This is a blog by someone rejecting the status quo, for people who live for progress. These are my thoughts; We'll see where they go.
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Mar 13

Senator Clinton Isn’t A Republican, As Far As I Know (Repost)

by Bob Cesca

Winston Churchill wrote: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

The big lie — the “ultimate fear bomb,” as Michelle Obama put it — is this notion that Senator Obama, despite being a Christian and a patriot, isn’t who we says he is. I’m referencing, of course, this ridiculous e-mail whisper campaign which continues to make its roundelay through the tubes. In fact, a friend of a friend who continues to inexplicably open anything with a “Fw:” in the subject line actually e-mailed the goddamn thing to me last week. I’ve since set up an Outlook Express message rule that automatically obliterates any e-mail containing the words “madrassa” and “Hussein.” If Outlook was able to somehow sniff out horseshit, I’d be leaning on that message rule as well. Yet between this awful viral blast and the on-going fear-bombing with regards to the senator’s name, the fact that he’s achieved an uninterrupted lead in the popular vote and the pledged delegate tally is a testament to the unstoppable power of his campaign.

What’s more shocking than the psychonaut tenacity of the whisper pandemic about Senator Obama is that it’s far more plausible that Senator Clinton is a Republican Manchurian Candidate.

Now, I’m not suggesting that Senator Clinton is really a Republican. As far as I know, and I take her at her word.

But just for the hell of it, let’s read the record.

When Senator Clinton was a senior in high school, she was a member of Citizens for Goldwater-Miller. The following year, she was elected president of the Young Republicans at Wellesley College. So, in her youth, there’s no denying that she absolutely was a Republican. You won’t find this information in her online biography, by the way, so you’ll have to ask her about it.

While in college, she became involved in the civil rights movement and rapidly transformed into a liberal Democrat who supported anti-war Democratic candidate Eugene McCarthy for president in 1968. Yet it wasn’t until the 1968 Republican National Convention when she finally left the Republican Party… for good? As far as I know. Four years later, during the Watergate investigation, she advised the House Judiciary Committee as they assembled a case for impeachment against President Nixon. I take her at her word that she wasn’t a spy.

From 1986 to 1993, Senator Clinton sat on the board of the notoriously anti-labor corporation known as Wal-Mart, founded and operated by far-right conservative Republican Sam Walton.

Fast forward to 2002 when Senator Clinton vocally supported the Bush administration’s plans to invade an occupy Iraq. To this day, she refuses to either reject or denounce her support of President Bush and the neoconservative conspiracy for war even though the roster of lies about Iraq is a mile long — but not nearly as long as the roster of American military casualties: more than 30,000 by the most recent accounting.

Senator Clinton is also a longtime member of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) which is composed primarily of Democrats who routinely capitulate to the Republicans. “Democrats In Name Only” is a pejorative nickname that’s often associated with members of this centrist organization. And the senator’s historically awkward line, “It’s not change you can believe in; it’s change you can Xerox,” was written for the senator by the DLC’s current president, Bruce Reed. Ironically enough, Reed’s line was intended to blast Senator Obama for using a line written by his campaign co-chair, Governor Deval Patrick. Score! Good job, Clintons!

And during the course of this year, 2008, Senator Clinton has exhibited a disturbing affection for Republican fear mongering. In New Hampshire, Senator Clinton first invoked the prospect of a terrorist attack and how only she was qualified to handle such an event.

I don’t think it was by accident that al-Qaeda decided to test the new prime minister. They watch our elections as closely as we do, maybe more closely than some of our fellows citizens do. Let’s not forget you’re hiring a president not just to do what a candidate says during the election, you want a president to be there when the chips are down.

I wonder who wrote that line for the senator? Probably a Democrat on her speechwriting staff, and I take her at her word that it wasn’t a Republican.

Meanwhile, during the very same week in which William Kristol recommended to the senator that she use the politics of fear against Senator Obama, Subsequently, Senator Clinton hedged while responding to a question about Senator Obama’s religion — “as far as she knew.” The day after Kristol’s recommendation, the Kenyan garb photo appeared on the Drudge Report. And, later in the week, her campaign released the 3AM television commercial which could very easily have been a commercial for Senator McCain. It’s also noteworthy that Clinton campaign pollster Mark Penn wrote the commercial. Penn has a storied Republican past, as was reported by The Nation:

A host of prominent Republicans fall under Penn’s purview. B-M’s Washington lobbying arm, BKSH & Associates, is run by Charlie Black, a leading GOP operative who maintains close ties to the White House, including Karl Rove, and was former partners with Lee Atwater, the political consultant who crafted the Willie Horton smear campaign used by George H.W. Bush against Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Speaking of Willy Horton, we’re all familiar with the disgraceful instances of race-baiting from the Clinton campaign — a tactic generally reserved exclusively by the Republicans. Most recently, Clinton finance committee member and former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro said that the only reason Senator Obama is winning is because he’s black.

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Ferraro has yet to resign from her post with the same dignity and selflessness as Samantha Power, Senator Obama’s foreign policy advisor, when Power said that Senator Clinton was a “monster” — a harmless epithet, far less insulting than Ferraro’s flagrantly racist comments. And the Clinton campaign has yet to reject or denounce Ferraro’s unapologetic bigotry, nor her continued defense and reiteration of the initial trespass. The Clintons are sticking with Ferraro. When have we witnessed this behavior before? Sticking with someone who’s clearly wrong?

2008-03-12-mccainclinton2008.jpgAnd then there are Senator Clinton’s remarkably obnoxious endorsements of Senator McCain, as well as her desire to follow Bill Kristol’s advice (again) — this time agreeing with his advice to Senator McCain that the general election ought to be framed around national security issues. For the record, AmericaBlog documented her repeated endorsements of Senator McCain and, concurrently, her offenses against the Democratic Party:

"[McCain has] never been president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002."

“I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.”

"Of course, well, you know, I’ve got a lifetime of experience. Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience. And you know, Senator Obama’s whole campaign is about one speech he made in 2002."

Clearly, the senator’s point was that if she doesn’t win the nomination (and it’s mathematically impossible at this point), she would prefer to see Senator McCain defeat Senator Obama in November. After all, and by her own admission, Senator McCain is more qualified and better equipped to defend the nation against the evildoers. What’s more is that Senator Clinton has provided for the McCain campaign enough clips to launch a thousand fear mongering commercials.

SCARY VOICE GUY: Even Hillary Clinton, a liberal Democrat, agrees that Senator Obama isn’t prepared to keep you and your kids safe from the terrorists.

CLIP OF SENATOR CLINTON: I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.

SCARY VOICE GUY: Senator Barack Hussein Obama… if a liberal like Hillary Clinton thinks he’s not ready, what will the terrorists think?

But I take her at her word that she’s not a Republican Manchurian Candidate ready to spring forth another eight years of crazy on an already thrashed and beleaguered nation. As far as I know.


Olbermann Rips Into Hillary and Ferraro

Last night Keith Olbermann definitely earned my respect as the only real journalist on television. He was pretty well ahead before, but last night he sealed the deal, and all it took was pointing out the obvious: that Hillary is campaigning as a Republican. Anyway, check it out, it is definitely worth watching:

Mar 12

The Limbaugh Effect (Hillary: The GOP’s Weapon of Choice)

So it looks like Hillary may very well be getting a big boost from Republicans wanting to keep her in the race either to beat Obama and give the Republicans an easy victory in November, or to just keep her kicking long enough to take the Democratic Party down in flames, per Rush Limbaugh’s request. He made the plea to his supporters before the Texas primacaucus and may have given her a little push.

In Mississippi it may have given her more than a little bit of a push, although she still lost bad. A full 25% of Hillary’s voters in Mississippi were Republican, which if you know anything about how vilified Hillary is to conservatives, and even many moderates, is a huge red flag. The end result was that what would have been a giant sweep for Obama (70%-30%, and a 15 net delegates, without Hillary’s GOP support) was softened into just a serious ass kicking of 61% to 37%, with only a net of 5 delegates. So Republicans in this one may have cost him 10 delegates, not to mention running up the anti-Obama white vote in the exit polls.

So Hillary continues to reap the benefits of Limbaugh’s support, while him and the rest of the Republicans are smiling ear to ear as they watch Hillary do all of their dirty work (and I mean DIRTY) for them. It looks like Hillary found a new best friend, and so have the Republicans.

Farewell Spitzer

So today NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer resigned following allegations that he had been having sex with very expensive hookers for years, possibly using taxpayer money. Personally I’m glad to see him go because he is an embarrassment to Democrats, and only Republicans keep their sex offenders in office after they have been discovered.


Geraldine Ferraro’s History of Bigotry

I previously wrote about how the other day Geraldine Ferraro, Clinton supporter, fundraiser, and member of her financial committee said that Obama is only winning the presidential race because he is black. Her comments not only demeaned his accomplishments, abilities and millions of his supporters, it reeked of the kind of bigoted attacks on minorities that are often heard from people who attack affirmative action, using the issue as cover for racial prejudice, resentment and bigotry.
Indeed, she is essentially claiming that Obama is some kind of affirmative action candidate, and if it wasn’t for him being a minority the job would have gone to a better deserving white woman (even though there is absolutely no evidence to back up the assertion that Hillary is better qualified, or that she would make a better president, and Ferraro didn’t offer any evidence; furthermore there is much evidence to the contrary, as you can find throughout my blog). So instead of apologizing for her obviously offensive comments, yesterday Geraldine Ferraro hit back:
Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world, you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up. Racism works in two different directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white.
Yes, you read that correctly, she made the outrageous and offensive claim that Obama was only where he is today because he is black, and then when a large number of people condemned her for her remarks, she claimed she was being attacked because she was white. She actually had the audacity to claim Obama and basically everyone who found her comments to be offensive were racist for calling her on her comments, even though no one even mentioned that she was white in any of the criticisms of her comments. Wow. She just might be insane. This is the kind of ignorant, ludicrous statement you’d expect from Ann Coulter.

And “Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world, you’re accused of being racist”? No, that is a bunch of crap. If you had said “Obama isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief”, that wouldn’t have had people calling you racist (it would just make you wrong). If you would have said “Hillary has more experience”, no one would have accused you of being racist (again, you would just be wrong). If you would have said “Obama can’t handle global warming”, no one would have accused you of being racist. You see a pattern here? You can talk about the problems we face in this world, without bringing race into it (in fact race should have NO part of it), and no one will have any reason to accuse you of being racist. In fact, you weren’t even talking about problems we’re facing in this world, you were attacking Obama and accusing him of being an affirmative action candidate! Are you frickin’ nuts??

Oh, and for a little context, this is what Ferraro said about Jesse Jackson back in 1988 when he was running in the Democratic primary against Michael Dukakis:
If Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn’t be in the race.
Wow, you know, that sounds so familiar. I can’t really put my finger on it…I know I’ve heard that before…I just can’t place it…wait…maybe it was…..Oh yeah! She JUST said the exact same thing about Barack Obama! What a strangecoincidence!! Here we have the only two black major presidential candidates in US history, and in both cases you have Geraldine Ferraro attacking their worthiness and saying they are only there because they are black!

Hmm…gosh, Jesse Jackson and Obama, SHAME ON YOU BOTH for being SO racist! Quit picking on poor Geraldine Ferraro because of her race, how dare you?!

…And of course Hillary has refused to denounce or reject her and her comments, nor has she asked her to resign from her financial committee. I guess we know the score on Hillary’s “test of character”.


Mythbusting Hillary: Experience (Sinbad Speaks Out Edition)

[Nearly all of Hillary’s argument that she has what it takes to be Commander-in-Chief rests on completely exaggerated accomplishments and events taken from her First Lady days. Check out the “Full Debunk Edition" of Mythbusting Hillary for more details, but for now here is an insider look at her Bosnia claim, from fellow Commander-in-Chief threshold-passer himself, Sinbad:]
Sinbad Unloads on Hillary Clinton
by Mary Ann Akers

Finally, the Barack Obama campaign has found a big gun to help shoot down Hillary Rodham Clinton’s self-proclaimed foreign policy experience. And he may be the wackiest gun of all: Sinbad, the actor, who has come out from under a rock to defend Obama in the war over foreign policy credentials.

Sinbad, along with singer Sheryl Crow, was on that 1996 trip to Bosnia that Clinton has described as a harrowing international experience that makes her tested and ready to answer a 3 a.m. phone call at the White House on day one, a claim for which she’s taking much grief on the campaign trail.

Harrowing? Not that Sinbad recalls. He just remembers it being a USO tour to buck up the troops amid a much worse situation than he had imagined between the Bosnians and Serbs.

In an interview with the Sleuth Monday, he said the “scariest” part of the trip was wondering where he’d eat next. “I think the only ‘red-phone’ moment was: ‘Do we eat here or at the next place.’”

Clinton, during a late December campaign appearance in Iowa, described a hair-raising corkscrew landing in war-torn Bosnia, a trip she took with her then-teenage daughter, Chelsea. “They said there might be sniper fire,” Clinton said.

Threat of bullets? Sinbad doesn’t remember that, either.

"I never felt that I was in a dangerous position. I never felt being in a sense of peril, or ‘Oh, God, I hope I’m going to be OK when I get out of this helicopter or when I get out of his tank.’"

In her Iowa stump speech, Clinton also said, “We used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady.”

Say what? As Sinbad put it: “What kind of president would say, ‘Hey, man, I can’t go ‘cause I might get shot so I’m going to send my wife…oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.’”

Mar 11

Mythbusting Hillary: Experience (Full Debunk Edition)

Every Hillary supporter who buys into her “experience” argument should read this, and every Obama supporter should memorize it and have it bookmarked, because this is the most thorough and comprehensive rundown of her experience I’ve come across yet.
Greg Craig (now an Obama supporter), a former senior advisor to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former advisor to Senator Kennedy on defense and foreign policy issues before that, someone who has known the Clintons for decades (he even introduced them to each other), eviscerated Hillary’s “experience” argument today, and then made her eat the scraps:

When your entire campaign is based upon a claim of experience, it is important that you have evidence to support that claim. Hillary Clinton’s argument that she has passed “the Commander- in-Chief test” is simply not supported by her record.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton played an important domestic policy role when she was First Lady. It is well known, for example, that she led the failed effort to pass universal health insurance. There is no reason to believe, however, that she was a key player in foreign policy at any time during the Clinton Administration. She did not sit in on National Security Council meetings. She did not have a security clearance. She did not attend meetings in the Situation Room. She did not manage any part of the national security bureaucracy, nor did she have her own national security staff. She did not do any heavy-lifting with foreign governments, whether they were friendly or not. She never managed a foreign policy crisis, and there is no evidence to suggest that she participated in the decision-making that occurred in connection with any such crisis. As far as the record shows, Senator Clinton never answered the phone either to make a decision on any pressing national security issue – not at 3 AM or at any other time of day.

When asked to describe her experience, Senator Clinton has cited a handful of international incidents where she says she played a central role. But any fair-minded and objective judge of these claims – i.e., by someone not affiliated with the Clinton campaign – would conclude that Senator Clinton’s claims of foreign policy experience are exaggerated.

Northern Ireland:

Senator Clinton has said, “I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland.” It is a gross overstatement of the facts for her to claim even partial credit for bringing peace to Northern Ireland. She did travel to Northern Ireland, it is true. First Ladies often travel to places that are a focus of U.S. foreign policy. But at no time did she play any role in the critical negotiations that ultimately produced the peace. As the Associated Press recently reported, “[S]he was not directly involved in negotiating the Good Friday peace accord.” With regard to her main claim that she helped bring women together, she did participate in a meeting with women, but, according to those who know best, she did not play a pivotal role. The person in charge of the negotiations, former Senator George Mitchell, said that “[The First Lady] was one of many people who participated in encouraging women to get involved, not the only one.”

News of Senator Clinton’s claims has raised eyebrows across the ocean. Her reference to an important meeting at the Belfast town hall was debunked. Her only appearance at the Belfast City Hall was to see Christmas lights turned on. She also attended a 50-minute meeting which, according to the Belfast Daily Telegraph’s report at the time, “[was] a little bit stilted, a little prepared at times.” Brian Feeney, an Irish author and former politician, sums it up: “The road to peace was carefully documented, and she wasn’t on it.”


Senator Clinton has pointed to a March 1996 trip to Bosnia as proof that her foreign travel involved a life-risking mission into a war zone. She has described dodging sniper fire. While she did travel to Bosnia in March 1996, the visit was not a high-stakes mission to a war zone. On March 26, 1996, the New York Times reported that “Hillary Rodham Clinton charmed American troops at a U.S.O. show here, but it didn’t hurt that the singer Sheryl Crow and the comedian Sinbad were also on the stage.”


Senator Clinton has said, “I negotiated open borders to let fleeing refugees into safety from Kosovo.” It is true that, as First Lady, she traveled to Macedonia and visited a Kosovar refugee camp. It is also true that she met with government officials while she was there. First Ladies frequently meet with government officials. Her claim to have “negotiated open borders to let fleeing refugees into safety from Kosovo,” however, is not true. Her trip to Macedonia took place on May 14, 1999. The borders were opened the day before, on May 13, 1999.

The negotiations that led to the opening of the borders were accomplished by the people who ordinarily conduct negotiations with foreign governments – U.S. diplomats. President Clinton’s top envoy to the Balkans, former Ambassador Robert Gelbard, said, “I cannot recall any involvement by Senator Clinton in this issue.” Ivo Daalder worked on the Clinton Administration’s National Security Council and wrote a definitive history of the Kosovo conflict. He recalls that “she had absolutely no role in the dirty work of negotiations.”


Last year, former President Clinton asserted that his wife pressed him to intervene with U.S. troops to stop the Rwandan genocide. When asked about this assertion, Hillary Clinton said it was true. There is no evidence, however, to suggest that this ever happened. Even those individuals who were advocating a much more robust U.S. effort to stop the genocide did not argue for the use of U.S. troops. No one recalls hearing that Hillary Clinton had any interest in this course of action. Based on a fair and thorough review of National Security Council deliberations during those tragic months, there is no evidence to suggest that U.S. military intervention was ever discussed. Prudence Bushnell, the Assistant Secretary of State with responsibility for Africa, has recalled that there was no consideration of U.S. military intervention.

At no time prior to her campaign for the presidency did Senator Clinton ever make the claim that she supported intervening militarily to stop the Rwandan genocide. It is noteworthy that she failed to mention this anecdote – urging President Clinton to intervene militarily in Rwanda – in her memoirs. President Clinton makes no mention of such a conversation with his wife in his memoirs. And Madeline Albright, who was Ambassador to the United Nations at the time, makes no mention of any such event in her memoirs.

Hillary Clinton did visit Rwanda in March 1998 and, during that visit, her husband apologized for America’s failure to do more to prevent the genocide.


Senator Clinton also points to a speech that she delivered in Beijing in 1995 as proof of her ability to answer a 3 AM crisis phone call. It is strange that Senator Clinton would base her own foreign policy experience on a speech that she gave over a decade ago, since she so frequently belittles Barack Obama’s speeches opposing the Iraq War six years ago. Let there be no doubt: she gave a good speech in Beijing, and she stood up for women’s rights. But Senator Obama’s opposition to the War in Iraq in 2002 is relevant to the question of whether he, as Commander-in-Chief, will make wise judgments about the use of military force. Senator Clinton’s speech in Beijing is not.

Senator Obama’s speech opposing the war in Iraq shows independence and courage as well as good judgment. In the speech that Senator Clinton says does not qualify him to be Commander in Chief, Obama criticized what he called “a rash war … a war based not on reason, but on passion, not on principle, but on politics.” In that speech, he said prophetically: “[E]ven a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.” He predicted that a U.S. invasion of Iraq would “fan the flames of the Middle East,” and “strengthen the recruitment arm of al Qaeda.” He urged the United States first to “finish the fight with Bin Laden and al Qaeda.”

If the U.S. government had followed Barack Obama’s advice in 2002, we would have avoided one of the greatest foreign policy catastrophes in our nation’s history. Some of the most “experienced” men in national security affairs – Vice President Cheney and Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others – led this nation into that catastrophe. That lesson should teach us something about the value of judgment over experience. Longevity in Washington, D.C. does not guarantee either wisdom of judgment.


The Clinton campaign’s argument is nothing more than mere assertion, dramatized in a scary television commercial with a telephone ringing in the middle of the night. There is no support for or substance in the claim that Senator Clinton has passed “the Commander-in-Chief test.” That claim – as the TV ad – consists of nothing more than making the assertion, repeating it frequently to the voters and hoping that they will believe it.

On the most critical foreign policy judgment of our generation – the War in Iraq – Senator Clinton voted in support of a resolution entitled “The Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of U.S. Military Force Against Iraq.” As she cast that vote, she said: “This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make — any vote that may lead to war should be hard — but I cast it with conviction.” In this campaign, Senator Clinton has argued – remarkably – that she wasn’t actually voting for war, she was voting for diplomacy. That claim is no more credible than her other claims of foreign policy experience. The real tragedy is that we are still living with the terrible consequences of her misjudgment. The Bush Administration continues to cite that resolution as its authorization – like a blank check – to fight on with no end in sight.

Barack Obama has a very simple case. On the most important commander in chief test of our generation, he got it right, and Senator Clinton got it wrong. In truth, Senator Obama has much more foreign policy experience than either Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan had when they were elected. Senator Obama has worked to confront 21st century challenges like proliferation and genocide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He possesses the personal attributes of a great leader — an even temperament, an open-minded approach to even the most challenging problems, a willingness to listen to all views, clarity of vision, the ability to inspire, conviction and courage.

And Barack Obama does not use false charges and exaggerated claims to play politics with national security.

BAM! Spot on! And tell me, why has that rabidly anti-Hillary, pro-Obama media not been able to point out any of this, all CRITICAL to her campaign, in months of campaigning? This isn’t even about vetting, this is about basic resume fact checking, and it isn’t hard. How’s that for media bias?


Let’s Take GOP Rep. Steve King Down In November!

Rep. Steve King of Iowa is one of the most conservative members of Congress, and he just sealed his fate. King commented the other day on the possibility of Barack Obama winning the presidency:
The radical Islamists, the al-Qaeda … would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror.

His middle name does matter. It matters because they read a meaning into that.
Monday he elaborated:
[Obama will] certainly be viewed as a savior for them (al-Qaeda). That’s why you will see them supporting him, encouraging him.
So it is bad enough he is a hardcore conservative, but now he is attacking the Democratic presidential candidate because of his race, background and name, not to mention attacking all Democrats as saviors of terrorists for wanting to withdraw from Iraq. Not only this, it turns out Rep. King has a history of offensive comments, indeed the Des Moines Register, which endorsed his Democratic opponent in the last election said that “King has been an embarrassment to Iowa” and “This space won’t allow listing all his outrageous remarks and positions.” Well since we have more space here, let’s look at a few highlights:
  • King claimed that history showed McCarthy to be “a hero for America”
  • In responding to planned “Day Without an Immigrant” rallies King stated:
    What would that May 1st look like without illegal immigration? There would be no one to smuggle across our southern border the heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines that plague the United States, reducing the U.S. supply of meth that day by 80%. The lives of 12 U.S. citizens would be saved who otherwise die a violent death at the hands of murderous illegal aliens each day. Another 13 Americans would survive who are otherwise killed each day by uninsured drunk driving illegals. Our hospital emergency rooms would not be flooded with everything from gunshot wounds, to anchor babies, to imported diseases to hangnails, giving American citizens the day off from standing in line behind illegals. Eight American children would not suffer the horror as a victim of a sex crime.
  • In the past King has regularly claimed that illegal immigrants are perpetrating sex crimes against “eight little girls” each day as part of a “slow-motion terrorist attack”
  • King responded to the revelations of abuse and torture, clear violations of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law, at Abu Ghraib saying it “amounts to hazing”
  • On Iraq he said “My wife lives here with me, and I can tell you… she’s at far greater risk being a civilian in Washington, D.C., than an average civilian in Iraq.” Which is, needless to say, incredibly false.
  • In responding to the death of al-Qaeda in Iraq leader al-Zarqawi King stated “There probably are not seventy-two virgins in the hell he’s at, and if there are, they probably all look like [White House press corps journalist] Helen Thomas.”
Through the magic of two year terms in the House of Representatives, Rep. King is up for reelection this year, and I think Democrats all over the country should send a clear signal that we don’t need someone like Steve King in Congress. Let’s make him pay for his comments and his horribly conservative voting record. We just won a Congressional seat in Illinois in a red red district that used to belong to the former GOP Speaker of the House, and the NRCC wasted nearly a third of its cash trying to save that seat, but they still lost by a large margin. Even though King won his last election with 59% of the vote, we can take him down, and we can turn that district into another bleeding wound for the Republican Party!

Democrat Rob Hubler is running against King this November, so we need to support him, and donate to him to help take this bigoted conservative out of Congress once in for all! Go to his website now (it sucks, but that’s okay), click on “Donate”, and donate via ActBlue, it is quick, easy, and secure. I’ll continue following this race throughout the election season.

Update: I should also note, that this race is yet another reason we need Barack Obama as our presidential nominee, because having him on the ballot will give up a huge boost in this election, and will help Democrats win big, just like he helped Bill Foster and Donna Edwards! Let’s get rolling with the Obama Effect!! Donate to Obama as well to support him against racist Right-wing smears! Every time someone makes comments like this, we need to show that there will be consequences!


So Much for the Surge (Repost)

[My blog was never meant to be devoted exclusively to the Democratic primary, although that has obviously been featured most prominently on here so far. After Hillary drops out, I’ll be devoting a lot of time to tearing down John McCain and the Republicans, among other things. And since I abhor blind allegiance, whether it be by Republicans to Bush, or Hillary supporters to Hillary, after Obama is elected I will not hesitate to make sure he is doing everything he should be doing to further progressive goals and values. But before we get that far, let’s take a look at something immensely important that is increasingly being overlooked, but will no doubt be very important to the general election: The Surge. (Spoiler alert: It isn’t actually working).]

So Much for the Surge
by Eugene Robinson

WASHINGTON—Has anyone noticed that Iraq, supposedly transformed into an oasis of peace and tranquility by George W. Bush’s troop surge, is growing less peaceful and tranquil by the day?

The nation’s attention has been riveted by the presidential campaign, with its compelling characters and its edge-of-your-seat story line. Iraq is treated almost as a theoretical issue: What would happen there if Barack Obama became president, as opposed to what would happen if Hillary Clinton became president, as opposed to what would happen if John McCain became president? There has been little debate about what’s happening in Iraq right now.

That seems likely to change.

The past several weeks have seen a recrudescence of the kind of horrifying, spectacular violence that the Decider’s surge was supposed to have ended.

Last Thursday, two massive bombs hit a shopping district in the Shiite-dominated Karada neighborhood of Baghdad, killing 68 people and injuring more than 120. That atrocity followed twin car-bomb explosions earlier in the week that killed 24 people and wounded 56 elsewhere in the city.

On Monday came what was described as the worst attack on U.S. forces in months. According to Iraqi police, a suicide bomber approached an American patrol in Baghdad and detonated his explosives, killing five soldiers and injuring three others. U.S. military officials confirmed the deaths but did not immediately give details of the incident.

Also on Monday, a female suicide bomber in Diyala province blew herself up at the home of a Sunni clan leader who had been cooperating with U.S. forces against al-Qaida. Sheik Thaeir Ghadhban al-Karkhi was killed, along with his 5-year-old niece, an adult cousin and a security guard.

Two days earlier, in an orchard near the banks of the Diyala River, Iraqi police announced they had found a mass grave with the decomposed remains of between 50 and 100 people, some of them children. It was unclear who the victims were, or who had killed them.

When the Bush administration celebrates a 60 percent reduction in overall violence in Iraq, it’s easy to forget that this is compared with June 2007, when the sectarian civil war was raging and bombings with scores of victims were a regular occurrence. The surge managed only to reduce the level of violence from apocalyptic to agonizing—and now even those gains seem to be slipping.

Bush’s surge was designed to give the Iraqi government the necessary breathing space for Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds to reach vital compromises. President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki showed their gratitude earlier this month by rolling out the red carpet, literally, for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Bush’s Middle East policy is designed largely to blunt the influence of Iran, which seeks a dominant role in the region. So it must have been galling to the White House to watch as Ahmadinejad swept into Baghdad in a ceremonial motorcade and toured the city with great fanfare. Never one to miss a chance to stick in the needle, Ahmadinejad questioned the motives of those who “visit this country in a stealth manner.”

He was referring to the fact that Bush has to fly unannounced into Iraq and can stay only for a few hours. It would be far too dangerous to let citizens know in advance that their liberator was coming to see to their welfare.

So violence seems to be creeping back, the Iraqi government is showcasing its developing friendship with Iran, and, oh yes, these achievements are costing American taxpayers around $12 billion a month, according to a new book by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and co-author Linda Bilmes. The authors estimate that by 2017, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost the nation between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion.

The Congressional Budget Office projects a somewhat lower cost, estimating that by 2017 the two wars will have consumed between $1.2 trillion and $1.7 trillion. Still, not what you would call chump change.

I’m not aware of any educated guess at how much it might cost if the occupation of Iraq were to last 100 years, as McCain has suggested.

It is unclear whether the recent increase in violence in Iraq is temporary or the beginning of a new and tragic cycle. It’s hard to imagine a return to the level of carnage of a year ago, since by now many of Baghdad’s neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed. But all of us—even the presidential candidates—had better pay attention.

Mar 10

"McClinton" vs. Obama (Repost)

"McClinton" (The Empire Strikes Back) vs. Obama (Bill Foster Provides A Glimpse of an Obama Presidency)
by Paul Abrams

A not so subtle series of statements by Hillary Clinton this week that she and John McCain had lifetimes of experience to bring to the presidency, but Barack Obama had only a single speech*; and, that she and John McCain passed the Commander-in-Chief test, but Barack Obama did not, signaled not only a shift in campaign tactics but also showed what this campaign for the heart of the Democratic Party is really all about.

By aligning herself in two critical areas with John McCain against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton was sending this message: the “elite”, the establishment, the military-industrial complex will ensure that the two major party candidates are in cahoots with them. Sure, they will each have their own different, but overlapping, networks and interest groups. But, the permanent two-party, elite establishment, speaking sweet words but really cutting very sweet deals for insiders, will prevail. And, with McCain echoing Hillary’s attacks, she now gets a three-fer: Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and John McCain going after Barack Obama. The Empire Strikes Back!

The Clinton campaign has flailed about looking for a message, a slogan, a reason for her candidacy. “Experience”, “Change”, “Experience to Bring Change”, “Solutions”, “Ready to Lead”, almost every week there is a different slogan. But, the real message of “experience”is that she — like McCain — is part of the establishment and will defend it. That is what her alignment with McCain is all about.

Who takes more lobbyist money than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat? Hillary. Who has more lobbyists in positions of power in the campaign? McCain. Who defended paid lobbyists? Hillary (at the YearlyKos convention). Get the picture?

Here is the establishment’s game: once Barack is out of the way, the battle is between two different parts of the establishment, two overlapping groups that, while they fight for ultimate power, are never very far out of it even when the other faction takes over. It is musical chairs where there are as many chairs as people.

All versus Obama. While the mainstream media focuses on whether Barack is nasty enough, or how he will pull off “bipartisanship”, Barack’s backing of Bill Foster provides a glimpse of how a peoples’ president, with intelligence, a gift to inspire and modern technology can change the entire game on behalf of the American people.

Barack Obama — not Hillary Clinton — actively, with TV ads, supported Bill Foster’s attempt to win Dennis Hastert’s (former Speaker) seat in the House after Hastert’s resignation. Supporting Foster so openly was a risk, as it could have (and we know, would have) been used by the Clintons to raise doubt about Obama’s ability to rally support. After all, one thing Bill Clinton did not have was coattails — he lost the House for the first time in 40 years, and it remained in Republican hands for 12 years.

Bill Foster won a seemingly unwinnable seat, in a very Republican district. It will only take 10-or so of those to start making Congress (Repubicans and Democrats) start serving the general welfare not the lobbyists. That is not bipartisanship in the old sense. It is creating new, supermajorities by breaking the hold of the establishment has on both party elites.

Nor is this even radical. President Eisenhower, a 5-star general, Republican, warned the country about the dangers of the military-industrial complex in his farewell address. Regrettably, the biggest danger most politicians responded to was the risk of being ousted for not playing along, not exactly what Ike had in mind.

One great example of a transformative potential is Earth Day. Twenty-million people came out of their homes to stand up for the planet. WIth that spontaneous show of support, the movement’s leaders identified the “dirty-dozen” Congressmen that were biggest supporters of the polluters. Seven (7) were defeated. The remaining 5 got the message. Despite Nixon’s opposition, the seminal environmental laws (Environmental Protection Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act) passed. That’s why you and I can drink our water, and breathe our air.

And, that was before the internet, and the netroots, and Facebook, and MySpace, and YouTube!

That is what Obama vs. “McClinton” is really about.

*what is more insulting, to be called a “monster” by a campaign operative; or to have your Senatorial colleague and opponent herself state that your entire life’s experience, all you are, is one speech?