by the way, I had a horse by that name growing up. We had to put her down. I always think of that story and feel that ___ has reached that point and has now put herself down.) Now they're trying to make Marci Winograd -- perpetual failed candidate for Congress -- the test for your politics. Reality, some people just don't like Marci. In fact, juding by the repeated results in her attempts at public office, a lot of people don't like Marci.

Marci seems to think raging at Israel is a campaign issue. That may be why she repeatedly loses her races. See, Israel does not share a border with California. See, most people voting for members of the House are voting for people who can address domestic issues. Marci so busy spewing her hatred at Israel that she can't even address domestic issues.

When she finally makes time to, she tells you she is the number one supporter of single-payer and that America needs it and blah, blah, blah. Then in her next breath, she tells you that she supports Barack's 'plan.' That's not single-payer and it's not progressive. She is campaigning -- while support for Barack has cratered -- as 'send me to DC so I can have Barack's back.'

Guess what, Marci, the people of California's 36th district? They want you to represent them. They really don't think that a president -- any president -- needs Congressional 'bodyguards.' In fact, your statements really suggest that Barack is so weak that without you he'll surely fail. It's a stupid strategy.

I can't figure out if Marci's that stupid or if the people running/ruining her campaigns are.

But Marci Winograd is an unimpressive candidate. That's not only my opinion, that has been the voters' opinion repeatedly which is why she has repeatedly lost.

There's no reason Lynn or any other member of Congress needs to support Marci. She's a joke. She's not that left, she's not that progressive. (Nor is Nancy Pelosi's boy-toy in Massachusetts. But damned if PDA isn't trying to pimp him as 'progressive.' The same PDA that trashes Nancy's politics.) PDA does not represent America. It does not represent California. The bulk of the "Progressive" "Democrats" of America are not Democrats and the organization's become a joke. That's before you get into the legalities of Lila Garrett -- on PDA's board -- using an hour of KPFK time each week to promote PDA. That's not allowed. And KPFK is chartered as an "educational radio" station. That license can get pulled real quick.

PDA's made themselves a joke. I don't believe Lynn's left it yet but Tom-Tom appears eager to push her out. You should probably notice the "her" in that sentence because Tom always bullies women. Well, sometimes he comes on to us. Especially if his wife is in the room. It seems to turn him on. But if you've smelt his breath or seen those horrid pockmarks all over his face, you've no doubt been among the majority of women who have rejected him.

Tom-Tom's in trouble (extortion money runs out at some point and he's never been able to work a real job at any point during his life so you would have thought he'd trolled for a rich wife number two but he's never been that smart either). He's a joke and a liar and the public caught on. He wants to whine today about electing Marci. And in 2012, he'll whine about how a president needs to be elected. And he'll always pretend he somehow cares about a war or something and try to sell his "Go out and vote" on the back of that. But he doesn't give a damn and he demonstrated that by refusing to hold Barack accountable -- during the primaries, during the general election or since being elected -- for the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War. A lot of excuses from Tommy. For the boys. Tom will gladly handle and stroke the fellow's testicles. He'll spit and hiss at any woman by contrast.

He needs to take his tired and sexist act to a private room. No one needs to hear from him anymore. The easy way to make that clear is to boo him when you encounter him or, if you really want to send him running, holler out, "Hey, Tom, when are you going to pay me back that money?"

One more point on the above, if Tom-Tom wants to go after Lynn again, he better grasp that I've stayed neutral on the Marci-Jane Harman match up. I won't if it happens again. I'll not only donate myself to Jane's campaign, I'll unleash the California floodgates and ensure that Jane wipes the floor with Marci. Tom, you've gotten away with a lot -- too much -- over the years. Your continued sexism will come with a cost. You've been warned.

On the Iraq elections, we'll again note this press release from is a press release from the Ahrar Party:

Intimidation, violence and vote tampering rife within Iraq's recent election

"The delays in announcing the recent election results are extremely concerning," Ayad Jamal Aldin, leader of the Ahrar Party, told reporters today in Baghdad.
"The international community has been hesitant to become involved due to fear of being seen as interfering with the elections. This is understandable. Everyone wants to portray the impression that Iraq is now capable of fending for itself. But this is not the case. American Vice-President Joe Biden glossed over these very real problems facing the Iraqi electorate on his recent trip to Baghdad. If evidence of vote tampering is uncovered - as is highly likely - the United Nations should use all means necessary to hold those responsible accountable."
The speculation of vote fixing comes after several acts of international violence and intimidation being reported against the electorate and station commanders.
In Fallujah, a member of the Anbar Provincial Council arrived at the polling station with heavily armed guards, and attacked the station commander before removing nine bundles of pre-marked ballot papers and inserting them in the ballot box. Similar stories are common across the country.
Even internationally, violence has marred these elections. In London, a group of Ahrar supporters were attacked and prevented from voting by supporters of al-Maliki. Violence amongst voters has also been reported in Beiruit, Dubai and even the USA.

For further information, contact:

Ahrar Media Bureau
Tel: +964 (0)790 157 4478 / +964 (0)790 157 4479 / +964 (0)771 275 2942

About Ayad Jamal Aldin:

Ayad Jamal Aldin is a cleric, best known for his consistent campaigning for a new, secular Iraq. He first rose to prominence at the Nasiriyah conference in March 2003, shortly before the fall of Saddam, where he called for a state free of religion, the turban and other theological symbols. In 2005, he was elected as one of the 25 MPs on the Iraqi National List, but withdrew in 2009 after becoming disenchanted with Iyad Allawi's overtures to Iran. He wants complete independence from Iranian interference in Iraq. He now leads the Ahrar party for the 2010 election to the Council of Representatives, to clean up corruption and create a strong, secure and liberated Iraq for the future.

A few are e-mailing an article from WSWS. Robert Dreyfuss is not high on my list of people but I feel he's judged unfairly in that article. (More than unfairly. He is against the Iraq War and has remained steadfast in that position. To suggest otherwise is to deliberately misread him or, more likely, not to read him.) Add in that the author doesn't know what the hell he's talking about re: the campaign for The Hurt Locker. As someone working on the campaign to get Bigelow nominated for Best Director, as someone who began working on that last summer, I damn well know who was involved and who wasn't. And what strategies were used. I didn't read the Guardian article referred to but the writer, if he said that, is a damn liar. If the writer said that, he's not getting it from anyone who worked (and this was volunteer not a p.r. firm -- we were people who know Kathryn and loved her film, she earned the Academy Award by being the best director nominated) to drum up support for Kathyrn. He's getting it from Melissa Silverstein and her BFF the failed screenwriter. Neither of those two worked to get Kathryn a nomination -- in fact, quite the opposite -- but they both pushed the meme that the Guardian (according to WSWS) said happened. So we're not highlighting it. Last comment on it, if you're going to 'interpret' Kathryn's films, you need to have seen them as opposed to relying on New York Times' reviews. WSWS wouldn't trust the reporting in NYT but they'll trust the arts section? That is hilarious.

Trudy Rubin (Philadelphia Inquirer) weighs in on the topic of refugees:

Why is their return so important? "If they're not welcome back, there is an identity problem for Iraq and the region," said veteran NPR correspondent Deborah Amos, the author of a fascinating new book that focuses on the Iraqi refugee problem, Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East.
"The refugees are the canary in the coal mine," Amos said, a sign of whether Iraq is ready to move beyond sectarian strife. Their fate will indicate whether it has become a Shiite-dominated state in which Sunnis aren't truly welcome, or a state in which all Iraqis have a role.
No one is certain how many Iraqis fled the country at the height of the sectarian violence. Syria claims to be hosting more than one million; Jordan, 800,000. According to Elizabeth Campbell of Refugees International, the real number is probably lower, about 350,000 longterm refugees in Syria and fewer than 100,000 in Jordan. (After much foot-dragging, the United States has granted asylum to around 36,000 Iraqis since 2007, mostly those endangered because they'd worked for U.S. officials or journalists.)
These figures include huge numbers of educated Iraqis - teachers, professors, doctors, artists, vital bureaucrats, and other professionals - who fear they have no future because they are Sunni or Christian. Amos, who spent months interviewing Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria, says most recognize that Iraq will never revert to the days when the minority Sunnis controlled the country and the majority Shiites were repressed. Only a small minority of the exiles are wealthy Baathists from Saddam Hussein's circle who dream of restoring those times.

As Ann noted last night, Deborah Amos was a guest on Fresh Air (NPR) yesterday. Trudy Rubin has written often on the refugee crisis including last week in a column I wanted to highlight but time and space kept running out. In that, she explained what had happened to an Iraqi who had helped Americans and, short version, he was arrested and thrown in jail and the judiciary cleared him and released him and he was arrested and thrown in jail and . . . Repeat frequently.

We'll close with Debra Sweet's "Why Protest on March 20?" (World Can't Wait):

A week from Saturday, protests are scheduled for Washington, DC; LA; San Francisco, and smaller cities around the country. I'll be in DC, helping to surround the White House as the ANSWER coalition notes on Anti-War Leaders: "Why I am Marching on March 20"
"Visible protest-marching to stop the crimes of our government-makes a difference because we show what we won't accept, and we learn what we're up against. These wars are not legitimate. People around the world must see that we don't support them, and know that to us, American lives are not more important than their own. Join World Can't Wait Saturday March 20 in protest..." Read more
What about you?
Publicize and find flyers for your March 20 protests.
Volunteer for a "We Are Not Your Soldiers!" contingent in the Washington, DC march.

And there's more at the link including a nice photo of Debra.

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