Friday, April 18, 2008

Iraq snapshot

Friday, April 18, 2008.  Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces a death, Sadr City remains under assault, Bambi threatens to take his marbles home, what's up with the closeted Communists' interest in a Democratic primary and more.
Starting with war resistance.  Chris Carr (KBS Radio) reports the latest on Kyle Snyder. Before the latest, Kyle Snyder self-checked out of the military after serving in Iraq (and being lied to repeatedly -- before joining and after).  He then moved to Canada.  Following Darrell Anderson's returning from Canada to the US and turning himself in, others wondered about that.  Ivan Brobeck would be among the ones who did.  Kyle did as well.  At the end of October 2006, he came back to the US and turned himself in under the agreement that had been worked out.  The military that lied to him before had lied again.  Kyle self-checked out again.  He went on a speaking tour.  The unit that tracks AWOL and deserting soldiers (the one that doesn't exist to read most press accounts) phoned in a tip to the local police on the West Coast hoping to have Kyle arrested while speaking out.  Kyle was too smart for them and when they showed up, he showed up to speak by phone.  He went back to Canada to reclaim his life.  He was set to be married and the US military was getting antsy.  With the help of the Nelson police, they managed to get him arrested. Right before his wedding.  Drug him off in handcuffs, his robe and underwear.  The Nelson police changed their story multiple times.  Kyle had to be released because he was arrested on trumped up charges.
Coming at the same time as the US military crossing into Canada and posing as Canadian police to locate US war resister Joshua Key, it helped create an incident.  There would be an investigation!  And of course the best person to investigate what happened in Nelson was . . . the best friend of the Nelson police chief.  It was always going to be a white wash.
Carr reports that the white was has found charges "unbsubstantiated."  What a shocker.  Kyle Snyder did get married.  He is now the husband of a Canadian citizen.  Translation, the US military can't touch him.
However, in Canada, other US war resisters are waiting to find out whether they will be granted safe harbor. The Canadian Parliament will debate a measure this month on that issue. You can make your voice heard. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( -- that's pm at who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion ( -- that's Dion.S at who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua ( -- that's Bevilacqua.M at who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.         

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Last month Iraq Veterans Against the War's Winter Soldier took place and KPFA has a live program coming up April 22nd:

Live On Air and Online at!           
April 22 from 10am-1pm      
Join us on April 22nd for this very important follow up to Pacifica's groundbreaking Winter Soldier live coverage. We will be following the San Francisco trial involving wounded vets and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this first class action lawsuit U.S. Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder sue the VA, alleging a system wide breakdown in the way the Government treats those soldiers.
During this special broadcast we will be bringing our listeners live updates from the San Francisco federal courthouse, we'll speak with wounded Veterans attorney Gordon Erspamer, (taking this case pro bono because his father was permanently disabled in World War II and never received proper health care) and speak with Veterans advocates including Veterans for Common Sense, and Vets for America.
Read more about the broadcast here.

That announcement will appear in the snapshots until the broadcast. If you missed Winter Soldier you can stream online at Iraq Veterans Against the War, at War Comes Home, at KPFK, at the Pacifica Radio homepage and at KPFA, here for Friday, here for Saturday, here for Sunday. Aimee Allison (co-host of the station's The Morning Show and co-author with David Solnit of Army Of None) and Aaron Glantz were the anchors for Pacifica's live coverage.
Yesterday at the Pentagon, US Defense Dept flack Geoff Morrell did a song and dance before reporters.  Reuters Kristin Roberts asked a question:
Can you help me understand how it is that there are 163,000 troops in Iraq now that you're even beyond the halfway point of pulling the surge brigades out?  And 163,000 is even higher than what was originally expected when the surge was announced, for all five BCTs [Brigade Combat Teams].  Now you have three out out.  How do you have 163,000 troops?
Yes, how does Morrell explain that?  By ignoring it and stating he isn't "the best person to ask in terms of the daily numbers as to where we are in terms of forces in Iraq."  He concluded with, "I'm sorry if that's not a satisfactory answer.  I'm just not the expert on that one."  Numbers are hard for Geoff.  No doubt they're hard for the Bully Boy as well which must why the press avoided asking him about them during his joint press conference yesterday with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Gordon Brown -- apparently chafing at his lack of nickname (Tony Blair was "poodle") -- kissed up big time: "The world owes President George Bush a huge debt of gratitude for leading the world in our determination to root out terrorism, and to ensure that there is no safe haven for terrorism and no hiding place for terrorists."  He chatted up the "special relationship" between the UK and US.  He claimed that Iraq (and Afghanistan) was the topic "of much our discussions" and went on to declare, "We praise the commitment of the troops of both America and Britain and all who serve in these two countries. And we believe that our program of overwatch in Basra in the south of Iraq is making substantial progress."  In response to a question, Brown delcared Iraq "now a democracy, that democratic rights have been restored to the Iraqi people, that we're now building schools and hospitals" -- you know, the usual lies.
Andrew Porter and Thomas Harding  (Telgraph of London -- link also provides video of the press conference) report, "The Prime Minister faced questions" throughout his visit, "over the decision for British troops not to get involved in the recent fighting in the city of Basra".  The Telegraph of London asks readers whether the time has come for British troops to leave Iraq?  Meanwhile Sam Coates (Times of London) finds the correct verb for Brown's brown-nosing: "lavishing" and notes how it was a "coup" for Brown to meet face-to-face with Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama.  (Obama blew off Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during his recent visit and Coates notes only Clinton met with France's president "during his visit").  At the White House press conference, Brown declared, "It is, if I might answer your second question, it is for Americans to decide who their President is going to be.  I was delighted to meet the three presidential candidates who remain in the field.  What I was convinced of after talking to each of them, and talking about the issues that concern them and concern the world, is that the relationship between America and Britain will remain strong, remain steadfast, it will be one that will be able to rise to the challenges of the future."  Yes, there are other candidates for president besides the ones offered by the Democratic and Republican Party, take it up with Gordon Brown. 
AP's Terry Hunt asked Bully Boy, "You said last week that Iraq was not an endless war, but others have called it an open-ended war and a war with no end in sight.  Do you agree with those descriptions?"  Bully Boy, never one to miss a chance at laughing at the deaths his illegal war caused, joked, "One of those three has a good chance of winning."  He then claimed that Iraq was "succeeding" in terms of security, "getting better" in terms of economy and "improving" with regards to politics.  Sadly, those remarks weren't also received as jokes.  In the real world, Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott (McClatchy Newspapers) report, "The war in Iraq has become 'a major debacle' and the outcome 'is in doubt' despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon's premier military educational institute. The report released by the National Defense University raises fresh doubts about President Bush's projections of a U.S. victory in Iraq just a week after Bush announced that he was suspending U.S. troop reductions. The report carries considerable weight because it was written by Joseph Collins, a former senior Pentagon official, and was based in part on interviews with other former senior defense and intelligence officials who played roles in prewar preparations."
Turning to Iraq.  Simon Assaf (Great Britain's Socialist Worker) reports, "The US is laying siege to the Baghdad slum of Sadr City in an attempt to crush the Iraqi resistance.  Thousands of US troops and their Iraqi allies are surrounding the Shia Muslim neighbourhoods in a new battle for control of the capital." The assault on Sadr City has continued -- even when the assault on Basra briefly stopped, the assault on Sadr City continued.  The region is seen as a strong hold for Moqtada al-Sadr.  Arthur Bright (Christian Science Monitor) reports, "US forces began work this week on a concrete barrier to protect against militia intrusions" in Sadr City.  The move may be a sign that puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki is no longer willing to make a token show of support for Moqtada al-Sadr (see also the shutting down of al-Sadr's offices in Basra).  When the US first proposed erecting "walls" throughout Baghdad (as well as creating a moat around the city), al-Maliki denounced the plan and hurried back into Iraq to protest.  As the barriers go up (which won't protect anyone, just trap them -- and that really is the point of the 'walls'), Noah Barkin (Reuters) reports that Sadr City today witnessed "what was described as some of the heaviest fighting in Baghdad for weeks."  Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) maintains that US troops are "caught in crossfire between Shiite militiamen and the mostly Shiite Iraqi army."  (Apparently, she's still smarting over a US soldier's comments.) Fadel informs you of the 'horrors' for the US military in the two-story home they took over (abandoned "just before the fighting started"), "It has rats and clogged toilets but no electricity or hot water, and no air conditioning or heating."  Ahh.  That's so sad for the temporary guests.  The only thing that might be sadder, of course, was the fact that an Iraqi family had to live there . . . with no electricity or hot water, and no air conditioning or heating.  Somehow that thought didn't enter Fadel's head.  Fadel will be a guest on Bill Moyers Journal tonight -- hopefully, she'll have a stronger sense of perspective.  As the Los Angeles Times (credited to "staff") observed yesterday, "In Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, the scene of frequent clashes between militia fighers and Iraqi and U.S. forces, the storm was heaping problems on overstretched doctors.  They already are dealing with casualties from the violence, but the choking dust was sending them additional emergency cases of people with respiratory problems.  Doctors at Imam Ali General Hospital in Sadr City said they didn't have enough medicine to meet the demand.  Medicine shortages are a problem across Iraq, where many people buy their drugs on the black market because of shortages at pharmacies.  Many people in Sadr City, though, are poor and cannot afford black market prices.  Fighting there has also limited their movements, making it harder for them to shop around for medication if they don't find it at the hospital."  Fadel misses all of that.  Despite the fact that an Iraqi family is now homeless (unless they're dead).
In reported violence . . .
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Baghdad car bombing that claimed 1 life (two wounded), a Baghdad roadside bombing that left two people wounded, a mortar attack on a US base in Baghdad, a Baghdad mortar attack that wounded three people, a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left four more wounded and a Diyala Province roadside bombing that claimed the live of 6 farmers and left four more wounded.  Reuters notes a Baquba roadside bombing that claimed 6 lives (all members of the same family) and a Tuz Khurmato roadside bombing that claimed the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers.
Reuters notes that the ongoing assault on Sadr City left 3 residents dead and another ten injured.
Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad.
Today the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division -- Baghdad Soldier was killed in an improvised-explosive device attack at approximately 1:45 p.m. April 18.  The attack struck the vehicle the Soldier was riding in while conducting a combat patrol just north of Baghdad."
TV . . . As already noted, Leila Fadel will be on Bill Moyers Journal discussing Sadr City (tonight on PBS, check local listings). NOW on PBS (also tonight in most markets) focuses on healthcare. On Fox tonight, Canterbury's Law concludes it's debut season. Julianna Margulies stars (the strong cast also includes Aidan Quinn as her husband) and she's just escaped the threat of disbarment and prison in the previous episodes. Radio . . . Sunday on WBAI (11:00 a.m. EST), The Next Hour offers Theatres Against War (THAW) presents live excerpts from "Dirt," "The Fifth Column," and "Rapsida" (A play from a Rwandan theater group that uses theater to educate people about HIV/AIDS). Hosted by Joanie Fritz Zosike and Suzanne Hayes while Monday, Cat Radio Cafe (2:00 p.m. EST) offers:

Representing the PEN World Voices Festival are journalist/playwright George Packer, PEN Freedom to Write and International Programs Director Larry Siems and Sameer Padania from WITNESS, the New York-based international human righs organization; and cast members of the new musical adaptation of Elmer Rice's "The Adding Machine." Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer.
Turning to US presidential politics. Ruth and Marcia addressed Hillary's big win in the debate.  Mike focused on Barack Obama's attempts to blame the media for his bad performance (blame that's not deserved -- Bambi was awful). Kat and Rebecca focused on the threat Bambi floated yesterday: NO MORE DEBATES!  When you lose, when you're reduced to flipping off your opponent in a speech, you really can't afford another debate that would reveal just how hollow you are.  Women's eNews reports it's co-sponsoring "a non partisan forum on the power of the women's vote at Bryn Mawr College, just outside Philadelphia" on Sunday.  That will begin at one p.m. in the Thomas Great Hall and, the day before, starting at eleven in the morning, Women to Women Voter Turnout Workshop will take place at Pennsylvania's State College.  Earlier this week US House Rep Darlene Hooley explained, noting the state of 'progress' for women in the US, "I want them to see a change, and that's why I want to see Hillary Clinton in the White House. Hillary knows what it means to fight for equality in the workplace, and she knows what it means to fight on behalf of women across America. She has championed the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen women's negotiating position and give them the tools they need to get the paycheck they deserve. That's real change, real progress, and with Hillary in the White House, I believe it is change that counts."  In other news (news ) Hillary picked up three more super delegates todaay: Jim Florio and Brendan Byrne, former New Jersey Governors, and US House Rep Betty Sutton.
And the always inspiring and amazing Dolores Huerta explains:
When I look to the strength of our country, I look to the mothers who built homes and raised families, and to the working women who were and are this nation's lifeline.  All during my childhood, it was my mother who kept our family going.  She worked two jobs as a cook to support our family through the Great Depression and through her hard work bought her own business, two hotels that she would run herself.      
In families all across America, mothers like my own are working hard everyday just to make sure their children have food on the table.  My mother taught me to hold my head high and to work for a better future, but mothers and daughters alike have to work harder than their husbands or brothers just to make the same amount.     
April 22, Equal Pay Day, marks the day when women's pay will finally catch up to men's from the year before -- earning 77 cents to ever dollar made by a man, it takes us an extra four months to earn what they would have made in a year.  Almost a century after women earned the right to vote, we live in a world where we afford only 77 cents on the dollar worth of rent, health care, education, and opportunity for our children and families. Our children deserve better; they deserve a change.      
Throughout her life, Hillary has refused to wait for change to come.  She has pushed for change with the full weight of her body and soul and she has done so all over the world, from Arkansas to China to Washington, D.C.  She's fought for equal pay, a living wage, health care for our children, and security for our families.        
Any mother knows that these are all issues we face together, and we need a president who will help us answer the call for change, who will help us to make the world better, and who won't shy away from the hard fight.  Hillary is that leader, and I know she'll stand with us.
Dolores Huerta has been fighting the good fight for decades.  Paul Krugman (New York Times) explains the insult to Small Town Americans (by Barack) was "cling" and explains why that was.  Bud White (No Quarter) attempts to address the Barack's relationship with William Ayers and why it may offend a number of Americans.  (Tries isn't an insult but everyone's making the same mistake.  It'll be flipped on Sunday.  I'm not calling Bud White factually incorrect, I'm noting a detail is missing.  It's a big one.)  (Repeating, I'm not insulting White.  Nor am I noting the defense for the actions taken by Weather Underground which we've gone over already.  I'm speaking of a chunk of the puzzle -- known and out in the open -- being ignored.)  Joanna Weiss (Boston Globe via IHT) also attempts to walk through the issue. Fernando Suarez (CBS News) notes Hillary's response to Barack's non-stop whining about how 'tough' it was for him: "We were both asked some pretty tough questions and that's part of what happens in a debate and in a campaign. And I know he spent all day yesterday complaining about the hard questions he was asked. Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House. In fact, when the going gets tough, you just can't walk away because we're going to have some very tough decisions that we have to make."  Time magazine has video of Hillary addressing that topic from an earlier interview today. A Houston Chronicle blog notes the "meltdown" on the "far left" -- the offensive video 'announcing' the death of George Stephanopoulos (ABC News, all he did was ask, Amy Goodman -- yeah, Ava and I will be taking on Goody in our Sunday piece at Third) and writes: "OK, so Obama was asked some tough questions, questions for which he may not have been prepared, questions about his associations and his patriotism. That's part of the political game, like it or not, it is what it is. Whining about it doesn't make it go away or make it any better."  Gene Lyons (Arkansas Democrat Gazette) notes that the comments by Barack (about "clinging"), " A more perfect expression of pseudo-Marxist / academic cant--or a greater gift to Sen. John McCain and the Republicans--would be hard to imagine."  How right he is.  Joe Wilson (link goes to explains that there were other insulting remarks made by Barack in the Cling-gate speech that were equally offensive to those serving in the country overseas diplomatically and more.
"THAT'S NOT WHAT I ASKED!" screamed David Corn sounding like the Village Idiot and harming his own reputation in the process.  On a media conference call yesterday, David Corn  decided he needed to remind people how easy it is to be wrong when you don't do your own work and are instead fed your 'facts.'  Susan UnPC (No Quarter) has posted the audio of the disgraceful meltdown and tackles that.  Let's tackle the facts because David Corn is NOT ALLOWED to make up his own facts.  "You didn't ask her what she thought about the pardons!" cries Corn determined to expose just how stupid he can be and does not delight me to point out that fact.  But David Corn was STUPID.  He opened with "On the Bill Ayers front, so just called it one of the important issues, you guys obviously know, we all know that President Clinton pardoned two Weathermen . . . uh . . . activists, terrorists, whatever you want to call them."  David Corn, the Male Cokie Roberts, isn't sure what to label the two women?  But he's comfortable calling the two women "Weathermen"?  What a fool.  What a stupid, stupid fool.  No, David, "we" don't "all know that because IT NEVER HAPPENED.  I can't believe how low David Corn has sunk.  He's a reactionary that tilts to the center but he's usually -- Gary Webb aside -- stuck to the facts.  There are NO FACTS here because the two women were not PARDONED.   Ava and I addressed that issue yesterday morning, I grabbed it again last night. If you listen to that call, you'll hear David Corn embarrassing himself acting like a blowhard, maintaining that he's right when he is soooooooo wrong.  It's embarrassing.  I don't call out Corn most of the time, I usually just roll my eyes.  But this is soooooooo wrong that there's no excuse for it.  David wanted to showboat in the phone call, wanted to play attack dog.  Well, David, get your facts right.  There were no pardons for Linda Evans (of Weather Underground, not Dynasty) or Susan Rosenberg from Bill Clinton.
David Corn wants to humiliate himself so let's help him.  Clicking here takes you to Mother Jones where, after the phone call, David was drooling over what he'd done for his man crush Barack Obama: "I asked an obvious one: Did Hillary Clinton believe that it had been appropriate in 2001 for President Bill Clinton to have pardoned two members of the Weather Underground as he left office?"  No, David, it's not an obvious question because IT NEVER HAPPENED.  Quit bragging, start apologizing.  That's embarrassing.  You've embarrassed yourself.  You've demonstrated that when fueled by your own hate you will gladly rush to print any charge without even investigating it.  You need to take a look at yourself and the damage you're doing because it is beneath you.  By the way, Sunday, Ava and I flip this issue and explain what the press is missing.  And they're missing it.  For obvious reasons.
Back to the issue of pardons, didn't happen.  Credit to Jake Tapper (ABC News) who did correct his piece from last nightWally and Cedric lampooned Tapper yesterday. Meanwhile, in endorsement news . . .  Obama's endorsed by Carl Davidson, just another "progressive" for Obama? He's not a "progressive," he is a Communist.  That is the bulk of his long (and tedious) writing (academic and pamphlet) and it's typical of the so-called "Progressives" For Obama.  What the hell is a Communist doing butting into a Democratic Party primary? 
Because, if the issue was left to Democrats, Bambi wouldn't stand a chance.  He needs all the red diapers in the world to keep him clean and Carl Davidson is only one example of one.  Here's an exchange Carl had with Louis Proyect (The Unrepentan Marxist) and it's cute the way he claims, that during Vietnam, the Communist Party deserves credit for war resistance because they were in the ranks "doing SWP revolutionary propaganda work among the GIs."  Yeah, all four of them.  There is nothing wrong with being a Communist, a Socialist, a Green, a Democrat or what have you.  But there is something sad about hiding in the closet -- especially those middle-aged an older.  Carl Davidson hasn't hid except in his endorsement of Bambi.  He's not a Democrat and, frankly, he needs to butt the hell out of Democratic Party politics. 
He's far from alone.  That rag-tag group (of non-Democrats) has really steered this primary and the coverage of it. When people are talking about the 'movement' behind Bambi, there's no 'movement.'  There are some genuine supporters of him but the base, the framework, was documented years ago by Max Elbaum -- writing of a different cycle.  Carl's very familiar with that cycle.  (And to avoid big whiners, Carl self-describes as "Marxist-Lennist."  That would be, pay attention, Communism.)  So let's all repeat the question: "What is a Communist doing endorsing ANY candidate in a Democratic Primary?" 
The general election is open to all Americans.  But a primary is supposed to be for political party members.  And for those (like the Communist bating Marc Cooper) who want to scream, "That's McCarthyism!"  No, it's not.  That's noting where the support for Barack comes from.  The same way Panhandle Media thought, in 2004, it was fair game to note that Republicans were donating to Ralph Nader's campaign.  Fair's fair.  Thing is, Republicans weren't in the closet.  Panhandle Media thought, at that time, that America had a right to know who was 'really behind' Ralph's campaign. So maybe it's time to take a glimpse at who's really behind Bambi? 
And Carl's long been behind Barack.  They go way back.  So far back that Carl was screeching to people last year about his "disappointment" in Barack.  ("Triangulator!" was Carl's charge then.)  But, hey, the bulk of the SDS males (which were all political persuasions, to be clear) were nothing but sexist pigs to begin with so it's no surprise that, when it's down to Hillary or Barack, Carl thinks the 'good thing' for the (Communist) Party is to silence his criticism and hop on board!  And, just FYI, they didn't care for "liberal" back then either.  They were "radicals" and "revolutionaries."  So it's no surprise they'd dub themselves "Progressives" for Obama today -- they spent their lives rejecting liberals (and Democrats).  Here's another hint for those wanting to play "Who's Really A Democrat?"  Any pundit/gasbag/writer claiming they made the decision to endorse Bambi based on "the movement" behind Bambi and not Bambi himself?  Nine times out of ten, that's a Communist.  Apparently, you can't anchor programs or write books or columns or gas bag and be open about what political party you belong to.  Who knew? 

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