Saturday, May 31, 2008

Visiting the girls in jail

Katrina vanden Heuvel and Betsy Reed were still in the clink and I couldn't help but feel the world was a little bit safer as a result.

Apparently, Katty-van-van's husband had taken up with a student and there was no ATM at the jail. Betsy, of course, had no money and, obviously, no friends she could call.

So both women were stuck behind bars and Katty-van-van was trying to save face by telling people she was at a fat farm.

From what I heard, no one bought it and most assumed she'd had a nose job. What a shock they were in for when Katty emerged from jail.

Feeling sorry for them . . . Okay, not true. In need of a good laugh, I decided to visit.

The two acted like I was their long-lost sister. Or possibly half-sister since either they or me would have to be bi-racial. Like their candidate!

"Bettina!" they exclaimed. "We knew we could count on you."

I said nothing and waited for them to call down. I noticed they'd both, like excited puppies, piddled a little on the floor.

Katrina started to cry and fret that all her cellmates would begin calling her "Piss Panties!" ("just like when I was a young girl") and Betsy had no sympathy for her because, well, Betsy doesn't like women.

"For God's sake, Katty," Betsy snarled, "they already think you're a drag queen."

Katty hissed and the two faux 'feminists' got into a nasty slap-fight. Just as Betsy was about to pull Katty's hair, I said, "Ladies, a little decorum."

Katty-van-van is trash, born it, die in and will sit on the curb waiting to be collected till the latter happens. There's nothing she hates worse than for anyone to point out she has no taste.

So she stopped fighting. But Betsy called her "Big Nose" and Katty hollered back a taunt of "Grape fruit diet" and the two were at all over again.

Watching, I realized I was witnessing Panhandle Media in all of its non-glory. Catty, backbiting, non-feminist and going around and round in circles and never getting anywhere.

To get their attention -- or maybe just to release some tension -- I slid my hand through the bars and slapped them both. It did cause them to stop fighting.

"Betinna," Katty purred in that phony speaking voice, "we have to get out. Three primaries are coming up and if we can't lie about Hillary she might get the nomination she's won."

She truly was batty. No wonder she'd only just learned of her husband's affair -- despite it being the talk of everyone for over four weeks with photos floating around at fashionable dinner parties. It was hard to work up sympathy for this woman who'd slept with her professor. Did she really think he made an exception, broke a rule, just for her?

If she did, she's obviously never been introduced to a mirror.

Which reminded me, I had gone down to the jail in the first place to get a photo. I figured I could sell it to a newspaper or maybe turn it into a urinal target and really clean up.

Katty and Betsy did not like the idea of their picture being taken.

"Relax," I told them, "you two look marvelous!"

Their vanity got the best of them and they began posing.

I told them I heard self-loathing lesbian Laura Flanders might have been picked up by the cops which caused them to insist they weren't doing "Oz" or "Caged Heat," so the "pigs" better not put Laura in their cell.

Two of their cellmates were pointing out the forest of hairs on Katrina's legs -- she had five o'clock shadow on her thighs -- and insisting she was really a man. I took it as my cue to exit.

"HUBdate: 'Top Candidate for Dems'" (Howard Wolfson, HillaryClinton.com):
Argus Leader Endorses Hillary: South Dakota’s Argus Leader today endorsed Hillary, calling her the "Top Candidate for Dems...Clinton is the strongest Democratic candidate for South Dakota. Her mastery of complex policy detail is broad and deep, and her experience as a senator and former first lady matches that…Her resilience and determination never should be questioned. She has met or overcome every challenge or roadblock in her way, and there have been many." Read more.
Automatic Delegate Watch: Washington State Democratic Party Chair Eileen Macoll endorsed Hillary yesterday: "On the issues that matter most -- from establishing universal health care to improving our schools to ending the war in Iraq--she has never backed down and never wavered. Hillary has what it takes to beat John McCain this Fall and win back the White House."
Read more.
Endorsement Watch: Puerto Rican music artist Ricky Martin yesterday endorsed Hillary: "These elections will have historic repercussions both in the United States and the world. Senator Clinton has always been consistent in her commitment with the needs of the Latino community…she has always fought for what is most important for our families."
Read more.
"She's Going to Pull It Off" Hillary had “one of the best turnouts of her South Dakota campaign” yesterday at a stop in Huron, where supporters waited to see her "in a line stretching down the block." One supporter said, "She's what we're for. She's against the war in Iraq…Hillary doesn't crack under pressure." Another supporter remarked, "We really think she's going to pull it off in the end."
Read more.
On the Air in Montana: Hillary began airing her first television ad "Only One" in Montana: "She's the only one in this campaign who voted against the Bush energy bill against six billion dollars to the oil companies, the only one taking on the insurance companies to guarantee health coverage for every American and she's the one who'll end fifty five billion dollars in giveaways to corporate special interests and cut taxes for the middle class instead." Watch here.
Previewing Today: Hillary travels to Puerto Rico to host a rally in Old San Juan.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, May 30, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, did the demonstrations take place as planned?, the media looks at their own pre-war behaviors, and more.

Late yesterday Canada's Liberal Party issue "
Liberals Call on Government to Show Compassion for War Resisters."

The Liberal Opposition is calling on the Conservative government to support a motion that would allow conscientious objectors to apply for permanent resident status in Canada, said Liberal Citizenship and Immigration Critic Maurizio Bevilacqua. "Five years ago, the Liberal government made a principled decision not to participate in a war that wasn't sanctioned by the United Nations (U.N.). We should not now punish individuals and their families for making the same decision based on their personal principles," said Mr. Bevilacqua. The motion, which was passed by the Immigration Commmittee and is being debated in the House today, calls on the government to allow conscientious objectors, and their immediate family members, who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the U.N. and who do not have a criminal record to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada. The motion also stipulates that the government should not proceed with any action agains any war resister who currently faces deportation. "The government has a choice: it is not compelled to force these people to go back to a country where they may face prosecution under military law, or may be permanently branded for making a principled decision," said Mr. Bevilacqua. "Stephen Harper has indicated that, had he been Prime Minister in 2003, Canada would have participated in the Iraq war. I hope that the fact that Mr. Harper got it wrong at the time will not prevent him from showing compassion for those who made the right decision."

Kristen Thompson (Vancouver's Metro) reports that retired US Col and former US diplomat Ann Wright will be speaking in Vancouver Sunday "at an event honouring women war resisters". While Wright speaks up, many stay silent and war resisters in Canada today need support as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor. You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (http://us.f366.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=pm@pm.gc.ca -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (http://us.f366.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (http://us.f366.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses 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. Lahey quotes NDP's Oliva Chow, who steered the motion, explaining, "If (Liberal leader) Stephane Dion were to say tomorrow that he supports this motion . . . we will then debate it. So we need people to call Mr. Dion . . . 'whose side you on Mr. Dion'?" The number to call is (613) 996-5789.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, 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. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Dropping back to
this from the November 16, 2007 snapshot:Another reality that some (the press) has a hard time acknowledging is the number of service members electing to check out of the military on their own. AP reports that this year the desertion rate has jumped to "the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase" since the start of the illegal war. AP continues to deny reality by offering the claim that the US military does little to track down those who go AWOL or desert -- despite the mountain of public evidence to the contrary.As to the figure cited, September 21st, Nick Watt (ABC's Nighline) examined war resisters and noted the number of people being processed for desertion at Fort Knox "jumped 60% last year" (to 1,414 for Fort Knox -- US military figures) while concluding his report with, "If the total for the first six months of 2007 doubles by year end, it will become the highest annual total in twenty-six years." At 80% the total has more than doubled and not only is there another full month left in the year, it's also true that you have to be gone at least 30 days to be declared a deserter (unless you're Agustin Aguayo and the military wants to screw you over) and, in addition, the military figures have been 'lower' than they should be before (NPR caught that earlier this year) and the rolls aren't up to date for AWOL let alone desertion.

So last year saw the largest number of army desertions. What else did last year see?
Australia's ABC notes that the deaths of 115 members of the US army were classified as suicides "in 2007, the most in one year since the service began keeping records in 1980."
Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "The study found a 'significant relationship' between the risk of suicide to the number of days a soldier serves in Iraq and Afghanistan. About one-quarter died while serving in Iraq of Afghanistan, the report found. The largest percentage of suicides occurred during the first three months of a deployment to Iraq or Afghnistan, the report found. The largest percentage of suicide attempts came during the second quarter of deployment." Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic (ICH) observes, "These traumas return home with us and we carry them, sometimes hidden, for agonizing decades. They deeply impact our daily lives, and the lives closest to us. To kill another human being, to take another life out of this world with one pull of a trigger, is something that never leaves you. It is as if a part of you dies with that person. If you choose to keep on living, there may be a healing, and even hope and happiness again, but that scar and memory and sorrow will be with you forever. Why did the recruiters never mention these things? This was never in the slick pamphlets they gave us."


Turning to Iraq where the big question today was regarding cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who had called a demonstration to protest the treaty puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki and Bully Boy are attempting to work out (on al-Maliki's side it may or may be presented to the Parliament for approval; however, the White House made clear that the Constitutional provisions on treaties will be ignored). With speculation over al-Sadr's base (eroding or not), would his call for a protest be met or ignored? Thousands turned out today in Baghdad and throughout Iraq; however
Khalid al-Ansary (Reuters) states the "turnout on Friday was lower than past marches" in Baghdad which al-Sadr's spokespeople said resulted from "the protests . . . [being] widely spread through the country . . . [and] security forces prevented marches in some areas." AP reports, "The outcry could sharply heighten tensions over the proposal. The deal is supposed to be finished by July and replace the current U.N. mandate overseeing U.S.-led troops in Iraq." Robert H. Reid (AP) quotes sheik Assad al-Nassiri declaring in Kufa, "We denounce the government's intention to sign a long-term agreement with the occupying forces. Our army will be under their control in this agreement, and this will lead to them having permanent bases in Iraq." Nicholas Schifrin (ABC News) describes the scene in Baghdad: "As American helicopters hovered overhead, young and old men and even children flowed out of their weekly Friday prayers and began burning American flags and chanting 'no, no to America' and 'yes, yes to independence.' The residents carried posters of Moqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric whose Mahdi Army has fought against U.S. soldiers and who is accused of carrying out much of the violence here." Shifrin notes that Baghdad, Kufa, Basra, Amarah and Nasarriah are known to have demonstrations. Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) observes, "In Sadr City, followers set fire to an American flag and an image of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki in Saddam Hussein's green military uniform" while chanting, "A curse upon him who agrees! We are with you Sayyed Muqtada for liberating Iraq from the aggressors." The New York Times' Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Stephen Farrell (IHT, some version should be in tomorrow's Times) quote a Baghdad particpant who declares, "This isn't an Iraqi government, it's an American government. The Americans keep pressuring Maliki to carry out what they want. The agreement will only serve the Americans' interests" and they quote Parliamentarian Mahmoud Othman who feels the UN mandate should be allowed to run out (end of the year) and only then should any talks take place: "The negotiations now are not equal, and the results will be more for the benefit of America. To have a long term agreement with the Bush administration, which has five months to go, is wrong. The Iraqi government should wait fo rthe new American administration and then have an agreement with it." [Here it is at NYT but you know they vanish things so don't e-mail a day from now saying "It's not there!" if it's gone.] James Denselow (Guardian of London) observes, "Despite more than five years of state collapse, civil war and chaos the US still seems to believe that it is in a position to dictate what is best for Iraq. The deadline for the UN security council resolution 'allowing' US troops to be in the country expires at the end this year. US diplomats are today desperately trying to create a bilateral SOFA by the end of July in the face of wide-ranging opposition."

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .

Bombings?

Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Diyala Province mortar attack that claimed the lives of 3 women and left two men wounded, while a Buhrz roadside bombing claimed 1 life. Reuters notes a Baquba bombing that claimed the life of 1 child and left two more injured during a soccer game.

Shootings?

Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports police Col Ali Kadhim Salman was shot dead in Basra and an "Awakening" Council member was shot dead in Hibhib. Reuters notes the US military states they shot dead 1 man in Tarmiya and 1 man in Tikrit -- both were 'suspects.'



Turning to the media and Iraq. Earlier this week, CNN's Jessica Yellin -- while discussing the Scott McClellan book on Anderson Cooper's program -- spoke of the pressure she was under as a reporter from higher ups. Yesterday afternoon,
she posted at CNN to explain all those leaping to the conclusion that she was referring to ABC were wrong, she was referring to "my time on MSNBC where I worked during the lead up to the war. I worked as a segment producer, overnight anchor, field reporter, and briefly covered the White House, the Pentagon, and general Washington stories." Media Matters notes that on NBC's Today show, guest (and former host) Katie Couric and Matt Lauer disagreed about pressure from the administration during that period.

Katie Couric: Well, we have different points of view, and I'll start by saying I think he's fairly accurate. Matt, I know when we were covering it -- and granted, the spirit of 9-11, people were unified and upset and angry and frustrated -- but I do think we were remiss in not asking some of the right questions. There was a lot pressure from the Bush White House. I remember doing an interview and the press secretary called our executive producer and said, "We didn't like the tone of that interview." And we said, "Well, tough. We had to ask some of these questions." They said, "Well, if you keep it up, we're going to block access to you during the war." I mean, those kind of strong-arm tactics were ... really inappropriate.

Who's right and who's wrong? Try who's truthful on top of that. Couric is telling the truth. Lauer (Poppy Bush's golfing partner and so much more) is lying. Ava and I covered the reality of Today during the lead up to the war in 2006 ("
TV: Katie Was a Cheerleader"). And to add that, while Couric and others pressed for more to be done (Today's staff fought like hell to present a wide ranging picture), Lauer didn't give a damn. You didn't get that story from Michael Moore and why the hell aren't we surprised?

Less noted was another telling moment.
Todd Purdum (Vanity Fair) examines his own various reactions to the book and concludes: "I do know one thing: even the slightest distance from an all-powerful institution like the White House (or a big corporation, or The New York Times) can produce a sudden, even stunning, clarity of feeling about all that was wrong with the place, and a terrific sense of liberation at being freed from it."


Turning to US political races.
Panhandle Media is a complete utter failure and they damaged not only themselves, they damaged the work of the few truly independent journalists who actually work. John Pilger is one of the few and you can view the hatred in the comments (some of which may be deleted when this goes up) his article (New Statesman) has received. Pilger's not doing anything different than what he has always done, be a journalist. But those who pretend to be his peers have so debased 'independent' media that the real independent journalists have to put up with nonsense from the Cult Panhandle Media built. From Pilger's article (and, note, Pilger would be just as harsh on Hillary and has been before):

On the war in Iraq, Obama the dove and McCain the hawk are almost united. McCain now says he wants US troops to leave in five years (instead of "100 years", his earlier option). Obama has now "reserved the right" to change his pledge to get troops out next year. "I will listen to our commanders on the ground," he now says, echoing Bush. His adviser on Iraq, Colin Kahl, says the US should maintain up to 80,000 troops in Iraq until 2010. Like McCain, Obama has voted repeatedly in the Senate to support Bush's demands for funding of the occupation of Iraq; and he has called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. His senior advisers embrace McCain's proposal for an aggressive "league of democracies", led by the United States, to circumvent the United Nations.

[ . . .]

Despite claiming that his campaign wealth comes from small individual donors, Obama is backed by the biggest Wall Street firms: Goldman Sachs, UBS AG, Lehman Brothers, J P Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, as well as the huge hedge fund Citadel Investment Group. "Seven of the Obama campaign's top 14 donors," wrote the investigator Pam Martens, "consisted of officers and employees of the same Wall Street firms charged time and again with looting the public and newly implicated in originating and/or bundling fraudulently made mortgages." A report by United for a Fair Economy, a non-profit group, estimates the total loss to poor Americans of colour who took out sub-prime loans as being between $164bn and $213bn: the greatest loss of wealth ever recorded for people of colour in the United States. "Washington lobbyists haven't funded my campaign," said Obama in January, "they won't run my White House and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president." According to files held by the Centre for Responsive Politics, the top five contributors to the Obama campaign are registered corporate lobbysits.
What is Obama's attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy's. By offering a "new", young and apparently progressive face of the Democratic Party -- with the bonus of being a member of the black elite -- he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell's role as Bush's secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US anti-war and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent.

Meanwhile Barack is in trouble despite the efforts of
John McCormick and Manya A. Brachear (Chicago Tribune) to rescue him. Another crackpot Barack friend, mentor and supporter (as noted in yesterday's snapshot) showed their ass: Michael Pfleger. Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite maintains that she spoke at Trinity (Barack's church) Sunday as well (different services -- Trinity has mutliple services each Sunday) and writes: "We in the United Church of Christ are trying to have what we call 'A Sacred Conversation on Race' and I did not find Pfleger's sermon to represent what we in the UCC are trying to do in having a sacred conversation. Instead, Pfleger's sermon was a bullying rant that was disrespectufl of the members of Trinity United Church of Christ, disrespectful of Senator Hillary Clinton and really also disrepectful of Senator Obama" blah blah. SBT, you lost it. You were making sense and then you had to toss out poor Barack. Poor Barack's been friends with Pfleger since Barack first breezed into Chicago over a decade ago. Also, the members you are offended for, the video shows no booing. Clapping, yes. If SBT is not the most embarrassing person in all of this named Barack or Pfleger, that's only because Senator Dick Durbin had to butt into it. He told the Chicago Tribune, "I like Mike. He's my friend." You need to find some better friends, Durbin. He almost outs himself in his vast wordage. What's the difference between Jeremiah Wright and Pfleger? Pfleger's White and that's it. They both 'preached' hate speech. But Wright, according to Durbin, allowed for 'marvelous' opportunities because Barack dould say, 'What's he so angry about?' And a race conversation, according to Durbin, could begin. That conversation never took place. But here's where Durbin clams up -- obviously when you ask, "What's he so angry about?" regarding Pfleger, you can't point to this and that and everything else that was trotted out for Wright's crackpot theories such as the US government created AIDS to wipe out African-Americans. Pfleger's just a hate monger.

Jake Tapper (ABC News) quotes Cardinal Francis George of the Archidoces of Chicago in this statement: "The Catholic Church does not endorse political candidates. Consequently, while a priest must speak to political issues that are also moral, he may not endorse candidates nor engage in partisan campaigning. Racial issues are both political and moral and are also highly charged. Words can be differently interpreted, but Fr. Pfleger's remarks about Senator Clinton are both partisan and amount to a personal attack. I regret that deeply." All the links contain text (and most video) of Pfleger's hate speech yesterday. This was Barack's response: "As I have traveled this country, I've been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that unites us. That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-thinking rhetoric, which doesn't reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause." That's not an apology.

Here's an apology Barack: "
This will be the second time in two weeks I have apologized to someone over the actions of a Roman Catholic Priest. It is not a pleasant thing but it is the right thing. Rev. Michael Pfleger had no business giving any kind of sermon like the one he did ridiculing Hillary Clinton let alone giving a sermon anywhere else than in his own Parish at a Mass. This kind of grandstanding mockery of another human being is totally against the Catholic faith and the spirit of inclusivity and respect for all human beings that Catholics hold dear. He has sinned against God, Hillary, and his priesthood for which an apology is not enough. I hope he has scheduled a confession and a retreat to rethink his role as Priest would not hurt either. To Mrs. Clinton I apologize as a Roman Catholic and am embarassed by this priests words and actions. I have no idea his motivations but please do not take this man's view nor his words as that reflecting Catholics, or the Catholic Church." That's Catherine J. writing at Gather. She didn't do anything requiring an apology. She and Pfleger are the same faith. But she wanted to apologize and she offered a real and heartfelt one. That's an apology. What Barack offered was sop and insulting. His friend for over twenty years, his patron, his mentor, a part of his campaing (until weeks ago -- as all the media rushes to insist) trashed Hillary Clinton and others in despicable terms, in outrageous sexist slander and did so at Barack's church of 20 years -- to the applause and shouts of encouragement from Barack's church. He owes an apology. But he's never been forced by the press to apologize once. He's never apologized to anyone. "I regret . . ." That's not an apology, it's a declined invitation. That's Barack's buddy offering that hate speech. Barack steered $100,000 of tax-payer money to the crackpot's church. Yeah, he owes a big apology.

Pfleger thinks he can get away with this crap as well.
CNN notes his 'apology': "I regret the words I chose on Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama's life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them." He doesn't regret anything. He thought he was cute as he minced around and did his little parody of women on stage. You can watch the video and see him grinning. (Liars at the Chicago Tribune tell you he was rushed off stage by organ music -- that's a lie. Watch the video. There is a time lapse and no organ music is played to tell him to wrap it up.) Foon Rhee (Boston Globe) reports the Clinton campaign's Ann Lewis declared on MSNBC, "I'm not sure what the 'if' was about" -- Pfleger's statements are "simply appalling."

John Bentley (CBS News) notes Senator John McCain (presumed GOP presidential nominee) stating, "I have known Sen. Clinton for a long time. I respect her, and I think that kind of language and that kind of treatment of Sen. Clinton is unwarranted, uncalled for, and disgraceful." Barack could have said that but chose not to. If it's a race between McCain and Obama in November, McCain's ahead currently because spoiled little princes aren't generally embraced by America. As Ken Dilanian (USA Today) points out, "Obama has not specifically addressed what Pfleger said about Clinton."

Hillary's still in the race and she's winning the popular vote.
Fabien Levy (HillaryClinton.com) observes, "Wild weather did not stop residents of Huron from coming out to see Hillary on Thursday. Droves of voters turned out to see Hillary at Campbell Park, but due to inclement weather the event was moved into the Huron Events Center. Once inside, a packed house heard Hillary speak directly about the issues including our broken economy, the war in Iraq, veteran's affairs and universal health care." Huron, South Dakota, bit of trivia, is where Cheryl Ladd was born. So there's the trivia and now for the important take-away. The primaries will end with neither Hillary or Barack having enough delegates awarded (through primaries and caucuses) to calim the nomination. The race should continue to the convention in August. Some are trying to stop democracy, some don't trust the voters, some don't trust Democrats. Apparently, Democrats gathering together in Colorado this August is a frightening thought to Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean and Harry Reid. Oh goodness, the trio worries, what might they do! They might ensure that the people are heard. Shame on anyone who attempts to end this historic race before the finish line is reached. Michael P. Forbes (Austin-American Stateman) tells you what Pelosi, Reid and Dean can't and won't:

As the last primary votes are cast on Tuesday, some will want a coronation before the will of the Democratic Convention has been adjudicated.There will be very loud and very determined illegitimate calls for Clinton to bow out. They will cry of suspect pleas to party unity and ill-conceived suggestions that a prolonged nominating process -- one that rightfully should go to decisive balloting for president at the Democratic Convention from August 25-28 -- is harmful to the party. That's baloney. The excitement of this Democratic primary season as attested to by burgeoning party coffers and unprecedented levels of voter participation serve to reinvigorate the national Democratic Party after 12 years of Republican reign in Congress and eight years of a very unpopular Republican president. With daily reminders at the gas pump and in the grocery store of an ailing economy and two wars abroad, Americans are more than ready to put Democrats back in the White House. A national dialogue that continues all the way to the Democratic Convention on the attributes and abilities of Clinton and Obama and who is the Democrat most competent to be president is healthy for the political process and advantageous to the nation.







mcclatchy newspapers


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Get the message

Yesterday, all sites posted an article. For any wondering about 2004 links or May polling links, you can refer to C.I.'s Friday "Iraq snapshot" which covered it then. The article can be found at:

"Hillary's the only choice"

And from Womens Media Center:



Sexism Might Sell, But I'm Not Buying It!

On May 23, The Women's Media Center, along with our partners at Media Matters, launched, "Sexism Sells, But We're Not Buying It," a new video and online petition campaign illustrating the pervasive nature of sexism in the media's coverage. While Hillary Clinton's campaign has cast a spotlight on the issue of sexism, this isn't a partisan issue: it's about making sure that women's voices are present and powerful in our national dialogue. If you haven't already, please click on the image at right to watch the video. You can also read a statement about the video from WMC president Carol Jenkins. Then sign on below to join our petition campaign.

Let's send a message to the media:

Sexism Might Sell, But We're Not Buying It!


Only Hillary can win in November

The cruelest and most vile word you can call a Democrat contains five, not four, letters: Loser. They certainly work hard to earn that word, over and over. They're working just as hard this primary cycle as they avoid the obvious warning signs attached to Barack Obama.

Friday, CBS News online featured a discussion with Doug Schoen who played it suprisingly straight. The spin came via CBS: "A lot of Obama partisans have argued that his weaknesses are exaggerated right now in the heat of a primary battle. They say that in this environment in which 80 percent of the public thinks we're on the wrong track, Bush has the highest disapproval of any President in modern history, that this is a Democratic year and Obama will do fine."

A new map! A new math! A new day! Somebody fire up Nina Simone on the boom box.

Setting aside Barack's weaknesses for a moment, let's zoom in on how his groupies insist that "this is an enverionment in which 80 percent of the public thinks we're on the wrong track," Bully Boy has high disapproval number and that somehow means "this is a Democratic year and Obama will do fine." Those are the claims. What is reality?

This time four years ago (May 24, 2004), CBS News was reporting on something similar. John Kerry was already the Democratic nominee due to the fact that others had suspended their campaigns and he'd been awarded the magic number of delegates from primaries and caucuses. And the word was Kerry couldn't lose! CBS News was pointing out the most recent polling: 65% of Americans said the United States was on the "wrong track." 65% was considered a death blow to the Bully Boy and a sure sign that the White House would change parties following the November 2004 election. For those who missed it, Kerry has never been introduced with this prefaced: "Ladies and gentelmen, the president of the United States . . ."

80% is being sold as "significant" today the same way 65% was sold as "significant" four years ago. It's a fifteen percent increase. Bully Boy's disapproval rating at this point in 2004 stood at 41%. Polling this month places dispproval at a range of 28% to 33%. Accepting the highest number of 33%, that's an 8% increase in the number of people who disapprove of the Bully Boy. When you consider his gross misconduct in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the departure of Scooter Libby from his administration over the outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame, the scandalous firing of attorneys across the country, the continued illegal war in Iraq and so much more, an eight percent increase in four years is not "significant," it's appalling and should make all on the left grasp that a segment of the country will never see things the way they are.

In four years, that's all that's really happened. A 15% increase in the number of Americans saying the country is on the "wrong track" and an 8% increase in Bully Boy's unfavorable ratings. Here's another fact: Bully Boy is not running for re-election. The Constitution limits presidents to two terms. The most likely candidate for the GOP's presidential nomaintion will be John McCain. Despite MoveOn and others efforts to prtend otherwise, Bully Boy is not John McCain.

Aged Socialite's Cat Littler Box sent up a stink this month as the always useless socialite declared that John McCain did not vote for Bully Boy in 2000. McCain denied that and the socialite couldn't let it go -- you'd have thought she was again being accused of assembling George Clooney quotes from various interviews and insisting he'd blogged at her site. While she just knew she had him in the crosshairs, all she did was remind everyone of the very real differences between McCain and the Bully Boy in 2000. That included smearing the adopted child of John and Cindy McCain. Way to go, socialite, you thought you were questioning his honesty and all you did was demonstrate how far from Bully Boy he was.

John McCain's last name is not "Bush" and he is his own person. Sober detractors of McCain (that would include us) are fully aware of that fact. Of all the insane "hopes" coming from the Obama campaign, the most lunatic one may be their belief that they can convince the American people that McCain is Bully Boy. There is no proof that they can do that and it seems highly unlikely. File it under "pipe dream."

That is not a planning for winning it's a tactic that might or might not work as part of a larger strategy. Its problems include that the only real basis for drawing the comparison is that both men are Republicans and that tactic could very likely backfire in terms of turning off swing voters or, for that matter, people who voted for Bully Boy in 2000 or 2004 which includes a huge number of people.

John Kerry ran a weak presidential campaign and lessons should have been learned from that but were not. If Barack thinks "catty" is the way to shore up male votes, he's doing a fine job. But "catty" is all his carping at John McCain has been thus far -- despite his groupies insisting he's delivering "knock out blows." That's as ludicrous as the claim that he's got a rapid response team when this month saw him wait an entire news cycle to respond to a charge from John McCain.

The "change" campaign seems to think, if Barack steals the nomination, the general election match up will be some sort of Neely O'Hare vs. Helen Lawson in the ladies' room exchange. Already the Barack campaign can't shut up about McCain's age. A clue to the Barack campaign, an underage teenager attempting to purchase liquor really doesn't need to point and scream at some "old' man, it only draws attention to extreme youth -- some might say "immaturity."

As Barack's insisted upon playing Alexis Carrington, John McCain's already landed one body blow the "hope" and "unity" and "change" campaign:

First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama's attack today. He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama campaigning. We have all become familiar with Senator Obama's new brand of politics. First, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him, distort his record and send out surrogates to question his integrity. It is called hypocrisy, and it is the oldest kind of politics there is. It is important to focus on what Senator Obama is attempting to do here: He is trying desperately to delegitimize the discussion of issues that raise legitimate questions about his judgement and preparedness to be President of the United States. Through their actions and words, Senator Obama and his supporters have made clear that ANY criticism on ANY issue -- from his desire to raise taxes on millions of small investors to his radical plans to sit down face-to-face with Iranian President Ahmadinejad -- constitute negative, personal attacks. Senator Obama is hopeful that the media will continue to form a protective barrier around him, declaring serious limits to the questions, discussion and debate in this race. Senator Obama has good reason to think this plan will succeed, as serious journalists have written off the need for 'de-tox' to cure 'swooning' over Senator Obama, and others have admitted to losing their objectivity while with him on the campaign trail.



In PDF form, that memo can be found here. To put into the juvenile language that The Cult of Barack can understand: McCain just pantsed your candidate.

The McCain campaign has Barack's act down pat. And it's one the entire country has seen over and over. Barack can write about his use of drugs in two books, he can crack jokes about his drug use to Jay Leno on NBC's The Tonight Show, but when anyone else mentions it -- even when questioned on it repeatedly by Chris Matthews with the Obama campaign's David Axelrod present -- suddenly the whining starts, suddenly it's time for a two-year-old tantrum and, most importantly, it's time for all the ones on the floor, kicking their legs in the air, to falsely cry "racism."

That is the tactic the Obama campaign deployed non-stop in the primary season. Surprising considering that they could make racist remarks ("punjab") and they could and did practice homophobia. But they always whined "racism." The campaign did, they egged on reporters with quotes and memos. Barack pretended to stay out of it. Then, when the controversy died, Barack would issue some statement about how he didn't think the person was a racist and would win applause from the press for that -- as if his campaign hadn't pushed the issue, as if he had truly remained out of it.

Hillary's New Hampshire win freaked the Obama campaign out. At that point, African-Americans were still unsure of him and South Carolina was coming up. What better way to make the bi-racial Barack appear part of the African-American community (without offering a damn thing that would benefit the African-American community) then by painting him as the victim of racists? New Hampshire was a big scare for the Obama campaign. The exit polls demonstrated that those who broke for Hillary at the last minute cited the debate performance. As everyone has now seen repeatedly, Barack can't handle a debate. A fact that should frighten the DNC because he won't be able to pout, stamp his feet and cry "No more debates" as a general election nominee.

The usual pathetics tried to pretend otherwise at the time. Non-Democrat Matthew Rothschild was spinning hard the day after the debate claiming "Obama played it cool throughout and projected calmness" but the day after the primary, of the same debate, the same Rothschild was admitting to "Obama's lackluster debate performance Saturday night".
Yes, it was pretty bad. So the Obama campaign had to discredit Hillary's win and they dispatched Jesse Jackson Jr. to MSNBC (January 9th), after the New Hampshire primary to stumble and fumble and attack. He didn't just accuse her of winning due to her eyes moistening (the moment was overplayed by the national media and barely registered in New Hampshire), he had to attack her as racist and vain insisting she had cried (she didn't):

Not in response to voters resp-, uh, not-not in response to Katrina, not in response to uh-uh other issues that have devastated the American people, the war in Iraq, we saw tears in response to her apprearance. So her appearance brought her to tears --

Here's what he's referring to and you'll note when her eyes moisten:

Hillary Clinton: And I couldn't do if it I just didn't passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know I have so many opportunities from this country [the eyes tear] I just don't want to see us fall backwards. You know? So. This is very personal for me. It's not just political, it's not just public. I see what's happening and we have to reverse it. And some people think elections are a game, it's like, who's up and who's down. It's about our country, it's about our kid's futures, and it's really about all of us together. You know some of us put ourselves and do this against some [sardonoic voice] difficult odds, and we do it, each one of us because we care about our country. But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not. Some of us know what we will do on day one and some of us haven't really thought that through enough. And so when we look at the array of problems we have and the potential for really spinning out of control, this is one of the most important elections America has ever faced. So [smiling] as tired as I am, and I am, and as difficult as it is to keep up what I try to do on the road like occassionally exercise, and try to eat right, it's tough when the easiest food is pizza, I just believe so strongly in who we are as a nation. So I'm going to do everything I can to make my case and then the voters get to decide.

But it was necessary for Jesse Jackson Jr. to lie, to attack Hillary for alleged vanity, and to tar her as a racist. Jackson Jr. is the co-chair of Obama's national campaign. To insist Hillary was vain, he had to distort but what a charge coming from Jackson Jr. Ebony reported he had "undergone bariatric surgery in 2004 . . . He began to tell me about the procedure he went through, something called a DS or duodenal switch." Jesse Jackson Jr. went under the knife to have two-thirds of his stomach removed in order to 'lose' weight. And he got away with calling anyone else vain? Fatty couldn't put down the fork and needed a 'slimming' surgery for his own vainity and he wants to finger-point at someone else? In a real media, you would have heard howls of laughter greeting Junior's appearence.

But the campaign was just gearing up. Bill Clinton declared that Barack's stance on the Iraq War was a "fairy tale" and, apparently reading a different version of Brothers Grimm than the rest of us, numerous Barack supporters began insisting "fairy tale" was racist. (Someone wake up Sleeping Beauty with that news.)


The Chicago Tribune has the video and text online and here's what Bill Clinton said with links of support:



"But since you raised the judgment issue, let's go over this again. That is the central argument for his campaign. 'It doesn't matter that I started running for president less a year after I got to the Senate from the Illinois State Senate. I am a great speaker and a charismatic figure and I'm the only one who had the judgment to oppose this war from the beginning. Always, always, always.' " "First it is factually not true that everybody that supported that resolution supported Bush attacking Iraq before the UN inspectors were through. Chuck Hagel was one of the co-authors of that resolution. The only Republican Senator that always opposed the war. Every day from the get-go. He authored the resolution to say that Bush could go to war only if they didn't co-operate with the inspectors and he was assured personally by Condi Rice as many of the other Senators were. So, first the case is wrong that way." "Second, it is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, numerating the years, and never got asked one time, not once, 'Well, how could you say, that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your website in 2004* and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since?' Give me a break. "This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen...So you can talk about Mark Penn all you want. What did you think about the Obama thing calling Hillary the Senator from Punjab? Did you like that?" "Or what about the Obama hand out that was covered up, the press never reported on, implying that I was a crook? Scouring me, scathing criticism, over my financial reports. Ken Starr spent $70 million and indicted innocent people to find out that I wouldn't take a nickel to see the cow jump over the moon. "So, you can take a shot at Mark Penn if you want. It wasn't his best day. He was hurt, he felt badly that we didn't do better in Iowa. But you know, the idea that one of these campaigns is positive and the other is negative when I know the reverse is true and I have seen it and I have been blistered by it for months, is a little tough to take. Just because of the sanitizing coverage that's in the media, doesn't mean the facts aren't out there. "

Non-Democrat and Panhandle Media beggar Matthew Rothschild insisted it was racism, it wasn't. It was the truth and Bill Clinton is only mistaken on one thing, it was 2003 when Barack vanished his speech in the midst of Barack's US Senate campaign.

Douglas Wilder, who left the Democratic Party a decade ago, is a big Barack supporter and can never miss the opportunity to LIE like the old fool he is. (For the record, non-Democrats should have no say in the Democratic Party's primaries.) Sounding like the idiot that he is, Wilder sobbed, "Barack Obama is not a fairy tale. He is real." It was a very "If you believe, clap your hands; don't let Tink die" moment. In January and February, that strategy appeared to work. Had the general election been held then, Barack might be able to win the White House.

The general election takes place in November. People have seen the race card played falsely and are sick of it. Barack infamously declared in San Francisco that his problem with Small Town Americans was that they clung to God, guns, anti-immigration and anti-free trade beliefs. The press allowed him to later spin that as he wasn't insulting them. He believes in God too! By refusing to hold him accountable for the last two comparisons, they spun it as no big deal. Voters, of course, felt otherwise. Which is why Hillary won Indiana, which is why she blew Barack out of the water in West Virginia and which is why she won Kentucky by over 35% of the votes.

Barack's not the nominee and he's no longer the strongest candidate. The wind went out of his sails some time ago. Big Tent Democrat (TalkLeft), who believes Barack will be the nominee, notes of three recent polls, "Forget for a moment that Clinton is beating McCain in these same polls, excuse me, is no one but me worried about needing a unified Democratic Party in November?" Forget for a moment? The coronation hasn't taken place, despite media claims. There is no reason for the Democratic Party -- other than it's desire to yet again be labeled "Loser!" -- to go with the weaker nominee. Hillary leads in the popular vote.

This lead comes as the empty slogans and other revelations take the hot air out of Barack's balloon. Hillary's leading in the popular vote and doing so after non-stop sexist attacks in the media and from the Obama campaign. She's doing so -- and here's the real untold story -- despite a two-year campaign by Panhandle Media to rip her apart and push Barack. The link goes to a KPFA 'analysis' of the Texas debate. Host Larry Benksy invited on various guests and listeners were under the impression that they were getting a fair analysis. If they really believed that the reason is the guest list was limited to Barack supporters -- people who had publicly endorsed Barack -- yet the guests weren't identified as Barack supporters. Multiple 'experts' and they all agreed Barack won the debate (polling felt otherwise). Two hours of propaganada on US public airwaves, on the US tax dollar. (KPFA is 'public' radio.) Panhandle Media loves to lecture Real Media about ethics but they don't even have the ethics to tell listeners that every guest has endorsed Barack? To point out that, of course, every 'expert' is going to insult Hillary and praise Barack, the 'experts' on air have already endorsed Barack?

Pathetic Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! (also on the public dole) pulled the same crap. As Ava and C.I. noted in January, 'reporters' and 'experts' were brought on and they were never required to disclose who they were supporting and attacks on Hillary didn't require Goodman stating, "We attempted to contact the Hillary campaign." For those not familiar, Goody's the 'journalist' who wanted to lecture Judith Miller about ethics. Wasn't it a conflict of interest for Goody to bring Melissa Harris-Lacewell on as an unbiased observer for the January 7th broadcast. Since Harris-Lacewell was already supporting Barack, had traveled around the country (including California in 2007) to campaign for him, shouldn't Goodman (who knew from Rev. Jesse Jackson's radio show that Harris-Lacewell was part of the Obama campaign) have informed her audience of that? Shouldn't Harris-Lacewell have disclosed that herself? Neither woman thought it was important. It would hurt their propaganda efforts. It would, for example, undercut 'impartial' Harris-Lacewell gushing of a Barack speech she 'just happened' to catch, "I was in Nashua at Barack Obama's really packed speech. And we got there about two hours early and stood in line. I had my five-year-old daughter with me, and she stood in line that whole time. Along with me was lots of other older people who were using canes, young people, infants. And it was an incredibly moving and powerful experience. And also, again, just sort of--it was a cross between, you know, the 'I Have a Dream' speech and a high school football pep rally. It was a bizarre, but really kind of exciting mixture." As she tossed out smaller morsels to John Edwards and Ron Paul, she had nothing kind to say about Hillary. Just by accident, just by happen-stance, you understand. (Non-journalist Harris-Lacewell would appear as part of a journalism roundtable on The Charlie Rose in February and it wouldn't be disclosed to viewers that she was part of the Barack campaign. All others were journalists, it sure was nice of Charlie -- also on the public dole -- to make room at the table for someone working for Barack's campaign while denying a place for anyone from Hillary's campaign.) Goodman, in fact, booked Barack supporters non-stop beginning in 2006. They were brought on for that reason, which is why the long conversations always got to that point. Hillary was ripped apart non-stop and Goodman never included any examples of sexism in her headlines. To discuss the Nevada caucus she brought on 'objective' journalist -- one she never told her audience was supporting Barack and had written such 'reporting' as "Hillary's hearing voices." The deck was stacked. The playing field was slanted.

Goodman's not a Democrat. She frequently bills herself as a "movement baby" and she means Communist Party movement. It sure is interesting how many non-Democrats in Panhandle Media have felt the need to get involved. Take self-loathing lesbian Laura Flanders who is not a Democrat (she didn't vote for Gore in 2000 or Kerry in 2004). When Barack used homophobia in South Carolina, Flanders (who, apparently, today is only out to the gay press but when she was on air in San Francisco for years with the local NPR's Your Call, she didn't hide in a sexual closet) urged Barack to . . . break with Richard Daley. The same Daley Michelle Obama worked for, the same one Michelle's family has long ties to and, as a matter of fact, so does Barack. Intelligence isn't an asset of Flanders' nor is self-respect. She, to this day, has refused to call him out for using homophobia to scare up votes in South Carolina. She's far from the only one. The co-author of one of the few reports on that was interviewed by Amy Goodman -- when the article was in the current issue of The Progressive -- and Goodman never found time to ask him about it. But then Goodman never made time to include the fact that groups were protesting the announcement of Barack inviting four homophobes for a campaign event or that, when the event took place, it was picketed.

Panhandle Media has worked themselves into a frenzy to pimp (we'll use the term) Barack while slamming and smearing Hillary. Amy Goodman pumped John Nichols about a 'story' before a broadcast, she then let him repeat his smear on air and there was never truth to it (which is why Nichols never wrote a word about it) but when Barack was under fire from the Real Press for his campaign telling the govenrment of Canada not to worry about Barack's public remarks about NAFTA, Panhandle Media had to find some way to smear Hillary so that their candidate of choice didn't look bad.

One doesn't need to read the print edition of The Nation, just flip through the covers of the last two years and it will register how hard the magazine has worked to tear apart Hillary while lavishing Barack with (undeserved) praise. As Ruth noted in real time, The Nation's Patricia J. Williams went on KPFA February 23, 2007 determined to lie for Barack: "Ms. Williams had hopped on board the Obama train and was bound and determined to ride it all the way home. The ride meant that she cut off a caller with a 'correction' that was not a correction. The caller felt that Senator Barack Obama had not taken a strong enough stand against the current war with Iraq or the propsective war with Iran. As the caller spoke, very emotionally, Professor Williams thought she was in her classrom and in control, so she snapped, 'He did not vote for the war!' Well, no, he did not vote for the authorization because he was not in Congress in 2002. He has yet to complete his first term in Congress. But he has voted for the continued funding of it. The woman, the caller, was making some very important points and, whether it was because she could be heard as 'foreigner' or because she was not a professor, Professor Williams had no problem stepping all over her. Something, by the way, that I strongly encourage Ms.[Andrea] Lewis to do the next time, in a single answer, Ms. Williams hits her third long pause and twelth 'uh' in a row." Consider that caller the first thrown under the bus by the Obama campaign.

Panhandle Media is where Barack got the push for his presidential campaign, it's where interference has been run for him, and it is where any lie or smear can be told about Hillary (and will be told). Forget the mainstream media for a moment because this is where the hatred of Hillary bubbled up and it is the least remarked upon point of the current contest. Panhandle Media is not staffed with "Democrats." (Even Obama's 'official campaign blogger' -- hailing from Panhandle Media -- is not a Democrat.) It's apparently not staffed with liberals either judging by the attacks on liberals Peter Hart and Bill Fletcher Jr. engaged in two Fridays ago on CounterSpin. (Bill Fletcher's in the political closet these days and lamented recently to Amy Goodman about all the "red baiting" going on. When you have repeatedly and publicly praised the Communist Party, it's not "red baiting" to note what you are. If you'd known Barack would run for president ahead of time, maybe you wouldn't be on record as late as two years ago marveling over the Communist Party? That's your problem, not our problem.)

Panhandle Media likes to hide behind the label "progressive." All should be required to go on record as exactly what party they belong to. They have no business in a Democratic Party primary making endorsements and hiding behind the illusion that they are Democrats if they're not and, tip, the bulk are not. Hart and Fletcher attacking liberals should have been your first clue. Liberals and Democrats are not 'good enough' for 'radicals' (an imprecise term but one they use interchangeably with 'progressives'). Panhandle Media has poisoned the well against Hillary -- they've poisoned the wells of democracy and journalism also -- and a large number of their audience think they're hearing Democrats critiquing Hillary. They are hearing (or reading) no such thing. There is nothing with a "radical" (Communist or Socialist) critique of the Democratic Party. But that's not what they've offered. What they've offered is holding Democratic Hillary Clinton up to a radical critique and offering passes for Barack Obama. They are the ones who got the ball rolling, they are the ones who matched the Barack campaign up with Facebook (via Katrina vanden Heuvel's steering of the Roosevelt Institution). It's been done in the dark and in the shadows and it's the most under-reported dynamic of this campaign season. To be clear, some working in Panhandle Media are Democrats. There's Eric Alterman, for example. After him, however, you'd be hard pressed to name another. And if they were open about, if they were honest about it, it would be no problem. Consumers of Panhandle Media would stumble across one of their non-stop attacks on Hillary Clinton and think, for example, "Well that's the Communist Party line on Clinton." Instead, they are tricked into assuming that these critics are part of the Democratic Party when they are not.

Bill Flectcher can moan all he wants that he's being "red-baited." There's no reason why he can't be honest with people about who he is politically (he never had a problem doing so until recently). When you start endorsing in a Democratic Party, people have a right to know if you are or are not a Democrat. If a closeted Republican was supporting Hillary, you better believe Panhandle Media would be exposing the person. There's no special pass for Communists and Socialists that allow them to hide in the closet if they insist upon endorsing during a Democratic Party's primary. The primary is for Democrats. You can endorse in a general election but, if you're not a Democrat, you either butt out of the primary or you get used to the fact that people have a right to know whether you're a Democrat or not. And if you're not, "progressive" isn't the lable you can hide behind.

Trickery and deceit has been behind the attacks on Hillary and we can't close that discussion down without a special note on Betsy Reed. For those who missed it, Betsy Reed felt the need to slam Hillary at the start of the month and tell America that, in Betsy's 'radical' eyes, Hillary wasn't a feminist! Pretty big charge coming from closeted Betsy who is the executive-editor of The Nation magaine. For those not in the know, that means Besty is responsible for the magazine publishing 491 men, 149 women in 2007. Besty Reed might better spend her time in her political clost asking herself why any woman would give a damn what she has to say when she has actively used her position of executive editor to prevent women from being published? Women made up less than one-third of the bylines in 2007 and Betsy thinks she can question any other woman's feminist credentials? What world is she living in?

In the real world, neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will conclude the primary season with enough delegates awarded to them to take the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. By rules and guidelines, it's on to the convention. [As John Mashek (US News & World Reports pointed out following John Edwards endorsement, "Truth be told, it really doesn't matter at this late hour. Edwards holds a meager handful of pledged delegates, and even they can act as free agents at the convention in Denver." That's actually true of all delegates on the convention floor.] The markers are not good for Barack. The bloom is off his rose. Hillary leads in the popular vote. (For a ridiculous example of how Panhandle Media and 'non-partisans' work hard to disguise that fact, see this article by Ava and C.I. and note that the e-mail exchange from FairVote acknowledges Hillary's in the lead even if FairVote refuses to do so on air.) There's a great deal of hype, lying and trickery going on. If Barack were the nominee Real Media and Panhandle Media declared long ago, he wouldn't be losing any primaries today. But that's what's happening and it's because he is not the nominee or even the choice of Democrats. Hillary leads in the popular vote. She's carried the big states. She's carried the swing states. She is the strongest candidate. By all markers, it is her nomination unless the Democratic Party intends to allow itself to be taken over by non-Democrats in some insane desire to lose in 2008.



-- The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
and Marcia SICKOFITRDLZ.
All of the above except Jess are Democrats. Jess is a Green. See, Panhandle Media, it's not that hard to disclose your political party.


the common ills
the third estate sunday review
like maria said pazkats kornersex and politics and screeds and attitudetrinas kitchenthe daily jotcedrics big mixmikey likes itthomas friedman is a great manruths reportsickofitradlz