Wednesday, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on pending legislation. We covered it in the Wednesday "Iraq snapshot
" and the Thursday "Iraq snapshot
covered it in "A very bad Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing
in "Disappointing Chair Bernie Sanders (Wally)
" and Ava
in "The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is not cutting it
." And, apparenty, in letsgetitdone's Thursday post "Bernie Sanders: Self-shackled Champion of the People
letsgetitdone is not writing about the Senate hearing.
But an e-mail to the public account, an angry drive-by, insists that we planned (and "schemed") with letsgitdone to "bring down Bernie Sanders."
I've never met, spoken to or written letsgetitdone. When I first called Bernie out on Wednesday (for waiving Congressional rules for the VA after the VA has refused to follow the rules), I didn't call/e-mail/telegram/postal/telepathically or in any other way contact letgetitdone nor he me.
Bernie got criticized. It happens. And though he may be the only openly Socialist in the Senate, that doesn't mean he doesn't get criticized.
Though the drive-by e-mail insists that this was a "planned takedown and you did it because you hate Democrats."
Who hates them?
Is the "you" just to me or is it plural?
I have no idea.
Speaking only for me, if I hated Democrats (and I don't -- I considered myself one nationally until 2008, now I just consider myself a feminist on the left, free of all political parties) and I wanted to take them down, I think I could find a better way than by going after a Socialist.
I'm not friends with letsgetitdone or family or casual acquaintance or mortal enemy or nemesis or what have you.
My only thoughts of letsgetitdone ever have been: 1) I hate that name that sounds like 90s press mocking of a woman (I can hear people using it doing parodies of Jane Fonda, for example -- I can see one running in Premiere, in fact), and 2) the person is a man.
That's the entire thoughts I've ever had.
I don't read his work.
That has more to do with Corrente than with him.
But you had five people criticize Bernie Sanders over 48 hours. Four of us -- Ava, Wally, Kat and myself -- did so on Wednesday because we attended a hearing he chaired. And because we'd attended similar hearings of that committee where then-Chair Senator Patty Murry didn't let the VA get away with that and House Veterans Affairs Committee where Chair Jeff Miller didn't let them get away with it. Sanders created two classes of witnesses: the VA which doesn't have to follow the rules and everyone else who does.
Not only that, but the points Ava's making in her report? She's building on Dona's comments from the October 13th "Congress and Veterans
" -- Dona's opening remarks:
Dona: Last Wednesday, the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a
hearing with regards to the shutdown and Thursday the House Veterans
Affairs Subcommittee on Health held a hearing. The first hearing was
reported on by C.I. in Wednesday's "Iraq snapshot," the Subcommittee hearing was reported on in C.I.'s Friday "Iraq snapshot," Thursday "Iraq snapshot," Ava's "The VA killed Heather McDonald's husband (Ava)," Wally's "VA bullied doctors into prescribing narcotics," and Kat's "The fake apology from Dr. Jesse"
I'll go ahead and note the four were supposed to attend the October 9th
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing and I blocked out the time
for that -- I do the weekly schedule for them -- but that hearing was
cancelled at the last minute. They haven't held a real hearing since
July. I don't count field hearings as real ones or the annual VSO
presentation as a real hearing, sorry. The federal government may have
shut down on October 1st but you could argue the Senate Veterans Affairs
Committee did on August 1st.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has not had a good year and when Bernie Sanders said it was fine if they didn't provide written statements in advance, fine if they didn't provide input on bills, fine if they didn't provide answers to the Committee . . .
No, none of that is fine. As Chair, Sanders needs to call the VA out.
If that's too much for him, he can turn it over to Senator Richard Burr because he has never had a problem holding the VA accountable.
In terms of Corrente?
Why would I read that site?
To see what they've swiped from the community lately?
starts a site and has planned topic for each Friday -- movies -- and, boom, all the sudden Corrente's doing movies. Just like when, years before Trina
started her site (and it was once a week when she did) providing recipes. Boom! There's Corrente. We do Tweet of the Week at Third? Boom, there's Corrente.
Where ever we were five minutes ago, there's Corrente sniffing the ground.
In the Bully Boy Bush days, I did read Corrente because various members of Corrente -- the original gang was much more than Lambert -- e-mailed often. Sometimes to ask for a link, sometimes to share some topic.
I have no problem with that group of Corrente.
And when they e-mailed to inform that they'd left Blogspot and could I change my link here to their new webaddress, I did.
Again, I had no problem with them. They did an interesting site and they were always interesting in their e-mails. They were kind enough to link to this site which was also nice of them.
The scars are still with so many of us.
For Corrente, it was the implosion of the site.
Lambert is now the only one from that group at Corrente.
Farmer, a member of the original group, took back over the Blogspot Corrente site. We'll come back to that in a second.
I thought about this topic when the drive-by e-mail came in Thursday and I asked Jess for a favor. Back before we knew all the NSA spying, we were like the library with the e-mails. Most good libraries -- because a whole lot of us across the country worked on this issue -- would destroy your checkout record as soon as your book or whatever was returned. This was in the days of Bully Boy Bush and the White House thought they had a right to your library records.
So what happened there was your e-mails would be read here and then deleted until Jess
said (2005) that he'd print up the interesting ones before deleting.
That policy is still followed today. So I asked Jess to go look at the print outs and see how many times Corrente had written us. There are 38 e-mails over a 2 year span from Corrente that Jess judged important enough to save by printing (meaning there may have been more that just got deleted).
I bring all this up for a reason.
I don't go to Corrente and haven't in years.
I don't go that site because of Lambert.
Specifically because in 2008 he felt the need to repeatedly trash me in e-mails.
He didn't have the guts to take his b.s. attacks to me. He'd trash me in e-mails to other people who would then forward to me.
Lambert claimed at one point to have never heard of this site. Considering his history of being 'influenced' (I'm trying to be kind) by writing here, that was laughable.
But he pulled the link to this site -- fine, I never cared and I doubt they brought us any traffic, they certainly couldn't today -- and when Corrente commenters, other bloggers and whatever else were writing to him and asking why he did that, he first denied it, he then said no one read it (this site), he then insisted he'd never heard of this site, and then he really got nasty.
After all of that, I have no use for him. If someone e-mails and says, "Lambert wrote something important" -- whether it's a community member or a drive-by, I do think about including it. Most of the time I don't because it has nothing to do with anything important. But on those rare moments where it does, I have included it.
Lambert and Farmer destroyed Corrente -- including its legacy.
They did so by waging war.
The 2008 Democratic Party primary should not have destroyed any friendships. I think my feelings on that awful period are as raw as Lambert's (only I can also take joy in it as a learning experience) but I didn't end any close, personal friendships over it. That's kind of petty.
Farmer may be even worse because he got what he wanted (Barack got the nomination) and yet he went to war on Corrente (from the old Blogspot site). The two had been friends.
They do a little call-and-response that another Corrente former member finds disgusting (I agree) and goes to what a waste it's all been.
Libby Liberal, letsgetitdone and a few others still posting at Corrente try to deal with real issues. If Lambert's not begging for money, not posting garden photos, offering posts about how this or that undefined home project kept him from blogging, he's usually just posting to proclaim that he was right about something.
As the former Corrente points out, that's not how they envisioned the site when they started it.
I really think Farmer should have been the bigger person since his candidate got the nomination so he should have been ecstatic. That said, maybe Farmer tried or maybe he just got sick of Lambert?
Many have. Many female bloggers can't stand him because they weren't as fortunate as I was. He just said rude things about me to others, a lot of women were instead greeted by his anger. Including one non-community female that we note regularly here.
Riverdaughter likes him.
They have so much in common.
Both were part of huge communities and then drove everyone off.
They also are both cowardly.
In 2008, if you weren't Cult of St. Barack, you were usually called "racist."
The way you deal with that? You ignore it and you do your work.
If the charge is untrue, your body of work demonstrates it.
When you stand up or stand against something -- whether it's a campaign trying to steal delegates or whatever -- you are going to make petty people mad. What they want, in this case, was to gift Barack with the nomination. So they will scream and accuse and make charges they know are false. It's politics -- it's really bad and destructive politics and usually this type of behavior is used by one political party against another. But the desperation factor of 2008 was so great that it went internal.
If Susan Mills is running for office and every day she's obsessing over what her opponent said and how she must respond to it? She's not running a campaign. She is falling into their trap of letting them set her daily agenda and letting them define her.
You really have to blow off the stuff that can't be proved. "Am not!" and "Are too!" yelling matches are not productive for anyone.
But it can be hurtful for some people to falsely be called a "racist." It was hurtful to Robin Morgan when people called her one in January 2008. It was even more hurtful to Gloria Steinem.
But it shouldn't be hurtful.
You should be surprised for maybe ten seconds.
Then you should realize this is an attempt to shut you up, to make you stop speaking and even make you so radioactive that others won't listen to you.
I have never read anything by Lambert to suggest he was a racist. I can say even more strongly that, by her writing, Riverdaughter (of The Confluence) is not a racist.
But I don't really get worked up by false charges.
Go back to 2008 entries here.
Hillary was repeated and falsely accused of being a racist. It rarely comes up here. She's a candidate, the other side's desperate, they're going to attack. I was furious when the Obama campaign was so desperate that they lied and created a false clip from film footage to have someone using the n-word. (The clip was from the film The War Room and no n-word had been in the scene. The people responsible for that should have stepped forward or been outed long ago.)
I did go crazy here in terms of Bill Clinton.
I've never seen a spouse attacked the way Bill was.
And no one gave a damn. They were happy to pimp the lie.
With Bill, I was offended. In part because I know him and like him and know I can call in a crisis and get some help. But mainly because he was the spouse of the candidate and a slash and burn was taking place.
A Kitty Dukakis or Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton will get a moment or two of campaign coverage as the spouse of. But it's not the thrust the way the lies about Bill were in 2008.
This was slashing and burning certain barriers that had been respected in previous elections to protect families of politicians. (Protecting them from attacks does not mean shying from actual news stories about them if there's actual news to report.) And this slash and burning was coming from the campaign whose candidate not only insisted he was running a clean and 'new kind of' campaign but also that his own family be off limits.
Equally true, Bill's a former president and I don't see the value in falsely tarring and feathering a former US President as a racist.
But when Hillary was targeted (falsely targeted), I saw it for what it was, ugly and dirty campaigning by sewer people that I used to lie to myself about -- insisting they only existed on the right and that, here on the left, we had no Karl Rovian people.
Though Lambert and Riverdaughter were clearly offended to be called racist, that didn't stop them from inflicting pain on others.
When it was time to send people packing, both Lambert and Riverdaughter were happy to toss the term "racist" out as they evicted former friends.
I don't know Clown whatever's full name. He was kicked out at Corrente first but stayed at The Confluence for probably a year after -- then he'd be gone like so many others (such as The Widdershins
Lambert has tarred Larry Johnson
as a racist.
Because of the alleged "Whitey" tape.
In 2008, there was supposedly a tape of Michelle Obama griping about "Whitey." This rumor started with Rudy G's campaign. Rebecca
's first husband, the one who was gay, was a huge supporter (money wise) of Rudy G's. Supposedly, they had the tape. That's from Rebecca's ex. He told Rebecca and I both that. We didn't believe, we didn't disbelieve it. We also didn't think it would come out even if it existed. As Jackie O used to point out, she was shocked to discover how much money JFK's campaign spent getting the dirt on other candidates -- and vice versa -- to end up not using any of it.
We had other things to focus on and did until, many months later, Larry Johnson mentioned the rumor. He wrote about having just heard of it and how it was supposedly going to be released. He was very clear that he had not seen any tape and couldn't vouch for it or its contents.
There was no tape released.
For this reason, Lambert has made fun of Johnson, called him names and just been a real little bitch.
Now if someone's really mad, they need to take it to David Brock.
When you get burned, you can out your source.
Larry Johnson did.
The person telling him about this tape? Media Matter's David Brock.
But Lambert won't call him out.
David Brock's the one who spread the rumor.
Why are you going to town on Larry Johnson over the tape when David Brock's the one who needs to be called out?
All Larry Johnson did was write about what he was being told by a 'journalist' and someone admired by the left.
I don't know why, when Lambert was falsely and unfairly called a racist, he'd turn around and try to do the same to Larry Johnson.
The above should make very clear that there was no conspiracy this week to go after Bernie. Of Kat, Wally, Ava and myself, we all knew we'd be doing it after Dona went public in the roundtable.
Speaking only for me, I'm not attending a VA hearing in the Senate or the House to root-root-for-the-home-team. I'm not there for partisanship. I rarely even note in the snapshot whether a Committee member is Democrat or Republican. I don't care. I'm at those hearings for veterans issues. I'm not there for someone's election or campaign.
I will gladly applaud anyone -- regardless of party -- for standing up in a hearing and defending veterans.
And I don't have time to indulge people who won't do their jobs. I found Bernie Sanders performance Wednesday embarrassing. I hope that changes and quickly. But that's up to Sanders, not me.
And let me be clear, to watch Democrats put up with stone walling from the VA is disgusting. The reality is that Secretary Eric Shinseki should have been forced out a long time but Dems in Congress have covered for him.
The problems with the VA are Shinseki's problems. Is he inept or intentional? I don't know and I don't care. He needs to go. The VA's deplorable behavior with Congress is mirrored in all the scandals they've had since Shinseki took over.
By the way, you can consider this a primer to a larger article we're going to try to write at Third
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet
The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org
i hate the war